One Poem by Geoffrey Aitken

reciprocity

the universe
remains unread
by earth’s great minds
though its music
and elusive songs
mesmerize from remote corners
seducing scientific entrepreneurs
to continue lifelong searches
for undiscovered quotients
while the poet
awaits that chance meeting
with eternal fire
to summon word spell baptismals
for aching readers
conjuring possibility
to unlock ancestral human delight
while weaving dreams and rhapsody
to fill the cosmos
so that astronomers may never rest

 

Geoffrey Aitken is regarded as an emerging poet in his home State of South Australia and writes pithy poetry (after a time of poor mentals). He does not dwell. He is older. Recently published in “Flashes of Brilliance” (US x 2), “Aesthetica” (UK).

One Poem by Julie Anne Gilligan

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Facets of Now

Inspired by The Enchanted Mill by Franz Marc

Colours muted, soft as pre-dawn,
not quite in neat focus.
Song birds pause, cat-cautious,
the hunter poised mid-prowl
waits for unlocked limbs.
Water falls frozen in its own space
pure as deep midwinter
on hold for a breaking spell.
The mill wheel strains, stopped mid-turn,
its creaks near audible. Full circle
remains a dream. Meanwhile,
beyond enchantment
life has crept out into the future,
the past now a myth, another dimension:
facets of imagination gathered, apart.

 

Julie Anne Gilligan’s poems have been published in anthologies, e-zines and her first collection The Thickness of Blood. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from The Open University, is an active member of the OU Poetry Society and of Poets Abroad, an international collaborative group. She lives in Essex.

One Poem by MJ Iuppa

Seeking the Self, Beyond the Self

Our backyard feeders swing full of seed and suet.
Everywhere — this morning’s air swells with so many wings
scissoring shadows, allowing a flash of light to slice
through this cloudy day. . .

What spills to the ground — millet, milo, cracked
corn are discarded choices — a waste, lying on the matted grass,
still visible to sparrows willing to glean what they can
before signs and wonders, before one looming silhouette
scares them off this small parcel.

While preparing supper, I look out upon the empty
yard, and wonder where life has gone as I pour water
into the stockpot that I’ve had most of my life, and I
think picking the potatoes, onions, carrots is a grand
gesture, like the birds, I’m nervous of ineffable ticks
where resolutions appear to be just out of reach. . .

 

M.J. Iuppa’s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 31 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog: mjiuppa.blogspot.com for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew.

One Poem by Nawal Kishor Sharma

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Epiphany

The enchanted mill
Moving yet still
Flux turns into fixity
Change morphs into unity
When the ‘world of born’
And the ‘world of made’
Blend into one single whole
When there is ceasefire
Between body and soul
Between fire and rain
Revealing magical in mundane
In a flash that comes and goes
As eternity glows
In an instant of time
Untangling knots
Connecting dots
Linking the dull and sublime
And then the terra firma and the blue
Yesterday today and tomorrow
Man and machine
Humdrum and routine
Seem to be bound by one glue
That defamiliarizes the old
And makes it new

 

Nawal Kishor Sharma teaches English at a university in Gujarat, India. He has published poems in Visual Verse, an online anthology of art and words. His areas of interest include comparative literature, translation and history of art.

Two Poems by RC deWinter

islanded

i used to be unafraid
hungry for the world
flexible spring wheat
waving in a summer breeze

when the sun disappeared
the energy for growing and all the rest
went with it
a deluge drowned all the greenness

when the rain stopped
there was a heaviness that could not be shifted
strangling everything in tangled brown roots

leprous
scaled
the only things capable of sprouting in that mud

now even they are dead
still too heavy to shift
blocking the sunlight from reaching my heart
leaving me a sterile island around which flows
the silvery stream of life


Sound Waves

The music in your voice
stirs waves of longing in my heart.
I wonder –
can legs sprout and grow
to leap and dance to your rhythm,
or will those waves be stilled
by the indifference of bedrock –
stone laid long ago,
feathered with the ash of grace notes,
consumed by the hot and hungry tongues
of lies?

 

RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Nature In The Now (Tiny Seed Press, 2019), in print: 2River, Adelaide Magazine, Gravitas, In Parentheses, Meat for Tea, Night Picnic Journal, Prairie Schooner, SouthwordVariant Literature among others and appears in numerous online literary journals.

One Poem by Andy Eycott

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Nature’s Music

Under the scrutiny of the blue
walled hill and the straight lines
of men and their minds.

Genuflecting trees see more
than a gutter, outlet, duct,
see colours in falling water.

Abstract architecture of birds
hover amid the flowing robe,
a garment of silken rain.

The big wheel turns heavy
in its industry to the rush
of nature’s music.

 

Andy lives and works in South East London. He has had poems published in print and online including: Nine Muses Poetry, The Poetry Kit, Obsessed with Pipework, Orbis and Poems in the Waiting Room.

Two Poems by Jim Brosnan

The Light We Knew

for Peter DeTrolio, Jr. (1937-2017)

In the ashen dawn
you near the final
incline, the expanse
beyond a landscape
where a pale blue sky
blocks the worn path.
The sun soaked
meadow is quiet.
The constellations
of early summer
are still faintly visible
as the rising sun burns
away the morning fog.
With the passing
of years I will never
think of your face
without smiling.
Earth must look
different from heaven.


Emailing Fitzgerald

He sends a message
from Hollywood,
lets me know
Paramount is anxious
to film his next screenplay.
He says literary fans
are trolling him, begging
to take selfies with him.
This is not possible
since he died almost
eighty years ago, but
I refrain from replying.

Three years ago he sent
me an email from Paris
bragging that he and Zelda
were part of the café scene.
I know it was fake news,
but I hit reply and asked
him to forward a few photos
of these dining establishments.
I’m still waiting for those prints.

 

Jim Brosnan’s publishing credits include Nameless Roads (Moon Pie Press, 2019), four chapbooks of poetry and over 500 poems most recently appearing in the Aurorean, Crossways (Ireland), Eunoia Review (Singapore), Nine Muses Poetry (Wales), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada), Strand (India), and Voices of the Poppies Anthology (UK).

One Poem by Dorothy Burrows

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Enchantment

Mountain water gushes over birdsong. You see
a bright townscape, trees, rocks, a heron, light.

Your sketchbook primed, you scan pencils; pick,
sharpen the point, look, estimate, start to draw.

In today’s sun, ideas swirl and flow as a mill wheel
clanks and rotates to your rhythm of mark-making.

Lines catch slants on roof tops, angles on towers
clumps of ovals on branches, the triangles in a dog.

Your pencil patterns a template for canvas. You
dream bold colours; the wheel’s cardinal red, a

white stream, tinged ultra-marine; indigo church;
ochre for the dog or will it shape-shift to a fox?

Your head is deluged with lines: an egret’s legs,
ears for a hare; a kingfisher’s outstretched wings.

In each stroke, place; each dash, pure beast; with
each compulsive scribble, your power to create.

 

Dorothy Burrows enjoys writing flash fiction, short plays and poetry. This year, her poetry has appeared online at Words for the Wild, Another North, Failed Haiku and The Poetry Pea’s podcast and journal. She walks regularly in the countryside near her home on the edge of the North Wessex Downs.
Twitter @rambling_dot

Two Poems by Joseph Murphy

The Gate

Driving a dirt road
far from asphalt: tumult, anger.
War. Peace. The shunning:
father against son.

No end in sight.

But along that curving road, no strain;
lowered voices; the remote tract’s hush
when stopped.

Rhododendron. Redwoods
swaying. Then the clearcut. Sun-drenched
stumps; low foliage.

Not enough dark for redwood seedlings.

Reaching the gate. Chained.

Wolf Creek, someone
had called it. A sweet place
beneath low headlands. Few knew of it;
could reach the narrow cove.

The creek’s clear water, dark sand
kept hidden. Too far to hike.

We hoped the trees would hold.

Little chance,
cash likely to carry the day.


GMC

Late model, very late:
barely drivable. But cheap:
a hundred cash.

Out of college. Adrift.
Muddled. Needed a loan.

Maude, her nick-name: a 59’ GMC pickup.

Bed loose on one side: tie-down useless;
squeaking, greased frequently.

Faded green. Few dents.
Battery beneath passenger floorboard; popped-up
over rough road. Sparking. Top end: 35 mph.

But wheels.

Made it to Boonville — 39 long miles — the county fair
and back.

Lucky to have a wheel to turn,
a direction to drive
in those hazy, unmarked years.

 

Joseph Murphy has been published in numerous literary journals and authored four poetry collections, The Shaman SpeaksShoreline of the Heart, Having Lived and Crafting Wings. He is a member of the Colorado Authors’ League; for eight years was poetry editor for a literary publication, Halfway Down the Stairs.

One Poem by Kate Young

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Arpeggios of Change

An arpeggio of change ripples,
slides chromatically through scales
yet to be arranged, tones

and shades shifting air,
composing new oceans,
patterns, battles.

It is relentless,
this whirl and turn of wheel,
its cascade of colour

surging, merging
re-shaping our world
to the verge of extinction.

A mutation of fauna
falls like tumbleweed
self-seeding in damage.

Caught in the mangled
tangled spillage of waste
a fanfare of feathers

opens a blighted beak,
wrapped in the trap of
polythene-progress,

sheer-sheets of it rolling,
indestructible, bleaching
coral from silent reef.

 

Kate Young lives in Kent with her husband and has been passionate about poetry since childhood. Over the last few years she has returned to writing and has had success with poems published in webzines in Britain and internationally. She particularly enjoys responding to Ekphrastic challenges. Find her on Twitter @Kateyoung12poet.