R&S - 09/30/02

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Contributor: Richard Cody

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13 years ago, give or take a day or two,
I gazed into the sky of your eyes
And wished aloud as lovers do:

“I want to be yours,
I want you to be mine.”

I can only hope the years between then and now
Have proved these words no idle line.

My blood,
My breath,
My spirit now and after death
Are yours to do with as you will.

Sarah, my heart, I want to be yours
And I want you to be mine still.


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Richard Cody writes what he sees somewhere in Northern California. His poetry and fiction, even a drawing or two, have appeared in many print and virtual publications, most recently Red Fez, Eclectic Flash and a handful of stones. Look for his books, The Jewel in The Moment, Darker Corners, and This is Not My Heart at Lulu and Amazon. And from the author himself if you can find him.

My Love, My Dream

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Contributor: Jason Sturner

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It was surreal, now that I think back,
as if a dream had wandered over the boundaries
to deliver forth the shimmering light
that was you.

And for a time, time was lost.
A halcyon river became our guide.
Its tranquil flow, a symbol of perfection,
its reflection
casting wildly off our eyes.

Love sprang to life, life became love.
Every hue within this plane began to lighten.
Our hearts chased, our meaning held no lies;
our souls tingled with gentle electricity
beneath harlequin skies.

But we awoke one morning, heartsick to find,
pink mist off the river had turned gray.
Suddenly our angels were selectively blind—
Was divinity so busy that it left us behind?

I screamed into a shower of diamonds.
I'd lost you inside this sudden despair.
Through the downpour I heard no reply,
and soon discovered myself alone there.

No one ever told us
that the weather changes in paradise
or that the flowers can cry.
The voice in the clouds never confessed
that true love could die.

And so troubled waters made their way down the river;
somewhere far off the ocean tide had raged.
The dream cracked, then fell to pieces—
leaving us broken
and forever changed.


- - -
Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

She Thought She Was Hers

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Contributor: Collin Stanhope

- -
Standing in power,
the miniature rocks,
the Spirit is breathing,
as she walks.
Minutes are frozen,
toes are chill,
a wave is coming,
this lion’s turned ill.
the jacket and socks,
were but a sign,
she thought she was hers,
but you were still Mine.


- - -
I am 19 years old and attending the University of Maryland. I am a Psychology and Family Science double major. Writing is just a hobby right now but I enjoy it because it's like having a conversation with your best friend: you can say anything and go on as long as you want.

The Retrofit

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Contributor: Douglas Campbell

- -
Nondescript and aging,
my house gave shelter, nothing more.
The rain found ways inside the roof,
dripped and pooled in pots and pans.
The windows let in wasps and wind,
a cold draft carpeted my floor.
The walls and ceilings bulged and leaned,
dropping plaster, losing heat.

Beautiful and dream-ripe,
you filled my rooms with plans and heart.
With brand new tools we went to work,
laughter, lumber, caulk and dreams.
We stripped the walls to dust and bone,
tore the windows and the roof apart.
The house laid open, healed and cleansed,
we sealed the wounds, moved in again.

Luxurious, a haven now,
this house stands sanctified and new.
You've brought the colors that surround me,
the warmth that keeps my blood alive.
You're the light I do my reading by,
your voice the music in these rooms.
I'm happy here, and still surprised
at how love can retrofit old lives.


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Douglas Campbell lives in southwestern Pennsylvania. His fiction and poetry has appeared online and in print, in publications such as Literary Potpourri, Flash Me Magazine, Every Day Fiction, Slow Trains Literary Journal, and Jabberwocky. Sometimes his writing wins prizes. His flash fiction, "Accidents," for instance, won the 2007 flash fiction contest held by Many Mountains Moving magazine. He's won other honors and has more writing credits, but doesn't like to bore people to sleep by listing them. Bottom line is he can't seem to resist telling stories, and just tries to do that as best he can.

My Lover

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Contributor: Linda M. Crate

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I miss my lover when he's gone
he chases the darkness from my dawn
and fills my heart with love and joy
with a passion that would char troy -
he treats me as if I'm a rich queen
to me he is never truly ever mean
I love the caress of his hands on
my flesh whether it be midnight or dawn
he can kiss away my sorrows so sweetly
and he is the only man that can complete me.


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Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native currently migrated to Maine. She has a degree in English-Literature and her poetry and short stories have appeared in many publications the latest of which include: Birds Eye reView, Mirror Dance, Blue & Yellow Dog, Crisis Chronicles Online Library, Super Flash Fiction, and Dead Snakes.

Passions in Scarlet

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Contributor: Ron Koppelberger

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Hazy aspirations of confusion and gentle suspicions

Of desire,

A unity in perfect ascension and

Commingled essence,

A breath and an exhalation in sighs of

Mysterious allure, a mortal halo of soul defined

By the love of emblazoned dreams

And emanating passions in

Scarlet.


- - -
Dear Reader
I love to write and nothing thrills me more than seeing my work in print. The creative process is a thrill for me as is influencing the reader in a positive way, in a thought provoking way. One of my primary goals involves touching the reader and giving them a gift, the gift of a long forgotten memory or perhaps a special insight that may not have been apparent.

Such beauty

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Contributor: Collin Stanhope

- -
In this sweaty mess,
and troubled stress,
I hear this music,
and wonder how,
such beauty is crafted,
by mind.
Such beauty,
manages to touch my heart,
moment and moment again,
oh how I crave moments,
that I never really lived.


- - -
I am 19 years old and attending the University of Maryland. I am a Psychology and Family Science double major. Writing is just a hobby right now but I enjoy it because it's like having a conversation with your best friend: you can say anything and go on as long as you want.

Denied

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Contributor: Jason Sturner

- -
She could kiss me
Swirl me into a daze
And awaken me
On a rosebud

She could taste me
Wrap her lips over me
And spit me out
As merlot

She could embrace me
Slide me inside a gift
And shout my name
Into history

But all she did was inhale me
Mold me into a breath
And sail me off
With a shhhhh


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Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

Calico Eyes

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Contributor: Sergio A. Ortiz

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He gave her a hot-oily stare
soon as he realized someone else
could dream about her.

What if they changed the shade
of her copper skin, or if her eyes
were no longer calico?

What if she followed that man
to the movies and flipped
her phone number into his hand
just to watch the leaf storm

wade around his body?
What if she wanted to touch,
touch and lift him with her copper
right there… in the dream?


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Ortiz is an educator, poet, and photographer. He has a B.A. in English literature from Inter-American University, and a M.A. in philosophy from World University. His photographs will appear in The Neglected Ration and The Monongahela Review. He was recently published, or is forthcoming in: The Battered Suitcase, Zygote in my Coffee, Right Hand Pointing, Poui: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing, Writers’ Bloc, and Temenos. Flutter Press published his chapbook, At the Tail End of Dusk (2009).

A Graveyard in Pennsylvania

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Contributor: Zachary de Stefan

- -
November is a month of ends,
of scarlets and vermilions that flame through woods,
of shadows like cool waters that fall upon
rows of stone faces sheathed in ivy tentacles.

The air tastes stale, as if released from the
yellowed pages of great-grandfather’s journal,
and the sun’s pallid light hardly makes the
search any easier.

At the sight of our name, we bend down to brush away the bramble:
Even rock can die.


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I am a rising high school senior who won a Silver Medal in Poetry at the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Parallel Plane

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Contributor: M.E. Ashline

- -
Hurry in a feud with patience
And the virtue laterally referred to is latent
Because the hustle is a necessity
Of a way where quotas rule;
A bunch of people, ingredients, in the same recipe
Or perhaps floating in a vast pool
Spread with bodies to make a marsh;
The image could seem harsh,
But it all boils down to patience in the end—
Patience for death coming like a slow-moving wind.


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I am an aspiring poet and novelist bent on the pursuit of truth, eloquence, and quick quips with a nuanced message.

Jilt

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Contributor: Amanda Firefox

- -
You never told me why.
I miss you.
Did you like the fire?
I still have a key to your apartment.
I stole your deodorant while I was there.
I like having your smell all over my body.
I dreamed I fucked your brother last night.
I could smell you, and it made me wild for him.
Are you jealous?
Your parents still like me.
They think I’m a nice girl.
You should be with a nice girl.


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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.

When I AM Loved By You

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Contributor: Jason Sturner

- -
A silky aura
surrounds me
when I . . .

Lavender dreams
visit me sleeping
when I . . .

Golden extravagance
fills my every moment
when I am loved by you.

My nerves
come to ease

My tensions
are of no attention

My heart beats
with subtle integrity

when I am loved by you.


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Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

Loves’ Host

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Contributor: Ron Koppelberger

- -

Climaxes in sinless baths of wedded ascent, a tender
Eyed beauty in quiet sighs of satisfaction,
The delicate arousal of songs
And sash, in love and in fashions of
Furtive desire,
A pinnacle in precipice diversions, in divine
Need and want, in the abandon of communion,
In indulgences of soul and spirit, loves’
Host and the blood of blissful
Blooms, in secret
Seasons
Misty
True.


- - -
Dear Reader
I love to write and nothing thrills me more than seeing my work in print. The creative process is a thrill for me as is influencing the reader in a positive way, in a thought provoking way. One of my primary goals involves touching the reader and giving them a gift, the gift of a long forgotten memory or perhaps a special insight that may not have been apparent.

Love's Obssession

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Contributor: Brihintha Burggee

- -
I'm the mad lover of love,
Of Cupid's bow and Jove's dove.
Slay my head off for so, but,
There's a clown in rags that never
stops laughing at the ticking
clock that heralds Grim's arrival.

Let the Montagues and the Capulets know!
He is washing off history on the
moon's lover.
And lo', a forbidden apple
has sprung again.
Jove shall rewrite the last chapter!


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Born in 1994, Brihintha Burggee is enjoying the experience of writing her first poems. She lives in the busy town of Quatre Bornes in a small paradise island called Mauritius. Her works have been previously published in The Rainbow Rose, The Camel Saloon and Mad Swirl.

Lame

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
He was the tiny runt that no one wanted
Born with a limp and a lazy eye
And a stunted stature his owner claimed
He was sadly destined to never outgrow

Yet this handicapped misfit touched my heart
As I lifted him away from his stronger siblings
Bringing him home to give him a chance
For whatever life he was fated for

And as he stumbled and weakly whimpered
He would often sit watching the world outside
So one day I opened the door so he’d be
More than a cripple denied the sun

But now he lies buried at my garden’s edge
For he could not escape a fast moving car
My little friend with the twisted leg
The tilted eye and a dream to run free


- - -
Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

The Reasons Why

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The Reasons Why



by



Richard Cody



For



Sarah Cody











No. 1



I love you because

when you hold me close

and I, in turn, pull you near



these silly distinctions,

you and I,

fall away



and we know

what we have always known:



there is only One here.








No. 2



I love you because

you cook our meals

as Millay crafted meter and rhyme.



You are a poet of the gas range,

composing sonnets in crushed red pepper,

garlic, butter and thyme.








No. 3



I love you because

your blue eyes shine!



Faerie glow!

Heaven’s stolen fire!

Eternal Light that has inspired

talents far grander than mine.



You ought to have symphonies

spelling out your name,

portraits painted by genius hands

in honor of that flame



which burns forever bright.



You, my Love,

deserve poetry

of the rarest air.



I give you this instead

and in my dreams write with ease

lines worthy of your light.








No. 4



I love you because

loving you

is completely natural for me.



I take air no easier.



And if I have ever

loved you thoughtlessly

it is only because,

like the air we breathe,



the dearest things

are taken too much for granted.







No. 5

I love you because,

as that old man said,



"The sun sure does shine brighter

when you're walkin' by."



How lucky am I

to know that brighter glow



when you stop your walkin’



and take me in

to share your bed.






No. 6



I love you because

our last kiss

was just like the first.


- - -
Richard Cody, a native Californian, has been known to write poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in many print and virtual publications, most recently Eclectic Flash and Weirdyear. He also takes pictures of all that he sees, and much he doesn't. His books can be found at RCodywrites and Amazon!

Though Unseen, Her Soul Is Lucid

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Contributor: Jason Sturner

- -
And soft, like thoughts
on snowy evenings.
The amber fire inside of her
warms me.

She is filled with sympathy;
cries out when injustice
sets fire to the world.

She's a subtle understanding,
like Braille across the enigma
of wounds in the heart.

And though unseen, her soul is lucid.
A poetic ideal
I've always wished
to become.

And bright, like clouds
on snowy evenings.
The amber light inside of her
calms me.

She is filled with symphony;
sings out when justice
takes hold in the world.

She's my one true understanding.
A quiet hand reaching for mine
when my head is low, when I need love…

On a snowy evening.
In the amber glow.


- - -
Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

A Human Eliminating Ruthless Oppression (A HERO)

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Contributor: Shaquana Adams

- -
Be not,
a tyrant with little power,
But enough to crush a soul.
Discourage
the belittling of one human
By another.
Stop
the bloodshed from ones
Wrists and neck.
Be
A HERO.

In fifth grade
Some big breasted light skinned girl
Looked down on me and said
“You’re ugly”.
And me, so young
And innocent went home
And said in the mirror “I’m not ugly”
but when I was bullied again
it was harder to believe those
words the mirror spoke.
And then one day some girl came up to me
Tall girl who was as intelligent as people come. She said
“You’re not ugly”
“You’re not ugly”.
I turned on my heel, looked in the nearest
mirror and said to myself
“I’m not ugly”,
“I’m not ugly”.
To this day, no one can put me down
Because of that one girl who saw
What the bully did and
Decided to take a stand and
Let me know that I AM
Somebody.

The boy I knew
Who had to hide who he was from his
Peers because they would think he was
Queer, different, a fag.
He has stood many times
Arms over the sink
One arm bent with a blade pointed at
The other arms wrists
Contemplating the pros and cons
Of his wretched life.
Until one day I saw him crying
And I told him “It’s OK to be gay.”
“I like you just the way you are”
Today the world knows he loves men,
He is admired for his fashion,
hell he struts his stuff better than me
Because he knows that
He IS somebody.

The big girl who always sat
At the back of the class
Was ostracized for her weight
The skinny girls called her names to her face
And behind her back but still loud enough
For her to hear. “Pig, fatty, boulder…”
She heard, she cried, she wrote in her journal.
Then one day she met my gay friend
and he told her “Your smile is so
beautiful”.
She didn’t believe him. She thought
No one would ever compliment her
Anything.
He took her hand and said
“Don’t let those skinny bitches
Make you sad. You are more beautiful
than their personalities will ever be.”
The big girl walked home that day with
Her head held high
Her hips swaying proudly from
Side to side.
When she got home she snatched up the
nearest teen magazine
She could find and said to the popular yet petty paper
“Despite what you think:
I AM somebody”.

A young man with cerebral palsy
Was harassed one day by some
Punk who wanted to know why
He moved the way he did.
Why he talked the way he did.
Even knocked him to the ground
If only just to see how fast he could get up
With his crutches.
The young man thought he would never find
A girl to see past his weird movements
His stuttering, his mannerisms.
Until one day the big girl asked him out to
Prom. And on prom day she danced with him
Crutches and all, watching every step,
Not missing a beat,
And when he finally asked her what she saw in him
She said
“I see kindness, I see hurt”
He asked why she wanted to go to prom with
Him, half expecting some wise crack or pity filled
Response. She answered “because I like you. You are
smart and thoughtful. You’re a gentleman”.
Today the man with cerebral palsy may not walk
Like you he may not talk like
You, but leave your woman alone with him
And you will be sorry.
Because he’s got that gentleman swag.
And if you’re lucky enough to keep your girl
She will wish every day that you were more
Like that man
All because once upon a time
Somebody showed him that
He IS somebody.

A Human Eliminating Ruthless Oppression. A HERO.
There is no membership fee,
No criteria to be met,
No initiation.
Spread the word people, bullying is real and it is powerful.
Tell your neighbor something good,
tell your enemy something good,
and tell your friend something good.
Because you never know when someone might need reminding
that they are somebody.


- - -
Shaquana Adams is an internationally published poet with a fondness for the color purple. Her poems can be found in Napalm and Novocain, Dead Snakes, Inkapture, Snow Island Review, Bicycle Review, Verse Land, and The World of Myth. She is quiet on the outside but goofy on the inside and writes because the best thing about writing is that she can say what she needs to say. It is an awesome experience.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/QuanaWana
Website: http://quanawana.weebly.com/

Miss Carol's Dumplings

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Every month or so
on a Sunday afternoon
I skip the football game
and get in my truck
and drive out from the city
into farm country
to visit Miss Carol
and get my hands
on her plump dumplings.
Biggest I've ever seen.
Best I've ever had,

terrific with her
legs and thighs.
When she lays out
her chicken dinner
on that white tablecloth
I start drooling before
I even get a hand on it.
A farm girl, she says
she's never met
a man like me
so nuts am I

about her dumplings.
Usually, she says,
men like breast meat,
when it's moist,
and I allow how I
like that as well
but not as much
as her plump dumplings
on a Sunday afternoon
and her pluperfect
legs and thighs.


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Andy Warhol’s Tribble

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Contributor: David Macpherson

- -
Andy Warhol’s wig, displayed in a museum exhibit,
Looks like nothing but a tribble.
You know, from that old Star Trek Show,
Where Kirk and Spock and the other guys
Deal with a furball alien, that is cute and cuddly
But eats everything and multiplies quickly
Until the Enterprise is filled to the rafters
With the wigs of internationally recognized
Artists, I mean tribbles. I think.

The Andy Warhol wig is gray, an elder statesman to
All the new-born tribbles. Imparting wisdom.
Extolling the virtues of multiples and repetition.
For fifteen minutes, everyone will be furry, adorable
Existertestrial pests. You know. Business as usual.

Don’t feed the Andy Warhol wig, for it will reproduce.
In an instant, scores of Andy Warhol wigs
Will fill up the gallery like cockroaches.
Or screen-printed Brillo boxes.
And if the Andy Warhol wigs are fed a second time,
They will sport matching Andy Warhols
To go with the headgear. The galleries will teem
With Andy Warhols, speaking wan and disaffected.
Blocking all the art not by Andy Warhol.
Eating all the complimentary canapes.
Breathing all the air.
Soon, the entire art world will be crushed
Under the weight of countless Andy Warhols.
One Andy Warhol is cute and precious.
A million Andy Warhols is a terrifying proposition.
A pop art apocalypse.

We need museum placards that proclaim:
“Do not feed the relics of art history.”
We need to save the world from an
Invasion of Andy Warhols.
If it’s not too late already.


- - -

Broken Hearts in Paris

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Contributor: Jason Sturner

- -
I dreamt last night
Of the last night I saw you,
All covered in deadweight gold
And tarnished by its light.

You stood at the window,
An angel with burnt wings
And a soul tired of dancing.
"It's never easy backing out," you said.

"I know," I replied,
Our backs facing each other
And the voice not quite my own.
"Sometimes it isn't what we imagine."

You breathed against the window
And made a heart with your fingertip.
I closed my eyes
And put my forehead to the door.

When moonlight fell across the bed
You turned to me and said, "Paris, we
Should've gone to Paris. They have stars
And paintings, all the romance you can take."

I fumbled for my keys and opened the door.

"And broken hearts," I said.
Plenty of broken hearts.


- - -
Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

Love’s Soliloquy

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Contributor: E.S. Wynn

- -
Oh, if my heart were but an angel’s drum,
Or some other divine percussive to beat
The steady rhythm of your impassioned breath
Across my brow, my mouth, my throat, my chest,
And bring forth the very blossom of the new day,
Across your honey-sweet lips, oh love’s unrequited torture–
And if my hands could but caress and touch again,
Explore the lay of your every hill and dale again,
And run quick across the shiver strands of fine-spun gold
That grow secret in the sweet seclusion of your nape.
That scent– no, that sweet censor-drift of earthbound angels,
Drawn from the loving arms of heaven,
But paltry lepers beside your beauty,
Is peerless bliss,
Is the most divine waft that my soul could ever hunger for.
I would cross a thousand deserts,
Sail across a thousand oceans,
Breech the walls of a thousand fortresses,
And depose a thousand kings from a thousand rightful thrones
If only to see your seraphim eyes again,
If only to see you, and then even if only to part again at the end,
As your smile, fair lady, is far more glorious
Than any victory, any earthly possession,
That any man could ever hope to win or seize,
And it is but a small, small part of a greater you,
A facet in a form that is surely the artifice of angels,
For no child of man or god
Could ever hope to forge such a perfect being,
Given all the ages of time and all the tools
Of every sculptor, artist, poet, or blacksmith
To ever grace the green earth with his footsteps
Or meet the face of love naked as a babe at birth.


- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over 50 books.

Just Some Thoughts

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Contributor: LA Sykes

- -
When money clocked for Trident
Gets the homeless salivating for the blast
The spin doctors diagnose a good investment
With homelessness a thing of the past
When the planet’s nowt but ashes
And the final war is won
When whichever God you choose computer crashes
Because of self destructive tossers we will be gone

Your tax is deducted
Theirs is fucking fiddled
When national insurance is deconstructed
You’ll find out you’ve been diddled.
Chop off your helping hand
And throw it in an overflowing bin
You’re walking on the corporation’s land
Freedom: the third millenium’s ultimate corporate sin

You have a right to an opinion
As long as it’s within their agenda
So become another minion
Or be extraordinarily rendered
You’ll get three meals a day
And waterboarded for recreation
Least you had your say
Enjoy your free vacation.

Turn up at A and E
With mortality your escort
They’ll process you statistically
Your hospital’s for sale but ain’t been bought.
Step inside the minds of them
Who regard you as a pawn in economic theory
From your unique life their market stems
Don’t dissent else police batons deem you leery.

The Big Society in this together
You heard them but have they heard you?
Cameron loved his eighteenth holiday’s weather
Osborne swaps Charles Darwin for his burger.
Scramble for the knockdown scran
To feed your sons and daughters
Forget the banks and blame the pension of your gran
But don’t get rickets as the NHS is being slaughtered.

Smell the instant coffee
And remind yourselves that we were all born equal
Melt the noses made of toffee
And pray to your chosen God the human race will get a sequel.
After all we’re all electric masses of firing nerves
And brains and hearts and livers and spleens
And unique intellect and passion and verve
Fuck it, just die and be reincarnated as a Queen

Utilize your council tax
And send them on the hunt for rats
To hunt in packs
For packs of twats
Point them towards Downing Street
And trap the big fat cats they greet
Recording demands they promise to meet
And send it to the old free? Fleet Street
For a consciousness awakening
So tomorrows children aren’t forsaken
Whose boots we should be lacing
To march for the democracy they are faking


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LA Sykes grew up in small town Greater Manchester, England. He studied psychology and criminology at University of Central Lancashire before working in psychiatry. His flash fiction is up at and due to appear in the likes of Shotgun Honey, Powder burn Flash and Blink Ink amongst others. He can be contacted at sykesfiction@live.co.uk

Quiet Temptation

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Contributor: M.E. Ashline

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Linger at our crossroads
Where we intersect together,
Close and closer,
Wanting to touch;
Your words are like a punch,
Knocking out wind and wit
And lips that need to be bit;
Held in with a guise,
A cloak,
In you, I see a reflection of me:
Tempted by a swaying wind to spree,
So kindred spirits we may be.


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I am an aspiring poet and novelist bent on the pursuit of truth, eloquence, and quick quips with a nuanced message.

Two Koreas

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Some old wounds
can never be sutured
and email is always

the wrong needle to try.
So is the phone.
Fly to your daughter.

Tell her thirty years later
it's time to end the war
between two Koreas.

You're sorry you didn't attend
the wedding she never had.
It's not her fault she looked

so much like her mother.
That was another war
death would end.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

I Love You

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Contributor: Jason Sturner


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I see more than you know
about all you are,
and through my observations
and from my analysis
I've concluded that
I love you.

Not a theory
quite simply a fact—
I love you,
and that's that.


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Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

The Kiss

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Contributor: G. Fostertagg

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As the sun set, we kissed, and it was a kiss that seemed to go on forever. It was a strong kiss, a passionate kiss, a kiss that we held all night, a kiss that carried us on into the next day, held us even as the sun rose again, even as we welcomed our first daughter and our son into the light. Even as the years etched their words into our faces, our arms, our eyes, we didn’t let go, didn’t break that kiss. We held it. We’re still holding it, and every day the kiss grows stronger, our connection deeper, more passionate.

To love is to live, but to love eternally is to live forever in the purest paradise–

Each other.


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For the one I love. :)

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