Refuge

by Fabrice Poussin

It is hard to catch up with the character she plays
running from word to word, passing a period
down to another paragraph to the end of a chapter
so eager she is to reach the grand finale of her own story.

Always she wants to close the cover and find refuge
within the sheets of the unfinished romance
in a perilous cliff-hanger safe from the rest of us
alone in the dark corner of our unwanted thoughts.

Timid to the outsider she never looks from the page
dark spectacles give shelter to those disturbing gazes
hearing not a sound, she awaits the moment
when she too will commune with her dreams.

Peace is the only aim of this trembling soul
once trapped in the vise of a frenzied mob
life flows in her crimson rivers as in torrents
and all she wanted was an instant with her knight.


Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.

Inkling To A Stranger

by Heather Bellinger

Light curves like a question mark
as it enters a stranger’s mouth.

It dives, like a confident downstroke,
and commas to kiss the tongue.

It soothes the throat with assonance,
alliteration, drops ellipses of rhyme,
reminding him he’s more than a forlorn epithet.


Heather Bellinger is a recent Corban University graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in English. She enjoys writing poetry of all sorts, flash fiction, and plays, and can be found roaming around in bookstores, theatres, or her kitchen pantry as she attempts another British dessert. She plans to continue writing as she pursues teaching, graduate school, and theatre.

One Night At Barry’s Nightclub

by John Grey

I was intrigued by
an asymmetrical surface
shaped by the quirks
of ancestral DNA.

A combination of forehead,
cheeks, ears, nose, mouth
and chin
with a neck base,
and bordered by long brown locks.

It operated with some kind
of hinge mechanism,
because it proved capable
of both looking in my direction
and then turning completely away.

The back view
was smooth, covered over,
and far less detailed.
It wasn’t capable of smiling.
Or of much beyond a resounding “No.”


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.

My Ticking Clock

by Salma A. Razak

It ticks, then talks. Reaps then sow.
Breathes when borrowed. And lives at the batteries he offers.
Counts the twelve hours as twenty four.
Allows him to see it glow. Wonders when it will grow.
But then again, it’s just a clock.
Always doing its tricks and then talks.
Living in batteries and hopes.
Waiting for the touch from his soul. And I fix it when it stops.
Watch it leak when it develops a hole.
It may be old but it’s strong.
It must be worn out but it’s proud to survive this long.
He gave me suggestions though. When he saw it in its cracked form.
Ideas that makes it whole.
Encouraging me to create for it a voice.
“Trick then talk,” whispers this old worn clock.
“Give me a voice, to speak to this boy. Make this hope grow and allow me to glow. For I want to roar even when my voice is small. Allow me to talk. Allow him to know.”

Tick and tock. That is the sound it spoke once the boy saw it in its new form.
It clicked and then spoke, when he focused on its voice. My eyes fixed on his, waiting for his respond. Knowing that my clock has chosen him to be its eternal hope.


Salma A. Razak is a day job customer service agent and an owl writer during her free time. A book reviewer and a writer of romance genre that enjoys combing other genres along her stories. She enjoys reading books, Manga and listening to musics that has meaning to it. Although she’s the shy type, she loves to communicate.

Roosters of Hawaii

by Hardarshan Singh Valia

Wild roosters
Crowing
On beaches
Around hotels
In parking lots
Amidst lush forests
Majestic mountains
Deep valleys
And plain fields.

Could it be
Cry of the displaced beings
Longing for the lost homes
Or songs of freedom
On finding new homes?

Poet, within tourist,
Trying to discern
Mood and attitude
Of a displaced rooster
While packing bags
For a return flight
To the distant homeland.


Hardarshan Singh Valia is an Earth Scientist. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in journals such as River babble, Poetic Medicine, Sage-ing, Bitterroot, Urthona, Hub and in books entitled Undeniably Indiana (Indiana University Press), Diamonds-75 Years of Indiana Poetry –An ISFPC Anthology, A Magic Hour Family Christmas, and Hoosier Horizon.