They were men, their faces half shadowed
from flickering firelight,
I was a boy on soft ground, two old hounds
between me and the rocked ring of the pit.
Leonard would holler and a glorious sound would come from his red fiddle,
but I imagined it was the forest’s song
and my eyes would close from exhaustion and the weight of dreams.
I would warm my hands on the belly of the Bluetick,
his eyes never quite shut, always watching while resting,
ready for the chase.
“David, you ain’t sleepin’, are ya?”
Hot chocolate and pipe smoke,
the smell of coonhound and
Two old Fords with round hoods stood darkly
at our backs, facing home
where morning would pass slowly
where faults and cold rain
David Magill, born in Kansas City, Missouri, moved to Minnesota as a young boy and grew up on a hobby farm in Afton. He has been married to his wife, Patti, for 23 years. His work has recently been published in Metonym,The Esthetic Apostle, Cagibi, Swimming with Elephants, Dreamers, Wanderlust, Sky Island Journal, and Rock & Sling. He has also been nominated for a Pushcart prize in poetry for 2019.
Big day at the Fun Show. At the AUCE (All You Can Eat) buffet—I swallow RG (Ray Gun) piece by piece, then automatic ammo. Awesome my reassembled sub-waistline. Not for gatling do by-standers gawk at me—female with humongous ghost-load, hubris muzzle, Preakness Envy. My FAFS4EmoO (First Amendment Fitness Statement for Emotional Ownership) yes-checked on background check, off to shop till I drop for killer red high heels. No more late-night specials for this chick w/chopper prick & phony asp hasps passing as concealed bra clasps.
AUCE is fighting back. I’m burping bits, barfing metallic reflux on my bib. You try walking the town, 5’4 ½”, 115 lbs., semi-automatic heater between your thighs. Wives follow me for package peek. Guys at bars fondle my epic bundle. Thrift shop, my next stop for jock strap, higher heels & folded grey carpet pad—felt, past tense of feel-good playschool mat for shooter-drill.
Charlotte M. Porter
Charlotte M. Porter lives in an old citrus hamlet in north central Florida. She is winner of the 2013 Talking/Writing flash fiction contest and the 2014 Bacopa Literary Review fiction contest. She has been top finalist for the Rose Metal Press flash fiction chapbook contest and the Calvino Prize. Look for her poetry in Baseball Bard, Burningwood, Confrontation, SLAB, Light Ekphrastic, Pea River Journal (Moby-Dick project), and Bacopa. Her poetry has been exhibited in galleries in Baltimore, MD, and Palatka, FL. For her recent fiction and creative nonfiction, see Kansas City Voices, Duende, Axolotl, Bacopa, Colp, and
We live within a universe so vast
we never will perceive its full extent.
Because there are horizons that are past
the span light can speed in the firmament,
parts of the cosmos will be forever
beyond possible communication.
As fast as light, we’ll still reach them never,
for they have greater acceleration.
We here who are within it
can’t exceed light’s pace in space,
such efforts will be vexed.
Our universe grows faster than light-speed,
so isolates one portion from the next.
We cannot know that,
physical laws apply or
still follows cause.
James Ph. Kotsybar
Chosen for special recognition by NASA, James Ph. Kotsybar is the first poet to be published to another planet. His haiku currently orbits Mars aboard the MAVEN spacecraft, appears in the mission log of The Hubble Space Telescope, and was featured at NASA’s Centaur Art Challenge at IngenuityFest, Ohio. Last Summer, he performed his poetry before an international audience of scientists, journalists and actual Troubadours in their founding city of Toulouse, France, at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF2018) by invitation and has been invited back to ESOF2020 to be held in Trieste, Italy. Most recently he has had poems published in The Bubble, Askew, The Society of Classical Poets, LUMMOX Press, Sixfold, Mason’s Road, Encore and Scifaikuest, and has received honors from The State Poetry Society of Michigan and the Balticon 48 Poetry Competition. He especially enjoys science poetry, because of its extended shelf-life.