BY Ghada Itani

I would that you were with me hence, sharing
This celestial view seen, unseen, before
Where Sannin eternally up staring
At the evening star glaring at the shore.

The deep is rising, the ships heading east
The green mountains capped with snow behind
Perhaps the eye of an artist possessed
May contain such a paradise in mind.

Come to me, darling, and look at the strand
The edge breaking foam lay miles apart
Amidst a galaxy topping the land
Looming a sky within heaven a heart.

Come, darling, to see what I see, and more
Stars above, stars below, moon in between
A brigade of cavalry charging the shore
Falling back on sand in glorious sheen.

O life! There’s nothing more to enchant me
Than this vision of growing ecstasy
I feel dissolved and carried fancy-free
Where beauty and dreams meet in poesy.

That’s the Lebanon the heart of the world
Where the cedars living for ages unknown
And the flag of liberty always unfurled
In a democracy without a throne.

Written by: Jawdat R. Haydar

Long Beach Lures

Long Beach Lures

BY Sue Neufarth Howard

Long Beach known
for its five mile
ocean pedestrian path

and its waterway-edged
lagoon to bay, canal,
to ocean merged.

Canal boat rides
whale watching trips
Queen Mary tyourssssss

long boat races
boat parades at Christmas
horse=drawn trolley tour holiday lights.

Sidewalk dining, 2nd Street
site of Christmas parade,
thousands of watchers.

Where the sound of the ocean
will float you
to nervana.

Before daylight
the fog,
shimmering sheer curtain.

Where palm leaf shadows
do a dance
inthe wind.

flooded streets
from the seldom rain.

Departing sleep
hear the soft sound
of fog horns

A flash of green in the palm –
screec hing wild parrots
with morning coffee

Where the sights and sounds
of beach bordered living
will attract and delight you.



BY Geoffrey Polk

the bluest
the whitest
the grayest
the darkest
the coldest
the clearest
the calmest
the slowest
the brightest
the warmest
the wettest

the closeness, like laughing with
your phone call brother 2 pm broken down
saturday car,
october 17th



BY Jen Schnakenberg

Where I am from
Valleys holler back through the landscape
A plateau, forested, skyscrapered, golf coursed
In June rain, rivers climb their floodplains uncaring
Shale and mud slip away, creeks continue their cutting work
Seeking the bedrock bones

Dear Human: A Love Letter

Dear Human: A Love Letter


Dear Human:
A Love Letter
by Francesca Moroney

We know you want us to behave.
Daily, we catalog our grievances
for all you deny us: burnt, crumbling
bits of bacon, the warmth of your body
at rest. From the floor, we cannot
comfort you. Outside, it’s not much better.
You say NO to skunks sunning, wasps nesting,
a visiting Pekingese. We don’t stop to talk
to friends, even the nice ones with cookies
in their pockets. WE’RE TRAINING, you yell.
When the road ends in the woods, you begin
to relax. There, under the mulberries,
the chokeberries, the bitternut hickories,
you loosen your grip on our leashes.
We hear you breathing. Sometimes,
you unclip your tethers from around
our necks. Here, we teach you. Let’s
scamper after chipmunks and find
deer dens hidden in the tall grass.
Let’s lap rainwater from cloudy puddles
and run with tongues lolling not to log
the mileage but because it feels good.
You, who has been so busy teaching, do you see
the crane perched on one foot, balancing
at the precise point where the creek water kisses
the silty dirt? Our lessons can resume
when we finish with the woods—spent
and panting, with cold extremities
and racing heartbeats. But for now,
let’s enjoy the air beneath the canopy
of this glorious birch. Let’s feel
its coolness on our noses. Does it not smell
sacred to you? After all, what
are the woods for, if not
an invitation to pray.

Athabasca Again

Athabasca Again


Athabasca Again

white on rock—
receded so far—
in one lifetime

recalling ice wall

thirty years ago
it loomed gigantic—
breathless we stood
on its surface,
joy, glacier deep

now it’s receded
thin and cracked
less than memory

still it gleams

cool air settles
we stand, older
but solid, resting,
receding like ice

this scene, dream,
photos under glass
and rising mist—

we stand here
his eyes blue
as glacial runoff
piercing cloud sky
a gift, still

our kids the age
we were then—

Alvar grassland

Alvar grassland


because there is still a little left here
a little bit freedom – if you take it
things to do if you care
and in very little time, it would all remain

I work and talk mainly with plants.

The Urban Reigns

The Urban Reigns


The memories of this gorge at the bottom of the hill,
I turned every rock,
Watching time stand still.
Through the middle of a city
Itself weaned on the milled forge,
Runs long our playground of a Jurassic gorge.
With lakes drawn for mans gain,
Come taste the smell
Lofting throughout
The urban reigns.

Earth Day Rant in Rhyme

Earth Day Rant in Rhyme


Photo Credit Cecelia Lee

Do not touch your face/ Don’t forget to say grace.

To save ourselves who has a clue/ Of what on Earth to do/ Why not stampede for toilet tissue?/ To the main topic here this is no discontinuity/ And to mark Earth Day’s first half century/ Why not consider a bike build subversity?/ Ride sustainability in perpetuity.

No ransom for royalty will mine be/ Nor lock-it-up pathology/ Not Harley or Honda or Norton Commando/ But the lightweight familiar/ Low carbon to go./ From random origins re- integrating/ Derailleur, freewheel, basket for freight bearing/ Soon very likely it’s calling for riding/ And the bell still can ring./ New brakes and cables/ The seat looks like torture/ But entirely consistent with enhancing our future/ Sustainable practice in practice!/ Environmental crisis prophylaxis!

On this rare and sacred sanctuary/ Our esteemed enduring Big Rock#3/ The lately most salient reality/ Is a pair of close siblings calling more frequently/ Each indisposed to gestures of leniency/ Make no mistake their common ontogeny/ Pandemics and climate change and what other progeny?/ For much higher impact the twosome synergetic/ Now target the inimical myopic diathetic/ High caution to many conventions endemic.

Who can doubt it, we’re today in a crucible/ The experience now could be just dress rehearsal/ Will the pandemic itself take a reversal? / And where does virus definition/ Include stasis as condition? / Among the instruments of adjustment/ A virus is a perfect complement/ For restoring peace on this firmament/ Why choose then, resentment, lamentment? / For responses judicious and decent/ There is good record of precedent.

The once familiar “normal”/ So easy to invoke/ Reinstated, undebated/ Means ever more of gag and choke/
There’s formidable arsenal to provoke./ For some reason lately, a misunderstanding/ Our apprehending needs expanding/ There’s inversion of perception/ Demanding honest interrogation/ Identify contagion, identify aberration/ And which is defence, which prosecution?

Homeostasis fits well in the Earthly equation/ Ever useful, effective, self calibration/ Consider James Lovelock’s wise surmise/ In fact no big surprise/ Regarding Gaia he did hypothesize/ Planet Earth as living entity/ Almost in herself, singularity/ Expect then, with alacrity, tenacity/ Prompt response of immunity/ To thoughtless
societal effrontery.

Last year, all heard it/ Eleven years remained/ For an anthropocene unrestrained/ A dangerous, too costly imbalance/ Much too long maintained/ The pushing of plastic and singing ka-ching/ As cultural
purpose, how inspiring ?/ A recipe only for more grief to bring.

•••••••( i )•••••••

When arrive the legions of benevolent alien/ To encamp and proceed in every nation/ On thorough campaigns of brain transplantation/ Any limit to the dreamscape imagination?/ And how deep is the mind’s addiction/ To the most outrageous fiction?/ But if such good fortune ever eventuates/ Please save me a place/ In the first line of candidates

•••••••( ii )•••••••

How did airtravel become so sanctified?/ A Late cornerstone of economies/ Fostering capricious dependencies/ Precluded through all human history/ A response now to a deficiency?/ Manifestation of a desperation?/ Where prosperity surpasses creativity and imagination?/ For now it’s a dose of banality/ Though once a sensation/ Converging with a TV generation/ Deep torpor on the couch, but poised with remote/ All have acquaintance with this anecdote.

Extrapolate to a bizarre possibility/ Slight stretch to the venerated normalcy/ A brief holiday in a remote galaxy/ Or ten days on beautiful Alpha Centauri?/ Equally vacuous, specious, injudicious/ One might choose Sirius/ IT IS after all, ALL ABOUT US/ For US right now its no sacrifice/ Externalize costs and roll the dice/ Transit a STEAL at twice the price/ Many the options exoticus/ For us of a culture capricious.

So be not deterred/ All costs are deferred/ Simply a shift of depredations/ Bequeath it all to future generations/ Promote further the state of desolation.

How keenly felt the tough privations/ By those avoiding such vacations?/ If they’re needed to “save your neck”/ Best consider VR tech/ Or support your local holodeck.

•••••••( iii )•••••••

Swat not that mosquito/ Do an earthworm rescue/ They fit this earthscape better than we do/ To be here they have more right than we do/ It’s a heavy charge that in essence/ To many would be a big offence/ Any volunteers as counsel for defense?

You find no earthworm administrations/ Of edentate regulations/ Do they insist on air conditionations?/ How much hope of their support/ For yet another airport?/ Or PT lumber for garden, playground or dock/ Or the big commute and more gridlock?/ Or would they often concede/ That THERE IS a “noxious weed”/ And with big consensus, all agreed/ Chemical warfare will meet the need/ How bad is earthworm halitosis/ From digital world hypnosis?/ Their own boredom and desperation/ For flash and dazzle stimulation/ Or expressing that a life well spent/ Is a craze of commitment to synthetic scent?/

There is INDEED much malodorum/ Why not slag the real odium?/ For us of current edition humanity/ Knowing the factor/ Of tumorgenic or hormone disruptor/ Elicits “Why on earth would that matter?”

Earth Day EVERY day, all must insist/ A denial of futures if the choice is resist/ A tragedy is no inevitability/ All can be worthy of Rock# Three/ We’re all of the same waters/ From the primal asteroid showers.

And Yet

And Yet

BY Beth Benjamin

And Yet

Once again the town breathes hot and arid
panting at the base of a California mountain range
that runs from west to east.
We pride ourselves on a canopy of trees
in a drought stressed landscape,
strive to maintain this gentle shady dream.

After each rain
my heart eases,
relaxes its clenched fist.
With enough of a drench
I hear the root hairs drinking
for a couple of weeks anyway.

At least there’s snow in the Sierra Madre,
mother of waters,
for the coming year.
I can imagine damp meadows
of magenta shooting stars
and glowing panther lilies,
petals arching backwards from their mottled throats,
preening beside stream banks.

But rumors of El Nino moisture
don’t put juices in the bushes
of our chaparral landscape.
I’m all tensed up again.

I try to maintain an outlook
more geological than botanical,
have a little more trust in the depth of roots,
but at 90 degrees on Valentine’s Day,
no clouds in a sharp blue sky,
all these hopes of green may be unrealistic.
Better to love the paddles of opuntia,
eat nopales and sweet Indian fig,
called sabra in Hebrew
in another thorny land,
to love the spiny cholla,
shining golden in the glare,
that hosts the cactus wren,
and get comfortable with boulders and gravel.

And doesn’t the syrupy sunlight
rest sweetly on my closed eyelids?
And wasn’t that sleeveless February evening
delicious against my skin?