The Prunings

Tracie Cheng

In the spring
we burn the prunings
from the old cherry trees
the rich smoldering smoke
sweet in the April breeze
as the cherries of June
now in bloom

Every season
has a favorite fragrance
winter’s scent snow`falling
summer’s scent fresh`cut hay
autumn’s scent cider`aging
in spring the smoldering
of the prunings

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Rocky Point

Ritu Chopra

The wind
has just caught
the stern of the boat
hard waves wash over it
til now it’s swamped
my kit is afloat
so I bail

She asks
Will it still run?
Run `round the point
There’s a quiet bay there!
So knee`deep I startup
the old Whaler
head east

The bow
now riding high
the stern digging deep
the propeller churns dark
with wind at our back
we limp ashore
and home

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The Coyote

Holly Roberts

The coyote
no longer races
along the fence`line
in fields of winter`wheat
the doe & her fawns
have abandoned
the hill`sides

The ospreys
have all forsaken
circling over the river
in quest for today’s feast
and the golden`eagles
have surrendered
the dead`snags

The fisherman
returns to his poem
with an empty stringer
weary from fighting wind
as the fish have all fled
to regions unknown
in fouled`water

What has been
will no longer exist
but for the poet’s craft
his words the wood`smoke
of the fire on the shore
a hand`hewn cross
on an old road

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Gone Fishing

Meredith Gisness

Once again
the siren song
of the fisher`man
calls across the pass
from the big river
come my friend
wet your keel

Cast your line
into deep waters
cold as snow`melt
where wild steelhead
still run in currents
carving the cliffs
of old coulees

What’s to lose
but winter worry
perhaps a fly or two
while eagles overhead
circle diving ospreys
to bag their catch
in crystal skies

“‘Carpe Diem’ does not mean ‘fish of the day’.” ~ Author Unknown

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Fading Glory

Jacki Kellum

the daffodil
begins to fade
yesterday stout
in splendor bright
too soon gone brown
and today we tout
these tulips’ lips
so scandalous
so bred

`til irises
raise heads
of sappy beards
to capture the eye
of tomorrow’s light
time’s no friend to grace
we are flowers frail
blossoms to fade
our only legacy
scents wafted
in the air

“Grudge every minute as it passes by,
Made the more mindful that the sweet days die—
—Remember me a little then I pray,
The idle singer of an empty day.” ~ William Morris

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The Spring Garden

Joan Miró

The spring garden
lies buried in the soil
where last autumn roots
spread winter`bound
`til tender broken

`til tender broken
and gentle sifted with
rich remnants of history
of animal & vegetable
`til careful planted

`til careful planted
with the seeds of love
bearing in themselves no
likeness to love’s fruit
`til fruitful harvest

`til fruitful harvest
where at a judgement
it will be shown if this life
proved a good garden
or but wasted seed

“My life has been the poem I would have writ
But I could not both live and utter it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Gift of Peace

Julie Duell

In the spring
the doves return
paired by their pairs
singing antiphonal prayers
their cooing wooing
hearts hardened
by the wars

Or how else
did Noah’s dove
find her way home
but by her lover’s haunted`
tune borne on wind
sprig in her beak
gift of peace

“What is true peace, I cannot know.
A hundred wars have come and gone
as I’ve grown old. I bear their burdens in my bones.
Mine’s the heart that burns
today, mine the thirst, the hunger in the soul.

Old master, old teacher,
what is it that I’ve learned?” ~ Sam Hammil

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On Anticipation

Este MacLeod

better part of life
seeds deeply planted
in earth’s warm womb
while we wait watch
for first swellings
of her belly

better part of love
passions surrendered
to love beyond the self
graceful pro`creation
in the imitation
of the divine

“How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.” ~ Robert Frost

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This the season
hidden things emerge
from life’s hidden places
Love from the cold hearts
Dexterity from old hands
Mercy from out anger
Peace from war

Graces bloom
in places all forgotten
amid our winter miseries
as human juices again flow
and our organs again rise
to these musky scents
of fecund earth

“Then spring came:
                         branches-in-a-wind. . .

I bought a harness, I bought a bridle.
I wagered on God in a kind stranger—
kind at first; strange, then less so—
and I was right.” ~ Carl Phillips

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Bozika Grskovich

The words
we almost said
hang petals in the air
neither the winter rime
nor the summer fruit
how I do regret
our silence

The trees
while still bare
are beginning to leaf
the view of the Island
through their branch
is yet as it was
but in haze

The words
we almost said
lie between us now
what might have been
now that never was
keys to the gate

“The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.” ~ Philip Larkin

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A Tulip Tale

Elke Memmler

tho steadily
the forgotten bulb
pushes her slender leaf
up thru the rock`hard soil
softened by winter rain
undaunted by time
`til steadily
and silently
the red tulip opens
again her bountiful bowl
to track the rays of the sun
as faithfully dawn to dusk
as the virgin her son
so steadily
so silently
and on into eternity

“Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf
One by one objects are defined-
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance-Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted, they
grip down and begin to awaken” ~ William Carlos Williams

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April Reveille

Cherry Poem Picture

Fred Notehelfer Saltspring Island, BC

Along the branch
of the old cherry tree
all the buds are lined up
in the tight formation
of salutary`soldiers
standing in the rain
awaiting the bugle call
the hoisting of the colors
up the squad flag`pole
for the April reveille
but our commander
seems to’ve gone awol
lost perhaps in dense fog
as it seems has the sun
this gray spring day

“I can only find words for.
And sometimes I can’t.
Here are these flowers that stand for.
I stand here on the sidewalk.

I can’t stand it, but yes of course I understand it.” ~ Frederick Seidel

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