Hummingbird, by Robert Walton

Hummingbird
by Robert Walton

You take a break
In first sunshine,
A grass stem
Barely bending
Beneath your weight –
The dried flames
Of Indian paintbrush
Are slim pickings –
Gone.

 

 

Photo by Ed Haskell

Please visit his website for more information about him: http://chaosgatebook.wordpress.com/

Robert Walton’s novel, Dawn Drums was awarded first place in the 2014 Arizona Authors Association’s literary contest and also won the 2014 Tony Hillerman Best Fiction Award. With Barry Malzburg, Walton wrote The Man Who Murdered Mozart, published by Fantasy & SF in 2011. His “Do you feel lucky, Punk?” received a prize in the 2018 Bartleby Snopes dialog only contest. Most recently, his story, “Tryst” was published in The Ghost Story. Robert is a retired middle school teacher and a lifelong mountaineer with many ascents in the Sierras and Pinnacles National Park. He lives in King City, California.

Against the Rules, by Diane Jackman

Against the Rules
by Diane Jackman

I make this journey today
when we have laid you in the ground.
I cannot sit in an empty house
and so I drive through the rules of pandemic

to the place where we were happy last,
the ruins of the leper hospital
falling into the northern sea.
Though I am confined to the car,

I gaze through the broken arch
where still the Portland sheep
and rust-coated cattle graze,
survivors, with me, of that remembered day.

I drive home strangely comforted.

Diane Jackman’s poetry has appeared in small press magazines and anthologies, and has won or placed in several competition. Starting as a children’s writer she now concentrates on poetry. She is passionately interested in medieval rabbit warrens and Anglo-Saxon literature. She runs a poetry café in Brandon in the heart of the Breckland, England’s desert.

San Lucas Mission, by Elise Woods

San Lucas Mission
by Elise Woods

I first heard about San Lucas when I studied abroad.
I was told by a middle-aged professor named Gordon that I should
really consider going.

During the week of Semana Santa, it was customary to reflect.
Colorful carpets called alfombras were made out of flowers;
everyone was quiet during a somber parade.

Tuesday was Market day:
All the vendors would gather to sell fruits, vegetables, and crafts.
They would sell whatever they could pass off for a reasonable sum.

The children I worked with at the biblioteca
Would brush their teeth at school and smile through foam.
I stayed five months before yearning for home.

Elise Woods is an assistant tutoring coordinator at Jefferson Community & Technical College. Her work has appeared in The Avenue, The Learning Assistance Review, and SpreeBeez magazine.

In The Hot Sun, By A Deserted Barn, by Paula Bonnell

In The Hot Sun, By A Deserted Barn
by Paula Bonnell

The barn gone grey, silvery grey,
and here in its side, one board of many
and in it, many vertical
lines which thread it from end to end, bending
as they go – leaning this way and that
with the lilt that makes a move
a dance. They are fibers, each
of them; joined, they make wood. Cut,
they are grain, and the knots
they sway past were the arms of
branches, which reached and elongated
as they emerged from the trunk
to stretch, to sieve air through
manifold twigs and unfurling leaves
while these rising paths, these filaments,
lifted and carried water to the cresting
top of the tree.

Paula Bonnell’s writing has appeared in four collections
of poems, including “Airs & Voice”, chosen for a Ciardi Prize
by Mark Jarman, been heard on The Writer’s Almanac, and
a short story selected for a PEN Syndicated Fiction Prize
and published in newspapers.

Florida Haiku, by Paula Bonnell

Florida Haiku
by Paula Bonnell

The wind in the trees . . .
a wind chime –
These parts are inhabited!

*

The sound of a motorcycle –
the call of a mourning dove –
the trailer park

*

Evening star, palm tree
Illuminated swimming pool
crescent moon

*

Summer night:
within the hurtling along the tracks,
an invisible train –

Paula Bonnell’s writing has appeared in four collections
of poems, including “Airs & Voice”, chosen for a Ciardi Prize
by Mark Jarman, been heard on The Writer’s Almanac, and
a short story selected for a PEN Syndicated Fiction Prize
and published in newspapers.

High Trails, by Elizabeth Spencer Spragins

High Trails
by Elizabeth Spencer Spragins

as thunder thickens
storm clouds stalk a fallen sun—
footprints of the rain
rest upon unwrinkled roads
and sink into their softness

~Taos, New Mexico

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet and writer who taught in community colleges for more than a decade. Her work has been published extensively in Europe, Asia, and North America. She is the author of With No Bridle for the Breeze: Ungrounded Verse (Shanti Arts Publishing) and The Language of Bones: American Journeys Through Bardic Verse (Kelsay Books).

Schrödinger’s Train, by Mantz York

Schrödinger’s Train
by Mantz York

The 11.41 to Liverpool
will arrive, on time,
at Platform 2.
The 11.41 to Liverpool
has been cancelled.

So, simultaneously,
says the display
at the station.
I photograph the display,
thinking I’ll send the pic
to New Scientist. Later,
I drop the phone:
the back flies off,
the battery falls out.
I put the phone together:
my contacts still exist
but Schrödinger’s train
has gone.

Mantz Yorke is a former science teacher and researcher living in Manchester, England. His poems have appeared in print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Israel, Canada, the US, Australia and Hong Kong. His collection, Voyager, is published by Dempsey & Windle.

End of the Line, Southport, by Mantz Yorke

End of the Line, Southport
by Mantz Yorke

The Pacer 142 – a two-car bus on rails,
a decade and more beyond its intended life –
bucks, bumps and thumps across the flat
farmland until its wheels squeal round
the long slow curve into the terminus.

Thirteen platforms were needed once
for day-trippers, holiday-makers
and people who came to town for work.
The day-trippers still come (today,
mainly by car) to enjoy the funfair,

the air display and the flower show –
and, when sun and sea are right,
for the wide strand where children can splash
and build sandcastles that’ll last as long
as a drying wind and returning tide allow.

Now people jet to brochures’ sun:
fewer stay here, as I did at the age of nine.
No need for all those platforms, so seven
are now car parks: of the remaining six,
only the ends are used by trains.

This damp grey morning I pace out
the length of Platform 5, curious
to calculate how many carriages would fit.
Roughly half way, beyond the canopy,
the stone flags are lichenous and slippery:

a long time since passengers’ feet trod
these slabs. Per carriage, eighteen paces:
I reckon the platform is a dozen carriages long.
Now almost invisible at the line’s end, the Pacer
is about to depart, not before time.

Mantz Yorke is a former science teacher and researcher living in Manchester, England. His poems have appeared in print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Israel, Canada, the US, Australia and Hong Kong. His collection, Voyager, is published by Dempsey & Windle.

Walking in Sand, by Mark Tulin

Walking in Sand
by Mark Tulin

I slowly walk
in different
textures of sand
during low
and high tide
puncturing holes
in the damp earth
with each step

My bare feet land
at various angles
on both ends
of the beach
with each wave
that breaks and recedes
in each moment
I feel free.

Mark Tulin is a former psychotherapist who lives in California with his wife, Alice. He has two poetry books, Magical Yogis and Awkward Grace. The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories is available at Madville Publishing. He’s been featured in Still Point Journal, The Writing Disorder, New Readers Magazine, among others. Mark’s website is Crow On The Wire.

El Paso Travelers, by Mark Tulin

El Paso Travelers
by Mark Tulin

In El Paso,
the wall divides
one from the other,
life from death,
the rich from poor,
progress from regression

The wall celebrates
the division of innocent souls,
hungry travelers
of fading hopes and dreams

As they journey
over one thorny bush to another,
eluding the border patrol,
they wait for freedom’s angels
to carry them over,
the last obstacle.

Mark Tulin is a former psychotherapist who lives in California with his wife, Alice. He has two poetry books, Magical Yogis and Awkward Grace. The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories is available at Madville Publishing. He’s been featured in Still Point Journal, The Writing Disorder, New Readers Magazine, among others. Mark’s website is Crow On The Wire.