September 25 – October 1, 2023: Poetry from Patricia Godwin Dunleavy and Steve Saulsbury

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Patricia Godwin Dunleavy

Patricia Godwin Dunleavy writes nonfiction and has been author of several newspaper and magazine articles and columns as well as numerous newsletters. She also authored Landscape Lessons: A Practical and Inspirational Primer for the Southern Soil and Soul (Terratype Press, 2009) and co-authored two editions of a self-help legal book. A few of her poems have appeared with Poetry Super Highway and Haikuniverse. She resides in northeast Georgia and regularly travels with her husband by truck camper throughout the United States, mostly west of the 100th Meridian. Understanding and enjoying the natural world is a passion that inspires her writing.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Patricia Godwin Dunleavy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Wake-up Walk

Thin mist glides quickly
over sparkling forest-green lake.
Sun and waning moon,
east and west in early morning grey

Northern cardinals chip and whistle
Carolina wrens chatter and rattle

Killdeer cry and skitter across pavement
Eastern phoebe calls its name

Rock-laden waterfall splashes,
at drought-slowed pace

Distant downy woodpecker sounds,
my bird app says.
Another calls close by

Jet drones to the west
over muffled Fall festival traffic
Bright golden-orange-red maple tree
hangs over road

Northern mockingbird jabbers
Pileated woodpecker chuckles in the woods

Brown thrasher, gray catbird,
American robin, American crow,
American goldfinch, house finch,
song sparrow, chipping sparrow,
blue-headed vireo, blue jay,
yellow-raped warbler, pine warbler,
white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse,
northern flicker, Carolina chickadee,
eastern bluebird, eastern towhee—
The swelling din

Fish jump ripples lake
Squirrel pounce crinkles dry leaves—
oak, hickory, sycamore, and sweetgum,
on inspection

Fourteen speechless geese peck at lawn
Barred owl hoots Who cooks for you?

Ah, I’m ready for breakfast.

Steve Saulsbury

Steve Saulsbury resides on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. His flash fiction has appeared in The Yard, Press 53, Rehoboth Beach Reads, Loch Raven Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, and recently, Cosmorama. He enjoys coffee, music, and fitness, and works for the YMCA, where he also volunteers for the Rock Steady Boxing program.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Steve Saulsbury and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


That’s my bomb dog, the guy said, when I entered the gym.
He’d seen me in the parking lot, glancing at his truck.
Only fools leave dogs and babies, every summer’s news.
But the windows were mesh, and the morning was cool.
I was only curious.
The bark was commanding, not distressed.

She’s retired, the guy explained.
Belgian Malinois, trained for bombs,
Not cadavers or drugs.
They had worked in the next county,
Under the jurisdiction of the fire department.

When I asked to meet the dog, he agreed.
Her name’s Layla.
I thought of that old Eric Clapton song,
With the commanding riff.
The gray muzzled girl sniffed my hand,
Humbling me. Her job more important
Than any I ever held.
Her selfless loyalty connecting.

Turned out the guy and I had a mutual friend,
A chief in the fire command.
We spoke of him a moment,
And I missed that camaraderie, now faded.
Layla lived through the bomb days, barking,
Sparking, a blooming warmth.
Connecting us from behind the mesh.

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