Summer Music

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.
song thrush singing on branch,
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

Photo of Song Thrush by Michael Lane

Starry Summer Nights

Van Gogh sky,
alive with firefly flashes,
sleepy traces of summer sunset,
honeysuckle breeze across my arms,
sun-kissed hair that tickles my cheek.
The greens defy language
as tree shadows pass across the lawn.

What does the wind sing to me?
Love will find you again,
if you learn to rest
in this starry night.

By Sheri Gabbert


Painting of sunset

Sheri Gabbert Author photoSheri Gabbert is a substitute teacher living in the Missouri Ozarks with her miniature schnauzer, Rilke. Her work has been published in Moon City Review, new graffiti, The Quotable, Rat’s Ass Review, Communicator’s League, Drunk Monkeys, Serving House Journal, Eunoia, Bindweed, 417Magazine, Street Buzz, and The Lawrence County Record.

Original Art by Karlo Sevilla: “Dusk” oil on canvas, 1990

June Wedding: A Shadorma

sips gladiolus
nectar, wings
abuzz while
lending a hint of scarlet
to bridesmaid-pink blooms

By M Stone

hummingbird hovers in the front of a flower

M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes fiction and poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She can be reached at

A Shadorma is a six-line poem of 26 syllables with a specific syllable count for each line: 3/5/3/3/7/5. Multiple Shadormas may be linked by words or theme to form a single poem.

Photo by Ivan Paunovic

Early Summer

Like plush carpet,
grass thickens
along ditches,
fields and fencerows.

Warming on the stone porch,
a garter snake glistens
in the bright morning sun.

Emerald leaves drip over
heavy branches
speckled with bird nests.

The wind pauses
catching a cool green breath
before the dry throat
of summer.

By Carol Carpenter

Sunrise behind tree and green meadow

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

Veined Scales

Shaped like a bullet
slim and tight
wrapped in sheer

veined scales
it carries an air of
haughty authority

ready to expose its
regal underbelly if
a warm day comes

six ruffled ears
of fluttering
royal purple

edged with trickles
of bronzed zebra
stripes holding a

viper’s forked tongue
split three ways
spitting gold fuzz

from the hidden hot
depths like a lethal
being long trapped

an Iris has emerged
as queen into the
jungle-wild June air

By Ruth Rehberg

a single blue iris amid green leaves

Ruth Lives in Alma Center, Wisconsin, USA

Photo by Alexandr Zyryanov