The Fourth River

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

Tributaries: “Rehabilitation: A Gospel”

By on June 21, 2017


By Ashely Adams


It took three days
to pull your wings    from the metal grille.
What can a man do with an owl
a shroud of cardboard and terry cloth?

There’s no one here to roll back
your stone.     To call you to choir,
the caterwaul thump of
bullfrog string.

I don’t need gauntlets to
clean your perch where you turn
spheres against astroturf.
Your eyes full of holy fire and nebula
as I wonder how
you sing   these gular hymns.

There’s no one here to bury
your quiet wings.     But I wail
your silhouette
against the last full moon.



Ashely Adams recently acquired an MA in Writing and Literature at Northern Michigan University, where she also worked as an associate editor for NMU’s literary journal, Passages North. She has been previously published in Rum Punch Press, Heavy Feather Review, Permafrost, Flyway, and Anthropoid.


Tributaries: “Morning Glory”

By on June 28, 2017

By Fay L. Loomis   first blush of warmth unfolds velvety purple face midday withered glory carpe mane seize the morning   ** Fay L. Loomis, a nemophilist (haunter of the woods, one who loves the forest, its beauty, and


Tributaries: “Devil’s Crown Rock, Galapagos, Ecuador”

By on June 14, 2017

By K. E. Ogden   My body merges with black blades of slicing currents. In the dark water below me hundreds of sharks move in an IV tube from this world to the next. I ask my guide, Pablo, how