Dan Overgaard: “Lift”

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Lift

I hear some geese
way high above the house,
and take it as a signal I should
give the weeds a break,
straightening up to watch
their raucous progress
stitching across the sky.

It’s May and they’re heading north,
but their noisy vee seems like
the shake-down run of a new team—
exuberant and slightly ragged,
happily, loudly, running drills,
all that rah-rah energy of a new season.

The lead goose looks back over
his or her wing as if to yell
at the kids on the bus, and veers a little,
doing this. Her wobble’s copied precisely
all the way out the right side of the vee—
and last goose whipsaws, like the last kid
in a game of Crack the Whip.

According to the Scientific American,
scientists still do not agree on how to describe
the basic principles of lift, what keeps
planes in the air. If I spoke Goose I could help
them investigate, but I can see from here
it takes a lot of practice.

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About the Author: Dan Overgaard was born and raised in Thailand. He attended Westmont College, dropped out, moved to Seattle, became a transit operator, then managed transit technology projects and programs. He’s now retired and catching up on reading. His poems have appeared in Santa Clara Review, Sparks of Calliope, Across The Margin, The Galway Review, Shark Reef, Willawaw Journal, As It Ought To Be Magazine, Canary Lit Mag, Allegro Poetry, Triggerfish Critical Review and other journals. Read more at: danovergaard.com.

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More by Dan Overgaard:

Drifting Off

Donations

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Image Credit: Digitally enhanced image from The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands:. London :printed for C. Marsh [etc.]1754. Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Leslie Dianne: “Pumpkins”

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Pumpkins 

Let’s search for flawed
pumpkins this fall
go to the field
and find those
that rolled away
were pushed away
slid on the mud away
from their vines
let’s gather up the
shrunken ones
the shriveled up ones
the nobody will want them
ones and let’s want them
let’s give them some
reason for having broken
the soil, lost their flowers
sucked up the water
and fought to live
because if only for a minute
their orangeness
brightens the field
and our gloomy day
they’d teach us that
everything is useful
even the dying
fruit if it is
given a reason
to live

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About the Author: Leslie Dianne is a poet, novelist, screenwriter, playwright and performer whose work has been acclaimed internationally in places such as the Harrogate Fringe Festival in Great Britain, The International Arts Festival in Tuscany, Italy and at La Mama in New York City. Her stage plays have been produced in NYC at The American Theater of Actors, The Raw Space, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and The Lamb’s Theater.  She holds a BA in French Literature from CUNY and her poems have appeared in The Lake, Ghost City Review, The Literary Yard, About Place Journal and Kairos and are forthcoming in Hawai’i Review. Her poetry was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Pumpkin stand in Southington, Connecticut” (2011) The Library of Congress

Paul Ilechko: “Five Fragments of a Narrative”

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Five Fragments of a Narrative

Arriving by plane
at a western airport     somewhere
below in that spreading purple

and orange wilderness     there are people
searching for whatever
it is that means freedom to them

*     *     *     *     *     *

sandstone being the inevitability
of erosion     an elementary
exchange from water to air

as the wings wobble very slightly
from side to side     a silent salute
to the vast expanse of mountain

*     *     *     *     *     *

the people of the desert follow
at a distance     their boots leaving
tracks in the tainted earth

above them     a sudden glint
of sunlight on metal     a quiet hum
and a flash that trails the range

*     *     *     *     *     *

tired passengers press their faces
to the glass     watching for a plane
that never arrives     the desert

burning red and gold beneath
a setting sun     the walkers holding
close to the memory of a shadow

*     *     *     *     *     *

in Black Diamond Bay     Dylan sings
of Walter Cronkite as a metaphor
for honesty     vestigial     as we

no longer have his equivalent
we must realize that the fate
of the plane may never be determined.

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About the Author: Poet and songwriter Paul Ilechko is the author of three chapbooks, most recently “Pain Sections” (Alien Buddha Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Rogue Agent, Ethel, San Pedro River Review, Lullwater Review, and Book of Matches. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.

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Image Credit: Chase Dimock “LAX At Sunset” (2021)

Sushant Thapa: “Fragments”

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Fragments

Stones and parched land

Hunger in lizards and crocodiles

That swallow little and more.

Mind and marathon of life.

Ants and their hills

Debts and bills

A closed shop with goods

That cannot open up for late night little

Cigarette cravings.

Highway and Hills,

The legs that cannot rest.

Youth is also a chair

Swinging in comfort.

The old age plans to sit

On the same chair

And breathe till death.

Certificates in frames hanging

Jobs in the newspaper vacancy rattling

Pebbles on the shoes that

Try to sleep for eternity.

Fragments of dream and its death,

Life and repeating survival.

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About the Author: Sushant Thapa is a Nepalese poet from Biratnagar, Nepal who holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi,India. His English poems are widely published across the globe. Some of his publications include Trouvaille Review, The Piker Press, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, New York Parrot, Atunis Poetry, Visible Magazine, Litehouse exophonic Magazine, Impspired, The Kathmandu Post, My Republica, EKL Review and Harbinger Asylum. Sushant is the author of the poetry collection “The Poetic Burden and Other Poems” published by Authorspress, New Delhi, India.

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Image Credit: Carleton Watkins “Seal Rocks from the Point” (1866-1868) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Brian Rihlmann: “Heart Leaves Whispering”

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Heart Leaves Whispering 

I could stare
straight at the sun
this morning
a harmless pink disc
in the sky
half as bright
as a full moon
the smoke smelled
sweet as apocalypse
the mountains fled coughing
over the horizon to hide
as the rose of Sharon
bloomed laughing
and the heart leaves
of the redbud
wilted weeping
whispering to me
in a language I wish
I didn’t understand

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About the Author: Brian Rihlmann lives in Reno, Nevada. His work has appeared in many magazines, including Chiron Review, The Main Street Rag, The American Journal Of Poetry, and New York Quarterly. He has authored three collections of poetry, most recently “A Screaming Place,” (2021) by Cajun Mutt Press.

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More By Brian Rihlmann:

The Whole Point of the Game

Unknown Soldiers

Certainty

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Image Credit: Jan Stanislawski “Sun” 1905 Public Domain

Raul G. Moldez “When He Gets Bored”

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When He Gets Bored

he goes out of the house,
catching hermit crabs

at the back of a makeshift toilet
by the shore. Putting them,

one by one, inside an empty
Milkmaid can. He can hear them

moving. Keep on crawling.
Perhaps looking for a way

out. But each time they take steps
upward, they fall back. Fighting

for freedom or seeking for justice
is not easy. It may even cost life.

At noon, he would start crushing
their shells using stones as anvil

and hammer, killing all of them.
The crushed meat is collected

in a coconut shell. Used as bait
in the hook. And as the sun turns itself

into lemon in the west, he would cast
his fishing line into the waters.

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About the Author: Raul G. Moldez writes from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Author of two collections of poetry, A Day in a Poet’s Life and Other Poems and Mga Taho Gikan sa Akong Uniberso, his works have appeared in Philippines Free Press, Philippines Graphic, Philippine Panorama, Sunday Times Magazine, Crowns and Oranges, Kinaadman Journal, Bisaya, Sunstar Weekend, Homelife, Ani Literary Journal, Bituon, Dagmay, Tinubdan, Red River Review, The Literary Yard and Sentinel Literary Quarterly, among other publications.

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Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Lemon Sunset” (2021)

Ruth Bavetta: “Signals”

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Signals

This winter did not bring the hazy world
of wet, nor the susurrus of falling

beads of rain, yet the year proceeded.

Green hills faded to brown. The flowering
plum became a harbinger too soon.

Now we have the nameless season elbowing

into spring. Rudely thrusting back the rain
it beckons summer heat before its time,

pulls forth the breath of August

while April dissolves in bright and light,
calls for spark and ember, the errant

cigarette, the bit of broken glass,

tears up the pages of the calendar
to build an illicit and illegal fire

that will last to light our closing.

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About the Author: Ruth Bavetta’s poems have appeared in Rattle, Nimrod, American Poetry Review, Tar River Review, North American Review and many other journals and anthologies. Her books are Fugitive Pigments and Flour, Water, Salt (Futurecycle Press), Embers on the Stairs (Moon Tide Press), and No Longer at This Address (Aldrich Press). She has been a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee.

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More By Ruth Bavetta:

Neon Boneyard

A Murder

Spell to Name the Unnameable

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Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Utah Cliffs”(2021)

John Dorsey: “A Chicken Strip in the Shape of A Seahorse”

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A Chicken Strip in the Shape of A Seahorse

sold by a high school girl
in a hairnet
who can’t swim

is proof
that god
once danced
underwater.

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About the Author: John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), and Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

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More By John Dorsey:

Anthony Bourdain Crosses the River of the Dead

Punk Rock at 45

Perpetual Motion

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Image Credit: Digitally enhanced image from Arcana, or, The museum of natural history : London, Printed by George Smeeton for James Stratford,1811. Public Domain. Image Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

AIOTB Magazine Announces Our Nominees for the 2021 Best of the Net Anthology

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As It Ought To Be Magazine is proud to announce our nominees for the 2021 Best of the Net Anthology, published by Sundress Publications.

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Nadia Arioli: On “I Walk Without Echo” By Kay Sage

Frank Gallimore: The Shape of My Name

Ken Hines: What the Children Know

Dan Overgaard: Drifting Off

Ilari Pass: Delayed Rays of a Star

Melody Wang: All That My Mother Cultivates

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Congratulations to our nominees, and thank you to everyone who contributed to AIOTB Magazine this year!

-Chase Dimock
Managing Editor

Ronnie Sirmans: “Cygnus”

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Cygnus

    Homo homini lupus.
    (A man is a wolf to another man.)
                – Latin proverb

We think we are wolves.
I often don’t see the lupine
although I know most of us
can live quite carnivorously.
But the ravenous I admire
comes from the Latin cygnus.
A man is a swan to another man.

Wolves can pull like vicious tides,
while swans push wakes of silence.
Canine hairs scatter like fallen leaves,
while feathers are a welcome snow.
Swans carry a grace of awareness.
Whether ivory or ebony or other hues,
their bodies can iridescently blind us.

A swan is a man is a wolf too.
A man drowned when a swan
protecting his mate overturned
the thin kayak and kept the man
from swimming safely ashore.
Old wives’ tales (and old husbands)
say male swans who are defending
a mate, a nest, or their supposed honor
can break a man’s arm—or his heart.
Swans will hiss. Swans can bite.
You say: but they have no teeth.
Let me tell you, they do, they do.

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About the Author: Ronnie Sirmans is an Atlanta print newspaper digital editor whose poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Deep South Magazine, Atlanta Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Fathom, and elsewhere.

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More by Ronnie Sirmans:

Sloughing Words

The Word with the Schwa that’s Really a Short U

Remembering the Great Flood in the Frozen Food Aisle

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Image Credit: Digitally enhanced image from A natural history of birds London :Printed for the author, at the College of Physicians in Warwick-Lane,MDCCXLIII-MDCCLI [1743-1751, i.e. 1750-1776?] Public Domain. Image courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library