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This Most Magical Season-Flash Fiction by Bernice Holtzman
A Short Poem for a Long Trip-Poem by Richard LeDue
Things Found in a Public Parking Lot-Poem by Hillary Lyon
Tables-Poem by Meg Baird
Duke-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Impending Death-Daniel G. Snethen
A Dispute over a Gambling Debt-Poem by Mark Young
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Sometimes you die when it's really not your-Poem by Gale Acuff
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what is the cost-Poem by Judith Nielsen
Poignant Clouds (For Daryl)-Poem by Judith Nielsen
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ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Daniel G. Snethen—Duke

89_ym_duke_bholtzman.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2021

Duke

 

by Daniel G. Snethen

 

My first dog cost me $3.00.

He was part Collie and a mix

of who knows what other breeds.

 

Duke was territorial

and protected the home front.

His bite, literally was worse than his bark.

Duke never bit family,

but everyone else was an intruder.

 

I trained him in basic dog obedience

for 4-H and we received a purple ribbon,

but we were forbidden

to advance to the SD State Fair

because Duke was prone to biting.

 

Typical dog, he loved chasing cars.

We discouraged this

by chaining him up at night,

but you have to give a dog some freedom.

 

One evening,

the neighbor girl’s boyfriend

went zooming past our place

with rags locked into his hubcaps.

 

Duke chased and grabbed on.

The next morning, I found Duke—

dead on the shoulder

of our township gravel road.

 

At fourteen, that was likely more grief,

than I’d ever before experienced.

 

And my mother was livid

with an anger I’d not seen

in her before or since.

 

Mother looked up at God and said,

“Damn him, Yahweh!”

To my knowledge she never swore again.

 

A year later,

on a hot humid summer afternoon,

the neighbor girl’s boyfriend drowned,

while swimming in a stock dam.

 

 

Daniel G. Snethen is the owner and publisher of Darkling Publications. He serves as vice-president of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. In May 2017, 10 pages of his poetry was anthologized in Resurrection of a Sunflower, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, curated by Catfish McDaris. Snethen's poetry has been published by Bear Creek Haiku; Cover of Darkness; Danse Macabre; Dark Gothic Resurrected; Haiku Journal; The Horror Zine; Miller's Pond; Pasque Petals: Thirteen Myna Birds, and several other publishers of poetry. Snethen also coaches oral interpretation of literature and Poetry Out Loud. He has qualified two high school students for the National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington DC and has had the SD State Poetry Out Loud runner-up on two separate occasions. His favorite poet is William Blake, and his favorite poem is “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2021