Kathy Craig – 2 poems 

First Frost


I brought the fuchsia inside,

staving off  frost’s lethal touch.

The gardenias you planted,

green leaves poking out of pine straw,

can withstand the cold.

Pansies in clay pots will thrive.


You,  will spend another night

watching over your father – 

your presence more comforting

than all the flowers smiling by the bed.

While the temperature drops outside

you will catch a few hours sleep in a chair,

some part of you alert to approaching winter. 





After you left,


a thud interrupted my grief.

Outside my window

a bird lay motionless,

caught unaware by the glass ,

outstretched wings now folded shut.


Wrenched out of myself

I found a shoe box,

lined it with a kitchen towel,

and set the bird inside,

not knowing if I had made a place

for recovery or a box for death.


Back inside I watched, waited,

my pain suspended.

Like a child I thought

Please don’t die, little bird.

And it didn’t.




Kathy Craig

Abeha Usman – 1 poem 

Dear Parent Who Is Dying or Already Dead


I would tell you I’m picking this apple

for your health because you are sick and I am sick

of caring

without helping

without care


because what I mean: sometimes I wonder if

maybe I just enjoy

climbing trees,

latching to barked proof permanence, a distance far

enough to almost forget–


because these are the things I’m ashamed

of myself, like you would have chosen two-

thousand and I pick just one,

write instead


because I would tell you I’m sorry

except these words are words and all I’m saying are words


because what I mean: while I’m away showering trees

and carrying careless baskets of


 –you are dying


apples, I’m up in a tree

and if I could control worlds, not words


I would give up apple picking entirely,

plant orchards named after you, perimeter your place, ground

scented trails, nests brimming home, pine


to make easy for you.


If I could control worlds, not words

I would make tree hit ground, strike lightning

tangle strings like snakes like roots, bury my selfishness,


trade spots for you. 




Abeha Usman  

Tiana Lavrova – Fiction

Rolflandian Ideonomisis   

“It is a sign of exceptional Thanatopsis to choose exceptional experimentation in sniffing and snuffing more or less implicit psy-Dolan Cantorian dogma… however, be aware, that you will be implicitly hereticized — and metronomically diagonalized in snuffing out by a terra firma diaphragmitis Lichten-apos.”


“What is the universalizable — consider a Austro-Moldovian universalizable law, of the sum total of Maltesian “Functionality” — a biological, full-blooded, e.g., “Anglo-Saxon, and/or Germanic,” granted person — swiping-dry, any geo-political and/or botanical-pediatrism pre-packaged “mobiuses” within any n “personsified” conception? Independence, as more, antithetical — upper bound set(s) of what you might least value restrictively under the set V of “noetical diversion” objects?”


“Flexing (or not) “artificial lines” on continua encoded “mark-offs” for mental disorders: transfinite innatist genuses ― cathartic, neo-Plutonian, embryonic-Nebuchadnezzar token-type states. Describe the former and latter state’s continua similarities per flexing Cambrian poca-oscillating line on calculating these rationale (then, compose liberetti ― give Kyrgyzstan-kryptonian nodal, Brentwood transactions) innatist, tachycardic genuses. Then, hand-paint their mercenary in frozen fish marmalade.” 




Tiana Lavrova, better known as Timaeus Lavrov, is an avant-garde writer from British Columbia, Canada with an interest in digital parts-to-whole philosophical musical instruments; open-source philosophical treatments, and absolutist self-reliant living. Their interests also include unspeakable languages, ideonomical calculators, and Gaian thought-crime-free zones.

Dorota Szumilas – 2 poems 


Poem by Dorota Szumilas

(translated by Dorota B.  Zegarowska) 


Traveling awoke an unspeakable longing

penetrating painfully

Regardless of the aim intensified fear, insecurity,


Traveling without someone close was like

closing your eyelids when wind blows harder into your eyes. 

Do not weep

God loves you

the animal that you have taken in loves you

A book is your Friend

They will protect you

against negligence. 





Poem by Dorota Szumilas

(translated by Dorota B.  Zegarowska)  


A poet of sadness

or a poet of bliss


one of loneliness

and of quiet 


hidden in it.





Dorota Jolanta Szumilas is a graduate of the Institute of Information Science and Book Studies at the University of Warsaw and the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Warsaw. Her poetry books have been translated into German, Ukranian, Belarusian and her poems have also been translated into English, Russian, Slovak and Pashto. She is a member of the Polish Association of Authors and Siwobrowych Poetów Association in Krakow, Polish Association of Authors, Polish Haiku Association.  Her published poems and literary views appear in: Poezja Dzisiaj (Poetry Today ed. by Barbara i Aleksander Nawroccy), Kwartalnik Kulturalny (ed. by Andrzej Debowski), Radostowa, Hybryda (artistic and literary writings of the Association of Creative Pol-art in Krakow), Podlaski Tygodnik Kulturalny, Prace Pienińskie, Migotania, sZAFa, Znaj and the Pisarze.pl. Dorota Szumilas is one of the authors of the second ed. of ‘Contemporary writers of Poland’. She gave speeches at both the Slavic Poetry Festival and World Poetry Day in Warsaw.  

Mare Leonard – 4 poems 

Still Life Red Canna


You left Stieglitz for six months

every year, living in Abiqui

with your chow dogs only.

You painted the landscape outside

your house: the badlands, the bones,

the hills, your door 17 times,

its red more alive than the Canna lily.


Sometimes I imagine us sipping tea

from the cups of red lilies, your witch eyes

seeing inside me, Write anything

you want, but do it with passion,

precision, telling secrets

men believe only they possess.


When you grew old, eyesight failing,

you let in a young potter to care

for your house. You arranged shows

for him.  He taught you how

to throw pots, to see with your hands.


I read that if you saw something

you liked you slipped it in your pocket.

You stole this man.  You felt

an austere passion: the red petals

of the lily, smooth feathers

hiding music that makes

              holes in the sky. 





Pawley’s Island  Seascape


The decorator shakes her head.

 I can’t fix this plain Jane.


The blues don’t match: the sky

washes out the deep aqua sea.


The greens don’t blend: Palm trees

overshadow the faded dune grass.


 The creamy shells disappear

 in the gold and rocky sand.


This will never do. She purses

her lips, sighs in despair


 stares at the sky, the sea,

 and hypnotized by the  swish


of waves, lies down in the hammock,

while blues and greens run amok on the beach. 





Star Crossed Lovers



Even as she writes this, she sees

you walking on the Camino Del Monte Cristo

hears the sounds of Spanish so foreign

but certainly not to you: shoulders thrown back,

head cocked to the mountains, but eyes

on a street game. Por favor Senor?

You pick up the ball,  toss it to the kid,

wishing you could play instead of sprawling

 in front of the TV, whooping and hollering

 for the Red Sox. Only during the commercials,

 only when your beer is emptied do you lift

 your head from an antimacassar on the back

 of your chair only then do you glance

 at your shelves, pick up a rock, her rock,

 and remember when you cracked the geode

 finding at its center, a fossil, a star.


The last time she saw you

was like the space between time zones,

when two people float toward each other

but don’t know night from day.

She told you she did not want

to be a collectible, not even a star fossil,

but even as she said that, she wanted

to fold you into a book, to be hidden

in some dark corner of a library

under some arcane topic from another

 era like antimacassar. Even then,

 you would walk off, without a glance,

 even then you would walk off wearing

 only star-crocheted lace on your head. 





Civilized at last


According to legend, Romulus and Remus were twins abandoned by their mother and nursed by a wolf until found by a shepherd who raised them. When older, they decided to build a city  on the spot where the wolf had found them. They quarreled over the site. One wanted one place and the other said, this one!  Romulus won and so Rome was built on his hill and named after him. But this is legend and Rome was not built in a day.


I put a photo of the twins on Facebook,

                eight months old  Paolo scowling  Sylvia smiling

 53 Likes    so cute  so lucky  congrats.


 At ten months  Paolo devours a big bowl of pasta

                Lily nibbles   she’s a lovely bird   big eyes  tiny mouth 

one curl on top   a cockatoo


Sylvia could  balance on a branch    singing the high notes

                 but swings in her jump seat

Paolo  teeter totters    falls forward    lets out a wolf yowl.


Sylvia’s happy with Cheerios

                 Paolo  hungry and teething  gnaws

my finger like a juicy rib.


At the beach  they notice the other   grab and pull 

                not property   not hills  

only a pail and red shovel.


I post a video of the brawl  on Facebook

                screech, howl, screech  

so cute, so typical, wait ’til they have to share the Ipad


A bird and beast raised by humans

                They’ll never fight over hills in Italy

 never be   Romulus and Remus

                 those brothers saved by wolves.


These twins?  ordinary kids tagging

                  their castles with beach glass

destroying moats with one sweep of their hands.


Soon we’ll tame them    use your words

                when they bite  screech  push  yowl

 throwing their heads back into the wild.


On Facebook   Friends will see them strapped

                 into a double stroller   blinders on either side

 53 Likes    so cute  so lucky  grown up at last. 




Mare Leonard’s work has appeared most recently in A Rat’s Ass,  Perfume RiverThe Courtship of Wind,  Bindweed,  Forage, New Verse News, The Chronogram and Communicator’s League  She lives in an old school house overlooking the Rondout Creek.  Away from her own personal blackboard, she teaches writing workshops for all ages through the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT program at Bard College. 

Paul Beckman – Fiction

Cloud Wars




“Look at that big one at 2 o’clock. Is that a tricycle or what?”

Suni, lying on her back in the grass next to Henry agreed with him on the shape of the cloud. She’d rather be making out than playing cloud games.

“Look, Henry,” Suni pointed, “those two clouds are kissing. Don’t they appear to be having fun?”

“It’s like they’re next to each other,” Henry said. “See, now the tricycle is turning into a bicycle.”

“Will you look at that,” Suni said. “The kissing clouds have a third one in the mix—a ménage a tois. Boy they’re so lucky, aren’t they, Henry?”

Henry thought Suni talked about hugging and kissing too often and told her so. Most fifteen-year-old girls in his class were the same.

Suni rolled on top of Henry. “I don’t believe it,” she said, “those two clouds above us look like us lying here. See? See?”

Henry didn’t see and Suni stayed squished atop Henry hoping he’d get the hint and look at her and their faces would be close and she’d kiss him if he didn’t kiss her first.

Henry shifted his eyes without turning his head. He sat up and pointed—rolling her off him. “A dog, a perfect poodle dog right there. I’m going to write that down in my cloud book” he said, pulling out a small blue spiral notebook.

“Holy Moley will you look at that! I’m blushing. The clouds that look like us lying here are moving and one cloud is lying on top of the other. They’re making out right in front of us. Put that in your book, Henry.”

A drop of water fell on his face as the clouds overhead darkened. Henry stood. Suni stayed where she was and enjoyed the big raindrops beginning to splash her.

“Let’s run to the car,” Henry said, reaching for Suni’s hand to pull her up. She resisted and tried to pull him down. She wanted to taste the water on his face and neck. She wanted Henry to put his hand on her breast and his tongue in her month and she wanted to make him forget writing in his dumb cloud book.

Finally Suni stood. Henry refused to stand under a tree and huddle close to her. He only wanted to run to the car. So finally they did that and Henry drove Suni home and turned down her offer of hot chocolate and towels for drying each other off.

That night Henry texted Suni: “Clouds are my favorite things and you didn’t take them serious. I still like you but I don’t think we should date anymore. Henry.” #clouds don’t really kiss.”



Paul Beckman is an award winning author with over 300 published stories to his credit, on line, in print, and via audio. He hosts the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series at KGB.

Bertram Allan Mullin – 1 poem 

You Validated Destiny through Happenstance

By Bertram Allan Mullin


A car crash in Houston

A violin song . . . dream:

Beelzebub stealin’ my soul

Bubble cage

Glorious shadow girl,

Glorious rock ‘n’ roll background


Awesome spin kick  

Abbadon scared away

by her might

Blast of sakura leaves

Escape from a dungeon,

embrace we did


Awake, I wrote you

actually, in my novels, a character:


Basically you:

Classic rock lovin’

Cool martial artist


Named for

none other than

  a violin player

  and I moved to Japan

You walked out from

yonder shadows post our embrace


Same name

Same loves

I became a first time believer in . . . that is

I saw validated destiny through happenstance

Overreacted, slightly: a letter a song

Obsession made you not crazy for me


Unbroken by choices I didn’t like

Up to God, my hands in the air

Three more times, you and I by chance

Then I saw . . . undreamed youthful reality

free will

free eyes


   reiterated here

Get to know me

Go beyond the norm

It’ll be fun — otherwise,

 I’ll move on and forever wonder: why 





Bertram Allan Mullin or BAM’s work can be found here, there—many pieces being featured or contest winners. Some of his poetry can be found within Antiphon Poetry Magazine, the UK Online Archives, Silver Birch Press, With Painted Words, and Syzygy Poetry Journal where his piece, “X+Y=Z” won the Poetic Excellence Award. BAM teaches kids English and writes novels in Japan. Social media:www.bamwrites.com,facebook.com/bamwrites,twitter.com/bamwrites

Cordelia Hanemann – 3 poems 

Song of the Fish


You should join me here. The cool

green deep of my underwater keep

holds me close. I circle the pier,

waiting for you. If only you’d look,

you’d see me, a silver of reflected light

among the currents of the lake.


I watch you fix your rig,

select the bait to hide the hook.

Your arc is pure from shore to lake

like a dancer in an arabesque.


You are such an artist.

I cannot resist.

I’ve seen this worm before—

my lips are shreds of broken skin;

gills, heart, organs torn;

still, I hunger, lunge, and swallow.


You pull me in;

pain never felt so good.

The gentle way you work the hook,

your hand so warm, so firm

on my naked skin: you hold me,

like a treasure.

It hardly hurts at all.


How could I know

you would slit me open,

eat my flesh,

spit out my bones?






Sometimes a small light makes

the dark more terrible.


Headlights show only the swath

of road yards out; they seem to make

the dark more real, the way less clear.

Shapes crowd-in like hunter-demons,

bearing arms to take us down, take

us back. The car is dumb and warm

and close. Highways hum along under

us, indifferent, but familiar tunes;

our ears fill with the weary whine of tires,

the drone of old stories. Home is the place

where the road ends, where the door beckons,

but for the wanderer, the road goes on

criss-crossing earth’s face in complex

geometries of loneliness.





Defunct Tractor


The night sky burns with stars, dead

a thousand years; the cistern beside

the house, boasts its haul of icy dread,

blackening in the broad-bellied barrel.


Abandoned to an open field, iron beast,

like a scarecrow stripped of human cloth,

angular and alone, bearing no one’s travail,

a skeletal silhouette indifferent to night frost,


stands, grim and unmoved, succumbing to rust,

its steely black stillness a reproach to all

that spreads out from its mute paralysis:

a landscape, sere, naked, without conscience.


In waning night, earth refrains from judgment,

proffers no solace, no absolution, no Truth. 





 A resident of Raleigh, NC where Cordelia is a practicing artist and writer, she have taught in elementary and high school and been a university professor. A native of Southwest Louisiana, she has lived in Japan and London as well as in the US. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, among which areSouthwest Review, Mainstreet Rag, andThird Wednesday Magazine; anthologies, most recently, The Well-Versed Readerand Heron Clan IV; and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. She was recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press, and The Strand Project presented, this summer. a monologue she wrote for performance. She is also working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.  

Sneha Subramanian Kanta – 1 poem 

Notes from a Vanity Van

I imagined a golden ray from the sun struck interiors

of the vehicle I rehearsed dialogues in while dark


shadows outlined reflections cast. A tinge of subtle

eye-shadow was smeared and rubbed, to underline


the rooms of conscience. Halfway through, brief

scriptures over the face of a lake summoned: it was


the moment to weep insanely, with thorough use of

propylene glycol. I laughed before drowsiness sunk


into figments of dust pores, visible through sunbeams.

The people — were talking and talking, hollowly, and


I retired into the little wood. I sat nearby at the foot of

a small hill, my white costume in speckles of damp soil.


A little dandelion I watched, disperse its wings as I looked

at my wrists — waited for a touch, and a gentle raindrop fell.



Sneha Subramanian Kanta straddles paths from linear and discursive lines. Ghettos, immigrants, nations, untold refugee tales, the manufacturing of otherness and writing from the margins are some subject matters of resonance. Her work is forthcoming in Fallujah Magazine, EPIZOOTICS, Erstwhile Magazine, Sahitya Akademi, Noble/ Gas Qtrly, Epigraph Magazine and the first print anthology of Peacock Journal. She is a GREAT scholarship awardee pursuing her second postgraduate degree in literature in the United Kingdom. Write to her on s.sneha01@yahoo.in