The Writing Garden ~ Issue Eight


Cover Image ~Voigtlander 2
Grant Mccurdy ~ Flickr/Website/Vimeo

 

Prints

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Seeing photos
of ancestors
a century past

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is like looking
at your own
fingerprints—

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circles
and lines
you can’t
recognize

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until someone else
with a stranger’s eye
looks close and says
that’s you.

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Joseph Bruchac

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Dawn(ing)

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temptation by RayznPhotography

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I am not much of a daring child
anymore
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age has administered a slow I.V.
of caution to brain
.
thoughts dwell on consequences
before actions taken
.
the idea of love once whole
is a scattered puzzle
.
life preplanned in order
in-between ticks and tocks
.
a new Ulysses contract to sign
each break of dawn
.
remedy me with your fine wine
and numbing kisses
.
I am not much of a daring child
anymore
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but you tempt me
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Michael A Petrow ~ sporadicalbits.tumblr.com
Image ~ rayznphotography

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My Wretched Phone

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girl-dropping-cellphone-on-face

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You’re the one I gaze too, when mind is seeking light
You’re the glow beneath the covers, the company at night
Addicted to your charm, chiming when in need
Veinless with a pulse, you’re faced, yet never bleed
Your sheen detracts from mine, a foe that is a friend
Your soul holds no regard, yet your ear I seem to lend
Pocketed for safety, lonely yet not alone
Silenced, never muted, you are my wretched phone
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Renae Williams ~ mindtounbind.wordpress.com

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He’s Just a Dog
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please by LyraWhite

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Do your teeth grit as hard as mine when people use that expression?  What do they mean?
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He’s just a dog, so his ‘feelings’ don’t matter, because he has none…?
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He’s just a dog, so it’s fine to let him sit outside in the rain (or snow or hot sun) all day…?
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He’s just a dog, so leave him at home for hours and don’t worry about him…?
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I’ll lighten up for the rest of the post, but I needed to get your first visceral reaction.  How do we treat our animals?  Do they have “feelings” or concerns?  Do they get hot and cold, bouts of hurt and spurts of joy?
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Before our Henry’s arthritis got the best of him, I’d take him for walks in the woods every day.  Once unleashed, he’d literally bounce for joy as he chased a squirrel or two (and habitually, the squirrels would hop up on the lowest branch and taunt the panting dog with loud cackling jeers – always made me laugh out loud).
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When we returned home – me a bit sore from the long hike – Henry would get a gleam in his eye.  I’d nod my head, and he’d race around our house like a speed car on a track.  Around around and around.  And when he stopped, his grin was as wide as a jack-o’-lantern’s.
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But he was only a dog.
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My daughter called me, furious, a week ago regarding their Golden, Charlie.  Charlie was my daughter and her husband’s first “child.”  A year later, the first “human” child arrived, and soon after two more.
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But Charlie never gave up his status as first son.  He wanted and needed attention, and with three little babies around, he wasn’t getting the kind of attention he demanded.  So my son-in-law began to take Charlie to work, where he was loved and gently petted
long and often by the staff.  Perfect situation for everyone.
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Until last week, when SIL had an all-day conference to attend and couldn’t bring the dog.  My daughter and her little ones attended work/school all day, but once home by mid-afternoon, Charlie greeted them like long-lost pioneers who had found their way back to the settlement.  Snack time ensued, along with a Charlie-walk and dinner and bath time and finally everyone was put to bed.  My daughter climbed up the stairs to her bedroom, ready for a good book and an early bedtime, but she noticed the odd expression Charlie threw her way.  He stood outside the bedroom door and refused to cross the threshold, which gave her the first clue.  Then, she glanced over toward the bed.  On her husband’s side, Charlie had left three piles of ‘poop’ neatly arranged one after the other.
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Oh noooooo, dog’s don’t have feelings.
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As rather disgusting as that story is, I love it, because it shows how animals use their own animal-ways to send us messages.
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Do we listen?
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One more story – this one on the funny side.  Our first dog, Tory, loved butter.  She knew it was off-limits.  She knew she was not allowed to jump her front legs onto the counter and grab the stick that was softening for baking.
So, she barked.
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And barked and barked until I took the temptation away.  By her middle years, we couldn’t keep anything temping out on a counter: bread, just-baked cookies, fresh vegetables and fruit (she most loved tomatoes, green beans, and apples).  Anytime we heard her distinctive bark (and yes, she had a separate bark for ‘temptation!’ and one for ‘mailman!’ and a ferocious one for ‘the poodle across the street!’) we’d run from whatever room we were in and take away the offending attraction.
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But she was just a dog.
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Pamela Wightroughwighting.net
ImageLyraWhite

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Forget The Night
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Where is my dream by SheerHeart

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There were two dreams.  You were here
& then you weren’t.  In the first
dream we slithered in musty linens
& in the second I broke promises.
In both dreams you had no name but
I knew you.  I knew your insides. I
knew your pale face like a map of
my hometown.  There were two dreams,
& I still couldn’t make you stay.

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Michelle Tudor ~ sarcolinedream.tumblr.com
michelletudor.com/platypuspress.co.uk/readwildness.com
Image ~ SheerHeart

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Truth

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LIAR by hidden-silly

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You say you
                 never
lie.
You take pride in
the Truth
and your pride in your Pride
is so engorged
you rise unconsciously, partly en pointe
a hot balloon drawn skywards.
When you requested – terse as a contrite soul – I
b e l i e v e d
and fondly
gave permission.
I did not see the sniper in your eyes.
I did not isolate your artful, attorneyed words.
You    came    invited
a sly, sly Goneril     with right of access
and you
stole.
Now you stand there
doggedly
biting back words
deep diving on one breath.
If you released Truth
you
   would
drown.
.
Joy Reid ~ WattPad
Image ~ hidden-silly

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Not Another Slam Poem!
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Giving Everything by Jeff-Bartels

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I’ve watched my fair share
Of poetry, Button Poetry
Mostly on reflective days.
I like the fight in their voice.
I love the fight in their voice.
But it’s all blending into one.
.
Though initially,

A chant to the masses that
Everyone must have respect.
And respect they must have
And respect they must have.
To their dying breath,
I was hooked,
Excited for every slam,
Whack and punch of a poem.
Clever lines that
Contorted spines,
Oh, my mind had never been
So on fire, so alive.
Though as time grew
And poem after poem
Became similar and the same.
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The tone seemed copycat and

Over done.
Clips I’d start watching
Would watch my smile turn away.
This, I have heard one too many times,
The same themes. Though yes, I see
The call must be done until
The hope becomes our world.
But the tone
Was the killer bee.
Every line stung with
The same pause and breath.
The same butter and bread.
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I say to myself,

“Why does it seem so artificial?”
“Why does the message slap you round the cheek
Placed in front of your face and weak?”
Oh, I treasure the times
When a poet among poet came with a new
Voice and thought.
But here,
I fear
I’m gone.
Keep writing out your heart.
But here,
I fear
I’m done.
.
thepoeticalpoetryguy.tumblr.com
Image ~ Jeff-Bartels

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Enkindled

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Etno by IlonaShevchishina

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you protected me at first,
casually wearing shades
that hid the jewels I’m so
desperately drawn to,
and so I wrapped my arms
around you
and felt like I was finally home,
and as we sat across
in our cozy cafe,
the window to the world
dimmed as you beamed
and right there,
I fell into the fire of your eyes
and I shall always burn
in hindsight,
an eternal flame
enkindled to adore
.
lilrowboat.tumblr.com
Image ~ IlonaShevchishina

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Light…

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https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/03/26/09/47/sky-690293_960_720.jpg

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Your vision exists within a narrow range of visible light.
But that very concept, the words ‘visible light’, implies much we would categorize as light still, though we cannot observe it with the naked eye.
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Yet we don’t label ourselves as blind, merely because we can’t perceive the entire spectrum.  Instead, we’ve created methods, and tools, that allow us to experience that which we couldn’t comprehend unaided.
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Have you ever seen a picture of a nebula taken under x-rays, or ultraviolet light?
How about gamma, or infrared?  Are not further details revealed?  Are not additional wonders beheld?  It doesn’t destroy the original beauty; but rather increases our astonishment, and enhances our understanding of it.
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Yet we seem unable (or unwilling) to apply the same ingenuity, that same sense of an almost desperate exploration, to our relationships – with our planet, with each other, or even with our own internal philosophies…
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Which of us, then, can be thought of as truly gifted with sight?
.
EJ Liederstein ~ itsjustatheory.com
Image ~ pixabay

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Stranger
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hearing touch by aerendial
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You leaned closer
put your hand on
my right cheek
and I am torn between
what is scarier,
the fact that my head
automatically tilts
towards the warmth
of your touch
like they have been dying
from cold
or the fact that
you made me feel
a whole kind of
beautiful by the
most simple act
of grazing your hand
on my pale face.
.
I was doomed
even before
it started.
.
Eunice Moral ~ Hello Poetry
nerdytalksbookblog.wordpress.com/Twitter/Instagram
Imageaerendial

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Did The Rain
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giphy
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Did the rain
Fall so hard
Like cataracts
Across the eyes
Upon the streets
Of my home town
When we were young
And days were long?
Did the sky
Dress in grey
And like a judge
Pronounce our fate
As round our necks
It placed a noose
Which tightened with
Our ebbing days?
Did the night
Count our tears
The price we paid
Each silver drop
A promise lost
A dream forgot
As in ourselves
We slowly drowned?
Did the rain
Fall so hard?
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Chris Nelson chrisnelson61.wordpress.com

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BirdBath
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Dancing In The Rain by Olga-Zervou
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Perhaps, life is like a decorative birdbath and a kitten in an urban jungle.
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A small oasis with beauty and fright.  “Aha” moments with ups and downs.
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Street smarts with successes and failures.
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Perhaps, life is our feathered dreams and reflections, as we flutter around
still points, scamper about wry antics and distill moments of ecstatic baptisms.
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Perhaps, we could be the victim and the victimizer;
Able hunters in different colors and shapes, sharing relentless pursuits.
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Perhaps in our inner beings, we ought to be…Eased into dawns, blessed by shadows, perceived in verses and portrayed through binoculars.
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Moments before, we lose ourselves.
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Moments later, we find both; standing still between charted temperaments, judging us by character and consequence.
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Moments in between, we behold the landscape, which spreads out hazily
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Like moonlight on water, where light dashes across places of gilded encounters and goads.
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In life though, the body is the first to go, but the heart remains in the starring role.
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Our first bedtime is the womb.  The last one is the grave.  Then, we all awaken upon a new country blind not to itself where the past wind can still spread myths.
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Such is life…A refreshing lesson, while we bathe in the rain as the sun watches from behind clouds under a gentle canopy.  Perhaps!
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2014 Sami Khalil ~ WritersCafé
ImageOlga-Zervou

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After Spring
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Spring Splendor by artsaus

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I ask spring for a promise, and it gives me your name.  Where it rolls around on my tongue like the dawn of a syrup-sweet morning.  I’m down at the river, spitting syllables at the trees and before I enter forgiveness, you blossom inside of me for a lingering moment.
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Michelle Tudor ~ sarcolinedream.tumblr.com
michelletudor.com/platypuspress.co.uk/readwildness.com
Imageartsaus

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You Don’t Hear It
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Sleeping girl by nailone
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You are sleeping now
and i can see the gentle rise and fall of your breath
feel the way darkness has entered the room
as you conscientious ebbed
.
your eyes flutter under delicate lashes
you flicker a smile
a giggle
.
What i would give
to walk in that dream
to relax under you belly as the sky
to pray in the temples of your head
to touch . . .
i reach to touch . . .
.
no
.
i bend
to whisper my heart into your ear
placing my hand on your hair
and everything
i have every felt
everything i have ever wanted
everything in me and more
comes pouring out my mouth
onto the pillow beside your head
.
but you don’t hear it
you are sleeping now
and i can see the gentle rise and fall of your breath
feel the way darkness has entered the room
as your consciousness ebbed
.
The thing you never heard
was the sound of me saying good bye
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chyfrin.wordpress.com
Image ~ nailone

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Once While Standing
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Wet Grass by dzign-art
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The morning brought
Warm light,
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With roots..
Bright.
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Sunny
And cold
Wet grass..
Every day.
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The slow bright birth
Was quiet,
The antiquity
Of sand.
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A silent bristling light
And cold
Wet grass..
Every day.
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Chris ~ WritersCafé
Image ~ dzign-art

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Surprised By A Mermaid

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https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net/project_modules/max_1200/82445531090431.56708d8957b0f.jpg

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if you were to touch me now
without warning
and while I am unprepared
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if you were to slip up beneath me
submerged
and make unexpected contact
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I would shiver
and recoil
and shake your hand from my clammy shoulder
and offer some guttural rejection
caught in a throat full of sea
and
I would shudder under your grey fingers
I who did not see you approach
and am unused to the approach
of any other
and especially of a one such as you
at this time of day
alone
and naked
and unaware
caught in the anger of the sea
fretting in this mighty undertow
if you were to touch me now
without warning
while I am unprepared
.
but
.
if you were to touch me
now
having given me this moment‘s pause
and now knowing what I now know
of this dry earth and its dead dust
I would gracefully
sink into the ocean of your arms
float on the soft spume of your briny breath
swim into the abyss of your wide-eyed words
hide under the swell of your limpid breasts
moor myself to the holdfast strands
of your sargasso hair
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Chris Baldwin ~ chrisbaldwinpoems.blogspot.co.uk/SoundCloud
listen_button
Image ~ Alexander Gustafson

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20150827_174357-001-medium-cropped
Thank you so much to every single one of the writers who contributed their poetry and creative writing for this issue, I hope it’s an enjoyable read?!

And special thanks goes to Grant Maccurdy for his striking image of a vintage camera.  Please check out his website, Vimeo and Flickr pages to see more of his beautiful photography.

I feel he’s especially gifted in photographing people.  A favourite subject of mine, portraits is something I used to do myself many years ago.  I love the way Grant makes his subjects shine!

For those who have already submitted links to their websites, I haven’t forgotten, I’ll be getting back to you as soon as I can.  For anyone who writes poetry, creative writing, or essays but hasn’t submitted a link to their website – would you be interested in your writing being published here?  If the answer is yes – leave me a link to your website today!

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If you’d like your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in the next issue published in May, please see Submissions.

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26 comments on “The Writing Garden ~ Issue Eight

  1. Superb issue, really enjoyable reads and visual art. Enjoyed each post, but a special mention has to go to timelapse of the photo restoration, superbly captured. great job and congratulations to all contributors.
    Lorry, formerly alifeacoustic at writerscafe.

    • Oh, hello Lorry – thanks so much!! 🙂 So glad to hear you enjoyed that restoration! I wasn’t entirely certain if it was appropriate to post on a literary magazine, but as photography and old photos were highlighted I thought it would make a nice touch. It’s an amazing transformation, if that was a photo of one of my relatives I’d be so excited to see them as they were!

      I did notice you vanished on WritersCafé. If you ever open your own blog sometime, let me know and I’ll drop by! 🙂

  2. Another wondrous issue Suzy! It’s a mix of trying to connect to people and philosophy and life wisdom. I love it! I was also pleasantly delighted to read works by several writers I know like Pamela, Sami, Chris from Writers Cafe. Such amazing writers!

    • Thanks so much Nadia! 🙂 I like that, I hope it will always be a good mix. Although I think subconsciously as I collect the pieces together the mix has a kind of underlying subtle theme in each issue.

      I thought you might know some of those writers from WritersCafé, I didn’t think for a moment you would know Pamela though. This internet writing community may be vast but perhaps smaller than we imagine! 🙂

  3. Hi Suzy, it great to see that you have got to the eighth edition, and still going strong. Great mix of writing, so as per usual have really enjoyed the e mag. It is also good to be back in touch with you, and hope all is going well. I think I will send a link, so that I can keep in touch, and maybe get another poem published in your mag. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

    • Oh hello, good to hear from you again!! 🙂 Sorry I haven’t been in touch for ages, it’s been difficult to find the time to get back to everyone!

      Thank you, so good to know you enjoyed it! I am in the process of getting back to some of the writers who were in the earlier issues, so I’m sure at some point I will ask you again. Just takes a lot of time to arrange, plus I like to have a lot of writers not seen before in each new issue. I’ll get there in the end. Thanks for reminding me Charles! 🙂

      • Pleasure, I always enjoyed your blog and then the mag, but for some reason, both you and the mag disappeared from my blog, so was relieved and pleased to have found you again. 🙂 Charles.

    • Thank you so much Roland!! 🙂 I wouldn’t have related those two names, but I see what you mean now. It is a relatable poem – I’m sure deep down, there’s a daring child still remaining in each one of us! 😉

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