celebrating creative women


Lois-adjusted2

In honor of my mother, Lois, who was one of the most creative women I’ve ever known. This journal highlights women who can’t help themselves; those who must write, who must sing, who must sculpt, who must act, who must constantly respond to her muse.

“We hear you. We see you. You are suis generis!”


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Donna Snyder – 2 pieces

Rainbow girl

brown bugs crawl across Rainbow Girl’s face she holds the sacred plant and faces east leads the people on the rainbow way
hagoneh thank you
it is good

time is that way leaves you behind in a velvet blouse looking at
silver hairs in the mirror the young ones call you shimasani
grandmother ancient one one who talks for all the
powerful one
mother of the world

Coyote grins he knows moonlight will come again spread its milky fingers
over rock and mesa Rainbow Girl bows into the wind
earrings dangle turquoise teardrops for her people

the future is a blue glass bottle break it if you will or use it to
catch tears to drink when rain forget it loves sky and brown
bugs no longer crawl
across paintings in the sand

Previously published in The Tongue Has Its Secrets (NeoPoiesis Press, Vancouver Island 2016) and in Return to Mago magazine (April 4, 2014).


Monstrous angel

from a painting by Pavel de Nikolaev

Brown-eyed angel.
Smudged wings, lavender gray,
drape from sloped shoulders.
Course-spun tunic trimmed with lyres.
A field of lilac. A determined mouth,
pursed. Red with readiness. Domed
eyes the size of elbows. A gabled brow.
Twice as large as her round head,
a flat earth, trees and houses for a crown.
Upstretched arms hold the earth steady.
Legs splayed, bare feet point
toward the ground below her.
A city at her knees, each window
illuminated in gold.

Both unearthly and of this earth,
she has a secret. She carries the world
on her head. She is the X that marks the spot.

Previously published in The Tongue Has Its Secrets (NeoPoiesis Press, Vancouver Island 2016)

A Matter of Transgression

by Lois Mackey
a play in one act

(Lights up Evening in Southside Community Center, the eve of Kamar Walker’s funeral, JOSEPHINE WALKER dressed in black with simple jewelry is seated on a chair facing the closed casket. A repast is taking place in an adjacent room where family, friends, and others are gathered.)

(ENTERS CHLOE and WANDA)

CHLOE

Mama. You’ve been sitting here for a while.

WANDA

Josie sweetie, come and look at all the food, folks really turned it out.

CHLOE

Seems like everyone in the hood knows how much Kamar loves peach cobbler.

WANDA

I counted at least six.

CHLOE

Kamar (Look at the casket, then sit by her mother and take her hand) he would have loved it.

JOSIE

It’s nice… so many think highly of my boy.

WANDA

I ain’t surprise one bit, everybody in Bronzeville know Kamar from thirty-eight street clear down to forty-seventh, how could anyone resist that big beautiful smile.

CHLOE

All those people came out to show my baby brother some love. They’re here for you, they know you are a good mother.

JOSIE

I failed him, baby.

CHLOE

That’s far from the truth.

WANDA

You just like me. We stepped up and was mama and daddy to our sons. When daddy didn’t show up, we kept it moving, we do what mamas do, we take care of our children. Boys don’t like listening to their mamas. They see us as soft. Boys don’t… don’t want to be soft. Those streets won’t let them. I’ve been in your shoes, you know that. And you were there for me. Now I’m here for you. And I’m telling you the might of them nasty mean streets can seem stronger than a mother’s love, but it ain’t. Sweetie, it ain’t. You loved that boy. And let me tell you, I seen how Kamar smiled at you. His face lit up like Christmas. And nobody going to convince that there’s a love a love stronger than the love of a son for his mother. Kamar loved you. Your son loved. Now we’re going to be joined at the hip, you and me. You got to eat something. Continue reading

carving stories

Heidi Heimarck

we carve stories onto the precious tusks of our children
the day Susie fought off the Invisible Man
then pushed our car into the lake
strapped in we cried out
betrayed
she was no different from mad Medea of old

Farrah invents a bushy-haired stranger
Shauna’s DOA a small sacrifice so she can run away with Ryan
there is no fleeing in a golden chariot driven by dragons
only hope of being released on parole

the after-game shower with Coach
whose soul mission is to help the kids
whose sole mission is to get away from where they are
mom and dad who don’t understand
a dangerous combination
soul on sole
teamed up for years until someone told

little girls who dress like little teens disappear through basement windows
skeletal remains in garbage bags kept warm by a favorite blanket

Cindy reports her granddaughter missing and all are deemed innocent
except of course the Invisible Nanny who never existed

get on your knees and pray she tells her son
because you are going to heaven
and she must of course kill his little friend and the two dogs as well
because they are all filled with evil
or is it just that her husband works too much

if you drown your five children in the tub
after years of crying for help
you are found not guilty by reason of insanity

these ones love their neighbor as themselves and go home to beat their children
whose bones crawl out from the grave
looking for the ascension
that might never come

each story etches another picture onto the cage
that protects my heart

they are ancestors to us all

Hawaiiland

by Ellen Graham

     When I was a child I always heard that someone could talk the ear off a pig. Can someone really truly talk the ear off a pig? I’m serious, has this been studied? Can the endless meaningless ceaseless sound of chatter chat chat actually cause the cartilage of a poor porcine ear to dissolve, melt, tear and finally drop off in sweet relief? I think I’m ready to lead this experiment, right here, right now on Flight 498 to Hawaii on Thanksgiving Eve.
Continue reading