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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 86 words
By Jo Tyler


The sun dips slowly 
into the inky tree line. 
My pen feels empty. 

It has a foreign 
feeling, weighted in my hand, 
scratching syllables 

about freedom when 
nothing anywhere seems fair 
or just, or just kind. 

I hear the world news, 
switch to local. Still, all bad. 
The forecast is storms. 

Then the bats emerge, 
black on the pink horizon, 
diving for dinner. 

In an instant this 
summer night seems cooler now. 
Somehow, my pen moves. 

Suddenly a poem 
appears, about bat magic, 
magenta sunsets. 

Jo Tyler
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is a queer poet, storyteller, and visual artist. A former Penn State professor and Fortune 500 Vice President, Jo retired into the social vacuum of Covid-19 and returned to poetry after decades of writing prose in academia and business. Delighted to be building a community of creative writers, she holds an abiding belief in the power of small groups to accomplish great things, from achieving social justice in organizations to workshopping a poem that just isn’t quite there yet. A member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Jo lives in Baltimore with her wife Gail and her dog Moxie.

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