★ ★ ★ ★


Summer Sequel

Morning’s air grew thick & moody by noon.
No rain to speak of, yet the low growl of

thunder threatened  Ontario’s  stillness . . .

I stopped what I was doing
to see if I could read the ceiling of clouds

that loomed, like a firm hand pressing down
upon our fields, before sequels of rain began

to drop with a riveting force that could
cut everything down . . .

I ran for cover inside the barn where I watched
the upsurge of rain, while a generation of

swallows complained—something caught
in their throats— something in mine.


Scopello, Sicily, 2018

Splash of birdsong
like sun’s pink light
on the ruffled sea

is unexpected, yet
welcomed—its out-
burst calls us

to the terrace
to see what’s

a postage stamp
town, with red tiled
roofs and sand

stone walls, and
streetlights blinking
off, one by one

before a distant
rooster crows, before
feral cats come

to claim what’s
we take morning

into our hands.

That Shade of Purple

What I reach for, familiar yet strange, cup,
pen, clean sheet of paper, carries

a weight that’s negligible until I hold
one trifling thought that gathers words

like tumbleweed wheeling over a lonesome
span of desert— spilling seeds in places

no one sees until there’s a quick bloom
& the morning’s desert looks like an ocean

floor full of anemones, swaying in that hypnotic
play— Come closer, darling, no, closer . . .

M.J. Iuppa  is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College; and since 2000 to present, is a part time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students, K-12, in Rochester, NY, and surrounding area. Most recently, she was awarded the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, 2017. She has four full length poetry collections, This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017), Small Worlds Floating (2016) as well as Within Reach (2010) both from Cherry Grove Collections; Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003); and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin NY.

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