The solitary robin
sings his lonely heart out
perched on a poplar limb
on the verge of deep woods
he trills a bright morning blues
that throbs at his breast
longing for his love
his lost mate
who flew the nest
once the fledglings
took to wing
as the climbing cat
arrived and disrupted
love with hunger
I drove him away
with a stone that struck
inches above his head
for I know the robin’s loss
his broken life, feel it in
imagination’s heart in
my pulsing blood
By Gene Gobel
Photo of American Robin by Timothy Holle
The dawn wakes to memories
of barefoot summers on cool green grass.
Swirling patterns in the coffee,
premonitions of days to come.
Visions rising from the fragrant steam,
filling the room with warm contentment.
Outside my window, the soft amber light of morning
filtered through trees imparts a dreamy
feeling, bestowing the day with hope.
A soft breeze stirs over the gardens as the
wildflowers raise their smiling faces to be kissed
by pollinators busy making morning rounds.
Shadows grow short as the day grows long.
I am drawn back to my coffee as I contemplate
peaceful moments, deep seated with the wish
of eternal summer.
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 window by Vadim Georgiev
Brooding over days yet to come—
I watch a squirrel hop branch to branch,
having eaten his fill of plums.
What does it
mean to be
Only a flower
By Trivarna Hariharan
Trivarna Hariharan is an undergraduate student of English Literature from India. She has authored The Necessity of Geography (Flutter Press), Home and Other Places (Nivasini Publishers), Letters I Never Sent (Writers Workshop, Kolkata). Her poems appear or are forthcoming from One Sentence Poems, Alexandria Quarterly, Allegro, Birds Piled Loosely, TXTOBJX, Front Porch Review, Sweet Tree Review, Red Bird Chapbooks, Plum Tree Tavern, Red Eft Review, Vayavya, Fourth & Sycamore, Quail Bell, Eunoia Review and others. She has served as the editor in chief at Inklette and Goodwill Ambassador for Postcards for Peace. She is the poetry editor for Corner Club Press. Besides writing, she is studying the electronic keyboard, and has completed her 4th Grade in the instrument at Trinity College of Music, London.
Dandelion photo by huandi
Mornings are magic here. The whinny of a screech owl, the vibrations of bullfrogs. The garrulous squawk of the blue heron mingling with the wind chimes at the screen door. The song of my wood thrush (mine, you see) and twitters of other songbirds waking into the day. The sun hasn’t come over the ridge yet but there’s light on the pond and a soft light on my hives with its backdrop of Queen Anne’s lace. Their taproots reach deep into the earth. Holding on. For dear life. Stems, straight and strong, bend toward the sun. Dividing again and again, each one ends in a flower, and each flower bursts into flowerets. I follow a stem in my mind to arrive at the tip of one perfect tiny floweret.
So, so much here. Charles M. Schultz said that adversity is what makes you mature; the growing soul is watered best by the tears of sadness. I question my existence in this particular time and space. Often. On the path I’ve taken, a step either right or left could have sent me tangentially off, deeply angled from that moment. Every choice was met with yet another choice and of all the places I could have landed, I blossomed in this little nook and cranny of the world. I’ve harvested richness from adversity. This is where I belong today, stepping forward from a point of reality, not from some point of fantasy.
And so I listen to this bullfrog serenading me at first light. I watch this heron winging by, its prehistoric silhouette dark against the silver misted waters of the pond, from the tip of my floweret. There are no shortcuts to a different life and there is no retracing of steps, no turning back time. The measured hum of the bullfrog, leaving only echoes, and the pulsating wingbeats of the heron moving it only forward, tell me so. They are wise and that settles my heart.
Janice Sina, former biology teacher turned veterinary assistant, observes and writes about nature, human and otherwise. She lives in East Haddam, Connecticut, US, where she strives to tread lightly on this Earth with her husband, her pets, and several thousand honeybees. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her first book, Songlines in the Key of B. You can find out more at janicesina.com
Photo of Queen Anne’s Lace by the author.
An intricate, richly sensual tune
this tactile, perfumed earth sings
and to the song of sun, sea and moon
all creation its own harmony brings.
The lover sun holds earth in his arms,
the insatiable sea caresses the shore,
the night is besotted by the moon’s charms
and everywhere is the cry for more.
Flowers willingly open for honey bees,
clouds are the vaporous water’s embrace,
and with earth and sea the insistent breeze
changingly communes as if face to face.
Thus every creature is entranced
by the music that around them flows
and caught up in this harmony dance
patterns each intuitively knows.
All these are creatures of the dust
caught in earth’s scent and song,
singing and dancing in the way they must
patterns of desire to which they belong.
Whether in stealth, danger or death,
in grace, beauty or fluttering need,
in savagery or urgent stress,
all play in earth’s symphony of seed.
So you and I, who smell the perfumed air,
are caught and enfolded by this song
and to its great pattern and desire
our lives in close union belong.
The sounds ringing with rich complexity
melody upon melody entwine,
and tenderness, love and fidelity
in its high, clear, pure notes shine.
O my love, I in this great world stand
surrounded by rich music of life,
sustained in spirit, heart, mind and hand
by you – my partner, my joy, my wife.
By Neil Creighton
Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au
Photos by Galyna Andrushko