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
After a slow start to Wilderness Interface Zone’s Love of Nature Nature of Love Month, we’re opening our LONNOL haiku chain. It’s our hope that readers will join in this winter and post-Valentine’s Day celebration of the logic of the heart harnessed with images of nature’s splendors and subtleties.
A haiku is a classical Japanese poetical form, usually 17 syllables all in a single line in Japanese, but there are longer and shorter forms. In English, haiku often take the form of one short line of 5 syllables, a long line of 7 syllables, and a short line of 5 syllables, but there are many ways–all versions are welcome here.
There’s no deadline for this activity and the only requirement is that you focus your feeling in a nature-oriented haiku. You can link your haiku to an image in a preceding one or simply forge a link out of new images altogether. The chain runs as long as participants carry it along.
Traditionally considered a mindfulness practice, writing haiku brings perception and language together in a splash of imagery and aperçu. Can you distill you deepest feelings and sheerest insights to 17 syllables? Give it a go.
Here is my opening LONNOL haiku:
From plot twists in sea,
shore, savanna, city, this
departure, this love.
Love of Nature Nature of Love Month–it’s on!
Valentine’s Day is over, but the good ship LONNOL is still available for booking. Perhaps you yet have tokens of affection you would like to ship out. If they have even the slightest touch of nature about them, we’re longing to publish them. Please search your files for poems, short fiction, short essays, mp3s of readings of your work or of other work that’s in public domain, your original artwork, etc. and share them with us and our readership. Less than two weeks remains in February, but if need requires, we will keep things afloat through March.
Along with submissions from our readers, we’ll have a fond feelings haiku chain, to be initiated soon.
Also, February 24th is WIZ’s birthday. We’ll be five years old. To celebrate, we’ll be offering one or more of WIZ’s old movie giveaways. Giving our readers presents on our birthday is something we really enjoy doing. To “win” an old movie, all you’ll have to do is read each movie’s review and comment in the comment section. WIZ will contact you with further instructions about how to receive your free DVD.
In the Northeast, winter has been ridiculous harsh and relentless. Here in the Four Corners region, we seem to be trembling on the brink of an early spring. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. Full steam ahead.
I don’t know the names—
No very names.
Oh, chapparal. Oh, sage.
Oh, cactus, tumbleweed.
Oh, coiled up shaker of a shaman’s bones.
Oh, crook-limbed walker on the knuckled sands.
Oh, day-lived blossom, thirsting in its death.
Oh, winged portent of the flight of breath.
In a sun
That beats its laundry past the need of clean.
I am the rag-post.
Croak the long story of my ignorance.
Mark Penny has poetry on WIZ and Everyday Mormon Writer and in Sunstone and Dialogue, and fiction on Everyday Mormon Writer and Lowly Seraphim. He was winner of the Wilderness Interface Zone 2012 Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award, a finalist in the Everyday Mormon Writer Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest, and a semi-finalist in the 2014 Mormon Lit Blitz. He hopes the trend will bounce.
Current projects include a poetry collection, a Mormon spec fic collection, a dozen or so novels, a collaboration that will blow your spirit right out of your brain, and a unified theory of narrative.
Photo: Desert Sandwort via Wikimedia Commons courtesy of BLM Nevada, 2013.
The universe is
A winter of stars
Illuminate the world
Full of danger
Fields in length
By 1,500,000 miles
Enough for us
For now, maybe
Before one hits
We live and die
Hearing the stories
Of our ancestors
Similar tribes before
Us and we wander
Days and nights
Find more by Bob Gill here.
Photo of Alpha Capricorni via Wikimedia Commons.
Just a moment
Full of happiness
Just an instant
You may have missed
Compared to drought
Of life pours over you
In a torrent
And may have been
To bubble forth
Bob Gill resides in Berkeley, California.
Photo of the Strokkur Geyser in Iceland by Andreas Tille via Wikimedia Commons.
Phallic shafts shock nocturnal
waters, wave fingers like fireworks,
flags of welcome, of final embrace
to small fish daring to flutter about
these make-shift flowers.
They are their own
entertainment, brilliantly blowing,
blooming in belligerent pantomime
of lighted breath. This crown
ring of kings rejoice in banishment,
openly celebrating their midnight world.
Photo by Nick Hobgood via Wikimedia Commons, 2005.
is a delayed growl standing several
steps behind the starring flash. Backup-
singing, supportive round of applause. Darker
partner waiting in invisible wings. Eruptive
echo marks the distance to point
of contact, countdown after-strike.
Photo by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wikimedia Commons, 2005.
The garden sogs under persistent downpour. Green
grows with a sickly gray clinging like shadows,
cloud contamination. In a quiet corner, lone
hibiscus stretches petals toward sky, embraces
drops battering against brilliance. Resilient
as the solar power color emulates, it remains open,
a burst of warming reassurance that the sky cannot fall
after “Age of Abundance,” by Osnat Tzadok
Flares of imaginary fire burn across forest’s crown.
Light and leaves come alive, collectively breathe
in mirrored mist, rising like smoke from absent flame.
My eyes begin to water in belief. This is the image
of sulfured Hell. I pray for the salvation of sun-
A.J. Huffman has published seven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her eighth solo chapbook, Drippings from a Painted Mind, won the 2013 Two Wolves Chapbook Contest. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.
Photo by Albert Herring via Wikimedia Commons: “89 Mesa Fire, 5/6/10.” Tzadok’s landscape can be seen here.