Featured Poems

Crusader (i)

by on August 30, 2015 :: 0 comments

On the last Tuesday of November, anno domini 1095, Pope Urban ii, speaking outside the French city of Clermont, called for “a holy war to rid the holy land of the vengeful forces of Islam”. He offered “a cleansing of all sin for those purified in the fire of battle” and so began the first Crusade.
The first of many.

On the march to Antioch
heat killed the horses
quicker than any lance,

chevaliers rapidly reduced
to fearsome, armoured infantry.

Our progress marked
by a steady circling
of carrion birds,
massive wings
bleak,
dark,
angelic.

Beneath their darkling promise we marched, always onward, to Jerusalem.

Eighteen months before;

on the dockside at Brindisi,
we stood for hours
in an unfriendly sun,
as captains, nobles,
horses, dogs,
bags, baggage
and provisions
boarded first,

their comfort
a priority.

Finally us,
the great unwashed,
God’s grim parade
in homespun and motley,
a many mouthed mob
all bad breath
and broken teeth,
checked for weight
then passed aboard.

“A light ship for a heavy sea”
the stewards shouted
heaving our possessions
overboard,
“no point in complaining”
they smilingly declared,

“it’s policy”.

At Antioch;
Thatcher John,
killed his first Saracen,
with a handaxe to her head,
four more he killed within the hour
daughters all of the cloven headed woman,
skilled, he was, in the red work of slaughter.

“God’s will, God’s will” his raw throated roar.

editors note:

Here’s an old story of the West trying to cleanse the East. We never learn… (Two more in this series by Mick on his page – check’em out!) – mh clay

The Gordian Knot

by on August 29, 2015 :: 0 comments

The snow melted upon her skin
hot drifting desert sand blown
smooth hungry and beautiful

The two wars inside each person
go on forever, love and hate
the sky always a gun barrel blue gray

After she left all was loneliness and
one can on a table the label read
DEATH, eat it before it eats you.

editors note:

I gots me a eternal appetite. Where’s my can opener? (We welcome Catfish to our creative conspiracy of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his page – check it out.) – mh clay

A Rural Love Story

by on August 28, 2015 :: 0 comments

Sunrise in the tune of morning prayer
and a lazy flow of whispering breeze
carrying the scent of love
bloomed somewhere in a muddy meadow
and an enchanting melody
of her passionate calling
for her man of love,
just a good beginning of a rural love story
projecting a hilarious hustle
among the ensnared lover
and a pair of bullocks on the land
and in the sky
among the clouds
rich in sea and ocean
until the lover reaches his land of love
with sharp weapons and gifts
for his lying beloved
and the hustle is turned
into a disciplined, artful and satiable
touching and scratching
of  the lover on the soft body of his beloved
staying behind a pair of bullocks
and beneath a black raining umbrella.

editors note:

From sun to sun (from plow to plow), the farmer’s work… – mh clay

A Singular Repast

by on August 27, 2015 :: 1 comment

We are to each other now
many decades later
what we were the day

we got married, a couple
at the kitchen table on
a summer night—she

a slice of watermelon,
corners touching the ceiling,
covering my face in juice

and I the corn she butters
before she devours it.
We eat as fast as we can.

editors note:

Oh my! Can’t wait for dessert… – mh clay

TRUTH OR DARE

by on August 26, 2015 :: 1 comment

People live lives
One by one, by one
By none.

Losses are legion,
Not worth repeating
Or numbering

When weight increases
Each day
Each year like

Tumbling dark down
Cellar steps
Where tools rust,

Souls scream in Mason jars
spider-webbed, cracked,
Stacked on a packed earth floor.

editors note:

Not like Granny’s peach preserves at all, or are we? (We welcome Joseph to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Untitled I

by on August 25, 2015 :: 0 comments

I’m milking venom from my memories
through the intricate process
of puncturing silence with conversation
because the antidote rests
in the release of anguish, of artificial apathy
I made the mistake of bottling anger
instead of antitoxin
I made the mistake of following their footprints
instead of making my own
but now I am headed North
on the mend
from the emotional science
of extracting remedy from rage

– Bekah Steimel

editors note:

A perfecter of personal pathology. Physician, heal thyself! – mh clay

Brother

by on August 24, 2015 :: 0 comments

Sometimes we extend hands just because we know it is second nature for one to take them in a mannerism they can’t shake.

Some clothes mold themselves to adapt to the shape of whichever identity they are protecting.

Some are like my mother in my childhood, like stiff collars on the first day of school, violent refusal to adapt to what has been put before them.

Even then there are dissidents. You submerge anything in water long enough, it loses its fight.

I would like to die before I am made into a poem.

Sometimes people are one thing for long enough, you forget they were ever something else.

Nobody ever thinks of crescents when there are full moons.

There are no black holes, only all that sunshine.
You were never here, only traces.

editors note:

Be they the unborn or the early dead; we know them, but “only traces.” – mh clay