By first light, we would
Taste rain in the wind
And watch clouds putter
Into frowns between sprinkles
We might even catch the moon
Pale and naked in his nightclothes
Either up too late or too early
For bed, suspended in the blue
Powder blush of daylight
And later, long after dusk
We’d delight in the peace
Of a colorless night lulling us
Into slumber hammocks
Until the moon would return
To chase us inside with his bright
Beams of confidence, flooding
Rooms through open windows
Like bold interrogation lights
I am an artist, hospice nurse and fiction author of two published novels, The Permanence of Waves and When Color Fades (LangMarc Publishing 2011/2013). Cien Pamieci, the Polish translation of When Color Fades was published by Proszynski Media (2013). My poetry has been published in Verse-Virtual poetry journal (2017) and by Transcendent Zero Press in Harbinger Asylum magazine (summer 2017). Sipping Raindrops, is from my collection called Raining Pears on Sunday.
Photo by Lane Erickson
5:10 am. The song of the wood thrush sounds a little forlorn, blending as it does with dreams not quite remembered. Sharing coffee with the internet doesn’t change my perception of its tone. I snap my laptop shut and harness Wally; we’re out the door by 6 am, hoping natural news will find us.
Mist rises up from the hayfield, dissipating the scents of the night. Wally’s nose twitches. A cow has wandered outside its pasture, tasting freedom in the tender greens. We wander through the local nursery in the quiet before its gates swing open. Wally waters the hydrangeas, roots stretching from the confines of buckets, waiting for a home. I calculate how many creeping thyme plants with their delicate purple flowers will blanket my rock wall. The “cheer, cheer” of a cardinal coaxes the wood thrush out of its mood.
Back home, I find my way to the garden and let it work its magic while I free tomato plants from weedy neighbors. Dirt finds its way under my nails and mama spiders carrying pure white orbs scurry into recesses. Early bumble bees lumber by, pulled by the scent of milkweed drifting over the fence. Dream remnants evaporate in the morning sun. Slowly, the song of the wood thrush brightens. I am ready for the day.
Janice Sina, former biology teacher turned veterinary assistant, observes and writes about nature, human and otherwise. She lives in East Haddam, Connecticut, US, where she strives to tread lightly on this Earth with her husband, her pets, and several thousand honeybees. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her first book, Songlines in the Key of B. You can find out more at janicesina.com
Photo of Song Thrush by Michael Lane
Slowly, the gloom of morning’s rain lifts. From my father’s ladder-back rocker, I watch sunlight worm its way through the clouds’ ceiling cracks and admire how green the grass has become in our overgrown yards. Once again, a part has sprung on the tractor, and we’re stuck in research, trying to find the part that will make our tractor ride again. This is a yearly ritual. So much depends on how many times one can say, ‘dammit,’ in a low growl — the sputter and choke and plume of gray smoke — are all part of the rush.
The grass grows and grows and grows, and we watch. We wonder if the neighbors are spying; no doubt, judging the state of yards gone wild with a sudden rash of dandelions, spinning gold into seeds; waiting for a gust of lake wind to blow against the infantry of wizen heads, setting a thousand wishes in motion to start, again.
Pity, this stubbornness can’t be us; even though, we talk like sixteen penny nails, we know our place here is temporal. So, what’s the rush?
M.J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College; and since 2000 to present, is a part time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students, K-12, in Rochester, New York, and surrounding area. She has three full length poetry collections, most recently Small Worlds Floating (2016) as well as Within Reach (2010) both from Cherry Grove Collections; Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003); and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin, New York, USA.
Photo by David Jones
Blessings in the clouds sound horns of plenty.
Her boys roll around in frenetic joy.
They are pinecones still maturing on the boughs,
on her song in the sweetness of wind-borne bells.
Her words will remain when her voice flies away.
She weaves yarn through her backyard long pines
so her children can wander their own unknown.
She watches from the porch with gratitude
they’re still young enough they still return home.
The bridge outside connects the creek sides,
brides swim their dresses out to sea ― she teaches
her sons to see with their minds, not eyes.
Rivers scoop lakes at their estuaries.
A marble she holds encases the oceans.
Tending futures inside, she polishes the sky’s eye,
guards her kids tugging rope up the creek side
and swinging into the long line of horizon.
By Catherine Zickgraf
Catherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities, but now her main jobs are to hang out with her family and write more poetry. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press and is available on Amazon.com.
Photo by tunedin123
Like plush carpet,
fields and fencerows.
Warming on the stone porch,
a garter snake glistens
in the bright morning sun.
Emerald leaves drip over
speckled with bird nests.
The wind pauses
catching a cool green breath
before the dry throat
By Carol Carpenter
Carol Carpenter is a poet/writer/photographer living in rural northwest Missouri with her man and three cats. A former emergency medical technician and grocery goddess, Carpenter enjoys walking, writing, exploring and watching the birds. She also likes to travel and play with her grandson. Carpenter received a B.S. in English from Peru State College in 2010. Her work has been published in Fine Lines, Your Country Neighbor, The Lincoln Underground, Plains Song Review, NatureWriting and Missouri Life. Carpenter’s first chapbook, Earth Songs, was released in April 2015.
Photo by efired