June 23, 2020

On One Day at a Time by Alan Yount

in these troubled times 
and false spring 
after seventy 
but also before 
those older years 
try and find 
on one day at a time 
find something in each day 
you will enjoy doing 
something good and interesting 
you absolutely love to do 
on every 

Postscript:  written on June 6, 2020
                     seventy third birthday,
                     with hope of strength and peace
                     in these times. 

Alan Yount has published 136 poems, over the span of 50 years. He has published several poems in: “JerryJazzMusician,” over the last few years. The same journal Michael L. Newell has published many poems. This fall, he had two poems in “Big Scream,” the journal of the well known poet David Cope. For the summer issue, 2018, of WestWard Quarterly, he was the featured writer and poet. They published four of his poems. The issue had 50 poets.

June 22, 2020

Swamp Time by John Grey

Every morning,
one blackbird,
on a spruce branch,
chants the nearby females to attention,
with "I am a great red-winged Romeo."
Sunup on gray tidal flats brings
a caravan of crabs,
terns stepping around stones,
mussel shoals.
Midday, same blackbird,
same song.
Late afternoon,
crickets begin their chirp,
but one blackbird
can out-warble a thousand insects.
Evening comes
to birds in reeds, in cypress.
Surrounds are dark as its feathers.
Gulf waters, moon-instructed,
move in, wave by wave,
flood silence with a swish and roll.
Head cocked sideways,
sleep comes to all great red-winged lovers.

June 18, 2020

Alone by Lorraine Caputo

When I sit
in a rocker
in the patio
I hear a
sleeping breath

… But I know
I am alone …

In the kitchen
fixing my meal,
I see a shadow
in the next room
& another
crossing the courtyard

… But I know …

This century-old house
of silent patios
& muraled windows
of fleeting 
shades & whispers

… I am alone …

Poet, translator and travel writer Lorraine Caputo’s works appear in over 180 journals on six continents; and 12 chapbooks of poetry – including Caribbean Nights (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019). She travels through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.

June 17, 2020

Seasons Later by Marjorie Maddox

Turn your back 
and the crow still flies into your eyes,

swarms around the iris,
pecks.  I know 

how even sorrows sown deep
sprout, come harvest,

tangle about the spine,
twist their way into the sockets

of your wind-damaged sight.
The dark summons scavengers

that prey on the past—
your peripheral vision, one large wing

that won’t fly away.  
Some days, you’re a misplaced Persephone 

caught in a labyrinth of Van Gogh’s crops,
shadowed with light and shame.

The seasons shift and swirl
their maze of memories,

cart you between worlds dying
or left for chaff.

In the half-light of almost-day,
gray reaps gray.


Fight crow with its own screech.
Call out to the caw, the corn, 

the winnowed wheat,
the sky, vast and unknowing.

They never answer,
but your newfound voice dislodges 

kernels caught in the throat,
catapults choice into neat rows

of tended possibilities. Take a sickle,  
a hoe, your bundled woes, and follow your

self, scattering hope—
that beautiful, edible weed—behind you.

*Based on a photograph by Erica McCreedy and previously published in Status Hat (now defunct)

Professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation—the short story collection What She Was Saying; 4 children’s/YA books—including Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises & I’m Feeling Blue, Too!Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (PSU Press), and Presence (assistant editor). www.marjoriemaddox.com.

June 16, 2020

The Hour After 6 a.m. by Robert Nisbet

If I open a window, I can sense, scent
trees and bushes, decades’ growth,
indigenous grass. Autumn, as the shrubs
exhale. (Do they exhale? I don’t know
the botany but I assume they do).
Earth, blackcurrant, hawthorn,
a few apples starting to rot and
the morning’s enlightenment.  

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who once read for an American President, when ex-President and poet Jimmy Carter was guest of honour at the opening of the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea in 1995. Nisbet is a Pushcart Prize nominee for 2020.

June 15, 2020

The Fox by Emily Bilman

In the bus, people spoke about Covid-19.
Like swarms of sardines swirling round
And round the black-blue shadow 
Of the sea to reach the light, I imagined
Distant queues self-distancing in shopping
Malls before gaining the daylight outside.
In the bus, adolescents talked about
Masquerades, giggled, and laughed.
Then, unexpectedly, we heard the screeching 
Brakes as the bus halted in the middle 
Of a natural reserve. Through the large
Windows we saw a majestic red fox 
With a fur of amber gold crossing the strait
Road in the wan winter light, its torso
And long bushy tail all tainted in off white; 
Its pointed ears and taut snout were alert. 
Animals that keep a sylvan vigil in the forest
Move, hide, and hunt, sometimes uncloak 
Themselves warily. Separated by a verge  
From the bland gray asphalt road it traversed, 
The guileful and shrewd eyes of the fox shone
Like children’s agate marbles vying to target
Other marbles. Amazed at its beauty
I scrutinized the fox’s heedful steps 
As it entered the dark green fir forest
Heaved before us as an alpine totem.

Dr. Emily Bilman is a widely published poet who teaches poetry in her Stanza group in Geneva. Her three poetry books, A Woman By A Well (2015), Resilience (2015), and The Threshold of Broken Waters (2018) were published by Troubador, UK and Modern Ekphrasis by Peter Lang in 2013.  Her thesis is entitled The Psychodynamics of Poetry. 

June 12, 2020

Night Sounds by Sarah Russell

She tiptoes to the garden
on cricket nights to visit beings
busy in the grass and sycamore and willows,
hidden except for a swoosh, or chortle,
or pounce and small scream.

This night, she settles herself
on a stone in shadows, watches
moonlight tremble through leaves,
breathes moss and larkspur and clover.
Her fingers play with the hem
of her nightie, and she shivers.

Soon, she hears the wind chime cadence
of fairies dancing. The moon wends
a wildflower path to a clearing,
but the sounds drift ahead, out of reach.
She fears she’ll be lost and returns
to her stone in the garden.

Inside her house are loud voices
and sobs and the sound of something
falling down stairs. But she hears only
the tinkling fairies. She knows someday
they’ll find her and bring her to another garden
where another girl sitting on a stone
will hold her hand.

Sarah Russell’s poetry and fiction have been published in Kentucky Review, Poppy Road Review, Misfit Magazine, Rusty Truck, Third Wednesday, and many other journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has two poetry collections published by Kelsay Books, I lost summer somewhere and Today and Other Seasons. She blogs at SarahRussellPoetry.net