All posts by Sharon Ackerman

Sharon Ackerman holds an M.Ed from the University of Virginia. Her poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review, Coal Hill Review, Cumberland River Review and various others. She is the winner of the Hippocrates Poetry in Medicine international poetry contest, London 2019. Her first poetry collection Revised Light is available from Main Street Rag Publishing.

What’s Not Broken by Charles Brice

cricket in green grass

……………………………………………………………Inspired by, “What’s Broken,” ………………………………………………………………………………….Dorianne Laux The little boy who only wanted to be rocked on his mother’s lap grows to desire nothing more than to hop in his baby blue Mercury Comet and drive far away from her. The lovers who spent hours in embrace but grew to despise the thought of each other. The scale learned to precision eventually abandoned to atonal schemes and dissonance. The cranky white-haired genius who wrote that only two roads diverged in the wood when there were hundreds of roads, some with potholes, some never completed, some washed … Continue reading What’s Not Broken by Charles Brice

Poetry Contest Winners 2022 by Sharon Ackerman

seven autumn leaves hung on a wire

What an impressive turnout this year! We received such a broad spectrum of poetry this go-round, such an interesting blend of sestinas, free verse, couplets and some that made skilled use of rhyme. As always, I am an apologist for contests; the talent level is great and the funnel is much too small. But maybe in some way, contests challenge us to bring our work to a level that surprises us and win or lose, we are left with that gain. Without further delay, here are the winners and editors’ (myself and co-editor Frederick Wilbur) … Continue reading Poetry Contest Winners 2022 by Sharon Ackerman

Mirror by Joe Imwalle

mirror image of a sunset and trees

  Wall paintings are for looking at. Mirrors are not. Mirrors are puzzles for finding your way in or out. Once, I found on my way a geode thinking itself an unfertilized egg thinking itself to sleep but unable to pull up the anchor. I smashed it open. Dazzling! I’ve tried repeatedly nailing to a page that explosion to hang there. As a dancer, I find I have to dance again each time I’m moved as though the last time didn’t count. A look within finds DNA shared with many I was too late to … Continue reading Mirror by Joe Imwalle

A Photograph From That Summer on Point Reyes by Martha E. Snell

rugged blue coastline

Ocean wind pushes the four of us with such force that we lean onto each other perched side-by-side on a pile of rocks – daughter, mother, daughter and the father standing behind. The mother’s face covered with curls, all of us laughing at the wind, camera barely balanced and ticking time for the shutter to open and close. Straight strip of sand stretching north was barren for miles, but for sandpipers, seagulls and the plovers who paused and ran, paused and ran again. Today, another generation of plovers, their sons and daughters still pause and … Continue reading A Photograph From That Summer on Point Reyes by Martha E. Snell

Heather Street by Jordan Sperling

darkened street with police car

I’m standing here on Heather Street Beside empty buildings that used to be the RCMP’s. A lot now owned by the government, leased To the film industry. A building where they shoot Movies of people acting out their dreams. I’ve seen cops pull up- ‘check locks’, Move props in and out. 11 at night, “private” Security guard tells me need to leave. Release Video footage on demand of me, I was walking By and a man was waiting there in the lot with his trunk Open. I heard two shots fire; actors running From a … Continue reading Heather Street by Jordan Sperling

Writing Appalachia by Sharon Ackerman

railroad tracks, fog at the end

Mountains Fall Away When there is nothing left to say I will stare out to limestone cliffs risen from salt, the hawk’s sway born of an old sea’s shimmy and drift of continents. I’ll know my grandmother’s gaze like a captain’s wife sighting nests of eagles from her porch, her gray eye, my brown one, skirting a crest of pine, its wilderness where psalms swim the waters. When words cease, dry banks will spread open their palms, our silence found in the creases of creekbed valley and cleft— Listening, finally, will be what is left. … Continue reading Writing Appalachia by Sharon Ackerman

The Ukrainian Seamstress by Gary Beaumier

aerial view of smoky city, protestors

A soldier brings his torn field jacket to her “So much blown to pieces,” he says. She carries the heavy scent of tobacco and you can almost see the charred buildings in her eyes like gravestones. “There’s always someone who wants to break the world,” she answers. She leads him to her bed again where he can take her to the forgetting places and he strokes her hair and his lips trespass all along her breasts as he claims her for his inviolate country. And later when they share a cigarette —even as a bomb … Continue reading The Ukrainian Seamstress by Gary Beaumier

Purple Birds by William Heath

purple and blue swirls

Masterpieces are hard, manifestos, conversation pieces are easy. Here’s a woman who does sculptures of babies popping out of toasters, the whole thing drenched in a combination of blue and yellow paint— her statement. And here’s a painter who paints weird purple birds distinctively; he’s good with his brushes, we recognize his paintings, but who needs purple birds? What purpose do they serve? I know we’re not supposed to ask these questions— instead critics will praise the artist’s unique subject and style and people will buy her toasters, his paintings, prominately display them on their … Continue reading Purple Birds by William Heath

Florida by Jessica McEntee

old man with hat tipped over face leaning against a tropical tree

This is the place that emptied my father, sucking him through the tunnel of its straw. Four days into a farewell visit, I’ve overdosed on sunlight, rousing the insomniac within. The grass is gravid with alligators; the air poses as sand; cars scaffold a melted wax of spent bugs. Everywhere, I see darkness edging, shadows twitching to keep pace—the gloom that magics the glass into mirror. Jessica Noyes McEntee is a fiction instructor at Westport Writers’ Workshop in Connecticut and a graduate of Amherst College. Her debut chapbook, Jackie O. Suffers Two Husbands, was published … Continue reading Florida by Jessica McEntee

Master of Fine Arts by Robert Detman

book suspended open

Like Portland or is it Austin I am also trying to keep weird. Nobody says keep Oakland weird. It’s got a gentrifying mix with floaters on top and busted bits settling on the bottom and curious pieces swirling suspended. According to Ferlinghetti simile and metaphor make poetry. Ferlinghetti whom I once saw at Brandy Ho’s getting lunch as was I at the counter after having just bought Carlos Fuente’s Terra Nostra as I needed a novel the size, shape and weight of a brick to give my MFA bildungsroman some DNA like Moby Dick, or … Continue reading Master of Fine Arts by Robert Detman