Sunday, 25 August 2019


AND I THINK ABOUT ALL THAT I HAVE EATEN

by Virginia McIntyre


Nutmeg the puppy romps through
the forest tail kited high, ears flapping
like oversized mittens on a small child
in the abundance of spring with tissuey
green leaves on trees, wildflowers of purple
thistle, prickly poppy, Indian paint brush.
                        The cicadas counting time.
Black fringed lips reveal teeth
finely honed on found bones
of deer, elk and the occasional shoe.

Up from the brush a towhee takes flight
half-rising, falling, feigning a broken wing
as puppy and bird bound
by the chase, weave a numinous gauze
of earth and sky as they pass out of sight.
The puppy returns without bird
her tongue a dripping pink petal
her eyes rimmed with miniscule insects
feeding, her nose dusted with forest
bits. She swerves into the nest.
A blind slick hatchling opens its soft beak
in soundless protest as it slips down her throat.

Saturday, 24 August 2019


Motherhood at Starbucks

by Sandy Rochelle


A little boy of about three discusses his day's activities
With his pretty-young-blond mother.
While neatly eating a black and white cookie.
In a celebratory moment of unbridled grace
He offers his mom a small bite of his temporary treasure.
His award for being good that day.
His prize for perfection.
His symbol of love and acceptance.
His prized cookie.
She accepts with ceremony and flair as if it were a
Peace prize.
Knowing that this may not come again.
It has become both history and tradition
In the same moment.
They converse.
Discussing the plans that are meaningful
Only to them.
I am amazed at the fluidity of their grace.
Their complete and utter understanding of one another.
I wonder what our lives (yours and mine) would be like
If we were so blessed.
To be able to discuss little treasures with such ease.
To erase all obscurity and see face to face.
Without excuses-apologies and impatience.
Except on special days.
When the sun shined directly on us
And angels guide us home.
When the rain warms us in an unsuspecting way
On a night that calls our name and the Gods
Remind us of who we are and why we are here.
We are clothed in costumes.
Unrecognizable to most.
We walk home.
Guided.
Happy.
Blessed.
In love.
With the way we agree on this
Most holy night.


* * * * *
                           
Sandy Rochelle is a poet-actress and filmmaker. She is the recipient of the Autism Society of America's Literary Achievement Award, The World Peace Prayer Society Poetry Prize, and New York State's Mother of the Year award.

Many of Sandy Rochelle's poems are influenced by her son, David, who is autistic and deaf.  
Sandy is featured in the film Bohemia: 'The life of a New York City Poet. Publications include:
Ekphrastic Review, Amethyst Review, Visions International, and others. http://sandyrochelle.com


Friday, 23 August 2019


Didn’t you just hate

by Oonah V Joslin


that chunky-wool

royal blue

plain and purl

raglan sleeved

huge pearly buttoned

v-necked

home-knitted cardigan?



I loved mine. 


* * * * *

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, 22 August 2019


For Anya

by Nancy Gerber


Her name, Anya Krugovoy Silver, lined
in black in the Times obituary.
And I was jealous.

Not of her death but being so loved, the runes
of a life freed from time in the eternal
archive of history, where the past is forever fused
to the present.

She died young, Anya
age 49, her battle with breast cancer
irradiating her flesh.
She wrote through the sickness
clinging to hope and beauty,
her poems a raft in the depths of despair.

Her physical form now gone but the poems
remain, lines like veins blooming with blue life --
Dance until your body forgets
what it wants . . .
From darkening days, the light will surge and flee.

Like ghosts the words of her longing burn
inside my eyes.


* * * * *

Nancy Gerber writes fiction, poetry, and essays. Her most recent book, A Way Out of Nowhere (Big Table Publishing), is a collection of short stories featuring female protagonists negotiating the complexities of relationships, and is available on Amazon.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019


Letter to Mr. Darwin

by Anita S. Pulier


Dear Sir:

I wish to complain.

Every morning
his sheets are uncreased
as if he slid between them
lay down and slept without moving
until morning crept up and nudged him
politely out of bed and into the bathroom.

On my side things are more complex,
sheets are wound into knots,
blankets in heaps,
as though an animal had
burrowed through a pasture looking for
that level of dark moist soil where
the outer world is blocked.

It seems a bit unfair, Mr. Darwin,
having bled through years of honorable cycles
only to lose the formula that led me
here, to this insatiable craving.

Now, despite endless new age potions
and nasty pharmaceuticals,
I sleep barely long enough
to foster memories of long purple nights,
sweaty passion, screaming babies.

I ask you, Sir,
Is this the survival you spoke of?
Am I off course or on?

Please note my complaint,
and weary gratitude.


* * * * *

"Letter to Mr. Darwin" is from Anita S. Pulier's chapbook Perfect Diet (Finishing Line Press)

After retiring from her law practice, Anita S. Pulier served as a U. S. representative for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom at the United Nations.
Her chapbooks Perfect Diet, The Lovely Mundane and Sounds Of Morning as well as her book The Butchers Diamond were published by Finishing Line Press. Anita’s poems have appeared both online and in print in many journals and several anthologies. Recently she has been the featured poet on The Writers Almanac.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019


Fluctuating Tides

By Francesca West


Tides in the ocean
All the water, always there.
Pulled high on shore
Only to rush out and leave the rocks bare.
I fill myself up with ideas of who I am.
I strip them all away to see what’s really there. 
This water, constant oneness, 
Never separates me from myself.
Now ready to give up determining 
If I am great, or lessened,
Depending on where I break along the shore.
Tides in the ocean cannot sway me anymore.

Monday, 19 August 2019


Visions of Paradise

by Francesca West


I have visions of paradise,
But do actions reflect that in my daily life?
It’s the sunshine I give up for storm clouds.
The drops of rain I let rise above the cooling ground, 
Yet, like the sun, paradise is always around.
I get concentrated on chasing the rain away,
Instead of letting it hit me like a crashing wave,
A tsunami washing over how I mentally behave.
These visions are far beyond the pain I could live in.
To always want the sun’s assurance shown 
While blocked from brightness
By the walls of an inner prison.
Because the mindset I manifest 
So often puts my power on low,
To have the budding leaves on trees
And how they should grow,
But not in the shadows,
And I stand alone,
Crying, I’m a helpless victim to what these clouds do!
The ones I know, grew, and use that block out my own view.
They are water of attachment to self-abuse.
You can live in darkness, escaping the sun,
Or become still within where
The Source has won.
My ego is alive and dying every day.
I see these visions of paradise rise 
Every time I calm my brain.
Scattering glimpses of the sun’s brilliant rays.
I know life’s looking at chaos either way,
I’d rather grab the warmth of change 
Than live with this complacent rain.
See the clouds dissipate,
The trees realizing they don’t have to wait!
For they can live with a sun that’s shining, 
But they must first make themselves 
One the sun can be finding.
It’s called creating Spring,
The Emotional Awakening.

Sunday, 18 August 2019


Our collective ritual

by Kashiana Singh


Invitation to my nectar, I give in ritual
You flow with secrets of my belly
You spin inside my chambers
You are a sound to my vacuum
Moaning I release, your absence
You are my deepest love, bleeding
I dance, as you flow full into the earth
Creating an echoing voice, of fertility
Goddess healing deep within her womb
You return to me, my virility in healing
A reclamation of the cosmos to my womb
You flow confessional, my muscles reclaim
As they constrict and contract, shredding
Life as it pulses its way, cyclical
You flow in rich flourish, I restore, reclaim
My warmth now a place of authentic lyrics
Unleashed, received at my feminine altar
A collective ritual, purging our spirits
Of restrictive blocking, bringing alive
Our sacred, rejecting disharmony
Discarding rituals of limitations
Our collective blessing, journey with the moon


* * * * *

Kashiana Singh, 51, is a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to the topic - Work as Worship.
Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words dips into very vulnerable and personal contexts but also explores the shifting tectonic plates of the world around her.
She is from India, now lives in Chicago and bridges the miles by regularly etching her thoughts on her poetry blog – kashiana.wordpress.com. Her work has appeared regularly on platforms like OnMogul, Literary Yard, Best Poems. She is in the process of gathering her second collection of poems.

Saturday, 17 August 2019


Sweet Home Alabama

by Kashiana Singh


99 years today 
Does Alabama realize the 9 minutes 
9 impeccable minutes that take away 
her dreams about other possibilities 
it takes just about that much 
to abort her fragility, to extinguish her 
it takes just about that much for him 
to man up, be aroused, lose presence 
of mind and meaning, to be werewolf 
it takes 9 seconds or less, to eliminate 
all that lies inside her veins, her eyes 
it takes just a few abuses, to riddle 
her mind with a lifetime of screams 
in 9 mins a woman’s womb is ghosted 
with vultures and a clawing desire of 
men sanctioning their own degradation 
men who exist with a phallic domination 
like the animal, who exists by primal needs 
in 9 mins, a woman is tattooed in dark 
images of fetus thrown to the devil 
sacrificed to the altar of an earth, where 
9 mins can lead to 99 years, if a woman 
chooses 
a sombre existence 
over a solemn birth 
chooses 
a constellation 
over blinking nightlights 
chooses 
the impossible journeys 
over obvious exit signs 

9 mins of her life, annihilates 
her into a wreckage and we 
still chest thump pro-life theories 

Sweet Home Alabama

* * * * *

Kashiana Singh, 51, is a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to the topic - Work as Worship.
Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words dips into very vulnerable and personal contexts but also explores the shifting tectonic plates of the world around her.
She is from India, now lives in Chicago and bridges the miles by regularly etching her thoughts on her poetry blog – kashiana.wordpress.com. Her work has appeared regularly on platforms like OnMogul, Literary Yard, Best Poems. She is in the process of gathering her second collection of poems.

Friday, 16 August 2019


Happy day after the full moon. The forty-second Moon Prize, goes to Joani Reese's haunting poem "Elegy."


Elegy

by Joani Reese


Like sinews stretched until they snap,
I finally reach that no return

I banish man-child from my home,
and toss his troubles to the curb 

as rage cements his fisted heart
that once fluttered beneath my own. 

A hardened man, he won't admit 
rash choices formed his bitter mien, 

and if he ever loved someone, 
his mirrored body sat that throne. 

I finally extract my life, 
aware he'll never own his fate; 

he'll stumble 

forward, fall alone, 
his troubles blamed on everyone.

How strange to think, innocent, young, 
he was my laughing, blue-eyed son. 

Each angry man leaps from a boy 
tempered by existential harm. 

Embracing hate, his ire thrums, 
this one who never caught the ring, 

nor sang a song, nor loved someone. 

A frightened boy dwells in this man 
who claims he can control the storm; 

he'll realize, but far too late,
he's just another wind-tossed pawn. 
Drug ravaged, drunken, stumbling on, 
a sunken wraith, an eidolon,

his threnody's a sorrow song,
a dirge lamenting damage done. 

All kindness gone, he's flown apart,
a puzzle piece lost in the dark. 

I stand detached and mustn't grieve
his leaving or lie to the truth. 

I have no time for a fresh start,
prepare for years missing that heart 

that once beat softly, safe 
beneath my own.