Barbara Siegel Carlson

A Parable


A big wave was coming. My car rose, then filled with water. O God, this can’t be happening! I looked up, my car could fly! It rocked up over the trees, skimmed the tops. Through the clear bottom I spotted my childhood home. I lowered my car and it hovered over the pool in the yard. Then I jumped through the roof into an empty room. At the back was a closet with a hidden door. I opened it. Someone was walking down the hall & hugged me. A thin man I loved. He showed me the closet he was building, the dome ceiling I hadn’t noticed before. The wallpaper didn’t fit, and between the seams the bare walls breathed.



A Sign


My father came to sit on the blue wicker stool in the upstairs bathroom of my childhood home. Talking in his familiar voice as if he’d been alive the whole time in another place. I finally asked him the question I most wanted to before he died. He said I feel it whenever you pray for me, he who never understood what it meant to pray. He said it feels like deep silk. I didn’t understand but I did. I asked him to give me a sign that he heard me when he returned to wherever he had to go. He repeated it feels like deep silk, my home.


Barbara Siegel Carlson

Barbara Siegel Carlson is the author of the poetry collection Fire Road and co-translator (with Ana Jelnikar) of Look Back, Look Ahead Selected Poetry of Srecko Kosovel. She lives in Carver, MA.



My eyes fold on the

past – a frozen wasteland



These may be

false hopes, but they

heal the wounds we



Insecure stains of the distant

slowly crawling closer


I hear their drums

pounding on a heartbeat further


A forged bellow creeps

somewhere between stomach and


loosely fitting its skin to

match the crowd.


Joe Albanese

Joe Albanese is a writer of poetry and prose. Recently he had a piece published in the Fall 2016 edition of Sheepshead Review. In 2017 he has work to be published in Calliope and Adelaide Literary Magazine.

John Kristofco

Bottomless Lake


they all said it was “bottomless,”

that lake past all the farms,

a couple hours’ drive;

they said boats went down

and never left a trace, vanished

as if swallowed whole by time,

no simple sand and rock there to receive them,

no sound, no scrape, no muffled thump

like everything that falls

(and everything does fall);

they all believed it like Yeti in the snow,

saucers in the desert,

things that kept the world exotic

while life took every mystery away,

a box filled and emptied every day,

a depth they knew so well

where water came and went

between the pull of moon and sun,

subtracting to some finite sum,

and they’d fall themselves

into the true abyss

for which there is no wonder

but the unexamined buoyancy of faith




what we will and will not understand,

the language of the world

waits in space between the leaves,

rattles in the chatter of the wind,

whispers hope at nightfall,

despair within the questions of its bending trees

in seasons that it does not know,

days in the dyslexia of me

and we,

twisted from the discourse of the sun


John Kristofco

John P. (Jack) Kristofco’s poetry and short stories have appeared in about two hundred publications, including Burningwood. He has published three collections of poetry and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times.