In The Clearing By Patricia Hooper

In The Clearing By Patricia Hooper After last night’s rain the woodssmell sensual—a mixture of leaves and musk.The morels have disappeared, and soon I’ll come acrossthose yellow chanterelles, the kind they sellin town at the farmers’ market. Once I sawthe Swedish woman who raises her own foodforaging for them, two blond boysquarreling near the pickup, […]

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers By Langston Hughes

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers By Langston Hughes I’ve known rivers:I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than theflow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to […]

The Praying Tree By Melinda Palacio

The Praying Tree By Melinda Palacio Ten years of driving the same highway, past the same tree, thepicture isat last complete. The eucalyptus tree and narrow birds above ablessedsteel sea with no thoughts of yesterday, today, or tomorrow. Black cormorants on bare branches spread their wings as if inprayer.A sunny day in Summerland and the […]

Mulberry Fields By Lucille Clifton

Mulberry Fields By Lucille Clifton they thought the field was wastingand so they gathered the marker rocks and stones andpiled them into a barn    they say that the rocks were shapedsome of them scratched with triangles and other forms    theymust have been trying to invent some new language they saythe rocks went to build that […]

Shook Foil By Kwame Dawes

Shook Foil By Kwame Dawes The whole earth is filled with the love of God.In the backwoods, the green lightis startled by blossoming white petals,soft pathways for the praying birddipping into the nectar, darting in startsamong the tangle of bush and trees.My giddy walk through this speckled grottois drunk with the slow mugginessof a reggae […]

Merry Autumn By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Merry Autumn By Paul Laurence Dunbar It’s all a farce,—these tales they tellAbout the breezes sighing,And moans astir o’er field and dell,Because the year is dying. Such principles are most absurd,—I care not who first taught ’em;There’s nothing known to beast or birdTo make a solemn autumn. In solemn times, when grief holds swayWith countenance […]

The Gray Heron By Galway Kinnel

The Gray Heron By Galway Kinnel It held its head stillwhile its body and greenlegs wobbled in wide arcsfrom side to side. Whenit stalked out of sight,I went after it, but allI could find where I wasexpecting to see the birdwas a three-foot-long lizardin ill-fitting skinand with linear mouthexpressive of the even temperof the mineral […]

Summer Haibun By Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Summer Haibun By Aimee Nezhukumatathil To everything, there is a season of parrots. Instead of feathers, we searched the sky for meteors on our last night. Salamanders use the stars to find their way home. Who knew they could see that far, fix the tiny beads of their eyes on distant arrangements of lights so […]

The Fire By Katie Ford

The Fire By Katie Ford When a human is asked about a particular fire,she comes close:then it is too hot,so she turns her face— and that’s when the forest of her bearable life appears,always on the other side of the fire. The fireshe’s been asked to tell the story of,she has to turn from it, […]

Hummingbird By Robin Becker

Hummingbird By Robin Becker I love the whir of the creature cometo visit the pinkflowers in the hanging basket as she does most August mornings, hours awayfrom starvation to storeenough energy to survive overnight. The Aztecs saw the refractionof incident light on wingsas resurrection of fallen warriors. In autumn, when daylight decreasesthey double their body […]