Sunday, July 30, 2017

No Sticker

by Denny E. Marshall

Car earth
Still waiting
For oil change

Forest Light

by Suzanne Cottrell

Hiking Holly Point Trail
Sunlight streams through
Slippery Elm, Black Walnut,
Water Oak, Bitternut Hickory

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

lizard's tongue
    touching the water
                 once

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dance of the Tree

by Gary Beck

Evolution trained the ballerina tree
to dance when the wind
blew music to its leaves.
The arboreal ballet,
as elegant as Swan Lake,
may not have an audience,
but the performance goes on,
as long as there is wind.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Red Rose

by Michael Estabrook

In the back yard a ragged row
of rose bushes stretches
from fence to fence
salmon, yellow, orange, pink, pinker,
white, orange, pink again

In the middle of the pinkest bush
a single wine-red rose reflects the sun
Monet painted
with a final spurt of color
as a bluebird streaks by

Evening

by Eric Fram

In day's dissolve
orange squares
slap with blue
through dull
grains of
graying
dusk.

Northern Lights Over Yellowknife

by Adrian Slonaker

Dazzling, zigzagging zests
of pearly-soft seafoam green, gracing
the homecoming of starlit blue-blackness
after its estival escape,
vibrating through shivery September air
over the delicious undulating dances of
the Great Slave Lake flirting with
defiantly rough noses, teeth and fingers of rock,
the pride of the Canadian Shield,
and more poplars and birches and willows than could be counted
in a score of tortoise's lifetimes.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Three Photographs
Grace Hawthorne


Magnolia with matches

Twilight on the lake

Rose

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Valles Caldera

by Michelle Holland

The young, Walatowa ranger talks about his discovery,
a gangly tangle of twin elk calves in late spring.
The prairie dogs chirp and scurry, stand and stare
beside their dark tunnels. Under the curve of sky,
the miles of fescue and June grass, blanket flowers,
and marsh irises roll out the landscape that healed the wound
of a monstrous explosion, which left a vast rim of caldera,
inside a bowl of high altitude meadows, aspen copse, and ponderosa,
filled with elk and bear, mountain lions, native coyotes
and floating turkey vultures. A swooping kestrel
catches an unsuspecting frog and flies off,
while the lone mallard in a small pond sends smooth ripples
that push gently against the cat tails near the shore.
His hen must be close by, because the ranger said they mate for life.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Grandchildren in Trees

by Al Ortolani

I try to spot for the youngest climber
as I stand below the thickest fork
where I think if he’s going to fall
he will. The two older ones
have monkeyed on, hurrying
to outdo one another, spiraling up
the main trunk, and then away from it
to the edge of thinness
where they perch like crows. I have
taught them to secure three points of contact
before reaching for the fourth,
to test limbs before trusting them,
but they move with such speed
they barely listen,
climbing with a sense of balance
more innate than learned, taught
not from what I remember in climbing,
but from what they already know.

July heat

by Ed Higgins

Lithe in one another’s arms
beneath tall grey-green eucalyptus

their porcelain smooth trunks
shedding sun-peeled bark,

long cloth-like ribbons drifting
in afternoon July heat.

These fragrant windbreaks
against Santa Ana’s whispered

hot winds, leaves rattling slowly
within the canopy.

In summer-sweet desire
we too once swayed together

the soft deception
of seasons.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

International Falls, Minnesota, Winter
(a few decades from now, a century)
based on the writings of David Auerbach

by Michael H. Brownstein

In the sweet wish of day,
a scone of buttercup and dew,
a lisp of cloud, a wash of sky—

in the heat of the valley,
in the heat of the rock lines,
in the heat of Kabetogama,
in the heat of broken asphalt—

the song of the scarlet macaw,
vibrating toad, blue lipped frog,
and lantern bug. Everywhere
water lily, wild rose, snakes with limbs,
lists and lists of whitewashed bone.

'limitless space'

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

limitless space
through which to pursue
the divine healing mystery
beyond thought
feeling
language and form

the tenderest one
that does not pretend
to own the land
as if it were a child sex slave

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lines

by Stephen Toft

evening chill a field of echoing crows

These are Ruins

by Michelle Holland

Above the year round spring, lush with grass
and cat tails, even in this dry season,
the path flattens onto a small mesa
where the Jemez Mountains, smoky
from another fire, sit to the west.

These are ruins, up here, in perpetual breeze.
Even with abundant water, people disappeared.
What's left is a concrete dam,
a foundation for a house, some stray Indian artifacts,
and in this early summer, the pink roses, irises,
and daisies that were maybe
planted and tended by a pioneer wife.

The Cañada Ancha spreads out far below,
the trail curves through the barrancas to this spring.
Pretend there are no ATV tracks,
no crushed beer cans in random piles.

The night hawks are out this early morning,
and when I turn back to the trail, one flies
speckled face and small dark eyes,
wings out, like a miniature airplane, right at me,
then a whoosh of wind as he flies down into the next ravine.

That Which I Saw Today

by Divya Manikandan

Today I see the heavens have their dalliance with the waves
Provocative, capricious, fervent and everything in between.
I witness the clandestine emotion tucked away
under depths and miles of open interaction.

Today I see the earth break open into two
the rambunctious mantle
rises and shows its flawless ruby demeanour
and as it did, I see the world around me shift.

Today I see a mountain reach its zenith,
the pinnacle of its dispositions, the mastery of the universe.
I see the skies part in embrace to allow the peak to
lay its jurisdiction- one among the clouds and one among the woes.

Today I see the leaves escape their fuscous branches
I see their souls floating away, to greener landscapes and
sunlit domes in distant earths.
I fly away with them, unwearied and emerald, like a
sparkling gemstone- lifted by my own weight of nothingness.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Three Photographs
Anna DeStefano


Blue

Dreamsicle

Touching the Sky

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Lines

by Hifsa Ashraf

beach sunrise…
over the sea
a kingfisher hovers

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Lines

by Joanna M. Weston

broken boards
and torn fish nets -
incoming tide

Hulk

by Joe Cottonwood

Walk north from here
at low tide
you’ll see a truck frame tumbled
from atop the cliff
sunk in sand, washed in surf
size of a gray whale
which you’ll also see
blowing, breaching off shore

Each winter as beach recedes
sucked by storm
the Freightliner appears
haunt of Highway One
ruddy jagged blades of metal
settling lower
inch by inch, weld by weld
decade by decade
salt, oxygen at work
as gulls perch on chassis
crabs gather, starfish wander
seals care not

Watching the Dolphins

by Marianne Szlyk

The dolphins are swimming
past the cruise ships
and fishing boats.

The harbor is slick with motor oil.
The coral beyond is bleached white,
the color of vinyl siding
and new concrete.
It crumbles as the tourists watch

the dolphins dive over and over.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Trees of Italy: Mulberry

by Terrence Sykes

---morus nigra –  sanctus dominus---

The mulberry struggles
through bricks in the
corner of the piazza
Santa Maria del Carmine
pass the Ponte Vecchio
just across the Arno

cusp of day
left then left
prophecy  of
double damnation
stepping into darkness
candles & incense

Masaccio fresco
Expulsion
birth of the Renaissance
stillness in the church
laden with history
has my past followed me

Adam & Eve
pastel chiaroscuro
nakedness
sworded angel damning
driven from the Garden
not even a fig leaf
shamed & exiting Eden

priestly voices
echoing annunciations
closure foretold
escorted by robes
cast upon
cobblestone

verdant shadows
dappled light
forbidden fruit
gathered & palmed
sweeter than any apple

temptation on the lips
stigmata hands
marked like Cain
meandering lost
mist & fog upon
streets of Florence