FF16 - October 2021

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Founder’s Favourites

Issue 16 - Oct 2021


Alan Cohen


Bruce Levine


Carolyn Chilton Casas


Catherine Coundjeris


Cordelia Hanemann


John Delaney


Sarah Henry


Stella Mazur Preda


Vandana Kumar

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 1

Founder’s Favourites

Issue 16—October 2021


Alan Cohen

Words are Wings 3

Bruce Levine

Lazy Days 4

Musings 5

Flying Free 6

Yesterday’s Rainbow 7

Carolyn Chilton Casas

Dirty Nails 11

Ocean Love 17

Catherine Coundjeris

An Ordinary Adventure 9

Cordelia Hanemann

Diving for Daddy 8

John Delaney

The Moons of Jupiter 10

Sarah Henry

Whitetail Buck 16

Stella Mazur Preda

Terra Incognita 14

Epilogue 15

Vandana Kumar

The Bench Not Taken 18

The Moonrise 18

Founder’s Feedback

Alan Cohen

Words are Wings (p3) I like thinking of invoking

words to support us and then giving them to our

children’s children as keepsakes.

Bruce Levine

Lazy Days (p4) I was drawn to the phrase cascading

dreams, the image of Halcyon Sundays and couples

dozing in hammocks. Musings (p5) I relate to this

poem. I scribble thoughts on everything. Flying Free

(p6) The first stanza captured my attention. Yesterday’s

Rainbow (p7) The tone is sad yet comforting, and I like

the repetition in the beginning and ending.

Carolyn Chilton Casas

Dirty Nails (p11) I love the playfulness described in

this poem. The free feeling of not worrying about being

prim and proper. Ocean Love (p17) I love the seasonal

snapshots and sensory word choices covered in this


Catherine Coundjeris

An Ordinary Adventure (p9) I like the peaceful tone.

The last line summarizes a great message in this poem.

If you make a mess, just start over again until you get it

right. Love it.

Cordelia Hanemann

Diving for Daddy (p8) This poem is fun and has a

comforting ending.

John Delaney

The Moons of Jupiter (p10) I like the awe, the

playfulness and the joy of the children.

Sarah Henry

Whitetail Buck (p16) First person point of views are my

favourite things to read. This buck earned its respect.

Stella Mazur Preda

Terra Incognita (p14) This poem tugged at my heart

strings as it speaks of the reality of climate change and

all the things people are going through.

Epilogue (p15) I was drawn in by the movement and

changes in this piece.

Vandana Kumar

The Moonrise (p18) The phrase in the beginning made

me think “Oh, I love that”: The city takes out its

‘recliners’ / leaves stiff shoulders behind.

The Bench Not Taken (p18) I like the truth and the

humanness. It’s real.

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 2

Words are Wings

Alan Cohen

Words are wings

Invoke the support

Of the invisible

Bear us

Nothing is impossible:

Silence can break

Things can be

Even become

Flowers bloom

Horses breed

Rain falls

Stars shine

We capture them

Keep them

Give them

To our children’s children

And no one is the wiser

Though we all get to fly

Yuriy Mazur | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 3

Lazy Days

Bruce Levine

Floating on rivers of rain

Cascading dreams

Like summer flowers

Parades filled with marching bands

And anthems sung by mixed choirs

Halcyon Sundays

And cool breezes

Floating through tree tops

Creating an umbrella of shade

Perfect for a picnic

Basking in the glow

Of lovers holding hands

Dozing in a hammock

Reading a book

A pale pink sky

A perfect backdrop

For lazy days

moodboard | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 4


Bruce Levine


Thoughts on paper


Important only as a history

Thoughts on paper

Pertaining to anything

Pertaining to nothing

Profound or ridiculous



Memories or memoranda

Flexing the muscles

Of the gray cells

Shaping and reshaping

Sculpting litany


A lexicon of memorabilia

Thoughts on paper

A ledger

A journal

Unspoken meanderings

A labyrinth of moments

Tracings on a page

With a pencil or pen

A computer keyboard

Hot off the press

Or filed for future reference

A target for perusal

Reality or fantasy

Easily discarded

Readily retained

Thoughts on paper

In a drawer

Filling a waste basket

Clever sayings

Reminding the author

Of things overheard

Things to remember

Thoughts out of context



Profound or perfunctory

A paragon of nothing

Simply stated


Елена Рыкова | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 5

Flying Free

Bruce Levine

Flying free

Over the highways

Bound for tomorrow

New promised lands

Opening doorways

Yet to be opened

Trying adventures

Not even planned

No longer chained

By mythic illusions

Scarecrows resolving

Infested minds

Breaking old habits

Never to follow

Long ago bound’ries

Never defined

Seizing the moment

Only the future

Time moving onward

Always at hand

Lars Nissen | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 6

Yesterday’s Rainbow

Bruce Levine

Yesterday’s rainbow

Past but never forgotten

A cardinal visiting

Watching me

Perched on a fence

As I sit alone with my dog

Heaven’s messenger

To commemorate your day

Time gone by

Time yet to come

Yesterday’s rainbow

Past but never forgotten

bonnie | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 7

Diving for Daddy

Cordelia Hanemann

Once I fell in the ocean when/

I didn’t know I fell in the ocean

Michael Palmer

Once I was 5 and climbed the tall ladder

of the high dive. I wore a flowered bikini

bathing suit and a too-large swim cap

and thought I was pretty smart.

I walked the plank, held my nose and jumped,

but I did not know how to swim.

What a thought. I even saw myself

in my too cute bathing suit and cap,

smiling underwater as though returning

to a place I had known and loved.

Under the water it was like some Monet or other

of watery colors rippling overhead.

And then my Daddy

saved me.

Jon Schulte | stock.adobe.com

Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, NC. A retired professor of English at Campbell University,

she has published in numerous journals including Atlanta Review, Connecticut River Review, Southwestern Review, and Laurel Review;

anthologies, The Poet Magazine's new anthology, Friends and Friendship, Heron Clan and Kakalak and in her own chapbook,

Through a Glass Darkly. Her poem, "photo-op" was a finalist in the Poems of Resistance competition at Sable Press and her poem

"Cezanne's Apples" was nominated for a Pushcart. Recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and The Alexandria

Quarterly, she is now working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 8

An Ordinary Adventure

Catherine Coundjeris

I went on an ordinary

adventure today.

The sky was a cerulean blue.

I drove down one winding

road after another

over a bridge

uphill and downhill.

Out into a country farm—

It could be the Shire—

where sheep’s wool is spun

into yarn ready

for the knitter’s needles.

A brewery nearby invites

a happy crowd.

And I learned something

new and satisfying…

the clack of needles in

my hands.

Surrounded by masters who

shared their skills with others.

My brain did a turn and

my hands struggled

with the new positions,

but I left exuberant

to think of

potential projects

I could create…

Scarves, gloves, curtains

Leg warmers, and hats…

triumphant I would continue

to knit and purl

during the long winter nights

at home.

My red yarn knotted

into bumpy patterns

with a hole off kilter

on the fourth row.

I will undo the mess

and start again, again

and again

until I get it right.

Adventures worth taking

don’t happen overnight…

Татьяна Андрианова—stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 9

The Moons of Jupiter

John Delaney

On the infield of the baseball diamond

he sets up his equipment for the class.

The children keep running in the outfield,

making circles in the damp grass

while they wait to be summoned.

Like small cannons, the telescopes are wheeled

into position to target the moon.

Security lamps on top of the school

distantly scour the shadows—but soon

as night camps, the stars are revealed.

The children line up, taking turns on a stool

to watch a bright wafer melt across the lens.

In farmer’s overalls, smoking his pipe,

the teacher chats with the milling parents

while he changes the lenses on schedule,

explaining their power and type.

The children seem content with just a quick peek—

they jump down and skedaddle in the dark,

zig-zagging in and out of view, each shriek

sparking an evening that’s suddenly ripe

with drama: the teacher has raised his mark:

Jupiter and her moons! What a surprise!

The joy’s contagious among the adults,

who quickly queue to glimpse with their own eyes

what till now has been their children’s lark.

But the specks are small, prove too difficult

to name. Most, trying to comprehend

how something so remote and strange (unplanned)

had swept so suddenly within their ken,

stand quietly, aloof. The children exult

in their game of tag, scuffing up the sand.

Rounding the bases, “Venus,” “Earth,” and “Mars”

they shout as they steal homeward and beyond.

Smaller ones, asleep, are carried to the cars.

“Thanks so much.” “Good-bye.” “Really, it was grand.”


Nick Magwood |Pixabay.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 10

Dirty Nails

Carolyn Chilton Casas

My fingernails are rarely

clean. Even when I take

my time with them,

an hour later

my hands are back

in the earth, pulling weeds,

cleaning beds, trimming withered

leaves and flowers past their prime,

transplanting succulents,

my favorite because they grow

so easily and fruitfully

and require little water.

Or sand accumulates

under my clear, pearly edges

from another kind of digging.

The fun in the sunshine my friends

and I adore—with a volleyball,

beside the ocean, pelicans hand gliding

overhead, dolphins and whales

sometimes spied arcing in waves,

the luscious smell of summer

in our noses at any time of year.

For these, I don’t mind

a tiny bit of dirt beneath my nails.

Mel Stoutsenberger | stock.adobe.com

Jethra Tull | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 11

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 | October 2021—Issue 16 | 12

FF—Issue 17 Contest

Details November 1, 2021


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

Terra Incognita

Stella Mazur Preda

violent rains beat roofs

with the rhythm of warrior drums

dance on concrete walks

rampant winds fell aging trees

the heavens explode in anger

skies sizzle

ignite like the fourth of July

creeks and rivers seethe with fury

overflow embankments

snake through homes

helpless residents

knee-deep in churning waters

flooded with unending grief

rolffimages | stock.adobe.com

Emily | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 14


Stella Mazur Preda

Stealing bases, the senior years

surreptitiously slide home.

Mountains, once impulsively scaled

now recede to rolling hills.

Tidal waters slowly ebb

relinquishing new treasures

and riveting challenges;

and a new chapter evolves.

serge Nouchi—stock.adobe.com

santypan | stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 15

Whitetail Buck

Sarah Henry

My first year in

life went well.

I was a new fawn,

drinking milk to

survive. Antlers

like small buttons

sprouted above my

ears. White spots

on my back helped

me sneak through

the fields without

being attacked by

bears and bobcats.

My head felt big

in the second year.

The antlers grew

as I took on traits

of an older deer.

Weary lay my head

as it wore a crown.

I claimed a large

kingdom next year

by locking antlers

with other males.

We fought for does

during the fall rut.

Then we stopped.

My rack fell off,

just like that. It

landed in a woods

one day. Losing

the shed brought

much relief. My

great crown was

no longer needed

for love and war,

unlike before.

PhotoSpirit | stock.adobe.com

Sarah Henry is retired from a major newspaper. Her poems have appeared in over a hundred journals, most recently Jalmurra, The

Journal of Expressive Writing, Open Door Magazine and The Trouvaille Review. She lives and writes in a small Pennsylvania town.

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 16

Ocean Love

Carolyn Chilton Casas

Let me not forget to notice

all the seasons of the ocean

with an awe-filled soul—

equally winter’s pounding surf

and summer’s gentle swells.

Every bay a changing alchemy

of colors—smoke, sapphire,

aqua, slate, and sky.

Let me not forget to search

September’s waters

for the curved backs of whales,

their tails breaching toward the sun,

dorsal fins of dolphins undulating

smoothly in and out of waves

just beyond the breaks.

The ocean’s briny smell

fills my lungs with longing

for a simpler life.

She urges me to set my cares aside,

float peacefully in her salty arms.

Travis Aguilar—Pixabay.com

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 17

The Moonrise

Vandana Kumar

The moon rises tonight

The city takes out its ‘recliners’

leaves stiff shoulders behind

Peep out of a window

catch a glimpse of the moon

Ask your child if that’s a shape

He says

“A perfect round

No, Wait!

an enlarged orange that no one can eat.”

Towering over the skyline

So hopelessly out of reach

A sun must have set somewhere

for a moon to rise

So bright

Txus Lopez—stock.adobe.com

The Bench Not Taken

Vandana Kumar

I won’t clean that bench today

Somebody’s derrière warmed up here

a little while ago,

He toasted the sun –

As he watched the leaves

dip two shades deeper

into its shade cards

One dog chased a cat

Another took a nap

No human around



A passerby who approved

Let that kindness remain

I won’t clean that bench today

Some lover cleaned a bench someplace else

in bid to impress

then spread a sheet on which

the lady love could rest

AJS1 | Pixabay.com

The ones who sat on the other side

Couldn’t care less

the figs

the twigs

and - anything that fell

was bounty for them

Vandana Kumar is a Middle School French teacher in New Delhi, India. An educator with over 20 years of experience, she is also a French translator

and recruitment consultant. Her poems have been published in various national and international journals and websites like ‘Mad Swirl’, Toronto based

‘Scarlet Leaf Review’, Philadelphia based ‘North of Oxford’, Saint Paul, Minnesota based ‘Grey Sparrow Journal’, UK based ‘Destiny Poets’, ‘Lothlorien

Poetry Journal’, ‘Madras Courier’, Glomag etc. She has featured in anthologies like Houston, Texas based – ‘Harbinger Asylum’, US based ‘Kali Project’

of Indie Blu(e) Publishing etc. She has been part of two projects of the World literature series on Post-modern voices and critical thought. She also writes

articles on cinema that have appeared on websites and journals like ‘Just-cinema’, ‘Daily Eye’, ‘The Free Press Journal’, Boloji.com and The Artamour.

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 18

Contributor Bios

Alan Cohen’s first publication as a poet was in the PTA Newsletter when he was 10 years old. He graduated

Farmingdale High School (where he was Poetry Editor of the magazine, The Bard), Vassar College

(with a BA in English) and University of California at Davis Medical School, did his internship in Boston

and his residency in Hawaii, and was then a Primary Care physician, teacher, and Chief of Primary Care at

the VA, first in Fresno, CA and later in Roseburg, OR. He was nominated for his performance in Fresno

for the 2012 VA Mark Wolcott Award for Excellence in Clinical Care Leadership. He has gone on writing

poems for 60 years and, now retired from medicine, is beginning to share some of his discoveries. He has

had a poem (“Autopsy”) and a medical letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine and,

more recently, an article called “Annals of Communication: Giving a Patient a Diagnosis and Other Idioms In Development”

in the American Journal of Medicine; and has had poems published in various publications. He had an honorable mention in

Ninth Annual Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest; and has had letters to the editor in the New Yorker and Poetry Magazine.

He’s been married to Anita for 41 years, and they’ve lived in Eugene, OR these past 11.

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. Her favorite themes to write about are healing,

awareness, and the life journey. Carolyn’s stories and poems have appeared in Energy, Odyssey, Reiki

News Magazine, The Art of Healing, Touch, and in other publications. You can read more of Carolyn’s

work on Instagram at mindfulpoet_ or in her first collection of poems titled Our Shared Breath.

A former elementary school teacher, Catherine Coundjeris has also taught writing at Emerson College

and ESL writing at Urban College in Boston. She is published in literary magazines, including Proem,

The Dawntreader, Visions with Voices, Nine Cloud Journal, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Bombfire,

and Paper Dragons. Catherine is very passionate about adult literacy.

In 2016, John Delaney moved out to Port Townsend, WA, after retiring as curator of historic maps at

Princeton University. He’s traveled widely, preferring remote, natural settings, and is addicted to kayaking

and hiking. In 2017, he published Waypoints, a collection of place poems. Twenty Questions, a chapbook,

appeared in 2019, and Delicate Arch, poems and photographs of national parks and monuments, is

forthcoming next year.

Stella Mazur Preda is a resident of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada. Having retired from elementary teaching in

Toronto, she is owner and publisher of Serengeti Press, a small press publishing company, located in the Hamilton

area. Since its opening in 2003, Serengeti Press has published 43 Canadian books. Serengeti Press is now temporarily

on hiatus. Stella Mazur Preda has been published in numerous Canadian anthologies and some of US, most notably

the purchase of her poem My Mother’s Kitchen by Penguin Books, New York. Stella has released four previous

books, Butterfly Dreams (Serengeti Press, 2003); Witness, Anthology of Poetry (Serengeti Press, 2004), edited by

John B. Lee; From Rainbow Bridge to Catnip Fields (Serengeti Press, 2007) The Fourth Dimension, (Serengeti

Press, 2012). She is a current member of Tower Poetry Society in Hamilton, Ontario and The Ontario Poetry Society. Stella is currently

working on her fifth book, Tapestry, based on the life of her aunt and written completely in poetic form.

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 19

Founder’s Favourites

Issue 16 - Oct 2021

Thanks for

spending time with

my favourites.

Founder’s Favourites | October 2021—Issue 16 | 20

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