Nothing Stays Here Long, by Martin Willitts Jr

nothing stays here long COVER

Download the collection here.

nothing stays here long by martin willitts jr 5

I am alert to what makes the silence/silent
–“The World Is Alert In Its Silence”

Martin Willitts Jr’s poems are a deep meditation, each one of them exceptional in their truth-telling. These are what may be called leave-taking poems, and how the poet does it is in capturing stillness and movement, expressed in quiet narratives and nature imagery that is absolutely lyrical. Above the noise, the poet looks for silence. In his poems, silence is the motif–if you’re as alert, his poems will speak to you through the imagery and move you with their eloquence. His brilliant poems reward close reading — read quietly and feel the resonance in his language.

Growing Together, by Mark Tulin


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growing together by mark tulin 2

My dreams are like flowers
of Emerson and Frost
that suddenly appear
from my lips
in unexpected places
—“Sunflower Poetry ”

Mark Tulin’s poems celebrate hopes and dreams, divine blessings, simple joys under the California sun. His stories follow the adage of looking on the brighter side of life, thriving on growth and enjoyment. The simple life is the charmed life. And you’ll be charmed too, by the vistas of sandy beaches, the oversaturation of sun warding off winter, a sense of well-being and freedom not so often portrayed in poetry.

Visitations, by Ron. Lavalette

visitations final cover2

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visitations by ron lavalettee 3

Tomorrow/you can call me Smiley Nirvana;/Tomorrow I’ll be Karmic Bailout.

In Ron. Lavalette’s collection, writing’s a bit like having visitations, in the form of seeing or hearing or soothsaying. It is to embody desire; to be brightened by the light of the sun and be dogged by its shadows. There’s a certain play on that. The desire for someone out of reach. The repetition of writing, or waking, like the sun rising and setting in a quotidian life. Ron’s poems come at you sideways, like a smirk. They’re not straight; as if the world needs to counter gloom with something yellow. His favorite tropes are the egg, the sun. His characters are not the Kates of the world. His stories are wonky–an endearing dark humor present yet light prevails.

Autumn, by Debi Swim


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autumn and other poems by debi swim

Our lives are a journey toward what has always been waiting for us to find.
“Élan vital — Evolution of My Soul “

Debi Swim’s collection is wonderfully evocative of place, of seasons, of aging and death, of familial stories, of self-questioning, of relationships with nature, people, animals and God. Most deeply the poems are embedded in belief, in the soul’s yearning. They address a fundamental question, what living means, touching both its philosophical and lyrical aspects. Her poems are characterized by metaphorical and descriptive richness, display a dexterity of language that is dazzling. A richly textured collection–poem after poem, she nails all the important themes.

The Poems of the Air, by Alan Walowitz

alan walowitz's book cover

Download the collection here.

the poems of the air by alan walowitz

Nothing much ever happens here. But just enough so it feels like it does.
–“Fall River Transfer”

Whether it’s an accident, or a funeral, or a friend’s surgery, or a hailstorm, or a signage he drove past, Alan Walowitz’s poems take off from wherever it was, and juice it out in language, conversational, jocular, yet oozing with his inimitably wise, funny style. Nothing is more personal than his poems, and he doesn’t pretend otherwise. A poet who is wont to pay attention to an occasion like a wedding or an everyday moment–all becomes grist for his natural story-telling skills. His stories are tributes to people and events, from which you’ll emerge both entertained and enlightened. There will always be a glint of insight in them, if only, perhaps, a yearning for safety and home. These poems also feel much like denizens of New York City because that is exactly where home is.

PDF Release of Winter/Spring 2023 Issue 22

Winter Spring 2023

I am pleased to announce the release of the Winter/Spring 2023 Issue.

The poets with work in our final anthology are:

Christopher Hileman
Gale Acuff
Jeff Burt
George Freek
John Grey
Ron. Lavalette
Karla Linn Merrifield
Michael Minassian
Emalisa Rose
Emil Sinclair
Søren Sørensen
Debi Swim
Alan Toltzis
Alan Walowitz
Martin Willitts Jr
Robert Walton

You may download a copy of the PDF release here.

Winter:Spring 2023 Issue 22

Red Wolf will segue to publishing single author digital collections. You may read our submission guidelines here.

Irene Toh
Winter/Spring 2023

Resurrection, by Martin Willitts Jr

              “Pysanky” means “to write,” used in making Ukrainian Easter eggs
by Martin Willitts Jr

I make Ukrainian eggs for Easter, piercing an egg,
draining it out slowly.

I boil the eggs.
I paint traditional designs for the customary Easter program,
where I will carry the eggs to be blessed in church.

I have choices in pysanky eggs.
Some are talismans for prosperity, healing, or protection.
I use beeswax and dyes for my creations.

I could make an octopus star, called the “ruzha,”
or the rotating cross, the “svarga” to represent the universe.

I could use a vertical star to mean time —
the beginning and end, the alpha and omega,
the joy and suffering of the resurrection.

I could add the water symbol for lifegiving,
the force of nature, the cleansing,
the purification. All I need is a wavy line.

Or maybe, I should add the grapevine for renewal.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian woman is picking up
the scattered pieces of her former life.
Her son was shot while trying to surrender.
The mayor was bound behind his back and shot.
Smoky ruins rise from her desperate hands.

She finds an unharmed egg the enemy missed
while ram-sacking her house, tossing empty bottles,
pulling out drawers, stealing her underwear.

Her front door is pulled off its hinges.
She scrounges some water, enough to boil the egg.
She chooses the sheep symbol for innocence
and boundless love — because, what else remains?

She carries the egg like a sacrifice, a prayer
for a future she cannot at the moment imagine.
She wears a babushka, tied as tight as a prayer.

She finds the shattered walls of the church
where she used to give confession.

She kneels slowly at the destroyed altar, and prays.
She prays for those dead, those wounded,
those who must go on without someone.

Although we are an ocean apart, we both pray
that the world will know justice and renewal someday.
I bring my eggs to the Ukrainian church to be blessed.

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has 21 full-length collections including the Blue Light Award 2019, The Temporary World, Harvest Time (Deerbrook Press, 2021) Leaving Nothing Behind (Fernwood Press, 2021), Meditations on Thomas Cole’s Paintings (Aldrich Press, 2021,) Not Only the Extraordinary are Exiting the Dream World (Flowstone Press, 2021) and All Wars Are the Same War (FutureCycle Press, 2021).