Release of Winter 2015/2016 Issue 8

Seeing beauty

 

We are pleased to announce the release of Red Wolf Journal’s Winter 2015/2016 Issue 8:

Red Wolf Journal Winter 2015 2016 Issue 8

 

The poets with work in this edition are:

Holly Day
Edilson Afonso Ferreira
Christopher Hileman
Nancy Iannucci
Christopher Oak Reiner
Roslyn Ross
Debi Swim
Alan Toltzis

You are welcome to submit work to our upcoming Spring/Summer 2015 Issue 9. The theme is “Song of Myself”. Watch this space for the official announcement.

With pleasure,
Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith
Winter 2015/2016 Editors

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Moments of Plumb, by Debi Swim

Moments of Plumb
by Debi Swim

This morning I awoke and felt…different, not merely happy, not just rested, but lighter, buoyant. I’ve felt this way a handful of times in my long life and it is always difficult to understand, let alone explain. So, I just enjoy these rare, rare days of… whatever this is.

Then, this morning, I knew. I knew I fit into this small part of the universe where normally I am just slightly out of sync. For these brief moments, I fit snuggly into the puzzle board (the wooden one that the pieces fall from so easily), straight, tight, aligned, instead of my usual wonky fit.

Ever out of sync
befuddled, awkward, askew
finally harmony

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems Prompts for Red Wolf Journal Chapter 17 Prompt 98.

Writing after all is an act of courage, and of faith, and all of which would be pointless if not for love. Lover of truth, aren’t we all? Isn’t that why you bother to read at all? So let your poem come to some point of truth. An epiphany of sorts. What, you do have epiphanies don’t you?

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

Evolution of Inspiration, by Debi Swim

Evolution of Inspiration
by Debi Swim

Just for arguments sake, let’s say,
there are a million words in English
to choose from, winnow through,
shift like flour, cogitate over for exactitude
of meaning, shades of consideration.
From a fevered few come the pure
elixir of, draughts of, casks of heady phrases–
ambrosial scrumptiousness. A potent breath.

Who whispers in my ear a magic incantation?
What sharp stab of pain birthed such beauty
that pierces my soul with splinters of grace?
A muse? A ghost? A fairy, elf or gnome? Gift of God?
Divine wind, Ecstasy, altered state of consciousness?
There must be an ether field of dead poets’ dreams
that seep into my insentience to school my tongue
in winsome ways of poetic petit-four delights.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems Prompts for Red Wolf Journal Chapter 17 Prompt 96.

Have you ever wondered, considering the infinity of poems one is capable of, where the heck they come from? Is there in fact a collective unconscious as Yeats believed? That we could retrieve this pool of meaning through reading, isn’t that marvellous? How the hell are we supposed to retrieve than through reading and writing, you tell me? So reflect upon all I have said. Write, see what you’ve retrieved.

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

Resurrected Words, by Debi Swim

Resurrected Words
by Debi Swim

The sound of goodbye.
The final lingering look.
It will never be enough
I’ll want one day more
and then one day more,
so much left to leave, to say,
so I must fill my days with
what will fill your heart
with remembrances
pieces of me written on paper
to make you sigh, smile, relive
our best selves, childhood,
dreams and our awkward moments…
and though in the end it means
very little to the world it will matter
maybe to you, family, a few friends
and I will be somewhere smiling
perhaps as you read and together
we’ll laugh though you’ll only hear
the crisp flip of pages and whispers
of words… I’ll come forth
a body of proof
to my existence.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems Prompts for Red Wolf Journal Chapter 17 Prompt 94, A Lazarus poem.

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

Missing Keystrokes, by Holly Day

Missing Keystrokes
by Holly Day

typewriter lies dead in the corner
on the floor, keyboard split, askew, like a mouthful
of angry teeth inlaid with
carefully-set pieces of ebony screaming
“hit me again you
qwerty motherfucker”

typewriter burns bright in the corner, tapering
flames darken the single sheet of paper still
stuck in the dented rubber roller one
word burns brighter than the rest taunts
“happily” asks “are you happy now”

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

The Rescue, by Holly Day

The Rescue
by Holly Day

my father’s hands parting
the water, trying to see
past leaves, dead fish, floating branches
diving down and finding
nothing

every time the wind blows the curtains in
every shadow that doesn’t belong
where is she

thirty years later and I’m still
waiting for her ghost

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

The Wooden Man, by Holly Day

The Wooden Man
by Holly Day

a man made of wood would be a much more practical being
than a man made of flesh, a man with knotted arms
coarse flesh, rough bark, rooted to the ground
unable to leave. I imagine the women
of those long ago forests carrying
new babies in their arms, determined to forget
who the single sperm on that single night
came from, I see those women

holding their babies up to the best trees
the old, tall ones with birds in their crowns
squirrels in their crooks, rabbits under their roots
saying, “This is your father,” spinning elaborate
but believable tales of strong, beautiful, dependable dryads
visiting sleeping children during the night, planting
dew-damp and sap-scented kisses on tow-framed foreheads
whispering the secrets of the forest in their tiny
sleeping ears, and how the tree outside your door

is the thing that makes this home.

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

The Monks in My Head, by Holly Day

The Monks in My Head
by Holly Day

my garden makes me think of God, of
the Alsatian monks toiling endless to create
climbing, bright-faced clematis that would spread
all over a wall, taking tiny yellow down-turned flowers on thin
upright stalks and unleashing something holy, wholly
new twining plants with palm-sized flowers in shades
of blue and white and pink and purple.

my beer makes me think of God, of how
hours of studying and painstaking labor
in the basements of Belgian monasteries helped improve
guttural meads flavored with clover and honey
how those monks must have thought they’d bottled something holy
when they tasted their own creations, kept them secret and hidden
from the hungry flat-ale-swilling masses outside.

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

Castlerigg Circle, by Nancy Iannucci

Castlerigg Circle
by Nancy Iannucci

A howling sound of sorrow
wound around each stone
surged by the blow of the
great northern wind,

echoing in remembrance
of a tradesman’s aching

breath, a Neolithic gasp
that exhaled from primeval
lungs in heated, penetrative
spirals encircling his maiden’s
long, moss-scented neck;
he pursued her silken hair
like a Rapunzel trail through
busy Beltane trade gatherings.

One year he constructed a
small platform of stone
in the center of Castlerigg’s
bustling fair on which his maiden
would dance and sing for all
the days of the gathering,
a performance he stopped to watch
before bartering his chisel and scraper.

Year after year after year
he paused to see her
graceful spin atop
his stone like a wind-up
music box, around, around,
and around until the gatherings
ceased and the two

disappeared
only to resurrect, transformed
in an excavation of
rubble language spoken
in dust, axe head, and bone.
Learned linguists pen specious
tales of Druid altars and
virgin sacrifices ruled by the
mood of the moon.

In vain
The winds off of Thirlmere
and Helvellyn endeavor
to disclose the unsung truth
of a tradesman, his stone stage,
and his beautiful maiden performer.

Process notes:
I am drawn to myth, fairytales, fables, folklore and legends; therefore, I often find myself conjuring stories in my head in connection to ancient sites such as Stonehenge and Castlerigg. Who knows, perhaps a tale such as this did take place.

Nancy Iannucci is a historian who teaches history and lives poetry in Troy, NY. She has always been entranced by the mysticism of life and the fine line that exists between our world and the mystical. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Three Line Poetry, Red Wolf Journal, Rose Red Review, Faerie Magazine (FB photography), and Mirror Dance. She is currently working on her first chapbook.

Old Days, by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Old Days
by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Once happiness touched me and I am sure
anyone never will take it from me.
Its touch has branded me with a living fire,
impregnating me with so stellar a light
only very few of us have been afforded to.

I am sure that for life and yet beyond its borders
we will remain cherished by the joy and beauty,
for ours were some days of pure hearted a love.

Mr. Ferreira is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than Portuguese, in order to reach more people. Has been published in online or printed venues like Cyclamens and Swords, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Poetry Magazine, The Lake, The Stare’s Nest, The Provo Canyon, Amomancies, Subterranean Blue, The Gambler, Whispers, Every Day Poems, Indiana Voice Journal and some others. Short listed in four American Poetry Contests, lives in a small town with wife, three sons and a granddaughter and has begun writing after retirement as a Bank Manager. He is collecting his works for a forthcoming book.