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She held up a sign that read F-O-O-D! I handed her two bucks, but she stared at my McDonald’s bag.

“Thanks for the bucks, honey, but I thought it was food you were bringing me.”
7-Eleven was down the block, Krispy Kreme was across the street. “But that’s junk food,” I said.

“Yup, that’s just junk food,” she answered.
“How about the Cress Café?” I asked.
“Oh, hon, that’s too expensive,” she said.

She grabbed two $10 bills from my hand and ran across the street, her gray hair, shopping bags, and the cardboard sign flowing behind. She never looked back.

Jane Schulman writes poetry and short fiction. She works as a speech pathologist in a Brooklyn public school with autistic and emotionally-disturbed young children, teaching them to find and hone their voices. 

Imagine what bargains were available when God held a going out of business sale. Human bodies, he startlingly announced, are made of stardust. He pointed to a photo of a nebula. “If you give this cloud another 10 billion years,” he said, “it will go to school and chew gum.” You can ask anybody who was there, and they’ll tell you how to spell archipelago, but me, I got tangled up in all sorts of shadows despite remote keyless entry, and then the apple tree, somehow still intact, bloomed, and, just like that, the bells that ring for whom rang.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Middle of Nowhere (Olivia Eden Publishing). His latest chapbooks are Echo’s Bones and Danger Falling Debris (Red Bird Chapbooks). He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

Direct quote from The New York Times “John Dobson, and Inventive Itinerant Guide to Stargazing, Dies at 98.”

In our convertible en route home from a Yom Kippur camping trip in Sinai while living in Israel, my husband and I dodged a gauntlet of rock throwing, orthodox boys positioned upon a precipice outside an observant village. We vowed to remain at home on that holiday ever after and, holed up indoors the following year, felt safe from the projectiles of fanatically devout youth. But as we heard the rumble of tanks in the distance, we were soon to find out that a much greater peril lay in store. It was 1973 and the Yom Kippur war had begun.

Rita Hall, a retired art director who lives on Long Island, now devotes her time to political action, arts fundraising, writing, singing and when lucky, her grandson.

My mother took me from Israel to Europe in 1950; I was five. She wanted to see about her father’s grave in Vienna. He had died there before her mother was deported to Theresienstadt.

Tourists could only take out a bit of money, so she smuggled black market American dollars, some rolled in a fountain pen, others folded neatly into chewing gum papers, the sticks removed. I carried these hidden dollars in my pocket. They suspected her and she was stripped naked.

Afterwards I asked, “Can I have a stick of mastic (gum)?” “Yes, Mirale. Once we’re on the ship.”

Miriam Frischer cooks, writes, and collages in the Hudson Valley (and is grateful to wake up to its beauty every day).

Our neighbor Richard Riley died yesterday. Since they were both railroad men, I asked my dad how Richard lost his leg.

“In 1940, halfway between New Lisbon and Necedah, on the Valley line to Wausau, a steam locomotive’s boiler exploded and killed the engineer, the fireman, and the brakeman. The explosion hurled boiler and engine parts hundreds of feet ahead of the blast and blew the shoes off their feet. Inspectors determined that the train crew had been drinking and forgot about the boiler. But the boiler didn’t forget. She blew.

“Richard, the switchman, had been riding in the caboose.”


–Jim Krotzman is a retired English teacher at Watertown (WI) High School. He is a struggling haiku poet and fisherman.

Henry Ekstein, 40 years old, stood in a queue on the edge of a forest that bordered an open field. The quiet queue was forked. Some people plodded right in the direction of the field where machine gun fire resounded, and some went left where no sound was heard. The people were dumbfounded by fear. When Henry got to the front of the line, four soldiers, two on each side of him stopped him. Their eyes swept up and down his body. One soldier peered into Henry’s face, into his eyes. Henry’s eyes were blue. “Go left,” the soldier pointed.

–Jim Krotzman is a retired English teacher at Watertown (WI) High School. He is a struggling haiku poet and fisherman.

My friend went crazy today. We watched her pick up garbage from the street.

“The FBI & CIA are listening in.”, she whispered in a paranoid tone.

In the hospital, she said, “There are dead mosquitoes on the sheet.”

She was my rock, telling me to marry myself.

Which one of us was crazy?

Women are often thought “mad” and why not? This world is so hard on us and sooner or later we will all slip slowly out of sanity, waiting until she gets back to hear what we are hearing here – the sounds of mosquitoes coming alive.

Visit Pat’s website here.

Pat Horner is a painter/collage artist and writer exhibited and published in the US and abroad. A publisher and editor at the “The Woodstock Guide.” Pat’s also writing fiction and memoir from Woodstock, NY.

He hates things. That’s what he says every time she gets him a new T-shirt or a mug that will make him laugh. But things are your job she says. Most days they deliver a package for him. Something new, expensive, niche. He knows the courier guys by now, makes a point of explaining that he doesn’t buy all this stuff, that in fact he hates stuff but he’s paid to write about it. He writes things like ‘Buy. This. Now.’ and ‘Enter the Lowe-Pro Ranger Pro.’ He’s got cupboards full of gear and boxes of overflow on the floor.

–Nick Dall is a freelance journalist and author who has lived in Italy, Argentina, Bolivia and Vietnam. He’s now based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Visit his website at:

Abraham Lincoln’s “Lost Speech” was delivered on May 29, 1856, in Bloomington, Illinois. Tradition states that the text was lost because Lincoln’s powerful oration mesmerized every person in attendance. Reporters laid down their pencils, forgetting to take notes. In 2006 a fragment of the Lost Speech was found in the archives of a Baptist church in Bloomington. Through a distant cousin, I obtained it:

“A monarch provides security; it is comforting to bow to a Sire. But our nation was born of another wish. We are all part-kings here. If you bow to one man, you must bow to all…”

–Sparrow lives in the quiet hamlet of Phoenicia, in the Catskill Mountains. He is slowly listening to Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” on his record player. Sparrow also contributes regularly to The Sun.

Brenda lifted herself up in the hospital bed by the steel bars along each side.  At 92, her wrinkled Nordic face surrounded by wild white hair flying in all directions, as if the energy from her brain electrified it to reach every molecule in the room. While devouring my face with dark deep set eyes and wide smile, she said,

“Well, there you are. I was waiting for you.”

I took her frail hand in both my hands.

“I am so honored to meet you!”

“And I, you!”

Brenda raised my hands to her heart. She had pulled me home.

–Excerpted from “Burning Incandescence” by Pat Horner, a story about Pat’s encounters with writer Brenda Ueland and her work.

Visit Pat’s website here.

Pat Horner is a painter/collage artist and writer exhibited and published in the US and abroad. Horner is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Artists’ Association Museum and a journalist, photographer, coach, teacher, publisher and editor at publications including the “The Woodstock Guide.” She’s currently writing fiction and memoir from Woodstock, NY.

Her website is: