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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Lines

by Ram Chandran

the songs of rains-
not alone
in this monsoon night

Lines

by Tom Lagasse

Birds chatter jazzy lines
The stream gurgles a bass line
I hum along

Sunday, October 2, 2022

wooden knots

 by Geoffrey Aitken
 
news reports
global change
affects people
 
earlier for children
and adolescents

who we’re warned
may adopt guilt
or tenacity

a reflex response
 
my own memory
does not recall 
how laces were tied
 
only of shoes

Monarchs

by James Kangas
 
Queen Elizabeth (Mountbatten-Windsor) 
ate jam sandwiches at teatime. I need 

to go back to the park where I collected
milkweed seeds and plant them 

for the dwindling numbers of monarchs 
that fly through these parts

so they can have their equivalent of her
jammy snack, her ambrosia, and maybe

come back and turn the sky a brilliant 
orange in the next twenty years.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Lines

by Tom Lagasse

Pine trees sway in time
a chorus of bullfrog song
The rocks meditate

Lines

by Ram Chandran

star gazing-
I remember 
mom's story for each star   

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Androids Do Fleece Sheep

 by Geoffrey Aitken
 
this day to day
 
of breathe in and out
for continuing life
 
is difficult to support
and more difficult to follow
 
with its inconsistent
walk with me prompts
 
by assumed authority
 
knowingly confident
their own success
 
also measures ours

Batty Attic

by Kathryn Holeton
 
Sleeping in sunlight,
Bats in the attic window-
hanging upside down.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Lines

by Daipayan Nair 

the dragonfly 
on a sunflower
...till I give up 

Lines

by Chen-ou Liu

a crow
perched on the bird feeder ...
foreclosure sign

Lines

by Joshua St. Claire

black raspberries
the deer
leave some for us

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Blue Jays Aren’t Blue

by Ann Chiappetta
 
The phenomenon of light scattering is An artifice
Filtering and fooling the eye
Muting the spectrum except for blue
 
A crushed cardinal feather
Is red through and through.
But the wind cannot be fooled.

Tide

by ae reiff
 
Plenty of variables above the peaks
discover cliff sheltered bays
to equivocate both eye and mind
above the tide of those
who keep their heads to plunge
Simple rectilinear, curvilinear pi
the mind sees, not the eye.
 
Homonyms for nouns
Emboss in holograms the sea salt thing,
down by the waterside, backs to land,
undersea curves and planes of change
five-fold crest the waves.

What arm binds the restless wave?
O hear us when we cry
For those in peril on the sea,
I wept tears from my eyes.
 
When the sun parched seven times
to call the whirlpool throat,
the whitened devouring world,
teeth of iron and nails of brass
devour underfoot the others slain
for those beliefs that got them there,
like pilgrims fall from grace.
 
In the world of water, land or oil
do not grudge that same soul wind
to blow the time to sail.
A commonwealth invades its own,
sneaking up behind 
Ossian in the grass, scales Pythagoras.

"My waters are polluted"

by Jayashabari Shankar

My waters are polluted,
All my treasures have been looted,
Plastics and trash are everywhere,
They capture my fish with a snare,
The birds and turtles mistake plastic for food,
My oceans are dying, I must conclude.
Acid rain and chemicals kill the corals,
Yet all they do is quarrel.
No fish, no ice, nothing left for the polar bears,
Yet nothing is offered but tears.
Neither is my land left untouched,
Full of landfills and chemicals, crushed,
The other planets jeer and mock me,
“Why do you harbor life? Be free like us, can’t you see?”
The same questions I asked myself,
Yet my reason I shall give shall speak for itself,
I offered a home to animals, plants, and humans too,
With hope they can make the universe better for all- me and you.

Yet when humans hurt other life and my oceans,
Sadness, anger, fear- come out all my emotions.

Each piece of litter gives a heartache.
Yet some acts I witnessed stopped the heartbreak,
Activists tried to protect me,
They pick up litter and plastic from my sea,
Others march for change,
Demanding that animals and nature be saved,
Yet what touched me the most,
Was people who picked up trash one by one, near the coast.
Even though their contributions seem small,
To me, it is the biggest of them all.

I realize that being a planet full of life is quite rough,
But having others to help makes the journey less tough,
Never doubt someone’s contribution however small,
We can save my oceans and land one by one, that's all.

Yes, this poem was written by your planet Earth,
I am alive too, and with words, I have no dearth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Lines

by Douglas J. Lanzo

refreshing mist
remnants of thunder claps
from white-frothed sea

Lines

by Joshua St. Claire

tea ceremony
a raccoon dips an apple
in the Susquehanna

Lines

by Ceri Marriott

Chilling summer's day
The oaks have always been there
New owner prefers stumps

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Voices

by John Valentine

I an old man,
A dull head among windy spaces.
-T.S. Eliot

 
Sometimes quick clearings
in the night.
Palimpsest, traces trying
the language 
of illumination. A time, a moment.
Then the sudden dark
of forgetting. You are like a blind man
tapping a cane
in his memories. Alas, the armature and its
shadow.
Stand up, quickly now, quickly. Here come
the voices, dry
whispers in the wind. Scarecrow, beware.
Where is the contract,
the guarantee of eternity?  

Aureate Locks

 by ae reiff

Lost trains along the track
convey the draft in flames
from farms below the lines.
 
Giant cubes of steel
out-plane and form
the old world round
with one intent to burn.
 
Drop by drop on aureate rock
ducks in their coal-neuks discern
A double strand of long legged thrones.
Toes with feet hang down,
Turpitude grows endless
commentary where I go.
 
Call them bridges over mouths,
call them gates grotesque
bobbling on corded strands
one foot in vacant space.
 
Eagles nest on road signs there
and firefly wishes rise,
High season down high road wears
different color thoughts,
yellow hats and chartreuse scarves.
 
The crowd is singing, tongue in Mouth,
Throne rulers create the lords,
moon chained villages suspend below
radium pyre words.

The love-bugs

by Rongili Biswas 
 
Love-bugs, I call them, though they have nothing to do with love. They come in late Autumn. Hordes of them. And go round and round in circles around a source of light. They want to singe their wings, burn themselves to death, they make the buzz of their circling sound unreal.
 
Dark moths, I call them. Though they have nothing to do with moths. They come when evening descends. Or at nightfall. Over the shoulder of a neighbouring tree that has splayed its hands towards heaven. As if in votive offerings. Its avid religiosity clasped in a gesture of genuflection that has gone awry.
 
They live in dark corners in the hounding daylight. In musty leaf litters. Or, in crannies of the bark that nameless trees offer them. Almost whispering, I call them – ‘pappataci’. Though I know more than anyone else that they have nothing to do with those wilful midges. Both my whisper and the soughing of the wind are lost on them.
 
Their whirls seem an act of atonement, for some wrong they have never done.
 
I find them stricken with a grief that they do not know how to shake off. And I see grace oozing out of their tiny bodies in the gathering dusk.
 
I think of an unusually quiet night. A blue one like none other. ‘Over strand and field’. Over the clear sky, the transparent wind, and the forlorn shrubs. Reddened with bruises. Teeming with sighs. And blackened with immured pain.
 
The love-bugs, going round and round in circles,
                                        move towards eternity.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

High Force

by Andrew Collinson

Where the Tees falls off the edge
Natural cold boiling guinness
Violently tumbles between rocks
Blundering rapidly down stone blocks
Suiciding noisily off the tops
 
Massively more so in full spate
Filling the ancient vertical gate
Fell water & pure turbulence meet
Wet misty cream, gravitates in rough sheets
 
Rolling plundering, vertically thundering
Heavy constant feed, for the dark velvet pool
Calming the torrent, waves to ripples go
Deep pools distant edge, brackish flow.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Lines

by Ram Chandran

except under a lone tree
meadow full of
morning sun

A monostitch

by Elancharan Gunasekaran 

dune upon dune sand gales grasping but never catching the hawk in flight

Lines

by Jerome Berglund 

why man invented fire
      to cook meat
Laughing Buddha

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Jackson Street Idyll

by Deborah A. Bennett

the old women's eyes bloom
like daisies fingers lift
like lashes like the caterpillar 
sliver of light against the tree's 
hollow heavy with fruit
i hide beneath the folding table
fearing i too will be changed
toes buried in lemon grass
in the sound of sirens &
dominoes their voices beside
my head like the cicadas
undressing beside the willow bark
butterflies like ghosts in the
cigarette air behind the bodega
the green stamps the subway 
tokens the weight of wings
between my fingers the 
taste of yellow apples. 

Romanian Calusarii or Man Dancing With Horses, a Pantoum

by Patricia Furstenberg

Days fall behind on this life
Even a donkey pulls the carriage with dreams
Dusty road tamed, time creased
Men dancing like horses came our way.
 
Even a donkey pulls the carriage with dreams
Tell-tales ribbons, walnut staffs hold meaning
Men dancing like horses came our way.
Freezing mid-air jumps the ancient tale.
 
Tell-tales ribbons, walnut staffs hold meaning
Festive shouts or war-cries tamed
Freezing mid-air jumps the ancient tale.
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.
 
Festive shouts or war-cries tamed
Sun draws shadows lost in iconography
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.
We witness life winning over death once gain
 
Sun draws shadows lost in iconography
Tell-tales ribbons, underfoot crumbling hells
We witness life winning over death once gain
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.

Tell-tales ribbons, underfoot crumbling hells
Perpetual cycle keeps death away.
Fearless warriors turned dancers with chiming bells.
Days fall behind on this life

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Haiku 3

by Andrew Collinson

Bare gnarly oak, bank tied
boulders, white water clean
Newly torn limb, gone.

Lines

by Chen-ou Liu

street camping
alongside one stray
... then many

Lines

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

In the church of the starving
Crucified bread
Never goes stale

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

At Marineland

by Chris Daly
 
I was most amazed by the way the 
Attendant used the word. 
 
For their next behavior forky and gorky 
Will goose each other in mid air. Please 
Remain silent for this difficult behavior. 
Good behavior, forky, gorky and good 
Behavior, you folks, too.  
 
If they are going to capture words 
And train them to go in circles 
Why not call it Wordland?  
 
Good behavior, fish man repeats,  
reminding me of jail. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Birds

by Arianna DelMastro

I wake to the birds
Already singing. 
Like they haven’t seen the burning trees.
Like they didn’t watch us
Make our breakfast with their young.

They just sit
And sing.
Like the sun rises just for them.
Like the trees shot up from their seeds
Just to cradle them, gently.

Even the caged birds,
With clipped wings
And rugged beaks,
String together melodies
(Even if they’re elegies).

I watch them through my window
While my coffee gets cold.
They dance through the sky
Like the air around them
Isn’t poison. 

They bathe in the oil that we’ve spilled,
Preen their feathers with pollutants.

And still they sit, and still they sing,
Like the day isn’t really breaking.
My little sister calls them “morning doves.”
It seems no one wants to acknowledge
The “you” in their mourning. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Monsoon Asks

by David Chorlton
 
How thirsty is the mountain?
A hummingbird suspended in rain
looks in through the window.
Does it consider life’s meaning or just live it?
Summer is progressing with the end-
of-season sales selling off surplus.
Would it help the Polar bears
if we returned everything we bought?
Whose fault was the Industrial Revolution?
Will we need umbrellas today?
What is the sound of sunlight falling?
Why else would a buzzard appear
near Forty-eighth Street if not
to symbolize the natural world?
The four peaks sixty miles away
seem to be moving this way.
Are people prepared for them to reach us
and do they know why glaciers disappear?
Will there be enough cigarettes
for the journey to Hell? Does the route
cross the river  that flows north
from the border. Can the Border Patrol
arrest a river with no papers?
What nationality is a jaguar?
Today the trucks come by to pick up
recycling: how much of it will reach
its intended destination? Should we have
addressed it? Now there’s lightning
running down a lizard’s back
on the backyard wall. If he keeps going
he’ll be climbing moonlight soon;
another day and he’ll be crawling
through the stars.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Full Moon Over Big Sur

 by Timothy Resau
 
The pine branches
in the fog—
 
The moon across
the window.
 
The moon
in the fog
across the branch.

Lines

 by C.X. Turner

a buzzard
circling slower
than clouds

Lines

by Katherine E Winnick

pleasure rain
the pink moon rests
- nights edge

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Colonias

by ae reiff
 
This is what the sages wrote
When new age Eras tore the coasts
to remyth ships of Homer out
when Delphi emptied Greece that month
of dark sea trade of masks and tusks 
and all its whales to Prouts Neck made
ecstatic over rock and ledge
the Mareotic piscine lake.
 
Mystics hid in slabby mists
the hillside brush that emptied Greece
and marched to the golden age.
Harbor captains bent to slump
their water jar swift governments.
Behemoth lept and Leviathan,
chief magistrate to found a state,
made new oaths repatriate.

Applause

by Sean Monett

This episode of 
The Harmless Mistakes show
Is brought to you by
Crushing Regret
And produced by
The Traumatic
Memories Group

Promotional consideration
Provided by "Probable
Future Deterioration" and
The Sorrow of Premature
Disillusionment Company,
(A division of Broken
Childhoods, International.)

Without more ado,
It's time for another
Unappealing Reflection
With your host
Scant Motivation
And musical guests
Those Who Are
Avoiding You.

This week, our panel will
Discuss the downhill
Course of human history.
Plus, a friend of the show,
Chef Tedious Routine, will
Teach us all how to make a
Tedious poutine from
Only your unused ambitions.

We have Dr. Unearned Confidence here
With tips on enduring the endless pain. 
Later, we'll play a game of
"Ignore That Disaster"
With our studio audience, 
And stay tuned, because you
Could win a life-threatening
Atrocity of your very own.

The views expressed by
Our guests do not represent
The views or policies of the 
Traumatic Memories Group
Or its parent corporation, 
Selfish Gratification Entertainment.
This program was formatted
To fit a smaller worldview. 

Harmless Mistakes
Is a program narrated by
The Voice of Reason
Theme song performed by
Spiral Depression and the
Unrealistic Expectations
Special thanks to
Past Indiscretions, LLC

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Summer Holidays

by Lynn White

We all holidayed in Britain
when I was a child
and no one swam in the seas.
The water was empty beyond it’s edge
even on the warmest of days.
Parents sat in deckchairs closely packed
wearing overcoats for the wind
and a newspaper hat in case of sun.
Paddling was as adventurous as it got.
Nothing wetter was allowed,
nothing wetter was desired
in that cold, cold water.

Affluence and climate change
changed our traditions.
It was the costas for us now
in clothes purpose made 
for playing splash,
for warm water swimming
and stretching out to sunbathe
on closely packed sun loungers.

Then we’re back in Britain.
Sent home by fear
of infection and contamination
carefully keeping our distance
from each other
as we scurry to British beaches
only to be sent home again
as travelling was not allowed
nor was paddling 
even though the sea is warm,
nor was sunbathing,
or beach games
on the warm sands.

Soon we’ll really feel the heat.
We won’t go anywhere then.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Countdown

by ae reiff
 
You can be unspeakable every day
and question breathing back.
Beginning to be winter folk
began to untangle rope
like water from their feet and swim
downstream where human forms array
to walk an hour before dark had come
when countdown starts and wisdom
in the ears glides shapes of brazen sea.
Plunging wave amnestic hearts
diverted in the midst of blindness knew
the most dangerous work was coming next.
 
The prophet fool and spirit mad
Orange Sea of rock mesh nets,
internet hemlock farms engulfed
potential melee, swallowed riots,
to slide into the sea of fever pitch
ready, salvationists as well,
leucoplasts in Hummers:  
all administrants to personnel!
Photo cells turned red lights on.
The sun stabbed arms in a purple gown.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sonnet to the Fifty-One Senators Who Voted
Against the Women’s Health Protection Act

by Joanne Durham 
 
I don’t have a personal story 
to pull at your heartstrings.    Never
bled sterile from a coat hanger.    Never
carried a child inside my body 

minus a mouth or a windpipe, knowing 
they would die within days strangled 
on their own breath. Was young and naive
but never paid the price. In America, we elect

you for your adorable puppy and three smiling 
children, spaced apart like their perfectly 
braced teeth. Then you abort 
compassion  --   your heartstrings broken. 

Our shared story is watching five deemed
Supreme smirk us back to the Dark Ages.