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Poetry Winter 2023    fiction    all issues


Susan Wilkinson

Selena Spier
Red From The West
& other poems

Pamela Wax
Talk Therapy
& other poems

Ana Reisens
Honey Water
& other poems

Mark Yakich
Necessary Hope
& other poems

Bridget Kriner
A Few Lies & a Truth
& other poems

Keegan Shepherd
Silver Queen
& other poems

Alaina Goodrich
Sacred Conflagration
& other poems

George Longenecker
Those Who Hunger
& other poems

Hailey Young
Ball Room
& other poems

Sébastien Luc Butler
& other poems

Savannah Grant
Ever Since (v.2)
& other poems

grace (logan)
& other poems

Samantha Imperi
A Poem for the Ghosted
& other poems

Corinne Walsh
& other poems

Kayla Heinze
Stop checking the score
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Chasing Through to Dawn
& other poems

Alex Eve
A moment
& other poems

Robert Michael Oliver
Prison Hounds
& other poems

Writer's Site

Richard Baldo

Chasing Through to Dawn

          These seeds of poems

          demand my consideration

          before they return to obscurity

                                                  in the chaos of the monkey mind.

My wife sleeps in the quiet—breathing,

                                                  her leg astride mine.

          I weigh the chance

          of waking my love

          against the risk that these thoughts

                                                  will never come again.

          Can I reach to pull the phone

          under the sheets with us?

                                                  Her unwanted intruder.

          I concentrate on the fading words.

          Are they important enough tonight?

                                                  So many lines lost.

          Even such moments of indecision

          shift my emotions out of focus.

          I become the drowning man

          batting away a life ring

          dropped by some god

                                                  into the ocean of lost thoughts.

I hide the dim light of my mistress phone.

          Not seeing what my fingers do

          as spell check makes gibberish,

          slaying ideas, their graves

                                                  discovered the following day.

I compete to hold my thoughts above

                                                  the rising waves

                                                                      of sleep . . .

                    Now, Ozymandias sits with me

                    in the Dresden Gallery,

                    a dreamscape of fields

                                        fertile with such losses.

                    These shattered statues,

                    half-buried under the sand

                                        remind us of our arrogant audacity.

                    We find again,

                    that we are only

                                        two more futile stone breakers.

Just Write

Plunk down the flour and butter; Add as much salt and sugar as you dare.

You’re not going to make any real dough at this anyway.

Roll out this lump however you want. If it gets too sticky, add more flour.

If it gets too sweet, add some sour. Maybe spaetzle it across the cutting board.

Feed it through the pasta maker, or hunt up your favorite cookie cutters.

Make strips with the knife you love to feel in the grip of your hand.

You may need a spoonful of vinegar or a glass of fine wine.

It will knead you back if you give it the right kind of love.

Toss it against the wall of your heart to see if it sticks.

Feed a bit to your friends and watch their mouths to pucker.

Drop a surprise in the middle, something like one of Freud’s dreams,

Or the Far Side Cartoon about Cow Poetry.

Put yeast in and let it rise overnight in your lover’s bed.

Let a cup sour for a week so the starter blooms through your keyboard.

If you don’t like it, chuck it out with the other failures in your life.

Start fresh and just write until your muse saddles you and rides you home.

Fulfilling Requirements of Love

I gave her the kiss

because love required it. 

My lips were not moved.


          I moved them.

One with the Gang

Orange soda in draft beer glasses,

Saturday morning, sunlight warms our backs.

while my brother and I play at a kind of manhood.

Grandpa and the guys of his age sit adjacent

along the long edge of the bar, reaching deep

into the darkness of the room.

Our legs don’t reach the stool’s rungs,

but we are included, 

allowed on the edge of the gang.

Their rules include us even if the law

says otherwise. We are learning

the ways of men.

From the Widow Walk

The soon-to-be widow

of the young whaler prepares,

before she knows for sure,

to step up to the place named

for her walk of tears.

They will dry on her cheeks

and a bit of shirt she saved

with his already fading scent.

Impatient hunter, he killed a calf

with his harpoon hand when

she did not follow her mother deep.

They drowned

in the twists of lines

before that witness sunset.

Who says that the grief

of a mother humpback

is smaller than those

of weeping whaler women.

Richard Baldo is a recently retired clinical psychologist. That experience informs much of his poetry. He has been writing poetry off and on since college and began a more serious study about twelve years ago. He won the UNR English Department’s Award for Best Poem in Spring 2020 and has poems published in The Meadow 2021, 2022, and Sixfold Poetry 2021, 2022, 2023. He is currently a second-year MFA student at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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