Haiku At Poinsett Bridge No. 1

by Matthew Banash

Crows laugh in the elms
At jokes I don’t get-
Caw caw caw

Capture This

by Jules Henderson

Wild jasmine and gardenia arrest the senses,
and the shores of Haleiwa are crowded with cliff-diving natives.
Rain cascades down walls of molecules that hide themselves in sun rays;
we are heathens but we breathe in their mana, assuming it is ours to claim.
          (Still, this is not appropriation)
Sleet grey lava stone whispers prophecies to cherry hibiscus:
Next year at this timethe water will be too toxic to drink.
In the sand, our fingers mimic Cezanne’s strokes to capture this fleeting moment—
why is life a canvas only
to those who bow
humbly to the heart?
Pele either creates or destroys; she does not preserve.
We take our cues from her to fashion our days
and dance like sphinx inside plumerias in search of wine.

How Can You Keep A Weather Eye Out If You Can’t See?

by Jeff Bernstein

It is just one murky Vineyard night:
cinnamon swirls of fog droplets collect
everywhere like transparent cotton candy
spun on a machine of twisted oaks
and brown leaves as they strain
and lisp over Up-Island roads.

Lighthouses signal sadly across
the Sound but no one watches
anyhow. Light chop slaps
the few fishing boats still tied up
at Dutcher Dock, two old cobraheads
sputter above the parking lot
and a single light burns
inside the lobster pound.

Imbros Gorge

by Joanne Veiss-Zaken

Uneven seam darts through Cretan rock
a crooked old man through eons

where donkeys once tread
paths spiral and turn
small tremors barely discernable
vibrate through the island

cicadas chant
forte then piano
entertaining those foolish enough
to walk the twisted line

wild goats watch and wonder
why we do this.

Acid Rain

by Violet Mitchell

Electricity is the cream filling of our country—
even the fish see it as art. Genocide is a strong adjective,

but there are ghosts who linger under highways, dead with
half-tweeted comments. We make crop circles out of juice

boxes, conspiracies from viewfinder scratches. Our misplaced
strands of hair became the fuses for abundant plastic lighters.

Soon we will feast on chicken pot pie, but all the birds OD’d
on hormones and now we eat the extra platypuses that wash

ashore. You & I dig our toes in glowing sand, nets in hand,
scouting for dinner and anything normal.

At the Edge of Sight
~ Old Quebec City

by M.J. Iuppa

Where sky meets water, blue
mountains rise— moving
across the horizon in shifting
clouds that curve into fortress
walls— mortar made to keep
this old French city contained
in its glass globe.

A ray of light catches fire
on the cathedral’s steeple.
A gray pigeon flies under eaves.
A man stomps his boots before
opening the heavy door
to morning prayers. . . .

And, your cupped hands
shake—unable to control this
universe—it snows, and snows,
and snows.

Easter Walk

by Mark A. Murphy

Beyond father and son,
beyond belief and the taste of Simnel
dipped in tea, we pass over
the pack-horse bridge at Eastergate
where sudden waterfalls rush
across the moor. So we draw closer
in wind and sun, past the iron
gated goddess and moss covered oak
as if to reinvent the wheel of fate.
Now our earlier romanticism
gives way to a new sense of being
as the trunks of willow

continue to divide and multiply
along the bottom of the dyke
where we trip over bramble and ivy
through the last of the Easter rain.

Sa Pa, Vietnam
Joan Hofmann


by Roberta Beach Jacobson

each generation
the river's name

Mission Bells for Sex

by Jake Sheff

Earth’s deficient light, devoid
of devotion. Full of loving
isotopes to fill the night. Bridge
of fire, sunlight through shy
curtains on a bed of hours.
Polymers of prayer ring. The wet
weight of entrepreneurial
white against a field of green.

Wind in the Dell

by Khalilah Okeke

The wind
travels   into -

weeping white clouds
finds silver-frosted skies


In the rusted flush of dawn
through steep-walled cliffs

rain splashes on siltstones.

Raptors rouse
in mudstone caves -

canyons peaking beyond

the bosky dells.

Silent Circles

by Emily Strauss


the Redtail hawk is hardly seen against the cliff
wings held stiff for the up-drafts, only his shadow
circles over us, we duck and flinch instinctively


the moon is voiceless yet we denote by design
a female presence, pale, wan, fragile, a distant
ideal circling at night, a ghost in gauzy dress


the field sprayer turns around the center well
once a day, wheels pass silently, herds of deer
arrive at dusk to lick droplets from the alfalfa


dark black vultures, a kettle, slowly pass over
ready to slip lower, testing the state of a vole
lying under sage, bloody teeth marks dripping

Along Highway 70

by David Chorlton

A mountain's peak pulls back a corner
of the sky, while the land
beneath it rolls
and buckles from cattle to cotton and
kestrels on the telegraph wires
running to November's changing color
on both banks
of the riverbed flowing
from one dry season to the next.
The Miracle Church looks tired
today, outspent
by the Latter Day Saints on the rise
with a view extending
Apache miles to the Earth's
wild edge.
              In each small
town along the way
tradition's in the balance
with houses whose walls ache
from holding up the past
while box stores
make a down payment on the future.
And a highway made of sunlight
runs directly through a raven's eye.

Season to Season

by g emil reutter

Abscission long underway
leaves scattered on ground
grouped in temporary mounds
skipping to and fro carpeting
yards, streets and lots.

Calm shades of magenta, yellow
brown, purple, black and pink.
Rain intensifies, mini whirlwinds
of leaves tango.

Others captured by temporary
streams along curbs flow into
city inlets. There is a harshness
in the beauty of death and renewal.

Blustery cold front hurtles storm
to the sea, rustle of fallen leaves
silenced as stems clutch the hardened
turf others embed in cracks of cement.

White crystals of winters arrival
mirror full moon sky. Petrified
rhododendrons await a warmer
day as weiglia, forsythia bow to
the gods of winter.

Green cascade holds parchment
like curled reddish leaves, she is
always the last to drop. Sun rises
cardinal chirps on barren limb
of sycamore.

Autumns by the Ocean

by James Croal Jackson

over dark beds of leaves
twigs and string I was full
of hope and hoping there
a remnant of vacation
a connection to the sea
perhaps the nerves
lost singing
through the night I walked
alone on sand the
dogs came barking
from the Atlantic
drenched and draped
in seaweed and I thought
of familiar love how
unbroken longing forever
intertwines in the bending
gravity of the moon

Halong Bay, Vietnam
Joan Hoffmann


by Pepper Trail

Start with water or stone?  Stone.
No, water.  No, stone – stone.

So, a volcano – a lava flow?
Yes, then water.  Because otherwise – the moon.

Infiltrating every fault, eroding.  Yes,
freezing, thawing, cracking.  Habitat!

Now, lichens.  Eventually, a little soil.
Moss, succulents.  Flowers!

So, bees.  Lizards, mice finding shelter.
Then, snakes, owls.  Someday, forest.

It’s good, every kind of thing.
Every kind of thing – it’s good.

Ice Fishing on Lake George

by Mathew Weitman

All at once, the fish erupts
from the augur’s hole
& lies panting, and kicking
as it reddens the snow;
nearby, a group of gulls
watches with open mouths.
This is not the reason
that seagulls believe in the paranormal:
an uncanny ability that a fish has
to bring itself back from death
by flapping. It is however,
the reason that seagulls fly.

Barnegat Bay, After the Storm

by Elizabeth Higgins

Dune grass casts shadows
on the rain-stung sand.
The gulls glide silent
on the bloated sea,
storm-swollen, crashing
blindly into moss-caked rock.
Beach roses drink
the salt-spray, shiver
in the empty sky, sing
magenta through the endless
gray. The egret watches
from the sawtooth pier, unfurls
his white neck. A purple vein
of lightning carves
the fog. He lifts his wings
over wave crests, swallowed
by the white mist.
He arcs back once,
then disappears.

Why the wrens are silent before Winter

by Ergene Kim

the dying bit of bluegrass
in the shallow corners of
the darkened meadow, covered
with the shadow of snow,
must have forgotten. There are
no wrens in winter.

and so the lone wind
sings again among the willows.
Whoosh, whoosh, it says, and
the sound of midnight is not lost.
Dare to sing with me, says the Wren,
and she is gone, like all the rest.

Sun Storm

by Michael H. Brownstein

Today is Friday, tomorrow the beginning of next week,
An angry grumbling of earth, the heat a shower of shame,
Rising water, a plastic death to the ocean, things look bleak.
Today is Friday, tomorrow the beginning of next week.
Where is the Cuban Coney, the Sardinian Pika, the prairie leek,
The Jamaican Monkey, the Bulldog rat, the prame?
Today is Friday, tomorrow the beginning of next week,
An angry grumbling of earth, the heat a shower of shame.

A question from the refugee camps

by Amirah Al Wassif

I asked them
How the sun says hello to everyone?
Then, they laughed bitterly
Without being sorry
And told me "ask the gun"
Her red spark
Sharp like a dark
Permits entering the light for none

They asked me "what is the sun?"
When our expected meeting will be done?
Since their question
I did not ask again
Cause everything was very clear
Through the war stain

There, in the Somali lands you can find the answers
Upon the clouds , in the camps even on the children features
There, in the Somali lands all the details written with no ink
The only truth here required from you to think
About those people who do not have the fun
But you still ask about their sun ?

Among the refugee camps in Baidoa
I found a baby crawled
On the arm of his mama
Who seemed to me frowned
The baby opened his eyes widely
Looking for the next light
But his mama knows
No light comes with fight

In a crowd of the lost African bodies
He hold my hand tenderly
He was selling water to the ladies
were sitting on the docks
With their pots
Waiting for the day- early

In the Somali lands
They asked me
How the sun says hello to everyone?
Then, I replied with no hesitation
No sun comes with a gun

4.22 p.m.
27 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Knows desire without an object of desire,
All mind and violence and nothing felt.
He knows he has nothing more to think about.
Like the wind that lashes everything at once.
                                                -Wallace Stevens
                                                -Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion

after Wallace Stevens

Petulance and ego this wind that lashes everything at once,
obstructive and deep-throated, grumbling up from the hills,
nefarious creature buffeting self-portraits into the pond’s surface,
diagrams of this shape-shifting shade, all violence and nothing felt.


by Carl Mayfield

in the crow's throat