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
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
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.