Tag Archives: Winter 2017

Fuzzball and the Quakers by Lassiter Williams

Woman under branches
 

They are called Quakers because the spirit, which is in all beings, begins to move and demands a voice. They quake where they sit, on their plain wooden benches, until that which is in their hearts is spoken aloud to the Meeting. Very often what they have to share is a question or a confirmation of the notion of peace and they stand to speak in the hopes of a self and a world free of violence. My parents joined a Friends Meeting when I was three years old. My younger brother and sister are … Continue reading Fuzzball and the Quakers by Lassiter Williams

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

Natives by Chuck Nwoke

Wildly crowded beach
 

  They arrived at the beach at dawn. The Family: Father, Mother, Son and Baby Girl. They enjoyed sole ownership of the beach, playing, swimming and napping as the tide rolled back. Morning settled in and they returned from their long swim to find they had neighbors, scattered far away but close enough to be acknowledged. The Family didn’t mind. There was plenty of room for everybody, they thought. However, as more people arrived, staking their plots of sand with umbrellas, tents, chairs and towels, the Family worried for a moment that they hadn’t brought … Continue reading Natives by Chuck Nwoke

23 Feet Deep by Martha Snell

low tide abstract image
 

23 Feet Deep   The footway we walk sketches brown lines on green fields that seem to hover over the Irish Sea. All around us sheep and cows hold their mouths to grass, unmindful of heaven. This perpetual path traces cliffs, cuts into rock, curdles to mud, descends onto beaches of rock draped in laver fronds, home to codling and flounder. Kelp, clams, fishermen, children who splash and swim, all know the sea’s routine. Even Annie the cab driver knows the tidal ways: in out in out days nights, unending. It’s the far away sun … Continue reading 23 Feet Deep by Martha Snell

Accidents Will Happen by Nancy Christie

Dollhouse man in a dollhouse bedroom
 

  Catherine carefully dumped the coffee grounds onto the center of the front page and then folded over the four corners, making a neat bundle. Robert didn’t like to read the news and she was always careful to remove the paper before he came down. The headline would have really set him off: CYANIDE KILLER CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM! STOMACH REMEDY DEFINITE LINK! She carried the bundle of paper to the trash bin, wincing a bit when she raised the lid. Her shoulder was still sore, although the bruise had nearly faded. At least it wasn’t … Continue reading Accidents Will Happen by Nancy Christie

The Ribbon Test by Lisa Ellison

holding hands in support
 

When I was younger I prayed that if I had to get sick, I’d get a movie star illness—one with a color, ribbon, and celebrity spokespersons. It’s not that I wanted to be ill, but in my family broke-down-body lore was a frequent supper topic and bedtime story, complete with mysterious myalgias, fogs, and cases of The Nerves. For years, I thought I’d descended from malingerers or hypochondriacs. I moved six hundred miles away to avoid their fate, believing that, if there was in fact a problem, it was likely the water, Upstate New York’s … Continue reading The Ribbon Test by Lisa Ellison

My Grandmother Kills a Chicken by Guy Terrell

a chicken
 

2nd place winner of the Streetlight 2017 Poetry Contest My Grandmother Kills a Chicken   The hen house her grocery, she strode the aisles of cluck, straw, and feathers for eggs reaching under each bird for breakfast. Vegetables canned in summer did not freeze in a closet lined with newspaper in the barn heated by a single naked lightbulb. A rural palace and grounds made from a white clapboard farmhouse, a ribbed metal garage, the one-room wide long building, a hen house with flaps that rolled up on each side, and a small barn with … Continue reading My Grandmother Kills a Chicken by Guy Terrell

Thoor Ballylee by Judy Longley

Thoor Ballylee tower and bridge
 

1st place winner of the Streetlight 2017 Poetry Contest Thoor Ballylee Home of W.B. Yeats Massive stone, empty air, the river’s cool breath, a space the poet enters. Image stacked upon image reveals his world, not yet a poem but a current stirred by starlings sailing from oak to oak or a riverbed that shapes the flow of water. The scratch of his pen brings cows to amble across the page, black-and-white sway of bellies, breath forming ghosts, extinguished when muzzles dip into water. Kestrels stir upon a ledge, chicks pulsing with hunger the castle’s … Continue reading Thoor Ballylee by Judy Longley

Witness by Priscilla Melchior

book sale
 

3rd place winner of the Streetlight 2017 Poetry Contest Witness   It seemed an unlikely spot for a prophet, the annual library book sale in a dim warehouse on a summer day, but there she was, rocking side to side, the skirt of her lavender shirtwaist brushing pale shins above white socks and sneakers. Her fingers toyed anxiously with the clasp of her patent purse. “God came to me when I was at the Dollar General,” she said to no one in particular. “He told me to come down here to the book sale, He … Continue reading Witness by Priscilla Melchior

Invisible Girls by Tonja Matney Reynolds

Sheer girl's top that is glowing
 

We were the ones who fell between the cracks in the social order. We loathed the popular kids—the jocks, cheerleaders, and rich kids. We pitied the stoners and the nerds. To all of them, we were invisible, shadows on the tile. We wore camouflage pants, oversized shirts, shoes with untied laces, and only enough makeup to cover our zits. We were grunge before Grunge was a thing. During pep rallies, we read Sartre and Flaubert and Nietzsche. We were adored by the administration for our GPAs, AP scores, and early admission letters. We challenged the … Continue reading Invisible Girls by Tonja Matney Reynolds