Sarah M. Prindle: “Bittersweet Rain”

Bittersweet Rain

When the sky
it cries
for the ones
we’ve lost.
When the rain
it releases
our hidden
with bitter
Rivers flow
our eyes
our cheeks
our souls.
It cleanses us
heals us
soothes us
in our grief.

Sarah M. Prindle received an Associates in English from Northampton Community College. She loves reading everything from historical fiction and memoirs to poetry and mysteries. She hopes to someday publish her own novels and poetry collections and has already had her work published in several literary magazines and websites.

Royal Rhodes: “Mackerel”


the sea gave up
its shadow makers,
the clumped groups
of darting silver and stripes.

their contours of skin
slip surface tones
like crumpled foil
holding Nova Scotia light.

arranged head by tail
they do not lose tints
that invented them–
why God created color.

the painter has made us
want to touch exposed
flesh, until we feel
the cold from existing depths.

that sea, being older
than us, held them fast
until they found the net
and were hauled up alive

into a different world,
the one we thought we knew.


Royal Rhodes, poet and educator, taught courses on global religions and
death & dying for almost 40 years. His poems have appeared in numerous
literary journals, including: The Lyric, Abandoned Mine, Sparks of Calliope, and
The Montreal Review, Dreich, Snakeskin Poetry, and elsewhere.

Tanya Tuzeo: “i have postpartum depression”

i have postpartum depression

my newest child looks out from
a lotus of pillows

patiently waits for communion
promised to them by the cosmos.

i break from writing—
become mother

go to him, my body
a crescent over his,

making all the usual sounds,
we coo to each other in dub

the low slush of love
in this sopping orbit of ours.

his tiny clam hands
close over one of mine—

with my other hand i reach
for the black toiletry bag

that holds the pills i need
to continue feeling this way.

Tanya Tuzeo is a librarian and mother to two children and two collections of unpublished poetry, We Live in Paradise and Miserable People. Presented here is from the latter, a merciless observation of intergenerational trauma; a family wounded by mental illness in a post-war, post-truth society and yet continues to limp along, sustained by the vestiges of love and forged bonds. Her work appears in various literary publications, is a finalist in the Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest 2022 and longlisted in Frontier Poetry’s Nature & Place prize.

Erren Kelly: “Coffeehouse Poem #582”

Coffeehouse Poem #582

In a flower print dress, she
Is the belle of summer, a melody
That follows wistfully, as a scent
Along the streets of Paris
Her melody lingers like lilies
Monet painted her into dreams
Mozart made her into a song of
Night, and her smile, blooms as
Fireworks across a summer

A flower of summer, she

Erren Kelly writes, “I am a Two-Time Pushcart nominated poet from Lynn, Massachusetts. I have been writing for 32 years and have over 300 publications in print and online in such publications as Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine (online), Ceremony, Cacti Fur, Bitterzoet, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, Poetry Salzburg. and other publications. My most recent publication was in Pyrokinection Literary Journal; I have also been published in anthologies such as Fertile Ground and Beyond the Frontier. My work can also be seen on YouTube under the ” Gallery Cabaret” links. I am also the author of the book Disturbing the Peace,from NightBallet Press.” 

Russell Rowland: “Sacrificial Stone on Mount Shaw”

Sacrificial Stone on Mount Shaw

Either time has buried it, or no stone
was ever there, save in stories—
like the sasquatch reported to yowl away
each lonely night on slopes nearby.

Some still search, perhaps to feel
connection with older, better formalities
indigenous people knew,
to appease the Destroyer of Worlds.

Or else, at almost three thousand feet,
Shaw itself is the stone; ascent
a sacrifice of thanksgiving for heights
from which death looks a little thing—

down in the valley, where our miniscule
spires concede religion to be remote
from the terrain of hills, the enigmatic
code of the constellations.

Some would offer a flower they picked,
or a painted shell. Others might
just walk humbly out onto the summit;
show kindness upon return.

Seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee Russell Rowland writes from New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, where he has judged high-school Poetry Out Loud competitions. His work appears in Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall (Encircle Publications), and Covid Spring, Vol. 2 (Hobblebush Books). His latest poetry book, Wooden Nutmegs, is available from Encircle Publications.

Lori Cramer: Two Microfictions


She forgot her keys, so she entered the house through the bedroom window she’d forgotten to close and, once inside, flopped onto the bed she’d forgotten to make and thought about a ballplayer she’d dated in her early 20s, contemplating whether, after all these years, he still remembered her.


You Are Here 

Lately you don’t remember where you are. Too many moves, too many miles. It’s an endless cycle: Find a cheap place to crash, a diner with decent burgers, a local team worth watching for a few games. Don’t bother unpacking. You’ll soon be on the move again.

Lori Cramer’s short prose has appeared in Blink-Ink, Fictive Dream, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, (mac)ro(mic), Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for Best Microfiction. Links to her writing can be found at Twitter: @LCramer29. 

Mykyta Ryzhykh: Five Poems


in the black box of the plane is stored the black night of the soul
we are not born on this day
we are not dead this day
we are not alive today
we are in eternal night in a dispute with God and Lucifer


the bird became foliage and flew away
what can the human soul compare to a bird?
we were born in silence by the trees
we were born in the foliage of whitman grass
we were born in the same body
we were born for hope


bird on a wire
church for parishioners

temple of nature

without walls
without years


snow says goodbye to me
I am silent
I melt with
the snow


the city is hunting for my footprints
I run underground

I am running
I am underground

Mykyta Ryzhykh writes, “I’m from Ukraine. Winner of the international competition «Art Against Drugs», bronze medalist of the festival Chestnut House, laureate of the literary competition named after Tyutyunnik. Nominated for Pushcart Prize. Published in the journals “Dzvin”, “Ring A”, “Polutona”, “Rechport”, “Topos”, “Articulation”, “Formaslov”, “Colon”, “Literature Factory”, “Literary Chernihiv”, Tipton Poetry Journal , Stone Poetry Journal, Divot journal , dyst journal, Superpresent Magazine, Allegro Poetry Magazine,  Alternate Route , Better Than Starbucks Poetry & Fiction Journal, Littoral Press , Book of Matches , on the portals “Literary Center” and “Soloneba”, in the “Ukrainian literary newspaper”, Ice Floe Press.”

Allen Seward: “even the TV static sounds like music to us now”

even the TV static sounds like music to us now

the earth is in ruin
and my hair falls out.

good god, the line is so long!

the air smells like hot breath
and everywhere around me,
wherever I look, is just flesh flesh flesh.

we’ve turned a corner,

we’ve put a brick on the gas,

we’ve juiced the last dinosaur
and something is next.

we turn our eyes
toward a worried face
murderous intent.

“you there! yes! you!!”

they run. we run after.

this soup has all become slop,
and it’s no wonder no one
wants to taste it.

eat from my ribcage. drink from my wrist.

good god,
we’ve been at this for what seems

even the TV static sounds like music
to us now!

Allen Seward is a thirty-something poet-thing and mill worker. His work has appeared in Scapegoat Review, DEDpoetry, and JAKE, and his chapbook sway condor is available on Amazon thanks to Alien Buddha Press. He currently resides in WV with his partner and three cats.

J. R. Solonche: “Intimations of Intimation”

Intimations of Intimation

The sky is blue.
The air is clear and cold.
The red tails are whistling across the lake.

I have the feeling that if I stand out here
long enough I will have the feeling
some great truth will make itself known to me.

It will not be the blue truth of the sky,
although it will also be that.
It will not be the clear cold truth of the air,

although it will also be that.
It will not be the whistling truth of the red tails
across the lake, although it will also be that.

It will be more than that,
this great truth I have a feeling
I will have a feeling about if I stand out here long enough.

It will be more than
these intimations of intimation,
more than this pale imitation of imitation.

Professor Emeritus of English at SUNY Orange, J.R. Solonche has published poetry in more than 500 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s, including The New Criterion, The New York Times, The Threepenny Review, The American Scholar, The Progressive, Poetry Northwest, Salmagundi, The Literary Review, The Sun, The American Journal of Poetry, Poet Lore, Poetry East, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and Free Verse. He is the author of several books including Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press); The Porch Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2020 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie Book); Piano Music (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Serving House Books); Selected Poems 2002-2021 (nominated for the National Book Award by Serving House Books); and The Lost Notebook of Zhao Li (Dos Madres Press, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize).


John Grey: Two Poems

A Blessed May Day

So what day is it? May 3rd.
April showers are turned off at the faucet.
The sun is returning the blood to my cheeks.
The woman beside me is as lush
as new bloomed cyclamen, as hardy too.
My thoughts are busy, speedy, like interstates.

So we go for a drive.
Windows open, new corn fields
don’t pass us but they sure do keep up.
Hair flying back, spines in concord…
grief, where did you go?
We pass farmers, cyclists,
a seventy year old jogger with leg veins like bones.

A crossroads. Which way?
Three choices… no make that ten thousand.

Left seems good enough.
Used to be the devil’s path,
now it leads to a tiny village.
We buy jams from strangers.
And lemonade from a child’s hand.
So what day is it?
A day when such eccentricities are allowed.
May 3rd it says minutely on my watch.
That’s why it’s strapped to my wrist and not my heart.

Too bad this has to end. Home now.
And the clouds are thickening, grow darker.
Rain is in the forecast though never in mine.
Still, it’s May 3rd on the couch,
with the TV on, sprinkles down window,
bigger globs on roof.
It’s May 3rd up to bed and soft sheets and pillows.
Don’t sleep, I beg you,
until the last mile is done,
the jams put away, the lemonade
staggers senseless from the tongue.


The Perfect Woman

When in my company,
her eyes are only for me.

When I have to leave her
for another engagement
she is disappointed enough
for me to regret leaving
but not so much
that I’m obliged to stay.

Her cleanliness
gives godliness
a run for its money.

Her shoulders and her waist
provide for equal opportunity hugging.

She can beat me in some things
but not in everything.

She’s sexy and comfortable
in the same breath.

Her sighs are restricted
to between the sheets.

She reads the sections
of the Sunday newspaper
that I don’t.
Then we amiably switch.

She likes some music that I adore
and some that I despise.

Her perfumes have a sense of occasion.

She can love a man
even if he makes lists.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Washington Square Review, and Floyd County Moonshine. Latest books, Covert, Memory Outside The Head, and Guest Of Myself are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, and Open Ceilings.