The Fourth River

A journal of nature and place-based writing, published by Chatham University's MFA in Creative Writing Programs

Tributaries: “Stable”

By on March 22, 2017

By Karen McDermott


on moldy straw
among palominos
cream and white;
the rain detains me here.

Dripping thatch
like the tapping of
a schoolmaster’s fingers
correcting my impatience
returning my attention
to the lesson of the day:
the utility of repose,
the still, equine dignity
of acceptance.



Karen McDermott is a professor of college English whose work has appeared in several journals.


Poem: “I survived the summer,” by Jess Feldman

By on March 24, 2017

From Issue 13 Nominated for Pushcart Prize, 2016   Can I share this happiness with you? Meat on a spit, a trashcan full of yellow rice, this Chiweenie takes a shit by its stroller. All I want is everything on


Essay: “Senses of South Arm”

By on March 17, 2017

A collaboratively-written meditation on place from Issue 14, Juvenescence By ‘Waratah’ – Grade 5/6 South Arm Primary School, Australia   In the dawn, you can hear birds as you’re waking. It’s so quiet you can hear the trees bristling together.