‘Love in Nepal’ mixed media drawing by Amaya Engleking

There’s little that’s less inspiring than school, the place with all the solutions.

Still, street henna artist Sweety asked for nothing more than some milk for baby Pari and to send her four kids to school.

I couldn’t reply for weeks, at odds with institutionalized education and the corresponding state of the world,

its bony-limbed beggars

its middle caste class action mobsters

bursting the belt buckle.

Water and well-anointed oil do not mix;

they never share a meal.  Read More


Preface and Grace

Painting by Eileen McGann

I am touched by this shining soul who has written a piece in response to my journey of rape and forgiveness. Honestly, I feel embraced by God after reading Lona’s introspective narrative and poem — a supernatural support I suppose I’ve been seeking ever since writing about that nightmare, the maddening twelve-year healing process, and releasing it to the world; maybe even back to the fateful night itself. I, just one more lost sheep under a fractured and beautiful sky.
So much love to you, Lona Gynt.

Scattered thoughts made a little more random

in Memorium_001 Sometimes the very angels weep, perhaps that is what they mostly do.

Editor’s Note:  (meow) This post starts pleasantly enough, but I need to warn you that it might be a trigger of sadness or anxiety for victims of abuse, assault, or rape.

Preface:  Hello this is HarveyCat, Lona’s sometime Bodyguard, Conscience, Accountant, Therapist, Public Relations Coordinator, and Editor.  On a late night this last week I was somewhat discomfited because Lona was about 2 hours late in delivering the usual ration of kibble.  I know I give her a hard time about not rendering the proper obsequiousness  to my regal presence, but she really is pretty reliable with the victuals, so even I had to turn my head away from my favorite toasty warm avian surveillance post and see what is going on with her.  (This is not easy to do in the springtime, the air has been filled with…

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Ragged Man

Thank you for writing this, Walter.

Photography by Lee Jeffries

Poetry and Prose

Amaya is tonight’s bartender in the Dverse Pub.  She asked us to write about a time when a change in our lives caused us to change our mind for the greater good.  This person changed my mind and life more than any other I could ever imagine:

I met a ragged man,
Who walked a crooked mile.
Though he was stooped and weary,
I thought I caught a smile.

He was walking down the lane,
Bloody and beat down.
And on His head a band of thorns,
Encircled as a crown.

I asked Him, “Why so cheerful,
When you know a dreadful end?”
He beamed a smile right back at me,
“It’s all for you my friend”.

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The Why

Half-lotus in cold dark
Flute bursts from still black mountains
Like divine breath
Namo Ratna Travaya
Homage to the Three Jewels
My song, it comes from within
My song, of birth and death
My song, my center I sing so as to not lose my meaning
Carving its cadences
While floorboards and granite fall away
And the suicide bomber is loved beyond measure Read More


Painting by Elena Yushina

Sounds of imminent spring
and snowmelt gliss
But I’ll gently miss the deep
When winter’s silent weep Read More


You mark an X
on your chart. Your plan is just an infant,
a lone, whining cry for a bottle of smeared Milky Way.

-Cathryn Hankla, from poem ‘The Palm Galaxy’

Voice like a tentacle grew out from All
Prosodic light named me to be born
Winced, I already felt shattered
Falling into time and a cut/open womb
I squirmed cold in skin and sinew
Heaven pulsated and recoiled into a distant dot Read More


Amaya, 2007

You who have lived many layers of lifetimes overlying just one body. The serious kid who took pride in her father — and her mother, for granted. The college girl with once a head of “dreamy blonde” highlights who spent her restaurant paycheck on $220 Versace sunglasses, a tank of gas, and a bottle of Bordeaux. The fervent penitent who sought God within church walls… Read More

A Bleat

You heard
and came to know me.
You heard
though I could not breathe beneath
Strata of ages of iniquity;
I was molten below, trying to forego
Prize and price, there and bereft
of the strength I’d had in the Read More