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Featured Poetry: Week of Sunday, November 29, 2015

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Click on the numbered navigation below to navigate though all of the featured poetry.


I still look for her. 
In the middle of the typing and the traffic 
and the deadlines and the bills, 
I look for her–the girl, who believed 
her bare feet could outrun the moon. 

She ran like a boy. She wasn’t trying to. 
Her strides were not intended for similes. 
No, she ran the way she always did 
When she wanted the wind to dance 
With the ungraceful tangles of her hair. 

Her gestures, careless, 
Were not meant to fit in boxes. 
She knew she was a girl; she had been told. 
But she didn’t have to know that one word 
Was the gravity that would keep her in line, 
Inching from one label to another. 

I still look for her. 
In the dusk and the shadows 
And the starless sky, I look for her– 
The girl, who believed in magic and 
Ghosts and faeries and monsters. 
She didn’t have to know the shackles 
That came with age, the chains 
That would bind her to the reality 
Where monsters don’t hide under the bed, 
Sometimes the monster, 
It’s in the daylight 
With a sharp tongue and a sweet smile. 

I still look for her. 
In the sunlight and the mirror 
And the eyes of strangers, 
I look for her–the girl, who didn’t think poetry 
Lived in the ink or the page or the vocal cords. 
She held poetry in the tips of her fingers, 
And she felt it each time she touched 
The surface of water and made ripples, 
Or when she traced the contours 
Of her mother’s face. 
She made poetry 
Like it was meant to be–felt. 

I catch a glimpse of her sometimes. 
In the Goosebumps, in the butterflies, 
In the sweaty palms, in the flutter of the heart, 
In a daydream, in a shooting star. 
But she’s fading, fading because 
Now she knows the moon isn’t following her 
And poetry made by hands, felt but unspoken, 
Unwritten, can be forgotten.

Copyright © P.I. Alltraine

More featured poems below...

I want my moment back,
that moment when I got lost in your eyes.
A color explosion of green, blue and you.
Your soul so rich in artistic hue.
I want that moment to stay with me forever,
it is already starting to slip away.
I feel the warmth of your cheek on my cheek.
My heart races, a sprint to the seconds
my lips begging to feel yours.
Breathing, I must remind myself how,
because next to you, I am breathless.
I want to see, I want to feel,
I want to be one with so completely.
But moments are unkind and they fade fast.
A glimpse of perfection, I wish it would last.
Slipping away, and I want to hold tight,
Letting you go does not feel right.
I belong at the receiving end of your touch.
You know how I love you so,
Do you really know how much?
My heart is left in your passenger seat,
Keeping you safe until the next time we meet.

I feel my lips but your kiss is gone.

October 12, 2015

Copyright © Casarah Nance

Have you any idea how much
Your history affected me?  
The boldness of your emblazoned beauty
(both previous and beyond)
Sent chills up and down my spine
Until my stupor turned to song.
        What’s wrong
With me and others free, thinking
You’ve got it made.  What’s the problem
After all, when all was yesterday?
(Don’t bother me with your righteous thoughts
I’ve given all I can).
O so few seem to realize 
How far history’s shadow stands.
Casting light in scattered beams
On those with open eyes;
(In the dark there’s still the spark
Of beauty where blackness lies).
Deep inside your uniquely unequivocal mind
So keen to catch love’s call; 
Despite the past you know what lasts 
Inside, and share it with us all.  

Copyright © Terrell Martin

I could not understand,
I had the whole world
in my hands.
I could be anywhere 
I wanted to be,
but even then
I was not free.
I had a strong longing for,
something which 
I know I knew before,
but had somehow lost
in the struggle
of trying to become,
more and more.

I could no longer run,
I could no longer hide,
from the sorrow
which I felt inside.
So I embraced my sorrow,
and my sorrow showed me,
That wherever I go 
there I shall be.
That I am home
And home is me.
That I no longer 
need to become,
because I already am.

I am the answer,
I am the key,
I am the truth, 
to my own reality.
All this time 
all I was looking for
was me...

I am free,
I am free,
I am free.

Copyright © Yoshi Mato

Love in instances
Love in giving
Love in getting
Love in your weaknesses
Love in gaffe
Love in amorous deeds
Love in frailness
Love in fragility
Love in drawback
Love in dire drop
Love in darkness
Love in light
Love in good 
Love in differences
Love in war
Love in love
Love you

Copyright © Toquyen Harrell

Beach time freedom-
lovers frolic gleefully
on the sandy shore.

Copyright © Jack Eldridge

The New Year brings great hope,
Resolutions, this day are spoke!
With the anticipation to conquer all,
We speak out vows, then stand real tall!
For a month, or maybe two,
We feel real good, yes brand new!
But then reality shows her face,
The days, the minutes we start to chase!
Now, the promises that we made,
Into the blue they start to fade!
Heads are beginning to hang low,
They won’t look up, for it’s a blow!
Then excuses ramble on,
Another year will soon be GONE!
Once again, we miss the boat,
Then struggle on, to stay afloat!
 When will we learn this vital lesson?
That JESUS is our only weapon!
He gives us strength to push on through,
I know for me, this is true!!
The best commitment we will ever make,
Is to know our JESUS, his will to take!
Then his strength will bring us through,
Whatever it is, we need to do!
So if you’re tired of the roller-coaster,
With JESUS get a little bit closer!
2014 in full of blessings,
There already spoken, no need for guessing!
In Christ there’s power, freedom and strength,
Favor, and honor in great length!
Provision and love in abundance,
And in faith it is substance!
Now in the New Year, I bid you well,
For in Christ you do EXCEL!
Oh' His face shines upon thee,
And his grace does set you FREE!!

Stacey Brown 1-1-14

Copyright © Stacey Brown

Ballet is poetry. . .
And both share in
The magical movement
That is defined as art.
As brushstrokes blend
Hues onto a white canvas
And forms begin to
Appear in the glory of a
Golden pas de deux dawn,
Fingers of light stream
Through parting clouds
Capturing the divinity
Of the death of night
Into days beautiful birth.
Fluid motion, chassé. . .
Balancing earth's elements
In an alluring assemblé.

© Connie Marcum Wong

Copyright © Connie Marcum Wong

(Because I'm a fan of Survivor)

All-star "player" Boston Rob
didn't win Survivor. Sob!
No, matter. . . he got fame and by his side,
the pretty one who holds the loot to be his bride.

For Nathan's Clerihew contest

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich

The bouquet of opulent, red roses 
is royalty visiting squalor, 
kept in a pickle jar that allows 
stems to spread,
One finger touches one petal 
with pride of ownership, 
as though the blooms brighten 
a parlour, are housed in crystal.  
My first place is a furnished room 
with wood paneling,

a basement apartment 
with a TV that hums 
like a school janitor. I pull things 
from a bar fridge that barely holds 
a carton of milk, scramble eggs 
using a dented hotplate I bought 
from the Sally Ann.  The couch 
has a mangy scent that reminds me 
of wet puppy.  I glance at the phone, 
try not to think of her.  I do. 

Guilt has me tossing away 
my planned dinner after a bite.  
I wonder if my mother is okay
or is rocking in the silence 
of regret. The words she’d said 
replay and I agonize 
over my decision.  An albatross, 
she’d called me, why couldn’t 
I just grow up and move out?
Her venting embossed itself 

on walls that had already 
heard too much and within hours 
I'd found a place to rent, 
packed my clothes. Stay, 
she’d pled, swung into depression,
blue pendulum. I sit in dimly lit 
independence, tasting freedom 
and uncertainty, worrying about 
the one who left lash marks 
on the thinnest of wings.

I cave and call her, 
promise to visit Sunday, but stay 
my new ground. Alone, I go 
to bed in clean sheets,
so old they rasp skin,
My boyfriend will visit, 
perhaps tomorrow, his sweat 
will singe cotton.  I stretch 
and discover that there are 
no boundaries here, 

as though toes could wander 
all the way to some
annex in  Paris.  I change my mind,
move the flowers closer, so 
their perfume can weave 
through dreams that will hover 
between happiness and hell.  
There in the dark, I make out 
the outline of my future; it wavers.
It’s then that I realize 

I’ve left the nest at eighteen 
                              with tight bits of shell.

By Cyndi MacMillan, For Frank's Coming of Age Contest

Copyright © Cyndi MacMillan


His words sneak up on me
and I am in Portugal under
an almond tree, or at sea
in a ghost ship, or by the
gravesite of a poor
soul whose demise came
after climbing onto Jan’s page.

©Kathryn McLoughlin Collins
April 3, 2012

Copyright © kathryn collins

Cry, CRY
Wrench your heart and cry
For those with demons inside
With no will left to try

Scream, SCREAM
Find your voice and scream
For those who live in silence
Who are robbed of their dream

Mourn, MOURN
Beat your chest and mourn
For those lost in the night
Whose hearts have been torn

Wail, WAIL
Tear your clothes and wail
For those with twisted minds
Who seek help to no avail

Weep, WEEP
Close your eyes and weep
For the many living dead
Buried in nightmares deep

Hear, HEAR
Open you ears and hear
The silent cries of the poor
Who cower in their fear

See, SEE
Open your eyes and see
The one who is tormented
That tortured soul is me!

Eileen Manassian Ghali

Copyright © Eileen Manassian

The difficult translation of first Canto of Divina Commedia is here completed
In the part published before, Dante imagined to find himself in a dark forest where he met three beasts. 
Now he is going to meet the poet  Virgilio who will bring him through the Hell and Purgatory. 
The original italian is omitted for simplicity.
I ask readers to comment even negatively this hard work.

And such as guy acquiring with decision,
And comes the time which brings him then to lose,
So that his thoughts with sorrow find collision;

Similar the peaceless beast with strong abuse
Coming against me direct bit by bit
Constrained me with shadow to confuse.

And while compelled to slide down and quit,
Before my eyes just the faint view appeared
Of who for long hush seemed to have no fit.

When I saw him in the wide desert cleared,
“Miserere of me”, I screamed to him,
“If you to shadow or to man adhered”

Replied: “I'm not now, man I was not dim,
Lombard my parents just certainly were
Both from Mantua, their home with vim.

Arose sub Julio, even late occur,
And lived in Rome under August good
In times of liars false gods and faith blur.

Poet I was, and sung of that with just mood
Anchise’s son who came in a trip from Troy,
When superb Ilion burned as a wood. 

But why you follow of trouble the decoy?
Why the delectable hill don’t you rise 
Which is the start and cause of  a full joy?”.

“Are you now that Virgilio source wise
Who spreads of words a so ample river?”.
 I answered him with my shameful eyes.

“O of other poets light and honor giver,
Might I have gain from long study and love
Which made me look for your work with quiver.

You are my master who inspires above,
You are the only one from whom I took
The stile admirable of my honor shove.

The beast which made me run away now look;
I beg your help, indeed famous wise man,
‘Cause me a trembling in veins and pulse shook”

“To take another trip better you can”,
He answered, when saw my weeping pain,
“If out of this savage place you want to scan;

Since this beast , which causes your complain,
Nobody allows  its way to align,
But fights against him until is slain,

And its nature is so ruthless and malign,
That never fills in its greedy will,
And is hungrier after than before dine.

Many are the animals with which joins still,
And even more will be, until the hound 
Will come, and shall it painfully kill.

This one by richness will not be bound
But by wisdom, love and virtue alone
And between two felts will come and found.

Might help that Italy to humble prone
For which lost life Camilla virgin pure
Eurialo, Turno and Niso killed as known.

This one will hunt it hard in every moor,
Until it will fall in the deepest hell,
Just where from it started envy impure.

So for your sake I think and judge well
That you should follow me, your guide,
 And I will shepherd you in endless dell;

Where with desperate shouting you shall collide,
You shall see ancient spirits in their pain,
Who are all shouting to be again died;

You shall see those who happily sustain
To stay in fire, hoping to come back
No matter when in the blessed domain.

Where you can climb following the track,
A more worthy soul than me will be:
With her I will leave you, this is my tack;

Since the great emperor who there up can see,
'Cause I was a rebel against his law,
To guide you there forbids that I be free.

He commands everywhere and puts his awe; 
Here resides his domain and lofty throne:
Lucky the people elected to this joie!”.

And I to him: “Poet, my need is here shown
In name of God you did not even know,
To escape this evil maybe not alone,

That you now bring me where you told to go,
So then I see the true saint Peter’s gate
And also people you tell afflicted so”

And when he moved, him I followed straight.           

Copyright © Mario DE PAZ

The instant our eyes met Changed me forever Fresh tears shed The moment we gazed At each other Your tiny hand gripped My pinkie with strength A life new for which I prayed for Great length The first year was fun Passing you far and wide Between family and friends As we shared you With pride You spoke as you crawled Lullabies we did sing Rocking daddy’s deep voice On my shoulder You’d cling The excitement of knowing Many years lay ahead Reassured us this small voice In our home would Be heard But alas in a matter Of seemingly weeks A grown woman appeared Tall, poised, with curves And high cheeks No more Barbie or Ken Or hairdressing pretend No playing school teacher Or slumber parties Jumping on beds Educated and beautiful Articulate with grace Wonderful Daughter This proud loving Dad Will always embrace.

Copyright © Michael Wegman

Dead now, Jackie Walsh?
Smolderingly blonde like a strawberry,
protesting your stolen innocence; one snuffed candle.
So much promise you had, the favored cousin,
my own father loved you best.
All gone in an instant, one busy street, and one turn of the spoke 
or hand at the wheel.
You could have been a draft pick or a scholar or a hired gun.
Go now to your brother Barry and father J.P., to cousin Jimmy Scanlon;
they sit waiting for you in easy chairs, sipping poteen.
Ghosts of Rawlings Avenue, let Aunt Madeline rest in peace.
I did not name my own son after you or your father consciously.
We drank the last can of Uncle Tommy’s Coors, all the way from Colorado.
It’s safe to share that secret now after 34 years. 
Trading baseball cards by flashlight, remember, Jackie Walsh?
Staying up all night, waiting our parents and uncles out.
Their pot of Irish stew stirring and simmering, 
their loud whispers sharp but glimmering.
Leaving them to point the finger at one another for all these years.
Passing the collection plate at Italian mass,
you knew the priest; we kept the silver dollars.
I have not really seen you since then (not even in my dreams), 
except for a crazy subway ride 
and a bank robbery, inside job, of course. 
We all have a little larceny in our souls;
all to the sizzle and whiff of crackling eggs and Irish bacon.
I would ask where did you go, but I know it was that you stayed, 
that little boy waiting for big brother's return.
Feeling jealousy and admiration for you at the same time, 
then later, after, feeling lament for you and eventually contempt.
We could not fathom your loss because it was your own private property.
Stung to the soul you sorrowed and raged.
With tears on the keystrokes I offer this dirge too little, too late
for you now, to purge my own soul.
I missed you all these years, Jackie Walsh. 
Sleep well now for this dream is over. 

Copyright © Stephen Barry

Monotonous strip
Gags in black and white is your
Sequence of drawings
                                 Montage of balloons
                            Only tells your bias tale
                             My voice shushes hush
Above and beneath
A written caption was tagged
Beyond among shame
                                 Distorts my essence
                             Exaggerating mistakes
                                    Lie down in deceit
Cat versus bird-mouse
In and out blow after blow
Sprinklers from my eyes
                                       In every corner
                   Same tough piano falls on me
                                    Stars in circles fly 
Mocking fingers-darts 
In rapid succession give
Illusion of movement
                              If at least your sketch
                     Could anthropomorphize me
                                      Man I was I’d be
My untold story
Same format contrasting end
No "That's all, folks!" yet
                                You made me cartoon
                             If I even eat doughnuts!
                         Watch me and laugh, laugh

Copyright © Ruben O.

Gawaine Caldwater Ross

We share melons and papayas
beneath a sun benevolent.
A salty breeze, the river is cool,
and the passion flower blossoms
are fragile but rich. We stroke
their fragrance and sip intoxication -
we slip a little further and
I find myself afraid of love.

Papaya trees are many breasted,
the flesh of mangoes, exquisite.
My restlessness is like the surf
seeking coral lagoons.
You speak in certitudes,
I dream of them.
Beyond the coconuts shining
in your eyes
I see gazelles outrunning lions -
you laugh,
I recall November sleet.

Your stainlessness and artless joviality
are in contrast to my venery.
But in honor of your being 
I play Schumann on the flute.
You respond with a noble clarinet,
Royal, but so voluptuous.

You think love means saying “Yes,”
I think love means bleeding.
You say, “That's a grim thought.”
I say, “Life is grief.”

We are divided by that which attracts us -
even as you speak of trust
I see the void behind the stars.
You speak of freedom,
possibilities, and taking risks;
but I have been to prison:
Saturn has bound me with rings of lead,
the acid rain has stained my face.

We lay our cards out on the purple silk:
today they say I am the Hanged Man.
Are you the Queen of Swords,
or the Priestess holding 

nine bright cups of Dionysian wine?
You smile and ask,
“Where, oh Where, is the
void in ecstasy?”

We strip and go against the current.
The water here is swift and cold,
the sunlight revels on your
scintillating buttocks.
I follow towards the cataract
and drink the water that has caressed your thighs.
You shriek, the monkeys leap,
and I wrestle with a jaguar.

You summon me to join you
high up on the rocks
where the moss is a foot thick.
I manage half a fervent laugh
And watch you diving into pools.

Opals ripple on the water.
We gather oleander, orchids,
Lilies and lotuses
and weave them into garlands
and in the falls we

linger in the timeless spray.

Copyright © Gawaine Ross

Don't you worry bout my soul
Til you've been down all my lonely roads
And gauged the weight of my full load 
Don't you worry bout my soul
I see you on the tv conning, talking squawking walking like you really care about me and my kind
You cry your tears like a  crocodile  empty eyes phony smile,
To me I plainly see you're clearly blind 
So don't you worry bout my kind . . .
I see everything just fine
You're busy yelling and a tellin me all the things you think you can see, going on in this ol world you think ain't right
Get the beam on out of your own eye, til you've listened to the children cry, hungry and tormented in the night 
Don't you worry bout my eyes . . .
I'm seeing everything just fine
Don't you worry bout my ears
Cause you've been deaf for many years
I don't need some deaf man tellin me what I should hear or how to be, when he is only playing on my fears
So don't you worry bout my ears . . .
I hear your deafness loud and clear
Don't you worry bout my mind
Though it gets misplaced from time to time
But I think I know what courage means, how heartache feels, when freedom rings
And I know that I am running out of time
So don't you worry bout my mind . . .
I think I'll get along just fine
Don't you worry bout my soul
Cause I met the Master long ago
And the one you portray Him to be
Is not the same One known to me
The One Who made me free so long ago
So don't you worry bout my soul.
Mathew 15:14

Copyright © Kelly Crenshaw

All roads are closed, and planes aren't flying;
The boats have all sailed, and I'm left here, dying.
But there's one route left, one final way home:
An escape into madness, but I journey alone.

In madness color waits to light a colorless world.
It's a painting splashed with music, words that dance and swirl.
In madness I can love you 'though you never speak my name;
And life becomes a fairy tale, an endless happy game.

So dare I make this journey into freedom--into pain,
Where no one else dares follow lest he be called insane?
Though seductive and inviting, it's a risky trail to ride,
For there's no guarantee of exit once I've stepped inside.

With the churning of the days and the passing of the weeks,
The birth and death of seasons, so earth its cycles keeps.
So too this time of madness, this all-pervasive night
Will whirl away on whimsy and, in retrospect, seem trite.

But always I'm aware, through good times and the rest,
It waits for me with fangs en garde, its poison to inject.
Madness, I denounce you 'though I know you lie in wait;
And one day I'll surrender to my destiny, my fate.

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman

Appearing timid yet forever I will resist
Kindness as a weakness yet true strength is
Dark forces this day a dove keeps at bay
My blood drains because Ye Almighty reigns   

Copyright © Steven Henderson