Love in Winter by Laura Craner

FL_Cape_Henry_Trail_with_a_Blanket_of_Snow_(5304103522)

Your expectations are brisk,
Like December’s chill as it sneaks under the door.
Your needs are persistent,
Like a child’s breath on wintry windows, which
Creeps and spreads like nighttime secrets:
Whispered wishes freezing
Molecules, and moments, into memories.

Your words, like snowflakes in tree branches;

Your thoughts, like snowdrifts, cloud my eyes:

Encroaching, enfolding, encasing, enclosing.

Like the first blanket of winter, you
Transform my heart’s topography.
Glistening on worn out things while
Masking and obscuring autumnal death,
You make cold feel like warmth.
Death and sleep are sometimes not so different.

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laura craner headshotLaura Hilton Craner is a single mother of four who occasionally moonlights as a writer and poet. Her essays, reviews, blog posts, and stories have appeared in Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, Segullah, and A Motley Vision, where she occasionally moonlights as a contributor.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons by an unnamed Virginia State park interpreter.

Most Days, the Morning Sun’s a Blazing Smudge by Mark Penny

Mark image

Most days, the morning sun’s a blazing smudge
Athwart the city’s searing opal dome,
An egg dropped on an egg, the crack of dawn
Sprawling against a shield that will not budge.
But sometimes, when I stay up all the night
To will my love of nature on the world,
No screen of silken, dusty gray or white
Conceals the chick of heaven where it’s curled.
Those days, the line of jungled, jumbled crags
That spine this island juts along the east
Like a cold lizard basking and the rags
Of last night’s laundry tremble at the beast.
Then the frail yellow phoenix lifts its head
To light the sky and burn awake the dead.

_______________________________________
Mark headshotA middle-aged man in Taiwan
Declared it was time to get on
With his stories and verse
Before loading the Hearse.
It’s of him the above is the spawn.

Mark is, if not ubiquitous, variously present, as follows: Mars Denar, ici, Lowly Seraphim, Dawning of a Brighter Day, Sunstone, and Dialogue.

Photo by the poet.

Witching Hour by Bradley McIlwain

Bat

at midnight
bats
dart

through
streams
of moonlight

glistening
like gypsy
moths

above
mountain
tops

and dangling
dream
catchers

glimpsing
visions of
desire

Continue reading “Witching Hour by Bradley McIlwain”

Putting Up Peaches by Merrijane Rice

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_De_roze_perzikboom_-_Google_Art_Project

Beside the garden wall where grapevines run,
a peach tree stands, diseased and bent with age.
Her blackened branches reach up to the sun
in daily supplication for her wage.

Each year, I think, must surely be her last,
but faithfulness is undeterred by whims.
So, not content to rest on harvests past,
she bears young fruit on geriatric limbs.

With every spring, new buds and blooms emerge
and swell with promise fed by summer rains.
Though twisted and decrepit, still the surge
of liquid light flows through her ancient veins.

I’ll gather and preserve her living gold
to line my pantry shelves against the cold.

_______________________________________________
MRice-HeadshotMerrijane is a resident of Kaysville, Utah, where the mountains loom large, the sky is beautiful even when it’s gray, and the geese are always just passing through. She loves nature in a literary sense, often drawing from it to write poetry. But do not even think about trying to take her camping unless there is a structure nearby with functional plumbing.

Image: Vincent van Gogh, De roze perzikboom (The pink peach tree), 1888.