Issue 34 – Linked Forms

Hexarengay

Erratic Gravity

Kat Lehmann, USA & Bryan Rickert, USA

Once Upon a Time

Tanya McDonald, USA & Lew Watts, USA

Tan-Renga

John Hawkhead, United Kingdom & John Stevenson, USA

Rengay

Last Call

sawdust
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
perspective

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

Celibacy

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

licking
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

Sequences

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

Return to Issue

Issue 33 – Rengay

Ain’t Got No Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

antidisestab
lishmentarianism
not sure what it means

type-type-typing out
onomatopoeia

completing
the computed axial tomography
with claustrophobia

the author’s character’s craving
for methylenedioxymethamphetamine
semiautobiographical

sharing
a cwtch

after the doctor says
immunohistochemistry
I hear nothing

Alan S. Bridges & Michael Dylan Welch, USA

Yellow Ribbons

distant bells
echoing through the valley
that Christmas day truce

for as long as I can remember
a candle in the window

faded yellow ribbons
wrapped around
every tree

his days
waiting by the door
the old dog

the welcome mat
frayed

underneath
the unturned calendar
the brighter wall

Angela Terry & Julie Schwerin, USA

When the Music Ends

grief group . . .
introducing ourselves
by our losses

the chairs much farther
apart this time

when the music ends
another is taken
away

winning the cake walk
not really a good thing
for my diet

what I left behind
catches up with me

finally admitting
I may have been
part of the problem

Julie Schwerin & Angela Terry, USA

Waving Goodbye

downsizing . . .
she takes the seashells
back to the beach

boxing up books
no one’s looked at in years

waving good-bye
to the old mirrors
a new smile

that diary only
written in twice
goes in the garbage

a roomy space
for fresh dreams

filling up
with new possibilities
tomorrow-land

Julie Schwerin & Angela Terry, USA

Nuptial Niceties

kiss the bride
no, please, you were first . . .
civil wedding

seating arrangements
alphabetical

best man’s speech
on behalf of all men
thanking the groom

all the single ladies . . .
no one catches
the bouquet

first dance
she moves her father’s hand

cake topper askew
grandma fixes it
with a little spit

Lew Watts & Tanya McDonald, USA

Sweet Charity

bent tines
on the dessert fork
her life story

apple pie
still bruised by her motherhood

sugar and spice
locked in the attic
for speaking my mind

hear no evil, see no evil
an extra slice of tart
from the vicar’s wife

wax on the frosting
as she catches her breath

at the bitter end
still wanting to be loved––
sweet charity

Tanya McDonald & Lew Watts, USA

The Grunt’s Lament

another Monday
the half-n-half
curdles

the traffic
jam

spreading it
too thick
new hire

working lunch
we take turns
passing the buck

coffee break
stirring up gossip

the pits
still in the olive
Happy Hour

Terri L. French & Bryan Rickert, USA

Clothing Optional

quarantine
I dress up
my Bitmoji

a mask to match
each pair of socks

pandemic
which earrings go
with these pajamas

shutdown
another pair of slippers
from Amazon

a sweatshirt
gets the sniff test

COVID 19
it doesn’t deserve
a bra

Terri L. French, USA

Return to Issue

Tanya McDonald & Lew Watts & Charles Trumbull – USA (PJ32)

Ananga Rengay

red fountain pen —
she corrects a typo
in the Kama Sutra

 blotting his copy book . . .
 tantric snores

still pink and swollen,
the spot where they removed his
“Lolita” tattoo

torn IV drip
grandma’s arm
fifty shades of gray

 tucked into his casket
 a vintage Playboy

so all the night-tide
I lie by her side,
her tomb by the sounding sea


Tanya McDonald, USA
Lew Watts, Chicago, USA
Charles Trumbull, USA