Writers of the Month

Miho Kinnas and Bill Newby

Miho Kinnas

Miho Kinnas is a Japanese writer and translator. Her book of poems is Today, Fish Only (Math Paper Press 2015). Her poems appeared in Quixoteca: Poems East of La Mancha (Chameleon Press 2016), The Classical Gardens of Shanghai (HKU Press 2016) and other online literary magazines. She translated haiku for Equatorial Calm (Celestial 2016). In 2017, Miho conducted haiku workshops through Shanghai International Literary Festival and Pat Conroy Literary Center. She holds an MFA              from City University of Hong Kong.

Open Water

The annual 3.2-mile river swim in Beaufort, South Carolina

No rope. No line. Water is water but I am home alone. With thousands of strokes, kicks and breaths, I stitch together six bright yellow balloon-buoys. Bacteria, fungi, algae, decaying spartina cling on. I count nothing but the strokes. After twenty, I look up. I survey. Before the race, I saw a dolphin swimming into the marsh. The Beaufort Memorial on my left. The complex keeps changing   its  shape.            An optical illusion.                     White magic.

I finally     extricate myself    from   its     presence.     All I hear are my own

splashes     and     a    groan   with    every exhale.      The anchored luxurious

boats are stubbornly       stationary      on      the    calm     morning    water.

A         paisley  –   shaped   island is      hidden       behind   them.   Numerous

piers      jet       out from     waterfront      gardens    like the minute   hands of

train             station clocks.                A     green- capped      swimmer  catches

up        with     me.             But,           I             do           not         let      him     pass

The                blinding            sun               blurs

the   terminal point.

                 Open water.

                                                Open life.


“Open Water” © Miho Kinnas (2017), from Ebb & Flow


Bill Newby

Bill Newby enjoys using poetry & prose to record, reshape and reflect upon daily experience. His work has appeared in Whiskey Island, Bluffton Breeze, Ohio Teachers Write, Palm Beach Poetry Festival’s Fish Tales Contest, Blue Mountain Review, Panoplyzine, Sixfold, and the Island Writers’ Network’s anthologies. He was a 2018 Pushcart Poetry Prize Nominee. His first volume, Sea Chests or a Carry-On, is available from Amazon and can be previewed at www.billnewby.net.


Holiday Herds


Reindeer have descended with the dark.


They stand on shelves,

cluster on the dining room table,

pose in white silhouettes

before green flood lights,

and leap through pine forests

on napkins and towels.

One loaned his antlers to our mailbox.

Another gave his to a red VW Beetle

driven by a bright-eyed woman

with short white hair

and a broad, broad smile.

Our lawns have gone to sleep.

The trees have shed their leaves.

But the deer hang around

in darkness, dawn and midday,

unafraid of dogs or hunters,

never asking for food or drink,

reminding us of days on the farm

where we never lived

and delivery myths before FedEx.


 “Holiday Herds” © Bill Newby (2019), from Reflections 

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