On the Breaking Down of Leaves, & (Not a) Big Deal, Lauren Forner

Photo credit: Lauren Forner

On the Breaking Down of Leaves

Your tangled intricate lace
more finely-spun
and delicate
as you waste away –
emaciated –
in your attempt to sustain
those around you.

Your fall is soft and noiseless
a sail to a forest floor,
your sacrifice
and your gold skeletal remains
incomparable to
the bright and gaudy blooms
that shoot
from your slow melt into the earth.

Glossy foliage
and scented stamens;
nature’s trumpeted score
to your silent

(Not a) Big Deal

If you scrambled
every moment
to steady yourself
on the ever-moving
mountain summit of the day,
then you too would scoff, sneer,
at a germ –
a string of invisible
unfathomable molecules –
that flit from lung to lung,
dissolving structure and devouring tissue,
because an abstract,
a possible,
a might-be,
a slight chance,
doesn’t freeze you like midnight autumn wind
doesn’t gnaw your insides like five-day hunger
doesn’t throb like a swollen eye, hand, cheek,
doesn’t drop in your belly like his heavy
doesn’t carve a hole out of decades with

Spring where you can see it during Covid-19, M. Tara Crowl

Photo credit: Steve Nuske

I live here now, in my old country house
With the barn out back
I fold clothes
Empty the dishwasher
Take dirty diapers straight out to the big plastic bin
(No more diaper pail; the mice got in)
I pitch, to no avail
My stories go nowhere
Neither do I

Some days, the sun comes out to green the grass
Crocuses wave fingers through the soil
But then, a storm of snow counteracts
We stay inside
Watch movies
Drink wine
After the snow melts, we step into the ungovernable mud
(I cling to my child)

In the city (I used to live there
Until quarantine,
Two weeks ago) people are dying
Hundreds each day, they say
The dying are there, while I am here
(Am I all here?
Yes, I am here.
Every limb, every molecule)
I’m not allowed to leave

Today is gray, so it’s just as well
There’s nowhere to go anyway
Tomorrow the sun will come out
I’ll go out to stand in its rays
Of course I will
(I can’t miss the sun)
But it’s not going to feel
Like it did last spring

#2020, Hiroki Kosuge

Photo credit: Hiroki Kosuge

I wish I
were a bird that
doesn’t know a

This Ark too
will sink, but
we will all

You will
float if you
have a pair of healthy

shout and

We are
mere fugitives no
matter where we

Let the one
who has never been
saddened throw the
first stone at me.

Photo credit: Hiroki Kosuge

Give me
glass of

The paradise
is always
drawn in

See my sister
who is still happily
in that tiny

The worst
scenario is
that we all

Photo credit: Hiroki Kosuge

Old friends
same clothes in
my dreams.

Life is too
long for those
who wish for a

There are some
shores you cannot find
unless you are
washed ashore.

See you soon.