Carta

By TS HIDALGO

Beautiful way to drop the tip of colors,
for the beginning of a written talk,
to convey emotions leaving an important element
… and see the evening twilight to become
(and, in our hearts,
good reasons to remember).
The ink.

Planting Cone-Flower Seeds

By JAN BALL

I hadn’t seen an earthworm in at least
ten years the way we, walking to
St. Benedict’s Elementary School
in Chicago, used to first smell iron
— rain or worms we never knew — then
look down to see worms wiggling on
the flat pavement in rainbow puddles
(I always thought they came up
through the cracks, maybe they did)
and later we dissected them in biology
class, the smell of formaldehyde as
unforgettable as pot roast simmering
for Sunday dinner as we studied our
phylum for earthworms: Annelida,
at the dining room table until Mother
called us to set it with the best cutlery.

Now, I kneel uncharacteristically to turn
the crumbly clay that worms have processed
through their digestive systems into sweet,
rich soil beside the farmhouse that we’re
renovating and plant the slivered seeds
that Kathy gave me. Again, I see the fat
earthworms wiggling as regularly as black
olives lay inert in a glass bowl at Thanksgiving.
I know that next summer the purple blossoms
will grow petaled in the afternoon shelter
of the red shingled house that radiates
the constant sun in the morning.

Surf

By THOM YOUNG

the surf
isn’t what
it used to be
now
it
washes up
lives
and dirty needles
and once they found
a lady
in a green dress
face down on the beach
she said her
name was Amber
which seemed like a good enough
name
but the tourists
were too distracted
by a school
of Bluefish
to know they were
already eaten
alive.

Rain

By ALICE KING

The rain has an order to it
Like poetry
Like books on shelves in the library
It quiets construction sounds
Until all we hear is the patter and the rustle of trees
As their leaves drip and shake water from their green faces
Rain pushes people out of sacred forests
And lets the mountains breathe again
Bold blue mist faces claim their spaces
Royal blue, ocean blue, blue like a faded Polaroid

Drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip rain
drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip

Nostalgia has the face of rain
We think of unremembered feelings
Wanderlust crying like an abused child in our breasts
We wanted to travel once long ago
We wanted to see the world
Until we saw it in someone else’s eyes

Longing has the sound of rain
Soft crying in the dead of night
When we think of a love lost
A love unrequited
A love that made us feel whole
While it ripped shreds of our hearts

Japanese Festival of the Full Moon

By CAROL HAMILTON

We met at the park in dark enough
though Full Moon bathed us luminescent.
We picnicked, sipped wine, sang every
moon song we could think of, said every
saying, read our own tributes, stared
at the craters and lava lakes through
my Dobsonian telescope, hooded to
keep out too much light. There is
no water there.
Still, we name her Romance,
a place of pure hot or pure cold.
We die of these things
but we don’t care. She’s far away
and tugs at our very breath.
She is a Muse, like Beatrice or Laura.
If she keeps her radiant distance
we can gather like this,
full of song and memory
and all our lost longings.