Friday, April 28, 2017

Lost Soul by Amanda Faye

It wanders from room to room
Confined like a dog on a chain
Or a ship anchored to the shore

It hasn’t been male or female
In centuries. The mirror’s reflection
Magic has ceased working

Calls for attention, to descendants
Who weren’t taught its name,
All fail, echoes in an endless hall

Countless cups and chairs have moved
Switching places without human touch
Whispers at night are nothing but the wind

It sits in its old room after dark 
Watching its great-great granddaughter
As her chest rises and falls under the sheets

Suddenly, she shoots up, her eyes
Wide, pupils huge as they adjust to the blackness
And it yearns to speak when she whimpers
“Is someone there?” 

Amanda Faye is a writer, life-long reader, and aspiring librarian from New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in Fickle Muses and will appear in the Summer 2017 issue of Illumen.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

As Dead as Last Winter by Paul Tristram

It is cube-shaped.
She can feel the sharp corners
digging into her
under her chest bone,
whenever she shudders
or sighs heavily.
Definitely glass,
the suction of her flesh and muscle
sliding and sticking
to its cold, sterile sides
gives this away.
A square ‘Snow Globe’, if you will,
but, when shook
it produces hundreds of tears
instead of a Christmas scene.
There is a little figurine inside,
the exact replica of herself,
face distorted and frozen
into a soundless scream.
Abandoned, wounded, lost
and staring despairingly
at his slowly disappearing footsteps…
leaving her forever as dead as last Winter.

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)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cemetery Silence by Michael Keshigian

He stood in front of the headstone
marking his father’s grave
under a maple tree
that shaded the parcel
reserved for his mother.
“I found that twenty
you sent me,” he whispered,
“found it in the leaves
next to the curb during my run
the day after
we moved you here.
In disbelief, I asked for a sign
and you dropped a twenty on me
along the curbstone on my route.
I knew it was you,
all the serial numbers 
matched your birth and departure dates,
never mind the letters, all T, S, & K.”
He concluded the one-sided conversation,
hoping for another sign,
but all that followed was a long silence,
one that encompassed all the gravestones
and the rows of dead they marked.
He kneeled, got closer to the granite slab,
pressed an ear against it
as if to block the deafening quiet
that enveloped his surroundings.
Still nothing, cemetery silence,
the most disarming silence of all,
so silent, he could hear the still air breathe.

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 twenty publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Alice Bent Over by Donal Mahoney

A gathering of elders
from the local rest home
is out for a walk after dusk

on canes and walkers 
admiring roses and lilies 
and a pond of rainbow koi 

except for Alice trailing 
without cane or walker 
whose head is bent over   

at the neck so she sees
nothing but ants 
scurrying around her.

Alice is the letter “L” 
upside down forever. 
She will never see the sun

light up the sky or the stars 
glow in the night or the halo 
of moonlight falling around her.

Donal Mahoney has had work published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at

Monday, April 17, 2017

Penance by Daginne Aignend

She wakes up in a dewy meadow
covered with pearl sprinkled poppies and daisies.
Her head feels like the time
she had too much blackberry wine
at the Harvest Fest last summer.
Dazed, she looks around, surprised,
wondering how she got here.

Her memories slowly start to seep
back into her numbed mind,
as she recalls...
She fled out of the house when
her father had one of his
temper tantrums and harassed mom.
She had begged him to leave mom alone
which made him even more furious.
In a blind rage, he went after her instead and
chased her through the fields.

A shadow of a smile sweeps over
her face when she looks at the
little quiet lake, the rippling wavelets
and remembers…
She made him pay for all the
pain and sorrow he inflicted
over the years.

Finally, the balance is restored.

Daginne Aignend is a pseudonym for the Dutch poetess Inge Wesdijk. She likes hard rock music, photography and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals. Daginne started to write English poetry five years ago and posted some of her poems on her Facebook page and on her fun project website She's the co-editor of Degenerated Literature, an edgy and dark Poetry and Flash Fiction Ezine.  She's been published in several Poetry Review Magazines with a pending publication at the Contemporary Poet's Group anthology 'Dandelion in a Vase of Roses'.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Children in the Sky by Michael Lee Johnson

There is a full moon,
distant in this sky tonight, 

Gray planets planted
on an aging white, face.

Children, living and dead,
love the moon with small hearts.

Those in heaven already take gold thread,
drop the moon down for us all to see.

Those alive with us, look out their 
bedroom windows tonight,
we smile, then prayers, then sleep.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today, Michael is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry, 2015 and nominated Best of the Net, 2016. Michael is also the administrator of a Facebook poetry group with over 12,500 members:  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Milky Way of Moths by David Gross

Her pale green eye-liner glowed in the dark.
A sargasso sea redhead with a black widow
tattooed on her pale neck, two silver hoops
looped through her left nostril, taking tickets,
righteously stoned, a carnival honeymoon of
maniacal clown laughter, sirens, buzzers,
blood-curdling screams, laser tracers, heavy
metal machine-gun fire litanies of gyp.
She'd been on the street since turning twelve,
landed a graveyard shift at Mickey D's where
she met this guy with a pink mohawk and two
black teardrops inked below his bloodshot eyes,
hovering over humid midwest midways in
small-town fairgrounds that smell of stale beer
and livestock piss, with a clutch of small space
invaders, suspended in shiny fiber-glass saucers,
spinning in a Milky Way of moths, beetles,
and various species of winged insects. Then, on
Saturday night, they pack up their universe
and drive away.

David Gross is the author of five chapbooks, Cup of Moon (Bull Thistle Press, 2000), What We Never Had (tel-let, 2004), Because It Is (tel-let 2005), Pilgrimage (Finishing Line Press, 2009), and Little Egypt (Flutter Press, 2017). His poems and essays have appeared in journals such as Big Muddy, Blue Collar Review, Cape Rock, Common Ground Review, Hummingbird, Kentucky Review, Modern Haiku, Naugatuck River Review and Snowy Egret. He lives with his wife on a small farm in the hills of southern Illinois.