micro monday poetry

How to Hear God While Making Thanksgiving Dinner by Charlene Pierce

How to Hear God While Making Thanksgiving Dinner | Charlene Pierce

Your granddaughter wants your attention. Your youngest grandson has learned to climb and loves the sound of pans banging against their lid; the other toddler has learned that the power of his scream is stronger than words and decided to never use them. You have the bird in your hands, raw and waiting to be stuffed. You’re covered in salmonella, and who knows what other deadly bacteria you can’t pronounce, you need to wash. The towel is missing. To hear your granddaughter’s soft voice, you must kneel to her, put your ear close to her lips. Your oldest grandsons are running through the house, laughing. They found something to make a sword. You hid the wooden knife, the plastic Ninja Turtle dagger, the pink sparkly baton, the cat toy with a ball hanging from a wand, and still they found something to make a sword. Secretly, you’re proud of their ingenuity, and you want to play, run through the house yelling “en guard,” but your granddaughter wants your attention. You fear they will soon be at the age when Nana isn’t cool, but they have friends who are. The turkey is raw and waiting to be stuffed. The pies are done. The oven isn’t beeping yet, or maybe it is, but you can’t hear it, and you smell the browning crust taking over the pumpkin’s spices. You used to make them by hand, back when you had time or when you thought you had time. Your priorities were different then, and you only had two daughters. Mothers now, sitting ear to ear, talking as sisters do, only to each other. You could call to them, tell them to take the pies from the oven, the cranberries will be simmering over soon, and the turkey is raw and waiting to be stuffed. But you remember how your shoulders relaxed when you went to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, and someone else was cooking, and someone else was tending to the children, and someone was taking care of you, and you want that for your daughters. You want everything for your daughters, and this you can give them even though the turkey is raw and waiting to be stuffed, and your granddaughter wants your attention. Dry your hands on your pant legs and kneel down to listen. Put your ear near her lips.

About the Author:

Charlene Pierce founded the Nebraska Poetry Society, a non-profit organization, to make poetry accessible to all. It is an essential mission to her as a person with a disability who overcame poverty. Her poetry and prose have appeared in several literary journals and Nebraska anthologies, including “Misbehaving Nebraskans.” She published “The Poet’s Journal: A Beginner’s Workbook for Writing Poetry.” By day, she is a freelance writer appearing on websites and blogs across the country and in local magazines.

micro monday poetry

Beach House by Hannah Miet

Beach House | Hannah Miet

I was new to LA
It was November
and wind-cold
the kind you feel
in your clavicles,
and I’d thrown away or sold
all my winter jackets

I shivered by the ocean
and did hot yoga
and got yeast infections
and wrote a rich kid’s USC essay
for $100 on Upwork

I ate frozen yogurt
twice a day
thinking it probiotic
but the sugar brewed
a storm beneath my skin

In class with Botoxed blondes
or in cafes filled with talkers
I wondered how anyone
got here, stayed here,
paying bills
in a city where a cup of coffee
costs more than minimum wage

I applied online

for a job at a juice bar
and sat in traffic,
thinking existentially
about student debt

Nobody tells you
Los Angeles gets cold
They don’t tell you
the beach can be menacing
in its beauty,

as the sunset reaches
its prime-time crescendo
and everyone smiles
as you walk by,
baby —


About the Author:

Hannah Miet is an award-winning writer and New Yorker based in Los Angeles. Her poetry, prose, and journalism have appeared in PANK Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Rumpus, The Naugatuck River Review, Pelican Bomb, The Atlantic, The Two Weeks anthology, and elsewhere. She recently participated in the Kenyon Review’s Summer 2023 Poetry Workshop. Learn more at or follow her on Instagram @hannah_miet.


Limerence by Levi Cain

Limerence | Levi Cain


ok now i am beholding u / yes i am bewitched by
the stubby curl of yr ponytail the wide open arc
of shoulders the single black hair poking like an errant
needle from yr chin which u despise & i love
endlessly bc it is u & god do i love the ribbit of yr laugh
when u forget yourself & are too loud in movie theaters,
yr bright teeth flashing like headlight in a churned up storm.
the half-life of an argument is three hours & my forehead
sometimes sweats from the weight of it. the antidote is venting
the poultice is gossip the nostrum my agreeable nod
the antivenom the yes the sure the ok what the fuck.
& sometimes yr reborn by the yes & sometimes yr body
cannot escape the rage & i watch u stand in it,
all of u vibrating like a bumblebee. & my heart pretzels
itself into the familiar waiting. i love the u at midnight
& in the morning when yr swearing at traffic,
kind fists doing drumbeats on the steering wheel.
doesn’t yr mood fill the whole of me with smog
& a slice of dawn & maybe dawn & a slice of fog
who can be sure not my sisters not my best friend not my roommate
not i with my heart pounding at yr quickness to feel
                        wouldn’t i build a house for yr anger.
                        wouldn’t i make myself green with shutters
                                    & a porch.

About the Author:

Levi Cain is a non-binary Queeribbean in Boston, MA. Their work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and has appeared in The Slowdown, Shenandoah Literary Magazine, Room Magazine, and elsewhere. Find them at


Two Poems by Bob Hicok

Fire | Bob Hicok

Is your solitude crushing?
Do you feel like a milk carton
at the bottom of the ocean
with your face on it asking the abyss,
Have you seen this child?
The abyss shrugs and puts its back
into digging the hole
other holes look up to.
“Dunno” is the entire vocabulary
of the mysteries of life.
That’s something a giddy man says.
A limber man. A man
with nothing to snooze.
The funniest thing about life
remains that we’re all in this
alone together. I see your loneliness
and raise your jumping out a window
with trying to catch you,
the only sport that matters.
One day you’ll return my cordless drill
and the favor, and I’ll build
a new set of bookshelves
and try to live forever
in the time I have to live awhile.

Green Thumb | Bob Hicok

A rose,
anticipating failure,
I buried it
where it stood.
When a rose rose
where the rose had failed
to believe in itself,
I thought my mother
might rise and be
my mother again,
so sat at her table
waiting for dinner.
Meatloaf. Her secret
was onions, a little cocaine.
Anticipating success,
I tucked a napkin
under my shirt
and put a rose
where she used to sit.
That rose soon quit
being beautiful
and I slowly quit
remembering where Orion
is in the sky.
I ate the wilted petals
in a house as empty
as a fist is
of light.
The hunter, the hunted:
where o where
o which am I?

About the Author:

Bob Hicok is the author of Water Look Away (Copper Canyon Press, 2023). He has received a Guggenheim and two NEA Fellowships, the Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress, nine Pushcart Prizes, and was twice a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poems have been appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and nine volumes of the Best American Poetry


Amazing by Matt Mason

Amazing | Matt Mason


I feel the motion of the planet
like riding a train when
the wheels hit a shake in the tracks.

it’s a tremor, find myself,
feet tight against the floor,
leaned just a hair or two forward
into the momentum, and

the journey has a hum, the endless road
of orbit and tidal pull
hits a chip, a swell, a crack, my legs
take a sec to steady,

this motion:
dizzying, blazing,
cosmic, amazing.

About the Author:

Matt Mason has run poetry workshops in Botswana, Romania, Nepal, and Belarus for the U.S. State Department and his poetry has appeared in The New York Times. Matt is the Nebraska State Poet and has received a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Nebraska Arts Council. His work can be found on NPR’s Morning Edition, in American Life in Poetry, and in several hundred other publications. Mason’s 5th book, Rock Stars, was released by Button Poetry, September, 2023. His website is:


La Niña by Gathondu Mwangi

La Niña | Gathondu Mwangi

Brown rice. Yellow lentils.
Black scar burned into each.
Small bowl. A little water.
No salt.

This could be a meal for a bird
Grandma’s last dinner.

The last time I called Cũcũ
she said “thank you
for thinking about me,”
her voice strong as a sparrow’s.

Shame, sorrow, anger folded into the cracks of our silences.

I too have known aloneness.
Like an aloe I have lived on drops
            of affection.
Nights I have listened to the quiet
gargle of a water cooler
quench its own thirst.
Months I have sung in response
to a chorus of bloated mosquitoes.

December and the rains arrive
out of time, inundate my dreams
nests waterlog, drop like plops
from yellow fever trees.

I found my Grandma fallen
on the floor of the house where she lived.
The coroner said bronchopneumonia
her right lung a leaf folded into itself.

We waited so long
for a change of season
for a little girl to leave
this is what the late rain brings.

About the Author:

Gathondu Mwangi is a Geographer and writer. Born and raised in Kenya, he travels occasionally to the US where he is undertaking his graduate studies. His work has previously appeared in World Literature Today, Worcester Review, The Fourth River and Kwani.


Mosaic by Muiz Ọpẹ́yẹmí Àjàyí

Mosaic | Muiz Ọpẹ́yẹmí Àjàyí


the intention, always, is to make music
of my breath. grasp a gangan & dance bàtá
to my heart aches beats. this is not to say
i’ve not been broken over & over. this is not
to say grief is not staple in the homes of boys like us.
here, peek through my flesh. look into my burning
bones. watch as i dare step into fire & pick up a song,
& pick up a scalding song; set ablaze
the gloom perched on my collarbones, all along
reiterating i never intended violence. & if
you ever find me strange & beautiful as mosaic,
know i’ve been shattered into a billion fragments
of jagged glass. but here i defy dissemination,
pick up my colorful tesserae, & begin merging,
once again. a mini cinematography of the way
earth cracks open with the breath of the most
high & ushers out fresh sprouts; green & golden
blossoms. lord, i’m not hesitant about indulging
the smell of my sore while it heals, of wafting
in the bittersweet stench while it hangs
still in the air—air which reminds me
that i breathe; breath which reminds me that
i live; life which reminds me that i’m liable
to been broken again & again. still i stay
chill & undiluted as spring water, knowing,
ya allah, you will piece this boy back together
again, till he moulds into an art mirroring
the aesthetics of the sculpture you kilned.

About the Author:

Muiz Ọpẹ́yẹmí Àjàyí (Frontier XVIII) is an editor at The Nigeria Review, poetry reader for Adroit Journal, and a 2023 Poetry Translation Centre UNDERTOW cohort. Winner of the Lagos-London Poetry Competition 2022, University of Ibadan Law LDS Poetry Prize 2022, shortlisted/longlisted for Ake Poetry Prize, Briefly Write Poetry Prize, Kreative Diadem Poetry Prize, a Best of The Net nominee, he has work featured in Frontier Poetry, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Tab Journal, Olongo, Lolwe, SAND Journal, Poetry Wales, Aké Review, Yabaleft Review, Nigerian News-Direct and elsewhere.

micro monday poetry

The Cicadas of September by Matt Mason

The Cicadas of September | Matt Mason

The song of summer is cicada drone,
buzz and flow in surround sound stereo
where every tree you walk past
adds notes to the whole grand chorus.
You only see them at the end
of their measures,
when you open your front door
and see one there on your porch
in a body that crunches
if you dare to touch it—
though its wings look soft, still, virtuoso
in meditation before their obbligato,
as if ready to snap and decide
between finale and flight.

About the Author:

Matt Mason has run poetry workshops in Botswana, Romania, Nepal, and Belarus for the U.S. State Department and his poetry has appeared in The New York Times. Matt is the Nebraska State Poet and has received a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Nebraska Arts Council. His work can be found on NPR’s Morning Edition, in American Life in Poetry, and in several hundred other publications. Mason’s 5th book, Rock Stars, was released by Button Poetry, September, 2023. His website is:

micro monday poetry

the come back by Simone Flynn

the come back | Simone Flynn

there’s a moment when you fall
into the long way home
and you are driving by yourself 
your windows are down
your child’s takeout 
saag paneer and naan 
in the back seat 
and you go the long way home
down southeast street 
and then just one street more
farther than you need to 
to stay in this place 
where you are your own home 
where there is no difference 
between you and this summer evening
and it is so beautiful 
everything you ever gave away
come back to you in fireflies 
and roadside tiger lilies


About the Author:

Simone Flynn is a poet living in Massachusetts. She has published creative work in Anthropology and Humanism and academic work in PlosOne. Her poems engage often domestic situations, relationships and objects to understand self and others — to offer catharsis and comfort. “You write the poetry of life” is one of the best compliments Simone ever received about her poetry.

micro monday poetry

Papier-mâché by Rosa Crepax

Papier-mâché | Rosa Crepax

My meteorite feet sink deeper in the ground
with each conquered breath. It’s 14.45
when plaster starts cracking, vaulting
the premature dusk. Some ancient soothsayer
must have talked about this. A thunder of void
runs atop fields that fear has dried out. No one
leaves in a hurry; time is asleep, yet the city’s
on fire, and a green ice lolly helps only a bit.

The day chestnuts turn into
papier-mâché; it goes all up in flames
with a pretty flutter of winds, farm animals,
soap bubbles, and refuse. I worry about
the toothpaste I forgot to buy, and the ballerinas
trapped in their musical boxes unable to breathe.
We could stop the car, release them at once, and doze
or daze off in the rye, the melody of their metal teeth
lullabying us to peace.

We could set up the table or join a cash machine queue
or whatever people do when they’re not scared
under alien attack. You drag me, who perhaps
am papier-mâché too, into your garden
place a sceptre in my hand. Around the pond
six story trees pierce through the ceiling. My mosquito-net cape
touches the water and floats…

Let’s set up the table for real.


About the Author:

Originally from Milan Italy, Rosa Crepax lives, writes and teaches in London UK. She has a PhD from Goldsmiths University and lectures in critical and cultural studies. As well as publishing in academic journals and books, she writes poetry. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Hobart, Spoon River Poetry Review, Ghost City Review and 3:AM Magazine.