Practice of Leaving

by on Dec 18, 2017

I watch my body every night,
how it practices leaving,
the bed becomes a boat,
the sheet a sail
and the frame a prow.
I watch my body every night
rehearse its last goodbye,
how the stars lose their sway,
rust weakens the locks on doors
and windows become porous.
I watch how the cuckoo
escapes the clock every hour.


Chumki Sharma is a poet from Calcutta, India. She is a 2017 semi finalist of the Vine Leaves Vignette Collection Award and is the author of Shape of Emptiness published by the Vine Leaves Press, Melbourne.

slack tide

by on Dec 14, 2017


slack tide
a perfect day
alone at sea


Christina Sng is a poet, writer, and artist. Her work has received numerous accolades, most notably, second prize in The 2016 San Francisco International Competition for Tanka, third prize in the 2016 Annual Harold G. Henderson Award, nominations in the Dwarf Stars and Rhysling Awards as well as Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Elgin nominee, An Assortment of Sky ThingsAstropoetry, A Constellation of Songs, Catku, and A Collection of Nightmares. Visit Christina at

The Rivers of Flame

by on Dec 13, 2017

“Beyond surprise, my ribs start up from the ground.’

                W.S. Merlin


And I dance beneath your open window
like a shadow between the shadows of trees.
I rattle and I shake. I wake the neighbors
and alert all the dogs, who pull
against their chains and howl into the night.
Come to the window, love, and see my collection of bones.

See my collection of bones, how they dance
at the end of a string, how my feet stir the loose earth,
how the wind sends my legs in the air.
See how I juggle my arms, how my skinny neck bobs,
how my shiny white skull grins at the sky,
with its blob of moon and clouds, its smear of stars.

Hurry, because night is almost gone, and sirens
pierce the neighborhood. Soon oaks and maples will revive,
and that green will sting your eyes. Birds will balance
on every skeletal branch. They are coming to push me
back underground, where my song, now choked with ash,
will linger forever, but only beside the rivers of flame


Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Recent collections include Family Reunion (Big Table), A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), and How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps).


by on Dec 12, 2017

Candy wrappers swirling like papery leaves,
polystyrene pinecones,
orange streets, red neon,
black-lipped girls with hair made of straw,
the rustle of traffic,
broken glass in a concrete cornfield,
the smell of old mushrooms.
Bottle held close in the cold hand of a troll.


Mark Gilbert is a published writer of short poetry and prose who was first inspired by Raymond Chandler and Jack Kerouac.

September 17

by on Dec 11, 2017

I had to come empty enough
For all this open sky
The iron earth
Singing its reds
Like an echo of my own
Blood music
I had to find room
For silence
For a new equilibrium
Between stone and sky
Where my chain of years
Weighs nothing
And I walk lightly
In the shadow of
Red desert dreams


Mary McCarthy has been a writer, an artist, and a Registered Nurse. She has had work published in many online and print journals and has an electronic chapbook Things I Was Told Not to Think About available for free download from Praxis Magazine online.

autumn chill

by on Dec 8, 2017


Debbie Strange is a Canadian short form poet, haiga artist and photographer whose creative passions bring her closer to the world and to herself. She is the author of Warp and Weft: Tanka Threads (Keibooks 2015) and the haiku collection, A Year Unfolding (Folded Word 2017). Please visit her archive of published work at

In Twos

by on Nov 30, 2017

Her glasses are on the night table. Propped up on two cushions, she is asleep, her mouth half-open, a bubble of saliva shifting on her lip with every breath. The ceiling fan purrs. A quiet room, otherwise. Tiptoeing near her bed I see a tiny fly approach her face. As if sensing it, she raises her arm, brushing against her forehead. I stop breathing. But she continues in her sleep, as if she is on a journey and this moment that just passed was but a momentary stop, a blip, a slight distraction.

no one
in the mirror
night of ghosts


Stella Pierides is a poet and writer. Her books include: Of This World: 48 Haibun (Red Moon Press, 2017) and Feeding the Doves: 31 Short and Very Short Stories (Fruit Dove Press, 2013). Her haiku and micropoetry collection In the Garden of Absence (Fruit Dove Press, 2012) received a Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award. Currently she manages the Per Diem: Daily Haiku feature for The Haiku Foundation. Find her online at