Tag Archives: Romantic Poetry

applesauce

By Catie Wiley

when you say you love me, 
my ears are full 
of applesauce. 
i hear the sounds but 
never 
the meaning behind them.

every day, i try 
to shake the applesauce 
out.
i try and i try and i try, 
but it’s no use. 
i can’t use a q-tip. 
no spoons allowed. 
a fork would never work, 
too much risk, 
and i’ve never wanted an ear piercing 
anyway.

you say you love me and i want to ask you 
to write it down. in pen, not pencil. 
hell, a sharpie would be better. 
write it down so I know 
i’m not imagining it. 
write it down so 
i can hold it in my hands.
write it down. 
the muffle will linger.


Catie Wiley is a lesbian writer from Maryland. She’s a contributing editor for Story Magazine and a poetry reader for the winnow magazine. Her work appears in Stone of Madness Press, Wrongdoing Magazine, and warning lines magazine, among others. Find her on Twitter or at catiewiley.wordpress.com.

The Rain Song

By Rachel Maria Geo

I woke today to the sound of the rain,
Incessantly repeating, an endless refrain.
Soft and gentle, yet somehow unyielding.
Much more powerful than a gale could ever be.

It reminds of our story, so simple yet so sweet,
Like the mellow strumming of a guitar string,
Or the lingering glow of a broken light,
So dim you forget it exists, until it’s not there.

We were like a demure summer breeze,
Or the persistent sound of a rotating fan
You don’t know it’s there until it ends
When the power’s gone, and you’re hot.

We were like the coo of a turtledove,
Mild and sweet as long as it lasts,
Reminding you of silence’s uncanny whisper
When it’s over, and the dove has flown away.

As I was reminiscing so, the rain did end,
Abruptly, like a song in the middle of the bridge.
It left me wistful, that sound of the silence,
The same way you did, when you left me.


Rachel Maria Geo (she/her) is a student, writer and a life-long nerd from India. She writes poetry and stories sporadically as fits of inspiration dawn on her, followed by stormy days of the dreaded writer’s block. You can find her on Instagram, and if you want to read more of her work, check her out on Young Writer’s Society.

Climbing

By Jonathan Koven

On the crags
of cinnabar skeleton,
rocks destined for the end,
sky-plaque pearls over 
my palms, and I wish,
I wish it all to stay.

The world, the green world is
aging but seems
perfect watching
the partridge dance, wings striping
as grace notes
before red blizzard.

Cool, clouds
cut over
shoulders;
body as stanza,
and the mountain
a page turning fast,
too fast.

Shut my eyes to
watch my beating,
beating heart,
like blush in shadow, loaning,
in moments knowing
a value undefinable.

Spirits flock and
depart, wholeness and
separation; perhaps, perhaps
I flit as fledgling,
part of yesterday, already
waning—a waned dream.

Leap, leap angelic
sky borne back to
trillion-trillion currents,
and here I imagine
a summit grows higher,
the direction we all flow.


Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY, embraced by tree-speak, tide’s rush, and the love and support of his family. He holds a BA in Literature, and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer and is Toho Journal’s head fiction editor and workshop coordinator. He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and future wife Delana and cats Peanut Butter and Keebler. Credits include Lindenwood Review, Night Picnic, Iris Literary, and more. His debut chapbook Palm Lines is available from Toho Publishing. His award-winning novella Below Torrential Hill is expected winter 2021 from Electric Eclectic.

Before It Passed

By Jonathan Koven

swallow these pains

unconscious

beautiful

creation . . .

brain to foam

obsidian listener

the sob resets

dew reflow

petaled conjoining

sap red
sap red
sap red!

vapid groan!

stupid sun spiral!

blading quick

before calamity

leak red

as grief rouses

palest filter . . .

core fantastic

scarlet

out

the heart riverbed

before no color remains


Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY, embraced by tree-speak, tide’s rush, and the love and support of his family. He holds a BA in Literature, and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer and is Toho Journal’s head fiction editor and workshop coordinator. He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and future wife Delana and cats Peanut Butter and Keebler. Credits include Lindenwood Review, Night Picnic, Iris Literary, and more. His debut chapbook Palm Lines is available from Toho Publishing. His award-winning novella Below Torrential Hill is expected winter 2021 from Electric Eclectic.

To Bring a Pulse

By Jonathan Koven

A moment might be parched until
you dive entirely into Love, childlike.

Its blue shuts, like sky
to baby bird, blue.

Framing its little form with it,
flooded by chance of a fall.

Love, sky fondly stilling
baby bird to kingdom.

Kindly doused in drink,
every remnant yet to live.

Alive within horizon song,
the rest, chatter by the sun.

Silent thrust,
reverberant,

softened beak with Love, wings raised
on wind’s cradle, rinsed without ransom,

adrift over
the dream.


Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY, embraced by tree-speak, tide’s rush, and the love and support of his family. He holds a BA in Literature, and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer and is Toho Journal’s head fiction editor and workshop coordinator. He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and future wife Delana and cats Peanut Butter and Keebler. Credits include Lindenwood Review, Night Picnic, Iris Literary, and more. His debut chapbook Palm Lines is available from Toho Publishing. His award-winning novella Below Torrential Hill is expected winter 2021 from Electric Eclectic.

Reason on the Horizon

By Jonathan Koven

walls croon
wild heart
smoke batters
unapologetic
(spirit in flight)

glimmer dance 
bedspread 
glass torching
(fire on fire)

ever hopeful
enchantress
melody raveling
(bright night)

I see you there

magenta thrill
bids farewell
(cold siren)

high pines
never ending
phone lines
everlasting

(in one ear 
out forever)

I hear you there


Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY, embraced by tree-speak, tide’s rush, and the love and support of his family. He holds a BA in Literature, and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer and is Toho Journal’s head fiction editor and workshop coordinator. He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and future wife Delana and cats Peanut Butter and Keebler. Credits include Lindenwood Review, Night Picnic, Iris Literary, and more. His debut chapbook Palm Lines is available from Toho Publishing. His award-winning novella Below Torrential Hill is expected winter 2021 from Electric Eclectic.

Tornado Warning

By Laura Johnson

Covenanted weather, a
promise: no twisters at two 
rivers convergence — broken, 
betrayed wisdom at the red
farrowing barn, now collapsed.

I sat on a stack of barn
wood that hot June afternoon
muggy but no mosquitos.

Purple air dissipated,
drizzle stayed behind dripping 
down silos, dampening spirits,
cornfields     soybeans     piglets.

We lost grandpa’s chicken coop.

Rebuilding felt easier now 
that trust had fled and left us,
leaving no reparations.

We had no other place so 
we pulled nails straight, reinforced 
walls, we knew we must survive. 


Laura Johnson is an emerging poet and writer in Eastern Iowa, a founding co-editor of the literary journal Backchannels. She is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans. She is a graduate (BA, MA) of the University of Iowa. Laura is the facilitator for two community writing workshops, as well as a prize-winning slam poet. Her work has appeared in Thimble Literary Magazine, Prompt Press, High Shelf Press, and The Chestnut Review, among others. You can find her on Instagram.