Rock

By Guna Moran

A rock can only be made smaller
By beating and hitting
Can never be made larger

Rocks are generally homeless
They lay everywhere

Dead Deer

by Lauren Rose burnt bush skeletons like a haze of unbrushed hair ohoo a dead deer, she says as we drive past it and never think of it again Lauren Rose was born on Misawa Air Force Base in Japan in 1999. She is a senior at Sierra Nevada University studying biology, creative writing, and outdoor adventure leadership. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. Her previous work can be found in issue six of Burnt Pine Magazine and will soon be available in the fall 2020 issue of Peregrine, the 2020 issue of Ricochet Review Poetry Journal, and the Running…

Pray for us Sinners

by Lauren Rose

hail mary full of grace,

I sit in a pew
head bowed
dress torn
drinking her whispers

the lord is with thee.

This Time in History

A plague A call for survival Mortality rates Numbers Too large to name The lost souls of The unclaimed Wisdom stripped Forget Remember Normal new normal Listless numb-M Milicent Fambrough is an author from San Antonio, Texas. Milicent has been writing since her childhood. Creativity has always been encouraged in her family. After a long time in the working world, she returned to technical college for an education in the field of graphic design. There, Milicent made her decision to devote herself to artwork and writing poetry, among other things. Now, like most days, we find Milicent again at work…

Paul English – Leadership Lesson #1

by Bruce Craven Willie Nelson’s band on the road in the early days, with Bush, Day, Nelson & English, rode in a ’47 Flxible Flyer bus. Surly Paul had tooled saddles, racketeered, showed he would learn drums, but still pimping — a Waco bad-ass. The drum secret? “Don’t count”, Willie said, “just feel it.” Paul kept drumming, carried a blade, guns. Willie sassed idiots, stole a few wives, popped speed, hit back if he had no choice, but, Paul said, was “given to a lot of tolerance.” Needed protection. “The club business was rough,” Willie claimed, “…you went in… with…

Hand-Made

by Bruce Craven

“Pack up all your dishes,
make note of all good wishes…”

sang the Texan, Guy Clark, talking
about leaving Los Angeles for a more simple

life. “Don’t cry now,” he reminded Susanna, love
is a gift, perfect, hand-made. The tune? L.A. Freeway.

Clark got a song-writing contract, left for Nashville.
His L.A. landlord had chopped down a grapefruit tree with deep roots.

I Fought the Law

by Bruce Craven

I didn’t strike the law, didn’t brawl, but fall, 1980, I did rebel: “No Nukes!” The right kind of coup d’état!
Summer ‘81, I’d break rocks in the hot sun, dig ditches; choose pay-days as my right kind of coup d’état.

After that freshman year, my political rage would fade. I played Ultimate, smoked weed, eyed love,
but at Lawrence-Livermore Labs in 1980, I grabbed at a chance to fight in the right kind of coup d’état.

Absence of Blackness

by Donald Vincent “We need magic / now we need the spells, to raise up / return, destroy, and create. What will be / the sacred word?” –Amiri Baraka The sacred word is not, hands up, don’t shoot Nor vivre la revolution. The magic word can’t be Murmured in a state of asphyxiation. Where there are words, there is no peace. There’s no magic in the quotes and hopes of Dr. King or celebrities placed on pedestals. If The magic words are in books and historical texts Is ignorance not reading the same words echoed Years apart? Decades apart? Centuries apart?…

Zoom Funeral or is it the News?

by Donald Vincent

You are on mute, nestled in front of the computer screen, filled with boxes of blank, ivory faces. This is the usual though. You present on alternative assessments for students during a pandemic.

Nonchalantly, you say; I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but traditional grading is a form of colonization and white supremacy.

She privately messages you that she is not offended, but how is the grading system related to white supremacy?

You tell yourself, you knew you shouldn’t have said anything, that people don’t want the truth, but prefer to live in a phantasy world of disillusionment.

Either way, you email her links on pedagogy and approaches to teaching English composition to international and multicultural students. And because you’re always the lone token, representative for blackness, you’re scheduled to fight the power and discuss those equity inclusion essays and articles, constantly doing the work for whiteness.

In the Third Person

by Donald Vincent He takes up triple space— One seat, two seat, three On the train, the ‘other’ Is always evasive. Mommy, Look, a negro. I’m afraid. It is here, he is confronted With the responsibility of race, The weight of his ancestors, A collective prison. She shushes the child And apologizes to the man— Sorry, sir. My child doesn’t realize That you are civilized, like us. The man nods his head in familiar Disgust. Being white and saying sorry Is a revolving door. He can forget the pain, The hate, he can forgive it all. He thinks, only if…