October 27, 2022

You Are The Windchime / Now I Hold My Magic Near And Dear by Linda M. Crate

you are the windchime 

you haunt me,
lingering in the 
marrow of my bones;
and in the gardens
of my heart and soul
your melody still comes
to me all these moons
and oceans after our last parting,
in pink sunsets and white roses;
and mentions of our old haunts
or movies and shows and songs
we used to watch and experience together
some people part from us,
and we are okay and move on;
but you are the wind chime
always sending chills down my spine
the faerie that refuses to be forgotten.

now i hold my magic near and dear

i am grateful for the
spells autumn has cast
because you no longer
have any control over my heart,
but sometimes your name
still inspires my ire;
but it is more hurt and anger than haunting
would've never cast the dark magic
on anyone hat you did me but i guess that's
why they tell you that not everyone has your
same heart so don't expect them to treat you well,
and so i hold my magic near and dear
to my heart so no one can use it against me again.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian writer born in Pittsburgh raised in the rural town of Conneautville. In addition to writing her favorite things are: nature (especially flowers, trees, and bodies of water), books, music, anime, and crime shows. 

October 25, 2022

Stars by Michael Keshigian

He sought to deny the mystery of stars,
and the vast emptiness
between each blinking lamp,
but what might his mindset be
should these lanterns that delineated paths,
leading to answers so desired,
disappear, leaving dark, empty pages
and the sky’s black ink indecipherable.
The impenetrable shade,
would suffocate a summer’s night
when he might otherwise launch himself
toward the shimmering silver signals
to navigate extended black pastures
and linger to contemplate the many queries
the endlessness inspired.
This quizzical stare at infinity
unnerved him yet oddly instigated hope,
possibility woven amid
these barely perceptible balls of fire
awakening him to a surrealistic
yet contemplative awareness,
immersed in a longing to solve the riddle,
his dull pale pupils, reflecting a desire
to rise from the shadow of himself
into the refreshing breath of night
where chances twinkled
and telegraphed messages
into extended darkness,
as Earth embroidered it all
into comfort and a silent sleep.

Michael Keshigian was recently published in the Comstock Review, Smoky Quartz Anthology, California Quarterly, and Muddy River Review. His latest collections, What To Do With IntangiblesInto The LightDark Edges, are available through Amazon.  He has been nominated 7 times for a Pushcart Prize and 3 times for Best Of The Net. 

October 20, 2022

City Ways by Robert Nisbet

He hadn’t thought to be living in London
in nineteen-sixty-six, still less
to be finding things so exciting.

In recent past, the crowd, the club, Young Farmers,
even, for Heaven’s sake, square dancing.
The brows, the cheeks of the young were ruddied
with bright cold weather and a brawny humour.

Now the sophisticates. He so enjoyed
the bouffancy of petticoat and expectation.
The beehive hairdo’s had a gloss
you wouldn’t get after a morning’s milking.

And last night, leaving the espresso bar,
he’d walked those two girls home.
Young Farmers style, for sure, was one to one,
that was traditional, but these were college girls,
clever girls (they’d been to lectures on Free Love),
so when they asked would he walk them home,
the three of them, it sounded pretty cool.

Both were pale, were pretty, both were flirty, both
seemed to be laughing at him just a little
as he tried to kiss the other one good night.

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has been published widely in Britain and the USA, including regular appearances in San Pedro River Review and Third Wednesday. He is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee. 

October 18, 2022

When Silence Blooms by Martin Willitts Jr.

There are quiet days,
when Emily Dickinson wrote
on scraps of found paper in her delicate cursive,

her pen was soundless with wonder,
her white sleeves wavering with her music,
hesitating only for the right word.

There are days when asters dream —
white bloom whispers, into long dashes —
the quiet hides inside the center.

The secret tentative voice
sews Emily’s poems into booklets,
messages given in the silence.

She keeps tuning the fretwork her heart,
the act of surrender
and it’s bright, sweet-tasting acceptance.

Martin Willitts Jr has 21 full-length collections including the Blue Light Award 2019, “The Temporary World”. His recent books are “Harvest Time” (Deerbrook Editions, 2021), “All Wars Are the Same War” (FutureCycle Press, 2022). His forthcoming book is “Not Only the Extraordinary are Exiting the Dream World (Flowstone Press, 2022).

October 14, 2022

Inside Barn by Diane Webster

From inside the barn sunshine
paints vertical white stripes
between silhouetted planks
of wood nailed into a wall
rising like organ pipes
residing in a church alcove.

Wind whistles through cracks
like a practice melody
until the sun sets
in a curtain-closing darkness
followed by a gasp
as pipes echo in surround sound.

Diane Webster enjoys the challenge of transforming images into words to fit her poems. Her work has appeared in "El Portal," "North Dakota Quarterly," "Eunoia Review" and other literary magazines. She will have a microchap of six poems published by Origami Poems Project later this year.

October 13, 2022

Touché by Keith Hoerner

I forage the forest floor for ways to kill you: Amanita Phalloides or Death Cap Mushrooms, Pokeweed Berries, and Ricinus Communis or Castor Bean. I find all three for a concoction triply sure to cut you down. But a cut in my own hand gives karma an open door. Touché.

Published in 100+ literary journals, Keith Hoerner (BS, MFA) is founding editor of the Webby Award recognized Dribble Drabble Review, as well as a Best Book and American Writing Finalist.

October 11, 2022

This Morning by John Sheirer

Running late again, Jack whispered curses when the driver before him didn’t speed through the yellow light. Jack sighed, then noticed in his rearview a man, gray-bearded, stained-hatted, lift an enormous mug and sip. Morning sunlight on that silly white soup bowl with a handle broke Jack’s annoyance and filled him with an unexpected burst of love (no other word for it), love for mug man, for yellow-light driver, for everyone on the road and at home around this oversaturated planet. But Jack watched for the light to turn green. Love this fragile could be shattered by one mistimed start.

John Sheirer lives in Western Massachusetts and is in his 30th year of teaching at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, Connecticut. His latest book is the award-winning short story collection, Stumbling Through Adulthood: Linked Stories. Find him at JohnSheirer.com.