Fish on Friday

featured in the poetry forum July 10, 2015  :: 0 comments

Fish on Fridays is ok, I suppose:
for most of us it’s no more than a relic
from a time long before;
like cold cuts on a Monday
from the family joint
that used to be
the week’s big event:
a nice piece of topside
or a leg of spring lamb –
there being far too much
fat on the breast –
served up with mint sauce
made from mint fresh
from the garden,
chopped up with vinegar
and sugar to taste.

Not roast pork, of course:
though some of us do like it,
many see the pig as unclean;
a scavenging creature –
as, indeed, are shellfish –
and injurious to our
spirit and our health;
and some say no beef,
because the cow is sacred;
some, no alcohol,
and some no tea or coffee;
caffeine, being highly addictive,
tends to undermine,
apparently, our physical
and spiritual health.

All religions considered,
it’s a bit of a mine field,
especially having people to dinner:
after all, you can’t always tell these days
what a person’s beliefs might be.
It’s a good thing, though,
that they have sorted one thing out;
as a wife, it puts my mind
at rest to know it.
It’s the kind of thing that can
make you anxious
and keep you from your sleep.
Now I don’t have to worry
that my husband will go hungry
because, if he’s ever
facing starvation,
now there’s a fatwa
that says it’s ok
to go right ahead
and make a meal
of me.

Except that now they say
this is a ‘only a joke’;
or, worse, that it is
‘only propaganda’;
so that now I am attacked
for mocking those
who sharpen their knives
and polish their forks
ready to plunge them into me;
but, whichever way you cut it,
the unpalatable truth is this:
that the gods don’t seem
to care much for us women.

So, guys, if you –
and your gods –
want to win my respect
stop raping and stoning my sisters;
stop paying me less
and then making me pay
a dozen different ways every day.
Stop selling my daughters,
stop calling me names
and making me ashamed
of my bright body;
and stop spinning those lies
about ‘wickedness’ and ‘sin’
and how it all originates
with me.

– Abigail Wyatt

editors note:

Nothing fishy here! An appeal for equality on all fronts. Listening, Gents? – mh clay

DAWN

featured in the poetry forum July 9, 2015  :: 1 comment

and morning’s silence.
From the other

side of night, when
you cross over, if

you can, if you don’t
let go, you, too, may

bring them back, these
broken things from which

we make our lives.

– Tom Montag

editors note:

Gathered in a torn satchel, we salvage what we can for morning; building bright futures. – mh clay

A (major) re-visiting

featured in the poetry forum June 29, 2015  :: 0 comments

Last night I went to Lyon on a –
whim
booking click and purpose of your trip?
alluded to some sort a form of work, unspecified
and rubbed things out

when all the while (I and others knew)
I’d gone to stew in sweat and smoke
and bodies reunited up up close

drinking, drink, inhale what’s this, and lifting items from the shelf,
ash dropping
everywhere the sheer exuberance
of foie gras
nonchalantly hid

amongst the cans of sweetcorn, found
we slathered over bread
then went to bed

held hands walking in the park
smoked on bench
and fought

before I left, satisfied, bereft perhaps, a little,
back

– Isobel Atacus

editors note:

A weekend fling; patch up to break up to start full and leave empty (major). – mh clay

One Day

featured in the poetry forum June 26, 2015  :: 0 comments

One day nothing remarkable occurred.
No rivers ran red or economies collapsed.
Not a single sparrow seemed out of place,
the sky still blatantly apparent,
some rather ordinary clouds banking in ranks,
the black-eyed mouse in its usual kitchen.

People prayed for a good harvest, naturally,
or for salvation, or for Jenny’s sore to heal –
as they had since time first began
its long slide towards oblivion.
Women still looked at their men and wondered
whatever had become of them,
entropy’s sleeve continuing to unravel.

And then one day even that didn’t happen.

– Bruce McRae

editors note:

The day when absolutely nothing happens; ’twill be a truly remarkable day. – mh clay

Snowflakes

featured in the poetry forum June 25, 2015  :: 0 comments

I look through the softly falling snowflakes
All I see is white cloudy blur

I try to see through it
But, it’s all the same,
White cloudy blur

The snowflakes with the growing falling speed
Begin to look gray
As they mix with the modern city living

But, all that I try to see
Looks pure anyhow…

– Sylwia Borkowska

editors note:

Opacity begs acceptance at face value. Try to see through… – mh clay

THE STORY WHICH NEVER GATHERED AGAIN

featured in the poetry forum June 21, 2015  :: 0 comments

Inject ‘calm’
through sedative drops
to my blue veins
And
shield wounded core
holding hard
to my fragile life

Bemused
by the cough of life
bruises, caused
to lick those unspoken words

Night walrus
with tough wrinkled skin
along the long tusks
fought flippers whole of night
creepy and insane, till
the ‘day’,
broke me down:
Calm of space
and reigning clouds drifting around

Injecting calm
to the blue of sky,
the story which never gathered again!

– Tapeshwar Prasad

editors note:

Broken by denizen of deep? No story here… (goo, goo, gajoob) – mh clay

A Little Crazy

featured in the poetry forum June 19, 2015  :: 5 comments

in those days
on the psych ward
where everyone was
a little crazy
she was happy, she says

it was the pure honesty of it
everyone easy about
being off-center
a relief to be herself

now, on the wide outside
of locked windows and doors
she says she doesn’t know
who to be
in this other world
where everyone works
so hard to hide
being a little crazy.

– Kathy Lohrum Cotton

editors note:

Okay to be off-center in the heart o’ the Swirl. Here, all are welcome; crazy boy and (this) crazy girl. – mh clay

REDEMPTION

featured in the poetry forum June 14, 2015  :: 0 comments

I was cast out upon a gray whale-dotted sea
amidst rolling waves from a storm-wrought breeze.
Upon a floating piece of ship’s debris I did seize
and paddled my way toward a green isle of trees.

Upon the sandy shore I made my tired way
and thanked God for giving me another day.
I would survive this trial; I’d find a way!
And when I was found I’d know what to say.

Thank you, Lord, for letting me survive
and not only that but actually to thrive!
The mere fact that I am still somehow alive
is reason enough to do my best and strive…

Strive to be a better man, a better lover
and not to seek excuses and run for cover.
Always around my wife and child will I hover.
Who knows what together we may discover?

– Thomas L. Holderfield

editors note:

Thank your lord or fate or chance. Make life and love from happenstance. – mh clay

Swirl on Repeat

featured in the poetry forum June 8, 2015  :: 0 comments

Done with the promises
pitch it to me all you want
not going down that rabbit hole
or looking glass
or whatever other magical doors.
Stop just stop
the tears
the stories
the fireworks just ain’t
worth
the thrill of the ride
into the vortex of chaos.
At least some lessons learned
that last time
though always ready
to crumble like sandcastles at the tide
as memories of us in our own private shell
reel me back to the edge of that mad swirl
when I should have known to step back
from you.

– Nilanka Maldeniya

editors note:

More of love’s caprice; titillation and torture. Step up, step up. – mh clay

my philosophy

featured in the poetry forum June 2, 2015  :: 0 comments

I am simple
aye, I am simple
and the half of everything
can remit my ardour
I am a boat made of paper
half sunk and half lofty
and I have dreamt and dreamt
not once
of existing
and not existing
purgatorial essence
is the essence that defines me
an arch-angel
an arch-fiend
nay I am not avoiding thee
O thee who are besieging me
thee who defines faithfulness
By mere presence
and thou who shout
“what a crime
What a crime”
When someone sees beauty
In a marvel
that is half lame
and half sublime
What a nonsense!
My philosophy is not thine
I am my own definition
I am mine
I am mine

– ilhem issaoui

editors note:

Self-definition; divine, not defiant. – mh clay