Tim Hawkins

Eighteenth Birthday

Endless summer nights of bonfires roaring within, darkness at the periphery,
sparks like fireflies filling the empty spaces.


Tim Hawkins stepped out of a bar in Skagway, Alaska, along with two bellicose loggers squaring off with chainsaws, and decided to walk to Mexico where a dead horse was burning on the roadside.


 

Howie Good

The Last Voyage

Our 93-year-old dad, without his hearing aids
or even his three-pronged cane, still managed
somehow to give everyone the slip, sneaking off
to Monte Carlo Night down in the cellar
of a dream factory, where he coolly turned over
his hole card and won $400, after which
he started back upstairs, but on the way,
and despite struggling for breath, charmed
a roller derby queen on a royal visit out of her skates,
so instead of ever returning to his rooms
at the assisted living got on a ship they say
was built in the same shipyard as the Titanic.


Howie Good‘s most recent book isStick Figure Opera from Cajun Mutt Press.


 

M.J. Iuppa

Transparencies

Only when afternoon’s unfamiliar
light fills the birch with apparition,

with aloofness that shimmers in-
side bare branches, like a caul of

silence that overwhelms us to stand
still within this window frame— this

grip on a life left, unfinished.


M.J. Iuppa ‘s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017).For the past 29 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog: mjiuppa.blogspot.com for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew.

Ian Willey

Awakening

Not having watered the tomatoes for weeks
it was a surprise to find on the vine, basking
in an autumn sunrise, a pair of tomatoes, pale
and sunken like the breasts of an old widow,
who awakes one chilly October morning
and realizes now is the time.


My name is Ian Willey and I approve of this poem.

Ian Willey

The End

If the sun were suddenly to explode we’d have eight minutes
and twenty seconds before the shockwave reached earth
to annihilate everything, meaning there wouldn’t be enough
time to listen to “The End” by The Doors, though you could
play R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as I Know It
(And I Feel Fine)” twice and still have twelve seconds left,
assuming you could tell exactly when the sun exploded
and press play right then, and you were awake,
with some time on your hands, and felt fine.


My name is Ian Willey and I approve of this poem.

Ian Willey

We Pretend

When she returns to the table having rushed off
for an emergency breast pumping, we pretend not
to notice the spot on her blouse and she pretends
not to notice our pretending not to notice and in
this way we get back to our prescribed agenda
while the spot, barely there to begin with, enters
the atmosphere of this climate-controlled room
with wood-paneled walls and a fantastic view
of the mountains though we try to keep our eyes
on the screen pretending this isn’t a struggle.


Ian Willey hails from Hartville, Ohio. Someone has to.