featured in the poetry forum May 6, 2024  :: 0 comments

Like veiled whispers,
fallen leaves cast dry shadows
along gray stillness.
Autumn’s desertion…
Nature’s pattern of decay
dangles in cycles.
Love me, love me not…
To be, or not to have been…

Stagnant hope shreds outlook
I miss our conversations
our ghostlike laughter.
Just one syllable?
My window is wide open…
Why not catch the breeze?
Scattered, crumbling leaves
will reveal words unspoken.
Table for one, please.

editors note:

What’ll it be for you and whom? One word, two? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 10, 2024  :: 0 comments

Do paper dolls dance?
Mine do!
They’re trained experts in rumba
and in dodging stray bulls…
Paso doble is easy without a cape.
I was always too old for Barbie pink
preferring more delicate cut outs of
haute-couture neutrals that shred and rip-
more suitable to feminine reality.
I can mix and match, be printable…
and most of all pretend… that I am a paper doll.
My paper doll world screams in black and white
the best color for life’s vanities as I strike the pose!
I stare out silent paper windows
searching for paper fedoras with bends in their brims.
Dreams of bootleg futures fill my paper soul
as I taste the wind, listen to the sky
and touch the shadows of centerfolds.

editors note:

Be your own Barbie – definitely not pink. (Though we already know Colleen as a featured artist, we now welcome her to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 16, 2023  :: 1 comment

Rows of ghost trees loom along my path.
Winds now parch these echoing columns,
battered survivors of earth’s deluge.
These storm-hollowed husks huddle
as Helios hurls dehydrating rays from above.
Back bay surges of unstoppable tides
with choking foul breakwater stench
have covered these arboreal lives.
Once fruitful green, now forsaken wood,
their lofty bowers wince, stripped of life.
They weep dry tears, decomposing drops
falling ashen gray …after the storm.
These pallid stumps will outlast me…
standing defiant, fixed, persistent-
preserving their sylvan history.
Soulless timber echoing, echoing…
the sounds of their sunken wounds…
decaying cores moaning from tidal toxicity
as storm-shattered limbs ooze lost nutrients.
Lamenting their lot, cursing Poseidon
ghostly rustlings disguise imaginary shimmers
welcoming lonely sparrows to nestle
on quiet skeletal branches that remain.
Withering cores postpone future growth
as time chisels away at frayed, tangled roots
barely sustaining their muddied existence.
Nature’s moods can be cruel.

editors note:

Can’t mollify that mood; our only reply – reconstruction. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 14, 2023  :: 0 comments

My eyes fixate on twin deceit
your double speak deafens
silently bruising my reason.

Into the void you rumble past
nothingness remains, yet lingers
choking me on fool’s false gold.

Soulless promises, like inert bones,
vanish into bleached forgery,
neurotic dust begging validity.

Memory skims pallid edges,
saturates all my thorny cares
rendering only faint erasures.

I hide inside love’s rotting shadows
remnants of smooth bargello hues
which once defined my long ago.

No tempera, no colorful pigments
exist without you in my freeze frame.
I am drowning in hollow neutrality.

Without you I lack vibrancy…
Where have all my bright colors gone?
Perhaps jammed into wax crayons?

editors note:

Such love is better lost. – mh clay