Friday, August 16, 2019


"REINFORCEMENT" by Syreeta Muir

Some love is serrated;
Love that lays a body down, gently,
With, “shh, baby...”“...hold still.”
Applying balm to its own cuts.
Words, so sterile,
Drip from arid lips,
Deserts blown from fingertips,
Banking around fleshy succulents,
Proud love,
Happy to have tricked by reinforcement,
Cultivating whorls,
Standing back, perennially; self-wonder,
Pruning petals -
Pendulus corolla,
Never to be picked.

BIO: Syreeta Muir writes poetry, short, and flash fiction with a focus on folklore, nature and trauma. Read her poetry in TL;DR Press, her flash piece 'The Go-between' at and her poem 'Cutting Teeth' in Fearless Femme throughout November. Find her on Twitter as @hungryghostpoet.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Hermit of Thought


He had no need to isolate himself on a mountain top
Remove himself to a remote and desolate place
It was futile when they would only travel with him
The skulking memories and thoughts in his mind
Distance was no barrier to the worst of them
Walls too permeable with no sense of security
Pills left him hollow inside with no soul
Feeling nothing at all, not even the good
He sensed a partition growing within
A reaction to adapt to the perpetual threat
Since he could not keep the world out
It would keep his private world safe within
A world where there was comfort in unreason
Where feelings were truth, if only for the day
Where happiness was the highest good
Even if it was transient as the morning dew.
-Wayne Olson

BIO: I started writing in my late teens.  I took to writing short stories at first, then poetry later and love the ability to say much with few words.  I have always been on the introverted side, very comfortable in my own space, so writing suited my need for expression. I have had a very rich spiritual life since childhood which is very much part of my nature, so much of what I have gleaned from those experiences finds its way into my writings.  Poems are my ship’s “logbook” on this voyage thru life.


"Hope" by Marc Blue

Four of my friends
could not survive
they hadn't the hope
to keep them alive
one used a truck
three used a rope
they ran out of luck
they ran out of hope
all of them men
all strong and silent
remembering them
their endings so violent
two were alone
two each had wives
if I'd only known
they'd all take their lives
I've considered the same
I've struggled to cope
yet I still remain
I still have some hope


"Rain (V2) By Michael Lee Johnson

In the rain,
this thunder
on his way home
he rebelled.
He a disco dancer,
single Friday night award winner
on the floor.  High school dropout.
He drove off the road edge.
He was drunk, Jack Daniel’s
was his driving instructor.
Jack Daniel bottle left at grave.
It never rains in a dry casket.
Shelter under this roof,
no worries about cops-

BIO: Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1042 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 1 Best of the Net 2018. 

The Lynx and the Hare


The lynx knows exactly what it is,
inhabits deep north woods snow,
some place that maps can’t find,
on a hunting foray
for snowshoe hare,
no plotting, merely instinct,
leaving transitive prints
in white wilderness pavements. 

What’s in store is bound to happen,
the hare pawing away at snow
to get at grass shoots,
the lynx stalking
where long shadows take their cue
from the last of the freezing sun,
no time wasted, no excuses,
no test run in the mind,
merely a leap,
a grasp of furry haunches,
a squeeze of talons,
as if to make the point
of predator to prey.

No human lives here.
The balance is immaculately maintained.
I can tell the story
but not as a requirement.


BIO: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Muse, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and the Dunes Review.   

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Black Rose

"Black Rose" by Imran Khan Bhayo 
Death is a black rose
Hovering over every soul
Waiting for order to cut and close
Life's mortal and spirit role
Shiver and sorrow when see corpse
In a box or on a cot in shroud
Carrying on shoulders hiding in red roses
Tears break hearts looking at crowd
Every mouth tells and whispers
About the past tales and events
Respectfully admiring actions and facts
Standing in lines for death prayer
Silently bow heads and fold hands
Heartily read the holy verses
Everything is love of family and friends
Who come and condole in reverence


BIO: Imran Khan Bhayo is a police officer from Village Karan Sharif, Sindh, Pakistan. A reader and writer of history, novels and poetry. He has appeared on Spillwords and several Anthologies. He finished two novels. 1. Trafficked Soul ( True Love story) 2. Toxic Secrets (True story of a Mother was killed and burnt) Now write another true criminal story of an American who was kidnapped from Pakistan.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

When suicide spoke

"When suicide spoke" By Rebel p Jones
When all things mattered not,
And all time stopped
From all the ticking tocks
Of all the world's clocks.
As did my breath
and beat of this
once strong heart
as my emotionless dead carcass
laid selfishly at peace
as the pills took charge
and put to rest
this mind that hasn't
for years felt at ease.
I wonder not
how would those I left behind,
Feel or think of a loss of me,
For a loss was not what I had seen,
Nor was there a care,
for life for me seemed
not to care so why should I,
So much taken from me,
So from here I took the path
of never-ending sleep.
When suicide spoke,
I listened and joined
in the chatter
of deadly conversation,
The power that this voice that spoke
The options that it gave me,
A flash of all my failures,
and all the cherished souls that left me exposed themselves one last time before my eyes closed for forever I could sleep.

I am a 41 year old retired Army veteran, with my 4 children and fiance. We reside in Temperance Michigan, and my passion is poetry.
I have written for free for 3 years now for the world to have something real to enjoy without spending money.

By mistake

“By mistake” by Stephen Lackey

Lies have flavor
when standing in
the presence of
their purveyor.

One might think it
interdental grit—
acrid, metallic,

but not...
and don’t.

Attempt to heed
ev’ry part of you,
as voices sans sound
warn us out loud,

urging escape,
desp’rate, pleading
that you would not
glut by mistake.

On the Edge

BIO: Stephen Lackey has been writing poetry and song lyrics since high school in an eclectic mix spanning all meters and styles. His work does bear one unifier... Always he aims to explore what is hidden from perception, whether that be in the structure of his pieces or their uncommonly attended subject matter. His narrative pieces are often iambic though they lack forced meter, thereby feeling like normal speech. His text settings often follow mathematical/symmetrical structures. The themes of his pieces may or may not be readily apparent, but rarely does each contain only one. And surprise endings are no stranger to him. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rose Petals in a Dark Room

"Rose Petals in a Dark Room" by Michael Lee Johnson

I walk through this poem one step at a time.
I walk in a mastery of this night and light
my money changers walk behind me
they’re fools like clowns in a shadow of sin,
they’re busy as bees as drunken lovers,
Sodom and Gomorrah before this salt pillar falls.

In a shadow of red rose pedals
drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman
currency to Jewish money or Tyrian shekels-
they’re fools, all fools, at what they do.
Everyone’s life is a conflict.
They’re my lovers and my sinners
I can’t sleep at night without them
by my bed grass near that sea of Galilee.
Fish in my cloth nets beget my friends, my converts.
I pray in this garden alone sweat
while my disciples whitewash their dreams.

The rose has a tender thorn compared to my arrest,
and soon crucifixion.

It’s here this morning and this night come together,
where this sea and this land depart,
where these villages stone and mortar crumble.

I’m but a poet of this ministry,
rose petals in a dark room fall.
Everyone’s life is a conflict.
But mine is mastery of light and neon night
and I walk behind these footsteps of no one.


Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1042 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 1 Best of the Net 2018. 

Monday, May 13, 2019


"Eyes" by Scot Buffington

I’d kiss you now to spite your eyes
transfixing mine within their keep
bewitching gazes mesmerize
in happiness to smile or weep.
Dare not I bow for lips to meet
still savoring your iris’ glow
as hungry for two pairs to greet
I cannot pass, lest forward go.
In seeing all you hide inside
beyond the pupil’s inky cave
moments when you dined on pride
instants sad for what you gave.
Deeper still, I find your heart
a firework, exploding grace
emits to me your gentle part
a light that beautifies your face.
Refractions, as we gift and take
redirect reflection’s stare
no love exchanged more than we make
between the souls and eyes we share.
Without a mortal touch we thrive
upon the depths, the deepest wells
sustain affection’s life alive
enchants us with our loving spells.


Scot Allan Buffington lives in rural Western Pennsylvania. He teaches Western Civilization at Lincoln High School in Ellwood City. A historian by trade, Scot worked in the historical film industry. He collects antiques and has been involved in historical re-enactments for over three decades. Scot began writing less than two years ago, and considers poetry as another one of his many hobbies.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Stranger

"THE STRANGER" by Wayne Olson

What if the encounter was not what you thought
As you struggle to make sense of it day after day
Forcing a meaning, square pegs in round holes
One never meant to be epic, just utterly timely?
Secretly relieved it was not to be long-lasting
Not destined to be a happily-ever-after tale
Magic yes, but a Hallmark story gone noir
Just remember the stranger sent to be there
The one who arrived at a critical moment
For an intensely personal, unknown reason
Meant only to change your life’s trajectory
Ever so slightly with a tug, or a simple nudge
To bump your weary mind or drowning heart
One well-placed deflection by a Divine Hand
A prodding perfectly timed by a timeless God
Vigilantly guiding you because you are His
Perhaps to finally see what had been veiled
To at last come to understand a new Truth
Or to finally recognize what had been a lie
Sensing a knowing in the stranger’s smile
One that brought an inexplicable calmness
A trusted familiarity in it you could not dismiss
On the day that left you changed forever.

I started writing in my late teens.  I took to writing short stories at first, then poetry later and love the ability to say much with few words.  I have always been on the introverted side, very comfortable in my own space, so writing suited my need for expression. I have had a very rich spiritual life since childhood which is very much part of my nature, so much of what I have gleaned from those experiences finds its way into my writings.  Poems are my ship’s “logbook” on this voyage thru life.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019



The jewel of the east,a perfectly imperfect city
Here chaos,disorder, strikes and mayhem sit pretty.
Strangers become friends on platforms and roads,
Beggars make pavements their permanent abodes.
Here hours are spent gossiping over tea in coffee shops,
Book browsing in bookshops, eve teasing at bus stops.
Cricket is discussed in the same breath as morality,
Romance and philosophy form the pillars of the city.
Here movies,art and literature are on every man's lips,
Theatre and music grow like nails on fingertips.
Nothing is ever on time,buses and trains run late,
Much is left to miracles, with undying faith on Fate.
Here Tagore songs and poems weave their way,
Into the tapestry of lives of ordinary folks everyday.
Munching peanuts,cigarettes in hand,lovers gaze at the sky,
In this City of Joy,with an attitude of 'never say die'.
The knick knacks at the roadside stalls are worth dying for,
The tasty 'phuchka', 'rasgulla',will make you crave for more.
The crowds,the queues and traffic snarls are a real bother,
But once you start living here,you'll fall in love with her.
Here football forms the lifeline,politics is religion,
A medley of diverse cultures, each festival a joyous occasion.
My birthplace, where my tears,smiles and emotions dissolve,
A city with a heart,which helps my soul grow and evolve.
Piya Ghosh~ 30-4-19


Piya Ghosh is basically a medical practitioner practising general medicine for almost three decades. She is a graduate of Calcutta Medical College holding a post graduate degree in Tropical Medicine too.Poetry is her passion. She has been writing poetry since the tender age of seven influenced by the Nobel Laurette Rabindranath Tagore.She dabbles in painting too.She has received many awards from several national and international poetry forums.

Monday, May 6, 2019


"Rows" by TM DiSarro
There's a child you may know
Who was placed in a row
In a field between roses and weeds
Its a garden of stone
Where we never atone
For the longings that outweigh our needs
There's a father who looks
Inside dozens of books
Full of photos of happier days
But he can't find the one
That looks just like his son
Who was lost in the mess that he made
There's a girl that we know
Who sat in the third row
Of the school where the child
Learned to pray
Now she keeps to herself
With her faith on a shelf
But she visits the field every day
Seems her innocence died
Between rows of the lies
She was told as a matter of course
With mere words she was fooled
As affections are tools
Raping futures without any force
There's a brother who lives
Off the money we give
To the homeless souls walking the streets
He once dwelled in a book
That his father mistook
As a family that seemed so complete
He was like you and I
Chasing dreams in the sky
Thinking this is as good as it gets
But the time dies so fast
When we cling to the past
Leaving graves for the love we forget
There's a mother who pleads
As she's down on her knees
Planting seeds that will never replace
All the life that slips by
In the wink of an eye
Like the rows of regrets on her face

BIO: Writing is my passion and poetry occupies a significant block of my creative energy. When the time is favorable, I plan to publish a collection of poems and short stories, but until that time follow me on: Instagram@tmdisarro

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Patrick Daniel Read

Untitled - by Patrick Daniel Read

When you're dancing too close to the flame
When you get burned
There is no one but you to blame.
Singed clothes discarded
Out with the rubble
Like so many more
Your soul so weary
Ridden with regret
Oh, my friend
The best times
You will have ever met
Someday you will dump
The sorrow
The regret
Some day you will shed your old suit
Come out looking shiny and new
What you do from resurrection
Is up to you
Tell your fears
Your worries
And get moving along
No matter the battles you have been through
This is a new day
To set your soul upright
Just go with the wind
And you will be outright
There is no turning back
You've made it this far
Only you know the real you
Don't let mistakes of the past
Hold you down
For it will be a new version
Of you will find
Shed your old skin
It is time too get yourself in gear
Trust in yourself
Cast your worries aside
For a new version of you has been found
You got this
I believe in you
Let your inner warrior break on through.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

They Came for My Friend


He was a Nazarene
Unearthly serene
He taught to me to care
when all I could do was
in bottomless pits of self-induced
He cared about outcasts,
beggars, and thieves.
He cared about skeptics who refused
to believe.
He cared not for power, recognition, nor wealth.
He taught me to find the divine in myself.
He cared for the sick and he healed the physician.
He was an innocent man who fell under suspicion.
For the priests in high places called him a threat.
Beholding to tyrants, his blood they would let.
If he lived here and now, he would run with the punks.
He would listen to Danzig and hang with the drunks.
He would hang with the addicts and the poor single mothers.
Outcasts like us were his sisters and brothers.
He would help the Samaritans crossing the border.
He would question the government and challenge the order
without raising an army or even a fist,
simply by showing us how to resist,
resist all the rage and the hate and the pain,
so we could get back to the Garden, again.


Lee Todd Lacks seeks to blur the distinctions between rants, chants, anecdotes, and anthems.  His experience of living with significant vision and hearing deficits often informs his writing and artwork, which have appeared in The Monarch Review, The Quarterday Review, Crack The Spine Anthology, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Bop Dead City, Liquid Imagination, and elsewhere.  In May of 2017, Lee Todd presented selections of his poetry at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) in collaboration with a group of multimedia artists from the United States and Romania.  In August of 2018, HellBound Books Publishing released his second book, entitled Nothing Between Friends.

Monday, April 1, 2019

History in the Telling


The years of my life
are poems, dead fish, brown water.
They're hideous births,
wharves cut up caesarian style
to give me abandoned warehouses
and unused rail-track.
They stand on bridges
where wind whips bitter through their bones.
They're poems, traffic, carbon monoxide.
They're broken handrails
where the man fell
into the swirling sump of a river below.
They're refrigerated rooms
where the meat hangs,
cow rump, pig head, lamb of God.
They're poems, dried blood, cold carcasses.
The years of my life
are books on World War II
open at the concentration camp photo,
nameless bodies in a ditch.
They're poems, escape plans, the shakes.
They stand out in the middle of the expressway
anxious to be hit
but the cars zip right by, missing by inches.
They're the rickety garage
where they fix rickety cars,
heads under the hood, hearts in the brake lining.
They're poems, grease, tired pistons.
The years of my life
go to sleep with strangers,
roll up in newspapers,
press the doorbells of family,
eat in soup kitchens for free.
They walk to the edge of cliffs,
measure the sweetness of the dive
against the terror of impact,
then step back into the world.

They're poems, they get over, they get done.


BIO: 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 Roanoke Review. 

Castles in the Air

"Castles in the Air" by Lena Power

Staring out this dirty window
Looking at an azure blue sky
Birds sing their song of freedom
As lazy clouds go drifting by.
I can see a castle I once built
Of dreams and make believe
Now crumbled into fleeting ashes
Nothing was ever as it seemed.
Long lost hopes leave me empty
Desire a trick my mind plays
All I feel is hollowness
Untouched by love's lost rays.
Day after dreary day I sit
Watching the changing seasons
I have no wish to re-engage
For I have run out of reasons.

So sing a song of love gone wrong
Of those that will never be
You know, I would have died for you
But you never lived for me.


BIO: Poetry is my passion!  I started writing as early as ten, but did not formally pursue.  Recently retired I continue to use ink as a creative outlet.  Prior to retiring I was a certified personal trainer & coach as well as facilitator.  I write daily and my works are available on several social media websites, blogs & groups.

Marius van Wyk

"Untitled" by Marius van Wyk 

For but a moment
of lucidity
shall we allow
our worldly
to take rest..
The wonder of
the soul
islanded within
the depths
of emotion
be our
Scorn not
that strange
looking creature
that dances
on tiptoes
and dreams
of faeries
and far away
For if memory
serves us well
that was us
but a childhood


BIO: I am 50 years of age.Live in Port Elizabeth,South Africa..Am an Artisan,Tradesman..started writing poetry about 30 years ago.After a silence of almost 10 years started writing recently again..the love for poetry will always be alive in me.

Daily missive for Thursday the 7th of March

“Daily missive for Thursday the 7th of March” by Peter Forster

What does living do
But confuse
The wisdom of children
When answers
Are as simple
As the questions asked
Everybody needs to 
Feel love
To know the truth
So many people
Forget how easily
It can be found
When the blinds are drawn
On the world
What keeps you in
Will keep love out
Hiding from the darkness
Is a double bind
As the feeling
Of safety 
Is bound in a belief that
We are free
To choose
When the truth
Of love
Is only found 
In the pain 
We can withstand
In the loss of 
Freedom’s gain.

Hello all and welcome to my world.

Although now semi-retired and since the death of my beloved wife Kay, living between Melbourne and England, for close to twenty-five years I practiced as a consulting Counselling Psychologist in a busy East London community health setting.

Some years ago, just after my son’s death in 2009 I began to feel the itch to write creatively. Although previously published in academic works and having provided chapters in books for counsellors’ psychologists and psychotherapists I had always nurtured a love of creative writing. Over the years I had attended writer’s workshops, written and performed poetry as well as provided lyrics for jobbing musicians. However, I had long harboured the ambition to write full-length fiction. And this I did, publishing my first novel in 2012 ‘Mr Charalambus and the One Soul’. I went on to publish two more books in the series and a book of poetry, with a front cover illustrated by my dear wife.

Although I have continued to write daily and have written a memoir of the months following my wife’s diagnosis, to her death in 2016, I have not felt ready to throw myself into the murky world of publishing. However, the plain in simple truth is that I enjoy writing. I always have.

It still feels as if the flow of hungry words is never ending and I  will be swept up and carried along on an impossible stream of the unconscious process. But like everybody else I have a life. To some, it may seem narrowly defined. Focused as it is on grieving the loss of my best friend and soulmate, caring for my family, writing and playing the drums but to others without the opportunity to learn, make relationships build a  future and have the freedom to choose it may seem like it is a world of riches. Whilst on most days it really can feel like that to me, on other occasions it can be an effort to maintain enthusiasm: In other words, my life is not that much different from many and better than most. I have known tragedy and delight and struggle to account for what might be its unequal measure. But I live, love and am loved so in truth I have to say I am blessed. I hope the same can be said of you.

Peter Forster

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Shadows of the night

"Shadows of the night" by Tracy Woodhead
Walking alone down quiet streets
no person is out , yet the quiet is disturbed
aching souls, neither heaven nor hell bound
wandering endlessly upon this middle ground
should i tremble, show fear
the corners display
memories like movie films
I can watch but have no role
a faceless man flees down an alley
so close theres an air that whips the flesh of my arms
I turn to glance at the leaving silhouette
he continues , never seeing me there
across the road a lady weeps
aged and weary she seems
tying flowers to a lamp post
a flower for a year she leaves here
twelve flowers
twelve years,
before the car took away her child
who stands before her , with frozen eyes
fixed upon her face
whilst his own, an expression -less canvas
his body frail dressed in blood soaked clothes
holding in his hands the twelve flowers
I wander on heart aching
to find two lovers dancing
drenched by maybe rain
they dance their way out of view
an eagle swoops down
before me to my right
catching a mouse in its claws
then just as quick retakes its flight
the sun now starts to spread her light
the streets upon where i tread
will soon be filled
with new memories to show

BIO: My hobbies are reading and writing, but mainly helping others. I never had help with things she has suffered had to fight for everything so it determined her to give herself freely to all who needed help around her because she couldn’t bear to think of anyone else enduring the life she had. I love people the way they help and comfort others she strongly admires those with big hearts who don’t shy away from being a helping hand to another. I have always loved to write, it gives me a voice when I was younger dealing with m/h i didn’t have a clue what was wrong with me except i could never find the words to speak so i wrote and in doing so found a freedom away from the world at times and other times it was my way to explain herself to the world and to myself .