Voice of Eve Issue 13

Page 1

Voice of Eve ISSUE 13 - MAY 31, 2019

Contents Betty Lipton 4 Cynthia Yatchman (art) 10 Erin Hansbrough 18 Jakky Bankong-Obi 24 Joann Renee Boswell 30 Julie Weiss 38 Linda Magilton Lange 46 Lydia Sizemore 50 Mary McKeel 58 Mary Shanley 66 McKenzie Teter 72

Stefanie Stewart 78 Toni La Ree Bennett 86 Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb 94





The grains of sand loiter like the drifters at the beach. Beggars with feathers take wing to find their own fish. Men hang around on benches asking for quarters and then falling asleep. The old women make me weep, sitting and staring in their worn-out clothes. Being told to move on, don’t defame the park. Not knowing where to go pushing possessions around in a discarded cart. While the feathered beggars mess up the boardwalk. The water should wash all that is wrong away. But the men and now women will still sit there. Will I be them in five or ten years? The grains of sand loiter like the drifters at the beach.

By the Creek


I lay by the creek and wondered what a woman in love felt, but as a child had no idea what he desired and quickly ran away. Emotions shut down for all those years, distrusting touch and professions of love. I sat by the creek and fell apart. The tiny turtles at my feet more friends than girls who thought me strange seeking solace in rhymes about worldwide discord. The creek held my tears. The button on my shirt simply read stop-stop bullying, stop wars, stop women being whores. I stood by the creek and imagined being heard.

About Betty Lipton

Betty Lipton was born in Washington, D.C., and lived in the metropolitan a about memoirs and the environment.

area for many years. She now lives in Florida and writes poems and shorts


About Cynthia Yatchman

Cynthia Yatchman is a Seattle based artist and art instructor. She teaches a her B.F.A. in painting from the University of Washington. Her works are h nationally in California, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon shows at Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Shoreline Communit Cascadia Art Museums and the Seattle Pacific Science Center.

all mediums to children, adults and families. A former ceramicist, she received housed in numerous public and private collections and have been shown n and Wyoming. She has exhibited extensively in the northwest, including ty College, the Tacoma and Seattle Convention Centers, The Bellevue and



The Desolate Sentinel


It hasn’t rained in days. The golden grains drift in puffs From the sand dunes And I wait, staring up at the sky For a wisp of cloud or a flying beast To bring me word of water. Even the cacti, once red, once green, Are turning dry, brittle, dying in the desert heat And when they fall, Billowing great clouds of dust, There will be no hope Or cool, dark shade left. And I could escape, Fly away to the ocean and never return, But this is my home And I won’t ever desert The wide open sky and warm, sleepy stones. Perhaps the sun glares too bright now Or the heat bears down like burning sagebrush, But I will always love this yellow, arid land And maybe it will rain tomorrow.

Soul of the Universe


It walks the endless void, Traverses the blackness Where it was born from silence And starlight several eons ago. Sometimes it stretches out its ember fingers And touches stars, sets planets in motion. It’s fathomless, bigger than galaxies, Swirling with the blue-green-purple dust of the aether. The blood of novas flows through its veins And its eyes shine with wonder As nebulas form, bringing the beginning Of worlds to life. This being is not kind, not violent, It is simply a cycle; creation and destruction, Outer space oceans rising and falling. It grasps all of time in its hands And we can’t understand its great, slow thoughts. It walks the crumbling asteroid belts and It’s never forgot since the start of everything How to sing of black holes and solar systems And star whales being born. It sounds like death And life, which are the same thing out in the emptiness. It is profound, this being, And it is the soul of the universe.

About Erin Hansbrough

Erin Hansbrough is an 18 year old poet from Southwest Virginia. Several of her poems have been chosen for publication in Cicada Magazine and Girls Ri drinking copious amounts of tea.

f her poems have been featured in her school’s literary magazine and two of ight the World. She enjoys writing about nature, sketching her friends, and





Don’t tell your daughters “To slow down and not run too fast Because they are not boys” Teach them instead To be what they really are; Gazelles, lithe and swift Running with wolves In this living jungle.

Night After Night


Night after nights, We dream in a language That is solely ours And find answers for questions like; What happens after heartbreak? And also come to know that day and night Is how life makes time. Only to wake up Drunk on the dregs of a forgotten dream Maybe one day, We will see upon waking That all love is simple weary longing That must come back to itself Maybe then our hearts Will become the lamps that guide us home Maybe then, These nightly deaths will finally make sense



Heartbreak isn’t always about Crying rivers of tears Or pinning till the flesh fades From your bones Sometimes, Heartbreak is letting your hair grow out And stretching yourself so far That the warrior in you emerges

About Jakky Bankong-Obi

Jakky Bankong-Obi is a Media Consultant with several years of experience in Human Resources, Publishing and Development. Jakky lives in Abuja, Nigeria, where she enjoys going on long walks, doing yoga and dabbling in Nature Photography. Her poems have been published by the London Grip.





cultivated in wooded wilds rural Oregon— naturally bleached strawberry blonde sparking gold in auspicious ambience, profusion of alabaster shoulders bared, emerald flashing captive gaze— bring me back with you, find a chapter bookmark me inside wrap my short-lived essence virginal vellum sanctuary enfold fiercely for future musing moments past press me like a flower in your book— arms as cover, body as back, elbows make binding— preserve me just so, as I am now



transitions dictate unease even good ones, like this: friends and family polka dotting my sister’s property awaiting my entrance Alexi descends, blankets ears alludes orange sky that will serve backdrop to our reception duet crooning sunset lullaby after cake and toast rain, dressed in finest sea mist, fashionably late, invitation in hand arrives on the downbeat stays the length of the aisle punctuated by my groom all else fades — foggy peripheral haze — cliché connection crystallizes calm in your eyes, rom-com ending unexpected Hollywood perfection joined, we revel whirlwind of well wishing flickering final light farewells white dress floods passenger seat we’re off! highway 26 flies haunted hotel honeymoon night one, upgraded corner king

new name nerves pair with leftovers and you—shy smiles linger seal our vows, shared bed serenade



frazzled, I rotate in a lazy spiral peripheral peering down aisles, past clerks, under displays, around customers deaf to conversation in the vacuum of barycenter my space extended, including extra satellite appendages whirling geocentrically unaware, trajectories toward oranges sure to tumble and plummet as my children’s paths collide, smashing strangers and fruit in their youngling epicycles making me ponder, is this how our sun feels? her planet babies bashing meteors into pebbles Sun sends out thousands of celestial apology notes to Mother Ceres nesting in the asteroid belt, weeping descendants daily, while the epicenter of their elliptical route rotates in abashed exhaustion reach out of my wobbly, constantly changing point of balance to admonish, apologize, hush applying torque from my central mass, attempting retrograde geodesic gravity on my little people — spinning bodies moving at dizzyingly inconstant speeds away until axial precession prevails, twisting them relatively home to perihelion proximity — to me occasionally their revolutions are less offensive whimsical, entertaining, even adorable coffee shop queue circling me in rapid orbits zooming around my skirt humming the Planetarium theme from La La Land, onlookers admiring, even jealous

reminding me that these prodigies are not fixed points, but ever leapfrogging progressions who will someday reach escape velocity breaking beyond aphelion to independence from me

About Joann Renee Boswell

Joann Renee Boswell is a teacher, mother, photographer and poet currently living in Camas, WA with her spouse and three children. She attended George Fox University where she received a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Theatre, Music, and Writing/Literature and a MAT. Before having children, Joann taught and directed high school theatre in Washington state. Joann loves rainy days filled with coffee, books, handholding, moody music and sci-fi shows. She’s been published in Untold Volumes and Wineskin, and has been featured on the Quaker Poets Read podcast.



Birthday Present


I wanted to give you something beautiful, something that would fit in the palm of your hand, something to worry over when misfortune struck or slip under your pillow before disappearing into a labyrinth of dreams. Once, when your body still melted to glow at the slightest stroke of my fingers, I gave you a moonstone, washed smooth, I said, by the ebb and flow of my love. In the beginning, there was this, earthly treasures wrapped in tissue paper or slivers of silk, poetry exchanged in the places we opened to each other, the giant maple outside your bedroom trembling against the glass. We switched off all your clocks hoping to halt time, but time sent you spiraling out of my embrace, anyway. Little by little, your presents became predictable then sporadic then hypothetical; little by little you started burrowing into the shadows of the night while I lay awake beside you, staring out the window, searching for a sign, a flash of light that might give shape to your silences. I thought that by unfurling the layers

of the universe, I would find all your unspoken words floating amongst the stars, like cosmic dust. As you shifted under the sheets, lips pressed, brow knit into a calligraphy I couldn´t understand, I would hold my breath and listen to the sky exhaling a million glittering wishes. So many times, I wanted to sway you out of slumber, cup your face and say, look: my love, illuminating the whole of the earth. So many times, I cried myself to sleep. It was your birthday and I wanted to give you something beautiful, something that would symbolize the tide breaking against my heart, something to light your way back into my embrace, a treasure swept onto the shore where we met, where I saw you placing a glimmer of moonstones in her outstretched hands.

About Julie Weiss

Julie Weiss received her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Spain in 2001 and never looked back. She works as an English teacher from daughter, and 1-year-old son. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Laven Sky Island Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and Barren Magazine, among others. You

m SJSU. She´s a 44-year-old ex-pat from Foster City, California, who moved to m her home in Guadalajara, Spain, where she lives with her wife, 4-year-old nder Review, Sinister Wisdom, The American Journal of Poetry, Santa Clara Review, u can follow her on Twitter @colourofpoetry.



Window Tree


This is my window tree ----A place where Mother Nature comes to sit; to admire her tree and caress its leaves. Today She must have been picking red berries.



Words, scribbled on paper are dropped into a pail of water. The liquid softens and pulls; coaxing each word off the page. Detached, they coil through the water and disappear. Hidden, but not forgotten. Brushes, full of hopeful intent, are dipped into the word bath where bristles siphon meaning and the liquid restores color. Trusting that ultramarine, crimson and new gamboge will bring expression to concerns too deep for words; comfort in the midst of pain and joy.

About Linda Magilton Lange

Linda Magilton Lange received her BA in Art Education from the University Art for 32 years in the St. Louis area and now spends her time painting, wr sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

y of Iowa and her MAT Degree from Webster University in St. Louis. She taught riting, and volunteering in her church. Linda and her husband, Jim, have two





Years ago, I began constructing a labyrinth around myself. I knew it must be elaborate and impossible to navigate and I knew I had started before I realized what I began. It was built from soapstone and iron with a narrow brick path that changed with the hinges I drilled into the hidden doorways in the walls. I spread colorful thumbtacks across the ground and through the spiderwebbed passageways and froze water in each crossroads. Then I thought that maybe it wouldn’t be enough and I dug a moat around that and filled it in with a mix of corn syrup and blue and red food coloring. I found a kind of jellyfish that said they enjoyed swimming in corn syrup and asked them if they would make their home inside the moat. Of course, then there needed to be something to stop the pole vaulters, so I poured some quicksand between the labyrinth walls and the moat so they would get stuck when they landed on my side of the syrup.

I thought to myself: “This makes sense.” Despite my best efforts, I was not great at construction and I forgot to take catapults into consideration.



Just another night to watch the streetlights flicker. At one o’clock in the morning, the city is burning white. Pinpricks and smudges of bright, scattered cries and snickers. We wait for the horizon to smirk with the sun’s light. We count horns and sirens and the moon’s phases decreed. Luna knows the value of her place in the sky and her fight. She knows the ocean waves, she knows we long to be freed. But can she find us through the skyscrapers and the darkening humanity? Are we loud enough yet? Can she still see? We cut our teeth on blackened lampposts, sharpening Our claws by the sidewalk, drawing lines through the small Children’s pastel chalk portraits, laid out and ravening. No one likes a dark night tainted with shrieking bawls, Punctuated by boots on pavement, running from the menace Of our grizzled faces and the dead rats we won in a brawl. If you feel someone behind you in the shadows, don’t be reckless. We don’t need to chase, we live between patience and deception. What we learn from our city has come in troves. All is restless. It’s hard to run when the city is made of concrete and desolation.

Reclaimed Wood: A Biography


First, a sapling Second, a tree Third, a goliath Fourth, a swing Fifth… The roots screamed in a lightning storm. “TIMBER!” We sit around growth rings frozen in a dining room table sharing stories of childhood before our teeth had even grown, before we learned there were no lost princesses, no dragons to slay and realized none of us wanted to be president. When we claimed our favorite swinging tree and measured ourselves by its branches. We vowed we would not stop growing until we reached the highest limbs. New leaves, red leaves, falling leaves, no leaves. Our protector from imaginary foes, the fortress that guarded us from the elements and ogres.

A chainsaw, sandpaper, a few screws and bolts growth rings turn into coffee rings, a meeting place, a home.

About Lydia Sizemore

Lydia Sizemore is a fiction writer and poet. She has been an English teacher in China, a rock climbing instructor in Colorado, and a farm hand in Kentucky. Currently, she lives on a sheep farm with a horse, seven sheep, and a puppy and is a student in the professional fiction writing program at the University of Denver. Her previous two short stories were published in Junto Magazine and her poem “Farm Hand” is now available in the current issue of Mistake House.





Saudade (n.) a nostalgic longing to be near again to something, or someone that is distant, or that has been loved and then lost; “the love that remains”. I want the tide to come back in, And bring you back, But the stars are guiding you In another direction. Some wear a locket with a picture inside. I wear the sand dollar I picked up in the sand On a piece of twine around my neck. Your face is in my mind’s eye. Memories can be wasteful, But please understand if I remember. My spirit will never again know Such comfort, or such hope.

Red Bud


Everything you need Is right there, Ready for you to gather it In your hands. The red bud, wisteria And the dandelion Can all become sweet preserves? If you know how to use them. The sunlight shining Through the finished jars Makes stained glass colors On the counter. You find that you always Want to be like this, Creating from what is at hand, Self-sufficient and clean.

Little Houses


I remember, back in third grade, I was small, and some of the black girls with me and fix my hair, like I was their little doll. There was a boy who taunting us, circling us, setting us apart for life. Later, my father, when w about those worse off, said, “I can show you where they have to live.” I k meant immediately. Hiding in the shadows, under the wet leaves of negle their bones break. There is no remedy when those safe in the garden refu Decorum was all surface. Truth be told, the façade never really hid what w souls.

liked to play came around, we were talking knew what he ect, ghosts feel use to see. was in people’s

About Mary McKeel

Mary McKeel graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hi Panoplyzine, and The Common Ground Review.

ill. Her poems have appeared in several print and online journals, including



A Woman A Man A Woman A Man


Julie had a swinging, red pompadour, finely chisled facial features, and, when she wore her black leather jacket, she looked like a cross between an aristocrat and a punk. Julie was a nervy flirt. And I, who had just come out As a lesbian five minutes ago, was in love with her. She was writing the great lesbian romance novel, while living off her inheritance at the Martha Washington Hotel. Monday evenings, Julie and I went dancing at Heartbreak, a fabulous club on Seventh Avenue South; but when her butch girlfriend, Nita arrived, Julie, invariably, gave me the slip. Not being one to learn lessons easily, I went dancing with Julie every Monday night, always hoping she would invite me home with her, but when Nita arrived, Julie gave me the boot. Julie went through all her money, never got a book deal and moved back to the Hamptons. And now, fifteen years later, I hear my name being called at the subway on Twelfth Street. I turned around and there was Julie, the brand new man, with a five o’clock shadow, a penis and no boobs. Julie, who now calls himself, Nick, began to flirt with me, but I played it cool, and invited Nick to the café, where we drank multiple cups of coffee and I plied Nick with questions about the details involved in making such a radical decision. His answers were vague, for instance,

he said, “My body made the decision for me.” or, “I think I always knew that I was born in the wrong body” I finally asked him, “So, what’s your downtown equipment like?” He replied, “How badly do you want to know?” “Not that badly, Nick,” and I’ve been dodging him ever since. Shortly after running into Nick, Nita came over to say hello to me in the Grounded Café. “So how you doin?” she asked. “I’m O.K. How about you?” “I’m changing,” she said. “Well, we’re always changing, Nita.” “NO, she said emphatically. I’m changing. “Ohhh, you’re changing. “Yeah, I’m changing.” Nita is making the change her former Elvis pompadour lover made. Nita will soon be a man. His new name is going to be Michangelo. I wasn’t very surprised by Nita’s news, nor was I uncomfortable around her. Three months later, we met in the Village and he told me he’d had the surgery. Huh, I thought, there isn’t much of a difference between butch Nita and Michaelangelo, the new man. Michaelangelo’s entire family is from Puerto Rico and they can’t accept Michaelangelo for who he is now; and when someone in his neighborhood discovered Michaelangelo’s secret, he beat him bloody and trashed his car. Michaelangelo had to move to another area, and now, he only goes out to work and immediately drives home. He doesn’t socialize; he’s too afraid of the violence. My heart breaks for him, as he has always been a beautiful person, with so much love to share. May his day come.

About Mary Shanley

Mary Shanley is a poet/storyteller living in New York City. She has had fou online journals. Mary Shanley was The Featured Poet on WBAI Radio, NYC

ur books of poetry and short stories published and is a frequent contributor to and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.



Death in the Afternoon


Hemingway couldn’t beat it The words pumped in his veins And gathered in his head But wouldn’t pour out his fingers So he blew them all over the walls At the age of 61 Gave his art his heart But couldn’t make it love him back The sun sets But it also rises Death in the afternoon, On a Sunday no less, The worst kind.



Swimming stupidly in circles The koi do not seem to mind There is water There is food That is enough This pond will never grow any bigger There will never be anything new to discover But yet The koi do not seem to mind The sameness they live in Or the sameness they are fed Today as the day before And before And before There will never be anything new to discover This pond will never grow any bigger That is enough There is food There is water The koi do not seem to mind Swimming stupidly in circles

Saying No


I have to practice. The single syllable sticks in my mouth and dries into webs– thicker than the situations I let myself get tangled in. No, I don’t want another drink. No, I can do it. No, my friends are waiting. No, thank you. No. These are fragile times where silence can be more violent than the ground splitting under my feet. And the word that was the foundation of my voice seems to have slipped away between those cracks. They say that all a baby can say during the terrible twos is no. I wish I had a terrible twelves, and seventeens and twenty-threes. I practice in the mirror– forming o’s with my lips and forcing out the sound, long and low until I know I have it right. It feels foreign to do what I want but I will pull at every web like a clown pulls endless cloth from his throat until I am empty.

About McKenzie Teter

McKenzie Teter is an MFA candidate at the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a focus in poetry. She has had work published in magazines such as Her Heart Poetry and The Italian Americana Review. She also self-published a collection of poetry titled Dirty Soul in May of 2018.



Alone, My Own


Does a star ripped from the pattern of its constellation shine brighter or more dimly standing there alone? A lonely star garners more attention but less admiration.

Does a guppy in his own tank feel more grand with a bowl to himself or would he feel more worthy lost in a vast aquarium? In an aquarium he must share attention, but more will come to admire hi Does a lone voice sing a crisper serenade or is it left dry and bare stripped from the chorus? Standing on its own breath, it can climb higher and fall further. I shine and swim and sing alone; I go dim, sink down, fall flat and sharp, but when I gleam, the light is my own; if I crest a wave, my own limbs carry me; and when I sing my heart, the voice is mine. At last, alone, I am my own.


My Plan


If I could keep you here with words, I would stack them to the ceiling and back. If I could stop your feet with sighing, I would blow them back with all my breath. If I could hem you in with kisses, I would weigh you down with their abundance. If my hands could keep yours from the door, they would grasp you in un-slackening greed. If I could keep you here all night; if I could keep you all my life; if my darling I could truly have you, then no thing would be worth having again.



Open up, fingers wide; let me put my self inside. Hold it safe, hold it tight; cover it, smother it, blocking all light. Stop up my breath so nothing escapes; any fissure between us widens and gapes. Cling and clasp and clutch and clamp; shut out the empty, the pit, the damp. I want to know the enclosure of secure desperation, of relief and panic in each exhalation, terrified that I will never feel so safe as now, comforted by the loss that would lose every bit of me.

About Stefanie Stewart

Stefanie is a baker, writer, and comedian. Writing and standup allow her t next chapter of her life, but she can’t stop rewriting it.

to explore her lesbian identity and love of puns. She is looking forward to the



Marriage Contract (fill in the blanks)


With the prior approval of first party__________ my father second party is hereby transferred to a third party__________ my new husband who has the power to issue permits__________ and regulate my everyday life as he sees fit responsible for the study__________ of my every action and systematic investigation__________ of diaries, letters, and phone calls subject to the terms and conditions__________ of his own code of conduct without the prior written consent of__________ me or my future children. Introduction of a party that was not initially one of the parties__________ will not be tolerated without rep Gross negligence or willful misconduct__________ may be experienced on a regular basis. The third party makes no representations on their fitness for a particular purpose__________ so there’s no point in complaining. The third party shall be liable for damages__________ but will never be responsible for them. A fee may be levied__________ for which I will pay the rest of my life, if third party is unable to acquire any and all intellectual property rights_____ i.e., my brain as well as body belongs to

The contract shall be final and binding__________ until third party reserves the right to terminate the agreement__________ until he gets tired of me. The source must be acknowledged in any publications.__________ (Someday I will write about this.)

_ prisals.



______ o him.

_ .

Avian Eve

(for the Chatham Island Black Robin) TONI LA REE BENNETT

Hoarded like a handful of coins, the last four desperate males spent themselves heroically, but when all was said and done it came down to one it was that close, that screeching halt on the cliff of extinction; all their descendants the children of one — one black-eyed visionary holding the future in her belly.

Ode to a Visor


Under its brim, my eyes are protected plump secrets shaded; this necessary appendage, this fabric blockade, stripped down gladiator helm, badge of retirement, golf courses and Tahiti, sign of anonymous ancienne goes before me daring predators to recede, preceding my face, clearing a way for me, claiming a space. O gallant visor— Be not a cause for shame; Be not a cause for separation and premature abdication of connection, but provide me such a shelter that will repel only that which will harm antidote for hyperesphesia leave me not naked; face the world first so that I come after. O thou intermediary object— with you I can face it all so shaded.

Protect me but leave me open. With you leading, I will follow— But you go first.

About Toni La Ree Bennett

Toni La Ree Bennett’s verbal and visual work has appeared in Gold Man Review, Gravel, Poemmemoirstory, Puerto del Sol, Hawaii Pacific Review, december, and Memoir among other publications. She is also a photographer and lives with a flock of feisty finches. Photography can be seen at tonibennett.com.



Blackened Lullaby


Why do you spirits of fire always rage—wild and angry? Lie down, lie down, fury flames; slip back into ash-filled sleep until another sunrise when bloodblue breath of wind flapping around this wretched, weary ground awakens whatever wonder you are, a dawning yawn above amber hills scorched and smoky, steamy and dreaming of blessed burning, phantoms of what we always think we can tame but never tenderly touch.

The Days You Have to Love Someone


The days you have to love someone are not endless. It’s hard to know this when you have shared over half your life with someone; patterns of intimacy continue to weave deception. And for the young, restriction of lifetime is unacceptable to newly connecting neurons that form foundations for survival— hope, the expectation of forever. How dream if death defines your days?

In Essence


Yes, it is true—one day you will go the same way as all the others in the end, but it will be all right because when you were here, you spent your mind generously and wisely; it’s a matter of time, you know, until the whispering world wraps around what is essentially you and awakens yourself somewhere else, and the earth remembers only the shadow of your soul.

About Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb

Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb’s work has appeared in About Place Journal, Clockhouse, AJN: American Journal of Nursing, Medical Literary Messenger, Hamilton Stone Review, the Jungian journal Depth Insights, Earth’s Daughters, Watershed Review, CHEST Journal, Terrain.org, and others, with work forthcoming in Front Range Review, Weber--The Contemporary West, and others. Her work received Honorable Mentions in 2016 from both Port Yonder Press and Erbacce Press. She has been an educator, a researcher, and an editor, and is co-founder of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit natural history press.

Thank You

Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed this collection of poetry from these talented poets. You can find more issues of Voice of Eve on our website www.voiceofeve.net or on Issuu. We would also love to hear from you, the reader, at our email address contact@voiceofeve.net. Thank you again, and blessings to you from our staff. Richard Holleman Editor, Voice of Eve Staff Sarah Rodriguez, Editor