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BEST ENTRIES chosen and published here from a March 4th "Anything Friday" A Short Story A big temple's construction work was going on and under the scorching hot sun. Several laborers were working. I asked on and the same question to three of them. "What are you doing?"
1st One: "Don't you see, I am breaking my head." 2nd One: "I am earning bread for my family."
3rd One: "I am constructing a temple where thousands of devotees will throng daily for worship and pooja. These three sets of replies represent three types of characters. This is what is called ATTITUDE.


© Birendu Kumar Sinha
"Be optimistic in all your endeavors and you will definitely end up thriving." © Ababio Sylvester Owusu FAREWELL KYIV

SIREN SYMPHONY - It started as a low hum like hornets seeking a new hive. Maybe we thought it was sirens rushing to another sudden fire but in the distance we could hear a rush of booming sharp vibrations like a tjello feverishly wailing its melancholy anthem as it was destined to do. We heard the air split unleashing a strained cacophony of alien sounds unknown to us. The rush of feet outside shuffling down the apartment block staircase like foot soldiers marching into a dreaded inevitable confrontation and once we all gathered below we all looked up to strawberry skies and raspberry clouds as the missiles waltzed over us... THE RUSH - Our initial reaction turned us into an army of mannequins with frozen limbs and frosted minds but then the warning echoes urged us to grab what we could and run to the shelters deep underground hurdling loved ones to keep moving as the city erupted in chaos hurtling us into a new and strange sudden alternative catacomb forced existence CHORUS OF WAILING MOTHERS - It dawned on us what this was becoming, this dreaded welcoming of the Russian, sudden attempted culling of our minds, our hearts, our resolve, our souls, our sons, our daughters, our people, our neighbors, our neighborhood, our inherent good, our humanity, but we will never give in to twisted ideologies as our minds remember those before us who told us of a similar holocaust we thought would never ever be witnessed again. No, we refuse to accept this, we denounce this, we will fight this, we will survive this, our spirits will be victorious. LEAVING - Against all odds, alas the worst has begun. Our men, our sons called to arms to protect, save, collect and our daughters too, joining a new cause for freedom, creating a new kind of resistance rhythm as nations condemn and denounce tyranny genocide and inhumane treatment of a free nation. Many have abandoned their cars, others forge ahead whilst a lady falls to the frozen ground praying to God to send a sign of peace and deliver a blessed corridor away from this new chaos, this strange situation of forced grief. LAST TRAIN OUT - A last hug, a frantic embrace, a lingering kiss, a surprising marriage proposal, a silent prayer, a vacant stare, a child carried through a window, a father letting go a baby wailing no! A human chain forming in Ukraine, Zelensky guiding comforting, promising, caring, praying, inspiring, urging pleading, meeting, confirming.

- We will not give up, we refuse to surrender, we are a proud nation, we will overcome, we will be victorious, because our children need us, let us stand strong and resolute as we brace ourselves to be victorious against aggression of the inhumane kind because

We are Ukraine...


© Don Beukes HAIKU Autumn leaves falling
My heart felt love twice and more
Now and then breaking © Lisa L. Penaflor WAR I can hear the sound of missiles
Binding like raindrops from the sky
Heavy thunders of rifles are roaring
Affecting multiple serene creatures

The river is blended with hot blood
Soldiers' children are shedding tears
People of the city are in silent prayer
Seeking peace into the deep sea

Bring tranquility and take away the war.
Turn weapons into intellectual growth
No more biting as if dogs and foxes
Innocent civilians are demising without guilt

Bring civilization to backward people
They're suffering from hunger and danger
Rescue them from the victim of war
They deserve no wars, but peace.


© Faisal Justin Below, photography taken by Bogdana Gageanu from mobile phone. Temple and Wind

The conches crochet a pattern,
invisible yet profound,
in a deep, dark temple,
the sounds are the whispers of the wind,
secrets poured on a tapestry,
eager to decipher the mystery,
is porous any story?
Will t he flags feel the intricacies?
Will spirituality shower her blessings?
Will a carnival celebrate a state of grace?
Will the p poetry flow through the terra,
to bloom roses and radiance?
Will the rivers be overflowing with joy?
Someday, the bells ring,
A bonhomie kindles bonfires,
everything falls in place. © Rupali Gore Lale 2022 (Below, the artwork of Rupal Gore Lale) BEST FRIEND FOREVER

I have traveled to different places
No one wants me to live in their spaces
I am always told to go away
They say that I am not welcome to stay

At night when I croak, they say it is not music
My song is not enjoyable but cacophonic
what can I do, if this is my real voice
It is not pleasing to the ears, for it is noise

Now, I have nowhere to stay
Then I continued to leap and play
At last, I found a beautiful water lily
Who lets me stay in the pond, freely.

"Why are you living alone? asked the waterlily
I told her that I am an orphan, who has no family
"Welcome you to my pond and stay with me."
I don't mind if you croak, just keep me company.

I don't judge people by their outward condition
Your croaking voice is your way for God's gratification
You have a good character and a heart full of kindness
This is what is important if you want true happiness.

My dear friend, look at the heart, not through the cover
As one ages, looks and appearances lose their luster
Good looks and a beautiful voice are nothing
Compared to a good character, which is worth everything.

Thank you, waterlily for accepting what I am
And not telling me, stay away and scram
At last, I have a place to rest called home
And I no longer move around and roam.


© Dolores Lapinid

(Below, the drawing by Dolores)

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