Northwest Passages by Kate Flannery (Arroyo Seco Press)

Tears in the Fence

Kate Flannery’sNorthwest Passagesis tinged with more than just the happy memories of a childhood world that she cannot go back to because she has grown and changed. Flannery grew up in Southwest Washington near Mt. St. Helens and much of the world that she knew as a child was obliterated in the volcanic eruption of 1980. It is gone in a permanent way that few of us can possibly understand, the forest razed, the mountain gone. It was a place for her of quiet forests that few people visited and of innocent play; however, in her memory it was isolated, and as the only girl in a family of boys and as a girl in the male dominated society of a logging town, it was a place where she had to find herself by herself. Her collection chronicles all of the complex feelings that she has about her…

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Review of ‘kinscapes’ by Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

In her biography Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig is described as an editor, a translator and a writer of flash fiction, reviews and essays, but if her debut pamphlet, kinscapes (Dreich, 2022), is anything to go by, she is also an intelligent and innovative poet who playfully pushes the boundaries of poetic form, with telling effect.

kinscapes as the title suggests is about togetherness and connection. Life is presented as both a shared experience and an experience to be shared. Take, for example, Matthews-Schlinzig’s highly personal prose-poem describing a miscarriage. Significantly, the tragic event is told in the plural first-person, ‘we’. The woman, who has lost the baby does not separate her feelings from those of her partner, neither when describing their shared joy at conception, nor when conveying the complex mixture of feelings at the moment of loss: ‘there we were,/ lying on the bedroom floor, the weight of disbelief/…

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#TheWombwellRainbow #PoeticFormsChallenge. It is weekly. Week TwentyFour form is a #Quatern. I will post the challenge to create a first draft of a poetic form by the following late Sunday. Please email your first draft to me, including an updated short, third person bio and a short prose piece about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Except when I’m working at the supermarket I am always ready to help those that get stuck. I will blog my progress throughout the week. Hopefully it may help the stumped. Also below please find links to helpful websites.

Quatern Rules

This poem has 16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas).
Each line is comprised of eight syllables.
The first line is the refrain. In the second stanza, the refrain appears in the second line; in the third stanza, the third line; in the fourth stanza, the fourth (and final) line.
There are no rules for rhyming or iambics.

Kudos to Writer’s Digest for this summary.

Helpful Links,rules%20for%20rhyming%20or%20iambics.

Quatern Poem Type


“Othernesses”. As part of the celebration today Ash Wednesday and launch of my new sonnet collection “Othernesses” I will feature any work you have about otherness. Please include a short third person bio

Fresh Blood

The Mayor addresses his audience,
how fortunate we are to live in the open-
minded and harmonious Smugton.

It was a valid point, I had to agree.
Look what happens in villages nearby.

People living in Lower Tranquil-by-Day
still didn’t mix with the “riff-raff”
of Upper Tranquil-by-Day, the new estate
build at the end of the 1800s.

In the good old days, members from each side
would fight by throwing logs at each-other,
entertainment for the village fair.

Just last week, a lady I bumped into outside
the shops told me how they say her family
would only become full, paid-up members
of Bonny-by-the-River after six generations.

How many of you have at least one grandparent
born in our lovely townlet? the Mayor asks.
Three-quarters of the audience raise their hands.

How many of you have two grandparents
from here?
Half of the people raise their hands.

Three. Even less hands.

Well, this is a sign of true progress,
he goes on, a smile from ear to ear.

Fresh blood in our community.

Doryn Herbst

Bios and Links

Doryn Herbst,

a former water industry scientist in Wales, now lives in Germany and is a deputy local councillor. Her writing considers the natural world but also themes which address social issues. Doryn has poetry in Fahmidan Journal, CERASUS Magazine, Fenland Poetry Journal, celestite poetry, Poems from the Heron Clan and more. She is a reviewer at Consilience science poetry.


Octopus Inc. – A Poem by Steve McOrmond w/Images by Robert Frede Kenter

IceFloe Press


At the San Francisco aquarium,
the celebrity inmate is in maximum

security lockdown. A serial
escapist, he keeps giving them the slip.

Neuroplasticity to the nth degree,

each limb a multi-tool, a career

burglar’s bump key that his jailors
can’t bed check away, he pours

himself into the water circulation system,
sensing his path through the maze

of inlet and outlet pipes, probing
by trial and error, for the real bay.


The octopus is an offshore corporation,
a shadowy network of subsidiaries,
its governance hard to fathom.

Directives come down from HQ
but the details of their execution
are at the individual limbs’ discretion.

Cut one off (it will grow back),
the severed appendage shrinks
from the scalpel and slithers away.

If it meets something it considers
food, it will seize it, try to deliver

the morsel to where the mouth –
not unlike a parrot’s beak –…

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Five Poems / Five VISPO – A Collaboration by Samuel Strathman and Michael Orr

IceFloe Press

The New Beginning

I’m in love with today;
up to my eyeballs
in the blah of Wednesday,
admiring how the blue

and white-collar lapdogs
on the bus
do the sit
instead of the walk.

Tuesday trails behind
in the rear-view mirror, waving.
Hot air leaves the vortex.
A bearded man stares

at me, sniffs his fingers.
Smells like a new beginning
full of potential.
Yesterday’s garbage

has been replaced,
the new skunked shit
dragging me with its fishing rod:
exciting adventures await!

Forgot my book
this morning.
I cup my hands
and pretend.

Abstract melting figures in black w/grey : butterflies music scales, some lettering - the image by Michael Orr is a circle w/ the images centered. There are five drawings. They use black ink, each piece is centred around a piece of masking tape that provides a boundary for above/below and images swirling and falling across and thru the tape.

Rural Winter

Winter hillocks

Hoarfrost fencing

Faded Anthropocene,

The odd duck melded

Against scant storefronts

Temperature’s at a standstill

Caliginous roadways

Feculent black ice

Snowplows churning, tremoring with emotion

Merciful sunbeams poke

Through the midmorning haze,

Optic relief

Abstract melting figures in black w/grey : butterflies music scales, some lettering - the image by Michael Orr is a circle w/ the images centered. The circle is a thick black outline, figure background  is straw coloured.

As the earth drifts further and further apart from itself

I lie down
on a grassy knoll,
stretch my…

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Since You Agreed to Just Quietly Listen – Short Prose by Jim Meirose

IceFloe Press

Since You Agreed to Just QuietlyListen

But why, Father?

Because you will learn much from this, son. If you just quietly listen.

Here; ‘s’ been twin ban-thwackies parlifixturicating o’er ‘his sunny day.


<sigh (westchnienie!)>

—okay, go along—

Patch; Imagine what?

Paulette; Knots.

Null. Null.

Nasty-splat? You bet, ya-yep. Null. Not me.

Hoot! Mui-Papa!

—dear God, please; why did we ever—


Wow. Where?

M-member? Pennsylvania!

Patch; B.

Picked-down honzonkafruit.

Paulette; Backtacratidenza!

Sonboy; li simple fiksrigardas.

Ha ha ha ha! Hah!

Eyebop patiquela sollyonne-slow.


Splecklinda-tacular Joints.


Gob! Cheeesh! Like Miss Bovine’s cud.

‘tis, yes.

Chew; The trap.

Chew; The ceiling.

Chew; The cabin.

Get it now, ole’ Gagg?

Paulette; Form what, great Father? (as they’d been scripted to exclaim at these junctures of such talks)

Patch; Stars.



Et-plantenettes too.

Yas! All rise, all point! Hats off, gentlemen!

Uh. What?

Mood, Moderator; this; force. Y’ a…

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Two Poems – Bex Hainsworth 

IceFloe Press

Two Whale Sharks Collide at Georgia Aquarium

The giant window is lit up like a cinema screen
and a crowd has formed, lapping against the glass.
For a few moments, the water is vast and empty,
just the murky shadow of a manta ray lurking
in the corner of the blue backdrop. And then they arrive.

Two leviathans, loosed from the chariot of Oceanos,
slide silently into view. A scattering of spots
shimmering on each back is a galaxy; stripes stretch
like swimming pool ripples. They are two games
of noughts and crosses drawn in nautical chalk.

These gormless Goliaths float towards each other,
mouths gawping, mirror images, drawing
closer like they are re-enacting a creation myth.
They appear to be gearing up for the gentlest joust
and the spectators gasp, lift phones and cameras,

preparing for the titans to clash. Disaster occurs
in slow motion as their fins brush…

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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Planet – A Poem & Voice by Jude Marr

IceFloe Press

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Planet

when mad oceans roar and rain’s a spear: when rage propels the rising tide
and sewers spill: when tempest roils around your head—do you believe
your gods will hear?

will you board up, hammering defiance at a yellow sky?
or duct-tape, making diamonds out of window-glass? will you seal
your basement, let your washer/drier die, so you can live?

to fill a bugout bag with bullets, hop the last bus to a better place—or stay?
freezing, powerless and huddled in your preacher’s tub: playing
truth-or-dare as water rises: praying to Beelzebub—

rapture, rapture! water’s lapping at your chin: Noah’s nowhere
and the only bird’s an albatross with broken wings—

flood insurance? I’m an ocean! can you swim?

Jude Marr reads “Sinners…”

Demons at a window looking in -- distorted glitch visual poem construction in red and yellow fiery hint of a skyscraper building behind frames and curtains -- sense of dread and catastrophe. by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2023. Same image as the banner above the poem.

Jude Marr (they, them) is a Pushcart-nominated nonbinary poet. Jude’s full-length collection,We Know Each Other By Our Wounds, came…

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