Pamela Hammond

A Sudden Wind


makes leaves tremble,

bends branches,

lifts my hair, tangles.

Enters my nostrils,

steals my breath.

I turn

against its surge,

look down;

dust whirls upward,

            blinds me,

grips my throat.

I taste it.

I am being whittled away

to join its force,





Guardian of the Night


An asteroid plowed

into Earth, belly-fire

and debris mingled,

coalesced into a sphere,

finding its orbit nearby.


The moon shines silver

or breathes sunlit gold,

peeks through darkness

into windows. Its glow

fills the hollows in my heart,

lights wings of imagination.


Guardian of my night,

continue your journey

an inch plus a year

toward the sun.


by Pamela Hammond


Pamela Hammond was born in Chicago, grew up in Southern California, and now lives in Santa Monica. For more than a decade, she worked as a Los Angeles-based critic for Art News based in New York. Her love of nature has led her to hike, backpack and travel, often to Northern California, and to Alaska, the Southwest, Hawaii, and New Zealand’s South Island, which became her home for almost a year. She completed two chapbooks, Encounters (2011) and Clearing (2012), produced by Red Berry Editions, Fairfax, California. In 2013, her work appeared in Forge, Assisi, Foliate Oak, Broad River Review, and Tulane Review. In 2014, her work appeared in Cold Mountain Review, Crack the Spine, Drunk Monkeys, Whistling Shade, Chaparral, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Westward Quarterly. In 2015, her work is forthcoming in Griffin and The Penmen Review. Her poem “Winter Walk” appeared in Crack the Spine’s Spring 2014 print anthology.



With only a pursed lip

and tone of crazed despair,

my body constricts itself,

the way a snake takes hold of it’s prey

right before the kill.


And you know the way

your throat closes and reopens

with the tangled sentiment of choked back tears?


No, wait.

That’s me, too.


And then the panic sets in-

the black of eyelids falling privy

to sudden heat, as it inches

as far as my fingertips-


where jagged nails are now

smooth and growing,

like the red dahlia stunted in shadows,

now blooms full with the sun.


I want to feel the freedom

of a criminal.


Send me away…


Anywhere, but here, I cry.








by Hannah Bushman


Self-proclaimed humanitarian, Hannah Bushman, is a lover of literature, music, and peppermint tea. She believes that the right song on a television show can make all the difference in the world. Hannah is a graduate of John Carroll University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. In addition to poetry, Hannah revels in the creativity of photography and the logistics of psychology.

After Loss

The days





like empty





A gold cigarette

butt, twisted


candy wrapper, discarded

plastic spoon, and dark,


flattened disk of gum

surround a blade


of grass growing

from a broken sidewalk,


the sprig seeming

a humble


probe of life



devastation, kindred spirit

to the tender


fleck of green



on the quiet

pond in the spoon.


by Mark Belair



Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His most recent collection is Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015). Previous collections include Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. For more information, please visit