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Flying Island Journal 9.21

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 9.21 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have two contributors in creative nonfiction. Both pieces offer moments of reflection. One piece draws a portrait of the writer's personal journey with 9/11 while the other draws a portrait of a man who has made a lasting imprint on the writer's life. We hope you enjoy this issue. Be on the lookout for fee-free submissions! We'd love to see your work. Check back at the end of October for the next issue. Happy Fall! Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors CREATIVE NONFICTION Dan Carpenter, "Recovering Dom Sebastian" Robin Myers, "The Priest + The Chapel + The Pile" 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.

Recovering Dom Sebastian, creative nonfiction by Dan Carpenter

In the summer of 1970, when I was editor of the Marquette (University) Tribune , a story crossed my desk about a visiting scholar-writer-priest from Great Britain named Dom Sebastian Moore. An occasion for no more than mild curiosity in that setting; but I would come to know him well and personally, not in classrooms or offices or chapels but in grungy campus-area bars and seedy apartments. The agent for this odd development was my fellow student and friend Joe McCook, who was a stranger to theology and monastic tradition but a stranger to no human he met. Big Joe ran into a learned, affable, balding, middle-aged, globe-trotting monk in our seedy hangout for all tastes, the Avalanche Bar, and so began our story.      Prodigious socially as he was physically, the 6-foot-four, 230-pound ex-football player, along with his wry, forbearing wife Darlene, became drinking buddies with me well before that summer of my editorship and graduation. I guess they pretty much adopted me, aimless

In Remembrance of September 11, 2001: Creative Nonfiction by Robin Myers

The Priest + The Chapel + The Pile Remembering My 9/11 Journey Remember, the cloudless sky was a bright light blue when at 8:45AM, a plane crashed into the eightieth floor of the north tower at the World Trade Center. A freak accident? Then at 9:03 a second plane crashed into sixtieth floor of the south tower. Then a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Later, when hijackers took over the controls of United flight 93 bound for San Francisco, Jim Beamer said. “Let’s roll.” Passengers stormed the cockpit.  The plane crashed into an open field in Pennsylvania, instead of it’s intended target in Washington. Planes were ordered to land at the nearest airport.              Our clergy staff met after the second plane crashed to plan of response to the attack.  That afternoon 5:00 PM I began the first hour of a three-hour prayer vigil. The following two Sundays neither of my colleagues spoke about 9/11 from the pulpit. I was to preach on the third Sunday. Something needed to be said, but Fri

Flying Island Journal 8.21

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 8.21 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! For this last edition before fall arrives, we have two contributors in poetry and one in creative nonfiction.  We hope you'll fall in love with the language of each of the pieces as much as we did. From the sounds of hens mourning to the images of land transforming from summer to fall and the lyrical rhythm of a braided personal essay, it never ceases to amaze us how writers capture language for seasons, events, and moments in time and form them into prose and poetry. We hope you enjoy this issue. We invite you to submit your poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction (link in the tab above). We publish new issues the last Friday of every month. Thank you for reading, Flying Island Editors POETRY Liz Whiteacre, "Portrait of Mourning in the Coop" Michael Brockley, "The Butterfly Garden without Mariposas " CREATIVE NONFICTION Leah McNaughton Lederman, " The Day He Sang&quo

Portrait of Mourning in the Coop, a poem by Liz Whiteacre

Portrait of Mourning in the Coop The hens coo softly, low in their throats like your quiet sobs in the dormitory when you first learned your  grandfather died. They know too: death is quick on sunny days whether foraging worms or reading in lawn chairs. Three hawks who’d  been stalking the flock  patiently for weeks— an untended moment, all our guards down. Imagine their alarm, duck and cover, sisters racing under pines, into their shed, through low arbor vitae and talons quietly tearing chests, wings, throats —downy underfeathers floating in chill air. It is silent when we head to collect eggs that were not laid, see white, black, brown feathers littering the yard, carcasses discarded unceremoniously. It is silent like the dark ride to the airport for your solo flight to his memorial. Silence until the two hens  coo in the coop, comforting each other in a corner, a dirge for their sisters. They know too: death is quick to leave silence, proprioception wheeling, readjusting to absence—

The Butterfly Garden without Mariposas, a prose poem by Michael Brockley

The Butterfly Garden without Mariposas The giant sunflowers of August can no longer resist the pull of September gravity. The rust petals list toward the sun while the golden ones crash in silence onto the last flowers of late summer. Black-eyed susans. Chalice-like crocuses. Throughout the garden, husky bumblebees stumble through the harvest of zinnias, their black-and-yellow flights growing ever more erratic as their pollinating missions wane during the humid afternoon. In this cycle of decay, swamp roses push forth a new bevy of blooms, and Mexican sunflowers, volunteers to this butterfly garden without mariposas , claim these days before the tenth month to flourish. As if the wayward patron saint of unsung beauty, having rested overnight beneath a wilted sunflower, plucked a pinkening love apple to leave in her wake before resuming her odyssey.     Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Hobo Camp Review , Unbroken

The Day He Sang, creative nonfiction by Leah McNaughton Lederman

He was coming around the side of the house, naked to the waist—naturally, since it was over sixty degrees—swinging a wrench in one hand. That’s pretty standard, too. The only thing different this time was that I heard my husband before I saw him.  And he was singing. The voice that boomed through my childhood was my father’s, calling up the stairs, shouting through the halls of the church, loud and sharp, sculpting the air like a putty knife on clay, then lower and more resonant, rhythmic and honest, enunciating each word to make a point—a necktie on each syllable.  My own alto caw never got me anywhere but the chorus, despite the hopes of a callback audition senior year. I didn’t get the part and the girl who did flubbed the high note. I’ve never forgiven her for it. I belted the same song mercilessly from behind the safety of my seat belt, bowing to an imaginary audience at the red light. Burnt out and second-string to begin with.  Like anyone else, I met my husband’s voice before I

Flying Island Journal 7.21

      Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 7.21 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! We have four contributors in poetry and one in fiction. The season of summer often brings us into moments of reflection. The four poems in this edition bring us nostalgia in "Love Letters" with images of mango tea and a first car; bring us images of a Midwestern summer with kernels and August corn fields in "Corn Truck Overturns On Main Street"; bring us a nature walk in "Note to Erin from the Hathaway Preserve, Wabash, Indiana," with raspberries and filtered light through leaves; bring us memory and grief among water in "The Flicker."  The fiction piece, "The Triumph of Mitch," shows us how friendship can reflect the growth, or lack thereof, we see in ourselves and our lives. We hope you enjoy this issue and don't forget to submit your poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction (link in the tab above). We publish new issues the last Friday

Love Letters, a poem by Emma Birkbeck

      Love Letters A love letter to the sweet pleasure of sipping mango tea beneath the fern's elongated fingers, where her spliced tendrils mesh with hair grown to my knees and the finches hop along the sill with their gentle thud, thud, thudding . A love letter to my father's neighborhood back home,  to the man who set time on a loop until he fell into the deep sleep one cannot attain by natural means, the bells chiming noisily on their seven minute march.  An alarm clock for the downtrodden and free. A love letter to my first car, with her shakes and shivers and inability to quit the endless trudge forward. To the wasp who came to visit on the highway, to the oil seeping out behind, bread crumbs to guide you home. To the eight hundred dollars invested as an act of self love. The millions of curbs we've kissed, the stickers melting on the dashboard, the girl in the back playing heavy metal drums on the headrest. A love letter to the steering wheel who held me, hunched ove