VerseWrights Welcomes Poet Sharon Brogan
Let us examine the symbolism of dreams
The falling dream. The flying dream.
The dream in which you lose your teeth.
The abandoned kittens, the lost dogs,
the infant floating in its cradle on the lake.
The woman weeping, alone, in the forest.
The beast with an urgent message,
a critical missive you don't understand.
You fall, and someone offers his hand.
You reach out, but your fingers slip
through one another like light, like water.
You walk through the rooms of your life.
They are laid out, one by one, like a rail-
road flat with no corridors, no hallways.
You watch your own life pass as though
in a mirror, somehow reversed, somehow
not quite as it was. You arrive at now.
You wake in the fog of morning, slanted
bars of light on the ceiling. These dreams
wrap the shoulders of your waking hours,
a hooded shawl for your long, flat days.
Sharon Brogan is a poet, digital artist, and art journaler who lives in western Montana, but who "feels an abiding connection to southeast Alaska." Her professional life was focused in the field of social services, where she she was everything from a social worker to program director for a number of organizations. She spends time now at home, a place she shares with abundant wildlife. "Montana," she states, "taught me roots; Alaska taught me light, and dark; rain, and breathlessness." She has been published in a variety of Web venues, including Postal Poetry, MatriFocus, MiPOesias Magazine, Masthead, The New Verse News, MiPoradio, and Abolone Moon. She maintains a delightful and eclectic website of her work at Watermark: a poet's notebook. Read.
"The Woman," A New Poem From Louise Hastings
I know there is grey in the sky at dawn
for how otherwise could the mountain stream
run so pure and the gardens of suburbia
remain so green? I look up and see a woman
looking out, lost, a lot like me, a girl
clinging to the space between two breaths
where flesh meets air, air with indigo, rainbows
ending in the sea. Yet how the waters
run so dark now, from the fracking stations
and factories. They blame global warming
for all this water but the clouds are angry;
they throw their fists at mankind’s disregard.
The woman must find comfort where she can
and trembles, gazing up at the moon and stars.
Read the poetry of Louise Hastings
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Poet Shan Ellis' Latest Work, "Genesis"
Silence reverberated after the storm,
a quiet acquiescence,
particles of life itself
trickling down an open palm
through closed fingers of thought.
Murmurs of past ghosts brushed
Infant like, lost in the dark of
vacuum as if searching for
a symbiotic mother,
some reason unknown
for weary travel to cease.
In the fireweed below long dead
present tenses stirred
shifted by the audacity of the visitor,
an audience of one
empowered with vision or delusion,
Machiavellian ideals of justice
It quietened after lightening passed
the watcher blinked
non-plussed with the beauty
of the dawns gentle kiss.
Ignorant of unfurling petals
between her toes.
Read the poetry of Shan Ellis
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A "Psalm" from Poet Gary Maxwell
thou hast raised me up
from my bed of misery:
a nest of needles,
every midnight nuisance known,
no cellphone signal.
free range like chicken,
every bedpan overthrown,
now set on side streets
where the pigeons print my name
on waiting windshields.
sprung from the pokie,
granted gifts of air and sun,
I wait their winking -
winsome Barbies bearing beer
while I sit waiting.
Read the poetry of Gary Maxwell
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Poet Dunstan Carter Is Now On VerseWrights
There are words
All over the floor,
A dustpan and brush,
And a silent,
Two person queue
For the bathroom.
We let each other talk
Between the barrage of sighs,
Confused monologues crackling
Like refrigerated bonfires,
Like loose roofs on a train -
But the whistle
Of the wild winds outside
And the gentle rumble of stomachs.
Your food is in my freezer,
Your shoes are in my hallway
And you’re getting up to go.
The door closes,
And I stare out at nothing
Till there’s nothing left to fear,
Till the something I felt
In the blink of an eye
Like most things
Dunstan Carter is a writer and poet based in Manchester, England. Over the past 15 years he's had poetry published in a number of magazines across the UK but now publishes all of his work on his Wordpress blog. As well as writing poetry he also writes a modern culture blog called Slacker Shack, heads up business development for a social technology agency called Modern-English and helps manage a number of music acts as part of fledgling music management company, 1612 Management. He also writes and records music as part of The Abodes and Foilface .You can contact him on Twitter @dunstancarter. Read.
Mark MacDonald Takes us to "The Fourth Step"
The Fourth Step
It’s four a.m. on a Sunday once more
and I am sitting here in my socks and my underwear,
taking my own moral inventory and wondering
how I’ll ever find redemption again.
Maybe I’ll just run naked in the rain
as I did when I was a child, do a few cartwheels
on the lawn, or shoot a BB gun at my brother.
Sitting up in a tree by myself used to work,
as I remember, especially the broad leafy
box wood in my father’s backyard.
And hey, this whole pen and paper thing
is getting a bit annoying—something akin
to scoring a baseball game while all the time
missing the action out there on the field.
But I don’t take to heights like I used to;
the BB gun’s gone with my bicycle; and
I was never much good with those cartwheels.
So maybe I’ll just dance a Tango for penance--
take one more elegant woman in my arms once more
—and dare all the gods to do what I do.
Read the poetry of Mark MacDonald
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New Haiku And Tanka From Poet Chen-ou Liu
the shifting shadow
on the wall
below his attic room
an alley dog barking
the weight of her name...
on a blade of plum grass
a shooting star
streaking across the sky
sneaks into my room
and mounts on my body
a one-man funeral
in my head
Read the poetry of Chen-ou Liu
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Laura Madeline Wiseman's "The Twenty-First Century Lot"
The Twenty-First Century Lot
15th Street Apartments
Des Moines, Iowa, April 2010
Some corporation designed this complex,
the slab of concrete, the parking blocks,
the rollaway dumpsters, the nondescript
exterior, and all those numbered doors
that open to the street and din of traffic,
the upward plum of exhaust, of burning gas,
as if the foundation held nothing of you,
as if some things could remain hidden.
The plat books tell, here, a crossroad, here
stood your corner house, here your garden,
and a mile away, the place where I grew up.
Some wise man taught me any soil dug into
and excavated to learn what happened.
I need only the questions, a map, the tools.
Read the poetry of Laura Madeline Wiseman
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VerseWrights Welcomes Poet Alegria Imperial
our pregnant moons circling
ang kagampan nating buwan
on my palm the shifting hues
agtinnag a sao
iti dakulap ko ti agbaliw-baliw
a sennaag ti tengga’t rabii
Alegria Imperial has had haiku and other Japanese short poems as well as free verse published in international journals such as LYNX, Notes from the Gean, The Heron's Nest, Bones, A Hundred Gourds, eucalypt, The Cortland Review, poetic diversity and qarrtsiluni. Her awards in poetry contests include honorable mentions from Passager and the Vancouver Cherry Blassoms Haiku Invitational, commended, Traditional Category, in the Haiku Foundation's 2012 Haiku Now Contest, and adjudged Excellent in the 7th International Tanka Festival Competition 2012. A few of her bilingual haiku and haibun appeared in LIJLA’s August 2013 Special Feature section edited by Alan Summers. A Filipino, she now lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Read.
Gary Metras' Newest Poem, "The Heavy Trout"
The Heavy Trout
Amid the thrashes and splashes
of this heavy trout I kneel to
in the low water to remove
my fly, a fat hopper whose hook
holds the trout's jaw like Zeus'
thunderbolt would, sloppy but sure,
the fish awaits no plea or promise
of release, sheds not one tear,
not a single moan, as it twists
and bends toward freedom
that doesn't come, yet, even when
I heft him completely in air
to turn him on its back across my knee,
this simple fish will not submit,
struggling all the while my fingers
probe and grasp hook, balance
trout and myself in this little world,
this dance enacted, until the hook
is free, the flesh free, and I right the fish,
lift it a moment in the sun's caress
to see the rainbow stripe glow
on its own, then lower the trout
to water, submerge it in currents
and flows I only guess at, as it
swishes and sways, disappears,
becomes the river once more.
Read the poetry of Gary Metras
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A "Requiem" from Poet E. Michael Desilets
Boyd's Requiem, Cue the Incense
~For Ed Warro
Sum me up, Mike, I hear him say. I can’t
but I can offer a hint, a lament, a chant.
He read Rimbaud, revered Berlioz,
kept bags of ground coffee in the freezer,
played “Ring My Bell” endlessly
the year it was released.
he booed Chloe Owen
as she struggled to be Queen of the Night.
He sent me countless Marlene Dietrich post cards
and a few Louise Brooks.
As far as Visconti goes
it was Death in Venice and The Damned.
In Garden Grove
he bought a Hawaiian shirt
at the Crystal Cathedral gift shop.
Tell me about your kids,
I hear him say, and I do,
and I wrote a poem about his mother
after he scattered her cremated remains
among the cats’ ashes in the back yard.
I kiss him and leave him with his pain
and flee with my devious grief.
The sound is off at the hotel.
From my window I can see the dark
disdainful waters of Lake Michigan. Amen
Read the poetry of E. Michael Desilets
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Ready For Dan Shawn's Latest? It's "Metamorphic"
and a plastic glove
from deep within
and a little
there are times
when i still
and the wound
Read the poetry of Dan Shawn
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Two Short Poems From jacob erin-cilberto
at slow speed
fall to the vinyl battlefield floor
into the grooves of forgotten names
and the spinning world
plays its loathsome tune
never reach life's top 40
because they die at 18 and 19 and 20 something
with only their labels
left to signify expiration dates
and the BMI to imply
their short span of play.
leaning against the stone wall stoned on you
dizzy me curled into your caress
your scent like a soft arm within my sleeve
your hair brushing lightly against my bewildered lips
as i embrace the profusion of beloved confusion
trying to keep my balance.
Read the poetry of jacob erin-cilberto
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"Bread," A Lyric From Poet Debbie Strange
the harvest beneath and between our lives
is always sacred
then rise up
the seed, the sprout and stalk
the swath, the stook and staff
the bowl is full
though chipped and crazed with age
still and ever
kneading soft flesh
punching down sorrow
sprinkling salts of the earth
resting in a warm place
then rise up
Hear this poem read by the poet
Read the poetry of Debbie Strange
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Kathleen Rogers' Thoughts On Christmas
I love nOrman rOckwell
a star in the east went super nova
sepia-toned sparrows crow
vultures dance with doves in cerulean sky
every secret never shouted shakes a tree
bloodless bodies count
the days until christmas mourning
beatitude babies, jet car jelly, everybody smile!
Read the poetry of Kathleen Rogers
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Poet Denise Janikowski-Krewal Joins VerseWrights' Pages
Paging through color photos
Mysteriously coded instructions
Appearing as gibberish
To a clouded mind,
Frustrated by epic long lists
Of foreign ingredients
Evading a sad larder
For a farmer’s market fix,
Spice market sit-in
Baker’s punching bowl,
Begging for an air-drop
Into a cramped kitchen
With a half-hour
Til company arrives
Time only for
A quick Ciao
And a pick up
Of Italian carry-out
Denise Janikowski-Krewal is a Midwestern poet and writer of short fiction. She was born, raised and is currently living in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. After many years of writing technical correspondence, her wandering mind turned to storytelling. Her poetry can be found at “the lost beat” where she collaborates with her cousin and fiction writer, Tom Janikowski. Denise’s work has appeared in Annapurna Magazine, Centre for Imaging and Collection Care blog, Cowboy Poetry Press, Red Fez and Tuck Magazine. Her first book, Spotted Overcoat, Poetry on the Lam, gives glimpses into lives and challenges of jazz age, depression era and current era characters. It is available through Lulu.com as well as through other online retailers. Read.
We Welcome J Matthew Waters to VerseWrights
Dances with leaves
I stood looking out the window
at a small pile of leaves
I had raked and forgotten about
Damn I thought
I can’t believe I left behind this pile of leaves
It was then as I had these thoughts the wind
came out of nowhere
hitting the pile of burnt colors
and sending them high into the air
Hey honey I yelled
you’ve got to come see this
the leaves are dancing
Crosswinds continued lifting the
leaves higher than eye level
twisting them into a stream of
irregular circular motion
fully fluid yet shapely
as if produced by a child
playing spirograph on a table
Hey honey I yelled
you’ve got to come see this
This time she leaned her head back
and turned her neck my way
What is it she asked – I’m reading
The leaves are dancing I said
you’ve got to come see this
First there was a pause as the
leaves continued to dance
and then there was closure
J Matthew Waters is a poet residing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After earning his liberal arts degree in English from the University of Iowa in 1984, he has since enjoyed a career in the financial services industry. His first collection of poetry entitled Five Hundred Pieces was self-published in 1997. His second collection entitled In the Middle of Somewhere was self-published as a Kindle ebook in 2011. He maintains a blog, jdubqca poetry, where his most recent work can be found. Read.
Ellen Conserva's Latest Poem, "Protocol..."
Protocol When Trees Fall
A tree falls in the woods.
If no one is there to hear it,
Does it make a sound?
Elm is afraid that there was a disease
Weeping Willow waves her limbs to flag down help.
Oak reaches out with leave-like hands, to catch.
Maple too busy being industrious under her bark.
The Pine and the Evergreen are too proud to watch.
Birches are terrified and turn even whiter.
Saplings are often in the line of fire from the fall, so they cringe.
The question is
If a tree falls in the woods,
Doesn't each ask
Who is next?
Read the poetry of Ellen Conserva
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Jacqueline Czel: "Not Willing to Draw Straws"
Not Willing to Draw Straws
I looked at her,
she looked at me,
he looked at us,
we mute three,
shaking our heads
in front of
the big man,
do not go there;
he can select
each of us is
staying right here,
stories of the
so we don't
save for the
to a family
safety in numbers,
led by an ancient
light by day,
Hoo Doo by night,
great, great aunt
with a hard
not so long
tales of horror
are never free
of that - so to
stay far North
of the edge of
that red river,
we, who do
not trust that
safe there or
the silt next
to the lingering
all these years
later, push back.
Read the poetry of Jacqueline Czel
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Two New Poems From Leslie Philibert
A Bavarian Winter
The Alps make me embryonic
the King of sleep, the wind
a sea inside my ears
each insignificant leaf
hard as a saint`s foot,
each drop of water pearled
and perfectly dead
under a dim sky, underlighted
over the white sheet
that you draw over the passed.
Let the crows pick out
the eyes of Winter.
Fogs of ghosts carry souls in buckets.
With steps in dance and many hands
they polish your armour and
hammer you back together.
They throw you out of glass rooms,
back to your old door, you fruitcake,
you mad hatter, you looney,
back to the grey street, you have
long enough babbled
at an empty ring of chairs,
You spin too slowly not to tip over,
your cranium scrubbed, your bones trepanned,
your new smile fixed with wire.
Read the poetry of Leslie Philibert
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Poet Simon Kindt Now On The Pages Of VerseWrights
From the mesa the town below
was just another map of itself,
peeled back skin pinned by eucalypts
and leaning fence posts,
the river dry a spine dissected,
edges fraying into ghosts of Elysian Fields.
From the east the thunderheads rolled in
heavy and crackling,
magnesium flares sparking,
lighting up the sky’s belly and
drums, drums and drums.
We were golden jokes,
strange shapes in stranger places,
mermaids high and dry.
You, proof of a lower case god,
a driftwood cathedral bell tower rung,
singing for the slick and honey wet.
Me, opening my copper throat with flints,
to drink the sky from red and flashing gills.
We sat, sails flapping and jaws reaching as
the sky broke open overhead,
the storm clouds, waves following each other in,
throats popping and gushing,
the rain, molasses thick and wine dark,
falling over itself to get to us
before we drowned in air.
Daylighting in education, moonlighting in poetry, Simon Kindt is a relative newcomer to writing and the Australian spoken word scene. Seeing himself primarily as a ‘stage poet,' he has recently performed at the Brisbane Emerging Arts Festival, Poets Dressed as Men, and is one of the esteemed, monthly call-back poets for Speedpoets, one of the best-loved and longest-running of Brisbane’s poetry events. He is currently working on his first chapbook collection and building a youth slam community in Brisbane. His work explores the sublime and the ordinary in the colliding territories of landscape, the body, and "the whole human mess." He has an open, gentle performance style, a generous grasp of human emotion, and a willingness to carefully peel back the seemingly ordinary to reveal what lies underneath. Read.
Mike Jewett's Newest Poem, "Blue Moon Over 7-11"
Blue Moon Over 7-11 ☊
A full moon glows high over 7-11
Pork rinds, candy bars, and wrinkled hot dogs
Wait inside, and craters wait above
White Lines by Grandmaster Melle Mel stuck in my head
(Get higher baby)
I drop two Milky Way Midnights into my gullet
And rush home, recalling how I used to take my son
Out at night, before bed, nestled in my arms, and have him say
Goodnight to the moon, to luna.
We peer at her through binoculars
On dewy grass.
(Get higher baby)
Selenic orb peeking back,
Awaiting its goodnights,
We bid adieu
Then we read Shel Silverstein, and
Morpheus and Hypnos pulls him
Into the world of sleep.
(Get higher baby)
(Rang dang diggedy dang di-dang)
Catching the moon’s reflection
Off of a silvered window,
I’m reminded of the simple pleasures
Awash in reigniting tradition-
This only happens once in a blue moon.
Hear this poem performed by Foster Cameron Hunter
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Samantha Reynolds' Shares Her Newest Poem
I think of them often
I think of them often
hadn’t seen him much since high school
never met his wife
but we all heard the news
the punch of grief
wanting to bury the words
I hold my daughter tight
born at the same time
and she feels suddenly
that could blow away
but later I forget
and I wonder
how dare I let someone so small
make me feel so safe
I think of them often
and I realize I don’t know
how to love a stranger
and I don’t know how to ask
do you count the days
you had him
or the hours.
Read the poetry of Samantha Reynolds
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Maryann Maglangit Gives Us Her Latest Poem, "Here."
Here, the moon is sluggish and dull
where stars cover the face of the earth
and the wind sings us peaceful lullaby
with every tone that it makes
soft bubbles of unsuspecting dreams escape
of selfless affection, of dedication
from the isolated restful minds
Here, the roads breathe for the first time
giving way for the vagabonds of love,
of careful whisperers, of blissful moments
looking for a faithful witness
from the trees, from wishful thoughts
and silent walls hoping that they never speak
And here, I touch you...
And this pitch black night is smeared
by the sporadic beating of our hearts.
Read the poetry of Maryann Maglangit
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Ana Caballero's Newest Poem Is About "Life Things"
The writing has left
it rests far away
when it was close
it was closer but not as close
as far when far away
There is still life yes
a baby still new
a father still sick
a master unhere
I watch these life things gather height
the in held breath of avalanche snow
and dragon green of hurricane sea
I tend the wait
so the baby may speak
the father stand
the master glow
I try at times to name the wait
but it is too clear
like a good death
So I wait with the writing
of my son's first word
my father's straight back
my master's raised hand
for the life things
to come close
and tell me their name
Read the poetry of Ana Caballero
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Harriet Shenkman "Revisits" Our Recent Holiday
Not one of us was seated at the
table on time, sons dueling over
the turkey leg, daughter insisting
both wings hers, grandpa declaring,
“The best you can get in America,”
all lingering over the apple pies.
We went from frozen bird to fresh,
canned cranberry to orange chutney.
The young off to find lux et veritas,
babies blessed, American Girl dolls
at the table, the best giblet gravy yet.
Our dinner this year wedged
between their friend’s Dim Sum,
the au pair’s city tour, and their
party in town. They and the girls
arriving just in time, toting four
quarts of sweet and sour soup.
Read the poetry of Harriet Shenkman
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Paul Sands Writes Of The Night Time...
night time is the fight time
listen, all you ragged dolls,
let the midnight chimes run
and rifled spirits slake a claim
to the rattling lights of your
basal vein plugged
and filled to boiling brim.
vinegar, piss and
burning vim unquiver
ten fingers, hammer wound, yet
eagerly redeemed for one look
in most market towns,
where too many pretty girls
litter the borough
awaiting the charms of a
low knuckled clown
Read the poetry of Paul Sands
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Dan Shawn On Mistakes And Regret
not the ones
or cake up
in the back of
kinda like that thick
at the base of
the oak leaf
one must be
i still deposit my
the kitchen sink
a bad move
an uncommon one
who tried to
“people are forever doing things they later come to regret”
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"Shades," A New Poem From Mark Windham
before the world
became shades of grey.
she wore yellow
when days were warm,
the sun worshiping her glow.
Sometimes I remember
the sight of her smile
behind the veil in the moment
before we wed
I remember every time she wore
red high heels – beautiful already,
with no need for adornment, seeking
attention she rightfully deserved.
I remember the last time
I was able to look into the crystal
depths of those eyes, glistening,
as she searched for reasons to stay.
Sometimes I remember before
the world became
Read the poetry of Mark Windham
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