Where gladiators fought for life,
we meet to fight for love
The constellations in the Roman night sky,
celestial spectators, bathe the Colosseum
in the white blood of light
The night is throbbing with the heat of our battle,
our cries, more passionate than any that have gone before
A short while earlier
A well paid bribe found us in the remains of the Ludus Magnus,
the remains of the old Gladiator School in Rome
where lies buried
a hidden entrance to an underground tunnel
You pull me with you into dark underground world of legend
By light of a flickering torch,
we travel into the entrails of the behemoth,
coming in time upon the holding rooms
My breath catches
I hear the sounds of man and beast
carrying through the thin layers of time:
Slaves, criminals, debtors, all awaiting their fate…
Animals pawing, grunting, starved for food
Dying to kill to stave the gnawing pain
Waiting to be lifted up into the arena
Waiting to fight
Waiting to live or die
We break into the hypogeum
The crispness of the night air stings us
The vastness of it all paralyzes all thought
Rome comes ALIVE
The resurrection of history enflames us,
and as we mount those final stairs up to the arena,
I feel your excitement blazing through me
Your grasp is almost painful in jubilee
“We are here…HERE!” Your voice is laced with the sacred.
Between those famed arches…XIX and XX
You and I all and 50,000 ghost spectators
Here at the East Entrance
The Gate of Life Looms above us
True gladiators passed through these very gates
Here the applause coursed through their veins
And thundered to the captives below…
Here I stand
Quivering with the knowledge of all this night means to me
That thunder reverberates through MY body
I can hardly breathe
Your eyes are looking up at tiered levels
while mine look ahead
There is the walkway connecting the east to west
At the far side is the Libitinarian, the Gate of Death,
through which dead gladiators were dragged,
their bodies dumped in the Spoliarium
to be stripped of clothes and armor
Life and death
Here, they converged
Here, they fought
On this night
I will strip myself of my clothing and armor
I will let down my defenses
and give in to your onslaught of passion
Here… I will die to all but your eyes
I walk, quietly, with purpose
Here….in this place...
my virgin blood will be spilt
Halfway between life and death, I stop
I turn towards you
My voice reaches you on the night wind
“Come to me!”
I see you move towards me
My mighty gladiator
You who have fought my demons
You who have slain my nightmares
You who have held in check
A savage desire for possession
As you stand before me
I wonder if you know
Tonight is the night
You will plunder and ravage
to your heart's delight
your just reward
You find a place to keep the torch upright
You see the blanket I’ve spread on the ground
I answer the question in your eyes
With the curve of my lips
I steady my hands as they work to undress me
I feel my body burn in the warmth of your presence
Your eyes undress me faster than my hands can,
and yet... you are....immovable
You stand transfixed
You wait until my only covering
Is my flowing hair
"Make love to me
Here, now...be my gladiator
Come...claim your prize."
I reach out my hand to you
and in a moment
before my next intake of breath
you've come to life and crush me in your arms
Your mouth claims mine
like never before
your tongue explores
it takes what it will
You pull me in to you
Your hand in my hair,
my breath is raptured by your sheer strength
Your mouth travels along my neck
Hungry….like a famished animal finally set free to feast
You devour as you reach my cleavage
I lean back to let you savor my breasts
For the first time
You’re down on your knees
your tongue encircling my navel
going round and round and dipping inside
This prophetic dance of what is to come
washes over me
as you lower me to the ground
In a moment, I’m looking at the stars
The two brightest ones being your eyes
You are above me
You are everywhere
Kissing tasting touching feeling pleasing
Finding my voice, I pant...
I’m gasping with the effort
of all I need to say...
of the weight of feelings...
raging within me
"Don't...hold back anymore
Your hands reach for mine and pin them down
My breasts heave, my body rocks
as I feel you plunging into the moistness
that your very presence always creates in me
But never...to this luxuriant degree
Pain mixes with pleasure again and again
As I hear your grunt and groan
Your ecstasy comes in manish moan
And I close my eyes to the Roman night sky
To the world
I am reborn in you
I hear your victory cry
And feel your jubilant release inside
They fought for life
We fought for love
My fingers run through your hair
Your head is pillowed on my breast
My heart beat a reminder
Of what you have won
A gladiator’s reward...
in the arms
of the woman
For Justin Bordner’s Contest
Make Love to Me in that Ancient Place
November 16, 2014
Copyright © Eileen Manassian | Year Posted 2014
Walking through the land of shadows
wearing my yellow shoes
With each and every step
I created color and hues
The shadows started retreating
As color permeated the ground
Out of the shadowy darkness
I heard a horrible sound
"You do not belong here
I command you to go away
You are in the land of darkness
You must listen to what I say"
I kept on moving forward
Not sure what I would see
Where was the voice coming from
I looked behind a tree
Light and color expanded
Traveling up straight to the skies
The entity that so scared me
Was right before my eyes
As my shoes banished the darkness
The entity was reduced to tears
Without the aid of shadows
He couldn't tap into my fears
I then reached down to touch him
I told him that he was safe
He looked up with confusion
As I gazed upon his face
"Are you here to destroy me?
Have you come to take me away?
There is a purpose for shadows
They create hope for brighter days."
I heard what he was saying
The shadows have their reason
In order for spring to come
We need a darker season
So I removed my yellow shoes
Watched as the shadows returned
It was time for me to go home
With this strange lesson I had learned
Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2013
I like many others have lived in our dreams
In this world where I lived amongst forests and streams
Where the Great Plains stretched and our rivers flowed
If you could see through my eyes, how my tribe glowed
Born from my mother of Arikara descent
My father a Sioux warrior, his stature, augment
My growing up was no different than the others around
For the learnings that grew from our ancestors surround
Hunting and fishing, being told of the dangers in life
Cultural indifferences, to fearing tribal strife
But it's what my father taught me every single day
To learn from our lands for through the years they'd display
Tracking, seeking, searching, living from our lands
Every year more learned, growing in understand
From a boy to a man becoming a warrior through my years
Protecting what was ours, allaying modern fears
But the changes that we faced, suffocated our souls
There was only ever one outcome, other man's goals
I like many others, to live and eventually fall
Born from Arikara, Sioux, my name was 'Standing Tall'
A little story from my heart, where the Indigenous will always be.
Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2014
The powder of white sand holds her flesh
close to his musk pelvis
as she gasps with the murmured waves
trembling on the coast
of a fragrant mouth against a manly tongue,
and they lay on hidden grass
in an old Ipanema cove
where rippling strokes fondle
the east and north of her sylph-like
curves: amidst the liquid Brazilian dusk,
her flowing hair sinks from the lapping
of crest in rhythmic grinds;
tanned fingers exploring
a soft canal of a nymph's heightened pleasure…
by the sea- bend, he pulls her creamy thighs
like a driftwood sailing
afloat upon each quivered abandon
while they melt under balmy trees…
without the need to speak.
100 in a ROW contest -- 11
Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2014
Tradition and dress
A nations finesse
Symbolic in style
By a country mile
The drone of the pipes
Bonnie on the girls
Proud on the lads
In kilted skirts
Grooms at weddings
Kilt and dirk
But our Tartan and Pipes
Go back many years
Led soldiers into battles
See the enemy fear
Both were banned
A country naked
At the English hand
Our clans of many
In colours so grand
Woven by weavers
Our women's hands
All over the world
Scots are spread
Taking their Tartans
Of green, blue and red
It's a welcome reminder
To the kin of their past
Designed to last
This plaid of cloth
In every stitch
And like our pipes
From centuries past
This Scottish of Scots
Are here to last
Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2009
WHERE THE CITY FOLK LIVE
At the confluence of the cultures
Where the politics ebb and flow
The tide of humanity crashes
Against their collective soul
The spires of religions
And posters of beliefs
Crush against each other
Through the weave of city streets
Registered colours of commerce
And trade mark tags of youth
Line the valleys of glass and steel
On floor, and wall, and roof
The constant clangs of progress
Idle growls of restricted motion
Drift across the green spaces
Invading every moment
The scent of communal sweat
Wafts upon the breeze
From the fires of exotic dishes
And the fumes of commercial needs
Feel free to swim the city
Frolic in the human flow
But be aware of the waves that break
Against your precious soul
Copyright © scott thirtyseven | Year Posted 2013
On the south-western side of the old mission school,
on the corner of 1st, where the blackberries grew
a field claimed by children, was crosshatched with tracks
It was riddled by gophers and, nettled with foxtails
and youthful bare feet had constructed thin trails,
cupping deep paths that were littered with smiles,
deep in the amber of weeds and tall grass.
It wasn't far beyond a patched wire fence
that hemmed my Grandmother's russet old house.
Westerly whirlwinds would rattle the ragweed,
while seeds of the bull-thorns, that prickled our toes,
would race with the tumbleweeds, tossed into rows
like last winter's snowmen, worn to the bone
There were traces of honeysuckle mixed with wild rose
from Grandma's old arbor, that loomed in the distance
A rusty old weathervane, cruised 'round, and 'round
The ivy was overgrown, and a sleepy old hound
would snooze by the clothesline, in shade he had found
But, deep in the field, was a land of our own
A place we called 'Neverland', a loft in the wind
In the yoke of one tree, with the help of our dad
was a fort built of scrap wood, from piles by the shed.
And by hook or by crook, I would take all commands
While my brother's brewed brainstorms, and his black plastic hook,
assigned him the Captain, while I was the crew
of a ramshackle galleon, brought to life from our books
While I dangled in air, from a tired old swing
"Tinker", my name...in this masculine game..
I would push off, while he pulled me, right up to the sky
and into the branches, with leaves in my eyes......
I would fly to the depth's of a steel gray-blue sky
I would grovel, and shovel, to have his approval........
for he was much older, much wiser than me
I would play like a tomboy,.....shove doll-drums away
Such sweet summer days,......while bright splintered rays
of hot summer sun, would spotlight our play.
We would stay until twilight, to watch the sun die
Defying all gravity.......I could see to eternity
Tootsie Pops clung to the tip of our tongues
while the sun of the twilight, dipped over the dunes
and the call of our mother, slipped over the moon
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2014
India (Original Poem)
I hear much joy in the music,
View elation in the dance
Feel happiness in the laughter,
Soulful spirit in poetic romance.
I feel love in the language
Swelling in my heart.
Reverence for God and Goddess
In beloved families far apart.
I love the customs and the people
As they celebrate each day
Living life to the fullest
In their honor I wish to pray
That I may learn to be as humble
As loving and as kind,
To be blessed by elder wisdom
In every senior that I find.
This is a gift to give my children
To open their sleepy little eyes.
To see the value in rejoicing,
To reach for stars up in the skies.
When they learn this knowledge
To listen well to the sages,
They will know of sacred secrets
Handed down through the ages.
India (New Poem)
Handed down through the ages,
India's Gods and Goddesses call
Out to me from sacred places.
I want to bathe in Ganges waters,
Be there when monsoons arrive,
View Holi's colors on happy faces.
I wish to absorb all the beauty,
Mix with all the friendly people
And sing in celebration's song.
I want to enjoy the festive music
And watch the dancers dancing,
I wish to truly feel that I belong.
I'd revere every God and Goddess,
Have respect for all Gods I know not.
I'd love to learn of Ganesha's power.
I want to meditate in floral gardens
Contemplate by reflective pools...
Connect my spirit to the Lotus flower.
I would take my small camera with me
And shoot all the sights and sounds,
Share my heart with natives blissfully.
I'd love to share in children's laughter.
Share my thoughts and culture too.
I'd treasure my time in India eternally.
Famous Last Line
March 9, 2016
Holi, the Festival of Colors. Holi is celebrated as a welcoming of Spring, and a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. What that translates to in action is an enthusiastic dropping of inhibitions, as people chase each other and playfully splash colorful paint, powder and water on each other. People also attend bonfires to commemorate the story of Prahlada.
Hindus consider the waters of the Ganga to be both pure and purifying. Nothing reclaims order from disorder more than the waters of the Ganga. Moving water, as in a river, is considered purifying in Hindu culture because it is thought to both absorb impurities and take them away. What the Ganga removes, however, is not necessarily physical dirt, but symbolic dirt; it wipes away the sins of the bather, not just of the present, but of a lifetime.
He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four) whose idolatry is glorified as thepanchayatana puja.
The Lotus, the national flower of India, is a symbol of supreme reality. Hindu religion and mythology portray goddess Saraswathi, the muse of learning, as being seated on a lotus flower. To the Indian psyche, the lotus is more than a flower – it represents both beauty and non-attachment. There is a saying that although it grows in mud, it smells of myrrh. Toru Dutt in her sonnet “The Lotus” addresses the flower as the “queenliest flower that blows.”
Copyright © Connie Marcum Wong | Year Posted 2016
What Lurks Within
I picture in my mind an old colonial room,
With a door to the garden where my flowers can bloom.
A window in the back to see the main house,
A leaky roof and the scurry of a mouse.
Mold on the floor and old bricks in the wall,
And a door in the back to the main kitchen hall.
A stack of hay to the left leading out the front door,
To the gravel path that wraps around to the front porch.
The smell of moisture in the air so damp and so cold,
I can get some water and try to scrub up the mold.
A mat by the door to clean off my boots,
I can get into the car to start my commute.
So much I can picture for this small place,
Nothing to hold back my imagination, but space.
-For Seren’s What Lurks Within Contest
Copyright © Donald Williams | Year Posted 2013
So I walked into my local supermarket
to buy my weekly shipment of Kit Kat bars,
Cinnamon Toast Crunch,
and Ovaltine powder mix.
As I shake off the snow on my fake Timberland boots,
coated in frozen animation,
thaws into warmth’s teardrops from
the supermarket’s 75 degree vents.
This moist sense of happiness was quickly interrupted
when I heard Wilson Phillips, “Hold On”
over the PA system.
Thankfully, the cutlery isle was just to my left.
So, now, I had plans!
But, before I could commit felony’s song,
I saw her.
A Portuguese goddess
with a strut that can ruin a man’s dignity.
She had Autobahn curves,
dark brown curls of hair & visuals,
and thick flesh meat that even Vegans would envy.
Her face lacked Maybelline coated misapprehension.
Cause I never did like clowns.
After staring longingly at her,
like a crack head with impulsive eyes upon a broken/unlabeled bag of baby powder,
she breezed past my stifled posture and clocked in to work.
She didn’t even get a chance to smell my $500 cologne called “Piece of Me”.
So with new-found urges to grab all my groceries,
like a burglar who really has to pee,
I rush to express checkout.
There she is.
Her register beeps in coupon lady’s rhapsody,
while my register needs a cleanup on Isle 9.
Now it’s my turn.
With girlish inner-screams of boy-band intensity,
I say, “Hi”.
She scans my apples, while I scan her melons.
The melons that the customer ahead of me didn’t want…
…they were on sale.
As if she read my mind,
“Are you feeling warm now?”
“All I want is to be the heat in your moment”,
which I almost said.
But, “Now I am”, is uttered.
As she smiled with seductive demure,
she handed me my receipt
with her phone number on back.
As I left the market,
I began to get cold again.
These winds of change
became gusts of numbness.
I locked myself out of my heart.
I turned around to go back inside.
Only to discover,
she didn’t have the key.
© Drake J. Eszes
Copyright © Drake Eszes | Year Posted 2010
I walk the path amid the trees
Where footsteps of the past have tread
Where ancient stones of Blarney please,
Where lips upon the stone are wed.
My roots run deep with Irish blood
and County Cork's where my folk hale.
There Blarney meets where tourists flood
to kiss the stone below the rail.
Enchanting are the turrets here
bedecked in autumn's vines of red,
the little stream that wanders near,
and steps to where I'm being led.
The Blarney stone at last I see,
so bending backwards now to kiss
the stone, my friend is holding me.
That’s not a mark I want to miss!
I have a thought; I now can say
my mouth has touched where many more
have touched upon this stone of gray.
How many thousands came before?
These ancient walls in ruin stand
With greater hist'ry than most know,
Yet still throngs yield to their command
In visitors that come and go.
Inside the marrow of my bones,
I feel a thrill . Will eloquence
Be mine from having kissed this stone?
I feel a chill of reverence!
For the Partner UP Contest of Shadow Hamilton: Theme: Castles
Finished 9/4/2015 By Connie Marcum Wong and Andrea Dietrich
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2015
My hands and feet are numb
for I am cold and I have no
home to give me warmth.
A home and warmth are two
things I search for that is why
people call me a bum.
I have not eaten but I have
prayed and my prayers have
not yet been answer for I have
not eaten in days.
So I'll just lay in my place of
sleep and pray once more as I
search for warmth, for I have
found my home, The streets.
Copyright © THE POET 174 | Year Posted 2008
The lake was still sleeping
a light mist rose above,
a weathered dock could be seen,
its aged wood; full of memories.
The air crisp, breeze light,
trees majestic; watching all.
Squirrels busy scampering,
as a flock of geese soared above.
Way over yonder
clear across the still lake,
shining brightly were yellow shutters,
on our cabin; our special place.
We had toiled the garden
planted yellow roses with great care,
we had painted the old wood shutters,
yellow paint; speckled our hair.
The roof we re-shingled,
one painstaking nail at a time,
we even counted the ouches;
when our hammers got out of line.
With nothing but smiles
on our weary, aching bodies,
we held hands, and went running,
into the still of the lake; giggling.
We swam out to the dock,
it was a race; he won,
my hand he took laughing;
as he quickly scooped me up.
Our toes dangled playfully
sending ripples in the lake,
as we gazed at our cabin;
yellow shutters; fresh with paint.
The trees swayed slightly
as if nodding with approval,
for our cabin by the lake,
was our private sacred jewel.
As we cuddled together
warmth filled our souls,
for our bright yellow shutters,
symbolized, our love's blossoming growth.
It was on this very dock,
air crisp, breeze light,
when he gave me a yellow rose;
and asked me to be his wife.
Copyright © Lynn Marie | Year Posted 2006
Our bank accounts nearly emptied so we could afford a vacation; two young working girls who'd never been far from home. We were looking forward to finding love on a romantic tropical island. Maybe someone in our group would cast his smiling eyes our way. How exciting it would be to be swept off our feet before we'd even left the ground! But when the tour guide said, "We're all here. Let's go," we were surrounded by eighteen fellow tourists who looked like they'd escaped from the geriactric ward. We saw smiling eyes, but they were all magnified behind bifocal glasses.
walkers and canes
ambling down slanted ramps:
no young men around
An overnight flight to Oahu, left little time to say more than 'hello' and "where ya from" before it was lights out for the elderly ones. Soon we heard the snores of those who were to be our companions for the next ten days. Alayna and I giggled as the snoring grew louder. We whispered, trying not to wake them, finding the humor of our plight. We managed to doze and in the morning, eighteen happy faces greeted us as we headed to the loo.
faces blushed in shame
from wrong conclusions drawn
Delightful confidants, the geriatrics turned out to be. They sang and danced and made us laugh at their antics. We learned that age is not a deterrent to having fun, and we became protected daughters of eighteen doting mothers and fathers who chaperoned us as if we were their charges. Not lacking in energy, despite limps and arthritic knees, they were fun travelers through every tour we'd booked. No complainers among them, and always the most eager to be underway.
On the last day we visited Pearl Harbor. Alayna and I weren't interested in a monument over a ship that was sunk in WW II. That was before we'd been born! With a little coaxing from 'Daddy' Glenn, we decided to tag along. Something happened to us as we walked upon the bridge-like structure that spanned the USS Arizona. Several of the gentlemen in our group were veterans and began telling of their experiences in the war. We listened and learned, both rapt in awe of their memories. Goosebumps covered our skin when we looked into their solemn eyes. In eyes that had gleamed with laughter for the last nine days, we saw anguish as they recalled the horror of it all.
for their burial tomb:
death beneath the harbor
There was an opportunity that one of us could have been romanced. The island boy who surfed the beach at our hotel was throwing glances our way. We decided to forsake the straight white teeth, handsome face, and seductive stares, and opted to spend our time with those who wore dentures and whose faces were wrinkled by time.
It had only been ten days that we spent on Oahu, but in that time we both grew up. We learned not to judge at first glance, and if given the chance, we would do it all over again. Over the years I've often wondered if the group had ever gathered for another journey.
Copyright © Lin Lane | Year Posted 2017
They ask me why I’m so happy
Asking me, if I just won a prize
I replied, well I reckon I did
Today is a wonderful surprise
When you have a past like mine
My today is always bright
There is no better feeling on earth
Than the joy of doing right
I may be an old man on a cane
My heart is skipping along
I learned to embrace the meaning
Life is a beautiful song
True life has its ups and downs
There’ll be forks in the road
With a smile I’ll stop for a while
Help you with your load
I had me a bag of popcorn today
It tasted exceptionally good
In fact, I will go as far as to say
Better then it probably should
For years, I had a guard in the pen
Popped him a bag each night
Then he would simply throw it away
His twisted little delight
He knew, it was those little things
Ate at our heart and soul
Movie with the wife Friday night
Popcorn in the bowl
I had a bag of popcorn today
Wife sitting at my side
I had a smile, which lasted awhile
One I could not hide
They ask me why I’m so happy
Asking me, if I won a prize
I replied, I reckon I did
Today is a wonderful surprise
For some reason today I was thinking about C.O. Talbert and
how he would pop a bag of popcorn even though he didn't eat
popcorn. He did it just because he knew it would make everyone
want some. I always felt sorry for him. His life must have been
very disappointing. The moral here: when you learn to appreciate
the little things in life your popcorn will taste a whole lot better.
Copyright © Michael Jordan | Year Posted 2011
There once was a man from Niagara
whose wiener's so long it would stab ya'
but when it got little
his pills became skittles
until he O.D.'d on Viagra
© ~JSLambert 2011*****A classic "stiff" competitor, standing "firm" amongst other "members" in the "thick" of the competition:) hope everyone gets "a rise" out of it!
Copyright © JSLambert Mister ROBOTO | Year Posted 2011
Riding an elephant
Down the narrow trail looking triumphant
Scanning the golden landscape
Like Hannibal with enemies in flight
Sight from a lofty height
King of the jungle moving
With lioness by his side
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Guides by my side with packs on their backs
Some paths steep with rocks
Boots slipping below our tired feet
Beautiful birds in unison flight
Moving with terrestrial light
Stunning sunlight summit on the peak
Praying in an Ethiopian Church
Preserved in rocks built by humans’ hands
Never touched by conquest plans
Protected from the invaders’ footsteps
Queen of Sheba and Solomon’s nest
Touched by Arch of the Covenant
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus once slept
Eating yam, sipping palm wine, and tasting milk
Freshly squeezed by experienced hands
Taste of life in the mosaic grassland
Sustaining and soul refreshing
Cradle of humankind adorning
Invaded for its gold, riches, and human capacity
Birth of life on earth with tenacity
Respecting its living and arduous journey
Essence of life once was and is again to come
Riding a camel across the hot Sahara sand
Once wet now dried, exported gold from Mali…
Treasures from the hearts of once African empires
That which was, is, and shall forever be
Africa the birthing Motherland
We still love and respect thee!
Seventh Place Winner
"African's Pride" Poetry Contest
Sponsored by Adeleke Adeite
June 30, 2010
Copyright © Joseph Spence Sr | Year Posted 2010
Gradually she changes her dress
at the end of this winter day
like a beautiful stage actress
preparing herself for a play.
At the end of this winter day
City of Joy as she is called
preparing herself for a play
diamond petals slowly unfurled.
City of Joy as she is called
wearing her glittering ornaments
diamond petals slowly unfurled
blooming like a rose God sent.
Wearing her glittering ornaments
anklet to bracelet of lights
blooming like a rose God sent
waiting for visitors of night.
Anklet to bracelet of lights
Howrah Bridge is her necklace
waiting for visitors of night
checks her face on the Ganges.
Howrah Bridge is her necklace
like a beautiful stage actress
checks her face on the Ganges
gradually she changes her dress.
© kash poet 2012
**Click on "About this poem" to see her necklace,The Howrah Bridge
Placement:5th ;(January 2012)
Copyright © kash poet | Year Posted 2012
The arms of the willow started to sway
and this curious glow rippled my way.
While flirting with my feet,
nature played a song so sweet.
The lake our dance floor 'til the sun's first ray.
Copyright © Kristin Carter | Year Posted 2005
Tea Leaves On The Bosphorus
Seated at a table by the stirring water,
My eyes absorb the shore of Asia.
Minerets and aged worn stone
Stand haphazardly along the banks.
Istanbul is a lady with secrets
She'll lure you with her unrevealed virgin beauty,
Then seduce you with her ancient lovers.
Grilled sardines filled my charger
Fish pulled from the strait just minutes before,
Lay garnished with parsley and mint .
Red pickled turnips and warm flat bread
Are the implements that help feed me
And scoop up the humus,
Turkish nourishment for my soul.
The empty plates are cleared by a handsome waiter
With dubious intentions I feared,
But I was flattered none the less.
A bowl of yogurt was placed before me,
And my admirer arrived with a comb of honey.
He held it high above the creamy cloud and let the heavy ochre
languidly pour atop the milky whiteness of delight.
After his seduction,he left me alone to my pleasure
As I lapped at the sweet and sour heavenly temptation,
that parted my lips and elevated my being.
As I recovered from my rapture, two eyes caught mine.
The heathen that destroyed my diet approached the table uninvited.
He pulled up a chair and sat down across from me.
In his hands, a cup.
He offered to tell me my future.
White, small, as fragile as an eggshell with the top lopped off.
Within was a dark tea with floating leaves.
In a chivalrous attempt at English conversation,
He handed me the libation and the offer to read the remains.
I, alone in a man's world, unmarried, and of a certain age,
Did not need encouragement and I accepted his offer.
I drained the tea in one gulp and returned it to his hands.
He placed the cup in one palm , then turned it upside down,
Allowing the remaining fluid to drip out around the cup and onto the table.
Once the cup was upright again he studied the leaves, then he spoke.
His voice was soft, at times , unintelligible
His reading was honest, and truthful, and painful.
His prophecy, amusing, and entertaining
His vision and it's accuracy were astounding.
Fifteen years later, the leaves delivered on their promise.
Long fluid lines inside the cup foretold of a marriage,
To a man who would cross a sea to find me.
Two shorter drippings were the children that now delight me.
The tea ring that he was able to complete around the cup ,
Was the warmth of a love that would soon envelop me.
Copyright © Brenda Atry | Year Posted 2011
sari of morn floats
draping temples with orchids,
as Angkor Wat blows its mist
to flame coned incense;
and in the still of homage
pilgrims wander with their gods.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Contest of Rick Parise: 8 -Line Max Old or New
Pre-Write posted 10/20/2016
Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2014
She danced across the heavens
Whirling and twirling in delight
She slid up and down creating images
With delight she colored the sky
She made no sound as she moved
She sculpted as she danced
Unique patterns unfolded
the heavens became her canvas
colors became more vibrant
Her colors changed with each breath
She danced merrily for hours on end
Until the final curtain was drawn
With the up coming dawn.
Copyright © Phyllis Babcock | Year Posted 2013
Eyes to eyes now meet
Tenderly our lips touch
Rhythmic vibrations rejoice
When love creates little ones
Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2014
A fledgling poet round two thousand three,
I found some friends who mentored me; they led
me to a site called Shadow Poetry.
By mental challenges there, I was fed.
I learned to better write according to
specific forms or themes, and I was thrilled
by all the many things that would ensue
the more time there I spent; I was fulfilled!
The annual big contest, Shadow Ink,
gave not just money, but a chapbook deal.
I paid to enter it and did not think
I stood a chance. How good I soon would feel!
My best friend and I tied. We HAD to call
our chapbook “Friendship Garden.” That said it all!
Note: Shadowpoetry.com was not able to be maintained as an interactive poetry community and after several wonderful years, the owner had to pull out. All our chapbooks were removed from the bookstore and the contests are no longer done. Today it is a website for writers' development only.
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2014
You say: Wrong place—wrong time,
Maybe: Wrong place—not right time,
Not right place—but wrong time?
I say: This's right place—right time,
In times and places,
What is the time?
Where is the place
For right not wrong?
Is this like signs
Tearing up the scenery;
What about my mind?
Don't what? I can read the sign!
Oh—Signs of the time?
What’s wrong is not right,
Lord, I will sing this song!
Fight for what’s right
Correct what's wrong!
In all times and places
Please, be alright,
And make it—
© Joseph, October 11, 2008
© All Rights Reserved
Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is the author of "The Awakened One Poetics" (2009), which is
published in seven different languages. He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which
focuses on succulent cuisines and drinks. He is published in various forums, including the
World Haiku Association; Poetinis Druskininku, Milwaukee Area College, Phoenix Magazine;
Möbius Poetry, and Taj Mahal Review to name a few. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for
the state of Arkansas, USA, a college faculty, and a military veteran.
Copyright © Joseph Spence Sr | Year Posted 2008