Wednesday 5 May 2021



                                       POETRY PACIFIC

     [2021 edition]

Cover Art: Concrete Painting by Mario Loprete

PP's Updated Call for Submissions




By submitting to PP, the submitter warrants that 
s/he alone has created the work s/he is submitting and that 
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whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly 
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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 annual anthology, 
due out on or around 5 May;

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

* sorry, this is not a paying market, (nor can we even afford to 
provide a complimentary copy to each contributor, )
but a publication for true lovers of words and wisdom;

Please send up to 5 of your best shortish 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 individual separate attachments;

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

Our response-time is four months though usually much shorter than that, &
only those accepted will get a reply;

* we do not require you to mention us as the first publisher of your work,
but your mentioning would be much appreciated;

Once accepted by PP, please allow at least two years/issues
before submitting new work to us

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


for book or poetry collection/chapbook manuscript submissions 
send us a brief description together 
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PP(10): Editor's Note

 dear All PP Patrons, 

hope this second annual edition of PP finds each and every one of you well and safe in this almost ever-lasting battle agasint covid-viruses!

good news for some authors: from now on, we are open to chapbook and full-lenth collection ms submissions year round. though we have no specific restrictions or "guidelines," a query (including a short proposal and literary cv) first would be greatly apreciated. 

another note to all submitters: while we are deeply grateful for your (continuing) support, please wait a three-month period, or at least two issues/years in the case of acceptance by PP, before submitting new work to us. 

most important: beginning from our next/2022 edition, we will change from an annual publication onlline to a yearly anthology in both and print form. as for this site, we will continue to maintain it but only for promotional purposes; that is, we will use this site mainly to sample the content of every anthology in the years to come. 

in this annual edition, we are honored to present 62 authors and 4 artists.

happy reading/viewing,

with all very best wishes for this trying time... 

- eds. at PP

5 Concrete Images by Mario Loprete


Bionote/Artist's Statement

I live in a world that I shape at my liking. I do this through virtual, pictorial, and sculptural movements, transferring my experiences and photographing reality through my mind’s filters. I have refined this process through years of research and experimentation.

Painting for me is my first love. An important, pure love. Creating a painting, starting from the spasmodic research of a concept with which I want to transmit my message this is the foundation of painting for me. The sculpture is my lover, my artistic betrayal to the painting that voluptuous and sensual lover that inspires different emotions which  strike prohibited chords.

This new series of concrete sculptures has been giving me more personal and professional satisfaction recently. How was it born? It was the result of an important investigation of my own work. I was looking for that special something I felt was missing.Looking back at my work over the past ten years, I understood that there was a certain semantic and semiotic logic “spoken” by my images, but the right support to valorize

their message was not there.

The reinforced cement, the concrete, was created two thousand years ago by the Romans. It tells a millennia-old story, one full of amphitheaters, bridges and roads that have conquered the ancient and modern world. Now, concrete is a synonym of modernity. Everywhere you go, you find a concrete wall: there’s the modern man in there. From Sydney to Vancouver, Oslo to Pretoria, this reinforced cement is present, and it is this presence which supports writers and enables them to express themselves.

The artistic question was an obvious one for me: if man brought art on the streets in order to make it accessible to everyone, why not bring the urban to galleries and museums? With respect to my painting process, when a painting has completely dried off, I brush it with a particular substance that not only manages to unite every color    and shade, but also gives my artwork the shininess and lucidity of a poster (like the ones we’ve all had hanging on our walls).

For my concrete sculptures, I use my personal clothing. Through my artistic process in which I use plaster, resin and cement, I transform these articles of clothing into artworks to hang. The intended effect is that my DNA and my memory remain inside the concrete, so that the person who looks at these sculptures is transformed into a type of postmodern archeologist, studying my work as urban artefacts.

Links to the socials

3 Poems by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang


Light pulls at the curtains with unsteady fingers,
the palsied hand of the morning after,
the bleary-eyed denial of dreams.

Morning with its small cries,
open-mouthed birds, the day
and its rattling hunger.

Shake out your dreams,
the hours you spent dead.
The baby is up, your nightgown dripping
with milk.

Leave-taking is this:
cleave yourself in two
what’s left is like love,
a heavy slumber, a blind bed-warmth
a half remembered ache
you tow behind you,
leaving a wake in the day.

Women who cry when they drive
"I held you for days in my heart, dear sad woman in the dark green Volvo"
--Sue Goyette

Haven't we all done it? Legions of women driving and weeping, alone
in that slim space of peace between where you were and where you'll be,

or who and what. And it's that road hum, I think, the tuneless breath of comfort
that reminds of us of our mothers, our backs bared to them, their hands soaping and

throats humming in the way that their whole bodies once did, for us,
the music of their rushing blood and breath, before we could know desire,

so complete were we then. And now, my friend, now on the long of the 115,
slender pines bathed in the tepid light of fall, passing them so that they drop

from view like needles, and my father ahead, wrapped in blankets, his bones
drying like kindling, the split sound of cancer, driving home to clean the gutters,

rake the leaves, bundle the logs into neat packages against the brick, cords
of wood unraveling into the fire.

Great Day for Ducks

A yellow slip of a day,
sunlight cocked at a jaunty angle,
the ducks mooning
us as we walk.

Headstands underwater, and
all summer my daughter
has demanded my feet in the air,
the waddled walk of hands
over thick mud, seaweed.

Now wind whips the first
leaves off the trees, a burlesque
of maples throwing us their
caterpillar-laced underwear.

How fine we are!
Tossing our youth into the air,
watching it fall,
like brittle leaves,
all around us.


Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of the poetry books Status Update (2013), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award and the Gerald Lampert award winning Sweet Devilry (2011). Her new book, Grappling Hook, is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press. She has been widely anthologized in such collections as Best Canadian Poetry 2013, Poet-to-Poet (2013), and the Newborn Anthology (2014). She is the editor of the poetry collection, Desperately Seeking Susans (2013) and the Poetry Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. Sarah currently works as the Director of English Communications for Poetry In Voice.

5 Poems by Koon Woon


Nostalgia – my most ready and dispensable currency, rain

Trickling down the windowpane and

The useless clock failing

To stop time as forty years came and went,

In this underheated room that

Always had been underheated.


I stare into deep translucent green not

Believing much of what I did


Like a priest confronting nature

For the first time.


And things could have happened


Though I won’t say water running uphill.

But the heart does pump blood to

The zenith of the head.

And let all hurts revert

To their primeval virgin



I met you then-

We were both swimming a

Turbulent river.

We barely had the strength

To say “hello,”

But there we were

Spending several Springs until Autumn fell

On us, and we parted before snow could

Pile on our heads.


We reached for the sky as

All young people do.

But the sky is always up there for

Aspirations and not for one’s



So we waited until

Memory graced us

Like second-hand clothing from

Salvation Army counters. And whatever

Slight inflictions we suffered

Had healed beyond the point of memory.


Now like a hologram you still

Come alive

Before me as my memory dives again


Into lost summers. Yes, living was dizzy then

As bees in a frenzy before honey-potent

Flowers. Life was indeed for our taking.


Now, however, between shaves, I grow

In years that bear witness to your absent

Hand stroking as you would a pale

Fire on its glow on the chin of your pet.


Between shaves, I have lost you

To the grottoes and grovels of the underground

Upon which the city was built

By nameless women and men,


As I ponder what to give you were you

In the flesh before me as I know myself now

By the repetition of meals.


In this underheated room with water running down

The windowpane, I conjure you again

In far fields when you were a spring blossom and we

Had danced to receive the sun.

And I had given you something three-leafed that was

Not a clover and it had startled you into magic.


Magic now is my defense against loss and memory.

It is the shield that I protect the memories

No currency can purchase, for they were

What you had given me to ease

Me through this temporal tunnel

That some call time itself.



Within the mist of the world,

my own mist of being,

as rain drops cling

to tips of branches.


Reluctant to let go

that ill-defined resignation,

as far hills chill my limbs,

that reluctance again!


This time inside my bones,

the knowledge I was never

the man I thought I was,

merely slate, I was,

and now, erased.



I am glad to be empty –

to hold nothing,

and to have nothing,



20 paces from the bus stop

I have lived in many rooms 20

paces from the bus stop,

where two men

stand back to back,

walk 10 paces, turn,

and shoot.


Pigeons disperse,

much insane laughter,

pigeons again flock

together the instant after,

in this neighborhood

of many dwellings

each with its own story.


I was merry a boy,

respectful of the law,

and in awe of higher education

that lead men to destinations

as the bus pulls up,

I realize I left my lunch.



What human business is best done at night,

when it costs candles to provide light?

And what military posture straight in the day

is best executed in the simplest way?


The heart without convolutions

will unthinkingly answer a midnight knock,

while, a heart coiled in the dark

is apprehensive of barking dogs.


“In a dark time the eye begins to see”

all the foul hearts on the ceiling above,

blacker than black, espousing brotherly love,

like adding white sugar to saccharine tea.


But brothers, all I need is a simple love,

as delivered by the feather of a single dove.

Then, I can turn the corner past midnight,

winning the war without a fight…


Apologies to Lorca

I am in a city without time

while the three friends ascend the green balustrade

to view from the balcony the changeless sea.


I am in a house without a number

where food & sex are being squeezed out of tubes

and sleep and meals come at unpredictable hours,

as deep beneath the green water

lie, fathoms deep, sunken Greek ships full of

corroding treasures.


Maria hides behind the purple curtains when

the three friends descend the balustrade

talking of white horses with black manes,

comparing the saddle to the mantle piece.


By & by came Lorca himself,

speaking sadly to his friends:

“Mocitoes, if I am able, this house is your house,

and your horse is my horse,

but I am no longer I & my house is no longer my house.”


The three friends bid the old man adios

and vanished in the Andalusian air.

Sadly from Maria's green, green eyes,

silver tears begin to flow

when the moon climbs further with the night.


I am now in a city without name,

as the three friends gallop from the high mountain pass,

headng to the water, where silvery streaks

in the moonlight tell again of sorrows, where on the beach

there is a note in a bottle

with the script of the Chinese Empress no one can read.


Leaving the bottle on the sand,

the three friends gallop now to another city,

another city without time,

as the waves undulant, undulant roll in,

and beneath these fathoms of green, green water,

lie sunken ships with useless corroding treasures.

A small water falls

There was a waterfall, wasn’t there?  

It numbered my childhood years in Guangzhou.  

To the outskirts of the city where

women hauled honey-buckets  

bokchoy grew as fast as bamboo.


Short pines dotted the landscape, the water was

cooler than insipid political discussions.  

The water continues to fall,

not seeking anyone’s permission,

but who would oppose water?  


Our school was on an outing.

Teachers related ghost stories  

under the kerosene light.  

We were too young to judge  

the veracity of those stories or  

to know how significantly  

it may be in our young lives to come.


We were scared, nevertheless, and

of course this is so.

Those fears remained until this day –  

That if you swim alone,  

the ghosts of boys drowned in those lakes

will pull you under,

like Icarus who drowned without notice.  


As memory can be jarred

by gunshots or something unpleasant,

in contrast, as immigrant to the Pacific Northwest,  

where the water is cooler  

but not less plentiful, I have new words for water,

“water,” or “H2O.”


New words still point to water, the democratic

designation of this vital fluid,  

where in the Delta they sang,

“I never missed my water  

‘til the day my well went dry…”


That small waterfall still looms

large in my memory. So there was

a certain leaping of water, over rocks

without tripping, and when I look back,

my back is to my future, but how delicious

was the little waterfall, the source that never ends

in giving.  


Born in a village near Canton, China, Koon Woon immigrated to Washington State in 1960. He earned a BA from Antioch University Seattle and studied at Fort Hays State University. He is the author of The Truth in Rented Rooms (Kaya, 1998), winner of a Josephine Miles Award from PEN Oakland, and Water Chasing Water (Kaya, 2013), winner of the 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. His poetry appears in Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry (1995), among others. Woon is the publisher of Goldfish Press and the literary magazine Chrysanthemum. He lives in Seattle.  

5 Poem-Postcards by Will Schmitz


5 Poems by Anna Yin


—to Qu Yuan

In no time summer solstice has arrived;
in a trance the Dragon Boat Festival follows.
My heart is wrapped by leaves of reeds,
unfolding then closing—
bittersweet and salt-sweat,
mixed flavors spread and spin.

Neither the rolling Yellow River
nor the green Miluo River appears;
in my dream, the craving and craved shadow
accompanies me all the way till dawn.

On my window, raindrops keep tapping;
whispers from winds heard far and near—
I ask how many verses could
survive erasure and sing eternally,
and how high waves could rise
after another drowning…

I see Wuchang fish fly
in the reflection of April willows,
tails white as snow
flashing like knives.

note: this poem won the first place for 3th Brooklin Poetry Annual Contest in 2020 August

The Woman within Her House

Around the doorway, you wander,
breathe in two languages.

Remembrance is a house
with front and back yards.

You want to add more windows.

Not for increasing its value,
nor to make it pretty.
Just because you live there.

The wind swings the door open—

shadows float in moonlight.

Someday you’ll get tired
and list the house for sale.

But somewhere else, behind a door,
whispers imitate languages.

Nobody knows where you have been—

the rain is like a curtain,
your face veiled.

note: this won second place for 12th Mattia Family International Poetry Contest in 2008


On our bed
we lie like flatfish.

Outside, stars grow older.

The moon, a white cocoon,
casts its image on the river.

In sparse shadows
a willow dangles.

Along the thorn fences
raspberries bleed.

They remember
once being the fire
drawing the moth
flapping its wings
to flames of love.

note: first appeared on Cha Magazine and it was nominated for Pushcart Prize in 2009

Still Life

A painting of fruit hangs
on the wall of our living room.
Morning sun seldom comes here.
Moon offers a drowsy face.

Awake at midnight,
I find my silhouette drifting
on the waiting apples.

I mourn for them,
no better than their succulence on a kitchen plate—
Either they face the knife
or wait to decay.

note: first appeared in Wings Toward Sunlight (Mosaic Press 2011) and was selected for Poetry in Transit – 2013-2014 and showcased on busses across Canada

My Father's Temple

When my father rebuilt his house,
on each stair he carved
his and my mother's names.
My father is not a superstitious or rich man,
with all of us grown up and living far away,
his narrow tall four-floor building
rose with our criticisms of its waste.
My father rolled his eyeballs, broke his silence:
“Find your own floor and stay longer.”
He winked at us,
“At least none would buy.”

My father's wisdom was defeated by the city plan.
Officers came along with bulldozers and demanded he leave.
My father climbed up to the roof, and refused to move.
Holding his camera, my father shot his last photo
among the knocked down neighborhood.

I received a copy of the photo in the local newspaper.
My father looked so small on the top of the ruins,
It was titled, “The Last Temple.”

note: first appeared in Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac (Black Moss Press 2015) and selected by the 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke as the poem of Sept, 2017 at The Parliamentary Poet Laureate site


Anna Yin was Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2015–2017) and has authored five collections of poetry. Her sixth book, Mirrors and Windows, will be published by Guernica Editions in 2021. Her poems and translations have appeared in ARC Poetry Magazine, the New York Times, China Daily, World Journal, and on CBC Radio. She has won several poetry awards and teaches Poetry Alive.

5 Poems by Allen Yuan

 Every Youthful Moment

Paving his own
Road, never backing

He does what he wants,
How he wants,
When he wants,
Making the light shine.

He has faith
The future
                                      He’s facing towards.

Enjoying the golden age,
Remembering every page,
Of his life,
Written or unwritten,
He gives it his all, hoping he will not
Every youthful moment.


While the iron
Is hot. Cheers
While we have
Wine to drink
Speak out aloud
While our throats
Are not cut yet
Keep eyes open while
The butterfly passes
In sight. Wait
While the best
Is yet to come
Water the flower
While it is still
Fresh & tender
Reserve a seat
Up in heaven
While the dream
Continues. Take
The Way, & feel
Happy while
Our hearts beat
With hope  

The Headline: An Other Creation List
            In this info-age, every posting is a new post of news.

Day one: Wall Street Crash
Day two: Wall Street Harsh
Day three: Wall Street Chars
Day four: Wall Street Cash
Day five: Wall Street Rash
Day six: Wall Street Ash
Day seven: Blackout for


Even in this very moment
                                                                           My mind is full
Of struggling presences

Such is
                              Always the case:
                                        The moment its door opens
It is infused with                                               whims & wishes

I stop to squeeze out
                                                           Each bubbling perception
            But it always returns           in a deformed form
                       To occupy the vacated room
                                                          Which has held part of me

You long to become mindful
                                                   Of a spiritual vacuum
                             Yet it never allows for
The briefest moment                                              of emptiness

Were I Ever Absent

                         All human d stances
                         Would be d_ stances
Were I absent
                        Noth ng
                        Could hold together even as a word
Were I absent
                       Ex stence
                       Would break right after an ex
Were I absent
                        L fe
                        Might turn out no more than a typo
Were I absent
                        T me
                        Would stop moving towards me
Were I absent
                        H story
                               Would become a h(ushed ?) story


Allen Yuan, author of Traffic Light, is a 2-time Pushcart and 2-time Best of the Net nominee. A co-editor of Poetry Pacific, Allen currently works as an accountant in Vancouver. 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.

5 Poems by Charles Portolano


Dancing where
the waves crash
singing your song
like a siren
out to the sea
daring the tide
to touch you
but the waves
lie down
at your feet
as your golden
skin soaks in
the warm rays
you stretch out
your young body
in the hot, sticky
white sand
breathing deep
under the staring
yellow sun
the waves undulate
across your view
as the tide
shyly kisses
your scarlet
red toenails
you lovingly laugh
having had
your way
with the waves
has heated up
the beach
now come home.                                                                    

Our Hurricane

Early in the morning
you reduce your room
to ruin
tossing your blankets
and pillows
off your bed
as you reel around
and around
like a whirlwind
rushing through
you grow giddy
by the moment
shattering the silence
with your laughter
thundering throughout
the peaceful house
you wreak havoc
on everything
found in your path
leaving the den
in a state
of devastation
with all your toys
scattered everywhere
you storm
into our bedroom
dizzy with excitement
whirling around and
around us
so we are forced
to rush
from our warm bed                                                    
out of fear for                                                            
the safety of our home.                                                          

The Sun Dance

We can focus again
on the fun of living
now that the long
reign of darkness
is finally over
and your pain
has been purged
freeing you from
your confinement
to stargaze
at the heavens
rigorously renewing
your great urge
to explore your world
finds you waiting
in the garden
for the green tomatoes
to turn red
only to run out
testing the limits
you take flight
dashing straight for
the dangerous street
laughing when caught
we circle around
and around together
daring to dance again
frolicking in overdrive
under the smiling sun
growing so strong.

The Garden

A sigh of relief quickly
flows from her
the moment she enters
its wonderful aura
reaches out to her
drawing her in
to protect her
saving her sanity
digging deep
into that hard ground
like a farmer
working the good earth
preparing to raise crops
she has great fun
in the open air
getting out
all that anger
laying out the beds
is good therapy
turning over topsoil
getting exercise
working off the stress
hanging loose
with the vegetables
waiting for her touch
knowing each day
she will care for them
cultivating a place
of peace with her
watching over them
growing so straight
under the summer sun.                                                          

In Another’s Shoes

If I could jump
right out of my skin
into the shoes
of another
to suddenly experience
the feelings
of another
whole new world
to see through
another’s eyes
a completely
different perspective
to learn of another’s
loves and hates
to know their fears
live with their doubts
their concerns
feel their pain
maybe I would be
not so quick
to judge others
as I walk
in their footsteps
down a different path
gaining insight into
a new way of being
making me grow
with the power
to appreciate
how much alike
we all really are
under the skin.


Charles Portolano is the Editor/Publisher of The Avocet, a Journal of Nature Poetry and The Weekly Avocet, every weekend.  He is the author of 7 collections of poetry and a chapbook with his daughter, Valerie.  These five poems are from his first collection of poetry, Inspired By Their Spirits, which has just been republished.

5 Poems by DeWitt Clinton



After Watching Cyclists Race Along the Lake Front, I Return

Home to Lie Down, and Nap with Chu Hsi’s “The Boats Are Afloat”

Last night two more men rise

To the surface of our Lake.

On Sunday afternoons, white sails

Dot the Lake’s far horizon.

In an inland lake, I swim just above

Weeds turning my head to sky, weeds, then sky.

Reading  “Spring Sun” by Chu Hsi on a Warm July Afternoon Near the Lake

After noshing on tuna with peas

We step out into our garden forest to check on

Our 30-foot-long pumpkin plant.

On these humid days

We’re grateful for breezes that may come our way.

Yesterday our Village almost floated

Away with more rain than ever

Before so we are all steaming.


On a Warm Summer Night I Stay Out in the Forest as Long

As I Can and Read Chu Hsi’s “The Farm by the Lake”

The only part of nature higher

Than us are the clouds

That float by each season.

We’ve seen almost

Every cloud in the book.

In our forest, we lean

Back in our lounge chairs

Cooling our lips with tea.

When we do have a

Full moon all our

Neighbors lean over our fence

And we forget, briefly, what woofs

Day and night behind our green crops.

We’ve said to each other how

Much we’d like to stay until

There’s nothing left of us.

There’s no place we’d really like

To visit more than this place.


After Reading the Morning’s News Near the Lake,

I Turn to Chu Hsi’s “Thoughts While Reading”

The 22-inch screen gleams back

At whom we are, reclined.

It’s a mirror of splendor

With dancers, murderers, chefs and “X-Files[1]”

All acting as special guests.

We’ve even learned how to save their future

In case we’re not here, now.

Summer storms often change our little stage to black.


[1] A once popular TV series that featured two F.B.I. agents who searched for paranormal activity and the possibility of an alien-human conspiracy, now in reruns.


Awake Before Anyone Walks Along the Lakefront

I Rise and Read “Morning” by Chu Shu Chen


Most of the time I’m up before

Even the birds know what’s up.

I barely recognize who’s who

With the ribs so prominent

Below the sinking face.

Water helps brings the body back

To where it was once

Before.  I shave the head, face

Then steam the old skin

I’m the first in our little kitchen

So I prepare food for loved ones.

I’m the first in our little kitchen
So I prepare food for loved ones.


Recent poems by DeWitt Clinton have appeared in Lowestoft Chronicle, The New Reader Review, The Bezine, The Poet by Day, Verse-Virtual, Poetry Hall, Muddy River Poetry Review, Across the Margin, Art + Literature Lab, One Magazine, Fudoki Magazine (England), and New Verse News.  He has two poetry collections from New Rivers Press, a recent collection of poems, At the End of the War, (Kelsay Books, 2018), and another is in production from Is A Rose Press, a collection of poetic adaptations of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese.

5 Poems by Edward L. Canavan

 1. now the night

a calming storm
to cleanse and replenish

singed wings
grounded flight

held in the safe grace
of distanced ease and
empty spaces

2. punchline

haunted by the dance of memory
how it maybe never was
but how i remember it

bombarded by entities of thought
tricks of the mind to light the fuse

crossed wires of hindsight and hindrance

second guesses thrice quadrupled
as doubt doubles down at every turn
and it often seems
the only one in on the joke
is me.

3. skulls and flowers

a barren landscape
of abandoned monuments
in a psychic city of doubt

this world behind my eyes

a magnificent graveyard
of shining darkness

mad with laughter
and the atrocious beauty
of every truth.

4. all good

precision extracted
wholly by accident

coincidence murmurs
destiny shouts

between a whisper and a scream
is fair game

this is what has been waiting
to be cracked open and laid bare

in the mellowed harsh
of every new day.

5. a spark in the dust

bled bone dry

grace my tomb with presence

there is no death here
only what is left of life

as somewhere
within the cracks
roots take hold

and fresh tendrils
bend toward the light


Edward L. Canavan is an American poet whose work has most recently been published in Harbinger Asylum, Cholla Needles, and Blue Lake Review. His first poetry collection entitled "Wreck Collection" was released by Cyberwit Press in March 2019. Edward's poems were featured as part of The Poetry of Place exhibit at South Pasadena City Hall Gallery in March 2020.    He is a native of the Bronx, NY and currently resides in North Hollywood, California.

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

 Between Yin & Yang: All Set to See

1/ Yin: The Mare in the Rain

Standing still on a huge rock
The pale horse holds its head high
As if it had been running fiercely
On a wild prairie, looking up afar
To the most distant mountain

Its eyes glittering as raindrops
Keep falling from heaven
Straightly down to hell, &
Water-carving its paleness
Into a demonic statue of history

2/ Yang: The Pause for (R)e.volution

Long long before long ago, Earth
Was originally set within a koru

Unfurling at every antlike moment
Directly towards the sun, until
Now it is too overloaded
With evil spirits & viruses

To continue revolution as it
    Tries to return to itself

Sonneting to the Other Side of Night

Since               yester twilight
Along              the borderline of darkness
With                fits of thirst & hunger
Among            storms of pain
Under              attacks of evil spirits & viruses
Between          interludes of insomnia
Beyond           both hope & expectation

At                    the depth of darkness
Amidst            the nightmare
Through          one tiny antlike moment
After               another…
Against           deadly despair
Until               awakening
To                   the first ray of dawn

All That Glitters

Is not just gold, but also the teeth chewing
The bitterness of life at twilight; the bones

Excavated from a lost civilisation; the roof
Tiles glazed with the rain of last night; &

The rock standing firm in the gurgling stream
The broken mirror in the debris of history; &

The disk hung like a scarecrow in the garden
The wings of a raven flying in the storm; &

The coal close to a furnace; the forehead
Of my late father in my dream; as well

As the scales of a fish jumping out of water
Against the starlight; the glacier protruding

From an unknown peak among Rocky Mountains
Or, the eye looking beyond the darkness of tonight  

Getting Along: A Bilingualcultural Poem

In Chinese, 朋友,恋人,& 爱人 are all
12-stroked characters, just as their counter-
Parts friend, couple & spouse are 6-lettered
Words in the imperial vocabulary of English

Though they are all underlined with human

Love and loyalty, the former entails twice
As much input or effort of the heart
As the latter to maintain a disparately
Similar humane relationship as a speech act

In Self-Isolation (against Covid-19): 

‘I Want to See You'

Says Bell to his assistant when he was making
The first human call over a telephone, ‘Not even

Your video, much less your picture,’ one of his
Descendants might echo. But it’s the authentic

Presence flowering out of your inner being
That can satisfy my skin hunger, allowing

Me to sniff at the space and time your body
Occupies, to inhale the same air released

From the grove along the stream that I want to
Look at, to be with you in a full contact sport

Of feel instead of a spectator one even though we can
Never make love on the one & same antlike timespot



Yuan Changming, 11-time Pushcart nominee and 9-time winner of poetry awards, is probably the world's most widely published contemporary poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes English. Growing up in an isolated Chinese village, Yuan started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age nineteen and authored several monographs on translation before leaving his native country as an international student. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan. Since mid-2005, Yuan has had poetry appear in more than 1,800 literary outlets across 46 countries, which include Best Canadian Poetry (2009, 2012, 2014), the Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-2017) & BestNewPoemsOnline. In 2021, Yuan published his first poetry collection in Chinese《袁昌明诗选》and served on the jury for Canada’s 44th National Magazine Awards (poetry category).

Poetry collections by Yuan Changming:

1. Chansons of a Chinaman [Paperback]. Murfreesboro, TN: Leaf Garden, 2009.
2. Landscaping [Paperback]. San Jacinto, CA: Flutter Press, 2013.
3. Mindscaping [e.chapbook]. Halifax: Fowlpox Press, 2014.
4. Origin of Letters [e.chapbook]. Beard of Bees Press (US), May 2015.
5. Kinship [Paperback] Seattle: Goldfish Press, May 2015.
6. Wordscaping [e. Chapbook]. Halifax: Fowlpox Press, 2016.
7. Dark Phantasms [Paperback]. San Jacinto, CA: Flutter Press, 2017.
8. East Idioms [e.chapbook]., 2019.
9. (R)e.volution [Paperback]. LA: the Wapshott Press, 2021.
10. 《袁昌明诗选》(Selected Poems of Yuan Changming: 2005-2020) [ edtion]. Vancouver, Poetry Pacific Press, 2021.

5 Poems by Ray Nayler

 Delinquencies: Poems from the Sonnet Cycle Subrevisions

At night the samelike houses take new forms—
the strange and brittle forms of seashells; pale
fantastic shapes. White in the mercury vapor-
lamp wave, trembling in shadow where the
night leaves shake. In our black hoods and darkest
jeans we prowl the weeknight streets. Backpacks
full of toilet-paper rolls, eggs, toothpaste.
We wrap commuter cars in cowls of white
and maypole trees in sleeping yards. Dogs bark.
We crouch behind a pyracantha hedge,
We leap a wall of cinderblock, take turns:
I egg a garage, you watch for cops.
We form at night, live bones. Humming, tided
by red hate, breaking windows, scarring homes.


These materials, they give in easily
to anger: the hollow doors fill up with holes,
the drywall lives in fear of teenage rage
that stalks the halls. Pot-metal locks break pins,
keys shear. Particle board leaves slivers in
the knuckles. Even cinderblocks, when hurled
into the street, will shatter. The neighbors hear
the volume rise in evenings, the buckled
window screens. The front doors slammed,
the runnings out into the yellow street.
The hiding in-between the portables
outside the school, carving in careful neat
letters your name. Dogs bark behind the chainlink,
crickets bleed off anger. A distant train.

We’re the only surfaces worth seeing
after all, where every half-assed building
prides itself primarily on being
at a convenience to some dull access road.
And so, the rat and heaving of our hairstyles,
the bloody painted tone of thin white lips.
Crouched beneath the eaves of graying theaters,
floods of midnight show faux Robert Smiths.
Inside, the scrum of shouting at the screen,
vodka-tainted drinks and toilet paper raining down.
The ceiling arched with muraled, crumbling nudes—
another age’s optimistic town,
where dead folks once took care to shine their shoes
before putting tongues in someone else’s mouth.

And even though the BART trains run right out
into the city past graffiti for an hour,
they run right back to isothermal streets,
to earthworms pale and drowned in early puddles.
And you count what the city night accreted:
some punk girl’s pollen on your hands, sore teeth,
light-streaks in a microbus back seat,
mouth on mouth under a Eucalyptus tree.
Her number scrawled in Sharpie down your forearm
and dead leaves milled by hipweight to your jeans.
Dawn: sidewalks studded with shoe-scrambled snails,
a mosh-pit ring-bruise yellow on your cheek,
in your best punk-rock t-shirt, stained with sweat,
on the bus bench smoking a last, crushed cigarette.

"I met a traveler from an antique land"
She says—this the third attempt to bring
the class's volume down. "Now some of you
think this is all a joke." She reads the next
line under her breath. I move my lips along
"Two vast and trunkless legs . . ." Her legs:
pearl-nyloned stems curved from the awkward rayon
dress. Neat ankles over naive saddle shoes.
I watch her form stretch long. Arms white as chalk
the cursive title on the board. She circles it.
The witching of youth and smile won't work on them.
Now summer's come, and no-one gives a shit.
I am Ozymandias, bored in class.
Look on my high school yearbook page, and laugh.


Ray was born in Saguenay River-Lac St. Jean region of Quebec and raised in California. His poetry has been published in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Weave, Juked, Able Muse, Sentence, Phantom Limb, and many other magazines. His short stories across many genres have been published in the Berkeley Fiction Review, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Cemetery Dance, Deathrealm, and Crimewave, among others. Ray is a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan. A Russian speaker, Ray has lived and worked in the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the former Soviet Union for over a decade. He is currently posted to Pristina, Kosovo where he is the Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy.


6 haiga by Lavana Kray



Lavana Kray is from Romania. She is passionate about writing and photography. Nature and the events of her life provide ideas and inspiration for writing. Her work  has been published in many print and online journals. She joined the United Haiku and Tanka Society, as Haiga Editor of its journal Cattails.

4 Poems by Ernie B


End of Day

When shadows creep

Into infinity

The sunset wind makes

Trees sigh and

Wave away the light and

Beckon it back I’m

Seeing two crones

Sitting on the sidewalk

Scratching lottery tickets

Wise enough to guess that


Is easier than winning


Autumn leaves earth-tone

Gems playthings of the

Wind that tosses them

Around till tiring of

The game drops them

Forgotten to the ground

Only to come back to

Kick them around some

Enraged by

The dying of the light


When wild winds

Howl when

Darkness swallows hope

Then tyrants tremble when

Children cry

From hunger

So I see

Footprints in the snow

Where do they go

Two pair go out

Three pair go back soon

Children cry with rage

Soon more

Footprints in the snow


Freeways drag me

Away from work then

Shove me

Into an empty house

Whose cluttered walls

Lie and

Say you’re still here

And echo my


That you would

Leave me

To run away with

Death my

New best friend


Ernie B was born in Portland, Oregon and has lived there (almost) all his life. You can reach him at

3 Poems by D. J. Tyrer

 A Visit to the Bank

Before, they always expected you
To remove scarves and helmets
To put your face on display.
Now, they look askance at you
When you don’t wear a face mask…

(Originally published in A Wuhan Whodunnit, Atlantean Publishing)


A dusty landscape
An image in beige and brown
Hungry for water
Cattle moving languidly
A bruised sky promises rain

(originally published in Tigershark ezine)

Fog & Sun

Bright sunny morning
Fog on the estuary
Strange dichotomy


D. J. Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing, and has been published in issues of California Quarterly, The Dawntreader, Haiku Journal, The Pen, and Tigershark, as well as releasing several chapbooks, including the critically acclaimed Our Story. The echapbook One Vision is available from Tigershark Publishing’s website. SuperTrump and A Wuhan Whodunnit are available to download from the Atlantean Publishing website. DJ Tyrer's website is at
The Atlantean Publishing website is at

3 Poems by Simon Perchik


It's the rope you carry from a cemetery

with the dead holding on as if the knot

would keep its shadow in place


let no one lift it from the ground

to blacken their teeth not to forget

why night became a night


covered the Earth and for the first time

as the word given it by the dying

who need certainty, who lose their way


when separated from each other, want

something to hold that is not s stone

would never let go their hand.



You reach for December, rip the page off

letting it lay crumpled on the wooden floor

side by side the days, hours, minutes


still shaking from the final week you tried

to bring them back to life as tears

 ̶ this calendar can no longer hide your grief


gives way from under the great weight

that turns snow to stone where each death

stays covered with a night


that never leaves the room except as cracks

loosened by just standing in front a wall

making do with what is left to let go.



Where this scaffolding ends

the emptiness faces a sea

rests on waves that long ago


dried as one breeze more

still smelling from salt

and thee lift-off that's now


impossible from the street below

though you rely on trees

as if for the last time each leaf


would soar branch to branch

see everything from above

 ̶ you reach for the ground


the way a roof is deserted

can go no further, relies

on corners and the afternoon


to fill the sky with its light

from tears trying to learn

how to dry, become pillars


on which everything is built

as nights that spill out

the breathing you no longer need.


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 Family of Man Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2021. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at . To view one of his interviews please follow this link

3 Poems by Lucas Zulu

 A Busy Ferry

Oh my heart where can you moored a dugout

      on the bank of your river? A bow

that can’t wait in the anchorage every moment

      you stretch your legs it slackens its grip

on you like a granny knot and gives itself to every

      tar when you turn back to the waterside,

its hull nowhere to be seen in the moorage, as if

      it’s not your pleasure boat and you won’t

 say it has no spine and often acts like a busy ferry

      in your brief absence going back and forth

chasing a soul mate like a bee running after a nectar.



It seem like that night you would die childless

         when the morning came, you were heavy with hope

even though, it seem like no stone would sprout from your womb,

                tears spilled from your iris, you looked forward

and faced the deadly consequence bravely

                    so strong enough to rise from your cold ashes,

from your history I learn to forgive,

from your wreckages I learn to appreciate the olive branch,

from your ache I learn to loathe war.


Peace lily

Peace lily, a gentle flower I admire

her serenity in the midst of so much chaos

always troubled by a reek of violence. The smell

that spells more trouble and gives a big clap of thunder

to pinch a piece of joy and a peace of mind. As her lily-white

clashes with rubicund. She’s more zephyr than a whirlwind

and bring a sun to people’s faces and always oozes forgiveness

her presence commands respect, it doesn’t kill her to apologize,

perhaps that’s what keeps her calm. She never bears any grudge

against any wasp that stung her and knows deep down the bees

that pricked her peace with needles and pins thinking it’s a balloon

she won’t burst. She’s got the muscle to dissolve any growing tensions.


Lucas Zulu poet, editor and publisher currently compiling An Anthology of Transportation Poems, Tarifi Pess, South Africa. His work is widely published in Africa as well as in United States of America, United Kingdom, and India you can write to him at

3 Poems by Louis Gallo



And I don’t believe precisely because
It’s absurd, because the rational mind
Forbids it.  How absurd is that,
One preposterous as the other?
I’ll change my mind tomorrow of course
Since absurdity is a two-way street
With no stop signs or red lights

Or runaway truck ramps.


            You wouldn't want these old secrets,
            dulled by their own patina of sorrow and deceit,
            unearthed by prim young technicians who employ
            not divining rod nor hunch nor pure love,
            like mad Schliemann hungering toward the tomb
            of Priam, but the cool precision of gauges
            and instruments which can extract voltage from pain:
            you want them excavated by craven fool, traitor,
            whiskey priest, whore and whore-monger, fallen angel,
            trustees of whatever quivers in midnight sweats--
            the slit wrist, empty bottles of booze and pills,
            gas leaking from unlit ovens--
            you want a custodian of secrets like yourself,
            knowing in your blood that instruments
            tell far greater and more beautiful lies,
            measure only what can be measured,
            will never glimpse the real Jerusalem
            where flowers bloom when gazed upon
            and you breathe not air but cream
            and no amount of money or pleasure
            can ever change your mind.
                     VIEW WITH A ROOM
                      I stare from my office window
                      at the fiery, brazen rectangle
                      of world, this official view
                      glowing with insane leaves
                      of autumn.
                                  A girl in blue jeans
                      slouches on a bench under one
                      of the blood red trees.  Gold
                      seeps out of her braided hair.
                      She reads a book and does not
                      notice me noticing her.
                                  May her book be of love
                      and magic, the fate of man,
                      man evolving into soul,
                      poetic but whole,
                      mathematical, deeply comic
                      yet sad as the sea.
                                     May it prompt her
                      to turn and smile at me,
                      come washing through my window
                      with the sudsy light.          


Three volumes of Louis Gallo’s poetry, Archaeology, Scherzo Furiant and Clearing the Attic, are now available.  Three forthcoming volumes, Crash, Why is there Something Rather than Nothing? and Leeway & Advent, will be published in the near future.  His work will appear in Best Short Fiction 2020 forthcoming. A novella, “The Art Deco Lung,” will be published in Storylandia.  His work has appeared or will shortly appear in Wide Awake in the Pelican State (LSU anthology), Southern Literary Review, Fiction Fix, Glimmer Train, Hollins Critic,, Rattle, Southern Quarterly, Litro, New Orleans Review, Xavier Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Texas Review, Baltimore Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Ledge, storySouth,  Houston Literary Review, Tampa Review, Raving Dove, The Journal (Ohio), Greensboro Review, and many others.  Chapbooks include The Truth Changes, The Abomination of Fascination, Status Updates and The Ten Most Important Questions. He is the founding editor of the now defunct journals, The Barataria Review and Books:  A New Orleans Review.  His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times. He is the recipient of an NEA grant for fiction.  He teaches at Radford University in Radford, Virginia.

3 Poems by Joris Soeding

 Darkening Grant Park

I desired to reach

and hold her small feet

—a nearby stranger’s

rather the night had three stars

and decreased traffic swallowed

the first summer’s wind

its tongues indecisive

at their gasps

Cleaving to this Considered

I can’t remember recent days where I didn’t run from rain

but that only lasts for so many hours


the sweet of wetness prolonged by red cedars

faraway tops of trees, fog

planes and a patient swivel until breaking water for merely arrival


I already familiar with the afternoon orchestra

and not because of past lives


storming soon lost among mountains

it is time

to walk in this unusual drowsiness

Howard and Sheridan

This is what a rainstorm is like

arriving in segments

I’ve even forgotten the splintering

it makes on rooftops

this is what it’s like to have someone

at the side of hands

to have us be the last awake

our chests lit by lightning

and the Marathon gas station

this is too late for criminals

yet the birds have settled on song

this is the blue before sunrise

the moments of being able to only see

last waves from Michigan to concrete

the drops, the mud, the touch

our acting as puzzles

and this walk to another train station

this is what feeling is on a Friday morning

this is breathing without music


Joris Soeding’s most recent collections of poetry are Forty (Rinky Dink Press, 2019) and Home in Nine Moons (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, 2018). Soeding’s writing has appeared in publications such as Another Chicago Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Concho River Review, and Red River Review. He is a 7th/8th grade Social Studies teacher in Chicago, where he resides with his wife, son, and daughter.

3 Poems by Geri Gale

 From One Night to the Next

(After reading a line from an E. E. Cummings poem:
“I who have died am alive again today”)

I die and reborn every day

people say I live for one death

yet I die and die every day

from one night to the next.


Memory slants everything

like a crab moving forward

and backward in its shell.


The death and

the undeath of me—

my first breath

a separation

my second breath


my third breath


my fourth breath



After many days

of hanging on

to life I am tired

of the furious men

spilling their fury

all over my land.


Between one form
of death and another

people are haunted

crystals of hurt

corridors of hurry

hurry time passing

lethal to the left

lifegiving to the right

hate curdled in their past.

A Leopard in My Ravenna-Bryant Neighborhood

On my walk in the neighborhood

a walk walked a hundred thousand times

a route where I believe I’ve seen

everything there is left to see

I see something never seen before.

A crow on top of a jungle gym.

How could I have missed it?

How do we miss these startling things?


On my walk to my bed

a walk walked a million times

a passage where I’ve seen

everything close to me

I see something never seen before.

A spider crawling out of a crack in the wall.

How could I have missed it?

How do we miss these shattering things?


On my walk to my grave

a walk walked many a nighttime

a cemetery where I’ve seen

chaos conflict decay death

everything I’m supposed to see

I see something never seen before.

A leopard sitting atop a stone slab luring me.

How could I have missed her?

How do we miss these spotted savage things?


Geri Gale’s award-winning books include: Patrice: a poemella (2015 Silver IPPY Award: GLBT Fiction, Independent Publisher Book) and Alex: The Double-Rescue Dog (2016 National Indie Excellence Award, Picture Book, Finalist); and Waiting: prosepoems (Dancing Girl Press). She is also a 2016 Moth StorySLAM winner and performed in the Moth Seattle Grand Slam. Currently she works as a copyeditor at Starbucks Creative Studio and writes and draws at night and on weekends. Kirkus Reviews wrote of her debut book Patrice: a poemella—“An intense, sumptuous prose-poetry exploration of inspiration, sacrifice and art. A baroque, sensual tour de force that elevates art above all else.” Her poetry and prose have appeared in Sinister Wisdom, South Loop Review: Creative Nonfiction + Art, Bayou Magazine, Under the Sun, Raven Chronicles, Sunday Ink, Otoliths, and the Canadian Jewish Outlook.

3 Poems by Joseph Farley

 Yellow Brick Pilgrim

I kneel in the cornfield
at the feet of the scarecrow
seeking forgiveness
and directions to Oz.

Let the trees throw apples,
and monkeys descend from the sky.
I shall suffer all calamities
on the route to find God,

and if he turns out
to be some fraud in a suit,
should I complain,
or applaud this fantasy

for weaving strange beauty
into a world more bleak
without the willing
suspension of disbelief.


Someone always has to be the canary,
singing of danger in the depths of the mine.
No one listens, they just complain about the noise,
or threaten to ring your scrawny neck.
You will always be a nuisance while you live,
but when die, oh, when you die,
then all who work in that dark shaft
will tremble.

Seeking the Golden Bird

There is what you want,
and there is what you settle for,
the bird you try to catch,
and the one that wind up
in your hands.

One may have borne you
on its back,
across seas and summer fields
to its eyrie
in the peaks of your desire.

The other, well,
it sits there,
and maybe gives you eggs,
or just turds,
but it is yours,
to feed and care for,

or pluck and eat,
if you think you are
still brave and nimble enough
to grab golden feathers
in the wind.


Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory from 1986-2010. His poetry books and chapbooks include Suckers, Longing for the Mother Tongue and Her Eyes. His fiction works include For the Birds and Labor Day (Peasantry Press). His work has recently appeared in Big Windows, Lummox, US 1 Worksheets, Horror Sleaze Trash and other places.

5 Photos by Carl Scharwath




Carl Scharwath, has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography (His photography was featured on the cover of 6 literary journals.) Two poetry books 'Journey To Become Forgotten' (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and 'Abandoned' (ScarsTv) have been published. His first photography book was recently published by Praxis. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, poetry editor for TL Publishing Group, a competitive runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.