Earthly Paradise

“…in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.”
-Shakespeare, The Tempest, III, ii, 140-3

A waterfall for every day of the year
and the water so clean I could drink
from everywhere I saw it flowing.
Mountains and ravines, a tangle
of vegetation, blue and green.

Night and day the surf beat
against the rocky shores,
and the forest was full of sounds—
leaves rustling and the sweet song
of the mountain nightingale,
an elusive bird nesting
in the hollow trunks of trees.

In the lowlands, near the river,
grapefruit hung from the trees
like golden suns,
and a young woman,
her skirt hiked above her knees,
bare-breasted, stood in the shallow river
where it ran over rocks,
washing her clothes.

It could have been a scene
from a pastoral idyll of long ago
that perhaps never existed,
a dream of someone’s life.

Into that life came a storm
that took everything away.
The woman I’d seen placidly washing
her clothes in a green dream
lost the blue house on the hillside
built by her husband—
all they had worked and strived for
washed away in the mudslide
after the hurricane,
when two months of rain
fell in a single day.

By Anne Whitehouse

rainforest and volcanic mountains


Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Meteor Shower, her second from Dos Madres Press (2016). Her novel Fall Love has just been published in Spanish translation as Amigos y Amantes. 2016 honors include Songs of Eretz’s, RhymeOn!’s, Common Good Books’, and Fitzgerald Museum’s poetry prizes. Visit her at AnneWhitehouse.com.

Rainforest and volcanic mountains on the Caribbean island of Dominica by krw14.

Severe Glory

Storm clouds come,
how loved you are,
how you bring the

steep pitch of heaven
close to our
exhausted earth.

Moving, lifting, giving
form to the sad blue
sea of sky,

relieving it of the numb
burden to always shine;
giving dramatic shape

color and wild wonder
to our begging eyes.
And beyond that,

you sink into our souls’
quicksand, though you
stay in command;

knowing your infinite
decree is to bring
a savage-severe

glory to this moment
of vast power that
strides on your soaring

trail, overtaking
the eagles’ fears.
Come, storm come.

By Ruth Rehberg

storm clouds over green grass


Photo of the authorRuth C. Rehberg lives with her family in the hills of western Wisconsin, daily reveling in the bounty of beauty around her Garden Valley home. Some of her happiest moments involve walking the roads and woods, scooting on her petunia-pink moped, porch-sitting every minute possible, breathing in the joy of the twilight-golden hour, and reading until her eyes can’t stay open. Gratitude to God for the beauty of the earth is her life’s work.

Cloud photo by R Harton

A Day at the Sea: Three Ocean Poems

Between

Misty fog
blurs the defining
line between sky
and sea. The world
outside my window
is verdant, veiled
in gray wool. Songbirds
flit, twitter & chase
in nearby branches,
their song frenetic.
I tug the blanket closer,
turn into the warm
length of your back.

By Kersten Christianson

 

Another Day Watching the Sea

The ocean bemoans not its color.
It wakes not early in the morning to curse
its blue or gray, its peace or rage; rather it rolls
into its crests and troughs. It simply exists.

By Kersten Christianson

 

Clamming with Mary Oliver

Shovels double as smooth-
handled walking sticks
their heads clang against rock
we hike the fingernail path
sea-tossed gravel, barnacle

low tide exposure, spot-
lighted by the open pupil,
headlamps in the dark night.
We walk to the clamming
grounds, encased in rain gear.

In gale, a concussion of rain,
Mary notes the intensity of squalls,
liken its migration to that of wild
geese, their high altitude foray
to familiar grounds. The storm

is enough to keep even locals
indoors on such night. The tide subtracts.
Here, no gentle raking of greywacke,
but an excavation, eventual butter clams.
Plucked from the walls of the holes we dig,

three-quarter moon faces in the bottom
of a bucket. Wading into the night sea to rinse
our haul, the tide turns. We keep those marked
with the horizon. When death comes,
chowder with warm bread.

By Kersten Christianson

sunset on beach


Christianson_Author Photo Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon Territory, she lives in Sitka, Alaska with her husband and photographer Bruce Christianson, and daughter Rie. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry through the University of Alaska Anchorage (2016). Her book of poetry Something Yet to Be Named published by Aldrich Press is forthcoming along with a chapbook What Caught Raven’s Eye by Petrogylph Press, both in 2017.

Beach photo by Ilia Torlin

Snowstorm Stella

staring out the window
in the noontide of
a Winter snowstorm,
I watch the trees
whip back and forth,
losing a fight
against the wind

By Rebeca Perez

woman watching snow at window


Rebeca Perez author photoRebeca is a mother, wife, and poet. She loves being out in nature. In love with all things art-related, obsessed with birds and flowers. She loves to collaborate with other creatives and poets.

Visit her website blendmylove.com

Photo by Oleksandra Borsuk

Red Sky in Morning

Chill sunrise flares over wetlands,
vernal ponds,
jagged frame of dark cypress.

Silver linings blush pink.
Gold ignites far horizon.

Approaching storm front seethes,
spills charcoal clouds
against frosted sand dunes.

Icy wind shrieks inland from ocean.
Electricity charges surrounding air.
Spiraling hawks hang in technicolor sky.

Temperatures plummet.

By Jennifer Lagier

red sunlight on blue gray clouds


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). Click here to visit her website. Photo by the author.

Photo by the author