Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Poem by Maria Arana


dove soars
            whimpers in flight

falls to ashes
            dances the wild fire

neglects the skylight of our hearts

Maria Arana is a teacher, writer, and poet.  Some of her poetry appears in the San Gabriel Valley Quarterly Poetry, Stepping Stones Magazine, Work to a Calm, The Altadena Poetry Review, Westward Quarterly, and others.  You can find her at http://rainingvoices.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

i don't miss you

go ahead
and leave the arrow there
you already shot me
through the heart,
and no act of remorse could
tear it out now;
it as much a part of me that sorrow and anger
as the joy and laughter and happiness
i could never let
anyone destroy me
so i grew into the pain and let it grow
into me to make me
i am a special kind of weird--
but i have feathers now
that burn with fires i have never known before you
so thank you for shattering me
i had to become stronger
the weak little rabbit hearted girl had to die
because i could never achieve my dreams if i were still her,
and so you can wipe your eyes
i am already getting my
my vengeance is my success because you'll watch me
achieve all my dreams without you;
there's no turning back
i don't miss you

kiss the flame

maybe you thought
i would be a good little girl
just lay still
become another of your blue lipped
angels that you kiss
when you grow bored of being
but i've always been a rebel;
i rose from the ocean
you left me in
burned straight through my ashes and
ascended into the sky--
i know you think you've done no wrong
that all the blame is mine
because you warned me that you were
a knave,
but a girl in love pays no heed to warnings
from the lips of a man who has
charmed her;
you have to know that being untrue
is never excused
so i don't accept your unapology--
you were insincere, you were a liar, you oozed
charisma and charm you never meant;
you are the worst sort of liar
because you think you're telling the truth
but the truth could never be so distorted--
go ahead and kiss the flame
you need it's edification
because you have the tongue of a serpent
i could never accept your lies,
and neither should anyone else have to.

sweet honesty

i'll use my blood
to warn
anyone you love to stay away
because i don't want
any other woman
to make you her god when we both
know you're a pathetic
excuse for even a
and i tire of hearing your excuses
of letting all the blame fall
heavy on me like that
autumn kiss you placed on my lips
that chased away leaves from their trees;
i will use my voice as a weapon
all your prospects of joy and love
before you can destroy them
as you've shattered my
i am not that eager
rabbit hearted girl that you left behind
trying to please you
i need no man
that doesn't need me so you can say i've taken
all your memories and burned them
like the gifts you gave me.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville.  Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.  Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press -- June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon -- January 2014) were published.  Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015.  Her novel Dragons & Magic is forthcoming through Ravenswood Publishing.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Poem by Theresa Darling

How to Say Good-Bye

     -- for Christina

Begin with snow in winter
Tulips for spring, sun in summer.
Autumn requires exercise,
Creativity, questions expecting
Answers.  At least three
crows, no matter the season
               one to notice
               two to blink
               three to realize
Acceptance arrives long after
He dies, when a blue jay
Hawk and heron cross paths
               one leaves a feather
               one brings tears
               another makes you smile
Allow words to form in chimes
Hanging from the apricot tree
He planted instead of the apple.

You will resist
Until the starless night clears
Without reason,
               one smile
               every touch
               this breath

Theresa Darling's poetry has been published in The Green Hills Literary Journal, Baily's Beads, Hellbender Journal, Kind of a Hurricane Press and The Cellar Door.  Her poem "Another Departure" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2014.  She recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to Vermont, where she hopes to live happily ever after with her husband Reg and two shelter cats.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Poem by Noel Negele

Loss of Love

At dawn
With loss of love
Coming down from cocaine
On a stool
With a beer and a shot of vodka
Trying to bring some giggle
In the rotting serotonin levels
Of my brain;
Looking at the bored dancer
Wrap her thighs around that pole
As crude hands hold money like
Proud flags of debauchery

If there is a time for a heart attack
It is now, to fall off the stool suddenly
On my way down of the mountain
Of despair, the clenching finally final
And not a single one
In this lousy cavern of vice
To notice or care enough
To call somebody

The streets are a desert now
The people are scorpions
Their love is a quicksand

While all the regrets will
Echo loudly in the chamber
Of our souls
We will all ride
The burning carriage of death
Some day
And hopefully
It will be all our enemies
Dragging our content asses
From one darkness
To a far better one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Three Poems by Sheikha A.


I would be walking on burning coals;

I could offer abnegation,
a knife with it

and tell you to begin cutting
for penance

for having walked away first
before you

or I could offer poetry,
the way to my mysteries once again

and my words heal your brokenness

while I continue to scatter
while you continue to lament

until there are more pieces of me
than (have had made of) you

and your detecting sight
forgets its patriarchal pedantic

instructions to remind me
the only way to clean you
from my vessel

is sinking deeper than where water ends;

allowing you regnant
over my religion gone awry,

turning into:

that less-picked book on your shelf,

the unattractive oxidization on your ring,

the miscreant scent on your skin.


I have already paced the window thrice
like a superstitious ritual, since most of you
have appeared to me through windows; or was
it that you stood at the door, and I looked in
all the wrong places -- I think I should write
about how I've been tucking away neatly
all the items in my drawers, cupboards, cabinets
and how I remember the way you picked up scents
on me, and your fingers judging softness of skin;
I should write, at least, to end my writing
that writes about you indefinitely without pause
and find the right stones to help me build a dam
against the fracas of words, reminding myself
of your eloquence and impatience with hesitations;
maybe, instead, I should stand by a mirror
to watch the way my pen slants on paper
and the way my hand poises, knowing about
your penchant for elegance; I must practice
more, my words must be less of a hustle,
since as keenly as your ears would lean
towards me, your eyes never missed a note;

right now, the window stands
like a perfect upright rectangle, the night sky
staring through, like your deep-black eyes,
the mirror watching me from the other end,
and I standing at this point again -- trapped
between your gaze and my precarious soul;

I select all and press delete.


It was a moment within a moment

kind of a moment, when I didn't know,

couldn't know which set of life
to look (through) into;

crossroads aren't made
of cement and asphalt,

they come like flesh,

many in number,
and the road just winds

out like it doesn't know
the purpose of its construct

and the seed you willfully
throw away after having
broken it

starts to grow the type
of flowers

of the kind of colors
that you can never be,

and no amount of water can revive
the eyes that perished,

and no proximity of contact can decrypt
the meaning of knowing.

Sheikha A. hails from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates and is the author of a short poetry collection titled, Spaced (Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013) available on kindle.  Her work appears in over 40 literary zines/journals/magazines such as Red Fez, The Muse, Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, Pyrokinection, Mad Swirl, Carcinogenic Poetry, ken*again, American Diversity Report to name a few, and several anthologies by Silver Birch Press.  Her recent publications have been in Switch [the Difference] anthology by Kind of a Hurricane Press and Twenty Seven Signs -- Poetry Anthology by Lady Chaos Press.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Two Poems by Rick Hartwell

Late Elegy

I recall sitting there on the floor, you and I,
dividing up our books into yours and mine.

You kept the boy, although his holidays,
like the tomes and paperbacks, were halved.

I don't remember the titles we argued over,
just the bitterness of our shared selfishness.

The boy was outside, swinging in half-arcs
from an oak beside our rented house in Felton.

So much of our marriage seemed rented, too,
hence ownership of the books weighed large.

I don't have left a single one of those books,
having given them away along with much else.

Our joining was ten years of due dates hit and
missed with wear and tear taken into account.

Together we buried two premature sons, some
friendships, numberless pets, and our feelings.

Thirty years later we buried the boy, you and I,
from our opposite sides of a high desert mosque.

I set aside any latent resentment when you died
soon after, yet we remain without reconciliation.

How It Feels to Watch the Sex of Surf

Bold, brash thrashings bursting forth,
tethered only to a fluid core.
Cantilevered medusas
beckon an arrested,
frozen shore.
Cacophonies of dazzling
color mesmerize the eyes.
Hypnotic, liquid hybrids
hunger, cannot be ignored.
They draw and repulse,
capture and expel.
Visual stings of concentration
focus the senses for an instant only,
then race backward again,
to be captivated again,
assaulted again
Cornucopias of form
and foam pour forth
until eyes, ears and mind
can hold no more
and sated,
avert, away
to think,
to ponder,
most of all,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Poem by Inna Dulchevsky

I've Been Looking

A secret sign on my body
Where you left your lips
Steam of your eyes
Touch of your voice
Your scent

               I'm at the valley of dreams
               Flying inside of my own
               Where you kiss me
               Cradle me
               Just like a child
               Innocent being
               Looking for hands

               Smear own carnival
               Distinctive colors
               No shades
               Burst emotions' bubble
               On canvas-like surface
               Square after square
               Of an infinite mirror
               Glossy areas    Slippery life
               Thin ice
               So cold!
               To sink inside
               Down to the cream color bones
               Hidden painting
               With thick melancholy
               Portrait of suffering
               Best selling art
               No one knows

Million of dots
Hectic movements
Turn after turn
Lines in-between
One-way street
Frightened to miss
Corner of silence
Inaudible place
With muted sign on my body
From never having known you

Inna Dulchevsky spent her early school years in Belarus.  She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.  She was awarded the First Prize 2014 David B. Silver Poetry Competition.  Inna's work has been published in numerous anthologies, books, and journals including Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers, Petals in the Pan Anthology, book Laveder, The Cannon's Mouth, The Otter, New Poetry, Calliope Magazine, Aquillrelle Anthology, 4th annual Lummox Poetry Anthology, Antheon, and is forthcoming in Element(ary) . . . My Dear Anthology and Calliope Magazine Anniversary Issue.  Her interests include metaphysics, philosophy, meditation and yoga.  The light and expansion of consciousness through the connection with inner-self and nature are essential in the writing of her poetry.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Three Poems by J. J. Campbell

broken fortune cookies

whispers in the
middle of the

star crossed lovers
trying to hold on
for a few more

the future is
written inside
broken fortune

there are no
winning numbers

that rainbow has
no gold at the end
of it

bottle up your
hatred and despair
and sell it on the
open market

the last woman
on earth will smile
and finally invite
you in

crush your fears

the pictures have
faded like the
memory of you
in my arms

i always wanted
to crush your
fears and laugh
with you one
day when we
made it to the

i failed at that

there is no sorry
that will bring
you back to me

these gentle tears
are all i have left

i let them soak
into the paper

one by one

the first kiss

the first

the last lazy
weekend in

the goodbye
i never saw

the evil urges within

the old voices
fill my veins
with enough

here comes
a beauty

and even
though i am
this will not
end up well

my cynical
ass can't say
no to a body
like that

this is when
the evil urges
within remind
me that

i enjoy the
abuse from
time to time

J.J. Campbell has give up the farm life and is now trapped in suburbia.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Nerve Cowboy, This is Poetry Vol. 2, Dead Snakes, Pyrokinection, and Horror Sleaze Trash.  You can find J.J. most days at his highly entertaining blog, evil delights.  http://evildelights.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Two Poems by Rose Mary Boehm


We used to fish
with first morning light,
the waking leaves
and early birds, the stillness
of Dutch waters.
Jumping fish
startled us.

Your call conjured up
damaged enchantments.

I have this space
deep inside.  Something
buried alive,
still writhing
when dawn breaks
an unquiet night.

Though you got old,
you knew
that we'd been lovers.
The strain in your voice
told me you remembered.

For the Lover I Left

In nights of unsung beauty--and there are
always some--you heal the wounds inflicted
by Vesuvian fires in the underworld branding
your flesh when you had no coin
to pay the ferryman, and no redemption.

The portal built by you, my eager architect,
was meant for two.  But only I went through.
You stayed behind mistaking liberty
for latitude and open fields for toil.

I left the safety of your promises, abandoned
my own expectations and paid my crossing
with my breath.  I waved to you who lingered
on the other shore, but our separation
was so much more than distance.

There were occasions when you almost
crossed the river, buoyed by your apprehension.
I have moved on.  Your master plan is out of date.
But there's a cabin where the ferry stops, just on
the right, behind the giant Tree of Life, where you
can rest awhile.  It's filled with smiles.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru.  Author of two novels and a poetry collection (Tangents) published in 2011 in the UK, well over 100 of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozens US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies, and Diane Lockward's The Crafty Poet.  She won third prize in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), was semi-finalist in the Naugatuck poetry contest 2012/13 and has been a finalist in several GR contests, winning it in October 2014.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Poem by Brenton Booth

Memories of Her

Mourning lost days like
the lonely streetlights
and all the tired faces
walking to unwanted
jobs they can't afford
to leave every day
the sounds always the same
like a familiar story
told again and again
or a song that no matter
how many times you hear
always makes you cry
or the vain sun
or the angry breeze
or the thawing snow
on the mountain tops
or the solitary pigeon
sitting on the window
all these things that
remind me of her
what she said
the way her hair sat
on her shoulders
the dreams we both
living like an immortal
that won't let go
in my tired mind
yelling when I am
talking complete sense
when I am confused
somber when I am
holding onto my heart
like all the sad beautiful
poems I once knew and
wished I'd written
but are now just a hazy
distorted memory to me
like her
and our time together.

Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia.  Poetry and fiction of his has recently been printed in Chiron Review, Mas Tequila Review, Paper and Ink, Zombie Logic and Bold Monkey.  brentonbooth.weebly.com