Starting Afresh

Poet: Colm Roe

Tarmac, velvet under his wheels,
crumbles to an end when road and nature meet.
Warm rubber protests,
flicks small stones against metal
as a reminder.

He’s heading for the river.

Boulders, adrift and orphaned
slow the water’s race,
whitened angry by the interruption.

Glacial blue where depth calms the surface,
but clouded by mountain memory.


he must dive into that blue
knows its freezing current
can also hold him



Poet: Marc Gilbert
(First appeared in Avalon Literary Review, Spring 2016)

Some days, usually in summer
when the light is right
and my mind is quiet,
I’ll pass a street that looks familiar;
its straight trees plotted in parkways,
their trunks just wide enough for a boy to hide behind,
and think of my grandfather.

Before the hospital bed and ice chips
when he remembered my name
and every walk was an adventure—
before he grew small.

“What is it that the sign says, Markey?”
“Words can be weapons or keys.
An honest, “please” could buy a chiclet
or a lifesavers. A careless curse could
cost the balance of a day.

Open books on park benches,
breadcrumbs for birds.
From his voice I heard as
David took the giant,
From my own I heard Odysseus take to sea.

“With a word, God spoke the world into existence.”
Doubt is death and I was very much alive.
I’d seen Ali Baba speak an entrance to a mountain
and climbed Olympus before I’d ever seen Spot run.

Rain in the Forest

Poet: Tracy Mitchell

A lilt, a curl
like a thread of smoke
from morning fire

ravels from a distance
through tangled
branches toward light.

Below this risen hillside
the river beams broad, inviting;

bright-eyed canvases
open like peapods.

The air smells green and blue
like lime and vegetable broth
ladled fresh
over and again.

The trail drifted so deep, didn’t it,
that rush and gurgle of the rapids
lost themselves to the flutes,
sometimes only drums and rain.

For now the mosaic glows so perfect
spackled edges assert no burden.

Pick up the chalice, the gauntlet
the grail –

There be rain in the forest tonight.

Aegis Evident

Poet: Sharon Leigh

After I know, and he is gone, days stretch
unreal as Dali’s dreams. Clocks melt
in unimportance: one moment I am stirring
eggs in morning light, next, street lamps
buzz to life in purple dusk. The only constant

the sharpness of my vigilance, these children
needing me, their eyes so bright with pain
I look away. Still, I pull their compact bodies
close, draw them in like tides, and when

the move is done and we begin this chapter,
I see a photo of a mourning dove, a mother dove —
grey as wood ash, perched upon a narrow branch,
two nestlings beneath her wings, one on each side.