Where Are My Words? by Pamela Potter

Photo of lit candle and envelopes
 

All my life, I’ve processed joy and sorrow, confusion and diatribe, in writing. I have a book of hand written poems working through the tragedies and angst of a teenage mindscape. I have notebooks journaling my college years full of anecdotes of friends and my small adventures. I have abandoned blogs leaving breadcrumbs of my growth and change on the internet like a hidden treasure map. This past year has left me grasping for a comfort that will not come. In March 2020, my words fled. Cancelled like the cruise I had been looking forward … Continue reading Where Are My Words? by Pamela Potter

Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

Photo of train tracks
 

I was walking our dog this evening, around six o’clock, when I heard the low rumble of an approaching train. I live in Silver Spring, Md., a few blocks from where the tracks cross over Georgia Ave. When walking down our street, we can see the trains passing at our level, giving the illusion that there is a crossing up ahead. Actually, Georgia dips down below the tracks at that point. But I always look, for I’m reminded of the times my father would take me to watch trains on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes we’d go … Continue reading Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

It’s the Month of Self-Love: National Self-Check Month by Annis Cassells

Photo of box that says Love Yourself and roses
 

Among other national celebrations like Black History Month, Great American Pies Month and National Library Lover’s Month, February is also National Self-Check Month. Turns out, there’s a whole yearly calendar of “National” months, weeks, and days! Who comes up with these? I don’t know about you, but a month around self-care sounds really good to me. It’s a continuation of the theme I’ve been touting for most of 2020 and into this year. So I am onboard! (And if you know me, you know I’m also about those other months I mentioned, too.) Sometimes we … Continue reading It’s the Month of Self-Love: National Self-Check Month by Annis Cassells

A Chisel and a Rock and Losing Control, 2 poems by Annie Breitenbucher

Close up photo of a statue
 

  A Chisel and a Rock They say He created heaven, earth, and mystery: The jungle lion’s guttural roar The celestial twinkling of stars Tell me Where is your soul? And does it move with you like the moon—quarter, half, full of grief and gratitude? Tell me Who created your Creator? And, does He see the tiny grain of your face? Tell me Did He tell you What purpose you serve? What fever you can cure? Or, did He leave you here with the riddle, a chisel, and a rock? Losing Control It was the … Continue reading A Chisel and a Rock and Losing Control, 2 poems by Annie Breitenbucher

Shopping in Pandemic Times by Nick Barta

Photo of blurry red lights
 

It was late December, and I was heading to downtown Vienna during a pandemic. As I reflected on the task ahead of me, buying Christmas presents for my mother and grandmother, the mayhem inherent in completing that task manifested itself in the form of a gentleman who, having worn a mask into the subway car, proceeded to pull it down once he was seated. Not wanting to undertake this monumental task alone, I had decided to meet up with a friend. Upon encounter, the ritual “kiss-kiss” greeting was relegated to an awkward bump of elbows … Continue reading Shopping in Pandemic Times by Nick Barta

Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

curved pale green fern in sunllight
 

My friend looks like he stands tall and straight. But for fifty years, he’s lived in his brain. He can’t bear you to know he can’t bear his body. Hidden inside, a fiddlehead, curled to protect a tender secret it’s not in vogue to keep. After the death of one parent’s wits and another parent’s heart, he tries on the latest fashion. But bravery carries a price his sister makes him pay. And with half a century of silence, his fetal back is broken. Unfurling is nothing but pain. Sara Dovre Wudali is a writer … Continue reading Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

My Air Force Shrine by Miles Fowler

Photo of gun and pictures on wall
 

My study may be a mess, but, on one wall, I have meticulously created a shrine of sorts. My “Air Force Wall” is—like my connections to its theme—a mixture of the authentic and inauthentic. The shrine came together mostly by accident. As I chose things to put up on the wall, it was only when I saw the pattern that was emerging that I made the air force theme deliberate. Two of my half-siblings, sister Terri and late brother Michael, as well as my late brother-in-law Brian (Teri’s husband), were in the United States Air … Continue reading My Air Force Shrine by Miles Fowler

Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann

cloudy moonrise over deep blue swamp
 

Bullfrogs Always in discord, they are summer’s yellow-throated singers, so deep in distress, I cannot tell if the voice is mine or theirs cannot even tell if it is fright or sorrow, the pained thrum which gives to a humid night echoes in the eardrum, a reverb as haunting as an owl or one’s racing heart, which lingers when they sleep during the panting heat of day while the moon seeps silent under the bright horizon what remains is close to sweat and skin, a dizzy reminder of hidden pasts, sounds of the South and … Continue reading Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann

Snow Day by Ari McGuirk

Photo of drug paraphernalia
 

Marinara stains blotted my white hoodie’s waist hem like blood droplets. Posters of fighter jets lined the grey walls of the recruiter’s office. A Dodgers baseball cap squeezed straight brown hair over my ears and scraggly peach fuzz climbed my jawline. A tuft of jet-black hair topped the recruiter’s head, sides shaved to the scalp. Fluorescent light reflected off his desk’s glass surface. Next to his U.S. Air Force insignia, a name tape read “Daigle.” I’d been studying rank insignias, and four chevrons on his uniform’s sleeves meant Staff Sergeant. Families bundled in winter coats … Continue reading Snow Day by Ari McGuirk

Finding Photographs by Brian Michael Barbeito

Close-up photo of snail
 

  Primarily a poet and writer, I came to photography by accident. I was on a summer nature walk in southern Ontario, Canada, when I got lost. It was incredibly hot and I had forgotten my water. My wife had given me a phone with a camera. Instead of rushing and panicking, which I knew would make things worse, I walked slower to preserve energy and remain calm. In these woods which I would come to know better in the future, there was plentiful wild red sumac at a colorful and vibrant intersection where two … Continue reading Finding Photographs by Brian Michael Barbeito

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