Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2023

Flying Island 12.29

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 12.29 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition we publish poems by  Jenny Kalahar ,  James Green ,  Tony Brewer , and  Andy McCall . Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? For more info on how to submit, see the tab above. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors and Readers

An Octopus Changes Colors as She Sleeps, a poem by Jenny Kalahar

An Octopus Changes Colors as She Sleeps This is news, but feels familiar. I dream in colors, and now I’m sure I, too, change colors as I dream. I may be grass-green while sitting warm on a neighbor’s hillside I would roll down before heading home to a table full of loud brothers who made up their own, separate clan, glad and not glad to break my solitude for the day. Green, as naiveté still clung to the world. Or brick red while dreaming of the last place I stood, hidden in the holly bushes, before the bell clanged overhead on that day I didn’t go into school, afraid of a teacher who proclaimed she loved me and wished I loved her, too. Brick red as my tiny fingers tried to dig into the wall against my back. Do I luminate into glassy, grey-green lake water during images of nearly drowning as a girl while my sturdy father, not actually watching me, stares cross-armed at nothingness on the farthest shore that took a few more decades to fully swallow him down? An octopus changes colors as

Mae Hong Son: City of Three Mists, a poem by James Green

Mae Hong Son: City of Three Mists Consider the sun rising over mountain peaks piercing mist floating over a pearl-grey morning, how light expands, uncontained, though filtered, how the still air finds a way to stir petals of a leelawaddee flower, like fingers through a lover’s hair. ⁓ Along a run of chicken wire roves a prodigal crop of morning glory stretching to face the sun leaking through the mist. Lightheaded, I hold my breath, hoping to never exhale the cerulean sweetness I hold inside. ⁓ Buds of lotus, like tiny stupas, rise from a pond and disappear into morning’s low-slung mist. Deep inside the opaqueness smoky silhouettes begin to form, then fade, then rematerialize. Overhead doors rattle as shops open for business. James Green is a retired university professor and administrator. He divides his time between his home in Muncie, Indiana, and Mae Hong Son, Thailand, where he serves as a volunteer with the Jesuit Refugee Service. You may learn about his poetry at his website, ww

Bree, a poem by Tony Brewer

Bree She openly admits she is codependent standing on my porch in the dark after Ray ran off with her clothes A frantic knock at my screen a plea for my wi-fi her phone dying She had 2-3 years left as long as she stayed clean & she did through Christ teaching her kids it's worse if you don't believe & it's real than if you believe & it is Eaten up by bugs that don't bother me she needs a ride Ray says he’s lost Her thumbs batter the screen What started as compassion turns to OK get off my porch her bundle of nerves wadded up spare underwear in a big bag full of wrong chargers But I don't crack When she is calm she's thinking of all she gave up to stay for what felt like love & it is Two spirits fighting to stay & to leave rattling off the story like a grocery list Ray is waiting at the Exxon nods when I pull up She is jabbering furious about what his fucking problem is as her door opens Dude looks tired worn out beat by responsibility I claim

After creation,/the scientist prays, a poem by Andy McCall

After creation, the scientist prays I remember— oxygen became so rare that our fish collapsed into islands of themselves, sinking beneath the surface and leaving us alone, starving. Little finned god, the company paid me to braid you from two lineages still found in the shallows of southern streams, strains tolerant enough to thrive and multiply in our warm, stinking waters. Bless me, who slid sperm from one species into the egg of another, who massaged your hollow ball of tissue into tail, jaw, teeth and scales. Forgive me, I interrupted your cell cycle, secretly rewrote your gene sequence so you would grow to unnatural size. Remember me, now, as your fry crowd the canals and channels, swallowing everything to make new flesh. Have mercy, when you have nothing left to eat and lift your fins onto land. Andy McCall was raised in Missouri and now teaches at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He studies plants and insects and sometimes teaches more boring subjects like statistics. He

Flying Island 11.24

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 11.24 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition we publish poems by Rebecca Pyle , Samuel Franklin , Eric Chiles , and Marla J. Jarmer . Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? For more info on how to submit, see the tab above. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors and Readers

After a Week in Chartres, a poem by Rebecca Pyle

  After a Week in Chartres Become absorbed into ideas about how a house is really a boat Which is stopped And a car is a boat Which is limited and heartbroken, Separated from sea And you will begin to want the house and the boat Which both break rules of how a house or a boat should be. Can you not be childish and be a grownup? Yes, you can. You can eat pan and pain and butter and fromage and apricot jams. You can walk till your legs are both muscled and weary. Your smile May be dependent upon knowing many things unbuyable are  Missing And will probably never be found again. They are like land You cannot reach because the sea is too big and pretty and hungry And too in love with its reflective capabilities, its dance eternal With the sun. What has the sun always been to you? The middle fiddle of the blender, The machine which whirls us all into submission, acquiescence, glitter,  Says our physical wounds will heal and our brains will rise above, our  Novels about loneliness are nothing