At Home

By Lois Dale Villemaire

Spending more time inside
than ever.
Restoring safe spaces.
Painting, modernizing, repairing,
Tools, paint brushes, construction projects.
Purging, organizing,
Putting everything in its place.
Weeding out the unnecessary and outdated.
Donating, trashing, recycling.
Comfy chairs, mega-sized tv, electronics.
Like squirrels,
gathering and storing items
that may become hard to find.
Music, art, books, series on Prime or Netflix.
Savoring favorite foods.
All this, to compensate
for the chaos, discord,
and uncertainty in the world
outside our doors,
beyond our windows.
Unexpected weather,
fires, floods, hurricanes.
We are seeking and needing tranquility,
protection and security
At home.


“I write for the challenge of describing experiences.” – the writer

We Walked Along the Beach

By Asher Bomse

I knew I was dreaming. I didn’t care much though. I was talking to her. She’d let me know it’s okay to go on with my life. She knew it felt like an impossible task on my part. It didn’t stop her from encouraging me to do so.

It’s been well over a year since she passed. She’d made a point to make good on her promise of haunting me after she died.

We continued walking along the beach, talking about the life she wanted me for me. One of happiness. One where I smile.


Asher writes to share stories with the world

Man Up

By Raymond Sloan

I know I was only eight, but I knew as soon as he left that Dad wasn’t coming back. There was this look in his eyes when he went. I didn’t mistake it for regret or remorse or anything like that. No, it was a picture of blind relief.

I glared at my confused mother as she stood in the kitchen holding his twenty-pack, asking me “What’s he gotta get more for?” I shrugged, then put the bin out for the first time and went to my room.

The next morning, I found that Mum had smoked every cigarette.


“I write because I love writing.” – the writer

Fear is the Path to the Dark Side

By Virginia Miranda

Our lives are fragmented, unrecognizable. Our fear … absolute. The Dark side looms … a virus of hatred. People maim and kill with no consequences. The poor become poorer … the rich, richer.

No lives matter, as anarchy reigns. A controversial opinion results in hate speech. We are being dumbed down, ready and willing to listen to the loudest.

Once, A Nation of Immigrants, A Land of Milk and Honey, The Island of Albiones, A Land of Opportunity, now, unrecognizable fragments of our former selves.

It is time to reclaim our story before our minds, imagination and souls are colonised by those in power.


“I write because the words are there, in my head, and I need to put them down.” – the writer

Heartbreak Decision

By Jennifer Lai

I sit in my car at Heartbreak Hill, a grassy knoll overlooking the city where couples come to make out or break up. But today, I am here to think.

Three months ago, Brad brought me here for our first date in his shiny red Camaro. Two weeks later, it was here he spoke those three precious words.

Now, I am three months late, and contemplate the decision that awaits me as his Camaro pulls up the hill with a woman in the front seat.


Jennifer Lai writes “to escape reality, to relieve stress, and to satisfy my curiosity.”

Bloody Snowy

By Lucy Goldring

Snowy’s by the back door, set to leave. She really is the living end, but I need what she’s got. We’re having a face-off.

Cold white stuff’s falling from the sky. Snowy’s keen to explore, to embrace her nomenclature.

My Snow Day plan? I’ve bagged myself the ‘all-day’ boiler engineer slot. Besides, it’s peak TOTM – whatever the ads suggest, I’m just not sledge-ready. My salopettes are white. The entire world is white.

One step forward and Snowy is out that cat flap. She knows I’m after her dead mouse – aka the last damn tampon in my painstakingly ransacked flat.


Lucy Goldring writes to unleash her subconscious and because it’s cheaper than therapy. She thinks it’s magical that people might emotionally engage with her words.

Are You Ready?

By Ian McFarland

Written on the sidewalk.

What?

Now?

No!

I don’t even have …

My shit together.


“I write to process what I see around me and to relate to the people, places, and things that capture my attention.” – the writer

Coyotes

By Renuka Raghavan

Fearless, this pack sees me again on the dirt path. They huff and puff, snicker and snort, like the vulgar boys of my youth who clung to the chain-link fence disrupting my swim meet with their “Hey babe, my vanilla needs some caramel on top” and “Hey babe, ditch the suit!” But these dogs are far more cunning. They are the ruling street gang with their brindle fur and drone-worthy night vision. These dogs spurn my feckless gestures. They motion to each other a silent lexicon, but they don’t mess with me this time. They know I’ll be back again.


Renuka Raghavan writes because it is safer than running around and screaming all day. She’s the fiction book reviewer at Červená Barva Press, and is a poetry reader for the Lily Poetry Review. She is also a co-founder of the Poetry Sisters Collective.

Empath for Hire

By Jenise Cook

Happy hour at the bar. Cheap hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and dozens of half-drunk suits. The city lights sparkle against the night sky through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

I scan the room. My keen, empath senses tingle. They’re how I find my mark. A tall drink of water stares at me. He oozes danger.

My client said he would.

The mark slips his hand into his expensive coat pocket and walks toward me.

Gun in my right pocket, I text with my left. “I found him. What do I do with him?”

My phone chirps. “Service denied.”

I didn’t see that coming.


“I write because I can’t not write.” – the writer

Solitary

By Nancy Elliott

No more lingering in the church hall after service. No more long afternoons of chitchat and laughter while she worked on quilts with the other ladies. No more book club, no more volunteer time at the hospital.

And Zoom meetings just weren’t cutting it.

She looked wistfully out the window, missing community. She missed the hugs, the shared moments, the warmth of others near.

The big old tabby cat jumped up and settled into her lap. She stroked his fur, feeling the rumble of his purr. Her heart filled with gratitude for the lone tender, loving friend she could touch.


Nancy Elliott walks, runs, hikes, looks up at the stars, dreams, loves, wonders, explores, and then words tumble out.