Halcyon days issue 5

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Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5


Halcyon Days Issue 5 - 2017 Contributors Aden Thomas

Ingrid Bruck

My Heart the Youngest Animal (15)

Spring Unfolds (10)

Jay Dardes

Intimacy (15)

Anita Leamy (E. A. Francis)

Spring Dance (19)

A Cardinal’s Kiss (26); Floating Feather (26)

Clare M. Zwerling

April Blue (9) | Green Rain (9)

John Grey

The Gift (11)

Dr. Emory D. Jones

Man, Woman and a Canoe (16)

Spring Day (A Triolet) (13) | Water Lilies (13)

Daginne Aignend Cherished (25)

Daniel Fitzpatrick The Skylight of Monet (14)

Deirdre Fagan Spring (4)

Dolores Brandon Neta in the Garden (6)

Donna M. Davis Natal Song (8) | The Oriole (14)

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins Rebirth (5) | Lullaby (5)

Emily Feng Dawn (12) | Dreamscape (12)

Heath Brougher Spring Forward (10)

Joan McNerney

Ken Allan Dronsfield Adieu (24) | Separated by a Whisper (24)

Kersten Christianson How My Daughter Taught Me to Read (6)

Lana Dean Highfill Beauty (7)

Marsha Foss Haiku from the Bike Path (20)

Matthew Harrison Venice Day (17) | Restless (17)

Ruth Deming Pursue the Wonderful into Spring (18)

Ryan Quinn Flanagan Keeper (19)

Sandra Fees Anywhere (21)

Tina Hernandez Bide (22)

Halcyon Days Magazine ISSN: 2291-0255 Frequency: Quarterly Publisher | Designer: Monique Berry

Contact Info http://halcyondaysmagazine.blogspot.ca Twitter: @1websurfer monique.editor@gmail.com

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

Dear Readers Welcome to the fifth edition of Halcyon Days. It’s the season of fresh bright colours. It reminds me of the scene in the movie Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy’s house settles in Munchkin Land, her world goes from black and white to one of colour. A few weeks ago, I completed a course called The Power of Colour. What an eye opener! I didn’t have time to incorporate everything I learned. But I’m expecting the next issue to contain elements relating to colour theory. Hearty thanks to the new and returning contributors. With your talent and support, I’ll continue to uplift the minds of reader’s through words and photos. Spring has sprung, so get happy! Monique Berry Halcyon Days, Founding Editor

Cover © misu - Stock.adobe.com | Left © Iakov Kalinin - Stock.adobe.com © Joanna Tkaczuk | stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5


Spring By Deirdre Fagan Cow speckled hills full bosomed bushes these are the things of spring Monolithic magnolias blossoms pivoting release their loveliness Grassless mounds begin to burst forth their emboldened seeds Lovers tilt heads toward lips as eager as mid-summer sunflowers lean towards the sky Peering deeply into new eyes the brush with breath brings a surprise flick of the tongue Fall will be sudden when it comes

Deirdre Fagan is a widow, newlywed, and mother of two who has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Connotation Press, Corvus Review, Eunoia Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Mothers Always Write, Words Apart, and Yellow Chair Review, among others. She teaches literature and writing at Ferris State University. Meet her at deirdrefagan.com. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 4

Rebirth By Elizabeth Spencer Spragins lacy jade curtains veil faces of willows when the sun gazes on resurrected jonquils shortened shadows bow their heads

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Lullaby By Elizabeth Spencer Spragins clouds curtain the sun and spring peepers fall silent when rain drums softly on a fish pond stocked with dreams cattails droop and drift toward sleep

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Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a linguist, writer, poet, and editor who taught in North Carolina community colleges for more than a decade. She writes in traditional poetic forms that focus on the beauty of landscapes and their inhabitants. Her bardic verse in the Celtic style has been published by The Lyric, The Quarterday Review, and The Society of Classical Poets Journal. Her tanka and short verse have appeared in Bamboo Hut, Skylark, Peacock Journal, and Atlas Poetica. An avid swimmer and an enthusiastic fiber artist, she lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband and a rescued cat. © Tomasz - stock.adobe.com Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5


How My Daughter Taught Me to Read

Neta in the Garden By Dolores Brandon Three years old (at most), she gazes steadily at micro-sized leaves— salvinia floating on water.

By Kersten Christianson A sampled piece of biscotti, followed by a short introduction, and you step to the podium, to the microphone.

Her loam brown eyes—bright as dew catching light off the green— play enchantment.

In one poem you write of spaghetti simmering to loud music, and columbine bloom in the garden of weeds.

I ask:

In another, your joy of sea: waves slithering across sand, pooling among rocks, snaking between your toes.

“What might you call this plant? What name might you give it?”

Flirting fingertips in water, she takes her time, looks up, meets my gaze. “Neta,” she says. “Neta?” I echo. “Neta,” she repeats.

You read like the sun burning the day’s last flame through spring-dirty windows: with confidence.

My eyes shift toward her mother’s—quizzically. Amused and proud, she answers : “That’s her name. Neta means seedling in Hebrew.”

Perhaps this is the magic of childhood: sureness of voice, deliberateness of action, a celebration of words.

© Frantisek_Krejci - pixabay.com

Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moongazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon Territory, she lives in Sitka, Alaska with her husband and photographer Bruce Christianson, and daughter Rie. She is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry through the University of Alaska Anchorage (2016).

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Dolores Brandon lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. Her avocations include avid birding in New York’s great city parks, and volunteer garden guide duties at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden—where she particularly enjoys working with the pre-school-age children’s garden programs. Brandon can be reached online @ TRACES http://www.doloresbrandon.com.

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Beauty By Lana Dean Highfill As it sits in time, is just that until you come upon it: a single word taking shallow breaths in silence patient, calm. It circles around you whispering the way, shedding light upon your path, giving life to your days. It unfolds as quietly as a flower, allows you to carry it just as gently. With its ever-graceful touch, pure, limitless, and true, it holds you in return. From God's eyes to yours it morphs. It moves. It turns to what you need, takes a single breath and turns to who you are.

Lana Dean Highfill holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. She writes poetry in Southern Indiana, where she is an English professor. Her interests include live music, comic books, sci-fi, and marine biology. She has been published in The San Pedro River Review, you are here: the journal of creative geography, Tailfins & Sealskins: An Anthology of Water Lore, Rose Red Review, and is actively shopping her first manuscript. Š 1229063 - Pixabay.com

Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5


Natal Song By Donna M. Davis My life began with the calm water, where I floated in the ocean of my mother’s belly and listened to her heart beneath sheltering ribs. I emerged in the light-filled birthing room, my tiny body swaddled in a wave of striped muslin. Soon I grew big enough for my first splash in a plastic tub with slippery green sides and warm, bubbly tide up to my chest. I learned to toddle through a shower stall, its faucet handles, the levers of a ship. Its misty droplets divined my transformation into a girl with gangly legs too long for her body, darting through sprinklers in a polka-dot sun suit. Years passed—toes dipping in midsummer lakes, water sluicing hips and knees. I would wade on to dry land, a fully grown woman with starlight shining through the kitchen window. I pushed long-handled mops resplendent with suds, swabbed spumes of froth on scuffed tile floors, filled basins with sea salts for aching limbs. Water was the confluence of utility and healing. Every day, I heard it calling. It is calling me still. It courses through my aging bones, swims in my ears like a lulling voice, beckoning, promising, to take me back.

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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 - 2017 Issue 5 | 8

April Blue By Joan McNerney This is when we search for color to transform cold grey. Rainfall begins its magic bright lighting heaven blue. We scan stacks of luminous clouds as trees pop out green buds and forsythia bursts sparkling yellow stalks. Just today a breath of warmth brought alive pink crepe myrtle branches. Aromatic lilac bushes gather in soft bunches while birds and bugs encircle them. We are listening now to the first chorus of spring time.

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Green Rain By Joan McNerney I woke up looked out my window and saw green pouring down. Trees cascading over emerald grass. This noon swollen wet bursting water. Now even heaven is tinted jade as birds linger under branches listening.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net. © Arestov Andrew - stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5


Spring Unfolds

Spring Forward

By Ingrid Bruck

By Heath Brougher

Wind sweeps mist into piles of clouds, releases a blue sky sliver, then whips up heaps and tears them apart again. A cardinal sings, a jay squawks along with the chimes. A child picks up a fawn, only a new born will let you hold it. Within a week, they bawl, kick hard and run. Inside a dark birdhouse, Jennie Wren’s babies bare and sightless open their yellow beaks wide at the touch of wing stirred air. Spring unfolds.

There is now wind swishing through the trees outside my window speckled with blue sky sunshine in between the newborn leaves of the once drab, naked and dusty bare bones of clattering branches among a gray sky. Spring has returned to weaken the Winter, reinvigorating the life among the world and the warm wind… the wind… the wind… the wind… is reformed into a more uplifting feeling as it smoothly scrapes our skin.

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Ingrid Bruck is a poet/storyteller/retired library director. Her work has appeared in Howl of Sorrow: A Collection of Poems Inspired by Hurricane Sandy, Topography and Panoplyzine. She is a member of The International Women’s Writing Guild and a charter member of The Avocado Sisterhood.

Heath Brougher is the poetry editor of Five 2 One Magazine. He has published two chapbooks, “A Curmudgeon Is Born” (Yellow Chair Press 2016) and “Digging for Fire” (Stay Weird and Keep Writing Publishing Co. 2016) with another one titled “Your Noisy Eyes” due out in 2017. He is a Best of the Net Nominee, and edited the anthology “Luminous Echoes,” the sales of which will be donated to help with suicide prevention. His work has appeared in various online and print journals.

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The Gift By Clare M. Zwerling Phil bought me a blue bicycle the color of the sky on a spring day with a seat as soft as a cloud. I like the way my limbs stretch as I pedal my body feels as free as a child’s I smile, gliding along my hair blowing in the breeze. The heat doesn’t matter no thoughts about work I am alive in the moment freedom of movement is all there is. Thank you for this gift.

Clare Melissa Belber Bercot Zwerling is a new poet who is also published in the Spring 2017 edition of Glassworks. Clare is an

artist and CPA and resides in South Texas.

© Clare Zwerling

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Dawn By Emily Feng Alive, breathing, the earth beats its round, resonant heartbeat in time with the slow inhale and exhale of a still-sleeping child. The tranquil hush cradles this newborn morning, so soft and pearlescent. Brilliant, gemlike, coruscating, light ripples through the world, sets the grass glowing gold-tipped as the flowing hills tumble cascading down to green valleys. There, the sheep graze in contentment, lingering, bathed in amber; the grasses wave and susurrate, richly melodic, richly fertile.

Dreamscape By Emily Feng Shafts of liquid sunlight slant through a latticework of maple boughs, weaving between an emerald tapestry on a far green hillside lost in fantasy – where sun-splashed leaves flutter overhead as a silken breeze sings through the trees, and together light and shadow dance upon the grassy carpet underneath.

A leaf unfurls and stretches itself, luxuriating in the warmth, the translucent beam that saturates it with light and life. The beam elongates, grows, spreads its abundance to illuminate a spiral sweep of petals falling soft as sunlight on a distant sea.

Sparkling brooks murmur, scampering along glistening cascades of waterfalls; their silvery laughter sounds a musical trill floating lightly over the clear birdsong piped by nature’s feathered bards – the rustling leaves applaud in delight as melodies resonate through the air to paint harmony in all her radiant hues.

High and clear, the fluting call of a wood thrush floats through the air bright as a dewdrop, refreshing, restoring, reviving the morning sun as it rises.

Timeworn trunks of ancient oaks stand sentinel over this woodland realm. Their canopies of brilliant, leafy green shelter a haven of quiet peace where the troubled find a spring of solace, and the wearied find a well of strength as warm summer sunlight illuminates the gentle glow of hope blossoming.

Emily Feng is from the Pacific Northwest. She fell in love with books when she was seven years old, and has aspired to become a writer ever since then. When she isn't voraciously reading or writing, Emily enjoys listening to classical music and hiking. She is currently studying English Literature at Northwestern University. Contact her at emilyfeng15@gmail.com. © Colette - stock.adobe.com

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Spring Day (A Triolet) By Dr. Emory D. Jones Breezes buffet clouds across the sky As flowers stretch to kiss the golden sun. They dance and sway as if trying to fly As breezes buffet clouds across the sky. The sun is low and the day is almost done The day is as beautiful as when it had begun When breezes buffeted clouds across the sky And flowers stretched to kiss the golden sun. And warm sun beaming down from smiling heaven.

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Water Lilies By Dr. Emory D. Jones In this mode, Monet was the master— His Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies Is a perfect piece of suffused light. Background foliage drooping, weeping, Dipping leaf tips in the warm water Centered on a graceful arch of bridge; Blue-green water shimmering With gold flecks Splashed with black-green pads And delicate white flowers— We feel the warm sun, The caress of gentle breeze. Thank you, Claude.

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Dr. Emory D. Jones is a retired English teacher who has taught in Cherokee Vocational High School in Cherokee, Alabama, for one year, Northeast Alabama State Junior College for four years, Snead State Junior College in Alabama for three years, and Northeast Mississippi Community College for thirty-five years. He joined the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc. in 1981 and has served as President of this society. He has over two hundred and thirty-five publishing credits including publication in such journals as Voices International, The White Rock Review, Free Xpressions Magazine, The Storyteller, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Gravel, Pasques Petals, The Pink Chameleon, and Encore: Journal of the NFSPS. He is retired and lives in Iuka, Mississippi, with his wife, Glenda. He has two daughters and four grandchildren. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5

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The Oriole By Donna M. Davis

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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.

On the left fender, she heard a faint thud, and in the rearview mirror, a rolling fire of orange and black whirled behind her. She turned the car around to find an oriole lying in the road, eyes closed, wings folded. Though she believed it was hopeless, she picked up the bird and drove to a clearing in nearby woods where water flowed past rust-streaked stones. She hiked beside the stream, until the bird opened its eyes, and struggled to life in the grip of her hands. Her fingers fell from its body like the dull skin of an orange revealing the clear fruit. The oriole exploded into flight, shaking off her human fears, soaring straight over the creek bed and the broken yellow lines of the highway.

The Skylight of Monet By Daniel Fitzpatrick So often in the Orsay’s time or in the petalled eyes of the Orangerie the subject scans the ceiling: how snow slows carts in village streets and breezes whisper rain to browning blades, how still clouds furl the sails at Argenteuil and dappled blue puts poppies to flame and heavy heads dull seas at Etretat. The eagle sees the salmon finning in a swimming sky; canvas on canvas courses through cataracts, rushing to vertiginous inversion in his vision of the lilies, plunging in the pond through heaven’s every daily stage, toiling in age’s Eden to see the light above light beneath the ground clay and rock of color. © Lazureanu - stock.adobe.com

Daniel Fitzpatrick grew up in New Orleans and now lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with his wife and daughter. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals, including 2River View, Coe Review, Light, and By&By. In addition to writing, he enjoys kayaking the Diamond Lakes, micro-farming, and exploring the Ouachita Mountains. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 14

My Heart the Youngest Animal By Aden Thomas I watch this empire sun extend its last remaining light across the range of sagebrush like a hand that can’t let go. I understand the reasons why. Nothing but mountains in the distance. Along the highway, no cars shimmering like dots on the horizon. Maybe there’s no one for at least a hundred miles. Whatever made this world also made the rising and falling of my breath slow like the movement of old ghosts. And then my heart, the youngest animal, wanders off to chase the afterglow.

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Intimacy By Aden Thomas Towards the dusk when I was tired from walking home, I heard the river whispering its synonyms in the voice of polished stones. I wandered through the grass to the crescent of the shore. My feet sank in the sidewinder flows. The burdens on my narrow veins were washed away downstream. Upstream something moved in the ripples of citrus. I knew it swam my way. Inside, I felt the silent stir of freshwater arrhythmias. There was nothing to do but wait to see what nakedness emerged.

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Aden Thomas grew up on the high plains and sagebrush country of central Wyoming. He has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and a master's degree in Finance. His work has been featured in The Inflectionist Review, The Blue Mountain Review, and The Skylark Review. He now lives north of Denver, Colorado. Aden’s work can be found at: www.adenthomas.com. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5

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Man, Woman and a Canoe By John Grey The journey starts slow as algae clogs the stream, turns paddles slimy green. Our eyes are peeled for a great blue heron known to nest in these parts. There is a hawk. Having heard the cries, we now bask in the sight of the bird itself, A few strokes more, water clears some, and we glide by deer nibbling on the bank. A snowy egret stalks the invisible. His head cocks to the side, stares in our direction, but doesn't give up its prey to caution. We glide close enough to see yellow feathers flutter at the base of his dark bill. Bullfrogs erupt from between the lily pads. Turtles take time out on logs. Mallards peck and choose where the stream narrows. We spy the remains of a beaver dam and what we think might be a bear but is merely a rock half concealed by wind-ruffled brush. We enter a short stretch of civilization. Playing children wave. A woman hangs out her washing on a line to dry. They vanish from view but willows take up the surrounds with low, languid branches. The journey is as comfortable with people as it is with nature. Even the canoe earns the current's respect. Š SueKrebs | Pixabay.com

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 16

Venice Day


By Matthew Harrison

By Matthew Harrison

The most serene republic greets the dawn With domes and towers rising from the mist, From Arsenale cries of gulls are borne, San Giorgio’s pinnacle by sunbeam kissed. At noon the pennants flutter in the breeze While tourists queue in Campanile’s shade And mount the palazzo to take their ease, Languid against the Doge’s balustrade. The setting sun tints gold the higher floors Of palaces that crowd upon the banks: Tourists ascend Rialto Bridge and pause Before the grandeur of their curving ranks. The shuttered canal the gondola’s way – A lone red light to mark the end of day.

Is winter’s lifeless purity now past? Does spring trail her green dress over the hills, Stir the leaves to life with her scented breath, Make the boughs sigh as they burst into bud? Insects teem and birds compete for a mate, Undergrowth seethes with invisible life, And this narrow gulley choked with dry boulders Spurts suddenly with foaming turbid water: No peace in spring. Restless, now cool, now hot, I lie listening to insistent crickets And frogs bellowing out their nighttime pangs; Delicious sensuosity steals in Awakening memories of lost love, Stirring my loins with itching shoots of spring.

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Matthew Harrison lives in Hong Kong, and whether because of that or some other reason entirely his writing has veered from to literary to science fiction and he is currently writing poetry. He has published pieces in all of these genres. Matthew is married with two children but no pets as there is no space for these in Hong Kong. Visit www.matthewharrison.hk. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5

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Pursue the Wonderful into Spring By Ruth Deming She was waiting for the perfect day. Everything was ready. She vacuumed the screened-in back porch, put sprigs of early blooming lilacs in a vase, chose a book of poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, ate a salad with strawberries baby spinach and Muenster cheese, then waited until the sunset clambered across the sky, all purply-orange like the hotel they stayed at in Cape May. She lit a candle on the white wicker table, lay herself down on the matching wicker sofa, closed her eyes, the smell of the lilacs exploding across the room as the moon, like at Stonehenge, hung low, huge, with shadows on it like spiders, as she stared above in perfect ecstasy.

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Ruth Z. Deming has had her work published in lit mags including Creative Nonfiction, Mad Swirl, and River Poets. She runs a writers' group called The Beehive, where writers give gentle feedback to one another. She lives in Willow Grove, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia USA. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 18

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Let us have some semblance of joy ‌ inhaling the pink out of petunias

By Ryan Quinn Flanagan Let us have some semblance of joy something simple as walking into a greenhouse and inhaling the pink out of petunias with a woman who believes in backrubs who is inherently good.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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Haiku from the Bike Path By Marsha Foss Shoulder high in corn one deer at dusk watches all alone on the trail

Red moon rising full in the east between two pines, pierced, the hart turns west

A doe and fawn leap startled out of the river, silent boat glides by Glancing left, water lilies rustle tangled thick as a farmer's field Red moon rising full in the east between two pines, pierced, the hart turns west Beneath the bridge white stars, island flowers, burst bright reflecting moonlight

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Marsha Foss returned to her home state of Minnesota after 37 years in Maryland. She has degrees from the University of Minnesota and Johns Hopkins University. She currently lives in St. Paul and enjoys being connected to the area's amazingly vibrant writing community. Her work has been accepted by Glass:Facets of Poetry, Ekphrasis, Down in the Dirt, Your Daily Poem, Wildflower Muse, and Mused:BellaOnline Literary Review. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 20

Anywhere By Sandra Fees Somewhere someone is thinking the impossible, water rising once and again burnishing yellow as glorious finch who may be the last winged novitiate anywhere, this songbird alighting birdbath light who has no thought of impossible who could never think a thing like that whose breast always carries the same sun-glazed certitude and erupts before and after rain’s knife-jabs into persistent reverie, the valley seized by the plaintive cry of the last optimist anywhere. © skeeze | Pixabay.com

Sandra Fees is a Unitarian Universalist minister who resides in Reading, Pennsylvania. She has been named Berks County Poet Laureate for 2016-18. Her first poetry collection, The Temporary Vase of Hands, is being published by Finishing Line Press in 2017.

Spring Dance By Jay Dardes Young bunny grazes on a field of grass Amidst tender young shoots We live again Pipe now as we dance

Jay Dardes is a retired psychotherapist. He lives in the woods of northwestern Pennsylvania with his wife, Elaine, and his dog, Gretel.

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Bide By Tina Hernandez When wisdom gives way to weakness And the crepe skin blurs with the edges Of memory – cortical ridges turning Soft, like faint spots on hands, quaint Haze on retinas and kind floral prints For nightgowns that get worn all day… I think I’d like sunshine through glass, Lots of green as the hours pass, some Fur to sink my aching fingers into. I’d like to imagine I’ll be mindful Of those final years’ worth of moments, Not preoccupied or wasting effort on Being tired. Just rest, and if I’m very lucky Patience from people who aren’t rushing.

Tina Hernandez is originally from Key West. She is an armchair botanist and a budding herbalist. Tina is also the author of the short story collection, "Twenty Troubled Ladies," published by Ampersand Editions and available on Amazon. She is currently in graduate school for social work, and is the mother of five children.

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Separated by a Whisper

By Ken Allan Dronsfield

By Ken Allan Dronsfield

Raindrops of falling magic spatter upon a metal roof melodious sleeping tunes hot tea welcomes tired lips soft pillow and comforter wait carry me to a restful fantasy pup is fed and warm by the fire candles now smolder goodnight robe and slippers rest by the bed I slide into dreams, cat at my feet. To sleep, to sleep; the moon yawns, the stars softly whisper adieu, adieu.

Whisper softly in my ear, share your dreams of a beautiful coolish spring where worms run in fear of Robin's upon the lawn. Come to me in the scent of lovely lilacs, roses, and musty leaves, a harvested earth and blue skies with pink marshmallow clouds. Ride a lovely unicorn into the glorious sunset upon reddish twilight shadows. Whisper softly in my ear; I am yours, forevermore.

(Initial Publication, Whispers in the Wind Blog)

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Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who has recently been nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cat Willa. Ken's new book, "The Cellaring", a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com. He is the co-editor of the popular poetry anthology titled, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze available at Amazon.com. A second anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses will be released soon. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 24

Cherished By Daginne Aignend A warm loaf of bread with dairy butter and sugar. Fresh made coffee in mugs. A joyful start of the day. Watching classic movies. The Wizard of Oz followed by Hitchcock's Psycho.

Fresh made coffee in mugs. A joyful start of the day.

Homemade strawberry liqueur causing a drowsy coziness. Oh, this cheerful mood of embraced love. Fondled by each other's presence time seems to stand still. A replica of last year's celebration. I would be truly disappointed if our next family gathering won't be exactly the same.

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Daginne Aignend is a pseudonym for the Dutch poetess Inge Wesdijk. She likes hard rock music, photography and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals. Daginne started to write English poetry five years ago and posted some of her poems on her Facebook page and on her website www.daginne.com. She has been published in some online Poetry Review Magazines with a pending publication at the Contemporary Poet's Group anthology 'Dandelion in a Vase of Roses'. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5

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A Cardinal’s Kiss By E. A. Francis A flash of brilliant red lands beneath my bird feeder. Another, an orangey-brown cardinal comes to find seed. Both seek sunflower seeds fallen from the tray. Red male hops to his partner to present a gift— orange beak to orange beak— a cardinal’s kiss.

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Floating Feather By E. A. Francis I paused …to watch a tiny feather softly sachet dance down from the sky, floating side to side, side to side … settle.

© Laura Pashkevich | stock.adobe.com

Anita Leamy (pen name E. A. Francis) is an emerging poet who writes from the inspiration of the natural world and from her Christian faith lived. When she is not teaching preschoolers, she loves to read, sit with her cats, and watch the wild creatures from her sanctuary home. She welcomes reader responses by email or snail mail: anita.leamy@yahoo.com or 1006 Sitka Spruce Lane, Sykesville, MD 21784. Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 26

Contributor’s Corner E. A. Francis has been published in several issues of Halcyon Days. Her poetry collection is available to purchase in paperback and kindle formats. If you would like to support her, please visit the Amazon.com website.

“The inspiring poems and prose in this unique collection will make you smile, ponder, and sing praises for the natural created world of flora and fauna. Readers will discover their poetic soul by taking a frolic in nature, by connecting with feline friends, and by celebrating the delights of birds, flowers, and moments lived in every precious day and season.” Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5

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Halcyon Days - 2017 Issue 5 | 28

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