In the distance, reeds
preen and freshen,
moving in and out of
shadows, in and out
of light. Last bees
light on yellow sneezeweed.
this summer. Birds hide
in tulip trees.
On this brilliant day, birds
really, one calls. Doves
coo. Red-winged black-
bird lands on nearby reed,
of hiding. It is
the only bird I
know here, the only bird
that does not
hide from morning heat.
Yellow sheen floats above
Turtles walk below.
Marianne Szlyk’s poems have appeared in of/with, bird’s thumb, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Setu, Solidago, Ramingo’s Porch, Bourgeon, Bradlaugh’s Finger, the Loch Raven Review, Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh’s art. Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski’s Porch and Amazon. She also edits the blog-zine The Song Is…, a summer-only publication: http://thesongis.blogspot.com
Keeping my daily journal diary short
these sweet bird sounds lost-
reviews January through March.
Joy a dig deep snow on top of my sorrows.
Skinny naked bones sparrows these doves
beneath my balcony window,
lie lifeless without tweet
no melody lost their sounds.
These few survivors huddle in scruffy bushes.
Gone that plastic outdoor kitchen bowl that held the seeds.
I drink dated milk, distraught rehearse nightmares of childhood.
Sip Mogen David Concord Wine with diet 7Up.
Down sweet molasses and pancake butter.
I miss the feeding of the birds, these condominiums regulations,
callous neighbors below me, Polish complaints.
Their parties, foul language, Polish songs late at night,
these Vodka mornings-no one likes my feeding of birds.
I feel weak and Jesus poor, starving, I can’t feed the birds.
I dry thoughts merge day with night, ZzzQuil, seldom sleep.
Guilt I cover my thoughts of empty shell spotted snow
these fragments, bone parts and my prayers-
Jesus dwelling in my brain cells, dead birds outside.
I miss feeding of the birds.
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 38 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. 204 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.
Editor-in-chief: Poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses and Warriors with Wings: The Best in Contemporary Poetry
For Matthew J. Wells
Invisible Man meets Portnoy, the blurb raves.
My property would be a multi-book deal, exclusive cable rights,
Translation into 26 languages, Bridget Jones hosting the launch,
Airport racks chock-a-block.
On Shinkansen and D train, every passenger
A-swim in my masterpiece—
Brilliant mash-up of Shakespeare & Pryor. I close on
A Bel-Air mansion and don’t give out the address.
My new friends are gorgeous in
The exact same way. We lounge around the pool, talking
High concept and weekend grosses.
Mazzy Star’s on the box: dream-pop for end-times.
Richard Oyama’s work has appeared in Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, The Nuyorasian Anthology, Breaking Silence, Dissident Song, A Gift of Tongues, Malpais Review, Mas Tequila Review and other literary journals. The Country They Know (Neuma Books 2005) is his first collection of poetry. He has a M.A. in English: Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Oyama taught at California College of Arts in Oakland, University of California at Berkeley and University of New Mexico. His first novel in a trilogy, A Riot Goin’ On, is forthcoming.
An End by Edward Lee
And that is it,
isn’t it, your life ends,
but our lives continue on,
days falling into nights,
nights renewing into days,
always, even as we wish
for time to slow, stop,
for just a moment, an hour,
a day, some amount
of time so we might catch our breath,
hold it, fall into senselessness,
that the pain of your absence
might recede from our hearts,
that we might know some of the peace
you now know, pain no longer curling
your being, your very soul,
that we might think of you
without tears staining our breath,
that we might grief
without grieving, and smile
without guilt, or regret.
Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll. His debut poetry collection “Playing PoohsticksOnHa’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com
Tilted boulders, the expanse of cloud,
A swirling scent of grains.
I bid you come forth, bird’s flight
In this apocalyptic dream
And gird my descent into frozen rivers.
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.
I keep always in a secret oak chest,
invisible, safe and inviolable,
all my prayers and hopes, loves and troubles,
triumphs and defeats, hugs, dismay and discomfort.
They are a mosaic of the days I have lived, witnesses
of laughter and affection, tears and sobs, which show
that I didn’t run away from life, having lived it honoring
the sacredness with which it was once conceived.
They will be the passport for my re-entry into the fellowship
to the one who sent us to this common arena of smuggles,
afflictions and despairs and, from time to time,
happiness, fearlessness, even a certain human pride.
Sometimes this chest becomes heavy and unbearable,
and I need to empty it, because other days and passions
are waiting to be cloistered.
Hidden from human eyes, I open it and its content is burned;
emanations are mixed with the indecipherable clouds above us,
and, like an old Pandora’s box, gives rise to bonanzas, lulls, and,
above all, storms and thunders.
Luckily, to date, tornadoes and hurricanes have not appeared.
Edilson Afonso Ferreira is a Brazilian poet. He is 75 year-old, writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. His first Poetry Collection – Lonely Sailor – has been launched in London, November 2018, with one hundred poems. Read more of his work at www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.
We connotate the universe.
Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness,
I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .
You left me on the floor, stomach tangled into a painful knot, the future a cold bleak field.
So it is with light.
The universe is all light. Matter is a form of light. Light moves. We are light. We absorb light
like plants absorb light. In fact, we live on light, the light from animals, the light from plants,
the light from the sun. We in turn glow with light. We emanate.
Isn’t that a warm concept? Light connotates with beauty, cheer, joy.
But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.
We see everything through light that arrives at the iris, is processed through the brain.
If we are light then our tumors are light, as are our highest thoughts.
As is God.
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 230. Among the eight writing residencies he has been awarded are five at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM, and stays in Ireland and Israel. He spent a year in Japan as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.
Just 17, never drove a car
He’s steering a destroyer
Caressing this helm as if
Hooked up to fortune
Ringing up RPMs like pinball,
Enchanted by the dreamy sonar
Pinging and ponging mandolins
His fingers tapping the wheel
Anxious to work the fancy
Knots that lurk in their tips
Turk’s Heads, double crowns
Matthew Walkers, et cetera
He carries a line everywhere
To practice and the very first
Time ashore he shows off
For a French girl who’s duly
Impressed and in fair
English she adds one
More in a dark
USO corner where
She teaches him how
To braid her hair
He stutters to explain
How good knots loosen
As easily as they’re tied
She repeats his words
In her native tongue
And holds up her palm
To his and their fingers
Twine before a toss
Of her mane breaks
His handiwork free
(Published in 2008 in The Peripheral Vision – Portugal – and translated)
Thomas M. McDade is a 73 year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran.
The heart is a madman when it comes to you.
Deliriously murmuring your name
Like an unhinged melodic mantra.
Deranged mind of mine melts
Into your fireplace like, fervent arms.
The piano tune within my chest,
Hysterically pleads for your fingers to touch the keys.
A psychotic addiction lingers inside of me
And the heart is a madman when it comes to you.
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.
You are the oasis in my desert life
A ray of light in my eternal strife
The sun that always gives me hope and light
The dawn that finally shone after a long night
You grow dewy roses in my heart garden
You always lighten my heart heavy burden
You always give me a cause to live for
I promise I will love you more and more
You are the shade and shadow in my heart garden
You always give life to my feelings after they harden
Your smile cools and relieves my pain
You are my garden water and rain
You are the tree that protects me from life heat
You are the happy fate I always long to meet
Your touch gives me the breath I take
I enjoy the life you always make
You are the dream of my life as a whole
You are the leaves in my life that never fall
The flowers in my heart blossom on being together
Lilies grow on my heart wall and never wither
Water them with your true love that lasts forever
Dive deep in my heart, there is true love to discover
Walid Abdallah is an Egyptian poet and author. He is a visiting professor of English language and literature in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the USA, his poetry includes “Go Ye Moon”, ” Dream” and “My heart still beats” and has several translated poems which won prestigious prizes in the USA like “Cause”, “Egypt’s Grief”, and “Strangers’ Cross”. His books include Shout of Silence, Escape to the Realm of Imagination, and Man Domination and Woman Emancipation.