Blue Heron at the Lake

Blue Heron at the Lake  |  By Kim Sosin

That last day before moving on
I fish the shallows of the lake.
I stand regally,
stretch my long neck.
I see myself, a sculpted ice fountain
reflected in the surface,
sleek feathers more blue than the lake,
stiletto beak more gold than the rushes.

In the soft smell of recent rain
ducks kiss fertile lake beds.
I spot an underwater flash of light
and strike,
shattering my reflection.
I pull out a silvery minnow,
marveling at my fishing prowess
and savor spring’s bounty.

A cacophony of nasal quacks
warns me!
I hunker down, leap,
open azure wings, grab air in plumes,
rise with warm currents, but then remember
the minnow-rich slate pool
the whisper of rippling water.
I circle, splash home on feather parachutes.

This shallow fertile lake is my sojourn.
Tomorrow will be time to move on.

About the Author:

Kim McNealy Sosin is an Emerita Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her post-retirement interests include writing and photography. Her poems and photographs have appeared in Fine Lines, Failed Haiku, Daily Haiga, Voices from the Plains, Landscape Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, Wanderlust Journal, Raw Art Review, and Sandcutters.


Two Poems By Matt Mason

In the Packed Auditorium | By Matt Mason

Warren Buffett eats peanut brittle
on stage
in front of forty thousand faces, he
makes it look easy,
picks up a golden chip,
uses that same hand to gesture a point to life,
punctuates with a crunch.

You crane your neck for the video screen,
hoping to see the slo-mo replay,

it’s just some
about picking stocks,
making money.

Flash | By Matt Mason

—from an inch-long news story in the Omaha World-Herald

3am, naked man in Nebraska
drives his truck through a church,
sideswipes a school,
ends up spinning on the State Capitol’s lawn;

he’s wearing nothing but rain and spotlights, his skin
a living glitter ball across the grass,
stepped out a superstar,
blue-red paparazzi pulses flashing breakneck beats
around the streetlight city.

You can’t publicize a show like this.

Too much is the surprise of it,
that, otherwise, would keep you brewing coffee after bedtime
so you could sneak to the church halfway to dawn,
sit with the whole neighborhood; everybody here, the Presbyterians
the Baptists from the red house,
everybody squeezed in the balcony

meditating on the pair of candles
far away as stars
before the scene ignites,
before a choir of rubber and internal combustion blazes up the aisle,
slows like genuflection,
screeches left at the altar, tips the holy birdbath, and parts the side doors like a sea.

Mary just smiles. Jesus
doesn’t even turn his head.

Not a soul notices
how beautiful the Capitol building looks in this rain, confetti of light beams,
orange pickup spinning on the green,
tires spraying mud across the cosmos.

In such a Funkytown spectacle,
you’d think the officers would move more like the YMCA dancers,
leap like antelope, prowl like panthers instead of such
clumsy choreography where they fall on this slickfish naked highlight
and beat his chin into the muck; they lie to the rain, saying:
that’s it for the show,
nothing to see here,
get yourselves home.

About the Author:

Matt Mason is the Nebraska State Poet and Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective. He has run poetry programs for the State Department in Nepal, Romania, Botswana and Belarus. Mason is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and his work can be found in magazines and anthologies including Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Mason’s 3rd book, I Have a Poem the Size of the Moon, is due out from Stephen F. Austin University Press in late 2020. Matt is based out of Omaha with his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, and daughters Sophia and Lucia.


Uprooting A Tree By Jamie Wendt

Uprooting a Tree | By Jamie Wendt

There is always risk
when uprooting a tree.
Generation after generation,
we yank roots from the earth,
and no one can recall
the first seed, the place a root
splits. My tongue names a new species
that my sons can never understand.
I kiss their foreheads at night
and they grow into strangers,
laughing in their sleep.

I remember the lanky boy in Kove Guberdnia
who ate copper coins from his parents’ wallet
rather than be forced on a ship to America.
He ate half of their fortune.
His fingers were orange, smelled like dirt.
He swung from trees, a monkey-snake,
rushed to me one day across the road
where I often dug, pat soil,
grabbed weeds, planted flowers.
He shoved his splintered hand in my face.
I already sensed I would be a mother to sons.
I tweezed out the tiny wood with my black nails,
licked his red wound
slow and hot, prophesied
he would remain a boy
forever running from himself
without guilt in his chest,
without pages between his lips,
without an ocean to hold him steady.

 – Mena “Minnie” Pretcovitz, 1905

About the Author:

Jamie Wendt is the author of the poetry collection Fruit of the Earth (2018) and winner of the 2019 National Federation of Press Women Book Award. Her poetry, essays, and book reviews have been published in various literary journals and anthologies, including Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility, Lilith, Literary Mama, The Forward, Third Wednesday, and Saranac Review. She holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She teaches high school English and lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.