Night Wings

featured in the poetry forum March 1, 2021  :: 0 comments

I was contracted to marry a powerful Emperor
In Ancient China. A total stranger who terrified me.

My friends envied the fabulous gifts I was sent.
But what do fine silks and jewels matter when expected
To leave everything you know and live with
A stranger in a strange land?

I didn’t love him, but in time I grew to like him.
Together we created a magic palace whose tricks and
Secrets people would still be trying to uncover
A thousand years later. I know this because I was
There as an explorer in the 21st century too.

I watched the sun rise over a valley filled with flowers.
Rainbows burst to life as the rays hit the waterfalls.

I established an orphanage on the moon. Led my
Warriors to victory. Had conversations with Caesar
And danced on the rings of Saturn.

My reality may be full of stress and my days empty,
But when I drift off at night, I rise.

I become a queen, a warrior, explorer and so much more.

I forget the fear, anxiety and loneliness of my reality
And soar through time and space in my dreams.
All that weighs me down melts away and I grow wings.

editors note:

Yes to the place where everyone can fly. – mh clay

For My Father

featured in the poetry forum November 8, 2020  :: 0 comments

It wasn’t a long walk from the car to
The spot we’d chosen, by the river
But as it was to be our last together,
It was the longest of my life.

Lifting the box, I followed my sisters.
We didn’t speak, each was lost in
Her own thoughts and memories.

The box felt like a baby in my arms
As if I were carrying my own child.
Full Circle.

So much I longed to say to you,
Forever now left unsaid.

Your ashes caught the morning light
As we scattered them over the river,
Sparkling as they descended, barely
Disturbing the mist that hung on its surface.

With surprising speed, we were done.
All I had left of you was the fine dust
That clung to my fingers.

I held them against my frozen cheeks.
So many feelings. Love, hurt, admiration, anger,
Running down my face, through my fingers, mingling
With your dust, seeping into my pores.

The whole focus of my life had been
A fruitless attempt at gaining your approval.
What do you do when life loses its focus?

I was a woman of straw, I realize now,
Searching for what was already mine.
Spending years up and down the yellow brick road
Searching for you.

I found you when I looked into a mirror
And finally saw myself.

editors note:

So much more is passed along than blood. – mh clay

The New Tyranny

featured in the poetry forum July 31, 2020  :: 0 comments

Feelings swirl around,
A tornado trying to form
Amid the turmoil of a world
Divided. Where we love to hate
So much more than we desire to understand.

Hopes and dreams crushed by muddy boots
Before they ever have a chance to bloom.

Can’t you see it? The light dying in their eyes.
Hope and possibility a distant memory for some,
Others never knew it and likely never will.

There is no longer room for nuance, color, or shades of gray.
It is all black and white. You must agree with everything
To belong and no independent thoughts allowed.
Any thoughts that don’t fully conform make you suspect in their eyes.

Can you feel it? The sheer brutality of groupthink, the death
Of civility and honest debate, the birth of a new tyranny.

Antagonism is our bread and water, hate our oxygen.
Even the smallest of troubles cannot be resolved in this environment.
How will we ever solve the big ones?

All I can feel today is pain. It’s everywhere, crushing my head and heart.
I feel their tears, hopelessness, and fears and am not strong enough to
Bear it anymore. I watch helplessly as people tear each other down.
It feels like fishhooks mangling my flesh. I want to grab my
Rusty sword and find a windmill to battle, but there are none
They have all become real dragons.

editors note:

Peace be found in fireproofing for the soul. (We welcome Devorah to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Storm’s Coming

featured in the poetry forum April 21, 2020  :: 0 comments

Can you feel it?
The pressure is building.
A storm’s coming
A bad one.

Not the barometric
Pressure, not that
Kind of storm.

The pressure of
Human struggles,
Of fear, hopelessness
And frustration.

True evil knows just
How to use it.

They take our fears and
Turn them to hate.

And while we’re busy
Devouring
Each other they
Quietly lock our
Prison doors.

We’ve seen it before
Yet how easily we
Fall into its grip.

How much blood
Will we allow to spill
Before we stop letting
Them manipulate us?

Will we ever learn?

We call out the others hate
And ignore our own.
While those
Behind the scenes,
Smile, knowing they’ve
Already won.

editors note:

Who’s gonna buy your big umbrella? – mh clay

The Other Side

featured in the poetry forum 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.

editors note:

There is always another side… – mh clay