John Grey – Poem

Survival of the Species

You explain shrews in winter,
how they mostly freeze and die,
how just a few survive
but they’re so adept at propagation
that that’s all it takes
to renew the species.

You think nothing
of a hundred thousand tiny rodents
folding up inside their fur
to futilely ward off sub-zero temperatures,
their blood, their flesh chilling
from the outside in
until there’s just a heart
beating its way into that icy oblivion.

You think nothing of that
scramble of survivors,
half-sensual, half-desperate,
to grab at the fleeting shreds
of living left to them,
replenish their meager species
just so there’ll be more
to suffer through
what they have suffered.

You think nothing of saying
there’s a beauty
to that rustle in the leaf-molds,
those high-pitched
squeals of lovemaking,
the bustle of litters, of feeding,
of shrew imprinting shrew.

It’s all part of our walk
deep into the forest.
It’s all part of our childlessness
and the deeper chill
that brings you.

Andrew Taylor – Poem

Neek

A coldness
large and white
like a Russian Winter

It’s the gap
that does it
the wait

for a new elusive
ideal summer

the thermometer
doesn’t show it
the calendar does

such vulnerability
a transient work
this will not
sort your head out

take the window seat
it is actually a pew

with the selling
of the gold
there was talk
of security

but there never was
security

Kelli Stevens Kane – Poem

(66)

from Hallelujah Science

I cut a record in dreamland
to give the world a taste of its own medicine
I cut patterns for dresses for angels in black fabric
I cut the moon out of cookie dough and bake it at 350 degrees
I cut split ends from my hair and drop them down into a Frisbee
I cut my finger on the thin blade of a wide ruled loose-leaf
I cut a cucumber with a pocket knife into whole half-circles
I cut a moment and watch it sprout
a million minute petals
they pick me up
and carry me
back to the beginning,
(once upon a time)
where there are no
sharp
things.