Artificial Silence

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
Cut communications
Impose curfew for any number of days
Curb movement of every citizen
By militarization
Install barricades
Threatening public to stay indoors
Issue 'shoot on sight' orders

You feel
You have full control
On law and order
And silenced people


You cannot stop wind
From blowing
And voices
Reaching every person

Sooner or later
Collective voices
Will emerge and challenge
All the obstacles
And break artificial silence

- - -

Air Conditioned Hells

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Contributor: Jack Dolvermorris

- -
A swirl of something southern
a wet splash of something eastward
my parents were a slosh of secrets
of lives lived to tide the urges
built in air conditioned hells
where nothing happened
(except in the mail room)
(except in the back of the family car)
(except in sagging hotels on business trips)
(except in the driveway
and in the bed
and on the floor
and in the kitchen.)

A swirl of something southern
a wet splash of something eastward
all that was needed
to keep the separation only simmering
the normalcy of every air conditioned hell
paid up with greasy checks
like gas
like air
in the end.

- - -

American Trench Work

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Contributor: Tarren Jordyn

- -
I sit at the intersection
of tasteless drama
and bureaucratic barbarism

I sit amidst the tangled wires
and try to sort the snot from the chaff
after the cream is gone
and the wheat is wasted
each stalk shot like an arrow
by a man in a suit
until none are left
until the suits are left
blindly milling
coughing awkwardly
with hands out
always hoping
for something more.

- - -

The Win or Lose

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Contributor: Arlene Antoinette

- -
Little brother is in love with a woman
who will undoubtedly do him wrong.
She’s the kind of woman, fifty percent
of all broken-hearted country songs are
written about. Well, maybe seventy percent.

First, she’ll toy with his heart, steal his
money, and of course sleep with his best
friend (and most of the guys in the pool hall)
before the end of the month.

Little brother’s going to end up sitting in his
pickup truck with two six packs, drinking
himself into a stupor, trying to figure
out what he did wrong. I hope those bottles
last him through the night.

A week later, little brother’s going to buy
himself a banjo, no, maybe a second hand
six-string guitar (as it holds the residue
of hundreds of broken-hearted melodies).
He’ll strum those strings like he wished
he had strummed the chords of her icy heart.

Most likely I’ll visit him and listen as he pours
out his achy-breaky soul in song, a little off-key,
but heartfelt all the same. Too bad she won’t hear
a word of it, she’ll be shooting pool and flirting
it up with some pretty boy, down the street
at the bar we locals call, Win or Lose.

- - -
Arlene writes poetry, flash fiction and song lyrics. More of her work may be found @ I am not a silent Poet, Tuck Magazine, Little Rose Magazine, London Grip, The Open Mouse and Literary Heist.

Fear Lives In The Body

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Contributor: Madlynn Haber

- -
Fear lives in the body.
Fear hides in the body
deep in the muscles
fear stores itself away,
waiting, lurking, until
with the right trigger
it is released.

The muscles tighten or loosen,
contract somehow, then fear oozes out.
Catching a ride on some internal fluid,
fear starts to float all over.
Cheeks and ears redden,
the neck, top of the chest get rashy
when fear is floating by.
Chills in the spine. Excess water
in the eyes drips out,
not like tears so much
because it’s fear not sadness.
Slight tremors in the hands,
legs moving without direction.

There is too much to be afraid of now.
Too many people gunned down for no reason.
No place is safe when every place is vulnerable.
People are full of misplaced rage.
Angry for the wrong reasons,
directing it in the wrong places,
at the wrong people. Hateful speech,
words spoken that shouldn’t be said,
shouldn’t even be thought.
Not recognizing the sameness of all beings.
Seeing differences in an extreme.
Believing lies, made up stories that
entitle one group to have more,
to be more important, more pampered,
more cared for. Entitling some to be fed,
while others starve, some to be carefree
while others are chained.
Anger misdirected brings on fear,
greed overwhelms with fear.
Ignoring in ignorance the truth
that we are all the same.
Fear lives in the body.

The body breathes,
The body moves.
The body dances, stretches.
The body is nourished and heals.
The body makes love,
fills up again with goodness,
with delight, with pleasure,
with sensations that soothe,
ease and calm the spirit.
In tranquility fear goes back to hiding.
Fear quiets down. It stops screaming.
There is sleep. There is rest.
There is wholesome recovery
in the face of compassion, of understanding.
At least for a time, there is love.

- - -
Madlynn Haber has work in Anchor Magazine , Exit 13 Magazine, The Voices Project, The Jewish Writing Project, Quail Bell, Mused and Hevria.

A Half-Dozen Little Necks

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
(for Lydia on an anniversary)

A half-dozen Little Necks
Clams on the half shell
Whetting the appetite
Eaten raw
A squeeze of lemon
And cocktail sauce
A perfect respite

Afternoon snack
With a bowl of clam chowder
Or a prelude to an entrée
Like trout almandine
With crabmeat stuffing
An ideal combination
For dinner any day

Supper after theatre
A lovely aperitif
With after theatre talk
A half-dozen Little-Necks
And a seafood soufflé
Impeccable repast
Before a homeward walk

- - -
Bruce Levine, a native Manhattanite, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional and is published on and in numerous internet and print journals. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin.


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Contributor: Dorian J Sinnott

- -
You’re made of moonlight;
a celestial radiance that comes to me
in dreams where your beams
illuminate the dark corridors of my heart.

I once bathed in the soft glow,
watching meteors and stardust
erupt in your eyes;
galaxies return.

I want to sit on the brim of hourglasses,
watching the sand rain down in endless turntables,
flipping over and over—
lost in infinity.

Lost in the moonbeams
the moonlight
the radiance your spirit sings;
soft white specter adrift on a sea of stars.

But by daylight…
I mourn the darkness and fragility;
your face lost in the cosmos
of my mind—and the night sky.

I greet the Sun and
he tells me of his love:

the great and gentle Moon.
His beams—though harsh—
make me at peace
when I tell him of you.

And I weep at the thought
of being lightyears away—
lost and interstellar
amongst the blackness;

Waiting for twilight’s curtain
to fall on the stage of Earth;
for your crest to break the horizon—
igniting the skies in encore.

And the Sun told me
how he longed for his Moon;
how he would pray a million dead stars
for her to light up the night.

And I smiled—
and I said:

“But the Sun and Moon coexist
in the changing hues of sky.
In the day he shines
and drowns her heart out;

but every morning—

she can be seen nearby.

The Sun only sets
to give life to his Moon—
when all the Earth has gone still.
He gives up his light
and his pride
so her beams kindle, tranquil.”

And the Sun
with silent rays
felt a little warmer
while standing in his glow.

“And that’s why sunrise and sunset
are all the more beautiful,
and sweet.
For in their banners
of radiant color across the heavens;
it’s where day and night—
where lovers—

But still,
we wait for the Moon.

- - -
Dorian J. Sinnott is a graduate of Emerson College's Writing, Literature, and Publishing program, currently living in historic Kingston, NY with his two cats. When he's not writing, he enjoys English horseback riding, playing violin, and traveling to comic cons up and down the east coast. He is the social media editor for Coffin Bell Journal. Dorian's work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including: Crab Fat Literary Magazine, The Hungry Chimera, and Riggwelter.

A Click Away

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Her heartbreak was posted for reading
he was there, poetically reciprocating
night and day, a button click away

Amity and love gave her fortitude
to cross the ocean and have credence
leaving behind a life, an ocean of strife

New horizons awaited her arrival
time elapsed like passing winds
skies of gray ultimately turned azure
not needing more, a poet she'd adore

- - -
A Native New Yorker, she believes poetry is the souls way of communicating with itself.

89 Ways to Say I Love You

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Contributor: Milton P. Ehrlich

- -
I love the way you walk
and talk and never stop,
and love your smile and
when you call my name.
You are prim and proper
yet remain sensually alive,
and how I love your yawn
when I scratch your back,
and how you always dress
so your total outfit matches
as if you are on a runway
in a photo fashion show,
and how you wash my clothes
even when it’s not necessary,
but do prepare warm pajamas
in the winter and short ones
in the spring and summer,
and how you shine my shoes
and thanks a lot for trimming
the hair in my ears, and I love
how our bodies always meet
in fine dove-tailed fashion
like old pine floor boards,
and how you always hum
my favorite tunes and sing
and dance at the drop of a hat,
and eat like a bird all day long
and don’t eat meat and worry
about me when I cross a street,
and feed me great vegetable soup
with tarragon and rosemary,
and think of new original ideas
for your super-duper visionary art,
and have such a huge loving heart
that never fails to embrace me
and your kids and grandkids
and Sparky and Aretha,
and how brave you are
even when you’re scared
how you sailed across a bay
just to keep me company
how wonderful to know you,
who knows about everything
and doesn’t forget anything,
and how you can tell if an omen
is really an omen and you have
such great intuition to know
what I’m feeling before I know it,
and who to trust and who to avoid
and did I mention how I love it
when you talk in your sleep
and give such good massages
whenever I can’t fall asleep,
and how much I love your hands
and fingernails which are never
painted red or purple like others
and how cute your little feet are
and how much I love each toe
especially your delicate pinky,
not to mention your mighty bosoms
and buns of steel that never wither
and how much I love you for loving
snails and being afraid of snakes,
and always worrying when I drive
that I won’t hit the brakes,
and did I mention how much I love
your charm and friendly curiosity
about everyone you meet on the street,
and how wonderful it is that you are
always taking pictures of this and that
and how brilliant you are making art
and also that I never heard you fart,
not even once, a Guinness Book of Records,
and that you don’t love real money
but hide it in your knipple, crunched up
in a ball, just green bits of paper to you.
I love you for loving my sense of direction
and fertilizing your eggs for you to hatch
3 amazing kids and 6 wonderful grandkids,
and I love you for not being afraid
of leaving your body and when you do
please be sure to take me with you.
Thank you very much for spending
so many splendid years with plain old me
providing us with a nest of Le Mariage Parfait!

- - -
Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

Finding Clues To The Ones Who Lived Here

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Contributor: John Grey

- -
The shard of pottery holds the answer.
Or could it be the splinter of glass.
They linger after the lifetimes,
are buried looser and nearer
than bones.

Just dig in the soil a little
or get down on your knees,
peek behind the refrigerator.
Look, there’s something in the garden,
glinting from moonlight.

They have stories to tell,
of your ghosts,
back when they were living.

So listen in with your fingers,
feel the sharpness,
the finish, the lightness;
a fragment of utility,
a whole of majesty.

- - -
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.

Restroom Line

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Contributor: Mark Tulin

- -
Patiently, we wait for the door to unlock
like well-behaved school children,
hoping the man who just went in,
the one who ate the big cinnamon bun
didn’t use the entire roll of paper
and did a number one instead of two
for the benefit of us all.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of down time
waiting in the restroom line,
sphincter’s squeezed tight,
mind searching for answers
to fill the endless void.
Our hope steadily fading
while maintaining the faith to carry on.

- - -
Mark has two upcoming books entitled “Awkward Grace,” and “The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories.


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Contributor: donnarkevic

- -
I think it is sometime
after Fascism, maybe,
or sometime after
the Beatles broke up.

I think it is complex
as my daughter, graduating
from mere dawn
to supernova.

It is sexy
as a black miniskirt or Bikini
Atoll just before
an atomic explosion.

It is the price of Guernica,
the absence of color,
the eclipse of the Sun
record: “Old Black Joe.”

Modernity is brief as a birth-
day candle, a wedding
bouquet, a eulogy
for the death of God.

- - -
Retired, I find myself looking back to see what is left standing and what remains to be built. So, I keep writing. I invite you to read one that still stands.

It Could Have Been Beautiful

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Contributor: Steven K. Smith

- -
We met in the usual way,
over drinks and cheese,
you – dark ale and cheddar,
me – Chardonnay and brie.
In the following weeks we
shared walks through old London,
sunset at a Jamaican beach,
and hours chatting together,
and finally, made love
all through a December's night,
you – in Boston,
me – en Paris,
neither of us caring about
the data transfer fees.

Then you asked to "really" meet me,
as if you hadn't already,
like you wanted to touch me
the way Neanderthals did,
sharing the same air and germs.
I cried all through the next week
for thinking I had loved you,
and you were such a creep.

- - -
Writer, musician, renaissance festival performer, and struggling gardener who LIKES dandelions. Some work published in Pudding Magazine, and Plum Tree Tavern.

From Unknown To Well-Known

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
We were travelling in different directions
When we first shook hands
With some apprehension
Starkly exposing our contention
On various issues regarding life
Their endless strife

Our mentality was unknown
Our beliefs were unknown
Our philosophy was unknown
To each other, goals were unknown

But something held us together
As we got to know each other better
Like Marx-Engels attraction
Or teacher-student bond of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

We agreed and fiercely disagreed
We, for days, intensely discussed:
We parted our ways with anger and spite
But met again, forgetting all that unpleasant sight

After years of acquaintance
And our struggle for existence
We, in our tumultuous journey, learnt a lot
That taught us to tackle differences with skill and tact

Recognizing differences of opinion is sportsmanship;
Accepting differences of opinion is relationship;
Understanding differences of opinion is statesmanship;
Complimenting each other even in difference of opinion is friendship!

Now, each other's character is well known,
Our strengths and weakness are well known,
Our goals are similar and approach well known,
Our sacrifice for the cause of friendship, to each other, is well known.

- - -

Distant Pastoral

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Contributor: John Ogden

We put stone to soil
your father and I
With tools old and heavy sweat
we cut the earth
we bleed our waters
into furrowed lines
furrowed brows
furrows of seed
that turn sweat and sun and earth
into gold
into grain
into future and food
for the future's children
and all the others
who will put stone to soil
long after we fall
like wheat
like chaff
rising once again
again and again
never long in the sun
never long
on the other side
of the dirt.

- - -
John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

Life is a Stream of Questions

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Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
When the deep well of unwanted tears
have been emptied into deserts called pillows
but the orphaned sadness still flows,
where does one chase the smile
that brightened each day,
each day that stretched a step a mile?

If at the end of the dreaming rainbow
one finds not the proverbial wealth but naught,
where could one dig for the elusive pot of gold
that every pauper and prince sought?

When the last spring of cheer has dried up
and abandoned the riffles and pools
that used to be musical in the days of old,
where could one find the headwaters
of that reassuring look?

One thousand and one hundred questions
reached, discounting the ones uncounted,
now ages old and still unanswered.
And for every interested “What?”
and anxious “When?” that bade farewell,
one puzzled “Why?”,
or one astounded “How?”
and weary “Where?”
knocks at the doors of heart and mind.

Oft I was told by many,
almost a tyranny,
that one supernatural superhero
is the answer. Presto!,
Yet they didn’t know my question,
the questions.
Arrogance, the accusation -
but simply asking
not so simple poetic queries
on realities of nature – not poetry
and on nature of realities – that is poesy!
apparently, in nature,
is not that simple,
and the answers cannot be simplistic
and neither poetic.

I just know
that when I stop asking,
or writing lines, verses, rhyming
or not, and when questions stop coming -
that’s when life ceases
and I
would not

- - -
Jun Lit (Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology and studies insects at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and writes poems about nature, people, and society.


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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Is success failure
turned inside out?
Would you have succeeded
had you walked
a different route?
Are you proud
of decisions you made?
Happiness for success
may be a trade
Success for everyone
is not the same
Some want love, money
and others fame
The seeds of success
are yours to sow
But without failure
you will not grow
To evolve
and die content
one must understand
what life really meant

- - -
A Native New Yorker, she believes poetry is the soul's way of communicating with itself.

Point of View

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Contributor: Phil Huffy

- -
As I looked up
at Hardwood Hill,
I saw a branch
sway in the breeze.
Except for that
the earth stood still
and granted time
to take my ease.

When winter days
compel the wood
to waiting out
their frosty reign,
I’ll find once more
that place I stood
and if it snows
shall not complain.

- - -
Phil Huffy writes at his kitchen table, sometimes during meals. With nearly 150 published pieces, his method seems to be working.

At Home in New York

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
The trees go from bare, barren branches
Agonizingly bursting with buds
That become leaves in their palest shade
Reaching for the sun and darkening in color
Time to reach their fullness of life

At home in New York
Time to breathe the energy
That only New York air carries in its wake
Time to let the New York rhythms transfuse
Reshape itself
As a prelude evolves into a symphony

At home in New York
Where ideas float in the air
Like grains of sand in the Sahara
Waiting to germinate
Waiting to be gathered
Cross pollinated
And become grand arches of infinite rainbows

Glass and steel rising
With sculptural ferocity
Like Jack’s beanstalk
Towering into the sky
Reaching for the golden egg
Transformed into an apple
To be plucked from the tree of life
That only New York can succor

Drawing toward itself
Like the moon controls the tides
And returning to the atmosphere
Like solar flares
Volcanic yet enigmatic
Waiting to be recaptured
Waiting to be nurtured into being

- - -
Bruce Levine, a native Manhattanite, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. His literary catalogue includes four novels, short stories, humorous sketches, flash fiction, poetry, essays, articles and a screenplay His nearly one-hundred-fifty works are published in magazines, over twenty-five on-line journals, thirty books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. He lives in New York with his dog, Daisy. Visit him at


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Contributor: DAH

- -
I spat on a web
just for the excitement
it caused the spider:
a gothic villain
raced over the surface

The spittle fell through
like white oil, and
the sticky lace
oblivious to the hole
my curiosity made

Late in the day
the villain was spinning,
mending, restoring
the delicate fabric,
despite its hunger

- - -
DAH is a poet having a human experience. He is a Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee, and the author of nine books of poetry

Haystacks (series)

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Contributor: donnarkevic

- -
Oil on canvases, 1890-91, Claude Monet

Across the meadow, Monet’s stepdaughter,
Blanche, carried canvases in a bumpy wheelbarrow
to help capture the transience of light.
As she prepared another canvas,
Papa said, Hurry, the sun sets so fast!
Throughout the day, each half hour,
the color of the haystacks changed
like a bruise on the skin.

On my father’s farm, Mother chooses to die.
Splotches on her legs, the only modest place
my father shows me, ugly purple and red,
like sunspots, as if the sun appeared to perish.
I run to the harvest haystacks to hide
from death. But he finds me.

In the parlor, Mother looks like Mother
except for her skin. Gone the soft hands
that washed my dirty face. Gone
the tender cheeks, rouged as apples.
Gone the supple lips that kissed my forehead.
Instead, a hardness, like rock
I tote from a fertile plowed field,
like the brick of the silo, storing continuance,
like the bark of a tree heavy with fruit.
Even the hard earth as I sit at the grave,
the sun setting, Father’s callous hand
reaching for me, lifting me, his little girl,
into a world I know will be forever hard.

- - -
Retired, I find myself looking back to see what is left standing and what remains to be built. So, I keep writing. I invite you to read one that still stands.

My Wizardry

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Contributor: Paweł Markiewicz

- -
In me a tender hunch wakes up
the meek-smooth-blissful aeon of a dream

a winged immortality
which is still a delicate fledgling
of my psyche in hopes

like the rose canvas-van
of my heart in a dreamy wind

such a lilac enchantment of the sentiment
of all soft seagulls in the glamorous tide-time

and like aqua angel
he is consort of the sorcery

or a dreamer-mariner
he imagines sentiments seals of the meres
dreaming of fire of many druids

at sea and ashore
both most marvelous daydreams
I feel love

in the eternal mirror the moon
an entranced heart is leisurely

frail like a masterly poemlet
Apollonian pennons are carrying me finely
into lands rife with the poetical fantasy

Athena female angelic companion
is flying into enchanted Zeus-like clouds

- - -
Paweł Markiewicz - poet from Poland, in 3 languages


| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
Turbulent waves
Of water
Reflect serene sky
And stars

But stars in the sky
Face constant turbulence
Not reflected
By waves of water
On Earth

Waves of water
Nature and life
In various hues
But inner struggles and turbulence
Of life remain non-reflected

Ground Reality
Is not just 'Reflection'
By waves of water
But more complex, concrete
Inner turbulence
Inner contradictions

- - -


| Filed under

Contributor: Srinivas

- -
Failure speaks to me in a thousand different tongues
Failure, dressed in hundreds of garbs,
The progenitor and progeny of nightmares
The sharpener of dreams
The (k)night against false dawns
The dispenser of lessons and love
Failure with a face and a thousand facades

Success speaks to me in a single silver tongue
Success, clothed in the novelty of recentness,
The prognosis and diagnosis of moonlight
The deepener of shadows
A delighted blindness against new horizons
The container of laughter and limits
Success with a thousand facades and a face

Life speaks to me in absolute silence
Life, naked beyond failure and success,
Dream-instigator, nightmare-inspirer,
Screamer of shadows, silencer of moons,
Stage for thoughts, deeds, legacies, luck…
Purveyor of everything, holder of nothing,
Life without a fac(ad)e, life Within.

- - -

A Butterfly is Born

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Her eyes met his, her body tingled all over
He spoke but she heard nothing
Deafened by her own thoughts
"my soulmate stands before me"
Undeniably, she wanted him, she needed him
He completed her, her heart pounded
Together forever for the rest of their lives
Young and pure, their hearts yearning
Blinded by love, they were inseparable
Seas of emotion filled them both
A tidal wave of passion
Trials and tributes, the power of love
Emotions fluctuated between love and hate
A line so thin, invisible to the naked eye
Cascades of joy and rains of sadness
visited throughout the years
Storms flooded innocent hearts
Drowning fast their love
Life changed like the seasons
Luminous rays cleared gray clouds
bringing hope for yet another day
Though shadows of torment
still lurked nearby, just waiting
Silent anguish bled their hearts dry
leaving their souls hollow
Jubilant memories forsaken
soon replaced with heartache
A void now filled her existence
She was lost in her own despair
Once a muse, now she was gone
Isolated and alone
Trapped in a cocoon of sorrow
she awaits metamorphosis
Her love for him lies dormant
buried deep within, never forgotten
A love like no other, it feeds her
She breathes this love
An endless oxygen of glory
A butterfly is born!

- - -

Captain Dirty Boy

| Filed under

Contributor: Michaeleen Kelly

- -
Travis jerked his soiled sweats
over yesterday’s Batman drawers,
frustrated over being denied his pre-battle cleansing ritual.
Why couldn’t he shower again today?
“It’s the damn drought”, his mother yelled back,
pursuing her haughty lips in resentment
over her own lawn-watering restrictions.

He slammed the door of their Valley home,
then dodged potential enemy vehicles
cruising down the six-lane boulevard
running along the dried L.A. riverbank ravine.

He began his assault on the alien invaders
occupying the desert terrain,
disguised as airborne tumbleweed.
Then ratcheted up the ferocity of the attack
after coming upon a suspected enemy bunker,
disguised as a makeshift human shelter,
with a sentry made of tumbleweed blocking the entrance
and shielding the life and shame within.
The boy retreated quickly when his war cries were interrupted
by manly moans and groans.

He ceased his whipping in horror,
wondering if this guy could be his Uncle Kevin,
Mom’s homeless brother.
Rivers of shame rose up to redden his Dumbo ears.

Emboldened by making contact with the enemy,
he decided to put such unmanly feelings aside
and to embrace his newfound destiny as Captain Dirty Boy,
Commander in Chief in the War on Drought.
Maybe he could get his mom to find him
some Mad Max underwear.
He needed to head back to home base for supplies.
The world needed Captain Dirty Boy now
and he was just nasty enough to do its dirt.

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Michaeleen Kelly is an Emerita Professor of Philosophy at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her poetry has been published in Dunes Review, Praxis and Main Street Anthologies.

When She Speaks, They Always Listen

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Contributor: E.S. Wynn

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You cannot catch the sky
even in your steely jaws
even stretching wide
from horizon
to horizon

You cannot steal the golden mask
tied about her muzzle
in the ages of earth
in ages of dreams
in ages of dark words
and hate

You cannot bind her
you cannot cut the howl from her throat
you cannot kill the poetry
in her moon-upon-midnight voice.

Even blinded
Even rotted
Even lost

Still, she cries her magic to the sky.
still, across the dark and silent ages,
she stands side-by-side with the gods
watching over them
shepherding them
feeding the innocent young,
nurturing them.

The wolf has a thousand names
and needs none.
the wolf speaks
and the gods
the gods who know the wolf
the gods--

When she speaks,
they always listen.

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E.S. Wynn is the author of over 70 books in print. He maintains a main author blog at:

A Dream

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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The kangaroos are jumping over hill and over dale
The leprechauns are leaping through fields forever pale
The spectrum of the mermaids is growing by the day
And happy ever after is one more day away

The unicorns are dancing to gigues of their own devise
The ancient mariner speaking in rhymes that once surprise
Pegasus parading ‘round clouds of soft ice cream
And never ending stories are more than just a dream

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Bruce Levine, a native Manhattanite, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. His literary catalogue includes four novels, short stories, humorous sketches, flash fiction, poetry, essays, articles and a screenplay His nearly one-hundred-fifty works are published in magazines, over twenty-five on-line journals, thirty books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. He lives in New York with his dog, Daisy.

Night Secret

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Contributor: Ingrid Bruck

- -
night-blooming cacti
wake in the dark
when people slumber
in muffled shadows

full buds inflate
bracts burst
perfume gusts
blooms unfold

fifty moon globes
fruit born of shade
hover on leaves
stretch in the moonlight

white shivas
stroke the darkness
of summer

at first light
moonflower bounty
night magic
silently slips away

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Ingrid Bruck’s current work appears in Poetry Breakfast, Better Than Starbucks, Otata and Failed Haiku. Her debut chapbook, Finding Stella Maris by Flutter Press was released this year. Poetry website:

Photo Paper Self

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Contributor: JD DeHart

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I flatten myself
in a representation. This is
not me.

It’s just photo paper. It’s
just a bit of life contained
in a glimpse of an image.

What bit that is we shall
never know. I ain’t telling.

I can scratch the surface, no
sore marks are made. Just
the fabric of a canvas, dinged
up a bit.

My real face doesn’t flap
like the cardstock print. It doesn’t
float away in the wind.

I’m much more complicated
than that. Maybe.

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My new book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, is available from Dreaming Big Publications.


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