Five Fleas Merch

Evening of September 28, 2023

 

a bunch of rocks

in a jar

she names

each

one


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

flea-ridden

~Penny Lowery



Ennui


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

stream

of consciousness

lost

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



stars

sky

earth

worm

earth

sky

stars

~Noah Berlatsky



that place between here and there where my father says goodbye

~Joseph P. Wechselberger



husband

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



hokey-pokey

forgetting to turn myself

around

~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



Paris.

What else can I add

to you?

Paris, just

Paris . . .

fuming on,

late summer leaves sagging with

exhaust.

~Yearner


 

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

~Yearner



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



One


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?

~Yearner



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

light

~Yearner



 

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



walking

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

thoughts

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

Afternoon of September 14, 2023


strange dream:

I spill a glass of wine

on Jack Kerouac

~Sharon Ferrante



Pyrites Pirate


I drink from the vessel,

casks of wine;

why leave it to the rats on board?

Pyrites Pirate, iron awe

to steal from sinking sailors,

wine-press gang.

~Stephen Kingsnorth

 

 

human extinction

and then life renews itself

no bones about it

~Robert Witmer



a young girl digs

discovers a fossil

marries him

~Sharon Ferrante



setting the bar

fairly low

a pagan funeral

in limbo

~Robert Witmer



paradice

the fruit of life’s gamble

snake eyes

~Robert Witmer



lace ships

harbor in a summer sky

mojitos by the sea

~Robert Witmer



in the sky something absurd

~Roberta Beach Jacobson



penthouse windows the rich know way of opening

~Robert Witmer



Space


⸮ With fewer words, more space for thought,

but space between the terms creates

prompts required for eroteme ?

~Stephen Kingsnorth



Colonial Power

rickety split

the banana tree

in the garden

uprooted

a ramshackle hurricane

snake eyes

in a pair

of loaded dice

~Robert Witmer

Evening of September 13, 2023


reliquary

the dog emperor

visits Earth

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel



I Dew


We only eat olives

in the twilight,

just as the kittens

begin

to darn

their socks,

for certainty

is a lousy lover,

little more than

fodder for the plot.

~Kelly Moyer



cone fizzled out

we thought and breathed a sigh

Vesuvius

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel



There are as many explosions as there are stars in the sky

Every night to underground storage and bunkers

An alarm siren sounds

 

Life is wonderful as if it started from an egg and not from a dead chicken

~Mykyta Ryzhykh



anniversary

of your death

stop texting me

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel



removing

last sliver of hope

tweezers

~Roberta Beach Jacobson



the sway of curtains

leaving

claw marks on the moon

~Kelly Moyer



harvested field

strewn with dead sparrows

development

~Bipasha Majumder (De)



so much meaning

packed in the singular question –

why?

~Jennifer Gurney



Religion is a hobby club for those who have never died

~Mykyta Ryzhykh



shells on the beach war

~Roberta Beach Jacobson



open bellies conceal simple truths

~Mykyta Ryzhykh



tropical jungle death of a thousand sucks

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel



unclaimed i tether myself to driftwood

~Kelly Moyer