issue 32 poetry

The Great Raccoon War

by Terry Belew

Acrylic painting on canvas with unique collagen elements - candy wrappers and jewellery.

The work depicts a portrait of two people almost in profile. The colour of the work is very bright and varied.
Looking in Same Direction by  Kateryna Bortsova

The Great Raccoon War

Slipping beneath tin sheets

of pole barns, devouring

cattle feed and corn.                                        Shoot them on sight.

They only come at night.                                Set out poison.

A mother and kit skid

down trees, tiny thumbs thumbing                

noses. A dozen furred bodies

in a shed one-night, poisoned

tongues forever licking grave   Poison is better than lead,

get the dead ones out of the shed.

One hisses from a trap, smiles                                   

before slipping

into the drowning bucket.

Another gives birth in a crawl space.           Beneath the floor. They’re beneath us

Chattering like a hailstorm—                         Set out poison shoot them on sight.

One night a snarler snaggled

with the dog. Another night

the trash emptied on the lawn.                         They are unafraid.

Another one swelling.

                                                                     They have grown bold.

            Another curdles                                  

the night air. Another thought killed

            returns and ambulates.

Terry Belew lives in Missouri and is a student in the low-residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. A Poetry Editor at The Good Life Review, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Meridian, Storm Cellar, Tar River Poetry, The American Journal of Poetry, and The Fourth River, among others.

Kateryna Bortsova is a painter–graphic artist with BFA in graphic arts and MFA. Kateryna’s work appeared in many international exhibitions (Taiwan, Berlin, Munich, Spain, Italy, USA, etc.). In addition, she won a silver medal in the category “realism” from “Factory of Visual Art,” New York, USA, and the 2015 Emirates Skywards Art of Travel competition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.