Issues of The Aurorean give readers glimpses into the seasons, the Spring/Summer 2016 issue sporting a bold, bright cover photograph of magenta petals. The flyleaf is a light, complementary pink, bringing forth the fresh feelings of spring and new flowers.
Featured Poet Thomas Griffin explores the spring season in three poems, with “Early Spring Poem” inviting readers into a peaceful scene, lines reading like music when spoken aloud. The last two lines were among my favorites, conjuring the image of nightfall at the end of a spring day: “the last bits of light tucked under their dark feathers / as night sends its thick black fingers through the grass.”
Matthew J. Spireng, the issue's second Featured Poet, brings us into that night in “Night, Late April” with language so vivid we can almost see the doe eating lilies from his garden, his dog straining at the leash, and finally the night:
I play the flashlight across the fallow field,
watch for the flash of eyes. None now,
but the doe is out there waiting.
A master of imagery, Spireng keeps us in the country in “Waxing Crescent Moon, Mid-May,” the setting of this poem just as rich as “Night, Late April.”
Showcase Poet Thomas R. Smith carries readers into summer in “The July Engine,” in which he compares time to a speeding engine. He notes how “In June the long summer seems possible.” But in July, “We’re picking up speed now.” With June already halfway over in the blink of an eye, Smith’s poem really resonates.
Throughout the issue, readers are met with more flashes of seasons. In “April Before Sunrise,” Peter Neil Carroll paints the stillness of an average morning in quiet, tender tones. In the two-line “Fulfillment” by Anders Morley, the sensation of summer is felt through sun and moon, raspberries and wolves. Reading this issue, one starts to feel sun on skin, hear birds singing in the trees, smell flowers and wood smoke.
The haiku section showcases tiny snapshots, offering just as much in substance and imagery as the longer poems. David Olsen compares spring rain to laughter. Deborah P. Kolodji packs emotion into the third of her four haiku, and Matt Dennison conjures up chills writing about trees in a storm. With three pages of haiku, readers are bound to find their own favorites.
A slim magazine, The Aurorean somehow manages to effortlessly fit two seasons into its pages. The poets paint familiar images that can either fill readers with comfort, or whisk them away to new places to experience the seasons in new ways. When summer hurries into fall, readers can look forward to the next issue and a chance to explore more of what the season has to offer.