New Eyes

They burst forth like tossed grey confetti

as I pass, only to resettle not far away.

At first glance a nondescript flock of insignificance.

Until I raise my gaze and focus my binoculars

to hone in on an individual bird’s face

I see no longer a blur

but something unique and worthy of notice.

As the morning light begins to filter,

an aria of birdsong comes from the depths of the still dark tree,

a song so fresh, so sincere, it never fails to bring a smile.

And yet, when the bird emerges,

not in colorful plumage gilded in gold, as the notes of its song would indicate,

but in feathers of pale beige,

its bright yellow eye its only color distinction.

If we look past, what on the surface seems obvious,

we can learn a great deal about assumption from birds.

By Lisbeth Lutz


When I rise up

Let me rise joyfully

like a bird.

When I fail

Let me fall without

regret —

Like a leaf.

By Cleo Ann Harrington


Set me down in Silver Queen

out Mojave way,

or let’s go out to Red Cloud

it only takes a day.

Then we’ll hit Dry Water

and quench our rugged thirst

for our joy in the desert,

our joy in the earth.

By Mary DeSmidt

Give me a book

Give me a book to read

a challenging one

an interesting one

Give me a book to read

My favorites are mysteries

and exciting stories

No simple stuff for me

Just give me a book to read

that is challenging

I like to read exciting stuff

to make me want to read more

I like exciting stories

I'm a reader

I hope one day to be a writer

That is what I want to be

a writer yes Siree

By George Riek


Sleepy Bye, my baby

Sleepy Bye, my dear

Dream on of wondrous journeys

Mama’s always here.

Climb up on a rainbow

And for awhile stay

Gather brilliant colors

In an exquisite bouquet.

Frolic through the heavens

Swing on every bright sun ray

Hitch a ride on angel wings

Across the Milky Way.

Bounce on changing cloud shapes

Ride upon a shooting star

Hear the thunder clapping

Lightning flashing from afar.

Slide down on a moonbeam

Sprinkle stardust as you go

Catch a glistening dewdrop

Dancing to and fro.

Dream on about your journey

Through life’s most wondrous space

All this is yours if you but trust

You can be any place.

Sleepy bye, my baby

Sleepy bye, my dear

Dream on of wondrous journeys

Mama’s always here.

By Ruth McDermott

Law of heavenly Progression

From birth to now

the body’s been heading


the big eight nine

how would the body have known

where it was headed?

there were times

a dream or two

a click of bone; a dig of pain

maybe even secret whispers

at the pool: “listen, dude


just hit the magic number:

time to celebrate

It’s the golden rule:

You hit 89

and you’re on the road

to making big news.

You dig?”

By VA Levine


You thought I was cool and aloof

Thinking only of myself

Smoothing my beautiful fur


Haven't you noticed

How I stare at you

All the time?

I watch your every move

I size up your every mood


I am the purrrrr-fect companion

Oh, and because

I require your

Purrrr-fect devotion.

By Corky Simpson

Planning for the Picnic

If I were to write about death,

Death would be laughing –

not derisively but joyfully, glad to see

another beloved standing naked

on the thin ice of eternity. Death

would point excitedly at brightly colored fish

looping about beneath the ice – some

with gaudy stripes, others braced with polka dots.

If I were to write about death,

Death would twist off into the dark

across the slick ice, a nimble dancer

bounding above the fishes to a far horizon

alive with pink flamingos, cobalt parrots

and black-capped chickadees

who might as easily sing symphonies

but instead hum preludes and lullabies.

If I were to write about death,

Death would leap above the paraphrase

come down hard on commas left behind

wave its antennae in tiny circles, use its teeth

to chew chains of linkage between here and there

showing the Naked and the Dead

the strength of what is left behind.

By Tia Ballantine


These end days are over-much, are they not?

We rise with the sun full of hope.

Then we hear something.

Or we perceive a dissension.

Or we are made confused by the denial of our becoming.

Or we become alarmed by the singularity of our interpretations.

Or we learn someone has gone.

We see and observe all these things.

We read and combine unknowns into

a new known of our own construction,

which is much like a child’s fort of snow

only to melt in the sun of tomorrow.

We see the vast sky of history.

And out of the corners of our eyes

we catch glimpses of vectors

recognized in retrospect as causes of effects.

Thinking of these things, we enter the water

and study the dappled light and shadow dancing there.

This is the current of sorrow —

Over what has been lost,

what we are in the process of losing,

what we see dissolving before us.

Love and commonality become as scattered stars.

Hope for the children becomes fear for them.

The tears that ride so close on the surface

fall freely as we swim.

We see them sink and swirl

with the shimmer of light until only in shadow.

A light that if it were a sound would be a whisper’s echo.

Yet we swim on. We swim on.

In the dappled light, now more in shadow.

Yet more in sweet, deep joy, though in shadow.

Still, never have the days been more loved than these.

By Syl Rex