Kosmos Summer 2020 Gallery of Poets

Aaron Facer


Step into the fallout, into the grey clear-cut acres
where trees once stood; where there is no memory
apart from the wind crying quietly over brittle reeds.

Step out into downpour, into the unexpected,
the inevitable; plunging into bad investments
and council estates falling like cliffs to the sea.

Step out with the blind who grope through alleyways,
with the lambs running from the abattoir to the altar,
into a night on the town in the face of homelessness.

Step into the labyrinth, where the winding path leads only
to the starting point; where the centre holds a treasure
of impossible promises; each step a new beginning.


Aaron Facer is a poet based in Cardiff, South Wales. He has a MA in creative writing from Cardiff University and his poems have been published in Lucent Dreaming, the Cardiff Review, and Verse-Virtual.



Annette Sisson

Sand Water Flower Sky

A painting: band of long-stemmed
poppies, pinks and reds, with blue-
purple cornflowers, whiffs
of sea grass. There must be a sun

here, angling from behind the viewer.
Bleaching two-story beach
houses white, tincture of pink
on roof lines, pinking white

sand that tugs gray seawater
flushed with sigh. Harbor boats,
grays and whites pinked by dots
of morning sun. Besides these

tracings of pink, hardly there,
the poppies seem to drain the color,
draw it to themselves, as if it all
comes down to flowers and light.

Let me begin again. I meant
to extol the whole, the painting’s amplitude:
sky and sand, breath and ground,
water gliding toward passage,

tall grass and flora binding
earth, deflecting claws of rain.
The shoots’ sway and color-shine
seem to siphon the world’s dazzle,

lure me to excess, transgression.
But I want to state plainly that without
extravagance the world is an orphan,
jailed in a crib, fed and diapered

by the clock, without touch, without
surprise, or play, or glee. And then
the world is a man, his eyes fixed
on his childhood’s slivers, unfit to cast

beyond the shallows where the parts and pieces
merge. A man who cannot say love
to his wife, whitewashes her days, her stinted
heart. In this famished life, or painting,

pink does not suffuse gray
nor dawn erupt in sun glow. Bereft
of coral, amethyst, the long caress
of sea oats, we cry out:

sand water flower sky


Annette Sisson lives in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys traveling, hiking, baking, playing piano, choral singing, watching birds, and supporting theater. In the past year, she has published poems in many journals including Nashville Review, Typishly, One, KAIROS, Turtle Island Quarterly, and a chapbook A Casting Off  (Finishing Line, 2019). She was named a 2020 BOAAT Writing Fellow, received honorable mention in Passager’s 2019 poetry contest, and won The Porch Writers’ Collective’s 2019 poetry prize.



Lauren Crux

A Rainy Day

A rainy day in California.
A wood fire in the wood stove.
A long-haired girl cat stretched out on my legs.
A friend’s essay to read and comment.
And a perfect spider web hanging between two vertical
lines of cable that come to the house. Delicate,
drooping threads of silk dotted with droplets of water
strung like silver beads, and not a single tear.

I think that I can’t write to you about this because
spider webs have been “done before,” the poets
and authors of children’s books and photographers
and painters all in awe. To write about this would be
like painting a sunflower in a field in southern France.

But there it is and I want to share it with you in all its
curvilinear perfection. Its creator is absent.
There is no prey caught in its web for me to say,
“Better luck next time.” It is just this work of art
hanging outside my window, in a gentle rain,
with a wood fire, a cat on my legs, and a story
to read about someone’s perfect marriage


Lauren Crux’s poetry, prose, and photography have been published most recently in Memoir MagazineBrevity, The Rappahannock Review, The Colorado Review, Fourth Genre, The Scribbler, and TRIVIA. Her honors include The James Irvine Foundation Honorary Fellowship, a Major Project Grant from the Arts Research Institute of UCSC, as well as fellowships at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.



Susan Donnelly


Give up the search for a path
through this thick forest of life;
forsake tamped ground,
spongy bark-dust, packed needles,
and mantras repeated with fingers crossed.
Aspirations become lost after rising
to nest unnoticed in the limbs
of old-growth Doug Fir.

Dance through the maze;
soft shoe across painted lines
that promise an aisle to an altar;
pirouette, spin, twirl, jeté.
Grace of landing matters not;
glory in your footfalls, stumbles,
leaps, and trust; revel in the pulse
of humanity and love.

Wade in wonder through chilly water
whose bottom you cannot see;
balance on rocks slickened
by forces forever rushing;
dabble in placid ponds
rippled only by your own steps,
curious frogs, and occasional breezes;
slosh in surf crashing over toes
that curl into shifting sands;
struggle to stay upright with a smile
against the pull of rip tides.

Forget finding footprints
or leaving a trail.
Being is enough.



After retiring from decades of teaching adolescents, Susan Donnelly rediscovered herself and writing.  She strives to create poems that are like old-fashioned key holes, small openings that reveal larger vistas when one looks into them.  She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and goldendoodle, Emma-Squiggly.