Eighteen

featured in the poetry forum July 13, 2018  :: 0 comments

The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen.
Because until then, you are just a teenager.
A lazy, entitled teenager who’s on their phone too much and should have a summer job.
The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen.
Until then you are just a teenager.
A teenager who sits on the floor of a dark classroom
Next to the body of your best friend.
And you scream and scream out to a world that will never hear your voice.
A world that is too loud to hear your voice
Too loud with its own partisanship and hatred
A world that will never be quiet enough to listen to a last breath as it escapes the body of a fourteen year old.
The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen.
Because until then you are just a teenager
A lazy, entitled teenager who’s on their phone too much
Little do they know, you are on your phone to watch a list of casualties climb
Hoping to God you will never recognize a name.
The government doesn’t listen to you until you turn eighteen
Because until then you are just a teenager
And the adults in your life will decide what is right for you
And to speak out against it makes you lazy and entitled
I ask them now, have you witnessed the horrors that we have?
Can you really tell us what is right?
I ask the government now, do you hear us?
Do you hear us hiding in the back corner of our classrooms?
Do you hear us reading the eulogy at too many funerals, for too many friends?
I ask the government, now do you hear us?
Because if a gun fires inside a classroom, and there’s no politician there to hear it, it will always make a sound.

– Lillie Davidson

editors note: "It's more complicated than your young minds can comprehend," we say (all the while hoping they will just get back to their snap chats). - mh clay

The Song Plays On

featured in the poetry forum July 12, 2018  :: 0 comments

Stuck in a unidirectional flow,
staring at ocean view out our window,
sharing wisps of last night’s dreams,
connecting to colors, old melodies,
a wide realm of touchstones,
spinning lack into another great maybe.
Abundance is here, merely hiding,
waiting around the nearest corner,
whistling a happy refrain.
That cloud looks like a heron,
a sign of hope, omen of portent,
potent with potential, a coda
full of unresolved possibility:
wanting warmth, needing love,
not ready for that requiem yet.

– Gary Glauber

editors note: Cloud watching to wend wonder, fend off the wake a bit longer. - mh clay

Only One

featured in the poetry forum July 10, 2018  :: 0 comments

There is only one tree in my forest.
There is only one sail in my sea.
There is only one fork in my salad.
There is only one song I can sing.
There is only one swing on my playground.
There is only one step to my stair.
There is only one room in my castle.
There is only one braid in my hair.
There is only one tooth in my smile.
There is only one space in my fear.
There is only one step in between us.
There is only one leg on my chair.
There is only one breath I am holding.
There is only one rock in my wall.
How can we divide this between us,
or how can we share it all?

– Rachel Broadway

editors note: A chance for two to make one enough. - mh clay

The Honeymooners Drive to California

featured in the poetry forum July 8, 2018  :: 0 comments

Third day.
They’d made it
to a trestle bridge in Tennessee.
Watched a sunrise light the mountain fog
and had the musk of morning raise
a chill along their arms.

At a diner,
waiting for more summer,
a shift change waitress war
reminded them of stinging nettles
they’d stumbled into
eighteen hours east.

A day they prayed wouldn’t be an omen
as they moved out into another dawn.

– blue

editors note: One odd occurrence need not indicate unfortunate eventualities... right? - mh clay

Memphis, TX

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

hula girls, forty some odd they
test their ukuleles as you will yourself to
drive to the state park.
it is six in the morning;
late enough in the year for the sun to
wink in your rearview from the direction of the water, you are here to
pursue the greatest plains
the great in plain
you’re not alone.
dance on? they may, and their hips will
seesaw to and fro
their untuned ukuleles reimagined as the restless
hum inside your radio;
a fly does yoga, dead in your cupholder
while six different chain restaurants
beg for lucky seven
and the dives?
they stand solid
upon the silo signs,
along the 309
in the place where cedar fills your eyes
and the weather stays
(more or less)
your parent’s perfect sixty-five.

– Sheridan Davis

editors note: Just plain great! - mh clay

THE SOUL OF CREATION

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

Sorry

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

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