Spring’s Battle by Alison Cloonan

Spring has forced its way onto the earth, prying up the icy fingers of winter. The battle wages between bareness and new life, between seeds bursting open and late frost killing cold.  The flower bulbs orient their embryonic shoots from the chill beneath, up towards the softening earth above. Seeds rest in their shells with the eternal patience of the dead.

Winter brings out the last of its arsenal, fighting to its bitter end with winds and snow-making clouds. Spring surges forward with its breath of warm air, and the trees and shrubs prepare their battalions of new buds.

Time seems to pause. The combatants entrenched between continued death and new life.

And then, the dead air is cracked open with the sound of the trills of an advancing warm front.  Daffodils explode open their yellow petals. Crocus fling shoots upward.  Wild violets camouflage in tender grasses.  Forsythia jettisons forth their troops of gold. Cherry blossoms leap forth from their coffin twigs.

Each battle is waged with cold wind and warm sunshine, but life forces push out of dead twigs, branches, limbs, and seeds, releasing the captives.  Winter melts away in surrender.  Spring celebrates its victory with butterflies and bees; warm breezes and fluffy clouds; weeping willows and redbud trees.


Alison Cloonan is a sixty year-old emerging writer, recently completing her college creative writing class with Ms. Amanda Miller and is now submitting work, both from the class and previous writings, for publication.

Road Trip by Devon Balwit

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. Carl Jung

Always blue highways intersecting
like cracked pores, me driving blind.
Segments go missing from the map, or the map
goes missing, forgotten at a roadside diner
or the small chapel, where I tucked it inside
a borrowed hymnal and lost track of it
during the passing of the peace.

I invited myself on this road trip
and agreed to come, sure I could untangle
the mystery of me like Nancy Drew,
certain that some road led to the shack
in which I crowned, squalling, my secrets
still buried beside the stone chimney.
My birth elsewhere matters not at all.

Like a mother’s wet rag swallowing me up
and blinding me, fog surprises me daily.
When I emerge, I’m no cleaner, just dank
and turned around, passing lawn ornaments,
oaks, signs, I’m sure I recognize.
Each motel key bears so many fingerprints
it’s hard for me to get a grip.


Devon Balwit is the author of seven chapbooks and three longer collections of poetry. Her individual poems can be found in places such as: Peacock Review, Eclectica, The Ekphrastic Review, Punch-Drunk Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, Panoplyzine, Under a Warm Green Linden, taplit mag, Cordite, Rattle.