ayaz daryl nielsen: Two Poems

I saw a lynx
above Gold Hill
deep in a restless night
when I should
have been sleeping
a quick flash
through headlights
as I rounded
a curve on the
remote dirt road
and deep in
that restless night
a lynx saw me




The bear in heavy fur licks its lips and
dreams the taste of berries on bushes.
Wild flower seeds waiting below white-
washed chapels of frozen snow listen
to voices of wild geese and wood ducks
carried within an early morning chinook wind.
Humbled, I pour a second cup of coffee,
again renew my promise to keep the
wondrous faith of this earth and my
loved ones, and add a splash of cream.




ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran and former hospice nurse, lives in Longmont, Colorado, USA. Editor of bear creek haiku (35+ years/160+ issues) with poetry published worldwide, he is online at:  bear creek haiku: poetry, poems and info. Among other deeply appreciated honors, he is especially delighted by the depth and heart of poets worldwide whose poems have a home in bear creek haiku’s print and online presence.

John Grey: “An Allegory”

An Allegory

is when you say
one thing
but mean something else

like when you’re
talking chickens
but it’s really about people–

your tale is of a wolf
who creeps into
a hen-house at night
and devours a half dozen
of the best layers–

only it’s no wolf
and you’re not actually
talking hen-house–

it could be about
some army
razing an enemy village

or a man
moving in on you
back when you
were too weak to defend–

you tell me
you fear wolves
and you feel
for chickens–

what you mean is
you’ve learned to fear and feel
in equal measure



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review, and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Willard and Maple, and Red Coyote.

Gail Hosking: “Proprietary Rights”

Proprietary Rights

_____I tell the story of Walter every time I pour some cherry brandy into this small cocktail glass with its stem and etched details. The story is that this crystal flute once belonged to his mother, a woman long gone since Walter was well into his 80’s that school year I lived with my grandmother in New Jersey. Her boyfriend, we called him, when he came for a meal, his thin suit legs crossed on the couch as he waited for a place at the dining room table. Walter with his gray hair and cane was a quiet man and seemed grateful as he leaned over his plate while my sisters and I chatted about this or that. Afterwards, he drove us in his black car past its prime up to Howard Johnson’s for ice cream, the only sounds in the car gears shifting from the floor.
_____When he moved to a nursing home, we took a bus to visit, and found him in a small room, his slippers under a single bed. A clock ticked on the windowsill. We made small talk as Grandma held his hand, and my sisters and I ran down the hall searching for a Coca-Cola. Little did I know then that we were learning right there in that small building of old people that time turns quickly, everything is fragile. A whole set of his mother’s cordial glasses moved to Grandma’s china cabinet after Walter died like something belonging to the heart. Decades later they are in my kitchen where I repeat Walter’s story every time I pour sweet liqueur into the remaining chalice grasping its stem and studying again the spiral of engraved leaves and berries swirling into an old pattern, its narrative on the move, its future home unknown.


Gail Hosking is author of the memoir Snake’s Daughter (U of Iowa Press), the poetry chapbook The Tug (Finishing Line Press), and a book of poems, Retrieval (Main Street Rag Press). MFA from Bennington College. Poetry and essays have been published for years, and some have been anthologized. Two essays were considered “Most Notable” in Best American Essays.

Tim Hawkins: “The Goodbye Note”

The Goodbye Note
So you don’t forget,

Our time together
has curled away from
an enduring narrative arc.

Does that make sense?

I’m not quite sure how to put it,
but from now on we should avoid
whistling the same songs,
crying through the same films,
liking all the same books, beer
and restaurants, sharing
all the same old enthusiasms.

Our time together should be

forgotten like a flimsy alibi
scribbled on greasy napkins,

ignored like the inane melody
haunting your morning,

snubbed like the poor boy
who loved your whole childhood,

cast out sobbing
like a demonic soliloquy
into a herd of swine.

Yours truly.

Tim Hawkins’ short fiction and poetry can be found in many print and online magazines and anthologies. He has published a poetry collection, Wanderings at Deadline (Aldrich Press, 2012), a poetry chapbook, Jeremiad Johnson (In Case of Emergency Press, 2019), and a story and poetry chapbook, Synchronized Swimmers (KYSO Flash Press, 2019). His second full-length poetry collection, West of the Backstory, is forthcoming in late 2020 from Fernwood Press. Find out more at his website: http://www.timhawkinspoetry.com

Kristina Krumova: ‘The Executioner”

The Executioner

The pieces of glass between
my teeth intensify
the bitter aftertaste while
I sacrifice
seventeen innocent petals
in cahoots with my thighs
I refuse to kneel in front
of the irreversible
The last breaths,
impossible to count, sink deep in
the decoction and
transform into drops of blood
The last beats of
my bored heart
fade away smothered between
the speechless aggression of my other pieces of flesh
and merge with the lynchings of the crowd

If I decide to satisfy
my own dying wish
I will call to the bartender for
one more of the same, please.

Kristina Krumova is from Sofia, Bulgaria. She has a Master’s Degree in “Contemporary History” from Sofia University. Her work was published in Ghost City Review, North of Oxford, Red River Review, Ann Arbor Review, The Pangolin Review, Dream Noir, The Conclusion Magazine, Unlikely Stories, Oddball Magazine, and The Mad Swirl Anthology 2019. Kristina Krumova works as an editor for Publishing house “Kryg.”

Simon Perchik: Five Poems


Where the sky dries up
these sunflowers scale back
though just as easily

you could take a chance
trap this rain left over
growing wild the way each petal

breathes in while laying down
where your mouth would be
come from a name

written on a tree
clasping it and the sun
not yet a wound that oozes

–you could drink from a slope
and place by place tame this mud
to bend, gather in wells

scented with melting stones
and the darkness
you no longer want to stop.


Even before you touch
it has lift, rushes more air
over one hand and not the other

though once at the controls
spin is what you cling to
letting the knob drag the door

the way moonlight never leaves
has nothing to do with skies
closing in on each other

half rivers, half mountainsides, half
whatever you hold in your arms
is stone, counts the turns and when.


A jacket could trick my arms
help me forget once they leave
though what I become

has lips and around each shoulder
both sleeves fit the way skies
still overflow, break free

settle down, neatened
as if this mirror was still looking
could hear, I don’t see you, louder.


You hover the way each memory
stands by –the faintest scent
breathes down your brain

till its dust reeks from moonlight
and you cover your arms with air
holding them down, drag this table

more than enough for clouds
and though nothing falls
you’re sure it’s safe to exhale

making room in your heart
for the smell from skies
and what they too wanted back.


Its shadow is helpless here
festering the way your fingers
lean over the watermarks

not yet covered with paper
though left in the open
this wall could heal, the butterflies

gently circling down
and under the painted leaves
the empty branches and wings

–you thin this paste
as if one arm works the other
till what you turn in

unfolds toward painful corners
and days without a sea
making room for you.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Rosenblum Poems, published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2020. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at http://www.simonperchik.com.

To view one of his interviews, please follow this linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8

alan catlin: “The Phrenology of Words”

The Phrenology of Words

Men of science trace the curves
and the lumps, the sloping hillock,
rugged clefts and steep inclines,
with skilled fingers. They pause
in mid-exam to consider the meaning
of the Apex of A, a U shaped declivity,
the bizarre confines of scientific Z.
Try to provide a contextual content
of separate entities that are independent,
in and of themselves, but have such
different meanings when placed in
relationships with another. A dark art
emerges from the ruins of abandoned
archaic words and forms, especially those
that have no meaning in poems of
misdirection and misguided substance.
All conclusions are subject to revision
even ones that appear obvious.

Only the photographers of the spirit world
are satisfied with their results. Auras are
illusive but strongly felt even as libraries
are being dismantled and burnt to the ground.
The shadows captured in these photos are of
real people but no one can remember their names.
There are no words left to describe them.



Alan Catlin has two new full length books out: Asylum Garden: after Van Gogh from Dos Madres and Lessons of Darkness from Luchador Press. 

Robert Beveridge: “Cold in July”

Cold in July

Even the birds have forgotten
How not to shiver;
Canadian breeze entered
Without a knock, picked up
Erie steam. The geese
No longer fly north.

Old-timers postulate
The distance of Earth
From Sun is growing,
Forever growing, a gradual
Shift from the night-time
Of summer to the dawn
Of the new ice age. They sit
Before July fires, birch,
Maple, Ash, sip
Heady concoctions of wine,
Cinnamon, cardamom.

Only the steelworkers
And the guy on his bulldozer
At the garbage dump
Are warm.


Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Collective Unrest, Cough Syrup, and Blood & Bourbon, among others.

Boris Kokotov: “In the Garden”

In The Garden
In the Chihuly Garden
bees pollinate flowers
ignoring exhibits

while visitors
photograph glasswork
paying no heed to bees.

Bees belong to flowers,
art belongs to indoors.
tourists belong to their cameras.

But what about you and me?
Do we “belong together”
as a popular song suggests?

Or shall we dismiss the lyrics,
and stick to the facts?


Boris Kokotov was born in Moscow. He is a poet and translator, the author of several poetry collections. His original work and translations to English have appeared in Adelaide, Blackbird, Chiron Review, Constellation, The Lake, Poet Lore, and Washington Square Review, among others. He lives in Baltimore.