Marie Creek

Smallest of flames — a spark.
Globs of white crystallized water
cling to spruce needles before
bowing to pressure in the only
direction worth mentioning.
Imagine…
Perception precedes
existence, or not.
Next to something peaceful,
at least.

By Brandon Earl MacLeod

snow covered creek and trees


Brandon Earl MacLeod is a poet, photographer, and teacher from Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. He resides in North Spirit Lake, Ontario where he taught journalism with Journalists for Human Rights’ Indigenous Reporters Program and now works with students primarily on literacy and humanities. Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Brandon is of Métis heritage and looks up to his Auntie Connie, a watercolour artist, for inspiration. Spending time outdoors has been something of a healing process and place of discovery and his poem Marie Creek was written among the trees and creeks in the forests of northern Alberta. Much of Brandon’s poetry is written about and while surrounded by the natural world and is available, along with his selected photos and published works, at brandomaclo.tumblr.com.

Photo of snowy creek by Wildman

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

The Leaves Wink

Whispered stillness at dawn
summer candle burning low
a quieted hush upon a breeze
orange koi rise in the fountain.
Leaves wink in the sun’s haze
toaster pops my English muffin
coffee pot chugs along slowly
cars roll by as the day begins.
Sirens echo in the distant hills
dogs howl and children smile
faceless people rush to a bus
lazy summer awaiting autumn.
Pumpkin patch on it’s final days
crispy mornings and hot cocoa.
Autumn’s time has now arrived,
leaves wink because they know.

By Ken Allan Dronsfield

 colorful leaves & pumpkins at old house


Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who was nominated for The Best of the Net and two Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cats Willa, Hemi and Turbo. 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 autumn leaves at an old homestead by Ernest Prim

Disciple

—after Mary Oliver

Pencils hidden in trees in case something speaks to her,
in case she is urged to respond as she wanders forest, seashore—
this patch of Province Lands packed with emblems.

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

A disciple of Thoreau ― world as cipher, subtext:
the disquieted deer, seven white butterflies,
watchful owl, battered whelk,
the world’s roots, what lies under?

Graced as it is with the ordinary.

It is sweet to wake each day, to taste sea spray,
smell the fecund earth, feel birch bark,

You are the heart of the cedars of Lebanon
and the fir called Douglas
the bristlecone, the willow.

fit onto a meditation seat of moss,
hear the cacophony of birdsong, ocean splash.

I dream at night of the birds, of the beautiful
dark seas they push through.

It is not a wide range of space that matters,
but what each part means to the whole, to the human soul.
Blackwater Pond is life ― dross, infinite, random.

Tell me what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Stilled in each moment noting connections in this palette of the varied.

Luminous as it is with mystery
and pain.

Not human society but permutations of God:
marsh lily, gull, the Truro bear.

There is only one question:
how to love this world?

Moments one knows what it is to be alive
fully and willing to live fully in the moment.

Morning by singular morning
and shell by broken shell.

By Marc Frazier
Italicized lines are from Mary Oliver.

sun shining through forest trees


Marc Frazier has widely published poetry in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, Good Men Project, f(r)iction, The Gay and Lesbian Review (forthcoming), Slant, Permafrost, Plainsongs, and Poet Lore. He has had memoir from his book WITHOUT published in Gravel, The Good Men Project, decomP, Autre Cobalt Magazine and Evening Street Review and Punctuate (forthcoming). He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry and has been featured on Verse Daily. His book The Way Here and his two chapbooks are available on Amazon as well as his second full-length collection titled Each Thing Touches (Glass Lyre Press) that has garnered numerous favorable reviews. His website is www.marcfrazier.org.

Photo by the author.