Nature Walk

Drumming the moss, I listened for the sound of where the delicious mushrooms were hiding amidst the sounds of the forest’s peace. I continued to hunt for the main ingredient for dinner for another hour. The mud clung to my boots, caking thick as I walked through some of the small floods topped in parts of the woods. The blooms of colorful flowers will dot the landscape with all this rain we’ve been having. Except by the barns, the land would remain faded, considering the amounts of chemicals spread there.

I strolled home, grinning and grateful. Dinner would be yummy!

Pfifferlinge

happy memories
unearthing chanterelle
healthy lunch eaten

Recently, a great memory came to the forefront of my mind. I was visiting my father for the summer in Germany where he was stationed. It was 1974, and I was not quite 12 years old yet. The neighbor’s kids became fast friends, and many hours were spent with them camping, hiking, and generally goofing off.

One morning, I went out to the forest with the father of one of my friends. We were on a mission to gather as many Pfifferlinge as possible. That is what the Germans called them, chanterelle is what I later found out they are called here.

If I recall correctly, we spent about three hours in the woods and brought back about two buckets full. This would be enough to feed the many people waiting for them back home.

I don’t know the exact recipe but I do know they were prepared in a pan with lots of butter and eggs. And they were delicious!! The texture and the taste are so different from the ones we so frequently eat here – canned or fresh.

Shame we don’t have any forests around here. I do believe I would try mushroom hunting again. 🙂

Aishwarya Saby

Delicate leaf

delicate last leaf,
succumbs to strong gust of wind,
as a new leaf springs.

Spring Beauties

bees dance eagerly,
around vibrance of roses,
stashing up nectar,

cuckoo’s joyous song,
calls to open summer blooms,
melody’s rhythm.

Summer Relief

crows pause awhile to,
seek elixir of life, those,
endless summer days,

colours splash across,
as rainbow draws curtain to,
a much awaited spell,

orange flowers,
brighten up dull city roads,
long past summer days.

Winter’s round the corner  

as lakes fill up, seek,
refuge from winter at home,
migratory birds,

brightest star takes break,
and darkness hurries to dawn,
know winter’s around,

remnants of fire,
warming up memories from,
a cold winter night.

An Emperor’s Penance

journeys into middle of an ice-filled
landscape, guards an egg, his very own,
freezing, battling unearthly climes,
in company of his men,
journey to fatherhood,
after lady lays,
she walks away,
he stays strong,
until,
she,
comes,
and takes,
chick back to,
sea, together,
without a morsel,
until then; he braves cold,
Antarctic climes for his young,
an emperor penguin’s penance,
like no other here – year after year,
cold environs cradle warmth of father.

~~~

Aishwarya a.k.a kittysverses loves writing poetry. Her poems have been published in Spillwords, Visual Verse, and Word Weaving Journal. She blogs at kittysverses@wordpress.com. This is Aishwarya’s first feature on The Short of It.

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Heather Carr-Rowe

Stars in Our Eyes

It can be said
that all love
starts like a star
     -atoms collide-
stars in our eyes burn
until gravitational pull
puts our feet firmly on the ground
     -stars collapse-
perhaps, not all love
is like the death of a star

Dead Flowers Rise Again

from sadness,
let spring
rise from the darkness,
sprout seeds from remembrance,
that sunflowers
shall shine once more

        Beacon

          slivers of moonlight
shimmer between dancing leaves
          illuminating

    Duplicitous

moonlight masks
   dark
    aspirations

      Sky

crystal blue
      light
  everlasting

The Messenger

A mourning dove
visited me one day.
He did not coo,
much to my pleasure,
he bobbed his head
all-knowing,
walked about the garden
as we once did.

~~~

Heather Carr-Rowe is an educator and tree lover living on the prairies. In her spare time, she loves to hike, weave, embroider, and write poetry inspired by nature. You can read more of Heather’s poetry at her blog, Sgeoil. This is her first feature on The Short of It.

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Ken Gierke

Milestone

Well worn,
our path together,
though not

well-traveled.
Our destination
nowhere near

the one we chose.
Where we parted,
all that remains

is a milestone
of what once was
our life together.

Reading Between the Lines

Expression

Fine lines, creases
Framing the lips
Corners of the eyes

Within those eyes
A gleam of enthusiasm
The dull shade of weariness

Regarding those lips
The glimmer of teeth
A solemn line of doubt

Impression

A gleam in the eyes
Taken for joy
Or is it anger?

Teeth shown in anger
Or is that a hint of laughter?
The lips might say

Or is it all weariness?
The answer lies in both
Behind the mask

Shorter Still

Far from brief, the time left
when viewed in the past.
A lifetime to shape a future,
with no end in sight.

Shorter now, it seems.
The slideshow of bygone images
little more than a time-lapse,
details fewer each day.

Shorter still, ahead.
The end on the horizon,
while goals slip beyond,
their time misspent, gone.

Beneath the Waves

Nearly whispering, I say,
“Every wave that ever passed over
this shell is held inside for you to hear.”

Eyes wide, you ask, “When I get bigger,
can I dive with you and hear the shells in the water?”
And so your thirst for knowledge was born.

Yours is now a world of numbers,
but you have known wizards and knights,
poetry and prose, music and art.

And, from time to time,
you still hear the waves
washing over that shell.

In the Dark

What transpires in a week? In a month?
You show a different face, revealing more, yet less.

There is a cloud hanging over you. Below,
around you. Are there secrets you would share

under different circumstances? The greater the light,
the less I know of you. Are you more open to another,

while I am left in the dark? You make no promise
I’ll see you this evening. We play this game,

you keeping your distance as I try to read you, each day
the window ever smaller, till you fade from sight, again.

Passing Madness

There’s a madness to it
this rush to color

From a blanket of green
to red
yellow

blazing orange

and, finally,
to brown

We are seasoned in this experience

And so we wait
for the return of green

Until, once again,
the madness of color
that marks the passing of the seasons

Path to Winter

golden leaves
warm light on cold day
honeyed tea

maple leaf
on path to winter
will not wait

fallen leaves
carried by river
memories

bare branches
seen in fading light
shorter days

single leaf
clinging stubbornly
winter wind

~~~

Ken Gierke has been published in The Short of It, Vita Brevis Press, Silver Birch Press, and Amethyst Review, as well as in The Moons of Autumn from Word Weaving and easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles, from D Ellis Phelps.  His poetry blog: https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/ Ken also had pieces selected for the first anthology – The Sound of Brilliance.

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Katey Sutherland

Bloomin Awake 

With each passing minute
I unfurl and greet the day.
I am here.
Blessings as I expose myself fully.
My open stature beckons examination
As the beauty within is revealed.

Loves Me/Loves Me Not 

Oh, ox-eye daisy! Tell me of fortune today!
With sorrow, I destroy your beauty revealing my fate.
Forgive me.
But I must know – does he love me?

In Netherland 

From the buried bulbs
Appear dizzying rainbow fields
Happy recipient

~~~

Poetry and nature are the only things that make sense for Katey. This is Katey Sutherland’s first feature on The Short of It.

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Lisa Tomey

Memories Sweet Taste

Taste the memories
Harvests after sweat and spade
Earth has its own soul

This Thing About Trees

leaves tangle in her hair
from aging trees
roots locked
in shared vibrations

spring brings growth
rings stretch the girth
age is crowned with colors
changing in time

sangria scented lips
tease in her shade
youth finds folly
yet, the wisdom
of the sage
overseer
prevails

there is no way for youth
to escape the elder court
its shadows and arms
hold all there is to know
about the beating
of the drum
of the heart

There Was A Night in Raleigh

Twinkling little lights
captured my attention
stars about the night

A celebration
clinking glasses
over charcuterie

I walked to the window
once formalities are done
I gaze downward

My eyes are drawn
to the thrift shop
on the corner

Bright lights spill
to the sidewalk
an elder struts his girth

Another day of gratitude
to make a scuff and repast
to take the flavors in

And we haven’t had dessert
but the man wrapped
in the blue blanket
sleeping on the bench
warmed to a cotton-filled dream
which was just enough to forget
the planets did not align
for him or his kind

Sprinkle, twinkle
make a fire in the barrel
warm the hearts
of humanity

Dessert is best served
to those who deserve
the sweetness
let him have mine

An Uncertain Life

he cuts through the night
with the sharpest knife he finds
from his busy mind

fast pacing his life
he stumbled over leaf piles
not noting the signs

waiting for the train
a kitten rubs against him
he shoos her away

coffee and bagel
riding the speed track subway
ready to get off

panhandler plays harp
he calls his job to check-in
stops dead in his tracks

what he heard is how
this day ends all his ventures
now he’s on his own

he sits on a bench
full of angst stares at his cell
not sure what to do

he stands up and looks
at all that surrounds him now
could he be the man

with harmonica
maybe the bagel schmear guy
how about those leaves

blowing, floating, gone
they’re no longer in his path
lost at the turning

~~~

Lisa Tomey is a poet, writer, & publisher from Raleigh, NC. She is an editor for Fine Lines and manager of the poetry circle of the Garden of Neuro Institute. Follow her on ProlificPulse.blog & ProlificPulse.com. Lisa was featured twice on The Short of It – May 2020 and October 2020. Her piece, Silence, featured in the first anthology – The Sound of Brilliance, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

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Reblogs – Murray Robertson & Frank J. Tassone

Seasons change, nature matures, and life continues leaving behind memories for us to recall and reflections raising concern.

Colchicum by Murray Robertson

autumn, in our 
garden is still 
a lively place 
 
things change 
as the light 
begins to fail 
 
while now, 
honey bees, 
are back 
 
and colchicum 
suddenly comes up 
(we had forgotten)  
 
from distant fires 
imported smoke 
has come again 
 
fueled by  
dry things,  
untended 
 
by some who 
do not care. 
our world burns up 
 
they think it 
is their world. 
but i don’t care 
 
whose name 
is on their deed. 
(their smoke is ours) 

il mio villaggio by Frank J. Tassone

Montebello 
a maple-lined street leading 
to the mountains 
I still listen for echoes 
of our children playing