Do Poems Get Tired of Dreaming?

When it snows,


We talk about weird things

the beauty of all girls

who are not in your bedroom

while we tell stories to your pillows.


Blue, you said, was the color of my eyes.


In between your pretty compliments,


What we do is fatal to the way we refuse to talk to the halcyon days on the mind.


I’ve got to find my way back to tell you why I chase snowflakes

& write poems on days it should have rained.


You race around my mind.


It’s not my fault, you’re there.


I cannot apologize for not waiting for you, first

or the first time I cried in front of you.


I fear I will never stop deserving your affection.


I just need to know why I don’t fit in your life anymore.


Alison Marie Johnston, USA

February, I’ll Miss You

with the wind. Standing upon the doorstep

of the foothills in the same way a tree

burns for no one in particular, every-

thing looks warmer from ten thousand feet. Trees


are strangers who pass by one another like

seasons who don’t say goodbye properly,

how autumn misses the leaves. For a tree, the

opposite of cold is what is west of


the Rocky Mountains, the gateway to the

free people. They talk to you, the way branches

protect their leaves until they are ready

to leave in a year without rain.


Alison Marie Johnston, USA

Day of the Dead

Death is as beautiful as the birth

of civilizations,

like a sky lit by

supernova flares

galaxies out of thin air


out of the star’s ashes


As beautiful

as a phoenix

first spreading its wings,

rain-drops from soot clouds

spawned over graceful gusts

from fiery feathers

soft like the soil tended

by their tears


Do we fly like phoenixes?

with eagle feathers in hair

on top of

light skulls of sugar with

brittle bones


Do we soar as high as our spirits stretch?

skies aren’t the limits

neither are the stars

when one goes out, another’s light

shines brighter than before

in their honor


Our feathers flutter like fall-en

leaves, breezes blow

& the chief knows, the wise owls

of our past outlast, their wisdom

whispered in the wind beneath our

bending knees, and dancing feet

swaying with ease

we please the clouds

our ancestors cry for us,

tears of joy that we

are alive, and they

aren’t forgotten


Branden E. Balenzuela, USA