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

Lines

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.

"Breakdown."

by Ruth Summersides

Breakdown.
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

Zeke

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

Teammates

by Denny E. Marshall

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Beak

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
something.

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.

Ivy

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
Importance.
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