Monday, May 29, 2017

"Onesquathaw Creek." By Howard J Kogan

"As I before God fearing men who knew me when 
stood farther and farther afield from my notes again..."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2016

This sky reflects not the dark hill but its spirit history and stories.  Here where once First Nation Peoples lived below, their spirits live on above.

They were living on this hill and valley since the last ice age, now they are here in the sky lighting the dark ground, watering the dry hill, tending to it as they did since the early times, since before time when the land was mist.

This creek where they fished, this hill where they hunted, this forest that provided for their needs, all this is still theirs.  That it was taken from them does not make it less theirs, for the land belongs to those who love the land and not the ones who defend it with fence and gun and treaties as false as the Europeans who made them.

There are laws greater than man’s laws and there are forces that move through our lives, like the winds toss the autumn leaves.  Here is a sky of menace and glory looming high above us, a spirit sky, a sky that will rain down on us both its fury and tenderest blessings. 

spirits dance above
dark hills telling stories to
the listening ground


© Howard J Kogan 2017


Howard J Kogan is a psychotherapist and poet who lives in Stephentown, NY. His latest collection of poems is entitled "A chill in the air."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Loaded with convincing reasons to go..." by Mark W. Ó Brien

"Sunset Road."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/17

My father loved his big Irish Catholic family. One of the things he always wanted was a house to support it and a car to move us around in comfortably. In 1960 he got the house, but it took a few more years before he achieved the vehicle necessary to haul us all at once. That car, was a Madeira Maroon colored '67 Vista Cruiser! Equipped with a "Jetfire Rocket V8" engine powered by 315 horses, a sporty "Vista View Roof" and the patented "forward facing third seat" that "made everyone feel like members of the family!"

Three years separated my younger brother and I from our three older siblings. They sat together in the middle row of seats and enjoyed the "Unique Tinted Glass Vista Roof Views" as we tore down the highway. In many ways my younger brother and I were more like a second family. Although we faced forward, we knew we were in the caboose and tended to watch scenery out the back window instead.

Most weekends during the summer months Mom and Dad would take us up to the local John Boyd Thatcher State Park, in the nearby Helderberg Mountains, for family picnics. I remember hiking the Indian ladder trail, swimming in Thatcher Park pool, and playing tag with my siblings along the split rail fence lining the cliff edge. All the while the smell of hamburgers and hotdogs wafted about on the breeze...

Afterwards, just for fun, or to make the day last a little bit longer I suppose, at my Mom's request Dad would often drive the long way home through the mountains. Those were happy times, their sunsets and landscaped silhouettes left lasting impressions in my mind.

My thoughts would drift and blur with the activities of the day...

I learned to appreciate
how life and beauty recede 
out the back window.


© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/17

Monday, May 22, 2017

"One autumn evening, in the long shadows." By Tess Lecuyer

"One autumn evening, in the long shadows."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

The wild red barns herd their gangling offspring
slowly to safety and rest. 

snug by the cowling
of crisping forest
down at the throat of the hill

©Tess Lecuyer 2017

Tess is a long time member of Albany Poets and further examples of her work may be found here:  Tess Lecuyer.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Angel Lights." by A.C. Everson

"Live in each season as it passes..." 
-Henry David Thoreau
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2016

Her shoulders carried the pack full of fine repast and blanket waiting for just the right spot, thinking the ridge above likely but for grumbles caused by too small a breakfast, rushed due to a change in the weather and the sure feeling that today was the day for this hike.

Crossing the field her load that weighed heavy in her soul lifts when looking up she sees Angel lights. Yes Angel lights, that’s what old mother called them. Long ago stories told to young ears that believed everything, wonders now who visits today. Could it be him?

She said they come when
The light is just right maybe
Doors in clouds open


© A.C. Everson 2017

A.C. Everson is a home grown poet, sculptor and performance artist. Her words can be found at Her art can be seen at Breaking My Art on Facebook. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

"Sometimes There’s a Glimpse." By Charles Rossiter

© Mark W. Ó Brien 2016

Lying flat out on volcanic ash at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho looking up at the million million starsor standing on the National Mall in DC surrounded by buildings of power, tears streaming because the gospel choir broke on through. Evening shadows climb slowly up a steep hill outside Taos. Venus on the horizon, the first stars. Somewhere a cloud reaches to a mountain, or does the mountain reach to the cloud?

moonlight on the water,
ocean waves along the shore,
my feet sink in wet sand


© Charles Rossiter 2017


Charlie Rossiter is the host of: Poetry Spoken Here--new podcast 1st & 3rd Fridays 
His free ebook "Poems People Like" is available here:
and you may hear Charlie read here at:

"where you hear poems read by poets who wrote them."

Monday, May 1, 2017

"Untitled." By Thomas E. Bonville

"The view coming down Cass Hill."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

I only knew it from Cass Hill really, you can catch a glimpse of it over your shoulder along Cass Hill Road.  Off of Cass Hill Road was Dunbar Hollow Road, more of a path than a road, as I recall it.  I remember being told by my buddy that the road was closed, part of the year, when the weather was bad.  I believed it.  His old Plymouth had trouble enough climbing the hill to get to Dunbar Hollow, and that was in good weather.  It couldn't be any other way.  Cass Hill was a place that held a situational attraction at a certain time in a young man's life, in my case, me and my best friend's life, both of us 18, who wanted to have a swim and privacy on a summer night and a bonding with the universe.  

There was a sportsman's club on Dunbar Hollow Road.  My friend's parents had a family membership at the club, which allowed us to use the grounds without thinking we were doing anything wrong.  I never once in an entire summer saw anyone else there.  No hunters.  No fishermen.  Nobody.  The pond on the grounds was small, but it never was weedy, it had a dock with a diving board, and the water was deliciously cool on hot summer nights.  We would listen to the crickets, the cicadas, watch lighting bugs fire up their flickers as night descended on the day.  We would stay past sunset, watch the stars reveal themselves and tell their stories.  We would smoke pot, eat pretzels, chips and bags of popcorn, drink Genesee Cream Ale, and we would talk about the meaning of life, whether it was about the Vietnam War, rights and privileges for all Americans, who was better, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, what girls in our graduated high school class were prettiest, and who was the greatest guitarist who ever lived.

It was Hendrix, of course,

Ononta'kahrhan?  Never came up.

But I heard voices.

        My spirit brother,
was it you in the stillness
        that said to rebel?


©Thomas E. Bonville 2017

Thomas is a lifelong resident of the Hudson River Valley.  He writes, reads, listens and discusses poetry with The Rensselaerville Poets and the Posey Café.