Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Watching the Skies

by Juliet Wilson

Every summer
swifts
silhouette the sky

swoop-soaring
dance-diving

but now
the sky is emptying.

I'm getting older.
Maybe it's just my eyes.

That's right.

It must be
just my eyes.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Nevada Mind

by Karla Linn Merrifield

I flick sere judgment on horned lizard tongue
wildness uncoils across great white basins.

I rattle a snake’s great desert tail
in the great ranges of sagebrush lines.

I, reptile, speak, coil the wild greatly.

Lines

by Lynda Lambert

crisp light at high noon
motionless blue spruce branches
soundless feathered wings

Drought Wren

by David Chorlton

In the stopped breath after rain
a mountain pushes back
against the clouds
and a Red-tailed hawk is hanging
from the lowest one.
Among the clusters rooted in a wash
a gnatcatcher’s call
is an itch in the air, while the gloss
covering the ground
soaks slowly back
into a darkness shared
with all that lives beneath
the surface. Here, now, on this
last slope before the next
dry weeks, a Cactus wren
displays himself in light
that sprays from his feathers
as he fluffs them dry.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Traffic

by Juliet Wilson

The sky is pink with sunrise.

Headlights glare from cars
nose to tail in an endless traffic jam
known as the morning 'rush' hour.

On the Lagoons, oystercatchers gather,
pressed long red beak to white and black tail
calling and jumping then take off in a rush.

The sky is still pink with sunrise.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Monet Paints the Blues

by Ben Rasnic

Smears of cloud
Blot the birdless
Canvas, splotches

Of cerulean, azure
Hover the suffering earth
& its indelible scars;

An old man
Crowned in a white
Straw hat
Barely discernible

In the high grass
Among the poplars.

Shallow Roots

by Lisa M. Hase-Jackson

An Eastern Fox Squirrel
comes to visit the rogue sunflower
that popped up beneath the bird
feeder in my mother’s back yard,
picking out seeds to cache in his
cheeks, chattering at neighborhood
cats and black birds perching
in uncomfortable proximity.

They swoop down from the sky,
those birds, stirring up the Missouri
sky into a roiling summer storm,
their zephyr wings a vortex
of torrents and fulminations.

Florid Taos Haibun

by Karla Linn Merrifield

The hollyhocks are exuberant in their heliotropism
in Taos this June morning. Face on, eyeing in sun-warmed return,
the flagrant Bent St. botanicals— those papery blushing hussies,
those native Alcea setosa species in a chorus line of desire—
before my June yes; Mio sol turns morning a flower warmer.

Thunderclouds promise storm;
shadow disappears— I bloom
desert in pink.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blackwater Giants

by Suzanne Cottrell

Southern Bald Cypress, Redwood and Sequoia cousins
Towering 100 feet above black water swamp
Submerged roots outstretched, anchors secured
Bulbous trunks, buttressed for stability

Tree tops battered, flattened by Atlantic storms
Slow growth survivors draped in Spanish moss
Eastern mud turtles sunbathe on
Protruding gnarly knees

Warblers, wrens perched, hidden by
Vibrant cinnamon, bittersweet hued
Fronds of needle-like leaves
Shed in early autumn, deciduous conifers

Bared gray to rufous, ridged bark
Natural oils, repelled insects and decay                 
Hardy wood for Native American dugout canoes
Colonial planks, fences, furniture, shingles

Overharvested, few old growth stands remain
Sentinels along the Black Water River

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Southwest Pointillism

by Karla Linn Merrifield

This is the thorny issue. Pointed.
Everything is not a question, rude, cactus-pointy.
Destiny appears to keep our appointment
in New Mexico on U.S. Rt. 412 East at the Point
of Rocks’ turn-off, NMDOT sign pointing
north. This is the proper junction, pointless
to ignore at the noon-hour appointed
to sandstone, juniper, sage, pointedly
painted to reveal landscape’s point
of view, imprint of spirit, fossilized pinpoint

of relief.

decades of bitter winds

by Lynda Lambert

decades of bitter winds
whipped and thrashed
flagellated and whisked
the row of red barberry bushes
grasping thorny spines
blown towards the west
search the twilight for
last rays of winter light
dangling crimson berries quiver
thin branches poke out upwards
from buried roots
anchored deeply in cold-hardened soil
saturated with ruddy
frost-ravished leaves.

Springtime

by Holly Day                             
     
the river cracks awake in the middle of the night, sounds like something
falling inside the house, sounds like the dog/kid broke something. I get up
so that my husband doesn’t have to, stomp out into the living room
bathed in bright moonlight, see
the dog curled up by the front door, oblivious to whatever woke us up.

From the living room, I can hear more ice breaking off, feel the river waking up
pushing trapped branches and dead deer off to the side banks, determined
to become an unhindered body once more. From the bedroom, my husband asks
What’s going on, I don’t know where to start.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lines

by Jason Lee

Gray Jays chirp
Balance on top of a swaying juniper
Snow on needle-like leaves

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Late Autumn

by Pepper Trail

The junipers stand like guttering green candles
among the half-naked, browning oaks
and from their tops, the solitaires call
back and forth across the valley
their calls the rusty, reluctant sound
of the old year turning toward winter

Lines

by Robert Beveridge

a drop of rain
strikes a burning rose
petals wither

Running Low

by Jacob Chung

I ventured
through the mountains
with my friends
for the entire week

I brought the car
back to the house
running on
fumes

I sincerely apologize
ocean blue skies
fresh spring air and lush greenery
were so beautiful

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Evidence

by Jon Corle

All winter
they’ve been havin’ a party
under the driveway ice

a candy wrapper
gum
gold bottle cap

look away it’s razzmatazz
stare and it’s a still life
catch catch ‘em