These Lines


By Alanna Pass

from my pencil
anchor me to this earth
like a kite on a string.
These lines
form words on these pages
giving shape to my thoughts
running wild in my head.
These lines that form words
are lassoed into sentences, then paragraphs
a calm order brought from the spiraling chaos.
My soul is tamed
At least for a while
From the simple act of writing.

The Ferocity of Silence


By Montaffera

As I wash my hands –
Watch soap slip silently;
The thrill of cold water
Numbing to nothing –
I can see a spare sock
Stuck under the doorframe
Just a little bit;
The rest too thick to fit.

And our child, standing,
Staring at that sock;
Pondering his next move.
Flexing a narrow finger.

The weight of your absence
Is ubiquitous here;
A fierce silence, rent
By pointless everyday.
And I dry my hands
On a soggy towel,
Suddenly knowing that
I’m finished with typical.

Put It Down


By czvasser

I’d like to put it down
rest my arms
and shoulders

lay my head on
smooth stones
rather than rocks

ash lays deep

Small brass bells
on every hem and hair
opposite pearls
irritations of the mind

My hands grip and strangle
beyond caress

I’d like to put it down
pick up
where we left off
I’d sing
You’d say
your song
my name

each bell tolls
heavier than before

let me put it down
pick you up
Toss you to the sun
catch you in my mouth
swallow all

The Professor


By Susanne Swanson

“Do you know how many times you’ve said ‘okay’ in the last minute?” she blurted out.

(Twenty times by my reckoning. She was not the only one counting.) He stopped. Public speaking was not his forte, though economics may have been.

“Twenty-three times!” she announced.

“Sorry,’ he said. “Didn’t know I was doing it.”

The rest of us knew and thanked her. We were on edge waiting for the ‘okay’ and winced when it came. No sentence was immune.

“I’ll work on it, okay?” he promised. “But when it’s quiet you’ll know what I’m thinking, okay?”

Okaaaay! we shouted.

The Sketch Artist’s Rendition


By E.F. Olsson

The news finally broke in interrupting the television show. I was disappointed – not from the show and the bad actors, but because they took so long.

The anchor anxiously warned that the police were on a city-wide lookout for a man, a potential serial killer, and everyone should stay indoors. They gave a description and broadcasted the sketch artist’s rendition from the lone witness.

Once they returned back to normal broadcasting, I went out onto the porch, lit a cigarette, stared up at the moon and smiled at how uncannily accurate that drawing was.

Perhaps I should grow a beard.



By Brian Geiger

“And,” continued the lawyer, “the final statement: ‘To my son, Johnston, I give the timepiece that accompanied me from boyhood to death. Live by it as I did.’”

Johnston watched as the timepiece was passed slowly down the tableside—from his grandmother to his mother; from his mother to him. Her eyes watered as she pressed it into his palm. He kissed her, fighting tears himself, and motioned for his daughter’s hand. The mothers smiled as he pressed it into her palms. With a delicate laugh, she placed it on her round stomach. “An heirloom,” she mouthed. “It’s perfect.”

The Well


By Angelo Marcos

She limped along trying to ignore the searing pain in her shin. The blood had congealed, so she was no longer bleeding.

She used a branch as a walking stick, leaning onto it so as not to aggravate the wound.

The bucket she carried seemed to grow heavier, feeling after a time as though it were filled with boulders. She had twice felt as though her shoulder had dislocated.

The merciless sun beat down, reminding her of the thirsty children awaiting her return.

She’d walked two miles.

Two more to go.