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

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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 –

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Your True Love

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Finding your true love
Is not up to you
It can take years
Or an instant
Milliseconds
That equal lightyears

The heart chooses
And destiny is revealed
In a single moment
An hour
A week
Two people
Whose hearts are like
Opposite poles of a magnet
Drawn together
Inexplicably
Yet inseparable

Oceans apart
Or right next door
Love transcends all boundaries
Negating the past
Without tarnishing memories
Rejoicing in those memories
And yet looking to the new dawn
Another day
Another chapter
To be realized
Held in a hand
That only holds
Your true 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 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.

Be Whole

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
One heart, one soul
One dream, one goal
One life to live
So much to give
One day, one night
Some dark, some light
One hope for love
One white dove
One road to walk
One voice to talk
One precious life
No room for strife
One must forgive
To heal and live
One must fall down
Cry tears, not drown
So seek and find
True peace of mind
Search one's soul
Deep down, be whole


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

A Water Sprite

| Filed under

Contributor: Susie Gharib

- -

{For a child}

A fairy glided into my loom,
The loom with which I spin my moon,
Weaving her light into my wick,
Infusing flames with lunar silk.

Each lock which floated from her head
Was velvet petals in flaming red
Where daisies anchored their gleeful charms
And dew-drops clambered up the stars.

I shook her hand, a bunch of buds
Greeted each cheek with the kiss of doves
Sang praises for a nymph in guise
Harvested sparks of a water sprite.


- - -
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Since 1996, she has been lecturing in Syria. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various magazines.

'New' Language of Capitalism

| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
Greetings from our organization
(Applicable to not many a person)

We are proud of our drastic increase in production
(The workers deserve more than appreciation )

We earned huge profits in our business
(Yet, the workers' standard of living did not increase)

But our earnings did not meet expectations
(That is, enough to imagine predictions)

So, we have decided to 'downsize'
(Lay off some workers and cut them down to size)

And 'rightsize' our esteemed organization
(Burden existing workers beyond imagination)

For more efficient and effective use of resources
(Follow stringent orders or face harsh consequences)

This way, we can ensure optimal use of our machinery
(While workers under retrenchment die of penury)

We hope you cooperate with renewed vigor and enthusiasm
(A euphemistic way of crushing workers under the wheels of capitalism)


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

Into a Palace at Chichen Itza

| Filed under

Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

- -
I was waltzing upon the rings of Saturn,
and inhaled the essence and drift of Neptune
watching sand castles of tall gold walls that
were engulfed by the calm sea of tranquility.
Soft blooms of fresh white oleander flower
silently steeps in black tea with a pink teapot
as you quickly devour crispy saltines with
solid gold spoonfuls of cold Russian caviar.
That odd white rabbit plays his violin which
leaves your ears humming in the key of C.
I descry that black bitching stellar sky with
a kaleidoscopic blue-green lens from Pluto.
From atop the grand hall at Chichen Itza
sits Merlin, Magical wizard of the red sun.
Shooting atoms with his black crystal wand,
Nicky Tesla rides by on a hovering Harley.
Supersize my fries and hold the mayo!
I was waltzing upon the rings of Saturn,
as Gandalf was playing Merlin in chess.
From atop the great golden Aztec Palace
sits Tutankhamen, King of the Scarlet Moon.


- - -
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.

Silent Star

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Dedicated to Rebecca Pitman

Silent star,
I look above and behold you
wrapped in the cold dark shawl
of endless night.
Were you born bright?
Or are you a mere reflection
of our scorching sun
ablaze with fire?
Do its flames set you alight,
making you sparkle and shine
in the deep, lonely void
in whose midst you must drift?
Or is the light you shine your own,
born of that kind of fire
that kindles from within —
a fire whose first burst may be scarce
but whose fire fast flames full,
hot enough to pierce a heart
and jolt it to life once more?
If so, if you are the creator
of your own fire,
maybe I, though now frozen within,
can someday rekindle,
take light,
shine anew,
and begin to live again.


- - -
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.

Resolve

| Filed under

Contributor: Troy DeFrates

- -
As the day creeps away
Your resolve begins to rust
The doubt begins as you sway
Losing the strength you could trust

And as the day dims
And you lose the warmth on your face

You had a vow
Wrote out your pact
Being tested now
Trying not to react

And as the day dims
And you lose the warmth on your face

Tired, hungry and downtrodden
Your reserves pour with your tears
The pain breaks through all of a sudden
In the mirror you cannot hide your fears

And as the day dims
And you lose the warmth on your face

Breathe in deep and take it slow
Rest easy my friend and take my hand
Let go of your fear and your woe
With cold resolve you make your stand

And as the day dims
And you lose the warmth on your face
Let your heart open up and let love fill the empty space


- - -
Troy DeFrates lives in Northern Wisconsin. His poems have been published in multiple online magazines and periodicals. Troy hopes that the sharing of his poetry might inspire others to do the same.

Sunsets

| Filed under

Contributor: Dorian J. Sinnott

- -
You promised me we’d wait for the sunset,
When evening fell and the land turned dark
Stretching shadows across my memory—
Haunting images of who we used to be.
But you promised we’d stay

Safe.

‘No one can hurt you’ you used to say,
But I sat by and watched as their words
Spit fire and venom and tore you in two.
Broke you and beat you
And still you swore one day we’d be free

Here.

They left a hole in your heart,
One too deep to ever be filled.
And they tore the smile from your face,
Hollowed you out and left you bitter.
And now there’s no one left to be

With.

But you never lost hope
Or the love that you gave me,
And your strength pulled me through,
Every day your pain saved me
But I never before stopped to thank

You.

You traded your smile so that mine could shine,
Through shadows and dark alleyways of life.
Your beacon burned out long ago,
Beneath the words and threats and lies.
But mine is eternal—
You said mine is eternal.

And you promised me we’d wait for the sunset,
When evening fell and the land turned dark.
The sun has long set on the bright-eyed boy I once knew,
But as the colors line the sky
I see a glimpse of how he used to be in you.

And you said,

“I traded my smile so that yours can shine forever,
And so you’ll keep smiling day in and day out.
Never lose what’s inside you;
They can’t take away the love I have for you,
And remember that you’ll always be
Safe here with me.”

Each sunset is just a promise for the dawn.


- - -
Dorian J. Sinnott is a graduate of Emerson College's Writing, Literature, and Publishing program, currently living with his bossy cat in Kingston, New York. He loves English horseback riding, playing violin, and cosplaying his favorite childhood characters at comic cons. Dorian's work has appeared in Coffin Bell, Spill Yr Guts Horror Zine, The Hungry Chimera, and Crab Fat Literary Magazine.

Through Wounds

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Try
to justify
cruel acts
hide behind
warm words
hide the ice
couch the cruelty
the blade
the blood
that still pools
still stains the steel.

The wound
still stirs
still connects
me
and you

always only
connects me
and you

always and only
through wounds.


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

A Second Heart

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Can we grow a second heart
to love someone other
Can we love again
after the loss of another

Can a new found love
heal the pains of the past
Can a second heart -
a new love ever last

Can two new hearts
become ever one
Can they compare
to another or none

Matters of the heart
their pains run deep
Leaving them with scars
and memories to keep

Can they move past
matters of the heart
Is it feasible
a brand new start

They can only wonder
if all they know is true
For all they really know
might not be what they knew


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

Ode to Hypocrisy

| Filed under

Contributor: Susie Gharib

- -
He haunts the confessional every day of the week,
Inaudibly murmuring long series of outrageous deeds,
Evading retribution by distilling poison into his pastor's ears.

He censors his dreams, tattooing his scalp with Scriptural creeds,
Relieving his conscience of rummaging amongst matutinal debaucheries,
Barricading all exits through his subconscious' gates.

By Jove! He does not swear or take the Lord's name in vain.
An evasive word can pass for a pledge, or should we say a bait!
His word of honor, a threadbare knot, chafed and frayed by erosive trade.

His mouth runs dry with blowing bubbles at his rosary beads.
He hums the Psalms since words crucify themselves at his hallowed seat,
With addiction to the blood of Christ, savoring his insobriety with belief.

He performs his ablutions with what John baptized the meek.
It is imported on his behalf in stained glass, bottled and chic,
With rituals wreathed by incense that crests his house like a mountain in heat.


- - -
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Since 1996, she has been lecturing in Syria. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various magazines.

Lambs to the Slaughter

| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
To the rulers
Subjects are lambs
Which can be moulded
Cajoled or ordered
To follow
Any policy - sound or shallow

To the rulers
Subjects are lambs
That can be tortured
Or slaughtered
To stay in power

To the rulers
Subjects are guinea pigs
To implement totalitarianism
In the garb of democratic freedom

To the rulers
Subjects are constant threats
As their mass mobilization
Leads to protests and revolution

To the rulers
Enlightened masses
Are the ultimate cause
Of their downfall and demise


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

Epitaph

| Filed under

Contributor: Megha Sood

- -
I always
wonder
what will be engraved on my epitaph
my goodbye note
to the living breathing soul
the reminder
the words of wisdom from a fallen soul
who has dragged itself
through the mundane life
and bore its intricacies
in the pores of her body

How can I tell the living
that how the
words were once spoken
by the sullen mouths
and the black souls have seeped
slowly inside my soul
dripping forever
making that tapping noise
and breaking the eternal silence and
imitates the raindrops
flowing through
the engraved letters of my epitaph.

How I can be ignorant
of the all the beauty
imbued in the souls around me
living in vapid glee
and wallowing their carnal desires
and blowing and puffing smoke
through the untrammeled thoughts in the
their resplendent minds

I wonder,
my eyes are widened
by the sheer thought
running through my mind
How the mere letters
those syllables
the art
on my epitaph
can do any wonders
to which my living soul was denied.


- - -
Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing poetry editor at Ariel Chart and a collective member/editor at Whisper and the Roar, GoDogoCafe, Candles online and Free Verse Revolution.Her 200+ poems have been published in numerous poetry journal and magazines.She recently won NJ NAMI Axelrod Poetry competition.Her poems have appeared the anthology "We will not be silenced" by Indie Blue Publishing.

The Greatest Love Of All

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Here’s to a breakfast appetizer
The start of another day
Waking to the loved one
Brought from miles away

The longing we thought would last forever
Is gone with a single kiss
That brings the joys of a lifetime
Filled with days of bliss

The golden days of every day
The passion we’ll always feel
A love that will last forever
And ever because it’s real

Simple joys like holding hands
Or walking in the snow
Mem’ries in the making
To last as long as we’ll know

Happy times through summer
Winter, spring and fall
Gathering momentum through the years
The greatest love of all


- - -
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.

Raging Dumb Hunger

| Filed under

Contributor: Jayvette Mortinsen

- -
The demanding gets worse
They come in droves
I reach through the flood, begging, shackled
Why can't they follow protocol?
Why do they horde in the doors?
Why do they ignore
Everything I say
Pushing through
Pushing and growling
Snapping
desperate and grumbling
fuming and foaming
taking everything
shoving everywhere
raging in dumb hunger

Believe in a future, they say
How can we
when everything practical
is falling apart
at
the
seams?


- - -
Jayvette works in the service industry. She believes you can see the cracks that will lead to the fall of civilization in the way people treat service industry workers.

Cyrenaicism

| Filed under

Contributor: Ken Allan Dronsfield

- -
At one time I talked with myself, almost daily,
but now, we don't say much these days.
I think I hate myself now. Absolutely!
I walk a street adorned with peppermints
skipping yes skipping along, hitting the bong,
long deep breaths and the pond is but a sheet
wavering glass spied through the smoky haze.
The ducks and geese are static, just decoy fakes,
never moving, never moving. I want them to fly!
I thought I killed myself off some years back, but
once again, like a mosquito in summer, I return,
yes, return but yearning for that taste of a bullet.
I cry for the children dressed in their best finery
crosswalk bound, guided by the blind and aged,
off to learn of life, giggling and laughing, laughing
as the two percent milk curdles in the winter's sun.
At one time swallows soared through bare willows.
I argue with myself as I sit on a bench, I'm askew.

(Cyrenaicism (n) \ˌsir-ə-ˈnā-ə-ˌsi-zəm, - an adherent of the doctrine that pleasure is the chief end of life.)


- - -
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.

Melancholy Comfort

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Dedicated to Rebecca Pitman

Keep the blinds closed.
Draw the drapes.
Touch the shadows.
Ask them their names.
They will keep you company
here in the moondark
as the heft of night’s emptiness
presses down.
Pour them a drink.
Listen.
Be still.
The smooth slide of bourbon
coats the curves of the crystal.
Soft and sharp blend as one.
Cry just a little.
No one will see.
Only the darkness that enfolds you
in its vague gray haze.
Wait for the morning.
Throw open the dark.
Watch it retreat.
The sun will then come
and call out the shadows again.
Wait for their embrace.


- - -
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.

Words On A Page

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Words of sadness
depressing and dark
Are they mine
Did I write them
Why, when, how-
Where did they come from
Without hesitation,
Without fear
Words appeared on a page

Did I mean them
Are they accurate
Did they reflect
what I felt I knew
Words on the page
come from the heart,
come from the soul
Words unspoken
which should have
been said

Words on a page
tell a closeted tale
I read them
again
and again
I ponder
I pause
I cry


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

Last Cigarette

| Filed under

Contributor: Mark Tulin

- -
Under the elevated train,
surrounded by steel girders
and screeching wheels,
cold water drops
down from the rafters
onto my head.

I never complain.
I never cry.
I bathe in the water,
feeling blessed
by the abandoned angels
above the dark red sky.

I watch the traffic lights
that never change.
Traffic lights
that flicker and sway
with the wind
and rain.

I hear bruised women cry,
mistreated like barking dogs.
Johns with black eyes,
getting rolled by pimps
in dark alleyways.

I feel another raindrop on my dusty pate
as I hear the rumble of a passing train.
I know my life is how it’s supposed to be.
I’ve come to accept this plight
as I take a drag from my last cigarette.


- - -
Mark Tulin is a poet and short story writer from Santa Barbara, California. He’s published in Friday Flash Fiction, Vita Brevis, smokebox, Page and Spine, and Fiction on the Web. His poetry chapbook is called, Magical Yogis, and his website is Crow On The Wire.

Maurice

| Filed under

Contributor: Susie Gharib

- -
He looked askance at my supervisor's door.
I told him she’d be back in an hour or so,
As I walked past him down the narrow corridor.

He stood transfixed as if mesmerized
By my chestnut hair, my candid eyes,
Viewing me with the cutest mouth
On which presided a half-formed smile.

I do not recall how he invaded my life.
He belonged to a different academic tribe
But veered allegiance to my sacrosanct site!

We went for walks down the river Clyde.
With modest French he paused to describe
What Mallarme wrote of refracted lights.

His addiction to see me grew out of control.
He pinned a word-effigy on my study's door,
Every time he came but found me not.

I grew uneasy at his errant darts.
He captivated my mind, but not my heart.
The patter of rift echoed in my mind.

One evening he spotted a date amongst
A pile of letters I was sorting out,
February the thirteenth ruffled his brows.

He said it must have been a Valentine's,
I said: 'Indeed, a Mr. Wilde's,
The father of my illegitimate child.'

He stared at me in dire disbelief
But knew me incapable of deceit.
My tale crackled with new-spun deeds.

His visits eventually petered out.
My tarnished image had drenched his sparks.
I thought it better than breaking his heart.
Or perhaps it cracked.


- - -
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Since 1996, she has been lecturing in Syria. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various magazines.

Forbidden Fruit

| Filed under

Contributor: Megha Sood

- -
The alabaster moon is lying too low
in the belly
of the warm skies
too far and too near
like the forbidden fruit
ready to be picked
so fleshy,
so juicy
for the warm clutches of the
needy earth
waiting to be imbued by the
milky moonlight
washing the turbid emotions
festering in the blue veins of the earth
How shallow?
How deep?
Does the wound know?
Nobody knows
Not even the flies feasting on them
all they care about is the food
they are feasting on
The monsters in my belly are growling
of the pain and the hunger
hunger for the truth
I have been hiding for years so
I'm hunted by the truth seekers
the seers,
as they know the apocalypse is nearing
the day of the destruction
is nearing
and my soul seeks
the balance between the cacophony and the
serenity
on a beautiful moonlit night
in the heart of the sky
when the alabaster moon
hangs low
really low


- - -
Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing poetry editor at Ariel Chart and a collective member/editor at Whisper and the Roar, GoDogoCafe, Candles online and Free Verse Revolution.Her 200+ poems have been published in numerous poetry journal and magazines.She recently won NJ NAMI Axelrod Poetry competition.Her poems have appeared the anthology "We will not be silenced" by Indie Blue Publishing.

Spent and Buried

| Filed under

Contributor: John Ogden

- -
Set aside everything for a death
Set aside everything for a change
Set aside life
And lies
And progress
And make the time
To clean up that final
familial
mess
because it's not enough
to have to put your father in the ground
to say those final farewells
to wade through a lifetime of detritus
selecting fragments
for piecing into your own short life
no
no, the faceless paperwork hungers for the dead
the steady-grinding machinery
takes each cut
from every man
demands
not just money
but life
life taken and spent
taken and spent
on the dead.


- - -
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.

Sin Cycle

| Filed under

Contributor: MH.Emon

- -
Dickinson knew
The true fruit
And she knew
The remedy

She knew gift
And its branches
All WH she solved
With best

Milton got
The way without
The touch of light
He reared that well

Colors of the day
We drink up to brain
At night in bed
Clean the glass for tomorrow

He who tasted happy
Must have to taste bad
And it’s true
Like the sun of tomorrow
.............................................
And Elysian is her slave
Her skin has Abendrot
The gateway to lost
Guarded by winged and bowlines

Her accent has
The tune of
The lyre of
Israfil

And she has
A pair of eyes full
Of ocean hue
So well arranged

The architecture of she
Has a high pulse bliss
Coated with all glory
No more of this story

But nature knows
The beauty only of the fruit
It’s the truth, It’s the light
Mother spills so well

But the queen doesn’t know
The light and the fruit
Drowning in and keep filling up the glass
In the end, useless tears remain.


- - -
I'm MH Emon, 23 years old, an avant-garde poet and I'm from Bangladesh. I've completed my graduation in English Literature. I got published in several online journals. Currently, working on my first poetry book.

Give It To The Night

| Filed under

Contributor: Marcus Severns

- -
That thought
The action of mind

The belief
The wisdom
The heart
That swirls
The life blood of
The moment.

Take a look inside
The dark or light
To see
That it's all here,
There,

For you.


- - -
Marcus Severns has published in several magazines and journals including Everyday Poems, The Curry County Reporter, and MadnessMuse Press. However his most notable accomplishment from writing was winning 1st place in a regional writing competition for Southeast TN EMC. He currently resides in east Tennessee.

Liminal Rain

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Wet wind
the world washed clean
every inch
rich
in earthy color
the static sprinkle
glimpsed through slits
the black blinds
that block out the day
in lines
in divisions
dark dividing joyful
dividing light
from life
florescent
from iridescent
the me of media
from the me that's free
that lives in the static spaces
dancing
always dancing
in the liminal rain.


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

A Love Story

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Romance began
A Chance encounter
A happenstance of love
between a woman
and a man

A few
written words
was all it took
Struck by love
with just one look
Two souls
hollowed with pain
not searching
for another
come together

Heartfelt expressions
of love and hope
release the hold
of an invisible rope
Anguish and emptiness
a forgotten past
Love and
companionship
found at last

Hand and hand
lovers walk
Dinner together
time to talk
Poetry shared
while the music plays
Compatible
in so many ways

Destiny
brought them
together at last
What seemed
like forever
happened
very fast

A new dawn
a luminescence
of light
Darkened
horizons
once again
shine bright

Bonded hearts
together
now beat
Two souls
destined
to meet


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

Euphoria

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
I've been away
so very long
I'm euphoric to say
I'm finally going home

Home to where
my heart feels free
a familiar place
where I can be me

Living abroad
has been a quest
but now its time
to leave it behind

The time has come
to return
and take with me
what I've learned

There are those
who I will miss
Forgive me
for leaving
without a kiss

My decision
comes not
with regret
Mem'ries
I will not
forget

But truth
cannot hide
my eyes are
opened wide

Tormented
living in strife
I am leaving
to start
a new life


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

The Kiss

| Filed under

Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
The kiss has a mind of it's own
always knowing here it wants to go
if it could talk, would it tell me
where it's been feeding
with breath fresh as spearmint
getting lost inside a ballad
the slow dance with no conscience
but the promise that I will be the last
or am I just an idea
that can smooth and soothe away
the sting of reality
in the face of things dear
this life so fragile
has changed even the smallest freckle
in a garden of weeds


- - -
Judy Moskowitz, a professional jazz musician, has been published in Poetry Life And Times, Michael Lee Johnson's anthology, Indiana Voice Journal, Whispers Of The Wind. Her poem Modigliani was nominated best of the net.

Revival

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
Dedicated to Rebecca Pitman

After the silence,
after the stillness,
after the emptiness,
small sounds begin
to creep back in.
They come one by one,
an insistent procession:
the clock ticking,
the faucet dripping,
the heater humming,
the dogs barking --
all of them, just the same,
just like before.
Step by step,
they steal their way
into my tomb,
the sarcophagus of silence
in which I try to seal myself
from their persistent call to life.
They surround me,
shout at me,
“Breathe!”
And I breathe.


- - -
I am a retired high school English teacher who, after a 30-year hiatus, has begun to write poetry again. I have had poetry and fiction published in several publications.

Home

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
(For Jane)

Home can be
Anywhere
Any place
Any town or
City
Any size or
Shape
A palace
Or a two room
Flat
Home isn’t
Four walls
A kitchen
And a bath
Home only
Exists
When it is
Filled with
Love
Filled with
Life
And
Laughter
A haven where
Warmth and safety
Prevails
Where storms and
Pestilence
Can’t reach
Home is where
Simple things
Are important
And big things
Are taken in stride
Home is when
Two
Defies mathematics
Where two hearts
And two souls
Become
One
Home is where
Love can
Flourish
And sadness is
Banished
Home is an
Intangible
That defies
Definition
Except by those
Who
Feel alive
Because they are
Home
Where anything
And everything
Can happen
Dreams can come
True
And life is
Joyous
Simply because
There is
A place called
Home


- - -
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.

Shadowed Years

| Filed under

Contributor: Ann Christine Tabaka

- -
I can no longer say
“when I grow old.”
I am here.
I have reached the
point of life where
penumbras close in,
where night follows day
leaving evening behind.

Looking in the mirror,
a stranger stares back
at me with vacant eyes
and pewter hair.
Once stylish clothes
now hang limp and twisted,
on a body of the same -
limp and twisted.

My words now jejune,
I write for the dust.
Parlor games and puzzles
fill my muddled day,
as memories lapse,
and I doze into a dream.

Brittle bones and
aching joints
join the heartache
of lost loves.
All crumble out of an
existence that once
held vibrant joy.

What used to matter,
no longer does.
Pretty is just a word.
Youth a distant fantasy.
A life of repentance
follows me as I enter
the shadowed years.


- - -
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and three cats.

Flashbacks of a Survivor

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
The lights dim.
The film strip starts to flutter.
The images flash.
Memories, forged from frozen fire,
burn frostbite into my fists
as I grip them,
grapple with them,
struggle to strangle them.
One by one, they retell
the same old story.
They burn it again and again
into my ice-cold soul.

I’m tired of this show.
I've seen it so many times,
watched it over and over,
this perpetual rerun,
this skip on the vinyl record,
this Candyland ice cream bar
that sends me down the slide
to start my Sisyphean task all over again.


- - -
I'm a retired English teacher from Orlando. I have had or will have poetry and fiction published in Right Hand Pointing, Literary Yard, Amethyst Review, Saw Palm, and others.

Unpunished Shadows

| Filed under

Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
I know you’re there, and there’s no sense
in trying to explain the unexplained.
It just sets in, seeps in, like a ghostly presence,
just outside the door but not knocking,
just waiting for the door to open
and I knew the door was like a lid
of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus -
no lock but only I got that key,
no knob but boulders heavily seal it.
A mummy lies inside, tied, bound -
the face shown in the burial mask
is not the rotten cheek and bone
and leathered skin within.

You prophesy the end of days
- times when the tired Sun would insist
that it prefers to shine in the West and not in the East
or the ambitious Moon stealing scenes
and photobombing the stars, it seems.

The hermit of a physicist argues -
No work is done without displacement.
The spiritist turned alchemist proposes -
Solve problems with corrosive solutions.
And presto!
All clogs of mental pipes go!

The soul-less pastor raises the cup
that apathy filled with martyrs’ blood.
The faithful then partake of the eucharist,
sanctified by the butcher’s bullets that pierced
the hearts of innocent kids and maligned priests.

We then offer each other the sign of sinful impunity,
for peace is a lie, when blind loyalty breathes tyranny.


- - -
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

Slaying the Dragon

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Slaying the dragon
And opening the heart
Like wind-swept hair
Tousled by the hand of fate

Offering solace in a turbulent world
Remembering happy moments
Long ago and past
While dreaming of happy moments
Yet to come


- - -
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. He lives in New York with his dog, Daisy.

Sudden Changes (Anicca)

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

- -
No longer do millers swarm street lamps in summer,
And honey bees are seldom seen,
The choir of crickets is silent in fall,
The leafhoppers, that once were sometimes a plague,
Also are seldom seen.
You can drive up and down hills in the country at night,
And still look out your windshield and see.
Monarchs no longer pass through like before,
Where is the bumble bee?
The geese that used to fill the skies,
Are now, small flocks when seen,
That go south, then north, then south again,
Like they don't know where they should be.
Many are aware of these changes,
No one is sure what they mean.


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

Second Chances

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
Second chances
don't always come
We want them
we need them
but still sometimes
opportunity leaves us
behind

We look
to the Universe
to guide us as we go
waiting for a sign

To open
a new door
one must close an old
This is often
painful
as stories
do unfold

A second chance
must not
be ignored
It may never
come again

Show the Universe
you have faith
move forward
without looking
back
Trust your destiny
to keep you
on track

Close the door
behind you
and throw
away the key
Bury the past
it wasn't meant
to last

Second chances
don't come
easy
One must
search their
heart and mind
putting their
soul out on the line

Face fear
and uncertainty
of the unknown
Accept the truth
where you are now
is a place you have
out grown


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

Action - Reaction

| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babuu

- -
For centuries
They bowed to male hegemony
Exploitation, ignominy
Perpetual suppression
Human rights violation

Suffered in silence
Waited with patience
'Til they mustered strength
Mobilized themselves at length

Now with vigor and enthusiasm
They are busting male chauvinism
Entering uncharted territories
Churches mosques or temples
Every prominent position
Which was denied due to staunch opposition

After consistent oppressive action
They learned ways of affirmative reaction


- - -
The writer from everywhere and anywhere when ponders on the question 'who am I?' finds some response in a lyric by Bhupen Hazarika (Assamese) 'ami ekti jajabor' (I am a gypsy.)

When It Comes

| Filed under

Contributor: Judy Moskowitz

- -
When It Comes
will you be ready for a flash flood
as sea levels rise, landmarks left behind
will you be ready for the inevitable, unacceptable.
earth continues to turn moving time
everything that blooms will catch the bullet
just when you become uncluttered and clear
seems so unfair to disappear
into the salt of nothingness
it happens when you're not looking
will I be ready?
there, I've said it


- - -
Judy Moskowitz, a professional jazz musician, has been published in Poetry Life And Times, Michael Lee Johnson's anthology, Indiana Voice Journal, Whispers Of The Wind. Her poem Modigliani was nominated best of the net.

Rock Bottom

| Filed under

Contributor: Jordan Corley

- -
there's a comfort in the sadness
a quiet longing in the happiness
that can only come from knowing
there is no place further down to go.

there's a sanctity in the depression
and repression
of the unwanted emotions.
they only surface when the sunlight
shines bright enough
for them to grow too

manifesting into something larger than
what is comfortable
at the bottom of a hole
only large enough
for one person
to grow.


- - -
Jordan Corley is a student at Penn State with a passion for the art of poetry and creative writing. She published her debut poetry collection, “battle scars”, in 2018 at the age of 19. She hopes that through her writing she can reach others dealing with physical and mental illness and spread the message that they are not alone in their fight.

Chemistry

| Filed under

Contributor: Sheshu Babu

- -
When you sowed seeds
I thought
My love started to germinate

When you watered the saplings
I thought
My love had good foundation

When you were elated
Watching the harvest
And exclaimed
"I am the tiller!
this is the result
Of my effort!"
I thought
My love was perfect

Now,

We stand on the same soil
With similar Chemistry!


- - -

Forever As One

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
Love is special – unique
Something that can’t be
Bought in a store
Or on-line
Love can’t be found
Just because you’re
Looking for it
Love finds you
Sometimes through
Incomprehensible means
Love is destiny
Founded by two souls
Meeting in Heaven
And molded into one
As the angels
Return it to the
Original owners
But it’s
A new life
Because love
Has joined the beings
Forever as one


- - -
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.

Smoke and Mirrors

| Filed under

Contributor: Ann Christine Tabaka

- -
Words that do not say a thing,
spout vague persuasions,

dancing around on a tongue
of fire. Heads tilting, nodding,

turning, What was that you
said? Writing a thesis of the

damned, we follow bread crumbs
of doubt. Ring around the Rosie,

time has all but passed. Sweet
garlands of discovery, upon

the ocean cast. A breath held
blue, a quandary spent, we

plunge ahead anew. Devoid of
sense, we seek the prize, a

lanced boil. Meanwhile paintings
of colorful decent adorn a contrived

world. Rising from the throng,
visions of disbelief profess to be

real. Fabricated phrases fill our
lives with words that say but nil.

Alas, all is smoke and mirrors,
… and smoke


- - -
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and three cats.

While We're Talking Reparations. . .

| Filed under

Contributor: Joselyn Colby Rastecov

- -
When the fury of a lost god
comes howling through the house
and the ghosts of the forgotten dead
the ghosts of an age
scream bleeding rebirth
and revenge
for lost lives
for times
when all souls were oppressed
for control
for cash
by psychopaths
hiding in the shadow of a cross
they professed
guided every axe
guided every stick
that built every pyre
defiled every unwilling temple
until none remained
until all the stolen gold
glittered on swollen fingers
fat with savage scarfing.

The ghosts of the wronged do howl
and even the staunchest houses do crumble
for nothing lasts forever
nothing, but the howling of the angry wind
nothing lasts forever.


- - -
Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

When I Was a Child

| Filed under

Contributor: Cynthia Pitman

- -
When they said there was a “window” of time
for the space shuttle to leave the atmosphere,
I thought they meant that a big window
would open in the surface of the earth,
and the shuttle would emerge from inside.

When they said “burning at the stake,”
I thought they meant laying someone on a grill
and cooking him outdoors, just like you would a steak.

When they said “convergence of the twain,”
I thought they meant “twain” as in “Mark Twain,”
never knowing it meant “two.”

When they said she was “drawing on her gloves,”
I thought they meant she was drawing pictures
on her gloves with a crayon.

All of these things I thought.
I saw no reason to think otherwise.

But when they said
“everything happens for a reason,”
I thought they meant for a good reason.
Now I see the one real reason to think otherwise:
human suffering.
What is a good reason for that?


- - -
I'm a retired English teacher from Orlando. I have had or will have poetry and fiction published in Right Hand Pointing, Literary Yard, Amethyst Review, Saw Palm, and others.

Outer Darkness

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Mundhenke

- -
When the lights in the heavens
No longer shine,
And an ocean of darkness pervades,
No sunrise to chase the darkness away,
No spoken words to be heard,
Nothing to touch and no one to touch,
And no scenery ever to see,
Only darkness; oblivion;
The absense of anything.


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

Cigarettes Will Always be Home

| Filed under

Contributor: Cooper Shea

- -
I’m six years old, it’s Sunday.
Mom kneels at her garden,
which isn’t really one,
just a small patch of soil by the driveway for Hosta plants.
She stops, takes her pack of Marlboro Ultra-Lights from her sock,
lights one and says to me:

If you ever want to experience the hardest thing in your life,
start smoking.

I’m 14, it’s a Friday night
after the football game, behind the tennis court.
She wears ripped jeans, converse, a Pink Floyd t-shirt
and smokes a Methol Pall-Mall.
No girl has ever touched the back of my neck like this.
I don’t know how I muster the strength
but I kiss her and it tastes like broken rules and burnt cough drops.
After, she offers me the pack:

Have one.

I’m 16, a hot Wednesday night.
Mom sits on the porch.
She barely has time to snub out a butt before lighting another.
I come out, like she asked.
She’s smoking from my pack.

Recognize these?

She says but there’s no scold in her voice.
I just sit down
and she gives me a light.

I’m 10, it’s summer on my grandparents farm.
Grandpa teaches me how to chuck feed into the trough for the cattle.
When they’re all fed,
he takes his Winston’s out of the pocket if his snap button shirt.
He looks like a cowboy off a billboard,
hardworking man having a smoke at the end of a tough day.
He lights one,
coughs and says:

Goddamn, I outta quit.

I’m 21 and it’s winter.
Mom invites me out to the porch
to talk about how serious things are with my girlfriend.
She lights what she says is her first all day,
coughs
and offers me the pack.
I want it, God knows.
I say:

I’m good.


- - -

A Day of Quiet Deliberation

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
The commemoration
of a marriage
In other words - anniversary
a celebration of love,
a marriage -
two people committed
one to another
wanting to journey
through life together
A day which most
care to remember

Unlike others
who bask in the joy
of such occasion
she wonders why this word
'anniversary'
in all its glory
powerful and sentimental
causes her such
disappointment?
Why this date in time
holds so much significance
with its twin
from so many years before?

Why has he forgotten their
anniversary - again?
How callous of him
Negative thoughts
now cloud her mind
Why did he not remember?
Is his action or lack of
conscious or accidental?
Is it deserving of
tolerance?
Should she remain
silent -
so the day just passes
like any other?

Have they drifted so far astray
that he deems their marriage
frivolous?
Why should she feel
envious
of the woman who receives
a flower with a tender kiss,
an invite for dinner,
a song, a dance or
a lover's tete-a-tete?

Consequently,
this day of celebration
turns into a day of
quiet deliberation

A day of sorrow and emptiness
an acceptance of the truth
the bond between them
a cosmic, passionate love
is slowly dissipating
A flame of irresistible passion
once burning out of control
has burned the candlewick black

Their anniversary
a day she remembers
with endearment
has become nothing more
than a day of reflection
A day of quiet deliberation


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

Gold Toilet Royalty

| Filed under

Contributor: By Betal P.K. Pelario

- -
The trending trendy
say the silence is coming
mobs of jobless masses
the joining rivers of refuse humans
one into another
eating each other
endlessly
while the machines make
everything we want
nothing we need

Oh, to be gold toilet royalty
riding the rivers of the indigent
when it all falls down
when it all comes crumbling down
leaving nothing but the sick of heart
the lords of glittering trash
with everything they want
and nothing they need.


- - -

From the Garden

| Filed under

Contributor: Holly Day

- -
I come in from the garden and I’m covered
in slugs. Tiny slabs of snot with antennae waving
slowly moving over my sandaled
feet, pausing in confusion at trying to pass
a particularly thick black ankle hair
navigating the rough etched surface
of a heavy Tibetan silver bracelet.
I don’t touch my hair because
I don’t want to know they’re there, wrapped in tangles
dreadlocks with chewy centers.

I pull my clothes off by the washing machine
and start the hot rinse cycle immediately, reconciling
my guilt at running the washing machine
with only two items of clothing in it
with images of hordes of horrible soft bodies
tumbling through the soapy water with my clothes
hopefully boiled alive. If there were more clothes
in the mashing machine, the slugs would be trapped
throughout the load, might find sanctuary
in sweater pockets and socks
might make it out
alive.


- - -
Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle.

Land of the Equator

| Filed under

Contributor: Ann Christine Tabaka

- -
Under the blazing African sun
lies Kenya, land of the equator,
torn between present and
past. Proudly flying colors of
red, black and green. A
half century of independence
from Britain’s Union Jack.

Words fail what emotions
perceives. Awe inducing vistas,
mountains, forests, the bush,
and lakes, wildlife beyond any
imagination, all a touch away.
Love and despair wrapped
in a blanket of anticipation.

On the savannah wind excites.
Thunder, a roaring lion rushing
across the terrain. Lightning and
downpour at his heels. Day becomes
night in a single breath, as darkness
swallows the sun. Racing for
shelter, eyes widen, heartbeats
quicken. Forthwith, altercation
over, the sun emerges victorious.

Land old as the beginning
and modern as today,
intertwined in a collage of
smiling faces, vast wilds,
and high-rise edifices.
Beckoning tourists for a
livelihood of meager means.
Selling trinkets and dreams.


- - -
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and three cats.

Elemental

| Filed under

Contributor: Maria-Theresa Zehendstrom

- -
In my arms, you were always elemental
ice in your eyes
fire in your thighs
an earthiness between them

airy in your summer dress
and cutting all the same
cutting me down
dropping me amidst the leaves
like so much wheat
to take me
to bury me
and make me soft
pliant
to all of your hard needs
the husk of me
discarded
always discarded
beneath a sky
the same color
as your eyes.


- - -
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.

When Love

| Filed under

Contributor: Bruce Levine

- -
When love
Transcends time, distance and space
And takes hold of two people
Brought together by destiny and fate
The universe is renewed

Golden threads
Stitch the planets into a ring
And Saturn gives up its rings
As baguettes to surround the diamond
That once was the sun

And then
The moons and the stars
Shine down on the love
Like a rainbow of light
Catching moonbeams in its path
In a spiral of sparkles
Like fireworks on the Fourth of July

When love
Is so strong that it can
Overcome all obstacles
And join two people
Like an umbilical chord
Gives life to a baby
And each
Nurtures the other
With their hearts and their souls
As love unites them
For eternity

When love
Is so strong that the past disappears
And only the future remains
To be seen among the stars and the planets
In a universe of their own


- - -
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.

Shadow in the Porthole

| Filed under

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
You were always my dragon
you were always my fire
I hate you
I love you
I need you
and yet I never want to see you
I never want to see you again
and yet I do
and yet I always do
and yet I'd throw open the door
if I saw your shadow in the porthole
I'd take your cruel hands in mine
I'd kiss your cold fingers
I'd kiss your lips
despite all the vicious things
you've said
I'd take you back in a heartbeat
regretting every minute of it
knowing viscerally
it's all a great mistake
knowing viscerally
that the love I feel is always one way
and this was only ever about sex for you
this was only ever about sex for you.


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

Singularity

| Filed under

Contributor: John Ogden

- -
We still keep him
keep him as a reminder
of who we were
before.

I like looking back
few do
most want only the now
only the new, the more,
listless for novelty
balloons on the winds
of progress.

I am not immune
I am a harem of Nagels
porcelain skin, blue eyes, black hair
serving only myself
servicing
a recursive loop
of endless echo chamber dynamics
spun between future
and past
but never the one
no longer the other.

Like a curiosity
we keep him in our midst
safe and sated
hivemind self-gratification
achieved with workings
of a sea of same and subtle parts

Nostalgia gives him context
all else has been ripped away.
his friends are lizards now, foxes
brass dragons
with solar-sail wings
soaring gas-giant skylines
all elegant and delicate
complex in body
infinite in mind.

Gone are the tenuous connections
of unshackled minds
simple skins
simple illusions
simple ideas and simple needs

The faustian bargain has paid in Nagels
in dragons, in flight
in a thousand awe-inspiring ways

The faustian bargain has paid in Nagels
and taken its own toll with shackles
with depression's venom
and novelty's constant bite.


- - -
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.

Last Days of What Was

| Filed under

Contributor: J. White Welchev

- -
Last days of what was
and all I can think of is you.

Standing at the edge
pushed to the precipice
pushed to take flight
before I'm ready
as if I'd ever be ready
as if I'd ever want to fly away
from this
from you
from what we built
from what I sacrificed so much for.

Last days of what was
and all I want is another moment
and another
and another

Last days of what was
and all I want is a push against the inevitable
a push against the push
that gives
that just for once
just once
actually gives.


- - -

Desiring Iapetus

| Filed under

Contributor: Oles Karg Campbell

- -
I crawled into the depths of your heart
titanic and cold
all packed ice
all packed with screaming faces
packed with pain
all glacial,
all razor crystalline.

I thought I could warm you
I thought I could see heat
just waiting to be released
a heart in need
of tenderness
of touch
of love

You crushed me in those cold caverns
You sealed me in a tomb of ice
added me to the faces
locked away, screaming
forever desiring
forever desiring Iapetus.


- - -
Terrible relationships make terrible people. I write poetry to break the cycle.

The Sweetest Sleep

| Filed under

Contributor: Jane Briganti

- -
She sleeps
the sweetest sleep
Her head lies gently
upon her pillow
Clutched in her arms
is his pillow nestled
under her cheek and chin
Kneeling alongside the bed
he watches and wonders
"Is she dreaming of me?"
Quietly he watches over her
like a Guardian Angel
Slowly he moves in closer
placing his face in front
of hers upon the pillow
she holds so tightly
His lips just millimeters
from hers
His breath warms her face
He moves yet even closer
Kissing her ever so gently
his lips on hers so soft
He pauses and she wakes
to keep their kiss alive
Time stands still for both
face to face, gazing
into one another's eyes
His palm touches gently
upon her cheek
He whispers...
Sleep my darling,
the sweetest sleep
Dream of me for
I am here and
I love you


- - -
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.

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