The Trees Think in Solemn Tones
by William Doreski
Even in winter drab the trees
think in solemn tones from which
we infer disaster’s coming.
The die-off of insects occurring
beneath our vision and skins
will sever the food chain and leave
cartoon exclamation points
etched in the sky overhead.
Not even your three sad years
fending off bullies and thugs
in the Girl Scouts can atone
sufficiently for the viscous
sound of souls abandoning
their exoskeletons to enter
space much broader and deeper
than our imaginations allow.
The trees consider the problem
from various elevations,
waving their wind-happy boughs,
and agree upon a solution.
If photosynthesis should cease
for one year we would smother
in our stony beds and relinquish
the scripture that dooms everything.
I hear this conspiracy texting
from one tree to another in
sobs of gray wind. But you doubt
that the trees are so organized,
and believe that like us they’d spurn
to share among different species:
ash disdainful of pine, maple
distrusting hemlocks and birch.
The die-off is real, though; only
the nastiest tree-killers likely
to survive: gypsy moth, ash
borer, Asian longhorn beetles
wooly adelgids, bark beetles, aphids.
Having survived the Girl Scouts,
shedding that scratchy uniform,
you aren’t afraid of these creatures.
But late at night when the chewing
and boring becomes audible
in the dark of the inner ear
I worry that the planet
isn’t dying quickly enough—
its suffering too personal
to scrawl in clumsy longhand
and nail to the tallest pine.
Bio: William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His poetry, essays, reviews, and fiction have appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent books are, A Black River, A Dark Fall, a poetry collection, and Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston.
The Poet Celebrates Spring
by Terri Hadley-Ward
I fall in love with the sun
when it creeps above the purple ridge
of mountain to rise on a new day.
I happily drown in the patter sound
of rain falling in spring.
Wonder fills my soul at the daffodils
who gaze with bright faces
like angels toward the blue.
Each day brings new miracles –
a fox trotting through a field,
the ragged caw of a raven,
sweet breath of violets
as they exhale in the morning stillness.
Just like Grandmother Maple, I open my arms
to embrace the world.
I shine my heart, blazing and fierce
as I whirl with the wind
and sing with the chickadee,
as I flow like the river
on and on and on…
Bio: Terri Hadley Ward gains inspiration from the sacred feminine and from being in nature. Her poems have appeared in The Greensilk Journal, The MOON magazine, When Women Waken, The Magnolia Review, Mountain Ink, Sage Woman, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, and She Who Knows: a Magazine for Awakening Women. Her poetry chapbook, Songs of the Wild She, is available through Amazon. She lives in Hampshire County, WV with her husband and sons.
by Barbara Brooks
towards azure sky’s dome
soon to be hidden by young leaves
rocks’ gray faces
trillium unveils its
ruby flower, fiddle head ferns
trillium, larkspur. A silent
Bio: Barbara Brooks is a retired physical therapist living in North Carolina and a member of the poetry group Poet Fools. She is an avid birder and has traveled extensively throughout the world viewing wild birds in their natural habitat. She frequently incorporates nature in her poetry as an extension of her love of the outdoors. She has two chapbooks: The Catbird Sang and A Shell to Return to the Sea. She has had published poems in a number of eclectic journals such as Jellyfish Whispers, Tar River Poetry, Peregrine and Third Wednesday.
by Eira Needham
Old rooster lifts his head to call -- arise
from slumber now. Aurora deftly braids
vermilion ribbons through empurpled skies,
creating tapestries of wondrous shades.
A fresh bouquet exudes, as lacy dew
appliques meadows, where a blackcap sings
its flute-like flourish, perched within the yew.
Nearby a solitary church bell rings.
Soft flurries whiffle aspen leaves awake
as woodlands echo warbled melodies.
The welkin's licked with fiery tongues that break
through twilight’s opalescence. Dawn's reprise
crescendos through the earth; soon warmth is spread
as Sun now leaps triumphant from his bed.
Bio: Eira Needham is a retired teacher living in Birmingham UK. Her poetry has been published in print and online. Some of her publications are in Nine Muses Poetry, Better than Starbucks and Scarlet Leaf Review. She has also been Featured Writer in WestWard Quarterly and once came first in Inter Board Poetry Contest.
When Time Guided Our Day
by James G. Piatt
A tear has fallen softly
From a rose on the arbor,
A beautiful crimson rose
That holds memories I harbor:
Dry lemon balm and chocolate
Mint are weeping in dry loam,
Aromatic scents are gone that
Covered the garden of our home:
The sweet bouquet of roses and,
Herbs have faded away,
The garden is empty now as is
Time that guided our way.
Bio: James has had three collections of poetry, The Silent Pond, Ancient Rhythms, and Light, over 1,155 poems, four novels, and 35 short stories published. His poems have been nominated multiple times for both pushcart and best of web awards, and was the featured poet nine times in various magazines. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.
by Ute Carson
Come with me to a Texas meadow in the spring
and take in the sight of
yellow Agarita, white/green Milkweed, purple Asta.
Rest your eyes on the gorgeous Bluebonnets
with leaves the shape of thimbles
and the creamy orange Indian Paint Brush,
honoring Spanish botanists.
Shall we call the myriads of beautiful flowers our friends?
Some we gaze at from a distance,
some we pluck and press in a book,
some we bind into a bouquet,
from others we collect the seeds.
Their colors bewitch us,
their fragrance pleases our noses
but only one flower is picked
and gathered to the heart.
Bio: A writer from youth and an M.A. graduate in comparative literature from the University of Rochester, German-born Ute Carson published her first prose piece in 1977. Colt Tailing, a 2004 novel, was a finalist for the Peter Taylor Book Award. Carson’s story “The Fall” won Outrider Press’s Grand Prize and appeared in its short story and poetry anthology A Walk Through My Garden, 2007. Her second novel In Transit was published in 2008. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines in the US and abroad. Carson’s poetry was featured on the televised Spoken Word Showcase 2009, 2010 and 2011, Channel Austin, Texas. A poetry collection, Just a Few Feathers was published in 2011. The poem “A Tangled Nest of Moments” placed second in the Eleventh International Poetry Competition 2012. Her chapbook Folding Washing was published in 2013 and her collection of poems My Gift to Life was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Award Prize. Save the Last Kiss, a novella, was published in 2016. Her new poetry collection Reflections was out in 2018. She received the Ovidiu-Bektore Literary Award 2018 from the Anticus Multicultural Association in Constanta, Romania. In 2018 she was nominated a second time for the Pushcart Award Prize by the Plain View Press. Ute Carson resides in Austin, Texas with her husband. They have three daughters, six grandchildren, a horse and a clowder of cats. www.utecarson.com