Stray Light

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Contributor: Susie Gharib

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On the top corner of my hempen sheet,
I limn a marigold,
dripping yellow in flames.

On the opposite end,
a moonstone stands,
thinly veiled by a languid cloud.

The floor of imperial jade
is speckled with carnelians and coral red,
with pillars of emerald,
with ripples of aquamarine, heliodor, and jacinth

Supine on grass,
a pair of azurites
meditates on the captured light
that has strayed from my eyes.


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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.

Pristine Snow

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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Pristine snow
Reflecting light
In pools of shadows
Radiating images
Of bygone times
Centuries old
Floating hemispheres
Suspended in time
Like cave paintings
And orange marmalade
Frozen by the cold
That melts like
Pristine snow


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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. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

In Times to Come I

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Contributor: Susie Gharib

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In times to come,
the sun will cease to burn
at half-past one,
the moon to look outworn,
jaded and wan
without the sun.

In times to come
the wind will learn to pray
with stranded sails,
with leaves that Autumn has slain,
with the pinions of cranes
in migratory flocks.

In times to come
the earth will cease to breed
an exodus of refugees,
a racial disease,
and craters brimming with uncongealing blood.

In times to come
the sea will cease to expunge
footprints on sand and rock,
a quahog's blog
at anchored-seashells dot com.


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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.

Nothing But Nothing

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

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To write quiet into a poem
to write silence
and convey meaning

that
that

that
would be true skill

beauty

To write silence
without a word
convey every word
bring tears
to a reader's eye
with nothing
but nothing.


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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.

Between Us

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Contributor: John Ogden

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Life is full of games
but not with us
not between us

The jokesters tease, poke and sing
weave hoop after hoop
to leap through,
to dodge
to cry out against
when they catch you
in a loop
of legalese.

Roll the dice each day,
each moment
and move your piece from space to space
draw your cards,
read the text
feel the bite of failure
the cool wash
of success

But not here,
not with us,
not between us.

Between us,
All is love.
All is light.


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John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

The Age of Technology

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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My life is a wire
Forced upon me
Not by choice
Not by desire
But by obsolescence
Of former technology
No longer viable
No longer available
And yet it too
Had its own lifespan
Before the next technological epiphany
Superseded it –
Out with the old – in with the new
Armageddon

And is my life better?
Categorically no!

Simple became complex
Reliable became subject
To the whims of technology
The internet’s slow today
The program’s out of date
The compatibility declined
The system’s down
Functionality at a standstill
Armageddon

Go wireless
Go Bluetooth
Go further down
The layers of Hell
The layers of the Inferno
The labyrinth
Of keeping up
With the newest of the new
Keeping up with the Joneses
No longer humans
Keeping up with Microsoft or Apple

Pre-order
Post-order
Out of order

Spending money
On the gift that keeps giving
In the name of technology
The rich get richer
And everyone else poorer
Waiting in line
Camping on the sidewalk
All for the gadgets
All for the glory
Of holding the latest update

As I suffer
Their hypocrisy
Their purported need
To make the world better
Faster
Easier
Save the trees
Repair climate change
More and more technology
Force it on us
Like the slaves
Forced on the ships
Out of Africa

No more human interaction
Text me…
No more time
Social media…
Games
Addiction to technology
Armageddon


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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. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

I Am Woman

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Contributor: Amanda Firefox

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You know the woman who was standing in the coffee shop last Sunday,

Watching you,

That was me.

Watching you, admiring you, your beauty, loving you, hoping you would notice, hoping you wouldn’t.

I love you, want you, need you.

How do I put this?

How do I not sound desperate?


I’m not desperate,

I just love you, love you. . .

And I’m too afraid to talk to you.


I guess that you’re just going to have to make the first move.

If I don’t just reach out and rip your clothes off first.


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Amanda Firefox is a fiery little brunette who spends as much time at the beach as she can manage. She doesn't write much, but when she writes, it's almost always about her favorite subject: boys.

The Open Sea

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Contributor: Dorothea Mackellar

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From my window I can see,
Where the sandhills dip,
One far glimpse of open sea.
Just a slender slip
Curving like a crescent moon—
Yet a greater prize
Than the harbour garden-fair
Spread beneath my eyes.

Just below me swings the bay,
Sings a sunny tune,
But my heart is far away
Out beyond the dune;
Clearer far the sea-gulls’ cry
And the breakers’ roar,
Than the little waves beneath
Lapping on the shore.

For that strip of sapphire sea
Set against the sky
Far horizons means to me—
And the ships go by
Framed between the empty sky
And the yellow sands,
While my freed thoughts follow them
Out to other lands.

All its changes who can tell?
I have seen it shine
Like a jewel polished well,
Hard and clear and fine;
Then soft lilac—and again
On another day
Glimpsed it through a veil of rain,
Shifting, drifting grey.

When the livid waters flee,
Flinching from the storm,
From my window I can see,
Standing safe and warm,
How the white foam tosses high
On the naked shore,
And the breakers’ thunder grows
To a battle-roar…

Far and far I look—Ten miles?
No, for yesterday
Sure I saw the Blessed Isles
Twenty worlds away.
My blue moon of open sea,
Is it little worth?
At the least it gives to me
Keys of all the earth


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Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar (better known as Dorothea Mackellar), OBE (1 July 1885 – 14 January 1968) was an Australian poet and fiction writer. Her poem My Country is widely known in Australia, especially its second stanza, which begins: "I love a sunburnt country/A land of sweeping plains,/Of ragged mountain ranges,/Of droughts and flooding rains."

To Iron-Founders And Others

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Contributor: Gordon Bottomley

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When you destroy a blade of grass
You poison England at her roots:
Remember no man's foot can pass
Where evermore no green life shoots.

You force the birds to wing too high
Where your unnatural vapours creep:
Surely the living rocks shall die
When birds no rightful distance keep.

You have brought down the firmament
And yet no heaven is more near;
You shape huge deeds without event,
And half-made men believe and fear.

Your worship is your furnaces,
Which, like old idols, lost obscenes,
Have molten bowels; your vision is
Machines for making more machines.

O, you are busied in the night,
Preparing destinies of rust;
Iron misused must turn to blight
And dwindle to a tetter'd crust.

The grass, forerunner of life, has gone,
But plants that spring in ruins and shards
Attend until your dream is done:
I have seen hemlock in your yards.

The generations of the worm
Know not your loads piled on their soil;
Their knotted ganglions shall wax firm
Till your strong flagstones heave and toil.

When the old hollow'd earth is crack'd,
And when, to grasp more power and feasts,
Its ores are emptied, wasted, lack'd,
The middens of your burning beasts

Shall be raked over till they yield
Last priceless slags for fashioning high,
Ploughs to wake grass in every field,
Chisels men's hands to magnify.


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Gordon Bottomley (20 February 1874 –25 August 1948) was an English poet, known particularly for his verse dramas. He was partly disabled by tubercular illness. His main influences were the later Victorian Romantic poets, the Pre-Raphaelites and William Morris.

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