Sunday 28 August 2011

Ocean Alone by Allan Peterson

Wasps are hunting under leaves
for the late sleepers
Every glitter is a sound below hearing
or we would go deaf from the ocean alone
aspens and cottonwoods
or the little crossed wires slicing wind
beside the horses

Allan Peterson, USA

Friday 26 August 2011

Pond in Deep Summer by J S Watts

Where the fish lie at pond bottom
Deep in the darkest shadows of mud stroked green
The end of this year’s summer waits
Not to be enticed by the orange darts
Of almost too late love.
Time belongs to him now
So he can take his time
Squatting in the black and olive slumbers
Until the ghost beat of goose wings
Draws him out.

J S Watts, UK

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Townie by Melissa Harrison

National Trust houses, cows, huge open fields:
The countryside is not present in these.
Rather, it is the brief, warm smell of rain on earth,
The dank, warm taint beneath the riotous grass,
The bare blue chick dead and drying on the path.

The earwigs always in the fencepost-holes
And sycamore-copters that spin down in dizzy lines:
These are the secret things that ‘country’ means.
The scuff of beech mast under rare feet, and the low
Content notes of the wood-pigeon that drift

Above long-shadowed summer air, sifted and sweet
With the haze of distant smoke, and a gentle heat…
Later, the tea-time frost that silvers drifting leaves
So summer’s swelter seems an old amnesia;
These things are the countryside’s lazy treasure.

It’s not the framed, uncomprehending space
Beyond the Intercity’s rain-blown window glass;
Nor is it the cloud-chased wold carved through by car
En route to somewhere easier to picture. No,
It is both more secret than these things, and richer.

It is the simple benediction an evening hedgehog brings
Shambling a myopic trail through dew-veiled grass;
The chain of tiny beads a bramble leaves on skin…
These country things I have given up remembering.

Melissa Harrison, UK

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Having Gone West by Jessie Carty

It is a landscape I don’t recognize.
If it wasn’t for the heat, I’d think

of winter, of when things die back
because the vegetation here

rises into spikes, reminding me
of leaf empty trees.

Even the red dirt of the cliffs
could be the Piedmont.

Except here, nothing moves
and the occasional

flower on a cactus is a surprise.
I read somewhere

that bats pollinate in desert climates.
I try to picture that

but the image is too dry, too
thin, until I see it,

the shape of the bats wing
in the unlined rock.

Jessie Carty

Sunday 7 August 2011

Cloudlonely by Susan S Keiser

bookslept, she's
late and soon,
she's sung out,
too waterworded,
still lochlost,
reading a word's
worth in a night;

gnawing the paper
behind the words;
sordid boon--
a wasted power,
laying waste
the words,
the lakeworth
words. the ones
she reads,
the tarn-ished
words, the
stillworth knowing.

Susan S Keiser, USA