All posts by Sharon Ackerman

Sharon Ackerman holds an M.Ed from the University of Virginia. Her poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review, Southern Humanities Review, Appalachian Places, Still: The Journal, Meridian, Cumberland River Review and various others. She is the winner of the Hippocrates Poetry in Medicine international poetry contest, London 2019. She has one poetry collection Revised Light and a second one in the works.

Of Goats and Men by Sharon Ackerman

white horned goat on mountain with snow
 

I step outside right at sunrise when night creatures are still on the move. It’s a threshold hour, a groundhog slogs under the fence or a fawn startles, his mouth full of orange lilies. No one expects to see me, especially my neighbor’s unneutered billy goat who is standing on my gravel path. Of course I want to pet him so I miss something; the hardness of his horizontal gaze. He is challenging me. I consider myself a country woman, having stepped on a blacksnake once in my darkened living room. I shoo bears from … Continue reading Of Goats and Men by Sharon Ackerman

Dolphin, with Number by Ty Phelps

Black dolphin in deep blue water
 

Ty Phelps has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest Dolphin, with Number The city stretches out beyondthe marshland, lights shiningthrough the cold, graymidwestern fog. On screen,a triptych of images of a dolphinstranded on a strip of Cape Codsand.                         “Smooth as polishedgranite to the touch,” readsthe caption. The dolphin isred-eyed, face shaded with blacklike a great northern bird. Crackedbeak full of serrated teeth.                                   Someone—perhaps a ranger—has painteda number in red on the spentcreature’s side. I wonder whereit will be taken, for what purpose,and my mind floats to a friendwho’d make a “porpoise” joke—she’s … Continue reading Dolphin, with Number by Ty Phelps

Scientists Say it’s Time to Prepare for Human Extinction by David B. Prather

large white bird spreading wings
 

—article title by Gwyn Wright, via swns.com ……………..             …..Let me make light of the situation, travel to the nearest interstellar hotel. I don’t want to be maudlin, but I’m going to pack all my favorite mementos of mortality—a photo of my grandmother, the last slice of chocolate cake, and the only shirt that makes me look like I’ve got something going on. Believe me, I know …………..              ……..this is serious. There are lakes drying out, spitting up bodies and boats. There are fires so wild they scour towns down to foundations and loose strings of … Continue reading Scientists Say it’s Time to Prepare for Human Extinction by David B. Prather

The Driver by John Beck

darkened steering wheel with hand on it
 

John Beck has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest The Driver In 1925, Pius XI made you, St. Frances, the patron of all car drivers. I am sure the Pope could not have imagined the enormity of the job he had given you. It is your heavenly mission to make my job easier. Every night that I drive for Uber and Lyft, please watch over the pedestrians who try to die on my bumper and save their unworthy souls. Please bless me when I am without space between cars as I move … Continue reading The Driver by John Beck

We Left My Father and Sister at Home by Joan Mazza

Hay bale and distant hills
 

Joan Mazza has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2023 Poetry Contest We Left My Father and Sister at Home Because my mother didn’t drive, we took the bus to Winsted, Connecticut. Two of us alone to visit cousins on the Nicosia side of the family. They’d named a cow Josephine, after my grandmother, who took it as a compliment. That summer I was fourteen and fell in love with the scent of hay, adored by the kitten who lived under the house, and cousin Mike. Zio Nicosia, too old to drive the tractor, taught … Continue reading We Left My Father and Sister at Home by Joan Mazza

O TANGERINE by Christina Hauck

two moths on tangerine half
 

Buying one I thought of my mother, dead three months. How she loved the easy peel, the seediness! Long ago on Christmas morning I discovered A tangerine pushed into the toe of my stocking. Loving better the cheap, swiftly broken toys— A yo-yo, a plastic watch—what did I know? Tonight I strip the rind with my teeth. Bitter. Bury the shine in the trash. Tasting it segment by segment I hear the rain Rattle beer cans piled in my neighbor’s yard. In the gilt-covered cardboard box, Mother’s ashes Dream between Ulysses and Invisible Man. One … Continue reading O TANGERINE by Christina Hauck

Lent by Sharon Ackerman

light purple rose
 

The word Lent derives from an Old English word meaning ‘lengthen.’ Or more precisely, it comes from the Middle English word lente which means springtime, which itself descends from the Old English lencten. Of course the forty day period of Lent comes at a time when days are lengthening and a few green tips of flowers are testing the air. It is this time of lightening that enters the liturgical calendar as a season of reflection and forgiveness. As it turns out, reflection and forgiveness are complicated. Friends in recovery from alcoholism tell me they … Continue reading Lent by Sharon Ackerman

We Were Bag People and Lament for my Late Cousin While Feeding the Dog, 2 poems by Marianne Worthington

long wooden table, red chair and blue chair
 

We Were Bag People Life is no knock-off handbag, no purse ordinary as any K-Mart pocketbook. No. Worse. Life is a brown paper bag, plainest container, what my father called a poke. Run get me a poke for these beans now. My father talked like a Hank Williams song: Life is a sack of shit sometimes. A&P store bags jam-packed our slumping shelves—our lunchboxes our backpacks our suitcases. Life is utilitarian and pitiful sometimes, papery thin as bird legs. Life is a grease spot in the corner of a lunch sack, stained like a workshirt … Continue reading We Were Bag People and Lament for my Late Cousin While Feeding the Dog, 2 poems by Marianne Worthington

Canticle for the Hand and Mouth by Karl Sherlock

hand reaching up, another reaching down, blue sky background
 

The way one’s mouth shadows the hand because hands spoke the first language. The way the lurid tongue-tip drapes the sill of one’s lip, mobilizing when hands are elsewise picking knots from shoelaces or rubbing together the neurons of a nuanced thought. How the rushed cadence of fingerspelling paces a deaf friend’s lips. How Moses, heavy of mouth and stammering tongue, lifted the sea with a lightness of hands thrust forward. How a forefinger, pinched against the lips, muzzles a neighbor’s fracas, or the well- meaning, ill-mannered way the hand of a relative stranger cups … Continue reading Canticle for the Hand and Mouth by Karl Sherlock

Some Stories by Claire Scott

a furled brown leaf against a pale gray background
 

Some stories last long past their appointed hour, like light from expired stars. Like leftover houseguests or five day fish. We walk toward remnants of the past like refugees, pulled by the gravity of guilt, the pulse of regret. Is it too late to unspool the alphabet of cruelty, the bludgeon, the blindness, the heated blade of anger? Words cutting like winter-raw wind. Some stories stick like late fall leaves, wrinkled and ready, but clinging to the apple tree like a drowning man to a raft. the drumbeat of regret stranded in the long syllables … Continue reading Some Stories by Claire Scott