#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.