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Wednesday, April 17, 2024


by Lynn White

Source: The Guardian

When will we count the dead in Gaza?
Those buried in named graves we know, 
all the tens of thousands of them,
those buried in the rubble,
the disappeared 
with no one left to name them,
are still unknown

Then the other Disappeared,
prisoners of war
if it were a war,
but with only the rights
of terrorists
who have no rights at all
in this unequal conflict
that some call ‘war’.

And how can we count the injured in Gaza
when there are no hospitals left
and its people don’t count
so no one can count those numbers.
and perhaps no one will
in a country where people don’t count.

Now the starved and starving 
have joined them,
the bags of baby bones
the unaccounted numbers
of intentional famine
in Gaza where still
no one counts.

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality and writes hoping to find an audience for her musings. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Peach Velvet, Light Journal, and So It Goes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024


by Adele Evershed

In the quiet of a collective breath-holding / Ladies Night / accidentally played on the radio / so an Israeli spokesman / delivered words / about exacting a price from Iran / to the throb of a disco beat 

I listened to the ballistic bass / and retorting trumpets / cut with words of war / as if this was a movie / the music an ironic middle finger / to the inevitability / of the end of the world / and it seemed like another sign / in a week of medieval omen 

After / the BBC made no mention of their mistake / Johnnie Walker just played the song / so we could all ignore / our electric slide / toward a bigger conflict / since Kool & The Gang / insisted everything would be alright 

And if it really was 'ladies night,' that might be true / if women were in charge / drones would be used / to make sure daughters got home safely / and sons would be iron-domed / so they didn't lay down precious lives / because they belonged to one tribe / or another

Instead all we can do is watch the sky unnaturally darken and try to remember how to breathe

Adele Evershed is a Welsh writer who now lives in America. Her poems and flash fictions have appeared in Grey Sparrow Journal, Anti Heroin Chic, Gyroscope, Janus Lit, and many other places. Adele has been nominated for the Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize for poetry and short fiction. She has published two poetry chapbooks, Turbulence in Small Places (Finishing Line Press) and The Brink of Silence (Bottlecap Press). Adele has published a novella-in-flash, Wannabe (Alien Buddha Press), and a short story collection Suffer/Rage (Dark Myth Publisher).

Monday, April 15, 2024


by Felicia Nimue Ackerman

“Trump’s abortion position” by Dave Whamond

Days after saying that abortion policies should be left to the states, former President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday criticized an Arizona court ruling for upholding an 1864 law that banned nearly all abortions...Yet even as he suggested his disapproval...Mr. Trump defended the position he took in a video statement on Monday, when he said that states should weigh in on abortion through legislation. —The New York Times, April 10, 2024, Updated April 13, 2024.


Trump varies his stand on abortion.

If only his prospects were dim.

This country could ward off distortion

By taking a stand against him.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman is a professor of philosophy at Brown University and has had over 280 poems in places including American Atheist, The American Scholar, Better Than Starbucks, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Down in the Dirt, The Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin, Free Inquiry, The Galway Review, Light Poetry Magazine, Lighten Up Online, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Times, Options (Rhode Island's LGBTQ+ magazine), The Providence Journal, Scientific American, Sparks of Calliope, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Your Daily Poem. She has also had three previous poems in The New Verse News.

Sunday, April 14, 2024


by Susan Vespoli

My dead son was in the car 
with me as I drove to the lawyer’s
office to pick up my net-settlement check
and we drove past a laughing-Buddha chihuahua 
running against traffic down the center of Dunlap
and we drove through a split of mountain crags 
and we drove past a guy twirling and tossing a red-arrow 
sign at an intersection and my heart and gut felt on fire 
with raw grief and I said, “Well, here we are, Adam,” 
meaning the end of the lawsuit 
and even as I wanted to sob and flail
I could feel him smiling beside me, 
saying, there, there, like a benevolent cloud. 
When the paralegal handed me the check, 
she beamed as if we should don party hats, throw confetti 
and I wanted to pop every balloon in the place, 
wave the rectangular piece of paper in the air 
and say, this represents my son’s life.
Outside, humans were wearing tiny plastic glasses 
and looking up at the sun and the sky 
over the parking lot glowed fluorescent 
and this check felt like me saying it was okay the cop shot my son 
but I have fallen into a sort of love
with a man who is ironically a lawyer 
who has helped me interpret the mind-fuck 
of the legal system, understand that money the City 
of Phoenix had to pay caused them pain to spark change
and it is springtime on the planet 
where my son’s physical body is only a memory 
and there is a throng of 5’ tall sunflowers 
standing outside my bedroom window 
and the ocotillo in my front yard, mere sticks and thorns 
a month ago, is now covered with soft green and topped with flame-
colored flowers the wind flutters into candles on a cake.

Susan Vespoli lives in Phoenix, AZ, where citizens are still waiting for the release of the DOJ report regarding the Phoenix Police Department's excessive use of force. Her son, Adam, was killed by a police officer on March 12, 2022.

Saturday, April 13, 2024


by Cindy Veach

I watch three old white men on the news talking

about abortion how it’s no big deal for a woman

to get a bus ticket and travel to another state.

It’s trending on X, these old men in their suits and ties

with their limp cocks tucked away under the table

their small hands gesturing or resting on the table.


I’m hemorrhaging rage, thick red as postpartum blood.


And now Arizona has upheld a draconian Civil War-era

abortion law proving that the past does come back

to haunt. I almost bled out after my daughter’s birth.

I’ve never written about this. It took a helicopter

and two D&C’s to save me. A hundred years ago

I would have died of childbirth. I marched for the right

to choose in my 20’s only to lose it in my 60’s


I’m hemorrhaging rage, thick red as postpartum blood.


In the middle of yesterday the moon eclipsed the sun.

People were brought to tears as they watched

in their special protective glasses. People on both sides

of the aisle equally moved by the night of day.

The darkness I speak of is different. It digests everything

good and fattens the libidos of men.


I’m hemorrhaging rage, thick red as postpartum blood.

Cindy Veach is the author of Her Kind (CavanKerry Press) a 2022 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist and Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press) a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and a Massachusetts Center for the Book ‘Must Read,’ and the chapbook, Innocents (Nixes Mate). Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day Series, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Chicago Review, Poet Lore, Salamander, and elsewhereA recipient of the Philip Booth Poetry Prize and Samuel Allen Washington Prize, she is poetry co-editor of MER.

Friday, April 12, 2024


by Bonnie Naradzay

A man detained by the Israeli military in northern Gaza shows injuries on his wrists at al-Najjar hospital in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on 24 December 2023 (AFP/Said Khatib)

Israeli doctor says detained Palestinians are undergoing ‘routine’ amputations for handcuff injuries. —CNN, April 6, 2024

On my listserve, someone posts her fears 

that the pairs of eclipse glasses she ordered 

will not arrive in time. A neighbor shares a link

from NASA on how to make a pinhole camera.

In the news, I read about Palestinians detained 

outside an Israeli military base. They were given

numbers and lost their names. A doctor said

the men are chained day and night, blindfolded

at all times, hands bound behind their backs,

fed through straws. Forced to wear diapers,

dehumanized. Bound to a fence for prolonged 

times, consecutive days. Because of the injuries

caused by the shackles, the doctor performs 

“routine amputations” of their legs. At church 

this morning, after our group’s discussion 

of the Sunday readings, a woman talks about 

how good God is to her family and he knows 

what’s best for us. How can she say this,

I think, remembering Ivan Karamazov, 

“The Grand Inquisitor.” Why would God 

permit such suffering in the world?   

The Israeli Defense Force official replied

that every procedure is within the framework

of the Law and is done with “extreme care

for the human dignity of the detainees.”

All day, the wind’s unrest builds and disperses 

clouds as I try to make sense of such cruelty.

Bonnie Naradzay's manuscript will be published by Slant Books this year.  She leads weekly poetry sessions at day shelters for homeless people and at a retirement center, all in Washington DC.  Three times nominated for a Pushcart, her poems have appeared in AGNI, New Letters, RHINO, Kenyon Review, Tampa Review, EPOCH, Split This Rock, Dappled Things, and other sites. In 2010 she won the University of New Orleans Poetry Prize—a month’s stay in the South Tyrol castle of Ezra Pound’s daughter, Mary; there, she had tea with Mary, hiked the Dolomites, and read Pound’s early poems.

Thursday, April 11, 2024


by Steven Kent

"'You have imprisoned our democracy': Inside Republicans' domination of Tennessee"

The Guardian, April 5, 2024

Despite what y'all were taught in school,

Democracy is not that cool;

We merely use it as a tool

To institute one-party rule.

Folks come to Nashville, see our sights,

While up the hill we're locked in fights*

With Tennesseans claiming rights

They don't deserve now, by our lights.

Theocracy's the goal we've set,

And though we haven't reached it yet

The hour is coming, never fret.

Can't happen here? You wanna bet?

*The state capitol sits four blocks up from Lower Broadway, Nashville's busy tourist district.

Steven Kent is the poetic alter ego of writer, musician, and resident of Nashville, Tennessee Kent BurnsideHis work appears in 251, Asses of Parnassus, Journal of Formal Poetry, Light, Lighten Up Online, New Verse News, Philosophy Now, Pulsebeat Poetry Journal, and Snakeskin. His collection I Tried (And Other Poems, Too) was published in 2023 by Kelsay Books.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


by Jerrice J. Baptiste

Haitian policemen stand guard on a street corner amid gang violence in Port-au-Prince on April 8,2024.

Last week, my colleagues and I facilitated healing circles for Haitians, both on the island and in the diaspora. In this virtual gathering, known as the Sawubona Healing Circle, we bore witness to the fullness and depth of our pain across different geographical locations. We held space for the fear experienced by those trapped in Port-au-Prince amidst paramilitary violence. We acknowledged the hurt felt by innocent people yearning for communal safety. We understood the confusion among a diaspora who craved to support their people but felt wholly inadequate to meet the urgency of their needs. —Evan Auguste, The Haitian Times, April 2, 2024

Haitian leaders have finalized a deal for a temporary government to steer their Caribbean nation out of gang-fueled chaos, but the details must first be approved by the outgoing authorities, Agence France Presse confirmed Monday. —VoA, April 8, 2024

We, the diaspora know
our lives to be bleak without heat of circular suns.
We, the diaspora know
our hands to be bare not plucking velvet red cherries. 
We, the diaspora know 
consequences of our silence will cause you to bleed.

Can we the diaspora pledge to
merge our voices eclipsed by a stubborn early moon?
Can we the diaspora pledge to 
baptize babies dressed in white holy silk by dusk?
Can we the diaspora pledge to
grow consciousness as yellow corn in indigo nights?

Jerrice J. Baptiste is a poet born in Haiti, the author of eight books, and a forthcoming book of poetry called Coral in The Diaspora (Abode Press, August 2024).  Her poetry has been published and forthcoming in The New Verse News, Impspired, Urthona: Buddhism & Art, Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality & The Arts, Artemis Journal, The Yale Review, Mantis, The Dewdrop. Poetica Review, The Banyan Review, Kosmos Journal, The Caribbean Writer, West Trestle Review among others. Jerrice was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for 2024 by Jerry Jazz Musician and as Best of the Net for 2022 by Blue Stem. She facilitates poetry workshops in New York where she lives.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024


by Corley Norman

It is near twilight and the man next door is mowing his yard.
I am fighting my impulse to go over there, pull him away and shout
What are you doing? No one mows at night!
It defies all common sense! Stop right now!
I would catch him off-guard, unnerve him with my unneighborly outburst.
I wouldn’t be mad enough to shoot him or anything. I don't own a gun.
But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't shoot him even if I did own a gun.
I suddenly realize he might own a gun and enjoy shooting.
What is on my mind is that today many mothers were crying
As they held signs and yearned to be heard by men whose deafness did not know sign language.
Mothers wailing with the cries of their crooked-toothed, messy-haired children:
Hear us! Help us! Like me, they did not want to be shot.
Maybe their sounds just ricocheted like bullets off the fine marble walls of the Capitol.
Maybe it felt wise and just to the quasi-lawmakers to tune out the inconvenient citizenry.
Maybe they were thinking of things they had to do. Urgent things.
Like: I think I’ll mow the yard this weekend. 

Corley Norman is a writer living in Nashville , Tennessee. She has spent most of her life in the field of dramatic literature where she picked the wildflowers of Shakespeare to inspire her.She has an MFA from the Univ. of Tennessee.

Monday, April 08, 2024


by Mary Turzillo

The Sun and the Moon

did a courtship dance

did a contrary dance

nearer come nearer

far dance away

till the Sun mocked his luna love

japing “cold, changeable she” 

and “you love the earth more than me”

and it’s true: she grew fat, she grew thin,

he was hot, she was cold

Apollo, Diana:

stag and the doe

till she danced right in front of him

close to him, over him

taking delicious gold bites of him

throwing her skirts quite over him

till she blotted him out

til the night crickets sang

the the birds went to sleep

a black handkerchief over the land.

She punched a hole in the sky

where her lover had been

left a necklace of fire, a sparkle of beads

a diamond ring

for a minute or two:

the lovers' bright band

the dusk bridal veil

dark covered light, cold kissed the gold

the ring hung a promise 

a wedding of midnight and fire.

Mary Turzillo's Nebula-winner "Mars Is no Place for Children" and her Analog novel An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl were recommended reading on the International Space Station. She has been a finalist on the British SFA, Pushcart, Stoker, Dwarf Stars, and Rhysling ballots. Her poetry collection Lovers & Killers won the 2013 Elgin Award for Best Collection. Her fourth collaboration with Marge Simon, Victims, also won an Elgin. Her latest two books are Cast from Darkness, also with Simon, and Cosmic Cats and Fantastic Furballs. Mary lives in Berea, Ohio, with her scientist-writer husband, Geoffrey Landis. Today’s eclipse is her third such experience.