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We the Jury; Fiction by Barbara Stanley
Emptying the Trash: Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Milepost 44: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Planetary Perpetrator: Fiction by James Flynn
A Thin Thread: Fiction by M. E. Proctor
What Is the Song the Children Sing?: Fiction by Paul Radcliffe
A Bottle of Sherry: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Junipers: Fiction by Liberty Price
Institution Inspector No. 23: Fiction by Michael Fowler
Nightmares of Nightmares: Fiction by John J. Dillon
When You're Dead, You're Done!: Fiction by Pamela Ebel
Family Business: Fiction by Donald Glass
Colors: Flash Fiction by Bernice Holtzman
Gladiators: Flash Fiction by John C. Mannone
Pigeons in the Park: Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Kitsy: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
the look of legs: Poem by Meg Baird
Mike's 80th Birthday: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
The Art of Flying: Poem by John C. Mannone
Magazine Sestina: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Been Down So Low, It Now Sounds Great: Poem by Bradford Middleton
the burnt globe and the pregnancy: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Evening Alone: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Larry, Moe, and Me: Poem by Craig Kirchner
I Live the Life I Chose: Poem by Richelle Slota
Death House: Poem by Richelle Slota
he died of cancer: Poem by Wayne F. Burke
Night: Poem by Wayne F. Burke
and they are prancing: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
full of thoughts and hopes: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
threading a needle: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Atlas Yearns for Retirement: Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Frown: Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Why is the Sky Cerulean?: Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Awakening: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Swirling in the Chaos: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Moira: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Midnight Molt: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Moments Before Awakening: Poem by Michael Keshigian
The Messenger: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Michael Keshigian: The Messenger

Art by Rebecca Holtzman 2024



by Michael Keshigian


Approaching dusk breaks his heart,

the rising moon represents nothing more

than a source of inactivity,

because, of course, he loves the dawn,

the noisy, cacophonous conversations of birds,

bugs, and bees in buds, forging him forward

in khaki shorts and sleeveless attire

to sit in the park and celebrate life.

But he senses the moment has arrived

and his levels of attainment have climaxed

as he turns to notice a dove

perched on the bench alongside,

a handsome specimen with dark eyes

and snow-white down,

though its tail feathers streaked

rainbow colors from which he inferred

that the fowl had flown from paradise

to become his guide through an enchanting journey,

helping him navigate the shadows of lore

toward a place where blue walls radiate

a continuous light behind the black sheet

stars attempt to obscure,

where he will sit upon a stool of sunshine

and this messenger muse will explain all,

reinforcing the significance of his presence,

how his efforts will influence

rather than evaporate in a toxic doom

the sciences foresee,

that the heavens will not collapse,

that he was not born by chance

to occupy a temporary space

in a cryptic, accidental place.




Michael Keshigian had his 14th poetry collection, What to Do With Intangibles released by Cyberwit.net. He has been published in numerous national and international journals, including Oyez Review, Red River Review, Sierra Nevada College Review, Oklahoma Review, and Chiron Review and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 3 Best Of The Net nominations.

Rebecca Holtzman was an artist and author of short fiction, essays, children’s stories, a collection of nonfiction stories about growing up with her large family, titled The Mama Stories, and pointed letters to the editor. She was a talented poet, lyricist, and parodist, the winner of the jingle-writing contest for the Broadway play Two Gentlemen of Verona in the 1970s, and in 1981 had her poem selected by the New York Statue Committee as the winning entry to become the inscription for the statue, “Cosmopolis,” by Nikos Korkantzis for “The Cosmopolis Project.” Her essays have appeared in Reader’s Digest and the column “A View From the Audience” in Playbill. Rebecca was a member of ASCAP and had one of her songs performed in The Songwriter’s Showcase in 1991. An elementary school secretary for 20 years, Rebecca was the writer of her school’s annual Christmas party musicals, featuring her song parodies.

Rebecca’s daughter continues to be in awe of her and is sure she left something out of her mother’s extensive bio.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024