This Weeks’ Editors’ Choice, “Astronautics, (or, an email I sent to neil degrasse tyson while sitting in whole foods)” – by Lily Tice

A little philosophy, a little wisdom, a little play, just enough to stretch the mind, quite suited to the subject. Enjoy!


we learn the solar system like it’s on a plane:
flat, horizontal, beyond but not below,
Andromeda due west, alpha centauri east,
Helios running bowling ball sunshine down the alley to Pluto and Quaoar, Sedna and Haumea,
all knocked out of the game out of technicality, but

if the game gets too loud, who is there
to bang a broom on the ceiling,
screaming to keep it down?
what celestial body calls the cops of the heavens,
screams about noise pollution, about
Voyager, an unwanted Witness canvassing at his door?

star sailor, careen your submersible
and descend to the underneath—
the cosmos below us.
tilt your compasses to the unseen below.

we are almost all the way to heaven.

Lily Tice is an Augusta, GA native living in Chattanooga, TN, where she is a Creative Writing major at Covenant College. She serves as staff poet for The Narrator literary magazine and is publishing her first poetry collection, Things We Lost With Our Milk Teeth, in August. Se has been writing formally for four years.

For previous Editors’ Choice winners, please visit:
Karuizawa Tales – Robert Hoffman
Overhead – Soramimi Hanarejima
The Bedouin Woman’s Smile – Nektaria Petrou
Looking Down on Newgale Beach – Robert Nisbet
White Sheets – Shelby Curran
Zen Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts – Mary Buchinger

Editors’ Choice, October 6 – 12, “Karuizawa Tales” – by Robert Hoffman

A little precedent here, as Robert Hoffman will read 3 linked poems related to the immediate pre-WWII period in Japan. As they’re individually complete and build an expanding narrative, we chose to present them as one. Enjoy the poetry, as well as the fascinating social study.

Author’s Note: The following 3 poems are part of a biographical narrative work in progress of the life and times of Forrest Rosecrans Baird – in verse. Baird, a future cryptanalyst, was among the last linguists in Tokyo prior to Japan’s Pearl Harbor campaign.

These poems are a detail of a narrative in verse. They focus on the moment just prior to World War II in Japan where the last of the Linguists will soon find themselves behind enemy lines if they can’t find a way out.

The Karuizawa Retreat
(June & July 1941)

Classes, no matter how informal,
are still classes at three times a day.
A tug of war, whether it’s with a tow-

line or a spider’s web is still a matter
of balance, stance, footing, and grace.
By not pulling one’s punches, one can fall

between the cultural cracks of being
Lieutenant (junior grade) or Nipponese.
The once a month embassy visit

to nab a paycheck and the mandatory
officer’s soirees, ensures a retread.
But Tokyo is unbearable to foreigners

during the muggy summers, hot and sticky,
even for a Dallas native. A retreat
is accounted for in Karuizawa.

where the breeze refreshes
              and the chill clears the mind
                             there is no better break
from the city to sharpen
              the head and cleanse the passion
                             where appeases the gods
sitting and meditating and
              tossing stones into water
                             to listen for the empty spaces
                                            where humanity meets

Yukika Sohma at Karuizawa
(July 1941)

Yukika is fresh air
              against the face of trouble,
                            a port in the storm of war,
and rumors of war. Prepared
              to share private insights
                            of zazen, the art of sitting.
Yukika illuminates and validates
              spiritual winning
                            while shedding light to bring
reality to earth,
               grounded in education
                            and wisdom, she finds truth
in the practical. She pushes
                aside subversive talk,
                            with no desire to encode
or cipher, she deciphers
                in plain speech – her worries.
                             Her father, Tokyo’s Mayor, was
imprisoned during The Great War
                 for impassioned arguments
                             of peace and she expects that
Father will once more be jailed
                 in the coming months,
                             for what he rigorously believes.
Yukika pulls the Texan aside,
                  to whisper a warning,
                              to be taken sincerely:

“Tell your people that if you push our people
“too far – and you have – they will strike you.
“Without warning. Make sure you tell your people.”

Coming Down From the Mountain
(31 July 1941)

the Buddhists have had their say
you’ve joined the rituals of casting
pebbles each one a universal request
inside the spaces and nowhere else

can you or do you experience
the essence of being a native
of Japan you are welcome here

in solitude in the mountains
of Karuizawa your spirit is free
affections find greater bonds

where nothing is more natural than prayer
you’ve even disciplined acceptance
to live a life divided for one more year

until called for a billet
                                              and now are met
at the bottom by an embassy official
sweating not from humidity but anxiety

announcing that the Japanese have fortified
Manchuria and all bets are off
and the linguists are without immunity

proceed for Shanghai with Cole and Slonim
and the rest while as the senior junior
it falls upon you to find a course of action

off the dragon before war is confirmed
caught behind lines where friends become
enemies and you are prisoners of war

Robert Hoffman is a retired poker dealer and lives in Lakewood, California with his wife of 40 years.

To read previous Editors’ Choices, please visit:
Overhead – Soramimi Hanarejima
The Bedouin Woman’s Smile – Nektaria Petrou
Looking Down on Newgale Beach – Robert Nisbet
White Sheets – Shelby Curran
Zen Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts – Mary Buchinger

Editors’ Choice, Sept 29 – Oct 5, “Overhead,” by Soramimi Hanarejima

A little perspective here, a little trickery. Enjoy this subtle treat! 

The stiffness in my neck is bothering me again. Hoping to alleviate some of this persisting discomfort from sitting in the second row of the movie theater, I tilt my head to the left then right, down then up. And end up frozen in the completion of that last movement. Not because a cramp has immobilized my head, but because I now see your emotions suspended from the high ceiling with hooks, wire and string. My eyes widen as I’m taken aback by the hulking jealousy and massive ambition looming overhead. With your loft apartment lit by floor lamps, these emotions cast no shadows, giving no indication that they’ve been lurking up there all along.

Though I am unnerved by the (unlikely, I hope) possibility that one of them will come crashing down upon me, I admire what you’ve done with the place. Hanging in a balanced arrangement that feels full yet uncrowded, the emotions look like angular and webby clouds of psychological weather playing out in the limbo between the windswept desert and glacial lake of the expansive landscape photos spanning opposite brick walls. I suppose this is the advantage of living in a loft—you have plenty of space to really make it your own. 

When you return from the bathroom, I point upward and say, “Nice way to store and decorate with your feelings.’’

“Yes, I suppose it is,” you answer. “But actually, that’s part of my home security system.’’

“Oh. So, how does it work?’’

The frame of the dark window behind you makes me feel like I am talking to a vivid portrait of you with a black background.

“It’s rigged so the emotions can drop on cue,” you explain. “The trigger is in my watchband.’’

You tell me this with the straight face of a stern negotiator, but your voice suggests that you are smiling in your thoughts.

I nod. No wonder I felt uneasy.

But now, I am intrigued.

What else are you the artful architect of? What booby traps await me here or elsewhere in your life? Can you be persuaded to teach me how to make my own?

“Now, how about that hot cocoa?” you ask, like it’s code for something I should know.

Fascinated by the ways in which fiction can serve as a means of metacognition, Soramimi Hanarejima crafts stories to explore the nature of thought. Soramimi is the author of the story collection Visits to the Confabulatorium (Montag Press Collective, 2017) and works on information design projects that seek to visually communicate aspects of subjective experiences.

To view previous Editors’ Choices, please visit:

The Bedouin Woman’s Smile – Nektaria Petrou
Looking Down on Newgale Beach – Robert Nisbet
White Sheets – Shelby Curran
Zen Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts – Mary Buchinger

Editors’ Choice, Sept 23-28, “The Bedouin Woman’s Smile,” by Nektaria Petrou

Human exchanges are both unique and universal. Time and place specify our relations in wonderful ways. But as we see from Nektaria Petrou’s short prose, they are also fundamental to our nature. Enjoy our first-ever prose Editors’ Choice.

On a bright spring morning, I was crossing Istanbul’s Taksim Square with my friend Aphrodite, who is still a red-haired beauty at seventy-one. We were talking about Turkey’s precarious situation, the relentless terrorist attacks, and the worsening refugee crisis, which had made us feel as if a sinister cloud had passed over our city. On every street, including my own, Syrian mothers sat cross-legged with babies in their laps.



During Ramadan in 2014, I bought food for a Syrian woman who, although she appeared twenty years older than me, was actually nine years younger. The first time I delivered a package, her children immediately devoured its chicken and pilaf. The second time, the woman didn’t seem to want the meal, but her seven year-old son gave me a stare that said, “Don’t pay any attention to her. I’m starving.” The third time, the woman didn’t even acknowledge me. Apparently the presence of food prevents monetary donations, which the refugees need even more. So I started giving to vetted relief organizations, but I didn’t want to ignore the Syrians I passed, nor the Iraqi refugees who reverently kissed the doors of the Orthodox church at which I worked.

As Aphrodite and I entered Talimhane, her neighborhood, I caught sight of a refugee woman lumbering toward me. Her swarthy face bore the characteristic blue tattoos of a Syrian Bedouin. A cloth bundle dangled from her hand. She’d probably carried that makeshift bag across mountains and deserts. Perhaps even across Anatolia. I smiled at her. Not a momentary, embarrassed simper, but a warm I’m-glad-to-see-you-on-this-beautiful-day beam. She held my gaze with her cactus-green eyes, returned its warmth with a toothless grin, and continued on her way. It was a Namaste moment, even if she had never heard the word Namaste.

Aphrodite and I ascended to her apartment, my favorite place in all Istanbul. There is something about its two pendulum clocks ticking just out of step, its old mahogany furniture and crystal, and the aroma of bay leaf and moth balls that makes me feel more at home than anyplace else. Over coffee, we leafed through old photographs of Taksim Square, circa 1950. Instead of the current cement sprawl punctuated by MOWAG Eagles, we saw a ring of manicured trees circling the Republic Monument. Where AK47-bearing policemen now stand guard, ladies in calf-length dresses promenaded with gentlemen in suits.

In an effort to uplift the conversation, I told Aphrodite about the Bedouin woman’s smile, which she had missed while staring down at the pavement. “Ach, little mama,” Aphrodite sighed, her legs dangling over the chair arm as if she were a teenager, “a smile isn’t going to save us.”

In a material sense, she was right, but on a higher plain, I couldn’t agree. As the humanity in me saluted the humanity in that woman, her otherness vanished for me—just as I hope mine did for her. My winter sadness lifted, and the Bedouin woman’s smile settled into its place.

Nektaria PetrouNektaria Petrou has published essays in The Huffington Post, Al-Monitor, Daily Sabah, and Mashallah News. Her short story “The Evil-Eye Expert” won an honorable mention in Ruminate Magazine’s 2015 Story Contest. Other pieces are scheduled to be published soon in Sixfold and The Shanghai Literary Review. She recently completed a novel about the Greeks of Istanbul.



For the texts of previous Editors’ Choices, please visit:

Looking Down on Newgale Beach – Robert Nisbet
White Sheets – Shelby Curran
Zen Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts – Mary Buchinger

Editors’ Choice, Sept 15-21, “Looking Down on Newgale Beach,” by Robert Nisbet

Poetry creates wonderful juxtapositions, captivating adjacencies and relationships. Some span centuries while capturing the most finite present. Here’s a lovely and sweeping, yet intimate journey by Robert Nisbet.

They looked, from the hill-top, upon a wonder of a beach,
the roll of ice-blue pebbles at its top looking
sculpted, decorous, the sand so bright an orange
it might have been conjured to alchemic gold.

Beyond the beach, the morning bulk of sea, its shades
of turquoise, slate-grey, aquamarine, the might of it
heading out to the Irish Sea, the ocean, the Americas.
Behind, the cliffs, the green and the border of the land.

So it was, had been, before the car, the B&B,
Gladstone, mad George the Third, Welsh princes,
ambition, red queen Elizabeth, the Norman Conqueror,
Caesar’s men. Householders working in bronze, in iron.

Such permanence. And yet, for Gareth and Julie,
car-parked, intimate, flushed with emotion’s suddenness,
the beach seemed, in the fall of wave on sand, even
of air on sea, to be soaked in the morning’s newness.

Robert NisbetRobert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who has published widely in Britain and the USA. He was shortlisted this year for the Wordsworth Trust Prize.






Here’s last week’s Editors’ Choice, “White Sheets,” by Shelby Curran.


Editors’ Choice, Sept 1-7, “Zen Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts,” – Mary Buchinger

rocks nose the air
speak back to the sun
betray an open understanding of light

broad leaves shelter stone
stone softened by moss
pines watch over   alert   aloof

boulders bloom beards of algae
what suffers doesn’t live here
whatever is brought is borne

grey and green reveal
an endlessness
beside processions of gravel

Mary Buchinger.jpgMary Buchinger is the author of three collections of poetry: einfürhlung (forthcoming), Aerialist (2015) and Roomful of Sparrows (2008). She holds a doctorate in applied linguistics and is President of the New England Poetry Club and Professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Gargoyle, Nimrod, PANK, Salamander, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere.


Issue 7 – Summer, 2017 (Double Issue!)


Issue 7 sets a precedent for Panoply. Actually, a few. The bounty of works here in this double issue is due of course, to a bounty of deserving work by our contributors. We cast a wider net during our calls for submissions, receiving about 3 times our historical norm! You’ll notice a whole section for prose, and as you scroll, some great works by young writers. In fact, we’re proud once again to debut some wonderful new voices (regardless of their age).

Since there’s so much, here are some browsing tips (in order of appearance):

  • Humor – Downgrade, This Isn’t the Story I Intended to Write, The Waffle House Index, Zeng Shangyou
  • Love/Romance – My Lover and I
  • Pastoral/Nature – Looking Down on Newgale Beach, Path, Perfect Rain, Zen Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts
  • Social/Political – Karuizawa Tales, Like a King
  • Edgy – Cage Match, Finals, Stalker in Orange, Tawny Kitten
  • Characters – Dear Harold, Everyday Blessings, Firebrand, A Girl Called Rose, Mrs. Neustead, Prize Fighter, White Sheets, You, Frank & Mia & Me, Heroes, Loving Spoonful, Padlock, Patriots, A Slice of Lemon on the Side
  • Loss/Death – Intuition, Lament, Moth-Hour, Nowhere, South Dakota, Poem for Honduras, Proper Etiquette for the First Year of Mourning, You

As always, we thank our contributors for uplifting us! And we thank our readers for giving us purpose. Feel free to tell your friends and give us feedback! Look for Issue 8 around year-end.

Best wishes,
Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Co-Editors


The actor who only gets to play a hitmanJonathan Jones
AfterPatricia Anderson
AfterbloomLawdenmarc Decamora
and the crows fallAM Roselli
Astronautics (or, an email I sent to neil degrasse tyson while sitting in whole foods)Lily Tice
The Berryman TrickTim Kahl
camera obscuraClaudia Radmore
CezannePatricia Nelson
Cheri’s Montana Lounge, Chester, MontanaMichelle Hartman
CornflowerMadison White
(the crisp settle of the door)Dennis Reavis
Elkhorn AvenueCameron Morse
Escape from EllenvilleMike Jurkovic
Everyday BlessingsSally Zakariya
FirebrandThomas McDade
Folclore Tale Leonardo Boix
FragileMary McKeel
A Girl Called RoseBella Smith
The GuitaristSteven Reese
A Haiku YearKendra Leonard
Harvest MoonJared Pearce
Home RemediesJohn Repp
How Long is this Sentence?Gary Twynam
Interlude at a Closed Chevron, 11:42 pmAlicja Zapalska
IntuitionLaura Foley
An InvitationPaul Lubenkov
Karuizawa TalesRobert Hoffman
Kathleen Remembers the Flood John Grey
LamentAnne Whitehouse
Late Night Talk Show FantasyJennifer Dotson
Like a KingIon Corcos
Looking Down on Newgale BeachRobert Nisbet
The Man Cooks Greens While Thinking of WordsTobi Alfier
Moth-HourClaire Scott
Mrs. NeusteadJim Zola
Nowhere, South DakotaAndrew Kruse-Ross
NumbersIsabella Colalillo Katz
The Oboe Will Shine TomorrowDevon Balwit
The Old In-Out In-OutYu-Han Chao
Once Upon a TimeBaisali Chatterjee Dutt
PassengerCharles Kell
PathSteve Gerson
Perfect RainTerry Brix
Poem for HondurasHeather Truett
A Priest and an Indian Walk Into a BarJessica Mehta
Prize FighterMartin Hopson
Proper Etiquette for the First Year of MourningJacqueline Jules
Rich Farm Land Drew Settlers to HessRyan Clark
Running at 6:45 on a mid-November morningBrett Cortelletti
Sunflower GhostsRobin Gow
Swift ActionG. Louis Heath
TestamentDeborah L. Davitt
Touch This ElephantRobert Beveridge
TransfusionVirginia Boudreau
Van Gogh Paints a Self-PortraitAnn Howells
The Waffle House Index, or: (if the Waffle House is closed the populace is shrinking) – John McCracken
Walking Stick, A PrayerKeith Moul
WaveAlan Gann
What I’ve LostCarl Boon
Where My Muse Comes FromDaryl Sznyter
While You Were Trying To Be Cool I Was Snorting Flintstone ChewablesKristian Kuhn
White SheetsShelby Curran
Winter PlungeEileen Malone
YouAnthony Carl
Zeit HeistNick Romeo
Zen Garden at the Museum of Fine ArtsMary Buchinger


The Bedouin Woman’s SmileNektaria Petrou
Cage Match Jodi Sh. Doff
The DapRosanne Ehrlich
Dear HaroldChristine Seifert
DowngradeLois Morrison
FinalsMarie Anderson
For SummerAnusha Srinivasan
Frank & Mia & MeCharles Leipart
HeroesBlake Benson
Letters from My GrandsonsSherri Wright
Loving SpoonfulAlexander Jones
The Moonshine RubyTravis Kennedy
My Lover and IMaggie Boals
One Smoothie is a TragedyMatt Dube
OverheadSoramimi Hanarejima
PadlockBeth Gordon
PatriotsStephen O’Donnell
A Slice of Lemon on the SideKristen Olsen
SpillageG. Emil Reutter
Stalker in OrangeMaddie Woda
Tawny KittenTina Bubonovich
This Isn’t the Story I Intended to WriteGuy Biederman
TollboothKelsey Maki
Wild Cat Menagerie and Great Intercourse CircusCatherine Moore
Winter Plunge Eileen Malone
Zeng ShangyouJack Feerick