Buddha Nature

Not even a Bengali bride arrayed
in all her glory, with vermilion dye
boldly stroked on hands and feet, with golden
ornaments, and brilliant silken sari
has been made like the monarch butterfly
that’s stopped in my New York City community garden.

It’s got so far to go! To Mexico
is 2,500 miles or more. Can pity
be silly? The creature’s not thinking, “Oy vey, how hard!”

Close, wings, to rest and feed,
      and neither hoping
        nor not-hoping,
             open,
            proceed.

By Becca Menon

american monarch on orange flower


Becca Menon is a writer, editor and translator. See more of her work at BeccaBooks.

Photo of monarch butterfly by marimadesign

Fertile Earth

I.
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.

II.
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.

III.
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.

New England November

Tail end of autumn
the in-between time
bare maples branches
dry leaves scuttle

A young bear pushes his nose
into heaped up leaves
poking through for acorns
coyotes howl late afternoon
once twilight falls
barred owls call right up
until bed time

The land reads browns and greys
scattered red berries
puckered purple grapes.
Winter hasn’t emerged yet,
although she’s expected.
Garden plots are groomed
in anticipation of her arrival.

Like the tide line between sand and sea
November separates the seasons
of life pushing out of seed and egg,
then returning to ground
November holds her cards close
taking her time
waits for those last geese to fly

Listen to the water ripple against the shore
and honor Manannán mac Lir
I have not gold to skillfully beat into form
but I put an offering into to the water

By Elaine Reardon

small gold boat and cup

The gold boat is one of the gold objects from the Broighter Hoard found in Broighter, Co. Derry. It may have been an offering to the sea god, Manannán mac Lir. The photo of the gold boat is from The National History Museum in Dublin Ireland.frosted leaves


Book coverElaine is a poet, herbalist, educator, and a member of the Society of Children’s BookAuthor Photo Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook,The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, recently won first honors from Flutter Press as the top seller of 2016. Most recently Elaine’s poetry has been published by Three Drops from a Cauldron Journal, MASS Poet of the Moment, and poetrysuperhighway.com. Elaine lives tucked into the forest in Central Massachusetts and maintains a blog at elainereardon.wordpress.com

Photo of frosted leaves by the author

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

Upon the Ebb and Flow

From atop the great stone pine trees
dragonflies fantasize of summertime;
of warmer mornings and balmy winds,
while dodging flycatchers and bullfrogs.
The grass now brown beside the pond
wolves howl to worship a harvest moon
barn owls love the nightly stellar show
young geese enjoy a fresh cool sunrise.
Beating hearts strong by creek or marsh
deep rivers and great bays ebb and flow
deer and elk love the salty-sweet grass
quilts of colorful leaves cover meadows.
The rising sun bright in the eastern sky,
from within that great awakening forest
a lone cicada sings his mating sonnet
upon the ebb and flow is the life circle.

By Ken Allan Dronsfield

dragonfly on dry stalk


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! Ken’s new book, The Cellaring a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com. He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available from Amazon.com.

Photo of Halloween Pennant dragonfly by Marie-Ann Daloia