September 29, 2014

Brittany by Byron Beynon

A country of the sea
understanding a coastline of language
with a tangle of coves, pierced rocks,
bays struggling on a day of increasing rain
to survive with a changing atmosphere
as the camellias blossom
beneath an ever-permutating sky.

Armor, Point de Pen-Hir, 
Finistere, Carnac megaliths, 
an identity with the root of names,
moors yellow with words of gorse and sharp
broom, as a headland points
towards the legend of foam-flecked waves,
wine dark at evening, 
moving like summer's blood.

Byron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. Recent work has appeared in the human rights anthology entitled In Protest (The University of London and Keats House Poets).  His most recent collection is The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

September 26, 2014

Watching the Sun Drop by Ricki Mandeville

We come to pass the last half hour of day,
to watch the sun drop down into the sea. 
It is the silence that heals us
here on the high ground above 
the Pacific—not silence really, but
an absence of the usual noises:
              a child shouting to another
         a dog barking      
              something falling
not silence really, but the white noise
of wind off the ocean as it skims our ears,
strips anger from us like silk, 
whisks it inland as a kaleidoscope 
of clouds writes our treaty 
in orange neon across the horizon
then dissipates, leaves a single
              scatter of cirrus to hold
         sun’s last red lip print
               like a tissue.
We come to pass the last half hour of day,
to watch the sun drop down into the sea.
              Did I say we?
         I meant me.

Ricki Mandeville’s poems have recently appeared in Comstock Review, San Pedro River Review, Pea River Journal, Texas Poetry Calendar 2014 & 15, and other journals and anthologies. She is a cofounder and consulting editor of Moon Tide Press and the author of A Thin Strand of Lights (Moon Tide Press). A speaker for various literary events, she lives in Huntington Beach, California.

September 25, 2014

Diminution by Michael Keshigian

On a tree
by a narrow street
upon a bending bough
I perch in a dream
over people in a field
hovering about 
an empty hole
obstructed by a box
with contents
of what use to be me.
Some are sobbing,
most are somber
and few hide
a reluctant obligatory glint.
All see the hyphen 
between random dates
engraved upon granite,
transform my toil
to a trophy abbreviation 
for living.

Michael Keshigian’s ninth poetry book, Dark Edges was recently released this September, 2014 by Flutter Press.  He has been widely published in numerous national and international journals and appeared as feature writer in over a dozen publications with 5 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (

September 24, 2014

Sundown, Fall by Michael Lee Johnson

Fall, everything is turning yellow and golden.
No wind, Indian summer, bright day,
wind charms with Indian enchantment,
last brides marry before first snowfall,
grass growth slows down, retreats,
bushes cut back with chills, retreats,
haven of the winter grows legs, strong,
learns baby steps, pushes itself
up slowly against my patio door, freezes,
and says, “soon, soon, Spring I’ll be there.”
Winter is sweeping up what is left of fall,
making room for shorter day's longer nights.
I hear the echoes of the change of seasons,
till next sundown sunflowers grow.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 8 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  "From Exile to Freedom", several chapbooks of poetry, including "From Which Place the Morning Rises" and "Challenge of Night and Day", and "Chicago Poems".  He also has over 70 poetry videos on YouTube.

September 22, 2014

Velocity by Sally Zakariya

The Indian restaurant
is our choice tonight
good vegetarian fare
that keeps us virtuous

We go there often
the four of us
two of us with canes
all four with bifocals

Over idli and onion naan
and kadai paneer we talk
about the unforgiving
velocity of life

How it rushes seeming
overnight from youth
to age with all its
attendant miseries

Then and now come
into focus as ceiling lights
bright as Gujarati sun flash
on mirrored walls 

Driving home we trade
false sun for a new moon’s
promised cycle of swift

Sally Zakariya’s poems have appeared recently in Boston Literary Magazine, Emerge, Third Wednesday, Evening Street Review, Southern Women’s Review, and Theodate. Her poetry has won prizes from the Poetry Society of Virginia and the Virginia Writers Club. She has published two chapbooks, Insectomania (2013) and Arithmetic and other verses (2011). Sally lives in Arlington, Virginia, and blogs at

September 19, 2014

The Meeting by Tobi Cogswell

Buy me a ticket on the morning ferry,
meet me at the quay. I have just a small bag—
don’t be disappointed. We don’t even know
if we can dance this dance.

Stop at the shop, buy apples, brown bread,
good butter, better coffee. I know you
already have the wine, brought over
from your earlier trip to Barcelona.

I will be wearing a blouse—
the lightest pink of your imagination.
My hair will be damp, face flushed
from anticipation and the crested sea.

Hold me as if I were your lifesaver.
The strength of your arms will write whether
I leave on the next tide, whether the ghosts
of morning breezes ensure we survive.

Tobi Cogswell is a four-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee.  Her sixth and latest chapbook is “Lapses & Absences”, (Blue Horse Press).  Her seventh chapbook, “The Coincidence of Castles”, is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (

September 18, 2014

Mystery House by Richard Schnap

His mind was a mansion
Where stairways led to walls
And doors opened to nothing
With rooms full of lights
That would turn on and off
All by themselves
And he wandered its halls
But always returned
Back where he started
As if in a maze
Whose entrance and exit
Were both the same

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.