After Theories of Time and Space by Natasha Trethewey
The home we knew is only memory. It repeats
without variation. We are forever young—
forever children playing in the yard: giggling, kicking stones,
chasing guineafowl, taking too long to answer mother’s call.
Mother is so much older now or in her grave, though
in the home inside you, she is always young and lovely—
dark skin glistening in the midday sun as she simmers
peanut stew and the spice-heavy aroma is carried
on the wind even across the ocean. If you take a deep breath,
Angela, you can taste the meal she prepared the last day you saw her.
Ellen June Wright
Ellen June Wright was born in England of West Indian parents and immigrated to the United States as a child. She taught high-school language arts in New Jersey for three decades before retiring. She has consulted on guides for three PBS poetry series. She was a finalist in the Gulf Stream 2020 summer poetry contest. Her work was selected as The Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week in June 2021, and she received five 2021 Pushcart Prize nominations.
fugitive clothing, rags that stink of evasion,
time sliced by nostalgia into frames.
Be close to the edge to know your wound your love,
your end to abide, but not in complaisance.
Do not forget to leave your handprint on a wall.
These are the conditions of possibility.
Lynn Staley is a Professor of English at Colgate University, where she teaches and writes about medieval and early modern literature and culture. However, she is also a poet and has been for many years. Her poems are representative of her awareness of place (a remnant of a Kentucky upbringing), of the intersections of the ordinary and extraordinary, and of her interest in the submerged narrative. Several years ago a poetry manuscript was short-listed for the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize given by Kent State University Press. She has published in the Seneca Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and Psaltery and Lyre.
I have rubber-band hands and
Where I come from everything is
Fingerfood. we break the shape
of rice on our plates and smoke
escapes from the side of our palms.
and strip down fishbones naked
when in rain, we churn aubergine
In winters we wed coco-
nuts to jaggery. Later
we stir heartburn – strikes as stiff
as cheese fried with tume-
ric. but to chilli we are
subjective. pork is eaten
but outside the home at road
side stalls with sizzling woks to
warm your pockets deep and leave
you smiling in a damp all-
ey, in our evening-old city
Sristi is currently studying toward her Bachelor’s qualification in English Literature and creative writing. She’s had a knack in writing fiction and poetry for years now, her debut novel, The Little Mountain (published with Olympia Publishers, UK) vouches on her interest in Tibetology and secrets of the oriental culture. Sristi works as a Marketing Author to earn a living and aspires to build a career in screenwriting as well. Her style in poetry is very personal and often has references to authors who helped her love for writing survive. Her poems are generally about the pace of life, her childhood, her experiences and emotions and her beloved home city, Kolkata.
Rub the callus
where the pencil rests
instead of the bare base
of your ring finger.
When you aren’t feeling
so much like yourself,
what is your relationship
to enough? The sea
that gives you sand, the foam
that gives you the spray
of algae floating toward river,
salt into a far off fresh?
Will you let the conches rest
with their oracles gestating
or beg they scream
bloody murder? Evenings
the pencil marks two
dimensionality like a dog
who sits and laps
at the edge of a mirage
At night the foam builds
without shine. If you don’t
bed a scientist, will you
never hear that
the existence of the surface is
more important than what
the surface contains
or your silence?
If dreams weren’t fluid,
they would answer
to day. Instead
they drown it.
Amy A. Whitcomb
Poetry and prose by Amy A. Whitcomb have recently appeared in Witness, Poet Lore, The Baltimore Review, Terrain.org, and other journals. She holds a Master of Science degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree, both from the University of Idaho. Her writing has been honored with a Pushcart Prize nomination and residencies with the Jentel Foundation, Playa, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can meet Amy at www.amyawhitcomb.com/artist.
appears among some clothes you are sorting
and the recipe you’d forgotten falls from
the pages of the cookbook you’re perusing
and the person who convinced herself
she must hate you for your differences
appears in a dream as a character to protect.
And the friendship once abandoned
is resumed, though only in spectral form,
in a familiar world you’ve never seen,
where garments are only imagined
to fit, and flavors are tasted
simply by reading ingredient lists,
but promises to cook it again
are never kept because it didn’t
taste that good in the first place.
Nancy Whitecar is a professional pianist and music teacher living in the Bay Area, California, who is making publication of her writing her third act. Her poetry has been published in “Stick Figure,” “Loud Coffee Press,” and “A&U Magazine,” which nominated her poem “Punch Line” for a Pushcart Prize. Her short stories have appeared in “The MacGuffin” and “Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things.” She’s listening to jazz or Beethoven at home when she’s not hiking and camping with her husband.
Especially in winter
everyone knows coyotes
are tempted by lapdogs – on leash or off –
as much as by rabbits or mice.
Their wild eyes glow white like stars
in their dark dens. No coyote pup grows up
with Grandma’s yarn Shih Tzu gracing
its duvet. Or stays cute all its doggy years.
Better make yourself Big. Wave
your arms. Pretend to be wild
to protect little Gizmo who must
pretend to be human for you.
Paula Reed Nancarrow
Paula Reed Nancarrow is a Best of the Net- and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and winner of the Winter 2020 Sixfold Poetry Prize. Print publications include Sixfold, Artemis and Whistling Shade, with work forthcoming in Permafrost, Paterson Literary Review, The Avalon Literary Review, and Night Picnic. Find links to poems available online at paulareednancarrow.com.