June, 2020

Day one of COVID-19

By Terry Lee – San Antonio, TX

Pandemic Quarantine
Blue skyNot a cloud to be seenEssential Personnel onlyA cup of coffee rationing
A million and a half peopleLive hereTechnology reaches outTo see if the way is clear
The birds are singingA Monarch flutters byEveryone is askingWhy? Why? Why?

Dancing Truth

By Latoya Kidd – Largo, MD

1. I am not the father of your three kids2. My sperm was not used to create those children3. You have been stalking on our Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat4. Writing post that I won’t take care of the kids5. But I am not going to take care of children that are not mine6. I have a wife with four beautiful kids and another on the way7. I am a good man who take care of my kids. I’m not a deadbeat dad8. My father taught how to be a man and take care of my responsibilities9. You have been sleeping around with men all over Detroit10. I am not stupid, I got ways of finding out what I need to know11. And you had sex with my friends, relatives so anybody can be the father of your three kids12. You sent me a message on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat when you got pregnant13. We slept together for three months and I used a condom14. My wife is getting irritated because of your message on our Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat page15. She told me to tell you to leave us alone16. I never loved you. all I wanted to do was to have sex with you, and that is it17. Stop calling the house and contacting us on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat page18. Asking me to spend time and help out with your kids19. Because it’s not going to happen 20. I am not the father you of your children so call up every man in Detroit and even on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and go find your babies' daddy21. And leave us the heck alone22. And go and find your babies daddy!!

In a Moment of Time

by Jon Bush - Belmont, MA

How often I have seen herIn just a glance passing byWith a hint of a smileIn that moment of timeWhere lifelong judgments are casually madeHow real doesn't matter in some wonderful way.As my mind starts to wanderMy heart out to playI tell myself next time I will liik her in the eye.But now I am home, and let it go with a sigh.

See Her

by Jon Bush - Belmont, MA

See her,Transcendent, shimmering;Yet casual, the way truth is.When she enters a roomTo simply breathe.


By Michael Shane Love – Lake Stevens, WA

Left to watch the day's colorturning black and white.Left to watch the daycombine to be gray. Left to hear the wind whistleblowing through old bones.Left to hear old songs,sing along. Left to write the last note,the words spark and aflame.Left to write with cold hand,love understand. Left to walk a night street,footfalls echo around,lunatic laughter,a bloody ground. Left to be in the zone.Air tugs at the skin.Left to watch,left to hearall over again. --msl2019+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


By Michael Shane Love – Lake Stevens, WA

There are times when I ask God to let it be me when it comes to holding love's precious hand. Then there are times when I am content with myself being alone. Which way do I go on this fork when both ways inevitably lead to you within certain circumstances? I think I know the answer to my riddle but I do not want to hear it spoken out loud. I think you know of that answer as well. Perhaps I can face the answer. Perhaps not. Maybe you are not quite there to face that answer yourself. Every day the beast becomes more hungry and I am exhausted by its demands. It wants freedom and who am I, who are we, to deny nature that which is meant to be? I am in my world and you are in another. Somewhere our worlds overlap and become one. Meet me there if you will at that overlap and let us pretend for just a moment that our short time together is all that really matters. --msl2013++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Red Rose

By Michael Shane Love – Lake Stevens, WA

Tell me all your secrets, red rose,make me understandthe riddles you speak to the heart,the promise of love's precious hand. We are all drawn to you.You symbolize love pure.In times of trepidationoften you present a cure. We come to you in romance.In times of love budding anew.With your touch on our emotionswe are powerless to you. Tell me how you do it, red rosefull of so much power.You interact within our livesso many ways while just a flower. Beautiful,as love is so,you represent it well.Though I ask about your secrets, red rose,better not to tell. --msl2014

2 A.M. On A Saturday

By Victoria Hunter – Clairton, PA

Your bottleof Wild IrishRose wineis a potbelly pigbleeding in the tenderover-turned dirt
gnats linger near itlike kids do a birthday cakewhen it’s about to be cut
I am under a blanketthick as the snow that was on the stepsleft from the blizzard of 1993
I keep light on a page of my diaryI sketch my dirty secrets in it
the ones no rose I will ever graspwill ever knowand don’t ever thinkyou can make me tell you them
now you sit on a landinga puppetwhen it’s not dancedby magic
and that maybe have been leftto be just another pieceof my home to studyand to one morning
before my blood reminds meit also has painthat won’t go away
be chosento be another thingI am obsessed withrevealing in a poem

Words from Covid-19 Date: 05-26-2020

by Arthur C. Ford, Sr. - Pittsburgh, PA

(Lyrics)I speak all languagesArabic, English and Chinese,I go wherever I want,I do as I please. Throwing money at me Only, makes me boast, I need only atmosphere And an unsuspecting host. I could be surreptitiouslyHiding, in a blitz,Or inside a secret loverWaiting, in a tryst. You can hide in any house Of any color, creed, or klan, Socializing with discipline, “Might be” a starting plan. Sent by the “King of Kings?”Don’t abuse His given truth,If that’s your “state of mind,”Stay in your confession booth!! But, our true “Invictus” spirit Lies in life’s melody Never forsaking or bowing As said by Henley!!!!! By: Arthur C. Ford, Sr., poet/lyricisthttp://thepoetbandcompany.yolasite.com(click on guidelines at top of page) Copyright©, 2020, A.C. Ford, Sr.


by Simon Perchik - East Hampton, NY

*To not hear her leavingand though this snapshot is wrinkledit’s carried off in a shirt pocket that never closes, stays with youby reaching out as eyeswaiting for tears and emptiness –you remember who filled the cameraexcept there was sunlight –a shadowmust say something, must want to be lifted, brought back, caressedthe way a well is dug for the deadwho want only water and each other –you try, pull the corners closerover and over folded till you are facingthe ground, the dry grass, her.
*To the dirt that no longer movesyou offer a mask the way a flowerover and over is readied for mornings where time begins again as starssensing honey and more darkness–by evening your death will be used to footsteps one by onebroken off a great lonelinessreturning row by row as the small stones cut out for the mouth and eyesto sweeten it, askwhere you are going by yourself. *Though there’s no sea nearbythis sidewalk smell from sandno longer struggling –you point where the crack will comewhen you take your hand awayletting it lie in the street –what drips from your fingertipis one wound bathing anotherwith evenings and shores covered with the inhuman criesfrom small shells still in painscattered and not moving.

“ Simple Indulgences ”

By Linda Amos – York, PA

Finally, after raising my childrenAnd a few husbands, I am now able to enjoy The time of my life that is mine.My life has been like a checkbookTearing off the pages one-at-a-time.Now I dole out my time… my way.It is mine to use or to hoard.If I decide to sit on my front porchAnd sip a glass of sweet teaAnd read a novelOr crochet a scarf for a stranger;It is a small and simple indulgence.

“ … At the Verge of Day. ”

By Linda Amos – York, PA

She was a nighttime wanderer. She never could sleep through the night,She was always too anxious to get an early start On the day that was yet to be. Life was like that- Just when she thoughtShe had a handle on it - It changed dramatically. Cancer did that to the lives Of the ones she loved the most;Her Dad, her brother, her Uncle, Her Dad’s Dad, and some cousins…. Just when she thought She had a handle on it-It changed dramatically- However; this final complication Had in the blink of an eye,In the distance of a heartbeat;Changed her life foreverFrom being a wife to a widow- In the middle of this night.As she wandered in their quiet houseOn the verge of a new life and a new day, That was yet to be revealed to her.


By Karen R. Springer – Williamstown, NJ

It's a dirty little secretthose who knowwill never say:If we live to be a certain age,our minds just go away.Exactly when that time will beis differentfor us all;but, in the end,there is no doubtmost will take the fall.Society would delude usthat all ancientskeep free will;But nothing can preclude us.Memories go before death's chill.And grown up childrenhave to bearone sad endemic fact:What made our parentswho they are, is gone;and never will come back.


By Karen R. Springer – Williamstown, NJ

Familiesare, of course,important.There are those of our clanwho we lovewith all encompassingand selflessprofundity.However, there areothers of our kinwith whom we wishwe could unbindthat visceral,tenacious threadof consanguinity. It is sometimesbecause they are the dichotomousmirrored reflectionof ourselves;in which we seewhat is our negative potential.On other occasions,that reverse imagecauses us to questionif their life choiceswere not more legitimate that ours. Whichever the case,we belong to themand they, to us.So blessed be the tie that binds.Yeah, right.


By Karen R. Springer – Williamstown, NJ

SPOON!She loves to spoonescaping with himfrom the bechilledcrypt called Winterto lie liketwo snug piecesof a puzzle ortwin fetuses peacefully floatingin the amniotic fluidof clean sheets,two cozy comfortersand the heat of their somnolent bodies.She can feelthe gentle beat of his heartagainst her back;his hand passivelyyet possessivelyresting on her hip.She is his.He is hers.Yet still they aretheir own.


by David Sapp - Berlin Heights, OH

Everywhere, August abides,the air a ruthless thickness,yet, everywhere a resplendentemerald, a pervasive viridian,everywhere a fragrance,a little whiff of decay.The exception is an anomalyalong the road, among clover,Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrod,wheatgrass, plump in the dew,begging to go to seed, a single, incongruent leaf, unassuming but startling nonetheless. Its broad palette is too soon, brilliant saffron, chartreuse, and a wan yellow, almost the hue of the moon, just up from the Eastern horizon when, on certain nights, it aligns with the sun just so. Plucky expatriate, I do not see your origin. How far did you rove? Soon we’ll seeyour comrades. For now, you fetch all the attention.

Little Nirvana

by David Sapp - Berlin Heights, OH

Straying from my wonting path,I climbed down into dimness,Rickety stair to a leafy cellar, Jarring daylight left behind,Implacable gravity pulling me,Over the bank, over the brink. A jet flew far overhead,Too distant, the air too thin,To hear its roaring engines. I crashed into the woods,To the creekbed where I stoppedShort at the edge; a scolding Kingfisher sought to rouse me,My head brimming with, spellboundBy maya, a great hissing noise. There, a sudden abeyance of self,By chance, stumbling uponA sudden, inadvertent stillness; There, for a flimsy moment,I was the Buddha, not the burden;There, the blue heron drifted by, Exquisitely silent hinges, mesmerizingMotion suspended in my lacuna.I almost touched a wingtip! No wonder the minnows are Beguiled by his quiet manner.This was my little nirvana.

Touches of Another Sea

By d. n. simmers –

British Columbia, Canada

“Touching forever, water lifted out of the sea.” John Ashbery He looks better and has his dog tags on. Though he is back from over there and is beingdischarged. He is not the same. Sudden soundsmake him jump. He reaches for something.As if he was there with a gun by his side, atbreakfast. His smile twists. His eyes get small.Tight. And they are dark, dark to begin with.Then he shrugs it off. He tells of a re-union thatall his buddies will have in a year. And how onewho came back has already left this world. He shakes. Telling of his death.The tough one of the bunchwho was always the last outhas ended it. He will be going to a funeral.And he shakes his head. As if to brush offa curse that has come back likea bad cold or flu.This is a start. He is here.


by D. N. Simmers - British Columbia, Canada

“ Some hatchways open above us the starry sky through the grating.” Tomas Transtomer Watched a movie. Brought back Saturday Matinees.When it was twenty five cents to go.For the afternoon with your buddies.Half the fun was being chased after the show.By the ushers ( all girls in high school) andbeing shooed out the door.Black and white. There were no red or blues.And the serials where the singing cowboy would have one ride in the sandy dirt road.With a cowboy hat that never flew off.His large eighteen hand horse beneath him.It was fun going. But tiring coming home.Hands empty of the fifty cents. Belly sloshingwith candy. Head full of the flicks.Hard to get to sleep those nights. With allthe stars flashing. And a sky turning dark.Hard not to keep on riding. With the riderand his horse into the sunset.


By Tamara Fey Turner – Mission Hills, CA

Strange things spillfrom the lips and fingers sometimes,but that is the story of our livesbeyond and within our fishbowl.Tumbled from my heartshimmers of the tortoise shell,the name is fair and appropriate to that I see in the mist. Hold not to dreams with no whispers for they possess no life and without breath they can only carry disease. I wonder about what I dreamwhile asleep for all those hours that time is a blur. Sometimes a creative spark will crawl from the wasteland of my brain as I write. Glazed eyes scratch themselves across my scrawled emotions as they are written.MPD kicks in hard when I do not get enough sleep, but I don’t believe in multiple personality disorder.My personalities are in perfect order!

More than Satisfaction

By Tamara Turner – Mission Hills, CA

My love for you shall be alwaysa love that amazes the gods. I will lay down my life without even a thought to protect you and your honor. A purity and honesty makes us more than satisfiedas that is the most normally expectedby lovers.There is no fire I will not walk into for you. This will never change.You are a gift from the gods,a precious angel from the heavens.Smile. For it’s a beautiful thing for me to know I am the one who brings that cherished smile to life within your heart and to your face. I can’t physically touch you, but I close my eyes, and I see you in my arms and write these words as they pour out from my heart into yours. I pray you feel them deep inside and wrapped all around you like a warm blanketjust pulled from the dryeron a chilled night.


By Tamara Turner – Mission Hills, CA

My house smells of insecticide No matter what I do!Fleas and ticks have lead to tapeworms too.Gross! Yuck! What else can I say!Cats and dogs and birds and such Perhaps I love them way too much.I’ve sprayed and dipped and washed;It never seems to end!At the vet, a fortune I did spend.If anyone has a suggestionA thought of any kindThat will help me out of this great bind,Please scream it loud and high.Let creative thoughts aboundAnd excuse me while I fog the grounds.

Harry Wright

By Michael Ceraolo – South Euclid, OH

I was an innovator:that comes with being a pioneerBut what I'm most proud ofis that I stood foursquare for integrity:no revolving,no gambling,living up to your contract;the things that were needed to establishprofessional baseball as a viable business +++++++++++++++++++++++++

Charley Jones

By Michael Ceraolo – South Euclid, OH

Don't count me among thosenominating Harry Wright for sainthood;the only thing I'd nominate him foris the Hypocrite Hall of FameAll his lofty talk about living up to your contract?Well, a contract is a two-way street:when I refused to play until the teampaid me the back pay they owed me,he fired me, and made sure I was blacklistedI didn't play major-league ball the next two seasons,resuming my career in 1883when a second major league came alongI have a good case for Hall-of-Fame induction,even missing those two seasons,but since Harry Wright is in thereI'm okay with being on the outsideTop of Form
two from Dugout Anthology published in Spitball, The Literary Baseball Magazine, a print-only journal:


By Marc Carver – Basingstoke Hants, England

I hacked off my massive beard it took a while.The next day we went to the restaurant in the hotel.None of the waitresses recognised me and wondered who was sitting with my wife.Then one of the waiters recognised me and came over."What happened to the beard?" He said."Oh no I am the lover the husband had to go home but don't tell anybody."He laughed as he cleared away a few plates.


By Marc Carver – Basingstoke Hants, England

I took it to the garden to bury it.Down and down I dug until I hit another one.This one was buried deep but only because I knew that I could not open it It had been there since the beginning of time my time anyway.It was impossible to open I knew that.But this one had to go very deep now it had come to the surface again.You see I had almost forgot about it but it had been there always just under the surface.So I dug and I dug until I got tired and threw it in and covered it.The next day I was refreshed from my sleep I looked out into the garden and there it was proud as punch for everybody to see.


By Marc Carver – Basingstoke Hants, England

The sea air passes through my fingers as I lift my hands into the air the waves orchestrate the wind and I push them apart there is nothing but this moment to conquer no future no past nothing.All desires are taken away by the sea and the air.

Inner Me

by Joyce Gage - Chadwick, MO

I need to wake my inner childSet her freeGo a little crazyHide from realityI need to wake my inner beastTo scare the haters awayFor it will enjoy the feastAs it loves to playI need to wake my inner spiritSo that I may meditate,Relax and try to forgetThe world is full of hateI need to be myself,As I am only me,I am no one elseAnd that's just dandy.

A Writer

by Joyce Gage - Chadwick, MO

I am a poet for my cause,My cause brings forth the poet in me.I dabble in the arts but writing is where I want to be.I can take a character and give it brand new life;I can take a lonely single man, and give him a beautiful wife.I can create demons and Angels galore.The writer inside of me is always creatingmore.I can fill islands with nomads and strangeanimals from hell.I can make a man fall under a witches spell.There are so many things a writer can do,They'll even bring out the writer in you.
July 19, 1939 - March 4, 2016 Resided in Grafton, MA


by James M. Bellarosa

Out of darkening home she comesTo walk neath fluttered lightOf leaves against the moon,To take her place in halls of life and gloom. To minister to ashen forms of men in bed,Huddled against assault on life.Never to know the many who, curled in silence,Fight their lonely battle in the dark, win quickly,Rise and leave before the Nurse comes back.Never to know that vibrant man whoBut for his sleep could change a life with words.Nor to know his steady eyes,His thrust of purpose or strength of heart.But to know too well the whimpers of those who cryAs babes, who've never learned to fight.To answer their light when no other shone,And reinforce by duty maturity long postponed.But to also serve the others who,With eyes open and alert in the night,Gird for the foe and prepare to fight.To heartily join in their crusadeAnd share in triumph, aware from the startIt was the winning side of which she was a part. To welcome the sunrise and bid the day farewell,And leave her work before the work of most begin.To return to wakening home and wait toWalk again neath fluttered lightOf leaves against the moon.

Where is the love

By Briana Peterkin – Aurora, CO

Why is there always hateAnd people not procreate With one another We bleed the same blood No race is higher Than anyone else's People just hatin’ Just because they have hate in their heartsInnocent little children Losing their lives Parents upset that their child Is gone foreverGangs killing innocent people Just because they have a reason to killAnd live are taken Someone's motherSomeone's sisterSomeone's daughter Someone's fatherSomeone's sonSomeone's brotherDeadCause of gun violence Where is the love The love is gone From the world today Hearin’ the news of tragedy People dyinLil children cryin People be livin on the street Beggin for something to eat Where is the love Let's bring back peace and loveBack not hatePut Dow the guns Stop the killingsHelp out to spread peace love and joyTo the people around us And turn their guns into plowsharesPeace is the answer that the world needsNo more people hurtinDyinChildren cryinNo more wars Countries in the world will work together Bring peace to the world Violence is never the answer It causes death and destruction Peace is the answer that is all you needLove is in your heart Share it with someone and they will share it backSpread peace to one another like a wildfire Where is the love It starts with you!Next time you pick up a gunThink about the consequencesRuining many livesIncluding yours Families torn apart From guns Where is the love Where is the love

An Illusion in The Bright Mirror of Eternity

by Hongri Yuan - Shandong Province, China

Every day is an illusion in the bright mirror of eternity.You see yourself from teenager to white hair,as if you are a role in a play.And the peace of mind makes you smell the fragrance of flowers from the Heavens.You recall yourself in outer space with smiles--that golden giant and fragrant light;those huge number of palaces looks lofty, resplendent and majestic,rise and fall, like a sea of gold.Billions of years is like the drops of nectarcrystal clear, sprinkle the music of intoxicated soul.07.18.2019 永恒之明镜里的幻影 每一天都是永恒之明镜里的幻影你看到自己从少年到白发仿佛一个戏剧里的角色而心灵的宁静让你嗅到了天国的花香你微笑着回忆起天外的自己那黄金的巨人 芳香的光芒那巨多的宫殿巍巍峨峨起伏若黄金的海洋亿万年的时光犹如一滴一滴甘露晶莹剔透 洒下醉了灵魂的乐曲2019.07.18

If Your Eyes of The Soul Wake up

by Hongri Yuan - Shandong Province, China

If your eyes of the soul wake up,you will find the Kngdom of Heaven be within striking distance; your soul is a golden giant,Sugar of Heaven flows in your body;and the memories of the world will be completely vanished,billions of years is like a drop of neatar,that humongous kingdom of goldfragrant and transparent, as if it is an illusionthe of soul.03.28.2019 如果你的灵魂之眼醒来 如果你的灵魂之眼醒来会发现天国近在咫尺你的灵魂是黄金巨人身体里流淌那天堂之蜜而人间的记忆烟消云散亿万年的时光是一滴甘露那巨大无比的黄金之国芬芳透明仿佛灵魂的幻影2019.03.28

The Wine of the Rainbow

by Hongri Yuan - Shandong Province, China

The sunshine wrote a line of words in the snowtold you that the door of the vault of heaven was openingnew interstellar cities would comeilluminate human eyes submerged by the sea. When those giants returns from outer spacethey will bring the poems of diamonds that lighting soulthe earth will be as transparent as a golden smilethe sun will sprinkle the wine of the rainbow.12.06.2019 彩虹之酒 雪地上阳光写下一行词语告诉你天穹之门正在打开新的星际之城将要来临照亮人类被海洋淹没的眼睛 当巨人从天外归来带来了照亮灵魂的钻石之诗大地透明如金色笑容太阳洒下了彩虹之酒2019.12.06

A Refreshing Breeze of the Dawn

by Hongri Yuan - Shandong Province, China

I'm came from the outer space,came from the giant city of the platinum.My lines words of the gemtwinkling with the future interstellar smiles,made the wings of your soul to wake up from the dreammade you see yourself in outer space--time was sweet as winethe palaces of the Heavens were as brilliant as the flowers of gemthe music was a refreshing breeze of dawn that brightening the soul.12.21. 2019 黎明之清风 我来自天外 来自那座白金巨城我的一行一行词语之宝石闪烁未来之星际的笑容让你的灵魂之翅翼从梦境醒来让你看到那天外的自己时光甜美如酒 天国的宫殿灿烂如宝石之花乐曲是洗亮灵魂的黎明之清风


by Juanita Torrence-Thompson - Bayside, NY

Dreams wear myrtle moodsDrifting, drifting, drifting offInto neutral land. +++++++++++++++++++++++


by Juanita Torrence-Thompson - Bayside, NY

City lights shimmerIntensively at nighttime.Scarce in Central Park. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


by Juanita Torrence-Thompson - Bayside, NY

Tall ships anchor whileCelebrating July 4thIn New York harbor.

Swirling Recollections

By Jesse James Doty – Eureka, CA

Treading down paddy footed pathwaysI see scads of scenic discoveriesbringing vivid actualization;providing practical solutionsI can’t afford to avoid. Estranged from my family,now, and since I was very young.They showed disappointed hostilitytoward my ‘different’ way of being. Add my super sensory susceptibilityto sensitivity overload, and you’ve got an idea of what it was like to be me. Of these dismal disjointed memories,practical solutions are the only way out.I depend on my intuition to develop remediesto resolve questions that my mind has dared to ask.For me, it’s best to search beyond the extremities,to attempt to direct that ardent ever-elusive task.

Balancing Life

By Jesse James Doty Eureka, CA

Every chance to interact faces new challenges Pendulum swings then rotates around until equilibrium is finally found Feet on the ground prevents forward thinking from barreling underground Live lively Kindlylet others live Loving choiceswill help us forgive

Maui Sunrise

By Jennifer Lagier – Monterey, CA

"We can say it with silence our native tongue"~ W.S. Merwin, "She Who Was Gone," from The Moving Target At sunrise, moon-streaked surfmorphs to pink, lavender, gold.I sip an almond latte,meander boardwalk along white beach,dodge pony-tailed, nubile joggers. Feral cats emerge from orange bougainvillea,switch hair-trigger tails.White egrets forage for geckosamong hibiscus, gardenias. In sheltered cove, a yellow trawlerflings weighted fishing linesfrom bent poles into cerulean bay. Silently, I meditate upon tangerine clouds.Light suffuses my soul.


By Jennifer Lagier – Monterey, CA

I remember his fists, hard knucklesclipping a loudmouthed trespasser's chin.At Basin Creek, he delicately pulled a knife bladethrough creamy bellies of brook trout.When I was thirteen, he braceda twenty-gauge shotgun into my shoulder,placed his trigger finger over mine.We ground-sluiced a dimwittedmud hen together.Later, after a series of strokes,at the home where our family stored him,he would wait for his grandchildren'safter-school visits, mutely grin, reachfor our hands like a curious infant.