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Summer 2016: Poetry

My Stairway

Langston Hughes said the mother’s stairway had tacks and nails, bare places at the landings. I thought that would be my way forever, stepping around fractured glass, over torn-up boards, no red carpet. One hard-climbed ratty step of endurance after another. Forever.

Time intervened. I got busy. I ran around, pounding ground with hectic feet. I look back down now from the landing at a right-angle turn to a grassy carpet. I’ll scoot my buttocks up to the next step, no hurry, no rush. Old eyes see the grand view, a place I invite you to, my little sorrow shadow. Sit here beside me. See where the moss grew in thin cracks down there. How the far hills lace the horizon with tree outlines I never saw before. We have avoided the slippery staircase of ambition. We can pretend to breathe the mist of oracles.

Rise with me, scoot up. How many stairs are above us does not matter. Old friends sway upstairs together. Your head touches mine. I whisper. We deserve this gentle breeze.

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A sampling of the powerful female creative force thriving in our region.


Six women dazzle us with both their honesty and humor.


Four artists use layering and process as metaphors for life beyond art.


Meet the fabulous women behind the voices and visions of our ninth issue.

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        Isabel's Purse by Deborah Akers

        refuge by Deborah Akers

        Kiteboarder at Road's End by Cathy Cain

        Caramel is Made at the Verge of Burning by Deborah Dombrowski

        Controlled Burn by Linda Drach

        Approaching Seventy by Carol Ellis

        Zygote by Nancy Flynn

        In Collision by Delia Garigan

        My Mother's Hair by Leanne Grabel

        Sheen by Leanne Grabel

        Allegiance by Melanie Green

        on my two thousand, seven hundred and fourth sabbath by Melanie Green

        Sitting Shiva on My Birthday by Andrea Hollander

        Laws of Physics by Andrea Hollander

        I Want to Unfold by Tricia Knoll

        My Stairway by Tricia Knoll

        Fancy by Barbara LaMorticella

        How to Know When You are Dreaming by Jone Rush MacCulloch

        Didn't We Touch Clouds? by Eileen Pettycrew

        Playlist by Suzanne Sigafoos

        No Exit by Charlotte Udziela

        Living Alone by Pat Phillips West

        My Husband's Handwriting by Pat Phillips West


        Let Me Explain by Carisa Miller

        The Itching by Elizabeth Scott

        Ben by Edee Lemonier

        The Passenger by Alex Behr

        Risk Takers by Ashley-Renee Cribbins

        Cooking Lessons by Joanna Rose


        Featured Art by Jeni Lee

        I Never Promised You a Rose Garden #1 by Katherine Mead

        I Never Promised You a Rose Garden #4 by Katherine Mead

        I Never Promised You a Rose Garden #5 by Katherine Mead

        Stasis by Sarah Laird

        Candescence by Sarah Laird

        Candescence (detail) by Sarah Laird

        Homage to Comfort Women Throughout the World by Carolyn Campbell

        The Beguiling Beauty of Life in Distress by Carolyn Campbell

        Reflections of Transitioning by Carolyn Campbell