Volume 1, Issue x
Wild Greens 1, no. 10 (August 2021)
Welcome to the August 2021 issue of Wild Greens
There is a great paradox of the universe… the vast distances of space can leave us feeling infinitely small and sick with cosmic loneliness. Or, we look up into the sky, and, implausibly, find connection and deep meaning among the stars and heavenly bodies.
Throughout human existence, we have found patterns among the twinkling lights in the darkness. We have created stories and passed those stories down through generations about the constellations in the night sky. Those stories among the stars have allowed us to navigate the seas, determine the precise time to harvest crops, and share our culture with one another.
And so we asked our community to dream about the cosmos and to share with us what “Celestial” means to them.
We start with tranquil moments in Tim Brey’s poem, “Sitting Still” and Suzanne Lipovsky’s oil painting, “Fragmented Serenity.” Amid the sometimes manic rhythms of our lives, they look at the building blocks of the world and find moments of peace.
Our existence is intertwined in those building blocks, in the atoms of the universe and the stars that die only to became us. Kendall Moore’s poem and original artwork explores the intimacy of this life cycle – the curves and holes of anonymous personhood – the molecules and dust we once were and may become again. Phedra Deonarine’s shimmering eyeshadow and lipstick spaceships dusted across a cardboard canvas reflect on loneliness and nights out.
I. Armwood’s poem, “Anywhere but Here,” considers how challenging it can be to navigate expectations, and that if only we can squeeze our fingers tight enough to hold water as a mirror, we might reflect back the astronomical beauty within ourselves and use it as a portal to the stars. Caroline Tuman’s watercolors portray her “Big Three” astrological signs and find identity among the stars.
The latest “Turtle and Hare” provides a moment of pause, allowing us to consider the inextricable link between time and loss. Lightyears may pass, and yet the cherished moments of loved ones long gone never fade.
“Stardust” by Lisa Molina thrums with heartbeats, blood, and new life cradled in the cosmos of a mother’s womb. In “Gaia Blowing Bubbles," artist Robin Brownfield imagines her daughter as the earth goddess blowing planet bubbles into the solar system.
Malaya Fletcher’s poem, “Fade to night,” draws parallels between myths, the constellations, and her own stories. Night gives way to day, and a fleeting moment of love not meant to be fades, too.
Hayley Boyle’s watercolor mirrors the surreal qualities of sunsets and moonrises, where what’s real can feel more divine than fiction. And we end our issue, only to begin again on this continuum, with Jessica Donahue’s “Our Stars” – for “we never leave, we only change form.”
We’re also expanding our universe here at Wild Greens, as we welcome aboard two new contributing editors to the team. Jacqueline Ruvalcaba will be editing short fiction and Tim Brey is our new music editor.
-Rebecca and Hayley (co-written and constellated together)
by Tim BreySitting still
And looking outOn dragonfliesAnd ducks aboutThe lake so stillAnd seeming nowTo meet the skyAnd further still
In pausing I…
Do see it slow
This piece of skill
The ebb and flow
And peace and still
In looking out
And sitting still
by Suzanne Lipovsky
oil paint, canvas
Inspiration: You can look out at the same stars and the same sky every night, and still you can get a new perspective on the world. The landscape can be the same but different in other realities and dreams. Together, the small pieces are building blocks that form a wondrous world.
Telescope Orientation and Stardust Jae
By Kendall MooreAt the beginning of the universe, all matter was created. Every atom that exists now, existed then,in that instant of creation.
The auditorium seats grew stiff, restless scribbling arrested Every thing & every one in that classroom, in that sky, in these stars, this milk tea
Slap two queens in a row tonight, shuffle these mint cards, you’re back from New YorkFood court & cinema sign neon play high school memory-reel, midnight showing
That day I wore green flannel & you untangled earrings from my curls. We were late, didn’t check our tickets, just the red ticker above the room I thought was ours. Missed the first ten minutes at most – we screened burst pipes, a baby in a box, a monster snarling in a corner. (you took my hand) But after a few minutes’ silo-stress & screaming, full-room silence.
You are made of Stardust
Pass through your doorway like sunflowers at nightYour sofa is gone, the room full of single chairs
On the edge of your backyard firepit, our soles are flush Then you kick off like yanking one hair from my scalp
We could be skeletons under an x-ray, hairless heads, erased faces, Silhouettes against projector light, the curves & holes of anonymous personhood
The molecules inside of you today were once dust floating in space and they became stars and they died and now, they are you.
Ink on paper and digital
Methods: ink line work on paper, scan, color in Photoshop
by Phedra Deonarine
Eyeshadow, lipstick, cardboard
Inspiration: I was thinking about spaceships and wondering if being on one would be more lonely than wonderful. The sky is bright. Very bright. I chose to work with eyeshadow and lipstick because of how excess light sometimes makes the night sky bright, and also because it reminds me of dressing up for a night out. Shimmer also seems fitting for a piece with spaceships.
Anywhere but Here
by I. Armwood
fingers tightly squeezed togetherdesperate to hold the moon-reflecting water the place of escape and astronomical beautyperhaps if my fingers fused together i could use the water as a portal to the stars
they say when you’re at the bottom there’s nowhere to go but upbut what about when you’re at the tippy-top is there only down
down here i’m always walking on egg shellsbut up there it feels like my wings will never let me touch the surface i become a celestial being free from disappointed eyes expectations failure
i can only hope Saturn will share her ring with me or Mars will melt his polar ice caps to make room for mefrom here i can take comfort in Venus’ short visibility on Earthi can squeeze my fingers a little tighter to make home for the moon’s reflection
My Big Three
by Caroline Tuman
Inspiration: My inspiration is my passion for astrology and how it relates to myself and those around me. I painted the zodiac constellations of my Sun, Moon and Rising signs which are Virgo, Aries, and Aquarius.
If you like the issue, you can donate to Wild Greens through our Ko-fi page!
The Turtle King
by Lauren Kimball
by Lisa Molinapinpoints of lifefragments of exploding stars
moon eggs floatcontentedly in a mother’s womb
growing, stretching, turning,hearing the rhythm ofthe heart blood flowing
seeking more spacepushing and proddingto discover new worlds
even if by painblood fear andsaltwater tears
interconnected by the stardust within all of us
and the rhythm of moon lifewaves breathing
in and outback and forthebb and flow
whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh
Gaia Blowing Bubbles
by Robin Brownfield
Methods: cut, glue, grout
Inspiration: Inspired by a photo of my daughter blowing a bubble, I imagined her as Gaia and the bubbles as the planets in our solar system.
Fade to night
by Malaya FletcherI am never satisfied. Whydo we glory in conclusions,Chasing endingsWith the velocity of shooting stars? We pass the summer togetherCareening along river trails, andDashing through woodsBefore plunging into a lake I burrow into the foundationOf your bones, as weWatch the sky’s domed amphitheaterFade to night Tracing star points mid-air,We name the constellations,Their mythologies interspersedWith our own stories “Orion grounds me,” I tell you,“Wherever I go in the world,I look up and there he is ––Where Artemis placed him.” The Moon Goddess and her playmateA meeting of minds,They equaled each otherIn their exultation of the hunt Until his death. WhenHis body washed ashore,She carried him out of the seaAnd flung his body into the sky You and I share something they did notIn our night explorations, hands seekThe crescent moon of shoulder blades,Relentless pursuit of flesh Arrows of kisses pierce my neckYour hands grip my thighs as I ride towardsOur shuddering conclusion, the preyOur bodies chase down
Your presence suits me. AndI wonder,Could You and IBecome “We”?
Fireflies sear the skyYou trace the dot-to-dotfreckles on my cheekSaying nothing Stars scatter and day breaksThe strawberry moon’s gleam begins to fade.I make no demands
Resignation wars with hope, butThere is no more time for discoveryWe are a pair of never be’s;Such is the fate of restless souls
Powerless against Earth’s orbit,Orion dips below the horizon.You will travel westWith the changing season
But endings are not conclusions, forArtemis will hunt again, andI will find other constellationsAlong the ecliptic plane
I would rather live with longingThan cling to expectations (As if promises Could keep dawn at bay)
Your chest rises and fallsI close my eyesAnd sinkBeneath the waves of your breath
See behind the scenes of Wild Greens. Our Ko-fi page contains concept art for the issue, plus alternate logo designs.
Moonrise and the Mountains
by Hayley Boyle
watercolor, Faber-Castell 1.5 and SB pens
Methods: wet-in-wet wash, gradient and color blending, line drawing, crosshatching
Inspiration: I've always enjoyed capturing how surreal the world around us can feel. I love the free-flowing qualities of watercolors, and how they give me the ability to paint those feelings on paper. I sometimes have to catch my breath in moments where the sun is setting, the moon is rising, and the mountains make me feel small amidst the universe, but in the best possible way.
by Jessica DonahueFind us amongst the starsWe are made of the debris that bears lifeMagical, heart-wrenching, euphoric realityExperiencing emotions in human formCelestial souls, spirits in a physical bodyLaughing, crying, breathing, loving, aching, healingWhere we see all that there isOne anotherSentient beingsAll that feels the ever moving Mother EarthThe green and blue we are a part ofStars we are,Sun and Moon guidedEarth plantedEternally elevatedWe never leaveWe only change form
If you like the issue, you can donate to Wild Greens through our Ko-fi page!
Artists and Contributors
Tim Brey is a jazz pianist living in Philadelphia. He holds positions as Artist-in-Residence and Adjunct Faculty at Temple University and The University of the Arts, where he teaches jazz piano, music theory, and improvisation. Check out more of his music and his performance schedule at https://www.timbreymusic.com.
Suzanne lives in Philadelphia and works to train aspiring school leaders. Some of her "free time" passions include music, public policy, pop culture references, hiking, traveling, and cooking. Suzanne enjoys learning about things outside of her wheelhouse, which led her in recent years to learn to knit, crochet, and embroider (which have all become great stress relievers during a pandemic).
Artist and Poet
Kendall Moore is a student at UCLA double majoring in English and Spanish and minoring in film. She won the Escribo en español Spanish writing contest for poetry, and more of her work has appeared in Westwind, Matchbox Magazine, and Daily Bruin. As a SoCal native, she is always at the beach or otherwise soaking up the sun. But on those rare overcast days, she is baking cookies, listening to rock and indie-pop albums, or collaging any surface she can.
If you like her art, send her a tip! Venmo: @Kendall-Moore-25
Phedra Deonarine studied Caribbean literature in the doctoral program at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She has an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers, Newark. She is currently working on a collection of speculative short fiction. She likes gardens and public libraries.
I. Armwood is a 2020 graduate from Chatham University where they published poetry twice in their alma mater's literary magazine, The Minor Bird. They were a featured reader at the Chatham University’s Word Circus, Rea Coffeehouse Reading Series, and Queer Read-In. Currently I. Armwood is a small streamer for fun on Twitch and Facebook Gaming under the name Astronomical Monarch.
If you like their art, send them a tip! Venmo: @Iyanna-Armwood
Caroline recently graduated from Thomas Jefferson University with a degree in fashion merchandising and management. She now works as an assistant buyer for Ross Stores and lives in New York City. She enjoys expressing her creativity through fashion, painting, and photography.
You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @caroline_tuman.
If you like her art, send her a tip! Venmo: Caroline-Tuman
Robin Brownfield is a former sociology professor who turned to art after becoming disabled. While she dabbles in numerous art forms, she finds mosaic art is a great way to recycle old materials and found objects. She has created murals, garden walkways, ornate tables, and countless other mosaic works, but recently, she has turned to creating portraits and works for social justice. She was recently featured in a FOX-29 News report, because she was commissioned by Tamika Palmer to do a mosaic portrait of her daughter, Breonna Taylor, whose death, in part, launched an international movement for justice for victims of racist murders. She has also won numerous awards in juried art shows, was featured as one of the Best Mosaic Artists in New Jersey in Best of NJ, and has had her art displayed in galleries all over the United States.
If you like her work, send her a tip! PayPal: rbrownfield[at]verizon[dot]net.
Lauren Kimball lives in Philadelphia. She teaches literature and composition at Rutgers University, New-Brunswick. In her spare time, she plays with paint, digital pens, words, and home improvement tools.
Lisa Molina is a writer/educator in Austin, Texas. Molina has twice been a winner of the Beyond Words Magazine 250-Word Challenge, and has also been published in both print and online publications, including Wild Greens magazine, Trouvaille Review, Neologism Poetry Journal, and Amethyst Review. She taught high school English and theatre, was associate publisher of Austin Family Magazine, and now works with students with special needs. Her son is a 3-time childhood cancer survivor. When not writing or reading with her silver tabby in her lap, she can probably be found playing piano, singing, or hiking and swimming in the cool, clear waters of the Barton Creek Greenbelt near her home with her daughter.
Malaya Fletcher currently resides in Washington, DC with her cat, Copurrnicus. Originally from Seattle, she moved to the mid-Atlantic by way of Arizona, Paris, India, New York, Ghana, and Philadelphia.
You can find her on Instagram: @liminalstages
Jessica is a 30 year old “heArtist” who’s passions run deep. Her backgrounds are rooted in the arts, dance, theatre, creative movement and direction, yoga, wellness, mental health advocacy and community event coordinating. She is currently pursuing her Associates Degree in General Studies and is grateful for the ability to both exchange with others in all art mediums and be a forever student in life.
If you like her writing, send her a tip! Venmo: @authenticstrive
Arts Editor & Artist
Hayley creates the cover image for each issue of Wild Greens magazine and serves as the Arts Editor. Hayley is a social justice seeker, world traveler, rock climber, dog snuggler, frisbee player, event planner, and story-teller. She loves to paint with watercolors, embroider, and write. She grew up reading sci-fi and fantasy, and to this day she still turns to those genres to help her make sense of the world. She calls Philadelphia home, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
Maggie Topel is an artist and writer living in Philadelphia. She designs our seasonal Wild Greens logo and social media avatar.
Rebecca Lipperini is a writer, teacher, and academic living in Philadelphia, and the founding editor of Wild Greens magazine (hi!). She holds a PhD in English from Rutgers University, where she taught all kinds of classes on literature and poetry and writing, and wrote all kinds of papers on the same. Her essay on the soothing aesthetics of the supermarket was recently published in PubLab.