From July 2010 to December 2013, the two years following Mark’s stroke and brain surgery, he struggled to regain lost cognitive and physical ground. The hemorrhage occurred in the back of the right hemisphere of the cerebral cortex in an area of the brain that supports eyesight. During the stroke he lost more than half of his field of vision. On the day we figured out that something momentous had occurred and I rushed him to the hospital, he cocked his head to his left side, like a bird, to see the doctor and nurses. We caught the stroke too late so some of the vision loss became permanent. The change in his vision disturbed him most at night when the house turned foreign. Every little object on the floor or crease in a rug transformed into a confusing and dangerous obstacle. Continue reading The year of the fox by Patricia Karamesines
We hit something
she said “a raccoon?”
I said, “opossum.”
I said, “turn around,
let’s turn around.”
and there it was lying in the street
a silhouette of sharp snout and feet
orange on grey on black, the colors fade.
A cat, we hit a cat.
So this is death, bulging, leaking red eyes
protruding from its crushed and swollen head.
so this is death.
I’ve been punished
now to forever drive
and hold a breathe
at every shadow
across the road.
Enoch Thompson is an aspiring poet and storyteller. A grave robber, a pirate, a wizard, an ugly shambling skeleton, he trudges the paths eighteen million other better men have skipped down. Always, as new words become published and new voices shout to be heard, his anxieties grow. He is a modern-day writer and encapsulates all of the insecurities society has placed on the cliched profession.
To see more poetry on WIZ by Enoch, click here.
She spends her afternoons beside the tree,
where Mr. Lizard’s made his home. Last week
she caught him in her mouth, and forcefully,
my husband pried him out. She doesn’t seek
this reptile, or a patterned, scaly prize—
just itches for a thrilling chase. For days
she’s turned into a sphinx. Unblinking eyes,
and breath held in her breast. Her mind’s ablaze
with thoughts of how he was in her possession.
He watches from the wall where he’s protected.
They play their waiting game. No intercession
at dusk is needed. She comes inside dejected,
and marches to the house to scheme and plot.
Tomorrow she will have another shot.
Karen Kelsay, native of Southern California, is the founder and editor of Kelsay Books. Her poetry has been widely published in magazines and journals. Nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, she is also an award winning poet. Her latest full length book, Amytis Leaves Her Garden, was published in 2012, and received the AML award. Karen lives in Hemet, California, with her British husband.
Photo of the poet’s cat, used with permission.
Polar fleece. One of the best. Inventions. Ever.
My admiration for this virtuous fabric prompted me to do a bit of research on it. On Wikipedia, I came across this: “Aaron Feuerstein [inventor] intentionally declined to patent polar fleece, allowing the material to be produced cheaply and widely by many vendors, leading to the material’s quick and wide acceptance.”
What a lovely man for doing this for us.
Until recently, my polar fleece jacket has been out of commission, in need of repair. I’ve been wearing an uncomfortable coat—the shell, actually, from my husband’s coat—made of polyester. The coat is much bigger, heavier, and longer than my fleece jacket but nowhere near as warm. Continue reading Field Notes #13 : Spider in the hand of a goodly snow
Brief moments there, when planets held in sway
A sun, some stars, a rabbit on the lawn;
Lush leaves and seeds which flourished, then were gone
Leaving green, glowing scented scenes of day
To frame each moment worthy of this place
Where memory, like jewels kept in a box,
Or quick and furtive movements of a fox,
Seems fated to disintegrate in place.
For such an errant beauty cannot last
And dark delights will swallow it too soon.
Then thought intrudes on us, and we presume
A little twilight from the recent past
Means nothing—like a rabbit or the moon,
It can’t compare to chaos, wars and doom.
Sally Cook is a widely published poet and painter of Magic Realist paintings, particularly inspired by nature and its vagaries. A five-time nominee for a Pushcart award, in 2007 she was featured poet in The Raintown Review, and received several prizes and honorable mentions in the World Order of Narrative and Formalist Poet’s Contest. An interview and e-book, Measured by Song, are available on-line. Her chapbook, Making Music, is available through Amazon.
Painting by the poet.
How to Train Your Squirrel
to eat from a bowl is not an easy task.
You should choose a color other
than blaze orange, a material besides
plastic. Cajun almonds and salted sesame sticks
placed near the patio door seem to cause
aggression toward what used to be
his playmates in the yard. He chases away
all critters except the Nut Hatch who is able
to fly stealth operations and grab peanuts
without landing completely. Do not wait
until the blinking creature is scratching
at the glass to offer a treat. This reinforces
demanding behavior and does not promote
sharing with friends. Ignore the urge to touch
his patchy grey coat or to open the door
wide enough to permit his entrance.
Photo by A.J. Huffman. Used with permission.
A Dozing Squirrel
full of almonds and sesame sticks, warms
his belly on wood of deck. Spread
like a loaf of homemade bread, his eyes
become commas even as his chest expands,
contracts like a blood pressure pump.
Front paws hang over edge as if more cat
than woodland wanderer, tail curled over his back,
temporarily not twitching in anxiety. I stand
at the window, wait to make sure no injury
is preventing his chaotic, convulsive foraging.
I turn away, distracted. When I return,
seconds later, he is gone.
April Salzano has previously published on small creatures on WIZ. Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry, for which she is seeking a publisher. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, Convergence, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Montucky Review, Visceral Uterus and Salome, Poetry Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. She also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.
Photo by the author.
Flamingos frolic in the surfless still of the sea
side morning’s pastoral. Limbs and feathers
paint a fantastical fan, this stretching before the sun.
The water dopples,
dolloped with pink reflections. A mirror
ed magic, reflexive of another dimension. Alien
in pastel tones of aggressive softness, they
adamantly defend their rights
to this dance.
Photo by LonghornDave via Wikimedia Commons Images.
Dayna Patterson is Poetry Editor at Psaltery & Lyre. For more, and information about where else to find her work, go here.
Photo by JRLibby, 2012 via Wikimedia Commons.