Friday 5 May 2023

Poetry Pacific (Vol.12): Cover Art



        [Vol. 12, 2023 edition]

Cover Art by Doug Johnson: Mother Teresa- Pray Today
Offering her services to the dying she let us all know how much more we could do for peace 
when it seems that there is no hope.

Editor's Notes / Call for Submissions

 dear All PP Patrons, 


as the covid-19 pandemic situation improves, we hope this fourth annual edition of PP finds every one of you well and happy in the springtime, a season much more pleasant in most parts of this virus/war-plagued world!


this year, we are returning to our former format: statistics show that website publication or e.anthology has much more readerly exposure than the print form only, or the mixed print-online format we experimented with for our 2022 edition. Technically, some of our readers have kindly suggested we purchase a domain and upgrade or professionalize our website, but we are committed to our blog-based model, since all the content would be totally lost once the domain is not maintained fiancially or personally. In other words, to maximize our exposure and keep our content permanently online (with google of course), we will row our little boat ahead in our preferred way. With no financial support from either government or individuals, we believe that "true lovers of words and wisdom" understand why we don't hire professionals to beautify our web presentations. As Shakespeare and an ancient Chinese proverb have put it: “good wine needs no bush."

we're aware that many submitters pay no attention to our 'guidelines' or suggestions, but mainly for spam and technical concerns, we insist they send their textual content - both their poems and bio notes - in the body of their emails. Unless we ask for them, we will delete all emails with attachments unread, except visual artworks.  

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

One last point: we never send any "reject"emails. So, whoever receives no response within 12 weeks after sending their work our way, please feel encouraged to explore other publication opportunities, which are widely available out there.  


in this annual edition, we are honored to present 68 authors and 5 artists.

happy poetrying/picturing,


with all best wishes for the better yet to come... 

- eds. at PP



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 visual artworks are carefully read/viewed 
year round on a rolling basis 
for an anuunal e.edition, 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,  
but a literary project as a labor of love
presented to 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 
(Textual subs with attachments will automatically be deleted unread)
But send up to 10 visual artworks each in a separate attachment

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

Our response-time is three 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 
with a literary tv or professional bio

Basic Guidelines for Preparing a Manuscript

1.     Proofread everything carefully to make sure there are no typos, misspellings or improper uses of capitalization & punctuation marks.
2.     Single-space all the textual content;
3.     Stick to the same font, preferably ‘times new roman’ (12) for sake of conformity;
4.     Use font sizes (for titles or sub-titles), italics, boldface, underlines in a consistent and conventional fashion;
5.     Provide a cover image/photo in a separate file, if any;
6.     Include no more than 5 high-resolution illustrations (images/photos) for a chapbook, 10 for a full-length book, whose sizes should be less than 3/5 of a standard doc page (11x8.5 inches);
7.     Provide a ‘devotion page’  (optional);
8.     Provide a ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘attribution list’ page (work title, followed by publication name, & date/issue number if any);
9.     Provide a ‘table of contents’;
10.   Paginate the text of the (chap)book beginning from the first poem or first page of the prosework;
11.    Provide an ‘author page’;
12.     Provide 3 to 5 blurbs (optional)

Note: failure to comply with the above or provide a camera/print-ready ms would result in eventual termination of the publication process.


friendly back link:: Cave Moon Press

5 Poems by Scott Owens


I want to be used up by life,
all resources expended,
all reserves exhausted,
thistle picked clean,
river run dry.
I want to work to the last
minute at making and giving,
and take nothing with me.

After my last breath,
if there is anything left
unused, I’ll feel I’ve failed,
and will only be saved by those
who need what I have
coming to carry it away.

Looking for Faces in the Night Sky

These are things anyone could have made
up. The stars are nothing but stars,
and playing dot-to-dot in the night
sky makes anything possible.
Years ago from the stone porch
my grandfather pointed them out:
the lion, the great bear, the hunter’s sword.
This one he called Mary and showed me
how the stars made a woman’s face.

Looking for faces in the night sky
we string stars into shapes of things
we fear or long to remember.
I see spider, sparrowhawk, bobwhite.
This one I’ll call woman becoming
an angel, the grotesque buds of wings
sprouting in her back.


The old oak
has lost
more leaves
than most,
has learned
to let
more light
shine through.

Yes Motherfucker

So there was this squirrel-necked
four-eyed motherfucker who said I
shouldn’t use the word motherfucker
in a poem because it might offend
all the mothers who might not
to mention all the fuckers who
might not knowing any better
choose to read the poem and I
said yes but it expresses just
the sort of feeling I was feeling
towards the motherfucker in the poem
when I wrote the poem and he said yes
but certainly there are other
words that mean the same thing
that you could use and aren’t
you really just using the word
motherfucker just because it is
the word motherfucker and I said
yes and oh by the way
when I use the word yes
I use the word yes just because
it is the word yes, motherfucker.

Common Ground

My brother has never kept a single lake,
a single lost grave to himself.
Always he calls, then waits until I
can come, lets me lead the way,
find it like the first time,
proclaiming the names I know, the shapes
of bird and stone, cloud and tree.

Once in the same day I saw
a kestrel, a mantis, an arrowhead
and took it as a sign, though since
I have seen each in their own days
and miles away from each other.

I do not believe God will bend
to kiss this mouth. I do not believe
the wine will turn to blood. But something
knows the moment of sunflower,
the time of crow’s open wing,
the span of moss growing on rock,
and water washing it away.

In the pictures I remember, there is you
letting me stand on the fallen tree
as if it were mine. There is you
letting my arm rest on top of yours
around our mother. There is you
lifting me up to the limb I couldn’t reach.

This is the faith I’ve wanted, to know,
that even now we are capable of such
sacrifice, such willingness to love.


Scott Owens is the author of 18 collections of poetry and recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the NC Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC. His poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac 8 times, and his articles about writing poetry have been used in Poet’s Market 4 times. Owens holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. He is Professor of Poetry at Lenoir Rhyne University, and former editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review and Southern Poetry Review. He owns and operates Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse and Gallery and coordinates Poetry Hickory in Hickory, NC.

6 Paintings by Doug Johnson

Malala: Don't Ignore Us

20" x 28" image

Pen and Ink on Paper


Santana's Sacred Fire

30" x 40"

Oil on Canvas-2017


Juan Rulfo

"10.5 x 14.5"

Pen and Ink on Paper



28" x 20"

Pen and Ink on Paper- 2016

NFS-Private Collection

LiBiFeng: Invisible Walls, Whose Walls?

27" by 20"

Pen and Ink on Paper


10,000 Caras son Uno

26" x 33"

Pen and Ink on Paper- 2015


Artist's Statement:

Peace + Art = Pazarte.

Creating art and creating peace both bring about a new vision. Mandela knew that. Gandhi knew that. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., knew that. Malala knows that. Pazarte is a project to celebrate the leaders of peace in our time, by illustrating their person and power through art. This site also celebrates and illustrates the peace brought about by humans balancing their role in nature.

Doug Johnson is an artist, composer, writer and publisher that loves to collaborate. These pieces have shown nationally as of late, and the series follows his internationally acclaimed mentor, Alfredo Arreguin, who has his own pieces in the Smithsonian, honoring the Civil Rights Movement. This entire collection is the Sombra de Arreguin series. A portion of each sale goes toward a specific non-profit that helps bring peace. Malala to Malala's Fund. Carlos Santana to the Milagro Foundation. You get the idea.

Stay tuned for a book from Cave Moon Press to help a fellow artist Christie Tirado

Contact pazarteproject[at] for more information on projects, commissions and sales.


Doug Johnson is a polymath and member of American Mensa, who chose to apply his gifts in the arts and teaching. In his 32nd year as a public educator, he remains a high school English teacher while running a literary press to "Make the World a Better Place One Book at a Time." Cave Moon Press continues to publish books aimed at museums, universities, poets and children to advance causes for peace. Besides the art pieces you see here you can Google his other projects at Cave Moon Press and Cave Moon Productions. Please contact him for collaboration opportunities at cavemoonpress[at]

5 Poems by Tim Peeler

One Tin Soldier

I’ve thought an awful lot
About white rimmed shades
On a biker’s round face
With circular facial hair
How much the camera
Asked us to hate him
Displaying his bastardy
How clean how perfect
They broke when Billy Jack
Shot him between the eyes
With a thirty-eight
How the blood waited
Seconds before it fountained
Over the handle bars
Of his Harley-Davidson
I thought a lot about
His evil bully smile
How the bad guys
Are always surprised

By their demise.

Flash Flood

It was raining harder than he’d ever seen and he was an old man and he’d seen a lot of rain. He heard it hit the cabin’s metal roof and saw it rush right across the gutters, pounding the deck. He saw little waterfalls splashing down the twenty steps to the driveway, but it was workout morning and he would drive the twenty miles there and sit in the hot tub, and he would walk a little and lift some weight, a lot of weight for a man his age, and he would talk to his retiree buddies, and they would watch the young women on the elliptical runners and the treadmills, or he might walk into the aerobic room and move in time to the party music for a few minutes. Then he would grab some fresh towels and head for the sauna because Dr. Oz said that was the best way for a man of his age to end his workout.

When he backed the Jetta out of the drive, his dog chased him again, but he didn’t feel like reaching into the back floorboard for the ammonia spray, so he drove on up the hill with her following till he reached thirty mph. The rain had slacked some as he drove past the road that cut off toward the emerald mine and headed through the little town with its one stoplight, store and post office. Then he was on open road descending the several miles to the river and the eighty year old dam that held back the river and created real estate for the doctors and dentists and mill owners and such. He tried to listen to Rush Limbaugh who was talking endlessly about the radio conglomerate that was trying to screw him and how his show would be stronger in the end. He knew this was true because Rush was the only person in the media who had the guts to tell the unvarnished truth. He could count on Rush even when he couldn’t count on himself or when he felt himself slipping in some way.

But this morning he was having trouble hearing Rush because the rain had caught another gear, and it was raining harder and harder the farther south he drove. Finally he crossed the river, and the 28 foot gates were wide open near the top, water gushing through like madness. And the local radio interrupted Rush to give a flash flood warning. All this happened as he slowed to 20 mph. The water came across his car, endless waves of it, and he could barely see. There was nowhere to pull over and he was sure he’d make it anyway. He always did. Water surged down the hill toward his car, but the Jetta stuck to the road, and he continued forward. He was almost to the first turn off though he was fighting for visibility since the wipers could not keep up with the deluge. Rush was talking about Trayvon Martin again, and he tried to listen even as the car fish tailed a bit as he crested the hill.

Suddenly another car came flying around him, traveling 50 or more with no lights on. He watched it in disbelief. How could anybody be that stupid and be that much of an asshole, he thought. As he was thinking that, the car began to turn right into the cut through road , hydroplaned in two spectacular circles and flipped into the ditch. He pulled left of it when he turned, then refixed himself in the right lane. The rain was even more furious and he wasn’t about to stop for that speeding asshole. Rush was talking about how George Zimmerman should be treated as an American hero, and he knew that was right. He checked to make sure he had his pistol in his pants pocket and he did. He always did. You never knew what might happen out here. Rush was calling Trayvon a drug head and a thug and a poor representative of his race. He knew this was true just as he knew there were worse things out there than flash floods and assholes turned upside down in ditches. And though he hadn’t done it in a very long time, he said a quick prayer thanking God for not making him an asshole.

Hoe Boy Pauses on the Lawnmower

He is thinking of silos
beside long dirt roads,
mountainside creeks
where gold might lie,
guiding a bull's powerful
shoulders, pasture to pen,
the first time he wore
football pads, leaned into
a stance and locked
a scared boy's eyes,
moonlight through the
Torino's window,
soft white flesh of the first
girl he thought was the one,
a beach song he never forgot
even after college turned him,
these lonely unplowed fields,
wind ticking winter grass.


The dead people are really quiet tonight,
Ice having coated the brown grass and stones,
And dying just a kind of freezing.
Their fights have never been more finished,
Their votes never more counted and finalized.
Both murdered and murderers remain silent.
The long flat road that runs by the cemetery
Is empty, the living hunkered in their homes.
Young women are confident, young men still
Angry, it is night and the children are hiding

Or dreaming frozen dreams of muffled screams.


Tim Peeler is a retired educator from western North Carolina. He is a winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature. He has authored twenty books including fifteen books of poetry and four regional baseball histories. His poems have been anthologized by Time/Life Books, Simon and Schuster, and University of Southern Illinois Press, and have been used in an HBO documentary.

5 Poems by Don Kingfisher Campbell


Why can’t I walk
On this pebbly dirt

Why can’t I traipse
Up rocky brown slopes

Why can’t I climb
Ridge by ridge plateau

Just because it is too far
To reach without a ship

Just because there’s not
Enough money for a mission

Just because I will be dead
Before an expedition leaves

At least I can enjoy the robot
Photographs from the rover

And without hesitation believe
I am seeing familiar earth

Minus plants, animals… now
Sporting human-made debris

Joshua Tree Trip

smiles in the car
two hours later arrive
petroglyphs on rocks

balance ourselves beside
boulders that dwarf us
we stroll hand-in-hand

past the many arms
of Joshua, single-fingered
Yucca, sit on stone “benches”

view Coachella Valley vista
Palm Springs tiny buildings
haze over Salton Sea

San Andreas Fault
pose with peaks
climb edges, bark

at the bluest sky
while nature’s personalities
show in formation

volcanic birthplace
rising and defeated limbs
perform poetry to space

Buddha-like mountains
silent sentinels patiently
outlast manmade windmills

Sunny Vale

Morning ball of fire rises
creating light blue sky

Black crow in tree branch caws
to the still high half moon

Air hugs the sides of passersby
whether car or man
on this asphalt river

Sidewalk banks decorated
with green oaks and bonsai bushes

They front each wooden box
where parked metal eggs rest
ready to convey via circular rubber

The small stick-like vertical beings
dressed like the flowers scattered
like ornaments through civilization

This Must Be Heaven

Everyone who doesn’t live
in LA says we’re the city
of lost angels. But for those
of us who drive we believe
our pathways are populated
by individuals in heavy armor
zagging about directing with
pulsing hands and shoes
changing speed inside

carpeted compartments that move
from home to driving interest.
That is what trunks are for,
to collect booty for placement
back in our shrines to ourselves.
Open any door and discover
placed portraits of souls on
display waiting for judgment
or earthquake. Either way

tangible detritus left behind
seem to wait for our return.
That is our faith, that we will
live to breathe another day
full of possessions which we
know will ultimately break
like bodies. This must be
true for any place wealthy
enough to have wings for sale.


My silver Saturn was parked in late afternoon shade, curbside on my street. But the sun did hit the orange Lakers antenna ball on my car aerial as if it were a perfect example of a planetary sphere suspended from a wand, complete with textbook shadow. Only, it didn't seem to rotate, like a planet would, and there were no visible life forms from this distance, as I observed simple perfection from the sidewalk, a relative forty million miles away. Not an inkling of embossed basketball lineage or hint of logo, until I went to open the front passenger door to pick up my little black journal, tucked away from plain sight at this angle, on the rear bench seat.


Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, taught Writers Seminar at Occidental College Upward Bound for 36 years, been a coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud, a performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, L.A. Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The Schools, poetry editor of the Angel City Review, publisher of Spectrum magazine, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For awards, features, and publication credits, please go to:

4 Collages by Kathy Bruce for 2024



The Whole Earth and Sky is the World



I am passionate about creating collages that have the potential to generate a public awareness of our relationship as humans to the natural world. What interests me is the way in which female figures correspond to structures in Nature: botanicals, trees, and landscape. This can manifest itself either internally or externally in the form of patterns, fashion, or metaphorical context to reveal the subtle yet enchanting similarities between the inner life of plants, trees and humans.

The works submitted here represent collages exploring the relationship between women, plants and nature.


Kathy Bruce’s collages explore archetypal female and mythological forms within the context of poetry, literature and the natural environment. She is based in Upstate New York and Argyll & Bute Scotland.
She has exhibited in the US, UK and internationally including Senegal, Taiwan, France, Denmark, Peru and Canada. Her work has appeared in Three Rooms Press, The Vassar Review, Alchemy Literary Magazine, Open Minds Quarterly Journal, The Perch, Yale University School of Medicine, The New Southern Fugitives, Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Ignition literary Journal, The Variant Literature, Landlocked Literary Magazine, The Rejoiner, The Brooklyn Review, Twyckenham Notes, The Porter House Review, Pushing Out the Boat, and The U.S. National Women’s History Museum Journal project.

5 Poems by Koon Woon


Heart – my most hurt.
Missing – my most you.

Is this moon the same moon?
This wilderness the same wilderness
where I left you many immigrant
years ago?

Butterflies, dragonflies, and a “noiseless,
patient spider” inhabit my verse,
as I spin out love for you,
while the muddy Pearl empties into South China Sea.

My heart was left behind in the village yard and
I will come back to answer its thumping call,
will come back for you and the succulent
lychee fruit, will consummate together
its juice and meat.

The Essentialist Story

This is a peanut butter sandwich day –
that kind of day, yes,
and let the marshmallows roast in the beach-
combing fire – the sweet sugary smell.
See the kelp and the seaweed,
among other heroes in the sand,
laying bare the mysteries of the sea.

The sea – whence you came;
the sea - where you return - when
all turmoil and tribulation are past,
and the brief breast-beating ceases too;
we were all young once.

The essential mistakes that we made
have propelled us along the coastline –
the fractals, your battered guitar, the 68 Plymouth,
fishing rod and reel, a clam shovel, and all the hits
on the radio – we were traveling, we were going somewhere.

The essential error was that we were all traveling –
going somewhere, but that was the saving grace too.
We were too young to know that fix-points were everywhere.

Brick by Brick

Sixty years ago now,
are you still counting your village
brick by brick, flower by flower, and bee by bee?

The house you were born in has collapsed,
your district is different now on the map,
even your mind is not the same;
you have learned, trick by trick.
You know now Dick, Jane,
their children; Hank and Elaine.

Forget about the old Tao;
the new Dow is loss and gain.
Forget about sunflowers;
don’t recall the muddy monsoons.
Think soy futures, hog bellies,
high towers and real estate.
Let bamboo thickets and wine vats lay in ruins.

The arms that rocked you,
now dead and buried without a tune.
The hands that guided you across the village yards,
gnarled now without social parts.
You can’t go back in time
to whistle archaic rimes,
absolutely or in space age time.

Wipe that grimace from memory.
It was a trick you played on yourself
that haunted you through the years.
Truly, the pigs never liked the slop,
roosters didn’t parade their tails,
but cicadas on tree tops
did buzz like alarm clocks.
You still can hurry so as not to miss your

The Four Modalities

Always wishing the world was something
else, aren’t you?
The world is the world and it consists
of these things:
Rain, Snow, Sun, and Night.
Nothing more to worry about.

Rain pours like salt and you need it.
Snow needs plowing and you got the job.
Sun, ha! We have one and that’s enough.
And Night, night is when you cry.

When they shut you out in the rain,
something you don’t want to forget,
drenched, you go
where they think better of you.

Snow is a bit flaky, covering the world
in forgetfulness where battles have been fought
and men slain. In the vast white field,
human appendages stick out.

And sun, we love its warmth,
but it kills too, baking the mud
and boiling the water away.

Night is fearsome; no one can hold it back.
Go gentle into it,
regardless what invisible
Black Hand of Night
had tossed the die.

The Rails
- For Hai Zi (Zha Haisheng), 1964 - 1989

Hear the rails hum, my little hobo;
hear the lullaby of wind.
Go to sleep, my little hobo;
breathe the brevity of wind.

Hear the rails hum, my little hobo as
something colossal galvanizes the land.
As I lift my pen, little hobo, iron monsters
begin tearing our last pockets of land.

We have lain the tracks; we’ve lain
them as straight as we can, and so
go to sleep, my little hobo, as I listen
for your words carried by the wind.

The wind accosts us but we cannot talk back.
It is not for us to know we know.
So, go to sleep, my little hobo, let your
unending dreams be carried by the wind.


China-born Chinese-American poet Koon Woon is the recipient of a Pen Oakland Award and an American Book Award with his two poetry collections published by Kaya Press (

5 Poems by RC deWinter


He is a priest in a private congregation,
carrying coalblack calling cards –
no words on either side –
in a coalblack card case in the chest pocket
of his coalblack overcoat.
But under the right light, all is revealed:
the intricacies of his mind,
his byzantine cache of secrets,
his deepest desires.
You won't be able to see these things, but I will.
I am that light, carried in a hidden pocket:
the mirror of memory, illuminating this man
so carefully concealed from the world.
When he needs to remember,
when he needs to feel,
when he needs to weep.

fair trade

darkness spills out of you
ink from a neverending well
when you touch me
will my skin be stained
with the blueblack
birthmark of pain?

i have my own striations
crisscrossing my body
filaments that carry
memories of a thousand cuts
mistakes of my own making

perhaps your ink
will cool me
perhaps absorbing
your pain will serve
to cancel mine
it would be nice
to suffer knowing
it was not my fault


i suffer from the inverse of sad
i slip so easily into woolly fog
safe behind grayness
i revel in bucketing rain
washed clean in skywater

unlike those who live for sunny days
in which to blossom
too many days of bluesky sun
and i begin to wither
a plant deprived
of its essential nourishment

i used to wonder why
of sun beating on my head
is such an uncomfortable trial
but now i think i have parsed it out
perhaps i love those wet gray days
because in the rain
no one can see your tears

[previously published in Literary Yard]


i was waiting for it
and have not been disappointed
i knew the other shoe
would have to drop

there's no sustaining optimism
confected from imitation strength
that froth of myth and naïveté
evaporates quickly
leaving nothing
but the sour aftertaste of
saccharine and blood

who am i kidding
sitting belted in a tumbrel
wearing this flimsy mask of hope

this rollercoaster
ought to be condemned
it's always flying off the rails


night swallowed the sun in one great gulp
taking all the birdsong and rose-scent too

the moon’s awol vacationing on another plane
leaving a vast slate of nothing

stretching across the heart of the sky
and the stars have been erased by karma

if it weren’t for the streetlight on the corner
i could be standing in a coalmine

abandoned in another life but i’m upright
and breathing at least i think i am though

i can’t see my hand in front of my face
as i stand in this bubble of nothing

but my heart still aches and your eyes still shine
wherever memory lives so i guess this isn’t the end

of the sun birds roses moon stars world
or me


RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2/2017), Coffin Bell Two (Coffin Bell, 1/2019), The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Anthology (River Bend Bookshop Press, 12/2021), in print: 2River, Crossroads, Event, Gargoyle Magazine, Genre Urban Arts, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Poetry South, Prairie Schooner, The Seventh Quarry Magazine, Southword, The Ogham Stone, Variant Literature, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals

5 Poems by Allen Yuan

Chasing the Pacific Star Air 

gyres crowd into the boy
As he dashes through the clouds of hope

Surfing on a wish
He descends to the touchy ocean
A salty breeze gushes from underneath
A spring of refreshing motivation
The flaring sun eagerly follows him like a bright shadow
Intimidating mountains forcibly rise, but are capped
From the serene, misty horizon
Where a bleached bird loudly flaps its wings away

Upgrading his life board,
With exhilarating dreams
As he dashes through the clouds of hope
Chasing the Pacific Star.


The tree

Has lost more leaves
Not only to learn
To let more light
Shine through
But to shake off
                    Its pasts
To prepare itself better
For a new season

Parallel in Solitude

Drifting alone in the indefinities of dark
Matter, Earth never feels lonely, does it?

Living with myriad fellow humans, how
Can you really suffer from solitude?

Do U Hear It?

From the heart of the Pacific
Far beyond the Pandemic

A Mobi Dick is screaming
As if to keep its throat clear

Or it would be choked to
Death with parcels of plastics


Down or up, we punch all others online
Not to shame them as our surrogates, but
To make a critique of words by way
Of other words, much like a virus variant


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 a financial analyst 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.

8 Photos by Min Li Yin


Artist's Statement

As someone who relishes simple pleasures of life, my interest in photography has outlasted my other hobbies (calligraphy and interior design) because it never fails to give me instant gratification when capturing something, often at random, that delights my senses. 


Proudly made in China, I consider myself as a world citizen. I am a three-time transplant from China to the UK, Canada, and then the US). My bilingual training helped me find my niche in language teaching and software translation.

2 Poems by G. Timothy Gordan

Like Spring

Spring heart all askew
like the restless blue tide
moved by the moon
heaving and swelling
from out-beyond blue,
now rushing blindly
egret and tern, petite blue heron
ashore, breakers winnowing back
hedgerow reeds and rushes
where blue passion flowers
sleep in the thickets
beneath nightlight,
blue-beautiful, safe, settled,
unmoved by shoreline swell,
farther-out pulsing blue sea,
far from what I'd imagined
they might have felt, if anything,
like spring in a human heart.


The apple is ready to slice.
First, blade-to-skin,
pared in-round,
then back again bald.
Core it! Halves whistle
clean apart, move
back again, whole.
Breathe into eighths
and set whole
on your tongue
for one hour.
Draw the blind.
Someone may hear.


Gordon’s DREAM WIND was published 2020 (Spirit-of-the-Ram), GROUND OF THIS BLUE EARTH (Mellen), while EVERYTHING SPEAKING CHINESE received RIVERSTONE P Poetry Prize (AZ). Work appears in AGNI, Cincinnati PR, Mississippi R, New York Q, Phoebe, RHINO, Sonora R, and Texas Observer, among others. Recognitions include NEA and NEH fellowships and several Pushcart nominations.
EMPTY HEAVEN/EMPTY EARTH, a 56-poetry manuscript, is almost complete.

2 Visual Poems by Phil Madden



I live in Wales. My core writing is with Paul Kershaw,a renowned engraver. We have produced 5 limited edition fine art books-Wings Take Us,Paths,The Amphibious Place, Running Rings and Flow. Several have won prizes and all have sold out. I have also created 2 works with the engraver Petr Lazarov-The Urban Moon and The Puppet and the Puppeteer.The latter was exhibited at the American Library of Congress in an exhibition of Bulgarian art. The Tea Way was published electronically by Gean Tree Press. My work has been published in various magazines and anthologies.

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

Body Politics: Left vs Right

1/ Brain
My left brain has everything right
While my right one has nothing left

2/ Heart
My left chamber’s been reserved for someone
Right, yet my right one’s for nobody on the left

3/ Foot
My left foot takes the position for the right
But my right one stands firm against the left

Ode to Dark

As the background color of light rather
Than the spotlight of night, dark is
The infinite container of all matter in
The cosmos, where its invisibility offers
Warmth, tranquility and ultimate home
To every wondering soul, thicker than
Either, inclusive as the universe itself
Or the human mind, where no one
Has to worry about being disturbed
Denounced, or deprived of, where
Each body can rest in comfort, dream
About light, hope for the better, where
The seed is biding its time until it can
Bloom in the right season, where
Solitude accumulates power in silences

Universal Law of Equilibrium

There’s neither god in Heaven, nor
Heaven above earth to begin with, except
This hidden universal law of equilibrium:
If you lose here, you are bound to gain
There; if you suffer now, you will be happy
Then; if you fail in many small matters
You are going to win in a big way, or
The other way around, or vice versa. Or
In terms of Dao: just as your whole
Mindset is a matter of thought, all your
World can be boiled down to a few words
Bubbling in the cauldron of your mind

Double Nesting

1/ I Think; Therefore, I Am
I am thinking of you being awake all the time
I am thinking of you being awake, all the time
I am thinking of you, being awake all the time
I am, thinking of you being awake all the time

2/ Bird & Nest
You are a bird, always in search of a nest
(An open cage?), where your body & soul
Can both come down to perch for the cold
And long night, no matter how far or high
You’ve been flying during the daytime

Yes, soulmating means double nesting:
Just as her vagina is the nest of your
Penis, her heart is that of your soul

Simplification of Chinese Characters Reviewed

Is it a linguistic coincidence or undeclared prophesy?
But 60 years after Mao Zedong approved
The scheme for simplifying Chinese characters
We are now living in an open & reformed age, where

愛/ai/ [love] has become a feeling without a heart: 爱
親/qin/ [kinship] someone who is not to be seen: 亲
兒/er/[son] a person without his own brain: 儿
郷/xiang/ [village] a place where there’s no male: 乡
厰/chang/ [factory] a building with nothing inside: 厂
産/chan/ [manufacture] a process without production: 产
雲/yun/ [cloud] a nimbus offering no rainfall:云
開/kai/ [open] an action to break something doorless: 开
導/dao/ [lead] a guidance without the Way: 导

More than half a century long after
The simplification of classic Chinese characters
& almost half a century well after
China opened its doors & began its reforms
To shake off its deformities or backwardnesses:

魔 /mo/ remains the same as魔 [evil], so does
鬼 /gui/ as鬼[ghost], so does
偷 /tou/ as偷[steal], so does
黑 /hei/ as [darkness], so does
贪 /tan/ as贪[greed], so does
赌 /du/ as赌[gamble], so does
毒 /du/ as毒[poison], so does
贼 /zhei/ as贼[thief], so does
骗 /pian/ exactly as骗[cheat,], which remains
As unchangeable as Chinese per se, or does it not?


Yuan Changming, 12-time Pushcart nominee and multiple prize winner, is probably the world's most widely published contemporary poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes in English. Growing up in a remote Chinese village, Yuan started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age nineteen and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada as an international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Since mid-2005, Yuan has had poetry appearing in more than 2,000 literary journals/anthologies, across 49 countries, which include Best Canadian Poetry (2009, 2012, 2014), the Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition, BestNewPoemsOnline and Poetry Daily. In 2021 he was nominated, and served on the jury, for Canada’s National Magazine Awards (poetry category). In 2022, Yuan began to write and publish fiction.

Poetry Books 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]. Chicago: Beard of Bees Press, 2015.
5. Kinship [Paperback] Seattle: Goldfish Press, 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. 《袁昌明詩選》(Selected Poems []. Vancouver: Poetry Pacific, 2021.
11. Limerence [Paperback]. Vancouver, Poetry Pacific Press, 2021.
12. All My Crows [Paperback]. Grass Valley, CA: Cold River Press, 2022.
13. E.dening [Paperback]. Seattle: Goldfish Press, 2022.
14. Homelanding [Paperback]. Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2022.
15. Sinosaur [Paperback]. Hickory, NC: Redhawk Publications, 2022.
16. Yellow Comedy [e.Chapbook]. LA: Four Feathers Press, July 2023.
17. Free Sonnets [Paperback]. Philadelphia: Dark Onus Press, September 2023.
18. Decaging [Paperback]., August 2023

4 Poems by James G. Piatt

And I Wept

Old memories emerged
in the shifting night hours
of tedious time
as a soot-covered train
evaporated into the darkness
of the night, and into my memories.
I then heard the stolen songs
of a mockingbird,
and the hoarse voices
of mourning doves, echoing
in the mist,
as rusting time danced
to the throbbing of an ancient lyre,
and as I pondered on life’s brevity and
death’s vast endlessness, I wept.

The Frog’s Voices

I listened to the voices of night frogs croaking in 

the late hours of the night,

and tried to understand the meaning of their messages echoing off the silver moon.


Their hoarse voices curled through my

somnolent mind, illuminating strange sounds from long-forgotten places. In the midst of their croaking, they spoke to me in a strange language of sorrow.


During the fading hours of the night, I searched for metaphors to translate the meaning of the frog’s melancholy mutterings as their voices continued to burst into the mysterious emptiness of the moonlit night, but I just ended up with a cacophony of sounds.

The Nights beginning

As the clock chimes twelve, 
the night begins, and the day 
vanishes into memories. As 
the moon, just a glowing 
silver orb bouncing against 
the crimson horizon watches 
the last hours of the day 
lingering like drops of tears, 
in silence: Stars, like blurry 
kerosine lanterns, gazing 
from millions of light years 
away, start splashing in the 
sky, and earthbound beings, 
wait for the night’s long 
hours to cover the sad 
messages of the weary-day.
And as our breath mellows,
and we fade into sleep, our 
minds drift into dreams of 
yellow roses, and soft pink 
cherry-tree blossoms.

The Ancient Pier

Inside cold ocean waves exist untold secrets, where philosophers, and even Bob Dylan, fail to grasp the meaning. And near the old blackened pier where waves break

with a thunderous din,

seagulls squawk ancient sea yarns while roosting on pilings near where lonely fishermen sit on benches, fish in silence, and spin briny tales.


James lives in Santa Ynez, California in a replica of an 1800s Eastern farmhouse with his wife Sandy. He is a twice Best of Web nominee and four-time Pushcart nominee. He earned his doctorate from BYU and his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University. He has had five collections of poetry: Serenity, Solace Between the Lines, Light, Ancient Rhythms, and The Silent Pond, over 1765 poems, 
35 short stories, and five novels published worldwide.

4 Poems by Michael Keshigian


Let love be written
upon the water of calm lakes
not upon rivers running.
Let it be written by a loon
while singing a lamentable verse
amid the hidden coves.
And when it dives gracefully
beneath the blue surface,
leaving only echoes of song,
placid water will condense
to provide
some needed rainfall.

Every night
a different message.
Tell me tonight
about the translucent bones
of icicles on the gutter.
Their tale is a disclosure
of your stalking.
You enter as a burglar
on the heels of darkness
and leave no fingerprints,
yet cleverly steal away secrets
between the elusive shadows
you create,
some darker than others,
convoluted figures
rummaging in the most remote corners
of the room.
The sleepless await an explanation
but your peering eyes
slip away
when the clouds make you blink.
If you do take something,
no one is the wiser.
The sand in your light
eventually blinds into submission
the most suspicious
who, in the morning,
awake inspired
yet unaware of your intrusion,
until the icicles drip
in the rising sunlight.

Those nights illuminated by the moon
whose white dagger severed the wet surface,
highlighted the stalks upon Gypsy Glen
which stretched off the shoal
into the crooked air
and the lake wore a tarnished chink
upon its silver armor.
The tall pines, stilled by the sheen,
waited till their presence
faded back to distorted disfigurements
to acknowledge the breeze.
The cold air was always crisp
and smelled of wild roses
that circled the shoreline,
exposed as the moon’s silver eye
adjusted its stare toward the brush
and patches of mulch,
gingerly caressing the lapping lake.
On nights such as these,
he would gaze at the cottages,
nesting beachside, their lights flickering
in night’s magnificent isolation.
Little did he suspect
that this moment of adoration,
the opportunity to commune,
would become a longing
that would follow him.


It is the silent song
inside his head
inside his heart
inside his ear,
a song derived
from earth and sky,
with pitch and timbre
from rain and wind,
light and darkness,
in melodious form,
a song which guides him
with gusts of truths
witnessed from perpetual life
to which he listens,
the deepest song
the buried song
which sings his life,
intones his decisions,
chants his perspectives,
soothes his wounds,
his losses,
the hushed song
only he can hear,
a song which resonates
when life
challenges his convictions
and he lends an ear,
to convince his mind
or open his heart
and heed the lyrics
beyond denial.


Michael Keshigian is the author of 14 poetry collections his latest, What To Do With Intangibles, published by . His most recent poems have appeared in Muddy River Review, Bluepepper, Smoky Quartz, San Pedro River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal. He has been published in numerous national and international journals and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations.

4 Poems by Shiyan Cole


I never want us to get too comfortable

Where our love is predictable

I want our passion to burn brighter

And our love to root deeper

I want us to love like this

Because comfort ate more dreams

Than heartbreak ever did

I want love to keep us

at the edge of our dreams

panting for more…


Burning desires

which suffocate

don’t grow roots.

How can they?

Rather they float

around for awhile

like fire flies

with no lasting mark

just a contour

on the detour

to Love.


My words feel

like sunshine

but can distort

the colours

of your rainbow.

That’s how I fight.

I throw words

with laser sharp cuts.

Loaded with precision

ready for war.

Aiming at your heart

the soft centered part.

For you to feel




You keep flaunting this sugary love

That will kill me one day

Yet I find myself saying

“Let’s make syrup together”.


Shiyan Cole is a Nigerian British writer, drawing inspiration from her life experiences in both London and Lagos. Her poetry focuses on themes of love, heartbreak, and healing, reflecting her passion for encouraging others to live authentically and fulfill their purpose. Shiyan is an accomplished entrepreneur, having founded a much-loved gourmet popcorn brand, and excelled in the corporate world in the fields of auditing and finance.

In addition to her accomplishments, she is an emerging writer currently working on her first fiction book. A decade plus ago, she wrote a short story on how she met the love of her life on London’s Northern line and is now happily married with three boys. Shiyan is excited to share her unique voice and experiences with the world, with the hope of inspiring readers to give love a chance and live their best lives.

4 Artworks by Hana Jiang


4 Poems by Hana Jiang

Artist statement

I see things as a dreamer seeing things in dreams

Things in dreams are

                                       Here and there, anywhere

                                       Solitary, remote, vaguely, disarrayed

                                       Connected, disconnected

                                     Disappearing soon after they appear

                                       Cluelessly, strangely, distortedly, quietly

                                     Vanishing with no trace no repeats

I see dreams as a magic pouch collecting things

That things in the pouch are










I dream of incredible elements

These elements




                 The history of sediment

                  The culture of exotic

                  The nature of ubiquity

                  The heaven of absurdity

My dreams reflect my concerns of


They break into images

The images fall into montages

The montages orchestrate my dreams

Of things

Of pouch

Of history

Of culture

Of nature

Of heaven

Of images

Of montages

And me

I am the dreamer

I grab things to my pouch

I make disconnected scenes connected

I place elements of all kinds in my paintings

So, I am a creator

I am an unordinary creator


Billion years hiding deep

unstopped, unshaped, unformed

unceasingly, persistently, infiltrated

it flows underneath

The cracks the blood veins the continuous thirst

thank the thousand years wisdom

that puddles it spades it wreathes it

the water that is made stay always

Quietly seeps and seeps

it’d be neither full nor less

the resource of infinitude

Ancestors, descendants, and

all lives that can rely on

the wisdom


thousand years – 

A well

A recipe of insomnia

I am the one who is good at

Making sorts of recipes –

A mood of melancholy

A source of inquiety

A disturbance of novelty

Plus, an all-time signature piece –

INSOMNIA, my pride

I heir the nerve from my mother

I learned to create ingredients from my father

I distribute the elements to my son

I develop the old recipe to the newer –

1, restlessness

2, excitement

3, daydreams

4, stress

5, anxiety

6, depress

7, annoyance

One night

Son jumps out to my screen

He presses a button of my vulnerability

I get up and start, again,

Making a recipe of insomnia

Memory, The Heart – Frida Kahlo

A heart is broken

A heart is unbroken

An unbreakable heart jumps out

Now a hole on the chest

Like a hollow on a tree trunk

Standing alone

With one foot soaked in salt water

Swelled like a canoe

Brought from the childhood

And one is resting on the shore

An arrow penetrates the hole with an angel riding on

When a heart grows bigger on the ground

Memories unclench to call myriad of molecules

Aches squeeze out tears

The remote adolescent naivete

Echoes ongoing sweet bitters

The cost is unknown

For the subtlety being flattered

The reckless blood

Merge to the bitter salt

While metal pole recording the event