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
gray-feathered
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

Caribou

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Winter Scene #1

by Lynda Lambert

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

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Shine:
The Gulf Country (Northern Australia)

by Stefanie Bennett

Because happenstance
likes
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

Ignorance

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
Coordinated
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
Packed
Managed
Stale

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.

Cost

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
connected

Flotsam

by B. Anne Adriaens

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

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Three Photographs
Samara Golabuk



Locus of Divinity

Element:  Fire

Element: Wood