“White-Breasted Nuthatch” by Charles Weld

Agile as a yogi, and with a squirrel’s ability
to run head first down the trunk of a tree,
this over-dressed bird—white tie and gray cutaway—
doesn’t let spruceness get in the way
of continual snacking which usually means snatching
a seed from a tray, retreating to a branch
to wedge it in a crevice, and dispatch it
there by hacking or hatching with a bill like a hatchet.
I’ve heard that nuthatches are also good at catching
falling mast in midair, a handy talent in nut avalanche
years. Their yank yank has the clarity of a coxswain’s
command, calling us, as autumn begins
its work on the woodland, to pull hard, not numb
or otherwise try to escape from what we know is to come.



Charles Weld has appeared in many literary magazines: Snakeskin, Southern Poetry Review, The Evansville Review, Worcester Review, Tampa Review, CT Review, Friends Journal, Vita Brevis, Better Than Starbucks, etc. Pudding House published a chapbook of his poems, Country I Would Settle In, in 2004. Kattywompus Press published another chapbook, Who Cooks For You? in 2012. His poems were included in FootHills Publishing’s anthology Birdsong in 2017. A retired mental health counselor/administrator now working part-time in an agency treating youth, Charles lives in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

“Parkinson’s, Stage Four” by Celine Low

Beside my bed an old black and white picture: she, veiled
white against my black suit, we stand
back against the world.

I gave her my world. She was not afraid
to take it. She made it
hers. I seeded her garden and grow

reversed, sinking
into earth, limbs sick
with black spots.

Sometimes the head shakes, cries
against my will. I will
be dead soon. When I began

to wet the bed she began
to need her own space.
On the bed I’m still

leaving a hole
for her in the crook
of where my arm was.


first appeared in Literary Yard



Celine Low is a nomad writer, painter, dancer and bathroom-singer. She holds an MA in English Literature, and her writing is either published or forthcoming in the Muddy River Poetry ReviewFifty Word StoriesOne Sentence PoemsBALLOONS Literary Journal, and 9Tales from Elsewhere, among others. You can find her on Instagram @_ckye.

“The College Boys” by Robert Nisbet

We courted manhood, ten years on
from urchinhood, and that wide
green playing field sloping down
from Barn Street Primary for Boys.
We wore cords now, sometimes smoked pipes,
graced cafés with our suave mid-
morning selves. The future, like a
ripening nut, was still to be, to be.
But progress, high degree, were all.
My stories, when I talked of them,
lay in a pool of puzzlement.
And then, years on, my stories drew
first breath. Now, these last few
months, I’ve met two of those boys,
who’ve really had (and I’m glad for them,
glad for them) success and high degree.
But my stories they knew too (mothers

and sisters had sent them on, of course).
They talked of them with affection,
with the pleasure people seem to feel
when a boyhood friend has cheeked
the beak, has cracked a conker on
the swot’s knuckles, in some way kept
the faith, the faith of urchinhood
remembered – and that wide green field



Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who once read for an American President, when ex-President and poet Jimmy Carter was guest of honour at the opening of the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea in 1995. Nisbet is a Pushcart Prize nominee for “Cultivation” (Sparks of Calliope, 2019).

“A Girl Left Behind” by Madlynn Haber

A crow’s feather lands on the path I walk
calling for me to write about my father,
to play with pain, poking an old wound,
watching it bleed, again.

That wound oozes a sticky sweet sadness.
He was my lonely soul’s romantic calling.
I am tears and clenched fists.

On nights when the moon is covered
by translucent clouds, I remember
his leaving in a yellow taxi.

I weep for the girl I was.
The one left behind.



Madlynn Haber lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.  Her work has been published in the anthology Letters to Fathers from Daughters, in Anchor Magazine, Exit 13 Magazine and on websites including: A Gathering of the Tribes, The Voices Project, The Jewish Writing Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Mused Literary Review, Hevria, Right Hand Pointing, Mothers Always Write, Mum Life Stories, Random Sample, and Club Plum Literary Journal. You can view her work at www.madlynnwrites.com

“The Geography of Age” by Maurice O’Sullivan

We age with grit and sometimes grace.
As time and wisdom forge our face,
We rest assured that it will show
A life well lived on earth’s plateau.
But when I see the mirror’s truth,
That lost geography of youth,
With East and West now shifting South,
And tighter lines around my mouth,
A Northern pole of thinning hair—
Recalling Prufrock’s unasked dare—
I know that image staring back
Cannot be me. No, not that wrack.
No topographical relief
Can shake my firmly held belief
That no tectonic shift that vast
Could so unterraform my past.

I know my zenith lies ahead
Beyond those fault zones I now dread.
Perhaps some glowing distant star
Will offer me an avatar.
My molecules transmogrified,
My mind now free to be my guide,
I’ll soar, defying time and space,
My ashes resting in their vase.


Maurice O’Sullivan, a former teamster, jail guard and pub owner, is an award-winning teacher, editor, columnist, and film maker who lives in Orlando, Florida. His most recent book, Have You Not Hard of Floryda, is a survey of 300 years of Florida’s colonial literature.

“The Unwashed Monologue” by Joel Schueler

You can relax.
This isn’t another poem
about love. Nor of pursuits
for that end, nor is it about loveless

that’s a lie.
Actually it is.
Should I part ways
with concealed knowledge
of the planets or a faraway star
and send them on their way
to the cochleae of sweet ears
you possess to impress
you with my secret life
as an unfledged amateur scientist,
then arouse your mind
by filling it
with scientific questions of the day?
Should I tell you
of my recent infrequent exercise
that may have slightly toned
a hidden body beneath baggy clothes?
Do you seek out truth
on your own or do you require a nudge?
How much do you really want the truth at all
if all it serves to do
is make us both worse off.
Have you been fooled by many men before
who have put up a brilliant front
in their own concealment of
behavioural nasties and hapless insecurities.
If so, did you like them anyway?
Did you like that they had lied
so desperate for your kiss?
Would you have preferred they had
told their truth
all along
getting them nowhere,
anywhere but here,
listening to my monologue.

There is no resolution;
no happy ending to this poem.
I just want your truth
can you help with mine?

I thought about ending the poem there,
I probably normally would,
but some force kept me on.

I don’t know where this poem is going anymore.
To tell you the truth
I never really did.
I will not ask you to help with it.
Just do me this honour, if you will:
to ask to watch you in your element
would seem too clichéd (this is a poem remember,
or at any rate that is how it has dressed today.)

‘I thought you said it was a monologue,’ you say.
I told you I was
never much good
at this business
of telling the truth,
and you cannot interrupt me,
this is a monologue.

Instead what I ask of you
is to show me where your work finds you
or to take me on a trip to a passionate pastime
of yours
I will watch;
help me
help me.


first appeared in Blognostics



Joel Schueler has published works in over ten countries in over forty publications including Pennsylvania Literary Journal & The Brasilia Review. From London, he has a BA (Hons) in English Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. https://www.joelschueler.com

“Amor Vincit Omnia” by Terence Culleton

The wind is much too high not to remind
the shutters of their winter’s worth of speech,
which they revive today as if to find
the one conclusion they all failed to reach
in their crude chatter-clash against the siding
throughout the tedious months. Who’d listen now
as logic yields to bird-song? Such confiding
relies on atmospherics anyhow.
Against the sudden flowers red and blue
it seems a cavil. Winter’s nihilism,
compelling to the eye, turns hardly true
when May converts the eye to solipsism,
that kind cradle-rock of prayer and song
that can’t be, by its own light, ever wrong.



Terence Culleton is a former Bucks County (PA) Poet Laureate, a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, and recipient of First Honorable Mention in the 2019 Helen Schaible International Traditional Sonnet ContestTerence has published two collections of formally crafted narrative and lyric poems, A Communion of Saints (2011) and Eternal Life (2015), both with Anaphora Literary PressPoems from his forthcoming collection of sonnets, A Tree and Gone (FutureCycle Press), have recently appeared in Antiphon, The Lyric, The Eclectic MuseInnisfree, The Road Not Taken (including Feature Poem), Blue Unicorn Review, and Raintown Review. 

“Sparks” by Stephen Kingsnorth

So many, why, start verse with I ?
Experience may be known to me,
give reason further to explore,
but campanologist in tower,
climb ivory, or ring a bell?

Do words speak, franca, as streets find?
For some the ABBA rhyme appeals –
as final Mamma Mia note,
the winner takes all, breathless throat,
fast dying strain, ghost harmony.

Some schemes, with weighed abandon, blank –
but does the metric measure dance,
sway words enhance sung melody?
Do vowels yawn, evoke a wow,
while consonants consent or bite?

Though prompted, observed image, phrase,
the sparks of Calliope spray,
and winding ways, yet hidden paths
lead unplanned course on stranger tracks.
By writing on the wall, theme changed.

Are letters so tight tracked in space,
the deficit in meaning spent?
Or parables entice, unknowns
inviting wrestle, struggle, squirms?
Does wisdom pose print erotemes?



Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 150 pieces published by online poetry sites, including Sparks of Calliope, printed journals and anthologies. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/

“The Candy Seller” by Satyananda Sarangi

Twenty one summers later, I found him again,
Traces of familiarity bloomed; one brought
Me a glimpse of children savouring candy floss,
Others drew me close to informal songs I sought
To learn from his classic collection often thought
As plain; each composition in itself a train
Of emotions halted by ear-shattering clangs
Of the school bell. A broad, triumphant smile across
His sun-kissed face, his clothes without the slightest stain
Betrayed his customers; and an every-day loss
Became the price of kindness, selling free of cost
In exchange of happy, bubbling faces around.
And his neatly-crafted songs, untouched by the pangs
Of hunger, of meagre livelihood, of years lost
In spreading a wave of benevolent love, still sound
The same, merrier than all words I’ve ever crossed.



Satyananda Sarangi is a young civil servant by profession. A graduate in electrical engineering from IGIT Sarang, his works have been featured in The Society of Classical Poets, Snakeskin, Page & Spine, Glass: Facets of Poetry, WestWard Quarterly, The GreenSilk Journal and elsewhere. Currently, he resides in Odisha, India.

“On the Beach at Abbotts Lagoon” by David Rosenthal

Point Reyes, California

Waking up, remembering where I am,
I try to get my bearings as I stand.

The brown pelicans shadow broken waves,
while snowy plovers dart along the strand.

Staring out at a fraction of an ocean,
glancing down at a million grains of sand,

I let my eyes adjust to what’s around me,
and shake the nap I’d only halfway planned.

originally appeared in The Wild Geography of Misplaced Things (White Violet Press, 2013)

David Rosenthal lives in Berkeley, California, and works as a teacher and instructional coach in the Oakland Unified School District. His poems and translations have appeared in Rattle, Teachers & Writers Magazine, Birmingham Poetry Review, Measure, Raintown Review, Unsplendid, and many other print and online journals. He has been a Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award Finalist and a Pushcart Prize Nominee. His collection, The Wild Geography of Misplaced Things, was released by Kelsay Books in 2013.