December, 2015

Apocalyptic Fable #6 by Kyle Hemmings

Between failed assaults
a woman gave me shelter,
one with large holocaust eyes
entrenched in her face.
It meant I could read
her convex half-blind histories,
each time with a different meaning &
I could come away, changed,
re-routed. At night, when the rockets
sheared the sky, we slept over or underneath
the other, surrogates
of love and emptiness
our bodies flaking at the edges
as if false reports of the front.
The sliced moon hung over our room
quiet as a mercy killing.

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Your Impossible Voice, Night Train, Toad, Matchbox and elsewhere. His latest ebook is Father Dunne’s School for Wayward Boys at He blogs at He believes poetry matters because it might be the only thing that can save this world.


Swear It’s There by Celia Muto

With your eyes closed,
holding nothing at all.
You like how it feels just to hold
it. The scent of daffodil
from your yellow cotton shirt,
the drop of sweat
I cradled. You
don’t know you loom
like silence
in a crowded room.

How this room keeps us
together, how this room keeps us

We live
like the shaking hesitation
of hands before coffee.

I’m steady
placing your fragments to mosaics.

Celia Muto works at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge, MA. She states, “I am on a constant quest to expose everyone to poetry. Poetry matters because it reminds me why everything matters. Each grain of sand, each strand of hair, each migraine is important. Poetry matters because it reminds me that I am not alone in how I see the world and simultaneously exposes me to new perspectives.”


My Life by Hal O’Leary

 It’s true that in my youth I was beset
With fear that I might lose my life, and yet,
I must say that the fear was quite offset,
By treating life just as I did roulette.
I’d go all out and never hedge a bet.
The fear of loss was one I’d never met.
I’d raise the stakes and never break
My life became an appetite to whet.
A banquet that I never will forget.

And now, a member of the Senior Set,
I may be past my prime, but I don’t fret.
I’ve used life well, and now I’m pleased to let
The ones that follow get their tootsies wet,
And true to form, I hope that they can net
A life, like mine, for now that I’m a vet,
There’s nothing more I’d really like to get.
And as the end draws near with no regret,
Old death becomes a promise, not a threat.

Hal O’Leary, having retired at age 84 from a life of teaching, he has now, at age 90, been published in 18 different countries He lives by a quote from his son’s play Wine To Blood, “I don’t know if there is a Utopia, but I am certain that we must act as though there can be.” Hal is a recent recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from West Liberty University the same institution from which he became a college dropout some 60 years earlier. He currently resides in Wheeling, WV.


Keep this note
for the day you lose the faith
that someone will show up to hold you
that things will look different in time

that your heart will heal
that some day  maybe not tomorrow
you will feel the sunshine again

that kindness will return
that you do belong
that sorrow is not senseless but
evidence of our capacity to love

that so long as
there is something growing
the world is not lost

keep this note for then
or perhaps it is for now
that you’ve unfolded it again
to remember
                                         by julie ann otis

julie ann otis is an artist creating written, spoken, and performance poetry, often composed on the fly and occasionally performed in mid-air. She recently completed an artist residency at The Art Farm in Marquette, NE. In the Boston area this year, julie ann created The Complaint (& Catharsis) Department for the Somerville Pity Party as well as Free Verse, an interactive public poetry installation with vintage typewriters.  She also performed spoken word choreographed with an aerial dance duet in rope and harness at Oberon in Cambridge.



Collapse by Caitlin Thomson

Houses stood in rows for miles
of blocks. They had been there for decades,
awkward reflections of each other,
with slanting roofs. No earthquake
destroyed them, no teenager discarded
a cigarette in the summer heat, there was
no way to blame it on the weather.

It was as if the wolf visited,
but instead of blowing them down
from the outside, he opened
the doors, entered, and inhaled.
In less than a minute a house could go
from three stories to nothing.
No one ever saw the wolf.

But people watched as neighbors’
houses collapsed in on themselves,
like magicians’ tricks, till blocks
were dotted with broken shells.

Caitlin Thomson has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology.  Territory Prayer, her third chapbook was just published by Maverick Duck Press. You can learn more about her writing

Caitlin thinks “poetry matters because it is a way to take emotions and preserve them using language. Not just for the writer but for the reader. A way of sharing.”