Five Fleas Merch

Morning of October 3, 2023

truth at times snow

~LeRoy Gorman

the raven is watching you      always watching you

~Tom Blessing

getting a lop-earned foothold shoe horn

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

drowning in memory autumn rain

~LeRoy Gorman

I can’t remember when I stopped remembering the scent of violets

~Joshua St. Claire









~Adele Nwankwo


reminding me to renew

my birth control

~Adele Nwankwo

raking sand runes

with toy shovels

foretelling Wall Street

~Elliot Diamond

the viral myth

of a warty toad

lunar craters

~Elliot Diamond

that wheels-up moment–

when anything

is possible

~Jennifer Gurney

Stand” Fast, Ketanji!


An angel afloat, kneeling in prayer in a pool of adversaries;

arms willing to embrace all in spite of stinging waters affronting her face.


Never flinching or turning away;

N’er a complaint  day-after-day


With silent authority

   she remains, called and purposed.

~Suzanne S. Austin-Hill


Hollywood sign

turns pink

~Roberta Beach Jacobson


no I won’t listen

to what you have to say

~Joshua St. Claire

return to the office


is a different height

~Joshua St. Claire

he said "try this"

and got down on his knees

and was gone

~Tom Blessing

Evening of September 28, 2023


a bunch of rocks

in a jar

she names



This is Lucy.

~Kimberly Kuchar

first extraterrestrial film star

his handprints in cement show

all 12 fingers

~John J. Dunphy

floating his boat

as tea steeps

in a far-away universe

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

The week casts a long shadow.

It talks of rain and cats and dogs.

The week stops by the bar

for a long one, gin and tonic,

one drink, maybe two.

~Nolcha Fox

14-year-old hitchhiker

all his possessions

in a garbage bag

packed by

his parents

~John J. Dunphy

autumn evening

I look for hair colour

every now and then

~Bipasha Majumder (De)

fell asleep

in the sky

lightness of being

~Jennifer Gurney

Small lethargic fellow in the grass

late fall morning

not the season for a cold blooded baby

~Steve Van Allen

too much Deet wishing it was citronella finch legs stiff to the sky

~Elliot Diamond

little hamster,

what kind of secrets

do your cheeks hold?

~Kimberly Kuchar

Afternoon of September 25, 2023

your ashes

safe underground now

along with the dog's

~Penny Lowery

summer night

old dog comes in


~Penny Lowery


My children tell me they are bored

and all my suggestions are boring, too.

They drape themselves on couch and chair,

in blankets swathed, both semi comatose,

in listless, languid, enfeebling enervation, torpor total.

Unlike my dog, no ball, no leash,

no squirrel will quicken them to life.

~Cecil Morris

Fire is smart.

It finds the cracks.

It knows things.

~Sarah Henry

moonless night

in the crystal rocky


of consciousness


in the stirring

of her wake

the water siren's

dream lives

~Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo

carp from the canal in the backyard sniffing lilacs moving day

~Joseph P. Wechselberger








~Noah Berlatsky

that place between here and there where my father says goodbye

~Joseph P. Wechselberger


brother uncle son grandson

this man

all he has to do is sign his name

to enlist for this new war

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

that memory of when I was small and dad my hero a moment of minnows

~Joseph P. Wechselberger

a fairy tails

an ugly duckling

in a deep dive mission

into the pond's abyss

to steal a kiss

from the frog prince

and undo the curse

of the fairy's tail

~Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo

sudden wind

our conversation

blows down the street

~Joseph P. Wechselberger

Dog Days

This morning

our late daughter

is dead again

but we don’t

mention it.

And after work,

when we come home,

her dog, gone too,

does not greet us

with its dance.

~Cecil Morris

Afternoon of September 23, 2023


public library

now banned from observing

Banned Books Week

~John J. Dunphy

the art of love

dipping a brush

in foggy water

~Sharon Ferrante

gazing in the river

I see my reflection

beside yours

~Jennifer Gurney

fork in the road

it’s been a decade

I’m still here

~Sharon Ferrante

all roads

lead somewhere

cept this

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

fiery finale

on the beach

sea inhales sun

~James Penha

I grafted myself

to the branches of a tree

was always a fruit

~Jean-Paul L. Garnier

cable guy checks the water meter loose wires

~Sharon Ferrante

robot overlords

the evolutionary

natural next step

~Jean-Paul L. Garnier

peace be with you

the driver says

my hair caught in the door

~Sharon Ferrante

school begins

backpacks four times

the size of the bearers

~Maurizio Brancaleoni

bland bedtime stories

myth congeniality

not the least bit Grimm

~John H. Dromey


forgetting to turn myself


~Roberta Beach Jacobson

cultural appropriation

extraterrestrial tourist wears

cowboy clothes

~John J. Dunphy

Afternoon of September 22, 2023

 Baby Dalí

I do not have a hut

at the edge of the sea

nor a family

nor their ire;

but, I have the freedom

to dream the dreams

of a madman

in shabby thrifted attire.

~Kelly Moyer

on receiving a job promotion

boss asks, “do you own 

anything other than jeans?”

I laugh, then say “no”

~Tohm Bakelas

gloomy day

I sip my wine

your empty chair

~Françoise Maurice

a dried rose

inside Great Expectations

library dusk

~Debarati Sen


What else can I add

to you?

Paris, just

Paris . . .

fuming on,

late summer leaves sagging with




Our Best of the Net 2024 Nominations

Keith Snow, Kelly Moyer, Lauren Scharhag,

Nolcha Fox, Patrick Sweeney, petro c.k.

~Five Fleas Itchy Poetry 

Celtic fire, ancestors' blessing.

~Carolyn Crossley

black walnuts crafting weaponry from sparrowsong

~Kelly Moyer

Dead Horse Jesus (Haiku)

Dead Horse Jesus could

rise again, but he knows the

beatings wouldn’t stop.

~Chad Parenteau



inflation rate

the stars whisper

in the autumn sky

~Françoise Maurice

I Imagine

a star dying

a check clearing

love off somewhere

of course enduring


The Lament

Your eyes are open;

yet, you can’t seem to see

the treetop babies

or the way the sun

glistens on the surface

of time.

But, I’ll be the last

so bold as to remind you

that a pear costs a dollar

less than a dime.

~Kelly Moyer

The Veil

the wheel of

the year turns

forever eternal

spirits pass through

the thinning veil.

~Carolyn Crossley


nearly frozen

heavy raindrop slips

through a hole in the gutter

and hits me on the shoulder

sending a deep chill

through bone and organ

is it any wonder

I think of you?


tiger lilies —

I dared him

to love me

~Debarati Sen

the reality of the situation

big job promotion—

now I write haikus

on a higher salary

~Tohm Bakelas

Postcard from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

baguette-shaped clouds

above the brûléed plain

dusted just now in lavender




Evening of September 21, 2023

along the border weeding out the vulnerable

~John Hawkhead

preaching hellfire and damnation nation

~John Hawkhead

storm coming wind sweeping everything awry

~Jennifer Gurney

god’s good earth in the killing fields

~John Hawkhead

deepening love in mathematical improbabilities

~John Hawkhead

I Can't Take This Anymore

That's what I tell myself

every morning.

But I still get up

and do it all over again.

Because sometimes

a man has no other choice.

~Gabriel Bates

thanks for talking me off the 'buffeted by wind and wave' ledge

~Amy Sweeney

he jumped off his great-grandfather’s famous bridge

~Roberta Beach Jacobson


I’m not great at being anybody.

~Noah Berlatsky

ebb tide reaching a new low

~Patricia Hawkhead

Morning of September 17, 2023

all five faculties

what happens when you

don’t write things down

~Mark Gilbert

finding a soft spot in the icehouse of protracted pain

~Patrick Sweeney

tone in which the merchant said: we're not open

~Patrick Sweeney

the inner voyages of the bedridden sailor

~Patrick Sweeney


between raindrops

white space

~Mark Gilbert

fire does not give rise to perspective

the birds don’t sing

autumn does not come

autumn from now on without legs without god without man

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

(Originally published in BarBar)

I would know Tom Wait’s

voice anywhere ...

all gravel and grit

~Jennifer Gurney

the universe is snow-winter

one day we will fall into the grave

slowly like snowflakes

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

clutter of neurons


cling to the branches

~Mark Gilbert

after a trip to

the joke shop near Grandma’s house –

itching powder strikes

~Jennifer Gurney

a million fragments

each one labelled

with a memory

~Mark Gilbert

evidence of rickets deep in the bone texts of the Shang

~Patrick Sweeney

Metzenbaum scissors for the cut of his jib

~Patrick Sweeney

sandy beach scattered clouds a fake puppy runs toward the camera in slow motion

~Mark Gilbert