Tag Archives: Winter 2024

Canticle for the Hand and Mouth by Karl Sherlock

hand reaching up, another reaching down, blue sky background
 

The way one’s mouth shadows the hand because hands spoke the first language. The way the lurid tongue-tip drapes the sill of one’s lip, mobilizing when hands are elsewise picking knots from shoelaces or rubbing together the neurons of a nuanced thought. How the rushed cadence of fingerspelling paces a deaf friend’s lips. How Moses, heavy of mouth and stammering tongue, lifted the sea with a lightness of hands thrust forward. How a forefinger, pinched against the lips, muzzles a neighbor’s fracas, or the well- meaning, ill-mannered way the hand of a relative stranger cups … Continue reading Canticle for the Hand and Mouth by Karl Sherlock

Wondering What is Forecast by Rebecca Leet

Photo of storm clouds above green field
 

I don’t know why I was singled out, being, as I was, simply sitting at my patio table sipping Earl Gray and scanning AccuWeather for a hint of whether or not sunshine would favor next week’s beach trip. As far as I recall, I did nothing to attract the jet black eyes whose stare crept into my consciousness along with that creepy feeling that comes when you realize you’re being watched. Nothing moved – not the eyes not the head not the shoulders – as if we were on a zoom call and the computer … Continue reading Wondering What is Forecast by Rebecca Leet

Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

Aerial photo of a large fair
 

late afternoon      on the day before openingcarnival workers prepare their week’s work for the 69th annual Buchanan carnivalRV’s and duallys set up on the grassy park a pregnant woman pitches her grey green tentas close to the edge of the river as she can manage the Ferris wheel assembly’s almost readyto offer a view of the river and Purgatory Mountain men construct railings around the carouseldragon wagon and tilt-a-whirl one fellow finishes polishing the apronof the cotton candy concession two teens tote bags of lemons and saltto the lemonade and French fry stand children … Continue reading Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

Santa, Undone by Travis Flatt

Photo of Santa walking from behind
 

He taps on my door. You’ve got to hand it to a seven-year-old for knocking. That lesson he learned even before reading. “Please knock,” his mother would yell whenever he barged in on us in the act, and he’d step back out into the hall and tap a little drum beat on the door. Today, I’m sprawled out on the bed with an IPA (just one), watching Robocop (the original), when the kid walks in and hands me a list. Before his mother left for work, she asked him to write Santa a list. I’m … Continue reading Santa, Undone by Travis Flatt

There’s a Beer that Tastes Like June 1981 by Harry Lee James

Photo of fully pint of beer
 

Once upon a time I was a soldier living in a small town on the eastern most edge of what was known at the time as West Germany. To the East, a little over a mile away, lay a continuous line of fences, mines, walls, watch towers and enemy soldiers that stretched north and south as far as the eye could see. All of that vast array of potential violence marked the end of an old war that waited to be resumed if enough reasons and grievances could be sounded to wake it up from … Continue reading There’s a Beer that Tastes Like June 1981 by Harry Lee James

Moonburst and Shortcuts, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

Photo of moon with clouds passing by
 

MOONBURST It was wan. It was white. It was sickly white. It was filled to full with white. It was white as a sheet. It saw a ghost. It saw me. I was the ghost it saw. I was at the window and it saw me. I wasn’t dead but I was a ghost. I was the ghost of the me I was this morning. The sun saw me then. It burst through the window. It laughed in my face. SHORTCUTS “Remember, there are no shortcuts,” he used to say. He was my father, and … Continue reading Moonburst and Shortcuts, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

Some Stories by Claire Scott

a furled brown leaf against a pale gray background
 

Some stories last long past their appointed hour, like light from expired stars. Like leftover houseguests or five day fish. We walk toward remnants of the past like refugees, pulled by the gravity of guilt, the pulse of regret. Is it too late to unspool the alphabet of cruelty, the bludgeon, the blindness, the heated blade of anger? Words cutting like winter-raw wind. Some stories stick like late fall leaves, wrinkled and ready, but clinging to the apple tree like a drowning man to a raft. the drumbeat of regret stranded in the long syllables … Continue reading Some Stories by Claire Scott

All’s Fair in Love and Teacher Gifts by Ellen Weeren

Photo of wrapped present with pink bow
 

Even though it was early June, Elena wore an oversized, off-white cable-knit cardigan to the grocery store. The gift cards were displayed near the beer coolers, an area which was always too cold for summer clothes. Her list of teacher gifts contained six names, eight if she counted the music and art instructors, who her son Brian only briefly saw every other week—not enough time to warrant the same Panera card his more engaged teachers should get, especially since he was such an easy kid. She toyed with the idea of only treating them to … Continue reading All’s Fair in Love and Teacher Gifts by Ellen Weeren

Old News by Joseph Kleponis

Elder man in fedora and pink tie crossing a brick street
 

It was late afternoon in fall or spring Because we were not wearing heavy coats. The pale sun was just starting to squinch down. As we left the library for home We lingered on the steps saying good-byes. A man in a brown suit with matching brown shoes, Wearing a shabby sort of fedora, With a full paper grocery bag Crooked in his left arm, a folded newspaper In his right hand stood at the curb, Looking left then right before stepping Into the street. I could not see his face, So I do not … Continue reading Old News by Joseph Kleponis

Kali Gandaki by Connie Clark

Photo of canyon under blue sky
 

I have a fear of heights. It is a fear of depths, too. Stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and look down? No, no matter how beautiful it may be. Sit with my legs dangling off a mountain peak? Never. I can’t even look at pictures of people doing these things without flinching. For years, I refused to look over the precipice’s edge into the world of the dying. I ran from them. I turned off the phone, been out of town. I left the room. I have said, “I’m praying for you,” … Continue reading Kali Gandaki by Connie Clark