Wild

editor's note

Wild by Alison Stedman
Late last year I walked for three days in the wilderness, through wild weather. Storms howling, gales blowing, rain, snow, sleet, hail... The clouds would break for an hour or two and we thought we were free - and then the atmospheric dark clouds in the distance would suddenly be on top of us and it would begin all over again.

poetry

You listen the way this stone by Simon Perchik
You listen the way this stone
senses when its prey
no longer has a pulse
And though this bottle is empty by Simon Perchik
And though this bottle is empty
it drifts on by as if the grass
puts its trust in the thirst
Foothold by Erin Elikins Radcliffe
I’m startled by blood on the sage,
the trap’s teeth on the wolf’s front leg—

the pink gristle and fur
he’s already chewed through.
Scrambling, The Quiraing by Mantz Yorke
here’s not really a path now, just dry gullies braiding
the scree.  We scrabble up, foot by foot, sometimes gaining
grip on half-buried stone, sometimes slipping and tumbling
rubble to the declivity below.  The breeze, squeezed
Essential Django Reinhardt by Sharon Lask Munson
Tremolot, France

Improvisation and syncopation
mixed with American swing
penetrates open doors
spreads through the dining room.
Sinuous by Jenne Knight
Uncoiling, my body finds
a home inside your mouth.
Small fractures fuse
like a baby's skull,
sliding past sting and scar.
Oysters by Hunter Clarke
The tide pulled far
enough back you
can almost step
straight across the
sandbars to Mount Baker.

fiction

Sarah's Secrets by Alex Markovich
Anyone else might have slit her wrists long ago. But Sarah has her faith to fall back on, though she doesn’t follow any formal religion. Outwardly, at least, she seems at peace with herself. I’d like to think it’s acceptance rather than resignation. They’re not quite the same.
Invitation to a Most Convenient Funeral by Jim Naremore
Two men stood on a small hill overlooking the open grave. The tall man was old and bent, much like the gnarled tree that shared the hill. Like the short man with him, he wore a threadbare black frockcoat and a tattered top hat held on by a silver gray satin scarf tied under his chin to fight the wind. The short man had a dark burgundy scarf. The tall man held a violin in his left hand and a bow in his right. He looked around the cemetery from his vantage point and sighed.
Winging It by Lou Gaglia
When I pass my grandfather’s full-length framed photo hanging in the living room, all I see are his hopeful eyes and a confident smile—the same kind of look that, to my surprise, I recently noticed in my high school yearbook photo. They say that my father is a chip off my grandfather’s block, but he never seems to wear any such hopeful, confident expression on his own face. He’s been at the same job for twenty-something years, running a sand and gravel company, and when he gets home at
The Room by Philip DiGiacomo
My room was small but felt palatial compared with my previous residence. I had been a guest of the State of New York at the Woodbourne Correctional facility for three years. I was known as 81A2784. The 81 was the year of my incarceration, the A was for my type of felony and the numbers were just numbers. But I served my time and now I could leave my new room anytime I wished.

nonfiction

Holdfast by Jane Salisbury
Watching the sea palms, I felt an impulse to be out on that farthest rock, to be washed over by the whole ocean, to be obliterated by water and wind. I wanted both to be anchored by a holdfast, to belong completely and only to one place, and at the same time to live at the wildest margins of the world, at constant risk of breaking loose.
The Healing Begins Here by Patty Somlo
There is nothing on my mind now but walking. I carry a lightweight pointed walking stick for just such terrain and create a rhythm with the stick, each foot and my breath. Like the Zen master painter who can no longer distinguish himself from the act of painting, I am one with my hiking. As I focus only on this one thing, my mind is serenely calm.