Monday, April 28, 2014

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems & Photos

Heart of the Matter

This blasted oak with its valentine wound
harbors a rotten core, is riddled with fungus.
At first, I find it romantic, then recognize
a metaphor portraying torn friendship.
Months of intimacy abruptly sundered
without explanation or warning.
What was playful now dark, deformed,
pallid mushrooms feeding off death.
Despite a ripped away heart, the host puts on
a good show, new leaves. Stubborn tap roots persist.

Watteau Fog

Impressionistic fog
forms a thick wall,
hovers over chill ocean.
Haze dilutes landscapes, blurs
angular cypress, golden sand
of Carmel River Beach.
Mist and spindrift
infuse saturated atmosphere,
exude vague mystery.
Blue sky floats high
above a sullen smear
of purple miasma.


Fat kelp flies hang and scold
in the still, fetid air.
Crisp foxtails deconstruct into straw
near seer rattlesnake grass.
Below a petrified path, chill surf
slaps and snarks at dark ocean stone.
Waves lift and smash ashore,
spill rotten seaweed and gulls.
Sweaty hikers seek absent shade,
lift reddened arms, catch the transient breeze.
Around us, wilderness combusts.
The thermometer climbs as distant hills burn.

Jennifer Lagier is seeking herself when not hunting for metaphors, trails, good shots and snakes.

Camille Cooley- A Poem

Household Music

Dads sing when they do dishes.
Soapy water runs along arms -
As left over lasagna is washed away
All to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Moms sing sisters to bed.
Their voices carry themselves to other room
Like bedtime stories coming to an end
Children fall asleep slowly, then all at once.

Morning drums shake the walls
As brothers rehearse to be rock stars.
The incessant noise, the snaring beats
Pace to the throbbing in foreheads.

But for now all one can do is hum quietly.
And be grateful for the beautiful noise that envelopes them.

Camille Cooley is an aspiring writer who has spent the majority of her incredibly ordinary life in Southern California where she juggles her nonexistent social life, with her writing and dogs. She has been published in various forums and is currently trying to make more friends. She can be contacted at

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

B.Z. Niditch- A Poem


Reading Virginia Woolf
to teach to freshmen
at the only light house
around the Cape
with the morning TV guy
saying another wind storm
followed by floods
was imminent,
a guy holding bass
and salmon on his arm
with Gide on the other
reads to us in French
telling about his cruise
as a weather prognosticator 
in startling climate changed
about Siberian exiled writers
women poets from China's
different dynasties,
we invite him to class
and have a great repast.

James Babbs- Three Poems

My Mother Was In ICU

last night
at the hot wok express
the one over on university
sitting near the window
eating general tso’s chicken
over some chicken-fried rice
not too far from the hospital
where my mother was in ICU
with some kind of infection and
they were talking about
having to remove part of her leg
I didn’t know what to do
standing near her bed
not knowing what to say
I finally told her
I was going to leave for awhile and
get me something to eat
noticing how pleasant the air was
when I walked out into the night and
I could see stars
even through the glare
of the city lights and
the moon so big in the sky
like something that didn’t look real

Fixing the Garage Door

I just spent the better part of
an hour fixing the garage door
after the pulley on one side
broke apart and allowed the door to
come crashing down and
for a moment I stood there
not sure what I was going to do
but knowing I had to do something
if I expected to get the car out
in the morning so I could go to work
so I managed to find a new pulley
one close enough to do the job, anyway
rigged up with a couple of washers
then the worst part was
getting the cable and spring back in place
see, there are these big springs on
each side of the door that
stretch and contract to make
moving the door up and down easier
and there’s a cable that attaches to
the bottom of the door and
runs through these pulleys
one of which connects to the spring
it’s not really that complicated but
I knew there was an easy way
to do it and a hard way and
I was learning as I went along
trying to put the ladder in the right place
my hands getting covered with grease and
I didn’t want to get my coat dirty
I know I should’ve stopped and
changed into my old one but
I didn’t want to take the time

Another Weekend

I decide to stop at
Casey’s on my way home and
pick up an 18-pack
the older woman with the mop
telling me to be careful
they have some kind of leak and
they don’t know
where it’s coming from
so I walk around
through the next aisle
carrying my beer to the front
looking over the cutie behind the counter
giving me her smile
along with my change and
it’s just another saturday
another weekend and
I’m alone again
heading home
so I can get drunk again
so I can fall asleep again
without taking off my clothes

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- 3 Poems


They’re trying to analyze me.
They’re trying to control me.
They’re trying to get to everything
I have stored in my brain and
Steal every idea I have and make
A fortune and leave me with nothing.

I am a genius since birth.
I created the heavens and all
The stars in the sky. I kept
The moon suspended as well
The sun. I made the seas and
The seasons and created TV.

I wrote every hit you hear on
The radio. I created music
And invented birdsong. I made
All the animals that walk, crawl,
Swim, and fly. I made the clouds
And the rain, the sleet, and snow.

They’re trying to get to the center
Of my mind. They don’t want me
To create things that I give away
For free. They want to earn a
Profit. I just take enough to eat
And drink. I live my life frugally.


There are some things
you never talk about
and some things you
should never talk about.

But the doctor tries
to open my mind
with a key of small
and large questions.

The doctor drugs me
with medication
until I am unable
to think and I answer

his questions in
fragments. He gathers
the information that
he wants to hear.

He writes lies about me
in the medical chart
to get the law involved
and put me away

for a year. I cannot
keep any secrets.
I tell the things I should
never have to say.


The bookshop
perished in the fire.

All the books
are gone now.

It’s too late
to save learning.

We don’t have
the books to read.

We sit and
watch the fire leap

in silence.
Out of the fire

silence speaks
and the ashes rise.

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

If We Ever Break Up

Thunder and lightning at first,
as I understand it, 
and then the moon will split

in half and disappear
and the stars will go dark
and the sun will come up

and explode in the sky,
another Hiroshima
Hurricanes and tornadoes 

will savage the land.
Sickles and scythes  
will harvest the people,

throw some in the air
shouting Alleluia, 
toss others aside 

shrieking and cursing.
Silence will boom
as the credits roll.

Bugs Bunny, the sage, 
will have the last word:
"That's all, folks!"

Unrequited Love

On their 50th anniversary
Sammy gave Dolly a necklace  
and told his darling wife that
if they lived long enough 
one of them would wake  
to find the other one had died.
"That's life," said Sammy.

And so it came to pass 
Dolly rose one day
and found old Sammy 
on the bathroom floor, 
face blue, body cold,
arms outstretched, 
an old man crucified.

This wasn't the first time
in 50 years Sammy had 
ruined Dolly's day but now
free of fear, Dolly spoke: 
"I never thought you'd die.
I'll have your ashes in an urn 
and under dirt by end of day."

A Touch of Alzheimer's

Wherever I go,
there I am
but if I'm not there

my wife is,
her eyes smiling.
It's been that way

for fifty years.
Not much more 
to say except

whenever I go 
some place
and discover

she's not there, 
then I'm not 
there either

even though
neighbors tell her
they saw me there

so I ask them what's
the difference between
flotsam and jetsam.

They have no answer. 
Why in their world 
worry about me.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Richard Schnap- A Poem


Grey cinderblocks
With the penciled scrawls
Of local gangs

A half-hidden toilet
To remind the accused
Privacy was a privilege

Hard metal benches
As cold as ice
Making sleep a dream

And lights always on
So that time itself
Ceased to exist

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen- Three Haiku

someone feels the night
bare autumn moon as the sea
quietly watches

bulldog puppies
faces like aging tugboats
nudge their momma

on the branches 
   above this flat tire
      crows being crow

ayaz daryl nielsen, husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs) and hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (24+ years/118+ issues), poetry’s homes include Lilliput Review, The Stray Branch, Verse Wisconsin, Shamrock, Kind of a Hurricane, Shemom, has earned cherished awards and participated in worthy anthologies - poetry ensembles include Concentric Penumbra’s of the Heart and Tumbleweeds Still Tumbling, and, in 2013, released an anthology The Poet’s of Bear Creek - beloved wife/poet Judith Partin-Nielsen, and! (translates as joie de vivre)

Brittany Zedalis- A Poem

Hushed Whispers

silence intricate observations
          melt away into a steady heartbeat
  words like woven promises beneath a broken sky
              whispers suppressed by eyes of gold
discarded obligations for this brief moment
           sink into quiescent bliss 

Brittany Zedalis is a 21 year old college senior, who is studying to be an elementary teacher. She has been writing poetry since middle school, and plans to publish a book of poetry one day. She has a poetry blog at:

Theresa A. Cancro- Two Poems


Sun limns lifetimes
like blossoms of the field,
flowers pressed between
tome hours, evidence
we stole the light,
that small shining hope
now bright
in old eyes.

I won't face the grim.
Tell me lies, delay
the final hour.
I'll turn from darkness
as time kernels crowd,
I'll slather sweet
salve to ease the pain
of dying.


Frustration has settled its spurs
in my mind.  Kicks never work.
Let it slide off the side
of anger, mountain to scale,
or ride by.

The power to turn on a dime
slows, friction drags.
No, I cannot see
through the seconds in between.
The down beat closes a valve,
shuts me out.

The bruised clock on the mantel
reeks of spurious minutes,
cranks its gears to chime
a mockery in my ear
of how I've left my life

Bio:  Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware  USA) writes poetry and fiction.  Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in print and at online sites, including Three Line Poetry, Napalm and Novocain, Jellyfish Whispers, Kumquat Poetry, The Rainbow Journal, The Artistic Muse: Poehemians, Stormcloud Poets Anthology, A Handful of Stones, A Hundred Gourds, tinywords, Cattails, Chrysanthemum, and Shamrock Haiku Journal.

Jonel Abellanosa- Two Poems

To My Tooth
I wondered why you were so sensitive
To the hot and the cold.  I probed, feeling
No prick.  No matter how much I peered
No hole reflected, enamel yellowed
But the crown intact. 
X-ray showed cavity hidden proximally,
Concealed by another tooth.  The doctor worried
Over blood pressure, blood sugar,
Prothrombin, bleeding and clotting times
But chronic ache makes anyone say anything.
I keep you wrapped in a blood-smeared white cloth.
I might eat comfortably and sleep soundlessly again
But you’ll remind me how expertly pain carved
Your side, how it fooled toothpicks, the mirror,
My linear, see-to-believe mind. 
Mind and Body
The uphill climb circulates strength:
Pedals, front and rear derailleur
Conveying chain energy honing
Through sprocket wheel and cluster,
Tension and jockey roller, recycling.
Downhill, speed lifts weight to the wind
Carrying these health worries away,
Light-whiting heat sweeping the eye’s ways. 
Rush humming my skin, blue
Sky whispering, comet, kin.
Short Bio: Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines.  His poetry is forthcoming in Anglican Theological Review, Pyrokinection, Ancient Paths, Inkscrawl, and has appeared in Windhover, The Lyric, PEN Peace Mindanao anthology, Star*Line, Liquid Imagination, Mobius Journal of Social Change, Inwood Indiana Press, Jellyfish Whispers, Golden Lantern, Poetry Quarterly, New Verse News, Qarrtsiluni, Anak Sastra: Stories for Southeast Asia, Fox Chase Review, Burning Word, Barefoot Review, Red River Review, Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic.  He is working on his first poetry collection, Multiverse.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Richard Schnap- Three Poems


When I was a child
I once read somewhere
That the ancients believed
All things hold a spirit

And sometimes it seems
In my darkest of hours
I can hear them speaking
Like a comforting friend

When the wind softly whispers
“Don’t be afraid”
And the rain sharply counsels
“You’re not alone”

And the sea slowly murmurs
“Try to forget”
And the earth sweetly urges
“This too will pass”


There’s a diamond in your heart
Its brilliance buried in shadows
From ten thousand lonely nights

And there’s a rose in your soul
Caught in a web of weeds
Nourished by a poisoned river

And there’s a star in your gut
Stuck in a black cage
For a gawking realm of mannequins

And there’s a child in your mind
Who has dreams that never end
Telling of the end of dreams


A last goodbye, a final embrace.
A eulogised kiss at the funeral

Of love. A sanctified bed, a coffin,
A grave. Lined with white silk,

White lilies, white tears. A letter,
An obituary. A valentine, an epitaph.

A passion cremated and scattered
In the wind. A passage of time,

A slow forgetting. A weathered
Memory that haunts me no more.

Jonathan Beale- A Poem

When rain dances

The rain danced on the windscreen.
As each a diamond -
Smashing forth…,
into a million, billion, quintillion new lives!
New lives in old -
The poet sits like a poor Christian waiting in a brittle silence,
A dove, a Jew in a gentile town looking for gold in the drenched gutter -
The misty image of the past, there, and yet fragmented in the now…
in the freshly revealed….Now.

After the last breath, leaves.
Nothing remains.
Just air, water, fire, earth.  Then.
Nothing remains –
No hope - no optimism – no regrets
Nothing remains  

First appeared in The Screech Owl.

Shaquana Adams- A Poem

Silence Me

They tried to silence me
And change the fact that I am free.
Lock my lips and throw away the key
That is what they want to do to me.

My words aren't poetry they say
Called it immature child’s play.
Said my emotions were not real
How are they going to tell me how I feel?

When I was writing in my journal
All the emotions that were internal
Came out gushing not like rain
From all of my secluded pain

So I did the only thing I could at
Three o clock in the morning.
I wrote until my pen ran dry
Or until I hit the pillow snoring.

Let me just make this clear
For all the people who will not cheer
Because they think I write about lies
But who have never seen through my eyes.

No I will not shut my lips
Nor take the pen from the paper
Nor will I let your stupid shit
Stop me from being a creator.

If you can’t handle what I spit
Feel free to get up and walk away.
Because entrapment is the last thing I’ll permit.
Not tomorrow, not today!

Shaquana Adams is an internationally published poet with a fondness for the color purple. She is quiet on the outside but goofy on the inside and writes because the best thing about writing is that she can say what she needs to say. It is an awesome experience.

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

Rainbow Bridge

Slumped in the shadows
beneath Rainbow Bridge.
She picked at a fresh scab
upon her hidden left wrist
wishing and willing
the irritating colours
around herself to be gone.

It Was His OCD That Killed Him

Well, that and the big red double decker bus!

He had a sneaking suspicion
that he was in trouble that morning.
For half an hour earlier he had seen
one of those foam take away chip trays.
Upside down and insultingly staring
at him from the gutter on Stockems Corner.
He had tried to jump upon it,
to put an end to its perfect white arrogance.
But a sudden gust of wind from The Melyn
blew it across the road over to the island
where two of his ex’s live.
He was not going to tempt fate
and mix bad luck up with karma
so he reluctantly let the annoying thing go free.
Bad mistake and decision making, obviously.
On his way back home he spat his chewing gum
over his left shoulder at the 3rd drain and missed.
To his horror he watched it land
upon the unforgiving tarmac a centimetre away
from the drain containing happiness
blessing and all sorts of assorted good luck.
He instantly spun around 7 times on the spot
and stepped back backwards out into the road.
And that was that, he died instantly!
It was his OCD that killed him.
It was his OCD that killed him.
Yes, It was his OCD that killed him

Writing Under The Influence Of Life
It is a strange thing
to observe and witness
all of this un-glorious living madness.
The daily carnival of the absurd.
People fighting tooth and nail
for things that they do not really need
and which often times do not matter.
Stepping on toes, jumping queues
elbowing people out of the way
at the bargain section.
Arguing over shopping trolleys
and parking spaces
and let us not forget
the Nation’s favourite sport
of Road Rage, Yippee!
Nearly losing an eye
outside the post office
by anxious and frightened
umbrella wielding old ladies.
Being attacked and McAssaulted
outside of Burger Kings in city centres
by gangs of seagulls
(Yes, the creatures I used to watch
on David Attenborough programmes.
Their names give away exactly
where they should be!)
There’s a smoking ban in pubs
and it is illegal to smoke standing
in a one sided bus stop?
I’m tired of being stopped
and pocket searched
for being in a burglary hotspot
after dark.
“But it’s January in the UK
so it’s always dark,
I live on this street
and I’m walking my dog.
Officer, cast your gaze downwards
see, dog on a lead!)
There are 2fas
on White Lightning Cider
but you need to take out a loan
to buy Real Ale.
The margarine that reduces cholesterol
is close to £5
whilst the crap that’s bad for you
hasn’t been banned
it’s selling for a mere 50 pence?
You need a TV license
if you have no TV but you do have
a mobile phone.
All of this before you actually get
into the seedier side of life
with the Pimps, Prostitutes,
Pederasts, Rapists, Murderers,
Drug Dealers, Arsonists, Muggers,
Terrorists, Wars, Diseases, Famine,
Genocide, Global Warming
and all of the many other
Man Made and Environmental Disasters.
There is absolutely no wonder
that there are Heroin Addicts out there.
Crack Heads, Speed Freaks, Alcoholics
and all the other assorted Weirdo’s.
That the Prisons, Mental Institutions,
Rehab Centres, Homeless Hostels,
Park Benches and Cemetery’s are full.
No, what is surprizing
is that there isn’t more of it out there.
But hey, you do not need
to be Clairvoyant to see that coming,
Do you now?


Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Douglas Polk- Two Poems

The Game of Politics

Obama fixated on the need to divide and conquer,
sets the poor against the rich,
women against men,
and even black against white,
Americans all,
while Putin plays the world,
in Syria and Ukraine,
a chess game,
the skill level impressive,
where oh where,
is Bobby Fischer,
in this hour of need.
The President Organizer

a community organizer,
knowing only how to organize division,
not seeking peace or unity,
but only power,
taken instead of shared,
the communities serviced,
selected with care,
people inexperienced,
ignorant of the consequences,
the organization of division will bring.

Donnarkevic- Three Poems


Across the meadow, Monet’s stepdaughter,
Blanche, carried canvases in a bumpy wheelbarrow
to help capture the transience of light.
Hurry, Papa said, the sun sets so fast!
She prepared another canvas.
Throughout the day, each half hour,
the color of the haystacks changed
like a bruise on the skin.
On my father’s farm, Mother chooses to die.
Splotches on her legs, the only modest place
my father shows me, ugly purplish and reddish,
like sunspots, as if the sun appeared to perish.
I run to the harvest haystacks to hide
from death. But he finds me.
At the funeral parlor, Mother looks like Mother
except for her skin. Gone the soft hands
that washed my dirty face. Gone
the tender cheeks that tucked me in at night.
Gone the supple lips that kissed my forehead.
Instead, a hardness, like rock
I tote from a fertile plowed field,
like the brick of the silo storing continuance,
like the bark of an apple tree heavy with fruit.
Even the hard earth as I sit at the grave,
the sun setting, Father’s callous hand 
reaching for me, lifting me
into a world I know will be forever hard.

I shut my eyes in order to see.
Paul Gauguin

I have put you behind me,
a green shadow signifying death
or maybe a verdant pasture
where I repose
watching waves break
like mirrors, no longer reflecting,
shards capturing the flight of gulls,
flickering spatters of impasto
mixed with sand, glass, ceramic,
creating a mosaic,
freezing the moment
the heart is pierced with a lance,
or a word, or a look from you
when I refuse to remain
impaled on the cross.


She rented a room across the street
so she could care for him, a bachelor
with cancer. He refused treatment, fifty-some years
enough. To me, at ten, he made sense.
One time, Ciocia Mary invited me to sit with them,
the rented chair, wooden, green paint chipped,
showing layers of white, blue, and yellow
like his skin. On the rented bed stand, a crucifix and clock.
I stared at the clock while the two of them spoke
in and out of Polish. When she mentioned me,
his chest heaved as if to speak. I smiled.
The man on the cross remained silent.
On top of the rented chest of drawers
a living cemetery of relatives. They smiled, too.
After an exchange of Polish, Ciocia Mary cried.
He asked me if I played ball. Little League.
Two words to a man I would never see again.
Looking out the rented window I observed
how darkness slowly ate the light,
how I felt there wasn’t much time left
for me to play.

donnarkevic: Weston, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Bijou Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, and Off the Coast. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published by Main Street Rag. Plays have received readings in Chicago, New York, and Virginia. FutureCycle Press published, Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013.

Dustin D. Pickering- A Poem

Final Fruit

No doubt the rain will
sweep the tall oak in flood,
cover my troubles in blood,
and dig the final fruit from the ground.
I do not let the veneer fool me.
I sink the moon in tame darkness,
and my life grows tall in the weeds.
I do not set my petals on the ground.

But I abort my seeds.
I slip motionless into the haunted wind.
My mind is the tunnel I wander 
without touching the shadows.

Anger fills the gaze of my heart--
I guess the winds are nameless.
Intense are appearances and essences.
However I despair at being aimless.

Floods come from the mouth of human error.
Then I don't know the fossils of my dreams.
I am pale like the stone of fury
and jealous as the witch of fate.

Dustin D. Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press, a Houston-based publishing company. He is editor of the print magazine Harbinger Asylum. He has been published in the Avocet, Blind Vigil Revue, di-verse-city 2013, Writers on the Rio Grande and The Beatest State in the Union (to be published by University of Texas Press), among many others. He was a special guest poet at Austin International Poetry Festival in 2013, and is the author of The Daunting Ephemeral. The Daunting Ephemeral is his first full length poetry collection, and it seeks to explore religion's truths in a godless existence.

Joseph Donnelly- A Poem

Vince the barber

Vince had hands like a fallen saint
Crusted over from the day to day snippets
Bits of newspaper ink
He’d wipe the green liquid on the apron
Smooth you out
Your sideburns
Your social life
Vince made simplicity simple
Odds and evens
Old war stories combed together
Trimming other lives into one single message
The chair eased down with a level slide
Nervousness erased by his handshake
Those hands touched honesty
Vince collected money and memories
He’d ease your pain with precision
He’d listen
The ears of a George and Gabriel

Bio: J.Donnelly writes and works in Astoria, he pulls inspiration from Bucky Sinister and the Beat generation.

Clayton Bye- One Poem


The wind blew today,
ruffling up thoughts
better left alone.

Your face haunts me,
beauty beyond reach
in the hands of time.

Leaves curl and colour:
toes and swirls of frost--
the bite of  death.

Such is my mind
this blustery day;
face, time, toes of frost.

Biting, befuddling,
twists and empty turns:
my thoughts aren't here.

Where? I don't know.
But for beauty, dead?
Your face, your face, your...

Copyright © 2013 Clayton Clifford Bye
Clayton Bye is a writer, editor and publisher. The author of 9 books and a varied collection of short stories, poems, articles and hundreds of reviews, he has also published (under the imprint Chase Enterprises Publishing) 3 award winning anthologies of excellent short stories by some great talents from around the world. The first book features general fiction, the second offering is horror and the third is a book of detective short stories.
Mr. Bye also offers a wide range of writing services, including small business management for writers.