#Mountains: Fractured Lullaby in a Zinke Landscape by J.P. Dancing Bear

"Did I mention I'm a geologist?"  --often told lie by Ryan Zinke*
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and wonder,
What could that be put to use for?
Who doesn't look        where the ancestors are buried,
and wonder    what their time would be like
stuffed                        full of chemicals?.
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and think,
How can I break that down for its minerals?
Why wouldn't the spirits        in the water, rocks,
and trees, not want     to be free         of their bonds
and      their    children?
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and ponder,
Where did all this natural resource come from?
Is the spirit energy     trapped in the rocks               not happy
in its home?    Who says, Granite,    Shale,             Gold,               Ore,
Uranium,        and thinks       themselves      as liberator or hero?
Who doesn't look at the mountain                 and ask,
Could I own this mountain    or sell it?
All the spirits              and ancestors are                   thinking
About the government           word,                                       relocation,
And how          much more     the heart                                                can break.



J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.


Painting by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.


*Editor’s Note: According to Wikipedia, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has a B.S. (couldn’t resist) in Geology but has never worked in the field.

#Immigration: Do Not Come by Barbara Henning

Do Not Come Barbara Henning
—fleeing harm—a torrent of human beings—Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan—warm weather—do not come—near sixty in New York—Don Yorty points at me—with his cell phone—an archive of NYC poets—music blaring—do not come—a pro-bully rally—warm up the clash—between protestors and supporters—do not come—“We” have to take a look at it—do not come—Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate—the bully says—with more than minimal makeup—and a bit of eye shadow—do not come—depends upon—union activist—or reality tv—do not come—the Greece-Macedonia border—tear gas fired at children—men—women—do not come—1933—at Mack Ave and Alter Rd—my ancestors pose—stiff and prepared—for rent—extra rooms—safety indoors—children fed—2016—desperate—yet—do not come—do not come—to Europe—or here—do not come—my right knee stiff—do not come—stretch it out and in and out—

						(8 Mar 2016)

First published in Recluse.



Barbara Henning is the author of several collections of poetry, her most recent A Day Like Today (Negative Capability Press 2015). Other recents include A Swift Passage (Quale Press), Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). She has published three novels, Thirty Miles to Rosebud, You Me and the Insects and Black Lace, and she is the editor of Looking Up Harryette Mullen and The Collected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Born in Detroit, Barbara lives in Brooklyn and teaches for Long Island University, as well as writers.com. http://barbarahenning.com

Hope by Mela Blust

Joaquín_Sorolla_-_Chicos_en_la_playa Hope Mela

clocks ticking; scraps of paper
with hopeful telephone numbers

holding hands
next to a hospital bed

shaving before a date,
leaving your door unlocked at night

allowing children to grow up
hearts in jars



Mela Blust is a writer residing in rural Pennsylvania. She is an active member of many online publications. Her work is forthcoming in Abstract Magazine.


Painting Chicos en la playa by Joaquin Sorolla. 

#GunViolence: Sidelines by Buffy Shutt


Sidelines by Buffy Shutt

Buffy Shutt lives and works in Los Angeles. She spent most of her adult life marketing movies. She writes poetry and short stories. She has published one novel and co-authored a book of non-fiction with her college roommate and still best friend. A two time 2017 Pushcart nominee, her recent work has appeared in Red Fez, SplitLip, Bird’s Thumb and the Magnolia Review which gave her their Ink Award.

Olives by Victoria Crawford

Olive Branch IIi by Mindy Sommers Victoria Crawford Olives

victory branch
competition to be the best
joy of winning, sorrow of loss
green leaves
green globes
floating in the nectar of gin
reward at the end of the day
each day’s contest



A wanderer and poet, Victoria Crawford sees the sunrise and set currently in Thailand. At home any and everywhere, her heart remains in California among the eucalyptus and redwoods, sea lions and sea urchins of Monterey Bay. Her poems have appeared in Cargo Literary, Pacific Poetry, Hawaii Pacific Review, Wildflowers Muse, and other journals.


Painting by Mindy Sommers. Used by permission. 

#GunViolence: Yellow Lines by Anne Harding Woodworth

Shooting_of_Terence_Crutcher photo by Tulsa Police Dept Yellow Line Anne Woodworth
In memory of Terence Crutcher

He held his arms high toward a sky that had always
cupped him on cold days and warm.
Music lingered inside him tonight
and everything, even the gun,
was going to be fine—he’d done nothing wrong.
Soon he’d be on his way home.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck.*

The cop used his taser. The cop used her gun.
The road reached up to the man
who fell, as the asphalt pulled him down
into itself, beside the two yellow lines
that divide and cut off—
it’s one way for some, another
for him who slumped alone under sky.
And the bullet spun in his gut.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck.

He’ll never depart this sacred place,
the shirt he wore will remain.
His shoes won’t ever uncobble their stitches,
and he will sing in that street.
The chalk that outlines a shameful truth
will never wash away.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck.

*from “Strange Fruit,” lyrics by Abel Meeropol, sung by Billie Holiday

Anne Harding Woodworth is the author of six books of poetry and four chapbooks. Her most recent chapbook is The Last Gun, an excerpt of which won the COG Poetry Award, judged by A. Van Jordan. It has subsequently been animated and can be seen at http://www.cogzine.com/watch. Harding Woodworth’s poetry, essays, and reviews appear in the U.S. and abroad in print and on line, such as in Poet Lore, TriQuarterly, Crannog, and Innisfree Poetry Journal. She lives in Washington, D.C. where she is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library.


Aerial photograph of the killing of Terence Crutcher, by Tulsa Police Department.

Call the Arborist By T.m. Lawson


It’s time to cull aggressively.
You won’t see the damage for a few years.
First time, no experience, concerned, just lost.
Will this come back to life if I cut off the dead?

It’s time to weep. Reap. Leave.
Smoke at the center, drifting out of your trunk.
The blood is normal.
Keep the carcass as a souvenir.

It’s time to plant needlessly.
Just because. Habits. Or genetics.
Maybe what is animal is vegetable.
Sap. Sapling. Tender bark, peeling.



T.m. Lawson is a writer and poet living in Southern California. They have been published in Los Angeles Review, Entropy Magazine, Poets.org, White Stag, The Other Journal, NILVX, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. They are a 2015 Academy of American Poets prize winner, and a 2016 Thompson Prize winner. Formerly the Poetry Editor for Angel City Review, they are now an M.F.A. student at UCSD’s Creative Writing program.


Painting, Cherry Tree, by Jenn Zed. Used by Permission.

on yet another birthday by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal

Summer of Love

my prized micro-cassette
i keep stashed away
in my dresser drawer
but for this day
each year when i take it
out of its velvet-lined box
to play and replay
my father’s message
promising he’ll return
my call soon
as possible



Ruth Sabath Rosenthal is a New York poet, well published in literary journals and poetry anthologies throughout the U.S., and internationally. In October 2006, her poem, on yet another birthday, was nominated for a Pushcart prize. Ruth has authored five books of poetry: Facing Home (a chapbook), Facing Home and Beyond, little, but by no means small, Food: Nature vs Nurture, and Gone, but Not Easily Forgotten. For more about Ruth, please feel free to visit her websites: http://newyorkcitypoet.comhttp://bigapplepoet.com and blog site: http://poetrybyruthsabathrosenthal.com


Painting, Summer of Love, by Jenn Zed. Used by Permission.

White Out Three Times by Don Krieger

Charlottesville torches Don Krieger White Out

After the wedding I puked,
then slept in the bushes. At first light
I drove east, no good bye, the sun
bright as a bomb. By eight

it was snowing. By ten
I was alone running sixty
in the left lane, the others
behind slow trucks or on the shoulder.

This weekend a white boy
drove into the crowd
and killed somebody. Other boys
with credit cards, K-Mart torches,
mommy’s clean muscle shirts, chanted,

You … won’t … erase … us.

First published in Vox Poetica.


Don Krieger is a biomedical researcher living in Pittsburgh, PA. His poetry has appeared online at Tuck Magazine, Uppagus Magazine, VerseWrights, and others, in print in Hanging Loose, Neurology, and in English and Farsi in Persian Sugar in English Tea.

Stressed Out by Paul Lojeski

stressed out paul lojeski by rama

I’m my own murder scene.
One-eyed, bloody-nosed medics,

circle the corpse that is me,
even though I’m smiling and

wink and sing out, how’s it
going boys? But no one answers
including those thick-waisted

trees bending in the screaming
hurricane, nor a gang of cops

scurrying in, smoking, spitting,
grabbing crotches as if there’s
meaning or magic there
instead of mundane menace.

Blue fire at the horizon flares
brighter, as I’m tossed on

the gurney and rolled into the hearse
they claim is an ambulance.

It all makes sense to me, though,
I tell the heavily-armed woman
at checkout of my favorite grocery,

the one selling tins of purified
air guaranteed to extend mortality
by 11% or your money back.
Or more likely your next of kin’s

because you’ll be dead then, but I’m
not, at least, I don’t think I am.



Paul Lojeski was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. He attended Oberlin College. His poetry has appeared online and in print. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.


Photograph by Rama.

#GunViolence: Yoga for Kids by Amy Baskin

yoga for kids amy baskin walter albertin

Return to child’s pose
and hide under desks.
You’re harder to shoot through walls this way.

Return to child’s pose
and don’t make a peep.
Play “Still as Statues” in the storage closet.

Return to child’s pose.
Place your hands above your heads,
or to the sides of each target— each body. Your bodies.

Return to child’s pose.
Find innocence in your age, your parents, and everyone
who sends you to this building each weekday.

Rest. Recharge. Revive.
Reflect on the circle of things, and above all,
remember to breathe! Quietly, if you can.



Amy Baskin’s work is currently featured in armarolla, Apparition Lit, Friends Journal, and more. When she’s not writing, she works to ensure that international students at Lewis & Clark College feel welcome and at home during their stay.


Photograph by Walter Albertin, 1962. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

#GunViolence: Expert Marksman by Tamara Madison

expert marksman tamara madison Max Pixel

The army ranked him Expert Marksman
But he didn’t like to shoot.
Shot over the heads of some German kids —
Candy stealers — when the war was over,
Shot to scare off some coyotes hounding
Our dog in the field down below the house,
And once when a strange rustling
Disturbed our sleep for the third night in a row
His shot fired into the dark turned up a badger.
Otherwise, the shotgun stood unloaded
In a dark corner of my parents’ closet.

Once a friend’s kid beebee’d down a bird
And my dad told him the whole story
Of that young bird’s life, how just that morning,
That bird was singing, riding the April breezes
Gathering up food for its babies; he went on
Until the kid melted into a blubbering mass.

When his pals took him hunting
He told them he was only along for the ride,
He didn’t believe in killing. But he hefted
The rifle they handed him and aimed
Without thinking toward the rustling brush.
He was the only one to get a deer that trip,
And when he came home he cried, telling about it.

When Bullet was twelve and couldn’t jump
Into the pickup bed, could hardly hobble
Out to greet his master, when his dog smile
Darkened with pain, my father came home
One day, took off his hat but wouldn’t take
His eye off the ground: he just couldn’t stand
To see the dog in pain like that.



Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook The Belly Remembers, and two full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Nerve Cowboy, the Writer’s Almanac and other publications. She is thrilled to have just retired from teaching English and French in a Los Angeles high school.


Photograph by Max Pixel.

Inside the Yellow Stucco House by Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich


It’s quiet—
A meditating mind whispers
Calm over the sounds of
Antique clocks ticking & tucking
Memories into drawers.
The Griffins guard the living room:
Four faces with ethical minds—
Protect order.

When silence sings—
The noisy woodpecker walks
Backward up the Oak tree.
Buddha sits in the grass smiling
And Buddha is upstairs visiting
My mother praying
In her hard-back chair.
Buddha is in the rosy spring air—
The breezy wind & the comforting sun.
Soon the whippoorwills begin to sing again.



Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich teaches English World Literature at The University of the People, an online free tuition school and poetry at Westchester Community College. She teaches a memoir, fiction, poetry writing class at Piermont Library and elsewhere. She performs her poetry throughout the United States. She has two poetry chapbooks: We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes (2016) and Opening the Black Ovule Gate (2018) both published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry blog and performance schedule is: http://www.lisarhodesryabchichpoetryblog.wordpress.com She has an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have been published in  Madness Muse Press’ Destigmatized Anthology, Moon Magazine, Civilized Beasts Vol. III from Weasel Press, Praxim, Cave Canem, Obsidian III, Journal of Poetry Therapy, Footsteps, AIM, Left Jab, Poetry Motel, Peaceful Poetry to Love Your Societal Consciousness, and elsewhere.


Photograph by Hameltion.

Airs in the Dark: a Thanbauk Poem for the Tham Luang 13 by Victoria Crawford


Airs in the Dark
a than bauk poem
for the Tham Luang 13

Outside the cave
a monk gravely
chants save these boys

flood destroys
all joys deep down
underground, lost—

now found, but trapped
in caverns mapped
enwrapped lightless

Blessings during out,
monk, sleepless, prays
ceaseless through days

the gateway grows,
betrayed by tears,
we hide fears now,

breathe cheer, rescue
prayers, true voices
ring through, inside

from boys, outside,
from all sides spring
hope’s tide— we wait

so bless the hands
that pass the gate
to bring them home.



Thirteen very young men have been trapped in a cave for two weeks and the sixty-five million Thais have been praying in compassion and mercy for the boys’s safety. Victoria Crawford, a California poet living an hour’s drive from the crises adds her own hopes for their rescue.

Dawns by Amy Lowell

I have come
from pride
all the way up to humility
This day-to-night.
The hill
was more terrible
than ever before.
This is the top;
there is the tall, slim tree.
It isn’t bent; it doesn’t lean;
It is only looking back.
At dawn,
under that tree,
still another me of mine
was buried.
Waiting for me to come again,
humorously solicitous
of what I bring next,
it looks down.



Amy Lowell, 1874 – 1925.


Photograph by Sanketsans. 

Neverland by Roberta Beary

Neverland Roberta Beary

obstetrics —
second star
to the right

metal stirrups …
sinking deeper
into neverland

hazmat bin —
nurse smee’s
this won’t hurt

amniotic rain
℅ capt. hook

morphine …
the weight
of fairy dust

bed rest
straight on
’til morning



Roberta Beary identifies as gender-expansive, and writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. She is the author of three books of poems: Deflection (Accents, 2015) nothing left to say (King’s Road Press, 2009) and The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007, 5th ed. 2017) which was a finalist in the Poetry Society of America annual book awards). Beary is the editor/co-editor of the haiku anthologies Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press, 2018) fresh paint (Red Moon Press, 2014), 7 (Jacar Press, 2013), dandelion clocks (Haiku Society of America, 2008) and fish in love (Haiku Society of America, 2006). Her work appears in Rattle, KYSO Flash, Beltway Quarterly Review and Haiku In English The First Hundred Years (Norton, 2013). Beary’s work has been nominated for Best of the Net and multiple Pushcart Prizes. She lives in County Mayo, Ireland.


An earlier version first published in Frogpond.

C R A Z E D G L I T T E R by T.m. Lawson

3270 Emulation_500

Pus, what is pus, it is clover, it is noodled red crayon.

The moon in that is that water is absent. The volcanoes have arrived. The grass is empty. Yet it isn’t, it it is is all all, and jingered smoke, and kem trails, surely they belong to someone, but forgot to change their breath, and a kolossos knocked on the door, and maps have moved to skin. Remember glinting is tool clarification.

Yet the palm tree won’t go out smoothly. There was once a war hung about the frame. Newspaper clippings on how to do. The sheets have pudding, the stars have knives. And the face is grey sunshine. And the face is hot moonlight. The dots have driven insane. Yet canvas. For a little while. Exorcise brown technique, soothing tectonics, scheduling the next earthquake. It shows up late, early, on-time, unwanted, planned, unexpected, hoped, feared, latent. It likes to borrow oiled sugar from time to time.



T.m. Lawson is a writer and poet living in Southern California. They have been published in Los Angeles Review, Entropy Magazine, Poets.org, White Stag, The Other Journal, NILVX, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. They are a 2015 Academy of American Poets prize winner, and a 2016 Thompson Prize winner. Formerly the Poetry Editor for Angel City Review, they are now an M.F.A. student at UCSD’s Creative Writing program.


Painting, Emulation, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission. 

#Immigration: Resignation Syndrome by Tim Kahl

Resignation Syndrome Tim Kahl

They just fall away from the world.
All the little Roma and Uyghur kids,
the boys being sent back to Kosovo,
they completely buy into Sweden.
They feel a deep pressure in their brains
and ears. They pound their fists against
the wall and slowly descend into coma,
their heads flopping down at their sides.
The feeding tubes enter through the nostril.
The mothers weep and stare at their hands.
They have no asylum, no future that can be
salvaged and finally made secure.
They suffer from poisoned hopefulness,
a crisis of existence at the age of nine
that makes them shut down, supports
knocked clear, their life story veering off course.
Such resigned apathy is not an isolated
act of the imagination’s force.
I have seen refugees from their working days
rage in their despair. Those lost in
little rural towns turn to alcohol and meth,
labor sacrificed on the altar of finance.
I have seen women whose nightmares
have come to life and surfaced as a threat,
men who left their homes to find out where
they might prosper best. I have seen trust
expertly pierced by speech turned to a point.
All manners of trauma spill from
an unsettled fate. It’s not the destiny
anyone bargains for to wander about,
dispatched from the land of empathy
where you’ve come to learn the language,
but it decides to snow some more.



Tim Kahl [http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012) and The String of Islands (Dink, 2015). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song [http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.


Information on Resignation Syndrome.

#GunViolence: “Silencers Now Legal for Hunting” by Anne Harding Woodworth

GMan552 Anne Woodworth

“Silencers Now Legal for Hunting”
Charlotte (NC) Observer, August 1, 2013

The task of the poet is “interrogation of silence.”
—George McKay Brown

And so, Silence, what is it you’re hiding
under that sleek and cunning gown?

The gun wears you and you stifle its message.
You do it smugly, Silence, sotto voce.

Still, we know the gun will not be silent—
not until it rusts or jams forever,

not until it drowns in the river or melts
into rake tines for the season.

Are you ready to be stifled, Silence?
Silence wounds. Silence? Can you hear us?



Anne Harding Woodworth is the author of six books of poetry and four chapbooks. Her most recent chapbook is The Last Gun, an excerpt of which won the COG Poetry Award, judged by A. Van Jordan. It has subsequently been animated and can be seen at http://www.cogzine.com/watch. Harding Woodworth’s poetry, essays, and reviews appear in the U.S. and abroad in print and on line, such as in Poet Lore, TriQuarterly, Crannog, and Innisfree Poetry Journal. She lives in Washington, D.C. where she is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library.


Photograph by GMan552.

Leaving Atlanta by Beth Gordon

Leaving Atlanta Beth Gordon

You want me to consider the rain, I hate
it here. I want sorghum syrup coating
everything. Gin-soaked orange peels glued
inside your mouth. It is sweltering
in this airport you are wading in,
metal detectors at the opposite gate and scraping
at peony scars on your arms. You peel back
your skin every night like mud
soaked book pages. I hate it here, this year.
Your father will die still
believing his home has vanished,
replaced with old hotel walls and strangers who feed him
cake. With unfamiliar ghosts. With
hands. I hate it here, this year
your mother will bake three-layer
buttercream cakes from her wheelchair.
Bones replaced by dust. It is pouring. Dust. I hate it here.
This year he will leave without looking
back, and you will build funerals
and sanctuaries from pouring more gin,
and the sudden dispersements of your heart.



Beth Gordon received her MFA from American University a long time ago and was not heard from again until 2017 when her poems began to appear in numerous online and print journals including Into the Void, Outlook Springs, Verity La and After Happy Hour Review. Landlocked in St. Louis for 17 years, Beth has taught several local writing workshops, and is co-founder of a poetry reading series in Grafton, IL. She is also co-editor of Gone Lawn, a journal of poetry and progressive fiction.


Original photograph by Josh Hallett. 

Rattapallax!!! Frogs Eat Butterflies. Snakes Eat Frogs. Hogs Eat Snakes. Men Eat Hogs. by Wallace Stevens


It is true that the rivers went nosing like swine,
Tugging at banks, until they seemed
Bland belly-sounds in somnolent troughs,
That the air was heavy with the breath of these swine,
The breath of turgid summer, and
Heavy with thunder’s rattapallax,
That the man who erected this cabin, planted
This field, and tended it awhile,
Knew not the quirks of imagery,
That the hours of his indolent, arid days,
Grotesque with this nosing in banks,
This somnolence and rattapallax,
Seemed to suckle themselves on his arid being,
As the swine-like rivers suckled themselves
While they went seaward to the sea-mouths.


Wallace Stevens, 1879 – 1955.

Photograph: Cabins along the Skagway (or Skaguay) river in Alaska, early 20th century.  Bates Peak in background. Courtesy of G. Waldo Brown and Nathan Haskell Dole. Author unknown.