featured in the poetry forum June 19, 2018  :: 0 comments

There is a crease,
A crease like a pain,
Small and crumbling
Small enough not to take it all away
Small and creased enough to make it uncomfortable forever.
It came because of love
Because the creator and the creation are bound together
It came out of love
Love to protect the creator from unwanted troubles
It forgot it was the creator.
She understands when things go wrong
She will get to know one day because the power is with her.
And the pain was inflicted by that stranger.
Without a thought, without a heart.
Just a convenience.
Bruising two hearts forever,
Scratching the souls.
Hearts get broken,
But souls heal.
Hearts go away from the other.
Souls are together forever.
Hearts beat together in love
Souls are entwined in a single form.
The creator is always the protector, the Mother
The created, the child who will always be inside her soul.
That stranger will cease to exist and at times
The child will scorn and fight the stranger
The child is now strong – strong enough to protect his creator
Roles reverse at times; the creator and the child.
The souls remain entwined forever – the child and the Mother.

– Devapriya Choudhuri

editors note:

A new spin on creationist theory. (Or, maybe not so new; which came first?) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 15, 2018  :: 0 comments

Seized by the dream
I reached out
And you took my hand
With hesitant fingers

Our eyes met briefly
And I admit
There was a sparkle
In the way I smiled

You smiled too
But with dignity
Still bewildered
Struggling to resist

But I bit my lip
And wound my hair
Around my finger
Just the way you liked

Then you melted
And burst into flames
Smothered for so long
In the depths of time

I snapped back
As the heat burned me
Took a sharp breath
And turned away

You were left behind
Yet again
Picking the pieces
Of what you couldn’t have

I am just so, so sorry…

– Aru Bopardikar

editors note:

Supplicant seeks siren for what neither can share. Sorry, indeed. – mh clay

The Insane River twice

featured in the poetry forum June 7, 2018  :: 0 comments

came upon a man who had come to its banks,
a new man who has left home, who is new to the world
outside and beyond, who waits stoically for the water
to recede that he may cross and continue, cross and not look back.

The other side glides away into recesses of night.
He makes camp. Makes a fire for cooking food
if he had food to be cooked; for warmth if it was a cold night,
but it is a night like no other. Stars crowd together
but are unmoved by his fate whatever that may be.
His blood is safe from harvest. His flesh without scent
or savor. The Insane River his companion.

Come morning he will decamp, and again approach the river
to wait for it to glide away, knowing it must, that he must wait;
it is his fate to wait for the river to do what it must when it will.
His will and its coursing are now merged. He emerges
in the morning sun unchanged. Any thought of changing
his course is impossible. His path is water, pure
water. His weight is water. And water waits.

– Richard Weaver

editors note:

One’s way arrested by water wait. – mh clay

With the bedrock…

featured in the poetry forum June 5, 2018  :: 0 comments

With the bedrock it needs
though this city was built
on rainwater: shards

pieced together the way pots
embedded in ancient dirt
let these dead drink by steps

from stone scented with curtains
still damp except for evenings
lowered by hand into the last drop

and foothold – pole to pole
is what the graves remember
as bone, take hold till your arms

fill with towers looming past
and under the marble cliffs
the finishing stroke.

– Simon Perchik

editors note:

As rock renders bone from stone, memory diminishing until the finishing… – mh clay

The Chicken Riddle

featured in the poetry forum June 3, 2018  :: 0 comments

All day a chicken sits on one side of the road dreaming of the other side. She’s heard stories from her sisters, but thinks they are either lies or damned lies.
Cars move quickly down the road. No one slows down for a solitary, white chicken sitting on the roadside. It’s a busy road. A busy day. People have lives to live. Cars have services to provide before they break down or get traded. The chicken sits and sits.
She imagines the sun as a giant egg. She imagines clouds as giant eggs. She cannot dream herself to flight. So, back she goes to the barnyard and the clucks of her sisters.
On nights when the moon is full and the sky especially bright and clear, she sneaks from her coop and into the garden and imagines every row of tomatoes a dirt road that even her shadow can cross.

– Mike James

editors note:

So, turns out she didn’t; existential angst, an’ all… – mh clay

Alternating Current, Either Turbulent or Serene

featured in the poetry forum June 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

On the beach, you asked the man in grayish windbreaker:
‘How do you define ‘The Will’?’
He drew a sine-wave with his finger in the sand, then wiped it away
With waves at his command. A capful of vinegar, and seething calories of vegetables
In your stomach, turning and burning, gave you the illusion
Of snakes slithering away somewhere behind. Last night on your way home,

There was a repeat of the scene, in which she refused to allow you
To touch her rain-drenched violin. ‘Keep your distance, am I clear?
Only one of the strings is the zero line, you just can’t tell which!’ She smiled weirdly
And ran upstairs. The string which snapped during the performance
Dragged along behind her, was as thick as a towrope. Confused, standing still there,

You tossed a coin into the air, and heard it
Droning fast, with strong and weak beats, alternating,
A downpour and a flood – overflowing in different directions.
Fourteen days are needed to dry your nets, and clear
All water-level data. Landforms, temperature, light from above

And your masculinity, will be turned inside out like a coat
On the other side of the globe.

– Xiaoyuan Yin

editors note:

You can touch my violin… Inside outside out side in. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 30, 2018  :: 0 comments

I am disgust in this little town
and my legs no longer brilliant.

O Lord! O Tambourine Head!
O Beautiful Beast of the Mountain!

I eat tambourine plates
and everything caught in a net.

When the strongman cut his toenails
When the weak man let his hair grow

The food on the table of plenty
fed the nation with blood and flesh.

When the strong took on themselves
When the weak rose to the challenge

We ate squid and crayfish.
We ate oyster shells and banana skins.

When the man lets go of his vanity
When the men let go of their vanity

There was enough to go around.
There was always enough to go around.

– Michael H. Brownstein

editors note:

When enough was enough. How much is that anymore? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 25, 2018  :: 0 comments

The mainline downtown parishes
Think it undignified
But you see along the road to Durham
Small churches with signs out front,
Some electronic these days
But most where you put up letters
One at a time
Like a 1940s theater marquee.
You wonder about the sources,
Magazines, newsletters, I guess,
The internet these days,
Some bromide
(God will accept broken hearts
But he must have all the pieces
Or Gossip is the Devil’s radio—
R U his DJ?)

Or to announce the next revival.
I noticed one near Mebane,
Just after New Year’s:
Pray hard for Lucas, it said.
But then they took it down.

– Robert Demaree

editors note:

What would your sign say? For whom do you pray? – mh clay

Haiku Trio

featured in the poetry forum May 24, 2018  :: 0 comments


Goblins under oath
Lie like priests in a brothel
Without shame or clothes.


Vampires and moths die
Betrayed by flames and sunlight—
Church, cross, candle ire!


Adam’s maker schemed
Forbidden apples for Eve,
A snake accomplice.

– Eneida Patricia Alcalde

editors note:

This is one tripped out trinity; goblin, moth and lying snake. Amen-not! – mh clay

My Name is Fear

featured in the poetry forum May 21, 2018  :: 0 comments

My name is fear.
Yes, I am that guy.
My name is fear and I have a complaint,
A bone to pick with all the talks of blame
That label me a straitjacket,
a restraint, a limit,
an enemy to conquer,
a hurdle to sprint over,
a goddamn stumbling block,
handcuff of dreams,
a black pit consuming your leap of faith-
heard enough, I want to set the record straight.
I am an emotion, nothing more, nothing less.
I am a feeling, timeless, ageless,
Yet a tiny tot who knows nothing–
About that untrodden path you are taking,
About that market that may rise or crash,
About ‘hey, is that pimple a rash?’
About the truth that you want to say
With all conviction keeping silence at bay.
I am just a warning for you to prepare,
to not clutch at straws, gasping for air
when outcomes flood and leave you adrift.
I am a newsflash, a headline, a paradigm shift.
What I am not is an excuse
To favour silence over conscience,
guilt over redemption,
defeat over protest,
sticks and stones over life,
hate over basic understanding, forget love.
My name is fear- I am an imperfect argument,
Not to be ignored, but to embrace
Not to be blindly followed, just to be reasoned with.
My name may be fear but you are stronger than me.
My name is fear but you are better than me.
My name is fear and you need not fear me.

– Adithya Nair Satheesan

editors note:

So, if we take away our capitalization, it must bow to capitulation? (see what we saw yesterday) – mh clay