Rickey Rivers Jr

Old Hair

Have you ever seen what old hair looks like?
It looks…the same.

Your left behind hair reminds me.
It tortures me.
It is always around, even after I’ve cleaned everywhere.
Days later, I always rediscover.
I’m always finding follicles.
It is painful to discover them.

Might you be purposely committing crimes, breaking and re-entering my heart?
Oh, I do consider these thoughts.


Bio

Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Alabama. He is a writer and cancer survivor. His stories and poems have appeared in various publications and are forthcoming in Picaroon Poetry, Dodging the Rain, Elephants Never, Neon Mariposa (among other publications). Twitter.com/storiesyoumighthttps://storiesyoumightlike.wordpress.com/

John Son

The Tea House

Let’s take things lightly.
The lyric nailed to the door –
softly the crystals falling on seventeenth street
do their dance and die and are gone.
Why not.
Our days can be Broadway singalongs.

The airy snap of refrigerated chocolate,
the gossiping of earl grey.
Step outside for a minute, let’s not
leave the discussion open-ended.

“It all works itself out in the end, darling.”
Talks of dusty country roads and dead wives’ poetry.
Regard the petunias and lemongrass,
the sun’s reflection deep in the duck pond
and such else.
It’s all a matter of belonging.

The top shelf is strictly a weekend pursuit.
Little straight-legged jumps
to reach the sugar packet.
Self-preservation is a gift granted unto oneself
as soon as one walks in through the door.

The teacups are a metaphor.
“If only they were so lucky.”

By five we have slithered onto the carpet,
arms outstretched, glasses upright.
“There’s just no civility these days.”

A quiet hour.
Observe her taking a grape,
squashing it between her thumb and finger.
Watch the juice as it runs down her hand,
her wrist, her pudgy forearm.


Bio

John Son is a student from London, currently based in Winchester, Hampshire. He has almost finished studying his degree in Creative Writing, and worries greatly about what the future holds. His poetry has previously appeared in the online journal Snapdragon, as well as the Splendid Fred Lung Party series of podcasts.

James G. Piatt

Images on a Late Winter Afternoon

I imagine I hear people in picture frames
Whispering secrets across the room,

I watch Redheaded woodpeckers startling
Timid sparrows near the bird feeder,

I see shadows from sycamore trees casting odd
Visions of past winters on rooftops,

I observe pairs of Red Shouldered Hawks soaring
High in the heavens unrestricted by earthly wiles,

I close my eyes and see brief images of a spring day
As winter’s visions fade into eternity.

And my mind is forming new visions of red and
Yellow roses in the herb garden for spring.


Bio

James G. Piatt, a retired professor and octogenarian, has had three collections of poetry, The Silent Pond, Ancient Rhythms, and Light, over 1,155 poems, four novels, and 35 short stories published. His poems have been nominated multiple times for pushcart and best of web awards. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

Kathryn Atwood

Wind sharp as a switchblade raged in from the north,
tried to loosen locks, break windows, and cut through coats.
But it found few victims among the wise and wary
(and was miffed by all the water pitched in its face)
So it left in a huff, smacking streets with a flood.


Bio

Kathryn Atwood is the author of multiple young adult nonfiction books and writes poetry when something inspires her.

Ifeoluwa Ayandele

Self-Portrait of a Mirror

Before me, a lady runs a comb
through her hair, a bun of beauty;
she draws closer to me

& I, too, draw closer to her face.
She stretches her knuckle to kick her
face off my face:

like a pothole, she cracks my face &
blood punctuates her knuckle. Through
my bruised face, I see how her face is

a pair of glasses shattering into tiny
tissue papers on her bathroom floor &
those tissues, too, stir at my face.


Bio

Ifeoluwa Ayandele studied English at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His poetry has appeared in Burning House Press, Neologism Poetry Journal, Kin Poetry Journal, Kalahari Review, Tuck Magazine, Brittle Paper, and elsewhere. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria and tweets @IAyandele.

Amirah Al- Wassif

A Courage Woman Boil The Bananas

a courage woman boil the bananas
and watches her people on Haiti mountain
run away behind her dream
with curly hair and hidden pain
she bribes the sun with her smile
to dissolve the hot and murmured
” Amen”

a courage woman boil the bananas
and never experienced its taste
always surrounded with tents and hungrier
much secrets there, in her chest
counting the footsteps in the sand
reveals how many persons are lost!

the Haiti girl plants the corn with her father on the highest
she tides his body with the robes, she trying her best
and to make our life better
what should we do?
if we through our ages truly suffer
if all our times were blue?

a courage woman boil the bananas
and touches her baby skin
” Work…Work” a sound around cries in the space said by men

she tore the tent with a huge passion
she never understands what a mean of station
where everybody needs to dream, to travel
but there isn’t her reality level

a courage woman boil the bananas
and watches her people on Haiti mountain
run away behind her dream
with curly hair and hidden pain
she bribes the sun with her smile
to dissolve the hot and murmured
” Amen”


Bio

Amirah Al Wassif is a freelance writer(28) years old, from Egypt. She has written articles, novels, short stories poems and songs. Five of her books were written in Arabic and many of her English works have been published in various cultural magazines. Amirah is passionate about producing literary works for children, teens and adults which represent cultures from around the world. Her first book was published in 2014 and her latest illustrated book, The Cocoa Book and Other Stories is forthcoming.

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.