Thursday, 21 October 2021

The Abandoned Doll

An ekphrastic poem inspired by “The Abandoned Doll” by Suzanne Valadon*

by Lisa Molina

My precious Mimi lies on the floor,
beckoning me to pick her up and
hold her to my now-budding breasts.

I haven’t abandoned her.

Mama says I am no longer a child.
That it is time for me to
put childish things away.

As she dries my back,
I look into the mirror.

Is it me                                                                                               
or Mama
that I see?

I don’t know anymore.

I do know this:

Just as my back is turned
to Mama in this moment,
it shall be forever turned.

If I’m no longer a child,
and not yet a woman,
I am alone in this world.

No more will I allow
Mama to hold me
close to her breasts,

if I am not permitted
to love my Mimi, as
I have so many years.

I now see the
pretty pink bow
on my head
in the mirror.

Mimi also wears
the bow I lovingly
made and tied on
her long ago.


After Mama goes to sleep,
I shall pick up Mimi
off of the floor,
and walk to the river,

where I’ll give her one
final hug so tight
that it will be painful
to my swollen breasts.

Then, I will kiss her
on her cheek
and say goodbye,
as I place her in

the flowing waters
along with my
own childish
pink bow.

I’ll watch as my
beloved Mimi
and pretty pink bow
float down the

moving and
river, until I can no
longer see them.

I will not cry.
Only children cry.

Rather, I shall
smile to myself,

knowing they are
floating freely

to the land of

* * * * *

*Here is a link to “The Abandoned Doll” by Suzanne Valadon:

Lisa Molina's "The Abandoned Doll" was originally published in The Ekphrastic Review.

Lisa Molina is a writer/educator in Austin, Texas. She has two chapbooks forthcoming in 2022, published by Fahmidan Publishing & Co and Sledgehammer Literary Journal. She has twice been chosen as a winner of the Beyond Words Magazine 250-Word Creative Writing Challenge. Her poetry has been published in both print and online publications, including Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Fahmidan Journal, Beyond Words Magazine, Trouvaille Review, Neologism Poetry Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, The Daily Drunk, and Amethyst Review. When not writing, reading, or hiking, she can be found working with high school students with special needs.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021


This month's Moon Prize, the 84th, goes to Cynthia Anderson's poem "In the Naked City."

In the Naked City

by Cynthia Anderson

Sometimes orbits drift too close
and the objects they hold collide—
like the time years ago when I walked
the streets of New York far longer

than I should have. Exhausted,
desperate for a cab, I didn’t mean
to make eye contact with a tall,
homeless lunatic—a brother

from another planet disguised
in a long dark coat. He wove
through the sidewalk throng,
foiling my efforts to avoid him,

until he stood in front of me,
opened his arms, and locked
me in an embrace. The clock
stopped. In that long moment,

I found my voice and yelled,
LET GO. He did,
and I was borne away
by the crush of humanity—

what just happened
acknowledged by no one.

* * * * *

Cynthia Anderson has published ten poetry collections, most recently The Missing Peace (Velvet Dusk Publishing, 2021). Her poems frequently appear in journals and anthologies, and she is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. In 2020, she took up short form poetry and since then has been exploring haiku, senryu, cherita, and related forms. Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens. She makes her home in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021


In the Dark

by Elise Stuart

In the dark, where writing waits,
the unconscious becomes conscious.
The writer closes her eyes to see.
Black scratches on white paper
transform invisible to visible.
Messages do not clamor to be answered.
The list of what must be accomplished
is far away in the other room.
The phone is silent.
There is only
the soft breathing of cats,
accompanied by the hum
of refrigerator music.
In the dark, the moon keeps
her promise of light.
The stars, sheathed in dark splendor whisper,
and the poem inside

* * * * *

Elise Stuart is a writer of poetry and short stories. She’s facilitated numerous poetry workshops for students in Silver City schools, feeling how important it is to give voice to youth. Her first poetry book, and then her memoir, My Mother and I, We Talk Cat were both published in 2017. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico with four cats, a sweet rascal of a pup, and her piano.

Monday, 18 October 2021


by Connie James

The elderly sit in their wheelchairs and those that use a walker try to get around more. Maybe they say hello but alone they feel.

They have lost their connection from their life, they have no sense of belonging.

The culture parts them away like old love letters.

Family visits and leaves the blue moon for them to see alone.

Being alert doesn't always belong to youth.

The elderly are constrained. No contact, no touching as though they are deaf and dumb.

Try a smile, try a hug. Listen to your heart beat and tap with it as you dance the love for them, for they live between the dark and light of their life now.

The giving and receiving this is truly connection. Does old age have anything to do with it? I ask you this because maybe you haven't retired yet and dealt with white hair or realized your climate is changing.

Giving becomes the natural response to receiving.

Let this connection express the wonderness overflow.

* * * * *

Connie James is a poet, mother, and grandmother who has lived in Eugene, Oregon for many decades. She has been published in literary journals and anthologies such as Mermaid Mirror and The Elephant, and has published two chapbooks: Magic Mirrors and Poiesis. Connie is also an artist, and her illustrations are included in her chapbooks. When not writing or drawing, Connie is an avid supporter of all arts.

Sunday, 17 October 2021


A Fairy Tale Life

by Mary Rohrer-Dann

“Keep house for us, cook and clean, wash and weave, knit and darn, milk the cow, chop the wood, plow the lower forty acres,” said the Dwarfs, “and, sure, you can hang with us. Also, tend the bees, weed the garden, feed the goats, keep our accounts and invest wisely (we work hard for our money) and care for Ma and while you’re at it, home-school Dopey. Don’t forget to pick up Doc’s meds, scour the shower grout, and collect more Valerian root (Grumpy’s having trouble sleeping), and please please please find something for Bashful’s intestinal gas, okay?” 
The dwarfs put on their caps, shouldered their shovels, promised, “You shall have everything you want” and left for work singing “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, etc.”
And into the forest ran Snow White screaming, searching for a huntsman, a witch peddling poison apples, a wolf–whatever.  Any savior would do.

* * * * *

Mary Rohrer-Dann is author of Taking the Long Way Home, (Kelsay Books 2021), and La Scaffetta: Poems from the Foundling Drawer (Tempest Productions, Inc., 2011). Find her flash prose and poems in Philadelphia Stories, Clackamas Review, Third Wednesday, South Shore Review, Vestal Review, Rat’s Ass Review, 6S Society, and in Keystone: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (forthcoming).  She paints, hikes, and volunteers at Rising Hope Stables and with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Although she has long lived in central PA, she is still a Philly girl at heart. 


Saturday, 16 October 2021


I am a woman of soft auburn dreams—

by Devika Mathur

a soft noise that appears after a thunder/ you wish to dissolve my nectar into your blood/ Slowly, a miracle happens when I wake up.
I have a world full of clouds that hesitate to rain/ a tongue so moist/ as soft as pollen/ my neck is a hallway of thousands of leftovers kisses & untouched words.

       A displaced person,
Slowly you watch me,
My fingers getting fixed, a fuselage
And my other fingers weaving a mesh of your memories.

brightening of your breaths
My shawl/ arteries of the silver in the rock.
But I need time—
My time to make some small dreams.

a landscape in which we are mortal/
A hot pot full of garlic & cloves
for I have a thing for cooking and the process that follows.
The stridency of mating
behind the bushes of rosemary
out of myth into history.
This is my pure sound.

A window is suddenly blurred/ a woman calling a child from far distance/ what remains is city of us/ drawing maps of fidelity/ the talk is of death.

I say such trivial thing all the time.
Do not be foolish to rely on my orange juice now.
I dream of winter trees in my fist/ in the evenings of summer breeze.

* * * * *

Devika Mathur resides in India and is a published poet, content writer, editor. Her works have been published or are upcoming in Madras Courier, Modern Literature, Two Drops Of Ink, Dying Dahlia Review, Pif Magazine, Spillwords, Duane's Poetree, Piker Press, Mojave Heart Review, Whisper and the Roar amongst various others. Her works have been included in the US-based Indie Blu(e) Publications—The Kali Project, As the World Burns to name a few. She writes at She recently published her surreal poetry book Crimson Skins 
available now worldwide. insta- @my.valiant.soul

Friday, 15 October 2021


by Carolyn Martin

A modest star
waits in silence
a cityscape,
what might have been
if it were a dandelion,
a hummingbird,
even a fly
scrounging plates
after dinner guests
have gone.

What’s the use?
it complains to
a passing cyan gem
when its spurt
of light
leaking through
the random universe
is shunned
by sky glow
and no one
for a dream
to offer it a wish.

* * * * *

"Lament" was first published in Soul-Lit and is part of Carolyn Martin's new poetry collection The Catalog of Small Contentments (The Poetry Box, August 2021).

From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 135 journals throughout North America, Australia, and the UK and her fifth poetry collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments, was released by The Poetry Box in August 2021. Currently, she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation. Find out more at