Carried Away

by on Feb 7, 2017

She doesn’t need to tell me
the cancer has returned.
Now on daily morphine
for the pain raking her bones,
she left the window open last night
as she tried to sleep, flat and still
on her back. She let the June breeze
pass right over her body.
Bad as I feel, she says,
if someone wants to come
and get me, let them.
Anyone could slice the screen
next to her bed and reach
to touch the gossamer hair
sprouting after last year’s chemo.
Who might take her away?
Instead of the thieves and gunshots
known to this neighborhood,
let it be some feathered creature
never before seen. Let its name
be whispered into her ear.
Let any other word
be stricken from this room
once she has been lifted
with unsinkable wings
over and above
our distant streets.


Micki Blenkush lives in St. Cloud MN and works as a social worker. She is a 2015 recipient of an emerging artist grant awarded by the Central MN Arts Board, funded by the McKnight Foundation. Her writing has also appeared in: SequestrumNaugatuck River Review*82 Review, and elsewhere.

fistfuls of hair

by on Feb 6, 2017


fistfuls of hair
fall from her head
hope so small
it slides through
a needle’s eye


Marilyn Fleming was raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. It was this small slice of life, living in nature, which often defines her work. Her poetry has been published in various international journals, and anthologies. She has a special interest in haiku and tanka, Japanese forms of poetry, and won her first prize in the Hildegarde Janzen Oriental Forms Award in 1988. She currently resides in Pewaukee, WI. Visit her online at


by on Feb 3, 2017

I remember that party
the one where cats danced
in circles
and wolves sang
beneath a bloody moon.

The one where we all took
strange communion
and neon visions bloomed
rooted in our bodies,
electric petals opening
wide enough to swallow
our lame conventions.

I remember how my heart beat
in a hard stutter
with the flash
of strobe lights
hyphenating time
deranging vision
until I turned
spinning like a dizzy girl
in a game meant to break
to some bright new world
beyond the walls of reason.


Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. Her work has appeared in many online and print journals, including Earth’s Daughters, Gnarled Oak, Third Wednesday and Three Elements Review. She is grateful for the wonderful online communities of writers and poets sharing their work and passion for writing, providing a rich world of inspiration, appreciation, and delight.

The Boy by the River Told

by on Feb 2, 2017

The boy by the river told to await his father’s
return plays with pebbles, kicks at rocks
as the night rises through water,
drops from trees to fashion a statue
cast in grey then black when the last
spark of faith flickers, falters
and goes out, the night
rushing in, floating him upright,
stiff through the woods to lie in bed
listening to water spilling from
room to room, door to door,
the whole house shivering, shaking,
breaking down under water flashing,
flooding quietly down the stairs,
pooling, stopping, crawling
past the father unseen.


After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made videos with poetry videographers Michael DickesSwoon, and Marie Craven.

There was a river

by on Jan 27, 2017

at the farm of a girl my age.
We were maybe nine or ten.
The length of her hair
galloped like a mane
as she splashed ahead into the water.
Cows drank from shallow banks.
The current was fast from rain
and pulled at our legs as we moved
around branches and stones.
We swept and fell outside the hours.
I don’t remember hot or cold
or the wet afterward.
We laughed at weakness
as we climbed from the water.
Our steps sought buoyance
upon return.


Micki Blenkush lives in St. Cloud MN and works as a social worker. She is a 2015 recipient of an emerging artist grant awarded by the Central MN Arts Board, funded by the McKnight Foundation. Her writing has also appeared in: SequestrumNaugatuck River Review*82 Review, and elsewhere.

kite festival

by on Jan 26, 2017


kite festival –
my whole crayon set
up in the sky


Anthony Q. Rabang finished his BS Biology at the University of the Philippines – Baguio in 2015. He started writing haiku, senryu, and haibun while soul-searching in January 2016. He has poems published in the Asahi Haikuist Network, Failed Haiku, World Haiku Review, Contemporary Haibun Online, Cattails, Wildplum, Akitsu Quarterly, Akisame, Makoto, Presence and Under the Basho. Website: Short Pauses

In the Clouds

by on Jan 25, 2017

out the porthole
a primordial sun
wears the colour it was born with
the stewardess keeps altering its flavor
sometimes it tastes like orange juice
other times, Chinese tea

I feel myself ascending
into the divine world
not far away, Zeus and the Jade Emperor
are comparing notes
about how to woo a lady
the gods’ lost chargers
hide in long sleeves of fairy maidens

night falls, moonless
stars are out
no other celebrations
in the firmament
except for a silent pair of wings
fashioned out of iron



Author’s note: The Jade Emperor in Chinese culture and traditional myth is one of the representations of the first god. In Taoist theology he is one of the three primordial emanations of the Tao.


Cui Yuwei is a bilingual poet and translator based in China. Her poems and translations are widely seen in Australia, the US, Canada, Vietnam and India. Her pocket poetry collection Fish Bones published by Flying Island Books is forthcoming soon in Macau. Currently, she works as an English lecturer in Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai Campus in China.

In Merciless Air

by on Jan 23, 2017

You shouldn’t venture into fog,
where a mountain’s head rises,

a face without eyes, arrowhead
jammed into the flesh of sky.

It may be, someday
that the world will flip to face

another sun, and you the fish
choking at the bottom

of a wooden-ribbed boat,
your eyes smoke and glass,

your desperate lips pouting
as you drown in the merciless air.


Steve Klepetar has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo PoemsFamily Reunion and A Landscape in Hell are forthcoming in 2017.

In the Feet of a Refugee

by on Jan 20, 2017

-At the Internally Displaced Persons Camp, Kuje, April, 2015.

I know where daffodils trade their yellows for crimsons;

I know where they are, too weary and weathered with war;

Yes, I know where their cornet-cast crowns are full of furrows:

The soles of a refugee’s feet—bloodied, broken into lines of latitude and longitude of longing;

Longing for home on whose pristine paths sprout earth’s most prickly plants:

Bombs, blades and crying kalashnikovs.


Frank Eze lives in, and writes from, Ibadan, Nigeria. He recently won the Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize. His works have been published in online journals—Praxis, WritiVision, COAL and many others. Frank is working on his debut poetry collection, AMARANTHINE.