Shut Up 

Narasu Rebbapragada 

Gorgons snap whips. 

Krakens grind teeth. 

Khaki pants spit, 

Shut up, shut up !

Shhhhh, slide on by, 

Eyes down, stay unseen, 

Be nice, cry gently, 

Don’t be too loud.

Fat catfish chomps 

Snap, crackle, rat-a-tat-tat. 

Right in the neck, 

Flesh torn and ripped out.

Ruby red ooze 

Floods down and pools, 

Bubbles in eyes, 

Blinds the cries. 







Turn it around.

To Politely Disagree with Rubén Darío 

Stephanie Johnson

Consider the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor

spin They worry not about the weather or tomorrow 

Exulting simply in the joy of being alive today 

Like them, I choose the blessing of the awareness of

now, Existence without knowing your destination, 

To reflect upon your past and to evolve into your own

future With the comfort that we all have a destiny to

complete Simply by living through rain and sun 

By slowing extending roots deep into the Earth and reaching for

the sky We too can seize all that life offers us; 

Until the tomb congratulates us at the finish 

We don’t know where we are going in these strange

times, But we will be all the better for having seen lilies.


September Sonnet Saramanda Swigart

These California fires choke air with ash
Two dusty jacarandas hunch, waiting to die
A lonely pine outlined against a dusty sky
And droning planes stab through the black with ruby flash The man, a mute, from two doors down, holds trash No vocal cords, but still, his huddled posture is a sigh His small white dog rears up against his thigh Then strains toward the cedar’s secret odor stash

This office window is both freedom and a cage The glass protects my lungs from wildfire grit These pages are, half-filled, a kind of holy writ Fog rinses smoke, thrusts up, a giant from the coast It purifies, like words can cleanse the silence from the page While my soul starves each day inside, a hungry ghost