Just Started School

Mother didn’t talk much.

Didn’t want to fall foul

of the thought police.

There was the ugly guy with the cruel, crooked mouth

who owned the house and loved his chickens.

He believed.


‘Heil Hitler’.

We’d brought our blackboards.

My old teacher had a desk on a raised platform.


When it was all over,

Mother hung out a white sheet

from the bedroom window.


The new teacher taught us Russian.

Bald underneath this huge black fur hat.

His yellow teeth as large as a horse’s. Threw

that unruly boy down the school’s stone steps.


The wheels of tanks looming over me.

My brother made me an airplane from balsawood.

We continued to listen to AFN Europe—

my brother had crafted a crystal radio

from a cigar box.


The Russians changed the street names

and the portraits on the school walls.


Rose Mary Boehm

Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru, and author of two novels as well as seven poetry collections. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her latest: Do Oceans Have Underwater Borders? (Kelsay Books July 2022), Whistling in the Dark (Cyberwit July 2022), and Saudade (December 2022) are available on Amazon. www.rose-mary-boehm-poet.com

Moon in Daylight

Palely the residues of evening coalesce

to form this faint ablation sailing over head,

this lustrous oculus in daybreak’s alabaster dome,

this remnant of the jeweled dark that wanly

drifts across the dawn’s triumphant light.


O fading psychopomp of evening’s gaudy glitter,

priestess of our midnight signs and assignations,

in morning’s scant attire you prophesy the vacancy

of noon where thought hangs heavy in the mind

and yearning looms like smoke in sunlit haze.


Yet how much nearer now in gauzy negligée you seem

than in the incandescent robe you wore last night,

how menacingly close do you appear and closing fast,

as though some furtive faintness hurrying after us

lay almost in our reach but too remote to grasp.


DB Jonas

DB Jonas is an orchardist living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. Born in California in 1951, he was raised in Japan and Mexico. His work has recently appeared in Tar River, Blue Unicorn, Whistling Shade, Neologism, Consilience Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Decadent Review, The Amphibian, Revue {R}évolution, Kairos, and others. His first collection, Tarantula Season, is scheduled for release in 2023.

A Conversation with Sophia’s Universe

I navigate this world,

kneading dough for company

as I swirl about memories

like tea

in a delicate chipped cup–


I move through the stars

spheres rotate between seconds

and I whisper to crystals when you are gone:

for the closets were just emptied of camping gear–


and when I sleep through the sleet and snow

the umbilical cord is released

before I rush into my own ravine.


Cosmic scissors unchain my feet:


I scribble secrets within the sacred box

and wait for cherubs to rush before me,

fluttering scents amongst the ripening seeds.


Caroline Reddy

Caroline Reddy’s work has been published in Active Muse, Calliope, Clinch, Clockwise Cat, Deep Overstock, Grey Sparrow, International Human Rights Arts Festival, Star*line and Tupelo Quarterly Review among others. In the fall of 2021, her poem “A Sacred Dance” was nominated for the Best of The Net prize by Active Muse. Caroline Reddy was born in Shiraz, Iran and participated in Mohammad Barrangi’s exhibition-Playing in Wonderland. Caroline Reddy also performed her poetry and presented an artist talk with VALA Gallery pertaining to the events in Iran womenlifefreedom-Zan-Zendegi-Azadi.

Small Histories

For Ellie


You say you caught yourself wondering if

the world would be

when you were gone.


Rumpled bed sheets rumpled bedsheets.

The sound of a small brass bell to ring for help

the sound of a small brass bell.


Hair comb in hand at the ready

to fix the damage from hands patting your head.


I wonder why

the vase of ranunculus and baby’s breath

sits on the kitchen counter.

You ask about images of a woman

floating behind me.


We spend the hour reciting small histories.


I ask about the light. What color.

Gold, you say,

pointing at the carpet of gingko leaves

falling throughout the day.

Grateful we don’t rake them up.


Joan M. White

Joan White lives in Vermont where she spends her time with plants and language. Her work has been published in American Journal of Poetry, Cider Press Review, Abstract Magazine, NPR’s On Being Blog, among others.

Trying to Reconcile Nurture and Nature by the St. Vrain River

I thought this poem might be

about children, but I found


Maxine Cumin’s collection Nurture

as I sifted through piles of books,


the title which implies children

but isn’t about children at all


and anyway, I keep calling the book Nature

because I do that. I see a word


and read it as another,

change one letter in my mind,


superimpose what’s not there,

and let’s be honest, what’s not


in the title is here as I sit

on a deck that overlooks


the St. Vrain River, the sound

of water caught somewhere


between its potential of thunderous

rushing and the quick patter


of rain falling from the edge of the eaves,

the latter the only sound of water


this girl might really know,

and I do believe I must have changed


one letter somewhere, must have

superimposed this place over cracked


pavement, superimposed the dogleg

bend in the river, over water that flows


around curbs into storm sewers,

and while this all seems real enough,


a black plastic bag is caught

in a nearby tree. It hangs,


expanding and contracting

like a loose lung.


Cristina Trapani-Scott

Cristina Trapani-Scott is a writer and artist who lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her partner. Her work has been published in the Paterson Literary Review, Hip Mama Magazine, Cleaver Magazine, and Orca: A Literary Journal, among others. She also holds an MFA in writing from the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University. In addition, she teaches creative writing online and serves on the leadership team of the Writing Heights Writers Association. She also is a contributing editor at the Good River Review.


I killed the boar above the low rise with strewn sagebrush.

The breath in his punctured lungs continuing to wheeze out

as his feet kicked into the earth looking for an escape.

A tidy murder. Clean, they said, not bad for a first time.


They tore into our bellies with a buck handle knife.

Fistfuls of tacky fat dumped on the dirty scrub. Bloody meat

produced from the cavity. Membrane and muscle cut away.

The knife occasionally glancing off my ribs as they cut away

the last parts of me.


Villaraigosa looks over to me, blood specks like fine pins

tattooing his face and he asks how I’m feeling…


How can I tell him that I have ascended a stairway,

making sure not to look back to the landing

below that is being consumed by the pillar of fire.


Paul Macomber

Paul Macomber earned his BA in Literature from Cal State San Bernardino and his MA in Management from the University of Redlands. He currently teaches at a public high school in Redlands, California. Outside of the classroom, he loves to travel with his wife anywhere that has buildings older than the ones in California. His poetry has previously been published in The Pacific Review.

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