It’s possible to see them
if you lean out the window
and hold your glass just so,
but even then, they remain
wrapped in fog
that billows from the sea,
so what you perceive,
if you see anything at all,
might be a shade of a shade,
a little movement at the edge
of darkness, a streetlight
reflected against icy trees.
Steve Klepetar has spent the pandemic pretending to study calculus and preparing to try out for the Olympic Reading Team.
William Cullen Jr.
A still frog is staring
at the vanishing point
where a fly disappears
only to turn up again
in the watercolor.
William Cullen Jr., a veteran who works in social services in New York City, has recently had his poetry appear in Frogpond, Halfway Down the Stairs and Modern Haiku.
Giant radio telescopes restlessly
scan the cosmos, but I’m in no rush,
living someplace so Zen it doesn’t
have a doctor or a police department
or even anyone on standby to plow
the roads in winter or fix the potholes
in spring, only worn-down mountains
and gray trees and the sad beauty of old
dilapidated things everywhere you look.
Howie Good plays the ukulele pretty well and the guitar pretty bad.
I don’t know
to get away
Scott Metz is the author of lakes & now wolves (Modern Haiku Press, 2012), editor of is/let, and coeditor of numerous anthologies for Modern Haiku Press.
I run out, expecting to douse myself
in clear, soft air but nature cannot be
so easily persuaded, she’s too wounded
for my small desires—choked by sickly
smoke, she is raging wild now and I forgive
her for everything that will happen to us.
Maggie Doyle is a writer and digital content designer currently working on a collection of poems about her river walks during the pandemic that chart the emotional tributaries of life in lockdown. @poemsforyoubyme.
Image by Maggie’s son, Brendan Doyle.
Your hair as usual is
untethered / freewheeling / fearless
and whispers into the water
as it sinks beyond the surface of the sea
and summons luminescent eels
to swim circles around
your generous and tenacious body,
and on my end it’s Christmas morning
and I’m alone in a log cabin
and I’ve stuffed my stocking
with the delusion of control,
like making the bed
three hundred times a day
like I’m running a love hotel for ghosts,
or like going to Vegas
and betting a million dollars
that Hawaii will still be there tomorrow.
Ben Kassoy (he/him) is a payphone that rings.
At the edge of sight,
through a small window,
I see a few faint lights
in a town I know
I will never visit,
so I keep watching
as darkness closes over
one light and then another,
until the town is fast asleep
and the train whistle sounds
and the carriage heaves
back into the night.
Robert Witmer, a longtime resident of Japan, is an emeritus professor and poet, who combines a love of family and verse with a passion for petanque and the great outdoors.
My Father Names the Plants
As we stroll the edges of his property,
my father points along the tree line
and names the different plants—
bald cypress, red maple, pink lantern—
but in that moment, he’s not
recalling them from memory:
He’s bestowing the names upon them,
creating them for me.
Scott Hughes has three books available at www.writescott.com.