VoiceCatcher Journal Header Image

Summer 2014: Poetry

And the King Was in the Counting House

Frenzy of fear likely dropped 3,000 birds.
– AP, 1/4/11

On the day the blackbirds fell from the sky, some spun
like pinwheels, others flew blind into the sides of tall buildings.
One struck a woman out walking her dog, which barked
incessantly and tried to retrieve the winged carcass as she lay there.
Convoys swerved to avoid feathered lumps littering the road
and small red-winged missiles pummeled hoods and windshields.

No, these are not the demanding crows,
feathers slicked and strutting all shiny. These
black birds are smaller, delicate,
pinned with red flags like medals on their wings,
greeting morning in phosphorus-like flashes. At dusk,
they’re tiny drones swooping in for twilight soirees at the roost.

The blackbirds were struck by lightening
or stressed by the midnight explosions of revelers.
Ringing a new year, the people became oblivious
to how much this looks like the old year,
not even seeing the winged ones striking ground,
then staggering drunk to their deaths, become collateral.

At first, the people thought Hitchcock’s “The Birds” had come,
or the End Times, and they shunned the bodies piling up,
running home to embrace and huddle with loved ones.
The redwings, startled, in a frenzy of fear, flew, they say,
despite poor eyesight, disoriented in dark, their trembling
breasts bursting amid pyrotechnics or the blunt force trauma of thunder.

A few unfortunates crashed beak-first into ground,
not so dignified in death, not photographed, acknowledged
or embraced; far more than four and twenty baked
in an American pie, these delicate casualties
shoved, warm, into the corner of time’s cupboard
become a contented fiction.

Previous Button   Next Button

Poetry Thumbnail Art   Prose Thumbnail Art   Artwork Thumbnail Art   Young Voices Thumbnail Art   Contributors Thumbnail Art

Sweet, evocative, haunting: Delight in 19 poems to please every palate.


What does it take to be a woman, sister, mother, child, lover and friend? Share the struggles six non-fiction writers have with these roles.


Five local artists, a variety of media, and new insights into our world. Enjoy the unique visions of these extraordinary women.

Young Voices

Savor the poetry and prose of five talented young authors whose voices you will want to hear again and again.


Meet the 25 authors and 5 artists whose voices and visions enliven the fifth edition of our journal.

Table of Contents Button


        Out of Eden by Melanie Green

        Under the Tongue by Cindy Stewart-Rinier

        it wasn’t the rain by Ann Sinclair

        And the King Was in the Counting House by Geraldine Foote

        Aurelia Aurita: Moon Jelly by Lois Rosen

        What Cape Alava Was Like Then by Linda Strever

        ʻAʻā by Burky Achilles

        Still Life With Cabbage by Margaret Chula

        Mother of the Drowned Child by Penelope Scambly Schott

        Summer, When Green Turns by Cindy Stewart-Rinier

        Relic by Jennifer Foreman

        From the yes column of “is there a god?” checklist by Jennifer Foreman

        Binders Full of Women by Shawn Aveningo

        Even in February Every Woman Wants to Be a Feast by Claudia Savage

        Weddings I Have Ruined by Tanya Jarvik

        Thicker Than Water by Claudia Savage

        Weekend Wayfarers by Elizabeth Stoessl

        Wordscape by Tanya Jarvik

        Talking Herself into Onward by Melanie Green


        Tribes by Thea Constantine

        Carnage by Heidi Beierle

        Owyhee Barbie by Marylynne Diggs

        Permeable Divide by Kamala Bremer

        Pepper Anderson Meets the Amazon by Linda Ferguson

        The Day I Stopped Typing by Kate Comings


        Brooke by Oriana Lewton-Leopold

        Elizabeth by Oriana Lewton-Leopold

        Silence Considered by Carole Murphy

        The Egg Sisters by Carole Murphy

        Garden Gate by Koka Filipovic

        Purple Shade in the Garden by Koka Filipovic

        Untitled with a Flamingo by Amy Robinson

        It's My Party by Amy Robinson


        A Work of Art by Leilani Garcia

        What the Bees Did to Me by Colette Au

        Things I never said by Molly Benson

        Wabi-Sabi by Janet Webster

        Foresters by Sophia Mautz