Choke, hold, by Joseph Felser

Choke, hold
by Joseph Felser

I wrestle
with you
angel
bless me
please
last time
you left
me
for dead
laid out
on a
stone cold
slab
of cruel
lies
this time
I won’t
let go
until
you
smile

Joseph M. Felser, Ph.D. received his doctorate in philosophy from The University of Chicago. He is is on the faculty at Kingsborough Community College/CUNY in Brooklyn, New York, where he has taught since 1997. The author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as two books, The Way Back to Paradise (2004) and The Myth of the Great Ending (2011), he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia. He recently began writing poetry, which has appeared in both print and online journals, including Whatever Our Souls, Wildflower Muse, Ordinary Madness, Joey and the Black Boots ReBoot, Red Wolf Journal, Ariel Chart, and The Mystic Blue Review.

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Fall/Winter 2016/2017 Issue 10

rwj-fall-winter-2016-17-issue10

 

We are pleased to announce the release of Red Wolf Journal’s Fall/Winter 2016/2017 Issue 10:

 

red-wolf-journal-fall-winter-2017-issue-10

The poets with work in this edition are:

Julia Cirignano
Darren C. Demaree
Arika Elizenberry
Edilson Afonso Ferreira
Jared M. Gadsby
Peter D. Goodwin
Jessica Goody
Christopher Hileman
Andrew Hubbard
John Huey
Patricia McGoldrick
Jean Voneman Mikhail
Frank Prem
Diana Raab
Pegi Deitz Shea
Sanjeev Sethi
Debi Swim
Larry D. Thacker
Maja S. Todorovic
Marg Walker

You are welcome to submit work to our upcoming Spring/Summer 2017 issue. The theme is “Sweet Sorrow”.

With pleasure,
Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith
Fall/Winter 2016/2017 Editors

Monarch, by Peter D. Goodwin

Monarch
by Peter D. Goodwin

I’m sitting on my deck, the summer to drift by
when she sees a bright red orange sparkle fluttering
in the garden, touching on the buddleia, flying
high into the sky, behind a tree, drifting down again,
touching, tasting the purple flowers, drifting up and
down again to another tempting flower.

Joyfully she follows it, stimulated, greedy, ecstatic,
its gaudy colors shimmering in the afternoon light, its
wings opening closing, teasing—a monarch butterfly.
I realize with a shock that it had been years.

The butterfly flutters from flower to flower, until it drifts
beyond our small patch, reminding me that it—along with
so many creatures—are drifting, flying, fluttering, running,
sniffing, burrowing, crawling, prancing towards extinction.

Once a rootless wanderer, Peter D. Goodwin now resides in Maryland, close to the Chesapeake Bay, writes poetry while unwillingly providing succulent treats for deer, rodents, birds and insects.

Back To Back, by Pegi Deitz Shea

Back To Back
by Pegi Deitz Shea

Seventh grade son and I order
at Friendly’s, then he
stands to go wash his hands.
A girl in the booth behind us
whispers to her mother,
“It’s him!”
As he returns, he nods
small-like, and she giggles.

They sit back to back—impenetrable
five inches of wood and vinyl—
between them. Her currant hair,
his skater boy cap can’t meet
beneath the high banquette.

I fetch a fallen napkin to see
that the mother mirrors
my crinkled eyes.
We’ve been there,
though neither wants to
return to that excruciating age,
yet now we revel in

how our children’s eyes wrap
around the side of the booth,
how they scoot to the edge
of their seats so that elbows
can kiss, how, pink-faced,
they dip chins to shoulders,
as they suck through straws
the milk shakes that fail
to cool their heat
of the moment
that will never
taste so sweet
again.

Pegi Deitz Shea teaches in the Creative Writing Programs at the University of Connecticut, the Mark Twain House in Hartford and the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her poetry for adult readers has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Earth’s Daughters and Connecticut River Review. Many of her award-winning books for young readers focus on human rights and social justice issues. Pegi’s website

SALUT, MADAME CEZANNE for Hortense Fiquet, by Pegi Deitz Shea

Salut, Madame Cezanne
      for Hortense Fiquet
by Pegi Deitz Shea

At the Met, I bristle
through an exhibit
and call across the year
you’ve been dead:
Uncle Pierre,
as a young sculptor
in Ecole des Beaux Arts,
what did you make of
the Madame Cezannes?

In 29 portraits Hortense
fully buttoned-up
never smiles,
never smirks,
never seeks
a light with her eyes.
Did she have bad teeth?
Did her back ache
from sitting
still as an apple
for her husband
150 times per portrait?
Is she choleric
having been caché
for 17 years—
Paul too ashamed
of her low status,
afraid to lose
Papa’s allowance.

Pierre, in your hands,
she could not have
contained her mirth
nor you your mischief.
You would have
unbuttoned her,
untied her, undermined
the lines of her closed lips.
Clothed in clay,
your fingers would have
poured across the funnel
of her clavicles
trickled down her cleavage
waded into orchards
of neglected fruit.

Hortense, Pierre,
my muses, salut!
Now, here
in the Grand Hall
of the Met,
a jazz quartet
models the music
you dare to make
dimensions beyond
a brush stroke’s dream!

Pegi Deitz Shea teaches in the Creative Writing Programs at the University of Connecticut, the Mark Twain House in Hartford and the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her poetry for adult readers has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Earth’s Daughters and Connecticut River Review. Many of her award-winning books for young readers focus on human rights and social justice issues. Pegi’s website

Cain’s Sister Speaks, by Pegi Deitz Shea

Cain’s Sister Speaks
by Pegi Deitz Shea

You didn’t think
that a suckling
could comprehend
your violence,
but I was not far
from my own shouldering
into cold air,
from Mother’s shucking
and I was not foreign
to the shaking by a father
awakened from his sleep
by my cries of hunger,
and I have become
too familiar
with how wrestling,
tussling, tickling among
young siblings
can lead to fondling.

But now I know
that you can be fruitful
and multiply
by simply
slaying me
over and over.

You killed Abel only once.

Pegi Deitz Shea teaches in the Creative Writing Programs at the University of Connecticut, the Mark Twain House in Hartford and the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her poetry for adult readers has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Earth’s Daughters and Connecticut River Review. Many of her award-winning books for young readers focus on human rights and social justice issues. Pegi’s website

Lipstick, by Diana Raab

Lipstick
by Diana Raab
      dedicated to Billy Collins

I spin my red convertible sports car
on the dead end street
and go back to my house to get my red lipstick,
because without it, I feel naked
and while rummaging
through my vanity drawer
I glance out the window
to see another me in your heart,
who already appeared in town without her lipstick
and this pattern continues
for the rest of my life—
imagining a person
who always gets somewhere before me
and waits patiently
for what might have been forgotten
while remaining invisible
except in my own mind
as if there were a copy cat
or a stalker to myself,
but a glance in the vanity’s mirror
shows my duplicate, and her eyes
are not as green, nor her hair as thick,
and I stand up with the lipstick in my right hand
and get into the driver’s seat to see that she is already gone.

Diana Raab, PhD, is a poet, memoirist and thought-provoker. She’s the author of 8 books and editor of 2 anthologies. Her book, Writing for Bliss, is forthcoming in September 2017. Diana’s website

I Am Your Slave, by Diana Raab

I Am Your Slave
by Diana Raab

I am pulled into your energy
I am yanked into your heart.

I borrow your breaths
as I search for my last one

wondering what I was thinking
when you reached for me

and I said okay before pulling back
into my cocoon which wrapped
protective strings around me.

So many days later, you came back,
pulled those fine strings to unravel

my world watching me spin in circles
to release myself from your grasp.

I am your slave and there’s no other way
of looking at this predicament I am in.

Diana Raab, PhD, is a poet, memoirist and thought-provoker. She’s the author of 8 books and editor of 2 anthologies. Her book, Writing for Bliss, is forthcoming in September 2017. Diana’s website

Just The Flu, by Andrew Hubbard

Just The Flu
by Andrew Hubbard

It sounded like the doctor
Was talking from far away, underwater.
He said, “little kids spike a high fever
He’s strong, just give him lots of fluids
He’ll be right as rain tomorrow.”

So I shook and baked and sweat
And slept and dreamed
I was in a field of tall brown waving grass
And low, lush blueberry bushes
Bent with heavy loads of bursting fruit.

I had the scrubbed-out lard can
Mommy gave me for berries
And I was on my knees picking
And dropping berries into the can
And as they fell each one turned into a pearl
Pure white and gleaming.

The pearls all whispered
And their voices blended
Saying, “you won’t be poor any more,
You’ll never be poor any more.”

“Food—all you want
And a puppy, and the clothes
Mommy’s ashamed to ask for
And medicine for sister.”

I ran home with the lard can
Hugged to my chest and the pearls
Clicking together like marbles.

I gave them all to Mommy
And she held me and cried
And cried. Her tears dropped
On my face, and I began to know
I was not there, I’d left
Without even knowing
For the place
Pearls come from.

Andrew Hubbard was born and raised in a coastal Maine fishing village. He earned degrees in English and Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and Columbia University, respectively. He has had four prose books published, and his fifth and sixth books, collections of poetry, were published in 2014 and 2016 by Interactive Press.

http://ipoz.biz/portfolio-single/the-divining-rod/

An Answer to Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”, by Debi Swim

An Answer to Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”
by Debi Swim

Birth is not a continuation, not
a pre-existence of pure light and love.
We did not dance with the angels. Heaven
wasn’t our first abode, but a woman’s womb.
The elements of man and woman met
and mixed and grew in that primeval stage
where the soul and matter become new
then in time pushed into the world without.
And what’s seen are but shadows on a wall
intimating a greater glory, story,
and that is the miracle of our birth –
the acknowledgement there is more beyond
this poorly lighted cave and a hand that
shapes the shadows confirming something more.
And birth begets our immortality.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 231.

Process notes: If you believe in God you have a concept, whether accurate or not, of who and what God is and what your relationship to God is. As a child I picked up the thought that babies came directly from heaven. I no longer believe that we have always existed but that each child is a new and unique being. And if the theology I have been taught is right then birth begets immortality. I do believe, as Wordsworth says, there are “clouds of glory” to be seen in nature, and though they obscure the whole picture, they do reveal a portion of what’s beyond.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.