Tag Archives: I-70 Review

“Grading” by Maryfrances Wagner

We’ve watched
the moon sag
into tomorrow,
ready to set down
our pens.
They argued
their case,
we ours—
more detail,
another example,
better verbs.
We’ve stroked
our chins, pulled
our earlobes,
shifted our feet.
Ink glides its
well-oiled
ball bearings,
eager to praise
a phrase,
to find
a moment
of thought.

Maryfrances Wagner’s newest book is The Silence of Red Glass.  She is co-editor of the I-70 Review.

“Notes in the Night” by Judith Bader Jones

A summer breeze, sheer
as bedroom curtains, floats
through a screened window
and joins us in our double bed.

Evening slows the rhythm
of your beating heart when I rest
against your chest and nighttime music
becomes a cover for body pain and sorrow.

Livin’ in this murky world – the blues
dilutes our hurts while brush-stroke lyrics,
sung by survivors, saves souls as we fall
asleep holding onto each other.

Judith Bader Jones, a poet in Fairway, Kansas, has recent publications in  CHEST- The American College of Chest Physicians, Nostalgia and i-70 Review. She is an avid organic gardener and bird photographer.

 

“Wild Onions” by Susan Carman

I brought home onion plants years ago
after admiring them in a friend’s garden, unaware

how like dandelions are these airy blooms, whispers
of white lifted on the breeze to land

far from where they began.
My friend died a decade ago, but I continue

to find still-green spikes poking up
among fall’s spent flowers and gently curse

her generosity. I pull them out
each year – they hold fast to the soil,

break off, roots stubborn as she was.
The pungent scent of onion lingers on my hands,

an homage to the bonds
of friendship that transcend this life.

Susan Carman is a former poetry co-editor for Kansas City VoicesA Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems and essays have appeared in publications including Coal City Review, Catholic Digest, I-70 Review, Kalliope, and Imagination and Place. Her essay, “An Extra Helping of Grace,” received a national award from Penguin Press.

 

“A Glass of Wine Near Birds” by Judith Bader Jones

At twilight, Grackles and Goldfinches drink water,
but I prefer transparent Riesling, a wine to capture
in-between-light when all gets said and undone.

Glass in hand I drink and watch birds clutch
the rim of the feeder. My hand grasps a glassful
of stemmed memories populated with music.

After one sip of time people gather and hang around
for a last drink served up near birds perched next to
my life’s collection of ghosts. No one flies solo.

Judith Bader Jones’ poems appear in The Language of Small Rooms and Moon Flowers on the Fence,chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press. Her book of short fiction, DeltaPearls, published by Sweetgum Press, Warrensburg, MO  received the William Rockhill Nelson Award for Fiction. She has upcoming poems in I-70 Review, Heart, and CHEST, The Journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

“Susan Restringing Wind Chimes” by Alan Proctor

The stitching I could never do. She threads
fishing line – stronger than last season’s
snapped string – through the chimes’ pinhole
throats: the petite, sprung belfry fixed.

Or not. She’s winging it, retracts
the line, reams nits from a clogged
winter hole, plucks a gnat from her wine
glass with a tool better suited

for spackle, strangles the racket
of clanging, takes a sip, shakes the throats
of sound itself until the bells
dangle. Harmonious.

Fishing line, wine, choked cacophony,
chime-stitched wind of her surgery.

Proctor’s poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals including New Letters and Laurel Review. His hybrid memoir, The Sweden File: Memoir of an American Expatriate (Westphalia Press 2015), received a featured Kirkus Review and was named by the KC Star as one of the 12 best memoirs of 2015.

“Conversations” by Maril Crabtree

After “Caught in the Days Unraveling” by Chelsea Welsh

Among my undiscovered loves and passions
lie patterns unwinding

tokens from another age
finding wilderness that matches

the beauty in my head
reducing self to its essence

learning how to carve something
as intricate as Chinese calligraphy

as intimate as skywriting

if I live long enough I will discover
patterns both intricate and simple

a hairbrush swimming in a sea of hair
its blue fish-eye sending

one more message to decipher
from an urgent universe

Enjoy Maril’s other poems, “Driving to Dripping Springs” and “New Mexico Sky,” on 200 New Mexico Poems  


Maril Crabtree grew up in Memphis and New Orleans but calls the Midwest home. Her most recent book is Fireflies in the Gathering Dark. Formerly a poetry editor for Kansas City Voices and contributing editor to Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance and Solidarity, her work has appeared in Literary Mama, KalliopeI-70 ReviewDMQ Review, Main Street Rag and others.

“Years Later You Walk In” by Maryfrances Wagner

Tangled under a blanket
we could melt curbed snow,
smoke up windows,

desire unable to hold.
Boiling water, morning
after, sudden laughter.

You walk into my dream:
older man, panzer tan,
builder hands.

How could I have imagined
you would turn: spoiled meat,
October leaf, yellow teeth.


Maryfrances Wagner’s books include Salvatore’s Daughter, Light Subtracts Itself, Red Silk (Thorpe Menn Book Award for Literary Excellence), Dioramas (Mammoth) and Pouf (FLP). Poems have appeared in New Letters, Midwest Quarterly, Laurel Review, Voices in Italian Americana, Unsettling America:  An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Penguin Books), Literature Across Cultures (Pearson/Longman), Bearing WitnessThe Dream Book, An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation), et.al.  She co-edits I-70 Review.

To find out more, enjoy this previous interview with Maryfrances:

Zingara Interview Maryfrances Wagner

Enjoy more poems at Zingara Poetry Picks