Founder's Favourites 8 - Sep 19

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

Founder’s <strong>Favourites</strong><br />

Issue 8-<strong>Sep</strong>t 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Alex Phuong<br />

Annejo Geijteman<br />

Debbie Richard<br />

Fabrice B. Poussin<br />

Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

J L Higgs<br />

John Grey<br />

R. Gerry Fabian<br />

Rhema Sayers<br />

Stella Mazur Preda

How to<br />

become a<br />

Founder’s<br />

Favourite<br />

Content contains anything I find<br />

memorable, creative, unique, visual,<br />

or even simple. Accepted<br />

contributors will most likely write<br />

about things that are emotionally<br />

moving. Not sure I will like your<br />

submission? Take a chance! You<br />

have nothing to lose. And who<br />

knows? You may end up being<br />

among the founder's favourites!<br />

Submit today!<br />


Founder’s <strong>Favourites</strong><br />

Issue 8-<strong>Sep</strong>t 20<strong>19</strong> | Monique Berry, Hamilton ON Canada<br />

Contributors<br />

Debbie Richard<br />

4 Dayspring<br />

5 Rebirth<br />

Stella Mazur Preda<br />

6 A Soldier’s Prayer<br />

7 The Farmer<br />

Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

8 Against All Odds<br />

9 Variation<br />

Fabrice B. Poussin<br />

10 Infinite Echo<br />

11 Secrets of the Seasons<br />

12 Conversation<br />

14 Exhuming Relics<br />

Alex Phuong<br />

13 Kate Winslet<br />

Rhema Sayers<br />

15 The Monster under the Bed<br />

John Grey<br />

16 The Rose<br />

Annejo Geijteman<br />

17 Haiku (2)<br />

J L Higgs<br />

<strong>19</strong> Tikkun Olam<br />

My <strong>Favourites</strong><br />

Dayspring; Rebirth Debbie Richard—<br />

Warm tones of Dayspring and the phrase<br />

“trespasses submerged” in Rebirth.<br />

A Soldier’s Prayer; The Farmer Stella<br />

Mazur Preda—The prayer speaks of<br />

emotion and honesty. The Farmer reveals a<br />

rough image but beauty and strength of<br />

survival.<br />

Against All Odds; Variation Gaiyle J.<br />

Connolly—I find the journey from the title<br />

to the last line satisfying. Variation brings<br />

tension but ends in a positive light.<br />

Infinite Echo; Secrets of the Seasons;<br />

Conversation; Exhuming Relics Fabrice<br />

B. Poussin—I find comfort finding new<br />

beginnings of deep mysteries. Next, the title<br />

and visuals in Secrets of the Seasons. A<br />

creative way to describe the facets of words.<br />

And I love the atmosphere of the attic and<br />

the finding of letters.<br />

Kate Winslet Alex Phuong—Love the<br />

memory collage of her movies.<br />

The Monster under the Bed Rhema<br />

Sayers—Brings me back to my childhood<br />

and the forgotten era of nighttime monsters.<br />

The Rose John Grey—I love the small as a<br />

child’s teacup visual and the odor it invokes<br />

in me at the end.<br />

Haiku Annejo Geijteman—I enjoyed<br />

learning a new word “floof.” And the<br />

coolness of the fan in the second one.<br />

Tikkun Olam J L Higgs—The Jewish<br />

theme is new for me. And being instructed<br />

to show kindness is refreshing.

Dayspring<br />

By Debbie Richard<br />

To never tire of the crashing waves<br />

upon the distant shore,<br />

Or watch the great ball of fire<br />

arise from a blue abyss,<br />

Like a tangled web of seaweed<br />

pulls creatures from the ocean floor,<br />

Look skyward toward the heavenly light<br />

and be clothed in the warmth of nature’s kiss.<br />

Allen G.—stock.adobe.com<br />

Debbie Richard is listed in the Directory of Poets & Writers as both a poet and creative nonfiction writer. She was<br />

shortlisted for Best Poem in Adelaide Literary Award for Poetry, 2018. Her poems have appeared in Torrid Literature<br />

Journal, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review, WestWard Quarterly, Halcyon Days, and others. For more<br />

information, visit her website: www.debbierichard.com

Rebirth (Haiku)<br />

By Debbie Richard<br />

Waterfalls cascade.<br />

Wise men cleanse impurities,<br />

Trespasses submerged.<br />

Totojang<strong>19</strong>77 | stock.adobe.com

A Soldier’s Prayer<br />

By Stella Mazur Preda<br />

Let my heart never forget<br />

how to love<br />

though hate may surface at times<br />

Give me the strength and courage<br />

to endure<br />

though life may not be spared<br />

Grant that my soul and spirit<br />

survive<br />

though my body may be dead<br />

Allow our children and theirs<br />

to sample<br />

life without bloodshed and hate<br />

Guide us to the peace we seek<br />

open our<br />

eyes and hearts to those in need<br />

Help us now to understand<br />

teach us<br />

tolerance and compassion<br />

Shower blessings on this world<br />

forgive us<br />

for the destruction we cause<br />

Fotos 593 | stock.adobe.com

The Farmer<br />

By Stella Mazur Preda<br />

Skin like well-worn leather,<br />

the face maps stories of his life;<br />

wrong turns and dead-ends<br />

scored deep into skin once supple.<br />

Lengthy grooves conceal sad secrets.<br />

The creases that tug at the corners<br />

of his mouth when he smiles<br />

raised six strapping sons.<br />

Furrows – chin to cheekbones<br />

ingrained through perils of drought.<br />

Nestled deep in the bumpy terrain<br />

azure eyes – like two sunlit lagoons;<br />

fresh folds at the corners – reflect<br />

recent loss of his wife of fifty years.<br />

Paths of life are mirrored in his face,<br />

trophies of ultimate survival.<br />

Martins Vanags | stock.adobe.com

Against All Odds<br />

By Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

She shouldn't have made it.<br />

Alone, months at a time<br />

neglected<br />

no shelter<br />

little food.<br />

Scarcely a drink.<br />

Inclement weather,<br />

overnight chill,<br />

heat of the sun.<br />

Against all odds,<br />

sheer will<br />

kept her alive<br />

in the harsh surroundings<br />

of the inner city.<br />

Still, she can be seen<br />

between the cracks<br />

on the twelfth floor<br />

condo terrace . . .<br />

a persistent petunia.<br />

Jogerken | stock. Adobe.com

Variation<br />

by Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

Blue sky<br />

chilled wine<br />

French bread<br />

Brie cheese<br />

cold meats.<br />

Oh no!<br />

Dark clouds<br />

downpour<br />

but then<br />

sunshine again.<br />

Like Orpheus music<br />

their love made<br />

the sun<br />

come out.<br />

Africa Studio | stock.adobe.com

Infinite Echo<br />

By Fabrice B. Poussin<br />

So often have I traveled through the waves<br />

seeking beginnings of deep mysteries.<br />

Particle erring in an unknown realm<br />

on its own I only find another stop.<br />

I might rest above the hopeful clouds<br />

upon a setting sun to contemplate a destiny.<br />

Mighty for a brief moment I pound the cage<br />

powerful in this dream of immunity.<br />

There, is infinite silence except for a sound<br />

like the eternal drums of a dying heart.<br />

Klavdiya Krinichnaya—stock.adobe.com<br />

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in<br />

Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, <strong>Founder's</strong> Favorites and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The<br />

Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.

Secrets of the Seasons<br />

By Fabrice B. Poussin<br />

What mysteries hold the light of the zenith sun<br />

not matched by the secrets of a full moon?<br />

The marvels only a lord of the heavens can see,<br />

when in the night the king of the earth stays alert.<br />

Giant of the seas, sovereign of the oceans deep<br />

and blue, expectant of the somber hurricanes.<br />

Warmth of the first flakes of a winter cold,<br />

under the last deaths of the falls past.<br />

Father to the new season of green and life,<br />

caught between the thin rain and a soft dew.<br />

And a fourth, mother of earth’s rebirth<br />

holder of treasures, creator of unending renewal.<br />

Юлия Колмогорцева | stock. Adobe.com

Conversation<br />

By Fabrice B. Poussin<br />

Speak they say, speak they beg, say something,<br />

create, make, put us together so we may rhyme;<br />

give us what we need, so we may too feel alive.<br />

They can be so demanding, from time to time<br />

impatient, rude, loud, intolerant, and pointed,<br />

those silly words, blue, sad, smelly, infinite.<br />

They want to be there on the mountain,<br />

flow with the torrents into the steams below,<br />

from the cold snow, to the warm oceans.<br />

Shall one be so delicate with these touchy creatures,<br />

or skip them like a pebble on the sheet of the lakes,<br />

and watch the ripples, wavelets, and listen to<br />

the subtle whimper they leave behind, children,<br />

disconnected, unable to find meaning on their own<br />

without their friends on the deep and lost shore?<br />

Syllables who want so much to grow older so fast,<br />

sing, play, perform, and leave a mark on eternity,<br />

building a home for the hearts they yet have to find.<br />

Better than objects, full of so many indefinite souls,<br />

they journey at a speed unfathomed, free;<br />

should they be set in stone, or remain poetic chaos?<br />

eikotsuttiy | stock.adobe.com

Kate Winslet<br />

By Alex Phuong<br />

On one Labor Day afternoon, while driving<br />

down a Revolutionary Road, a simple, all-<br />

American girl named Kate Winslet was<br />

searching for something to do for her<br />

summer vacation. After driving for several<br />

hours, she saw a billboard with the headline,<br />


hesitantly resisted the urge to buy tickets for<br />

a summer cruise because of her fear of<br />

drowning. After stopping by Laguna<br />

Beach, she went into a library to check out a<br />

copy of her favorite novel, Sense and<br />

Sensibility by Jane Austen. Kate often<br />

identified with Marianne Dashwood<br />

because of their romantic sensibilities. She<br />

also enjoyed Shakespeare, and her favorite<br />

fictional character from the Bard was<br />

Ophelia from Hamlet. After returning home<br />

from the library, she became not just A<br />

reader, but The Reader. As she read a book<br />

about Steve Jobs, she pondered what life<br />

would be like if she were to have Little<br />

Children. She also feared Carnage because<br />

she wants to live happily ever after rather<br />

than suffer a miserable demise (which could<br />

have happened if she boarded that Titanic<br />

replica). As night began to present itself,<br />

she went to bed while letting her mind<br />

expand with the Eternal Sunshine of the<br />

Spotless Mind. Curiously, this simple<br />

young woman is still nothing like the<br />

famous British actress because the<br />

Hollywood legend has green eyes while<br />

Kate’s Irises were hazel.<br />

JPDC | stock.adobe.com<br />

Alex Andy Phuong graduated from California State University-Los Angeles with his Bachelor of Arts in English in 2015<br />

and was an editor for Statement Magazine. He currently writes articles and film reviews online. His writing has appeared<br />

in The Bookends Review, Society of Classical Poets, and Wilderness House Literary Review #12/4.

Exhuming Relics<br />

By R. Gerry Fabian<br />

Sitting on a discarded chair<br />

in the attic, attempting to<br />

discard cluttered curios,<br />

I find an odd old<br />

faintly perfumed envelope.<br />

Removing the love letter,<br />

I read the most sincere<br />

attempt at affection,<br />

noting the misspellings<br />

filled with the initial innocence<br />

of hopeful hand holding<br />

and the awe of our first kiss.<br />

It is signed, Mary Jo.<br />

As I sit there,<br />

with the sunlight<br />

revealing scattering dust motes,<br />

my calcified cortex<br />

cannot reconstruct<br />

the time, or place<br />

or face<br />

belonging to these words.<br />

Eugene Kravchenko | stock.Adobe.com<br />

R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing poetry since <strong>19</strong>72. He is the author of Raw Dog Press and has<br />

published two books of his published poems Parallels and Coming Out of the Atlantic. Gerry is currently working on his fourth novel,<br />

Ghost Girl. Visit his webpage at https://rgerryfabian.wordpress.com.

The Monster under the Bed<br />

By Rhema Sayers<br />

There is something hiding under my bed,<br />

That growls ferociously when I come near.<br />

It’s black and hairy with eyes shining red,<br />

And its snarls are frightening to hear.<br />

But my beautiful Ariel, so gentle and sweet,<br />

A big dog of undetermined stock,<br />

Also hairy and black, will often retreat,<br />

Under the bed to chew on a sock.<br />

Sometimes I think that it’s Ariel there,<br />

Under the bed, so sweet and so shy.<br />

But it can’t be my dog, more likely a bear,<br />

That snarling beneath the bed does lie.<br />

And yet from the darkness, back near the wall,<br />

I never hear the sounds of a fight.<br />

I would think there’d be an incredible brawl<br />

That would last at least half through the night.<br />

Quietly under the bed they repose,<br />

Content with each other’s company.<br />

They get along so well, I suppose,<br />

Because they share the bed’s custody.<br />

So when it’s time for me to go to bed,<br />

I long jump, flying several feet,<br />

So that my toes are not likely to tread,<br />

On any who might those toes eat,<br />

I wonder sometimes, whether or not,<br />

Dog and monster might just be the same.<br />

But if they’re identical under the cot,<br />

Then is it real or simply a game?<br />

So is it my Ariel, gentle and sweet,<br />

Whose personality the bed does change?<br />

Are there two down there below my bed feet,<br />

Or one dog that is passingly strange?<br />

Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay<br />

Rhema Sayers is a retired ER doctor who has taken up freelance writing as a second career. She has a passion for dogs and<br />

had eight at one time. Ariel, a very peculiar dog with a sense of humor, was one of the eight. Rhema lives in the Arizona desert<br />

near Tucson with three dogs and one husband.

The Rose<br />

By John Grey<br />

A fortuitous rose,<br />

small as a child’s teacup,<br />

but a feast for senses<br />

in crimson equanimity.<br />

Deep among the thorns<br />

like rubies in soil,<br />

or the leak of blood<br />

from a fresh love wound.<br />

On my knees,<br />

in the bush’s cause,<br />

I inhale the wild ancestor,<br />

the elusive present occupant.<br />

Juhku | stock.adobe.com<br />

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly<br />

with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.

Haiku<br />

By Annejo Geijteman<br />

Spinning fan soft light<br />

Melting ice cream drips slowly<br />

A summer nights dream<br />

Haiku<br />

By Annejo Geijteman<br />

Black white tufts of floof<br />

Soft footsteps in the hallway<br />

Loki says meow<br />

Ian | stock.adobe.com<br />

Glenda Powers | stock.adobe.com<br />

Annejo Geijteman is a Dutch green haired writer and poet who loves the scent of coconut and the<br />

aftertaste of a well crafted short story. She lives with her long haired tuxedo cat Loki and an assortment of<br />

spoiled houseplants. She believes writing should always be true, even if it hurts.

xavier gallego morel | stock. Adobe.com

Tikkun Olam<br />

by J L Higgs<br />

“Benjamin!”<br />

“Coming.”<br />

Benjamin placed the Tiffany lamp back on the shelf. Then<br />

he began descending the wooden ladder attached to the rail<br />

around the second tier of the antique shop. Dusting, sweeping,<br />

whatever it required to maintain the shop was his responsibility.<br />

It was not an easy task. Especially since the shop never sold<br />

anything. Years ago, Benjamin had asked Moshe the point of<br />

such fastidious cleanliness. Moshe’s reply, “Cleanliness is next<br />

to Godliness.”<br />

Almost as tall as it was wide, the antique shop had once<br />

been a bookstore. Now, the sole book that remained was kept in<br />

the backroom. Clocks, porcelain cups, bronze lanterns, china,<br />

pitchers, and many other seemingly unremarkable items<br />

crowded the shop’s shelves. Moshe had told Benjamin they<br />

were God’s earthly stewards and all God’s creations and gifts<br />

deserved respect, honor, and preservation, even down to the<br />

least of things.<br />

Through the years, little about the shop had changed. The<br />

tiny bell that hung inside the front door still jingled just as it had<br />

the first time Benjamin entered the shop. That day, as his<br />

fingers reached toward the ancient push tab cash register next to<br />

the rotary phone on the shop’s counter, Moshe had appeared<br />

dressed in black, broom in hand.<br />

“Who are you?” he growled, his eyes narrowed to slits with<br />

suspicion.<br />

Benjamin’s initial inclination had been to run away, to<br />

escape. But he’d remained rooted in place, staring at the burly<br />

man’s bushy gray beard, side curls, and kippah. After<br />

stammering repeatedly, he finally said his name.<br />

Shoving the broom into the black teenager’s hand, Moshe<br />

had said, “You. Benjamin. Sweep.” Mimicking sweeping, the<br />

tzizits hanging from his tallit swinging back and forth, he<br />

repeated his command. Bewildered, Benjamin did as he’d been<br />

told.<br />

Stepping off the ladder’s last rung, Benjamin wiped his<br />

hands on the front of his bib apron. Despite its dearth of sales,<br />

the shop never lacked for customers. Each day, people of every<br />

race, color, creed, sex, age, etc… came to the shop from near<br />

and far. Be it children bearing broken toys or adults with<br />

something needing attention or repairs, the routine never<br />

differed. Moshe would take whatever they brought into the<br />

back room. After spending a few moments there, where he kept<br />

a copy of the Torah on a small wooden desk with a metal<br />

folding chair, he’d emerge with the item functioning perfectly<br />

and looking new. Any attempts at payment were always<br />

declined. Instead, Moshe would hand the customer their item<br />

and wish them a good day with a smile.<br />

At first, Benjamin found Moshe’s generosity unsettling.<br />

But his concerns were allayed when Moshe paid him that first<br />

Friday. Since then, every week as they closed the shop for<br />

Shabbat, Moshe would hand Benjamin his pay and say, “A<br />

good week, eh Benjamin. God gave us many opportunities to<br />

perform the mitzvah of tzedakah.”<br />

At that, Benjamin always shook his head. While getting<br />

paid, like Moshe’s ability to fix whatever was brought to the<br />

shop seemed like miracles, Moshe’s constant talk of God made<br />

little sense to him.<br />

“You called,” said Benjamin, entering the backroom.<br />

Moshe, seated on the metal folding chair, his back to the<br />

doorway, did not answer. Benjamin walked over, touched him<br />

on the shoulder, and Moshe slumped forward. Benjamin darted<br />

from the room, snatched up the receiver of the black rotary<br />

phone on the counter and dialed 9-1-1.<br />

An ambulance quickly arrived and the EMTs determined<br />

that Moshe had suffered a heart attack. Over their protests,<br />

Benjamin insisted on accompanying Moshe to the hospital.<br />

While Moshe was rushed into the emergency unit, Benjamin<br />

stood alone with his hopes and fears.<br />

For four whole days, Moshe teetered on a hair-thin line<br />

between life and death. Having no next of kin, no one was<br />

permitted to see him, not even Benjamin, who arrived early<br />

each morning and remained until late evening.<br />

On the fifth day, Moshe opened his eyes and asked for<br />

Benjamin. As he stood beside the bed looking at Moshe,<br />

Benjamin did not know what to say. Smiling, Moshe patted his<br />

hand. Then he asked if Benjamin had been tending to the shop.<br />

Benjamin told him the shop had remained closed.<br />

Moshe sighed. “Shop must be open, Benjamin.”<br />

“But… But people will come. I...”<br />

“Let them come. Pshaw. Give me paper and pencil,” said<br />

Moshe gesturing toward the small cabinet beside the bed. With<br />

a trembling hand, he wrote, “bhvakasha elohim. lazor lcha<br />

msharet tsanua vneeman betikun haolam.” Then he handed the<br />

paper to Benjamin.<br />

Benjamin stared at the strange words, shaking his head.<br />

“Tikkun Olam,” said Moshe. “You, Benjamin, must mend<br />

what is broken.”<br />

“But I...”<br />

“Put hand on Torah. Say words.” He tapped the paper.<br />

“Tikkun Olam,” repeated Moshe, firmly tapping the paper.<br />

“Repair of the world. Is every person’s responsibility.”<br />

“But...”<br />

“No but!” said Moshe, agitation in his voice. “Is<br />

responsibility.”<br />

“Fine!”<br />

“Good!” Moshe fell back against the sheets and closed his<br />

eyes. Standing over him, Benjamin watched Moshe’s lips<br />

move, forming words like he was chanting, but in some foreign<br />

language.<br />

Standing in front of the antique shop, Benjamin pulled out<br />

his keys and unlocked the front door. The tiny bell on the door<br />

jingled as if issuing a call. Benjamin turned on the overhead<br />

lights and headed to where he kept his apron and broom near the<br />

back room.<br />

As he approached the back room, he hesitated, then entered.<br />

Pulling the paper Moshe had written on from his pocket, he<br />

placed it on the desk beside the Torah and smoothed it out with<br />

his hand. He heard the tiny bell inside the front door jingling<br />

non-stop, summoning him. Heeding its call, he emerged from<br />

the back room. There was much work to be done.<br />

J L Higgs' short stories typically focus on life from the perspective of a black American. He has had over 40 publications and<br />

been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Magazines publishing his work include Indiana Voice Journal, The Writing Disorder,<br />

Contrary Magazine, Rigorous, Literally Stories, and The Remembered Arts Journal. He resides outside of Boston.<br />

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JL-Higgs-ArtistWriter-14337116<strong>19</strong>998262

Founder’s <strong>Favourites</strong><br />

Issue 8-<strong>Sep</strong>t 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Thanks for<br />

spending time with<br />

my favourites.

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!