Issue 18 - March 2022
Author Spotlight: Peter Mladinic
Daniel J Fitzgerald
K Ann Pennington
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 1
NEW: Author Spotlight
Knives on the Table 3
KJ Hannah Greenberg 11
Winter Refrain 8
Winter Dreams 9
Daniel J Fitzgerald
Out of Love 5
Even Our Bad Days Are Good 6
Super 8 7
K Ann Pennington
Kenny & Will 12
Good Hands 16
The Red Maple 14
The Plaintive Song of a Stone 18
The Glorious Present 4
Child of Emotion 17
Issue 18—March 2022
Winter Dreams (p8) I like the image of winter
moving in slow motion. Winter Refrain (p9) I
enjoy imagining prisms of sunlight casting
shadows on the snow.
Daniel J Fitzgerald
Dreamland (p15) I love the last section of this
poem, where his dreams live in golden fields
with no horizons.
Out of Love (p5) Aww, this tugged at my
heartstrings. Bless this darling’s heart.—such a
Even Our Bad Days Are Good (p6) My anxiety
rose while reading this poem. Super 8 (p7) This
produces comforting memories as a child.
K Ann Pennington
Kenny & Will (p12) Another aww read. No one
should close their eyes alone.
Good Hands (p16) I can relate to the word
choices and statements expressed in this poem.
KJ Hannah Greenberg
I like the peaceful, mysterious theme.
The Red Maple (p14) I like the image of the
leaves dancing, little dances of love., and the last
line. The Plaintive Song of a Stone (p8) I
LOVE inanimate object first-person points of
The Glorious Present (p4) I love the
sentimentality between owner and pet.
Child of Emotion (p17) Starry-eyed, laughing,
wondering children are always a hit with me.
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 2
fourth book of poems,
Knives on a Table is
available from Better
advocate, he lives in
Hobbs, New Mexico,
USA. Readers can buy
copies through Better
cks.org/ and on
Is this your first book? Knives on a Table is my fourth
book of poems. The three earlier ones where published by
the Lea County Museum Press, which is in New Mexico,
where I live.
How did these poems come about? Were they written for
other books or magazines, or just for yourself? Are they
based on real-life events or interests? The poems came
about very gradually, over a period of about 20 years,
though some were written shortly before the book was
accepted for publication, within the same year that Knives
was published. They were written for myself, and then sent
to journals. Some are based on real-life experiences, and
others are made up. I can think of a couple that are based on
events that happened to other people, and in those I just
tried to put myself in the other person’s place.
Were any poems published online or in print? All the
poems but one were published, some in print and others
online, ones written earlier, especially, were published in
print, before there was the proliferation of online journals
that exists today. Today, about ninety-eight percent of the
journals I submit poems to are online journals.
What is the most surprising aspect/misconception of
having this book published? For me, actually, the most
surprising aspect is that the publisher wanted no poems left
out of the original manuscript I sent them. I thought they
might want it shorter, and I thought better to submit a lot,
and let them pick and choose. But they wanted to publish it
pretty much as it was, although the editor did not like my
original title for the book, and came up with the title Knives
on a Table.
How long did it take from the first page to the finished
product? Once I decided to put together all the poems as
one collection, it took about a month. I tried to organized
the manuscript with tonal diversity in mind—happy, sad,
etc. to reflect the changing moods in my daily life, or any
other person’s. I didn’t want, for instance, a section of
happy, upbeat poems, followed by a section of (let’s face it)
depressing poems. Most of my poems, I feel, are dark—
with concerns of loss and conflicts people have. But they
are also threaded with humor. I don’t want to “get caught”
writing one kind of poem.
What was the most challenging and best part of putting
this book together? The most challenging thing was
deciding what poems to include, and the order they should
be in. But in the end, I was happy with what I came up
with. But, I am remembering now, a very challenging thing
was the close proofreading, which I did myself, and also
with the help of a writer friend. In my original printing
there is one typo, but the publisher said they would correct
that for future printing. Better Than Starbucks Publications
is very good about publishing books that have no
typographical errors. The proofreading was a
challenge. There was also a little bit of editing for a few
poems, after the manuscript was accepted. But they
proofreading, again—doesn’t sound hard, but when there’s a
good number of poems to look over, it’s a challenge. It was
for me. I was very glad when that part was finally over.
Peter Mladinic threads the book with poems about the topics mentioned above in the Q&A. A majority of poetry I read once, but I reread some of
them—I had that Wow, I need to read that again feeling. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at
foundersfavouritesATgmail.com with the subject line “Author Spotlight—[Title].”
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 3
The Glorious Present
I folded my sweatpants into a pillow
so he had his own and would stop
as we lay in bed side by side.
I woke in the middle of the night,
looked at him asleep on his pillow.
A small joy jolted through me.
When he passes on
I’m going to know what being alone
means. I’ll go to a solitary place
and weep. The greatest tears are
the tears we don’t cry. I’ll tell you
I am without him. However
this dog, who found me,
whom I found six years ago, my half
spaniel who chases ducks into
water, is here, sniffing grass as I
sit in a chair on a patio.
As you are with your bulldog
Tommy, I’m with Sherlock.
rodimovpavel | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 4
Out of Love
When the spectre of cancer appeared at the door
He met it like he always did a stranger.
He barked the warning: You can't come in.
There are precious people here.
Babies, young children, old grandparents.
If you want to come in—if you must!—
You'll have to come through me.
Do what you will to me,
But I won't let you touch them.
God sent me here to protect them
And I will protect them.
Please precious family, don't be sad.
I'm doing what I was created for.
My only pain is your pain of separation.
Do what you always did for me
And I will do what I always did for you.
Out of love.
Photo Credit: Don Magin
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 5
Even Our Bad Days Are Good
We always were amateurs at arguing -
after all the buildup from slights,
we could never stack the air
as full and gray as thunderclouds -
we're not stormy enough, that's our problem -
no irate claps, no incensed lightning
interspersed with throwing plates and cups -
and no rain, as long as you don't count
the occasional tear -
instead of raging for a hour or two,
we go straight to the shaft of light
over hills so newly-minted green—
we'll even grab onto an undeserved rainbow.
We should learn from the neighbors.
On the other side of the picket fence,
no annoyance ever goes unpunished.
Each cross to bear finds voice, loud and fuming.
The simplest turn of events can lead
to cuss words at two paces.
And if they don't smack each other around,
it's just that walls prove more convenient.
When they kiss and make up,
it's like a paycheck at the end of a tough week's work.
When we do it, it's just a job application.
And we already hold the position.
t1cox | Pixabay.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 6
On the wide beach of Coolangatta,
I press my arms to my sides,
as my sister nudges me toward the ocean,
the waves ahead of me like foaming jaws
eager to clamp down on five-year-old boys
with pale faces and ill-fitting swimming trunks.
My father aims the camera in my direction.
What to him is posterity, to me is certain death.
Twenty years later, the projector rolls,
as family gather under the light
that fills a makeshift screen.
I’m twenty-five. A girlfriend
sits between my knees.
My sister’s here with her husband.
And two kids. One sits still.
The others having none of this.
The five-year-old me is as embarrassing as expected.
And the older girl’s face can’t disguise her pleasure
in pushing me nearer and nearer to my fate.
But who’s that slender woman in the one-piece?
Such fine brown hair. And attractive face.
She’s laughing one moment, almost trembling the next.
Surely, she can’t be the one bringing in coffee
from the kitchen. That woman I know. But not
this one traipsing across the sand in Super 8.
I’d forgotten that mothers had lives,
were younger once, were attractive enough
to draw the attention of men, could just
as easily marry, settle down, have children,
as the rest of us.
Even then, a camera meant for others
would often seek them out.
ystewarthenderson | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 7
As winter lingers
Framing the landscape
Like the sash of a window
Frames the glass panes
As the lines on a calendar
Divide months into weeks and days
The season progresses
And winter lingers
Moving in slow motion
Leonid Ikan | Pixabay.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 8
Watching your breath
as it travels skyward
Counting the marshmallows
in a perfect hot chocolate
filled with ice boats
racing against the sunset
Prisms of sunlight
casting shadows on the snow
And Christmas presents
under the tree
and snowball fights
Tunneling through mountains
of freshly plowed snow
dressed for a party
and other delights
from hill tops
at daredevil speeds
A winter remembered
passed through generations
and happy winter dreams
mbll | Pixabay.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 9
Accepted contributors will most likely write
about things that are emotionally moving.
Content contains anything I find memorable,
creative, unique, visual, or even simple. If
you want your book in the next author
spotlight (page 3), email me at
foundersfavouritesATgmail.com with the
subject line “Author Spotlight—Title” and
tell me how I can get a pdf or physical copy.
Not sure I will like your submission or book?
Take a chance! You have nothing to lose.
You may end up being among the founder's
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 10
KJ Hannah Greenberg tilts at social ills and encourages personal evolutions via poetry, prose, and visual art. Her images have
appeared as interior art in many places, including Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, Les Femmes Folles, Mused,
Piker Press, The Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Front Porch Review, and Yellow Mama and as cover art for Impspired [sic],
Pithead Chapel, Red Flag Poetry, Right Hand Pointing, The Broken City, and Torah Tidbits. Additionally, some of her digital
paintings are featured alongside of her poetry in One-Handed Pianist (Hekate Publishing, 2021).
Photo Credit: KJ Hannah Greenberg
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 11
Kenny & Will
K Ann Pennington
“Hey, I heard they found you by a dumpster,” I said to Will, the new bunny. He just sat still, his eyes half-open,
his ears sort of upright. I moved closer, but we didn’t touch. “I’m Kenny,” I said.
Will didn’t reply.
“Kenny the Kat. That’s my cat tower over there, though I’m supposed to share it with the other rescues.”
Nothing made Will’s expression change. He sat like a statue with a runny nose and a wounded eye. I lay down
next to him and felt his body next to mine. He stayed by my side, and eventually, he dropped his head on my
hind quarter and slept that way for hours. I didn’t move a muscle so he could have a good, long rest in a safe
“Thank you,” Will mumbled to me the next morning when I returned from breakfast. He labored to speak.
I took my same spot next to him, and he rested his head on my side.
“I’m happy to be your pillow, Will.”
“Thank you,” he whispered.
By Sunday, Will and I had slept that way every night for six days.
“You must eat,” I’d told him each morning.
It was always, “I’ll try, Kenny.”
He rested on me the next day. At one point, I thought of a story I hadn’t yet told him. “Will, did I ever tell you
about my mom’s catnip balls she used to make for me?” “No, Kenny. What’s a catnip ball?”
I explained it to him.
“Tell me why your mother’s were so special.”
As my second weekend with Will approached, I started to run out of life stories to tell. “I think I can see
your improvement, Will,” I lied.
“I don’t think so, Kenny, but thank you.”
Early, before dawn, on Saturday, I awoke with Will’s sweet little head on my hindquarter. “Kenny,” he said,
sounding really small, “Thank you.”
“For what, Will?”
“Just, thank you.”
“Of course, Will. Always.”
We’d fallen back asleep until the sunlight burned my eyes. I lifted my head. Will didn’t move. I nudged him,
kissed him, breathed in his ears, but his eyes stayed shut. I knew. I wrapped myself around his body and
waited for the animal rescue staff to come in for work.
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 12
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 13
jonnysek | stock.adobe.com
The Red Maple
She lives just outside
my bedroom window,
ever loyal, ever faithful—
always in the same spot,
day after day,
season after season—
she’s there to give
comfort, even joy,
especially in November,
the sloughing month
when the leaves fall
in sad splendor, with
grace—but my tree,
my Japanese Maple,
holds out, turns scarlet
with the blood of life,
its leaves dancing
little dances of love
in the autumnal winds
as though it were
laughing at death….
Pefkos | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 14
Daniel J Fitzgerald
Tell me where are your dreams.
Far off, perhaps, in a distant sky
full of stars.
Mine live in golden fields
with no horizons,
wandering in the sun’s shining
and the only clouds are apparitions
of doubt, soon fading away in the light.
Daniel Prudek | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 15
I have been there with my mother.
I have been frightened and had a procedure there.
The various selves of mine
who have sat in those chairs,
laid on that table,
stepped on those scales—
so different from each other
in so many ways,
yet all the while we were the same woman
who had never come
to feel safe in this world.
of the examination rooms,
the solitude while you wait.
A solitude and a bright and stark fluorescence
beaming down on you.
Gauze squares in a jar.
The large perfect circle of his chair.
Photographs of a time when he had more hair.
I have been an outcast there.
I have gazed upon myself in the mirrors.
Undressed and had my breasts examined.
I have cried.
I showed up with a therapist on one occasion.
My earrings jangled
once. Another time I was limping.
Once, my legs were very strong
from heavy lifting.
I came to imagine him as my delivering physician.
As both he who delivered me
and he who shall deliver my child one day.
I can see him there
with my parents
as I came out silently,
cord choking my breath.
I can see him snipping me to life.
Gazing upon me with such
a pleasant face.
My hand in his once—
I could feel the touch
of a healer.
Jason A. Bleecher | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 16
Child of Emotion
Ever wonder who’s in charge of wonder?
That glint of light that we all carry when the world is torn asunder, the pieces shattered on
Maybe it’s a starry-eyed child making our heart leap when colors illuminate a silver sky
flying when we hear children’s laughter, the sound of innocence.
Even when the child’s eyes go hollow, the face pale
ribs sticking through skin as hope starves, turns to despair
the darkness going on for years
we still find joy in the night when the snow glitters, the pieces of the world now turned
For that starving, starry-eyed child is still hard to blow out.
We know that one day, that golden orb will rise out of the sky once again,
slowly, as if making sure we aren’t too damaged,
before hope gets fed to us again, rebuilding.
Gerd Altmann | Pixabay.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 17
The Plaintive Song of a Stone
If I could but feel,
I would feel the warmth of the sun
upon my cold, featureless face....
If I could but touch,
I‘d touch the grass I lay on
and revel in its texture like
a little happy king....
If I could but smell,
all the flowers of the world
would be mine—roses and
daisies and even orchids
would be an endless delight.
If I could but hear,
then all nature would be
my own symphony, the birds
rejoicing, the bees buzzing,
dogs barking, rolling thunder,
a continuous music to my soul....
If I could but see--ah, what would
a stone see? The deep and ever
breathing beauty of the world? Or
would I see the unraveling of it by
that other sentient being who burns
its forests and dumps what cannot
dissolve in a thousand years into
earth’s proud, awesome oceans...?
But I would treasure my newfound
mind, and seek to thank the Being
that could make even a stone see
and feel and hear and think and
even, in time, perhaps love....
Oh how then I would pity those
born with eyes and ears yet
unable or perhaps unwilling to SEE,
living their lives scurrying about
like blind, deaf and dumb rats
while the Eternal Light bathes all.
Nelson | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 18
Bruce Levine has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. A
2019 Pushcart Prize Poetry nominee, a 2021 Spillwords Press Awards winner, the Featured Writer in WestWard
Quarterly Summer 2021 and his bio is featured in “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020.” Bruce has over three
hundred works published on over twenty-five on-line journals including Ariel Chart, Spillwords, The Drabble; in
over seventy print books including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal; Halcyon Days and
Founder’s Favourites (on-line and print) and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country.
His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. A native Manhattanite, Bruce now lives
and writes in Maine. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com
Dan Fitzgerald lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been published in The
Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work is also included in several
Don Magin, husband (of 1), father (of 5), grandfather (of 15 so far), great grandfather (of 1, also so far) retired
chemist, reborn as a science and math teacher, re-retired, and Santa-Claus-look-alike (Santa never retires!), has
lived in Bon Air, Virginia for 46 years, although he and his wife of 53 years, Margaret, will always call upstate New
York home. He has had stories and poems published in Grand Magazine, Guide Magazine, Central Virginia Poetry
Bard Magazine, The Shine Journal, Sylvia, WestWard Quarterly, Vita Brevis Nothing Divine Dies Anthology, and
many other online and print publications.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review
and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside TJohn Grey is an Australian poet, US
resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books,
“Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana
Turner and International Poetry Review. he Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner
and International Poetry Review.
K Ann Pennington is a social studies teacher who is fascinated by the constructed nature of place in America. She
has traveled over 30,000 miles around the United States by RV in pursuit of her passion. Other favorite pastimes
include examining primary source materials and performing field research on a variety of topics, especially the Civil
War. She wrote the thesis for her M.A. in American and New England Studies during an RV trip where she focused
on the American West. K Ann is working on a historical novel that takes place on the Rocky Mountain frontier just
after the Civil War.
Karen Schnurstein holds a B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in World Literature from Western Michigan
University. Her work has appeared in The Ibis Head Review, Bi Women Quarterly, and Adelaide Literary Magazine.
She lives in Southwest Michigan with her two tabby feline companions.
Nolo Segundo pen name of L.J. Carber, 74, in his 8th decade became a published poet in over 70 online/in print
literary journals and anthologies in the US, UK, Canada, Romania, India and Italy. In 2020 a trade publisher
released a book length collection, THE ENORMITY OF EXISTENCE, and in 2021 a 2nd book, OF ETHER AND
EARTH. Both titles (as do many of his poems) reflect the awareness he's had for 50 years since having an NDE
whilst almost drowning that he has a consciousness that predates birth and survives the death of the body—what
poets once called the soul. He was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2022 by an online journal. A retired
teacher (America, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia), he has been married 41 years to a smart and beautiful Taiwanese
Theresa Baker has been writing poetry since elementary school. Her work has been published in "Scarlet Leaf", "Charles Carter", and
"Calla Press", among others. She lives in Indianapolis with a job at her dream zoo.
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 19
Issue 18 - March 2022
Thanks for spending time
with my favourites.
Founder’s Favourites | March 2022—Issue 18 | 20