Tag Archives: Winter 2023

Appeasement by John Cullen

Photo of bulidings, fences, trees and sheep
 

John Cullen is the 1st place winner of Streetlight‘s 2022 Poetry Contest Appeasement Three hundred pounds of pasture mix in the trunk. International Farms estimates .05 percent weed mixed with Kentucky Blue and Meadow Fescue, and I suspect at least fifty percent perennial hope. We bounce up the driveway, and the stars really appear diamond-like. Far from the glow of town we haul bags filled with Colgate Whitening toothpaste, Momma Mia frozen pizzas, boxes of pasta, cans of kidney beans and cubed beef for the coming chili weekend. Half the celestials shine but no longer … Continue reading Appeasement by John Cullen

wish by Harry James

Black and white photo of person with their head in hand
 

The morning sun dappled the kitchen wall with an outline of wind-fumbled leaves loosely hanging on trees, cooking in the early morning heat. On the card table, slash, breakfast table, slash, dinner table, the future lay exposed in a circle of plastic cards organized among the ruins of last night’s fast food feast. Her husband called it the “Wheel Of Life”. A wish made real. They could live as they wanted to live, without want, without need, without anything that they didn’t want to do without. A perpetual money machine. “See, it works this way. … Continue reading wish by Harry James

Time Traveling by Bill Glose

Photo of tree-covered mountains
 

  Driving switchbacks on Shenandoah’s spine, dipping into valleys and screaming up again, we scorch speed warnings from yellow diamonds as the dashboard Garmin’s destination time spins backwards. We’re regaining invisible minutes that would have languished on a longer voyage, one that slowed to marvel at purple splashes of ironweed and white tassels of sweetspire or braked to heed warnings of falling rocks. The cerulean sky has tumbled other sarsens in our path, and instead of ringing them in monuments, we have taken to the road, racing time itself, arms stretched out windows, splayed fingers … Continue reading Time Traveling by Bill Glose

Dear Portland: a Love Letter to My Childhood Sweetheart by Melissent Zuwalt

Photo of Japanese lanterns
 

We first met holding hands at the outdoor Saturday market, vendors selling tie-dyed tee shirts and us eating foods that seemed exotic to me, like yakisoba noodles and teriyaki chicken. You revealed an existence better suited for me—one that lay beyond the endless berry fields and tractors and crippling solitude of my rural childhood. Although our time together was limited, you were the first city I ever knew, dear Portland. And my love for you was instant and deep and true. Remember how, when I was in high school, I tried to visit you as … Continue reading Dear Portland: a Love Letter to My Childhood Sweetheart by Melissent Zuwalt

A Gull and The Black Birch, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

Photo of bare tree against gray sky
 

A Gull A gull so far from the river circles the parking lot. Its whiteness is lost in this late fall day’s brightness. Its black edges are lost in the sunlight. Its black edges are lost against the glowing clouds, where its whiteness is lost. My daughter sleeps in the car and does not see the gull gleam above us so far from the river. She is lost in a glowing white dream. Tomorrow I will have forgotten the gleam of the gull that circled above her so far from the river. Years from now … Continue reading A Gull and The Black Birch, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

Duck Blind by Regina Guarino

Photo of person looking through their fingers
 

Across the narrow alley way between row houses, where trash cans totter and feral cats loiter, a window opens onto the neighbors’ kitchen. For once, the blinds are open after dark, and I can see the family at dinner. Though they moved in this past winter, we haven’t spoken yet; but I feel like I know them from their Sunday morning ritual. If I sit at my front window at 8:45 a.m. sharp—which I often do as I drink coffee and read the newspaper in my chair—I see them file onto the sidewalk, from tallest … Continue reading Duck Blind by Regina Guarino

When the Waters Rise or Storm Descends and Chicken, 2 poems by Michael Quattrone

black cliff with sun behind it, people on top
 

When the Waters Rise or Storm Descends Each family will have gathered what is durable and light. How far will the little ones walk before they ask to be carried. What else will you set down. When are we going to be there. Even our grief will not put out the fire. There it is, burning, lighter and lighter, singing into a mouthful of air. Chicken By the third time I checked on her, she had no eyes, just two white sockets where they should have been. A pair of glossy beetles, oblong, paddled in … Continue reading When the Waters Rise or Storm Descends and Chicken, 2 poems by Michael Quattrone

Culture Shock by Rachel Lutwick-Deaner

Photo of kayaker on water
 

Fifteen years ago, I knew that moving to the Midwest would be a kind of culture shock. I knew it because I googled “Regional Food of Michigan” and the first thing that came up was “cereal.” But I didn’t know then what I know now, that Midwestern Nice was going to be the real shock. I always felt shy growing up on Long Island. Part of that shyness was that I was an outsider from the start. We started our lives as a family in Palo Alto, Calif., where I was born at Stanford University … Continue reading Culture Shock by Rachel Lutwick-Deaner

Sure to Glisten by Ashley Taylor

black silhouette of weeds
 

The vermillion sun salts our mouths, warmth brimming with the sapor of brine. I write on my arm the torrid air a salve for wounds pleasure can make known again. Why is it important that we remember the metrics of marking time? All I ever am haunted by the naming of things, the finality of definition of anything being anything more than what is. Fascinated by turning toward, becoming haloed from a moving silhouette— I write nonsense, vague and unspecific defenses, keeping me from being known. Next to me, someone is talking (to me?) of … Continue reading Sure to Glisten by Ashley Taylor

Passionflowers by Joyce Compton Brown

Blue Passionflower
 

  Mollypops, we called them, stomping with our small shoes, heaving them like baseballs, bursting them green against the barn wall. We were children, seeking to destroy, as children do, leaving the juice-encased seeds to rot, perhaps reseed the pasture’s edge. Now I watch them in the garden. They droop egg-like, ripen toward yellow, draping palmate leaves like mittened hands sheltering blossom and fruit. How frail the flowers perched atop the leaves, a few still blooming purple! Passiflora incarnate, naked as Botticelli’s Chloris in her flimsy veil. Style and stigma, anthers invite golden bee to … Continue reading Passionflowers by Joyce Compton Brown