The kiss of your lips
Is like the scent of lavender
In a garden after rain
Shola Balogun, poet,playwright and filmmaker has been featured as a guest writer and contributor,especially in the areas of poetry, post colonial studies and dramatic criticism to various magazines,anthologies and journals. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Balogun lives in Lagos,Nigeria.
The feathery creature
Who takes only one mate.
A bloody Robin upon my palm.
A dead heartbeat that belonged to my mate.
Mate: a lullaby at my tongue,
Saliva of crimson regret.
Listen, but my mate still breathes,
Just the air of some other species: betrayal.
A renegade, unruly bird.
My carcass may take a mate
But my spirit is forever yours.
I, the Robin who takes only one mate.
You’ve failed as a Robin
Yet I will ne’er.
My soul will mate with mere loneliness.
David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine,Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7 Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains Literary Journal, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel,Harbinger Asylum, Briars Lit, Open Arts Forum, Cajun Mutt Press, Former People Journal, The Ugly Writers, Writ in Dust, Cephalopress, Twist in Time, Merak Magazine, Salt Water Soul, Cherry House Press, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Printed Words, Sunflower Sutras, Tulip Tree Publishing, Salt, PPP Ezine, Digging through the Fat, Haiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.
Pericles lay on his sweat soaked back in bed, his head propped up by pillows,
Listless, with pale skin and dark circles ringing his eyes,
A shadow of his former self. He vainly hoped the amulet hung
By a string around his neck would save him from the plague,
Sweeping through walled Athens now under siege
By the Spartans and their allies in a fight to the death.
The god-like Pericles, with his oversized head and
Oversized confidence, dominated his enemies
And built the Parthenon. The nobleman who led
The commoners just a few years ago distained
Superstition as the absurd fear of the ignorant.
But outrageous fortune has a way of humbling
Even the most prideful of men. War and plague
Had taken Pericles’s two adult sons and many
Of his closest friends. Pericles, who once could do no wrong,
Was blamed by the people and stripped of his power.
Pericles – burning with fever – weakly raised right hand,
Asking for water in the same baritone voice
That once reverberated through the Assembly,
The Thracian slave girl – immune from plague –
Brought him water and changed his bedpan
And soiled bed clothes. She sponged his fevered body.
Aspasia – his hetarai wife – cried in the adjoining room
As her young son Pericles the younger clung to her.
Pericles the elder, the former giant of Athens, the builder
Of cities, closed his eyes and slipped away.
Mark Kodama is a trial attorney and former newspaper reporter who lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two sons. He is currently working on Las Vegas Tales, a work of philosophy, sugar-coated with meter and rhyme and told through stories. His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies, on-line magazines and on-line blogs.
Memories stretched across time and space
San Antonio, Denver, Anchorage, Mountain Home
Mountain Home??? Yes…..it isn’t hell but you can see hell from here
That’s what they said
Lackland AFB – San Antonio TX
Lining up for chow – breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Lining up to march – to class, to get fitted for uniforms, to be physically examined
Lining up for mail – precious connections to my former life and those who love me
Lining up to leave – goodbye basic training
Lowery AFB – Denver CO
Grabbing a bite in the cafeteria before rushing to class
Getting to know my roommate and dorm mates
Going out with new friends to explore a new city
Gosh, this feels just like college – except for the uniforms
Elmendorf AFB – Anchorage AK
Taking the time and effort to form friendships that will last a lifetime and span the globe
Tearfully meeting the President and remembering why I serve
Testing my boundaries with authority – I should know better
Training for Arctic warfare – is this why it’s called the Cold War
Mountain Home AFB – Mountain Home ID
Finally adapting to married life, pregnancy, and the desert
Figuring out how to be a mother while still serving as a soldier
Fighting discrimination from all directions
Finding support from my sisters in uniform – and some of the men
Four years, four bases, four promotions
Many challenges, many friendships, many rewards
Glorious scenery, glorious experiences, glorious personal triumphs
Sisterhood at its best
Noelle Kukenas began writing around the age of nine and continues to this day. She enjoyed working in several career fields, many which allowed her to contribute as a technical writer in some capacity. Her published works include a short story in Scraps To Scribes and poetry in Sisterhood 4: We Are Women. Recently retired from the nonprofit sector, Noelle enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband, creating havoc with her grandchildren, and enjoying the California sunshine!
Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich
Are you awake
to what you
choose to do
with the rest
of your life?
Sit, stand, walk
or mark time.
Swim in an ocean,
hang from a tree,
or bury yourself
deep in the ground.
Cry about the past
or be a circus clown
without a frown
about the future.
can sometimes be
a necessary time out.
Try being present
for the present,
and, you can fly
with one wing.
Follow the North Star.
Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.