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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
A cloud hangs over
The poisoned valley
Where the mills once stood

Where now sit strip malls
And restaurants devoted
To fresh appetites

But sometimes at night
You can hear the cries
Of the ghosts of steelworkers

Haunting what’s left
Of the rusted ruins
By the dead river’s shores

That carries their spirits
On twisted currents
To a burning sea

To be lost and forgotten
Like extinct animals
Buried in the past

- - -
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.

Her Dance

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Contributor: Yulian Horada

- -
When she moves
it comes so freely
it flows so freely
every step
a step
in a dance
to music
only she can hear.

When she moves
every man takes notice
every head rises
so that every eye can watch.

When she moves
I wonder
how much longer
she'll be mine
how much longer
until my best
won't be the best
she can find.

- - -
This is my bio. At the time of this writing, this is who I am.

Between Footsteps

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Contributor: John Dorn

- -
If I could measure our moments
in footsteps,
in vistas we've seen,
streets crossed without silence
all ideas interwoven with quick salience
while feet trace trails,
trace places
like the field of oaks
like the bypass
(before it was built)
like lover's drop, its steep incline
Dowd, old town, down town
the rose gardens
the bike trails
that run through our old ville–

If I could trace
every movement
we spent walking, talking
see them all
in perfect clarity

I'd still be game for a hike
still be open
to talking about the stars
about work
about the slights,
the fights
the terrors
of life.

ever unfolding.

all the memories
all the living
that comes
between footsteps.

- - -

The Play’s The Thing

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Every day
the same play.
The moment I rise,
the first act begins,
the same plot
all over again.
Only the characters,
only the scenery,
vary. Act after act,
no intermission,
no denouement,
it never ends.
Every night,
in the front row,
the same lady
in a plumed hat
stands and shouts,
“Author, Author!”
I smile, I bow,
what else can I do?
Finally I pull the curtain
and turn in.

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

Those Eyes

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Contributor: J. Ruolde jr.

Those eyes
I could have drowned in those eyes
Would have drowned in those eyes
If you'd have let me.

Those eyes
Stole the breath from my lungs
Stole the beat from my heart
Stole the rhythm from my stride
Left me gasping, wide-eyed,
Ready to die.

Those eyes
What I wouldn't give
Just to see those eyes
Just to die in those eyes
One more time
One more time.

- - -
Resident of Vacaville, California. Retired janitor and father of three.

Standing Above Me

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Contributor: Rebekha Hadtha

- -
Ice spilled across the floor
shattered glass
a line of blood
rolling down
my hand
pooling in my palm.

And you
(and you)
standing above me
always standing above me
saying you love me
showing me
over and over again
you don't
not really.

- - -
Former student of Argus University. Lives with two cats and a big pile of dreams.


| Filed under

Contributor: Georgette F. Miller

- -
Yank the hanging drapes aside
Light pouring over everything
Full of dust.

Shelves and shelves
Grandpa's books
Brown and blue and white
Spines showing
Wrinkled at tops and bottoms.

One by one
We box his life
We box his legacy
We box all that he loved
We box all that he was
And cry,
Cry with every box we set on the street
When we lower the box
He's packed so tightly in
When we lower the box
Commit him at last
To God
To the dirt
To that
From which all that we are
Is ultimately only borrowed.

- - -


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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
of sand
of sea
of city
and streets

between you
between me
between hands
between hearts

and still I wait
(and still I wait)

for a dawn
when I'll wake
2337mi closer
(to you)
than I am

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

The Mudslide

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Oso, Washington 2014

Under the mud he can hear the men
digging and cursing but they
can't hear him scream.

The mud won't let him scream.
He was out for a walk when the mud
came down the hill like lava

covering him and the woman,
an arranged marriage of strangers
sinking and screaming.

He wonders how long he'll be there.
He can't recall the prayer
his grandmother taught him.

He wonders if the woman can hear
the men digging and cursing
and if she's able to scream.

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

Cross Your Mind

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Contributor: Florence Wanjiku

- -
If you take your vitamins
pay your taxes
and never cut the line,
the universe still gives you
people to love
and lets them slip through your fingers
like water.
and then what have you got?
vitamins and nothing.

- - -
Florence is a young Kenyan girl who finds her muse in writing. Poetry is the joy of living.

Writer's Eye

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Contributor: Debbi Antebi

- -
I am your lined notebook
I am the space between the lines in your notebook
I am the tip of your sharpened pencil
I am where the tip meets the paper

I am unwritten poems and untold tales
I hide between your brain’s synapses
I listen to your half-formed thoughts,
I lie in wait for your story to unfold

I am possibility and its absence --
I am you.

- - -
Debbi Antebi (@debbisland) exhales oxygen while writing stories. Follow her at

I knew

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Contributor: John Ogden

- -
I knew
From the moment
I looked at you
Saw you
From across that crowded room.

I knew
I saw it in your eyes
In those blue, clear sky eyes.

I knew
Even before I touched you
Even before I kissed you
Even before I saw and heard
All of the things
That made me
Fall in love with you

I knew
That you would be
The one
For me
The one
I would drop before
On bended knee
The one I would ask
To marry me.

- - -
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.


| Filed under

Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
I see the grey sky
The overcast mind
Of a tired old man

And the skeletal trees
His withered bones
Trembling in the wind

And the frozen earth
The bed where he lies
With his arctic dreams

And the blanket of snow
The shroud he will wear
Till the next world dawns

For he will be woken
When the songbirds return
From their winter retreat

To dance like a child
As the flowers open
Their faces to the sun

- - -
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 Man Who Lives in the Gym

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
St. Procopius College
Lisle, Illinois
after World War II

The man who lives in the gym
sleeps in a nook up the stairs
to the rear. Since Poland
he's slept there, his tools
bright in a box locked
under his bed. At noon bells
call him down to the stones
that weave under oaks
to the abbey where he

at long table takes
meals with the others
the monks have let in
for a week, or a month,
or a year or forever,
whatever the need.
The others all know
that in Poland his wife
had been skewered,

his children partitioned,
that he had escaped
in a freight car of hams.
So when Brother brings in,
on a gun metal tray,
orange sherbet for all
in little green dishes,
they blink at his smile,
they join in his laughter.

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

I am not here, try calling later

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Contributor: d0ll

- -
Broken glass in my fingers
I see the red
But I feel no more
All the damage done by my clumsy hands
Short-sighted mind and a naïve heart
It just stays there
And I watch it from over, under, behind and in front of
The glass

There are so many hands
Trying to reach me
So many fingers that will be cut
So many voices trying to please me
But I can’t hear from behind the glass

A friendly smile
Asks for something more
But I don’t listen
I vanish behind a closed door

There is no room left to hide
That which has been
Drained of life
And is now too ugly and old
Weary of expectations

While you want me fresh and young
My eyes are cold
And my throat is sore
Although I’m strangely paralyzed
I will soon push you away
Until you let go

There is an unknown void
Crawling towards me
Slowly dissolving me
Embracing me
I close my eyes
Because I don’t want to see…

- - -
Student, Djane, alternative model and DIY enthusiast from Slovakia.

The Karmic Scales of Deliverence

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
your prayers
it’s a tidal wave
to wash away
your tears
the darkness comes
fade away
the light

your truth
when the trial comes
your karma
will be weighed
The scales
of judgment tilt
to determine if
you burn
or will be saved

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar survived both the primordial fire and the cataclysmic flood - now he dances with existential fervor while waiting on the next round of chaos to commence. He can be reached at

Mea Culpa

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Contributor: Kari Ann Ebert

- -
into the grain of our coffee table
lies a tiny face
all milk-eyed and mealy-mouthed

It stares at my deficiencies
spread out like girly magazines
skimmed for the photos
rather than the brilliant exposés
on world hunger or the practical applications
of quantum physics

It grins its jagged scalpels
dissecting my humiliation
into silver dollar offerings
One to die
One to live
One to gain what he won’t give

- - -
Kari Ann Ebert lives in Dover, DE where she writes poetry and fiction. She also creates up-cycled wearable art.

Leaves Dreams

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Contributor: Amanda Firefox

- -
Leaves blown by wind
reach for the beach
but she
suddenly she
and I wonder
and I hesitate
and I put one foot
in the sand
and she says
“what if”
and I wish
and I dream
what she dreams
until we dream
each night

- - -
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.

Each Blue, Brighter Tomorrow

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Contributor: John Ogden

- -
Sweet sweat still scents my sheets
a memory of you
in stains and smells
of a night
when I looked into your eyes
and saw
all the days we'd ever come to spend together
all the children we'd come to raise together
all the nights we'd come
hold each other
through the dark
through the cold
through to dawn
to the blue
of each brighter

- - -
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.

Loam Sunset

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Contributor: Theresa A. Cancro

- -
Lithe sunset spreads over fields dry with curdled grass
sifted by winter winds, where new blades sprout
among straw, then pick up odd light. A clipped-edge sliver
left over from the middle of the day bruises sallowness
that merges with bright moisture twirling
underneath. Purple tones mill about, bounce
around livid corners still warm from young bodies
full of long kisses that breached the depths of the afternoon.

The earth sinks through the weight of the sectioned orb
brindled over lawns clustered with shy wild violets,
like the bosom of a widowed aunt once crushed in hug
against my flat chest as it budded under a summer blouse,
pansies embroidered, moping on the corner
of a sweat-dampened collar.

- - -
Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware) writes poetry and fiction. Many of her poems have appeared in online and print publications and anthologies internationally. She also enjoys music, dance and gardening, as time permits.

The Upside Rainbow

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Contributor: Katherine Fall

- -
so noble,
mystic and royal.

Purple were the violets,
you gave her that day,
her smile, such innocence!
Couldn’t look away.

Purple are your lips,
as you march for death through the snowy fields.
The white faeries dance,
will you ever feel bygone romance?

the order,
the peace and water.

Azure was the lucent sky,
when you walked around,
her eyes wandered; oh, so shy!
Your heart was spellbound.

Azure frozen corpses,
adorn your lonely path of justice.
The frosty blowing wind,
do you realize, how much you’ve sinned?

is jealous,
lucky and gracious.

Mantis were her lovely eyes,
so charming and calm.
The jitterbugs were on rise,
not feeling a qualm.

Mantis uniform,
young being vested in it, so forlorn!
Deafening silence,
will you ever smell her sweet fragrance?

the summer,
friendship and hazard.

Amber was her comely hair,
tied with cute ribbon,
you stroked it with such a care,
it felt like heaven.

Amber is your emblem,
sign of courage, but it feels like venom.
Bitter irony,
will you gaze again upon her beauty?

the challenge,
energy and courage.

Orange was her neat dress,
so gentle and long.
You both could already guess,
this would be lifelong.

Orange is flare,
you hide for dire signals with care.
An unknown danger,
is your fate a thing you can alter?

the passion,
love and aggression.

Crimson were her braw roses,
you bought for wedding.
But luck didn’t last ages,
the war was in spring.

Crimson gushing blood,
as you get unconsciously shot,
but you see a light,
while everything turns
black and white.

- - -
Hi! I'm a young Slovakian artist, who loves to write short poems in English, through which I'd like to share my perspective with others. I want people to find their own meaning in the poems despite their initial ones.

The Girls in Steno, 1970

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
When it’s break time
the girls all walk together,
cigarette-protector cases
clasped between their index

tapers and their thumbs.
On each girl’s fingers glow
iridescent lacquers.
When break time nears,

they peek at each other,
twinkle, giggle, nod.
When break time comes,
a bell rings and the girls rise

like Lazarus. High on heels
they click in couples down the hall
to fill an elevator.
They get off at One. There

they float across the cafeteria,
men everywhere,
eyes everywhere.
(Is he the one?)

When a new girl’s hired
the old girls
put her to the test:
Will she join them

for the coffee break?
If she does, she joins them forever,
even after she marries,
retires or expires.

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

The Frozen Heart

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Contributor: Matthew Jutz

- -
A heart is a strong muscle,
we know it pumps blood through our body
and helps you live, but at the same time

The heart is a very fragile thing,
your heart has strings like a guitar,
these strings are made when you are born,
and break when you have a
tragic accident that impacts your heart,

My heart breaks every time I see you,
as you smile at your boyfriend
my heart breaks a little more,

I can feel my heart aching
deep behind my rib cage
the way it does every time I see you,
My heart beats your name,

Every time I see you with another guy
a little part of my heart turns to ice,
the colder it gets
the more fragile it becomes,

It’s going to become totally frozen,
shatter to pieces and,
there will be nothing left to love.

- - -
Matthew Jutz is a poet/student at Frazee high school in Minnesota. He has three siblings and spends his time hunting and fishing with his brother.

Absolute Zero

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
She lay there on the couch
Watching the windswept snow
Batter the naked trees outside
As the judgment sunk into her:

“Inoperable”. She wondered
How long she had, if she would live
To see one more blossoming of spring
Or if the cancer brewing inside her

Had chosen winter’s heart for the date
She would be executed. But that
Was not for her to decide
All she had to do now was look back

And determine if she’d made the most
Of her given time, if she’d loved
And laughed as well as she could,
If she’d finally know if God can dance

- - -
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.

A Photo Collage

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Contributor: Cassidy Nelson

- -
Life is like a photo collage
Depicting life, photo by photo
Obscure and difficult
Hard to handle and piece together
Blending the good and the bad times into one image
One jumbled mess of memories
Creating the perfect picture
And giving you something to hold onto for a lifetime
Because a picture never changes
Even though the people in them do

- - -
Cassidy is a student/athlete/writer attending high school in Frazee, MN. She lives with her mom and two sisters, spending most of her time dancing.

The Wisest Tree

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Contributor: Ellie Morgan

- -
I wish I could talk
To the oldest tree in the forest
The tree with the most experience
The tree covered in the roughest wrinkles
I wish the tree could talk to me about its life
Being surrounded
With young trees lacking life lessons
And many different plants
With different stories
I wish I could talk to the wisest tree
The one with the bumps and scratches
That come with life
I wish I could talk to the tree
That has seen the most
The one that has sheltered birds
And provided protection in the darkest storms
And let the light break on the sunniest days
I wish I could talk
To the oldest tree in the forest
So I could know everything
From the 1800's to what we call our life today

- - -
Ellie Morgan is a student that attends Frazee High School in Minnesota. She enjoys running Cross-Country and Track.


| Filed under

Contributor: Eren Leigh

- -
The day I lose you,
is the day I lose myself.

It started out
as a friendship.

But it became so much more,
a best friendship.

When we became friends,
I found the real me.

But the day you leave me,
is the day I forget who I am.

Because you walked with me,
through thick and thin,
and helped me become
who I am today.

So when you leave me,
we will be leaving

- - -
Eren Leigh is a student/writer from Frazee, Minnesota. She enjoys music, sports, drawing, and spending time with friends.


| Filed under

Contributor: Theresa A. Cancro

- -
Your hands lift me out of the banks
of rusted transepts that fell long ago.

You try to revive my eviscerated spirit,
no mouth to mouth, just fingertips.

You pencil in our names together,
at once imagined yet not quite inked.

You trace my eyebrow, absent tears;
no longer innocent, we bear the drench.

You close in on the monster illness,
stare it out, but know it will win.

Your warm embrace perfumes my corner,
a lotus in bloom at the midnight hour.

- - -
Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware) writes poetry and fiction. Many of her poems have appeared in online and print publications and anthologies internationally. She also enjoys music, dance and gardening, as time permits.


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