a coffee mug
Steam rises as ceramic peregrines
Face each other like two continents.
Black background seeps between the long, beaked jaws,
Orange to pineapply yellow to dim lime.
Their heads, a dusky blue housing an iris
Of deep mauve. Each shows a wing, outstretched
And nearly meeting (gesture, not attempt),
Pineapple lapsing into Braeburn red,
The lime for outline. In turquoise green
Signed, “1993 J. Sweetwater.”
The longer that I look, the less the steam.
Charles Leggett is a professional actor based in Seattle, WA, USA. His poetry has been published in the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Recent/forthcoming publications include Sublevel, As Above So Below, Automatic Pilot, Volney Road Review, Ocotillo Review, and Heirlock Magazine.
Lunar time feeling – coll, blackish dreams stealing – light of the moonlets.
Caressing dreamery – lies even, blink-sea, weird fell down.
The poignant dire decease became drab comet – sphere have picked warmness.
Several she-wolves made terrestrial grave-stones killed the fay?
Endlessly nostalgic being – the grief–pang. Hades was followed.
Heavenly moony lure become noir. Dream-Ethics flies off!
However Your worm bawls after all. Death-men blubbing so withal.
Just the grim Reapers, cold-blooded praise wind-breeze of gone time.
The tearful- invincible Goblinlets stars-thieves coming right galore.
Sensing the moonylike demise cool-blue song will be free.
Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poetries in many magazines. He writes in English and German.
Rain will never cease to be,
it’s raining in my heart, snow
buries thoughts of us.
Pain is unbearable, broken
by her, broken by the world.
You can never hide, nor
salvage the mournful sea.
These tears fell, salty from a
visage shroud, a cocoon of
of wounded weeping.
These tears fell for you,
beneath solemn moon,
in your memory, farewell.
Wayne Russell is or has been many things during his time on 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 2018, the kind editors at Ariel Chart have nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Earlier in 2020, Wayne was nominated for his first Best of the Net. Where Angels Fear is his debut paperback published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.
Waffles by David Flynn
Twist your hand and point to the plate.
There wait waffles,
Cold. Tough . Dried.
Now pour maple syrup
from a spout,
tapped from a tree
a thousand miles away.
Fill the squares with brownness,
sugar and sap.
Add cherries from the frig.
Cold. Without the twig. Red.
Sit in the chair.
Stare at the magic,
a square of squares filled with commerce and crunch.
Brown. Brown. Red.
This sorcery will keep you alive,
and even more
will fill you with feeling,
taste, pleasure and patience.
A reason to live:
David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than two hundred. He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year. He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.
Ocean Restoration by Kelli J Gavin
The only hit I have ever welcomed was the slap of a wave
First, my ankles and then my thighs
Shocked by the coolness yet I welcome it again and again
When my waist is consumed and I gasp in delight Even when I stumble back a step and lose my footing I want more and relax as I go even deeper
The salt kisses my skin and the sun sparkles on each crest
I laugh freely as my neck is plunged into the darkness
As I begin to float and let each push plummet me closer to shore
I formulate a plan to return to the ocean
And back to the water I go
My body has become tolerant of all that assails
I pray my heart can handle the impact
That my thick skin somehow protects
The broken pieces of my heart that was once whole
Because the joy I feel in the depths
Exhilarates and mends and restores
The only hit I have ever welcomed was the slap of a wave
[Two plus years ago, after returning from an ocean vacation, I spoke with a friend about the restorative qualities of which I believed the ocean possessed. How it could quite possibly be a cure for anything that ails. She paused and then asked me, “Do you think it can mend my broken heart over my marriage that is falling apart?” I didn’t know that my friend was struggling in her marriage and she went on to explain that there had been physical abuse. It broke my heart to hear her speak of everything she has experienced in silence. I wrote this piece in honor of her.
Kelli J 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. Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, and among others.
Record, she’s a creeping spider.
Hurt love dangles net
from a silent moonlight hanger,
tortures this damaged heart
daggers twist in hints of the rising sun.
Silence snores. Sometimes she’s a bitch.
Sunlight scatters these shadows
across my bare feet in
this spotty rain.
Sometimes we rewind,
sometimes no recourse,
numbness, no feeling at all.
Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 39 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018. 210 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089. Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings: The Best in Contemporary.
Showing that it did not come for love,
did not know how to be gentle and affectionate.
It came for lust and voluptuousness, not the breath
of a lover, but the madness of the impassioned.
It did not learn to be breeze, was born this way,
snorting and showing its claws,
without notice or warning.
Knocking at the doors and all of a sudden
forcing the windows,
like a river which comes out of its bed
and floods the lands around.
It did not waste time making swirls or pranks,
its shot was direct and accurate, without pause or rest,
like a shameless male, clothes off and in open air,
covering, without modesty or prudence,
his chosen female.
It has warned not to scrimp its desire,
not turning into a hurricane.
Published in TreeHouse Arts, January 31 2018.
Edilson A. Ferreira, 77 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Widely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67, after retiring as a bank employee. Since then, he counts 163 poems published, in 246 different publications. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor – One Hundred Poems – was launched in London in November of 2018. He is always updating his works at www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.
The old saltbox house on the knoll
Sits in anonymity as the sounds of
Night creatures echo eerily through
Its empty rooms.
It is a rainy night in the country;
Coyotes are yelping in the distance,
And an owl is hooting its lonely plea
Into the mist of the rain saddened
In the emptiness of fading night
Hours, the old house cricks and
Moans as the rain batters its siding
And the wind twists through, leaf
Reciting an old memory, a broken
Clock peals out the hours to a ghost
In the kitchen, who cannot sleep
Because of her memories of living.
James G. Piatt is a Best of Web nominee and three time Pushcart nominee, has had four collections of poetry; “Solace Between the Lines,” “Light,” “Ancient Rhythms,” and “The Silent Pond,” as well as over 1480 poems, five novels and 35 short stories, published worldwide. He is now looking for a publisher for his fifth collection of poems which he has just completed. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU
somewhere in her
there is a reset button
have you seen it?
she was doing well
when she married you
and then, one day, you woke up
and everything went haywire –
she was there sometimes
and sometimes she was not
she came, she went,
she came, she went,
she smiled, but her smile faded into sadness
there were no tears, mind you
and so you thought
she will come back
but one day you woke up
and she wasn’t there
you called, you tried to think what went wrong
you called, and they said, ‘did you do the re-set?’
‘reset! reset! what reset??’
‘the reset button in her heart, in her feelings
start all over again
tell her you love her, tell her till she knows
tell her she’s the only one
woo her with flowers, take her out to dinner
show her you may not be perfect
but you will still try
show her because she matters
show her till she knows
re-set button finely tuned
till the green light glows!’
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, ‘GloMag’ and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.
That he was a towering figure was no debate
That he was a ‘giraffe’ was a rarity to celebrate
He called himself a giraffe, though some found it odd
He found it a tall order why they would fuss or be sad
Numerous souls on the streets raised eyebrows
Each time he appeared they gave him stares
Not that he was a superstar by any measure
Out of courtesy, they would say it was a pleasure
Oddly their gentility made him feel like an idol of sorts!
Behind his back they said he had a habit of saying truths
Which meant that possibly he was economical with the truth!
Maybe people didn’t understand his register, he was no youth
I`ll die if I don’t read a book week in week out, he would say
Liar or a bookworm? Did his hyperbole get other people astray?
In the face of other people`s incompetence, he said: great job!
Was that a lie or a piece irony? When they said liar he didn’t sob.
One analyst said anyone who called himself a giraffe had an idiolect
Which could confuse people, and on how to say things he had to select
Ndaba Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy. Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.
The city is a woman.
Her eyes are Absinthe.
Her voice is ice.
When she speaks,
smoke pours from her nostrils
and floats up toward the diffusion
Her name could be Ashill
or Siena or Lyon.
But she is not merely quaint,
historic or scenic.
She is Praha. Timeless and ravaged,
dripping with garnets.
Her cobblestone legs open
Here your losses are
crumbling stone steps
you navigate slowly.
you catch your reflection in the water
as you stroll past the Vltava.
You see scaffolding, think “skeleton.”
The word “excavate” seems like flesh
you might penetrate. These words
become more intimate than
“hearth” or “home.”
You love her because you find her less foreign
than your room back home, saturated
by the scent of musty words and turpentine.
She is a canvas,
a blank gessoed stare you recognize
in relief at her skyline.
You toast her with Becherovka, soda water,
and lime, watching jazz cabaret
alone at U Maleho Glena.
The black and white image
on the matchbooks reminds you
December brings less devoted tourists
They flirt with her at the Christmas fair
in Old Town Square, sip her hot mulled wine
from paper cups, but you forgive her anything.
A new year marks the anniversary
of when she took you in, a refugee
of loss with a need to lose yourself
in something other.
You sit down at a café near the
Mala Strana. Sketch a man with a thick
beard who sits alone in a corner,
a couple whispering into each others’ ears
a girl with sad eyes who keeps
resting her head on the heel of her hand.
You place the mug back on the saucer,
pick up your book and read afternoon straight
into evening. Years later you will swear
it was a book of poems by Lawrence,
but it may have been Rilke or Gilbert or a story by Kafka.
You tip an undetermined amount of Koruna,
nod at the waiter, slide a packet of sugar
between the pages to hold your place
and walk out into the night.
Behind your back, the city raises
one ironic eyebrow,
winks, and turns away.
Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She tries to remain active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene. Jennifer has interned at Beyond Baroque and often collaborates with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including Redactions, The Common Ground Review, and The Bacopa Literary Review . She has poetry forthcoming in Breath & Shadows among others. Jennifer’s manuscript, Lullabies for End Times will be available in early 2020 by Moon Tide Press.