The City of My Birth by Margaret Erhart

Skyscrapers against blue sky
 

The city of my birth, as seen from above, is a ragged landscape of canyons. Highrises, lowrises, the steeple of an old brick church. Streams of yellow taxicabs where forests of hickory and chestnut once grew. To the north lies the green rectangle of Central Park, the woody heart of this metropolis. There, red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons prey on pigeons and squirrels and sometimes an errant Chihuahua. To the west, across the Hudson River, the fair state of New Jersey. To the east the bridges that stitch the island of Manhattan to the boroughs … Continue reading The City of My Birth by Margaret Erhart

Ferning by Jose Oseguera

Photo of a baby's feet
 

—for Nicole Marie She asked me to stand by her side, But I wanted to see it all Because I knew that I’d forget— Even as hard as I’d want to remember— The brunt and the bitter Forcing my son into the world. My curiosity was stronger than her contractions, Looking at my son’s soft skull— Draped in silty, mousy-brown hairs— Swirling inside of her As an eyeball blinking her lips Open and shut and open again For the first time Not quite ready to see Who was waiting for him This side of his … Continue reading Ferning by Jose Oseguera

Mornings by Pamela Potter

Sunrise
 

I love mornings. For me, this time is full of promise and magic and possibility. Anything could happen today. Nothing negative has marred the perfection of the peace and quiet. No one has made any demands. The quiet is only broken by the sighs of my cats and the hum of my space heater, because it’s January. Well, no demands isn’t quite accurate. First thing every morning when my cat realizes I’m awake, she gets on my bed and we have quiet, thoughtful cuddle time. It’s a mindfulness time for me. I try to stay … Continue reading Mornings by Pamela Potter

Once the Thunder Stops and Marco Polo, 2 poems by Barb Reynolds

Photo of road leading to house
 

Once the Thunder Stops and it’s safe to venture out, we walk to the end of the drive, out to the road, through the mire & torn branches. The smell of our wood fire mingles with eucalyptus. We have only the moon and our plastic flashlights. I can’t remember the last time it was this dark; how slowly the eyes adjust. A crisp silence creaks and then echoes. I reach for your arm, step over what trees have shaken loose. The makeshift brace we rigged held the fence again. The dogs chase & bark and … Continue reading Once the Thunder Stops and Marco Polo, 2 poems by Barb Reynolds

Santa Fe, July 2014 by James Miller

Landscape of snowy trees
 

Mountain spruce on upward slopes: their pale under-blue unwraps the clouds in their slow round of visiting. We taste tracery of strange soaps on our skins. You turn towards me, awake again. The unruly sun and her thirsty birds teach us their manner of rejoicing. James Miller is a native of Houston, though he has spent time in the American Midwest, Europe, China, South America and India. Recent publications include Cold Mountain Review, The Maine Review, Lunch Ticket, Gravel, Main Street Rag, and Juked. Follow us!

A Late Christmas Gift by Miles Fowler

Wrapped gift with ribbon and bow
 

Like most people, I have done things that I wish I had not done, but it seems rare that something I am sorry I did is linked inextricably to something else I am glad to have done. Growing up in a middle-class family, I lived in material security. My mother and father saw that my brother, sister and I were always clothed and fed. At Christmas, that festival of food and gifts, there would always be lots of presents. Most of my early memories of Christmas are extremely pleasant, beginning with the enormous conifer in … Continue reading A Late Christmas Gift by Miles Fowler

WEIGHT FOR ME by Claire Scott

rough sketch of woman in grotesque posture
 

A national obsession, a billion dollar industry and here I am participating no pushups or planks, no pills or prayers have helped, though Lord knows I have tried haven’t I, O Lord Not losing weight to bypass diabetes or cancer certainly not be more seductive at Stone’s Throw Tavern sipping Margaritas in skin tight pants or stuffed into size zero to impress my friends or, let’s face it, my barely there anorectic sister At seventy-five who cares, crepe paper skin drooping derriere, boobs flop at my waist, feet fatter and flatter, growing shorter by the … Continue reading WEIGHT FOR ME by Claire Scott

Voicelessness by Anita Lekic

Black and white photo looking up at bird
 

I’m dreaming. I am in my old life, the life that no longer exists. I am married and I have a daughter, although in the dream she is young and not an adult. And things are going wrong. We are in the midst of a large group of scientists and my husband is ignoring me. Worse yet, he is oblivious to me; he’s discussing a travel adventure with an Italian and a Swiss scientist – they are going to fly above the Alps in a hot air balloon. And he is taking my daughter, a … Continue reading Voicelessness by Anita Lekic

A Few Thoughts on Imagery by Sharon Ackerman

large lavender and light filled circle with a tiny moon at its center
 

I have no idea where the images in my poems lived before they made it to the page. I’ve received ample chiding during poetry critiques on my tendency to “raid the unconscious.” Sometimes an image is found just by walking out into the world and finding an object with an emotional or psychological correlate. Other times, the image surfaces through a bedrock of shared human experience. Hard to trace. Around the turn of the twentieth century there was an interesting shift in poetry that involved imagery. The Imagist movement originated as a turn away from … Continue reading A Few Thoughts on Imagery by Sharon Ackerman

Bitter Seeds by Robin Ray

Photo of painting of two women on wall
 

Twin sisters Fuchsia & Diamond, twins in the sense they matured in the same kiln, not expelled from one womb, dance to punk band A Testament Of Youth, Tuesday night, Dugan’s Deli, Iowa State University, in a burst of non-conformity, an innocent standard, unfurled. Rainbow hair, safety pin couture, collision of dreams supplants arctic stares, turns heads in obvious defiance to humanity’s stoic ennui. Nature extends herself with sweet meat cloaking her bitter seeds, but the sisters can’t spiral unscathed through the muted spoils of eons. They’d escaped the racks, iron maidens, pyres meant to … Continue reading Bitter Seeds by Robin Ray

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