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 Julie Bloss Kelsey
It occurred to me
eventually, we all wake up
outside the Garden of Eden.
So many promises
unfulfilled and broken:
illness and death,
earthquakes and heartaches,
a myriad of misery
accompanies this human form.
It is our daily choice
to rise from the ashes
and accept our truth.
Go forth and be fruitful –
multiply our happiness
as best we can.
Friends are key –
ones you can text
a single swear word
in the dead of night
and your phone pings back
with emojis of love.
It is then we realize:
maybe a tiny piece of Eden
has followed us home.
By All Natural Spirit
It’s all those little things you know,
that you tend to let fester so,
and now they seem to just grow and grow.
Beware, because you’ll find yourself in a raging fit,
where everything around seems a deep dark pit.
Choose what you let touch your soul,
and soon you’ll see that you’ve a new goal,
this is to accept, move forward
and to let all those little things go.
By Rhodenia B. Cunanan
With lesser strength a “she” was made,
The weaker one how she’s perceived
And yet by her fragility men were raised
Homes were lit, nations were built.
A lesser role to her was given
Yes, inferior to man who’s stronger
And yet in all man’s triumphs and conquests
Woman’s support made him the best.
Though she seems frail and tender
Delicate, fragile and understated
Her strength deep within is present
Man’s all success, sustained by her prowess.
Yes, woman’s role is not lesser
Perseverance is her power
Her heart is strong and can endure
Whatever costs, she’ll stand to bear.
attracts late afternoon sunlight
endows flesh with the translucence
of an upstairs window.
I’d believe the day ends,
and the night begins with you
if I didn’t know better.
I confess I know no worse.
IN A DOWN-CITY APARTMENT
A man tucked under sheets,
a roach oozing from floorboards,
the other scrambles toward
the crumbs under the bed,
both give every indication
of how they plan to spend
Cat slaps the bird around,
snaps its back
before devouring the flesh.
Sometimes, there’s a cruel streak
John Grey has recently published work in Nebo, Euphony and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.
I have, on a moonless night,
turned from the dark fail
of mankind’s madness,
to look on the dappled ageless sky—
before man made God and time—
and seen no emptiness, nor God, nor time—
just the spark that gains my lively living eye.
Here is a greater thing than faith:
from dust of stars we came
and to them we return.
Whether wrapped in clouds of God and glory
or a simple shroud of linen and earthy clay—
Does it matter? Have we not had
(despite all the Madness we make)
this dark and Holy sky?
By Louisa Reynolds
My hand reaches out
taking comfort in cherry skies
kissed by yellow
light runs through my veins
daylight nourishes my soul
fingertips stretch to clouds
drifting until they are aligned
only for them to wander again
rebels of order in nature
meeting again only a few times
brief hellos and polite farewells
I trace the patterns around me
like a child tracing their name
a cherished picture hung up
in a mother’s small kitchen
a simple moment in time
but not simple in beauty.