Taming My Mother’s Tongue by Zoë Christopher

Living too long in glass houses, careless
now private thoughts on my lips

I descend into a fleshy silence conjuring
my mother’s frayed coyote soul. I can hear

her splintering howl, barbed tongue lashing
like teeth into my innocence and needs.

I could not bolt the door against my ripening,
she said I came to spoil hers. I would learn

I could not cradle her feral demons, soothe her
madness without risking the skin of my bones.

Now too frail to pounce and strike, she’s lost
and stumbles toward me, a plea in her silence.

We sit and pray together until the old camellia
leaves of my childhood glisten in the night rain

and the moon coaxes golden shadows from
the dampened scent of winter viburnum.

And so the sluicing begins, the eloquence
of water taming my mother’s tongue.

Zoë Christopher is a photographer and writer who published her first poem at 16. Soon after she was sidetracked, putting food on the table as an ice-cream truck driver, waitress, medical assistant, addictions counselor, astrologer, art installer, bookseller, Holotropic breathworker, and trainer of psychospiritual crisis support. (She didn’t get paid for milking goats, teaching photography, or raising her son!) She holds a Masters in transpersonal psychology, and spent 20+ years working in adolescent and adult crisis intervention and support. Her work has appeared in print in great weather for MEDIA, and online in The Writing Disorder and WordsDance.

A letter to Campbell McGrath about Polaroids at a yard sale by Ralph Long Jr.


An unleashed Dalmatian is never a good idea at a
yard sale. Barking chaos, toppled tables, a box of
Polaroids scattered. Bow-tied boys, girls in print
dresses, squinting Sunday-best parents strewn like
autumn leaves on the still-green lawn. A woman
chases the errant dog. Her daughter guards the cash
box, offers me the photos for a nickel each if I spare
her the chore of picking them up. She finds no value
in the once-precious moments that are fading into
chimera as chemicals decay. Edwin Land’s promised
hundred years of color already spectral. There are no
images worthy of Adams’ Yosemite or Wegman’s
Weimaraners. A few arcade booth strips amid the
mess capture a vitality, a reality missing in the others.
I don’t know what happened to all the old photos of
my family. I wonder if the parents in these ones are
still arguing about the thermostat, children, television
channels. Or if the photos are the detritus of divorce,
death? Do you think this LBJ era ephemera is worthy
of preservation when so much else is disappearing?

I bought a dollar’s worth of photos, I can’t say why.

Ralph J. Long Jr. is the author of the chapbook, A Democracy Divided (The Poetry Box, 2018). His work has appeared in Stoneboat Literary Journal, The Poeming Pigeon, The Avocet and the anthology Ambrosia: A Conversation About Food. He graduated from Haverford College and lives in Oakland California.

Fortune by Dana Delibovi

We were drunk. Night-streets glittered from the glass
alloyed with tar in asphalt. The humid air
amplified every car-alarm and laugh.

A second-floor psychic lit her neon sign.
Up the stairs, we found her coaxing music
from an old radio, her table spread

with trinkets molded for the craft of longing.
What she divined, I can’t recall. We left
as sweepers drove and taverns locked their doors.

Maybe she foretold our sheets and showers,
when morning stunned us, and we went to work
still drunk, through city streets unjeweled by day.

Dana Delibovi is a poet living in Missouri. her poems have appeared in The Formalist, Mid Rivers Review, Orphic Lute, Red Tape, Spirituality & Health, and the Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion series. She is the recipient of the 2014 and 2019 James Haba Award for poetry.



A Dog’s Life by Anne Whitehouse

Come down to the lake with me.
Real winter is here at last,
ice crystals and freezing fogs,
the sun so bright it hurts my eyes.

Veils of mist like gossamer silk
drift over snow that blows over ice
where our dogs chase after each other,
making the most of what they have,
be it a stick or a snowbank.

Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Meteor Shower (Dos Madres Press, 2016). She has also written a novel, Fall Love, which is now available in Spanish translation as Amigos y amantes by Compton Press. Recent honors include 2017 Adelaide Literary Award in Fiction, 2016 Songs of Eretz Poetry Prize, 2016 Common Good Books’ Poems of Gratitude Contest, 2016 RhymeOn! Poetry Prize, 2016 F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City. www.annewhitehouse.com


A Spring of Loss by Shearle Furnish

Grassfires skirt the west edge of town.
                The sirens sound like far-off geese.
                 I miss the rain.

Apricot trees wear their full crown of white
               Too early — late frosts will steal the crop,
               And I will miss the fruit.

The breeze, the chimes, the birds are still,
                The feeders empty and unvisited.
                In the pleasant air of evening, I miss the song.

Shearle Furnish is retired as Professor of English and Founding Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and taught English for 33 years in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Texas. Furnish also served in administration at Youngstown State University before moving to Arkansas.

Six Poems for Autumn from the ZPR Archives

As autumn colors fade to bare limbs and stark skies, take a few minutes to contemplate these autumnal poems previously published on Zingara Poetry Review,

The Last Massacre in my Lonely Notebook by David Spicer

November, 1993 by Jenn Powers

Squall by Jennifer Lagier

Forecast by Amanda Banner

Softly by Carol Alena Aronoff

Sleeping with Squirrels by Tracy Mishkin

A Sun of Unknown Night by Hongri Yuan

I believe that black stones spawn the honey of the heaven
And the death brings us the Golden Dawn
The earth is our other body
While the oceans are initially sweet and serene eyes
My every tear is burning
Bearing a diamond
And when my body is consigned to the flames
Heaven begins to enter my body
At this time I bloom in death
Like a sun of unknown night

Hongri Yuan, born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation. Representative works include Platinum City, Gold City, Golden Paradise , Gold Sun and Golden Giant. His poetry has been published in the UK, USA, India, New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria.