Editors’ Choice, January 17-23, “Finches Prefer Chopin,” by Raymond Byrnes

Poetry is sound and music, image and language. Close your eyes for this treat from Raymond Byrnes.

Practice starts at 9, once commuter
cars are gone and the last trudging
backpack climbs aboard a yellow bus.

Warming up on Bach, the quiet room
in her empty house amplifies the solitary
reverence she feels throughout Adagio.

As presto notes begin to pour from
Chopin’s Fantasie, she hears a few high
peeps like toddlers romping in the grass.

Slowing, playing softly when she begins
the melodic cantabile, a birdsong chorus
bursts from shrubbery beside her window.

As the final key reverberates and fades
a sparrow carries over as though already
longing for tomorrow morning’s lesson.

Raymond Byrnes lives in Virginia. His work has been read on The Writer’s Almanac and has appeared in Third Wednesday, Shot Glass Journal, All Roads Will Lead You Home, Typishly, Better Than Starbucks, Eclectica, Sky Island Journal, and Split Rock Review.

 

Issue 14, Winter – 2020

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Photograph © 2019 Ryn Holmes

Welcome to Issue 14. For those of you returning, we thank you for joining us once more. For you first-timers, we hope you enjoy what you find here. One special feature of posting an issue just after New Year’s Day is that we compile it over the holidays, smack-dab in the middle of the season, our spirits growing and flowing. It’s a gift to and from so many, and the warmth it brings to us is one of the highlights of the holidays.

You may have noticed we switched our masthead theme from flowers to abstract photography by Co-Editor Ryn Holmes. Pardon the plug, but it’s fascinating, innovative stuff. You’ll see more of these as the issues continue.

Meanwhile, Issue 14 should keep you artistically occupied and satisfied. We tend to see motifs from issue to issue. One of this one’s is women’s experience and consciousness, particularly as girls become women. Not all is princessing, it’s clear. But the art is just as sparkling. Naturally, the fine work here covers a, dare we say it, panoply of subjects, something for everyone.

We must admit that due to a glitch in our submissions process, we received far more submissions than usual, a good problem to have! That helps explain why we’ve included more contributions than usual. They’re all so deserving and gleaming.

Thanks again for your support and attention. 

Best wishes,

Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Table of Contents

2059: Cut Off – Alan C. Smith
Airness – Pablo Saborío
Apollo 11 – Sharon Scholl
Augury – Greg Friedmann
Being Made Ready – Maria Berardi
Beneath My Feet – Sarah Valeika
The Birds – Ian Ganassi
Borrowed – Sean Bolton
A Child Says Morning – Max Heinegg
Civilized – Daniel Edward Moore
Crumbling – Stephen Ground
Dawn By The House of Stone That Jack Built – Vassilis Zambaras
The Days We Meet – R.T. Castleberry
Dying in Paradise – Christy Bailes
Endurance – Molly Fuller
Exit Wounds – Andy N
Feeling Empathy Outside of Santa Maria del Fiore – Adam Webb
Fell in Love with You – John Grey
Finches Prefer Chopin Raymond Byrnes
Half Light – Doug Bolling
Hard Jazz – DS Maolalai
He’s Dead – Patricia Walsh
Heather in Bloom, Morning – Gerald Kells
A House of Your Own Making – James Diaz
In Line at Banco Central – Tim Hawkins
In Memory of An All-Girl Band (A Cento) – Andrew Sunshine
In the Fog – Steve Klepetar
Is Your Forgetfulness Normal? – Barbara Daniels
Kitsch – George Franklin
Last Days of JuneCorbin Louis 
The Last Voyage – Howie Good
Leave-takings – Robert Nisbet
Lines Composed on First Regarding Godzilla after An Uneasy Serenity of Fifty Years Bruce Robinson
Lullaby for a Politician – Jennifer Bradpiece
The Made and the Unmade – Carolyn Adams
The Music at Montreaux – Matthew James Friday
My English Teacher – Michael Minassian
My Mother’s Ghost Knits a Scarf of Chain – Robert Okaji
Mystery Confirmed – Megan Wildhood
Near Salt River Road: An Elegy for S.D. – Rita Chapman
Nectar – Christopher Wilson
No end to wonder – Hugh Anderson
Pantoum of the Thoughts That Have Been Turning Over in My Head Since I Moved Out a Month Ago – Jacob Bennett
Pareidolia Megan Merchant
Parallax View – Betsy Mars
Pathing – Vivian Wagner
Patriot’s Chain – Anthony Dennis
peace has its season – Disha Trivedi
Pink Bee – Cliff Saunders
an excerpt from “A Place, A Feeling, Something He Said To You” – Alexandra Naughton
Playing Guitar at Ritter Park – Ace Boggess
[A position we’ll all get] – Blake Francis
Praying Mantis – Penelope Schott
Raven – Kathryn Jordan
Record Low – Russell Rowland
Refugee/fugitive – Sean Urbina
Salsa – Jacob Butlett
Sarabande – Robert René Galván
She Takes a Taxi – Gemma Cooper-Novack
Shifting, Too Anxious to Be Fully Aware – Jonathan Yungkans
That Other Guy – Lenny DellaRocca
This can’t be right – Giovanni Mangiante
Time Flies – John O’Hare
Tuesday in the Home Town – Tom Willemain
Two – Nitya Gupta
Vasculitis – Jared Pearce
Violation – Claire Massey
Warren’s Weathered Barn – Keith Moul
We’re Just Talking – Melissa St. Pierre
What Jesus did do – Dennis Finnell
What Words Cost – Sandy Coomer
When a ’54 Fender Stratocaster Becomes a Fetish – Karla Linn Merrifield
When Coburg Lake Became a Kyrenia Wedding – Angela Costi
Wildfires in Iraq – Sarah Mills
You Cannot Strike a Bargain – Nancy Levinson

Review of MOURNING AN INTERIOR COUNTRY, By Aaron Dargis


Finishing Line Press
ISBN 978-1-64662-063-0
Price: $14.99
34 Pages

Submitted by Andrea Walker
October 25, 2019

Aaron Dargis’ opening poem “The Garden, Ars Poetica” in his chapbook, Mourning an Interior Country, draws the reader in with its beauty and stark contrast between parched dry crops and living green weeds. In his collection of thirty-two poems, he describes interior countries of geographical as well as psychological landscape. Just as the “ear is to the soil listening,” readers will attentively listen to the voice of this poet with acute awareness, a recurrent theme throughout his poetry.

The terrain of northern Michigan, Lake Superior, Keweenaw Peninsula, Au Train River serves as backdrop. The reader feels the cold in “wind cuts wool and cotton to bone.” In this fierce climate, the poet questions the purpose of memory, the past, and fear, yet dives into those areas as surely and fearlessly as he “dives into the lake.” Repeated imagery of tangled reeds, lily pads and brambles suggest a tone of fear and being trapped, then again diving into the thing one fears.

Written in first person, the poems reveal a speaker who is on a painful journey to the interior country of self where the often stark terrain serves as metaphor. The speaker searches the past, revisiting places of childhood, towns, neighborhoods, homes, admitting he’s searching in “Map as Self-Portrait.”

I’m learning to remember lost time–
Those lakes of the mind have dried, filled
my reservoir of loss.
Rivers cut deep. I’m trying to find places
I haven’t been. Where deeper into
interior country is now foreign–
what leads the heart to such depths?

Though the mood is often solitary, and the journey is within, the reader is grateful the speaker is not always alone. One first meets the other in a pair of companion poems “Kitchen Sink” and “Mourning an Interior Country.” A woman waits patiently for him to come home, “fiddle the doorknob– liquored, speaking gently for my body,” and he does, knowing someone awaits, “I fiddle the doorknob, shoulder into the kitchen.” She appears throughout the collection smoking, unpacking, comforting in various ways.

All the poems are meditative, but it’s apt to have a group of small poems entitled “Meditations,” ten concise powerful moments reminiscent of the brevity of haiku minus the form. Repeatedly, we read a comparison of wind and the past, for example, in “Painting Au Train,” “Winter Meditations in a Cabin V,” “An Oak, Ars Poetica.”

The poet uses contrast effectively by moving among seasons and place randomly, including the occasional hot day or poem about a southern state, and although the pace is mostly slow, even a surprising allusion to violence, “I fired into a frozen pond.” The reference to the gun, although infrequent, suggests the conquering aspect of nature. The brutal image of a dead swan accompanied by paw prints of a coyote reminds the reader of nature’s violence. In contrast to contemplation, the matter-of-fact admission of drinking a fifth of whiskey one day, drunk howling at the hot day, or hungover give the reader a glimpse of a man with (forgivable) flaws.

The interior of Northern Michigan is populated with birds of every feather; the speaker observes, and describes the red-winged blackbird, grey partridge, grouse, robin, finch, among others, noting their behavior, sometimes envying them. The lush landscape is home to calves, a doe, and salmon, carpeted with grass, moss, ferns, and stone, canopied with leafy trees and clouds. It is blanketed with snow, and its thirst is fed with lakes and rivers.

The stark interior of the mind is painted with questions: somber, dark, lonely and mournful. The speaker expresses himself quite well even as he questions his ability to express his feelings. With one vivid phrase and image after another, Aaron Dargis pays a haunting tribute to memory and time in the gorgeous fertile setting of Northern Michigan.

Aaron Dargis grew up in Michigan and lives in the foothills of South Carolina. His poetry has appeared in catheXis Northwest Press, UpNorth Lit and Panoply Magazine. This is his first publication.

To read other chapbook reviews, please visitPrevious Chapbook Reviews

Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2019

Please join us in congratulating this year’s nominees. We hope you have and will enjoy their work as much as we have. Check them out – we’re sure they have plenty of additional fine work. 

Being a Bishop – RC deWinterRC DeWinter

At The Scottish Gallery a Baobhan Sith Takes a Pass on a Local Vicar – Linda KennedyLinda Kennedy

Bottled Ship – Aris KianAris Kian

Artisan – Karen McAferty Morris Karen McAferty Morris

Lazarus Explains – Bruce McRaeBruce_McRae

What a Middle Name Is – Liam Strong Liam Strong

 

Issue 13, Summer – Autumn, 2019

IMG_5587 purple flowers

Photo by Andrea Walker

Greetings in summer! We hope that during the heat of the season, you took time to savor the simple beauty of things. They abound! Issue 13 abounds with simple beauty as well, for which we thank our contributors. This issue includes an unusual number of longer pieces, many pop culture allusions, and a higher quantity of pieces with real attitude, verging on irreverence! As usual, we think you’ll enjoy the wide variety of themes, styles, and voices.

Look for Editors’ Choices weekly beginning in September. We’ll also have a new chap book review and our annual nominations for the Pushcart Prize, a real highlight for us all. Thanks for reading Panoply. Stay cool and reverent.

Best wishes,
Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Table of Contents

13th and Island Detox Robert Rickelman
After 10 days roughnecking Oklahoma oilfields – Steve Gerson
After a Revolution – Susan Tepper
Agony of the Leaves – Blaise Allen
And So She Missed Early Spring – Amy O’Hearn
And Then She Walks Away – Kathleen Hogan
Avalon – Patricia Nelson
Before Sweat Had a Name – Katherine Hoerth
Bottled Ship – Aris Kian
Burial Site – Remi Recchia
Cactus Flower – Tova Feldmanstern
Chasing Grace – Lauren Scharhag
Coughing at the Wake – Linda Johnston Muhlhausen
Cynthia – Lenny DellaRocca
Daughters, spring – Arlyn LaBelle
Day 63 – Robert L. Penick
Dream Back – Timothy Pilgrim
A Dress to Die ForSarah Brown Weitzman
The Epicurean Candidate – Nick Romeo
Epiphany – Sheila Black
Faye Taking a Breath – Rikki Santer
Feeder – Max Heinegg
Generations Heeling – Greg Maddigan
Green Pastures – Seth Grindstaff
Grief in 3 Years – Nicole McCaffety
hatchlings – Leo Levinsky
Hermits – Jessica Sommerfeldt
How to Live Stoned – Bob Hoeppner
It’s Aye Been – Carol Stewart
Joint Custody – Sherri Wright
Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Blasphemy, Who? – Jennifer Maloney
Learning by Heart – Laura Foley
Linnets – Hilda Weiss
Looking for Tommy Underwater – Zack Hutchinson
lord and taylor – Wayne-Daniel Berard
Loug Kya Kahen Gay – Laiba Fatima
Love Letter to the Blues Adrian Potter
Museum Diana Donovan
My Block of Time Barbara Crane
My Way Patricia Carragon
The One Who Always Gets Away Philip Kobylarz
Outer Banks Beach Ed Ahern
The Palm Reader of Hempstead Gianna Sannipoli
Pass Chad W. Lutz
Perfect Date Night Lucas Shepherd
Why We Stopped in Petra Andy Oram
Protected Frances Koziar
Reflection Laura Johnson
Reindeer Beards Susan Kay Anderson
The Return Karen McAferty Morris
road-house Stephen House
Silver Robert Nisbet
Snowdonia Alan Parry
Stranger Jason Emde
Suburban Wild Joanne Furio
Summary in Free Verse 2 Ann Mikusinski
Synesthesia Gage Crowder
There Were So Many Apples Elena Nailyevna
These Days Erika Noel Johnson
Through the Keyhole Christie Marra
Understory Stephanie L. Harper
We Were Sitting by the River Alec Solomita
What a Middle Name Is Liam Strong
Window Mzwandile Poncana
Windows Taught Us One Thing Jonathan Yungkans
you lift your finger carefully as if heavy with paint Kate LaDew

Issue 12, Spring/Summer 2019

Old Stuff 049

Photo by Andrea Walker

Spring has sprung throughout North America. Trees have been in bud here in Pensacola for a few weeks now, the joy of rebirth and renewal. Our contributors renew our own spirits, and we hope they renew yours as well! 

Once again, we happen upon bunches of work that touch on certain themes. Coincidence is nearly a rule here at Panoply! Issue 12 features a clutch of poems about sex; another about family; another about home towns, both current and former. And of course, there are a host of other wonderful works on a variety of other themes, all flowing with art and wonder. We hope you enjoy the issue!

Issue 13, unthemed, is scheduled for publication around August 23, with our Call for Submissions, July 5-28. We’ll update our announcements as those dates approach. As usual, we’ll be posting our weekly Editors’ Choices starting before the end of May, followed by a chapbook review in late June. Thanks to all for submitting; thanks to all for reading.

Best wishes,
Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Contents

#38 – Brendan Connolly
Amid the Alien CornDavid Swerdlow
Among StonesJeff Hardin
April Snow – Ginger Dehlinger
Aqua PuraCharlotte Hamrick
Being a BishopRC DeWinter
Bewitched, Bothered, and BewilderedPatricia Carragon
Caminata Lorraine Caputo
Caught in a Snare – Gloria Nixon-John
County High PointCraig Finlay
Delphi Falls Ellen Austin-Li
Footprints In the SnowLindaAnn Lo Schiavo
GalahadPatricia Nelson
The HostagesNiles Reddick
How to Tell an Old Man He Can’t Climb a Tree – Brooke Schifano
I Saw MyselfJacquelyn Shah
I Didn’t Know Snow ThenLauren Davis
In the knee-high grass of Eastern Montana, Independence is a luxury few can afford – John McDonough
the irreversible futureMike Jurkovic
Japanese KitesPeter Scacco
The Joys of Sex – Ciara Dall
A Kind of Nothing is Prominently There Instead  – Nancy Jentsch
Lazarus ExplainsBruce McRae
LegendMax Heinegg
Like the Big BangCatherine Arra
Mother’s FudgeCL Sostarich
My First Death – Ellen Sander
Naive and Sentimental Sonnet #10Thomas Zimmerman
Newton CornerAndrew Furst
Night Eagle – Dee Allen
Night Watch – S.E. Clark
Noah’s ArkBetsy Mars
A Note on North StarsEmma Johnson-Rivard
The PatriotsTraci Mullins
Pleasant LaneJeremy Voigt
Promise #9Tony Burnett
Reconciling with Home – Brian Fanelli
A Ribbon at at TimeAnn Howells
Saturday Morning Remorse – Adrian Potter
Sex at Sixty – Cheryl Caesar
The Shape of Rain – Lois Harrod
Show Me the Way – David Lohrey
A Simple GestureRobin Wright
SmileBilly Thrasher
Sorrow BedKimberly Becker
Something There is that Doesn’t Love a Neighbor ~ – Ken Gosse
Special Carousel – Gary Glauber
Spend Less Time with Nightingales and Peacocks. One is Just a Voice, the Other Just a Color – Rebecca Macijeski
Spider CatchMark Youssef
Stenciled With Palm Trees and Flamingos – Francine Witte
SugarChristian Fennell
Summer FestivalPaula Kaufman
ThanksgivingJoy Gaines-Friedler
They’ll Call Me Deserter – Darwin Pappas-Fernandes
Tornado WatchCarl Boon
Tune – Gale Acuff
Wasco Woman – Penelope Schott
Without Speaking – Eliana Swerdlow
Your Son’s Birthday PartyKimberly Wright
Your City, My Unincorporated Town – Laura Voivodeship

Issue 11, Winter 2018-9, “Untamed” Theme – Including Our First-Ever Contest Winners

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Welcome to Issue 11, our “Untamed” issue. What a treat it’s been to read the wild rambles of our contributors. We’ve got lots of work related to relationships, not one but two references to a garrote, some super-quirky humor, LGBTQ work, hippies, women’s consciousness/ascension, childbirth, end-of-life issues, and more! Our contributors sing.

This is our first-ever contest, one that’s brought us all some fine work. We thank all who submitted and congratulate our prize winners and all whose wonders appear here.

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful 2019! Thanks for reading Panoply.

Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Orchid.jpg

Contest Winners
First Prize – A Further Response from the Hornet’s NestRobert Okaji
Second Prize – UntamedDianalee Velie
Third Prize – At The Scottish Gallery a Baobhan Sith Takes a Pass on a Local VicarLinda Kennedy

Additional Contents
450Frances An
Apologia for a FetishBingh
ArchangelSteve Deutsch
ArthritisPat Hanahoe-Dosch
ArtisanKaren McAferty Morris
At the EdgeGloria Nixon-John
Ballet: The Second Lesson – PliésVictoria McGrath
The Bear in the LabyrinthCarol Flake Chapman
Bitter VisionWendy Vergoz
Bride of Porcupine Kathryn Almy
bull marketAnne Casey
Child’s PlayNeil Flatman
Dress Code – Brad Garber
FeralGabrielle Langley
FlightChristopher Wang
Four o’clocksRobert Nisbet
The GarroteAaron Brame
Good MorningNeil Harrison
The Heart of the MarrowEva Rosenn
How to Be a Leopard SealCarla Myers
In Praise of ReasonStephanie L. Harper
Just SupposingJames McKee
OpossumJulie Stewart
The other we eat is the tale we know bestKelli Allen
the pegasus clock in ICU15AM Roselli
Persephone Coaches HadesM.S. Rooney
Pine Twig Nest with Reindeer MossGail Comorat
Reuven Rubin’s Orange Groves near Jaffa 1928Mare Leonard
Scene #3Thomas Dedola
Train Ride with Hair on FireMartha Kalin
We were once menJack Ritter
What If They Could Be Wild?Irene Fick
Wolf CallChristy Wise