Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-Khatat

Fake Calls by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

I Live by Glory Sasikala

Dandelion Wine by Keli J. Gavin

Love Fades Away (a Villanelle ) by James G. Piatt

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

you gifted me with whispered void by linda m. crate

Death by Meekha Singh

Invective by Linda Imbler

Insignia by Stefanie Bennett


Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-khatat

Season of Tears

I cry for you a river in a unique season

with no seeds growing hope; nor leaves

flying over my journey without you

I walk with sword tagging on my neck

‘till I feel comfortable to slaughter myself

with no doubts, and dreams to come true

As my head walks away to the

unknown, as my body falls by the dead

roots, as my flesh looks like a branch

A hunter sees my head bleeding and

goes after to chase it with no mercy

he eats it, with tears of lifetime grieves

While my body stays still with the animals

respecting the science of God as well as my

religion for treating everyone with love

The clouds rain above my bones slowly

As my skeleton breaks into flammable

ashes, and the forest weeps

me another river


I adore the smoke of a cigar

with a cup of expensive liquor

to relax my mind and spirit down

from over thinking without an end

I follow the smoke of a hot bath

when I see the hot water slide off

her bare flesh slides down the tub

with worries, that I will miss her one day

I get scared from watching

black smoke in my homeland

because I know that people die

below and it creates a funeral in a feast


I am tired of being tired

from people with fake

smiles and real tears

falling from my eyes

I remember the days

where a long and

happy life we had

when we were kids

God sent us rain

to grew the seeds

to bloom flowers

now, nothing arises

hungry and thirsty

spirit died with a joy

we break bone to walk

we cut flesh to breath

A bite to recall the

days of starvation

a sip to forget the

bitterness of war

Kids cannot find

the moon to sleep

below the sunlight

they sleep with fears

the dawn’s witness

either born while death

and fire the stars in blaze

the sun rises toward the ashes

Hope is not at the

airport to travel to

exile, perhaps he’s

burying himself a tomb

Since the dust filled

my path to go forward

or backward years ago

I am waiting to die before you

kill me with no noise

my voice is no longer

important to be heard

stab me without sympathy

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote my very first poem back in the year 2000. He also Ahmad has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world. And he currently studies Political Sciences, at the Concordia University in Montreal. He recently have published his two chapbooks “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” with Alien Buddha Press. It is available for sale on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet Copyright on Facebook.

Fake Calls by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

Every day I get woken up

As the sun comes up

By my phone ringing

With a fake call

It seems that the only people

Who ever bother to call me

Are the fake call people

Who all call me

With fake sincerity

Offering me a great deal

On this and that scam

I curse at them

Yell at them

Mutter obscenities in foreign tongues

And block their calls

Yet it does not seem to matter

The next call will be

Yet another fake call

Am I doomed to receive

Fake calls until I day I die

I turn on my computer

And read my fake news accounts

And watch TV for the latest fake news

And the politicians lying

And the criminals scheming

To take my money

The Zappa song comes to mind

You will obey me while I lead you

And eat the garbage that I feed you

Until the day that we don’t need you

Don’t go for help . . . no one will heed you

Your mind is totally controlled

It has been stuffed into my mold

And you will do as you are told

Until the rights to you are sold

That’s right, folks . . .

Don’t touch that dial

And I scream to the universe

Just leave me alone

Then the phone rings…..

John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet, and former Foreign Service officer having served 27 years with the U.S. State Department serving in ten countries (Korea, Thailand, India, the Eastern Caribbean (lived in Barbados but covering Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Vincent) and Spain. Prior to joining the U.S. State Department, Jake taught overseas for eight years. Jake served in the Peace Corps in Korea. He grew up in Berkeley but has lived in Seattle, Stockton, Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia and Medford, Oregon. He has traveled to over 45 countries and 49 states. He has been writing poetry, fiction, and novels for years. He has completed four SF novels and is seeking publication. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines online. His poetry blog can be found at https://theworldaccordingtocosmos.com

I Live by Glory Sasikala

In just outside the clock

along the periphery of your dreams

an invisible line in picture frames

as a criss-cross in your hand

in a story never to be told

in just an intake of breath

in fading ink of yellow parchment paper

in a fleeting knowledge of your soul

in the realms of the Universe

where I am with God

looking down upon you

in a dream

that vanishes like mist with the dawn

in a sudden lightening moment of truth

in the knowing smile with which I left you

once again to your mundane existence

I Live


Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.

Dandelion Wine by Keli J. Gavin

Dad said we should pick them all.

Every last dandelion we could find in the yard.

And when our baskets were full, go next door.

Pull all the neighbors dandelions too.

The grapes tasted horrible.

We were told to help rip down all the vines.

But dad had wine on the mind.

All those dandelions.

I was so proud with my baskets full.

He worked in his shop cleaning all the vessels.

All the hoses were dried in the sun.

Did he really know what he was doing?

I didn’t know much of wine.

I didn’t know much of anything.

I wondered how Dad knew so much.

He worked on that wine day and night.

Dad used every dandelion.

He sent us out to hunt for more.

He told us to check the fields just in case.

Just in case there was a patch we had missed. 

He would have to wait another week.

The dandelions would surely grow back by then. 

He continued to futz with the batch he had made.

Trying everything to concoct the perfect taste.

My dad’s dandelion wine tasted like grass.

Very similar to the taste of a dandelion weed.

It was almost as horrible as the grapes,

We were no longer told to pick dandelions.

That bottle of Whiskey lasted maybe two days.

I wasn’t sure if he was drowning his sorrows.

It must have tasted better than the grapes and dandelions.

He washed  those horrible tastes from his mouth.



Kelli Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She abhors walks on the beach (sand in places no one wishes sand to be), candle lit dinners, (can’t see) and the idea of cooking two nights in a row (no thank you). Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin. Blog found at kellijgavin@blogspot.com


Love Fades Away (a Villanelle ) by James G. Piatt

My love is not here again today

Her image lives only in my slumber,

Her living essence has faded away.

My memory’s paths are a dull gray

My reminiscences do encumber:

My love is not here again today.

In the midst of a gloomy day

Bleak footsteps increase in number:

Her living essence has faded away.

Sad visions are those that stay

Sad hours the days do cumber,

My love is not here again today.

When I smell a roses’ bouquet

Her images will awake from slumber:

My love is not here again today,

Her living essence has faded away.

James, a retired professor and octogenarian has published, 3 collections of poetry, “The Silent Pond,” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), and “Light” (2016), 4 novels, over 1,050 poems, and 35 short stories. His poems have been nominated for pushcart and best of web awards, and many were published in the The 100 Best Poems Anthologies of the past 4 years. His fourth collection of poetry, “Memories and Musings,” is scheduled for release in 2018. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

(after the painting by Yayoi Kusama)

If time had a shape

it  would be that of a pumpkin

round, ripe,

not flattened by the ground

and perfect in its way.

If space had shape

it would be a pumpkin’s as well

proud and indifferent

defiant to the knife

with vines extending

like tentacles of light.

If the universe had any shape

it could only wish

it were a pumpkin’s

and forever expand

through its eternal patch    

of time and space.

Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published more than 1,500 poems, 1,200 of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

you gifted me with whispered void by linda m. crate

you broke open my heart,

what did you find?

pomegranate skies fluting with

black ravens,

golden sunsets kissed by carnelian and crimson rubies;

perhaps even a rose garden full of black roses

dancing among the white and red?

maybe you just found a girl interrupted,

and decided that you needed to paint her eyes

red as her heart;

you painted me in every shade of melancholy

because you wanted to create a piece of art that resembled you—

yet you forgot my light, my strength, my ferocity;

i was never the chickadee you claimed i was

but a valkyrie of love and light

full of dreams, whimsy, imagination

whose wings

refused to stop flying even when you broke them;

i fell so hard and fast that i was blind to the flaws

everyone else so could easily see and say to me after you

abandoned me in the green house of my sorrows—

funny how everyone has an opinion

when sometimes all you need is a listening ear

not unwanted advice,

but at least their intentions aren’t as cruel as the whisper

of void you gave me.


Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian 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. She has three published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016).


Death by Meekha Singh

Death comes knocking at the door with an ice box to freeze your time. Death still, last to abandon you, is the throb of the pulse. The face now holds a pitiful blankness and all that was once vital is now irrelevant. Irrelevant is now you. Your body cleaned and washed and donned in clothes you never chose. You are wrapped up tight and dead weight is always oh so heavy. Heaving and sighing are the men who carry you to the hole six feet dug. Flowers surround you, cloyingly sweet, like the tears of your loved ones. The thud of the hammer driving the lid shut and there, it’s done. Loved ones wash their hands off you with some soil and reminisce your antics over a sad meal and it’s done. Left on it’s own the coffin sinks and the maggots are well pleased.


Meekha Singh is an IT professional from Southern India. He has been writing poems for past few years and has been self-published in various poetic communities under the pen name Kali (short for Kaleidoscope).

Invective by Linda Imbler

Behind the scenes

some clusters of stars shimmer.

We reap what we sow.

Front and center stage purposeful.

Gratitude lost in a haze

of classic human maneuvers to bend the will.

The construct of self transparent.

See through these actors.

What creatures they have become.

A de-evolution, madness disguised as moral principle.

Our fathers in their ancient halls weep

for the ragged connection lost.

Our mothers walking through the night

bow their heads, tears falling from urgent eyes

as they wonder where their children went.

Into the dark we tell them.

There is no reason in hate.

There is no reason to hate.

Behind the scenes

some clusters of stars implode.

Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.”  She has had her work published in numerous journals. She has new poems forthcoming at Halcyon Days, Leaves of Ink, The Moon Magazine and Bindweed.  She can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com. She lives in Wichita, Kansas.   




Insignia by Stefanie Bennett


The Beloved’s                                                



Is all

You need

To know of

A soaring


Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry, a novel and a libretto and is of mixed ancestry – Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee; she was born in Queensland, Australia. Her recent poetry collection ‘The Vanishing’ is published by Walleah Press – available from Walleah and Amazon. “Blanks From The Other World” will be launched later this year.