Someone Else’s Dream

Silk~


earth losing its shine the moon so uninspired

his thoughts a pool of mist in the sunken valley

whispered wishes where there are no wells

hills no longer rolling they simmer

tides don’t just rise they sigh and swell

horsetail fall into someone else’s dream


Silk~ is a poet.

Beyond Unbinds the Dragonfly

Kristina T. Saccone


My daughters dart in the dreg, still wingless nymphs fresh from the egg. They feed from a school of tadpoles — a feast — then molt in the algae bloom. I stretch my wings to test for an escape.

Before he visited my silted lake, I knew nothing of the beyond. He beckoned in turquoise, glistening veins vibrating in the spring shade of the pond. We coupled, his wings across my abdomen like a veil at rest, whispering about clear streambeds and unsullied waters.

In tandem, we dropped our eggs into the mire. Then, in a moment, his cobalt and sapphire vanished, gone to a far-off somewhere. The ovae, an anchor, held me here. 

But now my nymphs need blood, larvae, and the worm, not a mother who yearns for other shores. So when the kayak floats by, I drift onto its prow. I tremble with the lull of the boat before the oars dip. Together, we launch into the beyond.


Kristina T. Saccone crafts flash fiction and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Six Sentences, The Bangor Literary Journal, Emerge Literary Journal, and Unearthed, and she curates Flash Roundup, featuring the latest releases in flash fiction. Find her on Twitter (@kristinasaccone) or haunting small independent bookstores in the Washington, D.C. area.

The Group

Jeff Skinner


We come back each week
strangers to ourselves

going round in circles
of what if, if only –

taking turns to cry
white tissues the flags

of surrender, of solidarity.
Someone to do nothing with, that’s what I miss.

I say something new happening
is worse: the return

of the rose, flourishing careers
assiduous love prepared the ground for

that letting yourself one spring morning
into the house you cannot share.


Jeff Skinner, longlisted in this year’s Briefly Write Poetry Prize, has been published in a number of journals with poems to come in the Fenland Poetry Journal and Poetry Salzburg in 2022. Third in the 2021 Poetry Space competition, he has also been published in several competition anthologies.

Re: Action

Alisa Golden


Plum tree
cut to the quick
swarming with termites

I regret
complaining about
sticky sidewalks


Alisa Golden writes and makes art in a one-square-mile, California city. She is editor of Star 82 Review, author of Making Handmade Books, and her stories and poems have been published in Blink-Ink, Nanoism, and Litro, among others. www.neverbook.com

Two Photos

Fabrice Poussin


Too Far


Safe


Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. 

Three Photos

Sarah Leavesley


a space as wide as the sky

“Being outside with a sense of space and open sky reminds me that my part in this world may be small but that I am part of it”


city frowns

“It can be easy to vilify cities in environmental terms when they may in fact play some positive roles (reducing long commutes and some transportation pollution). Important questions remain though: are our cities as environmentally friendly as they could be? And are those at the helm paying enough attention to this?”


before whole worlds disappear

“William Blake saw “…a World in a Grain of Sand | And a Heaven in a Wild Flower” (‘Auguries of Innocence’). Each small creature reminds me of how many worlds we could lose through climate damage and species extinction”


Sarah Leavesley is a prize-winning photographer and writer, whose current work draws heavily on nature and environmental concerns. See more on her website.

Hotel Extinction

Julian Bishop


A view to die for from any of our last resorts: whether
remote island or sapphire lagoon, the outlook is
unremittingly the same. We’re frighteningly easy
to travel to, our portfolio global. Another branch
opens daily. Most guests are driven here. Many fly.
All animals welcome. We apologise for the poor air
conditioning. We guarantee a good sleep. Beware
of a sudden proliferation in insects – rest assured
we are committed to total elimination. Everything
in the Ice Breaker Tavern is on the rocks, 24/7.
We don’t do a Happy Hour. Think Hotel California:
check out any time you like but you can never leave.
Daily wake-up calls are free. Sunset at the infinity
pool is unforgettable. Every room always has flowers.

“I’m calling my forthcoming book of eco poems We Saw It All Happen because I’m staggered at how the world can let catastrophe unfold in plain sight. I fret at the edges, cutting out meat and unnecessary travel but I like to think, as a writer, that I have a more important role to play. Auden’s famous (mis)quote that poetry makes nothing happen perhaps needs to be counterbalanced with a lesser-known quote from the master:

But once in a while the odd thing happens,
Once in a while the dream comes true,
And the whole pattern of life is altered,
Once in a while the moon turns blue.

(Once In A While The Odd Thing Happens)

And that’s precisely why I write.”


Julian Bishop is a former television journalist who’s had a lifelong interest in ecology and worked for a time as Environment Reporter for BBC Wales. A former runner-up in the Ginkgo Prize for Eco Poetry, he’s also been shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize and was longlisted in this year’s National Poetry Competition. He is one of four poets featured in a 2020 pamphlet called Poems For The Planet

Project report

Angela van Son


Issue

Trees in danger of extinction

Problem

Nose swaps don’t seem to work

Counter measure

Huge field of facemasks planted

Doubt

Will they mature on time?

Status

Open

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s the planet fighting back, trying to get rid of the current top of the food chain. How to help this greediest of species make themselves extinct? Future aquatic archaeologists may wonder about those two legged creatures who once lived above the water surface. In ancient times, when land covered the seas…”


Angela van Son lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She writes poems and very short stories about the strangeness of being human. She likes to put a twist on things, whether it’s dark, humorous, philosophic or playful. As a coach she helps people change their life stories by making things happen.

Three Photos

Chlo


“We are currently living through the greatest mass extinction in history. Air pollution is already the biggest killer we face. I am a burden on the environment, and so are you, and I will never forgive either of us. There will never be an excuse for not doing more, or doing less – less animal products, less flying and less consumption. Don’t let apathy define our species, be the change. Our home is on fire and I refuse to bring a child into the blaze. For your loved ones and the other species who call Earth home, go vegan.”


The Hopeful Captive


But when it rains, it pours


Cows love, love cows


Chlo is a committed environmental activist and has been vegan for nine years. She is a PhD candidate in Chemistry, working on technology to mitigate climate change.

Embers of all

J.H. Hewitt


Your eyes were steady. I tipped my head and raised a brow. Straight at me, you said it again. A blink. And then, on my face, a small smile broke out, its flames crackling in the space between us. Licking at the chairs on which we sat, setting them ablaze, making embers of all.

The smile – hungry now – glanced at you. Your eyes unflinching. I watched it open the front door, and set out for the town, spreading as it went, razing houses, St Trinity, the Oak. Old style lamps flared then burst. It seared across the land, while you held your gaze. Up went hedgerows, trees, strangle-squawked crows. Billows of grey filled the sky. But the smile scorched on, boiling the oceans, blackening shoals and choking gulls. Soon, the plains were dust, the charred mountains bare, cities pluming final puffs. A whole sphere in cinders.

The smoke clung around us. I could hardly see you now – or breathe. Then, at last, you said, clear, like you’d never needed air anyway: “No, no, no, not like that.” And then: “What have you done?”

The smile fell away. Wordlessly, I searched for something to save. 


“Of course we can change our diet, fly less and drive less, but the single most important thing any one of us can do in the fight to save our planet is to communicate about it – whether that is directly to people in positions of power, through art, or in social conversations with those around us. The aim must not only be to change minds but also to win hearts. We mustn’t just argue using data, but also persuade using empathy. Let’s shine a torchlight on powerful governments and corporations who dodge accountability by trying to gaslight individuals. And let’s reward with loyalty those who show courage in putting the planet and its most vulnerable people first.”


J.H. Hewitt is a parent and writer – but most of her words get someone else’s byline.