May 19, 2017

Silent Beauty by Bradley Thomas

Raindrops shimmer on the rose bush leaves
In the evening as the summer sun
Gently falls behind the clouds
The first rose of spring sheds its bloom
After the midsummer afternoon rain
As many more unopened rose buds 
Wait their turn to blossom in their season
Silent beauty waves in the breeze
Amid the ordinary and the useful in the garden
The chaotic and bustling life in the town
The world still keeps to its own
Leaving silent beauty alone
To have a place to dwell on earth

Bradley Thomas was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He received a B.A. for Georgia State University in Business Administration.  He was an inspections manager for the government of Fulton County, Georgia.  Bradley’s poems have appeared in the poem anthology book Whispers of Inspiration and on online e-zines such as, Your Daily Poem, and Poppy Road Review.  He is the author of the poetry books ‘The Breath of the Land’ and ‘Conversations’.

May 17, 2017

Caged Bird by Linda M. Crate

she is beautiful,
but they don't see her as a person
rather some fairy-tale
i can see the loneliness in her eyes
begging someone to smash
the beauty so someone can see her 
to them she is some conquest
or object to be placed in a tower,
but not a living and breathing being with 
thoughts and dreams of her own;
suddenly there's a hand on her arm indicating
that she's lingered too long
rapunzel leaves with the prince
but neither of them look happy
the princess and the prince poised on the very
steeple of despair.

Linda M. Crate's works have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of the novels in the Magic Series and the forthcoming Phoenix Tears. She has always found beauty and depth in things that both know light and darkness.

May 15, 2017

Rain Crow by Bruce Mundhenke

She sits on a  nest
In a small tree,
Unmoving; except for a sometime
Blink of an eye.
Her whole purpose now
Is to ensure that the eggs beneath her
Will bring forth more of her kind.
My dad told me he called doves rain crows,
Whenever he was a small boy,
Maybe he thought their sad song
Brought the rain
That kept him from playing outside,
But the rain crow I'm watching is silent,
She won't sing for quite some time,
But after her babies
Fly from the nest,
Whenever I hear her rain song again,
It will probably cause me to smile.

Bruce Mundhenke has worked as a laborer and a registered nurse. He enjoys nature and reading and writing poetry. He lives in Illinois with his wife and their dog and cat.

May 12, 2017

Self Portrait by Ken Craft

There are black bruises on the eggplant
I meant to eat last week.
They mar its purple sheen.

On the top shelf of the fridge,
the Tuscan kale wilts. Flaccid frills
gracing the glass of good intentions.

The foliage on the treadmill in my bedroom
is muscle shirts draped Dali-esque,
a garden smelling of newness, rubber, time.

Along the baseboard, a motley police
line-up: dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls.
The faces of guilt.

Ken Craft is a teacher and a writer living west of Boston. His poems have appeared in The Writer's Almanac, Verse Daily, Plainsong, Gray's Sporting Journal, Off the Coast, Spillway, Slant, Angle Journal of Poetry, The High Window, and numerous other journals and e-zines. The Indifferent World, his first poetry collection, was released in 2016 by Future Cycle Press. His second collection will be released by Kelsay Books in December. You can visit him on the web at

May 11, 2017

Essence by Robert Beveridge

“Roulé dans tes senteurs, belle terre tourneuse...”--Jules Supervielle, “La Sphère”

It is with you, and since
I have begun smoking again,
the world is full of smells.
Lavender along the office road
heralds June, thrusts arched swords
of flowers overhead. The lake
where we sit embraced smells fresh
the air cleared by summer rain.
Sandalwood and jasmine in your hair
as it falls across my eyes
when you bend down to kiss me, the bite
of chardonnay beneath your breath
sharp on your tongue, and then on mine.
My nose, asleep all these years
approves and asks for more.

Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Survision, Loud Zoo, and Ghostlight, among others.

May 10, 2017

Woman Weighing Pearls by Byron Beynon

after the painting by Jan Vermeer (1632-1675)

He begins with a blank canvas,
like a page waiting
for the poem whose words
will weigh on the heart's judgement.
The pearls flourish,
as she gazes gently
on scales that will give
her possessions and those empty
hours when sleep is hard to find.
The escape of light from a window,
unrehearsed shades
that bring concerns of an unstoppable future.
Her clothes are rich,
but how will she occupy
her thoughts during an uncertain age?

Byron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including Poppy Road Review, Red Savina Review, Poetry Pacific, Written River, The Yellow Nib, Plainsongs and Chiron Review. Collections include The Sundial (Flutter Press), The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions) and Human Shores (Lapwing Publications).

May 8, 2017

Until the Cattails Sway by David Spicer

What’s your favorite fruit?
Victoria asked. The japonica 
when I wear a kimono in my 
bedroom above the courtyard, 
I said. Now, when I taste my 
first bite, I hear moths murmur 
to her dances, dream of the cemetery 
under the moon and watch headstones 
tease their namesakes in the ground. 
Caisson horses wait while she 
struggles each night. Where to now,
I ask? Chemo’s teased her long 
enough as she wheezes its promises, 
and I may as well listen to Procol 
Harum sing Christmas music 
than watch her grip the bed rail.
Or remember that nobody escapes 
the mausoleum after unlocking
the mansion’s door. Now, with no 
japonicas to remind me how much 
she aches, even as I watch butterflies 
and geese share the sky, I pray I’ll 
never surrender until the cattails 
sway, telling me she’s free.

David Spicer, the author of one full-length collection and four chapbooks and the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, lives in Memphis with his wife and two Maine Coon cats. He likes to binge watch crime shows, listen to singer-songwriters, and obsess about poems.