Tuesday 30 December 2008

Dots by Brad Frederiksen

Ancients gazed to heaven and detected dots
Winking points of light became connected dots

Embracing in a field of forget me nots
Devoted lovers dwell within dilated dots

The frame that sets our vision leaves a world without
Silent, unseen shadows – disconnected dots

The static on the edge requests of patriots
To trace their borders well beyond selected dots

My name does not determine who my friends are not
Nor ought my place of birth impose rejected dots

Brad Frederiksen, Sydney, Australia

Sunday 21 December 2008

Wild Wind Dance by Chris Crittenden

insistent wind
licking my window,
accosting the glass
till it shudders
from chilly frissons,

labile wind
sighing to accelerate,
plucking stars
and hurling them
into an allegro of rain,

wind moaning arias
too fierce to hear,
aerial tongues splitting
in loquacity-

trees dance to its rhythms
beyond midnight,
swaying on a carpet
of lost limbs-

the price of tarantellas,
too much mad whirling,
too much clapping for a goddess
invisible except for the spell
of her skirt.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Wintermind by Arthur Durkee

Now winter. Fallen leaves still on the walk. We stand talking in the road, kicking leafpiles to see them fly, then wander down to the river. This cruel wind. No hat on, the drizzle soaks my head, hair in my eyes, drops going down the back of my collar. Spinning red maples fall over in brash display, scuff and shatter. The sky glooms and lowers. Somewhere I lost my way.

rain turns to wet snow
ducks thrash turgid black waters—
my eyes washed by tears

When the singer died, I was in the desert. Canyons filled with light, fresh snow, sublime tender evergreens. The silence deepened by memories, now that you've gone. Then, an echo of jays. Looking up, turkey vultures circled over dry arroyos, red earth broken by snow patches. Looking down, even the chollo seemed hunched over. Will we ever play again together? Perhaps in the western lands, beyond the sea.

guitar of dead leaves
scattering gusts of music—
mute song of passing

Arthur Durkee, USA

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Wednesday by Chris Martin

Silver birch picks at cloud hems
Pulls them down over hibernating nests
The bones of a snowstorm rattle over the end of the room
My mouth is ready
To swallow the impending whiteness

Birches and dark firs
Distant faces bark-nicked loom
Reaching into the lacefall

Birch outside my mother's kitchen window
Hides the wind in its trunk
Leans and flings a net to catch the snow

My fingers touch the glass and
I take on the world's shape like a magician
Freeze-dried, forever

My mother taps me on the shoulder
Her glasses are steamed up

We turn to make Thursday's
Pea soup.

Chris Martin, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Sunday 7 December 2008

Untitled by Arthur Durkee

If you hold yourself still, the fox
will always come to you. She moves
silent through dusk, across sudden lawn,
a natural gap between bush and cliff.
She is wary, ears up, nose alert. She skips
lightly, pauses to flick her tail, then
disappears, streak of red and black.
There’s a waterfall, bitter, cold, she sips
when night pauses; a deep water seep
from between rocks that remember dinosaurs
and birth-cries of lost volcanoes, gone
before this beach, this river were here.
An owl calls, very close overhead, between
meadow and shore, moving towards beach;
fox freezes, her tail and belly low-slung to soil,
red blur blending into dusk-toned fireweed,
and waits for owl to pass. If you can shape
yourself into stone, slow-breathing juniper,
your palm cupped to hold rain, and be silent
for endless days, the fox will come to you, sip
cold water, lap your lifeline. Don’t look at her
direct, be a peripheral vision of your own self,
flicker of red and black in lung, heart, artery;
and she will come, tentative, hesitant, but
curious. Become moss, become invisible,
become as ancient as the dreams of cliffs.
If you hold yourself still, the fox will come.

Arthur Durkee, USA

Wednesday 3 December 2008

The Fox of Yellowstone by Janie Hoffman

I am impressed by this red fox
chewing on a chocolate bar wrapper
in the parking lot of Yellowstone.
He's long like a corgi but not so wide,
cute and compact, and two minivans
full of backpacks and children
also watch as the sun pulls down
the October day and we do not even think
about how we should scold the careless
tourist who left the candy wrapper because
we are more grateful than the fox
who has given up raising his eyes
to look at us. Calm, he chews
and licks and does not even squint
when we turn our headlights
and motors on and yellow rays
and untuned engines spill
into the night. We leave
him to his prize and privacy
as we need to chase down
our own food and hotels.
He never looks up and fades
away in our rear view mirrors,
dignified red banner licking
chocolate off foil.

Janie Hoffman