David Anthony Sam

Age of Gold (after Rimbaud “Âge d’or”)

Something very else
above me
in cherubic haze
explains the greenness

of my ten thousand
questions branching
with their
rage and madness–

a gilt sunrise
of recognitions
rising from ice
like daffodil deceit.

Clouds must voice
their gilded silence
in some roiling song
of nimbus deception:

one voice, one clarity,
sister to my breath
but clear in her
philosophy of the unmeant.

Down here I
just get driven
like a screw into wood
or a spade into soil.

Nice castle, I say
to the phantasm
of cloud, as it
unveils immodest glory

in dissipation,
like a drunk
ignored by everyone
in his favored gutter.


Bio

Born in Pennsylvania, David Anthony Sam is the proud grandson of peasant immigrants from Poland and Syria. For most of his life, he lived and worked in the Detroit area, graduating from Eastern Michigan University (BA, MA) and Michigan State (Ph.D.). He lives now in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. Sam’s poetry has appeared in over 80 journals and publications and he has five published collections including Final Inventory, published by Prolific Press in October 2018. Sam’s chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest. His poem, “First and Last,” won the 2018 Rebecca Lard Award by Poetry Quarterly. Sam teaches creative writing at Germanna Community College where he retired as President in 2017. He serves on the Board of the Virginia Poetry Society.

In 2018, his poems were accepted by The Big Windows Review, Blue Unicorn, Burningword Literary Journal, Carbon Culture Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Dime Show Review, Dual Coast Magazine, The Flexible Persona, Fredericksburg Literary and Arts Review, Half Mystic Review, Heron Tree, IO Literary Journal, The Magnolia Review. The Mystic Blue Review, The Pangolin Review, Parenthesis Journal, Peach Tree Tavern, Peeking Cat Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Red Queen Literary Magazine, Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, Two Cities Review, The Voices Project, Weary Blues Magazine, and The Write Place at the Write Time.

Angel Edwards

Aftermath

Fall out

He doesn’t say a word

the smile has left his eyes

I grasp at words frantically

Desperate to bridge the chasm between

Sobbing as I try to explain

My unfaithfulness shows

I die inside hating myself

I realize

      He knows

           he knows

           he knows


Bio

Angel Edwards has performed music and poetry around the Vancouver area for the past 30+ years in bands and as a solo artist singer songwriter guitarist poet and owner of “The Angel Edwards Music” publishing company.

Her poetry songs and short stories have been published and performed on online radio stations and on numerous live stages.

Angel’s works have been published in many magazines  and newspapers in Canada,USA,Ireland,England,Serbia Africa

Two poetry books were published in 2018: “Tales in the Dreams Garden”, “Lust Unfiltered By Love” by “Silver Bow Publishing”.

Angel is a member of AFM VMA SOCAN BMI BC Federation of Writers and recent member of League of Canadian Poets.

http://www.reverbnation.com/angeledwards
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/angel-edwards/id282564414

Emmanuel Ojeikhodion

Elegy for a dead home

We no longer live in a world of mortals;
We don’t do things like them again.
Our homes are distinct – arms apart, body-decomposing,
shadows-exhuming.
We’re here; beneath the ground, dug up six feet
at the backyard, sleeping on our cradle bed.
We hear their scuffing feet approaching – hitting the boulder,
clearing the shards of our home.
How we never wished to end up here – a celestial home of infant sorrows.
How we never wished to be pedigrees of a dead home.
We’re sleeping here; our home laid this bed for us.
We are victims of its remains.
We’ll inhale peace here
We’ll tell God our home killed us.


Bio

Emmanuel Ojeikhodion is a Lagos-based Writer who majors in poetry. He writes with a tortured soul. His poems have been published on Praxis magazine. He studies English and Literature at the University of Benin, Southern Nigeria.

Ronnie Sirmans

The Problem With White Sheets

And even, even if we did
opt for plain white sheets
and a white bedspread, they
would not be snow, clouds,
or even meringue dividing us
in the clumping of what gets
shifted in nightly slumber.
Even after all these years,
after we’ve staked our sides,
always the same, on this bed,
countermands of no use now,
we would recognize the white
for what it was: liquid nitrogen
luring us, as if we’re again young,
to touch the diaphanous and burn.

 
Bio

Ronnie Sirmans is an Atlanta journalist whose poetry has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, BlazeVOX, Tar River Poetry, The American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. 

Michael Lee Johnson

Just Because, Bad Heart

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.

Bio

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 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 1062 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, and he edits and publishes ten poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 1 Best of the Net 2018. 178 poetry videos are now on YouTube.  Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses. Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings: the Best in Contemporary Poetry.

Eric Lochridge

Bio

Eric Lochridge is the author of three chapbooks: Born-Again Death WishReal Boy Blues, and Father’s Curse. His poems have appeared in SlipstreamDIAGRAMMojave Heart ReviewHawaii Pacific Review, and many others, as well as anthologies such as WA 129 and Beloved on the Earth. He lives in Bellingham, Washington. Find him on Twitter @ericedits.

Gerard Sarnat

Hunt

Miles away – disguised
Buddha radiates light, almost
levitates – I wake.

Bio

Gerard Sarnat is a physician who’s built and staffed homeless clinics as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. He won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is published in academic-related journals including Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Virginia Commonwealth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan and the University of Edinburgh. Gerry’s writing has also appeared widely including recently in such outlets as A New Ulster, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, Margie, Blue Mountain Review, Danse Macabre, Canary Eco, Military Experience and the Arts, Cliterature, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review and The New York Times. His piece KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY was selected for pamphlet distribution nationwide on Inauguration Day 2016. Amber Of Memory was chosen for the 50th Harvard reunion Dylan symposium. He’s also authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry’s been married since 1969, with three kids plus four grandkids (and more on the way).

Michael H. Brownstein

The Day I Left Chicago

That evening a snapping turtle with attitude joined us on the porch
and, as shadows placed daylight on the back of the shelf, two toads
hopped against the edge of light near the wall.

That was the day I left Chicago,
the day of my wife’s birthday,
the day I drove a moving truck from one home to another.

That morning I walked the green path for the last time,
sat on the bench by the clay carved cliff
and watched a scattering of birds fly against a backdrop of sky and lake.
One sky blue line cut the lake in two,
one white scar connected the clouds.
The sun began to rise, slowly, the sky reddened like eyes too long on a task,
and the clouds framed themselves in a bath of pink.
The purple horizon lightened its skin.
Every bird found a rock or a branch.
We watched together.

Later the truck and I crossed the Mississippi at sunset,
the clouds on fire, the sky, the forest, the river,
and the highway narrowed and I could not turn to watch.

 
Bio

Michael H. Brownstein’s poetry volume, A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else: A Poet’s Journey To The Borderlands Of Dementia, was recently published by Cholla Needles Press (2018).

Jacob Spivey

Left Behind

The rumbling roaring of oil and rubber:
high-viz jackets, building houses for students.
The stinging of smoke in the choke of the town:
the staff outside Greggs on their cigarette break.

Gone are the days of industrial glory;
the factories standing as the loneliest ghosts.
The buildings that once ruled the world:
now a Tesco, a Boots and a Subway.

And the children of men who lived and died
on these factory floors are still there,
selling overpriced sandwiches for minimum wage
in a world that has changed and left them behind.

But beneath the stars on the hill,
Looking out across the Town,
these Tesco’s, Boots and Subways
mirror the heavens with their dazzling lights.

 
Bio

“I am a writer who finds that the more mundane things in life – the things taken for granted – are often the most fascinating and defining. In my writing all I want to do is explore these little bites of inspiration and try to make sense of them all.”

Daun Daemon

When Mama Sang “Mockingbird Hill”

Mama festooned the house
with her singing, draping her trills
and warbles over the furniture
like strands of sun-kissed roses
strewn over a dew-covered hill

She filled my heart with happiness
because she was happy when she sang,
all the world peaceful and still,
brimming with the goodness
of her thrilling mockingbird lilt

Now I wake to birds in the springtime
in the trees near my window sill —
though their songs aren’t as lovely
as the tra-la-la and tweedlee dee dee
of my mother singing her song to me


Bio

Daun Daemon’s stories have appeared in The Dead Mule, Literally Stories, and other journals. She has recently published poetry in TypishlyDime Show Review, Third Wednesday, Synaeresis Arts + Poetry, and other journals. Her poem “I hear her voice calling” won the Origami Poems 2017 Kindness Contest. Daemon teaches at NC State University and lives in Raleigh with her husband and four cats.