Rhyming Rues

-Srishti Dutta Chowdhury



trimmed claws across gran’s terracottaterrace sounds of a lonely conchshelledanklet,
as a wayward windmill lands against notes of sonatamoonlit,

auburnish-yarned-fur steps across stackedkeysbrown,
pleasing cinnamon-cochlea;

i will rush back to the moonfield soon, cross
whitefence-picketed to
get my
crookedsweater knitted neat-right.



This year’s recipient of the CWIT Scholarship for Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh  and a student of Comparative Literature for most part of the day, Srishti Dutta Chowdhury reads, listens to whatever catches her fancy and writes a tad bit whenever she cannot do without putting some words to paper. She has been published at TFQM, Visual Verse, Coldnoon Travel Poetics, Bangalore Review, Muse India, Quail Bell, the Norwich Radical, Kindle, etc.

Empty Electronic / But / Still Haunted / The Second Coming/Don’t Choke / Easy Does It – by SCOTT THOMAS OUTLAR

Empty Electronic



Flash drive oblivion

white washed

with scarlet light fever

soothing the scabs

with a salve of scratches


to the bone

that grinds to dust

that fades to dirt

that dances on the ash

and laughs

with full moon madness

under pulsing stars

puncturing black holes

in the empty night

while webs

of electric sirens

sing woven psalms

across the sky






I am not in love,

and so I have

no one

to whom

I can write a love song.


But her hair was lovely,

and her smile was amber honey.


But her lust was eager,

and her comfort was an even greater gift.


I cannot remember

the way electric currents

traveled from

her fingertips

to mine.


But her skin was a garden,

and her light was purely born within.


But her breath was an ocean,

and her voice was soft whispered lilacs.


I am not in love,

and so I have

no one

to whom

I can sing a love song.


Still Haunted



On a day such as this

with the weather so nice

I remember what it was like

to just drive

with you by my side

toward any destination

so long as you

were still there

when we arrived


On a day such as this

I know exactly

how it feels

to be alone




The Second Coming/Don’t Choke



Maybe the funniest thing

I’ve ever heard

(at least in the past day)

was a woman

from the crowd

of a deep fried asparagus

speed eating competition

screaming lines such as,

“Don’t overstuff your mouth!”;

and, “Keep swallowing!”

Sage advice,

considering the circumstances.

I had to pause the video

to document her wisdom for posterity,

so there’s no telling

what message

she might still

decree from God.


Part II


“Make sure you breathe,”

wound up being the next eternal nugget

heard after hitting play.



All cynicism aside,

I must admit,

that’s some pretty solid stuff

for any situation –



Easy Does It



Sitting here

with a stupid

silent smile,

I wait patiently

for the words

to flow

while meditating

on the absolute


of God, nature,

and all that is good

in this world.


No wars in my mind.

No hatred in my heart.

No chemicals in my blood.


Sometimes it’s just fine

to be at peace

while pondering

how beautiful

this gift of life

truly is.


No metaphors.

No hidden meaning.

No uneasy urges.


The birds sing,

the wind blows,

the season of Spring

cycles into bloom,

and I

close my eyes

to feel the source

kiss my soul

as a gentle caress


all my wounds

with a salve

of blessed bliss.


Chaos Songs Cover

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, and essays can be found. His chapbook “Songs of a Dissident” was released in 2015 through Transcendent Zero Press and is available on Amazon. His poetry collections “Happy Hour Hallelujah” (CTU Publishing) and “Chaos Songs” (Longsword Press) are both forthcoming in 2016.



Poetry is in the Eye of the Beholder – by YESSICA KLEIN

Of Age



future is coming

fluorescent adolescent

hold tight, ride about to begin

what’s my age

inherit the earth as fast as it comes

live fast die old

don’t give it half-hearted, give it all

don’t be shy

this is what we got

try not to lose it

same place tomorrow

as old as your fears

it is our birth right to be discontented






years ago

urban wasteland

why cities need breathing spaces


visual backdrop

empty and torn down

empty urban space

breathing space

living and thinking

empty space


the rock’n’roll rebels (military gear)

the art-school boys (paint-splattered clothes)

absolutely crucial

absolutely bedevilled


the last 20 years

impossible spaces to move




these places were blank




Forever Young



everyone grows old

maybe, maybe

anything to go by skateboarding the fountain of youth

the clock starts ticking

youth-centric world

keep the dream




Yessica Klein is a Brazilian writer and artist based in London, whose work has been published in zines and websites in both English and Portuguese. Besides writing, she spends her time in a camera shop and in between the kitchen and the local urban farm.

Devours – by CARRIE REDWAY


Carrie Redway


Brigid thaws.


pink beeswax melted around the wick

the room smelled of roses and verbena

a candle for spring, Brigid

lit every night in March


She insists: I am no witch, but I am a beast.

Brigid spills.


wax melted over the candle’s edge

seething down the shaft

how lava overtakes a large spruce

the way a Venus flytrap closes upon lunch–







(I only took communion in kindergarten

because I wanted the old man to feed me

those little thin wafers)


Brigid’s wax blood

pink liquid candy oozed out

through a sheer wax skin

pooled on the table


by morning the new layer dried,

hardened on top of old wax

it looked like stacked meat


A man whispers,

Dig into her, Boy.

Go on–

Women do not bleed. Women do not bleed.

And even if they did bleed,

it’s not real blood, only sweet taffy.


She insists: I am no witch, but I am a beast.


Redway photo

Carrie Redway is a writer and mixed media artist in Seattle. Myth, folklore and ritual inspires her work as does the moody Pacific Northwest landscape. Recently, her poetry appeared in Really System. Find her here:https://twitter.com/carrie_redway.

Purple Shadows / Wrought Streets – by SHEIKHA A.

 Purple Shadows


Dark flecks of a dry year erupt

on the moon’s radiant face,


there is no death of memory

that hasn’t been conceived


by various rotations of a black

rimmed sun


in a cosmos where your myths exhort

supremacy around shimmering bodies

of water that glides in the sky,


I created light in that part of reality


and pushed the dagger of your heart

deep into my body so it became

locked, the stars cast a dark


to where my shadow stood, my mouth

compressed like a key


jammed in thin metal lips

of an opening not its fit,


and my voice sank in its lake

of still white walls,


prayers that were no more a beam –


dank brown meadows

of desire growing as pale

purple tulips –



 Wrought Streets

 (after Oscar Wilde)


It’s a frozen road: the colour of the light on my cell’s screen. Between the cleaves that have formed on my walls from perpetual nights of drenching in seep water from top floors, my house still stands like the last leaf of an autumn’s wind shuddered rage. There is you being wanting, there is me being evasive. I have lost count of all the stars I watched fall to find Narcissus’s pond. But there is you promising, and then there is me speculating. Wrought my streets with the greenest dreams, the lanterns will still be cluttered by moths. This isn’t a new story: these aren’t new words: now isn’t tomorrow. There is you with reasoning, here is me squirming. Why can’t this be easy? Why can’t you be a grownup and disappear?




Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in over 80 literary venues both online and print, along with several anthologies by different presses, the history of which can be accessed on her blog sheikha82.wordpress.com. She has edited and co-edited two separate anthologies released by Poets, Artists Unplugged , and has had her poetry recited at two separate reading events in Greece. She edits poetry for eFiction India.


*Header photo courtesy of contributor C. C. O’Hanlon*

*Flower photo courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*





























(after Oscar Wilde)


This sight has condensed like the summer frost on a poor man’s windowpane. In my story Wilde’s prince would give the gem to his swallow – be selfish, unstirred and immersed in the poetic ghastliness of her leaden face. I am no wise: I see forests as a waste. On one of the boughs there where the forest burnt blaze hilts over the highest cloud, the sky seared its skin off in brackish chunks. It was right out of the story books: the stars clumped in lustful pain and the ice of the winter moon fell like cragged shards of a broken crown. I am the god of my sky. I will de-statue you after sculpting your form by the rights of my vision. There will be no aftermath, no battle, no glory. It will end in a happy place – a garden in Eden, your soul embalmed and held on a pedestal for me to admire at whim.




Another theme that hits close to home for me!

At times, I feel as if I live my life looking through the rear-view mirror, wrapped up in the past, mentally stuck somewhere in between nostalgia and reliving an unfinished moment. 

That being said, it’s sort of implied that nostalgia is unique within each person.

Remember when I wrote another letter about us, as human beings, as a whole becoming a sum of our experiences? We are. Plus, what about perception? My God! That makes a world of difference. My dad saw Germany and France through vastly different lenses than I did when I was just a grumpy mop of red ringlets, wearing white tights and plaid dresses to school.


You can grow up in the same household as someone for your entire child-teenager life, yet recall different fond memories.You’ll also inevitably remember the same events in a different light than one another.

When I came down with food poisoning in Paris, my dad remembers taking me to a French doctor’s office, where he spoke fluent French for the first time in years with the staff, accessing a dormant part of his brain. I just remember the stomach pains and being a crying lump on my dad’s shoulder at The Louvre.

And that, SLM readers, is why I love this theme so very much.

Laughter, adversity, friendships (both good and bad) all have a purpose somewhere in our lives.

We’re each walking pieces of art, being sculpted and molded by these things every day.

I hope you enjoy our pieces.


Kelly Coody

Kelly Fitzharris Coody



Motherhood – Part I – by E.N. LOIZIS



No-one warns you of the fear

simmering underneath your skin

like a fever

burning you up


No one tells you of the nightmares

when wide-awake

when deep in sleep


So how could you know before…



…before you were a walking heart

pulsating in full display

all red and soft

all tender tissue

exposed flesh

pumping blood


No one says

you no longer belong to yourself



When you learn how to love

with such abundance

such disregard

for your ego

everything becomes a gift


And you heart

-that mushy muscle,

that engine of love-

is growing bigger

with her every breath


They never tell you

nothing will ever feel safe

you’ve seen too much of the world,

you know


They never say

bedtime stories fight your monsters

walking in the shadows

creeping in the sun


You weild the axe

that ends the Wolf

You tear into its flesh


You make it right



You make it right by her

like you should

like you would


In bedtime stories

The Wolf never stood a chance


E.N. Loizis

E.N. Loizis is a Greek writer, married to a Spaniard, living in Germany, writing in English. She writes flash fliction, short stories and poems, while pretending to work on her first novel. She enjoys breathing, sleeping and eating. You can find her at www.enloizis.comand https://www.facebook.com/enloizis/

*Photography courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*