Until The Light Gets In

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By Carol J Forrester

She’d stuff the teapots
with carrier bags.
Oranges, blues, yellow, and pinks,
sunsets wrapped in ceramics,
perched on window sills.

Later they came to pieces
in her hands.
Plastic wilting like dried up roses,
shuddering beneath soft touches
and wasting away to dust.

We took turns choosing,
turning them over,
shaking the remains loose
from the curved bones
of these empty shells.

I keep carrier bags
in my teapot.
Oranges, blues, yellow, and pinks,
sunsets wrapped in ceramic,
perched on a window sill.

         
Carol J Forrester “plays around with words too much to say for sure which are her favorites.”

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The Stare

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By John L. Malone

“What are you staring at?”
“You,”
“Me? Why?”
“We are watching you unraveling.”
“There’s a word for that, a German word like watching people in road accidents.”
“Please don’t get distracted. Continue unraveling.”
“What if I don’t want to?”
“We’ve been watching you. You won’t be able to prevent it.”
They were right. I was like one of those wall-mounted paper towel dispensers. Once the roll starts unraveling there’s no stopping it and I wasn’t done yet. There was still a meter or more of me to go.

         
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

Because

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By Dr. Debbie Engelmann

Because, if we choose to call “an issue” a challenge rather than “crisis”;
Because, we can look at hardship as an opportunity rather than an obstacle;
Because, we can ask, “what did I learn that makes me better?”;
Because, we can take a breath and do the difficult things;
Because, our courage does not depend on the weather,
the economic forecast or a whim;
Because, we choose to know the most significant
elements of life are laughter, learning, and giving our finest effort to each endeavor;
Because of these things, each morning is a pleasure and every day a success.

         
Dr. Engelmann says, “As a writer and natural intuitive healer, my purpose is to guide others on their path of finding peace within themselves through my writing and sometimes through my practice.  To help ‘wounded souls’ open their hearts and shine their unique light upon this world.”

The Bouquet

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By Dianne Moritz

When I left that last time,
You handed me a bouquet
Of roses, daisies, and
one lone bud of artichoke
Poking from its center.

After the flowers wilted,
I kept that artichoke
For many days
In a blue, ceramic bowl,
Its heart dried, brittle.

         
Dianne writes poetry and picture books for kids. Her poems have appeared in print and online journals including Earth’s Daughters, Long Island Quarterly, Adelaide Literary, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Universe.

Moving Advice From My Future Self

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By hawkelsonrainier

Pack your things in heavy-duty corrugated brown boxes. They hold up better in transit. Don’t go cheap on the truck rental either – you’ll want at least 865 cubic feet of cargo space. If you find a letter from an old flame in a dresser drawer, do not read it. The nostalgia will only distract you, and you’ll be compelled to look her up on social media. It will become apparent that she’s doing well for herself on the East Coast, and you’ll still be here with all these boxes to load as the last of the sunlight bleeds away.

         
Hawkelson Rainier dabbles in short fiction and poetry from time to time. His debut novel, The Lake Erie Lights, It is available at Kellan Publishing.

Back in 5 mins.

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By hombrehompson

The sign on the shop door reads “Back in 5 mins.”

This is not unusual. Far from the city, life meanders without process. Post Office closures. Farm vehicles rumbling in the distance. Dog walkers on the riverbank. Church bells every other morning. Cars covered in blossom. Sirens alien and unwelcome.

Nothing stirs at this hour, in the land of perpetual Christmas morning, the air carbon neutral.

Back in 5 mins, it reads.

Today this is unusual.

She takes the key from her pocket, looking over her shoulder, wondering who has put the sign on her shop.

         
hombrehompson lives and works in Sheffield. His stories have appeared in Spelk Fiction, Ellipsis Zine and The Cabinet of Heed.

Waiting to be Called

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By John L. Malone

Please Wait to be Called,
The sign said
So I did.
I waited and waited
At the head of the queue
outside the pearly gates
And when, growing impatient,
I stepped forward,
St. Peter held up his hand:
“There seems to be some problem,”
He said.
“You’ll have to wait a little longer,”
I stamped my feet a little
When a light flashed overhead
& a door opened behind
& I was whooshed back
To the operating theatre where the surgeons
Had revived me
One step from paradise.

         
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry