Monday, November 28, 2016

Untitled by Desiree Cady

I've had to walk a mile
In far too many shoes
Had to fight some battles
I thought for sure that I would lose

Something deep within me
wouldn't let me give up
Just when I thought my strength was gone
Something came along and filled my cup

I've watched my blood fall to the floor
In times I no longer wanted to live my life
Some of the saddest scars I possess
Came from the blade of my own knife

I lay prisoner for hours
While my captor left me bloody and bruised
One thing all of it taught me
Was to be strong, fight, refuse to ever again be used

I lay there thinking my life
Was surely about to end
I prayed the lord for a savior
But not one angel did he send

In that moment I had to survive
Had to gather all that I had
The only one I could count on then
Was truly was so sad

I lived through that moment
And have struggled in every possible way
The things that experience taught me
Made me the person you see standing here today

I will go on living
I will never be broken again
Because what all of this has taught me is...
I am my own strongest friend.

Desiree Cady

I am a 33 year old mother of two beautiful girls who have been my saving grace. After a brutal attack a few years ago, I have been plagued by PTSD. After the attack and a few suicide attempts, I vowed to tell my story and help inspire others to get help and to know that they are not alone. 
I am currently wrapping up two manuscripts for publication and am set to be published in an upcoming anthology that will come out mid - November.
You can find more of my work at 

Lady Karma by Crystal Price


Tongue of wasps...
Snaggled teeth...
Stealthily she skulks...
In search of fresh meat...

Her hands always steady...

No shutter...
No shake...

A doomed soaked performance...
Featuring The Damsels of Dead Lake...

Her tiptoes conjure earthquakes...
Wretched devastation...
Her seering gaze will lock you..
In your own devised damnation...

So, if ever you should see her...
Don't bother running away...
Lady Karma's everywhere...
She'll get you anyway

©Crystal Price ©2015


Name: Crystal Price
Age: 34
Residence: Fresno, CA

I started writing poetry as a preteen living in the foster care system. Poetry was the oxygen that kept me from becoming an emotional vegetable. Poetry me & I it. Poetry is my life support, and my survival has, & always will depends on it.

having learned nothing by John Sweet

having learned nothing
                          for dave kelly
was lying on the couch in an
empty room in an empty house when
the power went out, and I could
hear where the rain was
leaking in
I could hear the ticking of the
clock on the wall above me
had things to say, but
there was no one there to say them to
had points to make
had opinions to defend
could hear a siren getting closer
& felt my way to the window
saw the ambulance stop across the
street a few houses down, and I
had no idea who anyone in
this neighborhood was
wished the best for them
in my own small way

John Sweet sends greeting from the rural wastelands of upstate New York.  He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the need to continuously search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest collection is APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press).

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from Joanne Olivieri

November breeze
a faint whisper
rustling leaves

Photos taken at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Time To by Lynn Long

Time to 


my little 


Time to

fly in 



Time to 

dance in 



Time to 

dream of



Time to


the day 




to sing



Lynn Long is an aspiring writer/novelist.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Plastic By, Melissa R. Mendelson


A cold wind blows 
as I stroll along 
the empty path 
through the dollhouse 
and through the plastic 
buildings that surround it. 
The world is behind me, 
and the blank faces 
of the porcelain dolls 
gives me no comfort 
for they can't see 
the woman inside me. 
If I could just melt away 
this prison 
that I have been trapped in 
for too long 
and jump 
back into the water, 
I could swim again 
in the river of life 
and feel 
maybe the love 
of one 
I wish for. 
In the meantime, 
my time is spent 
here in the dollhouse 
and the plastic buildings, 
listening to the voices 
of those empty dolls 
living a life 
that I dream. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Humanity Within by Melissa R. Mendelson

Humanity Within

Cold nights 
light the stage 
of the loneliness 
that I am imprisoned in. 
The stars above still don't shine, 
and your eyes still avoid me. 
Am I the fear 
of what could happen to you? 
Am I your reality 
if things get harder, 
if your world falls apart?
I am your shadow 
as you walk past my cardboard box, 
and I am in you, 
the humanity 
that you carry 
but never tap into. 
Here I lay, 
starving at your feet, 
asking for a few dollars, 
or just for some food. 
All you have to do 
is open your heart, 
open your mind, 
and wrap me in the humanity 
that you carry within. 
Why should I 
and those across the globe 
suffer in poverty 
when all we need 
is for you to help 
us stand back up 
in this world? 
The days would be warm, 
and the nightmare would finally be over 
as the stars shine again. 
All that is needed  
is the humanity inside. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Labyrinth by Melissa Mendelson


In the maze of our minds, 
the walls are etched 
with what we do not 
want to know 
or want to remember. 
The walls could paint 
the best of our memories, 
but some betray us 
to reveal what we can't face. 
Yet, the walls remain 
in the maze of our minds 
as we weave in and out 
toward the core of our soul. 
No matter how far we go, 
we can't ignore 
our true feelings inside 
or moments that we want to forget. 
They will always be there 
until we face the wall. 
Then, it will fall
to reveal a road 
not yet discovered 
or a door that we could walk through 
to our dreams. 
As we continue to live within ourselves, 
these walls etched with time 
will phase in and out 
until we are finally ready to become ourselves.

introspection by Laura Minning

i n t r o s p e c t i o n

I look down into the river,
and I see an Old Woman
staring back at Me.

Her hair has been changed
by the elements of time,
and Her cheeks are dampened,
by the bitterness in the air.

But Her eyes glisten in the moonlight,
just the same.

She tells Me, in secret,
that She will never allow Herself
to be hurt like that again.

And so Her mind lives elsewhere,
making plans for the future,
while attempting
to put Her past behind Her.

I try to console Her,
but every time I begin to speak,
She turns away.

You see:
I think She’s as wonderful on the inside,
as She is beautiful on the outside.

And sometimes,
she can appear to be
almost youthful and free.

But she won’t hear My words;
She won’t listen to Me.

~laura j. minning
excerpt from “dear diary”
published by vantage press
c. december 2003

Laura Minning began writing creatively at the age of nine. She’s become an award winning published poet and author since that time. All in all, she’s had one-hundred and seven individual poems, six articles, two books, two plays and one piece of prose published in both hard copy and on-line. Her work has been featured in publications like “Literature Today”, “Amulet Magazine” and “Slate & Style”.

Laura received her first Editor’s Choice Award in 1993 for “bronx zoo” and her first International Merritt of Poetry Award in 1995 for “introspection” by the National Library of Poetry. recognized her work a decade later by granting her the title of International Poet of the Year.

Laura’s artistic accomplishments are equally impressive. She’s had eighty-five original pieces exhibited and eleven published. Her work has been displayed in venues like the VMFA Studio School, Haverhill Public Library and Barcode.

The Barcode exhibit featured thirty-six pieces of Laura’s artwork during the month of February in 2016. Four pieces were sold over the course of opening weekend, and the exhibition was sponsored by Bacardi.

Part of all sale proceeds from Laura’s creative works is donated to charity. She donates to the National Federation of the Blind for her poetry sales and the VCU Massey Cancer Center for art sales. Additional information about Laura and her work can be found by logging onto her web-site at

As a person with low vision and blindness, Laura hopes to inspire other creative people to never allow anything to hinder them from reaching for the stars and accomplishing their dreams If you were to ask her about her creative successes, she would tell you that the difficult is but the work of the moment, and the impossible takes a little longer.

Self Infliction by Daginne Aignend

Self infliction

It's a pestering virus
disturbing my brain waves.
A continuous silent command
compelling myself to
elevate into higher levels,
even when it wears me out,
makes me sleepless
and restlessly insecure

The worst epiphenomenon of 
this ambitious virus is
Doubt of one's own ability.
When successes fail
the inner self 
into a severe downfall,
resulting in unmitigated apathy
I think I will sleep for days now.

© Daginne Aignend


Daginne Aignend is a pseudonym for the Dutch poetess Inge Wesdijk.
She likes hard rock music, photography and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals.
Daginne started to write English poetry four years ago and posted some of her poems on her Facebook page and on her website

Identify This Man by Jerry Durick

Identify This Man

I’ve seen him some place before, the guy the TV news showed
wheel a thousand inch flat screen out of Walmart without paying,
I’ve seen him somewhere; I’ve seen so many faces and places,
crowds full, lobbies and terminals, waiting in line for this or that,
ball games and fair grounds, town squares, main streets, side streets,
out a window, they all walk by eventually; new faces join the old
more familiar faces, people I went to school with, people I passed
on the highway home; I have grouped them, typed them, added
new features to the old ones; I’ve seen him some place before
like a face recognition program, I scan and lock in on him, seen
him before wheeling a smaller set out of the same Walmart five
years ago, one wheel on the cart wobbled just so and he threw down
the cigarette he was smoking when he saw me scan him in, he knew
I’d know him next time, this time, I know him, the type, his features,
he blends with the others, becomes a blur; so many places, so many
faces have become a part of me; he’s in there walking around with
the rest of them, wheeling his new TV, looking for some place to hide.  

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, Tuck Magazine, Yellow Chair ReviewSynchronized Chaos, and Haikuniverse.

Train Wreck 9/29/16 by Jerry Durick

Train Wreck 9/29/16

Train wrecks, like this one, are apropos of nothing. If we could only prepare for them
And have them occur when we are in condition to cope with their seeming abruptness,
The surprise of them, have them occur when we can plan our schedule around them,
Call off meetings and appointments, set aside other plans, other considerations.
Have them occur when our emergency folks are primed and standing by, hospitals ready
For the “walking wounded” and the others, operating rooms ready, ICUs and morgues.
They are apropos of nothing, or perhaps they are apropos of everything we live with.
Our morning is traveling on, on track, our day is set with routine, the expected, and
Then they interrupt the regular program with a bulletin and then our day becomes yet
Another train wreck, like the others we have lived through, or didn’t.

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, Tuck Magazine, Yellow Chair ReviewSynchronized Chaos, and Haikuniverse.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November Morning by Jerry Durick

November Morning

Leaves are no match for me,
Mulching mower and all
Stepping out, following
The design I remember
From summer when all
These leaves were in full
Green, waving, blooming
Seeming to cheer me on
As the mower chopped and
Spit out bits of grass, but
Now they’ve yellowed and
Quieted, fall slowly down
Lie there waiting; I become
The grim reaper, the chopper
Down, the mowing mulcher,
The dragger away, the sole
Survivor cleaning up what’s
Left of our term, our seasons;
The grass, the tree and its leaves
Go by, victims of these cold
November nights, and I mow on
Following the pattern I know
So well, become a small part of
This greater scheme of things.

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, Tuck Magazine, Yellow Chair ReviewSynchronized Chaos, and Haikuniverse.