Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Poem by Heather Gelb

Silence of the Crickets

The bronze cricket adorning the weather vane
Defies deceiving winds and only
Points east.

The caged cricket trapped to wisps of good luck
Defies the ears that strain for songs portending
Abundant harvests and joyful encounters.

The silent, unyielding crickets bring
Disharmony to those too wise
To hear the

It takes a child to blow wind sweet enough
To move the bronze cricket and
Wise enough, just enough, to
Open the cage and let good fortune soar
On wings of sound, just
A chirp away from all who hear joy
In the darkness.

Heather Gelb feels most fulfilled leaping from hilltop to hilltop, as she writes in her recently published memoir about her journey from Rwanda to Israel --  Her poetry has been published in such diverse works as Poetica Publishing, Deronda Review, Green Panda Press and Dead Snakes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Two Poems by Simon Perchik

This leaf shutting down
drains as if its puddle
could speak for you

though the evenings too
have outgrown, no longer reds
or browns or face to face

the way all these trees
still gives birth in darkness
and the echo you listen for

has your forehead, scented
lulled by the gentle splash
coming by to nurse

--what you hear is the hand
hour after hour leaving your body
and this huge sea

that never blossomed
taking you back for rivers
that wanted to be water.

From under this pathway the sun
brings your shadow back
the only way it knows

though what it pulls up
is just as weak, hardly pebbles
and on a plate left outside

as if this grave is still vicious
caged the way the dead
are fed with your mouth

calling out from the dark corners
for stones, more stones--step by step
you remember things, better times

careful not to come too close
not raise your hand
or one false move.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.  His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled "Magic, Illusion and Other Realities" please visit his website at

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Poem by Linda M. Crate

Crow Song

the crows
always sang loudly
flapping their
to make me leave,
but stubbornly
i followed;
they stopped when they saw
my crow necklace
almost as if contemplating
who i could be
that i should walk into the forest
without fear--
the songs of the crow continued
ever more softly,
and i felt like they started trying
to teach me how to fly;
i have always
wanted wings and so i followed
listening to all their tales
maybe one day
i will have a pair of wings to follow
after all their dreams.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville.  Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.  Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press -- June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon -- January 2014) were published.  Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015.  Her novel Dragons & Magic is forthcoming through Ravenswood Publishing.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Two Poems by Kate Garrett

Through Bruton Park

summer hangs
     over the edge
of the orchard

grasping at autumn's
& ripening apples
     coax from each adolescent branch

your boy departs
     from the path

the hood up on his black sweatshirt
a druid to scale
creeping amongst those poppet trees

he respects & inspects
hands in pockets

returns, face glowing

a harvest sun

Beside the Irish Sea

testing folktales
               you push your luck--

it is said

off the welsh coast
brings misfortune
to all on board

but you have no ship

there is only you
& only tiptoes
over pebbles
to touch
               but tough
to cross

where the foam paints
the tide line red
with beached jellyfish

stretched flat
& doomed

& where she
once described
(as she rested
in hospital)
as a place
she'd found a sign
from the angels:

          white feathers dashed
                    & fluttering
                              across the sand

Kate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in southwestern Ohio, but moved to the UK in 1999.  She is senior editor for poetry and flash fiction at Pankhearst, and founding editor of Three Drops Press (which includes the folklore, myths, and fairytales webzine Three drops from a cauldron).  Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her latest poetry pamphlet, The Density of Salt, is forthcoming in 2016 from Indigo Dreams Publishing.  She lives in Sheffield.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Poem by Herb Guggenheim


In Bermuda--
at Elbow Beach--
the ocean is swimming pool blue--
so clear that you can still see your toes
when you've waded out as far as you can go.

The waves at Elbow Beach are gentle mostly
but occasionally a giant one rolls in
almost in slow motion--
almost like liquid glass.

If you have your back to it,
you might not realize it's coming till the last second
and the wave washes over your head
and you're spitting out salt water
which you didn't mean to drink.

When my wife and I get out of the ocean,
a wave follows us back to our cruise ship.

We return home
and the wave is right behind us.
It accompanies me to my office
and comes home with me at night.

Sometimes the wave sleeps by the fireplace.
At other times I open the bedroom closet
and the wave jumps out,
surprising both me and my wife.

When we're out and about,
the wave spots some innocent bystanders
and washes over them,
leaving them speechless, spluttering, and a bit confused.
Also wet.

Eventually the wave gets homesick
and books a flight to Bermuda.
It flies coach,
gets a middle seat
and feels uncomfortable the whole way back.

When the plane lands
the wave boards a bus
and rides back to Elbow Beach
where it crosses the sand and slides back into the ocean.

We never hear from the wave again.

Herb Guggenheim's poems and short stories have appeared in a number of magazines, including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and Gargoyle.  He's been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award.  Mr. Guggenheim's rhymed poem "Countdown" received an honorable mention in the 2015 Writer's Digest annual writing competition.  He is the author of Sunset at the Hotel Mira Mar (Infinity Publishing, 2011), and the chapbook, Strange Encounter at the Shakespeare Motel (Finishing Line Press, 2015).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Poem by Heather Gelb


Patches of sun illuminate
Vineyards harvested and
Paths forged by generations of
Star dust and potting soil ripe for
A new year of growth

Patches of shade shelter
Emerging sprouts and butterflies
On the verge of discovering a
Brilliant world.

Heather Gelb feels most fulfilled leaping from hilltop to hilltop, as she writes in her recently published memoir about her spiritual and physical journey--  Her poetry has been published in such diverse works as Poetica Publishing, Stepping Stones, Deronda Review, Green Panda Press, and Dead Snakes.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Poem by Izzy Noon

A Priori

we knew before we
got here
how we would cling
to the dew
how we would revel
in the shade
how we would lie
in grasses
and content ourselves
with silence

Izzy Noon is a writer and mother.  Her favorite author is Sylvia Plath.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Three Poems by Rick Hartwell


Free-wheeling south on Highway 101,
giant redwoods render purple shade;
unseen sunrise over left shoulder,
dawn's red turns soft orange then to
vertical bands of soft-filtered yellow
a slant between majestic trunks to right;
crowded sentinels individually
wading through lush ferns,
careful not to tread on the
dappled fawn unfolding.


I'm continually seduced by the wind,
from the small caresses tickling hairs
on the back of my neck to the vagrant
zephyrs drying sweat on arms and face;
such minimal acts of kindness kindle
thoughts of more intimate contact.

So I revel in the roiling currents of air,
first buffets on the distant tree-line, as
it creeps closer, touching dead leaves,
stray flotsam, driven before its lunge
across vacant lots and empty streets,
to embrace me in its clumsy groping.

Klamath Falls

A ravenous hawk spirals over the grove
finally alighting on one of the ancients.

Scurrying mammals and bird attendants
wizard cautious warnings to one another.

Falls of sunlight cascade through pines and firs,
slight zephyrs stir and dry needles rain down.

Freckled and cancerous bark of white birches
rise from lime-colored moss and coiled ferns.

Incongruity of a white doe frozen in full light
next to a fallen giant, creator of a pygmy glen.

Diagonal yellows slash through upper branches
as seedlings strive for lebensraum and growth.

Lightning-struck snags pierce lowering clouds,
river ospreys compete for flashing surface fish.

Fog starts to settle oozing down-slope, fewer
redwoods remain perpendicular to the planet.

And I recall the taste of black licorice as our
tongues played around in this dark theater.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Poem by Inna Dulchevsy

Palette of Now

Falling down
Into the deep grass
Tangled long leaves
Crib of nature
Watching the triangle of birds
Flapping their wings overhead
Piercing clouds
With yellow sharp beaks
Spotting flowers
Picking flowers
Of different colors
Melting into the aroma
Of petals
Kissing heads
Of tulips
Tossing images
Mixing shapes
                Desire of future?
               Ghost of the past?
               Lost dunes of now?
Walk long valleys
Of bluebells
Shades of meadow
On feet
Wish to find one
Tiny red ladybug
Ask her for a blessing
Make just one wish

Inna Dulchevsky spent her early school years in Belarus.  She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.  She was awarded the First Prize 2014 David B. Silver Poetry Competition.  Inna's work has been published in numerous anthologies, books, and journals including Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers, Petals in the Pan Anthology, book Laveder, The Cannon's Mouth, The Otter, New Poetry, Calliope Magazine, Aquillrelle Anthology, 4th annual Lummox Poetry Anthology, Antheon, and is forthcoming in Element(ary) . . . My Dear Anthology and Calliope Magazine Anniversary Issue.  Her interests include metaphysics, philosophy, meditation and yoga.  The light and expansion of consciousness through the connection with inner-self and nature are essential in the writing of her poetry.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Poem by Theresa A. Cancro

See How the Goddess Reaps

as seeds apportion her womb,
spark labyrinth crops to
plow life back, then forward
within, outside of time.

She shores sap tails to be rattled
awake with lugubrious chants, potions,
watches whorls that feed our arms,
our lank souls, through nuptials,
childbirth, wrapped lengths

of the moon cycle, around which
she squats to birth, breach labor, while
umbilical cords, like snakes, writhe.
Oh, she loathes the cut-off
from each leaf, pebble,
magpie, snail, narwhal,
but resists cloying.

Humans in hubris stop
her in her tracks:
their spoil truncates her beauty
once primed by each eye, that
pride of clay handiwork, such
destruction, loss, pain sieved
through warped looms--

Still, she presses on.

Theresa A. Cancro writes poetry and short fiction from Wilmington, DE.  Dozens of her poems have appeared internationally in online and print publications including The Artistic Muse, The Rainbow Journal, Leaves of Ink, Plum Tree Tavern, The Heron's Nest, A Hundred Gourds, Presence, Wild Plum, High Coupe, and Pyrokinection, among others.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Poem by John Kross

Observations in a Fall Garden

This year's winner is portulaca.
She has overrun the competition.
I pronounce her pour-chew-laka,
as if her presence isn't already
pronounced enough.

A watery weed in disguise,
she slips beneath a bed of color
when the sun comes out.
Hundreds of little umbrellas
protecting her from the heat,
or rather gathering it.
Like those big dishes in
the Arizona desert
that listen to outer space,
she sways and moves toward
the voice of the sun.

Three colors dominate.
Neon pink,
not glow in the dark pink
but glow in the day pink.

a red as red as
"B" horror movie blood,

and lemony yellow.

In the afternoon they hide.
Delicate brushes dipped in color,
their daily quota of light fulfilled.

Those not in direct light
still fight,
open and searching,
leaning and bending toward
leftover patches of day . . .

I see on standing alone,
upright and outstretched,
tall and wiry.
A netted wing dragonfly
stops to chat.

The dianthus lie
silent among the portulaca.
Like gored runners at Pamplona
they have been trampled and overrun,
their white garment petals
splattered in red.

The roses fade in the August heat,
tired of continuous expectation
they don't even try anymore.
They will be pruned for their indolence.
In the spring they will have matured,
and will be back to fulfilling expectations.

Near the garage,
the Mexican heather sways
in the intermittent shade of fountain grass.
Running this way and that,
trying to catch a random ray of light
between the blades of tall grass.

In the corner of the yard
the fountain sits bleached and tired,
weathered by a season of sun.

It bubbles in slow motion,

the mossy birds lie down in its flow,
too tired to stand anymore.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Season of Death

hung over the fog like skunk juice,
mulberries heavy and thick,
ripening into black, its leaves
browning to the death hues of autumn.
What was left was left,
what remained began to smell,
everywhere an ending for one species
and a feast for another.

We refused what was in front of us,
pushed back from the table full
and never noticed the drought over the mountain--
it did not pertain to where we were,
water deep and easily cleaned,
the stores full of themselves:
money meant nothing
when it no longer mattered.

Summer ended before its time,
we watched it drain itself clear,
bided our time like fugitives,
and wandered into the spray.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses.  His work has appeared in The Cafe Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology  of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others.  In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm:  A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100F Outside and Other Poems (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2012).  He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).  Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago's inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Three Poems by Steve Carter

Sitting in the Sun

a lizard
perhaps two inches long
hops onto the concrete apron
around the post of the cast iron gate
then up onto the horizontal slat of the fence
looking black as its shadow
in the sun

"in" the sun, we say
the sun's light
through cold dark space
on warm skin


Moving through the night,
sky in all directions lit,
earth trembling beneath the house,
windows closed tight
against the driving rain.

a tree
taller than the house
its roots
in the rumbling earth.


An impossible bird
with long, dangling tail feathers
of some bright, unknown color
flashing by the window,
caught in the corner of the eye.

But when it lands on the grass
it is seen to be a black and common crow.

Only when it takes flight again
do I see the sheen of its feathers,
purple and green,
catch the sun.

Steve Carter is a writer and jazz guitarist.  He taught music and English at Berklee College of Music.  His first book of poems, Intermodulations, was recently published by Maat Publishing (  His poetry has appeared in many magazines, including Hanging Loose, Carolina Review, Stand, and Clackamas Literary Review.  He has 10 CDs of his music available on his independent record label, Frogstory Records (

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Poem by Desirée Magney

The Tomato

She gently sticks her thumb into the fleshy innards
of the thickly sliced, ruby red Heirloom.

She works her way round clockwise,
segment by gelatinous segment.

Nail pointed towards her,
she slowly extricates her thumb each time.

And with every satisfying sucking sound,
she disembowels it of its seeds.

Desiree Magney is a freelance writer and former child advocacy lawyer.  She writes memoir, poetry, and personal narrative travel pieces.  She has been published in Washingtonian Magazine (Washington Voices), Bethesda Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, and by The Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  The Writer's Center also honored her with a "Best in Workshop" reading.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the literary journal, Little Patuxent Review, and has been on of their fiction readers.