Each issue has a new theme - take a look at previous issues below and click to read them all!
DECEMBER 2020 = CELEBRATION
NOVEMBER = AUTUMN
Winter’s Healing Music
Solemn times and harsh truths
A spreading virus without a cure
But the first rain of the year
And the children’s winter cheer
Defy this somber weather
And kill the impending premiere
We smile in gayous joy
And dance our souls free
To the beat of raindrops
And the mellow blows of a breeze
We dance and dance
Drenched in soft melodious glee
Celebrating a life well lived
As it should be
The season of good cheer they say,
to me, it just seems manic.
Everyone begins to rush
and calm turns into panic.
Global warming, guns and hate,
doesn’t make the greed abate.
People starve and babies die,
whilst Santa flies across the sky.
Let’s show our love a different way,
with things we do and what we say.
Try to stretch it though the year,
instead of just one day of cheer!
Live to Celebrate Another Day
Celebration with a sad heart;
families staying far apart
for the safety of the whole.
Only the selfish look for a loophole.
We remember the years that came before
and pray and hope for many more.
So here we stay alone in our homes;
to the kitchen and back we continue to roam.
Eating our own leftovers from the fridge.
Oh, the pie, I suppose just a smidge.
and another smidge and just a smidge more
until I have trouble fitting through the door.
‘Cus when I’m sad I eat until I full
and this fridge has more than a spoonful
of the holiday meals that I made myself,
before shuffling over to the bookshelf.
To look through the photos of the years past.
Remembering the times, oh what a blast.
I comfort with the reminder this sacrifice
that we choose to pay is well worth the price.
Because in just a year from this very day
we will celebrate all together and be able to say,
“We did what was right and stayed tight,
so Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
The Dancing Women
Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S.
the dancing women who celebrated
with miriam, david, and judith
“The truest expression of a people is in it’s dance and music.Bodies never lie.”
dancer and choreographer
theology of the body’s wisdom
retold in stories like a string of echoes
freedom so real so gift
only dance could signal its arrival
THE WHISPER OF THE FIRST SNOW
Catching wind with my palms
Listening closely to
the whisper of the first snow:
Where are you rushing, young girl,
Not stopping to admire me –
The first one, untouched,
On a dance –or on a date,
Every layer of clothing,
Covering yourself with it,
As the ground gets covered with snow,
With the thought of the New Year –
Will it be snowy this year,
Or will the soil stay
And the snow will be only make-believe,
on synthetic fir-tress?
Well, keep running,
You, inspired girl,
But guard the virginity
Of the first snow
Let me be admired
By someone less busy.
Donna di Ferrara
We visit this town to taste, smell and see
The hallmark meal at Quattro Angeli.
Shadowed table under the beige canvas
Means wine and orders of cappellacci —
Pumpkin dumplings sauced in butter, fresh sage.
The tastes, smells and sights of tans and dark green
Include a view of the Este Castle,
Its looming towers no longer hide lords
And its broad, murky moat protects no one.
The real view, the theater, is transient.
There is no poster, playbill or cover
For the intermittent daily parade.
Look up from your plate and be sure to see.
Local ladies in bicicletta pass.
One from the left, the left, then the right.
They sail. They float. Donne di Ferrara.
Each on bicycle. Each her own journey.
Fluffing and floating on their fabric clouds
Billowing skirts printed in brash florals,
Donne di Ferraragently bouncing
Over round white or gray piazza stones
Where do these graceful, floral women go?
One surely sails and floats to a grandson.
Another to her favorite baker,
Still one more to a long lunch with a friend.
Could one head toward an assignation?
At least one must cycle to a dress shop.
Such striking women can never possess
Too many full, fluffy, floral garments.
It's celebration time again…
Snow on snow is here!
Don your woolen caps and gloves…
Sing bright songs of cheer!
Hang the baubles from the tree…
Reflecting joy inside…
Ride the sleigh with jingle bells..
While frosty breath is spied!
Warm your toes beside the fire..
While sipping chocolate, hot!
Revel in pure pleasure with friends..
Happy times just can't be bought!
Wear Your Colors
I emerge from the river dripping in technicolour,
I am myself, not a version of another.
Waist deep as I waded in the marble waters,
Encased in love, so many supporters.
As I wear my colours with great pride,
I refuse to shy away, I won’t run or hide,
As I display my cascade of feathers for all to see,
The person seen flourishing, exposed, this is me,
An array of striking colours breaking down those walls,
The paint brush stroked as with my colours they fall,
Onto the canvas that claimed me to become a shade,
The mixture enriched as I am portrayed,
A portrait of my own true self I see in reflection,
A gallery of pieces, my own collection.
Transmitted from palette to brush, onto paper,
‘Wear your colours’ –they say, it will only shape her,
Int the woman I am, pigments so fluorescent,
Lustrous rainbow tones, so iridescent.
‘Wear your colours,’ shine bright like a precious jewel,
Bursting at the seams they’ll never ridicule,
The contrasts that will encase, know that they will never fade,
And you’ll eternally wear your colours, your favourite shade.
Let The Celebrations Commence
The Christmas Bells, as we do each year,
The Christmas bells, fills us all with cheer.
The Christmas bells let us know it’s near,
The Christmas Bell, make us lose our fears.
The Christmas bells, gayly deck the halls,
The Christmas bells, hanging shiny balls.
Now’s the time for Celebration, now be hale and hearty,
Now’s the time to shed our woes, now’s the time to party.
United Arab Emirates
Souls of all shapes and size;
Feel joy at their own guise
Some blow candles and cut the cake;
With big bashes their thirst for merriment they slake.
Celebration of a new life, new beginnings, new year;
Even when some things end, we cheer.
An athletic triumph, a commemoration, the blush of a bride’s
The desire to rejoice, at no time, subsides
The world unites in jubilation;
Drinking in the euphoria, sharing a sense of elation
Cherishing the day I became a law enforcement wife
It taught me many lessons I once did not know
Giving me strength and lots of room to grow
Blessings flooded my home, although I could not see
My life is calm yet dangerous
Just like the God made sea
Making new enemies and shaping new friends
Understanding this balance helps me to comprehend
Honoring my husband and his brothers of blue
The world can sleep at night because of what they do
The world is dark, but there is light
Open your eyes
It's a pleasing sight
I'm gratified to be called a peacekeeper
It's not an easy role
I am soft but hard as a bullet
I hold this line together when the world is out of control
Anew in augustness,
the colours bloom prefiguratively.
Leotarded ballet dancers pirouette in joyance.
Aerialists mount trapezes, auguring a jubilee. Streetlights extol festive stars,
remarking an earthshaking momentum
and pullulating a colourful neighbourhood.
Like the feast of trumpets,
a professing feast of love, peace and unity
quenches the apparel of tsoris.
So cozy new dawns awakened,
inflaming thirsts of relief.
Yes, it is a New Year jubilee,
excogitating scads of joyous scenarios.
Even the smiles of the peasants' harvests
please the mountain dwellers on high.
All collide to earnest conviviality.
The Warmest Feeling
When loved and loving, we sit by each other,
The warmest feeling comes.
We celebrate our growing love
and kiss, under the mistletoe.
Glances and whispers, growing content,
we need not hurry now.
For our love, is love for ever more.
We both know that this is how we wish to be forever.
Our union is complete, our love is growing fuller,
our life together begun.
On a Tuesday
I busted open my best wine this week.
On a Tuesday.
To sit and watch Monty Python.
And it felt fucking amazing.
I stretched my limbs across my mattress,
munching on caramel rice cakes between sips -
a classy couch potato with all the time in the world to be anxious -
choosing to laugh the stress away from my day.
I like to think that I understand British humor,
but most of it goes over my head.
Wine makes everything hilarious, though.
I bought that wine in between about
four visits to the hotel room of a man
who was always polite,
even when not nice.
We had a whole weekend of coffee
in cafes, tiny museums,
and crossing state lines to find that -
Kentucky makes fucking excellent wine.
I’d always saved it for some special day,
but the world seems up in flames,
and I don’t know if I even deserve special days -
occasions where I feel special.
Then again, this -
Tuesday date with myself and Monty Python -
seems just as well.
The Lady from Down the Lane
One cold day this month,
I walked my two cockerpoos
They were lively and silly,
I was feeling lost and sad.
The weight of a disconnected world,
a universe made of gaps,
was dragging me forward
.I was lashed to their leads,
as my puppies kept moving.
They stopped all at once
,as if signaled by an old god.
Going about their business.
I heard gentle whispers.
The rasps of soft singing.
I turned towards,
the left of my world.
with hands on a steel walker,
There was an elderly lady,
wrapped up in delicate purple.
She was looking downward,
blue eyes gazing outward,
and, she was singing,
singing the happiest songs on Earth.
She sang of happy days,
she sang of memories.
Songs I know well.
Sung so joyfully.
To no one at all.
Others might be perturbed by this,
she was what I needed most.
She carried on, past and was gone.
My heart was lifted by the spirit,
by the energy of a heart full of song.
The fact she was celebrating her existence.
The fact she was grateful for everything.
The dream eyes of a childlike heart.
And dear lady that was enough,
To get my own heart singing.
India, a land of festivals
Colours and culture
Fragrance and beauty
Ethnic and diverse
Pluralist and tolerant
Where every harvest
Has a festival
Every festival a song
All lips know
How to sing
A deafening silence in the lives
of half of its people?
The rich from the poor
Religions from each other
How does a nation
With a broken soul
Pull all that’s apart?
And join together in a thing called celebration?
Fairies in flight
Going into my garden
A heavy snowfall has blown,
And before my own eyes
It takes a life of its own...
How wonderful this winter air is
When it fills with floating, frozen fairies.
Falling, feather-like, fluttering around
Gently settling upon the ground
Then lifting again, upon the breeze
And drift, and dance, on pure white seas.
Swooshing, and swirling,
Twisting, and twirling,
Ice crystals cascade from the sky
Such dazzling whiteness
Increases the brightness
And brings a new light to my eyes...
I NEVER took chances, I stayed safe and warm
And didn't go out if there was a storm
But the beauty and magic of this fabulous scene
Made me throw a coat over my jumper and jeans...
...Braving the bitter cold wind in my face
I stepped out into the white kaleidoscope
Slipping and sliding all over the place
I trudged on down the slope...
I went into battle with the frozen fairy folk
Their berserkers came at me so fierce
Biting at my skin, and my eyes they did poke
‘TilI burst out laughing, through my tears
I made some Snow Angels, to fight on my side
I skipped and rolled like a madman
Till my heart was full of childish pride
The years fell away. I was Glad man!
An old man like me aught to be Gentle
And Careful, and Sober, and Wise
But, once in a while, it's good to go Mental
And fight fairy folk from the skies!
In just thirty minutes I'd run out of breath
That was definitely enough for me
If I stayed out much longerI'd catch my death
So, back to the real world, slippers, hot tea
Sit by the fireside, dry out my clothes
And laugh, that I'd been such a clown
It's back to Normality, I suppose
Back to the Covid Lockdown.
MEET THE TEAM
Mel is a special needs teacher from the UK. She lives by the sea and loves nothing more than walking along the beach with a coffee from her favourite cafe. She has always loved reading and writing poetry.
Kassie is a poet and fiction author from NYC. She spends her days working in marketing and her nights writing and designing... when she isn't traveling and trying to find the next best brewery.