Hell-bent on repentance
I dug up my past
– a stack of confessions
in black ink and metaphors –
true and false,
unstructured and incomplete.
Forgotten in the pages was
a decade-old whispered poem
to a future lover,
the writer of words and dreamer of dreams
who could make me believe
his theories of history and heaven
I wanted to write him poetry while the world burned
through its tribulation.
But you only like poems that rhyme.
By Tanzelle Oberholster
No piece of writing is worthy of destruction – yes, it may be cringe-worthy, but half-formed ideas hide between the bad grammar and spelling mistakes. These precious little insights will be nourished when the water of the muses flow. Crumbs of inspiration quickly transform into beautifully composed pieces. Never throw away any article of writing you felt compelled to manifest. Place the offensive piece of ink on paper in a dark drawer if you must. Let it grow there, like a fungus. Soon there will come a time when these little writer’s blights will provide the antidote to writer’s block.
By Tremaine L. Loadholt
he came home to an
his condo, a quiet, chaotic hole
that gripped him tightly.
the memories of Claudia
pained him throughout each day.
he could see her swollen eyes,
clogged with tears, then
her mouth drawing in from pain.
the chemo had dulled her
insides—crushed her soul.
her voice, now an echoing
everywhere he went.
By J. E. Kennedy
Old Mrs Bergman’s roses were the envy of the village. The bushes bloomed in a congregation of scarlet and coral, sun-flare yellow and delicious tangerine. They spilled over the walls and lit up the pavement with their scattered petals, like delicate wishes skipping along the breeze, destination unknown.
Mrs Bergman plucked and preened, watered and fed. She whispered sweet nothings. She told the roses all that she would have told him if he were here. And they bloomed.
At night she would take the fading telegram from the drawer: Missing in action.
And she waited to meet him again.
By Ali Grimshaw
Your phrases landed on the floor
between us. My palms empty
not knowing how to catch them.
Strings of words, a story of near miss.
One collection of minutes that almost
restructured our life, like petals
blown away by the wind, dispersed
never again to unite in beauty.
A reminder of the impermanence of us.
Ali Grimshaw’s poems have appeared on Poetry Breakfast, Vita Brevis and VerseWrights.
By Eva Rivers
Mama was always having an existential crisis.
‘What is the purpose of my life?’ she’d say.
Papa said maybe it was to cook and keep house. A clean shirt now and again. But mama never saw it like that. She tried to adjust but mostly she just spent her days tearful or asleep. The last time we spoke she was lying in a hospital bed.
‘Baby, why did God put me on this earth?’
Not for forty smokes a day and all the Jack Daniels you can swallow, I wanted to chide. But I didn’t. I just held her hand as she cried.
Eva Rivers’ fiction has appeared in Fictive Dream, Sick Lit Magazine, Penny Shorts, The Drabble, 101 Words, Firefly Magazine, Storgy and Scribble Magazine.
By Alexander Hill
We’d read the diary you wrote and visited the Secret Annex hidden behind the bookcase in the tall building on Prinsengracht. Everything is sepia in these narrow rooms, brightened only by the few color photographs you collected, movie stars, princes, pictures of your family and oddly DaVinci. There’s an old man gazing at the marks on the wall of your changing height. A tear runs down his wrinkled cheek, caught for a moment by a shaft of light and briefly a rainbow, smile shaped, curves across his face.
Perhaps there is hope for us after all.