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Poetry Summer 2021    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Summer 2021


Diana Akhmetianova

Monique Jonath
& other poems

Alix Christofides Lowenthal
Before and After
& other poems

Rebbekah Vega-Romero
La Persona Que Quiero Ser
& other poems

Oak Morse
Incandescent Light That Peeks Through Secrets
& other poems

George Kramer
The Last Aspen Stand
& other poems

Elizabeth Sutterlin
Meditations on Mars
& other poems

Holly Marie Roland
& other poems

Devon Bohm
A Bouquet of Cherry Blossoms
& other poems

Ana Reisens
In praise of an everyday object
& other poems

Maxi Wardcantori
The Understory
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
& other poems

Karen L Kilcup
The Sky Is Just About to Fall
& other poems

Pamela Wax
He dreams of birds
& other poems

Mary Jane Panke
& other poems

a mykl herdklotz
Mouettes et Mastodontes
& other poems

Claudia Maurino
Good Pilgrim
& other poems

Mary Pacifico Curtis
One Mystical Day
& other poems

Tess Cooper
Airport Poem
& other poems

Peter Kent
Congress of Ravens
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
White Women Running
& other poems

Bill Cushing
Creating a Corpse
& other poems

Everett Roberts
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Canada Geese
& other poems

Bill Cushing

Creating a Corpse

the body didn’t decay from the inside

but from the amassed and mindless

parasites that festered

to kill a nation

they invaded collectively

permeated the soul of a society

and did

what no congress could

until a shroud of suspicion

of “the other”

descended to mask the land

with either fear

or justification

or rationalization

the inner rot came from outside

with a destruction

brought on one by one

like oncogenes

tens became thousands

to destroy the body politic

with infected thoughts justified

by clinging to affirmed beliefs

poisoned by the certitude

of conviction of those


held the approved thoughts


carried the right signs


wore the appropriate hat

or the most fitting outfit

subversion doesn’t need spies

just a marauding cult of zealots

taking action

like the innumerable insects

that can fell an elephant

with a parade of slight

but poisonous bites

Parting Pictures

A spotlight shines, center stage,

over a dozen white folding chairs

arranged in symmetry, waiting

for mourners to gather.

Front of house, facing a screen

between the seats, is the silhouette

of a wheel chair where an old man sits

bent from the weight of 98 years.

He has already buried a wife,

Rose of his life, and now faces

the visage of his namesake,

the young man framed on the screen upstage.

The face looks out, peers through the tight

shaft of light, a Playbill facsimile,

previewing a life of accomplishments,

now another casualty of cancer.

Even four decades of difference

residing between them cannot obscure

the similarities that fasten these two:

the pyramidal nose, the tapered chin.

Two Toms, frozen in time, framed

in someone’s lens: the one who remains strains

against age, defying gravity to lift

a weary arm to wave a final farewell

to his son.


Waiting on the promised end times,

the erosion of age absorbs

but does not erase all remains.

They are out there all around us:

Skulls piled high by centurions;

blackened bodies, impressions

scorched into earth by flame throwers

of the Great War. Then,

glazed eyes gaze at the world from men

draped in aprons of skin and thrown

in wooden wagons like human

debris by soldiers of the Reich;

and wretched blood retched on sand

from biological weapons.

Feeling feral charm, men with clenched

fists and clenched minds descend

into woeful revenge, and passion

waxes as we join the westering sun,

and the heat of living flashes

and fades into desolation.

Spelling the Name


Indefatigable source of

Destruction of

Someone, somewhere

All the time; an




All other

Illnesses to

Destroy its host.

Since its start,

Almost inevitably,

It has become our age’s

Disease: our cancer, our polio, our

Scarlet fever.



Dives into an immune


A feeling of absolute and terrifying





Its greatest ally may well be the

Diminutive minds of

Some who,




Shush those who speak.


Is vulnerable; to assume safety,

Dependent upon hope, is entirely un-


The Prodigal Father

Somebody told me

how you had grown

as a man worthy

of honor on your own.

I wasn’t there,

avoiding the weight

of giving you due care

forcing you to live enate

as I surrendered

to another life

that was false and rendered

me to live like one who died.

Now I come to you

to be absolved,

hoping to mask or subdue

a lifetime uninvolved.

Bill Cushing has lived in numerous states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Returning to college at 37 after serving in the Navy and working on ships, classmates at the University of Central Florida called him the “blue collar poet.” Earning an MFA in writing from Goddard College, he now resides in Glendale, California. Bill has three poetry collections: A Former Life, Music Speaks, and his most recent, . . .this just in. . . .

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