Monday, February 29, 2016

A Poem by Diana Woodcock

The Secret of Positive Thinking

"All shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing(s) shall be well."

                              -- Julian of Norwich

Even if I could consistently believe
Julian's words, I still would save
seeds--life's fragile sacredness
I'd still guard and respect.

And though I believe,
I would still grieve for skylarks,
song thrushes, blackbirds gone silent--
their marshes, moors and meadows,

ponds, heaths and hedgerows poisoned--
destroying their food supply.
Though I believe, I would still cry
out against "a strange passivity

haunt(ing) our lives."*  I would despise
all homogenized shrinking of the world,
dwindling of personalities,
dulling of relationship.

I would not slight the little spore
that blights the potato, the one small spark
that ignites the forest.  All shall be well,
regardless of what befell

the world yesterday.  If I can say
this and believe it, the battle's won.
Look how the Black-capped chickadees
have fun in their forest, flitting about

collectively, each respectively
doing its thing.  Silent and weightless,
harmless, disturbing neither limb
nor air, alert to all that goes there.

Surely they believe all shall be well.
How else could they be so full of grace--
the very face of God, each one the sum
total of perfection?  All shall be well.

Just ask the river otters, frolicking in brown
waters, tummy-up, holding out both hands.
But--ah, the curse of man, always a but--
what about the bees, their hives

no longer humming?  I cannot
ignore the disaster coming.
Dare I still believe
all shall be well?

*Ian Pindar and Paul Sutton, Introduction to
The Three Ecologies, Felix Guattari, page 6

Diana Woodcock is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, most recently Under the Spell of a Persian Nightingale.  Her first book, Swaying on the Elephant's Shoulders, won the 2010 Vernice Quebodeaux International Women's Poetry Prize.  Chapbooks include Beggar in the Everglades, Desert Ecology:  Lessons and Visions, Tamed by the Desert, In the Shade of the Sidra Tree, Mandala, and Travels of a Gwai Lo.  Widely published in literary journals and anthologies (including Best New Poets 2008), her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award, as well as performed live onstage in Lincoln Park, San Francisco at Artists Embassy International's 21st Dancing Poetry Festival.  Several of her poems "toured Alaska" as part of the "Voices of the Wilderness Traveling Art Exhibit, Alaska 2014-2015.  Prior to reaching in Qatar (since 2004), she worked for nearly eight years in Tibet, Macau and on the Thai/Cambodian border.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Three Poems by April Salzano

Another February

The world has frozen over.  Hell,
this winter, wouldn't be warm enough.  My bones
leave trails through tundric mountains.  Out here
souls of strangers are huddling together for heat.
Even my thoughts are on hold, heavy glaciers,
unmoving.  I am an old mare dragging seasons
behind me, full of silence, ribs protruding, waiting
to see if I make it to the mirage of greener grass.


Today I made a hawk drop her prey.
That is not a metaphor.
She was trying
to reach a height sufficient to cross
the street, roadkill gripped
in her talons when we intersected.
The carcass fell.  By instinct,
I ducked behind my steering wheel.
I swear I saw her laughing
in my rearview
mirror, the way a hawk laughs,
low and intentional.

Because Ice

soaks our empty field with threats
of spring withheld, coats tree limbs
with drops of glass, we crawl
across parking lots and burn the last
stored, split wood.  We await warmth
of sun to open early shoots of tulip
leaves, to color our view with anything
but the sluggish brown of dead things.

April Salzano is the co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press and is currently working on a memoir about raising a child with autism, as well as several collections of poetry.  Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  Her chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is available from Dancing Girl Press.  Her poetry collection, Future Perfect,  is forthcoming from Pink. Girl. Ink.  More of her work can be read at

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Poem by Kevin Kreiger

ego, te absolvo

divine the snow leopard, if you can.
which is to say:  divine silence.
stillness.  the way the mountain

invests the cat's presence
until it's cousin to stone,
inherent & sovereign,

a geography revealed
only as hunger yields
its object.  seek to know what

does not seek you--what would
sooner share your blood
than your embrace. taut

ecstasies of the animal.
the trail of an ego gone feral.

Kevin Kreiger is an LA-based poet, playwright, and academic/career counselor.  His first collection, KAIROS, is due out from Tebot Bach Press in 2016.  You can find more of his work at

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Poem by M.J. Iuppa

Night of the Full Moon

What is calm in unmown grass?
Is it the lack of winter that swirls
swatches of tourmaline, cresting
like waves?
Moonlight everywhere--rust-scented
shadows dragging their weight across
the yard without a groan--nothing
disturbs the sleep of ducks.

Nothing vanishes in silence between steps,
between heartbeats . . . The break in the air's
slight movement is a gesture to settle down . . .
and something does resolve in moonlight's

lack of hurry--an hour erasing the shadow
that stops me without consequence of
weather--a door left half-closed
behind me.

M.J. Iuppa lives on Red Rooster Farm near the shores of Lake Ontario.  Most recent poems, lyric essays and fictions have appeared in the following journals:  Poppy Road Review, Black Poppy Review, Digging to the Roots, 2015 Calendar, Ealain, Poetry Pacific Review, Grey Sparrow Press:  Snow Jewel Anthology, 100 Word Story, Avocet, Eunoia Review, Festival Writer, Silver Birch Press:  Where I Live Anthology, Turtle Island Quarterly, Wild Quarterly, Boyne Berries Magazine (Ireland), The Lake, (U.K.), Punchnel's, Camrock Review, Tar River Poetry, Corvus Review, Clementine Poetry, Postcard Poetry & Prose, and Brief Encounters:  A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, editor by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney (Norton), among others.  She is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Poem by Terri Simon


Empty handed,
I paint the sky.
A knuckle rubs out
a space for the sun.
A fingernail marks
a line of clouds.
I mold mountains,
smooth here, jagged there,
then twirl and spin up trees,
pines and oaks.
The scent of earth
is my breath.
I carve out winding pathways
and fill in the threads
of rivers
with my tears.
Like the dried salt of
sleep-stained eyes,
stones fall where they may.
My children,
with their lovely heartbeats,
will someday wonder at the view,
carefree and unexplained.

Terri Simon has degrees from Sarah Lawrence College (Writing/Literature) and Virginia Tech (Computer Science) and works in IT.  She lives in Laurel, Maryland with her husband and dogs.  She organizes a poetry Meetup, plays hand drums, and has more projects started than she will ever finish.  Her work has appeared in Aberration Labyrinth, Three Line Poetry, Black Mirror Magazine, and the anthologies A Mantle of Stars:  A Queen of Heaven Devotional, Bright Stars:  An Organic Tanka Journal (Volume 1) and Switch (The Difference) and has received honorable mention in Kind of a Hurricane Press' Editor's Choice for 2015.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Poem by Nels Hanson

Odd Westerly

Can you feel it, a fiery breeze
invading bare branches, sense
sad and invited pain on wings

from vast ages and half second
ago, missteps we took mature
now in size and strength, frail

egg less than a single fennel
seed but the shell elastic and
swelling instantly until oval

curves cast shadow large as
a Jupiter and air dry kindling
catches from the brittle sheath

webbed and cracking in quick
spreading veins, deep unstable
faults like stirring lids for eyes

to see at last a fledgling hatch,
one blazing phoenix not rising
from ashes but toward them?

Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor.  His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation's James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, and 2014.  Poems appeared in Word Riot, Oklahoma Review, Pacific Review and other magazines and received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack, Review's 2014 Prospero Prize and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Poem by Ed Ahern

Ebb Tide

In the low tides of my life
The receding water drops me
Onto the rocks and sharp edges.
I smell the seaweed rot
Of decomposing failures
And see the broken shells
Of promises unkept.
And must tread on disappointments
Until a tide high floats me away.

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales.  He's had over ninety stories and poems published so far, and two books; his collected fairy and folk tales "The Witch Made Me Do It" from Gypsy Shadow Press and a mystery/horror novella "The Witches' Bane" from World Castle Publications.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Two Poems by Kelley White

How Wisely the Owls Chose This Tree

grey in a grey woods, dimly lit even when the white
snow lay underfoot and all trees were bare
to the blueblue sky.  Their infants were grey,
grey fluff and later grey-brown feathers,
their greygold eyes peering just above a row of round holes
gnarled into the lip, perhaps pecked by earlier woodpeckers
just below the mouth of their deep crevice hole
hole.  Eyes, or merely a trick of our eyes exploring?
No movement, these little ones still as stone
even when their grey shapes became more and more
definable as owls, stepping out from the grey bark
of tree, parent owls a rich brown in the now greening forests.
And the babies, when they enter the light, glow golden
greybrown in the lit forest canopy.

Desert Rose

It was probably their fifteenth anniversary because I remember it (I'd have been three at the tenth, my calculation says they were barren seven years) their anniversary on New Year's Eve and I wrote a card, "think of how lonely those first seven years were."  I needed a special gift.  To buy with my own money.  My father and I sought out the Desert Rose pitcher.  Franciscan ware.  To match the dishes we'd had forever.  Plates, bowls, teacups, saucers, salt & peppers, gravy boat, tureen.  Nothing ever went on the table in its grocery store container.  Now no more milk cartons, but milk waiting cool in the refrigerator like water from a sacred well.  Fifteen dollars.  I'd saved up somehow.  I was tired of boring old pattern.  Pink.  Flat roses.  But the pitcher was a thing of beauty.  Just the perfect shape.  Archetypal.  Women in classic Greek chignons carrying it on graceful shoulders.  Guan yin pouring the merciful cool water of life.  (I'd not hear of her for nearly forty years, but there was my mother, for a thousand meals, pouring milk into simple straight glasses.)  Milk.  The only liquid my father'd ever drink at meals.  We went first to the furniture store.  Then to their annex storage space, and that was magic, the attic over the Colonial Theater, boxes and crates of "household furnishing" but also stacks of old record albums, musical instruments, vaudeville props and backdrops from the theater's day as an Opera House.  One of three Opera Houses in a town of 10,000.  Dim dust.  Sawdust packing.  And that perfect smooth china.  Below us the reels spinning in the booth, children screaming in the balcony.  The sticky red rows of velveteen seats.  The pink bathroom with its frilly skirted sinks and fainting couches.  The boxes with their delicate round chairs.  And the gilded ceiling.  We were on a creaking floor above plaster gods and angels with their billowing ribbons wind.  Let in by a silent man with a necklace-sized circle of clanking keys.  High above the orchestra pit and its twinkling lit snow village, its brass rails and silken ropes.  In a room smelling of jujubes, popcorn, rancid butter, and sweat, it's old air thick around our faces.  Muted laughter, sparse applause, below us.  Our one precious thing smooth in my hand.  Then wrapped in tissue, then layers of newspaper.  Below us the planets whirling on the face of the Grandfather Clock.  The usher sleeping in his velvet suit.  The clock beginning to boom, 3, 4, 5 as we descended the fire escape stairs.

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.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Poem by Frey Pickard


tiny see, so pale, so light
I cannot feel it in my palm
weighing less than a breeze
I marvel at the potential for existence
this single dry seed
buried in dark compost
decays, dies, yet transforms
into one plant, flowering, fruiting
until I harvest rubies
amongst emeralds;
but for now I water the medium
that encases it
and wait for the miracle of life
to begin

Freya Pickard doesn't write about imaginary worlds; she writes about imaginative ones.  These are worlds that could be real in a parallel universe or another time dimension.  She does not promote escapism; instead she takes her readers into a refreshing place to that they return to their normal lives feeling strengthened and renewed.  Freya's first novel, Dragonscale Leggings, is a parody of the genre she loves best; fantasy.  In it, she gently pokes fun at the Arthurian legends, the common concepts of dragon slayers and dragons and how they should (or shouldn't) behave.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Poem by Jo-Ann Allan-Forbes

Lessons in Drowning

Cold fish
beneath sparrow wings,
he could have been caught
in talons and teeth; instead it was
small fledgling with dark beaded eyes
who went blind at the juncture
of early signs--missed the warning
that fish can't fly; traded her wings
for a ring, and lessons in drowning.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Autumn Comes in Waves

The ocean speaks with many voices
That falter as they meet the rocks
Sunrise is a shattering prism
On this planet whose constant orbit
Seems as if it will never stop
And once I owned a piece of it
In whatever sense you measure such things
But these days I personify erosion
As little by little I fade away

Starkly Beautiful and On the Go

Wild horses loping through a shallow brook
Uncultivated trees sway in the wind
The hillsides offer breakfast to meandering goats
The snow is in the distance once again
Sunlight has now migrated away
And will be seasonable in its own good time
And of course I sense a purpose in all of this
That is larger than anything that I could ever define

Subdued Songs

Specks of rain on a lily pad
A waterfall that has many sisters below
The wind makes a music through all of this
More beautiful than any soprano saxophone

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, February 15, 2016

A Poem by John Kross


I saw an old blue jay today
unashamed of his baldness.
His beautiful crown reduced
to wispy sprouts of gray,
every which way like
a patient after chemo.
Beauty cannot exist
without suffering.

I saw Lola's kits yesterday,
they looked like little piglets
nestled in her nest of fur and hay,
their plump and tender bodies
fragile feasts for
creatures of the night.
Peace cannot exist
without fear.

I saw a hummingbird this morning
and heard her vibrating chirp.
Anxious and afraid she
bobbed and dipped for sustenance
a thousand miles from home
like a prisoner of war.
Home cannot exist
without loneliness.

I see an orangey moon tonight
pierced across the breast by clouds,
in halves instead of whole.
A symbol of the way things are,
a broken world that
no one seems to notice.
Consciousness cannot exist
without ignorance.

I looked in your eyes just now
and saw love.

Sickness, disease, danger and fear,
loneliness, loss and uncertainty
is, was, and forever will be
washed away in their blue,
at least for me.

Certainty cannot exist
without love,

of this I am certain.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Two Poems by Marvel Chukwudi Pephel


On a sunny day
By the beach
Figures in bikinis
And swimsuits loiter;
The waters charge,
A warring horse.
It charges and charges
Until its tidal rein tears
And the horse collapses,
Spitting out enormous saliva
Which swathes the shores.
The sun's gravitational pull.




Marvel Chukwudi Pephel is a prolific writer who writes poems, short stories and other things besides.  His works have appeared in Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature, Kalahari Review, PIN Quarterly Journal, Poetry Tree on the Charles, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine and others.  He lives happily with his imaginary pet cats, Booky and Penny.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Poem by Bruce Mundhenke

Winter Night

Full moon
Over an oak tree,
Silence a song
In the night.
A deer stands still
To listen,
Orion looms
In the sky.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Two Poems by Margaret Holbrook

Just Visiting

     -- Lyrics taken from 'Moonlight in Vermont,' written by John Blackburn and Karl Sassendorf

State of green mountains,
of few sycamores whose leaves
look like pennies when they fall.
Sugar Maple, that does it.
Colors of gold, yellow, vibrant red
fall down, a carpet
beneath your feet.
And do you hear the warbling of a Meadowlark?
Probably not.
There are none.
You will hear the Hermit Thrush,
perhaps the Meadowlark visited, once?
Maybe John and Karl
were listening then.
Caught the evening summer breeze
saw the 'Moonlight in Vermont."

A Dozen Tortoise Thoughts

A tortoise emerges;
any sense threatened and
he will retire into his shell.

All his time is steadily
moving on, Lento.  One hundred years
a few blinks of a leather-cased eye.

Once, on the Galapagos Islands,
George, the oldest known tortoise
was the only one of his kind.

If you look at the rings
on a tortoise shell, you
can estimate its age.

A tortoise is a friend for life.
Even keen DITers should
not be tasked to drill
into the shell or paint
a name over the sepia markings.

Tortoise tongues are pink,
soft and fleshy; but they
will not lick you as a sign
of endearment.
They are unlike cat and dogs
in this respect.

As a treat, and very occasionally,
a small amount of
strawberry jam
will be enjoyed.

Do you like to dance?
Most animals are musical,
tortoise are no exception.

In the summer, enclose
a spot on the lawn.  A place
where dandelions and clover
grow is preferred.
A tortoise must bask and eat.

If conditions are right,
absolutely; you might get
eggs.  Take them inside,
keeping their position exact.
A warm airing cupboard is
a perfect incubator.
The likelihood of young
reptiles is very low.

Be a chum to your tortoise.
They enjoy a little chuckle and
will extend their nexk
at its offer.

Do not hibernate your friends.
Keep him with you, by the fireside.

Margaret Holbrook is a writer of plays, poetry and fiction.  She lives in Cheshire, UK and has had her work published in several anthologies, most recently Schooldays published by Paper Swans Press, and in the following magazines, Orbis, SLO, The Dawntreader, The Journal, The SHOp, Reflections, Areopagus, the caterpillar, and online in, The Poetry Shed and Napalm and Novocaine.  Her first poetry collection, Hobby Horses Will Dance was published in 2014.  Margaret leads the Creative Writing Workshop for Chapel Arts in Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Poem by Lily Tierney

Weeping Willow Tree

Fragments of light
a moon provides

Desires weeping
leaves surrendering.

A curtain blows in the wind.

Lily Tierney is originally from NYC, now living in Florida.  Her poems have been published in Dead Snakes, Calvary Cross, and Section 8.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Poem by Ken W. Simpson


The sky was cobalt blue
where seagulls flew
or landed on damp sand
beside the sea
lapping back and forth
dissolving the footprints
of passing feet.

Dark filaments of weed
lay drying near tiny shells
and jellyfish blobs
below the lumpy beach
where bodies
of varying shapes
lay supine
and somnolent in the heat.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Three Poems by Susan Dale

August:  2015:

Heaving in the heat with a Greek chorus of locusts
Eclipsing each and all, a blinding sun
ripening a bountiful largess of summer's bounty
succulent and plentiful
in a kind of ripening death
with a day's oppressive heat

Sleepless on sticky nights
And hearing the oppressive silence
___the silence of fears___unto death
Into the daybreak of a dew-wet morning
a cricket chirps
it's Paper-Mache songs

August 2nd, 06

The wind singing phrases
of bawdy clouds
And a draconian sun penetrating into
Heavy afternoon
Sun - miles deep
Fathoms wide
Quivers of heat waves
wrapping around
crackling tales of corn
bellowing with pomposity
To surge ten feet high

Standing water
rife with the debauchery
of spawning mosquitoes
Pink-gold frailty of peaches
Hanging in dreams of voluptuous peaks

Brooding heads of flowers
hanging down

Lustful vines of grapes
Bindweed enveloping a cringing landscape
Laser waves corresponding
With pink-cheeked tomatoes

Back of the woods, wheat fields
shorn of their beards
shimmer in brown corpses

Shrieks of black-eyed susans
Silver-blue thistles wearing spike helmets
Dragon flies painted with Art-Nouveau wings

And the lavish praise of butterflies on phlox

Mosquitoes with brass knuckles
Melancholy flies humming at the screen door
Honey sticky winds
Metiers of bird songs; shadows of bird wings

A narrative of sun and sky
Of summer; languid, wet-lazy summer


High, wide, deep August
Hot, thick, soupy
Woven in garlands of chicory-blue and queen anne's lace
Fastened with tansy buttons

Drinking nectar from orange lily cups.
Holding tight, breathing heavy
encompassing, erotic August

Every nook and cranny does she fill with wanton flesh.

Lover of the red-flame sun thrashing pigment from her skies
Ripening copious spawn.

Languid, lush August
of purple-popping grapes
And pools of black-eyed susans
Hammering heat pounding rivers and lakes to froth.

Succulent, sultry August
thunder drumbeats
and cracks of lightening
sizzling the skies to curdle
to rent open
to rains of blind-passions
That lick tree-tops, and suckle the steamy earth.

Decadent, voluptuous August
Climbing in vines thick and rampant
Tangling within themselves, wrapping around tree trunks.
Rushing lickety-split
up and up
Enshrouding swollen clouds of autumn's promise.
Bursting, juicy-ripe August
Rubbing sun-soaked limbs
Against the bronzy flesh
of melancholy September.

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on WestWard Quarterly, Ken*Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Garbanzo, and Linden Avenue.  In 2007, she own 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 Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Three Poems by Chad W. Lutz


The daylight dances against the porcelain and plywood.
Broken silhouettes of oak trees tattoo the walls in squares.
The morning rays are weak and bend.
They're my only window to the outside world.
I feel compelled to capture this moment and
feverishly begin memorizing everything
from the toilet.

I rush to my room for a pencil.

Outside my bedroom window the light is different.
The sky looks tired, dreary, as if it were late afternoon.
Now all I can think about is fall, and how the trees
will soon be weak outlines of the flesh they are now.
I get angry because I could've taken my time on the toilet
and can't control the seasons; the trees are going to change,
and I won't stay twenty-nine forever.

28 Years of Pressure

A brief look over my shoulder exposes
millions of years of heat and pressure
and the last eight hours of progress by trail shoes.
Four pounds of water sleeping idly in my pack,
and at my ever ready, eventually settle
into my lack of momentum.

I know that I've traveled a scientifically
measurable distance fading into the
backdrop of high desert behind us, but my heart has trouble
swallowing, with my back to who I will be,
once I regain momentum, but we press on.

They call this canyon grand.
We've stopped.  The night is drawing.
The gully is silent, except for our hearts, the wind, and fear.
They drum out the songs left by the ancient Navajo.
We sign our own songs and tell our own stories as distractions.
We've come only as far as we have yet to go.
And the night is drawing nearer.

Solidarity with Colorado Cows

The run took me past lush pastures and big skies.
Twilight fast-approaching, the faint twinkling of stars
seen poking through the blue veil of atmosphere
still hiding the oncoming night.

I was alone, running along a vacant stretch of county highway
on an out-and-back course with six miles in mind.
I passed a couple of ranches full of delightfully curious cows.
One pasture in particular found me quite interesting.

Heading out toward the turnaround, several of the cows perked
their heads in my direction as I strode past,
and a few of them even seemed to stir and trot with me.
Were the gummies I ate from Ft. Collins responsible for this?

Heading back, it was no secret;
I was the evening's entertainment.
The entire herd began galloping,
calves, cows, and bulls alike.

They paced me for a half-mile,
mooing and periodically looking over at me,
as if to acknowledge our shared freedoms
under the boundless skies.

Chad W. Lutz was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1986 and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow.  His works have been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Haunted Waters Press, and in EcoWatch Journal.  Chad currently works in North Canton writing content for an online job resource site and manages an online magazine called  An avid athlete, Chad runs competitively and swims in his spare time.  He aspires to run the Olympic marathon at the 2016 games.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Stitched Together Moments

The moon was wingless way back when
I first bounced around being freshly married
While the red birds in the dry branches of the clouds
Turned my front yard into a dream of rain
But now that pine cones are long dead here and
All my memories are so heavy with snow
Even as the fog bleeds in at a crawl
On this ragged unmade bed of an afternoon
Where once soft melting February was unsuspected
And brought us a little closer to everything that was stranger than
And made the shivering leaves to dance
Like ghosts on junkyard windshields
That were chiseled in all of the sadness that I ever had

Falling Helplessly to Visions

Autumn does not exist beneath the tangled roots of all sweets
And it has remembrances as I taste of the empath periwinkles
To think thoughts more lofty than Ozymandias
As they crowd my heart with sun kissed beaches and gardens
That once did the Monster Mash for no good reason back then
Where lemon cream sand met the ocean along a coastline
Whose fresh baked pastry always allowed me to fill her heart with poetry
That was painted in the flashing seagulls that coexisted in my visions so gas lit
And where whose waves like jewels fell
And that always was more than a handful of all that I would ever seek
And which lingers still in each westerly breeze

The Broth of Lanterns

The middle of the night is barely a seahorse
And the orange groves now are the color of Medusa's blood
Near the corn husks that are full of autumn light
As bronze as the trumpet notes that erase the Aurora Borealis
As it dents this winter's afternoon
Till all the starfish in the coral
Become the very air we breathe
In these deserted pieces of tomorrow
Where I trade places with a dream

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.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Three Poems by Ann Howells

Three Geckos

West reflects its final sky-blue-pinks
as I take coffee to the deck.  Three geckos,
finger-length and fluid as cursive
claim space on sun-baked brick.  Lithe,
pliant, glowing like hammered copper,
they appear bold southwest brooches
wrought by a master.  They, unlike birds
we feed all winter or the dog whose dish
we fill twice daily, do not live by largess,
arrive not as beggars or thieves but fragile
and aloof as those weary men who knock,
wanting to rake, paint or repair in exchange
for chicken sandwiches and sweet tea.
I speak softly, grant them dignity as they dine
al fresco on gnats, crane flies, and tiny moths
that beat my lighted panes.


He shuns bait,
subsists on berries, fat grubs,
          ground squirrels, mice--
skulks culverts, slips silently
          through back yards.

Great Spirit whispers
he will inherit the earth--
          meat not tasty
          fur not sleek
not hunted to extinction.

Scrawny, scruffy,
he migrates north and east
populates forests where wolves
          died out.
Trickster.  Talking dog.

Running wild.  Baying,
           open-throated, tilt-chinned,
           at the moon.
Survival of the adept.
Survival of the cunning.

Story for Time of Drought

Thursday afternoon
west of Seattle . . .
silver spikes drilled
into earth,
rendered it malleable.
Rivers spilled.
Fields became mirrors;
and we braked for salmon
darting the road
like squirrels.

Ann Howells' work appears in Crannog, Little Patuxent Review, and Spillway, among others.  She has edited Illya's Honey for fifteen years, recently taking it digital:  Her chapbooks:  Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag, 2007) & the Rosebud Diaries (Willet, 2012).  She has four Pushcart nominations.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Three Poems by Srishti Dutta Chowdhury

the mountain goat goes baa-a-a-a

i am alive-still
             looking at the longarch-browed
                           mountain goat go baa-a-a-a
grazing on my potted chickweed;

daddy gifted it to you
              fifteen years ago,
   the whistling orchards
brimming with
                      gold oranges
could contain no more,

       railway tracks
                          had enough
                     stones-tossed about
            for two hands
                             to arrange them
                                                     in a line.

who mowed your lawn before spring?

we should have
                   which is why it is
we did not

it keeps planting
                  crushed seeds of
untimely saplings

brown-orange before

the garden-dry lined
                    empty soil

keep away from pretty places

it was saturday--the air smelt of

it was brown-skied dark
the water hurled onto the edge of the blue boat under
prying fingers
the marmalade laid perfectly on moonspoons,
we messed our happy picnic day

tanned baskets, fussy brown, you
furled across
the darknothing
bunched larkspur pushed

won't you come to my place tonight?

pretty was
you kissed me
like i ain't yours but
going to

only wanted to write more
blue-ribboned yellowbordered gibberish

come to bed, tonight

your waning presence of my
brown frame
only when

gave me no pleasure,
mon cher--only flung my
purple-ink across a few more

i never had you, did i?

unrolling old cassette tapes--sharing a lemon-sicle--smelling gasoline-steel
together was our happyplace till

i learned to hold a pen
and you

to un-love familiar

it was another of our saturdays
prettyplace warmwater strungbaskets
packed racquets, bacon, even your favorite pair of socks, my


without warning you collapsed the mossgreen bridge.

A student of Comparative Literature for most part of the day, Srishti Dutta Chowdhury reads, listens to whatever catches her fancy and writes a tad bit whenever she cannot do without putting some words to paper.  She has been published at Coldnoon Travel Poetics, Bangalore Review, Quail Bell, the Brown Critique Magazine, the Norwich Radical, Kindle, etc.  Besides reading, writing, living poetry, she fancies herself as a food philanderer and keenly follows food photography.  Her photography can be viewed at the Instagram handle "srishtiduttachowdhury"

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Poem by Heather Gelb

Summer Figs

She sits like a sack of potatoes
On the bare back of her horse,
Relaxed, face turned to the sun.
Thin white hairs cling to her jeans.
She brushes a strand of thick hair
From her eyes, and sees
A small boy with hair and freckles
That radiate warmth.
He stands in a patch of
Trampled grapes and
Holds out hands stained with
Hours of playtime.
In each hand is a fig,
Plump from a season of sun and rain.
She accepts his gift,
Savoring the burst of sweetness
While her horse licks the sticky fruit
From the boy's hand.
The boy retreats to his tree,
The girl and horse follow curiosity over the next hill.
Their smiles of summer linger in the air.

Heather Gelb loves moving through nature -- by foot, bike and horse.  She aspires to be a poet, tap dancer, long distance runner, banjo player, holistic nutritionist and photographer.  She has published poems and short stories in various online and written journals, and is currently finishing her memoir of her spiritual journey from Ohio to Rwanda to Israel.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Three Poems by Don Mager

August Journal:  Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The mower plunges through shower wet
late morning grass.  Mulch dribbles out in
pasty clumps.  Where the creek right angles
over small rapids to lose itself
in the woods, along the back stretch of
yard and slippery mud, swirling blades
ride over clay mounds and dark frog holes.
In swift splats, they escape and leap high
into the water.  As the mower
pushes past, gouges of fresh deer hooves fill
with small puddles.  Its mandibles aimed,
a Deer Fly strikes through jeans and sweaty
long sleeves.  Outraged burning welts flare up.
Ignoring them, swirling blades grind on.

August Journal:  Thursday, August 8, 2013

Afternoon shade sucks draperies of
humidity from pools of dark shade
up into indolent canopies.
In their lofts Cicadas crackle with
the dry persistence of small machines.
Their rapid snare drum brushes twirl
in limp vibrations of heavy air.
The ear's horizon stretches far down
the creek cut where on their unseen nest,
quarreling adolescent Hawks caw
like disgruntled crows.  Far above their
ears' horizons, the parents ride the
sky and watch.  Afternoon is hammock dazed--
mosquito wary--and iced tea glad.

August Journal:  Monday, August 12, 2013

Dusk wakes up into deep grottoes of
Tourmaline and Jade.  Air holds itself
captive to the amber light.  Its eyes
sink into indolence.  Its ears rise
to wrest control.  Sounds describe its fourth
dimension.  Dusk's ears are mesmerized
by nameless cornucopias of
crackles, chatters, clickings, buzzes, hums
and distant caws.  They drink them up like
thirsty sponges.  They imbibe pallets
of twangling flavors.  On their nerves, they
gather vibrancies of textures:  crisp,
hard, crinkly, crunchy, wafting, fallow.
Dusk's fourth dimension intones them all.

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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Two Poems by Joanna M. Weston

Listening to Flowers

this delicate symphony
rests on my tongue
sliding into cadence
where violin and clarinet
raise a sharp taste
of snowdrops
cutting ice

leaving the flavor
of violet shadows
with notes strung
from finger to lip
while drums sway
a daffodil rhythm

I Know a Bank

where wild thyme tosses
clouds of perfume

trumpets of morning glory
hurry over the fence

whose daisies are these
raging hillside in waves?

thistles fold their prickles
into envelopes of grass

lean into the prayers
of shadowed monkshood

columbine raises
a late masquerade

so many wilds blow
softly through dusk

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, was published by Clarity House Press, and her poetry, A Summer Father, was published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her eBooks can be found at her blog: