A New Awareness in This Time of Uncertainty

by Jim G. Piatt

Early in the morning, an apricot mist emerged spreading
like a translucent tsunami down mountains to the West. It
covered meadows, flowed through pine and sycamore trees,
and huge leaves like hands caressed fleeting time. As I
looked through the library window, the sun’s beams
sneaked through gaps in shadowy clouds; the light
transformed the darkness and brought forth new insights.
The downy sparrows’ chattering in the Pink Lady bushes
became bits of chirping calmness. I stood in wonderment as
I mused about how a new view of life was emerging in my
mind. Simple things were becoming of intense importance:
green tea in the afternoon on the front porch, the wafting of
the aroma of newly baked cookies resting on a pink Spode
dish, an eleven o’clock hour spent with my wife talking of
simple things, and contemplating about the preciousness of
our time together. A priceless newness to simple daily
visions became vividly apparent; the greenness of the grass
after a brief rain, tiny scarlet buds appearing on roses in the
herb garden, our old cat rolling in the soft dark loam, our
pup running and barking at people walking on the road near
our house, the sight of tiers of old oak wood under a huge
rose bush with white blossoms sending their sweet aroma
into the yard, and even an old wheelbarrow filled with
small limbs and twigs gathered to start an evening fire, all
different, beautiful, necessary, and critical now… in this
time of uncertainty.



James G. Piatt, a retired professor and octogenarian, is a Best of Web nominee and three-time Pushcart nominee. He has had four books of poetry: Solace Between the Lines, Light, Ancient Rhythms, and The Silent Pond, as well 35 short stories, five novels, and 1,500 poems published worldwide. He earned his B.S. and M.A. from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and his doctorate from Brigham Young University. Kim McNealy Sosin is an Emerita Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her post-retirement interests include writing and photography. Her poems and photographs have appeared in Fine Lines, Failed Haiku, Daily Haiga, Voices from the Plains, Landscape Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, Wanderlust Journal, Ekphrastic Review, Global Poemic, and Sandcutters.

Fragments

by Janet McMillan Rives


Bits, pieces, scraps

            strewn everywhere

no order        no continuity

no plan                no desire

            to look forward

and me too shredded

                        not whole at all

parts of me here

            other parts there        a thought

not worth thinking

            an idea        going nowhere.

Tomorrow.      

            I’ll pick up the pieces

                       tomorrow.                



Janet McMillan Rives resides in Tucson, Arizona. Her poetry has appeared such journals as Lyrical Iowa, Raw Art Review, Ekphrastic Review, Heirlock, Sandcutters, The Blue Guitar, and Fine Lines. Herchapbook, Into This Sea of Green: Poems from the Prairie, was published in 2020. Kim McNealy Sosin is an Emerita Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her post-retirement interests include writing and photography. Her poems and photographs have appeared in Fine Lines, Failed Haiku, Daily Haiga, Voices from the Plains, Landscape Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, Wanderlust Journal, Ekphrastic Review, Global Poemic, and Sandcutters.

Sheltering in Place

by Beth Copeland


On the eleventh month of the pandemic,
         I wake up and think, I’m tired

of seeing the same view from my window every day.
          The mountain is beautiful,

transformed by the sun’s slant, the density of fog
         or clouds, and ever-changing

weather, but it never moves. It’s always here,
         rooted in bedrock,

and sometimes I wish I could see waves with gulls
          wheeling overhead

and watch the ocean change from turquoise
          to green to oyster gray.

If I could feel the salt wind on my face! If I could go
          anywhere—even the desert —there’s

beauty in the shifting sands and painted rocks
         of arid landscapes.

Even to be in a city—trains, cars, buses, and people
          rushing to get to work

with kinetic energy! Is being a woman who wants
          too much like being

a mountain that doesn’t budge? To be a body of water
         instead of earth. A body of air.

When you’re always there like Polaris, people take you
         for granted as I sometimes

take this mountain for granted and long to go
          somewhere else—not to stay

but for a dalliance or brief affair—knowing
          the mountain is mine

and will be here when I return, unmoving, moored.
          My shelter, my shrine.



Beth Copeland is the author of three full-length poetry books: Blue Honey, recipient of the 2017 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize; Transcendental Telemarketer; and Traveling through Glass, recipient of the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. She owns and operates Tiny Cabin, Big Ideas™, a residency for writers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Kim McNealy Sosin is an Emerita Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her post-retirement interests include writing and photography. Her poems and photographs have appeared in Fine Lines, Failed Haiku, Daily Haiga, Voices from the Plains, Landscape Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, Wanderlust Journal, Ekphrastic Review, Global Poemic, and Sandcutters.

Stay in the Moment

by Kim McNealy Sosin


In the sculpture gardens,
            Musée Rodin in Paris,
            amongst the Burghers,
            an ancient moment
            in Paris and Calais.
Sprawled in my chair,
not there,
             yet there.
I cradle my book.

Noon and too dark out
All molecules of air stalled,
             cold, damp.
A typical November
on the Great Plains.

Stay in the moment
ubiquitous advice.
I consider this moment,
clutch my book.

            So here I am, in Paris again,
            springtime, late June,
            wandering, admiring,
            page after page.
            The Thinker,The Kiss.

I could be anywhere,
Iceland, Timbuktu,
African photo safari,
            not this place.
In any moment
            not this moment,
of raging pandemic.



Kim McNealy Sosin is an Emerita Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska Omaha.  Her post-retirement interests include writing and photography. Her poems and photographs have appeared in Fine Lines, Failed Haiku, Daily Haiga, Voices from the Plains, Landscape Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, Wanderlust Journal, Ekphrastic Review, and Sandcutters. The artwork that accompanies her poem is her own. It depicts Rodin’s Burghers of Calais.