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Showing posts from 2019

Helicopter Poet,a poem by Nancy Pulley

Helicopter Poet by Nancy Pulley I hover over creation, stroke a metaphor as if brushing the hair from my grandson’s forehead, pull a poem back from the hot fire of the critic as I did my son’s fingers from our autumn campfire. I can’t bear for the world to see them through any except a mother’s eyes. How I cherish the fact that they came from me, wonder if I should trust others to love enough to help with their raising. A teacher suggests taking out the heart of one, and a nearly famous poet calls them “sentimental.” Yet try as I might to build poems like bridges, I keep birthing them from some romantic liaison with air, sky, tree, river or the occasional star that falls to earth like a God. Words are not brightly colored Lego blocks to be torn apart and repurposed. They cling to me, my little monkeys, my sweet offspring, daughters coming in from the yard, peach juice glistening on their young, pink lips. Nancy Pulley 's

The Visit, a poem by Mary Redman

The Visit by Mary Redman Her eyes, a windless pond, look but do not see as I move to her table in the dining room. Slowly, the focus changes—and she knows it’s me but can no longer say my name. I take her out, slow-footed, for our walk along a certain route, the road encircling her sheltered home. She tries to set a faster pace as if she needs to prove something. No need to hurry, I say. Tongue-tied, she tries to speak, as if she must—to keep me coming back. She may be right. I do not know how to do this sort of small talk. I speak. She nods, pretends to catch my point. Looking at her soft-skinned face, draped jowls, crosshatched lines marking years, I wonder when she changed so. Soon it’s time to leave— We hug as if one of us might break, and I smell soap and Charlie , faded after hours of wearing. I tell her I’ll phone tomorrow. She blinks. I wonder what she thinks

Absence, a poem by Roger Pfingston

Absence by Roger Pfingston My wife and I miss Carole, our next-door neighbor, and Elmer, also our neighbor who lived across the road. Elmer for his daily banter, a mechanical wizard with mowers and such, a sharp-eyed nonagenarian who roamed his yard, hose in hand, flushing the tunneled darkness of moles uprooting his grass. Carole for her resolve against cancer while tending myriad flowers, her front yard the plotted absence of grass. So recent their going, sometimes we pick up the phone or glance out the window before we catch ourselves. A retired teacher of English and photography, Roger Pfingston is the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. He is the author of Something Iridescent, a collection of poetry and fiction, as well as four chapbooks: Earthbound, Singing to the Garden, A Day Marked for Telling, and What’s Gi

Flying Island's 2019 Pushcart Prize nominations

Flying Island, the online literary journal of the Indiana Writers Center, is pleased to announce its nominees for the 2019 Pushcart Prize. Vincent Corsaro for "Lost in Translation: A Spaniard With English Ears," January 14, 2019 Mary M. Brown for "San Souci," August 9, 2019 Terry Ofner for "Cave Painting," April 1, 2019 Mary Redman for "Meatless Friday," November 11, 2019 Mary Sexson for "Her Addiction," January 21, 2019 Congratulations and good luck to

What the Body Does to Us in Time, a poem by Norbert Krapf

What the Body Does to Us in Time by Norbert Krapf Where does all the pain come from? Those knobs at the base of the thumbs that pulse and make it hard to open anything screwed tight. And those noises the shoulder joints make when we lift our arms? The dimming of our eyes and the disappearance of moisture in them that once lubricated vision? Those rude noises that more easily escape the apertures we’d rather not name? And what about those names that escape us so easily now? I mean even of people we still know we like. Oh and those appointments we are obliged to keep, who wrote them down in such illegible script on the wrong days or not at all anywhere? And the sweet flowers we have loved so long, why can’t they be polite enough to whisper their euphonious names in our wide-open ears? And love, why do we so seldom understand what the other is saying and become irritated by the irascible and too-loud word What ? Why d

The Blowing Prophecy, a poem by Michael E. Strosahl

The Blowing Prophecy by Michael E. Strosahl Already the winds have chilled, already the leaves that waved through summer have dried and come loose. have been carried away to the fields edge to cackle with those who fell before, to crackle stories with the chaff of corn stalks who warn of the coming harvest that is sure to claim us all. The fragile bones of unshielded bean pods rattle as they shiver in the cool of a breeze, quaking with the rumble of the trucks and combines that will soon thresh out the gold grown from soil and sun and cast off the dust of shells and stems to be blown across cleared land as the blackbirds descend to look for the forgotten— those lost souls of autumn— before they too are chased, to flap away on the zephyrs of November. Michael E. Strosahl is originally from Moline, Illinois. After moving to Indiana, he joined several poetry groups and traveled the state meeting many members of

My Sister's Clothers, a poem by Nancy Pulley

My Sister’s Clothes by Nancy Pulley Mementos wait in the family home for me to muster up some kind of ancestral tough love-- throw away the past. How many keepsakes do I need to sift through to find a solid lump of grief? How many tchotchkes will fit in an already crowded shadowbox? I’m trying to find comfort in postcards sent to my grandmother, Mom’s handmade doilies, in the metal closet where my sister’s clothes hang empty waiting to be placed in that old wooden storage trunk of my heart. Nancy Pulley 's poems have appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, the Indiannual, Flying Island, Arts Indiana Literary Supplement, Passages North, Plainsong, the Sycamore Review, and the Humpback Barn Festival collection. In 1992, she won the Indiana Writers Center poetry chapbook contest, resulting in the publication of a chapbook, Tremolo of Light.

Meatless Fridays, a poem by Mary Redman

Meatless Fridays were meant to be a sacrifice. Frozen fish sticks or tuna salad on toast with vegetable soup filled our bellies most weeks. But sometimes, unpredictably, Dad would bring home carryout cheese pizzas and a six-pack of Pepsi Cola in glass bottles. Entering the front door, he bore the scent of melted mozzarella and crisp baked dough in twin cardboard boxes. Each of us snagged a slice and giggled when the stringy cheese stretched from box to plate. Six of us kids eyed shrinking pizzas across a long, scarred table, as grease and tomato sauce dripped on chins, and fizz from half a soda filled our noses. Nights like that, Dad was a hero, and our myopic eyes failed to see the fraying cuffs of his pressed white shirt, shiny elbows of his suit, thinning hair, weary gaze, or the hollow set of his dark eyes.                                                           —Mary Redman Mary Redman is a retired high school English teac

Musing Half Asleep, a poem by Roger Pfingston

Musing Half Asleep by Roger Pfingston Pleasantly redundant, birds chip away November darkness, though some, like the crow, are more industrial. Imagine sitting down at a table of crows, half a dozen blabbing non-stop like one of those talk shows, no commercials unless you count another day’s molten birth in a lingering drought, the slow- passing clouds dialing down the light on a gleaming spread of frost … icing on a burnt cake. --------------------------------------------------- A retired teacher of English and photography, Roger Pfingston is the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. He is the author of Something Iridescent, a collection of poetry and fiction, as well as four chapbooks: Earthbound, Singing to the Garden, A Day Marked for Telling, and What’s Given, the latter recently published by Kattywompus Press.

Fish Story, creative nonfiction by Shawndra Miller

Fish Story by Shawndra Miller My dog runs ahead on the deserted golf course, galloping across a wooden bridge that spans Pleasant Run. Along the creek’s border, denuded trees scratch at the low sky. As always, this winter afternoon, my friend Alma and I fall deep into conversation about the implied lessons behind every little trial in our lives. I’m attempting to conquer chronic pain; she’s raising two teenagers on her own. The bridge's bounce carries us along. Mid-bridge Alma seizes my arm. More observant than I, she draws my attention downward to the planks under our feet: "Is that a fish ?" We gape down at a silvery body, narrower than my hand, long as a glove. A smear of red on the wooden slats. A stillness, then a sudden movement that we sense more than see—"Is he still breathing ?" We bend closer, and the round white lips widen in a spasm of something like hope. Really, do fishes hope? Maybe it was fear that opened the lips and drew in t