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Halcyon Days - 2018 Issue 12

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Halcyon Days Issue 12 - 2018 CONTRIBUTORS

Agnieszka Filipek 10 Star 14 Snow Globe

Ann Christine Tabaka 8 Early Freeze 9 Massage 19 November

Agnieszka Filipek Pg 10, 14

Ann Christine Tabaka Pg 8, 9, 19

Elizabeth Spragins Pg 11, 12, 13

Jessica Van de Kemp Pg 18

Phil Duffy Pg 16, 17

Theresa Hickey Pg 4, 6, 7

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins 11 Still 12 Night Fire 13 Icicles

Jessica Van de Kemp 18 The Brightening

Phil Huffy 16 Leavings 17 Haiku

Theresa Hickey 5 After the Nor’easter 6 Homefront 7 Reverie on Christmas Day

Cover © ekim—

Halcyon Days Magazine ISSN: 2291-0255 Frequency: Quarterly Publisher | Designer: Monique Berry

Contact Info Twitter: @1websurfer

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Special Notices Halcyon Days has one time rights. See website for subscription details. No photocopies allowed.

Meet The Contributors Agnieszka Filipek lives in Galway, Ireland. She writes in both, her native tongue Polish and in English, and also translates in these languages. Her work was published internationally in countries, such as Poland, Ireland, United States, India, Hong Kong, England and Bangladesh. For more see Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-NaGig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore. Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet, writer, and editor who taught in North Carolina community colleges for more than a decade before returning to her home state of Virginia. Her tanka and bardic verse in the Celtic style have been published in England, Scotland, Canada, Indonesia, Mauritius, India, and the United States. Recent work has appeared in theLyric, Page & Spine, Blueline, Words for the Wild, and Borrowed Solace. Publication updates are available on her website: Jessica Van de Kemp is an award-winning teacher, poet, and PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks Daughters in the Dead Land (Kelsay Books, 2017) and Spirit Light (The Steel Chisel, 2015). Her poem, “Slant of the Girl,” was shortlisted for the 2015 Montreal International Poetry Prize, judged by Eavan Boland. Her play, Hatching in a Cage, was a finalist at the inaugural Newmarket National Play Festival. Connect with Jessica on Instagram ( @canadianpoet), Twitter (@jess_vdk), and her Website (https://

Phil Huffy’s interest in poetry came well into middle age, following years of legal writing and trial work as an attorney in Rochester, New York. But he had his hand in the soup even as a young dad, composing children’s songs (not particularly poems) for his own two kids and later writing music with more general themes. After leaving the law, he traveled about as a poorly compensated folk singer and senior entertainer. Only in late 2017 did he take his plunge into verse, calling upon his own experiences, a reasonable exposure to literature, and a love for language effectively used. Within a few months time, he had found over sixty placements of his work in approximately fifty print or online journals. He thinks on his feet, as trained, and writes at the kitchen table, often with a Maltese on his lap. A native Bostonian, Theresa Hickey is a free-lance writer and a life-long learner who is a published poet with two chapbooks, Raising the Child and Sighs of a Gracious Nature; a third is nearing completion. She writes about love of faith and family. Her most recent published works appear in New England Memories and NatureWriting. Also, Faith ND (Notre Dame) has published “Words” and Naples Magazine awarded “Golden Days” an Enny Award. Numerous other poems have appeared in newspapers and journals, including The Naples Sun Times. “Creativity Knocks”-- a symposium she developed, focuses on the pitfalls facing writers and how best to overcome them. She presented the workshop in 2016 for Hodges University Lifelong Learning program(FL) and in September of 2018 to Friends Academy, Dartmouth, MA A member of the Pelican Bay Women’s League Writers’ group, she regularly encourages the work of other writers. A retired Salem State University administrator, she wrote publicity for the Center for Creative and Performing Arts, representing students, faculty and guest-artists. She is the mother of two sons and two daughters and especially enjoys spending time with Mike--her husband of 53 years; Katrina, Caela, Nina, Vera, Ben and Annette—the grandkids. Halcyon Days - 2018 Issue 12

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victorgrow -

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After the Nor’easter By Theresa Hickey

Neighbors trudge off against winter’s assault, two miles to the general store for bread and daily news, but there may not be food on shelves if services we take for granted have come to a halt . . . Children join the cavalcade wrapped snuggly in bulky pants, mufflers of variegated yarns, knotted wools; pets, hungry for scraps, come, too. On the road, we jockey for space amid sleds, narrow toboggans. Blizzard snows swoop ‘round us, swirling. The blustery wind inhibits conversation to fits and starts, but we initiate stories about hours it took to trek to chilly classrooms, always open in harsher times than these. We’d watch

TV on one of three networks; rabbit-eared antenna, often failing to beam signals into centered boxes in our parlors. Tonight would be a night we’d gather

with next-door neighbors, chat longer into the night about “the ole days” when a “chicken in every pot” was promised, but not realized by many. We’d continue conversations about those we used to know

who’d moved away for the promise of better jobs or opportunities. Recounting their memories, we’d wonder where they were today. Later, we might rekindle logs to read by, stave off chills beneath layers of blankets, reminisce about the day’s storm because even though lights were out, darkness did not trouble and memories of a bygone time sustained us.

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By Theresa Hickey It was here that . . . friends convened around the table where holiday candles lit the room, where lullabies were sung so many occasions for celebration since you and I were young.

Often we spoke of goals above the clatter of mixing bowls, over heaping plates of salad greens keeping warm by steaming pots of stew that needed cooking for long hours, tough parts becoming tender as they simmered over time. Others, too, shared feasts with us-pots of stock, casseroles that somehow served the overflow when things were lean; neighbors cared for us as well-when one of us was sad or one of us was sick. It was here that . . . nourished bodies thrived camaraderie renewed our minds; as we and children grew we seemed to know that one day, we’d head off in all directions to give and take and feed the hungry with our love.

Subbotina Anna—

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Reverie on Christmas Day By Theresa Hickey

Like scattered bubbles from the whisk of a wand, remembrances of Christmases past come poignantly to mind within iridescent baubles on the tree; rising up like rainbows, they cannot be contained or held within my palms They bear a precious presence-airs of days when we were innocent of life; they speak of what it takes to make Christmas of an indifferent world We did not know then that dreams would last but a moment, evaporate . . . or that others would linger, wallow a bit before they’d float too far above our heads to know their destinations . . . or that some, fondled like these ornaments upon this tree, would become reality It is cathartic looking back at Christmases gone by, to know some dreams were kept to know that some dreams die but no, I will not stay here apart from all the world as time is filled with fleeting moments, fragile like scattered bubbles from the whisk of a wand

Š Jack -

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Early Freeze

By Ann Christine Tabaka Frozen on the vine. Ground hard as rock. November freeze comes early, breathing death on all. Earth still, nature reticent, refuge sought. Promises no longer on the wind. Seasons shifted overnight. Wilted specters of yesterday hang their lifeless heads. Colors drained. Browns and grays win out. Early winter on the cusp, as cold ravages all. Memories whisper in the shadows left behind.


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By Ann Christine Tabaka Navigating fingers work their way over the aches and pains that invade my body. Pressing deep into knotted muscle, releasing fascia, easing tension. Waves of pleasure sweep over me. Soothing music, soft candle glow, gifted hands bestow relaxation. The raging beast, my body, begins to purr. Hour over, I yearn for more, as I lay there in some universe far away, dreaming of the next time. Candles extinguished, music quieted, life returns, but ‌ oh, just a little sweeter!


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by Agnieszka Filipek evening hangs a harp of clouds over the forest the wind tugging at the golden strings

and like a well– rehearsed opera singer the first star appears in the sky striking the highest note

ekim— © Pezibear -

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By Elizabeth Spencer Spragins limbs of long-leaf pine bend and break beneath wet snow— the weight of winter pulls an ornament from ice that sparkles on a lamp post ~Raleigh, North Carolina, USA


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Night Fire

By Elizabeth Spencer Spragins an old moon lingers just above the distant pier between sea and sky weathergleam* holds back the cold until stars don their diamonds ~Annapolis, Maryland, USA * Light or clear sky visible at the horizon


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By Elizabeth Spencer Spragins the glow of street lamps cradles falling flakes of snow on pillows of sleep murmurs drift into the dark so soft so cold so quiet ~Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA


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Snow Globe

by Agnieszka Filipek a roe deer stands alone nibbling moss it has only a piece of the forest around it eternal winter snow falling covering its tiny world snowflakes never melting a moment shimmering with glitter

First published in Ropes Literary Journal


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by Agnieszka Filipek midwinter in the Claddagh Basin whiteness of swans First published in Bonsai Journal


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By Phil Huffy On winter trails yet undisturbed except by small and wild things the snow gleams crystalline and firm as sunshine round bare branches sings. I walk alone with booted step indenting sharply while I tread the pristine surface left despoiled behind me as I move ahead. But snow or mud and boots and such make not one’s only tracks, I know since footprints follow everywhere and mark our presence as we go.

Š silberkorn73 |

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By Phil Huffy gentle housecat lost in deepening snow returns a warrior

Nadezhda Pakhomova—

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The Brightening

By Jessica Van de Kemp Christmas this year is on a Tuesday, the day after the moon, when my father, not much younger than the age his mother was when she passed, puts on a CD of Julie Andrews singing “Patapan.”

Get your drum and play it as you put the angel on the tree, guide of hope, guardian of mystery, from over the white wings comes a light as dim as falling snow. As long as you play, her voice becomes your mother’s voice saying I love you. (In winter, all is dark to accentuate what is bright.)


© Choat -

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By Ann Christine Tabaka Brisk air Static hair Cold fingers Breath lingers Bare trees Dry leaves Filtered sun Autumn done Wind blows Life slows Shadows deep Flowers sleep Seasons shift Snow adrift Skies gray Emotions stray Door closed Question posed End of year Draws near

Leonid Ikan—

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Snuggle into winter’s halcyon moments!

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Profile for Halcyon Magazine

Halcyon Days - Issue 12  

Promoting the beauty of the winter season with poetry from Agnieszka Filipek, Ann Christine Tabaka, Elizabeth Spencer Spragins, Jessica Van...

Halcyon Days - Issue 12  

Promoting the beauty of the winter season with poetry from Agnieszka Filipek, Ann Christine Tabaka, Elizabeth Spencer Spragins, Jessica Van...