Autumn is Drumming

Oak and hickory trees surround a clapboard house
and a mahogany porch capped by a pine rail.

Acorns beat and tap in late summer,
percussion plays day and night.
They whack, crack, cascade down the roof,
sail in the air, thwack the deck, clink on slate,
ricochet off clapboards,
land with a whump in moss.

It’s raining nuts.
Snare, bass and timpani
strike out a beat in 3 and 9 time.
They pummel the house, yard and driveway
making a feast for crows, squirrels and moles.

Not long ago, this rain song meant bounty.
People would gather and eat acorns,
now we step on them, crunch them
and resent their knocking on the roof

Season tapers, song fades.
Oak trees beat one last roll
to send the red throated hummers south,
trees go silent when they leave.

By Ingrid Bruck

oak tree by clapboard house

Ingrid Bruck writes nature inspired poetry and grows wildflowers. She’s a retired library director living in the Amish country of Pennsylvania that inhabits her writing. Her favorite forms are haiku, haibun, senryu, rengay and short poems. Some published work appears in Mataroyshka Poetry, Unbroken Journal, Halcyon Days, Quatrain.Fish, Under the Basho, The Song Is and Leaves of Ink. Visit her poetry website: Photo by the author.


Until the springtime of the garden’s well
when water whites as the sky’s eye
and curiosity as a nameless fruit
makes you remember

It will be light throughout the day
when the moon and stars are curtained
in blue, butterfly wing blue,
and petaled songs are brighter
than their evening selves

The hermit thrush will find your branch
and there sing to itself, as if your mind
mirrors. It lullabies the sun with green
lyrics, music green as the grove
where the bamboo measures itself
as the future’s flute

By Jonel Abellanosa

Hermit Thrush perched on branch

Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including, Marsh Hawk Review, Rattle, Anglican Theological Review, Star*Line, Poetry Kanto, Spirit Fire Review, Rat’s Ass Review, The McNeese Review, GNU Journal and The Penman Review. He has three chapbooks, “Pictures of the Floating World” (Kind of a Hurricane Press), “The Freeflowing All” (Black Poppy Review) and “Meditations” (Alien Buddha Press). He is a Pushcart Prize and a Dwarf Stars Award nominee.

Photo of Hermit Thrush from All About Birds


Take this stitch, this little green stitch,
take the second stitch, turn it sideways,
remember how wind blows prairie grasses
this way and that. Eases the mind,
reminds the observer about the sky
Earth lives in. Everything on the planet
more circle than line, moves zig zag.
Picture the hawk riding thermals,
think of the wave seeming forward
but pulling back. Somehow the beat of
the heart feels round as though it could be
comfortable held in the palm. Blood veins
and arteries so seldom really straight.
Think of head and eyes, junction of joint
with joint, knobs of bone and how tendons
wrap. A rope may be stretched straight but
it’s braided, strand curled over strand,
a snake can move only by twisting,
thought grows by exploding in all directions.

By Grace Marie Grafton

salsify plants in prairie

Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six collections of poetry, which can be reviewed on Amazon’s site. Grafton_Whimsey_CoverShe lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a redwood tree outside her kitchen door and a native live oak next to her deck. Nearby are red squirrels, raccoons, salamanders, and (never seen) mountain lions. Other of her nature poems can be found in Canary (online), Peacock Journal (online), Third Wednesday, Poecology and The Common Ground Review. Her book, Whimsy, Reticence and Laud: unruly sonnets, is rooted in her love of nature. She has taught for decades with CA Poets in the Schools, frequently taking her grade school students outdoors for their poetry lessons.

Photo of salsify among prairie grasses by Weldon Schloneger.

The Passage

I have allowed myself
to stand long in reality’s kitchen,
washing tangible dishes,
looking out the dark dream window
at the seductive dancing
of a ghastly, sallow figure who
beckons with one bony hand,
and tugs on the back of my dress
with the other

while I work to scrub away
the sticky residue of a
deviant limbic system.

But I have trodden the grassy passage
to the Eden of the mind, where
the healing place is
a supple, fragrant light
broken by no shadow, revealing

the soft, jingling song of the cricket,
the insistent conversation of the gleaming crows,
the first cool breeze of a September morning,
the maple’s emerging red patchwork,
the crisp, surprising chomp of a doe making
short work of apples in the back yard,
the moss-muted sigh of the towering forest—

peace for the mind and abundant grace
in the bounty of the wren and
the sanctity of the scrub pine.

By Martha Owens

woman sitting by tree in fall sunlight

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 loganban


Tenacious cypress anchor living windbreak,
detain shreds of traveling mist,
spill glittery, miniature diamonds.

As rough squalls rage ashore,
walkers traverse a protective tunnel
that rebuffs sandblasting zephyrs.

Through an intersection of twisted limbs,
vignettes of spindrift, frenzied spume.
Sailboats yaw, tack between irate breakers

By Jennifer Lagier

wind-sculptured cypress along coast

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), Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018).Click here to visit her website. Photo by the author.