Sunday 30 December 2012

Snowy Owl by Lisa Pellegrini

Amber pools buried in white plumage,
slits of fire whose warmth
escapes the world's notice,
blink with the grace of a
butterfly in flight.
Talons curled over scaly branches
prepare for their daily dream.
Invisible dancers skip across feathers,
creating miniature fans like
the fins of tropical fish.
He rotates his head toward the blue.
The branch shakes as he departs.
He is a floating sheet of paper,
adrift on a hammock of air,
weightless in a world that
gasps in wonderment one minute
and forgets the next.

 Lisa Pellegrini, USA

Saturday 22 December 2012

A Frame of Snowflakes by A J Huffman

falls in perfect form
                                 ation.  10
for difficulty (this is not their usual
locale).  We watch in wonder as
the weaklings waiver, gather,
cluster across the sand.  Stoically,
they stay
white for only the breath
of a moment before the rising
wind and warming temperatures
return them, in original form, to the waves.

A J Huffman, Florida, USA

Monday 17 December 2012

Midnight Robin by Maureen Weldon

While the sky shimmers like shot silk,
chimneypots a toothy smile,
I count the pots, 1 2 3 4 5.

On my kitchen table, sheets and sheets
of screwed up poems,
 I will flatten them tomorrow
for shopping lists.

While perfumed smells of hyacinths
bring memories of my mother:
‘they make lovely Christmas presents’
she would say, as she potted and tended …

The evening moves along
as evenings do…
 The moon a half golden bracelet.
The sky cluttered with stars.

All is still, no cars, no trains.
And in this stillness,
the midnight robin sings.

Maureen Weldon, North Wales, UK

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Nesting by Paul de Vito

The light filtered lightly through
the window, she was sitting on the sill
waiting for the wind to stop blowing,
it was spring and she was building
her nest in the tree next to my house,
the wind gusted and the window
blew open, in she flew suddenly,
around and around the room,
looking for a place to settle,
finally she spotted my pipe
by my reading chair and swooped
down to dig some tobacco
from the bowl, then up again,
around in flight and out the window
again to her nest in the tree.

Paul de Vito, New York, USA 

editor's note: this poem really caught my eye as I had just recently read about birds using cigarette butts in their nests, you can read more about it here.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

untitled by Arthur Durkee

raven floats in morning wind
above a sea of grass

howling wind outside my door
begging to get in
long night terrors, fury's call
gone in morning light
linger still behind rough clouds
moving fast and tight

raven silent in the sky
all sound drowned in wind

picture mountains gray and dun
bare tree on the ridge
piebald sun and shadow cloud
red side-wall canyons iced
picture groaning pines bent down
giving birth to wind

Arthur Durkee, USA

Thursday 29 November 2012

Gone for Winter by Cynthia Sidrane

Walking by the waterless
Flood control tunnel
This early evening in fall
There's no evidence of the
Mexican free-tailed bats
And their nightly mass-exit
Out the gaping concrete mouth
Into the traffic of insects
And the beetled hours
Except a vast emptiness
Heaving from their summer roost
Exhaling dank guano
Into the stillness of desert twilight.

Cynthia Sidrane, Arizona, USA

Saturday 24 November 2012

Solar by Chris Crittenden

a rut of light
locks horns with pines

to loose
mercurial rills of gold,

gold licked and snatched
by manic leaves,

dribbling down
to vulgar shanties of decay.

even the swarth
of the filth that is death

luxuriates and swells,
guzzling the gift

sown from an infernal perch,

through unthinkable cold,

that gilds sapphire,
impregnates green and crystals,

gold to stir
incarnadine cores.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Saturday 17 November 2012

Dawnsingers by Richard Krepski

Predawn May morn (waking beside you),
I was drawn by an ecstasy of birdsong
To gaze at the glow on the Eastern horizon
And learn the cause of the planet's turning.
It is not gears meshed with Ptolemy's spheres,
Nor Newton's choreography of gravity;
It is the call of birds--
A forcefield of sound at the edge of dawn
Circles the globe like a wave
Engages the sun and torques the earth along.

Then we were part of the song,
But now sounds November's bleak noise.
Lovers and dawnsingers disappear,
Withdraw their crescendoing joys.
The darkness palls, the cold stars stall,
This utter night could stay,
Unless we the remnant all gather and call
To mate our meridian with a new day.

Richard Krepski,  PA, USA

Sunday 4 November 2012

Outsider by Ian C Smith

Our cat wants to join us where the fire draws.
Hind legs stretched on the step in frosty air
he reaches the doorknob with his fore paws.
But for want of thumbs he’d be in my chair.
Trying to turn the brass he’s as bold as
he cries plaintively (from our point of view)
which we ignore, admiring his pizzazz
from the swelled head of evolution’s queue.
He hones unsheathed claws on carpeted stairs
and although we concede animal rights
springing on bench tops and moulting mog hairs
means he’s shut out even on freezing nights.
If we were small like cats, with him our size
one dark winter evening we’d be his prize.

Ian C Smith, Australia

Sunday 28 October 2012

秋老虎 (A Tiger in Autumn) by Joseph Harker

This holy electricity was in the air today, rummaged between
the cars flashing down Sixth Avenue and the long fingers of buildings
jutting up from the earth. Even in the city’s encrusted heart,
autumn is the kaleidoscope season. The whole world rolled over,

held up to the sun to let all its pieces jangle and clatter
in riots of color: never a sky that deserved the adjective blue,
market stalls lined with apples and pumpkins like some
secret painter set off a vegetable grenade. Everything deciding

to throw one last party. No paleness to it like with the afterbirth
of spring, no drowning haze like the maturity of summer.
Now is when we feel the tumbling of days, see the sun move
ever more frantically up the staircase heavens, feel ourselves

tumbling round our wheel of fortune. The year knows its time is
almost up. At the start the peeking of green and purple is a relief,
but here (in the empty spaces, in the parks and medians and
rooftop verandas) the whole bodies of trees, stones, air,

they allow themselves to burn out with glory. Leaves that turn
have already begun to die: and before they crumble, they
celebrate, stand our hair on end with their beauty, coming down
on our heads, we, who learn so much, who learn so little.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Tanagers by Zachary Fishel

They call them scarlet but from the
sounds of their voice
it’s fire,
burning leaves crackling in
the fresh buds.
The glowing orange of morning light
as you pull covers up with the sunrise,
after coffee it’s fine though.
That’s how they sing.

The birds,
now hard to find anywhere
still flit around up here
in the mountains of oak trees.
They make you glimpse,
to see if the tree’s are ablaze
or if nature has combusted like man
on itself time and again.
Fall approaches already even as the new buds shoot
looking like traffic lights with the tanagers
calling for love,
to last a season and go away.
On itself time and again.

Zachary Fishel

Sunday 14 October 2012

Wild Geese by Andrew Pei

They look toward the skyline ahead of them;
They hover over big places and small.
They keep mountains and rivers under feet;
They brush cheeks with the floating clouds.
They pay no attention to the envious eyes watching from below;
They pay no attention to the admiration soaring up to the sky.
Flying toward their destination is the only focus,
A destination they have reached year after year.
Leaving the familiar behind is painless for them,
Into the opening arms of the sky they go as the season calls.
When they return in accordance with the schedule,
They will find the same nests they built before.
Come and go makes a simple cycle.
That’s their life; they carry on with it.

Andrew Pei 

Sunday 7 October 2012

Some Errant Clouds by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

Some errant clouds scud along the sky,
While their shadows glide along the topography
over hills, malls, rivers, ghettos, burbs.

My blinking eyes, catch this scene.
But between my ears, I wonder . . .
why is this so special?

Same damn clouds as 10, 20, 30, or a millennium ago.
White cumulus with just a streak of blue
racing, patches of azure between them.

So why am I staring, my feet stuck, my neck craning
up at this moveable, ever malleable sky?

 Ken Wheatcroft-Pardu, Texas, USA

Sunday 30 September 2012

The Cave of Shanidar by Gary Every

What else really matters
            except that someone loved him
            and loved him dearly
            enough to place flowers in his grave.
            The archeologist excavates;
            carefully scraping the remains
            of a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal
            into a sack
            to be weighed and analyzed.
            So much of prehistory has been lost;
            social structure, tribal government,
            and even though the shape of their skulls,
            length of their tongues
            and complexity of their relationships
            screams for a language
            not a single word has been retained.

            The archeologist tries to piece together the past,
            amazed that this tiny grave
            could hold so much flower pollen.
            There are many more flowers
            than could have blown into the cave of Shanidar
            with the wind;
            even during the most violent storms.
            The grains of pollen are all that remains
            of hollyhock, grape hyacinth, bachelor buttons, and groundsel-
            beautiful blossoms which faded into dust.
            All we can say for certain
            about this dead troglodyte,
            60,000 years after the fact,
            is that this short, squat, thick-skulled brute
            whose life was ruled by blade, blood, and butchering,
            was that someone loved him
            and loved him dearly
            enough to place beautiful flowers in his grave.

Gary Every, Arizona, USA

Sunday 23 September 2012

Ynys Môn by L C Ricardo

Ynys Môn 

On craggy, stone-strewn shores
glacial breakers

the mothering rock.
Her deep ores sustain her

She views hoary mountains
and stretches through
pale, lucent mist,

a ship off the cairn
or ancestral ghost,

Her name rings silver.
Her heart, living coal,
men's bread.

Her elder offspring raised stones
like broken circlets,

left in mute patterns,
undecipeherable and

L C Ricardo, Florida, USA

Sunday 16 September 2012

The Material Soul by James Valvis

My daughter wants to know about the cat.
Will it go to heaven when it dies?

My wife is content to tell her that it will, but I know it won’t.
That cat, according to the faith we practice, has a material soul.

Our heaven is a heaven for humans: not cats, cows, or cabbages.
How could we even begin to move, to live in any way,
if every bacteria we killed was equally made in God’s image?

But I don’t pretend to understand it all myself.
Heaven has always seemed to me less likely than hell.

It’s certainly harder to imagine what it is like to be there
and what might deliver you there in the first place.

In many ways, the cat is more deserving of heaven than I am.

The cat has never yelled at my wife over nothing,
never flew off the handle at my daughter for her trichotillomania.

It’s not easy to conceive of a place that invites none of the things we love.
It’s even harder to imagine a heaven where a beloved daughter misses her cat.

James Valvis, Washington, USA

Sunday 9 September 2012

Mother Psalm 8 by Rachel Barenblat

When all else fails, a stroll will put you to sleep.
We walk beneath trees still mostly green, here
and there a branch burst into purple flame, until
Whole Foods looms glossy at the sidewalk's end.
We load into the basket beneath your sleeping form
a pumpkin and a gourd hooked like a swan's neck.
All the way there my sister and I talk about marriage
and I wonder with whom you'll walk like this someday
remembering aloud the house you grew up in, our
spiral staircases, the boxes of dolls in the basement.
The minute we stop, you wake; I pepper your head
with kisses, try to adjust your already-drooping socks.
It's autumn in Newton. My muddy iced coffee is the last
of the season. Little man, you can move yourself now
across the floor with intent, though you pause and sit
contemplating whether the ball that's rolled away
is worth the effort of the journey. It's always worth
the effort of the journey: the ball, the book, the child
you may someday try to raise, as clueless as we.
Make your way across the room. Pluck sweetness
from every interaction, extract smiles from strangers.
Go get it: we're cheering each painstaking step you take.

Rachel Barenblat, MA, USA

Monday 3 September 2012

Selkie by Lori Lamothe

“The most common theme in selkie folklore, however, is one in which a cunning young man acquires, either by trickery or theft, a selkie-girl’s sealskin.”

For years, you wore ordinary as a housecoat.
Typed memos by day and made weak

martinis by night. For years, you were the one
they could count on to sweep all the unsaid things

under the rug. Sometimes you’re oblivious to blue.
Sometimes a shadow caught in a pool of light

makes you want to scratch off your skin,
dissolve in tides of wind that swing out and across

the street’s moonlit lawns.  Now, with your life
half gone, your child of amber eyes and ruby shoes

hands you what was nailed to the bottom
of a long-lost trunk. For six nights

you sleep on shore, cocooned in love’s sheer
blanket. On the seventh you slip an arm

into fur that still glows like coals, feel
how this shell of warmth still holds

an echo of water’s deep lullaby.
As you dive into a tango of stars, you turn

and watch her hand moving in adagio,
perfectly timed to the story you always told.

Sunday 26 August 2012

A Small Thing by Kathleen Brewin Lewis

In second grade
my daughter fell in love
with origami,
her fingers becoming
more and more adept
as she folded and pressed
the brilliant paper
into whales, frogs, cranes
the size of her fist,
then began to make the cranes
smaller and smaller
until she had created a bird
as tiny as her fingertip.
It seemed impossible to--
would be impossible for--me,
but she rose
and walked with great grace
to come and place
her delicate masterpiece
in my hand. 

Kathleen Brewin Lewis, Atlanta, USA

Sunday 19 August 2012

Physics by Angelica Joy Romans

She pressed flowers,
Calla Lilies, Scarlet Pimpernel, Bindweed
In her physics book, page one hundred
  and thirty-four
where forces defined motion

"Weightlessness is not zero"

she skipped that sentence,
of reason and explanation
and settled for the crumbled
mummers of Biology
snug in the corners
of her physics book

Angelica Joy Romans

Sunday 12 August 2012

Werrikimbee by Joe Massingham

The brown earth snake winds up the hill.
We travel on it, ants in space
held in by tree upon tree upon tree,
one dropped by bat or bird to mark
each year since the start of counting
four hundred million years ago;
and ferns for festivals and feasts
in case the months go unremembered.

Somewhere in a green curve
the firework bursts of two hydrangeas
dazzle the eye, pull in the breath, attract
butterflies, their very familiarity
reminding us we both are strangers.

Author’s note:  Werrikimbee is one of a number of rainforest National Parks on the north-east New South Wales coastal escarpment.

Joe Massingham, Australia

Sunday 5 August 2012

Stopwatch by Jason Sturner

Everyone is dead.
Slumped against steering wheels,
on the floors of kitchens and bedrooms,
face down in swimming pools.

Bodies litter the malls,
the halls of prestigious universities,
they're in hospitals and sports bars,
at desks in corporate offices.

In the center of the oval office
lays the body of our president,
maggots crawl out
from beneath her eyelids.

The rats beneath the streets
lift their heads and twitch their noses.
Vultures fly off trees
into waves of decay.

Remnants of humanity crumble,
are buried, eroded and grown over.
We are dust and fossils; we are history.
The planet is lush and productive.

Out in an unnamed ocean
a new breed of dolphin is born,
its flippers more like modified claws.
One day, it will use them to grasp the shoreline.

Jason Sturner, Illinois, USA

This poem was  first published in Down in the Dirt Magazine, June 2009

Sunday 29 July 2012

Less is More by Geralyn Pinto

Less is more, of course                                                                       
That’s why we’ve shown them how 
Bright, bounded bamboo thickets
Are better than sprawling, untidy rain forests.
The zoo workers have even crafted a salt lick
Painstakingly patting sodium chloride
Onto the side of a gash in the earth
Which has municipal water flowing through it
And pretends to be a forest stream.
(The real river that loitered around
Splendid, aimless and occasionally wild
Was long ago domesticated to factory use
So that a distant CEO with greasy charm
Could declare dividends to a grateful public).
Rock surfaces were carefully constructed,
Neat little dens built for delicate young cubs
And a deep ravine dug all around. Just so.
The only thing they did, which you probably
Never saw in raw tiger country,
Was to erect a bright red board
Warning Homo sapien visitors to the park
That this was the lair of Panthera tigris,
Ruthless, lone hunter with a predilection, (sometimes)
For human blood.
Whoever did it hadn’t reckoned that two legs
Are better than four;
Two hands cleverer, faster than paws
Furnished with pads and claws;
One well-organized brain superior to
Brute muscle, olfactory sense and night vision.
So there’s no real need to worry
Because in ourselves we’ve proved, haven’t we,
Beyond a niggle of doubt that
Less is more?

Geralyn Pinto, India

Sunday 22 July 2012

Seals by Byron Beynon

This morning you telephoned
that two seals were swimming
in the Tawe,
they brought with them
innumerable seagrams,
navigable rhapsodies
gleaming with motion,
a lustre of sea-eyes
that floated in fields
where tides registered
global warmth, changeable seasons;
for a moment
they held your breath,
sensed their need to escape
at one with their tidings
delivered across the miracle of unchained waters.

Byron Beynon, Wales, UK

Sunday 15 July 2012

On Things Lost by Nadya Avila Chant

I must not dip my fingers
In the ashes of my sacrifice.
I must not gaze at summer skies
In search of balloons I let go
Long ago
Or beg the wind to return my whispers
As it often does my screams.


And neither must you linger at this dusty altar,
Singing dirges to your lamb,
For I am only borrowed carbon:
I too, am a gift to be returned.

Monday 9 July 2012

Desert Walk by David Chorlton

Our presence leaves no footprints
on desert slopes
built on long spells
without rain,
where we turn over stones,
snag on a waist-high
branch that snaps,
or tread down a clump of grass
as we maneuver to a place
with a better view
of the green-tailed towhee
that flew from a mesquite
and dipped out of sight.
For a person to disappear here
on a bright day like this
would be the natural thing,
leaving nothing but a scent
after passing through
his own mirror without
causing so much as a crack.

Thursday 5 July 2012

The Female by Lori Lipsky

Demure she sits
light on the branch
poised with confidence

Drab in olive dress she rests
with orange beak
with miniature crest

Demure she perches
waits for him
to approach in brilliant red

Lori Lipsky, Wisconsin, USA

Sunday 1 July 2012

On the Origin of Black Birds by Khara House

It takes hundreds of millions of years to find her
but the dark ones discover their Eve in the fossilized
shallows of a lagoon. They call her Rosetta Stone, Mother
Bird, trace their talons through the delicate impression
of feathers in the limestone, her fine-grained imprint
of bone. Witness her forearms, her fingers, her gentle
curving claws, come as close to a caress as a lover.

She is excavated, brushed clean with warm black
feathers, chipped out bill by bill bit by bit until
her form is fresh, withdrawn from the earth, untombed,
flown to the free birds of the world. It is decided
that she belongs to all. The work begins,
dividing her bones, the hollow stamps of her plumes
pecked into relics, sold for seeds to the cardinals
who tuck them away in reliquaries, avail them
as blessings on the laybirds.

In time the relics fade, the bones decay. All
that is left of the avian eve is her memory, her myth.
An ancient soul that once had a tail, shed to touch
the night sky, spread her wings so deep into the night
that the inky ether wrapped her in its sheen,
set her glory in the morning, rival to the sun,
calls her clandestine, carbon, kohl, lastly crow, after lover.

Khara House, Pennsylvania, USA

Monday 25 June 2012

Badak api* by Linda Hofke

in the deep forest,
surrounded by raging fires
an old Malaysian woman drops to
her knees, thrusts her hands outstretched to the
crescent moon and pleads,
badak api! badak api!“
but the flames continue to flicker and spread,
dance among the trees, twirling around her.
In the morning, this spot of forest
is reduced to tiny embers and the only trace of her
lies in warmed bones and powdery ash like the
ground-up horn of rhinoceros used by the medicine man
to combat fever and convulsion.
No mythical creature could have saved her
from the inferno. No mighty Sumatran rhinos dared to
answer her call for they must remain hidden
from the poachers who seek to rid them
of their pointy defenses; they have
no time to stamp out evening fires, even if one
desperate soul must succumb to extinction
a bit sooner than they.

*Though there has never been any evidence, there are legends about rhinoceros stamping out fire in Malaysia. This creature is called badak api in Malay. Badak means rhinoceros and api means fire.

Linda Hofke, Germany

Thursday 21 June 2012

Red Squirrel by Chris Crittenden

sputter and chip,
rebuke me with variants
of raucous croon,

you perky piccolo of fuss,
high on a spruce,
helming azure.

if i could shimmy, bristle,
and cackle like you,
besotted by the spirit of


would i, too, dash
from my own moods,
a child lost to daredevilry--

and forget the madness
of the mean world
through the quicksilver roan

of my flips?

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Sunday 17 June 2012

American Goldfinch by Sean Ulman

flapping up flung carve (yellow yo-yo, coal dotted forehead) undulating mathematically culled wave =
lifts and dips on dotted line patrolling overgrown hedgerow hedged w/ crawling nestlings
piping potato chip dip potato chip dip in flight
perched, fluting indigo-bunting-like multi-syllable chimes drain-drowned in impalpable air caverns

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Moth Stream by Gary Every

The moon shines through my window at midnight
as I toss and turn, unable to sleep
but I am capable of dreaming plenty.
It is not the moon which keeps me awake
nor even the wind
which rattles the leaves in the trees
and shakes my window frame.
It is knowledge which gives me insomnia.
I have recently learned something startling.
Moths, tiny soft fuzzy winged insects,
can somehow sense the direction of the wind
and as the seasons change
so that the moths feel the need to migrate,
all the moths at once,
elevate a mile or two into the sky
where the breeze tosses the tiny airborne creatures
in the direction they wish to go,
hurling them swiftly,
as fast as sixty miles an hour.
How extraordinary it must be
to be so tiny and be flung so fast
and so far.
Do the moths have any grasp
of the massive geography they cover so quickly?
Outside my window nighttime flowers bloom,
trumpeting datura and white yuccas flickering atop their stalks
like candle flames,
beckoning for the moths to drop from the sky.
I lie awake at night unable to sleep
trying to imagine millions of moths
two miles above my bed
soaring through the air at sixty miles an hour,
cursed with insomnia
caught up in a streaming dream of moths.

Gary Every, Arizona, USA

Sunday 10 June 2012

Well Sprung by Jim Howe

I don’t remember
how old I was,
seven or eight,
when I first felt the urge
to capture
an enchanted being.
I caught him
in the gentle grasses
of our side yard.
Cupped in my right hand
he waited –
his antennae receiving signals
from distant worlds,
his cold eyes
measuring the texture of my skin,
his armor sparkling
in the shadows of my fingers,
his legs akimbo.
An emerging spirit
opened my prison.
I held out my hand
as straight as a diving board.
The grasshopper sprang
with power and grace:
a green arc
of parabolic escape.
It never knew
what it left behind:
a bonfire in my chest,
a salty koan,
a certain point
I couldn’t hold onto.

Jim Howe, IL, USA

Thursday 7 June 2012

Bumble by De Jackson

My son says the honeybees are dying. 
Some of those fat fuzzy fancy-free meandering ones, too. 
They’re getting sick, he says, voice thick with sadness.
I am not entirely up on these things. I assume
we have once again dusted our crops with poison or
overfilled one too many dumps or finally hair sprayed
our world into submission. Maybe they took one look
at our selfish hearts and their own simply stopped
beating. My boy is 9, loves all living things. I want to
tell him it will all be okay, that there are swarms
of scientists whose entire job it is to figure this out,
that he can be one of them someday if he wants
to, that surely someone, someday will find the cure
for our acute case of narcissism. I do tell him these
things, even as I wonder when the ‘birds and bees’
talk came to include such words as endangered and
extinct. And even as I taste the words on my own
tired tongue,
                   I hope to God I’m not lying. 

De Jackson, Nevada, USA

Sunday 3 June 2012

Mutualism by M P Jones IV

what do the honeybees
and the hummingbirds
think they are doing
as they dip and drop,
weaving the wind
in the red fringed
feathery fields of lace

in what language
does the fungal earth
thank its leafy grasses?

we are all
islands of misanthropy,
insular universes,
pillars of solitude,

but why, then,
do mitochondria flourish
in the sovereign nations
of our flesh,

and why do I yearn
in the stillest hours
for your breath on my skin?

M P Jones IV

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Tanager by Thomas O'Dore

descending a forested ridge
where the valley slopes away
I look down upon one canopy
and up into another

from the lower swift and silent
a black fetched crimson arrow
pierce disappears into green wall
startle shot from a bur oak top
my intrusion \ launching flight
of the last scarlet tanager I have seen

where he went
where they’ve gone
six billion people
one scarlet tanager

Sunday 27 May 2012

The Days Dissolve by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

It kills me to lay here
as the days dissolve
and are tucked away.

I look at the stars
because they are nothing
like me. They are
bright and mystical.

I am more like the birds
flying off on tangents.

 Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, CA, USA

Friday 18 May 2012

Crossroads by Roger G Singer

I own the crossroads,
the place of left and right,
the straight and narrow,
high crested curved roads
and paths under rock gray
clouds in valleys
shared by yesterdays moon
and breezes quick and cool
with dust from boots
traveling in circles
and riding to lonely places
and diners filled with
searching and suspicions
and napkins with names
and wrong numbers
and a clock with one hand
over a door leading to
rainy steps and car lights
flashing at corners
where lipstick
and cigarettes point fingers
to the crossroads
of my life.

Roger G Singer, New York, USA

Sunday 13 May 2012

Dragonfly by Mark Sargeant

A view from an old bedroom window.
Watching a car drive away, laden with a life.
We know how events can change us irrevocably,
the music of our past chiming every hour
like a grandfather clock, chopping up the silence,
taking us back to when we thought we knew how to live.

Maybe it comes down to those moments
when we are present, when we pay attention to the world:
to the way the light catches the electric blue of the dragonfly,
hovering like an echo, both still and all movement,
the smell of the yellow gorse flowers catching in your throat,
the softness of your hand in mine.

When we are old and have less need to speak,
what will we best remember? The orchestras that shaped us,
or the birdsong sprinkled amongst the leaves?
And if our memories start to scatter into the wind
like dandelion clocks, what are we left with but our bodies,
holding onto each other in the night, our breath without words,
living our days looking towards the sun.

Mark Sargeant,Shropshire, UK

Wednesday 9 May 2012

The Silent Sky by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

The sky is silent
and blue. There is a
shell-shaped cloud
carrying a crab-like
figure. The world is
out of sorts. There
is a deep silence
under the glare of
spring. Flowers bloom.
Earth is a beautiful
place. Humans
move back and forth.
In the silence
the dead rest.

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, Los Angeles, USA

Sunday 6 May 2012

Rolling by Andrea McBride

I used to roll down the hill in my backyard and now that I am a little older and braver I roll down the one at Memorial Park the one where the huge rock stands at the top I roll with my hands clasped arms raised above my head in praise my face tastes the earth, the sun blazes through my closed eyelids, the earth, the sky, the earth, the sky I don’t know in which direction I roll I only know gravity pulls me down I roll faster, faster-my brother is at the bottom already - I close my eyes tight and hope that tree root doesn’t jab me, I hope my way down the hill with my eyes closed, the earth, the sky, the earth, the wide open sky.

Andrea McBride, Florida, USA

Sunday 29 April 2012

Sandpiper by Mavis Gulliver

She is a speckle of feathers
dappled by shadows
of overhanging grasses,
the only give-away
her black bead eye watching,
Approach too close
and she’s a flicker of wings,
a smooth arc swinging over water.
When she lands her legs are springs.
She’s a bob, a curtsey,
and a long rippling whistle.
Her nest is a treasure chest,
her eggs satin-glossed, ink sploshed,
smooth as pearls.
On the day her first chick hatches
she’s a demon, a vertical flight
of panic-stricken fluttering,
a crescendo
of frantic warning cries.

Mavis Gulliver, Scotland

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Mimi on The Beach by Denis Robillard

You walk the Erie beach
sea shored rejectamenta on wet sand
-- 14 multi-coloured tampon applicators
--sundry jagged bottle pieces, dead fish
--bits of shell, --fish lines, --twigs
--plastic pop can tops,
--a discarded Sunkist orange.
You continue wrapped in cranial knowledge
each molecule, each meme dancing hermeneutically
between toes and brain.
In your head new cells are exploding
conversing on air and water
while tiny specs of poems tour the microscopic universe.
You seek Recyclement here. Regeneration.
Reforestation of the mind.
The moon is in cancer. The sun eclipses all.
The philosopher’s whet stone holds no answers.
Spears of time atoms piece your delicate flesh.
Every society holds fresh jugs of esoteric knowledge.
Each tide here, indeed an endless artesian supply.
Stay here, ponder
the crustaceans of your mind
Glowing and atomic blue.
above arc sky, gulls cackle endlessly
in peaceful cerulean infinity.

Denis Robillard, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Lignite by Andrew McCallum Crawford

You dig it up.
It’s been buried for years –
millions of them.
It used to be trees.
They must have been beautiful.

You burn it.
The smoke makes patterns.
Dark blue on sky blue.
People see things.
Beautiful things.
Some people
claim to see trees.

Others stare into the ashes
Trying to rekindle the memory
Of a moment’s warmth.

Friday 13 April 2012

Under a Tree by Catherine McGuire

Reading a poem,
I am distracted by light
that dapples the page:
dots, splashes,
balloons, bubbles of white
sloping to cream, to shadow blue;
shimmering, pulsing
like soap bubbles in a sink,
lapping and overlapping the page
until they become a poem
I must write down.

Diffuse as soft spots
in a dramatic scene,
they flicker, perhaps alive—
do they dance and play
aware, joyous in their intermingling?
A branch tip intrudes as
silhouette, the one known form;
all else is embryonic,
almost there — light buds
about to bloom.

Catherine McGuire, Oregon, USA

Sunday 8 April 2012

Mahler's Third Symphony by Edward Harsen

Cool days, the pool too cold for a dip,
I am surprised to think that the night
is like a grave, hollow, solidly damp.

I wake up and Mahler is talking to me.
It is quite gibberish, and I wonder
if he is sleep walking.

He is taking forever to get to the point…
trumpeting and straying into old songs.
I sit up when he asks me to sing.

Mahler wants to hear pain and joy,
wants a summer’s relief, flowers
and satyrs’ wine and bread.

I sing for him the sleeping faces
of the children, and the night lightens.
An angel sits with me, no longer Mahler.

The deep cobalt sound of morning,
misterioso and very slowly,
climbs out of my eyes, into my sight.

Edward Harsen, New York, USA

Sunday 1 April 2012

Thirst by Karen Nowviskie

It's in the way the rain falls
in sharp, inexorable drops

until the world is long lines,
stitching sky to earth.

It's in the driving needles
that push hungry fawns to group
and bed beneath the drooping birch.

It's in the urge that makes them
nuzzle sodden earth, returning,

little by little, through a new washed world
in certainty and wonder

in search of tender shoots.

Karen Nowviskie, West Virginia, USA

Saturday 24 March 2012

Sunday 18 March 2012

Water by Ameerah Arjanee

I do not know your name,
only know that you are a
small drop of water bearing
an iota of life, and that we are
the same, our shoulders
momentarily blending into
each other as we flow

That knowledge is enough
to move a river.

Ameerah Arjanee, Mauritius

Saturday 10 March 2012

Creating Waterways by Vivian Faith Prescott

After a long drink of cold water-spring
Raven opens his beak and drops water,
water touches mountainsides, swirls
and splashes then torrents and rushes.
The river is forming, brown and bitter water
as he creates the Stikine—Shtax’héen.
Water from his beak forms the Nass, the Skeena,
the Chilkat, the Alsek, and the Taku.
He delights in order—do not flood the world.
He delights in chaos—swirl madly.

Vivian Faith Prescott, Alaska, USA

Sunday 4 March 2012

Marina by David Subacchi

Last time broken boats
stuck in silt, leaning drunkenly,
crying out for
tar and paint, rusty
stains, stench
from the fishing,
blood streaked oil on
crumbling concrete

This time gleaming yachts pulling
gently at well arranged moorings,
the tinkle of ropes against masts,
shining brass on polished wood.
Newly built apartments gazing
down at lobster pots stacked
neatly in rows next to hoists
lined up like gibbets
along the harbour wall.

David Subacchi, Wales

Friday 24 February 2012

Blue Heron by Karen Nowviskie

Every year, he returns, the old man,
Solitary, silent.
Just when you've forgotten he exists,
He's in the corner of your eye,
Houdini in grey cape,
Somber, regal, and forbidding.
He appears and we hold our breath,
Whisper to the children,
"Come and see."
A day or two he lingers by the water,
Head down, arms behind his back,
Lost in thought or memory
Of glory in the sun.
Sometimes, his long neck leads
As if he's moving toward the finale
And wherever it is he goes
When he lifts his cape and disappears.

Karen Nowviskie, West Virginia, USA

Sunday 19 February 2012

Annual Count by David Chorlton

In the softly drumming air
between the empty branches
spread against a white winter sun
and the evergreens’ rough bark,
jays shadow woodpeckers
who follow the goldfinches
when the siskins have left nothing
but busy calligraphy
on the dark, loose soil. We are counting
every kinglet, every dove,
to bring the books
in order for the date
which hold the record
of who flies to the edge of a range
and who returns
year after year
to certain corners in the shifting
universe we chart
by the opening, closing,
fanning wide, and folding
back against the body
of wings
with the click and whisper
of feather and bone.

David Chorlton, USA

Monday 13 February 2012

Blue by Michael Keshigian

There is the ample door heaven
we anticipate to pass through
.............after a lifetime of good
and there is the blue heron
.............that bathes and stalks
a secluded pond
............for sanctuary.

Michael Keshigian

Sunday 12 February 2012

The Erratic Boulder by Maureen Kingston

by force

rode the icy

of the

to a valley

eons from
its home.

A gray

cast alone

a geologic

the desert’s


Maureen Kingston, NE, USA

Sunday 5 February 2012

Cold, Wet, and Temporary by Carly Gove

So beautiful, so delicate.
They'll all melt, someday.
Nothing can stop it.
But they're pretty in the meantime.
Let's just enjoy them now, okay?
Don't argue.
Just forget about the future.
We'll love them now.
And forget they're doomed.
Our cold,wet, and temporary friends.

Carly Gove, NJ, USA

Sunday 29 January 2012

Three Horses in the Cold by Lori Lipsky

There stood three geldings strong
Side by side
Near the fence—
We paused our hike
In admiration
And they returned our gaze

From the horizontal bars
Of metal pipe fence
Hung neat rows of
Miniature icicles—
A delicate
Crystal valance

Lori Lipsky, Wisconsin, USA

Sunday 22 January 2012

Sparrows in Winter by Gershon Ben-Avraham

I wonder where sparrows go in winter,
When weather turns, and seeds
Sleep silently beneath the frozen fields.

Sitting here beside my fire, I remember how in
Spring they built their home, in a corner of our own,
Beneath the eaves above our bedroom window.

On quiet summer nights I would lie awake
And strain to hear, through the open window,
Sounds of their lives together.

I asked my neighbor if he knew.
Smiling, he said he had never thought on it,
But told me I should remove their nest.

Climbing the ladder propped against the wall, and seeing
Close their work of sticks, and twigs, and string, with their own
Light grey and white feathers woven in, untouched, I left it.

I imagined them somewhere south, sitting in trees Gulf-side,
With a warm Gulf breeze brushing against their breasts,
Their children singing in the branches near them.

And they, their parents, remembering their
Summer home, hoping to return to the one
Sitting still in the eaves above our bedroom window.

I wonder where sparrows go in winter,
When weather turns, and seeds
Sleep silently beneath the frozen fields.

Gershon Ben-Avraham, PA, USA