A Poem by Barbara Knott




I stand at my front door waving goodbye to you.
It is still morning, the light above the door
still on, and as you drive away

my one foot follows the other down three steps
as if I might catch you
until I catch myself and turn and see

there on the door frame
two Luna Moths side by side in a green glide
wing tips touching when they stop to rest

and to arrest my eye
and say
in their lovely soundless way:

Hasten slowly through your life.
Lose no part of this miraculous
luna green morning.




In 2009 Barbara’s poem “Boxwood” was selected by Judge Nikki Giovanni as first-prize winner of the New Millennium Writings Awards 28 prize for poetry. In 2010 Francois Camoin chose her short story “Song of the Goatman” as third-prize winner in the Writers at Work fiction competition. Barbara’s chapbook of poems Soul Mining was published in 2011 by Finishing Line Press. Another chapbook, MANTA Poems, came out in March 2015, also published by Finishing Line Press. Her short story “The Legend of Abigail Jones” received first prize in the wild card category of Atlanta Writers Club’s Spring 2014 competitions. Barbara was selected with a group of poets to represent FLP as readers at the Abroad Writers’ Conference in Dublin, December 2015.

She has a Ph.D from New York University’s drama therapy program. While in New York, she studied acting with William Hickey at the Herbert Berghof Studio in Greenwich Village and did extensive work in theater and in Montessori education for pre-schoolers. On her return to Atlanta, she became co-director of the Center for Archetypal Studies and served terms as program chair and then president of the C. G. Jung Society while practicing therapy for five years before entering a fulltime teaching career in English and humanities. Now retired, she gives full attention to writing and collaborative arts performances and to editing and publishing The Grapevine Art and Soul Salon, online literary/art journal at http://www.grapevineartandsoulsalon.com.

A Poem by Annette Langlois Grunseth

When Your Child Comes Out



I often think of the day you were born when
I held my sweet boy for the first time,
marveling where did you come from?
It’s a lot to take in, when your child comes out.

As I go upstairs to bed I stare at old photos in the hall,
your short-cropped hair, striped shirt, toddler jeans,
that little-boy smile. I walk past you in a suit and tie for
graduation. At Christmas tears still well up as
my fingers trace the “old” name on the stocking.
It’s a lot to take in, when your child comes out.


But now you walk with confidence,
meet new people with ease,
get together with women friends.
Your skin is soft like pink on a peach,
your blue eyes sparkle, your child-like humor has returned
and your familiar expressions are back.

You are the same person
only now that doubting discord is gone.
You live through yourself, instead of beside yourself.

You are the daughter I always wanted.





Annette Langlois Grunseth has a BA in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a lifetime member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Her poems have appeared in Wisconsin Academy Review, Midwest Prairie Review, SOUNDINGS: Door County in Poetry, The Poetry Box/Poeming Pigeons, The Ariel Anthology and other publications. Several of her nature poems were set to original music and performed at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She is retired from a career in Marketing and Public Relations and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband John, where they both advocate for equal rights. She is the author of Becoming Trans-Parent, One Family’s Journey of Gender Transition (Finishing Line Press).

After the surprise of learning about their oldest child’s transition, Annette and her husband, John, offered immediate and unconditional love which has taken their family on an amazing journey of understanding, empathy and acceptance. Annette shares her poetry as a way to increase awareness, one audience at a time. To know someone first hand dealing with gender transition is to dispel myths and stereotypes about gender identity. John, a retired human resources professional, stays on top of employment, healthcare and human rights law. Together they tackle the issues essential to their daughter and other LBGTQIA citizens. Annette is also an avid outdoors woman who enjoys kayaking, bicycling, camping and exploring our national parks.

A Poem by Carol Dorf

On Definitions



With all the ways time loops in the quantum

foam definitions slide away. Her mother

could have said “a life defined by sorrow”

but it might have been sparrows or tomorrow

which is a problem when tomorrow loops

around today. Her physics teacher would

have said “don’t confuse your quantum world

with your mechanical space — no one

hoists anvils under an imaging machine.”


Though isn’t that the point: there is “no one”

on that infinitesimal scale so

we define life in the particle zoo:

Quarks — up and down bottom and strange

Leptons — neutrino, electron muon and tau


Imagine the first instants of the universe

where light and gravity interact

in long waves, when metaphors turn

upon themselves before they intersect

in hyperbolic geometries.



(From Theory Headed Dragon — first published in Antiphon/republished in Scientific American.)




Carol Dorf has two chapbooks available, Some Years Ask, (Moria Press) and Theory Headed Dragon, (Finishing Line Press.) Her poetry appears in E-ratio, Great Weather For Media, Glint, Slipstream, Sin Fronteras, Surreal Poetics, About Place, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Scientific American, and Maintenant. She is poetry editor of Talking Writing and teaches mathematics in Berkeley.

Visit talkingwriting.com

A Poem by Cecilia Martinez-Gil

Prewriting Exercise: fountain of ink



Fountain of ink

does not ploy deceptions, no.

Pen surges to create illusions,

so play in them, within,

dance at their beat

script your own scenes

enable yourself to animate infinity

in this timed timely second

within the utopian frame of these pages

where poems read your delights and my sins

without tricking the reader not to believe

without misleading the writer not to relive.

As words and writers and readers meet

in the promise and the pledge

the oath supped under our tongues

as poems swallow you

as you feast in your echo of my own patois

Cuming to Live

Coming to Life

Spoken verb

While this story becomes verve that thrives.



From a fix of ink ©Cecilia Martinez-Gil

(Finishing Line Press)



Cecilia Martinez-Gil is a poet, writer, translator, and former journalist. She has published two full- length poetry collections a fix of ink and Psaltery and Serpentines, and co-wrote the award-winning experimental video Itinerarios. Her poetry has been chosen finalist for the ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Award, finalist in the USA National Best Books Award and Runner-Up for the Los Angeles Book Festival Award. Her poems have been published on Levure Littéraire, in Voices, A Santa Monica Women’s College Publication, Anthology of Latin American Writers in Los Angeles, Imaginarias: Antología de Poesía, and in her first chapbook Muecas de Fósforo. Her work as a journalist has been published in magazines and newspapers, in both Spanish and English. She has a B.A. in Comparative Literature, and two M.A.s, in Hispanic Languages and Literatures, and in English and Creative Writing. This fall, Cecilia will begin studies at Antioch University, pursuing a dual degree, an M.A. in Urban Sustainability combined with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She teaches English and Latin American Literatures at Santa Monica College.

Learn more at www.ceciliamartinezgil.com

A poem from a fix of ink “Tranströmer’s Transmutations” Poetry (Martinez-Gil) Music (Barilari) Video (Jones)

Direct link:


Two Poems by Robert West

On Balance


A deeply
flawed person

you flail

and fall

but stay
more or less

to be
a person

at all




“Are you able to turn off thinking about work
in order to get an adequate amount of sleep?”
Psychology Today

It’s true I’m tired.
What else to say?
And uninspired,
it’s true: I’m tired.
And yet required
you, triolet.
It’s true I’m tired.
What else to say?




“Late” first appeared in The Bluestone Review.






Robert West’s chapbook Convalescent was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. He’s co-editor of Succinct: The Broadstone Anthology of Short Poems (Broadstone Books, 2013) and editor of The Complete Poems of A. R. Ammons, forthcoming in two volumes from W. W. Norton this fall. He teaches at Mississippi State University.

Learn more about Robert West at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/robert-west

A Poem by Donna Wolf-Palacio

Two If By Sea



Today, a man of no inspiring grace stands on a ship.

The visor of his cap covers his eyes.

This man is the emperor of big.



In 1775, a man on a horse says to his friend, “One if by land,

two if by sea,” points to the belfry arch of the North Church tower.

He silently rows to the Charlestown shore.

Hovering, phantom ship, huge black hulk, magnified

by its reflection in the tide.

His friend climbs the wooden stairs of the tower.

The man on the opposite side

sees two lamps in the North Church tower,

mounts his horse, rides through village and farm

to Lexington and Concord.



So who is who and what is what?

Can the Mystic River foresee the dimming of the light

and how it will rise in that land of mountains?




Donna Wolf-Palacio is author of What I Don’t Know and The Other Side, published by Finishing Line Press. She taught a poetry workshop at the University of the Arts and was editor/consultant of the UARTS Poetry Review. She has published her writing in Poetry, The Pennsylvania Gazette, The MusehouseJournal, Intro, The Interpreter, Poems ftom the Heart: Poems about Adoption, and Voices.

She has received grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Leeway Foundation, and the Pennsyvania Council for the Arts.

Donna’s new collection STEP LIGHTLY is available for preorder at https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/step-lightly-by-donna-wolf-palacio/

A Poem by Maryfrances Wagner

Eye Tests


The first technician says, Click

each time you see a flashing light.


I click and click and click.

Let’s try taking a picture of your retina,


she says and switches me to another

machine that flashes light into my eye.


I am blind until framed prints dance

on the office wall like gray ghosts—


so much like teen summers I spent

in a lounger staring into the sun’s


hot eye. Red haze follows me

to a chair.  I wait until another technician


calls me.  Can you see this? she asks

handing me a photo. I see what appears


as Vaseline oozing in my eye around

tiny blood vessels.   She shows me


another photo.  This is a healthy eye,

she says.  No globs on this photo.  I see,


I say.  We call that drusen, she says.

Let’s take one more.  Get ready


for the flash.  The other technician

reports you clicked too many times.  


What does this mean?  I ask.

The doctor will speak to you soon, she says.


Outside, the sun so bright

and young and tan.  


Maryfrances Wagner’s books include Salvatore’s Daughter, Light Subtracts Itself, Red Silk (Thorpe Menn Book Award for Literary Excellence), Dioramas (Mammoth) and Pouf (FLP).  Poems have appeared in New Letters, Midwest Quarterly, Laurel Review, Voices in Italian Americana, Unsettling America:  An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Penguin Books), Literature Across Cultures (Pearson/Longman), Bearing Witness, The Dream Book, An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation), et.al.  She co-edits I-70 Review.