This issue includes multiple themes: poverty, unemployment, lost, trauma, drought—but also play, humor, and maybe our one hope for survival: recognizing the value of all living beings. So you will find a poem about raccoons (Babcock), a hummingbird (Moffet), crows (Stone and Harris) , a bear (Stearns), ospreys (Rabuzzi), and some chickens (Petska). Petska says it well when he imagines the “surveilling eyes” of his chickens, assessing him from the other side, and wondering if he was worth their investment.
Two poems honor insects not usually considered honorable in Trail’s “To the Hornet” and Sullivan’s “Against Glass.”
Anis Mojgani’s prompt, “Shake the Dust”, inspires some listing, ranting, rambling, and celebrating in the works of Champlin, Dorroh, Hammial, and Hoggard—pushing boundaries, sometimes making sense into nonsense, following the stream that is consciousness, playing with words. (After reading Hoggard, see if the word “country” ever feels the same!)
Three poets address memories, how they can haunt (Fick), how the less desirable memories can open the poet to the joyful ones (Finely), how remembering is like time travel to places you did not know you cherished until they were gone (Popperl).
And of course several poets did time travel—to the first romance of a schoolboy (Stoddart), to sorting mixed raisin boxes by grower on a cement slab in the heat of Fresno (Barile), or to culling through Puerto Rican cultural experiences her children will never know (Ettinger).
This issue is full of surprises, including the artwork of Rachel Coyne which I found unsettling at first glance but then could not look away. Her images are like poems in that something is left out. These narrative pieces are deliberately enigmatic. See her BACK PAGE for a bit of insight.
I hope you are as tickled and touched as I am in reading this issue. It seems to offer a map for healing. Spring is coming. Mojgani concludes, “when the world knocks at your door . . .run into its big, big hands with open arms.”
Yours in poetry,