People had stopped coming to see Elsa. She couldn’t imagine why.
This new home had even less space and light than before.
Then the van stopped moving. Blue sky and the smell of savanna burst through the open door.
“Just hope you still remember how to hunt,” said her zookeeper.
Gaining a Masters degree from University of South Wales in Scriptwriting, storyteller Peter Gaskell’s screenplay ‘Pigs in Muck’ featured in the Lockdown Monologue Film Festival recently. His poems have been published in the Atlanta Review and Places of Poetry as well as reviews of theatre, books, film, and concerts in Wales Arts Review. As a commissioned ghost writer his work as a novelist has been published while he is currently seeking an agent for his own novel ‘Shaman’s Blues’.
“We get birds passing through,” my cousin said. “Some do sing.”
Standing in the vast wheat field he’d inherited, our eyes on the treeless plain, I said, “Mom told me grandma heard birds here, singing, ‘See how pretty I am.'”
We left mom’s ashes where those song birds still sing.
Janine writes from Portland, Oregon. This month she is thinking of her mom, and all of the aunts whose ashes have come home, back to the farm.
The stench, overpowering. Trash, furniture, newspapers piled to the ceiling. Cats everywhere, alive and dead, some scooting through holes in the screen doors.
We held our noses, bought rock-bottom, sandblasted until the smells were gone, subdivided the lot into three, made a killing as the cats watched, waiting their turn.
Jim Doss has published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. He also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
“This is what’s available,” barks the man.
She looks through the bars.
Pressed against them: faces. Beseeching. The heart-breaking whining unbearable. She cannot take all.
She writes a random number on her document and presents it to the office.
“A boy? You pick a boy?”
“Yes,” is her choked reply.
Internationally published, S.B. Borgersen writes, knits socks, and walks her smashing dogs on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Her favoured genres are short and micro fiction and poetry. She has thirteen draft novellas gathering dust. A member of The Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation, Writers Abroad, and a founding member of The Liverpool Literary Society, Sue judged the Atlantic Writing Competition (Poetry) 2016 and Hysteria (Poetry) 2017. See more at sueborgersen.com.
Picking huckleberries, with no sense of time. Sunset. Dark shape breaks into three.
Your eyes focus on a bear and two cubs. They sniff the air.
Cubs climb a tree. Mama sits underneath.
Moving forward, you say, “It’s okay,” more for your benefit than hers. You are the trespasser here.
Roni Slye spends much of her time in the woods, trying to have as little interaction with wildlife as possible. You can find her on Twitter.
Piggies race on sawdust track, bandanas flying: red, blue, yellow, green. Girly squeals for Green. Final turn, Red spins wide, Yellow bashes Blue, and Green squiggles through to claim the checkered flag. Yay, Green! “Free Bacon” coupons for everyone!
Girly adds two and two—and lets out a heart-rending wail.
Jeff Nazzaro writes short fiction and poetry in Southern California. His microfiction has appeared in Dogzplot and Drabblez and is forthcoming in Blink-Ink.
I was told you can’t call dogs “pets” anymore. It connotes inferiority to the rest of the family. They should be “furry companions.”
I asked the owner of an adored Westie whether he considered Gus inferior. His response: “Haven’t saved for his college, and we don’t let him read books.”
Barbara Mende writes and does other paperwork in Cambridge, MA.
A sunny evening drying
plates at the kitchen window.
I see her rambling
from the shed to the door.
moving inside her.
I will watch her. Time her
and make them disappear.
like a temporary thirst.
But by which one of us first?
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland and dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and someday hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland where it’s hard to concentrate.
I named my dogs Verlaine and Rimbaud, both mutts who liked getting into other people’s garbage.
They weren’t well-mannered or well-kempt, but friendly in a panhandler sort of way, inseparable in their shakedowns. Yet those probing eyes… They were enough to turn even the most calloused soul into a poet.
Jim Doss lives with his wife and three children in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again, and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
He’d become predictable, springing through the patio doors unto the deck, BB gun ablaze whenever any squirrel touched a bird feeder. So this time they waited, massing along the edge of the roof overhanging the deck. When he sprang, hundreds of squirrels pounced, joined even (how ironic!) by the birds.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University and tries to keep peace between all factions in his backyard and himself.