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Bramble: Winter 2017 now available as a printed issue.

 

Greetings from the Editor

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We began with the idea of “beginnings” – for our first issue of Bramble, this new initiative of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. We begin concurrent with the New Year: depending on how your 2016 was, this turning of the annual calendar may be welcomed, auspicious, thrumming with hope or trepidation. Or, it may be all of these things.

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P o e t r y


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Bowline knot:
(which secures a sail
to prevent it from)

Jeanie Tomasko

being: taken aback, fr. be, to have reality, to take place, more at: DREAM, FAIRY TALE, IN THE

beginning: (alpha)

bet:  to be sure of

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I Reject the Beautiful Post-Apocalyptic World of Your Dreams

Sarah Sadie

Last night was a crumbling library,
you and I the only left, reading in—what?—
candlelight? the smoky glare of a blasted sun?
post-nuclear glow? No matter.

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Veterans Day 2011

Michael Kriesel
for Steve Cox

“Fuck dead generals! Let’s see a bronze statue of Og
killing the last saber-tooth!” We laugh.
Then I’m quiet for a minute.  Steve coughs,
his lungs like two wet paper bags…

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Becoming a VA Patient

Sylvia Bowersox

1.      Be scared & all alone & so confused that you can’t figure out where else to go. 

2.      Be afraid of what you might do to yourself.

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Love Songs

Ethel Davis

When scientists discovered
the wings of a cricket
preserved in stone
from the Jurassic period,

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The Day She Stopped Talking

Cathryn Cofell

1.
A car without brakes and brick wall.

2.
No, a car petering out of gas,
dashboard pump lit like a lighthouse and refusing
to pull into the Git n Split

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Robin's Egg

Joan Wiese Johannes

I have found you, 
tiny blue cup,
in the grass outside my door,
and your presence assures me
that tomorrow brings gifts,
emptiness has substance,

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An Interest in Things with Wings

Karla Huston

Was there a chance you didn’t notice
the owl shit on the sidewalk, the white splats,
the log shaped extrusions or hear
it laughing as it preened in the tree?

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Learning to Swim

Judith Barisonzi

The pool was blue tiled, 
carved from gritty streets
in the urban wilds

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This Passage

Cristina Norcross

When will you come to know
that Light dances
in every strand of your luminous hair?

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Circles and Circles

Paul Wiegel

We are kin to round things
and edges and bottoms—everything
that loops back on itself to its own beginning. 

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Badger Love

Maryann Hurtt

If the hierarchies of nature were determined by ferocity alone, the badger would be the lord of the beasts.
— Anthousa of Setessa

like most early mornings
I am out
looking for fleabane
owl droppings

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My Mother's Mother Dreams

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C J Muchhala

Fled from Pa, his hands, his liquored breath.  America!   Escaped to mud,
to bitter cold, another man.   A good man   your sister says when you complain of your
husband’s demands, of his whiskey smell and heavy hands, with the baby sickly, crying,
day and night and day.    That’s what men do — the drink,  I mean.
As for the other, your man ain’t Pa.
The priest will tell you—his right’s your duty.


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Undertow

Thomas J Erickson

There’s a boy I know
or maybe not
who asked why

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Lost Objects, Upcycled

Mary C Rowin

Another lost shoe, a tiny slip-on for a baby.
We stood over it.  Pondered.  Would the mom
push past this same spot again and see it?

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The Proposal

Advice on What Matters Most

Bobbie Lovell

It certainly wasn’t about the ring.
My finger never felt naked,
bereft of the rock that baits others.

The proposal itself dazzled me,
the way the words hung in the air
like a little rainbow.

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Kate Franzmann


|         “...you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter.
and weep, but not all of your tears.”
                                                                                                                            -- Kahlil Gibran

Hold fast to your shell
you who are soft and rare,
you who are so easily pulled apart
and lost.

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After the Shootings, A Congregation

Nancy Austin

No solace found in the sermon
we turned to look at one another.
Across the aisle a bald baby
on the shoulder of his mother
spotted another in the pew behind.

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Finally

Karen Wilson

the day is over
I’ve done a number
of things    useful, positive,
enjoyed a lot of it    most of it

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Language Skills for Everyday Use

Ronnie Hess

Language class begins this way:
the professor asks the students
to name the five senses, first in English,
then in French.
Sight, sound, taste, smell, touch.
As if this is an essential lesson,

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E s s a y s


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Managing Editor: C Kubasta
Layout/Design: Tori Grant Welhouse
Logo: Bobbie Lovell