Autumn Dream

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Contributor: M. Protacio-De Guzman

- -
And light falls
On leaves that revel
In their verdancy.

I like to think
Them brown,
Dry, and brittle,
Spiraling their way
From their perch
To the ground.

The wind blows
On my sweat-soaked
Back, shocked
By its coldness.

I like to feel it
Hinting of snow:
Biting and cold,
Creating shivers
That rise and fall
Within my spine.

But there
Is no autumn
In my country.

There is only
My imagination
Coaxing the senses

Into believing that
There actually is.

I like
To think
It real.

- - -
M. Protacio-De Guzman is a poet from Manila, Philippines. His poems have appeared and have been anthologized in local and international publications, most recently in the Off the Rocks Anthology Volume 19.

Night’s End

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Contributor: Natalie Crick

- -
Snow had fallen, I remember,
At the night’s end.
Do you hear his voice?
I am never alone.

And at the end?
I do not live.
It is forbidden to die.
The winds are changing.

Our dead brother waited
But very dark, very hidden,
As the earth became black.

The field was parched and dry,
Filled with death already.
You walk through it.
You see nothing.

- - -
Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women's poetry. Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne's Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.

Matrix of Malignancy

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Contributor: Adam Levon Brown

- -
Holding down the hordes
Of memories which seep
Their way into my mind
On days of peace

The demons which
Keep my muscles
Tense and armed,
Retaliate at any sign
Of rebellion

Tetris-like head games
Are commonplace
In this deserted alley
Of synapses

Another night hits
The ground and I am
Left with only the discarded

To defend myself

- - -
Adam Levon Brown is a published author, poet, amateur photographer, and cat lover.


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Contributor: Lynn Cooper

- -
My feet pace a shiny tiled
hospital floor
tapping sounds in sync
with a racing heart

Eyes roll up and down
like slot machines
return to stare at a TV
in a waiting room

I watch your ten year old grandson
on a gurney
wheeled into an operating room
upshot of handling your target shotgun

Your guilt hidden
in a drawer full of bullets
An accident!
what do you mean accident?

- - -
Lynn Cooper is a Published Poet and former New Yorker who now resides in Delray Beach, Florida.

When Every Day is Halloween

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
It used to bother me
to see odd people
leapfrog parking meters
and shout every day
is Halloween until
I realized I'm as odd as
they are, always will be.

That's the way it is.
Not much I can do about it.

On Halloween I ring doorbells
without a mask or costume
and whisper "Trick or Treat."
My neighbors do not know me.
We may never meet.
If they put candy in my bag,
I say nothing more than "Boo!"

That's the way it is.
Not much they can do about it.

In time you learn to live
with who you are even if
both of you are strangers
who may never meet.
Normal people are the ones
you have to keep an eye on.
People with monocles are fine.

That's the way it is.
Not much I can do about it.

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


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Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
From thirty thousand feet it’s more of a rumor
Something hinted at by that GPS animation
They show of our flight, a distance, a drop that
Haunts us as we go, but easy to imagine though,
The mountainous swells, those shoreless waves
All around, everywhere the dark and cold of it,
This is the North Atlantic, merciless and eternal,
Its size and power become god-like, picturing
Ourselves in it, treading water or alone in a boat,
Like Cowper’s Castaway or the Ancient Mariner;
Yet the airline assures us, there are emergency exits
And life vests under our seats, the inflatable chute
Can be used as a raft, so after the drop down, belly
Down on the waves, we can set off, parts of Canada
Are only a few hundred miles away, or the Coast
Guard might get us before those mountainous swells,
The shoreless waves all around, and before the dark
And cold of it finally reminds us of our place in it all.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Pyrokinection, Record, Yellow Chair Review, Madswirl, and Haikuniverse.

The Vine

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Contributor: Kevin M. Tenny

- -
Who am I, but a fruitless vine?
Pining through thought and mind
To produce a ripened fruit.

The flowers blossom,
The trees burgeon,
Even the weeds peek
Through the toiled Earth.

Where is my desired bud
That recapitulates my tired

What to do? Nothing,
But grow.

On and On
I grow.

Rising ever onward,
and touching clouds.

Then I see!
Look, there it is!

The view from
My height.

The trees below,
The flowers below,
The weeds underneath.

My fruit is not
A berry, lemon,
Or rose.

My view from
Atop this
Realm is my

But where was this
Height? Surely it was
Not hidden
In plain sight!

It was not.

Growing to new
Heights is a fruit,
Cultivated by

From thought and
Mind – the pining
For fruit is
One in the same.

What more could
A poor vine need
Than the will to stretch
An old-planted seed?

- - -
An undergraduate engineering student seeking right-brain stimulation.


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Contributor: Erik Bergholm

- -
We grow tall
for the same reason
the plum tree
gropes for the shimmering stars
and like its sleeping blossoms
each one dreaming of
a powdered world
dispersed by the sigh of its sun
we stir in our beds
in the soft, quiet hours
at the memories
of the dust dissolved in our veins

- - -
I am a journalism student at the College of St. Scholastica.

Raiments of the Heart

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
The woman in black
Passes angrily by
As she punishes the stones
With her heels

The woman in blue
Walks slowly as if
She is held by a
Hard burden

The woman in red
Seems eager to find
A foe that is worthy
To conquer

And the woman in white
Drifts past like a cloud
On the threshold of the hem
Of heaven

- - -
Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A two-time Best of the Net nominee, his poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications. His debut chapbook, "A Wind From Nowhere", is available from Flutter Press.

The Red Corvette

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Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
swimming in a pool of genes
she came through the doorway
a clean slate
no visible ink stains
a child alone in her bed
a shadow on the wall
that would chase her down
too afraid to shut her eyes
until she grew teeth
had her first fall from grace
liquid thoughts running wild
a red corvette
mag wheels
five speed with overdrive
sophisticated suspension
she became the riff
of her own invention

- - -
Judy Moskowitz a professional jazz musician has been published in Poetry Life And Times, Michael Lee Johnson's anthology, Indiana Voice Journal, Whispers Of The Wind

2:22 PM Zen

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Contributor: Sudeep Adhikari

- -
Truth, I don't seek you.
I see multiple fields,
and well-rounded structures
happy faces, dejected spirits
and I am alive, breathing
existence and endless conjectures
going tangent at me, at 2: 22 P.M.
a fractal tree, stand on my drive-way
a monotonous caw
carries the sounds of the other-worlds,
spans some moment
nonetheless, an eternity in itself.

- - -
Sudeep Adhikari is from Kathmandu, Nepal. He works have appeared in many literary journals and magazines.

Little Cartons, Little Sacks

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The mug of tea
I drank at dawn,
the tea that drove

me to the train
needs a refill.
At my desk,

I don’t do much
but wait for lunch
when every day

I eat so much
the waitress gawks.
She doesn’t

realize the years
till supper
when I’ll dine

alone again,
bolt everything
that I bring home

in little cartons,
little sacks.
She’s not there

when the couch
becomes my slab
till ten

when bed
my mausoleum.

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


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Contributor: Sanjeev Sethi

- -
In this stillness I can see my silence
serenade my sight which beckons smell
to dip into this draught of feelings,
resulting in a rash of rhythms --
autograph from forces I have no control over.

Hieroglyphics of hate try to discombobulate.
I have no space for surgeons with insidious
operations. This vow of words is a serape
I wrap myself in. It makes me serene like
in a séance: my Hippocrene.

- - -
The recently released, This Summer and That Summer, (Bloomsbury) is Sanjeev Sethi’s third book of poems. His poems have found a home in The London Magazine, The Fortnightly Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Galway Review, Otoliths, Off the Coast, Literary Orphans, Café Dissensus Everyday, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Futures Trading, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Rome in a Day

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Contributor: J.K. Durick

- -
From a tour bus everything seems so temporary,
Rome, built in a day, is stuck in traffic right now,

Horns and hassle build moments like this, shuffle
And shift the day this way, hundreds of years,

A thousand or two go by, whole empires summed up,
The work of emperors and popes become anecdotes,

Excesses of the past meet the economy of the present,
An hour in, a fountain or steps leading up this hill or

That, another temple or church, religions blend so well,
Just feel the gods’ presence in this, the irony they loved,

Lines of buses, tourists at the gate, endless cafes and
Gift shops, impatience, summer heat and open wallets

Our history can read us like this, knows what we want
Western civ in digest, just a few hours and then we’re done.

- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Pyrokinection, Record, Yellow Chair Review, Madswirl, and Haikuniverse.

I Don't Play Games, Child

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
You have not beaten me.
I am not your victim nor anybody else’s.
You did not win at some contest
or sporting event.
You simply set me Free!
Now, excuse me
whilst I learn from my mistake
and happily get myself
back onto the right path again.

- - -
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)

Blowing your Life

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Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

- -
Hypnotic stare in a greasy fog
chug on an ice cold frosty beer
driving fast singing 'Slow Ride'
blue light special; a race is on.

Night fun in my old Rambler
jurist hastens with the gavel
blow a nine can get you two
if the count is off by just one.

Staring towards the tall walls,
I'm free just beyond the wires
tower guard glares egotistically
hypnotic stare repels my exhale.

Ten months down, almost done.
good time helps, shaves off a year
positive vibes and prayer helps a lot
swinging to the beat of a 'Free Ride'.

- - -
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a Published Poet from New Hampshire. He enjoys writing from the dark side. His published work can be found at numerous print venues.


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Contributor: Renee' Drummond-Brown

- -
Sow a seed
Plant a tree
Water ‘n’ Son
Reap the growth
Leave it be
Fend for self
Watch the weed

- - -
I, Renee’ B. Drummond-Brown, am the wife of Cardell Nino Brown Sr. and from our union came Cardell Jr., Renee and Raven Brown. I am the offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Peter C. Drummond of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My siblings are Delbert D. Drummond and the late Pastor Shawn C. Drummond. I was born in North Carolina, at Camp Lejeune US Naval Hospital. I am a graduate of Geneva College of Pennsylvania, and my love for creative writing is undoubtedly displayed through my very unique style of poetry, which is viewed globally. My poetry is inspired by God and Dr. Maya Angelou. Because of them I pledge this: “Still I write, I write, and I’ll write!”

“Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight” is flown across the seas by God’s raven. There are several Scriptures that I love; however, this one speaks volumes during this ‘season’: “And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.” (Genesis 8:7 KJV)

Theory of What Might Have Been

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Contributor: Gary Glauber

- -
You complicate
what brings us here,
rife with intricate twists.
You smile knowingly,
awaiting camera’s
capture of the fleeting.
Careful worlds collapse,
dreams implode.

In the dream, we ignore the clamor,
the gaping pain gnawing beneath,
will against power,
love versus loins.

This explored touch with benefits,
benefits none.
In harsh daylight,
this babel teeters precariously,
a heart’s phrase gone misunderstood.
Silent symbols
resist explication,
fading to whispers
in eternal swirling wind.

- - -
Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. His collection, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) is available through Amazon, as is a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press).


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Contributor: Michael H. Brownstein

- -
--because Deborah Lynn loved a tree so much, she gave it a name

Some things come out of no place:
a jerk and a brake:
a flash and a fire:
a text and a heart bends itself in two:
the monster came with the rain,
the night bright blue then gray.
The soil on the hill tripped over itself
and the great black walnut
nesting on our back forty forever
took one tentative step,
then three and when it reached six
blocked its fall against the roof of our old barn.
Roots separating from the ground
where they had always planted themselves
and let its buried essence breathe the flesh of air.
Beautiful things cannot retain their beauty forever
like a mountain pass, a blue green river
the face of youth aging into thinness.
The Asian mulberry tree nearby did not let go of its fruit
and the purple sand cherry in the front yard hung to its seed.
When the madman passed,
the rain slowed to a stroll in the park,
our tree changed the focus of windows,
one limb now pointing straight into the air
as if it were a middle finger and knew how to shout.
After all what holds more beauty
then a middle finger across the palm of sky.

- - -
Michael H. Brownstein is the author of Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100F Outside And Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013) among others. He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011) and head administrator of Project Agent Orange (

Letter to Annie Far Away

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Every evening,
up in my room,
I try to finish a poem
but Chicago is hot
and it’s better outside,
strolling along the Lake
or driving anywhere
with the windows down.

You sound good,
if undecided about things.
My life gets better
no matter how hard I try
to make it worse.
No medicine
for a month now;

no poems, either.
I can’t recall my last
spontaneous erection.
I’d blame it all on the heat
but you’d know better.

Summer in Chicago
makes people accessible
and I’ve become chatty
in these later years.
I find that small talk

with people oiled
and stretched like tarps
on Pratt Avenue Beach
trumps any summer attempt
at revising a poem winter
revisions never made right.

We’ll see if my new affair
with society lasts.
How long will I
continue to meet strangers
who introduce me
to myself?

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


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Contributor: John Grey

- -
I'm not a scholar.
I'm just passing through.

I haven't a thesis
on Roger Bacon to write.
I'm merely taking in
the splendid architecture
from the Radcliffe Camera
to St Mary's Church.

I'm no don, no student,
merely a tourist
with a day to spare,
watching punters in the river,
poking around in
the Bodleian library.

This is part of my education
no doubt
but no fancy degree
comes at the end of it.
Maybe an ale in a pub,
a round of darts,
and a train back to London.

Tomorrow, I'm off
to the Tower of London.
Not to be imprisoned.
tortured or executed.
But surely
you've guessed that already.

- - -
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Searching for Specks

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Contributor: Andy Brown

- -
There are dark places where
the only light that can shine is
a speck of minuscule hope
searching for reason,

any little reason
to stay alive;

from that often unseen dot of a speck
the glow of rejuvenation can spring.

There have been quite a few times in my recent life
when I have been thankful for my cowardice
held back from ending it once and for all
and instead have decided to grasp
that morsel of hope and
make a grab at life.

- - -
Andy Brown shares his life as an ex-prisoner, recovering addict, regeneration award winner living in one of the top 100 deprived UK areas.


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Contributor: Sanjeev Sethi

- -
Those were happy hours. Unlike discounted firewater
ours was a rebate on rejoicings. Adagio to allegro con
brio, like a well-prepared orchestra it played on our
rundle. We laughed vacuously if the timpani was out
of sync. In such a setting nothing mattered. When
wads swell even the stingy are advised not to worry
about chump change. We didn’t fuss, it was shipshape.
From god-knows-where nodules of nastiness erupted?
First love and its privation are usually one’s phantom limb.
For me it’s with all my loves. Why do I live in the past?
Does it free me from fear of mutability?

- - -
The recently released, This Summer and That Summer, (Bloomsbury) is Sanjeev Sethi’s third book of poems. His poems have found a home in The London Magazine, The Fortnightly Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Galway Review, Otoliths, Off the Coast, Literary Orphans, Café Dissensus Everyday, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Futures Trading, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.


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Contributor: Ray Miller

- -
All was lost on a daily basis:
she believed that there must be a thief
who was stealing for other faces
in need of spectacles and teeth.

The nocturnal feast was unfinished:
a weak bladder and toothless gums
left lipstick stains on the Guinness
and a trail of biscuit crumbs

to the Inco pad down the toilet
and a pool of piss on the ground.
The baby alarm had gone silent
and her knitting was all unwound

around a false breast on the carpet
that no-one was eager to touch
and her diary with the targets
that she’ll miss so very much.

She liked Flanagan and Allen,
and subscribed to The People’s Friend,
was a fan of Britain’s Got Talent –
she never made it to the end.

- - -

Scarlet Raindrops

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Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

- -
Jumping from clouds into a sun dog
high sky diving towards the ground
a drizzle, fog then a summer storm,
a raucous deluge all the way down.

Raindrops greet a spattered roof
upon all at night be a scarlet haze
gutters spew a torrential wash
truth be known, I'm sad today.

Forever arrived in a lightning flash
wonder of lifeless breath sensations
sweet sip of a fruity cold daiquiri
equal only to a chilled brain freeze.

- - -
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a Published Poet from New Hampshire. He enjoys writing from the dark side. His published work can be found at numerous print venues.

Leaving the Station

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Each morning
I step from the train
and march with the others

leaving the station.
The weatherman's warned of rain
so we're armed

with umbrellas,
our briefcases swinging.
Across from the station

there's an old hotel
high in the sky. King Kong,
everyone calls it.

In tall windows
old men appear,
disappear, reappear.

It is August in Chicago
and the old men wear
overcoats and homburgs

so no one can steal them.
They light cigarettes,
mumble and curse

at the daily parade
leaving the station.
Traffic is thick

but even in winter
no one looks up
since no one can hear them.

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

Oh Say Do You See

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Contributor: Wayne F Burke

- -
Mahoney and me were
tough-guy poets and
radicals on campus,
State College,
Mahoney cut people to
shreds with
caustic words
the faculty held a special meeting
how to shut Mahoney up?
they could not do it
Mahoney played politics
with administration
was on first name basis with
we became undesirables
who smoked pot openly
made fun of the jocks and
future Susie-Homemakers of
one night we went to the
basketball game
and sat up high
in the bleachers
away from everyone else
when the national anthem began
everyone in the gymnasium stood and
turned to us
only ones not standing
and Mahoney began to giggle
as I became self-conscious
and did not realize until
end of the music that
we had sat
in front of
the American flag.

- - -
Wayne F. Burke's poetry has recently been featured in Scarlet Leaf, Ink Sweat & Tears, Meat For Tea, and Loch Raven Review. His three published poetry collections, all with Bareback Press, are WORDS THAT BURN (2013), DICKHEAD (2015), and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES (2016). He lives in the central Vermont area, USA.

Dinner for a Lost Love

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Contributor: William Speakes

- -
crushing tomatoes between
stained fingers, standing on

bare feet – corns, blisters, and
callouses worn from old shoes

years past their expiration like
the love that sits at the table

waiting for dinner that may come
with a touch of arsenic hidden

by salt from tears shed for children
lost to social services due to addiction

ravaged minds who forgot them
in the cold in the broken down Ford.

- - -
Poet, Spoken word artist, aspiring novelist, and chef. Father of three and constantly trying to juggle my life's passions.


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