Born to Blush Unseen?

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Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
“Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear . . .”
- from Thomas Gray’s Elegy


In the midst of growing weeds
I see the gold in your green beads
Fruits of the years your young hands swayed
The sword of life, survivor made

The brush of air on android canvas
Acrylic primaries touched by Midas
Sad as it may that your pen’s healing verses
Hide folded in the moldy corners of empty purses

As mute guest in dark streets of your youth’s animé
A privilege indeed for a hermit of hair grey
Tell me the stories of platoons of Jesuses
Battling seductive come-ons of a thousand muses

Heaven is the warmth of your worn mattress
Hell is the smoke, a neighbor burns the West
Prayers for the dead Chow-chow to bless
Prophets in denial that they were impressed

Amidst your season, your eighty-eighth typhoon
Witnessed by no one but your nth rented room
Imagine one Superhero ushering your Spring soon
Catch up, the ylang-ylang trees, tonight will bloom!


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Jun Lit (or Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, conducts scientific research on insects and the environment, and writes poems about nature, people and society.

Ultrasonography

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Contributor: Victoria Nordlund

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I wish I could move
a transducer over my scalp
to find you forming,
to measure
the thickness of lines
on your skin,
check that your metaphors are sound,
that your structural elements function,
detect septal defects,
examine for obstructions,
for abnormal accumulations:
an abstract edema
I cannot reabsorb.

And if I see you missing vital verses,
I could terminate you early in gestation
and prevent the labor
of pushing out
each of your letters
onto this white sheet,
of cleaning up the afterbirth,
of not hearing you cry.


- - -
I teach creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. I am this year’s NEATE New England Poet of the Year and took first place in the CWP’s poetry contest. My work is published in Pank Magazine, Amaryllis, Eunoia Review, and Strange Poetry.

Where have you been again?

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Contributor: Anagology

- -
Your eyes dig mine tonight.
Palms reunited, conscious of the crazy nerves.
Can't resist you're here again
Breathing with me the same air.

Seeing this place I've never been,
Watching the boundless night sky.
Your warmth supresses the cold breeze,
Your smile conquers the darkness.

Listening to your silent thoughts,
Takes me everywhere in the world.
Tell me all your stories, I want to know.
Everything about you, unfathomable.

I more than wished for this moment,
Not seeing you is so unwanted.
How hard I pray this would not end
let's stay like this everyday.

Then the stars start fading, my hands freezing.
The darkness is as dark again.
The silence is deafening, sight of you vanishing.
I'm getting insane, what's happening?

Oh, it's 5am, my eyes burst into crying.
Some time after five years,
It's still you that I dream.
My love, where have you been again?


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I am a botanist who is usually kind, laughs hard, a 'grandma'. I write based on my own experiences.

Bonsai

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Contributor: Nikhil Nath

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I cannot
buy

a fish
a semi colon

or rise with
salt

from the
Dead Sea

bringing a
hot

kettle,misspelling
Gandhi

on a passport
of

eyelashes painted
with a

false idiom,
nurturing

the Hindu Kush
on the

Ballerina of a
Bonsai.


- - -
Writing Poetry for the last 18 years
Have been published in several magazines including Leaves of Ink
Virginia Woolf had said "Write rubbish but write"
That is the maxim for my poetry.

Old Drunk's Advice to an Anxious Beau

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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I’m no expert on marriage
but you asked me so
here’s how I see it,
decades removed from
making the same decision.

If the woman is pretty,
has a voice you want to
bathe in forever, she
may be the right one.
But at my age or yours

I would marry only
a woman who made me
grunt at the zenith.
If she did that,
I’d buy the ring.


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

... ink ...

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Contributor: C. Z. Heyward

- -
i took off the mask.
pushed it inside out
so the dark might be known.
it was covered with mucus
and blood.
the tenuous sinew that held up
my hollow smiles and hollowed eyes
were now revealed.

the muted eyes of others are now turned on
to my writhing technicolor reality.
i've scalped myself
and hold it as such.
it dangles as a pendulum
from my out stretched arm
marking Paleolithic time.

black tufted hair coats my neck
matching the hue of my flexing flanks.
i am a beast among many.

until I gaze upon you.

but all i do is cower
because i am faceless.

nameless.

soulless.

i can only mark this time with
ground stone.
fat and blood.
etched in granite for a thousand millennia.

but there is no you in the crevices.

just a trellis of bones
with no indication of where
my heart was buried.

lunar eclipse
wrangles white tip wake.
i sit moored among the living
though wishing i were not
still searching for you.
Nephelai washes my unknown stench
as i rake the dark warm gore
of octopi for indigo pulp.
his spine my quill.
my skin my parchment.
yet no one reads me.

i whistle a whaler's chanty
"Spanish Ladies"
as a lullaby for Aeon
to end my nightmare.

i wake.
weary in my bones
broken in my spirit
rubbing remnants of Hypnos
from my eyes.
wishing his brother Thanatos had kissed me instead

i reach towards my nightstand.
grabbing my cell.
i read your simple text.

I love you

Fate has me write this
as you have done.
turning myself inside out
through my spine

so nothing is hidden.
though few like this truth

it is me.

embracing peace.


- - -
C. Z. Heyward is a Harlem (NYC) born poet whose work has found platforms in Greece, France and the U.K.

What Weighs a Soul?

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Contributor: Richard Hartwell

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It matters!

For if a soul is damned to hell,
may it pass terminal velocity at
thirty-two feet per second per second,
or is a soul limited, as if it were of
some discrete mass subject to
universals of gravity and momentum?

Again, if bound for some heaven,
is a soul encumbered by attaining
escape velocity in order to rest in
peace among the stars? Then,
if of no mass, a soul is not limited
to traveling below the speed of light,

But may roam galaxies without number
as pure energy, not to be frozen in place by
entropy at a terminal death of this one universe,
or collapse many souls into a singularity!


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Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity

Wasteland

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Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

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I remember the innocence of childhood,
like one remembers the smell of their mothers' perfume,
I remember that, too,
easy recollections of railroad ties
and the thrill of hiding
at the bottom of a pool,
hastily replaced with the loneliness
of watching the moon rise
from the center of a midnight field,
overtaken by teenage fury,
violent and vengeful for a stolen childhood,
now adults leaving ink footprints
through the new age,
teeming with a different variety of rage,
unwavering and driven,
lamenting on what could have been


- - -
Brittany Zedalis is a 24 year old mother of one. She has a variety of published poetry, some of which can be found in Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon, Mad Swirl, and Haiku Journal.

Waiting for Peter

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
If I hadn’t died, I’d still
be bouncing along
in that Greyhound bus
through the mountains
swigging a Coke.
Don’t mind being dead but
dying almost killed me.

When the bus hit the boulder
I flew out the window
and was tossed in the air.
My head hit the rocks.
No one survived.
They found us later
covered with snow.

But it’s nice up here
on a cloud waiting
with the others now.
We wonder what’s next.
Moments ago an angel
landed and said Peter
would soon be here.


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

I; Boundless

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Contributor: Jessica Enriquez

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My legs were not made to be still
they do not fall vertically
they are rebellious branches
that bend at their pleasure

my voice is not a songbird’s
it is rough and hurried
words don’t flow out gracefully
they erupt unpolished

my hands are not delicate
they are not gentle nor kind
they are strong and versatile
they have sown and they have reaped

my eyes are not opened windows
nor is calm river reflected within them
they are dark opals
projecting fierce seas

my spirit is not submissive
it is free and transforms
it does not restrict to boundaries
it was not made for human prisons


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A poet and a lover of nature, Jessica Enriquez is a 24-year-old college student majoring in English Literature. She enjoys cycling, gardening, and autumn. Her poetry was published in the most current issue of her college's literary journal.

Mortal Mornings

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Contributor: David Hanlon

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I wonder why
it is always
on the brink of morning
I think so intensely
about death.
I walk to work at 5.20 am,
the streets are dark,
anticipating sunrise.

As I walk, I’m fascinated by it:
the thing
that has the power to smash
us into smithereens;
tear off
the coasting calmness,
the quiet bumbling along
of life,
release endless screeches.

When I arrive at work,
I make myself a cup of coffee,
pour in the milk
slowly
and watch
attentively
as it swirls into the black
and makes it disappear.


- - -
David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales and currently living in Bristol, England. You can find his poems at Ink, Sweat and Tears and Fourth and Sycamore.

Her Love

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Contributor: Stacy J Maddox

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She looks at me with eyes
As hopeful as a new day
And I wonder if I can fulfill
The promises that I made
Because she says
She knows in her heart
I am the man
She desires me to be

Deep inside my soul
She lives in every way
She is the one
Who has led me to believe
Her love is my greatest need.


- - -
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 is honored to have been published in over 40 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Play Your Tambourine

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Contributor: Adrian Slonaker

- -
Play your tambourine,
bang your bongo!
The ghosts are exiled
to a cedar chest bolted securely
against prying eyes,
even your own.
The toy balloons have been released,
bright colors representing myriad moods
into whirling currents of serendipity and whim,
overwhelming dreary demons,
You've banished them for the last time;
with halcyon hope you toast the future
with get-up-and-go
and with cheek.


- - -
Adrian Slonaker lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, working as a copywriter and copy editor, with interests that include vegetarian cooking, Slavic languages, Victorian horror fiction, wrestling, and 1960s pop music. Adrian's work has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, CC&D, Dodging the Rain, and Three Line Poetry.

Everything She Does is Magic

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
I never truly knew
what love is supposed to be
until she straight up
denounced Shakespeare
right in front of me,
capturing my heart
like no silly sonnet
from the standard canon
ever could.

I never truly knew
just how pure an emotion
love could grow into
until the moment
I saw her face
squish up and shake
from the texture of the grits
which she’d just taken a bite of
on a righteous Sunday morning
in the holy house of waffles;
but what did me in
even more
was how she set down the fork,
composed her lovely smile,
and then proceeded to say
that they actually tasted good
despite the fact
they feel like baby food in one’s mouth.


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

My Mother’s Secret

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Contributor: Linda Imbler

- -
I found my mother’s secret
tucked away in a
drawer beneath some bras,
after she had gone away,
inside five boxes
of feminine pads.
Pills of all descriptions
without prescriptions,
such a canny mind.
What I first thought as gross forethought,
in fact was brilliant,
the elegance of her secrecy.
All these years of mindful outlet
with numbness as the goal met.
She, closeting her pain,
keeping the pretense of
a younger woman's necessity
when in fact,
no younger woman could harbor
so many years of ache.


- - -
Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.” This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player resides in Wichita, Kansas.

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