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July 1st, 2018 Issue

Jump-start your summer reading with our excellent selections from local, and a few not so local, writers, poets, and artists alike. Picture the freshly mowed lawns in Stephen Scott Whitaker's poem "I Am Jack's Seasonal Work", then step into the forest to hunt something not quite human in K. Winter's story "Angels in the Forest," and finally, cozy up with dreams of eggs for breakfast in Cathryn Asp's poem "Couple Cooped". And as always, thank you for reading. 

Table of Contents

I Am Jack's Seasonal Work
Poetry by Stephen Scott Whitaker

Alice
Fiction by Sidonie Bird de la Coeur

Fable
Poetry by John M. Davis


Figures 3 Ink Watercolor on Paper
Artwork by Allen Forrest


 

Only My Brand
Flash Fiction by Tommy Grimly

Couple Cooped 
Poetry by Cathryn Asp


Rabbit Coat
Fiction by Maya Chesley


Mobius Strip
Artwork by Shelly Sarna

Habit by the Pond
Poetry by Maggie Hess

Angels in the Forest
Flash Fiction by K. Winters


St. John's Day
Poetry by John Timothy Robinson

I AM JACK'S SEASONAL WORK

by Stephen Scott Whitaker

Two cycle thrumming, satisfied with working,

A yardsman wrapped in safety shades swings

his blower side to side. A pick up truck turns over,

happy rumblings, sun chummy like a chubby deputy.

There isn’t a sad steeple for a hundred miles,

a boot on the jaw of the lonely no more.

Not in spring sun. Find me in low clothes, feet up

on the fence, cooling my heels from the Irish Goodbye.

Clean up for some chappy man? Day pay swagger,

sweep the field of stones? Ay-yuh. Garden green,

the green, green, green of a thumb

pushing back ten dollar bills in short stacks.

Winter’s dun, grass haw, and grass mow.

Swallow, swallow, swallow. A hungry bird call

erupting like neurons, to, do, to do, to do.

 
Stephen Scott Whitaker

Stephen Scott Whitaker is a member of National Book Critics Circle and the managing editor for The Broadkill Review. His poems have appeared in Oxford Poetry, Grub Street, and Anderbo, among other journals. He is the author of three chapbooks, including the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize winning Field Recordings, and the USA Book Award nominee, All My Rowdy Friends.

Alice

It was almost summer and it was lighter for longer these days. The dying heat of the day

wafted off the asphalt, bringing the evening down to a temperature where one could

comfortably go without shoes. Nicholas didn’t have the luxury of a balcony, so instead he sat

on his windowsill with his suit pants loosely rolled above his hairy ankles, and dangled his

sockless feet over the last of the evening traffic below.

Alice was beside him as usual. They sat together like this every night, watching men who

dressed exactly like Nicholas pour out of the subway like herded sheep on their routine

commute home. She was always there, perched on the windowsill when he returned to his

apartment. He didn’t know whether she did anything else with her day other than watch the

world unfold from her place on the sill. He never asked. He knew she didn’t smoke but

offered her a cigarette anyway, only for her to decline his gesture with an exasperated blink.

Nicholas drew on his cigarette with a small sigh of content. The bags under his eyes paid

tribute to the abysmal night’s sleep he received each night without an air conditioner and he

was aware of how uncomfortably musky a day of work in a suit made him smell. He shielded

his eyes, sore from squinting into the harsh light of a computer monitor all day, against the

setting sun and placed his other hand gently around her small body. It was during these

peaceful evenings together that Nicholas realized he was falling in love with Alice. In the

comfortable warmness of the summer night, when the dying sunlight reflected brilliantly off

her grey feathers, the fact that she was a pigeon seemed inconsequential.

Before he met Alice, Nicholas had no one to wake up to, so the first thing that he did in the

mornings was to turn on the television and allow the white noise of endless, meaningless

chatter replace his thoughts as he microwaved a meal for one. His apartment was neat, but

only due to the fact that Nicholas did not spend enough time at home to make it look lived in.

The only thing on Nick’s bedroom wall was a slightly torn calendar, and with a red pen he

crossed through another box, marking himself as one day closer to death.

Nick’s job in finance provided him with a stable income, enough to comfortably support his

one-bedroom apartment lifestyle. Finance had always seemed like a natural career path for

Nicholas, his father had also worked in the same field. As he did every day, he made his way

to his cramped bathroom and sluggishly fumbled around for his toothbrush. He stared at

himself brushing his teeth in the mirror and a man who was starting to look more like his

father every day stared right back.

Nicholas used to feed the pigeons on his lunch breaks. It started as a way to get rid of the

stale bread in his kitchen without feeling guilty about wasted food. But he began to do it so

frequently that there wasn’t enough time for the bread to become stale in the first place, and

suddenly he was feeding the birds so often the bread they ate was as fresh as the bread he

used for his sandwiches. He had devoted a part of his heart to the activity that now allowed

him to avoid awkward small talk at his company’s cafeteria, and the routine kept him sane.

Nicholas would often target the weakest looking pigeons in his bread-throwing, the ones with

missing legs, grizzled beaks and missing eyes. It was here where he saw Alice for the first

time, her, the one with the broken wing. Without so much as a second thought, he approached

the bird, and picked her up in one gentle motion.

Holding the remarkably calm bird in one hand and his briefcase in the other, he stepped onto

the packed subway, standing amongst excited schoolchildren and perplexed tourists. As he

swayed with the train, the small bird shut her eyes. He checked his watch. He was going to be

late back to the office, but for the first time in his working life, it didn’t bother him that much.

With Alice here, it seemed cruel to shut the window so Nicholas never did. Having the

window open made his apartment feel three times bigger. The sounds and smells of the street

poured through into his studio apartment, filling the once stale air with the noise of life. The

beeping of cars and shouting of frustrated people were transformed into rhythm and melody

when Nicholas tuned his radio to the jazz channel.

Company gave him an excuse to pull out his mother’s old, handwritten recipe books and

cook. The microwave meals in his fridge were gradually replaced with fresh meats and

vegetables as he leafed through the manuscript, bookmarking the meals that Alice appeared

to like the most. As he cooked, he talked to her. He told her about his workday, his hopes, his

fears. She always listened, bopping her head as if nodding in agreement.

Nicholas lit a candle and placed it in the centre of the small dining room table that he had

pushed up against the windowsill. He set down Alice’s plate of salmon in front of her and

smiled as she began to peck at it. Looking at her, framed by the window and backlit by the

glow of the streetlight, she seemed like a work of art.

As they ate, he talked more and they continued to bond. He could feel them truly becoming

one, a unified entity, a couple. Nicholas and Alice.

Nicholas worked in a room full of photocopies of the same person who all typed in unison.

Florescent squares of light above every identical cubicle lit his work as he carefully flipped

every page on his desk over. He was frantically checking if the financial report that he had

asked his boss for three weeks ago made its way to his desk. It hadn’t. Nicholas had asked

twice and was now too self-conscious to ask for a third time. He made the excuses for his

boss in his own head – maybe he forgot, he’s too busy at the moment, surely it will be here

soon. Surely it will be here soon.

He often found himself staring out the window and watching the pigeons preen themselves on

the powerlines outside, in the desperate hope that Alice would fly past and he would catch a

fleeting glimpse of beauty during his weary workday. But she never did.

To take a break, Nicholas made his way to the watercooler which stood isolated in the corner

of the sterile room as if it was a conceptual sculpture at a modern art gallery. Standing in

front were two businessmen, laughing at a joke they had both heard before like a pair of

hyenas in well-tailored suits. Nicholas was never purposely excluded from these

conversations, but he found it difficult to talk to them nonetheless. Even though he wore the

same suit, had the same haircut and owned the same brand of shoes as these two colleagues,

he always felt unwelcome in their presence.

Self-consciousness weighed heavily upon Nicholas’ shoulders as he poured icy water into the

plastic cup with a fake smile painted onto his tired face, listening to their conversation.

             These holidays I’m going to England to see my extended family.

             Oh, that’ll be fun. I’m going to Paris with the wife.

             Of course, the city of romance. That’s where I took Rosie on our honeymoon.

             Truly. I can’t wait to see the Mona Lisa. Pauline is very interested in art.

Say something, Nicholas. You’ve been here too long to just leave now. They’ll think you’re

odd if you just stand here, listening to them.

             My dad is buried in Paris.

An uncomfortable pause.

Oh, god.

The last sight of the sun wobbled over the horizon before slipping away completely, pulling a

curtain of darkness over the city. There was too much light pollution to be able to see any

stars, but the pair remained on the windowsill anyway, too content to call it a night just yet.

He gently stroked her wing with one hand, petting her in the direction of her feathers. She

shut her eyes, leaning her small head against his hand.
 

             Alice, I love you. And, I -

Nick blew a long trail of smoke from his lips as he spoke,

             Mostly, mostly I love how I feel like you’re listening to me when I talk. I love that

             you care. I can’t emphasise that enough. I’ve never felt comfortable talking to people,

             ya know? It just ... it just doesn’t feel like they’re really listening to what you have to

             say. Just like, they’re waiting for their turn to speak.

As usual, Alice said nothing.

by Sidonie Bird de la Coeur
 
Sidonie Bird de la Coeur

She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University in Victoria, Australia.

Fable

 

by John M. Davis

Pollywogs dream of breathing,

walking on earth ⎯ of time marching on.  

 

Caterpillars dream of lift, flight

on soft summer days ⎯ time flying by.

 

I’d offer these tyros an alternate truth,

speak of warty toads or hairy moths,

 

and so pull veils over their open faces.

I could be cruel and so effacing.  

 

But their dreams fill solitude with meaning,

and create vague, lasting memories

 

that resist the present and evoke miracles.

Others of us — gangly goslings, ugly ducklings —

 

simply dreamt of growing older,

finding someone like ourselves, living on a placid pond,

 

having some hatchlings of our own,

taking a trip or two.

John M. Davis

John M. Davis lives in Visalia, California, where he teaches at The College of the Sequoias. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including The Comstock Review, Silk Road, Reunion, The Dallas Review, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Illya's Honey, West Trade Review, Dart. "The Mojave", a chapbook, was published by the Dallas Community Poets.

Figures 3 Ink Watercolor on Paper
Artwork by Allen Forrest

 

Only My Brand

by Tommy Grimly

 

           My brand is my friend.

           I check my brand's Twitter to get quick quips, sensible sniggles, tiny funny tidbits I can

nibble on until my next roll through the drive-thru. They’re brash. They have sass. They say

other brands are shabby. They quip that, when your friends oppose you and propose eating

elsewhere, you pick up new pals. I retweet this retort to my four followers, all of whom are bots.

It knows what makes me cheerful.

           My brand interjects joy into a arduous day capped with a journey to the post office to deposit my student loan check.

           I know I'll forever be in an indebted crater.

           First college. Then car. Then mortgage.

           All the Tinder dates just kindle shivers.

           Most nights I stay inside the roomy darkness, with only the laptop light. I curl into the fetal position, my fingers twisting in the bedsheets.

           It's then that I need my brand most.

           My brand comforts me with its content. With its warm product. With its consoling

supersized sides.

           I dream of my brand.

           "I am your friend." My brand holds me in its warm arms. "I am your friend."

           My brand will create new content to consume. My brand will deep fry fresh french fries.

I’ll need to be careful not to choke on my brand’s fries while reading their Twitter replies, lest I

die. But if I die, I wish to die in my brand’s embrace.

           My brand is everything I want it to be.

           I trust my brand. With my money. With my diet. With my life.

           My brand understands me.

           So I believed, until I had a bad brand encounter.

           Not only was the worker rude to me, but they forgot my fries, and I really wanted the

fries and was awaiting their warmth all day. It was the only thing, the only thing pulling me

forward, and now, I was home and couldn’t go back and complain. I didn’t want to be that

person, but I tweeted at my brand. I tweeted all my abuse. I tweeted my woe. I tweeted to the

void.

           But my brand knows me. My brand loves me. My brand is my savior.

           My mobile buzzed with their reply. “We’re sorry! That’s not the service we aspire for.

Please DM us the restaurant location and your phone # so we can make this right. Thank you!”

           I direct messaged my brand, my fingertips tingling, and my mobile buzzed a moment

later.

           It was my brand again. “We’re sorry about that. Here, you can click this link for a free

hamburger coupon. We’re not about creating bad experiences. We’re not just a brand. We’re

your friend.”

           My friend.

           Friends are there for you.

           Friends make things better.

           Friends apologize.

           Friends give you free hamburger coupons.

           My brand is my friend.

Couple Cooped

by Cathryn Asp

They will be happy

Our six little chickens

Golden brown honey drips

And silky spilling ink - feathers

 

We will be happy

In the bright blue morning

Tiny pan popping with oil

Fresh egg streaming creamy yellow

 

Let's make this future together

in the dim dark - press a kiss

on me against that light green wall

lit by a sky full of stars

 

Bok bok bok bok

And we'll be kept up late

Listening, learning, dreaming

About breakfast tomorrow

 
Allen Forrest

Allen Forrest is a writer and graphic artist for covers and illustrations of literary publications and books. The winner of the 2015 Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University's Reed Magazine, he lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. His Bel Red landscape paintings are part of the Bellevue College Foundation's permanent art collection in Bellevue, WA. To find more of his published works, please visit him online, or go here for his poetry and art. 

Tommy Grimly

Tommy Grimly is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at The University of British Columbia. His short fiction has been published in print and online. His short plays have been produced in NYC and DC. He doesn't have a cat, but hopes to one day.

Cathryn Asp

Cathryn Asp was born into a Navy family.  She had the pleasure/curse of moving around a lot as a child. She ended up stuck in a small town in the pacific northwest but got the gift of living in Williamsburg, Virginia. She is a lover of politics, poetry, and pancakes.

 

Rabbit Coat

by Maya Chesley

          On Antonio Antonino II’s sixtieth birthday his father, still reasonably virile at the age of ninety-three, had shuffled to the vintage market during his daily recados and bought him a rabbit coat. The coat had whole, white hares stitched into its seams and dangling from its sides, and by itself weighed nearly ten kilograms. Antonio Antonino II’s brows had scrunched together when his father handed him the oddity. He had stared into his father’s face. It held nothing but wrinkles then, sags and determined eyes that left many of the obvious questions in the younger Antonio’s head unanswered. 

          “Perhaps,” he thought, “The old general has finally gone senile.” And he folded the coat, wrapped it in plastic and placed it, along with the question, in storage.

***

          The sliver of Andalucía that Antonio Antonino I, Antonio Antonino II, and some sixty-two other men and three women called home, Paraíso, had never felt the chill of snow nor even the breeze of the cool-breathed Atlantic. Winters ran warm and summers smothered, hitting fifty degrees Celsius at times. Climbing even higher on those occasions when the sun considered turning the inhabitants into smoke and melted fat. For pride’s sake they did not succumb even then, only adjusted their awnings and fanned their dripping faces during siesta.

          One particularly scorching summer the heat cowed them all into a prolonged silence. Antonio II recalled communicating with his father those days in a soundless language, one that relied on brow movements and gravid looks, a careful wrinkling of the nose or mouth. Hand gestures came into play on the days they had the energy to move whole limbs. Antonio II did not know if they would survive. But his father invented ways of reassuring him, even without words.

At the end of the season when it was cool enough for the butterflies to return, the younger Antonio asked if they could move north. Antonio I had scolded him, saying that they would not flee, even during another oppressive epoch like that. “And why should we?” he’d said. “The rest of Spain needs to know that we from Paraíso are the best-bred men in the country. That we are bulls.” For a few years, the younger Antonio believed this.

***

           The garment box had been stuffed into Antonio Antonino II’s already overfilled closet, and it would sag out at times, nudging open the door. On those occasions he would stare at it, sideways.

           He had as much of a need for the coat as any other resident of Paraíso did. Yet his father had carried it half a kilometer himself and held it out, shaking, to him. In that moment of offering Antonino I had such determination in his face that the young Antonio’s insides shook. He would have understood the intensity of the look even without his summer of training in the methods of soundless communication.

***

           When the war came their prime mode of communication switched from eye twitches and hand gestures to letters. The younger Antonio had been shipped off to live with his grandmother, Abuela Rubia, who had a white hacienda up in the chilled air of the mountains. Even Franco rarely disturbed her there.

           Every morning he had a breakfast of tostada and cafecito, and on good days the breakfast would include a letter from Antonio I on the state of the war.

           Antonino I wrote in true military style, with short sentences that started and stopped choppily and never conveyed much meaning. The young Antonino looked every time he passed the mailbox for these scribbled jabberings, well-knowing that his abuela did the same, and read them only after she had let him do so. When the sun went down he would slide open the cardboard box beneath his bed and undo the plastic wrapping he had worked around the paper in case of water damage. He would read the confused phrases of war-torn Antonino I until the confoundment they inspired allowed him some level of understanding.

***

           His father came back the day Abuela Rubia would not move from her spot on the kitchen floor. Antonino II still recalls his irritation that morning at the unfairness of his grandmother, who, in dropping dead, threw a somber pall over the celebrated return of his father. The tile had to be bleached, and the butterflies that had come to nest near his box of letters had to be shooed away, so they would not disturb the body. But the days stretched during that time of year, and he soon forgot the perceived avarice of his grandmother. And in forgetting that he was able to forget the cafecitos and the tostadas and the hands that prepared them.

           General Antonino I had not come back whole. On the trip to Belchite and back he had shed the big toe on his right foot and two fingers from each hand. “The price of war, my son,” he said, beaming, by way of explanation. Antonio II thought then of footage he had heard about, of men with nothing beneath their torsos. Whole limbs chewed off by shrapnel and trench-bitten feet he read about in uncensored textbooks.

***

           The general had gone senile, and worse. In the span of three days he had transformed from a shuffling, quiet old man to a rambling psychotic. Antonio II had strapped him into the passenger’s seat and driven him to the local hospital, where they did their tests and connected their IVs and told the younger Antonio that it would be best for him to get some rest and come again in the morning. He asked to go back, to see his papá. But the man in the bed spouted insanities about someone with milky skin named Genoveffa and some other woman named Alessia, who had hair cut to her chin. And neither of them were Ximena Olívar, or, as Antonio II called her, Mamá .

Antonino II drove back home, but instead of resting he pulled the rabbit coat out of storage and laid it flat on his bed. The carcasses hanging from its sides had been bleached, brushed white and soft. But Antonio II thought of how hares probably dangled the same way from hunter’s strings.

***

            Many years following the death of the illustrious Abuela Rubia, the younger Antonino would drive three hours down to Paraiso then back up to his city, to take his father to the see the special Picasso exhibit in Granada. He had scrounged together the money for tickets after months of saving up from his accountant’s salary, and had felt butterflies in his stomach and flitting through his hair the whole ride down.

            The two of them stood before the black and white chaos of “Guernica” for a handful of minutes before the younger Antonio mustered up the courage to ask, “Is this how it was for you, Papa?” And when he received no answer he turned to see his father, eyes closed and head drooped in a tired trance. By then, even the butterflies had fled from Antonio II’s hair. 

            Later, on the drive back, he would ask Antonio I what he thought of the display. He would get the answer “You know, Son, how art is. Not me.” And as the old man looked around at Granada, at the college boys sporting shirts with many buttons open and salmon-colored shorts, he would snort and say, “How can you live in a place like this?”

***

            The test results had returned. The general had a new IV running into his arm and white penicillin pills on the table near his bed. Antonio II sat with his father for five days, as summer approached Paraíso. He tried not to think of the season. Instead, he thought of rabbits and of letters wrapped neatly in plastic.

***

            On Antonio II’s twenty-fourth birthday his father took him to see the corridas of Córdoba. The younger Antonio averted his eyes as the matador pulled back for the final blow. They left after that first match, the older Antonio patting his spine hard. “Once you get your nerve back,” he’d said, “We’ll run in and catch the finale—El Cordobés the Second. He’ll be the best round, anyway.” But the younger Antonio walked soundlessly all the way to Guadalquivir, his father following behind like a stray. The young man threw rocks into that river, and many of the stones left burns on his palm from the summer heat.

            Every few minutes Antonio I would catch his son’s attention, and the old man’s eyes would be brilliant, like the kind he wore all through that season of deathly sun, or when he returned from Belchite. But each time, the younger Antonio would shake his head until, some hours later, his papá stopped trying.

            That night, when they returned to his father’s house after a silent drive, the younger Antonio finally asked the question that had been plaguing him since birth: “Why are we living here?”

            But he must have said it like an accusation, or his father must have heard it as an accusation, because Antonio I responded with a sad gesture that let his son know it was time for him to leave.

***

            After the fifth day of waiting, Antonio II woke to see his father, sitting up rigid in the paste-white bed. Eyes of the same determined look they had worn on the younger Antonio’s sixtieth birthday. Antonio I motioned for his son to come closer. He was still whispering then, still rattling questions around in his brain in a language no one else knew. Antonio II took a seat next to his father, and the old man reached up to him like a child, squeezing his collar without any force.

            “You...” his father whispered.

            “Yes, Dad?” Antonio II leaned in. To him, the general looked all at once like a peacock that had lost its feathers. The old man opened and closed his lips, as if gasping for air, a great catfish stranded on the bank of some river. It was as if the man had forgotten how to communicate without words.

            “You,” he said, “Are not Antonio.”

            His fingers loosened their grip and slid from Antonio Antonino II’s shirt, and when Antonio II watched them come to rest on the hospital bed, he realized they had all the lines and furrows of Abuela Rubia’s.

            Antonio II left without speaking.

***

            When night fell in the summertime in Paraíso, the dry heat transformed into a thick sludge. The young Antonino would lie naked in his room those nights, contemplating the heat that sat on his chest and pushed down with the pressure of one hundred Madrilene suns. He would whisper to himself, “I am a bull, I am a bull,” waiting for something to shift inside his organs. The shift did not come. But he survived the choking air of that summer and those that preceded and followed. 

Winters were warm, and he and his father took the bus to vineyards and mountains and gypsy campgrounds.

***

            The general had died a day later, had been displayed at the wake two days later, and his funeral that came on the third day had been attended by all sixty-six residents of Paraíso, just as summer began. Many years later his son would think on this and on the last words his father had given him.

            He had taken out the rabbit coat only once since then, clawed away the plastic and shaken it until the stitching on the heaviest hares looked like it would rip. No answers came fluttering out, but a flurry of butterflies did. They filtered into the air lazily, circling the loose rabbit fur that had drifted to the carpet like snow. “Perhaps,” Antonio thought as he watched, “They are actually moths.” He had folded the gift then and placed it, without plastic, in its cardboard garment box.

Maya Chesley

Maya Chesley has lived in Chesapeake for most of her life. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Fulbright ETA scholarship recipient. Her fiction has previously been published in
TRACK//FOUR and Rabble Literary Journal, and her poetry is forthcoming in TRACK//FOUR.

Mobius Strip
Artwork by Shelly Sarna

 

Habit by the Pond

500 Terry Francois Street, San Francisco, CA 94158

Habit by the pond

by Maggie Hess

Shelly Sarna

Shelley Sarna has been sculpting for a decade, mostly working with paper white and terracotta clay. Her artistic inspiration is derived from her surroundings: people, children, and nature. She always aims to portray the essence of her subjects. Her design themes include: human hands, mobius strips, masks, and mother-and-child depictions.

Make a rule
for yourself.
Now break it.

 

Now make the broken
rule an exception
to what
and who you are.

 

 

Take it and hold it
in your palm
as you would inspect
and hold
a rock.

 

Now throw it in the water.
Skip it or drop it.

 

Be sure to watch it sink
and after the bubbles
surface from the organic
layer of deep muck,
be careful and sure
to say goodbye to it.

 

Now you may walk home
along the wooded path.

 
Maggie Hess

Maggie Hess won the Leidig Poetry Award and the May B Smith writing award & recently won honorable mention in Wild Leek's Chapbook Contest judged by Ron Rash.

Angels in the Forest

by K. Winters

             A man walked through the forest...hunting. Suddenly, there’s a flash, it was something, it didn’t matter. He reacted instinctively - shoots - a flutter of feathers - a thud - he runs to see what he has killed.

            He approached on a trot then halted in his tracks and gawked, his mouth agape. It

looked like a man - but with wings - it sort of glowed, but pulsated was more like it.

There was a hum in the air, it surround him.

            The hunter approached cautiously, because what he shot wasn't dead but wounded

and sitting on a rock. It's head was in its hands, weeping - softly.

           The hunter dropped his gun - it turned to rust without him noticing as it lies on the

ground.

           The hunter walks carefully forward. He circles around the creature, slowly

coming to its front.

           He stopped and dropped to his knees.

           (A pause)

           The hunter's face filled with recognition as he bowed his head.

 

St. John's Day

by John Timothy Robinson

This evening as a light breeze pulls through, as if honed,

sunlight on the trees make them seem magisterial.

Shadows lengthen over a fresh-cut lawn, ethereal,

and in the distance another mower drones.

The dogs are sleeping, stretched across porch boards, so still.

Only one sits with his attention on a hayfield.

I saved three rabbits this week while cutting the hill.

I have gassed four bee nests in two days.

I suppose that dark can be a metaphor, like light or words that feel,

that men can walk on water, calm, peaceful, like deer.

Remember, there had to be a reason, some deep need to know,

to begin again in a green tree for those who could not see,

though I have always known the way, for me.

As dusk settles into night, this very air seems to glow.

 
K. Winters

K. WINTERS is a writer, playwright, artist, teacher, and theatrical designer who spends his days teaching in Virginia. He spends his evenings with his family, and his weekends writing, a rediscovered passion.

John Timothy Robinson

John Timothy Robinson is a traditional, mainstream citizen and eleven-year educator for Mason County Schools in Mason County, WV who holds a Regent’s Degree. John’s poetry has appeared in sixty-six journals since August 2016, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, electronic and print including Havik, Toe Good and Burnt Pine Magazine. He has also published several literary criticisms.

With this latest addition of PPM, we were just blown away by the amount of submissions we received  We really had to make some tough calls on what we had to turn down and what made it into this issue. But with that being said, we also want to thank our friends at The Muse, through which we've met several of those published in this issue. Of course, we're not playing favorites. We adore you all. Thank you so much for submitting and trusting us with your work. And as always, many thanks to our editors, submission readers, and anyone else that may have had a hand in getting this issue where it needs to be for you the reader to enjoy. 

                        Sincerely,

                        The Editors of Penultimate Peanut Magazine