It is still, now
The winds have exhaled with the tide, and the afternoon.
Here the fields draw in the winter dusk,
drain the westerly plum- juice streaks
greying the pink and yellow
in slow minutes.
It is still.
No chatter or shriek from the magpies
dumb on black poplars’ broom-like branches
or aimlessly flopping over sodden grass
A near silence
wraps the watcher in comfort,
not hearing the air breathing,
nor a leaf slip’s infinitesimal whisper,
is still, too.
About the Author: Sheila graduated from St Anne’s College, Oxford, with a degree in English Language and Literature, and since then worked as a reporter on local weekly and daily newspapers in Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Buckinghamshire. After marriage to another journalist in 1961, Sheila brought up three children and continued to write as a freelance, and became involved in community organisations in Wirral, and voluntary work with special needs young people. She has always loved theatre, music and art, but it is her observation and fascination with her natural surroundings, including the wildlife of the coast, that has inspired most of her poetry.
More by Sheila Saunders:
Image Credit: Image from, The birds of Australia. London, Printed by R. and J. E. Taylor; pub. by the author,-48. Image courtesy of The Biodiversity Heritage Library (Public Domain)
Dear As It Ought To Be Readers,
Despite everything 2020 threw at us, AIOTB Magazine was fortunate to receive so many brilliant poems, essays, interviews, and book reviews from writers around the world. Below, I have assembled the 50 most popular posts of the year based on the amount of hits they received. I know that few people will look back at 2020 with fondness, but maybe reviewing these posts from the year is a reminder of the resilience people have to continue to create in a crisis, and to channel the anxiety of the world into writing that connects us.
AIOTB Magazine was perhaps the only constant I had in 2020 that began and ended the year exactly the same, and completely intact. I have all of you contributors and readers to thank for that. Thanks for keeping me sane and connected to a community of writers when I most needed stability, creativity, and human connection in my life.
I have no idea what 2021 will look like, but if you keep reading and supporting each other’s work, you’ll at least have three new pieces a week on AIOTB Magazine to count on.
Ajah Henry Ekene:
Jennifer R. Lloyd:
THE NU PROFIT$ OF P/O/E/T/I/C DI$CHORD:
Leslie M. Rupracht:
Delora Sales Simbajon:
William Taylor Jr.:
Brian Chander Wiora:
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
And now – the first wheatear
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