Gwen Monohan Debuts

Pepper Stock
You should know the answer.
We’ve been here long enough.
Seen growing seasons come and go
in family blended limbo.

Like callers to a birthday party,
bringing pretty presents
wrapped in fancy bags or bows.
Wearing those special dressy clothes.
Still unsure of themselves,
but so pleased to be invited.

I stared at the slender pair
of green peppers in my hands.
One is hot, Hungarian wax,
the other, sweet banana.
Secure now with the difference.
Weighing the taste of each.
Which to dice fine for salsa
or leave for salad fare.
Perhaps a roasted pepper soup,
cooled down for late summer.

Yet, it’s not long before our bushes droop,
all remaining garden peppers picked
after October’s frost.
Waiting for one more fall masquerade,
with scary costumes stocking our doorway.
But we know the score.
We’ve been here long enough.

For years Gwen has resided in the Virginia piedmont region with my family.


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Laura Zucca-Scott

This poem was written in her Auntie’s honor.

The Music Played

The music played
Outside the old villa
Children stopped and looked

Before the evening concert
A young officer
Sitting at the piano

Melody of another land
Gentle and fast
Like a child’s heart

Swift brushes of love
Peace yet to come
After the long war

The scars on the walls
Deep in people’s souls
Barely stirred

But the music played
Children and warriors


This poem was written after several earthquakes in Italy, near her family.

At Midnight

A Seagull flying at midnight
Your call breaks a sleepless night
Where are you going?
The wind is light
The sea is far in the west

Was your nest destroyed
Or the hunger drives you on?
I look for you in the city lights
But you hide again
Silent and distant

I beg you my friend
Be safe
Be free
Race the waves
And come back soonLaura

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Bobbie Troy

Faceless Women of the World
By Bobbie Troy

we are your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters
we are your wives, mistresses, and slaves
we have been revered and feared
by friends and family
often at the same time

we are your backbone, comfort, and peace
we are your adventure, shelter, and soul
we have been loved and hated
by friends and family
often at the same time

we are a force, a wonder, an enigma
we are open, free, and fearless
we are ignored and loved
by friends and family
often at the same time

we are hope, love, and happiness
we are brightness, spirit, and optimism
we are cherished and forsaken
by friends and family
often at the same time

we are the sun, stars, and planets
we are morning, noon, and night
we are seen and unseen
by friends and family
often at the same time

we are the faceless women of the world
marching on through time
forging our destinies and yours
as we go on
and on
and on

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Nancy Scott-McBride

Forty Three Years Together

When we met,
my love’s hands were
as small and soft as mine.
Across a kitchen table we
pressed them palm to palm

There’s a black smudgy print on
the kitchen door now,
made when he was fixing the lock.
A good housewife would wash it off,
but I don’t. I like to press my
still-small hand into his, huge now
from years in the carpentry trade.



The night unwinds you like a
knotted ball of wool.
I sit up, knitting you into
mittens and mufflers to warm me.

The day rolls you back into
the same tangled skein and
un-ravels all my handiwork.

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Bobbi Sinha-Morey Debuts

Off The Grid

The postal worker we once
knew sold her mobile home
to live in a cabin off the grid,
and now her perfect life was
just like this: a crowded firelit
kitchen, her face warmed by
a teacup’s steaming rim,
the world an utter comfort
and a balm, a quiet life with
her husband. Easy talk without
the TV on, windows etched
with soft rain. Raspberry pie
made from scratch, hazelnut
coffee in the morning hours
when she is all alone,
listening to Randy Travis on
the radio. In the den her
husband’s gleaming violin
sits cradled in its stand, and
in the shadows of her desk,
her laptop’s subdued pulsing
glow. She takes her daily walk
at four p.m. in the woods,
fresh mountain air all around
her, gathering and cleaning
mushrooms in her kitchen,
sensing a deep down symmetry
in every blessed thing.



The Scent Of Easter Lilies

Far back in her eyes there
will come a light, the fragrance
of candles, especially when
she comes to call on someone’s
doorstep, mostly out of loneliness.
She wears the scent of Easter lilies
on rare days, hoping the few people
she sees will breathe it in, a little
heaven in themselves. At the heart
of it she spins her wheels when
she’s at home, and she’s socially
inept when it comes to answering
the phone. Not that many people
come to see her, and she orders
her groceries from home. Tapioca
is the one delight she can afford;
she savors every spoonful before
bed, a globe of goodness in her
heart before she sleeps. One day
when cool rainwater doesn’t
wake her, tapping on the roof
of her brick house, she isn’t
discovered till three days later
and her dust is in an urn on
the shelf of the undertaker’s
house, never to be scattered,
never to be given away,
never given a prayer to reach
the open door of heaven.



For Rene

In the whole world, it is
a gift that wasn’t given to
everyone, and she’d found
it on her own: a gingerbread
like house surrounded by
a white picket fence tucked
away in a cul-de-sac on
Aspen Lane, and, in front
of it, a garden a Wiccan
would adore with a water
fountain, an old-fashioned
wishing well, a Japanese
stone lantern by the door.
A two-bedroom home just
the right size for her and
behind it a path that led to
where blackberries grow
and a small patio for visitors
who drink tea and like scones.
She moved in, a lady all alone,
her legs so skinny they remind
her of stringbeans, and she
wore high heels, even when
snow as on the ground.
Now wind murmured all
around her, and every morning
she’d let her circle open to let
love in, the sun waking her up
in her duvet, making her feel
she’s breathing in the glow
of heaven.


Bobbi Sinha-Morey lives in the peaceful city of
Brookings, Oregon. There she writes poetry in the morning and at night, always
at her leisure. Her work has appeared in a variety of places such as Plainsongs,
The Path, Taproot Literary Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Page & Spine, and Black
Fox Literary Magazine. Her books of poetry Crest Of Light, White Tail, and
others are available at In addition, her website is
located at, and her work has been
nominated for Best of the Net.



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John Garbanzo Debuts

John Garbanzo was born in San Francisco in 1968. He has worked as a fisherman, a bartender and a short-order cook along the way to writing the poems collected in When I Scream I Scream Of You. His mentor and friend was the Spanish-American poet and film-maker Jacques Corrida (the subject of this poem).


 Eating Jack Corrida

No not you, not you in fact Jacques, no
I mean your typewriter the Royal portable
you showed me when we were drunk on red wine
and grass together in your house in Venice Beach I
want to push it stuff it eat it choke on it
chew it crack it wash it down with Cal Tech crude I
yes that’s right Jacques (Call me Jack. Sure, Jack,
whatever you say) until the keys become
my teeth the cylinder my tongue the spools
my cheeks the black & red ribbon my Chinese
People’s Republic lips so I can write the poems you write
(that’s write, Jack) tender crazy surrealist magical odes
to us poor forlorn dreamers on Interstate Zero.
How was it you said? “We are all of us broken elevators
trapped between each other’s floors.” Oh you guys
had some good lines even back then I want to
eat your typewriter, eat you, tattoo Royal on my
forehead, spit out words like seeds.

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Donal Mahoney Returns

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize and has appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review and in online journals in the United States and overseas.  Some of his online work can be found at


Wife After Showering

Niagara Falls
her silver hair

so long it
bounces off

the swan of her back

and off
her buttocks

as she laughs
and waves

a towel too long
saluting the sun

and us
who share

golden morning


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