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.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Madman and His Manifesto

by Chris Butler

On full auto,
whether it be
desperation for attention,
a legacy everyone
would rather forget,
mental illness
or just your everyday

types one hundred pages
of grammatical errors,
misspellings and gibberish
and posts warnings all over
sites for freedom of speech,

to prove there is
no right to life
in a classroom
with students hiding
under their desks,
waiting for the monster
and his endless ammunition
to walk down the hall
and open their door.

But there are so many
mass shooters,
no one is going to remember
the last one
because there will always be
a next one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

In the last five minutes of a storm

by Ann Chiappetta
The acrid scent of convergence
Of damp pressure
The rush and fullness of rivers
The tingle of charged atoms on skin.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Jacob's Ladder

by Ian Mullins

‘Own it,’ he says;
but if I own the job
the job owns me, and I’ve
too much to lose
to allow that to happen.

Owned men are too much
in love with their chains to feel
the stallion’s weight on their
donkey backs. They wear
their chains the same way
they wear their beer bellies;
fashioned so proudly they can’t
stand up without them.

And behind them a long chain
of owned men, every link
leading back to the man
who owns the joint,
lashing the long whip
and looking fearfully at
the little man who pulls the chain
locking him to his chair,
his boardroom, his life.

Jacob Marley, CEO;
patiently forging new links.

Sunday, May 22, 2022


by Marilyn Dancing Deer Ward

Painted sky
the faded pinks 
of plum blossoms

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Climate Change

by Ceri Marriott

A deserted tree
An empty nest
All the rest
Gone with the weather
Save one lone feather
No birds
To be heard
Just a gaping space
Which was their place

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


by Susan N Aassahde

plume spider tuxedo
cross country
bramble sleet dawn

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Chaco Canyon

by Elizabeth Hykes
Drummers pound sound down the ancient palisade
behind the busy market announcing arrival
of persons of stature bearing high quality goods
or perhaps they drum in a time of spirits.
A sun-browned hand raises the beater high
then bangs it down and the feet of all the shoppers,
of all the merchants tap, and their shoulders rise
in unison one with the sound.
Reds and golds, browns and greens of woven blankets
Brighten the breeze as we
turn our heads just enough
for air to move our hair back and kiss our ears.
We shade our eyes with our hands as we look
across the fields along the road to mysterious places
we have only heard about from travelers.
There, way off in the distance is something large, shiny,
fast, followed closely by a huge, roiling cloud.
No animal pulls the odd contraption.
As the shiny thing approaches, Sun seems to grow,
Seems to scar all-that-is with flames.
Overheated, we watch the apparition get too, too close
then slowly disappear as the signal pulse
crescendo echoes down the rocky palisades.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Spring Moon

by Deborah A. Bennett

grave stone 
over which a white moth passes -
spring moon

the thing that falls away
is myself -
spring moon

forgetting the world 
is only a drop of water -
spring moon

picture of the wind 
the grief it belongs to -
spring moon

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Basalt Princess

by Stephanie V Sears
Pacific reaches for the valley. 
In side glances        see-throughs 
in fuchsia dawns and hell fire dusks 
                                       with a latent thrust of impudence: 
outer space beckons to the sea trench. 
This once was her isle -  
with quenching guava scrub, 
manioc, taro fields, mango orchards, 
decorous breadfruit trees - 
glugging the sky   
between Capricorn and Equator. 
She opens the shadows of her house to me. 
Looks me up and down until  
I ebb into remoteness. 
Ninety years have streamlined  
her down to timelessness. 
Crowned with island rose and ivory.  
Porpoise teeth inter-woven with buds 
gleaming like mortuary relics. 
Glory still nestles in the furrows  
of her face smoked in tattoos, 
a Brueghel blue of soot and thunder 
from head to toe. 
Her voice, a blast of surf, 
a dark inclusion in a storm’s crystal. 
I can see her as then, 
draped in royal tapa,  
one splendid smooth arm 
fanning the dormant air. 
Then my own time topples 
when, suddenly clairvoyant, 
she predicts that money 
will devastate the world. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022


by Ram Chandran

morning mist
slowly gathers itself
from the lake side

Friday, May 13, 2022


by Susan N Aassahde 

bough clouds gallop
yawn foothill
canary clasp stream

Thursday, May 12, 2022


by Nancy Scott McBride

float on air
soft as gauze

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


by Deborah A. Bennett

hanging the wash at dawn -
not the grief
I expected

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Mutually Assured Destruction in a Mad World

by Chris Butler

The world can change
with the breeze
from a butterfly's
single flutter
of atomic pollen,
spreading radiating
sunflower rays
when they were first
crushed and kicked
by their fathers'
war worn boots,
now marched over again
as their sons still
duck and cover
from all of the
invisible bullets
in Chernobyl.

Monday, May 9, 2022


by Gregory Lanzo

staring into the abyss
mudskipper slips
into pond-heron’s throat

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Watermelon Snow

by Adrienne Pilon
Here are blooms, a cake frosting-pink spray of flowers
on a spring day, clustering over meadows of white.
Not an alpine meadow, and not flowers at all. Come closer,
and the icing pink goes steak red, the way blood runs
from raw meat sitting on a white plate, stabbed by
a sharp knife. How a bloody wound fans liquid out
on cotton bandages, or here, on snow, spot by spreading
spot. This is a glacier river run red: glacier blood, blood snow,
the color of defenseless ice, melting, giving up its buried
poisons. The sun so hot now, clotting out the cold,
breaking the whiteness of ice, shining for days without
cease, this shivering heat making red blooms out of hidden green.
Watermelon Snow, the words conjuring sweet, a summer confection.
A flowery appellation: chlamydomonas nivalis. The earth bleeds,
and we make beautiful names from our wretched failings.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Desert Borders

by Frank Modica

Metal flowers 30 feet tall 
bloom in the Sonoran desert.
Sharp petals and branches,
a deep patina of rust 
claw the sky.

And at night stadium lighting
like the Berlin Wall,
like the Iron Curtain
shine in the darkness, 
to protect our border crossings,
to preserve our graves, our mausoleums
while ripping through 
ancient burial grounds.

Bulldozers scape 
the landscape bare,   
to prepare the ground 
for this new monument.
Saguaro cacti lie in heaps,
stacked like corpses.

Friday, May 6, 2022


by Al Fournier
There is no mouth to form the shape
of our sorrow, the shame of our loss.
No lips but the fallen petals of remembered
childhood. No lids to blind these eyes
to storms of war and angered Earth.
We danced our energy dance, our towers
rising on the backs of enslaved brothers.
Every cell and snake and sparrow danced too,
since the first algal bloom, each harvested
their daily meal of sun, enough to move
their forms across lighted fields, scattering
seeds of other beings along their trails,
giving back their bodies to the soil.
We learned too much, mastered everything
but our own hunger. Left a hollow ache
in place of beauty. Left our children
cursing songs of praise, wringing their hands
in empty air. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022


by Alex Lanzo

floor of seaweed 
begins to swim

Wednesday, May 4, 2022


by  Geoffrey Aitken
despite its failings
it’s long been popular
to be open for business
its ongoing need for support
lost in the triumph
of economic growth
where it operates
as usual
though not without collateral
and it’s not until
the damage is obvious
do we call
our thinkers
our cleaners
and our undertakers
when we finally realise
how badly cyclic
we always let this become

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The prime minister called an election

 by Alex Hand
The prime minister called an election, six weeks later
he called and he called but not a soul shook his hand
ignored by passers-by with matured visceral disdain
Babies withdrew their puffy plump cheeks from kisses.
Nationwide indifference for the opposition leader too
with hundreds of palm card prompts but no solitary ear.
No one attended his photo-ops, or indifferently listened,
factory workers in hi vis vests gave him no background.
Election teams set up carboard booths and laptop cables,
for voters who never came, and the crosses were nought
there was no number crunching, there were no numbers;
the electorate disregarded the entire campaign entirely.
Pollsters failed to detect anything unusual in responses
predicting instead a hung parliament full of independents.
Without armbands or roadblocks citizens had rebelled,
and simply opted out, quietly emptying all the benches.
The constitution contains nothing to deal with this,
an election where no party wins or opposition loses.
Voting is compulsory and each fine remains unpaid.
At every table you hear ‘I served my country well’.

Monday, May 2, 2022


by Carl Mayfield

cooper's hawk--
       silent mouse
      learning to fly

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Signs of Spring

by Juliet Wilson

Blackbird-song at first light
when the world feels like winter.

Crocuses glow brightly
in the snow by the farmhouse wall.

Squirrels, drinking melting snow, rest
high in the old ash tree

and bluebells return to the forest
where deer are quietly grazing.

Here’s to the Gardeners

by Todd Mercer
It’s only going to hurt during our precipitous decline.
After the bombs drop, when most to all people are gone,
though we will miss seeing it, nature’s coming back.
Weeds, then trees will sprout through asphalt of unused highways.
Towers tumble sooner than they would with basic maintenance.
These monuments to human greatness were always temporary.
A countdown clock was ticking since construction finished. Rust
and wear from the elements don’t quit. They do fast demolition work,
when no one’s fighting back by laboring to borrow more years.
It won’t hurt for long if the measure’s geologic time. One thin layer
in the sandstone’s rings will stand for what we’ll suffer through.
Those alive when we are down to the last of each of everything
might feel angry at their dire fates, but they’ll be plenty busy
coping with immediate concerns. Surviving and not surviving.
Impotent grudges aimed at forbearers won’t produce a tangible reprieve,
won’t augment a shrinking food supply. The pain will pass, sure as each age ends.
After so much grief and panic, expect an extended stretch of peace,
almost as if no one passed through this living place. Almost good as new.