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Bramble: Fall 2017 print issue is now available.

Greetings from the Editor

Everyday Magic

When my son Scott was three, he would tell me about his day at daycare, and his stories would usually take a turn toward the fantastic: “Then my boots became rockets and I went round and round the tree….,” evidencing the magical joy of a child mind. This issue of Bramble explores “the Magic of Everyday Life.”  

How and when do minds experience the magic of inspiration? What is the process by which thoughts turn toward the fantastic, the science fictional, and the surreal?

When I chose the theme, I wanted to examine the connection between image —a representation of something real, imagination—a fantastic re-creation of experience, and magic—the recognition that there are powers beyond normal human control. 

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Sandra Lindow
Guest Editor



The Grandmother

C.J. Muchhala

five feet tall, was a giant. Her head scraped the sky,
her hair was a cloud. When she spoke, lightning
crackled around each word, and her arms held all the family.

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Mom in the Garden  by Karen Peugh

Mom in the Garden by Karen Peugh


Jamming in the Monroe Avenue Kitchen

Debra Monthei Manske

Early morning, I stand in a tiny kitchen
knowing there is barely room
to spread my elbows, and feel a momentary loneliness,

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Elmae Passineau

The house is a hundred years old
Shadows of ghosts hover in the attic,
  the real ones having long since moved on

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How the Chinese Do It

Jan Chronister

Painting my front door red,
doing what my feng shui friend said,
I eagerly coat my back door too

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Don't Hang Up!

Eileen Mattmann

I smooth my hair, clear my throat, reach
for the door to welcome my callers,
all strangers to me, yet intimately tied

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Tree Tower Dream

Elizabeth Tornes

   for Larry Levis, poet, teacher, friend

You called me to come
to a town hall meeting
of architects & engineers

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Bus Stop Magic

Elizabeth Harmatys Park

Waiting at the bus stop
is all about magic

If looking up the street

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Mum's the Word

Laurel Devitt

It took a day or two
for me to realize the mums
on the dining table

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The Bus Stops Here

Laurel Devitt

I sit on the bench
At the bus stop.
An old man, odd

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first beer with same windows

B.J. Best

i can say the water stops the soul.
you can instead lots of the same songs
and the sky was on the way to dinner.

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Toeing the Line

Michael Belongie

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Momma J Brings Whiskey to the Weight Watcher's Meeting

Sylvia Cavanaugh

Momma J brings a half-empty
bottle of Jack
to the Weight Watcher's

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Accept the Miracles

Jeffrey Johannes

Two thousand years go
a prophet spoke
in parables,

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the flames behind my eyes

Amber Scarborough

the girl i babysit tells me the
squiggles and loops behind my eyelids
are cotton candy dragons.

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Rabbit in the Road

Angela Voras-Hills

Blood spooling away from its head,
the threads collecting in a pool
on the center line. There was nowhere

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escape of the giants

Erik Richardson

let me paint a doorway here on the wall
let us step through
to a landscape with a crystal blue sky

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Peter Piper

Estella Lauter

As we have known since childhood,
he must have been a politic
judicious man who took advantage

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Flipped Lid

Mary C. Rowin

Isn't that a lid just off the sidewalk
next to the yellow Turtle Crossing sign
posted for Spring? -- Gold, five inches

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The Upside-Down Man

Georgia Ressmeyer

The upside-down man
made an appearance again

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The Eagle Has Landed

Bill Gillard

Want to hear a true story?
After last night's bike ride
around the neighborhood with

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Everyday Magic: Vision & Imagination

Photography by Jeannie E. Roberts
Words by Sandra Lindow & Jeannie E. Roberts

Link to printable PDF Slideshow.

Sandra Lindow is guest editor. See "Greetings from the Editor."

Jeannie E. Roberts writes for both adults and children.  Her fourth book, Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.  She is the author of Beyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let's Make Faces!, a children's book (2009). Her work appears in books, and in print and online literary journals and anthologies, including An Ariel Anthology, Blue Heron Review, and Conversation: The sacred art, Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction (Skylight Paths Publishing. In 2007, her poem, "La Luz," won first place in the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra’s statewide poetry contest. She has a B.S. in secondary education and M.A. in arts and cultural management. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jeannie lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where she works, writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings.  Learn more about her at

Jeannie E. Roberts

Jeannie E. Roberts


Adding the Magic of Everyday Images

By Candace Hennekens




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