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Sunday, July 31, 2022


a mirror poem
by Elise Kazanjian

What were we all thinking?
An abandoned fishing boat  toothbrushes
six tons of gill nets   toys   lawn chairs   plastic
containers   a three and a half ton  mysterious object twenty
feet wide six feet high   shoes    millions miniscule plastic waste bits    trawling
booms   plastic rods  tires   huge foam buoys  stewing in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch three 
times the size of France  growing every day    in 2009 the non-profit Ocean Voyages
Institute’s 132-foot sailing cargo ship begins removing plastics from the ocean    
many of us move mouths    jaw about oceans     threatened oceans that give
life to all creatures    oceans once polluted can not be salvaged   
What were we all thinking?
What are we all thinking?
The oceans once polluted can not be salvaged      so many creatures
humans    given life    many of   us move mouths        jaw about oceans     threatened    
in 2009 the  non-profit Ocean Voyages Institute’s132-foot sailing cargo ship
begins removing plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch three times
the size of France   growing every day   millions miniscule plastic waste bits     trawling
booms   plastic rods    tires   marine debris  stewing with lawn chairs    
plastic containers   a three and a half ton mysterious object twenty
feet wide six feet high    shoes   toothbrushes    six tons
of gill nets    toys   an abandoned fishing boat  
What were we all thinking?

Elise Kazanjian’s poems have appeared in Fog & Light: San Francisco Seen Through the Eyes of the Poets Who Live Here 2021; the Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2022, and others. She was Foreign Editor, CCTV, Beijing; has been a San Francisco pawnbroker; and is Co-Judge, Prose Poem, Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition.

Saturday, July 30, 2022


by Sara Sarna

But Alito’s Italian stand-up routine came at the expense of millions of people’s lived realities in this country right now—many of whom will die because of his unpopular opinion. I personally don’t find it funny at all. —Laura Bassett, Jezebel, July 28, 2022

It was never a matter of balance. 
It was a poorly weighted pendulum  
that sent us scurrying 
between who we needed to be  
and who others needed. 
Sometimes we forgot 
how to choose ourselves, 
put off becoming, 
fell asleep to our value. 
Now you beat your drum 
in celebration of what you claim 
as victory, and it wakes us 
to your arrogance. 
This is one battle. 
We do not fear the war. 

Sara Sarna is a poet, actor and hiker in southeastern Wisconsin. Her work has been published in print and online, and been heard on stage and on the radio. Her chapbook Whispers from a Bench was published in 2019.

Friday, July 29, 2022


by Deb Freedman

for Lucille Clifton’s “Good Times”

The poet and colleague volunteer at the food pantry.

people drive up
and we put food in their cars
we run hauling bags
meat produce bread desserts
food for dogs and cats
sundry items people choose from the cart
we welcome everyone
greeting people we know like old friends
James and Ava have a corner store and a new granddaughter
2 months old
i bought 5 onesies cool for the summer with my friend’s donated $20 kohls cash
and gave Ava a pretty one with a fish on it
for her namesake
she was so excited
she promised she’d take a picture of Baby Ava in it to show me
and a woman with a 2-year-old
who just had a baby girl
came for food and diapers
so i gave her a yellow striped onesie
i think she cried behind her glamorous dark sunglasses
Jesse said he couldn’t drive himself today
because the surgeon sawed him in half
so we finally met his wife Dina
he brought us a little cardboard bakery box
of his delicious homemade mini cupcakes
like always
and thanked us for helping his family
the Steelers fans with rattly truck and 3 cats
got extra cat food
we joked we like them
even though they aren’t Eagles fans
there were these 2 guys on bikes
who pedaled over the Calhoun Street Bridge from Trenton
trying to figure out how much stuff they could carry
in their ragged backpacks
even with our reusable bags
they ruefully left a few pounds of their food on the table
and told us to give it to people who needed it
after 3 hours I'm sweaty tired
my face sore from smiling at folks
and that was just today

Deb Freedman finds joy in volunteering at a local food pantry as well as writing poetry and hopes to spark recognition, compassion and solutions to the increasing food insecurity of both people and pets in this country.

Thursday, July 28, 2022


by Tamara Kreutz

Foto Prensa Libre, July 17, 2022: Elmer Vargas


Last Sunday at breakfast in San Martín, 
a Guatemalan bakery chain, my husband and I 
sipped our coffee and tea, as our three children 
raced up and down the indoor jungle gym.
While watching them, we thumbed through the paper. 
This story’s fucking awful, my husband said. 

The body of Juan Wilmer Tulul Tepaz, 
a fourteen-year-old Guatemalan boy who died (trapped 
was returned home to a village outside Sololá. 
The story showed pictures of his parents. The father’s 
hand covered weeping eyes as he sank into himself—
back bowed, arms pressing a crease in his middle.
The mother’s brow was squeezed into the shape
of a moth’s wings spread across her forehead.
She wore a purple huipil and a black bandana, 
and her hand caressed her son’s casket—the tips 
of her manicured fingers pressing into the wood, 
her thumb stroking the edge as she would her son’s cheek.


My family just moved to Guatemala
to give our kids the life America 
couldn’t. Its dream had chewed us up, leaving the gnawed 
gristle of debt and burnout—the cost of gas
and rent and medical care. But in Guatemala, 
opportunity would unfold like a rug 
before our children’s feet—piano, dance, 
and horseback riding lessons—because the dollar
goes so much further here. In Guatemala,
I can pay someone to clean my house and watch my kids,
and if we’re sick and need labs, I won’t worry
the bills will hollow out our savings account. 

Our first day here, my toddler son locked himself 
into a second-story bedroom with an open 
window. He screamed for fifteen minutes, then went silent. 
I panicked, pounded the door, then raced out the house
and up and down the street, asking everyone 
I saw if they had tools to pick a lock—
until someone called the fire department.
Back in the house, I kicked the door, I paced, doubled
over, hunching in circles around the family room,
crying, I just want my baby back, now.
When the locksmith came with wires and screwdrivers
to take the doorknob off, and I finally burst through
to find my son sound asleep in bed, I pulled
his little body to my chest. He woke,
startled, but nestled his silky head under my chin,
and I felt his heart beat against mine. In the nine years 
I’ve been a mother, this was the first time
I couldn’t reach my child who needed me.


I keep thinking about how I felt, locked away
from my son, wondering if he was hurt or even—
(I can’t bring myself to write it, I’ll leave the word 
unsaid). And I keep thinking about Juan Wilmer— 
the ten thousand dollars his parents paid 
the coyote for safe transport, his dream 
of education, the pictures of him alive 
and smiling placed on the family altar.
I keep thinking about his mother’s hand
that clutched his casket, her fingers spreading 
over its edge—exactly how my hand
had clutched the arm of my live and dreaming child.

Tamara Kreutz is an English Language Arts teacher and a poet who resides in Antigua, Guatemala. She began writing poetry early in the pandemic, and through poetry, she found order, peace, and joy in a turbulent, uncertain time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022


by Bill Aarnes

Davy Crockett called his flintlock Ol’ Betsy
The traffic has slowed to a stop 
on the West Side Highway,  
my Lyft now going nowhere. 
The gun lover driving the pickup 
stuck just a few feet ahead 
in the lane to the right 
must take pride that someone 
as ignorant as me has never bothered     
to learn by heart the brands    
of the five firearms shown 
on the decal on his back window 
above the words "My Family." 
I wonder if the guy goes home 
to a flesh-and-blood family, 
if they approve of the decal. 
I guess maybe his wife 
found it for him in a gun shop.              
Then I make up some names 
for the weapons: cute Little Lethal 
(or is it Pocket-Sized Bullpup?), 
older brother Son of a Gun, 
big sister Knock-em Dead, 
a less motherly than steely 
Femme Fatale, and the cock-sure 
Ready to Unload My Load. 
Car and pickup both inch ahead. 
I fear I’ve made up names   
he—and his family—would like. 

Bill Aarnes now lives in New York, where he is recovering from COVID.


by Cecil Morris

At the corner of faith and culture in Southern Washington,
the Christian conservative congressional candidate 
says that she will bring Scripture-filled and Spirit-infused Prayers 
for the Battlefield to the halls of congress to fight for faith, 
to make us kneel in the benevolent and delighted light of Christ.
She says that she is MomStrong and homeschool smart, 
the author of a bunch of books celebrating bibles
and moms. She says that she puts babies first, that they are her first
and most important constituents, both gift and purpose.
She says that she stands for gun rights and ammo. She says
that she is unapologetic, which means, I suppose,
that she does not ask for or need forgiveness, does not know
contrition. She says that there are just two genders, that God
created them in his image male and female, and I think
that she believes in a hermaphroditic deity,
a god of two genders at once, that she worships a god
with cock and cunt. Or maybe her god is gender fluid,
a male today, a female tomorrow, a god who goes back
and forth as it pleases or as it is necessary
like His perfected creations the Lythrypnus dalli
or Crepidula fornicata or Cornu aspersum.
Or maybe her conception of god is genderless,
more idea or ideal than body—disembodied
and beyond gender concerns. Is creation wrong
or is God or is this Christian candidate mistaken
in her understanding of what God meant or means?
I don’t know. But here, amid the multiple wonders
of this world, amid the incredible diversity
of this life, would God have given us just two genders,
a paltry coin-flip two, an either-or, a binary choice,
a mere dichotomy, a language of only two words
while all around us hums such a rich abundance.
I do not know the mind of God (if such a thing exists),
but I do know for certain sure that I do not want
this person to have the power to govern over me.

Author's Note: The italized portions of lines 3-4 and 13-14 come from (first) Heidi St. John’s website promoting her books, podcasts, and ministry and (second) from her campaign ad aired on KGW Portland on July 22, 2022.

Cecil Morris, a retired high school English teacher, divides his time between Oregon and California.  He has poems in or forthcoming from 3Elements, Ekphrastic Review, English Journal, Evening Street Review, Hiram Review, Hole in the Head Review, The New Verse News, Scapegoat, Talking River Review, and other literary magazines.


by Charles W. Harvey

Bill Bramhall | Copyright 2022 Tribune Content Agency

The Secret Service’s 
Sacred secrets slipped away 
Like love from the unloved. 
Servers went silent, 
Data vanished like vapor. 
Oh, where art thou 
Lover of secrets? 
Lend me your ears, 
Let me whisper sweet nothings. 

Charles W. Harvey is a native Houstonian and a graduate of the University of Houston. He writes fiction, poetry, and plays. “Writing began for me as a way to respond to the world around me, growing up in "Sunnyside" Texas. The world has not changed. There’s no shortage of awful people and horrendous examples of their awfulness. But there’s also an abundance of beauty, love, and life. All of it must be chronicled for future generations.” Charles is a former Cultural Arts Council of Houston Grant recipient and a prize-winning author. He has been published in many anthologies and collections.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022


by Tom Bauer

Joni Mitchell Performs Surprise Show at Newport Folk Festival: The 78-year-old artist performed a full set, her first in about two decades, at the renowned festival in Rhode Island on Sunday. —The New York Times, July 25, 2022

Joni at the Newport Folk Fest sings "Both
Sides Now." Anyone else remember that one?
Is that the first time you saw her face? The
album with her face on it? Was that the song
you first heard by her? Your first impression?
How a voice splits and changes over years,
through all kinds of stages, shaped by time
and keeping time. It can be a long long way
to go to recognize a lilt that’s aged in
a paint box of mellow feelings and thoughtful
remonstrances, lilts, dances. So like a book
that opens, one each side, beginning to end,
making her way, flitting along, hearing
her turn the words one chapter at a time.

Tom Bauer's an old coot who lives in Montreal and plays a lot of board games.


by Jen Schneider

On Sunday, nearly six years after he took his final ferocious cut for the Red Sox, Ortiz reveled in his crowning baseball moment. An iconic figure in two nations—Red Sox Nation and the Dominican Republic—Ortiz was formally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot. This, on the strength of a 20-year career that included 541 home runs. —MLB, July 25, 2022

imagine a morning meal / at a table of wood – oak or maple / of eggs over easy & bacon over done / imagine a stack of flapjacks, three pats of butter, cut in squares / all corners rounded, all linens tucked / imagine a mug of coffee, freshly brewed / bottomless pots / imagine a bleacher seat / freshly dusted, storied & stamped / of fingertips that wriggle then wrestle with cloudless skies / imagine a collection of wooden bats / of ash or maple / mahogany no longer in favor / imagine a man at bat / made of designated grand slam moments / and designer cleats on bases / mostly first / imagine five hundred & fifty-eight home run hits / of which eleven are grand slams  / fingers grip lumber, palms cradle knobs / balls tightly stitched / wriggle then wander / under and of cloudless skies of wonder / all souls soar / into an october night / imagine a man bigger than any moment / at bat

Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, writes, and works in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania. Recent works include A Collection of RecollectionsInvisible InkOn Habits & Habitats, and Blindfolds, Bruises, and Breakups.

Monday, July 25, 2022


by Gordon Gilbert

I dreamed last night of seasons of unrest that lie ahead:

Saddled on nightmare steeds with fiery nostrils,
eyes of cold blue light and blood pouring down their heaving flanks,
apocalyptic horsemen rode over our lands,
setting farms and fields ablaze and poisoning the wells;
pestilence, drought and famine followed in their wake.

Monstrous firestorms swept across tinder-dry forests,
consuming all, obliterating every living thing  in their path;
whirlwinds that followed gathered up the dust and ash
and blotted out the sun.

Insufferable desert heat by day, 
unbearable desert cold by night.

All of our tomorrows, 
only the broken promises
of those who too long led us in denial.

All of our future days, 
each and every one in turn,
fading away into a long parade 
of sad and sorry yesterdays.

This morning I awoke to the radio:

The meteorologist was saying 
it’s unseasonably warm for this time of year,
and the temperature is rising.

Long-time NYC west villager Gordon Gilbert has found solace and inspiration during the pandemic in walks along the Hudson River, photographing and writing about the wildlife, flora, and river traffic as the seasons change. It gives him hope in these terrible times, but he knows that is not enough. Change only comes when we act to make it so.


by Steve Deutsch

On the rise above 

Route 80, by a trickle

that was once 

a river


I watch a line

of traffic

a thousand miles long 

going nowhere.


The road has 

buckled and a semi

sits on its side

steam still boiling.


One by one

the cars and trucks

run out of gas—

dream irony


I suppose,

and people stand

beside their behemoths—

afraid at last.


The pine

and hemlock forest 

that lined the road

has turned


a sickly brown

and trees light up

like candlesticks

one by one.


Children fight

the fire

with blankets

and spit.


And the dust

and smoke 

and ash

make breathing


an occupation.

The west is burning

and few if any

will make it out.


I wake with a gasp—

heart escaping.

Smoke colors the moon

the west is burning.

Steve Deutsch has been widely published both on line and in print. Steve is a three time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is poetry editor for Centered Magazine. His poetry books: Perhaps You Can (2019), Persistence of Memory (2020),  and Going, Going, Gone (2021) were all published by Kelsay Press.


by Chad Parenteau

Chad Parenteau hosts Boston's long-running Stone Soup Poetry series. His latest collection is The Collapsed Bookshelf. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Résonancee, Molecule, Ibbetson Street, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Tell-Tale Inklings, Off The Coast, The Skinny Poetry JournalNixes Mate Review, and the anthology Reimagine America from Vagabond Books. He serves as Associate Editor of the online journal Oddball Magazine. His American Haiku appear every Wednesday on his blog, which can be found via the link on his website.

Sunday, July 24, 2022


by David Radavich

Sometimes metaphors are
too perfect for words:
Police in riot gear
standing in a school hallway
in Uvalde, Texas
doing nothing
for 77 minutes,
strolling, phoning,
reaching for hand sanitizer
while inside the classroom
the crazed gunman
mows down
one child after another
two teachers
air burning
with smoke and blood
and screams
only ending
when death explodes
or oozes out.
This is America in 2022:
Immobilized.  Imprisoned
in a trap of power.

Lost in the hallways
of moral evasion.
We can’t address
racial justice
or climate change,
enforced poverty
or violent inhumanity.
We are the cops
standing around
checking our phones
doing nothing
to save our children
to guarantee our future.
Look in this frame
and see 
what we’ve become.

Among David Radavich's poetry collections are two epics, America Bound and America Abroad, as well as Middle-East Mezze and The Countries We Live In.  His latest book is Unter der Sonne / Under the Sun: German and English Poems from Deutscher Lyrik Verlag.

Saturday, July 23, 2022


by W. Luther Jett

Muffled staccato—
summer voices
too distant to be
understood—I try
not to stress the
circuitry mid-day—
douse the lights,
draw the shades.
A song from fifty
years ago plays on
my radio of memory
at 103 on the dial.

W. Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland and a retired special educator. His poetry has been published in numerous journals as well as several anthologies. He is the author of five poetry chapbooks: Not Quite: Poems Written in Search of My Father (Finishing Line Press, 2015), Our Situation (Prolific Press, 2018), Everyone Disappears (Finishing Line Press, 2020), Little Wars (Kelsay Books, 2021), and Watchman, What of the Night? (CW Books, 2022).


by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

When oppressiveness becomes
the custom of the day, the news croons
its heavy jingle of despair.
A heady, muggy tune, so stay
inside. Abide—though taking hot advice
is like a trot on burning coals—
it’s captivating until the effort                                   
breaks a sweat. I think therefore I am
exhausted. So change and change the channel
and make me an instrument of piece
by piece, for love thy neighbor’s a-okay
when all I see is sweltering me.

Felicia Sanzari Chernesky has many years of experience as an editor, author, and person, but at this crossroad feels as if she’s starting anew—all bets off. Let’s see where the road travels.

Friday, July 22, 2022


by Dick Altman

Four killed in helicopter crash after assisting with East Mesa Fire 
Santa Fe New Mexican, July 17, 2022

Northern New Mexico
I once believed the high
desert immune to fire.
Until I watch in terror a blaze
in the Jemez Mountains,
west of me, nearly consume
Los Alamos’ atomic city.
And so spin the blades
and up the chopper rises,
as if lofted by the very flames
it douses again and again
with water by the bucketful.
Until its cargo of four, lives
with every pass in peril,
points wearily for home.
Never thought a fire 20 miles
east, ignited in April, would
refuse to go out until mid-June. 
We may not have much water,
but we have countless mountains
of tinder eager to torch earth,
sear and drought-riven.
And so we resort to birds
(and planes) to siphon water
from a distance. After awhile,
the droning pulse of copters
infiltrates dreams. Smoke,
from the moment you awake,
is a never-absent cup
of acrid reality.
And today’s bird? Had I felt it
thrumming overhead?  Before
a few seconds of downdraft—
will we ever know?—transforms
it from an angel of life into one
of death. And blades that morph
into wings, caught in gravity’s net,
plunge to the bottom of a sea of air.
Dick Altman writes in the high, thin, magical air of Santa Fe, NM, where,at 7,000 feet, reality and imagination often blur. He is published in Santa Fe Literary Review, American Journal of Poetry, riverSedge, Fredericksburg Literary Review, Foliate Oak, Blue Line, THE Magazine, Humana obscura, The Offbeat, Haunted Waters Press, Split Rock Review, The RavensPerch, Beyond Words, The New Verse News, Sky Island Journal, and others here and abroad. A poetry winner of Santa Fe New Mexican’s annual literary competition, he has in progress two collections of some 100 published poems. His work has been selected for the forthcoming first volume of The New Mexico Anthology of Poetry to be published by the New Mexico Museum Press.

Thursday, July 21, 2022


by William Marr

So let me be clear: climate change is an emergency.  Joe Biden, July 20, 2022

even the shadows
are dried to the bone
their whiskers sparse and brownish
with no dewdrops to moisten their throats
birds won't come to the window
to chirp
to waken dreams
to inspire
holding a dried-up pen
a poet stares at the blank sky
where not a single trace of cloud
is in sight
don't expect
tears of joy
anytime soon
William Marr, a Chinese American scientist/poet/artist, has published over 30 collections of poetry and several translations. His poetry has been translated into more than ten languages and is included in high school and college textbooks in Taiwan, China Mainland, England, and Germany. A former president of the Illinois State Poetry Society, he now lives in Chicago.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


A Poem for Ada Limón, using her words

by Pauletta Hansel

Ada Limón Is Named the Next Poet Laureate: Poetry, she said, can help the nation “become whole again” in a fraught, divided moment. Photo by Carla Ciuffo for The New York Times, July 12, 2022


Sometimes I imagine all my lovely poets 

out there in the world of their bodies

having a poetry party

with dry red wine uncorked and pimento cheese 

spread out on a warm lawn, or gathered 

around the inside of a picture window,

still black water holding the stars, 

talking poems made 

            in the white heat of the moment… or 

            written from inside the well ...

Reminding themselves that

            when things are bad, 

            we still have our words

            and each other.

And then I get on Facebook

and I see it really is true. 

            When the day calls for fire 

            and your friends have all the matches 

            to burn it down, Ada posts,

and I know these friends,

some of them anyway,

and the R.J Corman rail line

running by her house,

            surrounded by wild things, 

            green trees, grasses.


But never mind my invitation

lost on the internet,

I’ll read myself in

between the lines—

            “If you want to win anything—your race, your self, your life—

            you have to go a little berserk”—this woman even gets good fortune cookies, 

and on the radio now Ada Limón is talking 

about female rage and how

                        sometimes we need

                        to step into that room and make ourselves

                        fully known and fully seen.


Even “The Onion” loves this woman, the railroad spike

bisecting Trump’s hypothalamus and he calls a meeting 

to name her poet laureate.

            When we name things we are more tender to them…

            But I am also aware of the hubris of naming things.


She’s not my friend,

even though she seems to live inside my body,

            more tired than I should be, 

            …hurting more, 

            my brain keeps saying 

            “this country hates women, 

                        this country hates women”

                                    over and over…

            And of course women are hesitant

            about our subject matter. 

            Of course we are. 

            We’ve been taught that from the very beginning

to ask ourselves,

            Should I take the “I” out? Should I erase my being?

But there she is, Ada Limón, singing the song 

of our shared bones, and, yes,

sometimes the song 

is enough.

Author's Notes:

Italicized lines are from the following sources

Ada Limón's Facebook timeline, October 2018

“The Poetry of Perseverance: An Interview with Ada Limón,” Poets & Writers September/October 2018.


The final lines reference “A New National Anthem,” The Carrying, by Ada Limon


Pauletta Hansel’s newest poetry collection is Heartbreak Tree, an exploration of the intersection of gender and place in Appalachia. Her writing is featured in Oxford AmericanRattle, The New Verse News and Poetry Daily, among others. Pauletta was Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate and is 2022 Writer-in-Residence for The Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


by R.W. Rhodes
  after the war poem of Wilfred Owen

In Texas we still prize our purebred cattle
   while monstrous Leftists plot to take our guns.
For us a rifle's like a baby's rattle,
   with cartridges we measure out in tons.

Our cemeteries are such peaceful places.
   And there are countless young in other schools,
so we can just forget these names and faces.
   Let none restrict our guns by stricter rules.

We'll light more candles and repeat more prayers,
   and freely arm more boys, and one and all.
A maniac not armament's the slayer,
   as on our kids we place a bloody pall.

The floral tributes in the heat turn rotten.
And by the dusk these dead will be forgotten.

R.W. Rhodes was a teacher for over 40 years before retirement. His classes ranged from global religions to death & dying. He published a series of hand-crafted books, many for children, with The Catbird-on-the-Yadkin Press in North Carolina.

Monday, July 18, 2022


by Laura Grace Weldon

file photo… not the author

I lived the lives I read in books.
I wandered English moors,
raced my horse past Russian wolves,
befriended dolphins, spoke in whistles,
made my home in a hollow tree.
Made a pact with Kim—we’d never
grow breasts, agreeing the encumbrance
made girls act stupid. Boys, stupider.
I’d grown well past playing house
so no longer stuffed a baby doll
under my shirt, letting it drop
into my hands to make me a mama.
I hadn’t grown out of stuffed animals,
Barbies, hula hoops, or bubbles.  
At ten I rode my bike, climbed trees,
giggled with girlfriends. I wasn’t old
enough to babysit. Wasn’t sure
what sex was, exactly.
Now a ten-year-old girl 
is deemed old enough 
in Ohio to be the mother
of her rapist’s child.    

Laura Grace Weldon served as Ohio’s 2019 Poet of the Year and is the author of four books. Laura lives on a ramshackle Ohio farm and as a book editor. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022


by Scott C. Kaestner
The American Dream Art Print by cindy nguyen

We have to unlearn everything 
we’ve come to know.

Forget the past so as not to
forsake the future.

Be the change coming.

Believe it’s possible.

The Milky Way understands.

Asteroids do slam into planets.

And dinosaurs will disappear.

Scott C. Kaestner is a Los Angeles poet, writer, dad, husband, and deadbeat dreamer extraordinaire. Google ‘scott kaestner poetry’ to peruse his musings and doings.

Saturday, July 16, 2022


by Wendy Hoffman

The Supreme Court #2
voted 24 to 1
not to allow men to impregnate
female humans, plus to find guilty
all those who ‘aid and abet’ them
in this endeavor
such as florists, chocolatiers,
romantic restaurateurs,
other musicians,
and makers
of 400 thread Egyptian cotton sheets.

Oh, and it ruled that only females may carry guns.

Wendy Hoffman has published three memoirs, The Enslaved QueenWhite Witch in a Black Robe, and in 2020 A Brain of My Own.  The Enslaved Queen has been translated into German. Her book of poetry Forceps was also published along with a book of essays, From the Trenches, written with Alison Miller. Her most recent memoir After Amnesia is published on the SmartNews and Survivorship websites. It has been translated into German. What gives her life meaning is helping other surviving victims.

Friday, July 15, 2022


a poem found
by James Penha

in “Why the Austin American-Statesman chose to publish video from inside Robb Elementary,” July 12, 2022.

Above: screenshot of the video.

We have also removed
the sound of children
as the gunman entered
the classroom.

James Penha edits The New Verse News.

Thursday, July 14, 2022


by Moira Magneson

After William Blake


Each day
I am thunder-
struck by the
howling storm
of lies, the fly-
swarm pox.
O beloved rose,
I am through
I could ever know
No wits about me.
What is left
is simply local
dissolving in
a cup of tea.
The sharp stink
of skunk on
the country road.
The mourning
dove's tender
three-note woe.

Moira Magneson calls the Sierra foothills home and has taught English for many years at Sacramento City College. Prior to teaching, she worked as a river guide throughout the West. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Persimmon Tree, Plainsongs, Canary, and California Fire and Water—a Climate Crisis Anthology. She looks forward to the day when our nation will no longer be in thrall to the 45th president.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


by Penelope Scambly Schott

The Senate is back in town for the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade—with no clear legislative path to respond. Unlike House Democrats, their Senate counterparts don't plan to move any abortion-related bills over the next four weeks they're in session, mostly because they lack the support of 10 Republicans needed to overcome a filibuster. The Washington Post, July 12, 2022

The white-faced ibis, the black-necked stilt,
and the great-tailed grackle
have all returned to the Steigerwald Refuge
but the prune-face McConnell, the no-neck Cruz,
and the turn-tail Manchin
are still in the U.S. Senate—
I wish they’d go dunk themselves
in Steigerwald Lake

Penelope Scambly Schott is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Her newest book is On Dufur Hill, poems about the cycle of the year in a small wheat-growing town.