Wild Greens

Volume 2, Issue xi

Loyalty

Wild Greens 2, no. 11 (September 2022)

Loyalty

Welcome to the September 2022 issue of Wild Greens

We have a first time celebrity contributor this month: my mom, Pat Lipperini! When I read her essay, “Jars and Plenty,” it brought me to tears, and I knew it would make the perfect opening for the September issue. In her writing, my mom recalls a time of plenty—a zucchini bonanza—with her own mother, and shows how making recipes in the kitchen is a way to keep memories alive. She gives us, as it were, a recipe for living.

We continue with the first of two digital comics by Melissa Lomax, “Poochie Weekly Chat,” which depicts the steadfastness of sister-friendship.

For the first time, Wild Greens features a serialized story! Myra Chappius’s story is “Lost and Found,” which we will release in installments across six issues. The theme of this first installment is loyalty to old friends. At the story’s beginning, the protagonist gets a call from an estranged friend, who she is bound to by trust built over many years. The enduring strength of childhood relationships is the subject of “Best Friends,” Robin Brownfield’s mosaic of her son, depicted here as a five year old with his best friend. Their friendship is repeated in the presence of two loyal dogs by their sides.

Colleen T. Reese’s poem “Devotion” explores being loyal to craft in ways both positive and negative. The dedication to a rich interior life, and the sense of duty to cultivate that inner life, impact how we interact with the world.

In Lauren Kimball’s latest Turtle and Hare, Hare gets involved in a seedy business, and Turtle is a blissfully silly accomplice.

Douglas Hardman’s poem “roundtable comrades,” is a love letter to the poet’s friends, pitched in grand, romantic images that recast friendship as characters around an Arthurian roundtable. Those fantasy elements are picked up in Marina Scheinberg’s acrylic on canvas, “Noble Steed.” Marina explains her winding road to inspiration for the piece, from the loyalty of pawns to queens on chess boards to Donkey in Shrek.

Aimee Nicole’s poem “Confession” explores how cultivating fierce loyalty to ourselves is a necessary first step toward making us more authentic in our relationships with others.

Phedra Deonarine’s two upcycled acrylics on paper plates, “Little Garden: Part 1” and “Little Garden: Part 2” speak to our dedication to cultivating our gardens. Hayley Boyle’s poem finds “Moments of Sincerity” in memories some people might discard: from relationships since passed.

Melissa Lomax’s second digital comic is an image of a person hugging the bright side. And Gratia Serpento’s story finds this bright side even in grief. Gratia’s story, “Loyalty After Death,” about her deceased turtle and her new dog, is a beautiful portrait of how we don’t move on after the death of someone we loved. Instead, we carry them with us in the new relationships we form.

Often when I think about ordering all the different elements of Wild Greens, I’ll realize that pieces fall into natural groups and pairs. When I was pairing groups in this longer issue, I found that Gratia’s exploration of “Loyalty after Death” lead me back full circle to the beginning of the issue. The circle is a symbol of loyalty. Whether it be zucchini rings, a tortoise shell, or arms wrapped around in an embrace.

Rebecca

Jars and Plenty

by Pat Lipperini

Our hayride took us to the zucchini field and, of course, we picked the biggest ones we could find because that’s what you do when your helper is your three-year-old granddaughter. But hours later that zucchini lay stacked on my kitchen counter in a quiet challenge. And in that challenge, I returned to another time of bounty with an abundance of vegetables, yes. But also, a richness of life and love and comfort.

It has always been one of those fun family memories—the time we picked so much zucchini from the big garden at my aunt’s farm that there was nowhere to turn but to make ratatouille. And so my mother and aunt went to work and hours later the house overflowed with all sizes of jars, cans, and bowls full to the brim with this stewed treat. And then I watched them laugh amidst the chaos and absurdity of it all. And somehow, I knew that this day was a good day, even though no one really knew what to do with hundreds of containers of ratatouille.

So, as I begin to chop and sauté my zucchini, I battle that inextinguishable instinct to call my mother and laugh along with her in this memory. But she passed away last December, and I can’t make those calls anymore. I can’t ask her how to make ratatouille and I won’t ever hear her excited voice describing the broccoli soufflé she tried to make after first tasting it at Peg Hafner’s house.

I still have her handwritten recipes in my books, the must-make new favorite that everyone should try. I make her cheesy potatoes, her garlic butter chicken, her chocolate sheet cake. For that matter, I still make my aunt’s crumbcake and her no-flour icing, my mother-in-law’s gnocchi and her ricotta cookies. All those great women. All those memorable meals. All that love and effort surrounding and enhancing their kitchen tables. Their classics have become part of my repertoire. And though I have tweaked and adjusted amounts and directives through the years, I operate within the contours of the original. It is still their food that feeds my family. And with each creation I announce: This is Noni’s Easter Bread. This is Grammy’s cucumber salad. This is Peeto’s (my aunt’s) banana cake. Why do I preface it so?

As I stir my softening zucchini and remember that long ago day of ridiculous plenty, I realize that using their recipes has never been just about making the food. I can hear their laughter through the steam of the vegetables and know that we use our family recipes because we want these people in the room with us once again. Not to help us with our cooking but to help us with our living.

I remember that ratatouille day for all the jars. But what tugs at my memory even more is the camaraderie, the joy, the effort, the sense of purpose, the need to create and not waste. And this was not confined to that day in the kitchen. It was who these women were. It was how they approached life. We long to hear our mothers’ voices to touch that essence, to absorb the ingredients and directions that produced such flavorful lives and to return to a time when goodness and strength enclosed us. But we can’t. So we cook their food. We stir and urge and pull out of that cake, that ratatouille, our own moments of safe mooring and suggestions of a benign world. Our mothers and aunts and fathers and grandfathers gave us that, not merely through their cooking, but through the honest living of their lives. Perhaps it is really that recipe which we try to replicate, and in the trying, we are loyal to their living.

As I place my aunt’s lebkuchen cookies, my mother-in-law’s potato pancakes, or my mother’s chocolate-peanut candy on the table, I am making a statement. Not just that their food is delicious. But that their lives were worthwhile, valuable, necessary for the world. I use their recipes as witness, as recognition. I use their recipes in faithfulness to them and maybe to strengthen a promise I made to live with the same integrity and whole-hearted love. That is the recipe I long to perfect because it is what will truly nourish my family.

Poochie Weekly Chat

by Melissa Lomax


Digital Drawing & Color

Inspiration: The steadfast relationship I have with my sister, Megan aka Poochie, is something that I am eternally grateful for. Even though there are several states between us, our weekly phone chat makes it feel like we are side by side. Our conversations can range from serious and heartfelt to lighthearted and random but no matter what, I always enjoy it! Thanks for your sisterhood and friendship, Poochie! For more true-blue stories, visit DoodleTownComic.com!


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Lost and Found (part 1)

by Myra Chappius

The tomatoes on the counter are a little squishy, the avocados a hint too firm. No one would ever accuse Jo of being a good cook. In fact, if she manages to make a passable dumpling just once in her life, she’ll consider it the height of her culinary accomplishments. But she can manage a decent taco. Her husband Ryan would eat a taco any day of the week - or all of them - so she’s had plenty of practice. However, today she is distracted. And so, the guacamole is a bit lumpy and the tortillas a tad soggy. But that doesn’t stop Ryan’s eyes from lighting up as he comes into the kitchen and sees the plate waiting with extra pickled onions – his favorite.

“You love me, don’t you?” he jokes. She gives him a look that needs no words to be understood. Nearly 30 years of marriage creates an efficient unspoken form of communication consisting of mostly cocked eyebrows and pursed lips that never fails to get the right point across. Still, Jo’s mouth turns up at one corner in a smirk – a facial expression only Ryan can evoke.

He sits himself down at the breakfast bar as she cracks the tops off two beers and slides one over to him. He is halfway through the first taco when he notices she is not eating. The late day sun is slanting in through the kitchen windows creating a pleasant ambience, the leaves on the trees outside sway gently in the breeze. Jo stands staring out those same windows, her mind clearly lost in thought. After having spent nearly every day of the past 3 decades with her, Ryan can tell what that stance means, can read the look on her face with no explanation. He also knows that Jo likes to reveal her emotions in her own time, forcing her into a conversation or revelation she’s not ready for never comes with good results. So, he continues with his meal, knowing she will not be offended by his lack of inquiry.

It’s a good ten minutes before she moves, the untouched beer still in her hand. As if she’s been released from an invisible hold, she turns swiftly towards her husband and sets her full bottle down next to his nearly empty one.

“I got a text,” she says simply. Ryan pushes himself back from the bar, wiping his hands on a napkin, knowing something much more is about to come.

“Okay. That happens sometimes.”

“From Ethan.”

Ryan’s eyebrows rise in genuine surprise. “Like Ethan, Ethan?”

Jo nods her head slightly in the affirmative, and now Ryan more firmly understands her mood.

“Wow. Um, okay. That’s…unexpected.”

The two of them are quiet for a few moments, Ryan contemplating what could possibly be the reason.

“Come on, woman,” he prompts “what did he say?” The natural humor of Ryan’s personality is ever present and often needed.

“Nothing, really,” she says, slightly incredulous. “He wants me to come out there.”

“What? Seriously? It’s been five years! Five years with not a word and you’re supposed to jet set to Arizona with no explanation?” Ryan’s humorous temperament has changed to one of protection.

He knows, without discussion, that she will go. It’s who she is. The last five years of silence had been truly difficult for her. Ethan had been one of her closest friends. He had been present for several of their major life occasions. Their three kids called him ‘Uncle’. Ryan, himself, had genuinely liked the man. He was fun, without being sloppy, and had been a shoulder for Jo to lean on whenever she needed it. It was just as much of a shock to him when he stopped responding to calls and texts. Emails were returned as undeliverable. Ethan had recently split from his wife, so Ryan and Jo figured, at first, that he was just taking some time for himself. But as time carried on it became alarming, distressing.

Jo reached out to Ethan’s daughter, Emily. She was in college at the time but wasn’t having any contact with her father. She refused to elaborate as to the reason why. Jo nearly flew to Arizona to check on him. Ryan walked in on her researching ticket prices, and for the first time in their marriage they had an argument that carried over to the next day. It wasn’t that Ryan didn’t understand where she was coming from, the concern she had for her friend. He sympathized with it. But he also loved his wife, knew her. And the treatment she was receiving wasn’t fair. She had done nothing to incur such treatment and the internal torment she was enduring because of it wasn’t something he ever wanted her to experience again. In his mind, there was no excuse for Ethan’s complete lack of contact.

Now, after five years, Jo had let that wound heal. She had accepted that life changes, people change, and sometimes we don’t get all the answers. She had gotten used to a life without her best friend. Ryan wasn’t ready to see that wound reopened – for any reason.

But he knew, as all men do, that there’s no stopping a woman who has set her mind to something. And there was never any stopping his Josephine. Her heart was as big as her will. The best Ryan could do at this point was hope that the pain would be minimal and swift, and she would return to him no worse for wear.

“Want me to help you look for a ticket?” he asked.

The pensive look had never left her face, now a hint of defiance joined it. “No,” she said. “I’m not going.”

They looked at each other for a moment, neither moving.

Finally, Ryan says, “I’ll turn on the laptop” and Jo takes her first sip of beer.

Editor's note: Lost and Found will be serialized across six issues. Tune in next month for the second installment.

Best Friends

by Robin Brownfield


Recycled glass tiles on wood

Methods: Search several months for one particular old photo, draw it 800% larger on wood, glue tiles via a color-by-number-like plan, grout

Inspiration: This is from a photo of my son and his best friend when they were five years old. Watching are two loyal puppies who want to hang out with their best friends.


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

Devotion

by Colleen T. Reese

This devotion will get the best of me

The way that words taste on my teeth.

It is a breathless, stumbling sprint.

Or maybe feelings spread like spit across the skin of a lover?

No, it is an unrelenting something choked halfway down my throat.

I should have half a mind to cut this tongue

Because it consumes me

These descriptions


The life here

And the life

out there


Never

matching.


Breaking Bunny

by Lauren Kimball


Digital stylus


roundtable comrades

by Douglas Hardman

Dear reader,

Embark with me now

For I will tell a tale

Of the bravest heroes

I ever did know


The quick-witted Lady Bonnie approaches

Steel-clad skin hides her generational trauma

War-torn from getaway cars and dirty politics

Yet, she still brings sunshine to my darkness

Favoring my laughter over the noise of it all

She smiles with me to conceal the pain

And I, in return, offer the same

Summer sun forevermore


A mother and a wife, she fights her battles every day

The emotional turmoil of her inner thoughts

Deep scars dug in by motherly scorn

A household divided by two ideologies

These metaphysical and metaphorical dragons

Never stand a chance against her arms

And still she finds time to remind me that she loves me--

A simple message in a bottle she sends every day

And my love for her remains eternal

Both a muse and a mentor

Her triumph inspires and nourishes my pen

Inscribed in my sonnets for the remainder of time

Summer sun forevermore


*


The Fire Ally with steadfast nerves awaits

Intelligent charisma emanating from her presence

Her travels have left her seasoned and nurturing to many

She was a constant in a troublesome sea

As a doctor and a friend,

She tends to my complicated woes and fair-weather foes

My knife wounds smoothed

With medicine of good company like a child’s favorite forgotten dish

Sage words soothed


Her balance grounds me in an ebbing sea

And she always shines fresh perspective

To my overthought plots

She beckons me to the rooftop to escape the noise

And it’s hard to not take her advice in the chaos

Cleansing the room and smudging out the negative auras

I learned quickly that black and white problems

Simply meant I was colorblind to simple solutions

Sage words soothed


*


The sharp-tongued Mother Crab beckons

Overly protective as if I were their own

He is emotional to a fault, but never has a non-sensible thought

He never once strayed from my side, even when the battle felt unwinnable

Two martyrs against an army of bad mistakes

And once the arms are laid to rest in the evening

The banter of two veterans bundled in their shared grief

Added more warmth to the drinks they were able to knock back

Gin for the soldiers


A friend, a confidant and an equal on the field

I never once worried what my words might stir

My darkest fears spilled into his ears

And I never felt like a burden he had to bear

He taught me to bite the bullet, against all odds

Even when I thought the war is done

It is never truly won

But having him by my side, stein in hand

We bravely march to the beat of our own drum

Gin for the soldiers


*


The fiercely authentic Madame Baddie arrives

Her saucy audacity always lit up the tavern

Sensual in her draws, rational in her execution

She found me alone in her territory and lifted me up

A former colleague now turned trusty companion

I have found a forever lover

Clandestine soulmate


Late night songstress, serenading me in busy bars

Dancing barefoot in the wild streetlights

Fresh espresso and cosmic liquors bless our tongues

Taking my hand and dragging me into the unknown

She reminds me life is meant to be lived

With her fearlessness, I never have to worry about being someone else

What once felt impossible or reckless

Now resides within me as core, mercurial memories

And I know I will keep her with me for the next night of debauchery

Clandestine soulmate


*


And now, a reservedly optimistic Brother Fish

Simple in his bashful mannerisms

Since the beginning of his time, he has only shown kindness

My complications with accepting a higher power unfurled

I was seeking something different, the past had left me lost

And I had the tools to search for it

He came into my life right when the world started to make sense

Trauma bonded tribe


We soon became forged in tequila and teardrops

Similar story structure, different plot points

A deeper understanding from a haunting, mutual experience

He never once let me down, even with my guard dropped

This type of brotherhood has always escaped me

And like a true sibling, I slung brash words with love

My reservations have started to dissipate

Because his honesty relinquished my undying anxiety

Onward, triumphantly, into a new pride

Trauma bonded tribe


Dear reader,

You may have remembered

The lost war of yesteryears

The foot soldiers I sacrificed

In an attempt to sabotage my life

I’ve made my reprimands

The graves have been dug

I’ve hung up my bayonet


I’m happy to inform you

This crop of fellows

Will not have to lift their arms

In my self-discovery

Those who have found me

New and old

Continue to mold me

And I hope they know

How much they mean to me

In the darkest of darkest times

They have saved me

Sincerely


Noble Steed

by Marina Scheinberg


Acrylic paint on canvas

Methods: Painted background to foreground with acrylic paint

Inspiration: At first the idea of loyalty made me think about a game of chess. Each chess piece is loyal in protecting their king and queen. To build on this, I also thought about the original movie Shrek, specifically when Fiona calls Donkey a noble steed. Putting these thoughts together, I painted an adventure story scene, where the horse is loyal to their queen like they would be in a game of chess.

Confession

by Aimee Nicole

Sins snake across this skin,

shedding each Sunday

with the promise to renew.

Penance because I live in

this purgatory and yes my

memory might wipe itself clean

of grocery lists and work-to-dos

and appointment times but

never could I ever forget

the wicked slips of tongue or

enchantress lures or

covetous licks.


Just lay there and absorb

each confession like you are the ocean

and I’m here to pollute you

with the trash that I am—

once innocent by ignorance,

then by denial, now by greed.



Editor's note: An earlier version of this poem incorrectly listed the title as "Intentions." The title was corrected on 9/1/22.


Little Garden: Part 1 and Little Garden: Part 2

by Phedra Deonarine


Paper plate, acrylic

Inspiration: I love to plant things and see what grows. My indoor garden hasn't fared too well in the heat, but still, some things managed to take root. There aren't any blossoms yet, but summer isn't over, and I remain steadfastly hopeful.

Moments of Sincerity

by Hayley Boyle


The one who spoke with a heavy Slavic tongue,

who lived surrounded by books

and smelled the way a library does

who read to me long into the nights

while tracing his finger along my spine.


The one who lived near the El, where the passing lights,

much like his hands, would caress my bare legs

as I walked across his kitchen

daring passengers on the late-night train

to witness my youth in all its glory.


The one who, nearly twice my age, taught me

that there is a moment each morning,

as the sun peaks over the horizon,

when life is still, almost as if

meditating upon the meeting of us two strangers.


The one who told me on a stormy night that

our children would be beautiful,

despite us wanting none,

and swayed with me to the sounds

of thunderclaps and the heartbeats we’d never know.


The one who believed an entire ocean

couldn’t keep us apart,

who danced with me under neon lights

surrounded by strangers

after traversing halfway around the world.


I could call them regrets.

Or allow them to be what they are—

part of me, forever,

even if only moments

leading me,

showing me how to love completely, now,

without shame.


The Bright Side

by Melissa Lomax


Pencil Drawing & Digital Color

Inspiration: I tend to look for "silver linings" in life and as a cartoonist, I also like to draw emotions as characters. Through my positive outlook, 'The Bright Side' perspective has evolved into a huggable creature that's always around for a pick-me-up! This illustration is available in a postcard set of 6 different designs. During September, it comes with a free artist print! lomaxandpatch.bigcartel.com


Loyalty After Death

by Gratia Serpento

Growing up, I’d been fascinated by turtles. They’d been my greatest love and my favorite animal. I’d often daydream about putting a giant rubber turtle in my local pool and swimming with it like they do in Disney movies—because, to a child, that made perfect sense. My love of the shelled creatures then moved on to the land variety: tortoises. I dreamt of riding on top of their massive shells, braving the heat.

I was ten and a half years old when I got my first pet, a sulcata tortoise. It was a bit different than an average first pet, but I grew up on a ranch, so I was used to a variety of animals. I named her Gladice Miracle Peterson, and I loved her every day that I had her.

She had the personality of an old lady, and she was ten pounds, round, and large. The Galactic Gladiator, as I often called her, made snorting sounds and chased after anything orange. I’d shred carrots for her every day and try to cuddle with her bumpy and rough exterior. She didn’t seem to enjoy it much, but she’d sit there and let me do my thing. I’d dress her in crocheted accessories. I took her with me when we evacuated during the 2020 Oregon wildfires, and I spent every day rubbing the bumps in her shell. I even earned the nickname The Tortoise Girl at school.

I loved Gladice, even after I lost her. She passed unexpectedly, just three days before my fifteenth birthday. I wish there were a word to describe my grief—when I picked her up and realized she wouldn’t wake up ever again. When I froze and carried her body out to the living room where my family sat around, laughing, preparing for the birthday shenanigans that were soon to take place—when they saw my shocked face and saw Gladice. When I said, “She’s dead,” and fell to the floor, and my heart jerked as I cried harder than I ever had before.

Having Gladice was such an integral part of my life. It was a piece in my puzzle, right at the center—a piece taken so harshly. She was supposed to outlive me, yet I outlived her.

At the time, I wasn’t in the best state to ask where my family buried her. Part of me wants to know so that I can close the chapter. But the other part doesn’t, afraid to reopen the wound—a double-edged sword of grief.

The day after I lost her, I didn’t talk much. I couldn’t open my mouth, couldn’t look at anything of Gladice’s, without crying. One thing to know about my parents is that they’re solution finders. If there’s a problem, they want to fix it. My grief was a problem. My inability to want to wake up was a problem. So they looked for ways to fix it.

When my dad saw an ad for an adorable Maltese-Pomeranian puppy, he showed it to me, and my heart melted. It had the puffiest black hair, a white spot on his chest and chin, and big brown eyes that looked right at the camera with a hint of a judging but loving gaze. But I didn’t want the dog.

“I just want Gladice back—I don’t want another pet. She was everything I needed and wanted,” I had told him. Well, more or less. I kind of blubbered it into his chest, and I’m not sure if he completely understood.

“Gladice would want you to move on,” he told me. But I couldn’t believe that. My dad held me and said something more, but I can’t remember. The days after her death were a haze, a lucid dream—a nightmare. Whatever it was, though, he somehow convinced me to get that dog. We set the date to pick him up for Saturday, only five days after Gladice’s death.

“I feel like I’m replacing her,” I whispered to my sister as we went to bed that Friday night. She hugged me and said something that made me cry—which wasn’t hard; I was constantly crying. But what she said temporarily eased the ache in my heart.

The next day, we arrived to find that the people who posted the ad were a married couple between their seventies and eighties. The wife had to finish giving the dog his bath first. We talked with the husband about his life and our lives until she returned and presented the little dog from the ad to us.

I hated the idea of Insta-love in books and TV shows, but the moment I saw him, I knew I’d love that dog for the rest of my life. He jumped into my arms, gave me the biggest licks—much bigger than you’d expect from a little four-pounder—and let me cuddle him. He smelled like an old person’s house and was the softest thing I’d ever felt.

By the time we got home, I’d given him a name. I was always quick to give names to things. I gave the little pup a full, pretentious, proper name, as all good dogs should have.

Bernard Ernest Peterson, the first.

Or, rather, Bernie Ernie for short. Often referred to as Bern, Bernie-baby, black hole, demon, or Stop-it-Bernie-no!

The next week of my life was so hectic that I didn’t feel any grief. As many should know, a puppy is a full-time job. With potty training, sleeping, feeding, napping, and playing, Bernie kept my mind off everything. He was a chewer, too, so I constantly had to tell him no, stop, and please-have-mercy-it’s-six-a.m.-on-summer-break-go-back-to-sleep.

It was about two weeks later when I thought about Gladice again. Not a passing thought—I had plenty of those, she never quite left my mind—but a real thought. A long thought.

I did replace Gladice. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to, because I couldn’t live without her. She was a central part of me. Her purpose was to love me and help me love others. To be someone I could fall back on. Without her, I had a void, a darkness, a black hole that sucked all my joy into it.

Bernie took her place, her purpose. He brought me joy and love and gave me something to hold when my tears became too much. He replaced her job. But he never replaced her.

I love him. I love him so much. And my love for him helps me love Gladice. Bernie’s a living memory. He helps me remember the good parts of Gladice. Her beginnings. Of the trials and tribulations I went through when I first got her. Of the first baths and first accessories. I think, by some force of the universe, someone knew I needed him.

Loyalty in life is about sticking by someone. But what about loyalty after death? When their life has stopped, but you have to keep moving?

You move on, but you never cut the cord that bound you. Instead, you add to it, like how you visit a grave and dress it with flowers and kiss it with memories. And you bring a friend—to share the love of life with. You spread the love of the first with the love of the next.

I think that’s the best way to find loyalty after death.

Artists and Contributors

Pat Lipperini

Writer

Pat Lipperini (she/her) lives in Collingswood, NJ and works as Director of Religious Education at a local parish. She earned her PhD in religious education from Fordham University and has had articles published in the Journal of Religious Education and Review for Religious. Her favorite hours of the day are spent with her husband, her daughters, and her grandchildren.

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, Barnes & Noble, 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 having 'everyday adventures' with her husband. Pop by her Instagram @melissalomaxart for weekly inspiration!

Myra Chappius

Writer and Copyeditor

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

Robin Brownfield

Artist

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, www.robinbrownfieldmosaics.com, to see more of her work.

Colleen T. Reese

Poet

Colleen T. Reese is a lifelong reader and writer. She currently lives in Philadelphia where she works as a content strategist.

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.

You can find her comics on Instagram @turtle_n_hare_comic.

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 theater 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.

Marina Scheinberg

Artist

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.

Aimee Nicole

Poet

Aimee Nicole (she/her/hers) is a chronically ill/disabled, queer poet currently residing in Rhode Island. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Roger Williams University and has been published by various lit mags. She has two poetry collections: Daily Worship (Laughing Ronin Press) and Panoramic (Curious Corvid Publishing). Feel free to follow her on Instagram @aimeenicole525 for awkward selfies and pictures of her cat.

Phedra Deonarine

Artist

Phedra (she/her) likes gardens and public libraries. She writes fiction.

Hayley Boyle

Poet and Arts Editor

Hayley (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.

Gratia Serpento

Writer

Gratia Serpento (she/her) is an Oregonian poet/journalist. She's had works published with Poor Yorick, Wingless Dreamer, Pile Press, The Graveyard Zine, Crystal Crush Magazine, Sheepshead Review, and The Scriblerus, among others. Check out her Instagram @poet_serpento for news/updates, previous/upcoming publications, and whatever else she decides to post.

Jessica Doble

Poetry Editor

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

Poet and Poetry Editor

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

Copyeditor

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 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).