#Immigration #GunViolence: On Air, On Land, At Sea by Barbara Henning


—when surfing in 28 degree water—or stuck in traffic—for 63 hours a year—your brain freezes—your chin gets stiff—no angry mobs in Tehran—shouting “Death to America”— No McDonald’s in Tehran—instead, a homegrown Mash Donald——dreaming—of a woman with blonde hair—chin length—at a restaurant table—with a younger dejected bully—hey, don’t worry—she says looking down at him—I’ll let you see em later—he drops his head—a sad puppy—so sad—so horrible—when the phone rings—we all wake up—to headlines with his name—oh no—and they’re just not true—he says—everyone must love me—digital twitter talk—can’t be recaptured—and you can’t bury it—it’s out there—scattered in air, on land, at sea—North Africa to Europe—Seawatch reports—2400 migrants rescued—four children dead—
(26 Oct 2016)

First published in Posit: A Journal of Literature and Art.



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


Painting Double Flat G by Jenn Zed. Used by Permission. 

Red Dragonfly by Debbie Hall


You emerge
from the dark
of my tiny pond
in the heart
of summer,
in the heat
of morning,
air brittle
and crackling.

You witness
with thousands
of eyes the world
break apart.
Your body
is the color
of blood lost
and remade,
your glassine
wings fragile
windows in flight.

Tell me,
is it sufficient
simply to sit
and marvel
at your existence
in these dark
and frenzied times?


First published in What Light I Have by Debbie Hall (Main Street Rag Books).

Red Dragonfly Debbie Hall photo by Jeevan Jose

Debbie Hall is a psychologist and writer whose poetry has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, A Year in Ink, Serving House Journal, Sixfold, Tuck Magazine, Poetry24,Bird’s Thumb, Poetry Super Highway and other journals. She has work upcoming in an AROHO anthology. Her essays have appeared on NPR (This I Believe series), in USD Magazine, and the San Diego Union Tribune. She received an honorable mention in the 2016 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and completed her MFA at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Debbie is the author of the poetry collection, What Light I Have (2018, Main Street Rag Books).


Painting, Glitch, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission. Red Dragonfly photograph by Jeevan Jose, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Autumn Poems by Trivarna Hariharan

John_Atkinson_Grimshaw_-_Evening_Glow_Autumn poems by Trivarna Hariharan-_Google_Art_Project


by my shadows—

I yearn
for the silence with

evening birds laugh.


on an autumn night—
a cicada tosses back and forth
our tree’s old arms.


Autumn winds
understand the tenderness

with which to touch
flowers that can no longer



In her mouth—
a nightingale holds

flowers as tender
as times long gone



by children not more
than three years old—

an autumn’s maple
withers at our window-



Trivarna Hariharan is a student of English Literature from India. She has authored There Was Once A River Here (Les Editions du Zaporogue), The Necessity of Geography (Flutter Press) and Letters I Never Sent (Writers Workshop, Kolkata). Her poems appear or are forthcoming from Right Hand Pointing, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Third Wednesday, Otoliths, Peacock Journal, Across the Margin, Front Porch Review, and others. In October 2017, Calamus Journal nominated her poem for a Pushcart Prize. She has served as an editor-in-chief at Inklette, and a poetry editor for Corner Club Press. Besides writing, she learns the Electronic Keyboard, and has completed her 4th Grade in the instrument from Trinity College of Music, London.


Painting by John Atkinson Grimshaw.

#Mountains: Cori’s Barn by Joe Cottonwood

800px-Cori's Barn Joe Cottonwood Albert_Bierstadt_-_Swiss_Mountain_Cabin

Cute, blond, plucky, oh so lucky,
an early employee of Facebook,
Cori hires me to build a house of glass
with a grand deck for sunsets, fine wine
on this hilltop first settled by the gold miner,
hardscrabble, hairy (see this old photo?)
not so lucky. Long gone.

We scrape the squalid cabin but
Cori asks me to restore the barn,
boards bleached as sunshine does,
silver-gray with fuzz. “Like you,”
she says with charming dimple.

At this barn beside a sapling redwood
the San Gregorio stagecoach would stop
twice each day while horses, sweaty,
took water from this spring
(like me, I might say).

Timbers hewn by hand, by broadax
(see the strokes?) now sag.
Square nails rust. Moss covers the roof
except where goats ate shingles.
Walls lean downhill until stopped,
braced for the next millennia
by the Sequoia sempervirens
feeding on sourdough bone
(see the tumbled tombstone?).

Old miner, too early
found paradise.

Joe Cottonwood has built or repaired hundreds of houses in his day job as carpenter/contractor. Nights, he writes. His latest book is Foggy Dog: Poems of the Pacific Coast.


Painting by Albert Bierstadt.

#Mountains: A New Time by Xe M. Sánchez

A New Time Xe M Sanchez Jenn Zed the_place_promised_in_our_early_days___2_by_frogstar_23-dc3p883.png

A New Time, Translation from Asturian by the author:

Now, we think
that the mountains
are only a good place
for tourism
-or climbing-.
Earlier mountains were
the home
of the ancient gods
who governed
the life of the men.
Modern power
has descended
for some time now
from the summits
towards the valley.


Original text:


Tiempu Nuevu

Agora talantamos
que les montañes
namái son un llugar
pa facer turismu
-o alpinismu-.
Anantes yeren
el llar
de los vieyos dioses
que gobernaben
la vida de los homes.
El poder modernu
amiyó abenayá
dende les cumes
al valle.



Xe M. Sánchez was born in 1970 in Grau (Asturies, Spain). He received his Ph.D degree in History from the University of Oviedo in 2016, he is an anthropologist, and he also studied Tourism and three masters (History / Protocol / Philately and Numismatic). He has published Escorzobeyos (2002), Les fueyes tresmanaes d’Enol Xivares (2003), Toponimia de la parroquia de Sobrefoz. Ponga (2006), Llue, esi mundu paralelu (2007), Les Erbíes del Diañu (E-book: 2013, Paperback: 2015), Cróniques de la Gandaya (E-book, 2013), El Cuadernu Prietu (2015) in the Asturian language, and several publications in journals and reviews in Asturies, USA, Portugal, France, Sweden, Scotland, Australia, South Africa, India, Italy, England and Canada.


Painting, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.

#GunViolence: They Took the Guns by Buffy Shutt

23 ways january colorized

They took the guns.
In one night the children cleaned out
Our closets, our drawers, our lock boxes.
Scoured the police stations and the virtual stores,
Fled like animals, absconding with the action.

None too young or too small
To carry the guns
On their backs, over their heads
Across their forearms, stuffed into waistbands,
Zipped into backpacks, some with dangling charms.

They had badgered us until exhausted,
They turned into animals.
As one, the herd dropped the guns,
Clattering, crisscrossed into a sandy altar.
Littering our shore with dead-shiny obsidian.

Shot hot from a rifle this herd joins
The dragonflies, the turtles, the wildebeests,
The zooplankton swarms.
Heedless of the thousands and thousands of miles ahead
Theirs a desperate gamble.

The children forfeited their human form to start over.
They wait for us, these cagey animals
To surrender, to sacrifice our breath,
To sink forgotten into this riddled hill,
This ash-heap of cruel and casual penalty.



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.


Original photograph by Fibonacci Blue.

#Immigration: Aunt Molly by Tamara Madison

Aunt Molly Tamara Madison

When cossacks torched the town,
one pulled Malka from her carriage,
moved to rip her apart until he recognized
the face of his neighbor in Malka’s mother;
he apologized, placed her in her mother’s
arms and scurried into the smoky night.
Her father had seen what was coming,
packed up his seven languages and sailed
to America. Soon the family joined him,
leaving behind the country that rejected them,
their culture, their faith. They left their land
of cypress and palm with its glittering
Black Sea, and landed in a larger world
of cypress and palm where sea was ocean,
the language an edifice to climb upon
and conquer; their religion expendable
at last, they were free in their new lives.
Now my grandfather could spread garlic
on his bread in peace, no one seemed to care
what their last name was and his sister Malka
was able to grow old and tell me, “Remember,
dear, the Bible was written by a bunch of men”
and no god came to strike her dead.



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.

She Says Stalker/He Says Fan by Alexis Rhone Fancher


“If you can’t be free, be a mystery.” – Rita Dove, ‘Canary.’

She’s a singed torch song, a broken chord, the slip-shadow between superstar and the door. She’s that long stretch of longing riding shotgun from nowhere to L.A., a bottle of Jack Daniels snug between her thighs, always some fresh loser at the wheel. She’s the Zippo in your darkness, a glimmer of goddess in your god-forsaken life, her voice a rasp, a whisky-tinged caress. She gets you, and you know the words to all her songs, follow her from dive bar to third-rate club clapping too loudly, making sure she makes it home. She’s as luckless in love as you are, star-crossed, the pair of you, (in your dreams). If only we could choose who we love! Tonight the bartender pours your obsession one on the house, dims the lights in the half-empty room as she walks on stage, defenseless, but for that 0018 rosewood Martin she cradles in her lap like a child. If you ask nicely, she’ll end with the song you request night after night, about the perils of unrequited love. You’ll blurt out your worship into her deaf ear, while her fingers strum your forearm and her nails break your skin. Give the lady whatever she wants, you’ll tell the barkeep. Like that’s even possible.


First published in The San Pedro River Review.



Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Plume, Rattle, Diode, Rust & Moth, Nashville Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems,(2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), and Enter Here (2017). A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.


Painting, Still Life with Guitar, by Juan Gris.

#Mountains: Mimosas and Mine Ponies (A Sense of Place) by Wren Tuatha


1. The Fenceline

The mimosa of my childhood
grew through the fenceline,
a swelling possession,
as if it were Columbus, claiming
us and our neighbors.
I would ignore the teetering swing set
and pluck middle sections out of the leaves
to make lanky birds, phoenixes
that could clear the fence but chose to stay
in my mind garden,
flapping and bobbing
at the end of my arms
like carnival airplane rides.

Matchbox cars pulled up to mimosa root houses,
Borrowers and Hobbits.
I made fences out of kindling.
The matchbox cars would arrive home and drive away,
mapping a sense of place.

2. Mine Pony Farm

Her dad left her an Appalachian
slope, Mine Pony Farm, she called it,
after the sturdy servants who made it profitable once.
Now she rolled downhill with
the water, dogs and copperheads,
keeping ahead of mining company
snipers who shot to scare
her off, even as crews dug the mountain out
from under her.

“You and I,” she said, “we carry a sense of place.”

3. Seven River Crossings, Three Ways In

Seven trips, seven friends carried each others’ loads,
plywood and board feed, pillows and rice,
down into the deep Ozark valley.

They had park permission.
They would stake their claim
miles off any pavement, in a fold within
a fold of the state land.

There were three ways in:
A two hour road, seven river crossings, drivable
a couple of months of the year;
A two hour climb down one mountain;
A five hour hike down the other.

Each built a house. Hippie blends of old
and new, found logs, barn windows, satellite dishes.
Some stayed year round, some would come and go,
keeping jobs and family ties.

As years circled like buzzards, as kids, once dirty-kneed, turned
away to college, the friends faded off or left in some huff.
Listening, circling decisions, had always been tough.

A woman and a man she’d recently met had Brigadoon
to themselves. They were bent and knotted from planting,
dragging and climbing.

They would stop and allow my visit, for the magazine article.


These poems, first published in Belle Reve Journal, are part of an upcoming book length cycle, Mimosas and Mine Ponies (A Sense of Place).



Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Pirene’s Fountain, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Pacific, and Bangalore Review. Her chapbook, Thistle and Brilliant, is upcoming from Finishing Line Press. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

Even on the Sunniest Days by Kenneth Pobo

even on the sunniest days kenneth pobo photo by alejandro mallea

Riding on his underwater tractor,
Poseidon wonders why
Zeus snarls so much. Sometimes,
just for laughs, he creeps up
behind Zeus, runs him down
with a tidal wave. Zeus screams
some rather unholy curses.

It takes centuries to dry out—
something Poseidon can’t do,
wearing watery overalls
even on the sunniest days.



Kenneth Pobo has a new book of prose poems forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House called The Antlantis Hit Parade. His forthcoming chapbook of haiku and tanka will appear from Yavanika Press. It’s called Threads.


Photo by Alejandro Mallea.

That Mother by Roberta Beary

John_Collier_-_Reclining_Woman that mother roberta beary

My daughter is watching Frozen with friend.
I am cleaning out the linen closet.
Here is my stash of perfume samples from Bloomingdales.
I put them in a little basket.

I want to be another kind of mother.
Who comes home and climbs into bed.
Wearing nothing but sample perfume from Bloomingdales.
I want to be that mother in the Long Bar at Raffles.
Sipping the perfect Singapore Sling.

Frozen is almost over.
I take my Singapore Sling and sit near my daughter and her friend.
They open all the packets of perfume.
My daughter gets to keep the little basket.



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.


Painting Reclining Woman by John Collier. 

#Immigration: Ever-Shifting by Barbara Henning

wikimedia commons Barbara Henning Ever-Shifting

—on the F—a woman scrolls, swipes—and eats—bits of pastry—out of a brown bag—her round face—surrounded—by shoulder-length—greasy hair—behind me—a little boy to his friend—I’m scared of the president—that’s so sad—I say outloud—I’m not afraid—the woman beside me says—I voted for him—do you regret it now?—Nope—some Mexicans held up my friend—now because of him—just because of him—352 Mexicans—have been removed—from Staten Island—and I’m happy—gone—swiped—away—mothers, fathers, children—some get off—some get on—a young man—in a tee-shirt and running shorts—stares into his cell—a man with a black beard—gold colored shawl—switches the screen—hundreds of Muslim men bowing—over his shoulder—I try to catch the name—of the Imam—over his shoulder—the ever-shifting—wall between us—one after another—we take the escalator—up and out—at Broadway Lafayette—scrolling through—our options— (24 July 2017)


First published in Journal of Poetics Research.



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

Demographics by Monique Gagnon German

Demographics Monique Gagnon German Guatemala_city_aerial_night_b

All of the roads in Love
are spirals, switchbacks
climbing mountains
that overlook dwarfed
spruce trees, tiny rooftops
and threads of chimney smoke.

On crisp days,
far on the horizon
the golden lakes of Philosophy
can be seen shimmering
like hammered pewter
reflecting the sun gleaming autumn
like a mirage until each
lake seems to merge
into one endless offering.

From the highest roads
of Love, you might see
a swimmer or two
the size of fleas or mites
diving, splashing,
rippling the surface of
Philosophy’s heart,
unless of course the clouds
roll in from the western shore
of the island of Doubt,
where a metropolis stands
and everyone except a few
unconditioned folks
live on buses and subways
darting to and from the theater
of work and happy hour
where the servings are heaped
onto paper plates shaped
like the state of Hope, making
the inhabitants more
complacent and full
so that fewer and fewer each year
can even think of escape
anymore without immediately
forgetting why and what for.

But over in Trust,
while none of the roads
are completely paved,
everyone knows
it won’t be long
before they are done.
Brilliant, inspired civil engineers
will connect them into one
long street named Patience,
which will have no rules,
no stop signs, no lights.
Everyone will yield
to others as they come
arriving at all hours
from the fringes
of Love, Philosophy,
Hope and Doubt,
arriving by minivan, SUV,
motorcycle, and car,
headlights on
no matter morning,
noon or night.

In Trust
the population is still small,
there is unlimited room
for growth.



If you were looking for it, you’d find Monique Gagnon German’s poetry and fiction in over 30 journals/anthologies including: Rosebud, California Quarterly, Tampa Review, Off the Coast, Califragile, and The Wayfarer. Her flash-fiction and short stories have been featured in: Kalliope, A Journal of Women’s Literature & Art, The MacGuffin, and Adelaide Literary Review. Monique is a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry. Website for Monique: http://moniquegagnongerman.webs.com/

#Immigration: Mother Tongue by Tricia Knoll

mother tongue tricia knoll photo byJoeLeMerou

He told me he speaks Eritrean,
my cab driver, as he gives advice
by cell to his new roommate,
arrived, in despair of finding work.

I hear a thick, slick muscle wad
clicking of a glick sound,
the phantom of a Spanish vowel roll,
some impatience and much caution.

Raindrops on my side window fork
like sycamore branches at the quarry,
my through-vision to a rundown
neighborhood of convenience stores and bars.

My father wanted me to learn
French, maybe Latin. Not German.
His parents fled the Prussian draft.
Learn, he said, a language without his shame

of run-together hooligans of a history,
thugs and ash. My memory twists
on words I overheard living with him
like wringing out sopping towels,

pinning them up to dry, the return
to utility a matter of dry time.
The driver listens to his cousin. We merge
onto a clogged freeway. He taps the wheel.

Some family words I’ve lost, a database
named forgotten. The tires
plash a puddle. My tongue pushes
my top front teeth.

My open mouth accepts tears
that branch like drizzle on this window.
There is a funeral
at the end of this.



Tricia Knoll is a poet just learning how to live in Vermont after moving from Oregon in June. Her poetry appears widely in journals and anthologies and has received 7 Pushcart nominations. Her most recent collection is How I Learned To Be White (Antrim House, 2018) Website: triciaknoll.com


Photograph by Joe LeMerou.

Avihs || Vishnu by Yuan Changming

Riding on a Flying Carpet, Viktor Vasnetsov 1880

Avihs : Vishnu by Yuan

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include ten Pushcart nominations, the 2018 Naji Naaman’s Literary (Honour) Prize, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1,449 others worldwide.


Painting by Viktor Kasnetsov.

#Immigration: May 10, 1934, Berlin by Donna Hilbert


“. . . the gradual rise of Nazi Germany, which somehow took the laissez-faire, un-radicalized citizens of Berlin by surprise.”
Benjamin Lindsay, Vanity Fair

Aunts clad in dark dresses and pearls
and dapper uncles in fine worsted suits,
gather at the table laden for pleasure:
flowers, champagne, frosted cake,
and a crystal decanter of sherry.
Father is poised to offer a toast,
Mother, in profile, appears morose,
but the absent daughter smiles
from the photograph placed
at the center of plenty.
May 10, 1934, Berlin, beloved girl
gone off to Palestine, alone.
How will she celebrate her birthday?
Has she made friends?
Surely, she’s lost her mind, leaving
such comfort, love, and family behind.


First published in Gravity: New & Selected Poems, Tebot Bach, 2018



Donna Hilbert’s latest book is Gravity: New & Selected Poems, from Tebot Bach, 2018. She is a monthly contributor to the online journal, Verse-Virtual. Her work is widely anthologized, including Boomer Girls, A New Geography of Poets, Solace in So Many Words, The Widows’ Handbook, and most recently in The Poetry of Presence. She lives in Long Beach, California. More at http://www.donnahilbert.com


Photograph is of Exhibition of Wolfgang Stock. Author unknown.

Conquest by Patricia Nelson

Conquest by Patricia Nelson Painting by Samuel Walters

Once it is done, the women live in the surges,
the dark that changes like a tide
as if refusing to demolish or decide.
They know the fall is a pact with the shore.

The colors here are crossed and banging,
old carpets hung among their dusts.
The air and loss around them visible as flour,
swatted by those whose time and thought don’t matter.

Each bolt of cloth is retroactive, angry.
It falls downward, opens crookedly
the repeating blue-white lightning
and the thought of the shore.

They who are angry grow clumsy,
large, black, raucous birds
who rock on bent legs
in the brown stubble.

They call and sing to the lost way,
the wind to carry us all intact.
They remember the shore,
the shore revised with knowledge.



Patricia Nelson is a retired attorney who has worked with the Activist group of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent book is Spokes of Dream or Bird, Poetic Matrix Press.


Painting by Samuel Walters.

Before World by Risa Denenberg


Now the earth was formless and void,
and darkness was over the surface of the deep. –Genesis 1:2

Birds don’t sing.
Jazz don’t swing.
Bees don’t hive.
Men don’t jive.

Life swims before it flies.
Life crawls before it leaps.

Before houses, men don’t build prisons.
Before fences, coyotes don’t kill chickens.
And then earth is partitioned.

Trees teach birds to perch.
Birds teach frogs to jump.
Frogs teach girls to skip rope.
Girls teach words to sing.

Songs sing before sin.
Sins teach women to pray.
And then prayers teach hate.

Before prayer,
Women aren’t spoils of war.
Black men don’t swing from trees.
Landmines don’t amputate boys.
Kids don’t drown in the sea.

alan_kurdi_lifeless_body 2 colored

First published in slight faith, MoonPath Press.



Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner. She is a co-founder and editor at Headmistress Press, publisher of LBT poetry. She has published three chapbooks and three full length collections of poetry, including Whirlwind @ Lesbos (Headmistress Press, 2016) and slight faith (MoonPath Press, 2018).


Painting, The Salinger Profile, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.

Pearl Harbor by Sharon Lask Munson


His first new car
purchased from a dealership
near Woodward and Second
on a bitter cold Saturday,
December 6, 1941.
It was an economical sedan
stripped down, two-door,
green Plymouth.

During the war years
he’d stop at bus lines, streetcar tracks,
any corner a serviceman waited
with a thumb extended.

He’d drive downtown,
pick up sailors, marines,
war weary soldiers home on leave

use his prized gas rations
for those fighting—
drive them to a mother’s arms,
back to barracks, or to a local USO

contributing in the only way he knew
for owning the last car sold in Detroit
until the men came home.



Sharon Lask Munson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She taught school in England, Germany, Okinawa, and Puerto Rico before driving to Anchorage, Alaska and staying for the next twenty years. She is a retired teacher, poet, coffee addict, old movie enthusiast, lover of road trips—with many published poems, two chapbooks, and one full-length book of poetry. She now lives and writes in Eugene, Oregon. She says many things motivate her to write: a mood, a memory, the smell of cooking, burning leaves, a windy day, rain, fog, something observed or overheard—and of course, imagination. She has a pin that says, “I Make Things Up.” You can find her at http://www.sharonlaskmunson.com

Willow Poem by William Carlos Williams


It is a willow when summer is over,
a willow by the river
from which no leaf has fallen nor
bitten by the sun
turned orange or crimson.
The leaves cling and grow paler,
swing and grow paler
over the swirling waters of the river
as if loath to let go,
they are so cool, so drunk with
the swirl of the wind and of the river—
oblivious to winter,
the last to let go and fall
into the water and on the ground.



William Carlos Williams, 1883 – 1963.


Water-Lily Pond and Weeping Willow, Claude Monet

#Mountains: Two Poems by Winston Plowes

Digging In

The hushed maelstrom of dissent
from a mountain forced
inside out like a sour stomach.

Numb under its crust.
Blind, homeless
and pocketed by picks

The moon explores
this new wound
Where water laps the bones
Where silence sets
in a never-ending echo.



Time Stack

You live a little
You die a little

On the Bersham Tip
I could see his dot

Sliding like Sundays
down the rills of spoil

The motorway hums
less in the evening

Same all the way through
Like my simple life

Flowers fight through cracks
This is not my Wales


Both poems first published in The Black Hole Poetry Anthology – A collection of poetry against opencast mining (CreateSpace Independent Publishing).



Winston Plowes is a word artist from Mytholmroyd, Calderdale interested in surrealism, all species of art, the magic of chance operations and the personalities of cheese. His life is a mission to discover how and why the currency of words makes us love, hide, laugh, cry or dance. He teaches pupils from yr1 to degree level and regularly performs at and organises festivals and events. He has adopted over twenty typewriters that follow him round the country. Recent publications include Telephones, Love Hearts & Jellyfish (Electric Press 2016) and Tales from the Tachograph with Gaia Holmes (Calder Valley Poetry 2017). http://www.winstonplowes.co.uk 


Photograph of Bersham Colliery Bing Tip by John Haynes.