Existential Ponders – Ivan Peledov


Walking trees hide from yesterdays

behind stolen wine and unwritten music.

A flower spoiled by the dead 

got bored with counting the stars.

Let’s build a house out of the books

written by idiots. 


In a dream of a bird the night is long

like a bearded astronaut sleeping 

on the shore of a mountain lake,

like a silent word, like a raindrop. 

Barefoot angels ceaselessly dance on

crushed wine glasses.

The Lower Atmosphere

Shaggy rodents ceaselessly look for the urine of the stars

in the roar of the stairwells you would never be tired of.

Black grass scratches the shadows of hoary beings

forgotten somewhere between the folded waves of insomnia.

Puddle light can’t help cursing the sun.

Let me tell you a story too shrill for a pillow, too crumpled

and huge to be smothered with.


Ivan Peledov


Existential Ponders – Beverly M. Collins


Beverly M. Collins

            “This old guy left a lot of stuff behind.” Jason said to his co-worker Carl just as Carl let out a loud triple sneeze due to the dust.

“The owner claims the old man returned home from a trip, then vanished and left all his things, even his wallet. No-one has been able to locate his family.” Jason added, as the two of them placed down a large box and heard some small medal items fall near the sidewalk.

“Sounds like some nails fell, just leave ‘em.” Carl said and they walked back to the 1950s style 4-unit building that was in bad need of landscaping.

This day was not unlike most late-December-Jersey City days. A frigid breeze cupped Sandra’s face as she walked the two blocks to her apartment building from the Grove Street Path station after work.

            Aware of her surroundings but lost in thought, she caught a glimpse of silver stuck in a raised crack in the sidewalk. She hoped to add to her collection of old coins and quickly picked it up and continued home.

            Suddenly, Sandra heard footsteps uncomfortably close behind her. When she glanced back, she saw no-one. Though it was dark out, there were people walking across the street and not far ahead of her. She felt nervous but tried to shrug it off by telling herself the sound was probably a strange echo. She quickened her pace and heard the steps quicken as well.

            When Sandra arrived home, her hands shook slightly as she pushed the key into the security gate and sprinted her petite, fit, 26-year-old frame up to the 3rd floor and into her apartment. Once she was home, she paused-took a deep breath in quiet relief to be inside.

Her cat began to cry loudly as she walked into her bathroom. “Momma is going to feed you in a minute.” She called out to her 5-year-old cat named Ruby. Out of habit, she closed the bathroom door behind her and in spite of the brisk weather, opened the bathroom window halfway.

While she washed her hands, she rubbed the coin under the stream of warm water which cleared it of dirt until she could see the round disk had a candle printed in the center and beautiful cuts with an unusual design around its edges.

            She turned off the faucet and was attempting to read the small writing on the back of the coin when she suddenly heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps in her living room, the wood creaked as the steps slowly moved closer to the bathroom door. Did she forget to lock the apartment door?

            “No, no, no!” she answered herself in a whisper as her heartbeat sped up so fast, she could hardly feed her lungs enough air to satisfy it. For a moment, she looked in all directions; ran her wet hands through her hair-frantic for anything she could use as a weapon, she grabbed a large heavy bottle of bubble bath in her right-hand while she still gripped the old coin in her left.

Sandra was waiting for the door to open when she noticed the doorknob slowly changed shape like metal/wax it twisted, made a high-pitched grinding noise and gave off a smell like a cigar as it formed into a knob sized head and face. She was first frozen to her spot then dropped the bottle from her hand and it burst onto the floor.

            She scrambled back, let out small gasp of air as her bladder emptied into her jeans. Sandra was terror stricken; tears streamed her face then the knob/head tried to talk. It belched out words from what sounded like a strangled throat. “My…My” it pushed the words out (through pinched lips) in a whisper that grew louder. “Mine…Mine” Its pointy medal eyes looked at the coin in Sandra’s hand. Its strange face had no chin nor a forehead.

            In one quick thrust, Sandra tossed the large coin out of the open window. The face on the doorknob vanished as if it were pulled violently from the knob by her throw. Sandra suddenly recalled a memory of her 4-year-old self in a basement when the light bulb burned out and she searched alone in pitch blackness for the staircase while she heard strange noises that came from every direction.

On this winter night, in her apartment, she shook, cried and screamed to the top of her lungs until her neighbors who knew her, broke down the door and found her crouched on the bathroom floor; her blue jeans soaked in spilled bubble bath and urine.

            A tall slender young man walked through the courtyard of Sandra’s building, noticed the large shiny coin at the very edge of the walkway near the grass. He quickly picked it up and dropped it in his jacket pocket. The young man bobbed his head to music on his earplugs, as he continued toward the bus stop, he did not hear the loud commotion from the apartment above or the quick steps that suddenly joined him on the walkway…

The End


Beverly M. Collins

Beverly’s poems have appeared in many publications including The Nightmares Anthology, Journal of Modern Poetry, The Hidden and the Divine Female Voices in Ireland, Poetry Speaks! Year of Great Poems and Poets, The Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, The Galway Review, Spectrum, Altadena Poetry Review, The Wild Word, The Scarlet Leaf Review to name a few.

Existential Ponders – Ruby Van Bendegem & KB Nelson

Sweater Weather

As The Sun Moves Into Sagittarius, Sweater Weather

haibun by KB Nelson

My hands, my fingers, they sparkle, I think my knuckles might explode if I hold them still for too long.

The only peace I find is when I walk in the trees. Leaves flip, exposing their underbellies in the breeze. I return to the cabin, intent on reading a book or preparing tomorrow’s casserole. The balls of wool compel me, or rather with the aid of my hands they patiently form themselves into,


I stitch pieces together and a jersey takes form. Such an odd hem. Short in the back, or at least normal length in back, but long, long and tapered, in front. Opposite to style or practical use.

I anticipate. I wait for someone or something, here high in the forest. The garment has taken form and I hear the arrival.

light swarm of snowflakes

late mornings, long evenings

centaur weather


Ruby Van Bendegem is retired after over three decades as a journalist and a lawyer, and is the recovering mother of four. She lives and paints in northwestern Ontario, Canada. On summer days you will find Ruby and her husband paddling a canoe or kayak on the waters of Lake Superior.


KB Nelson is a Canadian writer who thrives in the intersection of art and science. She has won awards in both poetry and short fiction, and is published in a variety of journals and anthologies. A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Southbank writing program and mother of two, she currently lives in Greater Vancouver.

Existential Ponders – Travis Atkinsonsessler

Are You Afraid?

What is your greatest fear?
I’ve been asked this question often throughout my life.
Mostly, I have answered, “I don’t know.”
I don’t really think about it.
I’ve been bruised, beaten, cut, stabbed,
I’ve been shot at and even had the pleasure of taking a round to my chest armor plate.
I had tackled adversity head on with no other path ahead.
But scars fade. Moments pass.
I am afraid of the same as anyone i suppose.
I fear being hungry. I fear pain. I greatly avoid discomfort.
But none of these are unusual.
None are a great fear that I devote any great measure of my mind to.
Im not plagued by the worries of my next meal.
I do not expect of corporeal harm as I go throughout my day.
I do not think of the heat or cold or wind as anything more than an number.
No I don’t live my life in fear.
I have however been in the worst places i could go.
I have spent a great deal of my life in darkness,
watching the worst of humanity.
I have seen and heard moments that are so unfathomable as to be beyond the scope of reality for my contemporaries.
What would be described as nightmares.
For some I have been the harbringer of death and held them in their final moments,
brought to their god by my hand.
I still treat these experiences as facts.
It is simply another part of the world as it exists.
No more, no less.
I do not fear it.
No. My greatest fear is no one thing.
I fear a moment.
That in which you can define your life as before and after, “that moment”.


Travis Atkinsonsessler

Existential Ponders – Kaci Skiles Laws


Kaci Skiles Laws is a writer and artist living in Dallas—Fort Worth. Her work has been featured in The Letters Page, at Bewildering Stories, 50 Haikus, Former People, and is upcoming in The American Journal of Poetry and a few others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by NCTC’s English Department and is currently working on a children’s book called The Boogerman. Some of her and her husband’s visual artwork can be viewed on their YouTube channel listed under Kaci and Bryant.

Existential Ponders – Ikechukwu Obiorah


Upon a bed of death, the pie in my sky saw the Kingdom of Lion;

The Throne of that King that began before the beginning began;

That King seeming to be as old as man, but older than man;

That King of kings that before the base of this world made

His buttucks comfortable on the Throne of the Dynasty of Love,

Resurrecting my dead emotions murdered in the cold night.

As I looked down over the land from atop the Royal Throne,

And saw that life marks the eternal journey to the grave where

All feet must lie down and rest without bargain-basement,

The silence of my soul haunted me like the ghost of Abacha,

Spinning and whirling my brain like hell of damnation.

Within my optics range of view behind-the-scenes driver in

The vegetable sceptre, Truth was the only Crown with the jar of

Grace supplying life to the mother of all messes in the third planet

That the big mouth of  man-abominator called earth mother.

In contempt of  the cultivated beauty of the Symmetry of Fact,

The world still paved way for hyperbolical aspersions wearing the

Robes of Truth in caricatural tendencies of gloom and doom,

The world is dead on the inside without acknowledging

The King of Truth sitting on the Throne of affection,

Massaging morality into erection in the bed of coals.


Ikechukwu Obiorah is a Nigerian Writer, a Prolific Poet and Novelist. He studies B.A (Hons) English at the Benue State University, Makurdi. He is a member of Writers’ League (BSUM) and also a member of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA Benue Chapter). His poem “The Oracle Bard” has been published in “Poetica” Clarendon House Publications, England, UK. For a decade Poetry has been his sweet heart.