Poetry from David Kopaska-Merkel

The Tip of Time’s Arrow

Time travel proved necessary
If we wanted to meet other civilizations
Among the stars
Everywhere our ships landed
Goldilocks worlds, gas giants,
Or sunburned cinders
Ruins dotted the landscape
Sucked dry of metals and useful minerals

Intelligent entities everywhere
Had crashed their ecologies and perished—

Their technological prowess
Not enough, never enough
To compensate for their behaviors.

Time travel proved possible
In the mid-twenty-fourth century
When the physicist Krisha Dalal
Learned to point time’s arrow both ways

Her equations unarguable
A crew of select humans and one AI
Was sent into the past.

Crowded time vehicle

Humans: eager

AI cool in its rack of superfast processors

We set sail for the Devonian, a test run

Early plants, insects, amphibians
But no large terrestrial predators

(The sea a frightful tale of teeth and armor)

The ride was silent, uneventful
The doors opened upon a dusty plain
A hovering pall of dust.

Our first dire discovery:
The air, unbreathable—
Like inhaling a lungful of nothing--

Though evidence and theory
Suggested the Devonian air
Would sustain us.

Fortunately mission control
Had planned for such contingencies:
We have vacuum suits
Our vehicle’s mini-airlock
Snug for one standing man.

Four of us set forth
Three humans and the AI’s avatar
Nearby, lycophytes and ferns

Cluster along a stream
Motionless, as if no wind
Has ever breathed across this land.

Primitive flying insects hover in midair
As if captured in invisible amber
Their wings do not blur
Nor move at all; they hang
Motionless above the stream
Its surface dimpled
As if with the reticulations of water flowing
And yet this surface is static
Still as a stagnant pond.

We move on
Keeping our vehicle in view--
The world like a vast art installation
We move thru it, observing,
Yet without interacting.

Are we trapped in one frozen instant
Of past time?  After our excursion
We discuss possibilities
A test:

I try to pick a single leaf—and fail

The AI directs a robot

To try, with the same result

This world we cannot change

And we’ll never reach the date

We’re to be plucked from time

Reeled back to the future.

Will the engineers who sent us

Deduce our fate

Find us before we starve

Locate this exact nanosecond
Where we are stranded?
Or will their rescue attempts
Be a few frozen instants away?

Along with the AI,
We wait and we pray.

Poetry from Mark Young

Click Here For Attachments

Wombat security has come into

being because the Northern hairy-

nosed wombat has developed 

the bad habit of turning into

barrow-wights during their bur-

row nights & setting up spam

factories where they target a

subset of their species — the

nosey hairy ones — who can’t

resist acting on any included 

“Click Here for Attachments” mess-

age because anything is better

than being kept in the dark 

& driven wombatshit crazy.

Similarity Stops Here

What follows has nothing

in common with what went

before, even though the trees

& lawns seem to be the same. 


Tupperware may be 

going out of business 

tomorrow, but will 

there be any differ-

ence between tomor-

row’s Tupperware item 

& one from yesterday?


Track your way down a 

dichotomous tree; &, at 

each division, it can be

safely said that when the 

similarities stop, you’ve

identified another species.


If you drive your car over

a cliff, then at that moment

when the plane shifts from

the horizontal to the vertical 

you would think that you

could safely say the similar-

ities stop then. Except, you’re

still in the car, & Schrödinger’s 

cat is on the seat beside you.

Exorcizing the endocrine glands

Halfway through the 

night, with the moon 

halfway through its 

phases, I rise to take 

in the night air, leaving 

behind a poem that is

halfway to nowhere.

A line from Colonel Sanders

Criminal courts exist. Their proto-

cols are approved. For these 

future challenges, many gulfs

can be bridged by an esterified 

canola oil based product with a

non-ionic surfactant added. But

everyone reacts differently to grief;

so, if you’re wired for anxiety, then

an efficacious & speedy way to

overcome the loss of something is

to design a nuclear submarine using

only objects found in the kitchen.

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.

Poetry from J.J. Campbell

Middle aged white man with a beard standing in a bedroom with posters on the walls
J.J. Campbell

in the middle of writing a poem

i always love when

my arthritis starts

flaring up right in

the middle of

writing a poem

i have only

survived these

years by finding

pleasure in the


god help us all

when that stops



love letters to female prisoners

is it possible life

has passed me by

possible all the

former lovers

weren’t the ones

to make the mistake

all the old guitars

collecting dust

all the things

i tried for pussy

this pen served me

as well as any of


i might as well be

writing love letters

to female prisoners

and as the mundane

starts to swallow me


prison becomes

a relative topic

modern day slavery

someone is always

making money off

of someone


walk in the park at dusk

here come the virgins

the terrorists were


all the freedom we

gave up to feel secure

now our own nation

points the gun at each


kids can’t play outside

you can’t walk in the

park at dusk

and god forbid, don’t

you dare be mentally


too bad we can’t make

money off of them

if that ever changes



trying to steal my heart

an angel with dark hair

panties begging to be

yanked off

a smile that seems to

be too good to be true

the latest trying to steal

my heart although, i am

a willing victim

this one wants to get to

know me enough so she

can travel across the

country and fuck me

my inner child starts

to sprint

but the battered soul

inside knows there is

no way this will ever

come out good

all the while, i’m trying

to play it cool

i certainly believe i’m

due a fucking break


words are not enough

the spanish princess cries

herself to sleep in my arms

complains about the pain,

life and all the miles between


i feel helpless, know that

words are not enough

fall in love with an introvert

and come to terms with a

brand new level of frustration

stuck in the old century of

love letters and flowers,

boxes of candy and a glass

of wine at sunset

how in the fuck did so

much time pass us by

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is trapped in suburbia, wondering where all the lonely housewives have gone. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, Misfit Magazine, just good poems and The Beatnik Cowboy. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Poetry from Oona Haskovec

pleading with nonexistent existentialists

i lay with my mouth agape
red hair used to mould that form into lust
but i do not wish for that kind of pleasure
i wish to be carried away by my own hand
to fall so deep into simple sadness
that my skin dries out
and my lips peel off
and my eyes are found empty
bloodshot with lashes glued together by salt
i imagine a bliss where
light fills every crevice in my teeth
my tongue
the place where my lips used to be
everything that i fear
the glow tugs at my voice
urging me to cry out
pleading with my throat to breathe

i ponder the possibility of death
how blood could splatter not only my skin
but the lives of my beloveds too
so called darlings who see in me hope
who see in me a rope to hold on to
if i tie that rope into a noose
who is to say they will not use it?
who is to say i would not be responsible
so instead
i hold onto the threads of nonexistent existentialists
and hold off from killing my darlings another day.

Oona Haskovec is a writer based in San Francisco, California. He writes about inner worlds and tiny unimportant things. His work has been previously published with Synchronized Chaos, K’in Literary Journal, and Nightjar Literary Magazine.

Essay from Farangiz Safarova

Young Central Asian woman with a peach headscarf and coat over a cream colored top. She's standing in a living room with pictures on the wall and a clock behind her.
Farangiz Safarova

The father, who was the guardian of the Motherland in his youth, and who protected every inch of his country like the apple of his eye, is now retired. grandfather loved his profession more than his life and worked tirelessly until retirement. Now he is alone at home with his wife. At first, they were busy with their work and spent time visiting their relatives. A month passed, something called him to his old office. He went to his office, turned around and walked along the paths he used to walk. grandfather wanted his children to become soldiers, and raised them from a young age by playing sports. 

Unfortunately, they did not choose this profession. The eldest son is an ambassador abroad, and the youngest son works in a tourism company and travels around the world. The military father married them. She had grandchildren, but she could not hold them when she wanted, because her children and their families had gone to the country where they were working. When he misses his children, when he sleeps at night, he wakes up from the agony of seeing them in his dreams. But he did not let his women notice this, he was always laughing. Time flows like water, years seem to pass like the wind, sometimes it's summer, sometimes it's winter, but I still have the same thought, the same dream, and I want to return to my work. 

One day, he made a phone call and gave the happy news that we will go on a honeymoon in the next few days. Hearing this, the fathers were full of joy, and the fathers made soup and cooked various dishes with their wives and waited eagerly. And those moments came. He was happy to see his children, and he was happy to see that his grandchildren had grown up so much. His wife was crying. Seeing this situation, his sons decided not to go back. "I will be by your side," my father used to say. 

The father took his grandchildren to his workplace. It was obvious that they love their profession. The only thing that made him happy was that even though his grandchildren grew up abroad, he listened to his grandfather's words and followed them. But they did not fire the father's son. His immediate return to work had to take his children with him. Unable to tell his father, he finally decided. "I will take you too. "I will not leave you alone," he said. Grandfather remained in peace. He didn't want to leave, but he thought that he would be able to see his grandchildren again, so he agreed to leave. 

Father and mother did not like another country and wanted to return to their village. In the meantime, the father was not in the mood and ordered his son to take him to my village as soon as possible. He had no choice but to say that His child is going to be patient because he has a lot of work. In November, they bought tickets and set off. Grandfather was in a constant hurry, walking ahead as if he would die before he could catch up. A 6-hour drive and they arrived at the destination. Grandfather looked out of the window and whispered, "You are my country." The women waved, "Don't sleep, get up, we've landed, we're going down." Grandfather passed away at this time. 

Their faces were smiling happily. The reason is that they died in their country, in their land, in their homeland, which once protected every corner of their land. Yes, grandfather's dreams have come true. His grandsons became soldiers and received the title of Colonel General.

Safarova Farangiz, 19 years old. 2nd year student of the Faculty of Korean Language of the International University of Kimyo. Teacher and founder of online Korean language courses "hangug-eo with Farangiz". Head of the Social Protection Department of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan, Samarkand region, 5 years of experience and volunteering.

Official guest of Stars International University Conference. Graduate of "Future Scientific Girls Community Educational Exchange Program". About 30 participants of offline and online conferences.
Published articles: India, Russia

Poetry from Muhammed Sinan

 *Life of Disrepair*

Life is betwixt two door,
Which start and end.
Depends on seconds and hours.
Elation and enmity modify,
Status of living beings.
Expression may change,
Height may grow,
Weight will increase, but
The mind of hopes stay still.
Billionaires gain up
Poors finding way to feed their small fry.
Some people running for secure,
Some one inquiring for bitty space to live.
Patient, Kind, pleasure, euphoric
brand human as humanity. but,
day-by-day it destructing.
Life is a process of,
Dying tragically between two doors.