When the human spirit is under assault, when homes are no longer safe, then the time has
come to speak and act. The poets and artists of this collection have donated their work as
a gift of fellowship to those who have suffered abuse in their lives. In lieu of conventional
payment, a regular donation is made to Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA), an
organization providing safe havens and programs for the support of survivors of abuse.
In the Path of a Tornado
by Deborah P. Kolodji
he once planted
sudden deadly whirlwinds destroy
the bruises on her face -
another stay at the shelter,
by Deborah P. Kolodji
dozen red roses
she examines the bruise
in the mirror
by E. W. Bennefeld
Crying children whisper through my dreams
with voices faint and dying
from hunger and from fading hope.
I hold my heart untouched
behind a wall of patient waiting.
A few more months, my heart,
a few months only and they'll die,
their crying cease.
Then only the ghosts of crying children
will disturb your sleep.
|painting by Malcolm Deeley
by Neile Graham
Wolverine's my unborn baby. He rides in me, a nightmare growling from my belly. He's fierce. He leaps out and
grabs for strangers. He can snatch up worms for a snack, tear the yipping dog from a neighbor child's arms, rip a
man limb from limb, blood flashing on his white white teeth. I look down and there he is. I look down and he's
pretending to sleep.
Kathryn asked me at school how he got there. We were in the library looking at magazines when I spotted his portrait
and pointed him out to her. All sly-voiced, she asked me how he got in my belly. I said, loud, so everyone stared,
"Little girl, if you don't know I'm not telling you. Ask your mom how unborn babies get made." She blushed and
slapped me then stalked away. That afternoon in Geography wolverine took scissors to the back of her red dress and
cut it to flames. Her white white skin was showing and wolverine licked it. He would have bit her but she ran to tell
the teacher and the teacher phoned Dad and now I'm in the basement again all night.
I hear the damp walls dripping. They swell with rain and fungus and snails and wolverine's pissy dreams, wet and
rotten and glowing in the dark. When Dad leaves for work in the morning and we get out, wolverine and I will take a
shower to steam the night's cold off our skin and boy then wolverine will be hot and luscious and ready for trouble.
Wolverine has been thinking about how to unlock the basement door or maybe scratch his way through. My nails
bleed, but wolverine has claws. I know he does because last week when Tommy grabbed for my tits wolverine
clawed his arm to the bone, and we were in trouble then. It was basement time. Basement and belt until wolverine
leapt up snapping at Dad, his teeth just inches from Dad's face like scissors on a red dress, cutting the air to ribbons
and fire. Right in front of Dad's face until he went upstairs for his beer and TV.
Wolverine has bright black eyes. They shine in the dark like a flashlight, but they're fleshlight. Sometimes when Dad
comes down the basement stairs in the middle of the night wolverine will flash those eyes at him and Dad will go right
back upstairs. But tonight when when Dad comes down wolverine's asleep and his eyes are shut and there's nothing
to make Dad go back upstairs until he's done and putting that ugly old blind worm away and latching his belt.
And wolverine wakes in the morning ready to tear daylight out of the world and there it is creeping in through the dirty
window. We catch fire till we're black lightning, teeth and claws against the glass. And then we burst through it. Out
into the white white air.
illustration by Malcolm Deeley
|We thank the contributors to this page, and ask that readers respect their copyrights. Do not reproduce or distribute any
poetry or art on these pages without permission of its creator.
Deborah P. Kolodji works in information technology to fund her poetry obsessions. She is a
member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and the Haiku Society of America. Her work
has appeared in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, bottle rockets, Simply Haiku, Strange Horizons,
Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, Abyss and Apex, Scifaikuest, Acorn, Poetic Diversity, and
many other places. She has published three chapbooks of poetry. To learn more about her
works and activities, please visit: http://dkolodji.livejournal.com.
Elizabeth Bennefeld has worked as a freelance editor and writer since 1984. She and her
husband live in North Dakota. Their mutual interests include electronics, amateur radio, storm
spotting, and photography. Elizabeth is website coder for the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
Please visit her blog at: http://themomentsbetween.blogspot.com.
Neile Graham is Canadian by birth and inclination, though she currently lives in Seattle.
"Furious"is from her third collection of poetry, Blood Memory. For more information and more of
her writing, please visit: www.sff.net/people/neile.