Were-gild for a Taken Husband

If only life had turned him out like dandelion fluff—
by the hundreds, the thousands—out in the abundance
of mushroom spore, seahorse fry, ghost moth eggs.

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2018 2016 August peach harvest2

for Mark

Never before has life spoken to me in such terms.
“I have taken your beloved but left in his place
this bend branch crop of golden peaches.” Continue reading “Were-gild for a Taken Husband”

And I Did Eat by Jonathon Penny

Journal_of_Emerging_Infectious_Diseases_Jan_2013 pic2

The orchard offered fruit,
And I did eat.

The field imparted grain,
And I did graze.

The farm gave up the calf,
And I consumed.

Her mother furnished milk
To quench my thirst.

The market tendered goods
Both fair and fine,

Encumbrances unique
To tempt my tongue

And fill my eyes and ears
With vague desires.

The bending world laid bait,
And I did eat.

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WIZ Profile-1 Jonathon PennyJonathon has taught literature on two continents, and has read, written, and conversed about it on three. He has published poetry, fiction, and reviews in Dialogue, Sunstone, Victorian Violet Press, Gangway Magazine, Mormon Artist, Mormon Midrashim, Mormon Review, Switchback, and WIZ, and was anthologized in Tyler Chadwick’s (Ed.) Fire in the Pasture.

Illustrating painting: Pieter Cornelisz van Rijck (1558?1628), Still Life with Two Figures (1622). Oil on canvas (123.8 cm × 148.6 cm).

Call for submissions plus a few announcements from PK

Geese_Flying_Past_by Tony Hisgett of the U. K.
Migrate your creative work to WIZ

First item of business: Wilderness Interface Zone is issuing a call for nature-themed prose: creative nonfiction or environmental nonfiction, eco-criticism, interviews, hybrid literary forms, and short fiction, including novel excepts, that reflect on humankind’s relationship to the natural world, wherever writers engage it.

We’re especially interested in writing that demonstrates the need for and effects of what I call €œgreen language €–rhetorical prowess that taps into the fertile realm of language’s most vital energies. One of WIZ’s foremost goals is to advocate for better behavior in the teeming yet at-risk environment of human language.

So, got nature in your prose? Please consider sending it to Wilderness Interface Zone. Before you submit your writing, please read our About and Submissions pages.

Item two: Poets, please continue sending your poetry. WIZ loves poetry! Please send your nature-inspired poems to Jonathon at WIZpoetryeditor@motleyvision.org.

Item the third: For the past three years, starting on or around the spring equinox, WIZ has launched its Spring Poetry Runoff, an annual, themed poetry competition celebrating spring’s highly anticipated arrival. Each year, the influx of vernal verse has graced WIZ with a garden of poesy. It’s been one of my favorite times of the WIZ year.

This year, Jonathon and I have chosen not to run the Runoff. We’ll bring it back in 2014 in new and improved form. However, we will host an informal spring fling featuring poetry and prose that revels in the arrival of warmer and brighter days, the annual emergence of life, and the onset of spring migrations that change life’s scenery.

Spring rises before the sun on March 20. Feel free to add a ribbon to WIZ’s literary maypole. Even if your poem, essay, short story or novel excerpt merely mentions spring and nature, please consider submitting it to the festivities.

(Edited 3/12/2013 at 12:10 p.m.)

The Mendicant’s Plea by Patricia Karamesines

800px-Waterdruppel_op_blad waterdrops on leaves public domain

If I came in the dawn, before
Your hard light and straight air,
If I brought a cup,
Would you let drop dew

From your luster onto its curve?
Not for me, mind you €”
It’s enough for my two orbs
To reflect on complexions of sky-

Eyed beads, enough for my two
Shells to dote on strands
Of silence.   But others might
Not catch the muddy logic

Of rainstorm runoff, the smoke
Of wit in some animal eye,
The lavender twinkle
Of late-blooming asters;

Might not hear your dog’s
Cackle upend evening’s
Sequence, the raven break off
Night, the raw weed bend.

If it were a plain cup,
Without artistry,
Only your look, your lights
Dabbling its surface €”

In each hemisphere of blessing
Would I bear out plenum on a mirror €”
Your ascetic bent on prodigality,
Minims stamped with Everness’s twins.

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Patricia and her husband, three kids, two cats, and new puppy live at the edge of the desert in the Four Corners region of the southwestern U.S.   She has won many awards for her poetry, essays, and fiction.   She is the author of The Pictograph Murders, a mystery set in the area where she now lives.   Some of her poetry appears in the recently published landmark anthology of Mormon poetry, Fire in the Pasture. An adjunct English professor for Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah, she teaches English composition and also provides tutoring instruction.   She is the founding editor of Wilderness Interface Zone.   “The Mendicant’s Plea” was first published in Desert Voices, the Moab Poets and Writers’ literary magazine.

More WIZ announcements, perhaps of interest

Fire in the Pasture from Peculiar Pages Press

Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poetry, edited by frequent WIZ contributor Tyler Chadwick, made its debut at 2011 end in impressive style. Tyler reports that Fire in the Pasture has “risen as high as #2 in both Hot New Anthologies and Hot New Inspirational & Religious and #12 in Hot New Poetry.”   The Kindle edition “slipped into the Kindle Store’s top 100 Best Sellers in 20th Century American Poetry.”   Congratulations, Tyler and Th.!   For WIZ readers’ information, several WIZ contributors, including Sarah Dunster, Jon Ogden, WIZ’s new contributing editor Jonathon Penny, Steve Peck, Sarah Page, and myself have work included in its pages.   Ángel Chaparro Sainz, another frequent WIZ contributor, wrote the anthology’s afterword.   It’s a pleasure to see that so many WIZ folk threw kindling into Fire in the Pasture’s multi-colored flames.   A poem by Elizabeth Pinborough, another poet published in Fire in the Pasture, will appear on WIZ in February.

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Karen Kelsay, a fine formalist poet and constant lyrical presence here at WIZ, has begun a publishing company, White Violet Press. You can reach the press’s accompanying blog with submission guidelines by clicking on the image to the left.   While most publications are by invitation only, WVP will look at unsolicited manuscripts year round. White Violet Press is now open for submissions, so WIZ writers–especially WIZ writers of a formalist persuasion–please go have a look and support Karen in her new creative venture.

Torrey House Press3

In November 2011, my essay, “Plato’s Alcove,” was awarded finalist status and an honorable mention in Torrey House Press’s creative nonfiction competition.   The essay tells about my first trip to the desert.   An earlier version won 1st place in the 2003 Utah’s Original Writers Competition.   The version I sent to Torrey House is a more highly stylized, mixed-genre experiment. Want to read “Plato’s Alcove” at Torrey House’s website?   Go here.

Vintage3

Profound apologies for the lateness of this next announcement, but Fortunate Childe Publications published its autumn anthology, Vintage, in October 2011.   WIZ contributors Karen Kelsay and Carla Martin-Wood also have verse published therein (search on their names in the search bar to the left to read their poetry published on WIZ).   Also featured in Vintage: four of my poems, including “Deer in the City,” “Closing Time,” and two poems not on WIZ.   Leslie Ellison, publisher of Fortunate Childe, nominated my poem “Deer in the City,” which also appears at WIZ, for a Pushcart Prize.   This is my second Pushcart Prize nomination. Thank you, Fortunate Childe!   To find information about Vintage or purchase copies of this lovely seasonal anthology, click on the picture to the left.   I will soon be buying a few for myself. Several poets included in the anthology recorded readings of their work that you listen to here.

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WIZ will be running its popular Love of Nature Nature of Love event again in February.   To celebrate Valentine’s Day, all month long we’ll publish poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), video or other media that address the subject of love while making references to nature.   Or it could go the other way around: We’ll publish work about nature that also happens to give a nod to love.   We’re seeking submissions of original work or you can also send favorite works by others that have entered public domain.   So if you have a sonnet you’ve written to someone dear to your heart–even and perhaps especially your pet hamster Roley Poley or faithful horse Old Paint–or perhaps a video Valentine or an essay avowing your love for a natural space dear to your heart–please consider sending it to WIZ.   See the submissions page in the navigation bar above for submissions guidelines.

Bush Men by Bradley McIlwain

Bush Men--McIlwain
Original photo by Bradley McIlwain

(for R.D.)

river rushes north
along aged Indian

trails cupping hands
with scout guides

and ghosts of foreign
navigators once lost

among mosquito marsh
and dense brush, asking

sustenance from
unforgiving earth

plucking berries
you picked in autumn

before she turned
gold to silver and

mud brown €”the
end of hunting

and the creation of
renewed paths, when

beauty paved the road to
harshness, we gathered

dancing in deer skins, to
the sacred drum, hoping

to find the heartbeat that
remained
_________________________
Bradley McIlwain is a Canadian-based writer and poet who lives and works in rural Ontario as a freelance reporter, covering stories on local heritage, the arts, and human interest. The narratives in his poetry often stem from a desire to paint the natural world around him, and exploring its intimate connection with memory. In addition to the classics, he enjoys reading the work of M.G. Vassanji, Gregory Scofield, and Tom MacGregor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours, from Trent University, with a major in English Literature. His first book of poems, Fracture, is now available. You can also find his poetry on YouTube, or by visiting his blog. Mr. McIlwain has published with WIZ previously.

The Figure I Love by Sonnet Mondal

The shy eyes filled with metallic lustre ogle at me
in the moonlit night.
I try to fix my concentration
within the shining leaves of the tree.
The girl with a brown body,
green eyelids, a hundred arms is what I see.

She has a unique pose; bent back resting upon flat feet.
Dry hairs straight down to soil,
and the light song clothed
with cold air beckons me with a beat €”
She is just beside my window,
shading my shadow and travelling kit.
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Sonnet Mondal is the author of six books of poetry including a poetry bestseller and is the pioneer of the 21-line fusion sonnet form of poetry. His works have been published in several International literary magazines and have been translated into Macedonian, Italian, Arabic, Hindi, Telugu and Bengali. He was awarded Poet Laureate from Bombadil Publishing in 2009, Doctor of Literature from United Writers’ Association in 2010, Azsacra International Poetry award in 2011 and was inducted in the prestigious Significant Achievements Plaque in the museum of Bengal Engineering an Science University, Shibpur. He has also been a featured poet at World Poetry Reading Series, Canada and Asian American Poetry project, U.S.A. At present he is the managing editor of The Enchanting Verses journal of poetry.