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Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Mourning Dove June 11, 2019

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The Mourning Dove

The mourning dove
Perches and coos
on the balcony railing,
She acts as if she belongs there,
a frequent visitor,
a symbol of hope.

A few minutes later
She waddles on the ground
With her companion,
Surveying the mottled pink flooring
for crumbs.
We put out a plate
of crumbled homemade bread for them,
And it still sits there,
An open invitation
For cleansing and peace.

Poem by John Grey – Ugly May 26, 2019

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That’s what the other girls called you
all the way through grammar school.
Not ugly as sin.
They were still too young
to make that connection.
But ugly as yourself,
the face in the mirror that
your mother assured you was just lovely.
You weren’t convinced.
She only said it sometimes
and, even then, you were learning
that mothers always come out with that stuff
when they’re talking to their children.
Maybe she saw some kind of beauty.
Maybe she just wished it was there.
But the other kids were adamant.
You looked like the back end of a mule.

Some growing does come with
its own beauty treatment of course.
You journeyed from that mule’s rear
to its head to a more dignified horse’s noggin
and, finally, by the age of thirteen,
were a girl, average in appearance,
among other, mostly average, young girls.
Some even hung with you.
They forgot all of those ancient slurs.
You did too.
By then, your mother never commented
on your looks themselves,
just what you were doing with them:
the dresses worn too high above the knee,
the raids on the grownup makeup case.

By then, guys came into the frame.
The one you liked called you
and your friends ugly.
At sixteen, he couldn’t be with you enough.
By then, ugly had become more
indicative of the one who said it
than the ones they were saying it to.
You took ugly as a signpost
to a time when you wouldn’t be.



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.   

Poems by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal – Suddenly Last Summer and The Soul February 27, 2019

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Suddenly Last Summer

Suddenly Last Summer
The Motels sang
and I was taken back to 1983.
My whole life was in front of me.

Suddenly Last Summer
The Motels sang
and I was back at the beach at 16.
There was no better place to be.

I thought it would last forever.
That was just wishful thinking.
It is 35 years later and I cannot
stop this sinking feeling.

I saw that The Motels are
out on tour to save Los Angeles.
Suddenly Last Summer
I need to get back more or less

to that place where I thought I
I could be whatever I wanted to be.Is it too late?
Please do not
tell me that it’s too late for me.

All I need to do is buy a ticket
to see The Motels in Los Angeles.
Suddenly Last Summer
will make me feel ageless.

The Soul

The soul is a place of wilderness
and oblivion, where a shallow
grave awaits, where the spirit
retreats. The soul is a deep,
dark cave, where birds of paradise
and flying birds wilt and die.

The soul is much more than one
could imagine. It is not always a
dark place. The light of day can
come from there. It is the first step
one takes from the chill to the warm
and hopeful place where one can
come to. The soul can be a place
of hope. It all depends on the soul.

Bio: Luis lives in Southern California, works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA, and has poems upcoming in The Ogilvie, Spillwords, and Unlikely Stories.

Poem by Rob Quill- Word Assault February 19, 2019

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Word Assault

it’s early.
say a word, two words,
a string of them.

I will hear only
one.  I will hear
only what I want.

I will distill
your word and swish
it around.

then spit it
out like so much

BIO: Rob Quill is a new poet, getting his feet on the ground.  He lives in a city and loves words.  Read more of his stuff soon on Synchronized Chaos.

Poems – “Found/Lost” and “The Sound” by John Sweet February 14, 2019

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was talking about this dog on fire
was talking about nixon
or cobain or
some other suicide

last day of july and
the smell of all those bodies
rising from the river

your pale breasts cupped
in my blistered hands
more beauty in this
world than i
could ever describe


the sound

was talking about
clouds in the moonlight

was drinking you like
holy wine, like poison laced
with strawberries

had almost forgotten
everything i’d
wanted to


John’s poetry collections are available on Amazon.com and issuu.com

John’s blog is The Bleeding Horse, Avenged 

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Millionaires’ Wives February 3, 2019

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Millionaire’s Wives

They are thin and attractive
With the best clothes,
The dream house,
And husbands who fawn over them.
“She saved me”, they say, “The best day of my life was when I married her.”
They are always on an airplane first class
But every photo of them shows a
A hard look in the eyes
Never a hint of smile,
Lips pursed like a camel ready to spit.
There is always something wrong with
The salesgirl at the fur salon.
The waiter at the three-star Michelin restaurant,
The casual comment  by a friend,
The world in general.
I wonder why
They never smile
Maybe it’s because of
Botox or plastic,
Or because they consider smiling a
Sign of weakness and stupidity in a woman?
Or maybe their husbands just want a
24- hour dominatrix?
I only know if I had
Their lives, I’d crack an occasional smile.
But then I’d get marionette lines around my mouth
And I wouldn’t be fit to be a millionaire’s wife.


Poem- There Was a Time by Jade Blackmore January 21, 2019

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There Was a Time

Praise the past
without fragmentation,
With a joy
For the moments
That passed too soon.
Find a bit of glitter,
A bit of professional flash,
for a little while,
To help you forget
What came later.
At the end of the night
You check your memories at the door,
They will not serve you
In the now.

Poem by John Grey – Whiskey on the Rocks January 5, 2019

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Once again,
one face floats up
out of the jangling whiskey glass,
one flittering shadow more alive
than all the big beef
in this barroom,
one voice in my head
that drowns out
all the sports talk,
politics and television rehash.

Drink to forget
and all I do is remember;
one sip and we’re high up
on the Ferris wheel,
comparing eye-lights
to the Chicago skyline;
another sip
and we’re lazing on the beach,
dancing in a club,
cooling our heels
while heating up love
on a verdant stretch of meadow.

One more sip
and the rocks are you,
melting into my head swoon,
or they’re the rocks below,
and I’m still not done
crashing on them hard.



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Harpur Palate and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.

Poem by Helen Burke – The Teacher January 3, 2019

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The Teacher

I learnt how to cook from mam, but
It wasn’t easy.

Mainly she said..and there you have it.
This applied to Irish stew, Yorkshire
Puddings, and fruit cake.
Scones and lemon cakes ..she simply
Waved her hands like a magician.

The actual ingredients ..where you obtained
Them ..I was no wiser when I left for college.

I think there was a book
Written in invisible ink ,hidden in a
Sock drawer next to the book she
Took to mass ..alleluia

There is only one recipe she said
Follow it to the letter.
And don’t over complicate things.

Who needs food anyway. All you need is
Faith. The rest is invention
Designed to waste time and jam .

Poem by Jade Blackmore- The Old Man Sitting on the Bus Bench December 20, 2018

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The Old Man Sitting on the Bus Bench

 He sits alone at 3 a.m. on the bus bench|
A paunchy 60-something man
Wearing a baseball cap.
He sat in the last row
And watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show,
Singing and shouting along.
The kids sitting next to him gave him a
Perfunctory smile.

After the rice and the toast,
The kids in black eyeshadow, lace and corsets,
Walk out of the midnight screening,
They’ve learned something from their elders,
A bit of panache,
A bit of glitter,
Besmirched by
The obligatory modern outrage.

Once the old man was a slim firebrand,
in black leather and fishnets with a cheap hot pink wig
singing and dancing at the screenings
before it was trendy.
The decades left him alone in body,
but not in spirit,
As he waits for the #2 bus.

Old, alone and
Waiting for the bus
Doesn’t mean you should give up.
Death is the only cut-off point
For enjoying life.