the rotary dial

best new poetry in form

Weeds are not supposed to grow
but by degrees
some achieve a flower, although
no one sees.

From the April Issue


The Water Lily

Sun, incessant sun, would be its wish,
if it could wish, resplendent as it rocks
upon the gentle ripples. Languid fish
meander through its shadow. From the docks
the mothers call their children back to shore,
an echoing irrelevance, no more.
The water lily rides the lake.

The struggles for survival fought below,
each hungry lunge and desperate retreat,
are nothing to it as it crests the slow,
subsiding slipstream of a distant boat.
A frog may shelter on its floating pad
or be devoured, neither good nor bad.
The water lily rides the lake.

The damselfly nymph crawling from the depths
along its swaying, green umbilicus
does not disturb the lily. It accepts
the pollinating beetle’s clumsy kiss
with like indifference. In pelting squall,
it curls into a tight, protective ball.
The water lily rides the lake.

The shimmering reflections of high noon
surround the lily, seeming to construct
a temple for itself, itself alone.
One day its selfish beauty may be plucked
by idle, arbitrary hand, but now
in the unblinking, everlasting now,
the water lily rides the lake.


Reagan Upshaw’s poems, articles, and reviews have appeared in Able Muse, Bloomsbury Review, Hanging Loose, Light, Poets & Writers, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications.