Two Poems by Jane C. Miller

In the Back Seat on I-70 when God Comes to Me at 12

Who’s to say it isn’t so, fog rising
off the Susquehanna at dawn, misting
the mountains; or maybe it’s

mountain fog falling into the river
as sun notches the peaks of the Alleghenies

and climbs down through dense firs,
waking what nests in them and me—

earth’s silent rotation, singing
even now across the span

of valleys, dim tunnels, past
sheer cliffs and rockfall, down

into the hard plains of Ohio
toward rain, corn husks shaking
dry their hair in afternoon light.



I walk past field stubble, stalks
black and broken, corn cobs chewed

down to rust; in the swamp, dead
eucalyptus where cormorants hunch.

This wetland, so cold and forbidding
cradles what lives: frog hearts

slow in their silted sleeping, mud
turtles prone on a bog of leaves.

My body ages into mystery. I face
dread, a snake skin in the grass. Molting

has shed its muscled menace,
head-to-tail a fogged diamond

pattern, delicate as church light.
An empty leash, I drag it home.


Jane C. Miller’s poetry has appeared in Kestrel, Apple Valley Review and Summerset Review, among others. A two-time recipient of a DDOA fellowship, Miller is co-author of the poetry collection, Walking the Sunken Boards (Pond Road Press, 2019) and an editor of the online poetry journal, ൪uartet (

Two Poems by Miriam Levine


These days when wind wears itself out and sun warms the sidewalk,
bare-throat days, when silver floss bulges from milkweed pods
but does not blow away, and leaves float like scattered thoughts,
when the hinge between fall and winter does not move,
and those nights, too, when long past midnight, windows
are flooded with light, and it seems everyone on this street is awake,
tuned to something we cannot see, something I imagine faith to be.


Pigeons at the Condo

Though some say kill them, the words you love
are shadow, twilight, flood. They come with mist
and drift in dreamlike states that free other words,
like lilac, ocean, wing—a conspiracy.
In whispers. Know thyself, the ancients say,

and you obey, hearing words as breath
laurels breathe. When wind releases a leaf
you are released from the insistent
throaty call of pigeons turning and turning
in a balcony dance among excrement.

CDs you string on long strings from the rail
swing, flash, twirl blue and silver violet.
Light as they are, they knock when wind drives them.
Light as they are, they shock and terrify.
Where pigeons once turned there’s only a flash.


Miriam Levine is the author of Saving Daylight, her fifth collection of poetry. Another collection, The Dark Opens, was chosen by Mark Doty for the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Other books include: Devotion, a memoir; In Paterson, a novel. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, and Ploughshares. Levine, a fellow of the NEA and a grantee of the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, lives in Florida and New Hampshire. For more information about her work, please go to

Two Poems by Julia Caroline Knowlton

November Song

Praise gray skies, wet yellow
leaves fall to red edge. I wonder

why dark winter moves voices
to fear every day, every night

of the dead. How hard we try
to cover fear with wrong things—

hot meat gravy, a fat gold watch,
words of wool, light cheer.

November song, empty me out
to cloth without paint, barest

branches, a cup without wine.
Move me to snow on evergreen pine.


Meditation in Winter

I draw an angel halo on paper,
believing only in paper

not the gold shape itself.
I light candles with a red-hot match.

I sing a bitter song or sweet,
peel apples into butter and taste the past.

I write faint words, wash a dish.
Enter crying darkness coming at last.


Julia Caroline Knowlton is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta and incoming President of the Georgia Poetry Society. She has an MFA in poetry from Antioch University and a PhD in French Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill. The author of four books and an Academy of American Poets prize winner, she was named a Georgia Author of the Year for her 2018 chapbook, The Café of Unintelligible Desire (Alice Greene & Co.). Her second chapbook, Poem at the Edge of the World, will be published by Alice Greene & Co. in 2022. Julia regularly publishes in journals including One Art, Roanoke Review, and Boston Literary Review.