Red Wolf Winter/Spring 2023: Call for Submissions

Winter Spring 2023

A Change Of Season

You, as our header says, “turn toward me, your lips move, wanting to speak.” After experience comes expression, comes story. It’s you trying to be coherent in a somewhat random world. You trying to process experience. Everything that is experienced and spoken is a process, remains in your consciousness, which you try to solidify by speaking about. Form is your consciousness wanting to speak. Poems are our spiritual selves speaking.

In speaking, poems are ways of falling in love with the world, of discovery and re-discovery, an enactment and a reenactment of the world, or the worlds we imagine ourselves in, in a never-ending process. The world you write about is a multifarious thing. It changes according to light or dark, at different moments. It becomes infinite just as poetry is, while we remain finite. It’s all about perception isn’t it? Our point of view changes depending on who we are at a certain point in time. Our selves are perhaps seasons. A reflection.

We invite your submissions to Winter/Spring 2023. Perhaps the seasons will serve as tropes in your writing. As the seasons change, so do your experiences, your perception, and your voice. With every year that passes, how does the world reach out to you? How do you receive the world with your senses? How do you, with your voice, reach out to the world?

Your musings are welcome here.

Read our submission guidelines here. Kindly follow those guidelines before submitting, part of your careful attention to details. Please check back on our site to see if your poem has been selected. We will not be sending out any rejection letters.

Submissions period: September 2022 to February 2023. Selected poems will be posted here on this site as well as on this site and compiled into a PDF release in March 2023.

Happy writing!

Irene Toh
Editor
Winter/Spring 2023

A Brief Letter To An Old Friend, by Emil Sinclair

A Brief Letter To An Old Friend
by Emil Sinclair

I’m still above ground, not below;
the house is also hanging on.
The stonework steps are cracked;
the paint is chipped and peeling.
Inside’s not much better, I’m afraid.
The carpet’s worn and tattered,
the black-on-silver flocked wallpaper
is faded and torn, here and there.
But I could not be more at home.
I don’t get many visitors these days,
except my nightly glass of scotch.
I get up early, and write all morning;
with dark roast coffee my sole companion.
Then some kippers and cheese for lunch.
Afternoon’s for reading, mostly now for fun.
Sometimes a short nap; an hour or so, at most.
It’s just the cat and me, you know;
and I no longer care what other people think.
Life’s not done with me quite yet,
and that’s just fine by me.
Yes, I’m getting old;
but now I’m feeling free.

Emil Sinclair is the pseudonym of a sometime poet and longtime philosophy professor in New York City.

A body of work, by Emil Sinclair

A body of work
by Emil Sinclair

We make our bodies
with our thoughts;
it is the mind as seen.
A sculptor carves
the muscles;
a poet lights the eyes.
Movement is
the drummer’s beat;
the rhythm of the lines.
But the mind obeys
the secret wishes
of our own
immortal soul—
the one true artist
in this fleshy residence.
There is no praise,
there is no blame;
not a wisp didactic.
For soul comes through
no matter what;
its sheer radiance
unobstructed.

Emil Sinclair is the pseudonym of a sometime poet and longtime philosophy professor in New York City.

What you love, by Emil Sinclair

What you love
by Emil Sinclair

Holy holy holy:
the world is filled with light.
Yellow roses and late
Beethoven quartets;
crossword puzzles
done in pen.
Rows and columns
of neatly printed figures,
always adding up.
Tears shed in a corner;
prayers said to herself.
An ordinary life,
lived impeccably.
What’s the secret?
Become transparent
to the light;
give yourself
to what you love.

Emil Sinclair is the pseudonym of a sometime poet and longtime philosophy professor in New York City.

The Trees, The Trees, by Emil Sinclair

The Trees, The Trees
by Emil Sinclair

It seemed like fall
would never come;
the weather’s been
so warm and damp,
more like spring
or summer.
Then suddenly—
no, overnight—
the leaves turned brown
and brittle,
the air waxed cold and dry,
the winds picked up,
and fall took place;
the ground now lies snuggled
beneath its annual blanket.
But the trees look lost,
just standing there;
naked and skinny,
out in the open,
like some poor orphans
out of a Dickens novel,
or wartime refugees.
I would help them,
if I could.

Emil Sinclair is the pseudonym of a sometime poet and longtime philosophy professor in New York City.

If You Can See, by Emil Sinclair

If You Can See
by Emil Sinclair

Wah Chang
saw the future;
then he made it
with his hands,
so we could see it, too.
There is nothing lost
in that translation.
The artist’s hand
is the eye of vision,
which opens inward
to our dreams,
and outward
to ten thousand things;
yet knowing all the time
they are one
and the same.
A sculptor
and a sage,
his breath was weak
from polio;
but the breath
of spirit
was his strength.
He is all around us—
if you can only see.

Process note:
Wah Ming Chang (1917-2003) was a sculptor, painter, and designer whose work (sometimes uncredited) appears in such classic science fiction movies as “The Time Machine” (1960), and the original “Star Trek” television series. His design of the communicator inspired the cellular flip phone.

Emil Sinclair is the pseudonym of a sometime poet and longtime philosophy professor in New York City.

I Am Old and It’s November, by Jeff Burt

I Am Old and It’s November
by Jeff Burt

I burn the leftover triangles of fir
from making stairs to a deck
and the few, lean outcast branches
of oak that beetles and disease lopped off.
The fir growls and spits out sap like a wild cur
while the oak barely musters a flicker.
I poke a branch with a stick,
hoping to provoke it into joining
but it stays reluctant,
like the new kid at school
on the outside of a happy ring.

I squint through smoke, strike
the silver tomahawk into a rotting stump.
It hits a knot and kicks back
just missing my right ear,
sings like a tuning fork,
forearm like a pulsating circuit
for the wood’s last electric moment.

Again, old oak, without asking,
you have taught me.
Let me go out singing.
Before ash, let me ring.

Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, his wife. He has contributed previously to Red Wolf Journal, to Williwaw Journal, Heartwood, Willows Wept Review, and Farmer-ish.

Hull, by Jeff Burt

Hull
by Jeff Burt

All this travel, all these strokes
of invisible oars to reach you.

The day turns gray, the water
against me. I have bound my hands

to the wood so when they weary
I will not let go.

~

A house with few windows
windows with few views

the day begins in shadows
and ends in shadows

correspondence frequent
but conversation absent

when the leaves fall
I wait for light to enter

~

The snow like water
its other state

curls over
and holds shape

that sand can wish
it could do

joy and sadness
have similar arcs

build a little lip
that extends

the force that built it
weathering time’s

erosion, a trajectory
against the pull of gravity

a conversation
with you mother

that continues
with a suspended decrescendo

after the quiet
of your death.

~

I lie in the hull
cradled and curled

snow falling on my face
it is not easy to let go

hard to be free
when the ice encroaches

when life withdraws
when cold advances

hard to believe
that I will walk away from this water

this boat, that my arms will tire
that I will put down the oars

that I will rise from the hull
like a seed, take root elsewhere

Sources: Hull–my mother died in November; it remains the season I find I still talk to her.

Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, his wife. He has contributed previously to Red Wolf Journal, to Williwaw Journal, Heartwood, Willows Wept Review, and Farmer-ish.

In Praise of Grey, by Debi Swim

In Praise of Grey
by Debi Swim

Grey with just a tinge of blue
that coos a sweet sad song
at the end of day
holding at bay
garish primary shades
when I’ve become tired of
keeping up…
I’m fading away
frayed, scuffed,
losing that vigor of red
tossing out scarlet
shunning crimson
for the soothing sheen of pearl
and arctic platinum
and pigeon grey.
Grey is an absence and…
I am a floating cloud
I am ashes of yesterday
I am a grisaille.

Debi Swim has had poems published in two anthologies and in the Bluestone Journal for Bluefield College. She is a persistent WV poet who loves to write to prompts.

Bewitched, by Debi Swim

Bewitched
by Debi Swim

I’ve driven this road a hundred times
eyes on the white lines and signs,
busy dictating my thoughts.
What was so different about today, anyway?

Maybe it was the way the sunlight slanted
through the trees on the mountain side
or the deer and doe beside the road eating
defiantly on their piece of this earth.

Or maybe the mist swirling off the river
like wraiths of tormented souls
that caught my eye, set the mood,
and whispers of the linden tree like

a hymn, a lullaby, an incantation of
praise and peace reminding me that
I’ve become estranged from what’s true
to exist in a matrix of emptiness and lies.

Debi Swim has had poems published in two anthologies and in the Bluestone Journal for Bluefield College. She is a persistent WV poet who loves to write to prompts.

People die all the time and get buried, by Gale Acuff

People die all the time and get buried,
by Gale Acuff

there’s nothing new in that but still it’s strange,
not death I mean but what we do with it,
put the body in a crate, then under
-ground, and at the head a stone and plastic
flowers maybe and folks with money place
a stone at the dead person’s feet so they
have something to stand on maybe
and as for the soul you never see it
unless I guess you yourself are gone and
in Heaven or Hell but wouldn’t it be
neat if souls could stay on Earth and bodies
go to the Afterlife but then what would
the monument builder do, they’d be out
of work. So maybe there’s something to death.

Gale Acuff had hundreds of poems published in a dozen countries and have authored three books of poetry. His poems have appeared in Ascent, Reed, Arkansas Review, Poem, Birmingham Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, Roanoke Review, Ohio Journal, Sou’wester, South Dakota Review, North Dakota Quarterly, New Texas, Midwest Quarterly, Poetry Midwest, Adirondack Review, Worcester Review, Connecticut River Review, Delmarva Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Maryland Literary Review, George Washington Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Ann Arbor Review, Plainsongs, Slant, Chiron Review, Coe Review, McNeese Review, Weber, War, Literature & the Arts, Aethlon, Able Muse, The Font, Teach.Write., Hamilton Stone Review, Cardiff Review, Tokyo Review, Indian Review, Muse India, Bombay Review, and many other journals. He has taught tertiary English courses in the US, PR China, and Palestine.