My Friend’s River Beauty and Other Poetry by Ndaba Sibanda

Still Shining

A beautiful end to our Still Shining Series, we have the talented Ndaba Sibanda! He is a Ponder Savant regular and brings an energy to his writing style. Come see the marvelous poetry that he has written through the pandemic.

My Friend`s River Beauty

why they live in water
it`s a mystery, in a river

they possibly tuck into it–
seaweed, and swim ashore

they also diet on fish, crabs,
clams ,shrimp, oysters , lobsters

my dear friend fell in love
with one of them, his beauty!

a faraway river is their rendezvous
he confesses she`s romantic and fun!

though these days the two lovely lovebirds
barely hang-out owing to self-distancing!

I think she is human, after all
except that she has the tail of a fish

and no wonder she pees and poops
from her belly button, so says my chum!

New Kids’ Register Riddles

2026: Marking The Preschool Register
Teacher: if you’re present, say ‘present’
And, if you are not here just say ‘absent’

Corona 2020. Silence. Teacher: ‘That’s a pass!’
Wear A Mask.’ Yes’. Teacher: Say ‘present please’.
Lowdown. ‘Lockdown’. Teacher: ‘Lord have mercy!’
Cant read this.’Qua…Quarrel?’ Kid: ‘Im Quarantine’
Was Hands.’ I’m Wash Hands’. Teacher: ‘My apologies!’
Sanity-seizer. ‘I’m Sanitizer’. Teacher: ‘For a reason!’
Coffee Fit 9.’ l’m COVID-19′. Teacher: ‘Sorry, whatever’
Self-lation.’I’m Self-isolation’. Teacher: ‘Hmmm, l see’.
Loves.’l’ m Gloves.’ Teacher: ‘Like hand in glove, kid!’
Pandemics. ‘Absent’ Teacher. ‘Wow’. Kid: ‘Coz l hate ’em’


A 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, Ndaba’s poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndaba’s works are found or forthcoming in Page & Spine, Peeking Cat, Piker Press, SCARLET LEAF REVIEW, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review, Botsotso, The Ofi Press Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Deltona Howl, The song is, Indian Review, Eunoia Review, JONAH magazine, Saraba Magazine, Poetry Potion, Saraba Magazine, The Borfski Press, Snippets, East Coast Literary Review, Random Poem Tree, festival-of-language and Whispering Prairie Press.
Sibanda’s forthcoming book Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things: Confronting Controversies,Contradictions And Indoctrinations was considered for The 2019 Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing in Nonfiction. Ndaba’s other forthcoming book Cabinet Meetings: Of Big And Small Preys was considered for The Graywolf Press Africa Prize 2018.
Sibanda’s other forthcoming books include Timbomb, Dear Dawn And Daylight, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, A Different Ballgame and The Way Forward.

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 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda -

Courageous & Other Poetry and Music by Tim Kahl

Still Shining

Tim Kahl adds flare to his poetry by setting it to music! Each musical piece is designed to match the essence of the poetry. Take some time to come listen and appreciate the delightful combination!


I always thought brave ideas

   were likely sent from heaven.

Kind of like a monarchy,

   but without all the pageantry.

I was wrong. They’re brushed with the devil’s tar.

   They live amid suspicion.

A Minefield

A minefield of sleeping dogs.

   No place to step without a yelp.

It’s like learning to walk on stilts

   with something precious at stake.

Yo-ho-ho. I’m the Jolly Green Giant.

   I tiptoe but inspire trust.

A Pleasure

Is it wrong to eat your own skin?

    I suppose if you’re that hungry . . .

You can chew it, then spit it out.

   That’s a pleasure. Just don’t swallow.

Think safety. Stop before you have none left.

   You can’t go out uncolored.

The Lefse Lady

Do you know the lefse lady?

   Her apron flies as kitchen flag.

Her country is lit by hot griddle.

   Quick, rice the potatoes now.

Butter them with love or stick to brown sugar.

   Hey. Could she still be alive?

When I Come Home

What, what, what, Miss Wigglebutt?

   Always so glad when I come home.

Does daddy have a biscuit?

   Does he have a juicy bone?

Cut. Cut. Cut. You’re talking like an idiot.

   Need not say a thing. She already knows.

The Licorice

Dogs don’t like the licorice.

   Still they beg for some in my hand.

What the hell is wrong with them?

   Are they that bored? It’s just habit?

Lick my foot, you furry sycophant.

   Is this how dogs befriended men?

Artist Statement:

The Korean Sijo is an antiquated form in Korean poetry that was prominent in the late fourteenth to early fifteenth century. It was typically sung (each line containing four metric segments —what are called hemistichs—with a minor pause at the end of the second segment and a major one at the end of the fourth).

The syllable count proceeds as such:

3/4     4      3/4        4

3/4     4      3/4        4

3       5-8       4        3/4

a logical “leap is employed at the beginning of the third line. Or sometimes this gap/caesura takes shape as a developmental shift. Not unlike the Italian volta in the last two lines of a sonnet, it is considered the crux of the poem. Often there are interjections at the beginning of the third line which address a particular person.

These sijo are designed to not be reflective of the traditional content of the fifteenth century form which reflected largely on nature. Rather, they comment on the texture of contemporary life.

I am doing a series of these smaller poems to explore various tones of this short form. They vary from American conversational styles of being rather entertaining and breezy and European conversational styles which are cautious but aim for something meaningful. The ones here are from the latter group.


Tim Kahl [] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012) The String of Islands (Dink, 2015) and Omnishambles (Bald Trickster, 2019). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song []. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.

Fertile Easter & Other Poems by Scott Thomas Outlar

Still Shining

Fly on the words of Scott Thomas Outlar! From Atlanta, Georgia, read his exceptional poetry to bring depth to your Saturday.

Fertile Easter

Elements of the sun/

                   past primal


                                 w/truth rising)/

         puffing rays of light

                      (infinite in scope

                            w/tendencies everlasting)/

              huffing a solar frenzy

                       (frantic & resplendent)/

     housed in comfort

                (calm arms

                          of a clear blue sky)

One day an inevitable return/

                 ash again

           & scattered atoms

                    (splintered science

                                   cannot quite

                              taste God’s love)/

                 slanted visions

                              (focused solely

                                           on cross

                                      & crown)/

                           silenced objections

                                     (intense emotions

                                          w/waves of hope)/

                        structured in faith

                                   (peace will reign

                                                 1,000 years

                                           & more)

Test Tube

Glow-in-the-dark cats

            (not just their eyes)


                                 gene soup


        scurry in the labs

                        (rat species)

                    to dream up the next



Aliens in the airwaves

                      (bleeding frequencies)



                                of DMT dreams

         shifting crystal symphonies

                           (rupturing portals)

                                 singing atoms


                                    Adam’s apple


Feed me music from the cut of your tongue

the black of your lungs

I need notes for salvation

I need noise like a plague

Spin your soft spells on my skin

live wire spine

I need a song for the darkness

I need a dance when the hour grows tired


Scott Thomas Outlar lives and writes in the suburbs outside of Atlanta, Georgia. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the 2019 and 2020 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. Selections of his poetry have been translated into Afrikaans, Albanian, Bengali, Dutch, French, Italian, Kurdish, Persian, Serbian, and Spanish. His sixth book, Of Sand and Sugar, was released in 2019. His podcast, Songs of Selah, airs weekly on 17Numa Radio and features interviews with contemporary poets, artists, musicians, and health advocates.

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More about Outlar’s work can be found at

A Goodbye – Poem by Shelby Wilson

Still Shining

The pandemic has taken away many of our events, but it hasn’t taken away the care for those around us. Shelby Wilson, a teacher from Amarillo, TX has written some heartfelt words to the class of 2020. May it warm your heart as well as you read these tender words.

A Goodbye

-For the members of the class of 2020 . . . and their teachers.

Each May,
amidst the blooming and buzzing,
slow songs echo into temperate prom nights.

I experience a rare emotion,
a word often misappropriated in
my classroom—

These students, I know them for
their culmination—
a year of endings
and beginnings.
A year on the precipice,
when kindergarten memories
soothe their fears,
their hearts softened as the final
melody of youth fades out.

Atop the plateau, they
see the horizon,
a view of the rising sun over the
endless Texas plains.

A new song, imperceptible at first,
crescendoes into the mix.

The vastness of the landscape is electric,
making hairs stand on end
while their knees shake
to the backbeat.

They get one last dance,
I take a turn around the floor each year
to a different song—
and as each song ends,
I say goodbye.

Goodbye’s precursors feel familiar—
the caps and gowns,
the gold-embossed script of announcements
on my classroom bulletin boards,
one last test,
one last day.

An interrupted goodbye
is incomplete.
The song’s been cut off.

Bittersweet goodbyes are gifts.
What can I do when the song hasn’t finished?
I can still sing.


Shelby Wilson writes, teaches, and lives in Amarillo, Texas. He holds a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University and an M.A. in English from West Texas A&M University. His work has appeared in Ink & Nebula, Sparks of Calliope, Backchannels, Celestal Review, Madness Muse Press, and elsewhere.

Earth Music – Artwork and Poetry by Daniel Miltz

Still Shining

Lift your spirits by taking a look at with Daniel Miltz’s artwork and poetry! It’s sure to bring a sense of peace this Friday afternoon. It’s also a great reminder to spend some time in nature today!

Earth Music

“The heavenly body of earth has music for those who harken.”

Apr 23, 2020 • Copyright © Daniel Miltz


Daniel Miltz

Born in Michigan, resides in Hampstead, New Hampshire (U.S.A). He is a Freelancer Writer & Poet. Devoted 40 years to an Engineering career in Government Aerospace programs as a Mechanical Engineering Designer. He has won over 300 accolade awards from numerous Poetry Forums and has been in 29 published anthologies with two published books to date.

Canvas Artwork by Suman Kabiraj

Still Shining

Suman Kabiraj has been hard at work making a project to properly reflect the gravity of this pandemic. He validates the struggle and it reminds us how we need to be there for each other. Listen to his video and view the pieces he has created below to join him in connecting through art.

We are in very tough time. The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Since its emergence in Asia late last year, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica. Cases are rising daily in Africa the Americas, and Europe.

Countries are racing to slow the spread of the virus by testing and treating patients, carrying out contact tracing, limiting travel, quarantining citizens, and cancelling large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts, and schools.
The pandemic is moving like a wave—one that may yet crash on those least able to cope.

But COVID-19 is much more than a health crisis. By stressing every one of the countries it touches, it has the potential to create devastating social, economic and political crises that will leave deep scars.

We are in uncharted territory. Many of our communities are now unrecognizable. Dozens of the world’s greatest cities are deserted as people stay indoors, either by choice or by government order.
Every day, people are losing jobs and income, with no way of knowing when normality will return. Small island nations, heavily dependent on tourism, have empty hotels and deserted beaches. The International Labour Organization estimates that 195 million jobs could be lost.

As a studio artist I am in my art practice like other days , but incidentally in this phase the art productions come related to the real conditions of the time, isolation, quarantine, hope for the light etc.


Suman Kabiraj is a contemporary international artist based in India. Kabiraj’s work includes Paintings, drawings, photography, installation, short-films and multimedia works. Has done his Masters in visual arts with 1st class 1st from Govt. College of Art and Craft ,Calcutta University in the year of 2006 . His works represented and exhibited in several international galleries, festivals art events and film festivals.

He has been hounoured with several Awards, Scholarships like Governors gold medal , Kalanand National Gold medal, Kalanand Scholarship, Gaganendranath Tagore Memorial Award, Camlin Euro Professional Visit Scholarship, Rashbehari Dutta Memorial Award, Sunil Das Scholarship , Gopen Roy Memorial Award, Mukul Dey graphics Award etc. He has mounted three solo shows in his artist career.

Represented in Group Show organised by Indian Tourism Department and Kolkata Centre for Creativity 2019, Group Show ‘Reflection of Another Day’ 2018-2019 at Birla Academy of Art and Culture Calcutta , Netherland Streaming Festival for Audio Visual art, United Kingdom in 2014, Summer Show 2014, Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata in 2014, ‘Liquid Cities & Temporary Identities’ international exhibition, Espoo (Finland) in 2013, Catalyst Arts Belfast International Festival, Belfast, United Kingdom in 2013, Stigmart /10 Europe International Annual Previews in 2012, ‘ Zen Next-111 ‘ International Art Show at Aakriti art gallery, Kolkata,2008, ‘ YOUNG CONTEMPORARIES ‘ organized by Aakriti art gallery, curated by Shri Jogen Chowdhury, Kolkata in 2007, ‘ ART WATCH ‘ trends and talents of India today- Group Show organized by Gallery 88, Kolkata in 2006 , All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, Annual Exhibition ( AIFACS) New Delhi are few of them.
With making video art his first interest was grown up in making short experimental films. Though his various video art works are represented in several international art events, screenings and art galleries and took great admiration . Besides he is been involved as an actor and art director in ‘Mind and Canvas’ docu feature which is produced by Indian Film Division, Govt.of India.
He lives and works in Kolkata .

We Will Take You to the Grave and Hope for the Best – Poetry by Mniko Chacha

Still Shining

Get your hopeful and fighting spirit on with Mniko Chacha! He tackles our current times head on while focusing on positive prospects on the horizon. Take a look!

We will take you to the grave

You (Covid-19) emerged from the dark world,
You fought us with an unmerciful sword,
And blew our world,
With your winds of despair,
And fear.

You hurried to trespass into people’s lungs,
And ceased their lives,
So, we lost heroes,
And shed unnumbered tears,
Soon, we will win and take you to the grave with thousand smiles.

Hope for the best

I hope for the best,
Even when things get the worst,

I get an encouraging energy from my chest,
That lift me in making every effort,

I bust a gut,
And works my guts out to be the best,

I break chains of the worst,
To improve my quality and quantity,

I aim to be either the highest,
Or a cut above the rest,


Mniko Chacha is the Self-Published Author on online book publishers such as Amazon, Kobo, and the like. He mainly writes Poems, Short Stories and Novels in both English and Swahili language. His prominent books are SONGS OF AFRICAN FATHERS and KIRAKA CHA UKOMBOZI. He lives and works as the Senior Legal Officer in Mwanza City-Tanzania. Currently, he is working on both his debut novel and a book of poems in English language. Apart from writing, he enjoys reading novels, plays, self-help books, short stories, and creative journals or magazines.

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Artwork by Anton Karyuk

Still Shining

Come see the work of Anton Karyuk! He is from Ukraine, now based out of Lithuania, and today he shows us his stunning pieces of art! Go look and enjoy!


Anton Karyuk was born in Dnipro, Ukraine, in 1988. He has studied architecture at the Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture. Currently he lives and works in Kyiv and Vilnius. In his artistic practice, Anton uses various mediums – from performance and installation to abstract painting. 

Since 2015, Anton has been developing his artistic practice by focusing on the topic of social relations in the world of modern media. The most significant works for the artist include the video “Concert No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra in B Flat Minor”, installation “Friendship of Nations” and project “Personal flag”, dealing with the themes of identity and marginalization. Not being limited to museums and galleries, Anton’s practice intervenes in the wider public space.

Overall, the artist searches for an abstract visual language and minimalist execution, exploring personal and socially-sensitive topics. Anton has presented his works at personal and group exhibitions in Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey and Ukraine.

WTC-World Tour Circus – Tincan Prints by Tomaž Jelenc

Still Shining

See creativity to the max when you look at these pieces of art made out of tincan lids! Check out Tomaž Jelenc and what he has been working on in Osijek, Croatia during this pandemic. He is out there with passion, a message, and proving that the world truly is our canvas.

"WTC • World Tour Circus"

Drypoint, Collage, A la poupée,
(Tincan print, Approx.: 10 x 17 cm)
Fabriano 300g, 27 x 35 cm

Artist Statement:
Like imperialism, feudalism and capitalism, the Neo-feudalism is a platform of society based on the “right of the elite” to oppress fellow human beings and to exploit the weaker, the poorer, the less talented. Today, the legal system only protects fraudsters, and the honest man has once again become a “servant” who never finds justice and gratification with the Lord. If your father steals and becomes a “wealthy father” as his bank account and his power grows, albeit at the expense of collateral damage, citizen misery, hunger and even life-threatening damage to your children … What is his example? So what do we teach our children? Where are we pointing them?
Into the vicious circle of a well-organised “World Tour Circus”

As a result of our journey through global transition, we have conquered the notion of democracy, evolved to a higher level and enacted values such as egoism and rebellion. The legacy of “Mother Earth” and the responsible task of the ombudsman of the” common estate” has become a” mission impossible “as the common good has been transformed into a” hunting ground “for political, economic and religious tycoons who tirelessly produce the sufficient amount of “nebulosity and fear” needed for a
quality daily “breakfast” us ordinary villagers. Kleptocrates in the age of globalisation, the formation of the “New World Order” and virtual dependency, “feeds us” with more than 100,000 visual information a day. Breakfast of champions who, in the process of existence, of the global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, aware of their helplessness, can only afford a can of food.

To refresh your memory:
A.Definition of kleptocracy: Ancient Greek “thief” and “rule” kleptocracy is a term used for government entities who fraudulently exploit government corruption for personal wealth and political power, and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats), with embezzlement public funds at the expense of the population, sometimes even without the pretext of honest service. The term means “rule of thieves”.

B. SDO or “Dry Daily Meal”: Meal intended for military needs or masses in the event of natural disasters.

A. The best and most valuable things in life are free. At birth, we got a mega
processor, a brain. IT IS TIME TO USE THEM !!

The Lords had gentlemenly achieved social distance long ago, which they only consolidated with the present pandemic and showed us all how helpless and alienated we really are.



I graduated at the Academy of Art in Osijek in 2020, at the Department of Arts, module painting and printmaking. I exhibited on numerous local and a couple of international exhibitions, received some awards and recognitions. I have been a member of the Croatian Association of Art Artist since 2015. I live and work in Osijek and exhibit actively. I am engaged in printmaking, photography, video, painting and design.

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Cynara and Other Digital Art by Robella Ahmad

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From Lahore, Pakistan comes magical artwork by Robella Ahmad! Take a glimpse at the sweet and compelling digital art pieces she has created!


Robella Ahmad is based in Lahore. She is a digital artist and a curator by profession, but a textile designer by degree. She has taken her curatorial training from Shakir Ali Museum, Pakistan National Council of Arts and O Art Space. She has assisted in numerous shows and residencies. She also is the founder and curator of E-Exhibitions which is an online platform for artists to display their work.