What Knot, by Nelle Lytle

What Knot,
by Nelle Lytle

What knot
did you tie
to make a clover chain?

What chant
did you sing
as the rope slapped down?

Tell me
all you were, then
I’ll reply.

Slip; Cinderella;
So was I.



Nelle Lytle is a creature of earth and air. She is unabashedly romantic. A player, a lover, she was born a masked maiden, knows she will die some day, lives now. Nelle is a sometime poet. Her work is at n3lle.wordpress.com

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The Games We Used to Play, by Viv Blake

The Games We Used to Play,
by Viv Blake

Plainsy, clapsy,
round the world
to backsy, with a ball
against the wall.

Hopscotch and skipping games,
ball games, marbles and the like
all out in the playground
in healthy cold fresh air.
Pontoon, rummy or Monopoly
On rainy days indoors.

Cowboys and Indians,
camping on the island.
Growing up to team games
like rugby touch and rounders
and flirting round the bike sheds.

Years of Bridge, and adult games
like chess, Mah Jong and Scrabble
before the babies came
with patacake
and this little piggy went to school,
to repeat the whole rigmarole.

Plainsy, clapsy,
round the world
to backsy, with a ball
against the wall…


Viv Blake is a late-developing poet and quilter living in rural France, recently published in  The Book of Love and Loss, and in the first issue of Gnarled Oak. Her work may be read at http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

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The Dixie Café, by Mary Theroux

The Dixie Café
by Mary Theroux

Bypassed by the highway,
mislaid in time,
“The Dixie” held tight.
On the square
in Byrdstown, Tennessee
up the Cumberland Plateau
hard by the Kentucky state line.
People divided
by drawn boundaries
isolated by musty grudges –
still Blue or Gray.

Johnnye fried the catfish
green tomatoes
hush puppies
that soothed her aging town
while businesses died
one by one.

Then came the music –
banjo and guitar,
a doghouse bass.

They come down now
from Somerset
drive up
from Nashville –
meet at the borders of their lives.
Locals, outlanders
bluegrass and gospel
playing for tips
and their own melodic passions.

Mary Theroux


“Charmaine at The Dixie Cafe” Durwood Edwards

“Charmaine at The Dixie Cafe”, Durwood Edwards

Inspiration for this poem was a weekend spent on the Cumberland
Plateau realizing that local blood-relatives had not spoken for
generations because of bad feelings associated with the Civil War and
its aftermath, but who now mingled at weekly music nights recently
started in a cafe in their small town.

Mary Theroux lives in a natural-wood chalet in a forest of tulip,
hickory, and dogwood in Davidson County, Tennessee. She sculpted in
stone and steel for many years but has returned to an early love of
writing poetry as a late-life pursuit.

Durwood Edwards is a musician and photographer living near Nashville, Tennessee.

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Shoes Not Required by Sara Vinas

Shoes Not Required 
by Sara Vinas

It starts somewhere
Hip slide and shimmy
Knee bop
Shoes drop
And everything’s moving
To the beat
Heart, drum, guitar strum
Release inner strings
(it’s a cinch)
And get down
Any way you want
Flaunt that joy
No form
All play
Save Arthur Murray
For another day


Sara Vinas is a worshipper of sun, sea and serendipity (and a good dance beat), which is reflected in her art and poetry.  Her poems have been published in several online publications, and anthologies. Her poetry and artwork may be found at “The Cracker Jack Poet” http://saravinas.blogspot.com

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Crayola Protégé, by Kalyn L.P. Gensic

Crayola Protégé
by Kalyn L.P. Gensic

In the darkness of New Jersey’s January
we awoke to a warm southern landscape
on the once pristine walls of the hallway.

My brother was eight with avante garde tendencies.
He colored inside the lines sometimes, but mostly
he favored spastic sweeps void of such formalities.

At school, he colored his hand’s contour like a peacock,
upsetting the steady rhythm and rows of turkeys
adorning the third grade Thanksgiving party.

Back with us, he colored a monster with fuchsia tinted wax,
prey racing to sanctuary beyond the paper’s edge.

The day he colored cedar trees cerulean blue,
the wrinkle separating Dad’s eyebrows deepened
at the refrigerator door display.  Trees are green, son.

On that frigid morning when we entered the hallway
to find the scarlet sun and indigo hills,
Mom was furious, but she never painted it away.
I saw her staring into its sunset, her eyes following
the strokes from the ceiling to the floor.


Kalyn L.P. Gensic is a visual artist from Ardmore, OK. Formerly, she was the art and poetry editor of The Shinnery Review. Some of her recent work is forthcoming in Ilya’s Honey and Neat.

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LIP GLOSS INSTEAD, by Pamela Sayers

by Pamela Sayers

Because my mother loved lipstick,
I liven up when applying the sheerest rose colour.

But unpredictably, deep scarlet makes me sad.

Her smooth voice is always near;
with clarity I watch the clock’s hands move quickly.

I go to the cosmetic counter to look for the new
summer colours and a salesgirl asks if she can help.

I kiss a subtle mauve on my lips;
I buy a clear lip
gloss instead.

My mother never wore lip gloss.
She only wore vibrant shades.

I buy a new lipstick every month;
line them up on my vanity,
 an unsatisfied obsession.

While living in New York she had a Siamese cat named Kimmy,
who sat on the sofa with her most evenings.

My mother died in September 2004, leaving me
a box of brooches encrusted with faux jewels, but no lipstick.

Nearly nine years later, I can still see her rouged lips.

From my purse I take out a compact mirror and apply a garnet
tone; I put on my strappy shoes, grab my sweater.

While walking out the door I remember my mother
telling me lipstick makes a girl feel pretty.


1 November 2014

Bio: Pamela Sayers is an English teacher living in Mexico. She traded in her city high heels for Doc Martens and a different, spicier life thirteen years ago. She writes mostly about what she sees going on around her. She now lives a stress-free life with her happy animals (2 dogs, a cat and a parrot).


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