Sunday, December 30, 2018

Flying with the Crows

by K.V. Martins

Wolf-grey sky


by a whirlpool of crows


like weightless stones
into fields of light.

Japanese maples, sapling thin
slipper into autumn, clutching

                                red leaves.

Wind taps on windows
with her long fingernails.

Sometimes the old shire stallion shivers
on these peppery-cold mornings

when frost scribbles across
water troughs and streams

he warms himself in a slice of sunshine
hears the thrum of wild hoofbeats

and a flurry of feathers flapping,
now rising in perfect formation
going somewhere -

stained by their blackness as they pass
spiralling and curving, the stallion wonders

what it would be like -

                                  to fly towards the sun.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Minotaur Blues

by Adam Levon Brown

Swinging from Helios
Nectar, and reanimated
like two doves floating

Existing between severed
hearts, flung from abyss
into happenstance life

Crawling sideways
to avoid vehicles
of human flesh

Striking mallets
of minotaur
upon desks
of destination mother

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Along Highway 70

by David Chorlton

A mountain's peak pulls back a corner
of the sky, while the land
beneath it rolls
and buckles from cattle to cotton and
kestrels on the telegraph wires
running to November's changing color
on both banks
of the riverbed flowing
from one dry season to the next.
The Miracle Church looks tired
today, outspent
by the Latter Day Saints on the rise
with a view extending
Apache miles to the Earth's
wild edge.
              In each small
town along the way
tradition's in the balance
with houses whose walls ache
from holding up the past
while box stores
make a down payment on the future.
And a highway made of sunlight
runs directly through a raven's eye.

"each year at dawn"

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

each year at dawn
on the selected day
tuna fishermen from this quaint
Japanese fishing village
sail out
to slaughter dolphins
because  they rip fishnets
and suffer the catch to swim free

that hideous day
the fishermen clamor to the wharf
bristle with gaff hooks
samurai swords
sticks of dynamite
and slews of other fatal weapons

boat engines grumble to life
and the angry fleet
lurches forward
to depart the harbor
only to find the way out
to open sea
blocked by 4,000 dolphins
collective tail fins foaming
and dolphin language-clicks calling
for a nonviolent demonstration
to halt another massacre

The Glory of Gardens

by Philip C. Kolin

Even when winter entombs
fields in stark white,
flags of rye and red clover
parade the victory of color.

In springtime hurrahs come
for the progeny of last year's
ancestors--lace cap hydrangea,
blue sage, heather, and impatiens.

Summer's sun-soaked bounty
is baptized into life with fertile rain--
corn, asparagus, meaty pole beans,
eggplants and tomatoes.

In fall, alfalfa, oats, and cowpeas
flourish under Novembered skies
full of promise for a feast of gathering
at the end of the year.                                   

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Season to Season

by g emil reutter

Abscission long underway
leaves scattered on ground
grouped in temporary mounds
skipping to and fro carpeting
yards, streets and lots.

Calm shades of magenta, yellow
brown, purple, black and pink.
Rain intensifies, mini whirlwinds
of leaves tango.

Others captured by temporary
streams along curbs flow into
city inlets. There is a harshness
in the beauty of death and renewal.

Blustery cold front hurtles storm
to the sea, rustle of fallen leaves
silenced as stems clutch the hardened
turf others embed in cracks of cement.

White crystals of winters arrival
mirror full moon sky. Petrified
rhododendrons await a warmer
day as weiglia, forsythia bow to
the gods of winter.

Green cascade holds parchment
like curled reddish leaves, she is
always the last to drop. Sun rises
cardinal chirps on barren limb
of sycamore.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Winter at Enid Lake

by Wil Michael Wrenn

The cold wind comes rushing,
roaring across Enid Lake
creating whitecap waves
which make a splashing sound
as they roll onto the shore.

An early Winter freeze has come,
and the foxes, squirrels, and raccoons
hurry to get their daily bread
as they prepare for the season ahead
As nature has changed from Autumn to Winter.

The geese that migrated from places north
are beginning to leave the lake
for warmer climates further south
while the white gulls have come back
to stay again through Winter
as they have done for many seasons past.

This cycle of nature continues here
at Enid Lake, as it has done throughout
the years and seasons. Old and young,
death and birth, sky and earth abide
in this Winter season at Enid Lake.

"orange dawn"

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

orange dawn
spreads coral pink legs
to give birth
to live island young

sand crab
osprey dive
loitering pelican
inimitable jellyfish
afterglow violets
present themselves
to the white shell goddess
of the beach
that knows rebellion
is the highest form
of obedience

Ursa Minor

by Brooks Robards

Trapped in a brumal cocoon
she feels limbs moving
lumbers out of her leaf lair
before full cognizance.

Sweet air wakens taste buds.
Mogging through snow patches
brush, she stops to claw open
a birch newly fallen and soft.

Across ridges of pine and ash
still hanging onto parchment leaves
she sleepwalks, branches break.
A horse and rider stop to listen

Wait. No more sounds come
just light amber fat, bleak shadows
on greening mountain laurel
balsam freshened in last night's fog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

"how simple are the weight of things"

by Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S.

the force that through the green fuse drives the flower
     --dylan thomas

how simple are the weight of things
from thistles stocky and stubborn in sidewalk cracks
to tides that rise and fall in their love affair with the moon . . .
the restless rivers
stars that wander and wheel
forests that release their colors with each wind turning
rain that slicks and floods
deserts that endlessly cycle day and night
           under a sun that pulses a fierce radiance
such is the green fuse
singing in its own work
driving the seed into harvest
the green breathing of jungles
the erupting of mountains
singing its own in the sleeping of glaciers and swamps
singing each animal alive with muscles, bones, eyes, skin
singing each birth
          singing its own power
the power driving all things

driving me

Sunday, December 9, 2018


by J.D. Stofer

From a cool seat in the garden
my fig tree
laden under dappled sun
I admired
till a movement in the shadows
a rat
despite me wove its way
twitched along the smooth trunk
sure footed
careful as a farmer
seeking just the right fig for himself.
Now I knew
that sun warmed fruit I had enjoyed
this very afternoon
pure and sagging ripe
straight to my mouth                           
the juice down chin and neck
had been sniffed, trod on, handled,
maybe peed upon daily by this bold fellow
with similar tastes to my own.
We both like a nice juicy fig.
And it’s clearly not my tree.


by Roberta Beach Jacobson

she hid all her secrets
in a yogurt cup
- then she recycled it


by John Grey

Wind enough to sweep the lake of snow,
down to bare ice, particles of light,
stunted trees tinted, rock-stubble beach,
grass, a beleaguered brown, where poking through the white.

Half moon, horned owl in repose,
pine's dead branch, oblique stillness,
field mouse running in his head,
so dark, a silhouette,
eyes beam though the hooded grace
of the invisible, no sound
but the bounce of his heart.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The last father, the last mother,

by  Joe Cottonwood

the last two boys and one little girl
toddle over sand to their old sedan
leaving me alone on this beach beyond sunset
—oops not alone. One seagull sits in swash
tickled by foam. Sits. Something wrong.

She wobbles to stand on one leg. Flops
beak-first into wet sand. Stuck.
She’d asphyxiate but in awkward struggle
frees her beak and hops one-legged,
washed by creeping edges of surf
which the ocean deals, and deals again.
Now she sits. Can she float? Can she fly?
Is she in pain? How did she lose one leg?

Could I capture? Take her home?
Google how to feed a seagull,
nurse her, hope she heals?
Do I want a seagull in my house
squawking at my dog, pooping on my bookshelves,
flapping in my kitchen?
Post-sunset is ironically pretty, a trout-blend of color.
A cold wind, salt smearing eyeglasses.
A rogue wave icy water to my ankles.
Where did she go? I’m surrounded
by carcasses of crabs, mounds of mussel shells,
saucer sand dollars. Surrounded by death
which the ocean deals, and deals again.
Where did she go?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A question from the refugee camps

by Amirah Al Wassif

I asked them
How the sun says hello to everyone?
Then, they laughed bitterly
Without being sorry
And told me "ask the gun"
Her red spark
Sharp like a dark
Permits entering the light for none

They asked me "what is the sun?"
When our expected meeting will be done?
Since their question
I did not ask again
Cause everything was very clear
Through the war stain

There, in the Somali lands you can find the answers
Upon the clouds , in the camps even on the children features
There, in the Somali lands all the details written with no ink
The only truth here required from you to think
About those people who do not have the fun
But you still ask about their sun ?

Among the refugee camps in Baidoa
I found a baby crawled
On the arm of his mama
Who seemed to me frowned
The baby opened his eyes widely
Looking for the next light
But his mama knows
No light comes with fight

In a crowd of the lost African bodies
He hold my hand tenderly
He was selling water to the ladies
were sitting on the docks
With their pots
Waiting for the day- early

In the Somali lands
They asked me
How the sun says hello to everyone?
Then, I replied with no hesitation
No sun comes with a gun