Nature

editor's note

Nature by Stacy Wennstrom
Once outside, I am no longer a duchess of Google spreadsheets and princess of publication timelines, but an explorer of hiking trails. This leafy green world doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the chipmunks and the birds and the deer so accustomed to humans they don’t startle when I near them. There are gardens, a prairie, marshlands, and, as one would expect, miles of wooded trails. It provides me with perspective, far from the orderly world of my documents and to-do lists.
Halfway Down the Stairs seeks new Poetry Editors by the editorial staff
Halfway Down the Stairs is currently looking for up to two new poetry editors. Duties will include reading and making decisions on submissions, sending acceptances and diplomatic rejections, and also editing and formatting accepted poems for publication.

poetry

On Viewing Artist Point Across Yellowstone Canyon by Barbara Swift Brauer
Smaller than the diminutive trees
surrounding them,
the late-hour visitors
seem more figure and form
Learning Distance by Barbara Swift Brauer
She imagines him
in that alpine land
distant among peaks
Magnolia Springs, Alabama & Barefoot by Katherine D. Perry
Back then, most paths were dirt
and my feet were enough to carry me.
What Could Make Them Glad? by Elinor Ann Walker
Trapped on the porch, a fly buzzes me.
Cooler nights have made it slow.
Morning drags out vowel by vowel.
On Hoping There’s More Than Meets the Eye by Elinor Ann Walker
I think the rings
in trees are promises I’ll keep
when winter comes
River Mine by David R. Bowman
I confess cold waters hold
their own mystery in absence
where once I waded in its murmur.
Hiking With Buster Through a Field In March   by David R. Bowman
Death is in the field and spring is on its way.
We walk towards the woods where it is darker
the sun refusing to warm our bones.
The Moon and I by Heather Sager
Moon— 
I used to admire you
and confide in you, when I was a child. 
Spirits Roam When the Moon Winks by Susan Scott
We follow contours
worn by bare feet,
plume a smoke of laterite
at the water’s edge
Rewilding of Tidmarsh and Beyond by Kelly R. Samuels
The stream begins with clarity,
stones piled on either side,
and then frays at its edges, grasses bending,
and disappears from sight
Meditation by Trivarna Hariharan
In the shadow of
a Banyan flocked by
autumn birds

fiction

Eulogy for a Marshall County Possum by Laura Jackson Roberts
Possum friends, today we say goodbye to Eugene Oliver Possum, who, at the wizened age of twenty months, has left us. We gather here to remember his life and to honor him in a death that we are fairly certain has actually happened.
A Promise by Rasa Tautvydas
He knew that during the long, hot summer months, just a few inches below the dry and dusty surface soil, vast subterranean tangles of fungi had been busy: spores grew into hyphae, hyphae combined to form branching mycelia, and then the extraordinary occurred. From the nest of filaments, a fruiting body engorged with rain pushes through dirt and worms and rocks and roots into the world of grass and trees and people.
The Horny Passionate Pigeon by Julie Galosy
I am Don Felipe de la Plana from the Peña Geronimo y Sylvia in the province of Almería, Spain. Perhaps you have heard of me. I have been a champion all of my life with many trophies, large and small, attesting to this fact.
Spawning by Karen Shepherd
Your son asked why any living creature would venture to a vast ocean only to battle back against the current and return to a small stream. You looked up at the willows, their branches descending over the water, lightly touching the surface. The stillness you inhaled settled into a deep place your son had yet to know. You could only tell him that someday he would understand.

nonfiction

Three White Bellies by Terry Chase
At that moment, I do not even think of the danger should those big bodies hit my boat or their tails slap at the wrong time; my focus is on snapping pictures through my camera, not the fear of the potential danger. I can feel the surge of water and rush of wind as the whale bodies all come at me at once.

reviews

Starting with Goodbye by Lisa Romeo by Milena Nigam
Lisa Romeo’s 2018 memoir, Starting with Goodbye (University of Nevada Press), begins with the death of her father, a man who dropped out of school to support his family and became a successful polyester manufacturer in the nineteen-fifties and sixties. He retired to Las Vegas and, after years of building his dream house with his wife and venturing into real estate with his son, succumbed to complications related to a stroke and Alzheimer’s at the age of seventy-nine.