Sunday, December 29, 2019

Garden in October

by Jeanne Shannon

Leaves of the honey locust
floating down,
a cold, gold rain.

But still
two green leaves
on the Tree of Heaven.

Lines

by Maria DePaul

Foraging at dusk
Coyotes howling
Last call of Autumn

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Erotic Slugs

by Eric Fisher Stone

Globs of butter, wet goblins, they rub
mouths lubed on blue lichen,
bellies grinding slow rivers
over humid mud, glugging air,
slugs measured in slimy lust
for dew, hedonist pleasure-monks,
paths slick with carnal lard, joy swelled
in oily organs, jellying hearts
gorged on Earth’s heaping gift.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Bushland

by Judith Steele

Trunks of Eucalypts lean towards one another,
whisper with leathery leaves
Young Casuarinas draw black needles
on pale blue sky.
Sturt Peas flame in the dust
Pig Cactus creeps in hollows
Dam water is brown, ducks are brown
between blue-green bushes
and blue-green scent of bushland.

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

i.
sandhill cranes too high to see

ii.
willow branch after the sparrow

iii.
horned owl swooping as low as he has to

Upon a Pile of Bear Dung

by Pepper Trail

Chestnut-brown dough of digestion
Polished husks of acorn, torn flesh of apple
Autumn’s abundance tumbled in that barrel of body
The dross left with nonchalance upon the path
All goodness taken in, made a robe of fat against the cold
But not yet ready for sleep, the October bear
Wanders the brambles, finds what she likes everywhere
Ambles to the high point of the year
Grunts, scratches, shits, and eats some more

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Day Before

by Summer Koester

A devil's club graveyard all that remains,
bones of a mighty clubbed fortress
reduced to small brown skeletons,
silent, still scaffolds of what once was.
This is how you say madrugada in English–
the coldest, darkest, undead hour
when spirits roam the earth, right before
the first snow:
the rainforest so dry and quiet
bones and shapes, negative space,
the air sucked right out.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Swan Song

by Wesley D. Sims

A sparse chorus of crickets
telegraphs the news--autumn
arrives on the overnight train.
Forty-degree West wind
plucks brown leaves
from walnut and poplar.
Twilight sifts over the landscape,
dark clouds press a pale orange sky
into the horizon.

I Remember Aleppo

by Terrence Sykes

ancient silk road heirloom
grew upon the left bank
determined Queiq river
steeped landscape
rising field of peppers
powdered ochres
colors changing
seasons ceased
blossoming at dusk

Since the storm

by Mathieu Debic

since the storm, new birds
find a home in the strewn leaves.
from the brush, new songs.
shafts of sun penetrate, now,
and mockingbirds dip and swerve.
broken branches dry in the sun.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

awakening

by Kat Terban

the slowly creaking dawn
sheds light on an unfurling
green pothos leaf, on the minute
veins where precious sap flows.

crisp sparkling dew
condenses, coalesces,
is drunk by a careful
angulate orbweaver spider;
it breaks open the water’s skin
and sucks the liquid in
while myriad eyes
remain alert for prey.

perched upon that new leaf
tapping its leg-tips, the spider
leaps out toward the sun,
spinner releasing a line
to rappel down, and start
a fresh day’s web.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Lines

by William Cullen, Jr.

norway maple
where a few leaves just were
the north star

The uppermost leaves

by Nandini Maharaj

The branches of the elm tree lean to one side
fanning out with the sun’s rays,
the uppermost leaves, emblazoned in gold.
The leaves below are tightly clustered
giving the appearance of stillness.
When all at once the wind blows and the leaves disperse,
revealing new patches of blue sky.
Then the leaves close in once again,
and all seems still but the uppermost leaves
glistening in the morning light.

Hardwoods

by Mathieu Debic

Groans in the hardwoods.
Wind stretches timbers, abates;
a blaze, a red shower.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

La Fin Sauvage

by John Zedolik                                                         

Wild is the roof
atop which reach
the unwanted spindly
stalks and irregular leaves

to an evening deepening
to night that will obliterate
their serrated silhouettes
and grant safety from discerning

eyes that might influence
a call for taming, a cutting
for the cutters upon the seam
of sky and constructed earth,

bold and instinctive on their edge,
left better to occasional sighting
by unconcerned souls who deem
the ridge, the ragged row welcome

wilderness needed among the docile
and down-combed brick-blocks
that certainly would frown up
if they could at the fringe that their

absolute politesse impedes
with wisps and licks that refuse
to lie flat and servile
as the lawns below.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Lines

by Judith Ann Muse Robinson

Planned community.
Ears up. Eyes wide. Whitetail deer.
C.V.S. ahead.

on a corner

by James Bell

a prosperous looking blackbird tries
to precision crack the shell
of a snail
on a corner of the Corlay Road -

interrupted
lifts it in its beak
and flies away from morning sun

Lines

by Hemapriya Chellappan

bamboo grove
the soft whistle
of a spice finch

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde,

billiard toast flock
cask sneaker
tambourine peak hunt

Sunday, November 24, 2019

LInes

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

circling seagulls
welcome sign
rusting into fall

The Buff-Rumped Thornbill

by Frances Roberts

Hidden by the leaf of a Red Olive Plum
a Buff-Rumped Thornbill
sends a high wisp of song
into open forest.
A piping voice calls back
from Lane Cove Valley below.

Praying Mantis

by Lucy Zhang

There’s a Mantis
in the middle
of Wolfe Road
raptorial forelegs folded
not praying but
waiting.
How did the butterfly
fall victim
when all it needed to do
was complete an upstroke
in a lift-producing vortex
and tumble
through the sky?
But the Mantis stalked,
struck out, tore off
extraneous Bushbrown wings
and held the butterfly close
like it’d never
let go.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Light and shade

by Lillian Good

Kookaburras
mark the changing light.
In-between, dark flies buzz
interferingly over red dust
sprinkled with dung.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Route 109

by Tom Lagasse

Wandering through the Litchfield Hills
In his battered red Chevy Malibu
Its odometer nearly tipping to 100K
Li Bai drunk from one too many
with his friends at the GW Tavern
pulls his car to the shoulder
Near Sunny Ridge Road.
On the back of an envelope
From an unpaid bill he scratches:

The mist rests
on the pines
above
as they lean
with the weight
of Route 109.

Over the Lake

by Ray Greenblatt

Winds scour Marsh Creek Lake
and rip at stray stone walls
no longer knowing what
they kept out or in.
          Myth has it that fish
          lie on the bottom
          disguised as mud balls.
                   Trees have dropped all their
                   summer camouflage.

Four old crows each on
brittle tree branch
talk things over in
their raspy argot.
          Fox out of its den
          forages for short time
          before snowflakes whirl.
                    Tomorrow lake surface
                    might be walkable.

(Corn) Husk In The Wind

by Randall Rogers

It's true in the end ashes do look best.
Or the new beautiful
compressed-bone art deco white oval
I saw advertised on TV the other day.
Creamy it looked like a bar of Dove soap.
A large burial mushroom pod
where your remains sprout
new fungi (or fun-guys!), perhaps? Heh-heh
So many options,
so much to look forward to
getting old, croaking, and being buried in
the quaint little cemetery
around the church
of the small town
on the prairie
in southern Minnesota
where all the farms
are neat and orderly
and there are towns
like Truman
where industrious Germans and Swedes
mow their lawns on Sunday
now that weed's legal
and there's decent internet
it's okay to live there.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

ebb tide

by Martha Landman

last night the moon was in your hair
but the day is vast around us now
the horizon further away
islands and mountains hold
the infinity of this place
the ocean peels away from the shore
large circles of brown and blue
thin layers of water lying still, a flat bed
we walk on the ocean floor
a white-bellied sea eagle swoops
a fiddler’s bow playing Spiegel im Spiegel
but last night the moon was in your hair   

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Lines

by Christina Chin

cormorant dives
Li River's starlit water
an oar pauses

Prodigious Plumes

by Suzanne Cottrell

Dragon’s Breath proclaims its presence                                         
spreads burgundy streaked, olive foliage
presents its fiery bouquet of
feathery crimson blooms
hints of spicy fragrance
dominates floral landscape
summer through autumn

Lines

by Christina Chin

dawn light
filters into the teacups
Mulu Caves canopy

Friday, November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019
7.02 a.m.
29 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Panoplied in cold, fall has charred the entire landscape, as memories 
overtake my thoughts – visions of dragonfly days,
     and on the first morning the
notification by the great blue heron on the
     far side of the pond that the
dawns ahead would be filled with myriad marvels; he was right.



Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Consider This

by Mary Innes

Consider how it is
    we eat the air:
Sunlight touches green,
turning spirit into matter,
becoming us
who breathe our spirits back to air.

Consider how the grasses' green
becomes our skin, our heart, our hair.
Carbon marries light
and we appear.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Lines

by Padmini Krishnan

Chilly night
Redwood tree absorbs
all the moon

Nightfall at Minnamurra

by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

At the foot of Minnamurra Falls
the maples heave in the gale,
wind drawing applause
rich with sudden confetti,
whirling bushels
of umber, gold, sienna.

the trees arch skyward,
upper reaches shorn
as the windstorm shuffles away,
balm of autumn night
settles eggshell, tranquil,
the forests of Illawarra
lit by a smudge of fireflies.

Lines

by Padmini Krishnan

Cold night
wind sings
to nesting pigeons

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Lines

by Carl Mayfield,

water bowl--
     bloated mouse
  lifting his head

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Forgotten Fruit

by Suzanne Cottrell

A hardy tree stands taller
than the two-story house
on the old Garrett Farm

Common American Persimmon Tree
its thick squared bark resembles alligator hide
alternating, slick, leathery, oblong leaves

Pale melon-colored balls
the size of shooter marbles
replaced creamy flowers

Ripened fruit, a deep cinnabar
flesh as soft, juicy, and
sweet as an apricot

Laden tree with fruit
some split and mushy
litters the ground while

Most cling to branches
till winter arrives
once a treasured fruit, now forgotten

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

doze rain trumpet
cue night flock
gooseberry scaffold play

Cicada banger

by Coleman Bomar

Red wrapped woods in California
Waiting
Sappy straws gnawed like twizzlers
By maroon-eyed ebony earthen
Cicadas in sync
Billions rise from dirt
Soft skinned
White born
Nymphs
Cling to bark
Climbing green heavens
For wood rebirth
On bloody tree altars
The first in seventeen years
Molting darkly
Brood bred black screamers
Drink love
Roaring rhythmic orgy
A once in forever banger
Then silence conceived joy
Immediately dead
Falling
Shed husks
Quietly
This grand tumble:
The single greatest
Life giving
Party’s over
On silent Earth

Lines

by Felix Constantinescu

The orchard’s road
Tall, withered thistle.
Wet soil, damp.
Plum-tree bark, red
Vegetable light.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Preparation

by Carl Parsons

As aspens quaver
hawthorn hedges bare their
knots of sharpened thorns—
now the spotted fawn gathers
the cold wind in its quick legs.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The River Remembers Her Ravines

by Babitha Marina Justin

When the waters came rolling down the hills, they scooped out the last human from the village on a rescue boat and rowed down the hill, which slid down after our flight.

We saw life boats, dinghies, fishing boats; we hoped to be saved clinging on to the last gunny-sack of dreams clamped to our chests, our lives pressed down to a few damp papers.

We plugged our ears to the news of people flowing away like catamarans with a cloud-burst or a landslide; dying prosaic like that, we held on to our lives not distinct from the unguent, unbridled cannonball mud.

We could have saved our huts, hill’s memories, our hearths; we know that the
river remembers her ravines for real long time.

We can go back to our empty hills, begin anew, write our histories on water, reclaim our lands, rake up the slush and reap in gold.

We know for real, Periyar remembers her ravines for a real long time.

Monday, October 21, 2019

9.21.19
8.01 a.m.
52 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Possessing less and less each day, the banks, like low tide, are exposed,
obstinate dry spell leaving the pond’s bones to dry in the sun.
Neurosis in the landscape, the weight of late summer
discomfits the trees which give in, sag, continue their slow burn.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

potato sty mustard
duvet winch
copper glaze accordion

Rock Falls

by ae reiff

After a flood
the grass will lay
brown as the stump
of a cut back tree

Heaps of stone
have known this change
rock falls when cliffs
and walls give way.

Lines

by Christina Chin

rice grains heavy
against sky blue
red dragonflies

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Spanish Skirts of the Palo Duro

by Judith Ann Muse Robinson

Crenelated strip, stitched to crenelated strip.
Repeat. Azure. Lavender. Maroon. Draped
against these flaring walls. Abandoned. as if
shed by spinning, dancing angels of the Llano
Estacado – on-ramp to Sangre de Cristos,
northward to the Rockies. Levitation courtesy
– not of wings – but of whirling, twirling
Spanish Skirts. Set afire! Vivified by dawn’s first
peek above the eastern rim. Hems pooling
in Red River waters of creation.

In their plunge, vaulting cliffs conceal seamed pockets.
Tiny caves. Comanche shelter. Rising mesas split
the downdraft to whistle through the maw, like blades
of grass held to blowing lip. Swishing moccasin shod
foot travels time astride an ancient echo. Turkey scrabble
in mesquite. Rattle of maracas? No! Beware! The rattler’s
tail. Bleat of restless, shuffling aoudad competing for
siesta sun. East-wall clinging Spanish Skirts live short
on time. An early inky dome of night pierced by one hundred
thousand stars as if to ignite the whirling, twirling Llano
Estacado specters to take flight.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cattle Egrets

by Wesley D. Sims

Late day in Fooshee Pass Cove
near smoothing water’s edge,
swarms of cattle egrets
round the point and curve past
the copse of hardwoods.
The bright, scribbly vees
veer up and cinch into
nightly flight paths
where the flocks bob and drop
in the fading air currents,
wobble up to skim hickory tree tops
as they wing their way
to roosting perches
on high limbs of tall pines.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Lines

by Veronika Zora Novak

a snowy owl shriek
unsettles bones . . .
night deepens

Appalachia

by Austin Hehir

Moon light skips
off the rattling creek.
Slowly wandering down the
hills. Fire smolders in our souls as
we climb.
Sucking down the nectar, intoxicated.
Hands viced to the cold bed of the truck.
Headlights off, star lights only to guide the path.
Dimly we race, against the passing of time
and foolishly we think that nights
in the rolling mountains tumbling
metal wagons carelessly down
the hill and through the
creek will last

Forever.

Lines

by Christina Chin

the scent
at her gravestone
frangipani

Saturday, October 12, 2019

9.1.19
8.00 a.m.
58 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Pensive silence this morning, the walk to the pond quiet and still.
Ownership of sound is taken by Fowler’s stream, a bubbling
necklace of clear water into the muddy pond, the only sound
deemed necessary on a morning this soft, this undisturbed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Along the Coast

 by Ray Greenblatt

No bewitching eyes of seals,
nor intoxicating dolphin songs
          here.
Instead etched inlets,
rounded promontories.
The beach is a shelf
offering unique products:
          kindling
          dead fish
          polished glass
          seaweed.
The sea paints the surf
          gold at dawn,
purple at dusk.
Coastal trees learn the shapes
          of local winds.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Lines

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

how are you doing
I asked the turtle
but he was dead

Cormorants at Yaquina Bay

by Karen Jones

Along the plank connecting old dock pilings,
they stand, ragged, adolescent, legs apart,
lift stubby wings in an arc to dry.

Another flies in, lands too near his neighbor.
They spar for a moment, then sidestep away
in black huffs of disgust.

Spaced like a row of theater luminaires,
the cormorants perch and preen,
open their wings, flap, balance again.

Below them floats a red and white buoy.
Gulls cry, a boat speeds by, its fishing net
flying like a standard in the wind.

Lines

by Laurie Wilcox-Meyer

bees fall from blossoms
yellow swallowtail on asphalt
sick skin, the rivers

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Missouri River Cottonwoods

by Karen Jones

Thunder growls under Meadowlark song.
Clouds pile the horizon, the river glides.

Cottonwoods, ancient children, lean
along the bank.  Their roots seek cool waters.

Rugged bark covers massive trunks.
Limbs, dry old bones, full of gnarls and knobs,

bend to the ground like knees of giants.
Dead twigs tangle in cracks of heartwood.

Young boughs, smooth and limber,
bounce and sway easy as a porch swing.

Leaves spin on long, flattened stems,
rain-patter in breeze.  Finest of leather hearts,

they sparkle like sun on water, like haloes
of vibrant atoms, ever green in the drying wind.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Lines

by Wayne Scheer

jackson pollock drips
orange and red and yellow
on a dull canvas--
autumn begins

Sunday, September 29, 2019

FireLight

by Jamel Hall

i.
The evening like a fallow field until ready for harvest
as night descends on a forest of rice.

ii.
Tenggala rises.

Moonless night a metronome
keeping the pace of yesterdays and todays.

Each ancient and flickering star
a moment, a time, a passing.

The brusk blowing brass of grassy winds.

Canyon

by Yingtong Guo

Gold and green in the hills
Trickle through the rocks
In gazillions of rainbow droplets,
Run from the flanks
In ribbons of garish streams –
To paint the coral reefs
To dye the sea horses
In the Gulf of California.

An evaporating watercolor,
Unfathomable in its monotony.

Lines

by Joanna M. Weston

an eagle rises
from its kill
scarlet ribbons

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Claws of the Mighty

 by Kufre-Udeme Thompson

   Sweating drummers,
Growing so wild;
   Anxious crowds,
Expanding like ringworm.

   Hefty-hefty,
Like a bunch of palm fruits;
   Huge shoulders,
Dancing into the sandy circle.

   Smoky clouds,
Drifting across the dying sun;
   Human voices,
Chanting their names.

   Tough palms,
Clashing like swords;
   Heavy legs,
Rooting like Mangrove.

   Trickery-trickery,
One plunged the other down;
   Roaring crowds,
Lifting him shoulder high.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lines

by Padmini Krishnan

Drizzle aftermath
How different they smell
young leaves and the dried ones

The moon gives witness

by Joan Eyles Johnson

Crows in a pear tree
pass the moon between them
ripple Lake Gregory
under the branches

What Basho Knows

by Ron. Lavalette

fog is good
but god’s a frog
loves the sun
—leaps—

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Socotra Cormorants, Ahmadi Beach 1991

by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

three Socotra cormorants lie pinned
in quicksand,
amorphous lumps sinking
in puddles of congealed oil,
beaks and feathers crusted,
stripped of the strength
to extricate their bodies,
burbling breath, life dissolving
in the spill that chokes
the shores of Kuwait City.

through the pyrocumulous clouds,
the occasional patch
of cornflower blue sky peeps,
glimpse of a time before strife -
sands pristine, skies unblemished,
phthalo blue waters, mirror-still,
the shade of cormorants’ eyes.

the Arabian Gulf stretches, a wasteland
bubbling poisonous black,
viscous veins plump with decay
clawing across the waves,
the inferno of the oil fields of Ahmadi
glowing with molten hellfire,
ringed with the bodies of cormorants.

Fireburst

by Ben Rasnic

Jalapeños, cayennes &
habaneros
hang like Christmas ornaments
in their clay containers;

reds & yellows,
greens & orange
basking in the mid-
Atlantic august sun.

Peppers, waxed & polished,
crave the next eruption
of nor’easter rainfall;

capsaicin branding
the soft inner flesh,
bursting with seeds.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

there’s no such thing a loneliness

Stephen A. Rozwenc

there’s no such thing a loneliness

weather trembles admirably
the opera glass snake aria
serenades pleasurable rocks
that dapple the river bank

venerable waters sparkle genius
dark bowers wander fearlessly
bleating palm trees
welcome lush adoration

in a breathless hush

Vortex

by Yuan Changming

Turning, twirling

In ever smaller circles
A vortex in the stream
Seems to be sucking in
All the waters on earth
Like the black hole
Trying to swallow
The whole universe

Frank Talk re: the Off Ramp

by Todd Mercer

Going extinct will be tragic enough,
but once we’re there no one
will concern themselves with it
or care to write it down. We should try
harder to avert a needless crash,
but it looks like that’s not what we’ll do.
Disappointing, but no sense in handwringing,
messing up our weekends with the doom.
The end won’t be long. Without people
in the equation, Nature will soldier along
perhaps for quite a while. Until asteroid.
Let’s not sugarcoat the shameful fact
that we know how to save the species,
but we just don’t feel like it. Too much hassle,
no fast cash in it. We’re funny like that.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Firefly

by Yuan Changming

Burst with courage

You are flying around, using
Your little light
Like a sharp scissor tip
To rip off the heavy curtain
Of all the darkness
Blown out of frenzy dreams

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Reef (Sattahip, Thailand)

by Ellen Chia

At knee-deep,
The ebbing tide's a semblance
Of an expansive glass aquarium;
Within, a city's vivid lights
Have long since snuffed out;
A gradual dimming culminating
To a washed-out white
Before armies of minuscle greens
Laid seige,
Cleaving to this labyrinthine rubble
Like a skintight cloak
Though muffling not
The echo strains of a requiem.
What remains is this
Museum of shame
Gazing back at us.

San Bruno Mountain

by  Dan Richman

Looking up
the slope is studded                                                                 
with Wild Mustard,
Milkweed, Sticky Monkey,
Lantana, Coyote Bush,
Sage,
Yarrow,     
Lupine, brutal
but useful
Thistle, and Wild Fennel,
and scattered within the Red Fescue,
the orange kisses
of California
Poppy. And then it
ends and one is struck
by just how
blank
the sky can be.

green so

by Steve Piazza

the piebald fawn grazing conspicuously alone

unaware as we are of the vanity in our projecting insecurities
about outcast and shunning and how does this happen
and
oh    the    poor    thing

cranes effortlessly to reach challenging leaves

while we waver against the steadiness of nature
and resort to clashes over domain and supremacy
and
who    wins    this    time

according its grace before despondent eyes

Friday, September 6, 2019

8.7.19
8.59 a.m.
71 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Privets ragged in the heat begin their late summer droop lifted somewhat by the slow
ooze of Joe Pye’s lanky mauve, and the goldenrod spirals in the humidity, swirls of
nurls reaching through the air, and here, remnant of a drama, more air than substance, a barred owl
deposited a feather, perhaps dropped as he swooped down then up startled frog on the rising.

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

frog stiletto dustbin
radio pyre
strawberry fee curfew

No Signs of Intelligent Life

by Todd Mercer

Beam me up, Scotty. I’ve seen enough.
This place is devoid of civilization.
Get me the fuck out of here, before
the prevailing madness mires me in muck.
The locals keep voting to abolish
the locals. They think it’s in their interests.
Something went wrong at the schools,
learning is no longer possible.
People like this cheer for meteors
that are streaking straight toward them.
They can’t foresee the destruction,
only focus on the shiny light.
How they’re still here even this long
is a stumping mystery.
Rumor has it the same citizens
used to want what’s good for citizens.
Little proof remains. So who can say?
They must have somewhere to go
after here’s obliterated. No panic
at irreversible damage from
intentional decisions they have made.
They could fix their society and ecosystem
for free, but they reject the effort,
they suspect a darker motive.
Stupid people lack the means to self-assess
and to alter course. Beam me up
and set a course for basic rationality.
Enlightened self-interest prevails
on the higher quality planets. This was
an asylum before the funding ran out.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Rugged Northern California Wilderness

by Julia Lesel

Grinding. Pulsing. Flashing, dragging, crashing waves.
Rugged, jagged, foggy at various levels.
Bright yellow birch leaves sparkle, dotting through the sequoia forest-scape.
A glen of fat birches, flooded at the bases by creeping moss
Messy sword ferns the edge of a rapid river,
Shaggy, drooping from angular cliff walls, heavily wet.
Cattails elongating from thick spiny bushes
Flanking the winding road out of town.
Glassy silver-green leaf broad clumpy strangling vines,
Large silvery boulders dispersed between a bare spot in the strangling heaps.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Lines

by Sylvia Semel

the water lily
floats by in slow motion
the still sandpiper

On Visiting an Unnamed Swamp

by Ahrend Torrey

Amid high brown cypress in thick
dark air, amid the scent of dirt

and fern, Water Moccasin
lurks head-up, through

black water— question mark,
after question mark.

Cicadas in the distance—
buzz, buzz. Some-

where between they merge
with crickets’ chirp

lacing through the dark air:—
what throbs and throbs of faint light.

Coho

by Sterling Warner

Skokomish longhouse
Overlooks wintery pines
Salmon seaward run

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

7.14.19
7.22 a.m.
69 degrees

by John Stanizzi,

Pecking the air with their chuck chuck, the grackles worry the trees.
Owl feather floating delicately on the pond, are you part of the reason for the
noise this morning.  Was that you whose wide rump I glimpsed
dexterously wheeling through the thick overgrowth, touching nothing, silently.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Newfoundland
Photography by G. Tod Slone

Monkstown

Ile d'Entree

Burlington

Saint Lewis

L'Anse aux Meadows

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Superluna

It's very nearness changes who I am.           
--after Sarah Harwell "Super Moon"

by Judith Ann Muse Robinson

Dark dome of night. Split. Ablaze
at the clerestory. Buona sera,

Superluna of the blood. Welcome. Rest
awhile within our brimful nest

of empty opulence. Creation holds ephemeral
residence enough for you. Clever

hangs its head beneath Niagara's
tongue turned sifting whisper

of Sahara's shifting sands. Distant river
ice explodes a scent of new-mown hay.

Fleshing-out begins of sclerotic bones. Rudder
lost. Dam-breaking floods

expose dry riverbeds draining smelted ore
of sword and shield.

Babble becomes anthem. Becomes
lullaby. This palsied foot taps Tango.

Barred Owl on the Road

by Barbara Brooks

It looked like a rock
until it swiveled its head,
yellow eyes looking at me.
It was sitting on
the side of the road, its drab
wings brushing the ground.

I leaned down to pick
it up, its talons softly
grabbed my arm, its

barred wings fluttered
in the wind of the passing
cars.  It clung to my arm.

I tried to cover it with a
bag.  It flew instead.

Lunar Eclipse
January 20, 2019

by Jane Richards

8:30
The moon shines pure,
    --no ordinary moon, but perigee,
      so close to earth it exhales past its boundaries--
glistens the snow,
cuts shadows in crisp lines,
brings clarity to a winter night.

9:46
The moon, smudged at its bottom edge,
    --no ordinary smudge, like a passing cloud,
      but a stain, a creeping disease over the white face--
lays a dirty cast on the snow,
smearing shadows--
gloom hovers.

10:16
The moon, a feeble frown of light
    --nearly overcome with thickening shades,
      red stain soaking through the grey--
turns snow into a dark shroud,
shadows into black holes--
the night broods in silence.

10:32
The moon gasps,
    --aspirates a last flare of light--
shimmers snow,
recuts shadows
before all illumination dissolves.

10:40
The moon
    --in total eclipse, a strange rust-colored beauty,
      old blood swirling in murk--
abandons snow and shadows to eerie black--
the earth shoulders a heavy burden,
sinks into itself,
threads to its sun severed.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

7.11.19
7.40 a.m.
59 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Pretentious candelabra, the staghorn sumac, and the breeze this morning as
overheard as a whisper in church.  A pair of green frogs
noggles the landscape with gulps, and just along this shore the tendrils of
diving reed-grass are as sleek and smooth as a brushstroke.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Lines

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

concrete hedges painted green

Lines

by Paweł Markiewicz

at the dawn some ants
are swimming in the noble dew
but owl needs water

The Red Tide off the Gulf of Mexico, Florida

by Michael H. Brownstein

The colors of the ocean
turquoise with bits of pickled sky blue,
and a blend of grape juice purple—
and then, its skin ruptures,
a sudden rash red and boiling,
a lesion bleeding rotten blood.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Photo Op

by Phil Huffy

The loon is not compliant
and folks who dare to try
to photograph these creatures
will find things go awry,

for acts of disappearance
are made with style and ease;
they dive beneath the water
and do not deign to please.

You’ll watch for one to surface
but don’t expect to find
it’s where your camera’s pointed,
the loon can read your mind.

Postcard from Lake Gregory, California
Joan Eyles Johnson



Turtles

by Olivia Cyr

Jane, my college best friend, licks the back of her hand,
and closes her eyes. It’s the salt, she says. It tastes so earthy.
I say, it tastes like the saltwater, you mean. No.
She turns my palm over and licks it from the heel
to where my pinky finger begins. Like salt.
It takes me a minute to taste brininess the way that she does,
when I open my mouth and try a handful of salt water,
lapping it gently. Jane laughs, pulls me gently along.
We walk along the small, tucked cliffs above the shore,
looking out onto the Naples water.
My sandals work the backs of my ankles like sandpaper.
I stop, take them off, toss them in my drawstring bag
and step through the billions of pearls of sand and salt.

A bicycle whizzes past us, and Jane giggles. For a moment,
I think she is flirting with another pizza boy,
riding through the cobblestone valley in half-moonlight
on his way to the pizza parlor, al chiaro di luna.
But Jane grabs my elbow and squeaks.
When I look where she’s pointing, my cheeks go fat with a smile.
And suddenly we’re girls again, long before the throes
of college and career life, plucking ladybugs from each other’s hair
after swimming in the lake at camp; tanned, smooth legs akimbo
on the grass while we talked about dreading that first day of high school,
how we thought we’d much rather be squeezing lady bugs
until their plump, pearly bodies engorged, popped like little fireworks.

On the cliff, Jane pulls me, and we skid recklessly
down a sandy path that slopes between jagged rocks,
our bare feet sprinkled with bubblegum nail polish.
I land at her side, and as we come to a stop by the frothy water,
I put a hand over my sunned chest. I suddenly feel exposed
and want to run forward and scoop them up.
Baby turtles have hatched somewhere along the tiny,
bubbly waves of high tide. Five of them.
Barely minutes old, they sleepwalk, like blind little starfish,
their legs and arms tender flippers. They slog through the sand,
exhausted and oily, as it sticks to them
like granules of sugar on my grandmother’s whiskey cookies.

I pull my hand back to my mouth, lick the inside
of my wrist to taste the earth. We stand, perfectly paced monuments
on the beach, watching the turtles sluicing themselves
with water and coiling, clumsy. Beached, quintuplet sacks of flesh.
Jane is so careful to step around them, and studies their patterned trails,
divots in the sand from their pointed flippers.
The carapace of each turtle is a slick skin sectioned out into squares.
These are leatherbacks, I tell Jane from across the way.
We watch them, crouched over their trails, as they race to the ocean,
wiggling rhythmically, resting every few paces.

I imagine them dehydrated, desperate to reach the water,
breathing heavily with newborn aches all through the tender
curves of their limbs and I’m frightened for them.
I could pluck them from the race and carry them to the water,
past the hermit crabs and sand spiders. I want to mother them,
careful and reasonable. Now, my niece is almost five but
I think about my sister nursing her all those times
when she was a baby, when my sister was just twenty-two
and I was writing for newspapers. I worry about when
she will curl up beside her mother like that again,
and know it will be because someone broke her heart,
and not out of instinctual hunger. She will be desert rocky and mica strong,
and glistening all at once. She will be seventeen
squishing ladybugs on picnic blankets while I write in Colmar
with capfuls of Veuve Clicquot at my little kitchen table.
When she was just weeks old, I cradled her at my own chest
while she gazed up through pink eyelids, both of us full of wonder.
Nursing became fluid, it became competitive for her—her little mouth
grazing over her mother’s skin, my sister just running
her hands over her face so she could look at her, not wanting
to let her eat even when she fussed. That hard, rudimentary pit
in her body of motherhood would make her too eager
for her baby to stay that small.

I though often about how she would grow up,
how she would have to move and shift and be, without leaning on us,
and it choked me, that thought of growing— of them each learning
the push and pull of the other. How will my sister do it?

Jane and I have been in Naples for two weeks,
and Jane has finished her book review, while I have buoyed myself
on the beach in the evenings and written in broken Italian
on paper napkins. It is our last night here;
I dig my hands hard into the beach sand,
encouraging the nest of turtles to go, go, go.
And they move without assistance.
Where’s their mother? Won’t they drown, you think?
Jane shimmies her bottom into the sand next to me,
but the babies have dipped into the tide.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Synchrony

by Jeff King

Five geese
southbound descend
flit-flash, stealth-plash—
splash splash splash splash splash—
across the surface of a catfish pond,
sycamore-encircled,
to rest their wings momentarily and drink
then rise again
to evanesce northwestward,
the ascending sun tincturing the skyline
burnished copper to salmon pink.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

composition for spring on the salton sea

by Ginny Short

the salton sea is silvercalm
haze rises up masking
the interface of sea and sky
a lone boat moored offshore
mirrored on a pewter surface


Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

kiwi copper raindrop
lobster duet
charcoal slug faucet

How

by Abby Park

Stepping on the mountain gave me a fresh breath of air
mother nature victoriously stood; it
Took lots of love and time
but people don’t understand the goodness rooted in the mountain
except for this one not so modern man,
It was how he loved it not why.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

bruised
     two apricots
paint the desert

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Lines

by Rp Verlaine

lone river frog
how  far must you swim
to find love?

6.10.19
6.22 a.m.
48 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Periods of heavy rain are forecast for later today; the
offices of sun and sky are transformed to overcast clouds, and the
nominal steam rising from the water drifts like a flimsy ghost
dreaming, as the polliwogs leap farther out of the water every day.

Recovery

J. Conrad Smith

The field went back wild,
sedges and grasses—foxtail barley,
bluestem, bromes, and goosegrass—
thick and teeming from the ferns
and deer tongue and the clusters of perfume
bold violet bright gold alfalfa blooms
burgeoning in the pitches and gradual crooks
that snaked down to the bulrush, cattails, and
buttonbush canopied by cottonwoods standing
escort to the waterway that at night swelled
with fireflies like cityscapes from a dark-side orbit
that spread and saturated the booming thirty acres
with a chatoyant sheet, a bioluminous fog mocking
the milky way for being so static and boring and
tame as the glittering tides formed conga lines
to recede back into the tiny creek that—unlike the
cold implements that would snatch it all back—
only ran when it rained.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Stippling Winter Starling

by J. Conrad Smith

Dancing pepper specks
live limbs shimmering
tiny black flashes
bustling gypsy universes
shifting shapes of
hundred-year giants
distracting from nude
bones hollow holding
bent charcoal veins
stumbling skyward crossing
cold melancholy canvas
dreaming daily of
Dodger blue gobs
neon moss catching
cotton tufts falling
past cherry-stem toes—
more permanent tenants
that won't just
flicker and pass

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

stallion kale noon
janitor trap
falcon turnip hop

6.7.19
9.16 a.m.
70 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Preternatural this coupling and flying, this double-decker dragonfly, from an
otherworld, spectacular, and apparently tasty – the swallows dive trying to catch them
napping where they rest, bumping reed or water, and whether dragonfly or
damselfly, everyone is moving, flying, wary, trying their best to stay alive.

In the pond

by JS Absher

the mountain​
is not a mountain ​

it is mountain with dragonfly​
with overhanging trees​

their leaves spotted yellow​
with early summer heat​

in the pond the mountain​
is a spotted leaf​

in the pond the mountain​
does not have a backside​

it is all there before us​
dragonfly and leaf ​

under the mountain the minnow ​
cannot see the mountain​

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Crow Dead in a Field

by Ray Greenblatt

Crow on a fence
his eye a knothole,
spreading wings so black
they blend with tree branches above
that rise gracefully,
his observation static
as the length of fence itself.
Crow’s caw a nail down
a sheet of metal,
catching sifted light
his gray-blues of darkness
become parts of machinery,
          long rusting like crow's blood
          matting ruffled feathers.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

ground-loving thrasher
                  stopping
           under the peach tree

Lines

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

a bloom of jellyfish when the ocean warms

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

scorpion haze knees
trapeze dash
pears mountain sand

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Pieces of Eight

by Marc Carver

We went into the tropic garden
butterflies everywhere
I put my hands out hoping one would land on me
but none did.
Then half way round a big one came down and sat on her shoulder
like a parrot
I thought it would fly off but it stayed with her all the way round.
When we got to the exit she looked at me
If we take it out there it will die I said
So eventually I got it off and it just sat on a leaf.
Of course all it wanted was to die
I see that now

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Lines

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

                                         breath of pond water
thunder   lightning flash   rain stops
                an old frog singing

Morning Glories

by Michael Estabrook

In my wife's garden at dusk bats flit above
azaleas and forsythias while below in the final
moments of twilight paper-thin pink morning glories glow

Late Spring Under Red Pines

by Marguerite María Rivas

In the Northeast Kingdom,

illuminated
by a rising gibbous moon,
the deep night-sky is swept
clean of clouds
by gusts and gales
that animated them

in the first place.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Three Photographs
Karla Linn Merrifield


From out of the Fog
Glubokaya Bay, Kamchatka Peninsula


On the Beach
Kamen Ariy Island, Bering Sea


Remains of War
Attu Island, the Aleutians

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Shadows on Moss

by Patrick Flynn

I remember these woods from a photograph of snow
around a stage; overgrown space that became forest.
Moss shadows cover the pines,
at night, as a cold shiver speaks now:
pinesap hardens each winter. Branches chill.
Leaves scatter or blow downwind; sap,
like flesh and blood once captured this band
for a magazine shoot; pages yellowing
before turning brown in a closeted room.
They live in weeks past sleeves of shelved music:
before it snowed all day, on harvest fields
outside, walking over broken branches
fallen on a bowed, mildewed stage,
performance worn in the faded pictures;
old songs and melodies snapping
like frozen ice in a field; songs fading now
as the moon crosses the night sky; shadows
and moss on one side of a tree, in light
that does not meet the snow anymore.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Land Inventory

by Janet Sunderland

The county appraiser sent a questionnaire
and a topography map, wants me to update
our family farm value, asks about changes
to acreage or productive capability of the land.

Ignore the appraiser’s flat gray map, see,
instead, the sapphire sky, white-striped
like zebras in Grandpa's National Geographic.
Airplanes flying high to Africa or China maybe.

Walk the field of milo - stacked red heads
flaming on emerald stalks. With one swift swing
of the machete, sever a sunflower’s head,
wipe sticky black resin from the blade –

The map won't show Great Simba, now rotted
to a termite's meal, won’t capture hazy afternoons
we picked gooseberries, or our clamber up
the peeling bark to ride a gray husk to India.

Legends lie hidden in the appraiser’s map—stories
held by the wind, borne by cottonwood seeds, flung
free, as we were all flung free. Memory our property.
I sign the questionnaire; affirm no changes to the land.

An Oasis in the Badlands

by Jan Wiezorek

Breeze swallows the bend
in the back along a meadow

slope where wild sorghum
blows seed foggy

unseen except
that hazy

white reaching out
in a single pan of blue,

thinning in strands
and hollows.

Hempstead Plain

by Janet M. Powers

This flat space, exposed to shifting sky,
horizon unrelieved by undulating hills,
their blue haze always comfortably there,                           
is vulnerable to ocean, more so to man.

Here, the land makes no requirements
(no place not to put a road);
parkways stripe this space flowing east,
plaid counterparts move north to south.

Walking the waste places of Long Island:
risk no hill-born child should take,                                 
except chance set her down, and dice
dictate a half-hour daily walk.

What she sees are fences, anchor chain,
to keep some people out, others in,
yet trap the rich effluvia of their lives:
bags, newsprint, plastic-lidded cups.                     

Three old pines escape man's hand
 in both the planting and the cutting,                                 
huddle next to garbage humped with
used concrete. The sign says "No Dump."

A clean trill breaks the hum of engines
purring down the six-lane avenue:
bird I've never met, gold and red
and gray, gives out a brave new song.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Two Places

by Ron Geigle

moist heat haze
Uber
then Penn Station
the mass stinking
Platform 2
dead sprint
soot life

fingernails
hard in the pine needle slope
motionless
glacier water
30 feet below
lapping
on dead fir

Sunday, June 30, 2019

A Fruit Bat

by Kat Terban

hung under
the branch

grabbed
with clawed feet

darkness folded
into wings

Ant's Prayer

by Inguna Brože

Lord Almighty called man
Please listen, if you can-
Don't step on me,
Don't crush a snail,
Don't burn us alive
We want to survive,
Don't pin a butterfly on nail,
Don't catch a bird
To hear it sing,
Don't try to clip its wings,
Don't, don't, don't...
       Amen

Pelicans

by Karla Linn Merrifield

Eight white pelicans
                        __   __   __
__     __     __     __           __

a code of beauty
we cannot crack
until the last bird dies

two more
__     __

one more
                __

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Yarrow

by Jeff Burt

The yarrow blooms
in Las Vegas neon yellow
a gaudy sign
inviting bees
to stop, to spend
a little something

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Inside Marengo Cave

by Aspen Duscha

Rocks drip from the ceiling,
Water falls upon the ground.
Blind crayfish swim with fish that cannot see,
In a pool that is in the hard floor.
Remains of ancient life remain,
The tracks of a pecarry,
The fossilized bones of pecarry and bison who died in Marengo cave,
The claw prints of bears who used to slumber in the cave.

Northern Frontier (At the Smith River)

by Felix Purat

In the farthest reaches
The redwoods begin to lose their red
Shade by shade, they shrivel to a withered grey
They beg to dissipate with striking haste
As the great nothingness of Oregon looms ahead

A warm canyon diverts the churning Smith River
From its hidden, skyward source
Doomed by a strange acceleration
The canyon of red rock steadily parts ways
The coastal climes are soon left behind.

5.15.19
7.07 a.m.
44 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Pleasant to hear the chipping sparrow in the cedar every day --
you are overfull of your own vibrant song
which lights up the coarse tree, your negligible size no matter,
you singer of singers, the branches movement
dallies when you take flight, making the still pond seem to ripple.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tinney Creek

by Anda Peterson

runs past
and under
the TJ Max
CVS, Target.
Tinney Creek
travels back and forth
from Tampa Bay
rises and falls with the tide
feeds turtles, Egrets, Muscovy ducks
who seek tiny prawns, mud crabs, bugs
in its water.
Along its  muddy bank grow
feathery Java fern
rounded Moneywort
verdant, abundant
     despite the insults of a styrofoam cup,
     a plastic bag,
as if this was still The Garden.

Here between snaking highways,
Dollar Stores
gas stations
condo buildings
Taco Bells
Hawk has built a nest atop the pole
advertising Beer and Low-Cost Cigarettes.
Mallard makes the high grass along the parking lot
her nursery.
Crow claims the power lines.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

la vie en gris

by Terrence Sykes

meandering into dusk
shadows of the seine
followed – haunted me

empty quays
compasslessly
labyrinth of narrow rue

waning moon found me tiring
so I folded the map
& sipped the last cognac

Fireflies and Yama

by Shraddhanvita Tivari

a weathered champa
falls on the ground
the skylark disappears
in the night ebony
gathering beneath the peepal
fireflies with Yama.


Vulture Ritual

by Wesley D. Sims

Buzzards congregate at dusk,
blitz a large oak tree to roost
like a bagful of black clothespins.
Morning draws them out
to perch on fence posts
around a near pasture like a village
of totems, wings spread wide
as if some mysterious ritual.
The sunshine chases away
mites that plague them.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dying in Drift

by Sam Dixon

A dark sea falls,
ceaseless in heavy curls,
drumming the beaten sand at Cape Henlopen

as a blue-black fin lifts, hangs,
fought out like a capsized hull,
bobbing wave-lip on wave-lip,
tugged in
by the stammering, convincing shore.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Prague

 by Terrence Sykes

up in the old hotel
an uncharted country
nightingale sings amongst the garden

vltava waters flow
in silent repose
night photographer waits

stagnant crepuscular air
drags that indigo sky
through naked branches

upon staved river bank
following shadowed sun
meandering to awaiting sea

Fools’ Day

by José Stelle

Green shoots split open
Last year’s constructs 
Of horse and cow:

Fine filaments,
They rise like Astroturf
Through the brown mounds.

In the new air,
Prickly with light,
Everything conspires
To break ground.

It’s official --
The Daughter of Zeus
Has made her round.

Early Morning Fog with Chickens

by Emily Strauss​

Layers of mist rise up the steep slopes, terraces
of young rice step up, bordered by muddy paths
thick morning fog plies the flooded
paddies, wooden houses on stilts with pigs

living below. Two dozen chickens roam free
under floors, on roofs, hidden in the fields
in the early morning damp but heard,
while a mother fights to comb a girl's hair

before school, breakfast of cold rice balls
with stringy meat left from dinner.
The chickens range on bugs and crumbs
ignoring people, call, cluck, strut in the fog

a distant cry in dawn's sleep through the open
windows, the dew soaking heavy cotton quilts
bamboo floors warping in the cool
mountain air as thick as the flooded fields.

Today I heard a rooster call in someone's
back yard, fenced in a city, I remembered.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Smell of Sand

by Emily Strauss

The city of Twenty Nine Palms coats
one dusty street
its sand smells like dry sun.
In winter the smell turns brittle
cactus spines blow against the lines
of broken fences bent south
under the prevailing gales
thorned by years of wind
that whitens the crying boards.

Next year at this time more fence
posts will split, the sand will pile higher
the sun will hurt more
this line in the sand defined by
old barbed wire.

There are none of O'Keefe's orange poppies here.

Will joshua trees survive another century?
Arms break off, cactus wrens abandon
old nest cavities— we can only stare.

Cold winter storms leave a thin frost
on palo verde leaves. The sand blows
harder, scraping the bark off acacia trees
down in the shallow arroyos that run
by the highway, smelling of friction
and a town on the edge.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Hawaiian Redux

by John Raffetto

If Hawaii runs backwards
into the big bang
then what is pushing the islands out?
The volcanic ash of developers,
fragrant white ginger
plowed under a metal foot.
Did the big bang
start the tour buses?

No Hawaii is
caught in a fishing net
tangled on black sand
closing on an apparition.

Desert Nights

by Heather Browne

Steam rose from tarred streets
and dinosaur breath
fogging
the desert sky

We drove under this
ancient moon
flickering wings
trapped
slapping
the howling night
and sinking sand

The Great Pacific Garbage Blob

by  Sarah Henry

Humans made the blob.
It’s plastic cells spread
wide as Mexico.

Tunas tire of leftovers.
Sharks mind the water.
A whale butts a jug.

A dark abyss is a trench
where urchins die.
An abyss opens when men

consume trash-filled fish.
Junk spreads through
their stomachs.

They become plastic.
We become plastic.
The blob comes ashore.

Life Sentences

by Alexander Garza

The longer the spill, the redder the earth gets,
And the more that we speak out, the lesser our sentence.

The same goes for lighters and smoke
And even not to bother with honor or hope

Or expectation. The slope
Seizes moisture and don’t forget

We’re mostly water anyway.
So when the tide comes, even the tiny ones,

At dawn under the sunny guise of afternoon,
Even the ones at night,

Be prepared by having breathed well,
Filling lungs and portraits

And release muscles tension tender
Into the sultry skies of the Gulf,

Somewhere between nadir and God,
Between oracle and shore.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

4.20.19
7.16 a.m.
65 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Portraits – goldfinch in the bramble, rain on the pond,
orbits of skippers and spiders walking on water,
necessity of meditations this Holy Saturday, this rain-
dampened morning blessed, cleansed by the softest steady rain.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Lines

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

plastic litter becomes the beach

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

snail lake blossom
court jester
forest branches stream

Lines

by Angele Ellis

purple velvet throats
spare us spare us
morning glory falls

Lines

by Christina Chin

deforestation
silt chokes overflowing
Rajang river

Lines

by Rp verlaine

another night
my shadow leaves me
to dance alone

Lines

by Hifsa Ashraf

curls of smoke
from the chimney
flying crows

Lines

by Veronika Zora Novak

3 a.m.
cherry blossoms hung heavy
with snow

Tanka

by Darrell Lindsey                              

sound of a flute
going deeper into dusk
along the river
we count the same firefly
over and over again

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

EQI Glacier

by Abigail Tyrrell

Lick of the iceberg.
Crystal burns to salt.
You don't need to

hide.

Bob there with the plastic.
Clash with midday sun,
body delving deeper
and deeper away from day.
(Night is colder, a frigid shelter)
Crippled kingdom;

glass castle pouring
into the sea.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Downsized

by  Ellen Chia

A case of hijacking
In nature's flight plan:
Fallen snow-garbed seraphs
Dislodged, freighted

From the
Arctic to the equator,
From the lemming-rich tundra
To a
Length = Wingspan x 5
Breath =  Wingspan x 4
Height =  Wingspan x 3
Coop of a glass tank

Bathed in neither
Night nor day,
Summer nor winter;
Where camouflage
And binocular vision
Are rendered superfluous
Against the painted
Backdrop of wintry blotches
Peering over dwarfish faux
Snow-dusted spruce trees.

On the other side
Of the glass panel,
Conveyor streams of
Gleaming patrons
Sneak at flash photography
Marvel at the pair's
Captive glory -
The snowy owls perching,
Half-squinting;
Their talons marking time
On sculpted concrete.

Mute

by Marc Carver

Everyday I wake up
born again
well almost
I tell myself this as I walk along the pilgrims path.
A woman passes with two dogs
the woman doesn't notice me but the second dog does
as I walk away he turns to me
and I stop look at him and ask him if he wants to come with  me.
His jaw starts to move as if he is talking but no words come out but he can't understand why I don't hear him
then she shouts and off he goes.

3.28.2019
8.54 p.m.
27 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Pointed tips of grass, the first to emerge this frigid spring,
origins of blades of grass in the icy water,
news that warmth will be born from the frozen darkness,
doorways opened, and the new ice and the old ice will disappear.

Animal Farm

by Ana Vidosavljevic

The fishy fish, smelly and slick,
Wriggling in your hands like a mad toy.
The fat pig, filthy and gross,
Always following the smell of food.
The naughty donkey, stubborn and stupid,
Not even once does it what you order him to do,
The bleating sheep, noisy and wooly,
They seem docile and passive, but often they disobey your commands,
The barking dog, loud and fidgety,
It can’t sit still even for a moment.
The happy canary, so yellow and clamorous.
The white rabbit, always hungry and too docile.
I wonder what it would look like not to have them and live in an apartment on the top floor of a tall building.
The peace would prevail. Persistent and boring.
The stairs and elevators would tire my legs,
And I would get fed up with all those somber tall buildings.
The noise of the city would tear my ears and I would praise my animal farm as the greatest asset.
Well, then, let me be grateful for all the filth, smells, noise, colors of my farm.
And if I forget sometimes how lucky I am, pinch me hard.
Grab a handful of mud and throw it in my face.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Crawford County Tale

by Jean Krieg

I imagine the land speaking to me, saying
bluebirds, goldfinches and monarchs now color the sky,
black raspberry vines and goldenrod carpet the earth.
In the past, farmer's cows trod over me,
trampled the prairie grasses,
and chomped on fallen, wormy apples from young trees.
Before that, maple and shagbark hickory trees
found their footing and set down roots.
Before that, the first cabin was built in the township,
then in 1843 a young man surveyed the area,
noting gently rolling terrain,
and oak, sugar, elm, ash, and lynn (basswood) trees.
Before that, troops followed Black Hawk's trail nearby.
Before that, Canadian pioneers settled in the county,
in an area first called "Popple".
Before that, native people hunted the plentiful game,
walked valleys, ridges, and ravines,
fished from nearby creeks and streams,
and drank cool spring water.
Before that, the land was forgotten by the glaciers,
retaining the rich soil, bluffs, and vital rivers
that forever has welcomed us.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

High Pressure Wild Card

by Jennifer Lagier

Rain clouds hit an atmospheric wall,
dump drizzle on Vancouver,
snow in Chicago.

Along Monterey Bay, parched chaparral
and shriveled sage concede the battle.
Storm tides slam ashore, ignorant
of faux spring, this year’s tardy winter.

Befuddled plums erupt, bare limbs
concealed within festive blossoms.
Hillsides release lupine and poppies into dry shrouds.
Wild grasses bleach blonde before our very eyes.

It’s rumor and sun glow,
a persistent high pressure ridge
rerouting downpour.

"We've gone as far as we can go"

by Abra Deering Norton

gone as far as we can go
but still we go riding 75 North
what happens when you go farther than you thought you could
what happens when you go past the road you know?
when you keep driving
into the dark
into the light
into the gray mist
when the road doesn't end
and there you are
you didn't give up
the journey found you
and so did the game
it had a surprise ending

Raptor Winds

by Philip C. Kolin

a silky maltese
weighing less than
a pile of fall leaves
runs across

the gated yard,
the freedom of air before
the guile  of winds
in a late season storm

set in; the sky not
sure what color
it will  be
how it wants to be blue

but raptor winds pounce
on the hope of calm
and turn it  biting colors
circling, blowing  leaves

away, scattering them
in harrowing directions,
the yard overtaken
with blood-red and

fearful yellow,
the backdrop for
a red-tail hawk swooping
down to carry off the dog.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Avant-Garde Writers at the End of Long Driveways

by Howie Good

Kim Kardashian has been seen texting while riding her horse along the road. The two activities inform one another. It shouldn’t happen like this. It shouldn’t happen at all. It’s 75 years after the war, and I’m still uneasy. A rhino poacher got stomped to death by an elephant and then devoured by a pride of lions. Now we want to take it further and go faster. There’s bound to be some confusion. The sun dries the ink, and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The face becomes a landscape. We’re starting the spring off wrong.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Meditations in the Garden
March 22

by Brian Glaser

The bee disappears
            into the trumpet-vine:
      forgetfulness.

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

high in the juniper
     mockingbirds
         practice

In the Hills

by Ray Greenblatt

Leftover deer stand and stare.
In the hills we wear
high leather boots in case
we kick up copperheads
sleeping off winter.
A tribe of forsythia
gathers on a hillside.
On a fence crow crouches
like  a mail pouch,
vulture spreads wings
formidable as any eagle.
Sacrilegious: tire in a field.

3.27.2019
1.21 p.m.
44 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Patent leaf rises to the surface and gets trapped in the ice,
outstretched and winter-marred like my words,
novel as amber but quicker to vanish, and the
dazzling brightness of birdsong sparkles on every branch.




Wednesday, May 1, 2019

March Equinox

by g emil reutter

Night sky weighty
super moon dim
obscured by pigskin
clouds. Incessant
rain marinates spring
bulbs, stems rise
from scruffy mulch
purple hue of crocus
rise up adjacent to
unadorned rose bush
folded stalks of
iris. Stark branches
of blueberry, lilac
burning bush
unruffled await their
turn as forsythia buds
clusters of yet bloomed
blue bells prepare for
arrival of humming
birds. All of this under
the weighty dim sky
of transition from
grim twilight of winter
to March equinox
assurance of existence
and rebirth.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Morning Sun

by Ann Kestner

lifts away
the
rain
that
fell
and
yesterday evaporates.

3.26.2019
3.33 p.m.
44 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Parchment of earliest spring days over the pond,
ordinance of the heightening sun, and the algae,
needy multiplier, doubled since yesterday, and in the
domain of flowing water the minimal ripples shimmer.

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

twilight
        caught
in the crow's throat

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Yamhill Creek

by Ed Higgins

Bisecting our farm, wild plum, willow
and black berry on either bank

blossoms. Early May evenings
chorus frogs startle the moonrise.

Diurnal coyote too yip down
the stars. Search the field for voles.

Here and there in the dark there’s a
great blue heron croaking its harsh call.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Walk

by Mark A. Murphy

Beyond father and son,
beyond belief and the taste of Simnel
dipped in tea, we pass over
the pack-horse bridge at Eastergate
where sudden waterfalls rush
across the moor. So we draw closer
in wind and sun, past the iron
gated goddess and moss covered oak
as if to reinvent the wheel of fate.
Now our earlier romanticism
gives way to a new sense of being
as the trunks of willow

continue to divide and multiply
along the bottom of the dyke
where we trip over bramble and ivy
through the last of the Easter rain.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Lines

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

each generation
changes
the river's name

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Surge Of Green

by Ed Higgins

Already past the harbinger of yellow crocus
pushing aside frost-clinging earth.

Afternoon sunlight, shafts of rising fog
pulled from the barn’s shingled roof.

The smell of warming damp earth everywhere.
Chorus frogs a cacophony at night.

The death weeds of all winter’s dry twiggy
stuff giving way to green again.

Mallards drifting between upshooting cattail.

Autumns by the Ocean

by James Croal Jackson

over dark beds of leaves
twigs and string I was full
of hope and hoping there
a remnant of vacation
a connection to the sea
perhaps the nerves
lost singing
through the night I walked
alone on sand the
dogs came barking
from the Atlantic
drenched and draped
in seaweed and I thought
of familiar love how
unbroken longing forever
intertwines in the bending
gravity of the moon

Murmuration

by Steve Straight

    “A failure to realize that a property is emergent,
     or supervenient, leads to the fallacy of division.”
      ––Issam Sinjab, astrophysicist

Two women in an old canoe
at late-winter dusk on the River Shannon,
one filming, one paddling as gradually
a matrix of dark spots roils on the horizon:
birds, starlings, by the thousands, forming
and reforming clusters of swarming shapes,
funnels and ribbons and hourglasses
folding over each other and then swirling high
in the air, still cohesive and without turbulence,
as the women laugh in awe.

It is their simultaneity that dazzles,
how a giant game of Telephone transports
the message to turn or dive with electric speed,
and as the physicists say, without the signal
degrading, in scale-free correlation,
each shift a critical transition
when they move as an intelligent cloud.

What roils them in the gloaming
as they prepare to roost, it turns out,
is usually a peregrine falcon,
the fastest animal on earth coming in low
at the edge and then shooting upward,
its blue-grey back and black head blurred
as the flock reacts as one.

These days we too sense something
coming in fast and low, coming for us
as we turn and turn in our widening gyre
of discord and tumult and strife,
and now the choice is ours.
There is safety in numbers, I suppose––
it might take her but not me––
but will we hear instead what is emerging,
or can, the greater song that says
we are but cells of a giant heart
ready to pump new blood.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

3.25.2019
1.28 p.m.
48 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Presentiments in this cold wind that winter and spring have
operated together engendering warm clouds, frigid sunniness;
nascent open water, ice like frosted-glass, milfoil unfurls from the bottom,
debauched invader, raider of oxygen and space, whorling interloper.




Sunday, April 7, 2019

Manila

by Christine Liwag Dixon

the monsoon wails through the branches
of the balete tree;
the birds have taken root on quieter limbs.

the tree trunk hums with the memory
of the divine,
its secrets melancholy and profound.

Flood

by James Croal Jackson

The longer I lived in my car
on the road aimless the more I
wanted to lose myself. Everywhere
was a mirror & the only way to go
was into the murk of past &
uncertainty of tomorrow. It was like
pedaling the gas for days in the mud.
Tires spinning, going nowhere.
The same me to greet at each
destination: The Grand Canyon.
Austin. Keystone Lake
in Oklahoma had drowned itself
in a Paul Klee watercolor. I
wanted its depths as my own.
The pole in the lake.
The pole in the trees.
My eyes in the lake.
My eyes in the sky.

Cruising
for Tony Hoagland

by Steve Straight

We’re standing on the top deck of the Apocalypse,
Prestige Level, its wastewater fouling the sea in our wake
as off in the distance the moonlit iceberg of awareness
pokes through the surface of our comprehension,
though ninety percent of it lurks below.

Ten percent is about all we can take
yet still not enough to change our ways,
not enough to link the polar bear stranded on its tiny floe
to the steak, medium-rare, on our bone china plate,

the zooplankton ingesting the molecules of plastic bag
we used yesterday to cart home the romaine lettuce
grown in the sunny concentration camp
of the Salinas Valley,

lobsters scuttling north to cooler water
as longhorned ticks bushwhack their way
into new territory, the heroes of some other story,
while we buy clothing treated with permethrin
or spray our kids with DEET
to think ourselves safe from the viruses.

Down south, the mangroves know all this,
their roots knitted together in a fiber-optic system,
collecting and sharing data from their leaves,
doing their best to excrete excess salt or store it in their tissues,
stabilizing shorelines and taming tsunamis
until it’s all too much, even for experts.

Can you hear the musicians?
The ones asked to soothe all the passengers?
Years from now they will find one of the rosewood violins,
surprisingly pristine, and exhibit it in the Museum of Civilization.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2.26.19
4.22 p.m.
27 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Knows desire without an object of desire,
All mind and violence and nothing felt.

He knows he has nothing more to think about.
Like the wind that lashes everything at once.
                                                -Wallace Stevens
                                                -Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion

after Wallace Stevens

Petulance and ego this wind that lashes everything at once,
obstructive and deep-throated, grumbling up from the hills,
nefarious creature buffeting self-portraits into the pond’s surface,
diagrams of this shape-shifting shade, all violence and nothing felt.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

"as close"

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

as close
as sweet jasmine scents
perfume each evening selfless

my love

lemures

by Alison McBain

ghosts of gidro
(in Malagasy)
a lemur by any other name
would smell as sweet
as the tamarinds eaten
while sleeping through extinction

Water Wheel

by Maureen Teresa McCarthy

Gray gulls lift and glide
Wings spread
Floating on winter winds
Easily as on water.
White against gray sky
Song silenced
They sink to earth
Where fields of winter wheat
Harvested
Are golden as the beaches
They call home.

Water birds, shore birds
Riders of the great streams
Swimmers in the endless waters
Which churn our days away
Yet hold this fragile earth
This finite place
In endless space.                               

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In the Woods We Talk What Matters

by James Croal Jackson

Ghost from rural America,
we relay atoms as body beams,

intrigued fireflies. The creek, crusted
mud at the bottoms of boots, the vines;

I see necessitudes tangled
in flashlights, reflected glasses ice,

we could not agree on politics.
We shiver the rest of the night.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

About Ten Thousand Years Old

by Sarah Henry

Lightning strikes cattle
in fields, those soft targets.
It kills them. In Sweden,
the world’s oldest tree
has always cheated death.
The spruce lives defensively.
The trunk grows longer.
The crown fattens.
The tree stands alone
in an open field, exposed
to threats from violent
weather. Attempts on its
life remain unsuccessful.

2.24.19
8.11 a.m.
25 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Pious with its mellow hissing in the trees,
onomatopoetic voice of the rain, a sound
nearly silent; more vision than sound is the rain
drumming on the melting skin of the pond.

Wind in the Dell

by Khalilah Okeke

The wind
travels   into -

weeping white clouds
finds silver-frosted skies 

waiting.

In the rusted flush of dawn
through steep-walled cliffs

rain splashes on siltstones.

Raptors rouse
in mudstone caves -

canyons peaking beyond

the bosky dells.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Slivers of Silver River

by Satvika Menon

The hum of the river
Spills into the dark green of the mountains
Petrichor plunging into the paper-thin air
The ground cracks its broken back
As carp weave swirls in the silver water

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Mission Bells for Sex

by Jake Sheff

Earth’s deficient light, devoid
of devotion. Full of loving
isotopes to fill the night. Bridge
of fire, sunlight through shy
curtains on a bed of hours.
Polymers of prayer ring. The wet
weight of entrepreneurial
white against a field of green.

Fly Agaric

by Jonathan K. Rice

the brook dawdles
over rocks and fallen limbs

pine needles blanket the trail
through the quiet forest

dark red mushrooms with white flecks
appear among the roots of trees

gift of shamans
an owl croons at dusk

12.8.18
6.17 p.m.
21 degrees

by John Stanizzi

--Yesterday the pond was frozen. 
This evening it has thawed. 
But it is 21 degrees,
so that tomorrow…
…yes, winter’s changeability has arrived…


Prodigious conversion from that which we may peer through,
opening our vision to a strangeness like Frost’s,
nuanced and misshapen, to this glazed and shifting surface,
damascene transformation more closely related to stone than to water.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Tree-Book

by Susie Gharib

Sitting between the toes of a fir-tree,
D. H. Lawrence penned his psychoanalytic theories
of states and plexus.

He could almost hear the sap,
the tree-blood,
pulsating in those round, faceless presences.

Among those silent beings of earth and air,
he began to intuit tree-worship
and wished he could be a tree
to possess root-lust and be thought-free,
a blood-conscious entity.

That haven of Lady Chatterley
was Lawrence’s own sanctuary
on whose altar he could sacrifice
his self-conscious personality
and make his intuited tree-book
the arboreal lore of centuries.

Monday, March 11, 2019

12.1.18
1.34 p.m.
41 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Proposals of clouds in an otherwise 9/11 sky;
overnight squall’s remnants resemble Queen Anne’s Lace,
nighttime blossoms in the grass.   The geometry of an island of ice is
drawn toward the middle of the pond, its shoreline thawing.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Look Up, Slowly

by M.J. Iuppa

Exhausted: the clump-drag of horse hooves striking
the pocked dirt road. Yellow dust eddies— small clouds.
Mountains rise in their encampment. The wide desert sky
palls purple and pink:

by nightfall
earth exhales
                         a cache of stars 

After the Winter Storm, the Clouds Melted into Rain

by Michael H. Brownstein

The slipshod ice of clarity,
Daylight dripping snow into pellets
Opaque and clear, off white with an essence
Of ash tree, clouds, a spirit within wind.
On the dunes, scrub brush, sand thorn,
And stacked on the piles of crusted ice,
Herring gulls each with a piece of fish
Waiting patiently for the long spray of spring.