Author: sentiencejournal

golden Chinese lion dog head

“Yang” by Helen Doremus

It is awake in the chill morning air, dripping cold rainwater off of its snout to the cement below. It sees the stretch of parked cars, the fence ringing The Building which breaks only to force visitors past its stony paws, the sway of trees in the distance — all of this is discernible within its fixed focus, its hundred yard stare of perpetual vigilance. Its mouth is cracked open, a permanent smile full of teeth, tasting the world as it blows by. The ball, the trapped orb, below its foot warns all that they too might find themselves so pressed down if they threaten The Building and what lies within.  At the corner — the very furthest pocket — of its gaze, is its partner, its mate, its equal and opposite, the one who stands guard at the other side of the break in the fence. The shape of this mate is suggestion only, transfixed curve and sinew, open lips with soundless roar, equal and opposite forepaw raised. But here a change — beneath …

line art of two people facing one another in elaborate robes and plain robes respectively

“Death Ruins It” by Caley O’Dwyer

I face myself, the thing convincing  as a face can be, although it breaks where it should mend in laughter.  Do you believe in me though you  should believe in nothing,  where it hurts a little, that time of life that stuns  into you, so you see the future, where you stand guard, eager to accept you? Everything I’ve known, little  is more uncertain. It is like  a glow, difficult to speak of. So did we age, we as we are in the comic paternity left us by our beachcomber friends who found in their time words all around them gleaming.  It stuck and I was me, some  fraction of the truth, which  more than anything was addition.  The face is there, for a time present, then it goes into the earth, having seen through the vast prism. Sight is circles and cycles.  The face changes what it wears but always the eyes,  silent and alone, holding course  while everything that ever happened is added up then forgotten.  Quiet trench in the sea, years find …

photo of a blue night sky with treetops at the bottom and the pleiades constellation overhead

“Night Polo” by Caley O’Dwyer

Does time make us crazy  or is it something else?  I see myself but back away.  I want to know what life is, but only gain the subtle topping, cosmic merengue dissolving  on the tongue. Something  catches in the sieve. There is a carefulness I can’t shake. As though I could check and turn away  from pain. But life puts its hands inside our bodies and leaves us blinking,  reforming. Terror enlightens, but so does doubt, the tenderness of it. Strong pain can kill, and I know I’m looking it in the face when I get down on myself.  Isn’t there a nicer way to be? It’s hard to take shape all the time. Beyond the sovereign July  I came to life in,  I’m playing polo in a dark field.  The Pleiades shimmer down, ticking off Orion’s shield. On what can I depend? Telescopic laughter sounds far away where gravitation rends.  The sky tilts  its head to hear  whatever signal night can send.  The clouds are all ears. Wayward, I listen as they bend,      drifting …

photo of a single sewing needle in foreground with spool of white thread in background

“Certainly Valsartan” by Caley O’Dwyer

Was postmodern living really so bad with its postmodern lampshades,  access to the worldwide internet’s daft shenanigans, the great show of hip hop, happiness, high-risk mortgages, fields of discourse plowed  with ultimate unassailable truth?  You are a thread in the fabric while the needle behind you weaves or is woven into the greater piece.  Time has a way of doing the dishes, the throbbing insect about to pop in the heat, it is you. Don’t bust  too soon, there is much to see, much left of you though you  are bothered by it, this branching out of options, river ways into plangent,   brilliant light where intention flows.                                You have your plans but the world was not made for it. There is sense, gladly, no matter that it isn’t exact, it is sincere (sometimes) and you are OK with that, or not, and time goes on.  Either way you are reclining on a sofa for a moment thinking of all this  in a body that is aroused with grief for all the things you could have …

Sentience Editor published in Reclamation

Don’t Fight with Crazy by Tracey Simmons “The room felt electric with smiled glances, loud murmuring laughter, and conversations of people catching up. In between the smell of burnt coffee and cigarettes, ammonia whiffed through the room, because the janitor had just finished up as we were coming in.” Published August 3, 2020 in Reclamation Magazine. Feature illustration by Yazmin Butcher.

Sentience Literary Journal sentience noun a digital literary journal from a diverse pool of writers poets essayists artists and editors

What is Sent(i)ence?

sen•ti•ence sĕn′shəns, -shē-əns, -tē-əns► n. The quality or state of being sentient; consciousness. n. Feeling as distinguished from perception or thought. n. Sentient character or state; the faculty of sense; feeling; consciousness.