“Conjure” by Dana Ravyn

For those who I have loved, I cannot know
if time has been so fair or cruel to me.
Have thoughts of me just faded long ago,
or held me tenderly in memory?
At night I peel back the waning layers
and coax their voices sweetly to their tongues,
to resurrect the songs of muted players,
the notes unplucked and chords we could have strummed.
The faded faces where their eyes once glowed
stare back from every shadow on my wall.
I’d give up all I’ve hoped and all I’ve known,
if their sighs whispered now and let me fall.
Outside the chains of time their love is free,
but do they ever yearn to conjure me?

Dana Ravyn is a poet, novelist, and educator. She has published a novel (Fearless Heart), a chapbook (Swidden Dreams), and haiku and poetry in print internationally. Her new series of poems will appear in Red Haircrow’s upcoming anthology, Varied Spirits, in early 2023. Dana lives in the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, area.

Two Poems by Daniel Howard


My lively passion’s death do I desire,
For if I cannot make its wildness tame,
I fear to be consumed within its flame,
And perish of my inner heat and fire;
For if she hates or loves me, both are dire:
Her hate my heart would much defile and shame,
Or if she said “I love” before my name,
I’d lose my life, when hers I would acquire;
Therefore I try steadfastly to resist
From looking longingly within her eye,
But even when I see her not nearby,
In each and every thought she does persist;
Thus I am like the fish who bit the bait,
Whose struggle cannot but secure his fate.


If all the flesh and bone of which I’m wrought
Did not detain me on the earth I stand,
But let me reach beyond my outstretched hand
And fly away as if I were but thought;
No more the miles I’d mourn, now come to nought,
That kept us parted like the sky from land,
For I could summon you on my command,
Or think on where you are, and there be brought;
But flesh and bone I am; and though my mind
Can paint your pretty portrait in my brain,
Its pleasant mem’ry brings but present pain,
Such that I wish my inner eye were blind;
But if nor flesh nor thought will let me see
My love, then I would rather nothing be.

Daniel Joseph Howard studied law in his native Ireland before taking his MA in philosophy at King’s College London. He currently works in the European Commission.

“Sonnet on a Shore” by David Gosselin

2022 Pushcart Prize Nominee

2022 Best of the Net Nominee

Cling to your shores timorous denizens!
Brave divers hunt for pearls, but tempered souls
Prefer the quiet shores and shallow shoals
To darkened depths and krakens’ midnight dens.
The diver takes one breath then disappears;
He seeks for treasures lost and found,
And lost again amid the coral-bound
Currents and briny waves and rotten piers.
Oh how I wish I crossed these seas and swam
Before I knew what now I can’t unknow:
But now I dread to swim in depths so dim;
I curse the magic reefs where life began;
I listen to the siren’s song, yet know
I’m safe: I cannot drown—nor can I swim.

David Gosselin is a poet, translator, and linguist based in Montreal. He is the founder of The Chained Muse poetry website and the founder of the New Lyre Podcast. His first collection of poems is entitled Modern Dreams.

“In Residence” by Jane Blanchard

A challenge of dividing time between
two homes arises in the middle of
the night. One wakes up questioning the scene
of somnolence. Is there a fan above
the bed? How heavy are the covers on
the body? Answers indicate the floor
plan one must walk to reach the nearest john
while not relying on night vision more
than absolutely necessary. (Eyes
once open rarely want to close again
for hours.) With luck, one’s better half just sighs,
turns over, goes right back to sleep. A win
comes when one’s self succumbs to slumber and
some sprightly man begins to sprinkle sand.

Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia (USA).  Her work has recently appeared in The Asses of ParnassusThe Ekphrastic ReviewThe North American Anglican, and The Spectator.  Her latest collection with Kelsay Books is In or Out of Season (2020).

“Names” by Sathya Narayana

They’re names, mere graven names on hidden rooms.
They cannot breathe, can’t see, nor feel their skins.
They’re fluid letters on tombs, discharging spumes
of false compassion, over interred sins.
Suffixed were some by noble epithets.
Some names were brands and some synonymous
to crime. Some odd, some bad, some funny sobriquets;
some famed, some strange and few pseudonymous!
The warmth of palms touching the frozen stone
and myriad scents of vivid flowers placed
on tombs, those names, alas, can never own.
They’re wailing souls by worldly scents still laced.
They’re quiet in wait, under the weight of tombs;
frantic to gain fresh names through nascent wombs!
Sathya Narayana has been published in a number of print and web magazines, including The Society of Classical Poets, Westward Quarterly, Metverse Muse Journal, Poets International, Saptagiri, Rock Pebbles, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Better than Starbucks. She resides in India.

“Disgruntled Thoughts After a Fruitless Summer of Job-Hunting” by Linda Ferguson

2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee

My bitterness reveals itself – you see
it on my lips, my mouth a cold pinched fist.
This is not, of course, how I want to be –
like a fern, I long to unfurl in mist,
to blossom in fragrant night without sound –
or to transform from bud to vibrant peach
with a scarlet center – a zing – wrapped round
a core of impenetrability.
But no, I’m me – I spit, shuffle, choke, swat
when I want to buzz, skim, hover and wing
like a nectar-seeking bee, not the wasp,
with its lean stripes and its rapier sting –
turning with precision (a practiced art!)
I strike the tender flesh of my own heart.


Linda Ferguson is an award-winning, Pushcart-nominated writer of poetry, essays, and fiction. Her poetry chapbook, Baila Conmigo, was published by Dancing Girl Press. As a writing teacher, she has a passion for helping students find their voice and explore new territory.