William PitchfordFrom Issue #3
Just a clear, hot Saturday morning,
When my feet touched the floor,
A little bit of a groan eased out,
When I remember my July chore.
It's blackberry picking time in Kentucky,
Gallon buckets we had to fill,
It's blackberry picking time in Kentucky,
I'll pick those darn berries 'til I'm ill.
Now I'd dress myself and get my pail,
And slam back that old screen door,
And then head on up the road,
Little brother in tow, maybe just ten gallons more.
By eight AM, it's already hot,
As we struggled through the weeds,
Mindful of snakes adn flicking ticks,
Just to fill Mom's canning needs.
But on the way we'd explaore a bit,
Finding crawdads in the creek, bobcats on the hill,
A field full of monarch butterflies,
And sometimes, the woods that were very still.
Now July had turned to August,
And summer went to fall,
The berry buckets gone for another year,
Hanging on the toolshed wall.
Now it's another Saturday mroning,
And my feet hit the floor,
But there's no groan this time,
As blackberry cobbler smells float through the bedroom door.
Liam MitchellPreviously unpublished
A chance to ride
In life's dreams
A wild white horse
Through mountain streams
Through oaken wood
Of wisdom past
On sea's beaches
Forever it lasts
A song of the heart
A sword you'll hoist
And in your throat
The battle voice
O taobh istigh
"Dia agus bua"
Ta' me' ag kogar
Do' saol nua
Titim mo gluin
A chuisle mo chroi
Ag deireach a'r tshli
A storm approaches
And light goes to night
Another day, my love
A new dream, we'll sight
"Slan leat, m'gra"
I call as you leave
And a horse at a gallop
Rithann se' thuas slibh
Silent Knowledgeby Beith Buchannan
She'd rearranged the furniture again. Only the cat knew what that meant. She was the only one who'd been around long enough to know the pattern. It meant it was time for a new man. The old one was getting too comfortable, too close.
Cat settled forcefully onto her lap. She wanted her belly warmed, stroked fur would be a plus. She looked up at her lady lovingly, thoughtfully. She wondered what the new man would be like. The last one, the present one, was hyper and never still enough for her to sit on him: an annoying kitten who was weaned but wouldn't leave. She never slept in the bed when the man stayed over. It was too crowded in a way she didn't like. One body was enough to sleep on. Two was a crowd. She could predict her lady's night movements. She had perfected the art of moving with her, always staying on top. Sometimes she would move up to the side of her head, burying her lady's face in fur. She liked feeling her warm breath through her fur and onto her skin.
She could see the fortification of thought on her lady's face. She would leave the man tonight simply by paying for her own meal and driving herself home, alone. He would have to cycle back to his. She would carefully guide the relationship into a boring friendship and then forget to call him on his birthday. This man hadn't lasted long. A bearded cyclist who ranted about the poor state of the world and the travesties of the men in power. He didn't do much about what he complained about though. Mostly he seemed to be unaware that he actually embodied most of his complaints.
Cat's favorite man still came around from time to time. She fancied that he mostly came to see her. He definitely paid more attention to her than he did to her lady. She'd sit in his nondescript lap and he'd stroke her until she snored lightly and dreamt. He'd stay still with one hand lightly on her back until she stirred and stretched one front paw out, clean claws extended. Then he'd tickle the side of her belly so she'd briefly protest and walk, stretching and blinking, off his lap onto the sofa cushion. She usually liked to give him an affectionate head-butt on his elbow before gliding over to her water bowl, gently swinging the tip of her tail as she lapped.
She wished her lady had kept this one. Maybe he'd come back to stay. She'd give up the bed forever for those gentle lap naps.
Her lady tickled her velvet patch at the back of the base of her right ear. She knew this was the signal that her lady had to stand up and go. She hopped down, blinked at her as she grabbed her keys and walked out the door.