Laura Zucca-Scott

Sunset in Florence  

When the sun hides

And paints quiet lights

Across the Ponte Vecchio

Even the city traffic

Slows down for a moment


The world seems a little gentler

The air a little purer

And walking a little easier


Yet, your smiles are missing

From today’s sunset

And talks of a summer night

Will never come back


Florence never forgets

Your footsteps

Still sound in the streets

The heat of the day

On the ancient stones

An unforgettable echo

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Ashley Cooke Debuts 

Ashley Cooke Debuts 


As he packed his bags

and left them by the door

she wished she could crawl inside

and interweave herself in his shirt

so he can wear her again

and she could finally see what he was like

all the times he didn’t want to be with her

or maybe it was better to be his jeans

those are the only things he didn’t change

how she wished she could be

as close to him as those denim jeans.

Ashley Cooke is a creative writing major attending Long Beach City College. She is from Long Beach, CA. She is currently working on her first poetry collection entitled “Like Pulling Teeth”. She works at a hospital and at a music venue.

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Michael Lee Johnson Returns

I’m Shadow Shredder 

By Michael Lee Johnson


I take your ghost pile

gold your multi dreams,

bones of scattered parts,

twisted thoughts

moss that tangles

brain construction,


these are desperate nights.

I shred them for you.

Devil is rhythm of rain,

a crossword of slices

you hold both blades.

Devil, storms, holds drama

in your brain.

Give me your mass ruminations’

I vacuum them, flush out free.

I write this song of your depression.

I’m shredder man.

I free park your brain,

you toss me bushels of anxiety,

I use them, create a rainbow

of positive thoughts,

eliminate negatives,

cross over the bridge with

private pray, I’m your friend-

prayer partner, weeper night.

Rainbows send no darts

nor daggers.

Hearts and queens-

we’re all gamblers,

cards decked, stacked.

Toss me into your fears,

I’ll harvest them in grace.

Depression is a sucker, carp,

bottom dweller, feeder,

found in theater horrors

at night, leaser of ghost tears.

From my heart

I give Christ salvation active

to you:

Pray, I’m the shedder man.


Manic is the Dark Night 

By Michael Lee Johnson


Deep into the forest

the trees have turned

black, and the sun

has disappeared in

the distance beneath

the earth line, leaving

the sky a palette of grays

sheltering the pine trees

with pitch-tar shadows.

It’s here in this black

and sky gray the mind

turns psycho

tosses norms and pathos

into a ground cellar of hell,

tosses words out through the teeth.

“Don’t smile or act funny,

try to be cute with me;

how can I help you today

out of your depression?”

I feel jubilant, I feel over the moon

with euphoric gaiety.


Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1012 publications, his poems have appeared in 35 countries, he edits, publishes 10 different poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL, nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/and 2 Best of the Net 2017.  He also has 145 poetry videos on YouTube:  He is the Editor-in-chief of the anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Editor-in-chief of a second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses which is now available here:




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Bobbie Troy

We Need to Believe
By Bobbie Troy

we need to believe
in something
that we cannot touch
or feel emotionally
something within
or without
that is beyond seeing
beyond doubt
because sometimes
what we have
just isn’t enough


She: Her Final Concert
By Bobbie Troy

she emerged
from the crowd
like a distant mountain peak
rising through the fog

she approached the stage
and sang like she never sang

the audience
had no hint
that this would be
her final concert


She: Losing the Plot
By Bobbie Troy

i knew
long before the rest
before she started floating
and swirling through each day
that the connections
were being interrupted
the drugs had finally
taken their toll
she was losing the plot
and there was nothing
i could do



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Laura Zucca-Scott

By the Water

By Laura Zucca-Scott
I was born by the water
I loved the sunset
And the quiet goodbye
Of light and colors
Life slowing down
Thoughts of fall
And days to come

I want those moments to stay
When the noise drowns the voices
And voices engulf the souls
I look for the reflections

Of sun, sky, and water

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Harris Tobias’ Poetic Side


Life spreads itself before us
Such a profligate display
New seconds freshly minted
Old seconds cast away
A table stretching endlessly
The dishes all first rate
You can eat how ever much you want
But you only have one plate
Look at all the choices
A lifetime’s worth at least
And it will take a lifetime
To finish such a feast
I know it seems chaotic
Everything in disarray
Yet it’s not without its order
There are rules you must obey
Though the atmosphere’s congenial
The rules are set in stone
You’re not allowed to share your plate
You have to eat alone
No seconds are permitted
So choose well how you dine
You only get one chance
To taste before that dish is gone
No seconds and no sharing
It’s a small price to pay
For such exquisite dining
At the banquet of your days
You can stuff yourself with pastries
No one cares and no one sees
Or simply sip demurely
On a variety of teas
And if you’re filled to bursting
Alas, there is no take away
You can always top things off
With a fine cafe au lait
And when the meal is finally finished
And the feastings at an end
You signal for the bill of fare
But you’ve nothing left to spend
You call the waiter over
Turn your pockets inside out
He escorts you grimly from the hall
Banquet’s over,
All lights out.

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Ring, Ring, Hello

By Jeanette Cheezum

Sheila shoved the vacuum in long even rows. A strange melody chimed nearby. She looked around, “Where the hell is that coming from?” Switched off the vacuum, “Oh, there you are.”
She rummaged through the couch pillows.

“Hello…hello…, is anyone there?”


She set the phone on the coffee table and returned to her chores. Once finished, Sheila reached for her jacket and keys; she had to get home to fix the family dinner. The doorknob turned under her hand when the strange melody filled the room, again.

“Maybe I’ll let you ring.” The nuisance continued. “Oh all right!” She flipped the phone open

“Hello…, either you speak up or stop calling; I don’t have time for these games.”
“Who’s playing games?”

“Who would you like to speak to?”


“This is not my phone! Now tell me who you want or I’m turning off the phone.”


“I’m hanging up!” Sheila threw the phone on the couch.

When the voice spoke again she screamed, then shuddered with fear “Where are you?”

“Here,” he said, before he strangled her.

Jeanette Cheezum 2011


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