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
Today I”m going to jot a poem down without a lot of thinking. I’m going to choose one word (probably something nature but for sure a noun) and use it as much as seems prudent in the poem. Then I’m going to the dictionary like Harryette Mullen and look up my noun. When I find out, I’m going to count 7-10 nouns away in either direction and find a substitute for the chosen noun. I’ll go back to my poem, substitute it and see if there are any interesting lines or phrases that work. Perhaps it changes everything for the better. Perhaps it’s stupid. You won’t know til you try.
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
Spindrift suggests stuff blown onto beaches, beaches of discovery in one’s mind. When these poems show a squirrel, a fish, birds, a beggar, an Irish pub, or a dish we see these as metaphors which conjure up ideas or feelings from our own familiarity with them. A poem that begins as an abstraction, like an enemy or peace or patience, becomes objectified. Spindrift is comprised of whatever little gems might be found along the shore, examined closely to become part of the reader’s experience. These jottings of spindrift take off from that experience like going to an airport when you want to be someplace else – or like poems which say one thing when they mean another.
Laurence W. Thomas is the founding editor of Third Wednesday Magazine. He has been around long enough to know the sting of rejection and the salve of acceptance. His shelves are lined with his own publications as well as the works of many other poets. He Chancelor Emertus of the Poetry Society of Michigan.