Monday, March 27, 2017

"In the Shadow of:" by Alifair Skebe

 "Onesquethaw you sing to me 
from the cold dark depths of your mountains shadow."

© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

She sings. In the shadow of Onesquethaw Hill on a cold March morning. She sings. Through the dark shadow of a poplar tree. She sings. The somber notes of her mourning song. Shattered by the torrent, a ripple of a creek song. Under the water. Beside the bank. Inside the trees. She sings. 

Sunlight, a mother’s cheek,
soft downy rivulets, tears 
for her first born unborn

A woman there lives, and she lives in the water. On dark days, her face appears on the surface. We can hear her singing at night. In our beds. A slow song in another tongue. We go about our business. Her song is the land, the heart of the trees. She is a part of all of us, in the shadow of Cradleboard Hill. 

© Alifair Skebe 2017

"I hear  your voice calling to me from my back porch 

through the trees over the distance."

© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015


Alifair Skebe is author of the poetry collections Thin Matter“El Agua Es La Sangre de la Tierra” (written in English), and Postcards: Les Lettres d’Amour.  She teaches poetry and writing at the University at Albany. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Untitled." by Adam Tedesco.

"Homing" © Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

I remember something lifted from me like meaning off the morning’s dream as we entered the texture of day’s tightening loom the rub of cold wool on glass or bare wet skin the rub of time against mind through eyes staring through the field until it sees nothing.  Nothing in the mountain begs a sadness freely given. Nothing in the mountain we need to see as not to feel the difference between its life and ours. Nothing in the mountain swallows whole the thoughts of those that walk upon it as we do unto each other through the field and still we call it king this one slow moment of being outside of what we are. This is what we could have been instead of blinking our eyes.

And the language birds murmur
spits the day's end back
into the form we’re chasing  


© Adam Tedesco 2017

Adam Tedesco is a founder of REALITY BEACH. His poems have appeared in FENCE, Gramma and elsewhere. His new chapbook is ABLAZA.

You may also view a book release trailer for ABLAZA  Here.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Cross Border." by Dawn Marar

"The sound and slack of it passed through me like gratitude."
-Seamus Heaney / © Mark W. Ó Brien 2016


Yolk of sun breaks as an incendiary inaugurates clouds of deregulated soot. Yolk of light runs energy above base overshadowed land. Fog shrouds lies. Lines ride into a black gathering storm. A million pink hats bloom: our sea of amber waves. Beloved mountain knows no boundaries of nation race gender religion; only its own: nature’s notch on the horizon. Peaking Obamaian blues. Purple majesties. Beneath roiling yolk, power lines—short the Western staff—spark a new song.

sun yolk tossed above cast iron skillet
bursting flame on
people march march

© Dawn Marar 20/Mar/17

"Theseus had his thread, I have my mountain, and it reaches out to me."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2016


Dawn Marar, a Hudson Valley Writers Guild board member was the recipient of the 2016 Steven A. DiBiase Poetry Prize.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Birches. by Dianne Sefcik

"Running The Ridge."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015


Cresting the ridge, a stand of birch wakes up memory of the teaching, “How to Choose a Place to Camp” , and other stories told in winter when snow is on the ground. For instance: How lightning avoids omaaî mitig, the birch tree, because spirit-boy blessed omaaî mitig forever, for shielding him as he fled the scorch of firebolts hurled by Thunderbird (and scarring omaaî mitig's white skin to this day). Thunderbird was righteously angry because spirit-boy stole fire for the people, or, some say, because spirit-boy clubbed the nestlings and stole feathers to make his bow strong so he could kill an evil fish.


How the Rough-Faced Girl, burned by her jealous sisters, dressed herself in birch bark to approach the invisible Holy One, and how she could see him, when others could not: saw his shoulder strap was a rainbow, his bowstring the Milky Way, and how, being tested, she became his beautiful wife.

The land has stories
Breathing through the winds of time 
Whispering Grandchild 

© Dianne Sefcik

"North Ridge Moss Covered Shadow Peoples." 
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015