Your grandpa died, says the note my dad left for me. It was yesterday, and tomorrow, we’ll go there, to Iowa. But when I see him after he comes from work, he is not worn and lost like a son. He is gray and cool and still. Like a couch.
Robert Hoekman Jr thinks you die when you stop wanting. He writes and writes and writes. He lives on a farm in Virginia and refuses to be put into a box. See more at rhjr.net.
Visions of this moment always included bereaved loved ones wringing hands and forcing fake smiles to accompany their glistening, sad eyes. Instead, encounters consist only of brief interactions with complete strangers, overly tired and often forgetting to smile as they robotically work to complete their third 12-hour shift this week.
.Randal A. Burd Jr. is a married father of two and an educator who works with the disadvantaged in rural Missouri. He holds a master’s degree in English Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri. Randal is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Sparks of Calliope magazine. His latest collection of poems, Memoirs of a Witness Tree, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in Summer 2020.
The wasp finds itself trapped inside a water glass held up against a window. It repeatedly slams itself against the window, rebounding off the water glass. Spent, it finally surrenders.
I slide paper between window and water glass, and free the wasp outside.
Surrender is not always what it seems.
Ellen Hansen is a writer and fiddle player living in Helvetia, Oregon. She recently retired from leading international tours. Her story “Surrender” just received first place in the 2019 Oregon Writers Colony 50 word story contest.
Frank hated the idea, but a mother in his support group said it had been helpful.
So he set it up in Jessica’s old room and attempted to steel himself.
When they discovered Frank’s emaciated body, his frozen smile was still fixed on the flickering hologram of his daughter dancing.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches at Hampton University in Virginia.
Calamity. The world will never be the same.
I wipe sweat from my forehead. I have to tell everyone, but how will they take it?
Too late. The black eye of a camera glares at me, ready to listen. I clear my throat and square my shoulders.
“My fellow Americans…”
Luke Swanson is a fledgling author from Oklahoma City. He has a novel and a handful of short stories featured in anthologies from Limitless Publishing.
Under the stars, Iowa poets dance
from stanza to stanza, barnyard to barnyard
all across the state
Have you not noticed them?
Let’s celebrate with the poets of Iowa
and sip herbal tea together in cornfields
as we share our secrets in verse
by the light of the harvest moon
Roberta Beach Jacobson admits to being one of these poets.
Someone I care for passed away
But that isn’t true on social media today
Their birthday notice continues to lives on
Compelling “friends” to comment upon
So I learn the flesh may rot but we never really die
When we can still be liked in the digital by and by.
Kent Oswald writes, edits, walks the dog, and pedagogs in NYC. Additional words at kentoswald.com.
Maple is flirting with me.
I glimpse her at windows as she ducks out of sight, catching only a swirl of scarlet skirts. She leaves little crimson-wrapped gifts outside my door.
I love her. I wish I knew that she loved me… but Miss Sugar Maple never says a word.
Maria speaks for the trees and, of course, those who love them.
Starlight city nestling inland
Where Magic is humming
And Mystery glows
Interwoven between threaded crossed lines
At each end is a watcher
A tall figurine
Stop centrally now, take care with your step
Yes, just there, on that same pinprick where
Stand the Artists who painted
The wild silken road.
Peter Li-ping lives far from the Silk Road but it’s always with him.
The Stars fade gently into a glowing horizon as the Sun arrives in the East.
Some remain still glistening to complement the radiant canvas of colour and light.
This visual spectacular provides a challenge to every artist’s palette
as they strive to capture the new dawn before it vanishes forever
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.