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 36 – Haiga


Debbie Strange, Canada

alimony I ask about the exchange rate

M.R. Defibaugh, USA (senryu) & Penney L. Mellen, USA (photo)

silence expands into
our future

Mariel Herbert, USA

wilted lotus . . .
every single chakra
out of alignment

Mark Meyer, USA

lead on, tiger!
new year swings in
by warm lantern light

Melanie Alberts, USA

lonely evening . . .
her memories fill
the empty sky

Milan Rajkumar, India

after the divorce
she smells his cologne
one last time

Poesy Sestina, USA (senryu) & Cottonbro, Russia (photo)

singular they rising from beneath the weight of a plural gaze

Robin Smith, USA (senryu) & Shloka Shankar, India (artwork)

after migration––
how gentle the wind
in her hair

Steliana Cristina Voicu, Romania

the universe
. . . whatever

Wanda Amos, Australia

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Issue 34 – Senryu & Kyoka

summernight love
i trace the carvings
on the old bridge

adèle weers, Switzerland

new girlfriend
trying on
our song

Alan S. Bridges, USA

weight gain
a layer of dust
on the scale

stay-at-home dad
crushing on the women
of Sesame Street

Alex Fyffe, USA

one year older
I keep my wishes
to myself

Amy Losak, USA

crayon moon
my granddaughter
explains purple

Andy Burkhart, USA

just before
words take shape . . .
the dance of three dots

Arvinder Kaur, India

retirement planning . . .
another dollar in
the swear jar

B.A. France, USA

slipping the dress from her shoulders
the space between treble
and bass

Ben Gaa, USA

medicine cabinet
an unhealthy amount
of mirrors

Benedict Grant, Canada

104 a slight wobble in one step

Bill Cooper, USA

a box full
of tangled cords and cables
in the closet
all my life a collection
of missed connections

Bob Lucky, Portugal

after midnight
my sentence missing
its period

Brad Bennett, USA

somewhere over the rainbow flag

cactus blossom
no pronouns
to fit me

Bryan Rickert, USA

used books––
running a finger down the spine
of a cat

Chad Lee Robinson, USA

eying the needle
I hold my narrative
by a thread

Cynthia Anderson, USA

the cool
floating in the room
Kind of Blue

Dan Burt, USA

spending time
playing games
on his iPad
he fails to score
with his wife

enjoying expensive
patio furniture
we sit
in the shadows
of debt

Dave Read, Canada

my neighbor
this year
the Christmas lights stay

David Grayson, USA

inner child . . .
no breadcrumbs marking the trail

Ed Bremson, USA

first sunday brunch
the lipstick stain
inside my mask

Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, USA

even mosquitos
shun this pale skin

Erin Castaldi, USA

black kajal––
the woman in the mirror
asks me for a drink

Eva Limbach, Germany

divorce proceedings––
finding ways to divvy up
the Gods on the altar

Geethanjali Rajan, India

placemat quiz
at the roadside diner––
we argue in true and false

Genevieve Wynand, Canada

I, too, am mistaken
for what I am not

super pink moon
gravid with ideas
I can’t carry to term

the language we employ conotoxins


berry picking . . .
a refugee mother’s hands
furl unfurl

Ramadan moon
I make peace
with the inner demons

displacement camp
a Syrian boy befriends
the snowman

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan

cloudy morning
the clunk of bottles
in her shopping cart

Jackie Chou, USA

iPhone factory––
the many parts
of the ego

Jacob D. Salzer, USA

recess break
opening our Crown Royal
marble bags

Jacquie Pearce, Canada

her birthday
the tug of a clock’s
small hand

Jamie Wimberly, USA

drop-dead looks
a fanged cobra coiled
around her navel

Jay Friedenberg, USA

a rod over my shoulder dreaming one fish two fish red fish blue fish

Jo Balistreri, USA

missing in action
the loose ends
of a cloth poppy

poplar trees
the phantom scent
of strange fruit

in the blink
of a neon sign

Joe McKeon, USA

recessive gene
their daughter’s eyes
not quite blue enough

John Hawkhead, United Kingdom

ghetto garden
the seedlings
that never grow

9 pounds 4 ounces
she asks me
if she feels the same

fairy tales
yet another book
on parenting

Jonathan Roman, USA

the twang in her voice
as she sings over the sides
North Carolina BBQ

Joshua Gage, USA

newly unfamiliar
what your eyes tell me
about me

Julie Schwerin, USA

spring breeze
the old man outpaced
by his cologne

silver dollar moon
scratching his lottery
over the trash bin

June Rose Dowis, USA

recipe card
the faded name
of an old friend

Justin Brown, USA

I peel away
the stars from the wall . . .
empty bassinet

Kayla Drouilhet, USA

still caring
what they think of me

Keith Evetts, United Kingdom

southern heat
drawing out
the -ouge in red

Kelly Sauvage, USA

gender reveal
the smoke
matches the sky

Kevin Valentine, USA

virtual communion
we can all get pissed
during the sermon

LeRoy Gorman, Canada

rising tide
the brush of his fingers
across my thigh

covered in graffiti jesus

Lori A Minor, USA

never too old
to act my age
hula hooping

Louise Hopewell, Australia

postman’s delivery:
he says he enjoyed my poem
about hydrangeas

Maeve O’Sullivan, Ireland

foreign land
among unknown sounds
my mother tongue

Mallika Chari, India

spring formal first dip of the season

Margaret Walker, USA

two weeks’ vacation
no-one I know
at the laundromat

she buys her first
strapless bra

Marietta McGregor, Australia

i sharpen
my wit 

Marilyn Ashbaugh, USA

strand by strand
she loosens our pin curls
Sunday mass

Marilyn Fleming, USA

lifted restrictions
me and the cat share
a buddha’s belly

Marina Bellini, Italy

brassiere shop
the salesclerk and I
size each other up

Mary Stevens, USA

cemetery stroll all the parallel shadows

Matthew Markworth, USA

we into I
our into my
translating loss

Maurice Nevile, Australia

late <season> wind––
a <bird species> flicking <choose: water, weeds, rhinos>
from the <choose: birdbath, bird feeder, refrigerator>

Michael Dylan Welch, USA

Zen garden
the urge
to take a stone

meditation hall
flipping the enlightenment
off and on

Michael Henry Lee, USA

will i ever find
what i can never lose

Mike Rehling, USA

my bamboo flute—
an ambulance’s siren

Milan Rajkumar, India

midday siesta
i slowly drift
into my childhood

Dr. Mona Bedi, India

stale bedroom
the fumes of her
past loves

Mona Iordan, Romania

his first roti––
the migrant worker
feeds the stray

Neena Singh, India

rain delay––
on a baseball

Nicky Gutierrez, USA

rye whiskey
telling her a name
that’s not mine

day’s end
I edit the laundry list
of who I’ve been

Nika, Canada

the new friend who thinks
he knows me

slave quilt
great-gran’s voice
in and out of sleep

Pat Davis, USA

blue sky
my thoughts
finally sober

Pere Risteski, North Macedonia

that priest
before his little lie
i knew him

Philip Guignard, Malaysia

a week
and it still won’t blossom––
watercolor practice

Pippa Phillips, USA

“No Loitering”
he begs for change
somewhere else

R. S. Evans, USA

voters queue
the first-timer
hums a melody

Ramesh Anand, India

polo match
her parents choose
a fine groom

Ravi Kiran, India

twittering in a scarecrow’s ear
conspiracy theories

Rick Jackofsky, USA

nephew’s play-doh
the form
memories take

Robert Moyer, USA

toasting Tuesday
with what’s left of Monday’s wine

Robert Witmer, Japan

my turn to hunt
the warmth of father’s hand
still on the gun

Ron C. Moss, Australia

the radio gives me
Friday night drive

Ryan Hediger, USA

summer afternoon
things dad can do
with his eyes closed

the escape key

I’m so
over it

Sarah E. Metzler, USA

toy tugboat––
high tide
on the bathroom floor

playing Scrabble––
we both try
to let the other win

Sarah Ockrim, USA

carefully tracing
their paper hearts
self-contained classroom

Sari Grandstaff, USA

quid pro quo
my last word
for yours

Shloka Shankar, India

inflammatory claims . . .
praying for the strength
not to post back

Stephen C. Curro, USA

midnight station
the drunk speaking
in tongues

Steve Black, United Kingdom

Sunset Blvd––
an old woman sitting
on a bus bench. . .
still waiting
for my 15 minutes of fame

bulging eyes––
the tell
when I’m yelling
at you
in my head

Susan Burch, USA

divorce party
shattering the pinata
on the first hit

susan spooner, Canada


bee sting
my vocabulary

Tanya McDonald, USA

my son’s voice changing

seasons spent weathering into self-worth

Terri L. French, USA

kids asleep
ice cubes
into glasses

wallet keys phone

Tim Cremin, USA

luxury hotel––
towels so fluffy
the suitcase won’t close

Tom Staudt, Australia

pharmacy queue
whispering the name
of my antidepressant

Tomislav Sjekloća, Montenegro

nymphaea stalk
I keep stroking
his ego

Vandana Parashar, India

stuck in traffic
he sends friend requests
on Facebook

Vasile Moldovan, Romania

inside the mosque
my black skin
the only contrast
to this white world

Waliyullah Tunde Abimbola, Nigeria

adding sugar
the teaboy stirs
me up

Yasir Farooq, Pakistan

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