My Wacky Friend, Grief by Nolcha Fox and Barbara Leonhard — Hotel

Thank you, Juan Re Crivello, for publishing this collaboration written by myself (right aligned) and Nolcha Fox (left aligned). Such fun! I find her in my attic rummaging through an old cedar chest filled with broken hearts. She’s donned Mom’s silky wedding dress. But on her head,  Grandpa’s  fedora. Her shoes, Grandma’s slippers. In her... Continue Reading →

Submission Call MasticadoresUSA

MasticadoresUsa // Editor: Barbara Leonhard

MasticadoresUSA is looking for new submissions to chew on. We adore all those poets and writers who have filled our souls with sweet delicacies. A variety of poetry forms, prose poems, flash fiction, fiction, interviews, memoirs, reviews, and more. Surprise us at the potluck.

The summer months are lined up at the banquet table awaiting a menu of your delightful creations. Don’t be shy. Our readers are welcoming! In fact, as of this date, MasticadoresUSA has 56,000 + views and 20,000 + visitors. Your work will be seen and read.

But numbers don’t measure success, it’s our love of writing about what matters. It’s all about our soul work. Our creations touch lives. Build connections. And in a divided world, it’s the writers and poets who lend a healing hand and serve up meals of luscious wisdom to hold us all together.

Join us at the table! Submit your beautiful…

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A Love Letter to Mom: an Ameri-Ku by Barbara Harris Leonhard — Hotel

Juan Re Crivello, the Director and Head Editor for Masticadores, has a new Masticadores blog called Hotel Masticadores House. It is open for submissions for works on grief. I just happened to be working on another poem, an Ameri-Ku, about me and Mom, so I submitted it. Thank you, Juan, for publishing my poem! Submit to Juan... Continue Reading →

“Our hidden flower…” by Barbara Leonhard

For the past half week I’ve felt heavy hearted and physically sore. Today I just had to go back to bed and sleep. I finally realized I was grieving Mom because April 3 is the anniversary of her passing.
It makes me wonder what lies beneath other dark days I have. Did something happen to me that I left buried and hidden? That in some mysterious way became my root, my grounding, and my new blooms?

MasticadoresUsa // Editor: Barbara Leonhard

…. isn’t a secret
as we all till the ground
for the daffodil, 
sprung each spring
before an unexpected snow
that bends our backs so low
we wonder if we can survive
The weight of a lingering winter
We brace the cold, wet tears 
and all hold grief
in a sacred spot
where its roots can uphold us
once the frost melts

Copyright © 2023 Barbara Harris Leonhard
All Rights Reserved

Barbara is author of Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir (EIF- Experiments in Fiction, 2022). A poem from this collection was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2022. Also, on Spillwords, Barbara was voted Author of the Month of October 2021, nominated Author of the Year for 2021, and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. In November 2022, she became Editor for MasticadoresUSA. Barbara enjoys bringing writers together and started hosting open mics and readings on…

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“Who Am I Again?” by Isteb Grah

Isteb Grah’s poem reminds me of my mother, who had Alzheimer’s. Mom didn’t express her confusion in this way although I sensed it and knew what a mangle her mind was becoming. Isteb and I have been corresponding, and her situation now touches my heart. I made an audio of her poem, which I am unable to upload on MasticadoresUSA, where I published her poem today. I would like to add the audio to this reblog.

MasticadoresUsa // Editor: Barbara Leonhard

AllI know about me today - I'm definitely not free. Sometimes my mind is clear, my eyes are open, and I can see. Other days my mind is lost, I can't seeanything but gray orremember a single detail about anything, except I'm in a very dark place. Sometimes I don't know my name or even recognize my own face. During my moments of clarity, I recall a past full of love, family and happiness, but I can never remember how I lost them, and I get mad! To be left in this place, I must have done something very bad. During my dark times, I'm afraid, even terrified at times, because well - Oh man, now I forget. I do remember a deep seated fear of something, but I don't know what, maybe regret? I read my journal and ask everyone I see, “Am I sick.” Sadly, I can never…

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“‘Why Chicken Explodes in the Microwave’ by Nolcha Fox: A Review” by Barbara Leonhard

I invite you to read my review of Nolcha Fox’s new poetry book, “Why Chicken Explodes in the Microwave”. I thoroughly enjoyed her book and hope you will too! Continue on to MasticadoresUSA for the book review.

“Happy National Poetry Day and World Poetry Day!” by Barbara Leonhard

Friends, I have published a post to celebrate National and World Poetry Day and the first day of Spring on MasticadoresUSA. I invite you to read the post…..

MasticadoresUsa // Editor: Barbara Leonhard

And it’s the first day of spring! May each new bloom be a poem!

And have you heard of the World Haiku Project? Among other world and nation celebrations, our Missouri State Poet Laureate, Maryfrances Wagner, is promoting Haiku writing across the state. You can read more about it here.

To celebrate all these occasions, I would like to offer some of my haiku. Please reply in the comments with a haiku if you are so moved.

Snow – a sloppy knife daffodils slump over spring caught unaware *** In silence so long ivy caught my heart and climbed my soul *** Wisdom is a cardinal red on green needles *** Green, pink, yellow in the English Ivy last Easter’s eggs *** Prowling cats hidden fairies sun night *** Atop a rusty shovel a cardinal sings spring songs *** The ocean in a grain of sand fends for itself…

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