Sunday 31 May 2009

Spring Breezes by Mary Belardi Erickson

My son flies his kite in the pasture
while I jump from bog hump to hump
chasing the tail of the flying paper shape.
Wind the string in; reel it out--
releasing the triangular bird
into layers of breeze.
I show him about playing the wind--
dancing our feet, fingering a lofty tug
from the upwardly dashing kite.

There's no cutting the line
when a child flies a kite--
no letting go.
He has me help in the chase.
I run back with the stay,
preventing the kite's dive down to earth.
I show my son how the working of line,
the playing with draft
is a fine use of higher spaces.

Mary Belardi Erickson, Minnesota, USA

Friday 29 May 2009

Denis in Space by Tom Rendell

Denis, has gone for a year out, in Space.
Skating skywards purple boots, heels click kicking high,
A celestial shout heckles the planets, white teeth dazzle stardust,
Parents – dentists, oh so proud of their satellite son.
It’s party time in the galaxy, crystal phantoms chatter by,
Mine sweep green goblets of Beetle Juice, and off,
Soul screaming, wild – eyed,
To run rings around Saturn.

Tom Rendell, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Sunday 24 May 2009

A Hole in the Sky by William Doreski

A hole in the sky where gravity
doesn’t apply. Small objects
flick into the ether beyond.

Outdoors at the Japanese restaurant
by the falls we notice plastic
tableware and dishes of sauce

rise and disappear. The waiter,
when we ask where the objects go,
prefers to speak no English.

Metal tableware and our plates
remain but look uneasy,
and your hair stands up like a ruff.

Still, the squat red candles blaze,
the sushi arrives and remains here
long enough for us to eat it.

We enjoy the sizzle of water
over the falls, play of floodlights
on the flecks of vegetable foam and twigs

breaking their backs
on the rocks below. The waiter
glances up at that hole and smiles.

Some of the other diners move
indoors, unhappy with the tug
of the heavens. Despite the fluff

of your hairdo, we’re inclined
to sit all night and hope the hole
gathers strength enough to grab us.

We don’t know how far we’d rise,
but none of the ascended objects has fallen,
and we’d like to share

a close-up of planets rolling
like great ball bearings, starlight
warm against our awkward smiles.

William Doreski, NH, USA

Wednesday 20 May 2009

gravity is not your friend by Sierra Jasmine Skinner

clusters of cold human faces
set into frowning, crackled molds
are hovering like marionettes on invisible wire
over the sky-painted streets.

the bus stops are filled with smoke,
magician's disappearing acts
which leave only ashes
and transparent ghosts of words on flaking benches.

the sour taste of cold metal keys
at the back of everybody's throats;
the spark of dying bulbs as they flicker
like dim signals of distress over oil-steeped water.

girls in plaid and steel observe the stars
melting into dawn like mints under their own tongues,
raise their arms longer than sentences,
shorter than silence,
until they could be waving aside the gray
coiling clouds like golden giants,
wanting to feel that moisture against their fingertips,
to feel it snaking down thin white wrists,
serpentine and acidic.

Sierra Jasmine Skinner, Newfoundland, Canada

Sunday 17 May 2009

Passadumkeag by Chris Crittenden

i drift like a birch canoe
sewn of strips of my skin.
each artery a stolen name:

there are deer in my chest,
and a few bear; but there should be wolves
and pumas too.
we live in a world
where paws hardly sprint
and streetlamps slaughter.

our bright minds ride wires,
but part of me refuses to budge.
i don't want a son
with chips in his nape.

some of us will not cross over
into that place
where raindrops fall on screens.
we choose real wind.
natural leaves over the virtual.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Saturday 9 May 2009

Oh, To Never See Cortez Again by Bill Graffius

Clouds are crashing
against the jagged mountain skyline.
Ice on the wind rattles the blackjack pine
and the forest sings with a susurrant waving of boughs.

Puffed white against cobalt blue
cumulonimbus underbellies stretch darkly
with the promise of snow.
The mountain receives them, impaling and holding them
until the vellum of mist rips
spilling the gift of moisture onto the cold dry rocks.

A mile below in the valley
rain is tapping on fogged windows.
The gently pinging litany of the drizzle
is the prayer of hope for Spring flowers.

It is this cycle that engorges each wash
with rock crushing water
cascading into shallow streams
swelling finally into the green river
that once ran to the Sea of Cortez.

But the sea no longer tastes the snowmelt.
Red canyons are drowned behind concrete dams.
Now the moisture is scattered helplessly into the air
above the thirsty creosote and sajuaro plain
by fountains, stale artificial lakes,
swimming pools
and golf course greens.

Still, the clouds return from the Pacific
and the cycle begins anew each season
despite this broken spoke in the wheel.
And a river that searches for the Sea of Cortez
rushes to a pointless death in Phoenix, Arizona,
never to rise from the ashes again.

Bill Graffius, Oregon, USA

Wednesday 6 May 2009

A Texas Highway in Springtime by James Brush

The soaring hawks who patrolled this highway
through the winter watched as wildflowers grew.
As if the sky were napping on the earth,
the fields in spring explode in deepest blue.

Fields mirror sky and fill with the shadows
of hawks and vultures flying through flowers.
Bipedal hairless apes swarm through the fields,
teeth bared, pointing rectangles at each other.

In just a few more weeks, the bluebonnets
will wither and be swallowed by the grass.
Then the soaring hawks will get their fields back
as, ignoring green, the apes just drive on past.

James Brush, Texas, USA