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
 
 
 
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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

Robert Nisbet: “Councillor Wilkinson”

Councillor Wilkinson

Councillor Wilkinson is walking the Common,
this quiet morning, early spring,
rehearsing his farewell speech.

The councillor’s mind is tabulating.
The Common is of course his great achievement.
Chairman of the steering group, ’82 to ’89.
Common Development Committee Chairman
through to the noughties.

A sudden racket, yowls and yells.
Small boy, lost ball, a mother fraught.
The ball is wedged below the eaves
of the cricket club pavilion.

But Wilkinson has a walking stick
(an affectation, to be honest),
so reaches, crooks the ball, tugs it out.
Oh thank you, sir. They smile, walk off.

But then. Oh dear.
In tweaking out the ball, he has disturbed,
almost dislodged, a martin’s nest.
It’s angled dangerously. So he climbs
on the refuse bin, smudging the knee
of his trousers, grazing an ankle, reaches,
eases the nest to equilibrium.
Climbs down. Walks on.

Roads and Bridges Chairman. ’84 to ’92.
Forty years in local government.
Councillor Wilkinson, absorbed again,
is rehearsing his farewell speech.

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Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who has been published widely in Britain, where he has been shortlisted for the Wordsworth Trust Prize, and the USA, where he has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Paul Smith: “One Tank of Gas”

One Tank of Gas

It’s good to go from west to east
you’ll get there earlier
than you think
you’re going opposite the earth’s spin
and that makes your airplane
go faster
Galileo and Ptolemy figured this out
even before there were airplanes
it’s even good to go from east to west
because the sun is at your back
you’re like Paul
singing ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’
it’s not so good going from south to north
because the people you meet up there are
as cold as the land they live in
they look at you funny and
make you feel small
if you go from north to south
it’s a recipe for heartburn
the people down there fry nearly everything they eat
plus hominy grits
biscuits and gravy
hush-puppies
if you’re from the North and
you drive from east to west
it’s a good thing
because you’ll enjoy
gaining an hour
and with all you have to do
but
if you’re from the South and
you drive from east to west
it is inherently bad
you say to yourself
‘I’ve lost an hour
and I’ll never get it back’
because the little hand
just went from seven to six
an hour you earned
through your own sweat
someone just took your entitlement away
so now you are sad
and a little angry
at all those who ever hurt you
it makes you wistful
wishing for that hour
taken from your sovereign grasp
the only good thing is
there is an aeroplane overhead
going east to west
that you imagine is full of them
all snobbish flying first class
and maybe
just maybe
it might
in spite
of what Bernoulli said
or Nostradamus
or the Old Farmers Almanac
just go flat like
a hushpuppy made without Bisquick

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Paul Smith is a civil engineer who has worked in the construction racket for many years. He has traveled all over the place and met lots of people. Some have enriched his life. Others made him wish he or they were all dead. He likes writing poetry and fiction. He also likes Newcastle Brown Ale. If you see him, buy him one. His poetry and fiction have been published in Convergence, Missouri Review, Literary Orphans, and other lit mags.

Alan Britt: Two Poems

Sufi Moment

One mistake. That one mistake.

Just one is all it takes
to send our world
into a gyro-verse that we
barely recognize.

Still, if we could retrieve one,
just one
mistake from the tapestry
of our lives,
which one would it be?

Remember, we’re allowed
one mistake only today.

Tomorrow’s up to random fate
(how ironic) fate sporting one
vermilion swirl on its jester
cheek with a corroded brass
bell crunching each arthritic
big toe crammed inside its
crumpled deerskin slipper.

Remember, today we’re allowed
one mistake only.

So, choose carefully.

_____

Go, Johnny, Go!

(Listening to John Doe’s “Let’s Be Mad”)

We poets remember all those crazy nights
spent cruising the Mount Royal Tavern
or Broadway in Fells Point as though roaming
a wasteland fueled by enigmas.

Yeah, those nights spent wondering
about our next move—
should we head for home;
after all, it’s only 2 AM.

Those nights intoxicated by youthful dementia.

Those nights wandering beneath the peeling arches
of Red Door poetry readings populated
by Baltimore’s liveliest poets of the day.

Nights that delivered black rain, plus
alchemic monks dipping their waxen fingers
into pools of ecstasy, Georg Trakl style.

Nights that detonated our brains to flow
from industrial stacks coughing black plumes
above the Harbor.

All those nights that spawned a revolution
inside muscle cars fueled by flaming saddle
shoes and slide guitars!

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Alan Britt has been nominated for the 2021 International Janus Pannonius Prize awarded by the Hungarian Centre of PEN International for excellence in poetry from any part of the world. Previous nominated recipients include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bernstein, and Yves Bonnefoy. He was interviewed at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem. A graduate of the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, he currently teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.

Chidera Abii: “there are a lot of ways to kill youself”

there are a lot of ways to kill yourself

there are a lot of ways
to kill yourself i write
on my bathroom mirror.
i take off my shoes
and walk the streets.
it is dark, i am black,
i am female, i keep walking.
the ground is sinking,
the streetlights are sinking,
the neighbor’s dog is sinking,
the car i broke into is sinking,
the keys are not here.
i look into the rearview mirror
and the sign says no parking
between seven am and seven pm. 

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Chidera Abii is a Nigerian American writer. She studied fiction and poetry at the University of Virginia and is currently a Michener Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. She lives in Austin, TX.