I rhyme // To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.
from Personal Helicon, Seamus Heaney
I stare down well shafts too, Seamus
and into deep night skies
through the rising breadth of ever-rolling waves,
into the intricacies of leaf-life.
Seeking the shining word-Muse
of my damning craft who rises
hazy, like mirage on a July tarred road.
And, when glimpsed,
her image is made of mirror.
The formula is always the same
the results, miraculously, vary.
Like all dust and sinew of this life.
all parts of me careen away from center,
Time tramples crudely across my face,
I feel the slow, slack response creeping through my bones.
The words we share
alone are stone-bound
and record this flashing moment.
Mary Imo-Stike was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She worked non-traditional jobs as a railroad track laborer, a plumber, boiler operator and gas line inspector. Mary received her MFA from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2015 and served as the poetry co-editor of HeartWood literary journal. She was the co-creator of More Than Words* a monthly literary event in Hurricane, WV. Mary’s poems have been published in many journals, and her chapbook In and Out of the Horse Latitudes was published in 2018 by Finishing Line Press. She lives with her husband in Punta Gorda, Florida.
waiting through the children’s hours
I asked for a cup of tea
but they told me I was fishing
for a whale in a lake
reality was an airy web in the corner
that only caught time’s dust
and I wanted to island myself
to dream in shuttered movement
Jemma Leigh Roe studied art at the Université Paris-Sorbonne and received a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. Her poetry and visual art are featured or forthcoming in The Ilanot Review, Canyon Voices, FEED Lit Mag, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, Literary North, Young Ravens Literary Review, and others.
not a stick, but lizard trunk
lizard head and arms branching
out from nothing
cross section of red inside and
white bones, soft probably
softer than the gravel
on my humid driveway
i’ve never seen an animal
eat a lizard here
i have never thought why
a tail was tasty but not
now-frosty eyes or a heart
that surely pumped something
though faintly, through a body
now a piece on an art gallery
porch, painting a theme
too old to name and too
simple, therefore sacred
for my idle thoughts
Jamario Cantrell is a black, gay cis-man poet with a BA from Vanderbilt University. His poetry is concerned with the gravity of the human condition found in everyday life and subjects, often with a focus on language and identity. You’ll often find him studying Japanese and reading in cozy blankets. He lives at his family home in Riviera Beach, FL where he is currently at work on his first collection of poetry.