Rhyme and Reason

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

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Is that hawk screaming
about whether or not
it believes in the existence of God?
Or simply seeking
across the distance
with a signal for its lover?

Is that blade of grass
straining against gravity
to grow taller toward the sky?
Or allowing its roots
below the ground
to do their business behind the scenes?

Is that cloud concerned
about bunkers being built
in fear of bombs?
Or being carried carefree
by a gentle breeze
blowing through the air?

Is that star all bent out of shape
over the latest debate
raging on cable news?
Or shining as a beacon of light
to more galaxies
than can be fathomed?

Is that leaf throwing a fit
about cold weather
as the season begins to shift?
Or brightening the woods
with a brilliant autumn hue
before falling back to the soil?

Is that wave cursing at the moon
about the way in which
it’s made to move?
Or crashing upon the shore
with a splash to fulfill
its natural fate of ebb and flow?

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Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live performances, and books can be found.

Drinkin' Shine and Feelin' Nothin'

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Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

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We’re cornstalk cowboys,

drinkin’ shine from jelly jars.

Burning ice cold flaming tears

toasting every Friday night.

Life lost in evanescent dreams

all the while in a gifted stupor.

An apparent suicide attempt

on the porch after midnight.

Cross-eyed gazer to the stars

thoughts rattle about the brain,

kindergarten fun eating paste

and thinkin' bout the untouchable

prom queens and cheerleaders.

Perhaps a bit short on looks,

but I’m so freakin’ shy by nature

thinkin' I'll just sit right here drinkin’

shine, feelin’ absolutely nothin'.

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Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran and poet from New Hampshire now residing on the southern plains of Oklahoma. He loves life!

An Email on Sunday

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Some emails
are more difficult
to receive
from a child
long out of college

the daughter who writes
her cancer is back
but the doctor says
with chemo and surgery
things should be fine

and all the while
the father wonders
why she didn’t call
at midnight and let
the telephone scream

hysterically in the night
to deliver the news
a computer is too
cold a messenger
to deliver hot terror

on Sunday morning
while machine guns
of sleet drive
bullets too bright
into the ground

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Power of Now

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Contributor: Mahinour Tawfik

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Like east and west is awake and conscious
The power of mind couldn't be less ominous
If the slave transcends taking over his master
Swirling back and forth from before to after

When all but now is a sense of illusion
Deriving its power from pleasure or pain
So fragile the mind is to abide the confusion
Of an identity derived from phantom of remains

Inattentive to the truth in this whirlwind
Handing over its limitless power
To the thought feasting upon one’s mind
Cause its survival commands it to devour

For a moment I stepped from this battlefield
Not only aware of the events but conscious
Neither aiming an arrow nor holding shield
Not a convict not a victim but an anonymous

I've seen the master handing over the reign
Since then misery has dwelt the kingdom
Like the thoughts that took hold of the brain
Grieving the past pleading future for freedom

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Mahinour Tawfik, a 24 year old - Egyptian senior medical student.

Her first anthology "Dark Secrets" was released April 2016 in USA by KCL publishing company in South Carolina
She was one of the participants of the 9th international poetry festival in India September 2016,
She was featured in the local Indian daily newspaper besides the former features in multiple anthologies and online literary Magazines {Creative Talents unleashed – Ripen the page – International forum of literature and culture of peace}.

She received a certificate of appreciation from world poetry Canada, Vancouver.

She currently working on the release of the second Anthology "Once upon a Dream."


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Contributor: Charlotte Ozment

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We speak in tongues
left hanging, warped by
forces that tug on our
inner struggles, the lines
of community drawn, static,
etched on hearts pounding
and lone. . .and finite,
with boundaries that are
loose, too far-flung to couple,
too alien to meet.

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Charlotte Ozment is a homesteading Texan living on several acres full of devas, dogs and squirrels. She finds words hidden in the world around her and can sometimes put them to paper before they fade.

Life is But a Dream Shaboom

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Contributor: Michael Kagan

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Shout it down
Scream louder
Stomp it into
the ground
Hate it
Spit on it
A damning expression
With your teeth
Ours the beautiful shorelines
Visions of future
Versions of past
Somewhere we dream together
A complicated battle
Inside a mystical plan
The source of inspiration knows
Nobody knows best
A heartfelt tapestry
Hangs in this improbable place
Feeling it's way back
through pitch black
Terrible mistakes to forgive
And overcome
A passionate rock and roll rumble
Uniquely evolving perspective
Some more abstract than others
History watching closely
From inside the dream
Twisting and churning
Not one straight line
Fighting hard to keep alive
The perpetual invention
Heart and soul
Life is but a dream

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Mike is a jazz musician
He discovered his passion for poetry a few years back
He has been published on Leaves of Ink, The poet community and Indiana voice journal where one of his poems has been nominated for Best of the Net anthology.


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Contributor: Sanjeev Sethi

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As you wish them luck on their journey
you distance yourself from the process.


Testing the fragility of my heart
you toughened it to such an extent,
my physician cancelled the prescription.


Wherewithal from dead words is
malison lugged in musette bags
across minds: is there a faultless
way of saying thank-you or sorry?


Full-scale mirrors in beauty
salons play mute matchmakers.
Inflorescence of feelings
is propitious when vanity
is at its most valuable.


On seeing another
journalist being
feted, I squirm.
Seen too many
with wobbly knees,
weak memories.

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Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). A Best of the Net 2017 nominee, his poems are in venues around the world: The Stray Branch, Ann Arbor Review, Empty Mirror, First Literary Review-East, Right Hand Pointing, Peacock Journal, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Synesthesia Anthology: 2013-2017, Rasputin: A Poetry Thread Anthology, Scarlet Leaf Review, London Grip, Peeking Cat Anthology 2017, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Daughter They Dote On

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Gallivanting again
she’s now 33

where she goes
ever a mystery

Her parents bewildered
are ill and retired

they watch her kids
seven so far

quints and twins
sires unknown

this time it's Nome
the twins were told

to meet her soulmate
found on the web

she was a nun once
cloistered in Rome.

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Scenery of Time

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Contributor: Sravani Singampalli

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I have been married to misfortune
For almost eight years
Failure is my mother
Perseverance is my father
I never thought that optimism
Would be my best friend.
Lots of things have changed
The shade of that old mango tree
Which was once the realm
Of two romantic souls
Is now a classroom to many students.
The small serene garden beside it
Where I used to sit and contemplate
Where I lost my favourite key chain
Where I once took first steps
With my cute little feet
Is now a big bazaar.

I suffered with cancer
Yes! Cancer of negative thoughts
Until I met my best friend
For the very first time
At this magnificent place.
The place which everybody
Believed to be super-haunted
Beholding that inhabited house,
Rotting banyan leaves and
The lighthouse beside it
In the unusual decaying darkness.
I found this place captivating
Many ghostly rumours
Originated from this place
They said they had seen
Skulls and skeletons
On the junk heaps of rotten leaves
But I saw a little flower
Emerging out of those rotten leaves
When the first rays of sun
Hit the earth.
There was no more uncertainty
In the air as it was before.
That pleasant day
When I sat on my balcony
Staring at the night sky
I could see the twinkling stars
Telling me many stories
Stories of people who lost many things
Who kept on losing and losing
But never gave up!
Stories of those inspiring people
Who turned tragedy into victory
My dreamy eyes captured this moment
It has made fortune
Fall in love with me.

*Bazaar – A market place.

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Sravani singampalli is a 22 year old poet from india. She is presently pursuing doctor of pharmacy at JNTU KAKINADA university in Andhra Pradesh, India.

A Woman

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Contributor: Samara Golabuk

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A woman

knows about blood.
Pain is in her nature,
the kiss and pull of it,
the binding wisdom of it.

we are perfect salt crystals,
bromide bald and frilled
with skirts and comfort.
The wild dogs
of puberty petrify us—,
we walked slow so life
will not scent us, send
us its feral hounds to ram
quick-gust snouts at our heels.
Those dogs are eager
for a taste of Achilles,
the white soft bar of it snapping
and wet in their grinning jaws
that drip and wolf at moons.

Mars, the crone—her red battle surface
gone to dust—scuffs and chortles
at us, our ample emptiness,
our shying, a florist of it flourishing
young girls — cherished blue dew-blossoms,
fragile and succulent to be held
so near the sun.

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Samara is a Pushcart nominee whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Inklette, Eyedrum Periodically, Anti-Heroin Chic, Eunoia Review and others. She has two children, works in marketing and design, and has returned to university to complete her BA in Poetry.


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