Issue 36 – Senryu & Kyoka

back to school
the fight over
corner seats

Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana

did I call enough
grandma’s favorite
pashmina wrap

Agnes Eva Savich, USA

coffee rings
on her desk
his promotion

Aidan Castle, USA

the bra
that fits

Alanna C. Burke, USA

writing shasei––
certain I’ve read this one
somewhere before . . .

Alex Fyffe, USA

writer’s block
I ask Alexa
for a prompt

Alex Lubman, USA

10,000 feet
above San Antonio
how I hate
to fly

Allyson Whipple, USA

samurai film
she won’t let me
buy a sword

Andy Discus, USA

rosary beads : the stains of time

Arvinder Kaur, India

taxi stop
night air rushes to fill
your empty seat

Ash Evan Lippert, USA

last day of isolation
Happy Birthday
through the door

Audrey Quinn, Denmark

too fast to pay

B.A. France, USA

ready for takeoff––
the sudden spread
of a mask fight

Barrie Levine, USA

I am human

Bart Van Goethem, Belgium

now so narrow
middle age

Bee Jay, Australia

my rainbow
is brighter than yours
suburban sprinklers

Benedict Grant, Canada

just so that
there are no regrets
a shooting star

Bhawana Rathore, India

the years of lying
about her age . . .
mother’s headstone

old widower
the life expectancy
of grief

hall of mirrors
what I think you think
of me

Bill Kenney, USA

a white man
loses face

Birk Andersson, Sweden

on the outside
of the picket fence
Black Lives Matter

Brad Bennett, USA

cosmic noise
how much of it
is me

graveside service
an honor guard
takes the hill

she lets me know
we’re out of eggs

Bryan Rickert, USA

getting myself
in hot water again
shabu shabu

Charles Harmon, USA

the weight
of stained glass

Charlotte Hrenchuk, Canada

two pills
shall i go up
or down

Christine Eales, United Kingdom

cold beer . . .
we try to recount
our youth

Christopher Calvin, Indonesia

computer key clicks
beneath my fingers––
his deep sleep

Claire Vogel Camargo, USA

Grandma’s lipstick
shades lighter
than Mom’s

Curt Pawlisch, USA

changing memory lanes the past of least resistance

jewelry box
the ballerina
I never was

Cynthia Anderson, USA

cataracts gone
seeing the world
through sixteen-year-old eyes
i ask the surgeon
what else she could renew

Dave Chandler, USA

altar candles
the secret wishes
of strangers

David Watts, USA

warm oatmeal
she slips a cookie
into his lunch

Deborah P Kolodji, USA

the end
of forgetting

Elaine Costanzo, USA

halving strawberries
Grammy spins the story
of his proposal

Elaine Wilburt, USA

tipping dinosaurs
off the edge of the sofa

Elancharan Gunasekaran, Singapore

for sale
bozak speakers –– losing dad
all over again

Eric A. Lohman, USA

not asking
about her ‘vacation’

Erin Castaldi, USA

the roar of traffic
dying to a murmur
country churchyard

Ernest Wit, Poland

last order
she touches up
her lips

Eva Limbach, Germany

standard deviation––
the measure of your distance
from my mean

Fionnuala Waldron, Ireland

the fly and I
share the same buzz . . .
afternoon bourbon

Gordon Gearhart, USA

yellow streetlight
a pregnant girl, heavy
with almosts

Hege A. Jakobsen Lepri, Norway

retail therapy––
the boyfriend pillow
comes at a price

Hemapriya Chellappan, India

echoing gavel
after the bidding concludes
the bride’s lowest price

underage bride
the handmade rag doll becomes
her chief bridesmaid

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan

pitting cherries
she spits out
her diagnosis

embroidery sampler
what each stitch holds
of her

driving with my dad
what used to be here
what used to be there

Jacquie Pearce, Canada

country accent
the roll of hills
a letter away

Joanna Ashwell, United Kingdom

an old stone wall
crumbling into itself
dad’s last words

John Hawkhead, United Kingdom

ouija board
not knowing what questions
to ask

Johnnie Johnson Hafernik, USA

minimum wage
the ramen labels
become a rainbow

Joshua St. Claire, USA

falling cards the house panic built me

Julie Bloss Kelsey, USA

cry for not my usual self help

Julie Schwerin, USA

to its only speed
porch swing

June Rose Dowis, USA

baby shower
she remembers me

Kat Lehmann, USA

death poem––
the paperclip

Keith Evetts, United Kingdom

no farther away
than my pillow

Kelly Sargent, USA

jury interview
I try to create
reasonable doubt

Ken Slaughter, USA

attic violin
the person she was before
my first breath

Kevin Valentine, USA

storm damage
not the top-down change
we hoped for

Kristen Lindquist, USA

jazz playing
your whistle far into
the night

empty chair wishing it wasn’t

Lafcadio, USA

our favorite argument
we end it
by not ending it

Laurie D. Morrissey, USA

20th anniversary
her ring finger
in the oximeter

Lew Watts, USA

dry eyes on the sparrow

rock bottom––
it sinks in
that I’m an addict

Lori A Minor, USA

Mom’s silk sheets how things come to be

Lori Becherer, USA

box upon box tissue wrapped childhood

Margaret Walker, USA

heavy scent
of the old dust
colonial house

Marie Derley, Belgium

new year
couch to 5k to couch

Mariel Herbert, USA

childhood photos––
around our table
the mismatched chairs

Mark Forrester, USA

filling the kitchen
aroma of vanilla
and his fists

Meg Arnot, United Kingdom

breakfast at twilight
trying to remember
your name

Mike Fainzilber, Israel

phone lock . . .
pulling the day into a
wrong pattern

Minal Sarosh, India

between adjoining numbers
the boys’ gaze

toy train
choosing from the crowd
the father I’ve never had

Mirela Brăilean, Romania

social media––
a side of you
I never knew

Mona Bedi, India

call from a stranger
his family tree
grows a branch

always happening
somewhere else

Nancy Shires, USA

still orbiting
my old bedroom . . .
Jupiter’s moons

Nick Hoffman, Ireland

tv news
a rioter wears
the same mask as me

climate protest
a drum beats
out of time

Nick T, United Kingdom

the wabi-sabi card
chipped china

blue Monday
i wander through
my spam

P. H. Fischer, Canada

mirror, mirror . . .
the topology
of old age

Pat Davis, USA

the resort’s
armed guards

Peter Newton, USA

the sin in the sinner in me

Pippa Phillips, USA

all these winters
the weight of a scar

Ravi Kiran, India

mother’s religion
prayer cards
under her ashtray

Rehn Kovacic, USA

five of midnight
silencing the in-law’s
grandfather clock

Richard L. Matta, USA

developing a taste
for the blue notes

Rick Jackofsky, USA

New Orleans jazz club
dancing with a lady
I already miss

Robert Moyer, USA

barnyard memories
I was once
a spring chicken

Roberta Beach Jacobson, USA

college degree
my application in
at the car wash

Ronald K. Craig, USA

shortest day––
fitting in
a fight

Ruth Holzer, USA

pandemic year
every day I hug
my tree

Ryland Shengzhi Li, USA

last year our cloudy memory of friends

S. Michael Kozubek, USA

black history
days long

Sarah E. Metzler, USA*

origin story
learning to speak
for myself

Shloka Shankar, India

i’ve had my fill
of emptiness

Sondra J. Byrnes, USA

teacher’s birthday . . .
rechecking the grammar
of my wish

work from home
in lieu of 3 a.m. friends
3 a.m. colleagues

Srinivas S, India

hot coffee
the warning
that you’ll burn me

Susan Burch, USA

toy store which teddy to buy dad

at least I thought
you were

Tim Gardiner, United Kingdom

on a small cross
early morning prayers

Tim Roberts, New Zealand

envying my kid’s

Tomislav Sjekloća, Montenegro

feeling good
about myself
drawstring pants

Tony Williams, United Kingdom

coin flip
am I

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, USA

all his ex-wives
in the same pew

guests gone
eating the leftovers

Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff, USA

library book
did his hands touch
you too

Vandana Parashar, India

in her curves
the lack of exactness

Vijay Prasad, India

born again
the river baptism
leaves him cold

William Scott Galasso, USA

burnt cookies
my second
Covid Christmas

Yvette Nicole Kolodji, USA

status update
another day
in alternate reality

Zahra Mughis, Pakistan

​​*“Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of ‘Negro History Week,’ the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.” Editors. (2022, January 31). Black History Month. HISTORY.

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Issue 34 – Linked Forms


Erratic Gravity

Kat Lehmann, USA & Bryan Rickert, USA

Once Upon a Time

Tanya McDonald, USA & Lew Watts, USA


John Hawkhead, United Kingdom & John Stevenson, USA


Last Call

on the floor of the saloon
cowboy spit

by the Women and Escorts sign
the glow of a cigarette

her accent over cocktails––
the shape
of her vowels

crowded pub
his touch
on the other woman’s arm

on a barstool living the life
of a country song

last call
the fading buzz
of neon

Alan S. Bridges, USA & Jacquie Pearce, Canada

Role Reversal

a barking dog—
the thunder fades
into the distance

eyes follow the rails
to a single point

the art teacher
trying to explain

role reversal
how long it takes
to see the other side

the new pronouns
after their name

the poet
giving words
where I had none

Angela Terry, USA & Julie Schwerin, USA

Cradle Song

pink moon
not one wrinkle
on mother’s face

tender ways of love
with tired eyes

cradle song
the kiss
on my birthmark

falling asleep
at the movie show
in her warm arms

treasure chest
a walk in her shoes

party time
mum would rock’n’roll
along with my music

Elisa Theriana, Indonesia & Ron C. Moss, Australia


after the breakup
the strength
of her sneeze

the unheralded joy
of a bowel movement

parboiled potatoes
this frenzied quest for
a seven-inch handle

the sliiide
of fingers down
the ziplock

riding her wave
with the spin cycle

three fingers then two
the intimacy
of a cigarette

Kelly Sauvage, USA & Robert Moyer, USA

Heads or Tails

nickels in my pocket
from our birth years . . .
first of autumn

warm coins
for a cold soda

winter drizzle––
no spare change
for the street performer

spring showers
pennies dropping from
the child’s fist

the ref calls
heads or tails

one long summer day
George Washington didn’t throw
a dollar that far

Michael Dylan Welch, USA & Gary Hotham, USA

Olvera Street

crying baby––
the Mariachi band
stops to tune

a mother hissing
“no tocar”

gaudy ukuleles
hanging with the chilies––
first drops of rain

hushed voices––
painted skulls
in the candle shop

the slap of tortillas
as we count our cash

Sepulvida’s window––
in the evening rush
a siren

Michael Dylan Welch, USA & Oleg Kagan, USA

Over the Wall

counting motorcycles
just to prove
I’m not a robot

behind the slow tractor
hells angels

desert highway
the rank and file
eatin’ dust

its open eyes
gila monster

sarapes sold
at a road-side stand

cantina flies
the only wi-fi
since the border

Terri L. French, USA & Bryan Rickert, USA


Purple Hearts

green grass––
a house bought on
the G.I. Bill

yellow tablets . . .
a little shrapnel
in his knee

blue veins––
there’s a hole in
Daddy’s arm

red balloons . . .
an overdose hovering
in the air

black suits––
a flag-draped casket
on a local heroes’ hill

Source: found sequence from singer-songwriter John Prine’s “Sam Stone”

Matthew Markworth, USA

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Issue 33 – Senryu & Kyoka

small town
searching the classifieds
for livestock

Aaron Barry, Canada

the empty

Adam T. Arn, USA

hot sake . . .
I barely remember
her name

Agus Maulana Sunjaya, Indonesia

salt and pepper
to taste
rebound boyfriend

Aidan Castle, USA

snowbound in light the other side of an election

Alan Summers, United Kingdom

wilted palm branch
the child practices
sweeping the path

private parts
she shows me
her sketchbook

Alex Fyffe, USA

end of 2020
gathering around the warmth
of the webcam

Antonietta Losito, Italy

change coming . . .
the reassuring mantra
fails to reassure

last third
of the poetry journal
. . . pouring scotch

B.A. France, USA

that turned-down smile
men now give me––
middle age

Barbara Sabol, USA

hanging the wall calendar
less birthdays
this year

Barrie Levine, USA

walking home
from the pub
the moon
goes the wrong

spider on my wall
every day the death count

lockdown the key to get out of missing you

Bee Jay, Australia

to love
honour and obey . . .

bursting bubbles

Benedict Grant, Canada

souvenir shop
picking up the local’s
swear words

Billy Antonio, Philippines


Bisshie, Switzerland

revising my will
someone else gets a lot
of nothing

Bob Lucky, Portugal

Mom and I remember it

Brad Bennett, USA

mock apple pie
finally accepting
the real me

Bryan Rickert, USA

my haiku
about Gödel’s Theorem

Charles Harmon, USA

at the briefing
the photogenic PM talks
of racism
this nightlong buzz
from a streetlamp

Chen-ou Liu, Canada

new farmers’ market
trendy microgreens
from the refugee garden

Christine Wenk-Harrison, USA

awake all night
consulting a galaxy
far, far away

a new identity
on for size––
a stretch
but not a good fit

Cynthia Anderson, USA

photo op . . .
the candidate crops
his record

spring colours . . .
I brush in
Just for Men

Dave Read, Canada

evening road
the exhaust
of cheap cologne

David Käwika Eyre, USA

inner critic
editing my poem
to a blank page

Debbi Antebi, United Kingdom

those same signs
the white dress
of a suffragette

Deborah P Kolodji, USA

death bed the joke i’ve saved for this day

Elancharan Gunasekaran, Singapore

in between stars
the question of fidelity

custody battle
the old scar looks new

Elisa Theriana, Indonesia

her joke
still not funny
family text thread

Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, USA

war talk materializes innocent bystanders

last leaves
seeing my courage
for what it is

a few minutes after
the roadkill

Elmedin Kadric, Sweden

shinrin yoku––
my mountain bike
enfolds an aspen

blocking carefully
the dancer turns away
from her therapist

spa getaway––
the fix on our marriage
only skin deep

Eric Lohman, USA

checking the facts
the anchor adjusts
his glasses

Eva Limbach, Germany

advice from
a greying poet . . .
swipe left

Genevieve Wynand, Canada

waiting my turn
for the bench

Memorial Day
the auctioneer asks
for a moment of silence

Greg Schwartz, USA

the mechanics of enemies I decline into fractional sums


morning playground
a toddler mansplains

Hannah Mahoney, USA

where oceans meet overlapping symptoms

once again
the coos of a pigeon
news on rape

Hemapriya Chellappan, India

night drizzle . . .
an uninterrupted lullaby
of the refugee mother

pulling back
her black hijab
evening storm

fading out
the muezzin’s call––
torrential rain

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan

the tremor in the flame
he fails to trim

J. Zimmerman, USA

my daughter
tightens her grasp
. . . deep end

James Schlett, USA

making pies four generations into pumpkin and pecan

Jo Balistreti, USA

men’s club
eons of evolution
on the half shell

manicured lawn
the candidate’s sign
by a rabbit hole

spit-shined shoes
the Purple Heart vet
rolls to the mic

blacktop road
men in orange jumpsuits
among the litter

Joe McKeon, USA

retirement day
the realisation
I’m ready for jazz

John Hawkhead, United Kingdom

visitation day
funeral director cleans
the welcome mat

John J. Dunphy, USA

watering hole
father sinks
another beer

John McManus, United Kingdom

last cigarette
I cling to my side
of the argument

Joshua Gage, USA

damned if I do
damned if I don’t
trauma therapy

Julie Bloss Kelsey, USA

when the knots
were on purpose
daisy chains

June Rose Dowis, USA

in an unclaimed field
her childhood dreams

Kat Lehmann, USA

wide awake
counting the skeins
of unknit woolens

resisting the urge
to pull on a tangled thread
family argument

Kate MacQueen, USA

virgin birth
even though I wasn’t born

Kath Abela Wilson, USA

Kelly Sauvage Angel, USA

family dinner
I find fault
with the silverware

summer Zoom meeting
the backyard birds
refuse to mute

Kristen Lindquist, USA

but for an ill-timed
silent prayer

forty years old
my future doctor
is born

Laurie D. Morrissey, USA

our old coal house
the scent
of black and blue

a horsefly dying
under the jar
this side of me

migrant worker
turning the apples
bruises down

Lew Watts, USA

talk of recounts––
i pitch more kernels
into the popcorn pot

Lori Becherer, USA

afternoon shadow
writing my own

Louise Hopewell, Australia

only carrying
my libido

Lucia Fontana, Italy

hand-stitching a new breast
from flour sack

Marilyn Fleming, USA

Mark Bowler, United Kingdom

the hour hand move
half a bottle left

Marta Chocilowska, Poland

trying to determine
if he’s looking at me––
group zoom call

Mary McCormack, USA

on the short end
of a love triangle

Mary Stevens, USA

opening up
the liquor cabinet
I take inventory
of essentials

I pull a grey hair
from my brush

lockdown #2
my second chance
not to learn
how to cook, bake, sew,
speak another language

Maureen Virchau, USA

ellipsis all the lines I could have lived

Meg Arnot, United Kingdom

crossing the bridge
our last argument
in the rearview mirror

Michael Kitchen, USA

a complex
about my simplicity

rifle shot
the time it takes
to turn my head

Mike Rehling, USA

a foot
in the door

Mike White, USA

espresso coffee . . .
what she knows of my
daily grind

Trevi fountain
she tosses two coins
I, three

Milan Rajkumar, India

blowing bubbles . . .
grandpa loses
his wrinkles

Neena Singh, India

all my roses
valentine’s day

Neha Talreja, India

evening walk
everyone’s version
of six feet

Nick Hoffman, Ireland

blooming cactus
my mom’s
first steps

Nikolay Grankin, Russia

spilled milk
the new mother cries
over her pump

papa’s story
in his sighs
another story

Pat Davis, USA

undressing in the dark
with every year
more apologies

Peter Jastermsky, USA

long weekend
learning to talk
to the cat

Philmore Place, Belarus

through a window––
the neighbor’s window

Pippa Phillips, USA

solemn night
how carefully
words exit

Richa Sharma, India

Y chromosome
the long arm
of the law

Robert Davey, United Kingdom

age five––
it’s not your fault
mother says

birth of a death poem

Roberta Beach Jacobson, USA

first day of spring
the lawnmower fails
to fix itself

Rp Verlaine, USA

corona Christmas––
the tree decorated
with IOUs

Ruth Holzer, USA

morning news
I add to my coffee
a couple of wars

Sanela Pliško, Croatia

a break
in her voice also
valentine’s day

Sarah E. Metzler, USA

a strand of long hair
on his purple chasuble

Silva Trstenjak, Croatia

50th reunion
this is why no one
stayed in touch

Sondra J. Byrnes, USA

Lip Reading

home alone . . .
mother’s lipstick
on her lips

nude lipstick
the teacher’s wry

under her mask
big sister’s lipstick . . .
first date

his gaze to her mouth…
lip reading

lip liner
learning to say

Stella Pierides, Germany & United Kingdom

friend’s funeral
I am the one
a stranger

Suraj Nanu, India

seances . . .
even the spirits don’t
talk to me

Surashree Joshi, India

the hanger––
how easily
you get bent
out of shape

Susan Burch, USA

beach party––
another throw
of the dice

Susan King, United Kingdom

empty glass
her emoticons

Tanya McDonald, USA

damp dawn
in these coughs
my father appears

Ted Sherman, United Kingdom

concealing her smile
under a burqa––
shadowed moon

Teji Sethi, India

the whole world
in a crooked frame

Terri L. French, USA

smoker’s cough
the nervous words
of the doctor

Tim Gardiner, United Kingdom

I don’t ask anyone
how I look

Vandana Parashar, India

family reunion
drowning in
my gene pool

Wayne Runningbuck Hunt, USA

the etiquettes of life
language lessons

Zahra Mughis, Pakistan

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