Note from the editor:
a rise up from the water. words emerge like primal matter. the muse speaks. her songs are in ferns and trees. flowers that spread their petals to your music. it is nectar on your lips. it whispers from bird skeletons and thickets, myths and heartbreak. gallops as wild horses and mountains. throbs in the ache of climate upheaval. all of the poets and artists that surrender themselves in this issue, open to the muse as nature. perhaps even for one moment reveal to the reader something hidden beneath our own essential waters.
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On Nature Christian Ward Brittle hands of ferns, rainwater shaded pike, and the moon perching in a birch tree like an owl, might be enough to inspire. Might be. Sometimes, I swear the hills are raising their chests with a breath I can't see. My feet feel their movements, urge me to keep moving forward. My hands urge me to capture all I can see with the words I know. Sometimes the feeling overwhelms and I want to retreat into myself. Nature urges me to continue, to stop, to breathe, to be. [Sangaku Shinko] Agrene Bouwman Dawn breaks the spell of a thousand winters and it is said that the river remembers the bedrock of collision the murmuration of birds above crumpled folds the waking of it all. Here is the edge of the everlasting world, a view, and the warm trickling mist of morning sticks like breath lips that reach for the river. O precious life, the smell of wet stone and hands of lichen silk grounding cedar scent, here is our home and under our tread a prayer dawn moving like a promise euphonious wings of silence lingering. Precious life pray to the emerging water that each drop is the mountain that its summit is a temple that nothing is nearer to the gate. *Sangaku Shinko= Mountain worship Selfsame Bardolatry of Blue Mounts Daniel Lockeridge As selfsame bardolatry of blue mounts, In faint aits explored thoroughly as wilds; From the sepulchre of chests of saunter— In sunrise—nature is kept like mild sound. Word-like falls colour rocks down the light cliffs As day climbs to reunite with its youth, Like ducks that wish to challenge themselves; wish Upon conifers as if upon quills. Ah, but nurtures the ugly, doubting flame, Like a candle’s breath toward stifled glass; Parts thoughts like the green from greenery; pace From arms spreading toward the framing brass. O return us to blue ink, green ear; share Your outlook on pinnacles like a glare.
The Wild Berries Devika Mathur The mouth breathes into a small blurb- A seismic chore of a river— to eat this trunk of a tree— is a lucid dream, the nectars too sweet, poured into chilled bone china’s cup.. Precisely calmer than before- I see the sky for lust, I see the river for comfort To sink and migrate to another point, neck slackened, I call thee for love, to pronounce the spit of rain onto my lips sweet sour tangy a stack of fat cucumbers slapping against my face- this is mine- I say these rocks and stones; I watch the forest to be the one, myself. Never been to Maine Nathalie Spaans Rain. A fisherman’s cot, black tar on the kettle, the disembelishment of a sea creature—squeeze a lemon. The wind takes word now it’s salt. Lick and replenish. The skin you wrap around me yes. the may queen (beltane swan skeleton) Jai Michelle Louissen light quivers, swells with dew the pines inflame marked by some ancient balsam the marsh tilts its ears in your absence, here where the sea wings first left you may queen. feather-span wide as time as its last feral call night wet and heavy with her creatures: diadem of root mead altar of bone dew gospel of chestnut petal from these waters I will be born
Up From The Underworld Sun Hesper Jansen We lie, ear to the earth, warm cheek to cold, in our separate worlds. I carry you with me, you’re half my power, and yet, this sundering. This gentle trauma. Abduction in reverse, one home expels me into the other, always changed a little more. She never says “Death becomes you.” She counts the lines in my face, measures my proportions, feeds me dandelions. Oh love, their roots taste like you. The gate is ever in sight. Summer is full of dying if you look hard enough. I linger too long in the sun, asking for trouble. This sensitivity makes me dull, dizzy, unstable, a hazard striving toward disaster. There’s no true darkness here and the nights are all so short. But when the storm clouds come, and the air smells of you, how I bless this curse. You are gone so quickly, but you are lovely, crowned in lightning. Untitled Natalie Claire Taylor Indweller, you sliced my throat, and pulled my heart up through it For I was ripe to be stolen by deceit, But not strong enough to turn you. And as I stretched out on the shore bleeding out into the bones of the earth My breath was guided by the loon’s flute to the depths of the moon’s windy oceans. Persistent whippoorwill, little psychopomp, Please bring me to the darkest lands.
Song of Blackthorn (Spontaneous poem and field edge sketch 18th April 2023) Howard Young Blackthorn, cruel branches pour out innocence, the flower belies the tone of cool indifference to human traffic, walkers fed on myths admire the songs of Robins, the truth-tellers of last winter. Branches are the veins of the natural world flower-feeding the innocent petals until they drop, on my naked arm, dissolved by spring, they die falling through a sea of thorns in silence beneath the warblers’ idle chatter unnoticed, crossing paths for even the migrating birds will fall.
Precarious condition Conny Borgelioen Near a crevice on the seabed, where scalding water laced with toxic mineral plumes discharges, live large colonies of scaly-foot gastropods and yeti crabs. Where earth cracks open, fluids and minerals fizz up from the seafloor. Water shimmers star-like, delicate life abounds. Bacteria fed by chemosynthesis feed clutches of giant tube worms and deep sea mussels, feather duster worms and vent crabs with hungry mouths. Every single one: precious, necessary. In the deep of the ocean is a whole world held together by invisible bonds. In the smallest of heated pockets, where Tangaroa waves his night-wide hand. Just far enough from radiant vents not to boil alive, not too far to paralyse from ice cold. This place is a balmy summer day, a slim margin.
Water Lilies Sanjana Krishnan In the late afternoon the water is openly alive, half pond full forest, the fish silver clouds shadow the lily pads. Taut stand the hills broad-shouldered and green, their penumbra thick as molasses. The water lilies swim as slivers of moon and I say to you: look at the silver fish they swim as though they are the pond. Alone in The Garden Sandy Cove I’m no longer sleepy, the morning freshness brings me back to life In the garden, birdsong awakens my senses A disorderly noise worthy of urban traffic Like a tune of free jazz Waking up among the choirs of insects and creatures of Alcyon Conductor of his winged musicians Alone in the garden I smile Under the canopy covered with wisteria I put down the hot coffee, the steaming bread The tasty butter is already melting on my greedy fingers In the tree, an apricot is waiting for me I pick it up and bring it to my mouth Alone in the garden I smile The sparrows move in the branches What are they talking about? Why are they so happy about this new morning? As if it was the first morning on earth Alone in the garden I smile All around me, green, yes especially green Wild, devouring landscapes, hungry for earth, roads and rocks Devouring everything, walls, houses, hills Green, yes, a lot, everywhere A dense, mint-flavoured green, bursting with chlorophyll A flavour of electric shock that awakens the taste buds with a startle Alone in the garden I smile I make myself light, I’m becoming a bird I hum a foreign tune, the one of my first morning on earth What was there before? I have forgotten everything The coffee, the hot bread, the tasty butter The world has just been born Standing among willows, wisteria and aromatic herbs I blend into the background, I abandon myself Green all around me, getting closer and closer And engulfs me in its huge mouth Alone the garden smiles Invocation Robert Charboneau I call on Calliope like an afternoon faun stirred from dreaming takes up his two pipes, like a minor silvan sprite attendant on his Oberon. I am a feral woodwose tamed by your witching song, returned to the same mossy rock we met long ago on, to be converted again to your ways, yet you respond: But how good is your word to me? If you would know my gifts, would learn of what I have to teach, prove it. I rub the sleep away. O Muse! I would journey back to you daily, to sip from your respite, but too often and you refrain from me. You say, like the Pillars of Hercules, No further. No one can look directly at God. No one can stand in its presence too long. And she with splendor terrible and awesome: Poetry starts in the gut, then the brain convulses. I speak in spasms, warbling woodnotes wild and broken. Do not be timid when the images arrive. Brave the fears that haunt, the uncertainty that daily draws its cave paintings on the mind. Tomorrow they may not be, but tomorrow is another time. Tomorrow will not remember tonight. If you are starved for my blessing to recite, drop to your knees before my feet, unabashed. Be aroused by your submitting and you will eat.
Persephone RS Kendle I too have plumbed deepest fathoms Journeyed to the Underworld To meet my shadowed self. Chthonic goddess Resplendent in her decay The sweet smell of rot clings to her. Eater of corpses, dread queen. I unravel myself at her feet. Offer my anguish, The bitter words that remain unsaid. To be swallowed Alongside the pomegranate seeds. Each time I coil up Ready to disintegrate She picks me up, Shakes off the soil and dead skin, Breathes life into me. Reminds me that there is Respite in stasis, If only for a moment. Growing Among Trees Sterre Van Rossem Remember, she said, there is much to admire about these tall, strong, solid-looking trees. But it's the grass, small, delicate, fragile-looking even, that won't topple over— instead it bends and dances in the fiercest winds.
Forsythia MaryAnne Bernardo Star fisted goddess Flare of a reaching dream Whose cheerful song Lights the season to spin Bees hover with a wish to drown in your sweet honey almond eyes Your gold locks Light the blue morn' ablaze And your warmth the magic springboard of gladness Restore me with your corolla of hope majestic in the early morning breeze. Hanging Berries Claire Booth Red berries Hang on a sable branch Their frozen colour Clustered like cherry igloos Bursting with juice. She unties scrunched lace, Flowing into the lakes of earth, The blue soul of trees. Her galloping hair Seems to curl like the sun's Gold . Be kind to her berries For they are tangled In Nature's temples. Like a bee she dips Into pollen Until she is sunlight And the berries drop Onto sticky soil.
there is no song but her song Kira Lyonet Collins Heel to earth, tip the wheelbarrow of stones, their thunder I know Mindful of hooves, standing in a stall—head bent to horse hide, warm side of gentle beast That rasp of rock—tongue of arching barn-cat Bristle and burr, catch-n-ride seeds Sticky sap bubbles on bark of tree Scales prickle on the pinecone My fingernails find their rhythm, hem soaked in waves of meadow-grass dew Memories gather in the Queen Anne’s Lace, a sea of yesterdays, the cream of the crop, every drop an echo I know she’s dreaming Falling rain, flowing rain, frozen rain River-braille of leaf-vein I only translate her song tunnelling up through my blood and out through my hands It has all become beautifully rambunctious Emily Langford Dawn paints the night holding on stubbornly to a sickled moon. The skeletal remains of the great old Oak Is changing, Its bones have now become homes for new life. The horizon's nakedness is heaving as if it's about to break out in song, I swallow down the urge to follow its lead. She's breaking herself open, as a mother does. and we are all awake to see her generosity celebrated, In song, In life, In blooms, In light. We are all awake to see.
Bios for Issue Three Poets: Christian Ward is a UK-based writer who has recently appeared in Open Minds Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, The Seventh Quarry, Bluepepper, Tipton Poetry Journal, Amazine and Rye Whiskey Review. Agrene Bouwman is a sculptor and writer from the Netherlands. In both disciplines she examines various aspects of transience and how the awareness of that transience influences the human condition. The last few years her devotion has turned increasingly to writing. She is currently working on the last stages of a novel and a book of poetry. IG @the_tale_of_xu_wei My name is Daniel Lockeridge; I am twenty-eight and live in Australia. I studied English and Writing at university before self-publishing a collection of meditative reminders and two collections of poetry. Approximately a year ago I started my Instagram page – @danlovepoetry – which has allowed me to expand on my love for writing romantic poetry interlaced with nature themes. Currently I am focusing on completing fantasy novels as well as additional spiritual and poetry books. Devika Mathur resides in India and is a published poet, writer, and editor. Her works have been published in The Alipore Post, Madras Courier, Modern Literature, Two Drops Of Ink, amongst others. She is the founder of the surreal poetry website "Olive skins" and writes for https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com/ She recently published her book "Crimson Skins" and her five poems were also published in the Sunday Mornings River anthology recently and has her works upcoming in two more fierce anthologies. Nathalie Spaans lives in Amsterdam and works as a public attendant in a cool museum. In her daily life she finds it hard to convey what’s going on. In writing she tries to make sense of it. Her work has appeared on the front page of Open Arts Forum. Jai Michelle Louissen is the author of one poetry collection, A Vision of Orchids. She has also released two studio albums as a singer songwriter and is creating a third. You will most find her on moor tops, unabashedly hugging trees or swimming in bird song and maybe even all at once. She is the editor of The Winged Moon. Sun Hesper Jansen (she/they) is a poet and fantasy writer who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Her first book of poetry, Fairy of Disenchantment, is currently in press with Indie Blu(e) Publishing, and she can be found on Instagram @sunhesper. She also blogs on/as literary therapy for Multiple Sclerosis at thefairyofdisenchantment.wordpress.com. Natalie Claire Taylor lives in Toronto, Canada and has been avidly reading and writing poetry for over 30 years. Not particularly focused on being published, she writes for joy, magic, and the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with other humans. Howard Young is a poet, artist and sculptor from the UK who lives in Sussex, near the sea with his wife, family and too many typewriters. His sketch poems are all done on site, by hand and without preparation, The poems are truly spontaneous, written in ink, no corrections. First thought, best thought. @brighton_typewriter_poet Conny is an odd seabird, living on the Belgian coast. She has a Sisyphean rock called chronic fatigue syndrome, but despite this, her therapist says she has a light energy. Conny's poetry and erasure collage have been published here and there. Her book "Waking up to Thrutopia" is available from Amazon. Sanjana is in medical school and began reading poetry as a way to unwind. Discovering poets turned into a discovery of writing inspired by nature, color, and quiet solitude in an otherwise noisy world. Sandy Cove is a published poet and artist from France, an anglophile writer living for art and words. Robert Charboneau is a poet from Reno, NV. He is the author of three poetry collections. Figments (2020), The Philosopher, The Poet & The Politician (2021), and The Man With No Eyelids (2022). He teaches English and Journalism at Bishop Manogue High School R S Kendle is a poet from the north-east of Scotland. She holds a BA Honours in English Literature and Politics from the University Of Strathclyde. Her work has been published in several publications, including Feminist Space Camp, Free Verse Revolution, and The Survivor Zine. Her Instagram handle is @rskendle. With her project, Growing among trees, writer Sterre van Rossem sets out to remind herself and others of our innate connection to this miraculous earth. The speaker in Sterre's work engages in short, poetic conversations with, presumably, earth. Often sharing vulnerabilities, questions, hurt & joy, the speaker is rewarded with comforting lessons and observations from the natural world. Follow her project on Instagram via @Growing_among_trees MaryAnne Bernardo is an emerging writer native to Toronto, Canada. A hobbyist photographer, MaryAnne is inspired by the beauty of the natural world around her as well as the complexity and resilience of the human spirit. She views her writing as a natural outgrowth of the heart centered holistic treatments of Thai massage and Reikiwhich she offers at womens centers in Toronto. Her work has been published in the Scissortail Quarterly, Cast Iron Poetry Series " When Fold and Twine" and The Winged Moon Magazine. Kira Lyonet Collins is a dreamer, a mother, a lover of myth and all that is spiral-shaped and story-scented. She is a word catcher and word scribbler,a deep listener and ponderer of the Mystery. Emily Langford was born surrounded by beautiful English countryside so it was inevitable that her muse would start there. With a love of all thing magic and a deep affection for Mother Earth, it's near possible not to weave her love into her art. Artists Brendan Constantine is a poet artist based in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared in many standards, including Poetry, The Nation, Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, and Poem a Day. He currently teaches at the Windward School and, since 2017, has been developing poetry workshops for people with Aphasia and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This is the first time his visual art has appeared in a journal. my name's Oksana Potuznik. I was born in Russia, though been living in Thailand for over past 15 years. I'm a mother of 4 who has found her retreat and creativity outlet in photography and editing. I easily connect with nature and make it a huge part of my artistic expression. My motto is "here and now" and that's how I try to capture moments around that will never happen again. Apart from having my passion in photography, I practice yoga on a daily basis". Kasiani is a digital artist with a passion for collages as well as digital drawing with a strong focus on patterns. At times both streams come together in collages infused with her intricate pattern design. Kasiani has always been fascinated with patterns, anywhere from nature to folk motifs, to sophisticated and complex geometric patterns and tessellations. From nature to music, to poetry or man made objects such as ceramic tiles, fabric, wallpaper, folk or religious art, patterns and tessellations can be found all around us. Kasiani is a US based artist. Her work has been exhibited in Brussels, London, Paris, as well as Portugal and Brazil and can be seen on Instagram @kasiani_tales. Amy Lundberg is an artist whose main passions are painting, photography, and poetry. She resides in Northern Minnesota. Angela Patera is a self taught artist whose art has appeared in numerous publications, as well as on the cover of Selenite Press and Penumbra Online. Her art usually draws inspiration from the genres of horror and fantasy, but also from folklore and nature. You can find her on both Twitter and Instagram as: @angela_art13
Thank you for reading Issue Three of The Winged Moon
A beautiful portrayal of nature from very talented writers.
Lovely to read ❤️🌹
Wauw, this is definitely the best issue yet! What a beautiful images and poems. Really ❤️ It