Volume 2, Issue ix
Wild Greens 2, no. 9 (July 2022)
Welcome to the July 2022 issue of Wild Greens
Have you noticed that each month, the Wild Greens logo gets a seasonal update? Maggie Topel has been designing our logos since our very first “WG” on a pine needle background, introduced in November 2020. Maggie’s logos are one of my favorite parts of the process of releasing Wild Greens. Some months, we have conversations about it, or I have a clear vision in mind, or Maggie will send me an idea board to choose from. But sometimes when she sends the logo to me it’s a complete surprise. These are my favorite months! The unveiling, usually a week or two before issue release, inspires me and helps me see the issue in a new way.
The back and forth of this process, from conversation to design, is an organic part of how Wild Greens grows.
This month, you guessed it, was a surprise month. Maggie sent the logo to me a few days ago, explaining her thought process behind creating the design. I’m sharing it with you, because to me it gets at the heart of what ecology means. Maggie writes: “For ecology, I went with bees, since they have important connections to plants and humans. The bee is pollinating a flower in the foreground, and the human-created hive in the background highlights bees' connection to humans. (I tried including a beekeeper but it got too crowded in the image.)”
Ecology is about the vital connection between environments and inhabitants. Bees pollinate the plants, and humans tend to the bees. We’re all connected, and our actions affect each other.
Isabelle Quilty’s short story, “See How the Jacaranda Climbs,” greets a growing tree in an urban environment. This jacaranda’s memory is long. Marina Scheinberg’s acrylic paint and marker drawing, “Reservoir Frogs,” depicts a woman at rest in a lake filled with fish, flowers, and frogs.
In the first of three poems by Christian Ward, “Clover,” the simple clover provides a basis for an entire ecosystem. Melissa Lomax’s watercolor and crayon “A Lil Love Long Goes a Long Way” depicts gratitude for those who care for our environment.
Lauren Kimball’s newest Turtle and Hare comic ushers in a darker tone on human culpability in ecological destruction.
“Let’s Save the Planet!,” a watercolor by Irina Novikova, highlights beloved animals, including the hummingbird and rhinoceros, all centering around a single drop of life sustaining water. “Toad” by Christian Ward is an ode to an uglier, less loved creature.
“Ivory Billed,” by Noll Griffin, connects the probably extinct ivory-billed woodpecker with a sewing machine company that was implicated in the deforestation that led to its extinction. “Say Goodbye” by Robin Brownfield depicts 15 beloved and critically endangered species.
To end, we spend time with a tiny, endangered, scarce butterfly. “Mt. Charleston blue butterfly (Icaricia shasta charlestonensis)” depicts this butterfly’s rarity and its careful cataloguing of plants.
We are a part of this earth’s ecology, a system both larger and smaller than we can imagine. So let’s participate. Take a walk. Plant a garden. Breath a deep breath of clean air. Keep growing, and while you’re at it, keep reading Wild Greens.
See How the Jacaranda Climbs
by Isabelle Quilty
I’m sorry, for how lonely it must be. Your roots suckle mud and concrete like fingers dip into honey. You dream of auburn swept skies, of lands of snow and fire carried on the wind. Your leaves are green and wide for all seasons, like a fat, flat tongue eager for the passion you can hear bleeding from the sidewalk. Careful now—the cement is constructed of the blandest daydreams.
How many eggs are left in the fridge?
Is my car registration due soon?
Your bough is curious. It doesn’t turn its nose up at the surrounding mundane, but reaches aged limbs towards the azure blue in hopes to taste the memory of all. It is a lonesome tragedy—the sight of such beauty framed in mud, a Main Street, and an abandoned construction lot.
How do you know how to piece together the fractured dream of the Australian pastoral?
Do your roots go deeper than you can tell me?
Does memory travel in sweat, rain, and tears?
Perhaps the waters of the Snowy Mountain have come to you as droplets racing down your branches. Perhaps the thunder of Brumbies, their roaming past, echoes in your roots, and the passion of the Galah in its mid-morning song reverberates through generations of your bark.
I wish for everyone that is used to the grey drab of cement to stop, even if just for a moment, to watch and see your beauty. To appreciate the glimpse of nature and memory standing in defiance against the backdrop of cranes and signal towers.
I watch from the window, as I have for all the seasons, and I hope the city folk have come to see how you climb.
by Marina Scheinberg
Acrylic paint, markers
Inspiration: The lake has the ability to pacify. It is a home for creatures to grow, and an environment for people to reflect.
by Christian Ward
And, should I go, please let only clover spring like a Jack in the Box
from my body. Do not attract postcard-perfect roses. No buddleia
and their lances of flowers nosing the air. No orchids, please (do not be seduced
by the Dracula simia's monkey face). No bird of paradise flowers to origami
mourners' hearts into kittens. Let the humble clover go viral from my ribcage
until the plot is greener than a night bingeing on Attenborough. Let them slip
past couriers and food delivery guys, turning patches green while another slice
of pizza is slid down quicker than the finger on tonight's Netflix selection.
Let the nitrogen flow until the rarest of trees and flowers are blooming
and it is broadcast on television sets of Glasswing butterflies. Let the leafcutter
ants say this is a gift on the sails of leaves on their backs and for the rain
and the wind to know this is all I could give.
If you like the issue, you can donate to Wild Greens through our Ko-fi page!
A Lil Love Long Goes A Long Way
by Melissa Lomax
Inspiration: The “Ecology” theme is a subject that is near to my heart. I love incorporating my passion for nature into my comics, illustrations, and paintings. In this piece our environment is expressing pure gratitude for all of the valuable things we do to make a positive difference in this world.
by Lauren Kimball
Let's Save Planet Earth!
by Irina Novikova
Inspiration: The biodiversity of our planet is in danger, it must be preserved!
by Christian Ward
Eyes swirling with the molten
cores of marbles, how you shimmy
your way into documentaries,
how you commandeer territory
with a latex throat pulsating
like an '80s Howie Mandel trick.
Film strip spawn - a mirror image.
Jealous are the songbirds
in Disney colours, foxes
stealing sunsets in their fur
and badgers hoarding the night.
You are the unlikeliest lucky charm
who makes the world open, turn.
by Noll Griffin
Inspiration: I drew this after hearing about a new alleged sighting of the charismatic but most likely extinct Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. One of the last and most famous contributors to its disappearance was a large sewing machine company that owned a lovely forest where these birds lived quite happily until the logging rights were sold. It made me think, how many hobbies of mine have I happily hummed along doing, not knowing if the companies that make my supplies are particularly destructive to the planet? It's something I'm making a bigger priority in my creative life, and believe everyone should as well.
by Robin Brownfield
Methods: Drawing, cutting, shaping, gluing, grouting
Inspiration: Every animal on this mosaic is endangered— some to the point where they are nearly extinct. When humans destroy the world's ecosystem, all life forms are endangered.
Mt. Charleston blue butterfly (Icaricia shasta charlestonensis)
by Christian Ward
An oversized stamp more Rothko
than Mondrian's perfect geometry.
Blue like the framed sky slotting into place.
It collects Clokey's fleabane, Lemmon's
bitterweed, Cooper rubberweed
and sulphur-flower buckwheat
like a diminutive philatelist. Carefully
memorises every taste. Every generation
to come will add to its catalogue
just as I added a part of myself to my son.
See behind the scenes of Wild Greens. Our Ko-fi page contains concept art for past issues.
Artists and Contributors
Isabelle Quilty (she/they) is a non-binary writer and poet from regional NSW, Australia. Most of their work is based around LGBTQ+ topics, working towards a greener future and compositions inspired by their South Asian ancestry. They’ve been published by a variety of magazines including Spineless Wonders Queer as Fiction Anthology, Kindling and Sage, Mascara Literary Review, and Demure Magazine. They also have a bachelor’s degree in the Creative Industries and love a good oat milk iced latte. Currently, they’re working on their first short story collection ‘The Dead Flower Society.’
Marina (she/her) is a registered nurse who resides in South Jersey. She has always had an interest in art, and began taking lessons at a young age at My Studio in Haddon Township, NJ. Marina enjoys drawing and painting in her spare time, and also does commission artwork. Marina gets most of her inspiration from hiking, traveling, and movies.
Christian Ward is a UK-based writer who has recently appeared in Open Minds Quarterly, Obsessed with Pipework, Primeval Monster, Dreich, Uppagus, and BlueHouse Journal.
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. 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!
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.
You can find her comics on Instagram @turtle_n_hare_comic.
Noll Griffin (he/him) is a California-raised digital artist and printmaker of the linoleum print variety currently living in Berlin, Germany. When free he also enjoys playing music for the city's acoustic open mic scene and fermenting foods. You can find him @nollprints on Instagram and @nollthere on Twitter.
Irina Novikova is an artist, graphic artist, and illustrator. She graduated from the State Academy of Slavic Cultures with a degree in art, and also has a bachelor's degree in design.
The first personal exhibition "My soul is like a wild hawk" (2002) was held in the Museum of Maxim Bagdanovich. In her works, she raises themes of ecology. In 2005 she devoted a series of works to the Chernobyl disaster, drawing on anti-war topics. The first big series she drew was The Red Book, dedicated to rare and endangered species of animals and birds. She writes fairy tales and poems, and also illustrates short stories. She draws various fantastic creatures, including unicorns and animals with human faces. She especially likes the image of a woman and bird—a Siren. In 2020, she took part in Poznań Art Week.
Links to social networks:
Robin Brownfield (she/her) is a former sociology professor in Collingswood, New Jersey who turned to mosaic art after becoming disabled. She was featured in a FOX-29 (Philadelphia) News report, because after sharing a series of award-winning “Black Lives Matter” mosaic portraits online, she was commissioned by Tamika Palmer to do a mosaic portrait of her daughter, Breonna Taylor, whose death, in part, launched a rebirth of the Black Lives Matter movement. That portrait can be seen in the documentary “Bree Way: Promise Witness Remembrance.” Her award-winning artwork has been in galleries in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York City, Las Vegas, Norfolk, Virginia, Texas, Illinois, and San Francisco. She recently finished supervising a community mosaic mural project entitled “Childhood Memories,” which she designed at Thomas Sharp Elementary School in Collingswood, NJ. Above the mural honoring her, is a plaque making her one of those old dead people (in the future) who nobody ever heard of, but whose name is on a plaque. Visit her website, robinbrownfieldmosaics.com, to see more of her work.
Jessica Doble holds a PhD in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She's published two critical works: “Hope in the Apocalypse: Narrative Perspective as Negotiation of Structural Crises in Salvage the Bones” Xavier Review, and “Two-Sides of the Same Witchy Coin: Re-examining Belief in Witches through Jeannette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate” in All about Monsters. Her poetry has appeared in PubLab and Wild Greens magazine.
Sean Hughes (he/him) is a writer and editor who's grateful to live in Philadelphia. He has a PhD from Rutgers where he studied Victorian Literature and also thought about ethics, historicism, poetics, and criticism. He used to co-host the Blackbox Poetry Podcast. He co-writes a webcomic called “Wally and the Witches.”
Myra Chappius (she/her) is the author of six works of fiction and poetry. While her passion lies with shorter creations, it is her aspiration to complete a full-length novel and screenplay someday. She enjoys reading, music, travel, and learning. When not doing mom things, she is working full-time, seeing the latest movie, or waiting an acceptable length of time before returning to Universal Orlando to satiate her Harry Potter obsession.
You can follow Myra on Instagram at @inwordform. Her work can be purchased on Amazon or at www.reverebyjnicole.com
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 (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 (she/her) is an artist and writer living in Philadelphia. She designs our seasonal Wild Greens logo and social media avatar.
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 storyteller. 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.
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).