Dane Karnick

Commonplace

Beyond the welcome mat
The north living room wall
Is a charred memory

Through its spacious show
Of eviscerated lumber
Still whip-cracking the years

For Las Vegas parents
Who relax on the couch
Next to the blistered wood

Honoring birthdays or
Celebrating school sports
With commemorated smoke

Inhaled around homework
And breathed through seasons
Around chopping potatoes

Since this house embraced fire
Like a young sibling
Snapping at family

 

Bio

Dane Karnick grew up by the Colorado “Rockies” and lives near Seattle.  His poetry has appeared in Poppy Road ReviewEphrastic Review, Bluepepper and is forthcoming in El Portal.  Visit him at www.danekarnick.com.

John Anthony Fingleton

In contrast with shadows

The shadows cannot find you now,
Or pain to tease your soul,
The earth has consummated you in death.
The cold wind that hunted you,
To cut you to the bone;
Has now to turn back upon itself.

I hope the lake retained its stillness?
It did the last time I was there;
When I ran with breaded hands, to feed the swans,
We watched trees reflect a frosted beauty,
As we walked along the grassy knoll,
But we cannot restore the echoes that have gone.

So the shadows still continue,
They even haunt your grave,
But never penetrate beneath the clay,
They cannot speak or trouble you,
Despite of how they try;
Yet are persistent in returning day to day.

 

Bio

John Anthony Fingleton: He was born in Cork City, in the Republic of Ireland.  Poems published in journals and anthologies in Ireland, UK, USA, India and France as well as three plays produced. Poet of the Year (2016) Destiny Poets International Community. Poems read on Irish and American radio as well in Spanish on South American broadcasts. Contributed to four books of poetry for children.  Has poems published in numerous national and international journals, reviews, and anthologies. Poet of the Month (March 2019) Our Poetry Archive.  First solo collection ´Poems from the Shadowlands´ was published in November 2017, which is available on Amazon. Web https://lostvikingpoetryjohnanthonyfingleton.wordpress.com/

Kate Neilson

Waves

It comes in waves – the grief and pain. The loss of our imagined future now forever relegated to the confines of my fantasy world.

The multitude of exploits I was so sure we were destined to share, remain unrealised. The Sunday afternoon walks we won’t do, the unbought gifts, the selfies with my head resting on your shoulder that we won’t take, the unspent Friday nights and Saturday mornings, the weekend trips to the country and holidays abroad we’ll never share, the uneaten restaurant meals and home cooked dinners, the music we won’t listen to together, the unwritten Valentine’s cards, the hands we’ll no longer hold.

There’ll be no more daily text messages with updates of the minutiae of our respective days nor the phone calls with my heart quickening at the sound of your voice, no butterflies at the sight of your face. The cruel ceasing of those Tuesday evenings lying on your sofa with our bodies effortlessly entwined, reminiscing about kissing under the Moroccan stars – oh the stars!

‘We could be great together,’ you said back then. Do you remember that now?

It comes in waves.  

 

Bio

Kate is based in London and has a postgraduate degree in Classical Art and Archaeology. She is currently working on her first novel.

Beverly M. Collins

Oh Dear!

“My feet have hiccups.” she said.
I was not sure I wanted to hold a vision
of that. I didn’t want to contemplate
what feet could choke or Reflux on.
Oh well…

Wait a minute! Where would the stomach of a
foot be located? There I was “thinking” about it.
I tried not to.

She was not seated in my direct line of vision.
So, my imagination went wild. It ran like a 3-year-old
liquored-up on candy.

I grew a tuba-nosed-cartoon vision of hands that could
cough, fingertips with eye balls. A tiny-eared-humpbacked 
droller. Suddenly, she got up and walked pass me
to relieve the cramps in her feet.

Why didn’t she just say, “I have cramps in my feet?”

 

Bio

Beverly M. Collins is the Author of the books, Quiet Observations: Diary thought, Whimsy and Rhyme and Mud in Magic. Her poems have also appeared in California Quarterly, Poetry Speaks! A year of Great Poems and Poets, The Hidden and the Divine Female Voices in Ireland, The Journal of Modern Poetry, Spectrum, The Altadena Poetry Review and many others.

 

In 2012, Collins won a prize from the California State Poetry Society. In 2015, she was nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Best Independent American Poetry for her piece that appears in the Anthology entitled, Rubicon: Words and Art Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis. In 2018 she was “short listed” for the Pangolin Review Poetry Prize for her poem, “Shredded” and also gained her 2nd Pushcart Prize nomination for her poem entitled, “Ice.”

Ann Privateer

Memorial

Seated, listening to music
We hold hands, palm to palm
Fingers intertwined

We become a conduit
Your energy flowing into mine
From this place, this spot

I wonder if you feel it too
But dare not ask or move
Or change this moment. 

 

Bio:
Ann Privateer is a retired teacher who writes poetry, paints, and gardens. Her poems have appeared in Manzanita, 100 Poems of Sacramento, and Tiger Eyes to name a few.

Tracy Houser

Eggshell

If my shell splinters or crackles
Spiderwebs into tiny minuscule pieces
Any further
My contents will emerge
Splatter melt tumble aloft
The rubble that’s left
Memories of me scattered onto the floor

 

Bio

Tracy Houser has written poetry and short stories much of her life and has always dreamed of publishing. She is from Oklahoma and lives in the country with her two young daughters, two dogs (one very special three legged pug) and a crawfish named Cupcake. 

Phil Huffy

Photog 101

Those photos made of receding snow,
back in the day,
with a balky SLR
and in the campus darkroom

were as black and white
as could be artfully expressed,
with crystalline textures
and grass revealed in murky tones,

then briefly exhibited
to the rest of the class,
graded a “B” and taken down
to become long discarded,

and since only the negatives survive,
those are held in attic window light,
revealing little of their promise
but enough for the artist to ponder briefly,

thereafter deciding they should stay
in their current archived location
as a fitting monument
to youthful exploration.

 

Bio

Phil Huffy had a long career doing something else.  Now, he writes all manner of short poems at his kitchen table in upstate New York, USA. His work has appeared in dozens of literary publications.

Edward Lee

Precipice

Making love
for the first time
we lost the ability to speak,
grunts and groans
guiding us
as we explored
this new language of the body,
bringing each other to the precipice
of ourselves,
before, sated, falling over,
the wet ground rising eagerly
to meet us.

 

Bio

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.


He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.


His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

Ahmad Al-Khatat

The Invisible Spirit

The night is long, long as
the stars are falling apart
and so my tears are the
rain on the child cheeks
I thought that love would
make us lucky, and happy
until I realized that one of us
must pretend that I’m dead
Trust was the most beautiful
word we have had in our talks
sadly, it was replaced with a
betrayal and dangerous faith
The invisible spirit forgot to
teach me how to die without
weapon, nor a case of twelve
beers, yet the night is still long

 
Bio

Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.