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Peripheral Dream Sequence, a poem by Daniel Brennan

Peripheral Dream Sequence I have a dream in which my father is the villain.  No, wait, let me start over.  I have a dream in which I am the villain but my father made me,  which makes him the villain too. The dream is like a car crash in my  peripheral vision, a sequence of grinding metal and rubber and flame when he asks me, in a fury, are these your drugs? and I laugh because the drug in question is my own hot blood,  viscous and unforgiving on my hands. My mother storms into my childhood bedroom; she tells me my father isn’t real. Not that he doesn’t exist, but that he’s trying not to. He’s trying to escape his own mess. He’s trying to escape the drug of settling for less, so easily swallowed in your youth which is also my youth which is also this dream sequence in which my father is the villain but I am  too and so is my mother because despite the doped-up rush of licking our wounds over the years, we can’t help but make
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Ode to Old Baseball Equipment, a poem by James Green

Ode to Old Baseball Equipment Walking the neighborhood, I saw an estate sale,  the kind where the closets and attic have been emptied,  everything sorted, then spread onto sawhorse tables  set up on the lawn. There was a favorite chair,  dishes from family dinners, suits long out of style  but saved for one reason or another, probably graduations  or weddings, and some well-worn hand tools  that kept the family’s house in repair, their car running.  And over on the side was a table with old sports equipment,  a golf set with a club or two missing, some fishing tackle,  and a couple of old ball mitts – a Rawlings, the Stan Musial model,  the one with three fingers (good starter glove) and  a catcher’s mitt, also a Rawlings, the Ed Bailey (top-of-the-line),  both oiled and each holding a scuffed, yellowed ball in its pocket  shaped to someone’s liking. And a 32- inch Jackie Robinson,  thick handle for hitting bleeders when jammed inside.  Did the one who set these relics on the lawn, the

Tomato Seedlings, a poem by Nancy Pulley

Tomato Seedlings When I loosen the tomato plants, each  from the other, their roots are spider silk, the hair of tiny Gods. My hands  are clumsy strangers learning each year how to touch the world, trying not to  squeeze too hard, to pinch a stem or lop a curled leaf. They lie side by side, exude a pungent spirit. As I tuck them into dirt, I breathe in childhood, first love, secluded gardens— so much of this good life floating through air at my fingertips. Nancy Pulley ’s poems have appeared in The Tipton Poetry Journal , the Indiannual , The Flying Island , Arts Indiana Literary Supplement , Passages North , Plainsong , The Sycamore Review , and the Humpback Barn Festival collection. In 1992 she won the Indiana Writer’s Center Poetry Chapbook contest, resulting in the publication of a chapbook, Tremolo of Light .

Second Place Fiction Contest - "After the Rush," by Roberta J. Barmore

AFTER THE RUSH      The dry cornstalks rustled in the breeze so loudly he could barely hear her. "I said I'd had enough rice and beans already."  He turned and spat dust. "What's so terrible about that?"      She met his eyes square-on, squinting.  "It's what we're having for dinner.  I told you this morning. And just now."  She hugged the lunch pail like it was a kitten.      He looked over her shoulder and down the row, swaying stalks converging into a solid mass of yellow-gold, the color her hair had been when they first met.  "I didn't ask at breakfast. I'm just all riced out."  How long ago had it been now, ten years?  Before everything started falling apart.  Before the smash-flat storms of black rain with months of drought between.      She interrupted his memories, flat-voiced.  "Too bad. It keeps longer than anything else. Market day was three weeks ago and there's another week to go."  Daring him to

Migration, a poem by Jennifer Derksen

Migration    I sit on the porch with my morning coffee   watching a flock of birds migrating, a   river path carrying them through the small   woods across the street, their constant chatter  hushed only by the sudden woosh of wings as they   ride the wave to the next cluster of trees.    I think about the river, the Nolichucky,   we rafted down this summer with my sister,   my family and hers. When she was falling   out of the boat, the world slowed to indecision.    Was it was safer to grab her and risk us both   or let her go into the river, lifejacket around her   neck?  She told me that a woman died on that  river, later, after we were dry and home and the  Nolichucky was pasted into our scrapbooks.     I come inside to the kitchen, turning on the   radio to hear a poet say "to be human is to   risk."  I set my mug on the counter next to a pile of  masks, worn and washed.  I fold and stack them in the   basket by the door, a pile of life jackets. Outside my   window, I s

Sagan Dalya, a poem by Logan Garner

Sagan Dalya There they are: leaves drifting listless in a steel sink. A kind of rhododendron tea, not at all the same as the  toxic variety blooming in arboreal chains along this north coast. “Sagan Dalya” in Buryat. What an obscure bit of nature to have infiltrated my damp sea-blown cottage, and so distant from its home among high and arid and rocky soils. How strange to be so dislocated. How tragic to travel so far finally to arrive, only to drown as refuse in a basin crowded by so much cold  glass and unfriendly gray water. Logan Garner lives in Astoria, Oregon, but Indiana's glacier lakes, wetlands, southern wooded hills, and its tilled-row fields remain close to his heart. They founded and persist in his love of nature. His work has been published in journals and anthologies, including three poems recently featured in the Kneeland Center for Poetry’s The Elevation Review . His first collection of poetry , Here, in the Floodplain , has been accepted by Plan B Press and is slat

Saffron Gatherers, a poem by Katherine V. Wills

Saffron Gatherers     I held this yellow potshard with  A fresco of saffron gatherers at Santorini:  Their nubile bodies swaddled in silk wraps,  Tiny fingertips gold with spicy crocus.  How could they predict a caldera spilling   Lava down Atlantis, up to a cerulean Aegean sky?    No statues smiled the way they smiled  In Thera before the yellow  And red and blue blended.  After that came Internecine years  Until they were reborn  In the cusp of California  Girls smiled in Santa Clara, the Valley.  Boys walked slowly towards the setting sun.     Like Santorini,  Will the smiles of the children burn to ash  To praise beak-nosed warriors   Bodies ripped in stone?   Where are you, you gently smiling saffron gatherers of Santorini?  Katherine V. Wills 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 Indiana writers.

Flying Island Journal 3.23

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 3.23 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition, we announce our first, second, and third place winners of our Short Fiction Contest! In this edition, we also have three poems and another craft corner piece by our CNF editor, Michael Gawdzik. 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 FICTION CONTEST WINNERS Thank you to IWC Writer-in-Residence, Barbara Shoup, for judging the contest. Thank you also to our anonymous donor for the first place prize and Half Price Bookstore of Avon for donating gift cards for our second and third place prizes. Congratulations to T.M. Spooner who is the first place winner of the Short Fiction Contest for his story, "Fireworks." You can read his story here . Congratulations to Roberta Barmore who is the second place winner of the Short Fiction Contest. Barmore&

First Place Short Story - "Fireworks," by T.M. Spooner

Fireworks by T.M. Spooner With dusk settling, the day nearly extinguished beyond the horizon, the boy hustled to the barn. He breathed deeply through the violet haze, through the slim tail of day fading into night. Gazing off to the North, across the cornfield, he was concerned they had waited too long and would miss the fireworks. He threw the latch on the barn door and inside, stacked beside a compost bin, were the aluminum lawn chairs. When his grandparents emerged from the farmhouse, they all started along the two-track at the edge of the prairie. A rusty barbed wire fence guided them on the far side of the trail. On the path, lined with skinny trees, purple thistle, and the sour scent of black walnuts, the boy’s grandparents walked ahead. The boy trudged behind them, dragging the lawn chairs, leaving peculiar scribbles in the dirt.  The destination was a little clearing at the edge of the cornfield where they could see the fireworks launched from a nearby town. About two miles as