Ann Arbor Review


Laszlo Slomovits
Alan Britt
Tolu Ogunlesi
Paul B. Roth
Gerald Clark
Dike Okoro
Jerry Blanton
Felino Soriano
Joanie Freeman
Steve Barfield
Shuta Crum
Running Cub
Odimegwn Onwumere
Duane Locke
Chris Lord
Fred Wolven
Nona Giorgadze
Bobby Steve Baker
Brandon S. Ray
Serena Trome
Paul Handley
Kanev Peycho
George Moore
R. Jay Slais
Carol Smallwood

Sabahudin Hadzialic
Ian Smith


Sitting in meditation
Far away from my birth land
Surrounded by the bush
Gum trees shedding their bark
Their annual act of releasing
Exposing the newness of their trunks
Standing naked to the eyes around

The chorus of cicadas build to a crescendo
With the kangaroos lazing around
Louder and louder the sounds reach
Out through the trees, and touch
The life that fills these woods full
Joined by the laughter of the kookaburra
Hovering in their group high above
All sharing in a protected landscape

Just then the heavens open
Droplets falling to the earth
Seeping down into the soil that
Feeds the land and all that it holds
My eyes gazed up to capture the sight
As the tree tops dance with the wind
My heart beat joins with the moment

I stand sharing in the renewal,
I too shedding and growing
Opening to the diversity of life
Subtle changes take place
As I continue to expose myself to
That which life presents
The many challenging thoughts

My life, as the gum tree
Rooted in the earth
Open to life's moments
Willing to be exposed
Trusting my strength
Without being rigid
Allowing myself to be open
To life's unfolding


As the black cloud moved in
A chasm opens in the earth
I slip down into the dark belly
Holding tight to my sense of self
Frantic, I turn to claw my way out
To reconnect with reality of the day

Clawing and reaching for the very state
That now causes pain and shame
As my acceptable self is tortured
I now know to retreat, rest and let go
There is no need to perform on that stage
I have learned my lessons well

Let go of the expectations pulling
The years of torment have taught,
Let the flood gate of my soul flow
Solitude from humanity is the comforter
Be in the realm of nature's story

The rains may fall to join with my tears
Winds may blow to swirl in my turbulence
Thunder roars with the screams of pain
Lightening bursts with my fierce outrage
Purging and cleansing from the depths
Of my tormented state of depression

Waiting for the sky to clear
For the gateway to open
To let the sunshine in
To again step out of the darkness
And greet the new day
When the rainbow of life reappears.


Canyon walls speak
Joyful sounds of silence
As I glance up toward the sky
With a blue that humbles my soul
The sun spotlighting an Artist's touch
My eyes search for the familiar
In the designs that the crevices make
And in the formations in the
Walls surrounding me

The stillness of the Fall
Can have a challenging twist
With winds bursting forth
The air chilling to a freeze
Yet in this point of time
I sit with the oh so gentle breeze
With the company (of a hum) of the insects
Of the busy bees doing nature's work, collecting
Nectar and pollinating for the future
And the infrequent call of the canyon wren
As the morning sun warms my body
And the surroundings nurturing my being


Coming across a down chard tree
On the floor of the canyon, surrounding
The Green River passing
A smell of burnt wood catches my senses
My wandering mind searches for signs
Signs of pain inflicted by the fire
Do I, can I, hear the cries of this tree
As I imagine the cries of people
Who have shared this same fate

Standing amidst life, with green on the ground
Trees around me still holding their own
The day perfect in this moment
Yet I gaze at death, smell death
Repel from touching the deforming
Bark, yet it holds my attention
As we in life wonder about our ending.


I felt my youth energy
Bursting forth at the age of 60
My life is full, rich and complete
Yes, there are fringes hanging
From past life events
Yes, there are dreams
For future passions
But now in this moment
Sitting on a rock looking out
On the Colorado River
After nine days of paddling
And camping under the stars
I feel a sense of Being
I feel alive and strong
I feel, and it feels good!
Turbulent white water below
Reminds me of what is out there
But right now in my being
I have this wonderful opportunity
To be fully Me.


Joanie Freeman, Virginia



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