Monday, October 20, 2014

A Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen

The Long Strokes of Oars Beating

In the ethnological section, threaded
within all weeping and laughter since
our world began are rivers made for
those who row in fog, in fog and mud,
rowing almost without noticing the
supreme repose cloaked in this
journey of life, the supreme embrace
of eternal emptiness all stars of light
travel through on their way home.

ayaz daryl nielsen, husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs), hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/120+ issues), homes include Lilliput Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Writing the Whirlwind, Shamrock, and (translates as joie de vivre).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

from Ripples this Reflection

My wrist flicks.  Stone            skips                three
times before  
disappearing into black oblivion of water’s registry.
I make a mental note of its passing, its lack of need
for pretentious ceremony.  I wait a moment longer to see
if wind or wing will rise to offer eulogy,
but the world has chosen this moment
to hold its breath.  The eloquence of silence
stands as tombstone, resonating louder than lightning,

an audience rising in applause.

My Brain is Dead

and I am suffocating
on the smell of sympathy
lilies.  White as ghosts,
they stand in defiance to my own
breath, as if the rest of me has suddenly become
a coffin carrying the corpses of thought
into a purgatory of mindless motion,
an afterlife of light bulbs burnt out.

Toes in the Wind

Baby girl waits for greyhounds to emerge,
feet swinging over railing as she holds on
to supportive hands holding her.  She giggles
excitedly as the eight graceful gallopers are paraded
before the crowd, waves her arms in support
of her fast and furious friends.  She knows
nothing of protests or controversy of animals
raised to race as sport.  Her eight-month-old eyes
only see freedom found by four paws pacing four more,
running, streamline away from the sun.

A.J. Huffman has published nine solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  She also has two new full-length poetry collections forthcoming: Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press) and A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing).  She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, haiku and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Two Poems by Kushal Poddar

Am I Awake

During winter the shadows
awaken me.  I gasp, seek
the faithful glass holding fluid.
Outside some birds fly away
as if once they leave we'll have
a birdless world, inherit
numerous nests, cold, brittle.
Then I seek you and find you.
Why do I feel disheartened?
Do I want to stay alone
and crave for warmth, toil over
finding what I want and know,
I have right here?  I swing the shawl
around my shoulders and stand
not doing a thing, not
gathering my body and hauling
it back to sleep.

A Plumule On Water

Near the root, stem,
it remains stirred,
disheveled and
cockled from birth,
fringes wobbling
to directions
it will never
endeavor.  Near
the end the tuft
mocks and old sword
or a wick weakened
in wind and yet
holding the shape.
It twirls and falls
on the water.
Almost nothing
changes- the still
life of the things
wider than one life,
sad yolk of dusk
spreading away
into end of hues,
the obsessed eyes
looking these from
somewhere beyond,
a sudden faith
calling me to stroll
on the water
until I reach
the mid-river
and sink in belief.

A native of Kolkata, India, Kushal Poddar (1977-) writes poetry, scripts and prose and is published world wide.  He authored "All Our Fictional Dreams," published in several anthologies in the Continent and in America.  The forthcoming book is "A Place for Your Ghost Animals." Find more at

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Poem by Cristine A. Gruber


The structure remains,
weathered and beaten,
cracked at the base,
chipped around the edges.

The tour guide is vigilant,
including all pertinent
information, how many
were murdered, where the

bodies were buried.
Most in the group
assume he's embellishing,
study his deadpan face,

try to find a wry smile
in the darkened eyes.  It
doesn't matter whether
he's exaggerating or not.

Stale sweat stains
the molten windows;
beams and boards
still smell of blood.

Cristine A. Gruber has had worked featured in numerous magazines, including:  North American Review, Writer's Digest, Writers' Journal, Ascent Aspirations, California Quarterly, Dead Snakes Online Journal, The Endicott Review, Garbanzo Literary Journal, The Homestead Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Kind of a Hurricane Press:  Something's Brewing Anthology, Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, The Penwood Review, Poem, Thema, The Tule Review, and Westward Quarterly.  Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from

Monday, October 13, 2014

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

plan accordingly

my spirit is
starting to wilt
under all this

and i know
damn well i'm
the cliff

a sane man
would gather

take account of
the situation and
plan accordingly

the joy of not
being sane is i
get to actually

i suppose time
will tell

a spree of some kind

i never trust anyone
who whistles a happy
tune in a graveyard

i never seek advice
from anyone who
hasn't been fucked
over at some point
in their lives

the clueless and the
perfect are absolutely
useless to this world

not saying someone
should go on a spree
of some kind

but i can't imagine
it would hurt things
as they currently are

the crazy life

another empty

yet another
where you
left your keys

the crazy life

although i don't
think getting
drunk at your
parent's house
on scrabble night
counts as a night
that could be
dared to be
called epic

J.J. Campbell (1976-?) lives and writes on a farm in Ohio.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon, Pink Litter, Jellyfish Whispers, and Fuck Art, Let's Dance. His most recent book, Sofisticated White Trash (Interior Noise Press) is available wherever you happen to buy books these days.  You can find him most days on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights (

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Poem by Michael Lee Johnson

Children in the Sky

There is a full moon,
distant in this sky tonight,

Gray planets planted
on an aging white, face.

Children, living and dead,
love the moon with small hearts.

Those in heaven already take gold thread,
drop the moon down for us all to see.

Those alive with us, look out their
bedroom windows tonight,
we smile, then prayers, then sleep.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 26 countries, he edits 7 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedom (136 pages), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 69 poetry videos on YouTube.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Three Poems by Zach Fechter

Already Too Late

He is impatient
It is already too late

A red room
A man sits on a white rough chair
Eyes closed
In the red

Purple silence
A woman stands and stares
Beyond your head

A jazz room under the city
Dark light and faint smoke
Warm and snug
Under the harsh cold cement

A deep singing down and low
A world class thrower
Is taken below in a struggle
And his arm is cut off

He stares into the distance
Over a frozen lake
Into whipping winds

An old goddess stands in red
Vacant stare in front of a red wall
Smoke drifting from her lips
As she gazes beyond your eyes

She is trying to quit heroin
And it is so hard
So she holds tight to the carpet
And stares at the thermostat for hours

An old silver statue
Crying in the golden sunset
Arms at the ready
Staring into the crashing red sun

When she was pregnant
He would not leave her side
Slow motion cutting motion
Across his face as he looks deep into you

Everyone is falling in the rain
Back first into the mud holes
Everyone with their own
And their one

The Glow of the Night

Turning and again turning
Through the light
We break the pane
But the pain shines through

Surely life will be good then
When I have
When I am
When I see
When I breathe
When we are prey to God

And I see bodies falling from the trees
And I see trees falling from the skies
Who would drive it home tonight?
The pain surrounds me tonight

Oh men of the Earth
Oh women of the soil
I see clouds forming into a break
Through the sky
I've got . . .

Naught but a tremble in my finger
And in a world full of people
There's always some meant to be sad
You may see a room in black and white
You may see a valley in blue and purple
So we just go to the tropics
And fall into the reggae and rum and cool wind

Sad though
I've never seen such a thing
So we must
Cut down the dead ones

Head Down

There is a festival
Where all the thin people
Sit with their heads to the ground
And the great sound washes over them
And they are happy
And their arms are draped over
Guitars and drums
And their arms are swathed
Over each other
And they are silent
And yet the sound comes
And their eyes flutter
And they cannot help but smile
From under their hair

Zach Fechter lives and writes in Wilton, Connecticut.  He has been published in Poetry Quarterly Magazine and Kind of a Hurricane Press.  He is a graduate of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.