Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Dry Country

by David Chorlton

The vultures claim their portion of the sky
each day, and surrender it
with grace when the pines on the mountain
draw light through their roots
and a glow
spreads from inside.
You can see them from the porch
of an old house, built before convenience
when the miners arrived thirsty
and left without finding
what they came for. The roads
they used have outlived them,
still winding up and around
to where a shaft begins
its descent into darkness, still turning
to the dust a truck kicks out
on a day when the light is so dry
you can peel it away from the suede
colored slopes and watch
Whitetail Canyon erode.

Rain Dance

by Wayne Scheer

they do rain dances
but  have no rhythm

they sing songs
but chant off key

I offer what they need
so the rivers flow

still, they dance and sing
wanting more or less

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Afternoon with Closed Windows

by Olga Moskvina

Today the house burned down with me in it.
The smoke smelled like incense or something
far away, and I went back to sleep,
though it was afternoon and avocados
were rotting idly on the counter,
while fans turned like skeletal sunflowers
toward bottles of warm beer.

Were those the objects I was secretly waiting for,
trying to close suitcase after suitcase
to protect myself from them? The past tense
with avocados comes naturally,
and I no longer need to open windows
that are no longer there.

Virago on the Ocean

by Clifford Brooks

A virago enjoys smooth indigo.
To contain her knack
to knee-jerk push back,
she wears heavy boots.

Not unhealthy or unwise,
she is seasoned.
Four unquestionable words
cement the good news
she’s signed with the crew:
I believe in you.

There’s good business
in smart romance.
Sailing without an argumentative tide,
Costa Rica ripples off
the starboard side; two twisting in love,
now listing
toward mankind.

They get close enough
to smell the sand, then
muscle beyond it
to a valley that splays open
an orchard of olive,
fig, and apple trees.

It’s too soon for tourists,
shrieking children,
and souvenirs.  Tomorrow
will be all about sneaking out
for skinny dipping.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

the faithful almanack

by Richard Thompson
old laws
did not obtain:
that year
frost came
before the snow—
the fragile blossoms
with no frozen blankets

the sky
betrayed us:
rain burned
the leaves
as the looming sun

Morning Mist

by Ed Hack

The sun burns off the mist--no mystery,
but still. . .I wake up into morning mist;
the sun is softly radiant in trees
enmeshed in glowing gems, the dawn's last gift
before the clarity of day. Each gain
means loss, the basic mathematics of
our lives. You see. It leaves. The light explains
the rules. The worlds below, the worlds above,
the worlds inside, delirious with need,
arise like dawn, mature through afternoons,
demand the rest of night where dream exceeds
the reach of thought to ply the deep mind's loom.
Like mist our dreams with their peculiar skills
burned off by day. No mystery, but still.


by Laurinda Lind

Two hours south, it is not as dry and the grass
in the median of the interstate is actually green
or something like it. It is the same in the overflow
parking lot next to the funeral home, chlorophyll
coming through and even water scattering from
the sky and across the windshield. But behind
the back walk between the lot and the building,
the Little Salmon River has turned into a mud
meander with a pond at one end where every
thing alive in there must have come to coexist
in the same way we who just parked are about
to be alive together in a room with a dead cousin.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Drink the Ramen

by David Lohrey

It rains every day but there is no water.

In Chitose-Funabashi, the puddles are fine and the river runs wide,
But showers are on timers.

Take the wrappers off the bottles, keep the lettuce in the larder,
The neighbors eye our bin.

This summer, lightning strikes harder but the rains lose heart.

Locals don’t taste the noodles, the flavor’s in the broth.

It rains every day but there is no water.

Slater (Woodlouse)

by Alice Tarbuck

Behind the small white house
An elephant
Crests the alps.

Invasive Species Part 6

by Carla Schwartz

Trim the fire bushes, before they bloom,
before they flame.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mourning rose

by Mercedes Webb-Pullman                    

Her letter said 'Your yellow rose
covered the end of the shed
and climbed up onto the roof.

The dark red scented one near the drive
ran down the fence to the street.
Best rose season in years.”

All through the drought I'd kept them alive,
rationed water carefully, caught shower waste
and turned my skin to petals.

When I left, the rain started.

It hasn't stopped yet.

Salty Wounds

by Chris Butler

Pour the rain upon me,
cook the dragon in the spoon.
Pour the brown into the shot glass,
and don’t wake me before noon.

The salty water around me
seeps into the wounds,
penetrating my nerve endings,
but don’t wake me before you.

I’m swimming
with the great whites,
I’m swinging
within the a rope tire,
I’m flipping
on a shore of carbon dioxide.

Pour it all upon me,
the world and its monsoons,
let me drown above ground
when the levees break through
walls built to fail.


by Laurinda Lind

Two hours south, it is not as dry and the grass
in the median of the interstate is actually green
or something like it. It is the same in the overflow
parking lot next to the funeral home, chlorophyll
coming through and even water scattering from
the sky and across the windshield. But behind
the back walk between the lot and the building,
the Little Salmon River has turned into a mud
meander with a pond at one end where every
thing alive in there must have come to coexist
in the same way we who just parked are about
to be alive together in a room with a dead cousin.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Doppler Farms

by Todd Mercer

They dance to make rain, seed clouds with silver iodide. They pray
over cracks in the field, summon up a freelance climatologist,
but saturated air won’t condense to drops to save the crops. The loan looms
like a scythe overhanging the end of October. They skirt the sharp edge of it,
kick up dust that was topsoil. Before. Water—they pack it by buckets
from the well-head to mist the crop rows. The brute labor,
his and hers, passes days quickly, but the drought holds on.
The green-screened TV rain-man lacks answers. He’s primed
to evaporate, dissolve into the atmosphere, where farmers
can’t find him. Like them he’s losing precious sweat
at the mercy of the Fates, the Guy Upstairs,
and the Southern Oscillation.

Curve Wind

by Joe Hess

The devil’s latest commitment
to global warning is a strange ocean
concoction with a cocktail

umbrella the size of Texas
growing in the Pacific. It’s been
pretty impolite to suggest the devil

is anything but a sweet and sexy
taboo artist, ever since
Rita Hayworth first suggested

in the forties to: “Put the Blame
on Mame,” as she peeled one
white, satin glove down her arm.

Now mother nature pays
for our seductive game of chicken
with the Mr. Big—in blood

as his final event horizon creeps
like a curving zephyr
through our half-tapped

wilderness, touched irrevocably,
profanely naked, and all
the sacred veils are falling away.

Harsh Realities

by Patricia Tyrer

Predators lazily waiting atop the bluff, patiently alert to harsh realities
hanging over unseen life too small to notice and of no use to coyotes.
Ragged brush covering narrow paths amidst the rocks,
righteous in its authority to squeeze out the slighter undergrowth.

Cowering mesquite waiting for the un-initiated vulnerable to its razor-like spurs.
Secretive flora and fauna ready to entangle the unwary.
Sudden bursts from ragged skies swallow lesser creatures foolishly sunning in the dusty burn. The creek a red running miasma giving, taking.

Sun slipping off the western sky leaving its reddened breath
Shadows barely dimming the high plains
still saturated with dense heat.
Insects rush against the evening skies.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

On One More Drought Day

by John Grey

Wind whispers why the rain won't come
to brown wheat,
to bony cattle,
to falling fence posts.

In the sweltering bar,
beer, underwear crackle,
random hugs eschew the feral hormone smell.

Beneath the rickety bridge,
old shoes ride brown current
to the death.

Weatherman flutters about
on a storefront television,
paints the screen a torrid red.

Wind whistles through
the silence of the cop
steering his car in circles.
July thickens his brow
with gluey sweat.

On melting sidewalks,
by dried up marshlands
and burnt-out gardens,
old men, heads buried in each other's,
whisper the past into better shape
than the searing present.

Daybreak, Drought

by Joe Cottonwood

Sun rises in a dry sky,
we walk a dirt road,
the dog and I.
Rounding a bend
little Mickey halts,
one paw lifted.

Three deer—a buck, a doe, a fawn—
senses ablaze with the twitch of ear,
quiver of nose, blink of eye
take our measure.

The buck has a handsome rack
but I can see ribs, count the bones.
I once saw a doe maul an Aussie shepherd, cracking
the skull with her forelegs to protect a fawn.
Mickey with uncommon good judgment
stays frozen by my ankle.

A moment, mild,
of silent negotiation,
the domestic and the wild.
With such hunger the fawn, at least,
might eat from my hand
before the buck spears me.

The doe breaks first, up a hillside so vertical
her hooves can’t hold. She slides back,
then on a switchback leaps again
followed quickly by the fawn
as the buck remains, impassive and supreme,
gentleman and protector,
what you wish in your own father, frankly,
and then he follows with that head-bobbing walk
balancing antlers into the parched brush
holding our gaze until vanished.

Last Night's Storm

by Ed Hack

Day dawns with mist and meadow soaked with rain
and sun across a swath of grass as crows
are barking loudly through the air. The train
is rumbling, speeding by, its horn a low,
long, mournful note that ribbons out like smoke.
A rabbit hops into the brush away
from hunger's eyes that circle in the cloak
of distances of sky, weak blue, not gray
that shattered into rain's strange mystery,
exploding air and what the crazed world flings,
hysteria of fire broken free,
the world seen by the flash of angels' wings.
There're diamonds glinting in the grass from last
night's storm, perfected by its lightning blasts.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


by Laughing Waters

This haiku it is very dear to my heart story. My father always wanted a boy but I came to this world and when my sister was born they find out that they can't have no more children so he become very close to me because I was a wild one in the family, tree climbing, bugs, mud rides, risque homeless animals and I was bringing in the house anything I could find.

autumn sky
last scream
of the crane

Once late September he took me fishing on the lake and it was early winter, cold nights and short days. Birds was gathering and they was ready to fly South for winter. Cranes love that lake and one of them get hurt, his wing was injured so he couldn't fly so that early morning they took off and he was left behind he was calling for them and they would answer, but far they fly he would scream louder and louder but they keep on going south. And if you ever hear crane screaming you will never forget that I promise you, this sound so desperate it will chill your blood and make your heart skip the beat. I will never forget that scream. 

autumn sky
last scream
of the crane

Years later I was visiting Big Easy aka New Orleans me and girl friends was walking late right before sunrise and it was time when finally everyone went to sleep. Trash was everywhere and wind was blowing it around few love couples and it was so quiet and to our surprise we heard scream "Amanda, Amanda please come back to me" it was a man very well dressed and he was standing on the balcony, holding champagne bottle and he was keep on calling her. For some reason I remembered my favorite series Frazier. And main character was Dr. Frazier Crane. He has everything in his life, money, fame but no love. So all this create this haiku. Birds and humans we alike we love and we want to be loved. 

autumn sky
last scream
of the crane

As for bird me and my daddy catch him with my daddy's jacket he was doctored and released back to the wilderness in the Spring.  

Rain Comes in the Fourth Year

by Laura Hogan

Drought-flamed leaves wake
in bewilderment under
the unfamiliar caress of
liquid mercy,
a strange drenching of hope.

Sugar maple fingers drip
myrrh, precious dew
persimmons gather courage,
gasping pepper trees and
wasting cottontails revive.

Roots remember
Elijah casting prayer
over the sea long ago;
changed hearts
watered the dust of Carmel.

Every living thing
drinks, colors deepen,
darken with wet blessing.
The collective breath draws damp,
sighs relief.

At last you have turned your face
to us, wreathed in cloud.
Your gentle rain
quiet as the prayer
of our very cells.

And the towhees and larks,
darting acrobats
in air washed
of the dry multitude of regrets,
pierce the sky with
reaching cascades of joy.

Landing A Steelhead

by Lee Seese

Thigh-deep in the Queets in wool and waders on St. Patrick's Day,
I stand below a tailout, the water dark and still as Jacob's dream.
In drizzled dawn, drawled and drawn, the ceiling low,
I am sodden, stiff, half-asleep even after coffee. And yet,
my appetite is keened for the electric instant when the trout’s life
courses through my fingertips. I watch the bobber drift the surface,
walking speed. Fifteen feet below, a roe sack bumps along the bed.

Now it strikes! The jagged current courses down the line.
I give a flick to set the hook. Long before the sixteen pounds of
fight has left the fish, before the photo shot with mossy backdrop
highlights iridescent silver shining from its flank, I feel the spooling out,
the conscience-bothered sense, that it is wrong for only one of us
to end this day at home.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


by Martha Magenta

from May
cuckoo's song


by Ali Znaidi

desert sun…
even scorpions
chase the mirage


by Carl Mayfield

dead sycamore tree
      in the rain