Today we convene to examine a suspicious incident.
Aside from the alleged cloud, nothing odd seems to have
happened at the beach. The place was empty: no revelers
roasting corn and quahogs, no heckling gulls and sandpipers
stalking the thin line between sea and land. As always,
the querulous sea muttered under its breath, scrawling
its complaints on the wet sand and rubbing them out again
with a closed fist. Only a single cloud floated like a decoy
in the sky. Unlike other clouds that shift and toss, spreading
themselves like butter on blue bread or querling into the
likeness of distant hills, this one hung for hours, never
altering its shape or size. A most unnatural cloud, crafted
by the hands of humans or else originating on another world.
The witness states she watched it till the early afternoon, when
it erupted like a shattered pane into a multitude of shards
taking flight as moths might, or a colony of bats disturbed
by light. Was it a test of alien technology gone awry?
Without a sample, it’s impossible to say, but we’ll watch the skies
and comb the waters. It could not have been an ordinary cloud.
—One of 12 Finalists in MacQ’s
“Triple-Q” Writing Challenge
Cloud Confetti (Photograph)
Copyrighted © by Ann Leshy Wood. All rights reserved.
Photograph appears here with her permission.
is a Lebanese-American poet, art-photographer, and vocalist who lives in a house she
built in the deep woods of north Florida. She studied Literature and Creative Writing
at the University Of Florida. Her poetry and photographs have been published in many
journals and literary magazines, including The Yalobusha Review and The
Florida Review as well as the premier issue of Ancient City Anthology,
a book of writings about Florida. She reads at literary conferences and discusses how
landscape and place affects her work. Her poem “The Last Resort” received
the Colby Kulman award at Oxford’s Southern Writing, Southern Writers Conference,
in Oxford, Mississippi.
is the author of four books of poetry, including an ekphrastic chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012), and three collections: Narrow Bridge (Main Street Rag, 2019), Other-Wise (Kelsay, 2017), and A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014). She has edited three anthologies; the latest is The Plague Papers, available online at Poemeleon Journal. Her poems, reviews, essays, and articles have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including Aeolian Harp VI, Book of Matches, Cultural Daily, Gargoyle, Live Encounters, Muddy River Review, North of Oxford, Rhino, Tampa Review, Tiferet, Verdad, and Verse-Virtual.
Author’s website: www.robbinester.net
After Blossom, ekphrastic poem after an etching
by Phil Greenwood in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 3, May 2020)
Three Poems by Robbi Nester in Verse-Virtual (January
of Attraction, ekphrastic poem after Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the
Rhone, in Verse-Virtual (May 2019)
Night Tunnel, ekphrastic poem after a painting by Robert Rhodes,
Philadelphia Night Train, in The Ekphrastic Review (21 April 2016)
The Locusts, ekphrastic poem after a collage of the same name
by Mary Boxley Bullington, in The Ekphrastic Review (13 October 2015)