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Poetry Winter 2022    fiction    all issues


Li Zhang

Ana Reisens
Pam asked about Europe
& other poems

Krystle May Statler
To the Slow Burn
& other poems

Kristina Cecka
On Remodeling
& other poems

Belinda Roddie
Bless The Bones Of California
& other poems

Summer Rand
Alexander tells me how he'd like to be buried
& other poems

Alexander Perez
Toward the Rainbow
& other poems

Karo Ska
self-portrait of compassion…
& other poems

David Southward
The Pelican
& other poems

George Longenecker
Stamp Collection
& other poems

Mary Keating
& other poems

Talya Jankovits
Imagine A World Without Raging Hormones
& other poems

Laurie Holding
Sonnet to Mr. Frost
& other poems

David Ruekberg
A Short Essay on Love
& other poems

Elaine Greenwood
There’s a thick, quiet Angel
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Carry On Caretaker
& other poems

Jefferson Singer
Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter…
& other poems

Diane Ayer
A Fan
& other poems

Kaecey McCormick
Meditation Before Desert Monsoon
& other poems

Meg Whelan
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
& other poems

Aaron Glover
On Transformation
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
[I'm crying in a sandwich shop reading Diane Seuss' sonnets]
& other poems

Holly Cian
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Selective Memories are the Only Gift of Dementia
& other poems

Steven Monte
& other poems

Mervyn Seivwright
Fear Mountain
& other poems

Diane Ayer

A Fan

My neighbor’s circular fan sits

between parted pink curtains

as July’s sun sets on it

it glows, a face embraced by loving hands

cupping, they settle a revolving mind

equanimity frames fears, ideas, replays

that have spun all these years

            feel that whir within

            imagine hands that steady

            wait out time

            believe the pulsing wind

            giving life

            singing certainties:

            you can stop

            your mind’s spinning

            at least for one night

            it is all all right


Downtown railroad juncture delays my going home—

swift waters cut below weary branches whose

yellow leaves race under the bridge, under me,

astride the mills and creaking railroad cars

River ran the thread mill, railroad made it profit—

mill’s quiet now, train’s tattoo entrances

            Grandpa drove locomotives

            hauling coal out of blue ridges

            he’d bring home his paycheck and his love

            and then disappear in a cloud of smoke

            Grandma called theirs a fatherless family—

            he was too busy following rails

            through the Shenandoahs—

            kept the kids coming

            while he kept going

Last car rumbles by, its red light

fades into leaning birches

as the gate goes up

Traffic jostles across and I see the sun set

on oiled rusty tracks shimmering gold

            like promises to keep, paychecks to deliver

A Breath for the ISS

The mission of the International Space Station (ISS) is to enable long-term exploration of space and provide benefits to people on Earth.—

Dead winter out, its darkness cloaks the trees—

dim inkblots cutting forms from blackest blued

night sky. A weight within, but then a frieze

appears: Dog Star, North Star, the Bears construed.

Infinity inspired, I climb the hill

and take a vantage spot. Check time, search for

west’s angle. Catch my breath, my heart: the drill

to remind me blood and air must mix much more.

Once crowded mind grows sparse, drunk on air, then

shoulders fall back, pointing this heart toward sky,

night’s silence wraps around; inhale and when

I hold my breath, I witness what comes by:

A star is gliding over hills, towns, states

(they’re weightless in there from speed, not

a lack of gravity), this ship of fates

then flew over me, 5:10 on the dot.

Exhale serene. It’s passed, peace has possessed:

my burdens lighten when watching the ISS.


The strength of your absence:

worse than winter’s fog

erasing forests, fields, lifetimes with mere mist

The oak stands unseen across briars, brambles,

but it lives still; the cold pale veil is temporary

            as grief is meant to be

it refuses to fall down in the face of oblivion

Furnace shuts off

silence penetrates

            still all is all still

Your voice should fill this abyss

frame dark lines around the blur

            I almost don’t hear it anymore

can’t quite conjure you up out of that haze

And what if the dawn’s rays can’t chase

ground clouds up, freed, transcendent?

we’ll all travel blind-folded

with cotton in our ears

            as I do now without you here

Your absence while I’m present

won’t let me forget I’m waiting still

for winter fog to rise, dissipate

with the sun’s hopeful breath

Invitation to a Reverie

come watch the cat fall asleep with me

tiger stripes undulate, mesmerize

soft snores from a pink nose

rhythmic sighs of content

drain the day’s pains

in a purr

stop that chase

running you ragged

come here, feel the cat sleep

plush white belly side up

paws knead your worries away

while the cat sleeps

let your spool unravel

feed their feline dreams

with the weight of that thread

it’s a daydream in a sunbeam

let’s curl up let’s cat nap

come watch the cat sleep with me

Diane Ayer is a writer and high school English teacher from Connecticut. She appreciates the loving support of her family and friends.

Dotted Line