Michael Brownstein – 1 poem



He came upon the shrine

after hardship

and saw in it only stone.

So far had he come for this moment

and so lost he felt now that he was upon it.

He stared at the lines on his hands open-mouthed,

each scribble open, gray and ugly.

The shrine had one door

and two tiny windows cut in stone.

He entered holding his breath,

the floor recently swept,

the door recently greased.

There was nothing in the room.

He felt the blisters on his feet,

the taste of blood in his mouth,

a sting of sweat in his eyes.

He sat on the floor

suddenly satisfied.




 Michael H. Brownstein

link to my most important site: 



Helga Kidder

Luna Moth


You must have escaped the moon’s craters,

pale green wings ethereal

as a fairy’s, landing on the rose bush,

reminding me of moments like this lost

treading the world’s wheel.


What brings you to my garden?

Your four painted eyes on wings look at me

as if seeking refuge. I sigh,

want to open my vault of mercy

to your endangered species.


You will perfume the air

for mating, then leave behind eggs,

a new generation,

as the first leaves of fall,

brown and brittle from drought,

dwindle to the ground. 





 Helga Kidder

DJ Tyrer – 3 poems 

Burkini: Banned

A simple day out at the beach?
No. Now we measure your modesty
Only, unlike days gone past
It’s too much not too little.
In the land of liberty and equality
Rich white men meet in conclave
To discuss freeing women from male bondage
By imposing laws upon them
Determining what they may wear.
In the bastions of terror
Evil men cheer this victory
A perfect oppression to stir recruits
And justify atrocities.
The rights of the women are forgotten
As all these men draw the lines in their war.






You are not who
You think you are
Keep repeating that mantra
Just maybe
You can convince yourself





Identity (I)

Asking: Who am I?
Question so many ask
Fearing the answer





DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing, was placed second in the 2015 Data Dump Award for Genre Poetry, and has been published in The Rhysling Anthology 2016, issues of CyaeghaCarillonFrostfire WorldsIllumenThe PenScifaikuestSirens CallTigershark and California Quarterly, and online at Makata,Three Drops from a CauldronBindweedPoetry Pacific, Scarlet Leaf Review and The Muse, as well as releasing several chapbooks, including the critically acclaimed Our Story.

DJ Tyrer’s website is athttp://djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk/

The Atlantean Publishing website is athttp://atlanteanpublishing.blogspot.co.uk/


Tobi Alfier – 3 poems

The Man Buys Himself a Guitar to Play the Blues


He’s more of an acoustic guy,

more under the breath,

as if he were humming gently,

his fingers quietly pick the strings

to keep him company.


His voice is good, soft,

doesn’t need an audience

of more than one, as he sadly praises

the open road, his travels lonesome

and long, the women he left behind,

the ones he’s yet to meet.


Sorrow etched on his face,

he entertains himself with near-silence.

Wind through the junipers louder

than his downhearted words. His luck lost quickly,

his farewells a simple nod of the hat

and a start of the truck, his dad’s old pick-up,

it knows the story without even being shifted

into reverse. Such is the light from the window

left behind, such is the love, turning to frost

even as the tires turn the miles to the next

run-down motel, the next song to sing. 






Spares, Strikes, and Extra Olives


Tammy-Lynn worked forty hours a week

at Chandler’s Bowl and Bar. Shitty job,

smelly shoes, sideways looks of pity

on the faces of women who were once

cheerleaders at her high school, now moms

in matching shirts, teams with silly names,

leagues that should be named “Martini”

‘cause that’s what they did—drink themselves

stupid once a week, then call their husbands

to leave the kids for just a minute,

come pick this big kid up. All blonde

with twelfth-grade curls and the same blue

eyeshadow that nabbed their husbands

twenty years ago, the only difference

between then and now is “Playtex”

ain’t a girdle no more, cussing

don’t send your ass to detention,

and there’s better cheap perfume to steal

at multiple choices of drug-store.

Drunk or driving through Dairy Queen sober,

no one remembers just who the quarterback

was, or what exactly happened under the bleachers

the night the team won the championship…

Only poor Mr. James, still sweeping up

the detritus of birth control gone wrong,

knows the answers

to all those small-town questions. 





 Unheard Music


Neglected piano in the neighbor’s yard

in back of their Oxnard barn, the old brown

upright.keys dappled like aging teeth,

dotted with leaves so dry, they cracked

of their own accord ages ago.


No bench, no music, not even

a wobbly old bar stool

doing double duty—

forgotten—out of tune—

a landing pad for cats and crows,


never to play at weddings again.

Like the piano sitting front and center

of an empty ballroom in a Detroit hotel.

The door red-tagged, only light

shushing in through dirty diamond panes


onto the black and white floor.

A lace handkerchief dropped, lies in silence.

Grace for the spirits that play both

instruments on moon-shadowed nights,

melodies climbing, meeting among the stars.




Tobi Alfier (Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee.  Her current chapbooks include “Down Anstruther Way” (Scotland poems) from FutureCycle Press, and her full-length collection “Somewhere, Anywhere, Doesn’t Matter Where” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com). 

Joan McNerney – 1 poem 

Eleventh Hour


Wrapped in darkness we can

no longer deceive ourselves. 

Our smiling masks float away.

We snake here, there

from one side to another. 

How many times do we rip off 

blankets only to claw more on?


Listening to zzzzzz of traffic,

mumble of freight trains, fog horns.

Listening to wheezing,

feeling muscles throb.

How can we find comfort?


Say same word over and over

again again falling falling to sleep.

I will stop measuring what was lost.

I will become brave.


Let slumber come covering me.

Let my mouth droop, fingers tingle.

Wishing something cool…soft…sweet.

Now I will curl like a fetus

gathering into myself

hoping to awake new born.




Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.