“Pen-and-Ink: Part 2” by Marlene Lee 

Part 1 of the story is here.           The only language Jim knew for asking someone about themselves was pen-and-ink, so he sat and studied his son’s face.  Today it was a new face.  He thought about how everyone has a slightly new face every day. Just watch someone who’s been away…

“Trees” by Nandika Narang

Palm, Redwood, Oak, Pine, Trees give us so much, Apples, oranges, apricots and lime, Destroying them is a crime. The flow of green, Always a different scene, Forests feel like a beautiful dream. So peaceful yet so filled, Trees are many homes, Trees are birds’ protected domes, Squirrels get oak from the trees, Burrows get…

“Monotheistic Pain” by Walter Bargen

I drive my daughter to a 6 a.m. basketball practice, muttering curses at the coach.  Mid-winter the sun isn’t even suggesting itself yet. My expectations, my habits, a life of routine, place it somewhere on the southern horizon, but the heavy breath of darkness continues to exhale across fields like an overdose that won’t let…

“The Gift of Loving Perfectly Imperfect” by Cindy Georgakas

The hair raises on the nape of my neck, my face squints into condescension, my stomach is twisted like a Navy Seals knot, sucker punched.  My knees buckle, and I fall to the ground when I hear the news that I already knew but so hoped wasn’t true.   I’m carried to sea; lost, confused,…

“Pen-and-Ink: Part 1” by Marlene Lee 

    May I present “Pen-and-Ink” a short story by Marlene Lee. It will be posted in four parts each Friday for four weeks. Enjoy this story about a quiet man who is most alive when he is making pen-and-ink drawings. He has an encounter with his ex-wife, their son, and his son’s fiancée that…

“My Gratitude: How an Owl Woke Me Up” by Barbara Harris Leonhard

Way back in the 1960s, my family moved to Roanoke, Missouri. Dad had accepted a teaching position at Central Methodist College (now a university). He commuted to Fayette, Missouri to teach, and we eventually moved to Fayette. Roanoke was a tiny town with one church, a small country store, and a gazebo for community gatherings….

“extinct in the wild” by Leah Jay

A turn to matters of spiritual guidance is not the talk we thought we’d have. We’d packed our vegan lunches, prepared for comparisons, calipers, scales, slides in microscopes, pencils in notebooks, to discuss breeding populations planned. We arrived at the site, fighting the wind; in tiny fragments lay scattered wet remains glistening jade forms all…

“Missed in Any Weather” by Ken Gierke

“The farthest thing from my mind when I’m chipping away at the frozen layer on my driveway on a typical February morning in Missouri that has as much rain as snow is to wish for more of the same. But here I am on a ninety-six degree day in August wading through heat waves rising…

Poetry Book Review: Gabriela Marie Milton — Dawn Pisturino’s Blog

Please enjoy Dawn Pisturino’s insightful review of Gabriela Marie Milton’s best-selling poetry book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow. Gabriela was the first editor of MasticadoresUSA. Now she has her own publishing house called Literary Revelations Publishing House. I appreciate Gabriela for all she did to build MasticadoresUSA and to trust me with its care. (Photo by…

“Peak of Day” by Joni Karen Caggiano

tender hope wrapped in silk balloons with a blue-ribbon floret on summit smells of cedar, musk, and vanilla mourning life’s emotional buttonsu singing like heron’s hypnotic dance your avocado eyes cast like a movie shield me with ardor sworn eternally my curls signaling nerves to undress as virgin notes soften violin strings within a bed…

“Roles” by Shalini Narang

Various and precious roles in life. Mother, daughter, sister, friend and wife. Sometimes I grapple, how to juggle? Some days seem a struggle. All roles are dear and I wish to tend, But time and energy are finite in the end, Some I see seamlessly roles blend. No easy way for me to navigate this…

“Choice” by Julie A. Dickson

Hidden on kitchen table behind a pillar of salt, she, in buttoned up white blouse with starched collar, pepper remains aside, spice too hot for tongues lashed harshly by his words bitten and chewed up Given a choice between the two, perhaps salt, though I am compelled to forego both, unseasoned. Julie A. Dickson began…

“Twilight State” by Jeff Flesch

I look through you into the vastness of space a mirror washing over time’s bleakness a desperate twilight state categorizing concepts into their proper place along meadows filled with new thoughts and feelings arising within a heart finally open to love’s healing Copyright © 2022 Jeff Flesch All Rights Reserved Jeff Flesch lives in Corvallis,…

“Not Alone” by Barbara Leonhard

Loneliness an illusion we’re always connected by threads of light – dreamt and drawn this webbing cradles our minds our hearts our souls like bones that form a whole we’re not alone if only we can see our connections in time and space without squinting. Copyright © 2022 Barbara Harris Leonhard All Rights Reserved Barbara is…

“Seedlings” by Cindy Georgakas

Seedlings blow in the wind Playing hide and seek. Surprising and dousing us in delight. I remember when I sprinkled those seeds the last time I saw you And cried your name.  I can hear the words as if they were yesterday.  I feel our hearts beat as one. From ashes to ashes we go,…

“The Bittersweet” by Barbara Harris Leonhard

Dancing in midair in delirium  without falling. What holds me – A leaf on a tiny thread of a spider’s weaving? Am I suspended by my dizzying  uncertainty and fear? Or is it  a divine umbilical beam spinning me  in wild joy? Is it both – the tether  of dubiety and divinity? I cling  to…

«O, Thou England!» by Dawn Pisturino

Away, away in a distant land        More green and mild        Than a summer’s day;        More grey and wild        Than an ocean bay, O thou, England! – Verdant isle of my dreams!        Fallen anew        On the ripened arbour,        Sea-mist and dew        Shroud the ocean-harbour: My heart yearns to…

“Starburst Pattern” by Jeff Flesch

nestled together we outfit each other in layers of love enfolded  in arms of passion and hope dripping  from fingers anointed with sensitivity they manifest when close a starburst pattern  traced  over the mind’s eye connected  always  to your heart, and mine Copyright © 2022 Jeff Flesch All Rights Reserved Jeff Flesch lives in Corvallis, Oregon,…