Fillmore Sutra – a poem by Mark J. Mitchell

Fillmore Sutra

Buddha is black and laughing.
From my fire escape
I overhear her fire sermon.
This wanting nothing,
it says,
wants practice.

Buddha is black and crying
for bass mantras
that boom from cars,
for children bound
in vests and ties,
for a poet on a fire escape.

Buddha is black and laughing:
On the street
she chooses to see me
and asks for change.

Mark J. Mitchell’s latest novel, The Magic War just appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. He studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in the several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. Three of his chapbooks— Three Visitors;  Lent, 1999, and Artifacts and Relics—and the novel, Knight Prisoner are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. He lives with his wife Joan Juster and makes a living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco.

Augustino Vineyards – a poem by Barbara A Meier

Augustino Vineyards

The smoke plume gracing the mountain peak,
puffs, thins, spreads, across the western horizon.
The verdant green of the valley of the grapes,
blushing lavender to purple, the richness of a pinot noir,
a king’s crown and cape, on rusty rocky soil.
Vines strung between wires, crucified tension of dead and alive.
Dead dry grace for rodents running through blue porta potties,
while lifelines of water turned to wine,
amidst breaking firelines, making runs
up slopes, spotting hillsides across the river.
Fire and water fermenting baptismal grace.

Barbara A Meier is really just a farm girl from Kansas who now looks at Pacific waves instead of waves of grain. She teaches Kindergarten in Gold Beach, Or. She has been published in Metonym, Birds-Highland Park Poetry, Nature Writing, Poetry Pacific, The Poeming Pigeon, and Cacti Fur. Click here to visit Barbara at her blog.


Grove – a poem by Julie Sampson


Imagine you’re driving east from Bow toward North Tawton,
there, on a parallel trajectory
a massive army of shining swords,
tramp tramp of a legion on their way.

They came from the East,
we were watching
winter solstice sun
set on Cosdon to the west.

Cymbals crashed with lyres
cossetting air
before owls began to chant
and stars came out.

Nemetona, goddess of our grove,
white florals wreath your stones
red berries strewn on earth,

white bones drying beneath
our sacred ash,
the chipped axe of flint.

Their songs were steel
razing our sweet sanctuary
with blinding knife-light,
our men, mowed grass beneath scythe.

In this night we women are Ledas
and looking north on the horizon tangled roots
of winter’s blackened trees crossing our paths,
shuffle back toward us from futurity.

Seeded, deep in veined history,
they caress our feet,
wombs no longer rattling pods,

Julie Sampson‘s poetry is widely published, most recently, or forthcoming, in ShearsmanMolly Bloom, Allegro, Dawntreader, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Journal, Noon , Poetry Space, Algebra of Owls and The Lake. Her poetry collection Tessitura was published in 2014 (Shearsman).See







Perfect Stack – a poem by Ion Corcos


Perfect Stack

One by one, the old man carefully stacks books on the table. He crouches to check that they are aligned, straight as a high-rise building. The owner walks towards him, stops, shakes his head. The old man fumbles as he takes another book from the box on the floor. He places it squarely on the stack. Again, he crouches, this time for longer, checks that it is even.  He looks at the owner. The owner shakes his head.  Frustrated, the old man slams the next book on top of the stack. It sits askew. He stands in silence, stares at the stack. “Good,” says the owner, “straight as a tree.”

Ion Corcos has been published in Grey Sparrow Journal, Clear Poetry, Communion, The High Window and other journals. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. Ion’s website is and he tweets at @IonCorcos

Arise – a poem by Catherine Zickgraf


she’s still afraid
blood-lava waves will
suffocate her shadow wraith,

but says the sanctified will surely rise
through the dark, through a window in the sky,
cloaked in divine wind that blows the cloud curtains
across the pearl of Heaven’s floor, opening fortress doors.

Catherine Zickgraf performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan and three dozen other cities. But she’s differently-abled now—walking with a cane and flying in her sleep—so her main jobs are to hang out with her family and write more poetry. Watch/read her at and run/jump while you are able.

Twinkle, Twinkle – a poem by Matthew Friday

Twinkle, Twinkle

Maybe it’s the word twinkle,
a relic of your Teddy Bear
days when Nursery Rhymes

knew the truth. Too busy
being adult, a being of work,
bills, brain dulled by looking

down at the twinkling screens
instead of up at the twittering
sky. Look again, feel your face

unfolding in wonderment:
stars are unimaginably far away,
but your childhood so close.

Imagine. Just some solar orbits,
a few calories of effort to raise
your index finger, point up

towards the cosmos-crossing
light that took millions of years
to reach earth, photons bumped

by the atmosphere in the final
seconds, causing the twinkling
magic that illuminates your eye,

fires electrons, burns in your
mind, resurrects memories,
connects to space forgotten.


Matthew James Friday has had over 60 poems published in many UK and worldwide magazines and journals, including, recently: The Brasilia Review (Brazil), Dawntreader (UK), New Contrast (South Africa), Sheila Na-Gig (USA) and Poetry Salzburg (Austria). A mini-chapbook titled All the Ways to Love is forthcoming with the Origami Poems Project (USA).


Eglwys, Eglos, Ecclesia – a poem by Rob Evans

Eglwys, Eglos, Ecclesia

Beneath the slates, the cherubim,
the hammer-beams, we hold to faith.
We bring our sons and daughters –
the small votive offerings
of our seeded dreams; we wash them
in God’s salamandered waters
and we pray for a mason-mark:
a provenance that our clays
will be as innocent as elephants.


Rob Evans is an aerospace engineer who lives near London but who works all over the world. When not flying or working, he spends his time writing poetry and sometimes reading it to hushed and not-so-hushed audiences. He is a one-time UK All-Comers Poetry Slam Champion but has since clawed his way back to some kind of respectability.

The Orchestra Plays Nielsen’s ‘Inextinguishable’ – a poem by James Wood

The Orchestra Plays Nielsen’sInextinguishable’

to James Lowe

A shaman’s hands crafted this spell:
fingers wield bows, sawing at command –
God’s knitting needles, they knot each note
……………………………….into one fabric,
their music forging raw sound into magic.
Light swirls through each passage as the score
summons a fresh, seducing storm, a siren able
……………………………… bless any man.

And at its centre, the conductor
invoking the griefs and ghosts
of the ages to this pagan communion
………………………………..with nature.
Each vibrato a sign from our creator,
every minim and crotchet an absolution,
angel wings dipped to the earthly host,
………………………………..arms aloft in prayer.

From this oval pit to the whole
ringing world, take these words as best:
music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.
………………………………..A principle
for every anxious soul to follow,
a tempo for our hammer-hearts’ crucible,
the beat that trips and will not rest
……………………………… ages ebb and flow.

James W. Wood‘s work has appeared in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and South Africa, including the Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, The Boston Review, The South-West Review and many other journals and newspapers, including special features on and The Rochford Street Review (Australia). The author of five works of poetry and a pseudonymous thriller, he now lives on a rock in the Pacific Ocean with his wife, son and dog. Find him @James_W_Wood

Well Pump – a poem by Robert Okaji

Well Pump

To be within, yet without: the rootless seed.
Staring through glass, we see only the surface
sliced thin like cell-thick specimen slides.
I dream of knowing, of inclusion.
The well pump is fried, but only thieves
return our calls. How to deflect the lure
of complicity? Stack stone, observe clouds.
Tap the cistern. Absorb its hollow tune.

Robert Okaji lives in Texas. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Oxidant/Engine, Main Street Rag, Wildness and elsewhere, and may also be found at his blog at

Western Sky – a poem by Seth Jani

Western Sky

Here, in this part of the universe,
Everything has happened.
But over there, it’s only yesterday,
And the beautiful pause of death
Is still waiting for the notes to settle,
The music to subside.
I have been in an ocean
That defies everything we believe in.
I have spent a day watching forms
Arise and disappear.
The wind erases all our names
And we hear someone blow
On the slender grass blades.
The whole field fills
With luminous sound.
I think just beyond the
Radius of water, the nocturnal pools,
A small bird is engulfed in light.
You might say imagination
Gets the better of me, but I believe
This radiance is commonplace.
The ordinary miracle of the moon
Is an insomniac torching the western sky.
Despite our reservations,
These glassblown evenings pop
With ancient stars.

Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress ( His own work has been published widely in such places as The Chiron ReviewPretty Owl Poetry, Psaltery & LyreThe Hamilton Stone ReviewVAYAVYA, Gingerbread HouseGravel and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. Visit him at