Evie Ivy: A Parting Of The Ways, But Not The Waves
I’ll not dispel your mind.
You’ll not perish in a deluge
of words here.
A typhoon will not pick
you up to discard you in far-off
waters, lost trying to decipher,
still clutching this paper,
reading this as an
archaeologist would, searching
to find truth or reason,
because if there’s any sense
you’ll be the one to find it.
I’ll be simple, not use metaphor
or simile that will leave you
in a turning torrent.
There are times I go back
turn the hourglass over and over,
tell myself—life is strange,
stranger our acceptances.
We were human,
and had become stranded
in our own cloud-built castles.
In the end, there is so much
you can hold on to
each other before you fall,
and kick your way to land.
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Please Welcome Poet Doc Burkard To VerseWrights
Time is matter here
The freight train
Places are colors,
primary shades and hues.
I grew up in Gray,
a place only the freight train
knows for a moment
then rumbles on to the cities:
Midnight, Scarlet, Mahogany,
I had a dream last night,
it was so cold
and I was just standing.
I couldn't move,
my hand was on the worn brick,
at least ten stories high.
The feeling of walking over a grave.
I may have been crying,
maybe I was sober.
It smelled like grandpa
or an empty house;
dreams smell like rain sometimes
sometimes they smell like Milwaukee.
It was the factory,
some of the windows broken
but even in dreams,
nothing is being made.
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Two New Poems From Poet Yuan Changming
Beyond the Blue: A Parallel Poem
there is no borderline
between sea and sky
waves are pushing their colors
up towards the air, bloating
their calls and songs to bold
it is a world within nature
presenting itself, or what
cannot be represented elsewhere
separated from the mind
the frame always trying to capture
a few fish swimming in the waters-
Golden teeth glistening
In the mouth of the city
Silver clouds colliding
At the tongue tip of day
Bite off all darkness
And chew the season well.
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Wayne F Burke And One Morning On O'Connell
Sunday morning walking down O'Connell Street
a man beside me
his face red
pork pie hat on
he vomits into the gutter as
church-goers in their Sunday best,
ties and suits and gingham dresses,
all the shops closed
the Liffey River flows, but barely,
like a mud puddle, one that Joyce
made such a song and dance about--
dirty kids on the bridge say mister mister
give us pence!
Upheld hands like pigeons,
I throw some crumbs
and they scramble, run
as a swan spreads its wings over the river
and I fly too
though feeling disreputable
in my jeans, lumberjack shirt
and with my hangover:
I walk back streets
and am followed by two mean-looking sons of Erin
I lose in an alley
sweating into my shirt until
I come back out onto O'Connell
and the wee freckle-faced red-haired folk
parade in their suits
on the Irish day of partial sanity.
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Jill Lapin-Zell: A Season And The Reason
You and Spring
the sun will rise once more tomorrow
slowly nibbling at the cold night sky
until red and orange flames consume it for .....breakfast
like an egg over easy
the vernal equinox will herald
the arrival of a brand new spring
it is a time of renewal
and the moment to plant the seeds
of a fertile and abundant future
you stand in the middle of those glorious
tomorrows radiant and alive
your smile fueling my days as never before
and gypsy passion painting my nights
with broad strokes of conscious loving
that ignite my soul and call forth the
magic that is our coming together
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Wally Swist And...What's In A Name?
The Swist is a brook. As child, the name
was often intentionally
mispronounced by classmates who would
also insert the word cheese after rending
the air with hyperbole. As a grown man,
particularly women, on a date, would
rhyme Swist with Twist, and then say, Just
like Chubby Checker, right? Often enough,
I have needed to have to speak each
letter of it over the phone to a Customer
Service Representative, enunciating
the letters twice; only to hear, Yes, Swift,
repeated back to me, the consternation
rising in my pulse and shooting right
through the top of my head; my ire
surfacing through my repetition, once
again, of the four consonants protecting
that one vowel in the middle, with
the sinuousness of the soft consonants
providing a rush until the final hard sound,
as in following a straightaway before
a sudden meander. The Swist rises in
Rhineland-Palatinate at 330 meters
above sea level on the Eifel. The brook
is nearly 44 kilometers long, and in
North Rhine-Westphalia it joins the mouth
the Erft. The Swist flows through
my veins, as readily as it tumbles into
Swisttal, a municipality; and its rush
may be heard in Meckenheim and
Flerzheim, which is considered to be
a berg of the town Rheinbach. It is here
that there are cycle paths along
the edge of the brook, where lovers lie
in the grass and children play among
wildflowers. The Swist also gives
its name to the town of Weilerswist.
The source of my namesake is
found at the northern edge of the Eifel.
Considered to be the longest brook
run in Europe, the Swist may explain
why I find healing in moving water.
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Two New Poems From Poet Ken W. Simpson
Groping for a Ghost
Puffs of thistledown
floating in the air.
dark blue plums
and the tracery of lace.
'Toot' says a trumpet
to the cry of a clarinet.
Tinkling piano notes
lilting. rippling fleeting
Bows, strings and violins.
Echoes of yesterday
fading into grey
Holidays at Home
men in fancy dress
faces damaged by derision
and snide jibes.
Pretty girls in curlicues
dressed in white
counting the spaces
in between paces
while playing games
beneath a chiaroscuro sky.
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Mikels Skele And Love As An Agent Of Change
What Love Does
Straightens teeth, flattens bellies,
Makes faces grow smooth
Clears clouds, cools heat
And warms the chill wind,
Turns laughter into music
Puts a lilt to the stammer,
Or lengthens them
Hips grow wide or slender,
and feet more elegant than air,
pale skin turns to marble
and dark flesh to ebony
And perfection itself
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Some Calculations From Daniel Klawitter
I was always below average at math.
Yet I know how fullness retracts
And shrinks back to empty.
How the calculus of loss
Is equal to achievement,
Or simply: how all those numbers
In unencumbered, joyful sequence-
Are neither greater nor less than
The algebra of bereavement.
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We Warmly Welcome Poet Laura Traverse To VerseWrights
Reflections on Adulthood
The sky casts down its black grip,
beady white orbs staring down, and we are
entranced by their gaze, humbled by their size,
saddened by their distance.
You are almost, too far, too close, out of
reach, and the things that used to move us
only nudge us over now, and the
words that used to freeze us only
pause us mid-step, and our bones
have grown thick, our mid-sections
thicker; our eyes are getting focused
on the words that affirm us.
The time hastens onward, and we squeeze
the reigns a little tighter, pulling, then heaving
backward because the time won’t stop galloping,
full force ahead.
So we pat our hair against the wind,
checking that the chins are still smart and the
chests are still full, and we glance to the side,
not seeing those faces that cause the fumble,
not hearing those words that would make us
until we stop, that is, until we
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Jacqueline Czel's Newest (And Most Provocative) Poem
Ode to an Immigrant Grocer
Oh, I can tell
by the skittish look in your eyes,
and the trembling of your camel-colored hands;
you are going to hate me too.
Your clumsiness clearly indicates
that you have never actually met;
a Black, a Latino, an Asian, a Catholic, or even an American Jew.
But you are going to ease on into
a movie marketed American-ness
by doing what only the worst kinds of WASPS do.
You are going to listen to old wives tales,
vote for vitriol, and adopt the
more un-American points of view.
Because like the millions of immigrants
who have landed on these blood-stained shores .....before you;
You are going to try, real hard, to hide the fact
that you are brand spanking, novice new.
You are going to assimilate through abhorrence,
so no one suspects you.
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New Haiku From Poet Archana Kapoor Nagpal
from "Selected Haiku"
first snow …
bends further and further
these red cherries
faded portrait …
outside my window
still born ...
falls from a leaf to another
rain ends …
in mother’s bedtime story
*Petrichor is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.
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We Warmly Welcome Poet Lee Kisling To VerseWrights' Pages
Ride Lonesome ☊
Lonesome is the name of the horse – hence
Ride Lonesome. I’m not sure how I feel about
projecting human emotions onto animals. Or onto
inanimate objects – most people riding a streetcar
named Desire are only going to the bank or post office.
The farm people going to Mount Zion in Iowa
are neither Zionists nor anywhere close to
Not sure how I feel about riding this horse Lonesome.
He does seem to know the way, at least. Probably,
he’s going someplace lonely. But maybe, wherever
he’s taking me, there will be another horse and they will
nicker and rub their long noses, go for a meal together
in the new green grass of springtime, and I’ll just
wait by a fencepost, and think him up
a new name.
We Extend A Warm Welcome To Poet Matthew Henningsen
Instagram of a Lady
If you happened to hike up
This way, trekking from town,
That crouches over a crevasse
That tumbles to a stream
That swirls to a river
That churns to a sea where
Ships power off to ports
Where people come,
Pushing down from cloud-hung,
Distant hills. And,
If you happened to push
Through brambles and brakes
And if you gazed up at
A half-shuttered window you might see,
Reflected in watery glass:
A mute, stuffed nightingale perched
Next to open scissors that point
At a mound of beads, waxed -
While, with a face to a wall,
A lone figure, turns.
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E. Michael Desilets Is Sidetracked...Fortunately
Sidetrack's Last Haircut
Maybe he’d been a brakeman
like he said, rattling around
the Old Colony
and the Boston and Albany
until he swam through booze
all the way to the end of the Crazy Track
after his betrothed drowned in Farm Pond.
The sticky fistful of quarters was enough
to cover his simple request: Cut it all off.
Casella used the clippers and carpeted
the hardwood with the longest hair
he’d ever seen on a man.
After Sidetrack loped away smelling of talc
the barber doused every inch of leather and metal
with Vitalis and wiped it all down with a crisp linen towel.
Not much else happened that Tuesday.
He switched on the Grundig Majestic. The Red Sox lost.
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Ana Caballero: The Wordsmith's Labyrinth
Said and Done
I fear my capacity to guide
Mistake toward fulfillment
At times, I blame:
The flurry of misprint,
of crisis to unscramble;
The renewed promise
of classic self-improvement;
The flat-water buoyancy
of fresh peace.
Other times, I blame:
to words and their construction –
How they unsay as they say –
How they commit to purpose as thought –
How they slay aim through speech –
How they make me prove and reprove this power –
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We Extend A Warm Welcome To Poet Clarence Wolfshohl
We've Dreamed Ourselves Crows
We’ve dreamed ourselves crows
these later years to overcome
the pain of our desire.
We’ve cartwheeled on splayed
ragged feathers stretching
for eager pleasure.
Fractured and fused into focus,
our black silhouettes
pulse on the air.
We could dream eagles,
our regal dalliance a tight
grappling and still balance
aloft, or birds of paradise
in stately plumes preening
toward our courtly convergence.
But we are crows that bounce
in jocular foreplay and climax
with wild caws of delight.
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Johnny Halton's Poem Is A Delicate Mix Of Passion and Angst
that night on the sand
the snow roared its way
through the city; we were
as light danced across the waves;
your lips, stained with red
met mine, in the haze
of wine & wind.
a soft flash of luck
& grace never seen
by this scarred,
in another city,
we might have made it.
but the vines have grown heavy
and all my sparrows were
born in broken nests.
eyes closed, hardly awake
i felt your tipsy lips smile
this is it.
this is what
the anti-depressants, the
bourbon, the razor, the
valium, these are
compared to the girl
you can't stop
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Gary Metras: Two Children, Two Poems
shoe box, I marvel
at how small it is,
how perfectly compact,
like the shoes,
with leather smooth
as her skin.
Toddler size 7 1/2,
her third pair
She will journey
a couple months
in Marianna Navy Blue,
each step a new word,
words pave new roads
The Yellow Shovel
The child squats to fill the plastic shovel with beach sand,
then stands straight as she can, lifts the shovel arm
even higher, and lets the sand slowly slide off
to drift in the ocean breeze. She smiles as sand blows
down her hand, on her bathing suit, then back
to the beach where each grain disappears into the largeness.
She can barely spell her name, but here she is
testing the world a shovel-full at a time.
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Dana Rushin: From Details To The Firmament
for some Americans passing
Before I get too comfortable on your couch,
pull my Bostonian's off, slide
my feet, still twisting in those brown
dress socks, over the Saxony rug
your mother washed with Tide,
the spot your dad would sit eating his
dinner and rooting for the Pirates,
and if you could unearth the origin of everything;
shadows, the refusal to accept as true
that all our dad's have gone on now,
yours being the last to go
but needed two live-in nurses,
to get his story out perhaps. To
document the stuff younger minds quickly
Then we got the call, and it's always a call,
not a flyover drone or a Mitsubishi A6m Zero
(where you could see the pilots goggles)
in that battle of the eastern Solomons in '42.
Or a glistening sign on the side of a goat
announcing your passing.
Or any Greek goat, naked but unharmed,
walking through that order of peonies,
then turning to suckle the baby Zeus
as Amaltheia did, nursing him with milk
in a cave on Mount Ida. And like all
the nurses I've known, forever
placed among the stars.
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our arms on the rail
we stand at end
of the black night
with wooden pier
solid, beneath bare feet
into strong bodies
the wood channels
a deep ocean swell
we look toward
the canopy of stars
and our destinies
more burning stars
for fleeting lives
than grains of sand
drifting in the ocean
it’s our footprints
the beach holds dear
The poetry of Victor Perrotti
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We Warmly Welcome Poet Vanessa Leanage To Our Pages
from Selected Haiku and Tanka...
the last to leave
the porch light on
in the daytime
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J. Matthew Waters And The Unwelcome Visitor
sadness used to show up
unannounced and we’d sit up
until sunrise drinking
whatever was left in the house
I kept telling myself the next time
he appeared out of nowhere
I wouldn’t let him in
but of course that didn’t happen
and he continued to pretend
to be my friend
I told him I was thinking about buying
a brand new puppy
a black one I said
so I could learn how to keep him at bay
and teach him to protect me from monsters like him
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Tracey Gunne's Latest Poem Is As Sweet As It Is Bitter
You. Or maybe it was me...
I believe in everything and in nothing
that everything happens for a reason
i believe in a god who dances with archaic movement
bathing in the light of the sun
or the moon it doesn't matter
anyhow because forever ended yesterday
and now resides in charming photographs
your hand resting awkwardly in the black and white
You or maybe it was me built bridges
with evasive intent it doesn't matter
anyhow if innocence or obsession caused
the heavy load to crash into every tomorrow
and bear witness to the sweet nectar of
juices dripping inside the honeycomb
an octagonal room you entered
unscathed through the sharp edges
Hearing babies wanting to be held
and grass whispering to be mowed
it was bitter circumstance that kept you here
not the unstable corners or lack of windows
and it was never me
i have loved only once
or maybe it was twice with sporadic breath
and an affirmation of silence pending
I asked you to resuscitate your words
so they could lay a path for the stars to map
create an effervescent cluster above
the untended baby lost in the tall grass
but do not blame the stars
or assume they care which direction
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Two New Poems From Poet Leslie Philibert
A line of stones;
the threat of so much space,
a fallen horizon.
coarse with rain,
nights heavy with tides
and the battered steel
of the sea, the broken gong
of the moon, strange friends.
Then, I know not what to call
the rough curves of peat,
slight of the sea,
a bodhran wind over the rocks.
When I am no more
let me melt in the rain
of this cold coast,
its own name shaped,
the seagull`s call.
Kafka Turned Around
Dead as a fallen log
but turned into a human.
A gutbag of small pumps,
red rivers and spilled salt.
Drains, curves and arches
as in a Roman town.
Forced back into life,
stranger than an insect.
Less noble. Lock the door.
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Witty Fay And The Power Of Intimate Inspiration
Of quill and quire
All my little words
Stuffed into your large pockets
Next to the coins and the veins,
Into a symphony of silver, red and vowels,
As the truth burns a hole into the day,
The size of a soaring kite,
Running the ashy hills into the zenith.
Inventoring every room of its mind,
Yet your hands climb their cotton rim
To grab heaven by the beard
And pull stars into my lap,
Where more little words are daintly
Uttering life into syllables,
Ready to ignite stories
Into your large pockets.
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We Warmly Welcome Poet Miriam Sagan To VerseWrights
The Blue Moon Diner
has a closed sign
in the window
but if it were open--
and life sized--
I might be inside
on the cracked red vinyl of a counter stool
or alone in a booth
over an incongruous book
of French aesthetic philosophy
picking at a BLT
nursing a cup of coffee--regular--
and an often broken heart
I was at the MacDowell colony
when I was young
thanks not to my fame
but a good letter of recommendation
and every day lunch was delivered
in a basket
but I was restless
unused to writing
for more than fifteen minutes
and so started driving
to every diner I could locate
or walking to the one in town
I loved someone
who didn't love me,
or several someones
set my heart to strife,
how could I know
that from then on
a diner would make me happy?
where I'd drink slightly bitter tap water
leave a tip in hard currency
and go on to what I'd later call
the rest of my life.
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Kelli Russell Agodon Tests Her Faith
The Quiet Collapse of the Dharma Shop
I celebrate small things
—apples, beetles, faith--
while inside my mind
there’s rattling, a broken stove
of worry, a garden
of hissing snakes.
I can’t recognize the flowers.
The plants are without names
(though their poisons still sedate).
I left the garden during meditation—mosquitoes,
craneflies. But enlightenment?
Nowhere near my space.
Buddha. God. Universe.
I charged spirituality
on my VISA
—a statue of Kuan Yin, prayer flags
to hang across the gate. But what
might improve my mood is
a new bra and some bravery.
Instead, I try on superstition, wear
a D-cup of doomed fate.
I mix religions—say chaos and calm,
corset, cheesecake--a smorgasbord
on my plate. I am the chainsaw
carving the toothpick. A lowercase sos.
Yesterday, I bought a silver cross.
Magic. Amulet. Saints.
I pray to anything these days--
the plants without names, the beetles,
my garden of hissing snakes.
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Rivka Zorea And The Nascent Alaskan Fall
Autumn Comes Again
Autumn comes to the North Land with a fervent rythm
the long starless day of summer is past, August has
the stars and the moon and the deep night sky back.
The absence of which brought the frenzied activity of the
24/7 midnight sun.
There is a loss of clock time during the Alaska Summer
the wish to play forever. Lack of sleep, trying to use up
that gift of eternal sunshine.
But, now, the night returns.
The owl is but a shadow.
A distant echo in the woods.
Yellows appear here and there
Reds and Russets dot the hillside.
The Raven, harbinger of winter, returns.
Fall leaves will gently descend and we will pull our cloaks
around us closer
glance around us in fear.
for in the North land
Fall is but the siren call of winter.
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Amauri Solon Gives Us Two Poems For Rumination
On the beach
There goes the boy
Hand in hand with his dreams
Under the sky
There goes the wind
Hand in hand with clouds
In the sea
There goes the wave
Hand in hand with the storm
In my life
There I go
Hand in hand with my fate
Should it be
or should it
where it belongs
the sun at
the moon at
male and female
seek and hide
Dr. Jekyll and
a whale or
wolves howl or
a lot or just
a little bit
is it clear
that you love me
or is it not
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Two Poets, Two Short Poems
I could see through her,
into a dimension
of beckoning trees
and slanted moons,
where blues and stars
were full to taste.
The poetry of Eusebeia Philos
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David Chorlton's Latest Is A Poem Embracing The Elements
The smell of distant rain
blew in from the desert
beneath an evening’s darkening clouds
when a lizard on the path
from the concrete’s warmth.
Jupiter was drifting
away from Venus in the west
while stormlight was concealed
inside the southern sky.
At dawn the thunder rolled
between the wheels of early traffic;
shook itself free from the curtains
being drawn back behind
waking windows; flashed
and faded into the clouds
as they paled and parted
for light to pass through.
The heat wasn’t dry anymore.
Moisture left behind
from a previous storm
had a chokehold on the air.
Tuning was hopeless:
the strings tightened around
every melody played.
Between the diminishing calls
the lovebirds made
as their shadows stretched out
on the grass
and the liquid sounds
that came with the cowbirds early,
the city lay at rest
in silver-lined darkness.
The mountains shaded into cumulous
edged with white. It was
a day very much
like the one preceding it, that
ended as quietly as it had begun
with only a faraway rumbling
as a tease, and the men
asleep beneath the awning
on the abandoned shopfront
were oblivious to passing time.
Foot traffic was light
along 16th Street
before the first cloud appeared
above the dulceria, where piñatas
were hanging in rows
waiting for the right occasion
to be struck
and spill open.
Early in the day the air
carried the smell of burning
as it rustled the evergreens
and buoyed the mockingbirds
in flight. It lasted a while
then drifted away. It was
the time of year fire
comes and goes at will.
Something the sky had to tell us
about the confluence of water and light
was held back above land
accustomed to drought. And the hummingbird
perched, as he does every dusk,
on the bare branch extending
from the orange tree
whose outermost leaves
had started to curl.
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