I am not going to say it is cold,
But when you milked the cows,
They gave ice cream,
And you could knock over
Any frozen goat.
The chickens hatched penguins,
And the horse snorted
The windows of the house
And as the inside heat
Melted the ice,
It became running rainbows.
Plunged to ten below zero,
And the trees exploded
Like cannon shots.
Now that was cold,
And if you believe me,
I will tell you another
Emory D. Jones / Iuka, MS
We know it’s there
beyond the fringe of trees
We hear it lap the shore
lick grains of sand erasing
Wracks pile against rocks
white with gull guano
Each wave rinses clean
each bird replenishes
Mary Jo Stich / Denmark, Wisconsin
Formed in the cauldron of life
out of limestone, soda, and sand,
at our best, we are pieces of glass.
Far more useful than diamonds
which flash in the light, are the windows
and lenses that clarify sight.
While mirrors are attractive, and at first
glance us please, they can distort
and may often deceive.
There’s no higher calling, than, when held
in good hands, you brighten the vision
and help understand.
So if you open a wall, magnify small, bring
something far up closer, you make good use
of the time you possess,
And so does the person who finds you,
who chooses to leave this world wiser,
and thus might forever be blessed.
Steve Williams / Munith, Michigan
Shattering winter’s biting chill
is the songbird’s sonorous trill.
Piercing through it’s white landfill
is the ruby tulip, ready to kill.
Ransacking its icy rill
is the graceful swan’s orange bill.
Infecting its very spill
is the sun ray’s most treasured skill.
Niggling at its dreary shill
is the eternal hope’s cheery pill.
Generating a brand new will
is nature’s way to March uphill.
Radhika Iyer / Northville, Michigan
Her fine long legs, careful step by step
cross marsh and bog in slow dance
feeding on sweet morsels that rise
to greet sun and their demise.
A sound, she listens – one leg poised midair
towering above, still art – a comma,
a question mark buried in mud, messages
etched into the inner flesh of birchbark
still held by the curve of riverbanks
still layered with our relatives’
dust and their tarpaper shacks
still remembered by Ajijaak.
Nina I. Graig / Kalamazoo, Michigan
I HEAR HAWKS
before I see them
scree scree at regular intervals,
doppler waves sounding the distance
flattened wings circle thermals overhead,
or the chorus of shrilly scolding bird flocks
chasing until it drops its young prey,
or squawking chickens when they see a shadow
of this predator too late to flee,
or the soft unexpected thwup on fence
when it lands, as stunned as I am,
a heart leaping arm’s length away,
eyes devouring me where I stand.
Nancy Shattuck / Farmington Hills, Michigan
Between the yardstick and the mile
The Rumor animates fields of Anemones.
It feeds the fish that drinks the rain.
It turns the plumes of broad winged hawks,
Huffs into sails of lonely ships.
It warms the tomb with candle flame
And further than this star.
All things breath in its trace,
Taste with its tongue,
Belie the exigence of form.
And in a book I read,
The wounded heart was freed
Upon a day when the rain fell up.
Can one dream of what can never be?
Is it outside of human possibility?
Words and words thrown at the corner
Where no one stands.
– Ken Wilding / Spring Lake, Michigan
PSM member Joy Gaines Friedler’s poem, Detroit, is up on Vox Populi along with some of her photographs.