On the English Riviera by Karen Kelsay

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We step across the green onto the promenade

and watch a sloop transition past the harbor of Torquay.

It’s late afternoon. Beside me, a German woman

chatters about retirement. Her husband sleeps

in a hired deck chair, his yellow canvas hat

slanted across his face. Beside a long line of beach huts,

a mother rummages through her bag for coins

and sends her daughter to the ice cream stand.

I trace my finger over your skin, feeling

a raised line between the wrist and thumb €”

the lonely brief of your own fast-track, wheelwright

ridden past. Its faint glossiness has tattooed

you with your former self, a thin scar from

your racing days. We marvel at the lack

of waves and watch the sun wedge purple shadows

between rows of white Victorians

near the strand. Strange trees line the walk

as easterly winds chicane through their fronds.

They remind me of old people, the trees: minds rustling

over a sea of yesterdays, hands fluttering at foreigners

on the English Riviera €”each with a story

ridged along their quaint English palms.

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Karen Kelsay is always welcome to play in our sandbox. A brief bio can be found here, and more of her work published on WIZ can be found here. Her White Violet Press is also worth a look.

Meadow Talk by Sarah Dunster

Wade BrightPurpleFlower via Wikimedia Commons

There is no better talk

than

thoughts shared in violet hollows

where not so much praise as scent

not so much words as velvet €”

soft petals on our faces €”

speak our language.

So, love, make plain

what

you might wish in digging out

green hills for four-leaved omens

we might taste in stems of waiting clover

and I might see in hollows of your

throat, your lips, your eyes.

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Sarah Dunster contributes regularly to WIZ as a writer and a reader. Her wide-eyed wonder at the world and at words embodies the spirit of LONNOL month. She has published in Dialogue and Fire in the Pasture. For more, go here.

By the Wayside by Ashley Suzanne Musick

de/ex macchina British Columbia 2007--Jonathon Penny

A baby blue bowl, overturned,

Sums it up somehow:

Trees march up the hills,

Casting a green cape across the soil.

A gray ribbon winds between the mounds of earth

As cars €”bright, boldsome gems €”speed along the path,

Glinting brilliantly in the sunbeams,

Rushing from one place to another,

Thoughtless of the beauty surrounding them.

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Ashley Suzanne Musick was born in Fountain Valley, California, on February 26th, 1989, and raised and homeschooled in Anaheim. In 2010, she moved to southwest Kern County, where she lives and works on a farm and writes in her spare time.

Old Lovers by Gail White

Old lovers sleep in double beds

(They do not need much space to sleep).

With curve of arm and bend of leg,

They shape themselves for dreaming deep.

Old lovers feel each other’s breath

As ships in harbor feel the tide:

A subtle current underneath

That pulls them to each other’s side.

Old lovers know their lover’s touch:

Even in sleep, the warmth is there

Lifting the mind’s unconscious latch,

Bridging the intervening air.

Old lovers wake in double beds

(Narrow, but with room for two)

And kiss with white and nodding heads,

Ready to see the white hairs through.

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Gail White has edited three anthologies (including The Muse Strikes Back) and published 3 books of poetry, the latest being The Accidental Cynic. Her new chapbook,  Sonnets in a Hostile World, is available from Amazon. She writes her poems on the banks of Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Author’s note: In a love letter to Sarah Teasdale, Vachel Lindsay writes, “If we do as well at the age of sober old folks as our sober old folks, we will do as well as mortal clay can expect.  We must see the gray hairs through.  It is all a part of the game, and we must not refuse the game because it will not be all the first day of spring.” (Qtd. Margaret Haley Carpenter, Sara Teasdale: A Biography. Schulte Publishing, 1960, p. 206.)