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Poetry 4
Spring 2011




  by  Changming Yuan

As the morning fog
Stalks away on its fluffy feet
All boughs
Unanimously agree
To take action
By bursting themselves
With dripping green buds
Little dimples
In myriads
Across the widely smiling face
Of spring.


Bio:Changming Yuan, is the author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Politics and Poetics (2009),  is a three-time Pushcart nominee who grew up in a remote Chinese village  and published several books before moving to Canada.

Currently Yuanworks as an independent tutor in Vancouver and has had poems appearing  in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, Cortland Review, Drunken Boat,  Exquisite Corpse and more than 300 other literary journals / anthologies worldwide.



Warm Comforter of Earth
      by Peggy Kingsford Fletcher
Spread-eagled, raked with care
waiting for eager hands
to caress its velvet soil
its firm brown surface
A perfect place
to plant the seeds of summer
in rainbow trench
that arcs the garden's belly
Give birth to small green shoots
that stretch across
a sun warmed bed
still glowing from its April rain
And dreaming always of yielding
myriads of colored blooms
in pastel forms, in perfect shapes
born of desire, of love, of change
for a giving motherland.

Bio: Peggy Fletcher is a poet/artist from Sarnia, Ontario.  She is widely published in literary magazines such as Mobius, Room of One’s Own. Antigonish Review, Poetry Australia,  Ascent Aspirations and others. She has a short story collection, a full length play and eight poetry books published, the most recent One Hundred Sonnets Home, Sydenham Press.  She is an honors graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s Visual arts program and has taught creative writing and English at Lambton College, Sarnia.  Married with five grown daughters and several grandchildren, she is an ardent environmentalist, and loves nature.




Old Man Under the Oaks

     by Bob Hoffman


Face unshaven, mossy

Orioles cap on, rim up,

he pulls up an apple box

and sits down

under the oaks.


These trees have survived

a thousand winter storms,

they’re sturdy,

heartwood still sound,

but beetles and

gypsy moths

are moving in,

condos coming too,

it’s only a matter

of time

for the oaks

one way

or another.


For him too,

87 years old this year,

but for today

he sits in  heavenly shade,

feathery breeze rippling yellow-green leaves

and cooling wrinkled white limbs.


Near homemade nest boxes

he stretches a hand to

incoming blue-green tree swallows,

calls in perky rosy-red tanagers,

clucks at eastern gray squirrels

on overhead limbs.


They trust me, he says,

 tossing more breadcrumbs,

I’ve been feeding birds

and squirrels

for 72 years,

I like it here.


At night

there are lightning bugs

glowing through the branches,

I just get out a cigar

take a puff

now and then,

and glow right along

with them,

the mosquitoes don’t

bother with me.



Old man with unshaven face,

five minutes with people

is his limit,

even for family,

but nestled here

under the oaks,

he is at home.


He leans back against a stout trunk,

blows a puff of smoke

and tosses some crumbs

to his people.


His cigar

and his face



Bio: Bob Hoffman is an English major turned professional nurse. He lives and works in Washington DC, within a few blocks of the US Capitol. Divides his writing time between sweating out poetry and squeezing out a novel that never seems  to quite find its tail. Has previously had poems published in Sotto Voce, Rejoice, and SHUN.



Waning Winter
   by Ed Higgins
I have forever now it seems,
tried to force clarity upon myself.
Yet, if truth be told
(as it seldom ever is)
I must still admit wonder 
as mysterious as planted bulbs
pushing up green again
each and every spring
against all uncertainty imaginable 
violent yellow crocus or daffodils 
envious of the arrived sun perhaps
or the moon’s golden-gouda knowing.
Even the cries of newborn calves. Yes,
the dead for that matter, thawed
from their blood drained capitulation.
All of these stirrings and more
which depend on our remembering 
or the sleep-crust on our waking eyes. 
With hope demanding hearing, seeing
we are full of desire. Wanting answers
always eager. Waiting. Between
winter’s long death and arriving spring.
Bio:  Ed Higgins  poems and short fiction have appeared in a variety of online and print journals. He lives on a small farm in Yamhill, OR. with a menagerie of animals, including a barn cat named Velcro. He  teaches creative writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland.