Dialects of Praise by Daniel B. Summerhill

Romare Bearden-After-Church Dialects of Praise Daniel B. Summerhill

Offering envelope stuck to day-old gum,
	   hypocrisy between the pews
I accomplished this for fun
	   during the break 
of the choir director's direction
	   Beside me, the sound a sinner makes 
Gold-plated cufflinks anchor the hands
	   that left my sister's neck blanched 
one night prior 
	   His immense voice 
and carefully rehearsed tongue 
	   yielding the dialects he praises in-
Sometimes, Oh Happy Day,
	   when he washed 
the blood away from his hands	
	   Sometimes, Waymaker,
just before palms become fist 
	   and he sends invocation 
Each song, a tithe
	   envelope I stick to the gum 
between the pews



Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an MFA candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed and taught guest workshops and lectures throughout the U.S, Europe, and South Africa. He has published two collections of poems, Crafted and Brown Boys on Stoops, and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk and Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pine Hills Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Voice among others.


Painting, After Church, by Romare Bearden.

Evangeline by Nolan Meditz

RAIFORD_relle_frankEvangeline Nolan Meditz

The roads aren’t meant for lyric
here. They ride slow through
the swampland air, witness to trees

like fingers of a drowning titan
straining to clutch fistfuls of satin
in full view of the moon. Bayou dusk
hangs heavy in the corners of a phantom
landscape, bloodies the river quiet
save for mosquitoes and crane flies.

It is the world out there, the world
you dare venture into and call by name,
though it live namelessly in stanzas
unwritten, forgotten after their first
recitation, as the roads remind you
what belongs here and what does not.



Nolan Meditz was born and raised on Long Island, where he received his MFA at Hofstra University in 2014. He received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2018 and will begin teaching writing at Southwestern Oklahoma State University this fall. His poetry has appeared in Roanoke Review, AMP: Journal of Digital Literature, Mockingheart Review and The Wild Word among other publications.


Photograph by Frank Relle. Used by permission. 

Califragile Editor Wren Tuatha Interviewed on Wombwell

Wren discusses her poetry beginnings at her childhood community center: “I… wrote something with words I could spell, like sky, trees, grass. I remember feeling transdimensional, as if I had healed all diseases by extolling the beauty of sky, trees and grass.”

She discusses her influences, from Robert Duncan to “Yoko Ono. Not her writing but her performance art. She taught me that the audience is the canvas. This has informed everything I do in art and education.”

What advice does she offer other emerging poets? Read her thoughts about matching your goals to your poetic activities. “Here’s a morsel I learned in the editing trenches: Don’t put Best of the Net nominations in your bio. This causes an editor eye-roll like you would not believe. When you win, put it in.”

Read the full interview here.

Wren doing Q&A at launch party cropped

Cool Chennai, Haibun by Kala Ramesh

1024px-Big_Banyan_Tree_at_Bangalore by Kiran Gopi

an uncut rock
under the banyan
the memory

One day in December, a frail man, almost eighty years of age — JK as he’s affectionately called — sits with his eyes closed under the famed banyan tree in his residence. There’s pin-drop silence as people wait for the master to speak … birds returning to their nests go in and out of song. Forty-five minutes later he looks up smilingly and says, “the birds have said everything I wanted to say today.”

breathless across the river the moon where I began



First published in Modern Haiku.


Kala Ramesh – Poet, editor, anthologist, Kala’s initiatives culminated in founding INhaiku to bring Indian haiku poets under one umbrella in 2013. She has taught haiku and allied genres at Symbiosis International University and the Katha National Writers Workshop since 2013. To bring haiku into everyday spaces, Kala initiated HaikuWALL, haikuTRAIL, haikuTALK, haikuWORKSHOP, haikuYOUTH, haikuUTSAV, haikuDHYANA and haikuSTAGE – a weaving together of art forms. SAMVAAD :: the open sky — a dialogue to bring writers of different poetic genres together is her latest venture. She is the editor of four haiku, tanka and haibun journals. Kala has been a speaker at several national and international literary festivals.

Kala co-edited the award winning Naad Anunaad: an Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku (Vishwakarma Publication 2016, Pune),  Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press 2018, USA) and  EquiVerse SPACE (Notion Press 2018, Mumbai), co-authored with Marlene Mountain the e-book  one-line twos (Bones Journal 2016, Denmark), authored a tanka e-chapbook Uunseen Arc (Snapshot Press 2017, UK) and two print books: Haiku and the Companion Activity Book (Katha Books 2010, reprint 2017, New Delhi) and Beyond the Horizon Beyond Haiku & Haibun (Vishwakarma Publication 2017, Pune).


Banyan tree photograph by Kiran Gobi.

Crazy Otto by Patricia Nelson

Heidelberg Project Penny Car David Yarnall Crazy Otto Patricia Nelson

Otto paints his house again,
with his changing love of colors.

The blue and green are high with hopsack edges,
the stops of yellow clear and low.

As if something is recited and a mark made
where each mistake is swallowed by another.

No one color ever makes it
to the sky-colored end of the job.

Each daub taller, brighter than his eye or word,
his loud and undistinguished singing.

Someday, one color, one light
uniting all the eyes.



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.


Detail of photograph by David Yarnall, The Heidelberg Project – Penny Car.


Heidelberg Project Mission & Vision, from their website:


The Heidelberg Project (“HP”) is an outdoor art environment in the heart of an urban area and a Detroit based community organization with a mission to improve the lives of people and neighborhoods through art.


The theory of change for the Heidelberg Project begins with the belief that all citizens, from all cultures, have the right to grow and flourish in their communities. The HP believes that a community can re-develop and sustain itself, from the inside out, by embracing its diverse cultures and artistic attributes as the essential building blocks for a fulfilling and economically viable way of life.

#Mountains: Bitterroot Storm by Joe Cottonwood

by Joseph Bitterroot storm joe cottonwood

You made it. Hell of a drive.
Now in the cabin you’re shivery, raw.
Floorboards tremble.
Branches pelt the roof.
Rain blows under the door.
Phone? Lamp? Radio?
All wires, dead.
Power will be out for days.

You fetch wood,
build a fire, heat water,
light lanterns named Aladdin.
Play guitar, help the neighbor start her car.
Clinging to this mountain
your cabin is a spot of warm
in a dark storm.
You are power.



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.


Photograph by Joseph.

On the Q by Barbara Henning

On the Q Barbara Henning

On the Q

—to Manhattan—through the slit—between my eyelids—an almost empty car—two women dozing—one leans forward—hair cropped—ear level—mid sixties—freckles—arms crossed—head bobbing—as the train jerks—“little brown bag”—on her lap—the other woman—one leg crossed—over the other—shoulder length—glistening black hair—leaning to the side—head against rail—dozing—trading relatively quiet today—investors returning—from Thanksgiving vacation—the car quiet—climbs over—the Manhattan bridge—behind the ropes and rails—the Brooklyn Bridge—dark scattered clouds—the western sun—a golden hue—a six foot three inch—Justinian cross—over the World Trade center—young adults—brought here as children—soon sent—to places they never knew—underground we go—the conductor says—this is Canal Street—Chinatown—the older woman—stands up—head still bowed—doors open—and then she’s gone— (28 Nov 2016)


First published in The 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 andBlack 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


Photograph by Mtattrain.

Lasagna With the Professor by Kirby Wright

Kirby Wright Va State Park Staff

We rock twin rockers out on the porch.
The gray wind fills with rain.

“Hail predicted,” you mutter.
You have lost at lust again,

This time with a junior in college
The age of your daughter.

You fake youth with a tan
And camouflaged hair.

“Nature calls,” you announce, springing up.
You fantasize our childhood

Fingering blossoms
Of an African violet

While stuck to the toilet.
Your Birkenstocks smell.

I ask you to dinner.
You nod. The spark leaves your eyes

Converting me from crush to old maid.
After minestrone soup

I serve hot lasagna with wine.
You gulp merlot and noodles.

I gulp too, killing that first bottle
And scraping foil off the second.

Purple-blue veins feed
Your muscles and brain.

The promised hail comes,
A riot on my roof.



Kirby Wright won the 2018 Redwood Empire Mensa Award for Creative Nonfiction. He’s working on a collection of poems tentatively titled Lasagna With the Professor.

Daily Walk by Robert Knox

Daily Walk Robert Knox Albert Herring

Sibling trees,
rattling tongues
in the leaf-blown breeze
Even in the homey, civilized month of June
the rougher tongue of otherness
speaks in a scrap of woodland
beside the place where the Civil War sailors
came to die
just out of hearing
of the restless city

All their branches
speaking wind

Robert Knox is a Boston Globe correspondent, a poet, fiction writer, and the author of a recently published novel based on the Sacco and Vanzetti case, Suosso’s Lane. As a contributing editor for the online poetry journal, Verse-Virtual, his poems appear regularly on that site. They have also appeared in other journals such as Every Day Poet, Off The Coast, Houseboat, and Yellow Chair Review. His poetry chapbook Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty was published in May 2017. The chapbook Cocktails in the Wild followed this spring.

The Beautiful Suffering by Margarita Serafimova


Shining are the hundreds of thousands of fish
in a sea prison, shining as one.
Deep suns.

The Beautiful Suffering Margarita Moofushi Kandu, Maldives, fish by Bruno de Giusti

Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017 and Summer Literary Seminars 2018 Poetry Contest, and long-listed for the Erbacce Press Poetry Prize 2018. Margarita has three collections in Bulgarian. Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip New Poetry, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, The Journal, A-Minor, Waxwing, Nixes Mate Review, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, The Writing Disorder, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Chronogram, Noble/ Gas Quarterly, Origins Journal, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, TAYO, Shot Glass Journal, Opiate, Poetic Diversity, Novelty Magazine, Pure Slush, Harbinger Asylum, Punch, Tuck, Ginosko, etc. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/MargaritaISerafimova/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.


Ocean fish in Moofushi Kandu, Maldives photograph by Bruno de Giusti.

#Mountains: Mount Hood by Kenneth Pobo

Kenneth Pobo Mount_Hood_from_Bald_Mountain_flickr_Thomas_Shahan

Sunlight and clouds, the plane hits
a stone of turbulence. I almost bump

my head on a storage bin. Through
the window, a dark shape.

What’s that? I ask a woman
squeezed in that awful middle seat.

The pilot announces Mount Hood—
as we near Portland, the mountain

is an eye that stays open
long after we pass.


First published in Save My Place, Finishing Line Press.



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.


Photograph of Mount Hood by Thomas Shahan.

Poem For Kate In Chemo by Alexis Rhone Fancher


Above where your right breast used to be
the oncologist implanted a port to make things easier.
“It takes forever,” you say. “An hour’s drive, each
way, an entire day used up, laying

But first, the tourniquet, tied to your upper arm,
the cheery nurse, tapping for a working vein,
your thick blood at last flooding into one syringe
after another. Then the weigh-in, each time
less. “Bone and skin now,” you say.

If your numbers are good, you head
to the chemo room, rows of cushy
recliners, supplicants tethered to plastic bags
held high by IV poles, a forest of metal trees.

You unbutton your blouse, offer up the convenient
port to a flush of saline – like ocean, you tell me,
like waves.

Next, the chemicals, those shimmering droplets
riding the plastic tube into your chest,

a kind red blanket, thrown
over your legs.

I tear the best New Yorker short stories
from the magazine and mail them
to you in Port Townsend.
Something to pass the time. Something non-
medical to discuss when we chat each week.

We both know you’re dying, though your
husband still has faith, and you cling to his
hope, coming back week after week because
it makes his life bearable.

When the chemo bags are empty,
and the stories read, you leave the pages behind
for a needful stranger.
In 2000, when you lost your breast,
your husband insisted you have
chemo then, too.
“It makes me feel more dead than alive,”
you confessed to me after the first week.

Appointment days, you’d leave the house,
drive to the woods, walk the trails
instead of treatment, those
huge redwood trees shading your path.

Each evening you’d return to your
husband’s innocent embrace.

You made me promise not to tell.
And I never did, until now.


For Kate O’Donnell, (1949-2014)


First published in the Nashville 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.


Art by Brooke Warren.

Napkin Poem #3 by Margot DeSalvo

Margot DeSalvo

In a world of Johnny
Rockets and breakfast
I stand along
the diamond
lined boardwalk
with seagull shit
and fried dough
serving as a
perimeter between
the person I want
to sound like and
the censorship I
succumb to.



Margot DeSalvo is just another person in this world seeking stability, simplicity, and coffee. Her writing has been picked up by Sunflower SultrasGhost City Review, KYSO Flash, Nothing Substantial, Sonic Boom, Clarendon House Publications, The Pangolin Review, Whale Road Review, Streetlight Press, Dying Dahlia, Flatbush Review, and Teaching English in the Two-Year College.

Three Summer Cherita by Peter Jastermsky

romanchildrenplay marble Marie-Lan Nguyen

racing outside
the children’s food
left on the table

with the lecture
about hunger

in faraway places


lifting a brick

the pocket
of hidden coolness

a brief respite
for the hand
this summer day


garden vegetables
the children picked

into the pressure cooker
letting it go
the wish

for a dinner
like the neighbors



Peter Jastermsky writes Japanese short-form works. His writing has appeared in many journals, including Failed Haiku, Haibun Today, The Cherita, and KYSO Flash. Born in Connecticut, Peter and his family live in Southern California, where he works as a licensed counselor.


Photograph of marble Roman artwork by Marie-Lan Nguyen.

Jr Drank his Coffee Black by Daniel B. Summerhill

Jr Drank His Coffe Black Daniel Summerhill

Jr Drank his Coffee Black,

and by black, I mean,
no shade other than his oil-slick
skin was allowed to get close

enough to share the same air.
If he was reading this he’d say,
that goes for dominoes,
checkerboards, cows, penguins,

Zebras, soccer balls and cars too.
‘Say, white vehicles aren’t allowed
in the same lane on the highway.
Say, I got a double barrel and bail

money for anyone who becomes
brave behind the wheel. Jr speaks
only when spoken too, sir & mam
book-end each sentence unwieldy.

Story goes: Jr’s battalion, a slew of white boys
wary of napalm, sent him into the
grey of the unknown to get confirmation

and Jr has drank his coffee black ever since.



Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an MFA candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed and taught guest workshops and lectures throughout the U.S, Europe, and South Africa. He has published two collections of poems, Crafted and Brown Boys on Stoops, and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk and Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pine Hills Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Voice among others.


Photograph of retired Vietnam veteran Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Harris by Justin Connaher. Harris served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years with two tours of duty in Vietnam during the Civil Rights Movement.

Bringing up Baby by Roberta Beary

bringing up baby-roberta beary katharine-hepburn

again she falls. but nothing’s broken and she seems okay.
still i go a little crazy. i look around for a nurse. then grab my phone.
the big screen is turned up super loud. as usual.
she tells me to be quiet and points at the movie.
an old black and white. screwball comedy, circa 1938.
she says ‘hush!’ then puts her finger to her lips
just in case i don’t get the message.
my daughter, serene at 25, gives me one of her knowing looks.
‘grandma’s fine’ she says. she sits down right next to her.
side by side their faces edge toward the screen.
they laugh at the same parts. when baby surprises cary grant.
or gets a big kiss from kate hepburn.
i watch the two of them on the loveseat.
my own private screening.
heads so close together.
there’s no room for me.

mockingbird song      turning from day to dusk



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.


First published in Frogpond.

Off Map by Monique Gagnon German


We took a wrong turn
somewhere near Mobile
where the pretty roads preened
glistening with upkeep
and cops sat visible
under storm clouds and sun
inconceivably bold between thickets
almost every hundred feet.
We marked their saddle-shoe
insistence on old-fashioned rules
with our slowing speed. You say maybe
rehab is what you need as your eyes
keep trying to leap through the sunroof
and your hands shake
trapped squirrels
near the windows,
wishing they had wings.

Before now, we’ve never arrived
together in one conversation.
We pull over, here:
side of the road
hours oozing as we sit on a bank
overlooking water lilies
that calmly snake the unmapped lake
we found but cannot name.
We listen to hidden frogs bellowing yells
between crickets’ high pitched Kreeees.

After 30 minutes of not speaking
you ask, Are we there yet?
And we both erupt, laughing
at our utter lostness. I say, No,
between dwindling chuckles,
grabbing your sleeve but,
Maybe we are finally
at the start line,
is what I think.



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/


Europe as a Queen Map. Artist Unknown. 

Mad Money by Sharon Lask Munson

Boy and girl sitting at table at soda shop

Dad would slip a few coins
into my Mother of Pearl evening bag,
money socked away for an emergency—
a quarter, a few dimes, some nickels,
next to the lipstick holder,
behind the powder puff.

Enough for a phone call, he’d say—
my knight, if needed
ready to slip behind the wheel
of his pink and gray Dodge,
slay the dragon.

I never called
but, oh, the security, the trust.



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

Of Countless Deaths by Risa Denenberg

The_Last_Message_Willian Hatherell Of Countless Deaths Risa Denenberg

Of countless deaths today,
I witnessed two. To witness
any death is to feel desperately
alive. To discern that one’s own

body lingers at the border between
here and not here. To experience
the shockwave of foreboding. To slip
into a moment of groundless grace.

And if you ask, as some do, why
I chose this vocation, this sitting
at the bedsides of the dying, I will
say, because I can. What else sustains

the private love I have for witness
is mystery, even to myself.


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 Last Message, by William Hatherell.