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The Pangolin Review — Issue 18, 30 April 2021

Part 1: A to J (first alphabet of first name of poet)


A Black Rose

A black rose stood among the lands of grace,

Petals of black death, yet unacquainted with fate.

Lifeless it seemed, petrified in its place,

Though, in its darkness, its heart lives to wait.


The black rose dragged to the edge of a shore,

Holding on the ground against the tides’ waves,

Belligerent for hope in a ceaseless war,

To raise its shattered heart from its coy grave.


Hope doesn’t exist on the shores of the dead,

Yet the wind will blow to carry off your fate,

To further places where roses die red.

Places where hope is never going to wait.


Black rose! Let your petals fade away,

Let the wind blow your life as they may.


Adam Tarawneh is an American Arab. He was born on 25 March 1987 in the USA. He traveled to Jordan in 1999, the country of his origins. He majored in English Literature for his bachelor’s degree, and after he graduated, he moved to work in the Gulf as an English teacher for several years, until he was able to pursue his dreams and continue his Master’s degree in literature from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. Now, he is an Adjunct Instructor teaching literature in several colleges and universities across the United States.

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my favorite art gallery

it’s the one God gives me

with larger-than-life

canvas paintings of abstract

art with pastel blues and creams

and hues of pinks and greens


some sundowns i sit

on my bed like a lover of art

parked on the bench

contemplating paintings from an

art(ificial) gallery with a wall-to-

wall frame and prop-less space


it’s with this nothingness i see

nothing can be more lovely

than spending time with God

as He sketches and re-sketches

clouds, draws strokes here,

blots a star there, re-arranges

color schemes and moves

the moon elsewhere


every day is an abundance

of temporary art installations

permanently etched in the sky.


Adrienne N. Wartts received her M.A. in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Her poetry has appeared in the journals Diverse Voices Quarterly, PEN, and Reverie, as well as the poetry anthologies Encounters and Ocean Voices. She is currently a writer at the University of Massachusetts.

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Ritual of Survival

Like people important

In sudden grief

I hide behind

My cloak of conspicuity


Till the focus of kindness shifts,

And well wishers get on with it.

Things like walking the dog

And getting the milk, without any guilt.


And I can escape

Into my morbidly mundane denial

Of existence without that loved one

As I devise a ritual of survival.


I empty my eyes

Of sight

So that in temporary blindness

I may find respite.

Ajanta Paul is an academician, critic, poet and short story writer, currently Principal & Professor of English at Women’s Christian College, Kolkata, India. She has published several books of criticism and imaginative literature including The Elixir Maker and Other Stories (Authorspress, New Delhi, 2019). She has been featured in print magazines and online journals including The Statesman, The Bengal Post, Setu Bilingual Journal, Café Dissensus Everyday, Written Tales Magazine, ALAIK Magazine, Borderless Journal, The Bombay Review, The Piker Press, Spadina Literary Review, Harbinger Asylum namely.

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Mum, a curly-haired tender doll with thick visions

with her temples addressed to the light

her crimson smile always hunting me

especially over here, when my heart

is spending its Saturday

enveloped in another man’s hug


don’t you see I love you, mum

in these never-ending chords

can’t you spot my care

in this jumping firebrand

warming our distance


I welcome in my hands

like spousal rings

your burned out cheeks

two sunsets, one curfew

my time to go back to myself


Whilst writing you, mum

every sound out of the keyboard

disengages from my impertinent heart

such a noisy orchestra playing to you

a modern rendition of my tantrums

summarizing you that despite my troubles

rioting all the time, my everlasting issues

I still seek your attention, I bloody miss you


For every step that you walk

I’ll be immortal

a cycle I don’t dare breaking

the Caesar cipher of my sense of absolute

Aldo Quagliotti is an Italian poet living in London, UK. He is the author of Japanese Tosa (London Poetry Books) and Confessions Of A Pregnant Man (AllienBuddha Press). His poems have been rewarded in Italy, Brazil, USA, Canada, Ireland and in the United Kingdom. He has been selected for important anthologies such as Paper therapy, Yawp!, The Essential anthology, Murmurations, Poetical Word, Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus.

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On A Road

From chilly winter apartment window,

my misty pane, I spy no chicken but

Lockdown Man, crossing a road with spring

in his step, cigar in his mouth, bottle of beer

in one hand, plastic shopping bag of booze

in the other. It would be pension day

in deep south of the southern hemisphere.

A species devolving – it’s Lockdown Man!

More Jack Daniels than Kerouac but the two

were indistinguishable on occasion and

there’s an occasion every day, somewhere.

Have a fever? Proclaim with fervour,

hello the future. Lockdown Man!

It’s a cold Melbourne day and despite

a virus being on the loose, that guy’s sky

is boozy blue so he is not blue at all –

he is a bit pink in the face, warming up

like the planet itself. Lockdown Man.


Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton I., Ibiza, Tasmania & Melbourne. Poetry Collection: Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications (UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest 2018 & publication in New Philosopher 2020. Chapbook (Ginninderra Press 2020) My Photos of Sicily.

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Johan and Marianne

When I was fifteen my mother took me

to Swedish divorce movies.

Everyone spoke in thick words,

and the actress with the wide nose

never loved her husband.


The scene with the man pulling the sweater

over his head reminded me of all the bad love

stories on the late channel after bedtime.

I would sneak out of my rumpled blankets

and watch my mother crying into her hands.


When the movie was over we stood in the middle

of the street, she asked, what did you think,

but never listened for the answer.

Soon after she took me to a dark restaurant

and we sipped drinks I was too young for.


Later, at home, turning the day over in my sleepy mind,

she mentioned the movie and the pretty blonde

children they sadly loved.

I thought about the slamming doors, the high throaty voices,

and the perfect cocktail onion in my mother's glass

that I must acquire a taste for.


Amy Soricelli has been published in numerous publications and anthologies including Dead Snakes, Corvus Review, Deadbeats, Long Island Quarterly, Voice of Eve, Literati Magazine, The Muddy River Poetry Review. Carmen has No Umbrella but Went for Cigarettes Anyway (Forthcoming, Dancing Girl Press 9/2021) Sail Me Away (chapbook) Dancing Girl Press, 2019. Nominated by Billy Collins for Aspen Words Emerging Writer's Fellowship 2019 and for Sundress Publications Best of the Net 2020, 2013. She is the recipient of the Grace C. Croff Poetry Award, Lehman College, 1975.

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Don’t get me wrong,

It isn’t love,

It isn’t that I miss you,

It is that I knew you,

And your light is fading.


Don’t get me wrong,

It isn’t that I’m crying,

It isn’t that I’m hurt,

But I remember,

That your light is fading.


Don’t get me wrong,

I want to do something,

I don’t want to stay here,

But I’m afraid,

I’m afraid of breaking.


Anne Silva writes poetry online as Poetry of Despair. She is inspired by nature and emotion, and writes to express what she feels.

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The God of Sinners

The earth vows to swallow us


yet calmed

it’s His kingdom only


The waters simmer to sink us

their rage humbled

it’s between He and us


The air is perpetually charged

held starved nonetheless

He knows the unknown


The angels beseech for our death

their hopes buried

He sees what they don’t


The nights promise malevolence

their claims beset

it’s He or none


The clouds dare to own thunder

their threats threatened

none exists unless He intends


The lightning grows monstrous

all fears erased nevertheless

who else is the King?


The sun yearns to scorch us

the phenomena seized

none stirs without His will


The sky declines to lit up

the moon defies it

each star salutes none but the Master


The mountains linger to demolish us

their swelter frozen

none erupts unless His vehemence


Gabriel warns to conclude it all

his roar silenced

all is mortal but the Immortal


But the devils within go on satirizing

He smiles back

only He discerns the idiocy beneath


Still, we cling on to merriment

His smile fades

only He writes our epilogue.

Aadil Farook is an internationally published Thinker, Writer, Poet, Translator, Researcher & award-winning Musician. Find more @

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I have heard,

scarf ‘round my neck

and stupid look on my head,

my seat was taken,

but I remember.


We dressed like electric cities,

walked out like princesses,

kissed the man at the corner,

but we loved women


At the entrance of the movie,

you looked surprisingly distinguished.

You always confided in me,

bright, our presumable future.


Pushing the past fast-forward,

you’re restless, admit it.

Miserable, that, you keep it.

You got on my nerves, I recall,

when you protested

it’s old-fashioned.


Doesn’t matter anymore,

we raised the formalities,

dropped the efficiencies,

thrust ourselves like in movies.


Every day at the same place,

our picture was taken,

looking at the same eastern palace

while our eyes burnt from the sun.




Written words,

mighty swords,

written love,

untold folds.


I don’t have the courage to write you down.

My upbringing might have glimpses of sound,

untold ones,

hurtful ones.


Written words,

might swords.

If only I could use them.


To others


Please, check your own mind,

the well-being of a survivor.

The theme is stuck to my skin.

The farther, the closer.


Why am I bothered by your insanity?

Why the hole can’t be fixed by me?

I did not choose to oppress you,

though I have the memory that I need to heal you.


I am sorry sister, for the way they treated you.

Sorry, again, that my words are not happier.

They are trapped in my chest, mon coeur,

like you unsaid all these years.


How do we voice it?

What happens to superiority?

Is it our main concern,

to bring back your popularity?


Feel free to come and sit,

around me, in front of me, surround me.

Permit me to drown in your sorrows

even if my knowledge itself is flawed.


I love you,

we are both inventions of one fou.


Aurélie Payet hails from Reunion Island. She has lived abroad for many years, and has fallen in love with the English language. Currently, she is studying English Language at the University of Reunion Island. She is a language passionate and a lover of sounds.


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It Feels Like 1968


In that year I had more hair on top and

less on my face. The divisions were as


deep as now, ravines running through

lives, neighborhoods, ourselves. Everyone


talking without listening, 24/7 bombardment

of facts mingled with lies and half-truths


instead of nightly at 6 o’clock or THE WORLD

IN 22 MINUTES on KYW News Radio 1060 blaring


from the radio on the shelf above the dinner

table as we ate and argued. Back then there


was a chance if not for peace, at least for some-

thing better. Saturdays handing out leaflets and


blue-red Nixon-Agnew buttons, and listening

to Underground Radio on the FM dial. Fast


forward to now and the chickens are roosting.

"What has been resolved, Mr. Natural\?" Flaky Foont


would ask if there were still ZAP Comics. Only

Mr. Natural gives no response. Where is the

soundtrack as America teeters again on the

precipice? More to the point: where is the


cavalry when we need it? When comes my

three-score and ten hope might fade as morning


dew on a hot summer’s day and the morning

sun rises like an orange rubber ball.


Arthur Turfa is a poet/writer living in the Midlands of South Carolina. His most recent poetry books are Saluda Reflections ©2017 from Finishing Line Press and All in the Family with artist Carol Worthington-Levy © Blurb. His poetry has appeared in US and international journals, including The Petigru Review, Catfish Stew, and The Pangolin Review. He is submitting his first novel to publishers.


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New Dawn


Hours from now, a new dawn will begin.

Some will celebrate such an event,

while some condemn the act as a sin.

Not a religious condemnation, not what I meant.

For their celebration is nothing but their doom.

They think that they are running out of the gloom,

but, unwilled, a gloomy place is their path.

For they, like Agamemnon, felt Apollo’s wrath.


Stricken with plague, all nations are alike.

For a year, fear controlled and prevailed,

and respect did exist for that godly strike.

But with a new year, the plague, once hailed,

Ceased to be feared, masques began to fall,

and back to the remaining life, the masked ball.

Grisly becoming, the furrows we plough,

as our bodies are but the seeds we sow.


What can the new year add to her prior work?

Fires, wars, or plagues, O! we have seen them all.

Maybe new plagues, in the darkness, lurk,

or maybe this year but just another of god’s scrawl.

tell me my lord, while I kneel to thee with tears,

do thy lab rats deserve these kind of years?

While our hearts hope for thy saving rays,

Books are set to memorize these gloomy days.


Adham Ghanem is a non-native English speaker.

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before therapy


hyacinth r-e-e-d-s

wilting l-i-l-a-c

rowdy b-r-e-e-z-e

was it something i-d-y-l-l-i-c?


i spit my c-h-i-l-d-h-o-o-d

bitter pips scatter them over

the v-e-r-a-n-d-a and p-a-t-i-o

sour rose-apples and mangoes



roll over my t-o-n-g-u-e

a bitter-sweet c-l-i-c-h-e-s

clucking like hens in the y-a-r-d


to w-a-r-p and w-e-f-t

past and present into neat stacks

needs a tacking arm i twirl

s-p-i-n-d-l-e-s to weave a sunlit street


i lived in shadows, c-h-e-c-k-e-r-e-d

my father’s l-u-n-g-I mother’s h-u-r-t

gaze grazed on my defiant c-u-r-l-s

my spittle was smoky-stale on my t-o-n-g-u-e


just to remember p-a-s-t-s

flitting over with a ghoulish

jowl into the Jewish s-t-r-e-e-t-s

turning Buddhist w-h-e-e-l-s in the Himalayas


i am strapped to my s-p-u-t-t-e-r

they drill eardrums i d-r-e-a-m

of water reed Lilac b-r-e-e-z-e,

trapped in a hyacinth p- e-t-a-ls


in between lashing shock w-a-v-e-s


Babitha Marina Justin is an academic, a poet, and an artist from India. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Jaggery, The Paragon Press, Fulcrum, The Scriblerus, Trampset, Constellations, etc. Her books are Of Fireflies, Guns and the Hills (2015), I Cook My Own Feast (2019), salt, pepper and silver linings: celebrating our grandmothers (an international anthology on grandmothers, 2019), Of Canons and Trauma (2017) and Humour: Texts and Contexts (2017).


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A Berkshire Miracle


I remember visiting the Blue Pool at

Stanford Dingley, the frost had risen

From the ground plucked to the heavens

By the bending Noon day sun


I was in a group I didn’t go singularly

There was Auntie Lovely

And Jock, who must have been

A postman I think, because he said

‘He’d caught a packet on Remy Ridge.’


Also in our company was

A dog with a mad eye,

And someone who called herself

The Rose of Vienna,

Along with several other people

Who even then, might

Have been dead.

Lolling behind, came the girl who had

Once tried to count the freckles on my arm.


I was the first one in,

The water was cold but

I didn’t cry, you see it was

So deep and dreamy,

If I could have drowned

There and then, I would have,

Where the Aspen trees whispered Kaddish.


Bernard Pearson’s work appears in many publications, including; Aesthetica Magazine, The Edinburgh Review, Crossways, The Gentian, Nymphs The Poetry Village, Beneath The Fever, The Beach Hut The Littlestone Journal. In 2017 a selection of his poetry In Free Fall was published by Leaf By Leaf Press. In 2019 he won second prize in The Aurora Prize for Writing for his poem Manor Farm. He is also a biographer and prize-winning short story writer.


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Camp Fire


I cannot recall whose pocket held the

matches or which hand ignited the

flame but there it was-a living fire

with a will all its own.

To warm the area for the people

seated near it, was an afterthought.

The fire came only to dance.

Its swirl batted away darkness around us

as dry wood crackled under its movement.


We talked cross-legged to one another

Our words, spoken in the direction of the

fire, were instantly burned away along with

laughter and whispers.


Our fire-confidant ensured that what happened

At the camp fire stayed at the camp fire like

a smoky story heaped in ashes by the next

morning, never to be heard again.


Beverly M. Collins is the Author of the books, Quiet Observations: Diary thought, Whimsy and Rhyme and Mud in Magic. Her works have also appeared in many online magazines. Winner of a 2019 Naji Naaman Literary Prize in Creativity (from Lebanon) Beverly is also a prize winner for the California State Poetry Society who has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, once for Independent Best American Poetry and shortlisted for the 2018 Pangolin Review Poetry Prize (Mauritius).


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The Reunion

The truth of the situation

lies in the not-saids, in the way

conversations skirt so skilfully,

almost effortlessly, around

those questions that could

carry too much weight, prove

too pointed to answer calmly;

they move smooth as house cats

between calves and chair legs

hungry for dropped crumbs.


How we all, out of a sense

of delicacy and prudence, keep

firmly to the immediate, focus

fastidiously on the minutiae

of detail, relying upon the hard

and fast directions of the known

and mutually agreed upon (as

there’s much we don’t) – new

shoes for instance, the days

off for those in regular jobs,

and wouldn’t it be just lovely

to have another white Christmas,


“I mean when was the last,

can anyone remember, it must

have been before...oh never mind...”


Given there are so many dead

ends we have become adept

at skating over the gathering’s

thin ice, ignoring the depths below

while holding the mysteries

we have wrapped and swapped

in shiny paper which everyone,

but the bairns, is hesitant to open,

for, like the answers to our unasked

questions, remind us of who

isn’t there, and maybe more

importantly, the whys, and the price

of each unmentioned absence.


Bob Beagrie has published numerous collections of poetry and several pamphlets, most recently And Then We Saw The Daughter of the Minotaur (The Black Light Engine Room Press 2020), Civil Insolencies (Smokestack 2019), Remnants written with Jane Burn (Knives, Forks & Spoons Press (2019), Leasungspell (Smokestack 2016) and This Game of Strangers – written with Jane Burn (Wyrd Harvest Press 2017). His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines and has been translated into Finnish, Urdu, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Estonian and Karelian. He lives in Middlesbrough in the North East of England and is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Teesside University.


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Every day gets blacker sooner

as if a light was switched off.

Darkness reaches up to snuff

what light remains. Red bleeds

pale along the horizon in response.


Birds stop flying to the feeder.

Workers head home early

their jobs readily interrupted.


So it will continue for a month

although it seems much longer.

We count the days until light

begins, slowly, to return.

A crescent moon reminds of

past light, too distant, too small.


With artificial lights we ask

for a remission, an abatement

a chance to return to light

to celebrate a birth in a

world grown dead in darkness

but beginning again in hope.


Brooks Robards lives in Northampton and summers on Martha’s Vineyard. Her recent poetry collections are On Island with paintings by Hermine Hull and Fishing the Desert with photographs by Siegfried Halus. She taught at Westfield State University for 21 years, taking early retirement to write full time. In addition to poetry, she writes film and art reviews, as well as feature articles for the Martha’s Vineyard. She spends the month of March in Santa Fe, NM.


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If the Amazon Rainforest is the Lungs of the Earth, Then Somewhere in There is the Heart


salivating, a fluorescent-yellow

man sees the trees

hoists his knife

and fork and feasts


on my medium-rare

heart, trees

fall around us

the air tastes metallic

cutlery dripping with

blood and

sap and

if only i could plant a

forest in the gaping hole

in my chest



like leafy greens

are easily chewed

the chainsaw’s

scream drowns out

my own, a ruined

land is a

heartless one.


Bruna Gomes is an 18-year-old Australian-Brazilian writer. She has received awards from various Sydney-based writing competitions, including winning the senior poetry category of the Mosman Youth Awards in Literature 2020. She recently graduated from high school, and as a young, creative woman, she has an instinctual desire to share stories about her personal, social, environmental and cultural world, not only to just represent them, but to connect.


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Beverly’s Vigil


Her heart still warm, dust to dust

imagines only bones. Angry at her


husband for falling down at 38,

and angry with herself for feeling that,


she walks around the grave, knowing

he’s not there, his absence the only given.


Muttering under her breath, not caring what

happened to sense: why do my feet


make so much noise? I’ll never hear

his car door when he comes home tonight.

Carl Mayfield has recent work in Wales Haiku Journal, Slipstream, Miramar. His most recent chapbook is I Would Also Like To Mention Biscuits & Gravy, with artwork by Wayne Hogan.


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In Osage County you can find

the pawpaw tree rooted in moist, rich soil,

with scent of banana,

and its pasty fruit

is to be eaten

in autumn

when skies turn as blue

as any dream of blue,

turn as clear as a young child’s stare.

It is almost autumn.

Let us go before the birds’ fall harvest.

These trees do not do well in orchards,

and with winter coming,

this may be our very last chance.


Carol Hamilton taught 2nd grade through graduate school in Connecticut, Indiana and Oklahoma, was a medical translator and storyteller. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has published 17 books: children's novels, legends and poetry and has been nominated nine times for a Pushcart Prize.

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Elephant Loaf

For Jake Veurink


One humid afternoon my little friend, Jake,

ensconced in his parents’ red pickup truck,

stopped me on my walk up Townsend Road.

We got to talking about the circus. I told him

of the time Judy, Ari, and I watched

The Shriners’ Circus in Pittsburgh.

At some point elephants entered the arena,

front feet on the bottoms of those ahead—

a marvelous march, a pachyderm parade.

Suddenly, they broke apart, began to dance,

twirled their huge bodies in graceful ogees

across the arena floor.


While twirling in the air, his rear end

facing the circus stands, one twirler let go.

Huge elephant doodoos as big as loaves

of bread, poop-projectiles, shot into

the stands with marvelous accuracy,

caused panic and hysteria as mothers

and fathers, boys and girls, who only

minutes before peacefully munched


on popcorn, peanuts, and hot dogs,

screamed and scrambled to get out

of range of those flying mud cakes,

but to no avail. As if they were smart-

turds the military developed to use against

our enemies, those fecal missiles plunged

into the stands with merciless exactitude.


Oh, the collateral damage when an elephant

loaf splattered into the seats sending mothers

and fathers to the rafters and causing little boys

and girls to toss their crackerjack boxes into

the air, their popcorn exploding at the heavens.

Splat! The caca-bombs kept coming! Splat! Splat!

And the smell? The smell can only be described 
as the aroma generated when an over stimulated
Africana Elephantidea, fresh from his dinner
trough, engages in a bonafide fudge-a-thon 
during a circus performance.

Oh, the joy, the glee, the belly laughs
this tale brought to my little friend, Jake,
and even, if I may say so, to his good-natured 
parents who, that day, and many others after, 
had to listen to this story repeated over and 
over again at their son’s request and to 
my unending delight.


Charlie Brice is the winner of the 2020 Field Guide Magazine Poetry Contest and is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), An Accident of Blood (2019), and The Broad Grin of Eternity (forthcoming), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, Chiron Review, The Pangolin Review, The Sunlight Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere.


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Zero Hours


The moon does shift work

while fingertips sift through pans

of sequins, champagne flutes

are handled like newborns

and feet are shimmying

to the beat of a shrivelling heart.


And you, you time every action

to the click of an imaginary kettle.

The welcome’s long gone, the match

won and the meal already eaten.


While you sleep, the city will play

Russian roulette for whatever is left.


Christian Ward is a UK based writer who has been extensively published online and in print. He is currently working on a memoir.


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the streetlight on the boulevard

illuminates a stretch of curb

and interrupted hedge, the opening

between the parted edges of the hedge

lit white with the light of the streetlight


where stands Old Dog, beloved pet

a low creature staring into the night

and the vast dark lawn beyond the hedge


a park, sloping away several blocks

downhill toward many white and

several colored lights, tiny in the distance

under a black and cloudless starry sky


I am the solitary human figure standing

above and behind Old Dog impressed,

his dumb appreciation for this darkling

vista matching my more verbal own

until I jerk the lead and on we go


Chuck Joy is a poet in Erie PA USA, as far away as you can be from Philadelphia and still be in Pennsylvania. The Poet Laureate of his county, Erie County Pennsylvania, and a longtime host of weekly poetry events, Chuck is the author of several poetry collections including Said the Growling Dog from Nirala Publications (New Delhi, India) and Percussive from Turning Point (Cincinnati, Ohio).


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White flag


Climbing to the sky

I wave a white banner

to greet those who have undertaken

a single journey.

Geraniums bloomed;

they tell me that life goes on,

that I have to ignore the fear

if I want to stay.

So I’m looking for the blue of the day

in order to start again...


Claudia Piccinno was born in the south of Italy, but she lives and teaches in the north of Italy. Operating in more than 100 anthologies, she is a former member of the jury in many national and international literary prizes. She is the Continental Director for Europe in the World Festival Poetry, she represents Istanbul culture in Italy as Ambassador of Ist Sanat Art Association. She has published 34 poetry books, among her own poetry collections and other poets’ translations into Italian language.


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Stop and Stay


See the butterfly?

Unwilling to be static

Its movements erratic

Like it can’t make up its mind

Where it wants to go

Frantic to find



It starts and stops and stutters

Causing me to wonder

Is there any point to all this activity?

Does it ever fly with any sense

Of intentionality?

A slight breeze

Sends it careening right or left

All at the will and whim of the wind

It seems


But then

When it finally stops

To land on a flower where it feeds

And drinks in all it needs

Its slowly spreading wings are revealed

As if on display


I want to say


Stop and stay for a while

Don’t move so much

Don’t be in such a hurry

Let us look at you

In all your beauty

But no

Off it goes

As if it knows

Of something more important to do

If it only knew

Nothing is more important

Than this moment

Right now


Chris Spitters poetry is inspired by the natural beauty of Michigan, where he lives. He has published 2 albums (poetry set to music).


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four haiku


village marketplace

clogs step on clogs

lunar year’s eve


small puppy

trots behind a fading call

first haze of the year


plum blossoms

cradled in first snow



first love

flitting moths

in the moonlight


Christina Chin paints and writes haiku. She is 1st place winner in the 34th Annual Cherry Blossom Sakura Festival 2020 Contest. She won first prize in the 8th Setouchi Matsuyama 2019 Photo-Haiku Contest and two City Soka Saitama’s 2020 haiku prizes. Earned five merits in the World Haiku Review August 2020. She has been published in multilingual haiku journals and anthologies.


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I am neither fraction nor particle,

not a chip or subdivision,

I am me –

singular, solo, unique


there is only one of me

when I am gone there will be none




Well, this singular entity

makes little impression

on the map of the universe.

So what if I am gone?

If I was never part of anything

what is left to miss my presence?

But I was part of… things, groups,

can I be singular when I have been part of?

Wait, is this a trick question?

Are you trying to tell me again

how we are all part of this explosive integration

from a tiny black dot? I am not a convert.

Let scientists argue,

I still say

I am me, unique.

None like.

You will miss me when I’m gone.


Cleo Griffith lives in the Central Valley of California. She has been widely published and is the current Vice-President of the Modesto Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.


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