Page 1

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3


Halcyon Days Issue 3 - 2016 INSIDE 3

Monique Berry


Corduroy Afternoons



Patricia A. Nugent

Catherine Bramkamp


Fay Loomis Dance They Do

Imagine a World


Taunja Thomson When We Meet


Megha Bajaj Enough

6,7 Donna M. Davis Sea Poem | The Antique Radio Table Explaining the Light


Aaron Kramer




Amanda Sharon


Ann Bracken


Ed Ahern The Sparrow Nest | Interlude


Cade Williams To Touch the Hands of Greatness


Christine Jackson

Donal Mahoney A Day in Autumn Pheasant Wings


Diana Raab Jeannine’s Kitchen


SuzAnne C. Cole Solitary Calm | A Good Day for Making Soup

Persephone’s Daughter


Joan McNerney Woods



Joan Canby Honey-filled

A Place


Jo Garceau


Michael Chin Synchronicity


Martin Willitts Quickening


Mark Mitchell Balancing Act



Lori Levy


Leonore Weiss Wellfleet at Olga’s

Addicted | Healing


Frank Light



Ion Corcos red tractor


Fabrice Poussin Playing Reeds


Raymond Luczak Porcupine Mountains: October Fog Off Little Girl’s Point

In Dismal Forests


Marianne Szlyk Yoga in Takoma Public Library


Scott Thomas Outlar Hints of the Heart

Helen Curtis Images of Autumn | Kentucky Sky

Cover © rdonar - | Inside © rrice -

Halcyon Days Magazine ISSN: 2291-0255 Frequency: Quar ter ly Publisher | Designer: Monique Ber r y

Contact Info Twitter: @1websurfer

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 2

Special Notices Halcyon Days has one time rights. See website for subscription details. No photocopies allowed.

Dear Readers Welcome to the fall edition of Halcyon Days. I love this quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m looking forward to getting out into that autumnal sunshine and capturing halcyon moments with my camera. The feel-good colors aren’t bursting throughout the landscapes in my city yet, but they’re evident inside the magazine! It was a joy putting together this edition. This is the biggest issue so far, thanks to new and returning contributors. I appreciate you so much. Be sure to visit the website so you can download the Halcyon Days newsletter #2 in October 2016. That’s all for now. Monique Berry Halcyon Days, Founding Editor © Loraliu -

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3


Imagine a World By Patricia A. Nugent Imagine a world that can heal. Imagine clean rivers and pure air. Imagine scorched earth becoming luscious. Imagine plentiful and healthful food. Imagine health conquering disease. Imagine hope transcending fear. Imagine generosity overcoming greed. Imagine compassion replacing hatred. Imagine hearts not having to break because of senseless violence. Imagine peace defeating war. As naturally as skin heals its wounds, we can heal this world by visioning a different future. Each of us has the ability to tap into universal healing energy. Believe and bear witness to the divine transformative power of each sentient being and of our collective consciousness. Imagine a world that can heal. Because it still can if we do. Š Banana Republic -

Patricia A. Nugent is the author of " They Live On: Saying Goodbye to Mom and Dad," a compilation of poems and vignettes about caregiving and saying goodbye to a loved one. She has received literary awards for her creative nonfiction work, including one bestowed by Susan Sontag. She periodically blogs for "Ms. Magazine" and "Vox Populi." She lives in Saratoga Springs, NY where she volunteers to teach creative writing to adult learners and plugs away at her manuscript about her golden retriever’s spirituality. Follow her blog at or on twitter @nugentjournal. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 4

When We Meet


By Taunja Thomson

By Megha Bajaj

Pale brown land reaches out into lake like dry muddy fingers. Mountain pulls snow to itself as if softly inhaling the cloud upon which it rests. Pines stand, ancient green like a Renaissance dress, the paler leaves its embroidery.

I have wandered through the forests and hand-picked the berries. I have slept naked under the stars and warred with the bees. I have had my share of sunrise and sunsets and whistled with the trees. My mind has had its taste of experiences and oftentimes lost its way, too. But now it’s time for the soul to sing to be set free… I have had enough of what I know and am ready to dive into the unknown. So hold my hand lead me. To the morning I have never seen upon the road I have never been. Take me to that strangely intimate and intimately strange place called Me.

Last night, moon flowed into windows like fingers of a goddess. Today, land reaches for lake; lake reaches back, desirous.

© domelaci |

Taunja Thomson’s poetr y has appear ed in The Cincinnati Poets’ Collective, The Cincinnati Poetry Review, The Licking River Review, The Aurorean, Lime Hawk Collective Arts Journal, Really System, Squalorly, Wild Age Press, The Cahaba River Journal, Sandy River Review, Watershed, Portage Magazine, Panoply, and Amore, an anthology of love poetry. In August of 2016, her work will appear in Potomac. Two of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Award: “Seahorse and Moon” in 2005 and “I walked out in January” in 2016. She is co-author of a collaborative chapbook of ekphrastic poetry that has recently been accepted for publication and has a writer’s page on Facebook at She resides in Kentucky with her husband and six cats, where she practices collage craft and water gardening.

© Simons41 |

Megha Bajaj is an awar d winning author whose first book Thank You Cancer published by Hay House won much media acclaim. Her second book, I Inspire published by Jaico is on its way to becoming a bestseller. Coming from the country where spirituality is steeped into the very being, Megha lives in Mumbai, India and believes her writings are a mirror to where she comes from, her experiences and her soul. She conducts online workshops in writing and healing and can be reached at Her facebook page has 20,000 + followers and people believe her writings make them wonder and smile. The link is:

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3


Sea Poem By Donna M. Davis An empty rowboat is bathed in mysterious blue, rocking gently behind a curtain of tears. White gulls glide on still air. Zen priests in saffron robes trace their lines of flight along the shore. In the sand dunes, a red crab wanders alone. With a sideways gait, it melts into the surf, leaving the land behind. The boat rocks slowly, as a boy runs toward the sunset, playing a wooden flute, piping the lost strains of a farther sea. The moon steals the beach, pushing blankets of waves over chronicles of conch shells and bones of feathered saints. White storks slumber on cobbled chimneys far away. Evening hangs from their supplicant wings. The distant oceans ebb inside their peaceful eyes. © lunamarina -

The Antique Radio Table By Donna M. Davis On its legs you feel the pressure of Grandmother’s fingers, polishing the rich walnut grain with a yellow chamois cloth. Along its left side are holes where Grandfather once turned the dials of the radio to hear his favorite programs. On its top is a veneered lid that Dad glued shut forever, after the string quartet played its final movement. While underneath the table is the drumming of your hand, as you tap, tap, tap for the sounds buried deep in the wood. © keladawy -

Donna M. Davis lives in Central New York. A former English teacher, she owns a resume writing and book design business. Her poetry has appeared in Halcyon Days, Third Wednesday, Carcinogenic, Poecology, The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Gingerbread House, Oddball Magazine, The Comstock Review, Aberration Labyrinth, and others. She has work forthcoming in Slipstream Anthology and Pudding Magazine. She was a finalist and winner in several of The Comstock Review’s national awards contests. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 6

Explaining the Light By Donna M. Davis for Paul Long ago, I learned that light follows us in a straight line, and breaks apart where we stand. My eyes have collected it as it fragmented around the corner kiosk’s confetti-hued posters, the traveler walking an airport’s illuminated boarding tunnel, the student stroking a screen to touch words sculpted in brilliance. At this moment, I am opening a window, and the room is filled with luminous objects. The night is already here, but your glistening shoulders are ablaze with the last light. It is the things we know, the orientation of forms and particular angles, the beings who stand, who walk, who love, that save us from darkness.

Š hriana -

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3


A Place By Aaron Kramer On the border of the river and the sea, Where reflections dance on the wakes of swans, Where the last morning star fades into the light, At the very edge of day and night, Where ravens walk upon waves, And crows on the ice-covered sea, You'll find me.

Š Firma V -

Aaron Roan Kramer is an Amer ican citizen, or iginally fr om Los Angeles, and cur r ently living in Nor way with his wife and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. He has studied English and Russian literature. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 8

© Subbotina Anna |

Persephone’s Daughter By Ann Bracken “In the book of earth it is written nothing can die.” ~Mary Oliver

© Alex Rublinetsky -

Hush By Amanda Sharon Ocean wind crushes waves crushes shore Swooped bird catches silver-glinted fish The tide listens— there is nothing there is everything.

Amanda Sharon is beginning her MFA studies in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University in the fall. She hopes to live out in the American West one day with exactly three horses, five cats, two dogs, and one llama. She is interested in the cylindrical nature of time, the illusion of fear, and ancient cultures. Her two cats, Lily and Moon, fully support her decision to pursue writing. This is her second publication following her debut publication in Harbinger Asylum.

Passion is Persephone’s daughter birthed in Underworld extremes— creosote caves, snaking roots, icicles taunted by flames. Passion erupts in the fall red as a diva’s painted lips. Her laughter sings as she hangs out in treetops, refuses to jump. Passion gloves her hands. in ruby velvet. She grabs every pomegranate-stained leaf and stuffs her pockets. Passion hoards the last of the feast, lingers and hides herself, tucked under brown taffeta leaves a red flash of silk playing peek-a-boo with frost.

Ann Bracken is the author of two collections of poetry, No Barking in the Hallways: Poems from the Classroom (2016) and The Altar of Innocence (2015), both published by New Academia Publishing. Her poetry and interviews have appeared in several anthologies and journals. Her poem, “Mrs. S,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Ann is a contributing editor for Little Patuxent Review and leads workshops for creativity conferences, adult education programs, and local prisons. Social media: Website: Facebook: Twitter: @annbracken52

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3


The Sparrow Nest By Ed Ahern The egg-fat sparrow squats in the gutter-end under my eave. Brown and dirty beige, soft chirping and stoic. The gutter’s held nests for fourteen years and sparrows live but five. A granddaughter stares back, wondering why my hatchlings never returned to brood. I refuse to yank the nests or tack on mesh despite communion wafer guano. We’re in residence. the egg-fat bird and I. © Victor de Groote -

Interlude By Ed Ahern The small being sleeps on my chest. My breathing sways plump arms. He unable, me unwilling to rise and part. We are never closer than this touching that he will not remember and I will not forget. Unconcern nestled into gentle custody. Neither knowing, or just now caring about changes to come. © PublicDomainPictures |

Ed Ahern r esumed wr iting after for ty odd year s in for eign intelligence and inter national sales. He has his or iginal wife, but advises that after forty eight years they are both out of warranty. Ed's had a hundred forty poems and stories published so far, and two books. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 10

To Touch the Hand of Greatness By Cade Williams Passing through a celebrity's presence is a thrill even a fleeting greeting makes me blush then, a terribly trembling trepid introduction. To touch the hand of greatness what a rush— we breathe the same air! I mention their prestige to a fellow friend with a hush I can't believe I met him! My face is awfully flush. Š motorolka -

Cade Williams is a Baton Rouge r esident and candidate for the November 2016 election as Mayor -President. He enjoys his hometown's diverse mix of food and people, but could pass on the heat. Or perhaps pass out. An anti-consumer, he prefers creation and expressing himself through various jaunts into the realms of art, music, poetry, fashion, and videography. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 11

Oktoberfest By Christine Jackson Under a humbling sky, ringing sounds rock the festival grounds, with the joy of coming home. An empty tent charges no rent, sings a joy of arriving home. Through the trees, a rose sky gleams, a soft breeze flows from the west; branches dressed in russet leaves shimmer with gentle protest, dance in a cardinal’s new nest, hum with the singer’s word quest, about the joy of flying home. Workers joke, in grease and smoke, taste the flesh of the land. Flame the grill, gulp the chill, sing the falafel stand. Raise a cup of raspberry truth churned by the man at the smoothie booth. A trio of chairs bent low to the ground winds up in the lost and found; An empty tent now charges rent, lay that blanket down. Jangling strings melt frozen hearts, swaying singers strum; before reverent eyes they concertize about longing to come home. In the end a full moon sends us the joy of coming home.

© andreas160578 |

Christine Jackson teaches liter atur e and cr eative wr iting at a South Flor ida univer sity. Her poetr y has been published in print and online publications, including The Sandy River Review, Shot Glass Journal, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Stay Weird and Keep Writing, A Quiet Courage, and Verse-Virtual. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 12

Healing By Lori Levy Though it may not appear so, I’m soaking, massaging and, yes, taking her advice— pampering what needs to be pampered. It’s why I stop to clear a space for myself, why I lie down to indulge in that meadow. It holds and soothes like an embracing arm; contains me like a private garden where my thoughts can float or skip, flirt with the light or settle in the shadows. I want this quiet: it calls my name and welcomes me back. Weaves through me as an old refrain. Frees me the way the hills free a running child. I know, as the sweetness seeps in, that the self must fill and fill until the poison’s washed out and balance restored. Only then does it slowly stop judging, become whole and loving.

© realstock1 -

Addicted By Lori Levy To moments like this: the air, the garden, the back of his head against my cheek, so soft I could sit here all day, my lips taking me again and again to Cookie Pie, Sweetie Pea. Grandson. His whole body speaks trust, discovery, eyes wide with bird song, wind chimes, squirrel on a wire. He eats the world with his gaze, wants it all—leaves, old bench with peeling wood, stucco wall, me. I hold him in my arms, filling so fast I must tilt and pour. He smiles, streams it all back. I revel in this flow. Like an addict, I just can’t get enough. © Elenathewise -

Lori Levy’s poems have appear ed in numer ous liter ar y jour nals and anthologies in the U.S., England, and Isr ael. In October, 2013, she was featured in the Aurorean as one of their "Showcase Poets." Her health-related poems have been published in medical and medical humanities journals, including a hybrid (poetry/prose) piece she co-authored with her father, a physician. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, but "home" has also been Vermont and Israel. Besides writing, she thoroughly enjoys being a grandmother to her three little grandchildren. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 13

In Dismal Forests By Frank Light __ ____ ________ ____________ Pines are evergreen. Their leaves forever grow Prickly lithe and lean. A brown quilt warms their toes. ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ **********************************

© viorgosgr -

Frank Light has wor ked, in jobs most r elevant to this poem, as a for est fir efighter in Washington state and as a whitewater river guide in Colorado. Now writing his way through retirement, he and his wife still find time to go for hikes, most recently in Ireland. Literary journals have published a number of his poems and essays, many of the latter from an unpublished memoir titled Adjust to Dust: On the Backroads of Southern A fghanistan.

red tractor By Ion Corcos loose grass torn from fields withers on rusted prongs; the idle plough stopped outside a shop beside the parched canal.

© Jens Ottoson -

Ion Corcos has been published in Axolotl, Bitterzoet, Every Writer and Ishaan Literary Review. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Ion is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. He is also working on his first poetry collection, Like Clouds, and a chapbook inspired by Greece. Ion’s website is Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 14

Playing Reeds By Fabrice Poussin It will only be a few flakes, it always is so, which will melt, in the blink of an eye, through the open door. The fire rages in the hearth, crackling and flashing in the semi darkness of a room we all know only when Winter says, “no more work!” Reed collected from Fall days, now fashioned into the baskets, which soon will adorn each mantle, in every room and many nations. Skin is cracked from the bitter cold without gloves, blood trickles as the year comes to an end, unforgiving to the one who works the land, yet comforting as it provides the peace of snowy days. Only a few flakes will tease our noses red, but the air we breathe does not know, and the sun setting so soon does not care; it will be time to rest again soon. The hearth will treasure the heat of the logs freshly cut, under the light natural, the cotton blanket and a heavy book of old. He will have another sip of his comfort drink, close his eyes, and rock on the steady bench, rub his sore fingers, a nightly ritual dear, and smile as he winks to the soul of a happy day. The basket giggles in its making, large, strong, a shape of his liking, made for two hearts to find comfort, next to the other, smaller for the little ones. The streams whisper as they come to a halt, night crawls even behind the light; he says not a word, and takes in a breath, cozy from the cider he too brewed. Now to the deep and dark Heavens he looks, the hands of time softly lift him, to let his head rest on a goose pillow, sweet dreams daddy, sweet dreams. © DSL -

Fabrice Poussin teaches Fr ench and English. Author of novels and poetry, his writing has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, Eskimo Pie, The Chimes, Cerebration, Dead King, Secrets and Dreams, and will appear in other magazines throughout 2016. His photography has been published in Kestrel, The Front Porch Review, Foliate Oak Magazine, the San Pedro River magazine, and more than three dozens of other publications. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 15

Kentucky Sky By Helen Curtis The sky is blue, the same up north, but here The air still warm, yard work to do. Some time To rest, just a brief nap – lying supine In leaves, blazing red and gold, faces upturned Like flowers picked and left upon a chair.

Images of Autumn By Helen Curtis Purple and gold clothe the fall – Goldenrod and ironweed, bittersweet. Smoke of leaves, Of wood stoves, anticipating winter. Allergies, Dead gardens, produce lined up in jars. Fallen leaves, blazing color, bare, naked branches fingering a deep blue sky. Images of autumn, the seasons last trump before the dead of winter.

© ver0nicka |

All seasons bestow their unique blessings, but autumn's hues provide fodder for colorful imagery that feed the artist's soul. So it was with the poems, "Images of Autumn" and "Kentucky Sky". "Images of Autumn" and "Kentucky" were born through remembering a favorite fall chore - raking leaves into huge piles which the kids would jump into, then do it all again. The children and later the grandchildren willingly participated in this task. Laying prone amid scattered leaves and gazing up at the intense blue sky, - whose deep shade only appears in October - inspired these poems. Helen Curtis now lives in the bluegrass region of Kentucky with her husband of 48 years and near her children and grandchildren. Since the grandchildren are older and the children busy; and the writer is in the autumn of her life, autumn conjures pleasant memories. Bittersweet, indeed. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 16

© Arpad -

© smolskyevgeny -

Corduroy Afternoons

Dance They Do

By Catharine Bramkamp

By Fay L. Loomis

Those slow corduroy afternoons When the light Lasted long enough For dreams.

under forest canopy yellow-green spears shimmer in fragile light tiny Christmas trees invisibly kissed ferns quiver in delight

Catharine Bramkamp publishes both pr ose and poetry. Her poetry has been included in a dozen anthologies including And The Beats Go On and a chapbook Ammonia Sunrise (Finishing Line Press). She has written 17 novels and books on writing. She is currently working a the Chief Storytelling Officer for a wine company because Social Media can be a lot like poetry. She lives in California.

Fay L. Loomis, a nemophilist (haunter of the woods, one who loves the forest, its beauty, and its solitude), lives in upstate New York. An active member of the Stone Ridge Library Writers, her poems, flash fiction, and articles have appeared in print and online publications, including The Beacon, Soul-Lit, Pan’s Shadow, Twisted Endings, and Healing Power of the Imagination Journal.

Follow her on Instagram (more poems) #CatharineBramkampWriter Follow her on FB Newbie Writers Page Blog - Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 17

Š pb_pictures|

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 18

Awakening By Jo Garceau


ou turn the glass knob on the curtained French door and step onto the sunny porch. Wind chimes tinkle. The sound is in your body.

“Hello,” you speak to the Universe. “Thank you! That’s utterly beautiful.” Your cells reverberate, a soft tremoring. You descend to a small landing next to a curved stucco wall. You stop where the stairs make a quarter turn. Below, at the edge of the patio, a black and yellow butterfly flutters from green plant to green plant. It lands on a low cactus that pulses in the sunlight. The chimes sing, a symphony of lilting bells. An omnipresent throbbing sound rises out of the desert silence. In the distance, heat waves rise. The vista shimmers. Ocotillos in crimson bloom scatter across the desert and here and there a columnar Saguaro stands. The land runs to the mountain top and stretches up, up, up to meet the cloudless sky. You continue down the steps. Buddy, the owner’s old dog, bounds up. He emanates pulsing energy. His bushy tail swishes back and forth and he lifts his head. You pat the side of his neck and feels his stiff, wiry hair falling in compact waves over live flesh. “Hello, old man,” you say. On the turquoise wall beneath the house eave, a brass Om sign, the Indian symbol for the Eternal vibration, the creative source of the world, blazes in the sun. Alive and transcendent, the image radiates light. You stand motionless. Heat rises beneath your feet. You take a deep breath and exhale. The dry, dusty smell of desert sand permeates the crystalline air. Once more. You can’t shake the feeling. Something unique is happening. Every cell in your body buzzes with tiny electric charges. You and every object around you pulse, a synchrony of movement. Buddy escorts you to the kitchen door. You enter the cool interior of the house. No one is about, but the makings for breakfast are at hand. You scoop granola from a large orange bowl into a golden sauce dish, slice a ripe peach, spoon in yogurt. You fill an oversized cup with fresh coffee, spill in a liberal amount of cream, and go out the front door to a lounge chair on the expansive patio. As you sip coffee, tiny gnatcatchers dart among the flower pots and moist greenery surrounding the front entry. You remember when you were a child, playing in the woods near the sunlit meadow. You’ve always been at home in nature. You’ve hugged trees, and admired the changing seasons. For most of your life, you’ve been a kind of mystic… you’ve imagined there might be more…but….For a little while, you sit and ponder, W hat just happened? You savor the bold aroma of your drink, and then you gather yourself together....Time to go…. You grab your backpack, leave the solitude of the quiet house and hike up the road. You drink in the hum of oneness in your body, the land, the animals, and the plants. You are mystified, but you want this throbbing, vibrating, moving energy, to last forever.

You step off the paved road, climb a little slope to reach a shrub taller than yourself and finger the tiny, olive green leaves that jut out from the branch. You think, How interchangeable are my skin and its surface!


hen you return home, you begin a search that will explain what happened that morning in the desert south of Tucson. You don’t think you are unusual. Someone must have had the same experience and written about it.

As you explore, the energy/chi increases and deepens, but not only in yourself. Many of your friends are experiencing a spiritual acceleration. Even your first memory takes on new meaning.

Jo Garceau, Soul Coach and Spir itual Counselor , is a Cer tified Shamanic Astr ologer . A r ecipient of the Walden Writing Fellowship, she is author of Knowing Woman, Nurturing the Feminine Soul. She has taught numerous classes on writing spiritual memoir in the Vancouver/Portland area and is currently working on a second book, Awake in the Dream: Embodying Spirit. The first woman to serve as General Government Cabinet Director in the State of Washington, Jo later became a campus minister at The Evergreen State College and assistant minister at Ananda Spiritual Community. She holds a Master in Human Values from San Anselmo Theological Seminary. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 19

Woods By Joan McNerney The patient earth lay warm. Pine cones at her feet. My fingers drifted aimlessly through fallen needles. We stopped by mossy logs watching frogs leap. Squirrels rustling up, down ancient trees. Soft rain in air.

© Josch13|

Honey-filled By Joan Canby Star jasmine its lanky lace climbing fence lattice a white tissue fluttering in the Texas breeze as frogs croak in their shallow lily pond shade as her morning fragile soprano dares to sing, smug, safe aloft as no bees in sight ahead to rob her of her honey-filled life. © -

Joan Canby was bor n and r aised in Santa Barbara, California, received her MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and presently lives in Garland, Texas where she raises Scottish Terriers. (

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Halcyon Days, Blueline, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Poppy Road Review, Bright Hills Press Anthologies and many Kind of A Hurricane Publications. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine literary presses and she has four e-book titles.

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 20

A Banquet in Autumn By Donal Mahoney In the wind a butterfly clings to a marigold while a bee hovers. A hummingbird stops then darts away. The garden is still a banquet in autumn.

Š romantiche -

Pheasant Wings By Donal Mahoney Autumn and the leaves are crisp in the swirling air. Pheasant wings everywhere.

Š moramora -

Donal Mahoney has had wor k published in Nor th Amer ica, Eur ope, Asia and Afr ica. You can r ead some of his wor k at Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 21

Jeannine’s Kitchen By Diana Raab Bring me to Jeannine’s kitchen where the pride of cooking sweeps across her face, and the aromas pull you into their goodness. The heart of the family resides in the kitchen where meals are prepared concerns voiced and smells linger. Jeannine’s kitchen features a steaming pot of soup, fish or farmer’s, simmering on the stove where colors combine like the splatters on the canvases of her artist studio. Food carries memories for this family of many yesterdays— arriving in from the snow to share in the savory, the baby bottles in microwaves pabulum dripping from lips artichokes cooking, steaks sizzling potatoes frying, asparagus boiling chestnuts in the oven fresh strawberries, and a glass of red wine to ease the food down gently, peacefully. Jeannine glows while strutting the kitchen amongst the lingering aromas and apple pie spilling over in a hot oven which she tells the little kids not to touch but just to eat the pie because this is what warms her heart.

© Dar1930 |

Diana Raab, Ph.D, is an awar d-winning writer, poet, memoirist, blogger, speaker, and author of nine books and over 500 articles and poems. She’s also editor of two anthologies, Writers on the Edge: 22 Writers Speak About Addiction and Dependency and Writers and Their Notebooks. Raab’s two memoirs are Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. She also blogs or Psychology Today and PsychAlive. She facilitates workshops focusing on writing for healing and transformation. Raab has been writing since childhood, when her mother gave her a journal to help her cope with her grandmother’s suicide. She’s the mother of three adult children and lives in Southern California. Her forthcoming book, Writing for Bliss: A Seven- Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life is due out in the Fall of 2017 by Loving Healing Press. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 22

Solitary Calm By SuzAnne C. Cole Minute figure in a hand-colored photograph, a fisherman sits comfortably, meditating before the mountain, back turned to museum visitors. His boat a pale, slender arrow, shallow-drafted, single rectangular sail the finely pleated linen of a nun’s wimple. Hourglass sea cradles Mt. Fuji. Sea-stillness punctuated by marshy swaths, grasses like seaweed rising to the sun. On the distant shore, boulders, then foothills dwarfed by Lord Fujiyama, snowy peak echoing the whiteness of the foregrounded sail. Triangular mountain, slanted foothills, shapely water, the calm of that small square man easily riding his spear of a boat. © SeanPavonePhoto -

A Good Day for Making Soup By SuzAnne C. Cole is chilly, clouds of gray resting their heaviness against the earth, suffocating sunlight— and good humor. So pull from the pantry what Gramma would gather from her root cellar—onions, carrots, garlic, potatoes, a jar of home-canned naked tomatoes oozing juice. Slice coins of carrots, discs of fungi, dice onions, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Wilt garlic and onions, then carrots. Quick sizzle for earthy mushrooms. Dissolve jarred bouillon in hot water, pour over vegetables, toss in barley, cover. Simmer until almost tender. Meanwhile scavenge leftovers— Cornish game hen hubby grilled on Saturday. Skin, strip from bones, chop into small bits, add to the pot. He grilled summer squash too, Slice the two remaining, toss in. One final addition—leftover wild rice baked for the game hens. Flavors married by twenty-minute simmer fragrant in the steamy kitchen.

© Dar1930 -

Bake a multigrain artisan loaf. Toss a salad—greens, nuts, and berries. The sun’s out—in this room anyway— and peevishness erased.

SuzAnne C. Cole, for mer college English instr uctor , enjoys tr aveling and hiking the wor ld and writing from a studio in the Texas Hill Country. Her poetry and short fiction have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Recent poetry publications include Ekphrastic Review, Poetry & Place 2015, Vineleaves, Binnacle, and Gloom Cupboard. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 23

© ra2 studio -

© Andrey Prokhorov -



By Michael Chin

By Martin Willitts

I walked home watching the sky for shooting stars and the blinking lights of airplanes or UFOs. Nothing. But it’s a privilege to see individual stars. It’s been too long since I lived in a small town, where city lights and smog did not blot and smear it all away. A privilege to see something from trillions of miles away. Something that might not exist anymore, but still looks to burn and shine over equations of time and distance I could never quite comprehend. It’s a privilege to think of old friends who might seem the same stars from a thousand miles away. I’m not so foolish to speculate that they think of me, too, in this moment. But over enough time and distance, history and space, what counts as synchronicity, anyway? We are always.

Michael Chin was bor n and r aised in Utica, New York and is a recent alum of Oregon State's MFA Program. He won Bayou Magazine's Jim Knudsen Editor’s Prize for fiction and has work published or forthcoming in journals including The Normal School, Prairie Schooner online, and Bellevue Literary Review. Find him online at or follow him on Twitter @miketchin.

in the advent of first breath eternal immense as a familiar thunder we are immersed in love its signature is inside us constellations blinking

Martin Willitts Jr is a r etir ed Libr ar ian living in Syr acuse, NY. His poems have appeared in Blue Fifth Review, Kentucky Review, Perfume River Review, Bitter Oleander, Nine Mile Magazine, Comstock Review, Centrifugal Eye, Stone Canoe, and others. He is the winner of 2013 Bill Holm W itness Poetry Contest; 2014 Broadsided award; 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award; and, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over 20 chapbooks, plus 11 full-length collections including “How to Be Silent” (FutureCycle Press, 2016). His forthcoming books include “Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed” (FutureCycle Press); “Three Ages of Women” (Deerbrook Press); and the winner of the Editor’s Choice Award, “The Wire Fence Holding Back the World” (Turtle Island Press).

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 24

Balancing Act By Mark Mitchell He stood accused of arresting an insight. But no, he objected, he’d only plucked it, lightly, with two slim fingers and, for barely a semi-quaver, held it up to the light. Then he let it float away until it burst with the silly sound of a soap bubble striking a bell.

Š alixxgirl -

Mark J. Mitchell studied wr iting at UC Santa Cr uz under Raymond Car ver , Geor ge Hitchcock and Bar bar a Hull. His wor k has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Soren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics, (Folded Word). His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage Press and two more novels are forthcoming: A Book of Lost Songs (Wild Child Publishing) and The Magic War (Loose Leaves). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city. Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 25

Wellfleet at Olga’s By Lenore Weiss floating on my back murmurs from the shore a lifeguard’s whistle boogie boards water color red a cloud of seaweed hisses of bubbles dissolve my feet scissors to locksmith time tumbles away Einstein wears sunblock count the waves

© cindygoff -

Lenore Weiss gr ew up in New Yor k City with whistle stops along the way in Chicago, Illinois, and Ster lington, Louisiana. She lives in Oakland, California and is enrolled in an MFA program at San Francisco State University. Other books include Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island (West End Press, 2012), and Two Places (Kelsay Books, 2014). Lenore has blogged for the Jewish Book Council, Basmati, and serves as the copy editor for the Blue Lyra Review. Visit her website at or Twitter: @lenka Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 26

Porcupine Mountains: October By Raymond Luczak Its canvas slopes are heavy, its residue of storms past dribbling down the sides, where drapes and trestles bundle to fold and unfold. Trees turn into paintbrushes, impaled in the palette of seasons. Each dab of color, a work in progress constantly refreshed, is primed to sing. © SNEHIT -

Fog Off Little Girl’s Point By Raymond Luczak The air dances cool kisses up and down my spine. Silence, such music. Come wrap me in your shroud unrolling around my feet. No one knows I’m still a child.

© Unsplash -

Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. Titles include How to Kill Poetr y (Sibling Rivalr y Pr ess) and Mute (A Midsummer Night’s Press). His work has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and online at © Andrew Bertke

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 27

Š Unsplash -

Yoga at Takoma Park Library By Marianne Szylk Curled up in the basement, tucked away from the thunder upstairs,

Twisting beneath the rain, opening hearts, throats, bodies, they breathe.

she breathes. Rain falls through leaves the color of old newspapers, and the teacher tells tales of tigers, monkeys, and strawberries. Twisting beneath the rain, opening hearts, throats, bodies, they breathe.

Marianne Szlyk is the editor of The Song Is... . Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, was published by Flutter Press. Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print venues, including San Pedro River Review, Cactifur, Of/with, bird's thumb, Truck, and Scarlet Leaf Review. Her first chapbook is available through Kind of a Hurricane Press. She hopes that you will consider sending work to her magazine. For more information about it, visit http:// Recently, she has been artist in residence at the Wild Word: Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 28

Hints of the Heart By Scott Thomas Outlar The sky is a vast ocean of blue with specks of emerald green scattered here and there to reflect the shine from your eyes. The sun is a flower of warmth that has reached full fruition; drops of honeyed nectar drip down through the air as sparkling rays of light. The first hint of Autumn can be felt as the whisper of a gentle breeze sweeps through the branches of trees; it is considered a sign of good fortune to catch a falling leaf as it flutters, but all of my wishes were already granted the day that your love was born in my heart. Now my spirit rests peacefully in a state of constant comfort because of the bliss you have kissed in my blood with the gift of your blessing. I could sit on this bench in the woods through all the hours of the coming season, watching the colors change hues into crisp shades of amber, orange, and red; but that would mean remaining here alone and so I must now stand up to move on, for the temporary pleasure of this moment does not even come close in comparing to the perfect emotions of eternal happiness that are found when we’re wrapped in each other’s arms. © simonovics -

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews can be found. He has three poetry collections currently available: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016). Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3

| 29

Halcyon Days - 2016 Issue 3 | 30

Halcyon days 2016 issue 3  

Promoting the fall through stories, poetry and images.

Halcyon days 2016 issue 3  

Promoting the fall through stories, poetry and images.