A Pacifist at the Chessboard

It’s a game first.
Even she knows that.
But it’s war
and her soul recoils.
Still, she hovers
over, first, a spare pawn,
then that stolid rook
ready to slide
quick, down a file.
But she stops, muttering
a quick act of contrition.
then picks her sharpest weapon:
She sends the queen’s bishop
to slay with faith.

by Mark J. Mitchell
Issue #1, January 2023.

Like Fish

 the plural of haiku is haiku – Steph Kelln, author of Ten Thousand Syllables

The school of haiku
swims as one across the pages,
each a beautiful moment
aswirl in its own current
while also woven through time
together, forever plumbing the depths
of this poetic ocean.

The multiple of haiku
moves en masse, bright scales
silvering the water
as one, yet each singular of skin
and heart, each lifting up each other
in praise of their different lengths
of lines, their finned accoutrements
of moon and flower.

The plural of haiku
doubles back and mirrors,
duplicates and amplifies,
blurring into one great body
of words, while always diverging
into infinite new directions, flashing
seamlessly from the page’s water
and into the eye, the world.

By Amy Irish
Issue #1, January 2023.