Evening of December 12, 2022

The earth is scorched

with scorn. This life. So brief.

What good are ashes after death?

Gobbled by the ground.

Returned. No refunds.

No survivors.

Forgotten. Faded photos

in a box.

~Nolcha Fox

loud air

thick with war demons

Ukrainian rescue

~Anna Cates

rigid timetable

a troop train returns

its bodies

~John Hawkhead

missile strikes

an exchange student

halves the last bagel

~Anna Cates

Watch and Prey

Turned to prey, as blood sacrifice

soon to be offered on the steppe,

like war, when masses in the church

find more wary crowd to the pews;

so on the pampas, prairie, veldt,

as some will graze while others watch,

uneasy stirring ripples through.

My skin so creeping, fleas about.

~Stephen Kingsnorth

brick kiln –

arranging my labour

in rows and columns

~Daipayan Nair

stranded vessels the clasp of ice

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

a hill of ants

within each hill

an ant hill

~Rupa Anand


she places his valentine

in the fireplace

~Robert Witmer

heat haze

swift screams cauterise

polythene air

~John Hawkhead

Afternoon of December 9, 2022

I. Escape

planned by the small green turtle that lived in a glass bowl,

with only a plastic tree and fake rock for company,

clean dish of water and flakes of turtle food

his only diversion as he explored his environment

~Julie A. Dickson

II. Except

late at night, he climbed from the bowl, ambitious journey

from table down to the floor heat duct through narrow

metal slats, landing in a low pan of water

for humidity – a turtle’s heated swimming pool

~Julie A. Dickson

III. Search

in the morning for missing turtle, absent from his bowl,

found in the heat duct, pan of water happily swimming.

Retrieved, returned turtle back to the glass bowl prison

where he spent the day planning his next escape

~Julie A. Dickson

cataract fact sheet


read it

~Ruth Holzer

fleabag motel a parrot screeches hello

~Adrian Bouter 

in a window of the old age home canaries

~Ruth Holzer

rickshaw pulling

the pause

between each song

~Daipayan Nair

retirement cake

thirty years

of heartburn

~Ruth Holzer

My only proper clothes

Are the two hoodies

I have lucked into

Over the several

Last months

And it goes downhill

From there

For Gerry



~Gerard Sarnat

He swallows all the sleeping pills,

he bags his head in plastic.

He leaves no note, no text, no cry.

He only leaves us silence.

~Nolcha Fox

false sense of well-being better than no sense at all Xanax

~Ruth Holzer

every day a pilgrimage wheelie bins

~Ruth Holzer

i escape

with white horses

this disjunctive world

~Wanda Amos

five fleas...

a roo’s ear twitching

in the outback heat

~Wanda Amos

a fly

in my shiraz

dying with dignity

~Wanda Amos

Evening of December 5, 2022


spaceship window ……….

no more ups

no more downs

~Mark Gilbert

fingers touching keyboards we become A.I.

~Colette Kern

malaria sun the bite of betrayal

~Susan Burch

The stolen apple

oh so juicy.

One bite

he choked.

~Peter Blau

Faster, giant trash truck, faster

   squirrels are gaining on you! 

~Steve Van Allen


notes on the notes

on the notes

~Jerome Berglund

helpfully debunking

conspiracy theories


~Jerome Berglund

I’m not a perfectionist

just because I use tweezers

to pick up confetti.

~Nolcha Fox


In quiet moments, he makes

tiny bubbles with his mouth.

It’s as though they might be

spirits yet to cross over

or innocents yet to be born.

I yearn to capture each one

within a dusty mason jar,

just as i might

a hastily-scribbled poem

or this post-apocalyptic firefly.

~Kelly Moyer

daddy long legs and I have nowhere to be

~Patrick Sweeney

avant garde

of entitled characters

finding the lost city

of creatures

half-human half-troll(ey)


in the amazon jungle

of boxes and receipts

failing at

closing credits

~Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo

he fed the banister to the furnace for us

~Patrick Sweeey

Afternoon of December 5, 2022


a sudden itch

to go shopping

flea market

~Andrew Markowski

poison ivy

a boy in summer camp

is itching to leave

~Andrew Markowski

with time the faithless will itch with fleas

~Elancharan Gunasekaran

   prey pray predators play war and peace wargames

~Mark Gilbert

leap and pray and follow the serpent’s sway

~Elancharan Gunasekaran

devil's daughter

they say the devil is in the details,

and i've always noticed everything;

does that mean i'm his daughter?

~linda m. crate


he was a When Kingdom Comes type of guy

~Patrick Sweeney

Morning of December 5, 2022


death a breeding ground for life


revise the syntax to approximate the destruction

~Elancharan Gunasekaran

it's hard to throw away pictures of the dead

~Patrick Sweeney

Death serves me

coffee and sits

at the table.

He points outside.

Those trees will

remain without you.

Want more cream?

~Nolcha Fox

effigy’s final act of resistance: a smile

~Elancharan Gunasekaran

where the bleeding was internal rhyme

~Kelly Moyer

grey upon grey and into the afterthought

~Elancharan Gunasekaran

slipped away

you slipped away

into some foreign sea,

a message in a bottle

i wasn't meant to read.

~linda m. crate