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Founder’s Favourites

Issue 13 - Jan 2021

Allison Whittenberg

Bruce Levine

Carolyn Chilton Casas

Charlene Langfur

Fabrice Poussin

Jane Briganti

Jeremy Szuder

John Grey

Nolo Segundo

Robert Cutler

Stephen Lang

Yash Seyedbagheri

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 1

Founder’s Favourites

Issue 13-Jan 2021

Allison Whittenberg

Watching Jordan’s Fall 3

Bruce Levine

A Cornucopia of Color 4

Apple Fritters 5

Harbingers of the Day 6

The First of the Year 7

The Infinite Variety of Daydreams 8

Carolyn Chilton Casas

Water 10

My Voice 11

Charlene Langfur

Moving Mindfully 9

Fabrice Poussin

Fireworks 12

Haz-Mat Love 13

Jane Briganti

Second Chances 22

Poets 23

Jeremy Szuder

Accepting the Magic 16

Easy Living 17

John Grey

Her Visitors 18

The Tornado Effect 19

Nolo Segundo

A Morning’s Walk 24

Robert Cutler

The Last Breath of Summer 15

Stephen Lang

Haiku 14

Yash Seyedbagheri

Glory is the Evening 21

Why They’re My Favourites

Allison Whittenberg

Watching Jordan’s Fall Powerful emotions pack in

three verses.

Bruce Levine

A Cornucopia of Color The phrase sunlight spread

over the trees...warming the atmosphere. Apple

Fritters I love the smell it invokes in me Harbingers

of the Day Morning is my favourite time of day. The

First of the Year January 1 is my favourite time to

plan and prepare. The Infinite Variety of Daydreams

I like how Bruce likens daydreams to strings of

marionettes pulling in different directions. Quite


Carolyn Chilton Casas

Water I like the comforting words like flow,

memories, peace, and comfort. My Voice I like how

the voice is a gift encompassing every individual.

Charlene Langfur

Moving Mindfully I like the steadying of the inner


Fabrice Poussin

Fireworks I like the phrase “prisoners of

summertime blues.” Haz-Mat Love The first two

lines caught my attention.

Jane Briganti

Second Chances I like the theme. Poets It expresses

a poets heart.

Jeremy Szuder

Accepting the Magic The word magic awakens my

imagination. Easy Living The word choices and


John Grey

Her Visitors Brought out the compassion in me. The

Tornado Effect So many whirlwind events!

Nolo Segundo

A Morning’s Walk I like that the wife can hear the

sounds of the leaves fall.

Robert Cutler

The Last Breath of Summer I like the phrase “the

afternoon wraps her arms around me.”

Stephen Lang

Haiku I love the visual.

Yasj Seuedbagheri

Haiku I love the visual.

Cover—videodoctor | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 2

Watching Jordan’s Fall

By Allison Whittenberg

… God, I hate November

All the hope I had hoped

Against hope for Jordan.

Dad beat Jordan, to

Straighten him out, to show

Jordan, to silence him.

My brother lived until the next

Season, onto the next winter,

Very quiet like a fallen leaf.

bonniemarie | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 3

A Cornucopia of Color

By Bruce Levine

The sunlight spread over the trees

Casting a glow and warming the atmosphere

With the last vestiges of summer

Before the autumnal equinox turns those trees

Into a cornucopia of color

Piotr Krzeslak | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 4

Apple Fritters

By Bruce Levine

I wait all year for an apple fritter

The finest in the world

Each late September I mark it down

The festival of apples in the town

Confection sweet and golden brown

I ask for extra powdered sugar

A finer treat that Heaven ever made

And if one differs to believe

Or offers a sample to taste

A finer fritter to be found

A bounty would be paid

And so I wait from year to year

And joyously imbibe

Each late September, just before fall

The finest apple fritters of them all

vm2002 | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 5

Harbingers of the Day

By Bruce Levine

Reveling in the morning

Cool, crisp, crystal clear sky

The brightness of the early light

Against the new leaves on May trees

Harbingers of the day

Life abounding

Woodpecker tattoos

Conversations understood only by birds

Dogs chasing squirrels chasing acorns

Harbingers of the day

Kurt Bouda | Pixabay.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 6

The First of the Year

By Bruce Levine

The first of the year

A very busy day

Pages to file

Files to put away

Papers to fold

Like blankets in summer

Archival index

Records for the IRS

Fiction and music

Aligned in a book

The new year’s creations

Ready to go

A look to the future

The new year ahead

Plans and preparations

A check-list away

The first of the year

A very busy day

irissca | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 7

The Infinite Variety of Daydreams

By Bruce Levine

The infinite variety of daydreams

Like strings of a marionette

Pulling in different directions

Across the vistas of imagination

Like the golden glow as the late afternoon sun

Illuminates the leaves of trees swaying in the wind

Kaleidoscopic changes of light and dark

Breathing life in shadows to decorate tomorrow

The ultimate possibility of the future

Held in a chrysalis

Awaiting the moment of awakening

As the daydream becomes reality

2nix | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 8

Moving Mindfully

By Charlene Langfur

For me this is a way to be happy even in the pandemic.

I’m touching the new leaves of the tiniest of the fan palm trees,

counting my steps on and off, breathing in deep, breathing out,

moving under the wild blue sky fat with clouds, walking along,

walking near the edges of the brown and grey mountains,

going out into the local world, walking home again, steadying

up the compass inside my body, who I am, what I do,

what I know about the place I’m in, the quiet of it early on

and in the in-betweens, the space, the orange cactus flower suddenly

utterly opening again, its petals like a dancer’s arms, who doesn’t

imagine an embrace again with all this, the surprises of the small,

how infinite in the middle of the hot sand, the lizard racing in between

rocks and I think how I am further out than I planned to go today, past

the new leaves on the lemon tree in the early morning in the summer here,

in one of the hottest places on earth, far as this, far as I can go and all

the way back in the middle of the troubles, light as I know how to live

Mauro Rodrigues | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 9


By Carolyn Chilton Casas

I would love to live

Like a river flows

Carried by the surprise

Of its own unfolding.

John O”Donohue, “Fluent”

When life gets stuck in eddies

and ebb is felt more than flow,

I return to memories of water.

Gently rocked in rhythmic waves

I stroke

onward into depths unknown.

Water always soothes me,

bestows peace of heart and mind,

along with answers from a bottomless beyond.

Sandra zuerlein—stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 10

My Voice

By Carolyn Chilton Casas

On the sacred wave of my voice

a story erupts from my heart.

It is a tale of unity, of relation, of love.

It encompasses every individual,

creature, and the natural world,

all equally of value,

all an original gift from the One.

The responsibility of my voice

is to weave the words together to

form a reminder of our blessedness,

our reasons for being,

all the oceans we embody expressing the light.

peterschreiber.media | Adobe.stock.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 11


By Fabrice Poussin

Another celebration in the atmosphere

independence of those who are free

remembrance of millions who gave all

a mere sparkler to commemorate a living.

Prisoners of summertime blues they hope

looking to darkening skies and a bright moon

stripes of blue and white and their cherished stars

perhaps a gleeful quake beneath the storm.

Memories of distant holidays by the seaside

hover upon the gray smoke like warm ghosts

yet they can find the tender frown of a smile

chaos is not enough to smother their joy.

BillionPhotos.com | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 12

Haz-Mat Love

By Fabrice Poussin

She smiles through the haze

upon a glass plate made for secrets.

She trembles beneath the green skin

dripping with the magic foam.

Pearls shine like a new home

teasing memories she will never save.

Orbs of blue hope for an escape

her tears joined with the drops of inner storms.

He looks on beyond the mist

full of resounding rhythmic tremors.

If his voice makes a word

she remains still in her solid silence.

Energies vibrate toward a reunion

in the fog sparks come to a sudden end.

It seems so long ago yesterday

they lay in harmony under a soft shroud.

Watching particles of rainbows

their souls seek a journey.

Perhaps they cry behind the masks

or they scream within the shell.

Vanished in those grand sterile homes

too fast their images have faded.

Warm lives turned cold in the night

their gazes lock on distant horizons.

Регина Ерофеева | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 13


by Steven Lang

Hummingbird hovers

Heartbeats indiscernible

Jade nectar junkie.


Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 14

The Last Breath of Summer

by Robert S. C. Cutler

The last breath of Summer

The afternoon wraps her arms around me.

I take comfort in the warmth of the day.

Unable to move, I close my eyes.

The air resonates on wings opaque.

A constant flurry of delicate souls.

The afternoon wraps her arms around me.

A sudden breeze interrupts the peace.

The leaves of a Birch tree applaud as they fall.

Unable to move, I close my eyes.

Obscured by clouds, the Sun’s warmth escapes me.

For a moment, Autumn has appeared.

The afternoon wraps her arms around me.

The songs of birds, the memories of Spring.

Infrequent now in the surrounding trees.

Unable to move, I close my eyes.

Taking in this borrowed moment.

My heart is at ease, my thoughts unwind.

The afternoon wraps her arms around me.

Unable to move, I close my eyes.

Lane Erickson—stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 15

Accepting the Magic

By Jeremy Szuder

First, find the magic.

You won’t have to

look too far away.

If the axis spins in your favor,

then the magic should be


right in front of your face.

Breathe it, drown in it.

Make the horn dust of unicorns

jam themselves straight into

that nose you have been

hanging sunglasses over

all morning long.

The lawnmower motors

rumbling over this land

won’t matter,

the annoying, repetitive

squeal of a 3 year old

stuck on sugar won’t matter.

These bulbous Pasadena hillsides

have been waiting a long time

to introduce you to the magic.

It floats on its haunches and licks

those jowls of joyful moments,

handing them over gently to you

as if a newly caught river trout

wrapped in the wet and furry paws

of a California Brown Bear.

I am hopeful and anticipate

that you will accept.


Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 16

Easy Living

By Jeremy Szuder

It’s summertime, and I’ve lost

the names and the numbers

of all my fondest enemies.

I let go of the steering wheel

and let my smiles convert water

back into troughs of sweet wine.

Each morning bell tolls

flakes of gold into my waking head.

A feeling of flight bookmarks

the channels of airstream

caught on highways of blue sky.

The business of leisure is often

misconstrued as an opportunity

to disconnect from some kind of

common pulse riveting between us all,

but what we seem to have

forgotten, in the eyes of all

this digital cacophony,

is the buzz of flesh against sand.

There is a dribble of natural water

mixed with ambition

trickling down our dumb faces,

and as I let my stomach push hard

against the waist of my poor trousers,

I am adamant to admit,

I couldn’t be happier.

Praew stock | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 17

Her Visitors

By John Grey

She was in bed for a year

and shrinking beneath the sheets.

For twelve months of her life,

she was stalled,

with memory for reverse

and only imagination to move her

any way forward.

Visitors came

but, for all her spread-wide smiles,

she did not relish such contact

with those who could go many hours

without thinking once about their body.

She did heal eventually

and, weak as she was,

could finally lift herself off the mattress,

set a stumbling course

for the hospital sun-room.

Eventually, that year of pause

was followed, back home, by a time of small steps,

like a movie in slow motion,

her muscles working one frame at a time.

Those same visitors

showed up at her door

to a forced joyful greeting

and a slow struggle to the kitchen

and the promise of coffee

prepared by a shaky hand.

She never did get back

to being her old self.

Her life was more stutter than start.

But she began to appreciate visitors more

despite the disparity between her health and theirs.

After all, it wasn’t their fault

that they could climb stairs and she couldn’t.

One was just as human as the other.

And good luck and bad luck shared more than just a name.

Nicola | stock.adobe.com

nuiiko | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 18

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 19

Jovica antoski | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 20

Landscape’s weaver | stock.adobe.com

Glory is the Evening

By Yash Seyedbagheri

glory is the evening

pink and purple shadows shimmering

over curving country roads

snow dissolving, piece by piece

rich dirt revealing warmth

glory is the moon

who wears a newly brightened face, snaking through silent pines

wandering through wisp clouds

beaming like a child

before she takes a bow

glory is the stillness

of a butter-colored lamp

from a home on a hill, where a Tchaikovsky waltz wafts

images of dancing flowers welcoming the weary walker

day is done

glory to the trees

who dance in new garments

and whisper a mother’s hush

on a crisp, welcoming breeze

winter’s whipping winds no more

glory is spring


Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 21

Second Chances

By Jane Briganti

Second chances

don't always come

We want them

we need them

but still sometimes

opportunity leaves us behind

We look to the Universe

to guide us as we go

waiting for a sign

To open a new door

one must close an old

This is often painful

as stories do unfold

A second chance

must not be ignored

It may never come again

Show the Universe

you have faith

Move forward

without looking back

Trust your destiny

to keep you on track

Close the door behind you

and throw away the key

Bury the past, it wasn't meant

to last

Second chances

don't come easy

One must search their

heart and mind

Putting their soul out on

the line

Face fear and uncertainty

of the unknown

Accept the truth

Where you are now

is a place you have

out grown

Stockphoto-graf | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 22


By Jane Briganti

Alone we sit and ponder

with emotions we do fight

a never-ending battle

a poets' need to write

Observation, contemplation

about sentiments we share

often daunting and painful

it is what poets bare

Our words - albeit true

are not always dark and bleak

we poets also write

of love and the hope we seek

Alas, why do we write

perhaps we are not sure

rest assured a poets' heart

is nothing less than pure

siculodoc | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 23

A Morning’s Walk

By Nolo Segundo

My wife and I walk every morning,

a mile or so--

it’s good for us old to walk in the cold,

or in the misty rain, it makes less the pain

that old age is wont to bring to bodies

which once burned bright with youth,

though now I wear braces on ankles,

braces on knees, and I walk slowly

with 2 canes, like a old skier

sans snow, sans mountain.

We passed a tree whose leaves had

left behind summer’s green and now

fall slowly, carefully one by one

in their autumnal splendor.

My wife stopped me--

listen she said--but

I heard nothing—shhh,

stand still she said,

and I tried hard to

hear the mystery.

Finally I asked her, knowing my hearing

less than hers (too many rock concerts

in my heedless youth), what we listen for ?

She looked up at my old head, and smiled--

only she could hear the sound each leaf made

as it rippled the air in falling to the ground.

Lolame | Pixabay.com

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 24

How to

become a



Content contains anything I find

memorable, creative, unique,

visual, or even simple. Accepted

contributors will most likely write

about things that are emotionally

moving. Not sure I will like your

submission? Take a chance! You

have nothing to lose. And who

knows? You may end up being

among the founder's favourites!

Submit today!


Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 25

Contributor Bios

A Whittenberg is a Philadelphia native who has a global perspective. If she wasn’t an author she’d be

a private detective or a jazz singer. She loves reading about history and true crime. Her other novels

include Sweet Thang, Hollywood and Maine, Life is Fine, Tutored and The Sane Asylum.

Bruce Levine, a 2019 Pushcart Prize Poetry Nominee, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and

poetry and as a music and theatre professional. Over three hundred of his works are published in over

twenty-five on-line journals including Ariel Chart, Friday Flash Fiction, Literary Yard; over thirty

print books including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Dual Coast Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal,

and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. Six eBooks are available from

Amazon.com. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. A native Manhattanite,

Bruce lives in New York with his dog, Gabi. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com

Carolyn Chilton Casas is a Reiki Master and teacher, a student of metaphysics and philosophy. Her

favorite themes for writing are healing, wellness, awareness, and the spiritual journey. Carolyn’s

stories and poems have appeared in Energy, Journey of the Heart, Odyssey, Reiki NewsMagazine,

Snapdragon, The Art of Healing, The Edge and in other publications. You can read more of Carolyn’s

work on Instagram at mindfulpoet_ or contact her at ceccasas@aol.com.

Charlene Langfur is a southern Californian, an organic gardener, a Syracuse University Graduate

Writing Fellow and her recent publications include poems in Weber: The Contemporary West, Emrys,

Inlandia, The North Dakota Quarterly.

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his

work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography

has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other


Jane Briganti lives and works in New York City. Her poetry has been frequently published by

Creations Magazine and has appeared in journals including WestWard Quarterly, Better Than

Starbucks, Spillwords and Leaves of Ink. She believes poetry is the soul's way of communicating with


Jeremy Szuder is a chef by night and creator of poetry and illustration work by day. His past track

record in the arts includes; 15 years as a musician in various bands (drums, vocals), graphic design

work for clothing/skateboard companies, 25 plus years of self published Zines, showings of fine art in

the underground art scene, a 10 year plus stint spinning vinyl at various events all across the city, and

at present time continues to have both illustrations and poems published by over a dozen fine art and

literary publications all across the U.S.A. as well as Canada. Jeremy Szuder continues to call Los

Angeles California via Glendale his home at present.

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 26

Contributor Bios cont’d

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and

Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

Nolo Segundo is the pen name of a retired teacher, 73, who chose it for the way it rolls off the tongue. Though he

wrote some poetry in his 20's as well as an unpublished novel inspired by the time he taught ESL in Phnom-Penh

in 1973-74 (leaving a year before the time of the Killing Fields), for some reason he stopped writing altogether

for over 30 years. For an equally obscure reason, 'they', the poems, began arriving in his conscious mind about 5

years ago. Since then he's had over 50 published online/in print by literary magazines in the U.S. Britain, and

even one in India. Married for 40 years, the only other interesting aspect to his life besides his years teaching,

including 3 years in the Far East, was an NDE he had at 24 whilst almost drowning in a Vermont river that

shattered his former materialist world view [as in believing only matter is real]. For 1/2 a century he has known

that beneath his conscious mind and its counterpart, the unconscious, lies an endless, eternal consciousness that

has always existed, and that what we call the world, the Universe, is permeated by a far greater and largely

unknowable Mystery.'

Robert S. C. Cutler is a United States Air Force veteran and a career Aerospace worker. He writes in

the genres of Science Fiction/ Horror and is the author of two short stories and Five novels. His two

short stories, The Atonement and The Treaty, were both published by the Webzine Aphelion. Robert’s

first two novels, Resurrection and A whisper in the Shadows, were published independently. His latest

three novels, Subprimeval, Hypothermia, and Zygote were written for and published by the Webzine

and publisher Big World Network.

Steven Lang has published one collection of poetry to date, entitled, “Heavenly Hurt”. Steve’s poem,

“Raphael” has been nominated by Ariel Chart International Literary Journal for the 2020 Pushcart

Poetry Prize. Plum Tree Tavern, Grand Little Things and Indian Periodical have also published

Steve’s work this year and BeznCo will carry his poem, “Humility” in their inaugural publication in

January 2021. Though from Scotland originally, Steve has travelled widely, especially in Africa and

currently lives in El Salvador with his wife and three children, where he is Director of a large and well

-known international school.

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. His story, "Soon," was

nominated for a Pushcart. Yash has also had work nominated for Best of the Net and The Best Small Fictions. A

native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts,

Write City Magazine, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 27

Founder’s Favourites

Issue 13—Jan 2021

Thanks for

spending time with

my favourites.

Founder’s Favourites | Jan 2021—Issue 13 | 28

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