All posts by Fred Wilbur

Digging by Linda Parsons

Photo of lots of white potatoes

Linda Parsons is the 1st place winner of Streetlight‘s 2023 Poetry Contest Digging Dirt peppers the sink as I roll palm to palm these golds heaved from the ground with heft and pitchfork, this egglike clutch for soup, stew, hash, roasted, smashed in fall’s coming. I roll them lightly, thin skinned, perfect and misshapen, knobby knuckled. Dirt becomes dust filming my hands I am loath to wash, for here in the grit of new potatoes I am one with the garden, back bent, salt sweat, my own stew of becoming. And I think what else I’ve … Continue reading Digging by Linda Parsons

The Goodness of Contests by Fred Wilbur

Photo of rows of different colors of thread

Life should not be a contest, but it is. This statement seems terribly bleak, “survival of the fittest,” dystopian, shoot-‘em-up violent and down-right unappealing, but countering this notion, contests can be good things. There are team competitions, matches between two individuals, and self-challenging ‘contests.’ Professional sports teams immediately come to mind. They are primarily entertainment, but they illustrate coordination, cooperation, cohesion among members of the team. Such events promote social camaraderie and civic pride (forgetting the celebratory riots which sometimes follow.) Amateur sport is less about entertainment and more about learning to be a team … Continue reading The Goodness of Contests by Fred Wilbur

Samadhi and The Genesee River, 2 poems by Victoria Korth

Photo of stains on cement

Samadhi By day it hides in the bones, disguising its rich scent with worry and talk. At night it falls lightly, dips fingers in water, crosses itself on the steps of a shuttered church. The hand tingles, cool as quartz in an atmosphere of stone and wood and wax. As a child it dwelt under the skin, then beyond the edge of a paperback book. Now I bite the inside of my cheek, taste metal where it tries to form words. It is promise, night blooming flower, jasmine tree at the end of Rose Lane … Continue reading Samadhi and The Genesee River, 2 poems by Victoria Korth

say goodbye, without disappearing by B. Luke Wilson

Photo of tree with red leaves

your namealways tasteslike a palindrome across my tongue minnowingpond wide words      stained red as pomegranate arilsthe sun dies between us      painting ripples aquarelles what is left to say when there is no way forward      that doesn’t feel like retreatwhen clouds lit citrus bright over lakeside cypress      hold that dream i can’t whisper B. Luke Wilson grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and his fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Moon City Review, LIT Magazine, Artemis Journal, and elsewhere. He is the assistant … Continue reading say goodbye, without disappearing by B. Luke Wilson

Our Fathers by Fred Wilbur

Black and white photo of man in glasses

My father died twenty-five years ago when I was fifty; a third of my life ago. He was by most measures a good man, and I grieved as a good son should. I think of him often, have written poems about our relationship. So, I was eager, a few years back, to read An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and An Epic (Daniel Mendelsohn) which, though mostly memoir, explores the father/son relationship; Odysseus and Telemachus being an early example in literature. My father was not secretive though reserved, not agitated but conscientious, not obnoxiously ambitious … Continue reading Our Fathers by Fred Wilbur

Horses by Joseph Mills

Photo of 3 horses facing camera, with misty mountains in background

I know people who know horses They ride them and own them and talk about their different points. They look at a horse in a field or paddock, and evaluate it, speak of its attributes. In all the Westerns I read growing up, there were always characters who knew “horse flesh.” I don’t. I know nothing. All horses are beautiful to me. A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills has published eight volumes of poetry, most recently Bodies in Motion: Poems about Dance. His book This Miraculous … Continue reading Horses by Joseph Mills

Wondering What is Forecast by Rebecca Leet

Photo of storm clouds above green field

I don’t know why I was singled out, being, as I was, simply sitting at my patio table sipping Earl Gray and scanning AccuWeather for a hint of whether or not sunshine would favor next week’s beach trip. As far as I recall, I did nothing to attract the jet black eyes whose stare crept into my consciousness along with that creepy feeling that comes when you realize you’re being watched. Nothing moved – not the eyes not the head not the shoulders – as if we were on a zoom call and the computer … Continue reading Wondering What is Forecast by Rebecca Leet

Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

Aerial photo of a large fair

late afternoon      on the day before openingcarnival workers prepare their week’s work for the 69th annual Buchanan carnivalRV’s and duallys set up on the grassy park a pregnant woman pitches her grey green tentas close to the edge of the river as she can manage the Ferris wheel assembly’s almost readyto offer a view of the river and Purgatory Mountain men construct railings around the carouseldragon wagon and tilt-a-whirl one fellow finishes polishing the apronof the cotton candy concession two teens tote bags of lemons and saltto the lemonade and French fry stand children … Continue reading Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

It is Coming to Get Us by Fred Wilbur

Photo of brownish stains on gray rock

Several months ago, a fellow Streetlight editor wrote a Street Talk blog about her frustration with pestering and inappropriate advertising e-mails which show up on her screen by the zillions. Though I don’t have the same level of harassment, her words provoked me to contemplate the pervasiveness of advertising. One can hardly play a mind-exercising game on the iPad without constant interruption. Most intrusions try to persuade you to purchase more game downloads, but other products are promoted as well. Every online video is ‘sponsored’ by some advertiser. Thankfully, after a few seconds countdown, you … Continue reading It is Coming to Get Us by Fred Wilbur

Moonburst and Shortcuts, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

Photo of moon with clouds passing by

MOONBURST It was wan. It was white. It was sickly white. It was filled to full with white. It was white as a sheet. It saw a ghost. It saw me. I was the ghost it saw. I was at the window and it saw me. I wasn’t dead but I was a ghost. I was the ghost of the me I was this morning. The sun saw me then. It burst through the window. It laughed in my face. SHORTCUTS “Remember, there are no shortcuts,” he used to say. He was my father, and … Continue reading Moonburst and Shortcuts, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche