So Still the Day

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Contributor: Deborah Guzzi

- -
I leave the eggplants on the vine this year, unpicked, forlorn. They hang bloated on blackened stalks, the ugliness dusted gratefully with snow.

ice melt
rattles down the drain pipe –
a sparrow sips

Parsley and mustard greens battle daily for life, peeking, bright green from the sleet-sheet covering their bed. Stalwart sage vies for vertical dominance, remaining the refuge of dirty white. Spring cannot come soon enough.

quarter-sized flakes
drift on a chill northern breeze –
chimney smoke

- - -


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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
In my back yard I saw over the weekend
A man sleeping beneath the hot sun
Shirtless and shoeless upon the green grass
Surrounded by the stumps of cut down trees

And I felt that he had also been cut down
Reduced to the realm of shelters and soup lines
Driven to find some secluded place
To forget for a time his wretched fate

By morning he’d vanished without a trace
Back to the shadows where lost souls dwell
As I wondered if he had been just a ghost
Wandering the earth with no place to haunt

But I have seen him in the world before
In a different shirt, different coat, different face,
But always the same longing look in his eyes
Wondering where his broken road will lead next

- - -
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.

Mostly Basie with a Little Bach

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Whenever I see a new woman, I know
I should look at her hair and her eyes and her smile
before I decide if she's worth the small talk
and the dinner later
and whatever else she may require
before she becomes taffy,
pliant and smiling.
But that never works for me.
Whenever I see a new woman,
what matters to me is never
her hair or her eyes or her smile;

what matters to me is her saunter
as I stroll behind her.
If her moon comes over the mountain
and loops in languor, left to right,
and then loops back again,
primed for another revolution, then
I introduce myself immediately
no matter where we are,
in the stairwell or on the street
and that's when I see for the first time
her hair and her eyes and her smile
but they are never a distraction since
I'm lost in the music of her saunter.

Years ago, tall and loping Carol Ann
took a train to Chicago,
found a job and then one summer day
walked ahead of me on Michigan Avenue
while I surveyed her universe amid
the cabs screeching, horns beeping,
a driver's middle finger rising.
Suddenly she turned and said hello
and we shook hands and I saw her smile
dart like a minnow and then disappear
as she frowned and asked
why was I walking behind her.

I told her I was on my way to the noon Mass
at Holy Name Cathedral and she was welcome
to come along. The sermon wouldn't be much,
I said, but the coffee and bagels afterward
would be plentiful, enough to cover lunch.
And Jesus Christ Himself would be there.
She didn't believe me, not at all,
and she hasn't believed me since.

That was thirty years ago and now
her smile is still a minnow
darting here and there but now
it's more important than her saunter
which is still a symphony,
mostly Basie with a little Bach.

And I no longer traipse Michigan Avenue
as I did years ago looking for new moons
swirling in my universe. Instead,
I take my lunch in a little bag
on a long train from the suburbs
and I marvel at one fact:
It's been thirty years since I first heard
the music in her saunter
and Carol Ann and I are
still together, praise the Lord.
Who can believe it? Not I.
Carol Ann says she knew
the ending from the start.
Lord, Almighty. Fancy that.

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

Rheumatic Fever

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Contributor: Kevin O'Donnell

- -
While goldfish fight in bowls on wooden benches I sit
among the youth with my shoes off and a common
cold. Some days you feel your years doubled, should I be
heavier or lighter on the third floor? Gravity never seems

to lose interest, a loving mother amongst the concrete pillars
and the hum of air-conditioned light, easing now at the start
of winter. I had risen early like a farmer needing to milk his cows,
a mouth dry from breathing and came to study. A student shrugs

into their jacket amid polished laptops, the parents
now unused fonts. One student speaks into a phone
in a foreign language, soft modulating tones, as though
giving directions to a stranger’s house or how to back

a car in a narrow alley, the sunlight orange on
the highest building while the youngest daughter
sits thin and heavy, listening to her distant brother’s voice,
a saint Jude’s valve needed for an uneven heart.

- - -
Kevin O'Donnell has been writing for a few years and completed a Masters In Creative writing at the IIML at Victoria University, New Zealand.

Eight Years Gone

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Contributor: Roy Blokker

- -
Eight years gone and I
Still try to hold on.
I gave you my words,
My precious gifts,
A warm water cascade,
A tumble in the shower,
And I don’t remember
What I said.
I wrote them down, no back-up,
One copy just for you.
Did you toss it away
On your wedding day?
Did you place it
Like a rose pedal
Between the pages of
Your favorite book?
Did it disappear when you did?
Did it live within your heart
Until the end
Or did you place it
In some ante-chamber
Of your mind under lock and key,
The key fed in small bites
To your husband
For security?
We lost touch centuries ago
And therefore I don’t know,
And I don’t remember
What I said
But I do remember when
And why.

- - -
I was born in Holland in 1950. Now retired, I am concentrating on the art and craft of writing. I am the author of six books, including four volumes of poetry, as well as numerous articles, stories and poems published by magazines as diverse as "Black Heart," "Clever," and "Highlights for Children."

17 Haiku

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Contributor: "Wired Clues" Abe

- -
Damn, he did it again;
he hit the delete button,
and all his files were gone.

My laptop screen can't
keep out all of those damn bugs
trying to get through.

My computer purrs
with activity amok—
cicadas' voices.

The music I make
is a quiet tip-tapping.
I play the keyboard.

I need a new mouse.
Mine's by the same company
as my computer.

My programming stinks,
because I have spilled Java
all over the place.

They're cutting down trees
in order to make books @

I'm being turned on
by somebody's warm fingers:

You are not my type.
When I hit the print icon
I get an error.

He sat high upon
the chair before the counter,
as the rocket launched.

The radiant moon
is slowly going away
from the earth's orbit.

Plate techtonics crash
below; above one can see
snowy Mount Fuji.

Blue plums, purple grapes,
and red raspberries gleam on
the computer screen.

My smart phone still shows
the weather in Kaua'i,
and I understand.

While I move my mouse,
the cat rubs its fur head on
my laptop's top. STOP!

On the bed at last
after hours of working,
doing sudoku.

I drink from the stars.
The arc of the Big Dipper
curves above tree tops.

- - -
"WIRED CLUES" ABE is a poet of Japanese haiku in a postShiki world. His kigo, or season word, is a word or phrase associated with the particular season Postmodernism. He is friends with Chinese leaning Li "Web Crease" Du and American webster Esca Webuilder.


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Contributor: Hillel Broder

- -
Tearing down the face of my building, dripping from fire
Escapes, catching on my window’s blinded eyes. Bickering cats
Hushed, muffled horns and sirens, all the sharp city’s
Sounds all stilled, while the murmur of the sky’s sighs drips onto

Brick, pavement, glass, into punctured puddles. My dim lamp hangs
Its head and weeps in the window, running-off forever into the roaring
Rivers beneath these streets, about this island.

Drizzled drips collecting in stilled
Browned pools on
Worn, bumpy yellow lips:

Gold stepping stones clutch loosely
The edge of this yawning abyss.

Later, the sky is still alight when street lamps flicker on
Spotlights stray cabs, headlights brighten and cross-walks
Darken on shadowy faces in the glow of cornered stones

And stores. Only the very tips of towers are still splashed with a
Coat of deep orange, catching a falling sky along a line that recedes
As rapidly as the dull navies swallow the purples and reds.

- - -
Hillel is a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and a high school teacher in the Bronx.

Fast Food

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Contributor: J. K. Durick

- -
We make such easy targets of ourselves
Waddling away, with a big mac and fries
On our breath, evolving in our stomachs
Comforted, satisfied, our fast food slows
Us down, makes the best of our obesity
Our measured gait, our treasured weight
Enough for us to stop to smell the roses
But bend down just so far, to a whopper,
Double-whopper, junior whopper, all
All with cheese, digesting as they please;
Our fast food solves the day, the dilemma
The where, the when, how much, and why
Of our almost casual dining, part lifestyle
Part guilty pleasure, part choice, part reflex
Fast food becomes us, as we become what
We eat, super-sized, with special sauce
Hold the lettuce, hold the tomato, plenty
Of mayo, and all that on a sesame-seed bun.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Eskimo Pie, Pacific Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Muddy River Poetry Review.

Undocumented Zombies

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The nice thing about being dead
is you no longer care if the doctor
mucked up your diagnosis and the

pharmacist gave you the wrong pills.
You're cozy now in a comfy casket
six feet below all the carnage

in the world, without a worry, when
a mastodon tsunami rolls over your
peaceful cemetery and uproots

thousands of caskets, tossing them
high in the sky and forcing you
and all the other zombies to float.

You discover no port will take
undocumented zombies.
You have no papers, after all;

you can't prove who you were or are
so you and the other zombies float
for God knows how long since

God may not believe in zombies.
This is a rupture not a rapture.
And while you float, your lawyer

meets with your relatives who
no longer weep about your passing.
They smile as he reads your will.

They plan on taking a family cruise
with the proceeds from your estate.
They'll dine on lobster and steak,

lay waste continuous buffets while
you and the other zombies float
further out, unable to find a port

where citizens will bury the likes of you.
Property values will drop, they shout.
They can't drop their signs and let you in.

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

The Living

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

- -
When death invades our very soul
The living are left with an awful hole
Moving on is really hard to do
Can't hide the tears that fall anew


Healing is something that takes time
To not move on would be a crime
Hold your head high, firm, and strong
Memories of good times are never wrong


This is how we honor their passing
Showing that our love is everlasting
Take the next step in the healing
You can do it if you are willing


Peace will come and life goes on
Waking up to a brand new dawn
As the sting of loss begins to fade
When you feel the bill is fully paid


Take a deep breath and begin to feel
Friends and family can help you heal
You lifted the pain now start giving
It's not wrong to walk among the living

- - -
Born and raised in Ohio, now living in Florida. Father of two and a PawPaw. Don't get any better then that.

My Imbas Lover- To Haddayr with all my love

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Contributor: Shannon Barber

- -
I see through her pale breasts and strong raging heart.
I love her because her blood is molten and the flames flicker between her teeth.
She- she wants to be a dragon.
A phoenix rising from the ashes of her rage and pain to fly.
I love her because she runs-
flaming and raging. Driven by fear and hate and love.
She runs and dives into the sand trying to snuff the fire.
and I love her desperately.
As she saves herself, she flays herself.
I fear her.
I loathe her.
I want her.
I love her.
she is my mirror.
she is myself.
And oh, how I love us.
I love her.
I love me.
love in flames.
love in ash.
love complete.

- - -
Shannon Barber is an author from Seattle Washington where she lives with her partner and a small collection of oddities. She is an avid writer, reader and blogger. She has recently embarked on being a regular contributor at Luna Luna Magazine.

Honeydew Sherbet

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Down the patio walk,
white stones, through the garden,
under the trellis toward me
yellow frock, yellow hair
rising and falling

I lie in my lawn chair,
spoon honeydew sherbet, sip
pink ade from a tall glass,
cubes circling

She is almost upon me
I look up and I tell her
I have sand, sea, skies, laughs,
all paid for and nothing
nothing at all to do.

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

The Insane Mathematics Of Sobriety

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
Without a drink life becomes weird
day to day life becomes so very strange.
I need a drunken gap in the proceedings
I need to section and to re-arrange.
With soberness comes a bad conscience
with indulgence another need for more.
More hazy days from this bright reality
for another trench within life’s floor.
Although I succumb to the call easily
though I retire from the sober fight.
I seek the warmth of unconsciousness
not an easy way to make things right.
Life to me has always been a battle
I expect certain things to go wrong.
I only ever really feel uncomfortable
when placed somewhere I don’t belong.
In alcoholism I find a short holiday
where I can just relax, swim and float.
where I can shout “Enough is enough!”
and pull the hand away from my throat.
I have tried to abstain from my habit
several times have I tried to give up.
But the insane mathematics of sobriety
simply and absurdly just don’t add up?

- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

My Granny's Island

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Contributor: Clyde Kessler

- -
My granny dreamed a shooting on an island
where nobody lived. A moonrise lugged the shore
towards our boat, and it was the barren light
that surfaced onto the old woman while she slept
that reminded me that I was hungry again.
She told me to peel some turnips by the campfire.
My daddy was too drunk to remember how.
And there were no turnips anywhere, just mud crabs
and one flighty rail sneaking towards the reeds.
I was little, and watched the smoky embers sizzle
in the lake, more like wild orange fish eyes
anchored somewhere on a huge monster’s head.
I wanted to dream something, so I imagined the sand
walking up like a soldier holding candy in his helmet.
I told my granny how sweet the chocolate was.
Then she said a stray bullet would hit somebody.
The sunrise might push him right over us like snags.
The lake was cold all morning. I dreamed a rifle
aimed at our boat. We all felt more than dead
with our lives as we snuck into the world again.

- - -
I live in Radford, VA with my wife Kendall and our son Alan. I'm a founding member of Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an environmental education organization with programs and projects in western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia. BRDC can be "discovered" at

I Argue with God

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Contributor: Art Heifetz

- -
I'm sick of all your sophistry
your stories of how suffering
somehow ennobles the spirit
your assurances that we're
your chosen people.
Chosen for what - the camps?
OK you created death
as the price we paid for knowledge
as payback for the apple
you warned us not to touch.
Or to prevent this small blue sphere
hung like a glittery ornament
in empty space
from becoming overrun.
Malthus would have approved.
But why inflict so much pain
before the final sweet release
on those who never ceased
to praise your name?
On small children?
On babies?
We were supposed to be
a little lower than the angels.
Why make us grovel like the beasts?
What is the purpose in all that?
Tell me.

- - -
Art Heifetz has published 140 poems in 11 countries, winning second prize in the Reuben Rose competition in Israel. See for more of his work.

Banks Overflowing

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

- -
Thunder rolls over the hills
Lightning dances behind dark clouds
Mist that covers all the bare-faced people
A fog that blurs our daylight visions
Beauty fulfilled by cleaning the palate
Flashes of light that burn our eyes
Rivers that rise to the banks overflowing
Mixing the mud with the water
Holding back the river with a sieve

- - -
Born and raised in Ohio, now living in Florida. Father of two and a PawPaw. Don't get any better then that.

He Didn't Know

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Contributor: Wayne Scheer

- -
He didn't know she cleaned homes
and cared for old people since she was twelve;

He didn't know she raised two children as a single mother
after her husband abandoned the family;

He didn't know she raised her granddaughter
after her son followed in his father's footsteps;

He didn't know she completed a GED at forty-five
and went to a community college in her fifties;

He didn't know she worked overtime to pay for tutors
to help her pass her math classes;

He didn't know she graduated with a two-year degree
as her granddaughter cheered;

He didn't know she was rejected from the nursing program
because of her age and health issues;

He didn't know she developed adult diabetes and heart trouble
due to a lifetime of poor nutrition;

He didn't know she drove from Atlanta to Auburn
when her mother had a stroke;

He didn't know she and her mother pooled their disability checks
so she could buy a reliable car;

He didn't know shit. Still, he felt qualified to comment on
“the poor black woman who drives a $30,000 car.”

- - -
Wayne Scheer has locked himself in a room with his computer and turtle since his retirement. (Wayne's, not the turtle's.) To keep from going back to work, he's published hundreds of short stories, essays and poems, including Revealing Moments, a collection of twenty-four flash stories. ( He's been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net.

Playing Doctor

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Contributor: J. K. Durick

- -
After the measles and mumps, the bruises and bumps
We survive through childhood, it’s no wonder we start
To doctor ourselves, accumulated wisdom and anecdotal
Evidence balance any misgivings as we diagnose and
Prescribe, schedule and treat, bandage and wrap, take two
Then gargle this or that. It’s the easy way of appointments
We never made, tests and screenings we miss. The doctor
We have become is a specialist in many fields. The grave
Cough, the lump, the ache here, joints, muscles, stomachs
And eyes set the stage – it’s as simple as surgery, or change
In diet, or bedtime. Our bedside manner plays it well, nods
In agreement, then writes an easy prescription, like this one,
And never bills our insurance or validates our parking.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Eskimo Pie, Pacific Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Muddy River Poetry Review.

Mop Woman

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Near dwarf this woman.
Foreign born, Minsk,
perhaps. Her nose

a fist. Her hair
a whisk broom
only black. Her back

an Orthodox cupola.
Her arms braids of gym rope
lowered to the floor.

Orangutans could climb
those ropes, hand
over hand, no rose

no purple
on their hinds.

Near dwarf this woman.
Foreign born. Minsk,

Her hands, all gristle,
hang an inch, no more,
above her shining floor.

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

The Vermin of Varice

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Contributor: Chuck Oliver

- -
I'm shitting blood red now.
Sitting here my downward dog pointed out the problem--
magenta rosettes floating in a light rose bowl.

My god what a mess... like molten lava
mixed with the deep Georgia clay.

Yeah, it could be cancer,
but I've eaten jiguat for lunch every day for weeks now,
and it's known to be infected with the Vermin of Varice--
microscopic creatures with teeth so ferocious and talons so bizarre
they're known to cause deep sea nitrate dreams
and night terrors in the scientists
that investigate them under microscopes.

I have to start eating better.

So I went to the Voodoo clinic to get dosed,
but they decided on a different incantation
partially formulated from a rare isotope
extracted from ethers found only
within a narrow range of atmosphere along the 38th parallel.

But, the most important component
requires a Shaman practitioner with a putrid breath
specifically fostered to strip the flesh from whales
and coax the oils from its fat.

It's the fat and isotope blend that's thought to be curative,
but it never achieves its efficacy outside the context of a specific charm,
and as incredible of a sight it is to witness the terrifying breath
causing oils to drip from the flesh of whales,
the process of the charm is beyond all else.

It first requires the healers to encase themselves in cocoons
constructed from the actual cocoons of the Mozambique mud beetle.
This requires thousands of their tiny armor to be sown together
with thread spun from the webs of desert Dracula spiders;
it results in a spectacular sight, as the silk is tinged red
from the hemoglobin rich diet of the spiders.

Once so encased the charm begins in chorus:

     We who command a healing respectfully
     request a fusion of ether and oil,
     extraction of flesh below meet substance
     which holds the void to whole.

Since the ether is a unifying substrate, it allows a molecular communication
beyond the comprehension of minor alchemists.

Consequently space itself begins
a perceptible and auditory harmonic quiver.
In addition to the assumed efficacy of the charm,
it's certainly those harmonic vibrations
that allows an ideal emulsification of the oil and either;
the hemoglobin rich environment also
adds greatly to the visual spectacle of the charm,
and charms always charm best when combined with a spectacle.

It's also a widely held belief by all practitioners
that the enormous amounts of clotting mechanism
from the thousands of tiny Vampire cocoons
has a coagulative effect instrumental in the cessation
of all form of gastrointestinal bleeding,
especially that caused by the grotesque claws
and talons of the Vermin of Varice.

As one can imagine, a process like this is expensive beyond belief,
and yet another reason that I just have to start eating better.

- - -
Registered Nurse, try to be writer and a minor poet, just keep scratching at the paper to see what kind of freaky shit flows.


| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
the challenge of the basic
task lies ahead
I promised myself yesterday
I would do fifty sit-ups
but had to stop at fifteen
and take a break before
the next ten, which then led
to five, not quite making the quota
nevertheless, I will attempt it one day
the bound of the arena,
the blaze of competition,
or else settle for stands and popcorn.

- - -
JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His work has appeared in Eunoia Review, The Commonline Journal, and Eye On Life Magazine.

Our Song

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Contributor: Dan Slaten

- -
I hear a song
and I'm instantly transported
to a time and place
that no longer exist.

I see you there
standing beneath the moonlight
and this time
I'm going to do
what I should have done
all those years before.

I move close,
lean in to kiss you,
and you are gone
and the song ends
and I'm here all alone,
older and not much wiser.

So I hit play again
and the music takes me
back to you once more,
if only for a few minutes.

- - -
Dan Slaten writes poetry in small notebooks and on sticky notes.


| Filed under

Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
There was the one about the boy who yearned for love
Who was given a number and told to wait in line

And the one about the girl addicted to the dark
When she could best pretend she was somebody else

And the one about the soldier in an invisible war
Whose enemies wore the same uniform as him

And the one about the blind man who could hear the sound
Of the world dancing on a razor’s edge

And the one about the mother calling for her child
Who only heard the cry of an extinct bird

And the one about the nation yearning to be free
Whose people only knew how to be slaves

And the one about the convict in the mirrored cell
Sentenced for life to be haunted by himself

And the one about the poet whose greatest work
Was a love letter scrawled in a forgotten language

- - -
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.

Abjured Wobble

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Contributor: Shinjini Bhattacharjee

- -
Sometimes the only way
to pronounce ‘interrupt’ is
to pinch the hollow inside
its middle.

Whenever I sign on
top of my lungs
it gets a zero.

The wrinkled throat fails
to catch up with water
every time the clinging words say yes.

We need some desperate imagination to
scrape the best
out of a broken egg yolk’s
medicine bottled drawl.

Till then let us drop our sawdust folded
breaths in
the fist drawers
tick-marked for archived gravity.

Hush, thick black lines taste the time that falls on your cells.

- - -
Shinjini Bhattacharjee is a poet and the Editor-in-Chief of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. She considers herself to be a lexical photographer who loves to rummage through language to find words that smell like infinite spandex, and weave them into images to cloak her experiences and emotions.


| Filed under

Contributor: Ben Riddle

- -
The lights went out at midnight;
shrouding the city in a darkness
long forgotten in suburbia.

The black tarred streets blurred
together in the moonlight;
industrial photocopies matching

The silent streetlights stilled
by an unexpected surge
of uncontrolled power.

Dogs howl at the moon;
as the tamed become untamed
and all the world remembers

That power is fleeting, and
the night was meant to be still.

- - -
A nineteen year old aspiring poet and athlete from Perth, Western Australia, Ben Riddle studies Political Science and English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia. You can find more of his work at


| Filed under

Contributor: Joanna M. Weston

- -
no well-beaten track
through this empty land

no imprints of feet
or bent bramble

no way to tell
who came this way

only the smell of ashes
the taste of dust

and a whisper of wind
leading onward

- - -
JOANNA M. WESTON has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published for twenty-five years. Her poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, was published by Frontenac House of Calgary.

It's been 3 days, 2 nights, 87 hours, and 6 minutes

| Filed under

Contributor: Katelynne Shepard

- -
I miss your touch.
Tough and tender,
a mismatch of half-burned tattoos and
perfectly manicured fingernails.

Gentle and strong,
like the straight-line winds before the tornado,
just enough to blow my hair back.

I miss your laugh.
I hear it in my dreams sometimes,
a forgotten melody of hope and fear only
my soul understands.

I miss your eyes.
The kaleidoscope of blues and greens
that never seem to be able to settle on
just one color.
An aquamarine flame that burns
and heals all at once
until I can do nothing but stare right back.

I miss your voice.
Vibrating deep with safety and comfort,
a heavy, navy blue Carhart hoodie
I wear with everything.
A strong "It's going to be alright,"
your face in my hair,
breath matching breath, waiting for
the whispered "I love you."

Because I do.

- - -
Katelynne sells her soul as a freelance writer and editor to pay the bills but still finds the time to remember what the furious clicking of keys sounds like when memories spill out your fingertips.

The Whole Mad Swirl

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
I was out of control, spinning
on the whirligig of youth,
giddy to be caught
in what Kerouac called
"the whole mad swirl
of everything to come."
I didn't know what to expect.
I was ready for nothing
though I had spent years
in solitary confinement

with books, exams and degrees.
You would think I'd have learned
something about life as it is,
not as I wished it to be.
I went out on the street
to look for work
and was surprised to discover
no one spoke Old English
like Beowulf or Middle English
like the Wife of Bath.

An old professor told me
I talked the way
e.e. cummings wrote
and no one would hire me.
A few years later I married
a woman with several degrees.
She thought I was normal.
We had five kids in six years
and drove landlords bonkers.
"The Lord will provide,"

we said, and He did.
Fifty years later, the five kids
have rucksacks of their own
packed with jobs, marriages,
children and good lives
measured against
the standard of most.
Their mother is dead,
and like everyone else
on this strange planet

I am in the process
of dying in the jaws
of what Kerouac called
"the whole mad swirl
of everything to come."
I have seen almost all
of "everything to come"
except for the best part
and that, I am told,
will take my breath away.

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

A Pause

| Filed under

Contributor: Emily Strauss

- -
A pause

a stopping of

holding a possible
finality of motion

sliding toward rest
momentum ceasing

words forgotten in

the end not needed
ocean never reached—

the arroyo dry and rocky
its stream waiting
for winter rains

this rest—
air in abeyance
vision dark

a touch in the night
reduced to a grazing wind

bare skin unable to
feel direction
north and south equal

the compass stilled
center waiting—
everything comes here

the wheel
not spinning—

we fall inward
closer— the edge approaches

almost a sound
then gone again

- - -
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 170 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.


| Filed under

Contributor: Lori Wyman

- -
With the budding of the trees
I see her face.
Warmth and a sweet taste to life
now gone inexplicably.
A sadness to the earth
below me as I dream
to be with her again.

- - -
I am 53-years-old and I live in Minneapolis with my best friend and my two Siamese cats. I've written poems and stories that have been published and my ultimate goal is to publish a book.


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