WordCity Literary Journal. April 2021. Issue 8

Letter from the Editor. Darcie Friesen Hossack


There is not a particle of life that does not bear poetry within it. -Gustave Flaubert

Like the spring wildflowers (which are still a month away where I live), this spring edition of WordCity is bursting with colour.

One of the living things now making its way into the world is a new book of poetry by our own Sue Burge, who curates and creates each issue’s offerings of Literary News and Writing Advice.

confetti dancers

In this month’s Book Reviews section, Geraldine and I have created a page full of books that celebrate all of our editors. Sue is there with another of her titles, but I want to use my space here to say how proud I am of her for this spectacular accomplishment! As this is our official Spring issue, with threads of the season, including Passover, Easter and Ramadan running through it, this book feels like the first flower to push its way up through the soil.

Here are a few words about Sue from Julia Webb:

In the 1980s Sue Burge worked at the Royal Academy of Dancing and witnessed the effect of AIDS on the world of dance. Confetti Dancers investigates her memories of this era. It begins with a mythic, psycho-geographic journey to Russia and Eastern Europe where dancers feature amidst a wider cast of brides, witches, film-makers and lovers before moving to a very different poetic landscape to explore the intimacy and universality of loss.

“The mythological and the very real collide in this startling and profoundly moving collection by Sue Burge. Subjects as diverse as modern Russia, the AIDS epidemic among ballet dancers in the eighties, family history and lockdown are skilfully woven together – managing to walk a delicate line between the profoundly personal and the worldly. This is a collection that reaches inside you and twists you up. These poems spoke to me and changed me a little – which is what a good collection should do. Burge does not shy away from the difficult stuff, but there is an optimism here too, that shines through and left me with an overarching sense of hope.” Julia Webb

So check out this link to Confetti Dancers, then be sure to visit our page of books. Also, don’t miss Sue’s writing advice for this month, which is to create a Writer in Residency program right where you are, with or without permission.

Thanks to Sue, I’m going outside to pin a poem to a tree!

Podcast with Jane Spokenword

In this month’s podcast we introduce you to Australian author Sylvia Petter. “More of a sharer than a teacher” she writes short, long, serious, sexy and fun. Her stories, poetry, articles, and book reviews appear online, in magazines and anthologies, at Ether Books and on her blog website. ~ Jane Spokenword


Sylvia Petter in Conversation with Jane SpokenWord

More on Sylvia Petter
and Jane Spokenword

Edited by Sylvia Petter

The fiction this month connects Europe and the USA and represents a spring awakening of sorts to a variety of modes and impulses.

First there are some “Miniatures” by the Austrian writer Günther Kaip, translated into English by Hillary Keel, who used to live in Vienna and is now back in the US. Hillary has a poem in this issue.

Then there is an excerpt from American-born Swiss writer DL Nelson´s, Triple Decker, a novel about how the individual members of a three-generation Irish-Catholic family living in a triple decker on Mission Hill, Boston, experience the effects of the Iraq War.

Finally, I trace the steps of American Nathan Horowitz from Vienna back to the USA, and discover that he is well into his quadrilogy called Nighttime Daydreams on the Adventures of another gringo who wanted to be a shaman of which the first two volumes contain “in-flight magazines” and two chapters of the second volume are also audios. ~Sylvia Petter

Günther Kaip, Translated by Hillary Keel


Take The Feather from The Ox

Take the feather from the ox to stroke the crescent moon in your lap. Try not to tickle it as things are imaginably bad : rocks break off from the mountains and fill up the valleys, trees die off and the rivers drown in the seas. Do you hear that subtle grinding? It’s the sand grating the air until it’s sore.  Then there’s the taunting howl of the winds—the choir should sing of your ending. 

The pea underneath your skin is no longer useful. The crow’s nest in your lung offers no protection and the abused confession in your spleen is blessed by a dung beetle in search of its shoes. Here! Catch the house flying by as its inhabitants lie awake in their beds and refuse to fill the night with their dreams. They don’t care and many hope they will no longer wake up, they’ve become so numb.

Let the flies out of your breast, let them span threads in the air and climb up them higher and higher and shake up the clouds floating by. Wave to the crescent moon, assure it you will return and that it will always have a place in your lap. Wave to the crying rooster standing all alone on the dung pile, wave until your arm hurts. Then glide down the flies’ threads, lay the crescent moon back in your lap, take the shadow from your arm and spread it flat on the floor in order to throw him over any passers-by, to warm or cool it according to the weather, and from the crescent moon you will pull an umbrella embellished with shells and bright corals. Don’t be shocked if this includes dead fish.

Continue Reading…

D-L Nelson

pic.d.l. nelson

Triple Decker

Chapter 31 – Jason’s Funeral

The first limousine held Peggy, her parents Patrick and Bridget, her surviving son Sean, her niece Jess, and her brother the priest Desmond. The rest of the family were in the second. Friends, neighbors and the press followed. The cars, their headlights lit, crawled through the cemetery gates.

The snowstorms that had battered Boston repeatedly in the last two weeks hid the gravestones. The cemetery looked like an open white field dotted with rocks, but the rocks were the top of the grave markers. At least today the skies decided to hold their snow, but the rippled grey sky made everything bleak.

“Is everything ready?” Peggy whispered to Jess as the car stopped. Her hands shook until her niece covered them with hers.

“My friends arranged everything.” Jess looked closely at Peggy. “Don’t chicken out.”

The funeral director and driver Ed got out of the hearse. He tapped on the window, which Patrick lowered. “Wait here until we get the coffin in place, please.”

Continue Reading…

Nathan Horowitz


Adventures of another gringo who wanted to be a shaman

I was going to do a Q/A with Nathan Horowitz on his writing, but then I saw that everything I wanted to know was all there on his website at https://nathandhorowitz.com

I first met Nathan in Vienna at the open mic sessions at Café Kafka in 2006. I´ll never forget when he read a super “poem” which turned out to be nothing more or less than his Visa bill. This could have been the first hermit crab piece I had ever heard.

I lost touch with Nathan and then bumped into him here and there when he was teaching Business English at the University of Vienna. He was going to return to the US and his wife and daughter who I’d bump into at readings were soon to join him.

Continue Reading…

Edited by Olga Stein


Passover Reflections: On Taking Oppression Personally

Each year, during the Passover seder, we are asked to reflect on the enslavement and oppression of the Hebrews in ancient Egypt, which is estimated to have taken place around the 13th century BCE, as a condition that is relevant to our own lives. Thus prompted, each year I begin with a survey of my own life and experiences, looking for anything to which something like oppression or enslavement applies. Well, then, broadly speaking, who am I? I am a woman in her 50s, one who is in the early stages of a career as as university and college instructor. I was born to Jewish parents in Russia, and emigrated from there with my parents in 1971. This personal history is not unique, and I’m no one exceptional. I do feel exceedingly fortunate, however, in being well acquainted with many people—writers, poets, scholars, artists—who are. Also, crucially, I’m a mother, partner, and close friend to people I care about deeply. What I know comes from the books I read, the places I’ve been to, my lived experience, and what I learn from the lives of others, especially people I’m close to. I know enough to understand the challenges I’ve faced and the reasons for them, and I’ve done enough reading and observing to grasp that racialized communities were and continue to struggle against oppression and race-based violence that is real and, too often, fatal. Pharaoh is the white supremacist and his enablers. Likewise, Pharaoh is the person in charge of hiring, who refuses to acknowledge an applicant’s qualification for a job because they are female, or not white, or no longer 30 something, or an immigrant. Sadly, I’ve encountered Pharaohs in many places, and among different people—including my own.

Furthermore, as someone who delves into various ideologies as an academic, I also know that we, as members of western nation-states, are in thrall to values and beliefs that have us buying things we don’t need, always to prove something to people who don’t care. Our fixation with having and achieving more than others is a state of mind. We’ve given in to ideology, and as with many of capitalism’s unsavoury and destructive features, it shackles us. We have all been turned into Olympic contenders—except that the training for some unspecified event never ceases, and we never get to bring home a medal. Nor do we get recognized or rewarded for helping others cross the finish line. To use yet another figure of speech, we are still in Egypt.

All of this has already been said by others, but it bears repeating during Passover. It’s an exercise in consciousness-raising, after all—the kind I’m assuming we’re encouraged to try by the Book of Exodus. Since we’re at it, allow me to suggest another exercise which I deem essential to present-day seder gatherings. I’m speaking of making a conscious effort to host friends who aren’t Jewish. Nowadays, the non-Jew may be a member of one’s family, someone whose presence wouldn’t be questioned, and whose ‘otherness’ would hardly be noticed. In that case, we should invite a man or woman who isn’t a member of our family, but at the seder, we must treat them as if they were. Almost everyone we know has endured hardship or is part of group or community that has suffered. Let that individual remind us to assist, not oppress, others, and let their presence encourage us to join them in the fight against all remaining Pharaohs. For me these are the essential aims of understanding and learning from the story of Passover.

We are very pleased to offer reflections on Passover in this issue of WordCity Monthly by Tomasz Herzog and Lesley Simpson, as well as an excerpt from an original Haggadah, the sort referred to by Simpson in her lively depiction of this tradition. We hope that J Stein’s “Escape from New York” will give readers an inkling of how the original narrative of escape has been reimagined to entertain youngsters in every generation, as well as raise awareness, as Herzog does, of contemporary forms of oppression. We thank these contributors! ~OStein

Lesley Simpson


Passover Essay

I remember the Seders at the home of my uncle Jack and Aunt Joy in Brantford, Ontario when I was a child. My aunt made a lineup of gravity-defying sponge cakes, lined up like trophies on cake plates. Their dining room was set with a pressed white cloth, fine china, and crystal wine glasses. I remember red carpet and heavy drapery along the tall windows, a dining room that radiated formal, and the unspoken be careful not to spill your juice. My uncle Jack Brown, my mother’s brother, used to say each Jew should regard himself or herself as if he/she/they had personally come out of Egypt. In the story, Egypt is the place where the Jews were oppressed as slaves and cry out. This idea was something embedded into the book itself, the book called The Hagaddah. What that meant was that this story about civil disobedience was one that you were supposed to take personally. I didn’t know then that there was an ancient papyrus document that told the story of slaves fleeing from a palace, which is now housed at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. My uncle made this comment, but he did not elaborate about how he understood taking it personally. I didn’t ask. I was shy.

My question remained unanswered for decades. What exactly did it mean to feel as if you had left Egypt? What did it mean to be free?

Continue Reading…

Jacob Stein

Passover Story, Part Two: Escape From New York

We pick up in medias res, which, for those who don’t know their Aristotle, means in the middle of the action. It was an unholy hour, around 5AM, and not a ray of sunshine was yet in sight. All the Jewish people of the Upper West Side were being pursued through the shadowy streets by the elite commando forces of Pharaoh Corp, straight down Broadway through Times Square, and on into lower Manhattan. Schmoses’s people had enlisted hundreds if not thousands of taxicabs to flee the evil henchmen to whom Thutmose had paid blood money in order to capture the fleeing tenants and force austerity and other punishments on them.

            A sea of yellow cabs rushed through the streets followed by jeeps and military vehicles that were painted black and camo. There was Thutmose, standing upright in a souped-up Jeep, in hot pursuit with binoculars dangling from his neck. The roads and side streets were eerily empty of everyone except our freedom-bound Jewish brothers and sisters fleeing from Thutmose’s hired guns. Thutmose raised the binoculars to his eyes and spied a yellow cab with a strange-looking flag planted on its trunk blowing in the air. The flag was white, but it wasn’t a flag of surrender. Thutmose couldn’t see it clearly, yet he noticed the flag contained crude blue geometric shapes and two horizontal lines at the top and bottom. Wouldn’t you know it? There was Schmoses in the backseat.

Continue Reading…

Tomasz Herzog

Freedom is within our grasp

Pesach or Passover, one of the major Jewish holidays, fascinates, inspires, and instructs me about the world and myself. Some may wonder why this is so. I don’t have just one answer and those I do have are equally important to me. Before I try to explain it, I want to say that mine isn’t and can’t be viewed as any regular theological exegesis. I’m not a theologian.

When I think of Pesach, when I look at it, I do it through the lens of who I am and my own life experiences. I’m a Jew. I’m a Polish Jew living in America. Therefore, first and foremost, Pesach to me is the festival which commemorates the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, the foundation story of Jewish peoplehood. It is the first major festival instituted in the Torah that not only celebrates national liberation but dramatizes the critical belief, recurrent throughout the Bible, that God hears the cries of the oppressed.

Every year I look forward to a Seder and to reading the Haggadah. The Passover Seder is full of unique and memorable rituals and traditions. However, the Maggid is the heart of the Seder. The Maggid is comprised of various biblical and rabbinical texts which recount and expound upon the Exodus from Egypt, the meaning of Passover, the value of freedom, the gift of divine providence, and the importance of Jewish tradition. It isn’t just a celebration of the past long gone, or a commemoration of the deeds and legacy of our forefathers. As Judaism teaches, that story didn’t end, it continues. As a Jew, I’m part of it too.

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Book Reviews
Edited by Geraldine Sinyuy

Gordon Phinn


Surviving The Family, Escaping The Culture

Despite their deserved reputation for exaggeration and artfully contrived deception, the memoir form has always intrigued me. If the author is sufficiently famous you can always trawl for the lies and obfuscations in later biographies, a rabbit hole I’ve sometimes fallen into over the years. Still, with the modern fashion of confessional memoir running rampant beyond the sober confines of print into the slash and burn of social media one is less inclined to enter the fray between righteous accuser and crew of bruised targets. Sometimes, however, the circus of saintly victimhood cannot be avoided.

     Tara Westhover’s Educated, a searing account of an ultra-conservative, rural Mormon childhood in the Idaho of the 1980s, pulls out all the stops in its depiction of ignorance and abuse. Several reviewers trumpeted their personal outrage as well as utter absorption. Arriving in 2018, just two years after J.D. Vance’s equally shocking Hillbilly Elegy, it set the standard for the phoenix-like rise from the ashes of that brutal dysfunction in which America’s underclass seems to specialize. Westover’s version emphasizes the blinkered ignorance of rigid religiosity coupled with a survivalist paranoia—one that views schools and hospitals as no more than the creeping seductions of Satan’s kingdom. That same outlook advises that God ordained, generally through patriarchs patrolling the perimeter of their cowed families, that a woman’s place is in the home, that herbs alone are God’s pharmacy, and doctors are mere pawns of man’s impudent arrogance, steered by some magical conspiracy of socialism and, wait for it, the Illuminati.

Continue Reading…

An Interview with Chad Norman
about Simona: A Celebration of the S.P.C.A.

Chad Norman’s poetry has been featured here in both Time of the Poet Republic with Mbizo Chrirasha, and in WordCity. This months, in honour of a book he published to support the Society for the  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, we are talking to the poet and taking a look inside his collection.

Continue Reading…


This month, Geraldine Sinyuy and Darcie Friesen Hossack decided to introduce you to a selection of titles from the editorial board members of WordCity Monthly! We are so proud of everyone’s accomplishments.

We’ve already visited Sue Burge’s latest offering (see letter from the editor), so by the throw of a dice, we’re starting here with Clara Burghelea, one of our poetry editors. Please click the link below to find the rest.


“The title of the collection is expressive of my preoccupation with the flavor of the other: the other home, the other self, the other geography, the other as a human being. One way of looking at our identity is from the perspective of belonging: to a place, a landscape, a culture, a language, another human being. How do we make sense of ourselves when suddenly deprived of access to these familiar spaces? How do we restore the bruised, lost self? Poetry is one of the answers. These poems pivot back and forth between the communist Romania of the 1980s and present-day New York, looking closely at love, loss, nostalgia, home, and the in-between spaces that we inhabit and allow to inhabit us.” ~Clara Burghelea

Continue to more books by WordCity’s editors…


Literary Spotlight and Writing Advice
by Sue Burge


Jean Atkin bw1

This month I’m very excited to catch up (at a run!) with Jean Atkin, a poet I’ve always admired for her energy, optimism and unique way of looking at the world.  For Jean, writing is not about sitting at a desk, it’s about engagement with the external environment in profound and far-reaching ways.  Jean lives in a beautiful area of the UK and our conversation brought me a welcome breath of different country air (I live on the opposite side of the UK) in these locked down times where travel has become taboo.

Jean, I always associate you with quite quirky projects!  I remember at a conference doing a falconry handling session followed by a poetry workshop on the experience with you.  What is the most unusual workshop you have run to date?


I do love a bit of quirk, and I definitely remember the falconry experience! Nothing is quite like the thump of an owl landing on your writing arm.  In the past, I’ve run a workshop on a beach and learned from some kids there how to creep up on a limpet; made and performed site-specific poetry to particular Shropshire trees; and made poems with a village community high on their local Iron Age hillfort.  One of the weirdest and most curious was a series of public workshops I led in Ludlow Museum Resources Centre.  I called it ‘Writing in the Museum Vaults’ and it involved unlocking, then exploring, the catalogued, bottled, and taxidermied past, all housed in padlocked basement climate-controlled stores.  Perhaps the strangest and most downright unnerving was writing in the eerie Fluids Room, where pale creatures float in alcohol in glass jars in the half-light.

Continue Reading…


Create Your Own Writer In Residency!

Burrington_JA writing_Jan2021

Inspired by Jean Atkin’s unusual use of place in her work I thought this month I would turn to the concept of Writer-in-Residence and see how that can help to freshen up our own writing.  A residency is like being a Laureate for a particular place or organisation and can be loosely interpreted or come with quite a weight of responsibility.  You might just be in this place to write and research in order to meet your own goals.  Or you might be asked to run workshops, create a publication based on your residency, run a competition, interact with visitors and employees.  You might have included these ideas in your initial proposal to a place you’ve had firmly in your sights for some time, or you might have been invited to be writer-in-residence because you have a special connection to this place.

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Edited by Nancy Ndeke and Clara Burghelea
with Consulting Editor Lori D. Roadhouse

Hillary Keel


cooking risotto (or why i love my life)

—a new recipe small pieces
of asparagus & shrimp lemon juice
prepared in separate pan & I think
of G.—when did I last cook risotto when
did I last eat asparagus in March
of which year

I am transported to Austrian spring
crispy temperature a field of brooks
where we pick birds’ lettuce
we hike we cook
there is sex there is spring
& asparagus some cress &
birds’ lettuce picked at the brook
I stir risotto & think how this recipe
diverges from G.’s—to place inch-sized
asparagus pieces in bowl of ice water
I’ll try but remember

Continue Reading…

Masudul Hoq

Masudul Hoq

The door

Because I lost you
On the first lunar line of the month of Shawwal
Search the moon very well

You are the full entity in our separation
And I 
I start new one from imperfect water droplets

 In your worship,
My free heart and self-awareness stays awaken ...

After remembering you
When everyone will be enjoying in the light of the festival,
Then I will touch 
the door of your closed chapel with my hand.

By reading my destiny,
written in the palm of my hand,
May make you mercy on me again

I'm tired of people's fake love!

Continue to 2 more poems…

George Elliott Clarke

Inside the Nova Scotian Statistical Average

(For Eric Trethewey)

The Hants County gypsum mines—
the white-dust, black-lung-disease quarries—
is drill-pocked cadavers.

Many cast-off miners could be saints
if they didn’t gotta throttle bottles
to try piss the disembowling grime

out their throats, lungs, schnozzles, eh? 
Some retailiate for toxic gaspin
by stabbin wives, stranglin small fry….

The daily poisonin triggers 
a hard squall of blood, a tsunami, eh?
Ain’t not too bad money, right—

dem pick-axe jobs down the mines!
Every man says, “I need this, this, this, this,
n this!” How else ya gonna get it?

Too many can’t live like ya want,
but wallow in jails:  Take a swallow
of med-sin, get embedded behind bars.

Tons of hooch flood, much blood leaks.
Pounds of blood!  It keeps soakin
through bandages like coffee through

filters, eh?!  Fights hourly!  You bust
yer hands; your face be raw hamburger!
Teeth all jump out.  The big shits

just thunk and knock ya bout.  (In
the hoosegow, you’s so close,
you get to tell exact the aroma

of each other’s piss.)  When yer freed,
partyin is Bible—chapter n verse.
Y’ain’t goin back in the quarry?

Rather cut yer throat in a hurry!

Continue to 2 more poems…

Geraldine Sinyuy


The rains now softly fall
And the fields jubilate.
The eye beholds the beauty of low green fields,
And the lilies smile.
The white birds fly against the blue sky,
The Risen Lord is here.
Oh let mankind join the music of nature,
That so freely praises and portrays,
Without hesitation,
The wonders of our God,
The generous hand,
For sure spring will never delay,
The covenant He keeps.
And the rain waters the dusty roads,
And gives life to thirsty seeds.
And now that Christ is Risen,
Deep down to the grave
He carried with him all pandemics,
He arises with healing,
Let the world be healed.
Down to the grave,
Buried with him
Are COVID-19,
Now let the hills rejoice and man proclaim
And the miracles of rabbits laying eggs,
Yes, all things are possible.
Easter is here,
All is restored.

Continue to another poem…

Hongri Yuan, translated by Yuanbing Zhang


Golden Giant

Who is sitting in the heavens and staring at me?
Who is sitting in the golden palace of tomorrow?
Who is smiling?
Golden staff in his hand
flashes a dazzling light. 
Ah, the flashes of lightning-
interweave over my head...
I walked into the crystalline corridor of the time-
I want to open
the doors of gold.
Lines of words in the sun-
Singing to me in the sky-
I want to find
the volumes of gold poems
on the shores of the new century
to build the city of gold.

Laozi with rosy cheek and white hair-
Smiles at me in the clouds,
A phoenix dances trippingly 
and carries with it, a book of gold.

Lines of mysterious words
made my eyes drunken,
countless giant figures
came towards me from the clouds.

Continue Reading…

Akshaya Pawaskar

As liberal as the air

Air is a traitor. 
It entered the enemy.
It reddened his blood. 
It filled his lungs,
expanded his ribs 
Made him puff up 
his chest and then
left to inform you,
that you could have 
the blue blood 
that you would have
to exhale all the hate
you held in your 
thoracic cage.
All the vitality 
sucked out of you 
as the air didn't
see you as a mirror.
Its eyes were 
none and several 
So it saw through you,
the whole world,
naked and didn't 
raise a finger.
Its gaze didn’t waver. 
It didn't read 
the Bible, the Geeta
or the Koran.
It flowed freely
and spied on all
but never let a 
secret out as 
it sang its own tune,
its own language.
It dried your skin
even as you shivered.
Where all scampered
to be segregated into 
varied families,
It knew all were
in the same boat,
only looking on
to different shores.

Continue to another poem…

Lori D. Roadhouse

Lori Roadhouse.consulting editor


Spring is coming
days are growing lighter
shadows are shorter 
in the middle of the day
and the warm sun
whispers promises of renewal 

You are leaving us

just as we begin to hope again
just as the earth 
from a long cold sleep

We will miss you

Miss the light and warmth
you bring to these drab walls 
and dim hallways
For you shine your light
upon all you touch
like the rays of springtime sun

We honour you today for
the lives you brighten
with the gifts you share

It is a time of renewal

Time for you to go - 
refresh your spirit
with new experiences
refill your soul
with wondrous sights
replenish your body 
with the nourishment
you take in on your journey

just as winter approaches
and the days begin to
grow short and dark again
just as the earth retreats 
into blinding whiteness 
harsh and stark and cruel
just as doubt begins to set in

You will return to us
renewed and rejuvenated
full of rich experience 
and cleansed from a season or two

You will return again
to shine your light upon us
to bless us with your warmth
and sunny presence

You will bring 
springtime again
As winter approaches

Continue to more poems…

Jaa Jasril


Breeze of the sea, smell of the sand,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             its been awhile. Since I last work on my tan,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as thing divert, not according to plan,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            finding yourself, in no man’s land,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    all this time, I got away and ran                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 then I questioned myself, until when?      
Feeling at lost, sitting by the bay,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              searching for WHY, under this hot midday,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sound of crashing waves, coming my way,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             leaving to embrace, come what may,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            up to them, what  ever they want to say,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      as we are all humans, made of clay                 
Break the walls down, bring down the gate,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 time to rise up, above all the hate,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a new song, in my mind it serenades,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             so be strong, to endure fate,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tomorrow will be better, so don’t be afraid,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     pick yourself, its time to create. 

Danga Bay,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            26/12/2020 

Continue to 2 more poems…

Lucilla Trapazzo



At the crossing of rivers intertwining 
scarves, people migrate and birds 
camels, elephants and jute sacks. 
Under harsh shadow of torn skies 
in baskets women carry 
the cries of fathers and knives
in the eyes of children. Replicating
traces of love in a different horizon 
on the route of far away delusions. 
History is a meandering vein, digging  
craters on the face. An offering 
of lotus flowers to extinguish the mark 
of angular horror, and we harvest dreams
poured on sand. A wrinkle in the wind
leaves no trace.

Continue to 2 more poems…

Mansour Noorbakhsh

Pandemic vs Utopia 

The cracked eggshell of
your certainty spills Viruses,
excuse me Plato
we need social distancing and
disinfecting the Forms and Ideas
to pass the faith over.

The destiny of humankind, now, puzzled,
loses the intensity of an entire summer 
while people must keep their distances 
but flowers are blooming
and fruits are ripening.

Continue Reading…

Reinhold Stipsits

Nearby the poppies
Anxious to open their core
Suddenly they blush
16.5. 2020

Woodpecker´s delight
Beetles sing: Here comes the sun
There, out in the sticks
3.9. 2020

Continue Reading…

Bhuwan Thapaliya


Reading a poem to my father

One evening 
to ward off the inertia 
stemming out of 
current pandemic
I read aloud to my father,
one of my favorite poems
from Yuyutsu Sharma’s
The Lake Fewa and a Horse.

A high blood pressure
and a chronic diabetics patient,
though he can 
read only the headlines
of a newspaper,
his glare can be as rigid
as a row of commas
on a page of my poems;
he can hush us all
by just clearing his throat.
There is nothing lyrical about him.
His emotions are packed full
as the groceries on the supermarket shelves.
Often it’s not easy to recite poems 
in front of him and my reading
that lonely evening was scratchy 
as I was shaking from it.

Continue Reading…

Sean Fredrick Ragoi



The great conqueror,
And the great divider
Dispersing power while dispersing nations 
Like a displaced union, at peace, but at war

The great construct of man
A great myth that we follow like sheep
And praised like a deity
It scatters the masses 

Continue Reading…

Kenneth R. Jenkins

Kenneth R. Jenkins


Somewhere up there
Beyond the distant clouds
And stars
And moon
Somewhere up there
Where planets hang in place
The Heavens above
Where Earth meet sky
And all in between
Of what there is

About Kenneth R. Jenkins…

Anjum Wasim Dar


Night of power it holds
Crescent to crescent, blessings
Miraculous  time.

Ramzan world over
Evil curbed, evil cleansed
In thought, word and deed.

Fast, pray, forgive, feed
Purify  soul, inculcate
Gratitude, make peace.

Duty fulfilled
Solemn thanksgiving, as one
We share treats on Eid.

Continue to Miracle in Ramzan…

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photo by DarcieFriesenHossack

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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