Buoyancy – a poem by Mark Tulin

Buoyancy

I savior my inhales
and exhales
when I swim through
the dark blue

I want to remember
how it feels,
to slow down
my breath,
ease my strokes
and flutter my feet
like a boat’s
propeller

I notice each dolphin
that giggles, each colony
of seals,
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
is capable
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.

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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 – a poem by Irina Kuzminsky

The science of images
According to Thomas
(Gospel that is)
Says
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

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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 – a poem by David Hanlon

Solace is a rowan tree

Oh rowan, mountain ash,

your smooth, silver bark
transforms
suffering into shine.

Your emerald pinnate leaves
defibrillate
possibilities of flight.

Your flowers, a sex-swirl of unity,
exhale
grace; restore dignity.

Your fruit, bursting
clusters of lifeboat-orange, detonate
stagnation.

Oh rowan, lift us with the wisdom
of your long
-lived years.

Oh rowan,
sweet mountain ash.

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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 – a poem by Judy DeCroce

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.

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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 – a poem by Jessica L. Walsh

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

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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.

Harvest – a poem by Holly Day

Harvest
 
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 – a poem by Emily Strauss

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,
leather-bound foreheads
hour after hour, dust-coated
at 11,000 feet, we breathed hard.

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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 – a poem by Mary Mulholland

A Short History of Frankincense

Screenshot 2020-07-25 at 10.59.19

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.
www.marymulholland.co.uk
@marymulhol

Cease-Fire – a poem by Erika Kanda

Cease-Fire

Impotent and haunted shore
heavy cask whose faults are mine
are we only bone Pangaea
doomed and bound by birth to split?

Held in fluid and suspense
full of fear and mortal gods
what becomes seductive faith
when neurons call a truce?

When the harbor is not safe
and numb is not a feeling
who among the sum of us
hopes to be the first to burn?

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Erika Kanda lives in Northern Virginia, USA with her partner. She loves hot press paper and all things speculative.

 

No Body – a poem by Robert S. King

No Body

Surely there’s a shore
where no bodies wash up
except for the purest
grains of sand.

There must be a river
that runs uphill
and a road that lifts
from the earth to spiral
with the galaxies.

Wonder too if no body
held us up, if winds carry our dust
to a crossroad without signs,
not to an end but to a choice
where we might go all ways at once.

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Robert S. King edits Good Works Review. His poems appear widely, including Chariton Review, Kenyon Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Southern Poetry Review. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently Developing a Photograph of God (Glass Lyre Press, 2014) and Messages from Multiverses (Duck Lake Books, 2020).