TRIGGER WARNINGS: death, decay, rot, bugs, anatomical allusions, eating, sickness, blood.
inexorable obsessions with growth and decay...
poetry by caitlin bergman-powell
tender shoots pushing through the dark loamy soil
understanding from palate to shoulder
collarbone, neck, earlobe, lips
soft like whispered prayers on barside curbs
understanding from callous-rough fingertips
drawing pale lines on tender skin
a starmap on a freckled body, lovers constellations
understanding from tongue to limb
ankle, calf, knee, thigh
secrets sibilant against trembling flesh
inexorable obsessions with growth and decay
fragile and small
birds wings in a nest
made of leaves and
the flies crawl in
laving their eggs
to grow new flesh.
...as if she is an endless void.
poetry by dorothy lune
She is packed in wool
behind the walls of a crate
sand weighing down the eyes
yet no body— no real one
life has kissed her quite insane
she is sick— she is sick— she is sick--
life's affection left her a chilly child
like a crystalized silver meat sack
she drags herself to the kitchen table
in the frosty morning & hope
the breakfast falls into her mouth
filling myself with bowls of starches
as if she is an endless void.
Dorothy Lune is a Yorta Yorta poet who has been writing poems for 4 years, born in Australia. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Aurora Journal, Alternate Route, Open Leaf Press, Ice Lolly review, and more. She started out writing songs, drawing, painting, and writing poems. She found poetry to be the type of writing and medium she loves most and has a debut chapbook entitled Heart Planetary coming out in April 2022. Dorothy can be found online @dorothylune.
...so great in hunger...
poetry by jw summerisle
JW Summerisle is an artist & writer from the English East Midlands. Their poetry can be found in SAND & the Lily Poetry Review. Their art may be bought at jwsummerisle.etsy.com & they are often tweeting @jw_summerisle.
but 'thaw' isn't always welcoming.
photographs by allison renner
"The word 'thaw' suggests warmth. It's often accompanied by a cozy, comfortable feeling. But 'thaw' isn't always welcoming. Winter's end doesn't necessarily lead to growth and the beauty of Spring. Sometimes it just reveals what's always been."
...it still felt like one of the last gasps of winter.
photographs by ruth crosthwaite
"Winter Jasper and Winter Topaz originated from a small stream in the woods of northeastern Connecticut, the photos taken within minutes of each other in mid-February 2020. It was cold enough that I could see my breath and my fingers would start going numb after a few minutes of taking pictures,but it still felt like one of the last gasps of winter. The cracks and gaps in the ice were proof of that, the rushing water underneath showing nature’s impatience in waiting for spring. I can never take enough
pictures of ice -the sharp edges and the melted edges, the way it plays with light and shadow, the reflections and refractions. The vibrance of the color through these holes in the streams was entrancing,and I’m so glad I was able to do it some justice."
...my temper after rain.
poetry by effy winter
the branches rot, and the petals blossom...
poetry by aanuoluwapo adesina
THEY TOO SHALL INHALE THE ROT
Life is a greater torture than death--
It flows through the vein of every stream,
and animates the sadness of every heart.
It midwifes needless anguish.
These were the thoughts that invaded my mind,
and pushed through the loamy part of my brain,
As I watched the good and the honest die
at the hands of the scorned and unjustly starved.
The branches rot, and the petals blossom,
but they too shall inhale the rot one day.
To be free of those unwanted caresses,
that injure their brittle lips.
the ice road starts to melt in march...
poetry by richard ledue
Trying to Leave -30 Nights Behind
The ice road starts to melt in March,
but always refreezes at night,
reminding me of how love
becomes frigid in bed,
unnoticed for years.
The ice road gets bumpy too,
like a conversation
about pulling blankets off each other
that ends with separate quilts.
The ice road is faster than waiting
on summer nights (bright until 11 PM)
for a ferry
that breaks down enough to reassure us
everything is going to be alright.
Richard LeDue (he/him) currently lives in Norway House, Manitoba. He is a Best of the Net nominee. His first chapbook came out in 2020, and a second chapbook in 2021. As well, his third chapbook, The Kind of Noise Worth Writing Down, was released from Kelsay Books in late 2021. His first full length collection, “People More Famous Than Me,” was also released in early 2022 from Alien Buddha Press.