Poetry

Robyn Minter is an avid fiction reader and writer who lives in Texas. She wrote her first story well before she could properly spell, and discovered the irreplaceable feeling of creating a world all your own. After joining the USAF, she had to put aside her passion to focus on serving her country. Now a veteran, she is intent on reigniting the fire for creating tales that she felt in her childhood.

MOTHERS


The moon, mother of my spirit, looks down.

I wish to fly to her.

The earth, mother of my flesh, looks up.

I wish to speak with her.

Together, they watched as I entered this world.

Together, they call me home.

Together, they will watch me leave this world.

Together with open arms.

Image by Benjamin Voros

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Dan Jacoby

Dan Jacoby is a graduate of Fenwick High School, St. Louis University, Chicago State University, and Governors State University. He has published poetry in several fine publications. He is a former educator, steel worker, and counterintelligence agent. He was born in 1947 on the second floor of a cold water flat at 55th and Halsted, Chicago. He has been writing poetry since 1967 and his work is influenced by the Beats, John Knoepfle, Al Montesi, and John Logan to name a few. He has been nominated in 2020 for a Pushcart and Best of the Net. He is the author of the book Blue Jeaned Buddhists.

DARKNESS

 

dawn always comes on ugly

clumsy and in a hurry

dusk is smoother

almost graceful

with its focused calculated rising of the moon

the patience of the stars

slowly coming in to sharp focus

and a note that darkness

is also there waiting

whether in the mind

or just on the edges of reality

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"The Pines"

Barclay Ann Blankenship received a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and was awarded Appalachian State's David Hodgin Writing Award for poetry in 2020. Her work has been published in Cold Mountain Review, Apricity Magazine, HerCampus, and others. When not writing, she can be found reading often, playing guitar, or somewhere outside.

THE PINES

 

they are waving at me; the biggest blades of grass,

so loose and swaying that I feel so small.

The little porch of my new grown up city place

sets the trees at level. Staring into their eyes is easy,

all yellow, red, green, but mostly gone

this late in the season. Their sweet waves cover me

from the city’s strange symphony. Some shrieks

still seep through the empty parts, like the train whistle,

faint as a breeze in the background

at 8:45. I think of time so much,

I know. I fear

it will evaporate quickly, diligently,

as water does from skin.

The pines; I imagine what they’ll look like

once weighed down by snow. The changing

happens so quickly that sometimes only a morning

of frost and resolute silence

stands in between. The changing,

well, that is the chore.

With the new weight, they can not stay,

can not sway, can not blink their frozen eyes. I sway for them,

the pines, closing my eyes for them and dancing out,

up into all the somethings. So much to praise that

I hope (an arduous thing indeed)

I’ll still breathe each season anew

and stop quietly

for the creatures that skip through unblemished

snow mounds. So much to praise

that it is true? We have infinite retries,

as fresh, concurrent,

as remarkably new as the day.

Image by Ivan Torres

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"Vision of Shades"

Arik Mitra lives in Kolkata, India. An IT professional, he has been writing for about two years now. He writes mainly short stories and poetry in english and bengali (mother tongue). His work has been published by Clarendon House Publications, Red Penguin Books, Dyst Journal and more.

VISION OF SHADES


The thick branches have bent

            to form a tunneled shade above the path,

the snow-white path,

          that sinks far away into the illegible dark.

A solid shadow, that lets the mass

               bring down a shiver through the spine.

A small black bird lands on the white path,

                         and pecks at the snow,

picking up bits

               to make for its nest in the mists.

Flying Bird

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"Daddy's Little Girl"

Amy Whiting is a Senior at DSU majoring in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. The written word reaches into places that cannot be accessed by anything else. Because of this, reading and writing are her passions. She has been published in the poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction genres.

Instagram @amyewhiting

DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL

 

His daughter was a rose.

Imagine her: born of the earth,

petals like blood, thorns of sin, briars

of pain. Plucked. A tragedy. Written to rot.

What would he do with a daughter

like that? He had a temper too,

it’s true. She could still feel where

he ripped, hacked her from her

home. Woman left: A dark hole,

yawning. She used to be a bush,

beaming with color. Now she knows,

she can do nothing but fade.

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"River of Tears"

Ariele Perez

Ariele Perez is currently a student at Dixie State University working towards my Bachelors degree in Applied Sociology and looking to get into social work. At the moment, she works at a nonprofit organization called the Dove Center which helps to provide support and shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her title is the Housing Advocate and she has several responsibilities in regards to donations, working with vendors for grants we receive, and maintenance of the shelter and transitional apartments. She love animals, especially dogs.

RIVER OF TEARS

 

The river it won’t stop running

The flow of the current crashes

Takes up everything in its path

Destroying the beauty nature once paved

The river it won’t stop running

Trying to keep afloat but I can’t breathe

I keep screaming and only I know my pain

I’m reaching but there is no rope to seize

Falling deeper in the river flow

My tears continue to envelope

Taking all my pride and sweeping me under

It’s dark and I’m losing time

The faint of the night takes over

And I’m back on the shore

Looking at the moon

Because I have done this before

The night sky tells me it will be okay

The stars ask me why I do this again and again

I can’t speak, I whisper I’m ashamed of my love

The soft air hugs me tight

It tucks me into bed

I go to bed surrounded by dreams

Of broken promises and what could be

Short of expectations I lay myself to sleep

Waiting for another river to take me away

And for my heart to be broken once again

Image by Stormseeker

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"Floating Trees"

Arik Mitra lives in Kolkata, India. An IT professional, he has been writing for about two years now. He writes mainly short stories and poetry in english and bengali (mother tongue). His work has been published by Clarendon House Publications, Red Penguin Books, Dyst Journal and more.

FLOATING TREES



Bandelettes wrapped my upturned soul,

the roads,

bustling people danced their dance,

years after,

I have come back to see my roots;

Still crooked; Still old,

And firmly penetrating the solid concrete,

built out of the dust -- and memories

trampled beneath thousands of the daily feet,

growing deeper,

perhaps never to be supplanted by the floating

leaves that adorn my skin;

Split feelings,

For I was meant to float,

like pollen that do not wish to place another tree

Image by Jr Korpa

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"The Wild Hunt"

Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter. Since finishing his MFA in Poetry at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he turns a lathe and apprentices for a jewelry-smith. His first collection “How We Bury Our Dead” by Cobalt Press was released in March, 2015, and "Conflict Tours" (Cobalt Press) was released in 2017.

THE WILD HUNT


 

Watch labcoats dressed as men

toss photons, hope for snake eyes.

Fossick teeth

from the newfangled.

Worry at nautili, asters of light.

Helical sky.

Things they've never seen before.

Listen. Blue marble rattle

in an empty spray-can.

Ceramic, that black breathing.

Listen. A thin voice

bent over a saw's back.

White-hot salvo. Listen.

Listen. Glossolalia of stars.

Image by Brian Patrick Tagalog

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"Terrain"

James B. Nicola is the author of six collections of poetry, the latest being Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense. His decades of working in the theater as a stage director, composer, lyricist, playwright, and acting teacher culminated in the nonfiction book Playing the Audience: The Practical Guide to Live Performance, which won a Choice award.

TERRAIN
 

Seen from this height, the world spreads; from below

she towers, complementing me and my

station in life always, for as I grow

from small to large I rise from earth to sky

diminishing her state; as I descend,

the closer to the ground my features lie,

the higher soar hers, as if she’d no end

but to befit, and range from low to high.

Then, when I am surrounded by her haze,

I look within and suddenly see clearly;

when she is bright and crisp, I lose my ways

in her back woods and mystic hills, or nearly.

When I feel great, she's meek; when meek, she's great.

It is the most adaptable romance

in that we have learned to reciprocate

each other's needs and moods and circumstance.

There have been moments, though, when it did seem

as if we suddenly became each other

(for moments only, as if in a dream)

and she was both my sister and my brother,

I, hers: and both each other's progeny,

androgynous, plus the progenitor,

all of creation’s manifest in me,

rising out of, while rising into, her.

You think me mad, but these were flashes only,

although they made sense in their time and place.

Since then I stumble on below and lowly

or, from a vantage, wonder on her face.

Image by Benjamin Voros

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"Low Hanging Sun"

Nolo Segundo

Nolo Segundo, pen name of L.J. Carber, 74, became a published poet in his 8th decade in 56 online/in print literary journals in the US, UK, Canada, Romania, and India; in 2020 a trade publisher released a book length collection, 'The Enormity of Existence' and in 2021 a 2nd book, 'Of Ether and Earth'. Both titles and many of his poems reflect the awareness he's had since having a near-death experience at 24 while almost drowning in a Vermont river: that he has--is-- a consciousness that predates birth and survives the death of the body, what poets once called a soul. For 50 years he has known one thing for certain: death is a door, not a wall. 

 

THE LOW HANGING SUN

 

I went to take out the trash,

the good trash, glass and paper

destined for re-incarnation

and as I stepped outside,

the air cool and pearly white,

the low hanging sun smiles,

throws a late afternoon warmth

over my body, a blanket of silk.
 

For a moment I stopped to think,

then thanked the low hanging sun

for being there, the last defense

against a cold deep unto death....
 

In our immense Universe, wall-less,

ever expanding, is mostly night,

utter and fearsome darkness, all

pitch-black and cold, a coldness

beyond comprehension or life---

so the light and heat of every

myriad star is precious, precious....

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"Bliss"

Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. Born in Rome, living in Los Angeles, she is an artist, musician and dancer. She is the author of Other Maidens (BlazeVOX, 2020), An Alphabet of Birds (Moonrise Press, 2020), and In Her Terms (Cholla Needles Press, 2021).

BLISS

 

In the parking lot, for a minute

the horizon was lost. Yes, the parting

between earth and sky, that thin line

was gone. Briskly, her legs mollified.

She felt herself sinking.

Her eyes grabbed a dot in the distance

smaller than a pinhole. Perhaps

it was the sun, veiled by passing clouds

perhaps a soaring bird

or a button.

She tried to grasp that minimal hook

but she slipped. Gravity teased her

down. Down? All spun

like a load of laundry

in a drying machine.

She sought concrete matter

with the palms of her hands, the soles

of her feet. She inhaled

held her breath, waiting for the void

to submerge her.

Smooth, soft, sweet

she made herself ready

to float, to swim away.

Perhaps levitate

or take flight.

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"Incense Burn"

Mercury-Marvin Sunderland (he/him) is a transgender autistic gay man with Borderline Personality Disorder. He's from Seattle and currently attends the Evergreen State College. He's been published by University of Amsterdam's Writer's Block, UC Davis' Open Ceilings, UC Riverside's Santa Ana River Review, UC Santa Barbara's Spectrum, and The New School's The Inquisitive Eater. His lifelong dream is to become the most banned author in human history. He's @RomanGodMercury on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

INCENSE BURN

from incense burn

lift smoke

in scent

turn sky

from green

turn ashes

in spirit

come hither

wrists

hold shaky

pain to be

relieved of

drained riches

in honey

echo echos

across land

sky murmurs

in reach.

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"Come Away"

K Roberts

K Roberts is a professional non-fiction writer who also trained as an artist. Poetry and images have recently appeared in Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the Arts; Panoply; Gyroscope Review; The Light Ekphrastic; and the Australian journal of experimental writing and art, Otoliths. New work is forthcoming in Decolonial Passage. Awards include recognition in contests hosted by Visual Verse and Poet’s Corner of Maine. Roberts is a first reader for fiction at Nunum magazine. The poem “Come Away” honors the memory of the poet Elizabeth Leo (1984-2019).

COME AWAY

dawn-lit, the slanting

glade, burled-oak ellipsis,

forgotten paths back – Merlin, dare;

escape uncloaked, and re-create us, furred, seeded, fragrant, fertile, fragile –

we, too, are missing.

Lone Tree-Mark Beutel.jpeg

Artwork by Mark Beutel

"Nature"

Anne de Nada

As a result of childhood trauma her ability to pass an English exam was indeed limited. It was only after years of deep therapy could her emotional body feel free enough to express herself. While she has been a world traveller and an untrained artist, writing poems connected to her art work became natural. Her natural home has been living in Nature and the energy world. Her memoir is www.annedenada.com and her art and poetry world can be found through the linked button.

NATURE

Spending time in nature

Stilling the body like a tree

Feeling the pace of energy

Flowing behind one’s body movements

Letting go, sinking, deeper and deeper.

Surrender into the unknown.

Back to our primal existence

Where all is one, and one is ALL

Feel the flow of light and energy

Where movement is the speed of colour

Where the depth of life truly exists

Oh take me home, take me home.

In this place, in this space

Depth and height are one, are one.

Follow through this world of mystery

A world of no boundaries,

A world of movement ever so slight

A world where vibration is all there is.

Why are we here on earth?

To rock and sway, to flow and play

In the play ground of the stars

We are tiny specs, shinning out to universe

Feeling a tiny be-speckled spec in the atmosphere

Listening to crickets and woodpeckers sound out.

All of nature’s creatures are magnificent

Listen, feel, smell and move through the light

Open one’s heart to “all” at once

Let the darkness float up and be replaced

By colours of the rainbow,

Then, trailed by pure white light.

Let rose pink arise, from deep inside one’s heart

Learn to discover, truth, love and wisdom

Exist in all faces, spaces and places.

We need slow down, be connected

There is no more than this.

Nor need there be.

Peace, harmony and love

Are for the taking, enjoy.

Healing is nothing more,

Than connecting back to source.

To one’s origin, one’s eternal family,

All the time, all the time

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"Two Faces of Eternity"

Anne de Nada

As a result of childhood trauma her ability to pass an English exam was indeed limited. It was only after years of deep therapy could her emotional body feel free enough to express herself. While she has been a world traveller and an untrained artist, writing poems connected to her art work became natural. Her natural home has been living in Nature and the energy world. Her memoir is www.annedenada.com and her art and poetry world can be found through the linked button.

TWO FACES OF ETERNITY

Melting snow, shining crystal facets

Skree valleys, jagged rocks, triangle spires

Worn mounds just above the tree line

Snow ledges, deep, shallow and rounded.

Undaunted mountains piercing the skyline

With peaks, crevices, rock folds and crags.

Your strength, boldness and intimate exposure

Speak to the majesty, purity and beauty.

In stillness, solidarity and surrender

You are my heart’s Guru at Truin.

Sitting at your feet, feeling ant-like,

My heart expands farther than the eye can see.

Humbleness arises, opening the door to oneness.

Beneath clumps of grass, the melting snow glistens

On the small wet mud face.

Here all is bathed in Sun’s warmth and light.

Buzzing flies whiz by, landing now and then.

Valleys roll sharply, one behind the other;

Birds chirp their morning song,

While the crows feed, squawk and soar below.

Here one is renewed and reborn;

All is forgotten and forgiven.

As the yellow butterflies flit by,

Rhododendrons stand out against the greens.

The cool invigorating mountain air

Slowly warms as the Sun climbs high.

Shadows grow, offering shelter from the heat.

One feels the energy of eternity,

Knowing it to be untrue.

In this Himalayan wonderland.

Here hearts and spirits soar,

As we see a lone tree in the distant snow.

Recognizing the truth, we are never alone;

All is connected in the cycle of birth and death.

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"Divine Sculpture"

Emory Jones

Dr. Emory D. Jones is a retired English teacher who has taught in high school and in several community colleges. He has five hundred and eighty-six credits including publication in such journals as Writer’s Digest, Smokey Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, The Avocet, The Light Ekphrastic, Big Muddy; A Journal of the Mississippi River, Three Line Poetry, Auroras & Blossoms, Pegasus, Halcyon Days Magazine, Falling Star Magazine, Pasques Petals, 50 Haikus, The Cumberland River Review, The Delta Poetry Review, Calliope, Deep South Magazine, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, and Encore: Journal of the NFSPS. He lives with his wife in Iuka, Mississippi.

DIVINE SCULPTURE

He sculpts the earth with water, wind and fire,

Sends the roiling stream, cutting soil

With force of rushing flowing water

Sends sand to sculpt the sandstone with the wind.

Through this sculpture garden glides the wind

As sun beats down on desert, hot as fire

That spreads like a shallow river across the earth

And like molten silver beneath the water.

Up in the mountain over rocks, the water,

Rippled by the fingertips of wind,

Resists the glowing warmth of orange fire

To cool the surface of the waiting earth.

The rocks in pinnacles arise from warming earth

As now the flowing river gives its water

To natural bridges, carved by rushing wind,

That arch and leap as if they were on fire.

He blesses earth, refreshes it with water

And on the wind renews eternal fire.

Divine Sculpture.jpg

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"At the Feet of a Dung Beetle"

Lily Jarman-Reisch

Lily Jarman-Reisch graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has been a journalist in Washington, D.C., and Athens, Greece, where she lived aboard a small boat she sailed throughout the Aegean and Ionian Seas. She has held administrative and teaching positions at the Universities of Michigan and Maryland, sailed across the Atlantic, and hiked on four continents. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in 3rd Wednesday, Snapdragon, The Fourth River, 1807, The Military Review, Route 7 Review, The Dewdrop, Gleam, and international literary journals.

AT THE FEET OF A DUNG BEETLE

after reading, “What Animals See in the Stars,” Science Times, 7/29/21

Once enlightened,

Aquinas put down his pen.

Did he hear the hum of earth,

throb with its native pulse?

I’ve stood under stars stippling an Arctic lake,

a meteor spray framed by the mountains of Moab

hoping to glimpse the thin gap between heaven and earth.

I’ve not yet sat in savanna dirt

as a dung beetle rolls its ball of muck

in a perfectly straight line,

guided by the Milky Way.

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"Falling"

Candy Lish Fowler

Candy Lish Fowler grew up in Granger, Utah. She graduated with “High Honors” from high school as the English Sterling Scholar and attended the University of Utah on a “Presidential” Scholarship in Dance. She majored in Dance and minored in English. She founded Southwest Dance Theater in St. George in 1981 where it has flourished for 40 years. She was named Utah Poet of the year in 2015 with her manuscript titled “ON A ROAD THAT KNOWS ME .” Her poetry has been published extensively and she has won state and national awards for her work. She is married to Bill Fowler and has four children, eighteen Grand, and one Great.

Falling

       “And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget          falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our            own despair, against our will, comes wisdom              through the awful grace of God.”                                    -Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, lines 179-183

 

                                   

night crept in

white breath cold

 

this morning

when sun’s first light shone bright

all mountain leaves fell

 

a broken heart

slept through it all

 

            shouldn’t they clink

            and plink when they fall                                

 

            maybe that way someone

            would have awakened and heard them

 

            maybe just a chorus of small bells   

            saying goodbye

 

and maybe the heart would have heard the farewell

would have seen the final rest

and prayed for grace

Falling.jpg

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"Cloaked in Red"

Candy Lish Fowler

Candy Lish Fowler grew up in Granger, Utah. She graduated with “High Honors” from high school as the English Sterling Scholar and attended the University of Utah on a “Presidential” Scholarship in Dance. She majored in Dance and minored in English. She founded Southwest Dance Theater in St. George in 1981 where it has flourished for 40 years. She was named Utah Poet of the year in 2015 with her manuscript titled “ON A ROAD THAT KNOWS ME .” Her poetry has been published extensively and she has won state and national awards for her work. She is married to Bill Fowler and has four children, eighteen Grand, and one Great.

Cloaked in Red 

       More than half of Native American and Alaska             Native women experience sexual violence in their         lifetimes. . . . Nine out of ten are assaulted

       by non-native men.

           -Department of Justice (USA TODAY and Newsy)  

 

Her scarlet shadow

flickers through silent snow,   

dark woods.                  

         

In her dreams, she walks with grandmother

along night’s river, balancing

on steep banks. 

 

Grandmother weaves a wedding basket.

Sumac and yucca star patterns 

shine with promise.

 

In her dreams, she walks with grandmother

above a deep cave where bright

fires glow.    

 

Ancient paintings tell stories . . . legends.

Tall firelight dancers spiral

like churning rivers,                

 

chanting—calling to grandfathers for protection.

Steep cliffs bear old story pictures etched

in stone.

 

Stalked, caught, terrified, the stolen

scarlet shadow girl cries-out

for help.

 

Tricked, snared—her small

trammeled voice

is swallowed.

 

Smoke stories stain the sky, cast images;

innocence . . . shame. But that is not

her name.

Robbed like Esau, she is deceived.

Innocence stolen, betrayal becomes her

forever dark river.

                                 

In her dreams, she walks with grandmother

. . . head down, softly telling 

her story of loss.

 

Grandmother slashes herself again and again,

then cuts long white braids,

weeping as she burns each strand.

 

She carries their ashes in the star basket,

vowing to keep this child’s secret              

for a thousand years.

Image by Boston Public Library

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"The Nature of an Inspired Love"

Maia LeFevre

Maia grew up in St. George, Utah, and is a junior at Dixie State University studying English (secondary education emphasis.) When she was just nine years old, she wrote a short storybook for a class project, and thus began her love of writing. The reason behind wanting to teach English is because of all the many wonderful teachers who have made a difference in her life. She hopes to take a subject that is quite frankly not everyone's favorite, and turn it into something they can enjoy and take with them. Although her favorite genre is fiction, she enjoys to branch out into fantasy, and write about true, personal experiences. She cites authors like Jane Austen, JK Rowling, and John Green as some of her biggest inspirations. Maia plans to slowly but surely obtain a Master's degree and PhD to become a college professor. In addition to teaching, she hopes to one day be a successful, published author. Whenever she is not in school, Maia is making up stories, playing with her sweet son, spending time with friends and family, or watching one of the many movies on her list. Her website is http://fitmessmama.com/

 

 

THE NATURE OF AN INSPIRED LOVE

You are everything I long to be;

The deepest desires I have never known.

You are the freedom I long to feel;

A most desirous connection to this stunning world.

You are a refreshing windstorm that interrupts the day’s aridness.

Oh, how I long to embrace such wind.

I could wear different clothes,

Sing about different things,

And dance in a swaying field of gold.

I wish to bask in the flow of you around me.

You are the soft, taunting sound of the shaking trees.

Standing tall with the amber-colored secrets they hold.

You are the warmth of summer after long winter months;

Everything beautiful from springtime.

The brightest sunflower appearing in a sea of yellow.

In you, I see a montage of the most beautiful moments in nature.

The Nature of an Inspired Love.jpg

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"Opposition"

Tony Martello

Join the author, Tony Martello on mini reading adventures that can be read in under 5 minutes. Explore interesting humans, wild nature, and all the interactions between. He is a Californian and Hawaiian surfer with publications in Atherton Review, Rigorous Mag, route 7 review, Forbidden Peak Press, and New English Review.

Opposition

 

It is in opposition that I suspend between Helios and Jupiter

Lying low in the solar dust kicked up by Helios and her magnetic pulses

Spat out and orbited around into a

A giant cinnamon twist

 

To my back, the warmth of her slowly fades

As she drops below blankets of stardust

that cast a rosy light into the night

A fruitful spatial delight

 

As I lay back, Luna rises in white

Then does her magic as she morphs 

Into shades of yellow and gold

 

By the time she reaches the universal roof

She has transformed into a silvery strawberry 

pancake that you won’t see at breakfast time

 

Natives from across the land gather crates

and baskets weaved with straw

They plan for harvest in morning to pluck the red berry

that waits with morning dew and drizzly fog beading on the green leaves 

of the crop

 

Once a year in June she has a chance to presume

she has a place in space

To steal the light from other planetary delights

Even Jupiter in all his circular might

Entices her with layers of promise that Luna 

Can’t escape…

 

She floats to him

Blushing and blooming

With a celestial desire

To be the most adorned body 

In the sky

Image by Lÿv

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