The Fourth River

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

Tributaries: “Landmarks”

By on April 19, 2017

By Deborah Fass


Not the lawn taken by oxalis, not the yellow flowers we recklessly
call buttercup, not the Caution: Repaving sign tacked to a sawhorse,
not the sawhorse, not the pavement, not the 1950 single-family ranch,
not the vacant lot, not the nest in the naked maple, not the squirrel,
not the five caws of the crow, not the telephone wire, not the metal
on metal wheels on train tracks, not the grinding tree chipper,
not the hundred-year-old pine dead of drought, not the drought.



Deborah Fass’s work appears in literary journals including New Directions, Kudzu House Quarterly, and The Clearing (U.K.). Her work has been shortlisted in contests including the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Frost Place Chapbook Competition, and The Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Program. She lives and teaches English in the San Francisco Bay Area


Tributaries: “Land and Seek”

By on April 12, 2017

 By Sarah Van Bonn     “We think we’re getting slimmer, but really we’re losing our youth.” Dee and I are lying on the sailboat: the part they call a “trampoline” but why? It’s as easy or hard to jump


Tributaries: “What a Butterfly Means”

By on April 5, 2017

By Joanna Brichetto   At book group someone asked why write about nature, and someone answered we write to make meaning. But what if meaning is already there? Let’s say I see a butterfly in the rain, and it’s a