Breath & Shadow
Volume 17, Issue 1
Ken Allan Dronsfield
An early dawn's gentle fingers
probe the coasts morning fog.
Cascading water trickles down
from the mountains to the sea.
Wraith-like mists rise and dew
glitters and twinkles in the sun.
Terns and gulls now soar above
gnarled long-dead trees dwelling
along the rocks and sand…
"Autism on the Rise"
Autism is on the rise. It used to be very rare, then it became as common as one in eighty-eight. People have theorized why it's growing. I have my own theory.
J. Elliott Toren
Turn left at the Bow’ry gates, you’ll find the place I used to live. Sunlight throws your shadow long across cracked ground and dust. Dead flowers lying here, face down; can’t quite tell what colour they were. That’s all right, ‘cause I moved on, left a withered paradise behind.
"New York City"
Susan M. Silver
I feel the light embrace
of the fog-fingered city night
that cares not if age or illness
savaged the body
and scarred the spirit...
"Such a Pretty Girl: A Story of Struggle, Empowerment and Disability Pride- A Book Review"
Erin M. Kelly
There are some stories that call attention to larger issues than what is written about on the surface. There are some that reflect the struggles and hardships of an entire demographic, even though the journey may be singular. In both scenarios, however, it is essential for the writer to take full ownership of their circumstances, whether they’re chosen for them or not. By the same token, the writer must be prepared to be honest – in the telling of a story and what they choose to share with their audience.
"The Wishing Tree" and "The Photograph"
There is no colour left on our tiny island of a planet, and the grey, empty soil is broken only where the Wishing Tree stands.
There might as well have been no other survivors, for we no longer speak. It is better this way. This way we can pretend this is how it always was. This way we can pretend that we never spoke our dreams to the Wishing Tree.
"The Mad Alphabet Or a Little Trip Down Mnemosyne Lane"
In the beginning was a word. And the word was that there is a book, a story of a gentleman who falls in love with a teenage girl. I heard that over a bottle of cheap port wine that we, teens in a hick Siberian town, were drinking to assuage our growing thirst for information. A book – and that’s it. No name, no anything, no recollection of who brought it up. The iron curtain was held in place with an iron fist (if that idiom befits the flabby limbs of the senile rulers of the rotting empire – listless figures, who came and went in mournful succession: Brezhnev, Chernenko, Andropov – the alphabet itself as twisted as everything else in the dusky reality of the late socialism).
Suzie scuttled through the crack in the wall and into the house. Her eight legs were dotted with raindrops and she shivered violently. Anna barged past Suzie.
Suzie took a final glimpse out into the wilderness and scowled. The rumbling storm made the trees sway wildly.
“Holy cow!” Anna shook her body, spraying water everywhere and sprinkling the wooden floor. “It’s torrential out there. Where are we?”
There is nothing wrong with my eyes but
I don’t see colour much these days.
The whole world is gun metal grey
Dull but violent
Polished but rough
I feel like a bullet,
Trapped between ever-closing walls of grey.
"Four Grocery Lists"
So. Much. Ice cream. Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Raspberry Sherbet. Nothing with peanuts or hazelnuts. Edy’s or Turkey Hill, only. Once purchased, see how much you can eat in one sitting. Excavate every corner of each carton indiscriminately, weaving brutally through the topsoil with your silver shovel in the midst of sleepless hazes.