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Contributors to the Summer 2020 Edition

Marie Arnett
Anna Arredondo
Judith Barisonzi
Jane Blanchard
Lisa Bonazzoli
Selma Calnan
Duane Caylor
Michael Corrigan
R. A. Crisell
Dave Crocco
Gary Davis
Ann B. Day
Victoria Mary Fach
Michael Fraley
Bill Guest
Carol Hamilton
Anthony Herles
Frank Hubeny
Betsy Hughes
Allen Ireland
River Jackson
Lydia Javins
Jonathan Kinsman
Jerome Long
Paul Malamud
Constance Rowell Mastores
Susan McLean
James Miller
Matt Minor
Bob Moore
Joseph Moorman
Lisha Nasipak
Mark Rich
David Rosier
Livingston Rossmoor
Roy Scheele
Amy Jo Schoonover
B. R. Strahan
James A. Tweedie
Paula Walker
Jonathan Westphal

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SAMPLE POEMS FROM SUMMER 2020 ISSUE

ON THE BEACH, by James Miller

Just as the sand becomes your skin
before the water calls you in,
your soul becomes the salt of waves—
the steady splash of all the days
you’ve sung of seabirds from this shore.
But in your song, there is much more
than just the thought of wings –you sing
and it seems then that everything
becomes a bird beside the sea.
We are those birds, both you and me,
and our shared flight is like the tide
when with the moon and winds we glide
through island dreams at night in bed—
with feathered pillows beneath our heads.

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BEES, by Paul Malamud

Here is the summer wind where the leaves swell
layered, and honeysuckle near the shed
draws slugs, small blobs with feelers, to ooze by
the flower patch, near peels of white paint.
Bees bubble up from air, and wallow, dive,
circle—black, yellow, striped -–small blurred bright bits
of cellophane emitting a sharp trill.
We speak of danger, dagger-like intent;
but here they somersault within a realm
of pointillism, multicolored dots
of tendrils, and leaf speckles, and of grass.
They hum, like muted strings, the rise and fall
of Debussy or Mahler.  Now the cat,
his fur in tangles, flowing like a snake,
slithers low past them with his orange hair,
flicking his head to see what might arrive
for him to stalk, tense silence on white paws.
In the shed’s shadow swells the living hive,
inverted pyramid, beneath the eaves.
In what small chamber, to Minoans known,
does the queen labor with her myrmidons
to gild their honeyed cells?  Thin misted blood,
they swarm and glitter in the dying sun.
This is the summer of the afternoon,
a sleeper’s draught, a disappearing sound.

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A PURITAN MOMENT, by Bill Guest

I saw them flickering in the shade
of twilight seeping through the glade–
the ladies with their chem effects
alerting males it’s time for sex –
cavorting in the open air
for passersby to witness there.
Indecent was the scene they made,
and so defiantly displayed!
Lightning bugs should censure flight
and lure their lovers out of sight
of humans (I was quite polite
in telling them what’s wrong and right).
Control and nature interplayed
and glowworms gloated in the glade.

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FINAL FAREWELL, by Anna Arredondo

So tender is the hand that gently takes
My stricken face into its cautious grasp;
Tender the ears that hear the wretched gasp
Of pain made audible as my heart breaks;

The voice so hesitant, the fumbling lips
That form each whispered word, so bittersweet;
The eyes that force themselves my gaze to meet
Are soft and warm, while clumsy fingertips
Smooth back my hair, salt-sticky with the tears
That freely flow from ruptured depths within;
Tender your farewell touch upon my skin —
It crushes me, yet somehow still endears . . .

     Such tenderness as this defies belief–
     That can at once destroy –and bring relief.

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THE LONG RISE, by Roy Scheele

Here is the seep, the desert springs at play,

holding the grit for miles around at bay,

and here the tule christens out of green

the landscape’s listening look beneath that sheen,

the water clear and clearing, deepening down,

so clear it seems that nothing here could drown.

Under the cottonwoods’ slow hankering breeze

the faintest humming, like a swarm of bees,

and at the far end, where the seep descends

on stairs of rock and by a course of bends

into a lower pool, and several kinds

of ducks bob-apple for their unseen finds,

the water thins to dimples on its way

and fills the air with a fine mist of spray.

And your regard holds steady on it there,

the dance of motes and atoms on the air

as regular as breathing out and in,

where water’s going makes a quiet din

and this slow welling leads somewhere at last,

rising into the future from the past.

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BUCK’S CREEK, by Joseph Moorman

Starlight is washed away
With the Screech Owl’s cries.
Marsh reeds barely sway
As the morning mists rise
Along the winding finger
Of purple water.
The embers of another
Daybreak are stoked, the fen
Glows soft with the palette
Of amber.  Brittle noon heat
Dries bared stalks left wet
After the tide’s retreat.
What does not linger
Is daylight, daughter
Of dawn and mother
Of dusk.  The heron
Wades intently til night’s
Hulking presence whispers
And in the last dim light
The Screech Owls stirs.

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