Saturday 5 May 2018



[spring issue 2018]
Free Your Mind by Lorette C. Luzajic

Editor's Notes

dear PP Friends,

while we are grateful to all potential submitters for their kind support, we would like to remind every prospective submitter of the following three points, which seem to have been ignored over and over again:

1. when submitting to PP, please paste up to 5 poems together with a brief 3rd person bio note in the body of your email to us; we do not open attachments, nor will we request any bio upon acceptance - this will help reduce our computer time;
2. once accepted, please wait at least one year before submitting new work again - this will allow us to feature more authors.
3. as our attention span is short, we always prefer shortish and mostly lyrical poems.

one interesting development concerning our publication is that in April a business entity approached us hoping to become part of our Journal. although the collaboration did not go through, this anecdote indicates that our e.zine is beginning to attract attention even from the non-poetic' world.

more intriguingly perhaps, an internationally renowned poet and playwright of greek origin recently contacted us about the translation of his critically acclaimed trilogy into chinese. excited about this literary venture, we are now trying hard to have it translated by the best possible qualified translator(s) and published by a highly respectful chinese publishing house. it is our sincere hope his work will get readerly attention it deserves from the huge chinese-speaking world through our efforts.

we are happy to be functioning as a literary/cultural bridge between the English and Chinese speaking worlds.

in this issue, we are honoured to present 61 poets and 3 visual artists.

happy reading/viewing, and have a great spring/summertime!

as always,

- eds. @ PP

POETRY PACIFIC (7.1): Call for Submissions



By submitting to PP, the submitter warrants that 
s/he alone has created the work s/he is submitting and that 
s/he owns all rights to it. The submitter will indemnify and 
hold PP and its staff harmless from and against any and all loss,
 damage, costs and other expenses arising out of claims, 
whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly 
from breach of this warranty. At the same time, 
the submitter/contributor agrees that PP can use 
part or all of his/her accepted material, including responses 
to PP's interview questions, on its Facebook and/or 
other similar social networking vehicles for promotional purposes.

* All poetic and photographic works are carefully read/viewed 
year round on a rolling basis for PP's spring or autumn issue, 
to be released respectively on 5 May/November;

* Multiple and simultaneous submissions, as well as previously published work, 
are all equally welcome insofar as you still hold the copy/publishing rights;

* We wish to pay our poets and buy certain rights from them,
 but there is no money exchange involved, 
except a genuine shared love for art and wisdom;

Please send up to 5 of your best shorter poems each time 
by pasting them all together with a brief 3rd person bio note
within the body of your email
or visual artworks as individually separate attachments. 
Before acceptance, we will NOT open any attachments/files
 for virus/spam-related concerns, but we may ask you 
to send the accepted work as an attachment;

*  Please feel welcome to send us a query if, for instance, 
your accepted work does not appear as scheduled;

* All submitted poems or responses to interviews may be posted on our facebook 
or other networking vehicles for promotional purposes;

* Our response-time is 6-8 weeks at latest, usually shorter than 4 weeks: 
since we never give anyone any 'rejection notice,' please feel free 
to do whatever you want to with your submission
 if you do not get any response/acceptance from PP within two months
 after you send it over to us. In other words: 
only those accepted will get a reply.

Once accepted by PP, please allow at least one year
before submitting new work to us

- Many thanks for your kind support of PP & Gooooodluuuuck!


book/chapbook manuscript submissions 
are closed until further notice

12 Spring Photos from Weixin

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

2 Poems by Leath Tonio


Hand goes up, hand goes down.
That’s a wave,
hello and goodbye.
That’s a truck passing by,
somewhere beyond here.

One hundred years, a day.
That’s the truck,

the wave.

What we’ve got is hello and goodbye,
always both

at the same time.

Stiff Drink

These grass-brown end-of-summer evenings,
quiet, sad

like a dying friend,

dog bleeding on the porch
steps, blanketed,

the season’s last light

racing barbed wire, fences running east some unknown
distance, call it

one hundred miles,

to reach beyond the curve, a place already
dark. Hell,

call it five hundred miles, make it ten thousand, make it
whiskey, neat.

Don’t clean the glass,

or if you do, please, use your dirty
sleeve. Better yet,

use the blanket.


Leath Tonino is a freelancer writer, born and raised in Vermont.  His poetry, fiction, and essays appear in magazines such as Orion, The Sun, New England Review, Tricycle, Utne Reader, and Outside.  Prior to turning his attention to writing, he worked as an ornithologist on the Grand Canyon's North Rim.

5 Poems by Allen Qing Yuan

Waltzing with Vancouver among Cherry Blossoms

Two rebels break from the formation during the finale,
Desiring to demonstrate their own worth

The other performers swirls and spins together,
But the couple twirls all over

Up & down a graceful, invisible roller-coaster
Rising as high as divine entertainers

Their pinkness is not utter embarrassment;
But rather pure passion and devotion

The pack would be proud
If not for the ferocious metallic monster

Who displayed the most
Overwhelming performance of all


In the climate of my heart
You will evaporate into the blue
If I am too hot; or become frozen
If too cold; but you will always
Remain clear, soft, pure, ready

To flow gracefully, as long
As the temperature is mild enough

Mocking Practice on SAT Analogies  

President Obama is to real change as 
President Bush was to true peace

Republican senators are to family values as
Family values have been to domestic violence

Fire is to forest as
Hurricanes is to beach

                       Afghanistan was to Iraq as
                       Iraq was to Vietnam

Brush is to a painter as
Word to a liar 

                                       Trump is to a great America as 
                                        Gatsby to a mature personality 

How Come

You really
Me? She

Us? I 
You? He

Them? One
Her? We

You? It
Us? They


Summer Stanza

firefire firefire
  firefire   firefire
           firefire              firefire
firefire     firefire
    firefire firefire
firefire fire     firefire
firefirefire efirefirefire


Allen Qing Yuan (born in Vancouver in 1995), author of Traffic Light, is a 2-time Pushcart and one-time Best of the Net nominee. Currently he is working in Vancouver as an intern. Since grade 10, Allen has had poetry appear in more than 70 literary publications across 16 countries, which include Cordite Poetry Review, Literary Review of Canada, Poetry Scotland, Shampoo and Spillway.

Allen is also the co-founder of a popular clothing brand Above the Movement. For more, please visit his websites:: ; ; Twitter: @ATMovement

2 Poems by Catori Sarmiento

White Horse Mountain

Charcoal clouds weep cleansing rain
that splatters and disappears into a mirror lake
reflecting mountains
where from the mouth,
whispering winds speak.
Their waterless voices catch my own,
leaving stinging salt on my tongue
and a soddy scent upon my nose.

Whisper Song of Summer

Absent rainstorms mock with morning dew drops.
Crisp grass and burning soil ache for the sky’s tears.
Wind astray, the air heavy.
Hanging from chapped bark, shaded by parched leaves,
cicadas sing; their chirps rattle.

An opal moon cuts through the sweltering light.
A streak of blue;
lightning crack,
breaking the world
into a melody of rushing water;
a blue serenade.


After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Catori Sarmiento’s world travels have often inspired her unique writing style. When not exploring the many cracks and crags in Japan, Catori Sarmiento spends her time writing poetry and prose. As an author, her works have appeared in numerous literary publications.

5 Poems by Bea Garth

Ocean Repast

We huddle next to the shearing high cliff
while I use a small flat shelf on its rocky face
and push my knife flat against the clove of garlic
listening for that slight popping sound despite the wind
before I chop off the two ends.
The skin comes off smooth and semi-transparent
revealing the white fruit underneath.
After we eat our canned salmon
on rice cakes (peppered with sand)
you tell me that trick of eating all that garlic won’t work,
your hands, busy, loosen my shirt, smooth my back,
electrify the tiny hairs on my skin
our bodies entangling on the white sand
while out on the horizon the ocean turns turquoise
reflecting the cerulean sky
banked by a strip of gray at its edge.

Bliss IV

We follow
these experiments
of love, of loving:
your hands
touching me everywhere
subtly, as I kiss and caress you,
while we submerge ourselves
swimming in the moment
curling in and through
like two sea lions or big cats
about the business
of licking each other and purring
snuggling in a mutual
ocean of bliss.

Baking the Fish

The best part of baking the fish
and cooking the vegetables
was calling you up, having thought somehow
that the phone ringing in the other room
had been you and you saying it wasn’t
—but you had been thinking
about me all day. While we talked
I checked the fish and turned down the flame
under the millet and red chard
and let the cats in
as I suddenly noticed
the garden shining gold from the receding sun
with the moon’s smile above
like a round fish
almost full.


I think of you and ask
and you tell me
“Yes, uh huh, no,
or “Why do you ask?”
And I am back there
sitting on your couch
having tea
watching you whirl the ice cubes
in your glass of whiskey
giving me one of those slow
deep looks in your gentle
rough way, the smoke curling
from your cigarette
stubbed on the coffee table.
It doesn’t end.
You are the mentor
I never had.


It is nearly 2:00 A.M.
I hear the shrill yip of coyotes outside,
I finish my tea
after working on a sculpture
depicting my fallen angel
as I ready myself
for the hike back home up the hill.
I open the door
and drink in the cool night air,
the woods still echoing
the coyotes inspired,
crying their hearts out
like me, an old woman
her heart crying
the future unknown
on this late November night.


Bea Garth’s honest approach to sensuality mixes a sublime earthiness with a love of nature through her visual art and poetry. She has decades of experience organizing and hosting poetry and art events both in Oregon and California. She has been  editing the online e-zine Eos: The Creative Context since 2008. Bea recently moved to Vancouver, WA where she is now found painting and writing in her studio or editing in the office while her husband blogs for clean energy, or tinkers with a new musical composition. Currently she is president of The Oregon Women’s Caucus for Art. She has previously had poems and artwork published in a variety of small press magazines including Napalm and Novocaine, Synchronized Chaos, The Song Is…, Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts, Lake City Poets, Alchemy, Poetic Space, Denali, Coyote’s Dance, The Other Paper, Writing For Our Lives, Caesura, Fresh Hot Bread, DMQ Review (featured artist) and the poetry anthologies Elegant Stew, Women’s Dreams/Women’s Visions and Song of Los Gatos. She has a manuscript (EATING THE PEACH) that will be published by Blue Bone Books.  For more info, see:

2 Poems by Sarita Jenamani


I feel committed to distance
and satiate my wanderlust
by accompanying nomadic shadows
through the maze of streets
howled by images,
images that I have enshrined tenderly
somewhere deep within,
images that I have left behind
without bidding goodbye,
images which I breath everyday
as sharp as your indifference,
that cut my vein ruthlessly
the taste of blood sticks to my tongue
and an unspoken word
slips from my lips
to the edge of infinity


It runs
like a mystic river
through my arteries

Voice of my mother,
the primordial voice,
holds my nascent being

As I flow away
keeping intact
its fragile frame
into the ocean of light


Sarita Jenamani was born in Cuttack, Orissa. She studied Economics and Management Studies in India and Austria. She writes in English, Hindi as well as in Oriya, her mother tongue. She is the author of three books of poetry.  Her poems are translated into German, Rumanian, Urdu and Russian. She has been published in a number of anthologies and literary journal including the prestigious PEN international. She received many writers fellowship in Germany as well as in Austria including ‘’Kunstlerdorf Schöppingen’’and Heinrich Böll foundation. She is a member of Austrian PEN. Presently she is living and working in Vienna. She is the co-editor of the bilingual magazine Words and Worlds.

3 Poems by Eliza Segiet

Befallen Life

For some of us,
Life befell
behind the barbed wire.
There, Numbers were born
- worked,
- died,

and death?
often visited not only
in bath.
striped, dirty suits
could have befallen -

Box Iron

For professor Bogumiła Rouba

In the illusory space of life
box iron
would not give up the ghost
not even slowly.

Only emaciated arm
was getting cold on an empty table.

On both sides of the wall
telepathy connected
ashes and life.

Remember child
you were born a human,
but once there was a war,

on which new foundations were laid.


In memory of my Grandfather

Underneath his hat
there was no fairy tales,
that's where the memories were fading away.
He didn't want to look back,
but could not obliterate the recollection!

His shelter was in the attic -
dangerous place -
the burrow of life and death.

Before he forgot -
He bequeathed it to the grandchildren.


Eliza Segiet – Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. Completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź.

poetry collections:
2013 Love Affair with Oneself; original title: Romans z sobą [publisher: Sowello]
2014 Thought Mirages; original title: Myślne miraże [publisher: Miniatura]
2016 Cloudiness; original title: Chmurność [publisher: Signo]
2015 Clearances; original title: Prześwity [publisher: Signo]
2017 Tandem original title: Tandem [publisher: Signo]

Translated by Marta Szara- Turton

3 Photos by Frank Graham


Frank Dixon Graham is an exhibited photographer and published poet. His photographs have been in individual and group shows at galleries and in cafes in Northern California. Additionally, his images have appeared in several literary journals. In summer 2018, Graham's photographs of the working people of Havana, Cuba will be shown at the Union Hall Gallery in midtown, Sacramento. Graham teaches English at the Los Rios Colleges as well as within a collaborative program between Sacramento City College and University of California at Davis. His poems have been published in over fifty journals. Until recently and for several years, Graham was the editor of Tule Review. He also served as an editor for The Pitkin Review and Poetry Now.  The poet has two chapbooks in publication and he holds an MFA in Writing from Goddard College.

3 Poems by Huguette Bertrand


Fall is misfortune for trees
showing themselves naked
with branches embracing
the greyness
dripping from the eyes
of lost people
passing by

When spring shows up
trees start looking smart
dressed up
with newborn leaves
drawing smiles
on faces of people
walking around

Since summer is scorched
and winter is frozen
let’s enjoy the trees
with their newborn leaves
swirling around people
and drawing a poem
on each mind


On a rainy day
some walk in the mud
while some walk in their mind
just counting raindrops
like cristal marbles
on their way home

homeless in the mud
would exchange raindrops
but the mind is too busy
to share it's marbles
in this rainy day

Let's drop the walks
the mud and the mind
and leave the marbles
rolling on sideways
in the rain


Take all the walls down
and let dreams comme out
from darkness
letting them expand
in the wilderness
of all memories
behind closed doors

Take all the walls down
to let the flowers grow
and all the trees also
fragrance and shade
will radiate the whole landscape
of the wounded minds
laying on the canvas
of dusty times

Let's take the bricks of walls
to build houses
leaving open
smiling doors
to enjoy the wind blowing
enchanted words
wrapped in light


Huguette Bertrand is a French-Canadian poet, digital artist and editor, born in Sherbrooke (Québec), Canada. She has published 33 poetry books. Her poems were also published in many poetry journals and anthologies in Canada, France, U.S.A., Wales (U.K.), Romania, India, and on many websites the last 20 years.  She took part in Poetry Readings, Book Fairs, Exhibits of poetry on photos in Québec, France and Norway, gave Workshops in Quebec and France. She is the representative of the international movement Immagine & Poesia in Canada and editor of anthologies for this said movement.

2 Poems by Erren Geraud Kelly

Coffeehouse Poem # 244

She stands against the
Wall, sleek as a reed
Even silent, the music
Never stops
Maybe one day, I'll
Be the Melody
She wants to play
Maybe one day, she'll
Be the song I'll


There's nothing sexier
Than a girl wearing
A fedora
Unless it's just
A fedora and
High heels


I am a Two-Time  Pushcart nominated poet from Los Angeles. I have been writing for 25 years and
have over 300  publications in print and online in such publications as Hiram Poetry 
Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine(online), Ceremony, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, 
Gloom Cupboard, Poetry Salzburg and other publications. My most recent publication
was in Black Heart Literary journal; I have also been published in anthologies such as "
Fertile Ground," and Beyond The Frontier.” My work can also been seen on Youtube
under the " Gallery Cabaret," links. I am also the author of the book, " Disturbing The Peace," on Night Ballet Press

4 Poems by Charles Entrekin


Appearing in the sky, a great
gray-blue heron, size of a small child,
drops down out of the wild, lowering
feet, knobby knees, and he swings
in a backwash of wings to a stop
on my rooftop.
Next to the chimney, on stilts,
he flaps once, then smooths
his near-black feathers
into a tight-fitting coat.
                I sit and stare.  I am not alone.
The oncologist has phoned.
My scans are clean.


Returning home long after midnight,
feeling caught up in the chaos
of the human world, disarmed,
sneaking through the side gate like a thief,
past the sleeping morning glories,
now exposed by the moonlight
following me into my backyard.
The ignored, hundred-year-old plum tree
stands aglow in white blossoms.
A light rain and mist
sifts through the night air,
lifting the branches. And
the petals begin to shudder and fall.
As if the tree were waiting for me
to begin such extravagance, white
blankets the wet black ground
in showers of flowers drifting down
in my hair, brushing my shoulder,
all around me and suddenly
everything inside me
is at peace.


A solitary easel,
a brush stroke stopped
in the middle of a painting
because the artist has left the room
the door opened to the night.

I think perhaps
it’s like when you’re dying
and you get to come back,
as if the self waits like a gate
instead of a construct.

I see myself opening, time
moving down and slowing,
an entropic syrup
surrounding the here and now,
spreading out
like black ink in water,
a feeling of returning,
a flood subsiding and suddenly
someone waiting,
who has always been waiting,
moving out from my shadows,
into the room,
a doppelgänger.

Open the gate, step out.
Hello, he says,
the one I recognize now
who has always known me,
who waits through my absences,
welcoming me home.

One Evening in Berkeley

There was an early feel of winter that evening.
The fog and cold made August uncomfortable
and unsettling.
The sea seemed almost audible
in the glimmer of streetlights
on Shattuck Avenue.
We stopped and entered a small café,
and there was a fire
and warm people.
We ordered coffee and cream
and I thought of another time
not so nice as this
and suddenly
I felt our present,
yours and mine, my love,
I knew us and our moments
and saw us from out of time
like a ship standing solid in the light
of a great lighthouse,
piercing through the fog in its great swinging arc.


Charles' most recent works include The Art of Healing, a transformative poetic journey (Poetic Matrix Press, 2016); Portrait of a Romance, a love story in verse (Hip Pocket Press, 2014). Charles was a founder and managing editor of The Berkeley Poets Cooperative and The Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press, and was a co-founder/advisory board member of Literature Alive!, a non-profit organization in Nevada County, California. He is co-editor of the e-zine Sisyphus, a magazine of literature, philosophy, and culture; and managing editor of Hip Pocket Press. Charles is the father of five children and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, poet Gail Rudd Entrekin.

2 Poems by Victoria Crawford

(feelings when standing in sunlight slanting through leaves and canopy in a deep, silent forest)

beams slide down the leaves
in green variegations
emerald glass splinters.
Silent windchimes slant light
through branched lofts suspended   
from robin eggshell sky.

Stand in light gleamed joy.
Sun melts into contentment.
Pine purity relaxes on the air,
resin heated soft and sticky.

Single moment captured,
circular stillness                                     
sunlight, shadelight
smiling down among trees
right now, alone together.

California Redwoods by Albert Bierstadt

Flush and Blush

Puling on a silky new blouse,
improbable with pink and purple
roses growing on the same tree,
I add blush plastic opal
flower earrings, color a
sliding reflection like
the flush of girlish cheeks,
to cyclamen shorts and plum shoes.
In my hometown, I'd look odd,
too jazzy, a noisy combo,
like shoulder hanging wisteria.
Outside are amethyst irises,
snobby above dwarf coleus,
each leaf raspberry hearted.
The periwinkle in the
sidewalk waves purple palms.
Sawat-dee-ka, sabaidee mai?
Hello, the world is flower full
today, and how are you?

From a Thai seed packet


Connections between seemingly separate is a point of beauty and feeling that poet Victoria Crawford likes to explore and map new territories in her work whether it is trying to define a Japanese concept in English, revealing the intense floral life of Chiang Mai, Thailand, or seeing child dreams in a Degas' painting.  The poet's works have been published in various journals such as Wildflowers Muse, The Ibis Head Review, Peacock Journal, and Hektoen International.

1 Poem by Michael E. Belongie


 “But we find as practitioners nothing goes away until
it has taught us what we need to know.”  Pema Chodron

             Oh, we are cavalier,
             outlier in seeming
             charmed decades,
             then sword hovers

            or is it lotus flower?
             Stamen, pistol sheathed
             in petals and its stem,
             anchored in silt.
             Its medium: impermanence,
            suffering, and our surrender.


Michael E. Belongie, board member and Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, past president, broadcaster for 5 years of an fiber-optic interactive television course in south-east Wisconsin  for secondary poetry students, has seven published collections. Contractor of Wisconsin readings, featuring  Billy Collins, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, Marge Piercy, Sharon Olds, and Frank McCourt

Poet Antler, a Pushcart recipient, has endorsed the seventh collection, nominating Embracing the Moment for a 2018 award.

5 Poems by Wren Tuatha

April in Myth

April is old like water, prehistoric, recycled. Womb
and bladder. To my Third World parched skin,
she’s America, running the tap.And now, in a foreign
hot tub, she mothers me, as if she has it to spare.
Water and muscles, air and my salty grief.

April has bloomed before, on schedule, sometimes
an early surprise. She has chased and she’s been cupped
to the lips, been drunk in, and done someone’s share
of drinking. Me, too, always in August.

On April’s flesh, tears and kisses evaporate,
leaving shine. On mine, brine, crusty, leaving in cakes
like the ice shelf. I watch it go, with foreboding
that natural disasters will result.

But water and her children won’t be possessed.
In time, she does the possessing, pooling foolish souls
like shrimp, pulling us through hurricanes and extinction
and silence from space.

Mammoths, raccoons, wrens and Americans.

Like water, April is old, knows how to crest and trough,
be a beating organ of the beast, a good germ on the living
planet. Some herons are like pterodactyls pulled by hunger
too far from shore. There are fools and there are fish.
Drink, says April. Extinction breeds myth.
And oh, what a magnetic myth we make.

(Previously published in Antiphon Poetry Magazine.)

At the Lonely Gravel End

Waving oak leaves in the canopy
make windchimes out of sunshine.
A purple wing leans left, the lane sashays.

Two ferrel peacocks bookend
Nimshew Road, one at the head,
ribboning between ranch houses

in cul de sacs laid down like daisy
pedals. The other peacock materializes
less often, at the lonely gravel end,

down four miles of log cabins and soda
can trailers. His life is staying one branch
away from the juvenile bear; keeping

upwind from that cougar who snakes
from Paradise Ridge; politely
declining to be tamed by the new

neighbor who feeds black tailed
deer and wild turkeys. His irised wizard
tail eyes are stripped, maybe a slow bobcat

or the comb of a Ponderosa branch.
Tom turkeys are in full inflation, posing,
catwalking for hens and human painters.

But the peacock has no hen to impress,
just me, moved to spot the elusive emperor,
transdimensional traveler.

(Previously published in Peacock Journal, as Emperor of Nimshew.)


Cotton takes care of me.
I mend and wonder where
a word went as Cotton hops
out of bed, feeds the herd,
showers. I’m late with his
coffee. I have one job as he
capers around, clipboards
and clients’ keys, leash
and a dog to walk.

My hours pass in turns of
whiplash and molasses.
I’m glad he’s at work,
not watching. We both recall
when I was brilliant.
He soldiers and I try.
Who takes care of Cotton?

He’s aged out of his market.
Once six figures, now Cotton
cleans houses. Five today,
done at six. Home at seven
with rags to wash and stories.
Spreadsheets and payroll.
Menu ideas and shopping lists.
Leash and a dog to walk.
Cotton cares into the void.
Tonight he’ll make cornbread.

(Previously published in The Cafe Review.)

Leaping Cotton

He is cotton on the stalk, all slicing
armor outside, talking politics,
rubbing you wrong. Inside,
he’s nothing but a downy bed.
He made it to lay you there
while discussing dogs
and enchiladas, deciding
to hide away for the day.

Our cotton rabbit in the warren
who warns the others of dogs,
owls and black snakes. Why
listen to the old guy…

He’s a mouser cat that will always watch
you and never follow you home
because you never

Shopping lists and spreadsheets.
A call from Kenya. Send cash.
Cotton boils quinoa while cursing
his web host and mumbling that humanity
has been a disappointment.

He’s leaping purple in loose cotton
at the dance, interpreting ice
skating moves, beading
every eye in the room
into one necklace, ribboning.

He might as well,
not that anyone would ever
give him credit.

(Previously published in The Blotter.)

Make Soup, You Said

I’m making a soup
to fill my bowl.
I’m after that carrot of consolation
you dangle.
I would remember
a recipe
in that season of my childhood
without language.
The three sisters–
corn, beans and squash…
When they hold hands
they can give weight
while they dance and stir,
balanced in a circle chain,
resolved, complete.

If I know the right herbs,
if my flame is humble,
if I stir with the tide,
if I ladle with steadiness,
if I eat with grace,
if I digest with stillness,
I will understand
why you have gone.
I wrote you a letter.
I burnt it,
buried it,
scattered it,
sent it sailing,
nailed it to my bed.
Make soup, you said, nothing is simple.

(First published in Baltimore Review.)


Wren Tuatha’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, and Bangalore Review. She’s an editor at and Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

2 Poems by Aftab Husain

A Dream Deffered

No, it was not
as I initially thought
at the second turn
of my mind
A mere reflection
in an empty looking-
mirroring nothing(ness)
at a place
still liveable

and I, envisioning
a perpetual longing outside
sense a perplexed jouissance
that chills
my spinal chord


a densly written text
you have been misreading

You took mathematical equations
for poetry
And the other way round
You bloody bastard Borges!


Pakistani poet Aftab Husain worked journalist and professor of literature before he went to exile in 2000. On the invitation of PEN International he reached Germany and lived there as fellow of Heinrich Böll Foundation. In 2003 he was invited to Vienna as ‘’writer-in-residence,’’ a collaboration of the Austrian Cultural Ministry and the city of Vienna. Presently, he teaches at Vienna University.

He has three books of poetry to his credit – in Urdu, Hindi and German. Widely published in various anthologies, his poems have been rendered into English, Italian, Persian, Bengali and other languages. He has translated German poet Paul Celan, among others, into Urdu for which he was felicitated by association of literary translators in Austria.   He is the editor of the bilingual magazine Words and Worlds.

5 Poems by Ken Allan Dronsfield

With Charcoal Black

Today I'll travel to the swamp and wood
to do a little autumn sketching for my
painting projects during the cold winter.
As I pack my thermos and bag, I see
snail trails leaving the autumn garden.

Cooler breezes beget browner grasses;
lichen and moss cover the old stone wall,
I swear a little chipmunk ran by just now.
Crows are busy in their murder covens.
The songbirds leave daily for warm skies.

Smells of the forest still musty and damp
colored leaves fall, a winters quilt woven
Ice sheets now form in the ponds as geese
happily swim throughout coolish waters.
Frogs and turtles hibernate until spring.

A puff on the pipe, and a sip from the flask,
take out my sketch pad from the canvas bag.
Deer moving through the hemlock swamp.
It's time to capture, using a charcoal black,
the precious moments on this autumn day.

The Leaves Wink

Whispered stillness at dawn
summer candle burning low
a quieted hush upon a breeze
orange koi rise in the fountain.
Leaves wink in the suns haze
toaster pops my english muffin
coffee pot chugs along slowly
cars roll by as the day begins.
Sirens echo in the distant hills
dogs howl and children smile
faceless people rush to a bus
lazy summer awaiting autumn.
Pumpkin patch on it's final days
crispy mornings and hot cocoa
Autumn's time will soon be here;
leaves wink because they know.

Sting of a Snowflake

The old barn moans and groans
as bones creak on this coolish day.
Stepping outside into fields of corn
now cut leaving an apocalyptic view.
I watched the winds conspire with
shafts of wheat tickling the sunset.
From a dark cloud drifting above,
a lone snowflake floats down and
stings the tip of my cold red nose.
I'm feeling a tinge of winter as the
warm summer dreams disappear,
replaced by frosty car windshields,
frosty floors on feet each morning.
Twilight time chases the light away
near the dead crab apple trees on
the old farm where I once roamed.

Autumn Sonnet to the Raven

My coffee pot perks to the morning beats
our deformed pumpkin grins at passing cars
witches and ghosts will be ready tonight
we all smile spying the hot fresh donuts.
Blue Jays spar in the old white lilac bush
a leaf of color floats from the blue sky
Raven's flock in a golden unkindness
Willa the old cat just lays there and naps
White birches reflecting the morning sun
maple syrup for my lovely pancakes,
fresh apples rest in baskets on the porch
tomatoes ripen in sunlit windows.
Tinkling of spoons in mugs of hot cocoa
Raven's Fall is my favorite dessert.

A Reddish Haze

Nocturne of shadow
rise with a Flamingo
charmed by a sunrise
a reddish haze smiles
prone upon the pillow
cherished teacup pouts
hushed morning sonnet
whispers at my window.
Dreams left to wander
my fan begins the day
humidity now departing
the sea birds serenade.
sand dunes sparkling as
diamond glints glowing
grasses serenely flowing
terns hover at surf-side
in mild on-shore winds
hot water is now ready
a royal blend steeping
cherished teacup smiles
my Siamese cat yawns
awaken a reddish haze.


Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran and poet who was nominated for 2 Best of the Net and 3 Pushcart Prize Awards for 2016-2017. His work has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. He can be found in The Burningword Journal, Belle Reve Journal, SETU Magazine, Blue Heron, The Literary Hatchet, Poetry Pacific, The Stray Branch, Now/Then Manchester Magazine UK, Ariel Chart Journal,  Scarlet Leaf Review, EMBOSS Magazine, and many more. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night and spending time with his cats Willa, Hemi and Turbo. His book, "The Cellaring", a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses also available at

1 Poem by Brooke Larson

Off Day At The Beach

When you realize the sand is itself repeating
itself, each glitter and bright crumb
seemingly leading on abundantly:
no more thought than
a manic copy and paste.
So much for the pleasure of symmetry.
The metastasis splits perfectly in two
four, doubling, mirroring dumb luck
dividing you from you.


Brooke Larson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, and is currently a PhD student in Poetry at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Her poems and essays have recently appeared in The Offbeat, Gravel, The Swamp, Foothill and Dialogue Journal, and she was the 2017 runner-up for the Tennessee Williams Poetry Prize.  Often she runs away to teach primitive survival skills as a wilderness guide in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.

2 Poems by Donald E. Gasperson

this is my choice

to nurture an emptiness
not a belief

trying to catch a fact
this isn’t that at all

and mind expansion
can be dreadful in its intimacy

with a wink and a nod
at the chemical cabinet

open wide to misinterpretation
or closed with denial

I unwind the mystery
of my own human agency

with ungovernable questions
and tea in the evening

plays a hollow reed


the buddha
flagrant in his transparency

was motivation and motion
for those with sensible shoes

but being barefoot 
quiets the idle mind

and mindfulness
is a simple thing


Donald E. Gasperson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Washington and earned a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. He has worked as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counselor with the chronically mentally  ill.  He writes as an exercise in physical, mental and spiritual health.  He has had poems published or accepted for publication by Quail Bell Magazine, Big Windows Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Five Willows Literary Review,  Three Line Poetry and WINK.

1 Poem by Mark Weinrich


 Something magic hovered at break of day,
And startled me from my watering trance;
She trespassed rudely in my shower spray.
Shimmering green, then white with flashy dance.
She hung effortless in luminous grace,
With a rainbow’s iridescent glow.
I wondered at her need for water’s embrace
Was it seconds, minutes, I do not know?

I longed for fragrance of her majesty
Some evidence to mark she filled the air.
Why would she choose a gardener like me?
Perhaps it was pity, she lingered there.
Whatever her reason she rainbowed my day,
Dancing like a fairy in crystal spray.


Mark Weinrich has been in remission from Leukemia for almost five years.  He is a gardener, hiker, musician, and pastor (for over 38 years).  He has had over 370 poems, articles, and short stories published in 105 different publications, some include THE UPPER ROOM, BIRDS AND BLOOMS, NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE, IDEALS, THE SECRET PLACE, and LIVE.  He has also sold eight children’s books and currently has two fantasy novels on Kindle.

1 Poem by Tony Beyer


Eritrea is a desert land
but many of its inhabitants
have died by drowning

victims also of the planet’s
most advanced lying technology
capable of processing almost anything into truth

neither e- nor im-
they were just migrants
suggesting they might end up anywhere

or nowhere
because for many interested parties
the sea was the convenient solution

thou Ethiop is Shakespeare’s insult
regarding alien ugliness
his heart of darkness

yet these tall silent wraiths
who stride through consciousness and conscience
were beautiful


Tony Beyer is a New Zealander whose work has appeared internationally in Atlanta Review, Hamilton Stone Review, Jazz Cigarette and Otoliths. His recent books are Nine Songs (Puriri Press, Auckland, NZ 2017 ) and Anchor Stone (Cold Hub Press, Lyttelton, NZ 2017 ).

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

In the Year of the Rooster

This is not really Chinese zodiac
But born in a year of the rooster last century
I was fated to crow aloud to summon
The first morning glows above the

Rice-fields, pecking here and there
For a seed or a pebble bit close
To my grandma’s straw-roofed
Cottage, ready to put up a chicken fight

With my fleshy crown standing up straight
But never able to fly higher than a broken
Fence, since my body was winged
With more fat than feathers

Only after I died did I manage to travel afar
To an exotic land, when my naked being
Was minced and served for a minor course
In a recyclable plate as in this little poem

White Crow

Perching long in my heart
Is a white crow that no one has
Ever seen, but everyone longs
To be

Always ready
To fly out, hoping to bring back
A glistening seed or a colorful feather
As if determined to festoon its nest

Stopping Over

By no means can you catch
The crane. You are not

Supposed to. Because
You might hate the airbase

And take off
As that bulky

Plane, which,
Like whatever

You thought
Could fly, may

Carry your entire yellowish being away
And vanish

This Very Thought

This is the thought that is
Sailing along the horizon

This is the thought ready to fall
Finally from the leaf-tip at dawn

This is the thought looming afar
Beyond the stark mountains

This is the thought newly taken
Out of the water by the swordsmith

This is the thought with a bloated shape
Wrapping the whole world up in the mind

This is the thought running amuck
Naked, never able to find a shelter

This is the thought driving the wheels
Of history, back and forth, without stop

Weekend Weakened

Fever. Discotheques. Beers. Marijuana
Sweets. Cartoons. Volunteers. Prayers
Bathes. Gun shots. Private purple meetings
Vampires. Elections. Rest. Clubs. Restaurants

Theatres. Picnics. Football. Basketball
Billy Crystal. Howard. Cosell. Contests
Lady of Fatima. Garden work. Saturn
Hiking. Long sleep. Dinner party

The best and the worst of the week:
Nothing. Everything. Nobody
Everybody under Loki’s influence

Venture. Venture. Venture, as they
Sing, Bobo Waro Fero Satodeh

The first, and the last
Of the week. The day
Of God, of man

We all take today off
For a good rest of our bodies
To work better for the good

Of our souls, or rather
The other way around


Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan and hosts Happy Yangsheng in Vancouver; credits include 10 Pushcart and 3 Best of the Net nominations,  Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline, Poetry in Voice, Threepenny Review and 1,429 other journals and anthologies across 42 countries.     

3 Poems by Simon Perchik


Once it heals these flowers
you feel its fragrance
smoothing your cheeks

though the journals are sure
dismiss your sores –it’s grief
that’s withering, eaten alive

as rainwater and marshland
inside a common love song
bringing up your knees

already airborne around you
and with your forehead
what happened happened.

Whatever you soften it’s the dirt
that starts though your lips
touch down and try again

counting off the hours
just now learning to mimic
rain –in time

you will smooth the ground
better than before, for years
talking babytalk –have to

–this rain is not yet
what it wanted
and all the way down

you practice the way stones
are surrounded by dew
no longer whispers and places.


How you fold your hands, tin
is not what you can count on
for turns –off shore is still risky

though you squeeze this rim
the way seabirds are trained
would suddenly dip one wing

and with the other the soda
breaks apart as if your arms
were left in the open

and side to side could only guess
where you will find rest
and nothing else.


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by box of chalk, 2017. For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

3 Poems by Lavonne Westbrooks

Memory of a Friend

She showered and talked
through hazy blue plastic;
I watched the sponge.

Window haloed her skin,
saturated my memory.
I drew her later and she never knew.

I am not a collector

If I were
I might save that jointed stick,
the one there, that looks like something’s
bones. Those two crumpled yellow leaves
and the orange one. I wouldn’t forget the
brown one edged with red either. I’d pick
up tiny rocks in every shade of gray, brown,
and red and yellow to match the leaves,
arrange them just so.
I’d choose some rune-etched stones
in case they begin to speak to me.
The collection plate would be granite
spatter-painted with lichen
in the pattern of winter constellations,
lined with velvet moss and wisps of grass
that fell from an abandoned nest.

The Kind of Woman She Is

Seventeen-year-old nurses get all the shite jobs. This night the sister in charge hands her some folded gauze and a packet of pins. "Use this to fashion a bonnet and gown." And though her hands shake, the nurse manages to change a naked and crumpled stillborn into a beguiling angel.

A new batch of knitted caps for the charity hospital fills a sack by the door. One hundred fifty this time around. Knitted by gnarled fingers. As long as she's around, no child leaves naked or cold.


Lavonne Westbrooks is the editor of .

5 Photos by Robert Stowe


Robert Stowe loves art in many forms. He writes, takes photographs, and paints. No matter what form of media he chooses to portray in his art, he tries to capture the true beauty of the world.

3 Poems by Timothy Pilgrim

No day to be named after a uvula
(with a nod to Alex Vouri)

I dream I am a famous tenor,
stripped of my tucked-in shirt.

I rehearse in the shower,
later bellow high notes

into an ice-cave, echoes there
adding strength to my refrain.

The opera fails in Australia.
My songs leak counter-clockwise

down a plastic drain, lose power
at the bend, leave me out of breath

before the aria ends. Nameless.
Another guilty white guy

who will only be remembered
if I put all my shit in a museum.

This being America, there were patriots present
(with apologies to Stephen Crane)

In the desert
I saw creatures,

warlike, obsessed,
running about with swords,

each cutting open another’s head.
“Won’t you miss

your brains?” I asked.
“What?” they replied,

and skipped off together,

(published by The Curious Record, 2010)

Breathing snow

You can do it awhile. Air pockets remain,
locked around ice crystals. But not forever —
just long enough to replay the avalanche

rolling over life, sweeping love downhill,
leaving you flattened in white,
no way to reach for sky. If your ears still hear,

eyes are not frozen closed, hand trapped
near face can clear a bit of space,
you may have sufficient time

to listen for swish of metal probes
slicing nearby. promising beams of light.
If tempted to sleep, imagine

a new lover finds you, scoops a place
by your side, lies close. Together,
you breathe hope into deep snow.

           (Sue Boynton poetry winner, Bellingham WA, 2013)


Timothy Pilgrim is a Pacific Northwest poet with several hundred published poems. Mapping Water (Flying Trout Press) in 2016 was his first book of poems.. His work can be found at

1 Poem by Aaron Kent

Swedish Pine

Every turn of the screw is another
wasted pivot in the day’s patience.
It is the weekend we feared, a degree
of interruption met by the water
blasting snake skin from winter’s
coat upon the front of the thigh.

Diamonds are only worth as much
as the iris lets jewellers find the shimmer,
and each minute is only as valuable
as the eventual rotations are perceived
by the shape and roll of infant tongues.
We are trapped by our desire

to create the future we determined
by our own experiences. In heavy
slumber there are old wounds
and battle cries, ad verbatim and infinite.
These are the seas that hold squid
the size of angels, and wrecks

we should never explore. It is solipsistic
to believe you are me, and mine,
but I will give everything to show
you my improvements, and how I am better
than my history should ever allow me to be,
More versatile than my father’s skin.


Aaron Kent is a poet from Cornwall, UK. He has recently had a art-verse-novella released through zimZalla titled 'Subsequent Death', and a pamphlet through Eyewear titled 'Tertiary Colours'. His first full collection,'Blood Fjord '89' is due for release in mid 2018. He is also in talks to release a collection on vinyl record, and a non-fiction book about the Godzilla film series.

Aaron also runs the Saboteur Award longlisted site Poetic Interviews, where he interviews poets using poetry. Those taking part so far include James Franco, Phillip B Williams, Safia Elhillo, Luke Kennard, Max Wallis, Jeff Alessandrelli, and Melissa Lee-Houghton among others.

Aaron is also a poetry and film lecturer, and he and his wife just welcomed their first child, Rue.

3 Poems by Jennifer Dotson

Sandy Hook Orlando Las Vegas
A Golden Shovel poem using a line from T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock[1]

News screams another mass shooting and I do
not know what to do. How can I
stop the gun violence or dare
oppose the NRA, the rabid right to
ban automatic weapons? Bullets eat
victims in a bloody banquet, not giving a
damn if you are black, brown, yellow or peach.

Magicicada Dream, an Etheree[2]

the earth lie
cicada nymphs
sucking sustenance
from large tree roots below
cycling slowly through instar
stages five of development
they dream of translucent wings and flight
while waiting for their signal to emerge


Your warm front
caresses my skin,
an urban heat island
against my distinctly
down draft drizzle.
There’s turbulence
when we’re together,
an upwelling of
fall streaks still I’m
glad for condensation.
No drought of passion
or dry climate.
You dust devil on
my cloud deck.

[1] A Golden Shovel is a poetic form developed by Terence Hayes to honor poet Gwendolyn Brooks.  Using text from an admired poem, the words become the end words for each line in a new poem, whose content does not need to refer to the original text.

[2] The etheree, a syllabic poem containing ten lines and a total of fifty-five syllables, is named in honor of Etheree Taylor Armstrong, an Arkansas poet who died in 1994.


Jennifer Dotson is the Founder and Program Coordinator for (begun in 2007). Her poetry has appeared in After Hours, DuPage Valley Review, East On Central, Exact Change Only, Poetry CRAM/Journal of Modern Poetry, and Willow Review.  Her poems are included in several anthologies including A Midnight Snack from Poetic License Press and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace (University of Washington Press). Clever Gretel, her debut collection, received the first Journal of Modern Poetry Book Award and was published by Chicago Poetry Press in April 2013. She teaches poetry, memoir and creative writing classes for Highland Park's Library U program. Jennifer loves actions movies with lots of car chases and explosions – she fantasizes about a future Hollywood blockbuster with a poet who saves the world.

2 Poems by JD DeHart

The Memory of Dolphins

Remember, I ask, the dolphins
or porpoises, their beautiful shadows
cavorting in the waves?
We felt so lucky to see them then.

When, you ask, when was that?
It was just a few years ago when we
went walking one morning, getting
our toes in the lukewarm water.

But the memory is gone, a photo that
has been destroyed, an event that
may as well have never happened.

Such is reality, I suppose.

Death of the Butterfly

Sure, at one time the wings were gossamer
and we had the promise of a beach vacation
and sure, the cocoon was lovely, if not a little
cramped and there was nectar.
Not in great quantities, mind you, but there
was nectar, but now –
the wings have been trampled, life has
happened once too often, the trees
no longer provide much shade, and we must
move on, let the balloon soar, and allow
passage, art, and time.


JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available from Red Dashboard and on Amazon.  He is currently at work on a second collection.

2 Poems by James Beach

Expect Sun on your Wedding Day
(after Alanis Morissette's lyrics, "Ironic")

Clouds clear on your wedding day
Free stuff when you've already paid
Bad advice never taken with salt
Is this irony?
Do you think?

A black dye, is no color at all
Family men live alone, battle The Wall
Ten thousand chairs missing their seats
Is this irony?
Do you think?

Your worst year has one perfect week
You study art during a winning streak
A traffic jam when you're for once on foot
Is this irony?
Do you think?

A panicky groom has wet cum on his face
Because the bride-to-be instructed the groomsmen to race!
Meanwhile the little cute boy boldly bears me the ring
Is this irony?
Do you think?

We all expect sun on a wedding day
Figure the design out: is our world straight or gay? Who wins, who loses out? When we are one of them who ascribes to solo devout!

Bloody Murder

In the late-1970s, "Bloody Murder!" was more popular than "Kick the Can" with the kids on my block. This was back before most videogames, except for Pong, the favorite next to burgeoning Atari, at that time. Us children invented all kinds of group-boredom time-passers... some of us being allowed to view cinematic scares such as the trending "Halloween" (myself excluded). I played along anyway. The game titled "Bloody Murder!" is best played after dinner but before curfew so as to allow the dusk to settle in. It's a game that calls for one Potential Murderer and plenty of Potential Victims, similar to hide-and-seek. (The opening scene of the 1980 slasher film "Prom Night" features children in an abandoned structure playing "The Killer is Coming"; this is derivative of what was happening in neighborhoods across the country.) In "Bloody Murder," the chosen Killer hides from sight for a minute, counting seconds aloud, and all of the chosen Victims have that scarce minute to hide from Killer. Since the game is played outdoors, plenty of low-built decks or untrimmed shrubbery or faux-Zen commune-style gardening provide the usual suburban hiding places, along with vacant lots (which were most forbidden to enter). Right off, the pretty girl idiot with pigtails squirming behind the pruned Boxwood shrubs would get tagged and so-called killed; she would then aid Killer in finding more Victims. Next would be the nervous boy switching hiding places because of the pig-tailed girl's interest in him. Third would be either a benign athletic boy or an intellectual freak hoping as they hid that they were smarter than the Killer. Meanwhile, mothers sporadically called out kids' names, into the dusk. End of the game features the remaining few deliberating over going home, or waiting in the hiding spot for victory. Night falls, inevitably, before the game is finished. Nobody won but each day promised a chance to become killer of all.


JAMES K BEACH opted to overindulge in poetry and lit before discovering that bohemian professions are a bit more challenging and dangerous than they appear... But anyway. Taking risks is a risk, as anyone knows. Since 2002, he's used his Bachelor's in Writing to amass 150+ journalism bylines in 20 venues, be managing editor at AWAREing Press, and do related tasks in publishing. Currently he's working various temp jobs in the USA, looking at graduate schools, and considering the significance of mating young. CREATIVE WRITING CREDITS: Antique Children Journal, Blue Monday Review, Danse Macabre Online, The Exhibit Literary, Jivin' Ladybug Journal, Mad Hatters' Review, Paraphilia Magazine, Smokebox Commentary, Warhol Stars UK, Wood Coin Magazine, and others.

3 poems by Bob Meszaros

The Selfie

Sunday morning; the gym is full.
In pain, the Celebrant arises — from weight
bench, bicycle and rubber floor mat,
his chosen stations of the cross.

His iPhone cradled in one hand
before him, reverently he passes — to where
the music’s loudest, the lights are brightest,
to where the mirrors and the racks
of free weights are.

Head bowed, he strikes a pose,
then lifts his arms and hands on high,
as if calling forth some chiseled god
within him— and snaps his offering
to The Cloud.

The Cover-up

Beneath the murals,
the fluted cornice, the plaster ceiling
and its ornate scrolls

on wooden plagues
and in glass cases, bolted
to the walls and floors

no mention made
of where the rioting began.

Grey and smooth
from lack of use, those stairs
are sealed, are hidden.

Two arcs of textured
wallboard, painted grey
to match the fluted cornice
and the plaster walls

now mute the screams
of black girls in white heat.

Cairn Building

All afternoon, she kneels
near the water’s edge between erratic
and petrified tree trunk, her feet cooled
by the rising tide, her hair streaked
with summer’s gold.

Unaware of Inuit and Greek,
of Druid and Viking, of obelisk and dolmen,
of Stonehenge and runestone, of far off mountain
trails and passes, of mounds of snow-white bones,
weighing the sunlight with her hands, she balances
one rock on another, the column rising slowly
stone by stone before her.

She has no fear of getting lost,
no thought of honoring the dead. It is enough
to keep this moment balanced, to get each stone in place
before the little girl is gone.


Bob Meszaros taught English at Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, for thirty-two years. He retired from high school teaching in June of 1999. During the 70s and 80s his poems appeared in a number of literary journals, such as En Passant and Voices International. In the year 2000 he began teaching part time at Quinnipiac University, and he began once again to submit his work for publication. His poems have subsequently appeared in The Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Red Wheelbarrow, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, and many other literary journals.

2 Poems by Nicole Leckenby


She runs out of her house with her gym bag tightly by her side. She protects the contents of the bag with her life. It is her passion she carries in that bag.

She arrives at the empty studio, taking care as she removes each toe shoe from her bag. She wraps her toes with tape before she dons her satin slippers. Securing each shoe with the pink ribbon ties, she readies herself.

She stretches. The wood in the shoes echoing through the empty room with each passing step. She practices.

Arabesque, Attitude, Chasse’

With music only running in her head, she glides across the floor. Again and again. She is flawless her steps exquisite.

No one there to watch her, no one to critique her style. She is dancing for her life for her love.

My Tears

I cried a thousand tears since that dreaded day
The day I found out you were no longer here
The sadness that overcame me
The loss that I feel
I have never experienced it before
My blue eyes are grey from all the tears shed
The joy that filled me is gone
My heart is broken in two
Emptiness has consumed my being
Wishing that you were still here
You used to make my tears flow from laughter
Now nothing but sadness
We will be together again one day
Watch over me until then
And don’t be upset with the tears I shed


Nicole Leckenby, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, has a bachelors degree in Media Communications is the co-creator and editor for The Holiday Cafe.  She is a mom of two very energetic young boys.  In her spare time she finds time to write, mostly non-fiction but is branching out.

2 Poems by Stephen Watson

When she's sleeping

and out of touch,
the moments unfold
like seasons;
each more Wintry than
the last. I hurtle in
minutes from greens to
a tableau of blacks, of whites. 

These nights, the heartache
feels like heartbreak.

buddha Statue

Crumbling, in the face of Nature,
who he is - which is what we
all do.
We crumble in the face of
what/who we Truly are.

Failing to pieces...
He's All One and all
and yet and yet
he falls to pieces;
he falls from peace,
failing to pieces.


Stephen Watson is an un-teacher who travels the world teaching the poetic process of wisdom-seeking that is Tai Chi. He can be found at his home studio, Someday Farm in Connecticut or, let's be honest, more often on  His work, which looks like movement, meditation, and massage, involves uncovering the Self so well-hid beneath our customs, structures, languages, and beliefs.  His true poetry remains stuck between his heart and spirit and he apologizes for what trickles or ruptures out and comes to be called his poetry.  He, like this lyric world, is a work/play in progress.

2 Poems by Barbra Nightingale

The Not So Distant Future
--for Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction

Imagine a sky with no stars,
a shroud of clouds,
atmosphere so choked
you think you’re drowning
every time you breathe.

Search for the moon
in vain, search for light—
there is none.
What is it Coleridge said?
Water water everywhere
and ne’er a drop to drink.

Not even fish survive,
nor crabs nor coral,
the earth returning
to the noxious soup
it once was, so long ago.

We stand on the brink
of our own re-creation.
Who will remember?
Only the code recorded
in thin strands, coiled to strike.


Pierced noses, lips,
eyebrows, nipples,
gauges half an inch
stretching ears,
inked etchings blooming
on skin once smooth.
All this pain announced
like a trumpet,
like a trailer for truth.

Is it self-hate of self-love?
This drama--bad
decisions gone worse—
       and the noise!
The clamor for attention.
Look at me!  Look at me!
Turn a deaf eye,
go blind to sound,
ignore the tumult.

If you close your eyes,
chant ohms in your head,
breathe in, breathe out,
you might find a way
to willingly suspend
your disbelief.


Barbra Nightingale’s poems have appeared in numerous poetry journals and anthologies, including Rattle, The Florida Review, Barrow Street, Sacramento Poetry Review, Kalliope, Southern Women’s Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The Mississipi Review, InterlitQ, The Eloquent Atheist, Many Mountains Moving, Narrative Magazine, City of Big Shoulders, The Liberal Media Made Me Do It, Sonnets Out of Sequence, and Tigertail: An Annual.  Alphalexia, her newest book just came out with Finishing Line Press (2017). Two Voices, One Past was a Runner Up in the 2010 Yellow Jacket Press Chapbook Award, and was published in September, 2010.  Geometry of Dreams (2009) a full-length collection of poetry was published in 2009 by Word Tech Press, Ohio.  She has six other collections of poetry, and a yet unpublished memoir, Husbands and Other Strangers.  She’s an Associate Editor with the South Florida Poetry Review, and a professor Emeritus from Broward College, and an advisor Emeritus with Phi Theta Kappa.  She lives and plays in Hollywood, Florida with her two and four-legged menagerie.