Featured Poems

A CITY LIKE BERLIN

by on January 20, 2020 :: 0 comments

Fire at night! Fire
in the coal dark cold
of an ice like desire
that chokes the eyes
like wicked smoke
under shrouded skies
and bilious smog

…and a breathy toke
on a deadly drug
which sells the soul
which howls like a dog
in lightning storms
against thunder sounds
whose big guns bellow a hundred rounds
on our crumbling station
our crumbling forms
our tired nation
our hell-bent choir.

Fire at night….such wicked fire!

editors note:

Public works or public outrage? What’s happening in your city? – mh clay

The Other Side

by on January 19, 2020 :: 0 comments

The sirens blast
We know that
Means. 15 seconds
To a minute to
Get to a bomb shelter.

We are always in
A state of alert.
Can you imagine
What that’s like?

Israel doesn’t
Retaliate until
Hundreds of bombs
Fall in a single day.

When that happens,
The world media
Reports it as if
Israel was the
Aggressor.

We, who live here,
Are demonized and
Accused of all kinds
Of ugliness.

While those who
Bomb us, kidnap us,
Stab us and launch
Colorful balloon bombs
To kill our children,
Are presented as victims.
Are praised by leaders
And former leaders
Of our allies, the U.S.

I wonder, how long
Would America or
Any other country
In the world,
Allow their people
To be bombed
Without firing back.

My guess is
One bomb would
Be enough.

Criticized because
More of our people
Don’t die, because
We invest in protecting
Our people. It’s not
Our fault the other
Side invests in
Terror tunnels instead.

We’ve offered peace
Many times and it
Has been rejected.

We handed over Gaza
Without pre-condition.

Yet we’re still the villains?

Israel has been
This world’s bitch
For way too long.

Unless you are willing
To be bombed without
Responding, unless you
Are willing to allow
Terrorists free rein
In your home,
You need to stop
The hate NOW.

Take a walk in
Our shoes before
Telling us how we
Should respond.

– Devorah Titunik

editors note:

There is always another side… – mh clay

Reclamation of Albion

by on January 18, 2020 :: 0 comments

Through watery eyes the distant
village resembles a watercolour
painted by a peevish child.

Antediluvian howls ride winds
of pagan breath unhindered by
steel or wire; those symbols of

progress that feed rhetoric to
innocents, isolating communities,
depriving original thought from

simple minds; though not here.
Invigorated by primal virtue, I call
ancestors in deep inward breaths,

smell the essence of Albion, synthetic
garbs expunged, pagan spirit
reborn as I straighten like a birch.

Run through centuries, callused,
contused, away from ignorance;
bounding through bracken into

ancient rituals, feeling the pulse
of the land through swollen feet.
Atop of the highest hill, ancient

stone welcomes my homecoming
as I look to the valley; oak, beech,
and thorn meeting my clear eye

reclaiming my right and origin.
Breathless on the Pennine moor,
stooped in triumph, held fast by

piercing blasts among a sea of
succumbing grasses, I rejoice
in peace and perfect agony.

editors note:

An Englishman’s lament. – mh clay

Homecoming

by on January 17, 2020 :: 0 comments

Tea stall hovels black and red
Ladybugs buzz in the street’s morning dream
The wings crack open in a haze of a million beats.
The quiet everyday sorrows acquiesce and give space,
Eyes averted feet cautious
In the rain through the mist
The firewood singes the chest
I step up and knock.

Bolts and chains, wooden door, rooms
To protect witnesses through the ages.
How many dissidents have sipped tea here?
I’ve returned home to find at last
The stories my folks left behind.
Generational conflicts resolve with time
Soft-bodied silverfish burrow through old stories,
The sores are familiar but in new places
Given enough time this whole place will be dust.

But I know this June the gulmohar will bloom again.
Sorrows may disappear like a wisp in this backyard
Patience will outlive condolences,
Then will come forgetting and excuses
To enjoy the remorseless monsoon.
What is this will that brings me back here?
Unfinished bedtime stories echo in my old room
The monsters have vacated my closet
Here I find the peace I was so used to before I was born.

– Amritendu Ghosal

editors note:

A return to review when new, to room as womb. – mh clay

Thoughts Matter

by on January 16, 2020 :: 0 comments

i dreamt a baby’s head
wore a human bonnet
similar to dried rabbit skin
a reminder of the pointy knitted one
i wore to the first day of school
when mum sat next to me
waiting for the doors to open
while other children played

the soft plump head was birthed
from dark fertile soil
laying with other unattached limbs
on a cream cloth
i knew all would end well
it always did

usually i’d understand these messages
i’d say stop sending me this stuff
let me sleep
i already know that!

i didn’t this time
i woke trying to piece it together
as i lay in bed

it’s taken years to allow my hand
to venture over the sides of a mattress
i didn’t want that dead guy
seen walking through our house
or any spirit
touching me
in or out of bed
even, if it was my dear departed mother

as mum’s birthday poem said
jacqui girl only likes miro’s kisses
it was true
her embraces were smothering
i was repulsed envisaging her story
of breastfeeding me
as she repeated
once i was all hers

she said wait till it happens to
you when your children grow up

her words added to karma’s play
i always crave just that little more
from their hugs

– Jean Bohuslav

editors note:

Null nightmare, karma curbed to bring all full circle. So much from hugs. – mh clay

First Concert

by on January 15, 2020 :: 0 comments

Queens borough, New York, 1967

My best friend won free tickets
from WBAI to a Monkees concert,
allowed to go if chaperoned
by her older sister. A first at Forest
Hills Stadium, such bliss, it might
have been a Beatles concert.

We screamed and screamed
at the opening act, We want the Monkees,
We want the Monkees, till he left
and they entered. Indulged, we sang
along with every song, our hearts
throbbing loud in our chests
one huge estrogen rage.

Years later, I learned
the opening act was my idol
Hendrix, who irate left
after that set of shows
he played with Davy Jones.
Learned what a fool
one can be in youth.

editors note:

A promoter’s mismatch obscured appreciation, late to come. – mh clay

Skyscrapers and Ants

by on January 14, 2020 :: 0 comments

They stand over the hurling mass below like shiny, pointy giants. They look down at a million different dots swarming around the streets, all going in different directions but ending up at the same destination.

The reflections of scattered clouds, blackbirds, the endless azure sky and other colossal siblings shimmer and distort in the cold, cold glass.

Evening slowly descends over the metropolis. Thousands of golden orbs gaze out from the behemoths like hazy eyeballs glowing in the darkness.

Down below some of the swarm try to sleep at their feet. The dots shake, move and curl themselves up into a ball to get warm.

A blood orange sunrise majestically climbs up the glass giants while the organs, blood cells and arteries manoeuvre inside their hollow bodies.

editors note:

The ultimate ant farm from a thousand foot view. – mh clay