The Eternal Clamor of the Unquiet Mind by E.H. Jacobs

Pink spring in blue tunnel
 

My evolution from wanting to write, to loving writing, to having to write did not proceed quietly. The more I lost myself in the craft, the more I anguished over what it meant to be “good enough” and, once good enough, then “really good.” If some of my pieces were receiving so much praise, why were they being rejected? If the editors liked them as much as they claimed to, why didn’t they publish them? I would submit a piece and then incessantly check my email for a response. My response to success wasn’t a … Continue reading The Eternal Clamor of the Unquiet Mind by E.H. Jacobs

The Better is Yet to Come by Fred Wilbur

Photo of purple flowers on fence
 

Each year for the past eight or ten, I have been given The Best American Poetry by a member of my family at Christmas time. The adults of our family are assigned, on a rotating basis, their gifts recipient, thus every member of my family has given me a book of this ongoing series. Often our gifts are handmade goodies like quilts, knitted socks, woodcarvings or other recipient-specific presents. Among them, this book is an anomaly though its contents were in a sense handmade with the same patient labor as the others. Most years I … Continue reading The Better is Yet to Come by Fred Wilbur

Dream Vaccination by Allison Geller

photo of dandelion
 

“The self without sympathetic attachments is either a fiction or a lunatic.” ………………………………………………………………………-Adam Phillips Duskless days of cloud-smoke and heat lightning. Bitter tincture, citrus and ice, the urge to put the moonstone in my mouth. All this equals the moth in the closet that eats its fill of wool coats and yet is never seen. Soft-winged, tawny, phototaxic— that is, drawn to light—though for reasons unknown. Equals all that was accidentally, and intensely, lost. Collecting at the needle’s tip— needless, wanting you. You, who claimed I only found it cinematic. Well, here it is again: … Continue reading Dream Vaccination by Allison Geller

Eternally, Me by Erika Raskin

Crazy collection of accoutrements
 

I’ve written before about the upside of long-term ditziness (mostly having to do with the silver-lining aspect of it not being a new, and therefore alarming, decline.) And I’m glad that I’ve documented it. The other day I got back inside from a brisk (because it was so freaking cold, not for any exercise benefit) stroll and removed the shades from my face—and was confused that it was still quite dark. I put my hand back up and found another pair. Think: The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins. I asked my supportive spouse why he … Continue reading Eternally, Me by Erika Raskin

The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

black stones
 

  It’s never what they weigh; it’s not the depth of silence they have known; it’s not the round- or hardness of their edges, certain color or uncertain age that proffer worth. Metals, crystals, precious on their own, may dwell within the body of a rock, but never mind those false alarms of wealth. The treasure of each stone lives in its skill: the subtle art of timing, moving even still, invisible for eons—until now, when heavy, sad, I sought a place to put my head, first walk without the old dog; not wanting to … Continue reading The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

Sunday Morning by Paula Boyland

Photo of clock
 

Last night I received an email from Emily, the copy editor, reminding me I’d signed up to provide the blog post for Monday. Uh, oh. For some reason I never added the deadline to my calendar. I knew I’d signed up to provide the last blog post of the year, but thought I had another week. Another example of the 2020 time-warp. I promised her I’d have something to her before the end of the weekend. So, here I am on Sunday morning trying to figure out what I’m going to do (short of actually … Continue reading Sunday Morning by Paula Boyland

Cemetery Road by Ann Webster

Dusty terrain, fence post reading Gallilee Cemetery
 

  Turn at the sign–Galilee Cemetery– a flat, packed-down dirt road the weary color of clay not a person in sight just fields, blowing dirt fields dry bones under hard sun. Turn again where, on the right there’s a dark puddle big as a pond The crows standing round it will startle and scatter in flight cawing while you keep going. Ahead there is shade at last pines, cedars, oaks with moss shadows over graves in safe family clusters. They pass the day that way. Leave on the same pale road you came in on. … Continue reading Cemetery Road by Ann Webster

Poetry Contest Winners

Photo of rows of colored thread
 

  This year’s contest was our first as co-editors and we are pleased to announce our selections.  We want to thank all participants, without whom we could not sponsor this contest. Kudos to each and every one. From our perspective, performing the task of judgement was both arduous and rewarding. We read and re-read and, because the two of us have peripheral preferences, we sifted back and forth to arrive at firm agreements. The compensation was in our exposure to a variety of work from personal love-angst, to political assessments, from poems filled with egocentric … Continue reading Poetry Contest Winners

Picasso’s Self-Portrait at Twenty-six, 1907 and Picasso’s Woman with Hat, 2 poems by Diana Pinckney


 

Picasso’s Self-Portrait at Twenty-six,1907 Cheeks stabbed with dark lines. Tender mouth any woman would want. Hair slashed in broad black strokes. His mother said If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. A Spanish Napoleon,don’t you think? Face a bold triangle. Wide nose and brow. His mother said,If you become a monk, you’ll end up as the pope. Yes, wouldn’t he have been Leo X with mistresses and power? But his eyes, oh, my dear, you can’t turn from those eyes. Large and oval with black centers that absorb the world. Picasso said, Instead … Continue reading Picasso’s Self-Portrait at Twenty-six, 1907 and Picasso’s Woman with Hat, 2 poems by Diana Pinckney

A Room Called Remember by Mary McCue

Photo of stars in sky
 

The sound of rustling leaves, like old fashioned petticoats, soothed the cold lodged like a stone above my brow. Compliant for once to the vagaries of my body, I stretched out on the floor letting my mind wander toward the Blue Ridge sprawled across the horizon in a color I love because of its smoky calm. How relieved my father would be to see where I live. In a rare heart-to heart conversation two years before his death in 1992, I told him how unhappy I was in my marriage of thirty years “We’ve come … Continue reading A Room Called Remember by Mary McCue

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