The Big Tent Of Dangerous by Erika Raskin

Photo of people walking on top of a red and white circus tent

Here’s what the Left—of which I am a dyed in the wool member—needs to understand: many adherents of ‘conspiracy’ theories aren’t crazy. I mean a lot are. But a lot aren’t. Not yet, anyway. Democrats have got to start acknowledging that a great deal of the distrust that is expressed about government and big-business is well-founded. There have been/are bad actors and institutionalized policies resulting in injuries, bankruptcies and deaths. Think Purdue Pharma and opioid addiction, for example. Or losing your house because of a hospital bill. Categorically blowing off somebody’s pain and reality is … Continue reading The Big Tent Of Dangerous by Erika Raskin

The Drowned Place by Miles Fowler

Photo of swampland

Red-wing blackbirds flew overhead, their red shoulders gleaming in the afternoon sun. The air was thick with the chirping and buzzing of wild fauna. Most of them—apart from some of the insects—fled before our canoes as we penetrated the swamp, following channels invisible to the outsider’s eye. Tall shrubs and grasses lined our channel, providing a modicum of shade against the direct rays of the sun, this vegetation caressing our crafts—and occasionally us—as we paddled in deeper and deeper. Lily pads with flowers growing from their hearts floated aside, making way for us. Frogs seated … Continue reading The Drowned Place by Miles Fowler

Writing the Family Secret by Sharon Ackerman

old gray marriage license

Who doesn’t love mysteries and secrets? I can recall sitting under a shade tree as a child with stacks of Nancy Drew, Alice in Wonderland, Tom’s Midnight Garden and the Boxcar Children series. Before that, there was Aesop and Grimm, rife with gore and violence, all the jealousies, abandonments, and disguises that life can throw at you. And how instructive to observe the way choices made by heroic children can lead to downfall or triumph! Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim in The Uses of Enchantment argues for the utility of the classic European fairy tale, supernatural and … Continue reading Writing the Family Secret by Sharon Ackerman

Little Vova* by P. W. Bridgman

Photo of small multi colored bird on limb

P. W. Bridgman is the 1st place winner of Streetlight‘s Flash Fiction Contest     She told the story about him, but only once. About how she found him on a chair, pushed up to the kitchen window leaning out over Baskov Lane from their second-floor apartment in Leningrad. He was holding between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand the bloom of a Siberian Fawn Lily, plucked from her window box. His little hand was steady, his gaze was too, as he waited. She dried her hands on her apron, bread rising on the … Continue reading Little Vova* by P. W. Bridgman

Beech Tattoos by Ned Kraft

Photo looking up into a tree

Father Fagus Grandifolia, silver grey with muscled shoulders fingers traced across the soil like a hawk’s nest suturing the slope. Beech tattoos give proof to Jake and Sue that they were, indeed, in love in 1962. Proof that Peter mattered and that Harlon was, in fact, here. Slow growth in acid earth, with polished nut. Sweet scent a dozen decades old still luring pilgrim children to the woods, knives drawn. Ned Kraft, a librarian by trade, has published satire, poetry, and short stories in such places as Phoebe, Against the Grain, Grimoire, The Pennsylvania Literary … Continue reading Beech Tattoos by Ned Kraft

One August Afternoon by Trudy Hale

Close up photo of spiral of a notebook

I am waiting at the Chicken Co-op, pronounced ‘coop,’ inside the Exxon gas station and convenience store in Lovingston, Virginia. A couple of blocks away the mechanic is changing my car’s oil, rotating the tires. I’m not very good at waiting. Delayed planes, bank lines, stop-n-go stalled traffic. Pedicures. In the Chicken Co-op a narrow island counter is a few feet away from the hot food display. I climb onto the metal chair and sit at the lunch counter. To survive the wait, instead of reading and not remembering much of what I’ve read, I … Continue reading One August Afternoon by Trudy Hale

Dream House by Wendy Fontaine

Color photo of large house

Wendy Fontaine is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight‘s 2023 Essay/Memoir Contest An itchy palm means you’re going to come into some money. That’s what my dad always said. Whenever the tingling sensation hit, we’d walk around our mobile home holding out our hands and scratching at the skin as if to say, look, the money could already be on its way. Back then, I chalked it up to Italian superstition, the overriding principle that we could cultivate luck by tossing salt over our shoulders or avoid trouble by steering clear of black cats and … Continue reading Dream House by Wendy Fontaine

Michael Powers: Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Art Contest

Rendering of woman with crown of bones

    Streetlight: When did you become interested in art? Michael Powers: I have had an interest in artist expression from a very early age. Several of my grade school friends and I would get together at recess and on weekends and draw. Our subject matter was predominantly World War II–based, as all of our fathers had fought in the War, and it was the constant source of conversations in the lives of so many relatives and neighbors. I was chosen as one of twenty promising fourth graders, across Cleveland, to participate in a weekly … Continue reading Michael Powers: Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Art Contest

Five economic terms you should know and The ring of Gyges, 2 poems by Casey Killingsworth

coppery coin with numeral one on it against black background

Five economic terms you should know Scarcity. The bar where I am drinking–because I have money–has more beer than it could give away but it won’t, even to the homeless guy who is standing by me, because how could you make money that way, so I myself give him a twenty for the five dollar cover and tell him to buy a beer with the rest. Supply and demand. This bar has 64 taps because they figure that’s how many taps can make them the most money. Statistically, the homeless don’t count. Opportunity cost. Maximizing … Continue reading Five economic terms you should know and The ring of Gyges, 2 poems by Casey Killingsworth

Air is Wind is Song by Fred Wilbur

Photo of tree blowing with foggy background

As a child, when did you first become aware of air? It was probably as its manifestation in the mysterious force of wind. Indeed, we all have forgotten our first gasp at birth. I thought of this question as I drove through a dead-still morning when clouds brushed the top of my pick-up. The air was thick with moisture; not really raining, but enough water accumulated on the windshield to necessitate turning on the wipers every few miles. I thought it would be nice for the wind to sweep away this dark sniffling day. My … Continue reading Air is Wind is Song by Fred Wilbur

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