Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2024

Flying Island 1.26

Dear Flying Island Readers: Welcome to the 1.26 Edition of the Flying Island Journal! In this edition we publish poems by Jason Ryberg , Tony Pearman , David Priest , and Laurel Smith . 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

Passion Flowers and Puzzle Boxes, a poem by Jason Ryberg

Passion Flowers and Puzzle Boxes Scientists and poets alike have yet to find  whether certain experimental hybridizations  of radio waves and silver go-go boots in any way affect the erratic trajectories of UFOs; Though, they now know that the geometry of fireflies  may have some influence over the delicate symbiosis  of communication satellites, train yards  and Blue Turtle migrations. However, despite recent controversial reports there has been no independent confirmation on whether the random arrangement of orange blossoms on a city sidewalk,  slick with rain, has any more relation  to the performance of a North Korean  featherweight in the 9th than  a performance of Beethoven’s 9th by the South Korean Philharmonic does to the discovery of designs  for a steam-driven engine  written on papyrus. But, one doesn’t need a steady diet of coral calcium deposits or subterranean cold-storage of arcane information to see that a cracked engine block is bound, cosmically,  to a crack-baby foun

Nighthawks, a poem by Tory Pearman

Nighthawks House on a hill, Edward Hopper sky: the nighthawks circle the roof ridge, cryptic plumes mottled gray and black like ash bark. A white flash blazes as their wings rise and dip  in the dim half-light between night and morning. Everything in this house grieves. Ghostly shadows peer out windows as if trying to leave the mourning that hovers in the air  thick as gravestone moss.  Outside, the hawks, now erratic, look like bats as their sharp, electric peent buzzes, halted only by a boom when one and then another and then another circles high above the eaves and then dives  steeply, hurtling toward the earth, a sullen plunge saved only by a graceful,  long-winged looping that pitches back up to the heavens. The unrelenting hum of buzz, boom, swish cloaks the rooftop like a shroud, pounds against the rafters and lintels, then stops suddenly. The front-porch door swings into the silence, and we watch them carry your shrouded body to the open wings of the hearse. The hawks roost mot

a freckle, a poem by David Priest

a freckle before I knew to love you, I typed an overwrought thought about those little brown spots swirling or perhaps, though it pains me to admit, constellating on your nose, your cheeks, your very soul or a similar plea for meaning. because they couldn’t just be little bits of brown skin. they had to be stars, or flecks of swallowed sunlight, or perhaps birds, yes, birds, flocking across a cloudless face. as usual, I had it backwards. stars freckle the night, birds freckle the trees, whose leaves freckle the houses on our street. it’s only taken me nine years to realize your freckles are freckles. my favorite is one on your lip, which I first noticed while you slept. it’s barely a freckle at all, this freckle, so faint. an island in the ocean completely covered at high tide is the freckle on your lip. you could miss it altogether if you were looking for stars. David Priest is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The American Literary Review , Salon, Cleaver Magazine,

In January, a poem by Laurel Smith

In January   even the river dreams of going to the moon after the ice breaks, a chilly ink of spring thaw  plotting some way to launch   its rocky bottom  into weightless night. The current tells of children who make wishes, who fly on carpets, who embrace a snowy day while the old year folds itself into a tiny  fist, grasping light from winter’s narrow lot to make stars that dance on water. Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily volunteers to promote community gardening, social awareness, and creativity. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Natural Bridge , New Millennium Writings , English Journal , Tipton Poetry Journal , and Flying Island ; also in the following anthologies: And Know This Place; Mapping the Muse; Visiting Frost .