Sometimes I Hate Sad Songs

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Contributor: Jun Lit

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Sometimes I hate sad songs.
They make me feel the nights are colder
when you’re away –
in fields of endless greens
or islands of pollen-laden winds
smelling sweet nectary yellows
as you chase mimics of monarchs
regal in their black-lined orange capes.
Those dainty fairies never visit me here.
These sheets aren’t warm enough
to keep them flying
to sprinkle dusts for dream-weaving
into these greying strands thinning
on this stubborn head tirelessly waiting.

As Bruno hits the consummated notes,
I reach the empty pages of a companion book of quotes
but nobody close enough to hear soft murmurs
like one Adele begging for love
in one last night together in some distant abode.
The youthful pitch leaves me envious
and squeezes a pinch as my heart argues
for those wasted chances of holding those hands
or missed opportunities of touching your hair
as I pass the now cobweb-covered chair.
The red velvet cover’s long gone and bald
but the hint of Victoria’s still there

The Old Band wails of our yesterday
when our woes were simpler and far away
as adventures in the jungles of our life of awe
become frames in a passing slide show
of demented mementoes – an array
- this bed is the only place to hide away
and the linens cover reverberating questions
of unceasing why’s and what if’s of illusions
but the care-giving pillows have only mute answers.
For all things and persons come, warm wine and verse,
then most will go frozen into long winters
and only a loving heart remembers
and hums the last sweet song of dying embers,
caring not for the ghosts of lyrics that each beat enters
into that long list of departed love letters
now entombed in graveyards of their volcanic cinders.

Fantasies bloomed
as countless Blue Moons guided
the ylang-ylang scented paths
Tales of you, the Beauty inside,
and I, one Beast on the outside,
blossomed
The rich pink petals have now dropped
But the fruits are golden
and the sprouting of seeds
have never stopped.

Tomorrows may come –
near where Yellow Brick Roads
lead to dead Ends of missed Rainbows,
no pots of gold to find or mend
Yet as a distant Old Harmonica – a rusting friend
I am – blows and gasps struggling for asthmatic tunes,
those still familiar lines – mine’s not a Wooden Heart –
when the now creaking knees had once danced
cha-chas, boogies, swings
but promised the Last Waltz with you, tarried
but not tired. The acid-washed jeans are now faded,
but the double-stitched Love we have
endures
And again
I am Always – Right Here Waiting . . .
For You.


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Jun Lit (or Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology in the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He also writes poems about nature, people and society.

Prometheus Should Have Doubled down for More

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

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Sitting here
where the sky falls,
where the rain pours,
where the gods weep,
where the season shifts,
where the air growls,
where electric wonder
becomes second nature,
I can only smile
as my spine shivers
from a kundalini force
that packs a punch.

Breathe into me
with your sacred whisper
as my bones shake,
as my flesh sighs,
as my blood churns,
as my hope soars,
as my dreams scream,
as my heart opens
to the sound of your voice,
and I will promise
eternity and more
even if I must steal time
straight from the source.

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Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found.

our satellite

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Contributor: Karly Westfall

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a stranger in night
illuminated, still far,
true contradiction.

captivating goddess,
more brilliant in darkness,
ruler of the tides.

an intimate bond,
once. she converted each day,
a stranger yet again.

once exposed, now hidden.
classified with multiple
versions of herself.

each her, still golden
rarely touched, but defiled
by each foreigner.

she forgives and watches
her offenders from afar.
they remain praised.

foolish, we worship
violators; named heroes,
corrupt travelers.

yet they continue,
venturing new ways to touch
her, with tools and body.

still unaware these
journeys not for harm, our only
concrete holiness.


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Pretty Baby and the Poem

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Contributor: Michael Kagan

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Don't worry pretty baby
Poems will take us to heaven
The poem and I formed a friendship
When a mystery led me to his lair
He's taken me under his wing
Pointing out impending collisions
And arguable fantasies
That refuse to listen
The poem's more relative
Than a brother
When you stop and think
Just how much he knows
Reading me deep inside
I feel anxious
When a poem mouths off
Explaining how you cut to the chase
Hard lessons make you listen
The poem knows
If not for him reminding magic
Between the pages
At the heart of things
Human beings
Would walk round and round
back and forth
Until youth shriveled
And their feet fell off
Don't worry pretty baby
I believe
The dream in a poem
Will take us to heaven


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Michael Kagan is a jazz musician residing in Canada. Published on thepoetcommunity.com

Wind Storm

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Contributor: Susie Sweetland Garay


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The wind raged outside
when we woke up
this morning

but it did not
feel angry,

perhaps instead
she was showing us
her power

through her lament
for the broken ground around us
and all of our children who did not go to sleep safe and warm.

The wind blows hard
and I watch the petals fall
from our magnificent magnolia

and I feel somehow cleaner
than I did before.


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Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Susan Sweetland Garay currently lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry. Her first full length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013 and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014. Her second collection, Strange Beauty from Aldrich Press, was published in 2015.

Lovers

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Contributor: Sara Abend-Sims


I’m back
here, mourning
the ground’s far below

I look through the curtain
to where you net-in the fish
fearless, silver sheen

I reach to where you screened off
my ghost state of inwardness
with milky breath of death

Where your vapor-veil
of opalescence is damming
our floods - condemning

Back here
I'm drifting in hung waters
suspended in blurred air

Smudged invisible drowning


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Sara Abend-Sims started as a visual artist and is now weaving images into words.
Her poems, short stories and Haibuns are published online, in anthologies and in hard copy mags.
She is the recipient of two first award prizes (Community Literary competitions – 2009; 2015).

Secret Identity

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Contributor: JD DeHart

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No one has to be reminded
to wear a mask or make up a vigilante
pseudonym. It comes natural.

We are all performers.

No one has to pause and invent
stage directions. The tap dance has
begun. We are at the third repeat
of the chorus by now. God, how I wish
I had taken some lessons first.

In the absence of an audience, we
practice lines, listening to them bounce
off the walls. Projecting a polished
self, we hide the secret of obvious
frailty and isolation.

The words of a wise old man I know:
We are all just people playing our part,
trying not to look like fools in this phase,
or to wrap it in cliché: We fake it
‘til we make it. Whatever it is we are making.


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On Tippy Toes

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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On tippy toes
with arms outstretched
my grandson asks

how old are you
and so I tell him
I'm sooooo old

that when I stretch
my arms like his
to exercise them

vultures land and
caucus there.
My grandson says

he puts his arms out
so robins will build
nests on them

and raise their chicks.
He never takes a nap
because he has to keep

his eyes on the clouds
to shoo away hawks
circling for supper.


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Kiss of Death

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Contributor: Gale Acuff

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Why don't you close your eyes when you kiss me,
my wife asks, just after we do. And how
do you know I don't, I say, when you
have your eyes open? I'm checking, she says.
Well, you don't trust me then, I say. That's right,
she says, because you don't do it. You don't
close your eyes. You're missing the point, I say.
If your eyes were closed then I'd never know
whether mine are or aren't. I know, she says.
And that's the point. We're about to break eye

contact. It won't be pretty. One of us
is bound to look away first. Already
I see what I'll be seeing--the window,
and the outside I can't quite focus on.
There's an apple tree out there, and a nest.
The apples all have worms. The nest is bare
--it was there last year and just as empty.

That's if I look to the right. To my left
there's the sofa, where we used to make out
after we were married. Above it, Still
Life with Oranges. I hate that damned thing.
Her turn now: look to her left and she'll see
a corner without a corner table
to break it up, those walls and right angles.
Hard right, the right armrest of the sofa,
sans doily, because I sleep there some nights
when I can't sleep in bed with her in bed,

and my head pushes it off the armrest
and it disappears on the other side.
We can't see it but we know it's there. It's
wrinkled. We forget that it's gone. Let it
go. We should never have gotten married,
she whispers. She's weeping. You don't love me,
she says. She tries to walk away but I
hold her by the shoulder. Kiss me, I say,
as if it is our first kiss and the last,
both together. Huh, she says. Close your eyes,
I say. She does. And I close mine. Don't peek,
I say. I won't, she says. On three, I say.
On three, she says. Ready, I say. Ready,
she echoes. One. Two. Three. Our four blind lips

meet for the first and last time, together.
Smack. I open my eyes. She's opened hers,
or they were never closed. It's too late now.
What about all the kisses in between,
she says. What about them, I say. Can't we
kiss and include them all with the first and
last and make one really big terrific
kiss. No, I say. Why not, she says. Because
that would be too much for us to handle,
I say. That would be the kiss of death. Oh,
she says. That makes sense. But it doesn't.


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I've had poems published in many journals and have authored three books of poetry. I've taught university English in the US, China, and Palestine.
--(Mr.) Gale Acuff

Playoffs

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Contributor: J.K.Durick

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It comes down to this in so many things
a series or two with your usual opponents
the same ones you have faced so many times
before that you know them well, but in this case

familiarity has bred more than just contempt
has bred an edge, built your defense, your offense
around what you know is coming, each move
each counter move, you trained, you practiced

viewed charts, scouted, consulted, even prayed
these are the big ones, the final ones, the ones we
face alone, we go into them hoping to survive
but we know that the finals are just that, final

and after there’s finally nothing more.


- - -
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, 1947, Stanzaic Stylings, Synchronized Chaos, and Algebra of Owls.

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