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Contributors to the Winter 2020 Edition

Hugh Amberly
Marie Arnett
Daril Bentley
Jane Blanchard
Timmy Brown
John Byrne
Blake Campbell
Gary Davis
Ann B. Day
Cleo Griffith
Carol Hamilton
Derek Healy
Flora T. Higgins
Page Hudson
Betsy Hughes
M. T. Jamieson
Jonathan Kinsman
Ross Lehman
Barbara Loots
Stephen Malin
Dodie Messer Meeks
Gabriel Milton
Bob Moore
Jim Nelson
Joseph Nial
Thalia Otero
Brandon Otto
Dan Pettee
Frank Salvidio
Amy Jo Schoonover
Robert Schwab
Dan Sieg
Carol Lavelle Snow
Ann Staffield
Alex Steelsmith
Michael Steffen
B. E. Stock
B. R. Strahan
Terrell Tebbetts
Marie Tobin
Amanda Trout

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SAMPLE POEMS FROM WINTER 2020 ISSUE

PSALM, by Barbara Loots

Look how spring
comes woven over the trees
like a tabernacle.
Censers swing, a fire
declares the presence of God.

I bring my dove, my lamb,
my heart like a broken clod.
I feast on sky
and out of my mouth
like winged seeds
praises fly.

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ABOUT THE YARD, by Jonathan Kinsman

SHE carves the air
in curves of sleight
indefatigable delight.

SHE marks the thyme,
gathers her phlox with care,
loosestrife relents everywhere.

SHE ties the vines
and thins the fruit
that’s trellis-hung, to stir the root.

She walks in grace,
threading an easy pace
in arcs inclined along the lines
where heart’s-ease hems the skirted rows

Look there!  A goddess goes,
about the yard, florally bent
along the arbor’s rose-filled scent.

And when she goes to where she goes
buds bloom, leaves unfold, stalks will climb
and so her nature sows.

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ERATO, by Gary Davis

Begin where there is nothing.  Start again,
again, and as the empty hours pass
she might appear, if truly you begin.
The moonchild visits in her paper craft.
Tonight she brings the gift of clarity
to all your foolscap, all your poetry.
With jeweled fingertips upon your eyes
she gently bids you rise into the skies
that are her home, as lucent as the moon
for light reflected, and reflected on.
Soon she will slip away.  Before the dawn
she casts the lines aside, and then she’s gone.
What moves this fragile craft, then, sail or wind,
or waves in love with motion without end?

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ROADMASTER, by Terrell Tebbetts

I yank the groaning yellow door aloft
and greet again the toothy, grinning grille,
the bulging hood and body, waxy black,
the sidewalls, scrubby white, the porthole gills.

I pull the choke, pump the pedal hard,
and grind the stubborn starter almost raw
before she catches, rumbling steadily,
and I relax the muscles of my jaw.

This Tuesday trip’s a constitutional
we take each week to make her fluids flow—
and mine as well, my liquid memories
solidified if stowed too long below

experience, but quickened in her stiff
and awkward passage, like one begun
by Papaw, cane in hand, free arm on mine—
master of his Buick, in ’51.

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MY 1996 HONDA ACCORD, by Carol Lavelle Snow

Once my car is full of gas,
we’re merrily on our way.
It takes me through the town to shop
or to the park to play.
But when it’s feeling out or sorts
I’m always first to know.
Sometimes it coughs or belches steam
or just neglects to go.
Mechanics note its symptoms, dip
its stick and lift its hood.
And when it thinks I’ve paid enough,
once more it’s feeling good.

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CROW!, by Ross Lehman

I feel the cold
of the sheen
on the black of his brow.

It is no ode;
there’s nothing exulted by
his crackling trumpet.

My ears are pricked—
Is there an ancient code
embedded in this caw?

Naw.  No fa la la
in those cold coal eyes.
This cry scours pleasure

and peace
from the trees
as he opens his

stiff umbrellas and descends
to something decaying,
discarded, or just ceased.

And then this alarm,
“Gawd!” even in repose.
I pine for poetry in his strangled prose.

Not even a work song,
but an alarm.  For what?
What in the world is wrong?
What in the world is not?

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