Sun Prayer

| Filed under

Contributor: Jack Dolvermorris

- -
I put on the armor
of my gods
spread wide my wings
face the dark
face the night
all that icy cruelty
all that cold chaos

I put on the armor
of my gods
and draw my sword
to set the night alight
to drive away
specters of suffering
those who hold down the sun

I put on the armor
of my gods
free the great golden one
for another spring
another summer
another season
of fire and fruit
when ice is treat
instead of a torment
and the forces of night
hold sway only over hours
instead of days.


- - -

Unmendable

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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

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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

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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

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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

| Filed under

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.

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