Unmendable

| Filed under

Contributor: Maria-Theresa Zehendstrom

- -
I rode the ride
I took the chance
I screamed and howled
with joy
thrilled
from end
to beginning.

I've seen
what can become
of two people
after they say
"I do."

I've seen
permanence
wither away
in a day

I've seen
the world
turn to sand
in an hour

I've seen promises shattered
ironclad
now broken
now rusty
now dust
memories on the wind
nothing but memories
fading
as they slip through my fingers


- - -
Inspired by the writings of Herne, Norris and Moreno, I write the song that splashes from my hands when I pour my soul on paper.

True Love

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
True love-
something few will ever know
It is not what you think-
clouds of fluff and
unicorns colored pink

True love-
an ache which fills the heart
Taking over body and soul
without him or her
you will never be whole

True love-
consumes your existence
Feelings of happy and sad
Unpredictable, uncontrollable
being in love is not a fad

True love-
makes you feel sick
It's not all glitter and gold
but if you find true love
together you'll grow old

True love-
comes only once
To none does it compare
It won't be an easy ride
but have faith in it, if you dare!


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her thoughts about life, love, nature and human emotion.

Betrayal

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Contributor: Alexis K

- -
I heard Heather’s broken voice from across the room
And I stood in front of her trying not to cry
Her nails claw at one another, nails painted
The color of blood as from a recent kill
Waiting for the clock to strike three,
Her hands gripping the bag she picked up,
About to leave,
While ignoring the casualty on the way out
No one in the quiet room understood
How she could have thrown away their friendship, so quickly
Like a carcass pulpy and horrible


- - -
Alexis goes to Pompton Lakes High school and loves to write in her free time.

Something More

| Filed under

Contributor: Danetta Jo Barkvist

- -
I do what you ask
and yet it's never enough
I move mountains
you find fault in their lines
I turn water to wine
but it isn't merlot
I carry you on my back
and you say I'm too bony
I buy you cigarettes
but always the wrong brand
I can't move fast enough
to satisfy your need for now
yet you're always late
leaving me waiting
for hours
hours
sometimes days.

I know that you're hurting
I know I'm your only friend
and yet sometimes
sometimes
I stare at the horizon
just stare
wishing for something better
wishing for something more.


- - -
I am a high school senior at Twenty Pines. Go Dobermans!

A Dream

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
How do you measure a dream?
In ounces? Pounds?
Inches? Feet?
Centimeters, meters or miles?

Do dreams have weight?
Can you hold them in your hands?
How does it feel if you touch a dream?
Warm and tender?

Can you hold hands with a dream?
Can you put your arms around it?
Feel every fiber of it and yourself
Meld into one?

Dreams are ephemeral
Like dandelion flowers
Floating on the wind
Over a field of brightly colored daisies.

Can dreams come true?
Do they have height and weight?
Can they last forever?
Only when you meet the one you love!


- - -
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-five books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin, and his wife Jane. He lives in New York with Jane and their dog, Daisy. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

Now We Cry

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Before the floods flashed
and carved the hills into red rock caverns,
before the fires flamed
and felled the forest trees,
before the wildlife panicked
and dove into the rushing rivers,
before the birds flew too close to the sun
and, as with Icarus, their wings melted
and they fell into the sea,
before the teeth and claws of the gnawing rats
rattled then scuttled
the worm-holed warped-wood battleships,
before the lions cowered
and fled the highest ground,
before the clear skies melted
and bled blue,
before the sun turned on us
and burned our eyes,
before the snows followed
and froze them open,
before the wild winds raved
and pushed us apart,
before the raging waters rose
and swept us under,
before the whole earth split
and devoured us in fire,
before we knew
that all we knew
would soon be through,
we stood together, hand in hand,
laughing.


- - -
I am a retired high school English teacher. I began writing again this past summer after a 30-year hiatus. My first book, The White Room, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.

And The Guilt Is Delicious

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Contributor: Bet Q. McDondren

- -
One taste
one time
one place
where we shared spoons
tried something new
together

Sometimes
some summer nights
when the heat has died
in the scant hours
before the sun gold-rims
that dawn horizon

I take a guilty taste
indulge in that delicious memory
and live again
for a moment
in the glory of all we had
all I thought we were
all I hoped
we'd always be.


- - -
I am enchanted by the idea that the molecules of everything around us have been manufactured freely in some patient generation of stars. We are living concretions of stardust, and I find that both inspiring and humbling.

Changing For The Better

| Filed under

Contributor: Gina DeQuattro

- -
After being alone for so long,
She understood what was happening
No one wanted to leave her, but they would be wasting their time
By sticking around with her insensitive attitude.

She took a long, hard look in the mirror
And pursued the reconstruction
Of herself.

She axed the thick walls of selfishness,
Tore up her old rough floors, stained with stubborness
Continuing on until she reached her foundation.

She picked out a new carpet that had
The softness that she needed,
Built up new walls, full of windows
And made rooms for new guests.

At last she became the palace
That she was meant to be all along.


- - -
Gina DeQuattro is a high school junior. She's enjoyed reading all sorts of media since childhood, and has decided to give writing a try.

Maze Mess

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Contributor: Jynra Q. Blitterquick

- -
Navigating the mind-maze
the social media mess
lit with trash-fires
with painful fears
threats to existence
ready to paralyze
ready to push
shove you into a spiral
of deep depression
when all you wanted was kittens
weddings, babies
updates
on all the people you never call
all the people you'd call
if only you had time
to check up on them.


- - -
Even white people ate dogs if you go back far enough in history.

You And Me, Dust

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby


Memories hanging silent
dust motes in my mind
bits of what was
what never will be
again

There is our first kiss,
that midnight press of lips
that led to so much
that undid so much
that took years off our lives
in the end.

There are all those nights
nights full of wine
so many
like grains of sand
blasting away our pain
with chardonnay.

There is our longest day
when I told you
I wished I hadn't married you
and another day
when I wanted to beg you to stay
one last time
but I didn't.

There is your car,
packed to the brim with boxes
and you
with tear-streaked eyes
saying goodbye
forever


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

Deeper

| Filed under

Contributor: Nicolina Barone

- -
Thirteen feet deep,
in the deep end of the pool,
their pool,
not my home.

The blue gets darker the deeper I go,
the blue diving rings now an off-
white,
the apathetic hands that have
worn the paint away.
One appears new,
yet the guilt of choosing it
nearly chokes me
knowing that the rest would lay there helpless.

I feel myself going deaf,
muffled voices and sounds,
sounds that I hear at 6am
when my little brother gives up on
sleep. The dreams that make him squeal,
an ache in my ears at six feet.

I push the water out of the way,
my fingers wrinkle like my shirts,
each one tattered, holes poking through,
some even exposing the birth-
mark on my shoulder.

The mosaic pool tiles melt their colors into one another,
bits of algae cradled by the water, swaying
from side to side …

My sinuses cannot take
the foul smell of
urine triumphs --
Remember the cold basement?
I was eleven years old
piss pads and cat litter surrounded
my spot for sleep, my dirty sheet, the door with no handle---
the smell of the chlorine is barely here
at eleven feet.

The water is still for a second,
my cheeks balloon,
and my chest gives way.


- - -
Nicolina Barone is a junior at Pompton Lakes High School hoping to continue her studies, specifically English in college. She has loved writing and poetry since she was a little girl and is so excited to share her poetry with the world, especially because this is her first time submitting to a journal!

When You Were With Me

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Contributor: Olivar V. Twykbenni

- -
When it all ends
will you be there for me?
will you be the friend
I always wanted you to be
when you
were with me?

When it all ends
will you still curse me?
will you still scream my name
and spit at me
the way you did
when you were with me?

When it all ends,
will I stand and take your torment?
will I see you as my sole hope
will I choose you
over cold and lonely silence?
or will I stand alone, instead
will I stand strong
The way I never did
when you were with me?


- - -
I write when the phones aren't ringing.
The phones are almost always ringing.
Adulthood isn't as rewarding as I thought it would be.

Six Haikus

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
a tree waits for spring
Cherry Blossoms bloom again
birds return to sing

ocean waves roll in
while the birds fly overhead
hope for all mankind

leaves drifting earthbound
Autumn season approaches
squirrels are nesting

a field of daisies
are blooming under the sun
a new day is here

winter winds whistle
through the barren evergreens
hear the forest cry

river water flows
creating pathways of life
animals huddle


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she writes to express her thoughts about life, love, nature and human emotion.

Last Song to the Horizon

| Filed under

Contributor: Helenah Comia

- -
Do you remember the time
we sat down in your car and
parked on the edge of a highway?
We opened the sunroof and stared
at the sky with no sun.
We waltzed around the thought of tomorrow
while no music played. I reached out
for one last dance but you weren’t there ㅡ
you were halfway down the road,
windows rolled down,
echoing a new tune.

I sang our last song
to the horizon of our highway
and walked up the side of it, home.


- - -

Eons

| Filed under

Contributor: Bet Q. McDondren

- -
What manner of mineral blip am I?
when eons are seconds
to a star
when the scratching of a planet
drowns millions
when the voices we stream
in an endless flood (it seems)
are so momentary
so fragile
so chaotic
they might only rate
as someone else's wow signal
consigned to the dust bin
unknown
for all the eons before
and all the eons after


- - -
I am enchanted by the idea that the molecules of everything around us have been manufactured freely in some patient generation of stars. We are living concretions of stardust, and I find that both inspiring and humbling.

Porcelain

| Filed under

Contributor: Jody Yesennia Millyer

- -
There's a softness
between hands
between skin
when we touch
when we meet
fingertip to fingertip
silent mirrored smiles

my teeth are not like yours
my skin is not like yours
my heart
the self beneath the skin
the drumbeat of linked souls
in all, I am
just like you
an echo of an echo
mirrored in love
forever.


- - -
I have no home. I am free by choice. The world is my church, and I walk between the pews toward the godhood with every step of every day.

Front Porch Concerto

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Hearken to the wind-chimes.
They announce the coming symphony.
Their hanging xylophone of cacophony
beckons the wind home.
It hears. It comes.
It blows by the leaves
of the waving oak trees
with the soft sound of a brush
circling on a drum pad
in rhythm with the wind.
Car engines on the highway hum,
a collection of clarinets
that bewitches the audience
into spellbound rapture.
A car honks –
a trumpet blaring a reveille of warning.
A semi joins in –
a sliding trombone of freeway dominance.
The grinding of its gears
modulates the key
of this composite symphony,
the bass and the bassoon
causing the earth to rumble.
A train rattles the tracks –
a saxophone singing
a syncopated song of longing
for far-away places and far-away times.
The tympani roll thunder.
The cymbals crash lightning.
A mandolin of rain strums the scene.
Sing out.
Sing out the hallelujah hymn
of all things mundane.
Praise them.


- - -
I am a retired high school English teacher. I began writing again this past summer after a 30-year hiatus. My first book, The White Room, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.

Tea Time

| Filed under

Contributor: Amy L Marcheso

- -
The gossip sloshed out of her mouth, burned her lips
red as lipstick. Steam slipped through between her teeth,
wanting to say any horrible thing she could think about her friend.
I drank the information with a hard swallow.
It hit my stomach,
melting me from the inside.
Nothing about this girl calmed me.

I had never seen such anger
come out of such a small person.
Her face contorted from the hurt
along with the betrayal she felt,
though she was doing the deed herself.

I gasped at every enraged driven gesture.
Her hands constantly connecting with the table with such force
with a string of profanities pouring from her mouth --
And all I could do was sit there

Afraid of how she’d burn me if I dared open my mouth.
Afraid that I was numb to a burn that was already inflicted upon me.


- - -
Amy is a New Jersey born high school senior who loves to read and write in her free time. She describes using writing as an outlet.

A Second Heart

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Grief punctures the heart
And slices the soul
A love, if true, is never
Forgotten
And yet remains irretrievable
There is no cure
No antidote
For the cancer of grief
Which devours the body
And consumes the mind
With zombiesque ferocity
Ravaging the flesh of a
Walking carcass
Why Heaven has chosen
To perpetrate such a punishment
Is beyond human understanding
Mere mortals were never given
Powers sufficient to plunge
The depths of grief
Hope of happiness
Remains caged like a lion
A corpse being devoured by maggots
And yet, inextricably,
Destiny can intervene
Fate can conquer
The lassitude of time
Conspiracies unforeseen coalesce
Bridging oceans
With glacial understanding
That alone empowers
The universe
To swoop up two souls
Lost in the limbo of time
Destined to fulfill their fate
Carved with flint and stone
A cavern in granite
Now magically transformed
Into pavement as smooth as glass
As crystalline as a stream
Frozen motion
That recaptures the
Essence of life
Spreading a new love
Like a waterfall
Cascading against the rocks
In a rainbow of spray
To tie two people
In a ring of love
Forever sustained
By the growth of
A second heart


- - -
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-five books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin, and his wife Jane. He lives in New York with Jane and their dog, Daisy. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

Apologia Pro Vita Mea

| Filed under

Contributor: Rajnish Mishra

- -
No, I am no demon, although you
many of you, think so.
And why do you think so?
Do you even know me?
Still you do.
I know you are liberal,
modern, even radical,
And she, well-worded,
well-versed in uses;
subterfuges of language
convinced you
with a sigh, or two.

Yet, I must tell you all,
to clear all doubts, yours,
and blemishes, on me.
I know that one may
hide truth from the world
but one cannot
hide the world from truth.
So truth comes searching you
And here comes my side of the story.
I know you’ll listen.
I know you are liberal,
modern, even radical,
and I, ill-worded,
ill-versed in uses;
subterfuges of language
will tell you in language
plain and sheer,
my side of the story.

We were both thirtyish
on the day of our wedding.
I was handsome, she loved me.
She was plain; I loved her.
I was liberal, progressive,
with a stable job.
What else could she ask for?
She knew. She was
Happy. At least she made me
Think so.

Feminist, she called herself,
and militant. She took pride
in overarching
the ism to its limits.
So, after a month or so,
of playing a good wife,
she started
yawning,
feminizing and militating.

Now let me tell you
one thing about me
Good Sirs,
and good Madams,
even in this age
bereft of values and ideals,
and norms and traditions,
and faith and belief
I do have all of them
and hold them close to my heart.
I believe in democracy, gender
equality and modernism.
Hell, I teach two of them to my classes!
I’m a feminist myself.
But I use my own mind too,
and too much, they tell me:
my open, militant, rational mind.
Whenever justice is denied,
a wrong is committed,
or a sin,
I seethe, and singe and burn
in rage. I am a man,
you know, a strong man –
an hour of cardio and weights
every day – I can pull and push
I’m combat-fit.

She, faux moderne, her time
out of joint,
quarreled out of place,
and spoke out of point,
and nag continually, intermittently, really,
for a stretch of weeks, days or hours
depending on her moods.
And her moods,
you can fill five volumes, or six,
of an encyclopedia with them:
The Encyclopedia of Foul Mood.
I am no Joe Gargery my friends.
I carry no baggage.
I can speak, at least speak
against women,
and still feel human,
even when they are wives.
If you, the learned in the lore
Smile as you read, thinking of the Duke
And his last Duchess, let me inform you,
I know him, her and you,
Are the cases similar?
Yes and No.
You decide, but first
listen to my side.
She has,
by now, written her ordeal
and made a best-seller
out of what she calls
and portrays as
her trauma.

It was after a spell of
drought, followed by
dry showers
of affection, or affectation,
that it happened.
I don’t let others see my anger,
although I seethe
and rage within.
Yet, my rage
got the better of me that day,
the day her charm worked.
After that call,
or was it that mail?
I don’t remember exactly
what happened that evening,
she told me
that she wanted her minute,
hour or year of fame.
She told me loudly,
that she felt restrained,
and living at my mercy.

I kept my cool,
and without speaking out,
told her that I was
above those measures
and beyond her tactical reach.
I even tried to reason,
with a woman,
and failed.
She kept festering, pestering
and I broke down.
I may have slapped her,
not more than once,
and lightly, tangentially,
I don’ t remember clearly,
but I’m sure of no open palm
ninety degree attack,
I know how to restrain myself.
Then I left the room,
she bolted it from within,
didn’t make any calls,
just wept through the night.
I was beside her,
just seven inches away,
separated by a wall.
No I did not weep.
I do not weep. I’m a man,
strong, and ratoional.

I apologized the next morning,
even made her an omelet
with coffee,
she said nothing.
I told her
how I loved her,
how all restrictions
were to protect her.
I explained, nicely, patiently,
why night is not a good time
to go out, and why
partying out late
is not good for health.
I had solid data in support,
examples of past
and present,
of far and near.
Yet, she said nothing.
Her words were drained
with her tears maybe.
She did not respond,
I left for work,
looking at her,
although I didn’t know it then,
for the last time.
In the evening,
I returned with two tickets
to Life is Beautiful
and a resolve
to be more patient with her,
always,
no matter what.

I just can’t fathom even today,
why did she
pull an Amy on me?

Gone girl!


- - -
Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India and now in exile from his city. His work originates at the point of intersection between his psyche and his city. He edits PPP Ezine.

12/28

| Filed under

Contributor: Delvon T. Mattingly

- -
She argued her presence
justified a more profound love,
as she reiterated to another
that the distance between them
was temporary. I’m unsure
which of us believed her more.


- - -
Delvon T. Mattingly, who also goes by D.T. Mattingly, is an emerging creative writer and a PhD student in epidemiology at the University of Michigan.

The News Conundrum

| Filed under

Contributor: Susan (Suez) Jacobson

- -
From the vantage of privilege and luck
Happily clueless or helplessly stricken?
The responsibility to cry
Informed tears.
To understand why potency
Ground to blowing sand
Leaves tracks of grief and inaction.
Mentally ajar in a world where justice
Seems only an abstract idea.


- - -
Recovering economist turning to poetry and defense of the natural world.

Happily Never After

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Happily never after
Is a tale too often told
When dreams have been discarded
And faith no longer bold

The empty trough forgotten
Amid sorrows that never end
And hope that travels nowhere
With messages one cannot send

The broken line of pavement
Erased by years of rain
That once had been a highway
But now a road of pain

If happily never after
Is all that’s left ahead
The tears remember good times
And life’s an unmade bed

The hope that self-renews now
A chance for dreams to come true
Is worth another mem’ry
A life ahead that’s due


- - -
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, articles and a screenplay His nearly one-hundred-fifty works are published in magazines, over twenty-five on-line journals, thirty books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. He lives in New York with his dog, Daisy. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

Bright Headlights

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby


I remember you
I remember when I lost my mind
I remember you
standing at the top of the stairs
proud pillar of night
Backlit by flooding light
by the sunrise
I couldn't see coming
at the end
of the darkest night
of my bitter, broken life.

Your love
was like lights on the highway
Blinded
I never saw the shape
of who you were
of who you really were
until you hit me
until I was sprawled out
at your feet
broken and bruised
confused.

Now,
You want to talk
You want to revisit
All that we were
All that I wanted us to be

Now,
You say you've made a U-Turn
You say you'll never "flip a bitch"
again.

I let the line go dead
I let the ringer sing itself to sleep
I let the corpse of what we were
lay rotting in the streets
of a world that doesn't care
doesn't see
anything but the perfect love
you never gave to me.


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

News about Sharks

| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
Turns out, sharks like
thumping music. Swinging
sharks, imagine them in tuxedos,
swimming just beyond the reach
of your bass sound.

Soft jazz makes them go away,
just like the unhip. Just like
those with myopic vision
and narrow minds. There are other
shoals for those types.

I wonder what country does?
The slow sweet melancholy of classic
bluegrass tunes probably doesn’t
play well (don’t go swimming on that
assurance, please), but I wager that
the drumbeats of modern tunes

probably gathers some teeth.


- - -
My book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, has recently been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

Red Water

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Part of the sleet was comfortable,
a reliable foe.
Its slanted needles,
the spit of the sky,
jabbed our winter coats
with a sense of purpose.
Coming fast and determined,
the icy spikes failed to pierce
the thick wool coats
we wore as armor.
For that, we cheered,
reveling in victory
over our old foe’s attack,
knowing our snowsuits
and our water-proof boots
would keep us safe --
all but the face.
We tried to look down
but could only look up,
frozen in awe
at the sharpened water
sending down pain
so constant and sure,
it bloodied our eyes
wide open.



- - -
I am a retired high school English teacher. I began writing again this past summer after a 30-year hiatus. My first book, The White Room, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.

Love Birds

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Love birds don't sing
And she's feeling blue
So much is wrong
What can she do?

Love birds don't sing
They have left the sky
Her efforts have failed
She wonders why?

Love birds don't sing
They have flown away
A bond has broken
There's no more to say

Love birds can't fly
Without their wings
Love birds are gone
They no longer sing


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her thoughts and emotions.

Snow

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
The first snow
Early this year
The middle of November
Wiping away years
Of deprivation
Awakening the senses
Of cold refreshing renewal
As frozen water
Sprinkles down and
Melts against my face and clothes
Tiny sculptures
Crafted by nature
To enlighten the soul
A shower of fluff
A curtain of a
New reality
Carrying me away
As it coats the ground
With whiteness
And yet it engulfs me
Like a blanket
Of quiet and stillness
That only snow can bring
Settling my spirit
In a new state of repose
And a grandeur of
Quietude
Thank you snow


- - -
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-five books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin, and his wife Jane. He lives in New York with Jane and their dog, Daisy. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

Waiting White

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
A picture of you painting
Hangs lingering in my mind
Careful strokes
Bold colors
The press
The slide
The hues transfused
Into waiting white
Your hands bringing life
Wherever they wander
Even when they wander
Over me.


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

My Dear Angel Of The Internet

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Contributor: H.L. Dowless

- -
My angel of the internet,
she lives among the wires,
I endeavor to move as close to her as I can get,
I type the key pad for hours.

She embraces my each and every word,
rejecting not what I have to say,
my soul pours out unto her,
pure passion among the wires is where my heart lays.

I long to be in her company,
I wish to hold back not,
her potential enchanting beauty is all that I can see,
unbridled passion burns white hot.

The spark inside her eye revealed the soul passion,
unbridled it leads to a bond between two hearts,
inviting waves of emotion that never cease in its happening,
a first twinkle is where it all starts.

Few among mortals of this present day,
are aware that the soul can transcend all barriers,
no force on earth can ne'er stand in their way
when angels are two hearts great carriers.

When two souls reach out and touch,
and the compulsion bears no forbearance,
then the euphoria may never be felt as much
as when two hearts are twain,
and thy sweet time shall one another cherish.

Words spoken that touch the heart
are all that any soul needs,
the motion put forth that is intended to impart
every feeling that the body and the mind reads.

My dear angel of the internet,
I know not where they presence lies,
while I can't be in thy company yet,
we still possess a spirit that binds.

Please, ne'er forget me, my love,
I only desire thy company for an eternity,
my soul floats beside you like a dove,
lo I shall never leave you,
as the sun from the earth ne'er flees.

Where does thou stand now, my beauty?
In what direction flows your love?
What secular measure can be a gratuity
for your alluring presence,
my precious dove?


- - -
The author is an international ESL instructor. He enjoys outdoor activities from museum field work to big game hunting.

Running Hot, Climbing High

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Contributor: John Ogden

- -
Rumble down to the old coastal road
Nose over the line
Open up the throttle
Squeal and roar
each shift a commitment
each shift
dropping through
the heavy metal riff
until there are no more gears to grind
no more room for the needle to climb
no more road
nothing but sky
endless sky
and the dark depths of the sea
that come cold and sudden
swallow me


- - -
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.

Reunion: A Self-Pity Ditty

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Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
“Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee.” -
-- Gerard Manley Hopkins

When Sorrow comes to visit,
We feast from dusk ‘til dawn.
We binge on acrid memories
To celebrate him home.

I greet him at the doorway,
Embrace him with a laugh:
(“Why do you stay away so long?”)
I kill the fatted calf.

I hone the blade to piercing;
Mortal flesh is rent.
We fill our cups with overflow
Of bitter sacrament.

We raise a glass to visions
Turned rancid with regret;
Whet our frenzied appetites -
Toast all we can’t forget.

We reminisce for hours
(“How Hopelessness has grown!”),
Share tears in fond remembrance
Of all the hurt we’ve known.

We gnaw the carrion carcass,
Gorge on life unjust,
Suck marrow from the brittle bones,
Sate our wanton lust.

Then purgative Redemption
Administers release:
She guts our bloated torment,
Bestows her blesséd peace.

Sorrow gathers up to go;
He lumbers on his way.
I watch until he’s out of sight. . .
Then clear the mess away.


- - -
Last summer, I began writing again after a 30-year hiatus. I have since had several poems and stories published, including in Leaves of Ink.

a glance

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Contributor: Simon Whittle

- -
sculpt the language of love
in your glance
the harmony of silence
i give into the earth of your eyes
like craters, mysterious and infinite
i am yours

wage the language of grace
in your call
the tone like waves crashing into my heart
your mouth is all i see
the curve of your Cupid's bow
after all, the emojis are molded after your smile

erase the perception of time
with your fingers
sweep the canvass of my skin
like a current hijacking all my senses
but you touch me all so harmlessly
and, i am bound to your charms


- - -
Simon Whittle lives with his husband in Canada. If he's not painting, then he's writing stories. He runs a blog via WordPress with his best friend sharing happy, amusing, and sad anecdotes and poetry.

Words

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Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
Make me promises.
Predict my future.
Cast a bold vision.

Be honest and sincere
twice a year. When there’s
a microphone. Only then.

Tell me the world is my
oyster then cut out the branch
from beneath my toes.

Watch me cling to your words
like stone wings. I sink
on your 50 percent chances.

You should be a weatherman
at this rate, laughing in your warm
window while I walk in the hot sunshine

dressed in a thick raincoat.
People make more honest sounds
in the bathroom after a bad meal
than what these proverbs add up to. 


- - -
My book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, has recently been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

The Smiling Solution

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Contributor: Michaeleen Kelly

- -
In a recurring dream image
I’m situated center left
in a slowly moving cohort
of all those I’ve loved still living.
I’m beaming joy at those faces
I feel compelled to uplift.

There’s a sense that missing beloved faces
have already moved to the front of the line.
I know about the cliff awaiting us there.
Were the missing ones perceived as award-winning racehorses
zealously beating out their competition?
Did we dare offer smiling faces as they gallantly whisked by us?

The generalized smiling resembles the populace
in 1950’s Chinese propaganda films,
singing bombastically about Communism.
Our forward movement seems natural, ineluctable,
like being trapped on a moving set of stairs at the airport,
surrounded by unmovable travelers and their packs.

I’m trying to keep my poise and keep grinning,
playing like I’m in on a secret joke,
while preparing for a noble, gracious leap
off this mortal delivery device.

I’m flashing my broken teeth and tender gums
at my grandkids at the end of the line,
grateful about their glacially slow inching toward the finish line,
while working on getting the fear out of my arched eyebrows,
as other galloping dervishes gain unnervingly on the outside track,
all unaware of the nature of the race,
my eyes imploring them to recognize and pay forward
my albeit feigned optimism.

If there’s a better approach
to inoculating the most vulnerable against despair
during my brief tenure in this lethal marathon,
no reason to panic.
It’s just not moving forward real soon.


- - -
Michaeleen Kelly is a professor of Philosophy at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She's a performance poet who has been published in Dunes Review, Blue Collar Review and Grey Wolf Press.

Hawks

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
Have you ever felt the dark shadow
Of the soldier's body beside his widow?
Have you ever sensed the fragile mind
Of the dead man's infant child?

Sitting in your cozy studios
Ranting jingoistic talk on radios
Like many a Mussolini, you hawks
Hate instigating social sharks!

You can't understand the warrior's strain
Nor desperation leading to his pain
More than fighting for his country
He's compelled to earn bread for his family!

While the downtrodden, poverty-ridden soldier
Dreams of his expectant wife, child or sick father or mother
Warmongering hawks! You calculate the cost
Of war, how you won or lost!

Embroiled in defense, strategic quagmire
You just care for soldiers' bravery and attire
Ignoring their desire for a longer, healthy life
With peace, harmony in a world without strife

Promoting patriotism, extolling narcissism
Propagating belligerent, dangerous fascism
You control vulnerable, docile masses
For your selfish gains, in political nuances.


- - -
The writer from anywhere and everywhere, supports any one working without fear and anger.

A Second Chance

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Once in a lifetime
If you’re lucky
You get a second chance
At love
How it happens
Why it happens
No one knows
But the powers up
Above
Life’s twists and turns
Run parallel in the universe
Fate and destiny hold hands
To bring loved ones together
Dearly departed team up
In Heaven
Guiding what appears
Happenstance
Improbable
Impossible
And yet volatile passions
Transcend eternity
Until the ultimate moment
Of consummation
A deep breath
Of longing
Brought together
Like lightning
Illuminating the sky
In a flash of brilliance
That will last forever
Towering over
Time and space
No longer a momentary
Ember
But
Transformed into a glowing
Fireball that consumes
Every fiber of the
Lover’s beings
Granting them love
And happiness
And an ending that will last
Forever


- - -
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 and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin, and his wife Jane. He lives in New York with Jane and their dog, Daisy. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

Partial Embrace

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Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

- -
Only partial embrace,
We see it all around,
And when we recollect our life,
We find it all everywhere,
All the way along,
Nearly every day.
The whole wide wondrous world,
Unnoticed as we go,
Focused on a thing or two
As we move along our way.
When we get a glimpse of Spirit,
We focus only on a part,
Then we live and breathe it,
Forgetting what we saw,
And when we love another,
We claim them for our own,
And believe them to be ours,
So still, we are alone.


- - -
Bruce Mundhenke lives in a small town in Illinois with his wife and their dog and cat. He has short stories in Mad Swirl and Farther Stars Than These and poems in Indiana Voice Journal, Plum Tree Tavern, Dead Snakes, and in many other magazines.

Happiness Surrenders

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Happiness surrenders
To the unknown powers
That guide the soul
In the right direction


- - -
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, articles and a screenplay His nearly one-hundred-fifty works are published in magazines, over twenty-five on-line journals, thirty books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. He lives in New York with his dog, Daisy. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

Song Of Mr. Doolittle

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Contributor: H.L. Dowless

- -
Well I,
I walked down town to the bow-tick store,
just to see what I could buy,
they had harlebusque, knives, quilts, grain, and more,
I knew not what to try.

Then the old clerk said,
“Son, just take your pick,
just see what you might like best;
if you should take a bite and it makes you sick,
then just leave alone all the rest.

I have some sugar powder,
a little chowder,
some booger pudding
and some whey.
So just take a bit of what e’er you are wanting,
and have a cheer-filled day!”

So I took a pinch of this,
I raised a scoop of that,
not one single offering did I miss,
I dropped it all inside my hat.

Then the aged grayed and grizzled man said,
“well son,
don't you dare forget the meat.
We have fresh hart not taken on the run,
now the live cooter is a mighty fine treat!
The skinned out bandit cat is really fun,
but the smoke cured Hoover hog can't be beat!”

So I took a share,
that was only fair,
I tarried around all that day.
I loaded it all into a sack
upon my back,
then struck out along my way.

As I left the old man said,
“Well good son, please ya don't off and run,
feel free to tarry around fer a good night stay.
Later on we'll both sip a little hard cider,
just for fun,
and fill fruit jar as we may!”


- - -
The author is an international ESL instructor. He enjoys outdoor activities from museum field work to big game hunting.

Permanent Miracles

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Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
“We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding.”
– G.K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross

No flaring posters for me.
I didn’t fall off a scaffolding today.
I just kept climbing,
finding my way.

No 911 call for me.
I didn’t get hit by a car today.
I just kept crossing,
finding my way.

No breaking alerts for me.
I didn’t drown in the lake today.
I just kept swimming,
finding my way.

No screaming sirens for me.
I didn’t have a stroke today.
I just kept breathing,
finding my way.

No big headlines for me.
I didn’t get shot in the head today.
I just kept running,
finding my way.

One obituary for me:
I didn’t make it to the end of today.
I just died trying
to find my way.


- - -
Last summer, I began writing again after a 30-year hiatus. I have since had several poems and stories published, including in Leaves of Ink.

Following Fate

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Never thinking of the future
Not really making plans
She just follows her heart
Walking through the lands

She believes in energies
They guide her where to go
Faithfully following signs
Allowing energies to flow

How her journey will end
This she does not know
All she can do is believe
And let her spirit grow


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her thoughts and emotions.

Melatonin

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Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
Last night, I took
a deep dive, one tablet
the night before, one half
the following night,
into dreams.

Horror films played in my
mind waking me with imaginary
sounds. I checked the world for sources
of what could only have come
from a shady corner in my brain.

The precious earth was split
into pieces and fireworks fell
in the shape of electric batteries
in the fictitious backyard. A ridge
ran through what I knew to be true.

A familiar face was a wooden,
twisted cane who swore to never
have anything to do with me.
Funny thing is, in daylight we’re not
even that close.

And there were even yet
other images that flickered,
now forgotten, erased almost
the moment they happened,

dissipating in the breeze
or whatever happens outside
at 4 in the morning,

while others linger and cling.


- - -
My book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, has recently been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

Away We Shall All Go To Nottingham

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Contributor: H.L. Dowless

- -
Away we shall go to Nottingham,
to Nottingham,
that most blessed of lands,
and away we shall go into Nottingham,
to Nottingham today.


There the cows always give milk,
always give milk,
as the worms there all spin the finest of silk,
the most splendid of silk,
to all the people's dismay.


There even the poorest children can afford to play,
even the penniless may play,
to everyone's dismay!
There even the poorest of children may play,
since the parks and the beaches are at a price all can pay.


There I shall dance to the did-die pantomime,
to the did-die pantomime,
with the people full of fruit shine!
Yes, while there we shall all get full of good fruit shine
and dance a merry jig to the did-die pantomime!


There the lasses are all gorgeous and
their feather beds so fine,
as the air fills with the sound of the blessed pantomime;
in the feather beds with all our heads swooning in shine,
as we shall embrace those heavenly bodies and pine
to the tune of the piddle did-die pantomime.


- - -
The author is a thirty year veteran writer. He also teaches ESL offshore, and does whatever he can find that he enjoys doing when stateside.

The Melancholy

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Contributor: Pawel Markiewicz

- -
I'm sitting in front of an
oak window and
I'm looking at the melancholic
dreamy world
and at my dog.
The winter has gone away
and with it tears of
the Snow Queen.
A warm day is warming
my heart and soul
full of memories and
philosophical theories.
The early spring ontology
is very interesting to me.
This is also the time,
when it should create my most
beautiful poem of dreams.
I want to write my poetic manifesto
that can change this world,
embellishing its truly miraculous existence.
The dreams always rule my
existence born of a spring dew.
I also have summer in my soul.
Tender wings of the melancholy
must come true.


- - -
Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Poland (Siemiatycze). He published his English haikus as well as short poems in the best literary magazines of world such as: Ginyu (Tokio), Atlas Poetica (USA) and The Cherita (UK). Recently he has published haiku poems in Tajmahal Review (India) and Better Than Starbucks (USA). He published furthermore his poems and prose in Internet: Blog Nostics.

THE GARDEN

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Contributor: James Geehring

- -
Warming rays of sunlight, clean fresh air of spring
soft brown earth like coffee grounds which make the earthworms sing.
The sprouting seeds like shepherd’s crooks, reach up towards the sun,
no matter what their fates will be, they all appear as one.

They throw their first two sets of leaves, identities to suggest,
and growing more proclaim themselves, while heralding their best.
Stalks of green, translucent, against the blue gold sky,
hold tightly to the buds produced, half opened and quite shy.

Their blossoms bursting open, proclaiming what they are,
create chromatic carpets as one views them from afar.
Like lightning in slow motion, their colors shift in time,
marking days and seasons in a manner quite sublime.

The flowers don't seem phased by all the aphids brought by ants,
they must believe their visitors as naught but mendicants.
Buzzing bees hang nervously above their chosen blooms,
driving clouds of pollen into tiny golden plumes.

How wonderful a garden is, to tend or be admired,
the smiles and joy, the thoughts of hope, an inner peace inspired.
We tend to count the years we live, how long we've been around,
we should be counting gardens that we've planted in the ground.


- - -
I see myself as an observational poet. I love being inspired by the world around me. I have been an artist, musician and builder and only recently started writing.

Words Written On A Resturant Napkin

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Contributor: Atalie Rachael

- -
Hear the hum and bustle
As the plates clatter clink
Providing a home like atmosphere
to those who eat and drink.
Wild spaces and worlds apart
between cheap little lights
to a majestic view of cars
passing beside each different sight.
Yet reflecting on wisdom across
sits my dad and gray
sifting we through hash browns
and buttered bread today


- - -

Fate Has Set The Day

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
I trace the hours
Then the minutes
Waiting seems forever
Golden seconds
Moving softly
Like your breath
From far away
Soon my Darling
Home together
Never more away
Loving heartbeats
Clocks chiming
Measuring the miles
That never should have been
From the moment
Joined together
Eternity now alive
Sharing love and caring
Now that fate has set the day
Forever remember
Our love has found
A joyous entry
In the book of forever more
Happy ending
‘Round the corner
Love and hope in store
Love forever
Safe and warm now
Home, let’s close the door
On turmoil and strife
Tomorrow in the past
Husband and Wife
One true love
To fill our lives
‘Til eternity and a day
Holding fast
The hours will pass
Fate has set the day


- - -
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.

Opening Day

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Dedicated to Eric Pitman

He squints his eyes, adjusts his hat,
Hunkers down and grips the bat.
Elbows up and shoulders high,
He takes a breath, then lets a sigh.
The ball comes straight and hard. He swings.
A hit! He runs! His feet have wings!
He tags first base. He’s safe! But then
He eyes the field and runs again.
The ball flies fast toward second base.
He slides. . .
He’s still. . .
He smiles. . .
He’s safe!
They tell me this is how it was;
I’ll never know for sure because
I closed my eyes and missed the fun
The day that baseball stole my son.


- - -
Last summer, I began writing again after a 30-year hiatus. I have since had several poems and stories published, including in Leaves of Ink.

Detail Man

| Filed under

Contributor: Todd Mercer

- -
She ate granola, I had scrambled eggs.
Wind made trees’ limbs scrape the house,
though I thought I’d trimmed them back.
At nine-fifteen low-angle sun
back-lit her dimensionality.
My shirt was denim.
She wore gold hoop earrings.
They jiggled when a truck down-shifted
on the highway outside and she said,
“I can’t be here anymore.”
The place still smelled of dinner
from the previous night (pot roast).
The door knock was my opening
to say a proper benediction,
but gravity tongue-tied me.
The door shut behind her
condemning as a coffin lid.
She didn’t slam it, though our calendar
fell from force absorbed.
It was nine-sixteen.
I couldn’t see the problem’s genesis
from the microscopic facts.
“Free Bird” blasted from a stereo
(Pioneer™) receding down the highway
(tar and cinder). I had dishes to wash
(Corningware™).


- - -
Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in: Dime Show Review, The Lake and Star 82 Review.

The Inevitable

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Inevitable,
unavoidable in life
a necessity in order to mature
to grow - to learn
to discover oneself
to move on
to succeed
to appreciate
to become better,
wiser
stronger than before
No man
No woman
can escape
Hearts heal
heart hate
and when least expected
hearts break


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her thoughts and emotions.

Tapped Emotion

| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
I use the screen
to make an image. To
construct a reality.

It's not real. You can't
touch it. It feels like the flat
surface of a representation.

But then, so might I. As I move
my voice like so many others
I've heard before. As I place
my form in the room,

dancing a bit in my mind. Should
I make the dancing real?
What should I enact? I take

this string of words and make
a puppet of myself, seeing where
the narratology leads.


- - -
My book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, has recently been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

When I Lay Down In My Sleepy Bed

| Filed under

Contributor: H.L. Dowless

- -
When I lay down in my sleepy bed,
my mom tucks me in with a kiss on my head.
Before I lay down to sleep,
my mom and I pray and I close my eyes hard
with ne'er a peep,
when I lay down in my sleepy bed!

When I lay down in my sleepy bed,
around my chin tightly go the snug sheets.
I feel so warm that I am almost asleep,
when I lay down in my sleepy bed!

When I lay down in my sleepy bed,
I have nothing to fear.
Though in the darkness I can
ne'er see her body,
I can still make out her sweet head.
I have nothing to fear
since Mom is always so near,
when I lay down in my sleepy bed.

When I lay down in my sleepy bed
soon out go all the dim lights.
Chairs now become soldiers
in the fury of battle at it's heights!
But I have nothing to fear
since Mom is still so near,
when I lay down in my sleepy bed.

When I lay down in my sleepy bed,
soon I breath deeply,
relaxing as I lay,
my eyes sagging sleepily.
But still I have nothing to fear
since Mom is ever so near,
when I lay down in my sleepy bed.

When I lay down in my sleepy bed
shadows now become shapes!
The shapes now become apes!
The apes love to dance and rattle
as I lay still and dare not tattle!
But I have nothing to fear
since Mom is somewhere so near,
as I lay down in my sleepy bed.

As I lay so still in my sleepy bed,
a puff of warm wind gently lifts me,
carrying me onward with all of it's might,
with the help of the moonbeams who
whisk me forward in great delight.
The fairies of the moon,
the warm wind,
onward we go,
on right through the dark night,
when I lay down in my sleepy bed.

When I lay down in my sleepy bed,
oh how my eyes do soon open,
and out my bedside window I see
the golden sun.
He peeks above the trees on the horizon
just to make my nights so fun,
when I lay down in my sleepy bed!


- - -
The author is a thirty year veteran writer. He also teaches ESL offshore, and does whatever he can find that he enjoys doing when stateside.

Amid the Desert Silence

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Seeger

- -
Amid the desert silence
All lay timeless and still.
Among Mesquite and creosote
You can breathe deeply
Within the silence,
Like the blue sky,
Growing deeper; soon
You will be silent, too.


- - -
Michael lives with his lovely wife, Catherine, and still-precocious 16 year-old daughter, Jenetta, in a house owned by a magnificent Maine Coon (Jill) and two high-spirited Chihuahuas (Coco and Blue). He is an educator (like his wife) residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California.

I Grieve

| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
For those sons of mothers and fathers
Who courageously fell to bullets of their counterparts
I grieve

For those bereaved women
Left with 'prints' of their beloved one
I grieve

I grieve
For the millions of borderless refugees
Victims like helpless effigies
Running from pillar to post
In search of compassionate host

I grieve
For the helpless fisher-folks
Crossing undemarcated boundaries
In search of daily bread
But returning empty-handed

I grieve
For the ordinary public
Swayed by carrot and stick
Policies of the cunning rulers

For the martyrs
Who sacrificed their youth
In search of Solemnity and Truth
To build a 'Brave New world'
From the rubble of the Old
I grieve


- - -
The writer from anywhere and everywhere, supports any one working without fear and anger.

Our Love Light

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
These last few days
Until you are here
Happiness building
Anxiousness unending
Counting the minutes
Until you are home

Together by fate
United by destiny
Brought together by loved ones
A joyous reunion of
Two hearts and souls

Past lives remembered
In passion now kindled
A flame not extinguished
By time, space or years

Together forever
Eternity unending
As long as the universe
Is large no more fears

The decades will follow
Our love like a story
A fairy tale ending
A Princess in white

With miles yet to go now
And still time between us
We muddle through minutes
Until time awakened
And passion revealed

And moments forsaken
That kept us apart
Now and forever
Together one heart



These last days forgotten
Our true love remembered
And time standing still
As rivers do flow

Through mountains and valleys
With rainbows to guide us
Our destiny clear now
Our love-knot unbroken

These last days of waiting
Will soon disappear
To carry you over
The threshold of mem’ries
Soon be created
Our scrapbook of life

So now and forever
Remember the moments
That brought us together
A life-long repast

A triumph of fate now
Eternity has spoken
And ever forever
Our love-light will last


- - -
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 and print 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. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his wife, dancer/actress, Lydia Franklin.

7 RONKA: Living in Amish Country

| Filed under

Contributor: Ingrid Bruck

- -
*Ronka is a haiku form with five lines developed by a poet named Ronkawitz.


whistling

The house sings when strong wind blows.
Don’t dismiss a whistling house as defective
or explain away the sound with wind hole science
and don’t patch the gap under the door sill.
Leave alone this fluting dragon.

~

first butterfly

pink bindweed
violets in grass
bougainvillea and wisteria climb the wall
a white flutterby
another pale plum blossom

~

no doodle

In an island of shade on the ridge
I slip into morning birdsong
and weed my garden in rising heat
serenaded by cock – a – do – do,
a defective rooster lost his doodle

~

hunter with binoculars

I step from the outside shower
warm sun and breeze on bare skin
stricken by blue between clouds
a deep voice calls from a truck on the hilltop,
“lady, put something on”

~

crowing

crowing greets morning
roosters warn others away
barking dogs join the chorus
banter ricochets for miles
and echoes farm to farm

~

first frost

wind plucked leaves glide
against a low cloud ceiling,
set aloft, large yellow snowflakes
jitter and jive to inevitable ground
where grass and weeds wait to wear them

~

awaken

toads sleep under mud
snakes dormant under rocks
grass blades appear on the bare roadside
lone daffodil
trumpets spring


- - -
Ingrid Bruck lives in Pennsylvania Amish country, a landscape that inhabits her poetry. She makes jam, grows wildflowers and enjoys reading and writing short form poetry. Current work appears in Failed Haiku, Otata, Haiku Journal and The Song Is...

Deep Poetry

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
“We want to hear ‘emergent voices,’” they say.
“But I am not one,” I reply.
“Rather, I am a ‘submergent voice.’
Slowly I sink deeper and deeper into the hard dark water,
leaving above me a bread-crumb trail of bubbles --

one
°
after
°
another
°
after
°
another
°
°
°

until I am entirely submerged
under the solid weight of solitude.
All I want is for someone else
to hear me when I scream.”


- - -
Last summer I began writing again after a 30-year hiatus. I have since had several poems and short stories published, including in Leaves of Ink.

A Single Burning Flame

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Why do I hear their voices
Why do I feel their pain
Why for unknown people
Do I cry a storm of rain

I often wonder why
Do others feel the same
I feel I'm all alone
A single burning flame

Am I being called upon
by powers up above
Is my journey in life
healing others with my love

Searching for an answer
I close my eyes at night
My flame is fading out
until the morning's light


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her thoughts and emotions.

Netflix & Chill

| Filed under

Contributor: Todd Mercer

- -
You are cordially invited to my crib for Netflix and chill.
I will be there for ya, critiquing subtle plot holes
implementing the Tickle Party Strategy,
because it’s proven effective in tight spaces
on lackadaisical February Saturdays.
Adult beverages will be on hand and whatnot,
if indeed you’re one who digs the Whatnot. Partakes?
Whatever the kids are saying re: the whack-tobac these days.
Massages are free of charge. At heart I’m a helper,
So I’m at my best when helping others. My down covers
are warm while it’s sleeting out of doors.


- - -
Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in: Dime Show Review, The Lake and Star 82 Review.

But, I Thought –

| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
…poetry had to rhyme.
Not all the time.
(chuckle, chuckle,
snort)

…poetry had to be true.
Someone made all that up.

Why, I could write a poem
about a man with an axe and
a large blue ox. Happens more
than you might think.

…poetry had to be chained.

Poetry can break the bonds
of
line
and form. Poetry
can do whatever the hell it
wants.

Poetry is that kid at the store
you simultaneously love and want
to punish for misbehavior.

Poetry is spoiled, lovely, crude, erudite,
evocative and numbing,

the only
way to capture
the loss, the pathos,
the perfection

we feel on this lonely
and bustling path.


- - -
My book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, has recently been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

Glow

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Seeger

- -
Today I felt glad
The sun rose on our quiet neighborhood.
Hummingbirds came visiting the feeders
All filled with nectar —like the words your lips
Held, and continue to hold, for me.
Whatever pain I was feeling was not felt
Bending down in the yard to pull a weed
Without anger, or jealousy —just
The feeling that everything was alright.


- - -
Michael lives with his lovely wife, Catherine, and still-precocious 16 year-old daughter, Jenetta, in a house owned by a magnificent Maine Coon (Jill) and two high-spirited Chihuahuas (Coco and Blue). He is an educator (like his wife) residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California.

Lets All Go To The Moon

| Filed under

Contributor: H.L. Dowless

- -
We once sang a sweet song
in the merry month of June,
“Oh Come With Me To The
Valley Of The Moon!”

We shall travel about in clothes
of golden sand,
if you will just give me your
precious little hand.
Oh come now,
lets go to the moon!

In those shaded craters
we shall forever swing
from a beautiful hand stitched
hammock that I thought to bring!
Can you come with me to the valley
of the moon?

In the sands of shinning gold
we'll all happily dance,
where only sun beams
and angels have pranced!

We will sit about
in the cool shade and shadows,
eating manna from the fairies
in the valleys!
Oh please now,
do come to the moon!

Oh...can you see...there..,
my dear child, oh look!
Where the old man's left eye is
we will be!
All of us forever merry,
like a portrait in a book!
Oh please now,
lets go to the moon!

Yes you, yes me,
all of us and the whole family,
do come now,
lets go away soon!


- - -
The author is a thirty year veteran writer. He also teaches ESL offshore, and does whatever he can find that he enjoys doing when stateside.

The Sun

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
The sun is just burning off
The morning mist as it
Pierces the leaves of the trees
Casting a wakening glow
On the landscape
Bringing warmth to the day
And to the hearts of lovers
After the cool and restful night

The day has begun
The smells of coffee
And breakfast permeates
The air as life is
Renewed

Joyous surroundings
Fill the souls as the sun
Fills the sky
Lighting the way
To work and to play
And love engulfs
The lovers who
Bask in the glow
Of the sun
And their love


- - -
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 and print 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. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his wife, dancer/actress, Lydia Franklin.

Fingertip Dreams Between Life & Death

| Filed under

Contributor: James D. Casey IV

- -
How many
dreams
do you think
you'll have?

How many
will you
remember?

Sometimes,
I
stretch my arms
as far apart as
they
can go.

Then
slowly
bring the tips
of my index fingers
together.

I imagine
that expanse as
my life
and
my death.

Meeting together
in the middle,
and
as my fingers
touch
I remember.

I remember,
that dreams
are things
that can be
willed
into fruition.


- - -
James D. Casey IV is the author of six poetry books, and founder/editor-in-chief of Cajun Mutt Press. His work has also been published by small press venues and literary magazines including Mad Swirl, Zombie Logic Review, Oddball Magazine, Clockwise Cat, and several others.
Links to his books and other projects can be found here:
https://cajunpoetjames.wordpress.com/

Of Yearning

| Filed under

Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

- -
In a lifetime full of yearning
through which came wishing, dreaming
within many splendid, unquiet enthusiasms
an echo murmured back the word, 'ardor!'
I was needy and you solicitous,
my mind always straying to paradoxes.
Instead I uncovered the devotion,
the perkiness brought such euphoria
and so I screamed, 'Is that a need?'
Mattering and assaultive within theodicy
Urging and purging within my slyness,
my shyness or otherness, I could not
awaken! Tossing its ghost into all desire,
'It's that barrenness,' I muttered
Quirkingly back into my memories
craving the eccentric, eclectic fantasy
the yearning essential evanescence
an evolutionist laughed in retort.
'It's that piety,' I whispered.
The saintliness simply smiled.


- - -
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a poet. He loves writing, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa, Turbo and Yumpy. He lives for the day, and believes in Mermaids.

Protect The Sapling

| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
Friends!

Amidst
Strong communal
Racial
Gender hatred
A seed of Love
Was sown

Its roots
Penetrated
The vicious
Spiteful ground

The sapling
Is now growing


Friends!

Provide it pure air
Assist with care
Supply clean water
Minerals to withstand
Any adverse circumstance with dare

The sapling
Would spread
Its branches of harmony
Bearing fruits of Love
And compassion
To be enjoyed
by future generations


Survivor of honour killing gives birth on wedding anniversary, January 31, 2019 [linked here]


- - -
The writer from anywhere and everywhere , supports any one working without fear and anger.

Moonflower

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Seeger

- -
for Edgar A. Poe

In virtuosic gothic rhyme
And chilling words felt to the bone
You blossomed in a darkened time —

Then left us while still in your prime
A mystery that’s still unknown.
In virtuosic gothic rhyme

And tintinnabulating chime
(Of course, a full moon always shone),
You blossomed in a darkened time —

Though you were hardly paid a dime
for writing what is now well-known —
In virtuosic gothic rhyme!

Now there’s a flowering creeping vine
That twines above your grave’s headstone
And blossoms in a darkened time.

In shadowed beauty, words sublime —
All you loved you loved alone —
In virtuosic gothic rhyme
You blossomed in a darkened time.


- - -
Michael lives with his lovely wife, Catherine, and still-precocious 16 year-old daughter, Jenetta, in a house owned by a magnificent Maine Coon (Jill) and two high-spirited Chihuahuas (Coco and Blue). He is an educator (like his wife) residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California.

The Whirlwind

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

- -
The whirlwind came in winter,
Wreaked havoc on our town,
Destroyed houses and uprooted trees,
Scattered possessions around,
Silenced TVs and radios,
Put many in the dark,
Injured many people,
Though no one lost their life,
Humbled both the rich and poor,
And caused many to feel compassion,
Felt compelled to help others in need,
The contents of medicine cabinets,
Scattered all over town,
Strong trees snapped or uprooted,
Roofing shingles on roads and in yards,
Chainsaws were heard for days,
Along with noise that hammers made,
The sight of crews working
To restore the power,
Replacing power lines and poles,
The helping hands of relief workers,
Who volunteered their help,
Kindness among the rubble,
In the wake of the whirlwind.


- - -
Bruce Mundhenke lives in a small town that was visited by a tornado on December 1, 2018.

Song of Mourning

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Dedicated to Rebecca Pitman

Sing out the dark.
Sing out the sadness.
Sing out the fear
of being alone.

Sing out the pain.
Sing out the heartbreak.
Sing out for weeping
soon to be done.

Sing for the light
to shine down upon you.
Sing for a peace
to soothe your soul.

Sing for the day
when you look up above you
to see the sun shining
and all the clouds gone.


- - -
I began writing poetry again last spring after a 30-year hiatus. This poem was written for my daughter, Rebecca, after her husband, Kevin Nagle, died on 11/26/18.

Enigma

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Deep inside his mind
hide secrets to his soul
Does she hold the key
can she make him whole

Buried are the pains
he speaks not of the past
Can he heal himself
or are his pains too vast

Will her love save him
find him peace of mind
or will he dwindle deeper
so the truth she'll never find


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her thoughts and emotions.

Human Comedy

| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
I knocked at the door, listening
to the way a bone sounds when
it strikes against wood.
Strange to me how I am
a soft creature with a bony set
of branches underneath.

But, back to that knocking sound.

In that moment, standing in the lobby
so warm the pages of the magazines
touched the air with curls, I thought of the way
air
was once pushed out of my body,
meeting the earth from a medium
distance – I thought until then I was iron.

Out from a door across the hall
pops the person I am looking for, on
cue, sidestepping this contemplation,
stepping out as if she has a secret
entrance to an MC Escher print
that hides behind these flattened walls.


- - -
My book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, has recently been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

Speak Into the Microphone

| Filed under

Contributor: Todd Mercer

- -
Over-worked domestic spies
finally take time off for golf,
because Alexa’s listening.
It dazzles with circus tricks.
In return it documents secrets,
sells them for profit. Next up?
Alexa as a prosecution witness.
It knows locations
of the buried bodies.
This ear that turns on lights
can also call 911.


- - -
Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in: Dime Show Review, The Lake and Star 82 Review.

Babe, Without You Life Is So Blue

| Filed under

Contributor: H.L. Dowless

- -
Tears are rolling down my face,
I simply don’t know what to do,
My mind grasps not time nor space,
Since I have no choice but to live without you.

I well remember our walks through the park,
I savor our picnics neath the weeping willow trees,
I only want another pleasant stroll in the dark,
Your beautiful face is still all that I can see.

It’s been so lonely here without you,
I no longer know where I am headed to,
A day seems like forever,
Babe, it’s been so lonely here without you!

I want nothing more than to just speak with you,
I stand before your headstone each and every day,
I speak my words above your grave into a cruel sky filled with rouge,
My tears only fall where it is that you lay.

I still see you in my midnight dreams,
I feel your presence in our love candle’s midnight shadows,
The passing of six months is like forever, it seems,
This dreadful emptiness deep inside me only grows.

I only want to feel you beside me,
Lay with you inside that horrible tomb,
Me and forever simply do not agree,
I long to retreat with you deep into heaven’s womb.

In my mind I can still walk with you down those Venetian streets,
I can still feast with you in crystal ballrooms so splendid,
Together we can still greet all of those welcoming faces,
Come fly away with me on a moonbeam;
once more again let’s travel the world
on the midnight wind!

It’s been so lonely here without you,
I no longer know where it is that I am headed to,
Only a day seems like a whole eternity,
My tears are falling like a mountain stream flows..,
Babe, without you, my life is so blue….


- - -
The author is a thirty year veteran writer. He also teaches ESL offshore, and does whatever he can find that he enjoys doing when stateside.

Glory Days Are Here

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
The leaves are starting to turn
Fall has finally come
Glory days are here

Yellow, orange and red
Mother Nature’s palette
Perfect days for walking
Holding hand as lovers

Shadows of the summer
Refreshed by sweet October
Cooler days and nights
Offering the chance
To forget unhappy mem’ries
Like crushed leaves on the ground
The bright rejuvenation
And colors on the trees


- - -
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.

Lenses and Prisms

| Filed under

Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
Lenses and prisms are extensions of the eyes,
but the screen monitors are not the windows
of the millions of awestruck souls,
but the space satellites of closet peeping toms,
champion stalkers, and predatory spies
who shamelessly put chameleons to shame.

Lenses and prisms mimic reality,
and the innocent gels behind them
dupe the vulnerable - the eternally children
in hearts and in minds and in spirits,
as people become willing slaves
of these virtual telescopes to the outside world
and practical microscopes for prying eyes.

The LED and retina monitors maybe new kids in town
who everybody loves when they’re around,
yet they really are indifferent spectacles,
uncaring for the wounds that wars inflict,
deaf to the gunshots that delivered quick
to the unsuspecting innocents their death verdict,
blind to nauseating realities that poverty
reveals as it seduces buds of puberty
with monetary nudities, painted with selfie-starved charity.
The naive left cephalic lobe of the physical brain tells the right
that there’s no problem with a boy or a motorcycle rider
shooting black churchgoers or an alleged drug user
as it is sure that the bullets won’t come out of or break
the glaring bulb that overtook the picture tube antique.

Lenses and prisms burn paper hearts -
whether crumpled by restless youth
or neatly folded by aged wisdom -
at times to temperatures warm enough
to make a sketched smile last a lifetime.
An aging man poorly imitates Mona Lisa -
a pretense at excellence in putting on
the mask of oblivion, as tears turn to raindrops
gathering in an internal, transcendental storm.

In a few other moments, the heat
becomes too hot to handle, and then
a lonesome heart burns out,
leaving incinerated ashes of ‘what ifs’
and a hundred ‘I told you so’ sirens
and one just hopes that gusty winds
of sobs and sighs will soon blow off
the cremated remains of friendships long gone,
wisps of illusory incense,
like surprises of floral scents
vaporized in less than a second
or unrequited love so sadly ephemeral –
dreams of forever, but for a day
The eyes then bid goodnight
the tired mind who blames the heart.
Reason lost the fight. Yes, reason lost the fight
and lenses and prisms remain the lords and ladies,
- radiant majesties in the millennial day and night.


- - -
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.

Diary of Don Juan

| Filed under

Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

- -
I'm in lust with a sky that I've yet to see;
in love with people that I've yet to meet.
Because my darling, I'm a lost nightmare
dressed in the finery of a princely fantasy.
Whilst lonely lips await whetted kisses;
cool hands caress your trembling cheeks.
Time lives for graceless darker dreams;
queen of hearts vivid in a diamond flush.
dressed in red satin, my heart quickens
I feel I'm on a chair with three wobbly legs
where will it lead, to a baseless love bared?
Amnesty now wanton of pious infected liars,
colors flickering as grace and piety ascend
fantasy begets harmony in dreams sighing.
Soft red lips warmed by darting tongues fuel
fires, down deep inside. Rough hands glide
around the full apple bottom, quivers and the
trembles awaken slowly as the blood boils.
Clothes are left where gravity takes them; as
the old squeaking headboard drums it's beat.


- - -
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a poet. He loves writing, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa, Turbo and Yumpy. He lives for the day, and believes in Mermaids.

'Dark' Holes

| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
Looking at the sky
Did you wonder how and why
Black holes are formed?
And matter destroyed?

Look at the earth
You will find
Innumerable holes
Darker than black holes

These holes -
Mines or manholes
Septic tanks or potholes -
Squeeze helpless humans
Sucking their lives

Black holes are fascinating
Imagining them is exciting

But holes on earth
Are traps of death
A grim reality
Blot on humanity


- - -
The writer from anywhere and everywhere , supports any one working without fear and anger.

Riddles in a Garden Full of Shooting Stars

| Filed under

Contributor: James D. Casey IV

- -
Imagine that
Rent this sign

Dark water
Hancock County
Red light

You can't see
The real
Me

A tree
With no
Roots

Masonic book
Rites
Rules

Riddles

A dream
Within a dream

Garden
Across the street
The place
The wild ones
Meet

Red truck
White star
All the sauce

A place
A time
Among the
Runes

Blow wind blow
Blow me away
From here

The next star
Is hot and ready
Do not
Miss your chance
At a free
Ride


- - -
James D. Casey IV is the author of six poetry books, and founder/editor-in-chief of Cajun Mutt Press. His work has also been published by small press venues and literary magazines including Mad Swirl, Zombie Logic Review, Oddball Magazine, Clockwise Cat, and several others.
Links to his books and other projects can be found here:
https://cajunpoetjames.wordpress.com/

A Woman's Reflection

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Reflection in the mirror
Show me what is true
am I the woman I see
The one I thought I knew

Reflection in the mirror
Am I all that I appear
or is there more to see
not just each passing year

Reflection in the mirror
All alone I look at you
I've got that empty feeling
once again it's dejavu

Reflection in the mirror
Let me see my naked soul
I know just being alive
is not the same as being whole


- - -
A Native New Yorker, she's been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her writing expresses her thoughts and emotions.

Transient Golems

| Filed under

Contributor: Charlotte Ozment

- -
I landed in that moment
with a blink, that moment
that was not mine.
It shown like the spark
of a jewel, clarity of place
replaced by my self.
Where did the child go?
The one on that rope swing,
sitting on that knot of a seat?
Where did she go
when I overtook her?
Did she fly to my future,
an earthen golem like me?
Though we only traded being
long enough to gasp,
I reeled back home, intangible.


- - -
Charlotte Ozment lives on several acres in Texas. She finds words hidden in the world around her and can sometimes put them to paper before they fade. Her poems have appeared in many unique publications.

Leftovers

| Filed under

Contributor: JD DeHart

- -
The still lull of another
day passing into rainy night,
a meditation for wisdom
to arrive late.

Instead, flashbulb reminisces
of what memories have been
stored up in the cranium’s
strange amber.

An old face with curiosity,
a chase across a seaside parking
lot, no doubt leftovers from quirks
and tidbits caught in the wires.

All of the day’s television,
conversation, furtive visits, redisplayed
until waking and collecting again.


- - -
My book of poems, A Five-Year Journey, has recently been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

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