Page 1

Issue 4 August 2019

CREDO

ESPOIR ESPOIR

I


CREDO ESPOIR Letter from the Editor I feel that one of the best natural symbols for life is the moon. One of its faces is light, with craters of gray, the other pitch black. From the earth’s perspective, the light consumes the dark and the dark consumes the light in a perpetual cycle. Life is much the same way. There are moments of light and dark. Black and white. Sometimes, one overpowers the other. At certain moments, one is all-consuming. Regardless, the other color returns to restore balance. As we read over the submissions for this issue, we noticed a similar pattern emerging. Some of the pieces we received seemed written from a place of light, a place of hope. Others seemed to emerge from a storm of despair and darkness. A rise and fall. A fight and a subtle peace between the two forces. We hope that as you read through this issue, you can experience this dichotomy, but also the necessity of the two. Without both the light and the dark, life would not be quite as spectacular as it is. We feel that this is what this issue turned out to be: the story of life itself, with all the strangeness and the senselessness and the sense to keep falling into the dark and rising from it again. Finally, thank you to the contributors of this issue, the staff, and to all the readers who continue to enjoy the breathtaking work which found its way into these pages. Sincerely, Demira

I


We are All Connected Katie Czarnik

II


Table of Contents

Seeds for Survivors ............................................................................................02 Flight .....................................................................................................................03 Skyward ...............................................................................................................04 Moments Arise ....................................................................................................05 Tree of My Eye ....................................................................................................06 Farm Meditations: Spring .................................................................................07 Strum ....................................................................................................................09 Calendar in Orbit ................................................................................................10 Awakening Redux ..............................................................................................11 And She Shall Rise .............................................................................................16 Escape ...................................................................................................................17 Metamorphosis ...................................................................................................18 Passport Control, Heathrow .............................................................................19 Running Past Closing ........................................................................................20 Cups ......................................................................................................................22 Raking Leaves .....................................................................................................23 Spirit in a Bottle ..................................................................................................24 Walled Saga Grid ................................................................................................25

III


Table of Contents

Falsche Fenster ................................................................................................... 26 Relocate................................................................................................................ 28 Father’s Fool ....................................................................................................... 29 Love ...................................................................................................................... 31 Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Station ........................................................ 32 A Meek Man Signs His Name .......................................................................... 34 Alcatraz Stairwell ............................................................................................... 35 Closely Your Heart ............................................................................................ 36 Tabulation ........................................................................................................... 37 Star Bright ........................................................................................................... 38 Running Circles in Central Park ...................................................................... 40 Layers of Life ...................................................................................................... 45 Death of a Cat ..................................................................................................... 46 Red Road ............................................................................................................. 48 Magic.................................................................................................................... 49 Curious Interface................................................................................................ 52 Yosemite .............................................................................................................. 54 Αεί......................................................................................................................... 55

IV


Table of Contents

At the Grave of Luis Omar Salinas ..................................................................56 And She Flies With Her Own Wings ..............................................................58 This Morning .......................................................................................................59 Space Between.....................................................................................................60

Contributors ........................................................................................................62 Staff .......................................................................................................................70

V


“Your reality is a reflection of your strongest beliefs.” - Unknown

1


Seeds for Survivors Kimberly Cunningham When hope slips from your clenched fists, your palms begin to get frostbitten from the tundra of harsh reality that is now within your grasp. As your blistered feet slowly slide on the well- trodden trails of mud, newly festered sores open up and ooze their contents onto the rented soil. For the time being, you are a tenant on this land. The possessor of you is claiming you and there is nowhere to run. How can one anticipate when he is not free? Sustaining means keeping something which is already held. Only an empty box remains here. Chains of despair shackle the soul, rendering it helpless. No other being has the key. Surrender is a solution but flight is an option. Where will the wind come from to carry you?

Bondage is holding you like a newborn. Freedom must be birthed from perseverance. It must be nurtured and coddled til full maturity comes. By pursuing and pushing forward, prosperity can grow in newly planted gardens. Seeds will be scattered from the breezes of dreams. Determination and grit feed the desire to go on. Once that beautiful crop is planted, nothing can demolish it. Fields of promise will emerge and be seen for hundreds of miles. Now you own what is yours.

Sustenance created from desire can accompany hope in the journey. It lives or dies depending on the host. When all else is denied, perseverance takes sustenance by the hand and together they create their own path. Belief is the guiding light force of an otherwise dark trip. As they arrive, a full box awaits them. Hands still warm from solid grips tear open the gift of the everlasting. This token will be forever kept and held until new footsteps wearily approach. It will be up to the new tenants to sow more seeds or let them blow away in the gale force winds of life.

2


Flight 3

Katie Czarnik


Skyward Joan McNerney Another hot day at the playground filled with shrieks from kids tumbling down slides. Shouting boys hop on and off the whirling carousel as girls sing songs to double dutch jump rope. Waiting for my chance on the swing. Finally one is free as I clutch the metallic link chains. I pump myself up pushing pass trees, feeling cool breezes brush over me. All the noise is far below as I rush towards blue skies. My feet are walking on clouds now.

4


Moments Arise Victoria Crawford Moments arise when fullness readies time and place in youth, old age, or any days among years and decades. Daydreams, musings ignored, deferred, lost, play peek-a-boo with the everlasting if only and resurface, a distance swimmer who deep dives, disappears beneath running waves. The river of passage moves continuously carrying stockpiles shallow, deep, ephemeral, permanent, causal: pacifist parades as burned bodies display on nightly news bed bound alive, brain dead, gassed old uncle groans Persian Gulf rocking water as an oil well blows up negotiations of threats and benefits somehow work Balinese woodcarver bargains, Good for me! Good for you?

5


Seeds germinate to possibility unlooked for in an altering geography stem breaching soil surface. The first two leaves, wing leaves like helicopter blades, emerge late in arrival to peaceful flight.

Tree of My Eye Jeremy Nathan Marks No tree of my eye will ever fall but by a vision perhaps not my own of lifting roots intact Placed plain wise unmissable not in some millennial homeland but through a glass Of all the world.

6


Farm Meditations: Spring Mary Anna Kruch Late May lilacs halo the old log kitchen, grow sky-high near the well house, temper winter’s failings. A dirt road runs downhill alongside grass, greened from spring rain, to the willow-bordered pond. Past an abandoned chicken coop, last year’s poplar seedlings push up and away into adolescence; a rusted harrow rests where Guernseys once grazed. Ahead, a rugged path appears, blotted with deer tracks. On either side, wind blows field grasses past fallow pasture, skims lightly to the west, touching Joe Pye Weed and Queen Anne’s Lace. These bob and lean in unison, set lupine into a dance of its own. Just past a stand of Jack Pine, snippets of string dangle from barn wood birdhouses set up on poles, marking the promise of blue birds.

7


And, at the bottom of the hill, shadows spread as the pond rests, free of children who chased crawfish and fashioned mud into cakes. The dock has seen better days; one of the last trout jumps, and frogs’ croaks echo across the calm water as evening approaches sunset. Although another gardener coaxes plants to flower in Mom’s quarter-acre garden, and Dad’s John Deere slumbers in a corner of the front barn -the family farm still lives, still breathes most richly in the spring.

8


Strum Linda Imbler Speak to us at vibrantly hued close of day, with tremoloed soft notes filtered through clear air ending with a fade. Speak to us by means of the young, where the thrum of vibrating hearts are the warmest, and compassion for those smaller and weaker is so freely expressed. Speak to us as we hear waves lapping the shore, the crush of rock created by time, building crescendoes echoing the heights to which man’s soul can soar. Speak to us by using photographic portraits, faces laden with all manner of emotion, a totality of feelings captured, everything reflected in the shutterbug’s lens no visage invisible or unattainable. Speak through us with your goodness, greatness lightening many hearts, yours, theirs. Let us be reminded that soft notes still beckon, warmth towards others still stirs the heart. Our time is so limited, every face holds a story of a life lived whether short or long in duration. Our history heard in the strum of the cosmic musician’s performance. The omniscient song is there for us to discover.

9


Calendar in Orbit Todd Mercer Calendar gathers his clothes and personal effects from the curb of the house he’s all but paid off, those not soaked in gasoline. He’s driven someone who once loved him to or past the brink of arsonous statements. He crams all he can fit into the Pontiac, moves it back to the new H.Q. It’s just for now, a weekly rental motel for the Child-Supporting crowd. He plans to rise from this regrouping period, phoenix from the aftermath of the Starter Marriage. He eyes those decent two-bedroom apartments with a mini-gym next to the freeway interchange. A sweet upgrade. Calendar needs peace, unplugs the phone. A few drinks could hasten dialing mis-judgements, fudge up the tense détente. His resolve is weak late evenings, worse on weekend nights. He copes with increased motion, orbits Planet Fitness, forms a legit two-pack, abdominally, where there never was a pack of any kind. He’s drinking less and dropping pounds, preparing to leap out of his self-triggered mid-life crisis mode. Calendar distracts himself, slows down at messing up.

10


Awakening Redux Carrie Connel-Gripp She set the table, precisely placing plates, forks, knives and glasses. In the cupboard, she found paper napkins left over from the last summer gettogether with family before they moved to this lakeside cottage town. Swirls of orange, yellow, green and blue danced bright and sunny in promises of good times. She folded two napkins diagonally and slid one under each fork. Grabbing the barbeque tongs and the plate from the counter, she crossed the solid oak floor through the living room to the door to the deck, her reflection in the glass surprising her once again. She paused and looked into those 42year-old eyes that had seen her dreams fade over the years. Opening the door, she stepped out into the frigid evening of midDecember. She placed the plate down on the sideboard and opened the barbeque lid to a burst of steam floating away into the night. She moved the tinfoil packet of potatoes and onions to the left side of the rack, adjusted the heat and placed the first of the two steaks on the grill with her fingers. Noting the time on her watch, she went back inside to make the salad. After five minutes, she transferred the potatoes to a bowl, turned the first steak over, placed the second steak on the barbeque and closed the lid. She stood looking out over the wooden railing at the empty marina, listening to wind in the trees and the clanking of the lines against the masts on the berthed sailboats, a sound she had grown to detest over the last year. It was a lonely sound, an echo of the cry of gulls on the beach in July. She went back inside to the basement door and called down, “Patrick! Dinner will be ready in five minutes.� She heard a muffled reply which meant he was in the workshop. She opened the foil package and poured the potatoes and onions into the bowl, setting it on the table. She gazed over the table again, making sure everything was perfect, then opened the bottle of red she bought at the small liquor store beside the market. She set it beside Patrick’s wine glass. Checking her watch, she grabbed a clean platter and went out to retrieve the steaks from the grill and turn off the gas to the barbeque.

11


“Patrick, supper’s on the table!” She listened briefly at the basement door, heard the expected reply, “Up in a minute,” then took her seat. She looked at her watch again, the one he gave her for her birthday-slash-graduation from university; the one she told him not to buy her. The secondhand ticked around, once, twice, three times. She picked up her fork, speared her steak and dropped it onto her plate. She added the other items and began to eat, slicing the steak meticulously in small bites. She failed to understand why he would not come to table when called. She grew up in a home where dinnertime was family time. You talked about your day and listened to your siblings and parents. She remembered laughter, lots of laughter. And you thanked mother for the meal she prepared. It was respectful, considerate, expected. In his family, dinner was only about eating. Get the food passed around and start shoveling it into your mouth. Only the bowls and plates didn’t reach the patriarch at the end of the table. She took it upon herself to ask her father-in-law if he would like the potatoes and then instruct her brother-in-law, who crowded all the food around him, to pass the bowl down. “I think your dad would like the turkey; maybe you could pass the gravy to him too.” She realized after many years and many holiday dinners that the true patriarch was her husband holding court at the other end; his mother catered to her oldest son’s needs and not those of the man she married decades ago. Fifteen years of eating alone at her own table; it seemed they only ate together when they infrequently went out to dinner. The book she’d been reading prior to preparing dinner was on the table. Now she slid it across to her left side, between the place settings. If you have a book, you’re never alone, she thought and stuck her tongue out at the image of a woman’s hands, wedding ring in situ, holding a lily, the flower of death. He would be surprised to learn that five years ago she thought seriously about leaving. And also about him dying. Do other women think about their husbands dying? At the possibilities this dying would open up? As she thought back, she was certain there were more thoughts about him leaving in some way than her taking the initiative. She remembered that summer composing letters in her mind to friends and business partners. The letters would be dated November 20th. I regret to inform you that Patrick succumbed to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. A memorial will be held at the Dancing Pig Pub and Grill at a future date. On November 17th that year, Patrick had a heart attack, one month before his 40th birthday. Hallelujah! But no, it was the Devil’s torment. Lo and behold, Patrick’s heart uniquely

12


contained extra plumbing, a vein not many people had, that kept the blood circulating; there was very minimal damage. After angioplasty and a stent, he recovered at home following a few days in hospital. In sickness and in health, she stayed. Although she ate her meal slowly, Patrick had still not arrived upstairs. She pushed away feelings of being shunned as she wiped at the few tears sliding down her cheeks. She took the book in her hands, feeling the smooth soft cover, the weight of it a comfort. She thought about the time she first read it. She loved taking classes at the university. Part-time over many years she attained her degree in English, an area Patrick thought ridiculous. He had pressured her into taking business courses, wanting her to go farther and take engineering or computer science. Eventually, she took the course calendar in hand and highlighted every course that held the slightest interest for her: all English with a few in psychology, anthropology, and sociology. She had her major and refused to be swayed by him to do something “useful.” One of her favourite classes was American Literature with Professor Monahan, a barrel-chested man who would ask the class a question but wouldn’t stop talking, and so eventually answered the question himself in his booming voice. She smiled, remembering. She recalled also that in the paper she wrote for this book, she declared, “There are no lessons to be learned from Chopin’s work, for the Victorian, nor the modern, woman. How does one continue to live a life that is not her own?” She realized years later she was still trying to find the answer. Yes, she had contemplated an affair, just as Edna Pontellier had; there was a man at work who made a point of coming to the office she shared with her colleague to retrieve a chocolate from the jar on her desk. There was no doubt of his interest in her. She was attracted to him, maybe only because he lavished such attention on her. But could she? Could she go against the vows she still held as sacred despite how Patrick treated her like hired help? As a last resort perhaps, to seal the decision when, and if, she made it. She rose from the table and took her plate and cutlery to the sink. She ran the water and squirted soap to do the dishes. They had a dishwasher but she felt it was such a waste of energy and water that she rarely used it. One more thing he had to have, like this house by the lake. She looked back at the table. The dishes could not be done until he had finished his own meal. Instead, she filled the kettle to boil water for tea. Patrick resented her taking classes and questioned her about why she was late when she got home. All the pleasure of the learning experience flew out of her and she’d explain,

13


again. It didn’t take her long to realize that what he most resented was the fact she wasn’t at home to make dinner and he had to fend for himself one night a week. Opening the cupboard, she rooted through the boxes of tea, not sure of what she craved. She grabbed her usual peppermint, tore open the tiny packet and placed the tea bag in a mug. The expensive Braun kettle shut off and she poured the water, taking the mug back to her seat at the table. She sat again with the book in her hands. There was always the option Edna chose. She had lived near a lake most of her life – Erie and Simcoe – and now she was stuck here on the shores of Lake Huron. She missed the city. The water didn’t call to her; there were no swimmers or beach-types in her family. There was nothing sensuous or intoxicating about an expanse of water; it probably would not take her long to lose her strength and drown. At the time though, ice battered the beaches as it hugged the shore. It wouldn’t matter in the long run if she waited until May. She grimaced, thinking, Who would clean up the mess if I slit my wrists? Not him, never him. She heard his step on the stair, taking them two at a time. “Hi, honey,” he said, pulling out his chair and sitting down. He piled potatoes on his plate, a tiny bit of salad. She could see his eyes light up when he moved the steak onto his plate. “Medium rare?” “Of course,” she said, keeping her eyes on the page in front of her, knowing the food was now cold. “I don’t know how you do it. How you can cook yours well done and mine rare at the same time.” “It’s all about timing; you could do it too.” “Naw, you cook better than me.” She looked at him then, knowing he only had eyes for his plate. Balding at age 27, he kept his hair shorn close to the scalp, or rather she did. He refused to go out and get his hair cut when she could do it just as well, a task she hated doing, more than laundry or dusting. She watched him pour wine into his glass. “Salt and pepper?” The set his parents had given them, souvenirs from Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, was directly in front of him. She leaned forward and pushed the salt and pepper towards his plate. “Any steak sauce?” He saw her pointed finger directing him to his left side.

14


She gave up reading and watched him. Do I love this man? Did I ever love him? Does he love me, or am I just one more thing to possess, the first on the list, before the fancy car, the sailboat, the lake house? She shook her head, silently. He ate, spooned more potatoes onto his plate, poured more wine into his glass. “I’m thinking of taking a sick day tomorrow,” she said. “Yeah, whatever, you know I’ll always make twice as much as you.” He didn’t see her raised eyebrows, the shock on her face, or the tears that threatened to once again cascade down her cheeks. Fifteen minutes and he was done. “That was great, Hun,” he said as he rose, grabbed the half-empty wine bottle and his glass. In three strides, he was at the stairs and down before she could take a shaky breath. She heard the television come on, the CBC newscast drifting up the stairs. She got up slowly, gathered the plate, utensils, platter and empty potato bowl and put them in the soapy water in the sink. The salad she placed in a plastic container and set it in the fridge, along with the steak sauce. The salt and pepper shakers went back to their place on the stove. She stepped over to the counter, picked up what had been waiting there, and opened the cupboard under the sink. “Happy Birthday, Patrick,” she whispered. She dropped the cake, pan and all, into the garbage.

15


And She Shall Rise Katie Czarnik

16


Escape Amit Parmessur — A Le Morne Brabant Mountain legend As the rustling of British officers is heard anew, the maroons gasp among tied boulders on the windy cliff. Their dreams freeze; Death beckons at The Valley of Bones*. Five of them, like golden raindrops, shower to clinch it. Death shines brighter. The other maroons, shocked, take a step back. The leader whispers assurance—but the British are heard louder. The bondage swells in their raw bosom. The cold sunset drenches the spot with solid, red rays. These scarred maroons are unaware that the officers bear the news of their freedom. Hearts pulverised, they all join hands to shower too. Their shouts soon rend the air, seeming bold and free, blissful and final—only for their freed souls to learn later that they have left free bodies. What is more tragic than runaway slaves in rugged rags jumping off the shiny threshold of freedom without leaving one alphabet of their names along the wind? What is more tragic than slaves with babies in their bellies hitting the basalt hard, with the echoes heard over the pink sea? [*] legendary name of the spot into which the maroons leapt

17


Metamorphosis Robert Beveridge A college professor young and just tenured opened a book recommended to him by an older member of that august faculty and somewhere between the University Bookstore and the new professor's house the pages had turned to sand streaming onto the floor with the bleached bones of a few starved carnivores the homeless man huddled in the alleyway clutches his newest prized possession a journal dropped from the ripped pocket of a drunk's frayed suit coat he opens the leather cover and is washed in water roaring from its pages washed clean by this drunken book

18


Passport Control, Heathrow Christopher Stolle Everyone here is in the middle of something. We’ve come from different places and we’re headed somewhere after this.

People talk incessantly, voices blending into hummingbird murmurs. They reminisce about previous trips and decide how to get to their hotels and discuss how best to solve myriad conundrums— an existential exercise in folly and futility.

They converse politely despite knowing they’ll never see each other again. No one complains about how long this is taking, the lips and feet continuing to move. When we reach the end and we’re assigned an immigration officer, we’re so focused on moving forward, we forget to look back to say goodbye.

But these imperfect strangers find commonality in this singular activity.

19


Running Past Closing Dallas Jones 13 miles to go, almost through for the winter. 13 point 3 miles, then I’ll stay inside for two days and cancel plans before they do. The bleeding-heart colored sky held its thoughts from and above me.

The cold fall night interrupted by gunshots I hear through soft covered ears, the shining eyes off the path hide for a few miles after. The illegible words in front of me in white clouds of vapor, I smell the dew from last summer and the rain coming through. Stand on my knees, heavy grey damp cotton against my chest, night comes to Orlando, Florida, as well as the sounds of indeterminate insects amongst gasps of wind.

20


I am any of the stars above me without names, an evolutionary conglomerate amongst sandstone dust in the vacuum of this low-lying swamp.

21


Cups

Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier

22


Raking Leaves Cheryl Caesar Raking leaves is an exercise in the good-enough. You will never get them all. You come to prize the strong, steady stroke of the rake, the appropriate armful that you lift into the waiting wheelbarrow. The maple leaves which from a distance appear two-tone, red and silver, reveal a soul-satisfying palette from crimson to lavender. A leaf falls in your hair and tickles your neck. You cover the lily beds with their winter blanket, a gorgeous quilt in five-pointed patchwork. You’re no good at quilting, but it doesn’t matter. Raking leaves is a hands-on lesson in the value of shitty first drafts.

23


Spirit in a Bottle Diana Elizondo Thrived in Cajun rage for being stolen away from New Orleans, the spirit in the bottle glares as it growls against the glass, hoping the bottle one day break, freeing the spirit to go haunt once again.

24


Walled Saga Grid Hibah Shabkhez Build them a stained-glass bus-stop canopy And thrust them into thy half-alien tapestry Bolstered by fidgeting home-flecked winks Holding up the saga on their slender links Sing thus thy song of bustle and dust Of motor thrum and whirring fans Sing thus thy song of a City's rich crust Of fresh kulchay and hot biryani pans Within this thy walled saga grid shalt write Not of lilting hosts loved in tranquillity But of the scent of chaunsay that doth ignite Longing in the wake of a sputtering qingqi

25


Im Falschen Fenster Carl “Papa” Palmer I was having a Martha Stewart moment. A large windowless outside wall on the front of our house was the perfect setting for a cottage window framed with country shutters and a flower box. Judy had recently redone the front bathroom and had me replace the old door mirror with a new one more to her taste. Being I throw away nothing, I found I now had two of the old Kmart door mirrors in my garage, one was cracked, but still too good to toss, both perfect items for my project. Each mirror was 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall, so mounted side by side or one above the other would equal a 4X4 foot square faux window. My neighbor from across the street, Corky, sees me gathering my supplies and knows I have some venture to tell him about. I explain how I am going to hang the mirrors, one above the other and frame them to look like a window, creating panes from the slats of leftover door moldings and lattice to create shutters. Corky looks at the wall, the pile, the mirrors, my tools and me, says he still doesn’t see how I could make a window like that, and walks back over to his house leaving me to my task. All went as planned, except the mirror that wasn’t cracked, became so during the process, and the mirror that was cracked, cracked again in a new place once the sun came out and heated it up. The process went well and the flower box was the finishing touch. Covered with painted butterflies, caterpillars, bees, flowers and other critters, it had a nice homey look. I picked up some plastic frogs, butterflies and birds from the dollar store and some real flowers to complete my new window. The cracks added character, altered the reflection and actually looked like a real window from the street. Corky came back by later as I was in the front yard admiring my work. “Carl, that really looks good!” “Thanks. I’m pleased with the results. So you like it?” “I sure do. I bet it lets a lot more light into your bedroom.”

26


“It’s a mirror.” “Oh, now I get it. It’s one of those mirrors you can look out of, but not into, right?” “Right, see ya later, Corky, through my window.” It does look like a real window, especially from the angle looking up from down on the street with the trees and sky reflecting back, but he saw the two mirrors before I even put them up and he still thinks it’s a real window. That led me to name my window. An old German fairytale involving a pair of young lovers wanting to elope against her father’s wishes, made plans to leave that night. The lad would climb a ladder, tap upon her window and the lass would come with him to live happily ever after. He did climb the ladder and did tap on the window, but alas, it was her father’s window. He was at the wrong window, im der falsche fenster. The false window. So now my window has a name, Falschen Fenster. Come by and see it sometime. It does look real, but my bedroom remains quite dark.

27


Relocate Gary Beck A rural youth lived on the farm, took the schoolbus until he was old enough to leave home for the big city. It took a while for him to adapt, used to small town ways where everything stayed the same year in, year out, unlike the compressed city, new buildings going up day in, day out, old haunts disappearing, remembered for a moment then erased by time in the urban rush hastening tomorrow, always changing at least for newcomers and the vulnerable, while the sturdy rich come and go, always find secure locales.

28


father’s fool Amit Parmessur he split my eyelid so that i cannot shut myself on him. i hope the scratches of yesterday’s fight become lifelong scars and remind me of him. twenty-one years after he threw me onto the fridge, i shackled and threw him into his own bed. he bounced and came back to his feet, like an eagle that soars back into the dead sky after missing a prey. he believes his wife has swindled him by selling his land for bread and butter—when you defend one parent against the other, you lose both. he speaks of his wife as judas, but can he, as sinful as he is, be jesus? how—how do we make him understand that an affair that bears no children is still betrayal? he has destroyed the kingdom of our heart with the katana of that woman, and still wants to be a ruler. he is the cocoon that grew extra legs, stole our faith and scuttled away into a night of obscene noises. he says his fists are like hammers and pummels the wall— i think he is just an effete macho. he stuffs our ears with curses, but discounts

29


how he stuffs his lungs with tobacco. his sons have avoided his vices, yet he is not proud. he taught me how to ride a bicycle and it seems i owe him (all) my life. all my life, i thought he was a great footballer in his youth until an uncle told me i am a thousand times better than him. he is himself toothless, but menaced to break my teeth yesterday. don’t i resemble him enough? i told him to speak to me after his death. he loves the storm—my father is an eagle.

30


Love Mark Andrew Heathcote Love is a fictitious weed we think will grow anywhere Without water or care, it will climb alongside the Eiger railway, It will flourish across deserts; taking root in mountain bedrock. Love is a fictitious weed we think will grow without love; That it abounds in our hearts and its seeds need no aftercare. That we possess it and therefore it should live on through us Love is a fictitious weed we think will grow and ever multiply, But we are not fertile pastures or abandoned railway yards We are what we are. We are what we are. Self-neglecting pampered Hybrid tea roses cut off in a jar Defending-our own, tiny spaces with bloodied thorns to scar.

31


Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal Thomas M. McDade A breezy walk to the train station and I’m thinking Of a live chicken store that was once on Richmond Hill I sit in a seat facing a passenger taking up Two seats with the help of an NPR donor tote A retro man wears cuff links and a monogrammed shirt An Asian woman, long hair, green coat, black Wellingtons, Lime turtleneck, has her ear glued to a pink Cased phone the entire trip Conductor warns once this is a quiet car (Tell it to the wheels and tracks) She whispers, listening not talking Does he move on because she is so attractive? Is a man she ditched pleading for another chance? A hefty man corrects student papers, makes many comments Does he grade tough? Reads a poetry magazine after finishing Is he a poet himself? A young fellow sits on the floor near a door, types on a computer His Boston College ball cap is faded He sneaks peeks at the good listener The lights blink on and off The Woman exiting the train in front of me Pulls a side-wheeled rolling suitcase Is she thinking of motherhood Powering a red wagon full of child? A sign in the Grand Central Men’s Room reads:

32


No Smoking – No Bathing or Laundering – No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages How many are plotting? In the Concourse, some travelers look At the blue-green Ceiling For their Zodiac sign or firmament inaccuracies If this were China, might have featured a rooster I play back to Richmond Hill, and youth and forty years ago anyway A beggar on Lexington chants, “Today is my Birthday” He’s a one-buck richer Scorpio

33


A Meek Man Signs His Name John Grey It's impossible to know who I am. Even when I sign my name. The stiff J. The miniscule o. The mute h. The indifferent n. Someone certain of themselves overflows their boundaries in a kind of spirally iconography. Everything they touch is their presence of mind. What their brains insist on, their fingers take up. Like a messiah. Or a magus. Their signature marks the center of the universe. The will, the lease, the letter, bows before nib and ink. And here I am confronted by another dotted line. It asks something of me‌ that there be a me that it can ask. I gingerly add my mark to what somehow cannot be complete without it. No, this isn’t self-pity. It’s the form that I feel sorry for.

34


Alcatraz Stairwell

Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier

35


Closely Your Heart Linda Imbler Hold closely your heart, Away from strong winds of apathy, For the loss of your heart Mirrors the loss of your soul, It does not beat in vain Nor lie idle in its full magnitude, If its use is forsaken or even diminished, Then, How will fallen baby birds Or frightened stranded kittens be lifted At mighty oaks or mottled sycamores? Who will catch an old man mid stumble, Listen to a young child chant an endless tale, Continue the heritage of the art of empathy, Heal the broken, pray for peace? Pray for peace, pray for peace.

36


Tabulation Gary Beck We do not trudge barefoot through the streets blood hallowing the ground, even the poorest have shoes and when winter comes most of us have coats, except the homeless, the dispossessed, cast out of our society as tainted as lepers of old, not as threatening, merely a gaping wound on the body public outcasts of despair some dysfunctional no fault of their own, fire, loss of job, illness, suddenly cast adrift no welcoming shore providing refuge from a sea of affliction eroding the will to survive, devastating the young unable to comprehend what they have done to deserve punishment, their search for identity eradicated in the daily struggle

to endure the horrors of the homeless system, visions of tomorrows shattered only the strong continue, crime or sports the only salvation.

37


Star Bright Kimberly Cunningham I saw the stars dance above the wreckage How could that be? Shiny, twinkling, iridescent light bending, swaying, and twirling It was magnificently beautiful While Carnage was scattered about, ugly and grotesque on the hardened cold dirt bed below My eyes burned from the toxicity But Breathtaking light shows illuminated all And I gasped Despair and hope collided then came to settle in one collective place

38


Are you in the glow or the burn? I cannot focus Where do I land?

I saw the stars whirl and swirl above the wreckage And it was so

39


Running Circles in Central Park Tim Mak The first time I ran without her, I stopped after less than a mile, and walked home in defeat. I imagined bystanders had followed my total progress from my apartment to a pitiful jog along the east side of the Central Park Drive Loop. I’d only run the loop a few times with Amelia as a way to impress her. Amelia was an avid runner whose warmup was one 6 mile loop and cool down was another 6 mile loop. Over the months after our breakup, I ran every Saturday morning, partly for exercising, partly to lament the memories of our relationship, and mostly hoping to run into her even though I hadn’t heard from her in a year. If you can call it one, our third date all those years ago took place at 8AM on a Saturday. I figured the best way to impress her was to accompany her on her favorite activity. “I’ll try my best and see how far I can go,” I said as I wiped eye crust from my face from having leapt from bed to the park to meet her on time. I reiterated, “Now, I apologize in advance if I can’t make it all the way around, I haven’t done this in forever, and never for that distance.” Best to set the expectations low. “It’s OK, I’m just happy you came!” She smiled and glanced at my shorts. They were Umbros bedazzled with a very 90’s triangle pattern that I had owned since my high school sprinting days. I don’t update my clothes that frequently, but the shorts were a conscious choice of conversation starter. We agreed to go at her normal pace, but I think she ran more deliberately to accommodate me. I felt a warming tingle in my chest that at first I thought might be a heart attack but was probably a manifestation of my affection for her. Her pace was still too much for me, and I found myself behind her for most of the way. “Drafting,” as I explained to her. Near the Dakotas

40


on the west side where John Lennon lived, she slowed down next to me to chat. Thankfully, according to my running app, we ran at a 10 minute per mile pace which was reasonable for me. But I pushed myself to finish the loop with the expectation that we would celebrate this greatest of accomplishments with a passionate kiss and a much needed post-run lunch. I can still see her shape, her sun-drenched blonde ponytail undulating as her bright purple soles kicked up in a rhythm of steps. From where I was, she was close enough to touch. Until one day she called me. “We weren’t that serious, so it’s OK, no hard feelings,” she said her back at me, her voice flat like what I imagine a robot would sound like. None of the lilting cadence that made conversations with her an evening at the symphony. She folded some gray business pants on her bed and tossed them in a suitcase, which unfolded them. I recall a charge seize my body when she finally met my gaze. It was a look of anticipation for something for me to say. Even now, I’m not sure what words I was supposed to supply. She was right of course. It had only been a handful of months. No grand overtures of everlasting love from either party. I could not fault her for leaving, especially if she said I was blameless. But as much I actually loved her, I couldn’t see myself in Hong Kong. She’d have a cushy consultant job, but I would have to find something and adapt to a different life. I was not willing to do as Michael Jackson sang, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/I’m asking him to change his ways.” We would Skype twice over three months when she first arrived, cordially. The emails would slow to an ebb and then stopped. So after a few weeks of weekends ordering in, I would attempt to emerge from my malaise with a run. I tried to look like I knew how to adequately stretch near the entrance of the Jackie Kennedy Onassis reservoir at East 90th Street, as people in what looked like real running clothes and shoes zoomed by. I rationally knew that they didn’t notice or care what I was doing, but a part of me felt embarrassed as I wore an old, heavy cotton tee with my college logo on it. The sun in April sheepishly began to warm the defrosting ground, so it still seemed cold enough to justify long pants in the morning. But I only had faded green Champion sweatpants that I estimated were from 15 years ago. I never realized how inconvenient sweatpants are for running, especially when wearing boxer shorts with an unfettered front opening. I assume the flopping and erection threat are why I never see sweatpants much in general. Still, I soldiered bravely on, focusing on the road and not any of the potentially attractive, fit women panting all around me.

41


*** My mom would say I was a sprinter of some renown in high school, so running was not foreign to me. When my hindquarters were raised in the air, hands twitching up to the starting line with my arms taut in sinewy anticipation, I used to inanely guess when the starter pistol would fire so I could get a strong reaction to the sound. Sometimes the awkward silence before the gun would trigger a wayward firing of the neurons in my legs, and I would spring from the starting blocks like a gazelle in a clearing with no particular destination. This would set off a cascade of my competitors’ reactions and we would have to reset. The thin crowd of parents and teammates would then see me shuffle back to the blocks shaking in garishly bright yellow shorts that extended down only as far down as an average erect penis would go. My body still jerks to attention whenever I hear a single note of raucous sound, as if ready to spring off the boards and take off in a straight line to an unknown finish line. Running in Central Park is like having New York City as your running partner. The buildings loom over the greenery like protective sentinels, and you feel a kinship with your fellow park dwellers who have come out to enjoy something uniquely New York. Your view of New York changes with each step, and I marveled at how I didn’t at least go to the park more often. Without the need to impress anyone but myself with the Central Park running, I felt at ease because I am my most lenient critic. Someone told me once that running allows one to exercise one’s mind and body at the same time. I started the run with Boyz II Men pumping my ears, so it was hard to focus on anything but Philly cheesesteaks and trying to be a better lover. I had not planned ahead and created a running playlist of uptempo jams so my iPhone was filled with the world’s best four-part harmony representing the East Coast family. Runners must be vigilant though, and follow running etiquette. For example, it is a sin to impede better athletes by running on the left side if you are not the Flash. As I made my way toward the Great Hill at the north of the park, I recalled snippets of memories, not just with Amelia but with my family and friends. It was as if my mind recognized that it had time to reflect. When I got to the climb that is the Great Hill, my scattered reflections turned to focus. I almost stopped to walk a part of it.

42


After the slow trudge of the gradual incline, the rest of the West side seemed easy in comparison. I took a slight detour to Strawberry Fields and listened to fans sing solo and Beatles Lennon compositions for a few seconds before bowing to the Imagine carving and going on my way. You can get a sense of where you are by the landmarks, and seeing Tavern on the Green meant I was near 66th Street, and closer to the southern end of the Park. People eating brunch cheered me on as if I was in the marathon, but I suspect they needed an excuse to talk about my attire. The southern end has a bit of road that is parallel to 59th Street. Running the loop counterclockwise as I was, the ornate hotels and restaurants on the street. I wondered what the affluent tourists were planning on doing that day as I labored on my run. They would probably go shopping on Fifth Avenue, I concluded, and I was sad that they probably would not get to experience any of the “real New York” on this trip. I don’t know that I actually know what the real New York is. But I think it’s partly a protective feeling that people who live there have, where they appreciate the renowned culture and food, but also think that only they know the places that reveal what the “true” character of the city is. I passed the Loeb Boathouse where people waited in line to use the bathroom. The road in front of the boathouse had a steady incline and soon I arrived at the Met, whose stately structure stretches about 4 blocks. I thought of all the masterpieces in the building, and how the artists succeeded in creating something that lasted. I made a mental note to begin writing my longshelved comedic novel about a ninja with a secret passion for soulful music: Ninjazz. A few more blocks and I saw the Onassis Reservoir to my left. In disbelief, I had finished the loop, willing my legs to carry my soft, undefined torso to the entrance of the park where I started. My arms collapsed on my knees and my hand was slimed in dirt-and-dust-infused sweat. In my mind the accomplishment was adulation-worthy, like Rocky knocking out Mr. T. Involuntarily, I raised my fists in the air in triumph before realizing that passing runners were then actually staring at me. Slowly putting my arms down and starting to sprint away from the scene, I strained at first to recognize her. She was kicking up some dirt on the bridle path by the reservoir, her ponytail a Foucault’s pendulum, passing over my center.

43


I thought I heard a starter pistol fire into the sky above the Delacorte Theater. I started running after her. “Amelia!” I shouted, then put my hand near my mouth, but not covering it in time. I was relieved when I saw her headphones. I was able to burst ahead of her and tried to keep a pace that placed me about 5 feet to ahead of her, to see if she would recognize me and instigate the meeting. But soon her conditioning took her past me. I summoned a final surge of energy and caught up to her, tapping her on her right arm. A vein in my head throbbed with the force of a river that was somehow alternating from dammed to undammed. I could hear my heart beating. I could hear the noise of everyone’s shoes hitting pavement. The uneven beats melded into a buzzing cadence that didn’t stop until I saw those familiar eyes, and I took a breath to speak.

44


Layers of Life Katie Czarnik

45


Death of a Cat Part #1 Carl “Papa” Palmer the sodden broken body of matted black hair my wife’s once overweight cat, Max lies face down strewn at street’s edge against the curb of the roundabout at the bottom of our hill solemnly returning with rubber gloves, shovel, burlap sack and cardboard box removing the deceased pet to our backyard garden the chosen plot a desired point for proper burial never my friend always under his glare now saddened by the sudden demise already feeling his absence the ever obvious resentment of sharing his house with the woman we both adore I tearfully dig his grave lift his body to lay him to rest his claw catches in the fabric of the sack his claw catches in the fabric of the sack Max had been de-clawed years ago turning the lifeless head looking into the closed feline face exclaiming silently, THIS IS NOT MAX

46


after replacing the dead cat to its original point of departure my mission hopefully unobserved I return to the house to fill in the unneeded grave

looking up I see Max watching me from the hedge however now with a look of acceptance in his eye

47


Red Road Christopher Stolle brake lights tail lights stop lights dawn rising dusk rising church doors doctor signs gas station neon autumn leaves autumn arrives rearview mirror lips concrete-dancing cigarettes yield, stop, no U-turn the heart I hate to leave the heart I rush home to love

48


Magic Cheryl Caesar When I was seven my dolls still talked and moved, even the unfortunate one I’d molded out of clay, who looked like Alice the Goon. Having no armature, she couldn’t stand. She sat splay-legged, as though in an eternal game of jacks. When I was seven, the April issue of Jack and Jill arrived in duplicate. Its cover bloomed with spring pastels. I took a pink chalk and scribbled on one page of one copy. Then I kept both. Picking up the magazine, I never knew whether I’d find the magic mark that came and went. When I was seven I had a music box that played, “In the Good Old Summertime,” high and tinkly. But above the melody, I heard a fleeting descant. Only sometimes. I told myself that it was magic too.

49


When I was seven my piano teacher gave me a recording of “Peter and the Wolf.” It built my fear up step by step: first the grandfather, played by the bassoon. But he is only crochety, a warmup act. Then the narrator said, “The WOLF is played by the THREE HORNS,” and gave a sample. Those warning horns! That approach, slow and inexorable! It always made me shudder. And so, to shudder more, I’d look at her collection of Aesop’s fables, with watercolor pictures. First, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” I’d wonder: did the wolf eat only the sheep? Or the boy too? The painted wolf was moving laterally, but turned to look at me. His jaw was long and full of terrible teeth, the tongue hanging out. I’d call him back each night, with the nightlight on. The image and the music. The dripping jaws and the soft footfalls. I’d prod my fear like a loose tooth, training myself braver. When I was seven – but am I not still seven? And aren’t you? We need the magic and we need to master it, and then we need the magic again.

50


When I was seventeen, I babysat for a girl with a magic wand that she took everywhere. It waved and sparkled and I secretly wanted one too. At fifty-nine, I think that I still do.

51


Curious Interface Eliana Vanessa (writing), Carl Scharwath (photography), and

Carl’s granddaughter, Savanna Crisante (model) a young angel stares into the water, her eyes comb over my mermaid tendrils, and, as she inches forward, skipping pebbles in the shine of everything curious and untamed— i can almost see the loveliness of her little feet, wading, ready to greet the blessing of every lily-pad moment that, together, we are meant to spontaneously find.

52


53


Yosemite Dallas Jones Most of Half Dome is showing behind a young Dutch couple in the picture I take of them. An older two sing Doris Day. I know the words, but they exhaust me.

It’s going to rain soon, and I may not be back to Yosemite a third time, but with the proper maintenance of my legs, there will be plenty of mountains to summit.

In Tuolumne Meadows, there is a creek 100 steps into the John Muir Trail. I lay down hiding but a man close to my age and a younger woman survey things across the creek and see me. I’m acting as though I’m drawing while writing this. They are average-looking white as I am and leave averagely with eyes on the trail between the trees and rocks.

54


Aξί Robert Beveridge It looks less like a road, sometimes, than a parking lot; tar-veined blacktop stretched to each horizon, broken here and there with lampposts. Otherwise, featureless. Without a compass, it is hard to navigate. We feel ourselves turn circles. If we could just have faith. We sit, rest on the ground, hold hands and watch the sun set over endless blacktop. At dawn, we'll start this walk again. Maybe someday we'll find whatever structure lies at its end.

55


At the Grave of Luis Omar Salinas Stephen Barile He has joined the legions of accordion players With their repertoire of traveling songs. On the day of his burial, beside his pauper grave, The lid of his coffin was opened. He wore a brown suit, dark tie, and serious smile On his overly made-up face. Who else hears him sucking his teeth, Rolling a toothpick from one side of his mouth, The snapping and clicking? He would be surprised at his own trickery. And the poets, six or seven of them, are moving back Following the shade on a July afternoon. He could climb out of his box And sing his love-songs, given up for free To a world that understands nothing, Where he arrived with no consolation.

56


No more terrifying fiestas, Omar. No more savage beatings with clubs of the piĂąata. Only small reminders, wilted flower petals, Thoughts of romantic women, the jukebox and mirrors. His marker: four-inch by 12 concrete rectangle, stamped into it, Luis Salinas, 1937-2008. Buried near the Kings River, and his beloved Aunt and uncle, Oralia and Alfredo Salinas. Winds will creep up during that night, In the new morning, songs of blackbirds.

57


And She Flies With Her Own Wings Katie Czarnik

58


This Morning Joan McNerney Between deep night and soft dawn the mist covers fields spreading over sea grass climbing bunchberries wetting seeds, leaves. Milky smoke roams back and forth wandering voiceless through mountains of morning. Whistling in fog past sycamores warblers seesaw up cloudy layers up up circling toward heaven.

59


Space Between Victoria Crawford Sharp hot pine smell spices twilight air transition hillside grassland forest Canadian Rockies somewhere near Jasper evening walk in Daddy’s footprints I am his echo Between uncertainties circadian rhythms meadow and woodland whisper of adolescence Daddy’s girl dogging, dodging Pied Piper’s call sorcery science, nature enchantment Male fireflies flash dance among slim trees at edges jerking, twerking for bored ladies on grass blades who rouse to chemical conversation with eager first responders Flickers longer, flares brighter sibilant syllable phosphorus songs betoken better lovers next generation fathers

60


Dad shows me how to catch one and it doesn’t burn at all, but beats against my palms before I open fingers to freedom Daddy holds my hand on the way back in the half-light

61


Contributors Katie Czarnik Katie Czarnik is a self-taught pencil and ink artist who is influenced by geometric designs as well as the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. Katie grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and discovered a passion for the beauty of simple forms found in nature. Her unique style of combining traditional sketches with repetitive patterns creates art that has both edginess and a feminine flair. Katie also enjoys gardening and constructing her own style of “land art” which includes rock stacking and designing mandalas with river rock. Katie lives in Brentwood, Tennessee with her husband and two daughters. Katie believes in the power of the individual to change the world one person at a time, and she also recently had her artwork published in Chaleur Magazine as well. Kimberly Cunningham

Kimberly Cunningham has written three books: Undefined, Sprinkles On Top and Smooth Rough Edges. In addition, published in: Evergreen Journal, NY Literary Mag Tears, Torrid Literature, NY Literary Mag Flames, From The Heart by International Poetry Press , Crossways Lit Mag, herstry.com, The Daily Abuse book, Blood Into Ink, Poetry Super Highway, Silver Stork Mag, Diverseverse 3, Poetry for Peace Anthology " Spring", Snow Leopard Publishing anthology "Strength," Minnie's Diary anthology, Curtis Bausse Into The Rabbit Hole, Academyoftheheartandmind, Credo Espoir lit mag, The Voices Project, We Will Not Be Silenced anthology, and other works forthcoming. It has been Kimberly’s lifelong belief that each one teach one. Joan McNerney Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations. Joan I believes it is sad how people rush through malls, pursuing material possessions and miss the big show, earth in all its glory.

62


Contributors Victoria Crawford California poet Victoria Crawford lives and writes in a crossroads of many faiths having lived in many different countries from Saudi Arabia to Japan. She currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Like the old saying, all roads lead to Rome, she believes that all paths lead to the same goal and joy and love. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Braided Way, Samsara, Time of Singing, and The Lyric. Wholeness and the Wild are frequently missing in this hit or miss existence of our world and Victoria Crawford seeks the reunification of both of these in life and in her poetry believing that the regeneration of our world comes person by person. Jeremy Nathan Marks

Jeremy Nathan Marks is a London, Ontario-based writer. Recent poetry appears/is appearing in Poets Reading The News, Poetry Pacific, Writes Resist, Unlikely Stories, Eunoia Review, Bravearts, The Wire's Dream, Rat's Ass Review, Runcible Spoon, NRM, and Alien Pub. His short story, "Detroit 2099," will be published in The Nature of Cities Anthology in 2019. Jeremy believes that love is the basis of integrity and integrity is inseparable from love. Mary Anna Kruch Mary Anna Kruch is a career educator and writer. Hope, connection, humanity, and nature inspire her poetry and her life. She mentors new teachers and leads a monthly writing workshop. Her poetry appears in The Remembered Arts Journal, River Poets Journal, The Mark Literary Review, Credo Espoir, Mused, Trinity Review, Peach Velvet Magazine, and two anthologies. Her first poetry collection, We Draw Breath from the Same Sky, is in press.

63


Contributors Linda Imbler Linda Imbler is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. Her poetry and a listing of publications can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com. She’s an avid reader, classical guitar player, and a practitioner of both Yoga and Tai Chi. In, addition, she helps her husband, a Luthier, build acoustic guitars. Linda enjoys her 200-gallon saltwater reef tank. Linda believes that poetry truly adds to the beauty of the world. Much of this beauty she feels can be found in the night sky and, on warm nights, her telescope serves as inspiration for this belief. Todd Mercer

Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Mercer won 1st, 2nd & 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Prizes and the won Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Prize. His chapbook Life-wish Maintenance is posted at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in: A New Ulster, Blink Ink, The Lake and Softblow. He believes the best thing we can do in this tough world is strengthen each other through freely sharing love and encouragement. Carrie Connel-Gripp Carrie Connel-Gripp lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and two cats. She has an MLIS and Honours BA in English Language and Literature from Western University. Her short stories have recently been published in the literary magazines Synaeresis and The Novice Writer, and the print anthologies Fterota Logia 1, Tales From the Realm, Volume One from Aphotic Realm, and NOPE Horror Quarterly from TL;DR Press. She believes that empathy is the greatest of our senses and those who lack it are missing out on a life full of compassion and love. Amit Parmessur Amit Parmessur is a poet and teacher. His writing has appeared in several magazines, namely WINK, The Rye Whiskey Review, Night Garden Journal, Ann Arbor Review and Ethos Literary Journal. He loves to pick off past experiences and turn them over in the light. Nowadays, he edits The Pangolin Review, and loves to publish young poets.

64


Contributors Robert Beveridge Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in New American Legends, Toho Journal, and Chiron Review, among others. He deeply believes that media (poetry, paintings, movies, music, etc.) can be a transformative power in people's lives. Christopher Stolle Christopher Stolle’s writing has appeared most recently in “Tipton Poetry Journal,” “Flying Island,” “Edify Fiction,” “Contour,” “The New Southern Fugitives,” “The Gambler,” “Gravel,” “The Light Ekphrastic,” “Sheepshead Review,” and “Plath Poetry Project.” He works as an acquisitions and development editor for Penguin Random House. He lives in Richmond, Indiana. Christopher believes in the comfort of words, the influence of conversation, and the motivation of love.

Dallas Jones

Dallas Jones is a sign installer for the world’s largest company which takes him all over the Western Hemisphere. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He believes in making the attempt at understanding.

Cheryl Caesar

Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She returned to a house not five miles from her childhood home, and now teaches writing at Michigan State University, her undergraduate alma mater. She gives readings, publishes poems and rails at injustice. When stressed, she dreams of swimming in an infinity pool of warm salt water. Cheryl believes in the following: Kurt Vonnegut said it in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. "There's only one rule that I know of [...] you've got to be kind."

65


Contributors Diana Elizondo Diana Elizondo was born in Laredo Texas and lived most of her life in McAllen Texas. She earned her Master’s degree in English at University of Texas Pan-American and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Diana’s book, Smoked Blood and Lavender, was released in 2017. She believes in achieving freedom and justice at all costs. Hibah Shabkhez

Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic languagelearning enthusiast, a teacher of French as a foreign language and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in The Mojave Heart Review, Third Wednesday, Brine and a number of other literary journals. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her. She believes in freedom of choice and the power of stories. Blogs: https:/ hibahshabkhezxicc.wordpress.com/ and http:// languedouche.blogspot.fr/ Twitter: @hibahshabkhez Carl “Papa” Palmer Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoying life now as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer. Carl is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee. MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever!

66


Contributors Gary Beck Gary Beck’s poetry collections include. Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations and Rude Awakenings (Winter Goose Publishing) The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Blossoms of Decay, Expectations and Blunt Force (Wordcatcher Publishing). His novels include: Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pigs Productions) Gnome on Pigs Productions will publish the third book in the series, Raise High the Walls. Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Extreme Change will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Gary believes in democracy. Mark Andrew Heathcote

Mark Andrew Heathcote Mark Andrew Heathcote is from Manchester in the UK, author of “In Perpetuity” and “Back on Earth” two books of poems published by a CTU publishing group ~ Creative Talents Unleashed and in creative charge, direction of two anthologies by the same publisher. He is an adult learning difficulties support worker, who began writing poetry at an early age at school. Mark enjoys spending his leisure time off work reading and writing and spending time gardening. As an adult, severe learning difficulties care worker Mark believes strongly in equality and equal opportunities for all, treating people with empathy from whatever background they come from the same; he is also concerned with not damaging the environment or adding to his own, ecological footprint. Thomas M. McDade

Thomas M. McDade is a resident of Fredericksburg, VA, previously CT & RI. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center, Virginia Beach, VA and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) and USS Miller (DE/FF 1091). His poetry has most recently appeared in The Spire Light Journal. It is his hope that his poems and stories continue to keep him in touch with my dead and living as well as wraiths and strangers spinning in the trinity of time that he’s yet to name.

67


Contributors John Grey John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and Roanoke Review. John believes in the power of love, compassion and tolerance. Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier

Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier is a visual artist and writer. She has been a cover artist for Wild Musette, Existere Journal of Art and Literature, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Gigantic Sequins and Ottawa Arts Journal to name a few. She also designs for San Francisco's VIDA, supporting 'Literacy for Life'. Karen believes that the word love has been so abused by publicity and advertisements that we no longer know really what it means. If we truly knew, the experience would open our deepest being. See more on her website www.kcbgphoto.com and follow @KBG_Tweets Tim Mak Tim Mak is a writer living in New York. He was an editor and marketer in book publishing for several years before attending business school, and now he writes when he is not busy exploring New York City. Tim believes that kindness and compassion may be under-appreciated but that is more reason to imbue the world with them. Eliana Vanessa Eliana Vanessa is originally from Argentina and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana at a young age. She recently participated 100,000 Poets for Change (2018) and served as part of a panel of poets in The Jane Austen Festival (2017, 2018, 2019). You can find her work online at The Horror Zine, The Rye Whiskey Review, and The Sirens Call Ezine, The Ramingo’s Porch, Ariel Chart, and in the anthology Masks Still Aren’t Enough (2019). She is Eliana Vanessa on Facebook at the following link: https:// www.facebook.com/eliana.vanessa.7758.

68


Contributors Carl Scharwath Carl Scharwath, has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography (His photography was featured on the cover of 6 literary journals.) Two poetry books 'Journey To Become Forgotten' (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and 'Abandoned' (ScarsTv) have been published. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, a dedicated runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo. The most important thing to Carl is to help others. He loves helping other artists. We can inspire each other and create new friendships just like this collaboration. His grand daughter Savannah is 4 and will be starting school soon. She loves art and having grand pa buy her things. Stephen Barile

A Fresno, California native, Stephen Barile has a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Fresno. He is the former chairman of the William Saroyan Society, and a long-time member of the Fresno Poet's Association. Mr. Barile taught writing at Madera Center College and lives and writes in Fresno. He has maintained a long-time belief in peace, love and cooperation.

69


Staff

Aliquis | Website Manager & Prose Editor A pencil breaker, book hoarder, and midnight thinker, she mindlessly plays with equations in corners and recreates her life on paper. Her unbreakable habits include nibbling dark chocolate, testing the limits of her telescope, and torturing her punching bag. She has won district and state awards for her writing and cannot imagine life without words or numbers. She believes in equality and education for all.

Demira | Poetry Editor Currently a writer, artist, dreamer, and introvert. She constantly scribbles words onto tattered pages woven from big dreams. She spends her time on her laptop, loves snow, and enjoys learning about philosophy and news ways of looking at the world. She has won various national level writing awards. She believes in a life lived in serving others.

Lalitya | Poetry Editor Apart from pondering who she should be and how to make a difference in people’s lives (unnoticeably), she is an open-minded atheist who loves to leave footprints across the world. Apart from day dreaming about her travel plans, she loves to take long walks when she isn’t busy doing things in the lab or taking care of senior people. Her favorite places in the world include beaches, and other quiet places where she can hear herself think. She believes that everyone has a right to fulfill their dreams and get whatever they wish in life. She hopes that one day there is peace and people will truly understand how to include and treat each other equally.

70


Staff

Pualini | Blog Writer As an avid reader and Netflix binger, her mind is constantly swimming between reality and the worlds that her imagination summons. In love with learning, she hopes to marry science with the humanities and one day become a writer/veterinarian at a wildlife sanctuary in Africa. Most of all, she loves embracing her Native Hawaiian culture through hula and the education of others. From the center of the sea, her inquisitive mind has led her far from the islands she was raised on in the hopes that she may one day leave a mark on the world.

Shehzad | Blog Manager A revolutionary stuck in the body of an engineer. When he’s not writing code or learning about the newest discoveries in astronomy, he’s busy pondering current events, trying to find solutions to the hardest political problems and wondering why there’s so much hatred in the world. He is a devout Muslim who strongly opposes any type of inequality or prejudice.

Sara | Poetry Editor A big day dreamer who aspires to save the environment somehow. When not sleeping she’s writing up the next adventure her day dreaming has taken her to. She will be a freshman at CU Denver this year and is excited to see what she can do to help marine life environment.

71


Want to have your work published in the next issue? Submit to Credo Espoir at www.credoespoir.wordpress.com 72

Profile for credoespoir

Issue 4 Credo Espoir  

Read the works of 26 amazing writers and visual artists in Issue 4 of the Credo Espoir literature and art magazine.

Issue 4 Credo Espoir  

Read the works of 26 amazing writers and visual artists in Issue 4 of the Credo Espoir literature and art magazine.