Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Carrion

by John Grey

The crows perch on the upper branches,
three glossy-coated undertakers
clucking how good they have it.

On the roadway below,
small mammals chance their luck,
are surprised to find they have none.

Squirrel squashed overnight,
the crows drop down for burial rites,
their beaks for pall-bearers,

stomachs for coffins.
Occasional cars interrupt the ceremony.
But these birds are not at risk from traffic.

Their radar sends them skyward
should anything approach.
Then the coast clears, the service recommences.

The crows are no choir. No mistaking them
for summer warblers. Their loud caw celebrates
a reverent feast, a glorious interment.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Grass

by Lydia Chapman

Grass among gravestones
keeping good company
to the forgotten

Just a Trim

by Darrell Petska

Cottonwood
ragged
rustling

billowing squall line
strikes

branches clash:
east-leaning, diseased lateral,
hanging stub, taken

west-facing lateral branch
pared,
weakly ascending scaffold branch
lopped

leafed twig fall
frittering down

brightening
rain patter
leaves

Lines

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

wrapped
in the colors of autumn
the river

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The crow

by Katherine Burris

The crow begins its day early
beating the pheasant’s squawk for the harsh welcoming sound of morning.
It surveys its domain.
It knows exactly what field is being harvested
on the fertile marshes preserved by 17th century Acadian dykes in Old Barns.
The garbage stops on the streets of Bible Hill are routine: College, Murdoch, Vimy, Dorset
and the Aberdeen Street School playground offers no secrets to it;
roadkill can’t be planned but human rubbish can.
The seasons’ changing weather has little effect on the crow’s timetable,
but dusk does, signalling flying time
toward a night-time perch high in the towering eastern hemlocks,
for the crow ends its day early.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Lines

by Douglas J. Lanzo

bright green grasshopper
plods along lakeshore
hoisted by an ant

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Beach Shores

by Melissa Kelly

Jones beach is empty except for
bluish grey shells along the shore
white foam from rough waves
And the seagull searching
in deserted garage cans
for sandwich scraps

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Autumn

by Rob Lowe

There is a slowness in English autumns,
A pause, an appearance, before the Fall;
Balanced withholding from sudden changes,
To slip without drama into the cold
 
Alchemical sleep of the ending year;
I smell the ways they stir on the verges –
Stubble, acorns, brambles blotched with ageing;
Webs of spiders, their coded announcements

Then the revolution: fields bare as bones;
Shock and awe of a blasting December
Consuming supply lines from November.
But that is a violence yet to become

Today is the last of summer memories,
To harking back to dry weeks in July;
Recalling fruit trees heavy with harvest,
Hung under a sky that scarcely darkened
 
August, September, times of preserving,
Their stillness invaded sinew and bone;
And everything seemed so secure then
Before the war came – wind, downpour and storm
 
Till then I exist in an in-between;
The sun inspects its columns of branches;
Footsteps of light leave imprints of shadows,
Where small lives scuttle to sheltered places
 
The rivers no longer complain “I thirst”,
But nor do they burst their banks with surfeit;
This is the moment all is forgiven,
Waiting, remembering - ordered to move?
 
That will not happen, not for a moment:
This season awaits the brown leaves applause;
Only then will it raise up the curtain –
A stage without light, a plot without cause.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Lines

by Douglas J. Lanzo

Belted Kingfisher
perched high above the lake
preens blue-feathered crown

Untitled

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

not natural or ethereal
not composed of elements
from any needy origin story
this particular Bangkok morning
revels
in luminosity
 
with the first rising sun
ritual sacrifice
skyscraper phalanxes
those high priests of profit
who are really deluded prophets
cast beloved death-waking shadows
to confess monstrous alibis
deep listening heals

for the second blinding
white flash
of nirvanic rapture
beyond tenacious reality
the alter-ego mirror
of the collective unconscious
shatters
ornate sprigs of Thai gold
that cheerfully drown in restless pajamas
of heroic separation
from any earthly body
ordeal or recovery

August Evening, Garden Valley, Idaho

by Yash Seyedbagheri

Down Sunrise Drive
sky is pale blue, pink, and tangerine orange
shadows on the road
Ponderosa pines darkened
air cooling
crickets call faintly

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Feeling the Burn, or That Which Feels Like a Bargain

by John Dorroh

Fires come in many flavors: Orange Crush
with its fluorescence fogging the bottle
from the inside out, inviting thirsty glass animals
to toss it down their parched gullets, its sugary matrix
of bedroom communities, chemicals that are hard
to pronounce; golden butternut squash with visual
connections to ash leaves on a Colorado mountain side
in mid-September; devil red, complete with obligatory
horns, its sinister smile that confuses all the normal people,
wrapping them in a hot satin cloak, pitchfork optional.

Yours is the Combination #4 with a medium drink
and fries, an upcharge for handmade onions rings
in a beer-batter crust. You know as well as me
that when you mess around with fire, you almost
always get burned.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Lines

by Douglas J. Lanzo

rain-soaked otters
slip down river banks
hunting for brook trout

Lines

by Ankit Anand

Mallard dabblers
Plunge the shallows
For freshwater shrimp

Silence

by Carol Farnsworth

After cricket’s chirps
before the sunrise
   silence

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Pride of Place

by Ankit Anand

When the Eagle has had its fill
The Caracara move in
Black vultures bide their time
Turkey vultures keep their distance

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Ecology

by Ankit Anand

Eucalyptus
Chirps
Till silence.

Waves

by Carol Farnsworth

ebb and flow
whitecapspushed by wind
erode Sleeping Bear dunes

Lines

by Susan N Aassahde

magpie crayon blimp
host cot
butterfly Gorgon spire