Oasis

This quiet morning
watching birds at the water
Crane standing deep to his knees

Habitat in still morning. Poised sentinel grey heron flees before noonday fountain performance. Widening ripples clear water lilies, slender grasses, and sticky sedges swirl toward the verges, where a Snowy Egret wades for frogs, and inky cormorant warms its widened wings.

Summer afternoon
on a bench behind green reeds
not to scare the birds …

Hostile city leaks through the watery sound filter. Rising, arching and falling on this summer-languid pool. Whispered splashes calm and diffuse the hubbub — or try — yet on the avenue, motorbikes vroom and sirens pierce, and a helicopter’s vibration taunts like mouth raspberries formed by a loose-lipped child.

Morning, they’ll return —
now only the brave remain,
Carp swirl through water.

Hours pass, urban cacophony subsides, sound of spray dissolves into night, I hear insects through the screens.

Evening — quiet.
I rest on the couch — what’s that?
Katydid scratching!

By Mary Ellen Gambutti

reflections in a small pond


Mary Ellen writes about her life as an Air Force daughter, search and reunion with her birth family, her gardening career, and her survival of a stroke at mid-life. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Gravel Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Remembered Arts Journal, The Vignette Review, Modern Creative Life, Halcyon Days, The Book Ends Review, and . Her short memoir, Stroke Story, My Journey There and Back is self-published. She and her husband live in Sarasota, Florida, with their rescued Schnoodle. Photo by the author.

Gulf Sunset

Even with your eyes closed, you have a vivid impression of me. You see and feel me, a Florida Gulf Coast legend. Your first impression may have been orange, but I’m so much more than red and yellow combined. I hold a myriad blend of colors. Notice my amber, my apricot, my tangerine. Feel my salmon and gold flame. Let my peach-yellow-tomato hues wash over you. Experience my glow and warmth.

How is it that I am? Cloud reflection of slanting sun. Sunlight on dust particles and clouds. Light passing through more atmosphere near horizon, long visible light waves, favoring oranges and reds.

Now, enjoy the complete picture. You sit on the beach, feel warm Gulf breezes and watch as I drop through the changing sky. Listen to the murmur of the gentle surf as light changes growing more subtle. Gulls and Pelicans graze the water, as I gradually disappear below the waiting horizon line.

bright golden sunset over ocean


Mary Ellen writes about her life as an Air Force daughter, search and reunion with her birth family, her gardening career, and her survival of a stroke at mid-life. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Gravel Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Remembered Arts Journal, The Vignette Review, Modern Creative Life, Halcyon Days, The Book Ends Review, and . Her short memoir, Stroke Story, My Journey There and Back is self-published. She and her husband live in Sarasota, Florida, with their rescued Schnoodle. Photo by the author