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The solar eclipse that cut across the USA on August 21, 2017 has been touted as “The Eclipse of the Century.” While the news and media coverage ramped up the excitement and historic nature of the event, I wondered if I would be able to take souvenir photographs of the event with basic camera equipment. This is the story of my journey along with the sun’s journey into totality and beyond. I took the week off to be with my husband who was working in Lebanon, TN, which was in the path of totality.

 

To view a solar eclipse, one first needs solar sunglasses with an ISO icon with reference 12312-2 to avoid retinal burns and visual disturbances. My husband had purchased these.

 

A camera requires a solar filter or one made of solar film during the eclipse but not during the

short darkness of totality. A shutter release cable or remote is recommended, as is a tripod.

Since the eclipse was straight overhead, I abandoned the tripod because it couldn’t be set in the right position. I lay on a blanket on the grass and had the camera in my arms or on my chest while focusing and pressing the shutter release cord.

 

I obtained most of my technical information through research, specifically from articles and blogs by famous eclipse photographers: Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer known as Mr. Eclipse (whose photo is on the USA Eclipse Stamp); Astrophotographers Jean-Marc Lecleire and Czech Miloslav Druckmuller who were pioneers in initially doing most of the experimentation and work to figure out what camera settings to use. My favorite article was “How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse” by Nasim Mansurov in “Photography Life”.

 

I googled how to photograph a solar eclipse. I explored the Nikon and Canon websites. By the time I thought of photographing the solar eclipse, a glass solar filter was impossible to purchase since they were all on backorder. I managed to secure two orders of solar film which is used to cover a camera lens during an eclipse. One cannot look through the ocular viewfinder of a camera during the eclipse.

 

A brilliant marketing scheme at the Canon site included articles about photographing solar eclipses, explanations of what type of equipment was helpful along with convenient shopping links, and the introduction of the sale of Eclipse Packages.

 

The articles touted the Canon SX60 HS as the camera with the longest zoom for a point-and-shoot camera, with its 65x optical zoom (21mm–1365mm) wide angle lens with image stabilization and 16.1 Megapixels. The eclipse package included a basic camera and glass solar filter. The Canon SX60 HS was the cheapest of all the options. I think it was well worth the $500.

 

I set my camera on manual, disabled automatic flash, and put the camera on LIVE view, so I could focus on the occurring solar eclipse (convergence of moon and sun movements) by looking at the LED screen, and not the viewfinder. ISO should be the lowest for the camera. I used 100.

 

I did a manual focus and kept my lens f spot at around f/8- f/4 and varied the shutter speed in case one speed was better than another or would render a different effect. The eclipse was pretty straight forward and the camera and I seemed to do well. But, not so in the darkness of totality when the moon obstructs the face of the sun, and time was of the essence, about 2 minutes. I dropped the shutter speed from 1/1000–1/2000 to 1/800. Since I had a strong (100000) ND filter, I adjusted downward from 1/800.

 

I couldn’t focus and thought my camera was dying, burned out or the battery needed a break. At that time, I grabbed my old Canon SX20, which I planned to film a video in totality with, and also took snapshots and video with my Galaxy 8P cell phone.

 

I went back to the primary Canon SX60 HS with the glass solar filter and went more wide angle, not as zoomed and shot photos, some of which I knew were blurry but I crossed my fingers and kept shooting until the sun slid from behind the moon.

 

Then I put the solar filters back on the cameras and the focusing and photos were easy again. I continued to photograph the progression of the eclipse until clouds filled the sky. My husband used my Nikon 3200. The telephoto lens wasn’t cooperating so we used the original lens.

 

We were excited and pleased with our photographic souvenirs and had a toast in celebration.

 

 

Here’s a link to my journey and the pleasantly surprising photos taken with the Canon SX60 HS:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9J_T63-0a3FcGttSWVjRDRjSnc/view?usp=drive_web

 

Link to Video Taken with Canon SX20 (interesting that black birds fly into the scene):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9J_T63-0a3FYjl1T2hCSHk1VEE/view?usp=drive_web

 

 

****************************************

 

 

References:

Fred Espenak’s Solar Eclipse Exposure Reference Guide:

http://www.mreclipse.com/SEphoto/image/SE-Exposure1w.GIF

 

NASA Eclipse Website:

https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/eclipsePhoto.html

 

Solar Eclipse Basics:

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how

 

Fred Espenak's Website:

http://www.mreclipse.com/MrEclipse.html

 

Set Up Canon SX60 HS:

https://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2017/solar-eclipse/solar-eclipse-setting-up-sx60hs.shtml

 

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse by Nasim Mansurov:

https://photographylife.com/how-to-photograph-a-solar-eclipse

 


 Lina Sophia Rossi is a member of the Horror Writer's Association. Her poems appear in HWA Poetry Showcase Volume 3 and Volume 4. She is working on her MFA. She was a photojournalist and editor of her high school newspaper and beyond. Her work in Italian appeared in SUNY Stony Brook's Italian Literary magazine, "Voci". She has a BS in Biological sciences and Anthropology. She is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine with residency in Family Practice.                       

 

 

 

 

Nonfiction is content, sometimes presented in the form of a story, presented as truthful and accurate depictions of people or events. Using simplicity, clarity, and directness, the specific facts and assertions may or may not be true depending on the biases and preferences of the author, however, they are presented as empirically and historically factual. 

Like fiction, it can take many forms. Journals, photographs, textbooks, travel books, blueprints, diagrams, biographies, memoirs, profiles, these are all forms of nonfiction prose. They tell of real people and real places. But there is something intangible about nonfiction as well. It is or can be depending on the razor-sharp wit, eagle eye, or discerning tongue, a moment of realization. It may tell simple truths or portray epic vistas.  It is truthful but may not always be true. Nonfiction is subjective. It is the world as seen through the author's eyes. The truth as they see it. 

We hope you enjoy the work of these talented authors. We applaud all of our contributors and encourage everyone to continue to follow their artistic and literary dreams. For those whose works we’ve selected, we hope this is just the beginning of an illustrious career in the arts.


The Goldfinch

by Brigitte Whiting

On a Monday afternoon, I carried a bucket of water outdoors to refill the birdbath. A male goldfinch jumped down from the bath’s rim, and hopped away as quickly as he could to creep beneath a nearby spruce branch. I thought how odd he was so unafraid.

Over the next days, he hopped about pecking for seeds and insects in the front and back yards, and crouched on the edge of the birdbath, lifting and shrugging his wings, and then lowering them, wondering perhaps what was amiss. His bright yellow chest feathers turned dusty and dull — he must have longed to bathe. Somehow, he got himself to the top wire of one of the tomato cages I’d set over the taller wildflowers to protect them from the deer, and from there, he reached for the black-eyed Susan’s seed-head.

Each morning, I wondered if he’d survived the night. I wanted to rescue him — he was so quick that was unlikely — and I learned he’d dislocated his shoulder, and even if the wing was reset, he’d never fly again. It seemed cruel to cage him.

On Sunday afternoon, a week after I’d first noticed him, he was perched on a wire cage in the front yard. Then, other goldfinches flew in to join him and sat on the surrounding tomato cages. Somehow, I knew they’d come to say their good-byes. My windows were shut so I couldn’t hear whether they chirped...

Read more: The Goldfinch


Of Heroes and Holiness

by Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family and community to pursue his dreams.

 

Rudy fulfilled his dream of playing football for Notre Dame.

 

Rudy is a hero.

 

Heroism looks like sacrifice.

 

***

 

Sacrifice. From the Latin sacer (sacred, holy) + faciō (do, make). To make holy.

 

***

 

My husband had been chasing his dream of becoming a pilot for many years when I first met him. Already in possession of his private pilot license, he spent the first year of our marriage continuing his work towards his commercial license. We were poor college students though and couldn’t afford to pay for the actual flight hours he would need to get his commercial license. We needed a loan. And to get the loan, we needed a co-signer.

 

My parents would have co-signed, but they were in a bad financial situation themselves. My husband was reluctant to ask his parents, but I pressured him until he gave in and called them. His dad invited us over to their home to discuss the matter.

 

I remember the scene vividly. ...

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My Desk

by Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” But we all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, at my “writer’s desk,” a little desk that I slid over in front of our balcony window. It is here that I sometimes write, sometimes stare outside, but sometimes simply let my eyes fall on the magazines poking out from next to my binders. Those thin and shiny magazines with little known names have published my stories and sit there to remind me that occasionally (and only occasionally) my work appears someplace. Next to those are four binders full of stories, some published, some not, that I’ve printed out just in case. Just in case the world explodes and there is no Internet left, no cloud, or all of my devices go down at once and refuse to come up. Or more likely just in case I die and nobody knows my passwords.

 

 

This desk is so tiny that these things are right up in my face. It’s not annoying, it’s cozy. Isn’t that what we say about uncomfortablysmall stuff? We say that when other people find it uncomfortably small but we love it. My desk is cozy. Strewn across the tiny area are various objects: a cross...

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My Mobile Space

by Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic to be specific. On this truck chassis is built our motorhome of fiberglass, timber, metal, plastics, and toughened glass. Living permanently on the road helps my ex-soldier to sleep—it reins in his PTSD just a little, as does humour. There is a large, black toy spider perched on the flywire window screen over the kitchen sink that we finally named yesterday. Say g'day to Hubert.

 

 

In this space, in the walk-around queen-sized bed, my husband lies sleeping. He fell heavily to the concrete slab floor of a fishmonger a few weeks ago—there was no handrail. With a cracked lumbar vertebra and soft tissue damage, my precious spouse spent over a week in the hospital. He can't lift anything heavier than a beer; he can't twist or turn easily. The strong painkillers are still necessary and he sleeps two or three times during the day. I try not to worry.

 

 

My stash of yarns, a kaleidoscope of brightly coloured wool, is stored under that bed. I knit and crochet especially when I am stressed; I have made cat toys and dishclothsand hats...

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A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born in mid-spring so I could only know what I lived with now. It was hot, or it rained, or it was cold.

I was still just a kid, so I played with my siblings. We red squirrels enjoyed romping and chasing each other through dark tunnels and around tree trunks while our mother watched us from a low tree branch or sat in the grass.

Then one day, she told us, "It's time for you to fend for yourselves. Snow and cold will soon be here. We reds need to eat every day so we must store food. Find a home and make it snug and dry using leaves." She looked up and around at the grass which was now covered with leaves.

She continued. "If you use your noses and eyes, you'll find acorns under the leaves. Bury as many of those as you can but remember where you put them. You'll be glad you did when it gets cold."

I shivered at the thought of cold air and I balked at the idea of finding my own nest. My mother's had been warm and inviting but now she bared her big front teeth and...

Read more: A Red Squirrel's Narrative

 


 

Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

by Joy Manné

This essay is part of a Talk-Back series – I owe that title to Karen. A Talk-Back is my response to a chapter in a WVU textbook, my communication with its author.

This Talk-Back is a response to the exercise in Lia Purpura’s chapter, ‘On Miniatures,’ (Flash-Non-Fiction, Rose Metal Press, p.4-5) where the instructions are ‘Take an essay you’ve been working on and read it aloud to yourself in a fresh place. Reading in the car at a red light … In a coffee shop (best in another country) … In a library …’
 
***
 
Dear Lia,

You instruct me to take one of my essays to a completely new and unfamiliar space and once there, to read it aloud to myself and note what strikes me.

But I do not know how to write an essay in Flash Non-Fiction. I’ve written many essays in my time: school essays, university essays, reaction and response essays, articles on various subjects including Conscious Breathing
Techniques, PhD papers in Buddhist Texts and Psychology. But what you mean is a FnF essay: ‘writing that is intimate and mysterious and compelling too, on an idea or topic in which I will measure myself anew’. You, oh Lia, want an ambitious work that demands attention.

‘Take your essay,’ you command me, as if I have many of these WIPs lying on my desktop, or in desk drawers, or on the floor under my computer, or on the...

Read more: Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

 


 

Reunion

by Lina Sophia Rossi

“Why the F--- Do I want to see a F—ing alligator jump up to eat a F—ing chicken hanging on a clothesline?”

 

The last time I hung out with my Uncle Dan is when I dragged him to Gatorland to do something touristic. He flew down from NYC to Orlando, FL to visit me for about a week. Time flies as they say and he was going to fly back the next day. He was a recent widower and had just had a lobectomy for lung cancer.  I felt bad, I was working a lot and all he wanted to do was hang out in a bar restaurant. Uncle Dan was a dead ringer for Humphrey Bogart.

 

He was my father’s mother’s brother. My father was very close to him. Uncle Dan and his wife, Aunt Nellie (for Immaculata), were my brother’s Godparents. Uncle Dan was in the Navy, like my dad and my brother. Uncle Dan served in WWII. For a social studies project in junior high, I interviewed him and his brother, Pat (Pasquale) who was in the Army, about their WWII service. Uncle Dan was a gunner’s mate on the Navy cruiser USS Canberra, which was torpedoed during the aerial battle of Taiwan-Okinawa. The ship took on water from a blast in the hull and he had to drag dead sailors who were sleeping in their barracks out. I guess he was a bit shell-shocked, but nothing...

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A Fear of Broken Things

by Angela Hess

“Does he look at you?”

 

My cousin’s innocent question triggers a flashing red warning light in my brain. My baby doesn’t look at me. I assumed he was too young still, but my cousin’s baby is only four days older than mine, and they are already getting smiles from him. My baby is a week shy of two months. I know what the doctor will ask me at his two-month check-up: does he make eye contact? And I know the diagnosis they will start watching for if I say no.: Autism.

 

My brother is autistic. My husband managed several group homes. I did respite work with a young man with Down syndrome. We are not strangers to the world of individuals with disabilities. But as I stare at my baby with his thick dark hair and his big blue eyes staring off into the distance, willing him to look at me, that word looms large in my mind, taking on substance, and as the reality of it hits me, I feel myself emotionally withdrawing from him. As if an autism diagnosis would make him less worthy of my love. As if he and his life would be of less value with that label attached to them. And I know, whether my child is autistic or not, I need to work through these thoughts and feelings. Unravel the tangled web of my subconscious thoughts to discover the triggers for my emotional withdrawal. The...

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Wild Roses Growing in the Ditch

by Louise E. Sawyer


It is a joy to hold a lovely scene, a delightful moment, in memory.
~Marjolein Bastin

Frank was four and I was five and getting ready to start school when Dad and Mom moved us into a new house on Glasgow Avenue—a three-bedroom home that wasn't quite finished—in a suburban area of Victoria on Vancouver Island. It was very exciting because we moved next door to Grannie Price and our aunt Lil. About two years later, Aunt Lil married Uncle Rod and their first daughter, Barbie, was born.

I remember we three kids, toddler Barbie, my brother Frank, and me, sitting beside Grannie on the couch, listening to Winnie the Pooh stories told in Grannie's Pooh voice, Piglet voice, and Eeyore voice. Oh, do we remember Eeyore whom Grannie loved to mimic at any time during the day? "Somebody must have taken it." How like them." "If it is a good morning, which I doubt." "We can't all, and some of us don't."

We enjoyed the neighborhood of middle-class families with backyard gardens, a Scout hall next door, cats and dogs, a vet family down the street, and neighbors across from us who owned a black-and-white TV. We never had a TV in that house. I grew up with stories, books, comics, music lessons, and church, and playing on the street!

As children, we happily roamed the street with wagons, roller skates, stilts, bikes, and snakes. Yes, the boys loved to scare me by throwing...

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Hazardous Happenings

by Albert Orejuela

At some point, everything comes to an apex.  Status quo can only persist for so long before the natural balance of the universe calls for consumption, and then it all comes down to a choice.  That’s it, a lone decision that ultimately leads down a pathway to a higher level or otherwise ends in destruction.  The evolution of everything can be traced back to that specific point in time, the single particular moment where a decision must be made.  Whether it is decided using a refined skill or purely on the basis of intuition, the consequence is being eaten instead of eating.  And this is that moment for me.

 

Billions of years ago, there was an instant that ultimately resulted in the creation of the human race.  200,000 years of good choices and human civilization has not only continued, we’ve flourished.  Great things have been accomplished, and we’ve grown so much… possibly too much.  On a cosmic scale, we quickly arrived at what may be our pinnacle.  Because the outcome of this moment will determine if everything we’ve ever done in our history has value or, instead, becomes completely meaningless.  Either the last few hundred millennia have been a complete waste of time or the universe, as we know it, will continue to exist (at least for another moment).  As what happens right here, after this very second, could undo the very nature of time and destroy the fabric of space.

 

My wife said...

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Dealing with Rejection

by Carolann Malley


Sending your writing out into the world can be scary whether you write poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. But, at some point, if you are a serious writer, you will do it. Getting a rejection letter back can be more devastating than asking a girl out as a teenager and being turned down or sitting at a dance with no partner—all night. It can make you doubt yourself, but it shouldn’t.

I’ve been on both sides of the publishing fence. I’ve written poetry and sent it out hoping some editor would like my poems and decide to publish them. I have submitted work which was accepted on the first submission. I have submitted work which was rejected by one journal and accepted by another, and I’ve sent out work to have it turned down by journal after journal. I’ve also been the poetry editor for a literary journal and made the decision about whose poem to publish from the thousands received. Along with that responsibility came the job of sending out those dreaded rejection letters. At times, I rejected poems that I loved because the journal just didn’t have the space for one more poem.

Based on my experience as a poet, fiction writer, nonfiction writer, and as a poetry editor and writing teacher, I sometimes give advice to friends, associates, and students who become discouraged when they send out their work only to have it rejected.

Don’t feel bad when you receive your first, second, ...

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Backyard Neighbors

by Brigitte Whiting


I took an hour to walk outdoors in my yard, first to clip dead honeysuckle branches, pluck dandelions, and then to fill the birdbaths and feeders. And to ponder what to write about one of my backyard neighbors, the gray squirrel, Sciurus Carolineses. Its name is derived from the Greek words skia meaning shadow and oura for tail—it sits in the shadow of its tail—unless it's somehow lost its bushy tail. One of my current squirrels lost his last winter and has only a tuft left but manages quite well in getting enough to eat.

Gray squirrels live either in dens, holes in living trees woodpeckers have abandoned, or nests—drays—they build in the forks of trees using twigs and dry leaves. Their work of upkeep continues year-round. One winter day, I jammed my snow shovel into a section of torn carpet on the deck and wondered how I'd cut it, but later, I happened to notice a squirrel ripping and tugging the carpet for chunks to line her nest. During cold winter spells, several squirrels may share a nest for warmth. Otherwise, an individual squirrel or a mother with her young—she has one or two litters with three or four kits a year—lives there.

Squirrels are inquisitive and aware of their surroundings. Anytime I move a chair or add a feeder on the deck, they'll slink to each changed item, sniffing it, and creeping in closer to examine it until they deem it harmless.

The...

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Betrayal

by Angela Hess


My four-year-old son has a friend over. I overhear my son’s friend tell my two-year-old daughter, “Gracie, you can’t come in here.” Then my son’s voice: “It’s okay, she can play with us. Here, Gracie,” he says, presumably handing her one of the toys they are playing with. My mama heart swells with pride and love at the kindness and generosity of this gesture, and I wonder how much longer this innocent willingness to include his little sister in his games with his friends will last, how much longer before peer pressure teaches him it’s not cool to bring his little sister along to play, how much longer before his loyalty to his friends outweighs his loyalty to his siblings.

*

It’s my senior year of high school. My sister is a sophomore, two years younger than me, and struggling with friends. My mom suggests that my sister sitwith me and my friends during school lunches. My sister appears at the bench-encircled tree that my friends and I have claimed as our lunch-eating territory. She doesn’t say much, and I don’t say much. We eat our food; I talk to my friends. I belong to this group of friends, but I am not its leader. I don’t know if we have a leader. We’re just a group of people with varied ties to one another who congregate at the same place for lunch each day. We are not the popular kids. Some of us are smart, some...

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The Weight of Emotions

by Angela Hess

  I can hear my parents’ raised voices upstairs. They are fighting again. I turn on the sink faucet, letting the sound of the running water drown out their voices. I thrust my hands in the nearly scalding hot water and methodically scrub each dish in the sink and load it in the dishwasher. Then I do the hand wash, soaking, scrubbing, rinsing, drying, and carefully putting away each piece. The ritual of tidying up the kitchen eases my anxiety about my parents’ argument. I can’t stop them from arguing, but I can make our home a cleaner and more pleasant place to live in hopes of soothing the frustration and hurt feelings.

My dad always occupies himself with something after a fight to let off steam. My mom usually cries. When I hear my dad turn on the TV, I creep upstairs. My mom is sitting on the floor in her room, back against the wall, knees drawn up to her chest, wiping at the tears streaming down her face. I slowly and carefully seat myself on the floor in front of her, my chin resting on my knee. I wait for her to talk. I don’t remember what their fight was about; I just remember that my mom needed someone to listen and validate her thoughts and feelings. I listened. She needed someone to reassure her that it was my father that was being unreasonable, not her. I reassured her.

One time I was...

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An Apology

by Brigitte Whiting

   I'm sorry that I hadn't thought of how I would take care of a puppy. It had seemed like a good idea, accept the gift of a puppy from acquaintances. She had the coloring of a coyote and was named Brindle for those tawny markings. I'd never had a dog before. Growing up, my family had only cats, mousers. But I hadn't wanted to say no to this cute little dog.

So I brought her into my rented single-room cottage and left her there most of the day while I went to college classes. I taught her the basic tricks: beg, roll over, sit, and she learned each of them in a single lesson. After we got through the newspaper training period, she held her bladder until I got home.

I drove a white '54 Chevy with an automatic transmission, a car that when I first bought it for $75 leaked oil so badly I wasn't allowed to park it on friends' paved driveways. It turned out it had an oil pan leak that was easily fixable. The car lumbered around corners but it was transportation to and from school and work. I took Brindle in it on errands, to the grocery store where several times a stocking clerk tapped me on the shoulder to tell me my dog was inside, and I'd chase her back outside and instruct her to go back to the car, but as I made my rounds pushing the...

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Baby Precious

by Louise E. Sawyer

It was Christmas Day 1950 and my sixth birthday. Under the tree was an unusually long, large box with my name on it. I was excited to open it. I couldn’t wait. When I finally did, I was amazed to look upon the most gorgeous doll I’d ever seen. She was 24” long, like a three-month-old baby, and I gently drew her close to my chest. I adopted her immediately as my baby.

My doll had wavy and curly brown hair. Her smile was painted on her face but her blue eyes blinked. She cried like a baby when I picked her up. I was thrilled to the depth of my being. I felt a sense of oneness and a desire to care for my baby with her soft cloth body and her tiny hard fingers and toes.

Her name was Baby Precious.

The gift was supposed to be special. My grandmother, aunt, and uncle-to-be gave the doll to me because they realized life was changing for them. My aunt and uncle-to-be were planning to get married the next year. Indeed, they did, and there is a photo of me with my hair in pin curls and I’m holding Baby Precious. I was getting ready as a junior bridesmaid to wear my long turquoise dress and lead the wedding procession down the aisle of our chapel.

Baby Precious was my most precious possession as a child but what I didn’t know was that she would provide emotional...

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Downsizing

by M Clare Paris

 
I think about death quite a bit. Not morbidly, nor do I worry about what happens when one dies. Although I enjoy a spiritual life, I am also philosophical about the end of my life. If there is something else, it will be darned interesting. If there isn’t, I won’t know or care! Most of my concerns have to do with my beloved family I will leave behind.

I have a kind of cancer that keeps on giving. I am presumed free of cancer at the moment, but even that is not certain. Since it could crop up in any organ, but scans only see down to a certain size, a new bit could be incubating. And while we will certainly fight it for as long as is reasonable, it is also reasonable to assume that, at some point, either I will become tired of the fight or it will overwhelm all defenses.

I’m not being negative, here. But I maintain my right to be aware and practical and real about my prognosis. In the meantime, I am doing my best to really enjoy my life, especially by spending time with my mother, my grown daughters, my grandchildren, and my husband. Even those opportunities are sometimes curtailed by complications in my health care.

The things I am concerned with are these: I worry that my girls won’t have the answers they crave when they think of half-remembered stories of my life and theirs,and that I will...

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Absent But Present

by Louise E. Sawyer


My father, Thomas George Sawyer, was absent at my birth and absent the first seven months of my life.

It was Christmas Eve 1944 at the two-story white house on Beechwood Drive-my Grannie’s house in Victoria, the capital city of British Colombia on Vancouver Island. Grannie Price, my mother Ethel, and my aunt Lil invited my father’s sister-in-law Margaret and her two girlies, Betty and Peggy, over for dinner to celebrate Christmas together, since Ethel’s husband Tom and Margaret’s husband Bill were officers in the Canadian Air Force in England.

I'm sure the women were dressed in their best dresses, skirts, and sweaters, complete with brooches. And the two little girlies looked cute with their curly hair and party dresses. Grannie was hosting the meal and handed bowls of food to her daughters, Ethel and Lilian, as she scooped up mashed potatoes and gravy from the pots on the wood stove.

It was a somber time for everyone with the men gone. Who knew what was happening to them each day and what the future would bring? It was all so secretive. The wives knew nothing concerning the details. Where were they right now? Were they on a bombing mission? But my Grannie and her daughters did their best to entertain their guest and her little children. I'm sure they served up smiles and laughter as they all settled down to eat.

My mother, Ethel Louise, was big with child, due on New Year’s Day, and did her best...

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Gathering: A Contemplative Essay

by Brigitte Whiting

I'm always looking for ideas to use in writing: for that prompt at which I first gulp and then slowly retrieve some thread of an idea, for the poem I need for the Monday morning poetry group, for an essay that's due in two days.

I've heeded artists' advice and taken excursions. To art galleries. On field trips to museums, a cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee, to a playhouse. Infrequent flights out West when I peered down at meandering rivers, knobby mountain ranges, the scattered lights of tiny towns on a vast dark prairie and wished I knew where I was on the map.

When I've walked through nearby state parks or parked at the lake, I've pondered which words to use to describe the settings. Later, what I remembered were the brilliant red maple leaves carpeting the dry grey sand and a red squirrel quarreling with me over an acorn. And sitting on a green bench set along what used to be the tramline to the Poland Spring Inn when a midsize dog jumped up next to me, its toenails clicking on the boards, its owner not far behind. "Pay attention," I'd reminded myself after that.

I'd gone on one field trip in which the drive through western Maine and into New Hampshire was one my husband and I had taken many times but this time the route seemed unfamiliar and I'd wished I'd brought a map—wherever we'd driven, I was always the copilot with...

Read more: Gathering: A Contemplative Essay

 


 

Seasons in a Wild Turkey Hen's Life

by Brigitte Whiting

Last spring, a wild turkey hen incubated her eggs for twenty-eight days. When they hatched, she scrambled to keep up with them. Poults to scientific literature. Babies to her. She didn't need to teach them to scratch for bugs—they came with that instinct. Nighttimes during their first four weeks, she sheltered them in their nest on the ground to protect them from predators and the weather.

She'd started with a dozen poults. Some were stolen by coyotes and raccoons, others died from cold rainy weather, and now she had four. For protection, she banded with two hens and their broods into a flock of twelve.

Each day they walked through the woods and yards searching for food. Beneath some birdfeeders, they scratched through sunflowers shells for kernels and insects. "I remember," she said, "when pickings were easy here. Alas, a tom broke the birdfeeder and the freebies ended. Still…" She looked each poult straight in the eye. "Remember where you find food. And see those pines. Soon you'll roost in them."

"I wish I could fly now," her oldest poult said, and took off running, its still-short neck pulling it forward, its stubs of wings flapping, its thin legs running, but no lift-off.

"Wait a few days," she said.

Mornings and afternoons, she, the other two hens, and their nine poults scratched through the grasses and mosses, nipped leaves, and swallowed last year's acorns and seeds whole. When they moved from one yard...

Read more: Seasons in a Wild Turkey Hen's Life

 


 

Lesson in Subtext

by Joy Manné and Karen Barr

Roles

Teacher – Karen Barr

Student – Joy Manné

Teacher

WELCOME TO WEEK 8 OF SUBTEXT.

There is no word count, but the challenge is to get all ten types of subtext in as few words as possible. Here they are:

Show don’t Tell:Using emotions and motivations indirectly and concisely, either by behaviors, body language, suggestive dialogue, internal thoughts or setting clues. The 2. Unspeakable:A complex set of desires and fears that can’t be efficiently described, a pileup of emotions that resists easy articulation. 3. Mania: An emotional overinvestment in any object that can’t possibly give back what the individual wants from it. 4. Wrecked by success: What if wishes and fantasies turn out more powerful than their real-life satisfactions? 5. Unthinkable thought: A thought that threatens a character’s entire existence, it is subversive and is thought of, but gets pushed out of the mind. You can think anything you wish, but you can’t always say aloud what you really crave or desire, sometimes for whatever reason, it’s just unmentionable. 6. Denial: A chaotic way of not hearing dangerous or intolerable information. 7. Indifference-Unhearing: It is not a form of denial but a kind of psychic impermeability, a mode where nothing gets through—an unattended switchboard. In this mode, the pain of others becomes bothersome, an annoyance. 8. Filtering: In the era of multi-tasking, people probably talk more and listen less than they ever did. Talk is cheap and has been for some time, ...

Read more: Lesson in Subtext

 


 

Teenage Escape Plan

by Danielle Dayney

I woke to warm, gooey air smothering me even though the ceiling fan was spinning on high. Dangling lightpulls smacked and banged the glass globe with each rotation of the blades. The base of the fan swayed and groaned, ready to jump from its screws in the drywall any second.

I blinked, trying to focus on my alarm clock. One forty-five. No doubt everyone in my house was sleeping: Dad on the couch with the remote resting in his hand, Mom in her room, reading glasses still on her nose, and my sister here or at a friend’s. Mom was more lenient with her. First daughters always have it the worst.

Moonlight seeped between the tree branches and into my bedroom window, providing the only light. Clothes were strewn about in piles on the floor. I rolled my eyes because Mom would make me clean them up tomorrow.

Until then, they would stay in heaps.

I spent hours buttering breadsticks and cooking pasta at work all day. And the day before. And almost every day since I turned sixteen. I had to pay for my own sneakers and shampoo unless I wanted what Mom could afford to buy.

Anxious and unable to return to sleep, I tossed the sheets onto the floor with the rest of the mess.

I glanced outside my second-floor window. It reminded me of a photo: so still and quiet. Below, blades of grass held their breath. Above, Stars burned...

Read more: Teenage Escape Plan

 


 

Miracle Baby

by Harry C. Hobbs

The mother and father watched as the sun rose on a cold morning in February 1945, wondering if their four-month-old son had lived through the night. Could miracles really happen? Perhaps this child they had wanted so badly wanted wasn’t meant to survive. His mother was a month past her 31st birthday when she married a man some six years older. For her, even finding a husband was nothing short of miraculous.

She was the eldest of five children but the last in her family to marry. Her parents had opposed the wedding from the start reminding their daughter of her poor health. She’d had one nervous breakdown and a lot of illness caused by a dead kidney which had to be removed. "How could you even think about marrying?" her parents had chided her, "With your age and health, marrying and having children are unthinkable."

Despite her parent’s admonishments, the couple wanted a child and seven years after their wedding, their dream seemed to have come true. A healthy baby arrived on the scene and his mother’s health did not seem compromised in any way.

But everything changed in a few months. The couple had just moved from Toronto to Ottawa where the husband was stationed at military headquarters. She had counted herself lucky to have found a doctor as they were in short supply for civilians. She took the child to visit Dr. Cameron for a three-month checkup. Days later, the baby was running a...

Read more: Miracle Baby

 


 

Ylva the Úlfr

by Cynthia Reed

When I flew to California in September, the golden archipelago summer, verdant below and mazarine above, still held sway. Twenty-three days and eleven thousand two hundred and forty miles later, if you’d sat here with me on the back deck this afternoon--you’d know, too--autumn now envelopes Sweden in a patchwork of yellow, red and gold below and scudding cumulus above. A persistent wind off the Baltic, sometimes warm but increasingly chill as the days unfold, rushes up and over the granite ridge beyond with its warning: if the coming winter isn’t just around the corner, it’s around the next corner after that.

At eight o’clock on Thursday night, Arne Holmqvist returns from Vissvass, where he’s been hunting the last of the shy chanterelles--Cantharellus cibarius--a reclusive but prized fungus that hides amongst the snag and pine. Monday morning, the photo caption on the front page of the local paper reads, "The she-wolf, born last year and collared as a weanling, is moving South from Norway, and has been sighted in Vissvass." The Middle Russian forest wolf, Canis lupus lupus, often travels solo and will walk up to twelve miles a day, and often around the clock, a wildlife official from Tyresta National Forest says, opining to the reporter that "she may be looking for a place to winter over." It is noted, too, that no wolf has travelled into the Kommun for more than a decade.

A magpie, perhaps the last, arrives, all bluster in black and...

Read more: Ylva the Úlfr

 


 

-=> Click Here for More Nonfiction <=-

Lost and Found

by

Brigitte Whiting

Smelled: a gamey odor downstairs in the basement. Searched for its source but couldn’t find it.

Found: one dead mouse with reddish-brown legs and a white underbelly in the basement bathroom. A deer mouse. Picked it up with tongs, took it outdoors, and tossed...

Read more: Lost and Found

 

 

 

One Hundred Yards

by

McCord Chapman

 

 

A deep sigh came just as Jason was pulling off the highway onto Route 11. He was close and could feel his back tingling as if his whole spine had suddenly fallen asleep. This happened every time he headed into a small town, no...

Read more: One Hundred Yards

 

 

 

Yearning - F2k WINNER!

by

Noel



Trish pushed her hair to the side to show off her sparkling diamond earrings. “Alvin just got these for me. I didn’t even have to drop a hint.”

Heather leaned forward for a better look. “Oh Trish, they’re beautiful. And LuAnn, did I see you drive up in a new...

Read more: Yearning - F2k WINNER!

 

 

 

Flamenco

by

Cedar White

We’re late, of course. Won last-minute tickets to a concert at the Greek, the Gipsy Kings, but now parking is impossible. Ten years of driving in LA and the traffic makes me want to move to, I don’t know, Kansas. Then my date points to a...

Read more: Flamenco

 

 

 

Marbles

by

Brigitte Whiting

 I had plans for that summer and everything changed because of the marbles. But I’m way ahead of myself.

My brothers, Jeff and Mick, hung around Farmer Tom’s place, feeding chickens and riding on the tractor with him, watching while he milked his yellow cow, Bess. I’d...

Read more: Marbles

 

 

 

Ruler of the House

by

Luann Lewis

We never should have bought this old house.  We sunk all our savings into it plus we took on a mortgage so huge that at this point I would have to pay out money just to get rid of the place.

 

I hate the sounds...

Read more: Ruler of the House

 

 

 

Abe, the Teenage Hypnotist from Planet Garfunkel

by

Albert Orejuela

You’re hearing a voice, but no one else hears a sound. It’s a deep distant whisper, soft, safe, and inviting: the words of which you can’t yet make out. The harder you listen, the softer it gets; softer and softer, deeper and deeper. The more you listen to it here, ...

Read more: Abe, the Teenage Hypnotist from Planet Garfunkel

 

 

 

A Night in Fontana

by

TJ Marshall

Brody Carlisle halted his horse on the crest of a shrub-covered hill, slapped his Stetson twice sending dust floating skyward, and after placing it back on his head, coaxed a swallow from his canteen.

To the west, the sun slid behind a scattering of tall pillar-like plateaus. Their...

Read more: A Night in Fontana

 

 

 

Full

by

Luann Lewis

Food. Globes of mashed potatoes glistening with a thin layer of gravy, plump slices of pie gushing with ruby red cherries–food wassensuous. It was sensuous before Abby even knew the meaning of the word.  Sparkling Christmas goodies enticed her as a child. She would sneak from her...

Read more: Full

 

 

 

The Decision

by

Brigitte Whiting

Stan stood on the sand, crumpled by how many people and birds running and sliding into it today. Now, it was getting dark, the last of the purple, streaky clouds turning black against a pale, gray sky.

Go or stay, just two choices.

He reached down...

Read more: The Decision

 

 

 

Swiftwater

by

Cedar White

10

Amos stood on a thick, muscular knoll on the shoulder of a dark river. He shivered, soaking wet from his silver hair to his leather shoes, and stared, disoriented, at the pines across the river. They seemed to stand with their backs to him. Amos felt...

Read more: Swiftwater

 

 

 

Minerva Shield

by

Frank Richards

In July the monsoon rains returned and with them came the little green frogs. Price Aurigena had first seen them in the summer of 1969 when he’d arrived in Korea and now, a year later, they were once again everywhere. Frogs sprang from the ground like exploding popcorn...

Read more: Minerva Shield

 

 

 

Seinfeld Moment

by

Frank Richards

I have studied martial arts all my life: Karate, Judo, Kenpo Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, and Hsing-I, but as I've gotten older, I pretty much stick to Tai Chi. I used to study Tai Chi at a park in Washington, D.C. called Glen Echo Park. It's an old...

Read more: Seinfeld Moment

 

 

 

Wedding Portrait – Life Portrait

by

Glennis Hobbs

July 20, 1942


Escorted by her eldest brother Neil, Annabell walks across the front lawn to meet Bill. her groom. She is dressed in a long gown of pink net overlying pink point d’esprit. A bandeau of artificial roses secures her pink net veil. She also...

Read more: Wedding Portrait – Life Portrait

 

 

 

Salvation

by

Teresa Crowe

S is for Scintillation. 

Their arms and elbows locked as they vied for control.  Major released her grip and dredged her beet-colored nails across his muscled chest.  Zane glanced at the four lines of ripped skin, blood dripped onto the rim of his pants.  He lunged forward, grabbed...

Read more: Salvation

 

 

 

The Explorers

by

Glennis Walker Hobbs

Black, ginger, and tortoiseshell felines zoom through the open screen door onto the deck. Black Nic pauses and surveys his domain from the top of the steps. Kittens race down the ramp and scamper into the backyard. Glory, the tortoiseshell, runs to the maple in the corner, ...

Read more: The Explorers

 

 

 

Beckett – you asked for this

by

Joy Manné

Here am I, on this grey morning, here I am again, entering this day as I entered yesterday and the day before and unless I am spared by death will enter tomorrow and the day after, endlessly growing older with the anxiety that brings, the fear of coming...

Read more: Beckett – you asked for this

 

 

 

Reconciliation

by

Brigitte Whiting

Mattie opened the front door. "I'll be back in a while, Henry," she said, then stepped onto the porch and clicked the door shut.

It opened behind her and Henry stuck out his head. "Wait, I can come with you."

She shook her head. "I need...

Read more: Reconciliation

 

 

 

Road Trip

by

David Snyder

  The eight-year-old 1958 Chevy was purring along through rural Kansas with ease. Don smiled with pride. When it hit 180,000 miles he planned to celebrate with a smoke and an ice-cold Mountain Dew from the cooler.  It was a beautiful late April day with the sunny...

Read more: Road Trip

 

 

 

Why I’m Failing My Innovative Fiction Course

by

Ed Kratz

   

This is from an assignment in the Innovative Fiction Course taught by Karen

I'm just not making it in my innovative fiction course.
What is innovative fiction you might ask? Well, if you have to ask, I'd say you're one of those rubes...

Read more: Why I’m Failing My Innovative Fiction Course

 

 

 

Dear Don...

by

Ed Kratz

   

The Don, whose real name you do not want to know, ever, has vast experience solving problems. Our organization, Don’t Try to Find Us Press, never advocates violence. We take no responsibility for violent acts committed by those misinterpreting the Don’s recommendations.
Now for...

Read more: Dear Don...

 

 

 

Todd’s Miracle

by

Leslie

Todd shivered in the dark, seated cross-legged on the linoleum. Coats and dresses draped gently over his five-year-old shoulders. He flinched as a slit of bright light flashed through the space at the bottom of the door. Seconds later the deep, rolling rumble followed. “Mommy?”

Silence.

“Mommy?” ...

Read more: Todd’s Miracle

 

 

 

Mad Hatter Town Planners

by

Margaret Fieland

   

I fell down the rabbit hole straight into the town planning committee meeting. A large basin of Sangria sat in the middle of the scratched wood table in the center of the room, and a keg rested against the back wall. Al, Stan, and Art...

Read more: Mad Hatter Town Planners

 

 

 

Dinner at Grandma's

by

Lolla Bryant

You’re at Grandma’s house again for dinner.  As always, the family is gathered together and everybody’s trying to out-talk everybody else.   You ask yourself why you continue to go through this ordeal every week, but you know why; it’s Grandma.  Also, it’s a family tradition that brings you...

Read more: Dinner at Grandma's

 

 

 

Mommy’s Little Secret

by

Leslie

At age five, Amy told her mother that the thought of swimming scared her. Not surprisingly, her mother poo-pooed the idea, and said that fear showed weakness and stupidity. From then on, Amy said she hated swimming and never admitted any fear to her mother again. I don’t...

Read more: Mommy’s Little Secret

 

 

 

Of Heroes and Holiness

by

Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family...

Read more: Of Heroes and Holiness

 

 

 

My Desk

by

Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” Butwe all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, ...

Read more: My Desk

 

 

 

My Mobile Space

by

Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic...

Read more: My Mobile Space

 

 

 

A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by

Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born...

Read more: A Red Squirrel's Narrative

 

 

 

Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

by

Joy Manné

This essay is part of a Talk-Back series – I owe that title to Karen. A Talk-Back is my response to a chapter in a WVU textbook, my communication with its author.

This Talk-Back is a response to the exercise in Lia Purpura’s chapter, ‘On Miniatures,’ (Flas...

Read more: Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

 

 

 

Reunion

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

“Why the F--- Do I want to see a F—ing alligator jump up to eat a F—ing chicken hanging on a clothesline?”

 

The last time I hung out with my Uncle Dan is when I dragged him to Gatorland to do something touristic. ...

Read more: Reunion

 

 

 

A Fear of Broken Things

by

Angela Hess

“Does he look at you?”

 

My cousin’s innocent question triggers a flashing red warning light in my brain. My baby doesn’t look at me. I assumed he was too young still, but my cousin’s baby is only four days older than mine, and they are...

Read more: A Fear of Broken Things

 

 

 

Wild Roses Growing in the Ditch

by

Louise E. Sawyer


It is a joy to hold a lovely scene, a delightful moment, in memory.
~Marjolein Bastin

Frank was four and I was five and getting ready to start school when Dad and Mom moved us into a new house on Glasgow Avenue—a three-bedroom home that wasn't quite finished—in...

Read more: Wild Roses Growing in the Ditch

 

 

 

Hazardous Happenings

by

Albert Orejuela

At some point, everything comes to an apex.  Status quo can only persist for so long before the natural balance of the universe calls for consumption, and then it all comes down to a choice.  That’s it, a lone decision that ultimately leads down a pathway to a higher level...

Read more: Hazardous Happenings

 

 

 

Dealing with Rejection

by

Carolann Malley


Sending your writing out into the world can be scary whether you write poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. But, at some point, if you are a serious writer, you will do it. Getting a rejection letter back can be more devastating than asking a girl out as a teenager and...

Read more: Dealing with Rejection

 

 

 

Backyard Neighbors

by

Brigitte Whiting


I took an hour to walk outdoors in my yard, first to clip dead honeysuckle branches, pluck dandelions, and then to fill the birdbaths and feeders. And to ponder what to write about one of my backyard neighbors, the gray squirrel, Sciurus Carolineses. Its name is derived from the...

Read more: Backyard Neighbors

 

 

 

Betrayal

by

Angela Hess


My four-year-old son has a friend over. I overhear my son’s friend tell my two-year-old daughter, “Gracie, you can’t come in here.” Then my son’s voice: “It’s okay, she can play with us. Here, Gracie,” he says, presumably handing her one of the toys they are playing with. My mama...

Read more: Betrayal

 

 

 

The Weight of Emotions

by

Angela Hess

  I can hear my parents’ raised voices upstairs. They are fighting again. I turn on the sink faucet, letting the sound of the running water drown out their voices. I thrust my hands in the nearly scalding hot water and methodically scrub each dish in the sink...

Read more: The Weight of Emotions

 

 

 

An Apology

by

Brigitte Whiting

   I'm sorry that I hadn't thought of how I would take care of a puppy. It had seemed like a good idea, accept the gift of a puppy from acquaintances. She had the coloring of a coyote and was named Brindle for those tawny markings. I'd...

Read more: An Apology

 

 

 

Baby Precious

by

Louise E. Sawyer

It was Christmas Day 1950 and my sixth birthday. Under the tree was an unusually long, large box with my name on it. I was excited to open it. I couldn’t wait. When I finally did, I was amazed to look upon the most gorgeous doll I’d...

Read more: Baby Precious

 

 

 

Downsizing

by

M Clare Paris

 
I think about death quite a bit. Not morbidly, nor do I worry about what happens when one dies. Although I enjoy a spiritual life, I am also philosophical about the end of my life. If there is something else, it will be darned interesting. If there isn’t, ...

Read more: Downsizing

 

 

 

Absent But Present

by

Louise E. Sawyer


My father, Thomas George Sawyer, was absent at my birth and absent the first seven months of my life.

It was Christmas Eve 1944 at the two-story white house on Beechwood Drive-my Grannie’s house in Victoria, the capital city of British Colombia on Vancouver Island. Grannie Price, my...

Read more: Absent But Present

 

 

 

Gathering: A Contemplative Essay

by

Brigitte Whiting

I'm always looking for ideas to use in writing: for that prompt at which I first gulp and then slowly retrieve some thread of an idea, for the poem I need for the Monday morning poetry group, for an essay that's due in two days.

I've heeded...

Read more: Gathering: A Contemplative Essay

 

 

 

Seasons in a Wild Turkey Hen's Life

by

Brigitte Whiting

Last spring, a wild turkey hen incubated her eggs for twenty-eight days. When they hatched, she scrambled to keep up with them. Poults to scientific literature. Babies to her. She didn't need to teach them to scratch for bugs—they came with that instinct. Nighttimes during their first four weeks, ...

Read more: Seasons in a Wild Turkey Hen's Life

 

 

 

Lesson in Subtext

by

Joy Manné and Karen Barr

Roles

Teacher – Karen Barr

Student – Joy Manné

Teacher

WELCOME TO WEEK 8 OF SUBTEXT.

There is no word count, but the challenge is to get all ten types of subtext in as few words as possible. Here they are:

Show don’t...

Read more: Lesson in Subtext

 

 

 

Teenage Escape Plan

by

Danielle Dayney

I woke to warm, gooey air smothering me even though the ceiling fan was spinning on high. Dangling lightpulls smacked and banged the glass globe with each rotation of the blades. The base of the fan swayed and groaned, ready to jump from its screws in the drywall any second.

...

Read more: Teenage Escape Plan

 

 

 

Miracle Baby

by

Harry C. Hobbs

The mother and father watched as the sun rose on a cold morning in February 1945, wondering if their four-month-old son had lived through the night. Could miracles really happen? Perhaps this child they had wanted so badly wanted wasn’t meant to survive. His mother was a month past her...

Read more: Miracle Baby

 

 

 

Ylva the Úlfr

by

Cynthia Reed

When I flew to California in September, the golden archipelago summer, verdant below and mazarine above, still held sway. Twenty-three days and eleven thousand two hundred and forty miles later, if you’d sat here with me on the back deck this afternoon--you’d know, too--autumn now envelopes Sweden in...

Read more: Ylva the Úlfr

 

 

 

Late Summer

by

Debbie Noland

The winner of the April 2019 Poetry Contest!

  
Summer gasps its last hot breaths,
panting...

Read more: Late Summer

 

 

 

Teenage Turmoil - (Aged 16)

by

Miss Natalie Sackstein.

Part of the series: #1 THREE AGES OF WOMAN

TEENAGE TURMOIL
by (Aged 16)

My mind is but...

Read more: Teenage Turmoil - (Aged 16)

 

 

 

Frustration - (Aged 28)

by

Mrs. Natalie Liknaitzky

Part of the series: #2 THREE AGES OF WOMAN


FRUSTRATION
BY (Aged 28)

Creation stifled. Each...

Read more: Frustration - (Aged 28)

 

 

 

Multipotentailite - (Aged 80)

by

Natalie Knight

Part of the series: #3 THREE AGES OF WOMAN.

MULTIPOTENTAILITE
(Inspired by Lydia Davis to write...

Read more: Multipotentailite - (Aged 80)

 

 

 

By Late Winter

by

Brigitte Whiting


My unfinished deck waits beneath two feet of snow.
The driveway is one long strip of ice,
and...

Read more: By Late Winter

 

 

 

Joy Crawls Out Of Her Bag

by

Louise Sawyer




In memoriam of Joy, my animal companion, who died January 9, 2018.

Joy crawls out of her sleeping bag,
...

Read more: Joy Crawls Out Of Her Bag

 

 

 

Cyber Sisters

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

we meet in online classes,
strangers in cyber space,
we share
a love of poetry,
a desire...

Read more: Cyber Sisters

 

 

 

Winter Ballet

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs




snowflakes swirl in a dance
hurl themselves against the window
pine trees rock branches to and fro,
gently, then furiously
...

Read more: Winter Ballet

 

 

 

Computers and Catspeak

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs


I move the mouse
over the pad
type in password

mouse?
did I hear the word mouse?
where...

Read more: Computers and Catspeak

 

 

 

A Soldier’s Letter Home – A Found Poem

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs



Based on letters by Private George Walker, written June 12, 1918-July 17, 1918

I got your letter just about lights...

Read more: A Soldier’s Letter Home – A Found Poem

 

 

 

Ottawa Reverie

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs



As I leaf through my manuscript of Ottawa poems, “In the Shadow of the Tower,” I decide to check...

Read more: Ottawa Reverie

 

 

 

The Room

by

rolly




I hear little drips the leaky faucet makes
amid violent silence of the passing night

how I long for that...

Read more: The Room

 

 

 

Speedy, My Reptilian Twin

by

Lina Sophia Rossi




The house seems different, quiet and empty
despite being filled with people, cats, and dogs.
No longer swishing or pitter-patter,
...

Read more: Speedy, My Reptilian Twin

 

 

 

Metaphorically Speaking

by

Lina Sophia Rossi




They say life is like a bowl of cherries
sweet, juicy, tasty. Watch out for the pits.
Isn’t that what...

Read more: Metaphorically Speaking

 

 

 

Ligature Ideations

by

Lina Sophia Rossi




From the doorjamb, staff had to cut her down,
now she was an amorphous, lifeless mound,
large form lying on...

Read more: Ligature Ideations

 

 

 

Never Sober, Always Arguing

by

Lina Sophia Rossi




Arguing chips away at my soul.
How can I feel half, when part of a whole?
Drink yet another beer, ...

Read more: Never Sober, Always Arguing

 

 

 

Your Call to Say Hi, Gone to Hell

by

Lina Sophia Rossi




Why call, then yell I interrupted?
To talk to you, gives me great displeasure.
My personal peace has been disrupted.
...

Read more: Your Call to Say Hi, Gone to Hell

 

 

 

Waiting for the Rain

by

Helen Rossiter



Mavis Bone with her face as crinkled as a brown paper bag sits quiet and still in the ancestor’s rocker, ...

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Christmas Birds

by

Debbie Noland



Just above the power lines
that stretch along the road, the birds
on Christmas morning swarm, and then

at some...

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Stragglers

by

Debbie Noland



Two pelicans left in the cove
this brisk November afternoon
must surely know it’s time to leave.

The dock marina...

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San Luis Valley Sunshine

by

Frankie Colton




Summer sky azure
Thunderheads billow rain falls
Warm sunshine-filled days

Golden leaves falling
Fall breeze whispers winter comes
Crisp morning...

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Bathroom Ekphrastic

by

Debbie Noland



It’s dank and dark and dingy
in the old cabin bathroom.
The narrow steps stretch downward
with their cold, metal...

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Ice-Breaking Revisited

by

Christina Huizar



I met my love – my love was fair
His most chance word fascinating
His every move a mystery
I...

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Boardwalk Stroll – A Prose Poem

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs (Glennis Hobbs)

My morning stroll leads me to the east end of Flinty’s Boardwalk by Del’s Cairn. A replica of ...

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Adventuring — An Unrhymed Heroic Couplet

by

Brigitte Whiting




I've been where no red squirr'l has gone before,
toheights and depths, despair. Until an opened...

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Ode To A Poem

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs (Glennis Hobbs)

you start as a blank screen
or a sheet of pristine paper,
words elude me, then
tantalize, taunt...

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The People’s Princess ~An Elegy

by

Louise Sawyer

There was a day never forgotten
When the world, including me, watched from afar
the fairytale wedding of...

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Crystalized Fog ~a Pastoral Poem

by

Gerardine Gail Baugh

Of cold air hitting a warmer ground
Yesterday ended in a rising fog
Or was it the other...

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Elegy for Judy

by

Gerardine Gail Baugh


I try to hear her voice; its sound has faded.
I see her hair, shining dark, brushing her...

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Portrait of Solitude

by

Albert Orejuela

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Break Time

by

RJ Hembree

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Colors

by

Maggie Fieland

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Wild Horses with the Snow Covered Mountains

by

RJ Hembree

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Color Cubes

by

Maggie Fieland

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Rest

by

Albert Orejuela

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Camera Smile

by

RJ Hembree

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To Relax Wild Horses Before a Photo Shoot, I Find it Helpful to Tell a Couple of Jokes

by

RJ Hembree

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First Step

by

Karen Barr

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Orchid Alone

by

Albert Orejuela

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Veg 2

by

Maggie Fieland

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All Along the Watchtower

by

RJ Hembree

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Ham

by

Karen Barr

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Winter

by

Maggie Fieland

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Backlit Great White Egret

by

RJ Hembree

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White Lightning

by

Karen Barr

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Wild Horses

by

RJ Hembree

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Cow Gossip

by

Karen Barr

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Cooper's Town

by

Albert Orejuela

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Along with the Sandhill Cranes, American Wigeons Filled the Sky

by

RJ Hembree

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Aleyne Desert

by

Maggie Fieland

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A Favorite Fishing Spot for the Ospreys

by

RJ Hembree

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Wearing a Coating of Ice

by

Gerardine (Gail) Baugh

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Long Way 'Til Spring

by

Brigitte Whiting

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