From Poet Reka Jellema, "Isaiah Sings"
Father, here, I lay these at your stone
I plucked that purple beech of every leaf,
A yield of aubergine to cull and shuck
And sew into a royal robe:
We tucked you in.
And now I make my peace
With your patch of green
Now I lay me down, the prayer begins
And if I die before I wake? O mercy
May we pass unscathed
Before you any more souls take.
Father, from that old beech
I brought for you a rich
Or would you favor yellowed maples?
For here they come, gentle from these trees
To circle the grave yard
To quilt its lawn
Your boy, the one you lost, sleeps on
Though the scripture promised
He will run again
He will be young and strong
Upon a limb of pine an eagle
Looks down. I kneel
Beside your bones,
I tell my little one,
Isaiah sings us home.
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Robert Nied: Sensual Memory and Dreams
Dusty Old Rug
There is a tom cat that lives with us,
like me, he is old.
On winter nights he sleeps by the fire alone,
his paws twitching in summer dreams.
I sleep, but do not dream.
When the sun signals the afternoon,
he joins me for a nap.
He presses his achy bones against my warm face,
and we both doze.
His fur smalls like a dusty old rug.
That is the time when the dreams begin,
In an antique shop in Painswick.
There are gilded picture frames and delicate ladies’ hats.
I am drawn to the hanging carpet with faded burgundy stars,
as soft as orchids to the touch.
I select an enameled heart and a carved ebony cat.
Before I leave I stand near the carpet,
close enough that it touches my cheek.
I inhale the musty sweetness,
as the dream ends with the sound of purring.
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LA Lorena And The Struggle Against Temptation
My greedy Lover
you are like
my greedy lover
seducer of my mornings
you would make me your slave!
given your chance, you
would selfishly keep me to yourself today
ensconced in cool, tangled sheets
within the confines of soft pillows
enveloped in darkness
in your velvet warmth
hair freshly tousled
from dawn to dusk
to satisfy your innate need
to control me
body and soul
no words, no sounds
no need for sustenance
just a lover's greed
you'll lick at me, teasing me softly
beckoning me to join you
for another go round
how you tempt me!
you'll not have
your wicked way with me today
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Control Is The Subject Of Rosa Saba's Latest Poem
the wind has lessened its grip on this house, and now
with the air settling 'round the eaves and twirling the leaves from the trees
lazily down to the ground, i have been released, hair pulled back
from my face and eyes closed as i stretch across the furniture
and breathing steady, i am in control
the sun has kickstarted summer with a sudden shower
of light, followed by wayward, anxious raindrops that.refuse to hit hard
instead burying themselves in my collarbone and sinking into my skin
like grey patches that melt away the sun's warmth, and today
i was nothing but cold, and yet warm when i smiled at the sky
and brought out my umbrella, knowing
i am in control
your hand has lengthened the lines that extend
from my eyes, those pathways of expired smiles that left their mark
as your fingers wipe rain from my cheeks as if it mattered to you
(ever so much)
that they stayed dry, and your palm may be damp with honesty now
but you press it to mine and it's shared, and the knowledge
that the seasons no longer matter is there, because
warm and cold don't mean anything
with this kind of control
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We Warmly Welcome Poet Bruce McRae to VerseWrights
The List of Shadows
“The shadow of your sorrow
hath destroy’d the shadow of your face.”
The shadow of a wheel
coming back around on itself.
The shadow turned inside-out,
then back-to-front, then upside-down.
The shadow in league with cupidity,
grown stout and cat-lazy.
The one where you can hear rain falling
and angels mewling and doubting voices.
Shadows comprised of nothing but frost.
The moon’s shadow, walking across the Earth,
Sol’s silent partner in intrigue.
The shadow as dangling black fruit
and whomsoever eats of it forever corrupted.
Shadow-puppets, their dioramas in flames.
The hand-shadow, now a stork,
now a silhouette of a timberwolf’s jaw.
The sun, with its cast of shadows.
Mobs darkening by the hour.
Whole navies driven under a black water.
And finally, the shadow of the Self,
life’s ghost a shade rummaging in the roses.
The other you nobody talks about.
Not worth a mention.
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Poet Lidy Wilks' New Poem An Homage And Lament
I hunt through the beats
for any remnants of your legacy
and still I can’t find you.
My heart thumps in tune
to the heavy bass, dredging up
the past: me scoffing at your tales
of ‘he’s just my baby daddy,’
‘he’s just a friend,’ your crazy Uncle Ricky’s
children’s story and your 99 problems,
Only to miss your teachings to walk this way.
And how your swagger and roll broke
down barriers, swigging back
some gin and juice, and declaring
yourself as a one man army Ason,
screaming, if I ruled the world!
Now who’s gonna show me how
to make some noise or boogie to the
rhythm of the boogie, the beat?
Must I believe that everything was all a dream?
Even now, your beat and melody whispers
across the grave, telling me keep your head up.
Yet sometimes I wonder if my hopes,
in the splintered version of you, is enough.
I aint mad at you. It wasn't your fault.
But Hip Hop, why did you leave so soon?
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Katherine Gallagher Shares Two New Poems
The Magic of Hands
Put your hands into fire
The magic of hands
is rarely celebrated
Test your hands
on the heart’s edge
The music of hands
is born in flame
the instinctive touchstone reaching
finally beyond fire
to shore each blending
unique as a leap into light
black and white etc
all the colours
close as birthdays in retrospect
you can join in
become a yellow line
on a red blurred-patch
or a ship skidding down
follow the curves
let them take you
over the skyline
when you arrive
at a state of shock
the paradox of colour
will balance you
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Poet Ana Caballero: Two Meals, Two Poems
You are a great round thing in my arms
I unwrap you to make you cold
And warm you myself
Eat child drink only the good
While you still can
Unknowing small pale and perfect
As you take from me the only self
I have to give
When I don’t go out to talk lunch talk
I stay home and we eat lunch
We don’t talk but we make delicious food noise
I let you play with foods that stain
Touch my whites with your berry chin
You drop the silver and I pick it up
To watch your face hear it crash
A wet bill, a torn book, a cracked phone
Proof in my hands that your new body leaves a mark
Again I offer you the tiny shoe you love to chew
Together we prepare
For a time when things might not be as good
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Cristina Umpfenbach's Poem Of Sultry Heat And Pain
Uptown Summer Night
Ten years, his gestures still unfamiliar,
the way he holds his cup,
his laugh, needs, wants.
He gives me flowers,
red carnations, I like yellow roses.
At night he reaches for me,
his arm around my waist,
draws me close.
falls into a deep contended sleep.
I huddle on the fire escape.
Oppressive heat, uptown summer night
sticks to my skin.
A pockmarked moon melts into a water tower.
Across the alley a television strobes blue.
Sirens repeat themselves.
Stink rides on heavy air.
Music drifts, seeps into me, makes me rock,
I want a cigarette, a drink, a fuck.
A woman screams below.
I feel the sound. Stomach rises into my throat.
The scar across my face burns hot.
Familiar pain rises.
I crawl back,
close the window, draw the drapes.
The fan labors against stagnant air.
I slide into bed,
into safety, still unfamiliar.
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Rowan Taw Deals With The Peering And Leering...
From the moment he joined the office
I thought it was a phase that would pass
he’d give it up once I was
but it’s been nine months, and
Every time I pass the floor
from water cooler to desk
his eyes peer – fixed on me from
underneath his Lego haircut.
I’ve tried smiling,
I’ve tried ignoring,
I’ve tried warning:
“It’s rude to stare!”
“There’s such a thing as work place harassment, .....you know!”
It’s got so bad, I’m tempted to nut him,
(as I walk, unavoidably, pass his station.)
I probably would have done it already,
but one thing deters me:
the lawsuit from the James Wallace Trust
for destroying their portrait.
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Two Short, Lyrical Poems From Edie Ivy
Some Don't Spare
I sought to move cautious with love.
I didn't want to wound someone
I thought possessed too many selves.
I only wanted one, and because
of this, there was no pull of love.
I wished to spare a heart, allow
some time to move on by. He'll be
just fine. So, I didn't answer
my love's question. Soon, everything
in its time, my thought. How quick he
gave in to another! He cut
as lightning in the darkened sky . . .
he revealed himself like Newton's
apple racing toward the earth.
And he holds my life
only to let it go then
catch it again. I
breathe in the tango. Somewhere
we dance. It is just
a dance—a dance, but a dance
is more than a dance.
I then almost slip, it is
the music that caught
me. And then we move on; he
holds my life to let
it go, then catch it again.
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Charles Bane, Jr. And Two Poems Of The Masai
Hunting With Masai
Dawn is spear and
shield and gun recklessly
left behind. We move in a
single line. Last night
they chased away a
missionary and we lay.
Mine is the god of the Hebrews
I explained, mountain born
like N'gai. He is not desirous
of you and only one
of mine has seen his face.
His mountain had boiled gravely
and he built a vessel of lava
rock for a climber overcome
to voyage fire home.
When Masai Raise Their Spearheads
When Masai raise
spearheads to Ngai
at his falling wordless
leave, they mirror unsheathed
swords of city heights, wavering
in the breath of the unseen.
All mystery is powerless
before the respiratory fate
of light as you wash your
face, your back to me.
It is time to admit, as
I brush sand from
your feet, the odds
that a universe dimmed
will draw you in again for release.
You will be lost as four hundred
planets at first count are waterless,
or put in safekeeping of molecular cloud.
Somewhere distant, I will be noble
gas or fleeting charge. We will
meet, but incorporeal as gods.
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Scott Thomas Outlar Takes A Look At "Recycling"
Enter the Rose
is where it’s at –
that is where
the new life
waiting on its opportunity
yet modern civilization
flushes it away
into tubes and pipes
into swamps of sewage.
All the wasted nutrients
of the good waste
are shipped away,
kept at bay,
for the purposes
of clean and squeaky
But all it’s done
is turned civilization
into a sanatorium,
a cell full of fools
from the natural cycle.
But like all rhythms in life,
this Empire will fall,
decay, and eventually crumble
back into the soil,
a new society will emerge
from the wastelands and the junkyards
and the septic tanks.
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Victor Perrotti's "two faces," With A Recording By The Poet
two faces ☊
two faces facing east and west
two faces looking front to back
two faces coming and going
knowing where you’ve been
knowing where you’re going
unsure of where you are
one head, facing opposite directions
two faces competing for a mind
two faces with eyes that never meet
two faces denying existence of the other
concealed behind countenance
hidden from the present moment
one face hiding behind the other
one head, of tragedy and comedy
two faces facing north and south
two faces looking up and down
two faces coming and going
knowing a tether to the ground
knowing an infinity in space
unsure of where you place
birth to grave, with no middle
two faces to go the distance
two faces is all you get
two faces and just one neck
Hear this poem in the PoetryAloud area
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Three Shorter Poems From Poet Kim Talon
Shadows neath the sumac are blood red
soaking the autumn grasses
from frost-pale to a shade macabre
I sit awhile
stripping them to the bone
We light candles purely white against press of dark
pearlescent face of the Long Night Moon
peers over oak branches
neither candle nor moon shed light
but hold radiance close...
the still dark gently tamed
They ring the bell at dusk
sonorous notes stretching across the valley
swallows in the bell tower wing against the dusk skygraceful v's swooping against an aubergine backdrop
a dog lifts his head to utter a desolate howl
muzzle burnished orange in the light of a setting sun
howl and bell become one
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Shan Ellis Writes Of Disturbing Silence
I am discontent
like the calling of twilight
when it illuminates the dark cross of stone on the Cnicht.
Some lowly animal howls its last
in desperation below on cold crags.
Alone, without a heartbeat to soothe
not a single touch to reassure,
an invisible hand to cup a breast,
only waxing moonlight,
a cold companion on restless nights.
Somewhere in the wilderness a kite screams,
in the dark her cries are lost in translation,
forgotten in the trickle of stream down to sea,
brushed aside as wind tickles read,
ink runs dry in the pen.
All warmth radiated away,
life sucked from barren marsh
yet I hear
our language breathe
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Emily Hone Finds Inspiration In Virginia City
Yours are the secrets
Virginia City ruins;
within the mines.
May they find
compared to my
fools gold notion,
they will beam their way back
but have mounds, hills,
shovel from these eyes,
before the clear-cut
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Phillip Carriere Ponders Clouds, Children, Us
(lines written in honor
Of the outlandish language
That so colors the clouds of children)
How can the clouds be
As to represent everything,
Swimming, at times, along
Like a gangly monster fish?
In a pre-pubescent sky
The flurry of clouds
And an occasional sun
Make a stew of the heavens
Unrecognized by wisdom.
We all dance in potato sacks
Until we fall before we finish
Under the undulations of the atmosphere
Where all possibility is counted.
So we have that first encounter
At some undefinable point
That begins a heady fermentation
That becomes some other world,
And our last sip of wind.
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Mark Gordon's Newest Poem Ocean Inspired
Lolling Above the Ocean
As we sit in the hodgepodge lunch space
atop Loblaws, with its flowered plastic
tablecloths, its fake wicker chairs,
I look out the giant windows, imagine
that we are lolling above the ocean
in some faraway magic land. The boats
nod on the waves. Someone reaches
for a bottle of champagne. And the sun
burrows into every shadow eagerly.
I realize that the vision is not a wish,
but a picture of what is really going on,
here in this strange place, where meals
are swallowed hurriedly. The ocean
is not miles away, but in the way you turn
your head, in the way I grin at things
you say. The boats are the easy breaths
we take, and the sun is a god above us
who searches for something we possess.
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Poet Marie Anzalone: The "Blasphemy" Against Childhood
That thing that they never taught us
Someone informed us once, we could only ever
stand so tall.
Naive children, we believed it-
held yardsticks against
our own potential
ensuring we grew not one inch more of height
than our allotted presence; to have more was,
we believed, to rob from others. And
that damned always unspoken, always present
more deserving after "others," like a threatening
against a childhood ruled by tape measures
would I speak if I tell you what I know now:
you were always permitted to grow
to hold galaxies in the palm of your hand
if you so desire; more if you do, others
are also freed from small-heartedness? Only
one small thing- the fertilizer for growth
is only found by throwing your self
blindfolded off a cliff. That thing they never
taught us? Flying feels a hell of a lot
until you know better.
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A Look Back With Poet David Thornbrugh
Hating the Sixties
there wasn't nothing
we wouldn't tie dye:
the Magna Carta
Heidi's goats and her grandfather's beard
our mothers' wedding gowns
draft cards before we burned them
grand jury subpoenas investigating bad taste.
You can't say we didn't know any better
because we'd been born
inside the kaleidoscope
and knew the twist of changing times.
The rainbow was our grandmother
and our parents fed us fireworks.
What we thought we couldn't do
we had no words for.
Mama wet nursed us out
to Captain Kangaroo
while she watched Liberace dazzle
the heavens with candlestick rockets.
Color was a kindness we slapped the blind with.
How were we to know the dye of our delusions
wasn't color fast
and would bleed to a single muddy disappointment
in the economic rain?
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From Mark MacDonald, A Different View...Perhaps
The Baker's Dozen
Perhaps in a parallel universe
the truth is neither a journey nor a paycheck,
the Pythagorean Theorem, a collection
of precepts in a medieval manuscript,
a forest, a clearing, a slogan on a t-shirt, or a
steep granite cliff from which a couple must leap.
It could be that in nothern New Mexico
what the philosophers call oblivion
is merely a lizard—or a rock and a lizard--
anything gone blank or motionless and
that can sit beneath the sun for hours at a time.
There may be some options in Syria
the President may wish to consider,
and perhaps when we are dead, the abyss
is no longer the throat of a panther,
a cup of cold coffee or joblessness;
the wind ends its search and its longing;
and the fires we once called love
will have collapsed into smolder.
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New Poem and Photo Art From Diana Matisz
"we've always been so near..."
we’ve always been so near
of this, I’m certain
you, steps ahead
your mad fey light
the genius loci
of my enthrallment
and me, the perfect archetype
of our unfettered passion,
in the pith of you
in a race to skew
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From Mikels Skele, A Vision Of The End
Just before the final extinction
Just before the final extinction
There were strange and wonderful creatures
Elusive slabs of silver
Darting through the water
Among shape-shifting bulbs
Trailing fierce limbs
And some barely-there whisps
Still deadly with near visible
Strands of poison
And the stone-clasping tendrils
Living dually beneath and above
The frothing rock wacked about
By unseen surrounds
Miniscule bits buzzing through the air
But strong enough to pierce the
Thick outards of others
To suck their vital fluids
Long bendy tails with no body
Slinking among roots and shoots
A mouth at one end and nothing at the other
Lumbering bellowing lumps
With long tusks
That dazzled white in the pristine sunlight
Oddest of all, a bipartite creature
Split nearly symmetrical
Nearly similar but cruelly not
Moving by alternating stilts
Spindly and unbecoming
The two halves bound in eternal embrace
Clutching each other’s throat
Desperate to let go
But trapped, trapped by fear of succeeding
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Amauri Solon: Whores As Metaphors
There are seven
who is not painted
I first met
the blue whore
who kept me alive
when I was born
a green whore
who kept me growing
when I had
to grow up
The yellow whore
told me how
to be a man
when the time came
from the red whore
when my sorrows
the purple whore
and to hate
I was taught
when love was not
I got old
and to be old was
but the grey whore
how to be old
One certain day
there were thunders
and a storm
announced to me
that I should hold
the black whore's
a white whore
told me this
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jacob erin-cilberto And The Poet's Conundrum
In the Temple of Template
do some fancy walking
patent leather lethal words
hobbling into the memory bank
to withdraw a stratagem
of dreamy theme
but the shine is clouded
by the stares of the bare
a punctuation punk
confronts his creativity
but to fashion a formidable
reply to impress the muse
the poet steals the polished pantheon
writes a few preachy words
and then curls up in his coffin conundrum
suddenly realizing he isn't even
in dead form yet.
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Tim Buck's Instructive Fantasy On A Grandfather Clock
the secret life of a .grandfather clock
3 AM can strike through many nights
without a sound but a ruffling into dreams.
Enough to bring pause, retreat, waking.
There's something long ago that's taken on breathing.
Of course! A dead uncle's grandfather clock,
now gone to abstract seizures of time's aching
dim memories, a brute nostalgia for that house
now gone to others. Where did the clock go?
It's no longer making those children shiver
in perfect terror of its presence ticking
in a hallway. It's gone away lost to think.
Old, it struggles through its moments
of standing with a broken mustache
on its face, standing in some purgatory
it sends odd hours to troubled sleeping.
That tall clock once alert and sentient
now droops in a somewhere nowhere.
The flight of seeds is random myriad.
One sinks down growing generations
of patient oaks harvested for clocks
imprisoning eccentric grandfathers.
Where is that great clock, is it living,
or did its governor shrug, go to ruin?
I think it's still thinking, breathing...
In my grain and my dark knots,
distant rivers still flow their poems,
hillside gnomes and fairies murmur
tales long sunken to my substance.
In my gears and ingenious spring,
mysteries of minerals turn and coil
around psychosis of my old dæmon
orphaned by the absconded gods.
If my chronic and nightly musing
on paradox and fate comes calling
as a dream inside your dreaming,
let it strengthen your imagination.
I never meant to frighten children
as if a specter in assembled form.
I only meant to tell you children
about duration's freakish presence.
Even in senility and my far ruin,
I'll come a-tocking your 3 AM.
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Richard Biddle's Latest Poem, "Hermitage"
I left my name at the wood's edge
and entered its tree-green shade a stranger to myself.
I found a clearing, a quiet space
and in this peaceful glade
bound together branches with vines.
I sit beneath this weave of hazel and breath.
Behind my eyes I find my heart - a bruised apple.
I hold it gently in my mind.
Occasionally a black dog rises up and barks a memory at me.
I play fetch with the ruined fruit.
Always the beast gives chase and always brings back
not the over-ripe taste of rot
but a cracked, white eggshell.
I place this empty casing in the cradle of my ribs.
And here, almost imperceptibly, it pulses and throbs
pulses and throbs.
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J. Matthew Waters And An "Unlucky Kind Of Girl"
keeping the peace
she was an unlucky kind of girl
and though she wasn’t sure
what that meant
she loved to say it nonetheless
born scorpio with pisces rising
she always wondered
why there wasn’t a thirteenth house
one in which she could run and
hide from a world spinning inwards
safely tucked inside her
mysteriously secretive mind
she only assumes a
peacekeeping role after
extinguishing all other options
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Poet Debbie Strange With A New Tanka/Tanshi
how the mountain's breath
caught and held us
in a shower of meteors
beneath earth's blue umbrella
we danced in puddles of light
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Two Short Poems From Poet Marsailidh Groat
Every time, before pen meets paper,
A crushing paralysis seeps through every muscle,
Until the physicality of the act becomes impossible.
New words come and sink artlessly beneath skin,
Through veins, hit bone,
Like a surgeon holding a knife, and cutting,
Not with the motive to cure, but dissect,
To feel the separation of tendons,
Not to liberate, but inspect,
Until every layer is cut,
Each specimen reduced to its most basic form.
Skulls don’t speak languages.
Bones don’t paint pictures.
Such an eye for detail; the colours red, gold, green,
Intricate portraits and fine embroidery, meticulously .....placed,
By someone with a keen eye,
And impeccable taste.
Metal, glass, crystal, gold,
Twisted in on themselves,
Cut, carved, manipulated,
By hands that couldn’t afford them.
I wonder how much it costs to have them cleaned?
And if these padded floors,
Could provide much more comfort,
Than the cold, hard concrete outside.
Whether my feet were cleansed on my entrance,
From the dirt I carry from the tube.
Somehow, I feel dirtier than before.
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