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Nonfiction is content, sometimes presented in the form of a story, presented as truthful and accurate depictions of people or events. Using simplicity, clarity, and directness, the specific facts and assertions may or may not be true depending on the biases and preferences of the author, however, they are presented as empirically and historically factual. 

Like fiction, it can take many forms. Journals, photographs, textbooks, travel books, blueprints, diagrams, biographies, memoirs, profiles, these are all forms of nonfiction prose. They tell of real people and real places. But there is something intangible about nonfiction as well. It is or can be depending on the razor-sharp wit, eagle eye, or discerning tongue, a moment of realization. It may tell simple truths or portray epic vistas.  It is truthful but may not always be true. Nonfiction is subjective. It is the world as seen through the author's eyes. The truth as they see it. 

We hope you enjoy the work of these talented authors. We applaud all of our contributors and encourage everyone to continue to follow their artistic and literary dreams. For those whose works we’ve selected, we hope this is just the beginning of an illustrious career in the arts.


The Style of No Style

by Frank Richards

I must be the Charlie Brown of writers because I’ve never been able to figure out what “style” is all about. What does that word, ‘style,’ mean? I’ve always had a problem with it. If there were such a thing as “styleblindness,” a disease like colorblindness, I’d be the first to test positive.

“But,” you say, “everyone knows what style is.” Wrong. Everyone thinks they know what style is. But when you ask them, no one can define style precisely. No one can tell it to you straight.

I first became aware of my deficiency back in grade school when I was learning to write long hand. I was the only left-handed kid in Miss Gorham’s third grade class. She tried to figure out how I was supposed to hold the paper and pencil so the page wasn't smeared. She kept changing my hand position on the desk until my arm curled around the paper like an upside down ‘G.’

The other kids laughed when they saw me writing. “Why are you holding your hand like that? Why is your paper upside down when you write?”

They thought it was funny. I didn’t. Long after they went out to the playground for recess, I was still hunched over my little desk, tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth as my crabbed hand slowly but diligently moved my number 2 pencil across sheets and sheets of that brownish, newsprinty writing paper in the Chieftain tablet they...

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Milkweed and Monarchs

by Brigitte Whiting

Each fall, Maine’s monarch butterflies migrate two thousand miles to spend the winter in Mexico. Then the following February, the butterflies begin their trek north. It will take three to five generations—the adult monarchs laying eggs, the caterpillars growing, forming themselves into chrysalises and metamorphizing, and new butterflies emerging to continue the journey—for monarchs to reach the northernmost regions, including Maine in early August.

Since milkweeds planted themselves in my front yard a few years ago, I've watched for them to sprout in the late spring. I then corral them within wire border fencing so I won’t step on them and they won’t be mowed.

Monarch caterpillars’ sole diet are the leaves of milkweeds. Without those, monarchs cannot survive. By the time the butterflies arrive, the milkweeds have grown their clusters of fragrant pale purple flowers, and then formed seed pods around the wilted blooms. I happened to be outdoors at noontime when two monarchs flew to my milkweeds. They’d found my small patch of milkweeds among all my trees.

I then started looking for signs of the caterpillars. Since they’re green with black, yellow and white rings, they’re hard to spot, but the milkweeds show their travels. Evidently, the caterpillars have their preferred milkweed leaves, leaving some after a couple of bites, and eating others down to the stalks. Over the next two or three weeks, the caterpillars will grow and molt several times.

Then one day when the caterpillars are two inches long, they...

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Bibliosmia

by Penny Camp

My love for reading started early. I traveled the world and rode dragons, fought knights, stormed castles, stole treasure with pirates and rescued kidnapped princesses. I floated down rivers in the deepest regions of unexplored lands. I climbed trees and mountains and flew on clouds.

Mom read to me as a young child, and in turn I read to the stuffed animals lined up on my bed.
One of my first memories is of Mom taking me to the library for story time. Afterwards I wandered the aisles, looking at books and breathing in the smell of both old and new pages.

I was seldom without a book. I ate with a book in one hand and a fork in the other. Occasionally I made my siblings call me by the name of the main character of whatever book I was reading at the time. They still tease me about my imaginary friends and how no one was allowed to sit next to me because Tom or Jack or Susie were already in the chair.

When I finished an engaging series, I felt an immense sense of disappointment. The world I'd been wrapped up in for so long was over. I’ve re-read entire series and each time, it’s a new adventure. I wouldn’t start a new series until I knew the library had access to every book in the set.

Growing up in a house full of readers gave me ample opportunity to explore new worlds. My mom...

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To Thwart a Wild Turkey Hen

by Brigitte Whiting

A flock of wild turkeys has wandered in and out of my yard for years. I have a raised deck so my birdfeeders stand ten feet off the ground and the turkeys graze under them. They are timid birds, and typically when I step out onto the deck, they run squawking into the trees as if they're being chased by wolves.

A wild turkey hen and I have been in a conflict since the end of January. It's now late March and I'm still trying to come up with ideas of how to keep her from eating all the sunflower seeds. She, however, feels it's her right to eat as many as she can.

On the Sunday afternoon before a nor'easter stormed into Maine, I filled the feeders. This time, a few members of the flock were in the backyard and they merely drifted a bit farther out. One hen, however, seemed intent on what I was doing, looking up from one side of her head and then cocking to the other. I figured I must be imagining things.

Then a couple of days after the snowstorm, a hen stood on the deck railing eyeing the feeder I'd filled, apparently assessing the distances and angles she'd need to reach over. She decided against trying and flew back to the ground. Watching the birds and animals visiting my yard is happenstance—I'll look out the windows a dozen times before I see any creature, and it may be another hundred...

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To All Recovering Wrecks

by Paul McWilliams

Like the many millions that have come before you, and like the still many millions around you, you may find yourself facing both a troubled past and an uncertain future. Initially and unavoidably, both your past and your future need to be faced concurrently. In so doing, you may then successfully devise a mindset such that can foster your release from a debilitating past and your release into a functional future. This is the required work of growing up and becoming a mature and responsible adult. Along the way, you’ll likely find kind fellowship and aid, particularly if you’re earnest and tenacious.

People the world over spend countless hours, days, and even lifetimes lamenting the shortcomings inherent in a less-than-ideal childhood. As result, many people have resentments which smolder and burn, turning them into complexes more harmful and difficult to overcome than any of the original affronts. No doubt, irresponsible parents and teachers who neglected to truly guide and mentor their respective children or students have caused countless legions of young adults to falter and fail, often tragically, well before commencement into adult life. As unjust and despairing as this can be, eventually, one must take stock of one’s life and carry on.

The wise thing to do is to look back with a measure of both detachment and compassion, and then, with resolution, determine to make peace so that you may move on with living. Cultivating a forgiving disposition is paramount. This is easier said than...

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Home

by Penny Camp

What makes a place a home? I grew up on a small farm in Sunnyside, Washington, where my dad raised sheep and my mom took care of the house and yard. For almost twenty-two years I called this place home. But home wasn’t the location, Sunnyside. It was where my parents were. I moved in and out until I got married at twenty-five, but their house was still home. Even after being married twenty years, whenever I visited my parents, I would say I was going "home."

I did a Google search for “what makes a home.” The following are my favorites:

A home is any place where you are comfortable and feel as if you can be yourself.
A home is not a place; it’s a feeling.
A house is just a place with a roof, but a home is a place where you live, laugh, and feel comfort.

I lived in Baker City, Oregon, for twenty years. It’s where my husband and I moved in 1994 after getting married. We bought our first house a year later. It was old, built in 1901; small, barely 750 square feet; and needed some work. It wasn’t bank financeable because it didn’t have a foundation, so the previous owner had to hold the contract. We slowly turned it into a home. We painted walls and planted a lawn. Eventually, we put a foundation under the house and a new roof up top. We got to know our neighbors and...

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Lessons Learned

by Sandra Niedzialek

I joined a writing critique group in the spring of 2019. I wanted to learn how to write both fiction and nonfiction. I was rather confident that I wouldn’t have any problems. How hard could it be after writing business letters and lesson plans for thirty years? Plus, I wanted to be a writer when I retired, so I was excited when I saw a posting for a writers' critique group in the area where I lived.

The first meeting was held at Hardees. It was a meet and greet to discuss goals and purpose.  This was how I met Dorice Nelson. She was 89 years old and feisty. I thought she was more my age at first because she was vibrant, focused on the group, and professional. She and I had something in common. We had both been English teachers. She had published five books, and also did some editing for professional writers. She was clearly more experienced than me. The critique group assumed we would exchange work and give each other feedback. Dorice decided otherwise. It was all of us writing and she gave the feedback. After all, she was the published writer.

For our second meeting, I took a scene from a story I had written. Dorice told me I could not write that scene in first person. I asked why not? The rest of the meeting was a lesson for me about first person. The next meeting, she growled at me. I...

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Corona Clean

by Fran Schumer

The Corona virus presents new challenges. Stuck at home, and with more of us sleeping, eating and working here, and a dirtier house, I was finally going to have to figure out how to use my new vacuum cleaner. Ordered a year ago, it mostly sat in its box while I made do with sweeping and a little hand-held vacuum I'd bought for $19.99. At one point, I'd figured out the basics, how to plug it in and how to get the cord to fly back into its hard, sturdy self. But that was six months ago, and being of an age where I'd be triaged out if I had Covid-19 in Italy, I no longer remembered any of it. After coffee, I re-figured out how to plug it in and turn it on, but what about all these attachments? For some reason, the company had sent us additional accessories. No one in this house would ever be thorough enough to use them, I knew, and they only confused me.    

"What do you suppose you use this for?" I asked my husband, waving a plastic wand with tentacles.

"I don't know," he said, looking up from his crossword puzzle (he, too, was working at home). "Try it."

After hours of Googling and YouTubes (men are the best at explaining household gadgets, I'd discovered, after Dad Cooks Dinner helped me figure out how to use an Instant Pot), I was actually vacuuming.

Frankly, it was fun. Having struggled...

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Occasional Neighbors

by Brigitte Whiting

I understand a little bit about wild turkeys. They're on a constant hunt for food, drifting through the neighborhood scrounging what they can. But I don't know how it happens that a few will either be left behind by the flock or leave it. This past fall, I'd walk around the garage and before I even saw them, I'd hear their shrieks and the loud scuttle of their wings. They've remained in my neighborhood all winter, two toms and a hen.

At this point in early March, I view them as neighbors and look for what they're up to. They pick through the sunflower seeds that fall from the birdfeeders, and hunt throughout the yards for anything edible. A couple of times I've accidentally dropped a small chunk of suet and when I looked a short time later, it was gone, presumably snatched by a wild turkey

I try to figure out how close they are to each other. Wild turkeys take turns standing guard, remaining absolutely still for a few minutes before they move again, and that continues with the three. They'll fuss a bit with each other when one has found a good hunting spot. They fend for themselves, but seem to gain a sense of safety from being with the others. If I catch sight of one, I can be quite sure the other two are straggling somewhere not too far away.

About an hour before sunset, the three wander back into the trees, only...

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Enjoy the Ride

by Penny Camp

Get up early. You can’t ride all day if you sleep in. Braid your hair tight — you don’t want it flapping in the wind. Make sure you don’t wear the undies with the seams down the back because after a long day of riding they will make your bum sore. If it’s hot, wear shorts under your gear. It’s nice to get the sweaty pants off when you take a break. Wear the comfortable boots you can walk in. You don’t know for sure that you’ll get a parking spot right outside of your destination. Make sure you bring a snack and some water. It’s nice to take a break and have something to eat. Bring a sweater or long sleeve shirt. The weather can change fast when you’re on a bike. Make sure you have rain gear. If you don’t, it will certainly rain. Always wear a scarf or bandanna around your neck. You don’t want a wasp stinging you in the gap between the helmet and jacket. Wasp stings hurt much more when you have to put your gear back on.

Check the air pressure in your tires before you leave. Top off the oil. Make sure everything is strapped down tight. Fuel up before you meet the group. Don’t be offended if the guys don’t want to ride behind you. They still don’t understand that women can ride just as fast as men. If you do beat them, don’t gloat too much.

Stop and...

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Cocoa and Biscuits

by Penny Camp

Saturday mornings were special occasions at our house when we were growing up. My friends begged to spend the night so they could be part of the Saturday morning ritual.

Mom would take out her green plastic bowl and splash in a little water, a little cocoa powder, some flour and sugar, stir it all up, put it in a pan on the stove, and then add a little milk and stir some more.

While the cocoa was heating up, the soft dough biscuits were baking in the oven. She made them from scratch — no boxes or mixes.

When the cocoa was taken off the stove and the biscuits removed from the oven, we eagerly grabbed a biscuit and tore it into bite-size pieces. In our hurry to devour the world’s best breakfast, we'd burn our fingers. Mom would laugh and tell us to wait.

We smothered the torn-up bits of biscuit with cocoa and topped it all off with a pat of butter. The butter melted into the cocoa, leaving a yellow smear on top. If there was any cocoa left on the plate, we'd grab another biscuit and mop up the remaining cocoa with it.

Afterwards my friends would go home and tell their moms about the wonderful breakfast we'd eaten and beg them to make it. They'd call my mom for the recipe, but there wasn’t one. Mom learned to make it from my Dad’s Mom, and she didn’t have a recipe either. Mom...

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Livin’ the Dream

by Holly Miller

When I was a child, my mom and Aunt Leona would pack us six kids into our blue Chevy Belair and drive to a local mobile home dealer (they were known as trailers back then). We would walk through the new homes, just for something to do. How I loved the new-home smell, the pristine floors, countertops, curtains, décor, and furniture. It was great fun to see the different options and imagine living in one of them. Since they were not connected to water and sewer, toilets were all taped shut so nobody would use them. When I became a mom, I enjoyed taking my own kids to the dealers to look at new trailers. Great, cheap fun.

Fast forward forty years to when my husband and I were looking at RVs. Our purpose then was less about entertainment and more about finding a suitable RV to live in with our one-year-old son while we toured the country. My husband had been saving for years for this day, when he could retire from a full-time busy medical practice and forty years of being on-call. I love to travel, but I wasn’t sure about leaving Lincoln County, Maine where I had spent my entire fifty-two years; and where our adult children, eight grandchildren, and my family of origin still lived.

Our first decision was choosing which type of RV would be most suitable for us. There are motorized class A, B, C and Super Cs. There are two options...

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Fall in Maine

by Brigitte Whiting

Autumn is falling in Maine, harder this year than I remember over the last few falls. We've had two nights of close to freezing temperatures, not enough to ice over the birdfeeders or kill any of my plants yet, but cold enough to turn the furnace on. My red maple that overhangs the deck has several dozen bright red leaves—it teases me each year by starting out with completely red ones and then as the days move forward, other leaf edges are tinged with deeper reds, and the later leaves turn either burgundies or yellows.  

Elsewhere, looking up into the trees, some of the maples are brighter maroons and others are dotted with yellow leaves. The colors change slowly—there are thousands of leaves on even a single tree and each one goes through the process. Photos and paintings try to capture the effect and they can, of masses of colors, but not the subtle tints happening from day-to-day. Some leaves are already freckled with fungi. The oaks, their leaves like large hands, are still green.

I had never experienced how amazing the fall colors were until my husband Bob and I moved to Maine. He grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I grew up in southwestern Alberta where I noticed the pale blue asters and goldenrod blooming during the falls, but we had very few trees, and the willows along the creek went from dusty green to brown. When I was in fourth grade, my...

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Best Laid Plans

by Penny Devlin

Every year shortly before spring, the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. catalog shows up on my doorstep. The cover is plastered with a WARNING label in big black letters informing me that if I don’t order now, this will be my last catalog. It also has coupons: $100 off with an order of $200 or more. Who can’t afford to save $100?

Being the good consumer that I am, I sit down with my catalog and start planning my garden for the summer. Have I ever successfully grown a garden? Nope. Will I be successful this year? Not likely. I start out with good intentions which quickly fade once the precious little seedlings sprout and are crowded out by weeds. Oh sure, the first dandelions pull out easily enough, but then life gets in the way, and by the time I remember to go outside and check the garden, the pesky invaders have turned into full-grown weeds and the precious Gurney’s seeds have all been choked to death. But I can grow a good weed!

I have even gone so far as to start the seedlings in the house weeks before planting them. I follow the instructions and spread the requisite number of seeds per square inch and make sure they have sunshine and warmth. They slowly break free from the soil and reach for the light. I wait until the last frost is past and transplant them outside, where they slowly die off and shrivel...

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One January Morning

by Brigitte Whiting

Mornings, I like to have a Kindle eBook open on the dining room table so I can read and look out into the backyard to see what might be happening. 

I live in a raised ranch with an attached two-car garage. My deck, which is off the kitchen and dining room, is built on the roof of the garage so it's anywhere from five to eight feet above the ground. It's accessible through a patio sliding door and by the exterior stairs. From where I sit at the dining room table, I'm facing east and looking out across the table and over the deck to the birdfeeders and the birdbath, and then outwards through my backyard trees to the horizon and the sky. 

One morning this past January, when the sun didn't rise until after 7:00 a.m. and the ground was covered with snow, I was reading a part in Damon Knight's Creating Short Fiction in which he was talking about really paying attention to one's surroundings. He included an exercise to close the book and look carefully at everything around me.

I decided to do the exercise. I closed the cover on the Kindle and looked over my deck to a gray squirrel having breakfast at the green metal birdfeeder, and then beyond it into the winter-bare trees in my backyard where even the pines and spruces seemed nearly as empty as the maples and oaks. The sky was a bank of clouds, a layer of faded-indigo...

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The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

by Sarah Yasin

A book club I’m part of recently discussed The Ruins by Scott Smith. It’s not a book I would have finished reading based on the first 50 pages, but sticking with it afforded me insight into what a narrative voice can do. The story is about a group of young tourists who venture into an off-map area of an archeological dig in Mexico. They find themselves trapped, unable to move on because of guardsmen on horseback threatening them with arrows if they move down the path or retreat back. They are stuck there. Their problems increase when the vines around them gradually take on characteristics of mandrakes, drinking their bodily fluids and eventually speaking in human voices.

At no point was I personally afraid during the reading of this book, yet this is a good specimen of contemporary horror. Here are some qualities of the book which I laud in the horror genre:
•    A slow burn.
•    Misfortune meted out in proportion to vice and stupidity, and the age-old warning that sacred spaces should not be disturbed.
•    An antagonist who does not communicate. This is extremely difficult to pull off, and arguably The Ruins does not pull it off, but think of the great horror villains who don’t speak: Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, and the alien invaders from Independence Day.
•    A progression of the enemy’s power which increases exponentially. At first the vines seem to move toward things, then they laugh, then they speak, ...

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A River of Words

by Penny Devlin

Go to work every day. Do your job. Do it well. Always learning, getting better every day. Soaking in the letters that become words, that lead to success.

Meetings, instructions, to-do lists, directions — the words start to drown like a river of brown muddy water rushing through a gulley. Flash floods brought into the valleys by heavy spring rains. A flash flood of words. Gasping for air, bobbing along on the massive tumble of letters.

It starts as a trickle. Dad has cancer. Terminal. Plans, letters, research. More words. More letters. Finances, doctors, funerals. Burial, estate, inheritance. Even more words.

A period of peace. The flood recedes to a trickle. Breathe. Fresh and precious air. Take a vacation. No worries. All is well.

The words start rolling in again. Mom’s sick. Hospitals. Questions. Doctors. More words. Big words. Cholangiocarcinoma. More directions. More doctors. Again? The words blur. The water muddies. It rises quickly.

Doctors, emergency rooms, hospital beds. Medications. Lots of medications. Lots and lots of words. Pamphlets. Instructions. Directions. Special diets. Chemotherapy.

No more chemo.

Hospice. Rolling beds. Catheters. Doing things you never thought you’d have the strength to do — but you do them anyway. Big words. Lots of letters.

Keep swimming. Head above water. Gasp for air.

Funeral plans. Burial. One step forward, two steps back.

The words and letters are all jumbled. They make no sense. Can’t breathe. Gasping for breath. The words are all gone now. Just a blur. A pile of...

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Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

by Jen Lowry

On our homeschool adventure today, we dreamed aloud of the places we would travel to if we could. My kids and I agree: Ireland and Scotland are our top two places to visit. We played music from Spotify and sang aloud to the merry tunes of the Irish.

That somehow led us to talking about other places to travel to, and Canada came into the conversation. Memories flooded in of the summer after my eighth-grade year when my daddy loaded us up and we took a road trip. Yep, from our tiny town of Maxton, North Carolina.

That summer we drove all the way to Canada, listening to Marty Robbins the whole way.

I know every single lyric to “El Paso,” and will sing along with the best of ‘em.

“Out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl.”

Daddy had no plans. We had no hotel reservations because he wanted to ride like the wind. That made it really difficult when we rolled into town at the same time of the Dental Convention — yes, teeth. Dentists must have these meetings. I am witness. We just had his atlas and the greatest hits of Marty Robbins, an aggravating brother who complained at every stop, and me with my books piled at my feet on the floorboard.

When we made it to Canada, we stayed a whole of three hours. Yes, this is a true story. I do write fiction, ...

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Monarch Butterflies

by Brigitte Whiting

I had no idea what milkweed looked like because I'd never seen it, but I'd always wanted it to grow in my yard so I could see the monarch butterflies.


For the longest time, I've hoped the patch of wonderfully fragrant plants with pale purple flowers growing at the intersection next to my yard would spread into mine. Once in a great while, one plant would start but never bloom, but this year, four planted themselves in my front yard, and three blossomed. One evening this past August while I was watering those and the wildflowers, I noticed the largest caterpillar I'd ever seen hanging onto the top leaf of that plant, a pale green one with dark rings. I wondered if it was perhaps a monarch caterpillar, but as far as I knew, I didn't have milkweed.

I looked it up, but I still wasn't sure. Two days later, it had turned into a pale-jade chrysalis that hung on the post of my new front railing. I mentioned it to my writer's group, and yes, those were milkweed, and yes, that was a monarch chrysalis. Twelve days later, it emerged as a butterfly.

More caterpillars, sometimes three munching on the same leaf, ate, and grew, and two of those made their way to my front porch. Another six found any one of the thousands of available spots in my woodsy front yard, and I didn't see them again.
 
One chrysalis dropped off its silk hitch, ...

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A Monarch Chrysalis

by Brigitte Whiting

The monarch caterpillar couldn't decide where to turn itself into a chrysalis. He wandered across my front stoop so many times I was afraid I'd step on it so I stopped using the front door. One time, he'd be crawling up a post of the front railing. Another time, he'd be on the bottom doorsill. In the end, after two days of deciding, he clung to the bottom corner of the doorsill. From there he pulled himself together until his dark rings were almost side-by-side.

When I next saw him, his chrysalis had dropped an inch to the cement stoop below. I moved him, his body still soft, as carefully as I could with a maple leaf so I couldn't possibly step on him. I hoped for the best.

That was on August, the thirteenth.

The night of August 19th, it rained hard. The next morning, I looked out as I often did, and his chrysalis was gone. I saw, though, an inch-long furry creature, the same jade color and length as the chrysalis had been, lying on a mat. He'd been in the chrysalis for seven days, and changed from a smooth round caterpillar with evenly-spaced dark rings into something fuzzy with dark spots down his spine. Monarchs are poisonous for most creatures, and elsewhere on the mat was a dead beetle that, I assumed, destroyed the chrysalis covering. I moved the entire mat to a safer spot, and hoped for the best.

Three hours later, a...

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Truth

by Angela Hess

I am twisted, bent, and deformed on every side. Everyone trying to use me to serve their own purposes, to justify their own beliefs and actions. Their eyes constantly sliding away from my pure, unaltered form, too brilliant and painful to behold without their chosen filters to dim the bits of me they find troubling. The bits that undermine their view of themselves and their self-constructed world. I destroy all the constructs, cut through all the deceptions, lay them naked and exposed.

I find myself perpetually unwelcome. Few can tolerate the discomfort of my presence. And yet I shine forth, inviting the most courageous to look, to see, to be transformed themselves rather than constantly fighting to transform me. I am the painful path to deliverance, joy and peace. Few there be that choose this path. Few there be that can even see through their own tangled webs of deception to find it. They fear to be ensnared by me, but in reality, they are the ones that ensnare themselves, and I am the one that sets them free.

Bio: Angela discovered her passion for writing nonfiction when she started a blog after the birth of her first child as a creative outlet and a way to process this new stage in her life. Writing keeps her sane in this crazy stage of mothering multiple small humans. She has previously published in Village Square and the Ensign.

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The Goldfinch

by Brigitte Whiting

On a Monday afternoon, I carried a bucket of water outdoors to refill the birdbath. A male goldfinch jumped down from the bath’s rim, and hopped away as quickly as he could to creep beneath a nearby spruce branch. I thought how odd he was so unafraid.

Over the next days, he hopped about pecking for seeds and insects in the front and back yards, and crouched on the edge of the birdbath, lifting and shrugging his wings, and then lowering them, wondering perhaps what was amiss. His bright yellow chest feathers turned dusty and dull — he must have longed to bathe. Somehow, he got himself to the top wire of one of the tomato cages I’d set over the taller wildflowers to protect them from the deer, and from there, he reached for the black-eyed Susan’s seed-head.

Each morning, I wondered if he’d survived the night. I wanted to rescue him — he was so quick that was unlikely — and I learned he’d dislocated his shoulder, and even if the wing was reset, he’d never fly again. It seemed cruel to cage him.

On Sunday afternoon, a week after I’d first noticed him, he was perched on a wire cage in the front yard. Then, other goldfinches flew in to join him and sat on the surrounding tomato cages. Somehow, I knew they’d come to say their good-byes. My windows were shut so I couldn’t hear whether they chirped...

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Of Heroes and Holiness

by Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family and community to pursue his dreams.

 

Rudy fulfilled his dream of playing football for Notre Dame.

 

Rudy is a hero.

 

Heroism looks like sacrifice.

 

***

 

Sacrifice. From the Latin sacer (sacred, holy) + faciō (do, make). To make holy.

 

***

 

My husband had been chasing his dream of becoming a pilot for many years when I first met him. Already in possession of his private pilot license, he spent the first year of our marriage continuing his work towards his commercial license. We were poor college students though and couldn’t afford to pay for the actual flight hours he would need to get his commercial license. We needed a loan. And to get the loan, we needed a co-signer.

 

My parents would have co-signed, but they were in a bad financial situation themselves. My husband was reluctant to ask his parents, but I pressured him until he gave in and called them. His dad invited us over to their home to discuss the matter.

 

I remember the scene vividly. ...

Read more: Of Heroes and Holiness

 


 

My Desk

by Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” But we all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, at my “writer’s desk,” a little desk that I slid over in front of our balcony window. It is here that I sometimes write, sometimes stare outside, but sometimes simply let my eyes fall on the magazines poking out from next to my binders. Those thin and shiny magazines with little known names have published my stories and sit there to remind me that occasionally (and only occasionally) my work appears someplace. Next to those are four binders full of stories, some published, some not, that I’ve printed out just in case. Just in case the world explodes and there is no Internet left, no cloud, or all of my devices go down at once and refuse to come up. Or more likely just in case I die and nobody knows my passwords.

 

 

This desk is so tiny that these things are right up in my face. It’s not annoying, it’s cozy. Isn’t that what we say about uncomfortablysmall stuff? We say that when other people find it uncomfortably small but we love it. My desk is cozy. Strewn across the tiny area are various objects: a cross...

Read more: My Desk

 


 

My Mobile Space

by Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic to be specific. On this truck chassis is built our motorhome of fiberglass, timber, metal, plastics, and toughened glass. Living permanently on the road helps my ex-soldier to sleep—it reins in his PTSD just a little, as does humour. There is a large, black toy spider perched on the flywire window screen over the kitchen sink that we finally named yesterday. Say g'day to Hubert.

 

 

In this space, in the walk-around queen-sized bed, my husband lies sleeping. He fell heavily to the concrete slab floor of a fishmonger a few weeks ago—there was no handrail. With a cracked lumbar vertebra and soft tissue damage, my precious spouse spent over a week in the hospital. He can't lift anything heavier than a beer; he can't twist or turn easily. The strong painkillers are still necessary and he sleeps two or three times during the day. I try not to worry.

 

 

My stash of yarns, a kaleidoscope of brightly coloured wool, is stored under that bed. I knit and crochet especially when I am stressed; I have made cat toys and dishclothsand hats...

Read more: My Mobile Space

 


 

A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born in mid-spring so I could only know what I lived with now. It was hot, or it rained, or it was cold.

I was still just a kid, so I played with my siblings. We red squirrels enjoyed romping and chasing each other through dark tunnels and around tree trunks while our mother watched us from a low tree branch or sat in the grass.

Then one day, she told us, "It's time for you to fend for yourselves. Snow and cold will soon be here. We reds need to eat every day so we must store food. Find a home and make it snug and dry using leaves." She looked up and around at the grass which was now covered with leaves.

She continued. "If you use your noses and eyes, you'll find acorns under the leaves. Bury as many of those as you can but remember where you put them. You'll be glad you did when it gets cold."

I shivered at the thought of cold air and I balked at the idea of finding my own nest. My mother's had been warm and inviting but now she bared her big front teeth and...

Read more: A Red Squirrel's Narrative

 


 

-=> Click Here for More Nonfiction <=-


To Humor a Lunatic

by

Nitin Mishra

The lunatic was not a lunatic previously in his youthful days. He used to be a young, handsome student with a very genial nature and an ever-charming smile always hung on his oval plump face. His eyebrows were so perfectly aligned over his twin eyes that sometimes his...

Read more: To Humor a Lunatic

 

 

 

Autumn Winds

by

Patrick Curran

My eyes closed, moments from sleep, I hear a voice. I hold my breath for a moment, my heart racing in protest.

“Bill, is that you?”

Other noises follow. I’m as still as the bed beneath me.

At last I realise it’s from the TV downstairs. I feel...

Read more: Autumn Winds

 

 

 

Resolve

by

Brigitte Whiting

One spring afternoon, you watched the neighbor kids playing with a spotted puppy. They had company so maybe it was theirs. If they brought the dog into your yard, you’d shoo them off.

You certainly didn’t want to raise a puppy. Or a dog to run your...

Read more: Resolve

 

 

 

Safe

by

Brian Hunt

Everyone wore a mask now, but why they did was no longer a question. Those who asked either disappeared or, after a suitable period of re-education, joined their faceless colleagues. The masks kept us free not just from airborne threats to health but from the complexities of signalling...

Read more: Safe

 

 

 

Eagles’ Run

by

Sandra Niedzialek

Sarah Jensen works at the county morgue. It’s the only job available, her probation officer tells her. She’s a lousy thief, it seems. Gah, she hates scrubbing stainless steel. She’s the only one in the morgue because her shift is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. As she...

Read more: Eagles’ Run

 

 

 

How Horrible the Moon

by

Brian Hunt

How horrible the moon. How horrible the pale light it cast upon my grave as it called me to my duty.

In a few short hours I would leave the comfort of my grave to walk among the living. I scared most of them, but now after over...

Read more: How Horrible the Moon

 

 

 

The Woman in the Mirror

by

Miriam Manglani

Jack pulled the comforter over his head and clamped his hands over his ears, but it did
little to block out his parents’ screaming. If it got any worse, he would hide in his closet.

“I told you I wanted shrimp for dinner,” Amit, Jack’s father, scowled and...

Read more: The Woman in the Mirror

 

 

 

To the Moon

by

Brigitte Whiting

"How terrible the moon," Mr. Abrams said each time there was a full moon. "There's sadness with beauty."

At first, when the future Mrs. Abrams met him, she thought it was odd. When he was young, he'd wanted to ride on the back of his older brother's motorcycle...

Read more: To the Moon

 

 

 

One Precious Day

by

Paul K. McWilliams

“We love those who know the worst of us and don’t turn their faces away.”
                                                                                                                     -Walker Percy

                                                                   

Mike Hanlon, an old childhood friend of mine, had cultivated the pot, not for kicks or profit, but expressly for relief.  He was a poor and suffering soul growing...

Read more: One Precious Day

 

 

 

SkippyGraycoat

by

Peter Mancusi

Skippy Graycoat woke up early to the chirping of birds. It had been a long night for the young squirrel. He spent hours fixing up his new apartment, a fancy little hollow inside of an old, maple tree, and he was happy to finally have some privacy. No...

Read more: SkippyGraycoat

 

 

 

A Pot Full of Beans

by

Brigitte Whiting

Clara Beth didn't remember that she'd promised to fill the cast iron bean pot for the Smithville Annual Bean Hole Bean Pot supper until late Friday afternoon when she received the call that the bean hole was prepared, the embers hot and ready. "Almost ready," she lied. What...

Read more: A Pot Full of Beans

 

 

 

How You Can Go Wrong

by

Lisa Benwitz

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Angelina scoffed at Sam, her husband of sixty years. “You’re not leaving. You won’t last a day without me.”

“I can’t deal with you anymore,” he said as he walked out the door. As if she’d been the one to disappoint, to betray.

Angelina’s sagging...

Read more: How You Can Go Wrong

 

 

 

The Piano

by

Nitin Mishra

The old grand piano sat in lonely corner of the room. Dust covered the piano body, and insects crept in through the keys. For the house’s inhabitants, the grand piano was merely a dead wooden sound-making device mechanically operated. No one ever tried to infuse life into the...

Read more: The Piano

 

 

 

Makers and Takers

by

Kim Bundy

Jake dropped the baby off at daycare early that morning and replaced three water heaters by lunch. There were two HVAC systems left to service, so he wolfed down a sandwich as he drove between jobs. When he got back to the shop that afternoon, his boss called...

Read more: Makers and Takers

 

 

 

The “Ely Kay”

by

Paul K. McWilliams

It’s my boat yard, and I don’t much care for the look of her. It’s a point of pride. You should be able to take a level to a boat up on lumber. Every day with her list, she stares me down. She looks guilty and sad with...

Read more: The “Ely Kay”

 

 

 

What We Long For

by

Cyril Dabydeen

Creating an imaginary garden
                            with real toads in it.
                                    --Marianne Moore


Frogs circle the yellow-and-black snake in the trout stream by instinct, no less. Mr. Yorick, tall, but roundish, ...

Read more: What We Long For

 

 

 

Emerson

by

Paul K. McWilliams

He hurts, body, mind, and soul. Death has made its introduction and he has given it a knowing nod. At this moment he’s in a hospice unit. The head of his bed is elevated and he’s in the consoling company of his dog, Emerson. The dog proved quickly...

Read more: Emerson

 

 

 

Blunt Trauma

by

Paul K. McWilliams

To all, excepting only Annie, Charles W. Durgin fell while fishing and drowned.  It has been nearly ten years since she struck him with his own club, the club he affectionately called “the priest.” Nightmares still waken her upright and screaming. Not the stifled screams into his calloused...

Read more: Blunt Trauma

 

 

 

Man in the Mirror

by

Nitin Mishra

It may have been the sultriest day of the decade, who knows, maybe two or even three decades and the excessive humidity had invited swarms of insects. In such a sweltering afternoon people were destined to stay indoors, and if anyone ventured out, the insects would certainly torment...

Read more: Man in the Mirror

 

 

 

The Impostor

by

Mick Clark

I was amazed by how many people were stuffed inside my uncle Henry’s corpse.

My aunt clung to me for the first time in her life, bird-bone brittle and ashen pale, while the mourners breathed crowds of ghosts into the icy morning air.

The coffin swayed...

Read more: The Impostor

 

 

 

21 Days of Lockdown

by

Donna Abraham Tijo

Day 1:
When Coronavirus Comes Calling
A five-year-old declares, 'I wish to always have my favourite pancake in my world.'

Day 2:
An E-mail of Hope
He sent the e-mail to the school reserving seats for his daughter for the fall session. It’s in the new city they...

Read more: 21 Days of Lockdown

 

 

 

Sugar Daddy Dreams

by

Enza Vynn-Cara

Burnt toast, avocado, honey, two poached eggs laced with turmeric and garlic, and a new vitamin concoction that makes my stomach churn, and still, I guzzle half of it down with gusto, as if it’s our first Godfather Cocktail at Carlo’s Bar.

Why, you ask?

Because...

Read more: Sugar Daddy Dreams

 

 

 

The Visitor

by

Brigitte Whiting

Madeleine saw the visitor in her Sunday school class, a man her age, maybe fortyish —she considered herself a youthful fifty —with a deep dimple in the middle of his chin. He wore no wedding ring. He introduced himself as having just moved to Cannington, and was the...

Read more: The Visitor

 

 

 

Chickens

by

Brigitte Whiting

First, there was dust everywhere, but now, far worse, there were chickens everywhere. They were pecking through the yard, leaving puffs of dust. They were roosting in the pine trees. And they clucked from morning to night. The five roosters vied for which was loudest and shrillest. Amanda...

Read more: Chickens

 

 

 

Desiree

by

Joe Cappello

I buried him in the backyard one night after a rainstorm. The soil I removed from the hole was thick and sticky and clung stubbornly to the surface of my shovel.

I connected the hose to the backyard spigot and used it to clean off the shovel. Then...

Read more: Desiree

 

 

 

Milkweed and Monarchs

by

Brigitte Whiting

Each fall, Maine’s monarch butterflies migrate two thousand miles to spend the winter in Mexico. Then the following February, the butterflies begin their trek north. It will take three to five generations—the adult monarchs laying eggs, the caterpillars growing, forming themselves into chrysalises and metamorphizing, and new butterflies...

Read more: Milkweed and Monarchs

 

 

 

Bibliosmia

by

Penny Camp

My love for reading started early. I traveled the world and rode dragons, fought knights, stormed castles, stole treasure with pirates and rescued kidnapped princesses. I floated down rivers in the deepest regions of unexplored lands. I climbed trees and mountains and flew on clouds.

Mom read to...

Read more: Bibliosmia

 

 

 

To Thwart a Wild Turkey Hen

by

Brigitte Whiting

A flock of wild turkeys has wandered in and out of my yard for years. I have a raised deck so my birdfeeders stand ten feet off the ground and the turkeys graze under them. They are timid birds, and typically when I step out onto the deck, ...

Read more: To Thwart a Wild Turkey Hen

 

 

 

The Style of No Style

by

Frank Richards

I must be the Charlie Brown of writers because I’ve never been able to figure out what “style” is all about. What does that word, ‘style,’ mean? I’ve always had a problem with it. If there were such a thing as “styleblindness,” a disease like colorblindness, I’d be...

Read more: The Style of No Style

 

 

 

Corona Clean

by

Fran Schumer

The Corona virus presents new challenges. Stuck at home, and with more of us sleeping, eating and working here, and a dirtier house, I was finally going to have to figure out how to use my new vacuum cleaner. Ordered a year ago, it mostly sat in its...

Read more: Corona Clean

 

 

 

Occasional Neighbors

by

Brigitte Whiting

I understand a little bit about wild turkeys. They're on a constant hunt for food, drifting through the neighborhood scrounging what they can. But I don't know how it happens that a few will either be left behind by the flock or leave it. This past fall, I'd...

Read more: Occasional Neighbors

 

 

 

Enjoy the Ride

by

Penny Camp

Get up early. You can’t ride all day if you sleep in. Braid your hair tight — you don’t want it flapping in the wind. Make sure you don’t wear the undies with the seams down the back because after a long day of riding they will make...

Read more: Enjoy the Ride

 

 

 

Cocoa and Biscuits

by

Penny Camp

Saturday mornings were special occasions at our house when we were growing up. My friends begged to spend the night so they could be part of the Saturday morning ritual.

Mom would take out her green plastic bowl and splash in a little water, a little cocoa powder, ...

Read more: Cocoa and Biscuits

 

 

 

Livin’ the Dream

by

Holly Miller

When I was a child, my mom and Aunt Leona would pack us six kids into our blue Chevy Belair and drive to a local mobile home dealer (they were known as trailers back then). We would walk through the new homes, just for something to do. How...

Read more: Livin’ the Dream

 

 

 

Fall in Maine

by

Brigitte Whiting

Autumn is falling in Maine, harder this year than I remember over the last few falls. We've had two nights of close to freezing temperatures, not enough to ice over the birdfeeders or kill any of my plants yet, but cold enough to turn the furnace on. My...

Read more: Fall in Maine

 

 

 

Best Laid Plans

by

Penny Devlin

Every year shortly before spring, the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. catalog shows up on my doorstep. The cover is plastered with a WARNING label in big black letters informing me that if I don’t order now, this will be my last catalog. It also has coupons: $100...

Read more: Best Laid Plans

 

 

 

One January Morning

by

Brigitte Whiting

Mornings, I like to have a Kindle eBook open on the dining room table so I can read and look out into the backyard to see what might be happening. 

I live in a raised ranch with an attached two-car garage. My deck, which is off the kitchen...

Read more: One January Morning

 

 

 

The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

by

Sarah Yasin

A book club I’m part of recently discussed The Ruinsby Scott Smith. It’s not a book I would have finished reading based on the first 50 pages, but sticking with it afforded me insight into what a narrative voice can do. The story is about a group...

Read more: The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

 

 

 

A River of Words

by

Penny Devlin

Go to work every day. Do your job. Do it well. Always learning, getting better every day. Soaking in the letters that become words, that lead to success.

Meetings, instructions, to-do lists, directions — the words start to drown like a river of brown muddy water rushing through...

Read more: A River of Words

 

 

 

Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

by

Jen Lowry

On our homeschool adventure today, we dreamed aloud of the places we would travel to if we could. My kids and I agree: Ireland and Scotland are our top two places to visit. We played music from Spotify and sang aloud to the merry tunes of the Irish.

...

Read more: Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

 

 

 

Monarch Butterflies

by

Brigitte Whiting

I had no idea what milkweed looked like because I'd never seen it, but I'd always wanted it to grow in my yard so I could see the monarch butterflies.


For the longest time, I've hoped the patch of wonderfully fragrant plants with pale purple flowers growing...

Read more: Monarch Butterflies

 

 

 

A Monarch Chrysalis

by

Brigitte Whiting

The monarch caterpillar couldn't decide where to turn itself into a chrysalis. He wandered across my front stoop so many times I was afraid I'd step on it so I stopped using the front door. One time, he'd be crawling up a post of the front railing. Another...

Read more: A Monarch Chrysalis

 

 

 

Truth

by

Angela Hess

I am twisted, bent, and deformed on every side. Everyone trying to use me to serve their own purposes, to justify their own beliefs and actions. Their eyes constantly sliding away from my pure, unaltered form, too brilliant and painful to behold without their chosen filters to dim...

Read more: Truth

 

 

 

The Goldfinch

by

Brigitte Whiting

On a Monday afternoon, I carried a bucket of water outdoors to refill the birdbath. A male goldfinch jumped down from the bath’s rim, and hopped away as quickly as he could to creep beneath a nearby spruce branch. I thought how odd he was...

Read more: The Goldfinch

 

 

 

Of Heroes and Holiness

by

Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family...

Read more: Of Heroes and Holiness

 

 

 

My Desk

by

Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” Butwe all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, ...

Read more: My Desk

 

 

 

My Mobile Space

by

Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic...

Read more: My Mobile Space

 

 

 

A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by

Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born...

Read more: A Red Squirrel's Narrative

 

 

 

Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

by

Joy Manné

This essay is part of a Talk-Back series – I owe that title to Karen. A Talk-Back is my response to a chapter in a WVU textbook, my communication with its author.

This Talk-Back is a response to the exercise in Lia Purpura’s chapter, ‘On Miniatures,’ (Flas...

Read more: Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

 

 

 

Reunion

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

“Why the F--- Do I want to see a F—ing alligator jump up to eat a F—ing chicken hanging on a clothesline?”

 

The last time I hung out with my Uncle Dan is when I dragged him to Gatorland to do something touristic. ...

Read more: Reunion

 

 

 

Lynn’s Tree

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Lynn’s maple tree
was always the last to emerge
from winter’s sleep,
when it burst into leaf,
the...

Read more: Lynn’s Tree

 

 

 

The Moods of McCorquodale

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Our very first visitor was a cat.
Corkie came for a day, adopted us.
He soon had his...

Read more: The Moods of McCorquodale

 

 

 

Haunted House

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

a grey woodsy coloured house
stands abandoned
in the midst of a haunted wood,
its windows are broken,
...

Read more: Haunted House

 

 

 

ARS Poetica

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I paint with words

I see
the pink tinge of fluffy white clouds
at sunset

I see
my...

Read more: ARS Poetica

 

 

 

Lake Katherine

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

turquoise water of the lake
stretches for miles,
as far as the eye can see

two spruces wave
...

Read more: Lake Katherine

 

 

 

The Scream That Is Also a Song

by

Enza Vynn-Cara

Free verse on the page that
is my tongue; raw flesh,
smooth and thin, dipped
in blood-tinted ink—

...

Read more: The Scream That Is Also a Song

 

 

 

Déjà Vu

by

Enza Vynn-Cara

She went into the woods to find
the wolf that haunted her

She went to the brook to...

Read more: Déjà Vu

 

 

 

Be Leery Of What Falls From Above

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

My forest dances on the wind, swirling above the green and brown copsewood. Above, branches split, held up...

Read more: Be Leery Of What Falls From Above

 

 

 

Neighborhood Walk Meditation

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Vultures gather on the old man’s neighbor’s barn,
‘decorated with ravens and barren trees.
A small cottontail stirs...

Read more: Neighborhood Walk Meditation

 

 

 

Dream Metaphor

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I shiver in the darkened room,
stretch, try to pull the covers higher,
suddenly I am floating near...

Read more: Dream Metaphor

 

 

 

A Whitmanesque Inventory: Spring

by

Phebe Beiser

So glad it rained last night. Now, late morning, sun shines,
an unexpectedly warm early March. What a...

Read more: A Whitmanesque Inventory: Spring

 

 

 

Solitary

by

Malkeet Kaur

For eons now, the very core of my being
has become inaccessible.

Solitary.

Once it used to be...

Read more: Solitary

 

 

 

The Blanket Hugs Me

by

Louise E. Sawyer

I’m grateful that I have a daybed
downstairs where I can rest during the day
with my Guinea...

Read more: The Blanket Hugs Me

 

 

 

On Love and Dreams

by

Miriam Manglani

1.
Love is a beast and angel and dream on fire.

2.
Your soul wakes in your dreams.

...

Read more: On Love and Dreams

 

 

 

The Writer’s Breastplate

by

Louise E. Sawyer

…apologies to St. Patrick


Creative Spirit with me,
Creative Spirit before me,
Creative Spirit behind me,
Creative Spirit...

Read more: The Writer’s Breastplate

 

 

 

The Sweater

by

Malkeet Kaur

As I rummage through the clothes,
I spot it, the well-worn white sweater
that now had aging spots...

Read more: The Sweater

 

 

 

The Holly Tree

by

Nolo Segundo

We have a large holly tree
in our backyard—
is it foolish to say
you love a tree?

...

Read more: The Holly Tree

 

 

 

waiting on an email

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

rain beats against the metal awning.
winds whipped up against two storms
racing each other over the Mississippi
...

Read more: waiting on an email

 

 

 

Looking for Weeds

by

Louise E. Sawyer

Pushing my walker with the purple
pet carrier propped up on the seat,
I walk down the driveway.
...

Read more: Looking for Weeds

 

 

 

Ocean Mood

by

Malkeet Kaur

The roaring, crashing surf summon us.
Soft and damp ecru sand lies beneath our bare soles.
The sun-baked...

Read more: Ocean Mood

 

 

 

The Beetle in the Sink

by

Miriam Manglani

There is a beetle in the sink.  
A big fat one,
shiny and black
with sharp needle...

Read more: The Beetle in the Sink

 

 

 

Four Cats – Four Friends

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I
the painting of four cats
hangs on my living room wall


II
you can see
Glory Barrie...

Read more: Four Cats – Four Friends

 

 

 

On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

by

Nolo Segundo

I miss the big navels, the big navels when they are not in season,
but almost any orange...

Read more: On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

 

 

 

Summer – A Pantoum

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I sit on my deck and enjoy summer sun.
Zephyrs caress my cheeks with soft kisses.
Bombay cat...

Read more: Summer – A Pantoum

 

 

 

Your Broken Heart

by

Miriam Manglani

I found your heart’s hinge —
I knew it could open!
Inside, I saw all of its broken...

Read more: Your Broken Heart

 

 

 

Who Is Margaret?

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I find the small black and white picture in a box
of old letters untouched for twenty years.
...

Read more: Who Is Margaret?

 

 

 

Made Whole by Others

by

Miriam Manglani

Some people fill deep holes in us
the space that’s left when our loved ones leave
they plug...

Read more: Made Whole by Others

 

 

 

Autumn Villanelle

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

leaves don orange, crimson and yellow gowns
as they prepare for Cinderella’s autumn ball,
soon the leaves will...

Read more: Autumn Villanelle

 

 

 

Sunny Day Epiphany

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Umberto, my Golden Retriever is sad,
Sparkie and Sal, his companions, have died

I wanted to adopt a...

Read more: Sunny Day Epiphany

 

 

 

Ocean City

by

Nolo Segundo

I saw it then as my own little Shangri-la,
for I was very small and knew nothing
of...

Read more: Ocean City

 

 

 

All The Dead I Know

by

Nolo Segundo

Let’s start with Eric—a nerdy-looking kid before
nerds were invented, and only 18 when he crashed
his funny...

Read more: All The Dead I Know

 

 

 

The Dinosaur Will Get a Makeover

by

Miriam Manglani

She talks of makeovers with friends,
using contour sticks and beauty blenders,
making “Tiktoks” with dance moves
called...

Read more: The Dinosaur Will Get a Makeover

 

 

 

A New Day Begins

by

Bob Hembree

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Angst

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Fly on the Wall

by

Bob Hembree

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Glancing Vulnerably

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Fowl Squabbling

by

Bob Hembree

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A Mid-Photo's Daydream

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Solar Reflection

by

Bob Hembree

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Being Held Up

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Reflections

by

Paula Parker

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Jack

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hollister

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Evelyn

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Curiosity

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Rebecca

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hazel

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Working Hands

by

Paula Parker

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Maya

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Birds in the Flower

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Pst... Hey

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The World in Her Hands

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Oak

by

Craig Gettman

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Flower

by

Craig Gettman

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Berries

by

Craig Gettman

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Winding Road

by

Craig Gettman

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Sunset - April 2020

by

Craig Gettman

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