The Vernal Equinox

Each quarter-turn carries an invitation.
Spring’s on-again, off-again wind calls for séance, 
candlesticks and musky incense, perhaps sage. 

My mug of coffee cools fast. I do not fight
in-between-ness, transience set in scarcity.
No angels, fireworks, zombies or astronomers’

star stampedes. The clay pots hold slime browns
of marigolds and geraniums that bloomed
last August. The glass table for al fresco July

dining is spread in algae scum. Alder catkins
clog the birdbath. A one-inch Japanese maple
sprouts from the pot that once waved gold feather grass. 

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Flight

Now all I hear is my own hum so turn again to the window where a broken line of parked cars dots the whitening sidewalk, as the sun englobes the street in crisp detail and vivifies the skeletal oaks that scratch against the sky, implying the chimes of birds about to arrive. I lean against my window, note the dust motes pillowed on the glass like a moleculed yawn, so grab a rag and spot, on the ledge, two piebald pigeons strutting and pulsing back and forth as they peck along the sill in sync.

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small hands

We were frozen stumbling and bumbling your hand on my thigh my leg on yours holding tight as we hurled down that hillside on a rustic red slide not knowing we would have this moment to savor for so many walks to come before full time work and grad school one, two, then three bundles of infinite intensity.

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Spring

Spring Laying in the long grass I am on the frontier! Thumbing my way Through the old growth forest On the banks of the Allagash The whisper of the wind Feels like an ocean I spot a cloud shaped Like the old homestead I am lost In the North Country Swarmed in a psychosis of […]

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St. Oswald’s Day

St. Oswald’s Day Buying a ticket to ride the first ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge, the ticket seller’s window sign screams: “Leap Day!” I ask her. Then latte makers, the cigar-smoking pug walker, and the policeman with a bomb-sniffing beagle: “What is Leap Day to you? A holiday for card makers?” “If your birthday is […]

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Nature is Calling

Nature is Calling Grass of mysterious light, Do you become dry from lack of love? Nature has this bearing on all of us, Take out a white paper. Draw the red cardinal bird Singing wet songs for your neighbors. Purple lilacs left a trace of dry dirt But for once They were alive with love […]

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Naming of Parts

Naming of Parts After Henry Reed Spring eased the almond blossoms open and promises of cherries while we named parts left over from winter. Collusion. Taking away, reducing, throwing in the trash legal widgets that keep the water pure, air open to the cherry’s pollen flight. We named parts with words round to our tongues, […]

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Welcome News

Cliff Saunders has an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Arizona. His poems have appeared recently in The Wayne Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, Wilderness House Literary Review, Pinyon, San Pedro River Review, North of Oxford, and RipRap Literary Journal. He lives in Myrtle Beach, where he serves as co-coordinator of The Litchfield Tea […]

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