One Poem by Donna Hilbert

Walk Before Coffee, After a Glance at the Times

I say good morning to a passerby
but hear, instead, good mourning
in my head, and I am dazed
by the ambiguity of homophones.

And, on the turntable of my brain
spins a melody I hum, but can’t abide:
Morning has broken. No. Morning
is broken. In present tense, it sings.


Donna Hilbert’s latest book is the just released Threnody, from Moon Tide Press. Earlier books include Gravity: New & Selected Poems, Tebot Bach, 2018. She is a monthly contributing writer to the on-line journal Verse-Virtual. Work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Braided Way, Chiron Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Rattle, Zocalo Public Square, One Art, and numerous anthologies. Poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and on Lyric Life. She writes and leads private workshops in Southern California, where she makes her home, and during residencies at Write On Door County. Learn more at

And the Native Grasses Mourned by Melissa A. Chappell

And the Native Grasses Mourned

The wildflowers long gone,
the native grasses mourned.
Then, cut and laid low,
the sorrowful remnant
was raised from the field,
straw tombstones,
for their children
in the earth.


Melissa A. Chappell is a writer living in rural South Carolina. She has a BA in Music Theory from Newberry College and a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Besides writing, she is a classically trained pianist, vocalist, and makes attempts at the Renaissance lute. She also plays the guitar. She shares her life with her family and two mini schnauzers. Her latest publication is Doors Carelessly Left Ajar, published by Alien Buddha Press, 2020.