A Sonnet to the Beauty of the Evening
by James G. Piatt
“Let others pens dwell on
guilt and misery:I quit such
odious subjects as soon as
In the beauty of the evening’s soft glow,
As the sea’s tide arrives in sapphire blue,
I marvel at the stars, so bright and true
Shimmering down upon the souls below.
The current brings in things that glow
Like shiny kelp in an old leather shoe;
While the warm sand the winds eschew,
During dusk, when time moves so slow:
My mind exalts in the soft, gentle peace
Within my mind, where memories grow.
Dark thoughts are washed far, far away,
Gloomy feelings begin to ebb and decrease,
And then, as tranquility comes to stay,
All my misgivings quickly start to go.
Bio: James is a twice Best of Web nominee and three time Pushcart nominee, and has had five poetry books, “The Silent Pond,” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), “LIGHT,” (2016),“Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), and Serenity, (2022), over 1735 poems, five novels, seven essays and thirty five short stories ]published in over 258 magazines, anthologies and books. He earned his doctorate from BYU, and his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, SLO.
by Eira Needham
Blown away, by a familiar whiff
of Rose Eau-De-Cologne, spritzed
at the perfume counter, I remember
wondering what to buy her.
Fingering the shilling in my pocket, I spy
a tiny bottle, with pink bow neck.
This gift, wrapped like a pass the parcel,
finished with holly print, looked enormous.
She’ll never guess what’s inside.
Anticipation woke me early- my hand
zig-zagged down the quilt, speeding to find
the stocking, chock-a-block.
Mint humbugs and a cotton-whiskered
sugar mouse squeezed into a paper bag,
a flower clip and tiny china dog in
a wrap of white tissue. Tucked into the toe,
an aromatic tangerine scented walnut shells.
I bite off the iced nose, doze until breakfast
then watched Mam unwrap the umpteen layers,
eyes crinkling as paper crackled. Hugging,
I inhaled sweet roses dabbed behind her ears.
Now the dim candlelight of our laden Christmas
table cannot conceal one empty chair or the chipped
china spaniel placed on the mantle shelf.
Bio: Eira Needham is a retired teacher, living in Birmingham UK. Her poetry has been published in print and online. Some of her poems can be found in West Ward Quarterly, where she has also been ‘Featured Writer’. She came first in Inter Board Poetry Contest with a sonnet and recently been nominated for Sundress Publications, Best of the Net 2023.
—after Geoffrey Davis
by Sigrun Susan Lane
In Seattle, in 1932, my mother beholds this man
across a dance floor, the one she’s already
turning into my father. He’s a dancer.
So handsome in his natty sailor blues,
thirteen buttons on the front of his bell bottoms,
a flap on the back of his jumper,
knotted tie, the full regalia.
That smile. Her heart yawns open
to let him in. He glides toward her
shy smiling face, where she waits
eager to be asked. And they dance,
because they are born to it—foxtrot, lindy hop,
their bodies finding new ways to move.
They dance because the night must not end,
morning must never come, the band must play forever,
this must be their lives, dancing in each other’s arms,
rain falling outside on the grey city blocks,
the windows wet and weeping.
My mother would never blame him
or that smile for all that happened after.
All those years after, she learned to forgive
his long absences. For better, for worse,
was all that mattered. No matter what others said.
She chose him, again and again. That smile.
Bio:Sigrun Susan Lane’s chapbook, Salt won the Josephine Miles award for excellence in poetry in 2020. Her poems appear in regional, national and international publications including the Amsterdam Quarterly, Ashville Poetry Review, Crab Creek Review, Ekphrastic Review, Seattle Review, Sing Heavenly Muse, Rain City Review, Malahat Review and others. She has received awards for poetry from Seattle and King County Arts Commissions. Lane has published two chapbooks, Little Bones and Salt both from Goldfish Press. She is a docent at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle Washington.
by Mike Wilson
She sleeps in
All worn out
from so much love
Bio: Mike Wilson is author of Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic, (Rabbit House Press, 2020), political poetry for a post-truth world. He’s a past winner of Kentucky State Poetry Society’s Chaffin/Kash Prize. His work has appeared in many small magazines, including Amsterdam Quarterly, Mud Season Review, The London Reader, and The Ocotillo Review. Mike lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Little Oxford Dictionary (1934)
by Mark J. Mitchell
The page he left was small, running from noun
to nullify. She moved it from old desks
to new, never thinking it was bound
to dissolve. She used her trimmed nails to test
its strength. Her finger oil might make it stretch
and tear. A treasure map from a lost boy—
something she doesn’t need but won’t destroy—
means she’s trapped by real things starting with N:
Nymph. Nut. Number. Nursling. Nun. Nutrient.
Whenever she sees it, she grows annoyed.
Now she wants adjectives not misplaced names:
Nubile. Novel. Noticeable. She slides
the drawer shut and yawns at her nightlight.
It’s late. She won’t drop words on a blank page
now. She’ll just dream herself a sylph and blame
time for small sins, nullified by rem sleep.
She’ll dream her desktop clear, the drawer neat,
angled, alphabetical. Her annulled
calendar freed from meetings. She’ll wake dull
as a stranded adverb. Old. Incomplete.
Bio: Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California.
He is very fond of baseball, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster where he makes his meager living pointing out pretty things.
He has published 2 novels and three chapbooks so far. and two full length collections so far. His first chapbook won the Negative Capability Award.Titles on request.