By Dianne Moritz

Teasing the dog
Back behind
The chicken coop
To distract myself
From loneliness,
Stench of the farm,
Uncle’s mongrel seized
My thin wrist, bit down hard.
My cries were smothered
In boozy serves-you-rights,
While blood spilled,
Staining my summer smock.
Auntie brought me milk
Straight from a cow.
I ran to the rusty sink,
Spit it out as Mother’s hand
Shot out, slapped me hard.
I raced outside.

The slam of that screen door
Still echoes …

Dianne Moritz dreams of publishing a drabble collection one day. She writes poetry for kids and is a frequent contributor to Highlights children’s magazines.


Through the Window


By Emily Ruggieri

I’m driving away
The day is new, the sun kisses my cheek through the glass
Warm like the touch of the hand that cares, do you care
Feelings are there, feelings I’m afraid to share
Feelings that we’re afraid to share
Emotions like an ocean, the depth scares me
Are yours like an arroyo, only full after the rain
It rains when I’m with you
When I’m with you we feel
The sun is warm as I drive away

Emily Ruggieri is a Nutrition major at Texas State

Every Breath


By Lynn White

It’s interesting to consider that
every breath I take
has already been breathed by
someone else,
another person or creature.
Been part of their breath.
Perhaps that dog over there,
smelly and hairy,
licking it’s own arse.

I would prefer not to have
molecules of oxygen from it’s breath
entering my blood stream,
giving me life.
But there’s nothing
I can do about it.
Have to take what comes.
Breath the air that’s there
wherever it’s been before.
Rebellion is not an option.

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in publications including Apogee, Firewords, Vagabond Press, Light Journal and So It Goes Journal.

The Sea and Me


By Sarah Alam

I sit on the sand where waves rush in. The warm water lulls my heart and refreshes my mind.
I sit where I see no one else is.
There are those rushing in, slashing the surfless waters.
There are others sitting on dry sand, solar-powering themselves.
The sea is enough for all. For those who dunk, or swim, or stand. For all differing needs that one sea is enough. Like love. Or fear.
I sit where no one is. Waiting for the sea to renew me with each coming wave.

Sarah says, “Writing has been my solace and strength. Working as a columnist, then a first-grade teacher, and now a content writer for a software company, stringing words together has kept my sanity and spirit.”



By diannemoritz

She is alien to me now,
This woman who bore me.
We speak as strangers,
Politely discuss her trip,
What we’ll eat for dinner,
Who died, the movies
We’ve lately seen …
Guarded, defensive,
Like jailbirds: tense, edgy.

Walking in the yard,
Out come concealed
Weapons. “Tell me,
She says, “was there ever
Anyone you truly loved?
“Oh, yes, “ I answer,
Secretly counting the days
Left of my sentence.

Dianne Moritz dreams of publishing a collection of drabble one day. She writes poetry for kids and is a frequent contributor to Highlights children’s magazines.

Born Wrong


By Wolf Stahl

I’m just a watch with two big hands
moving slow, then fast, never right on any day,
I say things I can’t understand, and I love you
in an incomplete way,
but I’m trying.

I think everything worth having is worth burning.
Better to weep in ashes than be buried under snow.
The look in your eyes, a hundred miles away,
makes me hate myself for the things I know.

The pressure in my head is disastrous
Rivets bursting like machine-gun fire
I tell myself I’m better off without you,
I tell myself I’ve never been a liar.

Wolf Stahl was born on a farm and never recovered.

Ask a Child, Ask a Butterfly


By Megha’s World

Every small step counts. Every small gesture matters.
Kindness comes in all forms. Accept and embrace it when you see.
Pass it forward. It is like the flowing river, shaping and changing the lives of those who come along its way. Keep flowing and Keep growing.
Life never stops from growing nor from making mistakes.
You stop and stagnate like the ditch of stinking water.
Flow like a waterfall. A beautiful sight in its glory.
Life is movement.
Change is a necessary transformation.
Ask a child, ask a butterfly.

Megha Sood is a contributing editor at Whisper and the Roar and Ariel Chart. Her work has been featured in 521 Magazine, Visitant Lit, KOAN, Mojave Heart Review, Nightingale and Sparrow, Fourth and Sycamore, Pangolin Review, Paragon Press, Dime Show review, and featured in anthologies We Will Not Be Silenced, (Indie Blu(e) Publishing), All the Lonely People (Blank Paper Press), and RECLAIM Anthology. She won first prize in the NAMI Axelrod Poetry contest.