After the Snowstorm
The snowman my neighbor built has melted,
the weather tricks me with its sunshine and chill breeze,
two squirrels play outside my window,
they take turns in a dance like chase.
I want to frolic outside in my pajamas,
attend a concert with five hundred guests,
engage political disagreements without violence.
I want to hug my neighbors and my friends.
I call my friend; his mother died from Covid,
his pain is raw, his voice is trembling still.
We chat about movies, books, our losses,
the strength to shine when the world is frozen still.
And as I wait my turn for the vaccine,
pandemic winter melts into spring.
Yevgeniya Przhebelskaya has held a variety of paid and volunteer jobs in the education field, including teaching introductory college classes and facilitating poetry workshops. Yevgeniya’s poems have been published in Time of Singing, Page and Spine, First Literary Review-East, Ancient Paths, and other print and online publications, and were nominated for the Pushcart Prize two times. Check out more of her poems at ypoetry.weebly.com
On the Rue du Bac
Begin by the Quay d’Orsay
And entering the quartier
First a broad and straight few blocks
Then things start to narrow
Press of the older city
Start to bias leftwards
Steady like a scythe blade
You couldn’t see the end of the long
Street’s shaded inverted
Trajectory always hid
Its faces your future a few
Minutes ahead askew
Until you sighted a crossing of roads
Ahead and here’s a doorway
You’re behind Le Bon Marché
Nuns are streaming in
A sudden phenomenon
And seeming magnetised you join
Their subterranean movement
The shopping day steps on
In its interiority
Courtyard and chapel quietly
When seated something is let free
Under the colour of Mary
And Catherine Labouré
Martin Potter (https://martinpotterpoet.home.blog) is a poet and academic, and his poems have appeared in Acumen, The French Literary Review, Eborakon, Scintilla, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Poetry Village, and other journals. His pamphlet In the Particular was published by Eyewear in December, 2017.
sun blinks above a band of dove-grey
cloud. descending to an early horizon, she turns
her strange manifesting on me.
streams glint through the V of maple boughs;
leaves flicker at a value approaching zero.
I am in her beam,
angled for the downcast eyes
of Mary, for Bryn Celli Ddu at solstice,
for the canyon growing deep
and marked behind me—held
by what I cannot grasp. frequencies dance my eyes
—I am what she makes—real/
eluding, the hawk now drifting.
her tilt to wane skimming my brow,
my muttered stay, as sky fills up with night.
Kathryn Knight Sonntag is the author of the poetry collection The Tree at the Center (BCC Press, 2019). She has recent and forthcoming poems in Psaltery & Lyre, Abstract Magazine, The Curator, and the anthology Blossom as the Cliffrose (Torrey House Press, 2021). She works as a landscape architect in Salt Lake City, Utah. www.kathrynknightsonntag.com
We Measure by the Second-Hand Circling
tick of breaths in / breaths out
water rising / receding
the way young children
to fashion into necklaces, into crowns
later pick petals off
one by one by one
sing riddles, make up love’s depths predicted
stamen, pistil, thin leaves arcing around
the tender yellow button
praise of tulips, of a lily’s soft unfurling
the butterfly/ bee/ hummingbird
the sweet buzz and hum a wing / a whir
a pearl in a nest of moss
the precarious hope of an egg
late May / early June
from greening leaves curling open
moth larvae on the end of thin silk threads
hung like hair ribbons
filaments shimmering in dusty light
We want to feel the wondrous
the way water leaves us
evaporates into clouds , into air
the way a bird’s small body
curves into feathered flight
Molly Fuller is the author of the full-length collection For Girls Forged by Lightning: Prose & Other Poems (All Nations Press) and two chapbooks Tender the Body (Spare Change Press) and The Neighborhood Psycho Dreams of Love (Cutty Wren Press). Her work has appeared in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence, New Poetry from the Midwest, 100 Word Story, NANO Fiction, and Bellingham Review. She is the recipient of a 2020 Artist Residency from both Vermont Studio Center and Wassaic Project. Fuller is the winner of the Gris Gris2020 Summer Poetry Contest. You can find her on Instagram and twitter @mollyfulleryeah.
Seven of Pentacles
“But release me from my bands
with the help of your good hands:
gentle breath of yours my sails
must fill or else my project fails
which was to please.”
I take my face in my own hands
and stare right into it: the jawline
sharper, the hairline lower, the forehead
not yet creased by the hard years
from which I’ve only now emerged
and which I did not know I’d
set in motion and say, firmly,
“A fallow field is not a failure,”
but I do not hear me, poor thing; I
am not in the habit of hearing anything
but the too-long pauses after I say I
love him before I hear it back. I
pleased and I pleased and I pleased and I
still watched the project fail—no,
fallow—the project fallowed, the field
dry and cracked for the season, but I
am free of its burden for good.
Jacob Budenz is a queer writer, multi-disciplinary performer, educator and witch with an MFA from University of New Orleans and a BA from Johns Hopkins University. The author of PASTEL WITCHERIES (Seven Kitchens Press 2018), Budenz has fiction and poetry in Slipstream Press, Wizards in Space, Entropy Magazine, Pussy Magic, and more, as well as anthologies by Mason Jar Press, Lycan Valley Press, and Mad Scientist Journals. You can follow Jake’s work on Instagram (@dreambabyjake), Twitter (@jakebeearts), or the internet beyond (www.jakebeearts.com).
A Second House
Fall’s apple crop
from a diseased tree in the front yard
grounded, munched noiselessly by deer
who easily leap our picket fence
as though it were an invitation
Moles in the pasture unseen
push up mounds of dirt
in their busyness, building felt pathways
for their blind lives
Winter rains near doubled leave flooded fields
for ducks and snow geese to visit
on their seasonal flights to somewhere south
of instinct, our name for our ignorance
If hunger were entitlement
we’d not be living this tarted-up world-ache
preferring fantasy to ordinary life
insuring perpetual discontent
The house we build in thought
always adding on, outgrowing us
falls away to footloose truth
becoming a second house
a flat-land hut, really
a single room, no door, all windows
An earth observatory the whole world
comes to visit with room-sized songs and stories
A second house waits patiently
within our discontent
before (excusing incongruity)
during and after, in -lessness
for notice it does not depend on
Falling away are tundra, arctic ice
coral reefs, hammerhead shark,
giant sequoia, Monarch butterfly,
their newly fluid forms merging
their stories come to us
in hearing already heard
out of time, before and since
we thought ourselves entitled
Don Brandis is a retired healthcare worker living quietly near Seattle. His poems have been published in Leaping Clear, Free State Review, Neologism Poetry Review, Poetry Quarterly and elsewhere.
Praying in the Doorway
Pause at the threshold,
in the space between.
The harried will curse
and push past. Let them go.
This is the Janus space,
facing both ways. Here
past converses with future.
Here you have yet to say,
Jeffrey L. Taylor never received higher than a C in English
throughout school and college. Through articles in recreational computer
journals, he learned to write with rhythm and conciseness, often too
concise. In poetry, that is not a problem. Around 1990, poems began waking him in the night. He now writes in the day.
Concerning the Angels
It is a step too far, to see
the contemplation and the fall
of such as these, that knew
no pity but intellectual grace.
It is not an issue of purity
in the fading light, the ghosts
of such as might have been.
There is no touch so close as water
or sweetness heightened in the cold.
Even now I cannot speak
there is too deep a botch in things.
Adam Walters is 24 years old and originally from Marple in Greater Manchester. He completed a BA in English literature at the University of Cambridge in 2017, with a dissertation on work of Wallace Stevens. He then completed an MA at Durham University in 2018 with a dissertation on the work of Hart Crane.
Keep him safe oh
You Who Save, my
son up on the barricades
who took my ‘60’s stories
home and stands against
the gloriers in the standard
hate the usualness the greed
he could read before he walked
and now he marches balking
not an inch at 6 feet tall a
target unrepentant and I worry.
Should I have spent those childhood
walks imparting Shakespeare
or Godot not Abbie Hoffman and
Rousseau he stands above me in
so much more than height
he’s riding on a bus tonight to meet
equality’s enemies at some counter-
demonstration, for safety asked me not
to come. Stand by him exonerate
me too who adores him more than
nation cause or You.
Wayne-Daniel Berard, PhD, teaches Humanities at Nichols College, Dudley, MA. He publishes broadly in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His poetry chapbook, The Man Who Remembered Heaven, received the New Eden Award in 2003. His non-fiction When Christians Were Jews (That Is, Now), subtitled Recovering the Lost Jewishness of Christianity with the Gospel of Mark, was published in 2006 by Cowley Publications. A novel The Retreatants, was published in 2012 (Smashwords). A chapbook, Christine Day, Love Poems, was published in 2016 (Kittatuck Press). His novella, Everything We Want, was published in 2018 by Bloodstone Press. A poetry collection, The Realm of Blessing, was published in 2020 by Unsolicited Press.
This bittersweet singularity.
Low light gives an appearance
of candles. Short days, long nights.
The crowd sings alone with
full orchestra. Last chutes of sun
are—gone without knowing, like
tin whistles barely able to hide
sadness; gone to southern lines
drawn across maps of warm water;
and gone too is the color green
except the fields of winter grass.
But here in flickering rooms
we paint our words with bright
colors to cast-out minor
Short days, long nights—
the twirl of ages.
Where the town turns to field
is a moving target like breathing
or weather, the clouds come and leave
like all the mass of everything
that ever was and combined
with the restless seed
of beating hearts and living.
People say that life hits a wall as
the lights go out, but it flows down
like water to somewhere else.
The pools—each has a face,
each in small places, a skin
that keeps all souls separate
and blood that flows lonesome
—were once part of
an ocean so small as to be one
place, one thought, one word. Just
look at them now, everywhere.
Short days, long nights give
the illusion of a pause before
utterance. But only nothing
L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in Rattle, The Reader, The Istanbul Review, The Worcester Review, The Honest Ulsterman, hundreds of others, and is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce-Press, 2016), The Rainflock Sings Again (Unsolicited Press, 2019), Floodlit (Beakful, 2019), and The Width of Here (Silver Bow, 2021).