Keri Withington

Tree Garden II / Louis Staeble


the first time you say it
            I think of the band, flannel
                       the old Starbucks logo

but you’re cross-legged on hardwood
           so we meditate, if my sinusy
                       breath counts as that

watch pin pricks of light through eye
            lids, think of stars, horoscopes
                       the melting North Pole

the eternal burning of plasma
            cycle of creation

Kitchen ALchemy

Pick frost covered herbs from the porch,
crush rosemary, muddle with metallic January air
           The used book on bathroom shelf:
the history of neo-classical witchcraft and the modern
pagan resurgence
Historians, folklorists, practitioners
           The kitchen alchemy from childhood:
mix only by hand, use hot cast iron
nature to you
talk to house-plants, tap
gourds with trimmed nails
            nettle and clover tea--fertility
            raspberry leaf--labor
Herbs for beginnings
                                     and ending
            College classes taught by creationists:
strings of chemical symbols, late
night lab practicals, lectures
on the beauty of it all
Waft frozen basil in steam
stir into spaghetti sauce

In her head, Keri Withington is an accomplished poet and adventurer. In reality, she teaches English and watches lots of documentaries on Netflix. Her poems have previously appeared in Blue Fifth Review, Snapdragon Journal, and Love Me, Love My Belly, among others.

Northwest Ohio is a flat place for one to take interest in nature's commonplace, yet Louis Staeble has resolved to visually sift through the contents of public spaced nature preserves while being mindful of industrial and retail spaces located nearby. He records this process with a camera. Louis' photographs have appeared in Agave, Blinders Journal, Blue Hour, Digital Papercut, Elsewhere Magazine, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Four Ties Literary Review, Inklette Magazine, Microfiction Monday, Paper Tape Magazine, Qwerty, Revolution John, Rose Red Review, Sonder Review, Timber Journal, Tishman Review, and Your Impossible Voice. His web pages can be viewed at or