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Showing posts from July, 2023

Flying Island 7.28

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 7.28 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition we publish a nonfiction piece by Albert Hoffmann and poems by  Laurel Smith , Mary Sexson , and  Katherine V. Wills . 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

Keeping the Sabbath, a poem by Laurel Smith

Keeping the Sabbath           My worship is a blue sky and ten thousand crickets in the deep wet       hay of the field.  My vow is the silence under their song.                    –Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander Dawn The sycamore laughs, her new leaves confident before       the storm, her limbs stretched like a dancer’s ready for thunder, clapping for rain. Noon Jasmine—the real thing, though I’m still learning its first        name from bees in love with those blooms, swirling breath and nectar for their jubilee. Moment The hours fill, then spill then fill again: time itself   fluent as a cloud or tree or pebble speaking to a friend longing to listen.  Evening By the creek, a blackbird stops on the wild grass.  Does he       pause to scavenge seed or signal his mate or scan heaven for a psalm of flight? Dark Spring’s palette dims  at sundown, swallowed by shadow. Enter a million stars: all day they keep their places, all night the rainbowed world sle

Wild Peacocks, a poem by Mary Sexson

Wild Peacocks Eight-thousand miles can take a toll, even on an iPhone, and so your voice echoes, fades in and out as you tell me about the wild peacocks, their call, their strutty selves walking the grounds where you are staying.                   Our son guides you each day through this maze of newness. You, who clung to home as if it were your lifeboat, now wander on evening walks with him in the dust and heat   of southern India, washing your clothes in a bucket and scooping your food with your hand.                   I wonder at the sound of it, whether I could navigate such a distance, could listen to the peacock’s call. Mary Sexson is the author of the newly released Her Addiction An Empty Place at the Table (Finishing Line Press).  Her other books include the award-winning 103 in the Light, Selected Poems 1996-2000 (Restoration Press), and Company of Women, New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press).  She co-authored the upcoming book, Marriage Maps and Driven Destinies, to b

Clear Cut: Forester, a poem by Katherine V. Wills

Clear Cut: Forester  I told him to hire Amish loggers  Because their horses pull   Heavy logs and stumps  Not like machinery   Or skids that ravish  The forest floor.  These stout men  Read the trees,  With their loyal Bucephalus  Cutting and clearing side-by-side.     “Ya ya yaa, gee up”  Horses billowing breath  Hooves precariously slip sliding in mud.  The forester’s horses were named  Moonlight, Midnight, and Adam.    Years later you decided to trim  That one thick branch overhanging  The pine decking.  With your chainsaw hungrily   Growling into the resistant lateral,  With an engineer’s geometry,  By all dead reckoning,  The branch should have fallen  There.  You and I escaped into heartwood—  Only the beating heart of the felled tree.   Katherine V. Wills ( Katerina Tsiopos) is an English professor at Indiana University/Purdue University, Columbus, In. Her poetry has been published previously in Flying Island and she has worked with Reservoir Dogwood Poets and many south central

Cycling and Writing, nonfiction by Albert Hoffmann

When I tell people that I have cycled unsupported nearly 3,000 miles of winding roads along the west coast of the United States, along entire river paths of the South Korean peninsula, or up hopelessly steep mountains and volcanoes in Costa Rica, a common response from non-cyclists is simply, “Why?” The question echoes from voices of incredulity, faces skeptical of my motives, my self esteem, and especially my sanity. That sounds painful, like hell, they say. And there are moments in every journey in which their dubious instincts are correct, in which dehydration causes cramped, twitching quadriceps, when saddle sores on my ass burn like hellfires of my own creation. But after each of these trials, the destination comes with an enormous sense of accomplishment accompanied by the bittersweet knowledge that the journey is over. Unlike cycling, few people ask a writer upon writing their first novel, “Why did you do it?” There seems to be an automatic admiration for the talent and dedicati