Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery

tiny red boat in blue water with dark cloud and full moon
 

Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery Linda Verdery, a Bremo Bluff, Va. resident, is a career educator with graduate degrees in English and Humanities. As an undergraduate she studied Art History and Painting. Both painter and writer, she is affiliated with the Annie Gould gallery in Gordonsville and a poetry study group in Charlottesville. Say a few words about your connection with poetry and art. Writing poems and making paintings are complementary. I frequently dream in both images and words. I see landscapes as portraits and portraits as landscape. And a still life … Continue reading Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery

Just Speak by Ann E. Michael

Photo of marchers holding Stop Racist Killer Cops sign
 

Much has been going on in the blogger’s back-of-the-blog life, compounded with news of the nation. And frankly, I have been mulling for well over a week on how to say what I want to say; or how to say anything, for that matter. There are times in the life of a writer when said writer recognizes the limitations of words. Also: words can be dangerous—inflammatory, distracting, powerful, persuasive, false, painful, hurtful. People get defensive at words they feel are “aimed” at them. Aimed, a weaponized word. I have had people (okay, white people) tell … Continue reading Just Speak by Ann E. Michael

Reading Wallace Stevens at Pen Park by Stuart Gunter

Photo of trees reflecting in lake
 

Building rituals out of nothingness, I’m sitting on a park bench, reading Wallace Stevens on a sunny day when the flashing shadow of a crow darkens my library book. Perfect, I think. Where are the tigers? Where the red weather? I am a drunken old sailor dreaming and asleep. Where are they? In the grudging light that asked for day the mothers look around, covering their startled babies’ ears. We pick and choose our indignations. Stuart Gunter is working toward a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Longwood University and lives in Schuyler, Va. … Continue reading Reading Wallace Stevens at Pen Park by Stuart Gunter

The Silence is Deafening by Benjamin Rempel


 

When self-isolation measures were first enacted, five-year-old Vivian seemed excited about the whole thing. A new experience, unique to this time and place. She was playing with her mom, she yelled from her porch, so all was good. She rode her scooter up and down the driveway when the sun was out; hung drawings across her wide front window when it was time to come in. Not everyone was as excited though. “Why shut down the entire country?” my Toronto neighbor lamented. “You can’t stop everyone from working! Our economy will be in the toilet!” … Continue reading The Silence is Deafening by Benjamin Rempel

Christmas Eve Parable and Singers, 2 poems by David Huddle

Photo of christmas carolling figurines
 

Christmas Eve Parable Phoebe, my five-year-old granddaughter adores the tiny wax Jesus who lies in the cradle of the creche that came down to us from now dead great grandparents. Wise men, Mary and Joseph, two sheep, a cow and a donkey, it sits atop an antique chest of drawers, at the perfect height for Phoebe to study the scene, occasionally move the humans and the creatures as she likes, whispering softly to them all. Two years ago Phoebe carried the Baby Jesus in her sweaty hand all over the house until he went missing … Continue reading Christmas Eve Parable and Singers, 2 poems by David Huddle

New Work by Edward Michael Supranowicz


 

    Sometimes I am asked to compare current artwork to pieces of the last few years. I can only do so in the most general terms: the images of my newer digital paintings may be a little sharper and colors dance a bit more. But such changes are not magic or part of a grand scheme, simply more experience and better insight, i.e, diligence and luck. I consider my paintings as “emotional landscapes.” I have a penchant to use color and shapes as atmospheric perspective. I want the viewer to be surrounded by them, then … Continue reading New Work by Edward Michael Supranowicz

Nosey by Bobby Rayner

Photo of house hanging over side of platform
 

From beneath the dining room table he spots wisps of dust on chipped gray floorboards across the room. He hears his grandmother clop around the kitchen in her low-heeled shoes, into the pantry and out again. She places things hard and small and metal on the counter. The door to the Frigidaire slams shut with a soft burp. He scurries closer to the kitchen and peers around the corner, careful to remain in the shadow of the tabletop. He sniffs nutmeg, vanilla extract. He puts his fingers to his nose, but they smell of nothing … Continue reading Nosey by Bobby Rayner

Chopin’s Heart and The History of Our Vagrancies, 2 poems by Jason Irwin

Painting of person hanging from heart
 

CHOPIN’S HEART A brief apocalypse has taken possession of my person. The streets are full of melancholy. Yesterday I fell asleep on the bus. The sound of someone crying woke me. Was it the woman slumped in her seat like a bag of laundry or my mother forty years ago, the night Elvis died and I held her hand as she trembled at the kitchen table? In The Times this morning a story about Chopin’s heart, found, submerged in a brown liquid thought to be cognac. On his deathbed Chopin asked that his heart be … Continue reading Chopin’s Heart and The History of Our Vagrancies, 2 poems by Jason Irwin

COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

An old brass key dropped in the woods.
 

I’ve been having some strange dreams lately, probably most of us have. A cooked salmon lies in the middle of the highway, missing half his body, yet alive and showing no signs of distress. We all get out of our cars to gape, wondering how he can survive, cooked, headless. The salmon seems sentient, yet placid, accepting. A woman is sawing the legs off a live fox. Witnesses don’t protest; the fox seems fine. Someone is removing a variety of my organs — heart, liver, intestines — as I watch from a distance. I don’t think I’ll miss them. … Continue reading COVID-19 Dreams: Missing Parts by Kathryn Temple

Flash Flood by Helga Kidder


 

after Marie Howe It doesn’t matter that the sugar maple is leaning closer to the house, that the cluster of seeds I planted yesterday will wash away. Something doesn’t add up. The dishwasher still leaks after repair, wrens nest in the window box, and the cardinal rules the bird feeder. Another woman gives her unborn to the knife. February is too wet. Each day spiders crochet webs like bridges across the living room windows I have to unravel. The mailbox shuts its mouth to good news. The neighbor’s cat prowls in yews. The flag wraps … Continue reading Flash Flood by Helga Kidder

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