Monday, January 27, 2020

Russian Film

They have dug a fresh grave
Just beyond that group of old headstones
Where a lush green forest begins

She plays her bugle
As her father rows his small craft out to sea
A boy half-naked crawls tiredly onto the rocky shore
In his hand a crab he has carried from the depths
The children are beyond gravity

Their bodies grow upright
I do not see an end to their beauty
They hear the strange echoes made from yelling up the rock cliff
They listen for answers the echoes can not give
Still there are echoes they can not hear

They see faces in the jaded rocks
Too high for climbing
Even their young strong thighs and arms could not get them there
He fixes his hair in a tidepool
Nearly losing the little girl

A seagull flies over the waters
And the children dive in off the jetty without hesitation
A group of the boys seen earlier gather on the shore
They want to see her nude body exposed
She hides nervously in the crevices refusing to show herself
But after all she appears shaming the hysterical boys
The boys’ cruel indifference

She laughs as she plays with the phone booth
Fake conversations none can know

The group of boys yell up at the rocky monoliths
They are searching for the boy who was with the girl earlier
He hides high up in the crags and watches the boys below
He calls for the girl lost somehow

The immovable stones give no answer
But she is back again
With her bugle chasing a man’s footprints in the sun drenched sand

Some Russian song is sung as she boards a train for the city
The boy chases yelling her name
But she is smiling to leave the cliffs and the seas with her uncle
She sticks her head out looking forward
She thinks little of the boy chasing the train

© Philip Marlin, 2020

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Remembering Winter

Winter, my old friend...
I see you beyond the hill
Autumn's last leaf swept away
My shoulders shake with chill

Are my bones just getting old?
They say you're on the way.
Even the clouds have lost their fluff
They seem so flat, so grey.

Yet, I recall a winter past
When cold couldn't halt my play
And the crunch of snow beneath my boots
Brought smiles to my day.

As snowballs landed at my feet
Thrown by admiring boys
Placing me on center stage
I can hear their swishing noise.

As days grow short and cold winds blow
I glance at the orange sun
Remembering so long ago
When winter just meant fun! 

© Shelly Sitzer, 2019

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Monday, November 18, 2019

Prophecy: A Recipe

You’ll need a fish and some sequins,
 a bottle of good wine, sugar,
rock salt, a bag of mints, and maybe
an orange or two. This is not
a comprehensive list. Improvise a bit.
If it were meant to be simple, anyone
could do it. Are you still listening to me?
Good. Now you need to build a boat.
Not a real boat, an imaginary boat.
Exactly 12 feet and 4 inches long.
It should smell like pine trees
in your boat. You must stack coins
edge to edge. Bind them with candy
floss. It doesn’t matter what color.
It just needs to be sticky. You have
too many questions. Why would I know
when the flood is coming? Who said
it would end in a flood? I’m just telling
you to build a boat in your mind.
No easy fixes I’m afraid, but you can
eat the fish. Sequins make everything shine.
You’ll figure out the rest or you won’t.

© Ellie White, Originally Published in Peatsmoke

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Sunglint Butterflies

The moment exists
and slips my grasp today
as it does on many

As present bliss is lost
in time that will not be detained
even if I resist the flow

An unseen force is moving
through me...and I question
if the current knows the stream, or
if consciousness can recognize
living as it seems

Is simple awareness reality
and living just a dream?

Or is the truth of Being
somewhere inbetween?

Human born, we are born to see
that balance is a mystery,
a cosmic dance...

Siva, getting down, getting on,
getting free!

Destined for more
than a meal and a mate,
we must daily choose our fate
and fell the power of the stream...
for we are carried, after all!

Yet, it's up to us to paddle
and not to drift, for ultimate

Sunglint butterflies scintillate their flight
upon the windrift soul of water
flowing over stone...

I'm on the bridge, above the stream...
again, the Sun is bursting
light and water over me!

© Gerry Sackett, 2019

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Senile Ghosts

The whiff of Pall Mall
floats across the room,
drifts in front of my eyes,
drawing a steep river bank and us 
skinny-dipping in shallow water.
The fragrant sketch revives
a hopeful evening.

Senile ghosts haven’t wised up
and crashed my Halloween party.
They thought they could change the world
but broke their wings in drunken binge
while skinny-dipping in shallow water.

The ghosts believe they run the world
because the moon agreed to swim along
in the river of missed opportunities
and misread observations,
hiding the ripples of wrinkles
below the silver rays.

The tops of maples and oaks
gleam orange and gold; 
the berserk ghosts dash down
the steep riverbank
like headless chickens.
With increasing alarm,
I open the doors and windows,
praying for a draft to carry away
the whiff of Pall Mall.

© Helen Kanevsky, 2019

Image courtesy of The Spectator

Monday, October 14, 2019

Dazzling Dinoflagellates

We gather when the moon is hidden
in earth shadow, stand in a group to hear facts,
take advice, don life jackets that cover our lungs,
our hearts.  We drive toward a cove at the
salt sea edge where the plankton proliferate,
persist in a small shallow bay with its twisted neck
to the sea, its reef a wall that holds them in.  These
bright, tiny organisms, single cell, simple we call them,
beckon us to witness their wonder. Under wisps
of night light we load into kayaks, follow one
dim beacon. Only paddle sounds dipping, dripping,
pulling on water.  Last light tucks under the earth,
dark descends fully, fills the space that holds us. 
The enchantment begins.  Under every boat
a lining of light, each paddle's dip is a brush
painting sparkle.  Even the fish surface
in small blue spotlights, descend exposed.
These uncountable beings dance ghostly
glimmering with every splash we make.
I sink my arm in the cool cove, skin glows
blue.  Lift lighted water in both cupped hands,
let it fall back twinkling into the bay, dots of glitter
on my fingers, my palm -- I am holding starlight.

© Marti Snell, 2016
(Snell, Martha E. “Dazzling Dinoflagellates.” Streetlight Magazine, Fall, 2016. Issue No.19, Web 16 October.

Bioluminescent Algae at Vieques Bay, Puerto Rico
courtesy of

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Moon Landing +50

It rained most of that week
So we couldn’t see it anyway
with the naked eye
And the grainy TV imagery
and the muffled voices
From a quarter million miles away

This orbed story seeming so alien
to my lifeguard lifestyle
and the big concert
Coming up in a couple weeks
over in New York State
Or that moony girl
who kept draping herself
         on my white guard stand,

Recalling that when Apollo was announced
We believed what the President said
before Vietnam
And Watergate and stagflation
Opened a continental latrine trench
Between the government
and the people,

Nearly failing to mention that this was only
another Frontier story
another land grab
Of empty spaces occupied by nothing
or mere heathens thus
Ripe for that special Christian rapacity
         forgiven in advance
for bringing the Word
to the wilderness,

Awakening too late to the bitterly plain
         truth that that savage
wisdom is what we needed
All along to keep this singular
blue pearl
From becoming a charcoal-dusted
cratered place
Where a white man’s bootprint
lasts a million years.

          © Bill Prindle, 2019

Apollo 11 bootprint, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons