Tuesday 6 May 2014

Swifts by Andy Barritt

     warm aether
         the swifts return
no longer fouled
     by trailing nets
         of rain, black scythes
harvest the blue
     meniscus that teeters
         like a dinner plate
between crossed eyes
     right on the nose
         stuff, these feats
of gyroscopic skill
     so hard to see
         as other than joy
when they shrill wild
     thrilling in roll and shoal
         seething in knots
suddenly falling
     in sequence
         like a dropped chain
as a hobby’s silhouette
     sharks over, too quick
         to rake the shallows
from which they spiral
     into smaller gyres
and rising
     to rest
         in falling.

Andy Barritt, East Midlands, UK

Sunday 13 April 2014

Elemancy by Chris Crittenden

obliterated by a vigor
of rain, the stubborn dust
of cities upon cities,
of gone animals and creatures,
whirled astonished
in a sibilant dance,
ripples of hallelujah
borne on its percussion.
and we could celebrate,
free of mummified fears,
from tentacles of desert
that swirled on the wind
down into our rasped throats,
believing once more
that the gods were not stagnant,
that the glisten of new rivers
carried an essential trust,
immune to auspices of privilege,
and the meanness of gates.
it seemed the land itself
had become a shiny bird
with unstoppable feathers,
branched into many and
exuberant wings, every
molecule alert, befriended,
in a great unison of flying.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Sunday 6 April 2014

Someplace for Queens by Cynthia Sidrane

If you sit long enough
On the granite boulder
At the edge of town,
Gazing into desert spaces
Between compass cactus
And owl's clover,
Baileya and brittle bush,
You might notice a few bees pausing
Over yellow creosote blossoms.
Perhaps you'll see them flit away
All at once, or each in its own time,
Etching a path only they can follow
On the low blue sky to a hive
Hidden in a lone mesquite
Where their queen sits on her throne
Combed with amber honey.

Cynthia Sidrane, Arizona, USA

Sunday 30 March 2014

In a Sculptor's Garden by David Chorlton

I walked into a bee swarm
whose buzzing made
a globe of sound
that moved through trees
and settled
in a mass against the sloping edge
where roof meets sky.
Among figures cast in time,
reclining, standing in
a dancer’s pose, or leaning
down to touch the ground,
I listened
to birdsong, wind, and whispering
grass while cottonwoods
greened by the creek
and the thousand bodies
joined a thousand more
as a cluster formed
and hung
at sunlight’s end.

David Chorlton, Phoenix, Arizona

Sunday 23 March 2014

Along the Creek by Duncan Fraser

Sun shining down from a pale blue autumn sky,
white wisps of cloud move slowly in the breeze,
grass dry and bleached by drought and summer heat.

The tree-lined creek is nearly dry,
green puddles punctuate its muddy bed,
no rain in sight, they’ll soon be gone.

Small birds are hard to find,
a rufous whistler, three grey fans, a wren,
brown thornbill busy in the leaves.

Then through the trees above the paddock,
a harrier with upswept wings sails low
and then is gone, too soon to name.

A common brown the only butterfly to see,
no dragonflies or damsels catch the eye,
their season’s drawing to a close.

Wait, movement on a trunk across the creek,
a common shutwing perches for a time,
the dragonfly of autumn has emerged.

The big zoom lens is meant for birds,
but hold it steady, focus, shoot,
the shutwing flies, its image though remains.

Duncan Fraser, Australia

Sunday 16 March 2014

Early Dawn by Mary Belardi Erickson

wing-clouds rush-in,
descend to ivy-covered bricks.
These wren choirs out-bright sunrise,
are a courtyard's Hosanna. 
Here I awake--again and again--   
to recount word-rows
in transcending measure.

I mimic slow waltz in smooth
motion, then ordinary quick-step--
my street song--
heel-and-toe to work.

Mary Belardi Erickson, Minnesota, USA

Sunday 9 March 2014

Snail Slime by Lois Read

Philosophers, knightly armour shining
ride off in search
of the Holy Grail
brimming with answers
to profound questions.

Poets modestly tiptoe
noticing things
a sparkle of dew, a butterfly wing's
shadow, cast as it flies
in the late afternoon.

Philosopher-Poets wonder
if the answers perhaps
lie in the path, in the woods, in the night
in the trail of a snail
escaping the light.

Lois Read, Connecticut, USA

Sunday 2 March 2014

Goose Feathers by Gary Every

The telephone rings late at night

and the beautiful woman I wish to be in love with

greets me with hello

making my heart go pitter patter.

Her words are punctuated by percussive raindrops

going pitter patter on the rooftop.

as she tells me excitedly she can hear a flock of geese

flying overhead.

The storm clouds are too thick

to allow the flock of migrating birds to be seen

but she holds the phone out the window

so I can hear them honking.

What is a flock of geese doing

in the middle of the desert?

What if the clouds part and reveal nothing,

but the honking continues

is there such a thing as geese ghosts?

The beautiful girl says good night

and wishes me pleasant dreams

as the rain slowly stops

and a gentle snow begins to fall

plummeting far too soft for either a pitter or a patter,

snow descending and covering the earth

in a magical blanket  

with giant flakes as big as goose feathers.

Gary Every, Arizona, USA

Sunday 19 January 2014

The View from Behind by Sr Anne Higgins

Tapestries look
like battlefields
from the back.
Threads like soldiers
in hand to hand combat -
who is most resilient?
Arms locked,elbows out,
clenched fists of knot
like small skirmishes
across the expanse.
Who is most flexible?
Stitches quarrel
in overbearing voice,
rush to trenches,
maintain positions.
Colors invade
each others' territory,
singing violent
of light.
All clamor, all struggle,
it faces the wall of faith
while the weaver
and the watcher
work from the front.

Sr Anne Higgins, Maryland, USA