Willawaw Journal Fall 2022 Issue 15
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
COVER ARTIST: David Memmott
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
Page One: Kenneth Anderson Frank Babcock Jodi Balas Louise Cary Barden Page Two: David Memmott Carol Berg Robert Beveridge Ace Boggess Jeff Burt Natalie Callum Page Three: David Memmott Dale Champlin Margaret Chula Richard Dinges Rachel Fogarty Matthew Friday Page Four: David Memmott D. Dina Friedman David A. Goodrum John Grey Allen Helmstetter James Kangas Page Five: David Memmott David Kirby Tricia Knoll Linda Laderman Kurt Luchs David Memmott Page Six: David Memmott Stacy Boe Miller Kathryn Moll John C. Morrison John Muro Toti O'Brien Page Seven: David Memmott John Palen Darrell Petska Vivienne Popperl Laura Ann Reed Erica Reid Page Eight: David Memmott Lindsay Rockwell Beate Sigriddaughter Jeffrey Thompson Elinor Ann Walker William F. Welch Page Nine: David Memmott Charles Weld Kevin Winchester BACK PAGE with David Memmott
Over the icy pond, they hang north,
the way we might cling to hope.
The sun blinks, burrows under a sky
turning gray, on this day
that started with yoga breath, possibilities
of twist. We faced east to be warriors.
Toward Mecca? Jerusalem? A city with fists?
Or perhaps to honor the light’s short arc
against the depleted horizon. Late afternoons
the geese honk to announce their happiness
or distress. I don’t know which. The wind cradles
the leaves that detach, crumpled and wasted
like Picasso hands. What can fingers hold
after the heavens empty their feathers,
the geese an echo in the thinning air.
D. Dina Friedman is the author of one book of poetry, Wolf in the Suitcase (Finishing Line Press) and two young adult novels, Escaping Into the Night (Simon and Schuster) and Playing Dad’s Song (Farrar Straus Giroux). She has been published in The Sun, Mass Poetry, Chautauqua Journal, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. Friedman has received two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and fiction. Her short story collection, Immigrants, will be published by Creator Press in 2023.
In Indiana I would stare at the birthing
of contrails by jets heading west
filled with passengers who would never
set foot in flyover country;
the hot gas extruding from engines
into loose, watery strands of cirrus.
My brother, looking up with me,
struck by a golf ball hit from across the street,
a small purple globe rising from his forehead.
* * *
I imagine the saddest people flying cross country
from dragging children through airports, hauling luggage,
weightlifting them to the overheads, knees
cramped against thin seats leaning back, elbowing
over armrests, and in turbulent times grasping airsick bags
and checking for exit paths
just in case.
* * *
I remember nodding off
on summer nights as dad drove us home
steering through the dark corn and soybean fields,
swarms of insects splattering against the windshield
caught, surprised, in mid-flight,
entrails smearing the view of the road ahead.
* * *
In the middle of Indiana, I slept
among the long dead and the always dying,
on land once located near the equator
and covered by an ancient shallow sea,
of the shells of marine invertebrates
forming on the sea’s bottom and compacting
into a bedrock graveyard of limestone.
* * *
Is the jet coming or going? If Spengler were here
it would be coming from somewhere.
Watching the trail, and a second one, with changing
wind patterns and broken reflections on the water,
we know we’re the smooth flat stones
we toss and skim across the lake.
David A. Goodrum is a writer and photographer living in Corvallis, Oregon. His poems are forthcoming or have been published in Spillway, Star 82 Review, The Write Launch, and other journals. Additional work (both poetry and photography) can be viewed at davidgoodrum.com.
She stopped at the tomato vines
as if to hug them, as if to grow on
a vine like them, always in season,
bright and new or plump or rosy
or quickly breaking down into
new year’s seed when neglected.
It was right before she filled her basket.
She could feel her father’s grip
on her right shoulder, his forearm
sinewy and hard from his daily work,
so like the three pound tool he wielded.
It was that moment when she
peered down into the basket
and its emptiness didn’t matter.
At least it had a point.
A least it almost had a face.
She had forgotten why she’d argued
with her husband.
She wasn’t even sure why she had
summoned up her father.
Blame it on the heat
and clouds of crickets like
something from the Book of Revelations.
Blame it on the sweats,
those gallons of water,
the earth’s liquid memory
that force you into constantly
wading through them.
His silence was still in her ears,
striking a balance with the heat
and the earth and the vines
and the magic faces of the fruit.
“Take them, they’re yours,”
her father whispered.
And bring them back to him she thought.
His bright red reward hogging
the kitchen table.
His tasty love apples bursting in his mouth.
His tang on the lips, his fullness
to the stomach. His life. His house.
And she, somewhere below, in a silent stairwell
looking up, far into the distance,
staring at that ripe tomato of a sun.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest book, Covert, available through Amazon.
Fluffed hens cluck but black and black
in the bitter night in the brooder house
they cannot see the galaxies whorl.
And in the barn where one bulb lights,
the birth bag drops unseen, the calf
plops all unheard into prickly straw.
Under the wan glow, low now over
its laboring breath and tongue its
birth dew as tottering, lurching
it finds your warm, leathery teats.
Then, feel the ferocious sucking and
give your milk and all your spent life.
Wait against the icy night for spring
while hens fret in their nests of straw.
Allen Helmstetter lives in rural Minnesota. He loves the rivers, woods, and fields there, and after hiking the trails, is often inspired to write about the relationship between nature and the human condition. He has been published in North Coast Review.
At some point after my father died
my mother said: Life’s no fun
anymore. I don’t know what she meant
exactly since I don’t ever remember
him making anything fun, and I think
physical intimacy hadn’t been part
of their lives for years, so that couldn’t
have been it. Maybe she just felt old,
and visiting friends didn’t much happen
anymore since one or another spouse
had died and things had slowed markedly.
And her garden held no joy for her now,
not her pet tomatoes, Early Girls, not
the sweet lettuce, not even the towering
gladiolas she had always adored more
than all the exalted glories of summer.
James Kangas is a retired librarian and musician living in Flint, Michigan. His poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, New World Writing, and West Branch, among others. His chapbook, Breath of Eden (Sibling Rivalry Press) was published in 2019.