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Winter 2016: Young Voices


The heat tangles between us, clinging onto our skin in syrupy droplets. My cousin presses into my side, fanning herself with an old newspaper. Arabic clouds together, and I try not to lose myself in the cursive writing, knotted with stories of bombs and deaths. The cries haunt me, bleeding every time I see another one of those blurry pictures.

“How much longer?” I groan to my aunt, who sits on my other side. It’s been ten minutes that we’ve been waiting in this small car. The driver, a thin teenage boy with wild curls, hums random notes to a song. He glances back, frowning, as I groan once more.

The cars tail behind each other, honking endlessly. There’s some shouting, a couple of greetings. The brick buildings that line the side of the road are painted cream, peeling from the decades. Some kids, dressed in shorts and soccer jerseys, climb around the cars, squealing as they chase each other through the burning thickness.

I shut my eyes, hoping for the car to move. The unknown lady who sits in front, wearing a purple headscarf and painted lips, keeps complaining to our driver, who just ignores her. I lean into my cousin’s shoulder, the heaviness weighing me.

Soft rapping at the half-open window wakens me. I turn, and suddenly face a pair of chocolate eyes. That’s all I can think, for a moment. I swim in their waves, awed at the beauty. Then I see the face: bronzed and smooth, smudged with scarlet and dirt. Tiny round nose, dried lips. Purple staining one cheek, a faint scar on the other. Frizzy curls matted with dirt spiral around the young face.

I rub my eyes, as she raps once more on the window. I hear her pleading in imperfect Arabic, pleading for a couple coins. For anything. Our driver just continues humming. I look back to my aunt, who doesn’t say anything. Dazed, I pull some crinkled bills from my bag and slide them through the window. The girl pulls them from me eagerly, willing God to bless me countlessly, and limps away to another car.

“A Syrian refugee,” My cousin whispers to me sadly. I don’t say anything back, watching the little girl beg in zigzags.

Finally, the cars ahead of us begin to move, and the woman in the purple scarf lets out an annoyingly long sigh. We drive past the brick buildings until they’re nothing but smudges of peach. I fall asleep with the sticky wind blowing into my face.

Hours later, when we get to our apartment, I sit beside my grandfather, watching him read the newspaper while I chew on dried dates. I read the headlines blindly, following the words as they hiss right back at me. My grandfather turns a page, folding it backwards, and I see a picture of a small boy. No older than the girl from before. Skinny. Blackened cheeks and a torn shirt. And then … the eyes. They’re everywhere. I’m drowning in these chocolate oceans.

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

Celebrating nature, home and the cycles of life – twenty poets light the winter night.


Six stories use magic to explore loss, grief and healing.


With imagery of flora and fauna, four artists animate the winter landscape.

Young Voices

Five young women dig deep to each speak their individual truth .


From emerging to established writers – meet the women behind our eighth issue’s voices and visions.

Table of Contents Button


        Northwest Equinox by Kris Demien

        Gradations of Gray by Wendy Thompson

        With Gladness by Sara Graves

        Home by Leora Marialicia González

        For a Grade School Classmate by Joan Maiers

        Canning Factory Road by Elizabeth Stoessl

        To Make a Prairie by Carolyn Martin

        At Home by Suzy Harris

        Family Disagreement by Tricia Knoll

        The Bullfrogs by Katherine Boyer

        Cows by Rebecca Jamieson

        Lesson by Stacey Vallas

        Stardust by Erin Iwata

        Perspective by Carolyn Martin

        Lacrosse Season by Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo

        The Tangled Path by Suzanne LaGrande

        Matched Set by Tanya Jarvik

        False Bus Stop by Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo

        Last Visit by Erin Iwata

        October Walk with My Mother by Ann Sinclair

        First Rothko Exercise by Elizabeth McLagan

        Fractions by Susan Blackaby

        Tea by Melineh Yemenidjian

        Return by Stacey Vallas


        Scarab Man by Cynthia McGean

        Planetary Influences by Alida Thacher

        Bone of the Past by Burky Achilles

        Teachings: A Buddhist Ghost Story by Ann Sihler

        Wrangler by Desiree Wright

        A Nicaraguan Spring by Pamela Russell Bejerano


        Into the Wonder by Annamieka Hopps Davidson

        Deep Blue Meditation by Annamieka Hopps Davidson

        Weave Me Into the Sea by Annamieka Hopps Davidson

        Crassula 2 by Alison Foshee

        Crassula 5 by Alison Foshee

        Crassula 6 by Alison Foshee

        Warm Autumn by Tamar Hammer

        Girl with Conch by Tamar Hammer

        With Her Dog by Tamar Hammer


        Love Beyond Loss by Isabel Lickey

        Submerged by Raimy Khalife Hamdan

        Which Way? by Alli Rodenbaugh

        To Autumn by Sara Barkouli

        The Storm by Elie Doubleday