Canyon Song

I live deep within
Steep canyons,
That cradle sparkling creeks,
Where trees and bushes
Garment the hillsides
In a million shades of green.

When I walk the ridge
Early in the day
I keep company
With squirrel, fox and deer.
Osprey call down the canyon
As the morning sun
Turns the treetops silver.

As I stand high above Elk Creek
A song teases itself
Into my awareness.

I wait.​

Far down the canyon
It begins.
A sound like rushing water.
From miles away,
It begins to build.
It starts at the mouth
Of Elk Creek,
Where it joins the Klamath River.

The sound holds me.

Far in the distance
The trees begin to dance.

Wind!
That’s the sound,
The song I hear.

Here it comes
Up the canyon.
Sweeping along ,
Swaying the trees,
Sight and sound merging.

Crescendo.

A
Forest
Orchestra
Plays just for me.
Loud the song of wind and trees
Swirling around and through me,
Coming up the canyon.

I am in awe.

For long moments
I am the chorale,
And then it passed
Moving up the Canyon.
Fading into the distance.

Diminuendo.

I stand alone
Humbled by the gift
Of these precious moments;
To be awake and aware,
To catch
The Canyon’s Song.

By Judi Brannan Armbruster


Judi Brannan Armbruster, is a direct descendant of Ah Ish Ka’a, Full Blood Karuk of northern California. In the mid 90’s she returned to ancestral territory, and found the threads of her poetic voice. She is 69 years old, separated, and the mother of one daughter. Her poetry is found on the Internet, in literary magazines and anthologies. Judi’s poetry covers the journey out of an abusive home, through two abusive relationships, and finally to healing as she connected with her ancestral roots and grounded herself in Nature. The journey continues.

Photo by lzflzf

Cambria Morning Visitors

A trusting doe and half-grown fawn
oversee my exodus from warm cabin
to chilly trail curling through
oak forest, ending at ocean.

They calmly browse dewy grass
as frenetic gray squirrels
chatter, chase one another
up and down tree trunks.

Deer emerge from morning mist,
forage among meadows and canyons.
To them, I am nothing to fear,
just another meandering mammal.

By Jennifer Lagier

two deer in a grassy yard


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.

Raincloud Sunrise

Gold-edged coral and lavender clouds
hang above sunrise meadow.
Flailing cypress frame umber trail,
muddy vernal pond shallows.

Any minute, unsettled sky might deliver
concussive rumbling thunder,
platinum lightning strikes,
torrential downpour.

Water fowl burrow deeper
within disintegrating tule berms.
Chilled earth tenses, contracts.
Sniper rain fusillade splinters calmness.

By Jennifer Lagier

orange and purple clouds above walking path


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.

New Years Day, California

Noon sun
so low but
welcome, welcome

Barbecue grate
crusted sizzle
cold to touch

Plastic tugboat
bright blue among fallen leaves
child in college

Cracked window glass
last summer’s
tennis ball

Planter box
bulbs within, stirring
days after solstice.

Wooden loveseat
rotten, unsafe for sitting
but what of love?

Chimney bricks fallen,
mishmash since the earthquake,
home to lizards

Ceramic urn
my brother’s ashes scattered,
now vintage rainwater
wiggling black nymphs

Garbage can upside down
yesterday when I lifted
turtle eggs glistened
so set back, gently
until spring

By Joe Cottonwood

chair in sunset silhouette


Joe Cottonwood has worked as a carpenter, plumber, and electrician for most of his life. Construction work may seem the antithesis of nature, but Joe would point out that birds do it, bees do it, and he tries to 99 Jobs Book Coverbuild in harmony with the environment using salvaged materials wherever possible. He is the author of nine published novels, a book of poetry, and a memoir. He lives in La Honda, California, where he built a house and raised a family under (and at the mercy of) a giant redwood trees. His most recent book is 99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses. His website is JoeCottonwood.com Photo of Love Seat at La Honda is by the author.

At Year’s End

Sunset at Gold Beach

Sunset is
an orange ribbon above the horizon,
fading to baby blue twilight.
The sky
gray flannel, nap side up.
The swaddling blanket
cradling the ocean at rest.

By Barbara Meier

 

Yearly Love Affair

Fall, I’m always falling for you, it’s
a yearly love affair that’s got me
forever wishing to see your beauty

I’m transfixed, with engaging thoughts
of whispering into your easy breezy ears
“don’t leave me, yet again, sweetness….”

By James Blaylock

 

foothills of colorado

a melodious voice from the reeds
as I happened to pause nearby
and, fortunately, knowing
nothing enough about anything,
I listened as it whispered
“everything is ready,
everything is as should be”
and, standing there awhile,
I smiled, and just knew
I had to write this down

By ayaz daryl nielsen

 

Reflection

I reflect upon my life,
as sparrows flutter past.

Snow drifting from an emotionless sky.

I think of my family, that
are now miles away.

Maple and oak trees have
been depleted of leaves,
squirrels are in hiding.

A lone tear streams down
my rosy cheek, it topples
into the snow, becoming
one with earth and its sorrow.

By Wayne Russell

 

Melancholy Winter

Watching the pink skies
a melancholy feel,
it’s that time of year
winter cold surreal.
Bundled up I am
walking on the white
snow blanket so bright,
to cover all tonight.
Melancholy feel
winter night is here
invigorating cold
Christmas snow sincere.

By Ana Torres

 

Tanka

I give myself to
winter, smothering the pines
with quiet snow. (The
pearl-gray sky: clouds shattering.)

I give myself to the pines.

By Tyler Mortensen-Hayes