The Textures

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

When I recall the moments
I cherish most,
they were not just clear skies,
perfectly stilled forests
and mirrored lakes.

I treasure the textures:
the wisps and shadows
of clouds as they menace
then pass over the horizon;
the bend and release
of a breeze against
the ever green,
the sycamore,
a blade of grass;
the waves as they crash
onto a rocky shore,
the wake as it wobbles the bobber,
the memories that flood with ripples.

Fiji Musume (The Wisteria Maiden)

A Poem by Michael E. (Maik) Strosahl

In Kabuki,
the actor is the wind,
swirling his long hair
as a branch alive with blossoms
and he becomes her,
the wisteria
dancing the birth of spring,
the rise of her spirit
sweet upon the air.

In my garden,
the wind is the actor,
pulling at her flowers
and it is the maiden’s flight,
the wisteria
out across the goat pasture,
the scent gathering divine
in the evening’s warmth—
the crowd is enthralled.

Refuting Lincoln

A Poem by Blake Adamson

Lincoln said days were swift as an Indian arrow
I don’t believe that’s true
Days are like three greased Indian bullets
Every two you take to the heart
The third you put into your brain
And whatever the outcome
Everybody else is left
To pick up the itty bitty
Bits and pieces left

Leaving SeaWorld

A Poem by Karen Kelsay

Jacques Cousteau would have loved
our living room, where Dad displayed his creepy
collection of sea creatures inside the dark
paneled den. In this grotto-shrine

there were no pictures of daughters
in frilly dresses on the mantle, only a looming
photo of an eel sliding from its cove,
with a sheepshead and giant grouper

making their debut over the sofa. By the door
a parrot and dolphin fish were hung.
Our coffee table had cork legs with crushed
abalone embedded in the surface

and a glass lamp above it, with a shade
made from boat canvas. Hammerhead
shark’s teeth and sand dollars were wedged
between diving books on the shelves.

At age three Dad put a wetsuit on me.
Each summer I joined a swim team, snorkeled
and scuba dived. He helped make my surfboard
and cheered me on when I caught a wave.

One July I noticed bikinis looked more
appealing than a one piece— that I liked eating ice cream
better than having a salt water-itch and sandy scalp.
I gave up diving gear and tackle boxes,

decided fish have a disgusting feel to them and that freaky
things lived in coral reefs. I realized jellyfish could sting,
sharks were ugly, wetsuits were uncomfortable
and people could run out of air using tanks.

I bought myself a little ruffled sundress and stretched
out in a chair by the pool. I slathered Coppertone
on my legs and put lemon in my hair. I stopped praying
I would grow fins and that my photo
would be hung on the wall.

Simply Eating Her Salad

A poem by Michael Estabrook

Sometimes I become completely overwhelmed
by merely being in her presence,
like this afternoon
at McDonald’s with the grandchildren,
suddenly I’m choked with emotion,
barely able to speak,
while simply watching her
sitting there eating her salad, quietly, unassumingly.

I had to work at not crying,
(What a silly spectacle I would have been.)
dabbing at my eyes
with a crumpled McDonald’s napkin.
Guess my eyes are watering
because it’s so cold outside.
(Sure, nice try, you silly old man.)

I can understand being so smitten
when you first fall in love–how can you help it!
The beauty, the youth, the vigor and vitality,
the inescapable mystery of it all,
crashing over you like an avalanche in the Alps.
But come on! I’ve been at this now a long time,
with this woman almost half a century!
How could it be possible
that I still get all choked up watching her
sitting there simply eating her salad?

Praying they will not kill

A Poem by Patricia Wallace Jones

Cradle-born to the high church,
she spent every turn from Epiphany
to Nativity on a needlepoint kneeler
her great-grandmother stitched
until that warm July Sunday
in ’74, when she bore a son with seizures,
one they quickly suggested
was best left at home.

They still send their newsletters,
appeals for funds, announce
parish meetings to discuss what to do
about the ravens that jump up and down
on the roof, their litany of caws
that drown out the priest.

When she shows at St. Michael and All Angels,
she slips into a pew, takes her place
at the back, leaves before the sermon
and Eucharist—fed now,
not by thin wafers and wine,
stories she can no longer swallow,
but by the music, candles and incense,

Calavera Number Six

A Poem by Bob Boldt

Artificial skeletons are hardly ever displayed
now in thought or in sight.
Shop windows are voided of all but surgical masks.
Imagine what all the uncut pumpkins
must think of the strange ones this year.

Halloween was the time of Ghede
whose breath smelled of freshly turned earth
and was once caught soaping a skeptic’s window.
The scariest thing I see are trogs knuckle
drag-racing from coast to flaming coast.
.
The poet said angels often don’t know when
they are among ghosts or the living.
At least TV makes me feel angelic
when my only contact with reality is
Jim, my Asperger neighbor

and Brit Hume.
This prayer-consuming peace feels
like the slow-motion before the crash:
those precious count-downs to what you,
and I, and all must taste.

In this precise facsimile of Krapp’s den,
I wander in a replay life and wonder
how I will know when I’m a ghost.
I’ll be sure to ask my calavera
when its empty.

A Leaf

A poem and photography by Morris Dean


A leaf beckons – alive, florescent,
in a rainbow of colors, a prism of light
refracted, bent, cast across
a stained garage floor. It greets my eye
at just the moment it needs to happen,
the short span of time when the sun’s rays
penetrate the door at an angle to strike
the white reflector on a bicycle’s front wheel.
Oh leaf, oh leaf, oh leaf! Oh life!