Joe Farley

Past Midnight

Past midnight

and the bombs

have fallen.

Past midnight

and the sea

has risen.

Past midnight

and the blood

is flowing.

Past midnight

and you knew

it was coming.

Past midnight

and you curl

in a ball.

Past midnight

and there’s no tears

worth shedding.

Past midnight

as you wait

your turn.

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Laura Zucca-Scott

Your Eyes

You write me a brief message

I am sorry we could not meet

Thank you again for encouraging me

To visit Florence at least for a day

 

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower

Is a time machine

And gave me some hope

For our future

 

When we climbed on Giotto’s Campanile

The city enchanted us

With hills and palaces

Standing proudly in the summer clouds

 

In the evening, we sat down at a small café

Just outside Florence, a few people looking at the stars

It felt like a dream, or maybe a film

 

I smile, see your youthful face

From a place so far away

And for a moment I am happy

I can still see the world through your eyes

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Harris Tobias

Strip Tease

Now it’s August’s turn to fade.

She bows to faint applause

The audience, tired of the old routine,

No longer cares. The MC grabs the mike 

And quiets the crowd.

Let’s hear it for August, folks

Take a bow honey, you were great

Hot and sultry, that was quite a number.

And now, ladies and germs

If I may have your attention

I’m pleased to introduce

A real up and coming star

The beautiful and talented Miss September

So what do you say, folks

Lets give it up for Miss September

She promises something completely new

Completely different, completely fresh. 

Isn’t she something, folks?

All eyes turn and watch as September

Tip toes upon the stage

The crowd is pleased. She is too young

To be in the spot light’s glare.

In the wings, already forgotten,

August picks up her clothes

And slips away unnoticed.

 

Some stories

My books 

My Blog

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Dianne Deloren

A Penny Candy Pilgrimage

 

When we were growing up, summer vacation held only one possibility for us: Harvey’s Lake, PA. My grandparent’s cottage sat at the junction of two very steep hills, First and High Streets. As our loaded 9-passenger station wagon strained to pull the long grade, we all strained to catch the first glimpse of the white wooden lawn ornament, a stork with spindly yellow legs whose wings spun furiously in every breeze. His perennial presence assured us we had arrived.

 

One of the highlights of our time there, besides the Lake, was the walk down the hill to the candy store after dinner. I would never make the trip alone, because as I headed down the driveway, a brother or sister or cousin would invariably want to go along. As soon as everyone secured a nickel or dime, there would be a veritable parade of kids in shorts and polo shirts flip-flopping down the hill to Saba’s general store.

 

We might have to stop on our way at the grand old hemlock tree that dominated the front yard of the cottage next door in order to throw ‘Pixie Dust’ at each other. (For the uninitiated, ‘Pixie Dust’ is the dank, crumbly carpet of shed hemlock needles that become, in the right hands, an organic play material not available in any store). To us, that hemlock was the friendliest tree in the world. With her abundance of reachable, climbable limbs, we spent many a happy hour in her sappy embrace, playing imagination games until we were called loudly for dinner. Even her shape was kindly, the limbs branching out from the top in gently sloping increasing lengths like a befringed dowager settling her skirts about her for a long visit.

 

Heading down the hill, summertime noises abounded. The cicadas buzzed their frenzied choral warning. I always wondered how they knew precisely when to begin in unison, build to an impressive crescendo, then diminuendo to a perfectly timed halt.

 

As we passed by Mrs. Monick’s place, we could hear her talking loudly to her dog Pudgie in the slurry, tongue-defying consonant blends of Polish. That’s how she always spoke to her dog when she wasn’t hollering up the hill at the top of her voice to ask my grandmother something, also in Polish.

 

When we got to the bottom of the long hill, we all ran up the steps of the shabby, weathered building whose forlorn appearance belied the riches inside. Saba’s store had the typical old time general store front – two very large pane windows on either side of the entrance, three shaky steps up the rough plank porch, and out front a gas pump whose once shiny red had faded to a flat pink.

 

Inside, the wooden tongue-in-groove floor was unvarnished and usually unswept. Along the length of the room ran a dark, wooden counter whose surface was cluttered with all manner of stuff – boxes of chewing tobacco and snuff, a roll of pungent orange cheese under a dome of glass, cartons of ‘Strike Anywhere’ matches, patent medicines, light bulbs, flashlight batteries in an alluring and illogical heap. But for us, the only reason for Saba’s store was the magical array of penny candy shielded from our greedy gaze by the curved glass display case.

 

The storekeeper stood by patiently while we all took forever to decide what we wanted. But how to choose between spicy Mexican hats, shiny red or black licorice shoelaces, sugary pink and green watermelon slices, chewy molasses Mary Janes, heavenly scented Double Bubble, good old Tootsie Rolls and those irresistible red wax lips? Sometimes I would go for broke and spend my whole nickel on a pack of Necco Wafers or a Sky Bar. What an agony of indecision, culminating in a tiny brown paper sack full of goodies.

 

Walking back up the hill, we were all preoccupied with our sacks of candy. Halfway home I might have already traded a piece of licorice for an orange slice. And by the time we got back, I had mentally revised my wish list for the next trip several times over.

Dianne Deloren lives and writes and is inspired by the beauty of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Bobbie Troy

Dear M & Ms

since 1941

you have melted in our mouths

not in our hands

you have graced our cupboards

with your chocolateness

you have made us happy

when times were sad

lifted our spirits

when things looked bad

more than just a candy

you gave us hope

and above all else

helped us to cope

so down with the drugs

and up with thee

our Royal Highness of Hope-ioids!

and Queen of the Cope-ioids!

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Paweł Markiewicz

Hungarian wizardries-musings

Something of Hungary would give thanks to Austria for the historic-ontological suitableness, a weird-like spirit.

I was with my hound in front of the primordial oak

I harvested there tree glamorous-meek acorns

I have left behind the acorns in addition to a thermal spring

with the result that the water-bow is able to sheen

dainty sempiternity fulfilled in me

when my dog masticated subtle-propitious acorns

three glamour-like ghosts were freed

from these acorns yea with the brilliancy

there was the Erlking the King of the pixies

with the butterflies-King of a dreamy night

in the Erlking prevailed – the witchcraft

in the pixy-like King reposed – the dreamery

in the King of butterflies Your vanlet

a bewitched waking dream in the Erlking

a dreamier enchantment in pixy-like King

I have dreamed with Kings over the day

that was more marvelous than a night-dream aforetime

and the King of butterflies wore magic

day-dream hex and also enthusiasm

as far as an angelical autumn-starling

beguiled of meek ghost-moonling

I will dream simplemindedly with the threes

with attractive magic-eons

Pawel Markiewicz was born 1983 in Poland (Siemiatycze). He published his English haikus as well as short poems in some of the well known  literary magazines  such as: Ginyu (Tokio), Atlas Poetica (USA) or The Cherita (UK). Afore some of his poems have been published by Tajmahal Review (India) and Better Than Starbucks (USA). Pawel has published more than 50 poems in German in Germany and Austria and 3 chapbooks in Polish in Poland.

 

https://pawelek3.wixsite.com/haikuonleaves

 

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Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri Debuts

 

                                                                  Elegy For The Leaves

Leaves dance, flame and golden symphony in the chilling October skies, dancing with the grace of a ballerina, which she once was. She wanders the hills and curves alone, a lone lady in lavender, strolling rugged paths, streams drying up, meandering toward their dry death. Tree branches lean like skeletons, the rain beginning its late autumnal descent. She watches them dance, twirling through their routines, against the skies, graying, graying. Charcoal-colored clouds hanging, scowling, breeze blowing, leaves sweep to the ground, crinkling, crumpling.

Some take flight again, but others are trampled upon, without love or thought, these graceful beauties. They have fallen, are of no use, as the director of the ballet told her after the leg, his mustache devoid of sentiment. Fallen, talent something of the past, the newspaper articles proclaimed in annoyingly large script.

She picks these crumpled leaves, caresses them, presses them to her, these crumpled and wet beauties on this October day. She releases them slowly, tries to set them into the air, but the wind will not take them. They land, she scoops them up, walking, walking away, keeping them to her, the hills scowling with autumn soon to turn to the winter. Go forth, she begs the leaves, sing your autumn song, my sweet leaves, sweet dancers, sing the autumn song, before the winter envelops.

Mir-Yashar is a graduate of Colorado State’s MFA program in fiction.  His work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Terror House Magazine, Unstamatic, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Ariel Chart. He lives in Garden Valley, Idaho.

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