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Showing posts from August, 2021

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