Story from Mokhinur Abduhalilova


A 15-year-old boy named Omadbek lived in the outskirts of the village, in an ordinary family, in a house with walls divided from the bottom.

Jamshid is from a rich family which gives all comforts for him. However, he was not a boy who is interested in studying at all, he may be seen sometimes at school, much time was absent. He is really keen on playing the phone all time. He has even his own personal smartphone. Omadbek is one of the children who are disabled. He didn’t have both hands. He lives alone with his mother in a small house in hard days Omadbek’s dad died when he was too young. He cannot remember that person. One day he came up with something that no one had thought of before. He searched and tried all the day and night to realize this idea. while his friend, Jamshid was addicted to the phone every day. Finally plan came to the light. He created special prosthetic hands for himself. Now Omadbek can write with his hands and do his work with his hands himself. Before, he used to do the work with his feet, not with arms.

When his mother saw this situation, she was really delighted and happy, moreover, she couldn’t stop herself from tears of love. Today, Omadbek’s dreams came true. He goes to school the first time. Because before he was one of the only students who do not attend to school. When he stepped on the threshold of the school, he felt a kind of excitement inside him. Then the lesson began. Tife was full of possibilities like Jamshid was playing his phone in the same class.

After the lesson had finished, Omadbek went to the near of Jamshid’s desk. He said “why are you are playing on the phone?” Jamshid continued to play on the phone and did not pay attention to him. One day, Omadbek participated in the Science Olympiade and won the 1st place, and the latest model phone was as a gift. After knowing about this, Jamshid went to Omadbek and said, “Let me see your phone.” He handed the phone to him saying, “Okay”. “Omadbek, let’s play together your phone”. Omadbek replied that he would give this phone to her mum. Jamshid’s face turned red. He asked how he can achieve such an achievement like his friend. Omadbek replied: 

–My friend, it’s easy, let’s prepare and get ready together.

Time has passed. Both Omadbek and Jamshid participated in the Science Olympiade. Jamshid was waiting for the result of the competition. After some time, both of them heard the news that they got the 1st place, they achieved this success together. Jamshid stopped playing the phone and started reading diverse books. Jamshid thanked Omadbek for bringing him back from this path. 

Now the two friends are among the best students in the school. The benefit of the story is that the book is always good. Let there be more people like Omadbek among us.

Synchronized Chaos June 2023: Layered Experience

This month’s issue unearths the different layers of our life experiences. Pieces explore the influence of the past on our lives, our memories and heritage, and the legacies we leave for those who will come after us.

Red Rock Layers, image c/o Kevin Casper

Boqiyev Sherkhan Ubaydullo outlines the history of Turkish trade on the Silk Road.

Maja Milojkovic poetizes nostalgia, the passion and grief of letting go of vividly rendered experiences: playing the violin and sharing a large family home. Steven Hill writes of personal grief at the loss of a friend and deep, sweeping thoughts about cultural memory of Nazi brutality and then on the vast complex weight of human history.

David Kopaska-Merkel’s time travel story raises the possibility of being stuck in the past. Jim Meirose’s surrealist wordplay centers on a ghost, while Taylor Dibbert references the uncomfortable digital “footprint” of a relationship that ended badly.

In a more positive vein, Mesfakus Salahin offers up a romantic glimpse of the moon, a traditional poetic subject. Hongri Yuan’s poems, translated from Mandarin to English by Yuanbing Zhang, evoke the mystical traditions of ancient Chinese scholarly poetics. Mahbub Alam waxes poetic about oneness with nature, falling in love amid the flowers and growing strong like trees. Elmaya Jabbarova contributes a paean to a more celestial, ethereal love.

Don McLellan describes a group of very individual and quirky seniors who form a neighborhood walking club that creates new memories. Farangiz Safarova speaks to the love and connection between a grandfather and his grandchildren and his dreams for their futures. Zarina Abdulina, who assists children with disabilities, encourages volunteering purely for the sake of helping others.

John Culp’s poem addresses what we create and leave behind for future generations. Laura Stamps’ pieces reflect a profound longing to pass love on to others, children or small dogs. Yahuza Uzman recollects children’s varied emotions as a sick mother teeters on the edge of survival.

Oona Haskovec ‘s poetic speaker turns to the past to save herself, clinging to the ideas of existentialist poetry to keep her from taking her own life, because of the effects of her death on others: blood would “spatter them” as well.

Francesco Favetta’s pieces celebrate the love of a mother for her children, the love between brothers, and hope and poetry and faith in a world torn by war.

Hands Holding Hands, image c/o icon 0 com

Mykyta Ryzhykh’s poetry spans life, death, seasons, nature, war, and peace. Azemina Krehic draws on poppy fields for a metaphor about healing pain by facing its reality and connecting with others.

Channie Greenberg evokes a panoply of human emotions and experiences through arrangements of colored dots. Edward Supranowicz plays with brilliant and muted color and light to reflect feelings and sensations.

JD Nelson sends up random words and grammatical constructions, short bursts of thought reflecting fragmented consciousness. Mark Young weaves phrases of disparate sentences together to create new textures of sound and thought. Graciela Noemi Villaverde writes of the liminal space between sleeping and waking.

Some contributors focus on the heavy weight of histories that can pull us down, particularly when those shadows extend into the present day. J.J. Campbell wonders how to find pleasure in a fading and broken world, while Victor Obukata and Muhammed Sinan decry social injustice, power imbalances, and the tragedy of poverty. Tuyet Van Do’s poems concern ways people manipulate nature and society.

Pat Doyne offers a mocking farewell to departing Fox News host Tucker Carlson while Noah Berlatsky sends up a poem that reflects the experience of doom-scrolling, composed of surrealist images amidst language from today’s headlines.

Striking a Balance, image c/o Alix Lee

Santiago Burdon evokes the weight of millennia of tradition in a humorous piece where the Pope steals his grandfather’s ring.

Ammanda Moore illustrates how purity culture heightens the pain of a woman being examined for reproductive cancer. Linda Gunther’s piece shows the cumulative effects of sexual assaults on women’s self-concepts and feelings of safety.

Sandro Piedrahita probes the ethical dilemmas and compromises people make in the name of revolution. Robiul Awal Esa contributes a meditation on divine justice and mercy.

Other writers take pride in the positive aspects of their personal or societal heritage.

Machu Picchu, image c/o Christiano Fernandes

Murodova Muslima Kadyrovna glories in the beauty of the Uzbek flag and the promise of her country’s founding ideals.

Daniel de Culla presents a unique take on his home country of Spain: photographs of cats, water, and flies, earthy bits of nature.

Still other writers’ pieces reflect or suggest new ideas, forward movement into the future.

Aminova Oghilay illuminates the beauty of spring flowers, and Sayani Mukherjee contributes a piece on lilies with some intriguing language.

Wazed Abdullah celebrates the joy and privilege of learning.

Lauren McBride invents a new kind of poetry, saturne binary poems, a reworking of the lanturne structured to mimic the rings of Saturn.

Holiday Suitcase, c/o George Hodan

Christopher Bernard reviews poet Mary Mackey’s book Creativity: Where Poems Begin, which explores the sources of Mackey’s poetic inspirations. She seeks a “gentle path” to find creative insights without deranging her senses or relationships.

Garrett Schuelke dreams of his future summer travels. Chimezie Ihekuna extols the value of travel, what we can learn from seeing more of the world, changing up our mood and atmosphere.

Kahlil Crawford celebrates entrepreneur and business leader Dr. Kasthuri Henry. Don Bormon talks of the computer’s importance as an invention.

Leslie Lisbona reminisces about growing up and moving to a room of her own, independent but lonely at first without siblings at her side.

We hope this issue imbues readers with a spirit of hope and curiosity, taking comfort in or shedding the layers of past experience as needed. 

Poetry from Yahuza Uzman

Ecstasy on the Tongue of Survival

this poem begins imperviously inside a mysterious silence

that wallows in the misery crawling on the throat of silence

that lives, dies, and relives in a smile-shaped box of silence

that demystifies the blend of smiles and of griefs

revolving around the silences on the tongue of my mother.


the first silence was housed in a breath-stopping slump,

the second was seen in the heavy eyes of my brothers

& sisters mourning over the health status of our mother,

the third was of the hope that sparkled for a second and went off,

& the last was framed delightfully in the closed eye of smiles

made by my brothers and sisters in extreme merriment

of our mother's health revival.


some silence just exist to exacerbate disdainable plight

while some only breathe to rebirth the babies of fortune.


so i closed my eyes that's deemed with tears

of accumulated silence, hoping that, someday,

these silences would turn into a world of everlasting ecstasy

lingering on the tongue of my mother's survival.

Artwork from Edward Supranowicz

A Calm Center
The Sun Is No Longer Warm

Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia.  He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is A Jar, The Phoenix, and The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.

Poetry from Sayani Mukherjee


Lilies are simple
Pond-scape of my obituaries
The tilted stage of spring to monsoon
It calms a soothing tornado
Kite ridden lachrymose crystals
The pond-scape is a mirror
Of Leafy coquettish swim
Honeydipped solar gaze 
Perfect for mated leafs 
Lilies are Simple
Monsoon bespoken
It keeps things afloat. 

Poetry from Steven Hill

Where the Gods reside
	   (for Jeffrey, too soon)

The mountains 
assuage our sorrow 
for not being one of them,
we climb their eternity and perspire, 
and grind our efforts into them, and 
	they are so vast, they can hold it.

The craggy peaks crouch, 
ancient souls birthed in the sea, 
a distant ship fading over the horizon,
sometimes you 
were a mountain to me.

Sometime, just before the euphoria of Spring,
all things growing 
must spend time on their knees.
At this time the mountains thunder, 
the road begins to climb toward a scraping fury,
the bruised sky flashes in lightning-crossed patterns, 
	like my life before my eyes,
	like my aching alone,
the late fall of snow buries 
	your name on your gravestone.

Yet a glimmer of starlight still arrives,
	ancient beam from a time
	before our time, 
reminder of our place in this
	galaxy of infinity, 
at this time I lick stones we had saved
	-- why shouldn’t I    
for, not comprehending stone, 
how can I apprehend the heights?

From the peaks I espy, 
the valley below in fog,
where a silent God resides, a
	lone steeple poking above the prologue,
one day soon I will cross over the divide,
holding my breath to glimpse the Other Side,
hoping you’ll be there, 
	through End’s dream door, awaiting.

Beautiful interregnum: 
the Sin of Forgetfulness
		      By Steven Hill 

This Wannsee lake grows deep and dark,
	a ribbon of history cutting through the present,
rippled only by streaks of the sun’s setting,
watchful vigil, the shore lights wink on.
	Sparkles of first stars remind me of you, 
and the light you lent me to face this dark,  
when the human condition is perplexing, like
	an ungovernable algorithm,
rattling my glass heart, yearning for our native soil. 
Across the lake is the growing shadow of the Haus 
whose name must never be forgotten,
where unspeakable things were decided 
and factored into the price -- 
	“too many bullets wasted, we need more efficiency,
		the latest gas technology, what percent Jew” --
over schnitzel, schnapps and ice.

Past or future? I wish you were here, my love,
	to help me locate the proper response
to this reminder of the failure of democratic deliverance;
triumph of technocracy, rulers and the ruled,
my courage hesitates before this ancient genuflect,
	before authoritarians capturing the overwhelming questions,
dangling promises of the previous resurrection
	a perfect that by definition never arrives.
So we default to bloodline gurgling in our veins,
yield to the wild, chasing us in our dreams, 
amidst animal psychology, survival, battle,  
the lure of the borderline defends the tribe,
another hominid line dead end,
civilization offers no answer, or excuse,
for a populist architecture outrun by its fears,
grown tangled and inbred with its use.

In the last light I hear, whispers from the dark lake,
voices from the deep past gone:

“This is where human hands have been
	This is where human paths have led
What was violated, what held sacred;
Where the irreversible decision
When the wrong turn to our fate
Which the lie that tricked our humanity
How blind the line between ‘reap’ and ‘rape.’”

Suddenly a butterfly alights on the barbed wire fence, 
proof that in the stillness you watch over me still,
my heart beats inside, without need of a guide,
History’s arrow still aims for the sun.
Wannsee Haus fades into the falling dusk,
its shadow-hulk silent, a black hole of memory,
Past, future, try to suture the moment 
inspired hands bury the footprints of fear. 

For even if we are not perfect, 
	or at least not as perfect as we need to be,
even if Paradise remains Lost, with no hint of the telling,
even if the lights in the distance
	are the coals of the enemy campfire,
still we journey to this crossroads place, 
to this promised lands place,
	awaiting sunrise to illuminate,
	inhaling the spread of atoms,
	watching the boat lights, bouncing on the lake water
standing on this foreign shore, thinking of you.

In these moments, my love, I am certain in my bones, 
I am glad I shared this life with you.

Passing out of the world’s memory
no one will survive who remembers us.
We are sentenced to exit the ring,
and then to be forgotten, amidst forgetfulness. 


		Road to nowhere
		    By Steven Hill 

Where does that road go?
Cuts through the dry valley and over the top,
peak after peak jags away 
	from my 30,000 foot high spot.
The thin line zags, like a seismic crack,
winding through the wilderness
	of red mesas and buttes,
	meandering oxbows and gullied arroyos, 
a vastness where a thirst for hope could get lost. 
Landscape whispering in ancient tongues,
pulsing in E flat, 47 octaves below middle C, 
	the lowest hum of the revolving earth
	barely detectable from my flyover perch, 
whispers the unspeakable of lost tales, 
of human dust and bone shard artifacts,
	come and gone and
	gone gone like a stutter in the dry wind. 
Dust devils swirling above a faultline that opens 
	and swallows a thousand lifetimes of diligence, 
leaving no trace but the unsettling vibrato
	of silence. 

Yet still to somewhere that black crack goes!
My eyes follow it toward oblivion, but wait -- 
Is that a house -- tucked into the valley fold? 
	A small bump of civilization poking up 
		from the terrain’s climb?
What kind of human would live so far from anywhere,
surrounded by the chocolate dust and layers
	of geologic years and fossilized nowheres?

But no, no. Not a house at all.
	Just another wrinkle in that vast corrugated land. 

To where does that road to nowhere go?
		Valley of the Flower
     (for the Covid dead)

Between the horror and the horror
lies the valley of the flower,
	purple and orange sprinkle the landscape with hope,
fresh green sprigs poke through
	the snow crust melting,
winter-cracked faces seek the warmth of climbing sun.

We huddled in our tents, while the blizzard piled high
hungry eyes fearing, the dwindling of our rations.
Suffering the casualties between mistrust and panic 
our wavering humanity, prayed for our salvation.

At first bonded, by the gene of solidarity,
we held firm hands, and swore unanimity,
but hunger scratches from the inside-out,
	shows no mercy to pleas or prayers,
poverty of plenty laughed most bitterly,
the desperation in our eyes screamed 
what we refused to say: 

	how could one’s soul survive the coming atrocity?

Soon our haven became our depraved prison,
so on the 30th day many of us fled.
	Gaunt and desperate, rationality eaten,
left the horror of the Unknown for
	the terror of the Unknowable.
Stumbling on brute instinct up the snow-choked trails,
clawing across the tundra between two jagged peaks,
	menacing giants jutting sharply like teeth, 
we scavenged across the whiteout wilderness.

Civilization collapsed as the Animal returned,
	howling at the moon, yellow fangs bared,
shadows hissing in thrums of a heartbeat
eyes fixated on the necks of the ones in front. 
Slogging blindly through the driving sleet
rags wrapped around, blackened frostbit feet,
we longed for when last we basked 
	under the warmth of the golden sun-fall:

The flaxen fields had supplied the summer harvest
The world had been new in each other’s arms
the family of humanity fed by a cornucopia
	scales of justice weighed the balance of the light; 
wisdom of elders translated the guiding stars
a gentle compact held the Demon-hounds at bay
peace between the tribes fed by shared prosperity
ecumenical faith in the rainbow of the light. 

But now the frigid Mask of Death
is chasing and stalking our darkened souls,
prisoners of our internal struggle 
	to put one frozen foot in front of the other. 
Each disappearance under the cover of night
	becomes a snow-buried mound by the grey morning light, 
survivors awaited the next date with the grave,
guilty of human practices of survival,
red claw Nature, brawling for hegemony, 
mercy froze inside the tears of our deprival. 

Yet silence greeted our prayers to God: 
	“Merciful One, why have you forsaken us,
	left us alone to face this muted roar,”
chased by the inhumanity of our sapien fears,
each panicked moment faced the final door. 

Finally at the edge of earth and sky,
between the craggy peaks where an indifferent God slept,
where our courage cowered, scarred with awe
where the struggle was waged, most terrible and raw,
as the last of the last of us stumbled through the grey, 
searching for green poking through the snowy graves,
	moment after moment hung 
	with only phantoms in sight --

finally, there it was, in the breaking of the light –

	the lone petal pushing up through the snow crystal.

Barely visible, a glint of orange, 
	steadfast and alive,
and then another, and then purple,
trail of green tips, beckoning the deprived.
Hope replaced the hunger of the primal,
	sunlight brilliant off its spring thaw wings, 
stumbling forward, from flower to warm flower,
orange to purple amidst the sun-fall shower.
How quickly had collapsed our democratic covenant,
	sculpted over centuries, melted away in days,
scientists will search for the remains of our route,
an apostles’ dozen went in, only a handful came out. 

We have passed this way before, 
	the Devil always dancing for a chance to resurrect,
		hostage to the brutish craving, to eat lest you be eaten,

while God never answered our prayer,
	so we gave thanks to the sun
		which does not care.

Poetry from Wazed Abdullah

Young South Asian boy with short black hair and a light blue collared shirt.
Wazed Abdullah
The Land of Learning

In the land of learning, we take our stride, 
Education's power, like a gentle guide. 
With books and pens, we embark on a quest, 
To seek knowledge's treasure, we do our best. 
Teachers lead us, their wisdom bright,
Unlocking doors, our minds take flight. 
In classrooms, dreams bloom and fears subside, 
Education's gift, our world open wide..

Wazed Abdullah is a student of grade 8 in Harimohan Government High School, Chapainawabganj,Bangladesh.