Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Foot Prints

Stefanie Bennett

Bringing the outside in;
The crimson


by Chris Butler

Toes over the summit
of mount never rest,
the unadvised advise
to plummet.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Labor Day

by Al Ortolani

At summer’s
end, the humming-
bird appears
like an after-
thought, a (  )
between worlds,
a bit of earth
and spirit combined,
small bird
bound by gravity,
hollow bone and
feather, as much
weightless as
hope itself. Wings,
transparent in
flight, race
a scuff heavier
than sunlight.


by M.J.Iuppa

Around & around, throaty
trills & secret pleasures, finding
an entrance to a mulberry’s
cache of berries, boasting
its bottomless lure that
most goldfinches
can’t resist.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


by Terrence Sykes

goldfinch sings softly
amongst leaning sunflowers
harvest ecru seeds

On Myrtle Beach

by Robert Gillette

ocean breeze
can't overwhelm
the smell of coconut oil

Sunday, October 9, 2016


by Marilyn Ward

sheltered from the wind
in granite fissures

Parched Fields

by Suzanne Cottrell

Stunted, spindly corn stocks
Of the Berry's Farm
On Old Whitewater Road
Browned, brittle husks
Underdeveloped kernels
Lost crop except for silage

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


by E. Margareta Griffith

Yeah, okay, I'm in an air-conditioned box,
hurtling down a smooth road,
with hundreds of my kind,
toward a paved hole in the hills.

Red stones touch blue sky,
reaching from sunrise-gray rocks molded by wind and dynamite,
by no means an eternal flame, but close enough to fool my ephemeral kind.

The minerals will be there when our children are no longer our species.
The wind will tend the landscape when the highway is nothing more than travel-crumbs.
Water will smooth and crack the rocks without us to guide rivers or acidify rain.

Stones treat us gently, despite our violent adjustments,
to them we're mere newborns.
their bad-ass old age shows us up to be frail amateurs.

Our tantrums may spell the end of our toddlerhood,
or not.
The benevolent stones are unworried.


by Eric Lohman




Whisper their witness

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dryness acrostic middle

by Clinton Siegle

I am the dry years turned to beauty
dried plants turned ashes of grass and trees to desert beauty
rain not forthcoming waterlessness area's deserted beauty
yearly no rains creating the areas to beauty
non open clouds draining plant's beauty
ever forever a parched beauty
season of a dryness beauty
season of whether desert beauty.
Never changing beauty.

Blue Heron

by Steven K. Smith

A great blue heron is more gray than blue.
As it stands shadowed by trees lining the bank
hunting frogs and minnows while
balanced on one leg, crouched, waiting,
anyone can see that blue is wrong.

Unless you see one in full sunlight
near noon, when the sun's vertical rays
pierce the gap in the tree canopy at full power,
and it takes off in your face as you
leave the forest near the stream's bank.

Then it's a deep shade of blue, somewhere
between cobalt and steel,
as wings climb air's stairway
up from the water's spruce
to the sky's chicory.

Nature Spills into Vandals

by Clifford Brooks

One chameleon takes tentative steps
from a potted plant.  Hummingbirds glint
like blades.

Opossums adore trash. Last night they
squalled and hissed over apple cores.  A bear arrived.
The bandits avoided each other.

In the early hours,
mountains pour out bearded vandals.  Before work begins,
they regroup and vanish.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Dry Country

by David Chorlton

The vultures claim their portion of the sky
each day, and surrender it
with grace when the pines on the mountain
draw light through their roots
and a glow
spreads from inside.
You can see them from the porch
of an old house, built before convenience
when the miners arrived thirsty
and left without finding
what they came for. The roads
they used have outlived them,
still winding up and around
to where a shaft begins
its descent into darkness, still turning
to the dust a truck kicks out
on a day when the light is so dry
you can peel it away from the suede
colored slopes and watch
Whitetail Canyon erode.

Rain Dance

by Wayne Scheer

they do rain dances
but  have no rhythm

they sing songs
but chant off key

I offer what they need
so the rivers flow

still, they dance and sing
wanting more or less

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Afternoon with Closed Windows

by Olga Moskvina

Today the house burned down with me in it.
The smoke smelled like incense or something
far away, and I went back to sleep,
though it was afternoon and avocados
were rotting idly on the counter,
while fans turned like skeletal sunflowers
toward bottles of warm beer.

Were those the objects I was secretly waiting for,
trying to close suitcase after suitcase
to protect myself from them? The past tense
with avocados comes naturally,
and I no longer need to open windows
that are no longer there.

Virago on the Ocean

by Clifford Brooks

A virago enjoys smooth indigo.
To contain her knack
to knee-jerk push back,
she wears heavy boots.

Not unhealthy or unwise,
she is seasoned.
Four unquestionable words
cement the good news
she’s signed with the crew:
I believe in you.

There’s good business
in smart romance.
Sailing without an argumentative tide,
Costa Rica ripples off
the starboard side; two twisting in love,
now listing
toward mankind.

They get close enough
to smell the sand, then
muscle beyond it
to a valley that splays open
an orchard of olive,
fig, and apple trees.

It’s too soon for tourists,
shrieking children,
and souvenirs.  Tomorrow
will be all about sneaking out
for skinny dipping.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

the faithful almanack

by Richard Thompson
old laws
did not obtain:
that year
frost came
before the snow—
the fragile blossoms
with no frozen blankets

the sky
betrayed us:
rain burned
the leaves
as the looming sun

Morning Mist

by Ed Hack

The sun burns off the mist--no mystery,
but still. . .I wake up into morning mist;
the sun is softly radiant in trees
enmeshed in glowing gems, the dawn's last gift
before the clarity of day. Each gain
means loss, the basic mathematics of
our lives. You see. It leaves. The light explains
the rules. The worlds below, the worlds above,
the worlds inside, delirious with need,
arise like dawn, mature through afternoons,
demand the rest of night where dream exceeds
the reach of thought to ply the deep mind's loom.
Like mist our dreams with their peculiar skills
burned off by day. No mystery, but still.


by Laurinda Lind

Two hours south, it is not as dry and the grass
in the median of the interstate is actually green
or something like it. It is the same in the overflow
parking lot next to the funeral home, chlorophyll
coming through and even water scattering from
the sky and across the windshield. But behind
the back walk between the lot and the building,
the Little Salmon River has turned into a mud
meander with a pond at one end where every
thing alive in there must have come to coexist
in the same way we who just parked are about
to be alive together in a room with a dead cousin.