River Night

We float in Rio Caliente
and consider the stars.
We swim slowly now and then,
our muscles and bones soak in warmth.
    My daughter leaves us
disapproving of older women skinny dipping,
laughing together at midnight.
we talk about Ireland and
share old stories of the troubles.
    Obsidian hills surround us here,
the jacarandra tree is heavy with purple bloom.

By Elaine Reardon

steam rises from warm water in river


Book coverElaine is a poet, herbalist, educator, and a member of the Society of Children’s BookAuthor Photo Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook,The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, recently won first honors from Flutter Press as the top seller of 2016. Most recently Elaine’s poetry has been published by Three Drops from a Cauldron Journal, MASS Poet of the Moment, and poetrysuperhighway.com. Elaine lives tucked into the forest in Central Massachusetts and maintains a blog at elainereardon.wordpress.com

Photo by the author

Wild Swim

If you feel your soul is drowning
Swim on
To the imagined shore
And the tide will carry,
As it takes all things truly desired,
Purely desired.

And it cannot be turned.

But if you will not dream
Of the paradisaical haven,
Bring it to mind now,
Dream it now,
Live it now,
Then you cannot be saved,
Though you swim on for ever
Against the soul’s own tide.

By Henry Berry

ocean sunset at low tid


Henry Berry lives in a rambling old house in the rural Vale of York, England. His writing focuses on external and interior, mental landscapes inspired by intimate contact with the countryside immediately around his home. His blog can be found at www.henryberry.blogspot.com/

Photo by David Methven Schrader

Reflections

Lemon yellow
Dusky pink
A space of breathing sky

We watch and trace
The furling flecks of
Music soaring high

Trills and bells
Of a robin
Sitting beneath a bower

With me
Within a yew tree
Renewed by nature’s power

A squirrel nibbles
From its nut
And sees my peeping stare

Transfixed with
Joy and beauty
And simply being there

By Miranda Batki-Braun

 girl sitting in tree covered in blossoms

Gratitude List

Let us give thanks for
sun etched cypress
lifting needled limbs
above white sage and driftwood,
low-tide exposed beach.

Walk in mindfulness
along gentle trail
beside wrinkled ocean,
incoming surf.
Pet passing dogs.
Dispense baked, tasty treats.

Meditate upon phalanx
of swooping pelicans,
golden-eyed heron,
trash-talking jays,
paranoid blackbirds.

Sit in silence
within a cathedral
of wind ruffled redwoods.
Feel an inchoate higher power
resurrect the soul, heal your heart.
Bless this bright day.

By Jennifer Lagier

Cypress Tree along California Beach


The author, Jennifer LagierJennifer Lagier has published ten books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle), Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018).Click here to visit her website. Photo by the author.

Waterbearer

Honeybees gather,
cluster at the end of a garden hose,
buzz along edges of wet spill.
as I water mom’s flowers.

They are without jobs,
bored and unemployed
now that almond orchard
blooming season is over.

I am out of my element,
paying another’s bills,
tending a yard not mine
while I comfort my dying mother.

Like me, agitated drones have
been reassigned to unfamiliar tasks,
unsettled by abrupt change of mission,
normal routines disrupted.

By Jennifer Lagier

Be on pink flower


The author, Jennifer LagierJennifer Lagier has published ten books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle), Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018).Click here to visit her website. Photo by the author.