By Yuan Changming
To be a matter when there’s no question
Or not to be a question when nothing really matters
To sing with a frog squatting straight
On a lotus leaf in the Honghu Lake near Jingzhou
To recollect all the pasts, and mix them
Together like a glass of cocktail
To build a nest of meaning
Between two broken branches on Ygdrasil
To strive for deity
To come on and off line every other while
To compress consciousness into a file, and upload it
Onto a nomochip
To be dying, to die
Yuan Changming lives in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific; credits include ten Pushcart nominations, the 2018 Naji Naaman’s Literary Prize, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, Best New Poems Online and many others worldwide.
By Kelley Morris
Through laughter and tears
Remembering when both occurred
With anticipation and hope
Not knowing what lies ahead
Remaining firmly planted
In this moment where life is lived
Kelley Morris is a public school elementary music teacher living in Oklahoma. She is passionate about the need for music education in public schools and the right of all students to receive a quality public education.
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.”
By Rickey Rivers Jr.
You ruin those happy moments
because you think they are not real
and are only a dream.
They are real
but like a dream
something you thought
would never come true.
Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Alabama. He is a writer and cancer survivor. His work has appeared in Fabula Argentea, ARTPOST magazine, the anthology Chronos, and Enchanted Conversations Magazine, among others.
By Michael Thomas Ellis
I am not a gnarled desire grasping
for a younger persuasion
nor a groomed garden cutting
to be tossed once withered.
I may have veined hands
and sweetbreads not fresh-baked
but I laugh deliciously
and live to knead your dreams.
So let me be your Persian cat
dug deep in the quilts
to be remembered
and I will reward you
with my purr.
Michael Thomas Ellis is looking forward to next year, trying hard to be an optimist.
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.”
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.