Busy tongue

Busy tongue

If I speak as fast as my brain does,
i would be too chatty,

like the bubbles a child blows out from the straw,
pop and disappear in the thin air; or like a bubble

or two snagged in the witch’s wand,
turn to snake around the neck of innocent one.

©Byung A. Fallgren

In the Smell of August Pasture


In the Smell of August Pasture

Fresh mowed hay lay in rows and rows,
listening to the stars reciting the poems,

reminding the journey still ahead;
help scent the world-pain-ridden air.

The perfume; the old cowboy’s first love;
his bone, skin, and soul.

In the smell, he finds her image, breath, and smile.

©Byung A. Fallgren

The Life of a Writer

The Life of a Writer
by Jalynn Harris

The life of a writer is desire
i hammer into the page
i make up my mind: the street light

is not the moon, but anything can be
made beautiful under the ease
of my hammer

with you could see that i write in blue ink
the color of oceans & early mornings
& everything is clear like

tears rushing toward the dim
of my desire. i pen what i am meant
to pen. how deep in love i am

& how silly of me to spend all morning dreaming
about love & not expect my
desire to set me free

the knives of my fingers tap
out the notion that if I turn the key
it will unlock.

admittedly, I am foolish
about love–a simple yes exites me–
’cause i know that all that i require will be met

like water meets the tongue. it’s scary
desire, a small fan of my window in the summer,
a booklight lighting the page of my life.

Jalynn Harrison is the founder of Softsavage Press. She is
a poet, educator, and book designer from Baltimore,

Her Anguish

Her Anguish

Reds must’ve abducted him, my mother used to 
say of her brother’s fate, dabbing at her eyes.
Before the separation of the peninsula,
they kidnapped many smart people to
the north to build a super power nation.
My brother was an educator,
tall with gold-tanned skin.
she sobbed. We must unite!

Her brother had been living only a few miles
from her rural home over the high mountain
across the river.
By then the siblings have long since gone.
Bitter smile on the cousin’s face echoes mine.

Even now we enjoy all the modern amenities,
our eyes still wet, yearning to find our relatives
over the barbed wire fence.
The policy, like the air in the balloon,
their constant war-threat, secret test for weapon,
I hear her voice.
What happened to our brotherhood?
What is above the joy of our lives?
Learn the mountain and ocean;
their wisdom of peaceful coexistence.
Her ghost vanishes;
her words flying in the wind.

©Byung A. Fallgren 



In the Beginning

In the Beginning
by Danika Kelly

In the beginning, there was your mouth:
soft rose, rose murmur, murmured breath, a woman
cardinal wind that drew my needle north.
Magnetic flux, the press of form to form

In the beginning, there was your mouth–
the frail head, the path lead faintly opened,

the crayon river-carved, farther south,
and ahead: the field, the direction chosen. 

In the beginning there was your mouth,
a sky full of stars, raked or raking, clock–
wise , or west, and in the close or mammoth
matter, my hearts red muscle, knocked and knocked.

In the beginning, there was your mouth,
And nothing since but what the earth bears out.

Danika Kelly is the author of the Renunciations
(Gray wolf Press, 2021). She is assistant professor 
in English Department at the University of Iowa.


Little things that Brew Good morning


Little Things that Brew Good morning

He once edited my book; the ruddy, brusque friend of
my hubby and me. His wife’s sudden death brought 
a chasm between us though.
Lest he lonely, I requested him Friend on Facebook.
confirmed he did; the platform of his character show,
with all the pink-green words I ignored;

to my kind hello, he’d return a face of hale cloud;
the overgrown, sting caterpillar in my childhood,
that gave me goosebumps,
resulting the Unfriend him on FB;
I avoided him; guilt sneaking in my back.
One morning, I saw him at the Post Office.
Even before my hello,

he said with a grin, good morning, young lady;
just like the old days.
With a smile, I said, good morning. How are you?
Dandy and peach.
I beamed.
It’s so good to see you, young lady. His smile bounced.
So good to see you. My smile rode the sunbeam,

to plant a kiss on the scruffy cheek. Some sweet brew.

©Byung A. Fallgren



(Excerpted from “Life”
by Carrie Law Morgan Figgs


A moment of pleasure,
     An hour of pain,
A day of Sunshine,
     A week of rain,
A fortnight of peace,
     A month of strife,
These taken together,
     Make up life.


At daybreak a blossom,
     At noontime a rose,
At twilight ’tis a rose,
     At evening ’tis closed.
The dim of confusion,
     The storm of life,
These with other things
     Make up life.

“Life” appeared in Nuggets of Gold (Taxon Printing Company, 1921).
Ms. Figgs was born 1878. A teacher, a community. leader, Playwright, 
and poet. She authored Poetic Pears, Nuggets of Gold. 
She died in 1968. 

To Meet the Unborn Love

Outlook-Shadows of

To Meet the Unborn Love

I remember her plea
to live closer, so
she can give her hand
when I need.
Her words then, the petals in the wind;
fallen stars in the deep sea,
lost in the dark sea.
Her words now, the blades,
dancing in my heart;
I writhe on the shards.

The blade and petals whisper:
you flew so far away
on the night of blizzard;
to find the hope
on the other side,
to meet the unborn love;
the essence of your being.

©Byung A. Fallgren

The Mother-in-law


The Mother-in-law,

the most complex seeds of the plant;
Daughter-in-law must choose; just right one;

one raw pick, she’ll tend the garden shabby,
with sweat vain;

haste pick, faces the days of
the red string of the feline. Or
see the end of the season.

Wise pick, the garden gets sunny day;
with some days of sleet.

©Byung A. Fallgren

Gift from grandma

Gift from the grandma

Her paint smocks on the clothesline 
reminds her of her grandma;
she always loved the colorful bedsheets,
esp. ones with pink and yellow combination;
she said, they not only did cuddle me,
spring coziness, but lead me to the dream of
the life, with my late husband,
bitter and sweet; rough and gentle.

When her grandma passed on she gathered
all her bedsheets, turned them to the smocks;
lovely paint smocks for her.

In the smocks she is confident;
learn the art of her grandma’s good life;
her paint brush dances on the canvas;
she flies higher.

©Byung A. Fallgren