First Robins by William Reger

Who strew the millet and sunflower seeds,
Attracting these red-vested jots
To the wintry paper of my yard?
Black and square in my overcoat,
I pass them by, an exact counterpoint
To their gratitude who left
The dark wind for this plenty.
Seek, seek, seek, they chirp,
And ye shall find the oil-fat seed,
The berry full and sweet.
Better to pass through sorrow
For a cracked kernel of corn
Than waste away in paradise.

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Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area.   He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois and currently teaches history at Illinois State University.   He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife and two youngest children.   He began writing poetry in the 7th grade and never quite stopped.   He also plays the Native American Flute. He has recently had poems published in Fire in the Pasture and songs /cycles.

*competition entry*

How to free a hummingbird from a skylight

Male black-chinned hummingbird

Like most folks, my husband, kids, and I greet spring’s arrival with relief.   The relaxing of winter’s grip, the first crack of color between sepals clutching flower buds, the sun’s liberating warmth all lighten the load my family balances gingerly as we carry it through winter’s dimly-lit cellars.   But as daylight’s gold, pink or orange borders stretch from their winter proportions to become a mazy, five in the morning €˜til nine-thirty at night field of shimmer and electrical storms, we pay particularly close attention to a tweak in light that occurs around April’s third week.   At a certain change of pitch in the sunshine’s angle and intensity, hummingbirds return to traditional nesting sites in our southeastern Utah neighborhood from snowbird resorts in Mexico. Continue reading “How to free a hummingbird from a skylight”

Robin by Barry Carter

A robin arrived early spring with
snow on his breast and the
moon in his eyes heavier
than the moon in the sky.
He took his rest on my
gaunt apple tree and
the robin’s winter melody
began to haunt me, he
sang every day for twelve
days and on each day
an apple grew. I watched
him from the window.
The moon in my eyes
escaped with tears.
I ate the fruit and on
each day for twelve
days I had a dream
that bore moons.
After waking on the
twelfth day I copied
and pasted each dream
scene by scene onto
the sky under a full
moon. The robin sang
and I waited for the moons
to fall.

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To read Barry’s bio and another of his poems on WIZ, go here.

*contest entry*

Late Spring Ringmaster by Mary Belardi Erickson

A lone pelican lands on the slough
beside the barn–
a gawkish bird gliding
onto the murky water,
a flap and beating of wings–
then, a hump of white feathers suspended,
the long orange bill tucked
against his chest.

Pelicans usually stay in large groups
like a carnival of white and orange,
a noisy bunch on parade
content with no less than a feast.
Their feats can marvel, indeed:
gulping and swallowing fish whole,
squawking and swooping to fill pouches.
Young mouths drop open
in hungry wonder.

Many minutes pass
while the moment remains
on the still water
where algae spread
and reeds grow thickly
concealing a thousand watching eyes.
The motionless pelican floats–
posing, as if waiting
to be painted.

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Mary Belardi Erickson was born in New Jersey and today lives in the countryside of Minnesota. Her work appears in various online magazines and in print, including the Aurorean, Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream, and Avocet: Journal of Nature Poems. Her poems appear in Silver Boomer’s From the Porch Swing €”memories of our grandparents, and Sephryrus Press’s No Fresh Cut Flowers: The Afterlife Anthology.  Her e-chapbook, Back-stepping Between Two Bridges, can be read at www.victorianvioletpress.com.   To read more of Mary’s poetry at WIZ click here and here.

€œLate Spring Ringmaster € was previously published in Avocet: Journal of Nature Poems.

*contest entry*