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Image by Michael Held

Set a Watch
Sam Calhoun

Red deck. Red morning.

Who cares that the sun

rises beyond the neighbor’s barn?

How it’s flash sends a thousand

birds like dust into the sky?

Maybe the oaks, legended deep

with their marscescent leaves

collecting light, dew dripped

like sweat to the forest floor,

maybe the beech, or the witch hazel

casting sparks, spells in their sleep.


I set a watch west, open windows, doors,

see my silhouette as shadow puppets,

my fingers music notes in the blinds.

See the sun sparkle the birdbath,

the dove stop to drink, then blue jay.

Each morning this is my aim—

Find a light.  Let it pass through. 

Image by Brigi Uhrin

Catch Basin
Sam Calhoun

In the dark deer slip

past spent corn stalks,

their chortles join the owls,

lost time keepers, fireflies

signing the edge of forest,

the night a catch basin for hours,

the distant dog an alarm with no clock.


I can hear the scrape

of old leaves, a hoof tangled

in morning glory vine

dragging that old year still

in mid-winter, so dark

this night, nothing passes

But breath as it wrinkles past stars.

Image by Amelia Bartlett

Sam Calhoun is a writer and photographer living in Elkmont, AL. The author of two chapbooks “Apogee” (Origami Poetry Project), “Follow This Creek” (Foothills Publishing), and a collaborative work “The Hemlock Poems” (Present Tense Media). His poems have appeared in Pregnant Moon Review, Westward Quarterly, Eratos, Boats Against the Current, and other journals. Follow him on Instagram @weatherman_sam, or his website,

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