Sunday, January 31, 2016

Barbara Gordon- A Poem


Early one morning, I guess around three
Our little girl cried out for her Daddy and me
We rushed to her room and knelt at her bedside
She was trembling and scared, here’s what she cried.

“Daddy oh Daddy, I just had a dream!
Please hold me close Daddy and tell me what it means!
I was in Heaven and I found Mommy there,
But I couldn’t find you Daddy and I looked everywhere!”

“I ran to the gate and you where down on your knees,
Begging and crying, “Lord, let me in please!”
I turned and ask Jesus, “Please take one more look!”
With tears in his eyes, he showed me his book.

“Can’t you see Daddy; the Lord wants you to know,
When I go to heaven, he wants you to go!
So come to church with us and join us in prayer,
So when I get to Heaven I know you’ll be there!”

Noel Negele- Two Poems

Good Bye

It’s when the casket falls flat
On its hole and the relatives
Dressed in black like shadows
Screak as if knifed or impaled
That you feel the pain that you
Hear that wailing inside of you
Silent to the outside world but
Very much in insane tension within—
A loud vertiginous paroxysm spreading
Like tar to your organs, soul, heart and
Limps that you feel grief taking hold of
Your throat like a burning scarf—
To hold back the tears is futile;
You realise you'll never see him smiling again
And it is then that you soul,palpable with pain
Somewhere inside the ambers of your skull
Denuded of any optimism or sunray
Protests with sad bickering, remorseful 
To not have cared, to never have loved.

A Day

Got out of the house at 10 in the morning
After living for approximately six months
In the night-
The sun like an interrogation lamp
Asking me where I’ve been so long
Shinning that dull light of sobriety
And I went to the center of the city
For the hell of it
Read some books, grabbed a cup of coffee
Smoked a couple of cigarettes
Sitting on a bench, looking at  women
Passing by in a hurry, bathed in vitality
Places to go, shops to shop
Boyfriends to meet and love and torment
This day is a day to be shared
I thought and I got up and started strolling around
Pretending to be one of them
And I felt alright for a while
And I saw a gipsy kid singing gipsy songs
And a young guitarist singing Bob Dylan
Which was nice
And then I saw an old lady
Standing next to a department store
Begging for money, politely, with educated words
Because her husband was sick—
Holding this picture of an old man
Lying on his death bed, tubes up his nose
And it reminded me of my dead friend
For some reason
And I sunk my hands into my pockets
Grabbed all I had, which wasn’t much
And I extended my hand and she extended hers
And I felt her wrinkled palm receiving and her eyes
Curved in a smile and she thanked me kindly
Even if we both knew
It wouldn’t amount to anything.

David J. Thompson- A Photo

                                                                   "Tail Lights"

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

From my tears

the policeman said,    
"There was nothing
you could have
done about it.
That man was gone;
dead cold, before
he hit the floor.
It's only natural
for you to freak
out when faced with
a life or death
thing you'd never
seen before and
couldn't handle.
Hell, it had happened
to me when I was a
rookie---" I thanked
the cop though we
                                                         could both tell I
                                                         didn't mean it. I wasn't
a rookie and it wasn't
the first time someone
dropped on me when I
couldn't do anything
but watch him die.
I still felt, somehow,
as if that guy
getting wheeled out
of the bar with a sheet over
his face, was all
my fault, and nothing
anyone could say or
do would ever be able
to change how I felt.
A brace of whiskeys
would help me start
adjusting my  attitude,
like right now,
the only problem being
was not knowing
if I would be able to

“We can build you

up, make a real
man of you,”
he sd. like some kind of
roving Marine Good Will
recruiter on a divine mission
to save the hearts and minds of
                            the unrepentant sinners sipping
shots and brews, smoking butts
down to the filter, instead of
pumping iron and reading
from The Book.
Following this boy scout trooper
into some third world
country too weak to defend
itself, so we could build up
our self images with a little
constructive raping and pillaging,
before some real R&R back home
in a place like this, where battle
scars are an excuse for another
pop, another round for the ditch
you never wake up in.

All the time he

had spent out of the joint,
was an exercise in futility,
as if he were determined
to get back there where all his
friends were, where everything
was programmed, and every day
was just a reliving of
all the good-assed,
good old times working on
perfecting felony rap songs,
jail house lawyering
skills, and slick contraband
schemes. He liked to say, only
half in jest, that the primary reason
anyone would want to be outside
at all, was for a warm piece
of ass. Everything else was
government issued, free ride,
paid for, and waiting for
an enterprising man to collect.
A man could make himself
quite a nice living, if he could
learn to do without women,
hell he wasn't much to look
at no how so he'd get by,
yes, he would.

John Swain- A Poem

Beneath the Snow

Thunder beneath the snow
breaks the silence of the world.
The wind impresses a sign
on each dead leaf turned white
like an ancient divination
the last man scraped on bone
to live the will of earth.

The heat of the hawk steams
in a tree
like a raging torch fire
for my darkening way.

I pressed the hollowed branch 
with a thorn to my hands,
I heard the sky open in flight
for its own protection from us,
like the birth of a foal 
I am empty as this grey field 
lying still in my throat unsung.

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Least Bittern Books published his second collection, Under the Mountain Born.

David J. Thompson- A Photo

                                                        "Truck Window, Georgia"

Victor Clevenger- Two Poems

it is like
dirty and
rain drown;
beside a
felines and alley
snakes that
on the hot
as an army of lice crawl across
your eyes
and dig
a thousand
clawed feet
into the

and this is
why I don't
write love

Snow Angel
After thirty-five
wintertime, I have
used to "getting used to", but
I still
each day. It’s like sleeping
next to
a cold-legged woman with
desire left
breath, or her bones.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

David J. Thompson- A Photo


Melanie Browne- Three Poems

Weird stuff about Napoleon

he slapped both men
and women,
he spilled coffee on
ladies dresses on purpose,
full of charm one
moment, he might 
shoot a swan in the next,
he liked his bath
hotter than hell,
and hated cats,
he would neurotically 
twitch his 
right shoulder,
and was possibly epileptic,
he masturbated before battle,
he believed in a lucky star
and made a ten year pact 
with a genie,
and yet 
he is still
quite interesting

Keith Richards again

I dreams about
Keith Richards again,
We are swimming in
the Thames,
sipping whiskey
out of a thimble,
the wind is strong,
Keith's hair like a 
bedraggled lion,
'I went fishing 
the other day,
& pulled out seven
bodies," he said
cocking one very 
grey eyebrow
towards the 
Ursa Minor,
but when I look
Keith has
into a 
mighty clipper ship
and my foot
has slipped
into the mud
& I wake ever
so slowly
and scramble
the eggs and
dump them on
to a plate

One day after not winning the Powerball lottery

I google "Luxury Goods,"
and I see pictures
of shiny diamonds,
Gucci shopping bags
and a Russian man 
eating caviar 
with a gold spoon,
I see champagne,
beach vacations,
and bright orange colored sneakers,
Two days after not Winning
the Powerball Lottery,
I watch the reality show
"Lottery Changed My life,"
 a man buys a farm so he can 
ride a four wheeler around
and around and around,
he also buys a big truck
and some trucks for his friends
and he buys them
some four wheelers so
they can go around and around
and around and enjoy pizza
and beer and hot dogs and 
burgers made with sirloin-
Three days after not winning
the lottery I have forgotten
about not winning the Lottery
I have forgotten the people 
on the radio giving legal advice
about winning the lottery to
people who will not win
the lottery and all the crowds at 
7-11 and the soon to be
discarded sad slips
of white paper dreams

Ananya S. Guha- A Poem


toxic colours
today the dead man
looked heavy weight
with the Bible by his bed
I thought  he  would speak to me
but then  started  nosing around  for more
more dying years, a reason to live
beyond redemption.Some of  the church
people I knew were there.
Prayed. Praying and colours
walked swiftly across the room
tears  left his face the moment
he was released. I  waked bereft of  tears
prayers followed.
Ananya S Guha

Jonathan Hayes- A Photo

                                                             "The Shadowboxer"

Douglas Polk- Three Poems


conversations overheard,
send a chill down the spine,
and make one question reality,
or one's own sanity,
basic concepts of society,
never known,
or at least unlearned,
a religion,
a cure all for everything,
but ignorance,
trust placed with the criminal fringe,
congressmen and senators,
only flies on the web,
votes and speeches,
playing acting,
outcomes agreed upon before a foot steps upon the floor,
televised sessions,
only make the lies,
and deceptions,
easier to hide,
laws mean nothing,
if not honored,
or respected,
laws have no skin color,
neither black or white,
law abiding,
seems an insult,
instead of a concept,
to be valued,
chaos reigns,
inside of too many brains,
Hawkins may be right,
less than one hundred years,
the earth a paradise again.

The Elect
the chosen one,
self-satisfied savior,
the disillusioned dwell,
in the annals of history,
Julius Caesar to Barrack Obama,
wielding the power of government,
their own personal weapon,
ignoring the past,
and disdaining the future,
void of integrity,
discernment lacking,
believing the law resides,
within themselves,
the ship of state,
self-satisfied saviors.

The Activist
fuck the Republicans,
fuck the Democrats,
both parties,
more than willing to let America burn,
politics crazy,
socialists and bigots,
fight for power,
people arming themselves for Armageddon,
the hair on the back of the neck,
stands on end,
as trustworthy as a lineup of  felons,
go to the nearest bar,
pick a drunk,
Mr. President,
America look forward,
the future a better place to be.

Friday, January 29, 2016

David J. Thompson- A Photo


Martins Iyoboyi- Two Poems

Common Road

A viper’s fang, two-pronged,
fueling death’s fearful prospects

News of careless ends,
when ambitious seekers bend their course,
protesting a nation’s madness

Blood pools, crescents of ceaseless sights,
and thick jams, of angry citizens,

Kept in sprees of halted hours

And soon, another death, stillness
when uniformed pawns come
seeking bribes for their shame.

HIV-Positive Ward

Dreaded like a leper, words
Sink of pedantic deaths, spreading,
Wings where blood is tagged –

Skin-dry, sockets beaten by pangs,
Living hopes consumed by the roots,
Passersby hurry without a stare –

The air, fear-gripped,
Aids news of crispy deaths –

Knowing physicians, bent to nurse,
Rebuke by sideward nods thick outside stigma …

Martins Iyoboyi is a Nigerian. His poems have appeared in several journals including Aji, Rhythm, Munyori Poetry, Contemporary Rhyme, Jellyfish Whisper, International Zeitschift, 63 Channels, Flask Review, Bending Spoons, Collective Fallout, The New Verse News, Chiron Review Poetry Cemetery, Boyne Writers Group, MotherVerse, Tenemos, Hat and The Mind[less] Muse. 

Sunil Sharma- A Poem

Night sounds

Pack of strays roaming freely
Bared fangs,
Reclaiming the mid-night street
As a disputed territory
Fangs bared,
Attacking lonesome pedestrian/s
Returning from work---perhaps
Or, a late party,
Snarling, biting, the dogs
Chase bikes

Few drug addicts passed out
On the broken pavement
A sodium vapor lamp above
Illuminating the sunken faces and glassy eyes
Of the prostrate figures---exiled from the system.

A back-firing vehicle
Shaking the drowsy buildings,
Honking even if there is no need.
Disparate sounds that do not intermix
In any dulcet note/symphony.
High decibels, harsh
Heard by an insomniac straight out of
An epileptic Dostoevsky.

It is suburban Mumbai, 2.30 am.

Unsafe…like the London of Dickens
Or, of  Conan Doyle.
This metro-setting?
See Baudelaire lurking in shadows.
How most cities resemble, more so, during nights!

Sunil Sharma
Principal, Bharat College, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India
Writer | Critic | Editor | Freelance Journalist | Reviewer | Literary Interviewer
Twitter: @drsunilsharma

Skype: sunils2015
Link to recent publications:

Ananya S. Guha- A Poem


a screeching halt
the bottle of malt
turning the other way
a mirror cracks implosive is the wrath
explosive is the moth
a horse drawn car in fatigue
those overground 
never understand gun shots
in milling crowds.
they pull the whisky 
deflate anything that is risky
and wear the afflatus
we cower, hide our faces
and drag our bodies into
hollow pits.

Ananya S Guha
Shillong, INDIA.

Edilson A. Ferreira- Three Poems

Mr. Ferreira is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than Portuguese, in order to reach more people. Has been published (or upcoming to) in venues like Cyclamens and Swords, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Poetry Magazine, The Lake, The Stare’s Nest, The Provo Canyon, Red Wolf Journal, Subterranean Blue, Whispers, Every Day Poems, Indiana Voice Journal, Synesthesia and some others. Short listed in four American Poetry Contests, lives in a small town with wife, three sons and a granddaughter and has begun writing after retirement as a Bank Manager. He is collecting his works for a forthcoming book.  

The writing of our book

Who knows how fate works in our lives?
Fate – eternal tyrant – rules over all of us.
Since we were unborn and not conceived
And our parents unknown one to the other.  
Paths to walk by, persons to love and to hate.
Arrivals and departures, praises and failures.    
Faith and despair, rejoicing, tears and fears.
Every time, every day or hour, week by week,
From dawn to evening and noon to moon, 
Conscious or unconscious of its guidance,
We go pursuing threads around the labyrinth.  
Would be a warlock by early times in old caves
Who spelt the words that compose our book?
Or a saint who threw the letters from the stars?

Published in Cyclamens and Swords, August 2011 online issue.


I am ashamed to see security guards at my Bank,
armored vehicles used in money transport
and Police officers on the streets patrolling.
Supermarket loss-prevention professionals
and their cameras sleepless watching upon us.
They say that this is intrinsic to the Capitalism,
modus-vivendi we inherited from forefathers.
I am not used to the economic laws and marketing.
I am simply a poet, perhaps, or certainly, a minor one,
who wants to manifest that our brothers and sisters,
no-poet-people would have, by now, already changed
this way we have been chained to.

First published in Boston Poetry Magazine, August 15 2014. 


Poets are made by mode of enchantment,
and mine has been so an exquisite one.
It comes from our common ground,
sometimes from dark underground,
yet from sparkling highs of heaven.       
Some days, somewhere, untied to myself,
world loses the poet and gains the autist,
till a good soul recognizes me,
reconnecting the mode,  
like an out of order gadget.

Published in West Ward Quarterly, Spring print issue April 2015. 

John Pursch- A Poem

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. Twice nominated for Best of the Net, his work has appeared in many literary journals. His first book, Intunesia, is available at Check out his experimental lit-rap video at He’s @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Partitions of Unity

We live in a seamless unity
that isn’t even a thing
and with one innocent little cut
we set in motion
an infinite, unstoppable process.

The first word,
the first thought,
and all is lost.

Without the concept of “first”,
this cannot happen.

So number is involved here,
at bottom, and prior to one is zero;
an emptiness, devoid… of what?

If we try to strip it all the way down,
to toss out the baby, the bath water,
the kitchen sink, the two-car garage,
the TV in every room,
to return to paradise,
before point and line,
before the idea of number…

We find we’re proudly waging
a war on concepts –
with concepts!

Maybe this banishing of thought
is how thought began?
Or begins again?
And again?

Bruce Mundhenke- A Poem

Bud Devore

Standing there in his bib overalls
In front of the corner store,
Drinking soda, unshaven and shabby,
Stood the man named Bud Devore.

He worked at Brown's Store for soda,
And maybe a little loose change,
Sometimes he talked with the customers,
Most of them thought him quite strange.

He walked down the alleyways junking,
He fixed up old radios,
Where he learned electronics,
Only the good LORD knows.

I interpreted for him sometimes,
His speech hard to understand,
Rheumatic fever afflicted boy,
Speech defective man.

His brother gave him a walrus tooth,
Then his brother moved away.
Bud was proud of the walrus tooth,
He showed it off every day.

Nobody could beat him at checkers,
At least nobody in town.
He took on all comers in his old shed
Until very few came around.

It seemed Bud was around forever,
Though he eventually faded away,
But he is still standing in front of Brown's Store
When he crosses my mind today.

Jennifer Lagier- A Photo

                                                                   "Storm Surf"

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Levi J. Mericle- Three Poems

Levi J. Mericle is a poet/spoken-word artist and lyricist from Tucumcari, N.M. Currently he is associated with the New Mexico State Poetry Society and gives readings from his work. His work has appeared in multiple anthologies and his work can also be seen in multiple lit magazines and journals such as, Black Heart Magazine, The Mused, 101 Words, Eunoia Review, Awakenings Review, Penhead Press, Zaira Journal etc. Levi spends his days daydreaming about poetry and writes, at least a little bit every single day no matter what.

Child Gone

(Previously published in Mused)

Her whiskey knees
were always too drunk to hold up her body.

Her palms were a flight risk 
jumping in surrender whenever she felt captured,

felt insecure.  

Her elbows were never pointing to shadows that didn’t exist
but just to the ones no one claims.   

Her shoulder blades sharper than the tongues of serpents
easily colder than any iceberg you could imagine,
slabbed in the middle of her back like the titanic awaiting to plummet.

I always hoped and believed she’d acquire normalcy.

But to her being normal was too underrated for her understanding.
She believed she was a nobody’s nobody.

Just a slab of flesh living in an earthly meat counter,
awaiting to be consumed inside the belly of time.  
I hated to know her,
Because knowing her meant I cared way too much.

Knowing she was just a child gone wrong
and living in the skin,
                                      of pure oblivion.
That’s what I hated the most.      

To Sylvia

Life set you going with a pocket full of dreams
Yet your lining grew, filled with nightmares
And you fell to the element of death

The morning sang to you a lullaby
But then skipped the stepping stones of earth
And let you fold into the stream of wasted wishes
Melody forgotten

I found why life gave up on you
God jealous of your poetry
The devil envying your smile

I don’t know where your nightmares grow now
Or if you have any more at all

Maybe you’re plucking tulips
Inside gardens where winter never visits
Or maybe you’re sitting in the darkness
Lapping up a mirage of happiness
You now Ms. Lady Lazarus

You have walked the paths of life
And felt sorrow amongst the world
Yet your path is paved and growing golden with
Still on earth

Please don’t forget why you existed
Because earth will always remember your smile

You’ve set the path we walk on
You are a goddess in your time
A heroine amongst the dead

You are the melody
And a pocket full of dreams
Your legacy will never be plucked

You are the tulips
The dreams
You are Lady Lazarus
You are Sylvia Plath


You fat and slothlike America
Clothed in Jewels and your Stepford Wives
You sit in camouflaged happiness
With thousands, your millions
“Buy Me a pony, a condo”
“Give the poor a photo of what life is like,


You slanderous sluts of gossip
Folded cackle for life’s little gnomes of poverty
Fits of “give me more, you tired, you POOR”

You call yourself a god or goddess of wealth
But you have no dignity
Past what your wallet can provide
You pretend yourself a god
Because the one and only God will not claim you

So sit in your caged habitat of wealth and pride
And forget that a life exists beyond your Prada-skinned world
Face the truth

(Your highness)

You fat
You slothlike America 

Jennifer Lagier- A Photo

                                                                "Morning Surf"

Rehan Qayoom- Two Poems

Rehan Qayoom is a poet of English and Urdu, editor, translator and archivist, educated at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has featured in numerous literary publications and performed his work internationally.  He has published 2 books of poetry and several works of prose.

Society Meeting

To brandish all the signs of genius
To bear the marks of disability
To read the myth of Mighty Peleus
With such diminished visibility
Are not the signs of High Society
Nor will they bring in any money now

Can this be life when all I do is read?
And go out once a while unheard, unseen
Alone and unaccompanied – I plead
To be let in the group, I have not been
Involved in anything like this: 15
Poets all discussing poetry

“Oh Yes” “Of Course” and that dull “Sure, why not?”
“Well, you know, when he published Don Juan
“It all went down so badly and he got”
“Some very bitter reviews”, “And … well … one can
Either take things badly”, “But not Byron”
He made the most of it, he fobbed them off

Go on you dullards mocking: ones who make
The money from these meetings, those who eat
The cakes and all the pies and also take
The freebies to be had from such a meet
Let me alone now with my bread and water
And then return back home to Homer’s Daughter

A Poem of Maturity

After Parveen Shakir.
Sobbing like a child he insisted
That they bury him alive with his dead wife
The lads nudged and winked
At each other
The elderly said 'He has gone mad'
And the priests had a hard time dragging him back home!

Routinely he would go to Mewashah after work
Carrying flowers and incense candles
Then he would go every Thursday
Then every ninth day
Then on the 2 Eids, and then every Shab-barat
Then annually
Till one day he alighted from the number 60 bus
Into the scorching sun
And his eyes settled upon a tree
As he remembered
The new typist who’d arrived at the office that day
He laughed
Realising that the world
Does not consist of one person alone 

Alex H. Stone- A Poem

“The Stillness.  And Me” 

phobos phobos
phobos my
little boy girl 

my little hole. 
you were the big
one for so long.

but now it’s me. 
i own you.  do 
you understand?

have you ever 
seen yourself 
grow into something

truly solid. 
evil. but
not sinister. 

whole.  but
taking no

i am the breeze. 
you remember? 
i always said that. 

Alex H Stone is a Minneapolis based writer and person.  Mostly writer.  He has a B.A. in music composition and a cat.