Immortal or Mortal

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By David Berger

On?
On.
Listening?
Listening.
Ready?
Ready.
Immortal or mortal?
Immortal.
Minstrel or warrior?
Both.
End of the world?
Okay.
Fire or ice?
Ice.
Bang or whimper?
Whimper.
Male or female?
Occasionally.
Hearts or diamonds?
Hearts.
Clubs or spades?
Spades.
Black or white?
Both.
Sweet or bitter?
Bitter.
Turing or Von Neumann?
Turing.
You’re human.

          
David Berger is a self-described “old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with my wife of 25 years: the finest jazz singer in NYC. I’m a father and grandfather. I’ve been, among other things, a caseworker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL teacher, a legal proofreader and a union organizer. Love life, my wife and the world. Hope to help the latter escape destruction.”

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Magical Thinking

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By diannemoritz

Do you spit out words as you

might a bite of bruised apple?

Say: Today my dog died?

Do you tell how you watched

the light fade from her

soulful eyes, nothing left

but bones and soft fur?

Should you mention you cried out,

wanting to kill the messenger?

How this longing hurts, sometimes

believing she will amble back home,

tail thumping, cold nose pressed

against your lonely hand …

           
Dianne writes poetry and picture books for kids. Her next book, Hey Little Beachcomber, will be out in April, 2019. She is a frequent contributor to Highlights magazine.

Anarchy, Society and the Mind

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By Mark F. Lindsey

The things that I once saw
are not clear anymore.
My reality is constantly changing
Organization is a must but so is
Anarchy. Cacophony best describes us.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t
plan on anything or your future will
change

LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC OF THE MIND!

For in it alone can we be ourselves
And in being ourselves we create society – even
though Society
Sometimes
Creates
Us

         
Mark F. Lindsey is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. His work has appeared in The Inner Voice literary magazine.

My White Cane Is a Magic Wand

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By Rebecca L. Holland

Want to see a magic trick?
Watch me disappear

How’d she do that?
Here’s the secret:

All it takes are dark glasses
All it takes is an illness
All it takes is a white cane
To erase five years of experience
To strip you of a master’s degree
To make people avert their eyes

Want to see another magic trick?
Watch me reappear

Abracadabra!

I thought I was a woman
Solid
But when I hide behind this slender cane
No one can see me
And I thought I was the one who couldn’t see.

You didn’t know I was magic.

         
Rebecca is a visually impaired writer and disability awareness advocate from Pennsylvania. Her chapbook, Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse, was published in 2018. She is a staff writer for CAPTIVATING!

Dogs, Looking Up

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By Kendall Jaderberg

I noticed my dog look up.
why was this act so unnatural?
There wasn’t a squirrel in the trees.
Why had he been so intrigued?

He plays from a box of actions,
motivations of which not earth shattering.
But a glimpse to the sky, leaves me questioning-
Why? This says too much about me.

I envied his joyous observation,
the self-made scientist in this family.
Where he spotted this opportunity,
I failed my curiosity.

This set in motion unexpected passion,
not knowing where my notes would lead.
I tested and believed I’d emptied,
a theory disproved by this story’s ending.

           
Kendall Jaderberg is an Analytical Chemist for a flavor company, where donuts abound. She enjoys bitter Chicago winters with her corgi mix and crafting poetry in her head while running on the treadmill. She has only tripped once and blames the donuts, not the poems.

An Off Day

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By John L. Malone

He was having an off day.
No reports came in.
The odds were heavily against it,
Astronomical, in fact, he knew
But there you were,
Blue moons, black swans, a win
In a billion dollar lottery.
They happen.
But it didn’t help his mood.
Perhaps he should stop wearing black.
Lighten up a little.
Wear something trendier.
T-shirt, chinos, loafers perhaps?
He had become something of a cliché.
What would his boss say?
Could he be fired?
His shoulders slumped.
His scythe dropped.
He let out a sigh.
No one had died on his watch
That day.

         
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

October

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By Andrew J. Shields

Nothing on the tidal flats but gulls
and oystercatchers, until pipers and plovers
swoop to land at water’s edge.

Nothing on the dyke but you
and the grazing sheep, until two kids
ride by on rusty bicycles.

Nothing in the sky but sun
and blue, until clouds and rain
come with the rising tide.

Nothing in your hands but
your umbrella, pulled
by the rising wind.

         
Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His collection of poems, Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong, was published by Eyewear in June 2015.