Thursday, October 29, 2020

Lines

by Christina Chin

whirling 
drift wood red with silt
plum rain season

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Scavenge

by Anita Sullivan

The Anna's hummingbird sitting on the willow twig
makes a private, smug little sound
like gargling zippers. She is taking a break
from her hourly scan of the few remaining
Salvia microphyla blossoms, the October
holdouts. The usual summer spats are
largely gone, the birds finally able to honor
the social distancing their protocol demands,
but high energies cannot tolerate.

Poke! Poke! goes the black-scimitar beak
in what must be a version of scraping
the pudding from the bottom of the bowl.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Minnows in a Tide Pool

by Howie Good
 
They’re what happens
when flickers of flame
can survive in water

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Lines

by Veronika Zora Novak

crouching feral cat
the swaying glow 
of pampas grass 

September Night, Garden Valley, Idaho

by Yash Seyedbagheri
 
Up Sunrise Drive,
Ponderosa pines line the road
black shadows
a nearly full moon is in the sky
pine needles sprinkled across the road
crickets and frogs call
air is crisp

Lines

by  Rp verlaine

lightning storm
wearing black better
than night

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

japanese inn

by I.W.B.S. Sister Lou Ella Hickman

wind
   blowing seaward

the door opens
   i stand
watching the wind

tomorrow
   my son will die
the door closes
my bath is ready

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Up in the Hills

by Ray Greenblatt

they are listening,
in the growing season
the speckled light
is part of their covering . . .

in winter woods
they can see distances,
mist from their breathing
cloaks them . . .

their history has been a long one
hart, roe, hind . . 

Breathing

by Rachel Lee

Saturday evening, orange-gold light slants
through the palm grove, glazes across the clearing.
Here, the rose-ringed parakeets fly as if breathing—
in circles, they rise, fall, rise again. The air thrums
with their shrieks.

Ancient history

by Shannon Cuthbert
 
Birthed in a time of drought and flame,
a cacophony of gypsy moths with mouths like our own.
Later we’ll find it hard to describe their buttermilk stench,
their sponge wings spouting ink.
So young, language claws loose.
We run through the slash of branches on skin.
Caterpillars moist emerge from our lips.
A simple trick: the apple applied to the swelling bruise
becomes the poison you most crave. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Conservation of Angular Momentum

by Virginia Aronson

Consider the turning of the sun
and staring up
waiting for fever, questioning
blinding reflections
as a double
consciousness.

Consider loose deer bobbing
through thick pine, white 
tails flashing
in the moonlight
knowing, brilliant
wisdom you can't acquire
online, in video chats.

Between the next star
and here, or here
between the sun-dried skulls
of the wild animals among us
there is just one burning
question:
how does it feel to be
the problem?


Consider the naked empire
built on an enriched soil
of darkness and lies
the carriers
vulnerable to the invisible:
pass down the bucket.

Consider this too: what if
the world is stunned
into silence.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The fig and the wasp

by Stephen Lang

Desperate, she burrows into soft flesh-
Shedding her subtle, ethereal wings
That sped her on this single flight-
The clandestine bloom obliging,
Towards the pulpy pouch, wherein
She’ll disgorge her treasured eggs and die.
Her brood will mate and fly the fig,
The females on their final flight,
Pregnant and, unknowing, tagged
With sticky, figgy sex-dust,
To proliferate perpetual fruit
That feeds the needful forest from
The generous parasite, keystone strangler,
Hollow-latticed, steep cathedral,
From which Hathor herself evolves,
To welcome home each weary soul. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Endangered Frisco Clover

by Lynne Goldsmith

You’re hanging on with taproot intact,
reddish-purple blooms, shallow ground
among pinion, juniper, sagebrush
spread out, gravel making room
for “invasive” plants to settle
with joining the heavy dust
to pare down seedbanks,
pollination viability,
in these your few areas                                   
of Utah wilderness for growth,
your only home
among miners eroding the earth,
removing the soils,
digging for gold.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The water drops

by Dmitry Blizniuk
 
The brief rain is over, but it has glazed the world,
and a crow fools around trying to catch
water drops falling from the roof,
like fish falling from the sky.
He is so happy;
he jumps away,
puffs his chest, ruffles his feathers emotionally,
then attacks the drops again.
And the drops have already pecked
holes in the dirt
in the shape of a future flute.

(translated from the original Russian by Sergey Gerasimov)

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Drought

by Pamela Nocerino
 
Riverside dirt 
was the bed
in more generous weather.
Now, smooth gravel and unnatural debris
tuck the edges of barely-there banks
and cracked, ash-dusted surfaces
make haunting patterns
of parched 
parched
need.

Full Moon, With Stars

by GTimothy Gordon
 
The full moon rises, pauses,
takes its place among all              
midsummer stars not known
for color, shape, size,
overwrought pride,
full moon, with stars,
the kind of night thing,
above all, we wish ever
with us, in a dark time,
never not be new.

Shingles

by Arriama Matlock-Abdullah 

Shag wood hickory
Bark jetting away from the tree trunk
Suspended in mid air  

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Alive

by Darrell Petska

gray squirrel

measured steps forward
hold
side flip left
hold
side flip right
millisecond hold
dart toward fence post
wheel/dart back
hold
hold
right roll twice

red cardinal alights
left glance
right glance

gone

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Awakening

by Shayan Kothari (high school writer)

Splayed wings of a kingfisher 
make seldom appearance 
above city embers.
The sky slumbers, finally.
Flapping softens, 
evaporation into holograms, 
cotton-woven cumulus
dissolving into night's 
marmalade.
Spangled skies illuminated alas.
From a distant silo 
whelm the undulating
tears of Western Scheldt. 
Its dace rejoice,
for estuarial squalling
behold the return of
kingfisher.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Brotherhood

by Lynne Goldsmith

No brewer’s blackbird in the lavender
but a brotherhood of cowbirds’ oratorio of feasting
on a stump with seeds and cracked corn
celebration as they raise their backs and heads,
puff out breasts, spread their tails, lift their wings,
and bow 
again     and again     and again.

Harvest

by Elise Woods

Ripping wheat from fields
Deer abundant til winter
Harvest will provide

Haibun

by Darrell Petska

Craggy burr oaks blot a waning moon. In the savanna, cricket songs cease. A screech owl somewhere among the stars has the final say. Weighty silence engulfs space, stills time, swallows a lone firefly’s blink. A foot, a hoof, disturb the woodland brome. They meld into night.   

  eight glinting moons
  snared by the dark branches—
  possum family

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Lines

by Pawel Markiewicz

autumnal buckrams
the last roses sobbing of
flowering seasons

White Body of a Woman
for Madeline

by Rabbi Steven Lebow
 
Blossom of pure light, 
white body of a woman on a stem. 
without you, the world will not slough off its snow, 
nor the night fill up with dew. 
 
Pools of dark water, 
dark history of the petals of the eyes, 
that fell beneath the hand of winter. 
beneath the cold eye of the moon. 
 
You ask me not to write about your body 
and your modesty increases my desire. 
I sow the myth and reap the metaphor, 
white flower in the dark earth of the soul. 
 
Without you, the world cannot blow the candles out, 
nor the night lay down its head. 
You paralyze the stamen of the heart, 
white flower of the woman in the moon.