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

Too Close to See – a poem by Ion Corcos

Too Close to See

Mist in the evening lies on the cliffs,
headland in cloud, like in mountain hollows
where cows graze, lie on damp grass.

You think the weather should change slowly;
there is nothing gradual about weather.

White egrets follow cows. Some pick at grass,
catch insects the cattle disturb. Others sit
atop the bovine backs, eat ticks and flies.

Magpies and crows stare from branches
shrouded in the haze, stand awkwardly
on the roadside, poke at old remains.

Why are you upset at things that happened
before you were born?

We are close to clouds. Heaven is hidden
in the fog, the sky on the field.

On the roadside, a dead crow.

We don’t get to choose our time of death.
If we did, what would that make of us?

Life is like the remains of a tree;
or watching egrets. The birds, then the cattle,

a pastoral scene, a feeling of peace,
till the eye catches the dead crow.

Everything feels real, like the wind
on your body. But it will eventually pass.
Freedom is knowing this.

At night it rains. Drops fall on leaves,
branches, the space between. As it eases,
the ocean’s thud on sand hits hard.

No other sound; no lapwing, miner
or crow, no sound but drops, the sea.

When it’s time for a bird to fly north, it knows.

We have been. The empty cup
of tea left behind on the kitchen sink.

Where are you now? What are you doing
that is more significant than that empty cup?

I do not need a large rock to fall
into my stream, change my course.


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


The Atmospheric River – a poem by Barbara A Meier

The Atmospheric River

I cannot  walk out of the atmospheric river
by myself, especially at 5:00 PM
when the wind shifts from southwest to northeast
bringing the charnel smell of slaughterhouses, cauterized blood-
miasma of death, tinting skies coppery with bruising green clouds.
White sunlight being scattered by marble size  hail.
The clouds –  hiss, boil like a snake curling down to strike-

A dry line encounter: where moist meets dry.
The passion of death in a dance of  wind:
2X4’s impaled in a tree.
Death is the only outcome of this storm.
And in that moment when it jumps from north to east,
I see it spawning little devils on the horizon…
Mocking me in a brief grim dance.
Toe to earth and then back up to heaven.

It is finished.

In the silence after the storm …
The breath comforts me, gently calls my name
and I realize the relief of birds chirping in a fallen creation.
This little resurrection gives life
to the destruction and debris that is my life.
The blood not burnt the body not charred,
the water a rain of grace-colors refracting

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.

Tirol Teaching – a poem by Matthew James Friday

Tirol Teaching

Against the back drop of snow-
tipped teeth of the north Tirol,
teeth that gnaw at the eyes.

Steam vents out of a hotel chimney:
thick, greyer than snow, unfurling
a sky dragon’s tail tipping, turning,
curling with wind whispering it

fainter, wider, fainter, wilder
swirls of nothingness,
sometimes too wild, then
suddenly soft and dissipating.

All meaning of life inferred here
with the unmovable mountains
rising to continental conductors,
falling if a million years of water insists.

As I stare I know I am closer
to the steam molecules than stone,
to scattering snow than still conifers.

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).


Bracha – a poem by Sally Michaelson


Blessings for first fruits,
for various creatures
for giants, for dwarves

for portents, for lightning
and thunder
are jumbling behind my lips

Blessed art thou Lord
King of the Universe
for this opportunity

to taste the chicken livers
Chavignol and croutons
that he made for me to try,

for leading me out
of kosher
to the enormity of not.

Sally Michaelson is a conference interpreter in Brussels and her poems have been published in Lighthouse and Ink, Sweat and Tears.