Featured Poems

Shoshi’s Ugly Poem

by on February 25, 2017 :: 0 comments

I think of you stilled
Under the earth,
Clods of clay, and your melting flesh.
Cracking bones,
Shreds of cloth
Clinging to your twisted limbs.
But that is not you, and never was.
This thing, this stilled thing
The most alien and wrong of it all,
This stillness is not you.
You, who were always
So ticking over with motion,
Rhythm, and the juice of the dance.
You, who even as you sat,
Sat alert and bright-eyed and aware.
You, who even when not moving
Had the beat of life running through you,
Waiting for your time
To jump into the circle again.
And it is so wrong, this stillness.
You, gone from yourself,
Yourself gone away and the body left behind,
A lump of putrescence,
Nothing more.
How fine that you are gone, really.
How right.
You would never have stood for this outrage,
This breakdown of holy life,
Of the joy of your life.
You would have been horrified
At what you have become.
Better it’s done,
Done and gone,
Gone away.
But the awful stillness stays.
And this is an awful poem, I know.
But I am haunted by your stillness.
Awful absence of motion
The craziest proof of all
That you are really gone.

editors note:

Hard to not notice those not here, when they were so much here, before. – mh clay

THE PACIFIST

by on February 24, 2017 :: 0 comments

Beyond reasonable doubt
There’s an entrapment
The lesion
Of the spirit
Contorts to ~

The abandoned echo,
Distinctly
Brine-dipped,
Hewn into
A judicial
Stone kiss.

Perversity preys upon itself.
Humankind is not
Kind… fevering
The white-washed hands
Of faith’s tactician

Where hearts, hung like
Bedouin relics,
Are made
To be
Crushed.

editors note:

Makes a combatant’s mouth water. – mh clay

LADIES & GENTLEMEN

by on February 23, 2017 :: 0 comments

Like dogs
We sit
And we wait

Like stations for buses
Like boards for announcements
Like pigeons for crumbs

As if the end’s going to change
As if it’s going to get better
As if we’re going to get wise

Like Buddha
Like Jesus
Like Muhammad Ali

Man
To say we’re the greatest
Means even less than our words

editors note:

Just keep waggin’ that tail… – mh clay

Credible Urge

by on February 22, 2017 :: 0 comments

He skippers down nightly
under an old piece of tarpaulin,
connected to two trees,
off to the right hand side
of the beach
in the warmer months.
When Winter comes,
there’s the 2nd floor
of the derelict Fire Station
up on the North side of the city.
Busks the harmonica for pennies
outside of Boots the Chemist
most mornings
up until around noon.
Soup-runs evening meals
and bathes in the ocean
no matter the weather.
Carries no trinkets or reminders,
wishes back nothing
which he has lost.
Apart from survival,
is directionless and purposeless,
responsibilities
were never his forte anyway.
Only haunts this city
because it’s far friendlier
than the last couple of places
he tramped.
He’s neither happy nor contented,
just chilling patient,
in his own roundabout way.
For a ‘Credible Urge’
to raise up its head,
as strong as the last one,
which set his footsteps
wandering far away
from that life, wife and children,
his nature bade him leave behind.

editors note:

It  takes focus and determination to stay in the same place. – mh clay

SUPPLICATION

by on February 21, 2017 :: 0 comments

Speed changes the hum from a shadow
to a wall, from a finch to one wild shoat
scrounging through the reeds, oinking
where the parasites have married its voice,
and the herd has wallowed and rooted away
the swamp. Speed is impossible here.
Predation is real. This gator-sized spider
is cupping sunlight in its web. This python
that whispers your name can squeeze stars
through its ribs. The snake’s heart is silent
even when its rough jaws distend around you
and most of the world feels like a gunny sack
on its tongue. The hum is like water spooned
from a cactus far away. You keep wishing
until God does all the wishing for you. You
have felt like running faster than all the water
you are walking on, because the sea is rising.

editors note:

The water’s span from predator to prey, only a prayer’s breadth away. (We welcome Clyde to our crazed conclave of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Cowardly Soul

by on February 20, 2017 :: 0 comments

Five years’ plans are a lot to take in
A chunk from one’s life irreplaceable
Nationalising train wrecks from another’s sin
A question of language eating home.

Down to the bones of me bum, laughing at poverty
I take on many tasks to see me right
Voluntarily working, suiting the nighttime
Where the moon is cried for all the time.

Slipping in and out of windows, a famously high drop
Underscores a necessity of holding the fort
With a sword in the thatch, fighting whoever
An enemy only bearing factual news.

Nothing to descend. Swearing not to have children
Close ranks with progress, sleeping in time
Wiping hands on the tablecloth in front of spies.

Not wearing a hat to keep secrets in
The dark-furnished bedroom keeps the time
Looking out for favours detached from kind
Not sullying the gait of your colleagues.

– Patricia Walsh

editors note:

Sometimes, there’s courage in keeping out of the way. – mh clay

Morning Wrapped Herself in Negligee

by on February 19, 2017 :: 0 comments

Morning wrapped herself in negligee
Hazy silk and stars
Embroidered flowers stitched
On satin strings

As evening’s final breath lingers
Kissing moonlight tendrils morning dew
His haloed cloud and misty veil
Curtaining his demise

Heat always rises
Equally curling toes or hair

editors note:

Cohabit the curl; the having which comes from heat. – mh clay