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Poetry 3 Spring  2023



More Like BreathingThan Rain

       by  L. Ward  Abel



Who played that song 

that night— 

the one out by the beach 

in air caked by dinner time  

and rain more like breathing  

          than rain? 



The woods are bare here now 

but warm air streams up 

from a gulf once and future and 

the rain’s more like  


          than rain. 



I ride the past like 

a saddle half in shadow 

no other reference point 

but rain, more like 


          than rain.


Bio: L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals (Rattle, Versal, The Reader, Worcester Review, Riverbed Review, others), including a recent nomination for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and he is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including his latest collection, The Width of Here (Silver Bow, 2021).  He is a reformed lawyer, he writes and plays music, and he teaches literature. Abel resides in rural Georgia. 







Record of a Friend’s Voice 
            by   Heather Sager
On the highway, dusk driving,
or in a parking lot, ambling under
volcano-red clouds,
a male baritone brushes my ears
from a great distance…
Do you often recall
that person who haunts you— 
the glow of their eyes
coming at you
as if from the shadows,
or a certain word calls back
the lucidity of their personality.
What if someone could put on
a friend’s voice like a record
spin it even when the friend
is not there
hear their kindness, searching
like a Blue Note jazz LP.
Don’t forget how
a persistent mind
ripples, warm, 
unfurling in space,
a room with an ochre glow.
Bio: Heather Sager lives in Illinois. Her recent poetry appears in StepAway Magazine, Litbop, Magma,morphrog,
Creative Flight, Remington Review, The Rye Whiskey Review, ActiveMuse(Pushcart nomination), and more journals.
Her poetry also appears in anthologies, most recently Our Changing Earth Vol.1 from THE POET. Heather also writes fiction.


       by Michael Lewis-Beck


The candy maker in the Happy Moon 

molds molten chocolate with her warmth 

laden hands lifting pats like mud pies 

dark as dirt but not dirt and not milk 

chocolate either. Dark and 


heavy but lush and giving like lava 

in a lava lamp, though not afloat 

in a viscous syrup, 

instead being rolled by round fingers 

into balls the size of golf balls, 


smooth, though. Smooth as silk 

the glistening chocolate appears 

in its slow swirl. 

How not like Silly Putty. 

How like fingerpaints in grade school, 


the brown paint, rubbed round and round 

on freezer paper by my small hand 

not wanting to stop and wanting to  

taste it but knowing better than that. 

No finger licks! Roiled Beulah Goslee, 


my second grade teacher, not married, 

like Miss Hearn, my first grade teacher 

who also lived with a family while 

Beulah lived in a boarding house. 

In third grade I got caught passing a note.


Bio: Michael Lewis-Beck writes from Iowa City. He has pieces in American Journal of Poetry, Apalachee Review, Big Windows Review, Cortland Review, Chariton Review, Eastern Iowa Review, Guesthouse, Heavy Feather ReviewPennine Platform, Pilgrimage, Southword and Wapsipinicon Almanac. He has a book of poems, Rural Routes, with Alexandria Quarterly Press.



       by Steven Deutsch

They always

choose a resort

off season—


a ski chalet 

in August

or a pebbly beach


swept bare 

by the winds 

of February


for the robed


to gather—


students trailing

profs like goslings

for three days


of talk

and talk, and talk.

By the second


day we’ve all

run out of oxygen

and treat


our bottomless


with endless cups


of burnt coffee,


and acetaminophen.


But, I like nothing more

than to walk

the beach in winter.


Picking my way

against a headwind

trying to blow me away.


My students present

in an hour

and are worried


I’ve forgotten.

But the surf



the beach

like a kettle drum

and the cold,


cold spray

is a work

of art.


Bio: Steve Deutsch is poetry editor of Centered Magazine and is poet in residence at the Bellefonte Art Museum. Steve was nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. His Chapbook, Perhaps You Can, was published in 2019 by Kelsay Press. His full length books,  Persistence of Memory and Going, Going, Gone, were published by Kelsay. Slipping Away will be published this spring. Brooklyn was awarded the Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press and will also be published this spring.