September 25, 2017

Two Poems by Steve Klepetar

The Green Lighthouse

Bright morning, a few cars crunch up a gravel road. 
Behind the green lighthouse, a white sail and the bubbly 
wake of a powerboat skimming parallel to shore. 
Blue sky, blue sea breathing as summer slowly slips away. 
At night, the moon, almost full now, near the month’s 
middle days, shimmers in long, pearl-white streaks, 
and night birds call from the edges of town. 
Ghost time now in shadows behind the moving lamp 
and in deep notes of warning moans. I have come 
to meet you again, to watch you rise through seaweed 
and muck, your empty sockets deep and long as tunnels 
to another world. They tell me you have migrated 
far away, tossed your passport on ocean’s salty skin, 
but here you are, arms full of weeds and shells. 
When the wind blows, your shape flutters and shifts, 
dragging over rocks. Your body is bereft of bones and blood. 
You have no muscles, no skin. You float silently, more 
felt than seen – cold fingertips along my neck, and a wordless 
pressure against my ears. On this cool night, I would lay you 
to rest as darkness swallows the land and the ancient sea.

When He Returns

There he is again, trailing behind 
in the sand, green eyes floating 
in his wide, round face. Maybe 
he’s talking on the phone to an 
old friend in a country far away, 
or maybe he’s muttering to the wind. 
It’s never so clear when he returns 
as summer climbs into the sky, 
and his white hair burns. I wanted 
to show him a book I wrote, but 
I know better than to look directly 
into his face, which will shimmer 
and be gone. If I leave some pages 
torn out in the garden, where his 
berry bush has grown tall and green, 
he may find some words to understand, 
though likely he will smile and shake 
his head. Already he looks like smoke, 
and his gentle hands glide through their 
farewell as if they would never touch the earth.

Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has appeared widely in the U.S. and abroad, and has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Three new collections have appeared in 2017: “A Landscape in Hell;” “Family Reunion;” and “How Fascism Comes to America.”

September 22, 2017

Two Poems by Byron Beynon

The Tree

The tree I planted
twenty years ago
has been felled
along with its shadow.
Birds that paused
on its branches
have melted away.
The wind no longer vibrates,
its notes pass by
with an undulating silence,
a silence that blooms
with the dignity of night,
as its memory reaches
towards the splintered
gleams of the most secret stars.


Frost hardened snow,
a settled whiteness frozen
on inscribed stones
slanting towards light,
the echo and call of rooks
high above a shifting graveyard.
A father empties a pistol,
speeds a bullet
from a morning window.
An addict dreams of the solid
Black Bull.
The skeleton at the foot
of the bed summons
red-haired Branwell
from sleep.
This portrait artist with poems
published in the Halifax Guardian
paints himself out
between Emily and Charlotte,
a crowding which disturbed
the luxury of balance
transient in the Haworth air.

Byron Beynon's work has appeared in several publications including Poppy Road Review, Agenda, Santa Fe Literary Review, Crannog and Poetry Wales. Collections include The Sundial (Flutter Press), Nocturne in Blue (Lapwing Publications) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

Happy Autumn!

September 21, 2017

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing by Linda Imbler

Folks wearing somber colored clothes
with somber faces,
To be elsewhere.
Unease curls around them like the mist rising from
Between the stones
Through which they navigate,
Cold, still, silent cairns, under which
Perhaps some other lonely, rejected outcasts now lie.
Those left howling
By others too busy
To hear the deep hurt endured with each passing friendless day.
Now they stand,
Dry eyed, dutiful,
They are here because
Even a pretentious display counts.
Appearing atop the nearby hill,
One lone Wolf,
He throws back his head and cries.
At once he stills,
Lowers his head,
With the grim lowering of what
Will not return.

Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.”  Her work has appeared in numerous journals. Linda’s creative process and a current, complete listing of sites which have or will publish her work can be found  at This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player lives in Wichita, Kansas.

September 19, 2017

The Singing Stone by Bradley Thomas

In a flowing brook bed 
Water rushed over 
A large smooth black stone 
Embedded above the other smaller ones 

You could hear the water 
Gently breaking against it 
The trees spoke in the wind 
Amid the dusk sun bathed flowers 

In the evening light 
The song of the stone remains the same 
A treasured memory 
Of a calm fall evening

Bradley Thomas was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received his B.A. degree from Georgia State University in Business Administration. He was an inspections manager for the government of Fulton County, Georgia. On the weekends, he played electric bass for a top forties cover band and he currently plays electric bass for his church. He is the author of the book Conversations and the chapbook The Breath of the Land. Thomas’s poems have appeared in Rattle, the poetry anthology books Whispers of Inspiration, The Colors of Life, and online e-zines such as Poppy Road Review, Your Daily Poem,, and Black Hills Audubon Society.

September 18, 2017

Sonnet: Midsummer by Martin Willitts Jr.

Not since the rain wavered over our garden 
has anyone noticed the small violets 
or weeded the grass between the onions 
whose green tests for rain like fingertips.
No one noticed the birds blanketing the sky 
never singing. We never saw the switchgrass, 
although it was in every field. 
It was late; the trillium was over.

Midsummer is limping along, suppressing an urge 
to laugh high degrees of sweltering heat.
The hidden is meant to be left alone.
The secret vocabulary of rain is dark inside, 
vicious clouds. The fields praise rain. 
Birds distribute seeds across endless acres.

Martin Willitts Jr has over 20 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, “The Wire Fence Holding Back the World” (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including “Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed” (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and “Three Ages of Women” (Deerbrook Editions, 2017).

September 14, 2017

Alexandra David-Neel by Michael Lee Johnson

She edits her life from a room made dark
against a desert dropping summer sun.
A daring travelling Parisian adventurer
ultimate princess turning toad with age-
snow drops of white in her hair, tiny fingers
thumb joints osteoarthritis
corrects proofs at 100, pours whiskey,
pours over what she wrote
scribbles notes directed to the future, 
applies for a new passport.
With this mount of macular degeneration,
near, monster of writers' approach.
She wears no spectacles.
Her mind teeters between Himalayas,
distant Gobi Desert, but subjectively warm.
Running reason through her head for a living,
yet dancing with the youthful word of Cinderella,
she plunges deeper near death into Tibetan mysticism,
trekking across snow covered mountains to Lhasa, Tibet.
Nighttime rest, sleepy face, peeking out that window crack
into the nest, those quiet villages below
tasting the reality beyond all her years'
vastness of dreams.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson has been published in more than 989 publications, his poems have appeared in 33 countries; he edits and publishes 10 different poetry sites.  He has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 and 2 nominations for Best of the Net 2016 and 2017.