obituary for a jack-o-lantern
by Marc Darnell
o jack you wore a grin derived from pain
you lived eight days with only three teeth
gutted by the biggest dullest spoon
the waifs could find
since mama said do it on your own
my soaps are on I'm one third through
this cigarette give back my lighter
you never asked for triangular eyes
no tongue just this tea light
that singes the top of your head
icon seared into our brains
your brother and sister
made good pie bubbled
to a gray sick delicacy
you brought as beacon
the darkest children with cravings
zorro with his crammed pillowcase
bloody princess so minute
orange trump urchin with his grocery bag
batman with a plastic replica of you
frankenstein in tears to an empty bowl
now you soften, a tire losing air
autumn ants devour you
the porch possum topples you to ground
tonight's first freeze embalms you
sour orange in morning sun
new saint on all saints day
but no aura
Bio: Marc Darnell is an online tutor and lead custodian in Omaha NE, and received his MFA from the University of Iowa, and has published poems in The Lyric, Rue Scribe, Verse, Skidrow Penthouse, Shot Glass Journal, The HyperTexts, Candelabrum, The Road Not Taken, Aries, Ship of Fools, Open Minds Quarterly, The Fib Review, Verse-Virtual, Blue Unicorn, Ragazine, The Literary Nest, The Pangolin Review, and elsewhere.
by Richard Weaver
Mrs. Millipede takes her brood for a day
at the shoe store. The clerks had not seen her
coming, else would have locked and darkened
the lights, before cowering in the stockroom.
Some pedes want only left shoes, some only right.
Other alternate every other side with coordinated
color schemes or rainbow patterns. A few have
brought along Pantone charts and insist
on a continuous spectrum.And since no millipede
ever has exactly 1000 pedes, counting and recounting
goes on into the night, boxes piled high to the moon.
And, as always, no two will share a shoehorn.
Each must have his or her own. All the while
Mrs. Millipede sips from her flask, enjoying
her long day out with free babysitters in situ.
Bio:The author hopes to one day again volunteer with the Maryland Book Bank, and return as writer-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. A few recent pubs include: Mad Swirl, Misfit, Umbrella Factory, Deep South Magazine, Triggerfish, & Spank the carp. He’s the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press, 1992). He also provided the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars, performed 4 times to date. He remains one of the founders and former Poetry Editor of the Black Warrior Review. Latterly, his 170 prose poem was published.
by Robert Beveridge
those little yellow hellebore
petals look pretty good
until you let them off the chain
and in turn they let loose
the black tendrils that have
been kept under wraps
for years and years
Bio: Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Cordite Poetry Review, Stardust Haiku, and GAS: Poetry, Art, and Music, among others.
by Diane Webster
In a meditation of sand
a thrown rock grooves
flight to a stop,
disrupts human patterns
for life of its own plowed
through grains of ancestors
patient as Zen masters waiting
for rock to crumble to sand
to join commune
tidy as sand
raked for contemplation.
Bio: Diane Webster's goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life, nature or an overheard phrase and to write. Diane enjoys the challenge of transforming images into words to fit her poems. Her work has appeared in "Home Planet News Online," "North Dakota Quarterly," "Eunoia Review" and other literary magazines.
by Carolyn Wolfe
Of mists and rain
And leaves finding their true calling
In vibrant hues.
As the winey scent
of too ripe apples
fills the air
with cider sweetness,
we fill our kitchens
with gifts from the Harvest
And dream about what comes next…
Winter will soon follow
with all its spectacle
And splashy Christmas lights,
Their glow saturating the snow
in true dance hall splendor.
So, as we welcome Fall
Our pace becomes lighter,
Picking up speed
As the Holidays rush to meet us
Like honored guests arriving
at a party
far too soon.
as the days shorten
the nights lengthen
and we have our first taste of snow
Autumn with its first chill
Heralds in the joy of Winter Holidays
With every leafy breath it takes…
Bio: Carolyn Wolfe is a free-lance writer, published poet, and author of 11 books, four of which are illustrated children's books. Those include, "Am I YOUR Pet?", "The Drowsy House," "The Bedtime of The Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories" and "The Unhappy Little Dragon, Lessons Learned. Her books for general readership include: "Miracle Paws, A Love Story" a story of rescue and light romance, and "The Moonsparrow Collection" which is a collection of her short fantasy stories. Ms. Wolfe has also published three collections of her original poetry" Notes From the Shadow Self" and "Making Waves," and "April Snow, A Journey Through Grief" as well as an adult Sword and Sorcery novella, "Blade's Magic" which is about dangerous magics and an attraction that spans two worlds. Her latest book, “Tales Told Under The Darkened Moon" is a collection of dark fantasy stories, that have a hint of humor, a hint of dread, and little bit of shiver for all fans of ghost stories and tales that go bump in the night.
Ms. Wolfe lives in the Shenandoah Valley with a houseful of her own rescued, animal companions. Her books are primarily available on Amazon.com, but can also be found online at Barnes & Noble and Books-A- Million websites. For more information please visit: http://wolfecarolyn.wix.com/carolyn-storyteller