Age of Winter


By Tess M Shepherd

A lifetime, not months, had brought her to this final season. Old-woman’s bones in the chair by the window. Shrouded in blankets like the garden’s blanket of snow. Everything she once was shrunk to bare monotony. Even the memories dwindled. Without them, why live?

Outside, a flash of fire. An ember glowing amid winter’s decay. Her robin, like a symbol, sparking faded recollections into brighter hues. Children playing, before they flew the nest. Her husband, gardening beside her while he lived.

“Feed my birds,” she told the visiting carer. Then smiled …

Ever faithful, the garden still gave her a purpose.

Tess M Shepherd is currently working on two full-length historical novels. It has always been a dream of hers to be a published author.

The Monsters


By Robert Keal

Most of them wear multicolored armor, probably to psych us out.

They fight with their hands and their feet; nothing, no one can keep them down.

Be careful, their favorite move is ‘the crusher.’ They scoop you up in one big grab and squeeze: Your cries won’t fit their ears.

We’re only vulnerable during the day – it’s safer to come out at night.

That’s when we gather and start talking; it’s clear none of us can live happily here. Not in the monsters’ grip.

Yep – these monsters are really scary. Especially while sucking their thumbs, silent and sure.

“I write to make peace with what’s in my head.” – the writer



By Training Your Child

Never-ending pressures and to-do lists;
Never-stopping expectations and obligations;
Is there someone to rescue me from all this crazy?
What if a rescuer came?
Would I receive the help?
Would I accept the new chance to start fresh?
Or would I be convinced I must earn my rescue,
become worth the time, energy and sacrifice?
Maybe I like the crazy.
Maybe it makes me feel important.
But I still ask for, beg for a rescuer.
If I add “Find a Rescuer” to my to-do list,
Will this never-ending, never-stopping have hope to stop?
Help! Rescue me, please!

“I write because I have been rescued and want others to know the truth and freedom I have.” – the writer

Jazzed on Love


By Dianne Moritz

From The Shadows,

Them There Eyes

stole All of Me,

Tenderly … Body & Soul.

Conferring With The Moon,

Tranquility and Perfect Peace

I found in our Nocturnal

Playground, At Last.

Can’t Turn My Heart Away.

The Very Thought of You …

You Go to My Head. WOW!

What a Little Moonlight Can Do.

“Sometimes I write just for fun, but still dream of collecting my drabble in a book.” – the writer

You Hear a Noise


By John L. Malone

You hear a noise. It’s past midnight.
So what do you do?
You hop up, turn on a few lights, tramp down the passageway. open and close cupboards, bang doors, make a lot of noise.
Then you stop and listen.
There it is again.
Those bloody mice, you say, though you’ve seen no evidence of any.
It’s nothing, you decide, nothing. House noises.
You head back to the bedroom, turn off the lights.
Someone taps you on the shoulder.

John is a South Australian writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story.

Bulle de Bonheur


By Karen A. Deutsch

Before the plans have been sketched out
Before the seeds have been ordered
Before the bricks have been delivered
Before the garden debris has been raked
Before the roses have been cut back
Before the angled trees have been staked
Before the garage door has been repainted
Before we slather ourselves with lotion
We sit in chairs left out over Winter
Knees to knees, heads leaning back
Eyes closed, breathing rhythmically
Listening to the robins welcoming Spring

My poetry has always taken a back seat to my art practice; with Spring it sometimes puts out shoots.

November, Blue Ridge Mountain, 1992


By Eric Robert Nolan

November compelled us to visit the hills
Where ignorant rock and lofty pine
Were witness to our disregard
For strangeness, temptation and time.

But memories are sticky things.
Will any mountain ever let
Me dream again? Can I now
Feel rain without regret?

Eric writes “because the stories in his head insist on their telling, and the voices there clamor to be heard.”