The Plate by Jo Angela Edwins

The Plate

slips from my wet hand,
cracks in two at the bottom
of the empty sink.

No favorite. I have
eleven others like it,
but still my eyes well

over another
good thing broken this season.
Outside, the wind howls.

by Jo Angela Edwins

Editor’s note: The haiku stanzas of this poem blend strict syllable counts with the freedom of imagery. The last line closes the poem by gluing all the broken pieces together.

New Dragons Discovered in the Andes by Jo Angela Edwins

New Dragons Discovered in the Andes

—headline about wood lizards, from

Surely their faces must register the shock
when pale creatures stumble
in their general direction—
bi-pedaled, thin-skinned,
wrapped in pocketed fabrics,
carrying dark boxes that flicker like rifles
but make little sound, sting no corners of flesh,
the fires they belch, this time, harmless.
Of course they sense the cruel potential
in those with sunken eyes and flexible digits
that stretch to reach whatever they wish
to seize, unaccustomed as they are
to denial; their poor hearts shrink
to the size of a coffee bean at the whisper
of “no.” Beneath a sun gone ghostly
at these arid heights, the dragon turns
his head with something akin to slow
deliberation towards humans who scribble
or peck against plastic screens.
They do nothing more, do not grab or lay open
square cages with hair-trigger traps.
They snapshot. They record. They step back
a slow pace or two, stand like trees long used
to this atmosphere. Soon enough, things will change.
For now, a strange calm descends,
the likes of which none here have seen before.

by Jo Angela Edwins

Editor’s note: The meeting of human and animal is not always copacetic. This poem imagines the meeting from the dragon’s point of view, with uneasy deliberation.

Pushcart Prize Nominations – 2016


I am happy to announce the following poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize:

In Sicily, On the Road to Gela by Carol A. Amato
American Numerology by Stephen Bunch
June Twenty-First by Bruce Guernsey
Slack Traffic by Martin J. Elster
Visitation by Jo Angela Edwins
Hurricane by Bayleigh Fraser

Congratulations and good luck!

Visitation by Jo Angela Edwins


In my hands silk flowers
the colors of November,
rich and dark as
my mother loved,
and I begin to bend
in late afternoon gold
warmer than the season
should allow.
The cemetery is bright
and quiet. Until
the wind rises, and I hear
a rush behind me.
I turn my head,
straighten my back,
stare at the wild pear tree,
leaves the color of flame.
It shivers in wind,
blazes billowing. Still
I stare. I don’t move.
I think of Moses listening
to the voice of God.
In Sunday school the teachers
read it slow and thundering,
a chastening bluster,
the angry father insisting
his children bow and scrape.
Perhaps it was instead
this tender whisper.
Perhaps it was instead
the hushed singing
of our mothers, their breath
tousling our hair,
their voices falling
around our weary shoulders like
manna, like sunlight.

by Jo Angela Edwins

Editor’s note: Vivid imagery carries this narrative from memory to faith to a blessed realization of the persistence of love.