“Pillars in the Forest” by Joy Merchant

marble white columns of the quaking aspen golden leaves flutter at the smallest provocation quiet Pando, tens of thousands of clones, hundreds of acres trembling ancient giant resilient, regenerative the world’s largest organism its heart far beneath the ground “we must protect these trees,” she tells her children they dig a hole in their backyard […]

“Flick Off the Tip” by Joy Merchant

Across the street they light up, watching cars pass before it’s puffed. Tossing it to the ground because no one’s around. Yet it remains un-snuffed. Behind a building, in a hidden corner, opposing the school’s smoke-free order. Igniting carcinogen sticks to get a quick fix. Unable to abstain, I implored her: Keep a good grip, […]

“Ancient Places” by John Uilkema

The William and Ivy Saylor Prize Winner (2018)   I stand underneath a monster of blood and necessity. Moss strewn brick walls caress the edge of this maw. The half-moon arch is wet with the drool seeping from above. The she-beast stands among her brethren parting the land. She has forever given her stolen milk […]