by Rose Lemberg, Bogi Takács and Shweta Narayan
The Hope issue has been long in coming. It's hard to hold on to Hope sometimes among the illnesses and life difficulties we've been experiencing in the last few years; but, at long last, the issue is here, and we are immensely proud of it. This issue would not have been possible without the editorial assistance of Bogi Takács, whose poetry has first appeared on those pages in 2012, and whose support allowed us to publish this issue despite personal setbacks.
Hope by Flood G.
This issue overflows with hope of different kinds, of different flavors – at turns ferocious and accepting, quiet and all-encompassing.
Hope is ceaseless and verdant in Neile Graham's "pulchritude of plums" and Alina Rios's "garden / overgrown with ivy and weeds / where rare beasts roam, unguarded." Animals and people alike take flight, shifting, changing, reborn: J.C. Runolfson speaks of becoming a great elderly dragon, free of "machines and medicines, the tedious care of doctors", while Kim Eun-byeol writes about "rebirth and remaking in the way of the phoenix".
Hope has a fierce lustre: Na'amen Tilahun speaks of "straight, pearl defiance"; the Wild Soft poem asks to "fill these jagged cracks with gold." Hope is bittersweet and hard-hitting in poems that speak of community, pain, of a camaraderie for those who exist between borders. Lev Mirov's poem reminds us that "we've got to look after each other, we children of the exile." In M Sereno's epic poem, the narrator speaks of a tapestry, "not as a banner / but to cover my nakedness. So let weaving be my archipelago's liberation."
The issue concludes with Davian Aw's poetic sequence, which gives us hope in weariness and wonder both, which calls to "give us melody: to play along fingers clasped in palms / to hold in gentle strain and time-stopped wonder."
It has been a tremendous honor to put this issue together, and to bring you five full years and thirteen issues of Stone Telling magazine. We have been slowing down in recent years due to ongoing health issues, and a great deal of uncertainty and change in Rose's life; we feel that this issue is a good place for us to stop and take a breather. We will be on hiatus throughout 2016. We hope to be back in 2017.
Until then, stay well – and please enjoy the issue!
Rose, Bogi, and Shweta