Tibetan Monks Inspire Rowan Taw's Newest Poem
Smoke wafts to your nostrils’
reincarnating olfactory cells.
You don’t need time
there’s instant reaction -
the air shouts an aroma of ‘wrong’.
Then you see the flames:
darting, flicking, licking
their devils’ tongues.
They engulf, engorge, envelop.
Monk’s robes disintegrate,
as the chard blossom of the lotus-
sitter distorts his features.
The air becomes blackened
by the cracked skin bubbling
sacred, scarlet rivers -
his whole body weeping
disrobed tears of maroon blood.
is this an act of love,
or of protest,
where others would strike
and hurt another,
is this the only act remaining
to a peaceful people?
With heartbreaking futility -
Read the poetry of Rowan Taw
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We Welcome Poet Charlie Brice To The Pages Of VerseWrights
Elvis Presley Patch
Let’s face it,
there is no hair left
on top of my head.
Even if I bought a designer mop,
or had a hair transplant
and looked like I’d head-butted
a porcupine whose quills
injected fake hair follicles
into my scalp,
the hair that my mother
and father put on my head
is gone forever.
It’s taken thirty years
for me to lose my hair.
When Ariel was little
its gradual loss alarmed him.
He’d grab a maculate clump
close to my forehead--
my Elvis Presley patch, he called it--
and tug. Why couldn’t it spread
to the bald spots, he wanted to know.
You can have some of my hair, Daddy,
he offered, not yet bound to ratiocination.
I’d thank him, then tickle and hold him
down until he said, Forgiveness
Holy Father Papal Emissary,
a fallen Catholic’s rendition
of Say Uncle.
I write this to my friend Sharon
whose hair has just fallen out
in the shower—all at once.
She thought, maybe, it wouldn’t happen
to her, but it did. As usual
she’s positive: It means
I’ve got powerful drugs
fighting the cancer, she tells me.
I bet you look like a cute
little Buddha nun, I write,
and fail to mention the flood of fate
that shines like a nimbus
in both our eyes.
Read the poetry of Charlie Brice
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"Death Rains," A New Poem From Shloka Shankar
The city looks
sullen and crimson
bathing in the moonlight
with paws stretching
out in the form of sky-scrapers
flashes of lightning
threaten the homeless
and the harlots into vacant plots,
or worse still, oblivion
the moon looks red this night,
and as if calling out to me,
she whispers, “I’m bleeding”
shafts of light shoot
through the sky like meteors
and I realize mankind is
soon going to pay for his
onslaught on Nature.
We are no Wordsworth:
we wait calmly and patiently
in the false security of our homes,
cringing from devastation
a lone tree gazes back at me as
I stare out the window
and it seems frail,
ready to be brutally felled
I smirk, wince,
and go back to sleep.
Read the poetry of Shloka Shankar
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Poet Richard Levine Brings His Poems To VerseWrights
In my struggle to learn a Minuet in G,
I wonder about its Benedictine
monk-composer, who meditated
and played lute by the hour,
in a 17th-century monastery.
He may have been a man of faith
or a gifted child, sent forth to soothe
a streak of wild. As my fingers
clumsily pronounce sacred moments
he composed, do I seem closer to god,
more angelic, less likely to do, again,
the harms I have done? As atonement
for misplaying a tone meant as a grace
note, I stop to understand how I have
corrupted my time. The metronome’s
slow trimeter reconciles my hands
to breath, so the notes cease to be
a series of hopes, and instead sing free
and loud as banjoes and ducks;
and it undoes me long enough
to forget what’s still left undone.
Read the poetry of Richard Levine
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Puzzles Are The Subject Of This Poem From Michele Shaw
it’s sounds not understood, wobbly to the ear
slowly piecing, unraveling, touching corners until they ....align
we work, slave to make just one click, grabbing in glee ....when it locks with ease
it’s smiles requiring no explanation
love emanating from creased eyes filled with laughter
speaking in beats to a united rhythm
it’s bits of aha and scraps of confusion
yet we try and try and try
pressing each groove into its home
it’s the snap of that fit
when sometimes syllables align
followed by the ghost of a gentle caress
it’s magnets, collecting presents and trailing seas of hope
they will bind us even if the rest remains
Read the poetry of Michele Shaw
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Coincidence, Fate, And Seagulls: Cheryl Snell's Latest Poem
A Small Perturbation in the Stands
Shock rocked the stadium
the day the pitcher struck out the ....seagull.
Someone flipped a fair coin into thin air.
Its glint bribed the sky with false promises.
When the bird dropped from a flock overhead
wings fanned the coin ambiguously.
Heads or tails? No one could have predicted
such perfect syzygy of bird ball and bat!
The pitcher’s true arm waylaid tried instincts
with a powerhouse thwack . A flutter of feathers
sprayed the uppermost sky as if a pillow had been shot.
Mathematicians & gambling men know: the rarer the ....event
the larger the deviation.
From the norm? From what’s true? The long hard jock
begs the question from the back of his stretch limousine.
Sometimes the sky holds up an unlikely blue moon.
Sometimes coincidence slides into home plate
of the miraculous.
Read the poetry of Cheryl Snell
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Ten New Haiku from Poet Rita Odeh
ivy leaves creep along
the old ruins
the parallel lines
of the railroad tracks-
the third crow
of a rooster
the parallel lines
of the railroad tracks-
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Kathleen Everett Gives Us Her New Poem, "Daylilies"
a single day
an ephemeral beauty
a beautiful, ephemeral life
I am weary of death
his low whistle
in a minor key
has been heard too often at my door
I am ready to be relieved of his visits
I am so tired of tears
and the beautiful arrangements
an ephemeral beauty
a beautiful life
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We Welcome Poet Neil Fulwood To VerseWrights' Pages
The Expletive Deleted of the Average Briton
"The average Briton swears fourteen times a day." --The Metro
The first as your fist deals with the alarm -
make that two if you wake with a hangover.
The stubbed toe or the elbow impacting
on the dado rail's chamfered corner -
that'll be the second or third, depending.
Spilled coffee? Minor oath. Dropped toast
executing that mid-air flip to ensure
its buttery side smears the kitchen floor? Oath
in a major key. The gridlock and frayed nerves
of the drive to work? Horn Concerto in F.
The office threatens a grand symphony,
a Mahlerian parade of missed promotions
and belligerent bosses, rendered
in the arpeggios of Anglo-Saxon, four letters
to the word as surely as beats to the bar;
but you hold back. You’re in the arena
of best behaviour, the all-hearing ear
of the conference call attuned to even
the softest imprecation. Thought-profanity
replaces the verbal, Orwell in Dilbert’s cubicle.
Does it count as one of your fourteen
if it’s imagined – a word bubbling
into being in the mind’s alphabet soup,
the four syllables of what you think of your boss
achieving their Oedipal rendezvous?
Read the poetry of Neil Fulwood
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A River Haunting In Tasmania From Poet Simon Kindt
In which the Derwent River turns out to be haunted
When looking for traces of yourself in landscape,
go to where the water comes in diesel slick
and meets the city, linger at the dock under a grey sky,
watch the morning cruise boats loading their cargoes
of champagne, oysters and the middle class,
see the pewter clouds above, rolling off the shoulder
of Mt Wellington, shrugged off like some trivial thought,
and the child sunk somewhere high in the boughs
of your family tree will come to mind,
a ghost conjured by your own, as a bundle
of still grief wrapped in linen, cast in a shroud
weighted with shot, and buried at sea,
imagine a mother’s loss as a suddenly softened belly,
the promise of a new life distant yet in lands still warred for,
and of another child born from the same womb on the.same voyage
who would live, blood still running a loose thread in your.veins,
wonder what songs were sung as the bundle was cast to water,
how quickly a body sinks, how eulogies are just long iterations of
one question and how quickly a story can bleed out white,
decide then to remember more clearly and start writing a poem,
under light breaking at last across the Derwent,
the gulls above wheeling and knifing finally east,
the tour boats backing off the dock,
the slow shapes in the water moving out at last.
Read the poetry of Simon Kindt
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Two New Poems From Poet Kim Talon
It rained scarlet that day
trees unabashed and brazen
as leaves flew helter-skelter
same bold shade as the old five and dime lipstick
we used to dress up winter pale faces in Junior High
tucking plastic tubes into our knee-high socks
to hide it from adult eyes
even as our lips gave our secret away
You stand at the top of the steps
on the threshold of the shadow room
holding out an imploring hand
begging me to come up
…don't look down…
never look back
I see nothing but a murky silhouette
guarding the shadow room
where broken dreams crumble and die
shattered illusions littering the damp floor
Read the poetry of Kim Talon
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Two Short Lyrical Poems From Poet Edjo Frank
When our eyes met
when our eyes met
happening long ago
that shaped our lives
and we knew
we share stories
from the beginning of times
when seeds were planted
who we are
of what may be
the imprint of your face
etched in a pebble
of my mind
and the last light
left the blue
of your eyes
in my empty hands
at the end of summer
Read the poetry of Frank Edjo
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Eleanor Swanson's Elegiac Poem For Nanda Devi
Last Light on the West Face of Nanda Devi
Before the second summit party began the ascent
of the princess of mountains, an ominous black cloud
settled slowly around the summit block, persuading
us to take a rest day, but morale was good.
The next day at seven in the evening, my daughter
Devi was on her last pitch, and it took her until
midnight to haul up over the final lip. A long day.
Two days later, a blizzard kept us in our tents, but
The next morning, Devi was stricken, saying calmly,
“She is calling me. I am going to die,” before
she fell into unconsciousness.
We tried to revive her, mouth-to-mouth,
but I felt her lips grow cold against mine.
We had lost her. My daughter
was gone, and I and the other climbers wept.
Her fiancé Andy and I bundled her in her sleeping
bag and slipped her off the precipice of the North-
East face. Later I said we had committed her
to the deep.
She had been the driving force behind this expedition,
as she was inexorably drawn to her namesake.
The Bliss-Giving Goddess had claimed her own.
An excerpt from her last diary is inscribed
on a stone placed in a high altitude meadow of Patai:
“I stand on a windswept ridge at night with the stars
bright above and I am no longer alone but I waver
and merge with all the shadows that surround me.
I am part of the whole and I am content.”
Read the poetry of Eleanor Swanson
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Two Short Poems From Poet Michael Allyn Wells
An ivory cup,
with remnants of black coffee
and a rich brown ring,
she is my sister
though I seldom speak of her
we grew up apart
in the same household
she did things
I never could
like crunchy granola
trained brown recluse
spiders to be more sociable
shot the dark sides
of everything in photographs
drove a locomotive
off an acrylic painting
when she swore in German
dogs followed at her heels
Read the poetry of Michael Allyn Wells
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A New Poem From Mary Anne Rojas (with video)
we believe we become empty of ourselves, but
that is not true. we become full, crowed like a
bowl of rice. we become unconcerned with
movement, moon over who we could be and
do nothing about it. the mattress begins to
obsess over your body. you let her. fascinated
with how someone can seduce the stillness
out of you. the fridge is empty and you are
convinced you ate everything. in the mean
of night, you roam the studio apartment
like un espiritu left behind. you prefer not to
bother the light with your inconvenience.
instead, you contemplate your study desk like
a surgeon ready to give bad news. the pages of
poetry are just used instrument now, idle in a
desert of pencils.
Tim Gardiner Laments The Passage Of A Tradition
Cricket by the Castle
A snatched peak at the castle
between waving willow and alder,
shows the imposing backdrop
for duelling batsman and bowler.
Bowling the gentlest off spin
on a sun-soaked summer strip,
rewinds the reel eighty years
to those halcyon pre-war days.
When students and Sir
made hay on pitch and field,
today privileged college lads
hare around a lush outfield.
In the searing afternoon sun
so many shades of green,
the twenty-two yard canvas
for a fading pastoral scene.
After tea, a stroll beside the mere
where mint and yellow iris glisten,
and lazy cattle soon disappear
in the shimmering sedge fen.
Ascending clover-clad slopes,
a restricted view of the game
gained beneath tall turrets,
trees masking a bowler’s hopes.
Loafing lovers carelessly laugh
at the foot of the angular towers,
overlooking faraway Gothic spires
and the first eleven’s funnelling fires.
Distant cheers signal a crucial wicket,
a miniature matchstick batsman
trudges slowly back to the pavilion
bearing the ashes of village cricket.
Read the poetry of Tim Gardiner
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Poet Marianne Paul Is "Watching Her"
Another day, another world, another time, she is dark-skinned and olive, Mediterranean.
Now, she is bland, a yellow-paste, like the back side of wallpaper.
She blends into her landscape, the topography of the bed sheets, part of a different terrain now.
I feel far off, as if the span between where I am and where she is, between life and this other region, grows larger.
She is becoming a distant horizon, and I am afraid she will disappear.
She pulls away from the present, moves into the future, picks up speed exponentially.
Nears the event horizon of the black hole, the point where there is no return, no turning back.
One of us is a stranger in a strange land. At first I think it is she, but now I’m not so sure.
I am the foreigner here, the displaced, the rootless.
Read the poetry of Marianne Paul
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Poet Gary Metras Gives Us A Celebration Of Spring
Bird Eggs, Yes
The sparrow eggs have hatched,
the sparrows who stole the blue bird box.
Yes, the tree swallow eggs have hatched by the ....neighbor's house;
the parents swooping again and again over the hay field.
Yes, the mocking bird eggs in the thick spruce hatched
and the parents can’t stop bragging about it
long into the long evening atop the roof, the tree, the ....fence post,
shortening the dark with those melodies.
Yes-yes, the gold finch eggs have hatched,
these birds as beautiful as flowers when they alight
on iris stems, on liatris stalks to trap bugs to feed their ....young,
for the young they brighten the air. And yes-yes-yes
the blue bird eggs in the other box have hatched!
I counted five eggs as blue as the sky in August,
as blue as a child’s best dreams; and I touched all
five of the bare-blind chicks, a baptism of sorts,
felt their hearts pulsing with such hope,
these small singers-to-be.
Read the poetry of Gary Metras
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A New Poem From Poet Jillian Parker
She Runs Past the Pain
She's got one left knee
painted with iodine,
the girl on a cot
with huge question eyes.
"What the crap?"
(That's all she wants
She is more her grandmother,
more her father,
more of anyone
else but me.
Those blue gloves
draw out fluid from her flesh,
drawn from my flesh
and I don't know anything,
what I've given her,
and what I've lost,
and what she takes
twitching that sheaf
of blonde hair.
And I have no answer
but a curtain
of silence over her future.
When she kicks that soccer ball,
she's breaking out;
she's this brightness,
slashing every barrier.
And I will her to emerge,
while I run
past my pain.
Read the poetry of Jillian Parker
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Foster Cameron Hunter's "Force of Habit"
Force of Habit
Swatches of moments,
facets of youth
now remain as snap shots,
an anthology of innocent emotion.
On the cusp, untouched fruit
about to ripen, he raced
verse by verse, page by page,
toward the chapter on accountability.
He forced himself to watch
what curiosity called for,
trained his eyes to ogle
what he wasn’t ready to see.
Against the baby flesh
of his conscience, hormones
pressed the needle
of their presence, until
went baby boy’s bubble,
Now Pandora’s box was open
and all he was,
was wasted undercover
on slick glossy sheets.
He’d discovered the shortcut
to shallow release--
slipped on a chain and manacle.
Read the poetry of Foster Cameron Hunter
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Katherine Gallagher's New Poem: "Passengers..."
Passengers to the City
This morning she is travelling
eyes steeled on her knitting,
while the man next to her
from time to time turns his head,
glances briefly at the fiery wool
then looks away.
He is silent as a guard, and she
never speaks. Are they together, some pair
perfectly joined by silence?
Or are they today's complete strangers?
I'll never know, left simply
to knit them together – characters in a story,
a middle-aged couple on a train
waiting for love's fable to happen to them,
for their old lives to be swept aside,
changed, changed – as she keeps knitting,
bumping him occasionally,
at which he shrugs, turns his head quickly
not like a lover, but content.
Read the poetry of Katherine Gallagher
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A Pair Of New Poems From Leslie Philibert
A Murdered Girl Sleeps Next to the Motorway
Eyes shadowed from stars
The not-quite silence rests
On your bleached cheek;
Trees adorn your faint skin.
The sun does what a sun does
And melts water on your face
A passing fox kisses your hand;
The moon lights or not;
All this as the busy race by
Under orphaned bridges, tearless,
You are lost for all the wrong reasons
But safe under loam
Sleeping in the ground like a blues.
Let me be an old man in Anatolia
Resting on a white plastic chair,
Saintly in a starched white shirt
Drinking tea from a glass that has
Curves like a woman,watching
Children and traffic, nodding at
Shadows, a friend of dust and thin
Cats, weightless like a moth on
Running water, silent with the
Grace of ages, half asleep and wise.
Read the poetry of Leslie Philibert
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The Micropoetry And Photo Art Of Caroline Skanne
of pale blue heaven
how i hope
for new wings
in a robin nest
The Latest Poem From Christina Strigas: "Faith"
You can say what you want
on this and that
about the one and done philosophy
I can do it all
and still survive the day
the words never stop
I have to push them aside
add butter or pepper
while you feed the geese
on park benches
ping pong love affairs
satisfaction never guaranteed
long lovely ladies
I will watch you
from the best
seat in Central Park
with lost hope
and empty cigarette packs
it all means nothing
in the end
darkness calls my nickname
pulls out dust
from my pockets
sails across St. Lawrence river
excites me with dirty words
and secret promises
of unknown reasons
we still have faith
in silence and poetry.
In nothing but loneliness
a place only writers
to their Voices.
You kept me company
I thank you
and so much more
I could never tell you
as I close my eyes
Read the poetry of Christina Strigas
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A Poem For Poets, From The Pen Of Samantha Reynolds
The poem sits inside you
like a hunter
for a weak moment
or the lull
of your commute
and that’s when it pounces
clawing its words
into the hem of your lips
for birth is no place for grace
and your friends think it’s serene
but they don’t see
that if you don’t give it paper
to feast on
your friends will call for you
and find only
Read the poetry of Samantha Reynolds
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Paul Sands' Latest Offering: "Painted into a Corner" (with audio)
Painted into a Corner ☊
I paint myself inspired, intense,
dismayed but remain just a fat old man
who can’t get laid
such a contrary slut
bathing myself in the corporate filth
served in Styrofoam cups
the master of diversion
the circus is in town
maybe now is my chance
to pull up and over and run away
with a tired old sawdust queen
sold as seen
amidst this arid contemplation
of sequins and tights
I move aside for the mirrored blue
lights that attend the latest
mess of bent manufacture
and twisted necks
I re-tune the radio
and make the best
Two New Poems From Kendra Ballesteros
Fields of Lavender
Lay me down in
Thrill my skin
Of my dress
Make me a mess
Back together again
The path is rocky
snaking and twisting
and you'll surely
lose your way
Trees open up
In all directions
Read the poetry of Kendra Ballesteros
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"be-all," A New Poem From Poet Luke Prater (with audio) ☊
as if there was another word
tongues searching for that other word
to describe this -
tongues, far from foreign
foraging for exquisite illustration
such that outside eyes
are out of operation
for longer than it takes
to have a deep bath
or lunch with a friend
third eyes press like
the pad of sated panthers,
moving this way and that
at the sway of soft brows
the be-all meeting of mouths,
of faces, of hidden eyes
admission to hidden selves
selves we surrender only
when communion is brought
in acts of consummation
yet with lips, only lips
We Welcome Poet Brandy Clark To The Pages Of VerseWrights
I wanted to keep her rose-colored urn,
sit it on the coffee table in the midst
of my old newspapers, dirty dishes, and
outdated magazines with smiling
celebrities on the glossy covers.
I wanted to sit, have a cup of coffee,
and converse with her ashes, perhaps
take a spoonful and mix them into
the scalding liquid so I might taste her,
the earthy dust to which she’d been reduced.
I wanted to scoop my hands into her expanse,
sift her through my fingers, pour her out
onto the wood and trace doodles till the tips
of my fingers turned gray and my
palms became coated with pulverized bones.
I wanted to sprinkle her on the grass,
food and fertilizer to aid in the photosynthesis
of her cherished rosebushes and purple
irises planted around the perimeter
of her chain-link fence.
I buried her in White Chapel Memorial Gardens
on a February morning, the frozen air chilling the marbled urn,
while the priest said his obligatory prayers.
I prayed her ashes wouldn’t solidify.
Read the poetry of Brandy Clark
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Poet Robert King's Newest: "Saying the Word"
Saying the Word
The mountains become water
carrying themselves away.
To rise implies to fall down.
Still, one climbs the mountains.
Even sitting, doing nothing,
one climbs the mountains.
Not one millimeter of “David”
is the same first smooth of surface.
This is what I mean.
I looked at my father’s skull
while he lay inside a machine.
This is what I mean.
And while streams begin descent
the mountains pretend to keep
the shape we call ageless.
We say that, over and over.
And then we stop saying that
and someone else begins.
Read the poetry of Robert King
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For Dennis McHale, "It is the Season"
It is the Season
"God talks in the trees."
-- Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas
It is the season of sleeping late
while dreaming of red-orange trees
shuddering in the evening breeze.
These are the short days, the breathless days,
when the thirst for warmth suborns desire
and Eros kisses summer love goodnight.
It is the season of crimson sunsets
pouring slowly, like thick molasses
over church steeples and frozen riverbeds.
When snow-pregnant clouds float lazily
across flower-less, frost kissed meadows
as lovers seek shelter beneath heavy quilts.
It is the season of naked trees,
with branches like fingers extending
toward the setting sun, tracing delicate arches
across the rose autumn sky.
Those days when the blackbird flies southward
into the night beneath crystal constellations.
It is the season of surrender -
when burdens, like yellowing leaves,
fall silently to the frozen earth
and tired bones warm themselves before tended fires.
It is the season of dying in the palm of God’s ....hand,
warned by the certain knowledge of spring’s resurrection.
Read the poetry of Dennis McHale
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