Thursday 29 February 2024

Family of Tender Dryads - Ten Short Poems by Paweł Markiewicz



becoming she-conjurer

Thou – ethereal  enlightenment

You are a sunflower  

The elixir is tender poetry

And You are longing for wisdom

I wish, she had hope for destiny



bewitching she-seer

Thou – bucolic romanticism

You are a violet

The solitude is delicate poesy

And You are yearning for acumen

I wish, she had desire for circumstance



comely she-hex

Thou -  demure existentialism

You are a rhododendron

The epiphany is supple verse

And You are yenning for foresight

I wish, she had aspiration for fate



knockout she-sorcerer

Thou – dissemble impressionism

You are an Azalea

The aesthete is breakable ode

and You are thirsting for insight

I wish, she had expectation for future




resplendent she-magician

Thou – effervescent stoicism

You are a begonia

The plethora is dainty song

and you are spoiling for caution

I wish, she had ambition for inevitability




amazing she-prognosticator

Thou - stunning Epicureanism

You are a hyacinth

The delicacy is frail rhyme

and You are itching for judgment

I wish, she had plan for afterlife



Sublime she-charmer

Thou - vigorous Platonism

You are an iris

The felicity is effete rime

and You are hankering for poise

I wish, she had aims for fortune



Statuesque she-enchanter

Thou – glamorous nihilism

You are a lily

The nemesis is feeble minstrelsy

and You are aspiring to prudence

I wish, she had belief for hereafter



graceful she-prophet

Thou – halcyon eudemonia

You are a primrose

The scintilla is weak rune

and You are lusting after sanity

I wish, she had faith for paradise





dazzling she-diviner

Thou – idyllic historicism

You are a marguerite

The ripples are soft lines

And You have eye on sophistication

I wish, she had achievement for karma




thou – means >you< in the amaranthine-wistful Shakespearean language

Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poetries in many magazines. He writes in English and German.

Five Haiku Poems by Maria Teresa Sisti


Five Haiku

rainbow -
a naked hawthorn
full of winter

lost my hat -
yesterday's north wind
now is elsewhere

red berries -
flowers of the first frost
fragrance free

winter stars -
gets on the first train
his farewell

childhood flavours -
in grandma's pot
pumpkin soup

Maria Teresa Sisti , born and raised in Belgium until the age of twelve when she moved permanently to Italy for family and study reasons .

She began to read and study haiku in 2014, deciding to write her own with the help of everything that her gaze, touch and smell can capture from nature, life and everyday life that surround her.

She has participated in literary competitions obtaining important awards. Her poems have been published online and in printed magazines in Italy and around the world. She was listed in the European Top 100 haiku authors and at 2021 she published her first haiku collection "Piccoli semi di arancio" ( Little orange seeds ) printed in Italy on behalf of Accademia Barbanera.

Holiday In - Flash Fiction/Haibun by Jerome Berglund



Holiday In

Flash Fiction/Haibun

by Jerome Berglund



He sits outside the motel in an old rust bucket; of course it’s raining. Through his windshield the flashing neon signage blurs and warps, always blinking. The man dimly recognizes he cannot recall his name, even his own face to be perfectly honest. The rearview is just above him, but he durst not dare look at it, right now, at this precise moment. Maybe later.


ask me anything

…please don’t

focus group


The engine is still running, but neither does he recall parking here, was he leaving? Doubtful, the fuel gauge shows the rig to be on empty. Unless he can locate a petrol station almost immediately it will run out of gasoline. The light glares, juicy apple red. The colour of knowledge, ironically he realizes, life imbuing, doctor repellent. He needs a clinician this instant though, in point of fact, the man at least responsibly recognizes. Still he shuts the vehicle off, and sits there bathed in the darkness, beneath pounding sheets of precipitation, sporadically illuminated by the gritty, slum light show. When he closes his eyes the man can imagine he is passing through a car wash, but every time he opens them again he is back amongst the grim scenery of the city. A few doors down, what appear to be manager and pimp are engaged in a heated altercation through his doorjamb, perhaps pursuant to their third party peering dourly through the shadows behind the latter, with swollen eyes and battered face. As our man watches the door slams, old lady throwing up her arms in exasperation and hobbling back towards her desk, perhaps where a hot toddy or something not dissimilar awaits to alleviate her discomfort, assuage the overwhelming powerlessness which is perceptibly ailing her, surely a default status, endemic to her predominant station in life. She must deal with these myriad legitimate woes on her own, unfortunately, for this man has his own troubles to contend with presently. He realized at some point during reconnoitering that there is blood smeared all about his hands, and despite valiant efforts for the life of him cannot discern any injury to his person.


retriever mauling

…even buddhists

can be gobshites


A police cruiser meanwhile creeps through the lot, hopefully merely providing a presence, but the man cannot yet be sure. He remains very still as it passes his vehicle, stares calmly into the blinding spotlight from behind the wheel, breathes a sigh of relief when it continues on its way out of the lot. As he turns back around to face front his gaze almost lands on the mirror again and a streak of electrifying terror sets the hair of his arms, across the back his of neck at full attention, fills his heart with sheer unadulterated panic.  Gasping he directs his vision away, cast his eyes down on the steering wheel and his gory, drying mitts. Thinking better he fumbles open the glove box in search of a tissue or napkin and discovers, besides the revolver, a motel key. But it is so much the worse for wear, faded and battered, that the numbers had all but worn off its key-ring. So he will have no choice upon finally exiting the vehicle but to begin systematically working his way across a good two dozen units, hurriedly trying various locks at random, praying it may gain him entry into one of their lodgings. That outcome is not necessarily a given, he understands. Nor did he possess an umbrella, or so much as a newspaper to shelter himself with the protection of. And that downpour, the associated gales accompanying it, seem to be increasing their intensity by the second. As if to demonstrate that truth a nearby butt urn blows over sending up a plume of ash. He does not care to wait here all night, feels somehow the sitting duck, wide open and vulnerable to who knows what at this particular moment, each elapsing predictably bringing an unnamed reckoning closer and closer to his doorstep. It is indeed now or never, he realizes frantically. The man takes a deep, haggard breath, screws up his courage, heaves open a door and makes a mad dash b-line over to the first door on the row. As he begins trying keyholes this gent finds himself unable to get his mind off a certain face, features of an unfamiliar visage which he’d inadvertently glimpsed as he thrust himself out into the drenching deluge. Boy was it ugly…



flipped camera

abrupt revulsion


Jerome Berglund has worked as everything from dishwasher to paralegal, night watchman to assembler of heart valves. He has published haibun in Cafe Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, Drifting Sands, the Other Bunny, Prune Juice, Under the Basho, and the Wise Owl. His first full-length collections of poetry Bathtub Poems and Funny Pages were just released by Setu and Meat For Tea press, and a mixed media chapbook showcasing his fine art photography is available now from Yavanika.





Three Poems by P.C. Scheponik


Fairy Garden


Today my great granddaughter and I went back to the fairy garden.

I, with my folding chair, she, with her ability to hunker down.

We sat and hunkered for over an hour, among the various

garden flowers: the tall blooms of cosmos, the thick green 

clusters of sedum, and colourful clumps of marigolds. 

Me in my chair, she, now settled on her knees, moving painted

mushroom houses and fairy figurines around the sandy plot of the

fairy garden—a place for children to play and old men to watch and

remember the days when it was so easy to believe in fairies and

happy endings, to find excitement in secrets and mysteries.

We sat there together, I, watching her play, she, occasionally looking

up at me. There were smiles we exchanged as imagination gave way

to innocent memories. The wind tickled the metal chimes till they

sang a song of happier times, moments of togetherness, music made

of love.


In the End


The missiles are flying.

The guns are firing.

The night sky burns

with unholy light.

The blood is flowing.

The children are crying.

The people are dying from

wound and fright.

What beast portends.

What saviour fails to bring

an end to such suffering.

Is it curse or prayer that

fills the air with countless

plaintiff voices?

War or peace, fight or retreat

in this roulette wheel of choices.

In the end, death will never amend

the brutality of all the losses.


Abundant Love


I am through with the book, the basilica,

the synagogue, and scroll—

all the cults and clubs that corner the

market on God, that capture the heart

and shackle the soul.

If I want a face-to-face I will go outside

among the fields of flowers and weeds,

among the forests’ cathedral trees.

I will kneel and close my eyes and wait

for the feel of the wind against my cheek.

I will listen to the blue jay sing, to the

bubbling alleluias of the creek.

This is the living word I can trust.

This is the garden world love gives

to us that we may enjoy its wonders.

Not a tithe to be paid, not a precept to keep,

just gratitude and praise and the willingness

to be one with abundance.

P.C. Scheponik is a lifelong poet who lives with his wife, Shirley, and their shizon, Bella. His writing celebrates nature, the human condition, and the metaphysical mysteries of life. He has published five collections of poems. His work has appeared in numerous poetry journals.

Five Poems by Martina Reisz Newberry



How the Streets Cough and Sing


This city!

An open mouth–no–

a chorus of open mouths.

The traffic’s lymph system

runs 24 hours.

It clots in places,

then reopens

to clot again down the line.

Breath in, breathe out

sings the chorus to “Sorry/Grateful.”*

Clench your fists.

Remember your weapons–

carry them where they can be seen

so that all will be warned.


This city!

Jacaranda trees on every other block,

Star Jasmine growing through

Scientology’s great wall.

The chorus sings,

Clear your senses and breathe in,

breathe out  gratitude

that you smell sweet Jasmine

over other, less pleasurable smells.


This city! 




not eternal

but something like it.


Very late at night, in bed–or very early–

this city laughs and weeps,

snorts and plays charades

in the shadows,

breathes in and out

with accompanying sirens.

Sleep well, it says,

you know there is enough here for all of us.


*Song from the musical comedy “Company,” by Stephen Sondheim,. Derek A. Bermel & Charles Braswell, 1993

Dreams I Want To Have


A two-story house that resembles a wedding cake from the outside

Friends the size of jelly beans who adore me–especially my large feet

Twilights with excessively short lives

Mafia/ Cosa Nostra, crowded into limousines–overcoats brushing against each other

An ineluctable dessert, the taste of which lasts until after I wake up

A trail through trees leading to a mossy place lit by a bright moon

Dark water filled with stars, laughter and torches and seafood for all

A kindly ghost who will reconstruct my future

Elves and Michael the Archangel dancing on the lawn outside my door

A small house in Scotland with Mountain Avens and Corn Marigold growing around it

Tiny dun horses who will lie in my lap, snores sounding  like Anahata Healing Flutes, music above and below me

A bed drowning in pillows–a blue quilt underneath them

A telegram from a reliable source to tell me that I will never die



The Effect Of Overcast Quiet On Sadie’s Mood


Ah! Sadie, I said.

You are my soul sister in alienation

so I thought I’d close your curtains

and turn on all the lights for you.

We both know what that mousy grey light

can do to a person. It can kill someone, Sadie.

Did you know that?


Grey sky makes this city look dishonoured,

disdainful, lost in loneliness.

That’s the price for living here: when it’s barely lit,

Los Angeles seems to be in her death throes

and, I tell you, Sadie, it scares me.


Yeah, she said. Both things–grey skies and twilight–

look like they’ve OD’d on chloral hydrate,

they reek of impermanence and indifference.

You’re right to close my drapes. I’d sleep

through dark days, but the muted light

invades my eyes. I see sad shapes and lost time

beneath my eyelids.


Unsafe, don’t you think–that light that warms no one?

If you could take a foam mat and a sleeping bag

and stay in a church (with stained glass windows and incense)

and lie down in a pew toward the middle, you might be OK,

able to avoid the rawness of gray, the foil air and solid sky.

The crucified face above the altar might protect you.


I won’t sleep in a place I don’t attend regularly, said Sadie.

It seems an unscrupulous thing to do. I’m afraid that the angels

will not recognize me; they will make inquiries,

will scratch my  face and arms.

Angels can be hard on us mortals. You have to watch angels

every bit as closely as you do demons. They are moody.


Well, I said, that explains it. It must be eternally overcast in heaven.

That will really fuck with your mood.


Sadie made a smacking sound with her lips.  Got anything good to eat

at your place? she asked. Do you have fizzy fruit juice and coffee?

Do you have wine and fancy chocolates or lemon meringue pie?


Let’s go and I’ll see what I can do, I said.  We’ll open the curtains

and the window and spit fire into the air to make it remember

when it was beautiful.

Immelmann Maneuver


When I closed the window last night,

I saw my face–pale and creased.

I saw my face pleated with confusion,

desperate gentleness,

fierce hopefulness,

a short distance from my features

to the ever-flaming city

on the other side of the window.

I thought At least I am whole.


Outside the window,

a plane executed half a loop upwards

then a half roll to reverse its direction.

I am whole, I thought.

I was made so by the earth tones

of my lover’s gaze–

warm and luscious



This morning I woke from a dream of

watching a soiled wind scatter bits of

paper and dry weeds around my house.

I didn’t want to see this, you know,

but dreams have a way of governing

themselves. In this dream, I watched for a

letting up, a drop in wind strength that

would allow me to walk through it–brave,


unsullied–even better, untouched. 

I wanted an accomplice to watch

with me, one to say 1-2-3 GO!

and then I’d run through that angry air,

into my house, through the kitchen, straight

to my desk, leave that wind to itself

and to its shadows. I woke before

anything like that happened. I woke


to morning’s faint yellow aureole.

My hands were tired of being clenched,

I saw no evidence of new or

old miracles in the air.

I felt the smallness of the room, saw

the clutter on my desk, my sweater,

a dark heap on the back of the chair. 

Everywhere I looked, it was morning.

Martina Reisz Newberry is the author of 7 books of poetry. Her  most recent book is Glyphs, available now from Deerbrook Editions. She is also the author of   Blues for French Roast with Chicory, available from Deerbrook Editions, the author of  Never Completely Awake ( from Deerbrook Editions), Where It Goes (Deerbrook Editions), Learning by Rote (Deerbrook Editions), Running Like a Woman with Her Hair on Fire (Red Hen Press), and Take the Long Way Home (Unsolicited Press). 

Newberry has been included in The Cenacle, Cog, Blue Nib, Braided Way, Roanoak Review, THAT Literary Review, Mortar Magazine, and many other literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. Her work is included in the anthologies Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Moontide Press Horror Anthology,  A Decade of Sundays: L.A.'s Second Sunday Poetry Series-The First Ten Years and many others.

She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Colony for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Disciplinary Arts. 

Passionate in her love for Los Angeles, Martina currently lives there with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative. Her city often is a “player” in her poems.



One Poem by John Yamrus

  she was not your typical girl next door. to begin with, she had a name that sounded like a bottle of cheap perfume. but, she did have the ...