White Light

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Contributor: Susie Gharib

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In Memory of George Michael

In Mill Cottage was a room with a view
with only one viewer though meant for two,
but then London lured not his tunes,
he had to ingratiate his muse
with the sap of his own wounded soul.

The tinsel of his song, so translucent in the Christmas lore,
why did he have to die on the same day his music was born?
Why did he succumb to the White Light he had previously scorned?
Are apparently not to be known.

A man adored by millions had only a bed to console.
He died without a single smile to see him Through,
though to millions he had smiled like Jesus to the born
and the unborn.

In a Precious Box, he kept his rosaries and cross,
and though he argued with God
he was the kindest man ever born,
‘For he prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.’

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Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in multiple venues including A New Ulster, Crossways, The Curlew, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Ink Pantry, and Mad Swirl.


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Contributor: Joanna M. Weston

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I take today in my hand
turn it sideways
to stretch but it remains
stoic unchanged dour

a banal day armed with clichés
idle gossip and poor coffee
a day that leers through windows
refuses to laugh at good jokes
turns its back on roses
prefers to watch cars not sparrows
and claims not to comb its hair
not my favourite day

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JOANNA M. WESTON. Has had poetry, middle readers, and short stories published for thirty years. Her poetry, ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications of Toronto.

To Go Forward

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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Going backward to go forward
Finding my true identity
The hidden core
That represents my reality
Overgrown with twists and turns
Carrying me in wrong directions
Swimming upstream
Pummeled by the surf
Battered by rapids
Working on goals
That seemed long forgotten
But only frozen by cryogenics
Waiting in the wings
Hoping to be rediscovered
Looking in the mirror
To another dimension
Past the vortex
That remains transitory
Fleeting moments pointing the way
To look backward
And go forward

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Bruce Levine, a native Manhattanite, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. His literary catalogue includes four novels, short stories, humorous sketches, flash fiction, poetry, essays, articles and a screenplay His nearly one-hundred-fifty works are published in magazines, over twenty-five on-line journals, thirty books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. He lives in New York with his dog, Daisy.

Unity In Diversity

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

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The world of dark
Precedes sunlight
The color black
Complements white

Joys and sorrows
Run throughout yesterdays and tomorrows

Anything that takes birth
Faces certainty of death

Good and bad have thin threads that join
Like two sides of the same coin

Even in the gloomy hour of pessimism
One can find a glimpse of optimism

Past mistakes help in future corrections
Balancing diverse thoughts and united opinions.

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Contributor: Ingrid Bruck

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bejeweled soil
black frozen bare
in dead winter

brings gifts
scattered by wind
watered by sleet

sunlight unfolds
strands of green
topped by ice tears

flowers appear where
none grew before
wind blown light

cold January
white sparks
burn in the dark

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Ingrid Bruck’s current work appears in Poetry Breakfast, Better Than Starbucks, Otata and Failed Haiku. Her debut chapbook, Finding Stella Maris by Flutter Press was released this year. Poetry website: www.ingridbruck.com

Phantom Lover In The Night

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Contributor: H.L. Dowless

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Darkening clouds up in the sky,
tempest coming by tonight,
rain shall fall in harmonious delight,
wind will blow with all its might.

Lightning flash and blue fire fly,
a presence looming closely by,
her face materializes in the light,
my heart is racing with great fright.

A phantom breath now breathes near mine,
this terror causes me to lose track of all time.
Unseen lips taste of strong rose wine,
yet her midnight body feels just fine.

I throw my arm upon her, but feel only empty air,
she is still there I do thee swear,
both of her legs open upon my thighs,
yet empty air still gives great surprise.

Thunder rolls to rattle my house top above,
while this phantom and me make passionate love,
our bodies rising in dim light,
I try to please her until the feeling is right.

Her face appears beneath me as the blue fire glitters,
down my spine her beauty sends shivers,
this phantom queen now in my bed,
who speaks to tell me we soon shall be wed.

Her voice does ride upon the wind,
unto the devil my soul she endeavors to send,
for this abominable sin I did commit,
with this spectrum woman from the Zargos summit.

Our shadows dance upon the wall,
as blue fire flashes to reveal all,
we roll and tumble through the night,
this spectrum queen or wicked wight.

Morning sun finds me not so well,
she once lay beside me, I can tell.
My bleeding heart cries upon my bed,
for this mysterious Scythian queen unto whom I shall
soon be wed.

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Howl For The Wolves

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Contributor: E.S. Wynn

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Howl for the coming of the sun
howl for the death of the year
howl for Her, howl for Him
howl for the shepherds of the stag
who chase the sun
to keep it in the sky.

Howl your animating breath
howl like the roarer, the shrieker
howl for the ones who came before
howl into the starry void
and echo liminal love
off the bilrost lights
of that starry bridge
that bears the feet of the dead
that path of birds
that and back
to the fertile earth below.

Howl for the living
howl for the dead
howl knowing there is no difference
in the end.
for wolves walk beneath our feet
knowing every echo is an echo of the whole
and even the starry mill
and the windswept tree above
bend for no one
but bend on evermore
echoing eternally
with the varðlokkur of wolves.

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E.S. Wynn is the author of over 70 books in print. He maintains a main author blog at: www.eswynn.com

Brain on Caffeine

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Contributor: Mark Tulin

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The man is hard at work
in his private office
that has free internet;
the first available table
in a coffee shop.

He doesn’t have a home,
roams around in a clunky van
with his canine sidekick
and expired license plates.

He wears a short sleeve shirt,
a pair of bifocals put together
with homemade pins,
and the same PF Flyers
from when he was sixteen.

He slurps his coffee
between agitated scribbles;
dots and dashes
on a sputtering laptop
from the Middle Ages.

He scatters his mess
on the little square table.
Pages and pages
full of random numbers,
scratch outs, and erasures.

He seems busy
in an odd sort of way
with a furrowed brow,
a high forehead
and a brain on caffeine.

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Mark Tulin is a former family therapist who lives in Santa Barbara. He has an upcoming book of short stories entitled, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories.

No Airs

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Contributor: Susie Gharib

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He bows at every smile
he wordlessly illumines
upon her reticent mouth.

He puffs no arrogance into the air,
never hums or whistles down the stairs,
has never endowed her skirts with smirks,
or wryly grimaced at outlandish ways.

He only eats when hunger stirs
and sips his drinks without any slurps,
never darts his tongue, never slurs his words,
or blurs their meanings so as to impress.

He'll woo the woman whose wit never wanes,
whose aesthetic essence never dims with age,
whose unflinching strength is an intrinsic trait,
whose love and passion are not on parade.

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Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in multiple venues including A New Ulster, Crossways, The Curlew, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Ink Pantry, and Mad Swirl.

The Rain Tree

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Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

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The rain tree showers you
with her yellow flowers,
and, like her branches, your arms
stretch high and wide
while the flowers fall
from your silhouette,
as the two of you sway
to the wind’s violins –
perfect lovers
in perfect rain.

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I am a retired high school English teacher. I began writing again this past summer after a 30-year hiatus. My first book of poetry, “The White Room,” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.


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