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The Floodgate Poetry Series, Volume 7

featuring chapbooks by Barbara Robidoux, Donovan McAbee, & Kimiko Hahn

Series Edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum


In this seventh volume of Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum's Floodgate Poetry Series, authors Barbara Robidoux, Donovan McAbee, and Kimiko Hahn bring a unique and diverse batch of chapbooks to the table. Robidoux's collection Stirring Sorrow into Soup crafts a picture of the modern world on a backdrop of haiku, tanka, and haibun. These forms weave a captivating glimpse at "a transitional time for all humans and the planet herself," which Robidoux hopes will offer a sense of solace to readers. McAbee's Sightings brings a sorrowful glimpse into nostalgia both about faith and a mother's battle with cancer. Finally, Hahn's wind chime, whale, and downpour showcase a well-balanced group of triolets exploring life around us. While these chapbooks could stand well on their own, together they craft a diverse picture of life that reminds us of what it means to be human, of both the good and the bad, in today's world.




-from Stirring Sorrow into Soup by Barbara Robidoux

Overhead the gurgle of sandhill cranes announce their return to winter in our bosques. It is a gray day, snow is forecasted, welcome moisture for this dry land.


Violence and mass murders precede winter. Eleven Jews are slayed while praying in a Pittsburgh synogogue. Pipe bombs are sent to many others. At the same time Central Americans flee their homelands and walk the 2,000 miles to the United States southern border. They plea for entry and are refused. U.S. troops are sent to the border and are followed by a “civilian militia” manned by right wing racists filled with hatred. “If they throw rocks at you,” the Trump president orders, “shoot them.”


A cold rain pours down and I grieve under a slow turning moon. Winter moves in with snow sleet and tears. The sandhills return to our bosques and find solace without papers while dragonflies ignore borders and fly south.

                                           a waning gibbous moon


                                           watches without mercy


                                           while dragonflies migrate south                   


-from Sightings by Donovan McAbee


Shortly after her death, Mother Teresa appeared

in a cinnamon bun in Nashville, Tennessee.

She looked serious, perturbed even, as though

this epiphany were an inconvenience.


Once, in the nineties, when statues of the Virgin

were crying all over Ireland, one in Donegal

did not get the memo. A sign hung around

its neck announcing: this holy mother out of order.


I found myself, two years after Mom died,

on the second pew from the front in a dark,

empty chapel. I looked up at the six-foot-tall

wooden Jesus, votive candles at his feet,


and I could see a tear falling over and over
down his right cheek, a trick of light and

shadow—but somehow, in that moment,

I knew they were for me, those tears.

For Eunice in Gambier

-from wind chime, whale, and downpour by Kimiko Hahn  


Eunice, I envy you your hummingbird,

and you, my firefly!

Without either, we’d feel bored!

Eunice, yes, I envy your hummingbirds--

Envy, a rapture-filled abode:

one hums, one fires (both an eventual pyre).

Eunice, you envy my hummings and birds!

And I, your fires that fly!

-from The Floodgate Poetry Series, Volume 7 (Etchings Press, University of Indianapolis Press 2021), Series Edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum

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