Robert Chesney


Robert Chesney’s poems have appeared in The Blue Heron Review, Creative WisconsinLife Story magazine, and other publications. His award-winning story “Gottleib’s Charge” appeared in the Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. He produces the AHSGR Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter newsletter. He volunteers as a teacher naturalist at southeastern Wisconsin nature Center. He lives in Cedarburg with his wife and mixed-breed dog Pippin. His two daughters and seven grandchildren live in nearby Grafton.

He is currently working on a chapbook and young adult novel about high school. He taught English for over thirty years. He plays jazz ukulele and enjoys travel, hiking, and taking classes at the Bernard Osher Foundation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Snow Fleas

Like a down filled comforter spread over the ground
springtails leap across the forest floor
an army of soldiers scurry and skedaddle
under a balsam pine offering its boughs
like some great protector against the storm.
As the blizzard flourishes
the invaders diminish from sight
burrowing under permafrost
to partake an organic smorgasbord--
decaying oak leaves, sumac berries, and birch bark.
The resplendent palette of gold, red, and purple
remains only an autumn memory.
Seasons march forward
casting off harsh monochrome winter hues
until the springtails merge amid the top soil
unnoticed by the pas de deux
of ballerina trillium and cavalier May apple. 

First appeared in Creative Wisconsin


Morning mist descends upon Monet's creek
like a loon touching down
nary breaking the water's surface.
Splashes of yellow, orange, white, pink,
lavender, salmon, coral, red, green obsidian,
Monet's palette--
Hoary old man ghosts upon the bank
his brush reaches skyward. 

Skirting the bank--
two weathered rowboats frozen in time
abandoned by truant boys in May
who yearned for a lazy summer excursion
while young lovers strolled through the meadow
and Bordeaux aged in tight grain barrels
and the cooper's hands shriveled--
the beautiful gardens merged
into an impressionist painting. 

First appeared in Blue Heron Review