Submitted by Ann Neilson

“The skies they were ashen and sober;
the leaves they were crisped and sere-
the leaves they were withering and sere;
it was night in the lonesome October of
my most immemorial year” –Edgar Allan Poe “Ulalume”

The ominous sky reminded of
an apocalyptic world,
Its sadistic grin, blighting the grass
the trees and flowers, unfurled.

A history of moans and whimpers
of past ages erupted forth.
The ground cracked and showed no history
of hard work or of self-worth.

Contaminated cities of
industrialized destruction
Killed the earth with selfishness and
heartless deprivation.

A symphony of pity falls
upon deaf ears turned away
Those who are apt don’t watch to find
the ending of the inhumane play.

A melancholy world where all move
alongside the tide of time
Weep for hope and pity from strangers;
alas, there are no souls to find.

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Between Words

Submitted by GrumpyGorman

the space between

those precious gaps
lies can’t find,

mint clean-

free from request,

rants proceeding

live happily in nooks
between words,

in dusty old

oh shelf

in forgotten old

‘those’ looks-

that push
that shakes

final words
from me.


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Photo Credit: Dizziness – Iman Maleki

Dark Midwinter Days

Submitted by Chris Black

Eerie is the only description
Those leaden grey skies, leaves
Which not long ago
Dressed trees and hedging
Now clog shores and roadside outlets.
The house lit only by candle light
A collection of torches with used batteries
Add to the dreariness
As dark days fall into pitch black night.
The open fire the only source of comfort
Playing conjuring tricks with food
As the one ring ‘scouting’ stove takes centre stage.
“Hunger is the spice of food”


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Photo Credit: Van Gogh – Starry Night Over the Rhône

Whimpering Psithurism

Submitted by Ann Neilson

Effervescently pace the foliage,
Lithe fairy footsteps careful to step untrodden ground.
The trees shift and tremble, projecting history into forbidden spaces,
Dark, unforgotten places revealing ghostly shadows, distant war heroes—
the selfish plight of war that ignited pain continues imprinting bloody carbon marks within the roots.
We misshape the land beneath our pitter-pattering—
They stomped with chemical-laden boots.
Mother earth cries bitter tears frozen by this winter wind,
biting whispers blowing lies of freedom into her hopeful heart.
Her cracked soil and crisp limbs moan and creak.
Her heart has long ago since shattered,
Only to be replaced by manufactured glass shards shaped and molded by unpaid hands.
Ethereal memories and unpromising futures destroy—
Watch as the dim night struggles to throw her blanket upon our souls dutifully,
Striving to envelop us with Mother Nature.
Turn not a blind eye and acknowledge how we’ve ignored her.


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Photo Credit: John Constable – Sketch for The Hay Wain

Reasons, Enough

Submitted by Edward Lee

Why does the moth
seek the light
only to break itself
and tumble to darkness?
Has some satisfaction been met,
some need achieved,
or was it simply struck down by curiosity,
eyes blinded by brilliance,
regret the last breath of life
in its frail body
as it falls to the ground,
to be swept up by a broom
wielded by a beast
almost as indifferent
as the light the moth sought?


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Photo Credit: Cesar Biojo – Alejandra

Silver Lake, Ocracoke

Submitted by Ann Christine Tabaka

Long fingers of night reach out for
evening, embracing her with soft
velvet arms. Quietude is her
name, she lives for this moment.

Diamonds dance across the surface
of the water. Rhythmic waves lap at
a gray pebbly beach, as the last rays
of sun are swallowed by the horizon.

Anchored boats with white sails,
now merely ghosts against a wine
colored sky. Far off, cries of marsh
bound shorebirds fade with the light.

A space between reality and dream,
filled with enchantment. The cosmos
sings to romance. A curtain call for the
moon. As lovers walk off hand in hand.


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Photo Credit: Winslow Homer – Adirondack Lake

The Winter Day is Steadily Declining…

Submitted by Ann Neilson

The Winter day is steadily declining,
and a hushed, blanketed mist gently descends
upon thatched roofs, languidly spreading
its dreary web o’er the wearisome heads,
returning from hard day’s labour.
A forgiving hearth reconciles debt and dismay,
and beckons, with sensuous snapping, to stay.
Ice-crystal branches peck and prod, and beg, too,
to escape the chill, whilst sharp winds blowing,
moaning, warn of the oncoming storm.
The house settles, the fire dims,
and an unsolicited chill crawls down our lungs,
extinguishing warmth, enwrapping our bones,
callously coating with hoary frost—
A log is placed, the fire’s ablaze,
and unbidden thoughts are ceased,
cast to the wind,
and warmth perpetuates the soul once more.


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Photo Credit: Figure on the Bridge Ladislav Mednyánszky