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Poetry Unplugged

Mrs K


My plants are the nicest people I know.

They are not questioning or anxious

As children are. Each spring my hydrangeas

Erupt into lavender tinted snow mounds in the bed

Perfectly situated along my home’s south side

Bordering a swath of weedless St. Augustine turf

The yard boy keeps trimmed and watered—immaculate.

Their perfume permeates the house all open-windowed summer.

My ajuga causes me no heartache and my caladiums

Are not refractory. They do not mock me for the way

Lipstick laps over thinning lips or for the wrinkles

That frame gray eyes below my horn-rimmed lenses.

And if spider mite or chinch bug threaten to cause harm

They can always be controlled with a dose of Malathion.

I long for the purple silence of the wandering Jew—

A silence so much easier than the fretful, scoffing

Voices of the son and daughter who pull away from

The ministrations of my cultivating hands.



Donald Carlson lives in Texas. His poems have appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Blue Unicorn, The Road Not Taken, and more. His collaborative volume of poetry, with Timothy Donohue and Dennis Patrick Slattery, is Road Frame Window, published by Mandorla Press.

Colored in Vermilion


No Buddhist

Can make the universe



They can only say

The void is here and there and



Or pull out the

Common thread

That binds

All things together

In your head


And let the trillion,

Trillion, separate

Things in black and white

Show themselves,

All colored in vermilion.



Joseph Nolan’s poems have been published in the Sacramento Voices Poetry Anthology, Poetry Now, Collisions V, Medusa’s Kitchen, and elsewhere. His three books, Human Grace, Cats Can’t Use Straws, and Sky Gardens, are available on Amazon.



Across the wadi pines

droop in the stagnant air

heavy with foreboding

no branches stir.


The wadi is undisturbed

by twitter, chirp or trill;

The sky does not soar with swallows

or stoop with kestrel,

no sparrows flutter in the hollows

nor warbler nor finch, not a bird:

The wadi is still.


Do the birds hide from the heat

the oppressive steel-grey sky?

Or do they sense the Middle East

poised like a crouched cat on tense feet

waiting for things to fly?


Do they feel this uneasy dread,

Do they scan the dull skies overhead,

can they see evil before us?

Or are these just thoughts of a fevered brain

that will disperse come the cooling rain

and the dawn chorus?



Judy Koren’s poems have appeared in Israeli literary magazines, Lighten Up Online, and The Road Not Taken. She lives in Israel and is President of the English-language poetry society, Voices Israel.

I cannot be lonely


while eating spaghetti; it requires too much

attention.* And I can’t help but smile while shoving

a powdered doughnut in my face. My sense of illusory

superiority quite vanishes while gobbling corn on the cob,

half-masticated kernels lodged between my teeth,

butter and salt dripping down my chin. Also, I find that I

lose myself trying to recall the ingredients to abuelita’s

mole sauce: herbs, spices, chiles, nuts, seeds, chocolate.

I try not to laugh pronouncing Worchester Worcestershire

sauce. And sometimes, when I’m lucky, I knead words

into a stretchy, gluten ball, where they transform and rise.


*embedded line by Christopher Morley



Lara Dolphin is a chocolate addict, slacktivist, and determined dreamer. A recovering attorney, novice nurse and full-time mother of four, she divides her time between looking for lost Legos and breaking up pool-noodle-related combat.

Fly in a Urinal


Take heart my little friend

with all six legs astir

in this foul and brackish brine,

for on bended knee

I implore the ancient Tithonus

whose name I recall from Mythology 101

in which I pulled a “C,”

an elective taught by old Miss Furdlow

whose didactic paroxysms would set

the mole upon her upper lip aquiver.

But time is running out

as I now remember from a desultory

thumbing of the heavy tome with

uncreased spine the night before finals

that, alas, Tithonus was but a minor god

with few stripes upon his vest and nary

an epaulette upon his shoulders,

a once Prince busted down

to a buck private, if you will,

and turned into a grasshopper.

But time is short and perhaps this gentleman

who views askance my puny attempts

to snare your feeble legs with this coat hanger

is today of eleemosynary heart

and will spare me a moment’s use

of that fine hat he wears.

But hark!

Is that not mirth that lights his face,

a smile of scorn that stretches from ear to ear?

Do I not hear laughter, a baritone resounding

stall to stall,

mocking Tithonus and a life imperiled?

Too late, my friend, too late!

Go join Tithonus in the meadow.

The gentleman has unzipped!



Gayle Compton’s stories, poems and articles have been published in numerous journals and anthologies.  He lives in Pike County, Kentucky, with his wife Sharon.

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