“July” by Naomi Thiers

July

What grows in heat:
lassitude,
blowsy
magnolias,
confusing
lassitude
with
comfort. . .
honeysuckle,
lassitude,
growing in the heat.

Naomi Thiers
7/25/2019

Naomi Thiers is the author of three poetry collections: Only The Raw Hands Are Heaven (WWPH), In Yolo County, and She Was a Cathedral (both Finishing Line Press.) Her poems and fiction have been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, Sojourners, and many others. Former editor of Phoebe, she works as an editor for Educational Leadership magazine and lives in a condo on the banks of Four Mile Run in Arlington, VA.

“Reluctant Martyrs” by Bill A. Marable

Reluctant Martyrs
(after Isha Sesay)

Held ‘Beneath the Tamarind Tree’
Girls
Nigerian
stolen
trapped
Girls
walls
of
branches
Girls
held ‘Beneath the Tamarind Tree’

Bill A. Marable
7/8/2019

Bill A. Marable, 56, has been a lover of poetry since elementary school and began writing poetry in junior high. He resides in Jackson, TN., where he is the publisher of the CrimeSEEN Examiner Newspaper. Marable is a founding member and current president of the board of directors of The Griot Collective of West Tennessee, a nonprofit poetry workshop.

———

Note: This Skinny addresses the 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist group. It also references the book by Isha Sesay, Beneath the Tamarind Tree, which documents the mass abduction. Sesay is a former CNN broadcaster and now a Child Rights activist. As of this publication, well over 100 of the kidnapped girls remain unaccounted for.

 

“And the Train Went On” by Annie Ma

And the Train Went On

Two boys holding hands
hands
on
the
train
hands
and
punches
bloody
hands
Two hands holding boys

Annie Ma
7/3/2019

Annie Ma is a high school senior at The Harker School, where she is a co-editor-in-chief of the literary magazine. Her poetry has won several Scholastic Writing Awards. She is the president of Book Bank (www.bookbank.org), which serves underprivileged communities by distributing free books to K-8 school children.

“Hour Glass” by Suzanne Cottrell

Hour Glass

A life with cancer
measured
chemo
treatments
days
measured
by
bedside
farewells
measured
Cancer with a life

Suzanne Cottrell
7/7/2019

Suzanne Cottrell lives with her husband and three dogs in rural Piedmont, North Carolina.  An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, and Pilates.  Her poetry has appeared in journals such as The Avocet, Haiku Journal, Poetry Quarterly, The Remembered Arts Journal and Burningword Literary Journal.

“Syria” by Kara Provost

Syria

The dry map bleeds—
tears
like
swollen
rivers
tear
mountains,
cities,
homes.
Tears
bleed the map dry.

Our hearts torn from this land
restitched,
ripped
ragged
again.
Restitch
us,
cartographer,
surgeon—
restitch
this land torn from our hearts.

Kara Provost
7/9/2019

Note: Since Bashar al-Assad took power in 2011, estimates suggest over 500,000 Syrians have been killed (The New York Times, April 13, 2018), more than 6.1 million are internal refugees, and 5.7 million have fled the country (CNN.com, April 9, 2019).

Kara Provost has published two chapbooks, Topless (Main Street Rag) and Nests (Finishing Line), and six microchapbooks with the Origami Poems project. Her poems appear in literary journals and a number of anthologies, including Credo: Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing; Nuclear Impact: Shattered Atoms in Our Hands; and Shifts: Women’s Growth through Change. Provost teaches writing at Curry College and lives in Rhode Island.

“Artifacts” by Jimmie Smith, Jr.

Artifacts

Black men are becoming sunlit
fossils
within
concrete
exhumed
fossils
appear
naked
crumbled
fossils
are becoming sunlit Black men

Jimmie Smith, Jr.
7/6/2019

Jimmie Smith, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan, but he currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Chicago State University. His work has previously been published in The Overground Railroad Volume 1. He works as an English/Writing tutor, and he is also a freelance sports announcer.

“Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” by Tara Betts

Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer

Janet lies on the floor
plays
Stevie,
recites
poems,
plays
grief
as
notes
play.
Janet lies on the floor.

Tara Betts
7/4/2019


Photo courtesy of Glitter Guts

Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. She’s a co-editor of The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century and editor of the critical edition of Philippa Duke Schuyler’s memoir Adventures in Black and White. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.