Monday, December 31, 2018

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Coronation Scene with Hard Water

Show me to my room, good sir!
Show me mouse droppings instead of mercy.

Let me die in this room and decompose
rent free.

Nevermind the smell, I am trying out something
new that is not living.

Is that my bed then?
A little paltry in the pillow, I must say.

But we all have to start somewhere.
A fog over the window so thick
no light can penetrate
my arrival.


My Eyes Give Away Door Prizes Each Week

My eyes give away door prizes each week
which is another way of saying they reveal
too much and that I should never play poker.
Have you seen the sociopaths who play that game?
Tapping the table coolly as though they control the weather.
Seemingly impervious to everything.
Most of it is a bluff, of course.

But I care too much.
And I don’t ever want to lose that.
Certainly not over a game
of poker.


Greedy Fog Light Scavengers Eating the Mystery out of Anything

I pull a book off the shelf and examine the spine.
The glue has come apart so that the book seems to be
running away from itself.  There is a tear at the bottom
that makes me think of long gravel archways in the dark.
Greedy fog light scavengers eating the mystery out of anything.
A chattel of dogs lost to distant bark.
The personal instrumentation that goes into nights
at the symphony.  Everyone dressed to be seen with
sticky ludicrous fly paper hair.  The jewellery so gaudy
you would swear in came from a wax museum.
And the must of the book is in my sinuses now.
My nose begins to run down my face with nothing
but the back of my hand to stop it.
Old bookshops always do this to me.
The allergist tried to warn me but I cancelled my appointment.
Perhaps I divined that he would tell me to avoid old bookshops
and I knew it was just easier to avoid him.
To pull any book off the shelf that I like.
To read an old dedication scrawled in pencil
on the flyleaf and know that something can be cherished
if only for a night.


Fertile Crescent Finish

I saw you somewhere over Sumer
rubbing the oils of your fingers
over a sprawled flooding Indus

I saw lazy bronze gods
planning earthquakes down
to the bedroom

I saw your necklace
forged over fire
and scribes taking orders
from the stars

I saw water over flesh
dimples in the

things forbade
by those who forbade

a way of thinking
that predates the mind

in the arms
of ridiculous cuckold

I saw how leaves
fall from trees
like empires.


Orphan Dancer

she yells

unaware that this here is not
a needle at all but rather a tree
which has begun to sprout up

or better yet a whole new arm
you can never too many of those

and the way she keeps yelling makes
me think her some blaring megaphone
of rambunctiousness

I shall pick up and speak into
when I am good
and ready.


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Dish, Cajun Mutt Press, Red Fez, Under The Bleachers, and The Rye Whiskey Review. 

His personal website is:

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ahmad Al-Khatat

"In the Cemetery" by Ahmad Al-Khatat

In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,
reading verses of the holy book to the tombs
I was praying with tears on my cheeks
until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if
I was reading verses or reading sorrows
with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat
I started reading again and, his face was getting
red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears
he stopped me with anger and screamed out
why more grieves, why more death, and less peace
I responded to him, why did hope sold us to traitors
why life is struggling with us, why did the wars rape us shamelessly
we cried together as he was saying that he’s listening to
spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again
he asked me again, why our world is no longer bright
instead, it’s full of darkness and lots of bloody cuts
our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine
and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds
our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night
they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers
turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death
and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive
"Inside of My Dream" by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Inside of my dream
there’s a bird flying
from one nest to an-
-other, without wings
Inside of my dream
there’s a man holding
a sign that says, I
have serious cancer
Inside of my dream
there’s one refugee
with tears of grief
because he lost hope
Inside of my dream
there’s a young lady
smoking, and waiting
for the train to suicide
Inside of my dream
there's a black cat
staring at me, and
waiting to the end of my dream


Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.

Parading feet

“Parading feet” by Fiona Meyrick
Reminded of love,
they walk at different rates,
but you know who they are.
Those footsteps die,
not heard,
you walk alone.
One by one, they stop,
for walking is old fashioned,
all you hear is noise.
Brick by brick,
they dissect you;
eat your soul.
No common language,
a lost land,
your ashes turn to sand.
A changing world,
remembers not,
dead to history.


My name is Fiona Meyrick but I used my maiden name, Fiona Cloud, to self publish my first volume of poetry and prose, titled “Cream Cracked Colours” which is available on Amazon both as an ebook and on paperback. I first attempted to write poetry as a child of nine years old and then again, I dabbled with it in my early thirties but never really did anything with it. It was only five years ago, after my parents died, that I started to write it seriously. It was such a wonderful way to express the deep grief I felt at the time. Now, I will write poetry on almost any subject from reincarnation to satire. I am a classical pianist and violinist and to me, poetry is a form of music. I mainly write in free verse though I do use rhyme on occasion but I find it’s style somewhat restrictive; I have also branched into writing some short pieces of prose. I live near Loch Lomond in West Dunbartonshire with my husband Denzil who is a traditionally published author and my two mad cats, Suzy and Bertie.


"Transgression" by Jesse Batista

A plead for sanity not well received. Normalcy counterfeit, replication achieved
The mind placates but, is not what it seems. Polished with clarity, the surface gleams.
Let the fires rage, let them burn deep, of their own conducts will vengeance reap.
Actions measured, execute, eradicate, there’s a limit to that which one can tolerate.
What’s the excuse, the chorus of the song, what is the defense to justify the wrong?
What is it that’s brought to the arbitrating table? Truth tossed aside, disregarded like a fable.
Lies uttered to the discerning ear a waste. Integrity in question, character defaced.
There is a desire to remain but a deserving for demise. Brief or linger, no probable compromise.
Actions deriving from a past of distaste, wicked enacted on the pure in haste
Twisted, fragmented, no remorse or shame, morals not questioned when torments the game.
Warped reasoning teaching a lesson, easing the pain of their own transgression
Compassion depleted, empathy gone, when you use another as your surrogate pawn
Tiresome is hate for no more than hates sake. Beware that decision you cannot unmake.
Exploit a weakness, violence is the trigger, Hotwired by brutality, soothed by its vigor.

I was born March 11, 1994 into a situation that was less than desirable and we'll leave it at that. I was given a new start at life when I was 13. It was this new start that introduced me journal writing and music. My love of music turned into lyric writing and poetry. Much of what I write is heavily over toned in darkness but, on the occasion, the light of contentment shines through. My poetry often speaks of suicide and death, I’d like to make it clear that I do not condone it. What I write are simply thoughts in my head and I bleed them out onto paper. Writing and other forms of art, including drawing, painting and photography, have helped me find my way. While I have music out in circulation, I have only just stated to release my poetry. Since releasing it, I have been published in Inquisition Poetry, Big Pond Rumours E-zine and have had several of my poems read on the Dear John Show.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sulphur Cosmos: A message

"Sulphur Cosmos: A message" by Sunil Sharma

Against the immensity of the sky
the vividness of the blue freckled with white,
the Sulphur Cosmos as twins delicate

their stunning yellow kissed by a passing shadow
of a distant cloud, thus rendering it an odd mixture
of the golden- auburn blooming on tender green of
the slender stems;

the Sulphur Cosmos not dwarfed or intimidated by
the infinity stretched tight above,
the flowers are pretty to the eyes and home to the
birds and monarch butterflies.

The Sulphur Cosmos survives
harsh sun, droughts and pests or insects cannot
damage or destroy them, despite their fragility,
and that is the lesson we drive from this friendship flower
nothing should keep us down, whatever the adversity!


Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:

For more details, please visit the blog:

Guy Farmer

"Short-Sightedness" by Guy Farmer

A summer morning,
Standing on a
Balcony inhaling
Quiet air.
Headphones on,
Listening to the
Song that makes
Him yearn.
A string of days
Blur into each other,
Slumped on a couch
Without a hope.


"Unattended" by Guy Farmer

She cries at the
Most trivial moments –
Everyone around her
Notices that it
Doesn’t quite fit
With what’s really
Going on at the time –
Memories of the
Anguish she felt as
A child bubble up
She lives this way
Her entire life,
It colors her
Worldview deeply.


Guy Farmer writes evocative, minimalist, modern poetry about the human condition. 

Click here to visit him online 

Click here to discover his poetry books 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Kannan Spartan

A spotlight on artist "Kannan Spartan"

I am an Indian born, brought up and educated in Kuwait.  Drawing is my passion.  I also tutor English classes and teach drawing for students.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Try Me

"Try Me" by Adam E. Crotts

Pieces scattered 
So many shreds 
Splayed all over the bed 
Hole in my chest 
Thoughts running in my head
Slowly lowered in a hole 
God and devil deciding on my soul 
Many decisions I have made 
Feeling the stress 
The guilt 
Many story's I could tell 
Many reasons to go to hell 
Empty tears I will not cry 
Wasn't made weak 
I'm very strong 
I'm at my peak 
I shove the pieces back in place 
Hit my heart to give it a start 
I was knocked down 
Ripped apart 
It just showed trust 
The difference between 
Love and lust......


Adam Elijah Crotts, 38 years old with a love for the simple things in life. I grew up in a small community known as Walnut Grove with a population of about 1000. I still live here today with my family. Work a rough job and write my way through the day. I started writing when my first marriage started heading for trouble and was told to just put it on paper and keep it for myself. My second wife told me to stop writing all together that no one cared or would like it. I'm remarried now and we share 7 kids between us and I write anything i want, when I want, and share it with whomever I want. Hope my writing speaks to someone, somewhere, even if it's only for a moment.

Little Ones

"Little Ones" by Joy Thao-Farmer

Take me there, my Little Ones
Where time is not the tether
By trance or dream or death, come guide
I will follow you ... to Ever
After no pulse halts my breath
And no breath cuts off life
I will follow you to Ever After
But must I ... wait out time
Time the sovereign of my pace
I slowly crawl my soul
Inching remnants on bare knees
Dragging flesh ... aging slow
Down I go, and I go down
My razor becomes bored
The scars fight back now
Now embolden, by the many fails before
Now, my Little Ones
Will you come to Guide my way
Come retrieve your 'left behind'
Rescue the 'forced to stay'
Must I stay, my Little Ones
'til my soul's paid, to be untethered
'til my sovereign dies, no reign, no time
To finally find ... My Ever
... After

My name is Joy Thao-Farmer and I am a 37 year old housewife that loves poetry. I find it cathartic voicing my feelings through poetic expression and also love reading how others express themselves through this art form.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Nurse at Health Sciences North
You find humility if you don’t already have it.
Life makes sure of that.

And we shared a love of animals.
She wore black cats on her scrubs
and had a dragonfly tattooed on her ankle.

I was withdrawn and broken, but she seemed to understand.
Rousing me to shower a few times a week.
Knocking on the yellow privacy curtain as if
it were a door, I always appreciated that.

Some small mercy.
How she was older and how the younger nurses
seemed to hold that against her.

The cutter in the next room not allowed
a razor to shave.

And how everyone was locked in their room
whenever fights broke out on the unit.

She never once asked me if I wished to harm myself.
She could see it in my eyes.
I always appreciated that.

That she didn’t ask.
How she saw another human being
and never just the illness.


Paradise Bird

up high
in straggly
blue armpits

stretched out
like false confessions
in traction

your talons
angry barbers
behind the chair

a simple black feather
between my fingers

swift plumage

you must be lost, paradise bird

flightpaths are human
and full of luggage

paradise bird
around my neck
so the law
can build their

nest here
long enough in
the heart

that the worst
of Man
can take flight


Scissors Don’t Cut Themselves

I hear what you are saying about self-inflicted wounds,
but scissors don’t cut themselves.
They sit in drawers dreaming of construction paper floozies.
Of being placed over the hand like eager swordfish gloves.
Gnawing into a fresh roll of masking tape like sitting down to dinner.
You will not find scissors on the psych ward.  You will find cutters,
but they are not scissors.  They are a sad scarred flesh that wants
the feelies of the once small child back.  Scissors had no childhood.
No one ever pushed a pair of scissors on the swings in the park
and watched it pump it’s legs with simple joy.  So when you speak
of self-inflicted wounds, please leave my scissors out of it.
They enjoy their privacy and some of yours as well.


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Red Fez, Under The Bleachers, and The Oklahoma Review. His personal website is:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


by Brenda Romconfan

They treated you like a dog
So you became a wolf
They called you cry baby
and your eyes became a desert
(you didn't even cry at the funeral of the dog)
They called you soft
And you traded in the softness for claws
They called you too innocent
so you unfeathered the angel on your right shoulder
then showed him how to cuss, listen to gangster rap, and throw some dirty punches to protect himself from bullies and idle threats
They mocked you for playing with dollies and teddy bears
and you reacted by punishing those childish things
tore their heads off in anger, and hid the bodies under the bed
Then leaned to wield daggers and swords
This is not cruelty
This is adaption to hostility
Don't hide your heart behind a hat anymore
cage it back for protection in the shelter of ribs
Melt all this pain and broken pieces of you into arms and ammunition
They have pathetic plastic sporks to threaten you with
but never counted on you getting up from the wreckage of doubt with a black obsidian knife
Distorted perceptions and fun house mirrors make chickens and phonies look like killers
so shatter their image by throwing the stone of your heart at the dead center of the facade
Tears may come still but now their job is to streams off your face and nurture the grass warriors walk on. Tears will mix with the mud used to paint skulls and cross bones 💀 on sullied surrender flags and war paint on your face as you squint your eyes like a badass at danger.
But don't you dare take off the steel armor
steel gleams
It's the armor of queens
you are fierce
made of bullets...
the armor is now part of your skin
The knife permanently fused to your hand
You are still here unextinct in the wilderness of man
And despite a few shallow puncture wounds, and no toys to play with... you didn't die
You adapted


Brenda Romconfan started jotting some poems down as a side effect of insomnia in 2018. She is convinced that her head is a giant volley ball covered with honey where random memories, thoughts and rhymes get stuck. What you are reading is just the words buzzing around this sticky sphere.


"ILLUSION" by TM DiSarro

This prison
Has no walls
No bars that we
Can see
A beautiful illusion
Where we think
That we are free
Our uniform is skin
With shackles
For the mind
We have the power
To leave
But we prefer
To stay inside

TM DiSarro


Writing is my passion and poetry occupys a significant block of my creative energy. When the time is favorable, I plan to publish a collection of poems and short stories, but until that time follow me on: Instagram@tmdisarro