All posts by Sharon Ackerman

Poised by Barbara Saunier

owl partially in shadows
 

Cosseting daylight tousles her hair, chucks her under the chin, pinches her cheek. Won’t let her cross the road without a firm hold—even at the corner when she looks both ways. Once night rises, shadows from headlights overlap shadows from moonlight overlap shadows from kitchen incandescence. Overlap flashlight’s narrow way. Only in light are there shadows. With the yard light’s firm hold on the drive, shadows tousle her eye, chuck foreboding. Dark waits out the routine just around the corner of the shed, behind the tree, the other side of the truck. So much distraction … Continue reading Poised by Barbara Saunier

No IOU’s and The Path Ahead, 2 poems by Evalyn Lee

red, light green tree leaves in bright sun
 

No IOU’s where were we when the planet became death remember the small dark seed that shaped a new way remember when small and weak became large and capable and that when we tell the dead we see them the tragedy and the vengeance that fells a heart falls away and yes we fear change and fall apart when death arrives and yes we want the hands that feel the feet that walk the eyes that see even here at the edge where death wakes and strange events taste the mystery here we meet pray … Continue reading No IOU’s and The Path Ahead, 2 poems by Evalyn Lee

Shub’s Sestina for his Father-in-Law by Shelby Stephenson

old faded photograph of bearded man in hat
 

  At times I almost convinced myself the Whitman photograph, signed, would be mine, instead of the Longfellow which hangs in the big room in airs chilly and wintry, night falling, as I listen for nonchalant Walt to appear. How the thought cheers me, singing still, for I called Nin’s father, “Dad,” seeing him rise up singing arumph arumph in his bass-o-roar-re-o: Whitman? Sure, he said. He was parceling things in a manner to appear partial to his son-in-law, yours truly, whose mine I learned not to shout, begetting such failures falling, even though another … Continue reading Shub’s Sestina for his Father-in-Law by Shelby Stephenson

What’s Worthy and Hue, 2 poems by Tim Suermondt

Father and son walking through an opening of light between trees
 

What’s Worthy “A man is only as good as his word,” my father used to say and I’ve tried to live up to that—even now I hate telling the smallest, inconsequential lie. In a scene from How Green Was My Valley one of the coalminer’s sons says to his coalminer father “If manners prevent us from speaking the truth, then we will be without manners” and I like to think my days of being without has been bountiful, despite some missteps my father must have committed too. On the whole, my father would have been … Continue reading What’s Worthy and Hue, 2 poems by Tim Suermondt

Regulars by Colin Webb

bright yellow goldfinch perched on an iron post
 

which birds are out? you can count on your favorite ones, usually some finches here—-they arrive all-colored by the thicket from other people’s timbered properties & short-lived playgrounds, when it will smell like honeysuckle, you can count on that Colin Webb is a native of Baltimore, Md. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in White Wall Review, Apeiron Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, The Northern Virginia Review, and elsewhere, and he has been a finalist for The Arch Street Prize. Follow us!

New Garbage Disposal by Barbara Conrad

stainless steel sink with soggy green weed lying in it
 

I don’t know why this simple apparatus makes me smile. After months of scooping out lemon rinds and soggy granola with bare hands, there’s something sweet about the soft buzz of a motor mushing up the day’s drudgeries. It’s a mind, body, spirit kind of thing, don’t you think? I mean, when another active shooter splatters our headlines red and migrants get stored in cages while the planet sizzles and viruses roam the earth a garbage disposal seems to have an odd way of leveling the playing field. Barbara Conrad is author of three poetry … Continue reading New Garbage Disposal by Barbara Conrad

Blunt Force by Lisa Low

hazy, summer field
 

  From a distance I saw a frog, standing like a soldier in a field of summer grass. Up close, the creature looked alive. My curious dog sniffed its warty behind. I, too, touched its stiff and tailless end with the blunt unfeeling tip of my white summer sneaker. Later, we found another: the stretched-out skin of its helmeted head, arched above its shoulders round; its fore and hind legs spread, poised like a soldier for action. Closer inspection showed death: a flat black disc of missing eye and fat, red tongue in locked jaw … Continue reading Blunt Force by Lisa Low

Doña Chuy and How I Remember “Inti” is the Kichwa Word for Sun, 2 poems by Eric Odynocki

old abandoned church steeple with bells
 

Doña Chuy For my grandmother, after her favorite song, Solamente una Vez. You were never one for sitting down. And long after it did not work out, you showed who could wear the pants better and built a house. Your hairdresser’s eye arranged an enclosed patio with a lemon tree as its centerpiece. Is this the huerto in which your hope glittered so many years later? A clock of citrus suns by which to measure his ill-timed return. And when the church bells sing in the plaza, you will them to be as faint as … Continue reading Doña Chuy and How I Remember “Inti” is the Kichwa Word for Sun, 2 poems by Eric Odynocki

Locusts and Island, 2 poems by Linda Laino

white feather on sand with small water droplets
 

Locusts One day I’ll hear you are dead. It will come from some benevolent phone tree or on the wings of locusts, an army of ill will. They will deafen my ears so I never hear my name from your crooked mouth again. Only the endless circling and whirr of wings wailing like a heart beating itself to death Island Leafing through the journal I found a forgotten flamingo feather scavenged from an island filled with sienna skin skin like yours, skin I still smell in sleep. Considerable light is absorbed In the soft dark … Continue reading Locusts and Island, 2 poems by Linda Laino

Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery

tiny red boat in blue water with dark cloud and full moon
 

Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery Linda Verdery, a Bremo Bluff, Va. resident, is a career educator with graduate degrees in English and Humanities. As an undergraduate she studied Art History and Painting. Both painter and writer, she is affiliated with the Annie Gould gallery in Gordonsville and a poetry study group in Charlottesville. Say a few words about your connection with poetry and art. Writing poems and making paintings are complementary. I frequently dream in both images and words. I see landscapes as portraits and portraits as landscape. And a still life … Continue reading Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery