He Says


By D. Avery

He sees himself as a learner and a teacher. Adventure, yes, but never conquest, he says.

He loves, he says, says love is a borderland, its borders permeable and transient, a place for walls to crumble, for barriers to come down, an exercise of dissolution, a pursuit of communion.

Each encounter, he says, is the coalescing of commonalities and of differences, exploring paths of shared experiences while discovering new paths that lead to new territories, unbounded.

Yet inevitably he withdraws, retreats behind invisible lines, already looking to the next frontier, while she surveys the breach, takes stock, shores up.


Oh Cecilia


By Roy Gomez

Yeah … I’d run out of words. I’d driven all night, hoping to change Cecilia’s mind – when suddenly, out of nowhere, the gravel road came to a dead end. We parked on a high cliff. Way out in the gulf this one light blinked on the black sea. Cecilia never spoke. It was all on me. Clutching the steering wheel, refusing to accept it, I hated thinking we were done. Sure, sure, I guess I could’ve called him Cecil. It’s what he’d always wanted. It’s just so strange, you know. Cecil. Cecilia. I don’t even know this Cecil guy.



By Moshe Kessler

With fondness I bid thee farewell

Unfortunately you they very rarely sell

I mourn the passing of a shirt with a pocket

Along with ground coffee, bar soap and the photo locket

What should I do with my little notebook and pen?

And the business cards I receive to no end

People laugh and say just use your phone

But how in good conscience could that become my touchstone?

So please don’t tell me the next fashion decision to be dealt

Will be the elimination of my beloved pants belt.



By Frederick Ostrovskis-Wilkes

The drought is hard,
Soil that once bore the fruit
and fed the thirst of spreading roots
now charred, sand and ash,
A cancer spreading through the plain,
Dancing on the burning graves of
those that seek the weeping rain,
Drown them, flood their wounds.

Resilient, he stands,
Leather skin with arms of spears
and pride to fill the space of fear
ravaging the lands

A warrior bound in blood
and mud to these barren sands,
Waiting for the night to call,
The pale blanket of moonlight’s shawl
to hold it,
hand in hand.

A Sister’s Goodbye


By Erik Porter

Excitement washed over him. He leapt from bed and strolled into the kitchen. Bags packed and loaded in the car last night. A punch from his sister as he ate his breakfast feast. Time slowed while Dad searched the house for missed items and Mom floated through the kitchen filling his plate again. He savored these last family moments, drawing them out like taffy.

Grandparents arrived. Time snapped back. Hugs all around. His sister wouldn’t cry, not in front of him, but he saw tears waiting. She punched him in the arm. It wouldn’t be good-bye without it.

I Won’t Go Down


By Michael Hotchkiss

The bottom beckoned
But I would not go
I yearned for help
I got hurt instead
I made my hole
It was for me to climb
I wanted a rope
I got a shovel
I was drowning in a sea of me
I needed a life boat
I got an anchor
Hope was above if I could get there
Take the boot off my head
There was a way and I found it
Toss the hurt, the shovel, the anchor, the boot
It’s my hole, it’s my sea
I won’t go down
It’s up to me

Good Intentions


By L. Stewart Marsden

He bought a used acoustic
And a Washburn mandolin
With thoughts of playing sixties tunes
On sidewalks of a mountain town
Where snow geese flocked from all around
To shop the shops for pottery
And other artsy craft;

His will to see it through
Was like his previous grandiose plans
And he hung his instruments on the wall
To either side of the pendulum clock
Which had tocked its last years before
And though the clockman swore by his skills
The pendulum remained quite still
As did the used acoustic
And the Washburn mandolin.