Wednesday, June 29, 2022


by Kulbir Saran 
crawl the tunnel  
through the belly 
chase the beacon  
when it eats 
at the mouth  
can scrape the tongue 
for morsels, mountains  
thin as sheets 
behind the teeth  
of purple sky 
a star is born  
but started burning 
somewhere on  
the other side 

Street Video

 by Royal Rhodes

These stories almost escaped
from order into dizzying chaos,
with linear cartoon-like panels
in the rows of tenement floors,
letting us glimpse the dramas
inside, without subtitles to read.
The lens took in the flaking paint,
acid-yellow wall-paper strips,
and a woman gazing out at us,
squinting through a bruised eye.
The action moved along from here
to there, inventing a melodrama
of gunshots and alley dumpsters
But we also had seen in the street
the image from a pin-hole camera
a homeless man had documented
from when he was living rough
a block from the stately capitol
where legislators reiterated claims
that no veterans ever slept on grates.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

One AM

 by David Chorlton
The North Star blows smoke
from the tip of a revolver. It’s one AM
and the sky has grown restless.
The desert lies down to sleep
while the heat of the day
soaks in to rocks. Over and beyond
the mountain city lights illuminate
strip mall after strip mall, at one of which
a party ended just
as an owl chose the moment
to sweep darkness and a mouse
aside with its silent wings. It is
a wonderful mystery the way
thirst turns into life
when coyotes thread their way
along night’s stony paths. And asked
what happened, people
told reporters  It was like emptying
a bucket of stars into a crowd.


by Roberta Beach Jacobson

under the shadows

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

can’t see you can’t see me

by Kulbir Saran 

cotton crotchet draped  
atop adorned mahogany 
figurative passive shield 
where crumb and callus dwell 
beneath, a misfit jigsaw 
plywood plate mosaic, gaped  
and taped and glued and  
screwed haphazard 
from above, only seems  
a rumble every now and then  
press these splintered lips  
raw against the dampened roof  

Revelation Will Best Unfold

by M. G. Michael
Near the huge clock, in Piata Romana,  
The old man they see him, all of them, day and night. 
He sits with episcopal dignity as if on a throne. 
Alone. Like a word. 
One afternoon he reaches into his sack coat 
And pulls out a small evergreen. 
With outstretched hands he offers it to a little child 
She, alone, notices that from the wrist up, 
His arms are covered in thick white down. 
They both beam. The old man remembered things 
The little child delighted in her imagination. 
Revelation will best unfold between the cracks  
Like light, which pours through the tight spaces of rocks. 
The others in their multitude, all of them, day and night, 
Notice. Nothing.  

Sunday, June 19, 2022


by Carrie Albert

Crows loop above, free to steer
their own lines. The hill pulls 
evergreens downward; branches descend
in long strands of earth-mother hair.
A leaf-slippery path leads 
to a gathering of plastic tents, curtained  
with tattered blanket insulation, mini-domes 
blend into vines, roped to trees, 
root-cling might hold them. 
No one is home or everyone hibernates 
inside, rich with time, and winter poor. 
The closed doors flaps. Signs: 
garbage bagged and scattered, 
wheelchair-in-waiting, one pink slipper. 
A hula hoop hangs on limb,
empty dream catcher.

How To Write A Sentence

by Cielo Jones 

Choose a subject:
the geese at the curb,
the bucket beaters on the street islands,
the cart pushers, the corner sitters,
or the fancy car driver who just sped by.

Choose a predicate:  
cross the streets in single file,
stop traffic with bodacious beats,  
holding up placards, one-sentence life stories
  break my heart,
honks horn at the car in front,
he stops for the geese, or taken by the drummers.

For more complicated sentences, add clauses:  
people should be allowed to hunt the birds,
healthy choice since they’re in the wild,  
What wild? This is the city, for crying out loud. 
No hunting here! 

round up the nuisance, the traffic hazards, find a meadow, 
but this is their meadow we occupied
it’s of no use you know - they’ll be back here, 
they always are.
gather up the unfortunates, find a shelter, a job, a care
or put them in jail, charge them for disturbing the peace,
the fastest way to save them from freezing
find solid solutions or they’ll be back here, they usually do.

ticket the driver for disturbing the peace
charge him  for his impatience, his flamboyance.

Cross your t’s and dot your i’s.  
The geese are there in their wild.
So we leave them be, and that should be.
But the drummer,  the man on the corner,
their predicaments I can’t fathom.
I can’t meet their eyes, I hold no remedies, 
but I should not leave them be, that should not be.
and the fancy car driver?         
He’s a bystander, he’ll go another route next time.

Finally, punctuate. End the sentence but don’t kill it. 
Question mark for all the queries:
How did they get here?
What is tomorrow for their growing population?
Why did they lose their homes?
Where else can they go?
When did it all begin, when does it end?
Who, if not I, can help?

Exclamation point:
the annoyance for these city poopers,
the warnings to choose another path, 
they’ll get run over!
the anger and frustrations,
(because) I want to bring them home
shout it out over the muscle engine.

Period, to close the door.
Complacency or surrender.
No more arguments. 
Your sentence ends here. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


by Douglas J. Lanzo

black on green
silhouette of fruit bat
hanging from banana leaf

The Sweep
Photography by Carrie Albert

Monday, June 13, 2022


by Katherine E Winnick 

drenched beneath
raining rice paper


by Chen-ou Liu

with a twist to his mouth ...
cicadas droning


by Joshua St. Claire

trash bag
in the elm
my son sees a ghost


by Jan MacRae

Americans think
this is the best country:
box stores and strip malls.
Garden gnomes posed peeing.
Near the aisle selling
pistols, row after row
of dog toys.
No Eurasian Jays here
in the states, birds
pinkish with brilliant blue
front of the wings.
“Skraak-shraak” is their voice,
along with mimicry,
including vultures.  I would 
like to be able to imitate 
a vulture here in America,
where the living are often faced 
with dead around us,
in the faces of that family posing
with their automatic weapons 
around the Christmas tree.
The meth freaks begging 
for change,  for change,
not the coins 
someone gives them outside 
of the farmer’s market.
Sandyhook didn’t happen,
says the conservative talk show host.
I listen like a vulture
ready to rend flesh.
I am violent too, believing 
a thousand words
are worth a picture.
I am definitely
my country’s progeny, 
my bright plumage as
necessary as camouflage
as I line up on the other side.

Sunday, June 12, 2022


by Deborah A. Bennett

night of falling leaves -
a thousand names at once
become the wind


by B. L. Bruce

inland lagoon
gull prints in wet sand
lead east

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Scarcity In the Neighborhood
for Michael

by Ellen Woods
 I see you as I walk from my apartment near
Temescal Alley   shops that make up 
what has become home to you for years
you lie on the sidewalk next to Shoe 
Palace   gazing up   wrapped in a blue sleeping bag   
your shoes   beside you   worn   untied 
your hands rest on your chest    fingers beat out rhythm
as if playing saxophone   lost in revery 
lined face sunburned by years outside belies your age
do you have family?   case manager who gives
you meds?   SSI check?   bed at a shelter?
board and care you leave to come here?
you crawl out of the sleep sack   stand up   stretch
lift a grey hoody to your chest   struggle to put your arms and 
head through openings   repeat with sweater 
you make eye contact with me as I get in my car
I hold the connection    fight the urge to look down
you sway   shadow-box   demons deride you
mutter about the devil   pull out a joint   
light   inhale   pace back and forth
wriggle back in your blue bag   bury your head 
people pass by    leave unsolicited offerings   dollar bills   
pizza   piece of cheesecake   blanket   pillow 
can’t bear your scarcity   afraid of our own
weeks in December you were gone     neighbors
left coats   hats    scarfs   even shoes in your spot
despairing   helpless   fearing your fate
you came back New Year’s Day   dressed in fitted brown
slacks    a pressed shirt   shiny brown leather shoes
clean hair cut short   sat at outdoor café    sipping a drink
I said hello   you nodded   looked away   tapped your fingers
you were   compliant   medicated   functioning   
within the week you return   barefoot   claim your site on the sidewalk

Chicken Sandwich

 by Fern G. Z. Carr
Tarragon-seasoned chicken breast
between grilled apple rings,
melted mozzarella and crisp arugula
on lightly toasted focaccia
secured by a long, rounded toothpick
crowned with red foil loops
in an embossed Styrofoam container –
gourmet takeout.
A haggard soul taps the driver's-side window
of a stopped car;
right arm amputated at the elbow,
left hand missing three fingers,
tap, tap, tapping and beg, beg, begging
for spare change
when dulcet words sing from the sidewalk –
"Excuse me, would you like a sandwich?”
Body twitches and spins around,
victim of the street – cruel dominatrix.
Startled eyes inch forward;
he snatches the feast
between his stump and remaining digits
and devours it.
A quavering voice behind a long-lost smile
whispers, "Thank you".
Another quavering voice whispers,
“You’re welcome.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2022


by B. L. Bruce

great-horned owl
heard but not seen


by Deborah A. Bennett

i would have to tell you
in another language -
white cranes at dawn 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

When the Movement Becomes Corporate

by Chris Butler

Black lives matter,
except to those who pay
Walmart's child slaves
pennies a day
to stitch the same
three letters
on flags, t-shirts, baseball caps
and pandemic masks,
because every traffic stop
that ends in murder
results in a fiery riot,
meaning another thousand units 
will be sold for a profit.

Sunday, June 5, 2022


by Ram Chandran

like ballet dancers
swim the school of fish...
fishing rod in vain

needy wants

by Geoffrey Aitken

a reminder says my case manager
i placed want above need
authority requested i adjust my behaviour
gamely i procure
my ridiculously slim lotto chance
bus ride general impotence
to unpack my loneliness
i save arguments from my pension
tuck them away
purchase ammunition
for my handgun
i clean and oil it’s engraved butt
‘i need to be a superhero’

River and Willow

by Peter Mladinic
I’ve come back to the weeping willow on the river bend,
to what was here before I was born.
I’ve brought no water.
For this river is the source of all water, though its brown.
The willow across the river,
the source of all green, makes me think of its opposite:
a crushed Pepsi can
on a cement stump in a parking lot behind a theater
one early night in March,
an image that stays with me here on the riverbank,
though I’ve long forgotten images on the theater screen
that night.
I took a black and white of the willow.
By the time I saw the crushed can on the cement stump
I’d lost the tree’s image,
which encompassed woods behind it, and river,
the part where the river curved, and back above it.
I’ve come back from a walk along a busy road,
which reminds me of a walk along a runway, uphill,
a runway for small planes,
on the hilltop an adobe house built by a pilot
in whose plane I flew,
years after seeing the crushed can on the cement stump
close to a brick wall that night, years ago.

Friday, June 3, 2022

On the Appalachian Trail
Zenobia Calhoun



by Christina Chin

Cape Rachado
low flying oriental honey 
buzzards northbound

Accents Spoken Here

by David Chorlton
Can you spot an accent flying past?
When a word is spoken
with a jagged edge,
or a sentence takes wing
in the French manner
is it polite
to ask Where are you from?
Changing countries is very much
like undressing in Mexico
and crossing over naked
before covering oneself up
in the language spoken here.
Where does the border run between
curiosity and being rude
when an agent for La Migra listens
from inside every syllable?
The lady at the register
asks Did you find all you vere looking for?
and her life story hangs
on a single consonant, but she’s happy
to say I am Russian, I am Czech, I am
from Poland
, and sometimes a smile
rocks back and forth on
her immigrant face. But for others
a sentence is a tunnel
through which to crawl to get away,
to begin underground, part
the soil, climb
up into the light
and continue the journey far,
far away, until
all that remains of a homeland
are the scratches it has made
on every word now spoken.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

8:50 P.M.

by Jeff Burt

Below a dead cottonwood
snapped in two by lightning
thirty feet up, wind-stirred
preened owl feathers flutter,
lift, loft, drift like ash
from a campfire. Hungry owlets
already own the darkening.


 by Ann Chiappetta

The slough
The stew
The rings of the tree
The trinity
Taking a knee
Apathy falls into
the tarred fangs  
of night.