Featured Poems

old man behind a cemetery

by on February 25, 2021 :: 0 comments

I watched an
old man
drag two
sleeping bags
into the
behind a cemetery
and I watched
as his
into the woods.

I sat for
a while
if I
check in
on him or
call the police
but instead
I read
a book.

editors note:

When one story beats another. (We welcome Tohm to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Night Rain

by on February 24, 2021 :: 0 comments

The argon lights dripped into pools along the pavement,
As he followed her after the rain.
When she crossed the road,
He stood at the crossing where the traffic light,
Like a straightened question mark made exclamation
-Became a cold eye bearing down the nervous system-
He wondered whether she played piano,
Maybe in a bar or beside a window…

editors note:

Not stalking, just curiosity walking. – mh clay

Please Let Me Sleep

by on February 23, 2021 :: 0 comments

Twenty four hours in bed, though no rest in the imprints of pillowed heads,
form festering sores and crumbling iron deficiencies,

only two hours of dreams at a time when the snooze is never slapped during the dark nightmares,
when all the snapped brain synapsis never want to rest,

but know they’ll be all done until there’s just one night only left for sleep.

– Chris Butler

editors note:

So little time to sleep while quickly counting sheep. – mh clay

Four decades looming

by on February 22, 2021 :: 0 comments

thinking of the wolf in the black church
chained just before the altar to an iron stake long ago
pounded into the wooden floor
old earth occasionally spilling
bloodied, chain collared biting
two dogs bred for fighting
yipping, snapping, gnashing
a pail of water thrown at the triad between rounds
I might be dying
just not yet…

editors note:

Birthday dog fight. No candles, no last breath to blow… yet. – mh clay

Happy 52nd

by on February 21, 2021 :: 0 comments

Today, at the break of dawn,
Just when the suns rays came seeping in,
A little birdie flew in and sat on my window sill.
My toddler, half-awake, got up and smiled.
He looked at the birdie and waved.
And suddenly another sound, ‘chir..chirp’
Oh! It’s the mate.. another little birdie.
Together they sat chirping, fleeting, flapping their wings.
My toddler was giggling, clapping his hands and speaking to them.
The three conversed oblivious to the world.
A beautiful cacophony of chirps and baby boos.
My son looks at me, points his fingers and says
‘Ma… Da… Dii…’ and his eyes smile at me
They love you Ma, they love us all.
They are saying that right now.
I looked up at them .. did the birdies just looked at me?
They sat beside my son
Then flew away into the clouds, into the Universe.
My son looked up, bidding them goodbye.
His eyes were sad, but knew well,
The birdies will always come when he wants to speak.
They can only visit for a short while, they have to go back home.
But they are his Birdie grandparents
Forever there for him, with him.
Loving and blessing him,

Chirping and fleeting and flapping their wings.

– Devapriya Choudhuri

editors note:

With the thaw comes the song and the assurance… – mh clay


by on February 20, 2021 :: 0 comments

The eighty-foot Robinia
that grows in my garden
and tries to hide behind the garage, like a gangly
adolescent merging into the crowd, though
its delicacy of leaf is an indelible mark of distinction,
is also, I discover, known as the ‘black locust.’

The Black Locust. It sounds like a spy
from a pre-war novel, last suspected
of living under an assumed name in Casablanca
or perhaps Port Said, consorting with
dancing girls and passing on messages from the Fat Man
in mysterious codes, whorls, woody curlicues.

An invasive species, in this case from North America
where, paradoxically, it has been recently classified
as a weed due to its suckering habit
(where there are spies there are always also the gullible)
and so I look up at it
with renewed wonder; the world’s stateliest weed.

Most species are invasive; how many English nationalists
suspect the great oak of Chinese origins?
They must have laid their plans long ago,
in case the telecoms didn’t work out.
Since they can’t be made to grow straight, they’re no use
for railway sleepers; but maybe they’re sleepers anyway.

Robinia can’t be straightened either;
they have nothing to do with lines, defined angles;
their branches are flamboyant yet secretive;
if ingested by horses their bark causes,
among other ailments, depression and anorexia. Yet their pods
are eaten in Japan and Romania as delicacies.

The ‘delicate tree;’ that is what I called it
before I knew any of its many names.
Spy, horse-killer, preyer on crops,
invader of the prairies, your girth too big to mention
in polite company; crown-shy, twig-gentle, wrap me in
a forested espionage from which I shall never emerge.

editors note:

When a weed sparks wonder… – mh clay

Frozen River

by on February 19, 2021 :: 0 comments

Some physicists say (not Einstein) that time
is not like a river flowing
from the past through the present
into the future but instead a frozen river
no past or future no flowing of anything anywhere
everything that’s ever happened
or is happening or will happen is there already
frozen together (this is not the easiest
concept in the world to grasp)
time doesn’t move
just sits there in a big block of ice.
So theoretically I’m in our living room
back in our house on Northfield Avenue
Mom’s on the sofa watching TV
Gunsmoke or Perry Mason and I’m ten running
my Matchbox cars up and down the hills and valleys
that are her arms and legs
and I haven’t a care in the world.

editors note:

Here’s where we might like all our assets frozen. – mh clay