Tomorrow Will Be Cold by S. Thomas Summers

Tomorrow Will Be Cold

At least, that’s what the weatherman said.
The temperature will drop like a brick hurled
off a mountain’s peak, like a falcon that’s tucked
its wings close, diving to nab a rabbit that darts

about the forest floor, searching for a few more ribbons
of dead grass to line its burrow before curling
into its heartbeat, clenching all the warmth it can.
Wind will sweep over the hills, weave through trees,

straining the spines of elm and oak, exciting the chimes
that dangle from my backyard birch into panic;
they’ll ding and clang, shiver discordant songs
above the neighborhood stray, a gray cat, that, I assume,

will find its spot among branches of Holly,
tangled arms collecting silence and shadow.
I’ll peer out the window, wrapped in a sweater,
my hands curled around a hot mug of coffee

as steam rises from its mouth as it would a cauldron circled
by witches, weird sisters, stirring a foul concoction,
chanting, rhyming strange words, each sound
meant to make thick the blood of all who find breath

where fires flare and hearths are warm.
That’s what the weatherman said.

by S. Thomas Summers

Twitter: @summerspoet

Editor’s Note: Personification illuminates the cold landscape in this winter poem, giving us dull humans a glimpse of another world where chimes have a heart and trees have spines.

Talking with Sakis by Cally Conan-Davies

Talking with Sakis

My aunt is no longer
in her life he said,
as if her life remained
where she had left it,
holding the air behind
the soft click
of her last breath.

As if a life, as it were, could be ever
so gently woken
to breathe for a moment
here, by the pearl-grey bridge
where the quickening gulf
stands wide open.

(Antirrio, Greece, 2013)

by Cally Conan-Davies

Editor’s Note: The careful enjambment corrals the imagery in this poem into quiet moments where the reader can reflect on all that is said directly, and all that is not.

From the archives – Trigger Warning by Larina Warnock

Trigger Warning

This isn’t what you think it is.
It is, instead, a memory drawn from a well
of memories so deep as to mingle with ghosts.
It is a shadow crossing
paths with the light just right, so that flickers of yesterday
become quicker than today, become the ray
of whatever isn’t shining through the window,
something similar to something we’ve felt before, but not so
much more than a disguise for the prayer we don’t feel a right to.

It is déjà vu, but less exact,
like a pact was formed between morning and eve
that the day will forever be
neither and both. It is ether, a flask
filled to the brim with emotions forgotten and unforgotten,
longer felt, no longer felt. It is stronger than aged
brandy, but weaker than the edges of a dream.

It is reverse masonry, chiseling away at brick,
dusting the remainder of mortar from our skin, finding it
filling gaps between who we were then and who we are now,
who we wanted to be and who we became, one tragedy and another,
my tragedy and another’s, some other
feeling forgotten to make room for something old and something new.

It is holding up a shattered mirror
and seeing some past version of myself,
trying again and again to create an end
that never did,
that never can
exist.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, November 19, 2015 — by Larina Warnock

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Seven Steps by G Hesslau Magrady

Seven Steps

It’s not
that he can’t
walk up the stairs.
He just wonders if he should.
He reflects at the fifth step. She
will be waiting at the table with
two hands holding the tea cup,
as if the cooled porcelain could
still give her warmth, as if his
embrace could, either.
The frayed edges
of his jeans
slosh
like mops,
heavy with the weight
of water while the toe of his boot
pushes the snow back
and forth.
With seven steps, she’ll see him then.
He’ll be seven hours late—
again.
Seven years of cooled porcelain.

by G Hesslau Magrady

G Hesslau on Facebook

Twitter: @GHesslauMagrady

Editor’s Note: At first glance, the visual form of this poem can distract the reader from its meaning. Upon rereading, however, the line breaks reflect the fear inherent within the character’s hesitation. The narrative extends beyond the steps and the tea cup.

Seduction by Joan Kantor

Seduction

There’s flirtation
in the intermittent swoops and swirls
of falling flakes
outside my window,
as the day stands still,
and winter begins to seduce me
beneath its gathering sheets
of white,
filling me first
with the softness of silence,
then a guilty sense
of giddy play,
and in a momentary fantasy
of whitewashed sins,
I forgive the stinging bite of wind
and the frightening touch
of hidden ice

by Joan Kantor

Editor’s Note: The play of imagery and alliteration in this poem carefully nudges the reader towards the last three lines’ brilliant address.

Christmas Rose by R. Nemo Hill

Christmas Rose

. . . . . . . .—for Julio

With fog-pressed lids
neither opened nor closed,
through Christmas morning’s
blind white rose
we traveled shoreward
on vanishing roads.
We hardly spoke.
You had to drive.
And I had to dream
that we’d never arrive,

that this distance between us
was what kept love alive.

That distance grew greater
once we stood there, onshore,
before an invisible
ocean’s roar,
our outlines dissolving
till less was more—
and shapeless now
we two were one
and each was all
and all were none

and love, for a moment,
was all undone.

Stepping toward you,
with my eyes aglaze,
perhaps for a moment
I was afraid—
but your hair, escaping
from its braid,
leapt into focus,
from blankness hurled.
Each strand, a string
of condensing pearls,

bloomed through the fog
like the edge of a world.

(Christmas Day, 2015—Long Island)

by R. Nemo Hill

R. Nemo on Facebook

Editor’s Note: It would be easy to spend a thousand words deconstructing the feet in this carefully metered poem (variation! enjambment!), but that would gut the delicate complexity of the narrative: love can be as lucid as fog, or as sharp as the edge of a water droplet.