“Wine” by Stephen Page

Happy Sunday, everyone!
Issue 3 is ready and available to download at our website: https://www.lastleavesmag.com/last-leaves-issues! (Stephen Page’s poem is on page 50). We can’t begin to express how wonderful this issue was to put together. We had the largest number of submissions yet, and we hope to maintain that trend as we continue towards Issue 4.
To that effect, we wanted to let you all know personally that we’ll be shifting the length of our submission window from three months to two months. It will give us a month extra to read through submissions and devote the care and time to laying out the magazine.
If you’re interested in submitting again, we open for Issue 4 submissions on December 1st. Keep an eye on our website and Instagram (@lastleavesmag) for information on the theme!
Our sincerest thanks for your continued support and patience. It means the world to use every time we receive a submission, and the kindness from every submitter is what truly drives this volunteer project forward.
Thank you again, and we hope you have a safe, happy Halloween if you’re out there celebrating.

Last Leaves Editors
The editors are: Cailey Johanna Thiessen, Kiera S. Baron, and Maina Chen.
https://www.lastleavesmag.com/ | Instagram: @lastleavesmag

Stephen Page’s poem is on page 50.

Stephen Page is part Native American. He was born in Detroit. He is the author of A Ranch Bordering the Salty River, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and The Salty River Bleeds. He holds degrees from Palomar College, Columbia University, and Bennington College. He likes dog-earing pages in books.

Here are the editors’ blogs:

https://johannacailey.wixsite.com/freelance, https://ksbaron14.wixsite.com/ks-baron, and https://www.mainachen.com/

Stephen Page is part Native American. He was born in Detroit. He is the author of A Ranch Bordering the Salty River, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and The Salty River Bleeds. He holds degrees from Palomar College, Columbia University, and Bennington College. He likes dog-earing pages in books.

Backstory of the Poem: Stephen Page’s “I Was a Soldier”

baa baa black sheep, two black sheep in a field, a mother and lamb

#329 Backstory of the Poem: Stephen Page’s “I Was a Soldier”:

Preview: Can you go through the step-by-step process of writing this poem from the moment the idea was first conceived in your brain until final form?  I had been administrating/managing an eco-ranch/farm for several months, and working in and around fields of grass (which were free-grazed by cattle, sheep, horses, and chickens), fallow fields, fields kept free to grow wild, wood patches, ponds, streams, swamps, and a large salty river that bordered the land—all filled with indigenous flora and fauna—which, as a poet, gave me plenty to be inspired about.  This poem came to me and spilled out on paper through a pen in one complete draft during a day I had been working with the people—the employees, neighbors, and business partners—most all of who had different ethical values than people I had grown up around. These new people were horse thieves, cattle rustlers, malingerers, liars, contract manipulators, and behaved in manners that were less than honest. I had to learn very quickly the art of negotiation (arguing intelligently and fearlessly), and to supervise without appearing to micromanage or look like I was spying (unless it was over one of the bad guys), which sometimes made me feel guilty (for being a hard-a**), even though I was legally and morally in the right. This poem metaphorically reveals how I felt I (or better worded, how the main fictional character in the book felt) had behaved those first few months keeping the ranch profitable, free of bad guys, and eco-friendly.  The poem figuratively reflects a fictional character influencing the unethicals to act honestly, treat the animals mercifully—the old way of ranching was very cruel to animals, and keep the ranch/farm part wildlife refuge, part indigenous flora reserve, and free of harmful pesticides and herbicides.

*read the rest of the interview here: http://chrisricecooper.com/329-backstory-of-the-poem-stephen-pages-i-was-a-soldier/

When Stephen Page is not writing, reading, spending time with his spouse, communing with nature, or walking his dog, he is either accidentally on purpose losing his cell phone or making noise with his electric bass. He is part Apache, part Shawnee, part Mexican, part English, part Scottish, and part Irish. He wanders off a lot during social gatherings, showing up hours later at home.

CHRISTAL ANN RICE COOPER is a newspaper writer, feature stories writer, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and painter. She has a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and completed all of her poetry and fiction workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. She, her husband Wayne, sons Nicholas and Caleb, cats Nation and Alaska reside in the St. Louis area.

Finishing Line Press

Bridges, Woodlands, and Open Road

Stephen Page’s Lit Rep Has Entered Cincinnati, drove around the suburbs, eaten-on-the-road food, stayed in a roadside hotel, seen a horrible car accident, and left, enjoying the freedom of the road and the beauteous countryside. She has placed “The Salty River Bleeds” and “A Ranch Bordering the Salty River” in the following locations:

Sharonville Public Library

Deer Park Public Library

Madeira Branch Public Library

Old Milford Library

Goshen Branch Public Library

Owensville Branch Public Library

Clermont County Public Library

Doris E. Wood Branch Library

Joseph-Beth Booksellers

Detroit Rocks!

Stephen Page’s Literary Representative recently passed through the City of Rock, Motown, birthplace of the U.S. car industry. She managed to find a home for “The Salty River Bleeds” in the following places:


Salty, Earthy and Thoughtful

The Salty River Bleeds” by Stephen Page

Review by Aria Ligi

Page’s collection, Salty River Bleeds, is a two-part parable, one of the lives of Jonathon and Teresa and the other of his ranch, its inhabitants, the environ consisting of his cows, sheep, ibis and such and their struggle against the exteriors (man encroaching on them all). Yet, it is also, as he pictures so beautifully, mirrored with Old Man, who through the simple the challenge of living day to day, is a metaphor for it all. Pages’ work embodies very Campbellesque qualities of the myth told within the confines of free verse, epistles, and alternatively spiced with rhyme. Page is not only a mythmaker he is rancher poet-activist who is wise enough to question his place within the tale, that of hunter and farmer, while portraying in stark terms the cost to those around him from his livestock to the earth, air, those who would shepherd it, and those who would seek to profit from it. This is a fascinating read because it does not shy away from depicting the most hideous of things, such as the roof of a truck slicing through a man’s neck, nor does it distance itself from the beauty that is all around him. Yet, Page does not leave it there, because at the end he returns us to his quiet pondering, that of Teresa and Old Man, leaving us with the mirror image for us all and the unsaid question, are we all not walking that same road, and in that are we not all one and the same?

Publisher – Finishing Line Press

Order book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or straight from the publisher.

How did you first engage with poetry?

Poetry Mini Interviews

by Thomas Whyte with Stephen Page:

part two


Stephen Page has won the First Place Award in Poetry for the 2019 Bravura Literary Journal.

Dear Stephen,

Congratulations! We are delighted to inform you that your piece “In the Room of the Dead” has won the first place award in Poetry for the 2019 Bravura Literary Journal.

As a recipient of this award, please understand that this is an incredible accomplishment. From the competitive pool of over 500 submissions, not only was your piece selected for publication, but it also earned the esteemed honor of taking first place in its category.

Congratulations on Your Momentous Achievement,

2019 Editors of Bravura

the literary journal of Palomar College