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.

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

Pecking and Nature Walk, 2 poems by Mark Belair

monochromatic image of pigeon preening feathers
 

Pecking   A pigeon pecking its tail clean on a shady tenement fire escape gives me pause to feel, in its twisting instinct, the fact of life after death— not an afterlife of mine, but of its spawning species after my demise, each bird in each generation curled and tucked toward its tail, each making a soft, gray, feathery circle surrounding—as if protecting— its heart, its presence in my lost paradise.   Nature Walk   The windblown side of a tree trunk stands drenched, its opposing side dry, the sky— half blue, half clouded— also … Continue reading Pecking and Nature Walk, 2 poems by Mark Belair

Where I First Was Happy by Brian Koester

dust in Nevada desert
 

Where I First Was Happy   The twilight was never silver, but the trees were Russian olives. I was the only thing that bloomed there. Grandma’s petunias back by the house were really white, And the pair of white horses never lay down. The rest was grey: barns and fence posts In matching dust, fine and smooth as refined flour. Stirred up it could hang and fade like fog. Now I feel like dust dispersed in air, Settling over hours, days, taking the shape Of what it touches, to move through high desert On Grandad’s … Continue reading Where I First Was Happy by Brian Koester

Poetry of Place by Roselyn Elliott

Ocean
 

Poets and writers of fiction and nonfiction write with a sense of specific place in all languages. Once place is introduced in the piece, emotions are evoked, and a lot of things can happen in that place. In poetry, place provides an outer structure and a vehicle to contain and carry a poem into memory, reflection and ideas. Description of place not only offers knowledge of a geographical space, it allows readers into the poet’s intimate experience. Various theories exist as to why writers use place, including that the poet may seek to write about … Continue reading Poetry of Place by Roselyn Elliott

Flood; Listen by Judith Grissmer

flooding river waters
 

Flood   Small hands pull a mud-stained pillowcase across wet ground, prized possessions, blessings still bound, boxes filled with half-spilled lives, lugged uphill. Hear the river roar: I take all I take all from those who look back.   Listen           I came here to count the bells that live upon the surface of the sea… “Here” by Pablo Neruda Now on this turquoise sea glitter a million silver reflections of the morning sun. And I think they make no sound at all— Still, I listen. Judith Grissmer has been published in The Alembic, Burningword, … Continue reading Flood; Listen by Judith Grissmer

I Have; Home by Benjamin Harnett

cut tree trunk
 

I Have   I have never been so tired in my whole life. The mountains run across the river—pointing like a knife. Forlorn boathouses perched out on rotting piers. Empty lots of naked scrub. A water tower. A column of fire. The lattice of clouds make sparkling fishmouth, the intervening atmosphere, twinkling distant lights. Crepuscular, this stand of trees. In my hands, a paperback— its yellowing leaves. Everything I have and everything I need.   Home   It may not be as surprising to you as it was surprising to me to learn that a … Continue reading I Have; Home by Benjamin Harnett

Joshua Trees by Carla McGill

Joshua Tree National Park
 

Joshua Trees   They are repetitive across the hills for hours, stillness in the space around them. As for the sky, one dark cloud drawn out as if between two hands and me underneath, held together by skin, scrutinizing the world for severity, for intention, for final episodes. The other cars seem lost, but the road is even, the pavement, newly blackened and unbroken. Destinations and departures, resolutions of the human creature—they all soar past like blackbirds and hawks. It is the piercing alertness of the lizards that stays with me. I know they are … Continue reading Joshua Trees by Carla McGill