BUMPING INTO THE SKY You think intolerance a white paste you can spread across the air. Day comes with a break between minutes, the red flash of the red-winged blackbird, a greeting from your I’noGo tied* slung not to your belt, but to your insides: If you say you cannot tell what is true and what is not true, you are saying you have lost faith with what is real. Clouds bunch beyond the lake, lay out a steady rainfall, move within wind like a herring gull in need of food.
*Among some Alaska natives, the i'noGo tied ("house of spirits") refers to a luck and protection amulet made from blubber encased in sealfur.--Wikipedia
A CHANGE IN THE WAY WE BREATH OXYGEN
This story is about three men tied to a cave,
black bear no longer once upon a time,
two brothers, coyote and wolf,
the beginning of the flight to urban legend.
I tie a knot to two ropes,
then I tie three knots to five more,
but still the balloon is too heavy to fall from the sky
and the cloud eating dragon hides well in the blue clouds.
This is not a tale of love-lust and greed—
everything turns brown on the other side of things and nothing else stays green for long.
The world is fluid all parts melt, meld and blend without restraint one into the other and then another.
Man should take the hint refine the example nature has always set for our rebellious kind.
Imposing human egoism and power-mongering ambitions is a construct of the hubristic mind not the ebb and flow that allows all species to exist within their own needs.
Survival is not plausible for one if it goes about willing, gleefully glorying in the extinction of one after the other and another.
Green is a lucky leafy color in symbology not brown or grey dirt or dryness clinging to these shades.
A willow weeps when the land is abused shamrocks and geraniums drop into nothingness when pesticides overwhelm their lovely leaves streams turn brown from a hoe's raping of the ground and gulleys carry nutrients away to the brackish bays and seas.
The Sea of Aral is decaying, dying 'cause of mankind's need to reduce the whole world to fit into his self-centered needs.
Today listen to the hushed yet rising song in the Norco winds imploring the ear:
"all life is only kept all when people work to keep any one form alive at no one's benefits but at all's."
And San Onofre is just south of Corona awaiting an earthquake or tsuamni all its own.
Mike Cluff is a writer living in the inland section of Southern California. He is now finishing two books of poetry: "The Initial Napoleon" and "Bulleted Meat"-- both of which are scheduled for publication in late 2013/early 2014. He believes that individuality is the touchstone of his life and pursues that ideal with passion and dedication to help the world improve with each passing instance .He also hopes to take up abstract painting in the next several months.
at the edge of the trees and the tiny face peeking
beneath her flank. Oh, Charlie. One day you leapt
them all, seven fences, barb-wired and rolled,
picketed and spiked, storm and stockade and
electric buzz for some apple orchard in your
dreams. They retired the project. In a decade I’d
wrestle boys at the empty turn-around, their
tobacco mouths hard against my teeth, remember
your beauty and grace and wonder did your doe
still wait out in that darkness for your return.
Just when I'd forgotten to believe
wind lifts leaf and twig and stick
rush of darkness water world
wood trees angry angels
fighting back and rain
is more than lighting
changing earth rock ledge
conversation of power
light and black cloud hold
fool human body pressed
mossbark wet frightened
creature waiting eyes.
Who is dancing?
the voice of snow
Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner-city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent books are TOXIC ENVIRONMENT (Boston Poet Press) and TWO BIRDS IN FLAME (Beech River Books). She received a 2008 PCA grant.
It’s great the way it defies us like this, keeps us guessing, looking to the sky As it builds up and tumbles toward us. We track it on radar as if it were another incoming bomber or speeding motorist. We name its most memorable moments: there’s Katrina and then Irene and Sandy, name them and blame then, watch their approach, their progress, and what they leave behind. It defies us, reminds us, treats us like children, afraid of thunder, mythologizing lightning, seeking shelter, places susceptible to wind damage and flooding we never see coming our way. It takes our hiding places away, makes short work of all our efforts, our houses, our roads and bridges; even graveyards, our final resting places, aren’t spared, are sent downriver with the rest of us. It’s always with us, whether we want it to be or not; like today, after days of rain, it’s hot and humid, gathering its forces, piling clouds over the lake, ready to make the afternoon over into what the weatherman calls occasional showers and the possibility of localized flooding, much like yesterday and the day before that, and the day before.
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Decades Review, Northern New England Review, Third Wednesday, and Up the River.
What frightens you isn’t Ontario stretching out before you, calm as
a yawn, its taffeta ripple stippling the surface of morning’s grays, but
a fallen branch, the color of coal, posed like a withered arm on the sand,
waiting for you to pick it up and point it in the direction of traffic, where
soon you will merge with the day's reckless continuity.
The mulberry, ripe with berries, ousts its horde of ransacking birds into summer’s steamy air— and, one by one, they return to filch a few more.
From the porch, we watch wings swell& flash out of the shaken tree— dissolving into the safety of the wood’s emerald shadows.
Restless, I rise & lean against the railing. The day’s momentum quivers in its feat of all or nothing—
I hold my breath, anticipating the conference of birds returning to settle this tree’s estate— the berries they will divide & cartin spite of petulant cries.
M. J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Her most recent poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Chariton Review, Tar River Poetry, Blueline, The Prose Poem Project, and The Centrifugal Eye, among other publications. Her most recent poetry chapbook is As the Crow Flies (Foothills Publishing, 2008), and her second full-length collection is Within Reach (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010). Between Worlds, a prose chapbook, was published by Foothills Publishing in May 2013. She is Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor program at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.
of bawdy clouds And a draconian sun penetrating into Heavy afternoon Sun - miles deep Fathoms wide Quivers of heat waves wrapping around crackling tales of corn bellowing with pomposity To surge ten feet high Standing water rife with the debauchery of spawning mosquitoes Pink-gold frailty of peaches Hanging in dreams of voluptuous peaks Brooding heads of flowers hanging down Lustful vines of grapes Bindweed enveloping a cringing landscape Laser waves corresponding With pink-cheeked tomatoes
Back of the woods, wheat fields
shorn of their beards shimmer in brown corpses Shrieks of black-eyed susans Silver-blue thistles wearing spike helmets Dragon flies painted with Art-Nouveau wings And the lavish praise of butterflies on phlox Mosquitoes with brass knuckles Melancholy flies humming at the screen door Honey sticky winds Métiers of bird song; shadows of bird wings
A narrative of sun and sky
Of summer; languid, wet-lazy summer
High, wide, deep August Hot, thick, soupy high-summer Woven in garlands of chicory-blue and queen anne’s lace Fastened with tansy buttons Drinking nectar from orange lily cups. Holding tight, breathing heavy encompassing, erotic August
Every nook and cranny does she fill with wanton flesh.
Lover of the red-flame sun thrashing pigment from her skies
Ripening copious spawn.
Languid, lush August
of purple-popping grapes And pools of black-eyed susans Hammering heat pounding rivers and lakes to froth. Succulent, sultry August thunder drumbeats and cracks of lightening sizzlingthe skies to curdle to rent open to rains of blind-passions That lick tree-tops, and suckle the steamy earth.
Decadent, voluptuous August
Climbing in vines thick and rampant Tangling within themselves, wrapping around tree trunks. Rushing lickety-split up and up Enshrouding swollen clouds of autumn‘s promise. Bursting, juicy-ripe August Rubbing sun-soaked limbs Against the bronzy flesh of melancholy September
Susan Dale’s poems and fiction are on Eastown Fiction, Ken *Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, and Hurricane Press. In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Ever changing light angles down
onto volcanic ridges and jutting peaks
cloaked in myriad greens,
seamed with the white froth
of elongated thin waterfalls,
like the piping on a velvet robe.
Mottled laden clouds burst forth,
torrents pound the porous ground,
while burgeoning magenta and yellow green plants
palm and plumeria,
are once again showered,
green vines snake up huge monkey pod trees,
all joyous in the washing.
Wild cockerels accompanied by their hens,
strut and arch,
adorned with vivid emerald and copper tail feathers,
they scratch and peck abundant insect life,
after rudely breaking the delicate dawn.
Flowers and fruit fragrance the silken air,
soft, rounded, whispering into one’s face.
The gentle Hanalei bay,
breathing with eternal tides,
conceal a silent kingdom below;
by day, blue green skin,
but at sunset,
the red gold water reflects the treasure
of its sky.
Heidi Morrell's poetry has been published in: Big River Review, Unaureon -2 poems (broad sheet), Cat Fancy magazine ‘90’s, Emerge Literary Journal 10/12, St. James Newsletter 2010. Heidi also writes a bi-weekly column for Examiner.com - L.A. disability. Go to: www.examiner.com/user-hbmorrell