August 18, 2019

The Resilience of Life – Captivating Poetry by Marianne Brems

The Resilience of Life – Captivating Poetry by Marianne Brems

Flower Stems If heaven were a place  to walk without fear before an audience  jaded in judgement,  a place to love without concern  about running alone on earth’s curve, a place to rise in the morning  without tripping on stones by evening, a place to play in dangerous rivers without swallowing water, a place to carry wood to a fire  that never burns out, a place to throw out regrets  with the dust swirls of empty rooms  A place where traffic lights are all green, the sun sets peacefully after dinner,  and sleeves are never too short.  Then resilience would wither, muscles atrophy, bones relinquish their density  without resistance to strengthen them in a field where flowers fill every space and their stems, though succulent, are the sturdiest pillars.   Night Siren  The too near wail of an ambulance  assaults the quiet core of night, its rising then falling crescendo repeating repeating  unsettling all that’s settled as it announces  an unidentified human incident rife with pain or loss or both.  Yet this ambulance,  defying disruption and speed limits,  delivers with singular purpose  a medical team  eager to serve, to make whole, to mend the punctures of sharp protrusions or the malfunction of a dusty heart  and to begin a restitution  that even in darkness has…

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August 15, 2019

Linnea Skoglöv: Portraits of Love

Linnea Skoglöv: Portraits of Love

Cigarette  Waking up slowly to a room set in darkness, eyes searching for light but finding nothing buta silhouette.  You on one side of the bed and I on the other, not touching but I still feel you on my skinlike my mouth senses the aftertaste of a cigarette.  A cigarette you smoked even though I begged you not to, I turned and said I won’t kiss youever again but you hugged me from behind and what was I supposed to do.  So I kissed you.  And you tasted worse than when you apologise for your breath in the morning, but the secondyour lips touched mine I had already forgiven you.  Because when you look at me my heart suddenly belongs to a hummingbird, beating right out of my chest. And I need to feel your fingers…

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August 11, 2019

Bridging Two Cultures: Emma Wang’s Fierce Poetry

Bridging Two Cultures:  Emma Wang’s Fierce Poetry

Variations on the History of the People’s Republic of China  i.  Sometimes the skin retreats into the bone, jagged edges of tongue tasting the summer heat.  ii. Imagine the ownership (or lack of) a sunken statue turning whispers behind closed conversations and blood against blood.  iii. The first time I saw my father cry, there were ghosts in his lungs.  iv.  When the star-crossed, green-costumed women dance on skeletons My father averts his eyes like they’re the decapitated deer.  v. On my passport every stamp sounds like yeye’s warnings, every printed word the broken  English of my mother, every second of silence the wrath of old men.  Abecedarian for the Chinese Immigrant  All you can take are your Blouses and your tongue; Children & rice cakes should be Dropped into the sea to the Very last one. You will Find new building blocks to reassemble your Girls, new letters to construct your Houses – oh wait –  It’s the other way around. Jackets you’ll buy at the  K-mart, but only if it’s  Local. You cannot carry your Mama nor your baba No matter how  Oversized…

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August 8, 2019

Dayna Lellis: Telling Timeless Truths

Dayna Lellis: Telling Timeless Truths

Your Value   Instagram followers Twitter retweets Facebook likes Snapchat views Numbers we use To quantify #Popularity #Beauty #Wittiness #Worth These numbers mean #Nothing Compared to the people In your life Yearning for quality time With you They don’t need numbers To see your value    Emotional   We develop strong arms, carrying around emotional baggage for months, even years.  We mistake this for strength.   We weaken our grip on our baggage,  opening it to reveal  its untidy contents to others. We mistake this for weakness.   May Day  Unnecessary clicks, swipes, and likes are taking away  precious seconds,  minutes, hours, days of our lives,  of our budding dreams. “Just a little longer, okay?” “I’ll do it tomorrow,” you say.  Tomorrow is growing impatient. Tomorrow is ready to bloom today.   Two Vows  I’ve walked this path for eternity. Its minutiae are etched into my mind.  One random day, to my surprise, I notice stairs that reach the sky.   As I ascend, I glance below.  I see paths that swerve, with shadows galore.  Others appear straight with a sunlit glow, but on closer inspection  they have bumps as well.   I search for mine.  It takes some time. Its gentle curves are…

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August 5, 2019

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly

Tender Continuum   This town is a perfect snow globe  on a mantelpiece, an impenetrable dome.  Waves of puddles on the stone sidewalk  swallow us down & we become a part of the rotation,  the silent timepiece,  the busted backdrop.  We will never escape it  even when we box up our  memories & drive to the shore & cradle our kin   or watch them outrun our misfortunes.   Still, this is just a thought against actions, just a minute  against an hour.  When the glass shatters & we inhale the valley fog for the last time,  we will draw breath as  the pale petal in the  summer storm wind.    Silent Orenda  Today, there is an urgency not to move. To instead, bury the worn soles of my feet in this comfortable, breathable moment,  one that I am certain will not try to control me – in the same way that the passing hours like to threaten me and hold me to the slow, choking wind,  who, with the right motivation,…

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July 31, 2019

Paths of Existence: Poetry by Yong C. Takahashi

Paths of Existence: Poetry by Yong C. Takahashi

Journey  I emerge from the mud Caked in past indiscretions Mistakes weighing me down I attempt to shake it off And decide I’d never be able to Reduce the heavy load I decide to cry until I’m whole Hoping not to drown in tears Unable to cleanse my past I praise the rain that comes but  It’s cold, dark, and unrelenting Not the salvation I prayed for When I think I may drown The sun comes and warms me I look back at the faded footprints And marvel how far I’ve traveled The old path is almost gone The rotted breadcrumbs I left To find my way back home Are washed away and I must Forge a new path to happiness  The Collector  We can collect treasures Even coveting wounds That aren’t even ours Treasures proudly displayed Spotlight shining on them Repurposed into excuses You can use not to succeed After years, they collect dust Graying, covered with cobwebs Too tired to clean the artifacts  Scrambling to recoup…

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July 24, 2019

Abigail Kipp: Getting to the Heart

Abigail Kipp: Getting to the Heart

Favorite Things   A few of my favorite things fill my head  Sunlight through green leaves dancing in the dark  Rap songs on the radio ignoring what is said  Just moving along down roads lost in the mark  Watching dancers soar wishing I was too  Silver rain on bare skin cool wet slides down  The sound of white snow falling in que  Black skirts a little too short peaceful small town  And the way you looked at me like I lookedAt you lost in innocence the before  The fall when we were both completely hooked  Before we started cold trench and ash war  Moment of love I am doomed to repeat  With everyone that comes next like useless meat.   ** Two languages (free form)  Two languages And I can’t find the words Crawling in my mouth Screaming to be free  Twenty-six letters And I can’t locate The syllables That read  How you let go.  How do I write When poems are all a…

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July 17, 2019

Shawn Anto: The Tests of Life

Shawn Anto:  The Tests of Life

Moka Pot I used to play these games lungs became a trap for darkness.                                                                                         I used to hold my breath waiting for the moka pot spurting alive.   Suffocate negative lines over a world day by day hoping pot by pot.   These simple and harmless tendencies start off as one motion an egg uncracked, porcelain.   One must suspect harmless become harmful in throat breathe one-two, one-two.   A moka pot bubbling over it is the inside that matters hi-jack cells, vibrating.   Endless dream, endless violent end not so, not-so I promise I hold my breath, welcome it, attachment. Sculpture of Incision       stare red eyes down, under a shattered crown, we collapse     everything around golden & memory particles dispersing like tired eyes of their fear.   a choice of no in…

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July 14, 2019

Ellen Rachlin: Poems of Survival

Ellen Rachlin: Poems of Survival

Strategy     Cannot be hit   …well maybe hit   but not marred   and if marred,   put that thought aside;   just stare at open, fast to strike   surfaces,   then look nowhere   but the eyes.     In spacetime,   there should be   no difference between   what opposing fighters   see and measure,   but here the arc   of a kick holds   mixed coordinates,   so it’s best to move   at all times because   moving is winning,   winning is moving;   punishment is   achieving victory.   Nearby there are always   judges, and rarely, a referee.                                                                                       Continuity     Rage wore itself out   on no-name turf   between opposing hills,   in the end, claiming   Crown and…

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July 10, 2019

John McKernan: A Deeper Look

John McKernan: A Deeper Look

MIDNIGHT PHONE CALLS FROM MY ALIAS  Quit pretending you are still a teenager   That girl at Wal-Mart keeps asking about you  Have you written your obituary yet?   Which of President Kennedy’s sluts did you like best?  I’m not frightened    Are you?   Where have you been hiding?  Making any money selling cheap fireworks?   Why don’t you visit me anymore?  Sure   Go ahead    Enlist in the Marine Corps   Here are some verbs to help you out    Crawl       Slither   Sneak   Snivel   Grovel  Let me tell you something you need to know   You want a crate of chocolate chip cookies?  Buddha walked through the door showing us the new    tattoos   His entire body a geranium covered        in blue and green and black and yellow and red  What would it take to make you speechless?   A maniac’s kitchen knife to cut out your tongue DIAMONDS OF SWEAT  Drop to the dry ground  Tiny explosions of dust  A large serving of memory please  In a chilled wine glass  With slivers of yesterday   I always…

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