2014 Autumn Issue



rocklady ~ smith

Wood Smoke in Chill Air

The cusp of the crisp
Leaves dry fallen crinkle
Beneath bicycle wheel

~ smith

Untitled Note

On the front porch
Thinking about
Molly, Mary & Marley…
“is this love
is this love that i’m feelin’?”

Fantasing about smoking
My last two cigarettes
While i punch these keys in.

& quill them.


Quietly reveal them.

It’s 6:03 in the morning.

The Golden Arches
Across the street
Light up thru the
Draping American Flag
Waving incessant.

This Present
praying The curse
out of my gift
Without cursing it out
Under breath
Between lips.

Smoke exits.

& i shall enter
My shell
Like A turtle
& when i return
I will be turquoise
Gold & Purple.

By choice.
My voice
A ruddy merlot.

~ MaxWell Shell

Pond Wisdom

I am thankful for this afternoon’s sun
It is warm and clear but not oppressive
like the heat of August.
September has turned into a healing month
but it is taking time to find this new groove.
Sitting by the pond in the shade of a pin oak reading
I see painted turtles basking in the sun.
They have lined themselves up on the half-sunken logs
a procession of a dozen or so sleek black shells reflecting
in the water.
Any movement I make and they quickly bolt.
If I remain still, one by one they resurface
and retake their respective places in the scheme of things.
I forget a lot of things in life are like that.
Precious things, often simple things, come into view
when we finally sit still, observe and listen.
And finally today I do just that.

~ c.m. brooks 2014