AFTER THE BURNING OF THE CANE FIELDS
by John Grey
Late at night,
a blackened land
crackles with cooling.
I hear it from my bedroom,
watch scattered red glow
fade into embers.
Grey smoke drifts inland
as the air slowly
clears its throat.
An ocean breeze
mixes sugar and salt
in the nostrils.
a new season begins.
the old is cremated.
In the kitchen,
my father wipes a grubby, sweaty face
with the back of his hand
while his third beer
soothes the glowing coals
of his throat.
scorched snakes litter the earth.
finally make something of the night sky.
I fall asleep eventually.
The soil never does.
Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature.
by Terri Hadley Ward
His knees scooped trenches in the soft brown earth
and he smiled at the sunlight caught
in the last summer leaves flying through the field.
"I love getting dirty," he proclaimed.
"This feels like where I belong."
Metal pitchfork teeth chomped mouthfuls
of soil he sifted like a prospector through his hands,
casting for treasure buried last spring.
In the trees that lined the river,
a woodpecker laughed at our work,
at the dirt ground deep
into the knees of our jeans,
at the thunk of potatoes dropped
into a red plastic bucket.
Perhaps his shiny black eye saw us fools,
laughing at the wind with our backs bent,
sweat pouring and breath heaving,
each turn of dirt offering the promise
of hope or disappointment.
From the circling blue, crows chanted their magic,
ancient shamans calling down wild blessings
on mother and child, as we buried our hands
and our souls in the heart of Gaia,
where everything is healed,
and the gold sunlight caught in the trees
seemed to hold us like a prayer,
echoing in the autumn wind,
this is where we belong.
Bio: Terri Hadley Ward is a writer and artist who gains creative inspiration from being in nature. Her poems have appeared in The Greensilk Journal, The MOON magazine, When Women Waken, and The Magnolia Review, with additional work forthcoming in When Women Waken. In addition to writing poetry, she nourishes her soul through yoga, meditation, and painting. She recently finished her first chapbook, Songs of the Wild She, and is currently at work on her first full-length book of poetry.
Between The Dimensions of Cheetah and Sloth
by Kim Hazelwood
Change of heart,
Subscriptions, predictions, descriptions-
Loose change, pocket change
The tinkling of coins in the big, beautiful bowl of your collective soul kind of change.
Sometimes change happens so fast
Time itself is not really time
But is in fact a strange, new ride at The World’s Faire in some country
Few have ever heard of.
Sometimes change moves so slow that a turtle takes time out to levitate on a lily pad,
From the stalled slow motion collision of regrettable words.
Ah, but the Grace of Dreams
With songs of heartbeats and hope slides in like pouring honey,
The apricot sunset you craved all your life to see
A developing photograph
A pretty polaroid, grand as love.
Between the dimensions of cheetah and sloth.
Masterpieces take time.
Sometimes change knocks on your door and asks for a small donation.
Sometimes the really nice guy in the busy line at the drive thru decides to
Buy dinner for the car behind him,
Sometimes change comes when the Good Humor man or woman
Sells only organic ice cream now,
Or maybe a world devoid of battlefields,
Ringing in the raw reverie of real regards,
For the true hunger of humanity.
The Time’s they are a…re-arranging
All kinds of waiting periods.
Kids today don’t have to wait till Saturday morning for cartoons,
What in the world is the Dewey Decimal system ?
For they have in their palms, all the noggin food they could ever need.
The waiting is over,
Except for ourselves.
Change is in THE CLEAN AIR ACT OF 1970.
Change is marriage equality.
Isn’t this a no-brainer?
Change is waking up to the many uses of Mary Jane
I Dream of
Big, blue bamboo farms,
Acres and acres of sustainability,
Oh, don’t get me started
On the slithering slaughter of Rainforests!
I could go and on,
Sean, Dawn, John, Mon!
Love that Masterful change from brown/ gray to green.
Then later, from gold/red to white.
Oh, and then from white to green,
Waltz with me again!
During all the constancy of change
The Universe and I continue to go steady,
Where nothing’s going to dismantle or downsize,
Outgrow or outnumber
The inner workings
Of this great, big ole waterwheel heart.
Bio: Kim Hazelwood is the editor of this litzine, and the author of CoyoteBat! She continues to work on her first book of poetry..This poem was read at 100 Thousand Poets For Change, a worldwide event held locally in WInchester, Va. She is a member of The Shenandoah Poetry Alliance, and is honored to share the stage with so many extremely talented poets.