Sorta-Sonnet Pastiche | Bartholomew Barker

We published seven Sorta-Sonnets, a very intentional number. I then took two lines from each of the poems and mashed them together into this pastiche, which is another Sorta-Sonnet. My gratitude to all the poets who submitted and to Sammi Cox for her indulgence.

Sorta-Sonnet Pastiche

Punishment in the afterlife is a quaint idea
there is an abundance of talent
walking the mystery and illusions of being in love
I feel a little drunk

It takes a long time to die
millions can see the problems
in the light of the sun solstice rain you howl
or is it the other way around

I’ve become the curator of your museum
sweet summer memories held in a jar
transform into people with thoughts
and time drifts like ash

My eyes drink in all beauty
and lasso this scene and take it home

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. His first poetry collection, Wednesday Night Regular, written in and about strip clubs, was published in 2013. His second, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, a chapbook of food inspired poetry was served in 2017. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.

Selected by the editor as a featured submission, March 2023

These Words | Sammi Cox

I craft worlds out of words
That only exist in my head
These words build cities
Grow gardens — make history
As well as bake cakes
These words that create
Transform into people with thoughts
And actions all their own
So my words become theirs
Or is it the other way around
These words — their voices
My craft — their art
My daydreams — their adventures
All inside my head

Sammi Cox is from the UK and spends her time writing and making things. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in various places online and in print. Her first collection of tiny tales, One Turn of The Wheel was published by Three Drops Press in 2017. Find her at:

Visions Alter | A J Wilson

nature’s imagination

is mightier than words

I follow in its wake

and time drifts like ash

I feel my ribs crack,

split and spin open

saltwater bites into flesh

until all is healed,

buoyant as the sky

my body floats away

my eyes drink in all beauty

sinking into the depth of my veins

and so the vision transforms

as the sea grows old 

Angela (she/her) was born and lives in rural North Wales, UK, she has been published in a number of magazines including, Ink Drinkers, Write On MagazineVisual VerseSpillwords, and Last Leaves, she is currently compiling her work for her first poetry collection. You can see more of her work on:

SUMMER MOON | Pamela Pfautsch

Pull of the summer moon

Lulling me to dream well.

Walking the mystery and illusions of being in love.

Catching fireflies and bullfrogs

Sweet summer memories held in a jar.

Restless dreams stream on air

To kiss my skin with nectar cologne.

The moon to witness the world 

Sleeping for the night.

As its sprite luminaries come to life

Overseeing the fireflies and bullfrogs.

Leaping into the night air.

Speaking in their mating tongue 

The moon’s summer pulls in the night. 

Pamela Pfautsch is an educator living in Frisco, Texas. She is an avid reader and writer. She enjoys writing poetry and helping her students foster an appreciation for poetry writing. She has written poems on Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides site since 2016, and on her blog: 

Pamela also enjoys chatting with other poets and challenging herself to write many different forms of poetry. You can also find her on Facebook 

The Seven Deadly Sins | JeanMarie Olivieri

“For the wages of sin is death… ”

Romans 6:23

The Seven Deadly Sins are old fashioned.

Punishment in the afterlife is a quaint idea.

No one takes the sin part seriously

anymore which makes sin so easy to find.


Greed and Pride grease the one percenters

Lust and Envy fill reality TV and court dockets.

Fast food, delivery and Netflix fuels Gluttony and Sloth.

Anger divides and conquers, filling graves.


Any one of those can kill you fast and hard

but the non-lethal misdemeanors

will kill you slow and soft.

We are wounded daily by a thousand unkind actions.


It takes a long time to die

when you are stoned with pebbles.

JeanMarie Olivieri was a business writer but now writes poetry. She has been published in several journals and anthologies. A co-organizer of Living Poetry, a large meetup group in North Carolina, she has won or placed three years in a row in the annual North Carolina Poetry Society contest.

Broken | Peter Matthews

Our world is broken,

it seems no-one can fix it

oceans and forests die

whole families perish

yet those who could, do nothing

those who should, seem not to care

there are sufficient funds

there is an abundance of talent

but the willingness to act

is lacking, sadly lacking

millions can see the problems

few care to make a difference

and words are but a token

our world is sadly broken

Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly at

Taking it Home for Later | Marion Horton

I feel a little drunk.

I want to be a country girl.

Crush aniseed from cow parsley,

Chew vanilla from sweet vernal,

Caress the heads of yorkshire fog

And the waves of rippling hair grass,

Chase the small blue, the speckled wood,

The jittery fritillary.

And when I am done, replete on nature,

I will unravel the longest string of thought,

Braided with oxeye daisies and meadow buttercups,

Tie a gentle slipknot,

and cast as high and wide as sight allows

and lasso this scene and take it home.

 Marion posts her poetry on her blog site  She also writes short stories. Her writing has appeared in various anthologies and journals (Write Time, Farnham Flash Fiction, Glittery Literary, Parliament Literary). She really would like to be a country girl!

Three years into grief | Britta Benson

Three years into grief I can sleep. I still

wonder how much boxed up stuff I will need

to remember you, me, lives, a childhood

spent in my cousin’s clothes and 70s wallpaper.

Orange, not my thing. I try to hold on to time,

letters, photographs, pretend I can pull you

right back by keeping shoes, that picture you drew

in your hospital art class. You asked

for Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’, but settled for cows.

I’ve become the curator of your museum.

What was yours, now treasured dead weight,

collecting dust. Three years into grief I sense you

in the light of the sun, solstice rain. You howl

through my soul like a storm with your stale breath.

Britta Benson is a circus skills instructing German, a writer, performer and linguist thriving in Scotland, her chosen habitat since the year 2000. She runs a creative writing group, The Procrastinators, and writes a daily blog, Britta’s Blog – Letters from Scotland as well as her poetry blog, Odds & Ends She also stares out of her window a lot and drinks far too much tea.