Each issue has a new theme - take a look at previous issues below and click to read them all!
FEBRUARY 2021 = MISSED CONNECTIONS & FLEETING MOMENTS
Travelers have different freedoms.
Conversations can be more truthful perhaps.
Some ones you meet may be no ones;
Or will likely never be some ones again.
Words shared are the scripts of an adventure;
Without burden, for there is no need to carry on.
It began as notable things often do
With simple serendipity.
A misread ticket held by an adamant pilgrim,
Who, by occupying your place,
Had you fill the empty space beside me.
And so we embarked…
A journey once measured in months
Today would be measured in hours.
Yet still would cover a lifetime.
Above the clouds we talked
As if we were observing angels
Considering events tethered to the earth;
The turmoil of family,
The transience of lovers,
The various expectations of men and women,
The measured treasure of attachment,
Deciding when to stay and when to go.
Devoid of pretense
Free of the need to gain
Or the fear of loss.
And then we touched down.
Walking down the hallway towards the exit
Your hand on my sleeve was not quite a surprise
As you pulled me closer toward you.
No one noticed
A lingering embrace,
A loving caress,
A gentle kiss
Airports are full of encounters.
They are temples to the constant emotions
Of hellos and goodbyes.
Words were no longer necessary.
You turned to reclaim your baggage
And I left to find a connection.
UNSAID WORDS FROM THE RECENTLY PASSED ON
Know only this, that, though I lie in another place now, I will always be yours.
Know that I love you, you are my forever.
You were my world, I will miss your laugh, your love, your very being.
I will miss our walks , our talks, our outings, our holidays . Know only that I love you, forever.
Too late now to tell you the things you mean to me, words left unsaid, worlds left unseen.
The now is all you have, the past is all I am, but not what I crave. What would I do for just one more day, to say all the things I left unsaid; the things running round my head.
You were my perfection, my goddess, my love. Too late, too late for me; my love.
We had it all, we had that perfect life, that love that was more than physical, more than spiritual, the golden days, the olden days.
Making memories, making love, making time stand still. You will always be mine, I am always yours.
Goodbye sweet one, until we meet again in the long hereafter, souls lost and found.
But know only this: know that I always loved you…
Cigarette Smoke and Sweet Tea
Rocking in his chair
as he takes a long drag
from his unfiltered cigarette.
His overalls worn at the knee
and patched at least once.
He breaths out
and the smoke billows around him
framing his sun kissed face.
His long fingers tap
the arm of the chair
as it rocks back and forth.
The smoke still sitting
heavily in the air.
He reaches for the plastic glass;
wet and cold on the outside.
A contradiction to the hot day.
He lifts it, taking a long drink
of his sweetened tea
savoring the moment
before looking right at me.
Blue eyes meeting my green ones
just as a grin breaks his face
crinkling at the lines from the years
and all is right in this summer day.
Honey, how viscous you are
Behind fluttering lids
A slow balloon brings you up to meet me
Then sinks again to ribs
You shiver, delicate in repose
A petal, a dragonfly’s wing on the breeze
Your bones heavy, breath light
Soft harbor parted, as for a kiss
Is it my lips on which you wait?
Do you suffer in dreams?
Do you blossom?
Your cheeks do not yield as you lie
And I simmer in your silence
In awe, at ease
Waiting for you to wake
I entered her dreams
And just as her eyelids fell
I arrested her
She did not resist though
Instead she rested her head on my chest
And I wondered if she could hear
the war within me
I wondered if she could feel the violence
Lingering on my fingertips like the lash marks
I will never truly heal from
I wished she would not mistake my grip
for the safety I desperately desire
I wondered if she falsely accused me
of falling hard for her
as if being with me would be that easy
I can’t clearly express how much I wish I was her reality
Because I am constantly torn by the beast I used to be
And so I fight
I fight my urge to turn this dream into a nightmare
I fight to put my past to death and somewhere
I feel she is the freedom I seek
I let the sun come up
And I leave her to her imagination
Because I would rather be the man of her dreams
Than be her living nightmare
THE SILENCE OF THE BEFORE
in the empty.
The days of plenty,
before I embark,
on something new.
From wanton shores,
of listless hoping.
Burdened by a thought.
unaware of the pleasures.
Those stalwart treasures,
borne from seconds of leisure.
A moment in space, to breathe.
guided by patience,
taking time to prepare.
I have waited,
Meditation comes more easily.
Readiness for the storm.
In the gentle silence of the before.
If ever I bothered to pick it up and beat it,
a lot more than dust would come off:
Past particles and memory debris
from when someone knocked and
asked us to donate money to a charity,
or a real estate agent suggesting
we should sell the house and leave.
There were in-laws and friends
holding wine or a salad,
politicians who hoped to persuade,
and last kisses before we came in
to bid whoever babysat goodnight.
A single rectangle becomes the spot
where everyone unknowingly poses
for pictures that don’t get taken;
four corners that contain everything
both invited and unwelcome.
Most people standing here probably
focused on the door and what would
happen once it was answered, opened.
Look down, though, and you’ll discover
this forgotten islet of the porch, where
you’ve managed to maroon yourself
for at least a few seconds, an escapee
from loneliness, doubt, indecision
and other thresholds you never even
realized you had already crossed.
Tiny dancer, alone in the hourglass
Dancing away in lonely eternity
The stains of time
Hungry frame, beautiful face
Tiny dancer, hear me
You are mine, you are my world
There’s nothing else like you
Tiny dancer, dancing on the sands
Until you are full of sands
Tiny dancer, hold me
I want to embrace your heart
Tiny dancer, grinding gears
In my heart
Dancing in my mind
Always will be mine
Heart of sands
DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO
DOING THAT AGAIN
used to blame all my
but sometimes things
just don't work out
no matter how much you
wish they did;
and sometimes people
who promise forever
are incapable of giving
but i wish people didn't
promise you forever or always
if they didn't at the very least
attempt to keep their promise,
wish people didn't say they loved me
just to keep me in places
i didn't belong;
all i know is that am uncertain
of myself sometimes
i don't need to be doubted by people
who are supposed to be there for me
but decide one way or another
they won't be—
i used to hate myself,
don't want to go back to doing that again
not when i've finally learned to love myself
LIFE IN DOG YEARS
Today is your birthday -
but your concept of time is so different from mine.
Clocks are not a thing of value in your life when
the way you experience time is by how long its
fragrance lingers on your nose.
You could give a fuck about birthdays.
There is no scent that throbs on the annual,
that leaves happiness engraved on your brain
the way that seeing me come out of the bedroom
wearing a pair of compression leggings and
a racerback tank top does.
I have no way to tell you why birthdays should feel different,
why you should feel special,
why the only things that you should smell in the breeze
are joy and curiosity at life’s ability to keep you alive,
pride in your beauty,
and the blanket of love that I wrap you in
just so you never feel cold.
I silently pray for you to never get old
just so I don’t have to mourn you before you die
and watch you waste away like I have done before.
Today is your birthday -
it smells no different to you,
but for me,
today is a countdown.
Kathy Jo Bryant
I don't mean to be nosey,
But I brought you a posey,
Maybe we can get cozy,
Out here on the swing!
And then I might mention,
Just to get your attention,
It is my intention,
A love song to sing!
My heart is on fire,
And full of desire,
May the angelic choir,
My message convey!
Words are just much too feeble,
So Darling be agreeable,
In the future unforeseeable,
To LOVE me always!
Thread of silk,
filament pulled or shed
in brush with shadowed canvas
across landscape of valley, hill,
hovering between light
in full composure,
an impressionist’s caress
on a picture of
a loose dance
I dare to reach
as do you
fingers short of touch,
while a silken thread slips between
and what is mine
He's strong black coffee –
all scruffy face, shaggy hair,
his artist hands carelessly
cupping a double-double
He’s got to be pushing forty,
wearing an old man’s cap,
but his neon-green t-shirt
so she returns his smile,
and they awkwardly turn sideways
to shake hands
She's a skinny vanilla latte –
all rust scarf, worn-in leather boots,
her coral-stained lips chewing
on her stir stick
She doesn’t look a day
older than thirty-five,
and her eyes are alive,
so he takes off his cap,
his laboured drawings suddenly
forgotten in his lap
Strangers on the subway,
their thighs and thoughts
brush up against each other
between the short ride from
Sheppard to York Mills station
She is wondering,
what if I wasn’t wearing my ring?
while he is busy saving her face for later,
when he is alone with his pencil
and the next available blank page
Bookends with no books
they lean toward each other
as the train takes another bend
Bloor is the end of their line,
but she grins secretly
all the way to the platform,
content to never see him again
Alone, he picks up his discarded pencil,
her memory already poised
above the page
He has all the way to Downsviews station to get her right.
ONE DAY SOON!
Melanie Haagman – Girl On The Edge Poetry
The days, they’ve been tainted,
In fact they’ve been a fight,
And for so many people
It’s been hard to find the light.
Waves of emotion take over, Like an unexpected tide,
It’s hard to run away,
When you have to stay inside.
So mentally we struggle on, Using strength reserved inside,
We can’t view ourselves as
In something that’s worldwide.
Though everything is relative,
We must give ourselves a break,
Allow ourselves to let it out,
We have the right to ache.
One day we’ll speak historically,
A distant memory this will be,
So keep doing what you’re doing,
And soon we’ll all be free…
ONE FLAMINGO AND TWO MONKEYS
I do not believe in golf, slow-speed
walking polo. My fellow writers
and sales types did—weathered folk
in blousy kit lying and swearing.
Instead, my fans stand and squat
on the Dorals pool apron. I am odd
enough so early two monkeys and
a flamingo see me as the wild one.
Something is intimate and sensual
being wet and approximately naked
in a large pool with no other human.
Wildlife mutely shared the moment.
I swam daily during our magazine’s
stay, and was sunny TV for beasts…
brown monkeys and pink waterfowl.
What will they watch after I check out?
HIS AND HERS
The other side of the bed is where it’s at;
Though precisely what “it” is,
I could not tell you now.
Hard to believe I used to get
Free tickets. The party would roll over to me
and lick my hand like a puppy.
Only in retrospect does the enormity
Of its devotion strike me.
There was no wrong or right or left,
Or side to take. No argument.
There was not even such a thing
As a side of the bed. But then...
The boyfriend, the new boyfriend,
The first husband, the next husband -
One by one, they all fell back
Into a limp sort of indifference.
My fault, for letting you
Convince me to give it
She tells me how to breathe with angelic undertones, whispers her calm like an incessant drone,
I don't want to sleep I might miss something -
What if I miss something?
Focus and reload
refresh the page
Adjust the lights I'm coming on stage
The applause almost deafening as I enter
Eyes squint and nothings familiar
My clothes feel heavy and I start to scratch
Voice over- BOOM!
Pieces of me scattered
Shattered and my body battered
People brush past and my skin is on fire
A thousand needles stabbing
I climb higher
Faster amd stronger
I fight harder to leave
Furious at myself for not helping me
And furious at me for not helping myself
Hold my breath for 4 seconds
apparently it helps
I'm not sure how or why or even when but I know in 4 seconds I'll do it again-
to try to bring myself back into the room
In an attempt to float above the doom
Watch me fly
There's no stopping me now-
I'm locked in this room and the walls are starting to get a little closer and my heart will start to beat a little faster and my bed sheets start to feel a little tighter and my body will start to feel a little lighter-
I'll levitate towards the ceiling
Count to 4 to induce the dreaming
Hold my breath to reduce the screaming
I'm a fighter and I'm still fighting.
RIP Biscuit, you will always be alive in my heart!
The first puppy I ever adopted!
Rather, the baby of the first puppy I ever adopted!
Your mother was slightly bigger than a pup
When she first came in my life!
Found her sitting on my steps and made friends!
Her brother followed and the rest is a story!
He loved bread, and I am sure
Your mum did too, and despite my assurance
N my efforts to feed the two, took her bread, beat her good
Drove her out, she found refuge in the neighbourhood!
Wasn’t too long after, my own mum says
She saw the cutest ever puppies around!
N one of them was you! I named you Biscuit!
My companion with tea, am almost a caffeine addict!
I tried to keep you in, more than once, but you insisted
Demanded to go out! I kept two of your seven litters
N tried my best with the others, some disappeared
One was hunted! Dear Biscuit departed, my heart breaks in two
At the dangers of this outside world! N this time round
With you so beautifully pregnant, so heavily pregnant
I wanted to lock you in, but please know, do understand
My limits, my love, my dear mum’s moods and whims
Her anger at so many dogs! Puppy cries! Wild shrieks!
The endless mess! You stepped out, you sneaked out
But believe me, Biscuit, my loveliest
I missed it all, the tiny borns! The first crawl
The eye opening, the velvet touch! I looked for you
Sent for you, messengers, envoys, you finally came
We followed you, you refused to share
The destination dear, of dearest kids, mine and yours!
Beloved Biscuit! You had plans! You tried!
But the second pregnancy of your adolescence
The brutal cold! Our distance! I would have fed you well
N the babies! Will get to them one day with you!
So I thought! Till the other day you walked in injured
Shaking! Leg hurting, spine broken
Took us both a while to comprehend
You howled in pain, the vet was called, all in vain!
The morning was very sad! Unbearably cruel!
What a beautiful face you had
How approaching death distorted it!
An Iota of breath remained in your bellies
And the candle was out!
Looked like you bled and you froze to death!
What a travesty! Ugly tragedy! Missed opportunity!
Missed connection between the two of us!
And the rest of this world, which can’t even drive safe!
When I had been talking of video recording your delivery
When my garden was going to come alive
With new born songs, antics, new dawn
We were assigned to bury you!
Drowning grief! Made me forget my own broken life
After two days of frantic search, nearing a fight
Found two alive, beauties made by you, some respite!
Rest at ease, my lovely Biscuit, I watch them very closely
Like comfort in pain, peace in trouble
But darling Biscuit! Why should it take
Just loners like me to wake up and cry?
When will the world around, awake already
Arise, realize, development’s needed?
N will it mean, just more human control?
Injected births? Lab lives?
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY HEART
My life was once a twinkle.
Once shone, but now a wrinkle.
It's all lost, gone forever; a crinkle.
Once I was surrounded by a ray.
Bright and jolly, that it made my day.
We laughed, we danced, we swayed, ay.
I now suddenly feel like trash.
Everything is history; all ended in a flash.
He left, burying a heart I once knew in fine ash.
To think that there was once a love that shined
In the crevices of this broken heart that got mined;
It's a dream. A nightmare. One that will not be purified.
DOUSED BY DESIRE
Ms Abby Kay
Trinidad and Tobago
I fell in love with water
But I was a burning ember
Begging for the cool touch
Knowing it would diminish me
Knowing that one full embrace could end me
I gave, willingly, my warmth
To expand and lift you higher
I provided the heat
Even from afar
But in my yearning for us to merge,
My passion with your calm,
Darkness threatening to descend
You begged to stay away
I begged to have you near
You knew that we weren't meant to be
But were seduced by my energy
My flames raging
Burning away your will to abjure
Your geyser erupted
The long sustaining hiss, announcing my demise
Into the air and away you rise
Taking all of me with you
Soon, the memory of my warmth fades away
And you return to your natural state
Never again shall I experience
Time or place
All because, I fell in love with water
And craved its embrace
Every page a whimsical fantasy
Words and phrases come alive freely
An orchestra’s crescendo escalates in one’s mind
Becoming a magical dream never to be left behind
Colorful sceneries and thoughts so fanciful
Present life so vivid true and meaningful
A field of flowers being kissed by the sun
Moonlight in the stream, the light of dawn
Memories of moments with family and friends
Cherishing relationships that never ends
Sharing laughs, hugs, smiles
Love traveling through miles
With every line and verse
Aching wounds it will nurse
Bringing light to someone’s darkness
Inspiring with a mag of kindness
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.