Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Poem by B.S. Johnson

Winds were blowing gently,
moving the strands of her hair.
No sounds except leaves rustling,
on her face, a blank stare.
Off in the distance, a bark, a howl,
perhaps even a faint scream.
In the wilderness all alone, not afraid,
this is surreal, but not a dream.
In a state of confusion, her mind is
processing in slow motion,
All of the time invested, the love
she gave, the total devotion.
All of it vanished, so many words
left still unspoken,
A void left in her soul, with nothing left
but a heart, completely broken.

B.S. Johnson lives in Georgia with her husband, son and parents.  She currently has two books out, Being Kind In An Unkind World, and Maters, Taters & Grits, and has had poems published in The Rusty Nail Magazine and


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Two Poems by Agholor Leonard Obiaderi


She lost his wounds
stole their anguished wet lips.

She found love in blood,
goddess of purity like
heart-breaking desire.

She kissed his feet wiped
his face dark lustrous hair.

Blood was the sacrifice,
furnace-burnished trust.
Her love must be true.


The flat still smelled of her
perfume. The coffee cup

held a red-crescent,
a lipstick memory of her

which formed a full moon
in happier times. Desire burned
the fiercest

when the moon acquired a
lover’s round lips of ecstasy.
Mannerisms hovered in the air

like a cologne: the way
she threw her head back
to laugh at your scented jokes:

the way dimples formed moon
craters on her
cheeks: the method of

her smile that flashed silver
even in the sun’s glare. But
most of all, the way she thrust

deeply into you
piercing, moaning then
leaving you marooned,

to stare at her dissolving

Agholor Leonard Obiaderi lives in Nigeria. He loves poetry and crime novels though he has no criminal friends. He has been featured as poet of the week in Poetry Super-Highway and Wild Violet Literary Magazine. His poems have been published in Storm Cycle Anthology of Kindofahurricane Press.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Poem by Emanuelle Cartagena

Bankrupt on Love

You would always tell me the secrets I never really cared to know,
but you cared for me to know.
I've always cherished that, never more than now.
We were we and not apart,
Swayed on chairs, drank-smoked together, and feverishly chanted stories about despised family members.
Even we showed places we were never meant to see.
You know what I mean....
hair, skin, shock.
Laughter is love, not the other way around.
IT has only dawned on me recently,
and will forever.

The guise was our shared ruthlessness.
Dropping the veil over our faces, is so we can't see we....
hate for we, hate for ourselves, and the desperate need for attention.
But when you turned that onto me,
-the viole, ugly, spiteful words and mannerisms-

"You nasty, foul, smelly, disgusting slut. BITCH! WHORE!"
Ad-lib your own profanity and medium-pitched scowl, it will fit.

I cried deep down.
Heart full of blood,
it was about blow.
Feebly distancing,
you plunged,
into your deepest darkest recesses.
Erratic enigmas on those close,
and far away,
further displaced our bond.
Multiple runaway attempts,
Crazed, frantic fists and pindowns,
restraint for me or for you?
I could not tell.
All I could tell,
Was that you were gone.
The you I once found to be you,

Tearing through the screams,
Days of nights,
Flipped to nights of night.
He blew you a kiss,
and tucked you in.
Even with the dirt stench,
5cent wardrobe,
and 3cent dream mindset,
you fell head over heels.
domestic swings and hits,
never fell the oak tree,
Abstruse emotional connection,
despite the lack of connection.....
as fas as respect for each other goes,
bore a hole through your mind.
As you fell for him,
You felled everyone else to get him.
It was all for him.
You apostled through our integrity,
and our feelings.
Destroyed the trust and obtuse became our acknowledgment.
Now the once fervent smile,
has been erased by the placid stare,
and omnipresent slight frown.
Drugs have split your emotion,
down the middle with blankness on one side,
adjacent only showing in outbursts.
Our conversations don't exist,
I have nothing to talk to you about anymore.
You've become bankrupt on character,
Well I'm bankrupt on love.

Emanuelle Cartagena  is an aspiring, up-and-coming poet with a passion for words and how to use them. He has been writing for about 8 years now. He's also performed his poetry all across the state of PA. Manny has been published in Pigeon Bike poetry, Linden Avenue, New Plains Review and online with Earthborne poetry and Haggard and Halloo.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two Poems by Afzal Moolla

Without you

worn down, weary,
staggering into tomorrow,
dissolving my todays, grim, dreary,

I crawl, slipping out of my skin,
flinging laughter, joy, contentment,
into the gaping abyss of life's dustbin.

Without you.

The Sound of Distant Ankle Bells

Memories of those delicate tinkling bells,
casually fastened around calloused feet,

take hold of my waking moments,

and fling my thoughts back to a distant time,
where folk-songs were heartily sung,
joyful, yet hopelessly out of rhyme.

I barely saw her, a construction labourer perhaps,
hauling bricks, cement, anything, on a scorching Delhi day,
while in the semi-shade of a Gulmohar tree, her infant silently lay.

A cacophony of thoughts such as these swirl around,
yanking me away from the now, to my cow-dung littered childhood playground.

Now, a lifetime of displacement has hushed the jangling chorus of the past,
to a faint trickle of sounds, as distant as an ocean heard inside tiny sea-shells,


I know, that the orchestral nostalgic crescendo, rises, dips, and swells,
as tantalisingly near, yet a world of time away, as were the tinkling of her ankle-bells.

Afzal Moolla was born to exiled South African parents engaged in the struggle against
Apartheid in South Africa.  He currently lives and works in Johannesburg.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Chauvinist's Manifesto

There's a football field between us.
I'm in one of the end zones bellowing
and you're in the other one bawling,
the cliffs of your cheekbones
streaked with mascara.

Betty Friedan is screaming.
She says the problem is my fault.
Bella Abzug is cackling
that she agrees.
Gloria Steinem
is at the microphone,
ready to sentence me
to decades of marriage
with children by the score
though she didn't marry till 60.

These ladies must be right.
I'm just a man so I give up.
I accept all the blame.
Mountains have risen
in the middle of the field.
I can no longer see you.
And if I can't see you
there's no reason for us
to get together again.
I have to be able to see you.
It's always been your hind
and never your mind
that I favored.

We were having a wonderful time
and all of a sudden you got serious
like all the others.
They wanted to get married, too.
Listen up.
I'm going to announce
the best solution.
I want to be generous.
I hope you can hear me:
"You keep the ring.
I'll punt and go home."

In addition to writing poems and short stories, Donal Mahoney, long married and the father of five, sometimes writes first-person poems that have nothing to do with his life but may express instead the emotions of others. This is one of those poems.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Poem by J.S. Watts

Melting Into Air

It is the moon again.
How fitting.
Seemingly she howls for a misplaced lover,
but it is other
she is really seeking.
So many pages in
and she has lost the plot;
doesn't she just know it.
That's the real reason for the rush, this flush
of agitations and lamentations
at her own unquiet self.

It is never an instant demise.
Two subtracted into one sometime back,
but now there is further reduction.
She knows the signs off by heart:
a slackening of perfection,
former dainties hang loose and slowly melt,
dimming beauties are shadowed
by the scuttling echoes
of the still to come.
So nearly sleek and whole for just a little while longer,
the heat of ages grows ever higher.

Some one day she will have to accept,
but in the raging of the current moment
there is only fear and loss.
The wailing for the other,
the once significant lover,
is only a side-show to the main event,
the hunt for her disappearing self.
Fight and flight, up close and personal
to the haggard face of the inevitable;
the whisper of defiance
against a night-time of dissolving dreams.

J.S.Watts lives and writes in the flatlands of East Anglia in the U.K. Her poetry, short fiction and reviews appear in a range of publications in Britain, Canada, Australia and the States including: Acumen, Envoi, Mslexia and Orbis and have been broadcast on BBC and Independent Radio. Her first poetry collection, “Cats and Other Myths” and a subsequent chapbook, "Songs of Steelyard Sue" are published by Lapwing Publications. Her novel, "A Darker Moon" is published in the US and the UK by Vagabondage Press . Further details at:    

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Poem by Rick Hartwell


Scattered daisy petals on the sidewalk,
Now only remnants, droppings of dreams,

            “He loves me! He loves me not!”

Spoiled leftovers from afternoon playtime
Nesting atop the hopscotch pattern chalked on concrete,
Laggers left untouched in the middle of a game,

            “Time out! Endgame! I don’t want to play!”

Mixed with the petals, a slow trail of trickled blood leading away.

            “Olly, olly, oxen – free, free, free!”

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California, with his wife of thirty-six years (poor soul, her, not him), their disabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children, and eleven cats. Yes, eleven! He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Poem by Harmony Hodges

Only the Earth

She lambasted her way to the depths of the pit
unwilling to face his essence.
Now in a hole
a circle of granite surrounded her
melting, cooling, weathering, eroding
she morphed, her breath metallic.
Reverberation of her retinas
as she closed her eyes
yielded liquid crystal
until arid.
Now finite
she was a free slave to a living death
but etched her new nom de plume
along the wall
with her black hills gold
before dropping it and grinding it with her heels.
Now the earth would know her name
and only the earth.

Harmony Hodges is an artist living in Portland Oregon. She writes poetry and fiction and her work can be found online in the journal With Painted Words.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Angel in the Doorway

From the doorway an angel in red
a fire of love, an entrance to hope.
All who enter here do not burn.

She stands behind the door
peering out, looks past the trees,
winter and her grass remains green.

How can this angel be sad?
I watch her from my window
and do not understand.

Wait a moment with me, please.
I have to tell her something.
I have to tell her she is loved.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses.  His work has appeared in The Cafe Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others.  In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011).  He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Three Poems by Felix Maple


I was blind.

You've gone.

Next to us,
an old manreads a newspaper.


English boys
don't show
their feelings.

I'm cold, in August.

Words have
been emptied
from my brain.


Fine as wine
So you really are gone.
Anyone there?
The flight of steps
leads to a dark-lit
wasteland of
humid bedsheets.

The room where
I died is where
you exposed me.
Cold, cold bed…

Thinking of Langston Hughes.
Life is fine,
Fine as wine…

Hey, Langston,
just for me:sprout a
symphony of colours
out of the sound of blue


Here I sit, dismantled:
ice cold lips
where sweet whispers
once were.
Sealed in spite.

Felix Maple is a professional geographer living in Paris, France. He was a volunteer paramedic for a while. He is British but has been living in France most of his life which is confusing to him. He teaches geography at the University of Paris 8 (Vincennes – Saint Denis) and writes poetry whenever he can. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, Red River Review, Visceral Uterus, Brevity Poetry Review and Eunoia Review. His blog is at:

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Poem by Afzal Moolla

The Dilution of Memory

Embers fade,
disappearing into hushed night.

Petals wither,
falling on soft grass.

Words pale,
obscured by anguish within.

Faces blur,
dimmed by galloping years.

Kisses lose,
the urgency of bygone furnaces.

Feelings recede,
lying dormant in shielded vaults.

Love loses,
fatigued after numberless skirmishes.

Pain flees,
seeking new wounds to inflict.

Scars remain,
sentinels against,

the dilution of memory.

Afzal Moolla lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.  He is an amateur writer and does so for pleasure.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Poem by J.K. Durick


Spur of the moment decisions
like these take years to make –

accumulated grief, slights,
some rights and wrongs,

petty differences piled high,
like dirty laundry,

unsorted, unfolded,
impossible to put away,

and arguments, endless
arguments, arguments

so vague they disappear
when we go to explain

who we are in all of this,
but it’s finally final, like

the front door, the three stairs,
the walkway, and the car

at the end of the drive
ready to act on what we decide.

J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Four and Twenty, Common Ground Review, and Literary Juice.