I get a strong desire
to ask a woman
if she will have my children
if she got upset
I could say they are outside
but what about if it worked
I could say that I don't have long
and would like to leave something behind
Why not it worked for Crowley
there it is
it is everywhere
but nobody looks too much
me I look
and sometimes I see
and I can feel it too.
The birds sing in Cantonese
a certain woman has a certain sweetness
the swirling white helicopters that
come from the lollipop flowers
sweep the garden
and all seems right with the world
just for a little bit
but it is
"The Laughing Man"
I see a man
bent slightly forward
hands in face
as if he is putting on a mask
the only way
a man who wears boots and cream shorts can
screams with misery
then he takes his hands from his face
he starts to laugh
and his face changes
then he looks at me
and laughs even louder
I lost it yesterday
that is inside me
it is like the cobra in the pot
all it needs is a flute playing
to bring it out
then when it does
it is like a nuclear explosion
I haven't seen him for a while
he may have moved house
and moved in with someone else
but oh no
he is still there.
I am just a man
not an honest man
not a particularly good man
I do very little
but every day I have a hope
that I can change
I can become that butterfly
I can bring something
so great to the world
that everybody will accept it
so you see that is why I write
and that is why I can never become a Christian
as much as I want to believe that
that guy died on the cross to save the world from sin
to give everybody the chance to start again
as each new day starts I believe I really can be different
but know most days will end in the same ultimate fashion
so it is a circle
one that cannot be broken
not for a man
or a god
Marc Carver has published some ten collections of poetry and over two thousand eight hundred poems on the web but his worst nightmare is to have to sit in a room and listen to poets read their poetry again.
"Submit to Us"
Submit to us
Your longtime friends
Crept in in the gaps
Seeped through the pores
Submit to us
How long we’ve stayed
Though you try to push us away
Close by your side
Inside we kept
Submit to us
When others approach
With lips of laughter
Cling to us
Don’t slip away
Submit to us
From the back of your prayers
Lining your throat of song
Submit to us
Come to bed
Whispers in your ears
Tumbles in the sheets
Tumult in your dreams
Submit to us
Though you push
And drink forgetfulness
And swallow paralysis
And cope unsuccessfully
Submit to the dusk
Submit to the fragmented
Submit to the forces
Submit to the fixations
Submit to us
J.T. Spivy is an English teacher in Parkersburg, West Virginia. While he always encourages his students to be creative and try new things, he typically fails to heed this directive.
"Creature of the Depths"
i used to like you
until you revealed
to be the knife in my back,
a creature of the
without mercy or consideration,
always expecting me
to drop everything at a moment's notice
simply to spend every moment
and you wouldn't respect the boundaries
i put up so i cut you out
now you won't leave my mother alone
wish you could just take the hint
don't want any balls and chains dragging me down
your negativity was toxic
to my health,
and i am done crucifying myself;
i'm over everything
to do with you
just realize that our garden of friendship has withered and died
i'm not coming back to chains--
no longer enslaved
by your negativity i have found a peace
that i am not willing to surrender
for your sake,
and a happiness that i have friends now that appreciate
that i need some alone time but they also include me
in ways you never would.
"From Being Shattered"
i remember seeing
of a creature in the field
looking at me,
and it turned out to be a little
our eyes met and we looked at one another
for the longest time
until he ran away retreating into the long grasses--
sometimes i find myself in unexpected
in fields real and imagined
running from the dangers of this world,
and so i could identify
with this little fox curious but also afraid;
running to prevent his ruin--
sometimes, though, perhaps it was unnecessary
maybe i would find
a kindred spirit in an unexpected place;
but i've met too many devils with the faces of angels
to take anyone at face value
i retreat deep within
to prevent myself from being shattered.
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian writer whose poetry, short stories, essays, etc. have been featured in many anthologies and magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks, the latest of which was titled splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018).
Honey Noon: "In Russia, females for centuries were oppressed, trapped, and the price of freedom was never obtainable. A camera lens was the only true way to reveal what most are afraid to discuss with 'taboo' subjects such as abuse, entrapment, overt sexuality, and nudity. This current series shows the post-abused period in women’s lives. Each model represents a tradition that proves happy life for a couple: Rose’s petals in the bouquets that men presents on a first date, rice that guests throw during a wedding in India, or bloody sheets that husbands have to show to the relatives after the first night with Chechnya. These are components of traditions that are still in our cultures and thoughts."
Anay Avoravu at a young age would travel abroad in search of clients and subjects that would satisfy her obsession with bringing reality to print. Unaccepted in Russia after traveling from Egypt to UAE and around the globe, she has found her home in Miami Beach and through her lens, creates visual art that exposes the world as it may exist behind closed doors, in dark allies, or even in plain sight. This artist describes her works as dark, ugly, and raw -- just as real abuse is. To her, it is not about what happened in the past, but how people carry it now.
"The Harem Gate Aviary"
In Topkapi sheathed with ornate faux freedoms
Iznik tiled foliage, glazed and unyielding
Bars of gold curlicues’ constrain those within
fresh meat for the sultanate, breasts and clipped wings;
amidst these ornamented castrums, ringed doves
hear the moons sighs, bathe in pearlized tears she sloughs.
"The Pigeon Shed"
In an unloved garden,
grass blades penetrating
compacted sod, like sparse hairs
on a balding head, Granddad
kept pigeons in a cack-coated shed.
From the open door, I watched deft hands
delve into wooden cells beneath barely
remonstrating bodies, a frowsy feathered
rumpling covering invading fingers.
He retrieved opalescent orbs from nesting pens
or cupped whole birds their heads protruding
between bars of parted digits.
The hens carnelian eyes startled
from steely cocked faces while plumes
of iridescent crops illumed
the drab interior. Nestled in his grasp
prized specimens pecked hardened skin
on Granddad's grimed knuckle pads as he
crooned, tenderness unknown
to our flightless family.
To a soft chorus of avian trilling Granddad
processed the aisle holding wafer thin eggs
to a votive flame seeking the iris-dark spot
and bloodshot veins of nascent life.
Motes hung in the fustered air and a hush fell
as a blind-eyed dud is placed on a shelf.
Smoothing the breast of a barren bird, tracing
its upturned throat Granddad straightens
stiffening joints; with a rasp of shock
a lopped neck furls in a fluttered
"If I Could Tell You about Cape Verde"
Cape Verde Has No Indigenous Mammals
a statement written by a mammal who
is not indigenous to the Cape but….
dusks petticoats muffle the foaming sea,
spume salting the archipelagoes limbs.
Choirs pepper night’s unseen obstacles, fly
with mushroom gill ears filtering echoes.
Cassocked pipistrelles were here before man.
And high tides gift produce, pets, the jetsam
localized by crescent moons at ebb tide.
Iridescent fans thrumb mornings ozone,
skimming reflections and water tensions’
transparent skin; larval naissance beneath.
Green rakes sift azure Op Art confusion.
Dappled, I squint at floating coconuts
by palm frond finger puppets. A sand dart
skirts the shadow-play, beak needling morsels,
preening feathers, beside tourist Castrums.
A pelt of bleached reed tones ripples over
muscle breezes. The feral tabby hunts.
I can tell you about the Cape. Call it
Cabo Verde. Come here by air and sea,
find indigenous mammals, pipistrelles
watched by Creole women, while dragon flies
skim ponds and feral cats hunt beneath palms.
Karen Downs-Barton is a neuro-diverse poet and student studying the History of Art with a Creative Writing BA while sofa surfing her way around the globe looking for somewhere cheap and interesting to live.
"they think they know me but they don't know"
"Bajo la piel de la liebre"
"culto al sol"
Wanda Fraga Sánchez de la Campa was born in 1994 in the city of Santa Clara, Cuba. Her work in the visual arts and literature in explores the human mind, emotions, and human behavior. Fragments of memories, people, situations, and objects that have determined her as a person are now presented in her work, alluding to them with the responsibility of sharing them, perhaps seeking to restore that bond that Wanda never felt, to have with the world.
You can view more of this artist's work at https://wandaartsession.webnode.es/ or on Instagram at @wandaartsession!
Everybody is asleep
There is an unknown silence
Uncle’s snores break this uncertainty.
The milk in the kitchen
Is slowly turning into curd.
The saplings in the garden
Have grown a little.
The hens are laying eggs
And behind those blue curtains
A lost soul
Is trying to solve
The puzzle of her life.
When I look at the sky
I don’t think about its vastness
Nor the changing colours.
I only think how I can
Climb so high
How I can touch it
With my own hands
How I can colour it
With my own painting brush.
Sravani Singampalli is a published writer and poet from India. She is presently pursuing a Doctorate of Pharmacy at JNTU Kakinada University in Andhra Pradesh. She writes all forms of poetry and enjoys singing.
"What Lies Hidden"
I shouldn’t have done it.
I’ve always shunned
always feared it.
Unlike the horses and dogs
who play the game,
do what’s expected
by their human providers,
by their audience.
I’ve always been afraid
of being seen
just in case
I was taken short
and golden notes
fell from my arse
than the spotlight,
the lighting engineers.
I think we’re all the same,
That’s why we’ve
"Tomorrow Never Comes"
The orcas decreed
that the dolphin’s wedding
should be delayed by a day.
Delayed till tomorrow,
if tomorrow ever came.
This would give more time, they said,
to decorate the wedding gowns,
to weave more shells into the kelp,
the tiniest of muscle shells for him
in every shade of blue,
sweet pink cockle shells for her,
sometimes veering towards red
as if warning of danger.
The music was to be rock ‘n’ roll,
played by the Killers, of course
on improvised pianos.
The octopus was responsible for
the wedding breakfast.
He had enlisted the help of every friend
to enlarge and beautify his garden.
To transport rocks with anemones attached
and bring a multitude of coloured pebbles and shells
to enclose the fishy tidbits collected especially for the feast.
But in spite of their reassurances,
still he worried about the guest list.
So many orcas and dolphins
who did not have a good reputation
so far as the octopuses were concerned.
But the garden was beautiful
and surely it was a fact
that tomorrow never came.
He had always believed it.
Now time would tell.
When I was nine,
I stepped on a caterpillar.
one end of a caterpillar.
And it’s caterpillar shape,
bright emerald green,
shot out the other end.
I have taken great care
never to step
on a caterpillar
Lynn White lives in North Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem 'A Rose For Gaza' was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition in 2014. This poem and many others have been widely published.
You can find more work by Lynn at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-White-Poetry/1603675983213077?fref=ts and lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com!
Its breath on spiral staircase rolling in waves of unread
paragraphs; the sleeping giant distant as a myth is given by rite
of spring. Listen. Witness visions of infant baptisms in holy
chrism, the cries of which rile the beast with childish echolalia.
Notice its mass, its sheer dominance motionless, fearlessly.
Another instance, notice the rolling hills behind gentle foraging
massive, playful. Prairie lizard frolic in the autumn mist a spirit
scent of children laughing. The rolling hills behind perpetual
perfect service provider. Forked tongue flames lick the air for
best reception over clear channel broadcast.
Dredge through fledging story in stammering manner against
inherent flanerie; open doors wedged with sworn oaths by pledge
of alleged sledgehammer. By dark and by silence, espy the snye
astride the riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore
to bend of bay, at bay, and stray not wayfaring stranger.
Seek the open landscape batwing flutter. Exalted One once
exhumed once hatchling prepare for takeoff, weather permitting.
Speak once upon a time upon the launchpad; one small step and
puff and gone in a cloud of smoke and away we go in leaps,
The stars beckon. The clouds (a shroud of sky) belie heaven.
What chain of command goes hand in hand and step by step side
by side with a basilisk! What cloying pacifist ploy to destroy its
temple cave, save a gravedigger, but a masochist? None but a
blasphemous cleric don the tetragrammaton, so to speak.
And so, to boast is bleak and thus barren. So black and radiant
and severe, thus explosive. From three to seven headless
allegories scorch the course of farsighted challengers; structural
integrity compromised by ball of fire. Fall, aquarius moon, into
the jaws of the Leviathan (an alms to the olm). It’s been a long,
long, long day.
Angelo lives and writes in Philadelphia, where he serves as founding editor of Empty Set Press and hosts Oxford Coma, a nihilist poetry reading series. His work has appeared in Yes Poetry, Luna Luna, Occulum, Be About It, Mad House, Apiary Magazine and elsewhere. His chapbook, HEROINes, was released in March 2017.
"Hood Canal, Sub Rosa"
It must have been May--
the wild roses mounded over rickety fences
in dirt track Dewatto
and we pulled over for the smell of it
the road tapered to a lane,
wild rhododendrons pink-lighted
the forest with candelabra arms
so it must have been May
in western Washington,
under blue sky seal,
ruck sack lunch
for us and Watson,
two hundred pound St. Bernard,
lazy beast, but good for a few miles
of woods and water,
cliffs and beaches
perfect Hood Canal hiking day
on the long Puget Sound inlet,
the white brushed mountains
of the Olympic Peninsula
on the western side,
so quiet we heard the
and the falcon wing rush
of avid eyes and talon thrust
it must have been May, summer’s promise
the Bernie alerted, stiff and intent,
deer? Roosevelt elk?
seal on the beach below?
We searched, spotting nothing,
Watson an immobile guard
out of the cobalt sea
a conning tower, dead black,
a movie flash of run silent, run deep--
nuclear death cruising, Pacific bound
Victoria is a poet living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Most of this artist's published poetry is about ecology and narrative in nature -- some journals that have included their work are Califragile, the Hawaii Pacific Review, Wildflowers Muse, Eastlit, and the Ekphrastic Review.
"El Lenguaje Figurado de Figueras por Seigar (3)"
"Pajaro Manchado de Azul (El Hierro)"
"Dirty Pink (London)"
"La Resonancia Catastrófica de los Dinosaurios (Tenerife) por Seigar (14)"
"Canillo, the iPhone files, summer 2015"
Seigar is an English philologist, high school teacher, and curious photographer. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, details, and religious icons. He feels passion for the pop culture that shows in his series. He considers himself a traveler and an urban street photographer. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, to capture moments but trying to give them a new frame and perspective. Travelling is his inspiration, however, he tries to show more than mere postcards from his visits -- creating a continous conceptual line story from his trips. The details and subject matters come to his camera again and again, almost becoming an obsession. He has participated in several exhibitions and his works have also been featured in international publications.
You can find more of his work online on Instagram at @jseigar and www.facebook.com/jseigar!
At night the isle is webbed with lullabies,
soft spirit voices tangled in the mists of thorn
and furze. They’re wisps of sound that gentle
me to sleep. By day, the murmurs guide me
to fresh springs, are at my shoulder as I creep
between the trees, sing a celebration as I slit
the warthog’s throat. They stroke the bristles
on it’s coat; lick my blood-hot hands; breathe
the stink of roasting flesh.
The man in the moon beats fast above the trees.
I met him once – O, years gone, when the wizard
and the girl were here. He wore a sea-stained jerkin,
tipped the liquor from a bark bottle down my throat.
He sang of women with his piebald slave. I worshipped
him, thought he’d kill the wizard, help me take the girl.
She taught me words, but I could never sing. When
the voices play, she’s all I want. To lick her shell-pink
skin, to part her thighs, to lose myself.
He kept her stoppered and secure. She wasn’t just stuff
for me, not Sycorax’s son. She had a higher destiny.
He saved her for a bald-faced, milky boy, a skinny prince
who’d swam ashore when the sail-boat split. I never
learned to swim. That’s all I miss: the girl.
Her father made her see me as I am.
But, when he went, he left the island’s song.
I’m a creature who’ll teach yer ‘bout language,
all the ghost-verbs that wander about,
cos I gobble the text that’s rejected -
all the bits that the smart kids rub out.
I eat up the unneeded adverbs,
munch on wily waste words tilI I bloat;
long-winded leftovers tempt me;
surplus syllables slip down my throat.
I lap up the lazy old letters
that will never get into a book.
I steal them from kids who write pages
and give them to kids who are stuck.
You might call me an alphabet freakoid
(O, those unwanted words taste so good!) -
but I see myself more as a hero:
in my view, I’m the new Robin Hood.
I’ll lick up the spare prepositions;
I’ll guzzle and dribble and slurp.
Once I’m full, then I give you fair warning:
Sometimes a word-worm must burp…
"All Hallows' Eve in Alnmouth"
Pink All Hallows’ light fingers the dunes,
unfurling shadows across their shifting feet,
down which the darker guests will tread.
The bugle of the sweet, wild wind
announces the first cobwebbed carriage,
and stirs the marram and couch to a flustered applause.
The moon lifts. White Hecate’s eye,
composed above the blue-black sea, spotlights
the first of the fae, in his silver and salt-green,
stepping, light as down, through the parting of grass,
threading his way by Jack-o-lantern
to the place where the torches have just been lit.
Behind him arrive his fellows, twisted in feathers
and fronds, slips of turquoise silk and sea-glass
glinting in the starlight, scraps of cloud
and mist: a queen with a golden diadem, a girl
in a scarlet dress, a tall man in violet-grey –
the multitude stream across the smoky dunes,
some dancing in giddy delight, some stately,
some wrapped in unknowable thoughts,
all trailing the sliver of moon-light through the smudge
of elephant grey. The sea breathes out,
breathes in. Far off, a lonely banshee wails.
The leader stops between the flames, calls to the sea,
his voice the shiver of pebbles under waves.
He warbles out his welcome at the ocean’s edge,
to the beetle-backed coracles that are suddenly there,
powered by strangely-jointed arms with batwing oars,
as they heave and pull towards the shore.
A murmur whispers and whistles, the rattle of shells
in a pocket, and spidery arms are raised. But one
of the company turns, looks keenly up, and sees -
the house overlooking the beach, the curtain’s sly spasm
as a face pulls back, into his home’s soft shadow.
One smiles like a scalpel; he saw the child’s face.
The ceremony has begun, the crowd is surging softly
forward, shrewd moths between the torch-flames,
eager to greet their friends. One looks back,
looks back and beckons with a rapier finger.
‘Come, child. We need a - guest of honour. Come.’
Yorkshire-woman Louise Wilford is an English teacher and examiner. She has had around fifty poems and short stories published in magazines including Popshots, Pushing Out The Boat, The Stinging Fly and Agenda, and has won or been shortlisted for several competitions. She is currently writing a children's fantasy novel.
"Murder in the Fields"
grandpa's hands were curiously calloused
even for a farmer
my own young fingers soft,
i tried his patience, learning too slowly
placement of seed along furrow
we paused at noon.
lunch was grandma's goodness
thick-as-a-board slices of white bread
fresh this morning from the woodstove,
garden vegetables from just beyond
her kitchen windows,
chocolate cake suffocating
under fresh cream
even the field mice answered the aromas
peeking cautiously over the embankments
one young, overly curious fellow
strayed too close and found himself
prisoner to grandpa's empty cup
delighted, i begged to keep this pet
watched grandpa's clear eyes go cloudy
full of anger and hate for the tiny destroyer
the cup lifted
unsure where safety lay
i stared disbelieving
as grandpa's boot
j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poems have appeared online and in print in numerous journals from California to Nigeria to the UK. His first collection of poetry and photography was published in June 2016, and is available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/clear-day-october-j-lewis/dp/168073055X). His chapbook is forthcoming from Praxis Magazine.
Unnamed: "My photo is born out of two of my passions, literature and photography. The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favorite stories because it represents society, different kinds of people involved in a vital search for happiness facing troubles and difficult situations, and looking for that something we need to feel complete.
If I had to choose one The Wizard of Oz character, it would be Tin Man. He’s looking for his heart. He lost it as we all lose our innocence, feelings, and innate good as is destroyed by society, personal relationships, and what makes us --little by little-- cold and indifferent."
Raquel is a curious, Tenerife-based English philologist and school teacher who is attracted to intimate scenes. She finds photography a peephole in discovering others and herself, feeling passion towards suggestive shapes, lights, shadows, and sense-stimulating bodies which invite us to imagine that intimacy we only let "our chosen" discover.
You can view more of her work on Instagram at @rachelghe and Facebook at www.facebook.com/raquel.garcia.Tenerife!
Grun knows where all music is, including
CDs and tapes that music is on,
Grun heard your mom singing in the shower.
Grun knows where digital files come from
and how they get to your phone.
Grun knows where your earbuds are but that’s as far as it goes with you.
As far as Grun knows you can do one thing
which is hear. You don’t listen.
That’s not a problem. Sometimes you hold still.
When you hold still, still gets up and goes to sleep on the couch.
Still doesn’t need your breath on its ear all night, you know? Grun knows
where your car is, if you have the radio on.
Grun doesn’t care. Grun eats lunch in the band room
at the local high school because it’s better than eating with you
and Grun isn’t even local.
You know that scene in that movie where traffic on the highway sounds like the ocean and the ocean sounds like the band at the beach bar and they finally have that moment?
Grun loved the weather the weekend you came here. Do you remember,
it rained glass powder from the construction
of the Comcast building and the wind blew away all your clothes?
But Grun thought this would be a good place to live,
and Grun is not wrong.
Grun runs under the highway and only coincidentally doesn’t throw you off.
If one day Grun didn’t come there would be trouble
with bridge vibrations and an oddness to anyone rolling up the driveway
But Grun does nothing
When they run the herd from a helicopter, the herd is like a river flowing through the gate
Saying something obedient to a coworker. ‘I love walking down the escalator,
you get so much closer
to the ground so fast it feels almost like
they’re burying you finally.’
One or the other was getting to me.
The building was historic— Nevermind
From the 16th floor— Nevermind
Plants were hanging in pots— Nevermind
There was one girl there on stealth who must be hiding from the helicopters— Where
in the room did she sit?
Must have sat on the bed.
She must have sat on the bed, she wouldn’t want to miss anything that went on there.
Every day at sunset she was in her room. Can’t remember
if it was cold or warm but it must have been. No one’s looking
for walking distance to a Walmart, what
can you buy there that you can walk home?
Now the plants are all dry and upside
down and always hanging, silhouetted
on projections for an art show that isn’t.
More or less like that spider that dropped down from the ceiling on— What even day was that?
What town? What could have brought a person around there?
First you have to find it, meaning know where it is. There’s nothing
that would get you off the highway except seeing the exit you were looking for already--
What would make this a whole place would be if you had a point,
three, a plane,
and a double line that leads to the moon.
When you go
somewhere and he isn’t there,
it makes you like him
Heather Dooley is an art model and poet from West Virginia, living in Philadelphia since 2007. She is writing about a character named Cupid. You can subscribe to her work at tinyletter.com/campfire30.
"Robert the Doll"
Annette, as wraith, remembering when
the emoticon of fear presented,
when the savage effigy inserted himself,
wanting nefarious dialogue between the two.
It pleased him, as the loathsome renegade doll
followed her shadow across the floor.
Annette now wears her mantilla like a second scalp,
especially in the storm-that of Robert’s great eye.
Does she dare ask?
Who decides where the plunge into the darkness will take place-
Who measures the when and how long of Robert’s wild dance-
Does she dare?
In the new Millenia:
Cemetery plots expertly cloned, raised higher than in times past,
no more sprawling acreage; land in Key West is tight!
And still, Robert “lives” on.
He calls to them as well as the living.
Again, does she dare ask?
Let's roll the bones to find out.
She tips her hand, she should never have lent voice
to the name Robert The Doll even in these modern times.
For even now, the insane ones spill into the street,
lost boys and girls chewing up the scenery
with their mad eyes after Robert’s introduction.
That lion in his lap, the sentry of this oddity
wearing the cursed cloth, reminds her:
Didn't Robert once roam the halls of The Artist’s House alone?
Well, didn’t he?
"Sticks and Stones"
There’s an odd place in an alternate dimension,
where all wars are fought with skeletons.
These subjects of osteology lie dormant until conscription,
well-preserved in the interim.
Adults only; minors never get to be
heroic revenants, noble bones.
Once wakened, they are fully conscious of their purpose,
realizing that the burden and horrors of war
have been put on their ossified cages only.
They, without souls, but not without honor,
the fleshed never harmed as these bony frames battle
with bow and arrow, sticks and stones, knife and spear.
for the same reasons inhabitants
destroy themselves on other worlds.
"Music of the Medusa"
One being, a bell with tentacles,
having already designed and imagined
all that exists, except for the best of musical sounds,
sent every tentacle to travel through space,
to travel through time,
requesting each realm to develop their own unique sound,
asking each world to discover that single note
and keep it safe until the tentacle could return
and learn it and return to the Medusa with that sound on its tongue.
A tone to be added to a magnificent composition
so that all places might share in a great song,
enjoy divine, melodic bliss.
So having been informed of the task,
the music of the spheres began.
Each world constructed Schelling’s frozen music
and taught the sound to their children
so that they could connect with nature and all that she provides.
On our own world, man sang, but he found legion
and each became unknown to the others, a free will gift.
So, in time, there was much dissonance,
too many sounds, all so different, and out of harmony.
Discord became the status quo.
But one day, Earth's tentacle will return and ask
as it was instructed, for our world to provide,
as one tongue, a single intonation
that is striking, melodious, benevolent.
For our sake, Mankind will have to find that voice together.
For at the last and at the beginning , the Medusa,
that source of all beauty that any have ever known or dreamt of,
will combine all sounds, even it which man, as one world, composed,
and will create a symphony of the ages, which will never cease.
newly become a wraith,
walks among the stones,
seemingly lost, yet looking
for something she vaguely remembers.
The dimming day like all the others,
this oncoming night, resembling many long past.
What she wishes to find does not come easily to her mind,
yet is all consuming on her psyche.
The weight on her heart is painful,
but she must continue,
for once she sights it, she will have tranquility,
after so much searching.
So she seeks, seeks, seeks...
Ah, there it is
set in the ground,
so common looking
like all the others.
Yet, this one is special
because of him.
And as she digs and digs down into the earth
knowing she will once more finally touch him.
50 years of searching,
and then she takes him into her arms.
This tiny thing,
once again to love him as before.
Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.” She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Nominee.
Her work has appeared in numerous national and international journals. Linda’s creative process and a current, complete listing of sites which have or will publish her work can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.
This isn’t like fixing a Monet after someone has punched it. Horrible things are happening. My foremost thought is, “I want macaroni and cheese next time. I haven’t had it in years.” All of a sudden EMTs rush past with a man on a stretcher, his face covered in blood and bite marks. I scream something – in terror, I suppose. The last time I was so unsteady was probably when my mother died. I feel like any minute now I might look up and see her in the window of a plane
waving. A policewoman orders me to move along. And I was just about to ask, “What advice do you have for young people?” It was only a couple of days ago that some kids grabbed a classmate and persuaded him with fists and sticks and colorful arguments that one eye is enough.
"Are You Fucking Kidding Me?"
Groups of friends arrive on the hour every hour. A guard with the enflamed eyes of a drunk demands identification from them, but in a voice too faint to hear. You need to be patient at this stage. People don’t remember and sometimes I think they don’t even understand where they are. Cows roam around with butcher knives in their backs to make slaughtering easier. There are countless dead rabbits. A fly can't land on a fruit tree without first begging permission. So I just
sit here with my mouth open, I do, because I’m getting older now, and it’s hard work.
Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize and forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.