Category: HHR Online

Expiration, by Sean Allingham


Not long after the tsunami blocked out the sun and crashed onto the hot sand and swallowed whole the unsuspecting countries of the region, I found myself in the box of a pickup truck travelling a southerly direction. With the floodwaters receded, the wide-eyed dry goods grocer — his wife in the passenger seat beside…

The Itch, by Faith Arkorful


I wasn’t born in this country, but my mother had brought me back to the island when I was young. Here, it got dark at six, every evening, every day. I had gotten used to darkness easily, but I never got used to living without my father.

It was during a dark night, without a semblance…

in the woods, in the dark we saw a light, Joseph Ianni

neithertheforestorthetreesthespacebetweenthatlightshinesthrough forustoseeaflashlightinthenightcomingtowardsuseyesstrainedand waterycryingoutstretchedarmstoblackthewhitewithraysstillslipping pastpalmsfingersdisolvinginthebrightnesswecannothidehereany longernolongerarewehiddenintheribcagesofbranchesintertwinedus preciousoffaltobeharvestedthereisabulletinhisgutcometakeitoutquick orpushbackmyforeskinentermyheadhopeIforgetourtimeinthewoods wherethelightcametoshineonourpleasantmomentsinthedarkwedid notneedlighttomoveaboutweheardeachothersheartsbeatfollowed blindlybybrancheswhenwewalkedintoeachotherwewalkedinsideeach othernoticedourrootsintersectingabovebelowanestofstrangertwigsfall entogetherthreeeggsinsideonlytwointactonecrackedbrokenorbirthed inthewoodsinthedarktheflashlightbatteriesdiewithscreamsscreeches squealsandsqawksechoingbacktowherethelightfirstcame


Joseph Ianni is the third place winner in the 2015 running of the HHLLC poetry contest.

Fair Ground, by Kirsten Peterson

There is a little iron in the stripes
of a Dretske’s zebra
cribbing on white fenceposts.

Ever the absentminded catalyst,
it blows crocodile kisses
past the impartial observer
killing horseflies
beside the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Grandfather constructs out of sugar cubes
and a peppercorn
a function of W.’s truth-concept.
Fly-spotted, he admits –
this is a Muskoka summer

Workplace, by Ben Caughran

having been given my
choice of projects after recent successes
I elected to
take over for the office bulletin board
until the replacement arrives

I stand motionless, facing the wall of the
lunch room sucking in the
scent of nuked tomato as
Cathy microwaves her leftover penne

Tom asks me
how things are going;
I say not…

The Insects That Bite You In Summer, by Jen Batler


a boy, an early hint of the many gin-soaked years

that will hound you and paint you

an asphalt grey with burgundy strokes around the eyes,

a taste for barbecue and cancer and marshmallows,

but mostly, the memory

of a large granite rock worn smooth,

sat firmly in the sand in a shallow portion

of lake lipped with water cool, and slick,


Dreams From Naps, by Rachel Schloss

Pitch black.
Light feigned from the device
like a smile,
and with the closet door ajar,
the email on the screen
flicks back and forth infinitely.


A mattress in…

two poems by Laura Ritland


I can rage like the best of my species.
Make my howls as do the mandrill, bonobo
or siamang. A natural, upright grief, driving
parrots away in fear of the biped. A night of eight
million years gnawing on the same speech––still,


Orbs, by Sheri Wright

Two-time Pushcart Prize and Kentucky Poet Laureate nominee, Sheri L. Wright is the author of six books of poetry, including the most recent, The Feast of Erasure.  Wright’s visual work has appeared in numerous journals, including Blood Orange Review, Prick of the Spindle, Blood Lotus Journal and Subliminal Interiors. In 2012, she was a…

The Noise Outside, by Holly Day

I don’t know how I’m expected to think
with all this nature screaming in my ears
the tiny yellow goldfinches building nests in my hair
the black-and-white juncos pecking at my bare toes
the incessant cackling of sparrows fighting
for a spot on my lap.  I don’t know how I’m supposed to think

over the heavy…