Featured Poems

The Cold War

by on November 28, 2015 :: 0 comments

I don’t know if we were spies
or just fugitives.
We were on a bus.
I was fleeing again
but confident this time
I would attain liberation,
insoluble levity,
Everyone on the bus felt the same;
we could see ourselves gliding across the map from above
through a country of weightless gold.

Sitting next to me was an Indian girl–
Hindu, Aztec, Iroquois…
I couldn’t discern her origin–
I thought she had the power to heal.

I knew I would never escape my native land,
though it seemed the journey itself was a sanctuary.

The girl asked me where I was going
and if I’d taken this route before.
I answered then asked her the same,
here eyes a window to the foot hills behind,
the desert a mask for the forest
absolved of all duration.
She had a baby in her arms.
I asked her its name.
Her lips turned ocher like herbs
and she was silent:

This child was a gift.
Our destination cannot be determined.
Her name is October
and she must never awake from her dream.

We entered a territory of wind and sand
and wheat.
This was America.

The girl pointed out the window,

We call this place Russia
, she said

editors note:

Ascendance becomes destination; place names are irrelevant. – mh clay

The Weather in my Head

by on November 27, 2015 :: 0 comments

is such a cliché to describe mood.
I stand at the gate of a ploughed field,
scavenger birds exploit rows of newly turned ground.

Above me a soufflé of clouds with mottled contours;
the common Cumulonimbus like a head of cauliflower,
a rare Undulatus Asperatus like rough furrows.

I light up another cigarette, watch its contrails rise,
wonder if I will ever witness Lenticularis – Pile d’assiettes,
think cloud watching is an acceptable form of doing nothing.

– John Saunders

editors note:

This much ado is about all sides of nothing… Nothing wrong with that! – mh clay


by on November 26, 2015 :: 0 comments

I don’t care much what other folks
think, but at my age – pushing
seven-oh, I still can’t believe

I own my own house and my own car.
Yawning, though engaged, during the
film Age of Adaline, my mind jumped

ship to that favorite thought. I – see
me jumping up and down? – own my
own house and my own car.

Own! The sweetest song in
America. Listen to its verses
Property owner. Homeowner.

Homeowner’s insurance. Buy
both car and home for a
“buyer’s discount.” I am doing

cartwheels on the carpeted floor.
Though I speak with the royal “we”
I live alone. Solicitor’s come by.

Before we slam the door in their faces – a red door
I painted myself – I put them through
paces. A black guy named Dwayne

sat on the red couch and listened to
my poetry. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses
dressed in black, heard a tirade about

The God of Israel. Sammy put in the
storm window on my side door. Please,
dear God, I pray, let me not think

who will live here when I’m gone.
Roasted, while dead, like this week’s
Thanksgiving turkey.

editors note:

Reason to be thankful, no matter how you slice your dream… – mh clay

charlie watts

by on November 25, 2015 :: 0 comments

she had me
sweating bullets
she had me
not wanting to hear her voice
i swear to christ
she was trying to drown me
in her petty jealousies
but she was right about everything
i was out there looking
for her replacement
day after day
night after night
but i found no takers
other than the hip line
of a tanned stripper’s g-string
our dinner money
our movie money
going against that sweet flesh curve
she had me
on the line for a week
without calling
going mad
getting mad
drunk joyous at the thought that we were over
every time the phone rang
jumping at my own shadows
she had me
on the other line
giggling and laughing like a schoolgirl
like nothing happened
the way we’d left it
and all she wanted to know
was the name of the rolling stones drummer
for her mother’s
fucking crossword puzzle.

editors note:

We dangle on the line, searching for a clue; a four letter word, “v” the third letter; crossword is “vile.” Hmm… – mh clay

once upon our love

by on November 24, 2015 :: 0 comments

the cries and smiles we shared in love and dreams
was once a bliss of life enjoyed and gone
our passions drowned unseen in silenced screams…

in graceful dance of feet and fun
we held so close and lipped a kiss so fine
our hands, with mine on yours was two as one…

we loved and promised, ever yours and mine
in stills, in storms until our deaths and ends
to cherish, keep, to love for life in twain…

our love faded soon on stormy beds
we etched the this and that that wrecked our love
and left our lives, our hearts embittered shreds…

it was a love once rained on us from above.

– Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju

editors note:

Another, once held tightly; now, taken, though not lightly, in terza rima. – mh clay

Unbearable Affliction

by on November 23, 2015 :: 0 comments

Two hundred and one flowers
fill the room,
incensed flames flicker.
An aching stillness hangs.
She longs to be elsewhere.

Warm breath creeps,
like the first time she danced
with her lover-
her soul ignites,
she pirouettes,
across the scuffed wooden floor.

Sweat on brow,
feverish perfumed passion,
fingers trace as if
unsighted and unsure.

she is peeled;
a promise to the night,
she arrives.
The Flower Duet ends.

Love fades…

But memories linger
like watchful ghosts.

editors note:

Dancing to the memory of love… – mh clay


by on November 22, 2015 :: 0 comments

The day is racked and tortured
Its windy spaces tranquil yet stormy;
My silent heart cries out
And I breath deep
To prevent tears
From falling down my cheeks;
For only tears
Can articulate these inner silences
That tear at my being;
Tears only can make sense
Of these longings
That remain illusive and inexpressible.

My heart cries out
And I breath deep
To prevent tears
Welling up into my eyes;
Locked in silence
Each of us must hold
This loneliness to the chest;
I hunger for something
That I am unable to grasp.

My heart cries out
And I breath deep
To prevent tears
Falling down my cheeks;

I yearn for a woman’s embrace
To feel the arms of another
Wrapped around me;
There is no-one.

My heart cries out
And I breath deep
To fight back tears
That threaten
To roll down my cheeks;

I long for that which I have never had:
Knowing that all desire
Must be ship-wrecked by an alien world;
Knowing dreams and defeat form a singularity;
While windy spaces remain tranquil yet stormy.

editors note:

Alone, we enter. Alone, we exit. All seek “together” in between. – mh clay