Halcyon Days Issue 25

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Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 1

Halcyon Days 2022—Issue 25

Founder, Monique Berry | Hamilton On Canada


Bruce Levine

A First Look at Spring 6

Today and the Future 7

Elusive Perfection 11

A Wall of Hope 15

Carolyn Chilton Casas

What a Woman Most Desires 16

Garden of Eden 17

Daniel J Fitzgerald

Days 5

Call of Dreams 12

Flowers Against Clouds 18

Ingrid Bruck

Rain Change 8

To Make Life Sweet 9

Latihan 10

Joseph Benevento

Solo 14

Karen Schnurstein

First Day on the Farm 4

Nolo Segundo

Warm Day 19

Cover Image: sunday_morning—stock.adobe.com

Inside photo: Tatiana Yakovleva—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.

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 2

Contributor Bios

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. Her stories and poems have appeared in Braided

Way, Energy, A Network for Grateful Living, Reiki News Magazine, Touch, and in other publications.

You can read more of Carolyn’s work on Instagram at mindfulpoet_ or in her first collection of poems

titled Our Shared Breath.

Dan Fitzgerald lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been

published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work is also

included in several anthologies.

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 and poetry. Current work appears in Failed Haiku, Verse-

Virtual, Sanctuary Magazine and Heron’s Nest. Poetry website: www.ingridbruck.com

Joseph Benevento has published fourteen books of poetry and fiction, including: Expecting Songbirds: Selected Poems,

1983-2015, published by the Purple Flag imprint of the Visual Artists Collective. He teaches creative writing and American

literature at Truman State, and is the poetry editor for the Green Hills Literary Lantern.

Karen Schnurstein holds a B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in World Literature from Western

Michigan University. Her work has appeared in The Ibis Head Review, Bi Women Quarterly, and

Adelaide Literary Magazine. She lives in Southwest Michigan with her two tabby feline companions.

Nolo Segundo pen name of L.J. Carber, 74, in his 8th decade became a published poet in over 70

online/in print literary journals and anthologies in the US, UK, Canada, Romania, India and Italy. In

2020 a trade publisher released a book length collection, THE ENORMITY OF EXISTENCE, and in

2021 a 2nd book, OF ETHER AND EARTH. Both titles (as do many of his poems) reflect the

awareness he's had for 50 years since having an NDE whilst almost drowning that he has a

consciousness that predates birth and survives the death of the body—what poets once called the soul.

He was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2022 by an online journal. A retired teacher (America,

Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia), he has been married 41 years to a smart and beautiful Taiwanese woman.

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 3

First Day on the Farm

Karen Schnurstein

First day on the farm,

and the goats came over

to greet me.

How the peacocks spread

their grandeur, and how the sun

squinted in the distance. Sky—blue,

leaves everywhere glistening and fluttering.

An old, school-type of chair

in one corner of the patch.

A slug.

A leftover potato from the last gardener here.

How the donkey uttered his language,

how the two horses graced by,

minding their own business.

The feel of gravel under your feet.

Numerous overgrown garden plots,

just begging for love and the commitment of

being made useful.

A leak at the spigot.

Time draws nearer to you here.

Your heart grows a little bit fatter.

We were all meant

to be outdoors.


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 4


Daniel J Fitzgerald

Good days, bad days,

they are all days.

Some are young, some are old,

some even feel like a today.

You have a few, you have a lot.

It all adds up to how many you got.

Take the good, take the bad,

take the old, take the young,

take a few, take a lot.

All that matters is how they were lived

and how they were not.

Jon Anders Wiken—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 5

A First Look at Spring

Bruce Levine

Mountains of snow

Slowly melting

Subtle changes

Barely perceptible

As the freshness of the winter air

Adds just a touch of sweetness

Infinitesimal changes

Daylight creeping ‘round the clock

Elongating the days

and shortening the nights

A pale gray sky

Turning to pastel hues

Trees awakening

Not quite ready for rebirth

Not quite ready to bud into leaf

Light through the windows

Lasting just a little longer

Bringing new life through

the panes of glass

The ground beginning to thaw

Crackles of the ice coating

Diminishing as they resound

under my footsteps


Nature’s way of refreshing

the earth


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 6

Today and the Future

Bruce Levine

Focusing on today


Or only the day after

Creates unbalance

Living only in the past

The future

Without the present

Is metaphoric

A balanced life is achievable

And memories can self-sustain

But the past is the past

And the future is yet to be lived

Moving forward without regret

Is a lesson like an acquired taste

Difficult to achieve or accept

When pressure and outside influences intercede

Entitlement can be hidden on a shelf

Living for today and preparing for the future

Without forgetting the past yet not wallowing in it

Is a recipe for happiness


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 7

Rain Change

Ingrid Bruck

Will the garden grow? Will the rivers flow? Will I ever sing?

Worry— I gave it up. And took my old body and went to the

garden and sang.

“I worried”~ by Mary Oliver

I'm caught

in a downpour

rain stops suddenly

over ninety’s too hot

my legs ache

eyelids puff

so I try out the Mary Oliver cure:

And took my old body and went to the garden and sang.

I walk her poem

down garden rows

gather lettuce and cucumbers

good for a salad

three yellow squash

easy to steam in the microwave

they’ll taste good with a little butter,

a sprinkle of salt

circle to the thimbleberries

pick a ripe handful

a cup of black sunshine

for dessert

rain soaked clothes, air dried,

my lament morphs to content

bright yellow flowers

glow through the gray

Alexander Fox—Pixabay.com

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 8

To Make Life Sweet

Ingrid Bruck

After: “What makes me happy? By Victory Boyd

to make life sweet

add raw honey

walk on the lawn

lift your face to the sun

then skip to cool shade

under the lilac bush

fill up your ears with birdsong

the loud chirping of cicadas

the musical ring of chimes

the soft rustle of trees

raindrops splash in a puddle

watch circles grow

the everyday world

laps in your mind

sweet as honey

Александр Катаржин—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 9


Ingrid Bruck

a tiny body




from blossom to blossom

up the stem

of a cardinal flower

in the garden

a bird

stands on air

walks up the stalk

neither wings or feet

touch the plant

only the flick

black tongue

on scarlet

collects honey

from vessels

hummingbird darts

in and out

flower and bird

gems in sunshine


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 10

Elusive Perfection

Bruce Levine

Searching for the perfect word

The perfect phrase

The perfect line

The perfect opening

Elusive perfection

Days drift by

The search continues

Thoughts exchange

Moments coalesce

Dreams just out of reach

Or snatched away

The quest unfulfilled

Hope tangles with sorrow

As melancholia yields

Daydreams languish in a hammock

Time bottled in executive toys

Finding one true sentence

In a marathon of symbols

Forever posing enigmas

Enlightened understanding

One perfect word


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 11

Call of Dreams

Daniel J Fitzgerald

Hear calls of dreams,

dancing wisps of smoke

in a land of sleep.

Follow us they whisper,

hiding in a silken breeze’s screen

of wonder and seduction.

This way, one beckons,

streaming from a furrow cloud

crossing a burning sky,

this is the way to redemption.

Here, another sighs

like the glow of a charcoal night.

I am the one for salvation.

In the dying embers of dark,

a third flares into flame,

filling the blackness with light.

Rise to the coming day,

I will show you the way.

It is here with me,

your dreams will come true.

Mundo Surreal—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 12

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 13



Joseph Benevento

I like the waves of sound,

harmonies, communal chords

of a good chorus.

Even more, a guitar

or two, several singers

owning a lyric together

is something happy to hear.

Yet for me singing most seems

a solitary thing, remembering how

I kept my life intact my teenage years

composing confessions to Sylvia

or later Hallene, not expecting

they would ever hear them.

And now hardly a night passes

when I don’t listen to sixteen year old

Claire’s solitary singing in her room,

accompanied by the guitar I bought her,

taught her to play, her voice secure

in the insecurity of its longing,

her truest sounds speaking to the world,

but mostly hers alone.

MM Studio—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 14

A Wall of Hope

By Bruce Levine

Floating on a river

Transfixed by challenges

And longing to be challenged

Days drifting by

Like a pile of hours

Strung together by a

merry-go-round calliope

Ideas compounded

Pinned to a wall of hope

Destiny tasted

Drawn in pictures

Like holograms

Outlining the future

Yet waiting for the right moment

To transform a thematic kernel

into triumph

Motivated by the hands of a clock

Sped up according to a tempo

set on a metronome

And fulfilled by persistence

Just as interrelated games

Challenge the player

To push forward

Identifying the goal

As the chapters of a book

Reach their conclusion

And turn a wall of hope

Into discovery

Fashioned by dreams

Pursued by passion

Culminating like a river

Flowing toward the ocean

As waves dance

And crash against a rock-bound coast

Fettered by external forces

Waiting to be overcome

By time


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 15

What a Woman Most Desires

Carolyn Chilton Casas

on a rainy afternoon

is an easy chair,

her red blanket,

cat on her lap,

the adventure story

she has been longing

to read, and a hot

cup of ginger tea

sweetened with honey.

The cat holds

the woman’s heart

in his eyes.

By the first page

of the book,

she can tell

it will make her swoon

with delight and end

in the happiest

of ways.

The chair, a gift

from her husband

at Christmas years ago,

palm tree print

with bamboo arms,

is cushioned

and comfy, reclines

for short naps

and meditations.

The tea comes from

a small shop fragrant

with exotic spices

in a town decorated

with tiny lights.

She deserves this,

you know.

Look at how she smiles

in contentment,

how the cat purrs away.

steve withers/EyeEm—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 16

Garden of Eden

Carolyn Chilton Casas

Sweet boysenberries

at the height of season

from the stand down the road.

Raspberries reminding me

of childhood strolls through

pine trees toward the lake.

Chilled grapes and melon wedges

in the heat of summer.

Oranges squeezed into juice glasses

for laid-back mornings.

Slices of not-quite-ripe pear.

What I like best about bananas

is their portability, how they are

self-wrapped and fit so easily

in my backpack pocket.

Then there’s guava, cut in two

and scooped out with a spoon.

Apples have never tempted me.

Given my druthers, I’d choose

sun-warmed apricots

or plump figs picked straight

from the garden trees.


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 17

Flowers Against Clouds

Daniel J Fitzgerald

Pick some flowers for me.

Put them in a vase, setting

them by a window so they will be warm.

It is dark inside my tiny rooms,

they need a little something

to brighten the clouds

that pass outside the glass.

When the blooms

have all faded and fallen away,

pick some more for me to take their place.

I want to see flowers in a window,

to hide the clouds still passing

outside my rooms.


Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 18

When the Warm Day Ends

Nolo Segundo

When the warm day ends

And the cool night sets in,

Then I’ll be there, beside

You my love, feeling the

Heat of a beating heart,

My arms wrapped round

Your empty shoulders as

I whisper silent words of

Love and longing in your

Lonely, unadorned ear….

Piotr Krzeslak—stock.adobe.com

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 19

Halcyon Days - 2022 Issue 25 | 20

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