Steve Green Ponders: What Is The True Obscenity?
we just got flashed a nip (gasp!)
Flat screens are steaming!
Dirty little boys
Did that hairy degenerate
just drop an F Bomb?
Bleep his murky mouth!
Seven second delay
his gosh darn profanity!
Blood and gore
always may pass
It's taboo body zones
that make us aghast
lapping fig leaves
over offensive body parts
Censorship too is art
We need to
bubble wrap them
black and white antiseptic
Enter the Thought Police
Our moral wall of shame
Swatting down themes
they deem obscene
Playing gotcha games
like good vigilantes do
Wouldn't it be lovely
if just for once
their moral indignation
could be aimed
at the true obscenity
Read the poetry of Steve Green
Read a profile of Steve Green
Jacqueline Czel's Poem For Phillip Seymour Hoffman
have gone by,
in one long line
of littered lingo,
words on a page,
a lit up site,
a stage set,
on the shelf
and his actor's
no one else.
(Rest easy Phillip Seymour Hoffman)
Read the poetry of Jacqueline Czel
Read a profile of Jacqueline Czel
A Warm Welcome To Novelist And Poet Mark Gordon
Admit it. Something is chasing you.
You hear it in the laughter of the children,
as if they are embracing trees,
will never let them go.
You ask yourself: how long ago
did you speak to trees,
how long ago did you reign
along the seashore, master
of the waves?
Let it up. Something is chasing you
like the shadow of a leopard
and you cannot help but admire
the burning green eyes,
the soft pad of the feet
Admit it. Sometimes you feel
like a sack of flesh used up,
its days numbered in wrinkles.
Your wife says: you seemed
not yourself today, more serious
than usual, preoccupied.
Admit it. You are having an affair
with something far off
that sounds like a train at night,
crossing a scored land, crying
for you to board.
Read the poetry of Mark Gordon
Read a profile of Mark Gordon
"Tankart," Created By Poet/Artist Debbie Strange
One of five new works
I unfold my origami self
and swim into a lake of fire
washing my hair in ashes
the crane-legged words
of a thousand burning poems
We Welcome Poet Jessica L. Davis to VerseWrights
not bodies together
a gateway to closer
exchanged for touch
after deveining each leaf
holding each stone
in our mouths
we missed something
grit left after spitting
pine needles in my hair
an extra note
caught in the warbler's chest
and yet again
What Isn't Mine
into holy moments
the waiting cradle
of what he meant to say
in letting go
Read the poetry of Jessica L. Davis
Read a profile of Jessica L. Davis
"Welcome," A New Poem From Ana Caballero
It’s not like I don’t
ask nice. Not like
I have more than
one shelf. Every night
I make room, but it
is for one single
plate. And every
afternoon it is I
who sets it down.
Who offers you
or you or you
the chance to give
thanks. To be the
one who makes
another fold his
hands. In my home,
it is you who hosts,
and I am compelled
to be charmed. Call it
grace. Call it world
talk. Call it an open
heart, straight teeth
that will always
call you back.
Read the poetry of Ana Caballero
Read a profile of Ana Caballero
"Wildflowers," A New Poem From Stephanie Brennan
Remember when you proposed
that first time
my wheels started spinning
and I don’t mean the bicycle wheels
we were riding at the time
though I did speed up, didn’t I
put a little distance between us
I remember it was twilight
the sun an orange giant
on the horizon
cicadas ramped up their love songs
just for us
I was afraid you were needy
I didn’t want to take care of you
I wanted us to take care of each other
But you persevered, didn’t you
twice more you asked
the third time you got down
on one knee, so chivalrous,
you waited patiently for trust
to grow like those sunflowers
we planted that one year
they bowed their heads, remember
and smiled down at us
This morning I picked these wildflowers
quite a color combination, isn’t it
remember when we tossed the seeds
to the wind, laughing, I so loved your laugh
you brought me handfuls
every morning in summer
the house awash in color
and all that lavender
I thought it smelled like fresh laundry
It’s ironic, isn’t it
I worried you might be needy
and in the end I would have given anything
to take care of you
but your heart wouldn’t allow it
you did everything on your own terms
you’ve given me years
enough to last me two lifetimes
yours and mine
enjoy these wildflowers
I’ll be back tomorrow
Read the poetry of Stephanie Brennan
Read a profile of Stephanie Brennan
A New Work From Poet John Alwyine-Mosely
When winter, remember spring
Berries ripe black to pick in autumn light
with hands, cold from dampness, cardinal
stained, as bruised fruit scents the air.
You taste the summer gone, maternal
moments lost in spring as a deer rustles by.
When home, fragrant water simmers,
for harvest fruits washed clean
to weigh on brass and click scales.
Each bowl thorns when to lean
down brought salted tears not smiles.
Trickling through rough fingers fruit
flops into pan and pops thick. Berries
flavour licking good for pectin test
You release methylated memories:
camping holidays, picnics, cold nights.
Time, as evening moon rises, to add
sugar and trap morning smells
for the breakfast bite of spring.
You measure heat and fear the farewells
if the pop of broken glass tinkles goodbye.
Adding butter to cleanse, the pan is lifted
to pour, into cloth held crystal clear jars,
while jam falls as slow motion waterfall.
You twitch your nose as steam stars
glisten on window panes as her smile.
Wax paper, scentless like the candles lit,
crackles as wrapped around the necks
sealing in flavours for the darkness.
You know your regrets and neglects
but at each spring taste she laughs.
Read the poetry of John Alwyine-Mosely
Read a profile of John Alwyine-Mosely
Three Very Short Poems From Leslie Philibert
hard and autumnal
devoted to silence
in all things at home
she looked puzled
and laid her book
the tea cups
and asked me
if the soul was
and I said
it is now.
The North is Winter
The North is Winter.
Ringing cold. Nameless stars.
A coastal trawler
With a ballast of dead souls.
Shaken into the waves.
The night tugs at my sleeve
As a child would so.
Nameless cold. Ringing stars.
Read the poetry of Leslie Philibert
Read a profile of Leslie Philibert
Two Poems From The Pen Of Charles Bane, Jr.
You a Certain Chord
You a certain chord or
movement of a dance as
you crash in a tide and spill
like music or drugs into blood
and we down onto sheets,
your hair in kapok roots and
I think: what bird is this, with
wings outspread, crying under
Isn't It Amusing
Isn’t it amusing that they think
we’re too old for...and don’t see
when our passion stirs?
They don’t notice your hand
reaching over to arrange my letters
in the middle of the game.
Do you know I love those hands
most tenderly when they’re making
tea? And then, again, in the middle
of the night when you touch my arm
and, wordless, ask me to begin a ballet.
You know, I think making love to you
starts in the music of steps in snow
or your look into your purse for a lozenge
when my mouth is dry. Yes, that’s the flag,
that’s the pointing daystar.
Read the poetry of Charles Bane, Jr.
Read a profile of Charles Bane, Jr.
Two New Poems From Mark MacDonald
~for Trayvon Martin
I want to de-mean things, take away context
and historical background—let each man
and woman lie nameless and orphaned
from themselves and their phone numbers.
Who is this child found shot on the lawn?
To what estranged mothers and fathers does
he truly belong? There is a monument shaped
liked an obelisk in the middle of the Capitol;
The General on Horseback in the midst of the rain.
But where is the tomb for the causeless
and the ghosts along the train tracks—the map-less
lieutenants and their floundering platoons?
The Last Pioneer
Perhaps it was the sun and its train
of yellow smoke that carried him away
to the waters just over the mountain.
Sometimes in the evening he would stare
in that direction, standing out on the porch
with a cigarette and a beer, looking
at nothing in particular and speaking
in general terms about the changes
in the neighborhood: The children moved
away from their parents to Dallas, LA
and Seattle—the closing of the plant
and the illness of a friend. Perhaps it was
the geese he watched glide over the house
that sealed his final decision to leave her behind,
pack up the truck and head the hell out
to Wyoming—live quietly in a cabin, hunt his
own meat, tend a few horses and drink whiskey
with the cowboys in a tavern just down the way.
Read the poetry of Mark MacDonald
Read a profile of Mark MacDonald
Two Windows, Two Poems, from Poet Sherry Chandler
Out of the North Window
A downy woodpecker spirals up the dogwood
like stripes spiraling up a barber pole.
A walnut, fallen into the hollow where
the trunk splits, has turned from green to black.
The bird taps here, taps there, exploring.
This is not the jackhammer of serious purpose.
The bird is looking but he has not found.
A sprout arches into the buttress of a branch,
the feral cat’s viaduct to the roof.
The woodpecker pays her no mind. A catbird clings
to the window frame, wing-beating its reflection.
Unable to hold onto the tenuous perch, it retreats
to a nearby twig. Cat, catbird, and the day
are gray. The tree sports a few red berries,
and the woodpecker is Harlequin with red cockade.
He flits away to the ash in pattering rain.
Out of the South Window
Although the bicycle’s programed hills scroll past
with calculated speed, I see through mirrored
knees a plane cleaved by the vertical thrust
of two venerable black locusts, bark
shaggy with Virginia creeper. Swags
droop from limbs overarching the line
of the driveway. All my domain is thus divided
into parts. No branches sway, no bird
flutters, nothing relieves this geometry,
but the slow fall of a leaf. I crane my neck.
The twilight at eye level is broken by glints
of sun on the locust crowns. A zephyr catches
a white pine needle caught by spider silk,
swings it in a slow arc across the window,
lets it go to float back out of sight.
Read the poetry of Sherry Chandler
Read a profile of Sherry Chandler
Tracey Gunne Brings Her Poetry To VerseWrights
There were too many drafts
in that cottage by the lake
doors kept slamming in your head
You swam naked in the evenings
past the shallow waters
closer to the deep end where
the moon's light
glazed over creases in your skin
I stayed on shore
still warm with the sun's
Once a week the mail came
we walked barefoot
on the gravel path
to greet him
then when darkness fell
your invitation he held
in open palm
warm and sticky
I was too old to lean
against his knee
on the front porch
And I knew
he was too old
to notice more
than he should have
the soft release
of the oppressive breeze
when my shirt surrendered
His spirited voice
whispering in my ear
sounded like waves crashing
as my body receded
That entire summer
you chased bats in the rafters
with your bare hands
the moon ripened flesh
Read the poetry of Tracey Gunne
Read a profile of Tracey Gunne
Daniel Klawitter's Latest Work, With His Reading
Overflow & Commitment ☊
There is an old proverb, legislator, which we poets
never tire of telling and which all laymen confirm,
to the effect that when a poet takes his seat at
the tripod of the Muse, he cannot control his thoughts.
He’s like a fountain where the water is allowed
to gush forth unchecked. –Plato, Laws IV.
The truth is the muse is often fickle.
She likes to be wooed.
Sometimes she wants to be tickled,
On other days, she is rude just to
Start a quarrel that ends in a kiss.
You scribble a line, but she
Wants to hear it oral, recited with
A twist of the tongue. Or she may
Want it sung with full lungs, before
She will bestow a laurel for your crown.
If you try to force it, you will only
Make her frown and bring yourself
A world of woe. Courting her
Requires daily discipline, attention
To form, detail, and apprehensions.
Then, the slow hard work accumulates
Into the occasional grace of inspiration:
The poem that seems to spring from
Nowhere, fully-formed and articulate,
An omnipotent storm of exaltation.
And then it flows like a fountain-
And you are drenched in words
You composed but don’t know how
You did it. But the muse knows
Where water goes—it’s all about
A New Poem From Poet Sharon Brogan
My dead lover's lover
My dead lover’s lover
will visit me today. She
was one of a crowd,
invisible to me, ghosts
flitting through our rooms,
a glimpse, a hairpin
in the bed sheets,
an alien scent in the hollow
of his shoulder.
Our pasts unspool
behind us, already
poorly edited, suffering
from murky narratives,
weak direction, too many
bad actors, too much left
on the cutting room floor.
What does forgiveness
Read the poetry of Sharon Brogan
Read a profile of Sharon Brogan
A "Slow Waltz" With Kelli Russell Agodon
Slow Waltz Where Your New Life Meets Your Old Habits
We lived or loved, or didn’t
mow the lawn. We waited
for dusk, for satellites, for the opening
of a book or a door. We felt the only
words were escape or escapade,
yet we couldn't decide which
to choose. We drank hot brandy
on cold ridiculous nights
and said how when pleasure
refused us we would find it
and knock it down.
We said better than never, better
let the checks roll in, better not be
an impossible mailbox sealed shut.
Maybe the thank you cards
we never wrote for our wedding gifts
that didn't matter. Maybe
they’d just be paper crockpots
stored in someone else’s home.
We lived and loved, and did it
in clover-filled grass. Maybe
the miracle didn't resist us, maybe
we just never found it,
as we slept under a moon
that kept trying to pin us down.
Read the poetry of Kelli Russell Agodon
Read a profile of Kelli Russell Agodon
Two Poems By Janet Aalfs From Her New Collection
What the Dead Want Me to Know
and light finds us
with the other loves
6. A Bird's Tale
Many who die become birds.
I'd like to be one. An original
tai chi sequence,
Grasp the Bird's Tail,
urges me to examine
its homonym, each feathered word.
Later in the form, more alive,
Slant Flying, I'm there.
Bones of lace admit the sky.
This is what I know so far
Not there, but in my mind
a fur-cloaked body
hungry as an echo
loped across Egypt Lake.
I pondered the image
and a presence grew.
Wind through mountain
laurel shivered green
and licked the snow.
Hiking to a further shore,
I paused again
in the sound of steps
through crystal ice that hissed
like shattered glass.
From the future, or the past,
you stopped and turned to show me
who had called to whom –
and your yellow eyes burned through
the silent trees to mine, slate-blue.
Read the poetry of Janet Aalfs
Read a profile of Janet Aalfs
Poet Sarah Russell Gives Us Her Latest Poem, "Prism"
Honey-thighed surf children
chase the ebb,
bare feet etching
pockmarked sand. Another
surge, crashing, scrambling,
tumbling water bubbles/babies
catching sun beams.
Scientists see tides and wind
tug at eternity,
the vast liquidity of earth.
Poets find analogy:
cosmic force pursuing, crushing
fragile human frames
and timid hearts,
while sun-kissed fledglings' merriment
is incidental, drily pondered –
this ecstasy of splashing play.
Read the poetry of Sarah Russell
Read a profile of Sara Russell
The Latest Poem From Poet Kim Talon
Even the clock
who shows off every hour
has wound down
so the familiar
where is the sound of Spring?
as if the chirrups of sparrows
were caught by wind
and taken clean away
No sigh of wind
or dream-woof of dog
in a skim-milk patch of sun
on a cosy carpet
The cats turn their noses up
on windowsill haunts
and curl upon soft chairs
Read the poetry of Kim Talon
Read a profile of Kim Talon
"Laughing Gull," A New Poem From Ray Sharp
tore a hole in the shiny-skin-sack
and out spilled foods of many kinds.
We flock to our breakfast.
Watch for the flightless tall-birds
with their grotesque featherless wings
tipped with more-than-two fat worms
that wriggle and grasp
and make the stones to fly like falcons
at our beautiful black heads.
Read the poetry of Ray Sharp
Read a profile of Ray Sharp
Poet William Fraker Makes A Visit To The Hospital
Hospital Room Visit
Mostly silence followed learning about
too many lesions to count.
My reclusive cousin, of the same age, has thin hair,
except for his beard.
Several tubes import and export slowly.
A patrician nose (I never noticed before) holds no glasses -
they rest on a food tray.
From time to time, he opens his eyes –
“I am still here,” and “You are still here,”
or maybe I misread altogether.
He blinks twice to tell his nurse about his pain,
eyelids as signal lamps.
He accepts a spoonful of blended
peaches with crushed medication.
On his bedside, photographs of grandparents
and parents beckon.
The present spreads out, during the visit,
like soft sheets and a hospital blanket.
On the way home, I remember a week ago,
when my cousin had his voice.
I spoke of how, as children, we rode sleds down a snowy hill;
he called me his friend.
New Poem and Photo Art From Diana Matisz
I Thought of You Today...
I thought of you today
I felt that amaranthine rush
and after all this time
the flow began
the slow bleed-out
of good intentions
I missed your eager thrusts
into my mind,
of your self-imposed distance,
I missed the arch of your silence
against my pulse
I wanted you
to be watching
from another room,
your eyes in rapt regard
I wanted you to see me bleed,
Read the poetry of Diana Matisz
Read a profile of Diana Matisz
"Hurt,"The Latest Poem From Heather Feaga
Legs reach right
To double Ss
From the inside out
Turn of calf
Fair skin facade
A wood lathe
Stretched across his back
Closing the gait
To the give way
I used to look
At his shoulders
As he stretched
Now the curl and sleep
That bit of hurt
In the moment
Held by bones
Read the poetry of Heather Feaga
Read a profile of Heather Feaga
Three Brief Poems From Poet L.L.Barkat
Just you and I,
let’s button (and unbutton).
is tangled shirts
the hem of a skirt
in the brass button
of your jeans.
While the mourning dove
is still sleeping,
before the sun can waken her,
I kneel beneath the mulberry tree.
You will know this without me speaking
when you open my stained palm.
I have missed the mulberries.
Read the poetry of L.L.Barkat
Read a profile of L.L. Barkat
"Whys Can Sigh," New From Dunstan Carter
Whys Can Sigh
I looked deep in her eyes
And saw nothing but you,
I pieced together
The words she unraveled,
Bored and obtuse,
I turned them into song
And sung soft till the walls
Took your shadows,
Brought your scent here
To remind me I’m drifting,
Of imagined birdsong
In these windows reflecting,
The hours we spent here
Talking wet rhymes and laughter,
The guessing games
And the patter,
Does it matter
I was wrong?
Whys can sigh
And then rise
Now you’re gone.
Read the poetry of Dunstan Carter
Read a profile of Dunstan Carter
A New Poem From Poet Ellen Conserva
Was given a
Plot of land.
Not taking up
A big place
In this world.
Was given a
Task to turn
And break up
Clods and churn
The dirt with care
So someone else
Come and plant
When my task was
The rain and the
And the seed bearer
Do their work
“Look how you
Was given a
I love you,
Note: Ellen Conserva fosters orphaned children in Thailand from shortly after birth until they are given to adopting parents.
Read the poetry of Ellen Conserva
Read a profile of Ellen Conserva
We Welcome Poet Witty Fay To The Pages Of VerseWrights
Accrual of habit
Love never changes midweek.
It takes a long weekend
To ruin the random understanding
Of its death,
The agony of longing and all those
Broken embraces hanging midair.
I wish I could settle on a kiss
As my first move,
But then, there are cinders
In my mouth and a great heaviness
Coiling at my feet,
And the taste of burned dreams
Seems sad as well as bitter.
Still, today is a young Wednesday,
So let us agree on
A trace of gentle tenderness
And speak less through the week.
Read the poetry of Witty Fay
Read a profile of Witty Fay
We Welcome Poet Jerry Danielsen To VerseWrights
iNeed to know what's up -
what's going on?
iHave to feed my addiction
into my central
iPad the truth
iFeel the vibrating
iTouch the anxious frenzy
put it in me
The Little Chair
Held up a man
who spoke to himself
as he typed
into a laptop
And the little wooden chair
didn't know about
And she wondered
why these things
are more important
than her mother tree
Just so a man
can sit on her
while talking to himself
Read the poetry of Jerry Danielsen
Read a profile of Jerry Danielsen
Two New Poems From Poet Sejla Srna
filling rooms with instruments
and untouched records,
and the smell of cigarettes
so when someone walks in
'oh, an artist!'
may come to mind
but we all know
you spent an hour puffing smoke
into your clothes and bedsheets
developing a strong cough
because you don’t really enjoy
spending your last 5 bucks
on a pack of Lucky Strikes
aspiring to look creative
never aspiring to create
I’ve let my hair grow long,
so when you meet me at the terminal
you can brush it behind my ear,
as I seduce you with
my see-through blouse
flowing over scraped knees,
lined with fallen, frizzy hairs
that used to tickle you awake.
Read the poetry of Sejla Srna
Read a profile of Sejla Srna
Liam Porter: Two Poems About Sleep—Or The Lack Of...
The engine still idles;
whirrs away in the background,
as the search for the key
to shut it down for the night
gets more and more flustered.
Under fluffed and flapped pillows,
shuttered-down, silent headlamps.
Each new discovery brings hope,
but turned and turned again,
the wheels still buzz and spin.
There is nothing now to do,
but wait until the fuel runs dry.
Lie in the darkness and try,
not to feed it
Sleep eludes me now,
for there are places
beyond the dark
I have glimpsed
So, even with closed eyes
I am now a sentry;
a wound-up spring
ready to jump
at every sound.
A knight in pyjamas,
man on edge.
I am the first responder,
and sleep eludes me now.
Read the poetry of Liam Porter
Read a profile of Liam Porter
Five Haiku From Poet Wayne F. Burke
pushes up daisies
in the garden
dry leaves slither along the pavement
on their bellies--
my father in the war
walking into the nursing home to work
last rays of sunshine
on my face
leaves run like little fools
the busy highway
Read the poetry of Wayne F. Burke
Read a profile of Wayne F. Burke