Tag Archives: love of nature nature of love month

On the English Riviera by Karen Kelsay


We step across the green onto the promenade

and watch a sloop transition past the harbor of Torquay.

It’s late afternoon. Beside me, a German woman

chatters about retirement. Her husband sleeps

in a hired deck chair, his yellow canvas hat

slanted across his face. Beside a long line of beach huts,

a mother rummages through her bag for coins

and sends her daughter to the ice cream stand.

I trace my finger over your skin, feeling

a raised line between the wrist and thumb—

the lonely brief of your own fast-track, wheelwright

ridden past. Its faint glossiness has tattooed

you with your former self, a thin scar from

your racing days. We marvel at the lack

of waves and watch the sun wedge purple shadows

between rows of white Victorians

near the strand. Strange trees line the walk

as easterly winds chicane through their fronds.

They remind me of old people, the trees: minds rustling

over a sea of yesterdays, hands fluttering at foreigners

on the English Riviera—each with a story

ridged along their quaint English palms.


Karen Kelsay is always welcome to play in our sandbox. A brief bio can be found here, and more of her work published on WIZ can be found here. Her White Violet Press is also worth a look.

Meadow Talk by Sarah Dunster

Wade BrightPurpleFlower via Wikimedia Commons

There is no better talk


thoughts shared in violet hollows

where not so much praise as scent

not so much words as velvet—

soft petals on our faces—

speak our language.

So, love, make plain


you might wish in digging out

green hills for four-leaved omens

we might taste in stems of waiting clover

and I might see in hollows of your

throat, your lips, your eyes.


Sarah Dunster contributes regularly to WIZ as a writer and a reader. Her wide-eyed wonder at the world and at words embodies the spirit of LONNOL month. She has published in Dialogue and Fire in the Pasture. For more, go here.

By the Wayside by Ashley Suzanne Musick

de/ex macchina British Columbia 2007--Jonathon Penny

A baby blue bowl, overturned,

Sums it up somehow:

Trees march up the hills,

Casting a green cape across the soil.

A gray ribbon winds between the mounds of earth

As cars—bright, boldsome gems—speed along the path,

Glinting brilliantly in the sunbeams,

Rushing from one place to another,

Thoughtless of the beauty surrounding them.


Ashley Suzanne Musick was born in Fountain Valley, California, on February 26th, 1989, and raised and homeschooled in Anaheim. In 2010, she moved to southwest Kern County, where she lives and works on a farm and writes in her spare time.

Old Lovers by Gail White

"It's all about love" by Candida.Performa via Wikimedia Commons

Old lovers sleep in double beds

(They do not need much space to sleep).

With curve of arm and bend of leg,

They shape themselves for dreaming deep.

Old lovers feel each other’s breath

As ships in harbor feel the tide:

A subtle current underneath

That pulls them to each other’s side.

Old lovers know their lover’s touch:

Even in sleep, the warmth is there

Lifting the mind’s unconscious latch,

Bridging the intervening air.

Old lovers wake in double beds

(Narrow, but with room for two)

And kiss with white and nodding heads,

Ready to see the white hairs through.


Gail White has edited three anthologies (including The Muse Strikes Back) and published 3 books of poetry, the latest being The Accidental Cynic. Her new chapbook, Sonnets in a Hostile World, is available from Amazon. She writes her poems on the banks of Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Author’s note: In a love letter to Sarah Teasdale, Vachel Lindsay writes, “If we do as well at the age of sober old folks as our sober old folks, we will do as well as mortal clay can expect.  We must see the gray hairs through.  It is all a part of the game, and we must not refuse the game because it will not be all the first day of spring.” (Qtd. Margaret Haley Carpenter, Sara Teasdale: A Biography. Schulte Publishing, 1960, p. 206.)

Epithalamion* by Gerard Manley Hopkins (and friend)

Danced and dandled Cascata delle Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

HARK, hearer, hear what I do; lend a thought now, make believe

We are leafwhelmed somewhere with the hood

Of some branchy bunchy bushybowered wood,

Southern dene or Lancashire clough or Devon cleave,

That leans along the loins of hills, where a candycoloured, where a gluegold-brown

Marbled river, boisterously beautiful, between

Roots and rocks is danced and dandled, all in froth and waterblowballs, down.

We are there, when we hear a shout

That the hanging honeysuck, the dogeared hazels in the cover

Makes dither, makes hover

And the riot of a rout

Of, it must be, boys from the town

Bathing: it is summer’s sovereign good.

Leafwhelmed but Unseen Cascata dell Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

By there comes a listless stranger: beckoned by the noise

He drops towards the river: unseen

Sees the bevy of them, how the boys

With dare and with downdolphinry and bellbright bodies huddling out,

Are earthworld, airworld, waterworld thorough hurled, all by turn and turn about.

Sweetest, freshest, shadowiest Cascata delle Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

This garland of their gambols flashes in his breast

Into such a sudden zest

Of summertime joys

That he hies to a pool neighbouring; sees it is the best

There; sweetest, freshest, shadowiest;

Fairyland; silk-beech, scrolled ash, packed sycamore, wild wychelm,

hornbeam fretty overstood

By. Rafts and rafts of flake-leaves light, dealt so, painted on the air,

Hang as still as hawk or hawkmoth, as the stars or as the angels there,

Like the thing that never knew the earth, never off roots

Rose. Here he feasts: lovely all is! No more: off with—down he dings

His bleachèd both and woolwoven wear:

Careless these in coloured wisp

All lie tumbled-to; then with loop-locks

Forward falling, forehead frowning, lips crisp

Over finger-teasing task, his twiny boots

Fast he opens, last he offwrings

Till walk the world he can with bare his feet

And come where lies a coffer, burly all of blocks

Built of chancequarrièd, selfquainèd rocks

And the water warbles over into, filleted with glassy grassy quicksilver shivès and shoots

And with heavenfallen freshness down from moorland still brims,

Dark or daylight on and on. Here he will then, here he will the fleet

Flinty kindcold element let break across his limbs

Long. Where we leave him, froliclavish while he looks about him, laughs, swims.

Enough now; since the sacred matter that I mean

I should be wronging longer leaving it to float

Upon this only gambolling and echoing-of-earth note—

What is … the delightful dene?

Wedlock. What the water? Spousal love.

And who the gamboled groom? Kingfish Christ-our-Saviour

Or his son. Who the gangway, brindled, bridling bride to shear the very sheep of him?

Church and churchgoing churchcoming churchliving churchloving

Christkeeping. Who, indeed, the latecome, lightshorn, grinning, gaming guests?

We. Us. Poor. Oh!

After the Wedding Cascata dell Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

Father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends

Into fairy trees, wild flowers, wood ferns

Rankèd round the bower leap! assemble! and withdraw the veiling world

And witness there the sunblonde, brightburned waking

And the wedding of the Word: wellspoken, wild, child, grown

Aggrieved, grieved, and greeted

Gastly, good.


*A fragment posthumously published in Hopkins, Gerard Manley. Poems. Ed. Robert Bridges. London: Humphrey Milford, 1918. The complete text can be found here.

Note: Italicized words are Jonathon Penny’s. The poem ends, originally, thus:

Wedlock. What the water? Spousal love.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends

Into fairy trees, wild flowers, wood ferns

Rankèd round the bower

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


Singing the Sacred by Lou Davies James


Cayuga Lake’s asleep again,
ice-locked at her edges.
Dressed once more
in shreds of white,
organza, wispy curls
across her skin-
beauty lying deeper
than her dreams.

Denise and I would skate
when we were girls,
flying toward each other
till we met and locking hands
would spin in dizzy circles,
laughter pealing bright
in frigid air;

innocent of life to come
and choices made,
of sorrow bearing arms
against the days
that rush ahead
with thawed intent-
the seasons spinning too.

Will you hold me
in your arms
as winter turns,
as icy stages thin
then melt away?

Singing to the Sacred,
the mocking bird
as Easter comes-
in the flowering pear
whose leaves are just now
loosening on the bough.


Lou Davies James grew up on the beaches of Eastern Long Island and currently lives in North East Florida with her husband Wes and far too many cats. She is the author of one full length volume of poetry, Adrift in the Holy, and two chapbooks; Drawn as Ever and Internal Insomnia. She has most recently been published in Victorian Violet Press.

Lines for an Anniversary by Judith Curtis

night hawk (2) by Margarethe Brummermann

Come, take my hand and we will walk
through silver night luminous with light
from moon and city

There a shadowy nighthawk
shivers by and veers
away from sight.

We will talk of common things,
of tasks and children, as we have
these thirty years and more.

Inca doves moan themselves to sleep
in citrus soaked air;
a widow scurries back against the wall;
her shimmering web reflects
an ominous glow.

When love first touched our hearts,
it touched our tongues;
days passing in a clutter of words.

Now, mundane conversation conveys
a silent language, ours alone,
explains a touch, a glance, a smile

and we acknowledge with this secret speech
the fused flesh and mind
we have become.

A rabbit flushes white against the prickly pear.
Overhead, high on that wooden pole,
see, it is the outline of an owl.


Judith has been a Master Gardner and a volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix for twenty years. She loves the desert and often writes about it in her poetry. She has degrees from BYU, Boston University and a Creative Writing certificate from Phoenix Community College. She has had poems published in Irreantum, Dialogue, Segullah, and Exponent II.  Last March she participated in a reading tour of Mormon  women  writers organized by Dr. Holly Welker and Dr. Joanna Brooks. She also enjoys playing duets with the birds in the backyard on her Native American flute.  Judith is also the poetry editor for Exponent II.  You can reach the online forum for Exponent II here.

The photo accompanying Judith’s poem is titled “Nighthawk 2” and was taken by Margarethe Brummermann, who granted permission for its use.  Margarethe is  a biologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson and a watercolor artist.

The Courtship Hour by Karen Kelsay

800px-Epitonium_scalare_shell--wentletrap by Steve Jurvetson

I love the hour that hangs its weightless haze
of yawn across my bed. An ivory wrap
of humming stillness, spectral dance embossed
in thimble-light. I love the wentletrap

of thoughts and gurgled chants that twist before
white shoals of sleep. The bend and blur of night
with loveliness and brokenness inside
soft vagaries that pivot in the light.

I love the hour subservient to dreams,
when day’s satiety leaves remnant sky.
And all beheaded moments shed their wings
into a hushed reluctance as they die.


For Karen’s bio and more of her work on WIZ and a link to her featured poetry at The New Formalist, go here.  You can also search on her name at WIZ using the search bar at the bottom of the left-hand column.   Karen has published several poems on WIZ, all of them well worth a read.

The photograph of the wentletrap is by Steve Jurvetson.

Andalusian Moon by Karen Kelsay


Shadows cast by hills of Andalusia
Trace the groves and vineyards near the shore;
Sunset turns blue skies to red sangria;
Twilight spreads her Spanish veil once more.

Silver castanets appear as starlight;
Rhythmic clapping fills the village square;
Gypsy music floats in through my window,
Carried on the sultry summer air.

Moonbeams spill their secret spells upon me,
And I cast about a yearning glance;
Moorish towers whisper words of magic;
In my dreams I join the vibrant dance.


For more of Karen’s writing and her bio, go here.

The photograph “Moon and Branch” is by photographer and poet Brenda Levy Tate, who has granted permission for its use on WIZ.  For more of Brenda’s work, go here (for photography) and here (for poetry).

Bowl of Petunias by Michael Lee Johnson


If you must leave me please
leave me for something special,
like a beautiful bowl of petunias−
for when the memories leak
and cracks appear
and old memories fade,
flowers rebuff bloom,
sidewalks fester weeds
and we both lie down
separately from each other
for the very last time.


Michael Lee Johnson is a poet from Itasca, Illinois. He’s also a freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel: www.promoman.us. He lived in Canada for 10 years during the Vietnam era. His writing has been published in 23 countries. Michael is also the editor/publisher of five poetry sites that can be accessed through his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com. All five sites are open to submissions. His published works are available through his Web site above and through Amazon.com, Borders Books, iUniverse and Lulu.com.

For more information about Michael and his other poems on WIZ click here and here.  Also look here and here.