2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

For today’s prompt, pick a season (any season) and make it the title of your poem; then, write your poem. For instance, your poem might be titled “Winter” or “Spring” or “Rabbit Season” (if you have a sense of humor and like Looney Tunes cartoons).

Here’s my attempt:

“Autumn”

even leaves
pretend they don’t care
releasing
from their trees
and letting the wind take them
wherever it will

*****

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446 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

  1. Arike

    Spring

    Earth heats and humans pop up
    Park full of coats and strange souls in T-shirts
    The grass has barely woken up
    Half-crawled out of the mud, fresh green
    Stamped flat beneath determined feet
    Of prancing children and dancing cows
    No really, it was on the six o’ clock

    An agenda heavy with events drops
    On the mat. Too cold for the beach
    So people go cultural
    Reading a book is so last season
    Art fair, ethnic potluck
    Outside, but bring your coat

    Lean against a wall out of the wind
    Close your eyelids, a sunny orange
    Not long now, summer, the flap of a pigeon
    Nearly pooing on your head is almost a seagull

  2. Werewolf of Oz

    Autumn Air Spins Summer Samaras to Equinox Earth

    in spring we emerged up high
    branches provided home and shelter
    all summer we drew strength from the sun
    seeds of elm and hoptree in the centre
    maple and ash to one side
    hidden away amongst leaves
    mostly unnoticed
    until the time arrives to release and fly
    sad to leave, but we carry future growth

    from the canopy we are freed for one flight

    spin for distance, more wind means greater range
    each of us flying to provide future trees
    delighting humanity
    whirlybird on strong wind
    helicopter rotates in a dizzy state
    spinning jenny dances in tune with the season
    polynose dives down en masse seeming to race
    to Earth’s cradle we fall
    and rest hoping our seed survives

  3. shann

    To everything

    Tireseus walks the summer wall
    naked before the fish and waterfowl.
    He is whatever the wind decides.

    Before morning comes, the sun
    predicts the day, I set the table,
    prepare breakfast in tender light.

    My journey has been full of magic
    & visions, I only stopped to shower,
    wash clothes, and break bread.

  4. Christod

    Spring.

    I tripped and smacked my head against
    a metal chair in the Spring,
    when the weak pond breeze made me catch
    a shoe in wooden grooves
    as I tried to take it in, breathe it out,
    make my head sprout red on the green
    like blossom, like morning dew,
    like a reminder that this season violently
    knew that I’d just said Fall was my favorite.

  5. maxie2

    CONSEQUENTIAL

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    -King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3:1

    The most difficult lesson to learn
    involves the truth of opposites:

    knowing that valley living
    deposits respect for mountains,

    famines alternate with feasts,
    luxury depends on destitution,

    and institution breeds the free.
    Sunshine alludes to the rain

    while a caress defines pain,
    knowing that trust requires faith

    and faith depends on evidence.
    The preeminence of truth comes

    through the prevalence of lies
    and a haughty disguise, in time

    will be tempered by the humble.
    To spring up, one must fall down.

    Slippery snow will line once-hot ground.
    The once-lost, in time, will be found.

  6. David Yockel Jr.

    Pound for Pound

    Spring comes in like a Cesarean section,
    forcibly cut from winter’s womb.

    The insulated, placental sound of April rain
    and the scratching of a poet’s pen,

    echo like an organ with keys tuned to the truth.
    Each beat brings another endless bed of cloudy

    capillaries to the surface of the evening sky. Just
    as a bested boxer trills blood like a heavy shower

    turning lilies into roses.

  7. De Jackson

    Mourning Season
    for Melissa

    It’s a living, breathing
    thing in her chest,
    this grief, this ache.
    She lies awake every night,
    waiting for her heart to pull
    its shade, for the ticking of
    the clock to still, for those
    first few moments of forget
    when morning comes. She
    waits for the empty places
    to refill, wonders if the
    not him souls and frozen
    smiles who try to help will
    ever really help, somehow
    wants them all to stay, and
    go away. She feels her breath
    go in and out despite this void,
    this cold without, this brutal ampu
    -tation of life and laughter and
    love. She looks above, and then
    her winter heart holds just enough
    warm hope to do it all again.

  8. Bruce Niedt

    Late, late, late! Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: Write a poem that uses the five senses.

    Mercurochrome Summer

    The third time I skinned both my knees
    the summer I was eight, my mother
    just shook her head. You’ll have scabs
    on top of your scabs, she sighed,
    as she painted them both with Mercurochrome,
    that vile red liquid antiseptic that stung
    worse than the scrapes themselves.
    She eased my pain with a cherry Popsicle,
    the sweet and cold in my mouth offsetting
    the hot throbbing in my knees. Afterward,
    I went outside and showed Danny next door
    my war-painted battle scars, then stuck out
    my cherry-stained tongue, and told him
    I drank some of the Mercurochrome.
    Yuck! he cried.

    It was a day full of red: Danny’s big sister Julie
    sashayed by to show off her new red sundress
    and flip hairdo. I told her she looked like Sandra Dee,
    but Danny said she smelled like onions. Later,
    a fire engine screamed through the neighborhood
    when Mr. Berry knocked over his barbecue grill
    and set his lawn on fire. Fresh cut grass and charcoal
    smell good, but not when they’re put together.

    I read in my science class that when the sun
    goes down, the reds are the first colors to fade.
    By dusk, my knees were no longer bright red,
    and evening sounds took over for the colors –
    the ice cream man on a late run,
    mosquitoes teasing my ears, crickets chirping,
    and the Fisker brothers setting off firecrackers
    in the woods. I got ready for bed, pulled my
    pajama pants over my tender knees, which were
    already beginning to heal.

    1. lionmother

      OMG Bruce! You brought me back to those summer days when I also went around with red knees from the Mercurochrome. I suffer from arthritis in both knees due to all the skinning they had.:) Yet you described those summer nights perfectly!

  9. PKP

    Hi one and all…. So many wonderful poems … fabulous community… The Street is bustling and I barely had the time to read never mind to comment today. Apologies and my own personal public regret. I’ll try to stay on top of things and get in more reading and commenting in the days to come.

  10. cam45237

    Basketball Season

    I liked my eyes, blue like my uncles,
    Maybe not as vivid, but still, a rare recessive that placed me apart
    From my green-eyed, brown-eyed friends.
    And my clavicles, sharp, defined – I wore square collars at every opportunity
    To frame those lovely bones.
    And my breasts, of course, my breasts.
    Not shallow “A”s like my sister whose long blonde hair, long legs, tan skin,
    Lean waist were, let’s face it, hard to beat and hardly fair.

    The first time
    The boy next door noticed the furrow that had formed between the soft slopes of cleavage
    My arms encircled the basketball that we were scrambling for.
    That was the first time that I felt a Woman’s power,
    When his gaze would not turn until I wrenched the ball away,
    Spun past him, bounced it off the backboard, breathing hard.
    He never looked at me the same again.
    And I never looked at him
    The same again.

  11. seingraham

    Autumn

    You swoop in with an impressionist’s palette
    Putting the cerulean sky to shame when you smear
    The forests with carnelian, ginger, ochre and dabs
    Of every shade of green; the fields lay down carpets
    Of unimaginable buff, wheat, and barley-brown
    For you – autumn, the most regal of the seasons
    Putting on an immense show before bowing out
    Flaring bright as any Viking’s funeral then sailing off
    Leaving earth fallow, ready for icy winter’s arrival.

    S.E.Ingraham©

  12. PassionateQuill

    (year of the dragon)

    He had been born in the year of the dragon. And while he so evidently possessed many of the positive traits typical of the sign; romantic, energetic, and intellectual, she’d often come to discover that meant he could also be fiery, intollerent, and unrealistic. Of course this hadn’t mattered at first, not when he was slaying her with unexpected tokens of affection and non-stop enthusiasm for all things, his relentless pool seeming to spill over bringing life to every dark corner of her world.

    But that was months ago, when they first met, when the year was new. She on the otherhand, was born in the year of the dog. Straightforward, faithful, if occasionally stubborn and at times bothered by unwarrented anxieties. That must have been why she had warmed up to his energetic spirit so quickly, clung to his confidence, stuck by his side.

    Yet now the year was drawing near to a close, and dusk seemed to be falling over them, concluding what she had somehow known all along. Dogs and dragons are not ideally suitable, and they were no exception. She could not find warmth in the hearth of a fiery dragon uncontent to linger too long at home.

    Though as he drifted away with the year’s end she tried to look positively at the end of their season together. Next year would be the year of the snake, and she was quite certain, full of much potential.

  13. hurtin-heart

                Spring
    All the lovely fragrances in the air
    Beautiful colors everywhere
    Spring has always been my favorite time of year.

    As i look around, everything changing
    Seems new life being breathed in everything around me.

    As i gaze at the beautiful scenery
    Fond memories of times past
    Come back to me.

    Night also is my friend
    As i sit and gaze at the stars
    They seem to be winking at me
    So diffrent in the spring they seem.
     Yes, spring is definately 
    my favorite time of year!
    Samantha Tinney

  14. LCaramanna

    Seasoned with Laughter and Love

    Once upon a time,
    a little girl lived
    in a house on the
    southeast shore of Lake Ontario.

    She sailed through
    sunny summer days,
    gentle waves splashing,
    fished small mouth bass and perch.

    As autumn leaves painted red, gold, and orange,
    she bid a fond farewell to feathered friends
    with a kiss for luck, chubby fingers waved goodbye
    until wings disappeared over the horizon.

    She skated on winter’s ice,
    sliding and gliding, silver blades flashing
    bundled in a purple snowsuit,
    knitted hat and scarf held in the heat.

    She wide-opened windows, filled her house with spring music of
    robin cheerios, sparrow chirps, chickadee dee dees.
    Mrs. Mallard with peep, peeping chicks
    pecked bread from her outstretched hand.

    She picked daffodils in the sunshine,
    Puddle jumped in the rain
    Wished upon the evening star
    Left her footprints in the grass wet with morning dew.

    Once upon a time,
    a little girl lived in a house
    on the southeast shore of the great Lake Ontario
    where she seasoned life with her laughter and love.

  15. Angie K

    Favorite season?
    At one time, I favored summer most of all –
    time for swimming, sleeping, reading, imagining…
    carefree as the butterfly, simplicity reigned.

    But summer left me wishing, longing for what couldn’t be.
    and as I pondered, the leaves changed, the crops ripened,
    the butterfly tucked herself away.

    The kaleidoscope of leaves fell,
    with piles for jumping in, colors for contemplating, beauty to soon be blown away.
    Trees came to rest, preparing for a long slumber.

    It was a new time, and a new favorite season came –
    winter brought crisp air and red noses, icicles for feasting, snow for oh-so-much.
    This white medium allowed for building forts, creating stick-armed friends, molding angels.

    But the angels melted into slush, the icicles became puddles, the world turned gray.
    An inner voice called out, pleaded really.
    Where had the sun’s glimmer been hiding? We’ve slumbered enough. Could the trees awaken?

    The answers crept in silently, green shoots snaking their way up through the now-browned leaf carpet.
    Not wanting to awaken the world too quickly, the first small blooms appeared,
    White, yellow and purple crocuses making way for the smiling daffodils and flaunting tulips.

    Then the trees joined the chorus.
    Delicate redbud canopies, understated dogwood, sweet crabapple blossoms.
    These were the harbingers of the leaves, the trees’ coats that sang, “We’re back!”

    So a favorite season? Definitely spring.
    The promise of new life, renewal of the old, and the welcoming of the butterfly.
    She’s back!

  16. Melissa Hager

    Seasoned Greetings

    Nothing makes your mouth water like
    scents which permeate the warm,
    humid air of a Low Country kitchen
    in summer.
    Fresh herbs from the garden
    dance in a skillet with vine ripened
    tomatoes and onions
    harvested only that morning.
    Swing low sweet chariot.
    Bring that fork on home.

  17. Michael Grove

    Spring Daze

    Heaven sent us a new message.
    Told us of great things to be.
    Waltzed us through the cold dark Winter.
    Shined a light and set us free.

    Gotta love a new beginning.
    Daffodils in a foggy haze.
    Awakening earthly surroundings
    born to us within Spring daze.

    By Michael Grove

  18. Nickie

    Wedding Season
    (in India)

    Perhaps it starts with
    saffron velvet embroidered
    with topaz butterflies.
    Or indigo silk bordered
    with tangerine vines.

    Soon gathers into
    an explosion of splendor,
    a kaleidoscope of color,
    the nights aglow in brilliant hues
    of amber and wine and sapphire.
    Shimmering garments
    in parrot green and peacock blue.
    Shades of apricot and ochre chiffon;
    burnt orange and cinnamon brocades.

    Silver sandals and raspberry rose purses,
    gossamer shawls patterned with paisley,
    long woven coats in mustard and copper.

    Jewel-toned fabrics compete
    with jewel stone adornments:
    Garnets and sapphires encircle wrists,
    opals and amethysts drip from earlobes,
    diamonds and moonstones adorn foreheads.

    Out-shining
    One-upping
    Over-dazzling
    with fancy frippery,
    with sparkles and spangles.

    And in the midst of the dancing
    and the delectable feasts
    and the garlands of marigolds,
    the brides and grooms emerge
    through the cacophony of color
    and walk together around the fire.

    by Nickie Shah

  19. Connie Peters

    Last Hunting Season

    “I saw a deer up in the woods.
    Some one shot it.
    They must have lost it.”
    “Yeah?” I said,
    not sure if I should believe it.
    In the afternoon, he said,
    “I saw a deer up in the woods.
    Someone shot it, must have lost it.”
    “Yeah,” I said,
    not sure what to do about it,
    even if it was true.
    In the evening Dad said it again.
    For him to remember something
    three times in the row,
    there must be something to it.
    So for the first time in my life
    I donned a bright orange vest
    and walked up in the woods
    with him to see about this deer
    someone lost track of.
    Half the time he couldn’t
    remember what season
    it was, and he’d often ask
    what was legal to shoot.
    Surprisingly he walked right to it.
    This was a man that carried a rifle
    from the time he was nine years old,
    had gotten over fifty deer
    and couldn’t remember
    the names of his five daughters.
    He still knew the woods.
    He tagged the deer,
    pleased he’d gotten one for the season,
    his wife and daughters relieved
    he’d stay out of the woods.
    The meat was bad.
    We never told him.
    It was his last hunting season.

  20. ely the eel

    Back-n-Forth Rag

    Just one hundred miles between our two homes,
    yet a change of the seasons readily comes,
    two hours after the dry desert air
    savoring moisture, our Bernardo lair.
    We love our two homes, both seasoned with love,
    Spirit surrounds us, within us, above.
    The cats like it too, their joy adds a spice,
    three parts of playful, one jigger of vice.
    Our lives are perfect as any fine thing,
    no matter the season, always our spring.

  21. sarite

    Hi! Been having lots of technical difficulties with this site–pw resets, “posting comments too fast” about to give up. Am posting my poems at saravinas.blogspot.com Our fearless leader once again made me stretch outside my comfort zone and set up a poetry blog. Thank you Robert!

    Spring in Sacramento

    Walking to school
    ‘Neath pink petaled fairies
    Who danced and tempted
    Scenting the breeze
    With pixie dust
    Designed to please
    Or make you sneeze

  22. RJ Clarken

    Seasonal Kyrielle

    Autumn sings a blustery note
    which says you’ll need a warmer coat.
    Leaves are orange and Bordeaux.
    The seasons come; the seasons go.

    And Winter’s icy counterpanes
    are full of glistening crystal chains
    and puffy, fluffy drifts of snow.
    The seasons come; the seasons go.

    Then Springtime blooms with daffodils;
    bright pansies sit on window sills
    and rills once frozen start to flow.
    The seasons come; the seasons go.

    The boys of Summer hit line drives;
    the opening of pools arrives;
    the sun, the beach, that golden glow…
    The seasons come; the seasons go.

    ###

  23. traci

    Autumn
    Dresses on trees
    Sweatshirts seen on people
    Birds flying south above our heads
    Contemplation as ripples in water
    Flowers take a much needed rest
    Grass does a phoenix feat
    My favorite time
    Autumn

  24. emmajordan

    Season of Healing

    I have come
    to a place where
    my threat no longer lives.
    He is gone.
    Forever gone,
    ashes buried in the earth.

    Still I find
    I feel fear
    threat
    anxiety
    washing over me
    threatening to drown
    waves surfers wait for
    as challenge of their ability.

    Depression so dark
    it is impossible to see anything
    in front of me
    and I struggle between
    living with it
    accepting what he is still
    doing to me
    even in death
    or looking up
    toward the peak
    seeking hand and toe holds
    no matter how small
    to grip on
    my way back.

    I decide to look up
    even in the midst of a moonless night
    and I reach
    feeling for that small but strong
    ledge to grab onto
    and a toe hold
    where I can dig my toes in
    and push pull my way up
    out of his death grip
    moving slowly
    with a goal in sight:
    the peak of the mountain.

    It is an almost impossible climb
    from hell’s depths
    to this season of healing.
    I will make it.

      1. emmajordan

        Rosemary and De,

        Thank you both for your comments, most of all for your encouragement. Yes, it is very much autobiographical. Hope? I have several framed prints in my room with hope illustrated or illuminated. I need the reminder.

        The allusions to climbing come from, of course, the deep pit I have lived in for many years, but also my love of rock climbing.

        Again, thank you.

        Emma

  25. omavi

    Winter

    A cold wind blowing
    Refreshing
    Readying for hibernation time
    Lulling
    In this time of declining sun
    This time of hunkering down
    Crawling with the comforting zones
    So weary from heated moments
    Welcoming as life blood flows slow
    Pulsing upwards towards skin
    Warming from with everything
    That touches with frigid demands
    Pulling within and letting that natural
    Follow the warmth and get warmed
    Giving it a reason to really want to live
    As everything decides to lie down in dust
    This the time that renewal is bred
    Laying down to sleep
    Knowing rebirth is the next

  26. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Autumn in the Northern Rivers

    Always so warm
    the trees and flowers
    behave as if it were Spring.

    Wattle and bougainvillea
    bloom profusely bright
    along the roads.

    Most years, even my roses
    bud and flower briefly.

    For a short while
    we open blinds and curtains,
    not keeping the temperature out.

    The fans are off, the heaters
    not yet switched on.
    We let in the air.

    Gradually the nights cool
    after clear, sunny days.

    The mountains stand out sharp
    around the sky-line; the rivers
    gleam, filling their banks.

    ‘Why,’ we say to each other,
    ‘Would you want to live anywhere else?
    How could you ever leave?’ (We are smiling.)

  27. Sara McNulty

    Robert, I love your poem for today. Here’s mine:

    April 11, 2012 – Day 11
    Pick a season and make it the title of your poem

    Seasoners

    Seasoned gardener
    in protective sun hat,
    gloves to cover
    roughened hands
    used to wield tools
    for digging, weeding,
    seeding, and pruning,
    ushers in Spring, fruit
    of his labors, joy
    on his face at birth
    of careful cultivation.

    Summer garden’s
    pungent scents
    grow ideas for light
    suppers–pasta with basil
    and oregano, potatoes
    patted gently with rosemary,
    and chicken sprinkled
    with fresh thyme and sage.

    Seasoned hands,
    tender seasonings
    from Spring origins
    to Fall’s fruits.

  28. Miss R.

    Spring

    Through these prairies
    You come and you go,
    Changing partners with
    Winter to and then fro.
    Such a tease deserves
    Nothing but my disdain,
    Yet every year I fall
    Madly in love again.

  29. Mary Mansfield

    After the Fall

    Heart shattered
    Into millions of pieces
    Covering my path,
    Nothing to do
    But walk through the shards,
    Slicing my feet
    Into a bloody mess,
    Another attempt
    To keep me prisoner
    In his private torture chamber,
    No parole or reprieve,
    Merely a captive
    To his anger and cruelty.

    I may be weakened,
    Anemic and drained,
    But the fire continues to burn,
    Propelling me into the fight,
    A fight I have no choice but to win.
    The consequences of losing
    Too dire to consider.

  30. Imaginalchemy

    After the kind of day I’ve had, I have to compose something stupid. So here it is:

    The SEASON(INGS) ON MY SHELF

    Basil, thyme, oregano, and bay
    Springtime greens to flavor my filet.
    Paprika, Chili, Red Pepper flakes
    Add the sizzle of summer to my steaks.
    Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice
    Make the autumn soups oh so nice.
    Sprinklings of sugar, granulated and confectionary,
    The whites of winter in my baking sanctuary
    All the season’s flavors on my shelf
    But I’m keeping the cooking wine for myself.

  31. Khara H.

    Winter will find you

    This weather will bundle you
    in sweet powdered warmth.
    Winter trees its way to you,
    rooting you in fleece and fire—
    this season of birth groans
    and lace, of steeped tea and fetal bones
    growing and creaking
    beneath the soil on a whim.

    Pine spines will blanket the earth,
    chasing nonchalance
    on breezes wandering the world
    for a flesh limb swing.

    Hide yourself away
    in the spiced scent of quilted cloth,
    your feet hooked into its earth
    like a cinnamon fresh crocheted
    wing. Your skin will soak in
    this January needling air,
    crisp and fragile as the slumbering moth
    frozen in sleep in some dim
    oak nook.

    1. LCaramanna

      Oh, I love this poem. For me, there is nothing better than a 32 degrees blue sky diamond sparkle on snow winter day. Your first four lines have me wishing for the winter we really didn’t have this year!

  32. Khara H.

    Holmes County

    Yellow blossoms burst with pale cheeks,
    exploding forsythia.
    All the world is teeming
    with tails that flush the sky in bright pink chatter.
    Their chime
    Laps at the breeze as a fresh, ripe sun
    segues between time and hilltops. Below
    Polliwogs dance the river.
    Mothers gaze upon their cotton peeps,
    the fresh thrown
    apple cores and upturned eggshells
    spun hollow. The barn, the field,
    the blanched fence roar with life, beasts that till the night
    with breaths and sighs.
    Behind the barn, the henhouse is a rush of quivering white,
    while newborn foxes yearn to tread
    with momma in.

  33. Maria Phoenix

    A SEASONED COOK
    A seasoned cook will remind you of the time of year
    The holidays near
    Like a painter with canvas, the colors emerge from pots and pans
    Or a sculptor molding dough with bare hands
    Warm cinnamon autumns
    Dark chili winters
    Bright chive springs
    Cool watermelon gazpacho summers
    A seasoned cook has the ability to conjure
    Laughter from that time Jeff spilled punch on his lap
    With a batch lemon bars
    Or the time Lily caught the flu after playing tag in the rain
    With a chicken and leek soup
    And the comfort felt from a lentil stew
    When grandma died
    A seasoned cook uses a recipe at first
    Then shifts into secret ingredients mode
    A seasoned cook has a gift
    To bring the past to life
    And ensure the future
    With a cup of broth

  34. deedeekm

    Spring Awakens

    Skin sighs
    I unfold like a new leaf
    Soul deep warmth
    Frost puddles around stiff 
    Bones of winter
    Now donning cotton
    Bright as sun
    Blue as sky
    Ivy twines around
    Graceful wrists
    Clouds crown a feathered
    Nest Scattered hair
    In honeysuckle breezes
    As light changes
    We awake to the scent
    Of grass

  35. claudsy

    Okay, so I wimped out with haiku. Too much on my plate today.

    Winter

    Popcorn ball flakes sail
    With winds howling for fear’s sake,
    Drifting to bring peace.

    Spring

    Seeds’ green heads waver,
    Nodding to sky in joy,
    Leaving Dark for Light.

    Summer

    Daisies keep cow friends
    Company on sunshine days,
    Giving selves as food.

    Fall

    Squirrels hurry on,
    Gathering winter’s food choice,
    Quarrel over safes.

    © Claudette J. Young

  36. lluecampbell

    Wolfmoon Bay
    Wolfmoon
    Hung from a Northern sky
    Lopes along
    The Lake Superior shoreline
    On a Shakespearean summer night
    Of elegant words
    and meanings layered
    Within Sonnets and sighs.

  37. Marcia Gaye

    ‘Tis Always the Season to Love Her

    She looks like autumn
    She laughs like spring
    She thinks like summer
    But here’s the thing –
    She’s never winter
    She’s never cold
    She is mature
    But never old
    She doesn’t bluster
    Doesn’t hide
    She doesn’t lock her warmth inside
    But spreads it
    Shares it,
    Opens wide.

    1. Marcia Gaye

      Thank you both. Today I had more chance to read and enjoyed both of you also. It seems this is the “season” for (mostly) good and kind nature-like poems. Angst and rage have their place, but today’s offerings were (mostly) so relaxed.

  38. Jane Shlensky

    Planting Season

    She smells spring traveling
    on a winter wind, her boot toe
    poking under frosty leaves
    for signs of life impatient to begin.

    A shoot of green sufficient
    to quicken her old pulse
    tells her it’s almost planting time,
    to get her seeds tucked into sleeves

    and yawning into life, tiny plants
    unfurling, like a hand opening
    a finger at a time, sun seekers,
    green and reaching. When they beg

    for transplanting into a world of soil,
    the season will be here. She knows that
    for sure, an almanac in her blood.
    She can smell spring traveling on the wind.

  39. Jane Shlensky

    Duck Season

    He cleans his gun again, oiling
    its parts and working the trigger
    mechanism, prelude to flocks
    in migration, landing on ponds
    and lakes to rest.

    His decoys are shined and ready
    to float a promise out onto the waves
    to draw tired birds in close where
    they hover just before they drop,
    his cue to shoot.

    Keeping the dogs quiet as they wait
    is key. But they are edgy, already
    tasting feathers in their mouths,
    anticipating short swims and
    heroic retrievals.

    He loves being among the rattling
    reeds and cattails, and half hates
    to kill ducks, pretty as they are
    paired and paddling on the currents,
    riding the air,

    their necks extended and pointing home.
    But it’s duck season, a traditional hunt
    in these parts, followed by the smell
    of roast duck, sauced to sharpen it,
    and he lives off
    the land today.

  40. DanielAri

    WINTER

    and Jamie and I became fast friends, bonding over
    tequila and Spanish rice in the coop living situation
    we found ourselves in; so when he asked if I wanted
    to go with him back home to Argentina, I said why
    not. He played guitar and had landed a gig in a cruise
    line band. He found work for me in the main kitchen,
    scrubbing. We committed six months, boarding July,
    scheduled for leave in January in Buenos Aires. By
    the time we landed, we had stopped being friends,
    not through any fault of his or mine, but only because
    the season of our being together had closed. He had
    his band; I had the kitchen crew, who had taught me
    a good deal of Spanish over half a year, and not a little
    Portuguese, too. Jamie had decided to stay onboard
    another year, but I disembarked alone into the city
    because the night air in January was balmy and clear,
    and I felt ready to be alone, if that was what winter
    held, so long as I could be held by that warm winter
    in a place where words, smells, electrical outlets, cars,
    women and men, and the way we all related, was new.

    FangO

  41. Kendall A. Bell

    Winterlong

    I wait winterlong for you to wake
    from a slumber that has kept your
    long limbs immobile.

    Your night stand has become a
    mini mausoleum, nothing disturbed
    from when you last touched it:
    your alarm clock frozen at 11:14,
    your hair brush with long, blonde
    pieces of you half off the stained wood.

    Every night I visit the sterile space
    you encompass now, watch your fingers
    and toes in hopes that they respond when
    I sing your favorite song, fill the room
    with tulips of every color.

    When spring arrives, your garden blooms
    and I swear I see you carrying a watercan,
    hear the buzz of your name on the honeybees,
    hold the hope that you will bloom again
    among the machines that hold your breath.

    -kab

  42. PSC in CT

    Hurricane Season

    Tempest, she storms in
    ready to blow, bound
    to rain on your parade
    heated, intense, hell-bent,
    gale force spitting fits of fury,
    lightning thrashes, thunder
    crashing, tantrum unrestrained

    abrupt cloudburst gushes
    teeming torrents, pelting hail,
    downpour rushes, rivers
    rising, flood tide spiking,
    while you scurry for cover

    incremental shift in weather:
    squall to shower to sprinkle
    to mist, warms to steamy,
    suddenly stunning
    cloudless blue sky

    don’t be mislead by her
    soft balm, sweet calm,
    sunny disposition
    you’re just caught
    in her eye

    best you can do:
    lay in supplies,
    batten down hatches,
    and hope you can
    weather the storm

    1. Domino

      The alliteration made it better, and it was already really good! “incremental shift in weather: squall to shower to sprinkle to mist, warms to steamy, suddenly stunning cloudless blue sky.”

  43. Jamal Abboud

    WHEN WINTER COMES

    When winter comes savoring the warmth
    With cold relish to eat up reminisces,
    And mist swoops on my windowpane,
    And frost attacks my garden’s narcissus,
    Envying my wealth after I have become alone,
    Coveting my pleasures of love I have known.
    When the joyful images of yours before my pain
    Becomes a treasure in my cold haven
    After you have gone where souls go,
    So I have believed, so I have always known,
    Where pure spring jasmines lightly grow
    In the world of innocence in heaven
    In my sick heart, where you feel secure,
    My dearest place, where you shall endure
    My absence in your world of memories,
    Where I shall keep your heart of dust
    Above my burdens, beneath daggers of frost.

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