“Boiling Water” by Julie A. Dickson

Before ant traps, poison, or other means, Mother boiled water, carried the steaming pot outside to the unsuspecting ant hill. To my horror   scalded, and dead ants would float away in rivulets from the sandy pile, my mother defensively said   “too many ants in the world”.  In my child’s dreams   I heard…

“Peace” by Michelle Navajas

and just when you thought solitude is what you need to live and survive what if, it’s but a mere illusion? in fact, there isn’t stillness in seclusion? there isn’t freedom in liberation? there isn’t hope in ambition? ‘cos, no matter what you do the war is in your head the rage is in your…

“Hold on to that Dream” by Dawn Pisturino          

To hold a dream in our hearts is a means of survival – HOPE which buoys the human spirit And comforts the troubled soul; A mighty fortress in which to hide from daily cares; Or a foothold when we stumble and fall. You were my dream in difficult years: A shining arrow pointing the way;…

“Battlefields and Greenhouses” by Nancy Jo Allen

            Mathew Brady photographed the Civil War hiring help to develop and print. Brady had a studied eye for subject matter,   depth of field, sharp focus, composition,   and emotion, we all learned.  I knew him first by his reputation,   for the fact that his photographs won awards.   So as war loomed, Mr….

“Shakers & Movers” by Walter Bargen

Their belt-tightening sexuality, Shakers shaking nothing, drove them to orgiastic fervor in church, leaving their sweet arias behind the barn. They didn’t get past the nineteenth century. No t-shirt popping movers here, no tensed biceps, washboard abs, sweaty brows, orgasmic grimaces of moving, down and upstairs, in and out of the back of the rental…

“Winter Wonderland Love” by Cindy Georgakas

Winter chills of love, my warm heart beating, stops.   Love lost, scars protect, Kindling stokes fires.   I read through the empty lines. Verses, stand alone, only for the taking.   Flesh torn open and exposed, nobody wins.   This languished love isn’t for the faint of heart, nor for those who believe in…

“LET ME FADE” by Madhavi Karri

I have lingered long in the cozy arms Of a darkness so disarming Where secrets hug me Close to their bosom I have reveled long in the snarl Of a solitude so soothing Where broken breaths tattoo Timeless rhythm of yearning Let me fade just a little longer Into the spreading shadows That wait for…

Hidden in Childhood – Full Cover Reveal and Preface — Short Prose

What a great day – when MasticadoresUSA is honoring youth – to share the news of the upcoming publication of Gabriel Marie Milton’s new anthology, Hidden in Childhood. This highly anticipated anthology is ready to launch in late January 2023. I would like to share Gabriela Marie Milton’s post about the book and her preface….

“Mom’s birthday” by Nandika Narang

MasticadoresUSA is celebrating young writers today. We encourage all the blossoming authors and hope we attract submissions from many more. We happily present Nandika’s poem dedicated to her mother, Shalini Narang. Mom’s Birthday Your strength shines inside and out, When giving us wisdom or running about- The house to make it the best. You deserve…

“Handwriting” by Ann Privateer

I heard it said That therapy  Can be wonderful  My task was To write a letter To my mother First with my Dominant hand Then with the other Then I became  A child, learning To write in tears. Copyright © 2022 Ann Privateer All Rights Reserved Ann Privateer is a poet, artist, and photographer. She…

“Cold Storage” by Terry Allen

You want to see your father, my mother said, as both a statement of fact and a question. My brother said no, and I said yes, after all, I’d flown over 2,000 miles to be there, and so we waited outside a gray door until we were allowed to enter a larger room than I…

“A View Anew” by Barbara Leonhard

Fear cripples and blinds as 2022 wanes to a whimper of arthritic joints and failing eyesight. Is anyone else exhausted by nonsensical injury that December will review? The sparring Naked Kings hoard bitcoins. Push souls out of the Cloud. Shred decency into rags. Distill water into poison. Fight over center stage. Pack their coffers with…

“New Year Resolutions” by Shalini Narang

Each new year, we think up new resolutions, Conveniently forgetting last year’s dissolutions. Unfulfilled promises, made quietly or with elocution, In rare cases, leading to true and lasting evolution. Why are pledges easy to make? But easier to break? Words are simple to say and fake. True test via deeds is no piece of cake….

“MY SONG” by Francisco Bravo Cabrera

(Listening to Cliff Jordan…….) Can I speak to the morning and tell the sun where he should rise? Can I travel to the origins of the sea, the place of her birth, and walk beneath her deep, deep waters, and within the darkness gaze upon her face? Can I see beyond the gates of death…

“Courage Resurrects” by Jeff Flesch

I’ve come from afar another galaxy of stars away take shape in the sights, and sounds of the night a mirror image the fabrics and scents of you a remembrance of all that was once good and new take my heart into another dimension of space a place where light enters into the cavity of…

“how not two” by Leah Jay

Cosmos and earth are not two              knowing this, I swim past              the edge of the shallows Earth and body are not two              knowing this, I handfast myself              to a twisting willow Body and mind are…

“Poetry and Shrimp” by Julie A. Dickson

         nod to The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy Before I knew of the prince in an unfamiliar low land, I already loved poetry and books. Then I heard his words spoken like whispers at low tide, a fishing net was thrown over me, dragging me into the boat with writhing shrimp…

“Warm Holiday Wishes” from Barbara Leonhard

This is the time of year when we celebrate many occasions. I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all of you as you gather for spiritual and emotional renewal, as you light candles, enjoy traditional foods, exchange gifts, and reconnect with family and friends to celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s. The…

“Where Shall We Go” by Dawn Pisturino                                                                                                                         

Where shall we go since the old home place is gone? Mama’s gone, and papa’s gone; All the little children have long-since grown And live in the city with children of their own. Tell me, where shall we go For birthdays and Christmas and Sunday stew? Grandma is gone; the recipe she knew For blueberry…

“SMILE OF GRATITUDE” by Madhavi Karri

Pebble moon Peers through Palm fronds lattice Paper lanterned Peerless night sky Perfumed in prayers Silence sings Sweet serenade To the stoic sky Moon meshed magic Mingles with my breaths A mellifluous music Hum of heavens Hides in my heart Hope thrums high Drops of starlight Drip into my eyes Deep in my dreams I…