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.

Somewhere in Arizona by Marsha Owens

inside of Antelope Canyon sandstone formations
 

Somewhere in Arizona   dusk swallowed the day we spent in gold-red dirt tracing rocks with unsteady feet where each thin-air breath seemed as tentative as tomorrow. So we slowed our pace, you and I, we who brought our wounded selves to each other, paused to feel the earth’s arms around us when down in the clearing like a child’s painting splashed onto a concrete page, the doe took center stage—just a whisper, watery legs sufficient, her elegant head arced downward. She knew I watched. She didn’t care how I envied her vulnerable assurance and … Continue reading Somewhere in Arizona by Marsha Owens

The Workers of Macchu Picchu by Stephen Massimilla

Macchu Pichu covered by clouds
 

The Workers of Macchu Picchu —After Neruda Like corn, the mortals were husked in the bottomless granary of forgotten deeds, miserable events, from one o’clock to seven, to eight, and not one but many deaths came to each: every day a small death—dust, worm, lamp snuffed in the slums of mud—a small thick-winged death entered each laborer like a short lance, and these men were driven by bread and by the knife, by the rancher, son of the seaports, dark captain of the plow, like rodents of overrun streets: all weakened waiting for their death, … Continue reading The Workers of Macchu Picchu by Stephen Massimilla

2 Poems by Darren Demaree

gnarled tree roots
 

[the roots have risen up away from the trunk]   i told my children the roots have risen up away from the trunk and like your brain seeps the tree’s structure seeps as well and searches and keeps searching even in the spring because the nourishment doesn’t come from the good black or the tall blue visiting it comes from growing until you bump your head on the ceiling until you are a giant in your own world and that will be the first part of your lives the second the third the fourth and … Continue reading 2 Poems by Darren Demaree

Impostor by Caleb Coy

tractor tracks crisscrossed in mud
 

Impostor   I am in the dirt and the dirt is in me I am the flow of me recently From the valley insignia clay came I From the mountain foot crust came I Am I the son of two righteous souls? Am I not the path my feet were put on? A path of mirrors, of arrows lined Who told me to set foot here? Who formed my face just so? I feel my heart say this and that I see my tracks run about and I do not know mine from mine I … Continue reading Impostor by Caleb Coy

Still Life and Equinox, 2 Poems by Jo Kennedy

finger pointing to white wall with stark shadow
 

Still Life   In the painting Ram’s Head with Hollyhock there is a melding of bones and sky and desert, no beginning or end, just the eye sockets of a skull transfixed on the faraway and in the foreground, red hills and cedar. I imagine O’Keefe walking in the desert at night, catching a glint at her feet — a shell, a stone — and stooping to gather it up, discovering the bleached bones of a skull, vast and empty and beautiful, like her desert. She must have rotated it in her hands that night … Continue reading Still Life and Equinox, 2 Poems by Jo Kennedy

Smoke by Ronald Stottlemyer

man smoking cigarette silhouetted against sunset
 

Smoke   When it’s almost too dark to see, my uncle sits out on the back porch, rolling a cigarette, holding it up to his mouth for the lick. He’s trying to remember a boy from the next farm lowered beneath the sod in a slow rain fallen more than fifty years ago. Striking the sunset of a match, his worn face flares up an instant. The green wicker chair creaks when he settles back, head at rest against the siding, white smoke clouded around him, coffin lining. Taking another drag, he picks tobacco from … Continue reading Smoke by Ronald Stottlemyer

The Return of the Woolly Mammoth by Sharon Kennedy-Nolle

Snowy forest and lake
 

The Return of the Woolly Mammoth   You rarely wore it, though you yourself chose the color, midnight blue, and knee-length cut. In derision, you named it “the woolly mammoth,” pointing to its Pleistocene proportions. Still, at each sign of snow, I nagged you to wear it. The last time I saw you, you confessed you’d have to give it away. “Not one more winter,” you swore. Yet when you chose it once more, were you thinking of me? Last of its species, the mammoth was hunted to extinction. In a different Ice Age, it … Continue reading The Return of the Woolly Mammoth by Sharon Kennedy-Nolle

Memento Mori by Roselyn Elliott

Written poem with edits
 

Recently, I participated in a group public reading of poetry at Richmond Public Library in Richmond, Virginia: Memento Mori: 26 poets responding to mortality, impermanence and grief, curated by Leslie Shiel and Lynda Fleet Perry. This was held in “conversation with two other area events: Richmond’s 1708 Gallery’s satellite exhibition, Memento Mori, curated by Michael Pierce, currently at Linden Row Inn through December 17; and the Chrysalis Institute’s fall program theme, Living Fully, Dying Mindfully.” Each poem was a response to the theme, Memento Mori which, translated from Latin, means: “remember that you have to … Continue reading Memento Mori by Roselyn Elliott

As Briefly as Salmon by Wulf Losee

rainbow prism in a spray of water
 

As Briefly as Salmon   clouds part we drive on rain-slicks of light cars before us trailing little rainbows in tire sprays fountains from the road up the shoreline under the shadow of rain we release the sun from our sight that our bodies can trap and hold that light for the flesh of an instant as briefly as salmon that leap fully into the air we hang for a moment on arcs water falling trails of quicksilver immortal for a moment the vision’s released Wulf Losee lives and works in the San Francisco Bay … Continue reading As Briefly as Salmon by Wulf Losee

Because by Charles Kell

swirl of orange sparkler light in a dark tunnel
 

Because For Yannis Ritsos Because the watcher wrote red on the shop’s wall, because the half-candle was stolen & sold for fuel, because the innocent got hit with a cold, wet branch, because the town is divided by a line of blood in the sand, because the drug you bought was dropped in the ditch, because the sky is burnished with orange not unlike a lockman’s smile, because this rusty box houses a severed finger from an unknown hand, because the woman you saw walking in the market carried a purse made of flies, because … Continue reading Because by Charles Kell