Wild Greens

Volume 2, Issue v

Structure/Destruction

Wild Greens 2, no. 5 (March 2022)

Structure/Destruction

Welcome to the March 2022 issue of Wild Greens

Ink, crayon, gouache, cardboard, acrylics, markers, glass beads and more. In this issue of Wild Greens, artists worked with a wide variety of media, both celebrating chaos and bringing structure to the chaos of their materials.

Myra Chappius’s poem, “Fragile: Handle with Care” opens the issue. She compares the self to a Jenga tower, pieces taken away one by one, falling, only to be reassembled again. Irina Novikova’s ink, gel pen, gouche, and paper art “Sirins” explores memory, fantasy, and fiction. Douglas Hardman’s poem, “reparation condemnation” uses the metaphor of a civil war to represent how personal battles with toxic behaviors take their toll on friends and loved ones.

Hayley Boyle’s figurative collage envisions fantastic, imagined landscapes that exist in peace. In Robin Brownfield’s new mosaic, “The Enemy,” the letters of the word “Enemy” are filled with the faces of children. Beneath the children is a green field with alabaster graves. In war, civilians die and corporations profit.

Nancy Clarke’s poem “Inhumanity” reflects on humanity’s patterns of self-destructive behavior. “What We Hide,” a mixed media painting from the artist DARKRECONSTRUCTION, depicts the destruction of the indestructible, an unthinkable thing on the verge of collapse. Lynne Marie Rosenberg’s ink on paper “Triptych” imagines the shattering of a person, and institutes the Buddhist meditation: “When you are shattered, be shattered. When you are lost, be lost. When you are falling, fall.”

For the end of the issue, we shift gears. First with a new Turtle and Hare from Lauren Kimball. The turtles open a new business, but their grand opening becomes a “Grand Unopening” over a misunderstanding of semantics.

Angie Cosey’s travel piece “Rievaulx Abbey” recounts a visit to the ruins of a 12th century monastery in England. Where once monks chanted hymns, ruins are enlivened again through music. Melissa Lomax draws with wax pastel and crayon, finishing with an unpredictable black watercolor wash to create her “Busy City.”

Deconstruct your structures. Make structure from your destruction. In this issue of Wild Greens, the possibilities are endless.

-Rebecca


Fragile: Handle with Care

by Myra Chappius


Hearts aren’t built with holes

They are woven tight — stacked

Like a Jenga tower


Pieces are plucked away

By circumstance, action, inaction

Piled back on top

The base becoming more precarious with each move


We teeter

Swaying, second by second

Trying to steady ourselves

Avoiding a fatal pull

The one segment that will cause all the rest to crash

The anxiety, the fear

Of finding it all — suddenly — fallen

The insufficient living we do


It may take time

A careful assembling — pieces placed with shaking hands and apprehension

The sneaky, creeping dance of restraint

But — like the tower — a heart can be reconstructed

Knitted together once more — spaces filled by lessons learned

Made whole again

Sirins

by Irina Novikova


Ink, gel pen, gouache, paper


Methods: Monotype and painting


Inspiration: My art is always an attempt to reveal my own secrets, to dive deeper and see what I can do. For me, the fabric of the story behind my art is always torn, consisting of small patches. I try to sew these patches together by first tearing the fabric. My project is based on subjective experiences. Fiction and reality intersect here, recent memories of the past and what happened, pages from books read, dreams and imagination. The artist imagines herself as a half-bird with a human face, and the room becomes a magical garden where other creatures live. I explore my own perception and memory. I'm interested in how our memory generates what happened and embodies something that can be depicted or thought within ourselves.



reparation condemnation

by Douglas Hardman


Alert the soldiers

Call in the bomb squad

A civil war

A funeral score

Blood-soaked arms

Tear-stained faces

Overture

Repudiation


Nobody could have predicted the outcome

Except everyone who has an inkling of intuition

How could one man produce so much disaster?

Single-handedly disrupting the natural order with a plastic smile and clown tears

I called to arms my biggest enemies

Friends and family alike were invited, but no one dared to RSVP

Unbeknownst to me, they’ve seen it all before

Ragged and tired, the troops line up, unenthusiastically

Another day, another drama

Turn the page, flip the script


What you read, is not what you see

You do not have to believe what you see


As soon as the first shot was fired

I ran for my life

Weak legs carrying the weight of my mistakes

The battle-torn streets echoed my name

It took them three seconds to throw in the towel

Their general AWOL, the soldiers fall stiff on the battlefield

I laid low for six days to ensure I could rest on the seventh

Messages in empty whisky bottles I could not dare to send

How much more damage could I let my pen do?


Caskets with rainbow flags

Prescription bottles with no warning label


The daylight burns the color out of my eyes

My bloodied knuckles covered in dust and dried-up tequila sunrise

I grasped to the familiar

But it was no longer there

Population: zero

Because I did not think I made it out alive

Alone again, something felt different

The same old had not warranted the same old feeling

There was a change afoot

I didn’t dare dust myself off

So I could see who I was in the mirror

Take a good look, discover a new foundation

Learn to let go of all my trepidation


A turned new leaf from the same tree

Airing on the side of reckless positivity



Unearthly

by Hayley J. Boyle


Old postcards, paper scraps, photos, glue


Methods: Figurative collage


Inspiration: The last few years have made me feel like the world is literally being torn at its seams–shattered, scattered, broken, and bruised. Too often, I’ve said the now familiar-to-me cliche, “We’re living through unprecedented times.” But it now feels like “unprecedented times” are the new normal, and that they are, in fact, becoming the precedent by which we live our lives. As landscapes across the world are bombed, as people lose their homes, schools, and places of work because of economic and political decisions, as hospitals are filled with the sick and dying, I keep trying to imagine a world that is structured differently than the one we live in–where cities can come together under pink skies, cabins can sit peacefully in the woods, and our terrain can remain unscathed.



The Enemy

by Robin Brownfield


glass, tiles, and beads


Methods: Cutting tiles, gluing, grouting; flattened with heavy textbooks


Inspiration: With the current drive to go to war with Russia and China for Raytheon and other corporate profits, I think we need a reminder that “The Enemy” is made up of people's children. With the destruction of another society, the rationale for it is always a con (hence "deCONstruction"), that fills body bags and cemeteries with the victims of war.



Inhumanity

by Nancy Clarke


Not thinking before words leave lips

Not watching before missteps cause slips

Unmindful of ill words spoken

Hopeful hearts are torn and broken

Doesn’t matter what damages are caused

So foolish to believe all gains might as well be lost

Trampling others feeling mighty and high

Living it up, spreading lies

Laughing away, ignoring the cries

Nothing to lose, nothing to fear?

Carefree as though the end isn’t near

What We Hide

by DARKRECONSTRUCTION


acrylic, oil pastels, and markers on secondhand cardstock


Methods: I become one with the universe and channel what the page is meant to become. Through my hands, it becomes art.


Inspiration: A collapse of a façade. A shudder rippling through what you thought was unshakeable. An immovable object sliding down, down, down. An iceberg ready to melt down. “What We Hide” captures this energy of being on the precipice of collapse, of a carefully crafted front about to shatter to pieces.



Triptych

by Lynne Marie Rosenberg


Ink on paper


Inspiration: The first of the three pieces I drew, “When you are shattered...,” came from meditating on the Buddhist story of Guan Yin, a Bodhisattva, who was so devastated by the pain of humanity, she shattered into a thousand pieces. Triptych then developed in various explorations of mindfulness in the face of tumult.



The Grand Unopening

by Lauren Kimball


Digital stylus


If you like the issue, you can donate to Wild Greens through our Ko-fi page!

Rievaulx Abbey

by Angie Cosey


No tour of England would be complete without a visit to one of the ruined churches that lie scattered across the green island like a child’s broken Legos. On the edge of the North York Moors lies Rievaulx Abbey, a 12th-century Cistercian monastery which, like its religious cousins, saw its fortune collapse in the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII in the 1500s.

Rievaulx is not as decayed as some of the other monastic ruins but not as popular as some of the more famous ones. This gives it the unique position of being both majestic and beautiful to look at and not very crowded. It sits in a quiet valley along the River Rye, like a precious gem that someone dropped centuries ago, waiting to be rediscovered ever since.

On my visit in 2018, I wandered through the archaic shambles, following ancient holy hallways and treading on stone tiles laid down nearly a thousand years before. The shadows of evening were creeping up the decaying walls of the cloister when I saw a man walk past me carrying a trombone. Curious, I followed him through a maze of crumbling walls and collapsing pillars until we came to the nave, the center of the glorious tall cathedral which housed the chapel and sanctuary and holiest areas of worship.

Here, where the choir once sang their hymns in bygone times, musicians began to gather. First one, then two, then several; slowly, the transept filled with instruments and players. A lady began arranging folding chairs on the lawn under the soaring, windowless arches. As the sun started to descend, the orchestra took their seats.

A reverent hush came over the crowd. Though it had seen only a smattering of tourists an hour ago, now the great, venerable hall of Rievaulx was filled with spectators. I joined them, taking a seat on the ground with my back resting on a cracked column of stone. A volunteer handed out programs, and the band began to play.

I always love stumbling onto these unexpected, magical moments of serendipity. The band, Bilsdale Silver Band, consisted of maybe 20 players with various horns, plus a drummer. They played hymns in the evening light, surrounded by the towering remnants of that holy place. We listened to the harmonic melodies ringing off the flagstones and sang along to the psalms with the lyrics on our program. A vicar gave a short sermon; a monk led the makeshift congregation in prayer. For just one night, just one hour, this ancient old ruin came alive again.


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Busy City

by Melissa Lomax


Crayon & Watercolor


Methods: watercolor-resist technique


Inspiration: “Busy City” grew from a solo exhibition titled, “Lite Brite”, where I truly let my imagination run free. I thought this piece would fit nicely with the Structure/Destruction theme, as cities are consistently in the process of building up, tearing down and hopefully restoring, in the name of progress. I used a watercolor-resist technique in creating this artwork. Drawing with wax oil pastel and crayons, then finishing with black watercolor washes—the final results are always a complete surprise! As someone who typically illustrates with a lot of detail and control, I love working in a style that is unpredictable and delightfully spontaneous.

See behind the scenes of Wild Greens. Our Ko-fi page contains concept art for past issues.

Artists and Contributors

Myra Chappius

Poet

Myra’s (she/her) passion for writing began at a young age. While her early focus was on poetry, she has expanded in recent years to short fiction and is currently at work on a full-length novel. She is an avid reader with a deep love for cinema, theatre and a nice cup of tea.


Follow Myra on Instagram at @inwordform and purchase her work on Amazon or Revere by J.Nicole


Irina Novikova

Artist

Irina Novikova (she/her) was born in November 1987 in Minsk. She now lives and works in Moscow. She graduated from the State Academy of Slavic Cultures with a degree in art and the Moscow Humanitarian and Technical Academy with a degree in design. Her first personal exhibition, "May soul is like a wild hawk" (2002), was held in Maxim Bogdanovich’s Literary Museum. In her work, she often addresses the theme of ecology.


Douglas Hardman

Poet

Douglas (he/him/they) is a veterinary technician by day and a brooding lyricist/poet by night. He has a background in theatre and journalism, with a few original productions under his belt and a national award in collegiate journalism for editing and writing. Philadelphia has been home since August 2019, and he has loved pursuing different mediums, forever being inspired by the beauty of the city. Check out their Instagram @the_hideaway16 for snippets of unpublished poetry and song lyrics. His personal Instagram is @caliboynewyorkmind.

Hayley Boyle

Arts Editor and Artist

Hayley Boyle (she/her) 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 wouldn't have it any other way. You can find Hayley on Instagram @hayley3390 or @haypaints. She accepts commissions, and you can find examples of her work on her website.

Robin Brownfield

Artist

Robin Brownfield (she/her) 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, and countless other mosaic works, but she especially enjoys creating portraits and works for social justice. In 2020, she was featured in a FOX-29 News report after 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 racial violence. That portrait can be seen in the documentary “Bree Wayy: Promise Witness Remembrance”, which features the artwork done to honor Taylor. 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. She is currently working on a mosaic mural with the help of volunteers at Thomas Sharp Elementary School in Collingswood, NJ.


You can find her on Instagram @nebula1400 and Facebook - Robin Brownfield Mosaics Online Gallery. You can also visit her website Robin Brownfield Mosaics.

Nancy Clarke

Poet

Nancy (she/her) (@xrockravenx) resides in South Jersey with her husband and two sons. Over the last year, Nancy has decided to get back in touch with her creative/artistic side. She has a dedicated IG page, (@xchilledzenx) for all of her landscape and skyscape photography. She is also a beginner yogi enthusiast and enjoys all things sunsets, the moon and the beach. Nancy looks forward to submitting more of her poetry to Wild Greens!


DARKRECONSTRUCTION

Artist

DARKRECONSTRUCTION (they/them) is an emerging nonbinary queer artist working in acrylic and watercolor paints, creating abstract expressionist paintings and murals. They currently live and create art in Queens, NY. Their art is an eco-brutalist approach to expressionism, a marriage between organic textures and urban visuals, with an occasional vaporwave twist. More of their work can be seen on their website www.darkreconstructionart.com and on instagram @darkreconstruction

Lynne Marie Rosenberg

Artist

Lynne Marie Rosenberg (she/her) is a performer turned advocate turned Emmy-nominated content maker turned visual artist. She is the host and creator of the interview show, "Famous Cast Words" on New York's PBS affiliate station, ALL ARTS, and the one-person-band behind the Etsy store, Hungry Bodhisattva. Lynne works predominantly in graphite and ink with additional forays into charcoal, watercolor, and stop motion animation. www.LynneMarieRosenberg.com, IG: @LynneMarieRosenberg VENMO: @Lynne-Rosenberg-1

Lauren Kimball

Artist

Lauren Kimball (she/her) 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.

Angie Cosey

Writer & Photographer

Angie (she/her) came to Philly from south-central PA 15 years ago. Trained as a veterinary nurse, she is currently a research coordinator helping (human) cancer patients enroll in immunotherapy trials at Penn. Her travels have taken her across four continents (so far) and her special interests include bird- and wildlife-watching, hiking, and storytelling.

Find her on Instagram: @angiercosey


Melissa Lomax

Artist

Melissa Lomax (she/her) is a freelance illustrator, art teacher and cartoonist, with 20 years of experience in the creative industry. Some of her clients include American Greetings, Recycled Paper Greetings, Sellers Publishing and Highlights for Children. Her comic 'Doodle Town' posts on GoComics.com, the largest catalog of syndicated cartoons and comics (Andrews McMeel Universal). When not in the art studio, she enjoys spending time in nature, drinking really good coffee and ‘everyday adventures’ with her husband. Pop by her Instagram @melissalomaxart for weekly inspiration!


Jacqueline Ruvalcaba

Fiction Editor

Jacqueline (she/her) is a senior undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside, working toward earning her BA in English and creative writing. She was a 2021 publishing fellow with the Los Angeles Review of Books and served as a co-editor, copyeditor, and producer on the fourth issue of PubLab journal. As a bookworm, writer, and homebody at heart, she spends her spare time looking for new fictional worlds she can lose herself in and working on crafting stories of her own.


Tim Brey

Music Editor

Tim Brey (he/him) 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.


Maggie Topel

Artist

Maggie Topel (she/her) is an artist and writer living in Philadelphia. She designs our seasonal Wild Greens logo and social media avatar.


Rebecca Lipperini

Editor-in-chief

Rebecca Lipperini (she/her) 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.


You can find Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccalipperini (personal) @wildgreensmag (you already know it).