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Sculpture on the Trail


Sculptures and Poetry viewable through September 23, 2023

  1. John Wittenberg and James P. Wagner
  2. Tonito Valderrama and Mankh
  3. Mark Van Wagner and Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan
  4. Maurits Bosma and M. Francis Garcia
  5. Gregory Corn and Carl Welden
  6. Jay Sylvester and Mindy Kronenberg
  7. John Cino and Adam Fisher
  8. Lauren Ruiz and Orel Protopopescu
  9. Scott Bluedorn and Gladys Henderson
  10. Justin Greenwald and Maya Dreamwalker
  11. Pam J. Brown and Russ Green
  12. Ted Thirlby and Chip Williford
  13. Aurelio Torres and Kelly Powell
  14. Michael Ince and Claude Mayers
  15. Robin Gianis and Pramila Venkateswaran
  16. Elyzabeth Meade and Nancy Keating
  17. Peter Menderson and Michelle Whittaker
  18. David N. Ebner and Kathaleen Donnelly
  19. John DiNaro and Tom Stock
  20. Dan Welden and Haim Mizrahi
Many sculptures are available for purchase. Please contact Jennifer Vorbach at 646-223-0161 or

Sculpture on the Trail Event Schedule

Saturday, August 19, 2023

11:00 Exhibition opens-  Discover 20 sculptures on the trail. Participate in community sculpture.

1:00 Poetry reading

3:00 p.m. Artists’ reception- Meet the artists and the poets and enjoy music by the band Natural Causes.

John Wittenberg- Invasive Beauty

*Photo Credit- Scott McIntyre

About the Sculpture:

“Invasive Beauty” is the second in a series of sculptures specifically created to dialogue with the landscape of The Center for Environmental Education and Discovery. It speaks
to the serious and complex issues concerning invasive plants and their impact on Long Island’s environment.

The work is constructed with Golden Bamboo and painted in safety orange. Bright
orange paint is a warning sign. The geometric regularity of the fixed distances between each of the bamboo elements in one section vs the random placing of the additional
shoots is meant to highlight and contrast man’s intrusion into the natural surroundings.
It envisions a day when the bamboo, if not contained, will send out runners ultimately
suffocating and shading the native plants and creating a monoculture, dense and dark.

Golden Bamboo was introduced into the United States in 1882. Grown for its screening abilities, it provides visual as well as noise barriers. But this bamboo is so fast-growing
that it quickly colonizes an area if not contained- growing uncontrollably, spreading onto neighboring properties, and reaching enormous heights. Today we see it all over Long Island even though New York State bans this invasive bamboo.

John Wittenberg Studio Website


Tonito Valderrama- The Eagle's Nest of Life
*Photo Credit- Anthony Graziano
About the Sculpture:
The Nest of Life series is an ongoing tribute to the return of our magnificent feathered friends. The osprey and the eagle have become an icon across Long Island as a symbol of hope. Each giant nest is hand built with the community to create a connection between humans and nature.
Along with community connection, it is a work that circles back to nature in which animals can use the materials for their own nesting.
Let us continue to hatch creativity through environmental art and awareness!

About the Artist:

Tonito (Tony) Valderrama is an international exhibiting environmental artist, educator, and naturalist.
His multidisciplinary works consist of sculptures, paintings, ephemeral works, up-cycled art, and large installations that are inspired by the connection between humans and nature. Each work serves as a symbol celebrating our interconnection with the beauty and diversity of our local natural world.
Valderrama‘s indigenous Taino roots are a major catalyst and inspiration for his art. His work with rescued wildlife and birds of prey at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is also very prevalent in his creations. Many of his creations are on permanent display there.
Tonito’s works have been exhibited at venues such as the Heckscher Art Museum, Tilles Center, CEED, Petite Gallery, East End Arts, and LIU. Along with many libraries, schools, and colleges across Long Island.
Other exhibits have traveled as far as Governor’s Island, Costa Rica, Sweden, and beyond.
Contact Tonito at
Mark Van Wagner - Ranger
Maurits Bosma - Rupture 1

Gregory Corn- Deus Mundi

*photo credit-  Anthony Graziano


Limestone seabed limestone, steel, wire rope, copper, and local bullrushes.

Gregory Corn’s Instagram @gregorycornartist



Jay Sylvester - Acceptance (Even This Shall Pass Away)
John Cino- Neried

*photo credit- Anthony Graziano


78″ x 26″ x 22″, cherry wood.

About the Sculpture:
Neried is a misspelling of Nereid sea nymph from Greek mythology.  Its form evokes various sea creatures, anchored to the sea bed but striving upward while being wafted by currents. It then describes all of us as we work to attain our goals while being affected by day-to-day incidents.  I first visualized the form while listening and dancing to the music of the Grateful Dead.  As music the form has movements that evoke melody, rhythm, and bass lines, and as dance a body twirling.
The progeny of the piece also has a connection to water.  The original log was floated to my studio on the Patchogue River via tugboat.  Upon completion, it was first shown at an event called Log Jam at the Blue Point Brewery which became a ten-year fundraiser for the Patchogue Arts Council.  Neried went to college and spent two years on the campus of Adelphi University after which it traveled to our country’s middle coast living for a year on the bank of the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa..

About the Artist:

John Cino is a sculptor, art educator, and curator. He graduated from Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1985 with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and from Stonybrook University in 1982 with a BA in Fine Arts. After holding positions as a gallery assistant for noted NY artist Ed Buonagurio an art teacher for the NYC public schools John began teaching on the collegiate level in 1999.

Highlights as a sculptor include the installation of Neried on the Mississippi River waterfront in Dubuque, Iowa, artist in residency programs at Stony Brook University and East End Arts Council, and two consecutive NYSCA Long Island Creative Artists Grants in 2013 and 2104. From those grants John first extended his work into public art with Library at Babel: Patchogue and then into multimedia performance with Common Ground. His work has been exhibited in sculpture parks, museums, college campuses, and lobbies including the Islip-MacArthur Airport. A cross-sectional career retrospective, Considering the Goddess was exhibited in 2022 at the Br. Kenneth Chapman Gallery, Iona University.

Cino has taught on the graduate and undergraduate levels courses in a broad range of studio practices as well as many phases of art history. Currently, he teaches sculpture and three-dimensional design at Nassau Community College and Farmingdale State College. While studying mathematics at Suffolk Community College he received a grant to create and implement an innovative course in mathematics that taught concepts in math through art making.

In the mid 90’s Cino was president of 14 Sculptors Gallery, a highly regarded sculptors’ cooperative begun in 1969. During his tenure, he organized exhibitions, and saw the relocation of the gallery and its eventual reinvention as a non-localized artists collective.
He has curated many exhibitions in New York City and Long Island including 14 Sculptors Gallery, Adelphi University, the Islip Museum, and Nassau Community College. He is the senior curator of the Patchogue Arts Council Gallery, now the Museum of Contemporary Art, Long Island, and has been since its inception in 2008. He developed and co-curated two of its largest exhibitions the Patchogue Biennials of 2009 and 2011 bringing 40 artists from Brooklyn to the East together in 12,000 sq ft. Cino speaks regularly on art and art history for PAC/MoCALI lecturing on historical topics in Learning to Look and interviewing artists in Coffee with a Curator, each offered monthly through the Patchogue Arts Council.

Cino is most noted for his fluid wood carvings which he began in 2005. After 18 years of carving a recent career retrospective in 2022 reminded him of older interests. Since late 2022 he has begun working on three new series using techniques developed in the mid-1980s.

John Cino’s Website

Lauren Ruiz - Trembling Place

photo credit by Jennifer Vorbach

Lauren Ruiz’s sculpture Settlement for Invasive Birds created in 2023 is composed of five sculptural works. This project considers avian symbolism in religious ideology and ideas around belonging and invasiveness in local ecologies.

Lauren Ruiz is a research-based multimedia artist interrogating perceptions of nature, the role of institutional authority, and their complex intersections with class,  labor,  and identity. 

Lauren Ruiz’s Website

Scott Bluedorn - Boletus Vitrium

*photo by Anthony Graziano

Cut-glass vases, bowls, and vessels
various dimensions
Artist’s Statement:

“I am an observer of the natural world and a critic of its collision with and disruption by contemporary human society. My work is influenced by science, history, geography, cultural anthropology, “primitivism”, and supernatural tradition; and I strive to distill imagery that speaks to the collective unconscious through visual storytelling.

I work primarily in drawing and painting, collage, printmaking, assemblage, and installation, both separately or sometimes in combination. Making deeply personal work in this range of media addresses a spectrum of ideas, though there are distinct central themes pertaining to different environmental aspects.

I work primarily in a realist manner that is based on observation and recording detail, yet there is often an element of chance, chaos, and/or abstraction involved in the execution. In the last few years, I have attended many residencies and as an avid world traveler, I integrate new experiences and geographies into my work, investing in the psychic energy of a place and hoping to translate that into my art.

My current interests are in material studies, human/non-human interaction, the interconnection of living systems, “new” ecologies, climate disruption, sustainable design and living practices.

Scott Bluedorn’s Website

Scott Bluedorn’s Instagram @theo_blue

Justin Greenwald - Surf's Up

Justin Greenwald’s sculpture Surf’s Up was created in 2023.  

Pam J. Brown - Flower Power

photo credit Anthony Graziano

Pam J. Brown’s Flower Power sculpture created in 2023 consists of 6 tall sheet metal flowers that mesmerize in any setting. 

Pam Brown is known for making sculpture that portrays her personal story as a naturalist, inspired by the beauties and tragedies of wildlife and American history.  Her artwork focuses on anthropological and environmental concerns of extinction and the human condition in reference to the natural world. Brown’s aesthetics of industrial imagery are integral to her artmaking processes, as are collecting and salvaging materials from abandoned rural and urban factory sites.  Using these discarded remnants, such as wire, sheet metal, copper, wood, fabric, and rubber, she builds architectural structures and sculptures that look like artifacts. Much of this work appears worn and weathered from use or exposure and has the familiar appearance of everyday forms with the strangeness of personified objects.  Brown carefully fabricates sculptures that are composed of thin skeletal elements to enclose space in an open structure, thus creating a physical and psychological sense of inner and outer that permeate our deeper selves.

Pam J. Brown’s Website 

Ted Thirlby- A World Made New

*Photo Credit- Anthony Graziano

Title- A World Made New 


Mixed Media

Ted Thirlby’s website

Instagram @tedthirlbystudio

Aurelio Torres - Malaysia-Boston

Photo Credit by Anthony Graziano

Aurelio Torres sculpture Malaysia – Boston was created in 2022 of reclaimed wood. 

Aurelio’s work infuses the aesthetic principles of classicism within contemporary settings. His painting typically depicts scenes from nature or portraits, and his sculptures most often interpret the simple, clean lines of wooden ships. 

From a young age, Aurelio has traveled extensively around the world. This has inspired his determination to create much of his work in natural, outdoor settings. His aesthetic sensibility, as evidenced in his work, is one of essential simplicity and natural, uncontrived beauty. 

Aurellio’s work can be purchased here 1st Dibs- Aurelio Torres

Michael Ince

It is with great sadness that we lost an incredible Artist and Friend Michael Ince on September 18, 2023.

To view some of Michael’s Work- click below

In Collect- Michael Ince

USA Today- Tree houses

Robin Gianis - Kite Studies 1-4

Robin Gianis’ sculpture Kite Studies was created in 2023 from ceramic.

Robin explores the patterns of nature in ceramic art.
She did her undergraduate studies at Sarah Lawrence
College, the University of Michigan in Florence, Italy,
and later received her teaching degree from Long Island
University where she first began to explore clay. A native
of Massachusetts, Robin has been an East Hampton
resident for over thirty years, and a multidisciplinary
Visual Art teacher, kindergarten through twelfth grade, at
the Bridgehampton School for twenty-plus years.

Robin Gianis’ Website

Elyzabeth Meade - They Hear Our Dreams

Photo Credit- Anthony Graziano

Elyzabeth Meade’s sculpture They Hear Our Dreams was created in 2023 of mixed media.

For multi-media artist Elyzabeth Meade, each project invites unique materials and creative approaches. Her compositions for dance/theatre, video, and concert stage, as well as her own performance works – incorporating movement, acoustic and electronic instruments, digital audio, found objects, classical and “extended-technique” voice, sculpture, and poetry – have been premiered with contemporary music ensembles and theatre/dance companies in New York, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Canada, and Europe.

Elyzabeth Meade’s Instagram

Peter Menderson- Five Rings

Peter Menderson’s work is about connecting in the most basic physical sense but also metaphorically. His mother was Scottish from industrial Glasgow, and childhood visits to the shipyards of Clydebank with their towering cranes and great piles of anchor chains left a vivid early impression. He began making links and chain forms for a project room at P.S.1 and has continued composing with links, and rings, combined with other sculptural elements to form arrangements of weight, mass, and material that aim for a visceral and haptic connection to the the viewer. 
     Uncovering the ancient chain and ring forms hiding in plain sight for use in his sculpture, Peter found a direct and elegant path to combine diverse materials and to investigate the weight and the beauty of the random, as the links lie against one another like jacks thrown by a child. It is in the “piling up” of the forms that the truly sculptural occurs. That the links and rings can be rearranged is essential to the ethereal presence of the work. 
      Peter has an MFA in sculpture from Yale, and lives and works in NewYork City and Bellport, NY.

Peter Menderson’s Website

Peter Menderson’s Instagram- @pmenderson

David N. Ebner - Gates/Headboard and Round Burl

David N. Ebner is an artist/craftsman who works in four modes: classical impressions of furniture, turned objects, sculptural furniture, and furniture. “I approach my art intuitively as well as intellectually, drawing inspiration wherever I find it. I’ve explored a variety of directions and themes over the years, but each piece is treated as an art object with concern for my material and honesty to its inherent qualities. For me, one’s creative ability is demonstrated in the diversity of the pieces and what one learns from change”.

David Ebner’s Website

John DiNaro - Nesting Osprey

John DiNaro’s Nesting Osprey was created in 2023 of mixed media.

John DiNaro’s statement 

“I was always a daydreamer and doodler, all through my elementary and high school years.

When I became a biological oceanographer at the University of California at Humboldt, I was following the plans of others and what they saw in me. In my heart, my dreams showed the path to my soul, which was the world of the dreamer.

For years my everyday was split between being a commercial fisherman and a sculptor. As time went on, more time was spent in my studio, creating. I fell in love with the world of art and creativity. With passion and commitment, finally, my own life started to unfold.

Following my dreams, I began to sell my sculptures, murals, and educational courses. Over the past 30 years I have worked with Arts-in-Education in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and even in upstate NY, teaching a variety of programs in creativity.”

John DiNaro’s Website

Dan Welden - Laurel

Dan Welden’s sculpture Laurel was created in 2022 of Laurelwood branches.

As the original pioneer of alternative printmaking since 1970, Dan Welden has been at the forefront of ‘health and safety’ in the arts.  As co-author of ‘PRINTMAKING IN THE SUN’ and director of Hampton Editions, Ltd., his 50-plus years of collaboration include artists such as Willem de Kooning, Eric Fischl, Kiki Smith, and Dan Flavin.  He has received international recognition through his residencies in China, Belgium, Cuba, Peru New Zealand, Australia, and other countries.  

With 91 solo exhibitions to date, including the paramount exhibitor at the Cape Cod Museum of Art and travels to 53 countries, he was awarded a ‘lifetime achievement award’ from A/E Foundation in New York; a title of Professor Emeritus from Escuela de Bellas Artes in Cusco, Peru and most recently a Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant.  

Dan Welden’s Website

James P. Wagner (Ishwa) - Response to Invasive Beauty

Spires… reaching for the sky
like so many of us…
trying to fly…
showing ourselves to the world
with a different coat of paint
than we were made with
aspiring to be
that which is beyond
what is inherent to us…
often times
wandering into places
where some would say
we don't belong…
but what progress
what dreams
what vision
was ever realized
by accepting
our supposed

~James P. Wagner (Ishwa)


Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) - One of Many Master Wingéd Weavers

One of Many Master Wingéd Weavers

(If you ever think to complain
about the work you have to do
the attention to detail,
day in and day out
the commitments to your family, friends,
the project you’re working on,
consider the Oriole, who —
without book knowledge,
without youtube videos,
without tech support lines,
without a so-called formal education —
for as many as 12 days
weaves a nest
“with about 10,000 stitches
and the tying of thousands of knots,
all with its beak”
the Oriole nest a hanging pouch
like a sock with water inside
making the birthing place
wider at the bottom.
And speaking of commitments
and wedding vows
and the robes of monks,
the Oriole wins hands down
tying thousands of knots,
tying thousands of knots,
tying thousands of knots,
tying thousands of knots,
tying thousands of knots,
with a beak!

Mankh (Walter E. Harris)

(Quote from Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop,
2017 Calendar (Oakdale & East Setauket)

Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan - Boxes

Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes
one after another one after another one after another
all with little boxes of green we water and cut

Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes


one stacked onto another
one stacked onto another
one stacked onto another
a/c units like a staircase to the roofs

We put ourselves within a box within a box within a box staring into a box
until we are placed into our final box

But these boxes are not those boxes
These boxes are the building of a staircase for us
to reach our greatest purpose:


Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan

M. Francis Garcia - Dandelion


When the delicate parachute ball
opens into a full sphere clock
achenes fruit seeds are attached to lightweight
parachutes determined to
go the distance. Now, Nature
intersects with steel sculpture and
the galaxy above, offering
infinite love of
this moment; planets
on ecliptic plane remain as
metallic orbit in space,
simple traces of
dandelion seeds still
attached to vortex ring
of exploration and
discovery, pappus adjusting
for lack of moisture,
finally allowing
maximum dispersal
of beauty between
ethereal Milky Way and
an infinite host
of other celestial bodies. – M. Frances Garcia

M. Frances Garcia, M.A., LMSW, is a social worker, contemplative poet, and photographer. She teaches
English at Suffolk County Community College.

Carl Welden - After "Deus Mundi"

After “Deus Mundi”

Floating obelisk

A high-impedance air gap

Harvest in suspense

Carl Welden

Mindy Kronenberg - Summer Romance (Gaia's Lament)

Summer Romance
(Gaia’s Lament)

Was it the heat, was it
the verdant breath
of our whispered vows,
a woven entanglement of
of unbridled desire,
blinding me to the carnage?

Down come saplings in over-grown
meadows, up come the roots
in a riot of wildflowers

How did you fool me, lothario,
imposter, entwined in my
grasp, sweet murmurings
faint and gentle on the air

Spades glint in the sun, sink
their teeth into the lawn
to bare the tender mud

My unfurled tendrils
in your hard embrace,
my heart a trembling cage
splintered by stents.

Posts are impaled, staked
and fastened in the ground
to declare dominion

I will not shrink nor
shrivel under your toxic spell.
My honor will be reclaimed
in the sinuous force of my rage.

Mindy Kronenberg

Adam Fisher- Ruffles

The room is buzzing
with elegant people:
men in tails, women
in green silk
and taffeta gowns.
They turn to look
at the tall and trim
dark-skinned woman,
black hair pulled back,
skin gleaming,
wearing a dress with
ruffles that start
at her right shoulder
and spiral around
her slim body. Everyone,
so in awe of her,
stops speaking.

Adam Fisher

Orel Protopopescu - A Trembling of Finches

A Trembling of Finches

When we wrote with feathered quills,
paper was the widest sky we knew—
an infinite space, pristine with possibility,
where we could soar beyond the birds.
Later we became indigenes of air,
and scarred our only, shrinking sky
with smoky signs that we refused to read,
setting ourselves free, unwittingly,
to change the shape of the world.

Too many of us fell in love
with the pings of cash registers.
A few could even hear them
in the slurred, brassy warbles
of house finches, and feel,
in their trembling, ruddy feathers,
the fine mesh of dollar bills.

The advertised “Hollywood Finches,”
whisked across a continent,
failed the cage test,
setting themselves free.

They drove out others of their kind—
our purple, East Coast finches,
barrel-chested beauties
that could pass a screen test
but can’t compete for seeds
or mate with the invaders
whose songs don’t turn them on.

 Will there be room for songs
or just some final pings
when we blast the last ringing hole
in a planet that has already begun—
oh so slowly— to list like an unwieldy ship?

Our invasive species competes
for the seeds of destruction,
setting ourselves free to build
bigger cages for our bones.
But the nightmare of finals looms,
tests made by the worst of us
that the trembling best can’t pass.

Orel Protopopescu

Gladys Henderson - Walking the Pathway

Walking the Pathway

You walk the woodland path,
to experience the sculptures.
Perhaps some are made of clay,
bearing the finger prints and strokes
of their maker, or some of steel,
aluminum, wire, perhaps made
into cheetahs, spider webs, pythons,
amusing humanoids dancing
in gardens with flowers, vines,
fashioned from hub caps, train tracks,
broken windows and carved fallen trees,
surfaces made silky, sensuous, like
a lover’s skin or fractured like unfinished
dreams. Delight in those of glass, their
radiance celestial, shards of stars,
the colors of sacrament. Maybe all were
once considered trash, now offspring
of a new creation, never seen before.
Iridescent, luminous, sparkling with their own
internal sun, the delight of a human’s eyes.

Gladys Henderson

Maya Dreamwalker - Malleable


Has a malleable nature.

That here is transformed by human hands
To create
a voice,
a language that transcends
the hieroglyphs of the past,
And the secrets of tomorrows 
As yet 

Maya Dreamwalker

Russ Green - The Turning

The Turning

The sculptor led me down a path
to a dark wood. On a hillside
rose half a dozen white thin crosses
that weren’t meant to be crosses,
but poles that happened to be
in the shape of crosses
because that’s what was needed
to hold the big metal flowers.

Turning in the wind, pinwheel
pedals. A gift to the trees. Early Girl
looked on from neighboring
woodland just a few yards
away beyond the transparent
wire fence where the legendary
actress has her organic farm.

And, how the season turned
and the wheels answered the wind
and the trees rustled and bowed
to the flower’s celebratory
swirling of south shore
currents of air meandering
through leaves.

We are grateful
for the preservation
of this land. Community
joining hands, among these holy
paths to save her from the bulldozers.

And, the big white flowers continue… proudly…
defiantly… turning hope to the wind.

Russ Green

Chip Williford - Borrowed Inspiration

Borrowed Inspiration
By Chip Williford

Silent screams
Chaotic pressure
discombobulated thoughts camouflaged Whispering cries
echoed Splintered dreams

For weeks,
Down cheeks Burning tears rained
As she began to release
Heavy bundles of grief
Trauma, regrets
Strangled portions
Smothered Pain

Secrets no longer kept
Dodging snares
Seeking refuge
Mama wept
Packed me up and home we left

Waving soft green leaves
Somewhat Clear around the fence
everywhere else pretty dense

Leaving behind
yesterdays wrath
the crescent moon
LIT a welcoming path

Once in canopies
now dried
Rolled up crushed
crackling sound amplified
on the ground
Hoping not to be found

There we were
Mom and me
At the root of a barren tree

An outstretched branch did we rest
as though we were little birds high up in the canopy
safe in their nest

Borrowed inspiration
a sculpture in nature

The morning darkness finally went away
The mist lifted softly
Into a brand new day

Kelly Powell - drift away

drift away

compassion of the balancing wood
invisible slender legs of a grackle
on a green wire fence for the family of dogs

living here now in a compound
of broken dreams and lawn clippings,
detritus of a domesticated natural kind

my father used to leave in the grass
for mulch, he had a special mower
that did this, fertilizing while mowing, making

the grass green as the spinach salad
in the worn, wooden bowl from our 5th
wedding anniversary tossed to the wind

and stacked in the kitchen cabinet
in a cairn of old cooking and serving ware,
giving their advice unsolicited

but well-meaning nonetheless,
would that we had married right away
instead of lived together for a length

of untethered time and started
our family more timely and thoughtfully
instead of drifting away on the sea

of lost love and so many paper marriages
ending in the graveyard of used things
and items that have rusted or lost

their usefulness, once loved toys
or impulsive purchases useful to no one,
a by product of destiny and twine from lumber

and packages in all seasons
refugees of holidays fixed only in memory
and every day life, stored in a drawer

to be used again if we are wise
and fruitful in the way we are meant to be

Kelly Powell

Claude Mayers - Hanging Locust

 Hanging Locust    


The locust tree fell in a storm

Across the fence

Chainsawed into circular pieces

One now is gripped between

Weathered ice house tongs

Like an extracted tooth

The curving brass handles

Soldered to a rusted chain

Hooked into a larger chain

Secured above

Flung over a fork

Of a leafless oak branch

Forty feet high


It responds to the human hand

Moving slightly

As would a tire swing

It hanging there

Reminding us of youthful romance

Legs dangling in the fragrant summer breeze

Tentative lips

Exploring a French kiss


Or it appears to be

A lifeless body of a lynching

Which must not be

Forgotten or erased

In these days of victor-shame


Or is it a circular steak of nature

Pinced by a burly lumberjack waiter

Being served to Hamptons gourmets

                                        and environmental crusaders


Does it creak

When the wind blows

How long will it remain

A monument to by-gone days

And future history

That may repeat itself

Or forewarned by art

Prominently hanging there

Inspire us to function with love

Not to commit atrocities


Or pontify naïve theories

As one could finish

Like this hanging locust

The sculpture favoring some DaVinci

And Benvenuto Cellini’s bronzes


                              © 2023   Claude Mayers

Pramila Venkateswaran - Sounds of Turquoise

Sounds of Turquoise

Some call us pieces of a coral reef,
smeared with ocean tones,
or imagine we’re ear studs left by a negligent
grand dame of the forest,
or wild anemone.

To some, we appear as turquoise
bells hanging tightly in circles,
our mouths open. calling out,
“listen, we’ve lost our tongues
but we are still here.”
Studded to trees, we taste
rain and light, honey air
and bitter smoke, hear bird calls
and river sonics.

Made from dust and the elements,
our parts carefully molded to attract,
we fill your imagination hungry to decipher
meanings from the forms you perceive.

You don’t need to understand us.
Simply see us,
take our presence into yourselves,
so our color and shine
and the fact that we persist in wind and rain,
here in nature’s abode
will stay with you
long after
you’ve disappeared down the path.

Pramila Venkateswaran

Nancy Keating- Dream House

Dream House
after “They Hear Our Dreams” by Elyzabeth Meade

talk to me about your dream house
is it the house of your own specific dreams
does it have the fifty-thousand-dollar kitchen
does it have a Carrera marble sunken bathtub
like the one Gwyneth has
and the ten-thousand-dollar chandelier
but we can’t go there and see it
only lust over the photos in the magazine
because she only lives there sometimes
only spent all that money to give us envy
some people don’t have a house at all
while other people have a few of them
is your dream house the kind in a fairy tale
where it’s deep in a forest and you can’t leave
because the evil witch locks you up
and only lets you out to feed your brother
because the birds ate the bread-crumb trail
and there you are lashed to your bed
and your bones are dreaming
me I dreamed a house too
one I was especially happy in
and when I woke up it receded from me
this is what an immersive dream is like
you want to stay in your creation
and the more you try to call it back
the more it fades
like a life

Nancy Keating


Prayer on Behalf of the Seven Billion

Revered goddess, we abide in your late-summer night of shooting stars,
and we ask you for healing. It may be too much to ask for longevity as
well, goddess, for we have fear. See the detritus of what we’ve made of
things, the rebar and rubbish that make up the ruins of Mariupol, the
straw protruding from the turtle’s snout, the islands of plastic trash in the
ocean currents. What some might call serenity in the face of catastrophe
is in fact apathy, goddess, apathy and hopelessness. Only a
compassionate deity would adorn herself with these scraps we leave
behind. We struggle against each other and we plunder the earth for
transitory wealth. We are shallow. We create delusions for ourselves to
believe. Please, goddess, protect us on our journey, help us free
ourselves from negative emotions, and direct us toward restoring the
abundance of this world. Some of us would listen.

Nancy Keating

Michelle Whittaker - When I look upon the circular gaze

When I look upon the circular gaze

based on artwork by Peter L. Menderson

all I see are wedding bands, yellow gold,
and I wonder why I signed up for this entanglement?

What makes us swoon alongside the howls of a saxophone or the sighing out of a trumpet?
When I scout the low field, I notice a tapping heel caught at the curved base of the bar stool.
I notice a collapsed sterling bracelet around the ankle, then I note the glint of superstition. Perhaps
anything that can clasp requires constant attention? Should I trust the turning peg of a steely guitar
string refraining a love song about the sunny side of the street? Do frequencies even wheel and bow
their bodies like ingrown hairs hiding pain and strength?

I recall how electrical wires entwined from high winds into a house wren’s nest:
Is this a composite of hurt?

The fact that I miss him comes and goes, / and although we might not be in a church, /
we are in a reverent room, gathered below a painting / of two choir members leaning their heads /
together as one. I wonder who is awake / and who is harmless, parasomnia? /

When I look upon the circular gaze

a few flames grow with the sounds of mandibles
rubbing against their hive — and closer
the magnifying stranger’s face, brave
enough to ask others to sway.

Are the hands steady or do they shake
like fallen pine cones, or larch cones, or cedars, or firs?
Brown musings are another shade of gold.

We all watch the human posture on stage with a soprano hook, solo after solo
as if this is a new beginning, and although it sounds like we are at a we-are-gathered-here-today’s
wet whistle in the middle of common reeds,
a crowd of pollen dances —

by Michelle Whittaker

Kathaleen Donnelly - A Twisted Exchange

A Twisted Exchange

A tall, elegant oak stretched

its arms up and outward 

to greet a burning star high 

in the empty space all around us.

Roots had found the underground stream 

that flows endlessly, pours into a manmade 

pond where ducks and geese, swans 

and snapper turtles find sanctuary.


The oak’s breath took in carbon, 

exhaled oxygen every second of its life

and so allowed for ours.  We inhaled 

what it exhaled and together, grew up 

and outward.  


But like everything, its downside 

was the moss that grew on a rooftop 

its branches hovered over, and the window 

it was heading towards, beautiful till contact.

If in a field alone it would have been a life form 

of pure beauty, sound and promising.  


Solar panels going up on a new roof 

demanded its demise, slowly but surely 

each branch crashing to the ground 

at the request of a chain saw —

turned to firewood, woodchip, sawdust.  

Its reign over in a day, questionable decay 

as the reason to not hold this disappearance. 

Let it go.


The panels take that same burning star,

make electricity, one survival over another, 

one species over the other. 


But sometimes its about something original.

Please the senses, artwork to astonish, 

a genius using a talent so few possess

for beauty, craft, utility.

Creations to remind us of who we are, 

what can come when inspired. 

And, often with a  twist. 

This poem is inspired by the amazing work of David  N. Ebner, a ‘creative’, having submitted to CEED “A set of Twisted Stick”. /  Kathaleen Donnelly

Tom Stock - Osprey Man

Osprey man

He is the laminated man
Layers of plywood
Sculpted by sanding
To create his osprey
Which he hopes will fly
Like he wants to fly
Soar, glide, look down
Drop like a lead sinker
Clutch the fish with sharp talons
Struggle to gain air
Return to the nest,
Tear fish belly with hooked bill
Eat, rest, look out at the bay

There’s John, in his skiff
You alight and fly above John
You want to thank him
For his sculpture perched
High in a tree
John becomes his osprey

He dances an osprey dance
Chirping, gliding, folding wings
Crouching in his drop
Like the birds he’s seen
He and his sculpture are one.

Tom Stock

Haim Mizrahi - Intertwine


A blind spot Flows from within,
It chose to be a repeater of life.
It surpassed the requirements of Decency, while I stare and calmly Divide the tension so casually
Handed to me.

Solely rhyming
Flesh expansion, bright eyed branch
Spirals, as drum rolls speak the Language of night dreamers.
Here it resembles a soft baby,
Fast growing into expansions, Blending with vigor, breathing Between the lights of mystery
In the pathways created with
Each calculated gesture of growth.

Dreaming like a quiet hero,
Like the sing along of faces staring squarely at a momentary flash back.
Dreaming like a first born
Squeezing with a first might,
With innocence of brave forests,
With much deserved admiration,
With letters of bright delights
Circling the vicinity of hidden Masters foraging.

Green pasture.
The place to plead,
A grown up plead,
Sleep deprived.
An Eye blinking, this moment,
It Leaps over.
The crunch of the wind
Restores a recovery.
You hint, in your own way,
A form and a speech..
A Rhyme slows down with grace.
The hesitation of Mother Nature
Whispers the truth in our ears.
It is, after all, a river of love.

Haim Mizrahi

We hope to see next year.