Poem by Carly DeMento

Photograph by Jane Edberg, copyright 2022, all rights reserved.

I know in my heart
how rare each day is
but I’ve learned to pretend
it’s no big thing.

Carly DeMento is a writer, musician, and activist living in Encinitas, CA. A passionate autodidact, she has written for art museums, water departments, and tech companies — creating everything from greywater manuals to augmented and virtual reality experiences for zoos and museums. Recently, at the age of 40, she decided to stop being a ninny and began to submit her work. Her first poem was published in the spring of 2022. When she’s not writing, Carly is surfing, growing the only chili native to the US, and cooking heaps of pasta with her love, Danny.

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By Linda S. Gunther

Artwork by TM Givens, 8/12/15

Bittersweet barracuda
you were to me
Forbidden delicacy
on summer afternoons
A sad goodbye
echoes for me in the night
Saddled with commitment
surrounded and afraid
to be alone

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Prose Poem by Peter Jastermsky

Photograph by Jane Edberg, copyright 2022, all rights reserved.

Just got out of the hospital. An outlet stopped working. There were other avenues of expression, of course. But I switched to safer topics.

The dog got loose and ran wild all day. There was no leash and not even a period for the end of my sentence. It felt like being in jail. But Weather stops at nothing — think about that. Without weather, we’d have the Wither Channel.

God, our planet is taking a beating. I’ve got a recording of a choir performing a requiem to earth. All you hear is silence. But I’m waiting for my eardrums to explode. What goes around and all that.

From the looks of the delivery man, it won’t be long.

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Poem by Penelope Moffet

Photograph by Jane Edberg, copyright, all rights reserved.

At night sand migrated
from the unslept-on side
to the slept-on side
where the restless sleeper
twisted the sheets. As if
pushed onto shore
by arriving and departing waves
it moved under and over the covers
from where it had sifted
out of the beach chair
briefly rested on the quilt
three days before. As if it were
a sandman come to comfort
the sandwoman who
in the barely-there
light of early morning
rhythmically sweeps it
out of the bed to the floor.

Penelope Moffet is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Cauldron of Hisses (Arroyo Seco Press, 2022). Her poems have been published in Gleam, One, Natural Bridge, Permafrost, Pearl, The Rise Up Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Verse-Virtual, Gyroscope and other literary journals. She lives in Southern California.

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John Brantingham

John Brantingham

Former Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Education. Nature. Art. Marriage. Nomading. Check out my latest books at johnbrantingham.com.