The end of winter, when the longer rains
contract and staccato eruptions cosmetize air
with tulip sounds and grassy dashes. Lacquered sun
melts my fixed stare, the frost tough to bite through.
Blessed stumble, gregarious gate, my dream of the woman
who knows how to mend the world. Her mango-scented
glance unravels my Teutonic structure. I had thought
I eschewed submission but her irresistible delivery
of scarlet underclothes behooves me to dance.
Adjacent to Earth’s be-ribboned roots I wait four
hours, heart to ground, for my next choreography.
They say, in our times, the bats die off, bees fall ill,
I hear the death cry of their drones while polar ice
caps soften. Am I wrong to idle in delirious love of
irises’ purple? Or does it constitute hope
to shore against my species’ juggernaut?
By Grace Marie Grafton
Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six collections of poetry, which can be reviewed on Amazon’s site. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a redwood tree outside her kitchen door and a native live oak next to her deck. Nearby are red squirrels, raccoons, salamanders, and (never seen) mountain lions. Other of her nature poems can be found in Canary (online), Peacock Journal (online), Third Wednesday, Poecology and The Common Ground Review. Her book, Whimsy, Reticence and Laud: unruly sonnets, is rooted in her love of nature. She has taught for decades with CA Poets in the Schools, frequently taking her grade school students outdoors for their poetry lessons.
Photo of purple crocus by Gelia
Wood thrush sings his heart out
The first tune I hear at daybreak
A trill so hauntingly sweet
As it softly nudges me awake
It echoes through the forest
With notes so bright and clear
Each year I await his arrival
A sure sign that spring is here
Of all the melodies in my woods
His flute-like song I love the best
It is both beautiful and eerie
As he sings with unfaltering zest
By Ann Christine Tabaka
Ann Christine Tabaka was born and lives in Delaware. She is a published poet, an artist, a chemist, and a personal trainer. She loves gardening, cooking, and the ocean. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her poems have been published in numerous national and international poetry journals, reviews, and anthologies. Chris has been selected as the resident Haiku poet for Stanzaic Stylings.
Photo of singing nightingale thrush in dark forest by Victor Tyakht
Until the springtime of the garden’s well
when water whites as the sky’s eye
and curiosity as a nameless fruit
makes you remember
It will be light throughout the day
when the moon and stars are curtained
in blue, butterfly wing blue,
and petaled songs are brighter
than their evening selves
The hermit thrush will find your branch
and there sing to itself, as if your mind
mirrors. It lullabies the sun with green
lyrics, music green as the grove
where the bamboo measures itself
as the future’s flute
By Jonel Abellanosa
Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including, Marsh Hawk Review, Rattle, Anglican Theological Review, Star*Line, Poetry Kanto, Spirit Fire Review, Rat’s Ass Review, The McNeese Review, GNU Journal and The Penman Review. He has three chapbooks, “Pictures of the Floating World” (Kind of a Hurricane Press), “The Freeflowing All” (Black Poppy Review) and “Meditations” (Alien Buddha Press). He is a Pushcart Prize and a Dwarf Stars Award nominee.
Photo of Hermit Thrush from All About Birds
Nights of Early Spring
Nights of early spring, when evening,
With its scent of wattle, earth-warming,
Yields to the deep sky of stars,
The gusting, freezing, wild wind.
The year awakes and, before bird-song,
Flowers, the strength of sunshine,
The emptiness of longing, emptiness
Of night, marks the turn.
By John Leonard
You walk down every wood-lane—
Always in spring, when blossoms lift
In the wind, finches call—
And this is your gift, straying
Apart; yet what do you have
For those who are not with you?
Their sight is as keen, but does not
See what you see, reckon
What you know, they,
And their knowledge, cannot be apart
From yours, must see
The boughs, smell the damp woods.
By John Leonard
John Leonard was born in the UK and came to Australia in 1991. He completed a PhD at the University of Queensland and was poetry editor of Overland from 2003 to 2007. He has five collections of poetry. His Think of the World: Collected Poems 1986-2016 is available from lulu.com. His poetry has been translated into French, Croatian, Spanish and Chinese and published in those versions. Read more of his work at John Leonard’s Literary Pages.
Photo of wood lane by satori
Weeks and weeks
Of rain after rain after rain
But today the sun has made
A triumphant return
And along with it
The electric extravagance
Of the grasses
The dazzling blue pageantry
Of the hawk-inhabited sky
And my heart’s invincible Wow!
By Buff Whitman-Bradley
The First Sunny Day in Weeks
Watching a northern harrier
Swooping and soaring
Circling and hovering and diving
Above the broad green marsh
And two white-tailed kites
Performing an intricate aerobatic duet
In the glittering afternoon air
We find it difficult to believe
That we are witnessing
Merely genetically encoded
Hunting and mating behavior
And not spontaneous tarantellas of wild elation
For the first sunny day in weeks
By Buff Whitman-Bradley
Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poetry has appeared in many print and online journals. He is the author of several volumes of poetry, most recently Cancer Cantata, poems written during his treatment for cancer in 2016. He lives with his wife Cynthia in northern California.
Photo of sunny grassland by Yuri Kravchenko