In the Winter 2018 Issue 5, Elizabeth Woody’s stone-heavy haunting of a poem, My Brother, and the series of puzzling prompts that is a Cebu, have drawn from Willawaw contributors a wide range of responses, taking us in or up or to distant isles. Some brave souls even combined the two prompts with startling and effective results (beginning with Carolyn Adams and later, with Susan Morse). Add the serendipity of Pollard’s and Chisholm’s collages which, by nature, invite the reader to make connections, and you find another version of making meaning out of disparate elements.
These poems are filled with grief and loss of brothers or family. Marjorie Power’s absent brother is “a pulsing silence.” In Laura LeHew’s “After the Eulogy,” we are numbed with “cheese slices, potato salad, salad salad, and baked beans.” Some of the Cebu also explore loss and invite the poets to leap down the page with daring, adventure, peril, escape, and the fantastic—as if striving to harness a cataclysmic energy. The poets’ explorations resonate profoundly with the sense of peril and cataclysm in “real time.” These are the poets’ voices, as Catherine McGuire has put it, in her poem Response, “who kept writing amid the turmoil and sorrow.” This fierceness demands our attention.
Interspersed, you will find small oases of calm such as Isa Jennings’ Beyond Belief, Gyl Gita Elliott’s The Fifth Element, Vincent Wixon’s Surface Tension, and Dale Champlin’s Coming Home. John Van Dreal also offers a rich landscape of the Willamette Valley. I hope that you enjoy reading this issue and that you will share what you like with your friends.
From the depths of the Winter Solstice,