If I were
If I were a leaf
clinging to your branches
I would embrace your twigs
caress your trunk
and bury myself in your roots
never to let go.
If I were soft petals
displaying my finery
around your heart
I would kiss your stems
with scented dew drops.
with age remains
a solitary inner peace
revealed in vain
yet, to be set free
grows sweeter with age
preserved as a rarity
with peace sustains
a spiritual beauty
a quiet silence rests
on white sands
permeates the sky
cotton candy clouds
pattern a natural masterpiece
You tell me you love me
as the moon debuts
we jazz it up
Along the shore.
Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and online publications such as The Parnassus Literary Journal, Westward Quarterly, The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Nomads Choir, SP Quill, just to name a few. She was awarded a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine.
Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches with friends in diners, getting out in nature with her camera and making toys for and playing with her feathered companion, Sammers You can learn all there is to know about her by visiting her website/blog at http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com
Idea development killers, come to me,
There’s too many suggestions, hints, and nodes
Of things I could do,
Temptations to put my current work aside
And go off chasing another poem, another play,
Another novel that captures
What’s new in my life and the zeitgeist, updated
It doesn’t matter how the block happens,
As long as my old ideas remain,
Smother the new ones, scare them away with fire,
Then spread a circle of salt, or blood
To keep seeds of notions from germinating in me,
I’ve got enough outlines to follow for now,
All I need is the time to fill them
Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, The Northampton Review, Local Train Magazine, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is trying to publish a novel.
Left drifting, on the unpredictable tide,
of sleep and dreams, once again we are
notoriously vindictive, warm cocoon of
sheets and slumber.
Alone, we can face the treacherous night,
when all of the world is asleep, we too
now, ride these envisioned waves of stark
unconsciousness, an inaccessible realm.
When all of the world is asleep, and we
are left unto our own devices, events all
lucid, and the pains of life melt away, we
are concurrent, our missions are aligned.
Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his time upon this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In late 2018, the editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” is his debut poetry book published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.
the painter takes horsehair,
DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019).
In the northwest,
the talk is about
huge mountains and deep lakes
and trout that jump so high
you need a shotgun to bring them down.
Those folks deal in envy.
I’m the city
and the media ain’t kind to me.
They see my energy level
in terms of sensationalism,
but I overcome them.
Damn few lakes have to hustle
to keep their landlord in Florida.
I’ve never seen a mountain
that knew where to go “after hours”.
And those trout can’t swim faster
than the El at rush hour.
I’m the city.
I breathe heavily.
I perspire honestly.
I promise no favors
and wipe my denim
with the entrails of creatures
that will soon be soaked in spring water
and garnished with parsley.
I cleave the dreams
and wash down the blood
with high pressure hoses.
The blast of my furnaces
embarrasses any mountain campfire.
I employ sunrise as a time clock
and long after the meadow petals
have folded for the night,
I generate enough lights
to rival the stars.
- Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. His web page is https://rgerryfabian.wordpress.com He has published two books of his published poems, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic. His novels, Memphis Masquerade, Getting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh Sense are available at all ebook publishers including Amazon, Apple Books and Barnes and Noble. His third book of published poems, Electronic Forecast ,was published 4/2020.
Maria will say “No.”
Angelica will totally ignore you.
The eyes of the three young women
huddled over the bar’s corner table
will fall on the guy in the tweed jacket
or the one in the muscle shirt
but not you.
Joanne will say,
let’s just be friends.
Sue will stop short of even that.
You’ll be slapped by Rosa,
figuratively stomped on by Jean,
dissed by Ruth
(for whom the word ‘dissed’
is front and center in her vocabulary)
and then Marcia,
always honest Marcia,
will blurt out, “You’ve got to be kidding.”
Your best chance will be Kimberly
and even she will weigh her options
(limited though they may be)
before giving you an answer.
The future, when it comes to the opposite sex,
will be disappointment times a million,
I’d suggest a hobby.
Or a job that satisfies.
Or a weekly game of poker with the guys.
These are not so harrowing fields of endeavor.
‘Despite yourself is less of a headwind.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.
Silk Road millennia
trade foreign lands, fourteen days
quarantine when home
to quench pandemic.
Gerard Sarnat won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for a handful of recent Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published in academic-related journals (e.g., Universities of Chicago/ Maine/ San Francisco/Toronto, Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Pomona, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Penn, Dartmouth, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Baltimore) plus national (e.g., Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Parhelion, Clementine, pamplemousse, Red Wheelbarrow, Deluge, Poetry Quarterly, poetica, Tipton Journal, Hypnopomp, Free State Review, Poetry Circle, Buddhist Poetry Review, Poets And War, Thank You For Your Service Anthology, Wordpeace, Cliterature, Qommunicate, Indolent Books, Snapdragon, Pandemonium Press, Boston Literary Magazine, Montana Mouthful, Arkansas Review, Texas Review, San Antonio Review, Brooklyn Review, pacificREVIEW, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, Fiction Southeast and The New York Times) and international publications (e.g., Review Berlin, Voices Israel, Foreign Lit, New Ulster, Transnational, Southbank, Wellington Street Review). He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate change justice. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to future granddaughters.
Sand blows across the rocks
that prop up his cross
changes the outcomes
of the dice the cops throw
for his personal effects.
“The robe looks good on you,”
one rock-thrower says
as he eyes the cop who couldn’t wait
don’t box it I’ll wear it home
proud of the various stripes
blood wine vomit tears
down the front.
Three days later
when he pulled the trick
with the stone
he crushed the same cop
took a moment
from his quest to find Thomas
and looked down
at crushed stool
jelly of eyes and brain
and picked up his robe
“It fits me better anyway,”
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Red Coyote Review, Deep South Magazine, and Aromatica Poetica, among others.
On this night, the clouds grow jealous,
and unable to release their burden, opt
to capture the moon and stars and
withdraw them from our view.
They would willingly punish us
with snow, but that, here is
forbidden, and so they slowly move
along, wondering when they too
will be released from their
all too dark captivity in the heart
of a night drenched sky.
We want the stars back, want
the moon’s return, but not
at the cost of the rain of which
we have had more than our need,
so we urge the clouds to move
to places they are dearly needed
and where the flames of the land
would be slowly sated by their gifts.
Louis Faber’s work has previously appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Eureka Literary Magazine, Borderlands: the Texas Poetry Review, Midnight Mind, Pearl, Midstream, European Judaism, Greens Magazine, The Amethyst Review, Afterthoughts, The South Carolina Review and Worcester Review, among many others, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
It the depth of the alcove
they came in great numbers visiting
in the thickness of the night
they rapped against his door.
There was a note in the morning papers
somewhere beneath the substance
of another close out sale
in ink invisible as he had ever been.
Mondays had followed Sundays
regular as always unstoppable
and no one had remarked a change
next door in another secret alleyway.
It was said that it just happened
natural as clockwork on the implacable wheel
the fates had fulfilled their obligation
everything else fell into place.
A million little souls arrived at their appointed hour
to feed on the memories of this forgotten self
floating in perfumes made for other lands
like so many waves in the purplish veins.
Into a grey cloud of infinite storms
they move to hide a manic frenzy
and leave behind them but a broken frame
too frail for the image of the man he once was.
No one knew that something was different
a million miles away a butterfly expired
but those who call themselves his kin
went on with their eternal oblivious laughter.
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.
on the last day
I hope to believe
in other things about God
because the Temple’s sharp
eye had a sudden appearance
What is the cause?
I have no answer
Tonight I’ll give my eye
to the Temple
when the angels descend
In this blindness
I can rest the world
James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and recent poems in DASH, Sampsonia Way, and Jam & Sand. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). He works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)
Take me to the limits of the sun
Away from the miserable nest
-of skeletons, simply because
they remind me of my thirty-five years
Take me back in your warm dream
Where life’s bitterness appears more
like a blooming rose in the direction
of the cemetery, in which we can smile
Take me to the sorrows of our home
To learn how to love without weeping
To learn how to raise you to the rainbow
And learn about each other as we are one heart
Take me somewhere far away so
You and I we are one route to the darkness
Nobody can get in our way, nor damage us
The ones who are in, they will win and the
-ones who escape will die for being lonely
If you cannot take me anywhere near you
Then allow me to sip on some of the best
-poison, since I am weak to go on my own
to the limits of the sun…
Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His work has appeared in print and online journals globally and has poems translated into several languages. He has been nominated for Best of theNet 2018. He is the author of The Bleeding Heart Poet, Love On The War’s Frontline, Gas Chamber, Wounds from Iraq, Roofs of Dreams, The Grey Revolution, and Noemi & Lips of Sweetness. He lives in Montreal, Canada.e great satisfaction derived from serving humanity.