Issue 77 — 

Janée Baugher (ArLiJo #77)
Robert L. Martin (ArLiJo#77)
Mary Ann Nyamweya (ArLiJo #77)

Janée Baugher

Featured on ArLiJo Issue No. 77

      —after painting by Paul Klee (1879-1940)

Blur of space, diminutive union of hue to bristle,
of browns taking back their night, of yellow lost in a room full of stares.

Klee began green then surrendered yellow. His moon pinned like a compass needle.
Mere round among angles of browns, blues, and definitive sides of squares, triangles.

His brush strokes want something, like the way bread can’t feed a refusing mouth.
No way to right the upside-down squares when the moon stares down warden-like.

This night has lost its license to brighten and no amount of cadmium yellow will do.
Hunger seeks you out, always backlit by yellow.

Copyright © 2013 by Janée Baugher. Reprinted from The Body’s Physics by permission of Tebot Bach.


She kneels on a sheet of foam. The ventilation-mask
dangling like a reminder from her neck goes unused.

From a can of spray-paint, a yellow layer creams the page
and from a sponge dabbed into color pools,

the owl’s form takes shape. One swift zigzag of her finger
across the still-wet paint for the lagoon.

A bowl placed down then sprayed around, when lifted
an ochre-red planet shaded at the edges.

A knife’s slash through layers of paint reveals white trees.
The glossy page from a shoe catalogue is crumpled

and used to smudge-out mountains. A final signature
like calligraphy, then she seals the shapes to the page

by igniting aerosol from a can held over the picture.
Without comment, she sets it among the other images

which expand out like a moat between her and us.
Although traffic blurs down either side of Las Ramblas

and the fifty of us encircle her, she is entranced—
the hands seem to move independently: one hand

reaching for something the other has not yet released.

Copyright © 2013 by Janée Baugher. Reprinted from The Body’s Physics by permission of Tebot Bach.


Discarded by the side of the road,
I rise and begin to investigate.

Crop names in the fence lines read:
sweet corn, grain corn, peas,
wheat, alfalfa. And it occurs to me

I know nothing of crops,
planting season, and predictions of rain.
Perhaps a farmer can tell me—

I ask one and he says
You’re a felon here, a burden to society,
where you walk the ground gives way.

So I look over my shoulder—
and he’s right—where I had walked
is now sinkholes, stirring dust.

In my wake, crops swivel,
broken at the base and moaning.
No, I did this?

The farmer spits and turns away.
I study the pattern in his faded flannel shirt
and wonder, should I compact myself small enough

to climb upon his back and
ignite the strips of blue, strips of green?

Copyright © 2013 by Janée Baugher. Reprinted from The Body’s Physics by permission of Tebot Bach.

Janée Baugher is the author of two poetry collections, The Body’s Physics (Tebot Bach, 2013) and Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books, 2010). Her nonfiction, fiction, and poetry have been published in The Writer’s Chronicle, Boulevard, NANO Fiction, and Nimrod, among other places. Currently, she teaches in the graduate program at Northeastern University (Seattle campus).


Robert L. Martin

Featured on ArLiJo Issue No. 77

The Sculptor

     “Tis finished, ‘tis finished,
            And all is well
     My masterpiece, as close to
         Perfection as can be
        Only I, molded by the
       Hands of the Almighty,
       Am the completed one,
       The one who is finished

      All my work is dedicated
        To the glorification of
       The perfectionist who is
        The master of creation
         The perfect one who
        Gave me the capacity
   To expand my creative abilities
      To move toward perfection
        And find what it is like
         To live in the shadow
            Of his shadow”

Copyright © 2015 by Robert L. Martin.

Robert L. Martin’s works have been published in Mature Years, Alive Now, Wilderness House Literary Journal, Greensilk Journal, Poets’ Espreso, among others. He is the author of two chapbooks. He has won two Faith and Hope awards from In His Steps Publishing. He is currently the organist at First UMC of Wind Gap, PA for the past twenty two years.


Mary Ann Nyamweya

Featured on ArLiJo Issue No. 77

Mountain Lady, Tell It True
for Ventura Valdez

I think that I see Ventura
Up past a misty ring of clouds
Atop a mountain, simply standing
Earthen green-hued robes aflutter

I wonder —bout her storytelling
Is that her voice I hear?
It seems to tell of child-bearing
For men, for women, for all

The stories are like children,
There are no falsehoods here!
Weaving together, and linking arms
They run with joy abandoned

I imagine resting on thick green grass
Closing eyes to find Ventura
I feel her now, and the weight of her tales
Becomes so light and free

And so I say, Ventura,
Tell me your stories, do,
And I will tell you mine as well
Our souls will mingle, truth will swell
   Along this open ocean . . . of poems

Copyright © 2015 by Mary Ann Nyamweya. Previously published in The Sligo Journal: Fall 2014/Spring 2015.

The late Ventura Valdez is the person for whom the annual poetry contest was named which is held at Montgomery College.

Mary Ann Nyamweya has a VCU Philosophy degree, with recent course work at Montgomery College. Alongside a lengthy copyediting profession, her life has always included poetry, music, herbs, and a passion for color. When creating, this wordsmith uses her intuition and love of nature.