Leah Mueller – 1 poem

ZEN MUSINGS IN TAMPA, 2018

 

If you eliminate
you can continue living.

 

In a contest between
keeping and letting go,
err on the side
of release. All is practice

 

for the big one. You won’t get
to hold anything. Trust is hubris,
a vain expectation someone else
cares more for your needs
than he does for his own.

 

You’re better off
pouring your own water.

 

The gods will punish you
swiftly if you throw a tantrum.
Look at you: legs spread wide,
glass upended on the floor.

 

Teachers called you clumsy,
said all you needed

 

was more practice. Somebody will
always snatch the glass away,
laughing at the spill.

 

You must be clever, willing
to let the container overturn.

 

Release its contents,
then walk away quickly.
Don’t try to go back.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Leah Mueller is an indie writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks, “Queen of Dorksville” (Crisis Chronicles Press) and “Political Apnea” (Locofo Chaps) and three books, “Allergic to Everything”, (Writing Knights Press) “Beach Dweller Manifesto” (Writing Knights) and “The Underside of the Snake” (Red Ferret Press). Her work appears in Blunderbuss, Summerset Review, Outlook Springs, Crack the Spine, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.
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Joan McNerney – 1 poem

Shhhhh…

 

 

There is a

witch living

on the corner

where the four

roads meet.

 

Her eye is

evil, her

nose crooked.

 

She lays down

the tarot

pattern

with wrinkled

hands.

 

Asks “do you wish

tea of wormwood

or henbane?”

 

She will enchant

your mind now

into fields of

wild roses.

 

🍃

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net.

William Doreski – 2 poems

Depicted by Hieronymus Bosch

 

 

The forest creeps a little closer

to overhear my phone calls

and learn if I think the sky

will fall in pieces or as one

gigantic plastic membrane.

The trees have reason to worry.

 

 

Their plumes of foliage droop

in a toxic atmosphere no one

should breathe unless depicted

by Hieronymus Bosch. You agree

that we should fly to Holland

to enjoy the Bosch exhibit,

 

 

but your passport has expired

and you won’t be photographed

for a new one because you look

too old and tired to travel.

The forest nods as we converse.

Crows spackle the windy glare.

 

Chickadees percolate at feeders.

I want to hang up on you

and recover the youth wasted

on being young. The city

you haunt looms taller than hills

in Kansas or Wisconsin.

 

 

Its lights bleed the night sky pallid.

Its bridges knit together worlds

that don’t really love each other.

Hearing your voice originate

two hundred miles southwest

of me generates sensations

 

trees would mistake for beavers

gnawing at their trunks. I wave

to the crows, the windy treetops,

the bobcat who daily prowls

for mice that gather seed-scraps

beneath the feeders. You note

 

how distracted I seem. The trees

agree that the sky will fall soon,

but I can’t speak loudly enough

to assure them that such collapse

will only slightly mar the cosmos

and leave most of the stars intact.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Drift Threatens

 

An exploded map of Paris

marked with arrows of varied

thickness tracking tendencies

of pedestrians to wander this

way or that, pursuing the error

someone called “dérive” or “drift.”

 

 

These psychogeographic

gradients are difficult to trace,

but I catch them in your expression

as you grind gears while mired

in memory, a sinkhole into which

the ugliest silences creep

 

to reproduce and fester in swarms.

We can’t determine who asked whom

to marry on a drab August day

when cicadas chirred in the elms

no more than we can follow this map

because Paris has not exploded

 

and the erring ways of flaneurs

entered us well before our births.

Drift threatens, yes, but the cries

of unborn generations tangle

in the shrubbery where last year’s

strings of Christmas lights still lurk.

 

Your face, a map of our long,

long lives together and apart,

accommodates a smile so brilliant

that being beheaded by it

would be a privilege. The map

amuses but doesn’t instruct.

 

 

The arrows look like schooling fish

and the white space flowing amid

selected and depicted quarters

reminds me how blank you look

when your featured ghosts appear,

dragging us both behind them.

 

🍃

 

William Doreski

Ingrid Bruck – 1 poem

Super Wolf Moon 

 

 

The wolf moon leaps
at the throat of night. 
She growls 
at the setting sun 
in passing,
refuses the company of planets,
dims nearby constellations.
 

 

Her snarls and yelps
spurt light 
across the perigee to earth,
her sky-shine glows 
radiant on snow.

 

 

On New Years Eve and Day,
this blazing super moon
competes with fireworks,  
candescent lights,
the ferocity of cold. 
 

 

The solitary super moon howls 
on an empty stage, 
awash in the afterglow 
of solstice.

 

 

May it augur well 
for our infant year. 

 

🍃

Ingrid Bruck lives in Pennsylvania Amish country in the USA, a landscape that inhabits her writing. A retired library director, she writes short form poetry. Current work appears in Unbroken Journal, The Song Is, W.I.S.H., Eunoia, Nature Writing, and Entropy. Poetry site:  www.ingridbruck.com

Miki Byrne – 1 poem

Collected

 

We are all that we have ever been
and like matryoshka dolls,
our present encloses layer upon layer.
All that went before—the baby crying
in indefinable need, small child
wide-eyed in dark hours, right through
all the phases, day-turned pages,
until now.
This minute, where all
that has been gathered rests within.
Keeps backbone straight, soul clean,
a bright heart proud and beating.

 

🍃

 

Miki Byrne has had three poetry collections published and had work included in over 170 poetry magazines and anthologies. She has read on Radio and TV and is active on the spoken word scene in Cheltenham. Miki also ran a poetry writing group at The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury. Miki lived on a Narrowboat for years and began performing her poems in a bikers club in Birmingham.
Miki is disabled and now lives near Tewkesbury. Gloucestershire.UK.