I saw it before it saw me.
Leaves trickled at first
then they were put in a vacuum

as a whirlwind passed along.
I sat still against the oak
watching it get closer.

Leaves tried to run in vain
but were picked up, thrown.
Only a second or two on passing

refreshing the path of stillness.
After it went I watched other leaves
scatter down the track

as if in fear of more corkscrewing.
I wondered if it was the air
unravelling a knot…

By Gareth Culshaw

wind whirling through trees and grass

Gareth lives in North Wales. He loves the outdoors especially Snowdonia. He is published in various magazines across the U.K. Visit his website here.

Photo of wind in the trees by nightlyviolet

Citizens United

If corporations are people
why can’t everything else be considered as people?

Vast empires would emerge in open spaces
and backyards. Diverse populations, like

Birch people, grass people, horse people, and finch people, Exist
in relative harmony, and have an economy worth emulating.

Shouldn’t their voices be considered equally
to the Fortune 500 or PACs and have their votes counted too?

How would mountains vote
After their insides have been strip-searched

For valuables and left discarded like rubble
Once their dignity and bodies have been ravaged?

What insight would oceans add to the discussion
on healthcare as their systems collapse from dis-ease?

Would their ill health be
from their lack of virtue?

Glaciers bid tearful good-byes into waterways.
Since they are seen mostly by scientists, skeptics will

Deny their existence and need for both, or they will
Cry fraud and proclaim glaciers were counted twice, both as ice and water.

The powerful waves of resistance are evidenced daily.
Unheeded, they will cleanse the definitions of sovereignty & dominion.

By Tom Lagasse

man and woman looking at forest

author by creekTom is a frequent contributor to Edible Nutmeg magazine. His other writing has appeared at The Feminine Collective, Faith, Hope & Fiction, The Artful Mind, The Sun, and Catholic Digest. He is an avid gardener and hiker. He lives in Bristol, CT and works at The Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, Connecticut, USA.

Winter Trees

I believe there is a particular welcome gesture in nature that announces another winter into the world. And if there is, it ought to be the nose-stinging coldness in the wind, a presence that makes breathing a painful chore. But like with all the challenges of life, you have to take it in, which is the only way to live a life of value. Winter season, to me, starts this way, with the chilling breeze preaching a stoic lecture on the struggles of life that are worthy of being undertaken. Every morning when I leave the comfort of my home to go to work, chill invades me wholly upon the opening of the front door. Listening to the click as the door shuts behind me, a surge of nostalgia fills my heart, momentarily reminding me of the warmth of the indoors, a comfort for which I have to wait till another evening, and work my way all through the day. Thus begin my mornings on any given weekday in the winters, with a tender fight between laziness and living.

As I walk along the pavement towards the tram-stop, I glance at the trees lined along the side of the bikers’ path, standing tall and stout. I see them slipping, with each passing day, into a calm slumber, like saints starting upon their meditation. As winter creeps upon the world, their leaves shed the green vigour little by little. Soon, as time for those leaves to depart from their shelters approaches, they adorn a yellow dryness upon themselves. And like that, one day they fall from their homes and become a carpet of nature for us to walk on. The trees are thus left barren and naked, and an aura of gloom reigns over them, covering all the signs of life from their branches for the rest of the season.

The look of these barren trees fills my heart with myriad emotions of dullness, as if the dreams of my life are at crossroads, as if they are lingering amid a confusion between abandonment and accomplishment. To make matters worse, the bright blue sky is replaced by a grey sadness, and daylight dims away from the world, as if the sun has gotten tired of us.

This is when the reality of winter is fully realized in my mind.

In this season, my insides are wired differently for the span of three cold months. All those multiple layers of clothing constrains me in many ways and makes me feel uneasy at times, especially when commuting. But it’s your responsibility towards yourself to be warm in a cold, stark world. When I think of it, it surprises me how true this is with the responsibilities of life itself. As you spend off your time year after year, and enter into the next seasons of your life, you grow more responsible towards everything that matters. Winter only mirrors this process, this cycle of life and its progress.

Daylight in winters seems to be too shy to present itself, and doesn’t really light up the sky until at least past 9 o’clock. But I can’t afford to wait for the sky to wish me a good morning. Hence, I wake myself up before the sun even opens his eyes to this side of the world, and walk out into the day and live it, or at least I try to.

But I still feel a strong presence of inactivity all around me. Nothing seems to be moving, all feels still and stagnant, as if the night doesn’t want to advance itself into a new day. The world seems so quiet in the winters, and I never yet clearly understood why. Perhaps it has to do with that feeling of stagnancy and slumber in the air. There seems to be an unshakable silence all around, which is sometimes soothing, and at other times, dejecting. Maybe this is nature’s way of telling us to explore the voices of our own hearts amid this hovering calmness of the season.

snowmanAnd then there is snow — that cold cotton tenderness falling out of the thin air above our heads… The place where I’m presently living at, Den Haag in The Netherlands, experiences snowfall only rarely, which is exactly what makes its arrival so special. It turns the city almost festive, especially in the eyes of children, and in mine. There is a mysterious bliss hidden in those moments that make you a child again, and a rare snowfall is surely one of them; at least to me it is.

Krishna Kanth is a writer from India who is presently living and working in The Netherlands. He writes fiction, non-fiction, short stories, and has a special place in his heart for literature that speaks of nature. The words of Henry David Thoreau from the pages of Walden had made him cognizant of our planet’s nature and its magnificent and unparalleled beauty. Ever since, it has become a vital purpose in his life to bring awareness about nature and its beauty to people through his writings. Some of his writings can be found in his new personal blog: www.hereiwrite.com.

Photos by the author

The Fallen Forest Tree

I think on this blue planet,
slant of rain, scud of cloud,
surge of river, the glittering sea,
flocks that flit, dart or soar,
wandering herds, encircling wolves,
coral blaze, fish, whale and krill,
leopard lazing in curve of tree,
myriad life given and accepted back
over aeons as the spinning earth treks
through the black void of space.

I raise my eyes from the fallen tree
to the tree tops and to the sky.
The abundant cycle of life and loss
stretches endlessly beyond
this transient moment where I live,
yet why should I regret its brevity?
I embrace its mystery and privilege,
thankful that for at least this brief moment
I have lived to gaze upon the earth
in deep wonder and in awe.

By Neil Creighton
First Published in Praxis Mag Online

 fallen trees along creek in the autumn

Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo by Xalanx

Slowly the boughs sway in a breeze

Slowly the boughs sway in a breeze
noticeable only unto itself. Slowly I rock,
the swing through the silence of awakening.
Not a sound but the rustle of this creature and that,
scampering off the side of the road,
among laurel, madrone.
High up, in early morning silence,
I remember past loves
who have come
and gone.
Left to myself once again,
I sit among mountains and ridges
lush with fir, redwood and pine.
I stretch my arms high
in a shared

By Marlene Aron

woman sitting on a swing in the mountains

Author photo by artworkMarlene Aron is an artist, poet, educator, and a scholar on the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh. She was educated in The Netherlands at the Vrije Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague, and received her MFA from CA College of the Arts. Her art has been published in 40 Contemporary Artists (2017), Haiku Spring: Poems by Ken Owen (2016), Headwaters: Appalachian Journal of Expressive Arts (2016), on the cover of Barge Wood: Poems by Alice Elizabeth Rogoff (2012), and in Rumi 2000: Whirling with the Cosmos. Her poems have been published in Feather Floating on the Water, Poems for our Children: An Anthology of Contemporary San Francisco Poets (2014), ROOM: A Women’s Literary Journal, Vol. 1 (1976/77), and in the Blog/Far Out Gallery (2017). Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and universities throughout the United States and in Europe. She has been awarded the Ohio Arts Council Individual Artists Grant, Ohio Arts Council Artists Project Grant, George Sugarman Foundation Grant, and the Buncher Foundation Award. Her work has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, and is in the permanent collection of the Butler Institute of American Art. Her art informs her writing, and her writing informs her art. Nature informs both. Marlene Aron lives and works in San Francisco, California. See some of Marlene’ art work online at ArtSlant.

Photo of woman on swing by loganban