Chess Player Suddenly Distracted, by Dave Sims
Dave Sims After 30+ years of teaching in colleges, universities, military bases, and prisons from Alaska to Louisiana, Dave Sims retired to the mountains of central Pennsylvania where he now dwells and creates. His most recent comix appear in Gigantic Sequins, The Nashville Review, Talking Writing, and Freeze Ray. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backyard Familiar #5, by Mason Bondi
Mason Bondi is a California based painter working in a studio in San Rafael. His work explores the familiar people in his life in familiar places. Mason overlays these images with what he sees within the individual – expressing these feelings via color and form.
Mother’s Rain, by J. Ray Paradiso
J. Ray Paradiso – A confessed outsider, Chicago’s J. Ray Paradiso is a recovering academic in the process of refreshing himself as an EXperiMENTAL writer and street photographer. His work has appeared in dozens of publications including Big Pond Rumors, Storgy and Typishly. Equipped with graduate cRaZy quilt degrees in both Business Administration and Philosophy, he labors to fill temporal-spatial, psycho-social holes and, on good days, to enjoy the flow. All of his work is dedicated to his true love, sweet muse and body guard: Suzi Skoski Wosker Doski.
I found the bee as it fumbled about the ground
Its leg mangled, its wing torn, its stinggone
I picked it up, marvelled at its insistence
to continue on, despite the dumb brutething that had occurred
I considered, remembered the fatal struggle
the agony on the face of wounded friendsand the same dumb drive to continue
I became angry at the unfair conflict suffered
by will and organism
I became just, I became unreasoned, I became
I observed the bee, there, lying in my palmI looked and I commanded in a harsh and angry shout –
STOP THAT!Then it ceased to struggle, and somehow suddenlybecame marvellously whole, and it aroseand it flew away
I stared, I was appalled, I was overwhelmed
with responsibility, and I knew not where to begin
by Dara Elerath
The potato is afraid of light and movement. It would like to stay hidden forever, fattening slowly in its soft cocoon of soil. Its life is a life of sleep—do not begrudge it this simple existence. It is kin to stone in shape and nature, but softness betrays it. If a worm, seeking moisture, tunnels through, the potato, uneasy, says nothing. Its eyes are scars, they do not shift or lift their lids to note the damage; they do not try to understand. This misshapen lantern dangling from roots has no wish to illuminate anything at all. It is no use unearthing the potato before its time. The vegetable goes slowly. It does not tremble at the pressure of feet aboveground. It does not pray picturing the spade or the farmer’s rough, indifferent gloves. Rain falls, sun shines—the potato does not miss these things. Sweetness pours in through its stem, smoothing, straightening the brown paper of its skin.