April 27, 2016

Amulet by Sandy Benitez

Maidenhair ferns soft as silk
fan away the scent of fear,
treading quietly upon carpets of moss.  

We are visitors here, 
so proceed shoeless to step inside
this house where stillness reigns.  

Spotted mushrooms shrivel
at the mercy of my gentlest touch. 
Squirrels scamper along the arms

of ancient oaks in search of acorns,
dangling like heavy bronze earrings
on ears shaped as filigreed leaves.

I caress the emerald amulet you gifted 
me in our youth, evoking memories 
enchanted, unrestrained as the forest.

Sandy Benitez is the founding editor of Poppy Road Review, Black Poppy Review, and Flutter Press. She is currently working on her first novel, a horror-fantasy book, The Rosegiver. 

April 26, 2016

In a secret place among the rocks by Ann Howells

              a mound of butterflies stunned
by sudden chill huddle, wings misted damp.

Moss carpets humus-rich forest floors,
vast miniature forests—tiny lives lived out
among virgin timber barely one-inch tall.

Creeper vine and honeysuckle, sun-seekers,
stretch along telephone lines; fern unfurls
between water smoothed stones.

I’d forgotten this, and little locusts springing
like dandelions, topiary kudzu-shapes,
trees so tall, everything green, green, green.

Old settlements and waters labeled long ago
speak the Piscataway tongue: Nanjemoy,
Accokeek, Potomac, Patuxent, Chesapeake.

I remember though the big white house
at the center of the world, kettle simmering,                                   
doors flung wide. 

Ann Howells has edited Illya’s Honey for sixteen years, recently taking it digital: www.IllyasHoney.com and alternating issues with a new co-editor. If interested, check her Amazon page for further information.

April 25, 2016

The Wood Eats Things You Know by Gareth Culshaw

It takes the daylight and sends it to the 
stars above. It eats birds too, coughed
up feathers lie on the edge of things.

Regurgitated meals. Clean white bones
lie like spare car parts. Snowdrops come and go.
Bluebells are rounded up like sheep

then taken in one night. Daffodils
vanish one by one, gulped down by 
something unseen, unknown. 

The wood eats things you know.
I think it's best not to linger there too long
or you may be taken too.

Gareth Culshaw is an aspiring writer who hopes one day to achieve something special with the pen. 

April 21, 2016

Treasure by Bruce Mundhenke

He had a treasure box
He kept in his room,
But few
Could say what was inside.
In it were things
Of value to him,
He collected
During his life.
One day a thief
Took it away,
To find little
Of value inside.
Mere reminders
Of treasure he kept
In his heart,
That no thief ever could find.
Bruce Mundhenke enjoys nature, reading, and writing poetry. He has published poems in several online publications. He lives in Illinois with his wife and their dog and cat.

April 19, 2016

Window at the Abbey by Donal Mahoney

Through the window I see
the sun fire up
for the last time today.
There are jays
in the trees near the meadow,
crows in the grass
I cut with a scythe
early this morning.
Still on my platter
corn from the fields,
scallions, tomatoes,
bell pepper and cheese.
I'll remain at my table
with lemon and tea
and look out on the land
that surrounds me.
The psalms a monk 
gave me this morning
I'll read for an hour
before sleeping. 

Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at  http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html

April 18, 2016

Home Again by Michael Keshigian

Abandoned house, are there 
only spiders and rodents
residing amid your rooms?
I see my distorted image
upon the fogged glass 
of the old storm door,
and feel like a prowler,
appraising the value of items
upon your walls
or tucked in your corners,
when, in truth, I seek
to rekindle precious memories 
and reconstruct pictures
the recent days
have begun to obscure,
events the rain of years
are washing away,
trickling indiscernibly  
through the pitted window 
of my mind’s eye
as I rap my fist
against the glass, 
hoping the ghosts will answer.

Michael Keshigian, from New Hampshire, is a musician, writer, runner  published in numerous national and international journals most recently including Red River Review, Blue Pepper, and Tipton Poetry Journal, appearing as feature writer in over a dozen publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com)