Poetry

Shoeboxes in the Heart

Shoeboxes in the Heart

There are alcoves in our hearts Hollowed and laying vacant, ours to fill Like boxes which new shoes once came in, Now housing old photographs and mementos Stowed far under the bed, wrapped in shadows. Those shoeboxes, dusty-lidded and hushed, just…

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Judith Staff

Judith Staff’s background is in teaching and early years education. She still teaches occasionally, though now her main focus is in child welfare and safeguarding children. Her work includes delivering training, presenting at conferences, and engaging in collaborative projects with schools around child abuse awareness and sexual violence prevention. She enjoys writing blogs and poetry on topics she feels passionate about. Judith loves running, gym classes and karate. She is married to an art lecturer and they live in Northamptonshire, England with their three free-spirited children, a 12- year-old son, and daughters aged 11 and 9.

Dear Harvey

Dear Harvey

Dear Harvey, you weren’t the one who wronged me. The real life boss who stole my self-worth, my dignity, and put strain on my marriage with your 2 am oh-this-is-about-work phone calls. My stomach turns that anyone would ever think I…

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Dori Owen

Dori Owen is a storyteller, writing from small town Arizona, after living a few decades in California as an LA Wild Child, with a brief stop in Reno. She settled into grownup life as a project manager, collecting an MBA and a few husbands along the way. She is a shown artist and her favorite pastime is upcycling old furniture and decor she finds from thrift stores. She lives with the cat who came to visit but stayed. The love of her life is her grown son who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her essays and poems have been published in RAW&UNFILTERED VOL I, StigmaFighters Vol 2, and Love Notes From Humanity. Her blogs have been featured on The Lithium Chronicles, Open Thought Vortex, Sudden Denouement, and The Mighty.

The Teeterboard

The Teeterboard

Walking by the playground Where my son used to play On endless afternoons. Sliding. Bucket on his head. Pretending He was the Artful Dodger Running a hand across the dragon I noticed Two children on a seesaw Or teeter totter; a…

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Doug Hoekstra

In terms of bio, I'm a Chicago-bred, Nashville-based writer. My first book, Bothering the Coffee Drinkers, appeared on the Canopic Publishing (TN) imprint in April 2006 and earned an Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) for Best Short Fiction (Bronze Medal). Several of the selections in the book appeared in other publications, and one story, “The Blarney Stone” was nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize. Other stories and poems of mine have appeared in numerous online and print literary journals and a second book of prose, The Tenth Inning, was released independently in 2015 In a previous life, I was a singer-songwriter troubadour who released seven albums of original material on labels in Europe and America; performing in the US and Europe at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles, solo and with a band in tow. Highlights included Nashville Music Award and Independent Music Award nominations, lots of Top 10 lists, and many groovy times.

Attraction

Attraction

A distance between belief and science? Are we enlightened? Are we sublime? What is extraordinary? This mermaid of scales and papier mâché or a sand and stone Goliath?  Are you a wonder? Or artful deception? Have you ever gazed upon a…

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Jen Rouse

Jen Rouse’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Poet Lore, Midwestern Gothic, Wicked Alice, Southern Florida Poetry Journal, Yes Poetry, Crab Fat Magazine, Up the Staircase, and elsewhere. She was named a finalist for the Mississippi Review 2018 Prize Issue and was the winner of the 2017 Gulf Stream Summer Contest Issue. Rouse’s chapbook, Acid and Tender, was published in 2016 by Headmistress Press. Find her at jen-rouse.com and on Twitter @jrouse.

Leaving

Leaving

I pull up to the stop sign Will I change my mind? I have done this before And returned once more I sit for a while and stare Remembering the care You so seldom gave You were always so angry Time…

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Mary Penner

Mary Penner has written poetry since the age of ten. She has always enjoyed telling human interest stories through rhyme and has recently begun writing stories in prose form. For twenty-five, Mary was a social worker and educator specializing in family and school counseling. She taught in elementary schools and in universities where she designed and facilitated the Program Planning Course. Mary's poems have been published in three anthologies: including two of Polar Expressions Collections of Canadian Poetry: Let's Fly Away, in 2017; Overture, in 2016. Mary is also a contributing Author in We are the Wordsmiths: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry, 2017 (Albatross Publishing). Also in 2017, Mary was one of the adjudicators of the South Simcoe Arts Council's Creative Works Writing Contest. Most recently, Mary wast the Audience Prompter in the play Saving Grace: A Victorian Melodrama by a fellow Wordsmith member.

Encounter

Encounter

If you encounter my body, it will pretend. Shy smile to stutter, eyes flutter, descend. Online I am open. I spill until arid is slush. My body encountered is hidden and hushed. I can’t speak the truth, but I will write…

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Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola, Florida. She is a knee sock aficionado and a sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked the pages of Luna Luna, Occulum, Anti-Heroin Chic, Ghost City Review, Drunk Monkeys, TERSE, Journal and many other publications. Her chapbook Pink Plastic House is available through maverickduckpress.com

The Quickening

The Quickening

My favorite part of pregnancy was the idea of aliens inside me— limbs prodding beneath layers of muscles parted, tissues stacked tucking essential human elements of me and them together so we could feed off of each other symbiotically. I loved…

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Jesse Albatrosov

Jesse is an emerging poet living and writing in the Central Florida area, with her husband and five children. She moonlights as a seamstress for her Etsy shop and is currently working toward her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English with a concentration on Poetry. Her work is published or forthcoming in THAT Literary Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Mothers Always Write, Press 53's Prime Number Magazine, Streetlight Magazine and others. You can find her online at www.jessealbatrosov.com or on social media.

Mama

Mama

I know you gave it all away Mama, I know this you don’t have to say it Mama, I know you wanted more, you left your past all by yourself you knew that there was a way Oh, gosh Mama you…

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Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson is the Creator and Publisher of Feminine Collective. Julie was inspired to create this safe place for women to share their secrets, desires, triumphs and pain as the antithesis of what mainstream media offers women today. In her column Pursuit of Perfection, she explores the importance of rectifying the balance of inner and outer beauty through essays, poems and articles on self-esteem, shame, family, and self- acceptance.