Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

Halcyon Days 2021—Issue 22

Founder, Monique Berry | Hamilton On Canada

Cover Image by Gabriela Piwowarska—Pixabay; Inside photo is nataliazakharova—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days Magazine

ISSN: 2291-0255

Frequency: Quarterly

Publisher | Designer: Monique Berry

Contact Info


Twitter: @1websurfer


Special Notices

Halcyon Days has one time rights.

See website for subscription details.

No photocopies allowed.



Bruce Levine

8 Ebb and Flow

23 Transitions of the Seasons

24 The Beach

25 Surrender

26 Yard Saleing

Carolyn Chilton Casas

6 Ephemeral Youth

10 Together in the Evening Light

11 The Pickers

Dr. Bijoyini Maya

7 Dreaming of You

Emory D. Jones

4 Golden Summer

16 Summer Humm

17 Living Lantern

Ingrid Bruck

20 Aili, It’s You I Like

21 Footsteps

Karen Peacock

13 Emerald Star

Monique Berry

27 Halcyon Days Cafe

Nolo Segundo

15 On My Way to the Ballet

18 Memories Travel Without the Weight of Time

19 The Old Wedding Album

Robert S. C. Cutler

5 Haiku

14 Pianist’s Passion

9 Heartland

22 New Brighton

Bruce Levine has spent his life as a

writer of fiction and poetry and as a

music and theatre professional. A

2019 Pushcart Prize Poetry nominee, a

2021 Spillwords Press Awards winner,

the Featured Writer in WestWard

Quarterly Summer 2021 and his bio is

featured in “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020.”

Bruce has over three hundred works published on over

twenty-five on-line journals including Ariel Chart,

Spillwords, The Drabble; nearly seventy print books

including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Tipton

Poetry Journal; Halcyon Days and Founder’s

Favourites (on-line and print) and his shows have been

produced in New York and around the country. His

work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late

wife, Lydia Franklin. A native Manhattanite, Bruce

now lives and writes in Maine. Visit him

at www.brucelevine.com

Carolyn Chilton Casas is a Reiki

Master and teacher, a student of

metaphysics and philosophy. Her

favorite themes for writing are healing,

wellness, awareness, and the spiritual

journey. Carolyn’s stories and poems

have appeared in Energy, Journey of the Heart,

Odyssey, Reiki News Magazine, Snapdragon, The Art

of Healing, The Edge and in other publications. You

can read more of Carolyn’s work on Instagram at

mindfulpoet_ or contact her at ceccasas@aol.com.

Dr. Bijoyini Mukherjee dedicates all

her creative endeavours to Shakthi and

her mother through her pen-name

Bijoyini Maya. Her professional

expertise includes public relations,

teaching, storytelling, research, softskills

training, content writing, editing,

and spiritual counselling. She has published articles on

New Zealand literature and ecocritism; short stories

and poems in The Text, The Criterion, BlazeVox and

other online platforms. This is one of her rare works in

collaboration, otherwise she prefers being one-womanarmy

experimenting with style and genre.

More bios inside

Golden Summer

By Emery D. Jones

A golden sun illuminates the hills,

and streaks of blue meander in the vales,

they go their way to water hidden dells.

A golden sun illuminates the hills

as lovely walks along the forest trails

remind us of a thousand happy tales.

A golden sun illuminates the hills,

and streaks of blue meander in the vales.

Dr. Emory D. Jones is a retired English teacher who has taught in high school and in several community colleges. He

has four hundred and fifty-five credits including publication in such journals as Writer’s Digest, Smokey Blue Literary

and Arts Magazine, The Light Ekphrastic, Big Muddy; a Journal of the Mississippi River, Three Line Poetry, Auroras

& Blossoms, Pegasus, Halcyon Days Magazine, Falling Star Magazine, The Cumberland River Review, The Delta

Poetry Review, Calliope, Deep South Magazine, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, and Encore: Journal of the NFSPS.

He lives in Iuka, Mississippi.

Halcyon Days -- 2021 Issue 22 22 | | 4


By Robert S. C. Cutler

Drinks on the front porch

Conversation is lively

Warm nights of summer

Tomasz Zajda—stock.adobe.com

Robert S. C. Cutler is a United States Air Force veteran and a career Aerospace worker. He writes in the genres of

Science Fiction/ Horror and is the author of two short stories and Five novels. His two short stories, The Atonement and

The Treaty, were both published by the Webzine Aphelion. Robert’s first two novels, Resurrection and A whisper in the

Shadows, were published independently. His latest three novels, Subprimeval, Hypothermia, and Zygote were written for

and published by the Webzine and publisher Big World Network. Robert’s poem The Last Breath of Summer was

recently published in December 2020 by Founder’s Favourites.

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 5

Ephemeral Youth

by Carolyn Chilton Casas

Warm Indian summer evening

in Avila. My husband and I sit,

up on the cliff, car windows open,

looking out over persimmon

skies, eating child scoop

ice cream cones.

A young man runs down the beach

and does repeated handstands

at water’s edge;

a young woman in bikini

takes selfies as waves spill

over her.

I wish to reach down

and tell them

Good for you!

Enjoy your youth-filled

puppy bodies. They are

ephemeral. As is all.


Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 21 | 6

Dreaming of You

By Dr. Bijoyini Maya and Arijit Ghose

The pink of your cheeks

The sheen of your chin

The black of your brows

The wonderment in your eyes…

The rejoice in your voice

The deep breaths that u take

The long silences you walk

Along with our hands clenched

Tripping through forests and streams

And together the stars we gaze

Oh the ending is the beginning of romance!

And one of life’s nuance!!


Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 7

Ebb and Flow

By Bruce Levine

The frost of the chill winter wind

Dissipates as spring supersedes

Buds burst forth on trees

In anticipation of the warmer clime

Forsythia blossom in profusion

Casting a happy aura

With their yellow flowers

As spring days drift along

With cool breezes and warm sunshine

April showers and May flowers

Framing the landscape

In a panorama of color

Trees in full leaf

Make an umbrella of shade

A respite from the increasing warmth

That gradually succumbs to summer

Filled with crystalline mornings

And lazy afternoons

As children dance in water spouts

And cool drinks refresh the soul

Time to reflect

Before fall returns

And the cycle resumes

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 8

Hans Braxmeier—stock.adobe.com


By Robert S. C. Cutler

A golden wave ripples across the plains.

The bluest skies stretch for eternity.

A perfect peace fills my heart.

Clouds start to billow to the west;

a threat that is forming yet not realized.

A golden wave ripples across the plains.

Birds burst into flight over the fields.

The perfume of rain wafts on the wind.

A perfect peace fills my heart.

On the horizon, the sky is obscured.

Ominous, black, and forbidding clouds.

A golden wave ripples across the plains.

Distant thunder like the beat of a heart;

an immanent warning of what is to come.

A perfect peace fills my heart.

Curtains of rain refresh the fields.

The Flash of lightning illuminates the darkness.

A golden wave ripples across the plains.

A perfect peace fills my heart.

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 9


Together in the Evening Light

By Carolyn Chilton Casas

In the soft light

of longer evening hours,

we sit down

at our rough pine table

with warm plates of grilled fish and

steamed vegetables.

I glance past my husband

and see two deer

lying on the grass—

a doe, her eyes locked

with mine and her fawn,

head twisted back resting

on his shoulder as he sleeps.

She does not startle

when I stand to bring

the butter, pour the wine;

they are frequent guests.

In a bougainvillea next

to the window, a blue jay

has been daring in and out,

carrying twigs to knit

her nest. Now she hops

in bushes near the deer,

then flutters to a stop

on top of the fawn.

When there is no complaint,

she begins to pick at his

molting hair,

his humble offering

to the blue babies

about to come.

Melinda Fawver—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 10

The Pickers

By Carolyn Chilton Casas

The squirrels have not yet found

the figs. They stole every single apricot

on the newly planted tree in days,

even though the roots are fortressed

to keep gophers out, the branches

fenced to protect deer from foraging.

Then the hellions pilfered half the plums;

I’d see them scurrying up the trunk,

running down with purple,

ripe ones in their overstretched mouths.

When they had eaten all the orchard’s

harvest (the figs were not yet ripe)

the squirrels made do with

their last resort—the orange tree near the house.

I laughed to see one push a globe

up the hill toward her underground den,

maneuvering it with nose and neck,

only to have the sphere roll back down,

her darting after it, to start all over again—

a modern-day furry Sisyphus.

Mostly I have given up and buy my fruit

at the farm stand around the corner.

But figs are my favourite;

I’ve rescued five ripe ones so far.

Maybe the squirrels missed them,

don’t like the taste, or they feel remorse.

Returning up the road from a walk, I spy

a squirrel scout peeking down the driveway;

our eyes meet, then he takes off,

sprinting full speed to warn his brethren,

Here she comes, down the holes!

Angelo Giordana—Pixabay.com

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 11

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 21 | 12

Jasmin Merdan—stock.adobe.com

Evening Star

by Karen Peacock

"Evening Star" is part of an as-yet unpublished collection of linked short stories. Each vignette describes a brief moment from 2125

AD all the way back to 90,000 BCE. "Evening Star" takes place in the late 18th century, but the reminder to slow down and

appreciate the beautiful and the fleeting is timeless.

The children have been ignoring Charlotte's calls to come inside so she stomps out to the garden. Their supper

is getting cold and the young mother is ready to let them know just how irritated she is. But it's that honeyed

hour when everything looks its best, so Charlotte stops to watch their curious game.

“A new one,” she thinks.

Stella stands in the middle, directing the three little ones. At 10, she is already as tall as Charlotte and her

yellow frock is a bit too short. Her hair has darkened but the smaller children are still blond. They try their best

to do their sister’s bidding.

Little Gregory is closest to Stella and twirls around while simultaneously circling her.

“Don’t get too close! I’ll burn you up,” warns his sister.

A yard away, Ruthellen performs the same action. She falls down in a fit of hiccups and giggles.

“Get up, Venus,” orders Stella.

“I’m dizzy. I can’t,” says Ruthellen.

“You must. You’re the evening star!”

Ruthellen scrambles up and resumes her rotating and revolving, almost running into Oliver, who is playing at

being Mars. (Nobody wanted to be Earth.)

Satisfied at last with the performance of her brothers and sisters, Stella sings her favorite verse of her favorite


I sing the wisdom that ordained

The sun to rule the day.

The moon shines full at God’s command

And all the stars obey.

A shiver runs through Charlotte. Her daughter’s song melds with the buzzing bees, the whispering leaves, the

thump of her own heart. She offers up a silent prayer of thanksgiving in the general direction of the evening’s

fluffy pink clouds. If Charlotte has ever been this happy she can’t remember when.

Her reverie is interrupted when Gregory veers out of his orbit and bumps into his mother.

“Mercury, come back to the sun this instant,” calls Stella.

The little boy hugs his mother, then unsteadily heads back to his sister.

“Gregory, why are your eyes closed?” asks Charlotte.

“Planets can’t see because they don’t have eyes.”

“Well, little boys and girls do,” laughs Charlotte. “And they also have tummies. Come along, it’s time for


Charlotte finds herself humming Stella’s hymn as the group makes their way up the garden path.

“Will you read to us after we eat?” asks Oliver.

“Of course, says his mother. “Let’s have a race to the house.”

As usual, everyone, including Charlotte, takes off at top speed. Then all but the youngest slow down at the end

of the race. Gregory wins again.

Karen Peacock is a writer, artist, and designer from Frederick, Maryland in the U.S. Most of her published work has

been newspaper and magazine features, and she especially loves writing flash fiction and poetry. She has taught

writing workshops at Aromatic and TAG/The Artists Gallery. To see more of her work,

visit peacockartanddesign.com and tagtheartistsgalleryfrederick.com

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 21 | 13

Pianist’s Passion

By Robert S. C. Cutler

Floating effortlessly above the keys,

delicate fingers dance to music that fills the air.

Felted hammers strike golden strings,

melodic tones echo through the house.

Notes on paper appearing randomly placed,

tell a story from the composer’s heart.

Brought to life through masterful interpretation,

the pianist’s passion weaves a tapestry of emotion.

Miroslava Arnaudova—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 14

On The Way To The Ballet

By Nolo Segundo

The old ladies march

Onto the elevator,

Steadied by their canes,

Each a shrunken frailty

Wrapping an unending

Soul—they are going

To watch young people

Dance dances of grace

And beauty, while re-

Calling their own beauty

Long dissolved in the

Acid of time. Yet, they

Are happy—I even joke

With them as I lean on

My own cane: “Come

Ladies! Let’s have a

Foot race!” They all

Laugh, as the young

Girls within their

Tattered frames

Flirt with the potent

Young man hiding

Behind my time-

Marked mask.

For a moment

We all feel a jolt

Of that spark

We call life.

Nolo Segundo, pen name of retired teacher and late-blooming poet, L.J. Carber, 74, married 41 years, has in his 8th

decade been published online/in print in 39 literary magazines in the U.S. U.K., Canada, Romania, and India. In 2020 a

trade publisher released a paperback collection titled THE ENORMITY OF EXISTENCE and in 2021 a 2nd book, OF

ETHER AND EARTH. Both titles reflect the awareness he has had since having an NDE whilst almost drowning in a

Vermont river at 24 and has tried to put into many of his poems: that each of us has a consciousness that predates birth

and survives death, because it exists beyond time and space--the immortal soul.

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 15

Milan Noga reco—stock.adobe.com

Summer Hummm

By Emory D. Jones

The sun’s warm beams

tap earth on the shoulder

with a wake-up call.

Morning glories flash

their dew glinted smiles

and pansies peep from

their hiding places.

Little winged robbers swarm

light on iris and honey-suckle,

sucking nectar. Then they

buzz to the next splash of color

to bathe themselves in delight.

Laden with pollen

and drunk with nectar

they stagger back to the hive.

The whole back yard

lapses into low

harmonic hummm.


Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 16

Living Lantern

by Emory D. Jones

Fireflies sparkled like twinkling stars—

we called them lightning bugs.

on a summer evening

we chased them across the yard—

shouting, laughing,

clapping hands,

running them down,

closing our hands around them,

pouring them into a fruit jar until

we made a living lantern.


Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 17

Memories Travel Without the Weight of Time

By Nolo Segundo

I’m five: lying in bed in the attic room I share

With big brother (though 4 years older, he won’t

Climb the creaky stairs at night unless I go first—

His fear of the dark gives me a secret thrill).

Before leaving for sleepland, I like to watch

The shadows flickering across the ceiling, a kind

Of magic made by the reflected headlights

Of the cars passing in the street three stories below.

At seventeen I’m making out with my first girl

On the plush sofa in her house while her mom

Sleeps upstairs. We are both virgins, both clothed

And naïve. Suddenly, as I lay her down, I come—

My first orgasm as, strangely, I had never jerked off

(a mystery I still cannot fathom), but oh wondrous

It was to leave my body and step briefly into heaven.

First came the girls, then the women, in droves,

For I was tall and fair and good with words, but most

Of all, I could make them laugh. And I loved them all,

in my way, and I could love none of them—for I was

afraid of the binding, the fastness that love demands.

It hollowed me out, this fear, and I could not see the

Utter blackness it led me to—and pain beyond pain.

At 24 I was reborn that moment I wept for the loves,

And love I had lost. I was not a new man, nor a good man,

But I was a beginning man, my soul taking baby steps

Towards God and the glorious love infused universe.

In my 32nd year I stood in the nave of the little Anglo-

Saxon church, waiting as my bride came down the aisle.

She began crying, I began smiling—my happiest day.

Now 35 years later, it is still my happiest day….

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 18


The Old Wedding Album

By Nolo Segundo

The young couple who bought the old house

were left having to get rid of all the left-overs,

as the husband called them—the realtor

had told them this was usual with estate sales:

the owner was usually old, usually a widow,

-- so all the stuff the now dead couple had

gahered over 40 or 50 or 60 years would have

to collected and taken away. Once Goodwill

might have come for it but it costs too much

nowadays to send out the big trucks-- so now

you must pay somebody to come and get it,

the realtor told the young people-- but, hey,

you got the place prettty cheap, right?

So they went room by room, this pair of

love birds barely off their honeymoon.

At first it was a game—look at this, one

would say! What crap! the other would

exclaim, or what the heck is that, if

the thing seemed old, pre-cyber age.

Don’t know, toss it, was the usual reply,

and happily they threw away old dishes

and clothes and broken lamps and a whole

lot of furniture: tables and chairs and

something called a dresser, all carried

to a large trash container waiting

patiently like a visiting sarcophagus

to swallow a once lived life….

And atop the heap of unwanted things

lay an unopened wedding album,

with a professional’s photos of

a handsome young man and his

beautiful young bride, resplendent

in white, each smiling as though

it were the happiest day of their

still fresh lives….

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 19


It’s you I like, Aili

By Ingrid Bruck

It’s you I like, Aili.

“No” is your two-year-old mantra.

You say, “Bye Nana,”

when I arrive to see you.

It’s you I like, little Aili,

Your dad brought you to my house,

you kept repeating, “Drive the car,”

missing home and mama.

A mash up singer,

you mix bits and pieces

of “Twinkle Little Star,”

singing your favorite song.

A foodie in training,

you suck drinks from a sippy-cup,

nibble on cheese, fruit

and unsweetened fresh treats

that your parents dole out

in plastic bowls.

You pretend-feed your stuffies

with plastic food you prepare,

tuck them under a blanket for naps.

In the bathtub, soft-voiced,

you growl in warm water,

guide a gentle battle,

a tyrannosaurus in one hand

bites an allosaurus on the rim of the tub,

each strike more a hug than a clobber.

You fill your own happy space.

Ever-present thumb plugged in

you sit at the side on the daycare floor.

At home, you cuddle against your parents,

let big sister stroke your hair,

cocooned in family love.

Our family’s baby,

you’re my third and last grandchild.

It’s you I like, Aili.

Ingrid Bruck lives in Pennsylvania Amish country, a landscape that inhabits her poetry. She’s a retired library director with a

passion for short forms. Current work appears in Halibut, Failed Haiku, Drifting Sand and Heliosparrow. Poetry

website: www.ingridbruck.com

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 20

Courtesy of Ingrid Bruck


By Ingrid Bruck

After: Mary Lindberg playing Grieg’s Nocturne

in A-Minor at Guest House in Connecticut

Feet lift and fall in a steady pace

Step over and around scattered rocks

Soles press on uneven ground

Pass onto a cushion of soft moss

Listen to one bird’s twitter

Answer another

Pause next to a tree

Take the path along a standing pool

Feel the brush of grass against shoe-leather

Lollygag up a gentle slope

Reach the hilltop

Meander down the other side

Enter the woods where more birds sing

Fill the shadows

Notes play colors

in your mind


Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 21

New Brighton

By Robert S. C. Cutler

Dense fog hovers over the bay.

Water, turbulent green crashes upon the shore.

The beginning of a brand-new day.

The screech of seagulls as they soar.

Pelicans divebomb the kelp thick waters.

Dense fog hovers over the bay.

Sea lions’ heads bob like corks on the ocean.

A single wave smooths the water-logged sand.

The beginning of a brand-new day.

A couple walks slowly along the water’s edge;

their child laughs as they splash through the surf.

Dense fog hovers over the bay.

The morning sun breaks through the clouds,

promising the hope of warmer weather.

The beginning of a brand-new day.

Fingers of mist stretch out toward the cliffs,

fading just as they reach the pines.

Dense fog hovers over the bay.

The beginning of a brand-new day.

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 22


Transition of the Seasons

By Bruce Levine

The transition of seasons

Came slowly this year

Dreary days following

One another

With flashes of sun

And warmth interspersed

Scant time for walks

And visits to the sea

And seaport towns

Sipping hot chocolate

Watching gulls cross the horizon

And swans near the shore

Holding hands and window shopping

As the breeze passes through the town

With the hope of warmer days

And long walks in the sun

Watching the tide shift

Bringing waves against the sand

As our dog climbs the rocks

And we sit and watch and hope

That the transition of seasons

Hastens more quickly

From dreary days

With bursts of warmth

And one spring day

Gives way to summer

Kevin Oke Photograph—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 23

The Beach

By Bruce Levine

Waves breaking against the rocky beach

Pebbles smoothed by millennia of tides

And driftwood surrenders to the waves

Seagulls watch as they glide across the expanse

Searching for food in the water below

And the tide transforms the beach

As it ebbs and flows

And another day enters into history

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22| 24



By Bruce Levine

a wind-blown dune

against a rock-bound coast

waves drifting near

overlapping curls of foam

tempting the tide

to reveal the sands

of ancient times

to surrender to new enigmas

a piece of driftwood

caught in a stratum of seaweed

tossed on the current

waiting to be washed ashore

a sculpture excavated

by droplets of water

melded into systematic molecules

like Michelangelo’s chisel

hardened by coalescence

making fibrous tissue

of tree limbs surrender

passages outlined by seagulls

floating overhead

searching the horizon

as they climb ever higher

toward the sun

yet unlike Icarus

they remain careful

not to get burned

finding balance

on currents of air

like the tide below

they surrender to freedom


Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 25


By Bruce Levine

Forty miles to go

Sunny day to share

Start and stop

Signs often flop

Company profound

Finding food to eat

Lots of stuff to see

Roads to try

Not knowing why

Getting lost and found

Silly things to find

Happy thoughts compare

Hills to climb

Goals are refined

Calories rebound

Looking over things

Books to skim galore


Don’t miss a rack

Clothes to try renowned

Perfect finds in store

Seeking a new home

‘Til next week

When hide and seek

Memories compound


Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 26

Halcyon Days Café

By Monique Berry

Sit, sip and relax with me in a place that stirs the

imagination—tables are softly lit with word lanterns, and walls

are decorated with contributors’ poems and stories. Halcyon

Days Café captures memories through the lens of peace and

beauty. Doors are always open.


Monique Berry lives in Hamilton, Canada. She is an avid reader (by heart), 62 (by years alive,

born on Canada Day), French (by design), Canadian (by birth), Ontario (by residency), born-again

(by faith) and loved by God and those who know her. She is most complimented on her beautiful

handwriting. Monique is the founder of Halcyon Days and Founder’s Favourites, and is producing

a new creative writing magazine scheduled to be launched in November 2021.

Halcyon Days - 2021 Issue 22 | 27

Swing in


soar to



Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!