September 22, 2017

Two Poems by Byron Beynon

The Tree

The tree I planted
twenty years ago
has been felled
along with its shadow.
Birds that paused
on its branches
have melted away.
The wind no longer vibrates,
its notes pass by
with an undulating silence,
a silence that blooms
with the dignity of night,
as its memory reaches
towards the splintered
gleams of the most secret stars.


Frost hardened snow,
a settled whiteness frozen
on inscribed stones
slanting towards light,
the echo and call of rooks
high above a shifting graveyard.
A father empties a pistol,
speeds a bullet
from a morning window.
An addict dreams of the solid
Black Bull.
The skeleton at the foot
of the bed summons
red-haired Branwell
from sleep.
This portrait artist with poems
published in the Halifax Guardian
paints himself out
between Emily and Charlotte,
a crowding which disturbed
the luxury of balance
transient in the Haworth air.

Byron Beynon's work has appeared in several publications including Poppy Road Review, Agenda, Santa Fe Literary Review, Crannog and Poetry Wales. Collections include The Sundial (Flutter Press), Nocturne in Blue (Lapwing Publications) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

Happy Autumn!

September 21, 2017

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing by Linda Imbler

Folks wearing somber colored clothes
with somber faces,
To be elsewhere.
Unease curls around them like the mist rising from
Between the stones
Through which they navigate,
Cold, still, silent cairns, under which
Perhaps some other lonely, rejected outcasts now lie.
Those left howling
By others too busy
To hear the deep hurt endured with each passing friendless day.
Now they stand,
Dry eyed, dutiful,
They are here because
Even a pretentious display counts.
Appearing atop the nearby hill,
One lone Wolf,
He throws back his head and cries.
At once he stills,
Lowers his head,
With the grim lowering of what
Will not return.

Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.”  Her work has appeared in numerous journals. Linda’s creative process and a current, complete listing of sites which have or will publish her work can be found  at This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player lives in Wichita, Kansas.

September 19, 2017

The Singing Stone by Bradley Thomas

In a flowing brook bed 
Water rushed over 
A large smooth black stone 
Embedded above the other smaller ones 

You could hear the water 
Gently breaking against it 
The trees spoke in the wind 
Amid the dusk sun bathed flowers 

In the evening light 
The song of the stone remains the same 
A treasured memory 
Of a calm fall evening

Bradley Thomas was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received his B.A. degree from Georgia State University in Business Administration. He was an inspections manager for the government of Fulton County, Georgia. On the weekends, he played electric bass for a top forties cover band and he currently plays electric bass for his church. He is the author of the book Conversations and the chapbook The Breath of the Land. Thomas’s poems have appeared in Rattle, the poetry anthology books Whispers of Inspiration, The Colors of Life, and online e-zines such as Poppy Road Review, Your Daily Poem,, and Black Hills Audubon Society.

September 18, 2017

Sonnet: Midsummer by Martin Willitts Jr.

Not since the rain wavered over our garden 
has anyone noticed the small violets 
or weeded the grass between the onions 
whose green tests for rain like fingertips.
No one noticed the birds blanketing the sky 
never singing. We never saw the switchgrass, 
although it was in every field. 
It was late; the trillium was over.

Midsummer is limping along, suppressing an urge 
to laugh high degrees of sweltering heat.
The hidden is meant to be left alone.
The secret vocabulary of rain is dark inside, 
vicious clouds. The fields praise rain. 
Birds distribute seeds across endless acres.

Martin Willitts Jr has over 20 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, “The Wire Fence Holding Back the World” (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including “Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed” (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and “Three Ages of Women” (Deerbrook Editions, 2017).

September 14, 2017

Alexandra David-Neel by Michael Lee Johnson

She edits her life from a room made dark
against a desert dropping summer sun.
A daring travelling Parisian adventurer
ultimate princess turning toad with age-
snow drops of white in her hair, tiny fingers
thumb joints osteoarthritis
corrects proofs at 100, pours whiskey,
pours over what she wrote
scribbles notes directed to the future, 
applies for a new passport.
With this mount of macular degeneration,
near, monster of writers' approach.
She wears no spectacles.
Her mind teeters between Himalayas,
distant Gobi Desert, but subjectively warm.
Running reason through her head for a living,
yet dancing with the youthful word of Cinderella,
she plunges deeper near death into Tibetan mysticism,
trekking across snow covered mountains to Lhasa, Tibet.
Nighttime rest, sleepy face, peeking out that window crack
into the nest, those quiet villages below
tasting the reality beyond all her years'
vastness of dreams.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson has been published in more than 989 publications, his poems have appeared in 33 countries; he edits and publishes 10 different poetry sites.  He has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 and 2 nominations for Best of the Net 2016 and 2017.  

September 13, 2017

Two Poems by Michael Keshigian

He stood beside the window
and stared at a feathery cloud,
one in the shape of a beautiful woman.
The wind’s sighs 
became her warm breath
upon the back his neck
as he felt himself
bleed through the glass
like a forlorn ghost,
drifting upward for companionship,
glancing downward to notice
the neighbors’ empty yards 
drenched in abundant sunshine,
as he, at the moment,
floated radiant and satisfied.
He soared, her vaporous arms awaiting.
There was little he could do.
He traversed into a fantasy
that extracted him 
from a reality of deep melancholy,
salvation without warning,
triggered to diminish 
the angst of loneliness.

Early morning, a little snow
teases the outstretched branches
with the help of the wind.
It is cold, but inside the stove’s warmth
cradles the recliner in the lamplight
where he reads poems.
His fingers, thick and calloused,
flip pages enthusiastically
as he notices the shape of his nails,
much like his father’s, no moons rising.
And like his father had done,
it’s time to contemplate departure.
One day, the stove unlit, will dispense
the damp aroma of creosote,
the book will lie closed
upon the arm of the recliner.
One day, a relative will enter 
and acknowledge that the house is empty,
no warmth, no breath, no poetry,
an indentation upon the seat
next to the book.
The change will go unnoticed
by the snow, wind, ice, and 
those few crows meandering
for morsels upon the buried landscape.
He returns to reading,
the words delight him.
What would become of these joys,
he wonders. 
Someone should take them.

Michael Keshigian’s twelfth poetry collection, Into The Light, was released in April, 2017 by Flutter Press  ( He has been published in numerous national and international journals including Oyez Review, Red River Review, Sierra Nevada College Review, Oklahoma Review, Chiron Review and has appeared as feature writer in over a twenty publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (