Simon Kindt's Newest Poem: A Lyric Of Gentle Power
How to know that there is a thing called holy and it is small and close and sleeping
You will still feel her fingers in your palm;
the knuckled memory of her heart will hum
and echo slow as you make plans to build
a shrine to her in the spaces where she pressed
her cheek against your neck, stitched her fingers
to your chest and with an ocean calling
through the window, ebbed herself to sleep.
Now, the house at rest, her breathing, steady
as a pulse, comes humming through the wall
and carried on a vein of air now threading
down the hall to where you find yourself
waiting for the earth to turn beneath you.
In a minute, a single breath will stall
inside her throat, will gather itself, swelling
as a wave to break and exhale itself as song
and it will take a feat of will to not sing back
and wake her. You’ll tell yourself to sit instead
and sift through your agnostic language
for some vague approximation of the note
now spinning prayer wheels in your throat.
Read the poetry of Simon Kindt
Read a profile of Simon kindt
Man Vs. Machine in Steve Green's Latest Poem
The Age of Click
Pounding the keys again
Letting life's frustrations
fly off my fingertips
onto the serene screen
Tonight my thoughts
exceed the speed
of my compromised connection
The horror of being frozen out
Locked up by heartless tech
Words now bottle necking
inside my clogged hour glass
Oh to have a paper and pen!
but stolen office supplies
were all utilized
and never replenished
No need for such relics
Or so I thought
when I purchased
this pricey device
I shake rattle and roll
my accursed hardware
Skull and crossbones appear
on my solid blue screen
This is the final
The red power eye
Signaling the end
of our relationship
All my brain wave residue
I had deposited
on a chip
the size of a gnat
now terminally dead
Gone to that place
in the clouds
where data angels reside
Time to start over again
as I scour my existence
for parchment and quill pen
Read the poetry of Steve Green
Read a profile of Steve Green
Daniel Klawitter: Plato and Lifeguards
The Philosopher's Resentment of Male.Lifeguards
Socrates: Well, my excellent fellow, do you think
that expertise in swimming is a grand thing?
Callicles: No, by Zeus, I don’t.
Perhaps they protect us
from way up there
on their lofty perches.
Well-oiled and eagle-eyed
in red shorts, dark shades
Who are they trying to impress?
They scan the horizon
in search of danger
looking for signs of panic
or maybe an undertow or eddy.
But a drowning
is as infrequent
as a shark attack.
Still, their whistles
are always at the ready.
Who needs them really?
It’s strictly a summer job
for the young and muscular-
who in spite of the windy conditions
have immaculate hair
and a superior cardiovascular system.
It’s not a competition.
(Though my physique
could use some slimming).
I just want to enjoy the beach
and think on all the things
more excellent than swimming.
Read the poetry of Daniel Klawitter
Read a profile of Daniel Klawitter
Mark MacDonald And The Joy Of Cooking
Table for Two—for Kim
I love to write poetry watching you cook:
which piece of meat, chicken or beef,
will know your small hand
rubbing it gently with garlic and oil?
Which frantic vegetable—a laughing noggin of lettuce,
a flaming hat of celery, the pernicious onion,
the prodigal tomato—will leap from the bin,
all them shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!
Put us all together dancing in a bowl!”
I love to write poetry watching you cook.
The climax arrives when you reach
into the spice drawer: tarragon or chives
parsley or paprika? Which powdered
and flaky minstrels will sing to us tonight
at the dining room table, where a candle is lit,
and a glass of red wine waits for the each of us?
Read the poetry of Mark MacDonald
Read a profile of Mark MacDonald
New From Poet Jillian Parker: "Alpen Glow"
A breadth of frosty fastnesses slashed my sight today,
Milk-glass skies, swirling shades of translucent amber
Deepening unto dusk, bleeding teal and myrtle--
These clipped nouns crumble to dust before them.
Above a winding road, Orion tightened his belt,
Dreaming a city of no fears in jeweled strands:
Topaz, lapiz and pearls, throbbing, trembling--
Even tears fail to gain a purchase on this vision.
Once, in a small plane above the Wrangell mountains,
We swooped over the edge, a sudden drop-off,
A thousand chances to be swallowed in icy chasms--
Balanced by a preposterous antidote: lucid joy.
Read the poetry of Jillian Parker
Read a profile of Jillian Parker
Two Poets, Two Drops...
"Drops," by Amauri Solon
through the roofs
into your room
The long cold
left small diamonds
on the rose buds
of your garden
in your eyes
Read the poetry of Amauri Solon
Read a profile of Amauri Solon
"Drops," by Ali Znaidi
A New Work From Poet Rosa Saba
shy stutter of a thought
scurrying across rough rock and diving
headfirst into cold white water
so as not to be heard, unlike
the wilted sigh from pinched lips
that draws eye contact then breaks it
like waves upon those stones
syllables soft and jumping
through valleys, over jagged mountains
just to reach ears clouded
with assumptions and a failing effort
to tune it all out
skinny fingers gripping a skull
through wild, upset hair
hands coming to rest uneasily
within each other, still shaking from the strain
or maybe it's the cold that cuts edges
into my shoulders, ties the laces tighter across my back
pinching me into place as i twist inside
looking away a thousand times, and trying
but i cannot unwind, i cannot open myself
Read the poetry of Rosa Saba
Read a profile of Rosa Saba
"Braided," A New Poem From Gail Thomas
When he called her high-strung, I imagined a horse
rearing up white-eyed, not the woman who dusted
down walls every week and sprawled on the floor
braiding strips of wool into a rug.
When I answered the pay phone in the hall, he
stumbled with the news -- break-down. I saw
thin wires snapping, her still body in a white
room. Because you moved away. When I moved
further, she offered the rug and wrote a letter,
because you were a cold child. Now I change
her diaper, trim chin hair, bring a cactus with
one yellow flower. She calls me angel, my angel.
Read the poetry of Gail Thomas
Read a profile of Gail Thomas
Above And Below: Bethany Rohde's Newest Poem
What's Buried and
I’m balancing on the curvature
of roots mossed over in unreal green.
They carry a familiar bone structure:
these rough-skinned, working hands
That even now nourish tree flesh
in the bluing dark of Monday.
I trace one root, it skims grass-shallows
and delves below my sight--
to extract its choice elixir:
It sips chilled rain from saturated earth,
leaving mineral tang on the forest’s breath.
Even what goes underground can sift,
can lift, can weave the elements–
into next spring’s leaf-fabric.
Read the poetry of Bethany Rohde
Read a profile of Bethany Rohde
Mark Gordon's Newest Poem, A Delightful "Ducks"
Ducks. Ducks everywhere. Quacking ducks
in Kensington Market on a Saturday,
in their cages, smelling of too many ducks
She arrives, this woman with her friends,
a business woman from Shanghai,
modestly dressed, a Buddhist.
Want forty, the owner asks? Yeah,
I’ve got forty. If you have the money
I’ve got the ducks. Much easier this way
than selling them three at a time
to struggling restaurants.
And yes, the modest woman, who
has practiced the smoothness of the Buddha
no ruffles in her feathers, quiet, detached,
hands the owner the money
and her friends gather the ducks
as if they are picking up kids from daycare,
pile them into the backs of vans, cages
Sunset Lake, next stop. They hover
with cameras to record the event,
their first symbolic act in this land,
each one breathing the present
not looking back to China,
nor forward five years in Canada,
but clasping this moment.
They slide open the cages one by one,
and the ducks spring up, then soar,
calling to each other,
as they cut through the leaf-scented,
Read the poetry of Mark Gordon
Read a profile of Mark Gordon
A Slow Awakening and Discovery, From Allison Grayhurst
Weeks arrive to lay bare
the corpse of a wasted dream –
my ideals unfounded, measured with
a spoon. I loved and I’ve had to kill that love
purposefully, stepping over
into a territory of arctic
severity and separation.
It is natural
for me, a citizenship I owned hanging out in churches,
on church benches, shushed from yawning.
I knew God more in the forest,
quickening my pace on paths
edging cliffs. Swallows circling as I did
a flawless land.
I knew God best in my bed, talking, never repeating
phrases learned, but earnestly in conversation.
I know God still sometimes
when I am close enough, able to smell our rudimentary .....union,
brush the locks and flares of your deep and fierce sun
as it rotates within a galaxy riddled rich with stars and .....asteroids,
when I am in your radar-stream,
pulverized by the intensity of your purity -
porous, cracking, becoming more,
many, smaller and such
Giving birth. Giving up
my hard-won understanding.
To fail for you is a victory that
arrives like an ultimatum,
and I am singing – this is new.
It is an embrace,
a personal annihilation to be honored,
swallowed as I am, utterly
into your glow.
Read the poetry of Allison Grayhurst
Read a profile of Allison Grayhurst
Robert King: Master and Mastery In His Latest Poem
The letter from grandfather at my birth
was addressed to Master Robert King
which no one ever called me again
and the letter is as absent as he is.
Words of wisdom inside? I imagine,
but I can’t imagine them. Difficult
to say, as such words are or might have been.
Once he showed me how to make a whistle
out of a squash stalk, not really whistling
but a rasping squawk, enough of a sound
for that one day, although never again.
Grandchildren, great, if you’re ever around
a squash plant, cut a two-inch section,
then slice a notch toward one fuzzy end.
With practice you’ll get a raucous buzz
that will thrill the summer you’re standing in
and the stalk’s bristles will only slightly
sting your lips and you’ll never do it again.
You masters of all things I‘ll never know.
Read the poetry of Robert King
Read a profile of Robert King
A New Poem From Poet Kristin Maffei
This is the Last Time I Will Ever See You
and everything smells like patchouli.
Someone is playing a twelve-string guitar
and none of us are dancing, though I wish I was.
You’ve already gotten into the trouble.
Our Spanish teacher has seen you sneak
off to meet your secret boyfriend in the plaza.
You’ve already bought me the giraffe mug, a gift
to celebrate our graduation. Hooria, it’s still in my cupboard.
When you told me you’d been caught, I laughed it off.
Looking across to Morocco, you didn’t laugh at all.
The air was hot and dry, even in the dark. You’d known .....deserts before.
All year, I’d mailed packages for you, love notes to the UK.
As soon as we were home, you were gone.
Or maybe you are always here, your hair a dark spiral, .....your eyes lined in kohl.
Maybe we are always here, spinning to a song we will never hear again.
Read the poetry of Kristin Maffei
Read a profile of Kristin Maffei
Charles Bane, Jr.: World War And Personal Crisis
Oh they were alive
and playing cards
in an eight foot trench
that was covered like
Eve and I had point
alone on our Italian beach.
The Germans had artillery
so reaching that grunts robbed
of rest - all of them-
might disappear unclaimed
for weeks. I caught a private
and brought him back at dawn.
The captain said, take him there
behind those trees and hurry back.
To kill like that. I marched
behind the bastard and he knew
and wept. I was seeing things
from lack of sleep. I saw my father standing
on the platform by my returning train,
the haunted question of him; I saw
stars on collars finally unpinned
and the manual of arms above our
barn filled with grain. The German
knelt and light specked him unfed
and leather hooved. There were leaves
and I was dappled too.
Read the poetry of Charles Bane, Jr.
Read a profile Charles Bane, Jr.
David Adès Plies The Figurative In Two New Poems
Here comes regret, wheeled in on its gurney,
all banged up and feeling sorry for itself,
though not at all contrite. I turn away,
expressing my disinterest, thinking
I have no time for this, but regret isn’t interested
in my disinterest, or in any prescription
for a remedy, any suggestion to get over it
or to move on, any prescribed diet.
No, regret is settling in, installing itself
for the long haul, fully intending to gorge
on every other remnant emotion,
to swell and swell until nothing else is left.
Darkness shall never vanquish her:
her chin cleaves the waters
she sails through, the beacon
of her face illuminating her way.
Read the poetry of David Adès
Read a profile of David Adès
Robert Nied's Latest Poem Talks The Talk
Let me tell you kid, just how great I was
Every bell and whistle, every glorious clang and buzz
I had nothing but good ideas only brilliant thoughts
I know every answer and what every mystery means
I stood for everything sacred and fought for
I proudly hand the world to you, behold it in the light
There is no pain and suffering because of the work
No illness, flood or famine because of the wars I’ve won
There is no cruelty or hatred, no torment or deceit
Because I gave no quarter, never bowed in defeat
Where you are going, I haven’t told you all
Oh, what the hell do you know?
It’s like talking to a wall.
Read the poetry of Robert Nied
Read a profile of Robert Nied
Dana Rushin Takes On The Mystery Of Fruit
in season, peaches
the peach season will be over
where we will only get the unrealistic ones,
the ones you put in paper bags, for that incredible few .....days,
to soften. Though this process is as highly improbable a
supposition as landing softly in a hot air balloon.
What Grandma called voodoo, ancestor worship,
the chemical action of bones. Can you imagine the
hot talk? The panicked crematoria chatter?
it is true,
what the others have said about going quietly?
Is a pit the same as a heart? As kids, with bricks,
we would crack them open to see what the center
of the universe held, and each time, there was
nothing there. Just disappointment;
the burden of centuries of evolution,
folds of coil.
Bewitched, one could surmise,
is the hardest thing for fruit to understand.
Read the poetry of Dana Rushin
Read a profile of Dana Rushin
Mikels Skele Challenges The Sensei
The Word Fire
“The word fire,” says Sensei,
“does not burn your lips.”
But say, Sensei, that the word fire
Burns your heart, the heat rising
Through your neck, and, yes,
Singeing your tongue on the way out?
What if the word eagle
Makes you feel like soaring,
All the while tethered to your
Earth-born dreams, that seem only to rise
Or the word dying, though it seems a lie,
Still feels dark and wet, not exactly cold,
But too thick for that?
I think, Sensei, that even your
Ancient schemes cannot touch
Your finger points only to a place
Where the moon might have been
Read the poetry of Mikels Skele
Read a profile of Mikels Skele
We Welcome Poet Lidy Wilks To The Pages Of VerseWrights
Tell It to the Bogeyman
He slouches down our street,
his thin, shagging hair
swaying to and fro on his
The street lights flicker
in fear before him as he pauses,
sniffs the air, and he looks for
squirming, naughty Little Things.
But they don’t hear him
as his nose leads him to our yard.
The moon above shrinks
behind the clouds as he adjusts
the sack on his back, waiting impatiently
to sate himself with squirming, naughty Little Things,
but they don’t hear him
as he makes his way to our porch.
My prior warnings to be good little boys
have been met with lopped ears
and the house continues to quake
with their war cries ringing through the air.
The family room, now their playground,
Is littered with carcasses of their toys,
Clothes and books rotting on the carpet.
Dinner had been laid to waste, waiting
to be saved as tomorrow’s breakfast.
And now they’re vowing to blind themselves
standing before the TV, watching
their cartoon favorites instead of going to bed.
But it’s already too late, because there’s someone
knocking on the door.
He has come to fetch his dinner.
He’s come for my squirming, naughty Little Things.
Read the poetry of Lidy Wilks
Read a profile of Lidy Wilks
jacob erin-cilberto Shines Light On The Poet's Soul
sure i bathe in moonlight
when the mood suits me
but darkened patches of life
are my corner luxury
that cool feeling of black frost
i can almost lick with fervent tongue
as i silently mouth words i could never write down
on star pads,
too much grandiose suffering made public
as other lovers kiss under those same tablets
with my words breeching their contract
and blame ricocheting off the blank walls of my heart
sure i'll strip down to just the bare letters
and pour myself into an ocean of comforting glow
but that will only assuage your bulbous pain---
i instead, must burn in the rays
of an unkind orb
seeking to unclad me of my own sorrow
make my poems run naked
and embarrassed in front of people
i don't know
who only want to use me to see into themselves.
Read the poetry of jacob erin-cilberto
Read a profile of jacob erin-cilberto
Poet R. H. Mustard, And A Road Test Metaphor
When I first taught you
how to drive,
we both slipped in behind
the wheel, hoping
to learn quickly,
but our bodies held us hostage,
making unreasonable demands
in a language
we did not yet understand.
We drove in this foreign land,
without signs for Slow,
Yield, and Stop,
going way outside the lines,
heavily under the influence,
desperate to learn
the driving art
for the first big test
in a driven world.
How will I pass, you said.
if we keep going like this?
You will pass because
you have mastered
the difficult and subtle part,
I said. The man will
see the strength in your eyes,
the miles in your heart,
the knowing way
you hold the wheel.
Read the poetry of R. H. Mustard
Read a profile of R. H. Mustard
We Welcome Our Newest Poet To VerseWrights, Evie Ivy
The Old Drum
The good drummer knows the ancient sound.
Sacred instrument, ceremonial beat of life,
universal resounding. The energy flows
with primitive break through time.
The sound, the rhythm flows with life’s
vibration. Let this be not war, but good,
we need the good drummer, the call
to life – think of the birds, the sky,
the trees and the drum that brings you
from one day to the next—the pounding
heart. The drum leads with the festive
call, diverse, whether in the hand, the lap
or the floor, it sways the body, the feet
respond. Its rhythms bring the mind into
ecstatic places. It sets the tone, the call
this striking beat punctuates living, it
will resound in space, primordial
heart—the beat of the good drummer.
Read the poetry of Evie Ivy
Read a profile of Evie Ivy
We Warmly Welcome Poet Amy Billone To VerseWrights
First Words ☊
The same way at five I stared from the tub
into my father’s terrified eyes after he broke
the bathroom door to save me because I hadn’t
heard his calls and as he shook my body
to bring me back to life I laughed and told him
I didn’t drown, the soap bubbles only filled my ears--
The same way at eight I looked into his gasping face
after he leapt from a moving car because I lay
sprawled on the grass by an upside-down bicycle
and as he lifted me with shaking arms I said I hadn’t
fallen but was writing a poem about how the clouds
were really cotton candy—The same way
at sixteen I crashed my car into a street light
and fainted on the hardware store floor, then woke
to see him gazing blankly at me from the doorway
too frightened to remember the name
of my hospital so I said it for him—The same way
in my twenties I regained consciousness
after a six and a half day coma because I jumped
in front of a train I was so surprised to recognize
my pale-cheeked father waiting like a marble statue
by my side when we rarely talked and he lived
in a distant city that I spoke my first words
even though doctors had said if I survived
I would never recover language: Hi Dad.
Victor Perrotti: The Poetry Of Social Protest
choking on public safety
"I can't breathe!" Eric Garner's .final 33 words, 7/17/14
as long as the police,
to police the police
a grand slurry
– makes with police
much like family
– the enforcement arm
of the power structure
the golden arm,
that can do no wrong
the strong arm
the confiscating arm
the escalating arm
the arm in search of
a loosy in the sky
the arm that chokes
the arm that snatches,
from the scales
of lady justice
lead and brutality
for the black man
lead and brutality
for the black man
from the sham jury
the state’s enabler
– the district attorney
; renders unaccountable
blue sleeve homicide
of the golden arm
Read the poetry of Victor Perrotti
Read a profile of Victor Perrotti
Kelli Russell Agodon: What Else Is There To Know?
With a Dream Psychic
Expect a sort of heaven to appear
in your living room by Friday.
This may mean you will die soon
or that life will be easy for a while.
It depends on the angels.
Bleeding and begging angels are never a good sign.
If they were singing gospel and wearing halos,
then expect answers to circle you.
But if you wore their wings, be cautious
of bulldozers, unicycles, anything with wheels.
Yes, even cars. Good question.
Don’t borrow from visitors this week.
Try to talk to the angels when they appear,
especially the one with a machete.
He has your secret. Be lucid. Soar with him.
You don’t need his wings to fly. Trust me
on this. You’re not the first to dream
of angels with weapons. I’ve known presidents
with that same type of guilt.
No, not every dream has to do with sex,
only the good ones.
And that white picket fence you observed,
it signifies peace of mind. You’ll soon be free
from anxiety. Unless it was in ruins.
You may now offer my soul fifty dollars.
Your lucky number is eight.
Your power color is white.
Your psychic insect is the mirror beetle.
Read the poetry of Kelli Russell Agodon
Read a profile of Kelli Russell Agodon
New Poem And Photo Art From Diana Matisz
"It is in the pitch-dark hours..."
it is in the pitch-dark hours
when no one else can see us
that our broken hearts
in chrysanthemums of ache
Enjoy the poetry and art of Diana Matisz
Read a profile of Diana Matisz
We Extend A Warm Welcome To Poet Scott Thomas Outlar
My Niece and the Dream Catcher
She asked me:
Has this thing been working?
And I said:
And she said:
Well, how do you know?
And I said:
Because I was able to write them down in the morning.
And she said:
And I said:
And she said:
That’s not real.
And I said:
You have to believe –
It’s energy –
It’s consciousness –
And she said:
I know it’s real.
I’m just angry
because I’m tired.
And I said:
It better not catch your dreams
or I’ll have to give them back to you.
And she shut the door
as she went to join her sister
in the other room.
And I went back to drinking
and thinking about the next poem
I could write to imitate Bukowski.
Read the poetry of Scott Thomas Outlar
Read a profile of Scott Thomas Outlar
Paul Mortimer: Sunset, Birds, And...Dragons
Chasing the sunset
Two shotguns let go
and echo through woods.
A thunderclap of crows
explode from the trees,
flecks of soot
swirling on the breeze.
Gathering their wits
they flap slowly over fields,
drifting low as if flying
is not worth the energy.
and gradually this flock morphs
into dragon smoke.
It catches an air current, writhes
down river, chasing the day
to its flare-out point.
This sinuous darkening cloud,
as it smokes downstream.
Heat draws it on
to the setting sun.
As it reaches the estuary
a glow beats in its heart.
Turns into a flicker,
Flames swallow smoke.
Dragon fire blazes,
then flares apart.
And a flock of fire birds heads out to sea.
Read the poetry of Paul Mortimer
Read a profile of Paul Mortimer
We Welcome Poet Ramesh Dohan to VerseWrights
At the Movies
At the ticket window, I won’t follow
the body of the usher as she leans
to break a twenty with a press
of cash register and chest. She’ll tear
my ticket and pass twelve-fifty
beneath the glass, steering me
past the snack bar where two rows
of candies in loud yellow boxes
will glow like lines on a highway
and lead me to my seat. The previews
will warn R for restricted, S for sex
and V for violence, and I’ll remember
the V-neck of the usher’s sweater
and the fainter V drawn by her breasts.
Baudelaire considers you his brother
and Fielding calls out to you every few paragraphs as if to make sure you have not
closed the book,
and now I am summoning you up again,
dark silent figure standing in the doorway of these words.
Read the poetry of Ramesh Dohan
Read a profile of Ramesh Dohan
The Latest Poem From Reka Jellema
She Died of Death
Her ears twanged
with the twee-twee-twee-
of chilled chickadees
Her body lost its breath
Her spirit left
The doctor said
The sea moved
mountainous and overhead
nimbus and stratus
Black and white
weather the painter
of a bleak coast
A boy took
bark in his teeth
and tore strips
from the tree
the birds fled
still a nest
still a knot
of beach grass
fish twine and smooth
This is not the end
the Sister said,
her beads circling
in the embroidery
of her hands
Read the poetry of Reka Jellema
Read a profile of Reka Jellema