Archives for posts with tag: spring

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A Day for Patience
by Jan Chronister

Landscape bricks
sit in the trunk of my car,
ready to be unloaded,
stacked at the edge of a garden.

Snow falls by the inch,
daffodils wear tight scarves,
huddle against the storm.

Fragile necks of tulips
heavy with buds
quake under the white guillotine
that falls from the roof.

Ice is long gone
from Lake Superior
but I am still waiting
for the day I can put
the snow shovel away.

PHOTO: Tulip (Polaroid) by Magali M, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live within sight of Lake Superior, and waiting for warm weather is a real test of patience. Before May (and sometime during), snow never fails to blanket already blooming flowers. Somehow everything manages to survive.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jan Chronister is a retired writing instructor who now has time to work on her own words. She  currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Jan has published two full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks. Visit her at  janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com

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Love Birds
by Jaya Avendel

Under the plum trees I stand
In the shivering light
The scent massages moisture into my skin.
One tree reaches toward the other
Blooms white, blooms pink
The color of my lipstick
Nudge of the wind and the branches kiss.

Under the plum trees I sit

Hands to the earth
I hold a marble and
Call it a pearl. Turning it
Slowly in the sun I watch the flat facets
Glitter and reflect my eyes back into me
Cutting.

Under the plum trees I linger
Six years of courting and
I am still waiting
Still waiting for your nuptial flowers to
Bear fruit.

If I do not look away
Do not blink, do not dare to dream
I will taste you on my salted tongue yet.

PAINTING: Pale Plum Tree by Okumura Togyu.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The peach and plum trees on my backyard hill are currently in bloom. They bloom brilliantly but have never given more than a handful of fruits over the years. Though I have never enjoyed the famously beloved streets of cherry tree blossoms unfolding in person, this year it has come unexpectedly to me in a mountainous form. As I taste spring, I honor it as I can in words to share what is more than experience.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jaya Avendel, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, is passionate about life where it intersects with writing. Her writing is published at Free Verse Revolution, Lamplit Underground, and Emotional Alchemy Magazine, and most recently in Heart Beats: An Anthology of Poetry. She writes creatively at ninchronicles.com.

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I Am Still Waiting for Spring
—a villanelle
by Jeannie E. Roberts

I am still waiting for spring on the lake.
Lesser scaup lands near merganser and loon.
Open water invites migration breaks.

Frozenness thaws into lunarlike shapes.
Surface reflections resemble the moon.
I am still waiting for spring on the lake.

Ruddy ducks dip and dabble with drakes.
Pelicans float as if primal pontoons.
Open water invites migration breaks.

Horned grebes trill to attract likely mates.
Geese honk alongside a cover of coots.
I am still waiting for spring on the lake.

Buffleheads shine like the icing on cake.
Mallards illumine in plumage platoon.
Open water invites migration breaks.

April arrives to dissolve winter’s weight.
Birds nod in respite on warm afternoons.
I am still waiting for spring on the lake.
Open water invites migration breaks.

PHOTO: Duck in a mystic morning light by Iron Trybex, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am still waiting for spring! Aren’t we all after this long, unusual winter? Living near a lake, I feel lucky to be able to experience the spring migration. We’ve already seen a few lake gulls. In 2018, our first year on Lake Wissota, I created a list of waterfowl arrival times. Though it varies, typically, the loon, mallard, osprey, bufflehead, pelican, blue-winged teal, lesser scaup, and American coot arrive in the third and fourth weeks of April. May brings the horned grebe, greater scaup, ruddy duck, hooded merganser, Northern shoveler, and others. They rest on the open water for a few days and then continue on their way; however, the osprey stay and return to their nearby nest, and geese are a year-round fixture. Also, depending on the snow level, the air temperature, and, of course, the amount of sunshine we receive, the lake ice melts between the end of March and the end of April. Lastly, I’ve been on a villanelle roll, so this poem follows that form. For more, here’s a link to the rules and history of the villanelle: Villanelle | Academy of American Poets.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts lives in an inspiring setting near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where she writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. She’s authored four poetry collections and two children’s books. As If Labyrinth – Pandemic Inspired Poems is forthcoming in May 2021 from Kelsay Books. She’s listed in Poets & Writers and is poetry reader and editor of the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. To learn more, visit jrcreative.biz and Jeannie E. Roberts | Poets & Writers (pw.org).

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Chaos
by Joan McNerney

Recipe for Chaos:

begin with winter weather (snowbanks everywhere)
add the never-ending quarantine (must use brand name Corona virus)
beat thoroughly a naturally lazy person (who could that be?)
heat to a simmer over a small apartment (a large closet)

How to Create Chaos:

Whenever I turn around my place
becomes an enemy zone.
The sink clangs with pans as
crumbs line up battle ready
while slimy cucumbers groan.

Drum rolls of toilet paper
terrorize bathroom cabinets.
Masses of unwashed clothing
huddle in the bedroom retreating
past stained, sticky floors.

Camouflaged by dishes…documents…
dental floss…my couch collapses.
Outraged pages of books unbind
themselves in wars of words.

Everything spins ever faster
e x p a n d i n g         increasing
shredding      disintegrating.
Wish I could move into a picture perfect
House & Garden duplex forever
and leave this mess immediately.

PAINTING: Ashes by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The above recipe is for Chaos, a perennial problem in the Northeast, where the expression “spring cleaning” originates.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines, such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days, as well as in four Bright Hills Press anthologies, several editions of the Poppy Road Review, and numerous Spectrum Publications. She has four Best of the Net nominations. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net.

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How to Squander a Sunny Day
by Jennifer Lagier

“Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.” ~ Annie Dillard

Sunlight steams away nighttime drizzle,
flings coins of golden poppies
among lavender lupine.
Honeybees flaunt stockings of yellow pollen.
Blue jays spear slugs and snails,
glean pests from awakening garden.

A poet ignores dirty laundry,
abandons vacuuming, mopping.
Surrounded by primroses,
she props feet against oak barrel,
squanders warm afternoon,
scribbles on notepad.

Self-indulgent indolence seduces
hibernating muse from her shelter,
jump-starts imagination held hostage
by months of pandemic winter.
Spring revives taciturn earth
with lyrical hyacinths, cheery daffodil stanzas.

PAINTING: Flower Garden by Gustav Klimt (1907).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This past year has provided a restorative time out within which to appreciate our natural surroundings and has taught me how to put more satisfying routines into place.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 19 books, her work has appeared in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines, she has taught with California Poets in the Schools, edits the Monterey Review, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Her recent books include Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress (Blue Light Press) and COVID Dissonance (CyberWit).

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Ode to Spring
by Jo Taylor

Open the door to springtime
to strawberries debuting
in raised beds of earth,
their red heads peeking
from under tender foliage.
Greet show-stopping tulips,
chins up and chests out,
standing at attention, ready
to salute the sky. Throw the
gate wide to mockingbird’s
early morning trill, to tender
Zephyr winds and caressing sun
and April’s rain on clothes and
eyelashes. Hail the budding
birches, skint from winter’s
abuse, birds’ nests nestled high
on naked branches, moss
embedding trunks like inkblots.
Welcome, Ruby Reds and Pink
Lace and ornamental dogwoods,
their blood-stained flowers
and crown of thorns acclaiming
another spring, another open door.
O grave, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jo Taylor is a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia. Her favorite genre to teach high school students was poetry, and today she dedicates more time to writing it — her major themes focused on family, place, and faith. She says she feels compelled to write, to give testimony to the past and to her heritage. She has been published in The Ekphrastic Review,  Silver Birch Press, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and Poets Online.

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The lovely month of May is here! While many (or most!) of us are sheltering in place and missing many of spring’s delights, we hope to offer a remedy — a FREE KINDLE version of our May Poetry Anthology (available from 5/1-5/5/2020). Originally issued in a full-color paperback version in 2014, this 84-page collection features 31 poems about May in its many forms, along with thirty-one full-color paintings by Gustav Klimt.

BACKGROUND: The May Anthology is a response to our previous call for submissions requesting poems where the word “may” appears in the text. In the collection, many of the poems speak of May-related subjects  — flowers, birds, and spring  — while others range in topics from dark to light, with the word “may” buried somewhere in the text. Some of the poems display sly humor — and more than one poet has fun with the word “mayhem.” The collection also features four erasure poems and one found poem.

It’s always fascinating to see the type of material that evolves from a random starting point — and the word “may” has the kind of ambiguity that sparks the creative mind to action. It’s a noun (a woman’s name, a month of the year) and a verb (“expressing possibility or opportunity”). It’s part of other words (Mayflower, mayor, mayonnaise, Mayan). Scramble the letters and it spells Amy. Read it backwards, and it’s yam. Yes, May is meaningful, versatile, mysterious, and fascinating. And it has its very own collection of 31 poems — one for each day of the month!

Featured poets (in alphabetical order): Thom Amundsen, Brinda Buljore, Joan L. Cannon, Mary-Marcia Casoly, Allison Chaney, Subhankar Das, Daniel Patrick Delaney, Deborah DuBois, Paul Fericano, Adelle Foley, Jack Foley, Philip Gordon, Benjamin Grossman, Donna Hilbert, Clara Hsu, Mathias Jansson, J.I. Kleinberg, Roz Levine, Tamara Madison, Karen Massey, Catfish McDaris, Victoria McGrath, Marcia Meara, Paul Nebenzahl, Gerald Nicosia, D.A. Pratt, Hayley Rickaby, Disha Dinesh Sahni, Joan Jobe Smith, Caitlin Stern, Jacque Stukowski.

Find your FREE Kindle version at Amazon.com. (You don’t need a Kindle to read the book — if you have an Amazon account, you can view it on your computer.) 

Happy spring!

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in the measure of spring
by Joseph A. Farina

outside the open door
half the horizon
holds up an illusory sky
barren fields melting
form their own inviolate border
a lone raven lifts its wings
a shadow over muddy mirrors

stacked summer chairs wait
to be used again defrosting
in the returned sunshine

the air whispers a tentative welcome
the scene floating weightless
mirage-like change begins
the resurrection unfolding before tired eyes
the contours of earth reappearing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph A Farina is a retired lawyer in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Several of his poems have been published in  Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Ascent ,Subterranean  Blue  and in The Tower Poetry Magazine, Inscribed, The Windsor Review, Boxcar Poetry Revue , and appears in the anthology Sweet Lemons: Writings with a Sicilian Accent, and in the anthology Witness from Serengeti Press. He has had poems published in the U.S. magazines Mobius, Pyramid Arts, Arabesques, Fiele-Festa, Philedelphia Poets, and  Memoir (and)  as well as in the Silver Birch Press “Me, at Seventeen”  Series. He has had two books of poetry published—The Cancer Chronicles  and The Ghosts of Water Street.

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Front Door Denizens
by Sarah Russell

The door itself is nondescript, a faded forest green, like others in the complex. Yesterday I hung our cherry blossom wreath on its hook, dancing pink blossoms against the dark panel. The remnants of our finches’ old nest⸺intricate grass lace and a bit of mud for glue⸺hide in the silk flowers. The finches come back every spring, and this morning, there they were, flitting from porch to maple tree, warbling a love song, as if they’d been waiting for their wreath, our door. While they’re in residence, we’ll put a note on the post asking folks to come round to the back.

old nest with new life
open mouths searching, peeping
daffodils in bloom

Russell, finch nest

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Haibun form seemed perfect for telling about the finch family who leases our front door and wreath every year. The above photo is of their eggs last spring.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Russell’s poetry and fiction have been published in Kentucky Review, Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, Silver Birch Press, Rusty Truck, Third Wednesday, and other journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her first poetry collection, I lost summer somewhere, was published in 2019 by Kelsay Books. A second collection, Today and Other Seasons, will be published by Kelsay this summer. She blogs at SarahRussellPoetry.net.

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Flavours of May
by Brinda Buljore

blending textures of
seasoning sunshine
together with winter hues
 
tall filaments become
seeds of luck and
petals of fate
 
kneading the dough
of fright and faith
into malleable stars
 
substance thin
like muslin yet
resistant as silk
 
May morning brings
stamina and vigour
rolling down the stairs
 
bridging the taste
within the flavours of life
to the pestle of destiny

ABOUT THE POET/PHOTOGRAPHER: Brinda Buljore is a writer and artist who lives in Paris.

PHOTO: “Muguet, French Moments” by Brinda Buljore, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

NOTE: King Charles IX of France received lily of the valley (muguet) flowers as a lucky charm on May 1, 1561. He liked the gift and decided to present the flowers — known for their delightful scent — to the ladies of his court each year on May 1. Around 1900, men started to bring their sweethearts bouquets of lily of the valley flowers as a symbol of springtime. On April 23, 1919, the eight-hour working day was officially introduced in France, and May 1 became a public holiday. May Day was not observed during World War II, but again became a public holiday in 1947. May 1 officially became known as La Fête du Travail (Labor Day) on April 29, 1948. In France, May 1st remains an occasion to present lily of the valley flowers to loved ones.