The Violent Life of the Garden
By Julie Carpenter
This is a picture taken from my front porch. My roses are in full bloom. I have a lot of them. Thirty-one rose bushes I think. I have a vegetable garden and chickens and two dogs and three cats. I have lilies and lemon balm and bee balm and catmint and lavender and rosemary and peach trees. There are birds in the trees and a groundhog that may be living under our storage shed. There are rabbits that run like mad men across our driveway every time we drive the car up or down it. (I don't know exactly why they have a rule about waiting to cross the road until they see a car. They should rethink it.) I have squirrels quarreling in the trees that hang off my deck. I like living things. I like to be surrounded by things that grow and run and make noise and bother me. (Thus the family. Just kidding family!).
by Ryan Quinn Flanagan
4 Hobby Horsemen of the Apocalypse
I find one of those old hobby horses
digging through storage.
A brown horse head on a stick
that I put between my legs and gallop
around just like the kiddies do.
But it is boring to ride indoors.
I look out to the street.
All that pavement.
I want the wind flowing through
what is left of my hair.
If only I could enlist three others
with their own hobby horses,
We could all ride in together.
4 Hobby Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Like a biker gang, but with more purpose.
The neighbours would flee in fear.
Men and women screaming with terror.
Our horses neighing each time we took turns
making the noises.
by Ahmad Al-
From the foolishness of politicians
From the damages of civil war
From the combat in the south
your heart never started to break
Beirut, you have taught Baghdad and
Damascus not to panic so whatever
What happened with you yesterday
turned our eyes into a silent song played by your tears
To Beirut, we will cry and offer aids for
To Uighur, we will weep and support for
To all humanity, whom there’s not a day that
-goes by when tears are not in our eyes
It’s the time that we stop being sightless
It’s the perfect timing to stop being careless
We must stand above our unheard screams
We shall stop hearing the politician apologies.
and The Bee
by Jarad Johnson
When I was very young, I played soccer. I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I did enjoy kicking up clods of dirt and chasing butterflies while the other players actually tried to win the game. If you can’t tell, sports are not my natural form of expression. Uniforms, arbitrary rules, and running? No thanks. Also, my aim is terrible.
So, instead of paying attention I was constantly being lured away by the delights of nature. On one of my excursions chasing after a butterfly, I got stung by a bee. I’m sure that this did nothing to further endear me to my teammates. I was five. I was and am not afraid to loudly proclaim my pain to the world, so there was lots of screaming and crying. And wailing. Well, I’ve always been a bit dramatic so imagine me with a bee sting.
The End of the Ocean
Author, Maja Lunde
by Jarad Johnson
A frightening, yet all too possible premise. The oceans becoming dry. People retreating north away from the droughts. Trees withering and dying. Global starvation. This is what the book means by the end of the ocean. Through two narratives, we see the impact of this disaster. One story tells of Signe, who loves to sail her boat on the ocean and is a climate activist. The other is the story of a father and daughter, set adrift in the new world of desert.
by Jeff Weddle
Without further introduction, enjoy some poems by one of our favorite poets, Jeff Weddle! Links to books appear below the poetry.
Book Review, The Order of the Key
Author Justine Manzano
by Julie Carpenter
Jacklyn Madison thinks she’s an ordinary teenager just trying to make it through school when she’s attacked by an interdimensional monster in an alley. Suddenly her life and family history come into question. Her future trajectory changes almost instantaneously. Jacklyn has discovered she is a Key, a gifted human who has been tasked with protecting humanity.
The Magic of
by Jarad Johnson
What is it about the rain? Every time I hear the clap of thunder, followed by the torrential downpour that most often accompanies summer storms, I feel a sense of coziness and warmth. Some might say that’s counterintuitive, especially given the fact that my power almost always goes out, but what can I say? I love the rain.
Mourn with those that Mourn
by Julie Carpenter
This is a post from long ago, but it's been so hot that winter sounds almost like a relief. And there's something about the tone of the post that feels appropriate for this moment.
The leaves are almost gone. They were stunning this year, but just as they reached their carnival peak, I went to the desert and when I returned the wind had blown most of them into rust colored piles on the ground and now I press what is left of the blazing color, lifted against the sky's cheek just last week, under my boots with a crunch. Another year of life, pressed under heel, compost for next year’s flowers. Beauty dulled, wasted, faded to veins and dust.