An Ache To Learn

featured in the poetry forum July 16, 2024  :: 0 comments

If I bent, at last, in my hardest place
would I remember a balm or cure in some secret ache–
would I only learn that I had ached all the time,
but that forgetting had been the balm I once found?
Would I find that it was in my hardest place for being hard
and, in learning so, would remembering bend be a cure–
and, in daring a question that remembers an ache
would I remember the bending cure–
or would I learn that in bending again and asking again–
in resolving to better myself, as they call it–
would I learn that at least one ache is still just an ache
even as I also learned that my every hardness can and ought to bend again?

– Benjamin Norman Pierce

editors note:

A bend to cure what aches you. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 15, 2024  :: 0 comments

often perfect in their ability
to line up concept with sound,
like the assassin lowering his sights to the limo
and then the crack, dead to a wound.

Say it a few times,
cheat… cheat, cheat
even impartially it has the eyes thinning,
wanting to damn.

The chah
it grabs, accuses, castrates –
then eat
not the soft dining kind,
but the hard to the ‘t’ –
parental command kind.

It has no color, taste, or smell,
but the audible to the brain
evokes immediate impressions,
of dealing off the bottom,
the Sundance Kid,
the neighbor’s philandering husband.

Such power and purpose
comes with respect,
it is no sooner uttered,
than it matters not
whether a rule was really broken.

– Craig Kirchner

editors note:

No sooner said than wronged. – mh clay

Late-Stage Capitalism Support Group

featured in the poetry forum July 14, 2024  :: 0 comments

This Tuesday,
every Tuesday
because the 7th best day of the week
needs an esteem boost too,
we all do
Refreshments include
shrink-flation foodstuffs;
unwanted trick-or-treat candies
our kids won’t eat,
unchained mints lifted from Dr. offices,
and such,
DIY squirt cheese crackers,
leftover Chinese takeout,
and collected food samples
from big box stores
Nothing will be gluten-free,
or fair trade in source
we can no longer afford
to be pious
We will reminisce
about high school achievements,
muscle cars,
cheap gas,
half gallon sized ice cream,
and hard rock bands
before they went soft
old love letters, or
emotional support stuffed animal
we will supply a burn barrel

– Roy N. Mason

editors note:

I feel so seen. – mh clay

Atomic Arcade

featured in the poetry forum July 12, 2024  :: 0 comments

in our borrowed lives
winning and losing
only briefly matter

lured to a divine playing field

alluding control
we never have

we are captivated
by flashing ripe strawberry
and blinding lemon hues

we aim to ignite
magnificent billowing
haloed mushrooms

to ruin others
so they know we are here

pixelated faces
melt like candles
on black box screens
above reflections
of our children

who will not be okay

points earned in body counts

at dings and clanks

on forgetful (((pulsating))) scoreboards

awaiting the next player

between our insufficient hands

like chattering pinball flippers
too short to fill our gaps

we fall into digital drains
grasping what could have been
for those we press closest to our hearts

– Louis Efron

editors note:

Can’t even do it with quarters anymore; brain cells debited automatically. – mh clay

The Selfishness Pandemic

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

On the heels of one global pandemic
another sinister virus infests our rat nest.

While we hunkered down in isolation,
stewed in micro frustrations, some

took to keyboards to find audience
for once-absurd, digital diatribes.

Conspiracies so ludicrous, they
must be read. Kernels of truth,

candy-coated crap, Easy to swallow
in seclusion. One fiction attributes

another until a great circle of stupidity
becomes monstrous merry-go-round,

and everyone wants a ride.
Schoolyard bullies, emboldened

as ever, after two years self-satisfied
seclusion with YouTuber decadence.

As the vaccine deemed insidious
frees us from comfortable cages,

the selfish Everyman mantra skews
stronger, more prevalent. Everyone

demanding the “Right” to believe
falsehood fires that bolster

insecurities—shells of stupidity
thought previously cracked.

– Jordan Trethewey

editors note:

If I believe your truth and you believe mine, they should cancel each other out. Right? – mh clay

Three Haiku: River, Fog, Music

featured in the poetry forum July 9, 2024  :: 0 comments

as we become
the voice of the river
all talk dries up

I grab a handful
of silence

not to be ignored
distant music played
in a minor key

– Roberta Beach Jacobson

editors note:

Noise or not noise; no minor thing. – mh clay

A Bay Wolf in the Apartment of Eagles

featured in the poetry forum July 8, 2024  :: 0 comments

Come the dawning

Regardless of mood
I like
To take some moments
in the morn light of my room

vibe and shimmy
I do the spasmodic
To the

Amusing me self
And digging
The reflection of my Moves as
in the Van Gogh prints
On my walls

Oh yeah
I Got It
A RocknRoll kid
Get to Gone

It’s my


Regardless of mood
This is my private morning
Clarion Call
and my
Free Flying
Fuck It All

– Tom Pennacchini

editors note:

Yes. A great way to start your day. “Gotta dance!” – mh clay

The Song Of The Empty Hand

featured in the poetry forum July 7, 2024  :: 0 comments

I am the little finger
excavator of snot and earwax.
I curl into myself until I disappear.

I am the ring finger
wearer of collar and chain.
I want to learn how to stand on my own.

I am the f-you finger
burner of the flame of anger and lust.
What a smile that I smile!

I am the index finger
pointer of the path to the palm
and parent of all digits and the orphaned thumb.

I am the lonely thumb
only friend of the palm, who with the palm,
together is worshipped and glorified.

– Philip Venzke

editors note:

If you have all these digits working, you can give yourself a hand. – mh clay

On the Beach

featured in the poetry forum July 3, 2024  :: 0 comments

It was too windy to put my tent up, but there was a big wooden box
serving as a base for a nearby picnic table
with a door at one end and plenty of space inside, so I pushed my sleeping bag
into the opening and crawled in after it. It was like sleeping in a coffin
I suppose, but the wind came in through the slats and I could hear the waves
crashing along the shore just a few feet from my head,
and if I poked my head out of the end of the box, I could see the arc of the Milky Way
the repetitive flash of the lighthouse out on the bay, more stars than I could ever hope to count

and I thought

I’ll bet there’s some fancy spa out there
that charges good money to set you up in a pine box just like this one
where you can close your eyes and hear nothing but the sea and the birds
where the wireless is so spotty you can’t even pick up a signal on the car’s GPS system
can’t make any phone calls or check your email.

And sure enough, on the flight home, I found an article in the inflight magazine
about a spa in Spain where they shut you up in an elaborately carved pine box
and put a bee hive on top of you so you can lie there, in the dark
listening to the buzzing of hundreds of bees all around you, it’s supposed to be very relaxing
I assume it’s very expensive.
I’ll take my box by the ocean any day, surrounded by the rustling of crabs in the dry brush grass
the cackle of an early-rising seagull as it discovers the bag of chips
I thought I’d locked safely in the car
the neigh of horses in the paddock over the ridge.

– Holly Day

editors note:

Beach or buzz, whatever fits your budget. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 25, 2024  :: 0 comments

As a child, I would dream I was a horse. Especially on long car journeys.
Black, glossy skin, powerful muscles, hooves pounding the turf
like the sound of rolling thunder. I would gallop across meadows
studded with wild flowers, beneath an azure sky.
No fence could contain me: I would clear them all with ease, to be free.
I belonged to no-one.
Sitting in this chair, constrained, contained. Movements restricted, impeded
by age and disease. I remember that horse; its strength, its beauty, its grace.
And I become it again.
I kick my back legs to loosen the shackles and express my utter joy,
I whinny and toss my head, proud of who I am. Then away I race,
long mane streaming, wind against my face.
No one can stop me. I’m free.

– Jacqueline Erasin

editors note:

When first we free our mind… – mh clay