Lyre Birds

Well above the boulder-lined mountain creek,
the tangled profusion of vine and tree,
the spreading glory of strangler fig,
the remnant cedar’s towering beauty,

where the mountain steeply slopes,
where filtered sun casts a dappled light
where tall trees grow from leaf-littered ground,
stop for a moment in hushed delight.

Two young lyre birds cavort and display,
practising for some more urgent time
their dance, spread of tail and joy of song
with beauty far beyond the power of rhyme.

Their tail is two curves of yellow and black,
enclosing silver gossamer wisp
as delicately coloured as dew-filled web
or wind-blown sea mist.

This glory they arch over their backs,
graceful, delicate, surprising long,
then dancing a quick, little, staccato bob
pour from their throat liquid miracle of song.

Mimicry of diverse forest sounds
in effortless beauty from their throat pours-
kookaburra’s laugh, whip bird’s soar and crack,
king parrot, rosella and many unknown more.

Hush! The vault is blue, white and green,
there are ethereal slants of light,
great supporting buttress columns of trees,
and a choir praising in unrestrained delight.

Walk quietly away from this pure moment.
What you have seen is sublime.
Your heart is full of gratitude.
You sense a glimpse into the divine,

For on that on that mountainside
with effortless grace these small birds raise,
without tuition or much thumbed page,
their hymn of beauty and praise.

By Neil Creighton

close up of a lyre bird


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Watch and Listen on YouTube: Sounds From The Lyre Bird – David Attenborough – BBC Wildlife

Photo by Susan Flashman

Ashes to Ashes

Building slash piles
in the woods
bending to broken limbs
we haul and drag, pile and stash

our muscles stretch in fluid motion
limbs become extensions
of gnarled root bound undergrowth
woodsy moss, ferns and powdery

mushrooms leave a decaying
dirt odor in the air – ashes to ashes
leaves to dust
at the ends of our lives

we recycle our bodies
never ending resurrection
transgressions and souls,
mired into cool silent forests

By Sharon Harmon

moss on trees and branch pile in forest


I have lived deep in the woods of Royalston, Massachusetts, USA, for the last 28 years. Every morning I awake to a beautiful natural setting which changes daily, keeping me tuned in to the many wonders around me and the ones yet to be discovered. I am a poet and a freelance writer who writes for The Uniquely Quabbin Magazine. Contact Sharon Ann Harmon Publishing.

Photo by Aleksander Bołbot

Last Night I Tore Down This City

Last night, sleeping with my eyes open, I tore down this city—
every brick, every window, every signpost, every street, every
wall.

I pushed it all aside and kept going down until I was standing
waist deep in soil that hadn’t seen the sun for years. And beside
me a full tree grew in a minute, and I watched as it turned space
that was once space into space that is now life and I blinked and
there was a forest and finally I smiled and let myself blink
longer this time.

When the light flowed back in, the trees were gone. I had
trusted it all too much, and what I had left safely in shambles
had been re-membered piece by piece and all of the walls are
back. But I swear—I saw it. There is soil underneath us. There
was once a forest here.

By Taylor Winchell

Backlit oak tree by forest


Taylor Winchell was born and raised in San Diego, California. He received a BS from University of California Berkeley and an MS from Colorado University Boulder. He currently works as a water resources engineer, focusing on development planning in the Southeast Asia region. His writing has appeared in The Jetset Times, KQED Public Radio, The Boulder Weekly, and the journal of Geophysical Research Letters. He can be reached at taylorwinchell@gmail.com

Photo by the author

Rejuvenation

In another life
my body is a cradle,
storm-battered
and scarred,
a felled spruce
covered in soft moss
and resurrection fern
to slow my decay.

Seedlings sprout
in rich rot,
nurse on sugars
and the marrow
of dead wood,
new roots follow
my slow disintegration
into the forest floor.

By Mary Katherine Creel

a mossy tree trunk in the forest,


M K Creel Author PhotoMary Katherine Creel lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she has worked as a journalist, family counselor and copywriter. Her poems have been published in Paper Rabbit, Tar River Poetry, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and Avocet.

Photo by Yotrak Butda

Woods

Sliding through arches
of elms sunshine
yellow and warm as honey.

Moss crawls over mudstone
while squirrels skip
around tree stumps.

Imagine to be a sea gull
in blue wind pushing
air through your wing.

After the long rain
pine trees bending
with cones.

Branches etch evening sky
turning razzle dazzle
purple red citron.

Leaves drop like butterflies
filling the floor of forest
with crunchy foliage.

See this snowy storm of
light quickly quietly
covering our moon tonight.

Long winters keep
greatcoats of frost
wrapped around our woods.

By Joan McNerney

gold autumn forest with sunlight and sunbeams


Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.

Photo by Taiga