The Broom and I by Danny P. Barbare
The broom says let’s
And be happy
We don’t have to be
And the day will whistle
And sing by.
The Broom’s Job by Danny P. Barbare
Danny P. Barbare has recently appeared in the North Dakota Quarterly, Plainsongs, and DASH. He resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas.
True by Cathy Barber
The fern, its fronds’
sugary underside, ridges
of next year and the ones beyond.
They must want to sleep,
these plants, these trees,
not in their wintry way,
but in our human, foggy way,
screened from the world
by the furry veil of another world.
The trees’ blue heads must seek
the forest floor in the dark,
curl up with their rooty feet,
leave behind the owls eating their mice.
Previously published in Sweet
Circling Back by Cathy Barber
At the window, a white moth
against the pitch of night, its flicker of wings
and obscure skittering along glass
informs the under view, the structure,
some universal pattern of nature, perhaps,
that we mortals cannot identify.
Beating a path, circling that is not round,
tethered always to that home place, the heart,
which stays constant through all its forays.
When the tiny presence moves on, see
the memory against the window.
Previously published in MCoffee Anthology Cathy Barber has an MA in English from California State University and an MFA in Poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Australian Medical Journal, Slant and Kestrel. Her work has been anthologized in Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, and The Cancer Poetry Project Vol 2.
The Woman in the Coffee House by John Grey
Your tidy rows of fringe
threaten the look of moonlight,
leave little room for anything
Queen of thundering artifice.
You are proclamations of every kind.
A sultry strophe, somnolent and deep.
Hormone hailstones. Sacrificial vixen.
I wish I knew your kind.
The heat. The rogue bandana.
That clarion of a tongue.
The chiaroscuro of your shadows.
I take up a crusty cup of coffee,
brush it against my lips,
dwell in the boredom of what I paid for.
You move through,
gesticulating sex’s vociferate splendor
with no more than a hair toss,
a wind off a volcano.
I choose you. Then I take another sip.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.
I Cannot Stop the World by James Croal Jackson
on the last day
I hope to believe
in other things about God
because the Temple’s sharp
eye had a sudden appearance
What is the cause?
I have no answer
Tonight I’ll give my eye
to the Temple
when the angels descend
In this blindness
I can rest the world
James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and recent poems in DASH, Sampsonia Way, and Jam & Sand. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). He works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)
Horticulture by DS Maolalai
brick comes apart
from the touch
of a finger – like handling butterflies
and watching the colour
rinse out. the river
off the city – pushing
out beauty, as salt
to sea. we move into apartments,
move about inside them,
fine as the dust
which goes up
and away. we look at the traffic
and complain about traffic. watch butterflies
and butterflies’ absence. pull flowers
with the best of intentions;
replace them with flowers
DS Maolalai has been nominated seven times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019).
Counting Buddhas by Elizabeth Mercurio
After dawn the light splits
through palms like wisps of mist that
smoke the star jasmine. The Buddha sits
ordered calm by the breeze
and the honeymoon songs
I count all of the Buddhas in the garden.
Twenty-five to quiet me.
There is no one to protect us.
No one saves us but ourselves.
Previously published in Anti-Heroin Chic
Courage Begins by Elizabeth Mercurio
on a wing of words,
a winding walk
along the narrow herb scented path.
Cherry blossoms offer a pale square of heaven.
A circus of butterflies burst into your name.
The tender creek calls you.
Don’t torture yourself.
Never mind the uncertain future, the hidden meanings of things,
right now, your feet are cold in this creek
and there are still lilacs in the back yard.
Previously published in Anti-Heroin Chic
Elizabeth Mercurio earned an MFA in poetry from The Solstice Low-Residency Program of Pine Manor College. Her work has appeared in Third Point Press, Philadelphia Stories, The Skinny Poetry Journal, The Literary Nest, Fledgling Rag, Martin Lake Journal, and the Lily Poetry Review. She was nominated for a Best of the Net nomination and was the 2016 recipient of The Sharon Olds Fellowship for Poetry. Her chapbook, Doll, is currently available from Lily Poetry Review Books.
Sebastian Melmoth by Gloria Monaghan
Look, the cat is crying:
a small tear sits in his left eye.
Winter brought three storms in 21 days.
There is a thin veil of snow settling on the car,
on the branch of the mulberry tree.
The street is slick, and the children have gone
on the bus to a school
they will eventually forget.
Previously published in Lily Poetry Review
Gloria Monaghan is a professor of Humanities at Wentworth Institute in Boston. She has published three books of poetry, Flawed (Finishing Line Press, 2011; nominated for the Massachusetts Book Award), The Garden (Flutter Press, 2015), and False Spring (Adelaide). Her poems have appeared in The Alexandria Quarterly, 2River, Adelaide, The Aurorean, and Nixes Mate Review, among others. Her poem “Inner Grace” won the 2018 Adelaide Voices Poetry Award and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.