Lovers Parting

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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Lovers parting
Their hearts unfulfilled
Fending off the heartbreak
That should never have been
A heart stilled

Looking through the window
Of twenty years or more
Wondering how it happened
The days gone by
And washed ashore

To live on a deserted island
As emptiness abounds
No matter where the island
With or without people
Loneliness surrounds

All too many islands
In fantasy or real
To the lovers parted
Their hearts remaining still
Too empty now to feel

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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 and is published on and in numerous internet and print journals. He lives with his rescued Australian Shepherd, Daisy. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his wife, dancer/actress, Lydia Franklin.

Dear Maple Tree

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Contributor: Sally Dunn

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I miss you.
I remember the long talks
we used to have
back when I was young.

You were in your prime then.
Are you still well?

Do you remember me?

Is there another girl
who has taken my place?

Does she put her hand
on your tough skin
and feel life
flow up from the earth
through your body –
through her body –
up through your limbs
and out into the vast sky

as I once did?

There are no trees
I can talk to here.
I own a woods,
but none of the trees
will speak to me.

Perhaps they have enough
of their own kind around them
and do not need to speak to me,
or perhaps they resent
that I think I own them,
or perhaps I’m too old,
or they are too young –
for it is a young wood.

There is one old oak
that stands on the edge
of the wood.
But he is silent.
He wraps his strength
around him
and will not speak
to me.

Maybe, someday,
when I’m alone
in the wood
I will come upon a tree
who will greet me,
and we will talk,
and, perhaps,
share secrets.

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Sally Dunn’s poetry has appeared in 2River View, Rio Grande Review, The Perch and Straylight Literary Magazine. Her poetry won honorable mention in the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest. She lives on Cape Cod.

All That Is Ever Needed

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

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discard the skin
cut free the me
and fly free
as was meant for me
with wings
cut of widening fire
that never tire
never flit, break or shiver
steel-strong and steady-ever
carving lines in supple sky
cutting clouds
cutting night
filling light
with all the hues of blues
of the pregnant day
that brings
all that is needed
all that is ever needed
for you
for me

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I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Nightswimmers Floating the Tribe

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Contributor: Todd Mercer

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Nightswimmer Junior and her eponymous predecessor
get their kicks from risks, love life more from it.
After their platonic friendship’s rolled a couple years
They take a month’s bills money to the casino.
When they slink out the exit, ninety-nine percent of it
has gone to fund the programs of the Grand Traverse Band
of Odawas & Chippewas. Nightswimmer, on his honor
retired from the rip-tide adventures says to Junior,
“Screw the promise. Let’s go swim.” Only then
can he clear his head of new financial anxiety.
That’s them at 4 am spotted miles off Charlevoix
by a John Cross Fishing vessel, logged on the report.
She crawls, he backstrokes. He needs more oxygen
than he used to, but hey, not bad for an old man.
He assures Junior she won’t need to drag him
to land. This one illicit swim, then the end of gambling.

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TODD MERCER was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer’s recent work appears in Literary Orphans, The Magnolia Review, Praxis and Zero Flash.

Infrastructure Swallows A City

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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It was an ancient city.
All the young people left
as soon as they could

but the old remained
in their mortgaged huts
surrounded by evergreens

that offered a haven
for cardinals and jays,
robins and finches.

No matter the season
birds flew from tree limbs
to feed on seed and suet

put out by too many widows
in slippers and aprons and
too few wives wearing

rouge and lipstick
for terminal husbands they
planned to stack on pyres.

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Baby Girl

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

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Eyes that sparkle, hair full of curl
This is what I love about my baby girl
Smiles that light up even dull days
Hearing your giggles as you run and play
Watching you grow into the person you are
You have become my little shinning star
Knowing I love you as I hold your hand
This is the life I always planned

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He was born and raised in Ohio, and now lives in Florida. He is married and has two children. Most important he is a Papa. He has over 20 poems on this site and one printed in "Stormcloud Poets second anthology".

My Destiny

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

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A warm breeze
glides across
my bare skin
blowing through
my once auburn waves

Droplets of water
sprinkle upon me
as the tide breaks
against the rock-lined shore
where I rest alone

My eyes are
My breathing is calm
and my mind at ease
I ruminate not
about life or love
but on the flow
of my breath and
the beating of my heart

I am surrendering,
just letting go
of all expectations
right here on this beach
Today, this day
on this towel
under this tree
which shades me

I surrender
to the Universe
I trust it completely
to lead me
to wherever I need to be

To lead me to my destiny!

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Born and raised in New York, I've been writing poetry ever since I can remember. Only recently have I felt a desire to share my poetry with others. It is my hope that someone may find solace in my words.

Fred Odowsky

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Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

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Last night I saw Fred Odowsky,
He was the star of my dream.
Big, as in life, and still very strong,
Still funny and playful, it seemed,
He had walked, while on earth, in Vietnam,
As other poor boys also had,
And once choked a VA rep in our town
With his own telephone cord,
When he told Fred a lie,
Right to his face,
About help, at the VA to be found.
He had tripped with me several decades ago,
We took my Chevy to the river to see,
In a bar by the name of Wells Fargo,
A friend, in a band it known to me.
He took the wheel of my Chevy,
When I could no longer see.
He has been gone now for decades,
But appeared to me in my sleep,
Surely he still remains in the dreams,
Of One who is greater than me.

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Bruce Mundhenke writes in Illinois, where he lives with his wife and their little dog and big cat.


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Contributor: Divya Gautam

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Why is it always a journey?
The displacement of people, minds, and hearts
From one place to another
From one person to another
From one dream to another
Between continents, there lie oceans of disappointment
Someone is always left behind
Some days are better forgotten
Some futures are better left unseen
Underneath these rocks of expectations
There is a skeleton of a man
His bones working for another's dreams
While time plays the background score
With decidedly morbid chords
I have seen dreams bend with norms
Leaving the young with tilted necks
Frowns are etched with charcoal
Onto fair faces that once belonged

It is always a one way street
That beckons in our minds
Gravel awaits the tread of your feet
Wishing that you knew
That this journey was over
Before it began.

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Divya Gautam is an undergraduate student majoring in Mathematics and Economics in New Delhi, India.


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