Greg Sevik: “Good Old-Fashioned Hospitality”

Good Old-Fashioned Hospitality

You open the front door,
and there he is.
Your new roommate.

That’s all well and good,
except you weren’t looking for a roommate.

He shuffles in,
exhausted from the journey,
throwing his backpack on the floor with a thud.

He curls up on your bed,
oily hair resting on your pillow.

You remember the Army cot in the corner,
the one you haven’t thought about in years.
Maybe he could sleep there?

He moves drowsily to the cot,
wrapping himself in a moth-eaten blanket

and falling right to sleep.
You watch him snooze awhile,
a peaceful tangle of blanket, beard, and hair.

You can hardly wait till he wakes up.
You wonder about his name, his hobbies.
Maybe you can surprise him with a housewarming gift.
Maybe pizza. 

_____________________________________________________________________

Greg Sevik teaches writing and literature in Upstate New York. His scholarly essays have appeared in such publications as The Emily Dickinson Journal and Style. His poetry and translations have been published in The Ekphrastic Review, Inventory, and other venues.

Terence McCaffrey: “Estate Sale”

Estate Sale

You came to Red Robin
for the never-ending fries

but you’re nowhere near
hungry. You could vomit actually

at the thought of strangers
ransacking the house, picking

his blues records, his tools,
stacks of his half-read books,

operating the electric bed
where you clasped his face

and kissed his lips
and hummed “All for the Best”

after which he wilted
to just a body with a mouth.

When you’re done here
you’ll return, half your life

sold. An emptiness
will try to consume you.

Birds will mean nothing.
Not until you accept some

comfort with the darkness,
with those cold, guttural pangs

settling in your chest,
will you spy one nondescript

morning a slant of light
pooling near his desk

in the corner room, dust motes
swimming in a gilded stream,

the whispered fact 
that not all of him is gone. 

_________________________________________________________________

Terence McCaffrey’s poems have appeared in Connecticut River ReviewFreshwaterRed Eft ReviewRight Hand Pointing, and elsewhere. He received a M.A.L.S. degree in Humanities from Wesleyan University and a B.A. from the University of Hartford where he was the recipient of the Phyllis B. Abrahms Award in Fiction. He lives with his family in West Simsbury, CT.

Samo Kreutz: “All the fog around us”

All the fog around us
 
Today is the fog especially thick
And you hardly can see
 
The only thing
That illuminates us
At least a little
 
Is the sun
We ate last summer
 
 
 
______________________________________________________________________
 
Samo Kreutz lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Besides poetry (which he has been writing since he was eight years old), he writes novels, short stories, and haiku. He has published nine books (three of them were poetry books). His recent work has appeared on international websites (and journals), such as Wales Haiku Journal, Under the Basho, Taj Mahal Review, Poetry Pea, Jalmurra: Art & Poetry Journal, Haiku Commentary, Frameless Sky: Art Video Journal, Asahi Haikuist Network, Akita International Haiku Network, and others.

Ricky Garni: “Meditate”

Meditate

For one brief moment
the article about a beautiful 
troubled woman who wrote
words in the ocean and lost 
her father and mother in her 
body, transformed itself

into a photograph of the 
Grateful Dead, standing
in front of an old barn,
wrapped in Navajo blankets,
and smiling.

_____________________________________________________________________

Ricky Garni recently retired from his work as graphic designer for a regional wine company and now works occasionally as a staff photographer for Horse & Buggy Press (Durham, NC), a gallery and design studio that uses a nifty 19th century letterpress for many of their publications. 

Roger Singer: “Briefly”

Briefly                                                                                                                                        
there was order
within the stars
as they lowered
to my level,
a mortal touched,
breathed on by
an opening
of light shine,
a sliver of
heaven beyond
the horizon,
an opening
of rhythm
where all the
parts bless
sky and soul
for a
brief moment,
before it slips
behind
pearl gray
clouds
_____________________________________________________________________
Dr. Singer is the Poet Laureate of Old Lyme, Connecticut. He has had over 1,150 poems published on the internet, magazines, and in books and is a 2017 Pushcart Prize Award Nominee. He is also the President of the Shoreline Chapter of the Connecticut Poetry Society. Some of the magazines that have accepted his poems for publication are:  Westward Quarterly, Jerry JazzSP QuillAvocetUnderground VoicesOutlaw PoetryLiterary FeverDance of my HandsLanguage & CultureAdelaide Literary MagazineThe Stray BranchToasted CheeseTipton Poetry Journal, Ambassador Poetry Award Massachusetts State Poetry Society, Louisiana State Poetry Society Award 2019, Arizona State Poetry Society Award 2020, and Mad Swirl Anthology 2018 and 2019.

Tanvi Nagar: “What we made”

What we made 
 
I made stardust. Rather, we made it together, 
We mixed the ashes of our ties, 
Along with time-the famous healer, 
We simply let go.
The ashes divided, broke into pieces 
So minute, so tiny, so little, 
That they became power
And magic, they became our healer
The goodbye didn’t hurt anymore, 
It simply existed in the universe
Floating
Existing 
Remaining 
Like the stardust we left behind,
Maybe that’s what destiny made of us-
Two souls, too far away yet united with magic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
________________________________________________________________________
Tanvi Nagar is a high school senior at Delhi Public School, Gurgaon. She has been writing for the past eight years and is passionate about public speaking, travelling, playing sports and reading. She has contributed to national newspapers like The Times of India and Hindustan Times; journals like Flare Journal, The Weight Journal, Nymphs Publications, Secret Attic, Hebe Poetry, and Anti-Heroin Chic and anthologies like The Last Flower of Spring and Riding on a Summer Train by Delhi Poetry Slam; The Great Indian Anthology by Half Baked Beans and She the Shakti by Authors Press. She is the former Editor of her school, currently edits for Ice Lolly Review and Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine and is the present Head Girl of her school’s student council. She has authored four books, titled Metamorphosis, A Treasure Trove of Poetic Wonderland, A Bountiful of Rhythmic Stories, and My Book of Short Stories and Poems. She has also won the Eye Level Literary Award 2018 by Daekyo South Korea, The Create Change Challenge by The University of Queensland, Australia, and the Millennial Essay Writing Contest by UNESCO. She has also worked on in-depth research projects with the Boston Latin School, USA, and the Wayne College, USA. She loves solving maths problems and her favourite singer is Halsey! She believes kindness is the best way of life. Her website is tanvinagar.com.

Giuseppe Andrea Liberti: “Loop #2”

Loop #2

elbow grease drumkits and a fistful of joints, that’s
what we had, how we managed to be in the spotlight
before the collapse, free from comforting

some say you reached unknown pits but I’ll follow
the footprints in search of the blue point of stress:

as you told me with nothing but strings

soul has demonic allure
________________save yourself.

________________________________________________________________________

Giuseppe Andrea Liberti lives in Naples, where he was born in 1992. His first poetry book, Pietrarsa (2010-2019), was published by Arcipelago itaca Press in April 2020; his poems have appeared in journals like L’Elzeviro, Levania online, la Repubblica Napoli and Critica impura. Nevertheless, he’s still trying to take himself seriously.

John Tustin: “So It Is”

So It Is

I have to close my eyes to see us
Because there are only two pictures of us together
And my eyes
Have worn the photos out.

Only a few have known that she and I walked hand-in-hand
For what amounts to a short time
In the measuring of lives
And of those who knew
Most were unhappy about it
And remain so.

So it is.

I close my eyes right now and remember a kiss
That destroyed planets, gave birth to stars
And doomed my life to wanting,
Not having.

So it is.

So 
It 
Is.

____________________________________________________________

John Tustin is currently suffering in exile on Elba but hopes to return to you soon. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.