Monthly Archives: September 2016

My Eco Crimes by Juan Morales

Forgive me for running the tap too long,
houseplants murdered, paper
towels and paper plates,
brand new light bulbs dropped, the shabby
pens lost,
and house lights left on when no one was home.
Sorry for the now-extinct mice
I killed for living in my air conditioner.
The flowers cut before they went to seed
the fruits and veggies I didn’t get around to eating
or bottles and cans too lazy to fish
from the trash. I apologize for leaving the crust of my bread,
for pitching
tin foil after one use.

But I’m not sorry for
the smokes I smash out after a few drags
during the countdown toward a polluted future
I will miss
days of excessive living
with soap or washers and dryers or
radios or wallets or gas stations
from a time when I thought
recycling was good enough.

Juan Morales is the author of the poetry collections The Siren World, Friday and the Year That Followed, and the forthcoming collection, The Handyman’s Guide to End Times. He is a CantoMundo Fellow, the Editor of Pilgrimage Magazine, and an Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he directs the Creative Writing Program and curates the SoCo Reading Series.

The Poet’s Toolkit: Online Writing Workshop to Begin in October

Accepting registrations now:

The Poet’s Toolkit
Five week self-paced online workshop for writers

While this five-week course will focus on several of the most integral craft elements of poetry writing, it is suitable for writers in any genre. Whether new to creative writing or a long-time practitioner, this online class will help you bring greater focus and new energy to your writing.

Each lesson will center on a particular skill and will include sample readings and discussion of the week’s craft element. A selection of representative poems meant to spark lively discussion will be included as will a number of fun and engaging writing prompts.

Students are invited to write a poem each week in response to any of the readings or prompts. While sharing is always optional, students may do so on a private discussion board. Students are also free to simply follow along with the weekly lessons.

Feedback on poems from me is available on request.

  • Week One: Drawing on vivid details and sensory images for your poems
  • Week Two: Creating surprising similes, metaphors, and other figurative images
  • Week Three: Narrative to imagination (moving from chronology to association)
  • Week Four: Reinvigorating syntax and sentences
  • Week Five: Serious fun with serious revision

Price: $20.00 for ala cart classes or $75.00 for all five weeks. Scholarships are available to students and recent graduates. Contact Lisa at for more information or to register.


The Quincy County Fair Beauty Queen Quits by J.T. Whitehaed

So few are beautiful, inside and out . . .  ugliness is much more generous.  Miss Quincy County, 1983 – she was one of the few . . . carrying out the trash was a weakly task, but for us, she undertook it in a beautifully metaphorical way, once she figured out that cheap excuse for a man – who swore he’d kill her, popped tabs,  screamed at the kids – was a no-good cracker ass, just a turd she could flush with a toilet that worked more than he did . . . you should’ve seen the skids.  They were beautiful . . . she was beautiful . . . No clutch, nor crutch, church, God . . . just . . .  beautiful . . .

J.T. Whitehead has had over 160 poems accepted for print by over 75 publications.  He is a  Pushcart Prize-nominated short story author, a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, and a winner of the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize. He is the Editor in Chief of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.  His first full length collection of poetry, The Table of the Elements, (The Broadkill River Press, 2015), was nominated for the National Book Award.


 Bass Lake Trail by Marc Thompson

I keep thinking of the trees
in this northern boreal forest
this ocean of green
splattered with lakes;
an ocean
to yellow, orange, red

Of the jack pines and tamaracks
that spread their roots
across the forest floor
twisting and dodging
large swaths of granite
before diving in
to the shallow earth

Of two million years ago
when a burning white landscape
scraped everything away;
erased ferns and mastodons
striated the bedrock
and buried the land
in ice half a mile higher
than the top of my head

Of wolves, bears,
moose, and humans
whose lives depend on
pale, green lichen
digesting billion-year-old quartz
and expectorating soil.


Four More Weeks of “Creative Writing Extravaganza” at Bliss!


As Seen in Natural Awakenings Magazine!

Creative Writing Extravaganza
Tuesdays, August 16 – October 4, 2016, 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Bliss Spiritual Co-op
1163 Pleasant Oaks Drive, off Chuck Dawley Blvd
Mount Pleasant, SC

No registration required! Attend all eight weeks or drop in when you can!

Join us as we explore how the raw material of our life experiences informs our artistic expression and how we can develop them into poems, stories, flash memoir, and more! Each class will focus on a specific sample or style of writing from which students will generate their own work by responding to prompts, engaging in invention activities, and emulating the sample writing itself. Time will also be set aside during each class for students to read aloud from any new work they wish to share (always optional). All levels are welcome.

We will explore:

  • Imagination in prose and poetry
  • The music of the sentence
  • Forms of poetry (and why they matter)
  • Elements of narrative
  • The Lyric Essay
  • Flash fiction
  • Fun with metaphor, simile, and personification
  • Flash creative non-fiction
  • The role of the writer’s journal
  • How drawing helps writing
  • Deepening writing through awareness and meditation
  • Deepening awareness and meditation though writing
  • Establishing a regular writing practice
  • Working through fear of failure
  • Working through fear of success
  • The joy of revision
  • Revising life stories for empowerment
  • Deepening self-awareness and healing through writing
  • Deepening craft through self-awareness

Bring your journal, favorite writing instrument, and inner child!

New: “Writing from the Heart” Begins This Week in Summerville

IMG_0586[1]Writing from the Heart
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the Month
Beginning September 14, 2016
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Serenity Center
820 Central Avenue
Summerville, SC
No Registration Required, Drop-ins Welcome
$12.00 per session

Writing from the Heart

Whether retraining thought patterns or drafting a lyric poem, journal-writing helps normalize the stuff of life. It is where we make sense of life events and give voice to complex and nuanced emotions. It is where we have permission to rant, wax nostalgic for the good old days, dream about the future, or write crappy sentences. Most of all, it is a space where we can deepen our connections to the world in which we find ourselves.

Bring your journal, and your heart, to this bi-weekly workshop to learn techniques that will deepen your relationship with your journal and yourself to discover fresh new ways to approach your writing time. Each session will begin with a brief discussion of a meaningful piece of writing, such as an essay, poem, or excerpt from a memoir, which will be followed by a meditation or invention activity. Participants are then invited to write a response in their journals. There will be at least fifteen minutes dedicated to writing time and participants may share if moved to do so.

Topics include:

  • How to bring a sense of playfulness to our writing (and life)
  • Deepening our inner resources
  • Creativity through self-understanding
  • Overcoming writing blocks
  • Discovering how we limit ourselves (and stop doing so)
  • Changing neuropathways through writing

About the facilitator:
tutor photoA passionate teacher who is dedicated to (and fascinated with) the writing process, Lisa Hase-Jackson has been teaching and coaching writers since 2004 when she was granted a fellowship in the Washburn Writing Fellowship program at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. Since then she has facilitated writing circles, workshops, and seminars in such places as Albuquerque, NM, Anyang, South Korea, Kansas City, MO, Toronto, Canada, Allentown, PA, and Charleston, SC. She holds an MA in English with an emphasis in poetry from Kansas State University and an MFA in poetry from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. Her poems have been published in numerous literary journals and magazines as have her articles on writing and the writing life. A few of them have won awards.

A recent transplant to Charleston, Lisa teaches Poetry and Honors English at the College of Charleston and particularly enjoys spending time at the beach or going on bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center. She continues work on her poetry blog,, and is actively (and hopefully) submitting her poetry manuscript to suitable markets. She is an avid journal writer and has a shelf of journals to show for it. When not writing, teaching, working, or exploring, Lisa enjoys spending time assembling scrap quilts and doing simple knitting projects.


That Little Leaf by Rebecca Oet

Sheep, grazing in the fields,
each one’s nose following the other’s furry tail.
We are like these cloud brained sheep, numbly following the shepherd.
Me, I was the same, sitting at a stained, cracked desk typing away.
My window was open,
and a leaf drifted through,
the type of leaf that seems to be the same as any other,
but I saw it anyway. I got up,
my keyboard falling,
falling and splintering on the drab carpeted floor.
My eyes are spinning,
swirling now.
The leaf goes back out the open window,
and I chase it, right out the window.
Now I have my quest, and I follow it diligently,
skimming over the oceans, and soaring above the earth.
I am carefree,
Until I see you. Just that one glance of you disrupts all of my work,
you have deadened me.
My little leaf soars away, and I do not follow.
You, with your jacket flying in the wind, I can’t get you out of my mind.
You are beautiful, and strong, and clever too.
You are my highest idol, and I need to meet you, I scramble over the underbrush, desperately seeking you,
but you are forever unattainable.
But taking a glance in the mirror, I finally see.
The you I was seeking, is me as I should have been.
I cast off my wings, and plummet back to earth to join you.

Rebecca Oet is a student from Solon, Ohio, USA.  She enjoys reading, writing short stories and poetry, and of course, taking pictures. Rebecca is a national silver medalist in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and has won multiple awards for her writing and photography. She often fantasizes about growing wings and flying through the air.