Thursday, May 25, 2017

Salt in the Wound by Linda M. Crate

the weather is grey and mournful
reminding me of you,
and the battle 
behind those grey eyes;
dead to the demons that claimed you
before your time—
i wish, uncle, you had known that you
were loved,
and i still have your last letter encouraging me
to follow my dreams;
it's your advice that i follow sometimes
rather than my mother's 
because i feel as if you truly understood 
my heart—
it's hard to let go because grief isn't ever
vanquished only buried until the wound opens
again and the salt is thrown in
making it worse than before.

Linda M. Crate's works have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of the novels in the Magic Series and the forthcoming Phoenix Tears. She has always found beauty and depth in things that both know light and darkness.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Lock of Victorian Hair by Jeff Bagato

go over the window, follow the voices
into morning—an ectoplasmic
cool shivers you and it’s only natural
that you should regret living—
you’re little, young with hair fresh
and it’s never too late to be flying,
for the pillows to feel so heavy

your long dreams have told
you what to do and how
it would go once they touched
your hand

you have only to see the tops
of the trees which you had not
seen before—and it wasn’t
angels that most amazed
you but the thought of somehow
now living this way—always
in flight, always airy—

with sickness became normal,
a special case
allowed to see

A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music, glitch video, sticker art, and pop surrealism paintings. Some of his poetry has appeared in Empty Mirror, Futures Trading, In Between Hangovers, Otoliths, Your One Phone Call, and Zoomoozophone Review. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), Cthulhu Limericks (poetry), The Toothpick Fairy (fiction), and Dishwasher on Mars (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at

Monday, May 22, 2017

Turning Off The Night by Martin Willitts Jr.

Every minute, every object reminds me of you. 
I am afraid of breaking through light, 
not seeing more life, not knowing more of you.

In shadows, there is a dome-shaped old clock, 
broken, not working, useless as sleep. 
It has a small drawer. Inside is a key not winding 
or unwinding time, frozen and absent in the Forever.

It is on the desk your grandfather built, lathed designs, 
rounding edges, making pieces fit without nails.
I’d like to think I use the same love and craftsmanship 
when I tell you I love you, hoping it’s enough.

I try smoothing the edges of shadows where light is 
hidden and aching. The stillness of the night 
paces with me. I am already impatient for more time,
more of you and less of the absence of sound.

Time is never still. Not even if a clock stops, 
only right twice a day — time is endless —
someone is always sanding the rough edges.
I keep checking on you before turning off the night.

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". He's been nominated for 20 Pushcarts and 15 Best of the Net awards. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Drift of Grief by Michael Keshigian

Her tears fell softly,
rose petals
floating aimlessly
in a granite garden,
sorrow that searches
for relief.
Her breath releases
unsustainable lament,
a vapor cloud
in the field of stones,
kindling fond remembrances 
of frolic in rainstorms
and snowmen born
from flakes
that streamed from the skies.
She will not touch the box
nor place a flower
upon its crown,
afraid it might crumble,
afraid she might see him
handsome yet sad,
like the dream they had.

Michael Keshigian from New Hampshire, 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 recently including The California Quarterly, Red River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Aji Magazine and has appeared as feature writer in over a twenty publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Lamentations by Robin Goodfellow

I breathe in your lust, as you
stumble from me, a bloody white
dress adorning your snowy frame.

Searching desperately, you call
for me, the pretty voices caressing
your mind. Forgive me, forgive me

you say many times again, as if you’ve
already forgotten yourself. Falling
to the edge of mercy, your nightmares

stare into my hollow eyes,
begging for release, as our vows
slip from your tongue. You reach

for my heart, entwine your
blood-soaked soul in mine, as those
shadows embrace our scarlet guilt.

Consumed, devoured, left for dead
and rotting, a wedding gown for the
fallen, receptions for the wandering.

But that’s fine.

Tasting my poison on you, ambrosia
from my temptations, lust gathering
near us. Say, love, pray for my sins in

our ceremony, in that chapel made of
bones and ash. Evil, I hear you say. And 
I agree.

You are evil.

Robin Goodfellow first became interested in writing when she was three, scribbling all over her parents' walls and imagining herself in old fairytales while walking in her father's garden. Since then, she has published poems in journals such as Danse MacabreFaith, Hope, and Fiction, and Nature Writing

Monday, May 15, 2017

Strange Gifts of Grace by Allison Grayhurst

Unconscious of the spirit within,
born and rising like a flood,
listening full heartedly
to the voice in my blood,
but just hearing it and recording it,
not being it, not absorbing it into
the molecules of that blood.
Born to be a viper under a common person’s hat,
to brave the end
and stay never-too-long on one track.
Born to receive utter grace and have no obstacles,
entering from the outside and keeping that door open,
holding the rope with all my might,
pressing hard against the rocking tide.
Born but never beginning -
like a worm too long in the sun, finding
in a puddle.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three times nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, she has over 1000 poems published in over 410 international journals. She has sixteen published books of poetry, seven collections and nine chapbooks;   

Friday, May 12, 2017

Swan by Natalie Crick

I scrub mouse blood from the floorboards
Imagining ice,
Imagining throats.
The dead stay dead.

A necked Swan
Sits disgraced,
The pale bone poking through, a
Sword rising from a lake
Sharp and still sheathed.
The bone is so white
I could have carved
It from wax,
Soft as bees,
A candle without a flame.

Forever Winter, the sky
Looks cold, pink as a clot
In the mouth
When the lights go out.

Natalie Crick, from the UK, has poetry that has been published or forthcoming in a range of journals and magazines including The Chiron Review, Interpreters House, Ink in Thirds, Rust and Moth, The Penwood Review. This year her poem, 'Sunday School' was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.