Dog Poem

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By Juanita Rey

I have a dog.
He whines for walks,
for me to toss a ball
so he can fetch.
He doesn’t beg for sex
or sympathy
like the guy he replaced.
Being needed has taken
a turn for the better.

           
“I write because it helps me to understand my life in this new country.” – the poet

Misnomer

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By Barbara Schilling Hurwitz

I screamed. The visceral pain too much to contain as my baby was wrenched from what I had falsely assured her was the safety of my arms. Words were fired at us, words we could not understand, words filled with visible hatred. Fear and unanswered questions consumed me.

Caged with others pained like me, frightened not for ourselves but for our innocent children, I weaved through the stench of the anxious crowd toward an opening in the pen, hoping for a glimpse of my baby.

A guard who spoke my language explained, “She’s been taken to another shelter.”

“Shelter?”

            
Barbara Schilling Hurwitz writes “For the joy of creation, the journey and the delight in watching my characters grow.”

Coal

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By The Cheesesellers Wife

He told me of how coal can be split
To reveal hoof prints of long buried deer
If you get the angle and grain right

Of how, in the deepest mines
Darwin was proved each day
By the strike of a miner’s hammer

And how opening the coal opened him,
Drove him to library and Miners Institute
To learn, wonder, argue

His gentle voice, with its natural grace
Led me into his world
To the child opening trap doors in constant dark

To the young man, passionate for justice
Filled up with the joy of learning
All forged in coal.

           
“I write poetry because I have to, they come to me. I blog for the company.” – the poet

Counting to Sleep

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By Teresa M. Stouffer

On my side,
on my back,
on my side.
I count my breaths.
Some numbers exhale ghosts.
Three … Olivia drowns,
Thirty three … my niece’s age now,
Fifty nine … Dad’s when he died.
I exhale my number.
Exhale my number.
My number.
Number …

            
“I write because I fill up inside and need to have a way to spill the overflow and free up space for more.” – the writer

The Christmas Salmon

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By Frances Tate

Starting its journey with a leap of conviction, the salmon does not see the bludgeoning tide and adverse gradient as insurmountable.

Non-directionally synchronized, battered by elbows and bristling shopping bags, seeking the path of least resistance, we slog upstream.

Sale icons bait bright-lit windows, lure shoppers, they veer without warning or apology. We dodge as best sardines can, shimmying over cobbles, trawling for balance.

Flinging themselves up rapids, sometimes finding the paws of waiting bears to cure their exhaustion, the salmon has it easy. Even if successful, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Evolution requires Christmas shopping annually tests human mettle.

           
Tell us why you write:
“Wait… it’s optional?” – the writer

Prison Prose

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By Jeff H.

Lenny loved writing stories. Awful, contrived stories.

Lenny also loved petty crime: vandalism, shoplifting, selling alcohol to minors. Which he was as skilled at as he was making believable plots and characters. Jailers groaned when Lenny appeared, since he read his fiction aloud 24-7. And it was all truly horrendous.

Eventually Lenny was caught poaching salmon, a felony. But he was happy—the state pen meant free meals, hot showers, and a general population which had to listen to his new, multiple-volume novel.

So in the end, you could say Lenny had just been fishing for a captive audience.

           
“I write for the fun of it.” – the writer