Issue 60: At Sea

 The writers and artists whose work makes up Ruminate issue 60 probe the imagery and metaphor of being at sea. Whether it is being at sea in the waiting to find out if a beloved will survive, as in Devon Miller-Duggan’s poem, “Perhaps a Prayer for Surviving the Night,” in which, “All my landscapes end… only the blood of those I love / and an unstarred endlessness.” Or as in Peggy Shumaker’s “Gifts We Cannot Keep,” when speaking of a friend who “ran beyond where I could see. / I faced vast waters. / One moment calm, then / the ocean explodes--”. George Choundas’s engrossing story, “Katingo Carried 15,980 Tons and Gentleman,” transports us to the insular and particular world of those who live and work on cargo ships. And O-Jeremiah Agbaakin’s poem, “landscape with broken ekphrasis,” muses on the image of the last ship that brought enslaved people to the United States. “I want my so God dark & undisturbed. / no ocean roaring like firmaments cleaving,” his speaker says, “next time we do not discern, we’ll keep / mounting the sky like a ship.”

To be at sea is to be unmoored, to be moving through, to be uncertain, and it is in these uncertainties that our creative endeavors -- Nicholas Floc’h’s evocative underwater portraits, Walter Robinson’s essay on becoming a doctor and seeking the monastic path -- can provide, if not an anchor, then a raft on which we can navigate our transitory place in time and history. 

This issue features the winning story from our 2021 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize.

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Readers Ruminate
Guy Biederman
Bethany Bruno
Diana Mullins
Ginger Pharand
Mark Putney
Alison Saperstein
Michelle Stiffler
William R. Stoddart
Jessica Thompson

A Guide to Removal, Amber Blaeser-Wardzala
Katingo Carried 15,980 Tons and a Gentleman, George Choundas
The Florist, Alex Cothren

Visual Art
The art of Nicholas Floc'h
The art of Paul Roorda
The art of Adrien Segal

White Coat, Black Habit, Walter Robinson

landscape with broken ekphrasis, O-Jeremiah Agbaakin
Restraint, Carol Alexander
Canyon Hike, Nan Cohen
Aubade as a Poem Knocking at the Door, Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto
The Burros at Orthwein Farm, Paul Felsch
On Anne of Green Gables, Matthew Collapses in the Pasture, Abbie Kiefer
Crickets, Catherine Marenghi
Perhaps a Prayer for Surviving the Night, Devon Miller-Duggan
Mother is the Only God I Know, Ugochukwu Damian Okpara
Human Condition, Nicholas Samaras
Gifts We Cannot Keep, Peggy Shumaker
The House is Empty Because People are Beginning to Dare, Elizabeth Tervo

Cover Art by Nicholas Floc'h


Read the Excerpts from Issue 60 Here

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