featured in the poetry forum March 23, 2017  :: 0 comments

the silence that is missing will
come back to us
the womb we were unaware of
with its embracing cave of stillness
only the drum of heartbeat off
through the distance
through a moving galaxy of blood
river upon river
before the lungs invented air
we knew this silence so different
from the lack of sound
we knew nothing of sound
only this silence surrounded
by the hearing of ears not yet
connected to thought
the first born birth of silence
felt through the skin this silence
that is missing will come back
when it chooses
to quiet what remains of us.

– Mark Senkus

editors note:

It’s all womb; from silence to silence. – mh clay

This Clonic Earth

featured in the poetry forum March 22, 2017  :: 0 comments

things come slowly
pass the time
at nothing

–>> seizure <<–

abrupt convulsions
grand mal experience

it effects –

“electrical changes in the brain“

she read that on the Internet

she thinks she is dying
debt compounding

she returns to normal
continues on

following day
a 10-year term
life insurance policy
conscience cleared
pellucid sky
waiting for death


the sun sets on an indifferent landscape

– Brittany Griffiths

editors note:

Sweet security, guaranteed (for the insurance company). – mh clay

The Sea of The Golden Palaces

featured in the poetry forum March 21, 2017  :: 0 comments

Happiness is the memory of heaven
And the soul is the sweet sun
On the canvas of death
You daub the smile of the gods
Oh, that is light,the honey of light
If you can hear the music of heaven
That is the sea of the golden palaces
Over the space of sapphire

– Hongri Yuan
Translated by Yuanbing zhang

editors note:

Oh, to fly in such a firmament… Remember the honey? – mh clay

The White Girl

featured in the poetry forum March 17, 2017  :: 0 comments

Whistler’s portrait
of his mistress
turned up at our
National Gallery of Art.
I didn’t expect to be
struck by the spectacle
of a pale girl
in a long, bluntly
white dress.
A dress like this,
“was only worn at home.”
In private, anything
can happen.
The limp hand holds
a reluctant lily.
That her long red hair
is messy and fetching
is meaningless to her.
Her eyes look so vacant,
you could do anything
at all with her. This
is just a suggestion.

– Sarah Henry

editors note:

Just a suggestion… – mh clay

Toward Solipsism

featured in the poetry forum March 16, 2017  :: 0 comments

I pull the curtain around me
and go it alone.

I am showered upon –
pin-pricked into submission
by a steady shiver of arrows.
The water runs over me
like greedy fingers
and I feel desirable.

I tuck my cock
between my legs –
my longing turned inward.
I’m beautiful and I ache –
every pore now receptive
to my feminine touch.

Is there no woman
man enough
to man-handle me
as I need a woman to do?

I face the mists
with eyes closed,
and from these recycled tears
feel the pain of every woman
who has ever cried
over a man.

– Larry Levy

editors note:

First, you gotta love yourself. – mh clay

Gold Fish and Favorited Color Yellow

featured in the poetry forum March 15, 2017  :: 0 comments

You’d be surprised what goes in the water
Behind the silhouetted tree leafless in the
Window in yellow light

You’d be surprised what goes in the water
When the door opens yellow light
Streams a leafless tree

You’d be surprised what goes in the water
Below the hearth above a yellow fire
Burns a tree shadow dancing on the wall

I want to get sloppy with yellow dances
Streams and silhouettes
That blend to be a full page that is yellow

Trees are leafless to keep out
Any brown or green
While yellow lovers stare at the blended page

Made larger by all the gold fish
That went down children’s dead
Toilet bowl drains
The non revelry of yellow
Of kids I’ll never know
That have a gold mine in the septic tank
Of dead fish

– Tom Hatch

editors note:

Down drain because dead; or,  yellow? – mh clay

Sowing the Seeds of Compassion

featured in the poetry forum March 13, 2017  :: 0 comments

More than a hundred times
I had wished I would die early
Before I could no longer
look after myself

If I ever happened to be
that old grandma
at least for a moment
I would rather die
than hearing the incessant
insult of the mistress
and its sharp boom
piercing the ears
almost like a wailing trumpet

The old lady was
perhaps in her nineties
Yes, the grey hair and
the pale skin
that wrinkled loose
from the bones
were a credible indication

One day I paid her a visit
and I couldn’t help my asking
why she would bear up all that cruelty
Then, despite the infirmities
she managed to stand up
and gently held my hands
I could well feel the slight
trembling of her chilly fingers

Then she caressed my head
and pointed towards the altar
that bore the sacred Buddha statuette
with the scent of the incense sticks
spreading everywhere
I saw how her feeble eyes
still gleamed with compassion
as she quoted from a Pāli Gātha,
“Nahi werena werāni”
and translated,
“Hatred never ceases by hatred”

From that day onwards
I have been wishing
I would also be blessed
with such a heart
So pious a heart
sowing the seeds of compassion!

– Indunil Madhusankha

editors note:

From every culture, the elderly would tell us this. Maybe we should listen? (A “Gāthā” is a verse or hymn in Buddhism.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 12, 2017  :: 0 comments

By the time I pronounce bruschetta correctly as many times as I pronounced bruschetta incorrectly, I will be an old man, and no longer able to afford bruschetta, and if I can afford bruschetta, I will no longer know what it is and I will ask “What’s that?” and they will say “bruschetta” and I will say, “Who cares, Tommy? I for one, do not.” And then I will eat it and I will enjoy it, and they will say, “Tony.”

– Ricky Garni

editors note:

Buon appetito! (Whatever your name is.) – mh clay

What starts is never what arrives

featured in the poetry forum March 9, 2017  :: 0 comments

The wooden door swings open
hopeful feet travel the long road
stepping on stones from here to there
traversing the serpentine path from home to hinterland
dusty shoes, tattered coats
hats soggy from sleet, from dew
bellies hungry for bread, meat, comfort
open fields, lonely mountaintops
biting brambles, wind-blown wildflowers
beneficent bees, boisterous birds
massive oaks, thorny roses
swollen rivers, unfathomable lakes
wind and rain; snow and sun
we begin the journey as pilgrims
end the journey as refugees
longing for where we started
uncertain of where we have arrived
our skin tougher, more wrinkled
our hearts opened, yet weary
our hopes and dreams forever altered by
the weather, the whims of chance
the kindness and cruelty of strangers
the losses and joy, laughter and tears
gathered or spilled along the way

– Mary Saracino

editors note:

Pilgrim to refugee; may we gather more than we spill. – mh clay

The Raincoat

featured in the poetry forum March 3, 2017  :: 0 comments

A long straight raincoat
would drift through the village;
a thin bald man inside
taller than a telegraph pole.
Oftentimes he’d stride by our
farmyard and I’d shoot him dead
with my Winchester while rolling
for cover behind the dustbin.
His ghost returned recurrently
ever more peculiar, strangely
menacing like a preacher waiting
to claim our pitiful souls.
Regardless I’d tracked down Kincaid,
that no good rustler would swing
that night, and so he did as I waved my
rifle before his scary blue face.
His legs frantic, froglike eyes bulging,
I ran inside shouting, ‘Mum! Mum!
Gary is on the washing line
and he wont come down.’
She rushed into the yard to find the
raincoat holding my brother;
I hid behind the tall rhubarb
relieved to hear his cries.
Through huge leaves I saw the
raincoat leave in loping motion
without saying a word with mum
screaming my name into the night air.

– David Ratcliffe

editors note:

When wet and weathered is better than dry and… – mh clay