The Heart by Jo Taylor

The Heart

         –After Danusha Laméris and Ted Hughes

The heart is not a gate.
A door that opens and closes
at someone’s will. Not
automated. Not smartphone-
controlled. It is not a soft start
and stop and could even develop
jerks and skips and flutters over
time. It comes with no guarantee,
and the warning is clear–whatever
happens there, happens.


Jo Taylor is a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia. Her favorite genre to teach high school students was poetry, and today she dedicates more time to writing it, her major themes focused on family, place, and faith. In 2021 she published her first collection of poems, Strange Fire.

On a hike up the back mountain by Melody Wang

On a hike up the back mountain

my mother told me a story of a goose
shot down from the sky by a hunter’s single bullet:

its mate, stunned by the death of his beloved,
hurled himself headfirst into the rocks below

at dizzying speed, yielding the hunter two geese —
I can only picture the weight of his bounty that day.

Some of us never know when
just enough becomes too much

exactly how much pressure it requires
to hold a heart in your cupped hands, still

frantic from overuse, cool and slick
with the aftermath of someone else’s longing

Melody Wang currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband. In her free time, she dabbles in piano composition and also enjoys hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs. She can be found on Twitter @MelodyOfMusings.

Consumed by Edward Lee


Grief consumes my heart,
a cancer devastating
all in its indifferent path,

almost a kissing cousin
to the cancer
that took you from me,
savage and swiftly.


Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales. His play ‘Wall’ was part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020. His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at

Two Poems by Jacqueline Jules


When I think of Marie Curie carrying
radioactive tubes in the cotton pockets
of her lab coat, admiring blue-green light
emanating from her desk drawer;
how all her research, even her cookbook,
must now be stored in a lead-lined box,
I am reminded that no one,
not even the most brilliant of minds
knows everything.

And it helps me to live
in a world where so many don’t see
the dangers I see; helps me believe
that one day we could learn
to recognize poison and take
the proper precautions.


The Wholeness of a Broken Heart

There is nothing more whole than a broken heart. –Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk

What is a whole heart?
One that remembers
how it feels
to be ripped apart.
One that can hear
another heart breaking.

A whole heart does not judge.
It forgives, knowing fear
and frustration rise faster
than reflection.

A whole heart
embraces what is,
without forgetting
what has been lost.


Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks including Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including Lowestoft Chronicle, The Paterson Literary Review, Cider Press Review, Potomac Review, Inkwell, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. Visit her online at