Lost Dogs & Other Poetry by Keith David Parsons

To What We Lost – Keith David Parsons

A sharing of heart, Keith David Parsons eloquently writes about the concept of loss as well as the loss of his stepdad. Take a moment to read his beautiful expression.

Lost Dogs

They hug telephone poles
best picture available
enlarged to show texture
like cereal, pixels cracking
answers to Wesley or Lady or Patch.
Do not chase!

All dead of course
there are no signs for found dogs.

I have never owned a dog
but other losses post my mind:
that big firm internship
building a cabin in the woods
being a pastor or an astronaut
having a cigar
with my stepdad
apologizing to that friend
hit by a train last year.

These, like Patch, molder in a dump
as water seeps into the lamination on
his poster, the ink runs;

like Wesley, silently consumed by fungi
in a ravine somewhere
his flyer fades in the humid July wind;

as Lady’s cheeks desiccate
drawing her skin taught
into an eyeless snarl,
her rain-warped paper dries and crackles
condemning me.

All gone.
I never even put up a sign.


I had a dream that my cat became unstuck in time,
and as I petted her, I remembered my stepfather’s cooking classes
that he took to meet women before he met my mother, and
stood confused, as she walked by twice without seeing him
on their first blind date.

Later, he filled their house with “As seen on T.V.!” merchandise.
He cooked in the “You can set it and forget it!” rotisserie.
They bought a golden puppy—Seamus, after his grandfather,
who pooped all over his jeep when they drove me back to
my first year of college.

Their favorite Virginia wine was a Riesling with a dog on the bottle.
“The most important thing to know is you like the taste” he said.
He liked Audubon drawings of ducks. Once he was starting
his charcoal grill with lawn mower gasoline, and almost
burned down the house.

He was so grateful when all three brothers came down after the
first heart attack. The doctors went in for a triple bypass
and did a quintuple instead. He knew we would be there for her.
And after that, the cigars he loved became less frequent,
and more fragrant.

Much later, I was writing this poem, third revision. At a bar
on the waterfront, a man with a glass of wine asked if I had a
cigar cutter. I did, by unusual chance—I’m not a regular smoker.
But when he lit the cigar, I cried. I have never revised this poem
without crying.

Seamus passed, Tom convinced my mom to get two more goldens.
He always wanted to have two dogs. Every Christmas after that
the best gifts to my mom were from “the dogs” while “Santa Pig”—a
light-up lawn ornament pig with a winter hat—gave gag gifts to the
rest of the family.

Later, my mother told me that he always tried to make Christmas special,
because she lost her father around that time of year when she was young,
and my father left then too. Tom constructed an elaborate family myth,
with 24 hours of A Christmas Story, and “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
to make her season bright.

Until the year that the gifts were already bought, but my mother said
“Oh sweetie, I hope you’re warmer than you feel” as we said goodbye.
We had Christmas as normal for the nieces, too young to understand why
“Bumpy” was missing. And we opened the gifts he had already bought,
now unstuck in time, like the recording I made
of my cat’s last purr.


Keith David Parsons (he/his) is a citizen-poet on the run from the law, yoga aficionado, and a stan without a country. Born in West Virginia, between a crick and a hollar, he now lives in Washington, Douglass Commonwealth. @Kristophanes on Twitter/Facebook, keithdavidparsons on Instagram.

Life Absence & Other Poems by Kapardeli Eftichia

To What We Lost – Kapardeli Eftichia

Kapardeli Eftichia wrote and designed these stunning image and translated poetry combinations! In both English and Greek, these bilingual gems hold the depth of the human soul, the vast emptiness it can contain while also observing the wonders of the world around us.

Τα χρώματα φόρεσα παραδομένη
στην μεγαλόπρεπη
αρμονική του φωτός μουσική

Ένας μεγάλος Ήλιος σε
μια νύχτα που συνεχώς μας τριγυρίζει
Μια σπίθα καλοσύνης
στον ανυπεράσπιστο άνθρωπο
που σφηνωμένος στης ζωής
την ασυνταξία αλλεπάλληλους
κύκλους χωρίζει

Καθισμένη στις αυλές του κόσμου
μαζεύω τα ξένα πρόσωπα
και με κρύα χέρια τα
ξεχασμένα βότσαλα που
βυθίζονται σε μια γραμμή
υγρή απουσίας

Ο νους των ονείρων ράγισε από τα
αποξηραμένα τοπία
του νέου καιρού που
συνεχώς ματώνουν
σε μια μόνιμη ζωής απουσία

I wore the colors
in the majestic
harmonic music of light

A big Sun in
a night that constantly surrounds us
A spark of goodness
to the defenseless man
where stuck in life
the disorganization successive
circles separates

Sitting in the courtyards of the world
I gather strangers
and with cold hands
the forgotten pebbles that
sink into a line
wet absence

The mind of dreams
cracked from
dried landscapes
of the new world that
constantly bleed
in a permanent life absence


Ένα τριαντάφυλλο στολίδι του καιρού
Σε ένα σπίτι που δεν κατοικείται πια
Σε έναν άγνωστο δρόμο
Με τις βρεγμένες πέτρες των βασάνων
Εκεί που τα πουλιά
Φεύγουν για τις δικές τους πατρίδες γοργά

Σε μια πεδιάδα
Χίλιοι ουρανοί ,γη απέραντη
Τα πουλιά σπαταλούν την δύναμη τους
Σε Ήλιο και βροχή
Από την τυραννία του Ήλιου και τις πυρακτωμένες πέτρες
Στα δένδρα με τις βαθιές σκιές
Και στα τρυφερά φύλλα της αγριελιάς ξεκουράζονται

Μα τούτη η σιωπηλή ξεχασμένη πόλη
Πάντα θα με ακολουθεί
Φως και ανέμου στεναγμός
Όταν θα φύγω από εδώ δεν θα
Είναι πια η ίδια πόλη
Δεν θα έχει χρώματα και αυτή η γαλάζια
Ατελείωτη φυλλωσιά του ουρανού
Με την ανέγγιχτη των άστρων σιωπή
Άνιση στον χρόνο
Θα διώχνει τα τελευταία του ανέμου πουλιά


A rose ornament of the weather
In a house that is no longer inhabited
On an unknown road
With the wet stones of suffering
Where the birds
They leave for their own homelands quickly

In a plain
A thousand heavens, vast earth
Birds waste their power
In Sun and rain
From the tyranny of the Sun and the glowing stones
In the trees with deep shadows
And in the tender leaves of the wild olive tree they rest

But this silent forgotten city
He will always follow me
Light and wind sigh
When I leave here I will not
It is now the same city
This blue will also have no colors
Endless foliage of the sky
With the untouched silence of the stars
Unequal in time
It will chase away the last birds of the wind


Μεγάλωσε το σώμα της σκιάς
δυο φωτεινές γραμμές την γη χαράζουν
Ρίζες στα σπλάχνα της έγιναν
Τα χέρια μας
Και τα χείλη μας διψασμένα
Πάντα τα φιλιά προσμένουν

Μια λευκή κάμαρη στους
μακρινούς ανέμους η καρδιά μου
στην βουή λαβωματιές ,χαλάσματα
ρωγμές τα βάσανα
Η ψυχή όμως περίσσεια περνά
την φωτιά ,το φως μοιράζει

Απομακρυσμένοι αιώνες
τον Ήλιο κρατούν αγκαλιά
Ξενυχτώ στις θάλασσες, στους λόφους
στον ουρανό, στα βουνά
Εκεί που τα λουλούδια λάμπουν
Εκεί που η βροχή με την γόνιμη γη ερωτοτροπεί
Εκεί που τα πουλιά ακόμα φλυαρούν
και τα ποτάμια ξαγρυπνούν

Μουσκεμένα μπουμπούκια
τις μακρινές νύχτες μυστικά ανθίζουν
Παγιδευμένη ανάμεσα σε ένα μικρό βράχο
Ο μόνος μου σύντροφος μια κατακόκκινη όμορφη τριανταφυλλιά που λαμπυρίζει


Grow the body of the shadow
two bright lines carve the earth
Roots were made in her womb
Our hands
And our lips are thirsty
Kisses are always waiting

A white arch in
distant winds my heart
in the roar is wounded, ruins
crack the sufferings
But the soul excess passes
the fire, the light divides

Distant centuries
they hold the Sun in their arms
I spend the night in the seas, in the hills
in the sky, in the mountains
Where the flowers shine
Where the rain with the fertile land flirts
Where the birds are still talking
and the rivers are watching

Soaked buds
in the distant nights secretly bloom
Trapped between a small rock
My only partner
a ruddy beautiful Rose
that shimmers


Kapardeli Eftichia has a Doctorate from ARTS AND CULTURE WORLD ACADEMY live in Patras She writes poetry, stories, short stories, hai-ku , essays  She studied journalism AKEM  Ηas many awards in national competitions Her work there is to many national and international anthologies  Has a section at the University of Cyprus in Greek culture is a member of the world poets society. website is http://world-poets.blogspot. com / is a member of the IWA (international writers and artists Association) chaired by Teresinka Pereira, had from IWA Certify 2017 as the best translation and  member of the POETAS DEL MUNDO .

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The Nocturnal & Other Poetry by Meg Smith

Adorably Horror Series – Meg Smith

The Nocturnal

A comet may fall forever

in its ellipse of fire. 

I will call it, running, 

with no words, 

but a space within darkness. 

Now is a time for healing, 

and a falling light of night

will burn a clear path.

A Red Cloth Across the Table

She spread her green papers,

and tattered cards, the laminate cracked,

the corners creased.

“I don’t need these,” she declares, and 

sweeps them aside. There is only 

the field of crimson, and she spreads it,

smooths it, and sighs.

“Your boy is here.

He cries because his feet are cold.”

Tiles raise, burn, break.

They whisper, they weep, 

pennants of numbers to mark

every surfacing crown. 

All now rush, open to the clouds 

all now open to the winter sun.

The Cistern

Call it close,

the falling of water, 

the wind that suddenly turns. 

In the sustenance of rain,

ghosts can still foment, and rise.

There gives no remedy,

but the capture of darkness.


Meg Smith is a writer, journalist, dancer and events producer living in Lowell, Mass. 

Her horror and gothic poetry and fiction have appeared recently in The Horror Zine, Blood Moon Rising, Raven Cage, Dark Dossier, Sirens Call, and many more. 

She served for many years on the board of Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! She produces the Edgar Allan Poe Show, honoring Poe’s presence in Lowell. 

She is the author of five poetry books. Her short fiction collection, The Plague Confessor, is due out in fall 2020.


She welcomes visits to megsmithwriter.com.

Amma & Other Poems by Larry D. Giles

The Heroines Among Us

Follow along with Larry D. Giles as he explores women from his book, Father Tree Water! They are a wonderful addition to your Saturday dose of artistry!


I may have thought God was strange

when she climbed up—

the hammer jiggling

from the wet belt

she stole from her brother—

he had no nerve for heights

forever twiddled in a box.

She straddled eaves—


like one peel of a banana

hoped for though not yet eaten.

It was almost dark, a bird

had also left its wing. She cussed it down—

then pounded like the devil

for the nerve of rain—

that old man drowning

in a corner brown jar.

Hungry at the table,

I imagined air solid and soulful around her blue T-shirt.

Hearing that stunted nail,

I swear down below

a muscle grew from a hole

in my pocket—

rose from

the dull

wet ground

to the dry,



Girl with a Match

(after Alicia Keys)

This girl

pretty in pigtails

and afraid of matches,

who sucks her thumb

and rocks pink dolls in cradles,

bakes black mud pies

in little white stoves

along the shaded edge

of the field,

on the porch

scowls at kites,

dips just one toe in the river—

the one

I thought for years

was just my sister—

like a sun-struck pilot

today jumped

over the house

and then set

the woods

on fire.

The Woman Down

I would imagine the sink

to pull her down,

down with the ceiling

and leftover spaghetti,

my brothers and sisters

to peer in after shock,

waiting for her to spew out.

Down beneath the heavy day

of hamburger grease

and scabbed paint,

down with the bent forks

and gray-water spoons,

sucked like the head

of a chalk-soaked mop

from my wooden fingers,

scraping against powder-wet

porcelain and fear.

Till I thought for once

she would not pull back.

For once, she would not

wring out the darkness

and rank, rank dust,

though plastered there

above the lonely depths—

I could still hear Otis crooning,

still feel Martin’s moaning,

“We shall certainly overcome,”

my ghost-white siblings

wrestling in the wreckage

and crying for their daddy

to bring home

the wrench.

I thought for sure

she would be demolished,

completely choked

by that vacuous murkiness

the night he called

for the very last time,

she then twisted into a knot

of noodled flesh

so tight it would burst

into a thousand fibers.                               

But that night, too,

she was a plunger,

a great liquid voice

sticking to the walls

of that hideous hole in hell,

and each night she was

a plumber and a carpenter,

above all, the in-tact mother

who pushed up from drains,

looked out from sinks

and handed us tomorrow’s spoons

and saucers and plates,

that, though old and cracked,

still managed to glimmer,

beneath dim, dusty florescent

tubes and a squashed, yellow

ceiling that, like the sink,

somehow imagined it could keep

the woman down.


Photo credit: The Essex County Museum and 

Larry D. Giles 

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Larry D. Giles grew up on a farm just outside of Battery, a small rural community several miles from the Rappahannock River. Educated at Livingstone College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Virginia, the writer has taught English and writing at his high school alma mater in Essex County and for the city of Richmond. While at Richmond, he received teacher of the year, the prestigious REB Award for Teaching Excellence, and an educational leadership fellowship. A Luard Morse nominee, he is co-author of Journey Home, with playwright Jacqui Singleton, a work produced in Richmond theatre. Larry has been published in The River City Poets Anthology 2019Better than Starbucks Magazine, The Bhubaneswar Review, and in other media. Available at http//www.lulu.com/spotlight/LDGiles2020 and released in 2019,  Father Tree Water: Collected Poems and Photographs of the Rappahannock Mind Body Spirit is the writer’s first published collection of poetry.

Larry’s poetry and creative nonfiction often center on family, rural Virginia life along the Rappahannock, and personal resilience and strength, with sometimes mystical multicultural interweavings.  His poems often ring with personal conviction and revelation, his prose nostalgic reverence, pathos and beauty.  Nominated twice by Better than Starbucks Magazine for Best of the Net for his Hoover Boys series, Larry currently resides in Richmond where he continues to write, paint, enjoy photography, and lead several online history and community education archives.



Ode to Meta Ann & Other Poems by Will Reger

The Heroines Among Us

Will Reger’s poems find the heroines in his life, his favorite author, his friend, and grandmother. His last poem reflects the opposite of a man who is crushed by the woman he hoped to make his heroine (and wife). Read these terrific poems below!

Ode to Meta Ann

You frog-marched me out of Eden.
Raw wildness swallowed me.
All things of fire kindle or go out
but you raised in me conflagration –
It burns still.

On the morning your old tom cat left
his bloody prints across your chest,
my true self was born.

With you in the hot darkness,
when you cleaned yourself, unsure
if you were truly clean or had simply denied
the bloody sign of the Passover,

I became your devotee
with eyes open to see life
for what it is, where it is.
Your teaching has been to watch,
to catch any new thing and possess it.

Walk, wait, watch—your mantra chanted
to me that summer on Tinker Creek—

like you, “I go to water.”
I go with songbirds on my mind,
with the blue heron in my eye.

You taught me life is the stage
for the theater of death, the universe
hums along while we creep blindly behind.

You taught me how beauty and grace
are acted out all around me.
We must learn to see it, you said.
Watch and see the true things of the world.


With a voice as smooth and level as a prairie,
while skies rumble like bowling alleys,
she invited love to stay
and love has made her life a kingdom.

While the skies rumble like bowling alleys,
she claims the fealty of the birds,
for love has made her life a kingdom,
so the world breaks against her walls.

She claims the loyalty of the birds
and writes their oaths up in a poem.
Though the world breaks against her walls
she nails that poem to her garage door.

She writes a poem from the oaths of birds
and reads it out for the foxes and bears.
Though the world breaks against her walls,
she bears no regrets at all.

While reading her poem to foxes and bears,
two princesses weave their paths away.
She bears no regrets at all.
Their absence sparks anticipation.

Two princesses weave paths away,
but she knows paths someday converge.
Their absence sparks anticipation,
when stars decline to come closer.

She knows that paths someday converge.
And she does have poetry and birds,
though the stars refuse to come any closer,
princesses oft times return.

Portrait of a Grandmother

Heavy and slow, her heart 
carries so much she must
vouch a little into each
of the flowers she tends,
just to take another step.

Her long grey-brown hair
is done up into a bun,
held in place with combs.
She used to have a cow
in her shed, but now
it is piled with blue glass jars.

Every morning before coffee
she shoots insulin into the fat
of her ribs, then pours
from a cup of hot Sanka
into the saucer to cool, then sips.

I follow behind her when she tills
her big garden beyond the oaks,
with a hoe breaking up the clots.
The sun is hot and the shade is cool
under the trees. She keeps on.
I love forking out the potatoes
best of all–like opening a surprise.

She calls them taters and mashes
them thick to her hold her gravy.
At her big rough-hewn table,
we sat and ate like kings — eggs,
mashed taters, slices of canned meat,
fried chicken, blackberry dumplings,
squirrel or rabbit if she shot one,
and the perfect flour biscuits
that still make me salivate to this day.

Where are those hands of hers
that did so much? Lost now
among the stones of a country
cemetery overrun with trees
that I will never find again,
though I’ve been there. I still see it.

A Valentine Breakup

Starlight that night made its own rules,
and the girl, well-guarded by scent of asphodels,
understood there is no love in heartbeats,
for Badger’s fulvous heart soliloquies
uncoiled from a nest of fear and cantillation,
a great deception, a trick of indecision.

The gentleman, sore of heart, saw it all
in her eyes out in the corridor.
It nearly put him in the hospital
to see his twilight fall at twenty-four,
to see marrying, fathering, house-holding
all walk off together, the scene folding–

Strike the set! Kill the rain! Release
the dogs to clear the lot of any heroines.
Old Badger’s closing it down — “It’s time, please.”
And so he has come to this, ready to zero in,
Move back in with his folks, maybe, and get a cat,
or leave the country, however it plays out.


 Will Reger is the Poet Laureate for the City of Urbana, IL.  He has published consistently since 2010, including his first full-length book, Petroglyphs (2019).  Many of his published works have been linked at www.twitter.com/wmreger.  When not scribbling, he relaxes with the nan xiao and enjoys studying small local waterways (sloughs, creeks, rivers, canals, and ditches) looking for wildlife.
I have attached these poems because the email distorts the line breaks.

Otelia Cromwell & Other Poetry by Mark Andrew Heathcote

The Heroines Among Us

Mark Andrew Heathcote takes us through women throughout history whose work has left lasting impact on the world. Heathcote’s writing is a joyous tribute to these powerful ladies!

Otelia Cromwell
Became a distinguished scholar and Professor of English
she was the first African-American graduate.
At Smiths, college, receiving a B.A. in Classics
adamant nothing could prevent her she showed great courage.

There are outstanding heroic people like Otelia Cromwell,
Who has changed the world opening doors for others?
Her bravery propelled-society forward, we marvel her
achievements weren’t they outstanding for different cultures.

Different diversities, leaving an inspirational legacy,
Otelia was a glowing example of what-could-be achieved.
How others could overcome ignorance and realize equality,
if you just work-hard, push-hard and believe-believe-believe.

Mother Teresa the mission of charity

She joined the Sisters of Loreto age 18yrs
Had a 40yr faith crisis, yet has been canonised.
Taking her vows as a nun in 1931 her life blurs
“Peace of heart”, she never developed one
She’d a calling to enter the slums she-agonised
Distressed by what she saw and thereupon,

She gave up all gave up searching for peace
To this end, she gave her heart to Jesus
Her call, that wasn’t seen the lease bit caprice?
She aided the dying the poor in Calcutta.
She helped the sick to battle diseases
She doesn’t feign to like the slums or those gutters.

But she wanted to help eradicate poverty,
Eliminate hunger and help heal the sick.
While all the time she struggled and conversely
Prayed for guidance to strengthen her faith,
Holding hands with the insane the lunatic
She made a difference in her humble ways,

She jarred a door wide, showed a needless path
If there were more like her willing to help?
And dedicate help to healing the psychopath,
Help sucker the emaciated heart of humanity
War, could be eradicated, hunger expelled
And peace, faith could reign enigmatically.

On even her Mother Teresa’s wrinkled face
But she felt deeply, alone quite abandoned
This void of emptiness at times took its place
She lived in a state of spiritual pain,
But her resolve to help never dampened
From 12yrs of age—knew her path, been preordain.

She opened; open a hospice for the poor
A home for, orphans and homeless youths
Herself,15yrs-living in a hovel furthermore
Opened another for the sufferers of leprosy
Yes, I guess she was saintly, you want proofs?
Leave your riches; homes spread her kind of equity.


This portrait picture of Orlando
Is still somehow strikingly fresh,
Her lineaments dress no scarecrow.
Whether it’s male or female
A heavy-suit is a father’s crèche
A caring parent makes us wear
I, myself wore genderless clothes
When able to pay for my own, wares.
It’s as striking as eyes set on a raven
Still to see a woman like Vita,
Wearing her, Sunday best:
Her manly appearance aroused both sexes
Her face quite oval her jawline pronounced
She was a poet of changing seasons
A poet of fluctuating genders
Sissinghurst Castle Garden,
Was her one and only, blank white, canvas?

Harriet Tubman
He-carried those scars in-her fractured skull
Praying God to make him, change his ways,
She’d pray simultaneously for the improbable,
Pray for freedom that of her family’s always.

Her hair which had never been-combed
Stood out like a bushel basket and it had saved her
When she was-hired out: hit by a metal weight
She thanked the Lord and blessed her faith.

Her unrelenting, master wanted her quick sale
‘People came to look at me; he was trying to sell me.’
But, as such and such, no sale did prevail;
‘Injury had caused her a temporal-lobe-epilepsy.’

‘She changed her prayer, ‘she said. ‘First of March
I began to pray, ‘Oh Lord,
If you aren’t ever going to change that man’s heart,
Kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way.’

She even prayed all night for her master’s death
For her own ‘Liberty or death,
‘If I could not have one, I would have the other.’
‘Harriet Tubman confessed to a negro brother.’

The Lord answered Brodess died a week later.
She ascribed to visions revelations from God.
‘I was a stranger in a strange land, ‘she said later.
When she escaped into her freedoms esplanade;

Tubman travelled by night, guided by the North Star,
When winter the nights are long and dark.
Avoiding slave catchers, she said, in coded song.
Farewell. ‘I’ll meet you in the morning, ‘Mary

Fellow slaves ‘I’m bound for the promised land.’

She carried a revolver and was not afraid to use it.
She made many journeys forth and back
To free other, folk she always came in the winter,
When-nights were long and impenetrably dark.

When morale sank guided by the North Star,
And when one man insisted on going back to the plantation,
She pointed a gun at his head then said.
‘You go on or die. I never ran my train off-
The track and I never lost a passenger.

‘I’m bound only for the promised land.’


Mark Andrew Heathcote is adult learning difficulties support worker, his poetry has been published in many journals, magazines and anthologies, he resides in the UK,  from Manchester, he is the author of “In Perpetuity” and “Back on Earth” two books of poems published by a CTU publishing group ~ Creative Talents Unleashed 

A Taste for Life & Other Poems by

The Heroines Among Us

Family members hold a bit of power in our lives and they can choose to have that power be used for good or evil. Ann Christine Tabaka writes about the incredible women in her life, her Babcia (Grandmother) and her Mother, who helped her survive violently abusive alcoholic father & grandfather. These seemingly small acts of loving, saving, and protecting make the everyday heroines that walk among us.

A Taste for Life

My Babcia’s tiny two room apartment,
a refuge in turbulent times.
A retreat from harsh reality.
I can see it in my mind.
Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
Polish and Jewish part of town.
Bakeries, butcher shops, churches, and parks.
Streets always crowded.
Invariably the same journey,
train, then subway, then walk,
and walk, and walk.
Forever it seemed.
Trudging up three flights of narrow,
well-worn stairs, as rickety as herself.
It kept her spry.
We were poor, but she was poorer still.
Everything she had was used,
other people’s discard.
She had very little.
Things she never had, she gave.
Scrimped and saved to provide
a feast whenever we would visit.
Peasant fare, exotic to me.
A treat to the senses.
The smell of Bigos, Kapusta, Kielbasa,
all the delights of home.
My first taste of pot roast,
string beans and mushrooms.
Not those anemic white mushrooms
purchased in a store.
The pungent wild Polish Wood Mushroom,
handpicked, dried, and sent from
kuzyni in the old country.
Tastes I recreate today.
Tastes that bring comfort and love.
Memories of a land I never knew,
except in my heart and soul.
Tradition carried by aroma and taste.

I Remember Her

I remember her
standing there,
outstretched arms of love.
Taking in all our sins,
she paid the penance,
saying her Hail Marys.
Forgiving all forgiveness,
in her martyr way.
Her quiet strength
filled the room.
Keeping all pain to herself,
no one knew she was there.
Present, yet unperceivable
was her whispered prayer.
She held no malice,
spoke no hate,
though tortured was her lot.
She faded from existence
just as she arrived,
alone and unnoticed,
by all but me.
I remember her
standing there,
outstretched arms of love.

Wash Behind Your Ears

“Remember to wash behind your ears.”
Words we recall from childhood.
Our mother’s voice never leaves us,
it is always there throughout our lives …
carrying us over difficult times.
We hear it when we least expect,
when we need it most.
Embedded in our psyche,
implanted in our flesh.
“Be kind to others.”
“Always share.”
“Don’t fight.”
So much wisdom lost
to past generations.
In our mind we hear the words,
but do we listen?
Do we heed counsel?
We are amused by
“Don’t run with scissors.”
Yet, we run with scissors every day.
Not sharp metal implements,
but the dangerous actions we engage in.
“Remember to say your prayers.”
“Wash behind your ears.”
Words that follow us throughout our lives.


Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, Her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020,” published by Sweetycat Press. Chris has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. Her work has been translated into Sequoyah-Cherokee Syllabics, and into Spanish. She is the author of 11 poetry books. She has recently been published in several micro-fiction anthologies and short story publications.  Christine lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: The American Writers Review; The Phoenix; Burningword Literary Journal; Muddy River Poetry Review; The Write Connection; The Scribe, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Foliate Oak Review, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.


Website: https://annchristinetabaka.com/


Pushing the Door & Other Poems by Jacqueline Jules

The Heroines Among Us

Jacqueline Jules shows us the perspective of the heroines she admires, Shirley Chisholm, Grandma Moses, Mother Jones. Read her engaging poetry about these exceptional women!

Pushing the Door
by Jacqueline Jules

Shirley Chisholm wanted change.

To push the door ajar,
for someone not white, not male.

In 1972, when a woman
still had to fight to see her name
on a credit card, Shirley
appeared on television
in a presidential debate.

She never doubted her right
to be a candidate
in a race where being female
was a bigger barrier
than being black.

And if the door didn’t open
all the way, it didn’t slam either.

Shirley’s foot remains,
firmly creating a space
for those coming after
to come through.

Granny with a Paintbrush
by Jacqueline Jules

Too old for farm work, Grandma Moses
considered raising chickens.

Rocking on a porch chair—
even with hands too arthritic
to hold a needle—was beyond
the imagination of an energetic soul
accustomed to country chores.

Instead, she picked up a paintbrush
to re-imagine her homespun days
of sugaring, quilting, haying,
and making apple butter.
Her colors so vivid
a collector passing by a drug store window
couldn’t rest until he possessed every
painting from her wrinkled, untrained hand.

Who would have thought?
A farming wife
in her sunset years
could surprise us so
with a new scenery of success—
illustrating how to age
without porch or rocking chair.

A Mother to Millions
by Jacqueline Jules

Mary had no family of her own,
not after the yellow fever of 1867.

Husband and four babies under five
all dead, she sought solace in Chicago,
sewing dresses for the wealthy
until the Great Fire of 1871
rendered her homeless.

But that’s all backstory, maybe
unknown to the workers
she lifted from fear to their feet.

“I’m not a humanitarian,
I’m a hell-raiser.”

Mary’s blazing rage
at steel mills, coal mines,
railroads, and factories
led strikes across the country,
making those in power
so afraid of an old lady
in a long black dress, she was
deemed the most dangerous
woman in America.

“Pray for the dead and
fight like hell for the living.”

“Mother Jones” to millions,
Mary looked beyond her own losses
to offer the love she still had to give.


Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including Beltway Poetry NewsInnisfree Poetry JournalThe Paterson Literary ReviewCider Press Review, Potomac Review, Inkwell, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.


Visit her online at https://metaphoricaltruths.blogspot.com/

The Green Stone & Other Poems by Meg Smith

It’s the Little Things

Serene poetry to fill your heart and mind by Meg Smith! A good read of treasuring little things!

The Green Stone

This, she gave to me
and said, “It’s a gift,This is for our survival.”
We’re meeting in a coffee shop,
her words the song of my ancestors.
We have both emerged from our tombs.
This stone, this close moon, opens a place
where we both breathe.

The Comet Pilgrimage

Your sleep is a fine place of ice, dust and light —
just as we declared before your sacrament.
Now, this walk is just for me —
on the same street, but a new night —
and the mark of the constellation
falls in the bright trail of an agent,
less than forever.

Fairy Pendant

Counting out flowers,
memory keeps its passage.
A chain, a novel, a voice
cries of fever, at night.
This and more, we keep,
as servants of time’s thief.
This, and more, we keep.


(Photo credit to Derek Savoia)

Meg Smith is a writer, journalist, Oriental dancer, and events producer, living in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A. Her publication credits include The Cafe Review, The Horror Zine, The Starlite Virtual Poetorium, and Atlantic Currents: Connecting Cork and Lowell.


Her most recent poetry books, Pretty Green Thorns,Night’s Island,This Scarlet Dancing and Dear Deepest Ghost are available on Amazon. megsmithwriter.com

She welcomes visits to megsmithwriter.com,

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/megsmithwriter/

Twitter — https://twitter.com/MegSmith_Writer

Bicycle Ride & The Four Minute Long Song – Poetry by Banqobile Virginia Dakamela

It’s the Little Things

Banqobile Virginia Dakamela defines so eloquently amazing surviving and thriving techniques in her poetry below! The world holds its chaos, but through the struggle we can learn something new and embrace our uniqueness within it.

Bicycle Ride
The word lockdown smelt of despair and uncertainty
The looming emptiness ahead held no excitement

The bicycles came just in time
But along came agony

Knees and elbows scrapped
Ribs bruised
Faces tear streaked
The first ride
Was the worst
Their fall was my ache
Their tears my heartbreak

They screamed,
” Mama come watch!
We can ride without falling.
Send us to the shops
Or wherever you want.
We can now fly as we cycle. “

Discovering riding styles is the new order!
As l watch the trail of dust
Two helmet clad heads disappearing
I can only smile and
Think of what new tricks are in store

The four minute long song
The four minute long song
Is a four decade old love song

In the lyrics we promised to love
In the harmony we exchanged sweet embraces
In the melody we kissed tenderly
In the keys we vowed to stick till death

But then promises we failed to keep
Embraces we turned into fights
Kisses to insults
Vows broken and dismantled

The four minute long song plays still
The lyrics, harmony, keys and melody are still sweet
In its rendition I find reason to smile
At the sweet memories of a love once inconquerable


Banqobile Virginia Dakamela is a Bulawayo born writer. She has authored Lolungileyo Liyamtshonela Ilanga which features in the short story anthology Vala Singafohleli Lesisilo edited by Barbara Makhalisa. Some of her writings have been featured in Ponder Savant, Piker Press, Hawai’i Review and Better Than Starbucks.