Saturday, December 31, 2022

Repairing Light

by David Chorlton
Next week the men will come
to mend the sky.
Early one morning they will pull up
in their trucks and climb
on ladders to begin
chipping away the clouds
and come back down to unload
the material for holding off
the rain. Here doesn’t feel like here
today with hours
of a misty curtain drawn
across the mountain. Soon there will be
feet on heaven’s light
and scraping to remove the darkness
that accumulates on days
like this. Expect a moment soon
to look straight up for a brief view
through eternity
and the passage into space begins
when mission control announces
it is time to follow hummingbirds
to their mystical beginnings.
It won’t be long
before each broken shingle
is replaced with a blue
so clear and startling the desert
glows beneath it.
For a few days there will be
footsteps above and the hammers
tapping down the nails
that hold earth and air together, that
when the sun goes down
turn into stars.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022


by Douglas J. Lanzo

blood moon
illumined slice
of sandstone peak


by A. J. Anwar

country road
a rare cochoa lands gently
and disappears

by Lavana Kray

Sunday, December 25, 2022


by Carl Mayfield

the child 
lights up
when the tree does

Friday, December 23, 2022

Sonnet to Poseidon

 by Anne Gruner

How do we harm thee? Let me count the ways.
We choke you with our deadly greenhouse gases,
and change your water to deadly carbonic acid.
For shellfish and corals, it is the end of days,
as warming skies set seven seas ablaze. 
Into your great expanse we discharge masses 
of waste and plastics, killing all that passes 
and forming zones of algal death in bays.

Heads bowed, we pray you make us wise,
as no denial brings us absolution
for turning our backs as steaming seas still rise.
We seek your ecological affusion
to no longer ignore the ocean's cries,
as we sail close to the winds of aquatic extinction.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


 by J.R. Solonche
The CEO of Interface,
the world’s biggest maker of commercial carpet,
has had an epiphany. 
“A spear thrust into my chest,”
he says as he was reading E. O. Wilson
on the extinction of species, who called it, “the death of birth.”
And now what?
Now this:
pull out that spear which has done its work
in the chest of the CEO of Interface,
the world’s biggest maker of commercial carpet.
Then wipe it clean
and thrust that spear into the chest of the next CEO,
and then pull it out and wipe it clean
and thrust it into the chest
of the CEO after that,
and then wipe it clean and thrust it
into the chest of the next one and the next CEO after that.
Then keep thrusting that spear.
Keep thrusting and thrusting that epiphanal spear.
Name it “The Death of Birth.”

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Holy Road

by Bruce Morton

Through shadow and light, U.S. 191 wends
As we pilgrims steer through the canyon,
Driving against current as the Gallatin 
Flows down, recrossing, cross-stitching

Together this gorgeous cleft, tempting eyes
To cheat the road—the rush of cold water
By or over House Rock bids welcome
As it froths farewell, rock cliffs spire, aglow,

Blue, dark water conjures the Mediterranean
From Spanish Creek, flowing from nowhere
To Hyde Creek, peer up at the Storm Castle,
Baptist Camp anticipates Hellroaring Creek,

On up to Greek Creek, Big Sky, where the rich
Pour their excrement and disdain into the river
Where algae blooms, a perennial bouquet, then
320 Ranch tourist buckaroos roughing it in style.

Comes Black Butte. Then, there it is, Yellowstone.
Earth fumes and bison chew on the sight of us,
Pawing the earth, enduring yet in spite of us.
It is a holy road—lean shoulders, white crosses.

Ghosts Of Fog

by Ceri Marriott

Trees and fields wrapped in fog,
Floating ghosts of other worlds
Cross the road and stop and stare.

Drought-denuded silence speaks their ill,
Limbs stiff and seeming out of joint
Half glimpsed in looming shadows.

Spectres of the present and the past,
Of an ever more disastrous future,
Lost spirits in a human world.

And the fog hangs there.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Three Polaroids
Josse Desvouges

Berries of Soløyvatnet

Clouds moving in near Tromsø

Mound near Tromsø


Wednesday, December 14, 2022


by Deborah A. Bennett

first autumn frost -
the dark under the porch
still green

but black seeds
keep on growing -
autumn dusk


 by Timothy Resau
Do not move at midnight
without the voice of desire …
remain fastened — rusted—
a lock upon a wet chain,
waiting for the leaves to come bury me.

Trees Over People

by Anne Gruner
Green and leafy, a silver maple
leans over the side of the house.
It could fall on my bedroom
as I sleep. No matter—it would be
a fitting counterblow for all slain trees.
One day a sonic boom shakes the house.
I am fine, but the roof is not.
Silver's roots, too weak to hold onto life,
have given way. Its limbs invade  the attic—
shingles slashed, gutters smashed.

I study Silver's neighbors—a copse of three, older,
taller, white oaks—verdant, fulsome, upright,
on the front of the house, and closer.
Silver's fallen image sticks in my mind's eye.
The roofer presses for a decision.
They say trees communicate and support each other,
sharing nutrients, water, and even warning—
using an underground fungal internet.
The three oaks comprise hundreds of years of life.
Together for decades, they are a family.

My temples throb with the dirge of the chain saw
as it ravages their majestic beauty,
top to bottom, piece by piece,
leaves fluttering downward,
handsome hardwood flung aside,
too many rings to count.
Perfectly healthy.
I turn away, sickened.

At last hewn to the bottoms of their trunks,
the venerable oak clan reveals its dark secret:
hollow channels of death ascending each,
unknown to me, but for the silver maple.

Together now in the empyrean,
the four stand over me once again.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Gray Wolf

 by Royal Rhodes

"Every wolf's...howl/ Raises
 from Hell a human soul."
        -- William Blake

The herders grazing massive flocks around
the Yellowstone protest the wolf's return,
claiming it is now a killing ground.
Defenders of the elk and deer in turn
revile the wolf, as if machines of death,
with glowing, demon yellow eyes at night,
the hounds of hell, with blood upon their breath,
as if some evil power made them bite.
The wolf, from whom our dogs descend,
so docile and obedient, who lick
the stingy hand that feeds them, in the end
is fear of those we torture, beat, and kick.
The darker image we adore
and knit our noxious dreams with twisted lore.


by Elizabeth Weir

Through a sunrise window,
a snapping turtle digs among
purple petunias, baggy-trousered back legs 
churning soft dirt, huge carapace 

flattening flowers, her need, urgent.
The cavity, deep enough, she drops in 
leathery eggs the size of ping-pong balls,
pedals her nest closed and leaves the sun

to do its work nursing the darkness 
summer-long in dirt’s warm womb. 
Then, one October day, a thought,
an inkling, an opening in the silence —

clawing upwards with penny-sized might,
something new and tender climbs into the light. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

daily dally

by Geoffrey Aitken 
news media tells me
of the heat
around the globe
in world leaders
and our lawmakers
whose frustrations
in defense of justice
enough almost, to start fires

The Purging
~ the conflagration of nature

by Royal Rhodes
They burn at night
the hostage land,
the brushwood bunched
on the open prairie,
committing an act
of civic arson.
Dripping torches
swung in arcs
spewing liquid
make oily ribbons
ascend like rockets
into the starred sky.
They strip the cover
from the earth, matted
with winter debris.
The inferno's agents
in yellow jumpsuits
walk no-man's land 
with terrorist gestures..
Rabbits frantic
with singed skin
dart in confused
circles, and death
licks blood
in lambent flames.
When "the world is coal,"
just contrite ashes,
and your flesh incense,
I can see only
the thirsty fire,
and the burning hot house,
the burning, the burning.


by David Josephsohn

awoke to the smell
forests burning — that’s alright
gas prices are down

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Missing Wilderness

by Jamie Seibel 
Notice the untouched stone
along a twilight shore. 
How its winding path leads
to non-human tracks. 
We must recall the touch
of flesh on stamen. 
A glimpse of wild bloom
before the gardener returns. 

Hamlet's choice

by Ceri Marriott

To eat or not to eat,
That is the question. 

No, to heat or not to heat,
That is the question.

Or rather, to eat or to heat,
That is the real question.


by Darrell Petska

That venerable philharmonic
fading forever into darkness—

nightingale’s flute
thrush’s piccolo
quail’s oboe

So long their symphonies
have raised dawn’s curtain

lark’s violin
goose’s cello
cuckoo’s clarinet

their voices now migrating
to archival recordings

woodpecker’s drumming
crane’s trumpeting
crow’s bassooning

silent stand stork and pelican
remembering lost brethren:

passenger pigeon, dusky sparrow
carolina parakeet, heath hen
ivory-billed woodpecker, great auk…

silence swelling
for the somber swan’s finale

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Benefits of Higher Education

by Gerry Sloan

The waitress brings our beer.
It shimmies in the glasses
because one table leg
is shorter than the others.
The waitress makes repartee
to sweeten her tip. Jules reminds us
he has a PhD by informing us it is
French and repartay not reparteee.
Outside the dusk slowly subsides
to darkness. Meanwhile Stan confesses
the only thing useful he learned
in graduate school was to sprinkle
salt on the coaster so his beer glass
wouldn't stick.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Call Me Aster

by Rachel Loughlin

My daughter is reinventing herself
In quarantine
She's chosen a new name
New hair
Is sewing new clothes
From old curtains

I try to honor her wishes
There are so few things in her control
By choosing to name herself
She is taking her stand
Before the yawning chasm
Of uncertainty
And saying
I am here
I am me
Everything may shift
But I remain

Tonight I've promised to dye
Her new hair bright blue
And mine red
Also newly cut
I quietly think
About changing my own name
But I do not tell her that
We will shout together
At harvest moons rising
As women always have
Tell the stories
Say their names
drop by drop
So it isn't a flood that washes her away
She does not understand yet
The long line unbroken
Of women tending each other's wounds
That holds the universe in order

She just knew
Something in her
Needed a new name 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

This is a poem about a full moon

by Joe Cottonwood
called a Hunter’s Moon 
I never saw rising because 
I live in a valley covered in fog
among redwood trees.
Each night I soak in a hot tub before bed,
each night a different phase of moon
which must rise high scaling mountainside
and then pierce the fog
which keeps the trees alive.
The fog turns to silver shafts
hovering among trees
like beams from a celestial projector.
This is a poem about a nose 
touching my elbow at the edge of the hot tub,
a black wet nose,
a raccoon cub wide-eyed with life,
handsome fur thick and glossy,
curious, electric, spirit of night.
Startled delighted I exclaim There you are!
like an idiot and the cub, scared,
so quick on its feet scampers — gone.
This is a poem about the felt, 
sometimes seen, ever there: 
the fog and full moon, 
an elbow, cub nose, 
the damp touch 
of the wild cosmos.


 by Jamie Seibel
The shore is an old man 
of sand wrinkles 
and folds.
A paper crane,  
flies north 
as I pick up
the bone of a fish,
hoping to replace mine
and swim downstream. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


by Maria DePaul

Overdue rain
Rivulets hit dust
Valley’s flash flood 


by Chen-ou Liu

horns and tire screeches 
another sunrise blackening
with wildfires 


by Nancy Scott McBride

false dawn -
early birds whisper in
the mock-orange bushes


by Kathryn Holeton
Loud crashes echo,
a tornado siren wails,
cellar doors slam shut.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Great Auk

by Simon Christiansen

The penguin but your shadow on the wall
Your egg lies crushed beneath a human boot
The world without your presence has grown small

Our actions in the past we can't recall
The world is changed for good by this pursuit
The penguin but your shadow on the wall

Atop the signs of progress, we stand tall
Towards Utopia we chart the route
The world without your presence has grown small

The trees, the stars, the beasts must be in thrall
From homes of chrome and steel we thus salute
The penguin but your shadow on the wall

From everywhere to anywhere we sprawl
The fruits of nature only our loot
The world without your presence has grown small

We do not see as we collect the haul
Our egg beneath a fast-approaching boot
The penguin but your shadow on the wall
The world without your presence has grown small

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


by Mona Bedi

billowy clouds 
a red kite struggles
to stay afloat 


by Douglas J. Lanzo

breathlessly close
mountain peak stars
fingertips off summit


by Herb Tate
bright moon 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

We Didn’t Know

 by Alexandria Lacayo
The rake rakes amid the strain of the back
metal fingers searching aimlessly, exposing.
Splinters spawn secretly beneath as payback
from the spent earth for disturbing the process.
We didn't know the disaster we'd cause
and the disaster we caused didn't know
A rustling ramble stirs crimson and coral
atop neglected bronze blades, crippled by men. 
Busy birds above prepare, choral, quarrel
while tree-dwellers dig diligently, nesting. 
Searching for a nut in the same place
A nut in the same place for searching
The rake rakes, resenting its behavior
seizing the former tree canopy's remains,
hoarding them in his teeth, a gesture, favor
to the world where he once belonged, free, complete.
Metal limbs telling me I'm trapped by you
Trapped by metal limbs, I'm you, telling me
The Hunter's Moon soon turns his head, peeking through
clouds, nimbostratus, busy, and opaque.  
His lullaby quells the thoughts turning askew
as frost blankets the earth, slumber commences. 
We didn't know the disaster we'd cause
and the disaster we caused didn't know.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022


by petro c.k.

harvest moon
the foodbank line
a bit longer


by Vandana Parashar

nip in the air
dust settles 
with me on the couch  


by Ravi Kiran

autumn moon
there is no one left
to blame

Wednesday, November 2, 2022


by Chen-ou Liu

house sparrows
flit to the empty feeder
again, sticker shock


by Douglas J. Lanzo

whirling whiskers
of spotted goatfish
sand dredging

The Heron

by Ceri Marriott

the heron stood still
in the shrunken dried up pond
as the summer sun
beat down relentlessly, wave
upon wave of searing heat

Monday, October 31, 2022


by Patricia Furstenberg

goofy ghostly grin-
still life art in orange
under October moon


by Kimberly Kuchar

Halloween moon
a scarecrow reaches
for trick-or-treaters

Throwback Treat or Treat
To the Children Invited to Build a Border Wall at Trump’s White House Halloween Party, 2019

by Joanne Durham

Dear Children,

in the sugar high of fantasy, 
tigers waving speckled stripes,
peacocks in flannel feathers 
your Mom sewed 
late into the night,
in the whirl of bats 
dancing in eerie light,
they gave you a paper brick
to build a wall. 

I’m sorry, they tricked you.
Long gone all shame, 
they called it a game, 
B is for blame, who can make
the wall high, who 
can block out the sky? 
Etch your name, lend the grace
of your loopy S or sideways d
to a tawdry wall of infamy. 

Lungs breathe, hearts beat,
but growing up means
learning almost everything:  
what’s trust, what’s hate - 
it’s tricky enough with even 
the best of guides. Leap 
for the treat of truth. Be wary
of walls, who they trap inside.

Sunday, October 30, 2022


by Katherine Simmons

coyotes run through
October moon shadows
predawn dreams

Eerie Orange of the Wild
Photography by Morgen John


Saturday, October 29, 2022


by Marcie Wessels/Margaret Walker

fried green tomatoes just enough late summer thyme
corner café blue plate special vegetable platter
magnolia scent lingering over coffee
tourists scurry by another sight to see
bourbon street zydeco two-steppin’ around the homeless
hurricane shelter under the bridge
floodgates the held-back storm urge
fat tuesday mask expansion
new year a new suit that’s a prayer
okra and rice soul food music preservation hall
white page without the black note rhythm out of time

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


by Chen-ou Liu

early leaf drop ...
from one house to another
couch surfing


by Douglas J. Lanzo

floating kelp forest
translucent hues of green
glint in eye of storm

A Norfolk Pond

by Ceri Marriott 

Lost pond, ghost pond,
Old pond, new pond.
Slimy fruited stonewort, buried in the dirt
Extant, just dormant,
Lurking, bursting into life,
Stirred into waking, only a century in the making ...
No brain, yet again
More resilient than man.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

silent prayers

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

 silent prayers
for betrayed autumns
these remaining New England trees
conceal nothing
their projected limbs
climb skies to eat sunlight
only punch air in bitter winds
scheme no species death masks
and utter the soundless Ommmm
that lets go pain
of never again released beauty--
treetops crowned the highest right
between wrong
and we
still glowing coals and embers
of dying lives
their all-seeing leaves
are miniature orange robed Buddhist monks
doused in human gasoline
to set themselves on fire
as flaming ghosts
who chant purple crimson supplications
to feed the earth
as they drip down hillsides

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


by Douglas J. Lanzo

balanced on old shipwreck
reddish egret
fades into rust


by Chen-ou Liu

gray-haired exile
the waves ebb and flow
in a conch shell 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

The Ways of Nature

 by Ceri Marriott
Shrouded in cloud, the trees stand like silent ghosts,
Guardians of this naked land,
And rain falls heavily, persistently
To the ground, soaking through the earth beneath,
Plants and grass sodden to the core.
Elsewhere a mist hovers a few feet above the ground,
A swirling whiteness swathing the early morning
So that trunks seem split in two,
With branches suspended in the air.
A sudden burst of sun diffuses through the mist
In a faint, translucent yellow,
Portent of a finer day to come.
In the hazy sun before the world begins to wake,
A deer ventures from the fields into a meadow overgrown and neglected,
Sheltered by the long grass and the dense, entangled bushes
Around the drying pond.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022


by Tom Lagasse

Parts of stone walls stand
Men’s effort to tame nature
Another god at work

The Mayhem

by Kathryn Holeton

Mayhem filled children
prancing through a field of corn
with the harvest moon.


by Ram Chandran

starlit night
the river flows
towards autumn moon

Sunday, October 9, 2022

When the Stars Come Out a Billion Miles Away

by Arthur Sadrian
It was cool the night I stole away. My naked feet 
    tiptoed over fissured asphalt, buzzing skin pressed 
between stolid cracks like how our living room 
    illuminated the slumped hillside. Here, our house is
ablaze with mercury windows and humming generators and 
    the time that brother slipped and splashed bright red paint 
across the doorstep. Here, the heartbeat is waning, 
    drowned by the gentle rustle of craning pine needles. 
I am guided by the hair upon my legs – 
    guided from uneven tarmac to moonlit grasslands to silted shores – 
guided until stupored vines outline inky carpets. 
    I feel their breathlessness: stiff like the ripple of daylight hours, 
shimmering like the reflection in my pupils,
    whispering as we unite. And now we wait.  
I watch as they float to the surface in pinpricks of effervescence 
    that fizzle with the truth of a billion mile journey.
I follow as they train their glow upwards, pay recognition 
    to forefathers that spit them into existence 
moon, after moon, after moon. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022


by Tom Lagasse

Birds chatter jazzy lines
The stream gurgles a bass line
I hum along


by Ram Chandran

the songs of rains-
not alone
in this monsoon night

Sunday, October 2, 2022

wooden knots

 by Geoffrey Aitken
news reports
global change
affects people
earlier for children
and adolescents

who we’re warned
may adopt guilt
or tenacity

a reflex response
my own memory
does not recall 
how laces were tied
only of shoes


by James Kangas
Queen Elizabeth (Mountbatten-Windsor) 
ate jam sandwiches at teatime. I need 

to go back to the park where I collected
milkweed seeds and plant them 

for the dwindling numbers of monarchs 
that fly through these parts

so they can have their equivalent of her
jammy snack, her ambrosia, and maybe

come back and turn the sky a brilliant 
orange in the next twenty years.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


by Tom Lagasse

Pine trees sway in time
a chorus of bullfrog song
The rocks meditate


by Ram Chandran

star gazing-
I remember 
mom's story for each star   

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Androids Do Fleece Sheep

 by Geoffrey Aitken
this day to day
of breathe in and out
for continuing life
is difficult to support
and more difficult to follow
with its inconsistent
walk with me prompts
by assumed authority
knowingly confident
their own success
also measures ours

Batty Attic

by Kathryn Holeton
Sleeping in sunlight,
Bats in the attic window-
hanging upside down.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


by Daipayan Nair 

the dragonfly 
on a sunflower
...till I give up 


by Chen-ou Liu

a crow
perched on the bird feeder ...
foreclosure sign


by Joshua St. Claire

black raspberries
the deer
leave some for us

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Blue Jays Aren’t Blue

by Ann Chiappetta
The phenomenon of light scattering is An artifice
Filtering and fooling the eye
Muting the spectrum except for blue
A crushed cardinal feather
Is red through and through.
But the wind cannot be fooled.


by AE Reiff
Plenty of variables above the peaks
discover cliff sheltered bays
to equivocate both eye and mind
above the tide of those
who keep their heads to plunge
Simple rectilinear, curvilinear pi
the mind sees, not the eye.
Homonyms for nouns
Emboss in holograms the sea salt thing,
down by the waterside, backs to land,
undersea curves and planes of change
five-fold crest the waves.

What arm binds the restless wave?
O hear us when we cry
For those in peril on the sea,
I wept tears from my eyes.
When the sun parched seven times
to call the whirlpool throat,
the whitened devouring world,
teeth of iron and nails of brass
devour underfoot the others slain
for those beliefs that got them there,
like pilgrims fall from grace.
In the world of water, land or oil
do not grudge that same soul wind
to blow the time to sail.
A commonwealth invades its own,
sneaking up behind 
Ossian in the grass, scales Pythagoras.

"My waters are polluted"

by Jayashabari Shankar

My waters are polluted,
All my treasures have been looted,
Plastics and trash are everywhere,
They capture my fish with a snare,
The birds and turtles mistake plastic for food,
My oceans are dying, I must conclude.
Acid rain and chemicals kill the corals,
Yet all they do is quarrel.
No fish, no ice, nothing left for the polar bears,
Yet nothing is offered but tears.
Neither is my land left untouched,
Full of landfills and chemicals, crushed,
The other planets jeer and mock me,
“Why do you harbor life? Be free like us, can’t you see?”
The same questions I asked myself,
Yet my reason I shall give shall speak for itself,
I offered a home to animals, plants, and humans too,
With hope they can make the universe better for all- me and you.

Yet when humans hurt other life and my oceans,
Sadness, anger, fear- come out all my emotions.

Each piece of litter gives a heartache.
Yet some acts I witnessed stopped the heartbreak,
Activists tried to protect me,
They pick up litter and plastic from my sea,
Others march for change,
Demanding that animals and nature be saved,
Yet what touched me the most,
Was people who picked up trash one by one, near the coast.
Even though their contributions seem small,
To me, it is the biggest of them all.

I realize that being a planet full of life is quite rough,
But having others to help makes the journey less tough,
Never doubt someone’s contribution however small,
We can save my oceans and land one by one, that's all.

Yes, this poem was written by your planet Earth,
I am alive too, and with words, I have no dearth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


by Douglas J. Lanzo

refreshing mist
remnants of thunder claps
from white-frothed sea


by Joshua St. Claire

tea ceremony
a raccoon dips an apple
in the Susquehanna


by Ceri Marriott

Chilling summer's day
The oaks have always been there
New owner prefers stumps

Sunday, September 11, 2022


by John Valentine

I an old man,
A dull head among windy spaces.
-T.S. Eliot

Sometimes quick clearings
in the night.
Palimpsest, traces trying
the language 
of illumination. A time, a moment.
Then the sudden dark
of forgetting. You are like a blind man
tapping a cane
in his memories. Alas, the armature and its
Stand up, quickly now, quickly. Here come
the voices, dry
whispers in the wind. Scarecrow, beware.
Where is the contract,
the guarantee of eternity?  

Aureate Locks

 by AE Reiff

Lost trains along the track
convey the draft in flames
from farms below the lines.
Giant cubes of steel
out-plane and form
the old world round
with one intent to burn.
Drop by drop on aureate rock
ducks in their coal-neuks discern
A double strand of long legged thrones.
Toes with feet hang down,
Turpitude grows endless
commentary where I go.
Call them bridges over mouths,
call them gates grotesque
bobbling on corded strands
one foot in vacant space.
Eagles nest on road signs there
and firefly wishes rise,
High season down high road wears
different color thoughts,
yellow hats and chartreuse scarves.
The crowd is singing, tongue in Mouth,
Throne rulers create the lords,
moon chained villages suspend below
radium pyre words.

The love-bugs

by Rongili Biswas 
Love-bugs, I call them, though they have nothing to do with love. They come in late Autumn. Hordes of them. And go round and round in circles around a source of light. They want to singe their wings, burn themselves to death, they make the buzz of their circling sound unreal.
Dark moths, I call them. Though they have nothing to do with moths. They come when evening descends. Or at nightfall. Over the shoulder of a neighbouring tree that has splayed its hands towards heaven. As if in votive offerings. Its avid religiosity clasped in a gesture of genuflection that has gone awry.
They live in dark corners in the hounding daylight. In musty leaf litters. Or, in crannies of the bark that nameless trees offer them. Almost whispering, I call them – ‘pappataci’. Though I know more than anyone else that they have nothing to do with those wilful midges. Both my whisper and the soughing of the wind are lost on them.
Their whirls seem an act of atonement, for some wrong they have never done.
I find them stricken with a grief that they do not know how to shake off. And I see grace oozing out of their tiny bodies in the gathering dusk.
I think of an unusually quiet night. A blue one like none other. ‘Over strand and field’. Over the clear sky, the transparent wind, and the forlorn shrubs. Reddened with bruises. Teeming with sighs. And blackened with immured pain.
The love-bugs, going round and round in circles,
                                        move towards eternity.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

High Force

by Andrew Collinson

Where the Tees falls off the edge
Natural cold boiling guinness
Violently tumbles between rocks
Blundering rapidly down stone blocks
Suiciding noisily off the tops
Massively more so in full spate
Filling the ancient vertical gate
Fell water & pure turbulence meet
Wet misty cream, gravitates in rough sheets
Rolling plundering, vertically thundering
Heavy constant feed, for the dark velvet pool
Calming the torrent, waves to ripples go
Deep pools distant edge, brackish flow.

Sunday, September 4, 2022


by Ram Chandran

except under a lone tree
meadow full of
morning sun

A monostitch

by Elancharan Gunasekaran 

dune upon dune sand gales grasping but never catching the hawk in flight


by Jerome Berglund 

why man invented fire
      to cook meat
Laughing Buddha

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Jackson Street Idyll

by Deborah A. Bennett

the old women's eyes bloom
like daisies fingers lift
like lashes like the caterpillar 
sliver of light against the tree's 
hollow heavy with fruit
i hide beneath the folding table
fearing i too will be changed
toes buried in lemon grass
in the sound of sirens &
dominoes their voices beside
my head like the cicadas
undressing beside the willow bark
butterflies like ghosts in the
cigarette air behind the bodega
the green stamps the subway 
tokens the weight of wings
between my fingers the 
taste of yellow apples. 

Romanian Calusarii or Man Dancing With Horses, a Pantoum

by Patricia Furstenberg

Days fall behind on this life
Even a donkey pulls the carriage with dreams
Dusty road tamed, time creased
Men dancing like horses came our way.
Even a donkey pulls the carriage with dreams
Tell-tales ribbons, walnut staffs hold meaning
Men dancing like horses came our way.
Freezing mid-air jumps the ancient tale.
Tell-tales ribbons, walnut staffs hold meaning
Festive shouts or war-cries tamed
Freezing mid-air jumps the ancient tale.
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.
Festive shouts or war-cries tamed
Sun draws shadows lost in iconography
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.
We witness life winning over death once gain
Sun draws shadows lost in iconography
Tell-tales ribbons, underfoot crumbling hells
We witness life winning over death once gain
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.

Tell-tales ribbons, underfoot crumbling hells
Perpetual cycle keeps death away.
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.
Days fall behind on this life

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Haiku 3

by Andrew Collinson

Bare gnarly oak, bank tied
boulders, white water clean
Newly torn limb, gone.


by Chen-ou Liu

street camping
alongside one stray
... then many


by Stephen A. Rozwenc

In the church of the starving
Crucified bread
Never goes stale

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

At Marineland

by Chris Daly
I was most amazed by the way the 
Attendant used the word. 
For their next behavior forky and gorky 
Will goose each other in mid air. Please 
Remain silent for this difficult behavior. 
Good behavior, forky, gorky and good 
Behavior, you folks, too.  
If they are going to capture words 
And train them to go in circles 
Why not call it Wordland?  
Good behavior, fish man repeats,  
reminding me of jail. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Birds

by Arianna DelMastro

I wake to the birds
Already singing. 
Like they haven’t seen the burning trees.
Like they didn’t watch us
Make our breakfast with their young.

They just sit
And sing.
Like the sun rises just for them.
Like the trees shot up from their seeds
Just to cradle them, gently.

Even the caged birds,
With clipped wings
And rugged beaks,
String together melodies
(Even if they’re elegies).

I watch them through my window
While my coffee gets cold.
They dance through the sky
Like the air around them
Isn’t poison. 

They bathe in the oil that we’ve spilled,
Preen their feathers with pollutants.

And still they sit, and still they sing,
Like the day isn’t really breaking.
My little sister calls them “morning doves.”
It seems no one wants to acknowledge
The “you” in their mourning. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Monsoon Asks

by David Chorlton
How thirsty is the mountain?
A hummingbird suspended in rain
looks in through the window.
Does it consider life’s meaning or just live it?
Summer is progressing with the end-
of-season sales selling off surplus.
Would it help the Polar bears
if we returned everything we bought?
Whose fault was the Industrial Revolution?
Will we need umbrellas today?
What is the sound of sunlight falling?
Why else would a buzzard appear
near Forty-eighth Street if not
to symbolize the natural world?
The four peaks sixty miles away
seem to be moving this way.
Are people prepared for them to reach us
and do they know why glaciers disappear?
Will there be enough cigarettes
for the journey to Hell? Does the route
cross the river  that flows north
from the border. Can the Border Patrol
arrest a river with no papers?
What nationality is a jaguar?
Today the trucks come by to pick up
recycling: how much of it will reach
its intended destination? Should we have
addressed it? Now there’s lightning
running down a lizard’s back
on the backyard wall. If he keeps going
he’ll be climbing moonlight soon;
another day and he’ll be crawling
through the stars.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Full Moon Over Big Sur

 by Timothy Resau
The pine branches
in the fog—
The moon across
the window.
The moon
in the fog
across the branch.


 by C.X. Turner

a buzzard
circling slower
than clouds


by Katherine E Winnick

pleasure rain
the pink moon rests
- nights edge

Wednesday, August 10, 2022


by AE Reiff
This is what the sages wrote
When new age Eras tore the coasts
to remyth ships of Homer out
when Delphi emptied Greece that month
of dark sea trade of masks and tusks 
and all its whales to Prouts Neck made
ecstatic over rock and ledge
the Mareotic piscine lake.
Mystics hid in slabby mists
the hillside brush that emptied Greece
and marched to the golden age.
Harbor captains bent to slump
their water jar swift governments.
Behemoth lept and Leviathan,
chief magistrate to found a state,
made new oaths repatriate.


by Sean Monett

This episode of 
The Harmless Mistakes show
Is brought to you by
Crushing Regret
And produced by
The Traumatic
Memories Group

Promotional consideration
Provided by "Probable
Future Deterioration" and
The Sorrow of Premature
Disillusionment Company,
(A division of Broken
Childhoods, International.)

Without more ado,
It's time for another
Unappealing Reflection
With your host
Scant Motivation
And musical guests
Those Who Are
Avoiding You.

This week, our panel will
Discuss the downhill
Course of human history.
Plus, a friend of the show,
Chef Tedious Routine, will
Teach us all how to make a
Tedious poutine from
Only your unused ambitions.

We have Dr. Unearned Confidence here
With tips on enduring the endless pain. 
Later, we'll play a game of
"Ignore That Disaster"
With our studio audience, 
And stay tuned, because you
Could win a life-threatening
Atrocity of your very own.

The views expressed by
Our guests do not represent
The views or policies of the 
Traumatic Memories Group
Or its parent corporation, 
Selfish Gratification Entertainment.
This program was formatted
To fit a smaller worldview. 

Harmless Mistakes
Is a program narrated by
The Voice of Reason
Theme song performed by
Spiral Depression and the
Unrealistic Expectations
Special thanks to
Past Indiscretions, LLC

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Summer Holidays

by Lynn White

We all holidayed in Britain
when I was a child
and no one swam in the seas.
The water was empty beyond it’s edge
even on the warmest of days.
Parents sat in deckchairs closely packed
wearing overcoats for the wind
and a newspaper hat in case of sun.
Paddling was as adventurous as it got.
Nothing wetter was allowed,
nothing wetter was desired
in that cold, cold water.

Affluence and climate change
changed our traditions.
It was the costas for us now
in clothes purpose made 
for playing splash,
for warm water swimming
and stretching out to sunbathe
on closely packed sun loungers.

Then we’re back in Britain.
Sent home by fear
of infection and contamination
carefully keeping our distance
from each other
as we scurry to British beaches
only to be sent home again
as travelling was not allowed
nor was paddling 
even though the sea is warm,
nor was sunbathing,
or beach games
on the warm sands.

Soon we’ll really feel the heat.
We won’t go anywhere then.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022


by AE Reiff
You can be unspeakable every day
and question breathing back.
Beginning to be winter folk
began to untangle rope
like water from their feet and swim
downstream where human forms array
to walk an hour before dark had come
when countdown starts and wisdom
in the ears glides shapes of brazen sea.
Plunging wave amnestic hearts
diverted in the midst of blindness knew
the most dangerous work was coming next.
The prophet fool and spirit mad
Orange Sea of rock mesh nets,
internet hemlock farms engulfed
potential melee, swallowed riots,
to slide into the sea of fever pitch
ready, salvationists as well,
leucoplasts in Hummers:  
all administrants to personnel!
Photo cells turned red lights on.
The sun stabbed arms in a purple gown.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sonnet to the Fifty-One Senators Who Voted
Against the Women’s Health Protection Act

by Joanne Durham 
I don’t have a personal story 
to pull at your heartstrings.    Never
bled sterile from a coat hanger.    Never
carried a child inside my body 

minus a mouth or a windpipe, knowing 
they would die within days strangled 
on their own breath. Was young and naive
but never paid the price. In America, we elect

you for your adorable puppy and three smiling 
children, spaced apart like their perfectly 
braced teeth. Then you abort 
compassion  --   your heartstrings broken. 

Our shared story is watching five deemed
Supreme smirk us back to the Dark Ages.

A Rat is a Rat is a Rat is a Rat

by Leticia Priebe Rocha
on a lilly boat 400 years ago the genocide rat
fucks and fucks breeds star-spangled rat
nips at chained feet spawns white hooded rat
burns crosses runs for office elephant red rat
tears into black and brown bodies blue rat
gnaws only a tad more politely after all a rat
is a rat is a rat is a rat

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Elementary School Die-In

by Lara Dolphin

a fearsome sinner with nothing to lose
she set about righting the wilderness 
one cause at a time
starting with permissive gun laws
kids were easy to organize
they had phones
social media accounts
and zero fucks left to give
the first Friday in June
the last day of school for many
and Gun Violence Awareness Day
they readied for action 
walkers arrived first, 
then drop offs
then bus riders
assembling in front of schools
teams of fourth graders
helped position students on sidewalks
while art students traced outlines
in white chalk
fifth graders draped 
bloodied bandages 
across bodies 
backpacks, and lunch boxes
the yearbook staff shot video
while drama students 
led choreographed 
death throes and wails
all creation broke out
in a FOXP2 miracle
as a choir of the living chanted
Protect kids, not guns!
then homeroom bell rang
kids arose
gathered their belongings
and headed to class
she would continue 
to protest to contend to fight
wrestling God in the kingdom on earth
until her name was no longer woman
no longer Isha, but Israel 

Seed Fall Beneath the Redwoods

by Kevin Maus

Sun without boundary meeting the enormity of the trees; a driving downpour of light. In the cradle near the cool mud heart. Situated in view of a miracle, I find myself attendant. Thank God. The treetops rain with redwood seeds; with dust rising in warm rolls of wind. Enormity taking place before the prayer of inconsequence: counting its beads. Here at the bottom, where light fills up; feeling floating in it; moved around in it, by it. Twilight calm in stupefying effusion, one that is brighter than reason. Overcoming.

Can one take it as an assurance? Yes.

Ineradicable, irreducible. Days still come: poor preachers come, proselytizing forgetting, and the self that is selves among selves among selves, making likenesses likenesses likenesses; and the certainty obscures—yet is no less Absolute; no less everlasting. Just not fully realized...until the old preachers come no more, and the world becomes a paradigm of prayer and forgetting is set free, and worship becomes a mode of mind free of all mirror element (free of all I). Where one sees forever: the seeds falling.

Sunday, July 24, 2022


by Leticia Priebe Rocha

In the song Cálice, infamously censored by the U.S. backed Brazilian military dictatorship, Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento express the need to launch an inhuman scream because it is the only way to be heard. 
This is, of course, roughly translated. Translated roughly, of course, like human beings across ocean and desert, landing where
searching for life becomes criminal alien
ravaging lives turns into removal proceedings
children in cages shift to minor detainees
concentration camps metamorphose to detention centers,
all blending together, blending with thousands of other translations that maintain this stolen land, blending into our daily lives, blending into your mind, ultimately begging a single question:
Are 11 million screams enough? 
*Shut up


by Robin Dellabough
A river of grief has evaporated:
red birds fly low over the empty bed.
Mothers rest on pillows of moss,
hum a morning song to remember
the ancient river rhythm.
Children, now waterfree and fearless, clamber
banks exploding in drifts of liatris, blazing star.
Fathers dry pan for golden minutes,
abiding in transformation, the wreath of days.
The mystery isn’t how this happened.
The mystery is how we forgot.

Friday, July 22, 2022


by Douglas J. Lanzo

gust of lake wind
the diving osprey tucks
a moment early


by Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo

dark clouds again
into the sky
i fall


 by Ram Chandran

drip drip
from the edge of a mango leaf -

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Dakota Territory

by Sharon Hilberer

In a land-locked county
in southern Minnesota
seagulls flicker up
from stubble fields.
           So much whiteness.

Bonneville at Night

by Kevin Maus

Clean night silence offered like an eternal search, a wonder of white, thought as clean as bone laid bare. Calling.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

On Dreams

by Leticia Priebe Rocha

From the ages of two until seven, every night
Mamãe would read me a story about streets lined
with gold. I’d scrunch my forehead in concentration
and eagerly drink up every last word. She’d promise:
“We will be in the story too, when we learn English.”
I couldn’t wait to live in the land of dreams.
Two years later we got on a plane, chasing the dreams.
Eight hours is a long flight but I slept through the night,
and for the first time, I dreamt in English.
When we arrived in the dream land, the streets were lined
with tar. The houses were unfenced though, a promise
of safety. Mamãe told me to concentrate
on school. That was the only way. So I concentrated
on being the best. Giving and giving, their dream
guest, never taking. Mamãe stopped promising
the story would be ours. At night
we’d kneel in silent prayer, candles lined
up, shadows stark in our empty home. We knew English,
knew it so well we even prayed in English.
It wasn’t enough. No amount of concentration
nor prayer was enough for the law. The line
was too long, long before us. I was the perfect dreamer
but my dreams turned from gold to tar. Nights
turned again and again and again, promises
expired from higher up. No, empty. My promise
dwindling. Twelve years. Perfect English,
perfect comprehension of what unfolds in daylight.
Human beings held prisoners in large concentrations
for desperately seeking a meticulously packaged dream.
Children ripped from kin at their borderline,
how long before they are carted into a more sinister line?
Babies forced to take care of other babies, promising
better days they cannot see. No use in dreams,
they were shattered when English
became a vessel for building walls in high concentrations.
The children see an entire country that sleeps at night -
would you lie in bed if it was your child, English
speaking? What promises would you break in a concentration
camp? What dreams of yours would die in the land of nightmares?


by Lara Dolphin

brutish, hungry, unsuspecting 
you helicopter from your superyacht
in Marina di Carrara to my quarter  
we talk of scorched fields and bombed buildings
while I prepare the meal
twisting cords of dough beneath my palms
otto e mezzo plays in the parlor
the table is set, the meal is ready– 
a bottle of wine to chug 
as you shovel forkfuls of pasta
thickly sauced with shavings of Parmesan
followed by salad drenched in balsamic vinegar– 
vapor lock, spasm of the airway
I hope you choke 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Crows Cry Bloody Murder

by Sharon Hilberer
know why
they mob up like this.
In winter, Minneapolis 
watches them stream in. They know things that we just don’t know.
of corvids
send out an alarm.
All night they shivered in the trees;
are they screaming to heaven that it’s TOO FREAKIN’ COLD!?
currents: Disturbance
everywhere. Interpret tremors,
taste atmosphere, survey far horizons for danger.
They’re agitated!
Full-throated caws. Caw! Caw!! Caw!!! CAW!!!!
Urgent birds. It’s a Hitchcock thing, and we’re surrounded!
jagged cries
shatter closed windows
with sharp shards of raucous ranting:
Rouse yourselves now, people—the planet is on fire!


by Chen-ou Liu

one climate promise
after another, another ...
gathering storm

Monday, July 11, 2022


by Tiffany Mackay

blackberry flowers—
a bumble bee sways over
slanting sunlight

Sunday, July 10, 2022


by AE Reiff

Passes for exiles in industry,
exits unguarded above and below, 
clapboards large and abandoned,
dream yards of roof covered rows,
shacks and warehouse unsecured,
posters under the stars,

vagrants and migrants, gypsies, tenants,
homeless squatters, blacksmiths, artists.
The house never finished,
catwalks, rickety, dangerous
where pieces crock together and cram,
crowds mill shoulder to shoulder to pass,
name tags missing where we encamp.

Anyone returning will know
this place in the beat that is so,
expatriates advance
slow motion from a camp
where wolves blotch purple eyes
and rumors rife as the numbers swell
to escape before the border is closed.

At Last A Valley

 by Lara Dolphin

When you cannot go on
you descend through fog 
to the mountain’s base

turn left at the blinking yellow 
then cross the bridge
toward the rebuilt barn 

along shoulderless roads
where cattle graze above
on terraced slopes

past willows and horses
solar panels, alfalfa 
and the sinkhole filled five winters back

hand-drawn signs 
point to homes
where lives lay on tables

you mean to look 
but small bills fly
to cash register nests

old games, picture frames
fishing rods, a box of jackets, a mug
fill your trunk

and the long, cold night
of your soul 
escapes toward the dawn  

Friday, July 8, 2022


by Nancy Scott McBride

first light -
spider webs sparkling
in the fallow field


by Carl Mayfield 

spring winds finished--
       too late
           for the lilac


by Carol Farnsworth

fog rises
after hail's pelting
ghostly heat


by Tiffany Mackay

watching the heron
watching the fish

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Horseshoe Crabs Fabliau
~ a Cape Cod Ecology

by Royal Rhodes

Knobby carpets formed by Horseshoe crabs
are mounds along the shore in Monomoy.
Banks of sand are held in place by grass
where waves have scoured tesserae of glass
and in the shallows herons hunt for dabs.

Some crabs have flipped and made a tempting meal
for hungry gulls, those gluttons of the beach.
I hang an empty shell upon my wall.
A scent of brine adheres as I recall
the spot I saw a shark and rolling seal.

Red Knots have flocked to taste this bright blue blood
that doctors drain to use to test for toxins.
Each season's transformations are a race
in molting, sliding from their carapace --
many times -- emerging from the mud.

The Darkness

by David Chorlton

Mockingbirds never tire
of singing; their voices sparkle in the small
hours when silence
wears their song as jewelry.
Is anyone awake?
                               Can anybody hear
the sound tomorrow’s news
makes as it hurries down the city streets
asleep at the wheel? The twenty-four hour
convenience stores are chilled
to the bone, as cold
                                     as the hummingbirds
conserving energy in their state of torpor
until the sky cracks
                                    open and
a light shines through it to reveal
every secret that survived the night,
from the officer’s notes to
the nighthawks
                              with no language
but their wings to say
how graciously the darkness
embraced them in their flight.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Watching 17 Seconds of Bus Cam Video
~For my son, Adam Vespoli, who was shot by police on March 12, 2022.

by Susan Vespoli
Two tiny birds screech from a branch, 
shoot through air, divebomb like fighter
planes. They’re after a hawk that soars
part killer, part king, spreads wings, tucks

talons to chest and I ingest that cop’s face,
his piss caught on bus cam, his dark-ice eyes,
close-cropped black beard, slack lips; then
the slim shape of my son, the cop’s gun 

and I turn it off, return in my mind to the hawk,
who hustles off, chased by the mocking-
birds who zip like bullets, like courage 
squawk backtalk, defend eggs, protect nest

and I want to channel them, scream and flail,
send hawk who shot my unarmed homeless son to jail.

Author's Note: Police rousted a group of sleeping unsheltered individuals from a tunnel in Phoenix on March 11, 2022, my son among them. My son who questioned the police’s right to cite them for sleeping was thrown to the ground and charged with a felony of resisting arrest. When he was released from a night in jail, he boarded a city bus to stay warm, then ordered off the bus for sleeping by a cop who minutes later shot him. https://susanvespoli.com/

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


by Kulbir Saran 
crawl the tunnel  
through the belly 
chase the beacon  
when it eats 
at the mouth  
can scrape the tongue 
for morsels, mountains  
thin as sheets 
behind the teeth  
of purple sky 
a star is born  
but started burning 
somewhere on  
the other side 

Street Video

 by Royal Rhodes

These stories almost escaped
from order into dizzying chaos,
with linear cartoon-like panels
in the rows of tenement floors,
letting us glimpse the dramas
inside, without subtitles to read.
The lens took in the flaking paint,
acid-yellow wall-paper strips,
and a woman gazing out at us,
squinting through a bruised eye.
The action moved along from here
to there, inventing a melodrama
of gunshots and alley dumpsters
But we also had seen in the street
the image from a pin-hole camera
a homeless man had documented
from when he was living rough
a block from the stately capitol
where legislators reiterated claims
that no veterans ever slept on grates.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

One AM

 by David Chorlton
The North Star blows smoke
from the tip of a revolver. It’s one AM
and the sky has grown restless.
The desert lies down to sleep
while the heat of the day
soaks in to rocks. Over and beyond
the mountain city lights illuminate
strip mall after strip mall, at one of which
a party ended just
as an owl chose the moment
to sweep darkness and a mouse
aside with its silent wings. It is
a wonderful mystery the way
thirst turns into life
when coyotes thread their way
along night’s stony paths. And asked
what happened, people
told reporters  It was like emptying
a bucket of stars into a crowd.


by Roberta Beach Jacobson

under the shadows

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

can’t see you can’t see me

by Kulbir Saran 

cotton crotchet draped  
atop adorned mahogany 
figurative passive shield 
where crumb and callus dwell 
beneath, a misfit jigsaw 
plywood plate mosaic, gaped  
and taped and glued and  
screwed haphazard 
from above, only seems  
a rumble every now and then  
press these splintered lips  
raw against the dampened roof  

Revelation Will Best Unfold

by M. G. Michael
Near the huge clock, in Piata Romana,  
The old man they see him, all of them, day and night. 
He sits with episcopal dignity as if on a throne. 
Alone. Like a word. 
One afternoon he reaches into his sack coat 
And pulls out a small evergreen. 
With outstretched hands he offers it to a little child 
She, alone, notices that from the wrist up, 
His arms are covered in thick white down. 
They both beam. The old man remembered things 
The little child delighted in her imagination. 
Revelation will best unfold between the cracks  
Like light, which pours through the tight spaces of rocks. 
The others in their multitude, all of them, day and night, 
Notice. Nothing.  

Sunday, June 19, 2022


by Carrie Albert

Crows loop above, free to steer
their own lines. The hill pulls 
evergreens downward; branches descend
in long strands of earth-mother hair.
A leaf-slippery path leads 
to a gathering of plastic tents, curtained  
with tattered blanket insulation, mini-domes 
blend into vines, roped to trees, 
root-cling might hold them. 
No one is home or everyone hibernates 
inside, rich with time, and winter poor. 
The closed doors flaps. Signs: 
garbage bagged and scattered, 
wheelchair-in-waiting, one pink slipper. 
A hula hoop hangs on limb,
empty dream catcher.

How To Write A Sentence

by Cielo Jones 

Choose a subject:
the geese at the curb,
the bucket beaters on the street islands,
the cart pushers, the corner sitters,
or the fancy car driver who just sped by.

Choose a predicate:  
cross the streets in single file,
stop traffic with bodacious beats,  
holding up placards, one-sentence life stories
  break my heart,
honks horn at the car in front,
he stops for the geese, or taken by the drummers.

For more complicated sentences, add clauses:  
people should be allowed to hunt the birds,
healthy choice since they’re in the wild,  
What wild? This is the city, for crying out loud. 
No hunting here! 

round up the nuisance, the traffic hazards, find a meadow, 
but this is their meadow we occupied
it’s of no use you know - they’ll be back here, 
they always are.
gather up the unfortunates, find a shelter, a job, a care
or put them in jail, charge them for disturbing the peace,
the fastest way to save them from freezing
find solid solutions or they’ll be back here, they usually do.

ticket the driver for disturbing the peace
charge him  for his impatience, his flamboyance.

Cross your t’s and dot your i’s.  
The geese are there in their wild.
So we leave them be, and that should be.
But the drummer,  the man on the corner,
their predicaments I can’t fathom.
I can’t meet their eyes, I hold no remedies, 
but I should not leave them be, that should not be.
and the fancy car driver?         
He’s a bystander, he’ll go another route next time.

Finally, punctuate. End the sentence but don’t kill it. 
Question mark for all the queries:
How did they get here?
What is tomorrow for their growing population?
Why did they lose their homes?
Where else can they go?
When did it all begin, when does it end?
Who, if not I, can help?

Exclamation point:
the annoyance for these city poopers,
the warnings to choose another path, 
they’ll get run over!
the anger and frustrations,
(because) I want to bring them home
shout it out over the muscle engine.

Period, to close the door.
Complacency or surrender.
No more arguments. 
Your sentence ends here. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


by Douglas J. Lanzo

black on green
silhouette of fruit bat
hanging from banana leaf

The Sweep
Photography by Carrie Albert

Monday, June 13, 2022


by Katherine E Winnick 

drenched beneath
raining rice paper


by Chen-ou Liu

with a twist to his mouth ...
cicadas droning


by Joshua St. Claire

trash bag
in the elm
my son sees a ghost


by Jan MacRae

Americans think
this is the best country:
box stores and strip malls.
Garden gnomes posed peeing.
Near the aisle selling
pistols, row after row
of dog toys.
No Eurasian Jays here
in the states, birds
pinkish with brilliant blue
front of the wings.
“Skraak-shraak” is their voice,
along with mimicry,
including vultures.  I would 
like to be able to imitate 
a vulture here in America,
where the living are often faced 
with dead around us,
in the faces of that family posing
with their automatic weapons 
around the Christmas tree.
The meth freaks begging 
for change,  for change,
not the coins 
someone gives them outside 
of the farmer’s market.
Sandyhook didn’t happen,
says the conservative talk show host.
I listen like a vulture
ready to rend flesh.
I am violent too, believing 
a thousand words
are worth a picture.
I am definitely
my country’s progeny, 
my bright plumage as
necessary as camouflage
as I line up on the other side.

Sunday, June 12, 2022


by Deborah A. Bennett

night of falling leaves -
a thousand names at once
become the wind


by B. L. Bruce

inland lagoon
gull prints in wet sand
lead east

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Scarcity In the Neighborhood
for Michael

by Ellen Woods
 I see you as I walk from my apartment near
Temescal Alley   shops that make up 
what has become home to you for years
you lie on the sidewalk next to Shoe 
Palace   gazing up   wrapped in a blue sleeping bag   
your shoes   beside you   worn   untied 
your hands rest on your chest    fingers beat out rhythm
as if playing saxophone   lost in revery 
lined face sunburned by years outside belies your age
do you have family?   case manager who gives
you meds?   SSI check?   bed at a shelter?
board and care you leave to come here?
you crawl out of the sleep sack   stand up   stretch
lift a grey hoody to your chest   struggle to put your arms and 
head through openings   repeat with sweater 
you make eye contact with me as I get in my car
I hold the connection    fight the urge to look down
you sway   shadow-box   demons deride you
mutter about the devil   pull out a joint   
light   inhale   pace back and forth
wriggle back in your blue bag   bury your head 
people pass by    leave unsolicited offerings   dollar bills   
pizza   piece of cheesecake   blanket   pillow 
can’t bear your scarcity   afraid of our own
weeks in December you were gone     neighbors
left coats   hats    scarfs   even shoes in your spot
despairing   helpless   fearing your fate
you came back New Year’s Day   dressed in fitted brown
slacks    a pressed shirt   shiny brown leather shoes
clean hair cut short   sat at outdoor café    sipping a drink
I said hello   you nodded   looked away   tapped your fingers
you were   compliant   medicated   functioning   
within the week you return   barefoot   claim your site on the sidewalk

Chicken Sandwich

 by Fern G. Z. Carr
Tarragon-seasoned chicken breast
between grilled apple rings,
melted mozzarella and crisp arugula
on lightly toasted focaccia
secured by a long, rounded toothpick
crowned with red foil loops
in an embossed Styrofoam container –
gourmet takeout.
A haggard soul taps the driver's-side window
of a stopped car;
right arm amputated at the elbow,
left hand missing three fingers,
tap, tap, tapping and beg, beg, begging
for spare change
when dulcet words sing from the sidewalk –
"Excuse me, would you like a sandwich?”
Body twitches and spins around,
victim of the street – cruel dominatrix.
Startled eyes inch forward;
he snatches the feast
between his stump and remaining digits
and devours it.
A quavering voice behind a long-lost smile
whispers, "Thank you".
Another quavering voice whispers,
“You’re welcome.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2022


by B. L. Bruce

great-horned owl
heard but not seen


by Deborah A. Bennett

i would have to tell you
in another language -
white cranes at dawn 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

When the Movement Becomes Corporate

by Chris Butler

Black lives matter,
except to those who pay
Walmart's child slaves
pennies a day
to stitch the same
three letters
on flags, t-shirts, baseball caps
and pandemic masks,
because every traffic stop
that ends in murder
results in a fiery riot,
meaning another thousand units 
will be sold for a profit.

Sunday, June 5, 2022


by Ram Chandran

like ballet dancers
swim the school of fish...
fishing rod in vain

needy wants

by Geoffrey Aitken

a reminder says my case manager
i placed want above need
authority requested i adjust my behaviour
gamely i procure
my ridiculously slim lotto chance
bus ride general impotence
to unpack my loneliness
i save arguments from my pension
tuck them away
purchase ammunition
for my handgun
i clean and oil it’s engraved butt
‘i need to be a superhero’

River and Willow

by Peter Mladinic
I’ve come back to the weeping willow on the river bend,
to what was here before I was born.
I’ve brought no water.
For this river is the source of all water, though its brown.
The willow across the river,
the source of all green, makes me think of its opposite:
a crushed Pepsi can
on a cement stump in a parking lot behind a theater
one early night in March,
an image that stays with me here on the riverbank,
though I’ve long forgotten images on the theater screen
that night.
I took a black and white of the willow.
By the time I saw the crushed can on the cement stump
I’d lost the tree’s image,
which encompassed woods behind it, and river,
the part where the river curved, and back above it.
I’ve come back from a walk along a busy road,
which reminds me of a walk along a runway, uphill,
a runway for small planes,
on the hilltop an adobe house built by a pilot
in whose plane I flew,
years after seeing the crushed can on the cement stump
close to a brick wall that night, years ago.

Friday, June 3, 2022

On the Appalachian Trail
Zenobia Calhoun



by Christina Chin

Cape Rachado
low flying oriental honey 
buzzards northbound

Accents Spoken Here

by David Chorlton
Can you spot an accent flying past?
When a word is spoken
with a jagged edge,
or a sentence takes wing
in the French manner
is it polite
to ask Where are you from?
Changing countries is very much
like undressing in Mexico
and crossing over naked
before covering oneself up
in the language spoken here.
Where does the border run between
curiosity and being rude
when an agent for La Migra listens
from inside every syllable?
The lady at the register
asks Did you find all you vere looking for?
and her life story hangs
on a single consonant, but she’s happy
to say I am Russian, I am Czech, I am
from Poland
, and sometimes a smile
rocks back and forth on
her immigrant face. But for others
a sentence is a tunnel
through which to crawl to get away,
to begin underground, part
the soil, climb
up into the light
and continue the journey far,
far away, until
all that remains of a homeland
are the scratches it has made
on every word now spoken.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

8:50 P.M.

by Jeff Burt

Below a dead cottonwood
snapped in two by lightning
thirty feet up, wind-stirred
preened owl feathers flutter,
lift, loft, drift like ash
from a campfire. Hungry owlets
already own the darkening.


 by Ann Chiappetta

The slough
The stew
The rings of the tree
The trinity
Taking a knee
Apathy falls into
the tarred fangs  
of night.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Sunday, May 29, 2022


by Ian Mullins

They carve two days of fat
from the seven-day sirloin
and say here, they’re yours,
cook them how you like: but why
do they consume the other five?
Are they children I send off
to school so I can keep
the others alive? Monday’s child

is no less beautiful that Sunday’s;
but there she troops, down into
the work-face. I surrender her sisters
to teach them the life-lesson that crowns,
like bullets, are randomly aimed
at random heads, but who demands
I teach them such lessons?

No one but the puppet master
at the heart of the world, telling us
the strings are only there to keep us
tall and straight, so we can look on
with pride as he separates our children
into dreamers, drudges or dregs.