Monday, 30 January 2023



THE ILLUSION OF IDENTITY

by Tina Klimas


I have disappeared.
A lone bird, an ingredient,
blended into a flock.
We soar and dip as one
to the swell of Mendelssohn—
humid summer evening
slick on our feathers—to and fro
until the trees themselves dance.
Awe rises from below.
We are nature, choreographed
to human genius. Flight
is transcendence, is it not?
I am lucky, am I not? Or so
my flock assures me. And yet,
I yearn for them to see
how my feathers iridesce
in a way no other birds do.
They choose blindness,
for I serve a useful purpose
in this group—mother,
spouse, daughter, friend.
This should be enough, but I
cannot hear my own voice.
I lost it somewhere. It
bleeds out with the daylight
into a sky inundated with purple
velvet, a deep and lonely dusk. It
is absorbed into the heartbeats
of the birds around me,
beating their wings in joy
or furious survival. It
is swallowed by the might
of Mendelssohn and the arrogance
of a power of life
that plows over death and
individuality.
I could fly out alone
over the opalescent mystery of the lake
into a gathering darkness.
I would be watched
and pitied,
maybe thought a little mad.
When all is finally reckoned,
do I want to abandon
the fortune of love?
So I will remain invisible.
I am birds, not this bird.
And thus will I continue
to keep perfect time,
to someone else’s music.


* * * * *

Tina Klimas's poems can be found in THEMA Literary Journal, Bear River Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Backchannels, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Willows Wept Review, and Glassworks Magazine. Her short fiction has also been published in several journals. She enjoys her writing life in Redford, MI where she lives with her husband and their dog.


Sunday, 29 January 2023

Night Moves, Reprised                                                          

by Claire Massey


The boy was a maverick
who shared with me,
a tongue of flame arcing through auburn hair
and amateur status in the ranks of lovers
that virginal summer of ’78. 
Exotica sounded in the clip of his vowels,
unheard where we lived in lower Alabama,
his just-divorced Dad
having dragged him from Chicago.

There was comfort, he claimed, in the words I wrote,
more comfort still in my neophyte’s crush,
both of us barred from the in-crowd,
badges of honor we sported,
both of us learning in exile. 

Tentative at first, then able, urgent,
we rehearsed night moves beside a brook in the country,
turned our backs
on its whispery disapproval,
turned up Bob Seeger on the boombox.

Tell me my budding poetess, what line do you like best?
Too tall and angular myself, I answered the part about her breasts,
firm and high on her chest and probably—small.

If I could recall
the S-blend in his name, McSween or Swan,
perhaps we could meet for lattes,
our twin bolts of titian hair gone grey,
our swimming hole diverted to make way
for McMansions’ jutting porches.

Over liberally sweetened mochas,
he’d still want to know,
What part of “Night Moves”
moves you most?

I’d lean into the faux-wood table,
remember the S-curve of his body,
how we spooned against this backwater.
Listening for the far-off thunder,
with all that lighting gone,
that working and practicing done,
autumn after autumn
closing my summers,
and still, no mysteries solved.


* * * * *

Claire Massey finds joy in discovering and supporting literary artists who further our quest for understanding of self and the world. Among other journals, recent work has appeared in Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, Lucky Jefferson 365 Collection, Halfway Down the Stairs, POEM, Persimmon Tree and Bright Flash Literary Review. She is Poetry Editor for the quarterly magazine, The Pen Woman. Driver Side Window, her collection of flash stories, poems, memoir vignettes and interpretive photographs, debuted in October, 2022.

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Measured and pinned

by Rebecca Dempsey

 
Scans searched. Locked on
looking clear through
to the other side. Echoes
detected shadows. Patterns
traced, and vanished
under interpretation.
Currents passed through.
Reverberations of blood
rushed through limbs
to extremities. Recorded.
Described. Ascribed.
Machines peered through
flesh, scoured for clues,
in cells living and dividing,
made up of atoms, made up
of somethings close to
nothing. Parts prodded,
arranged, examined.
Dismissed after identification.
A close call. Shuddering
in a cold change room, 
felt, yes, but I wasn’t seen.
I wasn’t there at all.

 
* * * * * 
 
Rebecca Dempsey’s recent works have featured in Streetcake Magazine and Unstamatic. Rebecca lives in Melbourne / Naarm, and can be found at WritingBec.com, where amongst other things, she sometimes contemplates the creative traits she inherited from her foremothers.
 


 

Friday, 27 January 2023

 

poem

by Lisa B. Friedland


I love things that don’t make sense 
like trees
manhattan 
and the woman in stilettos pushing the baby carriage 


* * * * *

Lisa B. Friedland is a poet, musician, composer, and translator. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she finds her inspiration from nature, spirituality, culture, and relationships.
To find out more, visit 
lisafriedlandmusic.com


Thursday, 26 January 2023

 

poem

by
Lisa B. Friedland


i became an adult today 
singing in the rain
finding the hay at my back
the wind at my front 
do we even know why we're here?
a cherry tree
an apple blossom 
a sky full of stars
ever so softly 
sing us
home


* * * * *

Lisa B. Friedland is a poet, musician, composer, and translator. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she finds her inspiration from nature, spirituality, culture, and relationships.
To find out more, visit 
lisafriedlandmusic.com


Wednesday, 25 January 2023

End of January

by Melanie Choukas-Bradley

 
Don’t leave me January
In your deep I want to sleep
In your pale days I want to go on idle
 
In silent bursts of beauty
Snow-laced twig
Starry night
 
Let me cling to your forbidding cold
And your incubating dark
A little longer


* * * * *

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is a naturalist and award-winning author of seven nature books, including City of Trees, A Year in Rock Creek Park, Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island and The Joy of Forest Bathing. She began writing poetry during the pandemic and had the good fortune to discover Beate Sigriddaughter’s Writing in a Woman’s Voice. The site has featured several of her poems during the past year, including “How to Silence a Woman,” and “If I have loved you,” both of which won Moon Prizes. Melanie grew up in Vermont wandering the woods and fields and has never stopped wandering.


Tuesday, 24 January 2023

3rd house on Court C

by Emalisa Rose


Replacing the old
with all new appliances
even the dishwasher
which rarely got use

new kitchen tiles
and we'd finally hired
the old window cleaner
after 26 seasons of
snowfalls, bird poop
and etceteras

fresh paint
new blinds
even some
flowerbeds planted

all for the new owners
all we delayed
doing for us, though

“they’lll probably
do the whole house
all over again, anyhow”

we both laughed.


* * * * *

When not writing poetry, Emalisa Rose enjoys crafting and crocheting. She volunteers in animal rescue. She walks with a birding group on weekends through the neighborhood trails. Living by the beach provides much of the inspiration for her art. Her work has appeared in Origami Poems Project, Spillwords, Writing in a Woman's Voice and other wonderful places. Her latest collection is On the whims of the crosscurrents, published by Red Wolf Editions.