featured in the poetry forum March 23, 2023  :: 0 comments

How many kisses do your lips contain?
My touch will never so much as touch your face,
So when my nights need questions to stay awake
This is the question my nights can’t restrain.

How are your kisses shared between your men,
Who gets how many, and which one lasts how long.
To think your lips have fate, it’s written somewhere
How much passion they store, for whom, for when.

To think your body, unknown to your brain,
Is an appendage to lips that look for lips,
Lips that look for bodies that belong to them,
To kiss and close and open and kiss again.

Their soft pinkness heavy with fate’s hot strain,
They part like lovers every time you speak.
They wear their moisture like a shirt against the cold,
They wear your lipstick like a coat against the rain.

– Dhee Sankar

editors note:

Something’s amiss when kissing this. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 20, 2023  :: 0 comments

Listen –
To the sound of blood when leaves are still
To the tomb of a thousand sighs and a million lasting screams
To the warm noises of the city implanted in your cortex

Separate –
The strands of chaos from your DNA
The debris of impossibility under your eyelids

Pluck –
the fear that sits on the underside of your heart

under the sewage of decibels
beyond the dermis of uncertainty
etched deep in your corpuscles
pulsating at the core of your atom
Is a story, song-faced
A trembling prayer of the first tadpole
that echoes through the Milky Way
written long before the papyrus was discovered
in the ink of a bird song

– Sanket Mhatre

editors note:

The fiction we find in a feather. – mh clay

Carrowbeg In Winter

featured in the poetry forum March 19, 2023  :: 0 comments

The river moves with steady hum
Turf, dry and sweet, imbues the air
We sit among leafless trees
shrouded in white fairy lights
Daisy chains of tiny beams
A blur of faces pass in waves
with gifts for loved ones who
do not hear ‘Love’ enough

Lennon sings about
the end of war
as crowds shy from
a weathered man,
Fear and sympathy
beneath their masks

Footsteps tap in cadence
while crossing ancient stone
coaxing every drop
The river, never rushed,
finds its own rhythm

– Karen Lawler

editors note:

Riverside merriment, masked and guarded. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 17, 2023  :: 1 comment

freezing rain using all twelve tones of the scale

– Patrick Sweeney

editors note:

Shiver the sound of this. – 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?

– Colleen Boueil

editors note:

Such love is better lost. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 13, 2023  :: 0 comments

masks on faces, hide
truth behind

blue, when feeling down
green, with a twinge of envy in a smile
red, when on a cantankerous spree

why hide behind them we wonder, as
we go about our lives, pretending

yellow, when filled with cowardice
rainbow, with a message of change
pink, as our hearts sing

masks on faces, wearing
our obscured selves

black, when mourning loved ones
white, while celebrating loved ones
grey for anything in-between

only in dreams, our
true disguises unfold, as
our masks fall

yet we are …unaware

– Andrea Damic

editors note:

No matter how we color ’em… apparently not. – mh clay

Once Upon a time in Vietnam

featured in the poetry forum March 10, 2023  :: 0 comments

A river of discarded beer bottles glistens in the harsh afternoon sunlight as they serenade each other down the murky Mekong Delta.

Steaming bowls of Pho are scattered all over the country like stars in the endless night sky.
Delicate bamboo shoots, strips of tender beef, fat prawns, thin noodles, fat noodles, anise-tasting green leaves, fermented crunchy chili oil, pungent smokey vinegar, white cartilage, grey fish balls, greasy red neon-coloured duck and cloves of garlic floating in the salty broth like magnificent pearls.

The aroma of rancid fish, decaying corpses, harsh fumes from generators and motor bikes, cups of nose-tingling fish sauce, rotting garbage, is all forgotten in an instance with the ice-cold refreshing citrus taste of sugarcane juice.

Awww Bliss!

A river of discarded beer bottles glistens in the harsh afternoon sunlight as they serenade each other down the murky Mekong Delta.

– Luke Ritta

editors note:

Stirred up in the stew for me and you. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 9, 2023  :: 0 comments

You who have never
crossed the boundaries of
dream teach me to shout from
mountain tops
at the end of the day,
teach me to open my hands
clenched in fists
and do not be gentle
like those
who give kisses to everyone,
without tenderness.
Do not be false,
latent and arrogant,
be yourself all the way,
be the one
who does not leave his heart
in himself
but gives it to beat
in someone else’s chest.
And only then
will I let you
into the caves of my loneliness,
wilderness and silence, too
I will allow you
to cross the boundaries
of all limitations
and enter my heart of infinity.

– Jasna Gugić

editors note:

What it means to “have a heart.” – mh clay

Death Letter Redux

featured in the poetry forum March 8, 2023  :: 0 comments

The day I found out that
the woman I loved was with
someone else, I took a cab
home from wherever I was
and sat for three or four
hours on my floor. It’s one
thing not to believe a lie;
it’s another to fully exhume
a truth you’d rather die
from natural causes than
to have beaten into your brain
in manifold ways. When I wake
up each morning, the light
in my kitchen, once warm and
resplendent, is nothing now
if not loud, a toddler shouting
through every room in the gut.

One day, you’ll get too
high and also imagine
that the world you once
wanted is no longer possible.
When that day comes,
tell me about it, (how does
it feel?), if it stings, if when
one day, we meet inside
another life, we can try
again. In March, I told you
that I meant what I said
in that letter and I’d mean
it forever. You got back to me
later, but you weren’t you,
and I was no longer me,
and we were just part
of a picture that was once
part of a garden that was
part of a house that no
one no longer lives in.

– Scott Wordsman

editors note:

Unhoused in your own house, something to write home about. – mh clay

Flower Petals d328

featured in the poetry forum March 7, 2023  :: 0 comments

Can we be more delicate,
More intricate,
With this flower that is also a daughter.

Understanding the petal
Of the flower is just the beginning

Unexpectedly, rage has a part
To play as the flower’s worried

Drunk, he beats his daughter
Just as his father beat him.

While he makes her pull –
In turn – her
Flowers, all completely

Out of the ground.
Once the ground is barren

He makes a comment about
“You made your bed of roses, now sleep in it”

He makes her sleep out there on the ground for 12 nights in a row

“I was a flower once upon a time,”
she said

Decades later she is
A very old woman
Knitting by feel, a pair of socks

– Marc Isaac Potter

editors note:

Abused to blossom all the same. – mh clay