A Guiding Hand

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Contributor: Jason Constantine Ford

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Her hand is upon mine with power no other hand can evoke
As she instills a sense of smoothness which I acquaint
With the kind of genius existing in a master brushstroke
From an artist who is empowered to rule with paint.
The feel of her gentle touch is pulsating through each vein
As creative strands are emerging inside my brain.
Her hand endows me with the skill to form the trunk of a tree
With diverse strokes of brown color which blend in harmony.

As I mix blue and yellow to form the color green,
Her hand is leading mine back to the canvas as a guide.
The sight of leaves sprouting up is beauty most serene
Complimented by a set of branches which spread out wide.
With Beauty’s touch endowing me with skill I apply
Upon diverse parts of a canvas, I begin to paint the sky.
From out of a cloudless blue, the sun has now emerged
Upon a masterpiece where strands of Beauty have converged.


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Jason Constantine Ford is from Perth in Australia. He writes Poetry and Fiction and has over a hundred publications in magazines, ezines and journals from around the world.

Best This Way

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Contributor: James Robert Rudolph

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We are bees
careening in blossoms,
ecstatic as Sufi dancers.
Narcotically we thrust ourselves
through pink and red and blue cups,
lissome as Achilles.

We are high summer,
there’s time,
and we are an afternoon in June.

But it’s September now,
it’s late, the sun suspiciously
low--I noticed that. But
the sky is still blue enough,
for today, tomorrow too.

In a gust
harsh and surprising,
that’s how it will happen, quick,
and we’ll be moving on.


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The Art of Killing Time

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Contributor: Neil Fulwood

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Shuffle papers. Jot meaningfully on a blotter
or notepad - a quick flurry of words
punctuated by long thoughtful pauses.

Have several browsers open like the panels
in a triptych; flip between them.
Minimise and restore them in different orders.

Pull files from cabinets. Riffle through them
at length. Jot meaningfully. Take your time
putting them back. Be methodical. Be slow.

Go back through reports from previous quarters.
Shuffle papers. Pull files and compare something
with something else not remotely connected.

Dial internal numbers that don't exist. Sigh
and tut and tap a biro top on the tip of your teeth
as it takes forever for no-one to answer. Hang up.

Research something. Make use of the internet.
Have several browsers open. Toss off a comment
about time management. Take screencaps.

Jot meaningfully. Shuffle papers. Punctuate
with long thoughtful pauses. Dial internal numbers
that don't exist. Hope nobody answers.


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Neil Fulwood is the author of the film studies book 'The Films of Sam Peckinpah'. His poetry has appeared in various print and online journals. He's married, holds down a day job and spends his free time at the pub or the cinema.

Reliance

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Contributor: Jocelyn Mosman

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You are every stretch of tendon,
wrist flexed, then relaxed,
the curvature of a hand,
steady and bent.

You are brain stem activity,
words and pain both flowing
down your spinal cord
until it is too hard to write.

You are mouth and throat,
soft spoken and fragile,
swallowing blood,
choking back heart.

You rely on the body:
hand to write,
spine to stand,
mouth to speak.

As you collapse inward
like a burning house,
all I can do is hold sound
the walls,

resist the destruction,
or flee.

I will not leave.
I will not watch you burn.

I will guide your hand,
until words flow past
unspeakable pain
onto open page.

I will stand tall beside you,
become sturdy,
lumbar vertebrae,
help you climb and stretch.

I will give your voice legacy,
as student, as friend,
next generation of oral tradition
passed hand-to-hand like communion,

but when the house smolders,
the skeleton screams,
the joints crack.
I smell smoke.

As body relies on body,
I rely on you.

I will not leave.
I will not watch you burn.


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Jocelyn Mosman is a junior at Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Politics and English, but she will be attending the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK this fall. She will be competing in the National Poetry Slam this August in Oakland, CA. She has also published two volumes of poetry and is currently working on her third.

Six

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Contributor: Sarabela Deas

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The first,
A wave
A bit of sea foam
Scattering sand.

The second,
She wolf
Seeking puppies
Seeking a pack.

The third
Mountain lion mistress,
Rainbow parade
Glitter in the wind.

The fourth
A lotus amidst the muck
Soft-petalled,
Already rotting away.

The fifth
Fascinating flame
An efreet all black around the edges
Burning everything away.

The sixth
Sweetest snuggle tiger
Soft as cutting claws
Ferocious as a kitten's mew.


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My words come from the heart. There's nothing of the rational mind here.

Time to Spare

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

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Foolishly thinking we
have time to spare
Moving around slowly
as we lose our hair
saving plastic bottles,
someday to reuse
by not taking chances
we have nothing to lose
watching the timer like
we are baking bread
still angry years later
over what someone said
realizing as time passes,
we are born with all we need
everything else is acquired
through modesty and greed
rushing through breakfast
to get out ahead
no matter how fast you are
we all wind up dead
stop to smell the proverbial roses
as you walk along
living life to its fullest
how can that ever be wrong?


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I was born and raised in Ohio and now I live in Florida. I'm married and we have two children. Most important, I'm a Papa. There are a dozen poems on this site and I have a poem printed in "Stormcloud Poets second anthology".

In Break Formation

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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The indications used to come
like movie fighter planes in break
formation, one by one, the perfect
plummet, down and out. This time they’re
slower. But after supper, when I hear her
in the kitchen hum again, hum higher,
higher, till my ears are numb,
I remember how it was
the last time: how she hummed
to Aramaic peaks, flung
supper plates across the kitchen
till I brought her by the shoulders
humming to the chair.
I remember how the final days
her eyelids, operating on their own,
rose and fell, how she strolled
among the children, winding tractors,
hugging dolls, how finally
I phoned and had them come again,
how I walked behind them
as they took her by the shoulders,
house dress in the breeze, slowly
down the walk and to the curbing,
how I watched them bend her
in the back seat of the squad again,
how I watched them pull away
and heard again the parliament
of neighbors talking.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Yeah, I'll Stop Drinking

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Contributor: Thomas White-Kears

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I'll stop drinking
When my heart stops hurting
When the wounds
Only the booze can soothe
Someday close
Someday stop their weeping
And the thought of you
Smiling with some other someone
Slices no deeper
Than the slash
Of a papercut.

I'll stop drinking
When the memory of you
Is just a moment,
Irritating,
A stubborn shit
Soon passed
Nothing more.


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July

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Contributor: J.K. Durick

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These are dark days
dark summer days
with their storms so strong

they tear families apart
knock trees down
blow holes in the afternoon.


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J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Eskimo Pie, Pacific Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Muddy River Poetry Review.

Dark Grey

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Contributor: Ben Riddle

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Dark grey rain whips
my flooded reflection,
flaying my appearance
for my presumption.

How dare I stand
alone before the storm,
while the wind flays
and the river runs?

My smile braves
the monotonous shades;
the stream the colour
of uncried tears.

All it took for me to stand
was deciding to.


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A fourth year student of Political Science and English at the University of Western Australia, Ben is a founding member of the Said Poets Society.

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