The Grass Itches Me


By Zoey Chandler

It itches me, whispering too close to my ear, “softball games” “late Wednesday evenings,” and the subtle smell of grass and picnic blankets capsizes my emotion
To be four, six, seven,
When the problems were little and the shoes were too
I can hear the crack of the bat
I can smell cheese crackers
Because the ride to the field was twisty turny, and my mom told me snacking cured a tummy ache

I write because I don’t have simple words for so many feelings, and writing allows me to use metaphor and vocabulary to describe emotions.




By Tom O’Brien

We tried not to let the body in the garage freezer dominate the conversation. (The fact of the body; not that it was chatty). Instead we studied the racked snooker cues and wondered who to get in for doubles, now Del was officially missing.

“I’ve written for most of my life. If I don’t I have a vague sense of having forgotten something, that grows into a kind of panic.” – the writer



By Mary Rohrer-Dann

Dog arrowing home.
Sunflower tracking sun.
Steel needle quivering north.
River opening to ocean.
True as any of these
my mother knows
each door’s location,
senses when one opens,
is left ajar or unlocked,
or when the exit alarm
two corridors down
is disarmed.
Only one she fails to find.
The door that opens to home.

“I write because I love words and because I want to better understand all that I do not.” – the poet



By Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

Take me off your email list, old friends proclaim. I want to share things. Electronic communion. Celebrate my life, hope for acknowledgment when I publish a story, settle into a new home. I want them to ask about the things I want. Ask how I am.

Happy, with a crooked smile.

They speak of needing to clear their inboxes. Mental health purposes. Am I something that fuels instability? Holds the weight of clutter? Perhaps I ought to clear the list. Let them feel what it means to be relegated to electronic Siberia. Friend by friend, turned acquaintance. Emptiness is better.

Mir-Yashar is a graduate of Colorado State’s MFA program in fiction. He writes to produce Nabokov’s “sob in the spine of the artist reader.”

That Piddling Periodical


By John L. Malone

Jealous? Of course, I’m not jealous. Just because you got a poem published in that piddling periodical.
A suite of poems.
Okay then.
You thought more of it when you put me onto it.
I was naïve then, young, eager, I sent poems everywhere. Sure some landed in that periodical.
Do you still send poems to it?
You kidding? No, I’ve moved on. Of course, I’m glad you got your poems in it. But you make too much of it trumpeting your success. Why don’t you wave it about in the square?
So you are jealous?

John Malone is a South Australian writer of flash fiction, short stories and poetry. He delights in Literature wherever it is found.



By Helen Merrick

“That’s an ‘N’.”

“Is it really?” Squinting at the fuzzy blob, I’m forced to face facts: I can’t see.

“Don’t worry, most people need reading glasses, eventually,” the optician smiles.

I’m sure they do, but not me. My vision’s always been perfect. It’s age isn’t it? I’m getting older.

“Why not try these. Oh yes, they suit you.”

Actually, they do. The glasses don’t look bad at all, they make me look intelligent. Wait a minute … I peer at the mirror, horrified by what I see. Are those grey hairs? Swiftly removing the glasses, I take another look. Ah … that’s better.

When she’s not teaching, Helen Merrick writes short stories and poetry for fun.

Best of Both Worlds


By Rekha Rajgopal

Coffee in hand, I watched the flag. As always, it raised questions. Who am I? Where do I belong? Where does my allegiance lie?

I came to this land to carve a life for myself. With time, I blended in. Except when a flag sighting causes the routine, existential flutter in my heart.

It feels like being torn between a biological and a foster mother. The former gave me life, the latter shaped it.

As always, I tell myself it’s all good. That the two can coexist. That being with one did not mean I did not love the other.

“I write because it thrills each time my brain dredges up something new.” – the writer