Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ponderosa

by Carl Mayfield

Bark is the only
bite offered.
The pine sucks
the earth
into its trunk,
rising
moment by moment
into the sky
where the
three needle
clusters
meet the wind.

In the Forest

by Elizabeth Burnside

I
Water seeps
up, enough pools,
until dribbling, gurgling,
falling water forms
water falling,
gurgling, dribbling,
until pools enough,
up seeps water.

II
Pollen falling
with golden
leaves beneath
still wet streams,
glistening moss slakes
creek, slakes moss, glistening
streams wet still,
beneath leaves
golden with
falling pollen.

III
Lofting trees
now dormant, trunks
fallen into slopes,
lacing streams
amongst layered decay,
nascent decay
layered amongst streams
lacing slopes into
fallen trunks, dormant
now, trees lofting.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Saffron

by Don Thompson

Smoke from distant wildfires
creates the illusion of clouds—
of faux cumulonimbus
offering rain like those promises of peace
that no one falls for.

And behind its pall this morning,
the sun glows almost saffron
as if to honor a self-immolated monk
who died for
some long forgotten lost cause.

The fires will keep burning for miles,
for days; and years from now,
driving by, we’ll see snags
like blackened skeletons
still standing upright in the new growth.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

gorilla rain

by Elizabeth Kuelbs

he knuckles around his cage around
                   the tub it smells of plastic it smells
of rain that wets bamboo nests
                   somewhere he would eat ants from
his lovers’ and his babies’ faces where
                   he would thunder dirt where he
would tremble forests it smells

real

he climbs into
                   cool wet
he claps splashes stretches
                   his great arms stormwide he
                                      spins he
                                                     spins and spins
                                                                      his own rain and he
                                                     is he is he
                   his eyes on a
somewhere sky

Lines

by Terrence Sykes

red dog morning
coal black silhouette mountains
slate laden spring clouds

Diamond Beach Glow

by Maria De Paul

Breakers hit the black sand of Diamond Beach
Dust of volcanoes sparkles with chips of icebergs

The surf glows with the scattered frozen jewels
Clear glass of ancient tundra broken apart

Burnished by the waves clear against the
Brilliant blue of waters under a rainbow dawn

Each facet and flaw of these random ice floes
Sparkles in Arctic tides battered by heavy rains

Frosted, transparent or mirrorlike, floaters reflect
Every nearby glow of light bouncing on the waves

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Italian Naturalist's Diary

by Terrence Sykes

olive & fig
then chestnuts
amongst
peeling birch
guarding that
silent river

Sunday, October 1, 2017

On Fernandina

by Elizabeth Kuelbs

There is still
suspended
between
celestial light
sparked breaths ago
and the slow wet rock
that holds life from fire
a seal who sleeps with
squid in the mouth
her agouti fur alive
with quick-tongued
lizards who dance
death to the flies
who would
sting her
until they
too surrender
cool-skinned
to sun.

"The wolves who drink snow pass in spring"

by Margarita Serafimova

The wolves who drink snow pass in spring,
one by one, through the forest under the ridge, keeping to the high,
an unconditional look in the eye, knowing who they are.

Just A Bird

by Don Thompson

The owl has flown infinite distances
and for eons to get here,
somewhere close by in the dark.

If you could see it, you’d recognize
your own fear caught in its eyes
like an insect in amber.

You’ve felt talons seize your wrist
in a bad dream;
waited all night for the beak;

and heard the owl call softly—
low notes like an angel of Apocalypse
warming up his shofar

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Does the Leaf Still Believe

by Catherine McGuire

in the tree when it’s fallen?
Lying on the grass, first brittle
then slime? Does it recall
its brash emergence,
a rice kernel bud reaching out, slurping
the rain’s nectar, the sun’s manna?
A kin to the others rustling alongside
but never a clone, a copy –
did it glory in that extra green vein,
or the tiny twist of its edge?
And now discarded, pushed off
by new buds, useless except
as mulch, new soil born of the slime.
Regret or content? So much hangs
on what story we’re told.

The Lyre Bird

by Yvonne Vinstra

Where human greed and commerce mix and merge
Trees fall, birds lose, such is the lyre bird.
Alone he sings his own departing dirge.

His forest lost, he must sing out on verge
Of death but still he sings the sounds he’s heard
Where human greed and commerce mix and merge.

If he could only comprehend, his mind would surge
With knowledge that his song is quite absurd.
Alone he sings his own departing dirge.

No more does mimicing lovers sighs purge
Their passion, he sings only chainsaws’ words
Where human greed and commerce mix and merge.
Alone he sings his own departing dirge.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

August Campfire

by Jessica McKenna

Who knows which bark
cracks before us now,
castoff limb from
hurricane, or ill-use,
dropped to the floor
among twigs and veined
leaves from yesteryears,
dried, and set to light
by wood from someone
else’s grove. It glows,
and the oaks and maples
make high walls
to keep the shadows in.

"The pheasants, ships of the forest"

by Margarita Serafimova

The pheasants, ships of the forest,
in voices dense, green, bearded,
utter cries, trumpeting
that other life is coming,
we are coming.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Deep Green

by Taylor Graham

They used to haul logs to the mill
across this gorge, landscape of “unfavorable
configuration” for the projects of man.
But Cable Road still twists down-canyon,
into a maze of pine and cedar, big-leaf maple
so dense, we’re descending into dark.
Dirt tracks skitter off the one-lane, disappear.
Somewhere in green, the South Fork
conceals its bear and cougar, its coyote finder-
of-ways.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pondfeel

by Jessica McKenna

Scent of fish, wriggling
still-wet-alive and how
like a fish, you glide
deep in water-folds,
buried dark where light
streams, and fails, then
up to the sky, as if
water-silk couldn’t
let any life die.

Living Fences

by Suzanne Cottrell                                                                  

Red River Valley natives
Served as prairie borders
Desired, functional, respected
Osage orange trees

Branches bowed, interwoven
Burly, protective thorns
Excessively furrowed bark
Dense, sturdy hardwood
Disease, pest, rot resistant
Lemon-yellow heartwood

Female trees bore softball-sized,
Lime, warty fruit, hedge apples
Grooved, resembling human brains
Fleshy sphere with sticky, milky sap
Multitude of husk-wrapped seeds
Squirrels’ prized snacks

Replaced by barbed wire,
Electric fences
Now obsolete, undesired,
Yard’s nuisance

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Brown feathers are gleaming"

by Margarita Serafimova

Brown feathers are gleaming,
the eagles are coming down over the forest,
purple forest, bare forest.

Standing forest, naked forest
in purple shadow, an autumnal slope.
The eagles are passing.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Off Caldor Road

by Taylor Graham

Forest unravels the old logging spur
since the last load was hauled away.
Here’s hint of a trail to Clear Creek
where someone had a mining claim
and left a frying pan with no handle.
Now it draws wilderness about itself
as creek flows down through gorge
to flatlands as if forever. Yew trees
cling to morning light, their rustle
different but akin to ponderosa
and incense cedar. So many green
voices answering the river.

Lines

by Arthur Mitchell

In blue heron’s eye
the Autumn moon climbs the sky

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Brown Bear Grazing

by Kersten Christianson

Paws reach for salmon-
berry branch, rough tongue brushes
against spring greens, cane
and bud.  Verb:  to consume, eat
of the earth’s deep good.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Home Woods

byTaylor Graham

Standing off my dog in the swale,
a young pointed buck. Morning too dim
to say how many seasons he’s circled
us in his rounds, and bedded down
under the buckeye’s twisted limbs. Bent
grasses, weight of sleep and waking.
My dog’s on guard-dance with what lives
among us. The buck advances
by inches, drawn magnetic to our north
fence. One sprung haunch-leap over
the wire’s wild side; dawn caught antler-
gold for a moment, gone.