#FlattenTheCurve: A Novel Season by Victoria Crawford


Summer sounds unheard here—
child voices playing together-games
splashing, laughing in the river
empty streets echo hush

Harvest home and autumn leave
trick or treat masks truant
Jack Frost’s dance on windows
barricades seeking eyes

It’s not the clutch of winter
cold in throats
stifling frozen breath
captured in scarves

Spring arrives invisible
daffodils shine distant
unpicked by gloved hands
maples dress up in new green

A novel season trespasses
in the familiar yearly round
masking us
from bare-faced days



California poet Victoria Crawford lives in Thailand and has been under Stay At Home rules for almost 2 months. Like most people, she is getting lots of rest and has more time to write and cook from scratch. Her poems have appeared in places like Canary, Cargo Lit, Poetry Pacific, and Hektoen International.

Streaming by Victoria Crawford



Streams sweat, viscous, vicious
like jet gems
of Victorian mourning jewelry
turned fluid
blood of war and wounds
circulate the Persian Gulf body
oil well trees blown to leak dark sap
clumps on shore, washed up
black jellyfish
the sand shivers under my feet

Back page photo in my thin newspaper
features half a manatee
his silly whiskered face
lost somewhere
could have been whirling swords
of tanker
or propellers of a rich man’s yacht
and he may have been the last
dugong on this Gulf edge
but the report claims a few hundred
still hide around Qatar

Bahraini BBC documentary
of inlets and outlets of Oman
streaming across my screen
tonight with a green turtle
swimming by a tube coral
whose feet wave farewell

Poet Victoria Crawford plunges into the waters of culture and nature from her Monterey home to points East in Asia and the Middle East. Poems of hers have appeared in Canary, Windfall, Ekphrastic Review, The Lyric, and Hawaii Pacific Review.


Artwork by Jenn Zed

Crescent Smile by Victoria Crawford

BattleofIssusDetail Albrecht Altdorfer Victoria Crawford Crescent

The Moon smiling
Cheshire cat grin,
dimpled star chin
twinkles below.

Alice questions
to stay or go;
the Moon may show
her mysteries.



Victoria Crawford is a poet from Monterey, California, currently living in Thailand where nature explodes in the serious season of rain and sun called the monsoon. Holy days are governed by the fullness of the moon not the sun calendar.


Detail of painting, Battle of Issus, by Albrecht Altdorfer.

Olives by Victoria Crawford

Olive Branch IIi by Mindy Sommers Victoria Crawford Olives

victory branch
competition to be the best
joy of winning, sorrow of loss
green leaves
green globes
floating in the nectar of gin
reward at the end of the day
each day’s contest



A wanderer and poet, Victoria Crawford sees the sunrise and set currently in Thailand. At home any and everywhere, her heart remains in California among the eucalyptus and redwoods, sea lions and sea urchins of Monterey Bay. Her poems have appeared in Cargo Literary, Pacific Poetry, Hawaii Pacific Review, Wildflowers Muse, and other journals.


Painting by Mindy Sommers. Used by permission. 

Airs in the Dark: a Thanbauk Poem for the Tham Luang 13 by Victoria Crawford


Airs in the Dark
a than bauk poem
for the Tham Luang 13

Outside the cave
a monk gravely
chants save these boys

flood destroys
all joys deep down
underground, lost—

now found, but trapped
in caverns mapped
enwrapped lightless

Blessings during out,
monk, sleepless, prays
ceaseless through days

the gateway grows,
betrayed by tears,
we hide fears now,

breathe cheer, rescue
prayers, true voices
ring through, inside

from boys, outside,
from all sides spring
hope’s tide— we wait

so bless the hands
that pass the gate
to bring them home.



Thirteen very young men have been trapped in a cave for two weeks and the sixty-five million Thais have been praying in compassion and mercy for the boys’s safety. Victoria Crawford, a California poet living an hour’s drive from the crises adds her own hopes for their rescue.

Four Poems for Christmas Sharing

Pressed Pansies by Victoria Crawford

A mother’s gift to make for Christmas day
in the book, Pressed Flowers, from a thrift store.
A Eureka! stretching a teacher’s pay.

My pansies were blooming in bright array.
Cardboard and string press pansies galore,
a mother’s gift to make for Christmas day.

I made backing and frame from an old tray,
gilded for flower picture Mom would adore
a Eureka! savings for teacher’s pay.

Pressed pansies, picture framed, artful bouquet,
glossy glitter made it cleverly shine more
for mother’s gift handmade for Christmas day.

December, the present and I on our way
hit potholes before we reached Mom’s front door
and that Eureka! moment for teacher’s pay?

Bumps, glue, and gravity ruined the display:
ruined pansies and glitter weren’t much, for
a mother’s gift made for Christmas day
or Eureka! stretching a teacher’s pay.



Winter by Martin Willitts, Jr.

silence and cold expectations
speak thinly
with deep pain
into new fallen snow
through the determined
among blue hazed trees

wind moves slowly
wearing snowshoes



Andy Williams by Kenneth Pobo

Aunt Gwen plays his albums while
pushing a splintery mop
over crabby kitchen tiles. Andy
sings that he hears the music
from across the way. Gwen thinks
maybe she hears it too—only oak
leaves against a screen. She wishes

that just once Tree would have taken her
to see him at the Moon River Theater
in Branson. Last Christmas
he promised, but his job got busy
and Delia Anne came home broke.

As Gwen pours gray water down the sink,
Andy sings “Moon River”–
We’re after the same rainbow’s end,
the album turning in endless circles, Gwen

stopping suddenly when a tuxedo’d man
leaps out from worn grooves
to offer her one red rose.



The Captive Fire by Wren Tuatha

She tosses the yarn
and the kittens roll with it,
hitting the wall at the
propane heater,
its grill a cage for
the captive fire within.

She lets out a smile
but it swings back to her,
on a pendulum,
like a good smile,
contained in quiet play.

In the span of a sigh
the kittens will leave, cats,
echoes of the children
who fell, men and women,
from her breast.
She would give a breast
to be needed
that way again.

She snatches the yarn
and the kittens
settle for her shoelace
as she finishes the fringe
on her fourth grandson’s afghan.
Muted shades of
red, orange and yellow.



Victoria Crawford. From Monterey, California, Victoria is a poet passionate about connecting nature and the human experience in words to share with readers. She has been published in Peacock Journal, the Ibis Head Review, Wildflowers Muse, the Lyric Review, Eastlit, Penwood Review, and other magazines, as well as having upcoming work in Canary and Pacific Poetry.

Martin Willitts, Jr. is a retired Librarian. He is the winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award and Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June, 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over twenty chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus eleven full-length collections including Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and Three Ages of Women (Deerbrook Editions, 2017).

Kenneth Pobo has a new book of poems out from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City. His work has appeared in: The Queer South anthology, Caesura, Colorado Review, Mudfish, and elsewhere.

Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Pacific, and Bangalore Review. She’s also an editor at JUMP, the International Journal of Modern Poetry. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.



Painting: Night on the eve of Ivan Kupala (1892) by Henryk Slemiradzki (1843-1902).

Two Poems by Victoria Crawford

Angel Autumn

Oranges, scarlets and golds
burst across the Southland,
mobs of Fall color,
to match my mother’s calendar
as the year and pages grow thin.

SoCal unique autumn benefits,
nightly news touted catalog,
for the encircling mountains
of Ciudad de los Angeles:
clearance for spring of
fragrant manzanita, oily chaparral,
wildlife has more open space,
hi-temp seed germination.
Jerky cameras display flamed brilliance
climbing against the stars,
up the Angeles Crest.
Pine and oak torches dance on hilltops.

Angelino child, I stand in my front yard
and wonder about California seasons.
The radio told us it was
carelessness or intentional,
or an Act of Nature like auto
insurance called it
when our car hit a deer.
I watch the oranges, scarlets, and golds
on the horizon and stick out my tongue
to taste drifting ashes.



Cypress Years

A kid scrabbles up gray boulders,
forsaking mother’s sedate path.
Plaque is read, for my inattention,
detailing two centuries of life
for Pebble Beach’s Lone Cypress.

Among towered stones, she dwells
in the house of adversity
between typhoon winds and melon
sunsets crimped on the horizon.
I grip her coarse bark, smelling
the sour of decayed aspirin.
Chains upright like crutches hold her
in place— fun for my swinging,
until mother warns me off
to tide pools below Madame’s feet.

My own children rock scramble,
probing tide pool short lives:
sea urchin, star fish, and sculpin.
Park bench suits grandma and me.
We admire the tenacity
of Lone Cypress from forty feet
fenced to secure safety from
tourist feet and arson.
Scorched, a twisted arthritic
fist stabs at heaven,
immobile and eloquent,
Cypress persists. We change

and I push my mother up
a wheelchair accessible trail
to an inaccessible tree
a last 17 Mile Drive tour.
Soon mother’s dust will waft
to the unseen Western Isles.
How many greats of grandchildren
will see this vibrant tree?




From Monterey, California, Victoria Crawford is a poet passionate about connecting nature and the human experience in words to share with readers. She has been published in Peacock Journal, the Ibis Head Review, Wildflowers Muse, the Lyric Review,
Eastlit, and other magazines, as well as having upcoming work in Canary and Pacific Poetry.