Sunday, January 29, 2017

After His Wife’s Last Operation by Donal Mahoney

After His Wife’s Last Operation

He often got bored with her hobby talk    
but this weekend he looks forward to  
hours of cooking shows on television  

while he talks with her about her quilting.  
He finally accepts that she is dying as
the doctor told him after her last operation.    

She is still his core, he knows, his centering,  
and he tells her often now he loves her 
but she will never know how much.

If he could tell other men one thing 
it would be to cherish who and what 
a wife is while they have one. 

Let's Take A Trip by Lynn Long

Let's take a trip
just you and me
Let's tiptoe
through the
We'll follow
near and far
We'll dance 
our way 
beyond the 
And when
the night
has bid 
Let's take
a trip 
just me and 

Spies by Jerry Durick


were absent from what we learned in school,
our lessons scrubbed clean, the straight line of
history was best and easier to remember, but
we learned about them later in endless novels
and films; the CIA, MI6, and the KGB live out 
their lives as much on the page and screen as 
they probably do in real life, live their shadow 
lives in the safe houses of our imaginations, do
their elaborate schemes following a well-made
plot, staged for cinematic effect, with music to 
set the mood, with witty dialogue and meaningful
facial expressions, one of the several James Bonds
surviving the chase and all the convenient women;
spies’ absence from schoolbooks left them free to
be themselves, to be chief players, our alter-egos
at work, imagining guns blazing, enemies thwarted
as we move on to our next adventure, a beautiful

woman on our arm and just the right thing to say.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Whispering Stars by Blanca Alicia Garza

Whispering Stars

As the Moon rises and
illuminates the evening sky
it awakens desires of
love from so very far away.
A soulful shooting star
ignites the night while my
heart beats on, I silently cry.
I saw the stellar sight
tonight and I made a wish 
I wished for the day that 
I will see your beautiful face
hold your hand and
feel your tender kiss.
Perhaps the distance 
may separate our bodies 
but our love rises together 
as two souls in love.

Bio: Blanca Alicia Garza is from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a nature and animal lover, and enjoys spending time writing. Some of her poems are published in the Poetry Anthology, "Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze", now available at Blanca's published work can be viewed at The Poet Community, Whispers, The Winamop Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, Tuck Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review as well as Birdsong Anthology 2016, Vol 1.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

SELFSAMENESS by Sanjeev Sethi

Emperor of my isolation I reign over
mottled enclaves of the mind. Serrations
on keys to my kingdom are chiseled by need.

Examining pixels on the wind-screen I intuit.
Readiness with my inner rondure intensifies the apercu.
When a cloverleaf is choked I taper off the runway
making minutiae my hallmark.

I engage with embellishments in the sky,
observe run of breath, agile colonization by ants.
Welcome a cold caller with warmth.

Are these frig-magnet smarts?
Wisdom for one, hogwash for another.
True as tics: inked on the letterhead
of my life.


(First published in Otoliths)

SANJEEV SETHI is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world including  The Tower Journal, Peacock Journal, The Penmen Review, Red Fez, Indiana Voice Journal, Soul-Lit, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, 3:AM Magazine, Morphrog 14,  Poetry Pacific, The Ofi Press Literary Magazine, Transnational Literature, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Flight by Laura Minning

f l i g h t

are meant to be fulfilled,
and dreams
are meant to be shard.

That’s what he thought.
That’s what he
always wanted.

He was so full of life.
His soul was free,
but his body
was weighted
with illness.

His heart grew heavy
with each passing day,
but he never gave up,
and he never lost sight
of his dreams.

I respected him for that.
I respected him
for who he was,
and I was grateful for
for the time
that we did have.

And every time
I think of him,
I will smile
because I know
that he
would have
wanted it that way.

Laura MinningExhibiting Abstract Artist,Published Poet &

BIO: 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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Crystals of Light by Jane Taylor Hardy

erstwhile a halcyon extant universe incessantly ceaseless
cradled itself in hues of violet phosphorescence
laced with cobalt shimmering stars 
perpetually whole it nonetheless
sought to know itself

encompassing all that is bubbling over in effervescent ebullience
intertwined with indescribable catastrophic splendor
it shattered into tens of millions of splinters
of eloquent efflorescent light 
shining in the night

each splinter heretofore imbued with sempiternal felicity 
began to conjure sumptuous dulcet elixirs 
furtively seeking out savory emollients
to mollify the pique of separation
plummeting they fell 

into monstrous competition seeking demesne they lost the purpose
of gaining awareness and intelligent consciousness
surreptitious estrangement overflowed
deluging them in excruciating agony
thus an epiphany was born

the carving of the beleaguered fragments inked with tremendous pain 
created a transfiguration of splinters to crystals 
hence enlightenment commenced as the gems
magnetized together constructing a world
where omnipotence shines

the ineffable beauty formed by the reintegration of crystals
far exceeds the original as they dazzle with universal light
bursting from diamonds etched in deep wisdom 
flooding the firmament with kaleidoscopic
rainbow strobes cascading the sky

©2017 janetaylorhardy

website and bio:

On The Edge by Lynn White

On the Edge

I’m standing on the edge,
on the rim 
of the perimeter,
on the outside, looking....

I’m not sure where I’m looking,
outwards over the horizon
or inwards to the inner depth,
the inside of something.

The inner void or the outer space.
Face or about face.
But there’s no confusion.
Both faces are the same,
I think...

Can somewhere be full
of emptiness?

First published in Calliope, June, 2015

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem 'A Rose For Gaza' was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition 2014. This and many other poems, have been widely published, in recent anthologies such as - ‘Alice In Wonderland’ by Silver Birch Press, ‘The Border Crossed Us’ from Vagabond Press and ‘Selfhood’ from Trancendence Zero - and journals such as Apogee, Firewords Quarterly, Guide To Kulchur, Indie Soleil, Circus and Snapdragon as well as many other online and print publications.

Find Lynn at: and

Beginnings by Michael Brownstein

You know everything has its own inherent qualities. Mine are to be deep and hard to cross.
                                    —King of the Ocean to King Rama in Phi Kah Phi Lam
I have the strangest dreamslide.
Images slip like smiles through landscapes
of fence and caressed brush.
I never imagined a line of hose could stretch so far
or that I could run as fast as the spray of water.
Everywhere is a story sky
and the Tree of Life misplaced in the Garden of Eve
comes to seed as stock root reinventing itself after the picking,
comes to fruit like the head of Bathala after the burying.
Look to the herb bunched with yellowed fingers.
Study the face of the coconut.
Find the slits in the bamboo.
Seek out the crevices in rock and cave.
And the tears of the lonely giant
drip into wings, feather into birds,
fly to the bamboo in the first valley
attracted to each other, attracted to quiet song.
They have not yet found voice to sing,
but they are hungry for it, finding softness
in the hardest of bamboo.
Malakes and Maganda
slide to wholeness.
As a gift to freedom, the first People
give to the birds the first songs. So it is and
so it is for later and later.
Everything has order,
the luck of Kannon and the Elephant God,
the blue mist of the Weaver Maid.
Bathala looks like us.
this crossing of stars
a slicing of moon
the one friend of Bathala
someone else I will never meet.
I’m thinking we’re thinking we’re someone else.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

GAME OVER By Desiree Cady

By Desiree Cady

Sometimes life hands us a card from a deck when we were not even aware that we were a player in the game ...and it stops you dead in your tracks for a moment. You find yourself gridlocked, not knowing what to do. 

Life has dealt me one of these cards.

I always say that knowledge is power. When you are faced with disease, arm yourself with as much information as you can, so that you understand the beast that is bullying you.

So I guess that is what I must do. For whatever reason, if you believe that sort of thing, someone has handed me another test. One, at first that I crumpled up and tossed away, because I hadn't studied. A pop quiz that I wasn't prepared for.

But I've always been an overachiever. Not content with not succeeding. And in this case, I have no choice but to attempt to make some sort of sense out of this nonsense.

But its going to take me some time to regroup. My mind wasn't quite prepared. I knew by the amount of pain, bleeding, and sudden weight loss, that it wasn't going to be pretty ...but I guess I just assumed that like my many other health issues, they would find out what was wrong, do some sort of surgery, and I would be good. 

Instead, its just one more thing to add to my medical resume that a 33 year old shouldn't have to deal with.

I'm just so frustrated that my mind had started to finally heal and now my body is falling apart. It just doesn't seem fair.

I don't know what my future holds at this point. I'm scared to be honest. I feel defeated, like a burden once again. That eventually the ones who say they will never leave my side will either do so, or simply stay out of a feeling of guilt or because they feel obligated. That they will no longer want me, and I don't blame them.  Honestly, I don't even want to be around me anymore. 

I just feel lost, useless, and defeated. Like once again the game of life has come along and said to me, "You only thought that you were pulling ahead in this game. Jokes on you. I will always have a few cards up my sleeve that I can throw into play. Don't ever get too comfortable,  because I call the shots here, and at any time I want to I can claim my victory. At any time I want to, I can declare Game over."

©2017 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 

Seagulls At Night by Joanne Olivieri

Seagulls At Night

A twilight canvas
barren of life
prelude to the masterpiece
hovers unseen
upon desolate skies
waiting to be fashioned.

Out of darkness
they emerge
white winged choreographers
painting circles and
breeding life.

Seagulls At Night soar,
a free form phenomenon.

© Joanne Olivieri 2005 Photo and Poem All Rights Reserved 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Union by Sneha Subramanian Kanta


* for H.

In your light, I dance to
the faint glory of dawn,
as it beats inside me.

A momentary tide draws
nearer to my feet soles,
I breathe your fresh breath
in sprinkles of the salty sea.

This temporal body of clay
extinguishes each evening
at the close of dusk.

You are the veils, a solitude
in which I fold life away,
while secrets slowly unravel
as firm roots spread over hills.

You lift me as the miracle
that settles between stars and
the semantic of their fragments.

In the string of voices that
ebb relentless, I sing to your
color, it illuminates a deeper
chord through sea-shells.

The whole universe is blue
again, as daybreak brings birds
back to chirp a new paean.

Brief Biography: Sneha Subramanian Kanta strikes a chord with vast spaces, water-bodies, wildflowers, the musky warmth of spring, among several else. You can write to her on

Beauty and The Beast by Desiree Cady

She was the beauty 
And he was the beast
Teaching her the things
She never knew about in the least.

He brought out a side of her
That she never knew.
Making her want to do things
That enchanted lovers would do.

He brought out a side
Of lustful, raw, desire.
Each time they touched
Her mind went higher and higher.

He brought about the 
Free spirited wild side of her 
But don't be fooled
For he, too, had some things to learn.

She taught him about things
Like true love and trust.
Taught him there should always be
Passion not just lust.

A new kind of world 
He is living in now.
He promised forever
And stayed true to his vow.

She gave him new feelings
He'd never known about before 
'Til it wasn't long he made a request 
And his children she bore.

He traded his life that he'd had in the past.
Just to hear his little girls say
"Daddy we love you"
And with her a love that would last.

She was the beauty 
And he was the beast
Now they're living a life
They wouldn't  trade in the least.

© Desiree Cady 2016

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Coast Town in a Valley by David Francis

Coast Town in a Valley

Rays come down
geese honk above the flat lake
reflecting the mountains
lichens slant
toward town

A northern house with a
sharp, sturdy roof
starts the town
only one skyscraper
spoils the horizon
on either side
coast and cove
not blurred
but made blue

fog in the valley

on the hill
a leveled fence
with unknown burrows

stepping between wires
and overlooking

sliding falling running
down mud
to roadside flowers

the wind blowing
the clouds blackening
but passing

and then out of the sea
like oil
a few colors shoot

straight up
over or through

and end
in brown inland

only the ends

somehow in a moment
the sky clears
and you see
the rainbow


David Francis has produced five albums of songs,
one of poems, and "Always/Far," a chapbook of
lyrics and drawings.  His film "Village Folksinger"
has been screened in New York, Texas, Connecticut
and England.  David's poems and stories have
appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Identity by Harshal Desai


Oft I wonder,
of who am I? What is it that defines I?

Am I a poet? 
I weave pretty words in verse verily from the heart,
And I pour pieces of myself in sonnet and soliloquy, 
To add to this new world some beauty and wonder?
I know I can't stay bound and follow iambic pentameter

Am I a visionary perhaps?
Leading my band of misfits to create magical solutions
A world filled with creativity and design, shaping the future,
for the self, an empire of mavericks set out to do good,
I know I am not, I could care less about building empires.

Ah, I am a Designer & Photographer...right?
Seeing the soul of nature and interpreting it in art,
As I stare the nuances of this world, peek at its secrets,
giving them form through art or photos for the world to see.
I know this is false too. These are hobbies, not identities.

What am I?
A son?A husband?A father?
A boss?A leader?A director?
A lover?A giver?A listener?
A romantic?A cynic?A pessimist?

What am I?
I keep asking over and over...and suddenly it hits me,
Why do I seek to be defined?
What am I? Does it matter?
Shouldn't I just be content knowing "I am”?

Brief Biography: Harshal makes rhetoric within the space points of identity through verse. He looks at the world without a specific lens but wisdom for him is deeply rooted in comics, stars, anthropomorphism and over margins, among multitudes. A seeker, he philosophizes existence only to erase meaning and create paths to newer ways of looking. You can contact him on

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Midnight by Sneha Subramanian Kanta


* for H


the carnations of time bloom
within the gray womb of a sky.
tidal waves toil, tether
westward winds now bygone.


time is an apostrophe
night, a stencil smudged
over its steadfast slippages.


in the inertia of a darkened ether
is the dream to share a common sky.

Biography: Sneha Subramanian Kanta believes in dreams and the quiet language of shores. Write to her at

Teddy's LA After Dark by John and Paula Hackett

Music by                          Lyrics by
Teddy Edwards                John & Paula Hackett

           Teddy's L.A. After Dark

               Come to life
               On this changing scene
               Here's your part
               Live your wildest dreams
               Night arrives
               just to celebrate
               It happens here
               in L.A.
               After dark

               From the beach
               to the mountainside
               L.A. streets
               take you for a ride
               Central Avenue
               It happens here
               in L.A.
               After dark

               Daylight steps aside and
               Lets the city lights start to glow
               Play out your part as the night
               Puts on a show

               Happy now
               See the dawn arise
               Just for you
               Cross the morning skies
               Don't forget
               Night will soon return
               It's here for you
               in L.A.
               After dark

Paula Hackett's poetry is influenced by her life experiences growing up in Berkeley during the vibrant and explosive 60's. The daughter of novelist Paul Hackett, she studied under John Beecher, Angela Davis and Grover Sales. She has written lyrics in collaboration with her brother John Hackett, for many great jazz composers including Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Ivan Lins, Joe Sample, Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson, and Cedar Walton. Her life long love of jazz is reflected in her many poems about musicians and in her CDs with pianists Rudi Wongozi and Connie Crothers. Visit Paula's website at:

Performed by Diane Witherspoon

Monday, January 9, 2017

Leftovers by Jerry Durick


Now, we’re only two, so we misjudge
things, too many, too much; families
grow smaller, but recipes lag a step or
two behind, never adjust; refrigerators 
fill, various sizes of plastic containers,
sandwich bags, freezer bags, original
jars we can close, pretend they reseal,
line up, get stacked one meal on another,
crowding till they squeeze space, demand
command our attention; what were we
thinking, saving things we would never use 
and, after a while, we can’t even recall,
odd smelling moldy green things, things that
liquefied over time, grew white hair as they
aged surrounded by other anonymous things,
surrounded by the cold reality – we make too
much, haven’t learned our lesson, to divide,
to measure anew, revise the count, to plan
better around quiet meals, our limited needs
now, now that we’re only two and should know 
by now what leftovers are all about.