All posts by Roselyn Elliott

Roselyn Elliott is the author of four poetry chapbooks: The Separation of Kin ( Blueline-SUNY Potsdam 2006 ), At the Center (Finishing Line Press 2008), Animals Usher Us to Grace (Finishing Line Press 2011), and Ghost of the Eye (Finishing Line press 2016). A Pushcart nominee, her essays and poems have appeared in New Letters, ABRAXAS, Diode, Streetlight Magazine, The Florida Review, Blueline, diode and other publications. She holds an MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University and has taught at VCU, Piedmont Virginia Community College, WriterHouse, and The Visual Art Center of Richmond. Currently she lives in Richmond, VA with husband and poet Les Bares.

Cold Beds by Michael Sandler

Photo of man gardening in muddy bed
 

Lobster mitts might cushion the ache, my hands numbed by these cold, rain-wet stalks. The stakes tenacious, anchored in beds slimed here and there with rot. Cut twine and a vine collapses, limp as kelp. Tug upward and a tired length slips from its dimple of earth dangling a matted root. I weeded, watered, pruned and came to believe I had claim to a red firmness slicing so cleanly it would flake onto my sandwich—I tried to persevere…But the fruit was blighted. The stems now lie in a composting reef—bed of bladder-wrack more fecund than … Continue reading Cold Beds by Michael Sandler

The Moth and My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves, 2 poems by Sharon Ackerman

Color photo of a moth near a porch light at night
 

The Moth It would be too simple to describe its motives as a flame off course, a light mistaken for sun. Loveliness is complicated, a white body against darkness, the night’s counterfeit just beyond a screen, as yet untorn. Pale wing, sees what it wants to see, half-witted and happy for a few wild moments, reeling beneath the cold eyes of relentless stars.   My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves She returns for her things, bright strips of clothing billowed down like prayer flags over boxes. I almost miss the small object in her hand. She hurls … Continue reading The Moth and My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves, 2 poems by Sharon Ackerman

Beaten by Victor Altshul

Color photo of green meadow looking up a mountain with wooden fence
 

A once resplendent roan lying on its side, legs flailing, as if it thought— as if, in its final moment it could think at all— that it was still running, wild and free. So disdainful, so high-spirited, breathing patrician defiance with its last sad wisps of breath… Could it have known that its kind master whose gentle sweetness I, a fourteen-year-old city boy, once had longed to emulate, had sought only to tame its wilder excesses, crashing the wooden club down on the very top of its skull, to oppose the highest point on the … Continue reading Beaten by Victor Altshul

Nightfall and Infra Dig, 2 poems by Todd Copeland

Color photo of clouded sunset with 1 bird flying through
 

Nightfall There are stories no one knows. High summer. The sound of tree frogs coming from all quarters.   Infra Dig You know how when the sky goes to hell in the west there’s inevitably a black dot of a bird moving slowly, often left to right, and you admit, although you know it’s something that shouldn’t be said, considering God granted us dominion, that, despite being small, such a bird possibly matters more to the world than yourself? Todd Copeland’s poems have appeared in The Journal, High Plains Literary Review, Southern Poetry Review, The … Continue reading Nightfall and Infra Dig, 2 poems by Todd Copeland

Arrowhead, Melville’s Home, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by J.R. Solonche

Color photo of Herman Melville's home (yellow clapboard) in Pittsfield, MA
 

It’s hard to see him as a farmer, isn’t it? Bending over the rows of lettuce and corn, feeling the ears between his thumb and forefinger, all the while remembering breadfruit and mango? It’s hard to see him here at all this time of year. Pacing the oak planks of the writing room upstairs, sitting at the table, wearing these glasses, staring through the window out at Greylock, Greylock whose back reminded him of whales. It’s easier in winter. In winter when the five hemlocks in the yard are a five-masted bark. When the mountain … Continue reading Arrowhead, Melville’s Home, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by J.R. Solonche

Hooping by Bailey Merlin

Yellow and green photo with swirls
 

When we lie side-by-side in an afterglow, he says, I used to be a man of my word. Neither of us wants to label his intentions, fearful of finding the meaning in definition. Our fingers come together, interwoven like the white, fraying threads of our patched-up quilt we bought on the side of a highway in New Mexico where a girl was swishing a hula hoop on the points of her hips as she danced like an accident in progress. My hand settles on the wall, sliding down peeling paper and strip away a large … Continue reading Hooping by Bailey Merlin

Winners of 2019 Poetry Contest

Color photo of a prize ribbon made from a map
 

Gary Beaumier is the 1st place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest. Night Train to Paris Our aged bodies surrender to the sway and lurch of the train as we have passed through the long tunnel beneath the sea old is a foreign country we ride to when we get there we will rise to higher places sit with gargoyles balance on high slate roofs as light slips through us we sleep on park benches dry leaves chasing around us like wicked urchins I will fish the river in a floppy hat mouthing a … Continue reading Winners of 2019 Poetry Contest

Idea or Memory by Ann E. Michael

Color photo of slice of blueberry pie with ice cream on side
 

National Poetry Month Daily Blog with Poem Revising a draft, for me, means returning to the poem from several perspectives. I might change the speaker from first person to second or third person, or change the poem so that there is not a clear speaker at all–no longer “lyric.” I may alter specifics, such as place names or seasonal references. Or fictionalize with invented crises, persons, time periods, or events. Take on a persona, for example. Add or delete dialogue. These are interpretive and point-of-view considerations: How can I broaden the poem’s reach? I might … Continue reading Idea or Memory by Ann E. Michael

La Mer by Gary Beaumier

B/W photo of ocean wave against rocks
 

It is the reach and sweep of the horizon that seduces the eye the darker folds of clouds the insinuation of rose just above the water a breeze moist and warm like the touch of first love a boat secured to the outermost mooring rocks an afternoon away a little wine a book and the plink of piano notes from the classical station that escape the raucous confusion of gulls while a wave geysers high as the lighthouse. Gary Beaumier has been a finalist for the Luminaire Award and has had his poem Rio Grande … Continue reading La Mer by Gary Beaumier

A Tortoise by Derek Kannemyer

color photo of a tortoise hiding under green leaves
 

Sunshine at last, & the woodland walks dappled with it. On a patch-speckled side-path skirting a pond, an immense tortoise, sunning itself. Sshh, she said, as if they had been talking too loudly, or at all, & tugged him back behind her to the trail. Until it in its turn wound by the pond, sludge-green, thick with algae & bottles, & where a tree trailed bent-trunked over the bank they leaned to peer across it. There, that mud-bronze mound: the tortoise. Would it crawl off in the grass? Amend its angle to the sun? Trouble … Continue reading A Tortoise by Derek Kannemyer