“First taste,” “Cooks River Avian Real Estate,” and “Breakfast”

Wendy Blaxland

Obediently, the baby
opens her mouth
to the spoon.

She has watched the adults
opening their mouths
around the table for so long,

“The Voice of Wind,” “Coyote Laughing,” and “Some Instructions for Living”

Kristi Joy

Listen to the wind, its
strings and strains of
language and song
pulling you to your feet;
a ragdoll animated and living.

“She Comes. She Goes. She Comes.,” “On the Fence,” and “In the collection”

Michal Rubin

She disappears
takes with her
something created together
I move forward to where she stood
the absence of her presence
leaves behind a vacuum

“Wood Wound Pareidolia,” “Gravity,” and “August 6 with Kokeshi Dolls”

Vincent Casaregola

The possible face stares back at me
from across the weedy, ragged backyard,
its dark grey oval rising from the darker
striated bark of the sweetgum.

“Starlight Stitches,” “A Collection,” and “A Moment Lost”

Leonardo Chung

In the galaxies pooling in the waiting room
where black holes hum the prelude
to creation
we chart the shushed diagnosis
embossed in the orbit of
the body’s forgotten comets.

“The Handkerchief,” “Elfie Cooks Oatmeal,” and “Ascension”

Malcolm Glass

My mother’s white handkerchief
lies on my hand, the corners
embroidered with small flowers,
pink, blue, white. I unfold it
and find the yellow feather,
where I put it eighty years ago.

“Parade Day,” “The Irish Fairy,” and “Little Bird”

Grace McCaffrey

Marching men in uniforms, crisp
Navy-blue shoulders, starchy stiff
Polyester and pins
Bagpipes gasp and gather
The strength to carry the day

“My Bus Worries Me,” “Voice of Yesterday Morning,” and “Strangers”

Sik Siu Siu

Epicurus the Greek philosopher
tells me not to fear death.
He goes, Why should you fear death?
If you are, then death is not.

“Mary Fleck,” “Something Out of Nothing,” and “In Rimini”

Stephen Barile

Once, in another time, I traveled with my parents
In the 1951 Ford sedan to a distant part of the city.
You could call it a city, but everyone then
Referred to it only as a town.

“Pursuit,” “The Endless,” and “The Unswept Sky”

Marcia Trahan

The hawk’s shadow follows me.
Some smoker’s tar coats my lungs,
all the tiny quivering sacs.

“Self-Sabotage,” “Freely Drifting,” and “Blissful Anguish”

Maria Volodkevich

Like a cross stitch
I tied down your limbs
thread by thread
preventing you from flying

“No Tree,” “Saint Valentine,” and “Dead Heisenberg”

Jack D. Harvey

“No tree grows all the way to heaven,”
a darling end to a bible story
or Lenten play beginning
you might say;
a betrayal of trust

“Easy to Forget,” “Sometimes,” and “the other road”

Joanne Jagoda

It’s really easy to forget
To put it all out of your mind
That you might be living with a debt which could be called in
Any time by that unforgiving debt collector

“Spectacle of Spectacles”

Annette Young

My Spectacles watched me seek for them
lowered their head with mine.
A clear silhouette of every

“Elegy for the ‘Mule’ ”

Stephen Barile

No idea where it came from,
The pipe-threading lathe
Just presented itself
On the job when it was needed.
From the truck and tools,
We rested the Mule near the alley

“My Near-Death Experience”

Kathleen Holliday

As near-death experiences go,
it was one of the best.
What more is there to tell?

“So Far”

Julie Benesh

We’re on our last legs, and the legs are last to go;
the best metaphors die young, reborn as cliches.

“The Winters of the Sun”

Lawrence Bridges

Like a title that keys no theme
Except an atmosphere, I slip into my clothes.
A doorknob, a checklist, a podcast
On an unsolved murder.

“Crisp the Surface”

J. Parker Marvin

Shards of invention over
crisp dirt :: secreted
mouths whisper about
union and definitions :: small


Lumina Miller

Picking at the bones,
they feed from residual
ligaments left
post quiet carving

began with disinterest
proceeding to tsks tsks then

“I Need Yesterdays” and “If Only to Look”

Samuel Gilpin

reprieve thickening
in threatening
the still winter light
encrusted as a high
gray sky in thickness
turning in another silence
as in the waiting

“Where are Tolkien’s Ents?”

Deborah Filanowski

There is an army of ghost trees ringing the coastlines of the world.
Once verdant, evidence of a healthy environment,
now leafless, bleached white in death,
phantoms of the forest that once was.

“Touring the Forest” and “Leaning Over the Rails”

Jennifer Phillips

This will help you to remember
what a forest was. This one, North Temperate.
Might have been where we are standing.
Here, adjust the strap
around your forehead, rest this over
the bridge of your nose. Click the button.

“Earth Cries and the Oceans Catch the Tears,” “Reservoir No More,” and “Summer — Memory or Prophecy?”

Russell Willis

Each corner of a globe
With no corners
Born of the sea as
Liquid or solid
In dances with humans
And dances between humans
Fear and hope meet in their own dance
As the earth cries