The Fourth River

Tributaries: “Badgers Run”

By on July 5, 2017

By Andrea M. Jones   The three dark shapes ripple—not the fur so much as the bodies, undulating across the landscape like figments of a wave. I feel like I’m seeing the wind itself: a phenomenon usually visible only by

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: “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

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

Tributaries: “Peony”

By on June 7, 2017

By Sally Nacker   for B.W.   You bring home a peony bush to plant with your dog’s ashes. Too late for medicine, or hope, but not for beauty. Each June, an effusion of vivid blossoms will open, blessing air.

Tributaries: “Arrows Go in Circles”

By on May 31, 2017

By Ryan Loveeachother   You drag the blue recycling crate to the curb. When you’re at work, the big truck comes collecting. Shrill hydraulic brakes. A robotic arm snatches, lifts and shakes. Everything shatters into a million loud pieces. Speculations

Tributaries: “The Wisdom of Neighbors”

By on May 24, 2017

By Susan Wider     Dark-eyed junco:             Relax into the slide. A light dusting of snow covers the gently-sloping green roof of the bird feeder. You fly there—regular schedule, normal speed. You take it at a slide when you try

Tributaries: “Crossing Borders”

By on May 17, 2017

By Aileen Bassis   Walking on roads and rubble, gravel and grass, pavement and black-top. We know our past. We don’t know what waits. Grass and pavement, black-top hillsides and grasslands, desert and dirt, we don’t know what waits —

Tributaries: “Glass with Soma and Salt”

By on May 10, 2017

By Amy Small-McKinney     This time there is a window, there is also a sea. Not what you expect, not my usual ocean of evergreen. Here I lean against regret. Behind me, everything I want. Uncertain blue or insistent

Tributaries: “Someone Else’s City”

By on May 1, 2017

By Robin Rozanski   This city is compact. However you define city and downtown and wherever you draw the lines, the whole thing is morphing. The roads are ripped up for construction, and the new buildings behind the barricades are