Vern Fein – 2 poems 


“I’m so thankful for the atom bombs.”

Who would not take a celestial rag 
And wipe away every drop of blood
No matter how patriotic
And wring it out in some far away ocean
That doesn’t exist?

There once was a farm boy
Who loved the sea more than crops.
No girl in tow,
Pearl Harbor enlisted him in the Navy.

They put him on a supply boat,
Delivering materials for beach landings.
At first, nothing much happened.
Just sea storms in a light craft.

Then, in the Philippines,
A Japanese air attack.
“Lost some good men.”
Wished he had prayed with one who died. 

Assigned, finally, to attack Honshu, 
The main island. 
Truman nodded.
The bombs dropped.

Little Boy incinerated 80,000 human beings in Hiroshima in a minute.
Fat Boy incinerated 39,000 human beings in Nagasaki in a minute.
Not counting fauna. 

(You and I were not ordered to attack Japan,
Not asked to sacrifice our own lives).
Years later, he said in the local paper: 
“I’m so thankful for the atom bombs.”

That’s what war does. 



Death sharpens my pencil.
Life lived. 

Death sharpens my pencil.
No eraser.

Death sharpens my pencil. 
End well. 

Death sharpens my pencil.


Vern Fein is a retired teacher who finally has the time to write and is delighted to do so. He has published one poem in *82 Review, has two poems pending publication this summer in The Literary Nest,  and has a short story pending publication in the the online magazine Duende from Goddard College in Vermont.

D J Tyrer – 3 poems 


Change your appearance

Being who you want to be

Seeking acceptance

Forging ahead with your life

Despite the stares and comments



Always I am fearful to overreach

To ruin what I have through greed

To exchange a penny for a chance at a pound

To exchange good for a shot at great

I dare not reach lest my grip should fail



Without you, I feel so alone

Your presence is my life’s warp and weft

How can I ever reconcile this

Without you I am utterly bereft

Your love is something I’ve never known

Something I must do without

Your presence I so sorely miss

My love for you I long to shout

But my heart demands I stay silent

Our love is clearly just not meant


DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing, was placed second in the 2015 Data Dump Award for Genre Poetry, and has been widely published in anthologies and magazines in the UK, USA and elsewhere, including issues of CyaeghaCarillonFrostfire Worlds,HandshakeIllumenThe PenScifaikuestSirens Call,Tigershark and Anthology 29, and online on Staxtes English WednesdaysPoetry BulawayoPoetry Pacific, Scarlet Leaf Review and The Muse, as well as releasing several chapbooks, including the critically acclaimedOur Story.


DJ Tyrer’s website is at


The Atlantean Publishing website is at

Brenda Kay Ledford – 1 poem 


Blue jays chatter

a song on hope,

struggle in the oaks.

Flight uncertain,

soaring on a current,

blue jays chatter.

Entering the workforce,

storms churning;

a song of hope.

The prayers of parents,

fog shrouds the future;

struggle in the oaks.


Brenda Kay Ledford is a member of NC Writer’s Network and listed with A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers.  Her work has appeared in “Asheville Poetry Review,” “Main Street Review,” “Appalachian Heritage,” and 30 Old Mountain Press anthologies.  Finishing Line Press published her three poetry chapbooks that won the Paul Green Award.  Aldrich Press released her poetry book, CREPE ROSES, that won the 2015 Paul Green Award from NC Society of Historians.

Ledford blogs at:  Blue Ridge Poet