One Old Gigolo Counsels Another

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
You take care now, Harold,
and don't slip on the ice
looking for a good bookstore
on the streets of Chicago.

Print is dead, Harold,
and it's being waked
in empty bookstores.
Soon all bookstores

will be dead, Harold,
and then you will have
no good reason
to go out on the ice.

At our age, Harold,
ice can be lethal
so take my advice
and do as I do:

Walk head down
even if there's no ice
so you can avoid
not only the ice

but also the women
disgruntled with men.
Believe me, Harold,
they're out there

armed with bumbershoots.
They prowl the streets now
more than when we were
young and dashing

and making them angry.
They haven't forgotten us.
So for God's sake, Harold,
go out for a walk but

bundle up and take your cane
and walk with your head down.
Do you believe in God, Harold?
I hope you do because

at our age, Harold, ice or a
woman could be the chariot
that takes us over the moon
faster than we'd like.

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

The Chapel Inside Out

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Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
I’ve been here before
I’ve seen these all, I’m sure

the priestly garbs of black and stripes
that fit this atmosphere of masquerade
the golden tasseled black berets
that hide
the emptiness,
the mindlessness,
the heartlessness
the flowing capes of silk and wool
too hot to wear – they’re never cool
in this clime of eternal steam…
the roll call of names
like summoning all the saints -
the confessor’s ears are ready
but nobody dares
to speak out the sacred truth
the naked truth
the blank walls
behind the pretending pomp
and disguising pageantry

these palatial halls
conceal with draperies of elegance
sculptured paupers
a multitude of shanties
an army of dark shadows
digging mountains of rubbish
for spoils to salvage

holy hypocrisy?
emperors parading naked?
or beggars in velvet cloaks
of royal blue?

The blind loyal servant bangs the gavel
as Lord Hunger knocks
at the door
of the Almighty Loo

- - -
Ireneo L. Lit, Jr. (a.k.a. Jun Lit), Professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, is an entomologist who also writes poems about nature and society.

Five Haiku

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Contributor: r soos

- -

name on a placard
outside the hospital door
now all that is left



all the leaves to burn
in one pile this afternoon
set the flame tonight



empty body forms
the shield atop the mattress
protecting journeys



your shallow breathing
under a sheet supports the
outline of body



everything in line
with empty colors inside
repeating patterns

- - -
r soos has 20 books of poetry still in print. he is aging with a grace no one believes.

Fall Senryu/Summer Senryu

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Contributor: Ingrid Bruck

- -
Fall: Senryu

sun glitters
diamond dust on clouds
caramel on apples

half cloudy
sun skitters in the grass
and dives down a burrow

wind sweeps
clouds heap
blue floods through

crescent moon rises
tapestry needle
threads dusk

crickets sing
corn tassels and tobacco
evening gold

distant lightning
ignites the tapestry ~
a silent movie plays


Summer: Senryu

yellow-black web weaver
carnivore hunts
I pick her tomato

goldfinch eats
petals of sunflower drop
loves me - loves me not

the walls and roof shake
Crepe Myrtle bends under the weight
of the downpour

between moon-glow
summer tree stars

night secret
silver twins echo
moon flower

faint blush of sky
cicada shrill
cat moon grins sideways

- - -
Ingrid Bruck is nature poet who lives in rural Amish country in Pennsylvania, a landscape that inhabits her writing. She likes writing Japanese short form and short poems. Current work appears in Mataroyshka Poetry, Halcyon Days and Quatrain.Fish

I Hate Goodbyes

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Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
When my brother left
I did not grieve
It set me free
To tap into my own
Natural resource

When my mother left
I was in conflict
Music released me
To the other side of the moon

When my father left
I felt homeless
A train wreck
Head on collision with fiction

When my sister left
I cried for both of us
She left her secrets in my care
I disposed of them
On the page

When he left
Heart torn
I bled for days
I bled for days
I hate goodbyes

- - -
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

At the Shore

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

- -
Picking seashells up at the shore
My arms are full can’t hold anymore
Fiddler Crabs that scurry past
Can’t catch them, they move too fast
Popping in and out of their holes
Running through shallow tide pools
Waves that break upon the rocks
Hitch up my pants take off my socks
Wading through water up to my knees
Splashing around doing what I please
Seagulls flying high over head
Turning to look as if it’s something I said
A couple of dolphins swimming along
I can see they are sleek and strong
As the sun sets on the shimmering sea
There is no one left on the beach, but me

- - -
He was born and raised in Ohio, and now lives in Florida. He is married and has two children. Most important he is a Papa. He has over a dozen poems on this site and one printed in "Stormcloud Poets second anthology".

Old Man At The Diner

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
He slaughters his hamburger steak
with a fork and a butter knife,
massacres ringlets of onions
again and again

thumps catsup all over
the bloody commingling,
then ever so slowly
peppers and salts

and reminds me of Hrebic,
whose wife, back
on the block of my youth,
sat all summer out on her stoop,

knees awry, one eye black,
the other turning gray,
sunning the great white hydrants
of her phlebitic legs.

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

The Bathroom’s On The Right

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
So, I finally managed
to get him to agree
to a meeting in town.
I spent 3 days
physically getting ready
& mentally preparing
to try to win him back.
I had a different speech
composed every hour.
Practicing each line,
sometimes out loud,
in the street,
like a crazy bitch.
I was there 3 hours early,
circling the park
and nipping at a bottle
of Thunderbird Wine
I’d bought to take the edge off.
Waste of time, completely!
He winced ‘Hello’
listened for a few minutes,
then interrupted me
with an excuse to leave
with one of those bored
tones strangers use…. like
‘The Bathroom’s On The Right’

- - -
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)

Deep Infatuation

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
Distance makes the heart grow fonder,
so it’s no surprise
why I’ve forever been
completely head over heels
for a source that cannot be seen.

My spirit yearns with a fervent passion
after that ineffable mystery of creation
which has no tangible touch
but can always be felt
at the innermost core of intuition
where the soul of the matter
is guided ever-closer to truth.

Subjectively, I dance across
the woven web of synchronicity,
laughing at the materialists
who scoff with objective displeasure
at all concerns they cannot fathom.

What need have I
for atomistic eyes
when the most beautiful visions
are found deep inside?

Answers arrive in waves
when least expected
from a plane of existence
beyond this world of time and form,
and space is just a place
where I can roam freely
in magnetic dreams
which align my electric pulse
to a frequency most divine.

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar spends the hours flowing and fluxing with the ever-changing currents of the Tao River while laughing at and/or weeping over life's existential nature. Singing and dancing are also involved in the process.


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Contributor: Ken Williams

- -
You say:
You are the spokesperson
for your generation…
Except the millions who served,
suffering without voice

You say,
You are the creative genius
maker of movies
making millions
you ignore the stories
of those who served

You say,
your lyrics
speak the heart of all
you’ve never heard
a bullet
fired in anger

You claim,
your books
tell truth of the ages
you never took an oath
that separates you
to bleed and die
for your country

You stayed home,
started families
chased down passions

While families
and the passion for life
Beld white in
As those dreams died
for their fathers’ and
uncles’ at
Khe Shan
A Shau Valley

You went on with life
ignoring the forgotten ones
A generation too busy,
to care for
your brothers,
who quietly bled
came home
not whole

At least the 60s
Generational Comrades
cared enough to,
Creative Insurrection
to the madness of war

Your generation shouts
with silence
pursues materialism and fame
with gusto
rather than confront
the greatest injustice of all

A generation without heart
without soul
millions condemned because
they weren’t hip
aren’t cool
in the know,
Carrying the heartache of war
the loneliness of being
shut out,

They may have been lied
into war
deceived by dishonorable
abandonment by
Generational Comrades
cuts the deepest
producing the greatest pain…

The aloneness
of that abandonment
To be
nightmares shared only
with the darkness
PTSD coloring the day
with wide brush strokes
spouses driven mad with despair

The madness ends
only when
you care enough
to raise voices
passion for something
other than yourself

In the meantime
your silence
condemns you
as it defines you
A generation
gone voiceless
in a time of
desperate need

- - -
Ken Williams worked as a social worker for the homeless in Santa Barbara CA and severed with the WALKING DEAD—1/9 Marines in Vietnam. His literary pieces have appeared in numerous media outlets both in the U.S. and abroad. He is a combat Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. FRACTURED ANGEL is his most recent novel.

No New Woman

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
I’ve found no new woman,
as you’d like to surmise.
But the next one
who braids
my mind with my heart
won’t get away,
not even if she’s a nun.
The next one like you
I’ll lock in a room
near the sky and there
will I kiss her until
she is certain
a thousand butterflies
one by one
are lighting
all over her body.

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

For You

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Contributor: Natalie Crick

- -
This month her depression began.
He obsessed her.
She tied her heart with ribbon like a present,
Licking his fingers and kissing his feet.

Words failed her.
She breathed him in like a terrible secret,
A childless woman beneath the ivory moon.
But what about his eyes, his eyes, his eyes.

Walking in the Winter trees
Were his shadows in the fog.
He was innocent as a lamb.
Sleep, my Angel,

Deaf and dumb
As the drugged summer sun.
My Love,
I want you.

- - -
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.


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Contributor: Lynn Cooper

- -
Contusions cry out for ice
Comfort from a Frigidaire
Headaches hammer temples for aspirin
Excedrin an easy fix
Sore muscles search for a masseur
Hands-on relief an alternative

Bruised egos bleed
Beg to be bandaged
Stressed psyches scream for solace
Psychotherapy a band aid peddled
Without an expiration date

Only the heart aches
In an empty vacuum
Waiting for its intangible relief

- - -
Lynn Cooper is retired and lives in Florida.
Her poetry has appeared in anthologies in New York and Florida.

Withering Memories

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Contributor: Malkeet Kaur

- -
The sequined ivory frame has come undone
And squeaks in squirmish, sweaty fingers;

The serrated shades
Blanched now with tears shed
Every time I visited
The inquisition wall
In the past
And dangled myself
In the pulpit.

I sometimes
Look for you
Within the junctures captured.

I can no longer
Recognise your face;
It is becoming pale
Day by day alongside
The fast vanishing verdict.

I step down and
Walk past.

The lacerations laced in sutures
Are slowly bleeding their last.

- - -
Malkeet Kaur resides in Mumbai in India. She holds a post graduate degree in English literature and Applied Linguistics. Many of her poems are published in various anthologies and online journals.

Moments of Mess

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Contributor: Patrick Jordan

- -
I need to
enjoy these moments
of awkwardness.
These moments of
Moments of chaos.

At the end of the day
the crazy is what
sets the tone.
It's what makes
life real.

Bask in it.
I often feel
an uneasiness
about it.
But that's the magic.
That's when you're
teetering on the edge.
Those are the best moments.

Most of the day
is surrounded with normal.
Most of the day
is bathed in average.
Average gets old.

Welcome in the disorder.
Welcome in the anarchy.

Welcome in the unknown.
Flow with it.
Drink it.
Dine it.

Be a part of the feast.
Feed off it.
Feel the awkwardness around you.
It is the realist
moment you will know.

- - -
Patrick Jordan has been writing poetry and prose since he was ten years old. Through poetic expression and creative writing Patrick sets himself at the center of his search for the truth. Patrick created the Facebook group "Notes From The Edge” & “Stay Weird & Keep Writing Pub Co.”

Return to Sender

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Contributor: Michael Adams

- -
I sent a love letter around the world
With a wreath stamped in one corner
and my feelings standing stark against the white envelope.
It flew like an albatross
Its wind, my devotion tucked within the pages–
enough to keep a cold chest warm in empty winter.
Now summer’s flush has left me burned
And my little envelope flew home
Scuffed and stamped from a thousand miles
With just a three word reply:
"Return to Sender."

- - -
Michael Adams is an award-winning poet, author, and playwright. You can find his work on his website or in his first published chapbook, Attempted Ramblings, available on Amazon.

Pied Piper

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Contributor: Ananya S Guha

- -
Down with eyes
that follow
as if I am,
quicksand time flees
creditor/ debtor
I assiduously follow paths
of trespasser
so, can't call me cheat
(call me!)
beat it, with your drumstick
spinning yarns
and Pied Piper

- - -
Ananya S Guha lives in Shillong in North East India. He has been writing poetry and publishing his poems for over thirty years.

Steady Lungs

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
I am tempted
when you test me
with these trials
and tribulations
to succumb
beneath the turbulent waves
and wash away
to the depths
of an ocean
that cannot be fathomed,
but I know
that the goal
is in reach,
and if I just keep
taking one more step
I will breach
the surface
to breathe
the beauty
of your divinity
and grace
into these lungs
that are ready
to seize
such a blissful taste.

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar spends the hours flowing and fluxing with the ever-changing currents of the Tao River while laughing at and/or weeping over life's existential nature. Singing and dancing are also involved in the process.

The Tank

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Contributor: Pranab Ghosh

- -
The water trembles
holding the reflection
of the morning sun.
A street urchin throws
a stone at the sun,
the ripples reach
the shore.

There is a woman washing
clothes on the bank.
She bathes there everyday
sharing space with the sun.

In the evening the moon
replaces the sun and
the silver water stands
still reflecting the voices
of the local belles who
gather on the bank
bathing in the cool breeze.
Their laughter creates
ripples in the water
that dissolves in
the middle.

The tank lies still
through the night
listening to the crickets
and reflecting the
flying bats silhouetted
against the sinking moon.
The local belles then
dream of their lovers.

Water whispers in their ears.

- - -
Pranab Ghosh is a journalist, blogger and poet. He has coauthored Air & Age, a book of poems. His poems have been accepted in Tuck Magazine, Scarlet Leaf, Literature Studio Review etc.


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Contributor: Tyrean Martinson

- -
Waves rolling into the sand
covered by
covered by
covered by
rolling waves into the sand.

- - -
Tyrean Martinson writes, dreams, and believes in the Pacific Northwest within a mile of the Puget Sound, which laps invisible to her view along the green-treed shore. She has had over 100 previously published short works and a scattering of books published.

The Melon Phenomenon

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Contributor: Sarah Valeika

- -
I’m beginning to believe the only union worth
preserving is that which binds
melons to their rinds.
Skin them, and you sculpt an organ so
pulpy, so infant fresh, zygotic

and when the flesh, as it will,
wraps itself in a soft, white film--
what then, dearest?
It has been shelled for naught and
its death sentence is written by a hand which
would declare that the melon was “scooped,”
not gutted

gutted, nibbled and rotted

- - -

The Garden Outside The House

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Contributor: Natalie Crick

- -
She was out there again that morning.
Talking, laughing, singing,
The garden filled with sweet birdsong
And the aroma of summer.

The sunset leaked red blood,
Annihilating him.
A love gift or a
Romantic invitation.

She had one eye, he had two.
He was waking from a fitful dream.
It soon became dark,
The sky full of storms.

He saw her solemn death dance,
Wet and electric,
An Autumn widow wearing grey.
It was starting to happen again.

- - -
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.

Under Wraps

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Contributor: Alyssa Telgenhoff

- -
A dress.
One simple dress.
Fabrics intertwined together,
exactly like the lies we tell to each other.
I know my mom imagined me
dancing, twirling, in this dress.
The only dance I'll be doing is
around the truth.
My mother will want to sweep
makeup to cover my flaws.
Like when she sweeps the truth
under the rug.
I regret telling her,
She made me do it.
She pushed her dresses,
I don't blame her though.
All my mother wanted was a little girl.
To be her little doll.
I told her,
yelled actually.
“Mother on the inside,
who I truly am is a
She turned slowly,
slapped me across the face,
and bought the

- - -
Alyssa Telgenhoff has two of her works published. Her current project is a young adult novel about time travel.


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Contributor: Sara Abend-Sims

- -
Forgotten pleasures. Remembered pain
You said, ‘I won’t forget. I promise’

Searching my face, you’re hopeful
looking for admiration, for adoration
A one way traffic that’s heading
someplace which isn’t home
nor it is togetherness

Fun is by the window, waiting
Imagination isn’t dipping it’s toes
refusing to soar, it’s hidden or goes all
the wrong places. Despair’s humming
softly. Hope’s wings are tied folded tight

When still, I close my eyes, letting
pictures fill my mind. Windows are shut
glass is smeared, clogged, opaque
blocking the sun

I open my eyes and shuffle our cards
Hope comes first, face up. Despair
rustles next face down, competing
to be noticed, to be faced

Looking back, the past murmurs that
we’ve given Despair attention aplenty.
It nudges me, ‘Now is a time to turn
your gaze’

I look again, ‘Who are you, Hope?’
I whisper. ‘Can I touch the place
where trust and caring are soft or
round, a biscuit-coin... a full
golden moon or days of grace’

- - -
Sara Abend-Sims - a poet and writer of fiction, who has degrees in counseling and visual art education.

Sara exhibited her paintings interstates and overseas for two decades, before weaving into words her visual fascination and the experiences of growing up in Israel and life in Australia.

She’s the recipient of two Literary Awards

Sara’s literary work is published Online - Campbelltown council’s website (literary awards 2015), InDaily (Oct.2015), Hibun Today (Dec. 2015), and in anthologies - Friendly Street Poets 2015 & 2016; KNWG 2016 and U3A 2016.

Make Verdant Again The Hills

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
She walks the rack of bright frocks
as her husband, an Angus aging,
paws at the carpet behind her.
She wants the right dress

to make verdant again the hills
that summers ago
brought her young bull
into her valleys.

Now he needs prodding
even to graze.
Now she no longer

has to rope off
what he used to rip up.
Now he causes no pain.

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


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Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

- -
I'm in lust with a sky
that I've yet to see;
in love with people
that I've yet to meet.

Whilst lonely lips
await whetted kisses;
cool hands caress
no trembling cheek.

Time spent within
graceless dark dreams;
queen of hearts vivid
in a diamond flush.

Struggle upon a chair
with three wobbly legs
where will the break lead
of a precious love bared.

I know where life goes,
surely not purely sacred;
amnesty found wanton
in pious infected liars.

Wicked colors flickering
grace and piety ascend
fantasy begets harmony
in dark dreams we sigh.

- - -
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.

Death dreams under the cerulean sky, poolside

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Contributor: Haley Guariglia

- -
Death dreams under the cerulean sky, poolside

sun never sets on skin
skin settles for the sun

sunscreen caught in the cracks
carvings etched in blood

pool, palms, the widespread sky
sometimes paradise withholds

hatches spare stumps and limbs
lost my mind when I took a dip

a lifetime of ideations tow
a body unrecognizable

knives and nooses cloud
a mark of madness

on this exquisite perfection without
weights no way to explore the deep

new neurosis, symptoms who counts
three palms are erect and waving

wave back to ensure my limbs are still
attached by coarse black stitches

turn on my stomach, eye-level
the water a deep, velvet, maroon

my name is called by no one
I scribble to tether me to time

pains denouement; a cloud arrives
past selves carry present self to old

wounds, re open them and gouge
when death seems the only way out

of the gate I walk home
under the quintessential California sky

- - -
Haley Guariglia grew up in the creeks of Columbia, MO and currently resides in Kansas City, MO with her boyfriend and 18 year old cat Fedora. Her interested include interpretive dance, bugs, costume creation and reading aloud. Her favorite poet of 2016 is Kate Marvin.


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