The Little Girl Who Laughed in the Graveyard – a poem by Ken Hines

The Little Girl Who Laughed in the Graveyard 
Watering my mother’s freshly seeded grave 
I am alone, I think, 
among the unliving—until those giggles 
electrified the empty air.
Hidden by skeletal trunks 
of crepe myrtle she hopscotched 
among the mounds, 
her laugh 
the sermon I needed to hear.
It said: 
Ignore the crows in the distant pines
and their chorus of complaint.
Marvel at the gall of fescue seeds
bearing possibility without promise.
Testify to the courage of gravestones
telling so little of what they know. 
I, finishing up a son’s final chore, 
was hoping for more somehow.
Yet there is a dark place in the heart 
that whispers Amen.

Ken Hines writes essays and poems on matters he finds puzzling. Some of those pieces found their way into Philosophy NowThe MillionsBarrelhouseMocking Heart Review and AIOTB. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

All Saints at St. Peter’s – a poem by Dede Mitchell

All Saints at St. Peter’s

The Sea of Galilee floats on plaster and in the foreground
a young man, bearded, stands. Another on knees reaches up
and we are reaching up, our voices resounding, our hands crying,
our eyes exclaiming, our knees swaying,
our hearts.

The mind is struck silent when the host is raised, the wine poured.
The body is ours, given, taken, received. Every time we speak the words,
Lord I am not worthy, we are made worthy, beloved, one.

The people sing because they have a song.

In the bright day, we step out, each one back to an ordinary life,
infused, but apart, no longer shining or singing.
A red-haired woman discusses a project at work;
the man next to me pushes past as the wind catches his jacket
like he might take flight. The church goes dark and quiet.
A small flame burns there.


Dede Mitchell‘s work  has appeared in NC Literary Review, Kakalak 2013, Role Reboot, and is forthcoming in Cider Press Review. You can also find some of her writing (as “Dede”) at, a blog that celebrates and muses on our relationship with the earth.

Alabama Lizzie Siddal – flash fiction by Taylor Wyna

Alabama Lizzie Siddal

It doesn’t take long for your feet to slip beneath the slick moss // you hear the last wisps of their laugher // and soon one by one they follow suit // their bare feet collide with mismatched rocks // forgotten arrowheads // and the riverside fennel that’s squished between their toes // yet somehow they avoided the tadpoles // their black googly eyes shake beneath the gentle tide // for a moment you lay there // letting the moss and stray honeysuckles catch root in your hair // your clothes spread wide and ripple under the current // the water is shallow here like a smudged millais painting // perhaps I’ll stay here forever // you think // I’ll rest in this heavy creek that sits on a road called rosemary // I’ll float here and stash their prayers // harvest their memories from the daisies and spanish moss // perhaps I’ll stay here // dear mother // until the violets come back.

Taylor Wyna is a writer from Birmingham, Alabama whose work has been featured in Cypress Press, Aura Literary Arts Review, and Reckon Women. She is the Founder and EIC of Camellias, a Southern Regional magazine dedicated to the modern Southern woman. Say ‘hi’ on Twitter and Instagram @TayyWyna

THE LAST ROOM OF THE MIND – a cento by Kathleen Gunton

Lisel Mueller: Cento*

It is the end of the story
From which I wake up grateful
Becoming lighter, losing ground
Something in me, an alteration
With anticipation of light
Across the windows of the the soul
Shivering points of light
A momentary vision of heaven
What luxury to be so happy
The music emerges more luminous
How light we are becoming
My life in the corner winks
As if I were a saint
And how infinitely the heart expands
To share the altitude of the dead
I search the language for a word
In the last room of the mind
Where I started your own work of art
Toward death by love, for love, because of Love
Bells tolling
The party in heaven
We are beginning to live forever
It is never sunrise or sunset
It is golden
In a marvelous castle, enjoying
All we know of God
He is certain power and gentleness
The mystery we were promised
Answers to questions—an endless supply—
That death came to you in your proper time
I live here
Now in the thriving season of Love

* Each line is drawn from a different poem in Lisel
Mueller’s collection, Alive Together.

Kathleen Gunton is a poet/photgrapher who believes one art
feeds another. Often her words and images appear in the same
publication. Over 45 of her cento poems have appeared in literary and
faith-based publications such as Anomaly, Commonweal, Cura,
First Things, Rhino, North Dakota Review
and Studio One.
She lives in Southern California.

Please – a poem by Peter Schneider

                                    Take care
                                    of time
                                    as you are
                                    a filter and it
                                    flows through you.
                                    A slight shift of signal
                                    and the observer is
                                    the observed.
                                    The breath sees itself
                                    preparation to the blank
                                    You must give up so
                                    give up give up give up
                                    make a magnanimous gift
                                    aware, a skeptical shift and
                                    the clear rivulet flowing 
                                    over grey rock
                                    twists, braids and disappears
                                    rejoins itself downstream
                                    a receding notion 
                                    Have a tender care for your
                                    fellow objects. In your absence
                                    the room persists, dust motes
                                    live in air. Such as these are no
                                    better or worse than they are.
                                    Be fair with them; be each object
                                    cascading down over sharp
                                    turbulences-creating points of rock
                                    through a thousand transforms
                                    to be there, a bareness
                                    laid bare.

Peter Schneider is a poet, psychotherapist, and zazen practitioner who lives in Brooklyn, NY. and Rochester, Vt. His poems have appeared in AMP: The Journal of Digital Literature (Hofstra Univ.); The Buddhist Poetry Review; Mobius: The Journal of Social Change; The Shot-glass Journal; Kairos; Better Than Starbucks; Big Windows Review and in the broadside collection, A Midnight Snack. His debut collection, The Map is Not the Territory was published by Anaphora Literary Press in April 2018. His MFA is from Columbia University and his Ph.D. is in clinical psychology from New York University.

IN MY UNKNOWING -a cento by Kathleen Gunton


-Carolyn Kizer: Cento*

In the fragile cup of silence
My heart quivers with apprehension
Now is the instant when wheat is harvested
Truth rolls back the boulder from your tomb
Suddenly, color invades the void
The heaven-light of memory blends
Into harmony, silence and renewal
Autumn in the heart, as the links are broken
And, in the path of the Beloved
Miraculous water—God’s emissary
In a moment of light forever
O God, I ripen toward you in my unknowing
Which ends always with the note of eternal beginning
I can hear the angels breathing
And rejoice at the inner voice, so lofty and pure
Losing myself in joy
And everything, forever, everything is changed

*Each line is drawn from a different poem in Carolyn
Kizer’s collection, Cool, Calm, & Collected (Poems 1960-2000)


Kathleen Gunton is a poet/photgrapher who believes one art
feeds another. Often her words and images appear in the same
publication. Over 45 of her cento poems have appeared in literary and
faith-based publications such as Anomaly, Commonweal, Cura,
First Things, Rhino, North Dakota Review and Studio One.
She lives in Southern California.

By Goetschel Pond – a poem by Andrea E. Johnson

By Goetschel Pond
The sun, like a slender silver coin, 
     slips in and out of gray wool pockets. 

          A drenched black branch with peridot moss
               lies across a patch of coarsegrain snow

          next to tufts of orangespotted feathers.
     Silky gossamer seeds of milkweed

spill from follicles shaped like teardrops
     tethered to a single hollow stem. 

          A pale face glissandos out of clouds   
               and plates the tall prairie grass gold

          while the pond’s slush glows like bone china 
     placed on a doily for tea and scones.

I climb a hill through ancestral trees,
     oak, birch, cherries, basswood, and aspen.

          Dullish leaves shine like lamé mittens
               fastened to odd umbrella clotheslines.

          Halfway up, I pause for a moment, 
     embrace a hoary quercus alba,

and think back to autumn in moonlight,
     how a chorus of Canada geese 

          honked, winged, and descended in concert 
               to the silent, satin, inkblue pond.

Focusing now on poetry and textile art, Andrea E. Johnson is retired from a public health career in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work has appeared in BoomerLit and is forthcoming in an anthology to be published by St. Paul Almanac in 2021. She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

For Dylan Thomas on His Hundredth Birthday – a poem by Ruth Holzer

For Dylan Thomas on His Hundredth Birthday

In old Carmarthenshire a boy ran wild
beneath the lamb-white clouds and larking sky,
not knowing that his paradise would end,
that he would lose those sheltering green hills,
the bay and every green transparent wave,
that innocence would vanish, and all love.

The first enchanted world had promised love.
Hawk and heron blessed the fields, their wild
wings lifting free, as wave on wave
of burnished grass bent to October sky.
He cherished visions of abiding hills,
unchanged within his heart until the end.

In the beginning, who can tell the end?
Intoxicated by the elixirs of love,
he staggered toward his doom. The hills
reminded him of women: round and wild,
they spread their secrets open to the sky,
then drew him close to drink the breathless wave.

His genius burning low, he rode a wave
of fame and whiskey to the sorry end.
He had forgotten how a starry sky
would welcome Christmas in with newborn love.
Black sheep came home, together with his wild
blind bards and sailors, roaring in the hills.

He followed dreams of fame and left the hills
for clapping crowds, a girl’s uncaring wave
goodbye, a cocktail kiss. His thoughts rushed wild.
He howled through city deserts in the end,
denying what he owed to early love.
Death liquified his brain and drowned the sky.

The body turns to earth, the book to sky.
A humble cross stands lonely in the hills,
his muse departed. Children born of love
have scattered in the spindrift-brilliant wave
that roils us down to darkness in the end,
however virtuous we were, or wild.

A hundred autumns fill the sky. Still coursing wild,
his words are foxes in the hills. They never end,
his psalms of love, his praise of star and wave.  

Ruth Holzer’s poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Connecticut River Review, Slant, Blue Unicorn and THEMA, and in other journals and anthologies the U.S. and abroad. A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the author of five chapbooks, most recently A Face in the Crowd (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Why We’re Here (Presa Press, 2019).

Looking for God – a poem by Gail Thomas

Looking for God

I looked for the eyes of god in an oil slick,
in bathwater swirling the drain,
buckled ceiling above my bed.

I looked for the sex of god on the Internet,
in bars, shiny boutiques
and under my sheets.

I waited for the breath of god in a hurricane,
in a storm cellar, on a roof
as flood water rose.

I searched for the mouth of god in prison,
under a bridge, in a cage
at the border.

I searched for the feet of god in scorched fields,
on a clear-cut mountain
and melting iceberg.

I called for god from a heap
of blasted rubble and beneath
a wagon of corpses.

I thirsted for
an exhausted wave
to fill my cracked cup.


Gail Thomas’ books are Odd Mercy, Waving Back, No Simple Wilderness, and Finding the Bear. Her poems have been widely published in journals, and her awards include the Charlotte Mew Prize from Headmistress Press,  the Narrative Poetry Prize from Naugatuck River Review, and the Massachusetts Center for the Book’s “Must Read.”

The Triptych and I – a poem by Sara Letourneau

The Triptych and I

When you look at a landscape photograph,
what do you see? Most likely the scene itself,
all wildlife and weather and time of day—
and certainly not the soul’s terrain.
That was what I had believed before
the triptych caught my eye and bade me stop
at the gallery’s front door,
its panorama of a Cape Cod sunset
bathing clouds and beach in pastel violet-blue
and tugging at an anchor under my ribs.

Before I knew it,
I had drifted across the threshold
like a dinghy whose moorings had come loose.
Maybe I still would have noticed the triptych
if it had been a single, larger whole.
But at that moment, those three acrylic panels
hanging side by side displayed
not just sand and twilight, but an evening
that I swore was my self-portrait.

I was the setting sun, radiating light
that was all my own yet hiding from view.
I was the ocean tides, reaching for land
despite the moon’s backward pull.
I was the beachcomber roaming the shore,
gathering seashells yet knowing I had already found
what I was looking for.
I was silver and emberglow, cerulean and rose,
horizon and cosmos, all the things I wished
I had seen in myself sooner.

I didn’t take the triptych home with me.
Nor did I ask for its title or the photographer’s name.
Instead, I carried the memory out the door
like a tangling in the throat
when you feel understood even though
you haven’t spoken a single word.


Sara Letourneau is a poet, freelance book editor, and writing coach. Her poems are forthcoming in or have appeared in Constellations, Mass Poetry’s Poem of the Moment, Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene, The Aurorean, and Soul-Lit, among others. You can learn more about working with Sara at and read more of her poetry at