All that is beautiful, deer in the world and meadows, too. There was a bird who flew only once and then no more. Winds that sweep through the channel— the same winds that keep birds airborne— winds which form sandstone sculptures. I know of these winds which form sandstone, that keep birds airborne. The same winds through the channel— winds that sweep, and then no more. Who flew only once? There was a bird and meadows, too. Deer in the world— all that is beautiful.
Carol Louise is a Northern California poet published in many regional poetry journals including SACRAMENTO VOICES, and also in Ohio and Missouri poetry society anthologies, as well as PEEKING CAT issues and anthologies. She is a regular contributor to Medusa’s Kitchen. When not composing poetry she is busy doing Simulated Client Acting work for several local universities.
Rub us! Her pale toes wiggle as he grips each one with proper respect, never slipping a digit between them because those spaces are the mouths of the feet, and he wouldn’t want them to gag. The massages have been guaranteed each evening, once her keys collapse on the counter and her flats are flung off, for two decades bookended by student ramen and osteoarthritis, every squeeze a symbol of solidarity through flu and SlimFast failures and families crumbling like Gondwana. Get the heel! When tension seeps from a knob of bone repeatedly plastered against the steps of Robie Street, she grinds her green eyes into giddy slits and festoons the cramped bedroom with shrieks of relief.
Zigzagging back and forth across the Canadian/US border, Adrian Slonaker works as a copywriter and copy editor. Adrian’s work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in Pangolin Review, Aerodrome, WINK: Writers in the Know and others.
This process of decay quickens, the heart beat comes too close, too close.
You tell me on the phone your patient has died, at last, you heard his final breath, folded his wrinkled hands holding on, not letting go.
Here, paint flakes, doors refuse to shut, windows warp and out through cracked glass pinks and white-rose petals photosynthesise, then fall in shreds.
I remember my son aged three tottering on wet grass tumbling, tumbling, mum… my… wait for me.
Over there the gypsophilia, we call it baby’s breath, will soon overlay the cracked bird-bath and below in garden’s hollow where pool’s absorbing setting light astilbes crest the golden lilies, butterflies wisp over irises and interleafing the surfacing fish those hostas still whisper life-giving secrets.
Julie Sampson is a widely published poet. She edited Lady Mary Chudleigh’s Selected Poems, 2009 (Shearsman). She has two poetry collections: Tessitura, (Shearsman, 2014); and It Was When It Was When It Was (Dempsey and Windle), 2018. She was highly commended in the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, (IDP). Her website is https://www.juliesampson.com/
Kaity has lipstick on her teeth just an imperfection that I don’t mention
there’s a baby faced kid kissing a train wreck stolen on her cheek between total ignorance of the present. Her cough is hoarse and her life is measured in hard years freebase years shoplifting years and time in between jail sentences family interventions and maternal disappointments
& then there’s Brandon I’ll miss him most of all he’s trapped between the death of the sun & the cold vacuum of eternity; trapped like a ship in a bottle talking just to hear his echoes hit the wall
Luke Kuzmish is a new father, recovering addict, and writer from Erie, Pennsylvania where he was a 2018 finalist for Erie County Poet Laureate. His work has been selected for publication by the likes of Beatnik Cowboy, Rigg Welter, Call Me [Brackets], Ink Sweat and Tears, Poets’ Hall Press, Mojave River Review, amongst others. His first full-length collection of poetry, “Little Hollywood,” was published by Alien Buddha Press in 2018.
I long for the high cliff above a battering sea, the long fast drop in slashing winds, the howl of exit quickly made, not cemented into these beds, vacant eyes locked into sharp lights, a mob of IVs jammed into emaciated arms, truth rough handled, contorted by white coated messengers delivering death’s missives, reports of the body’s surrender, until the smell of my own demise is all that remains of once glorious dreams.
Paul Lojeski was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. He attended Oberlin College. His poetry has appeared online and print. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.
Did he kiss you first? What were his hands doing? Were the lights dim or bright? Did he notice one eye is bigger, one tooth slightly longer? Were there splotches? Did your air catch, your chest clutch? Did many freckles dance? How much time was allotted for staring? What scents did he notice? Did he ask, “Have you ever…?” Did he ask, “What are you thinking?” Did he say, “Oh my” and have to look away? Were there any sighs? Any tears, or just a goofy grin? Did he trace curves and whorls, find that tailbone bump? Did he try to polish your nose? Was there much laughter? Any music playing? What was the room doing? What were you thinking then? Did he kiss you first, and if so, what exactly did that mean to you?
Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and the author of four books, most recently the story collection, THIS IS WHY I NEED YOU, out now from Ravenna Press. You can find more of his writing at lenkuntz.blogspot.com
Andrew Dooley is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a BA in English/Creative Writing. He has a self-published collection of poetry titled Shine Walker, and his first published poem titled “flicker”, can be found in Visitant Lit Magazine.
Death was omnipresent in my childhood. It had claimed many dear ones, my dog, but it took Catherine and Heathcliff on the Yorkshire moors to make me ponder over the metaphysical core of such inevitability that most people abhor.
Emily Dickinson drove with Death in a carriage but in an oven Sylvia Plath held her rendezvous. Virginia Woolf embraced it with a pile of stones, and Cathars gladly went into fire to defend their cause.
My own battle with death started when I was seven years old. A fever devoured my brain cells and temperatures soared, but I never felt comfortably numb as in Pink Floyd’s. I only remember crawling on four like a half-anaesthetized worm.
Now I daily think of death as an invisible boat that will ferry me across the mud to the other side of the cosmic road, to a clay-free world, where the light that is cloaked with so much fog will be released from this bundle of bones.
Dr. Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various magazines.
Sooner the wind’s song Passing through the leaves Early in the morning Where the sun lays the heat of its head Against the earth and One might waken To see the earth take shape Within your eyes To be blessed with a thousand names Spoken into creation; Yes, these are the moments Truth is born from, and without them It doesn’t exist.
Jonathan Douglas Dowdle was born in Nashua, NH and has traveled throughout the US; he currently resides in South Carolina. Previous works have appeared or are appearing in: Hobo Camp Review, 322 Review, The Opiate, The Right Place At The Write Time, Blue Hour Review, Whimperbang, After The pause, Midnight Lane Boutique, Visitant, Adelaide, Blue Moon, Bitchin’ Kitsch And The Big Windows Review.
At the backdoor I wear ice skates shiny blue pants with white stripes red socks strapped to each thigh & protective pads.
I kick at the door You are by the wood stove chopping kindling the kitchen smells good of apple pie and I listen to the crackling fire as you tug off my right skate and then the other.
In my head I’m still in the park accelerating speeding past the awkwardly mobile defenseman deking the goalie out of the net & flipping the puck into the top corner.
My father sits at the table reading the Star. He grunts unaware that his life is about to change forever unaware that his life of careful construction will soon come tumbling down.
Before entering the house I knock the snow from my skates. My feet are frozen. I want to sit by the fire and listen to you tell me again how you found that miraculous bunch of 4 leaf clovers in the park
that last summer before you died.
George Anderson grew up in Montreal and migrated to Australia in his early 20s. He has taught English in public schools for over thirty years and is long-term blogger and reviewer of alternative small press books at BOLD MONKEY. Recent or forthcoming chapbooks include Teaching My Computer Irony (Punk Chapbook Series Epic Rites Press), Shark in the Shallows (Analogue Submission Press) and F/wits & Angels (Holy & Intoxicated Publications). https://georgedanderson.blogspot.com.au/