Daily Archives: January 10, 2016

10 posts

“Fire: An Assay” by Miki Byrne

Lion of elements. Prowling beast.

Wild in voracious conflagration.

Earth-eating. Consuming.

Licking lascivious tongues.

Tasting all, leaving little.

Leaping in spontaneous combustion,

a fearsome phenomena of urban myth,

creepy forensic investigation.

Tamed you are enslaved, used

like all who have been captured.

Caged. Hemmed in, held by brick mouths,

boiler boxes, tooth-like campfire stones.

Blue robed in gas-flamed neat choreography

to do our bidding. Resentfully you comply.

Contemptuous of our need for warmth,

food, light. Your escape brings chaos.

screaming call to arms as you destroy

in a heartbeat, full of vengeful frenzy.

Chameleon character. Ever morphing.

From a volcanoes spew of ignition,

to a kindly candle-glow.








Miki Byrne has written three poetry collections, had work included in over 160 poetry magazines and anthologies, and won a few poetry competitions. She has read on both radio and TV, judged poetry competitions, and was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Gloucestershire. Miki is disabled and lives near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK.

“Soap Poems” by Frances Victoria Hargrove

This will probably vanish as soon as I write it.
Do you think our childhoods still exist in chalk on the sidewalk?
Would you write poems on sandy beaches just to give the Ocean credit?
The woman writes her lover a message in the condensation on the mirror and then happily sighs.


It will go away, but at least she tried she thought.
She never knew the power of her own love from within.
No one will ever know I tried to admire them was the sad afterthought.
The desire to be recognized began to weigh-in.


We’re not here forever; you can’t start to think like that.
We all vanish at some point, no matter what the medium, whether chalk, sand, steam, or human.
A creation is a creation, and your life is an artist’s habitat.
So strive for peace and success; be known as the next President to stop the war like Harry Truman.


It’s a little something I like to call the Creative Business.
It’s about the fact that you will have created something.
A creation is a creation, and it’s your love to show, no matter what the bizarreness.
This is more important than doing absolutely nothing.


The young woman lived her life by this.
She was created to create whether it would be here to stay or not.
Creations she’d make even if they’d vanish like the cheese in the holes of Swiss.
She couldn’t just live the rest of her life saying I’d love to, but I cannot.


An artist she was by her poems in the mirrors.
We must remember those things that will vanish.
You never know, it could have been miracles.
So wake up your inner artist and don’t let it banish.


Write your favorite words with yellow highlighters in the Sun.
We all have a story to tell before Sundown.








Frances Victoria Hargrove (Tory to her friends) was born in Austin, Texas and still lives there today as she pursues her passion for writing. She graduated as valedictorian from Premier High School of South Austin, and is now concentrating on Creative Writing at Austin Community College.

“Shooting From the Hip” by Frank De Canio

How quickly she rides over from the wings
when she’s enlisted to take center stage.
Corralling retrograde imaginings
of macho men she’s eager to engage
in cowboy antics on a movie set.
With pistol, lasso, chaps, and riding boots,
how dauntlessly she takes control to whet
his appetite before she coolly shoots
some varmint in a face-off. Neither shame
nor awkwardness at sporting rowel spurs,
bandanna, or a Stetson stays her game
for blurring lines dividing his and hers.
And since she’s peerless in her dustup part,
he quickens at her unaccustomed art.








Frank De Canio was born in New Jersey and works in New York. He loves music of all kinds, from Bach to Dory Previn, from Amy Beach to Amy Winehouse, and the poetry of Dylan Thomas. He also attends a Café Philo in New York City.

“Teapot” by Juan Pablo Duboue

Robin softly bouncing opposite a butternut
Rustic drawbridge solemnly erected
Beneath, a miscreant drinks cocoa past the queue area
News of a sighting always travel fast via text messages
A ranger breaks the line to head for the woods
Unaware of the dynamic duo of twins that blush
As he rushes by


What was found upon arrival
Would constitute a hearty meal for a cannibal
The scrubbing was perfectly coordinated
Yet the blood was too much
Everyone wondered how
The pink little teapot stood unharmed
Next to the decomposing body
How faint one
How endurable the other








Juan Pablo Duboue was born in Mendoza, Argentina and works as a teacher of English, freelance translator, and interpreter. Currently pursuing a Masters in Contemporary English Literature he enjoys writing poetry, short stories and songs.  sylviafitzgerald.wordpress.com

“Desert Indian Paint Brush” by Cara Vitadamo

A dark rain cloud passed by
Unknown to me
In a time of paramours and mothers.
During a time when my freckles were prominent
Like a constellation in a pale sky
As I skipped in a blazing sun.


I the archivist
I the collector
Of families and specimens
Come upon an undiscovered flower
With orange and dark red paint brush bristles.
Its roots deep beneath a cracked and thirsty land
In search of a well of liquid love.


A flower that should have been found
Long, long ago
By gregarious young explorers
Who grew up before time sped.


Now, solemn anthropologists look at the past
That could have had a cure
Or a succulent scent in a diverse garden
As the flower is cultivated for delight.


But for now-
I step into a blue and wet
Frontier of possibility.








Cara Vitadamo is a registered nurse that enjoys poetry. She has been published in Torrid Literature, All Things Girl, and Mused a Bella Online Literary Review Magazine.

“Mark of the Young” by Dylan Sanders

I dream of you curled
In disappointment
Umbilical cord
A headphone jack
Wrapping once around the waist


Sliding on your back
Through the window
You exit


I hear stories
How people wept at Dimebag’s funeral
A piano chorus
A river of black shirts
The way you imagine it


Sprays of sadness
Doused the crowd
Sprinklers of pig blood
As a crack was heard
Startling god


I never saw the wave
That crashed
Into the stage
Tore the gunman’s limbs
His face from his hands
Skin from his bone
Salting the dirt with
His jealousy


When the news said Jeff Hanneman had died
I thought of how you would react
We all thought
The band would no longer exist
Out of respect


For 30 years he inspired
Crowds of sweating
Muscles pressing into muscles
Cobwebs in their sallow bones


To bleed elbows with
Chests Faces
Molding them


Synonymous pile
Expression of life
Unattainable without
Imagery of death


You would react with shouts of protest
Lurking sadness
Serpent in crawlspace
Hide yourself in the dark of your room


Your favorite t-shirt
Torn from your body


You would bury it
Deep in the woods
As tribute
Their logo bleeding
Bright red through the earth
Before jumping into the nearby lake


You would swallow a mouthful of water to cleanse yourself


No one talks about how they found you


A flag draped over your strong body
No longer a shirt
Black blanketing allegiance
Your arms resting on glass
You mix with the earth


I almost saw you a week before
When we would have said goodbye
Without really meaning anything


I drive out of boredom
Singing along
Songs with a car of friends
Full volume
It stopped me from seeing you lying there


The officer told us
You’ll have to go back
We asked him what happened
Wondered all the way home


Out of sympathy for us
His voice on the verge
Of cracking
He said

Please go home






Dylan Sanders has lived in Illinois his entire life. He is a graduate of Millikin University with a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing. His dream career is to write video game script for Blizzard Entertainment. He has an obsession with doing Christopher Walken impressions. He has an unquenchable thirst for metal music. He has written articles for Thecirclepit.com and Nerdglow.com and has published a graphic novel.  facebook.com/Dylan.Colonel.Sanders

“Homeless in Pennsylvania” by Ruth Z. Deming

smelling of wine,
whiskers growing
on his lonesome face,
he camps out in the
little woods behind
my house.


Met him as he picked through
my compost heap,
asparagus stems,
cucumber rinds,
what’s left of the tangerines.
He walked with a limp,
“a gimp leg” he called it,
the explosion that took his leg
in Helmland Province.
He remembers the roar
of the plane when they
carted him away.


Looking down at the
denuded, straw-colored
land running with stray dogs
he thought, “Be back boys, see
if I won’t.”


Peg-legs aren’t asked
back. Laurie didn’t wait
for him. The folks moved
down south, so he squirts
from hoses in the
neighborhood for thirst
and to clean his hands
and face, cold water he
swishes through his greasy
brown hair.


Cold ain’t cold no more
when you’ve been to the Afghan.
Feelings are cratered on the
dark side of the moon.


Life don’t matter no more. Just give
me my whiskey, them little drops I
find in bottles in the trash. All’s I
wanna see are those little golden
drops, sweeter than a woman’s mouth.


Let me dream my whiskey dreams.
See me floating on a golden cloud,
a man in a gondola, women of every
nation snuggling close and bringing
me peace, my face buried in their
pillowy breasts, like when mama
would suckle me and tell me
I loves ya, baby Wayne.








Ruth Z. Deming has had her poetry published in literary journals including Metazen, Mad Swirl, River Poets, and Eunoia Review. A psychotherapist and mental health advocate, she runs New Directions Support Group for people and families affected by depression and bipolar disorder. She lives in Willow Grove, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.

“I Dream in Submission” by A.J. Huffman

I Dream in Submission


to whatever monster my mind has
created. Always a victim, I
cower in corners, shadows, in attempt
to escape manifestations
of yesterday. Today and tomorrow
have not hatched yet, but will
join the hunt soon enough.
Their fangs, dripping with potential
failures, are honed to keep me
screaming for dawn.








A.J. Huffman is the author of eleven solo chapbooks (including Inside the Walls of a Blackened Book) and two full-length poetry collections, as well as co-author of one joint chapbook, all published by various small presses. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

“Beauty and Fire” by Richard Holleman

Her guy friend at the office took the time
to tell her she was ugly as old leather shoes.
She did not want to talk to him and
shut the stenciled glass door, leaving him
to the commencing meeting.


And he called her unprofessional, she thought.
How… why did he call her ugly? The tears brimmed.
The innate need to be beautiful, her tower,
had fallen to disrepair in seconds.


She took long strides for the safety of her cubicle.
The chat room slid open on her monitor.
“What kind of response do you expect to that question?”
waited behind the blinking icon of another co-worker,
one she had benignly asked about unit tests.


Pinned to her cubicle wall a cartoon dinosaur
ravaged the streets and torched cars.
Crayon words scrawled across the bottom:
“I was born to be awesome, not perfect.”
She saw in the dinosaur the pleasure of fire.







Richard Holleman currently works as a computer programmer, spending evenings and weekends reading and writing poetry.


“Synchronicity” by Lana Bella

I see him,
and the shadows fall back.
Everything pales behind where
his silhouette slopes on the
fresh-turned earth.
Taking hold of his coat’s lapel,
the leathered skin feels grainy
between my fingertips.
Like how his shaggy beard chafes
my breasts raw,
roaming over the pale chasm lay.
A curious sensation probes from
under the weight and erosion
of his sinew,
stretches itself into the linings of
my inner cells.
Searching for traces of us
on the other side of synchronicity.
I swallow whole the distance, the sea,
the passing time:
the many hours on bitten tongues.
hungered words and labored ships.
Because somewhere in the depths
of memory,
there was a hiding place and in it,
my lover and I.








Lana Bella has a diverse work of poetry and flash fiction published and forthcoming with Anak Sastra, Atlas Poetica, Bareback Magazine, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, Buck-Off Magazine, Calliope Magazine, Cecile’s Writers’ Magazine, Dead Snakes Poetry, Deltona Howl, Earl of Plaid Lit, Eunoia Review, Eye On Life Magazine, Family Travel Haiku, First Literary Review-East, Five Willows Literary Review, Foliate Oak Literary, Garbanzo Literary Journal, Global Poetry, Ken*Again, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Marco Polo Arts Literary, Mothers Always Write, Nature Writing, New Plains Review, Poetry Pacific, Spank The Carp, The Camel Saloon, The Commonline Journal, The Higgs Weldon, The Voices Project, Thought Notebook, Undertow Tanka Review, Wordpool Press, Beyond The Sea Anthology, War Anthology: We Go On, Wilderness House Literary Review, and has been a featured artist with Quail Bell Magazine. She resides on some distant isle with her novelist husband and two frolicsome imps.  facebook.com/niaallanpoe