Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Patterned Ground

by Pepper Trail

Even on this flattest ground
The buried giant of water
will not rest
Flexes his shoulder against
The old enemy, earth
Breaks free rocks
Makes circles of stones
In spring, fills brief, clear pools
Once again, speaks to the sky

Meanwhile in the Wild Places

by Jonti Marks

Meanwhile,
In the wild places –
Beyond the houses and the supermarkets
And the industrial parks,
Where the fumes and plumes
Of diesel and steam
Infect the high clear sky;
Where the noise and incessant clatter
And chatter
Shatter the calm;
Beyond the foolish vanity
And trumperies of fad and fashion;
Far from the fear of the sound of boots
That march in the night –
A gust of wind stirs the purple heather
And the tall grasses bend beneath
Seed-heavy heads.
Under dark clouds and approaching rain
The peaks of distant mountains
Rise in ash and beech.

Turn Off the Lights

by Khalilah Okeke

Over there

the Black Sea is a jellyfish

shipwrecks pile on shores
building boneyards

moonlight wanes through
a sooty stratosphere

Earth recedes into her bellows.

We crowd in dim-lit houses
porches sodden with ocean water

shaken streets scatter.

Over here

we plant broad-leaved-palm-lilies
in summer

eat backyard crops by candlelight
whiz through city lanes by bike

peg laundry on the washing line.

Our heart chakras
are solar panels -

breathing in the sun
unfurling flowers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Serious Business

by Kate Rose

It’s difficult to wear the sun.
The crow knows.
I haven’t tasted your tiramisu.
Footnotes fade.
The engine hasn’t started
its pouting south –
ocean’s open mouth.

A destination like desire, or destiny –
an old, old place always new.

We must be who we are.

Only the sandy strand knows
how to vanish.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A small pagoda monkey considers

by Devon Balwit

a feather, lighter than his lightest
leaping, barbules able to lift
a body beyond peaks, higher
than any stone-throwing boy.
The monkey curves the shed shaft
in his palms and dreams himself
above squabble and scavenge,
the light lazing gradations
of knuckle and vane, silvering
the Buddha eyes of his stupa.

Moonrise

by Lorraine Caputo

Over the silhouette mountain
        the light of
                the full moon
shines, stars fading in
        her brilliance

She crests the summit
        a perfect white orb etched
                with distant valleys & seas

& this sea, a silhouette
        crested by the
                evening breeze
under a deep sky
        etched with stars

Utility

by Amy Soricelli

There is a correct way to use the sun
and you must find this in the early moments before
your mind gets filled up with everything the sun is not.
There is a science for the things that are filled by hollow stories
and pie shells.
The crawl across the earth in a maddening rush of love
can be explained with numbers, maps,
and mushrooms forced from the earth and then cleared softly with a brush.
There is a correct way to use the planets and the barks from trees.
Words are not dirt they do not trail across the footprint
of your life.
There is a correct way to use the air and nothing but the edge of the universe
can hear the soundless sounds in every blade of grass.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Transit

Kate Rose

I packed up my deities
in market luggage.
Please don’t ask me to
pour them out.
We only know our own indias.
Our turbaned servants are not the same.
On my shoulder.
Bells. Hawks brushing back.
Brushing back.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Devil Winds

by Tamara Madison

Before shopping malls
before golf courses
before paved roads
covered the sloping dunes,

winds like these lifted sand
into the air
and it took days
to settle,
left the desert sky
to make
a week-long shift from grey
to taupe, then tan, then beige,
before drifting back
to blue.

When those winds tossed your hair
it was not a caress, but a reminder:

they could bring standsting to the eye,
pitt a windshield to uselessness,
rip a roof from a building.

Here along the coast,
winds like these
fly in from the desert
bringing flames,
smoke,
flying ash.

When these winds toss your hair,
it is not a caress;
it’s an omen.

Simple Fare

by Phil Huffy

Late morning, in a calm July.
High in his tree of terror,
Upper Togue’s bald eagle
assesses his luncheon prospects.

He was a young bird once,
sometimes wasting time and fight
on adult loons, raucous and combative,
diving to safety as he swooped.

Better, he knew, to raid a nest
or skim a baby duck or two,
not that he’d lost speed to age
or ability to wintry challenge.

Better, he’d learned,  to find weak prey,
to hunt the slow and helpless,
sick or dying, small or confused
and save his own energy.

And if luck or skill or patience waned,
as sometimes happened,
the agile raptor could spot the already dead,
and chasing off other diners, then partake.

Autumn

by James Aitchison

The heat of summer bleeds
         from the sky.
Golden sunrises.
Orange afternoons.
Fiery sunsets.
Summer writes itself
         on the leaves,
Then tumbles onto the grass,
Tossed by the wind,
Claimed by the long, long winter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Between Breaths

by David Sullivan

Bees above the village of Liugong’s
last remaining mosque weigh down
each flower. Qilian junipers whisper-
rub each other. Clouds veil mountains
then lift, revealing rain-polished greens.

The spider restrings the line I broke,
crooked back leg tests tension.
The mushroom crop thrusts
up through night’s dark soil—
blind fingers of the dead.

What we survive pricks us alive.
Pause between breaths. Listen.
From its high branch a jackdaw
caterwauls, then flies.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Painted Canyon

by Tamara Madison

Earthquakes built this place.
The earth shivered, heaved,
spewed its juices over
the mounds that its suffering
created. Sharp hills
wear these remains
in shades of pink, brown,
rust. Gravel roads lead
through close canyons,
fissures pull hikers
onto sandy pathways;
seen from these the sky
is a thin blue ribbon.
All around the mountains lie
in pleats and folds, each sand-
and rock-studded layer
leans heavy on the next.
Once vertical, now they pitch
toward two o’clock:
smashed together
like a people oppressed,
cheek upon cheek in the silent
moon-bright desert night.

Kererū dawn

by K.V. Martins

with a whoosh of wings
you spread the seeds of kahikatea
            rimu and nikau

metallic cream-green glimpses
in a forest of shining leaves
            where the korimako chimes

they call you kukupa and kuku -
            native wood pigeon.

Sixteen Shades of Gray

by Wesley D. Sims

Daylight tiptoes in,
uncovers the silent cove
revealing a nuanced
morning scene,
sixteen shades of gray,
the silvery lake,
its satin smooth skin,
inviting someone
to break its sealed surface,
awaken to its sensuality,
tremble in its wet embrace.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

White

by Ed Jones

New Year has arrived white.  No snow.
Just the brilliance of sun on beech and clapboard,
The freckles of leaves against lawns gone somber,
A smear of cirrus, the shafts of slant rays
That stripe my room.  How all things

Any other day would just be cold, shorn, naked,
But today arrive not antiseptic or pure
Or gossamer light or blinding.  Just something
You can work with when the ground stays hard
Against your boots and you want warmer gloves.

Like this page, a welcome mat for arranged darkness,
The shadows of beeches thrown down among
Last year’s leavings.
Like a welder, you avert your eyes
And the bead of light leaves a whole thing.

It’s just the white has washed smooth across
A whole field of grass and you’re left
Knowing how it would be to walk, light
As a silken skein of milkweed
Up this trail just beyond the hill’s curve
Where it climbs up into the fleecy sky.

Alpine Grandeur
KJ Hannah Greenberg