Monthly Archives: March 2021

Removing a Gate by Jeff Burt

Maidenhair ferns at your feet
seem to rise out of the dust for rain,
the sword ferns sprawl to catch fog,
and the maple lifts itself out of the soil,
massive roots becoming visible
like the muscles of a shirtless power-lifter.
You have taken the widowed boards
of the gate and saved them from the fire
to build a little eave that shelters
the dahlias from full sun,
and now brushed by the breeze
this creates they nod thank you
thank you thank you,
and you wonder what you can do
for hikers and walkers weary from the dust,
a small jug, a metal cup, a wooden bench.
You have wood leftover,
and the sun still to set.

Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County California, home of redwoods, fire, fog, and ocean. He has contributed to Rabid Oak, Williwaw Journal, Willows Wept, and Red Wolf Journal.

All That Remains: Inspired by Van Gogh’s Bedroom by Kim Baker 

One wonders who, alongside Vincent himself,
stares down upon the empty bed.
Two framed guardian angels?
Or the visages of brothers, of lovers?
They are all that remain to witness
this hauntingly serene scene.

Moon-glow window partly ajar.
Towel resigned on a nail near one door.
Patiently anticipating painting smocks
signature straw hat at the hooked dowel.
Hairbrush, pitcher, carafe
atop an apprehensive table, waiting.

Chair pulled close to the head of the bed
as if someone had just been reading 
a soothing children’s story to Vincent
or pleading in a blanket of red woolen urgency
robin’s egg blue reasons for Vincent 
to skip the long walk to the wheat field 
accompanied only by the cold steel of peace.

When she isn’t writing poetry about big hair and Elvis, Kim works to end hunger and violence against women. A poet, playwright, photographer, and NPR essayist, Kim publishes and edits  Word Soup, an online poetry journal (currently on hiatus) that donates 100% of submission fees to food banks. Kim’s chapbook of poetry, Under the Influence:  Musings about Poems and Paintings, is available from Finishing Line Press.      

What Is Lost Is Not Lost by Pete Mladinic

I like looking at bicycles in old films
such as this one of Dawson, a mining town,
now a ghost town.  I like at the opening
the long line of coke ovens, the miners, two
men, walking home from the mine.  I like
the bicycles, the dogs, the women’s dresses,
their hairstyles, looking into their faces
wondering what happened
after Dawson, where they went, what they
did or did not do, what they did or did not say.
The lady narrator, her
last name Loy, said she and her
husband went to graduate school the following year. 
They had two young sons, Merrill, the elder
and Bill, who lives now in Eugene,
Oregon, and introduces his mother
in the film, which was shot by Mr.
Loy in 1938.  There are numerous shots
of the boys, several of Bill in his playpen
and then one where he seems
happy, having just
learned to walk.  There are shots
of the mines, the houses that sprang from
mountainsides, the church, the school.
Now, nothing left in Dawson
but the cemetery.  I like the moments of Bill
walking on his own,
but I have no idea what he does in Eugene.
He must almost be seventy.
His mother, a young wife
in the film, sticks her tongue out in
one shot.  She was born in 1917.


Peter Mladinic has published three books of poetry: Lost in Lea, Dressed for Winter, and Falling Awake in Lovington, all with the Lea County Museum Press. He lives in Hobbs, New Mexico.

New Online Poetry Workshop for April

Happy March, everyone,

I am putting together a new poetry writing workshop for April and am beginning to take registrations.

Poetry From Life

Saturdays April 3, 10, 17, 24 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm ET via Zoom.

Each week we will pair mindfulness with craft to transform everyday activities and events into poetry. The only requirement for registration is a willingness to gain perspective.

Each workshop will begin with one or two 5-10 minute warm-up writing exercises designed to greet our inner artist and bring our thoughts gently into focus.

After considering a well-crafted example or two from established writers, participants will draft or outline a poem of their own. There will be ample time to share before the close of class for those who wish. Sharing is always welcome and invited but there is no pressure at all to do so.

The cost for the class is $125 and can be remitted through Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, or by check. Please add 3% if using a credit card. I offer a $20 incentive per referral (so feel free to forward this email to friends).

A little about me: Lisa M. Hase-Jackson’s debut collection of poetry, Flint and Fire, was selected by Jericho Brown for the 2019 Hilary Tham Capital Collection Series, an imprint of The Word Works in Washington DC. She holds an MFA in poetry from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a MA in English from Kansas State University. A full-time writing coach and workshop facilitator, Lisa is Editor in Chief of South 85 Journal and founding editor of Zingara Poetry Review. She has been teaching poetry and creative writing classes in the community and as a college professor since 2007.

TO REGISTER: Send email to lisahasejackson@gmail.com and I will add your name to the list. Once four people have committed, I will send invoices.

I look forward to working with you!

March Triptych by Margarita Serafimova

My heart is full – an ocean of swell – with you.
Everything is green and dense, weighty,
and swaying bottomless.
White are the changing faces of the waves.

*

My life was inside of me, budding, dark-red
against my inner skin,
on a frosty morning,
when instead of a sky, a radiant emptiness reigned.

*

The dying hours are blossoms at dusk.
You touch me so, my face is trembling.

Margarita Serafimova is winner of the 2020 Tony Quagliano  Award, and finalist in other contests. She has a chapbook, A Surgery of A Star (https://bit.ly/3jDU793) and two forthcoming collections. Her work appears widely: Nashville Review, LIT, Agenda Poetry, Poetry South, Botticelli, Steam Ticket, Waxwing, A-Minor, Trafika, Noble/ Gas, Obra/ Artifact, Great Weather for Media, Nixes Mate, etc. Visit: shorturl.at/dgpzC.