• “The Death of R&J” by Alec Clayton

    The phone call came around 7 p.m. He almost didn’t answer because the caller ID said unknown, and it was from Connecticut. He didn’t know anyone in Connecticut. But with cell phones nowadays it could be from anywhere. So, uncharacteristically, he picked up. “Hi, J. This is Gilbert, your brother, R’s stepson.” “Hi, Gilbert,” J answered with a catch of premonition in his throat. “I don’t know how to say this, so I guess I just have to say it. R passed away. He died in his sleep.” J’s initial response was, “I didn’t see this coming.” “None of us saw it coming.” “But I should have. I… ” And…

  • “You Need to Grieve” by Morf Morford

    I need to grieve. It was my first time teaching at a tribal college. I was new to the community and had a ton of prep work to do for my classes. We had about week of prep time before the school year began. I was learning my way around campus, meeting other teachers and staff and a few local tribal leaders and trying to get ready for several classes I had never taught before. In the midst of this, I got notice of a mandatory meeting for all non-Native staff and faculty. I already had more to do than I could get done in just a few days. I went…

  • “Miracles” by Emily Candace

    Do you always know when it happens – is it given to you or do you create it – what happens if you miss it– is it a God you have to believe in – do you have to lay yourself bare to absorb it – does it reject doubters – do you have to jump and risk your existence – Can you be afraid to die? What is a miracle?   Accepting Death, paying respect to the wholeness of Life, the more you allow it, the more you are able to live and not just survive. Giving your body and mind and heart and spirit to a lover you cannot…

  • “Do What is Right” by Patricia Heany

    There’s a bandersnatch around every corner little one, And the crows are in the corn. Don’t be content finding safe places to hide. Be the light in the darkness. Rage. Fight. Be uncouth and ill-mannered When the world seeks to silence the forgotten ones. (listen to your mother hiding, afraid in her little home I have seen the face of horror, and it walks and speaks and mews and wheedles and cries it wears clothes like a man to hide that it is not a man.) Fight it. Don’t give it inches, for it already has miles. Be the light in the darkness. You will have fears Sorrows Regrets You…

  • “About that Werewolf in the Valley…” by Elizabeth Beck

    A pantoum   Fallout shelters at the edge of town Now make-out Meccas for virgins and the newly not They built the arcades there in the 80s Still the screens paint the night like fluorescent sirens Now make-out Meccas for the virgins and newly not The werewolf took his first victim on that ridge Still the screens paint the night like fluorescent sirens and some say it was hot-blooded teen lust, unbridled The werewolf took his first victim up on that ridge But it wasn’t his last, he savaged about… half the senior class Some say it was hot-blooded teen rage, unbridled Fitting neatly into their morality play Prom night,…

  • “Corvidae” by James Stuart

    It had been three days since the crows came, and still, they covered the yard in a bobbing tangle of distilled black. There was no question to their motive; the rain had brought out the worms and they outnumbered the corvid hoard a hundredfold. It was a feast for the ages and one which seemed frantic for the birds; as if the writhing creatures existed only in a fever dream. From his seat in front of the window, Vernon watched as the birds hopped from place to place, skewering their beaks into the soft earth, pulling the squirming creatures from the ground, and swallowing them whole. He did not know…

  • “Like Nature” by Cindy Hutchings

    How do I not think   nature is not thinking   nature is doing, doing what she’s always done in a new, beautiful way   cycling through green growth flowering burning dying   will these things help me not think   if I can I will dig my roots in deep like nature   if I can I will drink from spring showers like nature   if I can I will blossom feed the world with my bounty like nature   if I can I will burn let my leaves change color our world like nature   if I can I will let life fade go within draw deep into…

  • “Jam Session” by Laurel Bennett

    I always tell Mom, “Call me anytime you need something.” She’s still pretty independent at 85 (with her second new hip recently), and rarely asks for help beyond the twice-monthly vacuuming, patio sweeping, tub scrubbing and occasional weeding at the Bennett homestead.   But today I got the call. She was making strawberry/red plum jam and asked whether I would come over and get her canner off a high shelf in the garage. Of course I would. It was a privilege, and I was really glad my little, fragile mama chose not to climb on some teetering footstool to get it herself.   I arrived and headed back to the…

  • “Ushas” by Tomm McCarthy

    In the lava dome of St. Helens On a cell phone Dewy with the approach of morning Its coming And there’s at least two of you Both horse-like and sacred So dark as to be almost blue With yellow scarves and scars like gold Sitting cross-legged and listening to the past Through the line and dreaming Mercurial thoughts are unsent text messages are An emoji astrology and a smiling moon On the other end wondering if you’re still listening, not asking, What still connects you besides occasional Phone calls, dreams that Electro-psychosis, and Martian Songs clear in the thin atmosphere.   Oh you, name like a purr, or gamble Why…