Tuesday, September 29, 2015


by Joyce Lorenson

eroding riverbank
by summer's end
the aged tree
sends up a shoot

The tomatoes are in hoop houses

by Maury Grimm

The tomatoes are in hoop houses, as well the fall planted crops. Wire around plants I don't want trampled. And all the birds, turkeys and chickens, roam freely about the place. I can too, all the fence barriers opened up.

Łizhiní and I are more comfortable around each other day-by-day and now Molly is laying eggs behind an old stump in the Quelites. She is not nesting on them, so that is good. Five eggs today from two of the girls, and they are getting bigger. Who ever said chickens do not like grass lied. They slurp the tender greens and I am praying they discover the wealth of grasshoppers.

Peanut and Red--the turkeys--range around from front to back. This eve they are playing back by the truck, whirling around, Peanut chasing Red and then vice versa.

It felt good to get this done today, to get the garden and grasshoppers in better control, one hopes.
Red & Peanut just now outside the window. I greet them. Red seems less nervous and more friendly and I think tomorrow to trim his toenails. They are in bad need; he has a hard time roosting.
This is new to me. I have had ducks, rabbits and other small animals, but never chickens and turkeys. And never free-ranging.

I can tell all are happy to have full range around the place, fences down, no walls. There is so much to forage from Currants to young Amaranth, Purslane and Quelites. I have left some Sorel, too as I know the chickens love them along with the Oregano. I chastise them all, "Bugs, eat those grasshoppers."

They take up different aspects around the place, and sometimes it seems the turkeys herd the chickens, and then the chickens herd the turkeys.

Fences and walls. Sometimes we create them to protect what we love. However, they have to come down to allow those we love to grow. As my mother all ways said, "Fences were made for people that can't fly."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Grub Worm

by Al Ortolani

The rain that has been building all morning begins to tap the window. The sash, raised to allow the garden into the bedroom, is enough of a poem for anyone. Ink can only imitate these first drops, the quiet within the curtained room, the breeze kneading muscle, the drizzling calm. Blue jays swing through the sycamore. Already yellowed, its heavy leaves, thickened at the stem, fall like birds.

the spider’s web
collects rain drops, a mist
of late tomatoes


by JS Absher

rain cupped
in a sycamore leaf
the wind sips and flies

Sacramento Valley, August

by Taylor Graham

Everything’s a map to get-away.
A/C = 4 rolled down at 70 mph w/o a Delta breeze.
Freeway to arterial to cutoff to the mouth
of some tributary valley, up ladders of streambed
rock, meandering between willow and oak
remembering how it ran in winter spate – dry now
like all the little valleys emptied into this
great basin, too broad to see hills on the other
side. Ridges, canyons – figments of flatland haze.
All the map shows down here are roads
going somewhere  – not wayward paths of memory.
Like salmon, I recite the way in my blood,
tracing back to beginnings, a valley where I live.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

An Embrace of Trees

by Michael H. Brownstein

How powerful to swim into your arms.
How steadfast and stubborn. The curl of your palm.
One finger finding another. A gathering
Of love’s flesh like the glorious crown of a tree
Reaching beyond a fence of silver brush
And goldenrod to lay a hand of leaf
Upon a friendly arm and find whatever wonder
Lives in the wind, the brightest day, a cool evening.
The squirrels at play. The murmur of doves.
A warmth turning everything valuable into God.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


by Donal Mahoney

Blooming for one day
a lily welcomes the sun.
Bumblebees drop in.


by Kelley J. White

soon enough
this path too
blocked with thorns

Sunday, September 20, 2015


by Doug Draime

touching, like falling
  through foggy, foggy clouds
of utter shit storms,

holds movement and
      perpetuates movement

all at once.
Where in bright sunlight
an orchid, caresses.


by JS Absher

steady drizzle
silence of the katydids
keeps me awake

Schneider Valley, September

by Taylor Graham

Outside our tent, ice on the water bucket,
old-paper tinge to the willow-thicket.
The creek that cuts this meadow never forgot
its snowmelt rush down Little Round Top,
snowbanks blocking the road till end of June.
And then the flowers came, so many
shades of paintbrush, larkspur, columbine –
a hiker might think he’d climbed to heaven.
Now lupine’s gone to pod, a cold easterly
rattles mules-ears along the trail. I can believe
again in snow. Time to break camp?
The raven says, “while you can, go home.”

Thursday, September 17, 2015

In the arroyo

by Miriam Sagan

In the arroyo
just one

a metallic wind in the garden of marimbas

plastic bags flutter like prayer flags caught on barbed wire

gamelon of the river fills with rain after drought

Summer Snow

by Donal Mahoney

A row of lilacs
covered with a summer snow.
Ten white butterflies.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Par Avion

by M.J. Iuppa

Over the lake this morning, clouds
appear dinghy white, like a blanket
slipping off the foot of an unmade
bed without a shhh—
                         Still, clouds thicken—
rolling folds drop to the horizon’s
blue mail slot that’s waiting for
an envelope addressed to you.

Hill of the Blue Goose

by Tom Sheehan

The hill
steals lightning,
sees Boston stand up
after catching a haymaker.
This morning caught geese
like runaway shoes, tongue screech,
traffic cop calls and winter
ticket stub lost in a pocket;
has mirrors of yesterday’s thighs
the moon of the seventh of July
of our lord of “Forty-five
touched with its butter,
shows her inclined to me
and tilt of the hill.
Her thighs still count the thrust.

The cops
broke up a card game
on the left shoulder, toward the river
and West Lynn, in ‘Thirty-nine;
the pot’s never surfaced.
Now a specter in tight pants
sells angel dust, gives
green stamps.
Has new options on street war:
use hammers, screwdrivers, no sunlight.
Night kisses the hill with lonely.
Do not be lured there.
No pig in a poke.

Has anyone seen
Frank Parkinson lately,
meant to die outside Tobruk
in the mutilating horrors of the sands,
but didn’t? Hangs on the hill
like cloud root, spills images,
has literate left hand, flies
with the awesome geese.
Oh, Frankie!

Throws hill shadow
ominous as dice toss;
a family’s left a photograph
in a friend’s scrapbook
in a trunk in a cellar
in the thrown shadow.
Nothing else. No dandruff.
No acne. No evidence of being.
Gone off the waterfall of Time.
Nobody remembers they were here
halfway up the hill once.

Lone blue goose,
tandemless, no fore
and aft, plunges over,
cries high noon of search,
drags feathers,  drops
the quick flutter
of a shadow
on Earth's

Sunday, September 13, 2015


by Doug Draime

Five thousand years
of solid darkness,

can not hold its own
to one
shifting slither
of light.

Green Valley

by Taylor Graham

Dry Creek’s a bucking torrent after winter rains.
This afternoon, dregs of summer, willow boughs
smell brittle as old pulp fiction, and buckeye’s
a brown ghost of dead leaves. Only wild plum
stays true to the name of this place, dancing
green to any breeze that reaches up the valley.
Two young Herefords know only drought,
grasses that snap – matchsticks under-hoof.
Whoever named this valley must have come
in spring, wading knee-deep through fields
of vetch entangling native bunchgrass.
How dry the creek. Our way down-stream’s
a two-lane that stops for nothing but the first
red traffic light, eight miles down the road.

Anglo in Saxony

by Terrence Sykes

beech forests
poplar meadows
chestnut groves
dusty roads slice fallowed fields
birch embroidering streams
through fog & mist
amongst the stars
almond & apricot lanterns
paper mâché poppy   cosmos
cling upon & amongst
planets & moons

descent & ascent
confined by rail slats
lullabied & cradled
alone along
the Elbe
river valley
dirt to stone to asphalt
steel sparks smoke
window bound
on the overnight
Prague – Dresden train

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Hard Rain

by Maury Grimm

A hard rain. Łizhiní calls the girls together under the currant bush. For awhile there I feared hail, but it is blessed rain.

The coop run is about finished and there is still a door to make and hang, but that will be for another day. My hands hurt incredibly from pounding nails, pulling wire. A blister forming at the base of my finger and I managed to hit my finger with the hammer once, but it is not so bad.

The wind blows the rain into some windows so I shut them, think about what to make for an afternoon meal, what is easy. Some asparagus soup in the reefer, maybe a sandwich. There is plenty to make a salad as well.

The sheep are now in part of the pasture that has been untouched. It was a sight to watch them rush in, joyful at the bounty.

The work of men, and then the work of women. And then it goes on.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Oregon Coast

by Doug Draime

Tide pools
sand dollars
gull-dung  &
pippins dancing in the surf like
                bow-legged children


by Angelee Deodhar

For thirty one years, just before this particular fast she would get her palms painted with designs of flowers, peacocks, vines, intertwined with her husband’s name. Ten months after their wedding, she got up early, bathed, and after prayers for his long life partook of some fruit, milk and dried fruit.

All day she ate and drank nothing … in the evening she wore a green and gold silk sari, green glass bangles interspersed with gold ones, silver anklets, a bindi on her forehead, and with sindoor in the parting of her jet black hair, looked radiant. Heavy with child, the very first time she kept the fast she could not bend to touch his feet … he held her gently and fed her the first morsel of food and first sip of water … they then shared the food … and held each other late into the moonlit night.

Now two years later, her frail pale hands are devoid of any color except that in her veins…

the stark moon
no longer worshipped –
deep autumn chill

Raspberry Season

by Wayne Lee

My daughter arrives in time
for the raspberries, wings in
from the east just as blossoms drop
onto the loam and fruit plumps
blood red. For her, I leave all
the fruit on the canes.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Journal Entry

by Stefanie Bennett

It’s no illusion:
That Pavarotti
She works
Beside an ochre
And red

... One octave
At a time.

In the Organ Pipe Monument

by David Chorlton

At a place close to here
in a time far away
the ground erupted
and a future landscape
hung briefly in the air
before the pieces fell
for the Earth to receive.
In the calm that followed
rocks kept their shadows
inside them while
the light pressed down
and beads of water rose
through ocotillo stems
until a flame burst from the tip
of each one, which the wind
can never extinguish,
even when it blows
so hard it passes between
the tangled cholla branches
with their thousand thorns
and moves on across
the valley, bearing
not a single scratch.

An End and a Beginning

by William Cullen Jr

There will come no rains
to cool the steaming masses
but clouds of dust
farmland in the sky
will blow away
like hope in the wind
so hungry children
with grimy faces
will curse their parents
and have to dig down deep
and learn to begin again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


by Taylor Graham

On this ridgetop, spires of pines
reach toward the heavens. Evening
darkens, the tip of each ponderosa
pointing to a star.
What I can see: Pinkish glare
of a neighbor’s security light; urban
sky-glow from a city 30 miles away.
Trespass of light.
It robs me of the Milky Way,
Polaris my guide, a heaven’s worth
of imaginings, and this night’s
shooting stars.


by Angelee Deodhar

shifting sun squares
on the blue ridge mountain
resin scented breeze

Flannel Shirt

by Wayne Lee

It’s the way the shirt hangs
just so in morning light
mist gray and forest green

it’s the light in the air
just so and the shirt
on the chair just right

Soft Flight of Evening Falcon

by Tom Sheehan

World-viewed incandescence; sun up
under his wings with last quick volley,
slipping through a hole in the sky, lilting
the soon-gray aura without a sound,
a fleeted falcon appears above us.

From Yesterday he comes, from Far
Mountains only Time lets go of. Under
wings steady as scissors a thermal
gathers, not sure the joy is ours,
or his. It flings him a David-stone,

racing the Time-catch at heart,
at our throats. There is so much
light falling down from him,
from wing capture, we fall
prostrate. To look in his eye

would bring back volcano, fire
in the sky, a view of the Earth
Earth has not seen yet. In apt
darkness chasing him, in the
mountains where gorge, lake

and river give up daylight
with deep regret, his shadow
hangs itself forever, an evening
falcon sliding mute as a mountain
climber at his work,

leaving in our path next hiker's
quick silence, stunned breath,
the look upward on a frozen
eye and a wingspan  caught
until midnight horizon
halves the moon.