Andrea Potos

When the Consolation of a Word Comes to You

Not detach, which sounds too much
about the retina, and this is not about the eye

but the heart, and its gates––
unlatch and allow yourself to roam

beyond what is hurting you, further into the fields
and meadows––there, find a spot

to kneel down in the deep, fragrant grasses,
make a bed for your body where the summer
is still singing your name.

Andrea Potos lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she worked as a bookseller in independent bookshops.  She is the author of six books of poetry, including Marrow of Summer and Mothershell (Kelsay Books).  Recent poems are published in How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope  and The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy, (Storey Publishing). Her new book of poems, Her Joy Becomes, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press later this year.



Jerrice J. Baptiste

Living In This World

To live in this world you must be able to live in communities even where water is scarce. Travel the rough terrain barefoot with a basket of carrots, cabbage, eggplant, malanga, ginger on your head, for miles in the sticky heat, to the street market. Sit your neighbor’s babies on both hips rocking them to your Kréyol lullaby. Give thanks to the white pearl moon and blue stars glowing upon you in the corner of the earth you call home. Listen to the brewing rhythm of grey thunder and give thanks for silver rain drops in your buckets.  Collect water for tomorrow. In your eyes gather the purple night sky, the mauve clouds, and the intimate sound of crickets. Breathe the sweet red air of hibiscus closing petals. Lie still. The days are long. Give thanks to the green earth. Give thanks. Give thanks.

Jerrice J. Baptiste is an author of eight books and a poet in residence at the Prattsville Art Center & Residency in NY.  She is extensively published in journals and magazines such as The Yale Review, Mantis, The Shawangunk Review, Eco Theo Review and many others. Jerrice has been the featured poet on Planet Poet Words in Space, at the Woodstock Poetry Society, and at the International Women’s Writing Guild.



Joan Mazza


Out of Africa, out of Italy, across the Mediterranean
or across the Atlantic in steerage, illiterate, but filled
with hope. Sponsored by siblings who came first,
my ancestors sailed from Palermo to New York,
processed at Ellis Island, passed as fit. They’d
made that long crossing with siblings and paisans,
neighbors they lived close to in those early years
of labor: sewing and construction, required little
education or knowledge of the new language.
They got by, their children American born, English
speakers who finished high school, but didn’t go
far. But the grandchildren spread out, moved to
Florida, Ohio, California, Montana, North Carolina,
stayed in the cities where they attended college
before moving on again, dispersing their genes across
the country. Under pressure, like spores of fungi,
they burst onto the scene, scattering the old traits
and customs to take root somewhere new. We cannot
help who we are, can’t change the curl of our hair
or the color of our skin—a range of tans and browns.
No human is white unless covered in sheets.

Joan Mazza worked as a microbiologist, psychotherapist, and taught workshops nationally on understanding dreams and nightmares before retiring. She’s the author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam). Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Slant, Prairie Schooner, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia and writes a poem every day. This long pandemic pause has provided time for more reading, writing, submitting, and work on a novel.



Linda Dimitrioff


His meditation.
Touching the black earth
smelling the green leaves
admire the red ones
hear the birds on
the telephone wire.

His summer
emphasized with
the large garden,
turned over
and planted
Peppers, cucumbers
were accompaniments.
Tomatoes ruled.

He worked
in his garden
early morning.

It was he,
the birds
the squirrels
and the tomatoes.

Eventually the
very redness
the plumpness
was ready to burst.
Cardboard baskets
from nurseries
were pulled out
quickly filled
and spread out
on countertops.
Crisp tanginess

filled the kitchen,
out came Mason jars
gold lids
towels and
big pots.
Together they peeled
cooked and canned
until the cellar
was well fed.

But the taste test.
He smiled as I
took a fresh bite
of his magic.

 Linda Dimitroff is a poet, artist, art gallery owner, meditation teacher, and caretaker. Her poetry and art have been published in Slab, Thimble, Spectrum Initiative and Mien Magazine. A Detroit native, she now lives on the shores of Lake Michigan with her husband and sassy cat, Sandy.




Melanie Green


Loneliness has come with autumn rain,
scrum of self
rubbled to the solitary.

I fold poems, like feathered wishes,
into cards—sending love
to friends,

With a break in rain, I step outside.
Brisk cold. Crimson
and gold leaves.

Overhead, wide-winged long-necked birds
in a slow glide.

My neighbor joins me.
A stranger pulls to the curb,
What’re we lookin’ at?

We three, now a circle.
“Sandhill cranes.”
Oh wow, like a ritual. 

The three of us stand in the air
of wonderment—while the cranes
circle, waiting

for their own
to gather,
then vee south together.

Melanie Green is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest. Her recent poetry collection, A Long, Wide Stretch of Calm, is available through The Poetry Box in Beaverton, Oregon. Her poems explore themes of living with chronic illness, finding inspiration and solace through the beauty of nature, and exploring the numinous. She enjoys sharing the work of historic and contemporary poets with the public by chalking poems or excerpts on the sidewalk.



Rivka Crowbourne


The pigeon is the midpoint of the world––
A winged oaf galumphing ’twixt the lanes
(While semis veer), his crumb-full head agape
To snag a Twix half-hid by our exhaust.

The shade-blue wheel of wave and cloud are his;
He roosts, resplendent knave, on drainage pipes
And poops upon the globe he might transcend.
An emperor smog-robed and peregrine,
He gobbles trash from slaves of gravity
While meadow-zephyrs save their scent for men.

And yet, within the flux of asphalt dawns
And gloom of noons, he stands unchanged, unbowed,
Between the sky and land, both gold and grey––
The splendor, joke, and crux of Nature’s game!

Rivka Crowbourne is a Catholic student and aspiring poet who is currently hiking the Camino de Santiago and composing her own Canticle of the Creatures in the style of St. Francis of Assisi. “Pidge” is her first published work.