by Paul Bluestein
7th grade let out on Friday,
and Saturday morning, me and Jimmy were ready.
Mee-maw made sandwiches for us the night before.
Peanut butter and jelly.
Welch’s grape for me, strawberry for Jimmy,
cut into triangles, wrapped in wax paper
nestled in a brown paper bag in the icebox.
Fishing poles in hand,
sandwiches and Dr. Pepper stuffed in a backpack,
we took off along the county road,
past the schoolhouse
where my aunt Jenny was a teacher,
past the Red & White store and the Post Office.
Chance, the dog, followed us
until the asphalt turned to dirt,
then headed back while we kept going,
over the Texas & Pacific tracks and across an open field
to the cold, deep pools of the Frio.
We only had cornmeal “boilies” for bait,
but I don’t think we cared much about catching fish.
It was more about having an adventure on our own.
Trying on our grown-up to see how it might look,
someday when we were older
and living far from our one street,
no traffic-light town.
Bio:Paul Bluestein is a physician (done practicing) and a blues musician (still practicing). He lives in Connecticut near a beach where he finds quiet time to think about the past, and wonder about the future. In addition to poems and short stories that have appeared in a wide variety of online and print publications, he has had two books of poetry published - TIME PASSAGES in 2020 and FADE TO BLACK in 2021.
Like Glittery Metal Things at the End of the Day
by John Dorroh
The dog’s been neutered & the cat’s
been accidentally perfumed by the neighbor-
hood skunk. We’ve both been x-rayed this week.
I have a touch of pneumonia in my lower right
lobe & that mysterious shadow on his plate is an anomaly.
Not cancer. Not emphysema. Not knowing. A thing the doctor
can’t say for certain isn’t. Arthritis in the left hip.
We’re all a mess, a big gummy ball of fuzzy tongues
& pets that squeak when they walk & a mail courier
who leaves tangerines with smiley faces in our
Bio: John Dorroh believes that it’s just as important to read poetry as it is to write it. He purchases books by new voices too often and needs new shelves a few times a year. Three of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net and hundreds of others have appeared in fine journals such as Feral, River Heron, Loch Raven Review, MONO, and Pinyon. He had two chapbooks published in 2022.
by Talbot Hook
There is no difference.
Camellia Sinensis all,
Homo Sapiens all.
A common tree our father;
A common earth our mother.
Subtle unity compels the heart,
Glaring multiplicity the eye.
Burmese jungle or Chinese mountain,
Plucked early or gathered late;
Informed by soil,
Instructed by wind;
Raised in the shade of our parents —
Root, branch, and leaf.
Glaring multiplicity compels the eye,
Subtle unity the heart.
There is no difference.
Womb, cradle, grave —
Bud, teapot, earth.
A single life inquires;
A single cup reveals.
Bio: Talbot Hook is a PhD student and occasional writer currently living in Connecticut.
by David Woodward
Bio: David lives just south of Montreal with his wife and son. When West meets East we become more complete, more loving, and hopefully more aware of all of life, including each other. Until we meet, once again.