Issue Eight – May 2022

Letter from the Editor:

When you try something new, you hope for the best and then steady yourself for reality. In the past, Rockvale Review was a poetry and art journal, with music thrown in for good measure. We received a lot of submissions and published some really fine poems in seven issues. Then, we took a year off and came back to the world of online journals with a new vision. We wanted to expand the scope of the journal to include not just poetry and art, but also short fiction and creative nonfiction. This was to better connect the journal to Rockvale Writers’ Colony, a sister entity and retreat center for creative writers. (For more info on the colony, check out the website, We opened for submissions in January with five editors, three of them brand new to RR, but highly experienced in writing, reading, and editing our two new genres. We said to the universe, “Send us some good work!” and the universe graciously complied.

Then, a sad reality hit – the death of a spouse and two months of floundering – and what was initially meant for an early May release was relegated to the impermeable arms of grief. When you’re in the throes of loss, you find yourself, sometimes desperately, seeking some sort of consolation, some sort of distraction from the intensity of the moment. You don’t know if anything will really help; in fact, you doubt anything could, so when it does you’re sort of mesmerized with the sweetness of it.

That’s what it felt like to me to (re)start working on this issue. I read everything again, with new eyes, with a different understanding because I’m a different person now. What I found was blessing, over and over again. What I found was the power in words and the heart beneath them. And, I’m grateful – both for the generosity of the fine editors with whom I work (Roseann, Rhonda, Elizabeth, and Mark) and the kind understanding of so many of the accepted writers, whose work was slated for a spring release and now hits the web in late June. Thank you.

I hope you find in this issue some of the same sweetness I found. I hope you find blessing. I hope you find something relatable and something that makes you see the world in a light you are unaccustomed to. I hope you challenge yourself to read your fellow writer’s work in all genres and view the remarkable art of Rhonda Danette Owen. Most of all, I hope you know we’re honored to have you in Rockvale Review, that we believe in writers and in their words, and that this place, this issue, however late it meets the world, is here because of you.


Sandy – Founding Editor, Rockvale Review


Memphis Breaking into Autumn Nightfall  – by Jeffrey Alfier

To Unknown Sailors – by Nicholas Christian

Darning Egg – by Charity Everitt

Altar of the Hospital Bedside – by Kasha Martin Gauthier

Everything Undone – by Cynthia Good

Imagination – by Judith O’Connell Hoyer

Day – by Paul Ilechko

Rock Salt – by Yasmin Mariam Kloth

Along Tornado Alley – by Tom Laughlin

Leaving Primordia – by Ed McCourt

Dear Authenticity – by Daniel Edward Moore

Watching My Son with His Dog – by Cecil Morris

Palm Reading – by Brendan Praniewicz

What We See on Bikes – by Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith

Feathers in My Hair – by Marie Elizabeth Sar

I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now When I Was Younger – by Jonathan Travelstead

Haiku – by Tiffany Tuchek

Allure – by Andrew Vogel

Chandelier – by Ruth Weinstein

Creative Nonfiction:

Gone – by Talya Tate Boerner

Food for Healing – by Joyce Tomlinson

Homing – by Gail Tyson

Short Fiction:

A Rose by Any Other – by Jeannette Brown

Going Out – by Paul H. Curtis

It Will Melt – by Duane M. Engelhardt

Featured Artist: Rhonda Danette Owen

Click HERE to view Rhonda’s art and read the artist statement