Essential Toil

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

Mist vapour clouding, nasal scents,
lulled restful calming, sense to drowse,
through root and stem to leaf and bloom,
by xylem, phloem, organic flow,
balms and oils, lore’s cure released.

Bole wrapped sooth bound, cork cambium,
a dressing for flesh wounded, soiled,
the medicine cupboard packed and stored,
appointed ointment for the soul,
the extracted value, learned, told.

Brittle bones framed by leathered skin,
tired wizened face from wearied limbs,
depository, wise distilled,
for storied in the ancient arts,
essential foil to parried fakes.

editors note:

Authentic apothecary offerings over foisted pharmaceuticals. – mh clay

Catcher of the Wry

featured in the poetry forum April 27, 2023  :: 0 comments

Flavour laid down in the bog –
less burning throat as sphagnum moss –
cut glass tumbler, pheromones,
yet mugged in tin, toothmug chin,
bristle dribble, rising waft,
vessel sense, varicose nose,
still illicit, thin bath charm,
malt at fault if backwoodsman.

Peat for warming, grate home turf,
tripe and onions, liver swell,
black and whyte, both bush and mills,
the briar tamped beneath the sign,
and craic, such çraic, the key in spell;
border north, plantation Scotch,
but here the Garda, shots at will,
and spittoon now for tar babies.

editors note:

Nothing so sweet as whiskey, neat. – mh clay

Cells in Swell

featured in the poetry forum November 2, 2022  :: 0 comments

Weightless fluid astronaut,
wait in float by anchored cord.
Breaking waters from the deep,
waves, contractions, tidal sweep,
brought to light in pulsing beat,
cacophony from silent sac,
tube to passage, swimming ways,
breaststroke, puckered sucking lips
to teat, as treated mother’s silk.

Internal architecture seeded berth,
birthmark through to end-stop, stark,
formed to live amongst the throng,
breast and nest of family,
village neighbours, urban swirl,
traffic through to concentrate,
nucleus of cells in swell,
selling, shelling, who can tell,
hell, wellbeing, fingertips.

Tomorrow’s cities still must spell,
weave the magic where we dwell
nurtured, blooded, sweat and toil,
internal architecture signed
one with all through all fulfilled –
speculative futures vested well,
sole borne spirit with one world.

editors note:

Celling haven; one world fits all. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 19, 2022  :: 0 comments

The problem with this merry month
is wordsmiths let loose fantasies,
that we think real as reel can be,
the sound required, licence allows,
a statement of the obvious.
I know the term must earn its keep,
speak for itself with clarity,
bridge, liminal from here to there,
the list, inadequate, revealed,
shortfall of airy diction book.
Not frittered spam or flittered sprite,
not fitted wordrobe, bedroom plan,
or filler, putty, caulk to scan,
but more than that, the sound as lifts;
that foot required when metre’s short
like muesli when the muse falls flat,
wordfitters in their rightful place.
Keep writing on, but mind the gap,
though right, life unpredictable;
for some, short circuitry at work,
while others may judge brainwaves slack –
but, poets, it’s your voice to birth,
and mined, rite words, to fit that space,
cut diamond facets, flash of sun.

editors note:

It’s craft or crap; builder and built-for both decide. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 13, 2022  :: 0 comments

‘What matters most?’ You ask and tell.
‘Most importantly’; ‘foremost’, ‘first’.
Mostly overweight, obese.
Now stop the cheek she says.

Exhausted list, false gods raised up.
Homework. Exam. C.V. Technique.
The elevator. Fancy tree.
Who you know not what can be.
A pose with poseurs, third degree.
And that’s not touching underclass,
hard to reach, the,
label, definite, article.

Quality, often, juxta, more.
The brief is clear. Cream at the top.
Feel the cloth, sir. Scholarship.
QA along with USP.

And writing. Art, Rosetta stone.
A shopping list in cuneiform.
The tablet. Sacred textual health.
Protective weapon in our wealth.
That jealous greenman, aeon stealth.

To be, though abstract, complement.
Plicit, im or ex expect.
Vanilla essence, concentrate.
Lifeblood, core, reduced, distilled.
Transfusion or more whisky malt?
Matter reasserts itself.

editors note:

We hope to distill a single malt from which to taste of the grand gestalt. (We welcome Stephen to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 26, 2021  :: 0 comments

Pulsion bears a driven force,
pro, like jet stream, prefix com,
impelling urge, expelling air,
that irresistance in the blood,
against the pulse, pump beaten heart,
repulsive to the grace of choice.

For that I hear a blackbird sing,
rings hardwood, hammer, pecker trunk,
see guppy flutter fantail bling,
arachnid fling, feast widow fate,
a baby wail for hunger, clings
to mother’s empty, swing drained paps.

editors note:

Pushed into all we are; pro, com, or ex. Keep pushin’! – mh clay

Lob, Lobe…

featured in the poetry forum September 15, 2021  :: 0 comments

Those sounding waves, years traveled light
are spokesmen for the nation’s state.
I say more often masculine,
most alpha lead, some girl allure,
on screen, pass billboard, TV slot.
So in control of people’s ear –
eustachian tube and beaten drum –
and if repeated time enough
as drip feed washes over brain –
sought after words gain loudest cheer.
The easy poll, to tick the box,
supply to power what think they want,
but first whet and manipulate,
and make believe solution’s served.

editors note:

Eloquence is answer. – mh clay