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.