Wednesday 31 March 2021

Two Poems by Mary Grace van der Kroef


Enthroned On Stone

On a hill

not far away

there stands a stone

all shades of grey.

On that stone

one fateful day

she sat to rest

from work and play.

There she sits

still to this day.

Covered in moss

a sad display.

She sat to long

emotions affray,

let them

all dance away.

As they danced

across the way,

she never knew

the price she'd pay.

As they passed

to all's dismay,

she changed to match

the stones dark grey.

Cold as ice,

despite the day.

Still as stone

that won’t decay.

Only erode

as time will play.

Around her thrown

the grasses sway.

River Witch

She watched a sister turn to stone.

Realized she was alone.

Her grief welled into a groan

that shook earth, rattled bone.

This sister’s choice turned the tide,

feeding anger deep inside,

until it could no longer hide.

Bubbled up, pain glorified.

Spilling torrents from her eyes,

changing unassuming guise.

Now her river spits and cries.

Fights the banks as if they’re lies.

She melted by that river side,

with its deepest depths allied.

Lays in wait beneath the tide,

seethes with pain and deadly pride.


A single soul dares there to dwell,

all others fled her waters swell.

He alone, to anger quell,

love has tied him to her spell.


She wars with love and hate alike.

He an unwavering dike,

holding her destructive strike

at bay, both passions childlike.


So long as Sister sits death’s throne

the valley to this danger prone.

River Witch will malice hone,

dooming both to exist alone.

Mary Grace van der Kroef, is a poet, writer, and artist from the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada.

“Enthroned on Stone,” an early version of it appeared on her personal poetry blog/website last year. It has since been removed, edited, and changed.

“River Witch,” Has never been seen online or in print form.

Her personal website can be found at

Twitter: @MGWriting

Facebook: @marygracewriting

Instagram: @marygracewriting

Five Poems by Kashiana Singh




That audacity

of scrawny legged birds

as they slumber

in emptied trees

all wintered branches
parentless, swaying towards
open ended skies

its bluish grey a moaning

mirror to the cemetery below

the solitary birch tree

disrobing itself onto
rows of epitaphs

I turn away my gaze

to listen to the wit wit

of a perched swallow.




crumbling anger -

I see an icicle



a caterpillar

dissolves itself -

breaking free


water graves –

grief washes ashore

in cockle shells


mountain peaks –

just one breast remains

after surgery


The birthing scenes of Charles River


Imagine the sight of a river

melting outside your window

Thrusting itself out of the cracks

of a hardened dawn

It’s arriving shadows

devour the blue sky of my eyes

Her bosom of crumpled pleats

tender like a mother’s eager breasts

The silver of her urging nectar

flowing towards a keen south

Persistent, a haunting and healing

purging the algae of my ghosts

A season is also pushing

its way out of a ripened vagina

Amniotic waters ready

for it to emerge

A season finding itself

in rustling sounds and rusted tracks

It shrugs away the grey

and dips into your now crowning presence

I notice how the maples form a nursing dome

keeping watch

I also keep watch

on vigil at my window

as an umbilicus uncoils

over quivering stones

Farther away, Eliot’s fog

is carefully unwrapping

episodes of mountains

I crack open a poem

an afterthought



I am the coy pebble resisting the sea
the absence of blue inside bald waves
I am the farthest point of this rainbow
the collarbones of the sky untethered
I am mortal remains of immortal past
the crashing sound of purple meteors
I am a morning altar of sunlit temples
the errant disciple now in a samadhi
I am the ephemeral breath unfurled
by lungs refusing to be dead weight

The lingering rain pretends presence
I carefully count its unbroken droplets


Flowers of celebration

like jasmine that drinks on its own colour
blooming for the moon to tenderly part
the sky into night and day.

like wild rose, burnished dust petals as
if still breathless from a lover’s delight
of that one miracle glance.

like bougainvillea creeping over stones
asking for more, the ruggedness of the
wall whispering freedom songs.

like tulips swaying in open fields, naked
to the sun and unashamed they beckon
the mind to birth again.

like pansies at windowsills, where songs
tend to the soils of their boxed existence
and bring birds to paradise.

like narcissus in morning light, gleaming
into its own champagne. its time, it’s time
to bring home some pride.

like moon flowers that pour miracles into
nights, flaming tongues of thick flesh spit
prayers into our vibrant eyes



Kashiana Singh calls herself a work practitioner and embodies the essence of Work as Worship into her everyday. Her chapbook Crushed Anthills from Yavanika Press in 2020 is a journey that unravels memory through 10 cities.

One Poem by Dana Trick


Dance With Death

I stare at HER in front of me.

The dark band soon starts

To play a melody.

Ah, tell me,

Why are you trembling?

Why do your eyes tell me you're scared?

There's nothing to worry about.


I can't remember

When we clasped our hands together

And started to dance this fatal song. 

Even though I'm scared,

I don't care at all.

Ah, you've finally calmed down at last.

Tell me, do you enjoy this?

Since after all,

That gown, those jewels, those flowers,

This ballroom, this melody, this dance

Have been eagerly waiting for you.


This song has been waiting for you.

I don't care what or who SHE is.

Please let this lovely dance never end,

Ah, please stop, little worrying thoughts.

I want to enjoy this moment.

You cannot think about them anymore so

Please let this music take you to sleep.


I can't shake off this paradox feeling of

Wanting to live and wanting to die,

As I melt too far into the music,

Cradled by HER gentle skeleton hands.

When she isn’t reading books or being a historian, Dana Trick spends her days writing emotional poems and weird stories, and drawing comic strips that she thinks are hilarious. She enjoys learning about the history and the various mythologies of Latin America and Asia, but her interest is mainly on the history of autism, which she has. You can find her strips at deviantART under the username Silencedbook9 and her blogs on her experiences with autism and ADHD on Art of Autism. She hopes that the reader is having a nice day and if not, she wishes them that.


Tuesday 30 March 2021

One Poem by Laszlo Aranyi


The Emperor

(Tarot, Major Arcana IV.)



My father is careful, intimidated,

              as if guarding the secrets of the Temple.

He might have gotten drunk twice,

                    while I curled up ass-drunk every day.


Human stick insect, tree branch mimic,

wings of butterflies: delicate porcelain petals.

             Tongue, ears, head, inflated abdomen:

       a generation hidden in camouflage.


An unscrupulous, insidious youth who denies human obligations

made to be a companion of a peculiar sacrament seeking his way.

he wordlessly endured

                    when he, the sprawling, the depraved stepped across

       the malleable border of criminal existence.


Did he ever love my mother?

       (’cause I could love only the lewd, perverted women

                    who shined in their vulnerability.)

It’s possible that their era assigned two ’Outsiders’ to each other.


The Female is alkali, the Male is Acid Tyrannus,

       and the insoluble, massive quality they create


is their certain doom.



(Translated by Gabor Gyukics)


A Császár

(Tarot, Nagy Arkánum IV.)


 Apám óvatos, megfélemlített,

              mintha a Templom titkait őrizné.

Talán kétszer dőlt ki a piától,

       míg én naponta görbültem segg-részeggé.


Emberi botsáska, faág mímelő.

Lepkék szárnyai: kényes porcelánszirmok.

                     A nyelv fül, fejük felfúvódott has:

              álcák mögé bújt egy generáció.


Gátlástalan, emberi kötelmeket tagadó, alattomos ifjúként

       az útját kereső különös szentség cimborájává tett;

ő tűrt szótlanul,

              midőn át-átlépte a bűnöző-lét

       képlékeny határát a burjánzó, az elfajult.


Szerette-e valaha is anyámat?

       (Mert én csakis a romlott, beteg lelkű,

              sebzettségükben tündöklő nőket tudtam szeretni.)

Valószínű, csak egymáshoz rendelt két „Kívülállót” koruk.


A Nőstény lúg-, a Hím savtirannus,

              s a általuk teremtett oldhatatlan, masszív minőség


       biztos bukásuk.


Laszlo Aranyi (Frater Azmon) poet, anarchist, occultist from Hungary. Earlier books: (szellem)válaszok, A Nap és Holderők egyensúlya . New: Kiterített rókabőr. English poems published: Quail Bell Magazine, Lumin Journal, Moonchild Magazine, Scum Gentry Magazine, Pussy Magic, The Zen Space, Crêpe & Penn, Briars Lit, Acclamation Point, Truly U, Sage Cigarettes Magazine, Lots of Light Literary Foundation, Honey Mag, Theta Wave, Re-side, Cape Magazine, Neuro Logical, The Daily Drunk Mag, Unpublishable Zine, Melbourne Culture Corner, Beir Bua Journal, Crown & Pen, Dead Fern Press, Coven Poetry Journal, Journal of Erato, All Ears (India), Utsanga (Italy), Postscript Magazine (United Arab Emirates), The International Zine Project (France). Known spiritualist mediums, art and explores the relationship between magic.


Two Poems by Ken Gosse


On Nash’s “A Brief Guide to Rhyming, or How Be the Little Busy Doth?”


“A Brief Guide to Rhyming” was written by Nash

on the grammar of rhyme where he offered a dash

of experienced wisdom, advice very nice:

my confusion’s illusions re-versed this rehash:


Wise guidance was issued from Ogden’s own pen

because plurals cause problems for women and men

when they rhyme, for it oft’ wanders off its due course—

cursèd source of so many a poet’s remorse.


Though the singular “plural” means many, not one,

the plural of plural is plurals—that’s done

but appending an ‘s’ so we don’t have to guess

when we’re speaking of many, not one and not less.


But “fewer,” of course, is the word we should use

when we’re dealing with countables, not to confuse

them with singular nouns which may have varied mass,

such as weight or percent or this volume of gas.


These too may be counted: “I just drank two quarts,”

but if one drank just one ’mongst your guzzling cohorts

he could say, “I drank less. I drank fewer than two,”

but not say, if sober, “drank fewer than you.”


One focus of Nash’s “Brief Guide” concerns case,

for the subject and verb should agree face to face

like the complement found between bass and soprano—

genteel tête-à-tête, sometimes mano a mano.


Attention to case can ensure rhyme will please:

we may say “two ears hear” (unless one has disease),

otherwise “one ear hears” (with an ‘s,’ if you please,

for omitting the ‘s’ will cause sonic unease).


“A bother of singles” is plural—or not?

It depends on the time and the place and the plot.

A single may mingle with likes of its kind

and if singles who mingle find one of like mind

they’re a couple, that’s two, but an ‘s’ wouldn’t do

unless multiple singles pair up, two by two,

then they’re couples, the plural, when one pair’s too few,

whence the number of couples and kids may accrue.


But my lesson ends here, so I’ll doff my panache,

and, if I had one, I’d tweak my mustache.

Since my pool of wisdom is barely a splash,

may your views not abuse this confangled mishmash.


Lost in Space (a parody of Robert Frost’s poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)


I’m confident that in this lot

I’ll find my auto’s parking spot

although, perhaps—and this I fear—

it may be here, but maybe not.


I’ve wandered up and down each tier

yet haven’t found it far or near.

My bunions have begun to ache

for I’ve been searching half a year.


So, restlessly, as my keys shake

I wave them in the air to make

my car call out, to scream and beep

“I’m Here! I’m Here! For goodness sake!”


As through this parking lot I creep

the heart within me starts to weep;

can I untie this Gordian knot,

somnambulistically asleep?

Ken Gosse usually writes short, rhymed verse using whimsy and humor in traditional meters. First published in First Literary Review–East in November 2016, since then in The Offbeat, Pure Slush, Parody, Home Planet News Online, Sparks of Calliope, and others. Raised in the Chicago, Illinois, suburbs, now retired, he and his wife have lived in Mesa, AZ, over twenty years.


Monday 29 March 2021

Five Poems by Heather McCuen

Spring Muse

what shall we call this hour 

when everything incites lust:

flowering perfumes,

creatures dancing to seduce and breed.

I remain open to your hands.

lift me into your blossoming chambers,

give to me the kiss the poets have known

and I will take your seed.

do not leave me barren,

even a verse will do: something to stir me

from a chilling slumber.

make me sing.

awaken all my bones like rainfall 

on roots after a drought.

give me a young, green cocoon 

to warm in my hands until it hatches 

and I will release new life into this lush season.

come, I have parted my mouth for a kiss,

and my fists are as buds, ready to be loosened.

Song to Spring

come rain, wet the mouths of lovers’ tongues.

seed, sow their hearts with words of poets.

let blossoms fall from their parted lips.

let the fragrance of passion,

overwhelm their senses.

come cherry and plum,

apple and peach,

open your blooms as a woman opens.

soon the trees will be gravid with fruit:

an abundance of much love-making.

Nymphs of Spring

we stumbled 

upon them in the orchard,

nymphs calling forth

           the trees to awaken,

apple and plum trees

           stirred in song.

buds as mouths 

opened from slumber,

singing forth fragrance

with wide, open blooms.

Spring Equinox

you lure me forward and awaken me to birds 

announcing the nearness of the sun.

you simply won’t let me ignore 

the way you are reawakening everything 

that has slumbered through Winter.

I rise, and an accumulation

of dust falls from my eyes, 

my covers, the window curtains.

I will join in your rebirth and no longer hide.

Spring Fever

it is Wednesday and the mother in me

wants to cradle you to sleep even as the

day is hot and running wild.

Wednesday is the middle, and I believe 

we may be stuck in this:

the middle of progress

the middle ground

the middle road

the middle of misinformation 

and misdiagnosis.

the damn hump.

and here we are, ill and discontented,

and I long, as you, to be comforted—

for the slightest breath of a cool breeze.

we cannot remember winter, or chilly

weeks or months in our delirium.

it has always been Wednesday and we

have always cried like babes with a fever,

and even the cool water has turned

against us—running lukewarm from

the spigot.

the ice machine is broken

the air conditioning, broken,

the lungs, head, the clock on the wall,

the love of life, dear god,

the middle of the week

and everything in the days before 

and hereafter are with me.

surely I am seeing the hours rotate

counter clockwise and it is still


and hot as hell. 

Heather McCuen, formerly known as Heather Dearmon, has poetry published in many

publications, including Fall Lines, Kakalak and Free State Review. She has a chapbook of poetry, water unto light (Finishing Line Press 2014). She lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA.

Six Poems by R. W. Stephens

  Like Extended Haiku       Tango music muted , o pen window    Fading summer light s hadows   C hair on the porch   An empty glass       ...