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.