The Fourth River

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

Tributaries: “River Road”

By on February 8, 2017

By Akua Lezli Hope


Long way is the highway
short way follows river
goes past farm field fringed with timothy
Jerusalem artichoke, dames rockets
stone steps to the landing
shaded by old willow
flat sweep below a twist of green hills
a cool, brush-furred curve, a cluster
of pretty homes spaced far apart
roadlines ascend to private lands
past the corrals of Crystal stables and Bottchners’ landing
where tobacco grew families, now sunflowers
strawberries, black berries, Christmas trees
where the mountain lion made the news
and disappeared on its way to Connecticut
this short cut is the beauty way
too narrow said the driver
for the school bus.





Akua Lezli Hope is a creator who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, and metal to create poems, patterns, stories, music, ornaments, adornments and peace whenever possible. Her manuscript, Them Gone, won Red Paint Hill’s Editor’s Prize wand will be published in fall 2016. She has published 114 crochet designs.


Fiction: “American Sweetgum” by Ken Mohnkern

By on February 10, 2017

  I’m too old for tree climbing, but it turns out being aloft is good for thinking and Kate wants me to think. The sun has disappeared behind the horizon, though there’s still a bit of warmth in the sky

Alaina Symanovich

The Fourth River in Best of the Net!

By on February 6, 2017

We are happy to share the news that Queering Nature contributor, Alaina Symanovich, has had her essay, “The M Word,” included in the 2016 Best of the Net anthology!  You can read Alaina’s essay at the above link, or find