Sunday, 30 August 2009

Love is Natural by Steve Kissing

Even at campgrounds with lakes,
Swimming pools and hiking trails,

Some teens would still rather just sit
And stare at the tiny, lit screens

Above their thumbs, texting their
Girlfriends and boyfriends back home.

Come nighttime, though, even the most
Hardened of these kids will put down

Their phones and join in the hunt
For lightning bugs blinking in the air,

Sending text messages of sorts to
Hopeful lovers waiting in the grass.

Steve Kissing, OH, USA

Friday, 28 August 2009

After Dusk by Chris Crittenden

mauve has gone down
the long rollercoaster sprint
of a firefly's throat.
we are offered a fabric
without spectrum or prism,
dark curtains
drawn on a lavish stage.

nothing left
except hints of lost embers.
glints and glows like magic tips
of an Etch a Sketch
that never paints.

we must do the work ourselves,
filling in the canvas,
guided only by a rare
meteor scar.

what we see, all our dreams,
merely a whimsy of stardust,
clouds of fleshed glitter
kicked up by the hobos in our heads.

that's night's secret,
as if we didn't know-
we wear ourselves,
feel our own secrets,
when we button on the dark.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Summer Night by Karen S. Nowviskie

Taken by an evening chill,
I leave my sun-soaked seat,

Forsaking hummingbirds
That trouble trumpet vines

And bumblebees that startle
At their sudden rise and fall.

Conceding feeders to
The scrabbling squirrels

And serviceberries to
The reign of mockingbirds,

I force my trembling self
To pause as life,

Unshaken by the coming
Of the night,

Grows dark against
The purple evening sky.

Karen Nowviskie, West Virginia, USA

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sunset Song by Chris Crittenden

tea-leaf sky,
crushed calendulas and smeared mallows.
the sun flees this garden
like Romeo growing redder,
exiled by his blush.

we want to spread this marmalade,
like toddlers brazen and quick,
swirl with our raised finger
painting fingers,
and loose a giggle as we splatter forth
a dragon's yellow tail.

we want to bubble with laughter
that fizzes in our throats,
bloom bouquets on bright breaths,
and float with them, giddy
as dandelion puffs.

the gorgets of once-seen hawks,
embers fleeting and rare,
tint our bottomless eyes.
sunset has given us answers,
more certain than the dark.
never again these reaches to be known
as empty.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Monday, 17 August 2009

And So I Forgot Water, Too, Has Breath by Michael H Brownstein

And so I forgot water, too, has breath
and purple weeds can lift their eyes from the mud first light.
I have forgotten, too, their pattern of speech,
their bright fingers tearing the sky apart.
There is much to forget and much to remember.
and in time I will forget this also: the great Missouri
breaking the boundary, its belly pregnant,
its strength a pulse, a spread of hands--
rising, rising, rising--its fingers stretching from fist
into mud and design, debris and satisfaction.

Michael H Brownstein, Chicago, USA

Friday, 14 August 2009

Fox On Mitcham Common by Matthew Friday

Posing in his orange-brown fur,
erect ears, staring into the foreground
forked by tall iron pylons tearing
the sky open over the tiny patch of Common.

Matthew Friday, UK

Friday, 7 August 2009

Good Authority by James Brush

I always thought
they’d like death metal,
but I’ve got it on good authority
vultures prefer smooth jazz.

Ambulance rides can be rough;
vultures know this and relax.
Watching the highway, they know
everyone gets his turn.

Turkey Vultures can smell a corpse
from hundreds of feet up. Outflying
Cessnas they arrive first on the scene.

Black Vultures follow, pushing
the solitary Turkeys to the rotting edges.

The Black Vultures brag that by traveling
together they’ve learned to attack
and kill small animals: calves and possums.
Straightening their ties, they discuss
elaborate plans to go public. Someday, they claim,
they will become hawks or eagles.

The Turkey Vulture listens to this talk,
wondering if he too will evolve.

James Brush, Texas, USA

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Open Letter by Janann Dawkins

John, I hope the Jersey sun
shines on your hands. Here,
clouds stretch into oceans
of clouds, and birds melt into liquid
flight. From the east rain approaches
like a paw, snaring the weekend.

Last night, I spied your gibbous eye.

A crow as dark as my father
dropped from high, blood
blackened by a virus
from a mosquito's dirty needle.
All last week I stayed inside.

I sleep with hands horizontal.
God dresses in your voice, and it buttons
me in dreams.

Janann Dawkins, Michigan, USA