Mid-Winter Haiku – Matthew Lovegrove

the frozen pond breathes

a thousand sighs of blue sky

clouds creak underfoot


matthew lovegrove (he/him) works & lives in the traditional, unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh and shíshálh Nations on the present-day Sunshine Coast. He is honoured to have published poems in his favourite journals such as Red Alder Review, Juniper, Deep Wild Journal, and Train.

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Mid-Winter Haiku – Kersten Christianson

Aurelia aurita
-a haiku sonnet

Again, sleepless night.
In a last-ditch leap, my mind
conjures pirouettes,

moon jellies, drift-drawn
in the azure splash of tide
embracing river’s

mouth. Wait. Gathering
bloom by swell, clenched translucent
bell, bombastic slip, slide

into blue night’s rise.
My wake silhouettes, sunsets
under a blanket

of aching stars. Auspicious
in their flickering, sleep comes.


Kersten Christianson is a poet and English teacher from Sitka, Alaska. She is the author of Curating the House of Nostalgia (Sheila-Na-Gig 2020), What Caught Raven’s Eye (Petroglyph Press, 2018), and Something Yet to Be Named (Kelsay Books, 2017).  She is also the poetry editor for Alaska Women Speak. Kersten enjoys road trips, bookstores, and smooth ink pens.

Mid-Winter Haiku – Linda Freeman

SNOW, FALLING

I.

Snow erases
your footprints
on the wooden stairs.


II.

I stroked your rough wool
imagining fine sweaters.


III.

Snow falling on snow.
The pause.
Then stepping through.


Linda McCauley Freeman is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Family Plot (Backroom Window Press, 2022) and has been widely published in international journals, including in a Chinese translation. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2022. Recently she was the featured poet in The Poet Magazine, and appeared in Delta Poetry Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, and won Grand Prize in StoriArts’ Maya Angelou poetry contest. She received a grant from Arts MidHudson and was selected for Poets Respond to Art 2020, 2021 and 2022 shows. She was a three-time winner in the Talespinners Short Story contest judged by Michael Korda. She has an MFA from Bennington College and is the former poet-in-residence of the Putnam Arts Council. She lives in the Hudson Valley, NY. / www.LindaMcCauleyFreeman.com and follow her on Twitter@LindaMccFreeman and Facebook@LindaMcCauleyFreeman

Mid-Winter Haiku – Laurie Rosen

First Flakes

Snow dusts gray mountains—
sugar flecks on icy trails
sweeten bitter days

Winter Cabaret

Naked birch ballet
Evergreens shake white pom-poms
Confetti tango


A lifelong New Englander, Laurie Rosen’s poetry has appeared in The Muddy River Poetry
Revie
w, The London Reader, Oddball Magazine, Zig-Zag Lit Mag, Gyroscope Review,
Wilderness House Literary Review and elsewhere.

Mid-Winter Haiku – Mike Wilson

Scent of rotting leaves
poses questions not answered
until spring arrives

Inside the long night
death and life pass each other–
first cousins, nodding


Mike Wilson’s work has appeared in magazines including Amsterdam Quarterly, Mud Season Review, The London Reader, The Coachella Review, and in Mike’s book, Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic, (Rabbit House Press, 2020), political poetry for a post-truth world.  Mike is a past winner of Kentucky State Poetry Society’s Chaffin/Kash Prize. He resides in Lexington, Kentucky, and can be found at mikewilsonwriter.com

Mid-Winter Haiku – Sally Quon

morning stillness—

mountains draped

in cloud

the silence

at the end of

the phone call

swallowed

by the silence—

freshly fallen snow


Sally Quon is a poet and photographer living in the Okanagan Valley of beautiful British Columbia. She is an associate member of The League of Canadian Poets. Sally has been published in Here and Now, an ebook by SureWay Press, edited by Anna Yin. Sally also has haiku coming out soon in Time Haiku and The Autumn Moon Journal.

A Good Name – Yejide Kilanko

A Good Name, a novel by Yejide Kilanko from Guernica Editions (2021), tells a story that is truly disturbing and utterly human. Kilanko develops a narrative that focusus on a well-characterized Nigerian couple who are brought together through a traditional, arranged marriage. The fall-out of the pair’s initial and gross incompatibilities develops as they settle (and unsettle) into living together in Houston, Texas. It is a story of migration and multiple intermeshed traumas.

     The author develops a dialogue-driven narrative around the complicated nature of this central relationship that is both intimate and haunting. It brings forth many contradictions and tensions through the push-and-pull of cultural-familial allegiance and personal desires. The book finds its strength in its social and nuanced treatment of these layers and complexities. The result is a pervasive, well-cultivated and palpable image that the two main characters are living in “bad faith”. In this way, thematically, the clash of persons against cultures is depicted as inherently corrosive, in the same way two metals pressed together and react, ultimately causing damage to both.

In simultaneously dealing with the entrenchment and rejection of traditional patriarchal values, this book stands as an important fictionalisation of the normalisation of abuse and gender-based violence within a particular community—all of which leaves a strong and lasting impression on the reader.

Black-capped Chickadee

become
its sprinting heartbeat
sing
its jaunty
song—
jazz queen
of the yard
wing
your way
an acrobat—
cedar branch
to feeder
flash-splash
in the bird bath
swallow
cool rainwater
seek seed
trust
the hand that offers
watch
over offspring—
fleeting days
like ours


Doris Fiszer is an Ottawa poet. Her debut collection Locked in Different Alphabets (Silver Bow Publishing) was nominated for the 2021 Archibald Lampman Award. She has two published chapbooks, The Binders and Sasanka (Wild Flower). Awards include the 2017 John Newlove Award and Tree Press’s 2016 Chapbook Award for The Binders, also a nominee for the bpNichol Award.

The Egret

January 6, 2021


In a dream, you travel among lotuses
on a summer evening,
watch fireflies gather,
spread apart again, innocent flames.

*

By the distant red window,
you look out on silent streets,
embroidering a blue sea,
meditation bells beside you.

Later you’ll pick them up,
follow each sound to its end,
ring them again.

*

Sitting alone
on the moon-viewing terrace,
you will knit a blue scarf
for your grandson, content
at last to be a cliché,
in the autumn coolness.

*

And when you see an egret,
the word itself, the peace of it,
will sound on your tongue.



Elizabeth J. Coleman is the editor of Here: Poems for the Planet (Copper Canyon Press, 2019). She is the author of two poetry collections published by Spuyten Duyvil Press (Proof, a finalist for the University of Wisconsin Press prizes, and The Fifth Generation), and translated the sonnet collection Pythagore, Amoureux into French (Folded Word Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Colorado Review, Rattle, Bellevue Literary Review, and in several anthologies. She has also written two chapbooks.

Two Poems


Overshoot

Ah, Caterpillar,
you’ve devoured
what your brothers cling to,
naked tansy stalks,
the golden blossoms gone,
in your bellies the broad leaves crinkling 
and nothing, not a mouthful,
remains.

You saw with the blinders of hunger,
ignored your neighbors who ate
what you’d need next.
Now all of you cling,
except those starved and shriveled –
the whole of your world is consumed.

Caterpillar – how can I see this 
and not compare? I know it’s guilt 
and shame that makes me
lift you gently, and softly place
each of you on a new, whole plant.
We have no new planets.

Forgive us, caterpillars –
you’ll break free of cocoons and fly
into a world 
already consumed.


Twilight stains the Wallowas


Three long, lank figures stretch like gnarled limbs,
their campfire in embers,
around the glow of deep red gleams.

All day, they’d poked in silence,
the snap of shale fragments 
punctuating the hiss of wind.
Searching for veins of fossils, 
a phantom floret of Eocene palm,
or sugar maple, laid like pressed flowers
in eons’ pages, the dirt once embers
of ancient volcanic pyres
that Pompeii’d the landscape
slow, lava caulking the canyons
twisting and snaking through tropical forests
the long fiery transit stopped finally by the Columbia.

Self-exiled at the summer dig, the trio
cloisters for this long August
exults in a grit-simple camp,
at meals as rough-hewn at the canyon,
at sluicing off sweat, naked in the stream.

Back home, they’ll splice together the narrative
evoked by these shards, lay them on the altar of science,
don suits and studious faces to match
bright-polished labs and linoleum halls. 
But tonight they lay back
and howl at the moon.



Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep concern for our planet’s future. She has five decades of published poetry, four poetry chapbooks, a full-length poetry book, Elegy for the 21st Century (FutureCycle Press), a SF novel, Lifeline and book of short stories, The Dream Hunt and Other Tales (Founders House Publishing). She lives in Sweet Home, Oregon on a mini-homestead, with chickens, a garden/orchard and bees.

Find her at www.cathymcguire.com.