Stacy Kidd



this grief

that isn’t



why say it


over and

didn’t know


the man

so well


isn’t it

enough to




There is the water where we take
our walks, sometimes

concrete & a bridge & several geese for us to count.

Michael Parker

Ruminations of a man with a failing body under a perfect sunset

Is not the intent of this grand experiment to become
something more than animated clay

always moving toward tomorrow in grace?
Grace in our suffering. This is the true rubric

under which we are measured. Not how we are scuttled
by the growing leviathan of fear, or how

we entreat the soft-shelled ghosts shuttling
between worlds for the meaning of things.

It is true. This is the year of the goat.
The pages of Sartre are falling from the spine of their book.

A thousand black Winter birds explode from the leafless poplars.
And I am still searching for a safe place for a home for my hope

that incandescence of light, the ever-sought after
transformation of stone to a softer heart.

I have had a new epiphany, something greater than
our displacement, our diminution, our disappearing.

It is how we are always appearing, always in the act
of appearance; appearance as migrations,

appearance as minute transformations:
that save us from the anesthesia of grief and

enlarge the alliteration of light we so often pray for
flooded in the depths of every dark force waging against us.

I have fallen asleep and days have gone by without me.
I can attest that what propels me forward like fuel is kindness.

My eyes are seeing myself suspended in infinity and
always glowing. Glowing like the glowing death of stars,

like the forces in the heavens the mass of millions of suns
like this sunset – fire-red and piercing –

announcing I am a sudden wonder at any one moment.
And I shall always be leaving you in this same fierce-some glory.

Charles Perrone

My Way

Besides, this voice averred
a particular use of “I”
really did catch my eye
yes my eye was caught
by a version of “me” yet
I still wander and ponder
the horizons of verticality
of these configurations
refusing to be—albeit
with notably sparse alacrity—
or otherwise
drawn in out or aside by side
beside my other self.

Since You Asked

The question that continues to haunt me
is whether I should settle for a broad general answer
or insist on painstaking detail in the reply to my inquiry
regarding the art of choice to grasp this cosmic plan
such as plain words in a swirl or sounds twirling upward
or paintings of kings and queens of limitless domains
even panted athletes deigning to stake us to a lead
only to overcome dust and all in the ray-filled race
toward a kitchen of knowledge with its pots and pans
aching to cook up recipes dishes plates or commonplace
grub to assuage the hunger of those whose pains
are simply taking too long to dissipate or somehow
skate around the nagging issue of survival on this
pale blue dot.

Jenny MacBain-Stephens

Bird Poem #1

poorly illustrated legs/ no passion filled gallop/ lacking blood lust / ingest weight, repeat /dreaming of
index fingers / acquiesce: a torso/ bird brain glass smash/ no forehead to inspect/ no fingertips to
soothe / cat egos placate / survival of the fastest/ fly away feathers/ flutter in the bath/ pretend it’s a
game / I can shoot you full of buckshot /no safe house too small.

Bird Poem #2

Icterus Baltimore Aquus Marinus
For the artist (unknown) outside the Museum of Found American Art

Cement invaded a tiny mold
beak, wings, feet.
mirrored glass pieces
encased refraction forever
or the weather wins

A Technicolor environmentalist’s
vision in sharp shards.

In your torso, my eyes radiate chartreuse
My chin lavender,
My parka disintegrates into
diamond suns.

Now I have wings

I soar into pieces
The dirt, formidable
The ice, suffocating

No longer encased in stone
I swallow the wind.

Bird Poem #3

I dropped him off at the train station.
He sat amongst goldfish crumbs.
He drank an energy drink.
Only berries for breakfast
like the chipmunk
I saw run through the flower bed,
costumed in the structure of a man.
I dropped him off on the sidewalk.
He lugged a backpack.
The wind blew.
The rain poured.
Why don’t you eat anymore?
I couldn’t ask.
I wanted a smile and a “next time…”
I dropped him off at the train station.

Bird Poem #4

Ticks removed: two
No, three
one discovered the next day
on a hip

bluebells unbloomed all week
Leafy, convoluted brain stems
Muck splattered shoes
Stomped hay grass

Blue birds never showed
Empty little wood boxes
Listen for the call
Muster up a sh sh sh sh sh

Sounds like she she she
Come to me me me
How successful was my bird call?
Blue birds almost went extinct in VA

The dominant sparrows
cleared out the nests
Bird bullies
Some humans trapped and killed the sparrows

Doesn’t that make them a bully?
No, murderer.
I want something perched on my shoulder
Then I will be satisfied

Untouchable, like a memory
You never will of course
Just a hint of turquoise in the forest
Always struggling to build a home

Always the renter
Me, deluded