Dancing Jackdaws

They thumb the sky
standing with emptiness
the coals below all used
now dance in the air

dance in the air.

The jackdaws are house
building on the old chimneys
their ash wings flick and flutter

dance in the air
dance in the air.

The village below sits
like an old hearth, until
the jackdaws make the blue

sky wave and ripple
giving light to their lives

By Gareth Culshaw

jackdaw couple on a chimney of a house


<smallGareth lives in North Wales. He loves the outdoors especially Snowdonia. He is published in various magazines across the U.K. Visit his website here.

Photo of jackdaws on chimney by Siegfried Kopp

Even Rock

Even rock in its hard, unyielding temperament
succumbs to the softer things of earth.
Roots for one, soil too, perhaps young maples,
even moss and algae hardening into scales
of glowing lichens and their continual prodding,
will one day break open what was once immovable.

By Cynthia Sidrane

Rocks and leaves of small plants


As a desert and mountain dweller and avid hiker, Cynthia Sidrane’s poetry and photography are reflections of the wild, remote and rugged beauty of Arizona deserts, and the Sky Island mountain ranges that rise like miracles from them. Her poems have been published online and in print, including two short-form poetry anthologies: “Pay Attention, A River of Stones,” and “A Blackbird Sings.”

Photo by the author.

The Coffin Song

I hear the song in the hedge
breaking the car noise
in the road I wait by.

His song stretches like a river
rippling along the shallowness
that comes with our world.

He stands hidden in black
his voice at times a rapid
bouncing across the metal.

I stand by the bus stop
being filled with his liquid notes
that feed my bones

all the while he stays
out of reach, out of sight
hidden in his black coat

the undertaker carrying our deaths.

By Gareth Culshaw

blackbird in hedgerow


Gareth lives in North Wales. He loves the outdoors especially Snowdonia. He is published in various magazines across the U.K. Visit his website here.

Photo of blackbird (Turdus merula) by Stanislav Slavov

Current

The fast moving stream
has slowed to a dull lumbering
movement, the waters
shuffle and scuffle by, a calm
lull of sound

This is the place I held
on while we waded, unaware
of who I would be, what
life would bring

Dew on the grass, chirping
all around us, the lap
of water offering a constant
natural baptism.

By JD DeHart


JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His poems have appeared in Gargouille and The Other Herald, among other publications. DeHart blogs at jddehartpoetry.blogspot.com.

House with Wings

A winter morning’s Cooper’s hawk
sends a chill of silence
through the Inca doves who know
when to disappear. They’re early
with the thrasher, whose call identifies
the yard as desert, even while pigeons
claim it for the city. We moved
into this house when Black widow spiders
held a lease on the crawl space
and lizards were lightning
on the orange tree trunk. The foundations
have shifted from Carter
to Reagan to Clinton to what
we have now, and mockingbirds
still line the darkness in spring
with the silver in their songs. The high
pitched chatter in the palm trees
turns green with a flash
of lovebirds, for whom the neighborhood
is almost Africa. When it’s late
for the sparrows and finches,
a few bats shred the air
with their wings, and the single
brown note from Abert’s towhee
is the sound of the sun going down.

By David Chorlton

rosy-faced lovebirds in Phoenix tree


David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications on- and off-line, and reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. His newest collection of poems is Bird on a Wire from Presa Press, and late in 2017 The Bitter Oleander Press will publish Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant.

Photo of rosy-faced lovebirds in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, by the author