Monday, February 29, 2016

Jennifer Lagier- A Photo

                                "Almond blooms and bee hives"

Gerald Bosacker- A Poem

Majestic peaks, wrinkle and turn old
shedding rocks eager to roll with the cold,
sunshine adsorbing transmuted snow
destined for something, somewhere below.
Vagrant rocks will crash and crumble,
shake off their armor as they tumble
seeking freedom in the mountain stream.
In waters, nacreous they gleam
with their drab exterior worn away.
Exposed, mute words they try to say
about their strange tumultuous birth.
From volcanoes and upheavals, Earth
spit out rock as melted magma chilled
in crystallized form, a destiny fulfilled.
Proud stone, will not keep its grain,
assaulted by wind or ice and sun or rain.
Downstream, rocks turn into stones and
then to pebbles, lastly to finest sand.
Did humbled, crumbled rock know it was fated
to be compacted, smelted and re-circulated,
to rise again in another majestic peak,
when first it tumbled down the mountain's creek. 

The story of life and death, in written in ancient stone. The future eventually becomes the past, and is locked in stone. Everything we own or know is impermanent, but will come back again in some resurrected form, including life itself. Pick up a stone, hold it to your ear and listen to its history.

Bruce Mundhenke- Two Poems

Something Stronger Calls

Sadness brings a tear forth,
Lovely as it falls,
A dewdrop in a field of dew,
Something stronger calls.

After the End of Time

All of us are poets,
Composing our separate lines,
What a day it will be
When they are all edified,
After the end of time.

Archana Kapoor Nagpal- A Poem


God triggers a thought
in and out of my thoughts
i weave another thought

a thought follows a thought
soon I am caught
in my web of thoughts

i lock, and unlock my thoughts
my day starts with a thought
and ends with a thought

negative or positive thoughts
some cynical thoughts
many meaningless thoughts

I wonder if I know
thoughts hold me
or I hold thoughts

my mind whirls around thoughts
yet in my thoughts
 I feel of only God’s presence…

Archana Kapoor Nagpal is an internationally published author of four books – '14 Pearls of Inspiration', 'The Road to a Positive Life', ‘A Haiku Per Day’ and 'The Fragrance of a Beautiful Life'. She often participates in the short story competitions, and her winning stories are now part of international anthologies - 'New Love: Anthology of Short Stories' and the ’12 Facets of a Crystal’. She has seen her short stories, poems and Haiku published in other anthologies as well – ‘A Pinch of Love, Peace and Humanity ’, ‘Atoms of Haiku’, and the ‘Ripples of Love’. She has also been actively involved in the editing, proofreading and book designing of these three anthologies.

She has also seen her poems published in numerous other literary journals, blogs, websites and anthologies including Friday Gurgaon, Whispers, Writers Asylum, VerseWrights, The Bamboo Hut, Frogpond (Issue 37-2) – The Journal of the Haiku Society of America, Under the Basho, Asahi Haikuist Network, HOO-Knows Home & Family Magazine, Harvests of New Millennium (Art & Poetry), Gems (An Anthology of haiku, senryu and sedoka), Taj Mahal Review (An International Literary Journal ), Frameless Sky, Tamarind Magazine, A Hundred Gourds 4.1, DailyHaiga, brass bell: a haiku journal, UHTS (United Haiku and Tanka Society) Cattails, Tulip, Paper Wasp, Prune Juice (Journal of Senryu Kyoka & Haiga), Gnarled Oak, Faces and Places – Haiku Anthology, The Mustard Grain, Ershik #9, Modern Haiku (45:3 Issue), Issa’s Untidy Hut, hedgerow: a journal of small poems, NeverEnding Story (Butterfly Dream Haiku), Chrysanthemum 17 and many others. Her haiku and senryu are translated into Chinese, German and Russian as well. Her two poems – ‘God on Facebook’ and ‘Circle of Life’ are highly acknowledged by other poets, and her readers as well. She has written poems around empowerment of women in India, and eradication of the social evils – dowry, female foeticide, et al.

Edilson Afonso Ferreira- A Poem

Still loved

Somewhere, sometime, in the old East Lands,   
in a spot relieved for four rivers, shadowed
by luxurious a garden, at royal a manor house,    
by one saint sixth labor day, we awaken to life.    
Made on the Creator’s likeness, by many years    
we enjoyed His care and His love.
Someday, on uncovering life secrets, like    
good and evil, our ancestors were banished
having our Lord locked the Paradise Gate.
Since then, the hard and harsh of our toiling,
no one really knows, but You, our Creator.  
How long more will last our penalty?
When and where should we meet again?
Although heavy sternness demonstrated,
be aware many of us still venerate You,
and, some, still love.
We hope to see once more inhabited
that manor house where all has begun, 
appeasing Your heart and retreating 
some cherubims at the Paradise Gate.


Edilson Afonso Ferreira- Two Poems

Mr. Ferreira is a Brazilian poet  published (or upcoming to) in venues like  Right Hand Pointing, Boston Poetry Magazine, The Lake, The Stare’s Nest, The Provo Canyon, Red Wolf Journal, Subterranean Blue, Highland Park Poetry, Whispers, Every Day Poems, Indiana Voice Journal, Synesthesia, Dead Snakes and various others. Short listed in four American Poetry Contests, lives in a small town with wife, three sons and a granddaughter and is collecting his works for a forthcoming book.

Ode to a Past

We were seven and went to sleep, every night,
always at the same time.
Father, mother, three sons and two daughters.
Then, from open doors of each one of the rooms
the full darkness always heard a familiar ballad
singing - your blessing, dad; your blessing, mom.
And so, back from the corridors, their reply to one
by one - God blesses. 
Then, aloud and in bed, they  joined in prayers,
what worked as singular lullaby to put us asleep.
At dawn, father awakened us from the backyard
with his axe, by cracking firewood for the stove.  
He was a scholar, but fond of the old manners.
Indeed grave and serious a man, never failed
when we asked for a good companion.
He and mother performed so peculiar a couple,
father the newest of a thirteen-brother clan
and mother the eldest of ten; a contrast that,  
it seems, joined them forever.
Her jewels, a delicate watch and a wedding ring
so enough were to seal blessed and blissful union.
We had not gas stove, no fridge or electric shower,
but cold the bath and warm the thirst quenching.   
Mother ironed clothes by an old charcoal fired iron,
cooked tasty lunches in smoky a kitchen and made
the most fine suits in a hand-crank sewing machine.
You must believe that there were saints.
By that time, two of them lived with us.

Published in West Ward Quarterly, Fall 2015 issue. 

Lost Remembrance

We crossed over deserts, meadows, mountains,
travelled by rivers and seas, Arctics and Antarctics,
planted vines, bridges and ports, raised sheep and sons.   
We built churches, cathedrals, palaces and poor hovels.  
We lit fire into dark nights and hope into sore souls,
but also have made mad things we prefer never to remember.
We threw roads and rails, telegraphs, cities, skyscrapers,
yet an audacious tower, at Babel, when, our history tells,  
You promptly restrained us.
Your sons became grandsons, great-grandsons, at last, us,
adoptive sons who every day attempt remember
what was like one face that has been said
we are patterned to.  

Published in December 04 2015, at Whispers. 

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Big Bang for Little Billy

This was the first Christmas
Billy was old enough to speak 
when he saw his gifts 
under the sparkling tree.
His parents were waiting
to hear what he’d say.
Billy laughed and jumped
and clapped his hands. 
With a big smile, he shouted
“Santa brought me these!” 
Then Daddy picked Billy up,
bounced him on his knee 
and whispered softly,
“There is no Santa, son.
There was a Big Bang 
while you were asleep.
And all your gifts landed
under the tree.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

David J. Thompson- A Photo

                                        "Carhenge, Nebraska"

Stefanie Bennett- A Poem

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel and a libretto and her poems appear in Illya’s Honey, The Camel Saloon, Snow monkey, Shot Glass Journal, The Provo Canyon Review and others. Of mixed heritage [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Qld., Australia in 1945. Stefanie’s latest poetry title “The Vanishing” 2015 was published by Walleah Press and is available from Walleah, Amazon and Fishpond Books.
I am becoming Vincent... I am
Only midway through
My writing season –, and
Already I address myself
To the nom de plume.
It seems strange.
It is strange.
Half alive, half dead.
Half word-impressionist
And half anyone’s slave.
Since I am half Vincent
  And he is half me –, he
Won’t mind if I speak of stars
  And sunflowers –, and
Bare-boarded rooms.
  I know he won’t mind...
He was someone with little
  To say... there was too much
Of the poet in him. He tried
  To ‘paint it out’.
I wrestle with the images. The gold
That polishes the sun. The gold
That belongs to a banished
Love. The gold belonging
To a lock of hair...
I tell you, he would have been
  A word giant! My God,
The co-ordinated language colour!
  The world missed out: badly.
As it was, it killed him with love.
  It killed him with hate.
He wasn’t  perfect enough
  Then. I can’t be
Perfect enough
  ... Now.
I wrestle with the word image.
The gold that engulfs
The treasure of our
                Shared despair:
The gold of too much caring:
                An empty
Coffer. An empty chair.
I am becoming Vincent... I live
In a bare-boarded room.
My brother sends me
The heavens send
                       More stars!
There’s no-one to talk to...
I make gestures. I cast out
Lines to
The Centaur’s light
And the wall’s
Stone ears.

Jennifer Lagier- Poem & Photo

I Would Never Be That Way Again
Old black and white photos
capture the peach orchard
where I side-swiped a tree,
ripped the door off Dad’s truck,
recall fruit cutting shed, first boyfriend,
river-bottom lover’s lane for illicit sex.
A moldy album documents
me dressed in white dress & veil
impersonating a bride,
then, terrified newlywed,
later failing as wife.
Snap shots reveal evolution:
anorexic jogger,
Amazon body builder,
disillusioned, angry punk,
protesting peacenik,
cougar femme fatale.
In my Medicare years,
I shoot images of ocean,
oddities, local characters,
control shutter, define the frame,
remain out of sight.

James Babbs- Three Poems

James Babbs continues to live and write from the same small Illinois town where he grew up.  He has published hundreds of poems over the past thirty years and, recently, a few short stories.  James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).

I Just Write Poetry

so far
I’ve been able to fool them
but I’m not sure
how much longer
I can keep it up
I think
they’re starting to get suspicious
I don’t know
I’m just being paranoid
but that’s what happens
when people start following you around
oh yeah
I’ve seen them
pretending not to notice me
young mothers with their children
old ladies in the checkout lines
counting out their change
congregating in front of schools
and lots of men driving trucks
acting like they have some place to go
I don’t know who they’re working for
some secret government agency
for some foreign country
nobody’s ever heard of
they must think
I’m getting close to something
why else would they be doing this
they’ve probably seen my writings
plastered all over the internet
they’re convinced
I’ve written secret codes
into every one of my poems
and they’re worried
impressionable young minds
are somehow being influenced
I’ve been labeled a subversive
a menace to society
I’m certain
they’ve put it all down in their files
they consider me dangerous and
all of them agree
I need to be stopped

I Was in Love With a Beautiful Woman

I was in love with a beautiful woman
but it doesn’t matter
at night
the stars continue to shine
above me in the sky and
I understand
the moon’s not made of cheese
but I keep driving the same roads
almost every day and
I watch the crooked trees
under a harsh gray sky
I’m afraid it’s going to rain
before I make it home again
half bottle of whiskey
sitting on the table and
eight cans of beer
waiting for me in the fridge

The Sky Soft and Gray Like a Piece of Canvas Stretched Overhead

it’s March and
there’s a cold wind blowing
the sky soft and gray
like a piece of canvas stretched overhead
I enter through the gate and
walk past one of the graves
covered with fresh dirt
on my way to the back of the cemetery
where the older stones are located
some of them leaning over
some of them worn away and
no longer easy to read
some of them broken and
the pieces
lying on top of each other
I’m looking for the grave
of my great-grandfather
I know it’s around here
because I’ve seen it before
but its been a long time
there’s a pile of discarded decorations
that have been taken from the graves
in order to get the cemetery ready
for another mowing season
right now
the grass doesn’t look too green
but I know it won’t be long
there’s always another summer
it’s only a matter of time

Saturday, February 27, 2016

David J. Thompson- A Photo

                                             "Prague Colors"

Douglas Polk- Three Poems

The Call

religion about discipline,
body and soul,
compassionate relativism,
only a cancer that continues to grow,
disciplined and decisive,
a true Christian must be,
very little gray actually exists,
the call to follow Jesus Christ,
quite basic,
pretty much,
black and white,
and discipline the key.

A Warrior

not a democrat,
nor republican,
but an opportunist,
of the first degree,
seeing desperation on right wing faces,
out of power,
for eight long years,
oppressed and ignored,
for eight long years,
he will rage against the machine of government,
citing a constitution,
rarely read,
the people do not care,
he is their warrior,
their champion,
even though,
his views unknown,
and the future of the party,

Nero Now

presidential politics now a gutter match,
dignity no longer required,
only the lack of ethics,
and upbringing,
the office evolves into a place,
for a dictator,
a thug,
or maybe just a criminal,
with no sense,
of wrong or right,
politics akin to the jungle,
not for the weak,
but only the strong,
the rich,
and the immoral.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Joseph Victor Milford- Two Poems

for Kiana

the grace you have shown me
separates me
from all of my life's

i lift up through the tough
chrysalis to find things
even tougher
to tear through

still you make scrambled
eggs dry
like my grandma

you nuzzle into me
and i delve into you
and we are

a wooly mammoth
in the Atlantic

the grace you have taken from me
at times
was never mine
or so you laugh

i fall into the pit
to be spit
up like
a flower to
droop into
its own

it's the best kiss, the one
you are terrified
you will never have

you know the one i am talking about
and you never had it again

or you did once more
and held to it like
the handle
on the crashing plane

still thinking
you could live
the crash

post-colonial sweatshop shirt

to understand yourself
as a cultural being
you must acknowledge
all of the slavery and violence
which lead to your ability
to button
your buttons

Ananya S. Guha- A Poem


now summer memories will begin
mnemonic, gnomic
orchestrated by rustle of wind
and the streams rippling
with stones to make paths
bushes and shrubs 
on serpentine roads summer has 
a way of talking, unlike winter's harried 
sun, I walk ways since childhood
in this hill town ravaged by the rains
besotted with plums, grapes, peaches, and fruits
of earth. Monoliths stand erect.
History speaks many tongued
cluttered roads make me uneasy
a little queasy, since childhood roads were bland
now, it is time to be a city 
city of millions, billions, 
This is a hype
we pray for 
when will these forests be abandoned
with pain? 
will the grasses grow smaller, taller
will the berries, the peaches 
suffer bleaches? 
The rain carved rocks will bring 
nether surprises.

Ananya S Guha
Shillong, INDIA.

Charles Rammelkamp- A Poem

Long Live the Romantic Poets

On the Oxford tour bus,
the recorded guide told us
Bill Clinton and Percy Shelley
both attended University College,
Shelley having been kicked out
for writing a tract in praise of atheism,
a statue later erected there in his honor,
after he’d drowned in the Mediterranean.

Cecil Rhodes was under fire now
for racist associations,
the man for whom the scholarship
Clinton received was named.

As we rounded past Corpus Christi College,
All Souls College, the voice also told us
the site of the old Jewish cemetery, coming up,
now featured the spectacular Botanic Garden,
Jews having been banned from England in 1289.

So much history! I thought,
from William the Conqueror on down,
and so much scandal,
still marveling over Bill Clinton and Percy Shelley,
mentioned in the same sentence.

Noel Negele- Three Poems

From The Worn Out Jackets, Shoulder To Shoulder In The Bar

And if you see us propped up
Against the bar like eternal scarecrows
Inside your expensive clothes
With your bright dentures like parading armies
Of mockery in your mouths
Do not hurry and judge us—
Life stories that you don’t know
Or do not understand
And if we seek compassion with our fists
On each other’s faces, do not be alarmed
We are only handing out gifts
And do not be afraid of our scars
They are only wrinkles around our souls.

Maybe your bridges don’t curve
And your mornings are filled with smiling faces
While we deal with our hangovers and our guilts 
Surrounding our heads like carrions, eager to descent
Do not think for a second that you know something
We don’t,
Death has consumed our meaning like a dog
Sinking into a quicksand, our loved ones have come
And gone and are not likely to return—
And do not think that all human ingredients died in us,
They have only faded a little, put to the test daily
As we still smile kindly at children, and we all laugh
At times, maybe with the same jokes that you do.

Older Than Young

The days roll away
Like coins slipped
From the pockets

But with not enough
Worth to chase them
Down the pavement

A howl is heard each night
A dog barking with its tongue
Cut off—
Everything is a birth 
Of something worse
Each day a grapple for 
Survival against people

If your left hand 
Goes numb
It’s a heart attack
Ready to happen

If your head hurts
It’s a blood clot

Don’t yank your face off for them
They will stick it to the piss wall
Use it as a target for darts

And do not rip your heart out,
Do not lay it down for them
No one is going to kneel before it
and gently bring it back to you.

It Goes

Strolling around, drunk and coked out of your mind
With mean friends also drunk and coked out of their minds
Talking with a fast paced manner
About things they do not care
And they don’t even pretend to listen
But you keep at it, eyes wide open
Hands moving in effort
To make visual explanations about
The uselessness that comes out of your mouth
As they shit through their mouths too

Strolling around in the night
Under a sky as black as oil

Menacing, drunk, coked out of your skull
Fighting often, annoying rat of a man
So much less from what they expected from you
To be

And then you stay in for days
Stay alone for days
As the phone rings inviting you
To awful escapades
That will continue to spread the numbness
Like an epidemic into your life
So terribly alone
That you become absolutely romantic
Bothering old lovers that have moved on
A long time ago
And of course you shoot at it again
Aiming for deliverance
Actually talking to women honestly
Desperately in need for actual contact

But the music is too loud
The lights too dim
And all they want to do is dance
And take ecstasy 
So you take some ecstasy too

And you lay yourself on the railroad
Watching at the starless sky
With no romance, no hopes
No needs anymore
Just an awful grin on the face
Dazed and comfortable
Listening to the trains 
like instruments of music.

Denny E. Marshall- Micro Fiction- A Dribble

(Dribble-50 Words)

Dribble Break Up

He looks at her and said, “You’re breaking up with me, and you have nothing else too say.” Paula looks into his eyes and said, “Well at least I did it in person, not a text message or over the phone. I can’t say anything else this is a dribble.”

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published. One recent credit is poetry in Silver Blade #29. Denny mostly does artwork. See more at

Thursday, February 25, 2016

David J. Thompson- A Photo

                                    "Store Window, Barcelona"

Denny E. Marshall- Micro Fiction- A Twabble

(Twabble-100 characters)

The Taylor

Taylor Swift meets guy. Name is Kevin Atsewing. Later marry. After wedding. She goes by the name Taylor Swift Atsewing.

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published. Some recently. Mostly does artwork. He is plain. If he was paid for rejected submissions he would be rich. See more of his works at


Robert Cooperman- A Poem

President-Elect Trump To Live in His Own Penthouse, Not the White House

Why would I want to live in a dump
with ghetto rats gnawing the walls?  
I’ve got a huge penthouse, decked out in gold.  
Besides, I could never trust the staff;
they served the Muslim, and might want
jihad for me proving he’s a Kenyan devil;
just look at his doctored birth certificate;
the same guy forged Cruz’s.

I’d spend half my time in office
interviewing replacement employees,
and though it would’ve been a charge to point,
“You’re fired,” or in this case, “Don’t call us,
we’ll call you!”  (Imagine the TV ratings!  
But I’d have no time to get tough with Putin
and whatever schmucks run China and ISIS)

all things considered—I hate that show,
first thing I do is cut off their funding—
I’ll live at home; besides, I can’t wait to see
Cruz’s hissy-fit when my “New York values”
kick that whining Canadian’s ass.”  

New Yorkers love me, the Mexicans love me,
the blacks, the Jews, the Muslims, and Orientals
all love me, and of course the white, real Americans
love me most of all, for sticking up for them
when the whole world’s turned against us.