Lessons Dad Taught My Brother About Being a Real Man


By Nancy Geibe Wasson

Like a treasure map to nowhere, my brother’s blotchy, tear-stained face gave all the clues. Dad said not to cry while getting belt spanked. Real men don’t cry when hurt. Crying is for girls. Years later, my brother learned how to stay stone-faced while Dad kicks him in the ribs and hammers him with his fist. While nursing my brother’s wounds, I admitted to him what Dad did to me late at night. My brother didn’t shed a single tear when he pulled the trigger. I cried when they took my brother to jail. Lucky I’m not a man.

Nancy Geibe Wasson is a writer from Northwest Arkansas. She enjoys books, cats, and tea, but is otherwise unpredictable in a good way.


The Day I Didn’t Die


By Richard A Shury

It isn’t like you think it’ll be. For me, there was only a steel scream, a flash of colour, and nothing.

And then the long, lonely ache.

Sterile rooms, pale greens and blues. Cards and flowers, and people who melted away.
You never think you’ll have to learn to walk again, or figure out a knife and fork, or how a toilet works. But here I am.

This is just one of the days after, the day I didn’t die.

“I write because it hurts when I stop, because I am compelled to, both by the voices in my head and those outside it.” – the writer


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By Maira Bakenova

The moment we meet starts the countdown to forever.

It’s the kind of love that holds no if’s but one. It’s the I do anything for you and you for me; it’s giving you anything you ask for, from our walks together in the mountains to the midnight snacks and holding you in my arms whenever the summer storm rattles our windows. It’s the curve of your brows and the slight tilt of your head that convey more than the words can say. My faithful Shepherd. My dearest friend.

If only forever could last a little longer.

Careful What You Wish For


By Sandy Wilson

The fairground crone gave her three wishes. Eleanor laughed and wished for a holiday. The next morning she won a holiday for two in Magalluf. When she told her dad she was taking Darren, he said, “No you’re not!”

“I wish you were dead!” she said truculently. After her father’s funeral she lay on her bed floating in a sea of misery. Then she remembered; she had one wish left!

She raced back to her dad’s grave. “I wish you were alive!” she shouted. Nothing seemed to happen. Of course, she couldn’t hear her father screaming six feet beneath her.

“I enjoy examining and dissecting emotions whether writing memoirs, fiction or poetry.” – the writer

Flower Boy


By Leah Siviski

Allium. Narcissus. Daisy. Dandelion. Peony. Poppy. My son names flowers, Ls like Ys, syllables added and mis-emphasized. On the summer terrace packed bright with blossom, he toddles in circles, desperate to see and smell every flower.

“Whoa! Big! Pritty! Smells good!”

Please let him run through the world like this, Queen Anne’s lace in one hand, Forget-Me-Nots in the other, dizzying himself with a kaleidoscope of colors, sunlight glowing on his cheeks, face in rapture as it takes in the world.

“I write to make sense of the world.” – the writer

on most days i


By Joan Mcnerney

just want to crawl back
to bed, never come out
become a turtle covered
by my hard shell

nothing appeals to me
not even food, just coffee
coffee more coffee
to keep awake

another hermit crab
who carries its home
sickened by shorelines
poisoned by oceans

climbing menacing
years … dumb-struck
after all those storms
diseases, accidents

i must keep going can’t quit
but would rather slither off
into some dark cave like
the spotted salamander

“i write because there is nothing else i would rather do.” – the poet

The Other Me


By Toni G.

the other me

wears her hair slicked back

in a tightly woven braid

about three feet long

it swings fiercely as she walks

it tells folks to beware of this dame

the other me

wears 5” heels like a boss

has great legs

looks great in a mini skirt

and has power lunches at midnight

the other me

holds doors open for men

slaps them on the ass as they walk by

winks at them when they turn around in surprise

I don’t think I’ll ever get to meet

the other me

Toni G. writes because there’s just so much that needs to be said. She believes that everyone is a poet.