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Flying Island Journal 12.21

    Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 12.21 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! The year of 2021 is the first full year of our new publication schedule where we publish new work the last Friday of every month. We are completing the year with two poetry contributors. We hope you enjoy this issue. Be on the lookout for fee-free submissions in February! We'd love to see your work. Check back at the end of January for the next issue. The Flying Island Journal would also like to welcome our new Creative Nonfiction Editor, Michael Gawdzik. He's looking for new CNF, so prepare your submissions for the fee-free submissions window in February! Wishing you a Happy New Year! Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors & Readers POETRY Charlotte Melin, "Before the Frost" Roger Pfingston, "Tableau" Follow us! Twitter: @JournalFlying Instagram: @flyingislandjournal Are you a writer who is from the Midwest or has close ties to the Midwest? We'd
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Before the Frost, a poem by Charlotte Melin

        Before the Frost In the bouldered prairie sumac flares up red here and there, and bison rest between  stiff spikes of mullein  with wooly leaves. The creek waterfall  has dried to a trickle, the rocks that flank it shelter yet moss in layers once carved by torrents.  Elsewhere, deer bound off into the woods, a spent oriole nest  lies beside the path beneath cottonwoods. After the rain comes, small bird voices will fill every bush and tree one last time before the frost. Charlotte Melin grew up in Indiana and returns to visit. Recently retired from the University of Minnesota, she lives in Northfield and has published widely about German poetry, the environmental humanities, and teaching.

Tableau, a poem by Roger Pfingston

            Tableau   New Year’s Eve, 2020 Emerging snow-blurred out  of the woods, the doe at dusk fulfills our unspoken wish,  though still limping, moving ever closer to stare at the two of us having dinner lit by a new ceiling light, the globe’s hue dialed to a soft sepia, the gift of a handyman friend  who’d asked if we might  prefer degrees of brightness after four decades of on/off. With a centerpiece of lilies,             the table is a simple choice  of fish and rice, bread and wine, glasses raised to the pending year,  the doe, for now, still there. Roger Pfingston has poems in recent issues of Sheila-Na-Gig , Dash , Hamilton Stone Review , Tipton Poetry Journal , Innisfree Poetry Journal , and Valparaiso Poetry Review . His chapbook, What’s Given , is available from Kattywompus Press.

Flying Island Journal 11.21

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 11.21 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have four contributors representing poetry and creative nonfiction. We hope you enjoy this issue. Be on the lookout for fee-free submissions after the new year! We'd love to see your work. Check back at the end of December for the next issue. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors POETRY Roger Pfingston, "Walking the West Side" Doris Lynch, "Apprenticeship for the Walking Life" CREATIVE NONFICTION Angela Acosta, "A Gap in the Light" Kim Clarke, "Of Memory and Loss" 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.

Apprenticeship for the Walking Life, a poem by Doris Lynch

Apprenticeship for the Walking Life For Kristen Did you learn to love to hike on those long tundra walks when I carried  you cocooned inside my parka, the one  you wear now on polar vortex nights?  We rambled over the frozen lagoon, and then past the singing Wulik.  Together, we traversed the hummocky  waves of Alaska’s permafrosted tundra.  Sometimes, I sang but mostly my Sorels  sawed through the snow, a sound similar  to tuning an old tuba. Nights came early,   at two in the afternoon, a pale, ulu-shaped  moon rose.  Riding abu, your world  was primarily sound then: ptarmigans hurdled into flight, a snowy owl mewed being chained  to an old log, one that had ridden  the sea currents all the way from Siberia.  Now I walk the Griffy Lake trails,  cross fallow fields, pace beside the endless  railroad tracks. Car lights point and shoot,  and once or twice a year, a pale aurora  hangs over our subdivision. Sometimes snow  floats down, sometimes moths bat against the light,  and in spring

Of Memory and Loss, Creative Nonfiction by Kim Clarke

I want to visit my grandparents’ house one last time, a final few hours before young new owners move in with their own styles, smells, and belongings. I’ve always thought of it as a simple house with a quiet elegance. My grandpa expanded the place over the years with the precise carpentry he used with any project. His work is seamless and solid: a comfortable family room, a single-bay garage for a car, and a solid workbench for all his tools. He is gone but lives in the beams and cabinets and brickwork. My grandmother is still with us, warm and alert at 98 but living in a nearby nursing home. She can no longer navigate steps and carpet and the demands of a family home. The house is empty, ready for its next occupants, devoid of my grandparents and their 65 years together under this roof. The vacant rooms echo. But I see the dining room table where we always gathered for Thanksgiving dinner; the special kitchen drawer that held “Grandpa’s bread,” dense brown slices that made me and my y

Walking the West Side, a poem by Roger Pfingston

Walking the West Side  Bloomington, Indiana Having confirmed with each other over breakfast  what day it is, we are walking a slow mile     on the west side—the winsome mix of local artists,     their front-yard galleries. My mask dangles from one ear, my wife’s pulled down  below her chin, at the ready should someone  appear up ahead or from behind,  or suddenly step out the door full-featured. Grateful for a day’s reprieve from the hurricane’s spinoff storms, we walk  the four points of the compass, taking in  the yard signs— No Hate , Buy Local , th e amusing Helicopter Rides $20.00 — as well as the Little Free Libraries, some  achieving objets d’art . We stop to read the spines— pristine, tattered—of each librarian’s modest offering, New Age Baby Names missing its cover. Our final block, the brightly worked gardens of longtime dwellers…hostas and grasses, zinnias, phlox, purple asters…but the morning stopper is the perennial troupe of tall naked ladies  standing just below a fenc