spring breeze

by on Nov 9, 2015


spring breeze
the saree slides down
her shoulder


Neck deep in haiku, her face barely visible, Kala Ramesh, an award winning poet has been instrumental in bringing school kids and college youth into haiku. Her latest obsession: to paint city walls with haiku, to weave a pause, a breather into our hectic lives!


by on Nov 6, 2015

The old dog sits close;
thunderstorms and nostalgia
have us held up
in the back of the house—
each seeking shelter
from our own fears.


Rachel Nix is a native of Northwest Alabama. She likes coffee in the morning and bourbon at night but rarely knows what time it is otherwise. Her work has most recently appeared in Words Dance, Melancholy Hyperbole, and Bop Dead City. Rachel is the Poetry Editor at cahoodaloodaling and Associate Editor at Pankhearst; more of her poetry can be found at: chasingthegrey.com


by on Nov 4, 2015

It’s been so long since it rained that she can’t register the sound. Her first thought is that a plane is flying low over the house, then that it’s traffic from the freeway. The world is ending, she’s dreaming, it’s thunder. The sky dims. Low gray clouds roll in. There’s a flicker of rain, silver veins slicing through the air, and then the whole thing is over. She’s been sitting at the table over the newspaper the entire time. The clouds recede and the sun comes back out again. She continues looking out the window. She still hasn’t told him. The letter is still tucked into the bookshelf, waiting.


Leah Browning is the author of three nonfiction books for teens and pre-teens.  Her third chapbook, In the Chair Museum, was published by Dancing Girl Press, and her fourth is forthcoming. Browning’s fiction and poetry have recently appeared in Chagrin River ReviewFiction SoutheastToadMud Season Review, Glassworks Magazine, and with audio and video recordings in The Poetry Storehouse.  In addition to writing, Browning serves as editor of the Apple Valley Review. Her personal website is located at www.leahbrowning.com.


by on Nov 3, 2015

And if I turn back
to the more familiar
places I was used to,
what will keep me
from getting lost again?
And if I fall
unable to find the small
ridges and crevices
that would let me cling
to this sheer rock,
will there be anything
left to pick up
and sew back together?
Up here my head spins,
and my nose bleeds;
the air is so thin
it’s work just breathing
and standing still.
But I will try and stay
here for you
as long as I can.
Maybe I’ll get used to it,
we are so close to heaven
and so far
from where we started.


Mary McCarthy grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, studied art and literature but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has always been a writer. She has great hopes for the future despite the horrors reported endlessly in the daily news.

Boyhood Buoys (4): Frogmeat Sale

by on Nov 2, 2015

To earn a couple of yuan to buy some
Kerosene oil for our lamp in the house
I followed my neighbor, an older boy
To catch frogs in the middle of night

It was always a sure thing to do: where-
Ever we heard a frog sing, we would
Stealthily approach it, illuminate it
With torchlight, and pick it up with

All the ease we could enjoy. Sometimes
I did feel sorry for the frog: its eyes were
Shining bright under the summer stars
But why did it fail to escape from danger?

Early next morning, we would skin our catch
And went to the nearest town, shouting aloud
‘Fresh frog meat !’ like the frogs singing at the
Top of their voice, after dusk, in the rice fields


Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks, grew up in rural China, became an ESL student at 19, and published monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry (2009,12,14),  BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1089 others across 37 countries.

The Halloween Quintet

by on Oct 30, 2015

Do you remember the sound of the violins during the shower scene in Psycho? Two discordant notes, shrill and staccato, repeatedly assaulted our ears, heightening the fear.

My nightgown and sheets are soaked with my acrid sweat as the violins shriek in my mind. What is that shadow outside my bedroom window? I squeeze my eyes shut, willing the specter to be gone. When I peek, it has grown and changed shape, waving grotesquely twisted arms, beckoning me closer. This must be my punishment for too many cocktails at the Halloween party last night.

A throaty moaning, deep and singsong and utterly alien shatters the silence. I respond with a high pitched scream and the thing modulates to match mine in a macabre synchrony. The moaning takes on a pitch and rhythm unlike anything earthly. Mournful. Plaintive. Lovesick? I suppress a giggle at the thought, dissipating some of the terror.

My window is open a crack and a fresh wave of terror washes over me. What if it comes in? Idiot, I tell myself. It’s an alien. It goes through walls. I tentatively sing a short phrase from a long forgotten song, mentally kicking myself for goading it on. Its raspy voice repeats the snippet in a different key.

Curiosity begins to overcome my terror. I crawl toward the window, low to the ground so it can’t see me, forgetting that it can probably also see through walls. Still, it remains motionless, non-threatening, apparently waiting for me. The violins in my head and my rapid heartbeat continue to beat together as a rapid trio, almost synchronously, but just off enough to create a pattern. As I near the window, it picks up the cadence and adds a rumble in counterpoint. Can it feel my fear and fascination?  We are now a quartet.

I stand by the window silently, seeing only a shadow, not daring to seek its cause. The rumble continues. Is it waiting for me to sing again? The theme from Alfred Hitchcock’s old TV series leaps into my mind and I start humming it. Dum de deedle de dum de dum, dum de deedle de dum de dum.

The creature steps forward, appearing in profile like the line drawing of the old master of terror himself. It finishes the theme with me, completing the quintet. The profile smiles, then disintegrates before me, leaving only my empty backyard and an echo fading away.


Judy Salz, a semi-retired physician, is a native New Yorker currently living in Las Vegas and enjoying the sunshine and lack of slush. She has published a number of short stories in the past year. “Mikey,” published in The Literary Nest in April 2015, won the fiction contest. She invites all interested to visit her webpage, judysalz.com.

masquerade ball

by on Oct 29, 2015


masquerade ball
under the makeup
my wrinkles


Archana Kapoor Nagpal is an internationally published author of books including 14 Pearls of Inspiration, The Road to a Positive Life, The Fragrance of a Beautiful Life, A Pinch of Love, Peace and Humanity, New Love: Anthology of Short Stories and The 12 Facets of a Crystal. Please visit her author page to learn more.


by on Oct 28, 2015



Olivier Schopfer lives in Geneva, Switzerland, the city with the huge lake water fountain. He likes capturing the moment in haiku and photography. His work has appeared in The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2014 as well as in numerous online and print journals. He also writes articles in French about etymology and everyday expressions at Olivier Schopfer raconte les mots.


by on Oct 27, 2015

I have a memory of something that never happened.
And that isn’t even the best part.
“Hey mister!” a small, dark voice shouted,
because it was small and dark
and because anyone I would ever love
was clomping around upstairs.


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Dark Specks in a Blue Sky from Another New Calligraphy.