Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Poem by Aidan Clarke

For the Macbeths

I suppose by now you know
the dark and violent sea
the two of you are crossing
has no far shore.
Come back to the beach old man.
All great Neptune's ocean
will not wash that blood clean from your hand
but a thimble of tears is enough.
Tell your weeping lady wife
all the perfume of Arabia
will not sweeten her little hand
but a petal of love will suffice.

Aidan Clarke has been a writer for more than 3 decades during most of which he has lived, worked and walked around in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  He has been performing his poetry at Spoken Word events for 4 years.  His USP is a menu of around 140 poems each of which he can perform off by heart on request.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Poem by Abigail Wyatt

On the Anniversary of the Death of Edgar Allan Poe, 7th October, 1849

     Almost a suicide, a suicide prepared for a long time
                                              -- Charles Baudelaire

Your sadness, my friend, takes little guessing at;
it has settled like a vagrant in those eyes:
restless, hopeless, too long weary of the road
but still too much enamoured of the night;
and anguish, perhaps, was the price you paid
for the jewelled toad you carried to the graveyard.
Your losses, after all, were too green and too many,
too precocious a burden to bear well.  Now
that high, square brow, the hair line receding,
though it pleads with me to treat you tenderly,
speaks to me, also, of the kind of handsome rogue
on whom I spilled the salt tears of my youth.
I fear that you are like them:  pleading forgiveness,
a frail and insubstantial hero.  A mother's love,
a child's love:  these are things you needed too much.

Abigail Wyatt was born in Essex but now lives in Redruth in Cornwall.  Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in more than a hundred magazines and journals including, most recently, Wave Hub:  New Poetry of Cornwall (ed. Dr. Alan Kent).  She is a Pushcart nominee and the author of Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories.  In 2012, she was the winner of the Lisa Thomas Poetry Prize.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Poem by Michael Lee Johnson

Sadly, We Die

Sadly, we die in little black suitcase boxes,
cave into our fears and the top falls down.
Save the laughter, celebration, thunder clapping,
rats experimentally test shed light at end of life's tunnel.
Death is a midnight stoker, everyone living goes home.
All windows bolted, all smiles switched off.
Sad on examination tables,
in little rooms, red, with lightening we die,
move on.

MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 8 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedom (136 pages book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 70 poetry videos on YouTube.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

A Poem by Mark J. Mitchell

A Version of an Arabic Poem

     After the Arabic of Abdullah Ibn al-Mu'tazz 861-908 C.E.

A quick girl
comes to me tonight
fleeing her innocence.

Her body tells the breeze:
If you were serious
this is how
you'd shove the branches.

Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz.  His work has appeared in the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Line Drives, and In Gilded Frame.  He is the author of a chapbook, Three Visitors, and a novel, Knight Prisoner, (both available on Amazon).  A full length collection, Lent 1999, is due from Leaf Garden Press.  He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian, Joan Juster.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Poem by Sharon Fedor

Catholic School Mother

I loved her most
when she came home from school,
her backpack hanging from her shoulders,
plaid jumper stained with finger-paint
and smelling of crayons, Elmer's Glue,
and the school cafeteria.  I'd go to where she sat
on the edge of the bed, her forehead
anointed with ashes, her small hands
wet with the memory of holy
water, unlace the black and
white saddle shoes, and squeeze her toes.
Then I'd open up her backpack and take
the whole day inside me--the uniformed
girls and their bow-tied brothers,
the voice of the teacher singing out
her welcome song.  Neat rows of
upright torsos.  The statues, the garden, exhausted
nuns still smiling in their street clothes, the church bells
clanging, and the long drive home.

Sharon Fedor has spent her professional career as teacher and mentor in Special Education, engaging students who are fascinating and unique while promoting the joy of discovery.  She writes poetry and fiction.  Her work has been published in Napalm and Novocain, Halfway Down the Stairs, Spellbound, The Camel Saloon, and The Moon Magazine (online), in Point Mass, Legends, Conversation with a Christmas Bulb, and in the 2013 Best of Anthology, Storm Cycle.  She is the second place winner of the 2014 Zero Bone Poetry Prize (Port Yonder Press).

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Poem by Kushal Poddar

Confessional Poem

Excellent work, Mr. P.
No longer alive, no
longer dead, you are.

So easy to live or
unlive as you, I
recede from any

other self.  My life,
a jackknife.  The holder
and the blade.  And I snap

as often as I slash
my hand searching for
the elusive original vein.

A native of Kolkata, India, Kushal Poddar writes poetry, scripts and prose and is published world wide.  He authored "All Our Fictional Dreams," published in several anthologies in the Continent and in America.  He authored "The Circus Came to My Island."  The forthcoming book is "A Place for Your Ghost Animals." Find more at

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Two Poems by Sheikha A.


The palanquin's embellished
and the hour is saturated with
bigotry.  I have castigated
this inchoate night with the vein
of a valiant, contrariwise to
my writing of these lines:
desultory of ink/dissipated of sin;
we are far beyond exhuming
deaths.  The bones are rank
with freshness of life, flesh seizures
under the evolution after burial
and the hour awaits its master.
A few strands, a photo, needle,
blood from the juiciest rose
and a single stitch.  The hour is


herald the fragrance of wood and pulp,

the crinkling, colourful, glossy spread of rustling
sheets smoothed out on a wooden table musty
under the damp, humid breeze of the rickety
fan set in a ceiling of mouldy realities; exquisite
art of generations living past covert rebounds
become sedimentary trinkets of salvaged luck
as vendors objectifying the meagre to grand

by scissors sharp sliding through in crisp delight,
deft hands expertly inventing snip, fold and flip
creating intrique or costly poetry from ordinary
stories ancestral, refined in new age sanguinity
over dulled philosophies; unwinding emotions
now huddled, closing with the night; stemmed to
perfection, decorated and propped for survival

to be sold tomorrow.

Sheikha A. has authored a poetry ebook, available on, titled "Spaced," published by Hammer and Anvil Books.  Writing from a young age, she believes in empathy and its dominant influence on writing as a whole.  Being always disinclined to speaking about herself, she prefers her poetry fill that space instead.  Published in several magazines and anthologies, she intends to see her poetry put into books to be read and discussed widely.