Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don Kingfisher Campbell


there is a smell
of moisture in the air

it fills my nostrils
touches my arms

with cool pleasure
of presence/presents

like getting ready
to jump into

an unchlorinated pool
until that first drop

hits the skin
distracts me

a gentle poke
and I wonder

do these water balls
sink through

my protective layers
I feel wetness

soak my hair
I'm like a dog

wag my invisible tail
stick out my tongue

yet I'm also wearing
clothes in this shower

watch my vinyl jacket
become slick as a street

why--I could do this
at home under the

plastic vibrating head
but it wouldn't be

the same as being
surrounded by trees

all merrily taking in
the pummeling

beside me standing
near the darkened

sidewalk seeing
asphalt turn black

sky a wholly thick
cloudy mass

miles across
while I am

one stalk of many

like a cactus
on the outside

still lake on the in
where 75% of my body

holds, understands
the majesty of absorbing

the same elements
I was born of


Friday, November 13, 2009

Scott Kaestner

wave / life

until you reach a monopolized catharsis

miraculously the glow of persuasive yellow moon

pulls you thru an almighty ebb n’ flow...

then at the very apex of your existence

a fast crash precedes an even faster descent

end up buried in the sands upon a salty shore...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heather Haley


I know it's wrong but I love you . . .
love getting our kicks together.
I can't keep my hands off you.
I know it's wrong, but I love you,
evil that is mine, evil de rigueur.

I love you. I love to crawl inside you
so smooth and automatic.
I love to cruise down the boulevard
on a long, languid night
salt on the sea air
eucalyptus leaves
black leather bucket seats
me so cool inside.

Moonlight humping in the back seat.
Time to lose it, time to cut milk teeth
on someone's anatomy
before they became the jaws of death
before I became too driven.

It was love: gallant, silver, visored
Pontiac Chieftain De Luxe.
It was love: cherry Mercury Comet
'Haley's Comet,'
insides burning so much blue
the street urchins
couldn't stomach you.
It was love: white Audi Fox
that ran like a deer
and broke down
like a neurotic girlfriend
every one hundred miles.

Dark sapphire blue Plymouth Duster
carload of virgins
lowlands of Surrey
hell-bent on losing our season
all our deeds
and the unseen road
slick with Calona Red.

Sudden slow mo fish-tailing
wipers taunting, groaning
now you're gonna die
now you're gonna die
now you're gonna die
now you're gonna die
Duster spinning, sailing to
a lone hardwood
gleaming in the headlights
a chorus of screams
rising in decibel, rising in awe.

I crept through the brambles
right arm a dog's hind leg
cursed, Jesus, tore myself
from clinging blackberry vines
hands of the Reaper like claws
clutching, not quite ready to let go.
Human blood puddling, bodies strewn,
staggering, crying out, Mama.

I know it's wrong but I love you.
I still love you. You're a Volvo now
I'm a big mama, suburban sub Rosa
soccer mom, cranking up Bjork's "Army of Me"
cursing out the cretins hogging the road.
I love you, high maintenance metal Venus.
You get me where I'm going.

I'm a lovesick woman driver
in dread of the bus
afraid of dying in a car.
I love to crawl inside you
though I've nearly died for the pleasure.

I love you, and you know, I hate you.
I hate you for belching and farting.
I hate that slimy black Puffins
lay white, speckled eggs
on tarred and feathered beaches.
I hate you, you brutal, life-blood sucking
hunk of regurgitated steel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ellaraine Lockie

WAI-O-TAPU (Sacred Water)

A New Zealand geothermal wonderland
Where underground streams
still scalding from volcanic eruptions
suck minerals from rocks
Spit them out in sulfur steam
piercing the air with its sharp stench

Soon dulled by rainbow residuals
from other minerals
Springs and pools dyed
And crater crusts and terraces tinted
in ever-changing shades of yellow
orange, green, purple and blue
Balanced with red-brown and black
painted by carbon and iron oxide

Other antidotes for sulfur air
attach to sound waves
Soulful bellbird songs
from scattered bush land
Splash of water rushing rocks
Bubbling hot springs
And rhythmic burps from mud pools
The earth’s heartbeat

The ground is alive with gushing geysers
Steam exhaled by the inferno beneath
Hypertensive hisses to hill-top heights
That manifest like mirages
around every turn in the bush trail

A rift in the interwoven rainforest
where spiders lace silver ferns
with doilies deadly to winged prey
Where at night kiwis forage for food
Glowworms cast their deception in green
lighthouse beacons for unsuspecting insects
And from where surely Maori gods
can be seen at sunrise
soaking in the baths of Wai-O-Tapu

Monday, July 6, 2009

Aaron Blair

You brought punishment to careless trees,
clipping the parts of their bodies
that had dared to try and touch humanity.

Everything should know its place.

I wonder if you heard the rustling leaves laughing
when the saw took your finger.
Do you know what they thought
of the taste of your blood?
Were they drunk from it,
and victory, thinking you would run
from a taste of your own medicine
and never come back to wound them again?

Pity them. The trees could never shake you,
could never keep you from climbing up their trunks,
heart darkened with murderous intent.

Pity me. I could never shake you,
could never keep you from climbing into my skull,
heart darkened by whatever demons
the dismemberment of trees could not quiet.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brandon Cesmat


I stand here by the grace of my scars.
See the burl on my trunk’s downhill-side where
I isolated an infection into
the pupil of a wooden eye.
All I have to say is, ‘see?’
So, see the vertical line of my trunk;
broken by my boughs.

I am implicated by gravity’s law:
the dead bird beneath my limbs and
the needles I’ve dropped over him;
I’d do as much for you.
How well do I remember that bird?
Not well, they all move so fast.
My male and female pinecones
on the ground together,
sex, sex, sex everywhere.
Where is the love in this law?

Still, I claim innocence.
Indifference is one of my gifts.
I am in the business of enfolding light,
absorbing water and minerals,
releasing my all as seeds.

I’m not proud of my scars.
My wood can rot or burn for all I care.
I tell you we are both blessed
to have made it this far
with anything to lose.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Michelle Daugherty


As if a ragged woman’s hair,
Each branch shoots out and
Thrashes about until slowly,
Loosing the battle to gravity.
Her slender figure props itself up with rocks
Where the lady’s slippers get swallowed by the ground.
Plants gather like feral cats.
The wind rubs leaves against each other
Providing a soft lulling saw.
It could be a man building
Or the wings of a moth beating in her ear.


It rained today
I bottled some of it,
Wanted to share it with you.
By the time you are home it will have grown stale.
My hair will have grown long
And no amount of hugging will make this year undo.
I swam in our pond knowing you have gone
And still I looked for signs of the ripples you made
The last time you left the water.
We had silence then,
You said you wanted five minutes
Wanted to freeze them in your mind.
You thought of the leaves that would fall after you left,
The color of sunlight.
I know you didn’t think of me
You didn’t study me, the way you did that pond,
The week you spent leaving.
You felt the current, cold on your ankles
The sinking of mud beneath your feet.
I held onto the dock
On to you
Hoping for support, for solid ground.
I have always been better with pavement,
With noticing the slight change of buildings over time.
I studied you and then,
You left.
As if the pond was drained of water.
As if the trees uprooted themselves.
It is as though my heart put down cement
The rain collected in your absence
And I chose my swimming pool
Over this seasonal relationship with you
And a pond I never entered before you.


I spent hours spinning in circles on my front lawn
Every summer Sunday I got home from church
Tossed my shoes toward the door
And stood with grass peaking between my toes
Ballerinas are trained to look at one spot
And spin
Quickly positioning their focus to prevent dizziness.
As a six year old
Falling down was my goal
I spun until my knees folded
I’d lie, watching the sky keep moving overhead,
My god made kaleidoscope.
Jeffry Jensen


Eileen’s eye focused on
the sea and not
the arcade that was
morphing into a hazard
for everyone in
the extended family.
The day was full of
vermilion petals and
feathers that floated down
from a previous generation.
She watched the ocean be
transformed into a palace
full of fragrant myths, and
a gallery ready-made for
swimming away from
the geometry of death.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Michelle Angelini


The setting sun illuminates
unclothed branches
stretching them across
a white landscape
where only a camera’s eye

striated shadows
of virgin snow
before anyone
upsets the smooth land
forming snow angels

For now the tree break’s
silence is a peaceful harmony
An unspoken landscape
Jeffry Jensen


We counted by the leaf, by the
fingernail dug into the desert.
It was ours by default, it was
our green oasis with folding chairs.
No one saw the tinfoil swan take a
dive, it was up to me to tie the
cartilage to the bridge that spanned
the endless flow of a gardener’s grit.
The water fooled us all by cracking
the bodies down to their knuckles,
by breaking the backs like a butcher.
Joanne Merriam


The trees'
heady secrets --
their sun-worn semaphore,
green encyclopedic knowledge --

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Maja Trochimczyk


An invalid,
crippled by its lack
of fragrance,
the camellia
by the size
of its blossoms,
by the symmetry
of petals, arranged
into layered
ballerina skirts
around the heart
of yellow stamen.

The flowers' abundance
changes lush camellia forest
into a winter symphony
in pinks and greens,
fading into still browns
of the earth, with each
fallen bloom, lost petal.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sharmagne Leland-St. John


Sunrise lights the craggy peaks
Coyote lifts his head and speaks
To the rosy dawn
Snowflakes flutter off and on
And water fills the swirling creeks

As shadows fall across the range
The colours of the mountains change
Much later still with shadows gone
They're speckled like an autumn fawn
Nature seeks to rearrange

Her palette in the desert sky
Slowly Buzzard begins to fly
In circles high above the ground
His eye on something he has found
A creature left to die

Buzzard thinks he'll take a bite
The creature far too weak to fight
Just as Buzzard folds his weary wings
Coyote lifts his head and sings
To the starry night

Feathers scatter across the sand
Owl takes his watchful stand
Coyote lifts his head to croon
Silhouetted by the winter moon
As darkness falls upon this ancient land
Jeffry Jensen


I've always imagined myself to
be a flint boy with coyote
smarts and buffalo heart.
As such, I've found a way to
live in the cut of a sunbaked
canyon that runs from a full
moon to a century of rabbit
holes with my big black bear feet
protruding all the way to the stars.
Jerry Garcia


On rocky hillside,
I trudge toward a vantage,
trip over other travelers,
cans, wrappers and butts,
such unconvincing guides.

Tangled vines make faces
in setting sun shadows.
Disapproving branches bow
and shutter remaining light.

“The North Star will lead a man home,”
so I am told by mariner friends.
But here where the roads cross
under trees edged by clouded glow,
my neck strains to find that fabled light.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Michelle Angelini


Layered earth
marks time
eroded prehistory
to visible present

promontories anchor
in cerulean streams
Go this way

they whisper to those
who understand
the intrinsic value
of untouched splendor

Green pine giants
protect hilltops
dark contrast
newcomers to forces

In the distance
late arrivals
cultivate nature
to suit their own needs

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jeffry Jensen


As I take one last shaky step
away from the light, I pocket
my count of the dry rocks on an
inverse path to a psychic waterfall.
Soon there will be representational
art in the center of the canyon that
can outlast my unstable astronomy.
I dig up mothers who had manipulated
their fuzzy children as if they
had been testing one of Euclid's theorems
without a pavilion of spiral netting.
It is the pathology of rocks that sweetens
my briny fluids as a spherical palace of
silver girders supports a knuckled horizon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Don Kingfisher Campbell


sun in the sky
filtered through bands
of blue and white

land all a round
mountains frame (surround)
rock strewn plain

worshippers gather
citizens of earth
stand with branches

outstretched take
in periodic warmth
between collected tears

even rocks seem
to enjoy the hours
of light reflection

(effortlessly provide
shadows for respite
from constant brilliance)

through the unseen
companion who fills
space around us

we grow up and die
reseed the soil keep
the ceremony going
Jeffry Jensen


I wanted lawn to here and
rose bushes to there and
ivy in the corner to
cover the neighbor's wall
where it was more holes
than sturdy structure.
A perfect order was within
my grasp if only I were made of
the sterner stuff necessary to
control a backyard with
living things needing to be
trimmed on a Tuesday and
fed on alternate Fridays.
From my porch, I could imagine
a satisfactory resolution fit for
the prince of a man that I saw
myself as after a dry martini or two.
But in the blink of a dying
bloom, I was presented with
enough ivy to give cover to
generations of mice and all of
the nocturnal beetles from
across the vast divide.
My perfect order went missing in
action and left me with
lawn somewhere and rose bushes
nowhere to be found and ivy
everywhere in between the
devil and the deep dark chaos
that seems to drive all of creation.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Michelle Angelini


She sees its mini-world
with disinterest
as beauty
between poles of pain

Birds float in its life-blood
and trees drink
springing from
its flowing streams

Veins rise and fall
and depend on
earth's weeping

It calls each night in her dreams
she does not answer
but identifies
with its slow death

She wishes it to flow
as a vigorous ecosystem
fed nothing to clog the arteries
respected by those who use it

Monday, January 12, 2009

Scott C. Kaestner


it is winter
in my youth
but not here


crystal coast
warm breezes
cool waves

sunshine exodus
from reality

as the world turns,
as the world burns

nothing else to do
except step
into liquid
and swim

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sharmagne Leland-St.John


There were dry red days.
Devoid of clouds.
Devoid of breeze.
Sound bruised
My burning bones.
Dirt cracked my hands
And caked my cheeks
No buds on limbs of trees
No birds on branches
No hope of rain
Scrawny chickens
Kicked up dust
Scratching for food
That wasn't there.
In the stifling, stillness
Of the scorched night
We dreamt
Of cool oases
Tropical isles
Emerald bays
Not these dry red days

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Katherine Norland


The moist earth squishes between my toes;
After rainfall, sneak out barefoot, no one knows.
This is a place of calm, a place that I can connect
To this earth I take for granted and I always expect.

Itʼs not that it desires for us to give back;
One thing it doesnʼt deserve our constant attack.
We spill toxic waste and pull up all its plant and trees;
And then complain about the ozone and the air we breathe.

Earth can replenish itself, it has for thousands of years;
But rain that once could be drunk, is now acid rain tears.
Why arenʼt we better stewards of what the Creator gave;
Does every mountain, valley and forest need to be paved?

God made this earth, nature and animals to enjoy
That I donʼt believe He intended for us to blatantly destroy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Alice Pero


I am writing the white of the birch
as she leans upward toward blue
My eye tracing words where her leaves touch color,
my ears finding sound in her transparent skin
Sky cannot sing but my fingers can
A tune clear and clean, sung to crinkled bark,
thin branches waving in the breeze,
patterns of etched sound, reach out,
Only I can hear, sight and meaning together
Birch finds sky, I sketch the mute greeting,
Somewhere, an invisible muse, laughing
Luis Campos


--...we interrupt
one disaster
to bring you
another one:

--the great
Chan-Tung dam
in China
has collapsed...
as many as
300,000 people
are feared dead!

--and now,
back to
of Our Lives."