Sunday 24 February 2013

Merlin by Gary Every

The snow is piled deep in the narrow canyon.
            No footsteps precede mine
            and I enjoy the solitude as snowflakes fall.
            The wind races ahead
            carrying whispers of the chill frost.
            Suddenly a pine tree stirs
            white powder sliding off the green branches
            as a small blue raptor launches.
            This hunter flies low and swift,
            straight towards me
            and so close that he passes through
            my breath vapor clouds
            parting the fog like a misty shroud,
            slicing my breath with his wings. 
            For just a brief instant we stare eye to eye
            he fierce, proud, merciless, and curious;
            me amazed and surprised,
            too slow with my camera,
            and glad that I am not a mouse or rabbit,
            wondering if a bird named after a wizard
            ever goes hunting for souls.

Gary Every, Arizona, USA

Sunday 17 February 2013

Birdwatchers by Chris Crittenden

we freeze as one into scarecrows,
enduring a brisk woolen day.
a char of juncos
in an orange copse taunts us.
soon we are blurry again,
cautious within Van Gogh fields,
hunkering like sandhill cranes
over snaky ground.

our clothes strive
to unleash themselves
in a muddle of fibrous fits;
but we slog with gusto, ankles
sucked by muddy mouths,
our binoculars leading us on
with the flair of rumors.

Dunson glasses an owl
scrunched in a crook like a forest gnome.
whatever it dreams,
our rude surprise will not cater.
we chatter at the jpeg moment
as it glares back at us with feline gall,
contemplating our apish ruckus
and the threat of crows.

later, through a swale
of gusty hisses, dead grass
shunts around our flappy gait.
wind seems to have scooped up all the birds,
cast them from our meander.
we watch precious wings
disperse with the aplomb of peppercorns
into a sunset roan.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Sunday 10 February 2013

Sunset and Sand

                   the walk of the herd.
Elephants on parade
for the picturesque view.  Panorama
and paranoia rule
this range, ruined by drought
and time.
                  To display emotion is
beneath them.  Their losses
are their own.  To remember,
they march . . . days . . . weeks . . . months
pass in silent . . . meditation?
Prayer?  Maybe
                          their movement
is the ideal.  Commemoration
through continuity.
What a thought to settle.  On
into night!

A J Huffman, Florida, USA

Sunday 3 February 2013

No later than tomorrow by Jan Harris

Persephone will place her hand on the ewe’s side
and feel the lamb quicken
snowdrops and alium will light the ground where she walks
her footsteps awakening snails, snakes,
a multitude of microbes
all stirring the earth-smell of spring.
As she slips through tomorrow and tomorrow
apple trees will shower Persephone’s hair with blossom
silken petals will barely-kiss soft skin
her hand will slice the lake’s reflection
as surely as salmon glide and leap
but the past leans over and casts its seeds.

No later than tomorrow
the lamb will become the ewe
snakes will slumber and snails burrow deep
before earth and water turn to stone
and in the darkness, swaddled in sorrow,
Persephone will close her eyes and sleep.

Jan Harris, UK