Oakland Airport

You sat in so many airports
on your way to see 
your sister in Israel

your sister in St. Paul
your son in Toronto
your son in Indianapolis

your daughter in California   or
on your way to Prague
to play Bartók

to Italy
to meet us
in Florence

in Frankfurt
waiting for us
to drive with you

to Wilhelmshöhe
where the child
you were
came leaping out
in one fell swoop    
naming   the larch trees

the cherries   
the parapet   the house   
that was bombed

by the allies
where now a fifties
modern house stands

even so you say
life looks
as life should look

no billboards  

just this
Hansel und Gretel
world

About the Author: Naomi Ruth Lowinsky’s poems have been widely published, most recently in Serving House Journal, Ginosko and Stickman. Her poem “Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” won first prize in the Obama Millennium Contest. She has also won the Blue Light Poetry Chapbook Contest. Lowinsky’s fourth poetry collection is The Faust Woman Poems. Lowinsky is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Berkeley, CA and the poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives, which is published by the Los Angeles Jung Institute.

What I See From The Middle Pew

It is dark, as if in a cavern:
In front of me, the orange eternal flame.  
Behind me, rows of burnished brass pipes, deep and thick
Like some ancient woods.
Above me, stretches of golden oak arch into the ceiling,
And on my left is Abraham, knife forever poised
Above young Isaac’s bare breast,
And on my right is the servant, forever on his knees, 
Forever washing feet, 
And something there is that wood and brass and flame can’t feel.
And something there is more immortal even than the stone.

About the Author: Laura C. Wendorff is professor of English, Ethnic Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She has been published in several journals, including After the Pause, Bluestem, Door Is A Jar, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Minetta Review, Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Spillway, Temenos, Two Cities Review, Voices de la Luna, and Wisconsin Poets Calendar. Wendorff’s essay “Worth The Risk: Writing Poetry About Children With Special Needs” was nominated for a Best of the Net Award and the Pushcart Prize. Laura also enjoys growing flowers, playing the piano, and has been a member of the same book club for over a decade.

Anniversary

Not an e-card
not a quick kiss in the morning

I give you myself
wrapped in a broad ribbon
—weekday afternoon
sun slanting through open windows
phone silenced
and the thin melody of a juvenile finch.


About the Author, Eva-Maria Sher: My poetry has appeared in After Happy Hour Review, The Adirondack Review, Big Scream, Cadillac Cicatrix, California Quarterly, Cape Rock, Door Is A Jar Magazine, Dos Passos Review, Drunk Monkeys, East Jasmine Review, Euphony, Forge, Front Range Review, GW Review, The HitchLit Review, The Hollins Critic, ken*again, Old Red Kimono, OxMag, The Paragon Journal, Penmen Review, Prism Review, riverSedge, Rougarou, Ship of Fools, Slag Review, Soundings East, Third Wednesday, Vending Machine Press, Westview, and Willow Review.

Born in Germany at the end of WWII, Eva-Maria Sher was already writing poems as a child. At seventeen, she emigrated to the United States, studied literature, taught, raised three children, and have in the past ten years rediscovered her passion for writing. She lives on Whidbey Island, WA, where she offers workshops for children and adults in poetry, book-making, collage, and puppetry. Sher recently published Chewing Darkness, her first book of poems and is working on a second one. She has written and composed a CD of lullabies, and is the author/illustrator of The Scintillating Little Dragon, a coloring book about nurturing the creative spirit.

Sacred Ground

This small centipede ambles along
the arm swatch of my light-gray sweater,
as a violin bends the air with sweet
and sometimes melancholy notes

at the Peace Coalition potluck lunch;
so few of us sitting at picnic tables
when you get right down to it,
perhaps the ones who will stand calmly

unbending at the barricades
once they’re erected and tires are burned,
but today we share pasta salad, pesto spread
on flatbread, chocolate coconut macaroons,

the likes of other good eats, along with sun tea,
LaCroix sparkling water, take your pick,
over conversation of being with Carol and Janet
at the protest of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who spewed forth

his racism and brutality meted on immigrants
here in our own backyard at Rancho Canada,
addressing the women Republicans of Salinas, CA,
boyhood home of John Steinbeck,

who must have for the duration of Joe’s speech
rolled over in his grave while belling forth
word for word The Grapes of Wrath,
a story the centipede in its silence
doesn’t seem to care about, or need to.

These coastal sands are the squirming
little creature’s stamping ground,
shade of morning glories
or succulent ice plant shelter

from the occasional storm,
the little bug knowing
what to do without thinking:
to crawl here and there

foraging without malice.
With the tips of two fingers,
I slip him or her off
my sweater and down onto the sandy dirt

to go on with ambling about,
safe for now from the boot
of oppression, ear to the ground,
listening to this particular patch of earth at peace.

About the Author: King Grossman is an award-winning poet, novelist, and writer of short prose. His poems and short prose have appeared or are forthcoming in The Round, Licking River Review, Crack the Spine, Forge, Tiger’s Eye, DMQ Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Qwerty, Burningword, Ignatian, Drunk Monkeys, The Paragon Journal, Pennsylvania English, SLAB, Slag Review, Midwest Quarterly, The Borfski Review, Carbon Culture Review, and Nebo. He lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California with his wife, Lisa, dog, Bogart, and sun conure parrot, Sunny.

4th of July

Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
       origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.

from “Remember” by Joy Haro, 1951

True Crime Podcasts

A former newsletter editor and sound designer,
so nothing stopped him from starting a true crime podcast.

He could pick any of the 1,600 cases each year in the U.S.
when women are murdered by men.

He could have picked the case of Hae Min Lee,
a high school student strangled to death

and found half-naked, half-buried in river rock in Leakin Park.
But another podcaster already did that story.

Or the one of 26-year-old and pregnant Amanda Key Jones,
who disappeared after planning to meet the alleged father of her baby.

Her cell phone and purse left in her unlocked car;
his 10 acres never searched for lack of a warrant.

Sixty-four percent of female homicides are committed by 
family members or an intimate partner. 

Another podcast with the word Vanished in its title
already covered her story, in 43 minutes.

So he chose the 10-year-old cold case of Tara Grinstead
because his grandma lived in that town and talked of her case:

the history teacher and former beauty queen,
who never returned home after leaving the neighborhood BBQ.

Who’s to say this podcaster couldn’t retrace detective work,
comb through dusty police records, or detail the actions

of real people and ask them the same old questions?
The small town of Ocilla, Georgia, worked into a frenzy, again.

Canine dogs re-scoured the pecan orchard.
The same rumors sprang up like air bubbles in water.

Someone said her body burned among the sound of husks
releasing their thin-shelled seeds in October.

Who is to argue with well-established facts
crusted with huge speculation when new leads arise?

The real fact is 1 in 3 women worldwide will be physically 
or sexually abused in their lifetimes.

But for this podcaster and his listeners,
surely it’s the intrigue of the story that matters,

and the commercial breaks about investment websites
and soft-stretch yoga pants simply a bonus.  

About the Author: Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of Another Autumn (WordTech Editions, 2014). Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including The South Carolina Review, South Dakota Review, Spoon River Review and POEM. A native of Washington state, she earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Washington University. She spent decades balancing a career in communications and public relations, raising a family, and pursuing her love of writing poetry. Now a full-time poet, she splits her time living on Vashon Island and in Spokane, Washington. For more information, visit www.yvonnehigginsleach.com

Lessons

Let yourself in, wait in the living room.
The cat knows the orange couch shows off his tortoiseshell fur.
Photo on the wall: your teacher laughing in a canoe.
When she calls, pick up your instrument.
Grand piano, window, two chairs facing the bookcase.
She on the right, you on the left.
Where to put your fingers,
how to move the bow.
Her voice and the cello sound.
She writes instructions for practice in a clear hand.
You can never be her, but if you could choose
to spend your life inside this room, you would.
Discipline and joy you grasp to pull yourself through.


About the Author: Alison Hicks is the author of poetry collections You Who Took the Boat Out and Kiss, a chapbook Falling Dreams, and a novella Love: A Story of Images. Her work has appeared in Eclipse, Gargoyle, Permafrost, and Poet Lore, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Green Hills Literary Lantern. Awards include the Philadelphia City Paper Poetry Prize and two PA Council of the Arts Fellowships. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops. www.philawordshop.com