On the now-autumn hill,
(like breathed-on glass)
plastic sheeting wrapping the building,
slapping and thwacking
like a kite in high wind
in all-day riling light
and breathless, tussling cloud,
makes me think that the soul
(or just the idea),
flinging stronger and higher,
longing full-blast for elsewhere, other,
is an oblique scaffolding
tying us, inspiring,
to make ourselves
better, ever more firmly here.
Iain Twiddy studied literature at university and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Stand, The London Magazine, and elsewhere.
Fireflies and Camomile
There was no sky
No moon, or stars or light
Only the endless shadow of the winter night.
We blinked, and the sky caught fire
Leaping from hill to hill
‘Till we were the calm centre of a blazing pyre.
“Go!” roared the fire.
“But where?” we said. “The fire is all around.”
“Seek!” hissed the fire.
“But who?” we said. “Our eyes are sore with smoke.”
“Find,” said the fire
“But how?” we said. “There is no path to follow.”
And the fire blinked out,
But left a line that glittered in the grass,
A line of fireflies and camomile.
We ran and danced and sang between the hills,
Dancing into Bethlehem
(Bethlehem, of all places!
Nothing happens in Bethlehem).
When we returned
From where the glow seeped
Through the wood and mortar and stone
And the air was drenched in wonder,
The ones who stayed asked us how it felt.
We said to them; “It felt like coming home.”
Edward Alport is a proud Essex Boy and retired teacher. He occupies his time as a gardener and writer for children. He has had poetry published in a variety of webzines and magazines. When he has nothing better to do he posts snarky micropoems on Twitter as @cross_mouse.
I savior my inhales
when I swim through
the dark blue
I want to remember
how it feels,
to slow down
ease my strokes
and flutter my feet
like a boat’s
I notice each dolphin
that giggles, each colony
and imagine what it’s like
to be a seagull
who hovers above me
as if I fly
across the briny sea
of sacred swells
I count my blessings,
the number of buoys,
noticing how far I venture,
or if my mind
or if I have the strength
I caress the water,
take it into my heart
I feel its soul
move through my lungs,
and its spirit
upon which I float.
Mark Tulin is a former family therapist from California. He has a poetry chapbook, Magical Yogis, and two upcoming books, The Asthmatic Kid, and a poetry collection, Awkward Grace. He has appeared in Fiction on the Web, Free Verse Revolution, Leaves of Ink, among anthologies and podcasts. His website is Crow On The Wire.
The science of images
According to Thomas
(Gospel that is)
When you can replace a hand by a hand
A foot by a foot
An image by an image
Then you will enter the Kingdom.
But who will teach us the great science of image making
Not for ill and not for power
Not to sell nor to seduce
Nor for domination of another’s mind and soul and means
But to transform the earth
Into God’s Kingdom?
© Irina Kuzminsky
Irina Kuzminsky is a widely published poet and writer; she is also a dancer, singer and composer, who has combined a life in the arts with a rigorous academic background including a doctorate from Oxford. Her passion has long been a quest for the feminine faces of the Divine across spiritual traditions https://irinushka.net
Solace is a rowan tree
Oh rowan, mountain ash,
your smooth, silver bark
suffering into shine.
Your emerald pinnate leaves
possibilities of flight.
Your flowers, a sex-swirl of unity,
grace; restore dignity.
Your fruit, bursting
clusters of lifeboat-orange, detonate
Oh rowan, lift us with the wisdom
of your long
sweet mountain ash.
David Hanlon is a welsh poet living in Cardiff. He is a Best of the Net nominee. You can find his work online in over 40 magazines, including Rust & Moth, Icefloe Press & Mineral Lit Mag. His first chapbook Spectrum of Flight is available for purchase now at Animal Heart Press.
Bruce’s Memorial Bench
you were the years
days slept on
but today, sky comes down to you,
it carries an ocean,
keeps returning impulsive wind
…covering hours in sand—
where in a sojourn of yellow heat
…life was long and death is newer;
after a storm shudders by,
…some will come and remain—gentle.
Judy DeCroce, is an internationally published poet, flash fiction writer, educator, and avid reader whose works have been published by Plato’s Cave online, The Poet Magazine, Amethyst Review, Tigershark Publishing, The BeZine and many journals and anthologies.
As a professional storyteller and teacher of that genre, she also offers, workshops in flash fiction. Judy lives and works in upstate New York with her husband poet/artist, Antoni Ooto.
Why Not the Temple
I am attached to my attachments
feed them like pets
and to my own pet
a small puppy
to him too I am attached
I say daily to my beloveds
I love you every day always
like a chant to save them
or a leash to hold them
My love loops and repeats
a hungry circle
I am failing Dorje Kelsang
and I’m doing it like a child
my excuses part lies
I do have time and a good car
even money to donate
soup to bring for others
but I can’t face you Dorje
to say my needs are unbeatable
and I’m not even trying anymore
to love anyone as much
or love my loves less
Pray for me Dorje
and know I tried a little
just enough to love you
not enough to love all
Jessica L. Walsh is the author of two poetry collections and two chapbooks. Her work has appeared in RHINO, Tinderbox, Connecticut Review, and more. She is a professor at a two-year college outside of Chicago.
we found the tomatoes grew best in the cemetery
sending their thick roots deep
into the soil, wrapping thickly-furred cilia between
sinew and bone, found new life in places
left for the dead.
we threw our seeds random between
the overgrown plots, hoping the tiny plants would escape
the eyes of the caretaker, the blades of his mower
the heavy footsteps of other people
visiting other graves.
late summer, when the vines rose high
climbed around the rough trunks
of ancient willows of firs
we crept into the graveyard, baskets under our arms
collected enough ripe fruit to last through
the long, cold winter ahead.
Holly Day (hollylday.blogspot.com) has been a writing instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review, and her newest poetry collections are Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press), and Book of Beasts (Weasel Press).
Pilgrims in Tibet
We climbed the scree slope
high above tree line
bleached stones lined the path,
found enormous prayer wheels
mounted in a square structure,
shuffled clockwise, touched each one,
the wheels turning in the wind
frayed flags blew, faded colors
from winter suns, summer suns
searing at altitude. The pilgrims
prostrated themselves at each step
months away from the temple,
at night they boiled millet
over a tiny dung fire
before rolling into thick woolen robes
ground frozen hard by morning.
We walked on following our camels,
nodded at the pilgrims as we passed
they hardly noticed,
intent on kneeling on leather-shod
knees, leather-lined palms,
hour after hour, dust-coated
at 11,000 feet, we breathed hard.
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. Over 500 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. She is a Best of the Net and twice a Pushcart nominee. She is interested in the American West and the narratives of people and places around her. She is a retired teacher living in Oregon.
A Short History of Frankincense
Mary Mulholland came to poetry after careers in journalism and psychotherapy. She has a Poetry MA from Newcastle and has been published in magazines and anthologies. She won the US Momaya prize in 2019, and has been commended and shortlisted in several national competitions. She co-edits The Alchemy Spoon.