Saturday, September 24, 2016

Life Ever After by Michael Keshigian

We fill ourselves with memories,
fill our pockets with pictures past,
discard the moment and sketch 
our mindful canvas
with landscapes of happier times,
pin the bulletin board with posters
of portraits to mitigate the ache 
loss has provoked.
After the formalities, 
in the silence of our rooms,
we turn back the clock,
gaze upon the family album
and see ourselves in stages of growth
with those departed.
Time has completed its dutiful task.
We whisper a name then whisper good-bye,
words trail off and dissipate 
in the dark mesh of the unknown,
heard, perhaps, in that other dimension.
We imagine ourselves, many days from now,
visiting that dimension,
those balmy bastions beyond blue,
where loved ones reside
and rise from anointed seats
to complete the reunion.
But for now, time will continue 
to dictate our path
and mend a wounded soul,
as we ponder, the lives we shared
to help their lives remain.

Michael Keshigian’s tenth poetry collection, Beyond was released May, 2015 by Black Poppy Review.  He has been widely published in numerous national and international journals and has appeared as feature writer in over a dozen publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Secret Garden by Lise Colas

patchy--a garden of eden
stalled, soft hollows 
promise nothing of gold captured,
where once lush grass 
coaxed crimson beads from tender flesh,
now a wilderness choked
with the rattle of dead things,
brooded over by man and beast,
appetite bred out of them,
staring ahead,
making us abandon that quest for
a thin seam of rapture
buried deep inside this pasture churned
over, vessels and broken ends
lying side by side in counterfeit bliss
ripped along silk of longing,
returning to that first kiss,
the seed of everything that comes after.
And when the day fades
casting a steepled shadow
over the unrecognisable leaves
and an acorn escapes the rake’s teeth,
coddle it like a small flame,
watch it leap and dance,
then plant it at your feet,
before the head gardener brings
his empty barrow
to take away the tools.

Lise Colas writes short fiction and poetry and lives on the south coast of England. She has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and used to work in the archive of Punch magazine. She has a poetry blog at

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Interior by Ryan Stone

There's a hollow man
who haunts me, a spectre
at my door, watching
from the shadows
as I slip from daytime
layers. Borne on the wild
flowering of my thirteenth spring,
he's a constant invader,
a taker of things
not offered, a betrayer
of all I could have been.

Ryan Stone is a freelance writer from Melbourne, Australia.  He shares his home in the blue Dandenongs with his wife, two young sons and a German Shepherd.  His poetry has recently appeared in Writers' Forum Magazine, Black Poppy Review, Goodreads, Cafe Aphra and an anthology or two. On daily walks through his forest surrounds, he often peers down rabbit holes.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Black Petals by Paul Tristram

The tender
burgundy flesh
once within
this broken rose
has now
husked into
hawthorn & anger.
The dust
from past passion
is choking her
a little more
each day.
With nothing 
to slake 
the thirst of it
but bitter memories.
In a cobwebbed cage
of splintered trust,
and betrayal.
With bars
cruelly constructed
of self-pointing
condemning fingers.
She dangles, alone,
‘No Pardon’
and plans No Escape.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his book ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Unbelief by Linda M. Crate

she held her hands
in a somber prayer
darkness drew nearer soon
her unbelief spelled
itself out into a night without
a moon or star or wisp
of light to cut through the darkness,
and even then in that moment
she felt unprotected;
her faithlessness
for an ugly prayer 
she was denied because she did not
believe the power which she 
the nightmares still came
crawled into every part of her,
and gnawed until there
was nothing left
but dark circles beneath her eyes
and a madness that circumvented the moon
until it swallowed her whole.

Linda M. Crate's poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks the latest of which came out in August 2016: If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications). She is also the author of the fantasy novels branded as the Magic series. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Taint of Pity by Ken Allan Dronsfield

dark dreams of tomorrow live within your today.
cascading in colorless opaque luminescence
tree of deformity within wispy flowing grasses
whilst ravens on the wing disappear in a haze
lucent clouded skies of blended silent obscurity
pious scripture camouflaged by a taint of pity
ravenous demons tempt the innocent with lies
as crosses burn brightly in the darkest mind.
the decrepit fantasies reign within hypocrisy
as a flavored sky burns with a grayish pallor.
from my open window I see a world in chaos
I see masses of people unwilling to even live
gentle creatures disappear from brown forests
animals walk on two legs stealing halcyon souls
germs spreading hate, in-cognizant of any love
lazy beg for work as garbage crops are cultivated
the lonesome appear lost from open front windows
whilst even the long since dead are screaming.

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet from Oklahoma. He loves thunderstorms! His published work can be found in reviews, journals, magazines and anthologies throughout the web and in print venues. His poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net for 2016.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Over and Out by Donal Mahoney

Harley turned 70 
the other day 
and died 

riding his motorcycle 
through a pink dawn, 
an old Suzuki 

not a Harley. 
He hit a fireplug 
and soared, 

a missile shot
over the handlebars.
He never made a sound

landed in 
a rose garden
but never knew it. 

Heart attack 
while airborne, 
never felt the thorns. 

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Some of his earliest work can be found at and some of his newer work at