poem

2 Poems by John D Robinson

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Awaking as Lovers
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I was going to write of
waking up at dawn in a
bus-shelter, robbed of my
money, jacket and shoes
and walking home bare-
foot and fragile but it
was a poem of beauty
and tenderness, like
when Carmelina and I
first awoke as lovers
in my studio-room,
sparsely furnished,
bleak but friendly:
I made some coffee
before she awoke and I
looked at her sleeping,
I still do that now,
over 3 decades later.
 
Footsteps
.
Never really got with
William S Burroughs
writings and found his
life far more enthralling
and
 Billy Burroughs Jnr
that cursed at birth
poet who drank himself
to death following a
liver transplant aged 33:
following footsteps can
be easy,
creating your own
isn’t. 
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John D Robinson July B&W portrait
John D Robinson is a UK poet: ‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016) ‘Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Publications 2016) ‘Damned Dirty and Dangerous’ with Ben John Smith: (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2017): His work appears widely in the small press and online literary journals.
 
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2 Poems by Edward L. Canavan

ocean
.
form and fade
.
playing the part
if only for now
 
caught
in her
graceful
shadow
 
as it dances
across the space
of my mind
 
again
i am swept
by her wake
 
out
to the deepest
dreaming
sea.
 
 
 
clutterfucked
 
things disappear
 
somewhere behind the mind
a junkyard of bits and bolts
 
as we pretend
the incessant rattling din
is nothing
 
and go on
about our
forgetting.
.
ed c
Edward L. Canavan is an American poet whose work has been published
in Bleeding Hearts, Ibis Head Review, Burning Word, and Oxford Comma.
He currently resides in the burning cauldron of hellfire known as the
San Fernando Valley, California.

Leave by Tony Walton

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Leave
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In Brighton, a suburb of Denver,
at  6:03 pm on a Tuesday, a woman
in dark shades is seen careening through
a yellow traffic light turning red,
grinning straight into the windshield
days rerunning behind her:
 
41 Christmases, 3 mortgages, 4 cars, 5 dogs
7 expired drivers licenses
2 slippers under the bed
 
Days fill
Nights fill
Glasses fill
Calendars fill
Beds fill
 
She never fills
 
But what life did she expect?
 
An ant is crawling across the
knuckles of her driving hand
He knows the answer but
he’s not telling her
 
Radio rising, orange tip of a
cigarette sparks the dark
out the window
a light beer in the cupholder
 
she eases down on the pedal
humming rubber on white concrete
going somewhere:
 
factories without smoke drowse soundless
ships sail from distant harbors
cars run silently at highway rests
numbered seats fly across time zones
 
the world continues to
be the same
 
without her.
.
tony w
 
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Tony Walton is a Caribbean writer living in the Cayman Islands. His work has appeared in Storyteller Magazine, Moonkind Press, Wilde Magazine and others. Tony Walton

Call by Gideon Tay Yee Chuen

s window
.
Call
.
I am
Called to be
a Change-Maker
a Trail-Blazer
a Strong Leader.
Called—
to move Mountains.
I am.
 
Excitement, exhilaration, anticipation.
 
I can’t wait to start
Yet I start to wait
For something—
To happen
To appear
To start.
 
Nothing came, so I stood
Despondent.
 
Then they called out:
Faith without action is
 
Dead.
.
AGJN1946
 
Gideon Tay Yee Chuen is a Singaporean poet.

Appearances by Michael Collins

appearances
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By Thaddeus Rutkowski
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The title of Michael Collins’ new poetry collection suggests more than one way of seeing things. “Appearances” could indicate things that come into view or into existence. It also could mean the superficial or surface look of things, the way things merely seem. Both of these ideas are at work in these poems of life among people and life lived next to nature.
Near the beginning of the book (published by Saddle Road Press in Hilo, Hawaii), I found this brief poem, titled “Creation”:

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The fleshy snowflakes
twisting blissfully down
through the faint breeze

seem to have been made
in the image of the paperweight
I would gaze at as a child,

a tiny half world upended
in beautiful flurry, set down at will
by a suddenly gigantic hand

to quiet and awe the eye.
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Each stanza, save for the last, is constructed almost like a haiku, and like the classical Japanese form the poem concerns nature, starting with a reference to snow. But the thought turns inward as it becomes a memory of a paperweight owned in childhood. Another shift occurs in the third stanza, with a reference to a “gigantic hand,” as if a supreme force could cause the fall of snow—and could “upend” the world. By juxtaposing the very large with the very small, the poem asks how big we are, or how important we are, in the whole of the world and beyond. We have only our perception, our “eye,” to answer that question, and at the end we arrive at a state of “quiet and awe.”
Nature is in the process of being tamed in “Portraits of Soul,” a poem placed later in the collection:
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The harbor’s a flurry of work:
juggernaut mowers crop the lawn,
bushes are trimmed, the sand is combed
and brushed away from the walkways,
a team sweeps and lines the clay courts,
boats bustle with gossip and cleaning—
Spring is here!
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This excerpt offers a fairly straightforward description of a beach being prepared for human activity as the weather gets warmer. There is a feeling of excitement and anticipation. The area will become a spot of play and recreation. However, the poem takes a detour toward the philosophical in the following stanza: “Forms must be in things / and beings ever shaping space, / and these eyes that we have seen through, / must return to their visions’ graves.” I read this as meaning that “forms,” or objects that we see, are always changing with the forces that shape the space we live in. And all must come to an end, if our eyes, or what we see with, return to the “graves” of their perceptions. The poem ends with a kind of Zen koan: “Make something of what can’t exist.” The paradox of being and nothingness, of existence and nonexistence, cannot be resolved through reason, though it can be accepted through enlightenment. In this way, the last line of the poem functions as a koan. (I use the words “Zen” and “koan,” but to my recollection organized religion isn’t mentioned in this book.)
            Many of the poems in “Appearances” contain a visual element. “Harbor Mandala,” for example, consists of blocks of type arranged in a circle, with a block of type in the center. This pattern allows you to read the poem in different directionstop to bottom, side to side, or around the border. The effect enhances the contemplative quality of the words. As the eye wanders around the poem, certain phrases pop out (I could say “appear”): “i apprehend the amorphous dream,” “your skin creating visions,” “invited you into my soul.” It’s up to the reader to put these thoughts into more coherent order, or not. That “not” might be Collins’ message.
            You can find the book here: http://saddleroadpress.com/ appearances.html
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Thaddeus Rutkowski is the author of the prose books Guess and Check, Violent Outbursts, Haywire, Tetched and RoughhouseHaywire won the Members’ Choice Award, given by the Asian American Writers Workshop. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, Medgar Evers College and the Writer’s Voice of the West Side YMCA in New York. He received a fiction writing fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Satyr, Wounded by Stephen Mead

satyr 3

Head Of A Satyr by Michelangelo

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Satyr, Wounded
 
 
You remind me of that,
one of Michelangelo’s kind
but smaller in frame, pain’s
thievery, the disease, taking,
twisting muscles until
only the eloquence of sleep
realigns the pure curves,
the beautiful bones.
 
Mother Morphia also clears
your plate, the eyes of bitter blue
pale inside the tired crags
returning warmth from some
gibberish battle to your voice
of whiskey.
 
I see old lovers in you, fallen warriors all
turned to the saints of tortured
children, their tattoos & piercings
clues to that fate there on white sheets.
 
Coming to we do not speak
of the darker phase.
We give the wounds to amnesia,
the tears for Mom to release, necessary,
& love you any way with the bait
of empathy.
 
You ask for a soda which I pass
to touch hands & there’s a memory
for dance in the club of our blood,
you & I testimonies smiling
for our tribe’s scriptures.
self headshot merge square
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A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published Outsider artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads.   In 2014 he began a webpage to gather links of his poetry being published in such zines as Great Works, Unlikely Stories, Quill & Parchment, etc., in one place:  Poetry on the Line, Stephen Mead 

2 Poems by Peycho Kanev

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The Reality
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The single begonia
opens and you go out of there and
get bloodied by the sunset’s light.
 
Who are you?
I sit in the green chair
in the middle of the green garden
and look at you.
 
I do not even breathe,
because I fear that you will
disappear.
 
It’s toward the end of the summer
and I dream that you are covered in snow,
like a snowman in a deserted wasteland,
 
but your skin is somehow glassy,
diffracting the light, and fragile.
 
Then I blow inside your lips,
you start to sing windy songs
of rotten memories and unchangeable future
 
and then I remember that every year
of your death it is spring
and I go back to sleep reassured.
 
 
The Observer
 
Darkness descends. The trees grow quiet.
Shadows over the world. The world is a shadow.
And who owns the densest obscurity?
 
All of you who were here but already left,
now dancing in rooms filled with sunshine,
where is the key to my invisible door?
Observer of all, I empty myself in you
 
and I remain the same.
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Peycho Kanev is the author of 4 poetry collections and two chapbooks, published in USA and Europe. He has won several European awards for his poetry and his poems have appeared in many literary magazines, such as: Poetry Quarterly, Evergreen Review, Front Porch Review, Hawaii Review, Barrow Street, Sheepshead Review, Off the Coast, The Adirondack Review, Sierra Nevada Review, The Cleveland Review and many others. 
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