Land of the Southwind                                                           by Roy Beckemeyer

When the wind stretches
its wings in Kansas
it makes you think
that nothing else longs
to be so intransigent,
so desultory, and you
know that this is why
trees and people who take root
here become so adept,
almost protean in their
ability to bend and thrash,
to tack close-hauled,
to move forward even
when that direction
takes them headlong
into gust fronts
and difficulties,
to face into it all, like weather
vanes or windsocks,
to strive, as always,
toward resolution,
toward life,
toward continuance.

Roy J. Beckemeyer’s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (Blue Cedar). Stage Whispers (Meadowlark) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press) contains ekphrastic poems inspired by artists’ depictions of angels. Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. Beckemeyer has designed and built airplanes, discovered and named fossils of Palaeozoic insect species and has once traveled the world. Beckemeyer lives with and for his wife of 60 years, Pat, in Wichita, Kansas.

Guest editor Denise Low, MFA & Ph.D., was Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09. She won the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award for Shadow Light. Other books are Wing (Red Mountain), Casino Bestiary (Spartan), and The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), a Hefner Heitz Award finalist. At Haskell Indian Nations University she founded the creative writing program. She is a contributing editor to Essay Daily’s Midwessay project. She lives in California’s Sonoma County on Tsuno Mountain, homeland of Pomo people.www.deniselow.net

Life, Everywhere                                                                       by Pat Daneman

The dog can’t help it—she tracks mud in from the yard.
Damp crumbs fall from in between her toes. I sweep,
look up and see that dust has drifted over every table,
 
fingers have left smears on walls and windowpanes,
lips printed the rims of cups. There is a crust of wine
in the bottom of the glass I poured last night, a spatter
 
of coffee across the stove. But isn’t dirt a bargain
price to pay for breath—the privilege of wandering
the dawn every morning, leaving footprints?

Pat Daneman’s poetry is recently published in Moon City Review, Poet’s Touchstone, Atlas & Alice, and Typehouse. Her collection, “After All,” was first runner up for the 2019 Thorpe-Menn Award and a finalist for the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award. She lives in Candia, NH. Pat Daneman

Guest editor Denise Low, MFA & Ph.D., was Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09. She won the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award for Shadow Light. Other books are Wing (Red Mountain), Casino Bestiary (Spartan), and The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), a Hefner Heitz Award finalist. At Haskell Indian Nations University she founded the creative writing program. She is a contributing editor to Essay Daily’s Midwessay project.www.deniselow.net

manifest legacy                                                                         by Carrie Nassif

in the beginning here was heat and blood all
questions or breastmilk any other was magic
we lived to form our mouths into words into
tools to fashion names to hold back the ache
these pains in our ribs  yomping all up  in our
ears such good students  we would string up
clear wire and puppet this world with myths
to disguise it with Latin terms   as though we
could fare any better than  the creatures we
destroy in our crusade to map  it   all  out  to
plaster these walls with   exclamation points

Carrie Nassif (she/her) is a queer poet and psychologist of the rural Midwest. Her chapbook, lithopaedion (Finishing Line Press) is forthcoming. Other poetry is in Comstock Review, Concision, and Gravity of the Thing; and anthologies including, Slow Lightning: Impractical Poetry, and Written There: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2022.

Guest editor Denise Low, MFA & Ph.D., was Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09. She won the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award for Shadow Light. Other books are Wing (Red Mountain), Casino Bestiary (Spartan), and The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), a Hefner Heitz Award finalist. At Haskell Indian Nations University she founded the creative writing program. She is a contributing editor to Essay Daily’s Midwessay project. She lives in California’s Sonoma County on Tsuno Mountain, homeland of Pomo people.www.deniselow.net

My Road Worth Walking Down                                             by Caryn Mirriam Goldberg

begins and ends in gravel, volunteer sunflowers
leggy and eager to roost on the edge of car exhaust
while three crows march triumphantly
toward the house in hunger and wonder.

The slopes pool from underground springs,
feeding the dreams I have of a basement
where someone's damp boxes of children's books
dissolve into dried flowers, forgotten immediately
over the threshold of the pillow.

This road roots back to a street in Brooklyn
where the big kids played dodge ball
and the little kids couldn't dodge quickly enough.
It romps up shag-carpeted stairs where I cried out
the new bruises not from the world outside
but from the angry man downstairs.

It surges westward to abandoned farmsteads
of someone else's childhood where the blades
of remnant windmills rust into pie tins
while the present deer and ancient bison keep score.

It returns me home, exhausted and grateful,
where the man I fell in love with so long ago
sleeps beneath sun-faded green curtains
trembling in the wind from the ceiling fan.

My road becomes a path, then just a parting
in the tall grass, easy to miss in storms
that level everything to nothing but a song
of migration and arrival, which is what
the road was made of all along.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 23 books, including Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, poetry. Her previous work includes The Divorce Girl, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community; and six poetry collections, including the award-winning Chasing Weather with photographer Stephen Locke. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely. www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com

Guest editor Denise Low, MFA & Ph.D., was Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09. She won the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award for Shadow Light. Other books are Wing (Red Mountain), Casino Bestiary (Spartan), and The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), a Hefner Heitz Award finalist. She is co-author of Northern Cheyenne Ledger Art by Fort Robinson Breakout Survivors (U. of Nebraska Press, Kansas Notable Book). At Haskell Indian Nations University she founded the creative writing program. She is a contributing editor to Essay Daily’s Midwessay project.www.deniselow.net

Let Us Anticipate                                                                  by Eileen R. Tabios

What is an oligarch without ostentation? For many Russian elites, the answer is apparently “nothing.” The sanctions threaten oligarchs with a kind of annihilation, similar to the phenomenon that sociologists describe as “social death.” That is why Russian elites were so quick to gather up their expensive toys as soon as sanctions were announced, and why several have taken the extraordinary step of publicly begging Putin for a quick end to the war.

—from “The Russian Elite Can’t Stand the Sanctions” by Brooke Harrington, The Atlantic, March 5, 2002
 
the impending crisis
for mistresses in London
 
as marble townhomes
become confiscated
 
as credit card limits
eliminate infinity
 
No more shopping
in Hashtag Milano
 
No more partying
in Hashtag SaintTropez
 
No more diamonds
in Hashtag Antwerp
 
“The need to see and be seen 
is a fundamental driver 
 
of human affairs. Oligarchs need 
not just to be but be seen
 
as filthy rich, a need that rises
with economic wealth.” Yachts 
 
to luxury purses to soccer
franchises seen through social 
 
media now help investigators
freeze assets for sanctions
 
Let us not forget—let us
anticipate!—bringing forth
 
those violins smaller
than raised thumbs
 
with their music rousing
the surgically plastered
 
to take off red-heeled shoes
and aim at ducking oligarchs
_______________________
Note: References to hashtagged references and the designated quote are from “The Russian Elite Can’t Stand the Sanctions” by Brooke Harrington, The Atlantic, March 5, 2002 

Eileen R. Tabios  has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku poetic form as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences (1998), which received the Philippines’ National Book Award. Publications include the long-form novel DoveLion: A Fairy Tale for Our Times

Guest editor Denise Low, MFA & Ph.D., was Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09. She won the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award for Shadow Light. Other books are Wing (Red Mountain), Casino Bestiary (Spartan), and The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), a Hefner Heitz Award finalist. At Haskell Indian Nations University she founded the creative writing program. She is a contributing editor to Essay Daily’s Midwessay project. She lives in California’s Sonoma County on Tsuno Mountain, homeland of Pomo people. www.deniselow.net

This is How It’s Done                                                             by James Diaz

I hope the stars
I hope the river
I hope the hand that feeds you
I hope the crossing
the gathering, the losing
the soulfuckery, the meanness of it
all these things that fill and empty our lives out
that somehow you'll do ok in it
not fade to black
too soon or early or ever
 
I hope what they took from you returns as a bird in your backyard
so reliable in its being there you give it a name
I mean you are what you've been through
but also canyon, rushing river, crepe myrtle
unexplained lights passing over Denver
kindness cup overflowing
 
we become bigger than the hole in us
I know what it means to survive
it means burn and burn
but don't burn back
don't torch the birds
give it a name
that pain
a name you can live with
a name like faith or "where you headed to? Hop in, I'm going that way"
when you're not. You're not.
But you were once rider and not driver
on the side of the road
water in your shoes
fire in your belly
 
we all have to learn how to give better
of ourselves
 
give and give
till the giving communes
gathers holds helps heals
carries us
home...
is just each other
leanin' on each other.
calling out,
 
I hope the hand
I hope the light
I hope the poem
I hope the...

James Diaz (They/Them) is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger, (Indolent Books, 2018) and All Things Beautiful Are Bent (Alien Buddha, 2021) as well as the founding editor of Anti-Heroin Chic. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Thrush Poetry Journal, Corporeal, The Madrigal, Wrongdoing Magazine, The Lumiere Review, and Resurrection Mag. They live in upstate New York.

Guest Editor Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of two poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon). Awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Foundation of Contemporary Arts (NYC), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.”  

Two Poems                                                                               By Sheila E Murphy

64
 
Helen was our joie de vivre in childhood
Fun was always possible
If Helen breathed
For many years she has not breathed
We loved her as she understood
The lack of difference between adults
And children we were neither
My brothers and I loved living
As she taught we took her light
As our religion if we needed one
Our sport if we preferred
And on each visit she would bring
Us gifts ideas games her very special
Friend who made us laugh forever
As we heard them glide into
A better universe they made we wanted
For ourselves and every living being
We admired as the gift of selfhood
For which we had no words
In which we still believe
69

Please refrain from mussing the hair of Ann Arbor
I require the handful of petty seeds
Tossed just as wedding rice
That new life may emerge as it does
With or without our efforts
And the random clouds we claim that filter
Light and certitude why not revive
What once was right about the land
We had no name for why not look instead
Without appropriating just to fit
A thing into your quiver only later
To claim what is not yours as though
A flag poked into the gorgeous moon
Why own why strut why kindle
Obstreperous ways of being when no one
Wants it or you why not just settle
And parlay the noticed beauty you
Aspire to being without demand
Recalling cool water buoyant sky
The symmetry within that sprawls
Intact and warms a cool place
In the nascent collective heart
Leaning this way leaning that

Sheila E. Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Her most recent book is Golden Milk (Luna Bisonte Prods, 2020).The chapbook Separation Theory was just reprinted by Trainwreck Press (2022). Reporting Live from You Know Where won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition (Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland), 2018).  Also in 2018, Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory. 

Guest Editor Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of two poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon). Awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Foundation of Contemporary Arts (NYC), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.”  

The Idea of Apples                                                                  by Tim Moder

Before we were naked, we were beautiful, fluid, celestial.
Spirit made manifest.
Each breath a passing day, a praise over the waters.
In the orchard where love grows, we planted flowers, in the eyes of god.
Gentle in the heat, falling in love with the soil, with the seed,
with water lilies and lotus in a cascade of rain.
 
We played in the day, mimicking calls and songs of wind,
of reeds and thrushes in our litany of names.
We touched in wonder huddled between the thunder and the yawning day.
 
Near the fig tree there is a place where the light fades;
where the shadows hang secretly with the coiled serpent.
A cool breeze traces my spine.
 
We ran through fields of cinnamon, decorating the air with laughter.
We trapped sunlight on my face, tracing designs in my lavender hair.
 
I wonder what he sees there.
 
How I love to hear him in the evening calling my name.
 
How I love to sing my name into the wind above the waterfall;
falling into sleep where butterflies perch above the Papyrus.
 
I dream about them.
Red like the serpent's tongue.
They hang in the moonlight,
Islands of stars in the stem.
 
Lying in supine splendor
I have held them.

Tim Moder is an Indigenous poet living in northern Wisconsin. He manages a small team at a medical records company. His poems have appeared in South Florida Poetry Journal, Door Is A Jar Magazine, Olney Magazine, Main Street Rag, and others.

Guest Editor Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of two poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon). Awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Foundation of Contemporary Arts (NYC), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.”  

Spirit                                                                                           by paulA neves

And 

now for years I’ll see your face
on well dressed men older than you, 

electric buses running too late for the shift,
vegan restaurants where diners gave you the check,

        … union clinics where bones are set like borders,
        … summer stalls where weekend hustling demands dollars.

        You’d dragged yourself from wherever the buck had stopped
        (I… knew this),
        insisting time “was too much money to just piss.”

        I knew all this before—even unborn shadowed you, 
        whispered (in English) as you crossed the corner to the bar:

        “This is not where our intentions get filled!” You laughed.

        Then cuffed me on the mouth once born —
        dragged yourself from wherever and who was
 
I, for daring to be, like you, a sprit,
rising above everyone else in port.

There 

are no epics from wherever the buck has stopped.
You… died in your own currency to prove it.

I will not.

paulA neves, a Luso-American writer, multimedia artist, Newark, NJ native, and recipient of the 2020 NJ Poets Prize from the Journal of NJ Poets, is the author of the chapbook, “capricornucopia: the dream of the goats.” paulA has exhibited multimedia/visual art at The Newark Museum, the National Council on Aging, Rutgers University, and elsewhere. paulA is the co-founder of Parkway North Productions, which produced the award-winning documentary “The Remedy” about two NJ hip hop artists/musicians. paulA’s cross-disciplinary work often focuses on work and working, family, artists and their communities, working class urban experience, Gen X (remember us?), (dis)placement, and restoring/reimagining the voices of immigrant forebears. Follow on Instagram @itinerantmuse or visit paulaneves.net.

Guest Editor Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of two poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon). Awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Foundation of Contemporary Arts (NYC), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.”  

All True Heavens                                                                    by Tim Moder

Your house has hidden doors, as do all true heavens.
Through them we follow silver smoke in footprints
from incense, in secret, alone, to yesterday’s yesterdays,
 
where girls in candy dresses, walk among the living and
the dead, speaking haiku. They ask, is this an agate?
Is this is an agate, or a door? Or possibly a key?
 
The morning brings a green that reflects the infield.
There are angels on top of Pattison school. See the ghosts
of first kisses, painted in block letters on taconite trestles.
 
We said. We swore an oath. We said, more to ourselves
than each other. We swore. But nothing grows when planted
in memory. Not People. Not Trees. Not promises. Not Keys.
 
Here, the land is not sick. Cars don’t chase us. Nobody
watches the news. They teach us to tie tire swings to
the ugliest tree by the slow river, and to jump without regret.
 
We lay in raspberry fields behind the university, where
and when we stare up at opening clouds. We wish them into
recognizable futures. A day moon suspends over the Ferris wheel.

Tim Moder is an Indigenous poet living in northern Wisconsin. He is a member of Lake Superior Writers. He manages a small team at a medical records company. His poems have appeared in South Florida Poetry Journal, Door Is Ajar Magazine, Paddler Press, Penumbra, and others.

Guest Editor, Joan Kwon Glass (she/her) is the biracial, Korean American author of NIGHT SWIM, winner of the 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest, & is author of three chapbooks. Joan is the Editor in Chief of Harbor Review, a Brooklyn Poets mentor, poet laureate of Milford, CT, a Connecticut Office of the Arts Artists Respond grantee & poetry co-editor of West Trestle Review. A proud Smith College graduate, she has been a public school educator for 20 years. Her poems have appeared in Diode, Rattle, South Florida Poetry Journal, & many others. She grew up in Michigan & South Korea & lives in Connecticut with her family.