Hose Washed

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Contributor: Jasmine Som

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I stand before my garden
With a hose in my hand
Watering my berry bush

I listen as
Birds chirp, hummingbirds hum
Like an orchestra warming up

And I turned around
Watering you as well
I am sorry

But I washed your jeans
Creating a new design
Drying beneath the hot sun


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As a paleo-vegan, Jasmine Som loves dehydrating fruits to take with her when she hikes. While others stalk celebrities, she looks up new recipes to get creative with. Sadly, cooking with her heavy cast iron pots has her taking on a new workout routine that includes a weight lifting regimen.

Elegies in Sepia

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Contributor: Joungbihn Park

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I’m lying on autumn grass thinning
leaves, dry and dead,
looking at the white clouds dragged west,
dissipating, traceless.

I walked past plains on the sides of asphalt roads
and the sand path covered in petals of dust.

The mirage of a lone mansion sinking in darkness,
something we didn’t question.

You hold your phone and take pictures of me.
Sepia tone effect
Vintage, worn
Desaturated
Black and white
Look at the photos now.
Wonder.


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Joungbihn Park is a high school senior studying at International School Manila, located in the Philippines. Her work has been awarded by the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University and published in the Imagine Magazine. She has also been recognized by the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards for her writings and has attended the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop, where she contributed to their anthology.

Mrs. O’Malley

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Mrs. O’Malley
from across the alley
has another small job
for my father to do
which makes my mother

unhappy because
Mrs. O’Malley’s been
bothering Father for years,
parading around in shorts
and halter top, watering

flowers in her yard
when Father goes out
to cut the grass and weed.
Neighbor ladies have
warned my mother

about Mrs. O’Malley
from across the alley
because too many husbands
have too often helped
Mrs. O’Malley too well.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Morning at Soul Sisters Retreat

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Contributor: Ingrid Bruck

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Stella Maris
the ocean, my office
peace, my work

rain whistles
shakes the window
surf sounds inside

dawn
comes and goes
in haze

I expect nothing
sun breaks day
retreats

out of clouds
volcano explodes
horizon fades pink

(Soul Sisters Retreat, October 13-18, 2015, at Stella Maris Retreat House, Long Branch, NJ)


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Ingrid Bruck lives in Pennsylvania Amish country, a landscape that inhabits her writing. A retired library director, she writes short forms and poetry. Current work appears in Unbroken Journal, Eunoia, Peacock Journal, W.I.S.H and Entropy.

Giving Respect

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Contributor: Vraj Patel

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I try to fit in
No matter how hard it may be
The people that surround me
Are those that hate me and love me

But I am also human
I do my best to understand
How I want to be treated
And how others want to be treated

Everyone should be given
The chance to be heard
From those who oppose
And from the people that love them

We are not robots
But people who aren’t perfect
We make mistakes
Ones we don’t want to make

We need to respect each other
To not make fun of each other
To be a part of society
And to be heard


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Watching the Flow

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Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

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Sitting on the bank of the river,
Watching the water go by,
A road of raindrops before me,
That fell on the earth long ago,
Giving water to all
Who lived in those days,
Long before you and I,
Gathered by sun,
Carried by clouds,
Loosed on the earth,
And finding its way to the sea,
I watch as the past and future,
Slowly flows by me.


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Bruce Mundhenke writes poetry in Illinois, where he lives with his wife and their cat and dog. He enjoys observing nature, where he finds beauty, inspiration, and revelation.

Arthur

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Contributor: Steven Jakobi

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He lived in a shack, an old travel trailer
he built up with scrap wood and siding
and shingles discarded by others.

His rusted old truck always broke.
Then he would get another. A Ford.
Always a Ford - red or blue or green,
sometimes one with all three colors.

He was a tiny man in old grimy clothes,
Wore a greasy cowboy hat that just about
made him disappear under the frayed brim.
But his dog, always groomed,
ran with a bright red collar.

He was my neighbor. A "Good Egg" who
cut my grass and fed the cat when I was away.
For ten years I knew him.
Over a beer, he would talk about
hunting and horses and life.

I moved away. Said "goodbye" and
"see ya sometime."
Always meant to.
Always too busy.

I drove by his place the other day.
His shack, the truck
and dog were gone.
As though he never lived there.

I regret never going back
while I could. Just another
missed opportunity in life.
Another "Good Egg," Gone.


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Steven Jakobi is a retired biology professor. He and his wife live in rural Allegany County, New York, with three dogs, two cats and a mess of chickens.

Wake Up Fools

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Contributor: EG Ted Davis

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Finely manicured landscaping,
strongly constructed Victorian style
home sits atop rich soil,
and you think you own it.
Fools! (wake up).
It belongs to the earth,
and she'll do with your
possessions as she
damn well pleases.
Torment you as it may,
these are only your's-
on borrowed time.


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Old time poet who has returned from a hefty 25 year plus hiatus. My work has recently appeared in Gold Dust (UK) Poydras Review, Scarlet Leaf Review and The Penwood Review, along with various online websites.

Deliverance

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Contributor: Rajnish Mishra

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How can I ever return to my city now? I’ll need a time back,
and me back from that time. I’ll need them back too, men and women,

children and plants, and a cow, yes the cow that would come
to the door for me to rub its back, then leave, every day.

That time and place, this time and place, complete my city of the old.
Too many deaths in twenty three days have hit me hard,

kept me shaken for minutes at length. Death
is not to be trifled with, and flash: images

of a street, they sell fish and vegetables for some length
on it and then there’s a bend, the end of the street,

and then I return. Early this morning an aunt passed away,
yes, that’s what we called her. We’d been neighbors

my whole life and that of our families for as long
as we have lived in our houses. I am far removed in place,

in grief too. Or else, how do I explain my not rushing
back where I’m needed? I have changed. I have come a long way

from my home, from myself. I think I understand
Tithonus’ wish a little. It becomes difficult to live

once all have gone, and those around are not your people,
the time and place also not yours. Then a shadow walks,

a ghost in a shell, and waits for
deliverance.


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Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India and now in exile from his city. His work originates at the point of intersection between his psyche and his city. His work has now started appearing in journals and websites.

Cleavage

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Contributor: Todd Mercer

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Some days you succeed at the task, split the stone open.
Other times you stall out because you stayed up
over-late and didn’t favor choices that make
the body beautiful. Suspense surrounds attempts
of those who’ve halved it before but choked since,
like that iconic skier tumbling the length of the Seventies
on that sports show intro. The Agony of Defeat guy
could still kick ass in a bar fight, but the mercy rule
suggests we let him be by now. The sword is certain,
but the spirit needs caffeine. If one split the stone
in ‘86, ’95 and 2010, must one cleave it each try
to stay a slight hero? Survey says: Yes.
Fair is what would be if your mother ran the planet.
She has no pull here, zero. Certain mornings
you wake up foolproof and divide the stone.
So far no one can manage it every blessed day.


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TODD MERCER won the Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Award. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in 100 Word Story, Literary Orphans and Praxis.

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