| Filed under

Contributor: Joseph Lisowski

- -
Native thunder harrows the sky.
Poppies flame and fall.
From a high porch in a nursing home
an old lady, eyes cataract,
watches and jumps at the late arriving sound.
She thinks of V-J day,
the bright yellow Vs slanting night
and the finale of the American flag
hovering, proclaiming sovereignty
before falling like Icarus.

Drums of darkness.
Flash of cannon fire
behind a gray city skyline.
It began where three rivers met,
a gateway to the West
where blue steel of saber and carbine
exploded red blood from red men.
Revenge haunts the sky.
A patriot always,
Her raw voice mumbles, "V for Victory!"
at the sulphrous light.

- - -
It has been alleged that he has had many aliases, none of which he acknowledges.


| Filed under

Contributor: E.S. Wynn

- -
I see a man in a tent
grimy, grimacing
blinking against the unending rain.

I see a man growling,
grumbling at the tourists
who won't buy the chocolates and trinkets
that make him the money
he needs
to eat.

I see a man scrabbling
for scant streams of wifi
desperately checking for the letters
that will never come
the letters that mean
a home
a real home
and a car
and a life
as soft
as sweet
as the one he once had.

I see a man peeling
his last greasy bill
from a worn wallet
as he remembers a sense of home
as he remembers a sense of hope
he once had.

I see a man--
a man I could become
if I stay in this place
if I do what it takes
to survive
day to day
in this hell
called paradise.

- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over fifty books in print. During the last decade, he has worked with hundreds of authors and edited thousands of manuscripts for nearly a dozen different magazines. His stories and articles have been published in dozens of journals, zines and anthologies. He has taught classes in literature, marketing, math, spirituality and guided meditation. Outside of writing, he has worked as a voice-over artist for several different horror and sci-fi podcasts, albums and ebooks.


| Filed under

Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
In the heart of the night
I can hear the dreams
Of uneasy sleepers

A mother who regrets
Not saving her son
From his brutal father

An aging spinster
Who worries her abortion
Will exclude her from Heaven

A haunted soldier
Plagued by the faces
Of the innocents he killed

A guilty businessman
Who fired good workers
In his lust for cheap labor

And while they all wish
They could turn back the clock
And expiate their sins

They know it’s too late
As the beds they lie in
Grow cold as ice

- - -
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.

One More Moment in Time

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
Puff once upon the pipe –
Don the coat and gloves…
and umbrella –
Stroll along the paved sidewalk
to the park
in the pouring rain
in freezing temperature –
Enjoy every breath
along the way
while getting there and back
and think
not a single thing
or uncomfortable
about the situation –
It is simply an event that transpires
in a life of sequential moments –
as is
everything else –
Whether it is a warm Spring day
or a snowy Winter’s eve
or a torrential downpour –
It all is what it is
and then it becomes something else –

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar spends the hours flowing and fluxing with the tide of the Tao River while laughing at life's existential nature. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter. To read more of Scott's work visit

Two Appliqués

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
If the greatest of these
is charity
then tell me again
why it’s gauche
if this young man
in a booth at a bar
dives under the skirt
of the farmer’s widow
smiling across from him.

There he will find
what he’s after
and get that big kiss
before driving her home
through jackhammer rain
and flying with her
through the windshield
making a turn.

Now they're a legend,
the talk of the town,
emblazoned forever
for pickups to see
as two appliqués
on a viaduct wall,
their Rorschachs
bright red,
whatever their ages.

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


| Filed under

Contributor: d0ll

- -
Chasing the moon
With my hungry eyes
You never make me wait
Not even a while
Scent of the unknown
Yet so familiar
The moon will walk
With the stars until the dawn
A fairly loud smile
A soft voice like a pillow
Under my head

Every time I see you
We’d paint pictures
On the night sky
We’d wish to stay
That way every night
We’d laugh without a sound
Drowning in a smile
I won’t look away
I’ll breathe you in
And wish to never breathe out

- - -
Student, DJane, alternative model, DIY enthusiast from Slovakia

An Evening’s Walk

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Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
Even before
We got going
It started
To sprinkle
And after
A street
Or two,

Two left turns
And a stop
Or two
So the dog
Is satisfied,

It began to rain

Enough to
Turn us back
To retrace
Our step
To unwind
Our walk

Moving faster
At the end
Than earlier.

Our lives
Become outlines
Like this,

Partially filled in

Too hard
To measure,

We forget
Almost before
They’re over.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Camel Saloon, Black Mirror, Milo Review, Eye on life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.


| Filed under

Contributor: Byron Beynon

- -
The sound of doors
shutting inside
anonymous rooms
during the quiet
hours when there is still
light rusting
in a remote sky;
the atmosphere clears
like a table
after a meal,
the long distance of yesterday
creeps in
faded like a memory
caught in a yellow beam,
untouchable like a silent
photograph developed
in the mind,
retention breathing
inside a native ground
patient as discovery.

- - -
Byron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. His most recent collection is The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).


| Filed under

Contributor: Joseph Lisowski

- -
Unnamed butterflies alight
on my garden walk,
preen, pose, then flutter away—
bizarre species spewed
from volcanoes, water spouts,
or dropped from eyes too tear laden
to sustain flight.

I hum a tune,
whisper a line of a poem
that I think will please.
I wait.
Then try again.
They are impervious
to the change in climate,

I wander off, alone
with my need to connect,
forgetting for a moment
the terror of beauty
about to be born.

- - -
Most recent book publication: STASHU KAPINSKI DREAMS OF GLORY (Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013). Alive in Richmond, VA

Chicago Street Preacher

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Lee Johnson

- -
Street preacher
server of the Word,
pamphlet whore, hand out
delivery boy,
fanatic of sidewalk vocals,
banjo strummer, seeker of coins,
crack cocaine and salvation within notes.
Camper on 47th from Ashland
to California promoting his
penniless life, gospel forever
Kingdom here it comes.

- - -
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 9 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: "From Exile to Freedom", several chapbooks of poetry, including "From Which Place the Morning Rises" and "Challenge of Night and Day", and "Chicago Poems". He also has over 71 poetry videos on YouTube.

The Forgetful Man

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Contributor: Teddy Kimathi

- -
O, what a forgetful man!

He forgot the wallet
in the car.

He forgot the car keys
in the restaurant.

He forgot to pay for a meal
in the restaurant.

He forgot the name
of the restaurant he went to.

He forgot where he parked
his car.

He forgot his driving license
at his house.

He forgot his cell phone
in the restaurant’s washroom.

He forgot that today is his third
marriage anniversary.

O, what a forgetful man he is!

- - -
Poetry is one of Teddy's first loves. You can his poems in Leaves of Ink, Three Line Poetry, Tanka Journal, Literature Today, Shot Glass Journal and Inwood Indiana Press. His fiction works can be found in Beyond Science Fiction & Every Day Fiction.

I Risk

| Filed under

Contributor: Nikhil Nath

- -
I risk

in a curfew
of beer

and for Berlin
I carry

a grudge
full of football

without trophies,
but Moscow

can swim, in
KGB lies no more,

and find strawberries
too Wimbledon

for its taste,
a curse of gymnastics,

perhaps to see heads roll

as marriage is
still the Royal thing

in old Britannica
sans fish and chips

- - -

The First Lily

| Filed under

Contributor: Bobbi Sinha-Morey

- -
Like lighting the stars in
heaven we move where
instinct moves us; our
spirits strong as a candle
flickering in the dusk.
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you, the scent
of an unspoken prayer
ripe in its joy. Hope is as
easy as breathing in,
and we hold it as a flame
in two cupped hands.
In the kiln of my dreams
my path is chosen by my
heartbeat and, when you
touched me, we remarked
on the light. The first lily
bloomed, and graced by
the welkin, it glowed.

- - -
I am a poet living in the peaceful city of Brookings, Oregon. My poetry can be seen in places such as Orbis, Plainsongs, Open Window Review, Pirene's Fountain, and others. My books of poetry are available at and

Cogito Ergo Sum

| Filed under

Contributor: Diego Sieiro

- -
I can’t be left alone with my thinking
For it bullies me
Bringing up my secrets and forcing tears.

I can’t go alone anywhere,
For I may run into any of my ideas
They all are crazy and want to tickle me.

It’s not that I am out of my mind
She herself kicked me out
for not washing the dishes.

I as usual was late
Lost again my train of thought
and had to walk galore.

I talk to my self,
But my self is tired
Of the same old questions

I thought I had lost IT,
IT had left holding a girl’s hand
And alone IT returned.

My memory is not what it was
It is what it is
And never was what I wanted

Ergo cogito
Ergo sum

- - -
Diego has written comics, short stories and fragments of books in Mexico, Spain, the U.S. of A. and Ireland.
Poems he writes whenever Calliope tugs at his ears.

Tornadoes in the Parlor

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Tornadoes in the parlor,
in the kitchen, in the bathroom, too,
churned every hour Dad was home.
He never worked
and with good reason.
Sis could tell you more.
She'd help Ma board up the house
when I'd walk out the door
and ride my bike around the block.
If you find Sis today,
she’ll tell you funnels
tore the basement, too.
So what, you say?
Well, Dad’s been gone
for seven years
and Sis is somewhere.
She needs to know
good weather here
is still a squall.

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


| Filed under

Contributor: d0ll

- -
A scratch over the scars
Speaking out my words in sequence
I sure as hell try
With a half-comatose smile
To keep my distance
My spirit’s gone away
So give me a slap
If I’m not awake
Or I don’t listen
Staring at the walls

Well we both know that these bruises
Will soon turn from black to blue
And that I’ll leave and turn away
To walk on without you
I am not meant to stay
A faceless clown
Still trying to smile
While my red nose’s melting down
As my lipstick mouth fades

These letters vanish
From the paper with time
Though once so bold and proud
The minutes run as you chase them
Every morning becomes sad and boring
As you shiver with cold
Days are slowly crawling
When your heart grows old

Butterflies don’t flutter their wings
And the stars never shine
Deep down in the gutter
But I remember that
There used to be morning at noon
Midnight at sunset
Dinner for breakfast

No hope for a wasted weekend
Monday just won’t wait
Last cigarette in the box
Take it or I’ll throw it in the fire
This is it, my friend
No liquor left for tomorrow

- - -
Student, DJane, alternative model, DIY enthusiast from Slovakia

Ode to the Hood

| Filed under

Contributor: J. R. Trensey

- -

4-banger wheezing clunkily along
then a rust-eaten pick-up truck, filled w/ salvaged furniture
followed by a shiny black Expedition, bass rattles your brain & eyeballs.
Travel any way you can—
riding a stolen, black-spray painted bike
by foot, running (from authorities)
or walking, like I do, through this hood
on rugged, cracked concrete sidewalks
strewn w/—
fast food containers, crushed styrofoam like snow
socks, broken flip flops, (must have gone home barefoot)
chicken bones & ample glass shards
amber & green beer bottles
enough cigarette butts to build a house
spent condoms & lighters
dolls & toy trucks w/ missing parts
and of course piles of refuse too long gone, identity lost,
I could go on.


In this hood, if you're white & female,
you travel in a pack, or as fast as you can
if on foot, project a black belt air
you're fortunate to get from here to there
without being offered—
$20 for a throw
a joint (laced w/ PCP), a crack pipe, a 'daddy',
& all your dreams to come true.
You form a callous overcoat,
but the gooey center is that
the piss & body odor & rotting
wafting off the decaying condemned homes
is the closest scent in memory
to the only 'hood you've known as home.
It reminds me of my family.


Who I worked so hard to get away from,
who I worked so hard to 'do better' than—
Master's degree, professional career,
and enough self-help books, therapy
to keep me out of the ward,
moved to a new city, made a new life,
just to find that I moved back
to the ghetto
and it feels like home.
The only home I've ever known.

- - -
Jessica R. Trensey earns a living as a white-collar cube dweller to support her endeavors in dark poetry & art in Indianapolis.

Arc Of Dawn

| Filed under

Contributor: Bobbi Sinha-Morey

- -
Let's lean upon this
moment in the arc of
dawn, our faces having
been pressed together
in sleep, sprinkling ourselves
in a love that comes like
the light, and hymns these
Sunday mornings like sighs;
the scent of water inspiring
our faith, breaking the glass
of our old reflections; the bond
we have when our fingers meet,
holding in air, when our lips
curl round a single prayer,
admitting their ownership,
and we lay, the white petals
of a carnation spilling in
the care of His open palm.

- - -
I am a poet living in the peaceful city of Brookings, Oregon. My poetry can be seen in places such as Orbis, Plainsongs, Open Window Review, Pirene's Fountain, and others. My books of poetry are available at and

Six Black Sambuca’s Later

| Filed under

Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
Where the hell is Mikey?
Where the hell is Pedro?
Where the hell is Clive?
Where did everybody go?
I’ve woke up in a bus stop
I was sleeping upside down.
Just six Black Sambuca’s
Have ruined a night in town.

I pull out my mobile phone
And give the boys a bell.
Pedro’s walking through a field,
Mikey is not sounding well.
Clive is not answering,
They are feeling just like me.
But they’ve got jobs to go to
While the pub is calling me

- - -
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.

Brain Waves

| Filed under

Contributor: Suez Jacobson

- -
The head
the body
the thinking
the doing
easier doing
just a body
on a bike
in the water
But the brain
the thoughts pester you
you must respond
the brain never sleeps
the dreams persist
the shortcomings
the failures
the insecurities
all there
long after the body
finds rest.
But then the body
begins to crumble
left with a brain.
Please, no.
Too demanding.
Too close.
Too loud.

- - -
trying to live lightly
and write

Some Smoke

| Filed under

Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
Lighting up on a day like this
Is a precarious business at best,
Of cupped hands sheltering our match
As we snatch at the flame in hurried gasps
That move to soothing, if done right, soothing
Puffs we linger on;
With backs turned to the thrust of the wind
We whisper to our hands something about desperation
Smoothed over, made right, a panic checked.
Even the uneven burning, the accelerated turning
To ashes can’t dampen the moment plucked from…
The moments we move through with this satisfied look
On the way toward the anticipated end
When we can finally flick our butt
Into the wind.

- - -
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.

Wrong Boys, Wrong Girls

| Filed under

Contributor: Eric Carl

- -
She misses all the wrong boys
He kisses all the wrong girls
She makes love to all the broken men
Hoping to fix them
Just as he takes in all of the shattered women
Hoping to mend them.

She cooks for the men who beat her
He pampers the women who scream at him
She does anything
Just as he does anything
Hoping to make them happy
Hoping to make the broken faces smile
Just one more time
Just one more time.

Love heals all
And yet all are broken
But he and she
Might yet meet
Might yet take each other in,
Might make up for all the wrong boys
Might make up for all the wrong girls
With a single kiss
With a single snuggle
That might launch a string of sweetly silent nights
That might last for the rest of their lives.

- - -

The Prodigal

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
I've fed Old Tom for many years
with never any thanks,
not one meow.

He arrives at night with eyes ablaze.
I crack the door and slide a tin
of Fancy Feast

across the deck toward him like a puck.
He hunkers on the railing till
I lock up. Then he pounces.

The tin's a mouse, you see,
and now he knows
it's time to eat.

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

Never She Needing Me

| Filed under

Contributor: John Ogden

- -
I wish I could move like her.
I wish I could dance
through crowds
with all the grace
that she does

I wish each step I took
could be as careless as hers
as free of guilt
as lethal
as hers.

The shards of my heart
are sharpened
by all the friends
all the family
who thought I could tame her
who thought she was a ripe and easy
even for such a fumbling

One by one, their backs turn.
One by one, they give up on me.
So easy, she,
they say.
so easy, and even still,
she got away from you.

They just couldn't see
that it was only
me needing her
never she needing 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.

Eight Haikus

| Filed under

Contributor: Sudha Srivatsan

- -
The evening sky gleams
A beautiful easing sun
At home, geese cackling

Jellyfish surface
white bodies in amber haze
hug the oars warmly

new ivory cranes
downy amber feathers fluff
tangerine sundown

Jackfruits on a cart
heat, intoxicated bees,
who would taste sweeter?

cows grazing at dusk
chessboards in watercolors
painted thin, shaky

Lightning cracks at night
window hinges croak in turns
the frog falls silent

Oak leaf knocks beetle
still, immobile, feigning dead
blink! the dry leaf walks

green caterpillar
a tit eyes right opposite
slips, falls alow, coils

- - -
Sudha was born and raised in India. A daughter, wife and sister, she has worked in the Middle East and London. Sudha aspires to be known in the space of poetry as someone who weaves magic into language and combines unique design and strong color to her work of art. Her work is due to appear in Commonline Journal, the Indiana Voice Journal April 2015 issue, she has been a winner of poetry contests and was recently shortlisted for the Mary Charman Smith November 2014 Poetry Competition.

Dark Soul

| Filed under

Contributor: Julie Guirgis

- -
Hot man, leaning against the bar
dressed in leather, studs and velvet
I see you undressing me
detached gaze, pursed lips.

Like a vampire, you're waiting to devour me
I can see your sharp teeth behind your grin
and still I fall in the gutter
too weak and blind to get up.

Here's your cue to play the gentleman and help me up
but you pass on by aloof to my pain
ready to move onto the next victim
indifferent to the tears searing my face

Deception is your friend
lies your companion
but in the end you will die alone

You despised my innocence
envied my purity
taking great pleasure in crushing me
like an ant under your pointed cowboy boot

- - -

An Easter Rising

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Poetry by priests?
Who gives it more than mock attention?
We read their poems, yes,
author first, then the title,
finally the verse itself.
Not much, except for Hopkins.
We wait for Rome, you see,
to give us in addition to its saints
one more decent poet.
A sot once said
“When things get bad enough,
you will see a Celt,
armed with a quiver of poems,
ride flaming out of the hills,
soaring over the lakes,
wearing a rainbow for a Roman collar.”
Things are bad enough right now by half.
We need to hear his gallop soon.

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

The Day That Changed My Wife

| Filed under

Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
The day that changed my wife
I just sat there upon the floor.
As she walked by me quickly
on her way to the front door.
There was no need for goodbyes
as her cold eyes had said it all.
Her body which once oozed love
was now as cold as a toilet wall.
Not once did I try to stop her
I just let her go on her merry way.
I let her have her bright future
as my heart slipped into decay.
I did not eat for four days
and I hardly slept a wink.
But now that I’m up and mobile
it’s time to find myself a drink.
The day that changed my wife
happened quite a few days ago.
Of course I thought of suicide
but that would please the whore.

- - -
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.


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