Saturday, April 19, 2014

Richard Schnap- Three Poems


When I was a child
I once read somewhere
That the ancients believed
All things hold a spirit

And sometimes it seems
In my darkest of hours
I can hear them speaking
Like a comforting friend

When the wind softly whispers
“Don’t be afraid”
And the rain sharply counsels
“You’re not alone”

And the sea slowly murmurs
“Try to forget”
And the earth sweetly urges
“This too will pass”


There’s a diamond in your heart
Its brilliance buried in shadows
From ten thousand lonely nights

And there’s a rose in your soul
Caught in a web of weeds
Nourished by a poisoned river

And there’s a star in your gut
Stuck in a black cage
For a gawking realm of mannequins

And there’s a child in your mind
Who has dreams that never end
Telling of the end of dreams


A last goodbye, a final embrace.
A eulogised kiss at the funeral

Of love. A sanctified bed, a coffin,
A grave. Lined with white silk,

White lilies, white tears. A letter,
An obituary. A valentine, an epitaph.

A passion cremated and scattered
In the wind. A passage of time,

A slow forgetting. A weathered
Memory that haunts me no more.

Jonathan Beale- A Poem

When rain dances

The rain danced on the windscreen.
As each a diamond -
Smashing forth…,
into a million, billion, quintillion new lives!
New lives in old -
The poet sits like a poor Christian waiting in a brittle silence,
A dove, a Jew in a gentile town looking for gold in the drenched gutter -
The misty image of the past, there, and yet fragmented in the now…
in the freshly revealed….Now.

After the last breath, leaves.
Nothing remains.
Just air, water, fire, earth.  Then.
Nothing remains –
No hope - no optimism – no regrets
Nothing remains  

First appeared in The Screech Owl.

Shaquana Adams- A Poem

Silence Me

They tried to silence me
And change the fact that I am free.
Lock my lips and throw away the key
That is what they want to do to me.

My words aren't poetry they say
Called it immature child’s play.
Said my emotions were not real
How are they going to tell me how I feel?

When I was writing in my journal
All the emotions that were internal
Came out gushing not like rain
From all of my secluded pain

So I did the only thing I could at
Three o clock in the morning.
I wrote until my pen ran dry
Or until I hit the pillow snoring.

Let me just make this clear
For all the people who will not cheer
Because they think I write about lies
But who have never seen through my eyes.

No I will not shut my lips
Nor take the pen from the paper
Nor will I let your stupid shit
Stop me from being a creator.

If you can’t handle what I spit
Feel free to get up and walk away.
Because entrapment is the last thing I’ll permit.
Not tomorrow, not today!

Shaquana Adams is an internationally published poet with a fondness for the color purple. She is quiet on the outside but goofy on the inside and writes because the best thing about writing is that she can say what she needs to say. It is an awesome experience.

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

Rainbow Bridge

Slumped in the shadows
beneath Rainbow Bridge.
She picked at a fresh scab
upon her hidden left wrist
wishing and willing
the irritating colours
around herself to be gone.

It Was His OCD That Killed Him

Well, that and the big red double decker bus!

He had a sneaking suspicion
that he was in trouble that morning.
For half an hour earlier he had seen
one of those foam take away chip trays.
Upside down and insultingly staring
at him from the gutter on Stockems Corner.
He had tried to jump upon it,
to put an end to its perfect white arrogance.
But a sudden gust of wind from The Melyn
blew it across the road over to the island
where two of his ex’s live.
He was not going to tempt fate
and mix bad luck up with karma
so he reluctantly let the annoying thing go free.
Bad mistake and decision making, obviously.
On his way back home he spat his chewing gum
over his left shoulder at the 3rd drain and missed.
To his horror he watched it land
upon the unforgiving tarmac a centimetre away
from the drain containing happiness
blessing and all sorts of assorted good luck.
He instantly spun around 7 times on the spot
and stepped back backwards out into the road.
And that was that, he died instantly!
It was his OCD that killed him.
It was his OCD that killed him.
Yes, It was his OCD that killed him

Writing Under The Influence Of Life
It is a strange thing
to observe and witness
all of this un-glorious living madness.
The daily carnival of the absurd.
People fighting tooth and nail
for things that they do not really need
and which often times do not matter.
Stepping on toes, jumping queues
elbowing people out of the way
at the bargain section.
Arguing over shopping trolleys
and parking spaces
and let us not forget
the Nation’s favourite sport
of Road Rage, Yippee!
Nearly losing an eye
outside the post office
by anxious and frightened
umbrella wielding old ladies.
Being attacked and McAssaulted
outside of Burger Kings in city centres
by gangs of seagulls
(Yes, the creatures I used to watch
on David Attenborough programmes.
Their names give away exactly
where they should be!)
There’s a smoking ban in pubs
and it is illegal to smoke standing
in a one sided bus stop?
I’m tired of being stopped
and pocket searched
for being in a burglary hotspot
after dark.
“But it’s January in the UK
so it’s always dark,
I live on this street
and I’m walking my dog.
Officer, cast your gaze downwards
see, dog on a lead!)
There are 2fas
on White Lightning Cider
but you need to take out a loan
to buy Real Ale.
The margarine that reduces cholesterol
is close to £5
whilst the crap that’s bad for you
hasn’t been banned
it’s selling for a mere 50 pence?
You need a TV license
if you have no TV but you do have
a mobile phone.
All of this before you actually get
into the seedier side of life
with the Pimps, Prostitutes,
Pederasts, Rapists, Murderers,
Drug Dealers, Arsonists, Muggers,
Terrorists, Wars, Diseases, Famine,
Genocide, Global Warming
and all of the many other
Man Made and Environmental Disasters.
There is absolutely no wonder
that there are Heroin Addicts out there.
Crack Heads, Speed Freaks, Alcoholics
and all the other assorted Weirdo’s.
That the Prisons, Mental Institutions,
Rehab Centres, Homeless Hostels,
Park Benches and Cemetery’s are full.
No, what is surprizing
is that there isn’t more of it out there.
But hey, you do not need
to be Clairvoyant to see that coming,
Do you now?


Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Douglas Polk- Two Poems

The Game of Politics

Obama fixated on the need to divide and conquer,
sets the poor against the rich,
women against men,
and even black against white,
Americans all,
while Putin plays the world,
in Syria and Ukraine,
a chess game,
the skill level impressive,
where oh where,
is Bobby Fischer,
in this hour of need.
The President Organizer

a community organizer,
knowing only how to organize division,
not seeking peace or unity,
but only power,
taken instead of shared,
the communities serviced,
selected with care,
people inexperienced,
ignorant of the consequences,
the organization of division will bring.

Donnarkevic- Three Poems


Across the meadow, Monet’s stepdaughter,
Blanche, carried canvases in a bumpy wheelbarrow
to help capture the transience of light.
Hurry, Papa said, the sun sets so fast!
She prepared another canvas.
Throughout the day, each half hour,
the color of the haystacks changed
like a bruise on the skin.
On my father’s farm, Mother chooses to die.
Splotches on her legs, the only modest place
my father shows me, ugly purplish and reddish,
like sunspots, as if the sun appeared to perish.
I run to the harvest haystacks to hide
from death. But he finds me.
At the funeral parlor, Mother looks like Mother
except for her skin. Gone the soft hands
that washed my dirty face. Gone
the tender cheeks that tucked me in at night.
Gone the supple lips that kissed my forehead.
Instead, a hardness, like rock
I tote from a fertile plowed field,
like the brick of the silo storing continuance,
like the bark of an apple tree heavy with fruit.
Even the hard earth as I sit at the grave,
the sun setting, Father’s callous hand 
reaching for me, lifting me
into a world I know will be forever hard.

I shut my eyes in order to see.
Paul Gauguin

I have put you behind me,
a green shadow signifying death
or maybe a verdant pasture
where I repose
watching waves break
like mirrors, no longer reflecting,
shards capturing the flight of gulls,
flickering spatters of impasto
mixed with sand, glass, ceramic,
creating a mosaic,
freezing the moment
the heart is pierced with a lance,
or a word, or a look from you
when I refuse to remain
impaled on the cross.


She rented a room across the street
so she could care for him, a bachelor
with cancer. He refused treatment, fifty-some years
enough. To me, at ten, he made sense.
One time, Ciocia Mary invited me to sit with them,
the rented chair, wooden, green paint chipped,
showing layers of white, blue, and yellow
like his skin. On the rented bed stand, a crucifix and clock.
I stared at the clock while the two of them spoke
in and out of Polish. When she mentioned me,
his chest heaved as if to speak. I smiled.
The man on the cross remained silent.
On top of the rented chest of drawers
a living cemetery of relatives. They smiled, too.
After an exchange of Polish, Ciocia Mary cried.
He asked me if I played ball. Little League.
Two words to a man I would never see again.
Looking out the rented window I observed
how darkness slowly ate the light,
how I felt there wasn’t much time left
for me to play.

donnarkevic: Weston, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Bijou Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, and Off the Coast. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published by Main Street Rag. Plays have received readings in Chicago, New York, and Virginia. FutureCycle Press published, Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013.

Dustin D. Pickering- A Poem

Final Fruit

No doubt the rain will
sweep the tall oak in flood,
cover my troubles in blood,
and dig the final fruit from the ground.
I do not let the veneer fool me.
I sink the moon in tame darkness,
and my life grows tall in the weeds.
I do not set my petals on the ground.

But I abort my seeds.
I slip motionless into the haunted wind.
My mind is the tunnel I wander 
without touching the shadows.

Anger fills the gaze of my heart--
I guess the winds are nameless.
Intense are appearances and essences.
However I despair at being aimless.

Floods come from the mouth of human error.
Then I don't know the fossils of my dreams.
I am pale like the stone of fury
and jealous as the witch of fate.

Dustin D. Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press, a Houston-based publishing company. He is editor of the print magazine Harbinger Asylum. He has been published in the Avocet, Blind Vigil Revue, di-verse-city 2013, Writers on the Rio Grande and The Beatest State in the Union (to be published by University of Texas Press), among many others. He was a special guest poet at Austin International Poetry Festival in 2013, and is the author of The Daunting Ephemeral. The Daunting Ephemeral is his first full length poetry collection, and it seeks to explore religion's truths in a godless existence.

Joseph Donnelly- A Poem

Vince the barber

Vince had hands like a fallen saint
Crusted over from the day to day snippets
Bits of newspaper ink
He’d wipe the green liquid on the apron
Smooth you out
Your sideburns
Your social life
Vince made simplicity simple
Odds and evens
Old war stories combed together
Trimming other lives into one single message
The chair eased down with a level slide
Nervousness erased by his handshake
Those hands touched honesty
Vince collected money and memories
He’d ease your pain with precision
He’d listen
The ears of a George and Gabriel

Bio: J.Donnelly writes and works in Astoria, he pulls inspiration from Bucky Sinister and the Beat generation.

Clayton Bye- One Poem


The wind blew today,
ruffling up thoughts
better left alone.

Your face haunts me,
beauty beyond reach
in the hands of time.

Leaves curl and colour:
toes and swirls of frost--
the bite of  death.

Such is my mind
this blustery day;
face, time, toes of frost.

Biting, befuddling,
twists and empty turns:
my thoughts aren't here.

Where? I don't know.
But for beauty, dead?
Your face, your face, your...

Copyright © 2013 Clayton Clifford Bye
Clayton Bye is a writer, editor and publisher. The author of 9 books and a varied collection of short stories, poems, articles and hundreds of reviews, he has also published (under the imprint Chase Enterprises Publishing) 3 award winning anthologies of excellent short stories by some great talents from around the world. The first book features general fiction, the second offering is horror and the third is a book of detective short stories.
Mr. Bye also offers a wide range of writing services, including small business management for writers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

The Perfect Storm

"Where did it come from
& how did they get it?"
was the refrain medical
examiners like homicide
detectives pondering
 imponderables, demise of
'the slant six', a half dozen
homeless drunks pooled
resources contained by
brown paper bags & a half
pint of pure white lightning,
the idea was drop a shot of
clear stuff into the devil's
own brew and they'd be
doing a Tango on Main Street
though it turned out to be more
of a Heartbreak Tango,
an impromptu Conga line
with Old Mr. Bones, pure
alcohol sent straight to
the brain inducing a perfect
storm involving two hemi-
spheres, a free fire zone of
imploding, already soft with
drink, tissues, one last massive
cerebral event, 'haven't seen
anything like this since that
short lived grain alcohol craze,
at least they died with a buzz on'
smacked in the face by a killer wave

Liquid Oblivion

Their lives could be
measured in shot glasses,
all their time spent
on barstools or lying
nearby, marked at home
by rings worn into
wooden coasters straight
through & onto surface
of bar top, he in for
the long haul, every
waking moment not
spent in the office,
engaged in pursuit
of liquid oblivion,
elixirs of forgetfulness,
all the libations from
lotus eating land,
songs of sirens annoying
distractions along these
ragged shores of his
own personal Styx,
the little woman along
for the ferry ride,
fully understanding,
following the path
of liquidity was the only
way she could go with
him where he needed
to go, black circles under
their eyes likes tree rings,
each new mark another
year spent in solitary
contemplation of the end.

Flaming Armadillo

His greased monkey
shine t-shirt sd.
& it appeared
as if he'd been
sleeping in one
of those burn
barrels for hazardous
waste or maybe
just manning the
post that started
the flame & had
become so taken
with his work that he
forgot to stand back
behind that caution
line or maybe he
was on the way to
an audition for some
heavy metal band as
a drummer with a
name like SPINAL
TAP, whatever his
story it was apparent
that if he started
rubbing his hands
together, you'd better
stand back.