Western Sky – a poem by Seth Jani

Western Sky

Here, in this part of the universe,
Everything has happened.
But over there, it’s only yesterday,
And the beautiful pause of death
Is still waiting for the notes to settle,
The music to subside.
I have been in an ocean
That defies everything we believe in.
I have spent a day watching forms
Arise and disappear.
The wind erases all our names
And we hear someone blow
On the slender grass blades.
The whole field fills
With luminous sound.
I think just beyond the
Radius of water, the nocturnal pools,
A small bird is engulfed in light.
You might say imagination
Gets the better of me, but I believe
This radiance is commonplace.
The ordinary miracle of the moon
Is an insomniac torching the western sky.
Despite our reservations,
These glassblown evenings pop
With ancient stars.

Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). His own work has been published widely in such places as The Chiron ReviewPretty Owl Poetry, Psaltery & LyreThe Hamilton Stone ReviewVAYAVYA, Gingerbread HouseGravel and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. Visit him at www.sethjani.com.

Too Close to See – a poem by Ion Corcos

Too Close to See

Mist in the evening lies on the cliffs,
headland in cloud, like in mountain hollows
where cows graze, lie on damp grass.

You think the weather should change slowly;
there is nothing gradual about weather.

White egrets follow cows. Some pick at grass,
catch insects the cattle disturb. Others sit
atop the bovine backs, eat ticks and flies.

Magpies and crows stare from branches
shrouded in the haze, stand awkwardly
on the roadside, poke at old remains.

Why are you upset at things that happened
before you were born?

We are close to clouds. Heaven is hidden
in the fog, the sky on the field.

On the roadside, a dead crow.

We don’t get to choose our time of death.
If we did, what would that make of us?

Life is like the remains of a tree;
or watching egrets. The birds, then the cattle,

a pastoral scene, a feeling of peace,
till the eye catches the dead crow.

Everything feels real, like the wind
on your body. But it will eventually pass.
Freedom is knowing this.

At night it rains. Drops fall on leaves,
branches, the space between. As it eases,
the ocean’s thud on sand hits hard.

No other sound; no lapwing, miner
or crow, no sound but drops, the sea.

When it’s time for a bird to fly north, it knows.

We have been. The empty cup
of tea left behind on the kitchen sink.

Where are you now? What are you doing
that is more significant than that empty cup?

I do not need a large rock to fall
into my stream, change my course.

 

Ion Corcos has been published in Grey Sparrow Journal, Clear Poetry, Communion, The High Window and other journals. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. Ion’s website is www.ioncorcos.wordpress.com and he tweets at @IonCorcos

 

The Atmospheric River – a poem by Barbara A Meier

The Atmospheric River

I cannot  walk out of the atmospheric river
by myself, especially at 5:00 PM
when the wind shifts from southwest to northeast
bringing the charnel smell of slaughterhouses, cauterized blood-
miasma of death, tinting skies coppery with bruising green clouds.
White sunlight being scattered by marble size  hail.
The clouds –  hiss, boil like a snake curling down to strike-

A dry line encounter: where moist meets dry.
The passion of death in a dance of  wind:
2X4’s impaled in a tree.
Death is the only outcome of this storm.
And in that moment when it jumps from north to east,
I see it spawning little devils on the horizon…
Mocking me in a brief grim dance.
Toe to earth and then back up to heaven.

It is finished.

In the silence after the storm …
The breath comforts me, gently calls my name
and I realize the relief of birds chirping in a fallen creation.
This little resurrection gives life
to the destruction and debris that is my life.
The blood not burnt the body not charred,
the water a rain of grace-colors refracting

Barbara A Meier is really just a farm girl from Kansas who now looks at Pacific waves instead of waves of grain. She teaches Kindergarten in Gold Beach, Or. She has been published in Metonym, Birds-Highland Park Poetry, Nature Writing, Poetry Pacific, The Poeming Pigeon, and Cacti Fur. Click here to visit Barbara at her blog.

Tirol Teaching – a poem by Matthew James Friday

Tirol Teaching

Against the back drop of snow-
tipped teeth of the north Tirol,
teeth that gnaw at the eyes.

Steam vents out of a hotel chimney:
thick, greyer than snow, unfurling
a sky dragon’s tail tipping, turning,
curling with wind whispering it

fainter, wider, fainter, wilder
swirls of nothingness,
sometimes too wild, then
suddenly soft and dissipating.

All meaning of life inferred here
with the unmovable mountains
rising to continental conductors,
falling if a million years of water insists.

As I stare I know I am closer
to the steam molecules than stone,
to scattering snow than still conifers.

Matthew James Friday has had over 60 poems published in many UK and worldwide magazines and journals, including, recently: The Brasilia Review (Brazil), Dawntreader (UK), New Contrast (South Africa), Sheila Na-Gig (USA) and Poetry Salzburg (Austria). A mini-chapbook titled All the Ways to Love is forthcoming with the Origami Poems Project (USA).

Website:      http://matthewfriday.weebly.com/

Bracha – a poem by Sally Michaelson

Bracha

Blessings for first fruits,
for various creatures
for giants, for dwarves

for portents, for lightning
and thunder
are jumbling behind my lips

Blessed art thou Lord
King of the Universe
for this opportunity

to taste the chicken livers
Chavignol and croutons
that he made for me to try,

for leading me out
of kosher
to the enormity of not.

Sally Michaelson is a conference interpreter in Brussels and her poems have been published in Lighthouse and Ink, Sweat and Tears.

Lighting the Absence – a poem by M. Stone

Lighting the Absence

My belief: a cheap gold ring
passed on to me in childhood
when I couldn’t properly care for it.

The solitary stone was cloudy
as if smudged with dish soap residue.
Dented band, two broken prongs—

I surrendered it to the dirt one spring
when I planted seeds, actually did
a useful thing.

Later I saw a single electric candle
glowing in a country church window
and craved the secure weight I once felt
on my finger. The clapboard building
was deserted that Saturday afternoon,

rendering the gleam superfluous until dark,
superfluous even then on a back road
with no houses nearby.

Some nights I gaze at the sky
through a telescope lens and am stricken
by the emptiness that appears to breathe,
that threatens to devour galaxies.

I think of the void in my own chest,
a lack so profound it bears weight,
and I wish with the fervent hope of a girl
in prayer that the lone candle I glimpsed
all those years ago still burns.

M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and numerous other print and online journals. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.

Winter Solstice at Glastonbury – a poem by Rob Evans

Winter Solstice at Glastonbury

If a great bell survives the molten bedlam
of its begetting; if in the slow-cooled darkness,
it crystallises to one clear voice; if it emerges
from its sand-encrusted shell with vocal folds
uncracked then I suppose it’s natural that we
should recognise its pure enduring authority,
its right to mark our endings and beginnings,
like the one calling now from a nest of stones,
somewhere among the spires, its measured
metal song shivering the thin bones of the streets.

The bell does not know, or care that this is the null-
point of the year, the bottom dead-centre
of the wheel where everything waits for its turn,
where the light clings on to a memory of itself
like hesitant glass, forever on the edge of breaking.
This is the time that puts us to the question
and even if we do not hear it, we must choose:
to blindly trust in the brute momentum of it all,
or to make a different act of faith, a sacrifice.
Either way, our rituals are much the same:
we rise; we step into the day to gather kindling.

Rob Evans is an aerospace engineer who lives near London but who works all over the world. When not flying or working, he spends his time writing poetry and sometimes reading it to hushed and not-so-hushed audiences. He is a one-time UK All-Comers Poetry Slam Champion but has since clawed his way back to some kind of respectability.

Welcome to Amethyst Review

Welcome to Amethyst Review, a new publication for readers and writers who are interested in creative exploration of spirituality and the sacred. Readers and writers of all religions and none are most welcome.

Amethyst Review invites you to submit up to five poems (of any length) and/or prose pieces of up to 2000 words, fiction or nonfiction. Simultaneous submissions are ok as long as you notify us if a submitted piece is accepted elsewhere. No previously published work at this time please.

We ask that your work engages in some way with spirituality or the sacred. This is not  a place for proselytizing, but for thoughtful and respectful inquiry. Work submitted should be of a high literary quality, and show awareness of the context of contemporary poetry, fiction, and creative non fiction. No reviews at this time please, though this may change. Alas, there is no payment for contributors (or editors) at this time.

Please email all submissions to: Sarah dot Poet at gmail dot com with the subject head Amethyst Submission. Work should be pasted into the body of the email or attached as an MSWord doc. Include a short author bio (c. 50 words), with relevant site links if you wish.

Depending on the volume and quality of work received, the Review may publish new work weekly or more frequently. We aim to respond to all submissions within one week. As we are just getting started, first publications are planned for January 2018 onwards. Please follow Amethyst Review for regular updates.

We look forward to reading your work!