Weaning

cattle-640985_1280

By Lee Robison

In the slow, urgent cadence of cattle,
the black cows
move again across a landscape
of yellow grass and snow
to where they last heard
the familiar bawl,

dumb to all but ache—
whether of teat or heart
we men cannot know,
though we watch

and have had familiar loves
that for a summer of time were
but are now but silence.

Advertisements

A Narcissist’s Repine

man-3780764_1280
By Colleen Doty
I sent her an apology
of sorts
a note, attached to email
scrabbled from my heart, while on the plane
to my holiday home on the Solomon Islands.
I saved the note, as I do,
with all emails where people have wronged me,
filed alphabetically by last name.
I considered the wording as I cycled the boardwalk,
(I don’t like the word “dike”),
I need to clear the air, extend
an olive branch
to resolve this five-year conflict.
How can she not want to talk?
Idealist, environmentalist, with her
perceived women’s rights issues —
We’re family
after all.          
Colleen lives with her husband and two kids on Galiano Island in the Salish Sea. When not writing stories she works as an historical researcher and grows open-pollinated seeds for seed banks.

The Old Music

bonfire-1835829_1280

By Philip Hess

Have you ever been to a bonfire
Of acoustic guitars, strings pinging
Like when your spokes went out?

Once I went to a piano burn,
Keys and pedals already stripped,
Just the hulking dark shells set ablaze.

Another time when I lit an old drum,
The taut leather across the top
Swelled way up before bursting with a bang.

And whenever I torch a pile of scores,
I think of broiling wienies in the smoky flames
On a conductor’s stand turned skillet.

It’s Come to This

juice-2594602_1280

By Dianne Moritz

Once
she sipped daiquiris
by the pool
high above Hollywood
gazing down at the peasants.
Eucalyptus
shade dappled
her soft, tanned skin
as she kissed his lips
under the California sun.
There
he made promises
to love her forever
and ever and ever
until the twelfth of never.
Today
she lives in the east
writing … remembering
dreams of long ago
when now was all
everything she wanted to know.

        
Dianne writes from her home in New York and misses California every day. Her poems have appeared in Earth’s Daughters, Long Island Quarterly as well as online in Adelaide Literary, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Universe.

The Poet

moon-2762111_1280

By Sandra Arnold

Walrus-like he slumps
in the shadows of the rocks
flickering fire
into a flaccid belly.
She doesn’t see the pelican chin
or hair too thin to be so evenly raven.
Only his eyes refracting the stars
and the moon’s reflection in fragments on the sea.
You fuck divinely he complains. So it must be the wine
or the cold sea wind that renders me unimpressive
for I was never impotent till my wife asked for a baby.
She weeps
then comb my hair with spiraled shells
and sweeten the night air with love songs
and the eloquence
of your verse.

         
Sandra Arnold’s third novel, Ash, (Mākaro Press, NZ) and her first flash fiction collection, Soul Etchings, (Retreat West Books, UK) will be out in 2019.