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Tuesday, October 31, 2023


by Adele Evershed

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has said that she is "deeply worried" for her extended family in Gaza. Moran's mother is Palestinian and members of her family in Gaza are sheltering in a church after an Israeli missile struck their home. Speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire, she said: "No longer are people saying, where do we go to be safe? The question they are now asking is, where do we want to be when we die?" —BBC, October 29, 2023

to the sea
already so full of salt
so you become part of the ebb and flow
governed only by the mourning moon
and any tears shed lost in the tumult of waves
or crusted in the creases of a carcass 
left to rot on a far distant shore
to a rowan tree
already listing from the bombardment
so you can nourish the roots
that once nourished you
and the redness of your screams
can hang like a bloody reminder
of all the things you were too young to see
to the mountain top
with its beguiling back story 
so your shallow breath 
can dovetail with the off white clouds
and fall as gentle soaking rain
delivering an absolution
to those who have asked for none
or do you simply 
pick up a stone
and say…
I will not die today

Adele Evershed is a Welsh poet living in America. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Finishing Line Press published Adele’s first poetry chapbook Turbulence in Small Places in July. Her Novella-in-Flash Wannabe was published by Alien Buddha Press in May. Her second poetry collection The Brink of Silence is available from Bottlecap Press.


by Laurie Kuntz

I can remember you and your dad strolling
the beach, crab hunting.
I was close by teaching my son
not to fear waves going over his head.
You were both four—friends and schoolmates.
As parents, we were only 
concerned with keeping
sons safe and sane.
When your family immigrated to Tel Aviv,
I admonished your dad for taking you 
from a melting pot into fire.
mensch from Boston, 
bringing up a son by the beach
would be enough for most. 
Three decades later,
your dad is gone and you post
ramblings of war from a bomb shelter,
numbers of the missing, injured, and dead—
Today your post is shorter, the news is the same
the sirens—louder, the numbers—rising
while the world becomes immune
our gasps less forceful
as we scroll down giving a thumbs up 
to  blooming gardens, exotic recipes, and all 
that is coming soon to a theater near you.
Anything to alleviate the burden of responsibility.

Laurie Kuntz  has published two poetry collections (The Moon Over My Mother’s House, Finishing Line Press and Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press), and three chapbooks (Talking Me Off The Roof, Kelsay Books, Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press, and Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press). Simple Gestures, won the Texas Review Poetry Chapbook Contest, and Women at the Onsen won the Blue Light Press Chapbook Contest.  Her 6th poetry book, That Infinite Roar, will be published by Gyroscope Press at the end of 2023. She has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net Prize. Her work has been published in Gyroscope Review, Roanoke Review, Third Wednesday, One Art, Sheila Na Gig, and many other literary journals.  She currently resides in Florida, where everyday is a political poem waiting to be written.

Monday, October 30, 2023


by George Salamon

"To understand the Israel-Hamas war, you have to understand how we got here." —Vox, October 19, 2023

Historian Rashid Khalidi: Palestinians “Living Under Incredible Oppression, … It Had to Explode” —Democracy Now, October 9, 2023

“The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Atlantic,  October 27, 2023

His corpse lies all over town,
in all streets, all courtyards,
all rooms
drained out from his blood.

Air raid sirens yawn aloud
and roar, boom a
hollow scream
all over village or city.

A shimmer of light falls on
the corpse, bounces off his
glassy teeth and a smile
forms around his lips.

George Salamon talked years ago to a young Palestinian recently released from an Israeli prison for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. "I just want to have a life," he said.  I wonder if he is among the fallen now. Also years ago a "revisionist" Israeli historian said "there is sympathy for both sides." All sides have failed the "Holy Land," and it is now a Bloodland.

Sunday, October 29, 2023


by Jennifer Phillips

River in flood, night flocks flickering
among the skyscrapers, down canyoned glass
and concrete tunnels, southing,
all their stars obscured. Even at sunset, brass
reverberation highlighting the ledges,
zigzagging a maze like the airport lighting
flashing along their pattern's edges,
splash of solar panel panes squaring 
off on rooftops, while all the unseen soft bodies
steer, or smack and ricochet to paving,
losing their way, losing their lives.
In Central Park, the artist paints the same skies,
that glow with missed comets and  lunar eclipses,
with a flock of drones, loose from their hives,
cruising and folding the black air, like a fizz
of fireflies the news compares to starlings'
wondrous convolutions—of all the ironies—
iron substitutions for the flesh and song and wings
belonging even here, city-center, ground zero
for terrors we make in every size. The crows,
tough and wise, don't migrate much. Sad that we do
not notice, or speak of a murder of swallows.

Jennifer M Phillips is a  bi-national immigrant, painter, gardener, Bonsai-grower. Her chapbooks: Sitting Safe In the Theatre of Electricity (, 2020) and A Song of Ascents (Orchard Street Press, 2022)A poem is like a little brass pan to carry fire's coals through the winter weather, and so she writes. 

Saturday, October 28, 2023


by Lavinia Kumar

A “McCarthyite Backlash” Against Pro-Palestine Speech: From university disciplinary hearings to death threats, supporters of Palestinian rights are facing a wave of reprisals. —Jewish Currents, October 20, 2023. Rick Friedman / Alamy Stock Photo: Students rally for Palestine at Harvard University on October 14th, 2023.

First, Fourteenth, speech freedom laws—a speaker’s 

Right to let words fly like leaves from trees, and now new

Edited 19th century pro- anti- Protestant, Catholic is back

Excoriating religions, their people, morphed to


Swarms of crowds, anti- pro- Palestine, Israel, a revived 

Partisan diatribe, a pugnacious polemic

Energized by freedom of speech, guns, flags, politicians

Elected to lance wise trees, plant dissent, grow weeds of disquiet,  

Champion division and decomposition—while vultures

Hover over words, freedoms, human rights, and


Instantly Wall Street funders plunge down to scarf

Numerous dollars, from universities, they gave, yes,


Donated, but today want to scavenge back, yes

Adamantly against “free” speech they don’t approve…

Names spattered, posted, across media, a strings-attached

Generosity, employment conditional on proscribed screed 

Engineered, implanted, into young minds, those abundant in

Rallies on world streets, for freedom. For truly free speech. 

Lavinia Kumar’s recent poems appear (or will soon) in Poets Choice, Kelsey Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, MacQueen’s Quinterly, New Jersey Journal of PoetryTiny Seed.

Friday, October 27, 2023


by Mohammad Javanmard

today I woke up hearing the news 
you all know the news 
‘except the one who is still laughing’ 
I heard the news and meaning 
on the floor 
as if a flow of a sticky, dark, smelly liquid

poetry is not for talking about politics 
we all know that 
but I’m sorry, 
I’m truly sorry
when I heard the news 
the meaning erupted 
like a bomb in Gaza 
near a basement 
where Sadiqa and her two children live(d)

poetry is not a political statement 
I apologise from all of you 
it should be about beauty and love and profound things in life
like when Mahmoud Darwish talks about: 

‘the hesitation of April 
the smell of bread at dawn 
the beginning of love, 
grass on a stone…’

but how can one explain to a terrified one-year-old 
what bombing is
and why the ground is shaking every few minutes
and the windows 
and the half empty glass on the table
and the framed picture of a man you’ve never met
on the wall
and people say that’s your dad

I remember once
my mom took me to a funeral 
and everyone was crying 
and my mom cried 
I felt the whole world started shaking 
and I cried 
and I wet my pants 
‘mama let’s go out of here’ 
pulling her head scarf 
and people thought I’m so sympathetic with the one who’d died
but my mom was crying 
and all this is pointless

the main question is 
how can one explain to a three-year-old
sitting in a bus 
heading to the south
why we should leave our house today 
in the midst of all these horrible sounds 
and the rubbles of buildings and of
and why…
(the bus erupted) 

I’m sorry I’m truly sorry 
I know we’re not supposed to use too many adjectives 
in a modern poem 
that’s just bad taste 
I know 
I know that poetry should be self-referential and create a semi-autonomous environment
that poetry is not to gain its meaning from outside
signs should interrelate and then the surplus significance emerges from within
I know we shouldn’t express our feelings so explicitly 

but forgive me 
that I couldn’t think of any ‘objective correlative’ 
for the bombardment of the children’s hospital in Gaza
for people’s thirst
for the bodies left behind

just like when Neruda couldn’t find any
 for ‘the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children's blood.’

forgive me that there is no literary equivalence for the catastrophe
there has never been.  

when I was having my cereal 
sitting beside my daughter 
in a city in the middle of the UK
the meaning erupted 
and it’s unraveling my poetry
(and how cliche this trick is! Disgusting!)  

I went to the main square afterward 
to see others who’ve felt the earthquake just like me
from far away
we looked at each other’s eyes 
we said ‘oh it’s awful’
it’s horrendous 
we shared our mutual despise of the political leaders 
we talked about the horror 
about water 
about last night’s meal that we’d had in the pub nearby 
‘how is Tom by the way?’
a friend asked 
tom was alright 
minding his own business 
and we chanted 
someone said ‘what a cute little girl’

but nobody asked that main question 
that we were all thinking of 

that how you can explain to a... 
the basement exploded. 
(another rubble among the rubbles)
no need to explain anymore. 
no need to think about it. 

Mohammad Javanmard is a poet whose work has thus far appeared in Persian. He also does research on the 21st century collective movements /collective subjectivities through world literature.

Thursday, October 26, 2023


by Gus Peterson

after “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost


Whose will this was I think I know. 
Their city high, on a high hill though. 
So I do not expect they as yet fear
what’s swept beneath the snow. 

Their little minds must think it queer, 
our talk of stopping death before death nears. 
Between lacquered lane, a slice of pie
October’s moon shone, darkest of the year. 

Can we deafen profit’s jingled, quarterly ring? 
Make ourselves anew? Cease blood’s sing?  
However passing’s bullet passes us by…  
one way, one path to changing things.

Step into these woods, lonely and deep.
Promises unkept, promises to keep. 
Oh, how many rounds before sleep?
Too much snow for me to sleep. 

Gus Peterson lives in Maine.


by Sister Lou Ella Hickman


for those who were killed in lewiston, maine 

                                                            by a man with an AR style gun 


Just months before this week’s mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine’s Legislature considered three major bills to tighten gun restrictions: one to require criminal background checks for gun purchases, another to create a 72-hour waiting period before someone could take possession of a gun after purchasing it and a third to outlaw modifications that make semiautomatic weapons more deadly. All three bills were defeated in the Maine Senate by sizable margins. Maine, a largely blue state where Democrats control both chambers of the State Legislature and the governorship, has a long history of resisting gun control measures. —The New York Times, October 26, 2023

we begin this celebration 

in the name of

my right  my right  my right  



             our response to today’s reading 

of the second amendment  

page 6 in your hymnal 

                        hail to thee, oh AR-15 

we will sing all 25 verses 

after which we will recite 

our litany of thanksgiving  


now   let us rise and say together 


for no background checks 

we are thankful 


for our mutual support 

so needed in our holy culture of guns 

against those who deny our rights

we are thankful            


for being called to be a member 

to this sacred society

we are thankful 


for being able to sleep at night 

we are thankful 


for all those who sell AR-15s 

for this we are truly thankful 


for $$$$ 

we are very thankful 


please join me after this service 

for coffee   donuts 

and a short meeting 

concerning future recruitment plans  


now let us say amen to the final blessing  

 as we go to serve AR-15 


Sister Lou Ella has a master’s in theology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and is a former teacher and librarian. She is a certified spiritual director as well as a poet and writer. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines such as America, US Catholic, Commonweal, The Christian Century, Presence, Prism, and several anthologies. She was a Pushcart nominee in 2017 and 2020. Five poems from her book, she: robed and words, set to music by James Lee III were performed on May 11, 2021. The soloist was the opera singer Susanna Phillips, principal clarinetist Anthony McGill of the New York Philharmonic and Grammy® nominated pianist Mayra Huang. The arrangement was part of a concert held at Y92 in New York City. The group of songs is entitled “Chavah’s Daughters Speak.” Another concert was held in Cleveland, Ohio on March 28, 2023. The soloist was Elena Perroni. 


by Alan Walowitz

Romano-British iron ploughshare. Flat bar with rounded edges tapering to an asymmetrical point at one end, with a flanged socket at the other. —The British Museum

C’mon, we can pray as well as anyone
If we only suspend our disbelief and try. 
The bombs are dropping on a hospital
So we pray, at least, it wasn’t us. 
Is that too much?  Not enough?  If so,
Then let’s go all the way
And pray that the bombs will stop,
Let them be bursting in air, 
The way we’ve always sung 
About them since the time we were young.
Or better yet,
Beaten into ploughshares. 
Though we’ve never known what ploughshares are,
Oh, God, if you’re out there, I swear,
I’m gonna call Amazon and order some.

Alan Walowitz is a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry.  His chapbook Exactly Like Love comes from Osedax Press. The full-length The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems is available from Truth Serum Press. Most recently, from Arroyo Seco Press, is the chapbook In the Muddle of the Night written with poet Betsy Mars. Now available for free download is the collection The Poems of the Air from Red Wolf Editions.


by Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan

"War, what is it good for? Absolutely Nothing."
Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, “War,” 
sung notably by The Temptations and by Edwin Starr.

Mothers Mary, Teresa, and Cabrini were spotted on the # 17 bus, 
headed to the city to go shoe shopping.

Buddha sat cross-legged, waiting for his plane,
while Jonathan Edwards read a magazine.

John Wesley, Bodhidharma, and Mary Baker Eddy
contemplated the meaning of one and two and three.

Krishna looked at his reflection and saw Vishnu looking
back at him chewing bubble gum.

The Dalai Lama and L Ron Hubbard argued politics, 
music, and art while sipping French wine.

Martin Luther marched at the protest, shouting how change is needed, 
and Zoroaster banged his drum.

Mohammed and Moses were searching land surveys
as to where they should build their houses.

Confucius was heard reading from The Analects,
as Lao Tsu was seen in Central Park writing a poem.

Jesus was whispering to his cousin, John the Baptist, 
about today’s newspaper headlines.

Pythagoras put down the math problem to play a game
of chess with St Francis of Assisi.

Ramachandra was seen talking to the incarnation of Mahavira, 
each texting with someone else.

Mani and Guru Nanak wore sunglasses and laughed while
crowning each other in checkers.

George Fox, John Wycliffe, and Joseph Smith debated the alignment
of the stars in Tuyuca.

Adi Shankara and Emanuel Swedenborg played double Dutch
with Baal Shem Tov and Brigham Young.

Helena Blavatsky, Aurobindo, Zarathustra, and Thich Nhat Hanh
practiced downward dog.

Saint Teresa of Ávila listened while William Booth asked
Ramana-Maharshi “Who are you?”

And all the while, all the gods that have ever been, are, and will be,
were busy eating McDonald’s.

Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan is the first woman to be appointed Suffolk County Poet Laureate (2009-2011). She was awarded by the Walt Whitman Birthplace the title of 2017 Long Island Poet of the Year. She has been honored with a Long Island Writers Group Community Service Award and the MOBIOUS Editor-In-Chief’s Choice Award. She is the founder and president of Long Island Poetry & Literature Repository, and the Editor of Long Island Sounds Anthology. She has penned six chapbooks and a children’s book, Would You Hug a Porcupine. Tammy has earned her Ph.D. in Humanities & Culture in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Union Institute & University. Her dissertation was on: The Healing Power of Poetry. She teaches at Long Island University at the C W Post campus.