Saturday, December 14, 2013

Three Poems by Leilanie Stewart

There is a lone                                 stack
standing out at sea,                         a sad
promontory that’s                             jutting
beyond the riptides.                         I often
watch it and wonder                         why
there’s only one,                              because,
surely if it was formed                     by erosion
there’d be more along                     the coast
This is a desolate beach                 to walk along
and when I go there by                   myself, I try to
imagine that under the       surface of the water
the cliff and the stack are touching, holding
onto one another through the swells, and
though the peaks and troughs will do their
damage, what is under the surface will
never be erased, and never be separated
Snowball Effect
I’d like to introduce you to
Miss Lauren Tide
She came all the way
From Greenland
And is planning to stay
for a while,
an epoch perhaps.
She’ll be bringing along with her
Miss Tundra, Miss Glacier
and Mister Permafrost
She was forced to emigrate
from her home, up North,
by convection currents-
hot air brought on by CO2
She’ll cool the seas before her,
Push the Gulf Stream further south
It’s a waiting game now
for the snowball to come
She’ll wipe out the arrogance
of humankind, with one swipe
from her terminal moraine
Clam Diggers
It’s funny
how when I was little
I used to wear clam diggers
to pick cockles
Some people called them
pedal pushers,
but I never wore them
on a bike
It’s sad now
that the beach in which
I wore pedal pushers
to pick cockles
has been closed to the public,
for commercial use,
by proper diggers,
not clam diggers,
for cockle digging
Leilanie Stewart is one half of a writing couple - the other half is Joseph Robert. By day she runs creative writing groups for teenagers and by night she writes and promotes her work at spoken word events in London. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK and US. More about Leilanie's writing can be found at

Friday, December 6, 2013

Two Poems by Michael Lee Johnson

Even as Evening
Even as evening
approaches night-
dandelions shake
dust loose from their yellow-
a robin pulls
the last red worm
from the moist,
but callous
shadows fade, flake,
into fresh fall night-
small creatures
with trumpet
sounds dominant
the adjacent
A virtuoso!
I am Looking for Something
I am looking for something-
desperate within the shattering
of green glass, Coca Cola bottles made
entirely from grass, bark, corn husks.
Between rain, grey clouds, a spot of sunshine
cast on a shadow's fear-
green grass sprouts, not grey bark
nor branches dead.
Truly, I am telling you,
I am looking for something-
not the specking of rain
on my windshield,
nor the wipers that
habitually sling the drops
away, left, then right.
I am looking for something.
Exploring deist compared too theist
I was confused, an academic note
on the side plate of my day.
I believe in a God, but perhaps my God
is just an auto mechanic.
I think God is wrapped in a 4-leaf clover
sinless, searching Illinois farm lands for something.
Not in commercials, billboards, sales pitches, on the highways,
nor in text messages, double negatives hidden,
or the static of cell phone drama.
I find my Savior in the bluebird,
grasslands, scattered trees, slightly out of range.
Bring me a fluffed pillow, Wal-Mart special,
a dream of wine, vodka mixed orange
in a season lacking reason,
the bluebird flies.
Everything dreams and flashes away-
I tell you something, I am looking
for something.
Savior bluebird.
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Itasca, IL poet.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 26 countries, he edits 7 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedom (136 pages book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 69 poetry videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two Poems by Smita Sriwastav

Echoes of a Dawning Morn...

filigree dawn
is a latticework of sunbeams~

fragmented to be
scattered into reflections
in the glance of
peppering drops of dew.

clouds are a crotchet
of burnished oranges
swirling pinks
and breathy purples;

while a moon is
a remnant silver sliver
that lingers as a sigh
of nostalgia in today's face.

pole star
rubs sleep-worn lids to slip
beneath blankets to escape
mischievous rays,
its lethargic form cuddled
into marmalade pajamas.

sunflowers awaken
from drooping stalks to simper
while with erased haziness
of mist from cheeks of glass panes,
morning matures on
rejuvenating aroma of hot coffee...

Harlequin Whispers of Night Sky...

moonlight is
a soothing, serene drizzle;
starlight sparkle of
sepulchered memories,
constellations crotchet
a refulgent veil.

stars wink
ancient anecdotes in
ambiguous stardust scribbles
within blackberry silence.

psychedelic sighs
echo in abeyant moments,
as photon whispers
knock on indifferent eardrums~
too entranced by moon's serenades
to interpret them.

Smita Sriwastav is an M.B.B.S. doctor with a passion for poetry and literature.  She has always expressed her innermost thoughts and sentiments through the medium of poetry. A feeling of inner tranquility and bliss captures her soul whenever she pens her verse. Nature has been the most inspiring force in molding the shape of her writings. She has published two books and has published poems in journals like the Rusty Nail ( Rule of Survival)and Contemporary Literary Review India (
spring lingers),four and twenty, Paradise Review, Literary Juice, Blast Furnace and many more and one of her poems “Unsaid Goodbyes” was published in an anthology called ‘Inspired by Tagore’ published by Sampad and British Council. She has written poetry all her life and aims to do so forever.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Poem by Jenny Qi

The Magnificent Capacity of Two Fireflies

When stars flicker out, you want
to believe in reincarnation.

Maybe in another life, you’ll be
a firefly, and I’ll be a moth
following, drawn ceaselessly
into your light.  Or perhaps
I will chase you like daylight,
follow from the in-between.
Or I’ll become a firefly with you
so in untainted darkness, you’ll find me
still believing the wisdom
of white flames and gas.

Jenny Qi is a PhD student in biomedical sciences in San Francisco, which is a fancy way of saying she’s putting off adulthood by pretending to cure cancer.  In her spare time, she draws science cartoons and writes for Synapse. Her essays have been featured in Huffington Post and The Atlantic,  and she has published poems in various journals, including the vanderbilt reviewTabula Rasa, and The Quotable. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Poem by Jack T. Marlowe

low down at high tide
your tran-
hard to get
when life
an angry
sea of bills
and bad
news, the
tears of
dull razor
and dirty
and now
the toilet
and my
stink of
the ocean
the angelfish
stoic, as
i languish
alone in the
sing for me
as the 
of every-
Jack T. Marlowe is a gentleman rogue from Dallas, TX.  A writer of poetry and fiction and a veteran of the open mic, his work has appeared in Handful of Dust, Rusty Truck, Bone Orchard Poetry, Napalm and Novocain, Zombie Logic, Tendril and many other zines (both online and in print). Jack is also the mad editor of Gutter Eloquence Magazine (  


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Poem by Neil Ellman


after the statue by Constantin Brancusi, 1930

In the far-fetchedness of my life
as if a fish
I swim in violet-colored seas
and green the canyons
with my breath.
  Nothing has substance here
nor birds have wings
the rivers flow from mouth to source
and I return to the place
where I was spawned
  someday to crawl from river to land
upon on my knees through time
and mud-dark shores
to that place of prophecy
where a fish becomes a man
and man remains a fish
and I must swim upstream until I die.

Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey.  More than 850 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Poem by Dawnell Harrison


The star-flanked sky
shoulders a cloudless night.
Violet waves of fog pour
in like sheets of rain
igniting the streets
with a colorful tenderness.

Dawnell Harrison has been published in over 100 magazines and journals including The Endicott Review, The Journal, Fowl Feathered Review, Jellyfish Whispers, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Vox Poetica, The Tower Journal, Queen's Quarterly, and many others.  Also, she has had 4 books of poetry published through reputable publishers titled Voyager, The maverick posse, The love death, and The fire behind my eyes.  Furthermore, she possess a BA from The University of Washington.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Two Poems by Theresa A. Cancro


between blue sky, blade grass
spaces, I sense a shift up and down
my anchored essence, the fall

of autumn night draws me,
prunes easy strides in sandals
even as it streams red, gold,

amber, they drizzle on the sides 
of grifting breezes, excoriate notions,
left over pyres of love in the backseat.

Autumn Wandering

loneliness in autumn
is flecked with copper rust;
dropped from above,
it's reached middle age on cobblestone paths
and balding dew-grass
seen from the side of hoarfrost.

late morning birds languish
on fence posts, black body flocks
precipitate, clot the lawn;
no meditation strums among
curse tongues, jab beaks --
only thoughts of abandoned love.

the brittle wind wings apace,
strifes my brow, whistles gravel songs
while it seeks deep spaces
among broken clay pots,
wants to hesitate at sequined pools,
but arches its back toward the sun.

Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware, USA) writes poetry and fiction.  Some of her poetry has been published on online sites, including Three Line Poetry, Dead Snakes and A Handful of Stones. Her haiku has been accepted for publication in the December 2013 issue of A Hundred Gourds.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Three Poems by William G. Daview, Jr.

Some leaves fall
so dreamily,
they beg for witness
as if, look,
a diversion,
something magical
if only for a moment,
the time it takes
to land on the ground
and be damned
with the others.
After October
The trees are naked infantrymen
stripped of dignity
horded in a gulag,
no medical care
for the squirrels nests
that have metastasized 
into tumors.
The leaves spiral
like so many Noah's Arks,
unseaworthy brown tartans
sinking themselves into
a vast, green sea.
William G. Davies Jr. recently had his poem published in The Cortland Review and poems accepted by The Wilderness House Review and Blue Lyra Review.  He shares life with his wife, Theresa, and as much poetry as he can read especially John Updike and Donald Hall. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Poem by Rick Hartwell

Pond Laughing
Sun-blaze reflects in the pond its own heaven,
gold surrounded with light tints of blue,
sunburst is caught in rippled cross-eddies,
spiraled from three separate cores, a
seeming cacophony of lines intersecting.
Dappling and dimpling the glaze of the pond,
water bugs form the detritus of nature,
rocking and riding the waves of the wind,
surface skaters are randomly sown adrift,
seeming a testament to some quiet design.
Deep and foreboding, a natural frame,
surrounding trees brood over the pond,
failing to vanquish the light that’s within,
centered life is caught in reflected sun.
Mirrored questions posed to dark cortex,
seemingly paradoxical, perhaps a secret koan:
What is the sound of one pond laughing?
Is it possible to stare in its mirror to see,
            yet not see,
life’s perfect reflection simultaneously?
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Poem by Diane Webster

Rosebush Wings

Beneath rosebush
red, yellow petals
litter ground
like butterfly wings
in kaleidoscope
awaiting wind
to reincarnate
confetti whirlwind.

Diane Webster's goal is to capture a moment of nature with words so others can see what she has seen. Her work has appeared in "Muddy River Poetry Review," "The Rusty Nail," "River Poets Journal" and other literary magazines.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Poem by Paul Tristram

The Black Cat Looked Skyward
The Black Cat looked skyward
in a thoughtful fashion,
let his gaze drop back
to the silver full moon
surfing gently off
the midnight rickety roof slates
and shadowing the turrets of chimneys
that spread out before him
in greying acres
over Old Smokey London Town.
Scratched twice, theatrically,
leapt off sharply, that way
towards the River and Embankment
in the fragile hope
of catching another glimpse
of her, again.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two Poems by Kim Peter Kovac

Swelter Skelter
like mother nature's oven
the sweltering humidity
roasts the mind into stupor
at the cusp of sunrise
on the autumn equinox -
welcome, harvest moon!
Kim Peter Kovac lives in Alexandria, VA, and works nationally/internationally in theater for young audiences with an emphasis on new play development and networking.  His work is forthcoming or can be found in HowlRound, The Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Crack the Spine, Eunoia Review, Crunchable, Glint Literary Journal, The Metric, Mad March Hare, the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Modern Day Fairytales, Haiku Journal, High Coupe, Three Line Poems, and Write Local Play Global.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Poem by Michael Lee Johnson

California Summer
Coastal warm breeze
off  Santa Monica, California
the sun turns salt
shaker upside down
and it rains white smog, humid mist.
No thunder, no lightening,
nothing else to do
except sashay
forward into liquid
and swim
into eternal days
like this.
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in twenty-five countries, he edits seven poetry sites.  Poetry books:  The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book), several chapbooks, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He has over 65 poetry videos on YouTube.  Links to author website, book sales, and YouTube poetry videos:

Authors website 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Three Poems by Byron Beynon


We witnessed the rare and tropical rainforest
  as it nears the waterline,
    the movement of an endangered creature
that stirs from hiding to drink.
  Creeks inhabited by crocodiles,
    the cable ferry
        slips cautiously over the face of the Daintree.
The poison peach tree
    startled into focus
      by the ghosts of fires.
Sands that gather driftwood,
  the discovered cape
    sirened by the unseen
      dangers of the reef.
The ruined wind, with the leaves
  creates a distant sound.


Alert to the world he knows,
a voyager of shrubs and intimate trees
the unwavering rhythm of his map
he returns to contemplate
the pure and serene.
Without hopes and fears
he edges towards that otherness
where shadows stir,
familiar with the art of sunsets
his eyes observe life's gallery,
one of nature's philosophers
impatient for the light to break.


They cut down the trees
at Maes Y Capel,
built roads, houses, put
pipes and cables
where roots once ran.
The birds no longer
return to their vacant heights,
evicted without appeal.
In the wooded night
when the air's breathing
softens the atmosphere
trapping sighs,
shadows lengthen
reaching up
at the sky
where they fly
without impediment
telling you that someday
they will be coming home.

Byron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including Jellyfish Whispers, London Magazine, Poetry Ireland Review, Chicago Poetry Review and Poetry Wales.  A Pushcart Prize nominee.  His latest collection "The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions) has been submitted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Two Poems by Rick Hartwell

Like Human Adolescents
Two hummingbirds, dramatic iridescence,
playing at sexual tag in the backyard, yet
way too late for the pull of spring incubation.
They may each have lost a mate to predation’s
insecurity; I’ve never noticed hummingbird
infidelity, then again perhaps they are just horny.

Shadows creep up on you surreptitiously and as
dawn rises to noon they trip and fall to their knees
performing silent obeisance at meridian, thinning out
towards an eastern infinity as day fades to dusk and then
into splendid sunsets: purples, reds; retinal sensuousness
dispelled by knowledge of particulate matter and vapor.
There are shades to shadows too, not just from sun, but
of moon and stars and fog; of dispersed, elusive fractals,
water beads skittering, grey fog phantoms trying to hide
in peripheral vision, trying to capture you unaware.
Moon shadows sway like the tides; adding, ebbing,
flowing through night and imagination until fleeing.
Star shadows exist, but can be seen only by night
fairies and fireflies when switched off, both keen
seers of the heavens when Selene hides her face and
stellar sylphs rule the night until her bloom’s restored.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three Poems by John Roth

A Geisha Reminisces Over an Illicit Love Affair

On leap years,
we used to romp through oriental gardens.
Such slipshod footing, lovers tumble headfirst
from airy gables.

We were blind,
our eyes congealing from the star-smeared visor
that once held a promise for the future, one 
of tortured romance. 

But instead,
our passion soon deteriorated―
An ancient scroll with burnt tea stains, frayed tassels
eaten by silk moths. 

Only now,
do shadows weave between the green bamboo thicket,
where hibiscus flowers loll their citrine studded tongues
like a yawning corpse.

Drowsy gnats.
Shapeless mantles of light suffuse a pond’s dark edge.   
Puffs of white mist float like Chinese lanterns,
a moonlit paper nest

for swallows.
Mirror-scaled koi flick their whiskers at the sky
as water sloshes over a lipped-rim bowl of clay,  
nourishing silt.

Red crowned cranes
stalk the muddy banks in search of a lost mate.
Long necks stretch, trill cries erupt into the night

cherry blossoms litter the small pagoda
where our hearts bled into rose tinted vials.
Mingling souls

but keeping bodies apart.


It starts with a dry spell,
a nagging cough,
and soon becomes
a burning hole
in one’s throat.
The desert gargles
sand in its mouth,
picks the blisters off
its scorch-split tongue.
If only it had tears
to spare, some hidden
reserve of water kept
deep within itself.     
Some way to taste
of its own sorrow.    


The sun hangs low
like a gold medallion
looped through a blue
prize ribbon. 

There is nothing
to be won but red dust
and desert flies, rubbing
their greedy legs together
like dull violin strings.

A stone-painted lizard
sleeps flat on a pillowed
rock bed that’s been drunk
bone-dry by mouthfuls
of burning sand. 

The land cries out,
then comes
a noiseless surge
of black-bottle storm-clouds,
descending from the splintered
planks of sky like anchors flung

Then comes
white lightning, shackled
to earth’s hot ground plate. 

Then comes
the calming hush of rain.

John Roth is a poet from Ohio whose work has mostly recently appeared, or is still forthcoming, in The Orange Room Review, Boston Poetry Magazine, Bone Parade, Aberration Labyrinth, and Dead Snakes, among a few others.  He hopes you have a nice day.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Poem by Paul Tristram

Craddlegap The Cormorant

Upon dark
seaweed crowned
He stretches
his coal black wings
in sudden symmetry
East & West.
sloping to serious bill
eyes thoughtful
in the estuary’s
misty morning
cold grey imagery.
He takes off
like a grumpy old man
of the sea
dressed in rags
of black velvet.
Away from the Little Egrets
to find his sport
in the freedom
of the choppy
Atlantic sea.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Poem by Mike Cluff


Wearing the water down into dew or dissolvement
the rut between Aqua Luz and Pokerville
is now filling up without sound
with shoe polish and lettuce
the battle has released
from the gulley
where slaughter

Mike Cluff is a writer living in the inland section of Southern California.  He is now finishing two books of poetry:  "The Initial Napoleon" and "Bulleted Meat" -- both of which are scheduled for publication in late 2013/early 2014.  He believes that individuality is the touchstone of his life and pursues that ideal with passion and dedication to help the world improve with each passing instance.  He also hopes to take up abstract painting in the next several months.