• “The Alchemy of Self-Love” by Sumer Cave

    If I am an Alchemist Let me press my palms into the dirt Let me conjure love By burying my toes underneath waxy Rain dropped rose petals That make love to the worms And let me set my ear to the earth And listen as she coos sweetly to the winds Who in time Caresses the mountains as they crumble to dust Creating space for my beating heart On this celestial plane of reality Sumer Cave recently moved to Tacoma Washington from West Virginia and continually seeks out creative opportunities that she feels will nourish her soul.  Cave has always harnessed an affinity and passion for written words, specifically poetry,…

  • “The Carolers” by Elizabeth Beck

    Christmas brings pudding, sweet and shining suet Sugared plums swimming in cream Paper crowns with bawdy jokes and a fullness of familial comfort While Eve ushers the gentle whisper of candles lighting And breathless waiting of children Beneath a thick blanket of low hymns We know the traditional dance Of moon to morning sun Few speak of the darkness before When the Spirit moved over the waters in inky blackness The darkness before creation The celebration of the night before Christmas Eve Who would honor an absence An emptiness, a void – But for the carolers It is the hour of indwelling and the moment of making That composes their…

  • “Let Her Speak” by Rucha Nimbalkar

    Time and again its proven that she is not a witch She is pure let her speak Her work shows that she deserves to be heard she is not a free loader She is divine, she gives birth She brings ideas to life and gives them worth She is crazy Not to be taken easy her strength will make you hazy She is not an object to touch or play She is more than her size, Her color, her shape are just a cover beneath all that lies a lot of caliber She is funny, she is witty she is not born to please everybody even when she is alone,…

  • “One Perfect Christmas Moment” by L. Lisa Lawrence

    Every now and then, something amazing, profoundly hits us out of the blue; more often than not, it comes from a source that we least expect.   I am one of “those people” who prefers to use the words “Happy Holidays” to greet people during the winter holiday season in order to respect and acknowledge the fact that the season is shared by many faiths and traditions. It’s not a “war on Christmas”, it’s merely being inclusive and respectful.   I am not a Christian, but I do celebrate Christmas as a holiday of shared seasonal traditions. I celebrate it as a season of light, hope and ideally, peace on…

  • “Beyond Nisqually” by Carol Sunde

    I scuttle a cedar-spiced path at the Refuge, more than a little wild, scuffling leaves   where crisp breezes hula rose hips and snowberries bead bushes,   imagining plover, goose, and warbler engines fueling migrations south,   as maples unclasp autumn fashions, strip   leaf after leaf to slither and glide down trunk and limbs,   exposing intimations of what the future holds.

  • “Cat Hair and Stretch Pants” by Dawn Ellis

    Go see your aunt,” my mother nagged after Sunday night dinner. “She misses you. You don’t go see her enough.” “I’ve got way better things to do. I really don’t want to, Ma,” I whined. “Go. She doesn’t have anybody. And she’s interesting! She has a lot of life experience to share.” “Ma, she’s interesting like a fender-bender or…a personality disorder,” I said. “Oh, stop. She’s your aunt.” “I get all unspooled when I go there, Ma.” I pushed away my plate of pecan pie, half eaten. “For Pete’s sake, what does that mean?” “It means that I want to crawl out of my skin when I’m there,” I said.…

  • “Sincerely, Your Emotional Poltergeist” by Lucien Vedego

    This is an open letter to anyone who has ever dishonored my presence or done me wrong. I mean you no harm but, when you look at me I hope you forget what home feels like. I hope all memory of your mother’s touch dissipates as your eyes meet mine. I hope my pupils feel like it’s one hundred degrees and there’s no shade in sight. But only for a moment. I just want to hold you in that presence that you missed out on because you decided your attention needed to go elsewhere while you left me to fester in your rotting wreckage.

  • “The Box” by John M. Carlson

    Carl discovered the secret compartment in the back of Grandmother’s closet. It only held a small metal box, but Carl had a feeling he’d found what he and Marc, his brother, had been looking for. He turned to Marc, who was digging through Grandmother’s underwear drawer. Carl was reminded of when Marc was a teenager. Back then, he often went digging through their mother’s dresser hoping to find a few dollars to steal. “Marc? I think I found it!” “Good.” Marc slammed the drawer shut. A sliver of underwear stuck out of the top of the drawer. He came over to Carl. “Yep. It sure looks like the box that…