The Linnet's Wings Summer 2010 Archive
Cerberus Front Cover

The Nun and the Partisan by Pepe Nero

Sanctuary by Julie Innis

In Conversation: Russell Bittner and Marie Fitzpatrick

Summer Archive 2010: Grochalski, Meek,Scotellaro

dirty fingernails

she has dirty fingernails

she stops us and asks
for a quarter

Butterfly Service

There were butterflies
dancing against the light,
the stained glass of Jesus
changing them into shadows.


A grandmother now, she lives a life rife with careful pauses. A long-tailed calligraphy of fits and starts.

Barry, Nero, Reese

Bird Watching

The Abyss of Human Illusion


Nobody told Marni by Martha Williams

Nobody told Marni that she couldn't walk from the church straight into the sea. Perhaps they assumed she knew, but more likely her faraway face frightened them into their collars which rose every time they passed her pew and again by the gate. And so she walked from God's house into Neptune's halls and the surf drenched her Sunday best as she twirled her way home.

Nobody told Marni that she shouldn't love a woman. Perhaps they thought it wasn't their business, but more likely they couldn't find an opening line that didn't daunt them and Marni never spoke first. And so in love as she was, no-one dared question how or who when Marni's belly swelled and her cries circled a harvest moon and came back higher-pitched.

Nobody told Marni that you can't stand by the school gate in bare feet. Nobody told Marni that she was looking thin when she wandered into town with the sun shining from her shaven scalp. Even when they all realised, nobody told Marni that she was going to die.

Perhaps they assumed she knew, but more likely they didn't want a dying woman looking into any eye too grateful for its own life. Too glad that this was not their body punctured under lights that made every laugh seem stretched and every vein look like ink on wet paper. Too relieved that they were different.

And so without being told, Marni stood up, took two hands, and like a bowsprit towed them to the barefoot beach where the eastern light met her eyes and raised a sea mist to soothe her skin.

There, in the silence between her lover and child and with the ocean kissing her thighs, Marni heard the promises and smiled.

- 2010 - Williams

Frontierland by Norah Piehl

Pa did not like a country so old and worn out that the hunting was poor. He wanted to go west. For two years he had wanted to go west and take a homestead, but Ma did not want to leave the settled country.
--Laura Ingalls Wilder, By The Shores of Silver Lake

Carl found a condo with a view of the Empire State Building, but imagined bunking down under the stars. He fell asleep each night to a recording of wind rustling prairie grasses, crickets marking time, coyotes ominously keeping watch, their distant howls drowning out the cab horns and the guy who stood outside the Herald Square Hotel screamingly exhorting tourists to turn back, repent before it was too late. Sometimes Carl fancied the buses cruising down Lexington were prairie schooners under sail, on their way to boroughs yet unknown.

He discovered Charlotte at Whole Foods. Her basket held New Jersey tomatoes and organic onions, whole-wheat flour, brown rice, a basil plant to place on a sunny windowsill. She studied a shrink-wrapped package of mushrooms, turned to him as casually as if they had been shopping together for years. “These come from Pennsylvania," she said. “Do you think that’s okay?" He knew exactly what she meant, even before she spoke again. “I want to make my own spaghetti sauce," she said, “but there’s no such thing as a locally-grown mushroom, not here, anyway." Her freckled face shone pale under her broad sun hat.

The replica cabin was a rest area by the side of the Wisconsin highway, an afterthought for most, a convenient place for passersby to empty the McDonald’s wrappers from their car, to buy a pop, take a crap, and--oh yeah--to snap a picture in front of that first Little House.

To Read-On Click on Header Image

Shapeshifting by Gemma Meek

Angler by LouAnn Shepard Muhn

I lost my voice again; the landscape is huge and dangerous,

but without my words i'm trapped.

And you too have grown cold, like some ancient stone
dead flat against my hand.

Your other woman is not human - she rises in vapours and
devours us bit by bit.

We still lie together each night, but as two lines drawn in sand,
shifting sideways, awash with the tide.

In fishing it's always the mystery that gets me.
Not knowing what's under the surface of glass,
I rarely can muster the faith that's required
To keep at it, cast after cast after cast.

I'd rather sit down to enjoy sun and birdsong,
Watching the light as it plays on the trees.
This is a weakness, I know, to look shallow,
Never confronting the puzzle of deep.

But you know the secrets of watery hideouts,
You enter those depths as you stand on the shore

Click on Header Image to Read-On

Quickly Down the Mountain by Robert Long

Sarah's thoughts had cleared by the time the ski lift took her from the ground. Tom pointed back down the mountain --" look, there's our hotel" -- and she humoured him for a moment, eyes following the line of his gesture. When they turned to face forward again he kept talking and talking and she found that she could not listen.

First Husband by Tiff Holland

My mother, wearing bright colors, as always, and with something snappy blaring on the stereo swings open the door. Mike is five four although he claims five six, and he's holding a small bouquet of grocery store flowers. I've warned him about my mother.

" My, aren't you queery looking?" she says.

" These are for you." He thrusts the wilty flowers into her hand and stride down the hall ...

Flight by Shane Ryan Bailey

Up there, anything could go wrong.

Upon first boarding the airplane and getting buckled in, Cameron lectured his grandfather on the potential dangers that could occur during any flight: the plane s engine could die, or they could get struck by another passing aircraft, or the two of them could fly into a flock of migratory birds, forcing their bloody, feathered bodies to come crashing through the windshield and into their faces and l

Augustine, Horan, Britten, Johnson, Berge

Barataria Bay



learning to fly


Alone Time by Gary Sprague

Jenny's Secret by Mimi Rosen

Rummaging by Roland Goity

The Road to Clara by Cate Stevens - Davis

Art Gallery 2010

Theresa Defused by Frank Dineen

Failure by Susan Teppen

Compton, Walker and Swage

Six Micros by Sheldon Compton

The shell casing slow motions-skyward, drop-floats back to rye grass, brass in a tight coat of gunpowder. Many others, random as dandelions, are found by the sunlight, gathered, handed out to wilt between our fingers, in pockets. A cousin reminds us to wash with lots of soap after touching them. Lead residue. Still warm in our hands, the poison slow motions, too.

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The Sick House by Michael C. Keith

The story about that creepy old house goes something like this. Almost two years ago all the kids that lived there got polio and one, a little girl named Sara, died. This drove her parents crazy and they disappeared with their two other kids, who were crippled by the disease. No one has heard from them since, and some say they went out into the Narragansett Bay on their dad’s small fishing boat and drowned during a storm, but no bodies have ever been found.

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The Thief and the Baby by Townsend Walker

People sometimes talk about the peacefulness of fog. A morning wrap that calms. Obliterates time. Forgives.

Gino woke up late that morning. He'd had trouble sleeping. The robbery hadn't gone smoothly. There'd been someone in the apartment and he’ d been forced to deal with her. He shook off the memory, jumped into his blue coveralls and went into the kitchen.

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A Painful Truth by Ethan Swage

No school today for Kyle Jagot, although he's not happy about it. He's scared to leave the bathroom, scared that if he ventures too far away from the toilet he may let go again-the sit-down kind.

Despite Kyle's objections, his mother barges in. He's wedged between tub and toilet, doubled over, rocking, crossed forearms pressed tightly beneath his belly. She dabs a moist washcloth to his forehead, asks him what other symptoms he has had.

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Managing Editor
M. Lynam Fitzpatrick

Editors for Review:
Ramon Collins, Nonnie Augustine, Yvette Managan

Consulting on Copy Digby Beaumont

Contributing Editors:
Martin Heavisides
Bill West
Russell Bittner

Consulting on Photograpy:
Maia Cavelli

Front Cover Design: Cerebus by D.Capbianco

Illustrations: Pepe Nero and Elfi Schesulka

Web Database Design and Management:
Peter Gilkes

Office address: Dromod Harbour, Dromod, Co. Leitrim, Rep. of Ireland

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First Impression, 25th July 2010

ISSN 2009-2369

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