Thursday, December 1, 2016

Due to personal issues this project and all others associated with Kind of a Hurricane Press are closed indefinitely.  All work that has already been published will remain live on the site.  All work that was accepted but has not been published is now released back to the author.  All print copies and issues will remain available through their current sales channels.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Poem by Rick Hartwell

Neighborhood Cemetery

Fascinated by the flurry and sudden fury of wild birds
fighting over breakfast seeds set out every morning,

Their antics invigorate the day infusing it with a will
to carry on at least one more revolution of the world.

Frequently seen is the shimmer of two or three birds
resembling sparrows in all but their fashion apparel.

They may be the bastard descendants of the sylvan-
green parakeet lost to the backyard of the neighbor.

Sated for the moment, four breakfasters now make
morning ablutions in a birdbath with two voyeurs,

One lime green, observing from on the ivied fence,
while the balance of the flock gather on the feeder,

Or under it as seeds rain down in a squall, while
three-toed feet tiptoe on the graves of their fallen,

Interred under popsicle-crosses made by children
after burying depredations by an adolescent hawk.

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher living in Southern California.  Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity.  He has been published in Birmingham Arts Magazine, Cortland Review, Mused, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Everyday Fiction, Everyday Poets, Poppy Road Review (selected as Best of the Net, 2011), Torrid Literature Journal (inducted into the Hall of Fame, 2013), Synchronized Chaos (selected as Best of the Net, 2013), and others, both print and online, as well as several anthologies.  He can be reached at

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Poem by Maria A. Arana

Road Atlas

vacation ideas
pour from leafs
filled with places
never seen

mountains reach peaks
of a thousand or more feet
buildings circle streets
like lighthouses

beckoning all to watch
water fountains
spray mist
on children's faces

colorful lights
surround cities
unless peace and quiet
is what's needed

docks, cliffs, and lakes
are there for the picking
and animals too rare
to experience

approach visitors
for a bag full
of special treats
let ostriches be friends

the road is paved
with veins and arteries
on a map they breathe life
along the coast and inland

so destinations
can be reached

so trails
can be followed
so one day
that atlas is you

Maria A. Arana is a teacher, writer, and poet.  You can find her at

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Two Poems by Vicki Gabow

Beneath the Old Cherry Tree

Upon old homestead high atop the hill,
life mixed with soil -- scattered 'round --
beneath the old cherry tree,
grandma rests.

Marking time with white-grey ash
she sees the changing seasons
just as every year before.

Beneath the old cherry tree
spread among the wildflowers
her nurturing influence lives on.

Upon the hill
I sit, beneath the old cherry tree
sensing grandma's presence here abides.
Knowing one day, I too will be scattered
upon this farmland
beneath the old cherry tree, high atop the hill.

Morning Brood

An overgrown thicket
shelters a mother and her young
as spring rains drench the world
all 'round.

This foggy morn spent
wandering in forest dense and earthy
eases my troubled mind.  Though
cold and damp seep into the forest floor,
I linger here for clarity.

Over her brood, she hovers;
a nest lined in fur
with kits nestled close.  The doe
holds out against the rain.

As I happen by her little
huddle, I catch a glimpse
knowing full well she sees.
Though no threat I pose, she tenses
ready to dart and flee; I turn away
rerouting my journey home.

I'll not cause you stir
on such a day as this; my solace
found among the trees and wild undergrowth.
To the business of keeping warm, I leave you in peace
having sought and found mine within your home.

Vicki Gabow is a high school teacher by day and a storyteller, poet, and painter by night.  In her spare time, she enjoys communing with nature, bird watching, crocheting, and making a glorious mess in her studio.  She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, Dan and two cats, Zoey and Doodle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Poem by Lance Sheridan

Yet the fog shall rise, and many blackened wings shall wane

To light upon branch and twig yet not to rest,
but into silence--
feathers unfed from wind,
wings hemmed in the stillness of mist and water;
soft, rippling waves search
for the shore where languid pleasure fades.

In the midday, perhaps, one lust, one dream--
to fly,
for small voices to be heard stringing through
the fog,
bend ye wings on these, on hopes. . .
or shall we sate obedient.

Yet (surely) the fog shall rise, and many blackened
wings shall wane . . .
soon, crowned with grey feathers,
and cold wind with icy fingers--
thrusting a hand before the lifted flight
(if thus it be, in a drop of time).

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Two Poems by Lyn Lifshin

North of Cotton Wood

               rose lichen
                    gamble oak
                         globe mallow

               bent in rain
                    blue lupine
                    juniper mistletoe

     it rains and keeps raining

these rocks
               pulled from each other

     two million years ago

          wrenched like a woman
whose child is grabbed

               on a cattle car

                    smashed into stone

her eyes, streaked
     like tonight's sky

   a Monday, all sipapu,
     a spirit entrance
          into the underworld

Arizona Ruins

Past Mogollon River
          the limestone ruins
scrape it with your finger
                    and the floor breaks

                              The talc
                    must have dusted
          their dark
bodies as they squatted on these
          floors grinding
mesquite and creosote

No one knows
          where they went
                    from the cliffs
          with their
                    earth jars and sandals

Or if they
cursed the
          desert moon
                    as they wrapped
their dead
                    in bright cloth
                              and jewels.


Now cliff swallows
          nest in the mud
                   where the Sinaqua
                   until water ran out

High in these white cliffs
          weaving yucca and cotton
                    How many nights did they listen
                                        for cougar
                    as they pressed the wet
                             rust clay
                    into bowls
          they walked
200 miles to trade in Phoenix
          before it was time to leave

40 years
before Columbus


Noon in the

          it is summer the
                    children are sleeping

The women
          listen to a story
          one of them has heard
          of an ocean

                    Deerflesh dries in the sun
          they braid
willow stems
          and don't look up

When she
is done
          they are all
stoned on what could come
                    from such water

It is cool and dark
          inside here

                    This was the place


The others
have gone to find
salt and red
          stones for earrings

climb down

                    To look for lizards
          and nuts he

          takes the girl he
          for the first time

                    Her blood cakes
                              on the white chalk

                    Her thighs

                              will make a bracelet
                                        in his head


Desert bees
          fall thru the wind
                    over the pueblos
                              velvet ash and barberry

They still find

          buried in the wall
                               a child's bones
                    wrapped in yucca leaves
                              and cotton

bats fly thru the
          ruins now
                    scrape the charred
          walls white

                              The people left
                    the debris of their lives here
          arrows, dung
                               And were buried
                    with the bright
          turquoise they loved
                    sometimes carved
          into animals and birds

Lyn Lifshin has published over 140 books and chapbooks and edited three anthologies of women's writing including Tangled Vines that stayed in print 20 years, And Ariadne's Thread from HBJ, and Unsealed Lips, from Capra Press.  She has several books from Black Sparrow books:  Cold Comfort, Before It's Light, Another Woman Who Looks Like Me.  Her web site,, shows the variety of her work from the equine books, The Licorice Daughter:  My Year with Ruffian and Barbara:  Beyond Brokenness, to the most recent book:  Secretariat:  The Red Freak, The Miracle, all from Texas Review Press and on Amazon, as all her other books are.  Recent books about dance include:  Ballroom, Knife Edge and Absinthe:  The Tango Poems.  Other new books include:  For the Roses, poems for Joni Mitchell, All the Poets Who Touched Me, Living and Dead All True, Especially the Lies.  Most recently:  Girl Goes Into the Woods from New York Quarterly Books; Malala, from Poetic Matix; Tangled as the Alphabet:  The Istanbul Poems from NightBalletand out most recently from Glass Lyre Press:  Femme Eterna:  Enheducanna, Scheherazade and Nefertiti.  Forthcoming books include Degas' Little Dancer, Through Stained Glass, and Maple.  She has given readings and workshops around the country and has had fellowships to Yaddo, Millay Colony and MacDowell colony.  She is the recipient of many awards including Bread Loaf scholarships, The Kerouac Prize and a New York State Caps grant, etc.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Poem by Jean Louise Monte

Ladybugs are Worth the Foxtails

It's hard to
walk the
when the
are thick
from the rain
and their
stickers embed
in the hem
of my jeans.

I ought
to weed,
except the
are here
the foxtails,
on the weedy
stalks, and climbing
on my hands
as I meditate.

Jean Louise Monte lives in Southern California with her husband and four furry children.  She is the author of one book of poetry, Leaves, Like Party Ornaments.  Her work has been published in California Quarterly, Avocet, Jellyfish Whispers, Life As An [Insert Label Here], and several anthologies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Two Poems by Natalie Crick

Hush Hush

Again the storm is waving, and concealed
Between these waxen nets
We look on.  I can see no cordon,
But the brittle fence and shushing stalks

By which morsels of brush and neighborly gusts
Strained on fresh waste, can be absorbed.
So for an hour I have sat and thought
Swelling in a pool of electricity.

I have sat and thought about this novel fury for an hour.
I have heard the gale roar above my head
And whip through the bricks and lick
It seems, around this house alone.  I am content in

Painting in trance
The knowledge that this performance
Of dancing drums and stabbing ribbons
Is happening outside my window.

No Surprise

There was no rain
Through the sky sagged and slumped,
An old coat cradling the lane,
Wearing thin with empty pockets.

You are inclined to believe the latter; luminous purple, ashen green.
And you are wrong because I remember that part
But, I forget where we were.  Does it matter:
For poignancy is often personified when we are lost.

We swallowed the road with great swooping gulps,
Bounding with confidence, as very small cars often do.
The moon ran with us, I noticed,
Which was thoughtful, because we were all alone.

The forest mob loomed up on the left,
Hurling hostile tremors from her core.
We bravely edged onward
Though our faceless friends were engulfed in her silent roar.

We tore through the black
And he followed.
In a soundless haze, the hooves vaulted upward,
Clearing us with space to spare.

Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl.  Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women's poetry.  Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne's Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Poem by Kevin Stadt

Come Smell the Rain with Me

she leans at the window
flung wide open
breathes the washed air
with eyes closed
when I walk in she turns
reaches out
to me
and says
"Come smell the rain with me."

her slender arm
slides around my waist
warm skin and
cool, washed air
from the sky
to the earth

she drinks it in
this way and no other, here
eyes open, now
drops in oblong spheres
lips pursed for a kiss
arms in circuit
all for a moment,

how can I explain to my sons?
which friends
which school
which job:
all are details, following after
the one true nub--
the pivot point
hides in finding
a woman
who floats into your afternoon
of plotting and scribbling and fretting,
slows it to a poem,
and says something like
"Come smell the rain with me."

Kevin Stadt earned his M.A. in teaching writing and his Ph.D. in American Literature.  He teaches English at Seoul National University of Science and Technology.  Though he hails from a small town in Illinois, he now lives in the Korean countryside with his wife Hyunju and sons Skyler and River.  His horror fiction has appeared in Under the Bed, and his science fiction story "Lunar Escape" will appear in an upcoming anthology, Lazarus Risen, published by Bundoran Press.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Poem by Bryan Damien Nichols

Nature's Signals

The grass billows
In the wind's grace.
Blossoms bulge
Wherever they are,
And because they are.

These crowns of
Waving green,
Of waving red,
Yellow, blue, and orange
Are like flags.

They signal not
The beauty we see,
But the beauty they are.


A brushstroke of deep orange shrinks
On the horizon:  the night drips
Into the patio.  It's all been
Happening, gradually, to the taste
Of grapefruit.  I've been

Thinking about my ability to think,
And wondering why I wonder.

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978.  He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  He has practiced law both in Houston and in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.  Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle.  Bryan is best known for the poetry he writes through his two heteronyms:  (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury.  These two heteronyms were featured in Bryan's debut poetry collection, Whispers From Within (Sarah Book Publishing).  In his new collection, by contrast, Bryan writes in his own name, and explores numerous themes and issues that are important to him personally.  Through his heteronyms, and in his own name, Bryan has been published in dozens of literary journals, ezines, magazines, and anthologies.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Three Poems from Marianne Peel

Salutation to the Strawberry Moon

Two day ago I elongated my body,
stretched to reaching places,
saluted the sun
in simpatico with the thousands

who laid out mats worldwide.
Inhaled exhaust or lilacs
exhaled spirit self together
to honor the Summer Solstice

Bodies moving in a silent rave
arching toward the horizon
ending in Namaste.
Sacredness within me, surrounding me.

Tonight I walk toward the strawberry moon,
ferreting it out from leaf and limb.
I ground myself on a field of summer wet grass
Soles pressing into soil.

I am rooted as I bring up the chi
thumbs pulled back slightly from my palm
there is current following in a line of light
up my arm, to my center.

I rock gently strong, side to side,
as I wave hands like clouds
masking the moon with my palms
just for a moment.

There is no fragmentation
just flow of movement one hand following the other
a moon dance
and I voice five distinct howls

barbaric yawps at the very pull of this moon
one for each of my four daughters
honoring the fertility of their femaleness
their companion moon, antiphonal singing.

I howl once for myself
crone and cycleless now,
but still connected
to this gravitational dance.

And then I come back to my sphere of possession
lowering my hands
a contrapuntal exchange as I
straighten knees, unfold my spine.

I rub my hands together
conjuring friction between willing fingers
smooth palms across my cheeks
my eyes, my forehead.

And I move in the direction of home
alive with chi,
knowing I am radiant
by the light of this strawberry moon . . .

Subsidized Housing, Ditches, and Daffodils

Before you were a daffodil
you were an idea wrapped in a fist
of a palm with life lines rusted with soil.
Screwed down into the earth on a day in November
before the ground stiffened into impenetrable clay.

Before you were a daffodil
the shutters were still lopsided
and the paint dangled in shreds from the eaves.
The foreclosure sign hung crooked
from the cape cod across the street.

Before you were a daffodil
this place was a barren ditch
collecting water from a clogged drain.
A debris of a space with brown leaves tattered,
not worthy of ironing flat into a journal or a bible.

Before you were a daffodil
you were buried beneath
only to rise on this April day
emerging as a confident vibrato,
one cello string pressing long and slow at daybreak.

Come Closer

An evening of Sandhill Cranes
scavenging among autumn leaves.
Migrating soon, these down-in-the-swamp birds
dare us to come closer with laughter
that volcanoes inside their searching throats.

A chickadee careens down onto my fingertips.
Birdlegs balancing
on the edges of my hand,
ferreting out seeds
from the hollow of my palm.

Eiderdown swans,
silhouettes of grace
on murky water,
before moonlight
bares her breast to the lake.

Marianne Peel taught English at middle and high school for 32 years.  She is now retired, doing Field Instructor work for Michigan State University.  She recenlty won 1st prize for poetry in the Spring 2016 Edition of the Gadfly Literary Magazine.  She also won the Pete Edmonds Poetry Prize.  In addition, Marianne has been published in Encodings:  A Feminist Literary Journal; Write to Heal; Writing for Our Lives:  Our Bodies--Hurts, Hungers, Healing; Mother Voices; Metropolitan Woman Magazine; and Ophelia's Mom.  Marianne also received Fulbright-Hays Awards to Nepal and Turkey.  She is a flute playing vocalist, currently learning ukulele, who is raising four daughters.  She shares her life with her partner Scott, whom she met in Istanbul while studying in Turkey.  Most recently, Marianne was invited to participate in Marge Piercy's Juried Intensive Poetry Workshop in June 2016.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Poem by Sasha Kasoff

The Garden

You don't weed it as often as you should.
You know that.
You like to let it overgrow a bit.

You like the idea of abundance,
but you've planted things you'd rather have less of;
you don't want to eat those fruits.
You may cringe at their bounty,

but the snails are overfond of them,
leaving their silvery trails glistening over the green foliage,
over the ripening tomatoes.
The damp shade is full of them,
skirting the repellent you have scattered.

But your garden also has mysteries:
purple beans, volunteers, and pinstriped watermelons appear out of the leaves.
The lemons are a sunny yellow,
waiting to jab you with a thorn when you come to harvest.
You may complain there is never enough of the good stuff,
your favorite fruits don't flower--
but tend it well and you will reap your greatest desires.

Sasha Kasoff's poetry can be found in two self-published books and many anthologies, magazines, and other literary presses all over the world.  She is currently earning her MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University in England.  Look for her author pages on Goodreads, Facebook, and at

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Poem by Joyce Joslin Lorenson

Fox Dreams

Walking to the vegetable garden
while morning is damp and wrinkled,
north side of the old addled stone wall
near the pass-through gap,
a single gooseberry bush grows
contemplating the seasons,
fouled with prickles,
lobed leaves clustered
along arching branches,
dangling fruit, ovoid,
pallid green, the color
of jade droplets
adrift on plaited silk,
translucent as an old woman's
skin revealing the veins
in her quavering hands,
slippery with dew.
In the night
I wake and hear
the hum of it's whirling leaves,
the rattle of it's celadon beads,
footsteps of a fox
circling near the bush,
the swish of her tail
under a swale of stars.

Joyce Joslin Lorenson lives in Rhode Island, grew up on a dairy farm and records the daily happenings in nature around her rural home.  She has been published in several print and electronic journals.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Two Poems from ayaz daryl nielsen

once upon the tree limb
of an old box elder in a
woodland I remember
I was a boy, yes, a
careless and happy boy
singing a hymn to my future
and yes, I remember,
and it comes to me now,
it comes to me now

evening path into the country
an owl hooting in a maple
apple and cherry trees in bloom
monarch butterflies on milkweed
murmurs from wild geese
grazing on these stilled fields
squat pines in the swamp
hold up a flock of blackbirds
the brown squirrel watches quietly
from the limb a nest rests upon
today's journal entry written full
and sometimes my life opens
its eyes a little bit more

ayaz daryl nielsen, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/125+ issues), homes for poems include Lilliput Review, SCIFAIKUEST, Shemom, Shamrock, Kind of a Hurricane Press and online at bear creek haiku.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Though Memory Allows You To Deepen

Darkening seagulls on wings of great fragility
Glide on the wind cries time machines
During this fermenting summer
That lasts through all of October
Now that comic book spinner racks
That once grew like wild flowers
Are so rare that it makes one wonder
Why superheroes rule the movies and the TV air
But I think very little of that
Lost as I am in shadows of orange groves now long gone
And of a station wagon that smelled of deep fried giant fantailed shrimp
Eaten at the Pink Spot burger joint way up the street
All of this like some other planet to me now
But one I would gladly journey back to if only I knew how.

Thousands of Windmills

These blue smoke ducklings at day's end are hard to part with
Now that nighttime blooms as if it is on a trampoline
Near the soft ground of the cornrows
That loom so briskly in all of this blue jade emptiness
As they echo through every ripe cherry
And all of this is evaporating yet as eternal
As any summer beach you've ever trod upon in this life
Or the one that is promised beyond the prism of the clouds
Beyond all this sorrow and all this strife.

Songbirds Again and Again

There is a tingle in the air
As this February morning's tentacles trail behind it
And as all vaporizes like torn silk whispers
Inscrutable is the tree's benediction
As the gray squirrel waves goodbye from deep within it

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.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Three Poems by Lynne McEniry

kemp ridley

kemp ridley, I see you
with my dream eyes      braving New England
waters         so early in the season
I see you

swimming in the deep here with
right whales and jellies       although
freezing, you flock to  chockfull
feeding grounds--neither of us
can spare the worry of why we traveled

to these forbidding waters        so far
from the welfare of warmer shores       neither
the time to wonder whether it's courage
or cowardice that leads more quickly
toward extinction


do you like to listen
to the birds?  I ask as we lie
quiet in the morning light

I'm listening
to at least six different
birds, I think--warble, whistle
and caw, a chatter,
a trill and a tweet--
songs and calls that carry me

back to Mr. Weitz's seventh
grade Listening to Today's
Music class          my desk
on the third   step up   my eye's
closed, ears open to the sound
booth         all its mysterious
knobs and boards that somehow
flooded our classroom with sound.

Mr. Weitz played a game with us
where we had to pick out each
instrument we could hear in the song.
When he said, needle to vinyl now we knew
we really had to listen.
He's start us out slow with acoustic
vs. electric in Ramblin' Man, maybe move
on to the brass ensemble in some
Chicago song before quizzing us
on the Orchestra Baobab, a melting pot
of sounds that carried me into
a world outside the classroom walls.

I like to listen, too, you whisper as
the yellow-bellied sapsucker   pecks
busily at some bark just outside
our window     I wonder how
I'd missed his sound earlier, and
I wonder where the birdsongs and calls
had carried you in that quiet morning light.

A Fractured Sand Dollar, A Sliver of Sponge

On the window sill at the Villa Caprice rests
a fractured sand dollar
a sliver of sponge like a hand signing peace
a crew of coquinas stripped to delight
each bathed clean

of sand, of salt.  A fractured sand dollar
a sliver of sponge demand their own attention
in spite of coquinas striped to delight.  Each
bathed clean they rest refreshed upon the sill.
Window screen dew drops

envy the sliver, envy the fracture that rest
refreshed upon the sill, so they drip down
to striped crew of coquinas, bathing them
in a dazzling glaze.  Now dew drops do envy
the crew of coquinas, knowing that sun will shine

will claim praise for the gift they gave.
Palm fronds wave in the sun, scatter
dew drops, dry up envy,
a fracture, some dazzle,
a hand signing
peace:  life:  window:  Villa Caprice.

Lynne McEniry has poems and reviews published or forthcoming in 5 AM, Adanna, The Stillwater Review, Paterson Literary Review, The Lake Rises Anthology, The Wide Shore, and others.  She won honorable mention for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  She is a regular guest editor for Adanna Literary Journal for which she edited several special issues including, "Hurricane Sandy:  Students Speak Out"  and "How Women Grieve."  Lynn earned her MFA in Poetry from Drew University and works at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Two Poems from Stefanie Bennett

Blanks from the Other World

Suppose the Sassafras spreads its leafage
As far as the far-off "danger man"
Nodding at symbolic warheads.

Suppose the dispirited Mountain Woodchuck
Turns her back
On the Wojak land of legend.

And suppose the fortune-telling Chickadee
Refuses to whistle
"Abide with me . . ."

The cryptic tempest flower wouldn't
Bear too well
                      No sir!


As Lady Day
To fade
The yellow
Voices freedom . . .

In the blink
Of an eye
                 & working
Overtime he
The sky
And its Saviour.

Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry & has had poems appear with Dead Snakes, The Lake, The Fib Review, Poetry Pacific, The Plum Tree Tavern, High Coupe & others.  Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia.  Stefanie's latest poetry title is published by Walleah Press & is available from Walleah, Amazon & Fishpond Books.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Three Poems by Jonathan Beale

The Daffodils

After Marianne Moore

Under the demonic winter air
From beneath the tuber
Ridden in black:  this interlocked
World woven in kindness.
And anticipation of light
Waiting until the invisible
Grows yellowingly visible.
A clock chimes.  The trumpets
Call, they look to congregate.

As they genuflect under
the new sun light.
Offering a simple thought
To their own god for their own existence
As they rotate in the breeze
Facing their god's passing
Their days:  privately offering
Their wishes and desires upon the altar
of the new dawn air.


Here the golden weave--impenetrably obvious
               Golden gods whisper and wish their dreams, to you
To be caught, by you--cast your mind's eye imagination

               The gold is now beginning to fade:  drowned in new black
Only the few find the nights heart here
               Only us human dogs find the solace of here & now

The night is found in a darken Byronic mood
               This desire for desire as the morning claws toward . . .
. . . Breathing; awaiting the first days air on our skin.

Low Mood Months

The eyes slowly sag
With the expiring October
The day of the day brings
A new opening; a new gate
Into another garden, most
Would rather not enter.
The leaves red fire
Cannot fire a passion
In these dark dark days
In these low mood months
The expiring light
Chased away by the
Freezing cold wind--
Hides behind the blankets
And the wood fires
Cinders breathe some
Hope, some life, some light . . .

Jonathan Beale has 400 plus poems published in such journals as Decanto, Penwood Review, The Screech Owl, Danse Macabre, Danse Macabre du Jour, Poetic Diversity, Voices of Israel in English, Miracle E-zine, Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, The Journal, Ink Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, The English Chicago Review, Mad Swirl, Poetry Cornwall, Leaves of Ink, Ariadne's Thread, Bijou Poetry Review, Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes Review, The Bitchin Kitsch, Poetry by Birkbeck alumnus, The Dawntreader, I am not a Silent Poet, Pyrokinection, Festival of Language, Festivalwriter, Don't Be Afraid:  An Anthology of Seamus Heaney, Ygdrasil, The Four Seasons Anthology, The Seventh Quarry, Van Gogh's Ear Anthology, The Curly Mind, The Beatnik Cowboy, and Dali's Love Child.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Poem by Edward Ahern

The Swamp Oak

Balding leafage
lets the eye slip through
to scabrous bark
that runs past rot holes
hiding squirrels.

Twisted branches
contort around power lines,
reaching upward
and straining to
recover grace.

The tree sways
toward a century
it will not reach,
and strews its seeds
with wanton hope.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Three Poems by Kyle Heger

A Torch

A maple has managed to
catch the last light from
the setting sun, which
throbs now through golden
leaves:  imprisoned, prolonged,
sheltered and shown off in
a burst of proprietary pride.
But, far from harmless, the
flickers threaten to consume
their golden covers as easily
as a flame does a paper lantern,
or the hand that dares to touch
it, and so the branch tips make
a point of holding their treasure

Narrow Strip

All it takes is the narrowest of strips
to kill a tree:  a simple ring of exercised
tissue just beneath the surface.  While
all around it, other redwoods survive
with great hollows burned out or deep
gouges running up and down there
trunks, this one member of the grove
stands slowly dying from one-foot up,
victim to a precision that can barely
be seen.


Just this side of cold blood,
cormorants throng the bluffs,
wings suspended flightlessly,
striking poses of crucifixion,
an eruption of the prehistoric.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three Poems by Ken Poyner

Out of Reasoning

You realized
mid-season that
with warmer water
coursing the ocean's veins--
making it torrid and sassy and carnal
and not the water you would bring in a bucket
home to mother--that not
as much of its salt
would, with traveling cold water--
even boxed with glacial metl
and the oblivion of icebergs,
caught in the metronome of a dying world--
sink:  so much so
that the ocean
near shore
would seem saltier
even as the ocean stored less salt.
And that is what excites the fish,
draws them closer in,
makes them comfortable in the crowded
neighborhood of the expiring land.
Some of the fish,
no less enticed than the least,
would be shark, and so
the regrettable number of
human encounters
would sympathetically go up.

And we think of it:
we are such easy prey.

The Final Tiger

This particular expiration
was the end of the show.

He did not think of extinction.

He did not look around as if to acknowledge
similar tigers yet free, others breathing in his moment.

His memories, if he had memories,
were not of the long sentence
of his kind, now resolved.
His worrisome, glass-edged memories
would have been of the need to start
with a burst of low, leathery, unbottled

speed--acceleration and not endurance--
an angle to cut off the most
laggard of the herd.  Only the most laggard.
Never the best:  the best could go on,
breed, build an ever stronger species, a species
that would last past the sacrifice
of its slowest, the sacrifice of the ones
at the uncelebrated back of the pack.

His loss was foretold to us by those of us
lingering unchallenged at the back of our pack.

They are looking over their shoulders still.

The Fishermen

The angry trees are collecting.
They wash in from miles away,
greet each other with esoteric
twists of raging branches, affectionately intermingle
their livid roots.  Tirelessly
they arrange.  How many canoes
could be made from their sparkling trunks!  Leaves
balled into fists, they glare,
canopy to canopy, at us.  We
are mere marveling creatures.
We did not know trees could harbor
such cellulosic enmity.  What
has anyone done to the trees?
What picayune tribute do they want?
More trees arrive, the list
of species growing bellicosely encyclopedic.
They crowd collegially in on one
Another, and still
they come, leaning forward as though
coming with a burden they carry not
out of bondage, but carry privately in praise.
We try to gauge the limits of their roots,
contend within groups over casual
estimates of the numbers of their leaves.
There will be a chronicle of this.
We will teach our children about the day
of our angry trees, trees with their leaves
wooden in rage, with serrated bark and
cascading branches and competition scowls.
Some of us are so rapt in observance
that vendors are rushing out with box
lunches, bottled water, imaginative folding chairs.
There are so many trees that they look
like the bone bed of our ocean, or
the boneless, brave skeleton
of a seasoned maritime weather.
Oh my.  See:  a forest.

Ken Poyner often serves as unlikely eye-candy at his wife's powerlifting meets.  His latest collection of brief fictions, "Constant Animals," can be located through links on his website,, and at  He has had recent work out in Analog, Asimov's, Poet Lore, Sein und Werden, and several dozen other places, both in print and on the web.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Poem from C.E. Ayr

Black and White

Mediterranean sunshine
unique beauty
a small separate world
of light 
and shadow
a butterfly
aimlessly waltzing
on a striped awning
a pigeon
nodding through
early morning
black-headed gull
seen from the bay
across a cliff face
a boat
in shining silver sea
a lizard
flash of grey
under a dark rock
colorless hills
sparkling steel water
all shades
of black and white
a world
seen only
in chiaroscuro

A Scot who has discovered paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Cote d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his live in the west of Scotland and a large part elsewhere.  His first job was selling programs at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success.  He is somewhat nomadic fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Three Poems by Diane Webster

Ripples Below

The trout sees the rock drop
and marvels at the underside
of the plop ripple concentric rings
exactly like when it jumps
for the blue water overhead
but not far enough so it falls
again and again like pieces
of the above world settling below.

Fog Swallows

Lying on the dock
the coil of rope
is as thick as fog
merging with ocean
where one trip
would be a splash
swallowed by the vastness.

Rock Wizards

Like wizards shore rocks command
lake waters to wash over them
in wakes of splash to soothe
their summer swelter in sun
same as they conduct colors
to ignite clouds in sunset
splendor so reflections ripple
into slumber breeze tickling
like goose bumps over skin.

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 The Hurricane Review, Eunoia Review, Illya's Honey, and other literary magazines.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Astonished Even

The sky is asleep the moon is a frail whisper
And its icy sepia creamy shadows
Whose Achilles' heel is a tangle of crows
Is a half formed piano ballad
That echoes down to the complex Chinese indigo stallions below
And what is happening tonight is my redemption
Thought provoking and exquisite in all of its dimensions
September was a sad and lonely, lonely muse that slowed the moments down
But now the brush strokes of dancey December are ripe for gingerbread men
And things as indefinable as a fairy tale

Blue Symphony

The night sky has aged well above these mountains
That are as soft as Blackbeard and are laurelled
Most appropriately by clouds that are seed pods
And there are mended hearts in its January chills
As my thoughts gain traction on this perfectly curated afternoon
That is weathered to a nice patina until I return to streets
Whose great poetry will be forever beautiful and crumbling

How Strange is This Sun Kissed Winter

The almost unrecognizable anthills are noticed
By the sparrows upon the telephone poles
And their eyes shift across these pregnant continents
But I am about to take that exact journey to where the fractured clouds
Provide much more than just the promise of rain

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, June 5, 2016

A Poem by Gail C. DiMaggio

The Desert on Sunday

You have climbed on ahead of me while I stop
          to tally what's here and alive--

screwbean mesquite, its spiral fruit.
          Prickly pear, one spongy hand

popped out of the palm of another.
          A labyrinth spider,

deep in the pouch-shape of her web.  Strands
          beard the web mouth, speckle it with food,

with tiny corpses.  And you have climbed on.
          Ahead of me.  Deep

in her thousand egg sac, Spider Old Woman
          is weaving an entrance

and a path.  Stars, and a night to hold them.
          I am an empty cup in the kiln of the desert.

Gail C. DiMaggio watched her husband pursue his music in a world where no artist ever gives up a day gig.  She refuses to become discouraged.  Besides, she's obsessed.  Her work's appeared recently in Blue Lyra Review, Adanna, Antiphon, Allegro and elsewhere.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Three Poems by Don Mager

June Journal:  Thursday, June 20, 2013

Like balls hanging in tight rows on each
twig and bough to trim a tree, small hard
peaches glow in lime and rouge and sun
bright orange.  The squat tree's maladroit limbs
long to stretch high and embrace the high
east light.  Their small crinkly leaves long to
sing high notes in the key of green but
plentitude and lavishness share a
different scheme.  Fruit conspires to pull the
tree earthwards.  Brokeback branches stretch and
bleed their sap's shiny amber blood.  Large
black ants nibble at the gum-hard scabs
and sun's daily deep massage weighs down
each fruit with succulence and juice.

June Journal:  Friday, June 21, 2013

The kitchen window, hands washing last
night's wine glasses in warm suds while
coffee steams, wants to recall the vow
to the indelibility of
sunset.  The vow holds vacancy as
wide as grief, for its out-flowing light
flowed out.  Morning shadows entice the
window's new found infidelity.  They own
half the shaggy grass.  Crisp and sparkly
with dew, the other half is kiwi
green.  Free of promises, chickadees
twitch and skip from shade to light and back.
Both halves of lawn join voice and command:
Drink your cup, we want our fresh mow now.

December Journal:  Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Beneath the shelf of clouds, darkness wakes
its appetite.  The pre-dawn air is
lemon sherbet crisp.  The tongue wraps it
up within its breath.  It savors the
long draft ride down the wind pipe to fill
the lungs with sassy tang.  The sun hangs
back in the wings waiting to bring on
the main course.  It tosses small puffs of
raspberry pink chilled shrimps up against
the underside of clouds as a tease
again the palate.  The palate stands
solitary in the presence of
its naked consciousness.  Taste and breath,
tongue and lung are fused as one organ.

Don Mager's chapbooks and volumes of poetry are:  To Track the Wounded One, Glosses, That Which is Owed to Death, Borderings, Good Turns and The Elegance of the Ungraspable, Birth Daybook Drive Time and Russian Riffs.  He is retired with degrees from Drake University (BA), Syracuse University (MA) and Wayne State University (PhD).  He was the Mott University Professor of English at Johnson C. Smith University from 1998-2004 where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (2005-2011).   As well as a number of scholarly articles, he has published over 200 poems and translations from German, Czech, and Russian.  He lives in Charlotte, NC.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Three Poems by Michael Keshigian

Lunar Light

It enjoys the placid lake
devoid of activity
at the black hour of midnight,
illuminating the surface
like a lightening bolt
parting a starless sky,
the startled eyes
of aquatic dwellers
staring upward from the silt
as if seeing the path to heaven
for the first time.

Lake Dance

Peaceful undulation
gently raps
the brownish-green
barnacle pier

as the crystal blue pulse
of the extensive lake
abounds with life
below its pristine surface

fettered only by
a rustling breeze
that instigates ripples
to momentarily dance

out of step
against the placid mirror
which reflects
its tranquil message,

enrapturing my mind
to join
in a serene
pas de deux

gracefully waltzing upon
the wavering crests
till the whispering breath

Vernal Clues

In the cool fragrance
of an early summer breath,
minute buds
and tender seeds awaken,
splashing trees
and barren landscape
to a verdure froth,
the fertile air of renewal
invades the blue dome
on chariots
which dash toward the gold medallion
beyond the green arrows
of giant white pines.
The lingering snow melts,
awash with winter memories,
a river of arctic mornings,
frost bitten windshields,
and dangling icicles,
which like a transparent pen
of invisible ink,
scribbles disappearing messages
upon the emerging sidewalk.

Michael Keshigian's tenth poetry collection, Beyond, was released in May 2015 by Black Poppy.  Other published books and chapbooks:  Dark Edges, Eagle's Perch, Wildflowers, Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View.  Published in numerous national and international journals, he is a 6-time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best of the Net nominee.  His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, was premiered at Del Mar College in Texas.  Subsequent performances occurred in Boston (Berklee College) and Moleto, Italy.  Winter Moon, a poem set for Soprano and Piano, premiered in Boston.  ( 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Poem by J.R. Campbell

The Most Beautiful Word

"Cuspidor," James Joyce averred,
Is English's most beautiful word.
Eschewing the romantic, "Mary,"
"Crystalline," "pristine," and "aerie,"
"Amaranthine," "alpenglow"
"Whippoorwill" and "mistletoe,"
The maestro used his ear and wit
And said it's a can where people spit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Three Poems by Harry Underdown

By the Wind Deformed

A cypress clings stubbornly
to life atop the ocean-side
bluff, pressed close to the
sands and rock, deformed
by the wind, pointing out
the direction in which its
daily oppressor has fled,
not the direction from
which it always arrives,
apparently more intent on
accusation than on prevention.

A Gordian Knot

Unable to simply slip
the hook from a blue gill's
mouth because it has
disappeared down the fish's
throat, unwilling to lose his
quarter-dollar's worth of
tackle by cutting the line,
a father hacks clumsily at
the blinking head with a
dull knife to "put the poor
thing out of its misery,"
uses the blade to open its
throat, tears out the hook,
and, as he kicks the body,
still twitching, into the
lake, explains to his son,
"Now it will deteriorate
and go back to nature" as
if congratulating himself
on a job well done.  Let's
hope people express
similar sentiments when
the time comes to dispose
of his remains.


Two crows confer
on a spruce snag,
sizing up their
opportunities down
below and sharing
a wink.  They've
seen something
shining in the
undergrowth:  an
aluminum candy
wrapper or a
wedding ring.

The anatomically superfluous Harry Underdown is a man of many tongues who has his finger in many pies.  He keeps his ears to the grindstone and his noses to the ground.  All of which makes him a natural at "X-treme Twister," but is hell on his posture.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Canyon Unplugged

Mute of color and colloquialisms,
all reflective properties silenced.
Mystery and wonder, swallowed.
Edges become less, more
markers than precipices, holding only
the shape and hollow mundanity
of a gapeless hole.

Blue Skies & Black Asphalt

Rain rages, sideways against frosted windows,
does not do a thing to ease the arid heat.
Steam is rising from the slick
highway and I am a human
mantra of focus.  Heavy gray
clouds are sweeping down on both sides,
but I ignore their menace.  My eyes
can see only the cerulean promise, opening
ahead of me, a clear pathway,
reminding me I am
almost home.


Seven guards, camouflaged
to fight expanse of living
nothing.  Green
and charming, they spread
their limbs, stretching
to shed their seeds.

A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press) are now available from their respective publishers and  She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2400 poems in various 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.

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Poem by Craig W. Steele


          There are some who can live without wild things,
          and some who cannot.

                                 -- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

If, by some implausible, improbable chance, we
discovered a herd of previously unknown
deer-like animals inhabiting a hitherto untrekked
patch of forest, would we rush to preserve them or
rush to kill them off for their hides or meat, or for "sport"?

Most likely the latter; human history is shaped by
viewing nature through the narrow lens of
human wants and "needs."  By definition, useful things
are "good" and what we have no use for, "worthless."  Thus,

"What good is it [to me]?" someone asks while stomping
on a frog trespassing through their garden, ignorant
that the frog may eat the insects that attack their useful plants.

Craig W. Steele resides in the countryside of northwestern Pennsylvania, not far from Lake Erie.  When not writing, he's a professor of biology at Edinboro University.  In his quest to become a widely-published unknown poet, his poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, literary journals and magazines, most recently in The Lyric, Form Quarterly, Jellyfish Whispers and Mused: the BellaOnline Literary Review, among others, and he continues to write monthly poetry as "The Writer's Poet" for Extra Innings, online.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Poem by Bruce Mundhenke

Walking with Lions

A dream of an ocean of Amber . . .
I walk in the daytime Savannah,
Through a grove of acacia trees,
I suddenly see a lion,
And my fear is a living thing.
I scramble up an acacia,
The lion waits at the foot of the tree.
After what seems like an eon has passed,
The lion is walking away.
A man with a striped headcloth
Shouts silent words up to me.
Now I walk with the lions,
And I am not afraid.
We walk through the grass
Like royals,
And the ocean of Amber sings.

Bruce Mundhenke enjoys nature, reading, and writing poetry.  He has published poems in Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes, UFO Gigolo, plum tree tavern, and Jellyfish Whispers.  He lives in Illinois with his wife and their dog and cat.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Three Poems by Joanna M. Weston

Through Water

     1st line from Dragging the Lake by Thomas James

they are skimming the lake with wooden hooks
taking algae to drown in distant brooks

the beaks of diving ducks stir pond-scum
their heralds are but murderous rooks

willows reflect their faintly feathered limbs
lovers blush over borrowed poetry books

boatmen glide among rush and lily pad
stately great blue heron leans and looks

I lean over the bow to gaze at ripples
sunlight finds drowned pocketbooks

wind lifts scurrying waves to flying foam
storm-watchers watch, wait on tenterhooks

Summer Floral

     1st line from Thomas James' Letters to a Stranger

the field is banked with purple asters
this buttercup held beneath your chin

you pick daisies to make a bracelet
lilacs waft their scent across the lawn

dandelions cluster beside the sidewalk
the vintner pulls petals by the score

have you picked fresh sage and thyme?
bees carouse through the hawthorn hedge

a wren has her nest near massed violets
does pollen bring cling to your eyelashes?

Whether We Aspire to Changes

we are what we always wanted to be
petals curling    leaves falling

these end what we might have been
trees rooted in clay  tangled weeds

this possibility of a shared future
sky raining on majoram and chamomile

the way we intended to live the past
a letter delivered before we arrive

we couldn't imagine acts beyond that day
a swing between two maple trees

I write you a five-year diary
the cat sleeps in an empty room

you include stars in a planned event
eat the inevitability of breakfast

we hold anniversaries in limbo
weather forecasts can't hold us

Joanna M. Weston is married, has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen houses.  Her middle reader, Frame and the McGuire, was published by Tradewind Books, and her poetry, A Summer Father, was published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her ebooks can be found at her blog:

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Two Poems by Eleni Cay


It was an early afternoon and God, weary of all-day sketching,
looked down at his black-and-white drawing.  He picked up
a prism to decide on its color.  The prism reflected metallic
green grass, pure white clouds, the indigo sheen of night sky.
God decided he will pour them all into one bird.


In the morning, your song lightens the dark corners of human minds,
rubs their ashes into your feathers, scatters them against the
oppressive lightness of dreams.

In early evening, you sharpen your quill pen, draw small hearts on the
sky's salmon canvas.  In the night, you rip the flesh of the stars,
let their sweetness color your mouth.

Stronger, you fly beyond the dark waters where Kraken lurks,
to the lost cities of Atlantis where love no longer hurts.

Eleni Cay's first collection, A Butterfly's Tremblings in the Digital Age (which is written in Slovakian), was published in 2013, after she won a national poetry competition in her native country Slovakia.  Eleni's English language poems were published in two pamphlets:  Colours of the Swan and Autumn Dedications, and featured in MK Calling 2013 & 2015, anthologies (e.g., Mother's Milk); poetry magazines (e.g., Allegro) and as the "best poetry videos on the web" (Moving Poems). Eleni is currently studying the MA Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Poem by Emory D. Jones


Bent grasses hint
at the passing of unseen winds
and spirits.

Spires of black spruce,
rise out of moss
and point skyward,
their broken branches draped
with a haunting thin gauze
of lichens.

Poisonous red capped mushrooms stand
like miniature tables and chairs--
fungus furniture
that some secret night
might have hosted
the "little people"
so important in the folklore
of the native Ojibwa.

Something spiritual lives here,
something dark
something old.

Dr. Emory D. Jones is an English teacher who has taught in Cherokee Vocational High School in Cherokee, Alabama, for one year, Northeast Alabama State Junior College for four years, Snead State Junior College in Alabama for two years, and Northeast Mississippi Community College for thirty-five years.  He joined the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc. in 1981 and has served as President of this society.  He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by this society in 2015.  He won Poet of the Year in the Mississippi Poetry Society in 2002 and again in 2016.  He has over two hundred and thirty-five publishing credits.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Three Poems by Marvel Chukwudi Pephel


A gliding gull on a glassy sea
Paints a wondrous image
In my mind's eye:
A reflection of the white-blue sky
And the proximate trees,
And the bird glides through
A natural kaleidoscope.


The day's chapters had been played out
In far and wide corners
Of the world.
Roosters hurry homewards
To arrange their vocal cords
For the introduction of a new book;
The sun after running to the edge of town
Returns to the celestial eiderdown,
Casting an orangey-yellowish-pink light
As he draws the curtains behind
The last word in the denouement.

Riverside Syncopation

Splash of waves,
And the high notes travel
To die by the shores.
The bellowing sea is silent,
And basks peacefully under the sun;
There is a musical silence,
A silence that makes us discover
That some sounds can be called "silent":
The whistling of nearby trees,
And the soft rustling of dry leaves
Racing confusedly under the spell of the wind.

Marvel Chukwudi Pephel is a prolific poet whose works have appeared or are forthcoming in Jellyfish Whispers, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, High Coupe, Kalahari Review, PIN Quarterly Journal, Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature, Poetry Tree on the Charles, among others.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Poem by David Lymanstall

The Hawk

A frozen muddy path
In an early winter woods,
Covered with the lace of scarce snow
Lead me to the hawk

Or maybe he was lead to me,
As the branch was empty
When I heard the whisper of air
Pushed out of place

By gray feathers
Guiding a large avian body
To a branch only feet away
From me and the muddy, well-traveled trail.

I waited trance-like, silently thinking
Any movement would alarm him,
Set off the flapping giant wings
That would carry him to a more secluded place, far from me.

But he didn't move from his low slung branch,
Nor did I move from the frozen muddy path,
We both stood firm, wondering who
Would take flight first.

I don't know what thoughts he had as he gazed at me
And as I stared back at the solitary bird,
A bird that doesn't move with a boisterous flock,
He probably wondered the same of me on that secluded trail.

I had the notion that the hawk enjoys the sound of his own wings
In the cold winter air, just as I enjoy the sound
Of my solitary steps on a frozen muddy path.
The hawk had found a soul mate in the winter woods.

David Lymanstall is a teacher, artist and musician.  He has taught in classrooms ranging from Montessori Middle School to the college classroom.  He enjoys learning himself and likes to ignite that love of learning in others of any age.  In his spare time he teaches illustrated journal workshops, plays the fiddle in an Irish session group and enjoys writing science and nature related poetry that hopefully inspires others to look at the world around them a little closer.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Poem by Ilhem Issaoui


Sea waves dashing on the shore restless
Like a moribund clinging tenaciously to a gleam of life
Hence was me in few words
Known to everyone as loyal, as unwearied, as the face of beaming glee
But no one knows of the thoughts and memories
Still haunting each and every corner of the cadaverous heart
Aching, wailing, tearing
O come, come hither
And transfer to me some of your spring
The shabby door of my heart still ajar
Fear not its stridulation

Ilhem Issaoui is a 23 year old Tunisian translator and poetry and short story writer.  Some of her poems and short stories have appeared both online and in print in magazines including Three Line Poetry, Salis Online Magazine, Mind Magazine, Mad Swirl Magazine, Jaffatelaglam, Danse Macabre, and others.  She is also the author of a collection of poems entitled, Fragments of a Wounded Soul.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Poem by Guy Traiber

The Strongest Wind

leaves separate from branches
softly, even in the strongest wind
there is a moment of innocence

the leaf bows
the branch nods

and there is a pause
to give blessing before the hug
in which they grew ends

if only we too could
burn out
like that

Guy Traiber was born and raised in the sweltering middle-east and found love in the cold mountains of Europe.  After a decade of travelling extensively throughout India, South-East Asia he is now pitched again on the soil of his youth.  He studies Sociology & Political Science and Chinese Medicine and finds that they all relate.  He would very much appreciate it if you tell him something.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Two Poems by Susan Sweetland Garay

The Continuity of Things

Let us talk about the stars and sky:

do not ask for answers from the trees and ferns
but instead try to be them,
to learn their ways

do not judge them for their slow growth.

Their growth is steady
and they know how to forgive
which is a magical quality all its own

and they are patient like no other.

We should be as the forest
blessed and growing
and constant.

Our power lies in each new moment
time will not disappoint us.

Collect the light,
gather it into the bowl of your bones
keep it safe until you are at the ocean
and then spread open your hips
and birth it out again

watch bits of light
drift into the sky
and out again
undulating with the waves.

I want to learn the language of the bees,

to create something from the cosmos
from the light we have swallowed
which is resting on our tongues.

Ancient Corners

In a river in the fourth of July,
submerged to my waist in icy water,
this weary and neglected body
does not feel imperfect.

I sink down into my hips
feel my skin
feel the water moving around me
cold and rushing.

It finds ancient walls
and corners

with moss growing
and flowers coming through the cracks
reaching for the sun.

We drove past a charred hillside to get here,
so recently burned I could still smell the smoke.
But the black ground did not seem so sad or lifeless,
instead I could almost see it breathing deeply as it rested.

I used to know the way
but now have forgotten

and I wonder what else I have forgotten
from when I was a tree
with my roots
into the

When other trees and ferns and mushrooms
whispered to me

and I understood their language
and the movements of their leaves.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Susan Sweetland Garay received a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Brigham Young University, spent some years in the Ohio Appalachians and currently lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry.  She enjoys finding beauty and meaning in the everyday.  She has had poetry and photography published in a variety of journals, online and in print.  She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014 and her first full length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013.  Her second book, Strange Beauty, was published by Aldrich Press in 2015.  She is a founding editor of The Blue Hour Literary Magazine and Press.  More of her work and doings can be found at

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Two Perfect Prints

The sand echoed with the stamp of takeoff.  Success
driven deep into the grains.  I paused to capture
the moment (as if such freedom could ever be
contained).  Taking in the light, the subtle tones
of the breeze and the resonating chitter of wings
both flighted and still
fighting, I found myself
frozen.  In that mysterious moment
I was another world
of motion and momentum.  Building
bridges with my eyes to cloud-filled dream worlds
raining silver lined gowns.  And I wrapped
myself in its folds.  Stepping
forward, finally, with the eye-opening will to ripple
[inside] my own wake.

Snail Sits

on a rusting grill.
He is not searching
for remnants of food,
forgone.  Rather, he is reflecting
on the day’s travels, a lifetime
in inches, as the moon showers
his shell in cool white

Not All Wings Are Wax

Balding royal
attains mythic stature.
Icarus’ mimic, soaring
for sun.

A.J. Huffman has published twelve full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2500 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Three Poems by Dah


The sea does not call
Low tide is food
Air caresses

A ripple knows nothing
The thinnest puddle of clouds

Tracing sand with a finger
I wish upon a secret
Nothing else

Empty Seat

Along the deserted coast
very little lingers:  shells, tortured rocks
sand dollars of no value
Light shrinks inside the breakers
where waves come to shore
to loiter in the sand
to hold the flickering light

A web of wind tangles the mist
into clouds,
rustles the feathers of sleeping gulls

I am silent, the sea thunders.
My solitude, filled with memories
of things that cannot be repaired.
A crowded emptiness
comes out of hibernation,
a storm brews in darkness.

Late afternoon wears gray scars,
the sky is soiled with thin smog
I am silent, listening for the wind
There is nothing but the snap of waves
against the comatose cliffs

I take an empty seat in the sand.
Nothing changes.  Even here
sitting along the beginning of life
nothing changes

The routine between waves and wind
is their habit, their hope
yet both need different directions

still, it is hard to feel alive
while the world suffocates.
It is hard not to notice
when earth clutches my feet
and the air is speechless.

Forgotten Cattails

I enter the solstice
to hear snow falling
where winter leads the way
to a short-light-distance

Along a childhood memory
snow labored painfully
sweeping the landscape
with heavy shoulders
of white surrender

It seemed a great distance
from Grandmother's house
to the barn
where the icy sky
bellowed a deep freeze
over shivering fields
of forgotten cattails

Dah's most recent book is The Translator from Transcendent Zero Press.  His first three books are from Stillpoint Books.  Dah's poetry has been published by editors from the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Canada, China, Philippines, and India.  His poems recently appeared in Lost Coast Review, Recusant, The Cape Rock, River & South Review, Acumen Journal, Sandy River Review, Stone Voices Magazine, The Linnet's Wings, and Diverse Voices Quarterly.  Dah has been nominated for the Pushcart by the editor of Transcendent Zero Press.  He lives in Berkeley, California where he is working on the manuscripts for his fifth and sixth books.  Visit:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Three Poems by John Grey

Birds at the Feeder

Birds gather at the feeder
during the short days of February,
mostly brown, some gray,
and occasionally the striking blue
of the chatty jay and the
cardinal's blood red.
They peck at sunflower seeds
or the mix in a tray.
Woodpeckers cling to suet cages,
drilling the good white fat,
black and white but
for the red dot on the forehead,
like an Indian bindi.
Doves poke and plod
at ground level,
among the husks,
the unintentional spill,
their slate heads bobbing
like old men agreeing
with what they do not understand.
Sometimes, a stranger alights,
a grosbeak, a towhee,
even an escaped cage bird,
passing through
but, like all the others,
leaving something of themselves
with our eager faces at the window.
It's winter, far from summer's bounty,
and we can't help being in their lives more.
But they pay us no attention.
Survival is too busy to give thanks.

The Eel Run

Flesh passes beneath me
in a slither of eels
or a skeleton does for skin
in the cockeyed creep of a crab.

Water flows as peace
but beneath the surface
my hands are at war
with the wildlife.

They slip through my fingers.
They bury themselves out of reach.
Then the stream calms.
My hand comes to nothing.

A tanager alights on a branch
where I cannot reach it.
A rabbit skitters away
at speeds beyond me.

Time to go home,
hug wife and children.
A good haul when
it's my own kind running.

Eye on the Shore

As above, so below.
on the surface of a lake.
matter makes good on its reflection.
The sun is twinned.
Mountains drift out as far as they are high.
My two faces keep to themselves
as I lean over from the bank,
take in a pebble, a darting fish,
a hundred frog leaps.

Looking up.
I arrange the prospect outward.
On an overhanging bough.
four turtles bask in order by size.
In far shore mud,
an egret marks the tracking of time.
In the marsh grass,
dragonflies snaffle mosquitoes.

The eye too is a lake itself small and placid.
The eye, with light at the helm,
floats serenely in its socket.
It does not go out into the world.
The scenery comes to it,
makes a finer sphere, interior.
In its watery humors,
anything can be represented.
But only the eye
chooses what is contemplated.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident.  Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review and the Coe Review.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Two Poems by Lily Tierney


Watching a squirrel climb a tree,
reaching the top branch.
All the while he was watching
me as I stood on the ground.


I could smell the flower as I entered
the room.  The fragrance danced around
and became a song.

It traveled through the air and into the night.
The moon and stars conducted a symphony.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Poem by Lily Tierney


When the last leaf fell from the tree,
I could finally admire its branches.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

October Rain

whenever it's a gray
october day
i remember your eyes,
i think of you and your torment
of the agony i never knew
was always too lost
in my own world
to save you,
but you were proud of me;
i'll never forget your
advice, uncle,
of finding my dream and fighting for
it relentlessly;
and i'm doing just that--
i think of you in the october rain
of your somber sadness
how it didn't stop you from being kind
to me,
and i'm sorry i didn't know you were
depressed and i'm sorry that you lost your
battle with depression--
one day i thought maybe you could teach
me how to paint
i always admired your artistry
you were a beautiful soul
i wish you could have know that,
and i know it's been fifteen years; uncle,
but sometimes i'm still that fourteen
year old girl
crying herself to sleep because you're

The Raven & The Hurricane

you are a hurricane
not caring
where the eye hits
you smashed
me into the wings of oblivion
had to create myself
whilst your memory tormented
and agonized my soul
it was all so
but you insisted on having me because you
only ever saw me as a possession;
but people aren't things you
can own and women like
me cannot be tamed
i am wild--
never shall i forget your trespass against
my heart or soul
i am a raven
when my wings don't burn at the mere
mention of your name
i will fly back to the heart of your storm,
and i will claw out your eye;
men like you don't deserve to be called men
you do not deserve the
force of the ocean.

A Better World

my heart catches in my throat
i feel most in love
when i'm standing in the wood
lone and tall
as the trees that protect me
in their loving
and the crows caw and the squirrels scurry;
curious little chipmunks look up at me
before disappearing as quickly
as they appeared--
i could live in the forest forever
drink in the wild water
breathe in the sweetest, purest air
forget humanity
locked in their prisons of isolation and doubt
of apathy and anxiety and depression;
just jump into the rivers and creeks and listen to the
waters until i had no worries at all
find myself waking upon
rocks and sitting on the ledge of large tree roots
demanding to be by the creek's edge--
i don't have any need of humanity
and their cruelty
just let me sit by the river's edge and dream
and create and make a better world.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvania 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 was published in October 2015.