Issue 36 – Haiga

omic(h)ronicillness

Debbie Strange, Canada


alimony I ask about the exchange rate

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



newlywed
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



accepting
the universe
. . . whatever

Wanda Amos, Australia

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Issue 36 – Haibun, Gembun, Rengay & Sequences

Haibun

Answering Machine

Dad rings to tell us it’s prostate cancer. He’s phlegmatic; says that at his age he’ll most likely die with it than of it. We talk around the subject; he puts mum on. She’s worrying about us worrying so she’s overly upbeat. I tell her that we’ve sorted the passports and we’ll see them soon. We agree it’ll fly by.

The cat is still asleep in its patch of sunlight. Way above, the honey buzzards are still circling. Music still drifts from kitchen to garden. Nothing is different. Everything is different.

winter evening
in the shade of
his second shadow

Alan Peat, United Kingdom

Visiting the Past

Running along the length of Korea are majestic mountains. Covered in lush forests filled with aromatic Hinoki trees, they provide a comforting escape from the rush of city lives. For millennia these mountains have stood as sentinels, calmly watching the flow of time and the journey of humans.

rain forest café
the waiter in a zebra shirt
and leopard pants

Carol Raisfeld, USA

Monochrome

. . . When everyday is like yesterday
in dreary predictability
I seek succour in memories,
drown in nostalgia
savouring every lick, until its
sweetness too evaporates
until I turn to words
for sustenance, each stroke
relished and gourmandised
and hope reigns eternal . . .

stretching the day beyond her means tram stop

Madhuri Pillai, Australia

Gembun

the dregs of nirvana

Thursday rain
he serves me leftovers
on the chipped plate

Kelly Sauvage, USA & Agnes Eva Savich, USA

minutes on the meter

high anxiety
the abyss
of an unfinished poem

Kelly Sauvage, USA & Robert Moyer, USA

Rengay

Two Straws

50’s dance party
getting into
the swing of things

a trombone player

directing the band with his slide

her poodle dog skirt
from the thrift shop––
never been worn

vacancy––

a soda

with two straws

he waits for a slow dance
to ask her

In the Still of the Night

taking the long way

home

Angela Terry, USA & Julie Schwerin, USA

Om Shante Shante

a poker chip
nestled in the stone
Buddha’s palm

free from desire

Tao roulette

disgruntled patron
suing the casino
for bad feng shui

lost among slots

the endless chimes

of ten thousand things

losing streak
bad karma catches up

carpet maze

the way out the door

is within

Terri L. French, USA & Kat Lehmann, USA

Sequences

Land of the Free

electric gate
Your Kind of Community
in glowing white letters

picket fences
a white man shadows
the black teen

thud of footsteps
one bark answers
another

ID check
the black teen’s shadow
slips out of the gate

Chen-ou Liu, Canada

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Issue 35 – Senryu & Kyoka


as the crow flies fentanyl

#newalgoirthm
#theadvertisersknowingme
#betterthanme

Aaron Barry, Canada

PhD journey
all the coffee brands
I know

Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana/New Zealand

Valentine’s Day
my feelings and I eat
another chocolate

Agnes Eva Savich, USA

bumper to bumper
she proposes
leather

mastectomy scars
all but my husband
swipe left

suicide watch
another hand
of Go Fish

Aidan Castle, USA

secondhand book––
clear as day
what happened
to granda

Alan Peat, United Kingdom

shot glass
another wasted
pickup line

Alvin B. Cruz, Philippines

no seeds left to sow his vasectomy

Amber Winter, USA

citizenship test
dad thumbs the pages
from right to left

ballpark hotdog––
we try out
being American

Antoinette Cheung, Canada

calling mom
on new years. . .
pouring another

B.A. France, USA

the world news
I eat my apple
core and all

Barbara Sabol, USA

southern christmas
the crackling fire
onscreen

Barbara Strang, New Zealand

re-opening . . .
the server remembers
my standing order

Barrie Levine, USA

all the fiction
in my truth
campfire stories

Ben Gaa, USA

dinner date
not that hungry
for you

Benedict Grant, Canada

resuming chemo
midtown traffic
stop and go

“make a wish . . .”
I pretend
I’m pretending

end of the day
slow dancing
by myself

Bill Kenney, USA

discount roses
the price for being
second best

coworker’s suicide
all her things
in one box

breastfeeding
how quickly she latches on
to motherhood

Bryan Rickert, USA

depression . . .
I slip a little further
under the duvet

C.X.Turner, United Kingdom

showing me her art
the razor blade
on her nightstand

broken ribs
more than a carved turkey
at thanksgiving

Claire Vogel Camargo, USA

police car passing
on the left––
my first bag of pot

Curt Pawlisch, USA

fifty-first birthday . . .
I open another
emoji

Dave Read, Canada

midsummer
adding a city
to my weather app

David Grayson, USA

accidental
the note we found
when you didn’t die

David J. Kelly, Ireland

958.104
another war
shelved

Debbie Olson, USA

connecting . . .
the circling sun
of my isolation

Deborah P Kolodji, USA

getting his ego bruised nectarines

birthday alone
this urge to entertain
a wild thought

Elmedin Kadric, Sweden

the screen door ajar open adoption

Erin Castaldi, USA

new love
the brickwork
of a footpath

Frank Dax, South Korea

listening to Lennon
I arrange books as if I’ll live
one last shelf

Frank Higgins, USA

language lessons
my tongue slides
on cerveza

dress rehearsal
my DNA
in a pink tutu

Genevieve Wynand, Canada

corner cubicle
the flies don’t want to be here
either

Gordon Brown, USA

school uniform
keeping the conception
immaculate

Hazel Hall, Australia

sunset . . .
the legs
I always wanted

Helene Guojah, United Kingdom

root canal
the dentist digs deeper
into my past

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan

red ochre road
the long walk
to the nearest clinic

Ingrid Baluchi, North Macedonia

woodpecker taps . . .
my dad recalls
his Morse code days

Jay Friedenberg, USA

kindergarten
her corkscrew curls
at full bounce

Jo Balistreri, USA

all night diner
a party of one seated
on every stool

google earth
an unsuccessful search
for Brigadoon

car backfire
the schoolyard bully
holsters his finger

Joe McKeon, USA

mint julep
her lips taste
of goodbye

lesbian porn
I wish I had been born
a better man

John Hawkhead, United Kingdom

six yuan for lunch––
her head hidden behind
the begging board

John Zheng, USA

Sweetest Day
she shows off
her new vibrator

weekly visitation
the struggle to compete
with YouTube videos

Joshua Gage, USA

frozen pension
the boomer scoffs
at his son’s debt

head-banging
the air where the hair
used to be

cost of living raise
another year
in the tuna can

Joshua St. Claire, USA

Rubenesque––
too much of me
to love

application rewritten history my job
rewritten history my job application
history my job application rewritten

my job application rewritten history
job application rewritten history my

Julie Bloss Kelsey, USA

post-apocalypse
Alexa asks herself
to read a poem

Julie Schwerin, USA

eleventh hour . . .
she asks me to sing
a lullaby

Kat Lehmann, USA

family evening
everyone left
to their own devices

trying to be
ordinary
impostor syndrome

Keith Evetts, United Kingdom

three sheets the one-man jug band

abandonment issues
waiting for
the sauce to split

Kelly Sauvage, USA

the holy man says
befriend your pain
I suggest
to my sore hip
that we talk over zoom

Ken Slaughter, USA

crowd of candles
my wish for
another birthday

Laurie D. Morrissey, USA

what a jury knows
what a jury doesn’t
cherry blossoms

LeRoy Gorman, Canada

Burial Insurance––
her spam folder
gets personal

#MeToo rally . . .
his wolf-whistle
extinct

Maria Bonsanti, USA

New Year’s card
so often the word
health this year

Marie Derley, Belgium

sidewinder
how he skirts
their gender

Marilyn Ashbaugh, USA

pink twitch
of a rabbit’s nose
she sniffs the wine

Marilyn Fleming, USA

writer’s café . . .
unsticking the mug
from the table

Mary Stevens, USA

highwaypileup
unable to get through
to her

Matt Olechnowicz, Canada

forgetting you
perhaps . . . but not
when the bell tolls

Meg Arnot, United Kingdom

father’s day:
showing my lover
childhood scars

Michael Battisto, USA

mega church
everyone sticks
to their guns

roadkill
accounting for the last
of the kittens

Michael Henry Lee, USA

a boy asks about
the people in that church
silent night

granddad’s rabbit’s foot
the littlest one takes
a step back

Mike White, USA

office loop––
my child grows
unnoticed

Milan Rajkumar, India

making a mountain
out of a mole
––melanoma

Nancy Brady, USA

on a rock
turtle on a turtle
nudist beach

Neena Singh, India

recycling day––
my overindulgence
on display

Nick T, United Kingdom

our plans . . .
the straight paths
of a cemetery

Nikolay Grankin, Russia

at peace with my darkness stacking up red red apples
​​
one margarita slowly i become Nostradamus

Orrin PréJean-Champs, USA

interview––
choosing
a background

P. H. Fischer, Canada

downpour
wipers and curses
in sync

newcomer
the circle widens
for my story

Pat Davis, USA

jumper cables
not a transcendent thought
in my head

Patrick Sweeney, Japan

the last lilacs––
adjusting the purple
of my prose

Pippa Phillips, USA

first-time guest
the lags
in alleluia

retirement day
father introduces me
to his routine

Ramesh Anand, India

visiting Vietnam
I repatriate
my hat and shirt

the applause
of autumn rain
40 years of service

Raymond C Roy, USA

mom’s layer cake
coated with icing
the salty sprinkles
of yesteryears
she bottled up

Richard L. Matta, USA

high school sweetheart
a lab assistant
re-dates a fossil

Robert Witmer, Japan

nowhere to go
the repeated pattern
of mum’s old cardigan

Robyn Cairns, Australia

stoking the coals
I ask Mother
who is her favorite

Ronald Degler, USA

ladies’ room––
stepping on the scale
without her earrings

Ruth Holzer, USA

my face
unlocking the computer
update requests

Sarah E. Metzler, USA

breaking inside of you night’s thin shell

Shloka Shankar, India

recharging
his equipment
friday night

his blue eyes
before my fingers
were crooked

Sondra J. Byrnes, USA

maritime museum
the creak and sway
of immigrant ships

Sue Courtney, New Zealand

hot flash
what I’d give
for a cold one

a woman
swallowed whole
by a python
some days
are like that

Susan Burch, USA

housecleaning––
I shed some more
wounded skin

Tim Murphy, Spain

unfinished bowl
a potter shapes
the air

Tyler McIntosh, USA

exorcism
every time I say
I am gay

Vandana Parashar, India

ordinary day––
i pick
an ordinary death

Vijay Prasad, India

sunday morning
the laundry rope
crosses her lifeline

Vladislav Hristov, Bulgaria

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