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Flying Island Journal 4.22

    Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 4.22 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have four contributors in poetry. We hope you enjoy this issue. Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? Send us your work! Submissions info can be found in the tab above.  Links to each piece in this edition below. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Poetry Editor & Readers POETRY James Green, "Passage to Egypt" Joel Showalter, "Letter from the Parking Lot" Angela Williamson Emmert, "Handprints on the Walls of Ancient Caves" Robert Manaster, "Late Season Slump" Follow us! Twitter: @JournalFlying Instagram: @flyingislandjournal Are you a writer who is from the Midwest or has close ties to the Midwest? We'd love to read your work. Submissions info in the tab above.  Support the Indiana Writers Center!
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Passage to Egypt, a poem by James Green

Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night,  and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. Matthew 2:14-15 Passage to Egypt A Jewish husband and his teenage wife scurry like prey into an alleyway and steal along the shadowed side, then splay against a wall while spotlights slice the night. She grips her newborn son against her chest as he begins to stir, and soldiers near.  Against the night she feels the weight of fear, in darkness sees its face, then bares her breast to nurse the child so he stays silent while the soldiers pass and leave behind a bearded man and bride alone to find  a passage to an Egypt with their child while armored trucks and tanks in columns roll  through Mariupol.  James Green is a retired university professor and administrator. He has published five chapbooks of poetry and individual poems have appeared in literary journals in Ireland, the UK, and the USA. His website can be found at www.jamesgreenpoetry.net .

Letter from the Parking Lot, a poem by Joel Showalter

Letter from the Parking Lot One of the sparrows  near the dumpster  doesn’t see me until I am too close, and he  startles, in a paroxysm of feathers and gravel, propelling the tight fist  of his body skyward,  hurtling, missile-like,  up and over my right  shoulder. And I too am shocked, stopped mid-step, not by this blitzkrieg action, but  by a reflex that rises in me, quick as any  creature’s: to reach up  and block the unseen  arc of this bird’s flight. I find myself wishing for a baseball mitt— me, who hasn’t swung a bat in twenty years, who as a kid was always sent to the outfield, where I could do the least harm—today I want the chance to pluck this line drive out of midair, not for some crumb of redemption, no, this limbic impulse feels deeper. Perhaps it is  that old, original urge: to capture those who have          what we do not, to fix  the moth to the mounting board, to hang the bear’s head above the mantel, to sear and swallow   the fish’s flesh, to steal and steal again,

Handprints on the Walls of Ancient Caves, a poem by Angela Williamson Emmert

Handprints on the Walls of Ancient Caves Was it a grandmother’s  work, an old woman  gathering the children at the wall, their lives ever expanding like lungs  taking in air, blowing stone  on spread fingers covering  the wall in crushed ochre,  a field for hands, a world  formed around them, held open?  The grandmother paints to live in the space made of children’s hands.     * A baby riding in the crook  of one arm and a toddler  escaping the other, I am in  love with myself, my body  flawless for the hunger  of a child, for the pain  of a child awake and lonely. I have grown nerves  to probe the dark corners of a cave or a living room.  I tingle, push my finger into the mouth of a child, scoop out the lucky penny, metallic scent and a glimpse of the small ochre tongue.     * The front door opens. The house takes a breath, sighs when they leave. Ochre but for the placing  of hands, splayed fingers with tiny tips, tapered. Angela Williamson Emmert lives in rural Wisconsin with her hus

Late Season Slump, a poem by Robert Manaster

Late Season Slump He's now aware of every crack in the sidewalk of his game: the bat's not cocked back too far, the grip's not too tight, stance not too tense —  after years in the minors he should know. Still in the game, he lately thinks, Just no good pitch to crush . Still, in the box, he waits to pound a ball out of the park. When he swings, his eyes close, hips drift, breath holds. The lucky gold cross his old man gave him flips wildly forward on its chain. Follow-through, follow-through — that's all he hears. Sure enough, the ball squibbles back toward the mound. I'm done. He doesn't bother to run the play out. As he looks up, his arms extend — face numb, legs cold-stiff. Jesus, what now. Robert Manaster 's poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Birmingham Poetry Review , Image , Maine Review , Into the Void , and Spillway . His co-translation of Ronny Someck's The Milk Underground was awarded the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translat

Flying Island Journal 3.22

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 3.22 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have three contributors in poetry. The three poems in this issue of  Flying Island  reflect on varieties of injustice and human exploitation. Martin DeAgostino's "Sweep" speaks to the unnatural sorrow of political oppression and sexism. Tom Probasco's "Cleaning Out the Shed" recognizes that racism arises ironically from the deep spiritual darkness of the oppressor. And Steve Faye's "The Experiment" reminds us of the need to acknowledge the unique humanity of another, beyond any other purpose or agenda. We hope you enjoy this issue. Send us your submissions. Submissions info can be found in the tab above. Looking forward to reading your work! Thank you for reading, Flying Island Poetry Editor & Readers POETRY Martin DeAgostino, "Sweep" Tom Probasco, "Cleaning Out the Shed" Steve Fay, "The Experiment" Follow us! Twitt

Sweep, a poem by Martin DeAgostino

    Sweep Except for a heron I was alone at the river The water rippled like crumpled foil shiny and bright I shuffled a little watching the heron watching the river A small wake formed a V around its long still legs Ceaseless, insistent it made me think of the sweep and current of history its turns and eddies I saw Caesars vying for power drone strikes and keening women I saw the violence of men toward women I saw all of those things but the heron saw none It knew only the river braided and flowing that joins another that joins another that joins one more that runs to the sea Martin DeAgostino is a Midwest native who has lived in Indianapolis for 20 years, reading much and writing a little. It's been a good way to live.