Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, volume 16 (2012)
Cover Art by Helen Stork
Editors: F. Richard (“Dick”) Thomas, Ellen Roberts Young
Contributors: Terry Blanchard, Robert Burlingame, Hope Cahill, Lauren Camp, Gregory L. Candela, Blair Cooper, Sheila Cowing, Susan DeFreitas, Mary Dudley, Floydd Michael Elliott, Eloise S. Evans, Catherine Ferguson, Angela Janda Goldstein, Michael Gregory, Kenneth P. Gurney, Tamra Hays, Hilary Joubert, Jane Lipman, Nadine Lockhart, Joan Logghe, Nick Mansito, James McGrath, Jeremy Dae Paden, Roger Pfingston, Elizabeth Raby, Margaret Randall, Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi, Barbara Rockman, Danny Romero, Jan Jeannine Shackelton, Joseph Somoza, Joanne Townsend, Anne Valley-Fox, Frank Varela, Kayce Verde, K.M. White
Two Sample Poems:
Life expands or contracts in direct proportion to one’s courage.
by Anne Valley-fox
Soldiers stand in immaculate rows all the way to the tree line,
The commander sits at a folding table rolling a cigarette.
Heat billows up from the floorboards, hammers the low ceiling.
Opposite him, a woman strikes a match and leans forward,
her heavy breasts ladled onto the table.
It’s time. The commander thinks of his men standing at rigid attention
under the killing sun—and still he sits, unmoving.
Anne Valley-Fox is the author of 4 books of poetry, including How Shadows Are Bundled from UNM Press (2009) and Point of No Return from La Alameda Press (2004). Her publishing credits, select poems & artistic statement can be seen at AnneValleyFox.com.
Deep into Crannies
by Joanne Townsend
I remember once seeing sparrowhawks,
also known as American kestrels, our smallest falcons,
nesting in unlined crannies along Big Sur’s rocky cliffs.
They scrapped over spaces, their lives marked by pattern:
flight, return, flight, return.
Three years ago I visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall,
remnant of Solomon’s great temple. A young woman,
whose blue jeans peeked out from her long black coat,
lent me her pen but I’d brought no scrap paper, thus scribbled
on the back of a pharmacy receipt I found in my purse.
Wrote small the generous names of my dead, how I loved
and missed them, then pushed the note deep into a cranny
against other messages, thousands felt and unfelt, visible, invisible–
the wall itself a huge stone book, Histories of toil and blood,
ripped black ribbons, gold stars. A guy in a tourist group
said, “I wonder what all the fuss is about.” I wanted to scream
at him, Fuck you…we survived.
Honor, remembrance, sorrow, anger.
Sometimes it’s easier to think of the birds.
Joanne Townsend grew up in Boston where after learning the importance of public libraries, public transportation, and voting Democratic, she began writing poetry. Adventure took her to Alaska long before there was a pipeline, and now many years later she lives in Las Cruces, grayer if not wiser, and still writing.
Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Volume 15 (2011)
Cover Art by Jill Somoza
Co-editors: F. Richard Thomas, Wayne Crawford
Contributors: Tim Amsden, Robert Burlingame, Lauren Camp, Colleen Carias, Albino Carrillo, Robin Carstensen, Imara Cedrins, Mary Cisper, Fran Clark, Pat Conway, Blair Cooper, Sheila Cowing, Arfah Daud, Heather Derr-Smith, Carol Dorf, Mimi Ferraro, Veronica Golos, Bruce Holsapple, Ann Hunkins, Robyn Hunt, Donald Levering, Nadine Lockhart, John Macker, Mary McGinnis, Bruce Pratt, Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi, Elizabeth Raby, Tony Robles, Marian K. Shapiro, Joseph Somoza, Joe Speer, Marilyn Stablein, Joanne Townsend, John Tritica, Cynthia West.
Two Sample Poems:
Why Not Say I Miss My Father
by Mary McGinnis
Why not say one day my father
reached into the glowing mist for candy
and found a boy angel who took his hand
and said “no more despair or beer—”
And because this angel sang like a spider,
my father stopped drinking and became
a photographer. And in February,
I heard from a distant cousin that my father
had an affair with an old alley dancer,
and it broke his heart. And to make it up
to my mother and me, he stood up to his own mother,
demanding that she be nice to his wife and daughter,
whether they were Catholic or not. Why not say
he lived to be a hundred, and I sat with him
as he became talkative and then empty
And because we spent his last days together,
he left me a string of amber beads
which spelled a cure for my secret wound.
And shortly after our farewell, I found a picture
of him, and on the back, his reasons I never knew in secret code.
Mary McGinnis has been writing, working, living and laughing in New Mexico since 1972. Her full-length collection, Listening For Cactus, is still available.
by Donald Levering
In what perverse production line
are all these faulty props created
for braving squalls
Most are black
but a few of brighter hues
fluoresce in the gloom
On windy rain-filled days
prolific as mushrooms
they populate slick curbs
and droop against dripping doorways
discarded where they failed
larger than wounded ravens
and no less abandoned
than the homeless
huddled where they can
Consigned to uselessness
they slump at edges of subway steps
or splay their broken wings over grates
Here’s another with its rib poking through
Some gust among the city’s millions
snapped the spare frame
Donald Levering, NEA Fellow in Poetry, was a Jane Kenyon Award finalist and Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition prizewinner in 2012. He has been a Duende Series Reader and was a Guest Poet in the Academy of American Poets online Forum. His poetry books include The Number of Names, Sweeping the Skylight, Whose Body, The Kingdom of Ignorance, The Fast of Thoth, Horsetail, Mister Ubiquity, Outcroppings from Navajoland, Carpool, and The Jack of Spring. Forthcoming in the fall of 2012 is Algonquins Planted Salmon. An environmental and human rights activist, he lives in Santa Fe, NM.