Juicy at the core,
Thick fleshy limbs,
Like he liked,
Full of liquid life,
Until the cut,
When he watched it sap away.
Sticky in the gathering earth,
Surrounding her return to roots,
In death buried to be born again.
Rosaleen Lynch, an Irish community worker and writer in the East End of London, pursues stories conversational, literary and performed. Words in Jellyfish Review, EllipsisZine, Fish, Mslexia, The London Reader and other lovely places and can be found on Twitter at @quotes_52 and 52Quotes.blogspot.com.
I cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer, and along with toothpicks, ballpoint pens, and dead batteries, I found three hours I’d lost in 2006. Should I mow the lawn, get extra sleep, fix my life?
Caught in traffic, I pulled them out. No good: they were deader than the batteries.
David Holloway lives and writes in Northern Virginia. He has had work published in Gargoyle, Kayak, and The Mad River Review.
Is that my hand? Lightly spotted, thin?
Not the hand of my youth, no, but a learned hand.
It knows much; it is very wise.
It knows where to go—and not.
It serves, it loves, it works, it plays.
It leads, it trails, it grasps… it lets go.
Le Anne, a recent transplant to small town North Carolina, enjoys book clubs, writing short and flash fiction, and time spent Zooming with her creative writing group.
We’ll call our guy “B.” to protect his identity.
B.’s manager can’t make heads or tails of his convoluted delivery route. Not one straight line between stops. He doesn’t confess to dusting his ankles at Daisy’s and Violet’s, at Dahlia’s. Gathering pollen.
B. loves his job, every meander, each back-track.
Todd Mercer was nominated for Fiction and Poetry Pushcarts last year. His collection Ingenue was published Autumn of 2020 by Celery City Press.
The vagrant discovered the lake house at the end of a gravel road. A fridge inside a shed gifted him a single beer, and an untethered canoe took him into the lake, where he opened the beer and drank—living the life of another and waiting for something to end.
Travis D. Roberson grew up in Central Florida, where he spent most of his youth throwing rocks at snakes and reading comic books. He spent his late teens entrenched in Orlando’s local punk scene before leaving the sunshine state and bouncing around the world as a flight attendant at a major airline. Now settled in Queens, NY, he lives with his wife and his dog, who wakes him up far too early every morning. He spends most of his time yammering about the genius of Jim Jarmusch and The Clash to anyone that will pretend to listen. His work has appeared in a number of places, including Hypnos, The Arcanist, and Coffin Bell.
He painted her better than real, caught her in magic hour light, at an angle implying dimension. Mindful of the power of the unknown, he draped her with shadows to keep her secrets in. When he offered her a glass of wine, she reached through the canvas to accept it.
Pippa Phillips is a recovering academic whose words have appeared in Failed Haiku, Paragraph Planet, the Drabble, Pink Plastic Houses, and forthcoming in The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls, Akitsu Quarterly, and the Asahi Shimbun. You can follow her at @IpsaHerself.
The shuddering wind
plays strange music,
____carrying away the feather
________fallen off that seagull.
____following the currents
________like it drank too much wine.
A pale, gracile boy
picks up the feather
in its dance,
looks at it,
and puts it away in his box of treasures.
Anne Catherine Vassallo was born in Malta but lives in Tuscany, Italy. As a child she dearly wanted to paint but seeing that her efforts were all in vain, decided to “paint with words”. She teaches English in a private language school and writes with a group of poetry-writing friends, all expats.
“Can you see the baby elephant in the sky?”
“Here’s a wild horse galloping.”
Mum taught me to see stories everywhere.
In the clouds. In the waves of the sea. Chipped paint on the wall.
Wreath in hand, I stand outside church, straining to hear her say, Look up, girl.
Beatrice Rao has just discovered flash fiction and is working on the art and the craft of it.
She knows the length of air
will stiffen towels, shirts, jeans,
but doesn’t care.
She likes watching, from the kitchen window,
how sunlight pushes shadow
along draping cloth.
Later, folding sheets against her chest,
she inhales. How do you name this? The balm
of this scent, fresh
off the line.
Jennifer L Freed mostly writes poems, which appear or are forthcoming in various journals and anthologies. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
Can boogeymen and fluffernutters, scraped knees and coloring books, times tables and video games, homework assignments and roller coasters, algebra problems and iPhones, fumbled kisses and glimmers of the man to be matter if they all lead to a momentary miscalculation of speed and distance on a bicycle at night?
Robert Markovich spent a lifetime in what is charitably referred to as service journalism, writing and editing stories about everything from cars to toilets, most recently at Consumer Reports. He is happily and gratefully retired.