Friday, December 26, 2014

A Poem by Leilanie Stewart

On a field trip
my tutor pulled apart a clump
of what looked like rotten seaweed
clinging to a battered rock
but turned out to be
7000 year old reeds,
flattened, paper-thin
and I thought about the people
who busied around,
moulding pots or knapping flint
and may have knelt
on those very reeds
before they folded
into the golden-brown
of their autumn years
Leilanie Stewart's poetry has appeared in numerous print and online magazines and anthologies in the UK and US. She worked as a professional archaeologist in Northern Ireland and her forthcoming pamphlet from Eyewear Publishing, A Model Archaeologist, explores the theme. Her writing blog is at: http://

Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Poems by Miki Byrnes

Flooded Landscape

A landscape lies flat.
Curves, hollows,
Tussocks, fences,
Rolled by an obese weight
of water.  That fell like nails
hammered into the earth.
Now we are but flecks
upon a mirror.  Stubborn marks
where silvering has rubbed through.
Clouds reflect
an unending metallic plain.
Pierced only by spires,
huddled island communities.
Sharp black spikes
of mud-trapped trees.

Lickey Hills

A steep path.  Steps too high for comfort.
Straining calf muscles at each knee-bend, mud-slick in rain.
It rose behind the training center.  Boys hung like apes
on tree strung ropes.  Learned team spirit, rules of convention.
Their shouts twined under thick boughs.  Higher up trees clotted.
A green palisade that blocked road, view, noise.
Pine cones littered ground cushioned upon a million shed needles.
Mottled, fragrant.  Dotted with open lobed cones.  Light fell
in dancing patches.  Flickered over the ground in mirror-ball splashes.
Silence lay pure.  An open mouth into which I fed thoughts,
worries, an expansion of optimism.  That returned to me
chewed into more recognizable shapes.
Going down was best achieved on ones backside.
Hands gripping each steps edge.  To arrive at the road
mucky, nails filled with earth.  Head softly rested.

Miki Byrne began performing her poetry in a Bikers Club.  She has had three collections of poetry published and work included in over 160 respected poetry magazines and anthologies.  Miki has won poetry competitions and has been placed in many others.  She has read on both Radio and TV and judged poetry competitions.  She was a finalist for Gloucester Poet Laureate.  Miki is a member of the charity Arthritis Care's People Bank.  She has been disabled for many years.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Poem by Sue Neufarth Howard


Bamboo grove
amidst the fading forest
defoliating - gold, red,
the sounds of a chorus of
an evening meet-up,
more arriving each minute -
avian chit-chatting while
up high a curious squirrel,
cheek full of walnut, observes.
Sue Neufarth Howard: Poet and visual artist, member - Greater Cincinnati Writers League (GCWL)  and Colerain Artists. Received Third Prize and/or Honorable Mention in several Ohio Poetry Day Contests since 1998. Poems published in Her Limestone Bones: Selections from Lexington (KY) Poetry Month 2013; Pyrokinection and High Coupe online journals; Tic Toc, Storm Cycle, and Gilded Frame Anthologies - Kind of a Hurricane Press; Cattails online journal; AEQAI online magazine; the Journal of Kentucky Studies - 25th Anniversary Edition; the Mid-America Poetry Review; and The Incliner - Cincinnati Art Museum. Poetry chapbooks: TreeScapes, EarthWords, In and Out of the Blue Zoo and Haiku Moments.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Two Poems by Ken L. Jones

Half Formed Lullaby

On this implosion of a morning
There’s something sour and aloof
Something lonely in the guitar notes
That give me chills in the cat lithe garden
That calls me across the fog
Weary February is gilded and serene like an angel
And on the lace of its fine bone china ice fields
I saw you kiss the hill’s melodies
Till I was yearning for the silver dreams
Wherein one hears the confessions of the leaves

Late At Night When No One Is There  

My silver bride bends low colored by the rainbow tint
Of the blackbird atop the old hotel
Who is the dark guardian of my wineskin full of salt wind
That turns my sleep to a snow most deep
Above which the moon unfurls
Where a pulsating starlight brings to fruition
The ripe, ripe seeds of the very long burning log fire
That in my beloved’s fireplace stirs and pops
Till long past daylight and first crowing of the cock
As it slowly awakens every village and farm
In the verdant valley far below
And sends to tasks more repetitious drones less free
Than any in any real beehive that I’ve ever seen


You Carry Them With You

Slumber dances just out of reach as my memories form
Harp strings to be plucked by finger’s decades worn
For music has always been my trade winds
Been the skin that carries the tattoos of my deepest stirrings
As they come on me in tidal waves in a manner almost blurring
And like a coral bed discovered for the first time in a cove I’ve never seen
Will lead me to undiscovered lands that are the essence of all dreams

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  


Monday, December 15, 2014

Three Poems by Neil Ellman

Woods (2)
     after the painting by Gerhard Richter 
In the woods a lexicon’s
concentric rings
speak ancient dialects
of seasons come and gone
broken promises
civilizations’ rise and fall
liaisons in the shade
of twisted limbs
names carved in weathered bark
of the forgiven and unforgiving
confessions and lies
the birth and death of gods
straining to the light
trees endure, survive
to teach the earth its past.

Woods (5)
     after the painting by Gerhard Richter
Blue and yellow trees
with purple bark
Inhabit a world of black and grey
grow old
grow leaves that shift to red
as they escape this time
this place
along the speed of fall and light
with a reason to survive
the end of time
as blue and yellow trees
that will not die
when the woods grow dark
in the winter of the sun

Woods (10)
     after the painting by Gerhard Richter 
Who live among the trees
on hallowed ground
in the hollows of the earth
hold communion with            
the gods of wind and rain
who gather in the sediment
of falling leaves
to feed eternity
as if it were their child
who comes to know
that destiny is a tree
that sometimes dies
to live again and again
to command the forest floor.
Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published more than 1,000 poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Poem by Sandra Rokoff-Lizut

My Spirit

To keep it safe for awhile,
I hide my spirit
in the crook of a sycamore tree
like my ancestors did.

Because, now that I'm 
fourteen, my spirit
is growing too wild and unwieldy
for me to carry around
in my back-pack anymore.

Sandra Rokoff-Lizut, retired educator and children's book author (published by Macmillan, Holt, Reinhary & Winston, and Hallmark Inc.), is currently both a printmaker and a poet.  She is a member of Oregon Poetry Association, Mary's Peak Poets, Poetic License, Gertrude's, and a weekly writing salon.  Rokoff-Lizut volunteers, by teaching poetry to middle-schoolers, at the Boys and Girls Club in Corvallis, Oregon.  She also studies poetry at Oregon State University.  Previous publications include Illya's Honey, The Bicycle Review, Wilderness House Review, The Tower Journal, The Penwood Review, and Wild Goose Poetry Review.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Poem by Inna Dulchevsky


Snowing    snowing today . . .
Lots of thoughts are in my head . . .
Snowflakes run through the streets
They do not know where they'll land

Thoughts run somewhere
They do not know where they fly
Numb and beautiful snowflakes
They do not know   what is   to die

It is white in the city
All have been blessed
By tango of snowflakes
And waltz of spinning wind

It is cloudy and muffled
Inside of my world
Thoughts are brutal to me
Thoughts are broken
                            into millions
                                            of    thoughts

As painful shards of puzzle
They encircle my heart
Rip it into fragments
Coldest beauty of falling-snow charm
Burns what is left of red witch-hazel

Curse of whitest dance
Covers all with cold wing
Bends the branches of trees
With frost of snowflakes

Storm is deep in my world
Pulls the roots of my mind

It fails

Shelters frozen sprout of love
Thaws it with the heat of my tears

Inna Dulchevsky spent her early school years in Belarus.  She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.  She was awarded First Prinse in the 2014 David B. Silver Poetry Competition.  Her poems have appeared in the both journals and books including Pyrokinection, Lavender, and Antheon.  Inna's literary influences include Pushkin, Lermontov, Yesenin, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Block, Bunin, Turgenev, Chekhov, Gogol, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Nabokov, and Dostoevsky.  Her interests include metaphysics, philosophy, literature, practice in meditation and yoga.  Inna's musical education in violin and classical singing, as well as her discovery of Vermeer's light and expansion of consciousness through the connection with inner-self and nature, are essential in the writing of her poetry.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Three Poems by Susan Dale


A golden hush
Crimson and bronze days
And the earth willing
I am not
To relinquish summer
To smoke-silvered November

The crying song of geese
Curling clouds in the skies
And in the margins of my dreams
Autumn lingers long

November, 2014

November with its penitential air
It's faded shutters of sun

Melancholy lady
carrying a candle
flickering through the fog


The Golden rope of September
tugs at summer's sleeve
Time to pull her over the hill

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on Kind of a Hurricane Press, Ken*Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, Garbanzo, and Linden Avenue.  In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.  She has two published chapbooks on the internet:  Spaces Among Spaces by and Bending the Spaces of Time as part of the Barometric Pressures Authors' Series (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Poem by Rick Hartwell

All Aquiver

Standing still to watch
various vibrant birds
tremble within the pines,
flirting their lives away,
fluttering branch to branch,
contesting each bough,
then breaking away, hesitant,
only pausing to feed on
bugs within the bark,
fueling up for mating.

Topping this frenzied activity,
growth tassels track the arcing
progress of the sun towards winter
as a low grazing hawk explodes the tree.

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Southern 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 still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.  He can be reached at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Poem by Ken L. Jones

As Frail as a Snowflake

Winter sunset frozen to a deep blue
Above the high mountain meadows
Whose iced field trails
Are like yarn and needles
And have a most elegant fizz
And upon them reindeer
Skedaddle as their hooves tap out
Lullabies that sound
As if they are being played
On an Irish harp so butter tender
That only a fairy could pluck it that way
All upon this most perfect of December days.

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Poem by Scott Thomas Outlar

Ballerina of the Sky

A Blood Moon
Lunar Eclipse
smiles in the skyline of a predawn morning
with rampant fervor building to a crescendo
of age changing ramifications.
The signs of the times spark with vibrations of
electromagnetic transfiguration
as metamorphosis of the spheres spins in full effect.

Tides shifting . . . pivoting . . . pulsating
with a sideways advance,
crisscrossing in a dizzying twirl
from a high spot in the heavens
downward into my wide open heart;
beating in harmonized accord
with the nexus core
across eternity
and the infinite abyss
one inch at a time
closer to you . . .
closer to me . . .
closer to eternal answers . . .
closer to the truth
of reality's ultimate grasp of reason.

The existential energy source
of perfect Veritas
sparks across the Elysium heights
where I seek solace
in the blue/black canopied sky
which is lit up with pillowed comfort
as the symphonic stars sing out
in an awesome conductive opera
of God's sweet lullaby,
mimicking the initial word
of creation as it was first manifested into form.

A miraculous spontaneous generation
of divinity orchestrated inspiration,
intuitively embedded in the blueprint
of our collective DNA signature,
is woven like a synchronistic web and
sent Earthward to fill our souls with wonder as the
satellite signals play out in a rotating orbital dance.

The ballerina of enlivened rock dust
rolls across the gravitational ether
in astrological intoxication,
smiling out across the vaccuumed void
with a Cheshire grin of deeper knowingness.
As within, also without;
as above, so below.
Awed in mesmerized transient grace,
we watch patiently throughout the cycles
as these ageless planetary seeds
take root in dark matter,
mature, sprout wings and grow.

Scott Thomas Outlar hails from the heart of Atlantis where he kneels atop intricately designed rugs woven from prediluvian cloth, praying to the Holy Spirit Vibration for courage, grace, humility and discernment during this epic time of history at the edge of a new epoch.  When not caught up in such passionate fervor, he spends his time writing such things as poetry, essays and rants.  His work can be seen at Dissident Voice, Common Line Journal, Oracular Tree, Daily Anarchist, and Ascent Aspirations.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two Poems by Joanna M. Weston

The Tenant

a spider has woven
its spiral web high
above the stairs

silken filaments
that rise
and fall with
the movement of air
as I go up or down

the long curves
of white have blurred
to grey with dust

it shares my house
pays no rent
but adds beauty
to the stairwell

Held in Forever

the year turns in my hands
from snowdrop to bluebell
through daffodil and rose
spinning pansies into chrysanthemums
and copper and gold maple leaves

I want to hold the year
so that each petal remains
distinct as the moment
of the wind's caress
each stamen waiting for a bee
in that second when sunlight cuts
shadow and a finger touches my skin
with the colour of the season
imprisoned in a cup of petals

Joanna M. Weston is married, has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses.  Her middle-reader, Those Blue Shoes, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, A Summer Father, published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her eBooks found at her blog:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Three Poems by April Salzano

Tender Hooks

The queen has eaten herself
alive.  Her drones wait
for instructions that do not come,
smell the absence.
Rearing chambers are constructed,
royal jelly fed.  Brutal battle for the throne
begins between the first two to emerge, each
willing to die rather than do the thankless
work of the colony.

After the Rain

The birds call through last rumbles
of thunder, worn-drunk, wet,
undaunted.  Early dark is as welcome
as hydrated relief of corn stalks, weighted
and unified in sudden saturation.
White noise of steady mist does not know
one man's crop from another man's field,
blends seamlessly into woods that are
transformed into tropical for an evening
as the next front approaches.

The Road to Autumn Road

has been raked raw.
Patterns emerge in the dust of the dying
leaves that for a month held
intermittent beauty, cloaks of colors
deterring thoughts of coming
cold.  Stored chlorophyll is bartered
for water until the forest stands
naked and nondescript.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  She is currently working on a memoir on raising a child with autism and several collections of poetry.  Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  Her first chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is forthcoming in spring, 2015, from Dancing Girl Press.  The author serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press (

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Poem by Kelley White

I Remember Tree

branches sky a bird's nest bird feathers falling moss lichen dry stone what my father said I listened he told hawk sky the pellet the owl dropped that one caterpillar twisting on a thread silk thread the little pines stunted by wind the great rock grown blueberries I showed you the place where the mountain opened to sky above the lake forever forever bear track moss swamp feet wet and the walking all the brook barefoot down to the village and I remember I do not forget climbing crawling on hands and knees on ice all that lived in that world below ice and cold air what mittens touch and ice you how beautiful ice looked in the days of love did we do that did we make ourselves climb the same path day by day at dawn how many days that gift you gave me before love deep in the forest forest the same path everyday you gone but the picture walking away from me down the hill snow to the broken down house the house abandoned the broken windows roof darkness almost but colors colors of carnival glass around the bowl of the meadow sky you going and legs sinking into snow my big boots dog under the house cat waiting on the hill the small birds fences wire and the meadow sinking into trees the small creek that only flows in spring the rock bed the quiet the quiet tent with mosquito net there by the brook that big open night and the dark trees waiting my mother what she did not know running the night wet grass in a white nightgown birds birds cricket what makes the night sound hawks

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire.  Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA.  Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books).  She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Poem by Sunil Sharma


A raven drinking
Out of a small puddle
Formed rudely,
On a tar road in the
Suburban Mumbai,
On a rainy afternoon,
Blending well with the
Darkness around;
Its bobbing neck,
Giving a queer kinesis
To the little fractured pool
And the otherwise static scene.

Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma, a college principal, is also widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer.  He has already published three collections of poetry, one collection of short fiction, one novel and co-edited five books so far.  His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA.  He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets' inaugural Poet of the Year award -- 2012.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Two Poems by Paul Tristram

A Great Spotted Woodpecker

How very lucky I am indeed
to spy your woodland bouncing course
as you grasp at vertical tree bark
and entice me into a sudden
quick-footed game of hide-and-seek.
Peekaboo-ing at me from around
the other side of the tree trunk.
Beautifully Regal, Novel and Majestic
in your mask and cloak of ebony
and ermine with a tantalizing
touch of red to add a splash of magic.
Oh, a Springtime day has never
been wasted if I get to see you
in person or to hear you a-drumming.
Ah, it warms the cockles of my heart
to see your lovely colours a-shining.

Tawny Owl

Something instinctively pulls me sideways
from the gentle afternoon pathway,
through the bushes and thick undergrowth,
inwards to the heart of The Forest of Dean.
After awhile the intricate entanglement
holding my focus captive around my legs
stops fighting and gives way
and there before me lays a silent and dark
green Cavern of trees, massive and majestic.
The many trunks coming down uniformly
in sentinel columns to a mossy ground,
a veritable patchwork of shades and hues.
there is a strange almost spectral feel
created by the scattered bursts of sunlight
shooting through the living canopy above
to the ground like Heavenly arrow shots.
Just off centre heaps an old greying, broken,
twisted tree whom holds my gaze magically.
I step forward towards it and a stick snaps
beneath my trespassing boot, the sound of it
rises up and echoes across before me.
A Tawny Owl falls silent from the old tree,
circles up in a brown and white flecked
arc and beats slowly off in that direction.
As I watch I feel an ancient stirring within me,
I have learnt something profound and magical
here today, a seed has been birthed within me.

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Two Poems by Martins Iyoboyi

Through Brambles

Through brambles rears the
Flowered eye, blushing in
Sun's coaxing shimmers.  Pollen
Suitors ride in winds to woo,
Clasp in soft embraces.  And
Now narrow path had been the
Route of passage, frustrating hopes,
When by ripening lights, the
Ruddy bud greets the dawn.


Raindrops beat upon the rooftops
Of the mind, pebbles smear toilsome
Strains in alleys where fear roamed wild.
God is hard to come by here, for
In shrill dizziness, cowhide drums
Beat retreating steps to heavens' gates.
The universal mind consumes midnight summons
Of judgment, sensuous peaks cleanse
Burdened debts cascading to matter.

Half-dead hearts, led to servitude
Accuse peace-halls of impotent eyes.
The gross will stands amidst fueling strife,
With lengthened cobwebs gathering vim
Caked upon the world's conscience.

Poet, dramatist and author, Martins Iyoboyi was born in Nigeria.  His published poems have been published by Zone, Bending Spoons, Flask Review, 63 Channels, International Zeitschift, Contemporary Rhyme, Munyori Poetry Journal, Rhythm, Tenemos, MotherVerse, Poetry Cemetery, Boyne Writers Group, Chiron Review, The New Verse News, Collective Fallout, and Hat.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Two Poems by Sarah Flint

Chewing the Bladderwrack

Samphire, she said, is green and good
and tastes of the mud reek creeks of the marsh
where oyster catchers call in dusk's pall.

But, she said, brown bladderwrack is better
infused with iodine and ozone from the sea's soul
and plucked from the tide's fingers as it falls.
It has the flavour of shells, pounded shingle and krill.


I will make a box.
A box that comes from the dirt,
that is molded by crackling frost and parching sun
and that smells of wet soil after rain.

I will make my box from
the bark of Eucalyptus
with a lid of quilted hosta.
It will be lined with satin magnolia
and have hinges of antirrhinum.

I will embellish my box with
the eye of viola
the tooth of sumach
the claw of pyracantha and
the tongue of digitalis

I will put in my box
a drop of the blood of euphorbia
the heartbeat of helianthus
the sigh of gypsophila and
the breath of Daphne

I will keep the box in a dark and cool place
for several weeks until
it rots and withers away
And then I shall press it between my hands
until the sap runs
and from this liquid
I will make a perfume that only I understand.

Sarah Flint loves to get soil under her nails, twigs in her hair and to put interesting words in an interesting order.  She has had some of her more poetic word combinations published online.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Poem by Bam Dev Sharma


The silken ferry
Proceeds to shore
When gentle breeze
Plays jovial patter
With the mast.

Anxious horizon
Unfolds arms
To clasp his coy
Companion bidding afar.

On the aisle of sea
The silken ferry heads
As if it were bride
Lost into boisterous enthusiasm.

She, too, steadies
To meet her companion--
The beloved horizon
In the threshold of setting sun.

The play of meeting
Is put in the camera . . .
The eyes of the sky
In shower:
An expression of happiness
In happy tears.

Bam Dev Sharma, resident of Dang Hekuli Village Development Committee, Nepal, started writing poetry in the year 1996.  He has published a collection of poetry jointly with American poetess Marine Reis Newberry entitled "Bunyan and the Alder" in 2007.  Besied, his poems have been published in several national and international poetry journals across the glove.  By Profession, Mr. Sharma is teaching at Campus of International Languages and currently is Head of English Department.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Three Poems by Stefanie Bennett


Look, the marigold (quite rightly),
Seized the doorpost's
Seasonal tenure
No chameleon

Next, the centipede -- as soon as
It learned
To walk
And talk
With salubrious giants

Understood . . . how amid
An enriched
Peat propagation,

The Odyssey.


Devoid of abstraction --
It settles like a hush
On the sagging jetty rail.
Several aged fishermen
Make jokes
To the tune
Of the very first catch . . .

Probably, the morning is silver
With spring rain misting the air;
And the largest of coins
                                                    -- The sun
Extends her sash
About the land.

This moment, like any other,
Must pass.
There is
Sadness.  Wonder.
Hold it there . . .

Aspects = 'Carnac' for Guillevic

Covered in white lichen
The inner circle

The consecrated jaws
Of an Azilian
Megalith tomb;

(Seismic drag-nets,
Erstwhile angel wings,
Priests, Initiates --).

A deft breeze shuttles
Past the Stone Army's
Home of the fallen

At a pinch, you could say,
God's preferred

Rules the breakers, wormwood,
Red fungi
-- And then some.

Stefanie Bennett has published eighteen books of poetry and poems online; Boston Poetry, The New Verse News, Poetry24 and others.  Of mixed ancestry (Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee) she was born in Townsville, Qld., Australia in 1945.  Stefanie's new poetry title "The Vanishing" is due at year's end.  Publisher:  Walleah Press.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Three Poems by David Subacchi

Horse Frightened by a Lion

  -- from a painting of the same name
by George Stubbs

Every sinew strained
Every muscle stretched
Every hair on end
Hooves scraping the rock
Striving to reverse

The silent lion
Calmly confident
Taking in the scene
Knows you run faster
But that you may fall

Your white coat stands out
His colour blends in
With the brown landscape
He is a hunter
You are a victim

Dull trees and pale sky
Complete the background
All eyes are on you
Willing you to escape
From this encounter.


Between lamb's wool and lion's claw
A grey mist attaches
To the air in every meadow
Winter lies in frozen ditches
Its life almost drained
But spring trapped in a bramble bush
Continues to be restrained

Fingers outstretched each ragged tree
Beckons as we tear past
Urging us south desperately
Neither first journey nor the last
But just another
Each farm fence post appearing
Like a fox breaking cover

Between cockcrow and owl screeching
A feeble sun breaks through
London's busy highways reaching
That once darker denser fog knew
Weary heads turning
We head north from railway stations
To our own lands returning.

The Long Branch

Today I cut the long branch
That stretches from the silver birch
On my land across the fence
Into my neighbour's garden
Like a scrawny arm straining
To escape the saw's sharpness
Clutching for a saviour
A helping hand to hold tight
Beyond the boundary line
But it was never to be
With a whine the timber fell
Severed by my glinting blade
Amputated easily
A single crack then a thud
Onto the manicured lawn
To await dismemberment
Into logs for winter stoves

The fruit of sun kissed summers
Of rainfall never ending
Not strong enough to survive
To grow up with the leaders
Doomed to bend and lean across
Attracting critical eyes
Where another has the right
To terminate intrusions
Always to sway drunkenly
In the slightest of breezes
Upsetting TV signals
Shedding leaves throughout autumn
Today I cut the long branch
With a tear in each eye
A heavy heart and a sigh
And my neighbour standing by.

David Subacchi lives in Wrexham (UK) and studied at the University of Liverpool.  He was born in Aberystwyth of Italian roots and writes in both English and Welsh.  Cestrian Press has published two collections of his poems.  "First Cut" (2012) and "Hiding in Shadows" (2014).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Two Poems by ayaz daryl nielsen

The days, so cold
The nights, so long
Another tundra
wind from
above timberline
Wild geese and
blue heron
months ago,
black bear, deep
Mule deer and elk
among pine and
leafless aspen.
The clock ticks
toward midnight,
the year,
about to end.
Here, beside this
glowing hearth,
you gently
place your lips
upon mine.


Even the broken apple tree branch
has blossoms, the Front Range forest,
an evening alpenglow.  All we are, here,
upon this meadow, beside the Great Divide.

ayaz daryl nielsen, husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs), hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/120+ issues), homes include Lilliput Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Writing the Whirlwind, Shamrock, and (translates as joie de vivre).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Poem by John W. Sexton

World Without Bees Amen

On the sills the bees are dying.  Bumbles
fuzzing in their humming.  Their furred knitwear
losing lustre; their breathing visible,
their wings crisply stopped.  The dustpan will share
them to the hedged garden.  I fling them out
against the wind, and they fly one last time,
but just the flight of falling.  Who will shout
to stop the dying?
                                   There just isn't time,
so watch them die in their furry troubles,
fuzzed in their humming, the dying bumbles.

John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland and is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being The Offspring of the Moon, (Salmon Poetry, 2013).  He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTI radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes from 1999 to 2002.  Two novels based on the characters from this series have been published by the O'Brien Press:  The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed, which have been translated into both Italian and Serbian.  He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem "The Green Owl" won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007.  Also in 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Poem by Bill Jansen

An Element of Blank

In the fictive state of Oregon
in the Louisiana parish of my body
in the transparent Jaguar
in green frost on a bottle of Belgian beer
my soul in a German subway
I induce an Amherst cop
to sleep with me in solitary confinement,
hoping she would test the citizenship of my breath
which I already knew might not be heaven,
but my memory may have been stupendous
because she let me go,
her pretty frown of bewilderment,
and I said:  I am at the front,
advising her to watch out for magnetized owls
they can hear me under the leaves,
smoking my radials out of town
Stuttgart flew by,
Frank Zappa & Emily Dickinson
in a coffee shop
his elegant hand touching her knee,
Adak, Alaska flew by,
San Francisco & northern Nigeria flew by
like U-pick gooseberry signs,
then, as I hoped it would,
chapters of Nebraska are falling on Paris
(40% words)
I swerved, grayed out,
yellow light big as Colorado,
put a dent in first responder,
apologized to a Coca-Cola machine,
but still no sign of the bejeezus
they say I scared out of a bobcat
in the Los Angeles river.
Not just any bobcat,
the bobcat I now worship.

Bill Jansen lives in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Dawn Breaks

through remnants of midnight’s rain,
illuminates the residual gray
clinging to nature’s morning.  Eyes
search for disruptive streak of lingering
silver, refusing to relinquish
the slick elegance of moonlight’s glow.
Failure:  the abysmal haze holds,
complete.  I shrivel
deeper into my own
skin, an automatic escape
attempt, focus on following a
now less discernible path home.

Winter’s Tree

Stripped and left
unbreathing.  Green life
of sun cannot stand
weight of white robe,
brushed on then brushed off
by the wind.  Fickle
coat of wilting, of remaining,
cover’s coma holding.  Pattern
waiting for first crack,
a spring shoot.

Alone Among the Pines

a tiny sprig fights for light.
Its monstrous mothers stand vigil,
but unacquiescing.  They will not part
their branches in empathy of survival’s fight.
Instead they wait in silent observation,
understanding the toughest barks are built
on fleeting rays, those warming moments
when wind shifts, when shade and shadows part.

A.J. Huffman has published nine solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  She also has two new full-length poetry collections forthcoming: Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press) and A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing).  She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, haiku and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Poem by Kushal Poddar


The crows are murder
this autumn, the finches
nowhere to be seen.
Just when we gave up
on the wind fallen
in the well of rot,
it rescues itself
and knocks on the door.
We brace silence
even harder.
The shadows of the crows
devour the crows.

A native of Kolkata, India, Kushal Poddar writes poetry, scripts and prose and is published world-wide.  He authored "All Our Fictional Dreams" published in several anthologies in the Continent and in America.  The forthcoming book is "A Place For Your Ghost Animals."  Find more at

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Poem by Cristine A. Gruber


coyote on
the mountain answers their
soulful cries, calling into the
night air.

Cristine A. Gruber has had work featured in numerous magazines, including:  North American Review, Writer's Digest, Writers' Journal, Ascent Aspirations, California Quarterly, Dead Snakes Online Journal, The Endicott Review, Garbanzo Literary Journal, The Homestead Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Kind of a Hurricane Press's:  Something's Brewing Anthology, Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, The Penwood Review, Poem, Thema, The Tule Review, and Westward Quarterly.  Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from

Friday, September 26, 2014

Three Poems by Susan Dale

San Francisco to Seattle

Cathedrals of Redwoods
Whispers of mist
Circles of clouds
Sighing across the skies

Fog moving in -- fog moving out
The cold thunder of the Pacific
Pine-arms uplifted to the heavens

Waltzing with the Pacific off to the side
A dance of tides
Weather-beaten shanties huddled together
Shivering in the rainy gloom

Green, green; gleaming green

Skies through the branches
Pools of sunlight
Meadows weaving garlands
Of foxgloves and roses
Winks of poppies
Golden flashes of broom
Ribbons of daisies
Mosses rushing to cover all

Mountains rising through the mist
Rock beds dotting rivers
Carpets of moss smothering forest floors
Fern fronds
Buttercups hop-scotching down hillsides
Indian drumbeats echoing across streams

Streams rushing to rivers
Rivers flowing into lakes
Lakes flowing to the ocean
The Pacific waving greetings to the Atlantic
Watery arms joining to embrace the earth

Slices of Spring

Wave willow fronds
Your tender green arms
         To spring


A thin coat of color
On the cold stare
         Of Winter

Overlapping of colors
        White to shy
To green-eyed spring


Ink sketches of branches
Wide-shouldered trees


The moon full
with sacred rite
The sacred rite
      of spring


Spring wings
    a' chirping
through the clouds


With rainy eyes
And pink-slipper feet
Spring dances
      over the hill

The Song is Gone

A 60's waltz
the song
     slipped into quietus
The dancers gone too
Their footprints washed away
by the heartbeat of a lake, persistent,
          ever flowing onwards

We danced our days across the Lake's currents
Rainbow seashells, driftwood sculptures
Broken glass scrubbed gentle

Behind this rock, that
water chants
answered with a chorus of remembering
Walking across thin sands of seaweed and bloated fish
to grimace our way into rocky waters
And further
     past a broken pier
          into a sunset horizon
               falling into twilight rising

Slivers of shadows creeping thin
The soul of remembering
Wrapped tight in the tides of yesteryear

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on Kind of a Hurricane Press, Ken*Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, Garbanzo, and Linden Avenue.  In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.  She has two published chapbooks on the internet:  Spaces Among Spaces by and Bending the Spaces of Time by Barometric Pressures.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Triptych by William G. Davies, Jr.

The Sunflower Chronicles


Sunflowers cram into the morning bus,
they unfold yellow newspapers
and droop their heads reading over
each other's shoulder.


They crowd about me
as I open to the Gospel,
their yellow heads
wait for that moment
when Jesus speaks
and only as they can,
bow their heads
in prolonged adoration.

The Countenance of a Sunflower

She leans towards the Virgin Mary
her yellow Stole swept back,
two Queens in an earthly garden,
one hastening to the other
in a peaceful acquiescence to radiance.

William G. Davies, Jr. is the 2013 Poet Laureate of Perry County, Pennsylvania.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Two Poems by Jeff Burt

Jay's Jangle

A drop, a drizzle, a driving rain,
a stellar jay mocking mockingbirds

out on a wire in the monsoon, jeering
at the catcalls, the coos from the cover,

sings tough-guy talk, schoolyard bully-brag,
bold enough to ignore wet wings, cold, death.

On this day the stellar jay is the only shiny
and winged thing--it struts,

a stain the rain cannot wash away.
It shoots through wind, grabs the highest line

of the staff of telephone wires,
heckles the throng of sparrows that flicker

in the shrubs, jangles a grating key
as it stands king of concrete on the walk

trilling, drop-speckled, spackled
by the downspout foam.


He heard the mountains ring hammered by the sky,
the driving head of thunder with forked claws of rain,

was not afraid to travel the road.
It was when he faced the interrogating glare

of headlights that he learned to fear
the whining saws of tires unimpeded by a sudden turn,

the certain aiming of lights which reduce the world
to muffled cries in murky shadows.

For this he came to value the knowledge of pipes,
fissures, gulleys, the first quick step

into foliage and culvert the lights
will not, cannot, investigate.

Jeff Burt has published works in Dandelion Farm Review, Nature Writing, and many others.  He enjoys plum blossoms, eating plums from the branch, and listening to them plop on the soil.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Poem by Kit Zak


you beckoned to me beyond the first set of waves
raven hair trailing your back
I felt my heart crash open in the roiling deep

surprised by the liquid alarm in your grey eyes
I could see the sea
its bottomless possibilities

she and sad, like the goddess Atargatis,
you disappeared into the billowing brine
I followed you wave after wave until the twilight held you

Kit Zak and her husband retired to Rehoboth Beach, DE after a lifetime of teaching and raising a family.  She is pulled between writing poetry and working on environmental issues; consequently, many of her poems deal with mankind's destruction of the environment.  She has been selected three times to work with the poet laureate of her state, and has poems published or forthcoming in an NPR Anthology, California Quarterly, The Broadkill Review, Newviewnews, The Blue Collar Review, A Time of Singing, and Avocet Quarterly.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Poem by Brenton Booth


trees stretching
footpaths tanning
oceans hanging in the sky
caught in a vice
on a sunday afternoon
philip glass offering no relief
while the mind wanders through decades
settling on the worst times
nothing but pain filling my vulnerable eyes
remembering all those that i have loved
remembering all those that i have lost:
and all that got lost with them.

Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia.  Poetry and fiction of his has been printed in a variety of publications including Modern Drunkard, Poetic Pinup Revue, Nerve Cowboy, Tree Killer Ink, Lummox, Regardless of Authority, 3:AM, Van Gogh's Ear and Lit Up Magazine.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Poem by Patricia Hanahoe-Dosch

Driving through Utah

Cracks and wrinkles in blue skin
sliver across the desert sky
like streaks of clouds.
The left and right horizons
are fractured jaw lines and coffee stained teeth.
The desert seems flat
but beyond the asphalt
lumps of sand spotted with tufts of grass
rise and fall:  the moles and pores
of Utah's skin.  Then a butte
and ridges, a wall
like shards of dark glass slicing into a brown back
bent forward at the waist from hard labor.

The acrid air abrades even human skin.
Funnels of wind
rise and dissipate
in the distance:  rust red,
burnt orange sand and gravel.  The turn
to Moab and the National Park
promises fossilized dunes, like layers of stretch marks
and cellulite across the belly,
and geologic fractures,
beauty framing the blue,
leaking sky and tears of sunlight
between round windows and arches
of granite and sandstone,

formations like ogres, like trolls,
like abstract sculptures and sand paintings
defying the world's evil spirits,
to balance the spirits
of breathing creatures.
Tourists' car radios, cameras,
caravans of RV's and plastic water bottles
leak the world into this space,
a hot wind billowing out of the horizon,
a haze that distorts the landscape
into photos and family vacations.

We are all guilty of anthropomorphism.
The arches continue to stretch and lean
despite the humans hiking and posing around them.
Snakes, lizards and scorpions, ravens
rabbits, yucca, pinion pines, prickly pear cactus,
live despite us.  The sands burn and cool, shift
and erode, despite us.
The asphalt road circles back to the entrance of the park.
The desert and mountains
stretch and streak and wind and drop and rise
despite us.

Patricia Hanahoe-Dosch has been published in The Atticus Review, War, Art and Literature, Confrontation, The Red River Review, San Pedro River Review, Marco Polo Arts Magazine, Red Ochre Lit, Nervous Breakdown, Quantum Poetry Magazine, The Paterson Literary Review, Abalone Moon, Apt, Switched-On Gutenberg, Paterson:  The Poets' City (an anthology edited by Marie Mazziotti Gillan), and MALALA:  Poems for Malala Yousafzai (a Good Works anthology by FutureCycle Press to raise money for teh Malala Fund), among others.  Articles of hers have appeared in Travel Belles, On a Junket, and Wholistic Living News.  Her story, "Sighting Bia," was selected as a finalist for A Room of Her Own Foundation's 2012 Orlando Prize for Flash Fiction.  My story, "Serendip," was published in In Posse Review.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two Poems by Susan Dale


White wrapped 'round white
   into winds wild
      to curvet and blow
Drumming deep-song snow
Threats in throats
Primitive call to
Soul of winds
A bloodless force
From skies a'tremble
Tentacles of snow
They seize and thrust
   to twist in mist
Winds scream a god's revenge

Down, falling
   burying earth's bones
Thick to mount
a night, black
Drift to deep
beyond breath
a sepulcher sleep


Hold autumn close
When the sun strikes broadside
Reach into its heart of gold
One last moment

On the path of summer's glory
Plunder her golden orb
A whispered lullaby
To rock cradle of sleep long
November--above the crest of summer dream
Drink deep the poem of autumn

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on Kind of a Hurricane Press, Ken*Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, Garbanzo, and Linden Avenue.  In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.  She has two published chapbooks on the internet:  Spaces Among Spaces by, and Bending the Spaces of Time by Barometric Pressures Authors' Series.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Poem by Fanni Sütő


Spring is still sliding on the strings of a guitar
waiting on side-roads
to flash
to splash
the world in
every kind of
Envious ivy -- chains
Cities of glass moss
Yawning grass after a lengthy nap
The lawn-mower is resting in the shed
Jaded rings of melting puddles
Jade drinks of rain-wet maples
Willow, oak, poplar:  sleeping giants
but their frosty lips are already
greening with spring

Fanni Sütő is a 24-year-old writer, poet, dreamer who believes in fairy tales even if they are dark, disenchanted and deconstructed.  She writes about everything which comes her way or goes bump in the night.  She has been published in Hungary, the US, the UK, and Australia.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Halfway Across

Spider webs like harp strings strummed by the breeze
A moth like mildew at odd angles spasmodically wings
Heat wave mirages shimmer and ebb
The summertime heat creeps with thirst
Until all is brown and dead
Winter is lost and can't find its way home
And it cries out for its birthright and the time that it is owed

Into the Welcoming Arms Of

The crimson silky birds
Are spontaneous phantoms
In the brazier of swirling mists
That turns the sunset into
An Aladdin's treasure
That glows in frosty nectar
Like a snow covered hibiscus

Blossomed and Thrived

Once when my blue winged sorrow
Took a ferry ride to flip-flops clomping
On clam shells beneath an autumn sunset sky
While blue jays whispered in the fall sunset
Nearby a beachside pumpkin patch
Gathered in a lingering flock
Like some centuries old sacred dance
While under the boardwalk there
The metallic gold of ocean sounds
Turned the seashore all to peppermint
Till night became frozen
And poured all of this wonderment
Into the most tasty of Popsicle molds

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  


Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Poem by Diane Webster

Busy Notice

Did hummingbirds leave
because the feeder reflected empty,
but I was late for work
and didn't want to take time?
They could wait
until tonight or go
to the neighbor's feeder.
So I filled the feeder and expected
instant gratification
like "thank you" "you're welcome"
instead of desertion,
unless mornings
changed into freeze mode,
and empty feeder signaled
migration urge,
and I was too busy to notice.

Diane Webster enjoys the challenge of picturing images into words to fit her poems.  If she can envision her poem, she can write what she sees and her readers can visualize her ideas.  That's the excitement of writing.  Her work has appeared in Kind of a Hurricane Review, Eunoia Review, Illya's Honey, and other literary magazines.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Three Poems by Bam Dev Sharma

December Chill

Benign butterflies
hide under tulip flowers
and wind is in gentle ruffle.

Morning galore beckons
eastward widening shore
beetle in mazy weedy push
engrossed in dilemma
dragging their lanky legs
like the cart's wheel.

Eagles on the elm branches
lost in frenzied whims
striking beak
waiting a swirl of dove.
Bygone days ensue
rainy droplets in move
bluish carnival is spreading.

Pervading snowfall
and the seals are in meandering falter
across lunatic path.
This bodes the December chill
and the cool wind is restless.

I Sing

When afternoon drizzle
fully drenched
sensing rainy spasm
underneath of cloudy siren
and windy baffled
hawks swiftly soar
resounding over rainy snuffle
children in the fence
teasing squirrel
love in the rainy voice
in the shattering of light
muffles in the thunder
anointing heart.

Mooney light impetus and immaculate
encroaching upon the grassy thick
lulling the pervasive grasshopper
into benign amazement
dragging febrile hind leg.

When in the nightly clamor
dewy drops trickle
like the mother's nipple
for the poised red mouth
of the newly born baby,
for any numb heart
trickling passion
in the longing rhythm
wooing of clasp and firm
in sigh of joy
in the language of unspoken myth

I would desperately sing.

Budding Flowers

Blue and red moths
Are in headlong suck.
Shriveling petals and sepals
Numb and trenched like a modest girl
As if waiting across aisle.

Budding twigs
Fall in the dimpling wan
And the sunny galore
Is there yet to usher.

Resented robins ans sparrows dart
In their angry glare
And are ready to peck
Before the blitzing wind
Finds its pass.

Flowers in their sprightly glee
Wave with coy glance
In lurid assurance.

Astonished sparrows
And vicarious doves
Fly way,
Leaving budding flowers
In their waltz
Teasing the dumbfound sky

Chased by whimsical clouds.

Bam Dev Sharma, resident of Dang Hekuli Village Development Committee, Nepal, started writing poetry in the year 1996.  He has published a collection of poetry jointly with American poetess Martine Reis Newberry, entitled Bunyan and the Alder in 2007.  Besides, his poems have been published in several national and international poetry journals across the glove.  By profession, Mr. Sharma is teaching at Campus of International Languages and currently is Head of English Department.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Two Poems by L.B. Green


She's seen the birds mate before.
The circle of seasons is quick.
North Carolina dogwoods, two, among

several, she'd thought dead last year
and planned to fell.  Blood-red leaves now,
a bounty.  Seductive, as usual, they draw

the road further out.  The uneven ground
beneath her feet:  smelling of sinkhole and
wood rot:  what she knows most of love

and takes, rattling the dark limb for one
last kiss.  For weeks, the two hawks, male
and female, have flown to the lowest branch,

of the age-damaged tree, and perched.
Is it a reflection, of themselves or the limb
they hold to, in the glass door that sings them

near?  Morning is alive with autumn bristle
and brush:  as if the recently planted
plectranthus, their vials of miniature purple

trumpets, had beckoned these two birds
to the front stoup, where side by side
for a long time they'd slumber on the iron

railing.  And leaving, each with its blast
of wing stroke, the male would fly into,
repeatedly bump the door, the transom

so, she thinks, to inscribe his name, the hour.
When the whole glass tinkles like it's broken
and falling but it isn't.


Light brings every leaf,
is its downfall.  Nothing
new and everything

new to say about acorns
this time of year:  a bounty
of rain when the air

whips to wind.  This sun
to limn and laud the forest,
a world of worlds

gone dark with yet another
killing, one more cruelty
of moving earth.

Starlight its own kind
of beautiful signal.  Listen
to the warbler today

singing requiem as peach
as dusk while gold larks
to the still green blades

and all those birds looping
and gliding, with no sense of
an end line or knot to hold,

beading the air with their red.

L.B. Green is a writer, poet, painter, and photographer.  She is the author of the books Judas Trees North of the House (2003), Night Garden (2009) and THE ART OF SEEING In Sweet Silent Thought (2010), a collection of poetry and photography.  The North Carolina Arts Council, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts have awarded her grants and fellowships in literature for poetry. The recipient of both the Robert Ruark Foundation Prize and the Randall Jarrell Prize for poetry, her work has been published in anthologies, journals, magazines, and newspapers, in print and online, including:  The Southern Review, RHINO, Cold Mountain Review, Rattle, the Penwood REview, and the 40th Anniversary Anthology, Entering the Real World:  VCCA Poets on Mt. San Angelo.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Poem by Joyce Kessel


Carnival lights and sounds
fill the night
beyond the bridge
before and after fireworks,
We wait for twinkling tentacles in the sky.

But the silvery evening star,
small & moonless,
shining in a luminous afterglow.
Earth's sister-twin planet
home to her own
Guinevere & Aphrodite
depends on us
to reflect her beauty.

Joyce Kessel grew up crossing into Canada to go to Crystal Beach which had a terrific roller coaster, The Comet.  She has been published in Kind of a Hurricane's B, Point Mass, and A Touch of Saccharine.  She is getting refueled at a writers retreat this summer in Woodstock, NY and is a co-editor at Earth's Daughters.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Two Poems by Theresa A. Cancro

Berceuse In Terra

Each rumble of the 'quake
holds in its grip last gasps,
babies' first breaths, end tucked in
at the beginning, a heart tremor,
lost as it falls.

Blue sky catatonic soon folds
with swells off the reef, isn't truly
shaken.  Cloud eyes dim, brighten
when pressed to the sea,
taken to cradle.

Long striations on the horizon
mimic uneven lengths of energy
fingers clawing thin crusts
through scree, pumice,
plied clay and rocking beds.

Earth crack elongated by sun's glare
carries bright songs birds continue
to warble, while it rends the selvage of
sateen hours:  in complacence,
gaping wide, it exhales.

Spring Burgeons

I probe the air, the ant byways
for luxe grass, foliate limbs,
seek in the margins for scraps
from last summer, scathed
to lacy bits along garden walls.

I pray to the ether for rains
to heal the ice burn among magnolia,
limp under gray prism light breaching
tired clouds.  Nimbus waifs hunger
above, long to lap at misty trails.

I provide moments of un-
orchestrated reverie, am loathe
to leave the gate open, fear
these scattered keepsakes
might be wrangled away.

I pluck recalcitrant motes from my eyes,
while aeolian murmurs issue
above the curve of blooming tulips,
snowdrops and smug violets
that shield faces from northern gales.

Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware) writes poetry and fiction.  Many of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online publications, including Napalm an Novocain, Pyrokinection, Kind of a Hurricane Press anthologies, Dead Snakes, Kumquat Poetry, Leaves of Ink, The Artistic Muse, A Hundred Gourds, Cattails, Shamrock Haiku Journal, Chrysanthemum, and tinywords, among others.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Poem by J.J. Campbell


when i pour
water into the
bowl for the
oldest cat out
here on the

she sees her
reflection and
gets ready to

the other day
she actually
threw a punch
at the water

i patted her on
the head and
said good girl

that's the kind
of self-hate i
can admire

J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) lives and writes on a struggling farm in Brookville, Ohio.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon, Pink Litter, Midnight on the Stroll Poetry Contest, and Zygote in My Coffee. His book, Sofisticated White Trash, is available wherever books are sold these days. You can find him most days on his blog, evil delights.  (

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Poem by M.J. Iuppa

Small Gestures


Sunlight lingers on cherry blossoms . . .
Its blush becomes a syllable held tenderly in
a song filled with maybe-- wanton kisses--
you can scarcely breathe


At the feeders, anxious birds
dither over fresh seeds with exquisite grace,
a difficult balance of beak & body, un-
swerving swoon disappears


The night's rain smells like flood.  Don't
interrupt love's quandary.  Ophelia's face
is a water lily tethered between two worlds,
floating eternally

M.J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario.  Between Worlds is her most recent chapbook, featuring lyric essays; flash fiction and prose poems (Foothills Publishing, 2013).  She is the Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.  You can follow her musings on writing and creative sustainability on Red Rooster Farm on

Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Poems by David Chorlton

A Rattlesnake in Summer

In her place on warm concrete
where a board has come loose
from the house,
a rattlesnake wound tight
has come from the dark space
to soak in morning sun.
                            She's golden
with brown angled all
along her body, and her eyes
look out from a current of scales
when she shifts to accommodate
the light, sliding
                 against a metal tube
lying on the ground to mark
how close is safe
for anyone approaching,
until hunger leads her
to the grass,
               and she stutters forward
to where it slopes
toward the road winding through
the mountains that cut
into the sky's every storm
                       and settle back
in place when the universe
at night flows overhead
after lightning has passed,
                       in the calm
that follows a bite.

Arboretum Afternoon

A bobcat's scent lingers
beneath the bridge that swings
across the shadow cast
by the cliff face leaning over
a thread of water
on a day too warm for February.
An agave rooted in darkness

leans into the light
with a raven holding to it
by a talon and a call
that flies into the trees
from every continent
which find asylum here
among the sheltered trails,

one of which climbs
a twisting course
to the lookout point
above the lake, in the dry air

through which the desert
floats all the way
to the final ridge before infinity.

David Chorlton came to Phoenix from Europe in 1978 with his wife Roberta, an Arizona native.  He quickly became comfortable with the climate while adjusting to the New World too longer.  Writing and reading poetry have helped immensely in that respect, as has exposure to the American small presses.  Arizona's landscape and wildlife became increasingly important to him both as a source of pleasure and a measure of how precarious the natural world is.  Thirty years ago he regarded the idea of "nature poetry" as one tainted with sentimentality but today it appears ever more necessary as an element of resistance to the conformity that Edward Abbey confronted so well in his writings on the Southwest.  FutureCycle Press recently published his Selected Poems.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Rebuilt Another Day

A Jackknife made of birds and bees
Explores the quicksilver chimneys
Near the mill pond that sleeps
The death of dark long years
Beneath the brass and broken clouds
On this whirligig of a cold day
Whose dim streets open the stale pastry
Of my old wounds
Till I retreat to my garret room
To paint all this with quill and ink
And rhymes my pigments that I carefully mix
So that I might better fill these "canvases"
With what grows on vines
And had the power to make sleep the mind
Way oh way back in most ancient days
Gone forever now as if by ocean waves
Carried away to the junkyard of old deities
No longer even in the thoughts of the humblest birds or bees.

Even When Silent

The intricately carved monastery soars like a carousel
The red hot polka dotted riverscape will have its fifteen minutes of fame
As a flock of origami cranes glides up its cliffs
That are like a room full of mirrors
As they go to where the story takes them
As all becomes like it belongs on stilts
As I let out a long sigh of rusty salt spray
And all of this is after the snow melted
And left behind only giant saxophones
To pollinate the nearby gardens that were scribbled long ago
On a blackboard salvaged from hillsides covered
In neon yellow autumn leaves and quartz crystal stone

A Forkful of Violins

The constellations in the winter sky
All start to blur together
As we watch the fog roll in
On an island surrounded by kelp
Where plum blossoms covered with snow
Come unbidden upon us like an absinthe dream
And strange and sparsely lit is the ocean view
That has all the shrouded loneliness
Of a mournful train whistle
Built with the cinder blocks of midnight
And sounding pure and perfect
Like a pink conch shell
Never wavering in pitch nor timber
Even as it waxes and wanes
Like the moon tiptoeing like an elf in the darkness

Ken L. Jones has written everything from Donald Duck comic books to dialogue for the Freddy Krueger movies for the past thirty plus years.  In the last three years he has gained great notice for his vast publication of horror poetry which has appeared in many anthology books, blogs, magazines and websites and especially in his first solo book of poetry Bad Harvest and Other Poems.  He is also publishing recently in the many fine anthology poetry books that Kind of a Hurricane Press is putting out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Poem by Joan Leotta

Summer Storm at the Grand Canyon
Black clouds hang low over the canyon
a sudden, swift snap of light
claws across the sky,
ripping into the rim’s stone flesh.
The helpless fury of the wounded stones
roars throughout the canyon.

Relentless, the
fiery cat-o-nine tails
strikes again
at the stones.
Reddened rocks answer each stripe
with rolling roars.
The whip now cracks
angrily around the canyon rim
etching agony onto
the entire semi-circle of rocks
When I can no longer bear to watch
such naked pain and anger,
I retreat, running down the trail.
The rocks cannot run.
Their pain continues.

Joan Leotta is the author of the Legacy of Honor Series: Giulia Goes to War, Letters From Korea, and A Bowl of Rice from Desert Breeze Publishing, Cottonwood Grove published by Western Trail Blaze (April 1, 2014), and Tales Through Time: Women of the South: April Publishing.  Blog:

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Poem by Robert S. King

A gale pushes me up the mountain
to a white cap above wind-wobbled trees,
where limbs must trust the loose fit of snow,
and the mountain’s breath whitens the beard.
Far below, the snow is rain.
The paint of a rainbow melts,
spreads over the valley walls.
A youth brushed his masterpiece days
down there so many years ago,
and I left that one to climb to the top of a life
where every stone is cold. If the wind
cannot take me higher, every trail
twists in black or white
through the only way to go.
Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published four chapbooks (When Stars Fall Down as Snow, Garland Press 1976; Dream of the Electric Eel, Wolfsong Publications 1982; The Traveller’s Tale, Whistle Press 1998; and Diary of the Last Person on Earth, Sybaritic Press, 2014). His full‐length collections are The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both in 2nd editions from FutureCycle Press, 2012;  One Man's Profit from Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013; and Developing a Photograph of God, Glass Lyre Press, 2014. Robert’s work has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of Net award. He currently is editor-in-chief of Kentucky Review. His personal website is