Tag Archives: January 2018

by D M Gordon

Water, heating, is a different beast, a roar
unlike woodland streams–unmusical, a galaxy
of molecules brought to boil, screaming
tiny lobsters (I imagine). We’ve recorded,
and now can testify, microbes twit like finches in alarm,
so why not the H’s and the O’s when forced
to be steam? Even single-celled planktons
broadcast their distress, command their soldiers
to raise chalk shields, while others of their kind
kill themselves not to host a viral invasion.
And so, making tea, I’m listening to electrons
scrabbling at this steel wall, crying out throatlessly,
clinging, doing all they can to stay the way they are.
Like little me’s. Like my life. Heating up.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

D M GordonD M Gordon is the author of Fourth World and Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and International Book Award. Phi Beta Kappa, Masters in Music from Boston University, she’s a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in fiction, and finalist in poetry. She is an editor for Hedgerow Books and at www.dmgordoneditorial.com.

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Prayer in the Winter Desert
by Susan Okie

My hands glow blue
in light struck from red

rock. Sky-parched,
I stumble, bleached

by dark, bent from reading,
deaf with rain.

A raven’s croak
echoes off canyon walls.

In snow-melt air,
the smell of pine rings.

Blue-gray junipers jump
from crevices, hanging on.

Nopales, hungry, spread
their blue-green palms.

Light is writing
white-gold letters on cloud.

See me,
blue-white sun,

fill me, too,
chlorphyll me.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

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by Judith H. Montgomery

Every month her body prepares the scarlet
garden, leaf on leaf of nesting cells to plump

the shelter, rich red bed stitched with spiral-
arteries ready to bear gifts to feed the visitor.

And every month one packed golden drop
releases, lit seed slipping down the sleek

chute until that fortunate fall into the womb’s
open heart, its come-hither welcome to the

brave egg already yearning for anchor. But
this time or that the pursed lip of ovary locks

the egg in place, or this time or that the sperm
loll and perish, drugged away from match.

A chilled breath begins to frost the unsettled
center. The nest blebs, falters, looses its

hold. Leaf-fall begins. Wind sweeps her garden
bare. There is no baby in this poem.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

Judith MontgomeryJudith Montgomery’s poems appear in Prairie Schooner, Cave Wall, and Rattle, among other journals, as well as in several anthologies. Her chapbook, Passion, received the 2000 Oregon Book Award for Poetry; Red Jess (Cherry Grove Collections, 2006) and Pulse & Constellation (Finishing Line Press, 2007) followed.  Her second full-length collection, Litany for Wound and Bloom, will appear in 2018 from Uttered Chaos Press.

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