Bramble: Spring 2017 now available as a printed issue.


Greetings from the Editor

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We’re between seasons as I write this, welcoming you to the second issue of Bramble, WFOP’s new electronic journal. Between is this issue’s theme… it’s been fun watching different poets write to it, whether they were trapped between two skies, moving between landscapes, or driving between past and present. 

This issue boasts an essay by Wisconsin’s new Poet Laureate, Karla Huston of Appleton. Bramble also offers an article on improving your poems through revision.  Want more? Check out Local Ground(s) here, a recent anthology of articles on writing by Wisconsin poets.

Thanks for stopping by, and if something here really grabs you, why not drop the author a line? Or better yet, meet a whole room full of poets at WFOP’s next conference.  Find out how here.

Thanks for reading!

Mike Kriesel

P o e t r y

Section I

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Trapped Between Two Skies

Erik Richardson

on this hot wooden dock
with a chorus of cicadas and assorted others
sizzling in the distance. slow wheels crunching gravel
as a car crawls across the dam toward town   
tang of rust on the dock ladder
how much more you loved me the first time

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Your Book

Conditions Between Seasons

James Roberts

As we rest in bed
I want to hear
all the stories
you have not yet told me.

Read More

Patricia Williams

Snow evaporates –
emerald threads emerge over septic systems,                                             
respond to above and below warming.
Deceived Canada geese arrive 

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Horseback Haiku

Between Landscapes

Angeline Haen

Gust of fretfulness
Hooves fly to freedom’s escape
Stay between the ears!

Read More

Mary Strong Jackson

landscape must be walked
into like entering a painting
gulped with ravenous teeth
gnawed with slow bites

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An Elder's Prayer

Thomas Davis

They frack the earth.  Drills fly into the soil
And whirl through rock, a stream of chemicals
Shot down into the shale, the oracles
Of business, profit, subjugation, oil

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Section II

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Love Trumps Hate

Ed Werstein

That’s what we believe anyway.

Love your neighbor
your enemy even
turn the other cheek
all that jazz.

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Viva Wisconsin

Signals Intelligence

Dave Benson

Frozen tamales,
snow cones on trees,
cars stuck in caca blanca
Latinos in caribou coats

Read More

Sylvia Cavanaugh

The alley just simmers there
like the red-faced man
on the other side
who has had it up to here

Read More


Madame Poetry Weighs in About Her Predicted End


Richard Swanson

Big yawn, I’m due again for rigor mortis,
that pundits’ role I’ve played before.
Duh, I know how to do this.
I die well though it’s a bore.

Read More

Paula Schulz

I always grieve for those caught between
a rock and and hard place.  No matter how
they turn, they knock a knee or scrape a nose.

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Robert the Robot Tells the Mechanical Pepsi Cola Bear of His Intended Pilgrimage to the Shinto Shrine of Ise*

Sandra Lindow

(“I am Robert Robot, mechanical man.
                Drive me and steer me where ever you can." (1954))

How sixty years passed on this attic kamidana**
will prepare me, I do not know, but today I leave
you knowing I seek sacred reflection for us. Soon I will
cross between the hallowed Geographics and

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Section III


Mark Zimmermann

As if blue lightning were discovered
alive at the bottom of the sea.

As if a golden ratio flowed
from islands at the vanishing point.

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Space is What it Separates

Afraidiology Report

John Patrick (Jack) Redell

A retired English teacher notices me in the bar
  tapping my fingers     counting syllables

Knows I am writing a poem
  space between us conveys knowledge

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Phyllis Beckman

 I read
    the poetic proclamation,
           “wispy soft tissue
                 destiny strands”… 

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It's the Light's Nature

Laurel Devitt

The light, having a date elsewhere,
pulled out of the scene slowly,
leaving roses, purple and pink,
fading like bruises in its vanishing wake.

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An Old Man Looks at Art

Jeffrey Johannes

There are days when the youth
inside him runs a whetstone
along the edge of desire.
Turning the page

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Karl Elder

off an overlong
on-ramp, foot
nearly to floorboard,
radio on—The Doors’
 “L.A. Woman,”

Read More

Stencil by MadCity

Stencil by MadCity

E s s a y s

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<Click> image to read essay.

&lt;Click&gt; image to read essay.

<Click> image to read essay.


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