by Glenda Barrett When my life draws to a close, bury me in the soil of Appalachia,
by Laura Sobbott Ross Not lilies for lovers, or roses the color of blood cravings—pacts mingling between velvet, thumb and thorn, or all those daisies, posies, or pansies— elfish, stained like Siamese cat faces; he brings me resurrection ferns.
Printed in recognition of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Breakwater by Lydia Ondrusek Break, water on stones lifting from the sea, earth’s very arms, hands cupped; and we, small birds, held safe. Break, water, on. Truth obeys no tide, we cannot change it, only try to understand - only sit on truth, together, looking out across the water. Only sit on truth, our feet wet, dreaming of the sky. Demitasse by Lydia Ondrusek If I believed in reincarnation, she says, I’d think I used to live in New Orleans every cast iron railing makes me think of home my hand remembers flowers twisting, muscle around bone when I bite into a moment, she says powdered sweetness drifts hangs in the air, sparkling like this rain it settles on me anoints me as a child of God Listening to her I hear a paddlewheel stirring water and the clop of hooves the car horns become a jazz symphony no one hears but me and maybe her She raises her umbrella as the light changes; hips swaying like a dancer, sashays to the other side Lydia Ondrusek lives in Richardson, Texas, and often writes about Southern experiences and locations. She has had fiction and poetry published online and in print since 2008 in a diverse range of publications that include Flash Fiction Online and Falling Star Magazine. Her new story "Help Wanted" is included in Beast Within 2: Predator & Prey
by Natalie Cochran Prop open that skullcap and let me peer down into the prurient and the crazy. We’re stretched out on southern grounds and rooftops, wrapped up in makeshift blankets, sky enveloped around us like a flipped over deep dish. Your camera lens blinks like an eye, claps with applause as it cements sights, storing melee as memory: brew house brouhahas, bacchic pontifications. Memories amalgamate sleepy city-scene postcards. Remember your tumble-down dodge that died when it hit puddles? Or what about lying with the seats leaned back, reclining on restricted runways, exchanging powdered sugar smiles? Soundtrack a swarm of jet engines buzzing like a beehive. Who-knows-who vanishing into God-knows-where. I didn’t care, as long as you were there to swallow me up. Growing up in a military family, Natalie Cochran moved frequently, often landing in Southern territory of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. Although her roots are stretched across the United States and Europe, she holds fast to her Southern heritage. She currently lives in Mobile and attends the University of South Alabama.
by Lydia Ondrusek She combs the seaweed from her hair and sings them home from everywhere — her children, riding memories, and bearing swords of saints. Sings “yes, the waves roll out so far, my dear ones, and my, the sea is very large to roam; and oh, the waves are very tall, my darlings – but look – they are forever rolling home.” She combs the seaweed from her hair and sings her ancient song – her children sail through hurricanes to bear her magic back, ere long; in hopes they fill, with tears of joy, her emptied crescent moon. In hopes they’ll be there, dancing, the next time Nola sings. Lydia Ondrusek lives in Richardson, Texas, and often writes about Southern experiences and locations. She has had fiction and poetry published online and in print since 2008 in a diverse range of publications that include Flash Fiction Online and Falling Star Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @littlefluffycat.
by Melva Holliman Praying for May in the south, Fragrance of sweetness in the air, Calling to my inner love, A love, of blueberry, bitter to taste. Load up the car with buckets, Tell the kids we will play a game, Off to the field we charge, Welcome blueberry season again. No warning needed when they are in bloom, They beckon to their lovers, And lack defense against the enemy, A predator that can ruin their beauty. Those that survive multiple, They are more than a berry, A cake, tart, pie, Possibilities are many. Melva Holliman graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor's in English and Philosophy. She is currently a graduate student at the University of South Alabama working towards a Master's in English.
by Kevin Heaton Bass bullfrog croakers, join green tree frog tenors, in pine bough choir lofts, over swamp wrinkled cyprus feet. I lay me down on mossy pillows, in peaceful: forgotten, backwater places, and dream of Tupelo Honey. Kevin Heaton lives and writes in South Carolina. His latest chapbook, “Measured Days,” was recently released from Heavy Hands Ink Press, and his work has appeared in Foliate Oak, Elimae, Hanging Moss Journal, Pirene’s Fountain and many others. He is listed as a notable poet at KansasPoets.com. To read more of his work, click here.
by Corey Hutchins I walked by him with a light air of disdain as a mask for my unfashionable curiosity and pity. A heart-wrenchingly beautiful Mexican man, a boy whose skin the sun craved to seduce with its embracing heat, Was crouched in front of the coffee shop, picking up with working hands pieces of plastic and wire. Everyone walked past him without a second glance, if they had given him a first. The manager sternly instructed him to use the bathroom quickly because they were closing when he finally raised himself and stumbled in. But I secretly loved his chestnut skin as I quietly sipped my coffee And wished I hadn’t looked at him like I had before for the sake of my friend’s judgment. Corey Hutchins recently completed her master’s degree in Renaissance literature from the University of Edinburgh and is living and working in Plano, Texas, as volunteer coordinator for the North Texas Food Bank. Her poetry has been published by Windmill, Shinshi, and a handful of stones. About this poem, she says, "I live in Texas, and this particular piece was inspired by the ambivalent relationship a lot of people around here have with the growing Hispanic population. This is someone's first shameful realization of her own hidden racism."