featured in the poetry forum May 2, 2023  :: 0 comments

Snowflakes blowing gently,
fragile as shadows
smiling in the soft light.
So soft.
Catch them quickly in your hair
to melt them

for soon they’ll grow harder
even though the sun
is shining
and smiling
blindingly bright,
bright and harsh.

crunchy crystals.
shining like diamonds
hard as rock

giving way to ice
as the light starts fading
when the sun loses its smile
and we’re skidding,
slipping away,
by crystalline
tears of ice.

– Lynn White

editors note:

Harsh reality under winter wonder. – mh clay

I’m Right

featured in the poetry forum April 24, 2023  :: 0 comments

I saw your hand move
long before
It connected with my face.

I knew it was coming.
It was in your eyes
and your garbled growl
A warning
not to overstep my mark.

I should have stopped
Gone quietly
to my corner
taken some,
Time out!

But this was different.
I knew, I was right
and so I argued on.

The slap.
Like the crack
of a whip
made contact
with my skin

My head bounced
straining my neck.
With unfocused eyes
I stumbled back
as dizziness dragged
me to the floor.

There at your feet
The burning
imprint of your palm,
set my flesh on fire.

Cautiously I probe
check the extent
of the damage
You have done.

Towering over me
you sneer

“So now,
Who’s right or wrong?”

Through tears of fear
and bloodied lips
I whisper
“I’m right
You’re drunk…”

– Lynda Baker

editors note:

This should never be the price of right! – mh clay

Outside Las Vegas (at Lake Mead)

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

Your texts
freight my phone,

little words, phrases
you use like a knife

to dissect what is us.

I might not see you again
but right now

I’m quickened by
Lake Mead,

hundreds of feet below normal,

a suspended dock,
sand reaching its distance,

the far bluff’s bleached line
where water used to be:

a tell that we live to excess.

This water’s absence
stands as a sign:

don’t we all, at the end,
choose us,

what we’ve come to do
in Eliot’s waste,

because we feel
we have no one else,

my hands holding
my cupful of fear.

Why else does chalk
fill my mouth

while my culture’s great cities, little burgs
express self as the epitome of the age.

This absence over water I face
offers its critique,

pulls me
to a conclusion

as hard as any epitaph
slurred on us:

that we thought
the earth was ours.

Across the depleted lake,
I see a void

that waits for me.
No different than

the ache I feel
when I think of going on without you.

– Dale Cottingham

editors note:

We center on self and lose what we love. Gosh, I’m thirsty! – mh clay

Cold Light

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

~after Mary Szybist

Creatures of the dark are naturally drawn to light.
Wolves to the full moon, moths to flames.
So was she drawn to him, the darkness
within seduced by his brilliance.
She’d hunted long, stalking the shadows
seeking satiation of hunger, and
satisfaction of a deep-seated thirst.
She found beauty there, the scent of home
and the hope of warmth, so she drew closer still.
How she longed to possess that light, to envelop it.
Drink it down and make it her own.
But once captured and wrapped tightly against her,
her teeth at his neck, too late she realizes…
it is cold light, luciferin.
And her mouth is flooded
with the bitter taste of deceit.

– Janice Mathis

editors note:

It’s tough to be luciferace intolerant. – mh clay


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

I want to tear the sky
with someone’s eyelashes,
to fill the puddles
and drink them dry,
eat mud with virgin blossoms,
ferment the new alchemy
of the skill of being a dog,
to bark at the sheep in myself
and smoke from the chimney of my home.
But something stops me.

I have to sneeze all of my doubts,
to infect the spring sunsets
with the lack of pathetic, to remember
which book to whom I give
and if he doesn’t return it,
to tear mold pages from him,
to burn and swallow them, breathe them in
like scales of the evolved fish
of my misery.
But something stops me.

I can “pay it forward”,
rage against the grey-coned crows
who look for cylinders of a brocade end,
to be and not to be, to levitate
over the clear and the crimson, over the “musts”,
I can do it. I know that.
But something stops me.
I live on Something Str.

– Ninko Kirilov

editors note:

When you have nothing going, here’s something. – mh clay

Black Rain

featured in the poetry forum April 11, 2023  :: 0 comments

clouds dissolve
after pretending
to be recognizable shapes

and the twilight
woods untended
fill with life

I heard
the wings singing
of dry shell insects

they emerged
slender, undressed
to leave their casings

the apples fallen
their compacted
lush smell floats

a snapped branch
cracks like a shot

the night has fliers,
glow worms
with pinpoint blinks

on a silken
web, still insects
we see die as a mercy

you sobbing
unbuttoning a
soaked shirt

and never find
where the children
we were are hiding.

– Royal Rhodes

editors note:

Still, we seek them in those old woods. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 6, 2023  :: 0 comments

With the last fig clinging by a stem
to its silt vine, it’s ready to be twisted off.
Anyone could do it, but it has to execute
its own move. This is its fate, you see?
The fig with its wasps must ride the bough
all the way down to the give in the ground,
to break the earth, to bury old with new.

If it’s too soon for so deep a dark─
wasps still laying eggs in the flowers within,
not ready, not ready at all─ how much better
it would be if the branch resisted,
snapping back without flinging the fig
onto dirt full of the ends of other lives.
At least, not with the wasps still inside.

– Cheryl Snell

editors note:

A fig is not a fig, until… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 30, 2023  :: 0 comments

Shadowy utility core.
Piled up kinetic in candytuft.
Radiating floor heating.
Down-and-out flings grotty blanket…
Where Ka-ata-killa mouldered.

– Christopher Barnes

editors note:

Camouflage for the undesirable among us. – mh clay


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