Magnificat – a poem by Mairi Murphy


in the nano-second of conception
a wave sent out, rippling creation
nothing will ever compare to this:
so imperceptible the stars,
planets and everything that breathed
fused in harmony as the soul of the world
expanded, caught in one gentle ‘yes’
a tsunami of overwhelming love.

time out of ordinary time light from extraordinary light
everything that had been, now never would be
future redemption startling this moment
beginning new endings, perpetually present
every living thing enlightened, every darkness exposed.

time counted from this moment, forward and back:
everything reacts, leaps in recognition,
joyfully disrupted.


Mairi Murphy is a graduate of Glasgow University’s MLitt course in Creative Writing where she was awarded the 2016 Alistair Buchan Prize for poetry. Her poems have been published in New Writing Scotland 30 and 35. Observance, her first poetry collection, was published by Clochoderick Press in March 2018.

Montefiore – a poem by Terrence Sykes


Beneath a copper moon
letterings of a multitude
shadowed scripts
cast pronunciation
across the face of staved land

Mosaic reflections reveal
alphabet of light
spelling its unreadable words
forgotten language
upon the surface of the water

Dawn – vaporish as it clings
last syllables of night
consonant reminder
whispering silent vowels
In the beginning was the word

Terrence Sykes was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia. This isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations, whether real or imagined. His poetry – photography – flash fiction has been published in India, Mauritius,Scotland, Spain and the USA.

Sabbath 1 – a poem by Julia Bonadies

Sabbath 1

after Wendell Berry
when I am no longer encumbered
by the weight of flesh,
the ache of my saved soul alleviated
by the vacancy of the hungry heart
that hollows out my chest—
at long last when my body
lays in ruins like the remains
of the tabernacle—
when my mind is split in two
like the curtain that separated
the people from God,
when my feet are an empty altar
barren of putrid praises,
adoration will adorn my lips.
I will worship a Lord who has preserved
the only ounce of good in me,
a good He has put there.
Only then will I be satisfied,
will I experience true eternal rest,
will I understand the meaning of Sabbath.


Julia Bonadies holds a B.A. in English from Eastern Connecticut State University. She is currently working on her Masters in Secondary Education at ECSU. Her work is published in the Albion Review, Eunoia Review, and The Leaflet. She lives in Connecticut with her cat, Allister.

Long-Tails – a poem by Julie Sampson


These late season winter snows
…..we don’t know,
crane our heads
trying to see
top of the swaying tulip tree –
is that it, tiny, snug in the forked v-
cavity of the highest branch?
Archetypal, these birds are
exemplary recyclers,
everything in the garden
…..has to go –
all the delicacies of her peccadilloes,
her most elusive cryptic signs and sigils,
her mossy rites, silks, cocoons, spiders.

Just as the smallest matryoshka
the tiny egg’s kernel’s set
in the core of the green gold-wrapped nest,
…..warp and weft
weave a multilayered text,
lichen-lore zaps along branches of the oldest apple-tree
and spiders pluck harps
on arbour’s skeined rose.

We do know
moving in and out
the cold doors
of our own comfort zone
that tucked away, high, hidden
in the long-tailed tits’ iconic nest-home,
is the sanctum,
our wild birds’
of Hours.


In recent years Julie Sampson‘s poetry has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Shearsman, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Journal, Amaryllis PoetryThe Algebra of Owls, Molly Bloom, The Poetry Shed, The Lake, Amethyst Review, Poetry Space and Pulsar. Shearsman published her edition of Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems, in 2009 and a full collection, Tessitura, in 2014. A non-fiction manuscript was short-listed for The Impress Prize, in 2015 and a pamphlet, It Was When It Was When It Was, was published by Dempsey and Windle, March 2018.

Darwin’s Questions – a poem by Deborah Leipziger

 Darwin’s Questions

Upon reading Oliver Sacks, The River of Consciousness

We evolve together
in the way of orchids
and pollinators –

Bats, bees, moths,
in the dance
of co-evolution.

Why are there night-blooming

appear, at night.

The orchid’s pollinia–
a circle of pollen —
a certain pollinator.

On the Isle of Reunion
the bee orchid lures male
……….The orchid’s iridescent
……….wing patterns
……….resemble the female bee,
……….creating allomones,
……….which mimic the scent
……….of female bees.

How could the star-shaped orchid
with a nectary a foot long
be pollinated?
By whom?

the hawkmoth, reaches into the white
of the orchid.


Deborah Leipziger is an author, poet, professor, and mother. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013). She is the co-founder of Soul-Lit, an on-line poetry magazine. Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on human rights and sustainability.


The Elephants – a prose poem by Jennifer Reek

The Elephants

He loved elephants above all things.

‘Did you see the elephants in the bedroom?’ he would ask every day as if he’d never asked before. ‘Yes, I did.’ I would answer. ‘I like them a lot.’ That left him satisfied, at least for a time. From his bed I could see the elephant pictures, clipped from old calendars and National Geographic, taped to the door.

‘Did you see the elephants in the kitchen?’ he would ask. Yes. Two solid silver elephant bookends stood sentry at the kitchen window. Not many books left in that house for them. I did find an elephant bookmark, all long trunk, next to the remote on the table by his favorite chair, a wingback he got some lady to re-cover in hideous maroon nubby synthetic in exchange for an antique vanity of my mother’s. He never was good at business, my brother said. From that chair he would often watch Hot Bench and NASCAR. He didn’t seem like a Hot Bench NASCAR kind of guy. Nevertheless, they were right up there on the list of things loved, after elephants.

One Christmas I had given him an elephant decoration. Soft, gray, with sequins. When he went into the home, I pinned it on the wall so he could see it from his bed. ‘I love that elephant,’ he would say every day. ‘Can you see how it sparkles when the light hits it? Can you see it? Come over here and see it!’ ‘Yes, I see it, dad.’ I would reply. ‘I love it too.’ That left him satisfied, for a time.

Years ago, when the circus came to town, we would walk over to 23rd street to wave at the elephants on parade. When Barnum shut down last year, the elephants went to a sanctuary in Gainesville. We talked about going up there, looked at the elephant pictures on the website, how great it would be, to get that close, to see the elephants happy and free. ‘What is that,’ he’d ask, ‘a four-hour drive?’ Sitting that long, for him the pain would be unbearable. ‘Maybe after I get that operation we can go.’

Only one thing dad made us swear. Return to the Long Island beach club where he and mom met as teenagers and put their ashes in the ocean. We kept the promise. It was a spectacular day. Not a cloud in the sky. My brother and I walked out on the rock jetty and watched as the ashes washed away in the waves.

Yesterday a friend sent me a video of two elephants swimming off the coast of Gabon. Side by side they moved together, their majestic heads rising and sinking in the waves, trunks reaching out of the water for air now and again. There was a long way to go before they would get to an island off in the distance. But then they always were terrific swimmers.


Jennifer Reek holds a PhD from the Centre for Literature, Theology and the Arts, University of Glasgow. She is author of A Poetics of Church: Reading and Writing Sacred Spaces of Poetic Dwelling (2018) and co-editor of the forthcoming Thresholds of Wonder: Poetry, Philosophy and Theology in Conversation.

To Question a Seed in Autumn – a poem by Shawn Aveningo Sanders

To Question a Seed in Autumn


“Life is heavier than the weight of all things”

                                       –Rainer Maria Rilke

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Shawn Aveningo Sanders started out as show-me girl from Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon. She is a widely published poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes—especially red ones! ( Shawn’s work has appeared in over 130 literary journals and anthologies. She’s a Pushcart nominee (2015), Best of the Net nominee (2017), co-founder of The Poetry Box, managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon, and winner of the first poetry slam in Placerville, California (2012). Shawn is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.

Gematriyot – a poem by Sarah A. Etlinger

Gematriyot [1]

All those old Kabbalists
sitting in dark rooms, with
mystical abaci
counting and pacing and
counting some more, spin meaning
to fit each letter, so,
when called, they are filled with
sorcery: ordering
the universe bit by bit,
pattern by pattern,
shamanistic wallpaper
for the rooms in our brains.

As planes and syllables
slide along their axes
especially in your voice,
I cannot help but hear them
there, commanding
the letters to line up
and march, but some refuse:

some let go of the neat
arrangement and careen on echoes,
rejecting the order of the world and spill out.

This is what my rabbi
means, I think, when he says
some things are just not ordained.


Sarah A. Etlinger is an English professor who resides in Milwaukee, WI, with her family. In addition to writing, hobbies include cooking, traveling, and learning to play piano. Look for her work in The Penwood Review, The Magnolia Review, Cliterature, and many others. Her chapbook, Never One For Promises, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in 2019.

[1] Gematriyot (or gematria) is a Jewish version of numerology, where each character is assigned a number and, when “added” up, the numbers can be said to have a particular meaning. However, this is not a traditional practice, as it is found in the Kabbalah—books of Jewish mysticism.

three of swords – a poem by Ruby McCann

three of swords

some say all that suffering
leads to something better
than sand flowing through
broken-hearts…….going forward
finally grasping…….love lacking depth
is no love at all

thunderstorms pierce my heart
pouring tearing grey clouds
and I count myself lucky
for there is no white bull
to charm me or climb upon
reckless abandonment
snared an emotional trap

and I’m still snivelling sadness
shedding loss…….lamenting
loneliness…….howling heartbreak
grievingly grieved…….healing upheaval
embracing destructive love
by letting go…….lessons from
an unknown…….third party rush
this shallow gal got hooked on

pain lacking patterns missing depth
because I didn’t see a clearing
path ahead…….true love
isn’t really encouraged
or even understood
making my eyes flood
down on me like rain knowing
there are jewels in teardrops

loves-superficiality verses nurturing
togetherness…….deep longing
didn’t work…….and we tried
fluff attracts like lint
on cloaking and we’re
all sold on addiction
romance addicts
not truly hitched
insecure romantics
bewitched with objective affection
he knew…….knows all that
old material…….things died
rekindled…….rebirthed deepened love

and its darned hard work
some don’t work at
unpleasantly getting through
readjusting disappointments
moving closer together
new ways of loving…….far removed
from neurotic love enshrined
in movies

I closed that door…….looked ahead
crossed an ocean…….rented a room
with a view…….for me
and didn’t look back
because my love…….is…….too thick


Ruby McCann is a creative practitioner who holds degrees from Trinity Washington and University of Glasgow.  She has published work in publications, You Don’t Look British, Anti-Heroin Chic, Gaelstrom-1 Magazine, Invisible Cities, Poetry Scotland, Journeys, Word Rhythms, and many others.  She lives in Glasgow, Scotland next to the River Clyde.  Nature and walking inspires her writing.

Sacred Soil – a poem by Heather M. Browne

Sacred Soil

I wear no shoes
touching the earth
kissing the crush of dinosaur bones
tribal art of Indian’s
clay, mosaics, arrowheads
pointing to legends and lovers

My soles need soil
drawing truths through my pores
through roots of fern and moss

Do plants thirst, greedily gulping memories?
the veins of roses bleeding
carrying the vibrancy of shades past?
My toes touching
dinosaurs and diamonds


Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl.  Red Dashboard   published two collections: Directions of Folding and Altar Call of