The colours of the garden are impossible. The bee on the coneflower, yellow, pink, and orange, a scream. Summer Gayfeather in the background, and fantasy of milkweed now gone to fluff. Monarchs light and leave. Continual harvest: berries, bramble. A humid breeze of Morning Glory, blue on the white picket fence; West to the setting sun, East to the rising. A silence that’s never been said. A sentence that’s never been read.
A bee knows one thing:
gather pollen for honey.
Honey for the young.
Carol H. Jewell
Carol H. Jewell is a musician, teacher, librarian, and poet living in Upstate New York with her wife and eight cats. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The College of Saint Rose in 2016.
A Sharpshooter's Last Sleep
He lays on a mattress of hard earth
as if he has fallen asleep, one knee bent,
arms resting comfortably by his side
the way he might have lain at home in his own bed.
Leaves of a mulberry stir in the morning breeze.
The sounds of battle have faded but
traces of black powder smoke sour the air.
If I could kneel down with my ear close to his,
I might hear his mother's voice
calling him to morning chores before breakfast,
a call that will not rouse him today.
David Jibson grew up in western Michigan near the dunes and shores of Lake Michigan and now lives in Ann Arbor. He is retired from a 35-year career in Social Work, most recently with a Hospice agency. He is a member of the Crazy Wisdom Poetry Circle and co-editor of the literary and visual arts magazine, Third Wednesday.
The Lord Taketh Away
a feral dog grown
tired of the fight
turns tail and runs
as we survey the sere
fields at dusk. I stand
by your side, see
clean as tears
adorning the hollows
below your eyes.
fingers you swab
your brow. I know
your skin tastes
of iron and salt.
My tongue is useless,
flesh held between teeth.
I do not tell you
I have ceased praying.
God himself placed
a heavy palm upon our land.
Forty days with no rain--
that palm is now a fist.
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry and fiction while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.
My mother learned it from her mother. I don’t
remember when she thought I was ready. One day,
I was a girl, watching her mother eating impossible
things. I never asked how she became.
The next day, it was my turn. My mother said
lie back like an offering. A sacrifice for tin and
The wind stirred my skirt, and I opened my
mouth, combustible now.
My mother told me the first one is mine to
It rusts inside you, flaking off. A garden of
Sarah Nichols is a co-editor of Thank You for Swallowing, an online journal of feminist protest poetry. She is the author of three chapbooks, including She May Be a Saint (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2016), and Edie (Whispering): Poems from Grey Gardens (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). Her work has also appeared in Yellow Chair Review, Rogue Agent, and Noble/Gas Qtrly.
Alabama Cotton Tenant Farmer’s Wife
This is no silk merchant’s wife slim
shoulders leaning against
dry clapboard her eyes
direct her head slightly
turned left ear exposed
ebony hair parted right
an enigmatic smile revealing
no lower lip, bones
of her neck protruding from
the V in her checkered blouse in
this black and white
photo she is centered and
she knows something we
After a long corporate career, Amy Phimister has returned to writing full time. She graduated from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame with a B.A. in Creative Writing. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, she is currently working on a chapbook of her poems.
The Oil Well
Let the bull wheel wind around
my legs and thighs
further tightening the loveless line.
Derrick-poised, arid figure of luck and charm,
I grew scales and wide-eyes.
For love of country, progress, mankind.
Bringing calm to elements enraged,
no man knew me to be anything other than
wooden, flesh-coloured, sacred and divine.
by the corroding drilling line,
I could’ve gone on like this forever.
Perfect skin now burnt and dry
from desert winds,
solitude and time.
Steel cable fraying scales
turning delicate toes
into five bent, rusted nails.
It was then,
I felt your talons
bound by the same pulling line.
In our self-imposed restraint,
we wrapped the cable
tight around us
against the wheel.
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara lives in Los Angeles, California. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Chapman University. Her fiction has previously appeared in Chicago Literati, Genre, Sonora Review and Badlands Literary Journal. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation grant for emerging writers.
Dillon H Fuller is a musician and photographer. He lives in Santa Ana, California.
The Family in the Red House
While walking through woods
Near a rambling river
I came upon a paint peeled red house
barn like in appearance,
` broken window panes,
tall grasses covering old cement steps
unattended for years.
Who inhabited this red house
and where are they now?
I entered cautiously through the front door,
looked around the open space.
Dishes with cobwebs adorned
the wooden kitchen table.
Shriveled food occupied the old refrigerator.
The scene appeared as though
a family simply disappeared.
Bedroom quilts covered most beds,
one bed remained unmade.
As I walked around
floorboards creaked like soft screams.
I slipped on a small throw rug;
moving the rug with my feet,
I discovered a trap door located in the floor.
Slowly, I lifted the rusty hinge.
There in the hollow space
were skeleton bodies.
The family stayed behind in the paint peeled red house.
Pat St. Pierre
Pat St. Pierre is a freelance writer for adults and children in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her third poetry book, Full Circle, was published by Kelsay Books. Some of her work can be viewed at: Black Poppy Road, A Long Story Short, Fiction 365, 50 words, Friday Flash Fiction, Kids Imagination Train, The Kids Ark, Silver Boomer Books, The Camel Saloon, etc. She is also a freelance photographer whose photos have been on the covers and included in such places: Gravel, Sediments, Our Day’s Encounter, Peacock Journal, Pacific Poetry, etc. www.pstpierre.wordpress.com.
"Back toward the time when
the world, without footprints, broke open."
- Ginger Murchison, from her poem, "On Stone Mountain"
A backhoe paws its single front
leg onto gray shale, shatters, pulls,
breaks, delaminates, lays waste
the traces of Edaphosaurus
dog-paddling hot, briny estuaries
under equatorial Permian sun,
rips the pages of ancient stone
texts, devastates the cuneiform
signatures of reptilian claws,
the clay tablets of millennia
of evolution's accounts: the world,
with footprints, broken open.
Roy Beckemeyer lives in Wichita, Kansas His poems have appeared in a variety of print and on-line literary journals including Beecher's Magazine, Chiron Review, Coal City Review, Dappled Things, Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, Kansas City Voices, The Light Ekphrastic, The Midwest Quarterly, The North Dakota Quarterly, The Syzygy Poetry Review, and Zingara. His book of poetry, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Review and Press, Lawrence, KS, 2014) was selected as a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He won the Beecher's Magazine Poetry Contest in 2014, and the Kansas Voices Poetry Award in 2016.
I swaddled you in dreams from birth
of health and happiness,
of honeysuckle days and lightning bug nights,
maybe someday Duke or Yale.
For now, your frame too tiny, too frail
for the massive canvas of colours
that would paint your life.
Cruising and crawling melted
into days of dangling from
paper-thin twigs on wintering trees.
But by the first snowflake of your
seventh year, your boots stood dry
in your closet while you lay in bed
for weeks drenched with fever. Illness
we did not understand robbed you
of school days and playground games,
biking, bowling, parties, and sleepovers
with friends. Poking and prodding, tests and
guesses were your life now, and finally
treatment with promise of snowy boots next winter.
Your sweet childhood was now your Everest,
with every crag and crevice a boulder, every
step an avalanche of fear, the distant peak
poking through greying clouds like
a beckoning finger, your damaged health
a relentless, blustery thunderstorm.
We didn't know the hardest part of climbing
was never reaching the top. Not really.
It was the sides.
It was always the sides.
Shelly Blankman and her husband Jon fill their empty nest in Columbia, Maryland with 4 cat rescues. They have two sons, one in New York and one in Texas. After a stint as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the at Marshall University , she followed a career path in journalism and public relations, but her first love has always been poetry. She has been published previously in The Ekphrastic Review, as well as Visual Verse, Verse-Virtual, Silver Birch Press, Poetry Superhighway, and Praxis Magazine.
Head to the Sky
— after Elizabeth Bishop, “12 O’Clock News”
Vince Gotera is a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as Editor of the North American Review. Recent poems in The American Journal of Poetry, Star*Line, Parody Poetry Journal, Altered Reality Magazine, Eunoia Review, and Inigo Online Magazine, among others. He blogs at The Man with the Blue Guitar.
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Meghan Rose Allen
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B. Elizabeth Beck
Karen G. Berry
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Rose Mary Boehm
Charles M. Boyer
Catherine A. Brereton
Charles W. Brice
David C. Brydges
Mary Lou Buschi
Danielle Nicole Byington
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Fern G. Z. Carr
Tricia Marcella Cimera
SuzAnne C. Cole
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
John Scott Dewey
Catherine Ruffing Drotleff
Suzanne E. Edison
Kurt Cole Eidsvig
Tara A. Elliott
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Ariel Rainer Fintushel
Edward H. Garcia
Adam J. Gellings
Grace Marie Grafton
Emily Reid Green
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara
Laura Quinn Guidry
Andrea L. Hackbarth
Judith Lee Herbert
A. J. Huffman
Pat Snyder Hurley
Arya F. Jenkins
Brandon D. Johnson
Crystal Condakes Karlberg
Olivia J. Kiers
Loretta Collins Klobah
Kim Peter Kovac
Jean L. Kreiling
Stuart A. Kurtz
Tanmoy Das Lala
John R. Lee
Gregory E. Lucas
Lorette C. Luzajic
M. L. Lyons
Ariel S. Maloney
John C. Mannone
Mary C. McCarthy
Megan Denese Mealor
Patrick G. Metoyer
David P. Miller
Stacy Boe Miller
Mark J. Mitchell
Mark A. Murphy
S. Jagathsimhan Nair
Heather M. Nelson
James B. Nicola
Bruce W. Niedt
Kim Patrice Nunez
M. N. O'Brien
Pravat Kumar Padhy
Daniel J. Pizappi
Melissa Reeser Poulin
Rhonda C. Poynter
Marcia J. Pradzinski
Anita S. Pulier
Amie E. Reilly
Ralph La Rosa
Mary Kay Rummell
Janet St. John
Lisa St. John
Kelly R. Samuels
Christy Sheffield Sanford
Janice D. Soderling
Kim Cope Tait
Mary Ellen Talley
Liza Nash Taylor
Janine Pommy Vega
Sue Brannan Walker
Martin Willitts Jr
William Carlos Williams
Morgan Grayce Willow
Shannon Connor Winward
William Butler Yeats
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