featured in the poetry forum May 9, 2021  :: 0 comments

I sit at my desk under the window
reading the poems of Su Tung-p’o.
You play Schumann at the piano.
Emily runs up & down the hall.

Behind me I hear through the window
crickets chanting the poems of Su Tung-p’o.
Schumann plays duets at the piano.
Emily runs up & down the hall.

You sit at my desk under the window
humming the poems of Su Tung-p’o
accompanied by Schumann at the piano.
Emily runs up & down the hall.

Schumann flies in the window
on the back of a poem by Su Tung-p’o.
I hear you close the lid of the piano.
A cricket runs up & down the hall.

What is Emily doing at the window?
I tear out the poems of Su Tung-p’o,
wedge them into the strings of the piano.
You run up & down the hall.

You jump out of the window
onto the lawn where Su Tung-p’o
is writing a poem about a piano.
I run up & down the hall.

– J.R. Solonche

editors note:

A right runaround to rhyme (not rhyme) with Su Tung-p’o. – mh clay

this poem’s for you my dear editor (exclusively yours)

featured in the poetry forum May 6, 2021  :: 0 comments

thematic of lovers
at breakup; this one
is hinting, then he comes
in for the kill

this one is fancy
with tight terminology
’bout how it’s determined
who’s in and who’s out

this one is terse, mad,
unforgiving; smashing my
inner child, with barely
a nod of ‘try us another time’

this one is madness on
moonshine; i swear she is wasted
going on with apology, then
offers a rose, fawning over my
poetry, but yet pulls the plug on it

this bitch is mea my culpa on me,
berating how i know not the rules
to dare not submit the trite simultaneous
after she tied up my poem for 3 months

and this one — exclusively yours, my dear editor
thrash it to pieces; please don’t send it back to me.

– Emalisa Rose

editors note:

From behind the green curtain, an editor’s process (and a poet’s pique) exposed. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 5, 2021  :: 0 comments

Take a few scattered words
assemble them into a thought
which can be woven
into the finest of threads.
Weave the thread into a rhythm and flow
that creates a vision,
an intricate web of idea
to paint a portrait of conditions
and circumstance.

Introduce the characters
that participate in the play on words.
Place them into the scene that unfolds
before you, awakening in metaphors
and dreams
capturing the movement of life
as it begins to seep into the muse.

Get lost within the flow
and feel the fuzzy vibration of energy
as it emanates from your soul.
There is no form nor outline, no structure
just a field of delight, a poetic energy
like the movement of oxygen
to the source of the breath.

Whisper the words down the alley
so they twist and distort
like an effluent prophecy.
Street talk it to slang
and bang it into your vein like a hit
to feel the rush of the rhythm,
the burn of the beat, feeding the fire.

The efflorescence of flame
speaks the essence of your verse
carefully tendered into golden embers
that provide warmth
to all who have gathered
throughout the long night.

– Carl Kaucher

editors note:

Finding the fuel for fire and comfort in the night. – mh clay

Crushed apples, sweet

featured in the poetry forum May 4, 2021  :: 0 comments

Today my fifteen-minute break arrived
Upon the minute that work bade it should
And so I, weary, made my way outside
Where soon beneath an apple tree I stood.
The heat released a fragrance from the fruit
So sweet from apples crushed upon the ground
That put me in my grandpa’s yard, a youth,
Delighted so, I laughed and twirled ’round.
The heat had made the apples start to rot –
A buzzing pair of wasps around me flew.
They almost kissed my skin but I cared not,
For freedom’s rush and calm I’d found anew.
I jumped and caught an apple from the tree
And, landing, found my work in front of me.

– Sally Jo

editors note:

Break time maximized. Sweet! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 20, 2021  :: 0 comments

I August 19

The sea beckons this morning,
blue and rippling, but the beach,
when I arrive, is not inviting.
Sand washed away in a storm
left gullies lined with rocks
collecting mats of seaweed.

At shoreline, a shape
sways back and forth
in the tide, the color of a rock
but not a rock, large, heavy, soft,
swollen beyond recognition.

Farther down the shore,
I wade through seaweed over rocks,
until I can swim out in cold water.
Gulls circle overhead. Cormorants
dry their wings on a rock in the sea.

My summer swims are numbered,
but I don’t count them. The ponds,
lake, bay, and ocean I swam in this summer,
the pool at the top of a waterfall—
all welcomed me. All but this cove,
this morning. As I left the beach,
I passed a herring gull splayed in the sand,
its neck twisted at an odd angle.

II August 20

I saw a young stag at the edge
of the lawn, browsing the bushes.
Its antlers wore a velvety sheen
in the early morning sunlight.
We looked at each other
for what seemed a long while,
his liquid brown eyes,
my blue eyes.

We stood perfectly still
until he meandered into a dark seam
between bushes,
waving his fluffy white tail.

Summer is playing with fall,
a cool breath of air, a square of hot sun.
The color of the sea is ultramarine.
These are the most beautiful days of the year.
As I watch them pass, I hold them close.

– Anne Whitehouse

editors note:

Sometimes wonder, sometimes worry; each day a choice to hold. – mh clay

Besting Eve

featured in the poetry forum April 11, 2021  :: 0 comments

I try to remember why
I must not eat the warm muffin
in front of me (the preacher-
doctor’s rules, the wellness
articles saved), try to decode
its suspicious calorie count,
the sugar hit. I interrogate the coy
barista, Is the flour processed or

The sweet mound lures me with its
apple caramel perfume, its moist
glow. My stomach growls and sneers
at such puritan sublimation, this
pinched self-love unwilling
to forgive a timid nibble.

Before I plunge like a falling junkie
and take the fatal first bite,
I righteously remind myself
of the bad aftertaste from past
chunky muffins and their ilk.

And so I order a smug plain decaf
in a pristine paper cup to-go
and proudly stride ten brisk blocks home.

– Jean Biegun

editors note:

Our garden we’d enjoy uncloyed, but for that “timid nibble.” – mh clay

My Polished Cabinets

featured in the poetry forum April 6, 2021  :: 0 comments

Before turning into my cabinet
they were teak trees,
their tangled bark
smoothened through many cuts.
I heard they protested with every bruise,
snapped their branches at
every beating they took
and the wind howled when they
were forced out of mother earth.
But, the axe had its way
so that I do not have to work on the floor.
My cabinet now looks ‘pretty’ and
polished, wiping out all traces
of the rough bark, wild and intertwined.

– Padmini Krishnan

editors note:

Our kitchens come from carnage. Deaf to their cries, we bake our pies. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 2, 2021  :: 0 comments

Are we nitwits gone wool-gathering? The Twin
Towers have been resurrected in honor of
those who profit from the crusades, day traders
selling short on human misery: Blackwater,
Haliburton, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin,
Kellogg, Root and Brown. Say their names.
Know their stories. Disarmament does require
amputation. Put down your thing, your cricket
fiddlestick, piranha rollercoaster, downstream
parabola, euphonious stinkhorn. Can’t we co-
exist in this self-same world without eliciting the
throttle reflex? Beach sand blown south
exposes a sea lion’s corpse, mummified head,
and upraised fins. Come out from that board
room and dip your ladle into this soup kitchen
melting pot. We must proceed to the next life
through the same convulsive sphincter. Labor
need not be drudgery but business always
requires an ethical compromise. Tread lightly
now like a conversation between old friends
who disapprove of each other’s marriage.

– Casey Bush

editors note:

Bound and branded is underhanded. – mh clay

Winter with you

featured in the poetry forum March 31, 2021  :: 0 comments

it arrives one blushed evening
an elfish blue noon dreaming
on a breezy nip, with a quivering clap;
it ambles stealthily in our stolen talks
settles on the edge of the coffee-pot,
listens musingly the hummed refrain
you enjoyed yesterday at Dover Lane,
blows wafts off delectable pastries
of strawberry scones, and savouries,
nudges us to the long, long nights
of silken covers doubled up twice
where winter rings in a crisp rhyme,
about the long work of a short day
and how we meet for just a short time.

– Chaaru

editors note:

If one must shelter in place, best do it (like this) with grace. – mh clay

Trail of Blood

featured in the poetry forum March 30, 2021  :: 0 comments

The quiet among snow bent branches
tries to tell us how footprints usually go in circles-
our tracks barely worth sniffing
by hungry wolves who know dogs easier prey,
while we fall asleep watching TV,
microwave popcorn on Friday nights,
sleep in on Saturday mornings,
only to complain about our beds being too soft,
and sometimes Sunday is a hangover
or 7 AM, staring out a window
at trees, swaying in a winter wind,
not sure if they’re agreeing with or mourning
the years consumed by a silence
we try to silence, yet it’s louder
than any crying from an unplanned newborn,
laugh track we smile at every Thursday at 6 PM,
or World’s Best Dad mug dropped,
destroyed by the same child who gave it
five Christmases ago
(our swearing muttered as sweeping up shards,
afraid of cutting feet,
leaving a trail of blood we’ll have to clean up too).

– Richard LeDue

editors note:

Leave it like you found it; no tracks, no one here. – mh clay