the sun is sparkling, the rain rumbling, and we badly need some poetry...

Friday, 11 January 2013

Mike Finley - 2 Poems

Knock on Wood

So a tree becomes a stump
and the microbes burrow in
until it is all lacework
a filigree of matter.

The world that seems solid
is full of holes,
holes between pores
and holes between cells,
holes between the molecules,
atoms and particles.

There are oceans of space within and between.
You could say we live in space.

I'm not really here,
I'm just saying I am.

The Rapture 

Walking with Rachel,
We detect a fragrance
So sweet and so intense

Like honey, lilac and swirled violets
We look at one another
With a look of deepest longing

Until we step into a clearing
And see the turquoise
plastic Port O Potty.

BIOGRAPHY:  Mike Finley is the author of the world's largest chapbook, YUKON GOLD.

Devlin De La Chapa - 1 Poem

Trailer park girl

the butterfly around your hollowed navel
spreads its wings and soars through my eyes

silver-plated love blows 30 degrees below dry-ice

my head is ripe for your destruction because
the chisel pounds because you say so, So

when I sleep the monster lays beside me with you

with you I hear painted ladies walking obscure streets,
I sense defeat as I crumble beneath your feet

your “Shh,” calms me in the dark of night

like the stir of winter fog eroding from your after sex cigarette
just as beer bottles break at the bottom of your trash can, silent

BIOGRAPHY: De La Chapa has been published here and there and is scheduled to appear elsewhere. She is a two-time Pushcart prize nominee, and a two-time recipient of an Editor's Choice.  Devlin edits @ BoySlut.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Anthony Ward - 1 Poem


The tension of thought
Makes me so uptight
I find myself seizing
In need of lubrication
To loosen up
And get myself in gear
Typing frantically to maintain the speed
Of my mind
As it races from me

And I chase after it to recapture it
Exalted with adrenalin
My head lighting up
As if a pinnacle of an exclamation
Until I’m completely exhausted
Inebriated with creativity
That in the end leaves me bearing a hangover
My stomach pent with knots
My spine curved to a question mark.

Biography: Anthony Ward tends to fidget with his thoughts in the hope of laying them to rest. He has managed to lay them in a number of literary magazines including The Faircloth Review, Drunk Monkeys, Dead Snakes, Turbulence, Underground, Jellyfish Whispers, The Autumn Sound, Torrid Literature Journal and The Rusty Nail, amongst others.

April Salzano - 1 Poem

Late August Fog

Morning no longer comes lightly,
but hours after I wake.
Humidity has lifted, histamines replaced
by the threat of frost, pathetic
fallacies to come. Back
to school bus rides, lunchbox battles,
struggles against time for routine.
A melody of various birds
call and respond through woods.
Spring fawns are losing their spots
and stand more certain on gangly legs,
braving boundaries alone, peripheral.
Sack webs of tree caterpillars
suspend from endmost branches of Maples.
September will be here before I have
time to finish the goals I meant to fulfill,
the pages I set to write. Memory
of chlorophyll will color the leaves
before dropping them to the ground
to contemplate the teeth of the rake.
We are all just waiting for the time
to begin saving daylight.

Biography: April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania and is working on her first (several) poetry collections and an autobiographical work on raising a child with Autism. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspiration, The Rainbow Rose and other online and print journals and is forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly and Bluestem.

Marchell Dyon - 1 Poem

Girl With Doves

At peace, your spirit ran off to play.
Now doves, like a favorite doll you cradle.

Biding farewell, chasing after feathers,
All are angels.

The death of a child is never forgotten in the veins.
It festers like an open sore that never heals.

So not to follow, a child’s soul leaves not a footprint.
A spirit now free from this concrete purgatory,

Your beautiful face no longer in tears, you fly towards Heaven
On purchased wings, beyond the eternity of the sun.

In reflective light on your grave, you were here
Giggling beside me, only for a moment then was gone.

Biography: Marchell Dyon is from Chicago IL. She has attended various poetry workshops. While she is currently working on her first and second chapbooks her work has already appeared in other publications including Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Torrid Lit Journal and Full of Crow magazine.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christopher Kenneth Hanson - 1 Poem

"X Monster"

With this bag over my head,
I would understand your state of fright.
I need it to walk the streets safely though.
And just like you, I have always feared my form.
In dreams, I would hope to speak softly to a dear lady friend.
In dreams, I would look at her with my desired form and face.
And that she would understand now that my heart was decent,
A satisfaction of romantic bliss could not equal this twinkle in my eye.
I would wait a thousand life times for a chance to be loved by her.
I would travel and be tested a thousand more to earn her adoration.
And that such a lovely woman would ever call my name,
I would weep by her side and thank her for blessed kindness. 

BIO:  Christopher Kenneth Hanson is an innovative poet from New Jersey. You may find Christopher's art and poetry via the internet by searching additionally for ckhanson81.

Chris Butler - 1 Poem

Love Won’t Come

Love won’t come
from just anyone.

Love won’t come
if unspoken of.

Love won’t come
by another vanhove.

Love won’t come
like rising suns.

Love won’t come
from up above.

Love won’t come
With turtledoves.

Love won’t come
in red rose groves.

Love won’t come
by touching gloves.

Love won’t come
under a thumb.

Love won’t come
with forced shoves.

Love won’t come
When cumbersome.

Love won’t come
except for some.

BIO: Chris Butler is a twentysomething nobody shouting from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. He most recently published poems of pain in ppigpenn, BoySlut and Dead Snakes.

Robert Demaree - 1 Poem


Blue sky, vapor trails:
He tilts back his seat, stirs his drink
And reviews the day.
He thinks of sales made, and not:
Had his suit been crisply pressed?

Turbulence ahead:
He closes up his laptop,
Snaps his seat belt shut.
Had his shoes been brightly shined?
He orders another drink.

Our final approach…
How does his balance sheet look?
Will the firm survive?
Please return the tray table…
We’ll be at the gate shortly.

BIO: Robert Demaree is the author of four collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers (2007) and Mileposts (2009), both published by Beech River Books. The winner of the 2007 Conway, N.H., Library Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. He has had over 600 poems published or accepted by 130 periodicals in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K., including Cold Mountain Review, Miller’s Pond, Louisville Review and in four anthologies. For further information see

Emily Ramser - 1 Poem

Smoker at the Coffee Shop

Yellow splotches
of paint lay between
his index and his
middle fingers. 

Nicotine memories
from hands that 
should have told
the past in fiction.

BIO: Emily Ramser is a high school writer who prefers to hang out with college students and drop outs. She finds them more entertaining and inspiring. She's been published a handful of times, but she prefers to post her work simply wherever it can be seen, even on old business cards on notice boards in the back of coffee shops.

Denny E. Marshall - 1 Poem


From the top of the hill
Walk down into the valley
The trees are mighty
Gentle to the breeze
The road is pleasant
And the grass green
See her standing
On the path in dress
Stroll and talk
Stopping at a bench
The comfort spreads
Belongs to napping
In holding arms
Felt like real sleep
Dreams of walking
The morning brings

Bio: Denny E. Marshall has had art & poetry recently published and rejected.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A.J. Huffman - 3 Poems

With Bare

feet crossed on dashboard,
resting.  My rhinestoned sunglasses
reflect the momentum, short-term
memories in the making.  Map flung to back
floor in rebellion and preference
for uncharted interaction.  Back-road mistakes
melting into mystical minefields, blasts
of beauty, untouched by anything but camera’s
flash.  Soundtrack of laughter and effortless
banter barrels through glass
half-rolled down, plays for the wind.

The Road to Yoga Road

is curved at impossible
angles.  Avenues dangle on one
leg, teeter, manage not
to fall into failure’s abyss.
Balancing the drive
for perfection with natural
peace of meditative silence, the form
shrinks, converges on sole point,
aligns itself with inner

Ice Cream Unplugged

Frozen tower of twisted
milk dissolves into photo-
negative lava flow.  Sticky
hands, elbows flick, drip,
short flight.  Away.

Biography: A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on  She has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals.  Most recently, she has accepted the position as editor for four online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press ( ). 

Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at and!/poetess222.

Taufiq Abdul Khalid - 1 Poem

N Ode 2 Hu

I am lowborn, who will raise me?
I am highborn, who will bring me down?
I am rude, who will teach me manners?
I am vain and proud, who is oft-bearing with me?

I am in love, who is in love with me?
I am yearning, who is yearning for me?
I am ablaze, who will quench the fire?
I am drowning, who will drain the ocean?
I am dying, who shall bury me?

I am a bird, but who gave me wings?
I am the sky, but who painted me blue?
I am a face, but who taught me to smile?
I am a prose, but who is the poet?
I am a lantern, but who is the light?

Who is asking? Who is answering?
What am I? Who am I?
Like a shadow on the wall?
Like a ripple in the ocean?

I am coming home, but who am I returning to?
Was I ever away?

Biography: Taufiq bin Abdul Khalid is a solicitor working in a small law office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has a son named Mikhail (aged 7) who dreams of becoming a venture capitalist. In his younger days, a girl once described Taufiq as someone who can take three hours to describe an orange. Now much older, he spends less time contemplating fruits and more time observing this strange and beautiful world, and the amazing personalities that inhabit it. He blogs obsessively in the Sinners’ Almanac and is a master ping-pong player. Or so he claims.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Smita Anand Sriwastav - 1 Poem

Lullabies of Night Breeze...

fluid syllables echoing
in the oblivion
of night sequined in
insomniac stars
on a nocturnal vigil,
are strung on strings of
silken moonbeams to form
a lullaby that allures sleep
from alleys of Morpheus,

to lull silhouetted trees
of eternal rustles
into tranquil slumber,
and waves of brine in turmoil,
splashing against the shores
in throes of serene siesta.

the lips of the night breeze
croon in sensual notes,
soft lullabies to the drowsy earth,
the lakes of rippling strains
are put to sleep by these songs,
the amber moon perched
over pedestal of clouds,
is induced to siesta beneath,
the duvets spun by tempest.

Biography: Smita Anand Sriwastav  is an M.B.B.S. doctor with a passion for poetry and literature. She has always expressed  her innermost thoughts and sentiments through the medium of poetry. A feeling of inner tranquility and bliss captures her soul whenever she pens her verse. Nature has been the most inspiring force for her. She has published two books and has published poems in journals like the Rusty Nail, Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers, eFiction India, Literary Juice, Daily Love , Life As An, Behind Closed Doors and Contemporary Literary Review India and one of her poems was published in a book called ‘Inspired by Tagore’ published by Sampad and British Council. She has written poetry all her life and aims to do so forever.

Ben Nardolilli - 1 Poem

The Evening Mysteries

I feel down by the carport,
Then you come, and feel too,
Before all the inhabitants
Agree to make me brighter,

Though you may be
With them, memories
Of others take my place
Away from me,

I have your buildings,
And have taken
Love of colors, purple
As well as orange, away,

Reminders for myself come
In muttering mantras
That echo by the car door,
I am so strong, beneath all craft.

Biography: Ben Nardolilli's work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained, from Folded Word Press. He blogs at and is looking to publish his first novel.

Michael H. Brownstein - 3 Poems

On Cooking

She is a patient cook
and her father writes an overcoat,
white shirted bleached and stained,
blood marks and scarred lines,
underarmed nests of burnt hair.

The small pot of oatmeal sings,
a fringe of brown sugar and cinnamon,
a curse of raisins and bits of apple pie,
a refrain stuck in gear, my brother and I
cut from the same yard of grass,

and my father slips into a short man
thick with heavy gray weight,
context, cocoa and nonconformity,
every substance a different thought,
every cooked oatmeal scent her perfume.

Why We Do What We Do

The common theme is out of luck
as in a fishing hole without any fish
or a beautiful woman who locks
herself away to hide her ugliness.
Dust and acid killed the fish.
Lack of touch left the woman dead.


All my life

the low stung tree on the hilltop,
the river birch near the stream,
one mulberry tree in a field.

White branches no longer able to hold a weight in leaf,
the birch dips its roots into water,
the mulberry plans its invasion.

The path lacks shade,
the path lacks humor,
honor a seed hibernating into soil until its time of need.

Biography: Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The CafĂ© Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011) and Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Diane Webster - 2 Poems


As shadows stalk the evening sun
in longer and longer sneaks
until each rises in powerful pounce
and submerges earth into snatches of startled sight,
cars race home and park
like kittens suckling momma cat
as she purrs them to sleep
in a bundle of warm fur
protected until morning sun
stretches into the brood, and everyone scatters
to discover what changed overnight.


As I stroll down the sidewalk tunnel,
sunshine turns up the volume.
From rainstorm dark
against my upturned collar
to virgin’s veil where
almost certainly a smile quivers
to cat basking bright
as I shed my coat
like a tulip awakening
to gulp in sunlight nectar.

Biography: Diane Webster's challenge as a poet is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday opportunities as well as those moments of epiphany. Then to allow her imagination to evolve that idea into a poem. Diane's work has appeared in “Philadelphia Poets”, “The Hurricane Review”, “Illya's Honey” and other literary magazines.

Donal Mahoney - 1 poem


The thing of it is,
says Johnny O,
none of us knows

whether he is
while others announce
after looking around

they beg to differ.
The thing of it is,
says Johnny O,

some would say
he’s here, he’s there,
he’s everywhere

while others would say
after looking around
no one can see him

anywhere--so how
can he be everywhere?
The thing of it is,

says Johnny O, 
he’s right over where?
Let’s look around.

Biography: Donal Mahoney has had work published in The Rainbow Rose and other publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Joan McNerney - 1 Poem

Virtual Love

full of hyperbole
& alliteration drifted
into the wrong e-mail box.

There she met an erudite
rich text format file.
They became attached.

Her fleeting metaphors
lifted his technical jargon.
They were a word couple
spinning through cyber space
giddy with inappropriate syllables.

Biography: Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, and three Bright Spring Press Anthologies. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Diane Webster - 1 Poem


My neighbor scowls
when she mows her lawn.
With each laborious swatch
eaten across her grass
she sweats, grunts, jerks
the mower into right angle turns
as if her white knuckles
could reach through the handle
into the motor, into the blades
and guillotine each green shaft
by sheer willpower
leaving severed clippings in her wake,
and gleefully giggling
as she returns inside her house.

BIOGRAPHY: Diane Webster's challenge as a poet is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday opportunities as well as those moments of epiphany. Then to allow her imagination to evolve that idea into a poem. Diane's work has appeared in “Philadelphia Poets,” “The Hurricane Review,” “Illya's Honey” and other literary magazines.

Bryan Murphy - 1 Poem


All paths lead to death,
premature sacrifice for future spawn;
but on the way, pure joy.

Ravenous hair, falling
over a tactile wonderland
where deeper means finer.
From a mission to make her happy,
pure pleasure pours.

Three fine brats,
wavelengths aligned across the Atlantic,
together for the first time,
the little grey one’s me.

I ghost across boards,
flash onto a silver screen
find my niche in a voice studio.
Retirement will not be dull.

Stepfather beams with health;
words I cast out find homes;
my teams experiment
with life near the top;
friendships endure.

They come for me.
It is a cold spring morning.
I see the ax is blunt,
smell rust on its blade,
sleep through the screaming alarm.

BIOGRAPHY: Bryan Murphy recently retired from a job as a translator and now concentrates on his own words. He divides his time among England, Italy, the wider world and cyberspace. You can find him at

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Douglas Polk - 3 Poems

The Foreigner

Her features fine,
delicate like china,
new to this land of dust and sky,
never hugged or touched,
for fear of breaking her,
She did not belong in the roughness of the prairie,
She belonged to a place,
where men could stop and marvel at her beauty,
instead of staring at her with  sun baked eyes,
or touch her with callous hands.

A Drive-In Movie

A movie date,
at the drive in,
free to explore,
no nosy neighbors,
getting secret kicks,
bras unhooked,
without embarrassment,
tears shed,
during the death scene,
if it helps get one to third base,
intimacy shared,
the only worries,
dropping popcorn,
or spilling soda,
in the family car,
a station wagon.

A Fantasy

A fantasy this day shall never end,
or I never die,
or age,
and ache with old age,
the magic not fantasy,
but reality,
exists in the mind’s eye,
the soul,
seeing and keeping the dream alive,
life a precious gift,
magical and fleeting,
love the maker of magic,
to be shared and spread down through the ages.

Biography: Douglas Polk is a poet living in the wilds of central Nebraska with his wife and two boys. He has had numerous poems, three books of poems, and two children's books published. Poetry books are: In My Defense, The Defense Rests and On Appeal. The children's books are: The Legend of Garle Pond and Marie's Home.

Jeffrey Park - 1 Poem


He runs, he leaps, he misses
his footing
and slides down the steep ragged bank
and into the ravine
to the bottom
where he lies for many a long
lonely week
and then month
and then
and the grass grows up and through
his slow-bleaching bones
as if to prove incontrovertibly
that if man
had been meant to run like that
would have put wings
on his ankles.

Biography: Baltimore native Jeffrey Park currently lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school and teaches business English to adults. His latest poems have appeared in Requiem, Deep Tissue, Danse Macabre, Crack the Spine, Right Hand Pointing and elsewhere, and his digital chapbook, Inorganic, has just been published online by White Knuckle Press. Links to all of his published work can be found at

Felino A. Soriano - 3 Poems

in the examination of rhythm

analysis this sound this
segregated meaning


crisscrossing versions
interpret the listener’s prelude

onto tongue of the hearsay ing
modules of time

in the dusk of rhythm

moment turn as splay reinvents focal knowledge:
: eye then above the eye a language opens

we’ve abbreviated meaning, my friend
            the abbreviation is unintentional then the furthermore elongated sadness

                        within these hours of day’s spacious irony (if unknown, yes, closeness)
                        clusters of frames locate an otherness of say
pertaining to partial inclination to existential coastal affiliation—                 a
5:00 p.m. average

repetitious symphonies of rotating grays to
engage with the habit of this time’s
rectangular physiology

in the orange of rhythm

annual autumnal interpretation
fling from the finger weakened method (fall, stereotyped)
leaf                  in the plural of manifestation
                                                band of clarinet (covering of opal angles of uninterrupted
created death              seers                enable vocalizing image amid

gregarious hope of season’s
sedentary (thus revisit(ing)ed) sentimental aggregates

BIOGRAPHY: Felino A. Soriano has authored 55 collections of poetry, including In the parallel of pursued occurrences (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Quartet Dialogues(white sky ebooks, 2012), and Of language|s| the rain speaks (quarter after press, 2012).  He publishes the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press. His work finds foundation in philosophical studies and connection to various idioms of jazz music. He lives in California with his wife and family and is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. For further information, please

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Wanda Morrow Clevenger - 1 poem

90 degree ransack

a man with a black folio full
of circumstantiality and more
handwritten lines than time allots
has become a regular
at the Saturday meetings

he says they are mostly spiritual
- his brother says enough spiritual already -
so he laughs and reads a funny poem
about cats eating fat rats and fat bats

and I can hear he ransacked A to Z
so nothing went missed
before disclosing this trick of trade

his head hangs a heavy 90 degree
off plaid shoulders, fingers run
pencil cursive in braille transfer;
the room goes quiet so to amplify
gears making slow revolutions

BIOGRAPHY: Wanda Morrow Clevenger lives in Hettick, IL. She appears in numerous online and electronic publications. She writes of life and other peculiarities in the morning aided by many cups of hot tea gone cold.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Brihintha Burggee - 1 Poem


Your love makes me cry.
The love with which you never loved me.
Your love songs torment my nights.
Songs you never sung. Only hummed.

Your touch burns in me, the gentle
touch that slaps me each drunken night.
A bitter sunrise for every honeymoon,
a pinch of salt in every sweetness.
You make me dance to the tunes of a nymph
on the broken nails of my coffin.

Remember how you adorned me
so childishly?
Like a newly wedded bride,
with wine dripping on my forehead
and the white shroud glittering
around my neck.
The shattering glass was writing
the melody of this beautiful threnody.

And the silver anklets with which
you’d bind me before the start
of the charade?
Your unusual force kissed my ankles,
scarring them.
I am but your showpiece.

As the beads scattered on the floor,
each heartbeat was un-writing your name.
Wishing now that it could have
un-loved what seemed to be so perfect
O strayed Soulmate of mine.

BIOGRAPHY: Born in 1994, Brihintha Burggee is enjoying the experience of writing her first poems. A student of the Loreto College, she lives in the busy town of Quatre-Bornes, in Mauritius.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

John Swain - 1 Poem

A Fire Wheel

The mountain held
a basking serpent
like a fire wheel,
I placed a coin
on its rough tongue.
The nights gained
a poison momentum
from the shift
in visions relating.
And when I sat bewildered
in the last shatter
by the divinity of my enemy,
I drank wine
from the sieve
of his bitter open arms.
Then we became kin
to curse and sadden
her third person,
the methods unlearnt
to read omens,
so I could find worth
and we could go on.

Biography: John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Crisis Chronicles Press published his most recent chapbook, White Vases.

Gary Beck - 2 Poems


Ghostly images
the unknown future
blur horizons,
smile endless vistas,
cloud preconceptions,
identity conclusions,
temporal stases,
hunger resolution,
finite boundaries.

End of Season

The last leaf
flutters, falls
as we huddle
in protective domes,
artificial bubbles
sheltering us
from extravagant destruction
by careless custodians.

BIOGRAPHY: Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. A collection of his poetry 'Days of Destruction' was published by Skive Press. Another collection 'Expectations' was published by Rogue Scholars Press and 'Dawn in Cities' and 'Assault on Nature' are being published by Winter Goose Press. His novel 'Acts of Defiance' is being published by Trestle Press and 'Extreme Change' is being published by Cogwheel Press. His poetry has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Donal Mahoney - 1 Poem

Pretty Girl Now Passing

Look so pretty you
no sound floats
out of my mouth

as I sit silent now
staring through you
boring in

what it is that
does this

to me now
and every time
I see you still

just out walking
laughing with him

BIOGRAPHY: Donal Mahoney has had work published in The Rainbow Rose and various print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Neil Ellman - 3 Poems

The Power of Thought 
(after the painting by Michael Kvium)

It comes
of thought
frightful images of
under the bed
princes and princesses
all dressed up
popping up
the power of dreams
memories piled
broken dolls
with different eyes
the power of thinking
what might have been
or could.

Manao Tupapau (The Spirit of the Dead Keep Watch)
(after the painting by Paul Gauguin)


She watches me
for signs
the slightest movement
of an eye
the smallest murmuration
of my heart
she waits
counts beats
studies the curve
of my back
the arch of my neck
while I tighten my hold
on straw.


She waits for me
I for her to leave
she waits
with the patience
of a monstrous saint
while I hold fast      
grip burning
sheets of light.


They carriy me
to the pyre
where I can feel
my soul on fire—
even then
she waits.

Insula Dulcamara
(after the painting by Paul Klee)

Framed by time
a nursery rhyme
of dancing lines
the harmony
of children’s play
their nascent thoughts
of candy ghosts
and singing snakes--
such innocence
in dreams.

Biography:  Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey.  Hundreds of his poems appear in print and online journals throughout the world, from Australia to Mauritius to Zimbabwe.  He has also published nine chapbooks, the most recent of which, Double-Takes, is available as a free PDF download from

Samantha Seto - 1 Poem


Dust crowds the attic,
ancient photographs in paper boxes,
faint reflection in broken glass mirror.

Bury me under your deepest memory.
We engrave black crosses on our foreheads,
smell of blood clothes, sing dark prayer,
wear black nail polish, cover scars.

Walls encode invisible letters and numbers,
I brush my red hair wisps away, smearing ink.
Flame circles the ground, time warps in darkness,
paper released falls like snow around me.

If I go on, unforgivable curses remain on earth.
Hysteria crumbles to the ground, mirror of screams.
Dreams of prophetic times, cured only with supernatural.

BIOGRAPHY: Samantha Seto has been published in various anthologies including Ceremony, Soul Fountain, Carcinogenic Poetry, and Black Magnolias Journal. She is a third prize poetry winner of the Whispering Prairie Press contest.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Lisa Pellegrini - 1 Poem

The Rhythm of a Purr

It flows like unimpeded blood,
chastising us for mocking
life's simplicities,
for disregarding their
magical power and

their power to surprise.
Her song calms our own blood
with its subtle seduction
that refuses to take no
for an answer.

Feel the rumble
of the mini motor that dwells
within the feline form,
an engine in and of itself.
Enjoy the exquisite dance

Do not pull your
hand away too soon,

lest the beauty of the moment
escapes you.
Let the notes wash over you,
like the immortal jingle of bells
from Christmases past.

BIOGRAPHY: Lisa Pellegrini is a graduate of Beaver College (now Arcadia University) with a Bachelor's degree in English. Her poetry has been published in the anthologies Voices and Whispers, by Iliad Press. In 2005, she wrote and self-published a romantic mystery novel, Kiss the Devil Goodbye, through Borders' Personal Publishing program. She has written and published over 160 short stories and poems on, a collaborative writers' website.

Amit Parmessur - 1 Poem

O Lord Krishna

O dearest, lotus-eyed deity from Mathura,
tonight, the intense fascination I feel for You
is oozing, serenely, into the icy cold fingers
I am about to use to open a fresh window,
onto the cleansed river of eternal happiness.

The new love I have for You is turning
my dust-ridden soul into fragrant sandalwood.
I feel like a carpenter poised to transform
this cruel world into a baby-swing, adorned
with beautiful pearls, jewels, gems and gold.

Tranquillity waltzing in my heart, You move
my melancholic feet above each obstacle and make
me stop, stare and reason my disjointed shadow
reflected onto the bejewelled pillar of my mind.
I feel now priceless, pristine and One.

O Murlimanohar!
Tonight, the intense fascination I feel for You
is oozing serenely into the mellifluous sounds
working wonders on my heart a thousand times,
with Your flawless flute enthralling each pious ear.

You make me dream of sleeping inside
a hollow Banyan leaf, of shining like a hundred
bright moons, of dancing on serpent Kaliya’s hood,
of drawing and painting ravishing rainbows.

The bitterness of the entire world cannot defeat
the sweetness of Your butter if one believes in You,
O Yashoda’s red-lipped infant from Mathura.

BIOGRAPHY: Born in 1983, Amit Parmessur has been published in over 120 literary magazines, like Ann Arbor Review, Salt, Hobo Camp Review, Misfits' Miscellany, Jellyfish Whispers, Kalkion and Red Fez. His book on blog Lord Shiva and other poems has also been published by The Camel Saloon. He was nominated for the Pushcart Award in 2011 for Chinese Chicada Slough and has been nominated for He Thinks He's American for the 2012 Best of the Web Anthology. He lives in Quatre-Bornes, in Mark Twain's paradise island Mauritius, with his black cat and three cute dogs.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Emma Ambos - 1 poem


Fat pigeons coo
            (tenant doves of
French fries)

Kings and lords
of the
                        banana peels
Cold                        coffee grounds

Bard, they’ll tell you
                           your own story

in             melon
peel thrones

they air-dry

            they’ll tell you
your fate


BIOGRAPHY: A poet of cold winter mornings, sunlight of all types and heartbeats that stutter. A lover of sounds and breathing. The dancer alone in the park. When you see her, call her name, call her Emma and she will ask you to dance with her.

Ross Leese - 2 poems

a watched pot

I found

in a wishing

the only 


that worked


the thing with love

is the tireless way
it refuses to leave you alone.

love is a dog that never bores
of chasing a stick

the daughters that rely on you
for everything you have--

the melody that won't stop
swimming around your head

long after you've finished

BIOGRAPHY: Ross Leese is a 32 year old father of 2 girls and feels blessed to have them in his life. Not as blessed as they are to have him, mind.

A.J. Huffman - 1 poem

An Eclectic Torch

My mind is a dump.
will scraps of consciousness
and thoughts
partially discarded as tripe.
Feel their edges.
to fit together.
They are desperate
to build
an image
your eyes can believe in.
But the wind pushing them
is too mild.
They rise and fall.
Just short of complete.
I cannot breathe their belief.
That shade of relief
is too shallow.
So, damaged,
we both roll on.
Blindly bouncing
into and over
every mirror --
broken or otherwise --
to show us the way.

BIOGRAPHY: A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on  She has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals.  Most recently, she has accepted the position as editor for four online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press ( ).  Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at and!/poetess222.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Donal Mahoney - 1 Poem


Listen, Dad,
Mom's dead, but
you can dance
with her again.

She's waiting 
in the sky, behind
a star, humming
to the music.

You and Mom
can waltz around 
the moon forever.
She may even sing

that song you like.
I'll comb your hair,
shine your shoes
and press your old tuxedo.

There's no rush.
You know Mom.
She'd never dance
with anyone but you.

Biography: Donal Mahoney has had work published in The Rainbow Rose and various print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Alan Britt - 1 Poem


Den of inequity rocking waves
of absolute resolution.

A ceramic gull cries,
dirty as a handkerchief
stuffed in the breast pocket
of the deaf wind.

Cries laundered in a gyroscope
of filthy socks and hospital gowns.

Gull, perhaps, or filthy tomcat
scaling the palace walls
via Elizabeth’s placenta-stained nightgown.

Out, out, damned angel of retribution!

The only salvation is the salvation
of nightmares!

Care for a gentle sip?

BIOGRAPHY: Alan Britt read poems at the World Trade Center/Tribute WTC Visitor Center in Manhattan/NYC, April 2012, at the We Are You Project (WeAreYouProject.Org) Wilmer Jennings Gallery, East Village/NYC, April 2012, and at New Jersey City University's Ten Year 9/11 Commemoration in Jersey City, NJ, September 2011. His poem, "September 11, 2001," appeared in International Gallerie: Poetry in Art/Art in Poetry Issue, v13 No.2 (India): 2011. His recent book is Alone with the Terrible Universe (CypressBooks 2011).

John Swain - 1 Poem

Red Calligraphy

The door to the sea
opens under the moon
like the ghost of words
I wrote to reveal
your understanding
of death’s impasse.
There is a distance
of ships like widows
veiled and unveiled
in the process
of a summer woman.
Between our hands
twists a red calligraphy
of apple branches
for each year
we served eternal
to love the way
we were made to rise
from wheat and fire.
I will always live
in your life
looking through
this arterial night.

BIOGRAPHY: John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Crisis Chronicles Press published his most recent chapbook, White Vases.

Diane Webster - 1 Poem


Some mankind built this wall
stone upon stone higher
and farther around the corner
now draped in vines
seeking root between cracks
widening by winter freeze
spring thaw every-expanding
sycamore roots pushing
this wall into forest assimilation
forgotten by some mankind
around the corner gone.

BIOGRAPHY: Diane Webster's challenge as a poet is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday opportunities as well as those moments of epiphany. Then to allow her imagination to evolve that idea into a poem. Diane's work has appeared in “Philadelphia Poets,” “The Hurricane Review,” “Illya's Honey” and other literary magazines.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Stephen Jarrell Williams - 1 Poem


to come,
a beginning new,
this world
with its endless
pain and tears.

Forgiveness singing

in the wind,
a breath of everyone
under stars and sun.

A dream

that has always been,
to come.

BIOGRAPHY: Stephen Jarrell Williams loves to stay up all night and write with lightning bolts until they fizzle down behind the dark horizon.  He is the editor of Dead Snakes at