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Pulling Through – Laurie Koensgen

Pulling Through

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. ––– Matthew 19:24

It would take so much work
(forget the gospel metaphor)
to yank a tattered thread
through a fine-eyed needle
or a battered camel
through the last mirage. Continue reading “Pulling Through – Laurie Koensgen”

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1. Requisition, and 2. God, Look At God – Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola

Requisition

And when I say I’m void of self-belief I’m trying to say I don’t live
The answer I’m trying to say I recognize helpless nature I’m trying to say
That I write God in the alfresco mother says he is ubiquitous like air I am a daily
SOS on some other days while I await heaven’s radar I re- arrange my misery
As a response driven to a space on the ocean’s expanse reciting each pain into pebbles
Feeding pebbles to strong currents I hang my scars like petitions around my neck Continue reading “1. Requisition, and 2. God, Look At God – Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola”

The Anger of Water – Kolawole Samuel Adebayo

The Anger of Water

Water rises
With a roar,
Forms a fist of iron
And throws itself at you.
I do not pray to see water angry.
It is mannerless;
Has respect for nothing
But its evil intentions.
Upon the blue sea, Continue reading “The Anger of Water – Kolawole Samuel Adebayo”

Inferno, Cantos I–III – Ryan Napier

Inferno, Cantos I–III

                                                                 I.

In the middle of my life, I lost myself in a dark wood.
I can’t say how I got there: I was on the path, and then I wasn’t. I can hardly even describe the wood. It was dark and dense, and I was afraid.
I wandered all night, first one way, then another, then back again. Every turn led me deeper into the wood. When I stopped to rest, I heard a distant howl, and I set off, almost running. The thick branches shut out the moonlight, and I tripped on roots and skinned my wrists on the stony ground. Continue reading “Inferno, Cantos I–III – Ryan Napier”

1. Suddenly Blind, and 2. The Last Earthly Gift – Charlotte Hamrick

Suddenly Blind

The microwave is beeping in time to the pulse in my head.
My fingernails are splitting, one by one, leaving ragged points
that scratch my numbed face.
I wander from room to room feeling like this house
is a stranger that’s abducted me.
I go days without washing my face or brushing my hair

and I blame the moon. It’s too bright, it’s too big, Continue reading “1. Suddenly Blind, and 2. The Last Earthly Gift – Charlotte Hamrick”

1. In the Dark, and 2. Embracing Vulnerability – David Hanlon

In the Dark

I devise a plan:
I will take you
to places you’ve never seen.
I book my ticket
and we’re off:
jetting across the globe,
the adventure of a lifetime.

We go to New York, Libya, Malaysia,
and now here I am in Italy,
your rounded body Continue reading “1. In the Dark, and 2. Embracing Vulnerability – David Hanlon”

Empyrean Swings – Ashley Bullen-Cutting

Empyrean Swings

what is love if not
catching irrepressible canyons
in calloused hands
breathing homespun winds
into dessicated
labium-gullies

what is love if not
defining impossibility Continue reading “Empyrean Swings – Ashley Bullen-Cutting”

Prayer Book – Victoria Richards

Prayer book

When I was 12 I found a prayer book at a jumble sale
and bought it for the grand sum of 25p.

It had daffodils on the front – a cheery bunch of yellow flowers
and I remember thinking, yellow flowers can only be good

they always make people happy.
And I didn’t feel happy, not very often, not even at the age

of bike rides and cupcakes and sleepovers, Continue reading “Prayer Book – Victoria Richards”

The Polar Express (2004) – Cass Francis

The Polar Express (2004)

now i believe
in animated snow
globes warped
with human
yearning

hidden
behind design
fantasy
computer code
magic Continue reading “The Polar Express (2004) – Cass Francis”

1. Via Negativa, and 2. The Creation Of Man – Tolu Oloruntoba

Via Negativa

A 15-year abacus, a rosary of flint faces,
and an inverted road.
St. Jonah, personal patron, pray for me.
You brother of cowards and fugitives,
welldigger who struck a bedrock
of scorpions every time.

I too have encountered
a rising tide of what could be water,
if it wasn’t paralyzing me from the feet up. Continue reading “1. Via Negativa, and 2. The Creation Of Man – Tolu Oloruntoba”

Rings – Jessica Sequeira

Rings

We hadn’t wanted to go out, had even considered changing our minds with a lateness sure to offend, in order to enjoy the cool inside of the house with its scent of fresh cedar, its hardworking fan. But we mustered the resources we had, slipped on our sandals and passed over the threshold. The invitation had been extended to us with such excitement that there was no choice but to attend, despite our prejudices against classical art and the theatre, here found in the same work. Continue reading “Rings – Jessica Sequeira”

Whoever Wanders The Stratus Glow – Mark Grenon

Whoever Wanders The Stratus Glow

Whoever wanders the stratus glow
chased into niche or crevice
ascends the archives

A dervish’s shivers scan the heavens

A dervish’s scarves and sashes
canvass heaven’s veranda, invade screeds
for ice caverns, car crashes, narcs’ scars, Continue reading “Whoever Wanders The Stratus Glow – Mark Grenon”

So Be It, Amen – Lucas Wildner

So Be It, Amen

We bow our heads before dinner.
He prays; I recite the German
with a hushed voice—
not out of reverence,
but to soften the inevitable slips
from my English-led tongue.

*

When five sat at this table
we held our hands
in front of us Continue reading “So Be It, Amen – Lucas Wildner”

Divine Intervention – Elancharan Gunasekaran

Divine Intervention

Responding to bubble threat.
Vehicle loaded.
Strapped beneath plates.
Moving out.
Location verification required.

East on… static zzzzzzzz
Repeat. Command. Repeat. zzzzzzzzz
East on… static zzz
Cavalry to command: Continue reading “Divine Intervention – Elancharan Gunasekaran”

Lost Sheep – Jeremy Mifsud

Lost Sheep

Churchgoers scan
my microchip;
they ask
if I’m lost,
if I’m a sheep astray.
They point towards your temple—
the one I’m running from.
I tread away Continue reading “Lost Sheep – Jeremy Mifsud”

my god is – Paul Brookes

my god is

imperfect, a perfect image for me.
humbled by its mistakes.

my god is a mistake.
a wrong answer,

differently abled.
its winters often in spring.

its summers sometime in autumn. Continue reading “my god is – Paul Brookes”

One More Lamb, No! This Is The Way It Starts, and Baptism Gone Awry – Elisabeth Horan

One More Lamb

Needles are helpful
In identifying can#$@

As well evilicious
Thoughts I have

Like my husband
Doesn’t love me
He won’t have my baby

Like God is temporary
When I need him Continue reading “One More Lamb, No! This Is The Way It Starts, and Baptism Gone Awry – Elisabeth Horan”

The Baptism – Juliette van der Molen

The Baptism

Sister sings contrition, ripe to believe
in prophet palms, fey fingers. Submission
to a Patriarch plunge— yield and receive.

White out winter, naked lips and eyes. Leave
past sorrows traded for superstition.
Sister sings contrition, ripe to believe. Continue reading “The Baptism – Juliette van der Molen”

Purgatorio, East Peoria – Todd Smith

Purgatorio, East Peoria

Again, the man in the window
wakes from a dream of June bugs:
fragile with heat, they’d thrown
their bodies into trees and split
like skulls. The man said he was
hungry. The sisters still arrive
some evenings with their Bibles
and a roll of toilet paper. Continue reading “Purgatorio, East Peoria – Todd Smith”

Fearsong – Anna Kahn

Fearsong

If I try to sing from the silence thoughts of G-d come out sometimes
but I have never
worshipped and meant it.
Nobody has dared ask me to.
I’ve sung higher powers, let strangers
lick the metallic holy off the air around me,
it is sanctifying to make
a space for the devout to cry into,
but I have never
meant.                                                        Once down the pub Continue reading “Fearsong – Anna Kahn”

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