When You Smile & Other Poetry by Walid Abdallah

Carpe Diem Series

Prepare to be moved by the tender words of Walid Abdallah! In a world that is filled with heaviness, his poetry brings a much needed light and romance.

My Favorite Line, “Because of her, I forget every pain
Her love flows smoothly in every vein”

When you smile 

When you smile to me
I drown into your see

A smile wipes away the world ugliness
It settles down my heart’s mess

It gives my life a meaning
It stops my heart’s bleeding

It makes me alive again
It gives the desert rain

It makes me forget anything bad
It makes me happy after being sad

It lightens the darkness of my night
It gives the sun much more light

It stops wars and hurricanes
It eliminates all people’s pains

It creates a unique state
It brings the best fate

It makes the sky in joy fly
It makes the rock in joy cry

Your smile is the secret of my happiness
Keep smiling, it is truly priceless

Palm tree

I am a palm tree in the vast space
The desert is my home, my place

The Arabs are my folks everywhere
They water me with love and care

I am the symbol of their glory and wealth
I am the source of their dignity and health

In the middle of the desert standing upright
Witnessing every moment of joy and fight

My roots go down to the deepest earth
I protect Arabs from famine and dearth

I feed everyone passing by and every astray
Every animal feeds on my leaves and hay

I am the first food Arabs ever know
I stand still whenever storms blow

I have saved people of desert through the ages
Read history books and tour religious pages

I have been the shelter of the different prophets
I have been the wealth of Arabs and their profits

I am the beauty of desert, I am the palm tree
I am the absolute beauty man’s eyes can see


All my life,  looking for my soulmate
Sent straight from my good fate

Carrying eternal happiness in her eyes
Having a tender heart that never lies

Her smile lightens the whole earth
Her eyes are the world’s wealth

On seeing her, I forget my name
My breathing stops and can’t blame

Because of her, I forget every pain
Her love flows smoothly in every vein

With every beat, my heart calls her
Saying her name, longing for her care

When she shows up, birds swing
My heartbeats dance and sing

Opening my eyes, seeing no one
Her beauty exceeds the warm sun

In a very cold lonely night
Her eyes hold me so tight

She is the love I always wait for
She is the love I never tasted before


Walid Abdallah is an Egyptian poet and author. He is a visiting professor of English language and literature in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the USA, his poetry includes “Go Ye Moon”, “If you were here”, ” Dream” and “My heart still beats”. His books include Shout of Silence, Escape to the Realm of Imagination, My Heart Oasis and Man Domination and Woman Emancipation, and his co-translations with Andy Fogle of Farouk Goweda’s poetry have previously appeared in Image, RHINO, Reunion: Dallas Review, and Los Angeles Review. These translations won prestigious prizes in the USA like “Cause”, “Egypt’s Grief”, and “Strangers’ Cross”. 

State of Arcane Art? & Other Poetry by Gerard Sarnat

Carpe Diem Series

Gerard Sarnat reminds us of the preciousness of life and how fragile it can be. Take a moment to read his remarkable work and let it encourage you to make the most of today and everyday!

My Favorite Line: “But in the looking, you may find freedom to ask,

Thusly, what is truly happening here now?”

State of Arcane Art?

up poobah…
here I am, a doctor
who practiced
in two meccas,
Stanford/ Harvard
med schools,
back during
relative Dark Ages,
today read
enlightened treatment
for COPD
with supplemental 𝑂2
& “handheld
fans” (!!!!)
still fundamental
Rx before
resort to opioids for
of breath.


i. Post Traumatic Growth Doomsday

Almost 75 years, sequestered, counting her/our fears, separated
from only companion she could touch —
last shelter dog left in kennel after run on that gloomy market

–with a very long history of insulin-requiring diabetes mellitus,
cardiovascular disease, Guillan-Barré,
intubated, dialyzed with pneumonia + incurable acute leukemia

Bonnie Doon’s got nada timeouts, only exit moves so she spends
precious hours not too near loving family,
doesn’t waste remaining I.C.U. time warp rending sterile garments.

ii. Diamond Birthday Party

— R.I.P. B.T. (1944- 15Oct20)

There we were,
perhaps 50 of us Stanford community squares
the gem which you are for making it to year 76.

After ICU bout
of about two weeks intubated well as dialyzed
with underlying
insulin-requiring diabetes/cardiovascular disease

on top of morsel
sized modest Guillain-Barré residuals plus more
recent incurable
acute myelogenous leukemia, new pneumonia etc.

somehow now
hero-spouse’s steely-eyed determined perseverance
managed young house staff and keep patient aroused

so that morning
of lunch event, just an hour until our festivities’ launch,
all those tubes
got removed right in time for loved one properly fêted

then says Thanks!
along with few of her signature ripping razor-sharp barbs
indicating truly
“with it” before minutes after virtual get-together ends, she

passed peaceably happily hypoxic.

Impermanence Embraced

— thanks to David Cohn

We think time’s linear, that past becomes present and present becomes our future.

Though if look at experiences more closely — there are no present moments.

Each seems empty of any solid existence. Cannot be found.

But in the looking, you may find freedom to ask,

Thusly, what is truly happening here now?

Strong call to return home to wildwoods?

To sit under bodhi tree with primordial

natural awareness, unconditioned,

deathless, unborn. Commit to sky,

allegiant to allow clouds to pass.

So sages have taught us…


Gerard Sarnat won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Chicago and Columbia presses. He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to future granddaughters.gerardsarnat.com

Gâteau & Other Poetry by Joan Mazza

Carpe Diem Series

Joan Mazza’s poetry brings such delight in the way she addresses the pandemic and life within it, while also acknowledging the hardships. Her first poem might even make you a bit hungry! Check out her incredible work!

My Favorite Line, “Give me a break—cake to numb my heartache, baked until
the sugars brown, sliced pineapples turned upside

for Susan, in pandemic solidarity

Even in French, it has too many calories—
those lovely éclairs and croissants I wake
craving— tarts, tortes, and turnovers with figs,
apricots, and dates. I pine for pound cake,
chase chiffon and angel food, cheesecake with
chocolate swirled, cupcakes, muffins. Even

date-nut bread with pecans is sweet enough.
I’m jonesing for an all-day buffet of desserts
only, with layer cakes on pedestals, frosting
dripping down the sides, roses created
from butter cream and tinted pink and peach.
Large spoons summon me to tubs of vanilla

and chocolate pudding, rice pudding, Jell-o,
and custards. I salivate for a hunk of apple pie
with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a fudge
sundae with sprinkles and nuts, a banana split
and crisp sugar cookies on the side. I’ll take
a cake sandwich, cake pizza, penne baked

with chocolate chips, brownies, and cream puffs.
A year of no parties, gatherings, or restaurants
gives me the shakes and makes me want to eat
all things sweet before I graduate to Pringles,
Fritos, salted peanuts, cashews, and pistachios.
Awake since 3 AM, I’m still fasting, but must

wait to eat until ten. Forget those healthy meals
of greens and beans, a four-ounce steak. Toss
out those salads that should be eaten with a goddamn
rake. Monday I’ll turn on the brakes. Give me

a break—cake to numb my heartache, baked until
the sugars brown, sliced pineapples turned upside
down. Today, cake. For God’s sake, more cake!

Unbutton My Soul

How much courage is needed
to play forever,
as the ravines play,
as the river plays.

– From Boris Pasternak’s, “Bacchanalia”

A buttonhole is a portal to subterranean channels,
buried by commandments. It’s a secret doorway
to unfasten the strictures of the Catholic Church
with all its shalt-nots and guilt-ridden rules to inhibit
pleasure. Not only self-pleasure and the sensual
pleasures of skin with a partner, but simple thrills

attached to reading mysteries and the awe at changing
seasons. Where is the guidance for finding thrills
and joy, like leaping into cold water or a hot tub?
Or a bed? What guidance does the liturgy provide
for tenderness toward children, refugees, disabled?
Where are the rituals to cultivate compassion

for the distressed and poor? I’m unbuttoning,
taking off my refugee mentality with my fear
of the new, taking off layers of heavy fleece,
hats that squeeze my brain. I’m taking off
for the woods with my shirt open and flapping
in the breeze my body makes with my stride,

open to the snares of emotional memories,
happy to be tripped by unexpected playfulness,
blissed out to see the tangled vines of greenbrier
as beautiful, its berries gathered for jam. I’m
tripping and jamming to the music of finches
and titmice, music of the spheres I hear when

I hold still and halt my breath to accept
my sphere of influence right here, right now.
Let creative affluence assail me and hold me
in its tattooed arms to whisper, You will
create dreamy gestures to enter unknown
kingdoms. No art is dumb or wasted.

One Year In

Not surprised by having to quarantine,
not shocked by empty shelves at groceries,
I’d expected to see a pandemic during my
lifetime, anticipated staying home alone
for three months, maybe four. It’s one year

since I stocked up, locked down. Vaccines
are here and working. I’m registered, await
my turn, will take any brand available, thrill
at my immune response. This year I did
what I always do: I cooked and baked bread,

labeled everything I froze with contents, date,
and rotated my stock of homemade soup
and canned goods. My friends have blossomed
into artists, turned to watercolors and markers
to draw portraits and animals I recognize.

I’m still writing daily poems about my old
obsessions, waiting for a shift, a clever plot
twist in my life. I don’t need a rescue, know
any prince meant for me won’t ignore the signs
on my driveway that say, Private. No Trespassing.

For those who’ve turned again to alcohol, weed,
and overeating, you have my deep compassion.
These are the hard times, unprecedented times
we’ll talk about for decades, as my parents
spoke of war and The Great Depression,

as I once recounted memories of the day JFK
was shot in Dallas, and the other assassinations
in that decade when the world seemed off
its axis. We’ll talk about January 6 with awe
at the mobs who swallowed conspiracies

about implants, 5G, child trafficking, and slave
colonies on Mars. We won’t forget the claims
that liberals drank baby blood for longer lives.
One year in, we ask, will I emerge whole?
What have I learned about my humanity?


Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self, and her poetry has appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Adanna Literary Journal, Poet Lore, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she writes a poem every day. 



Photography by Candace Meredith

Carpe Diem Series

When I look at Candace Meredith’s photography I get the sensation of going on a drive with no destination. The kind taken spur of the moment to discover what enchantment can be found in an afternoon!

Come see the world through Candace’s eyes and see what you discover!


Candace Meredith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in English Creative Writing from Frostburg State University in the spring of 2008. Her works of poetry, photography and fiction have appeared in literary journals Bittersweet, The Backbone Mountain Review, The Broadkill Review, In God’s Hands/ Writers of Grace, A Flash of Dark, Greensilk Journal, Saltfront, Mojave River Press and Review, Scryptic Magazine, Unlikely Stories Mark V, The Sirens Call Magazine, The Great Void, Foreign Literary Magazine, Lion and Lilac Magazine, Snow Leopard Publishing, BAM Writes  and various others. Candace currently resides in Virginia with her two sons and her daughter, her fiancé and their three dogs and six cats. She has earned her Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) from West Virginia University.

This Morning & Other Paintings by Edward Lee

Carpe Diem Series

Come feel the depth of emotion from these tremendous digital paintings by Edward Lee! Combining textures and color variances create a pleasing sensory focus. Take a look and see what each one says to you.

This Morning

Such a Day


To Remain After the Last Breath


 Edward Lee is an artist and writer from Ireland. His paintings and photography have been exhibited widely, while his poetry, short stories, non-fiction have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  He is currently working on two photography collections: ‘Lying Down With The Dead’ and ‘There Is A Beauty In Broken Things’.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.


His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

Why I Became a Luna Moth & Other Poetry by Gabrielle Langley

Carpe Diem Series

Enter into this May with the exuberant poetry of Gabrielle Langley! Her words hold a symbolic sense of self while observing the happenings of both good and bad. Take delight in her work below!

My Favorite Line: “I make it my business to glow in the dark.”

Why I Became a Luna Moth

I became a Luna moth
because I often feel the urge
to burst from an exoskeleton
wearing nothing
except a white fur corset
and green powdered wings.
With only seven days to live,
and a wingspan of 114 millimeters,
I make it my business to glow in the dark.
I dance on sugared persimmons,
release volatile sex pheromones,
throw them far into the night.
It makes perfect sense to mate
with the first male who answers my call,
to hide three-hundred eggs on the undersides
of wet leaves, to navigate
by shifting patterns of starlight.
This is my DNA.
I master the art of moon-white camouflage.
I thwart the echolocation of predator bats.
I paint two false eyes on the back of my wings.
This always confuses my enemies.


Every flapper was a secret butterfly
spinning starlight from tin cans. I am a monarch

ruling a kingdom of cocktails and sequins. Bouquets of
long-stemmed roses throw themselves into my arms, daily.

Bottles of French champagne beg me for kisses!
Watch me paint rubies on my lips and fingers. Help me

find my velvet diary, the one with the heart-shaped lock.
Let’s melt the key. Do you know my husband,

the famous novelist? He steals things from me,
types them into his own books, signs his name.

He cuts my love letters into thin strips, pastes them
into his own stories, chides me for being upset.

Every man I ever knew is trying to fix me. “A Gin Sling, please.”
My husband is drunk all the time now.

We drive all over Europe in a Bugatti, tassels on the seat covers.
I throw tantrums for fun, whenever I get bored.

He has me committed to the nervous hospital.
I smuggle in my dancing slippers, my cigarettes, and matches.

The orderlies watch me dance the Charleston.
I dance until my feet catch fire

and then I dance with the flames. I dance
until the entire hospital burns.


Gabrielle Langley’s first book of poetry, Azaleas on Fire, was released in 2019. Shehas wonthe Lorene Pouncey Award, Houston Poetry Fest’s Jury Prize, and the Vivian Nellis Memorial Prize. With work appearing in a variety of literary journals, and three Pushcart prize nominations, Ms. Langley was also a spearhead and co-editor for the anthology Red Sky: Poetry on the global epidemic of violence against women (Sable Books – 2016). Additional information about this poet can be found at www.gabriellelangley.com.

April Fools’ Day & Other Poetry by Joan McNerney

Carpe Diem Series

Joan McNerney brings us everything we need for our spring time poetry! She describes the marvels and energy around us as the world awakens.

My Favorite Line: ” I’m gonna have lunch with
the sky. It’s been way too
long since we got together. “

April Fools’ Day

Joan McNerney

Imagine some have never heard of our special day.
They don’t know about the very first day of April
when winter’s cabin fever morphs into spring folly.

How so many people stow away their winter coats
storing hats and gloves in some handy box
reaching for bright colors to add to their pizzazz.

How young adults become intoxicated with romance
while little ones ruin their shoes playing in mud puddles
as teachers breathe sighs of relief over Easter break.

How industrious staff sneak in time to stare out
windows dreaming of their lunch hours in the sun
wondering earnestly exactly what to do next.

O my legacy (everyone’s talking about legacy now)
will be to search for the greenest trees dancing
in so-sweet winds under a big cobalt blue sky.

Then you can call me a “larger than life” April fool.

Blown Away

Joan McNerney

I’m gonna have lunch with
the sky. It’s been way too
long since we got together.

I’ll run downstairs through
hallways into bursts of blue.
Perhaps never return to work,
words, paper clips, bookshelves.

Who needs cash when there’s
so much green grass to hoard?
Forget about food. I’ll drink up
sunshine, nibbling juicy clouds.

O sky, you are my solar mate.
We will be faithful always.
Come be with me now…I will
never look at another.

Super Woman

Joan McNerney

I wanna become superwoman
learn portuguese in sixty seconds
end pollution single-handedly
feed rice a roni to the planet
win awards left and right.

I wanna become super woman
paint the Taj Mahal red
knock down bureaucrats by the dozens
create creative pandemonium
flying off the edge of everything.

Super woman.


Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Journals, and numerous Poets’ Espresso Reviews have accepted her work.  She has four Best of the Net nominations.  Her latest titles are The Muse in Miniature and Love Poems for Michael both available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net

Photography by Katherine Abraham

Carpe Diem Series

Take in these phenomenal photographs by Katherine Abraham! The radiating glow and depth of color in each one invigorates the soul. She helps us see the day for it’s majestic beauty that it can hold for us.


Katherine Abraham is the Author of Yesterday Once More, Silenced by Love and Some Days are Forever. An Adventist, Katherine is a teacher by profession, who has studied Law, Literature and Journalism. She writes poetry and prose for various online publications & International Anthologies. She is the host for the International Podcast Series for Christians  entitled, Chasing Hope where she talks of the various aspects of a principled Christian life. 

Website : www.chasinghopewithkatherine.com Her fourth novel “Every Sunset Has a Story” has won her a book series Contract with a Popular Publication in the US. Katherine is also a Passionate Photographer from India, whose work has bee showcased and recognized both nationally and internationally. Her photographs were a part of the AKR Photography Exhibitions in Lahore and Karachi, Pakistan. Recently, her work was featured in “Margins” the official magazine of the University of Toronto, Scarborough. She has also done portrait photoshoots and has a deep interest in wildlife and architectural photography.

E’Plazini: A Place to call home for Waste Collectors by Mpumelelo Buthelezi

Carpe Diem Series

Mpumelelo Buthelezi gifts us with this captivating photo of the amazing waste collectors in South Africa! They are out seizing the day with their hard work and help in their community. Take a look and read more about this inspirational job below!

The residents of Devland and Dryhook claiming the mountain to recycle materials, which they have collected during the day rummaging through plastic, sorting glass and crumpling paper. Picture: Mpumelelo Buthelezi/ City Press

Artist Statement:

E’Plazini: A Place to call home for Waste Collectors  

This photo documentary about waste pickers who live in a neighbourhood called Dryhook Informal settlement, Phororo near Devland, Soweto. In South Africa it is estimated that 85,000 people make a living as waste collectors/recyclers. Waste pickers are people who collect and sort waste materials, and sell reusable and recyclable materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic containers, glass, and metal) primarily in an informal capacity. In particular waste pickers contribute to higher levels of recycling within cities and towns, and help to divert waste from landfills.

These people live by collecting waste material for recycling from all over Soweto for over the last ten years. They recycle their materials in a dumping area daily from 4am in the morning until 4pm, some work weekly and some on a daily basis. Recycle trucks then transport this waste materials to different firms, such as Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. At the recycling company they get R3, 20 per kilogram for plastic containers and empty cans; R1.20 per kilogram for plastic, and R2 per kilogram for cardboard boxes. They make about R40, on a good day, R60 and R200 weekly.


Mpumelelo Buthelezi-a photographer born and bred in Pimville, Soweto

Transitions & Other Paintings by Madara Tropa

Carpe Diem Series

Step into these incredible scenes painted by Madara Tropa! When I gaze at these wonderfully crafted perspectives, I feel connected to the present moment. It allows me to enjoy the peace that comes with nature, and drives me to take part in the day. Take a look at her work below!

“Transitions f”, oil on canvas, 8.7x 11 inches

Transitions g”, oil on canvas, 8.7×11 inches

“Transitions h”, oil on canvas, 8.7 x 11 inches

Vermont Lanscapes a_watercolor and plant based ink on paper_8 x 11 inches

Vermont Landscapes b_watercolor and natural plant ink on paper_8x11 inches

Vermont Landscapes c_watercolor and natural plant ink on paper_8x11 inches_2021

Vermont Landscapes d watercolor and natural plant ink on paper 8×11 inches_2021


Madara Tropa (b. Latvia 1987) is a visual artist based in the United States. She completed her studies at the National University of Latvia, and “La Esmeralda” National University of Art in Mexico City. She has participated in group shows at the Equity Gallery in New York, the Museum of Mexico 

City, the Cultural Institute of Aguascalientes, the Modern Art Museum of Toluca, and others. Her artwork probes between the limits of fiction and reality, in the search for her most profound understanding of being. Using painting, installation, and video, Madara constructs dream-like spaces where the sense of human vacancy is uncertain and nebulous. This uncertainty entwines with the materials of ritual and magic, creating temporal shrines of intense auras of reflection, both personal and beyond.



Instagram @thefutureart