GUEST POST // threedom by Cassy Single

you on your own
is fun for a while
you can take yourself shopping
to restaurants, to movies
then you meet someone
and you fall in love
you build a life together
as partners in crime
you think that
there is only so much love
in the world to go around
then you meet someone
who fits in with you both
the duo becomes a trio
a triumvirate of love
two is better than one
three is better than two
you open yourself up
to the amazing person
in front of you
and gain a new family
it turns out
love truly knows no bounds

by CASSY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

GUEST POST // I Move Among Them by Shawn M. Young

Little pebbles dripping,
running window panes,
and I breathe in the lust
of drudgery as each pull
their path to the sill, still
I am, lump and frump,
while the grass grows
to the moon, and each
moment of solitude I
age eons waiting for a
final change, awakening
and finally awake, like
this place, nestled among
fields of corn, the safest
I have yet to feel since
birth long ago, when
no one was there and I
was left to wonder woe

by SHAWN M. YOUNG
© All rights reserved 2022

GUEST POST // Greatest Song Ever Written by Tony Brown

suppose you stop snickering
and get shut of the need
to scorn those folks over there
fingering slipcovers
in the discount aisle
talking only to each other
when they speak of
perfection and how well
these would go with
the drapes in the front room

and suppose
you quit sneering at those
who proclaim their love
for the Beatles as you cannot
distinguish between
an emotional bond to their
soundtrack of a lifetime
and your own decidedly
up-to-the-minute
lasting-maybe-a-minute
enthusiasm for whatever minute
you find yourself in
(unless
of course
it hits you
RIGHT THERE
like a never-ending
cryogenic block
on your future)

and suppose
you get your head
out of whatever fragrant
arrogant nook
you keep it in
and see yourself
years from now
dressed fifteen years
too early for retro fashion
choosing from cheap mirrors
in a bargain aisle
while humming
yesterday’s
greatest song ever written

by TONY BROWN
© All rights reserved 2022

GUEST POST // blink through stone by Cassy Single

sassafras closed her eyes
and felt the sun
it was warm and comforting
the sky was a blanket of blue
the ground a carpet of green
her eyes blinked
rays of colour from the meadow
streamed into her brain
she let herself feel
see, smell and taste
the world around her
for too long she saw anguish
smelt blood and tasted ash
it was time to come alive again
let colour seep into the black
and fill in between the lines

by CASSY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

GUEST POST // The Long Term by Mark Renney

The world is broken; in all the ways we predicted it would be. It cannot be repaired; it is far too late for that now. But at least you can take a break, as long as you have the funds of course. You can check into one of the Long Term Hotels. These are easily distinguished from the others with their high fences and the twenty-four hour security guards patrolling the perimeter.

When I was a kid, I used to think that they were homes for the elderly. Whenever I spotted the residents out on their balconies or lounging in the gardens, to my young eyes they did appear to be old and decrepit. When I learned the truth, that these people were the wealthiest in our society, the monied elite, I was appalled. It seemed obscene to me that they were living amidst us in the lap of luxury, flaunting their success and good fortune in our very faces from behind the high fences with the armed guards protecting them from the rabble outside.

Now I am the one on the other side of the fence, gazing out. I am the old man on the balcony and I remember my younger self and how slowly I came to realise that most people didn’t share in my outrage and were much more accepting of the hotels. They argued that they were ‘good for the City’ and created jobs, not just for the construction industry but also the hotel staff and the security details. And businesses and local shops benefited and flourished, all because of the Long Term Hotels.

I ranted and raged and they stared back at me, incredulous.

‘Why is it so wrong?’ they asked. ‘If they can afford it, why shouldn’t they check in? Who wouldn’t? Wouldn’t you? Isn’t it what we all want, isn’t it the dream? To be comfortable and to be safe?’

I remember how I answered, what I said and I believed it way back then. And I still do.

by MARK RENNEY
© All rights reserved 2022