Winter is here and I ache.
The embers shift, grow faint.
The trees are covered
waiting in layers of white.
The shovel leans against the house
calls you to step outside
to lift and lift the grayness that grew so great
the sky so wide and so knowing
could no longer resist, let go
spilled itself over the walkways and roads
calling you to work
digging up paths and clearing windshields
so the people can know where to go.
But I am here and I ache.
Why not leave
the people to their own, let them
freeze if they must.
Come inside and be with me
where we can sink
and rise and become
leaves that tumble on a river
the ones that made it through
the mean Winter thaw.
Laura Gido Taddei studied French and Italian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the Université de Paris VII, and the Scuola Per Stranieri in Siena, Italy. Her poetry has appeared in the Schuylkill Valley Journal. She has four kids, a husband, and two cats. She lives and works in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
spread like a string along a pathway
empty silence is nothing of time
time is the space between fingers
body pressing bed, distant smack of wood
careful wandering in and out of rooms
one breath follows another
flowers on branches bobbing just past the window
Phylinda lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She
has also lived in Oklahoma, Washington D.C., Malaysia, and New Orleans. Print
and online publications include: Fuselit, The Rambler, Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k),
Miller’s Pond Poetry Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, and Midwest Literary Magazine. She
earned her MFA from Rosemont College. For more poetry, visit her website phylindamoore.com.
They’ve asked her riddles (they’re not riddles) about
the first color that bent into light and
how many fingers wiggled the first hand.
She’s taken her Desert Faith, and headed up once again
into the mountains that are Buddha’s lap.
You walked? It hurt?
(He knows about her hip.)
I walked. My people like a walk.
The hip’s been better, though.
How strong before you were born?
What sound does a tree make, laughing?
You knew about my hip, but not about
the scholar who recorded conversations among trees?
Two crows on a branch.
My big pine died of drought.
Tell me your conditions.
I raised a child who learned
to speak old languages. Who longed to herd sheep
on a mountain like a piece of night that broke off and crashed down.
She says she fed the apricot tree by hand with grey-water.
She lays a handful of fruits at his feet.
Devon Miller-Duggan has had poems in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie,
Christianity and Literature, The
Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, The
Hollins Critic and a longish list of really little magazines. She’s won an Academy of American Poets Prize,
a fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts, an editor’s prize in Margie, and been nominated for a
Pushcart Prize. She teaches for the
Department of English at the University of Delaware. Her first book, Pinning the Bird to the Wall appeared from Tres Chicas Books in
We were throwing books in the river my Grandmother and I
in New Hampshire off a wooden bridge not quite Monet’s
surrounded by neighbors, hunters, schoolteachers
that girl from English class in high school Alicia though
I hadn’t seen her since graduation four years ago
I tossed in Kerouac’s On the Road and the irony wasn’t lost
as it floated raft-like downstream – the only book I could never
finish because it was about travel and everyone drove in circles
She threw in 1984 maybe it was Fahrenheit 451 – something
with a number at any rate something political and as
we watched them gather around stone or drift onward like lily pads
the woman on my right a Hemingway caster confessed
I hope someone is there collecting them on the other side before trout
Originally from Jupiter,
Florida, Alexandra Gold has been living in Philadelphia for several years as a
student at the University of Pennsylvania where she is currently pursuing a
Master’s degree in English Literature. Her poem “Water, Communion” previously
appeared in the Winter 2009/2010 Issue of Philadelphia Stories, leading her to
believe there is truly, as they say, “something in the water.”
If this rain
in the forest,
then a full moon
for keening dogs.
then a dark room
fighting against firelight.
If warmth from the fire,
If wood smoke,
the patience it takes to grow a whole tree.
If dogs, curled on a rug
in front of the andirons,
then love in a forest
bathed in moonlight.
If this forest
and you listening
for trees to fall,
then me shivering in the rain
for want of fire.
Grant Clauser lives in Hatfield, PA where he works as a
magazine and website editor. Poems have appeared in a variety of journals
including Painted Bride Quarterly, Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Literary Review,
Apiary and the Cortland Review. He was the 2010 Montgomery County Poet
Laureate. This fall he’ll be teaching a class on nature writing at Musehouse in
A formal apology for silence,
the emerging memory of places and scents,
the fog of four a.m.
A pas de trois with a celestial gaze
to the bark of familiarity.
A place full of objects,
full of disorganized sequences.
A place with a great empty table,
full of wine and insects.
And all the cards vanish,
and the numbers structure the faces,
and the ace is a burning clock,
and the joker is seeking god,
and the king has no kingdom,
and the queen weeps in fear of:
contact and empathy,
sunlight moving up dirt roads,
of coming home,
And the ink bleeds to ash.
Everyone knows the deck is stacked,
so we smoke cigarettes and make love in the woods…
come to breath and bath in absence.
A great list, ordered sentences, summer heat,
the milky thought of repetition, blinding the eye of god.
Jonathon Todd is a poet and musician from Philadelphia currently living in NYC. He blends a love of language and performance with an ideal to “say a hard thing in a simple way,” as Bukowski once said. His work has been featured in Shakefist Magazine, Lower East Side Review, and Apiary Online among others. You can read more on his blog: http://jonathontodd.blogspot.com
wants all your breath. Smoke so dense the outside’s disappeared, smeared, occluded
thick unbreathable stagnant distances what we will stop at. Or be stopped by what w
ill eat our hands/arms should we try to part the caramel-thick smoke. Leaning against
these breathing cedar redwood tobaccoleaf umber sepia all smudged terracotta water-
leaching clay-smeared lalala-ing brown study (it must be a Brown Study) where the b
lack lines of thoughtstudy approach the fog/fug stop, go back, comeback, run alongsid
e the fog/fug & off away into the whitewhere beyond the painting (other wall entirely)
& return, stop-going, going down exactly where the fog/fug would end if it had come s
o far and, shaking itself off, the black thinking line (it wants to go somewhere with yo
u) until it makes a dot/smudge & stops. No neednowhere further to go. Enough of thin
king. Cinnamon breathes into/through the paint & goes wherever it might need to go b
eyond/around/behind the fog away from eyes (your eyes, the wall’s one eye, Time’s e
ye). It finds your hands and gives them back. They trace the brown-thought line (what
it wants), one finger at a time, over the whole trail. Come away. You’re your own now.
Devon Miller-Duggan has had poems in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie, Christianity and Literature, The Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, The Hollins Critic and a longish list of really little magazines. She’s won an Academy of American Poets Prize, a fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts, an editor’s prize in Margie, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches for the Department of English at the University of Delaware. Her first book, Pinning the Bird to the Wall appeared from Tres Chicas Books in November 2008.
I. Old koi pond
Still they swim, the light radiant
on their bodies. They bend
into faint commas
again not resisting the water’s
accustomed flow but forming
it, they enter it and with the ancients’
alchemic knowledge, become gold. Always
they swim, they are swimming through
my life, creating currents.
I dream of swimming
with red carp, become,
flash into orangebloom,
sunset brilliant scales
color blown like poppies
on the silk field of a kimono
or like quickflash red slipped
from a painter’s brush
surface-bound by logic
until the crimson blossoms
watery, to seek the place
of colors felt, slippery
or cold or swift.
Robbin Farr is a resident of the Queen Village. After completing her MFA in creative writing, she discovered the bookbinding arts and mastered parallel parking. In addition, she teaches creative writing and American studies to high school students in Montgomery County.
We sailed through the evening-cool crevices of Forest Hills,
grass clippings and hawberries that popped like fire
under our sneakers, barking dogs hidden in houses
and distant shouts to invisible somebodies,
coasting into intersections on found bikes,
daredeviling down the steepest hills, pedaling toward
some road that wouldn’t lead home.
Amanda Hempel was born in Stockholm, Sweden, but has lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, since 1986. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in several journals.
It starts with a war
Over a piece of candy.
The world’s split open
By the lips of butterflies. We stitch it back together
With bluebirds, pull the ocean
Like a bed sheet back onto the sand.
—I got a job selling two-dollar paper suns
To turn a twenty-five cent profit
And loved on an empty stomach.
Now we have rituals of fish, white wine,
A first name, a look in the eye.
And when there is talk of borders,
We remind each other that one day, one hundred
Years ago—your tomorrow—an orchid went off
In Times Square, in Moscow, a box of chocolates.
A singer and guitar player, Ephraim Scott Sommers has produced three full-length albums of music and toured internationally both as a solo artist and with his band Siko (see-co). Most recently, his poetry has appeared in New Madrid, Versedaily, City Works, and more. His work is forthcoming in Blue Earth Review and Columbia Review.