Take A Break

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Contributor: Ojo Taiye

- -
You are 5ft and you forget your home training
and gather the shirt of a 6ft tall man in your puny fist
jumping and hissing like a queen King Cobra
the chance of not getting a kiss in return…

Dear Man, she makes blood rush to your fists
with her words,
take a break before you…

Dear Woman, he beats you up,
take a break before you…

- - -
My name is Ojo Taiye. I’m a twenty- three-year-old microbiology graduate from Nigeria. I love books and Anime in that order. Taiye has some of his muddled thoughts published in a few e-magazine.

Caseworker: Yams and Plantain

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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The Housing Project
Summer in Chicago

Bienvenido’s comin’ over,
says his wife,
to ‘splain me

why the kids
have got no rice,
no beans,

how the landlord’s
shovin’ notes beneath
the door again.

In Puerto Rico Bienvenido
dug up yams,
was paid in plantain,

came over here,
brought his wife,
then his kids.

First New York,
then Chicago,
gave up yams,

gave up plantain,
just to drum
and make a living.

- - -
Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had work published in print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.


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Contributor: William C. Blome

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Like on a trampoline we bounced with flair
Inside a tiny sector of late June
Where babies like bubbles also rose
To break then vanish in chartreuse air.

Ask starlings (birds without a tune)
If you don't believe my cryptic talk
About what we did and what we saw
Twixt noon and midnight, sun and moon.

I passed your head and then your toes
As infants ascended on either side,
Ferns and chicory brushed our skin,
And I tell you for sure the blackbird knows

Each detail about our jumps from reason
With people who practically had no age.
But unlike the starling you'll need a song
To leave and return in another season.

- - -
William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Amarillo Bay, PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.


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Contributor: Susie Sweetland Garay

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On a Wednesday night after swim lessons
my mother and I sit together in a dimly lit room.
She tells me ugly truths about her childhood,

it is a thing I want to fix
but am unable.

There is much I cannot do
but I will try again after each failure.

As we talk we both think of
the baby sleeping in the next room
and how with each passing year
a family does better for its
next generations.

- - -
Susan Sweetland Garay lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry and enjoys being a part time silversmith. She has had poetry and photography published in a variety of journals, on line and in print, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014. Her first full length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013 and her second book Strange Beauty was published in 2015.

Road Trip

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Contributor: E.S. Wynn

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Light slanting
Gold broken
By a line of cypress
Sweet breeze
Summertime warm
Scattering your hair
As your fingers
Scatter mine.

I crave the touch
You crave the texture
The connection
We've both been
Looking for
Both been looking for
For so long now.

- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over sixty books in print and is the chief editor of Thunderune Publishing. This poem is one of many featured in the book titled "What Will Be"

Because Mona

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Contributor: A.J. Huffman

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Lisa was captured, repressed for her perfect
dimensional portrayal of exact averageness,
I apply my lipstick a little darker,
raise my hemline an extra inch.
My desire is not to hang,
free of touch and time. I prefer to be stolen,
passed between hands intent on consumption,
destruction. Covered in the fingerprints of living,
I would even welcome Death as a suitor,
as long as he knows what to do with his nail.

- - -
A.J. Huffman’s poetry, fiction, haiku, and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com

Winged Allure

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Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

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A piece of sky,
palette of blues.
lonely are clouds;
shaded pillows.
Temptation to fly,
birds do it with ease
Icarus tried with wax,
Daedalus not happy.
Spells of teary eyes
await those in flight
Orville rode the skies,
feathers never used.
Race me to the moon,
never knowing why
I guess just to do it,
insanity still believes.
Sit me in an old bus;
smells make one gag.
a bit slower to travel,
but not so far down.

- - -
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a Published Poet and Author originally from New Hampshire, now residing in Oklahoma. He enjoys thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, playing guitar and time with his cats Merlin and Willa.

As The Path Narrows

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

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There are dreams we keep
And dreams we let go
And dreams that just fade away

An album we play
Whose songs become
Fainter as the years go by

A book we read
Till its pages unhinge
Leaving only its name intact

A portrait we hang
That yellows with age
Till its face is a meaningless blur

And as the brief seasons
Go hurtling past
We cling to what does remain

A bright tiny star
At the edge of the sky
That never quite seems to grow dim

- - -
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.

Voyaging Inward

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

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Lao Tzu said
that a journey of 1,000 miles
begins with a single step.

Well, I passed that marker ages ago,
and my shoes may be full of holes
but my feet are tough as nails.

The things of this world
are mortal and fleeting,
but the presence of God
is always one heartbeat away.

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published work can be found. His chapbook "Songs of a Dissident" is available on Amazon.

When My Wife Is in Her Garden

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
When my wife is in her garden,
she becomes a ballerina
moving with the morning breeze
through hollyhocks and roses,
peonies and phlox.
There is music only she can hear.
It's been that way for 30 years.
I never interrupt her dance

not even when the house caught fire
early in the morning. I didn't holler out
the way another husband might
if he had never had a gardener for a wife.
Instead I called the firemen,
and while they were on their way,
I poured water from the sink
on the growing conflagration.

My efforts proved to be in vain.
The firemen arrived too late and so
the house is now a shell of smoke.
The garden still looks beautiful
yet I have no idea what I'll say
when my wife comes back inside.
But if she's toting roses to arrange
she may not notice any change.

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


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Contributor: Cattail Jester

- -
This came from
my tummy, the little
pig-tailed dirty blonde
with smudged fingernails
tells me, holding up
a ragged doll.

It's as ragged as she
is. I have no idea
what to say.

I just look in her eyes,
knowing more about
life than she does, amazed
that she's not yet
embarrassed to talk
about birth. She doesn't

I like its hair, I lie.

- - -


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Contributor: Ojo Taiye

- -
goddess of the netherworld
blows her trumpet

body rhythm fades out
Cold air seeping out of pores

behind wheels of repose
far beyond the beach of troy
with no parting gift

makes the heart fonder

- - -
My name is Ojo Taiye. I’m a twenty- three-year-old microbiology graduate from Nigeria. I love books and Anime in that order. Taiye has some of his muddled thoughts published in a few e-magazine.


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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Always hurts to see
to know
how much you'd hate me
if I treated you
the way you've treated me

Hurts to see
the silent sheets
the mornings
that tick down to the day
when the last cord will fray
and break
and still say nothing
know that nothing
will change
the way it must be.

But the hardest part
must always be
giving as little
as I find you inclined
to give to me.

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

Adobe Abode

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Contributor: Carl "Papa" Palmer

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The store bought balsa birdhouse
brought by his grand-girl today
hangs on the same bent rusty nail

hammered in their backyard tree
for the handmade house her
mommy made forty years ago.

Two terra cotta flower pots
one upside down atop the other
held in place with preschool glue.

Remnants saved in a special place,
yellow pencil perch, some shattered
shards of clay displaying initials

etched by his three year old
daughter preserved forever
in this old man’s nest of memories.

- - -
Carl "Papa" Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway VA now lives in University Place WA. He has a 2015 contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Seattle. Carl is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee.

MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever

Auguries on Highway 5 Just North of Buttonwillow

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Contributor: Kyle Heger

- -
Our fortunes told by invertebrates’
wings and viscera splattered on a
windshield, we weave down stretches
of highway pulled taut between signs
bearing the names of peace officers
fallen in the line of duty, following
stepping-stones created by the footprints
of clouds while dust devils dance on a
tired topsoil; oil rigs dry-hump exhausted
wells and middle-aged executives with
golf-course tans get a jump on the
three-day weekend, playing leapfrog
with each other in luxury cars, shrinking
away to the vanishing point on an asphalt
conveyor belt, sucked happily toward
the blast furnace of dreams with a
sickening slurp.

- - -

Each Season Given To Us

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Contributor: Roland E. Williams

- -
Spring sunrises promising budding affinities
New lives full of desires waiting to commence
Spring warmth flowing through our cold veins
Its passionate flavors welcomed by our love
Hopes outlining inner depths of ebullient feelings
All mere trinkets of Spring’s jubilant legacy

Summer’s Sun a median witness to our bliss
Snugly poised on a bright smile-filled noon
Emotions growing now to complete maturity
A sense of perpetual ease and longevity
Only surpassed by love’s combined fervor
All mere shadows of Summer’s manifestations

Summer’s verdant jacket cast off onto the ground
Once vibrant prattle overshadowed by glum silence
A time of redundant inner penitence for things done
Darkening hearts of only true loves outlive this
Where the strength of love’s embrace is discovered
All mere onlookers to an ever expanding dusk

Winter sunsets lasting on seemingly forever
As we carefully parent each and every savoured moment
Memories of life tall like Winter’s receding shadows
‘T is Winter’s tale that relates of things not done
Rebuking them and making good any lost chances
All mere mortals in its almost immortal darkness

- - -
I love writing poetry and recently returned to writing short stories as well.
My interests are various and I'm always looking to becoming acquainted with other people.

West of Oz

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Contributor: Aaron Alvarado

- -
The murky clouds came rolling in
casting an ominous spell within.
A ferocious wind swept through the forest
causing trees to become withered and broken.

A vociferous mob of flying baboons shrouded the area
scaring away the pigeons with their devilish eyes.
The enchanted woods went silent
and all were lined up waiting for their master.

A whirlwind of green smoke spouted from the ground
as ravens were summoned to spectate the calamity.
A figure with granny smith skin emerged,

- - -
Aaron Alvarado was first published at the age of eleven with his story featuring “Bill Nye the Science Guy” inside a volcano. Along with writing short stories and haiku and concrete poems he takes pleasure in tutoring, playing the piano, volunteering at track and field meets.

Bridging the Abyss

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
In art as in life
He learned that success
Is a capricious mistress

Poems rejected
By faceless editors
With assembly line hearts

Collages displayed
On the gloomy walls
Of a gallery’s bathroom

Songs that echoed
Through empty cabarets
Entertaining ghosts

But he’d heard somewhere
That if only one soul
Answered to his touch

He had changed the world
The sleeping stranger
That he had woken

- - -
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.

While Listening To Debussy

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Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
Memories that live inside my courtroom
Of missing persons
Escaping an early self
Under the blanket
Where imagination thrives
Like the wingspan of an eagle
Taking in the wounds of war
That never really heal
Dirt making its trail over thirty years
Deep into the grout
Will I be able to write about
Marigolds and daisies
Trees and the nature of things
While listening to Debussy

- - -
I am a professional jazz musician originally from New York and now residing in Florida. I started writing poetry three years ago and have been published.

Big Meeting at the Corporate Office

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
When a young woman like that
sails into the conference room,
all masts billowing,
there's nothing the men
around the table can do
except take a breath

and wait for her
to settle in her chair,
open her laptop
and fuss for a moment
with some errant hair

before she fixes her stare
on the podium to wait
for the chairman to arrive
and take it from there

if he possibly can.
The chairman won't know
the young woman has said
everything his men
will remember tomorrow
without saying a word.

- - -
Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had work published in print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Embryo Changes

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Contributor: Ananya S Guha

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The mists are here
Spring has given me
that, one more lust
of remembering.
Tired eyes are dreams
and I walk through spaces
time cannot tell. Only these
hills, where I live, where I dream
where I walk, their embryo changes.

- - -
Ananya S Guha lives in Shillong, in North East India. He has been writing and publishing poetry for over thirty years. His poems have been published world wide.

Life is a Cruise...Not a Car Crash

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
The hardest place to exist
is in someone else’s fantasy
because you will never be enough
to fulfill what is not real

ditch such scenes
and start carving out memories
in your own life

with anyone cool
who’s trying to do the same
in their own

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published work can be found. His chapbook "Songs of a Dissident" is available on Amazon.

Poet Primitive

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Contributor: James Robert Rudolph

- -
Bugling baby bunting
center of your swirl,
squawky talky jabberwocky
clever clacking chrysalis.

A teeming wonderland
special because it’s yours,
the kaleidoscope tumbles, then
another postcard from your
thrilled and fetal head.

- - -
James Robert Rudolph is a retired psychologist and teacher having returned to old haunts in northern New Mexico after a busy career in Minneapolis. He believes in old-style magical realism, that inspired by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the high desert, and the deep, broad sky of the American mountain west. Recent poems have appeared in The Artistic Muse, Mad Swirl, and Bewildering Stories, among others.

On The Verge Of Tears

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
She took a fall backwards inside,
clutched both shaking hands
to her palpitating breast
and tried impossibly
to compose herself.
The terrible Ache
which had barrened her heart
and wintered her soul
had finally come to an end.
She had just, a minute or so ago
peed an acceptance
into the sisterhood of motherhood.
And was absolutely useless
for a moment or two
for anything but
overwhelming, spiritual gratitude.
Sometimes God is not
looking the other way
and sometimes massively
important small dreams come true.

- - -
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.
Buy his book ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096

Not a person, Nor a thing

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Contributor: Jed Kim

- -
You come into my life in disguises
to mock and ridicule my emotions
I hate it when you’re with someone else,
jealousy and anger on my mind.
You hit me when I least expect it,
got me falling over looking like a fool
coming in different shapes and sizes.
My heart is fooled and runs for you
while my mind is a bit hesitant
for if I love you, will you love me too?

It’s strange how you are of this world-
almost tangible, but alas,
just a figure in myths, twisting naive hearts.
Our love can create havoc,
bigger than Helen and Paris.
When you choose me over others, I am infallible.
mightier than Hercules, the god’s champion.
Through all that however,
I am always afraid to approach you
for if I love you, will you do the same?

- - -
Jed Kim enjoys spending time with his family and would like to go skydiving without a parachute once in his lifetime. You can find his works on Eskimo Pie.

So Close

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Contributor: E.S. Wynn

- -
Can we but meet in dreams?
spend each eve
flying free
to catch and tangle up in each
to come together
like suns in silence
like stars burning away the blackness
as we circle
as we dance celestial
so close
so close

and meeting again each night
meeting again each night
until the day
until the day when suns stop their soaring
sear into solace
so close
so close

at last
so close
so close.

- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over sixty books in print and is the chief editor of Thunderune Publishing. This poem is one of many featured in the book titled "What Will Be"

A Village to Raze Children

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Contributor: Luna V

- -
Laughs in the forest,
a tribe living near a river
where trees turning bare

White blankets the scene.
Swift winter brings swifter sunfall.
Dead of night, sparks fly.

Chills run down the spine
blaze consuming the frost, and
the kids that played there.

- - -
Elino Benjamin Villegas feels at home in the big city, though he is trapped in the suburbs of Southern California. When he’s not writing the worst short story ever, he’s hammering out a blues lick on his black Epiphone, experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen, or designing computer graphics and fan art.


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