The Turtle Lies On His Back

featured in the poetry forum July 11, 2022  :: 1 comment

Fire put together what grew,
whispers pierced eardrums with their screech,
and angels spoke from under muddy fields.

Dark days inspired.
Grace’s power soured in the cup.

Everyone wept, but Jesus.

The toasted bread of the prophets became burnt offerings.
Commandments were cast over cliffs.

And Ao screamed.

editors note:

Given recent events, we’re screaming, too. – mh clay

Bells and Berries

featured in the poetry forum December 22, 2021  :: 0 comments

Within the Nativity

Bloomed cactus and rose, don fancy Yule clothes
Joseph, Mary, Jesus

Piled yule log blocks, a bright Christmas box
Adoration, Celebration, Decoration

Greeting cards and cakes, sweet fruit pies to bake
wooden barrels, water troughs, crooks

Clear carols and cheer, for loved ones so dear
Gaspar, Melchior, Balthazar

Crisp cookies and crackers, for midnight snackers
donkeys, oxen, lambs

Warm pudding and presents, holiday music events
gold, frankincense, myrrh

Ornaments on trees, shelled chestnuts, and wreaths
Michael, Olivia, Angel Unknown

Sliced turkey and ham, add nice figgy jam
fisherman, shepherds, bakers

Stockings and stars, all these things are:

Offered to you in the hopes you will find peace, joy, and comfort
that we all seek during this special time of year.

editors note:

Noel? Yes, El! – mh clay

Silver Screen Shots

featured in the poetry forum July 15, 2021  :: 1 comment

That sad day when she had no will of her own.
A birthday cake pop-up,
but wearing a mask, wearing a TRUE mask,
troubled in a bikini.

Try screaming louder.
A $700 an hour who?
Leave the earth, after cocaine.
Delete, delete, break your silence.
Flash, flash, she should flash her midriff.

Leather pants, still single, why so sad, why so serious?
An illusion that will not die.
Cozy, cozy, after a terrible fall.

Rent, rent, rent, the world has changed.
One hour before his death,
still no will for the one who raised the bar.

editors note:

Exeunt icons. Arrive eulogies. – mh clay

The Waiting Man Paints His Mind

featured in the poetry forum October 12, 2020  :: 0 comments

No one stops to listen
while the holy painter
describes his technique,
and why he chose his colors thus.

Even with his pitiful disassociation,
dreams of this portrait will haunt him.

None suspect his stuffed background of experiences.
This unimportant man,
this waiting man who asks the day
if anyone feels love.

A torture battles his thousand spirits,
as the sanity thief lurks,
unwilling to offer a reasoned viewpoint.

Inside this consequence,
his spooky abilities still let him manage his brush-
fresh paint thrown upon the canvas.
He shifts his emphasis
to the form of the subject,
until he completes his binding task.

And no one stops to listen, nor answer,
as this waiting man asks
if anyone feels love.

editors note:

Just gotta paint, answers or no. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 3, 2020  :: 0 comments

When Spring is in
the air, but not quite arrived,
when the King’s Cake is naught but crumbs,
after Endymion and Rex
have strutted their stuff,
we will endure
the fuzziest examinations of ourselves,
the day after we have hoarded
all those bejeweled singing strings
and rolling doubloons, but
in the meantime,
let the good times roll!!

editors note:

It’s no lazy lay to “Laissez le…” Introspection after is hard work. – mh clay

Bitter Cold Can Burn

featured in the poetry forum October 17, 2019  :: 2 comments

Perhaps the fires of hell
are meant to describe
a wintry mix rather than that of flames.
Greetings and affection met with chilly, cutting
aloofness can break hearts and stretch the nerves raw.
Such deep and keen, sharp pain within the breast,
the sting of rejection felt in sinews,
like a pitchfork,
such will freeze the blood
of all but the most heartless, soulless beast.

editors note:

True hell; what we do to each other. – mh clay

Lamentations on the Discovery of Evil

featured in the poetry forum September 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

In my teens
I always slept with the radio on.
Even in slumber
I’d hear my favorite songs.
But, I awoke two different nights
and my regular music wasn’t playing.
That’s when I knew the world was changing.

First it was Martin
and then it was Bobby.
I spent the next hours
repeatedly sobbing.

The day after each event
I met with my friends.
Through our tears came sounds like the
ragged breath of tired dogs.
We stood as ones stupefied.
What were those sounds heard within the train?
It seemed
as if stars screamed
as we chanted for the sun to rise
against the news of those days.
The reporters
with their steely dissection
of the facts
were as
nettles on our hearts.

How many more years
would we be subjected to fears?
How much pain this all caused
even after the radio button was paused.
“Don’t worry,” they said,
“There will come a settling of what’s been dusted.”
“No,” we told them,
the world will never speed up again
because the center is now rusted.
And what we once believed
will never again be trusted.

We knew the Devil was a liar,
but he still showed us a horrible truth.
That man may love,
but also hate
and only man can create
those things that can’t be soothed.

editors note: It’s a hard pill, the consequences of our free will. – mh clay

The Shriek

featured in the poetry forum June 12, 2018  :: 1 comment

The shriek,
the ear piercing harbinger
of escalating devastation.

It always starts with the shriek.

The screech owl,
power from the sky,
feathered menace
swooping down,
destroying the mice,
rolling their bones,
dive bombing,
tearing them apart.

Their homes strewn across the landscape
as the pulse of life winds down
and the shriek subsides.

editors note:

Deaf to destruction; shriekers never stay to hear the sobs, see the stark desolation. – mh clay

Dreams Last Even in War

featured in the poetry forum December 12, 2017  :: 0 comments

Among scarlet guns,
held in the unrested clench of fists
of tired troops,
in the long, long battle,
dreams last.

Among the fogged schizophrenia
of peace wanted
and war necessary,
within all the fighting,
dreams last.

Among the uncharitable cargo
on the backs of soldiers,
even within the tense disembarkation
of olive drab or navy blue
in all their hearts and heads,
dreams last

even unto the insistent numeration
of the final count.

editors note:

Our dictators (never dreamers) declare war as our soldiers dream of peace. – mh clay

The Ding in the Porch Rail

featured in the poetry forum October 14, 2017  :: 0 comments

There were lots of dings that spring.
The hail hit hard and frequently,
but the biggest ding, the deepest,
was the one my youngest brother made.
Of the five of us,
he was the most brave,
the most Devil-may-care,
the most take-it-as-it-comes.
We spent so much time outside
when summer came,
and we would melt like popsicles.
I remember so much:
the harmonic tumble of two brothers
or even three,
wrestling each other across the lawn,
jumping for distance from the porch steps,
our limbs akimbo.
Yet somehow we landed in one piece.
The serene tombs of all the animals we buried,
from birds to butterflies.
A baby rabbit whom we could not save.
The arranged cadence of our marching,
playing army in the field,
as the only girl, I got to be the general!
Our sugared trance
after candy bars and pop,
some we filched
in order to miss Mom’s lecture on tooth decay.
But she knew anyway.
The youngest,
his laggardness, how we’d wait for him,
but once he caught up,
Watch out!
He put the deepest ding in the porch rail
and in my heart.
I sit here now on these very steps
and remember our fun and remember his face
before he stepped onto that plane
to go to war.
I look at that ding
and still I wait for him.

editors note:

So bitter-sweet; our dings, our waiting. Until that day… (We welcome Linda to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay