Ras Tafari Ghazal by Oak Morse

Ras Tafari Ghazal | Oak Morse

My ancestor smiles in the soil, a heritage sweet
like mango, silkier than weed, bring it back to me.

Nobody wants to plant the corn, Marcus Garvey,
the brown deep roots, Afro-Revival bring back to me.

Cassava slice for our young, a rich independence,
the calypso song for the streamer tail, bring back to me.

Brotherly bonds thick as bamboo is what I need with me,
sacred trinity, holy ghost of Reggae, bring back to me.

May everyone soak up rum, bodies be vessels for hymns, 
raspberry sky echos those vibrato notes, bring back to me.

Vanilla pods sway on their branches, a tender calling,
french-braiding thatch palm baskets, bring back to me.

Sun brews beneath our sandals, sinew of Nyabinghi,
replant post-colonial conscious seeds, bring back to me.

Thou shalt eat the herb of the field, the ganja cloudy streets,
Better gonna come one day bring back to me.


Ras Tafari Ghazal by Oak Morse was the Runner-Up in the 2023 HoneyBee Prize for Poetry selected by Rodrigo Toscano. More about the author, Oak Morse:

Oak Morse lives in Houston, Texas, where he teaches creative writing and theatre and leads a youth poetry troop, the Phoenix Fire-Spitters. He was the winner of the 2017 Magpie Award for Poetry in Pulp Literature and a Finalist for the 2020 Witness Literary Award. Currently a Warren Wilson MFA candidate, Oak has received Pushcart Prize nominations, fellowships from Brooklyn Poets, Twelve Literary Arts, Cave Canem’s Starshine and Clay as well as a Stars in the Classroom honor from the Houston Texans. His work appears in Black Warrior Review, Obsidian, Tupelo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Nimrod,, and Solstice, among others.

micro monday poetry

Cli-Fi by Caitlin Cacciatore

Cli-Fi by Caitlin Cacciatore

after Tracy K. Smith

there will be thunder
without lightning.

there will be frost but 
nowhere for it to fall;

there will be windows 
without panes,

statues without faces,
and by then,

no one will know 
the names of man. 

even the graves,
given the task of remembering, 

will be scratching at their stony
heads, wondering

what it was they promised 
never to forget. 

About the Author:

Caitlin Cacciatore is a queer poet, writer, and essayist based on the outskirts of New York City. She believes that literature has the power to change minds and start movements. Caitlin is currently pursuing an MA in Digital Humanities with the goal of amplifying marginalized voices. Her work has appeared in Bacopa Literary Review, Sylvia Magazine, and many other literary magazines and journals. She loves animals, single-origin coffee, ethical fashion, and thrift stores. You can find her at

micro monday poetry

Sickbed Pantoum by Heidi Hermanson

Sickbed Pantoum | Heidi Hermanson

My brain is a furnace on high.
Now where did I put my tissues?
Things arrange and rearrange themselves
at will. Don’t ask me any complex questions.

Now where did I put my tissues?
My bed is a magic carpet taking me across the world
at will, don’t ask me any complex questions.
Also, the magic carpet has no brakes.

My bed is a magic carpet taking me across the world.
Oh, if I could only lift my head and write!
Also, the magic carpet has no brakes.
I tumble, tumble, tumble.

Oh, if I could only lift my head and write!
Things arrange and rearrange themselves at will.
I hold on tightly, wait for the spinning to stop.
My brain is a furnace on high.

About the Author:

Heidi Hermanson is a first-generation Nebraskan who has been published in Midwest Quarterly, Hiram Poetry Review, the Omaha World Herald (“Nebraska On A Dollar a Day”) and elsewhere. The recipient of two Pushcart nominations, a Nebraska book award, and various grants from both Amplify Arts and The Nebraska Arts Council, Heidi has organized and directed five ekphrastic shows which she describes as a marriage between visual art and poetry.

In her spare time, she hopes to open a library of maps to towns that do not exist and learn the dialects of the seven-year cicada. Heidi enjoys exploring every square foot of her state and documenting cemeteries and rivers.


The Last Trick by Eric Lochridge

The Last Trick | Eric Lochridge


After he learned the last trick
I let my dog go. I set him free.

Out on the trail around the lake,
we were alone.

I folded the leash into my pocket.
I unclasped his collar, telling him

I have taught you all you need to know. 
A grosbeak skittered across the path,

but my dog was not distracted. 
His eyes shone with new understanding.

Untethered, we finished the walk 
together. When we got home, 

I set my chin on his knee
while he watched TV. 

Eric Lochridge (he/him) is an MFA candidate in the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. He is the author of My Breath Floats Away From Me (FutureCycle Press, 2022) and three chapbooks. His poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, UCity Review, Okay Donkey, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Kissing Dynamite among others. Find him on Twitter @ericedits. His website is at


I Remember Good Days by Ellen June Wright

I Remember Good Days | Ellen June Wright


I remember days when my West Indian mother 
would drive us up to the cliffs and down the winding road 

that led to the picnic grounds at the edge of the Hudson River 
lapping like a living thing at the thick, stone retaining wall. 

On a Sabbath afternoon, we might watch men filling buckets 
with slick, gray fish from the even grayer river 

as we ate rice and peas, stewed chicken, and summer melon 
spitting out the smooth, black seeds. 

The chatter of children and their joyous laughter 
still echoes like waves in a conch shell to my ear. 

Ellen June Wright was born in Bedford, England but currently lives in New Jersey. Her poems have appeared in the Naugatuck River Review, New York Quarterly, Plume, Atlanta Review, Solstice, Tar River Poetry, Paterson Literary Review, Gordon Square Review, The South Carolina Review, Obsidian, Caribbean Writer and Tulsa Review. She is a Cave Canem and Hurston/Wright alumna. She received six Pushcart Prize nominations between 2021 and 2022. When she is not writing, she enjoys crocheting, swimming and watching British crime dramas. You may follow her on and


Mugshot by Sara Burge

Mugshot | Sara Burge

Of course, my old boyfriend is shirtless 
in the article my mother sends me 
about two dudes stealing catalytic converters 
in church parking lots. At first
I think she’s discovered Florida Man memes. 
But this is Ozarks Man.
Fewer alligators. More meth.
I text once I realize whose face isn’t looking at me, 
isn’t close to drunk or angry or even indifferent. 
Just a face on a shirtless body, 
a body so much older than the last time I saw it. 
Mom texts 
but I know the difference in wreckage, 
how the body puffs when pickled, eats itself 
when sleep or food is forgotten. I remember 
how he would help my mother around the house, 
clear gutters without being asked.
Every time I’ve thought of him since,
he is laughing. Not like this.

My mother says her heart is broken
            What on earth happened to him?

and I remember when I begged him
to tell me what he saw 
when he found my brother’s body 
three days dead. He started to cry 
then stopped, looked me dead in the eye.
            You don’t ever want to know that

Sara Burge is the author of Apocalypse Ranch, and her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Virginia Quarterly Review, Willow Springs, Prairie Schooner, The American Journal of Poetry, Passengers Journal, River Styx, and elsewhere. She is the Poetry Editor of Moon City Review.


War Time, 1942 by William Trowbridge

War Time, 1942 | William Trowbridge


In the black-and-white snapshot, its spring,
and my father, in his civvies, cradles me, 
his baby son, in our back yard. I answer

his daddy smile with a dimpled grin 
at the moment another baby boy may be
getting his head bashed open on a tree 

by a drunken SS guard in Belzec as trucks
haul in more Jews for “processing.” In a month, 
my father will be sent by ship into battle,

unaware of the utter darkness there,
till his unit enters Buchenwald. 
The shadows in our yard, show it’s late.

Call Me Fool, William Trowbridge’s ninth poetry collection came out from Red Hen Press in September. Over 550 of his poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines and in more than 50 anthologies and textbooks. He is a faculty mentor in the University of Nebraska-Omaha Low-residency MFA in Writing Program and was Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2012 to 2016. For more information, see his website at


Mass in Quarantine by Tania Runyan

Mass in Quarantine | Tania Runyan


            —Father Giuseppe Corbari, Saints Quirico
                        and Giulitta parish, Robbiano, Italy 

You didn’t want to say Mass alone, 
so you taped a hundred photos to the pews. 
These faces were made to be known: 

the eyes, mustaches, and cheekbones 
for years settling on your dreams like dew. 
You didn’t want to say Mass alone. 

And though now you have to imagine the cologne, 
the children scuffling in their restless stew, 
the faces are still touched and known 

from old snapshots alongside hasty phone 
selfies sent at your plea, your cue 
that you didn’t want to celebrate Mass alone. 

This morning, a woman’s hair like a lodestone 
caught the stained glass Blessed Virgin’s blue. 
These faces were made to be known, 

regardless of how far the virus has flown. 
You’re surprised this story has swept the news. 
You just didn’t want to say Mass alone 
without the faces you’ve always known.

Tania Runyan is the author of the poetry collections What Will Soon Take Place, Second Sky, A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air. Her guides How to Read a Poem, How to Write a Poem, and How to Write a Form Poem are used in classrooms across the country. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Indiana Review, Atlanta Review, and The Christian Century. Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011.


Love Poem for My Mother by Patricia Aya Williams

Love Poem for My Mother | Patricia Aya Williams


Any more dead rats in the backyard? 

Not this week, Mom 
but you’ll be the first to know. 


Easy now. Smooth game of catch. The topic a handle 
we both can grasp.  

Are we learning? Or just tired of fraught?

Tellings over the years—
her tragic youth, my father 
who died young,  

how I am American and can therefore do anything I set my mind to.

Always her voice from the trenches, 
rifle rising, taking aim:

            life isn’t easy, you know  
            good isn’t good enough
            I’m the only one can tell you this

Was I the enemy? Was she? 
Who waved the white flag first?
Did we agree to forgo, forgive?


Lately she likes to tell me about the footlong orange centipedes 
of her wartime childhood—how 

                        they hung 

on the ceiling, glowing, in the dark… 

Patricia Aya Williams is a Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize recipient and Steve Kowit Poetry Prize finalist. Her work has appeared or will soon appear in Santa Clara Review, San Diego Poetry Annual, Writers Resist, Origami Poems Project, and The Closed Eye Open. She is a graduate of the Poetry Certificate Program at San Diego Writers, Ink, and a 2022 Pushcart nominee.

micro monday poetry

Four Haikus after Garden Meditation by Charisse Baldoria

Four Haikus after Garden Meditation | Charisse Baldoria

From the Old Hedonist:

“A rose in full bloom
reveals pleasure and wisdom
age had not foretold.”

From the Young Nihilist:

“Bud blooms recklessly,
unwise and vulnerable
to young lovers’ shears.”

From the Middle-Aged Rationalist:

“So it has been found:
beauty unfolds in layers,
and logic, and youth.”

From the Ageless Surrealist:

“Wind sets sails spinning,
boat: rose-heart: petal-center,
river: ocean: I”

About the Author:

Charisse Baldoria is a classical pianist, composer, and educator who loves the written word. Born in the Philippines, she came to Ann Arbor, Michigan for graduate school in music as a Fulbright scholar. She is now a music professor in Pennsylvania, has performed on five continents, and loves to travel. Her poetry and prose have been published or are forthcoming in Windmill: The Hofstra Journal of Art & Literature, The Asian/Pacific American Women’s Journal, 3 Cup Morning, and Northern Stars.