Language Lessons by Charlie Bondhus


Tonight there are thirty-two stars set
in the night’s blue-black mouth,
each dropping
a syllable through
the gray boughs where thirty-two
snow-dusted leaves cling,
crackling in the night breeze.

Accept the task set
to you by the universe,
laying out the leaves’
consonants and the stars’
vowels on the frosted grass,
where your knees
moisten as you work
the puzzle,
translating and extrapolating
this mysterious bone language.

What the sky says
to the tree
is what the aurora
will say to the snow,
what the nebula will say
to the ice.

And you will use the same vocabulary
when your child asks you
how the river moves,
how the sun rises and sets,
or how a bird
grows inside an egg.


Symphony by Kevin Hinkle

Symphony by Kevin Hinkle



Read A Poet in Conversation(s) With Art by Jessamyn Smyth



Charlie Bondhus’s second poetry book, All the Heat We Could Carry, won the 2013 Main Street Rag Award and the Publishing Triangle’s 2014 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. His work appears or is set to appear in numerous journals. He is the Poetry Editor at The Good Men Project (

Kevin Hinkle‘s work has appeared in juried exhibits and journals including the Baltimore Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, and The Tulane Review. Both his minimalist and layered images reveal elements of abstract expressionism. He is now absorbing work by artists such as Letha Wilson, who incorporate photography in mixed media work.