Winter Wind by Martin Willitts, Jr.

Contents of snowflakes spill out of her apron pockets.
I have to listen between the snow-dust to hear
whatever she is telling me in her sub-zero breath.
She writes on my window with frost fingerprints,
words crinkling at the edges.
She left behind excuses in an empty brown paper bag.

The wind is a cello solo afterwards.



Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and 10 full-length collections. He has 3 more full-length collections forthcoming including The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madres Press), News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press), and Home Coming Celebration (FutureCycle Press).

A Gift by Amy Lowell


See! I give myself to you, Beloved!
My words are little jars
For you to take and put upon a shelf.
Their shapes are quaint and beautiful,
And they have many pleasant colours and lusters
To recommend them.
Also the scent from them fills the room
With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses.
When I shall have given you the last one,
You will have the whole of me,
But I shall be dead.



Amy Lowell, 1874 – 1925


Les Noisettes (1882) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

#GunViolence: Valentine’s Day by Beth Gordon

I was drinking mildewed wine while the bartender
sliced winter lemons.  Blood oranges and Key
West limes as bright as hungry frogs.

He changed the channel from slaughtered
students to coyote documentaries to digital
Korean snow. To children who always

knew they would be famous throwing
their beautiful bodies into the sky with nothing
but fiberglass and the breath of red-throated

loons to soften their choreographed landing.
He brought me a plate. He brought me
poblanos bursting with garlic and thyme.

He brought me a new glass of wine
because I live that kind of life. I wanted to wade
with the dead in muddy river water and fill

the new holes in their beautiful bodies
with rosemary.  With snow white lilies
and melted wax. There is not enough time

in frozen daylight to shed every necessary
tear and you ask me about love poems
but I give you this. I give you this funeral.
I give you this funeral song.

Valentine's Day into sky

Beth Gordon is a writer who has been landlocked in St. Louis, Missouri for sixteen years but dreams of oceans daily. Her work has recently appeared in Into the Void, Quail Bell, Calamus Journal, By&By, Five:2:One, Barzakh, and others. She can be found on Twitter @bethgordonpoet.


Featured photo of Sligo, Ireland statue to honor those lost at sea by Shay Sevenfold.

“Throwing their beautiful bodies into the sky” photo by Cat. 

Vintage Telephone Poems


From the Telephone 
by Florence Ripley Mastin (1922)

Out of the dark cup
Your voice broke like a flower.
It trembled, swaying on its taut stem.
The caress in its touch
Made my eyes close.

by Laura Elizabeth Richards (1932)

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)


Photograph of Florence Ripley Mastin via Poetry Foundation. 

#MeToo: Draupadi by Amy Baskin


—Heroine of the Hindu epic

let’s get this deed done right
that night he grips you with rough cold hands

that hold no heat of love
you haven’t served me well at all

takes a swig from a skin flask
stored in the folds of his dhoti

applies ointment to himself
a farmer priming a pump

oiling his plow a thousand times over
when Kauravas want to shame you

they try to pull off your clothes
tug at your very fabric yet

more silk appears
they cannot strip you of your dignity

clothe your mind in layers
too opaque for them to see through

let them leave with their bags of dice and flasks
let it be your little secret

when your eye turns eggplant purple
and you reek of sex and mangoes

say he was fumbling with a pillow
it was a new moon

say he couldn’t see in the dark
tell it over and over again

you choose your truth
filter each story through cloth into clay pots

that makes them potable
even sweet



Amy Baskin’s work is featured in Every Pigeon, apt, What Rough Beast, Riddled with Arrows, Fire Poetry Journal, The Ghazal Page, and more. She’s a 2016 Willamette Writers Kay Snow Poetry award recipient for her poem, About Face. She’s worked on revision with Paulann Petersen and Renee Watson of I, Too Collective, and participates in generative groups hosted by Allison Joseph and Jenn Givhan.


Painting Draupadi Humiliated by Raja Ravi Varma.

Return by Robert Golden

Canandaigua Lake at night:
lights of summer homes,
pinpoints in the dark–cave fires–
occasional motor boat,
distant laughs of parties.
underneath, whispering:
plash of an oar slicing
water, the birch bark canoe
gliding, wounded rider headed
south, pushed by wind
past Sullivan’s* burning villages,
lonely whining dogs.

Thruway headed west at night,
bugs splattering his windshield
Day-Glo reds and yellows.
He jerks, startled:
road kill, humps of fur,
bloodied bodies heave,
slowly reforming,
slinking into the woods,
dark bosom.
90 miles to Buffalo.

At his old home
his long-dead father, short-sleeved, trim
white shirt, his still-red hair,
appears in the yard,
just asks: What’s up?
Beside, his dead mother stares,
insane grey eyes full of pleading.
He stares back: quizzical, smiling.
A child, awake to feel
dawn’s wet grass.

*In 1779, American Revolutionary War Major General John Sullivan led an expedition to Central New York that destroyed 40 villages of Iroquois tribes allied with the British.



Robert Golden’s poetry has appeared in such journals as California State Poetry Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, The Eclectic Muse, and Lake Effect. In 2016 his poem, The Call, was set to original music and performed by a professional actor in a podcast by Music for Prose. He also writes nonfiction and has a blog,, where he writes occasionally on the contemporary work environment. He is a resident of New Bern, North Carolina and the Vice-President of Carteret Writers.