Without fox


Red fox
in an overgrown field

chased
by two dogs

onto a highway
into a car;

the fox hit
hard on the road.

Edged by mountains
capped in snow

fox rolls
under the chassis

dead.

The dogs linger,
circle death;

the road
quiet,

shadowed by clouds.

Tails down,
the dogs turn away,

back to the field,
without fox.

Ion Corcos



What’s past

The call came from a cousin in Minneapolis.
Uncle Ben had died.
So Tom flew from St Louis, rented a car
and a room at the Holiday Inn.

The funeral itself drew a great blank of tears,
made him aware of how little he knew the man.
The priest talked of God and the afterlife,
concepts as vague and unknowable
as the lives of everyone else at the funeral.
A few tears, a brief hug, revealed nothing.

Tom left for home feeling as if not just an uncle had died
but also everyone he ever knew
in the old days in Minneapolis.

He continued to mourn on the flight home.
Mostly for himself.
And then, in the sixth hour
since he'd booked out of that motel,
caught a flight home,
and with the Gateway Arch in sight
through the airplane window,
Tom rose from the dead.

John Grey



Ritual

Breakfast – cooking eggs.
Sleepy eyed, an attack of the
mundane yawns. Burnt toast!

Where did the paper go? The cat
looks up and meows. Misplaced
glasses, jangling keys, same
crossword puzzles everyday.

Open the window to let the
world in. Outside, a butterfly
visits a coneflower. Inside,
the coffee maker burps.

Time to shake off the morning
and step into the day. Same
routine week after week after week.
Breakfast – cooking eggs...

Ann Christine Tabaka



Traveller

The blue of a stone,
like the cobalt stoplight inside the bus
when I was young,
the ceiling of the Greek church in Rose Bay,
the green sea.
The stone is not heavy;
its blue always shifting like the sky.
Nothing is permanent.
When I was young I thought red
was my favourite colour, but I was never sure;
I didn’t know how to choose,
what I would say about myself
when asked who I was. Now, I say
I don’t have keys anymore.

Ion Corcos

Sting of a Snowflake


The old barn moans and groans
as bones creak on this coolish day.
Stepping outside into fields of corn
now cut leaving an apocalyptic view.
I watched the winds conspire with
shafts of wheat tickling the sunset.
From a dark cloud drifting above,
a lone snowflake floats down and
stings the tip of my cold red nose.
I'm feeling a tinge of winter as the
warm summer dreams disappear,
replaced by frosty car windshields,
bare feet on cold floors each morning.
Twilight time chases the light away
near the dead crab apple trees on
the old farm where I once roamed.

Ken Allan Dronsfield



Garden Snails

little girl hands outstretched
bare feet stuck on damp stone
smelling
rain fresh on red brick

the ivy they planted twelve years ago has grown over the garden walls
it curls like her ringlets

five minutes ago she plucked a hundred snails
from the trellis
suckered them to her body
some tiny
some fat and leaking
now the corner of her mouth grows a metallic smile

she swaggers forward one step
two
(thighs apart so as not knock the shells)
arms outstretched
to her mother

Ruby Lawrence



Mothers in the Plaza

It was during the Dirty Wars that the mothers of Buenos Aires
congregated.
The madres came to the plaza with old photos and newly-rendered
silhouettes
of their children, of their grandchildren, of the disappeared taken in
the night
or in the brazen light of day.
After they could no longer ignore so many women,
the media said they were not good patriots.
Anti-nationalists.
The women had no lawyers to defend them.
In the city the madres of Buenos Aires resisted.
They came to the plaza while the government censored the press
and the press censored itself.
The papers carried no word of the horrors of the terrible regime,
and its attacks against citizens,
but the mothers gave the police all their papers to confuse them.
So many identity documents it looked like it had snowed in the
policemen's hands.
Blizzards always cause chaos.
They shaped the papers into talismans of unity.
Linking arms, all the women became one.
During the World Cup when all the world was watching
those brave mothers of Buenos Aires rebelled.
They came to the plaza wearing their triangular shawls -
the sumptuary spirits of their missing children
who would never play soccer again.
They would never play with their own children,
who had been stolen and sold for adoption by collaborators in secret
detention centers.
Tear gas burnt the women's eyes.
They blinked through these tears as they had so many tears of sorrow.
In solidarity, some women wept and offered others bicarbonate as a
salve.
During the March and the Falkland's War the madres of Buenos Aires
persisted.
They came to the plaza where they marched for the absent, the gone.
Each Thursday there were arrests.
The mothers demanded to be taken together in so many police vans.
They prayed and made the sign of the cross,
warding off the evil deeds of those who claimed they respected
religion
but who had unjustly murdered so many
staining the country with blood.

Ray Ball