Voice of Eve
ISSUE SEVEN - MAY 2019
Contents Belinda Japhet 4 Dale Champlin 10 Jacqueline De Angelis 16 Janet Rudolph 24 Josslyn Turner 30 Joy Wright 36 Kathleen Wakefield 44 Laura Hiserodt 50 Migs Bravo-Dutt 56 Natalie Dagan 62 Paige Szmodis 68
RC deWinter 78 Sara 86 Storm Shultz 92 Vivian Wagner 96 Yusuf Naâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;im 102
A fine way of looking at things— me observing you kissing me. DUY DOAN BELINDA JAPHET
Our love is a lonely wanderer jettisoned in a cloud of suchness and shuffling, lost in a language that sounds dead to the ears but fills the mouth. Our love is slippery and itchy from the sun. In museums, he never really looks at paintings, he looks at himself looking at painting. There’s a man who keeps flowers along the road. He has a small concrete well and a green bucket tied to a rope he angles and scoops, drawing water, lights plants with a sun kissed glisten. He never asks the flowers if they wonder when the well will dry. The lonely tourist makes a note to look at himself looking at the man watering his flowers. Our lonely wonderer, trapped in a strange city inverts his foot starting a line; that starts a climb that begins with falling…
You rolled me round like a dung beetle or was it me who stumbled out new year’s day with the exoskeletons of gin bottles piercing through plastic bags? I’ve always been a diplomatic politician with nuclear weapons (I lay the bag in a brick cubical because romance makes me feel like a toilet) Just there between the spurs patterned to bud an Amy Winehouse pompadour over my eyes.
About Belinda Japhet
Belinda Japhet is a communications consultant from Tanzania, who is everyday learning that she knows nothing about communicating. Some of her poetry can be found on Transcendence Magazine and the International Young Minds Anthology.
A Memory Tender as Sunburn
All that summer I was a storm brooding on the horizon, too aware of my own unpleasantness. I was eleven, a moist bean in a dry husk. It was so hot that every part of me stuck to another part. Movement was impossible. Wherever I touched squelched molasses, the beach, the water, the humidity-heavy air. A smell of yeast rose up in great dolloppy hills—drumlins they’re called in upstate New York. I was reading Updike. I’m sure that didn’t help my situation. Intermittent rain, sun and silence. I remember spiders took over the boathouse, white-bellied fish rolled on the edge of the dead-quiet lake. The dock needed painting. High-pitched cicadas whined a poor imitation of tinnitus. Mosquitoes, garter snakes, crickets at night. Spitting watermelon seeds brought faint relief. I lay for hours on the raft, lulled by the smell of creosote, the slap of water under the boards.
Desires, Sexual and Otherwise
Love. That word. Once declared, warm honey from the tongue, these many years later taken for granted. You came to me wearing your rhinestone studded stilts so that I wouldn’t need to stoop to kiss your forehead, the tip of your nose. Kiss you I did and more— so many times more. Now you call me sweetie as you loop a wide tie loosely around me, a half-Windsor knot, slipped down and drawn up snug. Do you still desire the rough neck of me, my coarse under, over and through? Do we still sing the same tune, our hearts beating in tandem, night pooling around us like moonlight?
She is a little used-to-begirl more like a woman now or a capsized boat beached on her life’s rocky shore, sticky with resentment. Before this impasse she tried to sell the world one contradiction at a time. It only broke her spirit so she shredded herself to ribbons, hid behind veils of addiction, encased herself in armor of relapse and recovery. Her wall-clock ticks like a metronome, each second repeated. She could care less if she is so over her shithole life, screaming her banshee screams only cockroaches can hear. Their quick dive for cover, her razor-sharp voice howling like a dirty wind, blown up the valley of her skirt sleeves, rivers chanting story after hair-raising story. Sleeping instead of dying, her head buzzes and her restless ribcage constricts. Watery notes burbling indistinguishable as her thoughts, disappearing like stars in daylight. She has such small shoes to fill.
About Dale Champlin
Dale Champlin is an Oregon poet. Her MFA in painting and photography developed her critical eye. Her first chapbook of poetry, Twisted Furniture, was published last year. When she’s not writing poetry, Dale designs books, publicity campaigns, and logos. As a member of the board of the Oregon Poetry Association, she is the editor of the 2017 Verseweavers collection of poetry. Dale is the current director of Conversations With Writers, a monthly presentation by accomplished writers. Dale has poems in Social Justice Poetry, VoiceCatcher, North Coast Squid, Willawaw Journal, and is soon to be published in Moments Before Midnight.
Say It Is
JACQUELINE DE ANGELIS
Say it is your arm down at your side long brown darker in the crook that pulses. Say it is your smile all flush with teeth and openness. It could be about your broad chest or that charming raise of your eyebrows. Or it is none of these. Not the familiar mahogany of your eyes nor the pleasure they take in shadows. Say this is a list of the remarkable I see as I see you hooked to a lazy open summer, bending through the arch of apricot trees.
Psalm for Her Migraines
JACQUELINE DE ANGELIS
Sunlight sears our driveway, robins sever worms on the lawn, the parchment skins of onions curl. On the couch in late afternoon, nothing moves without her. No light planes fly overhead. She rests on the red flesh of a hot water bottle, feet point to ceiling: dog playing dead. Look at her arm draped over her grey eyes, hand flung down, a map rivers blue to the moons of her nails. These are the afternoons that hang from the cross in the family room. Holy Mary, rescue my mother from worry, from fear, from us. We are her problem, she would be fine alone, labeling the fruit jars, perfecting drawers. We are her problem. We keep her hair short. We eat the shortcake.
Holy Mary, rescue my mother, save her from the Andersons, keep her from Sears, make her rhododendrons bloom.
The Way a Day Goes
JACQUELINE DE ANGELIS
Too fast it seems then too slow, I make bread, it rises, there is shaping then more rise and the day fills with desert wind which causes a change of long to short sleeves then short to sleeveless. Eating lunch which is nothing more than leftovers made into a salad and then tea, but which kind? The dogs bark at something that turns out to be those same taupe ground squirrels running from the burrow behind the grape vine bent on torment. And now the California Scrub Jay wants the tube feeder filled so he launches a relentless stream of screech screech screech screech. This isn’t a poem but it is the way a day goes.
About Jacqueline De Angelis
Jacqueline De Angelis is the winner of the Crossing Boundaries Award for innovative and experimental writing and a finalist for both the Emily Dickinson and Allen Ginsberg Awards. She has been published in Agni, International Quarterly, The Patterson Literary Review, and Another City: Writing from Los Angeles, City Lights Press, among other publications.She received her MFA from Bennington College and lives in the Santa Monica Mountains in California, USA.
PHOTO AND POEMS
BY JANET RUDOLPH
As Above So Below
Yes, I believe we are made in god’s image. If god is the wild, passionate, loud, sexual, sizzling, dancing fires of creation. And should I ever forget my fiery, heavenly vision, the sun comes out every day to remind me. And I ask myself, which is more miraculous? Our local star feeding earthly life? Or me, reflecting the sun, feeling the passion, sizzling in response?
Jacob Dreams and So Do We (inspired by Genesis 28:12) JANET RUDOLPH
As darkness slips into light, dawn, with its unique melody, grows brighter. As light slips into darkness, dusk, with its mysterious possibilities, settles softly upon the land. Creation is oneness, but we need duality to experience sex, symphonies, hot fudge sundaes. Creation is pure love, but it is to the passions of the human heart that we owe our earthwalk Dawn and dusk hold open the thresholds of mystery inviting our human hearts to experience . . . The sacred dance where one becomes two becomes three. The sacred song where three becomes two becomes one.
About Janet Rudolph
Janet Rudolph is a twice ordained shaman, the latest as an alaka’i which is a Hawaiian spiritual guide. She has walked this path for over 20 years traveling around the world to learn and experience original teachings from differing cultures. Using a technique she calls “spiritual forensics” which includes cross-cultural explorations and ancient Hebrew translations, she has delved into the Bible’s pagan roots to uncover its hidden magic. She has written three books on the subject of ancient Biblical teachings. One Gods: The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible, When Eve Was a Goddess: A Shamanic Look at the Bible, and When Moses Was a Shaman. Her website is http://mysticpagan.com/.
PHOTO BY JANET RUDOLPH
The English Teacher
Keys clang against my hip as I tread through the halls of Central Valley High. I look like a ghostbuster with the vacuum pack strapped on my back. Perhaps, in a way, that is what I do; bust ghosts of the things students leave behind— candy wrappers, crumpled papers, erasers torn from ends of pencils, discarded onto the classroom floors. There is an English teacher here I think about. The day before last, she sits at her desk as I take the overflowing trash. We talk about college and my dream of getting an English Degree. Now, I expect to see her again when I go to her classroom. It smells like vanilla from the warmer plugged into the wall. I leave a note on her desk: Life is too short to let an opportunity slip by. I leave my number, but she will never call. Required reading left on deserted desktops— Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, and A Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass. A Richard Wright poster in front of me: The impulse to dream was slowly beaten out of me by experience. Now it surged up again and I hungered for books, new ways of looking and seeing. Perhaps, one day, I will be that teacher
who inspires her students to discover new ways of looking and seeing.
The Waitress at Barkin’ Dog Grill
She passes my table once, twice— five times before taking my order. She is the same waitress from last month. Her brown hair was loose from its bun. She had bags under her eyes. She interrupted my gaze of the avocado burger and seasoned fries on the plate by complaining about her sore hand. She said she didn’t want surgery as to not disturb customers with unsightly stitches. A soft-spoken poet carried on in the background under the clinking of glass and utensils. The waitress refilled my ice water, nearly brushing my food with her white sleeve, folded at the wrist. Now I watch her with unbiased attention. As one half of the servers in the restaurant, she moves with the quickness of a hummingbird, dashes from one end of the open kitchen to the other. She may work twelve-hour shifts, hence the loose hair and tired eyes in the final hours, but she manages to hold her character untouched.
About Josslyn Turner
Josslyn Turner is a trans writer, poet, artist, and mother to two boys. She is currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Modesto Junior College. Her literary works have been published in MJC’s Celebration of the Humanities, South 85, Across & Through, and Penumbra. She lives in Modesto, California.
Three Month Freak Out
Hating you for creating this puzzle. Hating me for not knowing how the pieces fit. Interlocking bars, cross-hatched. Coming unhinged. I pace pace, chewing at the lock. Can’t see if you hold the key. I will not ask. Chew. Pace. Growl. Starved. Can’t see behind me the open field. I’d have to turn my back on you. I hate you for mastering this game you say you do not play. I say you invent it. Make-up the rules as you go along. Howling, screeching, glaring, I will not eat the carcass tossed into my cage. A trick. If I taste, I acquiesce – you will see my hunger. Knowing my soft need you will use it against me. Shred by shred as you use my fear of the snare. I bite the hand that passes make-believe answers. Wanting to maul you now for not knowing how the pieces fit. A greater sin than hiding the key. I pace pace. Khaki overalls, zoo keeper you claim to love the ones you cage. Forced breeding for survival – save the species. You admit none of this. Continue to lay out pieces of a puzzle that can’t be solved. I see
have been here before, know the gatekeeper well. If I do not snarl, the cage gets smaller, the puzzle more abstract. You are pacing now, gnawing. Your back against the wall the snare snaps. Somehow it’s you that looks trapped. I wear the khakis. If only I could turn and see the way out.
yellowed and delicate, still fuchsia towards the center a sunset held a decade in a dried forgotten flower pressed, a book of poems read in Mexico when you loved me two little fish swam under me, stuck to the shadow of my belly yellow and black, one small one smaller the sun reddened my back facedown bluetranslucentfortune later, your breath on my belly, two now, two travel between separate homes not knowing about the two in Mexico when we believed in the two of us
Raw red silk like evening sky waiting to be spun woven into yards smooth against a summer cheek tiny woven freshness. Your cock the knife that split me. Surgeon Omnipotent, General surgically removing my future an incision so deep it bleeds monthly. Your scalpel master of the game. When I didn’t cry you sewed my mouth shut with a lollipop. Later mama could play nurse. Tend the wounded in selfless starched white linen tie together a sea of unspun threads. Bathe and feed. Bathe and feed.
About Joy Wright
Joy Wright is a social justice, anti-violence activist, poet, storyteller, essayist, and single queer Mom to two beautiful budding teenagers. She works as a non-profit fundraiser by day, and spends her weekends playing in an all Mom band called the Hot Mamas and driving around Chicagoland not-so-cleverly disguised as a soccer mom. You can see her essays on dating after divorce at http://rebelliousmagazine.com/.
Four geese across the lake stay in formation, a small white water parade you could count on implicitly until one of them took off across the lake by herself, one of the others soon behind her (she seemed female for some reason) as if to bring her back which he did (he seemed male for some reason). I couldn’t forget it because except that there are now only three geese in formation, which bothers me, I think that what I saw was a goose going crazy just like anyone else heading off across the street or field or sidewalk having had enough and wanting out of here period.
A fish flops backward in the lake, or at least it looked like it did. It reminded me of the girl who dove backward over a chair at the Holy Roller Church my mother let me go to. It scared me and I never forgot it. I thought I’d seen the devil. Mormon girls didn’t do that. We just marched down the isle with our tithing pennies, then came back and waited for the sacrament to be passed— ----the bread and water— the sliver of bread delicious.
A Man Walks By Quickly
A man walks by quickly, says hello from the side of his mouth. After he’s gone I try it myself.
About Kathleen Wakefield
Kathleen Wakefield is a songwriter and novelist whose songs have been recorded by Quincy Jones, The Jacksons, Barbra Streisand, The Temptations, Diana Ross, The Supremes, Frank Sinatra, and many others. Her novellas include Snaketown, and In The Foam Of The Blue Waves. She is presently working on a graphic mystery novel, Rosalie On The Mountain.
Myself When I Am Peeled Open
Say that my body// is nothing of substance when it’s ventricles don’t pump juice Like star fruit I am not// enough sustenance. a grapefruit peels in your potpourri I smell as if// my body was a mustang and now it sputters Exhausted pipes the old me with elbow paint and grease Before they got to decide I was a ripe avocado with a permeable shell everything I knew about conversations became a puzzle I what old men keep in their closets I// am sorry
I went rotten before I met you
I Know I Am
I know I am just a girl like this piece of paper but I think I have ideas, sometimes they are needles in my aorta and smell like vinegar on blood stained underpants. I am a girl like a piece of paper with no understanding of the world or anything of any substance, or I’m sure you think I am (and I sure wish you were right.) I may be cold but I have fire like my periods meaning monthly and bloody and clots until my brain becomes cauliflower I flowered at thirteen but learned at eight that men can touch you and sometimes you can’t do anything about it. Fast forward bent over a bed board silent as Christ because he can’t hear you cry. Silence can be so severe it’s tangible-bite it between your teeth to keep from screaming.
About Laura Hiserodt
Laura Hiserodt is a twenty-two-year-old senior at the Colorado University at Boulder. She is majoring in English with a focus on creative writing. Laura is a new to the publication world but has been writing poetry for thirteen years.
And yet my breath is suspended like an early morning dew hanging tenuously on a spider web, waiting for the rustling of leaves that can shake it back to earth. But without the wind, that moment can stretch eternally like years of waiting for you
Your house sat in a corner lot With a solitary tree for a gatepost It bloomed with bell-shaped flowers That fell at the slightest breeze And remained unswept for days We picked some and wore them like gloves And floated around like glamorous ladies But before long you were called in And so we discarded the gloves and ran Past the empty lawn to the double doors Past the drawing room With its weathered sofa And the Singer sewing machine Strewn with fabrics and swatches Past the kitchen and its long table With half-filled glasses and empty dishes Past the narrow corridor and an unlit room That was barred to us earlier Your father, once brilliant, was dying Your mother had tried everything An old man even made an egg Stand on white muslin and gin bottle But miracles were not always sovereign And soon people wept As they carried your father out Your mother now wore a black veil And held your hand as you followed the hearse My mother and I resumed our own journey And life had taken over after that summer Now I see you again after all the years You yourself say this: you are the unhemmed dress That your mother tried to but could not mend
A Not-So-Happy Bee
I saw you flitting from daisies And asters to gerberas Buzzing with what I assumed Was your version of happiness Then you hovered near the French door Of a Barbie dollhouse on the floor You entered without hesitation Floating from one room to the next Your alto drone was soon replaced By a high-pitched buzz Perhaps by then you had realized There were no real flowers inside Moments later, two hands grabbed And bubble wrapped the dollhouse Outside, the daisies’ shadow retreated A moving van started revving up
About Migs Bravo-Dutt
Migs Bravo-Dutt has been published across countries, regions, and cultures. Her short fiction has appeared in 22 New Asian Short Stories 2016 and The Best Asian Short Stories 2018. She has co-edited Get Lucky: An Anthology of Philippine and Singapore Writings, a Singapore Writers Festival bestseller in 2015. Migs has contributed poetry to SingPoWriMo; From Walden To Woodlands; Ceriph Literary Journal; My Lot is a Sky; and Anima Methodi (Singapore). Her two poems appeared recently in Issue 7 of TAYO Literary Magazine (2018, USA). She has also written for Royal Bhutan Druk Air’s Tashi Delek and other travel guides and newsletters.
Press the fork against her swirling lips. Cloud eyes wander the white-washed bedroom, spotted brown with boxes. No trespassing, they said, yet the door creaks in welcome and the rumble of trucks serenades her dinner.
Twinkling lights shudder against the window. A broken couch acts as a bed. Bloated stomachs gurgle around tiny ribs. Infants weeps into the arms of their hunger.
Smog clouds my fingertips as I search the ground for memories. It scatters away to flustered little mice, seesawing through earth. Push against the pedal before the trees begin to wilt sordid tears.
About Natalie Dagan
Natalie J. Dagan lives in Boulder, Colorado and is double majoring in English and Psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She hopes to be both an accomplished author as well as an advocate for survivors of rape and sexual assault. Her short story, Pixie Voices, has appeared in Gravel Literary Magazine. She has a variety of animals that she loves with all her heart, including a Belgian Malinois, two Siberian Huskies, a cat, and a guinea pig.
I used to ring a wide brass bell, the size of a cow’s head, hanging on a tall flag pole near the entrance of my greatgrandmother’s farm house. Alexis and Brooke and I took turns, small hands grasping rough frayed rope, feet momentarily soaring in air, our whole body weight suspended to chime— its deep voice echoing across the hill, resounding around barns, garages, rusted tractors, the summer kitchen, down to empty cattle fields. I wonder if if if if
the roosters would sing along, the cows hummed while munching on long grass, frogs splashed cadences in the creek, the bronze pots and pitchers clanged together in the kitchen’s wallpaper.
Did the ringing startle the deer nibbling raspberries in the woods? Or wake the foxes sleeping among rusted cars in the junk yard? Did our ringing penetrate the home’s stone exterior? Where Gram would be hunched over the kitchen sink— maybe she grinned while watching us fight in the grass over who got to ring the bell, to rouse the ghosts of long-gone livestock, and greet her.
Spiderwebs catch only my cloudy grey eyes and slinking sunset rays creeping up the wall to the highest corner of the room no woman could reach I’ve spun you into an arachnid not so you could stretch to tear down the transparent threads but so you can build tapestries of sticky stitches and dust and bugs so beautiful in asymmetry and imperfection that women will lay down their broomsticks and soap buckets and stop cleaning up after other people’s messes They’ll follow your web through the window into the towering tree branches Watching webs flicker in the wind and catch dew drops will remind us of how we’ve been bruised and convince us to never stick around to collect someone else’s tempest tears before our own Your web will silently stretch over tree bark and grass roots and rock ledges in creek beds and we women will keep weaving the world We refuse to continue collecting dust
We’ll balance precariously beside you on your trembling threads and stitch together our lives through unspoken words woven like sweaters and chainmail and blankets and baskets and your transparent tapestries dangling from high ceiling corners Our threaded fingers interlaced like knots in tree roots ripping through the concrete walls
For H.D. “O, give me burning blue.” – H.D. PAIGE SZMODIS
Yes, I know her duality, this double nostalgia for the pulse of Bethlehem, burning blue where she was born a Moravian, where Grandma led me to the library on scorching sapphire summer days, I saw her name, an enigmatic H.D. first from that blue and gold landmark. I didn’t know we would both turn out to be poets. We are entangled in the plaza bricks outside the library, where I learned to read in the zen garden’s sand and smooth stones, skipping along shaded paths. We’re the rough brown rocks glued into the tall wall surrounding the plaza where I would perch, overlooking the city’s grated bridges arching over our gray-blue river with scattered seashells on its sandy narrow island and murky canal where the rusted steel plant somehow looks small, surrounded by rising rows of stacked townhomes
coating the rolling hills, shrinking in the distance. Will I stay on this outpost, a foreigner? Or will I travel like her? to Greenwich Village, London, Greece, Egypt, Switzerland. Will I still see the steel stacks from that distance? Burning blue under their summer spotlights. Will she always be just a fragment to me? A small blue sign burning curiosities on the street, an alternate life I can’t quite make out like the hazy glow of streetlights and smeared shadows of the steel stacks. I want to burn eternal like those furnaces, blue like the Lehigh river, refracting light in the prisms of a frosted Moravian star.
About Paige Szmodis
Paige Szmodis is a writer and editor from Bethlehem, PA and recent graduate from Ursinus College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Gender & Women’s Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. Her work has previously been published in Ursinus’s literary magazine, The Lantern, The Sigma Tau Delta Review, and Oyster River Pages.
i dance lithe and sinuous eyes flashing from behind translucent veils to unheard music watch close and you will catch the beat but not the tune you don’t need notes to decipher my performance in the end is not it all about the rhythm? the drum the clock the tide the heart and bodies keeping time in and out back and forth up and down tympani echo tolling the hour saltsea cymbals red river running louder faster deeper until it all explodes in furious confetti burying all but the sweating twitching flesh
Deliverance from Evil
I remember the first time. Your fur, a jungle camouflaging a lifetime of scars for which there is no redemption, scraped a harsh adagio against my hermit’s flesh unused to skin on skin. I didn’t care. I forgot to remove my jewels. Their facets cut our skin; we bled into each other, scarlet rivers soaking soul and body, staining all our secret fault lines with the indelible fluid of intimacy. I remember your rough tongue lapping the blood as if it were the water of salvation, still seeking that forgiveness not forthcoming. You kissed my lips to poppies whose bitter juice delivered us to death. I forgot to wake in time to see you go. You left me nothing but the feral-scented sheets under which we wove dark magick; my jewels glittered, meaningless, against my bloodied hide.
I remember the first time. It was the only time, and I a sacrifice unworthy of the god. I taste the blood, now dried and cracked, harsh scabs of memory upon my tongue. I do not care. I lift the flask and wash them down, the water of salvation fresh and sweet.
succotash at 4 am and ginger beer eyes so heavylidded they want to close and you a world away having food prepared for you and what to do about you you ask and no what to do about you i say in a place full of signs and symbols where you stand out like a warning flag on a too tall pole in an undulating wave of ants chewing a lip and biting my nails instead of eating this glaucous mess green and yellow cooling in a cheap white bowl and speaking poetry extemporaneously while i talk to you and maybe breaking old plates instead of undressing you and kissing every square inch of
About RC deWinter
RC deWinter’s poetry has been anthologized in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), and featured in print in 2River View, Pink Panther Magazine, Another Sun, Plum Ruby Review and in numerous online publications. Down in the Dirt will feature two pieces in its Jan/ Feb 2019 print edition.
Far Side of Town
When I was young I was told the Southside was where it’s considered poor, lonely. Driving through, faces pressed against the glass. Run down library, beat up gas station. Wait. Stop. A small little girl with pink cheeks and blue eyes just like me. She plays in the yard with those children so different from myself where houses are crammed together, not like the wide cornfield across from where I live. Is this how it always is? Loud shouts and crying people? Emotions scattered like lost pennies to lose yourself in public like that feelings I saved for when I was alone? What must that be like?
Instead of pretending they lay it all out.
Sara is a sixteen year old from the East Coast. She loves reading and writing, especially poetry, and this is one of her first submissions.
Embers used to burn in her stomach, hot. sinful. determined. But the fire has been doused, now all that is left is a lump of coal. Steel used to hold up her frame, cold. unforgiving. strong. But the metal has been warped, now she collapses at the slightest pressure. Ideas used to sing in her mind, loud. salacious. bright. But the images have been hushed, now all that is left is shadows. Words used to give her power, quiet. truthful. sharp. But the weapons have been dulled, now she loses all of her battles.
About Storm Shultz
Storm Shultz is an undergraduate English major at Eastern Kentucky University. She plans on pursuing her MFA degree after completing her BA at EKU. Storm has been telling stories since she was a wee child and has finally built up enough courage to submit her work, a feat of which she is proud.
My mother came to me in sunlight after she died, and she still lives there, in that haunted spectrum from star to moon, lamp to cat’s eye, where she finds a flickering, eternal voice.
The veil’s thin between then and now, there and here. The cooling mornings speak of coming winter, even as we remember a summer just past. Leaves color but don’t yet fall. Walnuts ripen but don’t yet rot. We’re on the edge, as we always were, but now, finally, we see it.
Self-Portrait as Picasso Painting
After a long schoolday, my eyes are crooked, one above the other, my nose feels bulbous, falling-off, my hair’s green, my lips yellow, and altogether I don’t fit my own skin.
About Vivian Wagner
Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University. She’s the author of Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington), The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), and Curiosities (Unsolicited Press).
*We Have Come This Far*
What a millennia grace: To sit under a scorching roof, With black and white skins, Where we glance at white papers To feed our minds. What an endless time, An expedition with theories and law, With the destination looking So rough and far. Alas, it’s now in sight What a moment we rid of, From our paradoxical thought, That we will stay for life. Nay, it’s an expedition like a fly life, That ends with just clap of hands. We have come this far; Some will stick to other, Like a buck stick to doe. But some will never meet, Like a night and day. So much we savour this moment Before the journey ends.
*The Seas Are On Fire*
The seas are on fire, The trees are crying, The once dry land Is flooding with Water. The seas are on fire, The sun cools the Skin, like a balm On the open wound. The seas are on fire, The morning dews Send some hot Clays, like a Bomb in Hiroshima. The seas are on fire, The lands hold not Beautiful houses, But beautifully crafted graves. The seas are on fire, The red blood litters the Dry burning sea, And leaves the land to House more graves. The seas are on fire! But human watch, The gods fold arm, The trees confuse,
Animals stand still And watch the seas On fire.
About Yusuf Na’im
“I am Yusuf Na’im Olatunde from Nigeria. Though a student of human physiology in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, I love art especially poetry. I want my voice to give hope to humanity.”
Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed this month’s collection of poetry from these talented poets. You can find more issues of Voice of Eve on our website www.voiceofeve.net. We would also love to hear from you, the reader, at our email address email@example.com. Thank you again, and blessings to you from our staff. Richard Holleman Editor, Voice of Eve Staff Sarah Rodriguez, Editor