Gestation. A Poem by Bonnie Bostrom

I want to capture a poem;
                   There are thousands swirling
				In my midnight room.

I stalked one into the kitchen
	Where it joined me for a graham cracker
And peanut butter sandwich (crunchy style)
		Along with a fistful of Fritos.

Back in bed,

One shared my pillow and asked ridiculous questions like—
		What is the first name of Aristotle?
			Why the hell do you keep doing this?
		I am in deep desire for the orgasmic climax
Of a poem sought and seduced
			I		nto a stand still
While these dervish lines flying 
			Around my room avoid me, yet tease with 
Flash glimpsed images. 

There is no satiety without the sentences lying
		Layer by layer on a page
				Like the blankets on this bed of torture
Where the very best my mind can muster
				Before congealing into meaning.

I sift through a thousand partial pictures looking
			 		For that nascent combination of words
	That will condense, make sense and lead to


Bonnie Bostrom has been writing poetry since she mastered cursive. She has published eight books, both solo and in collaboration: The WayShowers, Women Facing Retirement: A Time For Self-Reflection, Quicksilver Dreams, Buddha Nature of the Soutwest, Image & Word: A Dialectic, Born Crazy, Love, Always Love, and Duet. Born Crazy, a memoir, received an Eric Hoffer Finalist Award. She lives in New Mexico with her husband, Jim. Her website is

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,

Native American Poems translated by Michael R. Burch.

“Native American Poems translated by Michael R. Burch.” Editor’s Note: These are loose translations and interpretations of Native American poems and poetic proverbs. Burch began translating Native American travelers’ blessings when his father declined dialysis and entered hospice.
Cherokee Travelers’ Blessing I
I will extract the thorns from your feet.
Yet a little longer, we will walk life’s sunlit paths together.
I will love you like my own brother, my own blood.
When you are disconsolate, I will wipe the tears from your eyes.
And when you are too sad to live, I will put your aching heart to rest.
Cherokee Travelers’ Blessing II
Happily may you walk
in the paths of the Rainbow.
and may it always be beautiful before you,
beautiful behind you,
beautiful below you,
beautiful above you,
and beautiful all around you
where in Perfection beauty is finished.
Set to music by Patricia Falanga, a compiler of American music
Cherokee Travelers’ Blessing III
May Heaven’s warming winds blow gently there,
where you reside,
and may the Great Spirit bless all those you love,
this side of the farthest tide.
And wherever you go,
whether the journey is fast or slow,
may your moccasins leave many cunning footprints in the snow.
And when you look over your shoulder, may you always find the Rainbow.
Sioux Vision Quest
by Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Sioux (circa 1840-1877)
A man must pursue his Vision
as the eagle explores
the sky’s deepest blues.
Cherokee Prayer
As I walk life’s trails
imperiled by the raging wind and rain,
grant, O Great Spirit,
that yet I may always
walk like a man.
This prayer makes me think of Native Americans walking the Trail of Tears with far more courage and dignity than their “civilized” abusers.(Michael R Burch)
Cherokee Proverb
Before you judge
a man for his sins
be sure to trudge
many moons in his moccasins.
Published by The Cherokee Native Americans and A Hundred Voices
Native American Proverbs
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
–White Elk
The soul would see no Rainbows if not for the eyes’ tears.
–Native American saying
A woman’s highest calling is to help her man unite with the Source.
A man’s highest calling is to help his woman walk the earth unharmed.
–Native American saying
Speak less thunder, wield more lightning. — Apache proverb
The more we wonder, the more we understand. — Arapaho proverb
Beware the eloquence of the rattlesnake’s tail. — Navajo saying
The rattlesnake’s tail is eloquent. — Navajo saying
Adults talk, children whine. — Blackfoot proverb
Don’t be afraid to cry: it will lessen your sorrow. — Hopi proverb
One foot in the boat, one foot in the canoe, and you end up in the river. — Tuscarora proverb
Our enemy’s weakness increases our strength. — Cherokee proverb
We will be remembered tomorrow by the tracks we leave today. — Dakota proverb
The heart is our first teacher. — Cheyenne proverb
Dreams beget success. — Maricopa proverb
Knowledge interprets the past, wisdom foresees the future. — Lumbee proverb
The troublemaker’s way is thorny. — Umpqua proverb
What is life?
The flash of a firefly.
The breath of the winter buffalo.
The shadow scooting across the grass that vanishes with sunset.
—Blackfoot saying
Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Beth and two incredibly spoiled puppies. He has over 6,000 publications, including poems that have gone viral. His poems, translations, essays, articles, letters, epigrams, jokes and puns have been published by TIME, USA Today, BBC Radio 3, Writer’s Digest–The Year’s Best Writing and hundreds of literary journals. His poetry has been translated into 14 languages, taught in high schools and colleges, and set to music by 23 composers, including two potential operas if the money ever materializes. He also edits, has served as editor of international poetry and translations for Better Than Starbucks, is on the board of Borderless Journal, an international literary journal, and has judged a number of poetry contests over the years.
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,

To Purusha, The Little Homunculus in My Hand/Heart. A Poem by Kalpita Pathak

My left hand is the holder. Mascara
tube, apple on the cutting
board, paper while my right
hand writes. 
A buttress. 	
Not strong

but not weak, either. My left hand holds
a palmful of peace. The velvet 
pouch of small rocks      
by ancient waters, rubbed 

between thumb 
and forefinger.      Aaaaah. 
Or the bottle of pills to unclench
my gut. Lines overlay

veins overlay muscles 
overlay bones. A palmful 
of bones, held out
in supplication, in valor, in terrible

loneliness, delicate 
and powerful as the pale 
wing of a dove seeking 
a place to finally rest.


THIRD PERSON BIO: Kalpita Pathak is an autistic poet, novelist, and advocate with a passion for research and sensory-rich details. Her work tends to explore the perseverance of hope in a sometimes despairing world, with a little dark humor and magic added to the mix. She received the James Michener Fellowship for her MFA in creative writing and has taught at both the college level and in school programs for kids from three to eighteen. She has recently been published in Mediterranean Poetry.
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,

97, Coming to Terms & Goodbye (An atheist faces his own death) A Poem By Michael Lee Johnson

Wait until I have to say goodbye,

don’t rush; I’m a philosophical professor

facing my own death on my own time.

It takes longer to rise to kick the blankets back.

I take my pills with water and slowly lift

myself out of bed to the edge of my walker.

Living to age 97 is an experience I share

with my caretaker and so hard to accept.

It’s hard for youngsters who have not experienced

old age to know the psychology of pain

that you can’t put your socks on or pull

your own pants up without help anymore—

thank God for suspenders.

“At a certain point, there’s no reason

to be concerned about death, when you die,

no problem, there’s nothing.”

But why in my loneness, teeth stuck

in with denture glue, my daily pillbox complete,

and my wife, Leslie Josephine, gone for years,

why does it haunt me?

I can’t orchestrate, play Ph.D. anymore,

my song lyrics is running out, my personality

framed in a gentler state of mind.

I still think it necessary to figure out

the patterns of death; I just don’t know why.

“There must be something missing

from this argument; I wish I knew.

Don’t push me, please wait; soon

is enough to say goodbye.

My theater life, now shared, my last play,

coming to this final curtain, I give you

grace, “the king of swing,” the voice of

Benny Goodman is silent now,

an act of humanity passes, no applause.
*Dedicated to the memory of Herbert Fingarette, November 2, 2018 (aged 97). Berkeley, California, U.S.A. Video credit and photo credits:

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 259 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 44 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 4 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 443 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society:
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,

Mountain Bird and Loquat. A Poem by Richard L. Weissman


Chinese mountain bird’s white belly hungers for sweet,
the fragrant yellow loquat magnets him.
Steady perched midst fragile gnarled branches,
near enough to feed,
yet he wavers uncertain,
black eyes quick dart all round
ever mindful,
ever searching
lest he fall prey.
He longs for safety of nest
but loquat’s aroma and sun-yellowed color again call.
Bravely he beaks through downy, red-blushed skin
emboldened by succulent, tangy sweet white-yellow flesh
he repeats until full.
Now soars skyward to home
readies for night
while broken, sun-yellowed loquat remains
exposed brown seeds weep ever earthward
sacrificial in dimmed light.

Richard L Weissman has written fiction since 1987.
In 2000, his theatrical play, “The Healing” was selected by Abdingdon Theatre for a staged reading Off-Broadway.
Richard is the author of two Wiley Trading titles. His second book, Trade Like a Casino was selected as a Finalist for the 2012 Technical Analyst Book of the Year Award.
In 2016, Mr. Weissman completed his historical novel in the tradition of magical realism, “Generations”.
In 2020 his poem, “Mountain Bird and Loquat” was selected as the grand prize winner of the Florida Loquat L
In addition to hosting, “In Our Craft or Sullen Art” – a biweekly poetry radio talk show, Richard participates in live spoken word events throughout the U.S.
Facebook: @magicalrealismnovels
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,

St. Francis. A Poem by Peter Mladinic


Katie Zwerling, leave everything behind
and come with me to St. Francis,
a little town way up in Maine, way up
there, way out there. When people say
out in the middle of nowhere they mean
this place, surrounded by logging roads
cleared a hundred years ago so trucks
could haul logs to populated places.
You’ve seen roads surrounded by trees.
These roads are really surrounded by trees!
You drive on, it’s a bit scary. Nothing’s
around these winding dirt roads but trees
and this town, where we could settle
in a house with heat, air conditioning.
Would the house have central air? Maybe.
But it would have electricity, plumbing,
and we’d be close to the logging roads,
get to know them so we wouldn’t get stuck
or lost. People want to be near the ocean,
or a lake or a golf course. I’d take these
logging roads any day over a golf course
or a mall, roads with trees around, pines,
evergreens, no vehicles, except us in ours,
my jeep with a GPS, so as not to get lost.
So much snow in winter, a snowmobile
would be needed. I could buy one!
Snowsuits to keep us warm. Go out
on those roads, not too far, and come back
to our house in St. Francis. Both of us
stripped naked I could kiss you all over.
We could make love, then go to a local cafe,
come home, watch Reign on Netflix.
St. Francis has WiFi. We could call people
on our cell phones. When logging roads
were made, did they have telephones way up
there? It’s way, way different from here.

Peter Mladinic has published three books of poems: Lost in Lea, Dressed for Winter, and Falling Awake in Lovington, all with the Lea County Museum Press. His fourth book of poems, Knives on a Table is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications. An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,

No Mars. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop




“No Mars”


return to the Jaguar Moon

what is perpetuation

one is many is everyone

is everything is a person

a matter of perspective

she alone will adorn the many          Jaguar Moon


evolution is but diversity

it will always come again

but sapiens are but rapiens

now your remains

if the world should come again        then come O Jaguar Moon


the sleek Brazilian jaguar does not in her aboreal gloom

distill so rank a feline smell as grishkin in a drawing room


who is grishkin          O Jaguar Moon

when she’s feline       & we her prey

unless we outlive the day

her kiss that sips our blood like nectar


Bio: Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,