Willawaw Journal Winter 2020 Issue 11
Notes from the Editor
COVER ARTIST: Carol Crump Bryner (See BACK PAGE for more)
TABLE of CONTENTS:
Page One: Frank Babcock Sarah Beddow Mara Beneway Michael H. Brownstein
Page Two: Carol Crump Bryner Linda Bryant Dale Champlin Matt Dube Ann Farley Samuel T. Franklin
Page Three: Carol Crump Bryner Trina Gaynon John Grey Suzy Harris Richard Manly Heiman Doug Van Hooser
Page Four: Carol Crump Bryner Abriana Jetté Gary Lark Penelope Hyde Levine Sarah Lilius Kurt Luchs
Page Five: Carol Crump Bryner DS Moalalai Bruce McRae Amy Miller Cameron Morse Liz Nakazawa
Page Six: Dan Overgaard Frank Rossini John Stanizzi Suzanne Verrall BACK PAGE with Carol Crump Bryner
Later, of course, catastrophe
but for now
there might as well be oceans,
floating outside this apartment.
summer has fallen
in a thick soup of rain,
and the green moves
as wind moves through it,
kicking up leaves
and looking underneath them.
this is paris – we are in an apartment
on a fifth-floor walk-up, trading sips
of the drinks we’re trying
and taking our turns to make dinner.
later, of course,
catastrophe. my sudden
collapse; my head
like a jigsaw
not to do. all the pieces
laid on a table, but with a teapot on them,
and a mug, a hand
and one corner of a newspaper.
we mutter about, something
like birds in a market
where there’s no bread to fight for. we bumble;
someone reads a book
and someone else looks out the window. below us
the green rumbles sealife. also full
of various birds.
DS Maolalai has been nominated eight times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)
On The Brink
Back end of a town on the sea-brink,
sentinel mountains the rock-gods marshalling age-old cold,
time elapsing, slowly-quickly-slowly,
a nation entire on the cusp of a grey-green woods,
a people en toto settled amongst forest-flinch,
the roiling waters a border not for crossing,
whale-song exchanging currency
with outboard motors and curious tourists.
Where oceanic fogbanks contemplate dramatic entrances.
Where seals bark, the pack dogs of the main,
stray reports of cougar attacks and ursine visitations
sprinkling the news and odd conversation.
No talk though of ecstasy or infinites or absolutes,
of the supernatural transposed over human nature,
the Earth-ancient text to human illustration,
the un-animal become more and more unnatural,
nature de-clawed, de-sexed, de-scented,
fetid and mossy rainforests contrasting
with aluminum siding, aerials, discarded cans,
a planet trembling under the planking.
Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple
Pushcart nominee with over 1,600 poems published internationally in magazines such as
Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets’
(Silenced Press); ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’; (Cawing Crow Press);‘Like As If’ (Pski’s
Porch); ‘Hearsay’ (The Poet’s Haven).
After, we ate a Gala I split
with a knife—his two quarters
with the heart sliced out,
mine just the same.
I have only this month in which to love you.
After that, it’s see you next year but of course
that isn’t true, the winter’s swipe, the beautiful
claws of August rending you pocked, soft,
never again the ripe muscle I saw discarded
in the box, your one worm ear open to the sky.
Perfect in the sense that—
no, many perfect, plus or minus
a few destructive drops.
You live in my mouth,
but the spark of your destruction
lights lines in orbit, your voice
dividing atoms in my ear—
o song, o atoms, o apples,
now we’re just confusing
the straight knife with who
drew the line: what was vs.
what scintillating soap opera
Late fruit fallen well past the noon of our
existential autumn, but still I want it,
to halve and quarter, my mouth
mistaking every bite for ever.
We all came from somewhere, fell
off somebody’s truck or were twisted
by a sudden hand, implanted
with an unknown fire’s red spark.
Page one in the book of apple:
sharp skin, radiant vein
fed by a storm, face
shone to a high howl.
Now, once, in my lucky hand.
Painting the House
We switch to the smallest brushes
and the teacher says a few strokes
can intimate a building. I draw
the finest line—just eight or ten hairs,
the saddest fox tail—for a roof,
white with yellow and aquamarine—
the color of the mountain’s big shadow.
Bare wash of gray for windows, smudge
of a door and an accidental porch I build
with a single stroke. But stop—the rushes
are suddenly in danger, too gold, the broken
hedge too pretty with bloom. Already,
I’ve overimagined—the snow on the peaks,
the mess of clouds sifting rainmelt, hints
of mud and bracken and flies, and even
the house—you can’t just paint in roses
and call it summer. The picture is starting
to speak—something about a cord of wood
that never was delivered, and a ditch
last night that woke up singing with frogs.
Amy Miller’s poetry has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Willow Springs, and ZYZZYVA. Her full-length poetry collection is The Trouble with New England Girls. She lives in Ashland, Oregon.
Animal I have no name for
biting me below a canopy of blankets,
I am scared. No nightlight
can chase the darkness from the storm
drain, no iPhone. I don’t want to sleep
with the door closed. I can hear
Mother screaming in the bathroom
a sound disemboweled out of darkness,
an animal splitting open into the sound
of the darkness where I am scared.
I have no name for what is happening
on the other side of the door.
Cameron Morse lives with his wife Lili and two children in Independence, Missouri. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is Baldy (Spartan Press, 2020). He serves as Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and Poetry editor at Harbor Editions. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.
On the birdless day at the refuge
the morning was lento
cattails barely moving in breeze.
The canal twisted
its dream paired with cumulous clouds above
trees knocking in wind: their colloquial speech
noon in parentheses
landscape absent of narrative drive.
Just the day before I’d mentioned to a friend
minimal differences: beak size
stance on branch
white eye-ring circling eye.
But birds molt in secret come summer
begin looking messy, away from inquisitive eyes and field guides
missing and growing feathers create gaps in wing
sometime even a missing tail
pre-basic molt, summer plumage
each feather formed in a horney sheath.
With no birds
innocence dried and stilled
like a fermata of Shubert’s held extra long.
Absent common tern, cliff swallow and sparrow
only bush shadows nod and azure sky.
Liz Nakazawa is the editor of Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon (Ooligan Press), a collection of nature poems by 33 Oregon poets. It was designated one of the Best 100 Books about Oregon in the last 100 Years by the Oregon State Librarian. It was also a
Best Picks of Powell’s. She also edited The Knotted Bond: Oregon Poets Speak of Their Sisters (Uttered Chaos Press). Her own poems have appeared in Turn, The Timberline Review and The Poeming Pigeon journals and her haiku has appeared in ahundredgourds. She has published a chapbook of her poems, entitled, “Painting the Heart Open.”