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Other notable works by James Penha and Sandy Hiss



Dr. Charles Frederickson-  



Desperate lonely hearts craving hugs

Searching for whatever resembles love

Spine curved head bowed forward

Fetal position hope chest bound


       Embedded purity highly refractive gemstone

       Diamond in rough lacking finesse

       Pierced elongated lobes throbbing anticipation

       Filigree earrings sprinkled with glitter


               Loupe magnifying loose chip flaws

               Colorless artificial rhinestone imitative sparkle

               Brilliant enough to please fickle

               Graces absence being their presence


                       Virgin springs gurglingly smoothing rockery

                       Jagged edges ground to halt

                       Frozen stalactites cracked sliver shards

                       Meltdown dripping prismatic glossy desire


               Quality determined by four C’s

               Carat weight Clarity Color Cut

               Inferiority complex crown jewel rejects

               Star rubies bleeding purple hearts


       Crescent moon hanging by thread

       Rusty fishhook swallowed dangling guts

       Fragrant stars dense with perfume

       Confetti celebrating blissful special occasion


Otherwise engaged uncorked champagne effervescence

Popped questions impatiently awaiting answers

Ballroom strobe masked living corpse

Switching partners symphony left unfinished





Where nearly full moon slipped

       Beneath beleaguered darkling faceless depths

               Mirroring distorted time warp reflections

                       Midnight blue firmament snuffed out


Eerie disappearing ink light-heartedly treated

       Revealing corked bottleneck secret message

               Sand-crabs scurrying across gritty scorch

                       Stranded in ebb tide limbo


Sunken treasure chest embellished recollections

       Bivalve mollusk hinges forced open

               Water-logged obsolete pirated doubloons spent

                       Sluggish burdensome shell lifted off


Wading through bloodsucker infested shallows

       Sudden drop-off ominous warning threat

               Still water walking not running

                       Snubbing earthly matters that don’t


Consciousness aroused from twilight sleep

       Neon fish blinking apparitional eyelids

               Looking to clear up nostalgia

                       Invisibly seeing through the invisible


Prismatic crystal drip-dried salty teardrops

       Overturned hourglass illusory curvilinear arcs

               Fade resistant colorfast rainbows flooding

                       Golden age spectrum lost sparkle


Bent stingray slivers summoning dawn

       Expectant Sol pregnant with hope

               Whiplash tail venomous cervical spine

                       Jerky motions inflicting severe injury





Supercontinent called Pangaea gigantic jigsaw

All earth fragmentary break-up adrift

Oddly shaped interlocking tessellating tiles

Outwitting minors testing major dexterity


       Austrian fairytale castle WHEWish view

       Incomplete picture missing key pieces

       Discarded past lost childhood diversion

       Warped cardboard flipped lid resealed


               Zigzag mountains reaching incredible heights

               Poking holes in big-bang theory

               Volcanoes erupting with explosive force

               Crusty lava vesuvian outbursts vented


                       Why is earth so restless

                       Impossible to solve sphinx-like enigmas

                       Riddled with shaky groundless IDIOTsyncratic

                       ASSumptions terra anything but firma


               Seismic pressure cooker letting off

               Steamy angst chasmal geologic faults

               Overcrowded lonely planet seeking consolation

               Flooded with tsunami thingamajig-saw-seen chaos


       Misfits forced to conform square

       Pegs pounded into round pigeonholes

       Lofty nests ransacked molten image

       Ruffled feathers plucked bareness exposed


Siberian Alaskan drawbridge missing link

Bering Strait suffering bipolar meltdown

Global warming tollgate barred passage

Credibility gap big-wig-wag-VIPerine bottomless p







Wheel of Fortune spinning fiber

       Single spindle notched divining rod

               Continuous strain of twisted yarns

                       Seer telling future linear chiromancy


                       Where stoic mountains remain unmoved

               Crashing Olympian pantheon lofty heights

       Observing my own destiny firsthand

Unclenched fist revealing fringed palms


Moirai trio never relinquishing control

       Mercilessly prevailing over waiver pleas

               Daughters of necessity entrusted with

                       Simply doing their assigned jobs


                       Dream-spinner Clotho interweaving chance encounters

               All too brief butterfly ephemerality

       Lachesis drawer of lots moralistic

Golden Rule yardstick determining length


Atropos inevitably snipping frayed thread

       Nirvana search suffering painful pleasure

               Life after death blessed afterlife

                       Do-gooder deeds paving karmic roadbed


                       Fallen leaf outliving conventional usefulness

               Compulsions shed like withered petals

       Pick rosebuds over fragrant blossoms

Stripping thorns stemming from self-extinction





Frothy rabid hatred empty pockets

       Holed up resistance spewing revenge

Rusty tear ducts weeping inconsolably

       Impotent rage drowned in fear


       Enigmatic fir sentinels attention bent

Conical shadows leaning on crutches

       Ghostly skeleton branches eyeless needles

Mud encrusted no longer evergreen


Brittle fragile saplings broken arrows

       Bowing east leaning towards Mecca

Nebulous silhouettes lost twilight prayers

       Bound to nefarious eternal darkness


       As dusk surrenders shrouded nighttide

Passes into itself beseeching Sunshine

       To come out of hiding

Teaching bluebirds to chirp again


Uprooted cringing hostile earthy clumps

       Caught in tangled undergrowth bramble

Thorny rosebuds unshackled cuffs polished

       Dense clueless thicket demons unbound


       Forever yet never vibrant afterlife

Crumbly wick hysteria rendered incarnate

       Trembling flames resettled ashes-to-dust

Snuffed wind-blown votive candle relit 





Weekend escapism wilderness nature hike

Carving previously unexplored wasteland trails

Trudging through prickly thistle bramble

Wading across knee-deep stony rills


Sterile bleak moor harvesting melancholy

Evaporated teardrops pools of sorrow

Maudlin dried up peat bogs

Luminous stingray sunstroke draining vitality


Fruity scent rebirth tinted green

Fleshy herbage shy pastel wildflowers

Ripening ovaries hopeful come-on petals

Enticing seedy pollen gathering bees


Roving grasshopper lies in wait

Pulsating hind leg veins poised

To jumpstart intrepid wanderlust in

Hot pursuit of quiet solitude


Hanging by sticky silken thread

Pupa cocooned away from loathing

Emerging butterfly unfolds wings takes

Leave not yet sure whereto 





Vicissitudes of wrinkled nature show

True colorless ambiguity bare naked

Heart exposed lonely old world

Lizard’s quest for perfect mate


Its mirror image past unrecognizable

In camouflage uniform undetectably blending

Into terrain disguising scaly discerning

Soul changing clothes polishing markings


Coat of many colors reversible

Lining turned inside-out making first

Dance moves wild carnality soars

Free throes of untamable spirit


Flash fire burning inside puffed

Cheeks grown flush colorblind gaze

Another shade of effervescent hide

Imagined slowly facing proposed mate


Creeping into breeding habit tongues

Hissing then silently making love

The connection between life and

Death drowning in chromatic harmonies


Crystallizing same blood type sweet

Relief comes quickly teacup and

Saucer snugly stacked within each

Other while disembodied creatures unwrap


Retractile tails slithering away in

Opposite directions disappearing into veiled

Moonless haze heavens beyond reach

Rain forest shrouded in darkness 





Secrets of our storybook universe

Backed into corners unfolding pages

Flipping through yet-to-be edited chapters

Scanning indexes for prophetic solutions


Chips off old writer’s block

Bipolar slow unsure glacial meltdown

What lies beneath monolithic icebergs

Once upon certainties currently aren’t


Compromised more-or-less climate change

Rising global temperatures shifting gears

Weather patterns heightened sea levels

Extremes increasingly frequent severely intense


Global warming bodes cataclysmic effects

Fact not fiction apocalyptic forecast

Taming circus freaks of nature

Illusions deled droughty famine stetted


Uphill struggle pitted against downtrodden

Pretending to love each other

Forced smiles fake friend betrayals

Denying inevitability of sharecropper fate


Help make our endangered planet

Safe for diversity uniquely special

Respectful tolerance our humanistic goal

Environmental protection united common cause


Nothing worth knowing can be

Taught prefatory wisdom proofread enlightenment

Skepticism turned to leap-of-faith derring-do

Conviction copyrightable granted literati authority 



Granular Vision


Stretched blank canvas cursory glances

Infinite needle’s eye threading loopholes

Unlikely soiled landscape begs forgiveness

Dissolving perspective untouchable as grace


Self-portrait donning forced unctuous smile

Wrinkles seeping across once-fair cheeks

Instinctively knowing what lies behind

Transparent faceless mask fake persona


Still life wondrous covetous desire

Proper universe reconciling misspent hours

Settling for several teeming minutes

Everlasting penance deep purple salvation


Spitfire constellations innumerable expired stars

Fallen from divinity usefulness outlived

Remote light-years are gulped down

Voraciously detached shadows swallowed whole


Perennial bulbs coaxed into bloom

Petals opening with brazen yawn

Private parts exposed unblushing display

Pungent scent best only imagined


Pastoral landscape wrapped in silence

Stretched horizon fantastic surrealism grounded

Perfect triangle parallel tracks diminishing

Perspective fixed to vanishing point 



Boundless Imagination


Nonsense is one-way of perversely

Looking at existence through the

Wrong end of far-reaching telescope

Laughing at life’s absurd follies


All discoveries made and acts

Performed originate as creative fantasies

Daring adventurers explore predestined fate

Intrepid fearless journey without maps


Dare to give taking liberties

Risks others regard impracticably unsafe

Try and fail but never-never

Fail to try-try-try again-again


Those who hide behind masks

Eventually expose their faceless selves

Rip off let’s pretend disguises

Encountering inner anima self-awareness truths


Hopes become realities only when

We learn how to confront

And reasonably solve our own

Waylaid problems face life now 



Dr. Charles Frederickson is a Swedish-American-Thai progressive visionary, feisty vagabond and passionate do-gooder who has wandered intrepidly through 206 countries, an original sketch and poem for each presented on

imagesof.8k.  This e-gadfly is a member of World Poets Society, based in Greece, with 200+ poetry publication credits on 6 continents, including: Above Ground Testing, Angelfire, Ascent Aspirations, Auckland Poetry, Blind Mans Rainbow, Both Sides Now, Carillon, Caveat Lector, Cordite Poetry Review, Dance to Death, Decanto, Eclipse, Flutter Magazine, Fullosia Press, Gangway, Greatworks, Green Dove, Indite Circle, International Poet, Listen & Be Heard, Living Poets, Lunarosity, Madpoetry, Masque Publishing, Melange, Newtopia, Neon Highway, New Verse News, Planet Authority, Poetisphere, Poetry Canada, Poetry Cemetery, Poetry of Scotland, Poetry Stop, Poets for Peace, Poetry Superhighway, Pyramid, Sz, The Smoking Poet, Vintage, Ygdrasil, Ya’Sou! and Zafusy




James Penha- 




I could always get Dad to talk

about how he had felt

welding Mighty Mo’s top mast

before She sailed

to transform

Her peachy-cheeked sailor boys

into heroes. 

On the Aurora model my brother,

listening to American Bandstand,

put together

with glue and dirty, patient fingers,

Dad pointed out the very spot,

in scale,

where he stood free

atop the wide Missouri

above the Brooklyn Navy Yard

dry dock.

My father brought his thumb 

to bear upon the decaled star


the immortal moment when



ended the Pacific War. 

In answer to my friends

who had to know

what my daddy did

while theirs 

breathed down

Audie Murphy’s

dogtag chain,

I used to say

what Dad used to say

to my brother and me,

“Building those ships

was important work, boys.” 

But I heard the qualm.

He regretted

the missed chance

to die for his country

and give us up


without warning

one Sunday morning,

the asbestos got him.






The federal government calls it



but it’s desert to me

when it hasn’t rained two years.

And home.

The sheep,

they’re too weak

to bear

their own wool,

so we sell ’em to Saudi

for barbies, I guess.

Now the shrub, it can last

three years without rain, but

we’ve got the perfect balance here,


of course, it will rain,

before three years.

I can’t think



A year ago, the crickets

got real quiet,

and the moth hung

on our panes.

Rain, says the black fellas.

I believed ‘em

‘cause I had to.

So don’t a big black thundercloud


across my station here


and it pours itself

right where the pond was

‘til the sun shines

on swans and ducks


in the middle of the desert?


Thought it was a damn mirage.

No sense,


so, it’s got to rain






When does wise turn sad? When romantic

melancholia depress?

When nourishing fire’s ash drop with a vengenace?

When love shed like?

When the old dog too stiff to greet you at the door

even if she hears you enter?


Is it cued by the short days? No wonder

Ibsen frowned on the other hand.

Will work suffice?

How much happier really

is Stallone? Well, then

Beatty? Redford?

But . . . Woody?


I trailed Woody Allen up Madison Avenue once.

Block after block, I slowed to his footsteps. He

talked with a woman oh

twice his height. Not Keaton,

nor Mia of course. They parted the waves.

In the wake, I watched millions

tilt their eyes and try to watch

with casualness

where they went.

Not one broke stride;

we yielded Woody his vector. But at the plane

of passage

all turned for the denouement

with their heads upon their shoulders

and quickly back to each other to ask,

rhetorically, “Do you know who that was?”

or to say who that was.

The sure

only smiled.

Others looked back.

This city was Woody’s.


I watched Woody and the woman

turn a block onto Fifth and into an apartment house.


It has taken me years to intrude with this, but

my sadness

makes me want to write

that Woody

lived with reverence.



A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past sixteen years in Indonesia. No Bones to Carry, a volume of Penha’s poetry, has just been published by New Sins Press. His award-winning 1992 chapbook On the Back of the Dragon is now downloadable from Frugal Fiction. Among the most recent of his many other published works are an article in English Journal; fiction at East of the Web and Ignavia; and poems in THEMA and in the anthologies Silver Boomers (Silver Boomer Press), Queer Collection (Fabulist Flash Publishing) and Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Press). Penha edits The New Verse News, a website for current-events poetry. 




Sandy Hiss- 


Siam Rose


The abalone handle

inscribed Siam Rose

rests gently in my palm

as I hold the mirror close

to my fair isle skin

and a face whose features

suggest Amerasian


Dark almond eyes pierce their

way into reflections of golden

temples and Buddhist monks

praying in fire-orange robes


Scent of incense burns away

ancient Thai prayers

drifting up into the sky

only to dissipate and rain down

on the dusty streets of Bangkok

cleansing the city of foreign

dirt and immorality


I think of the GI in olive drab

stumbling his way into

a side-street family bar

to drown his homesickness

in Budweiser


Then she appears

strutting around in slinky silk

and 3” heels, a debutante in heat

walking over to the lonely GI

who glances at her

trying to look unimpressed

in that I-don’t-care-who-you-are

kind of way


But he does care

fumbles with his wallet

trying to remember how much love

he brought with him


and what to name me





On the outside,

my demeanor is calm and cool;

a magnolia quietly surrendering

its sweet scent to the putrid

odor of a world in decay.


Trapped in a grey room,

I’m the fading white on the walls. 

The crystal vase sparkling when

the lights are turned off. Dropping

hints within specks of dust.


On the inside,

in the nude, I’m on fire;

an orange aster burning the marrow

in my brittle bones. Thriving

on smoky fumes and dead poetry.



Blind Lily


She always wore an Oriental Lily

tucked seductively behind her right ear. 

She had never been to the Orient

but in her past life she was a geisha. 


The fortune teller in the old Victorian

told her so; it had to be true. 

Downstairs, pale linen curtains shrank

under the sun’s heat, their beauty marred

beneath a patina of ochre rays. 


Soaking in a bath of orange blossoms,

she tried to wipe away the porcelain

veneer that coated her life.  White was

never her color; she longed to be a yellow

girl who glowed in the sun like Buddha. 


So she prayed to him, chanting words she

memorized from a travel brochure.  Gray

strands floated like jellyfish around her

envy, stinging her cloudy eyes.  

She couldn’t see. 



Sandy Hiss‘ poetry has been published in over 65 print and online poetry journals.  Her first book of poetry, Ever Violet, was published in April 2007 and can be purchased at d-npublishing.  She also has 2 chapbooks, Beneath a Black Pearl Sky and Petal Storm at Lulu.





Editor, Lisa Zaran

ISSN: 1095-732x

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2007

January - Roger Humes
February - Jimmy Santiago Baca
March - Graham Burchell
April - Ruth Daigon
May - Anne Fraser
June - Corey Mesler
July - Scott Malby
August - James Keane
September - Maurice Oliver
October - Robert Pinsky
November - Louis Daniel Brodsky
December - Bill Duvall

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2008

January - Kelley White
February - L. Ward Abel
March - Maura Stanton
April - Dr. Charles Frederickson
May - Peter Magliocco
June - Penny Harter
July - Gary Beck
August - Jéanpaul Ferro
September - Fish and Shushan
October - Kenneth Gurney
November - John Gallaher
December - Carmen Alexandra

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2009

January - Karen Rigby
February - A.D. Winans
March - Donald Illich
April - Stephen Ferreira
May - Tracee Coleman
June - Ernest Williamson
July - Sally Van Doren
August - Nanette Rayman Rivera
September - Gianina Opris
October - Judson Mitcham
November - Joel Solonche
December - Peycho Kanev

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2010

January - Louis Gallo
February - Buxton Wells
March - Labi Siffre
April - Regina Green
May - Howard Good
June - Carol Lynn Grellas
July - William Doreski
August - Sari Krosinsky
September - Ben Nardolilli
October - James Piatt
November - Robert Lietz
December - John Grey

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2011

January - Robert Philbin
February - iolanda scripca
March - Tad Richards
April - Katie Kopin
May - Jacob Newberry
June - George Moore
July - Rae Spencer
August - Jim Richards
September - Antonia Clark
October - Tannen Dell
November - Christina Matthews
December - Charles Clifford Brooks III

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2012

January - Anniversary Issue
February - Jim Davis
March - Ivy Page
April - Maurice Oliver
May - Lori Desrosiers
June - Ray Sharp
July - Nathan Prince
August - Robert Klein Engler
September - Jenn Monroe
October - John Grey
November - Andrea Potos
December - Christina M. Rau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2013

January - Maria Luisa Arroyo
February - Journal on haitus

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2014

April - Rebirth
May - Timothy Walsh
June - Brian Fanelli
July - Carol Smallwood
August - Elizabeth P. Glixman
September - Sally Van Doren
October - Sherry O'Keefe
November - Robert McDonald
December - Gerry McFarland

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2015

January - James Keane
February - Liza Hyatt
March - Joseph Reich
April - Charles Thielman
May - Norbert Krapf
June - Lynne Knight
July - Sarah Brown Weitzman
August - Tom Montag
September - Susan Palmer
October - Holly Day
November - A.J. Huffman
December - Tom Pescatore

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2016

January - Richard Perin
February - Linne Ebbrecht
March - Sheri Vandermolen
April - Molly Cappiello
May - Caleb Coy
June - Paul Lubenkov
July - Domenic Scopa
August - Adam Phillips
September - Timothy Gager
October - Bruce Lader
November - Holly Day
December - Al Rocheleau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2017

January - Robert Lietz
February - Jocelyn Heaney
March - David Brinkman
April - Lana Bella
May - Kaitlyn O'Malley
June - Ruth Kessler
July - Chanel Brenner
August - Darren Demaree
September - George Moore
October - Joshua Medsker
November - Ralph Monday
December - Howie Good

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2018

January – Simon Perchik
February – Julia Travers
March-June – Journal on hiatus
July – Simon Perchik
August – Hiram Larew
September – Kevin Casey
October – Ditta Baron Hoeber
November – EG Ted Davis


Image of bird by contemporary artist, Courtney Smith
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