No Matter How Many Pages Are Turned

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
This brown leaf,
fallen in autumn,
serves as a bookmark.

Just as the full moon
serves as a stint
in my heart
to keep the blood flowing
after your departure.

Nature has every answer
that cannot be gleaned
from these pages
that I read and read and read.

Killing time
until the clouds come
with their rain
to take the place
of all these tears.

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, books, and live events can be found.

Under an Owl’s Watch

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Contributor: Perry L. Powell

- -
That owl resting on the funeral home
surveys the evening like a wanton judge.
I have passed beneath those curled wings before,
and no salvaging thoughts grew from my head.
Nor do they come today as I stroll by.

But when I walked that parking lot that day
all my happiness dead in a wooden box,
wisdom arrived as the ashes of a heart
and time sang like a debased currency.

The all that we didn't want when it arrived,
the little love we might yet have given,
those last rays of sun that broke the trees loose,
the winter nights that stalked us through the streets,
what could they ever say about this or that?

- - -
Perry L. Powell's work has appeared in Leaves of Ink, Cattails, Chrysanthemum, Futures Trading, Miller's Pond, The Wales Haiku Journal, vox poetica, and winamop, among other places.

The Wheel

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Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

- -
Once again the wheel has turned,
Now in their passion,
Leaves are set on fire,
And in their death,
Arrayed in beauty more than ever,
They await the latter breath of fall that severs,
And earthbound they are carried by the wind,
Their witness ended,
And yet the world will turn again.

- - -
Bruce Mundhenke writes in Illinois, where he lives with his wife and their dog and cat.


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Contributor: Palak Gupta

- -
A void inside my chest
threatens to consume me;
I don’t know if it’s
the calm before the storm
or the oblivion after the tempest.

Fingers on my neck
like a lover,
caress my skin
choke me with love.

Wrote you a love letter.
Paint on paper-
halo of blood
around my head.

Push me off my cliff
into your sea.
You always leave
even in my dreams.

I can’t make you stay
but I can take a part of you
away with me.

Say your name, breathe in, jump.
Will you stand behind me
and count to three?

- - -

Rainy Season

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Contributor: Sandra Shaw Homer

- -
It happens every afternoon:
The lake a sheet of green glass
Under piled-high crystal cumulus,
Blindingly aglow with inner fire.
Not a breath stirs the silence of the windmills.
Some instant spark – a thunderous roar? –
Tells the restless clouds
To let go their heavy weight
And shoot fat watery runnels
From the tiles of the roof,
Swell small rivers to fill the lake
And send the saturated earth
Tumbling onto the right-of-way.
Right? Whose right? Certainly not ours,

- - -
A Costa Rican citizen, Shaw Homer has written for the local press, as well as published fiction, nonfiction and poetry in on-line and print journals. Her travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific, was well reviewed by Kirkus and PW.


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Contributor: Phil Huffy

- -
Slow is the mood I know tonight
so can we view the moonrise
and witness any stars the clouds may spare?

Slow again perhaps tomorrow
to sit and watch the grass grow;
when to its supple softness we repair.

Yes here I go again you see,
I’m humbly recommending
a pace of quietude with thoughts confessed,

and if you join me in such things
as don’t require hurry
our time together will be subtly blessed.

- - -

A Fork In The Road

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
I will not cry anymore
I have become numb
I cannot continue to hope for change
I know will never come
I must move on and save myself
from the sorrow which surrounds me
I tell myself I am not selfish
I have suffered long enough
in a relationship of emptiness
Always sacrificing the things I need
the things I enjoy and for what
for the greater good, for him
and his egoism
His words say one thing
his actions another
they do not coincide
I'm always uncovering lies
We are nothing more
than two people walking
down the same road
which leads to nowhere
That road has now
reached a fork
As destiny will have it
he will go left
and I will go right
Two separate roads
out of the darkness
and into the light

- - -
A Native New Yorker, I've been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. It is my hope that someone may find solace in my words.

Trees Are Unique

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
Great creation of nature
Trees are unique ....

They are home to other creatures
Providing shelter
In extreme weather
To man or monkey
Lion or donkey
Amoeba or ant ...
Anyone who needs protection instant ...

They are soldiers
Protecting helpless
From predators

They are comrades
No race, caste, Creed discrimination
Or gender bias and oppression ...

They are humane
More than human
Who loose no opportunity
To commit any atrocity ...

They are the epitome
Of non- violence
In violent turbulent world

- - -
The writer from anywhere and every where likes to Foster the whole world. The writer is interested in human rights issues and gender justice

Frankenstein the Plot

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Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
Pardon me, imminent author
It seems there is a stitch
running through your fabric

I’ve seen these words before
on the graven images of others,
fragments of their imagination

It seems to be a reconsidered
constellation, a mixture of past
and where we’ve been

Spots of light that promise
much until our crash landing
arrival —

But then we are creatures
of habit and nostalgia, rooted
in our history, reaching forward

with fingers that, ultimately,
curl back, rooting our rhizomatic
founding of seasonal identity.

- - -
I have a new book of poetry, A Five-Year Journey, just published by Dreaming Big Publications.

New Tomorrows

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
New tomorrows
Sprinkled with uncertainty
Hopeful yet unknowing
Born of some spectral happenstance
That unites souls
Without knowing when or how
Looking in the mirror of time
And seeing infinity
Holding hands at the crossroads
Without questioning which way to go
Knowing the path to follow
Uncertainty gone in a tornado
Swirling in the core
Opening new vistas
And new tomorrows

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


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Contributor: J. L. Smith

- -
She believes in God after the rains come,
when prayers are heard
after the silence
of slammed doors,
a car skidding out of the driveway,
when the higher power can hear her voice
over the heart thuds and clogged throat.

After then, kneeling is not necessary
for he knows she is his servant,
at his mercy,
as she pleads with him the words
she cannot use aloud.

- - -
J.L. has published two collections of poetry: Medusa, The Lost Daughter and Weathered Fragments. Follow her on Twitter @jennifersmithak


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Contributor: Sandra Shaw Homer

- -
Fine strong planes
of face,
lines knowing,
beard tickle
eye twinkle
pain between brows.
I touch the pain –
Soft ears listen
mouthcurve speak to me –
oh, kiss.

Curve of back
finely taut at hip
knee leg toes
sharp angles here
and soft here.
Fingers dry and strong
like rushes touch me
in the wind.
touch –
here, oh!

- - -
A Costa Rican citizen, Shaw Homer has written for the local press, as well as published fiction, nonfiction and poetry in on-line and print journals. Her travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific, was well reviewed by Kirkus and PW.

Never, Never, Never

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Contributor: Frank Ferone

- -
I never chose to stumble,
never chose to be unseen.
Never chose to be your instrument
of letting off some steam.
I never chose where I've come from,
never chose where I have been
Never chose much of anything,
I'm just your mannequin.
I never chose your disappointments,
never chose your point of views.
Never once have I chosen your many colors of abuse.
I never chose to be your image,
never chose to over apologize.
Never chose to be a needless waste
of space within your eyes.
I never chose to be treated like an animal,
never chose to be the target of your screams.
Never chose to handle disassociation
with fragmented nightmarish daydreams.
I never chose your preconceptions,
never chose your bias representing.
Never chose your jokes at my expense;
your toxicity unrelenting.
I never chose to be a space cadet,
never chose your needs to sacrifice me.
Never chose to be your perfect pet
to put it more precisely.

- - -
NYC poet exploring some of his most inner thoughts and feelings on love, pain, depression, and anxiety.

Twelve Untitled Haiku / Senryu / etc.

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Contributor: Robert Beveridge

- -
manacled hands take
the skull from the pit; cop digs
where he points next

* * *

I raise the silent
bottle the sad river flows
behind your green eyes

* * *

leaves fall
your poems written
between their veins

* * *

burning pain
dead dog

* * *

flash of brilliant light
catches lovers in the act
cop knows her father

* * *

eighty-four steps
in fallen leaves: beyond
the electric chair

* * *

dirty needles freeze
clink against solid sand
winter in Jersey

* * *

clock hands spin, the wait
for a message slow to come,
maybe never does

* * *

all tools have two sides
hammers can shatter but they
can also fasten

* * *

car's back seat, tinted
windows afford minimal
privacy...don't care

* * *

back against the wall
head bowed in supplication
one more day in wait

* * *

blonde waterfall
your spring spray draws me
I douse myself

- - -
Robert Beveridge
makes noise and writes poetry
Akron, Ohio

Wasteland Carousel

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
So neat and tidy
outside the city
with two trashcans
at the top
of every driveway.

One full
of fake plastic bottles
promised to be recycled

But ain’t it true
that the messy trash
is what always
comes back around
when you forget
to clean up
your karma?

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, books, and live events can be found.

Ode To Silence

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Contributor: Goff James

- -
In silence
Alone I sit
Upon the headland’s rugged cliffs
Where twilight’s fingers linger long
Captured by my weaving thoughts
Immersed within the setting sun’s
Descent beyond the aching sea

In silence
Alone I sit
Listening to the mournful music of
The rhythmic lapping waves echo ‘neath
The restless call of gulls full winged
With awe filled wonder I watch
The bees upon the heather dance and sing

In silence
Alone I sit
As the clifftop chorus gently fades
And drifts beyond the slipping sun
Carried high on evening’s perfumed breeze
Into the furthest cooling corners
Of the closing of the day

In silence
Alone I sit
Gazing at the rising crescent moon
Veiled in mellow lustred clouds
Heavenwards my weary eyes I lift
Offering to the waking night
A simple thankful prayer

- - -
Goff James lives in Wales. His interests are gardening, painting, photography, reading, travel and writing. His poetry reflects whatever seems to catch his eye at any one particular moment in time.

Old Man’s Sea

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Contributor: Sunil Sharma

- -
on a solitary patch
of the beach
with bent palms
whisper things
in his attentive ears

the old guy walks regularly
morning and evening
doing the routine for years,
calls the breakers
by names and
smiles at the
orange-hued bosom
of the waves
as buddies!

An odd relationship of a tiny guy
a sea, dark-blue, mysterious

a mortal searching for gods and
a sanctuary, in a touristy place.

- - -
Bio: Sunil Sharma, a writer-freelance-academic from Mumbai, India, has published 19 books, solo and joint. He edits Setu:

Master Poet

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Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

- -
You are the poet's Poet,
Yours is the greatest poem,
Full of beauty,
Filled with wisdom,
Perfectly it scans,
Majestic in its power,
Epic in its scope,
Brilliant in conception,
You placed it on the page,
An eternal message,
A gift of love and hope.

- - -
Bruce Mundhenke writes in Illinois, where he lives with his wife and their dog and cat.


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Contributor: Pat Ashinze

- -
nothing makes
a man look stupid
like wanton misery
and consistent failure.
And love.

i tell you, dear reader -
not because i have drunk sour wines;
not because i have seen the sky bleed;
not because my memories have grown
grey beards and have become arthritic;
i tell you this to show you the vanity
behind having an human existence.

if you see a man crying, run!
his soul is filled with shadows.
his memories are Unclad and silty.
run! - before the heaviness spreads and
makes you a city beneath the earth.

truth is: the mind of every man is filled with grief:
consisting of sorrows that sting like desert arachnids and
hurt like the jests of blasphemous demons.
we hide our pains behind our teeth everyday,
praying in dense notes for death to run away,
waiting for God to show his face in the clouds.

another truth is that happiness requires sacrifice.
it is the reward for hearts
that have chosen to ignore pain
and learnt to live in a world
filled with dangling windows,
punctured destinies, broken stories,
false friends, envied pedestals,
desolate cities and empty rooms.
happiness is not for cowards.
be illumined.

- - -
I write from Ilorin, Nigeria. Writing is the way i empty my mind of its load of colours and shadows. I write fluidly but poetry is my favourite genre. Writing is the only way i can talk without being interrupted.

Crossing The Ocean

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Crossing the ocean

Is more than just miles

Or depth to the bottom

It’s battling sea monsters

And waves that try

To scuttle your ship

Only love can conquer

The daemons setting their sights

On the rarest of feelings

When truly aroused

When the heart and the soul

Join forces and become one

To take on all comers

And conquer the darkness

Like a knight in shining armor

To rescue the damsel in distress

And carry her off to Neverland

To live the plethora of youth and joy

That only true love can bring

- - -
Bruce Levine, a native Manhattanite, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional and is published on and in numerous internet and print journals. He lives with his rescued Australian Shepherd, Daisy. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his wife, dancer/actress, Lydia Franklin.


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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Never by my side
always alone am I
In the beginning
there were signs
but I chose not to
acknowledge them
I buckled-up on the
roller coaster ride of love
with eyes wide open
throwing my hands in the air
surrendering to whatever
would come
He was handsome and gallant
I was naive
I wanted the fairy tale
and he provided the book
we would fill the pages

Those early years
passed quickly
filled with passion
and anticipation
Gloriously wild and free
life revolved around
him and me
My Knight in shinning armor
he came from over-seas
Everything about him was
memorizing, tantalizing
And then just like that
on a nondescript day
he dropped the bomb
the ultimatum
In retrospect,
not an easy decision
for a starry-eyed girl

Follow him and live over-seas
or accept the unthinkable
Already in love, infatuated
wanting the fairy tale
afraid to lose the future
I followed
Surrendering my goals
along with everyone
and everything I knew

I would become a wife
without ever being a bride
Young and married by the law
no wedding, no reception
and in the end
no recollection

- - -
A Native New Yorker, I've been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. It is my hope that someone may find solace in my words.

Pushing For More

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Contributor: Vaunna Fostertagg

- -
Give me a taste of purity
give me a taste of that happiness
that can't be found
in champagne bottles
in slaying stacks of paper
in drunken nights under neon
in beds that smell of stranger's sweat
in fists and back-alley brawling
in sharp smiles
and sharper knives
and secrets
that destroy families
that tear down towers
and leave men standing in windows
contemplating the drop
to the distant ground.

Give me a taste of the joy
that comes from the ice
when children would eat sweet larvae
from the raw pelts of reindeer
and chew walrus fat
knowing that days were good
that life was rich

Give me a taste of the joy
that came with ancient gratitude
an acceptance of all that is
all that was
without ever once
pushing the envelope
against danger
hoping for more.

- - -
Florida native with a heart of gold, sometimes.

Chance Encounters

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Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
The young man sweeps the mat of dried leaves,
all that decades-old bamboo clump has littered.
The tops and canes are green and fresh,
the over-matured culms are browning.

I am the old uncle watching,
feet raised on the extended arm rests
of my chair rocking,
a mug of brewed coffee on one hand, I’m sipping
just as in my childhood, aroma captivating -
to relieve the joints of uric pain, I’m trying,
to re-live the vibrant guitarist strain, I’m wishing.

The broom stick and rake he sways
with precise moves and muscular grace;
as accompaniment, the chirps of birds, the wind plays
as chickens cackling like backup singers race.

Breaking the seeming trance, the rooster crows,
"cock-a-doodle-doo" - loud and proud, the hens he wows
and I stare at this old boy - or the young man, he grows
He glances at me, then bows,
as I see my past, the youth that Sun did arouse
and he sees his future, as years thin and grey the brows.
Aging is inevitable, I know, he knows
And again, enjoying the day, the rooster crows.

- - -
Jun Lit (Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology and studies insects at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and writes poems about nature, people, and society

Flat Roads

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Contributor: J. L. Smith

- -
We dreamt of far away lines of flat roads,
some hills to make it interesting,
some turns to give us some decisions,
paths to debate,
outcomes in which to blame.

But, together we took a detour
with neither of us consulting the GPS.
Blood in our veins
directed our course in off roads
made of vines of compromise.

Instead of our destination,
we got nowhere.
Now, we are lost
and we have only ourselves to blame.

- - -
J.L. has published two collections of poetry: Medusa, The Lost Daughter and Weathered Fragments. Follow her on Twitter @jennifersmithak


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Contributor: Dee Allen

- -
Getting the head
Shorn with a blade,
Hairless to the touch
And smooth, was how
Kenyan and Tanzanian
Maasai men historically
Prepared for battle
Against approaching hostile
Nearby tribes. Nowadays,
Maasai women strip
Themselves of wooly hair
For cleanliness and
Drawing the straying
Male eye on her.
As an African man

In America, applying
A good razor
To my stubbly
Scalp, lathered in
Thick white cream,
Backward and forward
Before the bathroom mirror
Over a face-bowl

Keeps the creeping
Ravages of grey
From settling in
All too soon--

My face,
All sharp corners
And high cheek-bones,
Receives the same treatment.

My ritual
Wards off age
For the time being.
Youth and
Cleanliness maintained with razor strokes.

This is me
In warrior mode
Preparing for battle
Against encroaching hostile
Western society.
W: 8.16.18

- - -
African. Italian. Poet.

The Contented Sow

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Contributor: Quirby McNallain

- -
Eating bacon
Staring at the pig
her succulent piglets
why we render such wonder
in paint and paper
while keeping life contained
in such tiny boxes
nowhere near as ideal
as the contented sow
at the burnt bacon
on my greasy plate.

- - -
My parents were quirky, and that's how I'll always remember them. Longtime resident of Sparks, in Nevada.

Drunken Advice

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Contributor: Uralave Minsraim

- -
Don't fix what ain't broken
I wish less was broken
I wish the whole system
wasn't broken
wasn't a heap of trash
better left outside
where the rain could wash it clean
or the fire could cleanse it
or someone new
could carry the whole thing away
and make something useful
out of the mess
I sometimes call
my life.

- - -
I go from one meeting to another in an endless chain of absolute importance.


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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
What in life did she really know
it's not what it all seems
Now all covered by the snow
buried are her dreams

A blanket made of icy white
lies heavy on her soul
Passing is each day and night
life has taken its toll

Beneath the bitter cold
tears of sadness fill her eyes
What she believed was real in life
was nothing more than lies

- - -
Born and raised in New York, I've been writing poetry ever since I can remember. Only recently have I felt a desire to share my poetry with others. It is my hope that someone may find solace in my words.


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