Issue 2.34


aching of wrist/ tingling of skin/ scratched by the plants/
bitten by the bugs and the bugs are a pestilence/
multiplicity of insects not flapping in the backdrop
but buzzing and burrowing while the grass is suffering
from a chemical burn and the hands are bleeding
and the old neighbor behind us is bent over weeding/
watering/ mowing/ hoping the grass might turn emerald again
but the crows are picking at a carcass in the distance
and the night-blooming jasmine doesn’t stand a chance
against the filaments of choke weed choking it
and the hands in the dirt and the acreage is an army
to feed and defend against for Nature
has a greater love of weeds than of flowers

Bobbi Lurie is the author of “The Book I Never Read,” Letter From The Lawn,” “Grief Suite,” and “the morphine poems.”

After the Movie

Protestors wolfed the streets. Their screams
and shouts almost shaking buildings and buses
like powerful howls. I buried my son in layers.
Ran past tourists with faces like confused livestock.
Streetlights huddled us in their glow. We ran.
Ran past frowning pubs and cafes, old statues
and billboards. We ran into the park, needling
our way into crowds admiring pink gin pelicans,
diva swans and coots with beaks pale as chess pieces.
Protestors wolfed closer. The birds sensed it, too.
Swans dived into their taffeta. Pelicans swam
to the safety of the deepest pond. An elderly heron,
grey as the weather, flew like an arrow into the horizon.
I buried my son in myself and bent my body into a bow.

Notes On The European Robin 

Forget the bird being a Physics problem
not even the crow can solve. 
How can twig-like legs
hold up a dollop of mashed potato 
for a body? Meatball-round, 
it prowls its territory for interlopers. 
The orange war paint on its breast 
not meant for season’s greetings. 
This tiny bird is hitman-cold. Cold
like the shroud of snow draping
a rival after the deed is done. 
Little wonder the fox dissolves
into the shadows should it come across 
a vigilant male, selfie taking swans 
quickly fly off and the blackbird 
escapes to a panic room. 

Christian Ward is a UK-based writer who can be recently found in Tipton Poetry JournalBlueHouse JournalGinosko Literary JournalRed Ogre ReviewDiscretionary Love, and Stone Poetry Journal.

Something Sacred

I feel the tiny insects crawling around in my hair
and disintegrate into paroxysms of flailing and scratching.
“This is why I always stick to the path,” my husband says
grumbles, lectures, intones smugly, arms crossed.
I don’t have any answer because I know this is true
and he probably doesn’t have any ticks on him
because he didn’t disappear into the woods
just to look at a really cool tree.

I don’t want to be this person, afraid of ticks
and Lyme disease and mosquitoes bearing Zika
or encephalitis. I don’t want to be afraid of tripping
over rocks, of going the wrong way
don’t want to know what time it is all the time
always have a schedule driving my day.
I want to be like the little girl holding my hand
right now, eyes wide and lost in the world around us
marveling only at the birds and the trees and the sun.

Holly Day’s writing has recently appeared in Analog SF, Earth’s Daughters, and Appalachian Journal, and her recent book publications include Music Composition for Dummies, The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body, and Bound in Ice. She teaches creative writing at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and Hugo House in Seattle.