Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Beneath a Reaping Moon by Ryan Stone

Halfway up the Hangman’s Hill
or maybe halfway down,
a broken house with empty eyes
stares blankly over town.
Dark deeds of old have taken toll
and none dare visit now
‘cept she and I, beneath a sky
solemn as her vow.
Larunda’s daughter, flaxen haired,
and Mercury’s wild boy
lie close as roman candles dip
and shadows writhe with joy.
Intertwined in sweet repose,
two hearts beat a single drum.
In darkened room, by reaping moon
a spark flicks its frenzied tongue.
Halfway down the Hangman’s Hill
lie broken, charred remains
of devotion, rare, a love laid bare
cleansed in crimson flames.

Ryan Stone is a freelance writer from Melbourne, Australia.  He shares his home in the Dandenong Ranges with his wife, two young sons and a German Shepherd.  A selection of Ryan's poetry, prose, haiku, and flash fiction can be found on his blog -

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Lighthouse by Lynn White

I was a little crazy
to buy the old lighthouse.
I knew it at the time.
But I wanted to be somewhere, 
somewhere where I could shine,
shine it’s lamps out into the vastness,
shine like a beaming beacon.
And it was so high.
It matched my mood and then some.
Higher than high.
Higher than high.

There was no housewarming.
No one came.
There was no one to come.
So, only I could relish the exposure.
Only I could walk round the top 
of the tower and look over the edge
into the dark deep depths.
Only I could see the swimmer,
a mermaid, surely? waving.
Or was she beckoning 
as she approached the mooring.
Only I could come spiraling down.
Come down from the heights 
to open the door,
to run down the steps
to the mooring.

And then the lamps went out.

*First published in With Painted Words October, 2015

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality.

Friday, July 21, 2017

We'll Marry Our Fortunes Together by Jim Zola

It starts with a darkness
you mistake for light.
You search each room
expecting to find more.
Empty glasses, dirty socks,
dog-eared books with broken spines.
I follow you, little shadow,
wanting to kiss
the soles of your feet. 
Tomorrow we will remember
our names. My Abelard
pressed against your Heloise.

Yesterday you traced the river
with a finger, sent it to me.
What am I to do with so much
water. I drink seven cups a day
and search for a bridge
to take you under.

You say wine. I drink
and shout out the window –
come home sweet nothing
You search and in each room
find my wife. She smiles
barefoot, marks her spot
in the book. The story of us.
The room fills with water. 
Drink. Open the window.
I swim to you.

Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook -- The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) -- and a full length poetry collection -- What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Forced to Remember by Linda M. Crate

your eyes are the blue
of forget-me-nots,
and those petals echo
arching their backs catlike into
the sky of azure;
i know you've long since forgotten me,
but there's some ghost of you
refusing to release me—
i want more than anything to bury 
the past,
but you refuse to let me;
always creeping up pouring memories on me
like hot tea thrown upon my lap when i least expect it
causing me to burn in anguish—
it's always the ones that hurt that forget,
and those wounded that are forced to remember.

Linda M. Crate's works have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of the Magic Series and three published chapbooks. She is a Pennsylvanian native who loves nature, art, literature, anime, and spending time with loved ones.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Last Days by Ann Christine Tabaka

An ironing board set up in a bedroom
with old slacks draped across it,
a sliding glass door to nowhere,
this is what life has come to
inside the sheltered rooms of a refuge, 
more like a shrinking womb.
Lost memories piled high in a basket
like last week’s laundry,
while confusion roams the lonely hallways
of blinking fluorescent lights,
being afraid of what is ahead.
These are the rewards for old age.
Time spent inside one’s own mind,
living out past adventures,
while rocking away in a rickety chair,
on the front porch of your last days.

Ann Christine Tabaka was born and lives in Delaware.  She is a published poet, an artist, a chemist, and a personal trainer.  She loves gardening, cooking, and the ocean.  Chris lives with her husband and two cats.  Her poems have been published in numerous national and international poetry journals, reviews, and anthologies. Chris has been selected as the resident Haiku poet for Stanzaic Stylings.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chaplet #7 - Disappearing Darkness by Martin Willitts Jr.

Disappearing Darkness

by Martin Willitts Jr.
Table of Contents: 

1. In Winter
2. Hands Stirring
3. Path in the Woods
4. Sudden Rain
5. Lesson
6. Before You Go
7. October
8. Geese
9. September
10. Maples

Cover photo:

In Winter 

I had to see what made a noise, ping-crunch. 

It was icicles breaking free
from spruce needles
shattering on blackened
where the back roads ended abruptly.

Hands Stirring 

When my hands are never sure what to do,
they circle.

There is a wind trying to learn
all there is in the world.

My hands stir words of seasons, endlessly.
There is stillness that never happens.

If I turn up the volume of silence,
what will you hear?

Path in the Woods 

Close up, this path seems to go nowhere
but I followed it to its illogical conclusion.
I wanted to know if it went anywhere
and when it didn’t I was not surprised.
But wherever I went, it took me there.

Sudden Rain 

  wavering on the windshield

                         heavy pellets
of crystals
                         careening off the car hood

                                      into disappearing darkness

silhouetting                   on wet black road surfaces


when a flower is dying
it drops petals
loss and regret
one petal then

each time
the flower leaves
revealing the truth of life and death 

we all die
we are all forgotten

Before You Go 

Notice this light
filling in the empty spaces.

Notice the tracks in fresh snow.
They are not human, but
they are heading towards home.

Notice, the quiet has stopped here,
facing the cloudless sky,
simple as a room without furniture.

Notice: no one answers when called.

Experiences like this happen
without even trying, and then,
night wakes up, opens a door,
trying to catch up with those tracks
before they disappear into new snow,
before the woods enter into us.


in ancient October light
far into the fields
turning rustic-red
our path is worn thin


Somewhere, geese are plunging into faraway lakes,
skidding over water, hiding in brush, waiting
for that deep, connective-calling to begin —
when memory is glowing white and hard, fierce,
straining at their wings.


Over earth’s shoulder,
the sun had not come
like a promise
of extending a helping hand.

September slows everywhere down to a grind.


In autumn fields,
there is a graveyard of maples.

Not even dark places are safe.

copyright 2017, Martin Willitts Jr.

About the Author

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". 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cefn Golau by Byron Beynon

Here the winter wind acts like a needle
against the wide skin of heathland,
a severe association with Welsh and English epitaphs
engraved during a malignant year;
networks of abandoned human bone and nerve
hidden within a shrouded moor,
shadows which turned away
from a marked silence
chilled as the cold air
surrounded the silhouettes of stone.
They remain forgotten,
in small, transient spaces,
a private darkness
indifferent to the terrain of constellations,
their untenable lives over, the quiet,
colourless dead, oblivious and equal,
while the livid sweep of snow continued falling,
echoing slowly their descent.

*Cefn Golau is Welsh for The Bright Ridge and is a disused cholera cemetery in South East Wales. The graves date from 1832 to 1855

Byron Beynon's work has appeared in several publications including Poppy Road Review, London Magazine, The Yellow Nib, Crannog, Plainsongs and The Muse (India). Also the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets).  He co-ordinated (on behalf of The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea) Wales's contribution to the anthology Fifty Strong (Heinemann). Collections include The Sundial (Flutter Press), Cuffs (Rack Press) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).