The Spider’s Sleep In The Arch Above My Door

She eats her yesterday,
the night the bees fled.
Reeling in, unhitching
intricacy.

The freight train rumbles,
the coyote humbles its soft feet
in the melon patch
and pole beans
near her silent spinning
over the door we share.

Like me, she tosses dream-silk
to the nearest fragile limb
asleep in the dim light
to snag an anchorhold
on what she must do,
what cares to be seen to,
or believe in with the coming
of dawn’s jewel-dew.

Relentless under the impromptu
show of one lonely star in cloud-drift,
a screech owl’s rapid strike,
the crackle of street light,
her night work ties up single
tether points, casting
off broken ones, eaten,
prayers stretched from her hold.

Nimbled for the rising
of a take-for-granted sun,
she finishes a catch-all for a day
into which wanderers
might fly.

By Tricia Knoll

spider and web close up.


Knoll_Author_PhotoI wrote my chapbook Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press) some years ago and spent time looking for stories and events that highlighted the interface between wild creatures and humans in urban habitat. I live near a small creek in Portland which is a corridor for coyotes. Each fall a pileated woodpecker comes back to investigate my alder trees. I was captivated by this story of Isolde and the other red tails who have found niches in New York City. Website: triciaknoll.com

Photo of spider web by Noppharat Manakul

The Fallen Forest Tree

I think on this blue planet,
slant of rain, scud of cloud,
surge of river, the glittering sea,
flocks that flit, dart or soar,
wandering herds, encircling wolves,
coral blaze, fish, whale and krill,
leopard lazing in curve of tree,
myriad life given and accepted back
over aeons as the spinning earth treks
through the black void of space.

I raise my eyes from the fallen tree
to the tree tops and to the sky.
The abundant cycle of life and loss
stretches endlessly beyond
this transient moment where I live,
yet why should I regret its brevity?
I embrace its mystery and privilege,
thankful that for at least this brief moment
I have lived to gaze upon the earth
in deep wonder and in awe.

By Neil Creighton
First Published in Praxis Mag Online

 fallen trees along creek in the autumn


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

Photo by Xalanx

Land of Awakening

Whirling memories,
going to winter sleep.
Paved leaves
stroking
the grass still green.

Pity that on the surface
can only be seen
bare,
swinging branches,
chilled and awaiting –
for the rays of life.

Rays –
to the land of awakening:
fields of grain,
smell of meadows
and in the Summer Dream
of memorised faces.

And in the summer?
Awakened by the May sun
old oaks and birches,
– like every day –
will be able to look at themselves
in the Green Pond.

By Eliza Segiet
Translated by Artur Komoter

the author in a meadow of flowers


Eliza Segiet is a Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź, Poland. She is the author of six poetry collections including Cloudiness (2016) and Thought Mirages (2017).

Photo supplied by the author.

Song of the Titmouse

Light shined, and the world revolved perfectly. All seemed to be in its rightful place. A breeze drifted by, playfully picking up spray from a brook. It lifted drops off of the brilliant blue surface. The water, swift and clear, carved grooves in its muddy banks. A soothing warmth beamed down from sun, and encouraged an easy repose. Grass responded, growing at its greenest beneath trees that reached out with strong, unwavering boughs. Everything was radiant and alive. On one branch, a titmouse sang; the world seemed brighter for it.

Light gleamed, though shadows darkened. Elms and oaks bent in submission to a howling, restless wind. It swept through, lifting water up in sheets from a nearby river. Careless and confused, the current surged on in chase of a destination ever far and out of sight. In a bordering field, weeds grew in with grass, replacing flowers. Tall trees stood strong, while brambles curled about their trunks. A titmouse sang, the sound clear despite the relentless wind. Nature was heartened, and journeyed on.

Light shone out through a thick haze, tiring in its resistance against the gloom. Wet on wet, a steady downpour beat upon the surface of a stream. Unclear of where it headed, the waters simply moved of habit. Old mudbanks loomed far above what had become a steady trickle. The gale surged on, air thick with frigid water. It was impossible to tell which water was of the creek and which was of the sky. It made no difference anyhow. The icy blasts continued their barrage, leaving grass and weeds flattened as one. All remaining flowers died, too delicate for such a strain. The last and strongest branches cracked on trees with sturdy trunks. With tones of hope and determination, a titmouse spun a tune above the din. From this, creation took great strength, and still endured.

Darkness seeped into the cracks, sensing victory at hand. Air spiraled in a wind of biting cold, with no restraint. Where water had once rushed, snow and ice battered down on an empty channel. Weeds had choked out all the grass. Hollow pillars, once having reached for the sky, stood creaking, simply there. A voice called out; a single, lonely, beautiful note that wavered on the wind. It waned, and began to crack.

The call was gone, and the last of the light let go.

By Sophia Anne Charles

small grey bird perched on branch


Sophia Anne Charles is a talented, emerging writer of nature-oriented poetry and thoughtful, short fiction. Her focus is the intersection of nature, the human spirit and life’s often-lost simple observations. She resides in Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Photo of Tufted Titmouse by Brian Lasenby

Autumn Leaf

Browning—
veins collapse,
fractured colors of spine
turn yellow, brown,
holding dry, vacant spaces
where green once lived.
Tattered dark lungs split,
touching leaves with green,
leaves that beam youth and
blow about majestic in trees
that caress the sun
with mutual consent.
Fading and burnt—
tears tear holes on the surface,
to breathe.
The wind sends its air,
kissing where the sun strikes,
to put out fires.
With wind, there is grace
to fly, to move, to breathe
perchance to joy
as leaf
in decay.

By Caroline Kautsire


Caroline Kautsire is originally from Malawi, Africa, and she graduated from Brown University with an M.A. in English Literature and Language. She is an English instructor in Boston and is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Emerson College. Photo by the author.