Share The Sin

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
It’s time for experience
let’s take a trip tonight.
Leave the mundane with the ordinary
let excess make it right.
Put a strangle hold on strangeness
feed the flames of the insane.
I’ll race you to the ridiculous
we’ll watch our brains blossom again.

If you look into the darkness
you will see a crimson light.
It’s not the Devil watching
it’s the lust within your sight.
You have to sail the boat of broken dreams
to arrive at the shores of success.
Here’s 1 for now and 2 for later
addiction invites you to be its guest.

May I tempt you disgracefully
down the road of ruin with me?
May I tempt your senses
into joining the debauchery?
Find the beast within you
let it join in with the fun.
Feel the need burn within you
stronger than the sun.

Out in the distance
is a place where we must be.
A reality free zone
a hazy sanctuary.
It’s time to face the danger
it’s time to lose and win.
It’s time for mindless pleasure
it’s time to share the sin.


- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Pistons in Her Haunches

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
It's a 50th anniversary dinner
for Bernie and Blanche at the Elk's Hall.
After dessert Blanche grabs the mike
and primes the crowd by announcing,
"Fifty years we've been married
and Bernie's never had a sorry day."
Then Bernie grabs the mike and says
"The nights have been wonderful, too.
Despite her orthopedic shoes, Blanche
still has pistons in her haunches."
In fact, after all these years, Bernie has
but one complaint: Blanche never
gets to the point in any conversation.
It's up to Bernie to decipher the code.

Early every morning Blanche and Bernie
sit in their recliners and sip coffee.
Blanche stares into space and then
jots down on a legal pad everything
Bernie must do before their lovely
Victorian house falls down.
Bernie in the meantime reads
the obituaries with one eye
and watches Blanche with the other
and waits for her head to rear back,
a mule ready to bray a prologue
Chaucer would envy.

Many times Bernie has asked Blanche
to give him the bottom line first.
"Tell me up front what you want me to do
and then fill in the details," he tells her.
But with no bottom line in any conversation,
Blanche makes Bernie feel as though
a python is winding around his chest.
"I know what the python wants,"
Bernie says, "and he'll be quicker."

After 50 years of marriage,
Bernie says meandering by Blanche
in conversation is a small complaint.
He'll never have a sorry day as long as
Blanche has pistons in her haunches
because every now and then,
despite stenosis of the spine,
Bernie likes to bounce off the ceiling.
That bounce, he says, is why
he married Blanche in the first place.


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

Whispered. By Another Whirl.

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Contributor: A.J. Huffman

- -
I want to spiral down
the wings of a marbalized dawn.
All gold and purple. Tinged red.
Would that be tainted? I guess
that would depend on the size
of the haloed hangover hovering like mist.
Desperately wanting to be fog
[gy]. Here at the bottom
of this well (and subsequently my will)
-tailored suite of mirrors, I am trusted
and reflecting nowhere fast.
Inside, this fathomless folly compounds. Me.
Beating [myself] in time to the music
of silent meditation. (And that fucking flute
fathers nothing!) Listen deeper.
Hear me drowning? Not waving.
That cataclysmic cluster sank. On Tuesday,
I’m a Friday girl. All leave, no luster.
Pick me, twist me, watch me fall.
I dissipate in rainbow kisses (still pissed
off at the wind).


- - -
A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has published six collections of poetry, available on Amazon.com. She has published her work in numerous national and international literary journals. She is currently the editor for Kind of a Hurricane Press literary journals ( www.kindofahurricanepress.com ).

Prayer

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Contributor: Anonymous

- -
Thank you for this
the lessons I didn't want to learn
the pain that made the day brighter
sweeter
with the coming of dawn.

Thank you for the long, dark nights
hellish and cold
that broke like fever
when the wounds
at last
were lanced.

Thank you for each cruel, fitful sleep
from which such beauty has sprung
without which
life would be quiet, featureless
cardboard dreams
yielding only
cardboard rewards

Thank you for the blessings
especially those I hate
(at first)
those I curse
(even now.)

Thank you,
because sometimes
pain is its own reward.


- - -

Little Stones

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Contributor: John Ogden

- -
Little stones
and the river is wide
but we try
over and over
we try

until the cold becomes unwarmable
until the heat becomes unbareable
until we starve
because the money has run out

and still, we're not good enough
still, not worthy
of love
of more
than hate
wrapped in stony breath.


- - -
John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

The Greatest Joy

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
For peace to last
that would be the greatest joy
summer mornings
"so sweet
and so cold"
variation within order
the music of lazy ease
rising here and there
rising softly
to a faster chorus
of chaos
light chaos
just gently
the urge to move
the urge to slide
as a snail does
as cattle do
to low
so sweetly
in soft, dawn sun
soft, dawn breeze
of summer.
that would be the greatest joy
(for peace to last.)


- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Queen of a Thousand Deaths

| Filed under

Contributor: A.J. Huffman

- -
I rise, each night, inside this body-
shaped coffin. I am my own
dirt, consecrated
in the church of trial
by fire, I am no phoenix,
no mythical insignia of salvation.
I am a scar, a temporary
scab, a coagulated memory
of pain. Discarded, reticent
piece of trash for the bin.
I border nothing,
straddle the line between forgotten
and ignored. I am waste(d). Here,
let me help you, help me, open
the never-quite-fatal vein.


- - -
A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has published six collections of poetry, available on Amazon.com. She has published her work in numerous national and international literary journals. She is currently the editor for Kind of a Hurricane Press literary journals ( www.kindofahurricanepress.com ).

Those Good Tomatoes

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Chicago, South Side

Late July and I am waiting
for those good tomatoes
brought to the city from farms
on trucks with a swinging scale,
brought to the city
and into the alleys
by Greeks and sons
in late July
and early August,
tomatoes so red they reign
on the sills of my mind all winter
too perfect to eat.


- - -
Donal Mahoney grew up in Chicago when immigrant Greek vegetable vendors brought their trucks down alleys twice a week to sell fresh produce to housewives.

In Dreams

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
In dreams
I float away
I fly
into high
blue abyssal bliss
rise
through dark clouds
of doubt
of loss
pain
long quiet nights
without purpose
or meaning
just
corpses of days
spilling their minutes
like blood
wasted.

In dreams,
I float above
exist above
the sea
the chaos
the anger
the race
the grind.

In dreams,
I weave
in the hopes that the weaving
might come

to me
to be


- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Let your HEAT be HEARD

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Contributor: Mirigold Manovera

- -
Scream your FIRE through the WATERS
let your HEAT be HEARD.
The WINGS you have GIVEN UP
serve NO ONE in the SHEARING.

Pick them up, WEAR THEM.
Proud and wide, WEAR THEM.
Soar with them, WEAR THEM.
and bring HELL to the HELLIONS
who BLAND the COLORS
who DARKEN the DAWN
who MELLOW the EMBERS
and try desperately to DOUSE the LIGHT.


- - -

Odin Gave His Right Eye

| Filed under

Contributor: Eric Carl

- -
Once penned a poem:
"bits of who I am"

So young, so long ago
so much pride
in so few bits
so few years lived.

So little, or so it seems
from here, looking back
back
through lenses of later years
years of wings and wolves
hearts and heartbreaks
through snakes and eights
through suns and sunrises
times when gods were never enough
and Odin gave his right eye
not for wisdom
but for women
(the love of them.)


- - -
I am a writer who lives in Seattle. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and have lived in both Arizona and California.

Sometimes I Try

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Sometimes I try
to render the future
in art.

Sometimes I try
to bring light to the night
set fire to words, worlds
means of being
beings of means
and craft of silence
something deeper
something more.

Sometimes I try
just to be
just to live
without dying
without crying
without being eaten alive
from within
by the demons
hungry to live free
possess me
and keep me locked away
in forever, darkness


- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Joys Of Freedom

| Filed under

Contributor: Shawn Wunjo

- -
You cannot know the joy of freedom
until you lose it
until it is stripped from you
cut from your skin
in pieces
thrown away
trampled
by boots
strong feet
strong hands
heavy with gold.

You cannot know the joy of freedom
until you're forced to steal it back
cut it from the hands that hold it
pull it
hide it
just out of reach.

You cannot know the joy of freedom
until the battle is won
hard won
and years of fighting
have finally ground down
to the simple joys
of a simple life,
simple love
in a simple land.


- - -
Shawn Wunjo is the author of a number of banned books.

Intimitable Intentions

| Filed under

Contributor: A.J. Huffman

- -
The one-eyed hour fans like filigree.
These moguled monsters of angular ascent swarm
in textured metals. Plates,
placed strategically to reflect their trifected shade(s),
dangle like a diagram of dishevel.

The collars swirl like colors
in the mi[d]st. Of aperture

is the question
on everyone’s lips but their own . . . Crimson
lacquer cracks somewhere [beyond
comprehension]. Explodes like silence . . . perfected
is a snap-shot. Decision:
a calculated fold
is the line
of time’s new tone/turn (of bold?)


- - -
A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has published six collections of poetry, available on Amazon.com. She has published her work in numerous national and international literary journals. She is currently the editor for Kind of a Hurricane Press literary journals ( www.kindofahurricanepress.com ).

Fifteen Haiku

| Filed under

Contributor: James Pollard

- -
sweaty nightmarket
fried pork bun juice
burning my tongue

billowy steam
rising off my body
into the star filled sky

flames dancing
the old man turns the skewers
two at a time

forgotten
as the sun sets
leftover snow

the bullet train
doesn't stop to smell
blossoming tangerine trees

a naked woman
soaking in the balcony tub
and morning sunlight

waning moon
hazy in the frosted window
my lover sleeps

summer lake
ripples from a rock
meet clouds

crashing waves
an orange sun
on her face

all alone
the full moon just hangs
all alone

smiling
from the jungle floor
a Buddha head

darkening sky
toads in the garden
waking up

snowflakes
in my eyes; the Haghia Sophia
dressed in white

trapped in the window
shadows play across the room
a fleeting moon

fluttering aimlessly
on a sunny afternoon
a purple butterfly


- - -
Originally from Louisiana, James has lived in several Asian countries for over 16 years. He is currently teaching English to 1st graders in Hong Kong. Composing Haiku is his favorite hobby.

Why Have You Forsaken Us?

| Filed under

Contributor: Vela Damon

- -
they believe he carries the moon
in his pocket, and scatters the
stars from his hand.

it is his whisper that invites
the day, his melody that
gentles the night.

He is God, creator, ruler,
Father, and every man
they will ever love.

I have delighted in the name
mother—

while others have held
his heart and his hand,

what other had held his seed
in their belly? each flutter and
kick a revelation, each push and
pain an agony worth bearing, if
only to witness his joy over
each pink-wrapped bundle,

each tottering first step,
wished-on candle,
frosting-smeared cheek.

what other has heard
the waver in his voice
as the first yellow bus
pulls away, the tiny hand
wave-wave-waves behind
the glass?

what other can recall these moments
that make up a life?

how has he allowed this trespasser
into our most private places, while I
still wear his name and his ring and
the imprint of his fingers?

how has another seed grown into
the shape of _my_ children?

and how do I tell them that the man who
carries the moon in his pocket and the
stars in his hand will no longer
whisper the day into being?

that God, creator, ruler,
Father will no longer
calm the night with
his melody—

too far off to hear, now,
no matter how desperately they listen.


- - -
Vela's short stories have recently appeared in 101 Words, Linguistic Erosion and The Subterranean Quarterly. She lives in Texas with two humans, two dogs and one cat.

Wrens in the Poplar

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
There are peeps
from the wren house
high in the poplar
as the sun peeks
over the roses.
Or maybe I'm wrong.

Perhaps I hear altar boys
reciting their prayers
at the foot of the altar
at the start of a Latin Mass
decades ago in a church
silent now for years.

Whether it's peeps
or prayers I'm not certain
until I see the cat
hunkered like a tank
under the poplar, hoping
to receive communion.


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

Happy Never After

| Filed under

Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
Your eyeliner looks great
around your friend's eyes.
Yours once turquoise blue
look dull next to the skies.
Your hair looks different
or maybe I am wrong?
Maybe it has always been
that miserable all along?
You seem a different person
I actually wish you were.
Then I could be in love
instead of leaving here.


- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

One

| Filed under

Contributor: April Ring

- -
I am no different than you...
Pain has taken residence within my soul...
Waging it's ugly battle...
How I have ran from this pain...
Intentionally created barriers to falsely convince myself that it has subsided...
That I, with all my capabilities had conquered the fear of facing what lies below...
I am like you...
Tired of being hunting by my past...
Haunted...
For I believed long ago...
...I left it exactly there...
In the past...
Instead,
I have turned the corner...
And there it lay...
Awaiting me...
Taunting me...
Showing me that I never took care of anything...
Just buried it...
I am like you...
Enveloped by the pain...
Uncomfortable with myself...
Quietness avoided...
For the mind speaks too much negativity and darkness when it catches you by yourself...
Like the friend that finally collides with you on your path...
But only speaks and breadths sickness...
I am no different from you...
For I too,
Sit before myself and fight being strong...
Only to be shown humbleness in my weakness...
Pushing away help...
Because my ego slaps the extended hand...
You are not alone...
For I have been placed within the darkness...
Beside you...
You may not see my presence...
But
I ... Am... There...
It is now that I rely upon the light so many have reminded me of...
The internal light house...
There to guide me home...
If you are scared...
Don't be...
If you are tired...
Rest with me...
If you are frustrated...
Scream to me...
If you need to let go...
Show me how...
My cries are yours...
Your tears are mine...
If you cannot see your light...
Let mine be a guide for you...
Until yours is found...
For our lights were lighted upon the same flame...
Though we may look differently from the outside...
Inside...
We are the same.


- - -

Coccooned Thunder

| Filed under

Contributor: Nala Jimway

- -
If I could just get free
cut through this shell
spread my wings, glistening in the light
cathedral windows
ready to fly.

If I could just get free
I would be as a thunderstorm
a hurricane
violent and lashing
wind and rain
my fury
my force
my passion.

If I could just get free
each day would be an unfolding moment
of river-flow love
of sweetness
need
and beauty.

If I could just get free.


- - -

I Tried To Die

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
I tried to die
in your arms
in your eyes
in your heart

I tried to die
on your floor
on your lap

on the way
to heaven
you caught me
threw me back

threw me
into your car
as I threw up
the pills
threw up
the future
I thought I wanted.

I tried to die
while I could still keep you
but now
I can only try
to live
through the days
without you.


- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Now or After

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
It's easier for men
these days, Grandpa says,
once they understand
there are two kinds
of women, not just one
as was the case
when he was young.

Grandpa says today a man
can choose between a woman
who wants to go to dinner first
and one who wants to go after.
When he was young, Grandpa says
a woman's preference regarding dinner,
now or after, wasn't a factor.

Back then, Grandpa says,
women were all the same,
as far as he can recollect.
They required a wedding first.
As Grandma told Grandpa
many times while they were dating,
oodles of time for dinner after.


- - -

The Bullet Between us is Soft

| Filed under

Contributor: Chanterelle Atkins

- -
Futuristic recharging stations,
The clicking and motion of brick-red liquid running through tubes,
Being rid of toxins.
Hours pass, my dad, at dialysis.
We take turns reading Wesley McNair’s poems out loud.
Dad tells me one particularly exhausted day,
“The bullet between us is soft.”
I have to pause
To try to interpret.
“Yes, Dad,”
Steadying a tremorring hand.


- - -
Chanterelle Atkins is a native Mainer, living in Wiscasset with her husband, Kevin. She graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College with a B.S. in marketing communications. She is employed as Director of Administration at the Portland-based healthcare consulting firm, Compass Health Analytics, and previously worked at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General and McLean Hospitals. In her free time, she enjoys poetry, picnics, skiing and fly-fishing. She is passionately dedicated to continuing education in the areas of administrative management and human resources, in which she holds professional certifications.

Nothing But Nothing

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
To write quiet into a poem
to write silence
and convey meaning

that
that

that
would be true skill

beauty

To write silence
without a word
convey every word
bring tears
to a reader's eye
with nothing
but nothing.


- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

The Baby, The Scars

| Filed under

Contributor: Shawn Wunjo

- -
They cut the baby out of her
because it was too big to stay
because it wasn't a baby
wasn't anything more
than a reproductive screw up
her body spawned
by itself
with an egg
gone wrong.

Three pounds,
and she's still a virgin
thing has hair,
no face
no body
just sick tissue
parts of organs
aborted attempts
at brain, bones.

She still has it.
They let her keep it,
let her put it in a big pickle jar
she keeps on her desk
whispers to
in the dark
because it's the closest thing
she'll ever have
to a child.


- - -
Shawn Wunjo is the author of a number of banned books.

Not Far From Kabul

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Black bug no bigger
than a pepper grain
rules the bathroom floor.
He's on patrol this morning,
possibly a scout sent out
to determine if predators lurk.

Headed toward my big toe,
he's a slow tank from Afghanistan.
Maybe my toe is his Taliban.
I'm reading the newspaper,
on a cold seat enthroned.

Finally I use my toe to flick him
backward, heels over head.
He lands three inches away,
curls up in a ball
and lies perfectly still.

Maybe he's playing possum
or maybe he's dead.
Suddenly he rolls over,
staggers to his feet
and begins moving again
in a different direction,
away from my toe.
a victim of PTSD.

He heads for the antique
claw-foot tub my wife paid
a thousand for
on a garden club tour.
After a short pause,
he disappears under the tub.

At breakfast I inform my wife
about the infestation of tiny bugs,
species unknown,
that may live in or beneath
our lovely claw-foot tub.
I note they may have come
with the tub, hidden
in its cracks or perhaps

in the cuffs of the men
who lugged the tub upstairs,
groaning and sweating,
both of them sporting gray
ponytails and long beards.
I tell my wife they may be
Haight-Ashbury aliens
from Kerouac's time.

I ask her if she thinks
I should call the antique shop
and have them take the tub
and its bugs back
and demand a full refund.
Silence is her response.

This conversation occurred
more than a week ago.
My wife has been silent since,
a device she has employed for years
when confronted by reason.
She still makes dinner
if cold gnocchi is dinner.
The tub and the bugs
remain upstairs.
Every morning I sit
with the newspaper,
my big toe forever
on silent alert.


- - -
Donal Mahoney has had fiction and poetry published in various print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The Traveller

| Filed under

Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
I am just travelling through
I play no real part.
Stepped in through the wrong door
making my way back to start.
Zigzagging down the straight and narrow
placing sanity on the line.
Hoping the next few adventures
will lead me out into sunshine.
Dancing with the Devil
whistling at the Pied-Piper.
Replacing the people who care
with fork-tongued vipers.
Hiding away my innocence
as far from me as I can.
If you’re my worst enemy
well then, I’m your biggest fan.
so you don’t have to shout and question
to confuse my weary brain.
Save your breath, don’t bother me
for this Traveller’s already insane.


- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

After You

| Filed under

Contributor: Amanda Firefox

- -
I don't want to be here
in your clothes
in your house
in your town
in the wake
of losing you.

I don't want to be here
in the minutes
hours
days

If you'd left work a few minutes later
If the other driver had been more awake
If I hadn't kept you up all night
If there had been less traffic
or more time
or more space
or more
or more

I don't want to be here
in the wake
of losing you.


- - -
Amanda Firefox is a fiery little brunette who spends as much time at the beach as she can manage. She doesn't write much, but when she writes, it's almost always about her favorite subject: boys.

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