Volume 2, Issue iv
Wild Greens 2, no. 4 (February 2022)
Welcome to the February 2022 issue of Wild Greens
A running theme through this issue is the idea of the escape route. The pathways, physical and mental, that we take to escape. When brainstorming the issue’s logo (a pop-up book of trees, an inviting escape through reading), Maggie called these mental escapes our “headcorridors,” the hallways of our minds where we wander or spend time. That word has been lodged in my own headcorridors, and is my guiding word in drawing connections within this robust issue.
Some of our escape routes are vast: the open road, in “From Whence We Have Come” by Erin Panek, and the clear skies and packed bags in Smruti’s “Elopement.”
Some of the pathways take us to hidden gardens of inspiration. Angela Patera’s watercolor, “Peaceful Nature,” finds escape in a forest scene. Lisa Molina’s ekphrastic poem “Take Me With You” finds inspiration in the flying crows above a golden wheatfield in a Van Gogh painting.
The concept of (escape) routes is cleverly imagined by Melissa Lomax in “Mind Map,” where she renders the highs and lows of self-employment as a map. A stairwell down to a sunlit kitchen can be its own escape in Nancy Clarke’s poem “Morning’s Brew.”
All knowledge comes from somewhere, right? If we keep digging, we have to find a bottom. Not so in Lauren Kimball’s newest Turtle and Hare, it’s quite literally “turtles all the way down.”
When creating her collage “the thing with feathers,” Holly Genovese asks where to look for beauty during a pandemic. She finds it in florals, and the female form, and in “hope,” the thing with feathers. Robin Brownfield’s mosaic ‘Out There” depicts a woodpecker caught in a jar. Outside the jar waits flight and color and possibility.
On either side of Robin’s mosaic are two poems by Aimee Nicole, “A Million Promises” and “Birthday Wishes.” Aimee writes that so much of the work done in therapy is about facing trauma, not escaping it, but that sometimes it’s okay to allow ourselves a break.
Isabelle Guillocheau’s pen and ink “homme-château” is a humorous and clever representation of the paths in our minds. Homme-château, literally “man-castle,” the headcorridors of our head castles!
In “View Summer Ceremony,” Fern Marshall writes about places and times when she has escaped, whether through memory (Summer), the (View) out the window, or the way that little ceremonies can allow us to escape the bounds of the ordinary to feel free (Ceremony).
By foraging for rocks and foliage on the Scottish west coast to use as pigments for her art, London-based Lisa-Marie Price’s watercolor “The Overlap” paints using the materials of escape.
Escape by David Brey talks about holding on to the moment, standing still in a world that pushes you to run. Weston Fahey’s photographs hold onto a moment as well, they are “Minded Escapes,” memories of places that you can retreat to.
Get lost in the headcorridors of our February issue. Return restored, refreshed, and revitalized.
From Whence We Have Come
by Erin Panek
Inspiration: The goal was to hit the open road, and while traveling cross-country, expose our impressionable child to everything that this nation has to offer. This image—an approaching storm—reminds me that a metaphorical one was also brewing.
Notes to self: It is necessary to turn the water off at home before setting off on your extensive, weeks-long adventure, as it is possible that your house will flood while you are away. You should also replace your car tires for good measure prior to setting off on your journey unless you want to find yourself hydroplaning and crashing into a ditch.
These lessons, and many more, were learned while escaping on said open road.
by Smrutirekha Dalai
That afternoon when I looked
at you, it dawned upon me that
sometimes the sun might
not be the cause of me
sweating buckets in boiling
And that, although everyone
smiles between warm and
dazzling, yours feels like
Christmas; Ribbons twisting
and jingle bells popping out
in the middle of the street
as you cross it
Ask me how lovelorn a girl
can be, I'll invite you to come
to my dreams and see
Last night at 3, a 6 year old
me sat gawking at you
as you cuddled my Garfield
bear that now lies torn and
neglected in some corner of
my store. They say your lover
partakes in your future, but
boy! You are partaking in my
past as well!
That I'd want to eat and play
and dance and sing and argue
and tease and study with you
is all I wish for looking at
Love, you are my road not
And my bags are already packed
by Angela Patera
Watercolor, paper, brushes
Inspiration: I painted a forest scene for the issue's theme. When I think about escaping to any location I could go, I instantly think of a quiet and calming place in nature.
Take Me With You
by Lisa Molina
An Ekphrastic poem based on the painting “Wheatfield with Crows,” by Vincent Van Gogh, Netherlands, 1890
gold I see before me;
Are you real?
Why can you not
come down to earth
to take this
mind of visions
which I never know
to be real or imagined,
and carry it on your wings
so that I may rise
above this life
of dirt roads
leading me to
nowhere but madness?
I yearn to
up to the
my spirit absorbed
by the silver
by Melissa Lomax
Inspiration: I have found myself navigating "The Land of Self Employment" once again. On this adventure, there have been several rewarding opportunities and I have also encountered some uncertain terrain. A map felt like the perfect imagery to capture these highs, lows, and the miles in between. This piece was originally created in Photoshop for my weekly autobiographic comic, Doodle Town on GoComics.com. When I am in the studio researching a project like this, feeling super inspired and enjoying the process of making art… it's a lot like being on a little retreat and sometimes it feels like an 'escape!'
by Nancy Clarke
The welcoming aroma of brewed coffee
My senses awake from this comfortable place of rest
A tranquil morning, the room bathed in half-light
Floating downstairs and I am greeted with a sweet kiss
You know how to make my day shine from the start
Peering through the window and I am greeted by soft sunlit rays
The trees are once again full of life
Lush green hues that cannot be missed
Blooming flowers filling our garden of love
The birds singing their usual morning tunes
I take a sip of coffee and I sit back with your hand in mine
Another beautiful day
by Lauren Kimball
If you like the issue, you can donate to Wild Greens through our Ko-fi page!
the thing with feathers
by Holly Genovese
Paper, glue, printed images
Methods: collage on paper
Inspiration: florals, pandemic, the female form
A Million Promises
by Aimee Nicole
As my condition
(a greedy snake
lungs) and breaths
quick and hurried,
please know the
one true pleasure
I’ve been able
during this current
were your fingers
to me under
sun stroked skies
in front of
anyone and everyone
who bore witness.
by Robin Brownfield
Mosaic glass, beads, ceramic tiles
Methods: cut and paste
Inspiration: I have always been drawn to artist John Buck's woodcut print of a woodpecker in a jar. I often thought about that woodpecker and pondered how it could escape. In this mosaic, the being trapped in the bottle is finding her way out, finding her escape. Inside the bottle, everything is gray, black and, white, while outside the bottle, the world is full of color, flight, and endless possibilities.
by Aimee Nicole
For the first time in my
life that lingers like the
long drag of a cigarette,
I find myself using birthday
wishes so I can find you sooner
in the next life.
by Isabelle Guillocheau
Paper, pen and ink
Inspiration: I like the idea of escaping from reality through imagination, dreams, and fantasy. I also like to add humor and absurdity, which allows us to distance ourselves from reality, to be lighter, to fly away, to have air and oxygen in life!
View Summer Ceremony
by Fern Marshall
In my old flat, I used to peer longingly at the small corner of sky visible over the rooftops. Now I live on the third floor in a corner flat full of windows and light. On bonfire night the skyline fills with fireworks, sparkling explosions of color, bangs and whistles and screams of joy. With this view, I don’t feel penned in like I used to. Every day, working from home, I go to the window to remind myself that there is a whole world out there away from the computer screen. I breathe deep and watch as pigeons and magpies loop past, a flock of tiny birds cluster around the weathervane on top of the church, and bright green leaves rustle in the tree below. All day long city buses rumble past, sirens scream, and planes steadily make their way across the sky. Their consistency is oddly comforting. The clouds bring me never-ending joy: streaks of neon pink at sunset, a hint of lemon yellow on the horizon, bruised violet as a winter storm builds. I delight when the moon appears, whether it is huge and silver as a prop formed from papier-mâché and tinfoil or faint and barely there. My husband and I come up with our own names for the stages of the moon—apple slice moon, mostly moon, fingernail moon, banana moon, hidden moon, misty moon. Even on the coldest, wettest night, I am soothed as I watch pale branches swaying in a sudden gust of wind, rain falling softly in the glow of the street lamps, the red-amber-green of the traffic lights endlessly looping. On the best days, the sky is clear and blue and the sun shines through the windows, enticing me outside. I watch people in the park at the end of the street, walking and cycling and running with fluffy dogs and tiny children and everything feels a little bit more hopeful.
We drive a few hours south on increasingly narrow roads to a tiny hamlet full of swooping swallows and oppressive nights. There are verges full of rosebay willowherb, rolling fields beyond, and clear blue skies overhead. We scramble over stone stiles and along rough tracks full of long grasses that tickle our bare legs. There are delicate nodding harebells and clumps of yarrow tinged pink, and it is two days away from the summer solstice, two days away from the longest day of the year. We stride up a nearby hill to watch the sun disappear from our vantage point in a shorn hay field, the stubble prickly against my legs, shoulders warm and tinged pink and a small glass of golden whiskey in my hand, then we run back down the hill in the cooling night air. We eat cheese and crackers for dinner every night, lemon curd on toast for breakfast, drink from sweating ice filled glasses in the afternoon. We drive and explore, air conditioning turned up high, thighs rubbing under a dress worn with sneakers because I wasn’t expecting it to be this hot, the kind of hot where I don’t care what I look like as long as I have as little material touching my skin as possible, hair pulled up and away from my neck. We scramble down a shaded slope covered in soft bright grass to a coppery river in a tiny valley, balancing on slippery rocks below a tiny stone bridge and a bower of green leaves, hidden from the heat and from passing cars as our feet dangle in the cool rushing water. These are the memories that last through the coldest, wettest winter days, reminding me that summer will return.
Beyond the thin pane of glass, the cold winter night lies in wait. But here, now, there are candles with golden flames and cacao that lies thick and rough on my tongue. The rim of my cup is coated with wet pink rose petals. This is a soft, intimate space. We sit cross legged on large cushions on the floor, surrounded by blankets, crystals, feathers, and candlelight. Most important of all, we surround ourselves with sounds. Sounds that lift us from this ground floor city flat right up into the heavens above, sounds that transport us to the stars and back, in and out and around and through until we are merely blurs of movement and light, released from the everyday for an hour or two. In this small space the air vibrates with noise, thudding drums blending with the song of the delicate chimes swinging from my hand. I shake a rain stick, tentative at first but growing with confidence, giving myself permission to be loud, to make noise and take up space in the sound waves. We close our eyes and sing wordless songs that come from somewhere deep inside, my voice small at first but increasing in volume as I am absorbed into the flow, expanding beyond my inhibitions. Bronze singing bowls vibrate and hum in our palms. This is a space to escape into, to be held in. I let go, allow the cacao to warm and heal, forehead, jaw and shoulders starting to release tension. The beat of the drum is soft but insistent and there is a message to be heard if I listen carefully. Even after work on a grey, humdrum Tuesday night, magic can be found.
by Lisa-Marie Price
handmade watercolor from foraged earth, birch plywood
Methods: Watercolor paint on birch plywood. Delicate layers of watercolor paint using just one paint color and finished with small touches of 24K gold leaf
Inspiration: Nature and sustainability are almost always the inspiration for my paintings. This painting relates to the many facets that make up our daily lives and individual personalities. To create my paintings, I take to the coast and hills of the Scottish west coast and highlands to forage for rocks that I can use as pigments for my watercolors. This is my escapism from the hustle and bustle of London, where I live. The tranquil Scottish landscapes are reflected in my delicate and calming paintings.
See behind the scenes of Wild Greens. Our Ko-fi page contains concept art for past issues.
by David Brey
Do you have the time?
I only have a moment.
In fact this moment is all we have.
And I’ll spend mine whiling away the time, in search of or in deep pursuit, of distraction and escape.
But what if I stayed here?
What if I kept looking and focused my attention on to and into this present moment?
What if instead of looking away, I tried to stay in this here and now?
What would happen if I tried to not escape?
If instead I chained myself to the present moment
and did not allow myself to be pulled away from this split second of direct experience
And I rode the crest of the present moment,
gliding back and forth along the edge of this instant
and I gave little thought to what had come before,
and I decided not to care about what might come after
and I did not. leave.
and I would not. let go.
and I held your hand
And you said “I can’t go on.”
And I said “Stay with me now.”
And you just held on.
And you saw it too.
by Weston Fahey
Photographic Film [Kodak Portra 400]
Methods: Pentax 6x7, Canonet QL17 Giii
Inspiration: Each image in this series was made on a film camera in a moment that I was Happy. Each moment represents space in time and each loiters as a memory. They are now minded escapes.
Artists and Contributors
Erin is an elementary school teacher and children's theater director who integrates the dramatic and literary arts in her classroom. Her passion for photography connects her to her late father. Erin finds inspiration in her travels with her family, in major life events, and everyday happenings. She enjoys attending local theater productions and writing about the “good news” in her community.
Smruti thinks that there is a place between "looking for" and "found." That is where she plans to live — in cogitative hiding. She has been writing about things in her head since she was 14. On good days, she calls herself a writer. On bad ones, she laments her heartbreak
Angela Patera is a hobby artist from Lefkada, a small island in Greece. She enjoys drawing anything that inspires her, but mainly does fan art of movie characters and musicians of bands. Recently, after many years, she found her interest in drawing nature and fantasy-inspired art again. You can find her on Instagram: @angela_art13
Lisa Molina is a writer/educator in Austin, Texas. She has three chapbooks forthcoming in 2022, and her words can be found in numerous publications, including Wild Greens, Beyond Words, Sparked, Neologism Poetry Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, and Sledgehammer Literary Review. In addition to writing, singing, and playing the piano, Molina enjoys spending time with her family. She now works with high school students with special needs, and loves teaching them the joys of reading and writing.
Melissa Lomax 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 she is 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!
Nancy (@xrockravenx) resides in South Jersey with her husband and two sons. In the last year, Nancy decided to get back in touch with her creative/artistic side. Nancy 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. She looks forward to submitting more of her poetry to Wild Greens magazine!
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.
Holly Genovese is an Austin-based artist working primarily in collage, mixed media, and acrylics. She served as art director for the 2021 issue of PubLab and has shown her work at the Da-Vinci Art Alliance in Philadelphia. In her other life, she is a journalist and Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Aimee Nicole is a chronically ill, queer poet currently residing in Rhode Island. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Roger Williams University and has been published by Cajun Mutt Press, The Nonconformist, and Rye Whiskey Review, among others. Her first collection Daily Worship was published by Laughing Ronin Press Jan 2022. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @aimeenicole525 for awkward selfies and pictures of her cat.
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. She is currently working on a mosaic mural with the help of volunteers at Thomas Sharp Elementary School in Collingswood, NJ, and will be working on more murals in the Camden County area.
You can find her on Instagram @nebula1400 and Facebook - Robin Brownfield Mosaics Online Gallery. You can also visit her website Robin Brownfield Mosaics.
Isabelle Guillocheau works and lives in Paris, France. Her artistic work has themes of absurdity and derision, and it materializes in many ways. She likes the spontaneous side of art, as well as fantasy and parody. You can find her on Instagram: @isa_lrp.
Fern Marshall is a writer and welfare rights worker based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Writing is a source of solace and escape for her, with a focus on nature and mental health. Her work has appeared in Little Livingroom and BlueHouse Journal. She is on Instagram @fernmarshal
Lisa-Marie Price (b. 1986 Milton Keynes) is a London-based abstract painter who explores the connection between nature, people, and place. Her methodical style is created using handmade watercolor sourced from natural pigment foraged from both urban and rural settings. Lisa never uses shop-bought paint and prides herself on the unique connection between the land and her paintings.
Lisa is represented by North London gallery Hampstead Garden Gallery. Her work has been shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, MK Gallery, D Contemporary Gallery, The Copeland Gallery and one of her paintings is currently on display at The Shard. Features and artist interviews include The Flux Review, Go With Yamo, The Guardian, and MK Gallery. Her work has been included in many group shows across London as well as in private commissions in Germany, London, Wales, New Zealand, and Canada.
You can find her on Instagram at @lisapriceart.
A reclusive creative, Dave enjoys making things in fits and starts when he can get out of his own way. Influenced by American ideals and delusions, he believes that creating and sharing art, writing, music, and love are the why behind all the world's how.
Weston is a freelance cinematographer and film photographer. He lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but is often traveling for work. He enjoys long photo walks on the beach... or really anywhere that strikes him, and the occasional beach stroll. His main medium is celluloid medium format film, and he has a collection of cameras far too extensive to note, though the Pentax 67 is a favorite. Check out his work at @westonfahey on Instagram and his site westonfahey.com. Feel free to send him a note via carrier pigeon, should you like.
Jacqueline 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 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 is an artist and writer living in Philadelphia. She designs our seasonal Wild Greens logo and social media avatar.
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.
You can find Hayley on Instagram @hayley3390 or @haypaints. She takes commissions, and you can find examples of her work on her website.
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.
You can find Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccalipperini (personal) @wildgreensmag (you already know it).