• “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…

  • “Hope” by Elisa Peterson

    I never told my mother that I didn’t believe her when she confided that God spoke to her during shock therapy at Western State Hospital, back in the 50s. She was confined (again) for depression. Was, in fact, catatonic. And we were not allowed to visit. I heard Auntie telling Grandma that Mom was unaware that she had three small children. So to save us distress, we were only allowed to stand outside in the cold and wave at a shadow in her window. Years later, after she had stopped the cycling of debilitating depression, she told me that while in the hospital she had been visited by God. She…

  • “Patina, Unturning” by Daniel Wolfert

    When first they raised Patina in Green She towered, impassive, above the black waters And although we knew not why they shivered and shook The faraway monsters feared as she peered east.   “Behold this, our might,” cried the forefathers fiercely “Behold this, the one we have raised from the depths She of the Sea-Washed Our Mother of Exiles.”   “Exiles? Fwah!” My Grandmother spits. “What might do they have, These wool-headed men? What right do they have, To speak of the Sea-Washed? When we washed ourselves here, in these The black waters When She in the Green was not even a thought.”   Grandmother spits And she sits in…

  • “Words She Taught Me” by Jeremy Moynahan

    Dark river, what therefore must I do? When the weight of heart & flesh, lays pale & unmovable. Strung forward by your current like leafs nearest a stream kiss then all our memories, goodnight?   When bed meant her collarbone on a midnight ride our destination I can’t remember. Only, the rhythmic punctuation of lamplight dye Only . . . in tunnel darkness, she wisped, “Mijo?” the word warm with her breath tapping the bend of my neck I gave no response, a flutterlash of closedlids . . .   Still you spoke, your heart to mine, beating through your breast   . . . “Noches, mi amor.” The meaning…

  • Endured, Uttered by Troy Kehm-Goins

    There is no Silence in the Earth — so silent As that endured Which uttered, would discourage Nature And haunt the World — —EMILY DICKINSON   Tashtego In 1851, Tashtego is the only Indian on the whaler Pequod. The only red man on that ship of the damned. One of three-become-four harpooners. One for each of the whaling boats. Representatives of the brown, red, black, and yellow races. Each paired with one of the three mates and the captain.   Preston Singletary In 2019, artist Preston Singletary tells the Tlingit story of Raven. Preston carves in glass as his ancestors carved in cedar. Raven rose through the smoke-hole of the…