Two Men in White Address Them – a poem by Jane Greer

Two Men in White Address Them
Acts 1:11
 
Why do you stand here looking at the sky?
Are you amazed as river passes by,
keeps on moving from the hidden past
into the hidden future, yet stays steadfast,
revealed, in front of you—or do you drink,
face in the water, kneeling on the brink,
refreshed by the real presence of the stream?
If you should notice in your walking dream
a brief caesura between wind and wind,
a shift where atmosphere has slowed and thinned, 
do you lose your mind to grief, do you despair
of ever again feeling the stir of air—
or do you know, nearly from your birth, 
that wind is with us always? On this earth,
being, leaving, returning: all are the same
for river, wind, and Christ, whose holy name
on your lips can raise the dead. We laugh at you,
but mean it kindly. If you only knew.


Jane Greer founded Plains Poetry Journal, an advance guard of the New Formalism movement, in 1981, and edited it until 1993. She has two collections of poetry, Bathsheba on the Third Day (The Cummington Press, 1986), and Love like a Conflagration (Lambing Press, 2020) and lives in North Dakota.

Implorations – a poem by Sanjeev Sethi

Implorations
 
Let others not whip with words
assault me with their arrogance. 
May the chart of course 
be as easy
as is achievable. 
Steer me, Lord of lords
to be my finest rendition: 
where anger and ego 
are absent, 
where avarice 
has no base, 
where the core 
is connected to you.

Sanjeev Sethi is published in over thirty countries. His poems have found a home in more than 350 journals, anthologies, or online literary venues. Bleb a Wee Book from Dreich in Scotland is slated for June 2021 release. Wrappings in Bespoke is joint-winner of Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux organized by The Hedgehog Poetry Press UK. It is his fifth collection. It will be launched in late 2021. He lives in Mumbai, India.

May Procession – a poem by Mary Beth Hines

May Procession
 
We sail on lace
feathered arms
into the glare of May
sunlight, shattering 
the air with a chorus
of our nuns’ saintly,
sweeping names.
They brush us into line.
 
We descend the grand 
slope of cathedral stairs
sparkling with the ice
melt of a nearly
forgotten winter, and fly
to the hill over the river 
where we hover
above the blare
of the sin-filled world.
 
A May Procession, all
blossom and yellow-
beaked, orange-tinged, pure
black and white, burning
hawthorn, and all of us
bloom and sway 
and tip toward a fall 
from the slick 
bank into the whirling
water below.

Mary Beth Hines writes from her home in Massachusetts following a career as a project manager. Her work appears in journals such as Crab Orchard Review, Orchards Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib, The Lake, Snakeskin, and The Road Not Taken among many others. She is working on her first poetry collection.

Washing My Feet – a poem by Lisa Molina

Washing My Feet

Your tiny toes waved at us
through the ultrasound monitor.

A few years later
in the twilight of evening,
when I was cleansing you in the 
womb-like water of a bath,
I dipped my cold feet in 
to warm them.

You took one into
your hands and began to wash
my dirty, stinky, ugly, old feet.
Washing them clean from the
journeys of the days.

Thus, our nightly ritual began:

A loving mother’s care rinsing 
her young daughter’s hair.

A child’s innocent touch, 
refreshing her tired mother’s feet;

Baptisms through simple acts of love.

I, your disciple, having my feet washed 
 by your purity of spirit-

-You’re a young woman now.
I sometimes watch your
bare toes wiggle
as you lie on the couch
reading a book.

Sometimes they wave to me;
Unknowingly.

And I wiggle mine;
Remembering;
Gratefully.

Lisa Molina lives in Austin, Texas. She has taught high school English and theatre, served as Associate Publisher of Austin Family Magazine, and now works with students with special needs. Molina’s poems can be found in Trouvaille Review, Indolent Books, Ancient Paths Literary Blog, Tiny Seed Journal, Beyond Words and The Poet- Christmas Anthology 2020.

Kelp – a poem by Florence Murry

KELP
 
They drift in pods
on water petal to petal
each a floating skin.
 
Flowered brown encrustations
they move side to side.
Glistened blades
 
Stalk by stalk they branch
separate directions. They thrive in salt
life support seaweed used for iodine.
 
So little we see on top
beneath lies tangled webs
layer upon layer
 
a mangled helix on a serpent’s head,
a crammed, yarn skein.
Tight-twined sphere
 
like our riddled mortal enigma we gnash
against star charted rock,
Laminariales—imagine snare. 

Florence Murry’s poetry has appeared StoneboatMainstreet RagSouthern California ReviewTwo Hawks Quarterly, earlier in The Black Buzzard Review (Florence Bohl) and elsewhere. She is currently working on a poetry manuscript called Last Run Before Sunset.

Of the Deep – a poem by Kyle Laws

Of the Deep
 
Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it,
   the lands and those who dwell therein.                               
                                                —Psalm 98     
 
The sea is woman same as ships sailed upon her
            same as rivers in their course
capricious, changeable, subject only to wind.  
            
Women in my family gravitate to shores                               
            gather strength from the rhythms
the coming in and going out silent at night  
 
a deep breath, an exhale, being swept onto sands. 
            Farther down the coast, washed clean 
they call the pebbles diamonds 
 
even though they were only the clearest quartz.
            It is alchemy mixed with a mind 
that reckons possibilities, knows how to lean 
 
into the railing as a ship pitches over and down
            a wave as it leaves ocean for river
knows how to rise and fall with the moon.

Kyle Laws is based out of Steel City Art Works in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Uncorseted(Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2020) Ride the Pink Horse (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019), Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing, 2018), This Town: Poems of Correspondence coauthored with Jared Smith (Liquid Light Press, 2017), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press, 2015), and Wildwood (Lummox Press, 2014). With eight nominations for a Pushcart Prize and one for Best of the Net, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany. She is editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.

Remembering Oscar Romero – a poem by Sam Hickford

Remembering Oscar Romero
 
                             ¡Haz patria, mata un cura!
 
             Forget him, he whose life was elegy,
             tasting and tracing death's shadow. In touching it,
             he fought the umbrageous, audacious canopy
             it stretched over El Salvador, the death-squad-valleys
             so cruelly cooing with caracara, woodcreepers
             wounded by the weight of the noise, the Lete's 
             screeching flow he had so swam and strained against.
 
            The mass came. He knew he would die, and so exposed
            his chest to absorb the bullets, not swooning to the east,
            and, knowing the resurrection was delayed,
            he consecrated another, and redismembered each
            campesino, fearing himself, not as a story-book martyr.
            He nervously tilted his shoulder to the nervous flow
            of the staccato of a God-made gun.


Sam Hickford has not been canonised as a saint, maybe this would help him with his DBS application.

Poetry – a poem by Helga Kidder

Poetry
 
You were made to do hard things,
open the door to birch leaves 
covering the porch with a gold carpet, 
to tiny feathers left in the bird bath.  
You may be clinging to a brittle branch
before it falls on me. There is no chart
or list to mark off, to allow a breather.
I know walls won’t protect you
when the wind spins like a dreidl
through the woods.  It may whirl you
against the trunk of trees, flatten 
you against rocks.  But this is not
your only home. 
                           When I look up, 
I see you in a sliver of moon gliding
between stars, lighting the Milky Way 
or some other universe that fills in 
where you’ve been 
                               to keep me whole. 

Helga Kidder lives in the Tennessee hills.  Her poems have appeared in Silver Blade, Trouvaille Review, and others. She has four collections of poetry, Wild Plums, Luckier than the Stars, Blackberry Winter, and Loving the Dead which won the Blue Light Press Book Award in 2020. 

A Poem of Peace from Insanely-Priced-Leggings Reviews – poetry by Heather Truett

A Poem of Peace from Insanely-Priced-Leggings Reviews
             (found poetry)

5 Stars

I love the way peace fits, and - to top it off - you cannot find
this color in the stores. Vibrant green!

I’m 130 pounds, 5’5”, and my hips are pretty
curvy. This Peace fit perfectly. Quality is there.
It does not feel constricting like cheaper
Peace has felt.

This Peace is the comfiest Peace I have ever
worn. It’s thick but not too tight and will fit
your body like a blanket. It even has a fuzzy
inner lining that keeps me warm and cozy.

4 Stars

This Peace is so soft and so breathable.

Great fit!
Washes well!

My only complaint is Peace’s outrageous pricing.

3 Stars

I got the wrong size - will exchange it. I’m sure
the right size will make a difference.

I love the feel of this Peace when I first
put it on. The problem comes when I start
to move. The Peace gradually slips down. I feel
as if I have to stop and pull it up.

Extremely comfortable Peace, but after
a few hours of wear, it seemed to stretch
out. I had to constantly tug the elastic, 
which is very distracting.

Not to mention, Peace snags a lot.

2 Stars

Peace is too small, and there’s the hassle
of duty and taxes. I think I deserve
better than this.

I received this Peace as a gift and was so excited, having worn
my old Peace into the ground. So disappointed… This Peace feels
thinner. There is no compression, so the Peace feels loose, like it might
slip right off if I wear it to Yoga.

Bummer, because now I can only
wear Peace around my house.

1 Star

I bought my Peace in a store, because
it felt great - nice and tight. Now, after only
a few days, Peace has lost its hold. It’s stretched out. I see
no mention of this in the return policy.

I returned it. The Peace delivered had glue spots, and it totally
flattened my backside.

This Peace is itchy, scratchy, stiff, and see-thru.

I feel deceived.


Heather Truett is an MFA candidate and an #actuallyautistic author. Her debut novel is releasing in 2021. She has published poetry and short fiction with Tipton Poetry Journal, Panoply Zine, Drunk Monkeys, and others. Heather is represented by Hilary Harwell and serves on staff for The Pinch.

rhapsody: (n.) an effusively extravagant discourse – a poem by Cheyenne McGuire

rhapsody:  (n.) an effusively extravagant discourse
 
kneeling
before this wood altar stained
in years of splashed wine.  
 
this church, its slatted-oak floors—
no response to my presence.  
 
monstrance adorns ordinary bread—
before me, a priest 
wrapped You in gold.
years later, You found me 
 
shrouded in this silence,
waiting for the right words 
to speak themselves from my mouth 
so i can find You 
 
wondrous, marvelous.  
i never wanted a monstrance.
  
if You speak now, speak 
 
in spilled wine, nails 
and scrap wood.

Cheyenne McGuire is a rural poet from Colorado who focuses on the interactions of the ordinary and divine.  She is currently studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in earthwords, Quarantine Magazine, and Ink Lit Mag.