Mysterious, dangerous, consoling, sensual, beautiful, terrifying Night, a window into desolation, a blanket of comfort, the road to heaven or hell, agonized longing or sweet release into dreams. The world is dark and unknown, the sky infinite. We only recognize mother moon and sister stars. Many thanks to these poets for exploring Night, with special thanks to:

Judy Grahn, for pioneering spiritual strength and courage:
I drew a great first breath
and throwing back my head, I called down the moon
Olga Broumas, for a breakthrough poetic kiss:
is the woman I woke from sleep, the woman that woke
me sleeping.
Lesléa Newman, for making us feel comfortable and at home:
The new year is here and we’re happy and gay
Ed Bennett, for fiercely compassionate desire to save a gay man:
No lovers this night for either of us
in the bitter elixir of this shadowed room
Farmer-hunter-poet, Timothy Murphy, tells the owl’s story:
Downward to darkness on my muffled wings
The playful master of double-dactyls, Jan D. Hodge, adapts a story from The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night:
I am a girl who is
madly in love with a
beautiful woman, as
she is with me.
Beautiful, soulful poems from Suzanne J. Doyle, Alix Greenwood, Rick Mullin, Catherine Davis, Joan Annsfire, and Holly Woodward bring Night into bed, awake, asleep, or somewhere in-between, with fabulous dreams and dreadful nightmares. The poems of Chris Kinsey, Ann Drysdale, O. Ayes, Erin Wynn, Joy Howard, Sandra de Helen, Alyse Knorr, Erin Dorsey, and Flower Conroy travel outside through “the redblack sky” with water, fire, fear, lovers, longing, and loss. M.A. Griffiths gives us “nothing / to fear, nothing, only ocean far ahead, the broad path moons pave,” and Seree Zohar offers the relief of “bread and stew, another icy night dispelled.”

Once again, I am awed by the dazzling artwork I found. Many thanks to Jane Lewis, Liz Ashburn, D. McCarthy, Mady Marie Bourdage, Sarah Gottesdiener, Nancy Macko, Juliette Gorges Coppens, Diane Tanchak, Jane Zusters, Maria Mackay, Grace Moon, and Tina Fiveash, for generously granting permission to publish your work. This issue also includes artwork by Romaine Brooks, Lady Clementina Hawarden, Rosa Bonheur, Hannah Hoch, Alice Austen, Mark Morrisroe, and Gisèle Freund. Thanks also to the agents and representatives who granted permission to publish some of the poets and artists in this issue.

A bouquet of roses to Rose Kelleher, who after I announced the Night theme six months ago, sent me the Edna St. Vincent Millay sonnet that begins, “Night is my sister, and how deep in love...” I fell in love with this poem and decided to publish it as part of this issue, along with other poems from the “School of Night.”

I hope you enjoy Lavender's Night issue. As Ann Drysdale writes,
Ah, Belisama, Summer-bright, take my gift…

Mary Meriam, Editor
June, 2011