When we see truly, there is nothing at all.
There is no person; there is no Buddha.
Innumerable things of the universe
Are just bubbles on the sea.
Wise sages are all like flashes of lightning.

—Yoka Genkaku (665-713 CE), Shodoka


Seen by the eye of faith
the cherry blossoms
are always about to fall.
It is a rare privilege to be born
as a human being,
as we happen to be.
If we do not achieve
enlightenment in this life,
when do we expect to achieve it?


Landscape of a Woman and a Hummingbird

Landscape of a Woman and a Hummingbird
Joseph Milosch
New from Poetic Matrix Press
Available on our website

Climbing Modjeska Peak

It is the same, climbing a mountain
or a high-tension power pole.
The world becomes smaller
as I climb, fixing my eyes
on fractures and fissures
no thicker than a quarter inch.
Creeping up, I follow a trail
of finger-holds as I scale
rock faces, not metal struts.

The world is above, below,
and around me, but I
can’t see more than
a foot in front of me.
Pausing on a ledge, I repeat
a cliché about the view.
At the top, the world expands
into a giant circle.

Standing in the center,
I stretch my arms
and become a cross
visible from the coast;
continuing to lift my arms,
I form a Y. Spinning once
around, I find the world
stands still, and that the earth
shrinks to the size of a pedestal
to keep me from falling into space.


Lyn Lifshin
New from Poetic Matrix Press
Available on our website


the teenagers
chattered with their
teachers as the school
bus rattled along the
country road. They
just finished a term
paper and broke out
singing a Pashton
song. That music must
have been the last
thing Malala heard,
one of the last she
Two men flagged down
the bus, boarded,
screamed. Which one
is Malala? Silence.
The rust leaves all
that moved in the
breeze. The girls,
terrified, frozen. Only
their eyes moved to
That one the gun
man said. Fired two
shots. Then he fled.
The Teacher said
to the local hospital,
stared in horror at
Malala’s body, bleeding
and bleeding, unconscious
in her friend’s lap.

Spangling Darkness

Spangling Darkness
Raphael Block
poetry and songs
New from Poetic Matrix Press
Available on our website

New Year

Our celebrations were small affairs
with one or two present at most,
like the welcome my wife and daughter
gave the New Year, with carefully
prepared round, sand-filled trays,
candles of all shapes and heights arranged
until the moment ignited and light
generously swirled and flowed
out and in our eyes
linked in wonder.

Or the birthdays of simple homemade
stirrings of cakes, smiles, and wings.

Now they fill my dark nights
with soft flickerings.