Summer 2014 Issue 2

Red Wolf Journal now invites submissions for Issue 2 (Summer 2014).
Our theme: “The River: Within Us and Without Us”

Water, especially rivers, has been rooted in the human consciousness perhaps since the beginning of our existence as a species. Rivers are natural borders and boundaries, and by crossing them one transitions from one world into another. Consider the world’s myths and religious stories: the four rivers in the Garden of Eden, Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, the Ganges as a vehicle of ascent to heaven, the Styx as a boundary between Earth and the Underworld. There are also transitions of state, such as slaves crossing the Ohio River into freedom.

Rivers are also arteries, the lifelines of communities, which bring goods and people. Rivers can carry us, and we watch the landscape, people, and even the weather changes as we flow with them. Those same rivers are destructive forces, erasing entire homes, even communities, as they rage past.

Rivers are metaphors of time, sequence, and change. Rivers can begin with a lake, or a rivulet of melted snow — so all things have a beginning. Rivers flow one direction, have an origin point, and flow in one direction until they empty…somewhere. As Michael Stipe put it, “The ocean is the river’s goal”. Rivers branch out into little tributaries and watersheds, symbolic of endless possibilities and choices.

Rivers are represented in changes in time and season, in color, smell and sound. We approach spring and the newness of life by testing the temperature of the water and finding unexpected blossoms near its banks. Rivers nourish and refresh us in the summer heat. Before we put on the fall clothing, we watch the river wear the autumn leaves. In its winter-white ice, it is most quiet and most deadly.

Rivers can signify the continuance of life itself, both in the physical and the spiritual sense. Consider the Buddhist idea of the mindstream — the continual stream of our awareness (or personality, depending on which school you consult). Consider humanity itself as a river: through our connections to others, we are part of a constant flow of ideas, emotions, and even love which came from somewhere up the stream, flows through us, and onto the next person. Each family and its generations can be thought of as a river, with a genesis, tributaries, and perhaps an eventual end. Even human language itself can be thought of as a river — our words have roots further upstream in time and change as the river of language flows onward.

We invite you to submit for our theme, “The River: Within Us and Without Us”. Poems may speak to anything we’ve said and certainly things we haven’t yet said. As your soul is “as deep as the rivers”, as Langston Hughes put it, we want to read about it in a way that we’ve never seen before. Show us how the river which draws your soul travels.


Please review the submission guidelines and then send us your poems via email to: redwolfjournal AT gmail DOT com. Issue 2’s poems will publish all at once, in early June. We look forward to seeing your river poems.

Nicole Nicholson and Tawnya Smith
Summer 2014 Editors

Red Wolf Journal is a periodic publication of Red Wolf Poems (formerly known as We Write Poems).