Still, the sun contributes its honey
and a large raindrop magnifies the thin branch,
here, where I am, and where my mother,
many miles away in her kitchen,
is quietly aware of each
as they pass, over flat land and long grasses,
the lone, strong, open-branched tree,
and the rain that gathers somehow,
to flow over large boulders,
highlighted like hair by sunlight.
In the scheme of things, I too, belong.
All I need do is try, heed the geese,
their squawk and wildness.
If it is meant to be, she thinks,
they will return again.
– Roberta Visser leads creative writing and poetry workshops for students and adults and has been a contributing writer for the daily Keene Sentinel. Most recently her poems have been published in Women in Judaism, The Worcester Review, Entelechy International: A Journal of Contemporary Ideas, and Late Blooms Poetry Postcard Contest.
I am giving up beauty.
Not the silver thickets and the sandpipers
Not the grass beneath the lake,
not the way your hair eddies
when you rinse it in the bath–
but the lighted rooms when
tall and cool
I am effortlessly suspended in the
wordless hush of sight and gifted desire,
drifting quiet like a trout at the water’s edge,
pulled by a gentle current.
I will learn eyes that look outwards.
Since I no longer pull and sing like the current,
when a river butterfly
touches silent surfaces with delicate feet,
I will bend to meet it myself.
When an egret stands in the
marsh shallows with folded wings,
I will call it lovely.
This is beautiful, this is not, this
is an endless garden of reeds,
this is the forest after a rain.
– Kristin Roedell is a wife, mother, and retired attorney living in Lakewood Washington. Her work often concerns the daily lives of women, as well as mental health issues. She has been published in the online magazines Breath and Shadow, Metromania, and Switched on Gutenberg. Other works will appear in Flutter, Chantarelle’s Notebook, and Open Minds Quarterly. Her chapbook Seeing in the Dark will be published this fall by Tomato Can Press.
I do not laugh at bubble letters on the bathroom stall.
The pretty cursive, the delicate loop in the y.
Even when the words spell, help me. I hate my life.
I am willing to witness your toilet paper autobiography.
Who am I to judge, after all? I have spent hours considering
how many other people’s photographs I have wandered into.
That couple from Minnesota in Times Square at Christmas.
The bottom left hand corner.
There I am, wearing my blue coat.
Trying to turn away from the camera, blurry.
– Sarah Kay is a NYC based poet whose work has taken her uptown, downtown, and out of town. She is the Founder and Director of Project V.O.I.C.E., which promotes creative self-expression among high school and college students through writing and Spoken Word workshops. For more information please see www.project-voice.net
She buys those eggs with little scenes in them,
a frosting tree and icing child within glittering
walls. She places the village on the end table,
the forest scene atop the television and tiptoes
across the carpet so the deer by the brook won’t
startle. She dusts the ovals in all tenderness
every weekend, shaking her head, remembering
how her life was once that small, the curls on her
head, miniature, her heart a veritable smudge of
gumdrop, neck held in abeyance by the dazzle
of the domed white sky—until the day of the
hammer and shout and sugar shards, cathedral
piping falling across the lintel of an opening door.
– Jenn Blair is a Park Hall Fellow at the University of Georgia. She has published in Copper Nickel, The Tusculum Review, Miranda, Fairfield Review, and Hamilton Stone Review among others. Her chapbook “All Things are Ordered” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She lives with her husband Dave and daughter Katie in Winterville, GA.