Blue by Linda Nemec Foster

leaves
 

Blue   It must have been her accent that seduced and baffled my ears. The Egyptian woman, still lost in the desert air of Cairo, read her poems filled with water from the Nile and blue heaven, blue heaven, blue heaven flying over the lotus flowers. I heard “heaven” but later discovered she said “heron.” A distant cousin to the sacred ibis, herons (even blue ones) are commonplace–are everywhere–even in the non-exotic marshes of northern Ohio where another blue creation–my mother– landed. Blue Helen, blue Helen, blue Helen. The kids in Cleveland would tease her. … Continue reading Blue by Linda Nemec Foster

Two Poems by Linda Nemec Foster


 

Mount Fuji   My friend always wanted to see the mountain with its eternal snow, but she never crossed the ocean to Japan. Instead, she bought a small reproduction of Hokusai’s “Boy Viewing Mount Fuji” and hung it on her bedroom wall. Every morning it greets the daylight: the boy with his back to her as he faces the mountain and plays a flute, his body perfectly balanced on a thick tree branch that seems to slice Fuji’s heart with a rugged abandon. “In another life,” she vows, “I’ll come back as that flute, the … Continue reading Two Poems by Linda Nemec Foster

Water by Joan Mazza

leaves
 

Water   Not all water is silk, not a curtain closed against a mountain. Not every rivulet runs to a river. Not every rainstorm beats fists against the pavement or hammers umbrellas. It doesn’t even tap a tango on a tin roof. Original element of my birth— I swam through you and into this world. Cold from the pump, metallic taste of rust, gift of the earth after a day in the desert. Water sloshes in a jug, ice clanks, a balm and treasure, better than black gold or coal. Joan Mazza has worked as … Continue reading Water by Joan Mazza

Snow Falls Off Bare Branch by Diane DeCillis

snow on branch
 

Snow Falls Off Bare Branch   At a reading, the poet responds to the art of the Japanese woodblock. But I only see the man’s head blocking my view, white hair combed counterclockwise, hiding terrain where grass no longer grows— pale heart of a lone chrysanthemum. As the poet cites Hiroshige’s cobalt skies, that mum becomes lotus on the bald pond at Shinobu. By the time she references Wild Geese Flying Across a Crescent Moon, I migrate to the edge of my seat, glimpse the side of his face. Hair parted at the temple, it … Continue reading Snow Falls Off Bare Branch by Diane DeCillis

Author Juditha Dowd Interview

Juditha Dowd at desk
 

SL:  Congratulations on the publication of your short story, “Phoenix” in Streetlight’s upcoming Winter Issue.  When did you start writing or realize that you were a writer? JD:   I remember that when I was eight years old and in the 3rd grade I wrote a poem, but I was writing down words as soon as I could read. I felt that words held magic. In the 5th grade I was writing stories. I liked to write stories about large families so I could name all the children. I loved names. I’d write stories with families … Continue reading Author Juditha Dowd Interview

No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

man reading at laptop
 

Writers, or those who want to write but don’t, like to say they have Writer’s Block, Capitalized, as if to makes it real, an explanation for why they’re stuck. They can’t get started or get back to the project they’re sure would be a bestseller. Ideas come only when they’re falling asleep or driving, never when they sit down to write. They often smile when they talk about the Block, as if there’s a certain satisfaction in having one, like a treasure or a talent to display.   I think saying you have Writer’s Block is … Continue reading No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

Three Poems by Sharron Singleton


 

Rehearsal   The best thing about the house I grew up in was that it sat at the edge of a small weedy lake where my mother and I would row to a raft through a thick tangle of water lilies, their white cups floating above green saucers. She would tie a rope around my chest, hold it taut and walk the edge of the raft as I flailed in the water learning to swim. Now I walk the tight perimeter of loss, love’s ligaments stretching between us as she prepares to swim out of … Continue reading Three Poems by Sharron Singleton

Fear Has No Hospice by Alina Stefanescu

color photo of hospital corridor
 

Alina Stefanescu is a finalist of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.   In my terror-hemmed flesh. The wince against their raised voices of desperate sirens, careful guarding of pulse from impatient ambulance. Fears keep folding and holding me while cars wait for normal patterns to resume. Panic is the metaphysics of knowing anything may be normal en route to normalization. An unworded dream: discovering you, the man I love, in the lobby of frightened husbands who learn the lingo of cancer to buy time for their wives’ lives. The worst would be watching you lose … Continue reading Fear Has No Hospice by Alina Stefanescu

Invitation to an Empty Church by John Sibley Williams


 

Invitation to an Empty Church   In the rafters: hungry, silent mice. Down below: the civilized ask light to forgive them mediocrity. The light they seek is a cage in the rafters above glass stained in saviors, where holes fall from holes in the ceiling. The women pass coins onto plates like brooches to grandchildren who will never wear them. Someone knocks at the sealed door but won’t be let in. Nobody remembers how they entered or if light ever completes. A great voice asks the windows mirror-questions, and we pretend we haven’t lost our … Continue reading Invitation to an Empty Church by John Sibley Williams