Featured Read of the week is . . . Atena Hygiea Asclepia o Pachamama by Stephen Page

art: “Caught in the Crack” ~ Thomas Riesner

Stephen Page’s flash, Atena Hygiea Asclepia o Pachamama, has been chosen as the read of the week on Mad Swirl.

read it here: https://madswirl.com/blog/2023/03/the-best-of-mad-swirl-03-04-23/

Atena Hygiea Asclepia o Pachamama

photo “Set/Rise” by Tyler Malone

Stephen Page has a flash published on Mad Swirl. Read it here:


or read it here:

Atena Hygiea Asclepia o Pachamama

Today, Atena will massage me for the first time in three years. COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions caused me to be stranded in the country of Cáscara for over two years. Atena, when the shutdowns were lessened, moved to another province in Orotina to escape the concentration of contagion.

She has such good energy. She is divine. As she massages me, she plays a CD with sounds of sea waves hissing over sand, birds softly chirping, air swishing through pines, and a woman chanting in Sanskrit. That all together removes my spiritual and muscle aches. As she massages me, I feel bad energy flowing out of my body and good energy seeping in.

Atena is poor, so we offered for her to live in our house while she visited Malos Aires.


Atena has COVID. She self-administered a home test after she had been in bed since she massaged me almost 36 hours ago. She wore a mask while she massaged me, and I thought that the mask was courteous but rare. Hardly anyone is wearing masks anymore. Her masked face hovered over me as she kneaded, rubbed, and palmed me. I did not wear a mask. I have been vaxed and double boosted. Just the last few days mark the first days I have not worn a mask when people visited my apartment. I also stopped wearing a mask in the apartment elevator, in cafés, in pharmacies, in clothing stores, in grocery shops. I started to feel out of place, as people here in Malos Aires are acting as if the virus is past tense.

Today I read on a social network post that another one of the contacts I follow has contracted COVID, as has the president of the United Colonies. Yes, their symptoms are less severe as were those who became infected before the vaxes, yes, the new COVID infected don’t die or become hospitalized, they have a light cough, a mild sore throat, a minimal fever, a dainty headache, a ceremonial restriction to their homes for a few days, but, has Atena become infected with a new variant? My wife has been close to her, nursing her as she lay in bed complaining of not feeling well. My wife, not wearing a mask, has been with her, in the same bedroom, before she took the test. Should I kiss my wife, dine with her, sleep with her?

I look out my office window, at the dying plants on the balcony, at the black winter-dormant vines clinging to the next-door building wall.

editors note: Life hits harder now, it seems. Death still throws punches, though. It never stops. ~ Tyler Malone. Photo “Set/Rise” by Tyler Malone.

Dove, Sahms and reutter at Moonstone March 1st

Live and on Zoom on March 1st

7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Follow this link to zoom link https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/live-poetry-reading-2/




Here is the reading on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD3OX9ZKk6A

“The Machines” by Stephen Page

art: Laguna Noon by C’est Symbolique

read story here: https://www.flashfictionnorth.com/recentfiction

or here:

The Machines by Stephen Page

I wake up, prepare coffee, and carry a cup to my home office. I try to start working. Nothing. I open the curtains on the window. Cloudy. I turn on the computer to check the weather. Cool, but not cold. 

     Today my weight-resistant machine and my stationary bike should arrive. They should fill the void my black leather nap/reading couch once occupied. A Sager once came to our home and said something bad happened on that couch. I looked at the floor when she said that.

     I will miss my couch, but my office now feels clean of bad energy. 

     I listen to the birds singing outside my office.

*This story first published on Flash Fiction North

Six poems by Diane Sahms and Three poems by g emil reutter at Home Planet News Issue #10

art © Jadina Lilien: Wild With Spirit-3

Diane Sahms’ poems: 10-Poetry Page 22 – Home Planet News

rt © Lynn Marrapodi: 6X8Sunflowers #2

g emil reutter poems: https://homeplanetnews.com/10-poetry-page-64/

Home Planet News: https://homeplanetnews.com/

Visit D & g here: https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/

Three Poems by Akshaya Pawaskar

North of Oxford

Becoming a part of history
This is how we start becoming
a part of history.
It starts with a sense of power
and ends in powerlessness.
It starts with pyrrhic profits
and ends in lost time.
It starts with gods
Walking everywhere
on human feet and
ends with befriended
demons staring back
from mirrors.
It starts with being invincible
and ends with defeat.
It starts with raising dust
and ends as deposits
of sediments
of a bygone epoch.
It starts with hate
and ends with war.
What color is the rain you see
What color is the rain you see,
What of the wind?
Does it paint you, red,
When it caresses you
Or is it pink and thinned?
What are the hues of April, there?
Does the sun set with a purple tint?
How does your eye see the beauty
in changing shades of God’s ink?

View original post 318 more words

The Repertoire: The Wise Owl Poetry Yearbook 2022

with a poem by Stephen Page

Read the flip book edition here: The Repertoire: The Wise Owl Poetry Yearbook 2022

The Yearbook has been printed on glossy 120 gsm paper and is a collector’s item. Those interested in procuring a copy may write to Administrator, The Wise Owl Imprint at the email editor@thewiseowl.art – electronic editions available also.

J-\bout the Poet Stephen Page and the poem:

Stephen Page

Stephen Page is part Native American. He was born in Detroit. He holds degrees from Palomar College, Columbia University, and Bennington College. He has 4 books of poetry published. He loves his wife, long walks through woodlands, nature, solitude, peace, meditating, spontaneous road trips, motorcycles, smashing cell phones with hammers, dog-earing pages in books, and making noise with his electric bass.


you say. 13?

My, how he has grown since the pandemic

I wish we could see him,

Visit him, hug him, tell him I love him.

Everything has change.

I remember holding him, he was weeks old

I remember feeding him apple sauce, pushing his stroller so he could see trees,

So he wouldn’t be inside all day staring at his

mother’s back.

I remember holding his hand and walking by houses to kindergarten,


I taught him to count, to know colors, the

To enter the covered slide alone

And I would wait at the bottom to catch him.

He was naturally well behaved, (except for those terrible twos),

I taught him how to box, defend himself physically

and verbally,

How to talk to girls.

I see his face on video calls,

He says he is OK, but his face says DEPRESSION:

war has changed everything.

-Stephen Page

Bennington MFA Publication News

As of December 16, 2022

James Dickson (MFA ’11) has published two poems, “Safety Drill, 2022” and “Learning to Shut Up,” on Anti-Heroin Chic.

Jack El-Hai ​​​​​(MFA ’09) wrote about how he discovered, wrote, and sold a strikingly distinctive magazine article to The Atlantic, “Origins: Three Nudist Sisters,” for Medium.

Daryln Brewer Hoffstot (MFA ’16) wrote about the majestic beauty of a beloved and fading tree, “Giving Thanks for a Beloved Sugar Maple,” for The New York Times.

Danuta Hinc (MFA ’16) published an essay, “ME TODAY: I needed to come up from under the wave,” in Popula

Craig Holt (MFA ’21) published a short story, “Fulfillment,” on Jersey Devil Press. “Fulfillment” has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Lisa Johnson Mitchell (MFA ’18) is a Finalist in the London Independent Story Prize competition for her short story, “Reunion.” 

Elisabetta La Cava (MFA candidate) has won second place in the Hispanic Culture Review‘s Poetry prize category for her poem, “We Had Peace.” She has also published an essay about the process of becoming a U.S. Citizen, “The Interview,” in Another Chicago Magazine.

Aaron Muller (MFA candidate) has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his short story, “The Heart In The House,” published in Cold Signal (Issue One).

Michelle Oppenheimer’s (MFA ’13) poem, “Amy Winehouse is Dead” published on Literary Mama, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Stephen Page (MFA ’08) has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his poem, “One Horn,” published in Black Fox Literary Magazine.

Moriel Rothman-Zecher (MFA candidate) wrote about “the Magic of Writing at Sunrise,” for LitHub.

Jason Russo (MFA ’25) has published poems in three different journals this month. “Major Perk” has been published by The Schuylkill Valley Journal“Sorry” and other poems on Harpy Hybrid Review, and “4 Poems” on Forever Magazine.

Diana Ruzova (MFA candidate) wrote about “How to shop at a farmer’s market without getting overwhelmed,” for the LA Times.

Anamyn Turowski (MFA ’19) published a short story, “Orbiting Jupiter” in J Journal. “Orbiting Jupiter” has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.