Latest Poems


The thunder rumbles in the distance.
The sky gets dark, we all huddle in.
Except for one.
She ventures out into the storm, because she knows
You have to get rained on
To be clean.

Ava Koerner

Dear God


I’ve spent a lot of time
Mostly alone.
I’ve sat in a lot of parks
With a lot of books
And a lot of strangers.
I’ve walked a lot of streets
In a lot of shoes
On a lot of sidewalks
I’ve spent a lot of time
Looking to the sky
Tipping my chin
drinking from the clouds
Lots of times.
It never gets old.


Blessed is the woman
Who sees God in the sun.
Blessed be the girl
Who sees God in grayness.
Blessed is the soul
Who sees God behind closed eyes
Shut doors
In the rain.
Blessed is the soul
Who wants no proof
Only God.


Dear God
I feel like I know you
At long last.
I see you when I wake up
A quilt draped over the Earth
You’re in the rays of sun
That filter through the clouds

On the greyest day
You sit in the space between
You fill us up
With grace and love.
I trust you.
Please guide me.

Ava Koerner


Hope is a thing
That’s not got a lot
To do
With feathers.
Hope squats in dark corners
Strikes a match
Holds heat within you.
Hope sticks like a barb
Unable to let go
But why does it hold on?

Ava Koerner

For Life

On this day
I could ask for anything.
I could ask for love,
For peace,
For light.
Instead, I sit on my chair
And give thanks
For life.

Ava Koerner

Osaka Impressions

It had been forty years since I had seen a cigarette vending machine. 

It sat on the street with the other automats, 
outside a shop with narrow stairs,
in a neighborhood of close-cropped pines, 
sliding partitions between tatami floors, 
claustrophobic fiberglass baths,
and heated-seat high-tech toilets.

A short walk further on, workers in smart dark uniforms waved off 
precisely-timed trains packed with salarymen and shoppers 
from covered arcades of overbright fake food, 
costly dishware, clothes, cosmetics,
all still mesmerized by neon and flashing lights. 

Christina E. Petrides


We are imperfect friends, you and I—
each occasionally disrupting the other’s plans, 
sources of periodic irritation and frequent bewilderment. 
I did not imagine that our long-anticipated parting would discomfit me so. 
I am scared.
I had thought about your leaving in abstract terms, 
but now we know the day.
You are busy tidying, tying up loose ends, 
meeting people for what could be the last time, 
expressing grave thanks.
Insomnia lurks near my bed.
It waits for me to conclude my evening ritual 
and compose myself for sleep.
Then, it settles in beside me,
all sharp elbows and stage whispers,
filling the space and hours with worry 
about how my life will look alone.

Christina E. Petrides


A red silk goldfish swims at the window 
overlooking our central roundabout
filled with wandering white rental cars
and gurgling island buses that sink
to rest at several transfer stops.
Schools of pedestrians flash
green bottles and shiny bags
as they glide along the sidewalks.
Delivery motorbikes dart through
the traffic and the crowds.
Old men slowly pick up litter from
among the rocks and beneath the trees 
undulating with the traffic current.

Christina E. Petrides


The pitted date squeezed
between mismatched pecan halves
dares the nut meats to blunt
its desert sweetness.

Christina E. Petrides

Slow Dance with Dawn

Sometimes, at the break of dawn
when the sky slowly blinks awake
and the world is soft color

All I know is love.

I look at the glow
the greatness.
the vast expanse
the practiced dance

of sun meets sky
meets clouds, meets highs

but on days where the sky
won’t love me back
won’t paint me gold
won’t bathe me pink –

I hold myself up to the sky
and offer it my smiles
my hands, my songs
and I love it still
and I let it know

that a few days
of subtle glow will get me through
if a few days
of my love, will work for you

Aalia Waqas


I see you,
downcast eyes
steeled, a shield
to disguise
wounds unhealed.

I feel you
on the edge,
wedged between
and aspiration.

I hear you
try to excise
and minimize
your violation
with negation.

I watch your
stature, refined,
your ragtag shadow
shuffling behind,

I see you as a
seed, your need
mud-caked, scraped,
raked across
a field of weeds.

I sense your borrowed
calm, see your totem rune
in your fisted palm,
hear your mournful
tune and whispered psalm.

Only in anxious dreams
with blurred cognition,
pain uncaged, you grant
yourself permission
to scream and rage.

Jean Fineberg


I lift you
from your velvet bed,
your heft welcome in my hand.

Your brass skin
sports a patina earned from
so many choruses of the blues.

My fingers settle into
gig-worn grooves
on your mother-of-pearl keys.

Our papery interface,
today’s fickle reed,
invites a timbric challenge.

A Ray Charles love song,
an Ellington tapestry,
a Cannonball romp.

We bellow and wail,
deconstructing Cold Sweat,
inventing new notes.

You are the sacred voice
of pain
and protest.

You speak my irreverence
with howls that would singe the air
if voiced in words.

Come earthquake or fire,
I’ll grab my cat,
and you.

Jean Fineberg


Beware the fiend we fear and yet embrace
The tiny voice that hisses in your ear
The one which even time cannot erase
The one which second guesses your career

“The words you write are really not your own
They’ve all been written many times before
Your paintings and your melodies are clones
What makes you think your pieces will endure?”

Why spend another hour, another year
To add your voice to those who met the beast
Compelled to tell the world that you were here
Your muse invoked, Calliope unleashed?

If you believe you’re born to do this work
Fulfill your destiny and do not shirk

Jean Fineberg


Yesterday I fed my mother applesauce.
She smiled but she didn’t eat. Today
she lies dying in my arms, frail as a fawn.

I want my young mother who cradled me,
braided my hair, played four hands on the
piano. I want my young mother who
embarrassed me teaching square dancing
at my middle school. I want her to come
again to my graduation and tell everyone
I was first in our family to go to college.
I want her to sit in the front row at my concerts.
I want her to meet her granddaughter and sit
in the front row at her piano recitals.

I shout these things
in my car
in the shower
in my bed

I want, I want, I want

I tell my daughter, when I’m dying,
please feed me applesauce.

Jean Fineberg


Sometimes, when the fog
descends like the credits
of a film noir movie,

I put on your black sweater,
your long black raincoat,
take your black umbrella,

and walk by the East River,
pretend it’s the Thames, the
Brooklyn Bridge is London Bridge.

I amble past the clocksmith,
gaze at broken cuckoo clocks,
pendulums waiting to swing again.

I peek into the pet store, and
every black kitten is “Midnight”
starting another life.

I stop in a café, order black tea and
a tart, write glum sonnets and hope
I don’t run into your new wife.

Jean Fineberg


Against my pale belly the kitten
we saved is small and looking
away from the phone you hold
out to us, capturing the moment,
my naked torso only between us.
In an hour it will be
a new year.

Earlier we had been out to Bay St. Louis,
broken trees dotting the shore
and docks stretching into the empty
sea and a horizon
colorless and turgid.
Many months later and we could
still feel the violence of the storm
and when we left there were others
arriving to the beach to dig in it
and to make pits for their bonfires.
Already solitary fireworks
dotted the sky here and there
as we pulled out in our rented car
to make it back to be with the kitten
for the new year.

Practice at making a family
we would never make,
but I am smiling with the kitten
comfortable in my arms
the way she almost never was later.
When the new year came
I don’t even remember if we kissed.


Andrew Decker


Oma, my grandmother,
drinks her tea
from an old green mug
with a crack down the side.

People give her new mugs,
mugs with happy faces, flowers,
polka dots,
bright red mugs.

She puts them on the topmost shelf
and continues to clutch her old one,
whose crack matches
the warm brown tea.

Betsy Martin


I glide down Main,
my black Kawasaki
a sleek, muscular steed.

The wind embraces me.

Some men leer
from a pickup truck, lips
curled back from their teeth

My face is the face
of the moon in a helmet,
reflective, softly glowing.

Betsy Martin


There is no suitcase, no cabin baggage to pack.
No air ticket, no hotel booking to be locked in.
There is no fear of red-eye. When my poems
globe-trot, a part of my longstanding love affair
with myself travels with them. They carry my
flavors, my failures.

Sanjeev Sethi

A Girl In The Rain

a girl in the rain
walks on the street
pink shoes
on the top of her head

inside her dress
on her body
she has
pink bra
pink panties

but you cannot see them
even though she is
in the rain
with pink shoes
on the top of her head

Suchoon Mo


He is the abstract of his drawings.
Nightmares are blank canvases. He
passions direction to fill in where
the common have no knowledge.
The frame is a restriction, but like
stonewalls, they set a boundary to fulfill
Sleep steals the moment of the brush.
He awakens with color and depth,
stretching out dreams into static images.
He suffers
the pain of indecision. His hands were
born with talent, a gift from angels.

Roger Singer