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Poem- Gentrification by Jade Blackmore January 5, 2018

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 Livable but slippery
Once red brick villains,
Now a horde of liars.
Vinegar tears from the old guard.
A concrete asp left over
from maladaptive days.

Protests fall on deaf ears,
A broken, lingering fear.
The mundane tapestry of day-to-day life
Shocked into submission by
The din of construction cranes
a permanently vacant building
Only the rats and spiders see their paper-thin but sustainable walls.

Laws were broken, then changed with the customary sleight-of-hand.
The lights go out
At the gymnasium where a one-eyed millionaire from the Valley
Tells bartenders and store clerks
How another luxury building will benefit them.
Homeless men raid the snack table
Then go down the street to sleep in front of the
Picture window
Framing a brand new, cobwebbed lobby.



Poem – Shinier Objects by Jade Blackmore December 7, 2017

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Shinier Objects

Cool and hip.
loud and obnoxious.
obscure, snarky and intellectual.
Academic and narcissistic.
And lacking in all protocol.
Edgy and underground,
Art fuck-y and self-absorbed.
Mix and match the adjectives with
Decades of faces and nothingness.
A parade of sculptures
With no discernible filling.

But tucked away in the corner
or maybe a few someones
forged a steady presence,
now neglected
for the wrong reasons,
for shinier objects
with nothing to offer except
eventual crash
and splatter.

They’re gone,
because like
they were too
pure for
you or
the barren, angry blur
the world has become.

They still exist somewhere
in a sliver of time and comfort
Back inside a cocoon
and unable
to defeat the
patina of lies.


Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Same October 22, 2017

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the same

the wreckage of a generation.
the good ones die early,
the evil ones fall like a house of cards,
the mediocre simmer and fade
to leave room
for the next generation
to perform
their version
of the same.

Poem by Helen Burke – What Becomes of Happiness? September 5, 2017

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What Becomes of Happiness ?

What becomes of happiness ?
Maybe there was just one day when you were happy.
Maybe you were small – 6 , 7 or 8 ?
Maybe you thought you had wings ?
Stood in your garden and planted a tree that a passing tramp had given you ?
Maybe you watched amazed as the tree grew in minutes and you
Climbed it , dizzy with the happiness of the day ?
The tree that wants nothing from you except that you climb it ?
Was that how it was ?

Maybe you sat up there, high , with the birds of paradise –
Saw what they saw, felt what they felt
Looked down on the whole world spread out before you .
Saw there were no shadows … maybe …

Maybe someone shouted then –
“Come on down now. Your tea’s ready . “
And you did , and that didn’t matter because
The tree would still be there after tea, just waiting for you.
And you climbed down, rung by rung , taking care not to damage your wings,
The leaves all the while whispering like lemon drops
And the scent of carousels and rainbows in your hair –
Just yourself in the crook of the day and the feel of those wings
And yourself with the sense to use them.
And all night and all day , you could go back out to that tree,
But you forgot it was there and someone said –
“A big girl like you doesn’t need wings. She needs to keep her feet on the ground.”
And maybe that’s how it was – until – one night ,
The tree could bear it no longer, and because it knew no shadows –
Maybe the tree began to sing , to call out to you
And knocking on your window came those birds of Paradise saying –
“Where have you been , my old friend, where ??”
And maybe you take your wings out from under your pillow
And trust once more to your feet in the dark.

And maybe that’s how the song that is happiness
Gets to sing in your life, all over again.


Helen Burke has been writing poetry for 42 years she also writes short stories, plays, comedy sketches and does painting and visual art.


Poem and Video – I Urge You by Anca Mihaela Bruma August 19, 2017

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I Urge You…

To meet me on the edge of the World…

There, where horologes grow their wings,
there, where distances ache our shoulders no more,
where the metronome dissipates our breaths no more,
and unbroken smiles do not grow…

The place… where… you cease to chase
The shadows of Worthlessness!…

To meet me where Eternity has lost its clock!
Where dreams live, unmutilated by tears,
so we can find each other
beyond banal bleached days
of senseless sceneless seasons,
where I may still taste the aroma of your morning eyes,
a Time and Place where I may cease to remember
how my roots were stolen from me,
and I may strive no more within the molasses
of mundane monotonous equations,
and require no more Mathematical solutions
of… this LOVE!…

I urge you to meet me
at the place where answers lose their questions,
with no maps or recipes to touch the Heart,
where words cannot shatter my hearing
and Time is not crammed inside a dusty lost note.
Meet me where the verb “to cry” is non-existent,
no walks on nameless maze of streets –
Instead, arched inside a hypnotic butterfly’s leap.

My Love…
I drew my Eternity under your eyelids,
words lost their senses,
past the borders between our thoughts,
just an additional pulsation for you….
to love me, insanely, without restraint.

No more random rusty routines,
Only… the Mirage of our cosmic Co-Existence!


Anca Mihaela Bruma, 31st December 2016

Copyright (c) 2015 by Anca Mihaela Bruma, All Rights Reserved, except the right to forward and to share with friends – with credit – which is held to be a good idea and is thus encouraged.

Poem by John Grey – The Breaking of the Drought August 11, 2017

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The rain is, at first,
like giant’s spit.
a few drops on the window,
a couple on the roof,
and then a half-hearted volley
that scatters its rat-a-rats
across the parched soil.

But then that giant
switches on his sprinkler system.
There’s no great force
behind the drops
but they slip into a welcome routine,
follow one behind the other.

But the big guy’s not done yet.
He starts emptying out his wells
and the sky is a grey melee
of a million tipped buckets.

Before long, the land is soaked through
and the word “drought”
is as forgotten as yesterday’s pop star.

But that giant likes nothing more
than to light his fire when he’s done,
sit down before it’s huge flames
and smoke cigarette after cigarette.

It’s the same giant.
Despite praise to the contrary,
there is no other.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly




Raising the Bar – Poem by Jade Blackmore July 29, 2017

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Raising the Bar

The ruins of a never-ending last call.
65 going on 19,
a frat-boy with too-thick eyebrows,
a woman with a shattered glass meth voice
Everything is free and easy
Or it’s not worth the effort.

The survivor realizes too late,
but drives away
from the long black expanse
of wasted years
toward reinvention.

Poem – Deaf Man by John Grey April 21, 2017

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I have a hard time
imagining where the sound went.
It was here
when I was twelve.
But today, it’s nowhere to be heard.
Without sound,
I can’t even ask somebody where it is.

But I’ve held down a job in that vacuum.
I’ve made friends with my hands.
The sub-titles on my television screen
describe noise to me.

And I have a lover now.
I touch her gently.
Her mouth opens
but nothing comes out
I have to rely on her face
for any and all responses.
Joanna’s everything sound used to be


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Cape Rock and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Poem by Helen Burke – Nobody believes (but everybody wants to ..) March 28, 2017

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Nobody believes (but everybody wants to ..)

This is a road poem.

This is an on the road poem ,.. this is a poem on the road.

Write it out . Print it out , sing it out , dance it out , paint it out ,

Let it out , dream it out , taunt it out , wait it out , sit it out , smash it out , trash it out , write it as a banner and wear it in you heart – wear it on the inside and show it to anyone who’ll listen and listen to anyone you can as you are

Walking , hunched over, tormented by the sidewalks and nudged by you own collapsing vision and the masquerading acceptance of the creosoted bars of

The world which is caving in , crashing down , crumbling around you – even as you DON’T speak , even as you do nothing. Where have all the good guys gone ?? where are all the pretty women you once knew ?? who does the kid in the playground look up to ?? – why cant it be you ??

There’s a guy shouting from the second floor window – if you could only hear what he’s saying – the rot would stop – the flood , the volcano and the plague of lethargy and despair that is the wall we call air – shout louder fella , shout louder I said LOUDER – I’m a long way down – we are all a long way down . and the only way is up , baby – up the length of a saxophone playing in the June sun on the corner of dragonfly street and the mystical avenue of where did it all go wrong .. and what the fuck happened to my dreams?? to my youth to the cream in the coffee , to the worn out pair of boots someone thought were mine and that they knew me by – we each have our own tread, our own way of shadowing that which cannot be shadowed , which will not be loved. Imitate a frog and move on sister – move on ma brother – make like a didgeridoo in the wind – why is there nothing left to believe in ?? (but everyone still wants to .. deep down ., low down because across town – we are all going across town , across the river , the across the mountains and out of our minds , clean out of our minds – looking for that girl , that guy , that impossible day when by the light of the subway – the fucking doors open and the world is , the world is no longer a nightmare and the world has come home again. And you can breathe again – and the world has come home and my sister the saxophone greets me and I fall into the arms, into the ARMS of my brother – the half-sprung moon.

Oh yeah.


BIO – 

Helen Burke has been writing poetry for 42 years she also writes short stories, plays, comedy sketches and does painting and visual art. She has a new collection called”Today the Birds Will Sing “ coming out with Valley Press in the next couple of months.

Her work has been widely published and anthologised.  She has won a number of competitions such as Manchester International, Norwich, Suffolk, the Yorkshire prize, Southport Comedy, Jersey, Devon & Dorset, Torbay and many others.

Her work has been published and distributed in America by www.origamipoems.com, based on Rhode Island, she has 15 chap books with them, having formerly read at Roots in Providence. She has recently been made an honorary member of Ocean State Poets.

She reads at many literature and music festivals in the UK and read with former Poet Laureate ,Andrew Motion.She is a regular host on E.L.F.M Radio in Leeds featuring many of her own poems and guest poets and musicians. Her work is described as witty, surreal, humane and accessible,commented on by Gillian Clark

Poems by Allison Grayhurst – Every Hope Inhaled and Through This Strand of Time January 10, 2017

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Every Hope Inhaled

Every day there is no day
where the fullness of his being
goes unhatched.
Not a day when I do not smell
his smell and hunger
for the rub of his lips.
Not a day when he stands so distant
I forget the kinship we share,
the mousey tide he sprung me from
and the ground of faith he thawed in my breast.

Here in July with my fishscope-view
and the shifting of circumstantial thorns,
when the tombstone tumbles and each handful
of hope has been hacksawed off,
he alone helps justify
and lamps my richest theme.


Through This Strand of Time

Breeze, I long to let lull
between my hairstrands
and move my heart to gentle sleep,
forgetting you and the reach of your
impulsive heart. Into my hands
the bit-bar of longing wanders, so that
my fingers scale the air in hopes of climbing
beyond this helpless loss.

Your primal vision is latched
to my own – I see you in dreams, with
your black eyes and unshifting devotion.
I see you when I walk, in crushed snails’ shells
and rainwater puddles.

Through the hours of morning,
the shrill of not-knowing burns like plastic
on my tongue. I am
not far from falling, not far
from letting a pale tear take my all.


Bio: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three times nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, she has over 880 poems published in over 390 international journals. She has twelve published books of poetry, seven collections, nine chapbooks, and a chapbook pending publication. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com