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Winter 2015: Young Voices

Visions on the Playground

Tired popsicle heads bounce back and forth
between the worlds of grass and perspiring skin.
Little feet dance, unhinged, on the slate of cement
dreams. They follow the pulse of some unknown melody,
familiar only to the naive of heart.
They are free, like the swings which carry their bodies.
They don’t know of the chains which fetter them
and they don’t have to.
To them, growing up is a fable.
Soon the children will feel cold – cold despite the suffocating
heat, cold although the yellow circle in the sky burns.
They will lie on the grass, the very grass which held
the bodies of the melting popsicles years ago, hungering
for something more sustaining than food.
They will want to understand the unknowable arches 
of the moon, though it evades them, refusing 
to reveal its truths.

They will want to write poems in the dark of the night,
to escape from the phony light of the burning sun.
They will know the word phony, holding Salinger’s Catcher
close to their chests like a bible and they will wonder when,
or if, in this life they’ll be able to catch someone, when in this
life they will be able to catch themselves, save
themselves from falling.
They are teenagers.
Not far from here lies the playground of the parents,
lacking the swing-sets and slides, yet bursting
with adventure nonetheless.
Their play is work; their work is watching
the children play. They feel the sun beating down
on their lukewarm chests.
They wonder how the time passed by.
Soon the parents’ skin will turn crinkly and old
as if it’s forever being bathed under water.
Baptize, baptize, baptize.
This water is fluid memory, full of reminiscences
of moments past.
Johnny, she calls to her grandson on the swing-set,
but she doesn’t know if it’s his name.
This is old age.

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Through the magic of language, 20 poets challenge us to write and live bravely.


Five risk-taking voices burn with the fire of transformation.


Four artists share their diverse sensibilities as confident mark-makers.

Young Voices

With clear eyes and articulate voices, five young women confront terrifying aspects of human experience.


Meet the authors and artists – from first-timers to well-established – who grace our sixth issue with their voices and visions.

Table of Contents Button


        A Great Wild Goodness
 by Annie Lighthart

        Going South by Christine Gray

        a welcome week by Hannah Sams

        Ophelia, at Fifty, in a Blue Blow-up Canoe by Deborah Dombrowski

        A Passing Music by Barbara LaMorticella

        Girl Fishing with Grandpa by Helen Kerner

        Perimeter by Amy Schutzer

        Two Poets in the Weight Room by Tricia Knoll

        Skeletons by Christa Kaainoa

        A Poem for Dany by Suzy Harris

        Lineage by Amy Schutzer

        The Bucket by M.K. Moen

        Bernier River by Christine Dupres

        Silence by Margie Lee

        Advice by Donna Prinzmetal

        Sometimes at Night by Jennifer Pratt-Walter

        Fissure by Elizabeth Moscoso

        Whale by Cathy Cain

        In the Modern World by Annie Lightheart

        Love poem to an acquaintance by Allegra Heidelinde

        Dialogue between Magician and Tattooist by Christine Gray

        Under the sign of the water bearer by Jennifer Kemnitz

        city spacious heart by Pearl Waldorf


        Bless Our Great Nation, Zambia! Zambia! by Gypsy Martin

        Liminal by Stephanie Golisch

        The Tomorrow Fire by Kelly Coughlin

        Ablaze by Heather Durham

        Left As It Was, It Would Come Apart by Jackie Shannon-Hollis


        Sibling 1 by Michelle Latham

        Sibling 2 by Michelle Latham

        Sibling 3 by Michelle Latham

        Totem by Kelly Neidig

        Stratum by Kelly Neidig

        Swift by Kelly Neidig

        Breaking Free by Erin Leichty

        Capture Threads by Erin Leichty

        Hardware by Erin Leichty


        Visions on the Playground by Meghana Mysore

        Chasing Thunder by Berkeley Franklin

        Elegy for Christy by Lily Boyd

        Social Media by Maya Coseo

        A Hundred Acre Wood by Audra McNamee