Five Fleas Merch

Morning of December 3, 2023

This Poem Is a Process. Whatever Else You Read Today Is This Poem.

~Noah Berlatsky

the sacrifice

of forests

Christmas gift wrap

~Wanda Amos

giving tree –

Santa arrives

on a purple scooter

~Bonnie J Scherer

jingle bells

time to bring out

our gay apparel

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

no one to fill my stocking but myself I become Santa

~Jennifer Gurney

Salvation Army shelter home for the holidays

~Jennifer Gurney

Christmas Eve

red and green lights at

the intersection

~John J. Dunphy

My yoga mat is rolled up by arthritis and bad knees.

A fractured wrist put winter walking on my deranged list.

My head is full of migraines and a gallon of caffeine.

I'd like to change my age back to a time

when all that mattered was a peanut butter sandwich.

~Nolcha Fox

he was briefly remembered for having elegant penmanship

~Patrick Sweeney

writing –

my style changes upon hearing

a siren

~John J. Dunphy

pen to paper

the feeling of

pure release

        - poetry

~Ann Christine Tabaka

in his glad rags, he was comfortable on his own bed of nails

~Patrick Sweeney

though they were only a myth, it was a relief when the winners cashed in

~Patrick Sweeney

the obligation of pumpkin pie

~Patrick Sweeney

the day the candlenut tree introduced herself

~Patrick Sweeney

whatever will I do with this déjà vu

~Patrick Sweeney

Morning of November 29, 2023




You little punk ass

Walking off a cliff in full formal wear

Acting like nothing would change

When you splattered against the rocks

I got news for you pal

                                             my world ended

that day

You pulled an Icarus

and flew 

Away from me

~Anthy Strom


Hawaiian Summer

I can't help it if

I'm too sexy for my shirt.

Some people are too

polite to comment on it.

Others laugh. See if I care.

~Dominic Rivron


fill me with helium

tie me down

take me for a ride

round dublin town

there, i'll tell you

in a squeaky voice

interesting things

about james joyce

~Dominic Rivron

video bubble; aliens

come for 50s sitcoms

stay for rock and roll

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Old Brew Poetry

Bubbling hops

Simmering in the stew

Pipes and plastic hoses pippippiping

Frankenstein's little boy

Concocted by humanity's impulse

To get rip-roaring plastered on a Saturday night

~Anthy Strom

nothing to do—

I let Leonard Cohen

tie me up

~Sharon Ferrante


to bargain basement . . .

building code

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

The Qwerty Keyboard Warrior

Quite Why Effete Readers

Test Your Unusually

Inopportune Observations

Poses A Serious Doubt.

Furthermore, Giants

Have Just Killed Lovely Zoe.

Xenophon Could Verbally Berate New Mexico.

~Tony Dawson


inside the watch

a Dali sentience

~dan smith

conquering over

ocean earth and sky

we are living dinosaurs

~Joan McNerney

getting a few bugs

out of our poetry


~Roberta Beach Jacobson


on clumps of rotting seaweed

century egg

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

when will we see

there is no light

without darkness?

we all lose in the end

~Joan McNerney

Telephone-pole beetles speed dating between oak trees

~Elliot Diamond

chemo port wine

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

whispers and shadows know whether I'm awake

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel

the nowhere train has no engine and no caboose




~dan smith

Afternoon of November 28, 2023


I tell myself

it was just an earring–

but I lost you again

~Jennifer Gurney

Black Friday

woman pushes

her shopping cart into

a homeless encampment

~John J. Dunphy

the grays in my eyebrow silverfish

~Susan Burch

kingfishers arc-welding shards of sky

~John Hawkhead

Taylor Swift fans too chimney swifties

~Susan Burch

This is not a swipe.

~Noah Berlatsky

breaking silence fallen leaves

~Marc Brimble

paper or plastic Barbie’s watching

~Susan Burch

30% chance

just as I sit on a bench

100% rain

~Christa Pandey

Frost flowers blooming

Ghosts growing in the cold air

The sunlight takes them

~Sam Calhoun


selling A positive

to pay the rent

~John Hawkhead

Nembutal nights

slipping into deep currents

of wish fulfilment

~John Hawkhead

Roach Lines

Open the kitchen drawer

there you are

slipping across silver cutlery

like a pitch pebble

skimming a lake


beneath the dishwasher


crap dirt bogies debris

~Marc Brimble

exchanged words

a gradual vowel-shift

in endearments

~John Hawkhead

rolling news

the world spins on its axis

repeating itself

~John Hawkhead

Big Brown Eyes

Don’t believe that sweet expression.

Notice that his claws are splayed.

He just buried the cat.

~Nolcha Fox


Morning of November 28, 2023

Very Little


I believe in very little.

I believe in love

but only a little

and love is one of the

littlest things of them all.

~John Tustin



Quadruple checking lines & limbs

Triple sanding *all affected areas*

Staining + double top coat passim

Complete the entire restoration

during a < single > work session.

Declare soulful recovery.

Parts and Labor: $ 1, 234.00
~Charles A. Perrone

Watching the Clouds


I want to die

in a way

that I never could have lived –


lying on my back,

watching the clouds

~John Tustin

inner peace


by teasing out

and shunning reason

be cartesian


ever pleasing

never easing

off this pledge

beyond the ledge

and natural edge

no fine line to draw

~Charles A. Perrone

the morning after

vultures hang

their wings out to dry

~Sarah Paris



In This Moment


In this moment

there is just enough room here

for a purring cat,

some music,

a bird that cries distantly,

the wind shaking local trees,

a cup of coffee,

the waning sun,


nothing else.

~John Tustin

Morning of November 24, 2023

 when she's around you half expect a yellow canary to fly into the room

~Patrick Sweeney


they called me mermaid 

because i answered

the call of the sea,

but they never heard her;

i guess that's why 

they don't understand

my depths.

~linda m. crate 


my inner world

on the display screen

~Arvinder Kaur

coping with cancer —

the nail polish brighter

than last time

~Rupa Anand

too much

i was always told i

was too much by 

people who i thought

could be more,

if you should ask me

the only thing there's too much

of is: bombs, genocides, wars,

cruelty, malice, indifference, and greed.

~linda m. crate 

until they crawl in next to you   the sorrows of the world

~Patrick Sweeney

ravages of war

the straight face

of AI anchor

~Arvinder Kaur

autumn sky —

this desire to return

to the womb

~Debarati Sen

no money in poetry

no poetry in money

this is not a poem

nor money neither

~Noah Berlatsky

dark river

an oar scoops dead fish

in its spoon

~Rupa Anand


you thought yourself

a god who could

mold me into your image,

you were surprised

to find i was a goddess

who could sculpt myself

into whatever image that suited me.

~linda m. crate  

dowry demands —

dad curses the day

I was born

~Debarati Sen


Body language continues our argument.

Uber guy says, “You ladies should smile more,

pretty girls like you.”

“What about the uglies─ should they smile, too?”

My sister sits up perpendicular, bares her teeth and growls.

The driver crashes into a STOP sign, slurring the word “Stop”

as if it too is skidding.

~Cheryl Snell

she doesn't want me to throw away the small pieces of soap

~Patrick Sweeney

moon shadow cognitive dissonance
~Jennifer Gurney

the inner jewelry of old telephone wires

~Patrick Sweeney

on the other side of sadness anger

~Jennifer Gurney

kissing the piggy that had roast beef

~Patrick Sweeney

I remind the moon

and all to wear a mask—

covid is waxing

~James Penha

solar noon

the donkey claims the win

for himself

~Françoise Maurice


in the room

even silence has a sound

~B. L. Bruce

Afternoon of November 20, 2023

 knot know now know now not

~J. D. Nelson

snowy rehearsal dinner eve we all get cold feet

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

5 am

our snow angel struck by

a thrown newspaper

~John J. Dunphy

Sky High

After first light

before sun rise

I tell Timothy,

my Uber driver.

There's only one planet

visible, probably Venus.

He tells me his electric

bill is super expensive

from the brand new provider,


~Keith Snow

kings in the corner

shuffling, dealing, playing

red on black on red

~Jennifer Gurney

The solidity and concretude

of this frigid block of material

prompts me to ponder

the liquidity and lightness

of this aerial being of flakes

each intricate and distinct

from the next and all others

designed to make me think

of an ethereal alternative

to the prescribed dosage.

~Charles A. Perrone

I Wish…

I had a poem braising

in the slow cooker,

with yellow potatoes

and the last carrots.

A savory one,

that would warm me

internally and leave me


~Keith Snow

silver moth hands we are in the stomach

~J. D. Nelson

The Fate of a Gate


They left the gate open for us so we

could reach the space of the dialed device

to weigh the bag of options the farm offered

They surely must have known of our ignorance

of scales and hooks and all their close relatives

and most likely anticipated the cool mark of zero

the hanging machine would inevitably register to

provoke our blue feelings of lack and emptiness

and disappointment for the loss of opportunity

to live green and reside there in bucolic bliss

~Charles A. Perrone


Purple people eaters wear blue suede shoes.

Blue skies turn from purple haze.

Purple rain soaks the blue jays and a blue bird.

A purple patch cured his blues.

The true blue have received purple hearts!

~Keith Snow

fluoride crayon mirrored zine library

~J. D. Nelson



Announcement soon: Touchstone Poetry Award nominees from Five Fleas Itchy Poetry!