Time Is A River Without Banks: Ekphrastic Poetry

Time Is A River Without Banks Ekphrastic Poetry Edition1

We are pleased to announce the release of the Spring 2019 Issue.

The poets with work in this Ekphrastic Poetry edition are:

Misky Braendeholm
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
Tim Dunne
Alexa Findlay
Christopher Hileman
Nancy Byrne Iannucci
Diane Jackman
Mary Anna Kruch
Sarah Law
Betsy Mars
Joshua Medsker
Michael Minassian
Debi Swim
Robert Walton
Martin Willitts Jr

You may download a copy of the PDF release here.

Ekphrastic Poetry Spring 2019

You’re invited to submit to our new issue. You may find us over at the new site at Red Wolf Editions. Happy writing!


Ekphrastic Poetry

Special Thematic Edition 2018/2019: Ekphrastic Poetry


Marc Chagall, Time Is A River Without Banks

My grandfather had a clock.
It flew–the grandfather clock–through
the air, over the river, over the lovers,
over the blue. As it now bridges
time to memory, it’s as ersatz
as memory goes.

So we have another pastoral.
What heaven would have been if
it’s a place with houses and steeples,
and being vociferous with love,
we will look affably upon the
poetic idiocy of a winged fish

playing a fiddle–so music carries time
(ah, aphoristic wisdom), as do souls
like gypsies wandering into the other
before first memory turns opaque,
before the stealthy boatman comes
and takes you far away.

(by Irene Toh)


You’re invited to submit ekphrastic poems for our special thematic edition.

“An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.”

Read more here.

You are encouraged to write to a series of ekphrastic poetry prompts over at our sister site, Red Wolf Prompts.

Please do include in your submission the painting or photograph that inspired your poem. The photograph may be your own or belong to someone. If it belongs to someone, be sure to give credit. You may send in as many poems as you wish.

Read submissions guidelines here. Please note that the reading period will be in Jan-Feb 2019 so do be patient to wait to see if your poems are selected for the issue to be released in March 2019.

Submissions open from September 2018 to February 2019. The issue will be released in Spring 2019.

Release of Spring/Summer 2018: Coming Home

spring summer 2018 cover

We are pleased to announce the release of the Spring/Summer 2018 Issue.

The poets with work in this edition are:

Kimmy Alan
Robert James Berry
Daniel Birnbaum
Marilyn Braendeholm
Holly Day
Joseph M. Felser
Gary Glauber
Penny Harter
Christopher Hileman
Diane Jackman
LindaAnn LoSchiavo
Betsy Mars
Michael Minassian
Arthur Mitchell
Felicia Mitchell
Laurel S. Peterson
Nanette Rayman
Sheikha A., Home
Tawnya Smith
Debi Swim
Anna Schoenbach
Alan Toltzis
Alan Walowitz
Robert Walton
Martin Willitts Jr
Irene Toh

You may download a copy of the PDF release here.

Red Wolf Journal spring summer 2018 Issue 13

With the release of this issue, Red Wolf Journal will be taking a break. It has been gratifying to put together the work of the fine poets in this issue, who’ve in their own way contributed thoughtful points of view on the idea of home. Mostly it has been an honor to be given this task, and in a most personal way you might not have realized, we’ve been made to feel that we’ve found our tribe. That too felt like home.

With pleasure,
Irene Toh & Tawnya Smith
Spring/Summer 2018 Editors

Home, As a Series of Outbreaks, by Sheikha A.

Home, As a Series of Outbreaks
by Sheikha A.

There are mountains rising from four-leaf clovers;
that was the dream of seeing my beheading

on a guillotine, and some ethereal proclamation
of having been purified spoke in the soft steps of a tornado

before full motion assault; it was the word shaheed
that was used in the same aghast timbre as one of

a woman prohibited from jihad. Someone
caught my armpits, then declared themselves

on a piece of paper. The only sensation
that prevailed after was a jabbing ache. Ironic how

a love for anywhere or anything begins from
secrets, and how the start of every journey

begins with dreams. I was told to follow the trail
of each outbreak at midnights, the waking in

cold sweat, and arm reaching outwards to
grab a closing door’s edge, before it slid into

the vacuum meant to cradle its frame. Home is
an elusive junction where an asylum awaits;

it will encounter you civilly, offer you a hope
as practical and documented as your time

of birth; and then, it will offer you a dream –
conditional, like the dreams of sleep,

anything from anywhere, anyone from any way
can walk over every astral limit in the universe

and enter your space. The stars will break
as all things nearing their end do. And the pull

that prevents all things floating from falling
will guide their descent into the eyes that sleep,

composing as homes – a series of nights on
the verge of a pinnacle – heightened to nowhere.

Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. She has been published in various literary venues, both print and online. More can be found at sheikha82.wordpress.com

The Ears Gone Bye, by Gary Glauber

The Ears Gone Bye
by Gary Glauber

Even after our relationship fell to pieces,
we still shared an eclectic taste in music.
Still it had been years since last
we’d last been in touch.
So when your proposed playlist
for my upcoming wedding
arrived out of nowhere,
I didn’t know what to expect.
Who had told you? How did you find me?
Who even knew you anymore?
Yet I downloaded it immediately,
put headphones on & pressed play.

Nice to start it out with the techno vibe
of Epigraph’s “Parade of Colors,”
right into the sweet harmonies of
“One if By Sea” by The Polemics.
Who would ever imagine that kind of mix?
Only you. Who would even know
that Rhododendron Downer’s “Tree of Levers”
perfectly fades into the starting notes
of Sound of Cubists’ “Barely Mentioned?”
Genius. I was overcome by strange memories.

That summer in the desert attending Roasted Ear,
when I first spotted you, dancing atop some
bearded guy’s shoulders, when Gabriel & the Hellhounds
played their monster hit, “Dirty Whispers;”
it caught my attention. Your beautiful voice
stood out from the crowd, & when you sang along
to French Equation’s “Hybrid Mattress”
I couldn’t believe your lyrical prowess.
You didn’t miss a syllable of those
sixty-fourth note words. You were a marvel.
I vowed to get to know you better.

You told me about your stint as a backup singer
on The Blatant Lies’ phenomenal “Mexican Goddess.”
You knew every song by my favorite obscure bands:
“Garden of Rascals” by Cascading Marauders, “
“Whenever You Bait the Switch” by Psychotic Episode,
even knew that when you held the debut album cover
of “The Flimsy Assertions” up to a mirror, you could
find clues as to how Frankie Pixel drowned in the pool
of that famous billionaire’s Parisian palace.
When Luke & The Two Thieves announced their breakup,
we made sure to be there for their final appearance
at The Stereophonic Club, front row center.

That was at least a few lifetimes ago.
We were loud, brash, opinionated, & stubborn,
all traits not conducive to a healthy relationship.
We argued between the notes of musical agreement;
it got ugly fast & never recovered.

Now I am a changed man, sporting what might
be any mild enthusiast’s Spotify playlist.
Gone are the eclectic sounds of Pansy Principle,
One-Act Festival, & Long Throw from Third.
My fiancé wouldn’t know any of these bands,
but music isn’t her thing. To be honest,
it isn’t much my thing either anymore.
Those abstruse bands of yore no longer
form the soundtrack to my life. Now I collect
formulae & spreadsheets, listening to the
musical equivalent of white noise as I
study important trends & track necessary data.

When your last song started playing,
Hakuna Lambada’s “Centennial Exhibition,”
I admit it did touch me a bit, made me nostalgic
for those younger, crazier times.

Don’t think I don’t appreciate the effort you put
into meticulously crafting this musical collage
for me and my intended. I do.
But that list was for someone that you used to know,
whose song no longer remains the same.

Author’s note: None of the music mentioned in the poem exists.

Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press), are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from the publishers.

Individual Humor, by Marilyn Braendeholm

Individual Humor
by Marilyn Braendeholm

I heard your voice
deep in the swirl
of a nautilus shell,

heard you laughing
in a language I
didn’t understand,

as if humor
was breath and blood.
A priest’s liturgy.

I often wonder which words
leave you humorless.
Which mantra unwraps you
like God’s gift.

It should be a birthright,
humor, like ears. Toes.
Feet have such a sad
sense, don’t you think.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Prompt 412.

Marilyn (aka Misky) Braendeholm’s work is regularly published in monthly issues of Waterways Poetry in the Mainstream, and Ten Penny Players.

Climbers Homeward Bound, by Robert Walton

Climbers Homeward Bound
by Robert Walton

Like friends parting
For uncertain journeys,
Clouds clasp hands on
An autumn moon.

The lake below muses,
On snow’s return,
Its black waters
Deeper than space.

What games we play
With mute mountains,
With moonlit clouds,
With puckish stars.

Check the anchor,
Clip to the rope,
And step into
Night’s granite belly.




Photo: Climbing partner Dave Gregory took it of me some years back.

Process notes: I’ve been caught by night up high a number of times. I try in this poem to convey the mixed feelings this predicament inspires.

Robert Walton is a retired teacher, a lifelong rock climber and mountaineer. His writing about climbing has appeared in the Sierra Club’s Ascent. His novel, Dawn Drums, won the 2014 Tony Hillerman prize. http://chaosgatebook.wordpress.com/

Alzheimer Dreams, by Debi Swim

Alzheimer Dreams
by Debi Swim

Her mind goes back
and further back
to days of long ago
to things of which
she is fond
June bugs, fireflies
pollywogs in the pond
grass tickling her toes
screen door slams
homemade jams
and wildflowers
picked for mom
climbing trees
summers free
her childhood
over and over again
This is where she lives
till her mind gives out
her body gives in
and existing is finally done

Process notes: Watching my mother-in-law wither away.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://georgeplaceblog.wordpress.com/

Haiku, by Arthur Mitchell


by Arthur Mitchell


In this wild alone
Watching blackbirds sail the wind–
Families flying home.

Arthur Lamar Mitchell’s poems have been set to music for voice, and by several composers, and performed by small groups to orchestra. He composed all lyrics for a environmental concept album – Garden of Eden. Recent poems have been published in Remembered Arts, Winterwolf, and Nature Writing.

Salvation, by Arthur Mitchell

by Arthur Mitchell

A Spirit arose to heal the race
In spite the deep and fearful dark
In every heart light to trace

Anthems rise to each a story
Nature’s enormity from a spark
In the name of love, we glory

And if we fall broken, lost and alone
The Spirit shall redeem us
And guide our journey home.

Arthur Lamar Mitchell’s poems have been set to music for voice, and by several composers, and performed by small groups to orchestra. He composed all lyrics for a environmental concept album – Garden of Eden. Recent poems have been published in Remembered Arts, Winterwolf, and Nature Writing.