Category Archives: Poetry

Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

Aerial photo of a large fair

late afternoon      on the day before openingcarnival workers prepare their week’s work for the 69th annual Buchanan carnivalRV’s and duallys set up on the grassy park a pregnant woman pitches her grey green tentas close to the edge of the river as she can manage the Ferris wheel assembly’s almost readyto offer a view of the river and Purgatory Mountain men construct railings around the carouseldragon wagon and tilt-a-whirl one fellow finishes polishing the apronof the cotton candy concession two teens tote bags of lemons and saltto the lemonade and French fry stand children … Continue reading Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

Moonburst and Shortcuts, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

Photo of moon with clouds passing by

MOONBURST It was wan. It was white. It was sickly white. It was filled to full with white. It was white as a sheet. It saw a ghost. It saw me. I was the ghost it saw. I was at the window and it saw me. I wasn’t dead but I was a ghost. I was the ghost of the me I was this morning. The sun saw me then. It burst through the window. It laughed in my face. SHORTCUTS “Remember, there are no shortcuts,” he used to say. He was my father, and … Continue reading Moonburst and Shortcuts, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

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

Old News by Joseph Kleponis

Elder man in fedora and pink tie crossing a brick street

It was late afternoon in fall or spring Because we were not wearing heavy coats. The pale sun was just starting to squinch down. As we left the library for home We lingered on the steps saying good-byes. A man in a brown suit with matching brown shoes, Wearing a shabby sort of fedora, With a full paper grocery bag Crooked in his left arm, a folded newspaper In his right hand stood at the curb, Looking left then right before stepping Into the street. I could not see his face, So I do not … Continue reading Old News by Joseph Kleponis

The Long Goodbye and Solving for X in a Pandemic, 2 poems by Carlene M. Gadapee

Photo from behind of older couple sitting on bench in front of mountains

The Long Goodbye The dishes undone, the laundry undone, the checkbook balance impossible to follow or read. Then, the falls. So many falls. It was dark, I caught my foot, I reached and lost my balance. And the pills. So many pills, under the chair, under the table, all looking alike, spilled and refilled far too soon each month. And the money, oh, the money pouring out the door on things you don’t need, people who scam and overcharge for services you have no need for. But we dance around the truth, making empty promises … Continue reading The Long Goodbye and Solving for X in a Pandemic, 2 poems by Carlene M. Gadapee

Autumn Landscape by Elizabeth Mercurio

woman in white leotard mid-air beneath autumn tree

How do you bear the middle-aged body, all its longing— ……    a body grown round. It doesn’t curve with the same sweetness it did on days when they snapped your bra in the hallway or nights when they whispered, You’re perfect, though you never believed it. The body gives up its wounds too, all the times you said no without words. It’s yours now. You stretch out your arms, turn in scarlet-yellow leaves your heart still hungry in its cage. —In the lowering autumn dark you are here, astonishingly, here. Elizabeth Mercurio is the … Continue reading Autumn Landscape by Elizabeth Mercurio

Outside Whole Foods by Eliot Wilson

Photo of bus in front of tree with green and red leaves

We always seem to get the red light here, just close enough to Whole Foods to see in while the bus kneels to unfold the ramp that allows the ex-marine and his dog to board and position themselves to go. Across from me, a woman eats frosting from a container with a plastic spoon. And this early, the Whole Foods is aglow. These are the wives of software engineers or they are software engineers themselves, orchid-stem skinny, flushed from hot yoga, selecting whatever appeals to them under a hanging wave of kombucha Then a new … Continue reading Outside Whole Foods by Eliot Wilson

In Memoriam of Henry G. Shirley by Brian Brennan

Time lapse photo of lights of cars driving on road

A sky god laments unintended consequences, observing the artery that injects the city with Virginia. Suburban sanguines resigned to short trip long lines. Mr. Shirley never lived to see the six figure thousands daily realize his vision atop his slitherslow namesnake. Farther below, heads sway back and forth in unison like temporary bulrushes whose rhythms are enforced by trafical breezes dancing over an asphalted current. Only liars want the river today. Downhill currents defy gravity, speed slows as two fifths of the Defense Department drifts by, and the tourist landmarks peek out the tops of … Continue reading In Memoriam of Henry G. Shirley by Brian Brennan

An Ending by Adam Day

Photo of a galaxy

                                   after Mark Bibbins Rays burrowing in sand like hearing someone typing an endless suicide note in a room at the end of a carpeted hall, we go on believing that nothing can touch us here, though loss is like wearing a blouse made of a thousand needles, remembering the weight of the phone in your hand when the call came in, the body a snowshoe hare   curled like a closed hand. Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press, … Continue reading An Ending by Adam Day

Elegy for a Soldier by Will Hemmer

Red-heavy photo of silhouetted figures

In the pulsing heat, in the black cathedral of war, the amber-tinted silver of infra-red illuminates a man. Nimble in the moment between the squeeze of the trigger and the crack of the rifle, he crouches and fires: stalker and stalked at one in the fluttering night. Quickly, the breath still held, a song arises, unbidden and sweet, and the pulsing heat and the heart conspire to draw from the murmuring air an echo, smiling, of a fond face. Drawn on the rim of this well of resonance in the foul, sweltering dark, other forms … Continue reading Elegy for a Soldier by Will Hemmer