Losing Dad

Plum light unfolded

between the dense brush

of my backyard

the morning

of the day

dad died.

The night before,

he refused

even one mouthful

of lemon meringue pie.

Words were stones

and old stories

were one-sided

casting an umbra

of gray-green.

That’s how I knew.


The outline of morning

broke the uneasy sleep

that formed between the memory

of years of tart pie

and seasons of losing

dad in the thickets

of dementia.

The sunrise’s glamour

that day glittered

off the world

in all its weightiness.

Shallow puddles

from a thundershower spread

across the thirsty dirt.

And the only hunger

that day

inched forward

between the ticks

of the clock.


by Teresa Sutton

Teresa Sutton is a poet and a teacher. She has taught at Marist College for ten years and high school English for 28 years. She lives in Poughkeepsie, NY and has two grown children. Her poems appear in a number of literary journals including Stone Canoe, Fourteen Hills, and Solstice. Her second chapbook, “Ossory Wolves,” was a finalist in the 2014 Bright Hill Press’ Poetry Chapbook Competition. Sutton’s third chapbook, “Breaking Newton’s Laws,” won first place in the Encircle Publication 2017 Chapbook Competition; it was a top-12 finalist in the 2015 Indian Paintbrush Chapbook Competition, a finalist in the 2016 Minerva Rising Chapbook Competition, and earned an honorable mention in the 2015 Concrete Wolf Poetry Chapbook Competition. One of the poems in the collection, “Dementia,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The final poem of the book, “Confiteor 2,” was honored with second prize in the 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry by Alternating Current. The Poet’s Billow recognized her work as a finalist in the 2015 Pangaea Prize and a semi-finalist in the 2014 Atlantis Award. The Cultural Center of Cape Cod recognized her work as a finalist in their 2014 National Poetry Competition. Two of her poems won honorable mention in other poetry competitions: Whispering Prairie Press and California State Poetry Society. Sutton earned her MFA from Solstice Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College. She has a MA in literature from Western Connecticut State University and a MS in education from SUNY New Paltz. She earned her BA in English from SUNY Albany.

Luminous universe

Growing and rising slowly

to the height above disbelief,

we may be touched by the sky.


Perceiving that words don’t tell

where angels dwell, it will be still.

What we heard, is a presence in itself.


Seven, Ten, Twelve –

let’s count our best blessings

and accept some ordeals or misfortunes.


Can we feel blessed indeed then

with plenty of things not happening to us?

But that’s no relief to lots of creatures far or near!


The swift and skittish starlings are heedless,

free? Well, at least we don’t need to eat worms.

A grasshopper drops by; they’re not in the past only!


And a tiny flower survives the mower.

So, many thanks for today, that may bring more.

No gloom, please; it seems to become wonderfully serene.


In the gleam of a durable sun

and ever-full moon, the swans fly this way.

They can lift their own weights, with those who participate.


by Arno Bohlmeijer

Arno Bohlmeijer holds an MA in English Lit, BA French, and is a bilingual author in English & Dutch. He is winner of the National Charlotte Köhler Prize, finalist for the 2018 Gabo Prize, and finalist for the 2018 Poetry Matters Project. Arno has been published in five countries.


A Bipolar Spring

It must be Spring.

The begonias are vomiting diesel


Leaf blowers are whining like scapegoats

Condemned to die


In a swirl

Of garbage and leaves,

And I don’t feel like being alive today.


Why must I


Salute the pilfered flag

That just yesterday I glibly waved?


Somewhere a monstrous, moody moon

Lingers like a flashlight in an empty street,

Ready to plunge her sequined syringe

Into my unwitting, smoggy veins.


Somewhere bird watchers

And gardeners

And beekeepers

Swoon like submissive violins.


It must be Spring


I am choking on the dew.

I am lost in a maze of barbed-wire-wool,

Still cold, lacerated, hemmed in


Like a fiery torment of acid tears

Spilling into a perverse pool

Of my own making,

And I don’t feel like being alive today.


Who are you

To assure me

That life is regenerative?


Somewhere I know that you are right,

But I don’t care. Not now.

I am an oil derrick

Wheezing night and day;

My demise is bound up in my riches,

And I don’t feel like being alive today.


Somewhere it is Fall

And somewhere it is Summer

And somewhere it is Winter

And maybe here it isn’t even Spring:

How quickly, how often the seasons change!


I am sober. I’ve never done a drug.

But the begonias are vomiting diesel


And I don’t feel like being alive today.


by Andy Posner

Andy Posner is a resident of Dedham, Massachusetts. He grew up in Los Angeles and received his Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Culture from California State University, Northridge. He moved to New England in 2007 to pursue an MA in Environmental Studies at Brown University. While there, he founded Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit that provides small personal loans and financial coaching to low-income residents of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Florida.