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 Amazon.com. 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:  https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  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:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762  https://www.createspace.com/6126977.


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Douglas Polk Debuts

Endless Rage 

battles still rage between us and them,
picking sides while the nation slowly dies,
wrong isn’t always wrong,
and right ain’t always right,
but this a time of absolutes,
tyrant or traitor,
you decide,
the war continues between us and them.


A Cemetery Visit

big sky,
over the graves of ancestors,
simple and plain,
both people and stones,
these barren west Nebraska plains,
the nothingness touches the soul,
bringing body and mind into this moment of time,
present and aware,
of my heart beat,
and my mortality,
face to face with the eternal,
God’s country,
no strangers to intervene,
fears faced,
and death acknowledged,
under the big sky,
in a cemetery,
simple and plain.


Bio: Douglas Polk is a poet now living in the wilds of central Nebraska with his wife and son, two dogs and four cats. Polk has had over 900 poems published in hundreds of publications.


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Michael Marrotti Debuts


Remove the banality
of people’s lives
along with their
pretentious proclivities
and Facebook
would be faceless
Forbid the use
of nipples and ass
which supersede
the use of words
and Twitter
wouldn’t tweet
Prohibit the need
to connect with others
through the sound
of music and Google+
would fall on deaf ears
Eradicate all
social media options
and the general public
would be forced
to get off the couch
in the comfort
of their own awkward world
put on a pair of pants
take a breath of fresh air
and engage in a real life
face to face conversation
No more carpal tunnel
no more tough guys
with delicate fingers
pushing keys
as they attempt
to make a fascist point
no more artificial
profile pictures
Nothing but authenticity
apprehension and Xanax
by the dozen
for a generation
obsessed with seclusion
and a life that’s all about them
Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh, using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he’s not writing, he’s volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man’s work, please check out his book, F.D.A. Approved Poetry, available at Amazon.

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