Sunday, January 20, 2019

A small pagoda monkey considers

by Devon Balwit

a feather, lighter than his lightest
leaping, barbules able to lift
a body beyond peaks, higher
than any stone-throwing boy.
The monkey curves the shed shaft
in his palms and dreams himself
above squabble and scavenge,
the light lazing gradations
of knuckle and vane, silvering
the Buddha eyes of his stupa.

Moonrise

by Lorraine Caputo

Over the silhouette mountain
        the light of
                the full moon
shines, stars fading in
        her brilliance

She crests the summit
        a perfect white orb etched
                with distant valleys & seas

& this sea, a silhouette
        crested by the
                evening breeze
under a deep sky
        etched with stars

Utility

by Amy Soricelli

There is a correct way to use the sun
and you must find this in the early moments before
your mind gets filled up with everything the sun is not.
There is a science for the things that are filled by hollow stories
and pie shells.
The crawl across the earth in a maddening rush of love
can be explained with numbers, maps,
and mushrooms forced from the earth and then cleared softly with a brush.
There is a correct way to use the planets and the barks from trees.
Words are not dirt they do not trail across the footprint
of your life.
There is a correct way to use the air and nothing but the edge of the universe
can hear the soundless sounds in every blade of grass.



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Transit

Kate Rose

I packed up my deities
in market luggage.
Please don’t ask me to
pour them out.
We only know our own indias.
Our turbaned servants are not the same.
On my shoulder.
Bells. Hawks brushing back.
Brushing back.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Devil Winds

by Tamara Madison

Before shopping malls
before golf courses
before paved roads
covered the sloping dunes,

winds like these lifted sand
into the air
and it took days
to settle,
left the desert sky
to make
a week-long shift from grey
to taupe, then tan, then beige,
before drifting back
to blue.

When those winds tossed your hair
it was not a caress, but a reminder:

they could bring standsting to the eye,
pitt a windshield to uselessness,
rip a roof from a building.

Here along the coast,
winds like these
fly in from the desert
bringing flames,
smoke,
flying ash.

When these winds toss your hair,
it is not a caress;
it’s an omen.

Simple Fare

by Phil Huffy

Late morning, in a calm July.
High in his tree of terror,
Upper Togue’s bald eagle
assesses his luncheon prospects.

He was a young bird once,
sometimes wasting time and fight
on adult loons, raucous and combative,
diving to safety as he swooped.

Better, he knew, to raid a nest
or skim a baby duck or two,
not that he’d lost speed to age
or ability to wintry challenge.

Better, he’d learned,  to find weak prey,
to hunt the slow and helpless,
sick or dying, small or confused
and save his own energy.

And if luck or skill or patience waned,
as sometimes happened,
the agile raptor could spot the already dead,
and chasing off other diners, then partake.

Autumn

by James Aitchison

The heat of summer bleeds
         from the sky.
Golden sunrises.
Orange afternoons.
Fiery sunsets.
Summer writes itself
         on the leaves,
Then tumbles onto the grass,
Tossed by the wind,
Claimed by the long, long winter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Between Breaths

by David Sullivan

Bees above the village of Liugong’s
last remaining mosque weigh down
each flower. Qilian junipers whisper-
rub each other. Clouds veil mountains
then lift, revealing rain-polished greens.

The spider restrings the line I broke,
crooked back leg tests tension.
The mushroom crop thrusts
up through night’s dark soil—
blind fingers of the dead.

What we survive pricks us alive.
Pause between breaths. Listen.
From its high branch a jackdaw
caterwauls, then flies.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Painted Canyon

by Tamara Madison

Earthquakes built this place.
The earth shivered, heaved,
spewed its juices over
the mounds that its suffering
created. Sharp hills
wear these remains
in shades of pink, brown,
rust. Gravel roads lead
through close canyons,
fissures pull hikers
onto sandy pathways;
seen from these the sky
is a thin blue ribbon.
All around the mountains lie
in pleats and folds, each sand-
and rock-studded layer
leans heavy on the next.
Once vertical, now they pitch
toward two o’clock:
smashed together
like a people oppressed,
cheek upon cheek in the silent
moon-bright desert night.

Kererū dawn

by K.V. Martins

with a whoosh of wings
you spread the seeds of kahikatea
            rimu and nikau

metallic cream-green glimpses
in a forest of shining leaves
            where the korimako chimes

they call you kukupa and kuku -
            native wood pigeon.

Sixteen Shades of Gray

by Wesley D. Sims

Daylight tiptoes in,
uncovers the silent cove
revealing a nuanced
morning scene,
sixteen shades of gray,
the silvery lake,
its satin smooth skin,
inviting someone
to break its sealed surface,
awaken to its sensuality,
tremble in its wet embrace.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

White

by Ed Jones

New Year has arrived white.  No snow.
Just the brilliance of sun on beech and clapboard,
The freckles of leaves against lawns gone somber,
A smear of cirrus, the shafts of slant rays
That stripe my room.  How all things

Any other day would just be cold, shorn, naked,
But today arrive not antiseptic or pure
Or gossamer light or blinding.  Just something
You can work with when the ground stays hard
Against your boots and you want warmer gloves.

Like this page, a welcome mat for arranged darkness,
The shadows of beeches thrown down among
Last year’s leavings.
Like a welder, you avert your eyes
And the bead of light leaves a whole thing.

It’s just the white has washed smooth across
A whole field of grass and you’re left
Knowing how it would be to walk, light
As a silken skein of milkweed
Up this trail just beyond the hill’s curve
Where it climbs up into the fleecy sky.

Alpine Grandeur
KJ Hannah Greenberg



Sunday, December 30, 2018

Flying with the Crows

by K.V. Martins

Wolf-grey sky

                                interrupted

by a whirlpool of crows

                                dropping

like weightless stones
into fields of light.

Japanese maples, sapling thin
slipper into autumn, clutching

                                red leaves.

Wind taps on windows
with her long fingernails.

Sometimes the old shire stallion shivers
on these peppery-cold mornings

when frost scribbles across
water troughs and streams

he warms himself in a slice of sunshine
hears the thrum of wild hoofbeats

and a flurry of feathers flapping,
now rising in perfect formation
going somewhere -

stained by their blackness as they pass
spiralling and curving, the stallion wonders

what it would be like -

                                  to fly towards the sun.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Minotaur Blues

by Adam Levon Brown

Swinging from Helios
Nectar, and reanimated
like two doves floating

Existing between severed
hearts, flung from abyss
into happenstance life

Crawling sideways
to avoid vehicles
of human flesh

Striking mallets
of minotaur
mischief
upon desks
of destination mother

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Along Highway 70

by David Chorlton

A mountain's peak pulls back a corner
of the sky, while the land
beneath it rolls
and buckles from cattle to cotton and
kestrels on the telegraph wires
running to November's changing color
on both banks
of the riverbed flowing
from one dry season to the next.
The Miracle Church looks tired
today, outspent
by the Latter Day Saints on the rise
with a view extending
Apache miles to the Earth's
wild edge.
              In each small
town along the way
tradition's in the balance
with houses whose walls ache
from holding up the past
while box stores
make a down payment on the future.
And a highway made of sunlight
runs directly through a raven's eye.

"each year at dawn"

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

each year at dawn
on the selected day
tuna fishermen from this quaint
Japanese fishing village
sail out
to slaughter dolphins
because  they rip fishnets
and suffer the catch to swim free

that hideous day
the fishermen clamor to the wharf
bristle with gaff hooks
harpoons
samurai swords
shotguns
grenades
sticks of dynamite
and slews of other fatal weapons

boat engines grumble to life
and the angry fleet
lurches forward
to depart the harbor
only to find the way out
to open sea
blocked by 4,000 dolphins
collective tail fins foaming
and dolphin language-clicks calling
for a nonviolent demonstration
to halt another massacre

The Glory of Gardens

by Philip C. Kolin

Even when winter entombs
fields in stark white,
flags of rye and red clover
parade the victory of color.

In springtime hurrahs come
for the progeny of last year's
ancestors--lace cap hydrangea,
blue sage, heather, and impatiens.

Summer's sun-soaked bounty
is baptized into life with fertile rain--
corn, asparagus, meaty pole beans,
eggplants and tomatoes.

In fall, alfalfa, oats, and cowpeas
flourish under Novembered skies
full of promise for a feast of gathering
at the end of the year.                                   

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Season to Season

by g emil reutter

Abscission long underway
leaves scattered on ground
grouped in temporary mounds
skipping to and fro carpeting
yards, streets and lots.

Calm shades of magenta, yellow
brown, purple, black and pink.
Rain intensifies, mini whirlwinds
of leaves tango.

Others captured by temporary
streams along curbs flow into
city inlets. There is a harshness
in the beauty of death and renewal.

Blustery cold front hurtles storm
to the sea, rustle of fallen leaves
silenced as stems clutch the hardened
turf others embed in cracks of cement.

White crystals of winters arrival
mirror full moon sky. Petrified
rhododendrons await a warmer
day as weiglia, forsythia bow to
the gods of winter.

Green cascade holds parchment
like curled reddish leaves, she is
always the last to drop. Sun rises
cardinal chirps on barren limb
of sycamore.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Winter at Enid Lake

by Wil Michael Wrenn

The cold wind comes rushing,
roaring across Enid Lake
creating whitecap waves
which make a splashing sound
as they roll onto the shore.

An early Winter freeze has come,
and the foxes, squirrels, and raccoons
hurry to get their daily bread
as they prepare for the season ahead
As nature has changed from Autumn to Winter.

The geese that migrated from places north
are beginning to leave the lake
for warmer climates further south
while the white gulls have come back
to stay again through Winter
as they have done for many seasons past.

This cycle of nature continues here
at Enid Lake, as it has done throughout
the years and seasons. Old and young,
death and birth, sky and earth abide
in this Winter season at Enid Lake.

"orange dawn"

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

orange dawn
spreads coral pink legs
to give birth
to live island young

sand crab
turtle
osprey dive
loitering pelican
inimitable jellyfish
afterglow violets
present themselves
to the white shell goddess
of the beach
that knows rebellion
is the highest form
of obedience

Ursa Minor

by Brooks Robards

Trapped in a brumal cocoon
she feels limbs moving
lumbers out of her leaf lair
before full cognizance.

Sweet air wakens taste buds.
Mogging through snow patches
brush, she stops to claw open
a birch newly fallen and soft.

Across ridges of pine and ash
still hanging onto parchment leaves
she sleepwalks, branches break.
A horse and rider stop to listen

Wait. No more sounds come
just light amber fat, bleak shadows
on greening mountain laurel
balsam freshened in last night's fog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

"how simple are the weight of things"

by Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S.

the force that through the green fuse drives the flower
     --dylan thomas

how simple are the weight of things
from thistles stocky and stubborn in sidewalk cracks
to tides that rise and fall in their love affair with the moon . . .
the restless rivers
stars that wander and wheel
forests that release their colors with each wind turning
rain that slicks and floods
deserts that endlessly cycle day and night
           under a sun that pulses a fierce radiance
such is the green fuse
singing in its own work
driving the seed into harvest
the green breathing of jungles
the erupting of mountains
singing its own in the sleeping of glaciers and swamps
singing each animal alive with muscles, bones, eyes, skin
singing each birth
          singing its own power
the power driving all things

driving me

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Claim

by J.D. Stofer

From a cool seat in the garden
my fig tree
laden under dappled sun
I admired
till a movement in the shadows
a rat
despite me wove its way
twitched along the smooth trunk
sure footed
careful as a farmer
seeking just the right fig for himself.
Now I knew
that sun warmed fruit I had enjoyed
this very afternoon
pure and sagging ripe
straight to my mouth                           
the juice down chin and neck
had been sniffed, trod on, handled,
maybe peed upon daily by this bold fellow
with similar tastes to my own.
We both like a nice juicy fig.
And it’s clearly not my tree.