Found in an Attic: World War II Letter to a Wife

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
When I get home
things will be the same.
I haven't changed.

The sling
comes off the day
I get on the plane.

I'll be able
to cut the grass,
rake the leaves,

shovel the snow,
all the stuff I did before.
And every morning

in summer, fall,
winter and spring,
when we wake up,

I'll draw rosettes
with the tip
of my tongue

on your nipples,
await your orders to
bivouac elsewhere.

Nothing has changed.
I'm feeling fine.
We'll cleave again.


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

Strength

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Contributor: Robin Goodfellow

- -
Eroded buildings sleep upon vain memories, though scorching warmth cascades from poisonous air. Sirens silently plead for pain undone, all the while writing within pages of neglect, shadows etched into the words. Crimson caresses callous white, as it quietly watches dreams course by, like a child curiously reflecting the world around it, or a lullaby mesmerized by its demonic
symphonies.

Time marches along moral boundaries, and keeps going after everything’s been said and done, after every insult under the sun had finally relinquished its self-control. Until emotions are rung out good and dry, the human heart evanescent in bittersweet
melodies.

Families and friends, lovers and beloveds, heroes and the forgotten. I see tears fall, wracked against wrangled, lifeless bodies. Unanswered prayers,all the while screaming why why why why why why,
echoing silently against my mind. I see them all, sitting around an icy hearth, serenity adorning them.

Hearts torn asunder, with crestfallen faces
staring down the same destruction; innocent
breaths stolen, empty cradles with empty dreams in the emotionless fray.

But they ask for more.

Always for more.

Kept hoping, though hopeless cries resound against the air.
Kept fighting, though they’ve been trampled beneath their society over and over again.
Kept loving, though they’ve stitched their already beaten down hearts many times over.

I love you. Don’t go. Please stay. Once long ago. Discipline. Do your homework. Take out the trash. Kiss me. Hug me. Tuck me in and say goodnight. Love. Cherish. Sorrow. Anger. Contentment.

And as I stand, I see their fallen, weary souls.

But those still souls come to me, smiles upon their faces, as they kiss their loved ones goodbye. As they fade with their mercies in hand, the angels calling them home.

I turn away, just as they vanish. I linger near their loved ones, before closing my eyes.

I love them, those unanswered prayers.

I love them.


- - -

Unspoken love

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Contributor: Pranab Ghosh

- -
Is it a pretension
Or a confession?

Is it a soliloquy
Or a dialogue
Spoken under
The breath?

Is it spoken
At all?

The unspoken love;
The subdued desire;
The parting touch;
The spoken words-
The offer and the
Rejection…

Is this poetry?


- - -
Pranab Ghosh is a journalist, blogger and poet. His poems have appeared in Dissident Voice, Scarlet Leaf Review, Tuck Magazine, Hans India, Literature Studio Review and this magazine among others.

Pursuit of Perfect Me

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Contributor: Ellie S. Vend

- -
To start with nothing
to start with hard dirt
to start with clay over concrete
with rusty nails
and shattered glass
to start with salt and ashes
to start with hands
and dig
until your nails are chipped
until your palms are worn
and bleeding
to see tiny drops
become tiny seeds
to see trees
soaring between earth and sky
to see miracles
come to life in increments
to see change
in hours spent like seconds
in years spent like days


- - -

I Tell Him

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Contributor: Stacy J Maddox

- -
I tell him I love him,
but I don't know
if it's more
to convince him
or me.
Maybe both.
I'm not in love
with him
anymore, not like
I used to be.
I'll always cherish
the moments
that he touched
my very soul
where no one
came before
and we soared
through the Cosmos.

But my light
for him
has dimmed
and I don't see
him shine
like a bright,
new silver coin,
any longer.

I tell him
what my heart
no longer feels.


- - -
Stacy Maddox is a varied hobbyist & artist, living in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS USA. She loves to soak up the sun by the river and feel the water rush over her feet while spending time with her family and friends. Stacy has had her writing and visual art pieces published in over 30 books, print magazines and websites.

Butterfly Hurricanes

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Contributor: Sam Ballard

- -
So many times, I've heard the howling
of nature herself arising,
frothing
the boom of liquid stone
the churning of the earth
about to fountain
as if waiting for you and I
to go up in flames

And all those car accidents
all the violent crashes
that came when you cried
as if the tearing between us
was tearing at the fabric
of too-fragile reality

Ripples,
the little ripples we make
all the rage and pain
of a pair of butterflies
and all of the hurricanes
that follow in our wake.


- - -
Sometimes, when my fingers find the strings of my favorite instrument, I still think of you.

Unattended

| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
Lonesome party with few voices
standing listlessly beside the lunch
Perhaps I should just pace?
I'm so good at pacing.

Also finding myself frequently
in the place of meting out hard
truth in an otherwise polite
conversation. Steering away
from controversy but always
circling back to it.

A restless introvert, a nervous
extrovert, walking balancing act,
offering small munchables
to swallow the evening.


- - -

Where is Irrelevant

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Contributor: Wyatt Mitchell

- -
Out the window. Down the street. Across town. Screaming desperately. Crying echoes into the night. Alongside sirens and alongside fright. Disco terrors. Blood out of sight. What does this mean? What do others write?

Don’t question a wordsmith by his ways. His spoken word goes on for days.

Don’t you see him? What will you say? Why is his life your price to pay? You don’t own him. You don’t even know him. You can’t see his potential let alone to show him. What would you ever owe him? Respect and basic human rights?

The definition of poverty. Fighting for equality. Dehydrated. No money. No appetite. Just hungry. He hasn’t eaten. Not for weeks. His throat is dry. He barely speaks.

Is this what you meant by diversity?


- - -

MAY YOU ALWAYS REST

| Filed under

Contributor: Stacy Maddox

- -
You asked if I had seen the pain
To your brave and troubled past
The hungry need in your eyes
Truth revealed at last

My heart cries out
Your broken soul bleeds
To touch the sting
And know what it means

Suffering has been no stranger
Haunting every dark door
It comes as relentless waves
Like tides chasing the shore

The sun has set too many times
Leaving no sign of light
All hope bitterly lost
Closing in for the night

Love has come and gone
Lonely paths and unshed tears
Unfinished and never forgotten
Timeless, through passing of years

I want to take away
The hurt that you feel
Show you a genuine love
That is more than real

Come soft to my waiting arms
Lay your head on my breast
Safe at home, sleep sweet
May you always rest.


- - -
Stacy Maddox lives, dreams, tends her gardens and writes in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS, USA. Indulging her time in the outdoors, connecting with nature, walking the Kansas River trails and discovering new photo opportunities, is one of her greatest pleasures in life. Stacy has been published in over 25 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Easter at the Nursing Home

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
When bread
is this good
a morsel

will suffice
and when wine
is this good

a sip is enough
for the wraiths
and specters

coming toward
the altar now
on crutches

walkers
in wheel chairs
celebrating

the last Easter
some of them
will know

as they await
a resurrection
of their own.


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

Soft Shelled People

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Contributor: Michael Kagan

- -
Now I tell you to breathe
Into your poem deeply
As deep as my love for the sea
And the creatures that left
Their shells behind
Rocking back and forth
Empty on the sand
Where did they go without their armour
Soft shelled people in a world gone mad
The capacity to engage in battle
Going blind inside the insanity
If you breathe into your poem
With all your love
It may not have to be this way


- - -
Mike Kagan has been a professional jazz musician throughout his life and has recently discovered his love of poetry as well as music and has been recently published .

Genocide of Pins

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Beneath the bowling-alley
bar marquee
the rain tonight

hammers off
the concrete.
Inside, beer flops

bottle into glass.
Beyond the bar,
bright lights

reveal a Bowler’s day:
fluorescent shirts
red, yellow, green,

and everywhere
a roar so loud
one can barely hear

the genocide of pins
slain by balls
a lifetime now in transit.


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

Shave Away The Pain

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Contributor: M. Elhaz Eir

- -
It's about freedom
not fetish
it's about feeling
about being
your highest self
striving
to shave down
all the rough edges
turning every angle
into a curve
until you are you
until you can look in the mirror
and smile
and see
someone you recognize
see you
the inside on the outside
for the first time
in all the dysphoric days
of your upsidedown life.


- - -
Pseudonym for nonbinary poet exploring transgender issues.

Shades of Brown

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Contributor: Jacob Santos

- -
My blood flows like a crossroad
tempting those craving answers.

My heart is a soldier with no fears of fighting,
in a war without a victor.

My eyes are sirens singing canciones romanticas
as they sink their victims.

My skin is carved with the
memory of those long lost.

My body is made of stardust from the tears
of the unjust August.

My rhythm is the rough corridos of Sunday afternoons.
My rhythm is the surgical strike of a marimba’s bar.
My rhythm is the silky sway of merengue.


- - -
Jacob Santos loves church. Especially when he waits outside to sell Pupusas to the exiting parishioners. He listens to the stories of his elderly customers which will later on be his own. His work has appeared in Eskimo Pie, Teen Ink, A Day with Graham-Pa, and Forced Entries.

Forgive Me

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Contributor: Wyatt Mitchell

- -
I’m unable to identify what exactly is haunting me.

Is it that I love myself yet struggle to believe anyone else could?

For what reason would they have?

I’m just a pot smoking, nature loving, daylight fearing, self-loathing, undiagnosed, manic-depressive, awkward, anxiety-filled, struggling to see the self-worth I know I have, every day a sinner, self-pitying, hallucinating, non-smoking, quiet, humorous, sarcastic, up all night, barely eating, bisexual, bipolar and suffering borderline, sexually active, transgender, six months grieving, ten years in mourning, still have a bottom retainer, self-conscious, full of self-doubt, tongue-tied, occasionally stuttering, kind-hearted, scared, weird, geeky, messy, artistic, book addicted, knife collecting, fighting mental unhealth, helping those in need, self-repairing, work in progress, scatter-brained and full of unanswered questions, bloodshot eyed, insecure, forgetful, tragedy-driven, grief and guilt stricken, inspired when inspiration hits, motivatingly unmotivated, picky about certain things, grateful just to have a place to lie awake contemplating the unknown, dreaming of you, emotionally hidden and abused, openly non-consenting, sexually misused, trying to move forward, looking in the mirror and seeing your face, boxer-brief wearing, shaved head, always look irritated, obsessively observational, broke and broken, constantly disbelieving, doing more for others than myself, hopeful, optimistic, curious, thinking, overthinking, thinking about how I’m overthinking, looking outside the box, lending a helping hand, spiritual, respectful of religions and their people, confused, creative, concerned, ambitious, goal-oriented, exhausted, haven’t showered in days, more productive at night, only hungry or thirsty or sleeping when I’m reminded, constantly inconsistently consistent, easily distracted, obscure, easily irritated, losing track of time, ignoring the urge to throw up, head barely above water, freezing to death, antisocial, overly caring, unacceptably flawed, empty without you, crying on the down-low, degraded, dysphoric, disturbed, defeated, abomination, mistreated, looking for attention, made-up character, simple, complex, quirky, day-dreaming, close your eyes and face the wall, all of who I am resides in my bleeding heart and mind and soul, filled with everything and nothing, often avoiding sobriety, not without manners, mostly smelling of weed and cologne, completely incomplete, mysterious, challenging, difficult, damaged, selectively personable, happily unhappy, passively pyrotechnic, easily satisfied, content, relaxed, insane, mad, brilliant, tortured, self-mutilated, terrified, infernal, interrupted, genius, raw, technically homeless and supposedly hell-bound writer.

Though what other reason would there be?


- - -

Heaven Interrupted

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Kagan

- -
I feel my own light shining
When her mouth curls a smile
In a certain way
And that other expression
That speaks without saying
How good it feels
Then the other times when buckets
Fall from the sky
Threatening to crash through our lives
And I can't stop thinking
About what's coming
A one hundred year long drought
When parched lives scream out
From painfully cracked streets
Over spilling with questions
That all start with why


- - -
Mike Kagan has been a professional jazz musician throughout his life and has recently discovered his love of poetry as well as music and has been recently published .

Unquiet Scars

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Contributor: E.S. Wynn

- -
can you beat her book
with clinging hands
with terrified eyes
or put an end
to a dance
with ribbons in her hair
with a dozen forbidden kisses
can you kill
the first lights of confidence
with a connection that lasts all night
with the pull of an undertow
silence it all with a moan
given up to the thunder and rain
can you end it all
with a single stormy night
spent between cold concrete
and the heat
of a steaming tub
and love
so much warm
immediate
love


- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over sixty books in print and is the chief editor of Thunderune Publishing. This poem is one of many featured in the book titled "Trans Physical Dynamics"

First Day on Parole

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Sometimes a person
can go too far,
Mickey said,
two stools over
downing another beer,
his first day on parole.
Someone like that
cops can find dead,
he said, after
newspapers start
littering the lawn.

A bullet in the temple
that no one hears
because of a silencer,
he pointed out,
is sometimes
the culprit.

Such a good person,
the neighbors say
about the deceased,
and that may be true,
Mickey admitted,
but sometimes a person,
even a nice person,
can go too far,

say the wrong thing
to the wrong person
at the wrong time
and take a bullet
in the temple,
Mickey said,
because it's hard
to put a cobra
under a bed.


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

Cut Me, Leave Me

| Filed under

Contributor: Desmond Xander Norbo

- -
You can keep your kindness
I feed on cruelty
lust for nothing less
than a heart full of razors
black nails and biting teeth
to flay me, filet me
and erase me.

I'm so sick with sugared poison
that I can't crave anything less
my skin's seen the bite of so many knives
that each cut's become a comfort
a hit for the addiction
for the pain I know I need.

I'm a collector of scars
cleansed only by the cutting
endlessly seeking a shearing
that shaves too close
cleaves right to the bone

Love me openly
love me
with roses instead of razors
and I'll only grow to resent you
will only respect you
when you beat me
when you scream at me
when you slash me

Leave me
and I'll want you back
will crawl through broken glass
(and love every minute of it)
just for the stories I can tell
of all I did
to stick
with you

bleed me
slowly, steadily
and I'll be yours
and I'll slide along your knives
and love you
and do it without regret
and do it always, forever


- - -
Hoping to be read, we write.

The Search

| Filed under

Contributor: Catherine Zickgraf

- -
The world is tucked in.
The houses sigh heavy in sleep.
The stars sprinkle down—
on the carpeted forest,
you lay on the ground.

Your back against the earth.
The night births a liberty,
releasing me to search for you,
so I can search your eyes.
Do you feel me fly above the tree line?

Between the branch heights and moon fog,
I open my wings of sleeves,
unpin my hair in streams.
In the air like the ocean
I sway in the waves.
Through clouds like lace,
the starlight rains.

And I see all the sounds in the trees,
how their notes grow and drown
in the midnight sea.
And your eyes glow somewhere like sapphires,
while the fires of all the longing hearts
blow tonight around the roof spires.

I feel you, can’t find you, I smell your smell.
But the hell of this longing I hold every night.
In the light under my eyelids,
you live in my reach.
But my heart can’t even reach over the earth—
I don’t know where you live anymore.

That day at the door,
like waves on the eroding shore,
we pulled apart our fingers for the last time.
This is your last rhyme, I can't suffer anymore.


- - -
Catherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press and is available on Amazon.com.

Unstable Desires

| Filed under

Contributor: A.L.M. Kamner

- -
be perfect,
shave when I say
smile and sing
(but not when I'm brooding)
dress up for me
impress me
never say
anything bitter
anywhere near me

be perfect,
(but not too perfect)
try hard to impress
to anticipate
my whims
but not too much
not too much
because then you'd be boring

be bad, be mean
but only when I say
only in ways I deem okay
and my parents better love you
better think you're perfect
too


- - -

Still Life

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
"On the window sill
the sun's pure gold today.
Usually it's white,"
says drooling Nell,
in her hospital smock,

her tea turning cold
as she braids
ram horns of hair
high and tight

to the sides of her skull.
"On gold days
like this, I warm
my hands for hours
on this sill.

"Yesterday, the doctor said
someone should paint me,
the fool. A still life,
that's what he said."


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

The Futility of Fortresses

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Contributor: Desmond Xander Norbo

- -
Too many bridges built
Too many chasms
I couldn't fill
too many towers only charred
and never lit again

There's a cold and jagged rip
that divides the lives
I lived
the loves
I lost
when whole armies turned
torched all our golden fields
so suddenly
and left only ash
to stir
in sour winds
while other wars
still
are waged.


- - -
Hoping to be read, we write.

Phases

| Filed under

Contributor: Ben Osborn

- -
you ask me of the moon

with your right eye nearly closed, you see a sliver of light
a sliver of silver night

moon-less

a silver of slithering light
your left eye hints at opening, you see a sliver of night

you ask the moon of me

of the silverlit night
and your right eye is almost open, to let in the light

moon-full

and the night has left your eyes, slithering
into the silver light

you ask me of the moon


- - -
Ben Osborn is a writer, composer and librettist based in Berlin.

All These

| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
Well, my goodness,
the elder says, I've collected
all these things in my attic
and basement for years

Too many

All these boxes products
arrived in, shelled out like
hulls, restuffed with other
items, plus love notes,
train sets (now what am I
going to do with those?),
other peoples' trophies,
outdated college textbooks,
household machines that
died decades ago, a life time
of names I can't remember
anymore. Some I don't want to.

So I'll sell it all, sort it out
even throw some away.
Can't take it with you.
Surely not.


- - -

THIS MOMENT

| Filed under

Contributor: Stacy Maddox

- -
I feel your tender lips upon my soft skin
Retracing the trail where you fingers caressed
The flames lick higher, bearing your name
And I hear your voice whispered in my soul

I close my eyes and the darkness surrounds me
But you are there, seeking every one of my senses
Tempting my desires and holding me prisoner
To the passion ignited in our lonely bodies

I taste the pleasures lingering on your lips
Salty and sweet, capturing my breath inside
And as I find the warmth of your waiting arms
I pray for this moment to never end.


- - -
Stacy Maddox lives, dreams, tends her gardens and writes in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS, USA. Indulging her time in the outdoors, connecting with nature, walking the Kansas River trails and discovering new photo opportunities, is one of her greatest pleasures in life. Stacy has been published in over 25 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Prism To My Soul

| Filed under

Contributor: Rishikesh Ingale

- -
My soul is a die with an unknown number of sides:
a conundrum that number theory or combinatorics can’t solve.

My face is the puzzle which conceals it,
a colorful Rubik’s cube waiting to divulge the answer.

My mouth is like a changing landscape:
sometimes it is sweet, sometimes it is spicy, mostly it is bland.

My nose is a guide;
it finds and recognizes--the acute sense.

One ear hears music,
the other hears screaming.

My eyes are biological cameras that give me power
to command computers and talk to Newton and Einstein.

Uniformity is an anomaly,
for this is an ever-changing world.

A gray area is given with great measure,
and my brain is the Supreme Court.

Discrepancies, difference, and disparities define me in some odd way
for the sake of purpose, plan, or principle.

Maybe my soul is actually a source of bright white light,
my face being a prism showing separate colors of the spectrum.


- - -
Rishikesh Ingale resides in Southern California. He loves to code, play tennis, and read novels. He tries to find an explanation for everything and is also a realist.

For Andrea Gibson

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby


- -
I want to turn my scars to poetry
I want to stitch together shards of pain
until they take on tragic life
I want to rip into the raw
I want to tear away all that isn't
until only the bones of our brutal beauty
are left to shine
wet and vivisected
but honest
so honest

I want to touch the wounds
we've all been left with
I want to bring hope to the hurting
in the same way that you do

I want to burn with a voice
as bright as the knife
you cut your words with

I want to face all that is inky
excise it
and be
unapologetically
honestly
me.


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

Eric

| Filed under

Contributor: Jared Wun

- -
That funny smell from his room
is not a skunk.
Don’t ask about it.

When he swings
Dad’s golf clubs in the backyard,
don’t stand behind him.

If he lets you play
video games on the XBox,
don’t play on his save files.

If there’s a soda in the fridge
that belongs to him,
don’t drink it.

When Mom begs you both
to stop fighting,
don’t egg him on.

Finally,
no matter how much he picks on you,
no matter how hard he socks you,
no matter how much he upsets you,
don’t forget,
he’s your brother.


- - -
Jared is an aspiring rapper and Hip-Hop artist who enjoys writing the occasional poem. When he is not spending time writing or producing music, he reads comic books and doodles on Post-It notes. He dreams of one day receiving a Grammy nomination/award for Best Rap Album.

Dots

| Filed under

Contributor: Jenna De La Paz

- -
Brown paint masks the red,
but can do ultimately little about the bumps and craters.

From pores to my eye mole
To nostrils and pie hole

From the freckles framing
To the bites beginning to become scars

My face is a canvas on which
Seurat and Signac’s thorough work lives through the design.

The mole married to the bit under my brow mocks me.
My fault, for trying to rip it out when I was twelve.

Please notice my dot covered nose no longer!
Unlike Joseph’s coat my multicolored dots are not to be envied
Rather they should be covered with another layer of paint.


- - -
Jenna De La Paz has been known to take action on impulse. She once bought a ukulele because she was stressed. She thinks in cartoon logic and therefore sees every mistake as an opportunity to shine creatively.

For The Sake of the Scorching

| Filed under

Contributor: Birta C. Long

- -
In dreams, I chase you
run through wet-slapping
branches
just to glimpse you
just to hear your breath
your heart
pounding
whispering
throbbing
with the need
of me

Every inch of me
needs you
every inch of me
comes alive
when I think of you
when I imagine
myself close to you
feeling you
breathing the scent
of mutual need
of fire
and flying sweat
as we meet
mate
solely for the sake
of the scorching
the horny
devouring
lust.


- - -

HOW I LOVE YOU

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
When I am with you
Life is wonderful!
The sky is clear;
The sun shines.
Cool breezes caress the earth.
Rivers flow smoothly,
And all is at peace.

You stand before me
As a vision.
Your loveliness radiates from within,
And outshines the light of the sun.
At night you light the sky,
As would a meteor.

The decadence of the world
Is purified by your presence,
And life becomes worth living.

Your love is far more precious
Than the most precious gem.
And to be worthy of your love,
Is a life-long quest.

When you are near me,
My eyes are blinded from everything
That is not pure and wonderful.
Oh! To be with you forever!


- - -
Bruce Levine is a native Manhattanite who now lives in Florida with his wife and their dog Daisy. He’s spent his life as a writer and a music and theatre professional. His shows have been produced in New York and around the country and his works have been published in a variety of media, including Brimfield Publications, Heuer Publishing, Rodale Press, Every Writer, Eskimo Pie, Friday Flash Fiction, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and a soon to be released story in Visitant.

Ice Cream Honeymoon

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
On a sunny day
in Harvard Yard
blonde from Norway weds
son of chieftain
from Rwanda after
both receive degrees
with high honors.

They drive off
in a silver Porsche
touring America
on their honeymoon
until they're stopped
in a small town.
A taillight's out.

The officer says
"You're the first
salt and pepper
I've ever ticketed"
and the bride says
"Sir, we're your first
hot fudge sundae."


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

What Bodies Will We Be?

| Filed under

Contributor: Tina J. Pinelli

- -
I cry
for want
of a watery science
to try
to explain
the heat
of who we are

I cry
fill the stone soles
of solid stellar orthodoxy
and wonder
when all our days burn down
when all our fires
smoke and smother
what ash will we inhabit?
What cold and ageless
bodies will we be?


- - -
I write most often at work, but sometimes on my deck while watching the rain and the pines. This is my first published poem.

The Wet Green Forest

| Filed under

Contributor: Susan Sweetland Garay

- -
I am from the wet green forest,
where leaves decompose
under our feet
and moss drips
from the trees.

Where ferns grow
from the cracks
in cement walls
and it seems that
nature always wins.

In this place we
release what is
dark and thick
and smells like life

to prepare the ground around us,
so it is full of richness
from the selves that
we let fall away.

Then in the fall time
when the harvest comes
and the air turns cool,
we reap.

We dig
and eat
and dry
and enjoy
and try to make
it last for as long as possible.

We bring the colors
of the outside in.

We peel and plan
and watch the rain that
hasn’t stopped falling for days.

Water makes a million tiny rivers
unconcerned about what
they may wash away.

The land is powerless
against it.

Her power
is found in
her softness,
her flexibility,
her knowing that

we are not
the center
of anything.



- - -

The Rich Taste Like Chicken

| Filed under

Contributor: Anne P. Wallace

- -
sharp movements of lizards
of chickens, feathered dinosaurs
driving the hands that grab
the hands that take
that seize
dragging cash across
every empty table
every unstained plate
while hungry eyes
hungry minds
wait

maybe thinking
maybe wondering
if such hands
might feed families
might taste
like chicken


- - -
Anne is busy running up that hill.

U. S. of A.

| Filed under

Contributor: Lynn Cooper

- -
Anger, confusion
derangement
stir homegrown devastation
Oklahoma, Colorado
helpless children, adults
victims of horrific massacres

Upscale quiet neighborhood
Sandy Hook School
Connecticut's unmatched carnage
Tennessee tragedy
speeding yellow school bus crashes
sobbing, collapsing parents
live out their worst nightmare

Where are the days
of opened windows
unlocked doors
time of innocence
restfulness
lost forever in the
United States of Anxiety


- - -
Lynn Cooper is a published poet and former New Yorker, who now resides in Florida.
Her poetry has appeared in print anthologies in both states, as well as online.

THE STARS FOR YOU

| Filed under

Contributor: Stacy Maddox

- -
I took a blanket of stars
And blew silver dust
To remind me of your eyes
When they shine with hope

I made them the color white
For the innocence of you, my love
Pure as the dawn at sunrise
When you are so near

I molded the shape
For the number of years
One hundred times eternity
Of the days I need with you

I cast them so far away
To show the extent
Of this love I hold for you
In truth, there is no measure

I placed them against
A black cosmic canvas
To show you the light that glows
Through the night as I dream

I kissed to them, an enchanting magic
Displaying throughout the heaven's
The way you make me feel
And all the things you are.


- - -
Stacy Maddox lives, dreams, tends her gardens and writes in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS, USA. Indulging her time in the outdoors, connecting with nature, walking the Kansas River trails and discovering new photo opportunities, is one of her greatest pleasures in life. Stacy has been published in over 25 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Off to War

| Filed under

Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

- -
Love stories are written and war stories are told
No one knows who won the battle until all the truths unfold
If a seagull drops a pebble in the middle of the sea
Will anyone notice if there is no one there to see
If I stand upon the river bank and call to the other shore
Will there be anyone to hear me if they all went off to war
Fighting freedom's battles even with good intent
The soldier receives nothing, but the time they spent
There are cowards and extremists on both sides of any war
A soldier must choose the truth that he is fighting for
Every morning the sun rises on a brand new day
It will never work if all we do is wish our troubles away
Freedom isn’t free for those that pay the ultimate cost
When we surrender what we have it is not only their lives we've lost
Sheep will follow the leader over a cliff where they will die
If any of them survive they will surely wonder why
Sometimes the black sheep standing on top of a grassy knoll
Is not the one trying to trick us by acting like a fool
Weapons are a necessary evil to keep our leaders from leading us astray
We must never let them take our “Right to Bear Arms” away
Politicians and leaders tell us what they say is true
It would be easy to tell they are lying, if their noses grew
Politicians' truth is like a thimble completely covered with holes
Constantly pricking us and then laughing at us fools
We can no longer take freedom for granted the time has come to fight
Since our leaders will not fix this mess we must do what’s right


- - -
He was born and raised in Ohio, and now lives in Florida. He is married and has two children. Most important he is a Papa. He has over a dozen poems on this site and one printed in "Stormcloud Poets: Second Anthology"

Firehearted Fox

| Filed under

Contributor: E.S. Wynn

- -
You are the hand that holds the sword
yet never swings it
You are the heart that holds the fire
yet never spends it
never strikes with it
never hates
or hurls stones
for the sake of rage.

You are the warrior with no enemies
caught in the currents of war
caught, yet always apart from it
as if to teach each of us
that we can be softer
that we can be merciful
that we can achieve
without blind fire
without hate.

I marvel at you,
marvel at the sterling steel
The starlight of source
in your eyes
in your hands, so soft
so open
soul so full
of all the makings of a martyr
of one always at risk
of giving too much
of giving too much
love.


- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over sixty books in print and is the chief editor of Thunderune Publishing. This poem is one of many featured in the book titled "Trans Physical Dynamics"

As Miracles Pour from the Sky

| Filed under

Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
Let there be a chalice filled
with melted honey
from a golden hive
to drip upon the wanton tongues
of lovers who long
for peace to reign upon the land.

Let there be a buzz from bees
that crown the Queen
in a holy coronation
as Mother Earth is praised
with a grand parade
across the seven shining seas.

Let there be a sky that cries
with the glorious sound
of a children’s choir
as their innocence pulls
upon the strings of heaven
to release the rains of hope.


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

Quicksand of That Good Woman

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Earlier than ever this morning
I wait for copy to vacuum.
It must be free of error
and the deadline is near.
But what matters today isn’t news
about war, poverty or race riots
ripping the city.
What matters today
is the warm quicksand
of that good woman
under me again,
taking me in.
Let her writhe,
let her tug at her knees,
let her legs go off
in every direction.
Let her take what I have
and lunge for more.
I’ll be here forever,
a bee crazed by the honey
buttering her thighs.


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

I Carry Your Shards

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby


- -
In the spread of heavens
in the whispering night
I see your wings
I see your cloak of breath
I see you
bound in memories of sun
of heat and red
while all beneath you
sleeps inky
black and blue.

In dreams, I've found you
I've taken your hand
I've flown with you

In sleep,
I've held you,
I've spent ages
faithfully unfolding the ringlets
of your banner black hair

In life, I've touched you
So many times I've touched you
but it's never been you
never really been you
only been illusions, shadows of you

The coffin sealing my wings
is scratched and waxy
nearing its autumn days.

I'm taking chains
to haul, to bind
I'm closing my eyes

I'm kissing away
Everything you were to me

I'm starving
for the want of you.


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

IN LOVE FOREVER

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
I want to be near you.
To see your face
Glow with a beauty that
Comes from within.

I want to be with you.
To see a woman
Whose smile can move the
Heart of any man.

I want to hold your hand.
The softness of which
Gives away all the tender feelings
Stored within your breast.

I want to love you.
To hold a woman
To hold you in my arms
In love forever.


- - -
Bruce Levine is a native Manhattanite who now lives in Florida with his wife and their dog Daisy. He’s spent his life as a writer and a music and theatre professional. His shows have been produced in New York and around the country and his works have been published in a variety of media, including Brimfield Publications, Heuer Publishing, Rodale Press, Every Writer, Eskimo Pie, Friday Flash Fiction, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and a soon to be released story in Visitant.

Butterfly Jazz

| Filed under

Contributor: Theresa A. Cancro

- -
Taking to sheer flight,
my compound eyes dig in
to old air drenched
in solstice shade, what
loosens scales, wicks and
draws me now, trips an edge
off the beat.

I sink beneath crowds,
my proboscis curves around
dead silence, a random
two-four, as I fall toward
that single note, no
chords, no stamen
ever found.


- - -
Theresa A. Cancro writes poetry, especially haiku and related short forms, as well as short fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared worldwide in dozens of publications.

Sunday Morning

| Filed under

Contributor: Lynn Cooper

- -
Like the still
Autumn day outside
my body is calm
a soft smile defines my lips.
I want to hold
this feeling
longer than
our arms and legs
entwine.
Longer than
your scent stays
on my sheets.
Long enough
to erase years of
Sunday mornings
when I lay alone
feeling like winter
would never leave.


- - -
Lynn Cooper is a published poet and former New Yorker, who now resides in Florida.
Her poetry has appeared in print anthologies in both states, as well as online.

Black Out

| Filed under

Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
Just passing through the rainbow of light
where denial is stored away
between pretty colors that soothe the beast
we didn't see it coming
trees that bleed on leaves
crying from starvation
a wasted life of half eaten bread
an absence of birds
in an orange peeled sky
the anatomy of murder
just passing through the rainbow of light
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt


- - -
Judy Moskowitz, a professional jazz musician, has been published in Poetry Life And Times, Michael Lee Johnson's anthology, Indiana Voice Journal, Whispers Of The Wind

Consolation

| Filed under

Contributor: Miriam Weiss

- -
Loud sounds scare me cold
Electric saw zaps all thoughts
Sewing machine stitches mind shut
Hammer beats nails through my heart
Hide under Oak behind house
Cloaked in many colors
Like Jacob's coat
I hug her solid trunk
Lay down on her leafy mattress
Embraced by gentle touch
Consoled by her quiet breeze


- - -
I'm originally from the Boston area and now live in Boca Raton, Florida. I am a published poet.

Searching

| Filed under

Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

- -
Moon that hangs up in the sky
Disappears as clouds drift by
Staring down from his lofty perch
Making a lonely and solemn search
What can he be so intently looking for
He scans the ocean along every shore
Up the side of the mountains to the top
I don’t think he will ever stop
Shining brightly in the midnight sky
Watching for something with his watchful eye
He keeps searching through the night
For distant illusions just out of sight
Just as we are about to discover his quarry
The sunrise blinds the moon with a flurry
Whatever it was hidden just out of sight
We will have to wait for it on another night
So if you see the moon shining in the sky
Don’t just sit there and wonder why
Walk with him and help with the search
Because he is probably lonely on his lonely perch
Maybe you both can find what you are looking for
As you discover all the things life has in store


- - -
He was born and raised in Ohio, and now lives in Florida. He is married and has two children. Most important he is a Papa. He has over a dozen poems on this site and one printed in "Stormcloud Poets: Second Anthology"

Expelled Love

| Filed under

Contributor: Daipayan Nair

- -
Love breathes its last
when life
breathes its first air
in an air full of 'my love'
and continues
to be loved for love
and not because of love
as it grows up
to be a 'his love'
that repeats its life
and ultimately dies
or a 'her love'
that continues after a death,
extending the death
or a 'our love'
that keeps ignoring a death
all in a nostril
whose love is just the
attraction of an
expelled commodity.


- - -
Born on 1988 in a small town of Silchar, Assam, India, Daipayan Nair is a freelance writer/columnist, poet, fiction writer and essayist. His works have been published in a lot of anthologies and poetry journals like The Poetry Breakfast, The Galway Review, Tuck Magazine, 1947 Literary Journal, Duane's PoeTree Blog etc. He was recently awarded The Reuel International Poetry Prize 2016.

Negative Approach

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Marrotti

- -
I keep
searching
for words
that'll
out live me

Doing the
right thing
even though
it's not
reciprocated

Obsessing
over my health
most of the
time mentally

I've done more
bad than good
nobility is
overlooked
through my
transgressions
I'm remembered

Names like Hitler
or Dahmer still
ring an alarming bell
to millions of citizens
bring up Jonas Salk
and most of the time
people are dumbfounded

I'll be deleted
like outdated porn
taking up space
on a hard drive
if I keep up
this positive
approach

I better change
my ways
before I lose
my ticket to
immortality

I'm denigrating
my poems
since bad
is so alluring


- - -
Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh, using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His new book, F.D.A. Approved Poetry is available at Amazon.

Immunization

| Filed under

Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
I learned how to bathe
in the light of God’s love
while tragedy
tried to torture me
with temptations
toward annihilation.

I learned how to forgive
even the most cruel attacks
because the thought
of holding on
to the knife in my heart
was far too bloody even for my imagination.

I learned how to dance
while the moon cycled red
with my head to the sky
and my mouth open wide
to taste the slow drip
of poison as it poured.

I learned how to laugh
both first and last
so that the inevitable crash
would never cut
too close
to my protected core.


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

TOMORROW

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Tomorrow.
What if we may love?
Tomorrow.

Today.
Our love burns with a fire
That the fires of Hell
Never equal.

Yesterday.
We met.
Innocently we found
Each other.

The day before.
Our loves apart
And alone.

Tomorrow.
We love.


- - -
Bruce Levine is a native Manhattanite who now lives in Florida with his wife and their dog Daisy. He’s spent his life as a writer and a music and theatre professional. His shows have been produced in New York and around the country and his works have been published in a variety of media, including Brimfield Publications, Heuer Publishing, Rodale Press, Every Writer, Eskimo Pie, Friday Flash Fiction, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and a soon to be released story in Visitant.

Funeral for the Last Parent

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
They were never one
always two
yet they had five,
adults themselves now,
bowling pins today
upright in the front pew,
wondering still
after all these years
why the two
were never one.

It's not a story
the two would tell
even if they could.
They were galaxies apart.
They had no answer
yet they still had five,
adults themselves now
who can celebrate
they're here at all,
bowling pins today
upright in the front pew.

No need to wonder why
the two who loved them
were never one.
It's not a story
the two would tell
even if they could.
They're galaxies away.


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

Song of Storms

| Filed under

Contributor: BL Blackwood

- -
Naiad and dryad peer from copse and cove
To see, the west-blown sigh lifted on a breeze,
To greet a flow of ships with down-furled sail,
Blown in from distant foreign lands, across

Amber waves carried, cargo to unload.
Sheets of music spill forth on parchment;
Ebony and ivory hulls expend themselves.
They pour from their holds onto the dry docks.

Admiral Beethoven commands on high
The quiet rumble of an armada spread
Groaning on the waves, a marching army
With boots striking the grey stones of their path.

Covert overture to be overheard,
Unattended as arranged by him to be.
Strings build up on one another, raising,
Rising in anticipation of a third movement,

Climbing, coming, surely rising like a tide.
They bear their sonic burden up the steps
Standing to his innovations, to clash,
To crash down like the roar of ovation.

Ludwig poses with pride atop a mountain.
His limbs flail to mirror his hair unruly;
He casts them off in cardinal directions,
Tossed, arcing across the summer sky.

The composer stops. He breaks in repose.
He pauses to rest, arrests, resting his arms.
They quiver as he quivers, a moment
But a moment, the beat of a wing—


He broods. He gathers composure like static
To himself, tension building, growing, rising
The air thick enough to pour, to drink,
To hold like a bird, a breath in his hand.

The composer rests; he pauses but a moment,
A moment but a breath, and then to resume.
Silence stretches like a hush on a crowd—
Then bolts the knife! It strikes, harsh and hard.

His heart spills its contents like a shattered wineglass.
As Ludwig reels, falling back from his post,
His very breath exhales, in sputters, in fits,
A toccata of spiccato notes shredding the bow.

He folds. His creases increase in measure.
He drops sail, a white flag at half mast,
A tree struck and split down the charred middle,
Severed in two, no direction no form

On the splintered chamber plays in tumult
As sirens sing discord through jagged teeth
And rush up to meet the fallen musicmen,
A jazz-deaf crew in drunken stagger.


- - -
I'm a 23-year old artist, poet, and Science Fiction author. When I'm not writing, reading, or painting, I can be found driving for Uber and Lyft.

Paleontology

| Filed under

Contributor: Sarah Henry

- -
I remind him of a fossil.
I follow him around.
I follow him down the path
in the park which leads
to a playground.
I am imprinted like a baby
duck following its mother
in a straight line.

What has he done to
bring this on himself?
Every man knows
what he’s worth.

Leaves drop all around us.
They are thick with squirrels
and rotting hazelnuts.

A stone monument stands
at the entrance to the park.
It holds a time capsule
designed to be opened
in fifty years. I wonder
about the contents,
possibly sour, petrified,
or congealed.


- - -
Sarah Henry lives near Pittsburgh, where she is retired from a newspaper. Her poetry has been published locally and farther afield.

Seven Haiku

| Filed under

Contributor: Jennifer Y. Montgomery

- -
Shame

India ink on
the white rug. So many towels.
Still damp, grey after.


Sign

That morning the damp
on pavement is bleeding round.
Fleeting crop circle.


Fragments

An unripe apple.
Cold, chapped hands. Draft beneath the
Piano room door.


After

After the fire,
Smoke caught in her hair, ensnared.
Tears poured forth at will.


Anachronism

She felt out of time.
She left the wash on the line
And now this downpour.


Truth

The indent from too
tight gloves. Manifest as skin
goes pink. Ache then hum.


Preparation

Rust bleeds through the paint
with every coat. She must strip
it down to the bone.


- - -
Jennifer Y. Montgomery is a poet, visual artist, pie baker, and attorney who lives in Connecticut with her daughter. She considers writing poetry to be a meditation. Her poetry has appeared in Red Weather and Haiku Journal.

When a Debutante Marries a Troll

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The problem is, Priscilla grew up
in a penthouse having parties while
Biff came of age under a bridge

fighting other trolls, he remembers.
When Pris calls his office and says
we're having guests tonight

the chasm in their marriage grows.
The guests go home sauced and smiling
but the chasm stays behind, snarling.

Biff can't make the leap to kiss Pris
and some day have 10 kids.
The next time she invites guests

he wants to be told at dawn.
Biff plans to skip feeding the pit bulls
and introduce them to her guests.


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

Time Is Surely Of The Essence

| Filed under

Contributor: Prince A. McNally

- -
Mountains
upon
mountains
of wasted time

Lay silently at rest
upon trillions of
micro increments

Littered with the stark
procrastination
of uncherished
moments

Where the hands of time
were indiscriminately ignored

As if...
time itself
were an
unresticted
commodity

A
fertile resource
entitled at birth

readily harnessed
like a horse to a carriage
or so the ego's disillusioned
sense of self
would have us believe

For man seeks to defy
the mathematical
principles of logic
and natural progression.

His God complex
often compels him
to challenge the
universal law
of gravity,

And yet,
he has always managed to fail.

Contrary to popular belief...

time cannot be
controlled
manipulated
nor even managed.

We can only hope
to manage ourselves
within the space
time allows us,
before we, ourselves
must return to the stars

And thus,
time is most precious
and surely of the essence

For we,
are surely
running out
of....

time.


- - -

Chaotic Beauty

| Filed under

Contributor: E.S. Wynn

- -
A pair of planets
sluicing through stardust
to catch, to grind into orbits
to catch, to become
to spin into fiery,
rotating binary
lives
where we turn,
turn at last
turn only to orbit
each other
as one.

I was a ruin when we met
At war with myself and weeping toxic
I saw your battles, your scars
echoes of mine, echoes of pain
of the kinds of exchanges
that could lay waste
to whole continents
to planet-spanning nations
excise entire cultures
from the chaotic beauty
of your shining surface.

I saw your wars,
you saw mine
and in the echoes,
the exchanges,
we saw reasons for truce
for embracing soothing solace
reasons to cool the guns
we'd been aiming at ourselves
and others
reasons to dance arm in arm
in sun, in rain
rotate on
as a pair of planets
finally ready
to live together
to share an orbit
to share an orbit
with each other.


- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over sixty books in print and is the chief editor of Thunderune Publishing. This poem is one of many featured in the book titled "Trans Physical Dynamics"

Canticle For Desmond

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
How sweet the sunrise
when I kiss her
when I caress the soft light
that plays golden
through her hair
when I whisper her name
and the taste of it
is sweet and smooth
and flows

I remember when your name
was that easy to say.

I remember
and I marvel
at the way
the sweet has turned to sour
the softness turned to rocks
rocks and glass.


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

Holy Holy Holy

| Filed under

Contributor: M Spear

- -
What happened to the angel
mouth verses
my childhood sense of believing
a cloud like vision

It was replaced
by the warnings of television
seedy conversations
dot matrix real world living

What happened to the holy
one inside me
with wisdom and kindness
he spoke

All I have is the scooped out
place where peace used to be
waking with the taste
of mortality in my mouth.


- - -

The Janus Face of Happiness

| Filed under

Contributor: James Rudolph

- -
Phantom idyll, a nether realm,
time enchanted uses a
different metric so I drift
in dimensions, fugitive and opiated,
my flanks bare of plate.

But the counter’s tick
can be heard through bright water
coral sky and air creamy
with joy swirl, a hard ledger.

Blur beauty gives ground
to focus, angled, certain,
Account! Account! I am commanded,
salt your dreams, screw your memories
to dystrophic coils.


- - -
James Robert Rudolph is a retired healthcare worker and teacher having returned to old haunts in northern New Mexico after a busy career in Minneapolis. He believes in old-style magical realism, that inspired by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the high desert, and the deep, broad sky of the American mountain west. His poems have appeared in The Artistic Muse, Mad Swirl, and Poetry Super Highway, among others.

A Timeless Arrival

| Filed under

Contributor: Stacy Maddox

- -
Standing alone on the edge
Of a thousand wakeless oceans
Secret messages from past deities
Voices guiding to sound harbor

Grasping for the smooth melody
Dancing freely through grazing wind
A vessel of truth and hope, stretched
To glittering sky and beyond

Legs entangled helplessly, winding
Gently insistent, in satin garment
Swirling with a grace, easing
Through body, mind, spirit

In honor of a timeless arrival
The air is heavy and charged
A night for shining blessings
Offerings of peace and harmony

Fervent expressions glide caressingly
From whispering lips, ruby red
Enchanted memories riding effortlessly
Invisibly woven currents, finality

Ancient magic transcends on threads
Constantly pure in its amorphous form
Beautiful visions illuminate obscurity
A bond has entwined earth with soul.


- - -
Stacy Maddox is a varied hobbyist and artist, living in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS USA. She loves to soak up the sun by the river and feel the water rush over her feet while spending time with her family and friends. Stacy has been published in over 20 books, print magazines and websites.

Produce and People

| Filed under

Contributor: Heath Brougher

- -
You actor your way through the day
only to come home every night
and sit down realizing
that you really don’t know
who you are anymore,

that your Individuality has seemed
to slowly vanish from your Consciousness
due to all those years of superimposed smiles
and the mountains of little white lies
you have built your life upon.

Your brain is Void of True Character and Identity.
You are officially lost in a world of Man-made Realities.


- - -
Heath Brougher is the poetry editor of Five 2 One Magazine, a Best of the Net Nominee, and has been published in over 350 journals in the past 2 years.

Armadillo Home

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Rush Hour, Chicago


Early evening traffic's
rather heavy.
Autos armadillo home

along the Outer Drive
as out of mouths of buildings
people enter mouths

of anything that moves
wherever every evening
they are going. Tonight

they interrupt the passion
of another person’s day,
the crone astride the hydrant

who once again this evening
bows and swoops and curses
as she burlaps broken glass

gives the finger to nice people
propped in autos staring
as she lets the traffic pass.


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

Loss

| Filed under

Contributor: Debarshi Mitra

- -
It was always this way,
was always a metaphor
built on fragments and
a physical space stretched
by light streaming in
from one side of this endless
corridor. It is here that
I preserve the image
of my mother bending
to pluck tulsi leaves
from a yellowing tulsi plant,
and suddenly remember that
for all these years now
after her passing,
I have forgotten even
to part the curtains.


- - -
Debarshi Mitra is a 21 year old poet from New Delhi , India. His debut book of poems ' Eternal Migrant' was published in May 2016 by Writers Workshop. He has previously contributed to anthologies like 'Kaafiyana' and to literary magazines like 'Typewrite'. He is currently enrolled in an 'Integrated PhD' program in Physics.

United Through Contempt

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Marrotti

- -
Mein Kampf
rests on my
bookshelf
next to the
autobiography
of Malcolm X

Feminists
march and protest
espousing hatred
for white men
like it's politically
correct

I avoid
my mother
like a felony
the thin line
of love and hate
has been
permanently
erased

There's ashes
of a man
my significant
other hates
hidden deep
inside our closet
we call it the urn
of disdain

I don't need
to go outside
to feel the
enmity and
contempt
of a divisive
world

All I have to do
is get dressed


- - -
Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh. His latest chapbook is available here: https://www.amazon.com/F-D-Approved-Poetry-Michael-Marrotti/dp/153907577X

Light

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Cold night, feeble light
from grandfather's lamp
legacy to be lost
and I
dreaming again
of you

I miss my body
when it was with your body

I miss my mind
when it was wrapped tight
in your coils
the coals
of a love red-hot and radiating

I miss a time
when lamps of mine
were never lit
yet the rooms were so bright
and only because you were smiling
and only because we were making love
and smiling
as one.


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

Black Widow Woman

| Filed under

Contributor: John Ogden

- -
When the box opens
when the night opens
when all that I have hidden
comes spilling into the light
when the dragon wakes
when she breathes her golden fire
wakens
oh Black Widow Woman
I will stand
I will smile
I will suck the hole
harsh burning in my heart
and hold fast my venom.

I will hold my venom for her
I will hold my curdled soul hostage
and know
that I am better
that I am all
she could have been
for me
all
she never was.


- - -
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.

Dead

| Filed under

Contributor: Ananya S Guha

- -
Three times I died
that evening when
the teak tree in Grandmother's
house was cut, felled into pieces
dead.
Or the pine trees in the college
where I studied, shading us
in green light, broken into pieces
they heaved, and the light vanished
broke between my knees
as I clasped the bench sitting on
in the canteen they laughed
urbanization, let the green, the blue
all hue go from our lives
with smattering colours
brick and mortar
I watched as a little child
would look at a monster
awe, reverence ping of change
ping ping ping.
Little Lotta, Hansel and Gretel
of childhood, come back
into my hill torn body
wounded but not bloodied.
I love clours that keep me
floated for a while
like prisms changing
like the chameleon shading
flood lights
I died four, five seven times
as the hills became bare
almost nude
I would not worship
only rain washed hills and plum trees
but the plum trees and peach trees also
vanished from my orchard
now kneaded bare
they stand dead
to tell stories of the dead
like a faded house with pale colours
yellow paint, coated, withering tarnished
smelling hollow smells, decrepit
like shadowy past.
Smell life in past get a tang
an aroma of the forests and streams
with monoliths like a ghost's sideburns
standing erect. Beheaded.


- - -

Separation of Gods

| Filed under

Contributor: Adam Levon Brown

- -
Molecular transfiguration
Embedded with iron never

Sold the metal in my veins.
Morphed into steel and tempered

With the ashes of the burnt witches.
When will they pay for their crimes

Against humanity and against the earth?
Only time will tell, and time is a

Cruel master, no matter who you are.
Misshapen happenstance juxtaposition

Of ants forming straight lines.
Tomorrow, we will fight.


- - -
Adam Levon Brown is a published author, poet, and cat lover. He is editor of Madness Muse Magazine, and a book reviewer for Five 2 One Magazine. He has over 120 poems published in 9 different countries. He has been published in venues such as Burningword Literary Journal.

Duet

| Filed under

Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
My core has been filled with new ideas
These last few years
A variety pack of trial and error
Feeding the intangible host
Words once homeless
Stored away in a dreamscape
Have found their place
A conduit for combustion
Release and escape
Living in harmony with music
Every note played with the caress
Of his phrase
Poetic intercourse from across the table
Sharing words in code
Teasing of scholarly loft
Candied sweet potatoes
Mixed in a bowl
A ten second shelf life
Stir fried with just the right amount of spice
The promise of a poem
Born from just a taste
A glass of wine
Conversation


- - -
Judy Moskowitz, a professional jazz musician, has been published in Poetry Life And Times, Michael Lee Johnson's anthology, Indiana Voice Journal, Whispers Of The Wind

The Morning After

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
When she sees him in the morning he’s
all foamed up and in the mirror shaving
so she stands behind him, saying,
“Bill, your father was a ladies’ man--
that's why you have this way with women.
Deirdre, you kissed once, light on the lips.
Bridget, ah, the melon of her hips
you kept inviolate, whole, entire.
But since your father was a ladies’ man,
you will be a priest instead.
You will never fill a woman,
never watch her swell,
and she will be the better for it,
won’t she, Charming Bill.”


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

Because Of Her

| Filed under

Contributor: Stacy Maddox

- -
She still doesn't see how exquisite she is
Nothing I could say would compare
To how I feel about her every move
Grace and beauty shines through her soul
The embodiment of a perfectly sculpted mate

This woman I took to wife fifty years ago
Is still the young, shy girl I met one summer
When just an unseasoned boy of twelve
Now a man of seventy, I am more than enamored

Little did I know of secrets behind green eyes
Or strength and understanding in a simple smile
Innocent today, as she was when we wed
And the moment we marveled at our newborn
Only long, silver hair tells truth of her real age

She laughs at a joke, turning her head to me
I catch my breath, watching, meeting her gaze
An eternity will never be enough time to love
To create memories, to adore, to cherish
Giving, becoming who I want to be, because of her.


- - -
Stacy Maddox is a varied hobbyist & artist, living in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS USA. She loves to soak up the sun by the river and feel the water rush over her feet while spending time with her family and friends. Stacy has been published in over 20 books, print magazines and websites.

The Drift of Decline

| Filed under

Contributor: James Rudolph

- -
This slope, a mild grade,
I descend as a stroller
rounding, edging hillocks
Lincoln green with short grass and
tufting Sweet William and then
a glade of bones.

The dead’s dry cove
in repose, gathered casually
as if passing mid tattle,
gentle ossuary of the spent I
lean in to catch a confidence.


- - -
James Robert Rudolph is a retired healthcare worker and teacher having returned to old haunts in northern New Mexico after a busy career in Minneapolis. He believes in old-style magical realism, that inspired by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the high desert, and the deep, broad sky of the American mountain west. His poems have appeared in The Artistic Muse, Mad Swirl, and Poetry Super Highway, among others.

The Wrist-Snatcher

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The others, of course,
are more rabid than I
but less apt to show it.
Whenever I strike,
I never romp off.
I stand under neon,
the wrist that I’ve snatched
tight in my teeth
as I wait with a smile
for the wagon.

As one of the few
wrist-snatchers still
on the streets of Chicago,
I make all of my rounds
in old tennies.
They allow me to dive
for the purse hand,
whack it and sink
my teeth in the wrist
of the free hand,
give a terrier’s yip
then head for the neon
where I duck so my head
can spin on its shoulders
till I am certain
I have no pursuers.

In dreams every night
I see all of the women
whose wrists I have had in my teeth
standing like Statues of Liberty,
shrieking and waving
their stumps like flares.
Every night their screams
carve a frieze of patrol cars
in the middle of the street.


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

Out of Eden, Forever Smitten

| Filed under

Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
That was the time
when apples of eternal youth
were confusing durians
hanging from that forbidden
tree of carcinogenic truth
offering orgasmic salvation
from rebellious damnation

and then
you silently struck
the wandering limbs
of my not-so-innocent heart
with your potion-filled fangs
of captivating smiles
and inviting glances

I was stunned
as you slithered
through the sclerotic veins
of cryptic insecurities
narrowed by hating gout
and calculating doubt
and dying hopelessness.

the soothing venom
of your benevolent soul
inch by inch digested
each muscle of resistance
- that stubborn self-withdrawal -
each fiber of dullness,
all arteries yielding
to every warmth-filled dose
of your embracing care,
all capillaries unblocked
of needless faithlessness
by each generous drop
of your comforting word,
supplied ad libitum
emoticons engorged

these arms
once pumped with apathy,
both angels and demons abhored,
now and forever captive
in the web of a redback
- not from one down-under outback -
a willing prey enwrapped, adored
by your vibrant spirit, like I was Lord.

with me, your life is not in Eden,
but I’m forever smitten,
neither is this hell revisited
and with you I remain intoxicated,
here in atheist’s purgatory enchanted,
the inner warrior pacified,
mellowed,

lysed,
mind, body and soul
surrender to be swallowed -
hook, line and sinker -
to fall
to this serpent,
now decades-old
and juvenile joules spent
but we still
continue to call
love.


- - -
Jun Lit (full name: Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and studies insects and other things about the environment; he also enjoys writing poems about nature and society.

A KIND OF EVOLUTION

| Filed under

Contributor: John Grey

- -
Instead of a kiss goodnight,
a boy nervously handed her a slip of paper,
then turned on his heels
and never looked back
as he walked all the way home.

It was a poem
that she read apprehensively
by bedside lamp,
over and over.

Was this really the boy who
took me out to Taco Bell
and then a Spiderman movie,
she wondered.
And does he really see me
as the lovely unassailable goddess
of his flowery language,
his pitiable self-immolating voice.
She did settle on one conclusion though.
She was in love with him.

All the next day,
she kept recalling the awkward fumbling boy,
tried to reconcile him with
the unabashed romantic of the verse.
Chicken burritos and skin like silk.
Super-villains and lips like rose petals.
There was a connection.
She couldn't quite grasp it.

But now she's with some other guy.
He doesn't hesitate when it comes to getting physical.
His tongue gets into her mouth like an implant.
His hands are just on the tender side of rough
as they unbutton her dress.

But there are no extravagant speeches to embellish the heavy petting,
no indication that libido once launched could ever pass for romance.
She once lost her heart to words on a page.
Now she must make do with a different kind of groping.


- - -
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Tonight

| Filed under

Contributor: Stacy Maddox

- -
Tonight... Steady rain drips from overflowing gutters
Helplessly echoing sounds of a gray shattered heart
Betrayal and bitterness beat in unfettered rhythm
A perfect rhyme deafening in its melodious embrace

Cold and lonely quiet world muffled outside
Pain grips its icy fingers, memories are frozen
Empty promises and lies kept closely guarded
Speak loudly through clear window panes

Leaving made way for hard truth blindly following
Lifting shadows and darkness from unseeing eyes
Hope fleeted away as days passed endlessly by
Crashing to hard ground on its final end journey.

- - -
Stacy Maddox is a varied hobbyist & artist, living in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS USA. She loves to soak up the sun by the river and feel the water rush over her feet while spending time with her family and friends. Stacy has been published in over 20 books, print magazines and websites.

THE FROZEN LAKE

| Filed under

Contributor: Daipayan Nair

- -
The frozen lake on my chest
has a probable liquidity beneath
or a possible death.
I am strangely alive
as long as you think of me
as a road among hurdles
and cross,
or stop in the middle,
peek into my helplessness
and yours,
watch my slow death
and yours
and believe, 'It shall pass'.


- - -
Born in the year 1988, in a small town named Silchar in Assam, India, Daipayan Nair is a freelance writer and a poet. He has recently won the Reuel International Prize 2016 for Poetry. He also has a book to his name and has contributed to many magazines and anthologies.

The Dulling Patina of Honest Efforts

| Filed under

Contributor: James Rudolph

- -
A fishmonger I smell
of the brine of daily grind
my hands coarse with
common purpose cannot
hide their long labor.

But he is a spice island find
from a legendary voyage
he came to you wrapped
in banana leaves to feed
on perishable fruits
of fantastical colors
his rich Tahitian skin
blackly bruises too easily.

In a mountain’s fastness
remote, unmapped,
in this granite’s keep
beats a heart part
a beefy quarter
red with love.


- - -
James Robert Rudolph is a retired healthcare worker and teacher having returned to old haunts in northern New Mexico after a busy career in Minneapolis. He believes in old-style magical realism, that inspired by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the high desert, and the deep, broad sky of the American mountain west. His poems have appeared in The Artistic Muse, Mad Swirl, and Poetry Super Highway, among others.

This Mick on the Next Stool

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
In a pub in Ireland

So this Mick on the next stool,
who's as serious as Yeats
but looks like Wilde,
stares at me,
with eyes crossed,
sipping Guinness through the foam.
Finally he burps and says,
"I'll bet that growth is cystic.
If it were on my nose,
I'd light this match,
hold a straight pin over it,
then prick it.
Poof! There'd be
a belch of goat cheese, sure.
But what of it?
You'd need a Q-Tip,
maybe a drop of p'roxide.
But in two weeks
new skin would bloom
smoother than a baby's bum.
With your luck, Yank,
it would freckle."


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

Professorial Dirge

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
In this college town
three girls of Spring are fresh bread
brown before the noon of May.

In pink and yellow frocks,
with hair unfurling in the breeze,
they laugh and glisten in the sun

and like good daughters wave
to the old professor on a bench
who’s waiting for the end of day.

He waves back and smiles his best,
knowing girls like these, once close,
now wander many miles away.


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

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