Lambs to the Slaughter

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

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To the rulers
Subjects are lambs
Which can be moulded
Cajoled or ordered
To follow
Any policy - sound or shallow

To the rulers
Subjects are lambs
That can be tortured
Or slaughtered
To stay in power

To the rulers
Subjects are guinea pigs
To implement totalitarianism
In the garb of democratic freedom

To the rulers
Subjects are constant threats
As their mass mobilization
Leads to protests and revolution

To the rulers
Enlightened masses
Are the ultimate cause
Of their downfall and demise

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The writer from anywhere and everywhere , supports any one working without fear and anger.


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Contributor: Megha Sood

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I always
what will be engraved on my epitaph
my goodbye note
to the living breathing soul
the reminder
the words of wisdom from a fallen soul
who has dragged itself
through the mundane life
and bore its intricacies
in the pores of her body

How can I tell the living
that how the
words were once spoken
by the sullen mouths
and the black souls have seeped
slowly inside my soul
dripping forever
making that tapping noise
and breaking the eternal silence and
imitates the raindrops
flowing through
the engraved letters of my epitaph.

How I can be ignorant
of the all the beauty
imbued in the souls around me
living in vapid glee
and wallowing their carnal desires
and blowing and puffing smoke
through the untrammeled thoughts in the
their resplendent minds

I wonder,
my eyes are widened
by the sheer thought
running through my mind
How the mere letters
those syllables
the art
on my epitaph
can do any wonders
to which my living soul was denied.

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Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing poetry editor at Ariel Chart and a collective member/editor at Whisper and the Roar, GoDogoCafe, Candles online and Free Verse Revolution.Her 200+ poems have been published in numerous poetry journal and magazines.She recently won NJ NAMI Axelrod Poetry competition.Her poems have appeared the anthology "We will not be silenced" by Indie Blue Publishing.

The Greatest Love Of All

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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Here’s to a breakfast appetizer
The start of another day
Waking to the loved one
Brought from miles away

The longing we thought would last forever
Is gone with a single kiss
That brings the joys of a lifetime
Filled with days of bliss

The golden days of every day
The passion we’ll always feel
A love that will last forever
And ever because it’s real

Simple joys like holding hands
Or walking in the snow
Mem’ries in the making
To last as long as we’ll know

Happy times through summer
Winter, spring and fall
Gathering momentum through the years
The greatest love of all

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Bruce Levine, a native Manhattanite, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. His literary catalogue includes four novels, short stories, humorous sketches, flash fiction, poetry, essays, magazine articles and a screenplay His works are published in over twenty-five on-line journals, over twenty books, his shows have been produced in New York and around the country and he’s the author of the novellas Reinvented and An Accidental Journey. He lives with his rescued Australian Shepherd, Daisy.
His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his wife, dancer/actress, Lydia Franklin.

Raging Dumb Hunger

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Contributor: Jayvette Mortinsen

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The demanding gets worse
They come in droves
I reach through the flood, begging, shackled
Why can't they follow protocol?
Why do they horde in the doors?
Why do they ignore
Everything I say
Pushing through
Pushing and growling
desperate and grumbling
fuming and foaming
taking everything
shoving everywhere
raging in dumb hunger

Believe in a future, they say
How can we
when everything practical
is falling apart

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Jayvette works in the service industry. She believes you can see the cracks that will lead to the fall of civilization in the way people treat service industry workers.


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Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

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At one time I talked with myself, almost daily,
but now, we don't say much these days.
I think I hate myself now. Absolutely!
I walk a street adorned with peppermints
skipping yes skipping along, hitting the bong,
long deep breaths and the pond is but a sheet
wavering glass spied through the smoky haze.
The ducks and geese are static, just decoy fakes,
never moving, never moving. I want them to fly!
I thought I killed myself off some years back, but
once again, like a mosquito in summer, I return,
yes, return but yearning for that taste of a bullet.
I cry for the children dressed in their best finery
crosswalk bound, guided by the blind and aged,
off to learn of life, giggling and laughing, laughing
as the two percent milk curdles in the winter's sun.
At one time swallows soared through bare willows.
I argue with myself as I sit on a bench, I'm askew.

(Cyrenaicism (n) \ˌsir-ə-ˈnā-ə-ˌsi-zəm, - an adherent of the doctrine that pleasure is the chief end of life.)

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Ken Allan Dronsfield is a poet. He loves writing, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa, Turbo and Yumpy. He lives for the day, and believes in Mermaids.

Melancholy Comfort

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Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

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Dedicated to Rebecca Pitman

Keep the blinds closed.
Draw the drapes.
Touch the shadows.
Ask them their names.
They will keep you company
here in the moondark
as the heft of night’s emptiness
presses down.
Pour them a drink.
Be still.
The smooth slide of bourbon
coats the curves of the crystal.
Soft and sharp blend as one.
Cry just a little.
No one will see.
Only the darkness that enfolds you
in its vague gray haze.
Wait for the morning.
Throw open the dark.
Watch it retreat.
The sun will then come
and call out the shadows again.
Wait for their embrace.

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I began writing poetry again last spring after a 30-year hiatus. This poem was written for my daughter, Rebecca, after her husband, Kevin Nagle, died on 11/26/18.

Words On A Page

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

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Words of sadness
depressing and dark
Are they mine
Did I write them
Why, when, how-
Where did they come from
Without hesitation,
Without fear
Words appeared on a page

Did I mean them
Are they accurate
Did they reflect
what I felt I knew
Words on the page
come from the heart,
come from the soul
Words unspoken
which should have
been said

Words on a page
tell a closeted tale
I read them
and again
I ponder
I pause
I cry

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A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her deepest emotions.

Last Cigarette

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Contributor: Mark Tulin

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Under the elevated train,
surrounded by steel girders
and screeching wheels,
cold water drops
down from the rafters
onto my head.

I never complain.
I never cry.
I bathe in the water,
feeling blessed
by the abandoned angels
above the dark red sky.

I watch the traffic lights
that never change.
Traffic lights
that flicker and sway
with the wind
and rain.

I hear bruised women cry,
mistreated like barking dogs.
Johns with black eyes,
getting rolled by pimps
in dark alleyways.

I feel another raindrop on my dusty pate
as I hear the rumble of a passing train.
I know my life is how it’s supposed to be.
I’ve come to accept this plight
as I take a drag from my last cigarette.

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Mark Tulin is a poet and short story writer from Santa Barbara, California. He’s published in Friday Flash Fiction, Vita Brevis, smokebox, Page and Spine, and Fiction on the Web. His poetry chapbook is called, Magical Yogis, and his website is Crow On The Wire.


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Contributor: Susie Gharib

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He looked askance at my supervisor's door.
I told him she’d be back in an hour or so,
As I walked past him down the narrow corridor.

He stood transfixed as if mesmerized
By my chestnut hair, my candid eyes,
Viewing me with the cutest mouth
On which presided a half-formed smile.

I do not recall how he invaded my life.
He belonged to a different academic tribe
But veered allegiance to my sacrosanct site!

We went for walks down the river Clyde.
With modest French he paused to describe
What Mallarme wrote of refracted lights.

His addiction to see me grew out of control.
He pinned a word-effigy on my study's door,
Every time he came but found me not.

I grew uneasy at his errant darts.
He captivated my mind, but not my heart.
The patter of rift echoed in my mind.

One evening he spotted a date amongst
A pile of letters I was sorting out,
February the thirteenth ruffled his brows.

He said it must have been a Valentine's,
I said: 'Indeed, a Mr. Wilde's,
The father of my illegitimate child.'

He stared at me in dire disbelief
But knew me incapable of deceit.
My tale crackled with new-spun deeds.

His visits eventually petered out.
My tarnished image had drenched his sparks.
I thought it better than breaking his heart.
Or perhaps it cracked.

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Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Since 1996, she has been lecturing in Syria. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various magazines.


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