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Flying Island Journal 7.22

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 7.22 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have three pieces to share: two in poetry and one in creative nonfiction. We hope you enjoy this issue. Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? Submissions are free for the summer! For more info on how to submit, see the tab above. Links to each piece in this edition below. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors and Readers POETRY Charlotte Melin, "In the Wisconsin Arboretum" and "Flock" CREATIVE NONFICTION Aaron Bruener, "Latency Periods" 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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In the Wisconsin Arboretum and Flock, two poems by Charlotte Melin

In the Wisconsin Arboretum A sea of horsetails under the boardwalk and blue flags bloom in the marsh. A pair of sandhill cranes browses the pond edge, wild indigo waves white in the distance where wet prairie paths are closed. Under the trees, the confetti of  yellow-orange petals seem inexplicable  until I see leaf hands waving above— a tall tulip tree, farther north than I thought possible until  we encounter another and  expectations are overturned. The twisting drive here made  my head spin like a gyroscope. Now when you look at the trail map, I’m disoriented, feel my brain refuse to make sense of markers and turns. Yet, even unable to orient myself  to a chart, I notice the clues left by petals, like breadcrumbs  for our way back to Indiana.         Flock Driving home from Indiana we finally see the blackbirds I’ve missed all fall, feeding in stubbled cornfields. Later another flock shapeshifts south in migration, a mesmerizing murmuration. We have yet to travel through the flatte

Latency Periods, Creative Nonfiction by Aaron Bruener

Latency Periods      Brooke, 12, jumped up. She had spilled a fine white powder across her seat and along the floor. She approached the classroom teacher to tell her about it in a hushed tone. Emily, 25, consoled her before scooping a handful of the powder.      “These fucking kids,” she whispered at me as she passed. I, 33, shrugged and raised my eyebrows—the only facial gesture I allowed myself during the pandemic and one I hoped would stand in for all the others.      For the first time I was noticing thin creases across my forehead that didn’t go all the way away when I stopped smiling. I didn’t know whether that was because of stress, or age, or the fact that I was increasingly relying on the top half of my face to indicate my whole emotional register. Aside from that, I liked resting my mouth. I never smiled in public anymore if I could help it, and I found myself surprised if something funny—like a student, 11, coming publicly to the realization that his conception might have be

Flying Island Journal 6.22

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 6.22 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have three contributors in poetry. We hope you enjoy this issue. Inspired to send us your fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction? Submissions are free for the summer! For more info on how to submit, see the tab above. Links to each piece in this edition below. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors and Readers POETRY Kevin LeMaster, "Carry" Roger Pfingston, "Asana" John T. Leonard, "The Orange" 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!

Carry, a poem by Kevin LeMaster

Carry He wears the world  like a torn coat uncomfortable with how the sleeves ride to the elbow how tight the shoulders feel when he moves too much. He dreams of when a 42 long, fit comfortably and tattered things were something told that didn’t seem like lies, this world,  a swallow of dry leaves.  He dreams of the day when  black men can live without the fear of a bullet tattooing the chest of everyone they love, their necks bent toward hell,  a day when no one will walk into a supermarket and open fire in the produce section behind the deli. He is like a boy with a tiny wounded bird cradling the world in his arms, stroking its tired feathers and nursing  it back to health so  it can raise more white sons to kill again. this coat grows smaller with each wear, full of holes and bleeding the same red.     Kevin LeMaster lives in South Shore Kentucky. His poems have been found at SheilaNaGig online, The Slipstream, Triggerfish Critical Review , Route 7 Review , West Trade Review , T

Asana, a poem by Roger Pfingston

Asana     a posture in hatha yoga Who can deny the stippled beauty of spring trees budding green, or fuller yet, summer’s flourish     becoming the safe fires of autumn, the cold bonfires of hills and forests, mountainsides burning  to a bareness of dance and pose,          the annual asana of leafless limbs revealed thick and thin, multi- angled, jutting out from trunks barked according to species,                         their skeletal reach a held  grace deserving human pause.    Roger Pfingston is the author of Something Iridescent , a collection of poetry and fiction, as well as five chapbooks, the most recent being What’s Given , available from Kattywompus Press. He has new poems in The American Journal of Poetry, I-70 Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, 85 South, and Sheila-Na-Gig.

The Orange, a poem by John T. Leonard

The Orange     after Wendy Cope There were shards everywhere for a while but then I climbed through the red clay of restoration.   You brushed me off with a straw broom and we played the game  of gratitude and looped our favorite park five and a half times.   We walked through the door of our home with a bag of new books,  artisan fridge magnets, the caffeine shimmers—an entire day  ahead of us. Sometimes I’ll be packing my lunch and realize, for the last three days, everything has worked out.  The way an orange is pre-sliced for whoever wants to eat it.  The way the soft white glow of the moon falls on the rain gutters, as silent as the hidden sparrows in our neighbor’s ailanthus. I think I was meant to share this sentiment, to piece it out like an orange and give a little slice to everybody—to keep enough for myself, but give  most of it to you.  It feels so new, to draw an arrow of peace from my chest to our garden  where your voice pushes the tomatoes and zucchini along, where you