matthew lovegrove (he/him) works & lives in the traditional, unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh and shíshálh Nations on the present-day Sunshine Coast. He is honoured to have published poems in his favourite journals such as Red Alder Review, Juniper, Deep Wild Journal, and Train.
into blue night’s rise. My wake silhouettes, sunsets under a blanket
of aching stars. Auspicious in their flickering, sleep comes.
Kersten Christianson is a poet and English teacher from Sitka, Alaska. She is the author of Curating the House of Nostalgia (Sheila-Na-Gig 2020), What Caught Raven’s Eye (Petroglyph Press, 2018), and Something Yet to Be Named (Kelsay Books, 2017). She is also the poetry editor for Alaska Women Speak. Kersten enjoys road trips, bookstores, and smooth ink pens.
I stroked your rough wool imagining fine sweaters.
Snow falling on snow. The pause. Then stepping through.
Linda McCauley Freeman is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Family Plot (Backroom Window Press, 2022) and has been widely published in international journals, including in a Chinese translation. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2022. Recently she was the featured poet in The Poet Magazine, and appeared in Delta Poetry Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, and won Grand Prize in StoriArts’ Maya Angelou poetry contest. She received a grant from Arts MidHudson and was selected for Poets Respond to Art 2020, 2021 and 2022 shows. She was a three-time winner in the Talespinners Short Story contest judged by Michael Korda. She has an MFA from Bennington College and is the former poet-in-residence of the Putnam Arts Council. She lives in the Hudson Valley, NY. / www.LindaMcCauleyFreeman.com and follow her on Twitter@LindaMccFreeman and Facebook@LindaMcCauleyFreeman
Snow dusts gray mountains— sugar flecks on icy trails sweeten bitter days
Naked birch ballet Evergreens shake white pom-poms Confetti tango
A lifelong New Englander, Laurie Rosen’s poetry has appeared in The Muddy River Poetry Review, The London Reader, Oddball Magazine, Zig-Zag Lit Mag, Gyroscope Review, Wilderness House Literary Review and elsewhere.
Scent of rotting leaves poses questions not answered until spring arrives
Inside the long night death and life pass each other– first cousins, nodding
Mike Wilson’s work has appeared in magazines including Amsterdam Quarterly, Mud Season Review, The London Reader, The Coachella Review, and in Mike’s book, Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic, (Rabbit House Press, 2020), political poetry for a post-truth world. Mike is a past winner of Kentucky State Poetry Society’s Chaffin/Kash Prize. He resides in Lexington, Kentucky, and can be found at mikewilsonwriter.com
Sally Quon is a poet and photographer living in the Okanagan Valley of beautiful British Columbia. She is an associate member of The League of Canadian Poets. Sally has been published in Here and Now, an ebook by SureWay Press, edited by Anna Yin. Sally also has haiku coming out soon in Time Haiku and The Autumn Moon Journal.
A Good Name, a novel by Yejide Kilanko from Guernica Editions (2021), tells a story that is truly disturbing and utterly human. Kilanko develops a narrative that focusus on a well-characterized Nigerian couple who are brought together through a traditional, arranged marriage. The fall-out of the pair’s initial and gross incompatibilities develops as they settle (and unsettle) into living together in Houston, Texas. It is a story of migration and multiple intermeshed traumas.
The author develops a dialogue-driven narrative around the complicated nature of this central relationship that is both intimate and haunting. It brings forth many contradictions and tensions through the push-and-pull of cultural-familial allegiance and personal desires. The book finds its strength in its social and nuanced treatment of these layers and complexities. The result is a pervasive, well-cultivated and palpable image that the two main characters are living in “bad faith”. In this way, thematically, the clash of persons against cultures is depicted as inherently corrosive, in the same way two metals pressed together and react, ultimately causing damage to both.
In simultaneously dealing with the entrenchment and rejection of traditional patriarchal values, this book stands as an important fictionalisation of the normalisation of abuse and gender-based violence within a particular community—all of which leaves a strong and lasting impression on the reader.
become its sprinting heartbeat sing its jaunty song— jazz queen of the yard wing your way an acrobat— cedar branch to feeder flash-splash in the bird bath swallow cool rainwater seek seed trust the hand that offers watch over offspring— fleeting days like ours
Doris Fiszer is an Ottawa poet. Her debut collection Locked in Different Alphabets (Silver Bow Publishing) was nominated for the 2021 Archibald Lampman Award. She has two published chapbooks, The Binders and Sasanka (Wild Flower). Awards include the 2017 John Newlove Award and Tree Press’s 2016 Chapbook Award for The Binders, also a nominee for the bpNichol Award.
In a dream, you travel among lotuses on a summer evening, watch fireflies gather, spread apart again, innocent flames.
By the distant red window, you look out on silent streets, embroidering a blue sea, meditation bells beside you.
Later you’ll pick them up, follow each sound to its end, ring them again.
Sitting alone on the moon-viewing terrace, you will knit a blue scarf for your grandson, content at last to be a cliché, in the autumn coolness.
And when you see an egret, the word itself, the peace of it, will sound on your tongue.
Elizabeth J. Coleman is the editor of Here: Poems for the Planet (Copper Canyon Press, 2019). She is the author of two poetry collections published by Spuyten Duyvil Press (Proof, a finalist for the University of Wisconsin Press prizes, and The Fifth Generation), and translated the sonnet collection Pythagore, Amoureux into French (Folded Word Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Colorado Review, Rattle, Bellevue Literary Review, and in several anthologies. She has also written two chapbooks.
Ah, Caterpillar, you’ve devoured what your brothers cling to, naked tansy stalks, the golden blossoms gone, in your bellies the broad leaves crinkling and nothing, not a mouthful, remains.
You saw with the blinders of hunger, ignored your neighbors who ate what you’d need next. Now all of you cling, except those starved and shriveled – the whole of your world is consumed.
Caterpillar – how can I see this and not compare? I know it’s guilt and shame that makes me lift you gently, and softly place each of you on a new, whole plant. We have no new planets.
Forgive us, caterpillars – you’ll break free of cocoons and fly into a world already consumed.
Twilight stains the Wallowas
Three long, lank figures stretch like gnarled limbs, their campfire in embers, around the glow of deep red gleams.
All day, they’d poked in silence, the snap of shale fragments punctuating the hiss of wind. Searching for veins of fossils, a phantom floret of Eocene palm, or sugar maple, laid like pressed flowers in eons’ pages, the dirt once embers of ancient volcanic pyres that Pompeii’d the landscape slow, lava caulking the canyons twisting and snaking through tropical forests the long fiery transit stopped finally by the Columbia.
Self-exiled at the summer dig, the trio cloisters for this long August exults in a grit-simple camp, at meals as rough-hewn at the canyon, at sluicing off sweat, naked in the stream.
Back home, they’ll splice together the narrative evoked by these shards, lay them on the altar of science, don suits and studious faces to match bright-polished labs and linoleum halls. But tonight they lay back and howl at the moon.
Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep concern for our planet’s future. She has five decades of published poetry, four poetry chapbooks, a full-length poetry book, Elegy for the 21st Century (FutureCycle Press), a SF novel, Lifeline and book of short stories, The Dream Hunt and Other Tales (Founders House Publishing). She lives in Sweet Home, Oregon on a mini-homestead, with chickens, a garden/orchard and bees.