Tag Archives: Winter 2021

Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

Silhouettes of people walking
 

To: Team Members From: Jill Valentine, MENTOR Re: Time-Off Requests Dear Team, First off, how lucky we are to still be thriving in this economy! Because not everyone’s so lucky. Some people are out there sleeping under bridges and rubbing sticks for warmth. Does this mean the world is rigged? Absolutely not. The world is fair, and if you Googled the word fair, you’d see that we’re the leading pioneer in fairness. And yet, some of us don’t realize how lucky we are! Now, we’ve always given you a lot of leeway because we’ve found … Continue reading Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

To an Ovenbird while Sheltering in Place by Amelia Williams

Photo of blue window trim in old siding
 

White spotted breast, orange and black on your head—I wouldn’t have seen if you were not warm in my hand, but dead. At the thud of a window strike I ran for the deck, hoping for merely stunned, but no chance in the tilt of your neck. I nestled you in woods-edge laurel, fetched the soap for crosshatch bars to mark south-facing windows. This season at last, brought to ask which fatalities are fated, I regret the mobile hung was to no avail. In this rural calm, so far spared the siren’s wail of despair, … Continue reading To an Ovenbird while Sheltering in Place by Amelia Williams

The Wounded Warrior of East Boston Terrace by Cyndy Muscatel

Photo of woman with bandaid on hand
 

I have a scar under my chin, right at the end where it meets the jaw. You can’t see it unless I’m hanging upside down, which is a rare occurrence these days. I’d forgotten about it—hadn’t seen or touched its roughness for years. But then my granddaughter cracked her chin open jumping backward into a swimming pool. All the blood reminded me of when I was five and jumped off a wall. Like Humpty Dumpty, when I landed I cracked open—but just my chin. It didn’t hurt. It was only when the TWO GIRLS started screaming. … Continue reading The Wounded Warrior of East Boston Terrace by Cyndy Muscatel

Dream Vaccination by Allison Geller

photo of dandelion
 

“The self without sympathetic attachments is either a fiction or a lunatic.” ………………………………………………………………………-Adam Phillips Duskless days of cloud-smoke and heat lightning. Bitter tincture, citrus and ice, the urge to put the moonstone in my mouth. All this equals the moth in the closet that eats its fill of wool coats and yet is never seen. Soft-winged, tawny, phototaxic— that is, drawn to light—though for reasons unknown. Equals all that was accidentally, and intensely, lost. Collecting at the needle’s tip— needless, wanting you. You, who claimed I only found it cinematic. Well, here it is again: … Continue reading Dream Vaccination by Allison Geller

The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

black stones
 

  It’s never what they weigh; it’s not the depth of silence they have known; it’s not the round- or hardness of their edges, certain color or uncertain age that proffer worth. Metals, crystals, precious on their own, may dwell within the body of a rock, but never mind those false alarms of wealth. The treasure of each stone lives in its skill: the subtle art of timing, moving even still, invisible for eons—until now, when heavy, sad, I sought a place to put my head, first walk without the old dog; not wanting to … Continue reading The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

Cemetery Road by Ann Webster

Dusty terrain, fence post reading Gallilee Cemetery
 

  Turn at the sign–Galilee Cemetery– a flat, packed-down dirt road the weary color of clay not a person in sight just fields, blowing dirt fields dry bones under hard sun. Turn again where, on the right there’s a dark puddle big as a pond The crows standing round it will startle and scatter in flight cawing while you keep going. Ahead there is shade at last pines, cedars, oaks with moss shadows over graves in safe family clusters. They pass the day that way. Leave on the same pale road you came in on. … Continue reading Cemetery Road by Ann Webster

Picasso’s Self-Portrait at Twenty-six, 1907 and Picasso’s Woman with Hat, 2 poems by Diana Pinckney


 

Picasso’s Self-Portrait at Twenty-six,1907 Cheeks stabbed with dark lines. Tender mouth any woman would want. Hair slashed in broad black strokes. His mother said If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. A Spanish Napoleon,don’t you think? Face a bold triangle. Wide nose and brow. His mother said,If you become a monk, you’ll end up as the pope. Yes, wouldn’t he have been Leo X with mistresses and power? But his eyes, oh, my dear, you can’t turn from those eyes. Large and oval with black centers that absorb the world. Picasso said, Instead … Continue reading Picasso’s Self-Portrait at Twenty-six, 1907 and Picasso’s Woman with Hat, 2 poems by Diana Pinckney

A Room Called Remember by Mary McCue

Photo of stars in sky
 

The sound of rustling leaves, like old fashioned petticoats, soothed the cold lodged like a stone above my brow. Compliant for once to the vagaries of my body, I stretched out on the floor letting my mind wander toward the Blue Ridge sprawled across the horizon in a color I love because of its smoky calm. How relieved my father would be to see where I live. In a rare heart-to heart conversation two years before his death in 1992, I told him how unhappy I was in my marriage of thirty years “We’ve come … Continue reading A Room Called Remember by Mary McCue

The Chair by Sue Allison

Abstract photo of chair with part of arm hanging over it
 

My mother had a chair that when she sat in it, she was invisible. At first she put it in a corner where she would be unseen and could not be found and where she would hide from our rambunctiousness and our needs and our growing for hours. But then she put the chair in the middle of the living room or the dining room or the hall; we never knew where it might be. It was her Christmas chair. It was blue. When she was in it, we couldn’t talk to her, and though … Continue reading The Chair by Sue Allison

Review of Anne Whitehouse’s Outside From the Inside by Nancy Ludmerer

Cover of Outisde from the Inside
 

Anne Whitehouse’s moving new poetry collection, Outside from the Inside (Dos Madres Press, 2020), takes us on four journeys, each with its pains and losses, its accretions of insight and moments of joy. In the first section, we travel inside the body (Tides of the Body); in the second, we traverse geographical space and time (It Wasn’t an Hallucination); in the third, we look back in history (The Ancient World), and finally, we turn our gaze to the bracing beauty of the natural world (A Dog’s Life). Whitehouse begins with the body and with the … Continue reading Review of Anne Whitehouse’s Outside From the Inside by Nancy Ludmerer