Red Wolf Editions Fall 2022: A Change of World

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Red Wolf Editions Fall 2022
Theme: A Change of World

It occurred to me that the editorial for the Spring Edition of the same title is too high falutin. It’s like something that flew over my head. Oh what is that? A bird? A plane? An asteroid?

So I would like to have a reiteration of the same theme, so as you may continue to think about changes and shifts. Tiny shifts that eventually make a huge difference. Imagine drawing a straight line, but tilt it in a tiny shift of the pencil and it’s no longer a straight line but is now a new trajectory above the original straight line. The original line is a flat horizon and you’re walking slowly and seeing no end to the trudge over the same desert terrain. But your feet suddenly starts walking up a small mound of land and as you crossed over you see…a revelation! An oasis of some kind. If this desert is filled with people walking all in different directions, they will each stumble into different endings. Same starting point, different endings. Different experiences.

We like stories. We tell a story in our poems, don’t we, or create some kind of world? For example:

Strange Weather in Tokyo

Life is austere, my friend,
so we ducked inside a bar
to drink sake, eat edamame
and tofu and cod, sometimes
smoked oysters.

It was a way of being alive,
you know. That’s how she got
into the orbit of Mr Matsumoto,
her old schoolteacher, bereaved,
and went mushroom hunting.

She asked every so often,
what on earth am I doing.
When he said, you’re such a
lovely girl, she was content;
time had stopped for them.

I wrote it after reading a novel of the same title. As said, with poetry, we can perhaps practice the zen that Jane Hirschfield speaks of: “Zen pretty much comes down to three things – everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.” Perhaps you’d like to write it down. Pin down what happened after walking the desert. You pay attention, perhaps to tell a story. What we notice in stories are the changes, or how a poem pivots, so by the time the reader finishes to read, something has changed. A mood, a thought, a knowing, whatever.

In Rembrandt’s drawing, a young woman stands at a doorway, with an intriguing face. A thinking look? What is she thinking? What happened to her? What will happen to her? Is there a story behind her beaded necklace? We, as reader, await a story. In any story, there is change. What situation is she in? What happens when she steps out of the door, or step back inside? What’s her story? I guess at the very least we look forward to a change of scenery. What’s her mood before and after? A change of the narrator’s view of the world affects us, as reader. That’s why we read the poem, right? The poem needs to bring us somewhere. It needs to transcend or shift in some way. So it’s a portal, to our souls, I think. What’s our truth? Change comes from any kind of portal. As doors are portals, to a different world, so are books, and nature, anything I suppose. So are people. You change your people, you change your world. Who you met, who you left, who left you, who you keep. One of the big truths in life, I think. Nothing is forever. Yet you still believe in forever, do you? The other big truth? When you happen onto something, or meet someone, by chance, it isn’t really. And when you chance onto something, or someone, that gives you joy, you must feel the presence of God. That’s a bit like poetry for me.

I think of Spring 2022 Edition as Part One and the Fall 2022 Edition as Part Two. Let us see the same as well as new footsteps in the sand. Time is change. We’ll see what changes. After all, change takes time. In art, as in life, everything is process. Process matters. Process takes time, and for us humans, however slow it seems, it is never at the speed at which a tree grows, measured in hundreds of years. Then anyhow, comes the big change. Big change can happen in a day, or in other words, in one day everything can change. Change, like taxes and death, is certain. That’s why we hang onto the threads, because life is full of change, even when we think things are the same, and poetry helps us navigate, to find our own truth, amidst terrible uncertainty. Where art meets life (isn’t that the place you and I have been?)—that’s a journey of change. So here’s to change and a final collaboration, our collective effort.

Here’s my take on the cover painting. May you find your own response to it. Like trees who photosynthesize, we make our own stories. Someone said, “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”

The sun streamed into my heart
as the tiger year dawns.
For a while it’s been dark
but maybe the minute changes
undetected, unknown.

My son listened rapt to stories
I tell him, of my youth,
as to tarot readings.
A girl stood at a patio door
and listened too.

Her thatched roof house wouldn’t be
anything I imagined.
An old farmhouse out in the Cotswolds,
she standing there, clutching
her neck, that glistened with red pearls.

Ahh, change! I leave you with these words,

How can I sing? Time tells me what I am.
I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

—Mark Strand, “The Remains”

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: March 2022 to August 2022. Selected poems will be posted here on this site as well as on this site and compiled into a PDF release in Fall 2022.

Happy writing!

Irene Toh
Editor
Fall 2022

PDF Release of A Change of World Spring 2022 Edition

I am pleased to announce the release of the Spring 2022 Issue.

The poets with work in the A Change of World Volume 1 edition are:

Dmitry Blizniuk
Paul Brooke
Jeff Burt
Joe Cottonwood
CS Crowe
Mary Anna Scenga Kruch
Ron. Lavalette
Joan Mazza
Karla Linn Merrifield
Peter Mladinic
Misky
Larry Oakner
Frederick Pollack
Emalisa Rose
Timothy Resau
Rikki Santer
Emil Sinclair
Ivor Steven
Debi Swim

You may download a copy of the PDF release here.

A Change of World Spring 2022 Issue 20

Irene Toh
Editor
Spring 2022 Edition

Hammer of History, by Joe Cottonwood

Hammer of History
by Joe Cottonwood

Let it be known
you of future century
finding this note dropped in wall cavity
of this cabin built by miner 49er
who never struck it rich —

Let it be known that
while remodeling this cabin,
my hammer slipped from sweaty fingers
to fall beyond reach
within walls from a century plus half
being of tight grain heart redwood
milled from trees of millennial age —

Let it be known
when my spirit has flown,
when walls finally fall
you of future century
who find that hammer, this note,
it’s my old Stiletto framer
with handle worn to the fit of my grip,
never struck gold
now yours to hold.

Joe Cottonwood has repaired hundreds of houses to support his writing habit in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. His latest book of poetry is Random Saints.

The Turning Wheel, by CS Crowe

The Turning Wheel
by CS Crowe

I found a tire abandoned in the woods,
And I wondered how this was possible:
Who would carry a twenty pound tire
Off the road and into the ditch,
Out of the ditch and up the hill,
Up the hill and into the woods,
And every step of the way, sweating,
Spitting, cursing, never stopping.

I have found so many tires
Abandoned in the woods these days;
They increase in number until I cannot
Count them without cutting off my fingers.

When a daddy tire and a mommy tire
Love each other very much,
You are born, little tire in the woods,
Doomed to fade in the sun’s harsh light,
But never to die, only to grow older
With each passing day, like an oak tree
That has never known the ax or drought.
There are no such trees left anymore.

I find nothing but tires in the woods these days,
Until all the world is rubber and glass and steel.
The blue-less sky waiting
To be carried off the road and into the ditch.

CS Crowe is a storyteller from the Southeastern United States with a love of nature and a passion for writing. He believes stories and poems are about getting there, not being there, and he enjoys those tales that take their time getting to the point.

Night Attack, by Frederick Pollack

Night Attack
by Frederick Pollack

We had cut the wire.
Advanced in loose order
across that landscape for which there are
no more adjectives. Rain had smoothed
the contours of shellholes and further liberated
bone from sodden uniforms and flesh.
Despite the endless unseen pitfalls, night
appeared not quite itself, or day,
but a third thing, bright in an unhelpful way.
Machine-guns, snipers, searchlights, flares
held off, as if a god
had sealed their eyes and mouths;
in the silence, we heard each other think.
In that silence, our thoughts made too much noise.
Promotion, a blighty, letters to or from,
dry cigarettes, erotic views so distant
they might have enticed another species,
and someone’s picture of a whole world bad
as our small part of it …
As if we were officers, we tried to
bring order to our thoughts, to make
them march more smartly than we ever had.

As the strange light increased
and we, in our perpetual crouch,
still stumbled on, the realm we crossed,
grew somehow smoother, simplified,
and birds, the sparrows of our homeland, hopped.
Among them one, in no way distinguished,
said to the rest, Let’s fly –
one final vast formation, singing
as beautifully as we alone perceive.
But shells and bullets shred the air,
the others objected. Better turn worm or lizard.
Brothers, those things can’t threaten us,
the first bird said. We do not hunger
for life like these dead stinking creatures;
we belong to sky alone.
And the small birds stood amazed,
for none had ever spoken to them thus.

Author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness, both Story Line Press; the former to be reissued 2022 by Red Hen Press. Two collections of shorter poems, A Poverty of Words, (Prolific Press, 2015) and Landscape with Mutant (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018). Frederick Pollack has appeared in Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Magma (UK), Bateau, Fulcrum, Chiron Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, etc. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Hamilton Stone Review, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Mudlark, Rat’s Ass Review, Faircloth Review, Triggerfish, etc.

What’s Left on the Plate, by Rikki Santer

What’s Left on the Plate
by Rikki Santer

We are low watt bulbs dangling and disordered
            discounting the skies with our hungry tycoons
who lust after zero gravity through their gift-wrapped
            launches that trail space junk behind them.

We are oceans of soup-like swirls filled with plastic
            flotsam or glaciers that can’t hold on any longer.
We remain captivated by atlas of backyard, existential lives
            of creatures wide-eyed in rain forests and savannas.

We are stuck in our orbital lanes whining on TikTok
            or cable TV, reasoning through conspiratorial barks
and huddled head-to-head below cornices of appetite and pride.
            We burrow into the faint history of reading, the squall
of internet, so many magnets for our attention, dangerous
            nonsense we don’t know what we’re tracking, our
mouths half shut ready to descend just around the bend
            onto whatever will be left on the plate.

Rikki Santer’s poems have appeared in various publications including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Heavy Feather Review, Slab, Slipstream, [PANK], Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, Grimm, Hotel Amerika and The Main Street Rag. His work has received many honors including six Pushcart and three Ohioana and Ohio Poet book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. His tenth collection, How to Board a Moving Ship, has just been released by Lily Poetry Review Books.

Wingbeats, by Mary Anna Scenga Kruch

Wingbeats
by Mary Anna Scenga Kruch

If her wingbeats could unhinge the cage
and if once out the gate
escape lockdown
she could migrate north
to Lake Michigan shores
would nest deep in the woods
in a place of pine needles
rest upon a telephone wire
await the creamy light
of a last quarter moon
and from her nest
sense the early morning stir
and quickened beat
of hawk’s wings.

rough-legged-hawk-2492-ron-dudley_0

Photograph © Ron Dudley

Mary Anna Scenga Kruch is a career educator and writer, often inspired by her Italian family and the natural world. She has published a textbook, Nurturing Motivation in Young AdolescentWriters (2012), a poetry chapbook, We Draw Breath from the Same Sky (2019), and most recently a full-length collection of poetry and prose, Grace Notes: A Memoir in Poetry & Prose (2021). She is widely published in state and national literary journals. Poetry in River Heron Review and Wayne Literary Review are forthcoming.

One Less Sun, by Mary Anna Scenga Kruch

One Less Sun
by Mary Anna Scenga Kruch

The draft beneath the back door
called attention
to sun-shaped metal
crafted once into wind chimes
now half gone from neglect
after Jenny left for college
yet still struggling
against its own existence
on weak links
that scrape the down spout
clank against a corner
of the house its backbone
a noose denoting loss
ignores new shoots
on maple trees whose spring wish
rests tenuously on each twig —
only the wind chimes
grow watchful:
a reminder that snow and wind
may again overtake
the roof the door
suspend new growth
threaten to destroy
then hang
one less metal sun.

Wind Chimes Red Wolf J 2

Mary Anna Scenga Kruch is a career educator and writer, often inspired by her Italian family and the natural world. She has published a textbook, Nurturing Motivation in Young AdolescentWriters (2012), a poetry chapbook, We Draw Breath from the Same Sky (2019), and most recently a full-length collection of poetry and prose, Grace Notes: A Memoir in Poetry & Prose (2021). She is widely published in state and national literary journals. Poetry in River Heron Review and Wayne Literary Review are forthcoming.

Bad-Bad to Good, by Karla Linn Merrifield

Bad-Bad to Good
by Karla Linn Merrifield

Bad.
Bad men.
An army of bad men
liked up confront me
even now
DraculaFrankensteinBluebeard
Bigbadwolf.
Why so many monsters?

All we’ll have is Medusa
to seduce with wisdom
signified by writhing snakes
idea serpents
pythons of woman power
to slay monsters.
Hey you, look at all my thoughts
slithering toward you.
I’m be getting into your head.
No more asps of brainwash,
of propaganda reflecting
your own lies.
Let’s do the snake dance, bad boys.
Truth is fanged.

Karla Linn Merrifield has had 1000+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies, with 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the newly released full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. Her newest poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars; was published in January 2022 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, NY). Web site: https://www.karlalinnmerrifield.org/; blog at https://karlalinnmerrifeld.wordpress.com/; Tweet @LinnMerrifiel; Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/karlalinn.merrifield.

Aroostook, by Peter Mladinic

Aroostook
by Peter Mladinic

One night, standing in an open door,
looking out at the dark I daydreamed
about being in Aroostook, the County.
I was in the American Southwest. Aroostook
is way up in the Northeast, about as east
as a person can go and still be in the States.

I don’t know what started my Sunday night
Aroostook daydream. Only I thought
Aroostook way up there out of the way,
which meant few people, and fewer wanted
to go there. I guess I wanted to feel special,
like no one wanted to go there but me.

Nothing there that I didn’t have here except
lots of snow. I’m not a snow fan, I wanted
to be there in summer, maybe the one time
no snow falls on Allagash and Bridgewater.
How do these towns differ? Go and see.
I thought about it but I had papers to grade,

bills to pay, promises to keep. I couldn’t
just pack up my Ford 150, stuffing
suitcases in the camper shell and drive
all the way up there. Though it’s possible.
Though I’d be fired from my school where
I teach English and students at desks play

with their phones, which they likely do
in New Limerick and Westmanland,
assuming they have schools, maybe
churches. What would it be like praying
in a church in Blaine, or buying stamps in
St. Agatha’s post office, if it has one?

I Googled a page of Aroostook’s towns and
plantations. What, in 2020, is a plantation?
They are there, according to Google. I had
them memorized and thought about them.
I wanted to walk through a door in
Frenchville, to get out of a car in Mars Hill.

Peter Mladinic’s fourth book of poems, Knives on a Table, is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications. An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico.