Petite Quintet – poetry by Anna Evas

Petite Quintet

1. Erasure

All year the wind writes 
my name in water.

Except in summer, 
when the pond lilies 
unforget me.

2. Morning

Songbirds inscribe themselves 
on the gates of my rising —
“Come away!"

3. From a Medieval Herbal

The eyes that enshrine
a dandelion
devils into fire.

4. To My Naysayer

For the sparrows, 
I planted three willows.

What a surprise
when they blocked 
your reprise.

5. In a Bad Economy

I require less
to become more,

but the effort 
dwindles me

Author of the poetry book Apocryphal (San Francisco Press), Anna Evas has appeared in literary journals such as Amethyst Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Irises (The University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize), Long Poem Magazine (UK), The Ekphrastic Review, Euphony, and Anglican Theological Review.  A recording artist, she is an award-winning composer of concert level contemporary classical music.

Grendel’s Mother Considers the Surinam Toad – a poem by Nadia Arioli

Nadia Arioli is the co-founder and editor in chief of Thimble Literary Magazine and a multi-disciplinary artist. Arioli’s poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net three times and can be found in Cider Press Review, Rust + Moth, San Pedro Review, McNeese Review, Whale Road Review, West Trestle Review, As It Ought To Be, Voicemail Poems, Bombay Literary Magazine, and other publications. Essays have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart and can be found in Hunger Mountain, Heavy Feather Review, Angel Rust, and elsewhere. Collages and scribblings have been featured as the cover of Permafrost, as artist of the month for Kissing Dynamite, and in Poetry Northwest. Arioli has chapbooks with Dancing Girl and Spartan and full-lengths with Luchador Press and Kelsay Books (forthcoming). 

Flash Drive – a poem by Donald Mace Williams

Flash Drive

He clicks on Send each one point-seven seconds,
and that's only for Earth. At each impulse
a new arrival takes its place within
the flash drive, which is neither large nor small
nor has in fact dimensions, since the files
it stores do not. Do other documents,
say, wife or child or brother, recognize
this new one, which, like them, has neither form
nor features? Still, they're here, and the Supreme
Techie that clicked them here knows not just names
of all, but DNAs, hair colors, pronouns,
denominations of those who had such,
and body temperatures, from body days.
What is the purpose of this drive, which files
away our vapors in its vaporous self?
Maybe the key that Sends to USB
can open, too, maybe can populate
new solid worlds with new-jelled and new-knit
migrants who somehow know these worlds and how
to flesh them till the finger next taps Send.

Donald Mace Williams is a retired newspaper writer and editor with a Ph.D. in Beowulfian prosody. At ninety-three, he lives alone and independently in the Texas Panhandle. His latest book, Wolfe and Being Ninety, is a hybrid of narrative poem and prose memoir.

We Think We Step Alone – a poem by Marjorie Moorhead

We Think We Step Alone

We think we step on solid ground,
but shifting sands are all I’ve found.
Shadows and mist,
transforming cloud formations…

We gather together as a particular form
but nothing stays solid.
Nothing remains untroubled.
Not the body. Not thought. 

We ought to have wings or at least carry, 
at all times, one of those life preserver rings.
For flight; for buoyancy, something to cling to
in the storms of uncertainty.

Side by side, or across the globe,
you and I are droplets of the same foggy mist.
Hold hands with me, link arms.
Let us pool together awhile,

I’ll splash in your puddle, and you in mine.
We’ll soak heavy so all will sink, a heavy mix
running from us as rivulets, soaking
into common ground.

Marjorie Moorhead writes from the New England river valley border of NH/VT. She is the author of Survival: Trees, Tides, Song (Finishing Line Press 2019), Survival Part 2: Trees, Birds, Ocean, Bees (Duck Lake Books 2020), and has poems in many anthologies and literary journals. Marjorie’s first full collection, Every Small Breeze, is forthcoming, as well as a third chapbook, In My Locket

Morning Yoga in the Tuscan Countryside – a poem by Sara Letourneau

Morning Yoga in the Tuscan Countryside

This is your studio:
the blue-sky ceiling, a floor of dew-drenched grass,
the mid-May sun for your lighting and heat.
Walls don’t exist here; everywhere you look, 

cypress trees stand as still as Buddha statues,
rosebushes burst into red, pink, and white stars, and—
straight ahead, over the green sea of hills—
the towers of San Gimignano rise,

proud sentries of this town for a thousand years.
You unroll your mat in this spot for that very reason
and face not the front but sideways,
so you can take in the view as you begin with gentle stretches.

Seated twists give you other glimpses:
the terra-cotta roofs of farmhouses and villas, 
rows upon rows of vineyards and olive trees, 
the placid pond near the agriturismo’s fence.

Soon, you flow into cat-cows, low lunges, high lunges,
reaching tall each time you salute the sun, 
murmuring your thanks as you fold down, 
and pausing a few seconds longer than intended 

whenever your eyes meet the towers in the distance.
And even though you’ve been breathing this whole time, 
this is when you b r e a t h e—
above and below, into and beyond, 

as if your bones have taught themselves
how to inhale and exhale, absorbing
the ancient centro storico and the verdant landscape
the way chlorophyll absorbs light.

And just when you think the countryside
has little else to feed you, you settle into savasana,
and as you lie on your back, the land gifts you 
the perfume of roses, jasmine, and lemon trees, 

and the music of birds chattering, roosters boasting,
cows greeting the morning, bees and flies humming, 
and you swear you are still moving, 
because how can you remain motionless

when this world is beckoning you to awaken?

Sara Letourneau is a poet as well as the book coach, editor, and writing workshop instructor at Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services. Her poetry has received first place in the Blue Institute’s Words on Water contest and has appeared in Full Mood MagLiving CrueArlington Literary Journal, Mass Poetry’s Poem of the Moment and Hard Work of HopeMuddy River Poetry ReviewSoul-LitAmethyst Review, and Constellations, among others. Her manuscript for her first full-length poetry collection is on submission. You can learn more about working with Sara and read more of her work at

Eight Things the Buddha Said While Reading My Poetry – a poem by Carolyn Martin

Eight Things the Buddha Said While Reading My Poetry

When you know yourself, you know everyone. 
Shed embarrassment for living a human life
and let your true Self out. Let it out! 

Remind yourself that each moment is completely new. 
Although you’ve read a thousand poems, 
yours belong only to you. 

Learn this from water: the brook splashes loud
but the ocean’s depths are calm. Swim deeper
between the lines. Wisdom dives and waits.

Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, 
so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.
Be wise: rejections and acceptances make no difference.

If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow 
of the universe and feel the meter of discerning winds.
Invite them to blow through your images.  

Every poem has a beginning and an ending 
somewhere. Make peace with that and wait.
Someday the poem will tell you what it wants to say.

When you realize how perfect everything is,
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.
That line deserves a poem! Tilt. Laugh. Write.

There are only two mistakes one can make along
the road to truth: not going all the way and not starting.
You’ve started. Now go the miles to go.

Blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 175 journals throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. For more:

The Gods of the Ways – a poem by Neile Graham

The Gods of the Ways

Say there's a trail and the walking
is easy. Say there's not and the way 
full of blocking deadfalls,  peaty 
puddles gnawing your boots, blackberry 
thickets insisting on tolls. A trail

and no trail. Five steps of pelting rain. 
Or of wonder. There's something you know 
and it matters. You don't and it doesn't. 
Couldn't. Never would. You, child, are 
what you are, and what you are
is becoming. So thread your way

through the dripping forest or saunter 
your passage. Drench yourself in all 
of its ways. Smell the dark cedar, 
the sodden leaf-mold, the sharp ache 
of your sweat. It's what will shape 

you, make you whatever being of 
hope or death you become. Laugh
 if you will. Choosing your way 
chooses you. Each step is what 
you will become. If you choose it.

Neile Graham is Canadian by birth and inclination but currently lives in Seattle, Washington. Her publications include: four full-length collections, most recently The Walk She Takes (2019) and a spoken word CD, She Says: Poems Selected & New. She has also published poems in various physical and online magazines, including Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Mad Swirl, and Polar Starlight.

What Rises – a poem by Katie Kalisz

What Rises

The sun, ever earlier
and earlier, a bluebird’s 
orange belly to the feeder,
a robin beak with a worm,
spikes of iris, 
a heron from the mist
off the river.
Flags on mailboxes
up and down the street,
steam from our pot of oatmeal,
the May wood pile with ash
and cottonwood.
Welt of poison ivy 
on my ankle, Muscari 
in the lawn, and dandelions, 
rhubarb stalks, purple heads of asparagus.
A second chicken coop 
the neighbors erect and paint blue.
Theodore, the chipmunk, to the 
deck railing, for orange peels
and apple cores, the dog’s rear end
in a yoga pose, my rear end
in a yoga pose, my son
into a Norway spruce,
the river to meet the bank, 
masks to overtake faces, 
the death toll.
And at last, 
the white moon, 

Katie Kalisz is a Professor in the English Department at Grand Rapids Community College, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Loyola University of Chicago, and Queens University of Charlotte. Quiet Woman, her first book, was a finalist for the 2018 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. She is the recipient of a 2023 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their three children. 

Lauds – a poem by Nancy K. Jentsch

(Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse, Nerinx, Kentucky, May 23, 2021) 
sky’s red foil coin 
bedded in taffeta- 
ridged satin pink 
bestows day’s value 
trades hem of chill 
mist for mantle’s 
blue lumens, buttons 
morning’s deal with disk 
of buttercup chintz 

Nancy K. Jentsch’s poetry has appeared recently in The Pine Cone ReviewScissortail Quarterly, and Verse-Virtual. Her chapbook, Authorized Visitors, was published in 2017 (Cherry Grove Collections) and Between the Rows, her first poetry collection, con be purchased from Shanti Arts. More information is available on her website: 

Runwell – a poem by Jonathan Evens



Passing graves - carefully tended, loaded with memories - 
and shrubbery - sculpted and shaped -
on the path leading to this medieval church. 
Approach the rickety wooden porch 
with flecks of paint remaining 
from its earlier medieval-lite decoration.
Open the heavy wooden door inwards
to reveal, among the gloom,
a brightly painted, though faded, interior - screen and murals -
mimicking medieval origins.
Let the silence seep into your soul, 
as the cold into your bones.
Explore and tour the minor marvels
of this hidden place, 
packed within the smallness 
of its tardis-like space.
Tales of heritage and folklore
layered in stone and art,
worship and time, artefact and ritual.
Travel in time and through tales
in a place and space
where God is our beginning 
and our end is God,
where the inside can be spied
from the outside, and the outside in,
where the devil may have left
his mark on the exit door,
where the local Bobby regularly waited 
on all Hallows Eve to prevent disruption, 
where a last prioress,
from the nunnery by the well,
was reputedly laid to rest 
in a tomb that is now empty;
yet which retains 
a unique carved cross -
the Runwell cross -
four circles in a square; 
the instrument of our redemption 
set within a sign 
of the perfection of God.
God is our beginning 
And our end is God.
Spring of living water welling up,
run well through life and time,
run well in this place and space,
its layers and its mystery,
its tales and its history.


Time, there has been time, aeons of time.
Time to run well through life, 
time to tell tales and accrue tales,
time for pilgrims, nuns and congregants to gather and disperse, 
time for marks, murals, memorials marking the passage of time,
time for interments and burials,
and for exhumations, 
time to begin and end projects -  orphanages and schools,
time to build and sell vicarages and rectories,
time to decorate and time to strip back,
time to carve altars, crosses and stations,
time for the devil to make his mark,
time for prayers to seep into the walls, windows and stones,
time to sit still in silence and know
God is our beginning 
and our end is God


Water rises from the ground,
a never-failing spring,
well water, life-giving, wellbeing,
running water, running well
through life and time and ages.
Settlers build homes and a church, a village rises nearby.
Pilgrims pass by, praying with nuns,
as they receive and bless.
Farmers work the land fruitfully 
using the well's water. 
Boxing Day walkers, led by Mr De’ath,
visit for relaxation, exercise and inspiration. 
See them come as one, 
see them come layered in time, 
see them come
to the same source, the same well,
the same water, each receiving
differing meaning, still
each receiving well. Run well
in Runwell continuing source
of wellbeing, running still,
still running, ever flowing,
beginning in God, 
ending in God, flowing continually
through time and eternity. 
Run well, water of life, run well.

Jonathan Evens is Team Rector for Wickford and Runwell. Previously Associate Vicar for HeartEdge at St Martin-in-the-Fields, he was involved in developing HeartEdge as an international and ecumenical network of churches engaging congregations with culture, compassion and commerce. He is co-author of The Secret Chord, an impassioned study of the role of music in cultural life written through the prism of Christian belief, and writes regularly on the visual arts for national arts and church media including ArtlystArtWay and Church Times. He blogs at