Bobbie Troy

Did You See the Snow Falling Sideways?
By Bobbie Troy

did you see the snow falling sideways?
did you see the rainbow’s end?
did you see the flowers in springtime?
did you see the children playing?

did you see my heart being broken
when you walked away and shut the door?

Growing Up
By Bobbie Troy
(For my grandson Daniel)

I see you
pushing up and out
like a flower
breaking through the earth
no longer hidden
but moving through the air
and finding your way amid
the cacophony of life
that’s called
growing up

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Laura Zucca-Scott

The following is a non-literal translation of the winning poetry for the “Firenze Capitale d’Europa” award (Section C – theme poetry). The poem is making reference to the 1966 flood that devastated the city of Florence and to the people from all over the world who came to help.


Mud Angels

Merciless rain
A time long gone
Mud Angels
From many places
Wrapped their wings
Against devastation and pain

An astonished Florence
A soft whisper
Of indomitable spirits
A presence so simple and pure

When I look into your eyes
From a picture of that time
I wonder where you are now
And what you remember of those days
Of water and fire
A solitary angel

A promise of newfound humanity


As written by Laura Zucca-Scott:

My hometown, Livorno, in Italy, was hit very hard by a storm (something like this has never happened before). My Dad called me to let me know that they were okay. Unfortunately 9 people lost their lives. The city is flooded in many areas and there is mud and destruction everywhere. Thankfully, people got together to help each other and start the cleaning up process. I am afraid it will take years before things go back to normal. And, unfortunately, the loss of human lives cannot be reversed. Many of the buildings withstood the force of the water and the mudslide otherwise many more would have lost their lives. It is not very different from what happened in other areas like Florida and Texas, only it is much more localized, and it is the result of a strong storm with lots of rain, a tornado along the coast, and a lot of other  concurrent unfavorable factors.
In the poem, I am trying to pay homage to the people who are suffering because of these events



Hope Is My Hometown
By Laura Zucca-Scott

Hope is my hometown
devastated by water and mud
Hope is the tears of the people
Who lost everything
In the rage of a night
And see no tomorrow

Hope is the people
With broken backs
And broken spirits
Who still will not rest

Hope is the sunset
That still shines
On the rocks
By the beach
Coloring tomorrow
Of indigo blue and pink
Hope is a lonely seagull
Taking flight
Searching for
A new day




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Ryan Quinn Flanagan Debuts

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.



I want my poems
to be like game show

dropping suddenly
out of nowhere
onto heads
in no discernable

with much confusion

no one knowing how
or why

but forever



Ask the Bandini

the wine goblet has imperfections
I like that
I have imperfections as well

the wine goblet is large and blue
as I am large and blue

there are vines of grapes
down the sides
so you know what to put in

and an instruction

a set of four
we are very close

my very own brotherhood
of the grape


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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Indunil Madhusankha Debuts

The Land of Serenity

There are moments in life
when my mind hurls me into a
whirlpool of frantic thoughts
Having lost control of my faculties
I would rush to the temple premises

The cooling sands at the end of
the gravel path
The perfect soothing balm
The yellowish bo leaves lay still
and calm on the yard
though fallen

The sizzling yet charming dance
of the leaves in the canopy
teaches me alesson
about the nature of the mind
thus breaking the tranquility
for a moment

Under the shade of the giant tree
I would lose myself
in a meditation
The cozy breeze
sweeping the dreaded contemplation
away from me

Then I would walk towards
the statue of the Buddha
that stands still
spreading myriads of compassion
towards mankind
Oh, the enlightened one
An innate grace
so enormous to illuminate
a whole world
While putting my hands together
I would go under the knees
and recite the Gathas

Finally I would leave
the land of serenity
And I would feel myself
as a newborn
with wings to fly hither and thither
Thus I would attain the relief,
the freedom of mind

Oh, may the pristine Dharma bless the entire world!


Bo A tree which is a species of fig and is considered sacred by the followers of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism
Gathas Verses or hymns in Buddhism


Previously published in the Vol. 6, Issue. V (October 2015) of the journal, The Criterion: An International Journal in English

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Bobbie Troy

Order and Method
By Bobbie Troy

to some things in our life
we can apply order and method
we can set up our smart phones
organize our day
arrange our social life
all to our liking

but we cannot impose order on love,
fear, hatred, disappointment, or joy
these feelings and emotions come unbidden
with no time for preparation

but without the unexpected
we cannot call ourselves human beings
we cannot learn
we cannot grow


Making Memories
By Bobbie Troy

what we don’t know
when we’re young
is that the actions
of our daily life
become the memories
of older years

memories as fragile
as holding a newborn child
memories as strong
as the will to keep them











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Ken Allen Dronsfield

A Chaotic Infirmity
By Ken Allen Dronsfield

Can you hear defiance
from a throbbing heart
cry out though tears
fall from the hazy sky.
Ask not for pleasures
nor await agonizing pain
only to inhale life again.
Adrift in an aura of love;
a wisp from high above.
Ray from a Nebula’s haze
weave a pretentious maze.
walk a path where piety leads.
Press on as others shall drop;
bruised and forever tortured,
my intention was blessed love;
the reality is a chaotic infirmity.


Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who has recently been nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cat Willa. Ken’s new book, “The Cellaring”, a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Creative Talents Unleashed. He is the co-editor of the poetry anthology titled, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze available at A second anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses will be released around the first of the new year.













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Michael Lee Johnson Debuts

Journaling, Labeling Theory (V2)
(Juxtaposition Style)
By Michael Lee Johnson

Breaking news this just in,
1:15 PM December 15, 2013,
I found out labeling theory
has a personality.
It has impact of its own.
I love today because I
found out I have a mental illness.
Formally, diagnosed,
now I am special.
Shrink, Dr. Pennypecker, knows me well.
We visit 15 minutes every 3 months.
I have known him for 9 months.
Simple sentences just make more sense.
Simple sentences make me feel more secure.
After 9 months he says, “I’ve sort of figured
you out, you are a manic depressive, stage 2 hypo-mania.”
I ask my shrink, “can I cast my vote?”
In this PM news, I gave him permission.
Life is a pilgrimage of pills.
I cast out my net to catch myself,
save myself.
Life is a pilgrimage of prayers.
Note:  it could end here.
He does not know the difference
between manias, verses six shots of vodka.
I suffer from a B-12 deficiency.
I need extra thiamine symptoms psychosis.
I place my lid down on forsaken table,
foreskin, I forgive.
A dead shrink, middle of the road.
I crack my knuckles,
pass sleep two next night.
Creativity flows fragmented.
I kick gravesites up then down.


Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.
Mr. Johnson published in more than 945 small press magazines online and in print.  His poems have appeared in 28 countries, he edits, publishes ten different poetry sites.  He also has 110 poetry videos on YouTube:  Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL. nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 & Best of the Net 2016.  He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:


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