Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Lake

by José Stelle

The ducks must have flown,
Beating their wings in the night.
Ripples on slate and a light breeze
Cannot console the barefoot girl
Standing on the back porch,
A cup of lukewarm cocoa
In her hand.

Foamy Wrath

by Kerry Kelly

Ancient cliffs embrace the crushing sea's foamy wrath.
Under the misty panes of ebbing tide green weeds glide,
hovering magnificently above the sands, wedged in rock.
Majestically darting fish colour the canvas, weaving.
Spiked sweets hide in nooks; crimson and orange.
Purple stripes on transparent jellies palpate;
the sea's ballerina.

Ancient cliffs embrace the crushing sea's foamy wrath.
Under the misty panes of ebbing tide clear bags glide,
hovering magnificently above the tin cans, wedged in rope.
Majestically darting driftwood colours the canvas, soaking.
Spiked metal sinks and racks of abandoned nails rust.
Black stripes on unpleasant oils palpate;
entrapping the sea's screaming gulls.

Highway T in the Kettle Moraine

by Peggy Turnbull

sky’s soft brush
wet as dew

plow-etched earth
between dark
seams of grass

sturdy brown
strips of field
curve over

kettles shaped
like earth’s breast

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Three Photographs
G. Tod Slone

Road Back

Man Rock


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Winter Scene #1

by Lynda Lambert

wintry nights
frozen Maple branches
curled russet leaves
weaving on a silvery weft

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Gulf Country (Northern Australia)

by Stefanie Bennett

Because happenstance
to play truant

the colour
of the smoke-house
is indigo...

twirling much
as a prayer-wheel
does before

the River Wild
sucks it on
back up

a full throated
November gullet
not quieting

the Sandpiper.

Short-billed Dowitcher

by Lindy Le Coq

tide flat migrant flock
knee deep in muck - long straight bills
probe deeply for feed

subarctic breeder
winter coast-wetland dweller
on the way somewhere

Turning Off the News in the Sonoran Desert

by Kristin Berger

Caught in the throat
            collard dove remembers
a map south
            survival script song locates tree
three a.m. blooms
            above our white bed
                        heartsick in the arroyo
            in fibers of shade
desert sage passes
                        all checkpoints
we sleepwalk the wash
                        rearranging dust
            for justice.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


by Atul Kumar Nayyar

Deep river changes course,
Mighty mountains shift,
Live oceans
Become deadly deserts
I never knew.

Sun gets shadowed,
Earth tears own womb,
Moon possess darkness,
In twinkling stars exist fire,
I never knew.

Flowers loose fragrance,
Leaves stop swaying,
Branches cease swinging,
Live trees become pyre wood,
I never knew.

Mind betrays thoughts,
Heart it's beats,
Beings shed their skin
Body thy soul,
Oh! if I ever knew.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Past the Expiration Date

by Steve Briske

You breathe in
They breathe out
You breathe in
They breathe out
That is the rhythm of life in the coordinated age
Assigned at birth your time to breathe
You breathe in when they breathe out
It’s all very structured
If it wasn’t
You could breathe in while they were breathing in
And there wouldn’t be enough room for all that synchronized inhalation at once
Humanity is packed in with no room to go or do
No room to grow or think
No room to engage or enrage
No room to enter or exit
There is only breath
You breathe in
They breathe out
You breathe in
They breathe out
Such is the rhythm of life in the coordinated age

Mary Oliver Leaves the Back Door Open

by Kristen Berger

Tell me which bird wakes first.

The meadowlark’s throated plea or the wren’s woodlot concerto,
mourning dove releasing the seam of sky from the earth
with her notes of clear sight and cant?

Wake to learn how it’s done.
How to leave yesterday’s song alone, how to clutch and release.

The harrier’s wing throws enough shadow
to find the life it needs.
Terror of sun. Blessing of thermals.

True center lives behind the breastbone.
There is no song it slices the morning with –

Soft wake of the hunt,
day, yet to live.


Jacob Parsons

The wound is still raw
A fire ripped through yesterday

This place is muted now and alien and wrong
Only the basic shape is preserved
Like a terrible forgery abandoned

I drift through and try to keep
The silence. I am a breath in a coffin.
As my shoes scuff the sooted land
The wind picks up the unsettled ash
To scatter for a final time.

I pass an old pine that stood longer than I will,
It lies naked, still softly weeping smoke.
The tears whispering as they rise to console
Those trees still upright, the defiant, that have
Been turned into mocking self-silhouettes.

The landscape has been left monochrome
The colours inhaled
So that flames could breathe brilliance.

I can almost see it.
The bush ablaze and shouting to be noticed
And all the creatures in a frenzy to escape
Beneath the rapt eye of crow.
It was horror and choking and beauty
And it was brief but it was alive. Most alive.
For that zenith the forest gave
And gave, until it ran out of gifts.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Three Photographs
Dani Leis

French Kiss

A leap of faith.

Jezebel drinks

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Crows Seen in Late Afternoon
News Report: Last night a crew dispersed a large flock of crows from a downtown park.

by Paula Weld-Cary

A swarm of crows
thick as a cave wall
hundreds this afternoon
swooping, cawing, shouting
like a mob of miners in revolt.
Perhaps they speak of last week’s wages
or tell stories of the streetlights’ pale                                           
reflections in the park downtown
where they slept until their recent eviction.
Now they circle maple trees and rooftops
deciding where they’ll go at dusk when they’ll rise
up and ride the swelling currents of the sky.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Resistance is Green

by Aaron Conklin

Decrepit buildings strangled with ivy,
crestfallen roofs penetrated by water,
saturating then drying, corroding plaster ceilings,
and softening interior wood to rot.
I welcome the ruin of civilization’s structures,
I secretly applaud the falling of the rain.

Foundation walls eventually surrender
to the obsolete encumbrance of their impermanence,
Man’s impenetrable fortresses subsiding to a verdant victory.
I silently admire the persistent erosion of the metropolis.

Sidewalks fractured by tempered roots writhing beneath the concrete,
Tendrils of grass penetrating the undulant fissures of disintegrating driveways.
The vacant lot’s asphalt is crumbling,
amassing rainwater, and birthing vengeful vegetation.

With a burlap sack slung over my shoulder,
I herald the resistance with showering handfuls of seeds,
sown as they are thrown and sprinkled upon the soil,
I celebrate the patient revolution of the weeds.

Post Twilight Again

by Alan Britt

Creepers weld hinges to darkness. Sunlight corrals clouds into Leipzig Stallions nudging & bobbing for angelic attention—this herd of sunlit clouds dusted by the moon’s cataract eyelid.  Patio chair ghost slumps against a white-washed shed. One creeper spirals a patchouli ribbon around the geisha thighs of a split-rail fence. Cricket removes his bandoneon, tossing its canvas case aside, & cradles the bandoneon between his knees. Below forsythia & like a stained-glass fingernail one cicada blazes octaves beyond the most esteemed pop singer. Charcoal tears smearing the sky’s canvas, a housepainter’s canvas, drip from a white tin suburban rain gutter.

Friday, December 8, 2017

December Water
Larkin Stringer

Of Numerous Fires

by Carl Mayfield

The cars snared by the humans
sway in the smog
to a dubious octane waltz.
Driving from here to there
requires internal combustion,
explosions we can't hear
over the wail of Los Angeles.

A fire on the mountain
takes a while to get there,
traveling as the wind sees fit.
Trees go off like spilled
gunpowder, message still
not received, oblivious
to the earth punching back,
we lament ash and smoke
smudging the skies now moved
into abandoned kitchens.

A vague highway roar
hovers around the emptiness,
scorched hands holding keys
to a house no longer there,
soot being the only color alive,
the wind laying down to rest,
speechless and abiding.
Heartless in every gear,
cars roll between city
and ocean and all the veins
in between, always ready
for someone itching
to get back on the road,
to start the next fire.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Polynesian morning

by Stephanie V Sears

Indecision before creation
sea and sky still immersed
in each other’s reflection.

Intangible horizon veiled in
naught,  beyond reach
of the defining hour.

At the combed edge of  sand
water melts in a spasm
as if saying ‘at last’ and
irons out deception.

At the tip of the shoal
invisible footsteps
neither alight nor take off
but to everywhere at once.

A radiance appears where
smelted green and blue
fulfill an alien calm.

The sky catches its breath,
leaks colors and contrast,
complicates everything.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

connection drama

by Adrienne Veronese

once again i have followed winter to its natural conclusion
after one too many false starts toward this eventual spring,
am perched precariously in the fleeting sense of belonging
on the truant side of school road, late for this education
in asphalt & pavement dreams, therefore powerless
against the red-tailed hawk circling overhead,
his habitat disappearing beneath freshly poured cement
& piercing cry demanding to know what our connection is

where survival beats just as persistently at the door
of misbegotten subdivisions as his wings do
against the offshore breeze
i am collecting scattered showers for excuses
& he has taken a bride against all odds,
the crows chasing them from bull pine to ponderosa,
making sport of a chase we dismiss as territorial
without considering its implications

here, where the odds of survival make gamblers of us all
we rarely look each other in the eye
& though he is no different it seemed i caught his gaze for just a moment
while lifting his fallen feather from the underbrush

he seemed to be waiting, as errant players down rabbit holes
& other ministers of subterranean justice often do
waiting for me to define
just how
we are


by B. Anne Adriaens

Traipsing through driftwood and debris,
over tarred and feathered birds
washed up on the shore,
in seaweed and old fishing nets,
among bottles and broken toys.
its garish colours an insult
refusing to fade, an enduring
of those things we thought we’d buried.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Three Photographs
Samara Golabuk

Locus of Divinity

Element:  Fire

Element: Wood

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lone Wolf

by Ilene Millman            

No revenants climb the shoulder
of rock
only you
far from home     a transient in shabby overcoat
running past all ability to breathe
busted radio collar hanging from your neck.
Last time anyone caught
even a glimpse of you prowling
the north rim of Grand Canyon, FDR was president.
How many miles crossing iron-stained cliffs
pulled by earth’s pole         mineral scents     
soil   water   blood.
On the plateau tonight, no shadows fall 
there is only light
drawn out of midnight
out of daybreak’s rise 
and you     
hungry   sore
the world narrowed down to this
as it is     however it is.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


by Charles Gramlich

Against a backdrop of rain-gray gulls take sunlit wing

Picking up the Pieces

by Elaine Christie

A black sweater water soaked
looks like - congealed blood of a
Faceless Rhino - the worlds stigmata.
Chip paper with remains of barbecued ribs
A Flamingo - some boys thought would be
fun to kick to death.
My gripper pulls a soggy carrier from the mud
leaving drag marks - of White Lions
hauled into cages for canned hunting.
A rubbish bag vomits on grass -
One grey glove -
the amputated paw of a Wolf
who struggled too hard.
Brown belt with large round buckle -
protrudes from a Dancing Bear's nose.
A spotted slipper -
Cheetah Cubs killed for rich Arab feet.
Flattened coke cans -
Crush videos from China
where women in stilettos pierce flesh
again and again and again.
Half full Dr Pepper bottle -
Vinegar filled Victorian jars
Of tiger embryos - pickled
to make wine from their bones.
Even the downy of a dead Pigeon
haunts my dreams.
The earth is a fragile body
of gaping red wounds, blue bruises
rainfall can't cleanse.


by Ruth Summersides

Sunbeam breaks the dawn,
Dawn breaks the mist.
Black crow breaks the silence,
Cuckoo breaks the egg.
Honeybee breaks its fast.
Red rose breaks the dew,
grass breaks the ground.
Heat breaks the ice.
Forest breaks the hart.
Moonlight breaks the night,
Barn owl breaks the sleep,
Sleep breaks the dream,
Dream breaks the darkness,
Sunbeam breaks the dawn.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Beloved Woods

by Diane Wing

The beloved Pennypack woods embrace
With branches of American beech, oak, and fern lace
Fluttering excitement fills the soul;
An exhilarating sense of being whole.

The forest grants entrance to this realm of power
Allowing thoughts to bud and flower
Shaded, cool protection encourages one to wander
The spectacular journey offers lessons to ponder

Fallen tulip poplars uprooted and dead
Moss clings to the bark signifying new growth ahead
Ducks glide by without a care
Reflecting serenity in their gentle stare

Through the canopy the sun beams
Fertilizing thoughts of life, love, and dreams
Illuminating souls deep into the night
And nourishing one’s inner light

The scurrying chipmunks and honking geese
Bring about ultimate peace
The music of the flowing creek
Gives voice for the silent rocks to speak

Discoveries around every bend
The fascination never ends
The majesty of the forest green
Holds reverent magic yet to be seen

I Watched the Butterfly

by Martin Wiles

I watched the butterfly
Emerge from its shell of change,
I wondered at the metamorphosis—
Once a caterpillar, now like a bird in the sky.

I gazed upon each maneuver it made,
Fluttering gently in the morning breeze.
Like the restlessness of one driven by a dream,
It flew from flower to tree, from flower to tree.

Upon its wings the sun cast its rays,
Enhancing the beauty once hidden from view.
The wind carried it tranquilly along
Like the gentle flowing melody of a song.

Void of all care and concern,
It glided slowly through each day—
No worries or troubles afflict its soul,
No heartaches carried to the grave.

Happiness was embedded upon its face,
A song played by the stroke of each wing.
No prettier sight could I ever behold
As beauty seeped from its every pore.  

Until he gazed upon the man
Who often lied and stole and harmed his kind.
He saw so little kindness and peace—
though bound it was in his heart.

Then wished he to return to his cocoon
Where peace and joy and love abode,
But chose instead to spread his wings of beauty and love
And drop it on the ugliness below. 

I would love to be a human!

by John Voulgaris

Some say, I am the most beautiful thing in life.
But the truth is, I am only a short living flower.
I can make a single girl, say yes to being a wife.
But, if I was a human, then I would have power.

How is it they don’t get old? Do they use magic?
My life span is in days or weeks. Yes it is tragic!
I can’t imagine living a life that is in many years.
It’s enough to make you cry, if I had some tears.

It seems that, I am here only to please others.
Girls, sweethearts and of course the mothers!
Wherever they take me, I take the centre stage.
I am adored by females, regardless of their age.

They love my beautiful colours and sweet scent.
As long as I am perfect without a mark or dent.
The minute I lose my fullness, I get thrown out.
“Chuck the flowers out!” I hear the ladies shout!

I envy humans, how they move at ease walking.
I like that, they can express themselves talking.
If only all plants and flowers could do the same.
Imagine all the wonder, the glory and the fame.
But our Creator simply did not make it that way!
It is  solely up to him. He has the ultimate say.

I admire many attributes about the human life.
But I don’t like the fact, they have created strife.
They are greedy, selfish and destroy all in sight.
All they want to do is disagree, and pick a fight.
As the top species, not much they do, is right.
Yes I would rather be a flower. I think I might!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Autumn Light

by Steve Dieffenbacher

Here, along the unused tracks,
noisy waxwings disperse
to rejoin in nearby willows.

Beside the muddy road
that frames a dry field
they shake their desolate branches.

On the slope beyond, November gleams,
meadows sheep in painters’ greens,
lightens the grim orchards.

Searching, the eye moves on,
marking a high-planked barn,
tree-fenced with yellow and copper leaf,

while higher still, the season blurs,
hills of oaks burnished dull gold,
too remote to define.

But I will tend you: a poem of thanksgiving

by Stacey Zisook Robinson

In the beginning -
when there was mostly just dark, and light
and a little bit of chaos to sweeten the pot,
God nodded in approval.
"This is good, but not enough."
So then there was water, and heaven and earth.
There was an above, and a below,
and a somewhere in between,
where God's breath hung,
water to the fertile ground.

To the earth, I say thank you
for the abundance of your gifts.
There is grace in the wheat that dances, and bounty.
I cannot own you, but I will tend you.

To the heavens I say thank you for your glory.
There is such wonder
in the play of stars and light.
For you, I reach; in you I find.
I cannot own you, but I will tend you.

To the water I say thank you
for your lithesome, liquid beauty.
There is power in your ceaseless surge and release.
I cannot own you, but I will tend you.

To God I say thank you for bringing us here
to this season of joy.
We cannot own Your bounty,
but we must tend it all with care,
so that we may come again
to this season of joy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ode to Legoland

by B. Anne Adriaens

A prefab dream fed by Nestlé – compulsory
joy catching at times – imitates life in plastic,
greying and weathering in an attempt
to fit in with the shrubs and the dirt.

Acres of canned amusement encroach upon
sweet chestnut, elder, rowan and lime,
their goodness dropping to the ground
for want of approved plastic packaging.

Thousands bare their flesh to the sun’s heat,
munch on roast meat and sweets,
suck on plastic, easily grabbed
and consumed to appease forgotten needs.

Children are willingly corralled
under a canopy of plastic sheeting, grateful
for the illusion, unaware that the world was taken
away from them long before they entered.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


by Gale Acuff

One day I’ll be dead and then I’ll show God
who’s King of the Jungle since He’s dead,
too, He’s old-dead but me, I’ll be new-dead
and meet Him face to face and give Him what-
for and maybe take a swing at Him for
being all-spirit but creating me
as a spirit trapped in  a body and
not a very nice one at that, body
I mean, for ten years old I poot a lot
and smell pretty bad considering I’ve
got no hair between my thighs or under
my armpits, none that you can see, I mean
hair, not armpits, no, all my hair’s on my
head and it refuses to be combed and
when it is there’s always a cowlick and
God saw that that was good? good and ugly
is more like it and if He tries to dis
-arm me by saying that He’s been human, too,
I’ll just say How convenient and ask Him

why is it when Jesus is around, not
that He ever is, at least not these days,
You vanish, like Clark Kent and Superman?
If I really wanted to go to Hell
I guess I’d hit God right between the eyes
with all of this righteous indignation
I'm not sure how much the Old Boy would take
before he booted me into Hell and

the Hell of it is I'd do the same thing
if the tables were turned, I don't blame God
but I sure as Hell don't blame myself, I
never asked to be born and I guess He
didn't, either, He's always been full-grown,
maybe He was born in a manger just
to get a taste of how we come about
down here, on Earth I mean, in poverty
to boot, which is good of Him but still He
lives like a king and better in Heaven
with Jesus--Who's really God as well--on
His left side, or is it His right, and then
there's the Holy Ghost, He's my favorite,
I know a lot less about Him but then
that's why I like Him, He's a mystery
and God and Jesus no matter how good
they are are like Eudora Welty, damn
fine authors but a bit of a snore so

one day when it's my day to justify
to God why I've lived the life I've lived I
think I'll tell them, just before or after
they condemn me to Hell, Walk a mile
in my sandals, Pal, just to see the look on
His face, Jesus's, too, if He's hard by
or even if He and the Father are
one and looking out through the same eyes and
even though the Holy Ghost adds up to
a Trinity, I bet I'll see Him roll

-ing His eyes inside Jesus's inside
God's, wheels within wheels, that's Ezekiel,
I know my Bible, I mean where it counts.                 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Coney Island

by Katie Gray

Blue sky misbehaves
Ocean waves come out to play
Coney Island Queen

Provocative sun
Ocean waves making me cry
The sunset Princess

Cotton candy lunch
Boardwalk is alone today
The Goddess remains

Vanilla clouds rise
Colorful carousel rides
Siren of the sea

Neptune Avenue
The mermaid sleeps peacefully
Angel of the beach

Monday, November 13, 2017


by Denny E. Marshall

Fall echoes “Help I’m falling”
Winter says, “Don’t worry”
I’m right behind you

Sunday, November 12, 2017


by Anita Sullivan

The bird sings.
See the beak vibrate, almost a blur, as if it were
flexing like a fiddle string, which surely it must not be.

The bird sings.
There is a happy certainty, as the small body endures
continuous aftershocks from this seismic event,
that the violence will do it no damage – no more
than an orgasm will harm a human, and in fact. . . .

An overwhelming
mistaken for temporary,
for verging on, for disparity, for ad hoc, for incomplete – .
Which could have led to a chaff of tiny bones at the bottom of a cliff
making nary an etch in the document of stones.

Instead, an end run around order to ecstasy.

Sings through a prow that drills a future into air:
lower bill falls and rises, upper bill holds
(barely keeping the angle acute),
not making the sound per se, but mollifying

As if the beak assumes temporarily a role other than its
assigned . . . ingesting.
Like a fisherman pressed into performing
an emergency appendectomy on a kitchen table
because he has some familiarity with guts.

Will sit in for flute, for falling water, for castanets – .

Ideals of the Storm

by William Allen

Before there was you,
Before there was me,
There was the Storm.
She does not hunt for a kill.
She does not desire your destruction.
She does not seek to ruin.
She is a wanderer
And has been for millions of years.

She is also a teacher.
We disrespect her with the careless toss of a bottle.
We fill her ears with words of promise that we do not mean.
She is a lesson.
We block our ears with the roar of an engine.
We blind ourselves with eyes covered in smog.
She is a test,
One that we have failed.


by David Subacchi

Slowly it crept up from the drain,
Spiny fingers feeling out cracks
In the crumbling stone wall
That blocked daylight
From the rear of our home.

Tantalisingly it displayed
Green and yellow flowers
With small petals,
Fruit ripening from late winter
Into mid spring.

Hungrily birds dispensed its seed,
Gobbling berries,
Joined by the ivy bee
That exists only
For this purpose.

And when fearful of collapse
We tore away
The winding water supply,
It clung even tighter
To the dark surface

Desperate to survive,
Indignant at our ignorance
Of its ecological
Protesting innocence.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Urban Garden

by g emil reutter

Summer is slowly fading into autumn as October fluctuates from warmth to frost and yet the perennials continue on. A small flock of Orioles rest in the top of a sycamore, the garden welcomes swallow tales, sparrows and squirrels who feed upon the cone heads black eyed susans, daises, phlox bee balm, hydrangea and sage. Blue Jays linger, queen bees buzz about the plants, the sweet aroma of mums idles about the walkway, a rabbit flops on a bed of sedum. Day and tiger lilies, hosta have faded into the bed, iris blades stand tall, turtle heads sway in breeze, A lone flower hangs from a wild bleeding heart. Caterpillars pay a visit sliding down an electric line on brick wall, eat butterfly weed upon arrival in the garden. Cat birds are noisy as ravens fly above rooftops. The feeder and bath are fully occupied, roses still in bloom. Come November winter preparation will begin for this city garden full of color, full of life anticipating springs arrival here in this small slice of nature and the beauty it brings.  

Sunday, November 5, 2017

"Pheasants are making love by the green grass"

by Margarita Serafimova

Pheasants are making love by the green grass,
and their cries are secret
like the leafless bush.

Rio en Medio

by Ann Hunkins

Oak-tannic rooted stream
trout trap up under dark rock hang
turgid foam froth
towhee twit tangle thorn
chokecherry glutted bank

silver glazed meadow

by Lynda Lambert

silver glazed meadow
velvet sumac trees clustered
on the ridge
cool  frost on bare branches
black-capped chickadees leave slight impressions in the snow

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

To a Water Strider

by Pepper Trail

Things seen and unseen compose the world
And where they meet, you make your life.
Watching you glide across sun and cloud
Wings folded away, in idle grace
I learn that even superficiality has its perfection
And that I, breaker of mirrors, maker of waves
Shiver away sense with every careless gesture
Forever mere amphibian

Sunday, October 29, 2017

lyrical songs

by Lynda Lambert

lyrical songs
mingle through foggy layers
abandoned  nests
hidden among wet branches
mulberry trees without tender berries

Desert Rain

by Ann Hunkins

Seven nights of rain in the high desert.
Steam puffs off flowering chamisa,
woody apache plume, curled gramma grass.
Even the shattered granite softens
to take raccoon and squirrel tracks.
A Townsend¹s Solitaire rises through sunlight
wing flutter flash, catch and release brilliance.
Dark side of the hill cold. Sun slips through valleys,
lights up tops of two tall ponderosas, candles.
The warm side slopes up in bright red soil
toward clothed mountains, needles silver with rain,
mist in the hollows, juniper berries shining sapphire.
No one here complains about the wet.


by Thriveni C. Mysore

Raging wild-fire swept
through sun-burnt forest.
Seven dawns passed through
smoky air that carried
stifled scared cries of
insects, birds and beasts.
Hurried raindrops fell
to sooth sprouts.
a chirp, a song, a growl
promised the coming of
fertile, New-life.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

In Constantinople

by Margarita Serafimova

Allah is calling the parakeets
to pass over the grass,
and they are passing,
greener than light.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


by Carl Mayfield

hummingbird still between his wings

The Horned Lark’s Song

by Pepper Trail
This is what we want
The short grass
The hard horizon, all around
Here we know where we are
At the center
Here, nothing else
At the center


by Carl Mayfield

Russian sage: that purple brushing the drought

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hinge Breach

by Rachel Barton

someone’s taken the door off the hinges wind
howls and wails against the open walls leaves
and grit flail and scritch in a scatter of eddies across
open floorboards across the valley at least the rain

clings to distant mountains and coast we make
the most of joists creaking dryly in the yawn of open air
dry creek bed of our brains threatens flames
everywhere the in is out we want to shout

enough but the cotton in our mouths
thwarts our tongues’ longings our eyes
red with the assail of grit grow weary
doors unhinged all barriers are permeable

openness an assault and a wonder
radioactive boars defy containment
run wild around Fukushima
we are scatter shot to the stars

Sunday, October 15, 2017


by Carl Mayfield

Bark is the only
bite offered.
The pine sucks
the earth
into its trunk,
moment by moment
into the sky
where the
three needle
meet the wind.

In the Forest

by Elizabeth Burnside

Water seeps
up, enough pools,
until dribbling, gurgling,
falling water forms
water falling,
gurgling, dribbling,
until pools enough,
up seeps water.

Pollen falling
with golden
leaves beneath
still wet streams,
glistening moss slakes
creek, slakes moss, glistening
streams wet still,
beneath leaves
golden with
falling pollen.

Lofting trees
now dormant, trunks
fallen into slopes,
lacing streams
amongst layered decay,
nascent decay
layered amongst streams
lacing slopes into
fallen trunks, dormant
now, trees lofting.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


by Don Thompson

Smoke from distant wildfires
creates the illusion of clouds—
of faux cumulonimbus
offering rain like those promises of peace
that no one falls for.

And behind its pall this morning,
the sun glows almost saffron
as if to honor a self-immolated monk
who died for
some long forgotten lost cause.

The fires will keep burning for miles,
for days; and years from now,
driving by, we’ll see snags
like blackened skeletons
still standing upright in the new growth.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

gorilla rain

by Elizabeth Kuelbs

he knuckles around his cage around
                   the tub it smells of plastic it smells
of rain that wets bamboo nests
                   somewhere he would eat ants from
his lovers’ and his babies’ faces where
                   he would thunder dirt where he
would tremble forests it smells


he climbs into
                   cool wet
he claps splashes stretches
                   his great arms stormwide he
                                      spins he
                                                     spins and spins
                                                                      his own rain and he
                                                     is he is he
                   his eyes on a
somewhere sky


by Terrence Sykes

red dog morning
coal black silhouette mountains
slate laden spring clouds

Diamond Beach Glow

by Maria DePaul

Breakers hit the black sand of Diamond Beach
Dust of volcanoes sparkles with chips of icebergs

The surf glows with the scattered frozen jewels
Clear glass of ancient tundra broken apart

Burnished by the waves clear against the
Brilliant blue of waters under a rainbow dawn

Each facet and flaw of these random ice floes
Sparkles in Arctic tides battered by heavy rains

Frosted, transparent or mirrorlike, floaters reflect
Every nearby glow of light bouncing on the waves

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Italian Naturalist's Diary

by Terrence Sykes

olive & fig
then chestnuts
peeling birch
guarding that
silent river

Sunday, October 1, 2017

On Fernandina

by Elizabeth Kuelbs

There is still
celestial light
sparked breaths ago
and the slow wet rock
that holds life from fire
a seal who sleeps with
squid in the mouth
her agouti fur alive
with quick-tongued
lizards who dance
death to the flies
who would
sting her
until they
too surrender
to sun.

"The wolves who drink snow pass in spring"

by Margarita Serafimova

The wolves who drink snow pass in spring,
one by one, through the forest under the ridge, keeping to the high,
an unconditional look in the eye, knowing who they are.

Just A Bird

by Don Thompson

The owl has flown infinite distances
and for eons to get here,
somewhere close by in the dark.

If you could see it, you’d recognize
your own fear caught in its eyes
like an insect in amber.

You’ve felt talons seize your wrist
in a bad dream;
waited all night for the beak;

and heard the owl call softly—
low notes like an angel of Apocalypse
warming up his shofar

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Does the Leaf Still Believe

by Catherine McGuire

in the tree when it’s fallen?
Lying on the grass, first brittle
then slime? Does it recall
its brash emergence,
a rice kernel bud reaching out, slurping
the rain’s nectar, the sun’s manna?
A kin to the others rustling alongside
but never a clone, a copy –
did it glory in that extra green vein,
or the tiny twist of its edge?
And now discarded, pushed off
by new buds, useless except
as mulch, new soil born of the slime.
Regret or content? So much hangs
on what story we’re told.

The Lyre Bird

by Yvonne Vinstra

Where human greed and commerce mix and merge
Trees fall, birds lose, such is the lyre bird.
Alone he sings his own departing dirge.

His forest lost, he must sing out on verge
Of death but still he sings the sounds he’s heard
Where human greed and commerce mix and merge.

If he could only comprehend, his mind would surge
With knowledge that his song is quite absurd.
Alone he sings his own departing dirge.

No more does mimicing lovers sighs purge
Their passion, he sings only chainsaws’ words
Where human greed and commerce mix and merge.
Alone he sings his own departing dirge.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

August Campfire

by Jessica McKenna

Who knows which bark
cracks before us now,
castoff limb from
hurricane, or ill-use,
dropped to the floor
among twigs and veined
leaves from yesteryears,
dried, and set to light
by wood from someone
else’s grove. It glows,
and the oaks and maples
make high walls
to keep the shadows in.

"The pheasants, ships of the forest"

by Margarita Serafimova

The pheasants, ships of the forest,
in voices dense, green, bearded,
utter cries, trumpeting
that other life is coming,
we are coming.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Deep Green

by Taylor Graham

They used to haul logs to the mill
across this gorge, landscape of “unfavorable
configuration” for the projects of man.
But Cable Road still twists down-canyon,
into a maze of pine and cedar, big-leaf maple
so dense, we’re descending into dark.
Dirt tracks skitter off the one-lane, disappear.
Somewhere in green, the South Fork
conceals its bear and cougar, its coyote finder-

Sunday, September 10, 2017


by Jessica McKenna

Scent of fish, wriggling
still-wet-alive and how
like a fish, you glide
deep in water-folds,
buried dark where light
streams, and fails, then
up to the sky, as if
water-silk couldn’t
let any life die.

Living Fences

by Suzanne Cottrell                                                                  

Red River Valley natives
Served as prairie borders
Desired, functional, respected
Osage orange trees

Branches bowed, interwoven
Burly, protective thorns
Excessively furrowed bark
Dense, sturdy hardwood
Disease, pest, rot resistant
Lemon-yellow heartwood

Female trees bore softball-sized,
Lime, warty fruit, hedge apples
Grooved, resembling human brains
Fleshy sphere with sticky, milky sap
Multitude of husk-wrapped seeds
Squirrels’ prized snacks

Replaced by barbed wire,
Electric fences
Now obsolete, undesired,
Yard’s nuisance

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Brown feathers are gleaming"

by Margarita Serafimova

Brown feathers are gleaming,
the eagles are coming down over the forest,
purple forest, bare forest.

Standing forest, naked forest
in purple shadow, an autumnal slope.
The eagles are passing.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Off Caldor Road

by Taylor Graham

Forest unravels the old logging spur
since the last load was hauled away.
Here’s hint of a trail to Clear Creek
where someone had a mining claim
and left a frying pan with no handle.
Now it draws wilderness about itself
as creek flows down through gorge
to flatlands as if forever. Yew trees
cling to morning light, their rustle
different but akin to ponderosa
and incense cedar. So many green
voices answering the river.


by Arthur Mitchell

In blue heron’s eye
the Autumn moon climbs the sky

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Brown Bear Grazing

by Kersten Christianson

Paws reach for salmon-
berry branch, rough tongue brushes
against spring greens, cane
and bud.  Verb:  to consume, eat
of the earth’s deep good.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Home Woods

byTaylor Graham

Standing off my dog in the swale,
a young pointed buck. Morning too dim
to say how many seasons he’s circled
us in his rounds, and bedded down
under the buckeye’s twisted limbs. Bent
grasses, weight of sleep and waking.
My dog’s on guard-dance with what lives
among us. The buck advances
by inches, drawn magnetic to our north
fence. One sprung haunch-leap over
the wire’s wild side; dawn caught antler-
gold for a moment, gone.

Sparkle of the Mica

by Tricia Knoll

Running the arroyo as the sun rises,
too many perfect stones to pocket
in no-pocket shorts.

Horse hoof prints sprawl under the sun,
and prickly pears hang over the eroded lip.
I dodge boulders and cowpies.

The miracle this morning –
a slab of weathered pinyon
shaped like a fish with a glass eye

swimming the drought arroyo.

Forest Fire

by David Subacchi

The smell of burning pine comes first
Before black smoke columns
Twisting  upwards
Appear on the horizon

And even at a distance
A warmth is felt
Warning of danger
And flushing the cheek.

Summer brings
The picnic people
Discarded smokes
Bored souls

Under cover
Of the timber

Lighting candles
Before wooden images
Igniting passions
Mistaking trees for gods.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Soon, Blueberry Moon

by Kersten Christianson

those blue-
berry moon picking
fingers will stain bright
violet hues.  You forage in the light
of the berry moon, drop fruit in a Folgers
can fastened by rope, buffered by the curve
of your body.  Pulled into the dream of a bear
sharing its abundant crop, blue shadows
in wild moonlight, the moon so round you could reach
into the night sky
and pick it.

Little Dry Canyon, Late April

by Tim Staley

3 lean coyotes blend in
to the blond canyon.
Their heads are low
between their shoulders.
No people are here.
A weak little wrinkle
of water and light
wags the floor.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Coloring Book

by Chris Butler

Color outside the lines
with magical markers
to create new hues
of bruised black and blue,

graffiti city property
by spraying paint
onto walls, ceilings
and cracked sidewalks.

Trace your veins
with a razor blade
for a perfect shade
of red.

And scribble every
color together for a
perfect double vision

Sunday, August 20, 2017


by Trivarna Hariharan

In the branches
      of a blossoming

there is a bird
     chafed by whose

even stones
    begin to move
like rivers.


by Deborah P Kolodji

fallen cone
from the sugar pine
broken clouds

A Love Poem for the Giant Sequoia

by A.K. Kelly

when she comes at you in full force,
take her beauty in strides.
when you go, leave her as she was.
​in fact, ​leave nothing of yourself.
remember that in between all the wonder, in between
all that you experience when you are with her,
she exists without you.
she lives permanently in a wild and free place.
while you, you only belong temporarily.
the most painful truth for her
is also what she desires most--
to look inside when it's over, and find
no lingering trace of you.​

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rio Mora Valley, New Mexico

by Jari Thymian

forest service greenhouses
of two-inch seedlings
hope like wind through mountains

a stump
in the ponderosa forest
the thin
tree ring of my birth year --
invisible from the trail’s peak

deep, deep
scars in her wide trunk
in death her branches twist
skyward with strength

Sunday, August 13, 2017


by Deborah P Kolodji

the lake filled
with four thousand stars

White-bellied Sea Eagle

by Ion Corcos

Broad wings slow,
white breast swoop,
over grassland, dunes,
and rugged beach.
Feet thrust forward,
it dives, nears
the ocean’s surface,
snatches a fish
from the splash;
in its talons, the fish
to a rock ledge;
silver scales,
and red, stripped flesh,
against stone.

Leaving Lake Havasu, Arizona

by Stefanie Bennett

If the sky had a voice
I envisage

We’d buckle under
The bent-over
Exit wounds
Just as
The willow
In bright water...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

becoming your job

by C. Z. Heyward

it was time to leave

wings of the sparrow
loping through juniper berries
caress my lids into submission

she's nesting
as I've fed her soft grain
as an afterthought
one pint at a time

zoophilous screams of the quartet
wane on down the boulevard

I jump in a taxi
less I'm seduced back inside

He asks me
Where to my brother

In the moment
it was only cue I needed

I ask him
What brings you here

Bad dreams
his reply
About my children
orphans all them

I ask
civil war


How worse

Their mothers can't fight back
Because elephants can't shoot rifles

Orphans have nightmares
Crying well into the night
Then through the sunrise
And sunset

He tells me

He bedded with them
No more than straw
And a blanket

but the screams of infants
fell like mourning stars
in between the cackles of hyenas
Feasting on the flesh of their mothers

So he left
No longer able to soothe
innocence mutilated

he's trying to remember to forget
but he's like them now
nothing is forgotten

Delicate in this Storm

by Megan Merchant

The rain sheets. Mud lips over blacktop,
washing out our road.

I wake before he stirs, before he warms
an arm around my ribs, adds breath

to this hour in which I am leaning
against in order to forgive.

I crack an egg and in it
a spider,
a sprig of aster,
a split-yolk moon.

I whisk each omen until it yellows—

a bruise where blood
pooled weeks before,
but has hued toward healing.

From my window, an unkindness of ravens
slink between branches.

They hold out for a softening,
or opening of light,

their black feathers show no hint of damp,
no heavy, or glisten.

A Walk in the Park

by Chris Butler

The old
go for a brisk morning
walk in the park
covered in tombstones

in the greatest waste
of real estate space
since causing
golf coursed curses,

to forget their long lost
friendly neighbors or
to remember
where they are buried.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


by Ion Corcos

A lizard
lies impaled
on a snapped twig,
its dead body
slight in the silver
of the bark, the crevice
of the branch
a larder.

Black sap stains
the pale bark.

Butcherbird shifts
low on a tree,
the woodland floor,
ready to pounce.

It does not sing.

Grey legs push
into the air,
wings outstretched

to land soft
on the floor.

Stabs the ground.

Thunder strikes
the nearby hills.

A lizard hangs
splayed in beak.

the butcher sings,
between trees.


by M.J. Iuppa

Sitting quietly in our canoe, we
cast our thoughts upon the pond’s

mirror caught in consolation
of clouds, searching for

the hole in its puzzle,
the hole in the monument

of another day. We’re
broken by desire

to make life, some-
how worthy of

its consequences.

Sunset Over the Chesapeake

by Ben Rasnic

A golden glow
emanates from white sails
& the breaking waves
against the fading sky.

Burnt orange spawns
atomic rings of fiery
red and vibrant
yellow veiled

in watercolor mists
into the deep
blue horizon.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Three Photographs
Jim Freeman

Blue Ridge North Carolina

Day Lily

Sunset from the St. Simon's pier

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Brand New Home

by Dan Fecht

A hermit crab traverses the sands
Of driftwood
On a beach of sea debris.
Crab has a new shell; old root beer soda cap

Sunday, July 30, 2017

No Sticker

by Denny E. Marshall

Car earth
Still waiting
For oil change

Forest Light

by Suzanne Cottrell

Hiking Holly Point Trail
Sunlight streams through
Slippery Elm, Black Walnut,
Water Oak, Bitternut Hickory


by Carl Mayfield

lizard's tongue
    touching the water

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dance of the Tree

by Gary Beck

Evolution trained the ballerina tree
to dance when the wind
blew music to its leaves.
The arboreal ballet,
as elegant as Swan Lake,
may not have an audience,
but the performance goes on,
as long as there is wind.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Red Rose

by Michael Estabrook

In the back yard a ragged row
of rose bushes stretches
from fence to fence
salmon, yellow, orange, pink, pinker,
white, orange, pink again

In the middle of the pinkest bush
a single wine-red rose reflects the sun
Monet painted
with a final spurt of color
as a bluebird streaks by


by Eric Fram

In day's dissolve
orange squares
slap with blue
through dull
grains of

Northern Lights Over Yellowknife

by Adrian Slonaker

Dazzling, zigzagging zests
of pearly-soft seafoam green, gracing
the homecoming of starlit blue-blackness
after its estival escape,
vibrating through shivery September air
over the delicious undulating dances of
the Great Slave Lake flirting with
defiantly rough noses, teeth and fingers of rock,
the pride of the Canadian Shield,
and more poplars and birches and willows than could be counted
in a score of tortoise's lifetimes.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Three Photographs
Grace Hawthorne

Magnolia with matches

Twilight on the lake


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Valles Caldera

by Michelle Holland

The young, Walatowa ranger talks about his discovery,
a gangly tangle of twin elk calves in late spring.
The prairie dogs chirp and scurry, stand and stare
beside their dark tunnels. Under the curve of sky,
the miles of fescue and June grass, blanket flowers,
and marsh irises roll out the landscape that healed the wound
of a monstrous explosion, which left a vast rim of caldera,
inside a bowl of high altitude meadows, aspen copse, and ponderosa,
filled with elk and bear, mountain lions, native coyotes
and floating turkey vultures. A swooping kestrel
catches an unsuspecting frog and flies off,
while the lone mallard in a small pond sends smooth ripples
that push gently against the cat tails near the shore.
His hen must be close by, because the ranger said they mate for life.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Grandchildren in Trees

by Al Ortolani

I try to spot for the youngest climber
as I stand below the thickest fork
where I think if he’s going to fall
he will. The two older ones
have monkeyed on, hurrying
to outdo one another, spiraling up
the main trunk, and then away from it
to the edge of thinness
where they perch like crows. I have
taught them to secure three points of contact
before reaching for the fourth,
to test limbs before trusting them,
but they move with such speed
they barely listen,
climbing with a sense of balance
more innate than learned, taught
not from what I remember in climbing,
but from what they already know.

July heat

by Ed Higgins

Lithe in one another’s arms
beneath tall grey-green eucalyptus

their porcelain smooth trunks
shedding sun-peeled bark,

long cloth-like ribbons drifting
in afternoon July heat.

These fragrant windbreaks
against Santa Ana’s whispered

hot winds, leaves rattling slowly
within the canopy.

In summer-sweet desire
we too once swayed together

the soft deception
of seasons.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

International Falls, Minnesota, Winter
(a few decades from now, a century)
based on the writings of David Auerbach

by Michael H. Brownstein

In the sweet wish of day,
a scone of buttercup and dew,
a lisp of cloud, a wash of sky—

in the heat of the valley,
in the heat of the rock lines,
in the heat of Kabetogama,
in the heat of broken asphalt—

the song of the scarlet macaw,
vibrating toad, blue lipped frog,
and lantern bug. Everywhere
water lily, wild rose, snakes with limbs,
lists and lists of whitewashed bone.

'limitless space'

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

limitless space
through which to pursue
the divine healing mystery
beyond thought
language and form

the tenderest one
that does not pretend
to own the land
as if it were a child sex slave

Sunday, July 9, 2017


by Stephen Toft

evening chill a field of echoing crows

These are Ruins

by Michelle Holland

Above the year round spring, lush with grass
and cat tails, even in this dry season,
the path flattens onto a small mesa
where the Jemez Mountains, smoky
from another fire, sit to the west.

These are ruins, up here, in perpetual breeze.
Even with abundant water, people disappeared.
What's left is a concrete dam,
a foundation for a house, some stray Indian artifacts,
and in this early summer, the pink roses, irises,
and daisies that were maybe
planted and tended by a pioneer wife.

The Cañada Ancha spreads out far below,
the trail curves through the barrancas to this spring.
Pretend there are no ATV tracks,
no crushed beer cans in random piles.

The night hawks are out this early morning,
and when I turn back to the trail, one flies
speckled face and small dark eyes,
wings out, like a miniature airplane, right at me,
then a whoosh of wind as he flies down into the next ravine.

That Which I Saw Today

by Divya Manikandan

Today I see the heavens have their dalliance with the waves
Provocative, capricious, fervent and everything in between.
I witness the clandestine emotion tucked away
under depths and miles of open interaction.

Today I see the earth break open into two
the rambunctious mantle
rises and shows its flawless ruby demeanour
and as it did, I see the world around me shift.

Today I see a mountain reach its zenith,
the pinnacle of its dispositions, the mastery of the universe.
I see the skies part in embrace to allow the peak to
lay its jurisdiction- one among the clouds and one among the woes.

Today I see the leaves escape their fuscous branches
I see their souls floating away, to greener landscapes and
sunlit domes in distant earths.
I fly away with them, unwearied and emerald, like a
sparkling gemstone- lifted by my own weight of nothingness.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Three Photographs
Anna DeStefano



Touching the Sky

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


by Hifsa Ashraf

beach sunrise…
over the sea
a kingfisher hovers

Sunday, July 2, 2017


by Joanna M. Weston

broken boards
and torn fish nets -
incoming tide


by Joe Cottonwood

Walk north from here
at low tide
you’ll see a truck frame tumbled
from atop the cliff
sunk in sand, washed in surf
size of a gray whale
which you’ll also see
blowing, breaching off shore

Each winter as beach recedes
sucked by storm
the Freightliner appears
haunt of Highway One
ruddy jagged blades of metal
settling lower
inch by inch, weld by weld
decade by decade
salt, oxygen at work
as gulls perch on chassis
crabs gather, starfish wander
seals care not

Watching the Dolphins

by Marianne Szlyk

The dolphins are swimming
past the cruise ships
and fishing boats.

The harbor is slick with motor oil.
The coral beyond is bleached white,
the color of vinyl siding
and new concrete.
It crumbles as the tourists watch

the dolphins dive over and over.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Trees of Italy: Mulberry

by Terrence Sykes

---morus nigra –  sanctus dominus---

The mulberry struggles
through bricks in the
corner of the piazza
Santa Maria del Carmine
pass the Ponte Vecchio
just across the Arno

cusp of day
left then left
prophecy  of
double damnation
stepping into darkness
candles & incense

Masaccio fresco
birth of the Renaissance
stillness in the church
laden with history
has my past followed me

Adam & Eve
pastel chiaroscuro
sworded angel damning
driven from the Garden
not even a fig leaf
shamed & exiting Eden

priestly voices
echoing annunciations
closure foretold
escorted by robes
cast upon

verdant shadows
dappled light
forbidden fruit
gathered & palmed
sweeter than any apple

temptation on the lips
stigmata hands
marked like Cain
meandering lost
mist & fog upon
streets of Florence

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


by Hifsa Ashraf

water lily
drifts slowly...
summer moon


by Joe Cottonwood

Swimming bullet

Now legs, a flower


So smart, I’m told
wisdom waterborne

Odd old soul
of grace…


by Denny E. Marshall

floods clean up land
wildfire scrubs forest floors
sun washes planets
galaxies space time fabric
wipe away solar systems

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Brown Pelican

by Andrea Wyatt

these days, stretched like desert,
abandoned earth, its gray fruit, winter.

animals leave the dead ground,
torn mountain, for the sea;
dead deer in the leaves,
fish heads on rock,
hundreds of small, dying animals
on the edge of the sea, in a glare
of light and dark and light and

your fingers too clumsy to heal,
your fingers moving too slowly
over the brown bodies, the black
bodies, the soft wings.

in dark oils.

we lie in the sun together,
reading about the buffalo,

Beachcombing the Great Plains

by Maureen Kingston

“I love forms beyond my own and regret the borders between us” -- Loren Eiseley

She’s out pilgrimaging again, searching for a peaceful place to kneel, to take stock. The wind blows her to a familiar dent in the Sandhills, a trove of ruin hidden by tallgrass and dune. Blood-and-flesh folk lived here once, a settlement of clay houses and lean-tos. Only a stand of graves remains: larger than a family plot, smaller than a cemetery.

She steps around the fading slabs, steers to the misfit, the object of her obsession. The first time she saw it she thought it was a Christmas ham studded with cloves. She wanted to tear off a piece of crackle, let its juice run down her chin. Later, in a different mood, she imagined the blob to be the petrified remains of a dinosaur sneeze. A science pal eventually set her straight, identified the errant rock as chondrite, a spongy meteorite.

Mystery solved. And not solved. She still doesn’t know why the chunk of char brings comfort; why stroking its alien Braille calms her mind. The settlers must’ve been comforted by it, too, or why bury their dead around it?

summertime reading . . .
alone, never alone
stone rubbing

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturn on Steroids

by Eliza Mimski

(Scientists first announced in 2012 that a disk resembling Saturn's rings was found positioned around an object 420 light-years from Earth. They believed it may have been the first alien planet with rings actually found. They referred to it as the Winged Creature.)

Up there with the endearing stars and the black pool of the sky
Up there with gravity and mystery and the sun and the moon
Up there beyond the sighs of earth, the chokes of earth
Past the pockets of rain and the
Clouds that are slow white syllables
Is the winged creature

Light years away, it peers down on us
Its red face brought forward
To penetrate microscopes
Pumping away with the red blood of celestial force 
It defies our laboratories,
Astronomy, astrophysics 

We are waking up to it
It is waking up to us
We are looking up at it
It is looking down at us
We sum it up
It sums us down
We study it
It studies us

We call it the ringed object
Saturn on steroids
It thinks of us as the trash steroid of earth and
Cradles us in its warm red hands
Covers us with the red blanket of anti gravity
We are the warm pot of pollution
The fumes of money and wealth

We study its rings
It searches for our soul
We study its size, its retrograde spinning
A possible catastrophic collision
We are lost, it declares
Our banks like gleaming objects
Our freeways like kings and queens
White boys at the white table of economy

We try to understand it
It tries to understand us
Some scientists think
It is only our heart

Our disembodied heart
Spinning out of control

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Anonymous Papyrus Fragment, Ancient Messene, Date Unknown but Later Than You Think

by Vassilis Zambaras

Fields we had
[        ]
[        ]


[ now?]
[        ]
[        ]
[        ]

[shredded wheat]

Ely[sian?] with honey
[        ]
[        ]
[        ]
[        ]

Bees combing long
[        ] [flaxen?]    

Hair [       ]

[         ]
[         ]
[         ]

To your knees    

[the rest wholly eaten away by moths]

Barred Owl

by John Grey

Just beyond
a late spring day,
the darkness
its pedestal

hooked head,
talons splayed,
brown dappled wings wide,
it cruises the feathery lace
of fluttering dragonflies
blown across the marsh
then over black-smoked brush,
the inky ponds,
and up onto an oak branch

where round night-eyes
scour the night for fear,
ears track screams
about to burst...
a mouse,
a vole,
a chipmunk...

somewhere in the dark,
he stares at
what he later eats.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


by Stefanie Bennett

Still life
With forked

The mustard-
Seed torches

The Hullabaloo of Fruit

Art by Nancy Ramsey
Words by KJ Hannah Greenberg

The hullabaloo of fruit, evidenced in souks, by sinks, on trees,
Glistens purple, red, gold, chartreuse, maybe supplements
Employment when eyes evidence matters of cults’ excuses.

There exist entomophobic iconoclasts, who faint in sighting
Bugs or elsewise experience horrible fasciculation following
Molecular crowding’s acceleration of accidental conformities.

Whenever our world: truly attempts to appreciate events
(Like pregnancy losses), honors light not thew, or revels
‘cause of alembic smarts, certainty gets demoted to dust.

After all, impacting the amount and kind of efforts mice
Endeavor to expend, especially for measly sherricks of élan,
Builds up socially sustained, very awkward physiognomies.

See, each time nasty human beasts try to usurp castle doctrine,
They’re better off rejoicing in life imprisonment, otherwise,
Fleeing continents of conurbations, and paying taxes on time.

Lapland Gestalt

by Karla Linn Merrifield

Overhead rowan-golden foliage
eye-level evergreen-fir river reflection
underfoot silvering reindeer lichen
blushing leaves—bunchberry

If I cross the border
through a tumble of granite boulders,
I will become the imaginary line.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


by Michael H. Brownstein

Hike with me through this field of prayer,
through mudflats and iron foot,
the eulogy deep and dried passion fruit,
the salt of columbine, a terrain of frenzy,
lacewing and the yellow mollies of spring,
milk and milk thistle, a porcelain of words.

Hike with me past the girth of oak,
the prayer tree of Cambodia, the field of glories
behind the back forty no one touches.
Share with me wild onion, mint,
dandelion leaves and acorn meat,
the edible leaves of the Acacia.

The storm will pass. The forest will replenish.
Rivers will not run dry. Nor will they shrink.
Hike with me five years from now. Share
my bounty anytime. The eulogy premature,
prayer alive in flower and grass, blossom
and honey bee, a porcelain of words.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Climate Change

by Tricia Knoll

Hold my hand to the cold fire,
dream fire, though I wince, dance
or run to the ice creek.

Hold me to the cold fire
that feeds on flames of questions
ignored as ash and wind-blow.

Old frozen thoughts
melt, drip, seep
toward that cave fire.

Demanding attention
how they go to earth
soaking half-hearted shadows.

Pretend at your peril the cold fire
is not always burning,
crackling done and overdone.

The Pearl

Sarah Henry                                                                            
Sand seeps through
the tight lips of an oyster
in an unguarded moment.
The world of the oyster
becomes the world
in a grain of sand.
Sometimes the world
is gray and misshapen.
Sometimes it’s the earring
landing in your soup.

Real Places

by M.J. Iuppa

                         Driving country roads
 in rain that re-aligns itself with every

 turn, I find myself completely lost
 in fog’s lifting veil.

 I talk myself into taking
another direction until I happen upon

the outskirts of town— ramble-shack huts,
salvaged cars & parts, day old bread outlets

& a single blinking red light . . .

                           I pause long enough
to see what’s ahead of me is nothing

more than an one-way street.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Black Wash

by Miriam Sagan

maybe the watercolor
has smeared
because it is raining outside
and the river
is rising
by the abandoned
hydroelectric dam
which now is just

in the cement hut
a table is still set with teacups,
and the window has been perfectly filled
with volcanic stones

black lines on paper
imitate the serpentine
curve of water,
or some part of the body
we prefer to hold on to

the pregnant woman
has set a bit of sheep's vertebra
on a pile of dirt
and hung the whole thing on the wall
with an imaginary painting
of snow and darkness

in the rain, the sheep
take shelter
in old shacks and machinery
when you speak Icelandic
to the ram
his ears perk back and his eyes shine.


 by Taylor Graham

A shadow moves over earth below your
notice, on your perch of logs as you purse
your lips in squeaks of animal distress,
to call the birds, add them to your master-
list. You’re not looking for weasel, you’ve
set your eye for birds – your wingless
dreams of sky. At night, weasel finds those
birds asleep, and makes her den of bones
and feathers. She’s undertow of daylight
into dark, its living killing stream. And you –
awkward in boots, vest, birdlist. Check
your watch, your schedule. It’s time to go.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


by Laughing Waters

paulownia petals
floating in the puddles
storm clouds


by Laughing Waters

snake skin
weaved into the tall grass
field pea blooms


by Martha Magenta

dunnock song
the newness
of the world

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Night Sky

by Tom Montag

In this moment,
wind and emptiness.

In the next, moon's
light and nothing.

All things in balance.
Love, and loss,

this desire to be
what the stars are.

Underneath Us

by Taylor Graham

Our fractured kingdom – Melones fault zone,
volcanic rock of the Mesozoic, late Jurassic
granite, slate, serpentine, and gold-bearing
quartz. We humans are involved in all this
disruption – digging into bedrock along Main
Street for yellow treasure. Just look in darker
corners of coffee shop and book store: adits
and shafts. Sinkholes open unexpectedly
around town and country. Old rock walls try
to hold up hillsides with an interweave
of periwinkle, ivy, native nameless weeds.
We live in proximity to so many not-yet
interpreted forces at work over so long,
an ancient, unseen river underneath us all.

Pure Greed

by Catfish McDaris

Pollution melts ice
Death of fish birds animals

Human greed poison.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Salute to a New Day's Dawn

by Tom Sheehan

Out of the edge of earth, out of choice darkness mixed with silt and angry acids that form of fire, out of secret caverns rocking in the deep, out of stone moving liquefied which is but a sea we float on, out of distance, out of death-wracking night, out of fear of child-hood, out of nightmares and terror shrieks, out of our ignorance, out of shame of thoughts sitting like pebbles on the soul, dark black pebbles, out of the songs of frenzied air, out of the mouths of monster birds cast from an angry god's hands, freed from moon at endless wait, escaping debtor's prison partly in rags and partly in pain, heaved upwards like a mason's block to the next tier of gray waiting, on the hilltop comes the sun at its widest broadcast.

Before it, pell-mell fleeing, scudding down alleyways, across corners, stoops, half granite walls where houses used to be, through windows and mirrors and the wiliest of laces where night collects itself in a host of aromas, the shadows go quickly before seven miracles hunting them down, at chase, at wild pursuit, leaping one wall to the next, one huge lunge across barriers, time, as if breath will expire too quickly again, the tightest lungs thrown into athletic surprises.

At Earth edge worms shudder, recoil, go gelatin. Earth shakes with a robin's sprint across a tympanic lawn, as if drummers' batons beat on. He spears the tubed, eyeless thing, soft telescopic escapee just now plowing into loam. The warning signs are warm where wonder makes its way across all the universe.

In the morning mountains, a sundae piled high with sweet textures, explode. I catch the mouthy shrapnel they throw into the battle dawn wages. It is one rare beauty on the fly, beams and sunshine flares and streams and colossal stripes of golden air coming through clouds hanging loose as line-hung blankets. Far out mountains are the first to get this sun, heaving upward whiter cones of snow as brilliant as stars, as sure and as steady as old men who know all the answers and give off such illumination in the phantom measure some gods themselves allow.

But you there, at the crossroads of this day, looking across the inviolate stretch of gray light we suddenly find between us yet joining us, must also find ignition as spectacle born in the rigors of yesterday's soul. You, too, know the upshot of this new coming, the bird, the fire, the breath deeper than stone. You, also, must linger where the sun warms first, the first warm spot of the day, the bay window broad as an ax sweep, a piece of porch tilted under a pine, a front door stoop as white as first thoughts, a path between corrupt oaks and sleek birches, a blanket where your hand falls to rest,  odd place in your eyes sudden starts have earned when you think all about your being is still dark and the nightmare is the bark of wild dogs crawling down the banners of your mind, spiders of light on the move.

When it all goes down, when the bet is paid off and all markers set straight, our sun comes with singular entry, warm shot, two fingers of life into the glass, just as every alley and each dark space we know wait out the mercies found in light.