Issue 38 – Senryu & Kyoka

new year’s eve
my best intentions circle
the drain

Shelley Aikman, USA

the colour
of my recent memory––
chinar tree

dry leaves
the versions of myself
I leave behind

Vidhi Ashar, Bangalore, India

campsite clothesline
a teen girl connects
the holes in her dupatta

Hifsa Ashraf, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

their view
on contentious statues
city pigeons

dying town
the bright lights
of casinos

Ingrid Baluchi, Ohrid, North Macedonia

graveside blooms
she did have a way
with things

faded rainbow––
the uncertainty
of your love

Mona Bedi, Delhi, India

in the waiting room––
trying to become the white moth
in a field of clover

Deborah A. Bennett, USA

a new play
about racism
no intermission

Mom calls it

goldfinch flight––
maybe my path
is too straight

Brad Bennett, USA

a child still
white lilies

Bisshie, Zürich, Switzerland

remedial history––
learning which battles
are mine

Julie Bloss Kelsey, Maryland, USA

heavy grey clouds
where two oceans meet––
carrying your child

René Bohnen, Mossel Bay, South Africa

heat lightning
the storm rages
inside her

Nancy Brady, USA

your guitar strings
the tension increases
how much longer
before you snap

Susan Burch, USA

third booster
the pharmacist and I
on a first-name basis

Marylyn Burridge, USA

the pianist shares
with the neighborhood

Alanna C. Burke, USA

portrait photo
trying to look better
than i do

Sondra Byrnes, USA

flower tattoo
on her old scar

Christopher Calvin, Indonesia

Halley’s comet
the absence
of a father

petro c.k., USA

bone white
grandma’s vase
sold for a dollar

Erin Castaldi, USA

our garage
sheathed in moonlight
his first swastikas

Aidan Castle, USA

steamed cod
the sharpness of scallions
in mother’s scolding

every hour
the cuckoo’s cry

ginkgo leaves the unexpected corollaries of middle age

Antoinette Cheung, Canada

what she isn’t saying
ley lines

Evan Coram, USA

secret wedding
she throws her bouquet
to the wind

a river
meandering down
to the sea
my yearning to be
more than a friend

suspended class
i continue listening
to the rain

Alvin B. Cruz, Philippines

sipping cocktails
the garbage on the beach
wasn’t in the brochure

Stephen C. Curro, USA

thoughts and prayers
if only they could raise
the dead

Dan Dolen, USA

night wind
I run in a desert
with wild dogs

in dreams
the pieces of my heart
blue sharks

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo, The Hague, Netherlands

happy hour
his marriage
on the rocks

press clippings
my accolades

Johnette Downing, USA

laughter lines
i add one more
to my drawing

Christine Eales, United Kingdom

blowing dust
off an old book
the smell of time

no change in her cup
or circumstance

Eavonka Ettinger, USA

she plans
her own spectacular fall––
hell flower

she sleeps
to talk to her dead––

moving through
the rain shadow
she becomes a rainbow

Adele Evershed

funeral parlour
the one time
I kiss my father

Keith Evetts, United Kingdom

third culture I never was

Tazeen Fatma, India

life goes on
my heart settles back
into rhythm

Bruce H. Feingold, USA

black dahlias
his love letter

P. H. Fischer, Vancouver, Canada

extinction-level event . . .
I stir more sugar
into my coffee

sequoia tree rings
he stretches his arms
from the Aztecs to Hiroshima

Jay Friedenberg, USA

falling rain
when she speaks Spanish
all over me

Alex Fyffe, USA

all my children
grown up––
a storch flies past

family quilt––
patching her life
together again

Katja Fox, Cambridge, United Kingdom

rocking me
back into neutral
a park swing

Jenny Fraser, New Zealand

dusty corner
i, too, am coated
by this year

Ben Gaa, St. Louis, MO USA

the moving lips
at prayer

seen with 2022 vision
a different story

Mike Gallagher, Ireland

hidden stitches
the lives my mother
never lived

Lisa Gerlits, USA

touching each wall
before the estate sale
mom’s path

I tilt my head
to the right

Peggy Hale Bilbro, USA

divorce sale––
desk chairs in the driveway
back to back

small-town diner
customers cluster
on the sunny side

in a strange land
block party

Jennifer Hambrick, USA

hospital fare

three sleeping pills
will morning come

Charles Harper, Japan

falling blossom
indigenous children
in unmarked graves

John Hawkhead, United Kingdom

the untouched gray
in her pigtails

Kerry J Heckman, Seattle, Washington, USA

lightning separates
day and night

Janet Ruth Heller, USA

returned vet
sleeping on the floor
of his old room

Frank Higgins, USA

how easily she climbs
into another bed

in a picture in a locket
in a casket in the ground
she forces a smile

Jonathan Humphrey, USA

louder and louder prayers the lord of diminishing returns

Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta, India

this love song
not written for me . . .
and yet

Deborah Karl-Brandt, Germany

changing my grandson’s diaper
I discover
the fountain of youth

Brian Kates, USA

a hologram of life yet to be lived egg freezing

knit drop knit drop
the sound of dreams
beyond midnight

Arvinder Kaur, Chandigarh, India

morning routine
I follow their movements
with my chai tea

David J. Kelly, Dublin, Ireland

silver strands
in her hairbrush
another goodbye

Kimberly Kuchar, USA

at the funeral––
two ex-wives exchanging

Natalia Kuznetsova, Russia

last day of August
letting the calendar
linger in summer

Kristen Lindquist, USA

she asks me
to trust her
Cheshire moon

Gregory Longenecker, USA

Sunday brunch
the line at the soup kitchen
two-blocks long

Bob Lucky, Portugal

wildfires raging I join a tweet storm

Hannah Mahoney, USA

morning fog––
her husband tries to explain
where he was last night

Andrew Markowski, USA

livestock tent
a knot in the rope
in my stomach

Sarah E. Metzler, USA

driveway chalk––
all the colors of

Laurie D. Morrissey, USA

Indian civil exam––
a jam packed train
of young men

rural polling booth––
a policeman sleeps
in the classroom

Daipayan Nair, Silchar, Assam, India

Google thinks
I’d like to remember––
hospice pics

Maurice Nevile, Australia

yet to be . . .

Nika, Calgary, AB, Canada

how long
we’ve had democracy
leaf fall

David Oates, USA

school backpack
she carries the weight
of the world

Debbie Olson, USA

into the sky
her last words

art docent––
hearing her words
change color

Victor Ortiz, USA

coastal rain
again I think
about drowning

John Pappas, Boston, MA, USA

high tea
Gods discuss men
fighting over them

crying kids
he leaves
because he can

Vandana Parashar, Panchkula, India

school uniforms
the individuality
of skirt lengths

vacation over
how quickly we return
to old patterns

Jacquie Pearce, Canada

mum’s drawer
a seashell from
my childhood’s shore

Alan Peat, United Kingdom

you whisper my name
across the world

blind narcissus
the infinite reflection
of a victim complex

between virgin and whore the crucifixion of an orgasm

Pippa Phillips

yard sale
a box filled
with used flaws

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, USA

shifting clouds my child’s pronouns

penny fountain
that same wish
since childhood

our inheritance
heirloom seeds
in an old tin can

Bryan Rickert, USA

trial break-up
the wind toys
with the snow

a helicopter throbs
across a clear sky
I delete his name

Cynthia Rowe, Sydney Australia

red sprites my pain ignites the upper atmosphere

rs, USA

agendas steeped
in polite conversations
afternoon tea

Jenn Ryan-Jauregui, USA

glacial lake
all the stories
i’ll never know

Barbara Sabol, USA

retired now . . .
what will I be
when I grow up

Bonnie J Scherer, USA

claddagh ring
i refuse the next

Richa Sharma, Ghaziabad, India

riding on a lawnmower
the thief steals
the quiet of dawn

Ryland Shengzhi Li, USA

the cities
I’ve lived in
live in me

Neena Singh, Chandigarh, India

night rain . . .
how every drop echoes
through a broken home

Srini, India

skeleton flower
sister and I excavate
our childhood

Stephenie Story, USA

news of her stroke . . .
I pray to a god
I don’t believe in

Nick T, United Kingdom

red lipstick smears
the little face
child bride

Elisa Theriana, Bandung, Indonesia

I get to hold
your photograph

C.X.Turner, United Kingdom

in a language I don’t know the subtitles of love

pollen grains––
my confession
in uppercase

Aishwarya Vedula, India

only two cars
follow the hearse
snow showers

Joseph P. Wechselberger, USA

my to do list

Robert Witmer, Tokyo, Japan

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