Saturday, 22 February 2020


What’s Next?

by Mary Chandler Philpott


What’s next is this:
cold and cold and more cold,
and February’s spindly arms,
and March’s house,
its tall and frozen pillars,
and deep echoes from its hollow chest.

I long for April.
Give me a simmer, give me rain.
It hurts to thaw.
It feels like cracking, like splitting apart.
I know this too.

(But what it really is:
We put a hand to the emptiness,
and our warm palms will it away.)


* * * * *

Mary Chandler Philpott is an MA student at the University of Virginia. She currently lives in Manassas with her fiancĂ© Brandon and their puppy Edward Rochester. 


Friday, 21 February 2020


My Day

by Oonah V Joslin


My day is
morning grass and gentler than dew,
kinder than a grazing doe.

My day is
soft as lifting cloud, heated from above, held from below
supple as the brush that painted the rainbow.

My day is
stressless, easy-breathing, mild, a symphony
of serenity, a child.

My day
celebrates nothing, keeps on an even keel, sails through
peaceable ‘til sunset and beyond.

My day
other days, maybe not days but endless time, maybe not time
but freedom just to be.


* * * * *

Oonah V Joslin is poetry editor at The Linnet’s Wings. She has won prizes for both poetry and micro-fiction. Her book Three Pounds of Cells ISBN: 13: 978-1535486491 is available online from Linnet’s Wings Press and you can see and hear Oonah read in this National Trust video. The first part of her novella A Genie in a Jam is serialised at Bewildering Stories, along with a large body of her work (see Bibliography). You can follow Oonah on Facebook or at Parallel Oonahverse https://oovj.wordpress.com/.


Thursday, 20 February 2020


5:00pm Flight

by Tobi Alfier


He takes off his ring sometimes
to hurt.
Leaves it tarnished &
accusing
near the coffeepot,
where she will see
among the detritus of
his uncaring cohabitation,
papers,
negatives,
toothpicks,
socks,
sunflower seeds,
old, gold icon
the umbilicus.

She wears black as a color
and pink leotards.
Smoothes SPF 30 on her
curious face,
turns up the radio,
pours some juice,
avoids the counter,
orders bowling shoes through
a catalog
and wonders what she has to offer.

She tries on eyeshadow
and high heels.
Wonders how it would feel to be free,
unencumbered and
emancipated.
She takes a drink,
tends her garden,
contemplates the 5:00pm flight to Paris,
carries on in spite of
his spite
and creates herself
a lovely day.



* * * * *

"5:00pm Flight" was first published in Poetic Diversity (2005) and is part of Tobi Alfier's poetry collection Sanity Among the Wildflowers (republished by Cholla Needles Press, 2019).

Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and multiple Best of the Net nominee. Slices of Alice & Other Character Studies was published by Cholla Needles Press. Symmetry: earth and sky is forthcoming in May from Main Street Rag. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).



Wednesday, 19 February 2020


Saturday Afternoon

by Tobi Alfier


Down the long aisle he walks,
past beans, soup, rice, pasta,
canned things better bought fresh
along the outer edges, toward the
woman at the end scooping
chocolate covered peanuts into
a small plastic bag. He sees her
look up. He says hello.
She says hello back. Emboldened,
he says how are you. She says
fine how ‘bout yourself. He says
fine and keeps walking.

She sees the cane in his cart,
notices a small limp as he moves on
to the dairy aisle, she doesn’t know
if it’s permanent or the result
of some dramatic injury. He feels
handsome, and successful that she spoke
to him, even though he is broken. She thinks
about how she cannot feel her toes,
how we all bear one thing or another. She feels
pretty, and desirable because he spoke to her.

She looks for him again but she has a long list, he
must have had a short list. Maybe she shops 
from right to left and he from left to right, she
does not see him in the store again.

She sees him in the parking lot. They both drive Hondas.
But she doesn’t continue the conversation, it will
most probably lead to disappointment.
The handsome man and desirable woman
drive away separately, each congratulating themselves
on a successful shopping excursion.


* * * * *

"Saturday Afternoon" was first published by Hot Metal Press (2006) and is part of Tobi Alfier's poetry collection Sanity Among the Wildflowers (republished by Cholla Needles Press, 2019).

Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and multiple Best of the Net nominee. Slices of Alice & Other Character Studies was published by Cholla Needles Press. Symmetry: earth and sky is forthcoming in May from Main Street Rag. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).


Tuesday, 18 February 2020


Give Me

by Alethea Eason


Give me the ice cream in the refrigerator.
I want it now! Give me the thundering
afternoon cicadas and the lonely cloud
in the perfect sky. Give me the sigh of my dog
as he sleeps on the cool floor and a million
pills of promise. Watch me swallow them one by one. 

Give me eyes that see the coming rain
and shiny meteors to wear. Give me a pen
to write the fable of winter onto my hands. 
Give me rattlesnake spurs as I drift through
the desert. Give me black and white lizards
with triangular heads as tattoos for my breasts. 

Give me dove wings that lift me to the echoes
of angels perched upon the electric lines,
and then give me bricks to anchor me to earth.
Give me a quick jolt to awaken me from the dead.
Give me telekinetic-dancing feet to walk on.
Give me the smiles I forgot when I lost my soul.

Give me a piercing straight through my heart
and iambs and trochees that have marched
from the wilderness in muddy boots. 
Give me a perfect pearl of a Mississippi night
and voodoo moccasins to wander in the moonlight.
Give me siren wails to wake me at dawn.

Give me sweet water to wash the world’s crying face.
I want to catch the tears and bathe myself tonight.


* * * * *

Alethea Eason is a writer and artist who has found happiness and her true home in the intersection of desert and mountains in southern New Mexico.


Monday, 17 February 2020


I Am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic

by Alethea Eason


I am going to start living like a mystic
Believing with the tender wisdom of the heart
That there is a flame my anger is fueling
Which burns with Ultimate Love.e.
There are places,
Silent places where the sacred sings,
Intersections of faith and time.
My small unlived lives are my mystic tools,
Coal for the diamond deep inside.
I used to want to fly in suspended time.
Be an angel, feathered, brilliant, and wise.
I no longer want to be a messenger,
No matter how many-eyed.
I only desire the light of breaking day,
The empty line of atmosphere
Pale against the dawn -- God
In splendid Silence
Where the day is always new.
There are places,
Silent places, where the sacred sings,
Intersections of faith and time.
My small unlived lives are coal
For the diamond deep inside.

I used to want to fly in suspended time.
Be an angel, feathered, brilliant, and wise.
I no longer want to be a messenger,
No matter how many-eyed.

I only desire the light of breaking day,
The empty line of atmosphere
Pale against the dawn in splendid Silence
Where a new day is always here.


* * * * *

Alethea Eason is a writer and artist who has found happiness and her true home in the intersection of desert and mountains in southern New Mexico.

There are places,
Silent places where the sacred sings,
Intersections of faith and time.
My small unlived lives are my mystic tools,
Coal for the diamond deep inside.
I used to want to fly in suspended time.
Be an angel, feathered, brilliant, and wise.
I no longer want to be a messenger,
No matter how many-eyed.
I only desire the light of breaking day,
The empty line of atmosphere
Pale against the dawn -- God
In splendid Silence
Where the day is always new.
There are places,
Silent places where the sacred sings,
Intersections of faith and time.
My small unlived lives are my mystic tools,
Coal for the diamond deep inside.
I used to want to fly in suspended time.
Be an angel, feathered, brilliant, and wise.
I no longer want to be a messenger,
No matter how many-eyed.
I only desire the light of breaking day,
The empty line of atmosphere
Pale against the dawn -- God
In splendid Silence
Where the day is always new.


Sunday, 16 February 2020


Do not ask, what cuts through the night

by Christine Lavant
translated from the German by David Chorlton


Do not ask, what cuts through the night,
for it is my night
and my great peacock cry
and deep inside, the tongue
with a message for me alone.
Even when the sun tomorrow,
worn out and almost deformed,
wants to rest with Purgatory's bud,
she will be driven away -
for it is my own bud
on the back of my stone
and for my approaching night.


* * * * *

Editor's note: In German the sun is female.

"Do not ask, what cuts through the night" is from SHATTER THE BELL IN MY EAR: SELECTED POEMS OF CHRISTINE LAVANT, Translated from the German by David Chorlton (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2017).

Christine Lavant (July 4, 1915 – June 7, 1973) was an Austrian poet and novelist.

David Chorlton is a poet, translator, and visual artist. He lives in Phoenix. http://www.davidchorlton.mysite.com/