Spring dropped white Bradford pear petals
like slow snowflakes on either side
of Main Street—
a gently confettied parade marking
the clover-drone of the bee, moon
light jacket nights, lengthening days,
and fire of wild-lilting forsythia sprays.
Early June gusted the earth-salty scent
of a storm’s first, heavy drops of rain,
which stirred themselves into
a sweet blanket of magnolia air, and
our summer tasted like floral sugar cookies
that melted on our tongues
like traces of silver dew in mid-morning sun.
Late October offered the brown incense
of its intoxicating leaf decay,
and every mountainside waved its playful
yellows, and held close its
as if the seasons of the sun
had been merely a moment of
forgetting to wrap our fragile souls
in thick, soft sweaters,
for now, the greedy, growing night
catches us up in its cold, black elegy
for the loss of all things warm and green.
By Martha Owens
Martha Owens lives in western North Carolina and teaches British literature at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy. Her poems have appeared in North Carolina Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, Pembroke Magazine, Lyricist, and Gray’s Sporting Journal.
Photo by fikmik
Nights of Early Spring
Nights of early spring, when evening,
With its scent of wattle, earth-warming,
Yields to the deep sky of stars,
The gusting, freezing, wild wind.
The year awakes and, before bird-song,
Flowers, the strength of sunshine,
The emptiness of longing, emptiness
Of night, marks the turn.
By John Leonard
You walk down every wood-lane—
Always in spring, when blossoms lift
In the wind, finches call—
And this is your gift, straying
Apart; yet what do you have
For those who are not with you?
Their sight is as keen, but does not
See what you see, reckon
What you know, they,
And their knowledge, cannot be apart
From yours, must see
The boughs, smell the damp woods.
By John Leonard
John Leonard was born in the UK and came to Australia in 1991. He completed a PhD at the University of Queensland and was poetry editor of Overland from 2003 to 2007. He has five collections of poetry. His Think of the World: Collected Poems 1986-2016 is available from lulu.com. His poetry has been translated into French, Croatian, Spanish and Chinese and published in those versions. Read more of his work at John Leonard’s Literary Pages.
Photo of wood lane by satori
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
Around the feeder ruby-throated
hummingbirds swoop flit hover
dance and fight and I wish
I could hear their
What would they tell me?
Do they discuss the weather
the local nest situation
compare the quality of spider silk
swap migration route stories
or point out their favorite flowers?
Do they have a pecking order
who goes first and why?
Maybe they talk about politics
or health insurance
immigration or crop prices
probably not though.
How would it feel to be
in the tiny jeweled body
unable to be still
a heart beating
six hundred times a minute.
If I could feel that I’d know
what it feels like to fly across
the Gulf of Mexico
hover swoop dive and
taste the nectar of a
By Carol Carpenter
Photo by the author
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.