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
home

Ed Bremson, USA

first sunday brunch
the lipstick stain
inside my mask

Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, USA

even mosquitos
shun this pale skin
chemotherapy

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

damselfly
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

GRIX, USA

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
homeless

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

headstone
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

newly-widowed
she buys her first
strapless bra

Marietta McGregor, Australia

whetstone
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

mu
will i ever find
what i can never lose

Mike Rehling, USA

silencing
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––
tic-tac-toe
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

nickname
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

sparrows
twittering in a scarecrow’s ear
conspiracy theories

Rick Jackofsky, USA

nephew’s play-doh
the form
memories take

Robert Moyer, USA

retirement
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

whatever
the radio gives me
Friday night drive

Ryan Hediger, USA

summer afternoon
things dad can do
with his eyes closed

chromebook
the escape key
missing

hill
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

vaccinated
still
Rapunzeling

bee sting
expanding
my vocabulary

Tanya McDonald, USA

puberty
my son’s voice changing
me

seasons spent weathering into self-worth

Terri L. French, USA

kids asleep
ice cubes
tumbling
into glasses

wallet keys phone
mask

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

alone
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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Issue 33 – Haiga

free fall . . .
my plan
to lose weight

Chidambar Navalgund, India

photo haibun

Christina Chin, Malaysia (senryu) & Michael Hough, USA (prose & image)

copper penny . . .
we ride the rails
one last time
fishing for words
you drop a line here
and there

Debbie Strange, Canada

those barbed words—
the way he
controls

Dorothy Burrows, United Kingdom

octogenarian—
far too heavy the light
on the shoulder

Lavana Kray, Romania

the watchers watching
everywhere I look
a camera’s eye

Mark Meyer, USA

change
me looking into
me

Robert Erlandson, USA

born to ride the storm of fire & rain

Ron Moss, Australia

falling from trees a blueprint for the unsaid
secured with metal pins :: some moments are just perfect

Shloka Shankar, India

dancing geisha
a flick of the wrist
unfurls her fan

Terri L. French, USA

café kitchen table
meeting friends
on facebook
between the pages
of memories
closing a chapter

Wanda Amos, Australia

Return to Issue

Issue 33 – Senryu & Kyoka

small town
searching the classifieds
for livestock

Aaron Barry, Canada

easter
the empty
church

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
way

spider on my wall
every day the death count
higher

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

con
tact
less

Bisshie, Switzerland

revising my will
someone else gets a lot
of nothing

Bob Lucky, Portugal

childhood
Mom and I remember it
differently

Brad Bennett, USA

mock apple pie
finally accepting
the real me

Bryan Rickert, USA

my haiku
about Gödel’s Theorem
incompl

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

trying
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

homesick
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

playground
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

GRIX, USA

morning playground
a toddler mansplains
hide-and-seek

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

PTSD
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

buried
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
yesterday

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
sneeze––
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
eulogy

Louise Hopewell, Australia

sherpa
only carrying
my libido

Lucia Fontana, Italy

grandmother
hand-stitching a new breast
from flour sack

Marilyn Fleming, USA

Mark Bowler, United Kingdom

watching
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

wishbone––
on the short end
of a love triangle

Mary Stevens, USA

lockdown
opening up
the liquor cabinet
I take inventory
of essentials

quarantine
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

developing
a complex
about my simplicity

rifle shot
the time it takes
to turn my head

Mike Rehling, USA

a foot
in the door
stepfather

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

watering
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

confession––
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
smile

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

following
his gaze to her mouth…
lip reading

lip liner
learning to say
no

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

squeezing
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
psychoanalyzing
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

OCD
the whole world
in a crooked frame

Terri L. French, USA

smoker’s cough
the nervous words
of the doctor

Tim Gardiner, United Kingdom

detox
I don’t ask anyone
how I look

Vandana Parashar, India

family reunion
drowning in
my gene pool

Wayne Runningbuck Hunt, USA

relearning
the etiquettes of life
language lessons

Zahra Mughis, Pakistan

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