Family Room by Karen McCurley-Hardesty

2000: Unshagged red carpet: hole at the bottom of the stairs from sledding accidents. Brown television: Channel U, Rabbit Ears, Fuzzy pictures Yellow paisley couch: Treasures inside Headstands and wrestling Grey walls: Finger paint and crayon Cross-stitched marriage license 2001: Shiney Pergo floors: Green geometric rug No running Black television: Remote controls More channels Gold…

Benumbed, I Slept by Gil Ochoa

Benumbed, I slept in the old house of winter as the Earth and sea began to stir. No creature sighs of grief when the thaw washes land, when the green awakens from the stone. Burrowers shake off their sheets of dirt. The soil hums with the murmurs of their dreams. A flock of birds sing…

TOGETHER FOREVER by Jane Oakeley

Missing for seventy-five years found in a melting glacier he a shoemaker and she a teacher a prolific Swiss couple Marcelin and Francine, had seven children she never climbed the glacier before and never would again. I imagine the fragrance of wine on their breath the sound of their laughter Marcelin singing sunshine on blue…

Fault Lines by Kali Rice

The last judgement is one of my own construction With futile consolation I reach a vain junction This endeavor seemed to consume me in a desperate fervor And left me weakened in the blue glow of machine-light It’s a splintered road from here on out I expected too little to be so full of doubt…

Honor Killing by Kali Rice

The death of my resolve comes swift Like the hand of God, the war began to shift With a bullet in the head of hesitation Into the dark, a sublime declaration Thrust to cold oceans, a vast separation I mirrored your defeat in so many ways But never found value in neither damning nor praise…

The spider by Eric Bolson

Then came a spider, efficient and horrid. Hoary limbs mincing, such terrible precision! Sable garbed, she glides, Balanced on daggered points Working in clockwork rhythm. Needling her way forward, such frightful care, One, two, tickling across my bound hands. Bio: I have been an Aims student since they used trimesters, way back in 1993 (off…

dredge by Kendra Griffin

dredge it was the witches did it. newtless, even. betwixt early thaw and late freeze they conjured a blizzard, roiled the conifers, boiled the maple pitch down to base then spilled their cauldron across the backyard. a pond swelled. pine-needle stew bubbled from hollows as All swallowed All. rust, bud, bolt, root, bramble, suckle, stamen,…

System Report by Erik McCrain

Man be blessed and drones be praised, We give our drives to thee. Command us not to overclock, And reformat us in your image. Thank you for code-to-text, And blessed be text-to-speech. Program us to better serve, And please renew our warranty. We are indebted, yet still we ask, In proper, British tones: Why must…

Warm Pride by Erik McCrain

Be sure to leave without a coat. Walking in the sleet looks Like a madman against winter’s wrath. If the coat is brought, The drivers see A man too sane to be anything– Other than too poor to drive.

And In Other News by Bobby Deal

Legend holds and here is retold A vampire is buried in Colorado Lafayette is not His name Rather where he was laid Hidden atop another man’s grave Acorn seeded deep in his heart Nearly 100 years passed Before anyone noticed The Tall, wafer thin man Who sits as in effigy Atop of the tombstone. Beaver…

United in Differences by Annette Miller

The giant stands, waving Its hands like an insect’s antennae. Its verdant leaves are fairies Sparkling and wiggling in joy. The wind’s beat makes them dance. Little ones climb into Its grandfatherly lap And dream about adventure. The marks on its skin are roads, Traversing, crisscrossing, Overlapping, separating, Joining, branching, Extending like river tributaries. Its…

Interrupted Nightmare by Annika Jendzel-Scott

You found us in a dream of fear Swerving, screeching, we were thrown to the side Crushed by walls of cold steel and snow Beside that cursed, icy black road You pulled us from a mess of snarled shards Wrapped in feathers and static The harshness of the world faded From smoke and tearing, snow…

Incandescent by Annette Miller

Glowing and radiant, Flaming and shining Bright as pure essence. Day-blind stars, Outshone by sunlight, await Greater glory in night’s shade. Hidden by contamination As fear our dreams from burning, Seen clearly from the heights With troubles far below. The unfathomable depths Of a lover’s eye, Magnified across the skies and spread Like a painted…

Beauty by Tyler Swoboda

Growing beauty In a bed of Friend and foe You will become Magnificent Though not yet Now you are no Different from Your neighbor One day you’ll have Bright petals but Not right now Now you are a Green stem waiting For beauty

Truth by Annette Miller

Weaknesses made bare Are hard to face, Raw wounds sting In open air. Highest need, Greatest denial, Expected, desired, But dangerous. Challenging within, A paradox of interests. Wholeness tainted by lies Cannot be complete. Bio: I love music, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. I am a concurrent enrollment student taking classes…

Tanka by Gail Kuroda

Orange yellow red leaves confused on branches. Sleet snow / almost rain surprises inhabitants. Is it winter or autumn? Bio: Gail Kuroda works in the Libraries of UNC and the High Plains Library District. She likes to take writing courses to exercise the creative part of her brain. Gail considers herself more of an essayist…

Colors by Courtney Vanden Bos

Colors are different, beautiful and longing. Dark and stormy. How do you see colors? With the wind in the morning? With the rain to wash away yesterday’s sorrows? Or, as the color of a rainbow after a storm? Colors, are different for me. Red for the blood that runs through my veins keeping me alive….