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.

Fertile Earth

In the corner of the garden
we found the perfect spot
for the damask rose “Celsiana,”
but when we dug, we hit a boulder.
I said, “Let’s plant somewhere else.”
“No,” she disagreed, “we’ll find a way.”

For two hours we dug around it,
but couldn’t get it to budge.
With a plank, we made a lever.
The two of us stood on one end
and bounced up and down
and finally felt it dislodge.

It took two planks and the two of us
working all day to dig it out:
there, at last, unearthed,
a rock the size of a coffee table.
Two women, one aging and one old–
we gaped in awe of what we’d done.

With patience, forbearance, and a stubborn will,
almost any obstacle can be made to yield.

She taught me to trust myself to find a way;
she taught me to look for it close at hand.

In the rock’s place grows the sturdy rose,
whose soft pink blooms and golden stamens
delight our summers.

The rock remained, too big to take away;
transplanted ferns now shelter in its shade.

All afternoon before t.he rain,
I clipped the dead hostas’ withered stems
and raked out piles of dead leaves from the beds.

Wet and chill, as if a cloud had sunk to earth,
in the strangely muffled air of November,
I listened to the chirp of a hawk circling overhead.

My body bent to my labors; my mind wandered free.
Make room! More room!

By Anne Whitehouse

flower garden with a rock

Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Meteor Shower, her second from Dos Madres Press (2016). Her novel Fall Love has just been published in Spanish translation as Amigos y Amantes. 2016 honors include Songs of Eretz’s, RhymeOn!’s, Common Good Books’, and Fitzgerald Museum’s poetry prizes. Visit her at AnneWhitehouse.com.

Photo of garden and boulder by uulgaa.

Autumn Grey Skies

Autumn grey skies
Draw a curtain
Upon summer’s stage;
An intermission for the parched Earth.

The leaves upon the trees
Rustle in anticipation,
Awaiting the season’s show.

Slowly, the curtain parts.
Drop by drop, the performers arrive,
And the trees give the rain
A standing ovation.

By Hilary Hirtle

bare urban trees after rain

Hilary Hirtle is a freelance writer and editor. She is an avid nature enthusiast and environmental activist. She currently resides in Westerville, Ohio, US.

Photo by Nataliya Gromko

Rusty Wet Leaves

boots of black, whetted by rain
forgotten memories left behind
woodpecker tapping upon birch
moss covered granite whispers
deer disappear into fern & pine
partridge drumming in harmony
woodland faeries smiling softly
path covered in rusty wet leaves
gentle breezes calm and serene
the distant call of Canadian geese
echo throughout the distant valley,
a peaceful surrender, enchantingly.

By Ken Allan Dronsfield

red & yellow leaves with mossy boulder

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran and poet. He is a three time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and twice nominated for the Best of the Net. His poems have been published world-wide throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken’s work can be found in The Burningword Journal, Belle Reve Journal, Blue Heron, The Stray Branch, Naturewriting, Now/Then Manchester Magazine UK, Scarlet Leaf Review, EMBOSS Magazine, and many more. Ken loves life!

Photo by Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz

Desert Rain: Two Sedona Poems

Sedona Rain Day
red rocks,
surrounded by
primordial fog

absent the
piercing, reflected
light of
desert sun,

allow for the
interior reflection
of muted, rain
soaked landscape

High Desert Benediction
Today is a day
for subtlety
in the high desert,
mountain peaks
that usually reflect
the sparkle of
unimpeded sun
against lapis sky,
left to be
themselves against
the darkening clouds
that carry the benediction
of gentle rain.

By Lucinda Marshall

Rai cluds over Sedona Mountains

Lucinda Marshall is a writer, artist, and activist. Her poetry publications include Sediments, GFT, Indolent Books’ What Rough Beast Series and the upcoming Poems in the Aftermath Anthology, Stepping Stones Magazine, Columbia Journal, Poetica Magazine, Haikuniverse, and ISLE. Her poem, ‘The Lilies Were In Bloom’ received an Honorable Mention in Waterline Writers’ Artists as Visionaries Climate Crisis Solutions contest. Lucinda co-facilitates the award-winning Gaithersburg, MD Teen Writing Club, and hosts a poetry reading and open mic series in Gaithersburg. For more information about her poetry and other work, please visit her website, Reclaiming Medusa, http://www.lucindamarshall.com.

Photo of red rock cliffs in Sedona by the author.