Susan Isla Tepper is a twenty-year writer and the author of 11 published books of fiction and poetry and 2 stage plays. Her play ‘The Crooked Heart” concerning artist Jackson Pollock in his later years was presented as a staged reading on October 25, 2022 at the Irish Repertory Theatre in NYC. Tepper’s new satirical Novel titled ‘Office’ is forthcoming from Wilderness House Press this month. Another Novel titled ‘Hair of a Fallen Angel’ will be published by Cervena Barva Press in the spring.


A boy lit a match and discovered a star
hanging low in the empty black sky.
So near it felt misguided—
a small lamb separate from the flock.
He felt he could touch it.
If there was only a building to climb
but most of his village
reduced to shambles
no more than a pile of scrap.
The boy studied the star. He knew
if he could feel
its frequencies humming
he would touch his mother’s presence.
When relayed to his sister
she shamed him
calling him child and deluded.
We are at war she said with fierce eyes.
That wracking sensation again in his skull.
But he’d know his mother anywhere. The star
gave off the palest twinkle and fresh scent.
On her last birthday in summer
she’d swished in her green dress
the sound of grass in a warm breeze.
Cooler that night she put on a shawl. Adding her
own mother’s long white gloves
left from past formal occasions—
reaching to where her arms bent.
In the cold of darkness the boy reached up
with both his arms and felt
the one star reflect his loneliness back.

Photo by Glenn Bowie

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist, and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters.