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

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THE BREAKING OF THE DROUGHT

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.

BIO:

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

 

 

 

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Megalomaniac – Poem by Jade Blackmore July 30, 2017

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Megalomaniac

Everyone else is a laughingstock,
Buoyed by the clutter of a premiere page.
Caffeine boost, internet drone.
A human statue, so cryptic and cold-blooded
More exalted than
A dead comrade
Or new girls and their selfies.
So untouchable
In her salty square corner of the world.

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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DEAF MAN

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.
Thankfully,
Joanna’s everything sound used to be

BIO: 

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

Three Poems by Alan Britt – Zen, Swallowing a Wine Soaked Flea, and Salary Cap February 19, 2017

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ZEN

One minute mullets slap my face,
slash my grin, & fill the boat,
next I’m chasing split fingers
in the dirt.

One minute folks beg photos
for basement mausoleums,
next I’m coughing steroids
in a pine-paneled dehumidified
definition of the Old Testament’s
Heaven & Hell.

One minute thunder plunders
the virgin lips of imagination,
next I’m waltzing the long
end off a short pier.

One minute I’m a saffron wasp
digesting the succulent underbelly
of a green leaf caterpillar hidden
beneath a July broccoli frond.

Unfortunately, he’s the one.

 

SWALLOWING A WINE SOAKED FLEA

It tastes a little like pepper
if pepper didn’t taste like anything.

 

SALARY CAP

Stadiums shiver; knees knock;
knees not what they were
before that right field sprinkler—
then hips complain, & shakedown
of the skeletal system ensues,
& nobody wins.

So much for Cleveland quakes,
Baltimore tremors, Pittsburgh’s
yellow mud, Chicago elections
that don’t involve liquor. So much
for buying the World Series, Yankees
style, ubiquitous, nonetheless.

 

BIO: 

In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture Benjamín Carrión in Quito, Ecuador as part of the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. In 2013 he served as judge for the TheBitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. His interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem aired on Pacifica Radio, January 2013. He has published 15 books of poetry, his latest being Violin Smoke (Translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published in Romania: 2015). He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.

Library of Congress interview at this link.

 

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

Poem – Snowed In by Helen Burke December 29, 2016

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Snowed In
by
Helen Burke

And ..some people spend their whole lives , snowed in .
But we’ve been lucky , we have braved the blizzard
And gotten soaked through to the skin.
Do you remember the funny house in Wales
And waking to a prisoner level of the white stuff.
It felt like a weight had been lifted from me
I could just stay within the snow circle
And let the frost and the icicles do the rest.
Everything was white , my soul , my bones , my blood.
And yet I have never felt so alive.
As if a great drifting lay above and below me
And little particles of my small self dissolving
Into the December day .
From the top window I could still see the world ..just .
I could see the perfection of what might be achieved
If we could just hang on in there …
And a figure walking in the distance that I knew
To be myself.

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

Poem – Moontalk by John Grey December 20, 2016

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MOONTALK

 

Moon sings out
any new sighting with feigned surprise.
As ever. Moon, the troop ship,
rampant and denied, its useless blessing secured
during my evening course. Left hip twinges
every step. Evenings are like this now,
my 4th decade backed into a corner,
for one more generation.
a hurricane aftermath piled atop me,
no surprise, barrier wobbling in the bay,
health services used for playmates,
greeting you, I grump, limping,
the end of the year hard upon us,
there it is still, between trees
through the old streets, fading further
on incomprehensible walks with you,
not the fifty seven years, just the voice.

BIO:

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He work has been recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Poem by JD DeHart – Rummy October 28, 2016

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Rummy
 
I stopped playing rummy
years ago because I kept
losing.
I stop playing everything
I can’t win.
That’s not tenacity, I know.
I’m not competitive until I
realize I am.
That’s why learning to love
is difficult.
It’s taking yourself out of the
game, realizing that winning
is not all there is.
Seeing more than the flash
of cards and the promise
of a payoff,
just enjoying being at the table
and talking through
the deck.

 

BIO: JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available from RedDashboard and on Amazon.