This month of your birth
has crept in upon me again,
slipped over the window sill
and into the corner of my room
where a perfect square of moonlight
seems to have up taken residence
and, outside, where the birds,
a whole choir of them, whose names
you never bothered to learn even when
mother recited them over and over again
as she pointed to the secret places
she thought they were hiding
under eaves or in the tangled branches,
are singing their hearts out
as she would always say then
and where now the boisterous cicadas
are joining in that twilight overture
This month of your birth
I do not know how it is possible
not to pause, to stop, to listen
when a single bird’s first notes
suddenly rise above the subtle hum
of the city’s opening or to ignore
the wonder when one spring day
descends unexpectedly to revive
this town in the midst of winter.
I do not know how to sing praises
as wholeheartedly as the throng
of crows gathered at the crown
of a leaf-barren tree whose cants
seem like cacophony to me
but must be the joyful noises
that they were made to sing.
I do not know how.Read more "How"
Look for it close to the Amazon warehouse district,
not race tracks or the railroad station.
Don’t expect auto-vacuums or auto-lawnmowers,
it’s a fur-ever home for snuggle pups that don’t grow
into rambunctious black labs and for calico cuddle cats
that purr at any touch and home in on shoulders
in bed. Admission fees are need-based; declare
your loneliness on a scale of one to ten. Best
to come alone for the cheapest price, and best
deals are on Friday just after work, advertised
as Thank God I Feel Friday when you have one hour
for free. Leave your striped tie at home; the goat
teases by trying to chew on ties but gladly accepts
carrots. Shoelaces are sometimes a problem.
Patrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas, a Tree City, just south of Duck Creek, is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Grey Sparrow Journal, Cobalt Review, and Burningword Literary Journal, among other publications, and more recently in Tipton Poetry Journal, Right Hand Pointing, Wilderness House Literary Review and Danse Macabre. Let Everything That […]Read more "Let Everything That Has Breath"
Steve Carr began his writing career as a military journalist and has had short stories published in Double Feature, Tigershark Magazine, The Wagon Magazine, CultureCult Magazine, Fictive Dream, Ricky’s Back Yard, The Drunken Llama, Sick Lit Magazine, Literally Stories, Door is a Jar, Viewfinderi, The Spotty Mirror and in the Dystopia/Utopia Anthology by Flame Tree Publishing, […]Read more "The Longhorn Creek Story"
How in the world are these two categories related? Well, it’s coincidental mostly. It happens that in the last two months I got pregnant and had a miscarriage, and have experienced the struggles of being a vegan in a meat-oriented world through my best friend. She decided to become vegan a few months ago, after […]Read more "At the Intersection of Veganism and Miscarriage"
the point is that you are the mink and the bird and the ignitable water, the lost prisoner, the given-up guard. so why do you avoid the next question? why do i avoid taking blame?Read more "Presiding Logic"
in the alley Where feral cats live I saw a raccoon creeping in the garbage Survivor Wish I could feel anger sound low in the chest to act on this but I’m identifying with the smallest creatures Where feral cats live a person is a metaphor Oh it gets so lonely When you’re walking And […]Read more "in California"
I’m filling my Earl Grey tea cup this morning at work when the weirdest water cooler conversation bubbles up. “Let me ask you a strange question.” I smile nervously, “OK.” “You ever close your eyes and press your fingers into your eyelids?” “Yeah, fireworks light show.” “Exactly!” He flutters his eyes closed and lightly demonstrates […]Read more "On Floaters and Flashes"
my cousin and I find the body of a bat on the ground near the old church demolition stones my cousin and I listen to a radio show about butchering We eat venison and white rice shrimp sautéed in so much butter The butcher reads a story she eats less meat The plane in the […]Read more "never never never"