Sunday, 26 June 2011

Annoying Fly by Chris Crittenden

a fly like a meteor
chides my head,
orbiting the big bang
of my distress.

i nap
and its proboscis
daps on my sweat.
i complain
and it whines

like a misunderstood
whose vision is superior-
-full of sheens, prisms
and wonders--

as if it had seen god
through mandalic eyes.
found manna
on Universal Rundle.

it has zigzagged awed
and nose
dived true,
but never so dizzy
it forgets to see.

why should i be
its nemesis,
the claw in the gloom
that swipes? why must i
exist to thwart

its hallelujah?

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Elkins, NH by Terri Muuss

Black fly season peaked
in June. My brother and I
would wade up to our thighs, digging out fresh-
water clams with eager toes. Moist patches
of skin on my cheeks, I feared the
uneasy murk under my feet. In these silent
hours, we never talked
about the tiny spaces between
the wood slats of our childhood.
We were always more comfortable
with the sinking
our ankles made into rotting sediments
of lake and the buzzing
of mosquitoes circling
our heads. We’d stoop down
to catch striders and wait
for the inevitable sting.

Terri Muuss, USA

Friday, 17 June 2011

Beechbank Burn by Ross Wilson

We’d run by the burn when the burn
didn’t run at all. Stopped in summers youth,
low and still in the no flow time zone
when we had it all – warm summer light,
nights far off as the sea mouth gulping
greedy as a beer monster, our burn.

We didn’t know it crashing through bushes,
on the run across imaginary enemy-lines,
ducking behind NO DUMPING signs
people ignored to jettison their crap –
magpie-bairns salvaging scrap:
old washing machines concealed in leaves,

wheel-barrows, car seats, cupboards in trees . . .
One day we discovered old cassettes
from the fifties in bags beached by the burn –
compilations of voices recorded long before
we were born: discarded, flowing on
in the winter-gush fast-forwarding the burn –

archaic pop guddled by a new generation.
We ran against the current to an old soundtrack.

Ross Wilson, Scotland, UK

Friday, 10 June 2011

Winter Clothes by Ian Mullins

Almost summer, they say; and outside
all the evidence is in place
to confirm the diagnosis. A stale water sky,
yard dressed in confetti; and that sweet aching smell
that’ll wake me up sneezing
every day in June, driving me indoors
until the weather cools

and I can look out
on a dream so beautiful
that everyone dreams it
at exactly the same time.
Remember crossing the bridge
from school, tearing off your shirt
bombing down through the waves:
finding a hollow in the dunes
that feels more like home
than the room barricaded
with the winter things you love
when frost smokes leaves
dry as new sweaters,
and the snow posts cards
through your door.

But here you must be naked
and afraid, shot out of a dream
you only belong to
when you turn out of the office to run
someone else’s errand
and all the skies of summer are out there,
like a postcard from a land
you’ll never visit again;

and you’ll never know why
you need winter
to feel such a summer in your bones.

Ian Mullins

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Nesting by Robert Demaree

On our pond at Golden Pines
We check each day the shaded grove
Where the swans are nesting.
Shouldn’t be long, we say.
The male shares the duty,
Giving them a leg up
On other species we could name;
But then he wanders off.
Any day now, we remark.
But at the water’s edge:
Some eggs are smashed,
New ones in their place.
Still the mother patiently sits,
Reminding us of things
We wish we did not know.

Robert Demaree, NH, USA