Friday, August 18, 2017

Tangled in Briars by David Gross

Rusty, shuffling locomotive winter.
Killing cold mousing through cracks.
Snow smudged gray by end of day,
night starless as mine shafts.

Powdery coal-dust blown beneath doors,
settling in attics, baby beds.

Stovepipe blushing red before sleep.
Dreamt all winter of blackberries,
shivering windows icing overnight.

That spring my sister died.
Never went berry-picking again.

David Gross lives in the 'greater Appalachian' hills of southern Illinois. His most recent chapbook is Little Egypt (Flutter Press, 2017). He has recent work in, Algebra of Owls (U.K.), Lilliput Review, tiny words, and Wild Plum.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Beware by Zvi A. Sesling

The house on Highland 
is dark tonight 
no lights 
the clapboard siding is black 
no sounds 
leaves on the oak tree droop 
overgrown bushes hide the door 
grass has turned brown 
squirrels avoid the grounds 
birds fly around it 
people cross the street to get away 
there are stories about it 
there are rumors 
the air seems thicker there 
even police patrols do not stop 
there is no rising sun 
on this house

Zvi A. Sesling, Poet Laureate of Brookline, MA is a prize winning poet. He edits Muddy River Poetry Review Zvi is author of two books of poetry and two poetry chapbooks. His next book, The Lynching of Leo Frank, is due out in September.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sonnet: I Did Not Want to Be the One to Say It’s Over by Martin Willitts Jr.

I paddled out on a lake of music.
The rain was speechless,
pretending to be mute, at loss
for words, momentarily, but really
it was mostly pinpricks of rain,
easily ignored. The rain was spread thin.
The rain took time pacing the shore
line in contemplation.

I had eased the canoe onto the creek bed.
I had returned empty-handed.
There was dampness in my bones.
I had no thought of the future,
what it might bring. I was waterlogged,
dripping music, an unhurried waltz.

Martin Willitts Jr won the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest; Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2015Editor’s ChoiceRattle Ekphrastic Challenge, Artist’s Choice, November 2016, and a Central New York Individual Artist Award for "Poetry On The Bus". 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Avenues by Dennis Villelmi

Dangerous setting-
The avenues have departed.
Long since has it been when mother
Last closed her music box. 
In fact, I was but a boy of seven then;
Now, I'm a man haunted by a boy's half-dream:
The Minotaur among the honeysuckle,
Under a Minoan summer sun soon to be 
Honored with the blood of so many boys
Grown to soldiers.

For them, the avenues have departed;
There is no escape...
From Crete to Normandy and on to Basra-
The music box is only opened in a dead 
Boy's ears. 


* ("Avenues" first appeared on Dagda Publishing's poetry blog 
on May 1, 2013.) 

Dennis Villelmi is co-editor and interviewer for the dystopian webzine "The Bees Are Dead."  Aside from editing the poems of other writers, Mr. Villelmi has had much of his own work published on various online sites.  He resides in Virginia. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

White Horizon by Yuan Changming

At the same height of 
            Every rocky mountain
            Above all seasonal change
The snowline is wildly drawn

As if cut open to bite a whole patch 
Of sky from heaven
With rows of rows of 
Whale-like teeth

Yuan Changming, nine-time Pushcart nominee, published monographs on translation before moving out of China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best of Best Canadian Poetry (10th anniv. ed.), BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1319 across 40 countries.   

Monday, August 7, 2017

To A Crow by Michael Keshigian

Your perch upon
the high white pines
dizzies rooftops
which stare at your nest,
nestled on a branch, 
camouflaged by fir,
green curtains closed about you
and blue sky behind 
completes your d├ęcor.
The sun illuminates
your airy boudoir,
the gusty wind
delights lofty humidity,
as you sit alone in luxury
and the rare lightness
of a fluttering disposition.
Prince of altitude,
heaven and whispering clouds
become your attire,
and when you visit,
red roses, white birch,
and colorful phlox 
bloom in your park.
You are night,
passing through day,
the avian ambassador
to the wingless,
ruling the ancient court
beyond living
hidden above our heads,
we whisper in response
to your flagrant call.

Michael Keshigian had his twelfth poetry collection, Into The Light, released in April, 2017 by Flutter Press  ( He has been published in numerous national and international journals including Oyez Review, Red River Review, Sierra Nevada College Review, Oklahoma Review, Chiron Review and has appeared as feature writer in over a twenty publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sculler Under the Bridge of Sighs by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Cursed cup of rotten eggs and lime
concoction of evil steeping in dreams
listen for the whispers of the sinister
whilst feeding on the souls of children.
Bodies adrift under the bridge of sighs
the servient Sculler guides them home
his oars of wood carved from the cross
inglorious thoughts of a heaven or hell.
The sculler plies under the great bridge
waiting patiently for a new fare to arrive. 

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who was nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016.  He loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cats Willa, Hemi and Turbo. Ken's new book, "The Cellaring", a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through