Raking Black Walnuts by Fred Wilbur

Photo of black walnuts on ground
 

Nature itself is meaningless; it is only as we interpret it that it has meaning. John Canaday, What is Art? In our side yard a walnut grows. Higher than the house, it is 104 inches in circumference at chest height.  It was a large tree when my wife, our two daughters and I moved here nearly forty years ago. The girls found bits of glass, rusty nuggets and triangles of white porcelain around its trunk like offerings from another time. Indeed, they indicate a vanished house that must have stood nearby, as an old well … Continue reading Raking Black Walnuts by Fred Wilbur

After Sunset by Ronald Stottlemyer

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park
 

Eventually I find the shovel upright in the blackened pile of compost behind the garage. It’s hard to see in this light, but everything looks much as I left it last fall–shriveled ears of orange peel, a few egg shell fingernails, corncobs sticking up like bones in an ancient grave. As I turn the mound over a couple of turns for good measure, the moon breaks out of a heavy cloud and brightens momentarily with a grisly smile. The dark goes on rising up around me, turning everything under like the swell you never hear … Continue reading After Sunset by Ronald Stottlemyer

Quest for Our Fathers, Living Still by Carole Duff

Photo of man on bench looking into stroller
 

At a recent conference I attended, a young woman stepped to the microphone to address keynote speaker Nick Flynn. “I teach yoga at the same homeless shelter where you worked in Boston. Your book Another Bullshit Night in Suck City is my favorite book. It gives me hope of finding my father.” Flynn replied, “Thank you for the good work you do. As for rest, the best thing my mother ever did was to leave my father. It was a really good thing I didn’t grow up with him in my life.” And yet. The … Continue reading Quest for Our Fathers, Living Still by Carole Duff

some days by Marsha Owens

Pink flower on green background
 

when the horizon dips into darkness unsure about dawn, I touch the faded photo, your face still wearing a mere wisp of pink blurred now into brushed-aside memories. death is a trickster. it comes and goes as morning turns to night turns to day and we call it life until it isn’t. the old camera watched my childhood leapfrog. I grew up too soon, learned about dying before living and your too-short journey left us lost looking behind doors, behind trees, playing hide-and-seek that never ended even after night fell. so I tucked away small … Continue reading some days by Marsha Owens

Haunted By Halloween by Priscilla Melchior

Close-up photo of group of orange mini-pumpkins
 

I despise Halloween. I don’t wish ill of others. I hand out candy. I praise fairies and princesses, soldiers and supermen. I even humor parents who dress infants as vegetables or baby birds—but all the while, I’m inwardly rolling my eyes, wishing the night to be done. I blame this on one childhood Halloween: the night that penicillin stood between me and perfection. This was during the late 1950s, before every drug and grocery store sold plastic masks and costumes. We dressed in whatever getups we could find, and I had waited a lifetime, I … Continue reading Haunted By Halloween by Priscilla Melchior

Being Weird Is a Good Thing. It’s Time to Embrace Yourself as a Writer by Lauren Sapala

line of all white eggs, one black
 

All my life I’ve been attracted to weird things. And all my life I’ve been very much aware that other people think I’m weird for being attracted to those weird things. Sometimes it’s that I can’t help but be drawn in by all the different facets of human darkness. Sometimes it’s that I get interested in a subject that seems complicated and obscure, and extremely boring, to others. But whatever my latest passion is at the moment I can be sure that it’s not something that a whole lot of other people understand. For a … Continue reading Being Weird Is a Good Thing. It’s Time to Embrace Yourself as a Writer by Lauren Sapala

What Do You Feel by Julia Ballerini

People staring at each other in a circle
 

Julia Ballerini is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Short Fiction Contest. I was persuaded, if not coerced, to join a group therapy session. My boss was concerned about my mental well-being. I panic when I have to speak in a setting with more than two other people. I rarely utter a word during meetings unless obliged to give a report or am asked a question. On these occasions, I flush bright red from my face down to my neck and chest. I jumble words. My discomfort is highly visible and audible. It … Continue reading What Do You Feel by Julia Ballerini

From the Flume and The Cormorant, 2 poems by Barbara Tifft

Black and white photo of river flume
 

From the Flume The banks of the West Ausable River Is a place you’ve never been. Staring straight down into the flume Violent bursts of water over Great granite boulders mesmerizes The boys, but I pull them back To trek a well worn path through Tall timothy, navigating our poles Around brush and beaver dams, Following the sound of gurgling river water Till finally, finding still waters, they cast.   Cormorant In mid-afternoon sun I’ve stared for an hour At the lone cormorant perched twenty feet from shore On the remains of a tree grounded … Continue reading From the Flume and The Cormorant, 2 poems by Barbara Tifft

Is Your Poem Ready for Submission? by Roselyn Elliott

black and white computer keyboard
 

So, you’ve read a literary magazine’s guidelines, you’ve even read its sample poems available online, or ordered a recent copy of the magazine to learn about what they publish. Maybe you’ve taken a class/workshop in which your poems were critiqued by peers and a popular teacher. But, how is it that some of our poems we have toiled over to the point that they are strong and seem to be the best they can be, do not get selected for publication by the journals where we’ve chosen to send them? As a poetry editor, I’ve … Continue reading Is Your Poem Ready for Submission? by Roselyn Elliott

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