by Fay L. Loomis
orange leaves flutter like flags
in liminal light
sun pendant on horizon
poised to unfold day
Bio: Fay L. Loomis lives in the woods in Kerhonkson, New York. A member of the Stone Ridge Library Writers and Rat’s Ass Review Workshop, her poetry and prose appear in a variety of journals. A stroke, combined with the pandemic, have woven quietude into Fay’s life.
by Dorothy Johnson-Laird
River woman stands at the water's edge.
She dips her right foot in,
Feeling the coolness on her toes.
Where once she was afraid, now she might move in and swim.
The breeze moves over the water,
Mixing indigo with pale blue.
The clouds turn slowly in the sky above.
The sun streams through them, hitting the water, light shimmies upwards.
A heron eyes the length of the river, standing at its edge, beak nudging forward.
Its wings flutter in the cool air.
The heron moves its wings slowly up and down, testing the air.
For a moment the heron eyes the woman, then back to the water,
In a second its beak disappears under the water and reveals a fish,
Gulping it down the long expanse of its neck.
The River Woman watches on.
She is in touch with the water's rhythm,
The grace of the blue grey bird at her side.
If she holds her hand horizontally to her forehead she can see the sun inching up from behind the trees,
Flickering light in among the red and green leaves.
It is autumn, the air is brisk, but if she closes her eyes, she can let the sun's light in.
She can feel the sun warm her hair, her forehead, smoothing down the lines.
She can feel the sun on her eyelids, comforting her eyes.
The fast pace of the city falls behind her
As she listens to the water swirling over the sand at her feet.
Where before there was only space for the car horns and the aggressive alarms,
Here her shoulders relax, her arms are less tense at her sides.
She can watch the sun rise
And observe the clouds dissipate in swift shapes across the sky
The early morning sky opens up to a stream of red as the sun moves closer
The heron spreads his wings, arching upwards
For a while, he flies close to her, making large curves in the sky
The River Woman watches on
Bio: Dorothy Johnson-Laird is a poet, social worker, and activist who lives in New York City. She received an M.F.A in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Dorothy also has a passion for African music. She has published music journalism with www.afropop.org and www.worldmusiccentral.org. Recent poems were published by BeZine and Fresh Words magazine, among others.
BRIDGE OVER THE NOSTERKILL
by Anne Whitehouse
The rippling waters of the stream
are like a thought turning over and over,
slipping out of grasp.
The sun is winking behind the white pine
as I lie on the bridge,
feeling its arch under my back,
watching the pattern of green leaves
against blue sky, a faint scrim of cloud,
and one soaring red-tailed hawk.
Out of the corner of my eye
I see you standing on the bridge,
singing the way you only
sing to yourself
when you are happy.
You don’t like to be noticed
so I listen without seeming to.
May you go on singing
in my heart forever.
Bio: The Nosterkill is a stream that bisects Anne Whitehouse’s property in Columbia County, New York. Her most recent poetry collection is Outside from the Inside, and her most recent poetry chapbook is Escaping Lee Miller. A poetry chapbook, Frida, is forthcoming. She is also the author of a novel, Fall Love. She has recently lectured and published essays on Edgar Allan Poe.