WIZ Kids: Our Very Own Toad Hall by Val K.


€œLook, here’s Fezzika, € my mother said, bending down to point out the Woodhouse toad tucked under the garden stone. We had discovered the amphibian’s house a few days earlier, and I was fascinated by the placement choice. She had dug into the soil under a cornerstone edging the flowerbed beside the main path through the garden. The stone is flat, shaped a little like a boomerang, wide and bent in the middle, providing a convenient entrance and shelter. Continue reading “WIZ Kids: Our Very Own Toad Hall by Val K.”

Le Jardin 2010

About a week ago, I finally finished planting my garden.   I ran late (as usual) setting out some seedlings and all three attempts to start my typical heirloom tomato lineup from seed ran afoul of greens-craving kittens and rough winds.   So I bought hothouse starts, which as of this date are doing well, except for two Romas suffering attacks from tomato hornworms.   Last year, European paper wasps kept my tomatoes hornworm-free, but the harsh, snowbound winter appears to have killed off a lot of the fertilized queens.   I’m very sorry to say we haven’t anywhere near the European paper wasp population that we had last year.   The garden will no doubt suffer on account of this deficiency of wasps. Continue reading “Le Jardin 2010”

“Naming Spring” by Sandra Skouson

Today the secret names of everything
come back, the ancient names.
Tribe-of-the-morning names
call to me from the wind, which I know
as shut-your-eyes-breath,
hands-over-your-ears, gone-with-the-ice-song,
Smell-of-dogwood; it is called,

Daffodil has become again

This morning has its own name,
separate from all other mornings,

And now spring has brought
to make soft soil in the garden
where I kneel for the first time
on the almost-warm-gift-to-growing
and work my spade toward summer.


For Sandra’s bio and other poems submitted to WIZ’s Spring Poetry Runoff, click here and here.

*Contest entry*

“Pruning the Blood Plum Tree” by Warren Hatch

More than any winter I had known, that winter.
In evening I pruned against winter’s loss.
The sky echoed from the first spring’s rain.
At my touch, the tree quivered, beading.
The tree arched like two hands cupped,
reaching up, fingers outstretched.
Sarah stood in the light of the door,
leaning against a white pillar,
calling me home from the dark;
as each branch snapped,
water fanned out,
each sphere gathering her warmth,
or a last narrow band of red in the West.


Warren Hatch is an assistant professor of English and Literature at Utah Valley University where he teaches writing in science and technology as well as writing about nature.   His poems were selected by National Poet Laureate Billy Collins to win the 2006 Utah Writers Poetry Competition of the Western Humanities Review.   Collins has said of him, €œThis poet has an unerring ear and a beautiful sense of how a line should be timed.   I like the way precise verbal description can suddenly switch to a more colloquial line.   This poet has the gift, the light touch, and yet serious ballast on board. €     He has also won the Monk Poetry Award, Utah Arts Council poetry contests, BYU’s Eisteddfod Crown and Chair competitions, and BYU’s Mayhew-Hinkley contest (poetry) and Ann Doty contest (short fiction). His first collection, Mapping the Bones of the World, was published in 2008.   His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Western Humanities Review, and other journals.

*Non-contest submission*