Buster and Hieronymus

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Contributor: Jim Zola

- -
Buster manipulates his bowtie into mustache and goatee
Heironymus sees the Virgin proliferate in snow clouds
Buster windmills past the open station door
Heironymus tempts with the anus of a mouse
Buster winces at the thought of clubs and blueness
Heironymus mixes blood with silt to smear his face
Buster mouths the canons of the lonely
Heironymus passes the stone of madness
Buster smiles when the camera stops
Heironymus forgets the four last things
Buster likes my kitchen walls
yellow wallpaper that looks like paint
Heirmonymus steals my tweezers
saving them for late at night
Heironymus laughs at my dying
Buster wants to steal my wife

- - -
Jim Zola is a poet and photographer living in North Carolina. He currently works as a children's librarian. He has done lots of other stuff too.

My Father's Hands

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Contributor: Catherine G. Wolf

- -
My Father’s Hands
The cracks in my father’s hands
come out in winter.
Rivulets of blood ooze across his pale hands.
Remind me
he was forced to repair sewing machines.
This writer blacklisted in the fifties.
Hands, etched by a decade of turpentine.

The cracks in my father’s hands
come out in spring.
Oceans of blood stream like tears across his broad hands.
Remind me
he lost his only brother, just 23.
A medic, trying to save a life
on the beaches of Normandy.

The cracks in my father’s hands
come out in fall.
Waves of blood gush across his knowing hands.
Remind me
this engineer was expelled from college for demonstrating against ROTC.
Diploma, snatched from his hands
one semester away from graduation.

They say, “Time heals all wounds.”
But not the cracks in my father’s hands.

- - -
In 1996, when I was stricken with Lou Gehrig’s disease, my ability to speak was taken away by this disease. I found poetry had a special capability to express my innermost feelings. By losing my physical voice, I found my poetic voice.

Walking Forward

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Contributor: Joanna M. Weston

- -
mother and child stand
in the middle of the map
looking at their feet
as if they weren’t sure
which way to walk

north to the Arctic
south to the Equator
or would oceans call them
either east perhaps west

they pulled the map
over their shoulders
over their heads
spun clockwise as one
then eyes closed
they stepped
into the future

- - -
JOANNA M. WESTON. Has had poetry, middle readers, and short stories published for thirty years. Her poetry, ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications of Toronto. http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

Annual Physical

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
You go to the doctor
at 21, no problems.
Maybe a flu shot.
That’s it.

You go to him
at 40, and you
need a pill or two
and he says
watch your weight.

You go to him
at 60, and you’re
now a fixer-upper.
You need more pills,
he says, and
watch your weight.

You go to him
at 70, and he finds
plumbing problems
and asks questions
to verify that all
your lights are on.
Doesn’t mention
your weight.

You go to him
at 80, and he says
you’re doing well,
all things considered,
but it wouldn’t hurt
to put your affairs
in order.

You tell him
you can’t remember
any affairs but he
can ask your wife.
She’s still raising hell
about someone
named Mildred,
if that was her name.

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

A Bad Father

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Contributor: Wayne Scheer

- -
I'm a bad father,
passing on my addiction
to my son.

He's been steadfast
in his desire
not to be like me

Not to fall in the clutches
of the demon,
but alas

He's begun spending
his money and time,
neither of which he has in abundance,

On an addiction
he's picked up from me.
Even asked

If I can help him make a connection
and supply him
from my personal stash.

He's getting interested in gardening,
just a hosta here, some irises there,
and so it begins.

I introduced him
to my personal gardening guru
who works at a local nursery

And he spent
an absurd amount of money
on plants to adorn his front yard.

O the horror of a father
passing on his sins
to his son.

- - -
Wayne Scheer has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net. He's published numerous stories, poems and essays in print and online, including Revealing Moments, https://issuu.com/pearnoir/docs/revealing_moments a collection of flash stories. His short story, “Zen and the Art of House Painting” has been made into a short film. https://vimeo.com/18491827

Gifts of Wonder

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Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

- -
Found a butterfly wing
On my walk today.
Placed it in my left hand
And it blew away.

I saw a large owl
Fly across a field of hay.
I knew the sound of silence
In a different way.

I watched wheat dancing
In the evening wind,
It seemed a moment of beauty
That would never end.

I saw the sunlight shine
Upon a drop of dew,
Beheld a jewel of beauty
That's esteemed by few.

I saw a streak of light
In a moonless sky,
And the universe changed
Before my eyes.

I heard a word of truth
In a quiet room,
And it did not speak
Of impending doom.

These are gifts of wonder
Sent to you and me,
And have been on their way
Throughout eternity.

- - -
Bruce Mundhenke lives in Illinois with his wife and their dog and cat. He enjoys writing poetry and is an avid reader. He finds nature to be both an inspiration and a revelation.


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Contributor: William Wordsworth

- -
The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?-till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And 'Merry Christmas' wished to all.

- - -
William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads (1798).

Rules of Scale

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Contributor: Amanda N. Butler

- -
Always step on it first thing in the morning
right after urinating.
Never step on right after
getting out of the shower -
wet hair will add weight.
Always step on it before breakfast.
Never step on it before defecating.
The ideal routine is urinate-caffeinate-defecate
the morning after counting calories
and lettuce leaves
and denying yourself the office cupcakes
that were brought in to celebrate
December birthdays.
Always step on it naked -
the extra clothes will add weight.
Never step on it within four days
before menstruation -
bloat will add weight.

Always realize
that these rules were etched
into crystal cavern stretch marks
to try to erase them
that this arbitrary covenant
between your soul and
fluctuating numbers
was carved in tides of cellulite
in oceans of wrinkles
in waterfalls of bellies
to conceal the wellspring.
Always remember
the Forest Queens
with their life-giving branches -
they do not move their roots
when the wind tells them
they take up too much space.

- - -
Amanda N. Butler is the author of chapbooks Tableau Vivant (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) and effercrescent (Dancing Girl Press, 2017). Her poetry has also been published in Hedgerow, Haikuniverse, poems2go, and others. She holds a BA in Professional Writing and an MBA in Marketing.


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Contributor: Catherine G. Wolf

- -
I refuse to die
I choose to defy
Prognosis (poor)

I will see

I refuse to die
I choose to defy
Prognosis (guarded)

I must
eat chocolate every day!

I refuse to die
I choose to survive
Prognosis (good)

- - -
In 1996, when I was stricken with Lou Gehrig’s disease, my ability to speak was taken away by this disease. I found poetry had a special capability to express my innermost feelings. By losing my physical voice, I found my poetic voice.


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Contributor: Milton P. Ehrlich

- -
wears an elegant wardrobe,
decollete, with a thigh-high split.
I’m almost 17, making a delivery
during the war for a local drug store.
She pays me with a big fat tip,
invites me in for a yummy taste
of blueberry pie she’s just baked.
She tells me her back is in pain—
do I have time to give her a back rub?
Her stereo is ablaze with the vibrato
of Edith Piaf while she offers me
a sip of homemade wine, brewed
by her husband before he left her.
I sit on her sofa and wonder:
Is this the fantasy I’ve had before
on my delivery route? it can’t really be true.
Are we both phantoms in a mutual dream?
We both seem to savor the mystery
of the perfect moment—no dialogue necessary.
My body and soul is willing in more ways
than I care to say.
But it’s the very best blueberry pie
that I’ve ever tasted, before or since.

- - -
Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D. is an 85-year-old psychologist. A Korean War veteran, he’s published numerous poems in periodicals such as "Descant," "Wisconsin Review," "Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow," "Toronto Quarterly Review," "Christian Science Monitor," "Huffington Post," and the "New York Times."

The Help

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Contributor: Aparna Sanyal

- -
I lie awake
And in my head
Put a sanitised toe
Across a threshold
As alien to me
As a far away land
or inky blue sea

Your side of the street
What does it hold
For me to see
What wonders untold?

You who come
To my home every day
Part of my life
Invisibly bright

I wait to see you
To be able to un-see you
Weave you into the weft
Of my life's warp and heft

A foot across
And a riff of smells
Multilayered, hued, dense, immense

A landscape of tears
Bound by laughter and fears

A kum kum wearing tree
God, for free

Slime rivulets
With gutter hair floating

Dead insect sailors
On paper crafts go boating

Gangs of dogs caterwauling
At a moon that looks scowling

A deep and luscious tapestry
In chaos such symmetry

Bare bulbed beauty shimmering
Shadows weaving, glinting, glimmering

Cracks in doors or doors of cracks
Held by will
Sometimes strong, mostly lax

What witchery causes me to see
This riot as beauty ethereal and free?

I roam your alleys
Your troughs and valleys
Of unwashed, unbridled humanity

Howl at your moon
Squint at your door
In my minds insanity

I roam through the night
With sleep, not in sight
Waiting wakefully to welcome day

And in that sanitised bright light
Of my sun in your eyes
I weave you back into my sight

- - -
An MA from Kings College, London, Aparna has co- authored over 30 scripts for an award- winning animated show. She is a writer with the Film Writers Association, India.
She has written a short film, produced two critically acclaimed plays and is an award-winning furniture designer.
She is a well-known Spoken Word Poet and performs at several venues across India. Represented by a literary Agency, she is actively seeking publishers for her 2 manuscripts of poetry.
She has Recurrent Depressive Disorder. Poetry is her release from this consummate shade.
She lives with her husband and 3-year-old son in Pune, India.


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Contributor: Aureane Roullier

- -
Dear friend,
I’ve been thinking
On the moon
I’ve been drinking
And I can see saturn from here
I know that’s your house
And we’re drinking.

It’s been a while and
I kind of miss the constellations
In your smile
Pierced my ears with meteors,
Now we have matching earrings.

I know it’s been a minute
But I’m hoping we can hang
Later maybe
I’ll just wait until tomorrow
The sun will rise
And I’ll recognize you once more.

- - -

Judy's Father and Mine

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The only difference between
Judy’s father and mine
is my father didn’t drink.
When we were tykes
they’d come home from work
in a rage every evening,
her father drinking into the night
and mine sitting in silence
in a tiny parlor playing
ancient reels and jigs
on a huge RCA Victrola.

Her father wore a tie
and carried a briefcase,
and mine wore coveralls
and carried a lunch bucket
into the alleys of Chicago
climbing light poles to fix
dead wires so all could see.
Her father came home neat,
mine soaked in sweat.

But they were twins,
Siamese if you will,
each miserable in his own way,
driving wives and children nuts.
I always wondered if Judy and I
had normal fathers, if we
would have been
scriveners as adults.

I know I would have gone
to law school and railed
in court in behalf of
the innocent and guilty
and made wads of money
I’d be fingering now instead
of sitting behind a keyboard
at dawn still typing.

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

Ravens Live Inside Me

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Contributor: Rylee Langton

- -
Ravens live inside me.
They spin in my chest and create a great wind,
slicing as they go.
If I open my mouth I will blow you away.

If you looked down my throat you would say
“What beautiful onyx.”
Then their feathers would furrow and you would gasp.
Semi-precious stones are more acceptable, but these birds are precious.

They guard me and haunt me.
I have learned to sleep with the sound of tornadoes in my chest
and cawing on my breath.
They topple on top of each other and dance.

I like to think they hatched inside my lungs, but they have always been grown.
I swallowed them in a large gasp.
I tried to pull in the world but I got scared,
and they came and choked me out.

I am their moon; I am their sun,
their magnet, wheel, my fortune.
That makes me too important,
they know I need them.

I speak and build relationships and I feel them rise and puff.
I swallow to pacify them
They puff out my chest and rise in my throat.
Their beaks and claws grab at my bronchial tubes

They tell me it is best to be alone.
I cannot live from boy to boy
I cannot be held together by compliments and dinner dates
I must learn to be alone. But then I cry, boys come with a pacifier.

If you spoke directly to my chest and asked if you were worthy
They would laugh and tweak my nerves
I would push you to get them to stop
I’ll walk away from you for good.

They would be better off circling someone else's heart.
Someone strong and filled with gold and silver.
Not my small tomb of smoke and dead leaves.
I would be better off without the cawing wind.

I’ll swallow some swallows to coo in my mouth and
sing sweet songs to my lovers.
Or some chickadees,
to fill me with fluff and warmth and happy little peeps.

I’ll cut open my belly and make a home for the world's oldest snapping turtle.
He will hate me and I will hate him but we will be alone together
And we could pretend to be happy that way.
He will tell me I will never be one with the world and I will nod.

The Ravens will tell me of my life in their cry I mistake for my own.
They will tell me of how they heard my mother and as I was pulled out of her
and into this dark. They decided,
They heard my shrill scream and they dove into me.

They want me to grow so we can sore.
Sometimes I shrink and hold my breath and they curse me.
They tear into me with their inky wings and scream “STOP!”
I am so close to suffocating them.

They spin pushing through my clenched teeth, crying out for air.
I grab at my chest and sob and say “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
They pluck feathers from their sides and cover my wounds.
They are quiet, for now.

- - -
Rylee graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Creative Writing. Now her eyes are set on grad school.

Exchanging Wonder

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Contributor: Joanna M. Weston

- -
a bird bangs
against the window

startled I find myself
staring a robin

eye to eye
through glass

does the bird ponder
my flying fingers

on the keyboard
while I marvel

at the lift of wing
as he soars away

- - -
JOANNA M. WESTON. Has had poetry, middle readers, and short stories published for thirty years. Her poetry, ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications of Toronto. http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/


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Contributor: Jim Zola

- -
like birds touching
the tips of branches

in the orchard I hear them
a symphony of bones
I see trees in my hands
the cold

tempts me
when my eyes close

nighthawks turn

over the sweetgum
on this side

bugbane blooms out
I cross the river

slip slide
the mud

grasp tangleweed

is the utensil I lack
I call across black water

and hear
my voice

there’s a door
in the river's wagging tongue
a porch
my love climbs

on every step
she adjusts her skirt

- - -
Jim Zola is a poet and photographer living in North Carolina. He currently works as a children's librarian. He has done lots of other stuff too.

Teddy Will Be Home for the Holidays

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
This year Teddy phoned me
from who knows where
instead of one of our siblings.
This year I’m the honoree
but it’s only a matter of time
before he gets angry again.
He’s stifling his anger
because of the holidays.
He wants a place to eat
and a share in the family glee.

But Sissy is right about Teddy
being nice when he reaches out
after going away for months.
He likes to fly in for a holiday,
enjoy a bountiful repast,
fall back in his chair and
issue the old accusations
recited whenever he visits.

He’s the youngest of seven
and swears every time he comes
that Mom and Pop treated us better,
that he got the hand-me-downs.
I’m afraid if he’s not on his meds,
there’ll be an encore this year.

Right after coffee and dessert
and several snorts of brandy,
Teddy will become a blowtorch
and burn for at least an hour
scorching us with memories.
The siblings will go up in flames
along with Mom and Pop
gasping in their graves.

If it happens again this year,
I’ll take the floor after him
and point out that Gertrude Stein
said a rose is a rose is a rose
but failed to point out that
a twit is a twit is a twit.
And if reincarnation awaits us,
as Teddy says it does,
he’ll return as salmonella.

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

Brexit Update

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- -
We view the prospect before us
with the uncertain mood of our weather
clutching all kinds of lucky charms
in shallow sleep we stormed away from the mainland
now all our fingers are crossed
that we don't wake up up
to our necks in deep water

Our seers are forecasting like mad
but who can really see around corners
no-one here would like to
find themselves adrift in a slo-mo crash
but our brave faces harbour fears
of tragic pile-ups on this treacherous road

A fever runs throughout the land
all that could be said to others gallops
round and round our splitting heads
yet at the chance to speak we trade
slogan for slogan laughing off the gravity
posed as bouyant and light-headed hahaha

- - -


| Filed under

Contributor: Aureane Roullier

- -
A poem to challenge your mind
To test if you are truly kind
Below trees, a tin man entwined
His heart adrift, but stars aligned

A song to move your heart and soul
To prove to you exists a soul
You’re hurting, diamonds look like coal
Your love torn, may it never dull

An aquarium to burst from
To take a risk, and try a plumb
A mind loved created outcome
A mind loved is sung like a hum

- - -

Haibun: April 19, Tuesday

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Contributor: Adam Henze

- -
Bumblebees are back, listing between bushes outside sliding door. Burly and yellow, twirling like little helicopters. Dancers at daybreak. One bee more curious than others, bobbing almost robotically at my eyeline. Wonder if she’s the same bumbly from previous spring I used to obsess over. Used to stare out shades fixated.

"It’s well-documented that the government is funding development of nanotechnology."

Last spring I screamed at bees and swatted at air. Swore I’d slice it open and find camera parts inside. Last spring I told Leslie the bees are spying on me. Looked at me crazy. Pretty sure she was already thinking of leaving.

Last spring I closed the blinds and cried conspiracy. But today, shades are pulled high. All I see outside are happy bees.

cherry blossoms and
coralburst crabapples bloom
stuck inside writing

- - -
Adam Henze is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University, specializing in literacy and education. He is the director of Slam Camp, a summer academy for teenage writers, and also hosts a writing workshop series at the Indiana Women's prison.

calm in the chaos of our hearts

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Contributor: Justin Hedstrom

- -
is there a light
in that poem
i sit at a window
at the river
of saint paul
the stormtroopers
down the hill
upon us
but we are not alone
we are beacons
of a commemoration
we stand unafraid
of the failure
of governments
as sons and daughters
of Whitman
calm in the chaos of our hearts
and strong

- - -
Justin Hedstrom is a writer and photographer from St. Paul, MN.

A Figure Stands There

| Filed under

Contributor: Adam Whitworth

- -
It worries me not I seem a scarecrow
only the odd wind fluttering my suit
sunsets I've seen at the old riverbank
and faraway lights on the other side

colour draining slowly from the landscape
when day ends his project and turns away
in the gloom melancholy is mine yet
the very next day I'm inclined to paint

and sometimes it's clear I'm not even there
but flailing away in the capsized mind
I could be muttering angry curses
or fled to fields I wish into being

and so I'll seem a scarecrow if you will
buffetted by such enlivening winds

- - -


| Filed under

Contributor: Aparna Sanyal

- -
This day seems pregnant
A coy, fertile inamorata
Of Time, in his most masculine form
Rushing, striding, belligerently forth
While this day
She waits
Trembling, collects dry leaves and moss
From the season, past
To pad her womb make it ready, soft
For what is surely to come
It will not stop

This day seems pregnant
Fulsome with seed, joy on her face
Fear underneath
Her water waits
To be broken in gushing waterfalls
Make verdant valleys, streams
Parched croaks turn into tuneful bird calls

This day, she is waiting
Breath fraught with thoughts of fruition
Palpitate her core of twigs and leaves
See! Flowers and berries commissioned

- - -
An MA from Kings College, London, Aparna has co- authored over 30 scripts for an award- winning animated show. She is a writer with the Film Writers Association, India.
She has written a short film, produced two critically acclaimed plays and is an award-winning furniture designer.
She is a well-known Spoken Word Poet and performs at several venues across India. Represented by a literary Agency, she is actively seeking publishers for her 2 manuscripts of poetry.
She has Recurrent Depressive Disorder. Poetry is her release from this consummate shade.
She lives with her husband and 3-year-old son in Pune, India.


| Filed under

Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
I asked friends much younger
if they have ever
tried catching
June beetles and tying
each on the hind legs
with a piece of string,
and swinging
it round and round to fly
like imaginary choppers,
buzzing . . .
they looked at me,
staring blankly.

nah, Sir, can’t relate (lol!)
and all they can say
is, they know how to play
fidget spinners
they’re online gamers
a year ago AngryBirds
and recently EverWing.

Ages apart
Worlds apart
Nature’s afar,
A place called Avatar.

- - -
Jun Lit (real name: Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, conducts research & publishes scientific papers on insects, and writes poems about nature and society.

The Good Citizen

| Filed under

Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
Validated ignorance a true bliss
they pass along their special gift
reading headlines with frozen smiles
a silicone nightmare
with a bite deep
as a rabid virus
cutting through to the bone
they say some snakes can eat
a body whole
life is a complex organism
one cell at a time
it starts to multiply and divide
into a sea of bottom feeders

- - -
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

As Ashes Dissipate

| Filed under

Contributor: Jose Maria Carpizo

- -
As ashes dissipate
Birds stop singing
Dropping from heights
Broken necks on the ground

No more cinders in air
Golden dust hangs in the afternoon
Everything is clear now
Like irides blue of your eyes

Patched in gray semen ashes
And black fresh hemoglobin
Burned mountains are in mourning

Breaking hides behind bushes
Rattles. Roars. Howls. Feathers.
Flame. Latent seed
Waiting to light the hills

Frogs spring into the lake
For shelter. No one speaks.
No one shouts. Everything wails.
When no one sees you
You are safe.

Hawk's yellow eye nebula
Glides hidden beyond ocher clouds
Whistles long. Sharp. Rapacious.
Stares with galloping indifference
Fire growing on heels
Of fleeting people to
Countries closing gates

We inhale uncertain smoke
What are we so proud of?
Better to exhale
Bougainvillea blossoms
Of constant sheltering wine

- - -
Immigrant from Mexico. I've been here for long time. Bilingual poet. I start writing poetry since 2012. This is my first submission. My greatest challenge, writing poetry in English.

Midnight Squatters

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Homeless man
in a Trayvon hoodie
under an old raincoat,
a gift today from

the Salvation Army,
sits like a capital L
against the wall
of a downtown bank

while a homeless cat
strolls around him,
hoping for bits of ham
from the gnawed remains

of yesterday's sandwich
as happens many nights
when the cat visits him
despite no bell or kettle.

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

The Wind

| Filed under

Contributor: Pat St. Pierre

- -
Howling like a coyote
The whipping wind
Knocks on windows
Which rattle.
Creaks and noises
From floor boards
Pop helter skelter
Throughout the house.

The intense rain
Pelts on siding and
Pings on the metal roof.

Lightning flashes
Across the sky
Bringing illumination
To the darkness.

Not knowing when it will end
The young child screams;
But no one hears him. He hovers
Underneath the blankets
Waiting for the night to become
quiet again.

- - -
I have been writing poems, fiction, and nonfiction since before high school. Putting small vignettes of life down on paper allows me to experience life through different eyes. I also am a photographer who loves to capture images and share them with others.


| Filed under

Contributor: Anne Fall

- -
The belief that distance can be finite carries
her over the bridge
between fear and hope.
The middle sways under her,
and the ecstasy of extremes
offers the only certain ground.

There's a cracking of grey branches
that comes with the frost white bite
of January.

Black and white days—
sometimes colored in with pale greys.

Wintering over geraniums
with their pale green gingko leaves─
they have not died, and neither has she,
but the blooms are gone,
and every part of her longs
for red.

- - -
Anne Fall is the author of Rosa Scriptum and has been featured by Fallon Publications and Virginia Poets. Living and writing in the Shenandoah Valley, Anne Fall is a rosarian, poet, and novelist.

A Dream of Utopia

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Contributor: Jason Constantine Ford

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The rulers in charge of pleasures sweet which never dry
Promise to provide an endless food supply
For citizens desiring wealth without the sweat.

As droids are gathering crops around a field,
Databases print records of healthy summer yield
Across the many zones secured within a safety net.

A system where the people have the choice to roam
Zones without restriction like another home
Cannot prepare for virus ready to attack.

As city’s key defenses sleep throughout the night,
Ignorance rapidly rises to a greater height
As fiends observe protective data they desire to crack.

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Jason Constantine Ford is from Perth, Australia. He has over a hundred publications of poetry and fiction in various literary magazine, ezines and journals from around the world. Edgar Alan Poe and William Blake are his main influences for poetry. Phillip K. Dick is his main influence for fiction.

Helen of War

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Contributor: Nikita Gill

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You are a face
not like any other,
a face that folds
empires and cities.

Heralding hurricanes
inside your hair
you ran from rancid
archaic responsibilities

Did you know, Helen,
when the horizon
swallowed Greece
as you, guarded, gazed.

Did your dormant
latent Goddess
erupt with the ichor
as it sung in your veins?
Helen of Troy,
Helen of Zeus,
Helen of Wild,
Helen of War.

Bearer of beauty
Bringer of blood
Donor of death
Maker of lore.

Does the weight
of your freedom
still plague your

Or is a Goddess’s
freedom equal to
the cry of children
as their city falls?

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Nikita Gill has been featured in Foliate Oak, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere. She has released her first book last year, and her second book Wild Embers, to be released with Hatchette Publishing this year.


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