Geoffrey Heptonstall: “One for Sorrow, Two for Sorrow”

 

 

ONE FOR SORROW, TWO FOR SORROW

The bird that sings a stolen song 
leaves echoes of another sound 
from a tongue bereft of voice.
‘Pica, pica,’ the magpie cries, 
naming its nature in air.
Joytaker, heartbreaker, 
what it sees it steals 
in glistening desire, 
feathered with wildness 
to plunder the beauty of things.
The joker in a pack of lies, 
it lives on sorrow alone.

 

About the Author: Geoffrey Heptonstall is the author of a novel, Heaven’s Invention [revised paperback edition Black Wolf, 2017] and a collection of poetry, The Rites of Paradise [Cyberwit 2020].

 

Image Credit: Australian Magpie courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Tony Pena: “Birds of a Feather”

 

 

Birds of a Feather

The black birds caw
as I hobble to my Honda
CRV noir like Mister
no meniscus on the lam
from hard boiled critics
who put Clarice Starling
on my case for killing
so many of my darlings.
In my standard literary
issue of charcoal satin
shirt and dungarees,
I ask of the evening
in iambic slang,
if the crows consider
me an accomplice
to their murder
or just another
Edgar Allan wannabe.

 

 

About the Author: Tony Pena was formerly 2017-2018 Poet Laureate for the city of Beacon, New York.  His work has appeared in several publications over the years. Recently, poems have appeared in 1870, Museum of Poetry, and the Rye Whiskey Review. A volume of poetry and flash fiction, “Blood and Beats and Rock n Roll,” is available at Amazon.  A chapbook of poetry, “Opening night in Gehenna,” is available from author. Colorful compositions and caterwauling with a couple of chords can be seen at:

.
.
Image Credit: illustration from A synopsis of the birds of Australia, and the adjacent Islands. London: John Gould, 1837. Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Jonathan K. Rice: “Seagull”

IMG_20200127_122554127

 

 

Seagull

Seagull perches 
on a chaise lounge

stoic, 
pensive

overlooking ducks,
a lone coot on a small lake.

I’ve heard they’re
intelligent and long-living,

that they’ll eat 
almost anything.

They can drink saltwater,
excrete the salt

through their nostrils,
shake it from their bill.

I think of Chekhov, 
Richard Bach, Hitchcock.

Years ago I read about 
a girl who was stranded 

on a small island
with no food or fresh water.

She survived on seagulls.
Wrung their necks,

ate them raw,
drank their blood.

This seagull preens,
mournfully squawks.

Gray and white plumage
rustles in the breeze

as it gauges distance, 
spots its mate, takes off 

beyond restaurants,
dumpsters and parking lots,

flying further inland
looking for another shore.

 

 

About the Author: Jonathan K. Rice edited Iodine Poetry Journal for seventeen years. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Killing Time (2015), Ukulele and Other Poems (2006) and a chapbook, Shooting Pool with a Cellist (2003), all published by Main Street Rag Publishing. He is also a visual artist. His poetry and art have appeared in numerous publications, including Cold Mountain Review, Comstock Review, Diaphanous, Empty Mirror, Gargoyle, Inflectionist Review, Levure Litteraire, The Main Street Rag, Wild Goose Poetry Review and the anthologies, Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race and The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina.

 

More by Jonathan K. Rice

“Springmaid Pier”

“Cards”

“Stravinsky in the Shower”

 

Image Credit: Chase Dimock “The Seagull Who Stole My Taco” (2020)

Sheila Saunders: “April Visitor”

 

 

April visitor 

High water but now calm.
A gentle Irish Sea pushes in 
halted by jumbled rocks of alien limestone
holding long dead  sea-lilies and shelled creatures
marooned  here.

And  now – the first wheatear
motionless
sharp-suited in black, white
and the purest of greys

flaunting his visibility and etched lines 
just a momentary breeze 
lifting  peach breast feathers.

Rested, after flight of oceans and continents
leaving,  swift as his coming
for inland moors

to startle with ‘whee-chak’ from drystone walls,
tail flicking, never still.    

 

About the Author, Sheila Saunders: An Oxford graduate in English Language and Literature, Sheila worked on local newspapers and after marriage to fellow reporter Peter, while bringing up their three children, turned to feature and freelance writing. She has always been involved in community activities, and addicted to novels, music, art and theatre. Her poetry is especially inspired by her love of natural history, and life on the Wirral coast in Hoylake.

 

Image Credit: Page from Naturgeschichte der Vögel Mitteleuropas, courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library