What The Flower Does
Consider that the flower blooms by itself
It needs no instruction on how to open
And does not want for attention to do so
Just displaying the colors, just doing what
It does best just because that’s what it
Hearts-a-Bursting in the woods on the edge
Of a country yard
Red fruit hanging from open pods, twins
Love showing there
All through the woods, up the hillside grows
These woody-stemmed plants
In abundance they grow here, spreading
Love to all who see them
Brown fuzz with a streak of black hairs
This year there is no white like last
Crawling slow across the ground
Counting the days until the winter
Out of sight under leaves of grass
Keeping from the grasp of birds
A sign of changing season like the seed
Of the persimmon fruit that when cut
Reveals the severity of winter’s coming.
By Josh Lanier
These 3 poems were written in early fall, on one of my daily walks through the woods on my property. I go there to seek solitude and inspiration. The natural world is always the centerpiece of my work, whether it be fiction, essays, or poetry. My blog can be found at Wildcat Creek Journal.
Photo of path on the edge of the woods by Jon Bilous
Smallest of flames — a spark.
Globs of white crystallized water
cling to spruce needles before
bowing to pressure in the only
direction worth mentioning.
existence, or not.
Next to something peaceful,
By Brandon Earl MacLeod
Brandon Earl MacLeod is a poet, photographer, and teacher from Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. He resides in North Spirit Lake, Ontario where he taught journalism with Journalists for Human Rights’ Indigenous Reporters Program and now works with students primarily on literacy and humanities. Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Brandon is of Métis heritage and looks up to his Auntie Connie, a watercolour artist, for inspiration. Spending time outdoors has been something of a healing process and place of discovery and his poem Marie Creek was written among the trees and creeks in the forests of northern Alberta. Much of Brandon’s poetry is written about and while surrounded by the natural world and is available, along with his selected photos and published works, at brandomaclo.tumblr.com.
Photo of snowy creek by Wildman
The stagnant water
invites the falling colors,
which ice the lake
like frosted cake.
A rainbow of autumn
is gentle in demeanor,
and I long to sit on shore
until the colors fade.
A slice of iced water
entices me to sample
and celebrate my 70th birthday,
which nearly passed me by.
By Harding Stedler
After graduating valedictorian of his high school graduating class, Harding Stedler went on to earn his B.S. in Ed., M.S in English Education, and his Ph.D. in English Education as well. He taught writing courses under the umbrella of the English Department in universities where he taught. In 1995, he retired from Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, with 34 years of service. He now makes his home in Maumelle, Arkansas, and is an active member of the Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas as well as the River Market Poets in Little Rock.
Photo by PixPhoto
Sunlight played on the forest floor
dappled through the trees.
Bright emerald patterns
against lush darker hues,
strobing like nature’s neon light show.
A captivating event to behold.
Alternating waves of
light and shade
dancing on beams of joy.
An enchanting world
of imagination and delight.
wandering woodland paths.
By Ann Christine Tabaka
Ann Christine Tabaka was born and lives in Delaware. She is a published poet, an artist, a chemist, and a personal trainer. She loves gardening, cooking, and the ocean. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her poems have been published in numerous national and international poetry journals, reviews, and anthologies. Chris has been selected as the resident Haiku poet for Stanzaic Stylings.
Photo of autumn forest pathway by Derek Audette
Those few weeks of summer
after the sphinx moth strokes you with its tongue,
your slender white petals float from thin stems,
drifting in air, no leaves for a partner,
while your dark roots, barely visible, cling
to cypress, pop ash, or pond apple trees,
never touching ground, never appearing
connected to the earth.
By Robin Wright
Robin Wright lives in Southern Indiana. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Muddy River Poetry Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Street Light Press, Eunoia Review, Peacock Journal, Unbroken Journal, (b)OINK zine, Rat’s Ass Review, and others. Two of her poems were published in the University of Southern Indiana’s 50th anniversary anthology, Time Present, Time Past. She has also co-written two novels with Maryanne Burkhard under the name B. W. Wrighthard, Ghost Orchid and A Needle and a Haystack. Available on Amazon.
Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) by Mick Fournier, Pompano Beach, Florida, Wikipedia Creative Commons.