August 16, 2018

Taking a Turn on Sunday Afternoon by D.C. Buschmann

We happened upon a cul-de-sac
where Rose of Sharon thrived,
and tomato plants—silent martyrs
staked and caged—disinvited deer.

Needle-laden branches lined
and bowed to sidewalks,
matadors coaxing us
to discover what lay under—

fallen quills turned brown
covered bare earth
like soft, raw silk
on the shaded mound.

No dog barked; no cat sauntered
or rubbed legs pleading for strokes.
Orange fox squirrels 
chattering and scampering 

from tree to tree
a street over, 
neither spoke 
nor appeared here. 

the slightest trill
amplified, reverberating
through treetops 

—a lone soprano singing all the parts.

August 15, 2018

I Am In Love by Rimli Bhattacharya

I am in love with the silver moon
Countless nights I have stayed awake
And have basked in delight of the silvercoin.

I am in love with the silver moon
The half, the quarters and the full
Which shines from the sky giving off the light.

I am in love with the silver moon
Which adornes the sky like a radiant pearl
The rays entering the doors of heaven.

From my desk adjacent to the window
I have watched my confidante
With whom I have shared my joys and sorrows.
I had stringed a necklace of love
For the brilliant spherule of white luster.

Tonight I will stay awake 
For I will walk miles together 
With the one I am in love.

Yes I am in love
I am in love with the silver moon. 

Rimli Bhattacharya is a gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA in supply chain management. Her writing has appeared in several magazines, engineering journals, blogs, and in the anthology Book of Light. She is also a trained classical dancer and is based out of Mumbai, India.

August 14, 2018

Just Because, Bad Heart by Michael Lee Johnson

Just because I am old
do not tumble me dry.
Toss me away with those unused
Wheat pennies, Buffalo nickels, and Mercury dimes
in those pickle jars in the basement.
Do not bleach my dark memories
Salvation Army my clothes
to the poor because I died.
Do not retire me leave me a factory pension
in dust to history alone.
Save my unfinished poems refuse to toss them
into the unpolished alleyways of exile rusty trash barrows
just outside my window, just because I am old.
Do not create more spare images, adverbs
or adjectives than you need to bury me with.
Do not stand over my grave, weep,
pouring a bottle of Old Crow
bourbon whiskey without asking permission
if it can go through your kidney’s first.
When under stone sod I shall rise and go out
in my soft slippers in cold rain
dread no danger, pick yellow daffodils,
learn to spit up echoes of words
bow fiddle me up a northern Spring storm.
Do you bad heart, see in pine box of wood,
just because I got old.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1037 publications, his poems have appeared in 37 countries, he edits, publishes 10 different poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL, nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/and 2 Best of the Net 2017.  

August 13, 2018

Away From You by Linda M. Crate

they say fairy tales
aren't true,
but both you and i know
they are;
you are the wicked stepmother
they always wrote about
except you happened
to be a man and a stepfather—
you took a girl 
starved of love,
and fractured her in the echo
of your nightmares
instead of breaking the cycle of
your pain then demanded respect
she couldn't give you;
don't blame me for rallying all my
birds against you or for your loss of sight
when you only ever tried to rend me
into a world of nightmares
had of enough of your hell so i built my heaven
away from you.

Linda M. Crate's works have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of the Phoenix Tears and five published chapbooks, and a microchap.

August 12, 2018

Two Poems by David Chorlton

January’s Climb

We step around the fluted ruins
of a fallen saguaro,
stop to look at a circling red-tail
braking on the wing,
enjoy the warm wind
that catches on the thorns of a dry
ocotillo, then take a pinch
from a creosote bush
between our fingers to rub
and release the desert smell.

Rocks balance on rocks,
the sunlight turns
needles into orange fur on the pads
of cactus, the trail
rises in a low trajectory
from a gulley
to the crest of the mountain
where it fuses with stone.

From here we can go
only into the mountain,
become part of it
and lie still,
waiting for the moon
to appear in all
its blazing clarity
with a single eye
and open mouth, or else

slip down the way we came,
breathing in the darkness as we go.

Manchester’s Artist

The apple must have scared him
when the artist, in his youth,
painted a still life
that his mother liked
because it looked so real. He never

used that red again
but chose a life alone
composing factories and brick houses
into pictures where light
cast no shadows
and the sky drank smoke from smokestacks.
He put on his stained raincoat

and rode a train to take his holiday
in a city as dreary as his own
so as never to face beauty

that might have ruffled the radical calm
in the centre of his eye.

Manchester's Artist refers to L. S. Lowry

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. His newest book is from The Bitter Oleander Press: Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant.

August 10, 2018

Autumn in the Kitchen by Andy Macleod

I left the French doors open
And autumn came to the kitchen
With dried leaves at the stove
And bees at the window screen

Crisp and curled they blew
Across the kitchen floor
Gathering in the corner
Between the cupboard and the door

Swirling around the chair legs
A promise of change
Collecting in eddies 
Wild, fragile, untamed

And as the leaves collect
In the corners near
So does the autumn of my opinions
Become clear

They too collect drying and dying
On the forest floor of my mind
Rotting and composting
Within the cycles of time

Andy Macleod is a writer, poet and thinker. He is studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Literature and Writing, at Edith Cowan University. He enjoys short story writing and his poems have been published in two non-fiction books. He lives, works and studies in the Southwest of Western Australia.

August 8, 2018

Two Poems by Karen Poppy

The Sea, the Ocean

The sea, the ocean
Is itself, its own
It is also ours.

Gorgeous, mysterious
To us as a mirror
Of what we are:
Water, danger,
Beauty, unknown.

We are the calm, and
We are the destruction.
We are the new, and
We are the primordial.

We are the turquoise blue,
Ranging to the dark depths.

We need lungs to breathe.
Our own bodies seas, oceans.

Slits like gills early on,
In the amniotic sac.

We emerge and seek it again
Our entire lives.
The sea, the ocean.
External, and yet
Our own within.
Its repetition a lullaby.
Our bones it beats

To grains of sand.


I am fire
Swimming through water,
Strokes seared upon
The waves, like words
Tattooed upon the page.

Longing to engage
Within my breath.
That sweet envelopment.

Where internal becomes
Where water reaches up,
Becomes the sky.
My flaming arms.

My red, beating heart.

Karen Poppy came back to writing last year, after an almost 20 year creative silence. Her publications since then can be found on her website: She has recently written her first novel, and is at work on her second novel. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.