Archives for category: Summer Poetry

by Daniel McGinn

Today was sheltered
in a marine layer, we waded through
a sea without shadows.

Today I made a donation
for the funeral of a friend
killed by a drunk driver.

Tonight I watched a mouse escape from my dog.
I watched pink feet and black fur blur across concrete.
Tonight I saw the moon
poke its head out from the clouds
a black mist began rising up like a cape
to cover the chin, the lips, the teeth…

Lori asked me,
Does the moon always show us the same face
or does it sometimes show us other faces?
I don’t know, I said and we marveled
at how clouds had misshapen the moon’s skull.
It looked dented and pockmarked.
It looked like it had been kicked
and kicked repeatedly.

Feral kittens under my house began to yowl.
My dog ran zigzags
and barked and barked and barked.
A mouse squeezed her body into a hole in a brick wall,
a tight passage, small as a pencil spine,
then the mouse was gone.

No lights twinkled.
The moon turned dark as a dime
dropped down a slot.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel McGinn’s work has appeared in the OC Weekly, Next Magazine, and other publications. His full-length collection of poems, 1000 Black Umbrellas, is available from Write Bloody Press. He is currently a student in the low-residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He and his wife are natives of Southern California. They have three children, five grandchildren, and a very good dog. “June Moon” and other writing by Daniel McGinn will appear in the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY — a collection of poetry and prose by over 70 authors from around the world — available in June 2013.

PAINTING: “Under the Silver Moon,” Chinese ink and color on Korean paper by James Tan. Find the painting online at


by Carolyn Miller

We celebrated the solstice by a waterfall
the water overflowing like our lives rushing
and rushing past us so much water
in the narrow channel of the slanting Mousse
it fell onto the rocks and blew up in spray
and the sound of it almost drowned out our talking
as we laughed together and drank Champagne
the bubbles rising in our glasses like spray
from the rocks while everywhere leaves
were conspiring to live their lives and the stones
looked on with their histories locked inside them
and we talked on as water spilled and fell and the light
stayed on after we had left our emptied glasses
and the sound of the waterfall kept on rising
in the narrow gorge where tiny wild orchids
bloomed in the long long light and the river
begonias waited for their turn to open
in the fullness of that summer

“Night of the Summer Solstice” and other poetry by Carolyn Miller will appear in the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY — a collection of poetry and prose from over 50 authors around the world — available June 1, 2013.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Miller is a poet and painter living in San Francisco. Light, Moving, her most recent book of poetry, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2009, and her first full-length collection, After Cocteau, was published by the same press in 2002. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review, among other journals, and her awards include the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah, and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3.



by Dirk Velvet


Blue Jays

woke us

at dawn

with their


calling to the cottage


weeping willows

whose roots

reached as far into the lake

as onto the land

The water was

cool green

at its best

and gray-black at its worst


nothing else mattered


tangling weeds

floating fish

sinking rafts


it was all we ever knew



of summer

At dusk we piled into the attic

Strewed across mattresses

no longer wanted at home

we listened to

the bats chatter

as it lulled us



( Okauchee Lake. Okauchee Wisconsin )

Dirk Velvet’s poetry will appear in the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose from writers around the world — available March 15, 2013.

Photo: Ken Blackwell, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Poem by Joan Jobe Smith

The peaches turned out small this year—
no bigger than apricots.
No one wanted to eat them
one bite off each wasn’t worth it.
I picked them
left the ones on the tree
the butcher birds and meadowlarks
had bitten into, the ants crawling on them,
the funny-looking flies coveting them.
And I left the ones that had fallen onto
the ground, rotting now, because I
liked the way it made the backyard smell.
No one wanted to help me peel them
and slice them because it took
so much time—and I ate some
the ones with a worm on one side
the ones bruised on one side until
my teeth felt sweet and slick
and icy. I let them set overnight
and in the morning the nectar
buoyed the peaches like fat dumplings
in sauce; and I only added a little honey
to thin out the juice so that the peaches
would go farther. When
the crust had browned
and the cobbler removed from the oven
and cooled some in front of the open window
we all ate a bowlful although
it was almost suppertime
and we talked about the things we’ll do with them
next summer when the peaches are bigger.

Painting by June Marie. Find her work here.

Note: “Next Summer” originally appeared in The Wormwood Review:68 — an issue that also featured the work of Charles Bukowski and future U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins. The poem will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press release Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art, His Women (&me) by Joan Jobe Smith.


…from “The Birches” by Robert Frost:

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them…
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”
Photo: Jordano