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

To Purusha, The Little Homunculus in My Hand/Heart

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.

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 ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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The Velut Luna Poems by Jessica Skyfield.

The Velut Luna poems


Particles accelerate
Never losing mass.
Never losing energy.
Cold fusion brilliance,
created in a fog of clarity.
Energy illuminated.
Pounds of stardust
traded for an ounce of perspective.

We all love amusement parks.

Dizzy and delirious,
parked permanently on the ride.

Dust to dust

We’re made of stars
disparate and dissonant.
Day by day
doubt festers,
fenestrations of fear.

And we damn deities,
dredge demons.
Cosmological chaos.
Inherent ideological clashes
birthed from cultural constructs.
Idiomatic onslaught,
shaped by societal mores,
moored by millennia.

Nihil sumus.

Velut luna

Spin the wheel
Velut luna

Fortune favors the bold
Tried and true, trite and true.
Therein lies the rub.

Squeezing our infinitesimal selves into the lens
of a long-forgotten dream.

All roads lead you home.
That’s as unconditional as it gets.


Sometimes I forget to breathe.
Creating a vacuum seal of self.
Presenting that self to the world: an unwilling taciturn tacticality.
The perceived enormity of our individual selves
Lost to the ether.
Lacking time.
Creating space.

Relativistic Infinity

Effusive energy
Silent fusion
Dominos without end
A self-made loop

A louped glance,

Golly gee. Great.

Gutted by greed,
Gouge our evil eyes,
And hollow hearts.
Our irrational ears.

As we fester in finite fallacy.


where to start?
where to begin?

“We need an outline.”

Oh? Oh.

Of my life. Of the complication.
The words swirl in a torrential hurricane inside.
How to order chaos?

“Of course.”

It’s only a matter of course.

Jessica Skyfield is currently a teacher. She has been a scientist, a mother, will always be a student, and worn other hats, too. Her poems seek to bring light to our struggle with our awareness of our humanity: the juxtaposition of the smallness of ourselves when viewed universally and yet the large impact each of our individual actions can have.  


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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Holy Dementia Poems by Nolcha Fox

Higher Education

The mathematician
is training to work
at McDonalds.
Today he is learning
how to make ice cubed.

Holy Dementia
a response to Mary Ruefle, "On Twilight"

As he wanders
through his creation, 
I wonder if God
picks me up 
from another fall
and says,
“I made this?”


Nolcha has written all her life, starting with poop and crayons on the walls. Her poems have been published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Red Lemon Review, Dark Entries, Duck Head Journal, Medusa’s Kitchen and others. Her chapbook, “My Father’s Ghost Hates Cats,” is available on Amazon.


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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What Did They Do Before Social Media, Daddy? Sara L Russell, 17th August 2022 at 01:52

Did we ever really exist 
before this time, 
this place and space
this desire to frame everything 
in doorway-shaped pictures
then rush to seek approval on networks
of social acceptance
please like me
please like me
please like me…

Was my face really there
before mirrors made it appear,
to make it be so?
Are there mirrors in Hell?

Was beauty really there
before PhotoShop
lent it that airbrushed glow?
How can we ever tell?

Was the ego 
really a thing
before Zoom gave it 
a platform to shout from
(while discreetly putting others 
on mute)?

How did apps ever survive
without notification
to bring motivation?

Look, now her hair is pink
and he has inked his arm
they have millions of shares…

but your cat can sing and dance
with elegance and charm
and yet, nobody cares. 

Sara Louise Russell, aka PinkyAndrexa, is a UK poet and poetry ezine editor, specialising particularly in sonnets, lyric-style poetry and occasionally writing in more modern styles. She founded Poetry Life & Times and edited it from 1998 to 2006, when she handed it over to Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Arrospide; Robin now runs it as Editor from Poetry Life & Times at this site. Her poems and sonnets have been published in many paper and online publications including Sonnetto Poesia, Mindful of Poetry and Autumn Leaves a monthly Poetry ezine from the late Sondra Ball. Her sonnets also currently appear in the recently published anthology of sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. She is also one of the first poets ever to be published on multimedia CD ROMs, published by Kedco Studios Inc.; the first one being “Pinky’s Little Book of Shadows”, which was featured by the UK’s national newspaper The Mirror, in October 1999. (Picture link for Mirror article) Angel Fire


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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Tattoos and Unwelcome Guest. 2 Poems by Christiana Sasa


She was a witch
burnt alive 
only to raise 
from the ashes
to start playing 
again with fire

She was a nymph
mud thrown at her
face in disgust
She reshaped her
cloudy dreams
out of that thick mud

She is the woman
next door
beaten blue
thick makeup
barely covering up
fossils of last night

She is the man 
in the gym
stuffing pain 
mixed with pride
down his throat
numb with power

She is the child
with vacant eyes
mute questions
monsters eating 
fairies at night
sand castles smashed

She is you
and them 
scratching tattoos 
trapped between blind walls 
of our own Auschwitz

unwelcome guest 

she meets this man
in her city 

an unwelcome guest

a few days left
before he leaves again
for another city
or a tempest-tossed shore

smoke-stained lips
long-forgotten dreams
walk like shadows
in quickly-smudged tears
worn-out coast
piercing out of jaws
jewels of freedom
or hidden somewhere in 
unwashed hair

words exchanged
sighs shared
two pairs of eyelashes
greeting each other

a butchered sun 
trapped between barbed wire 

Bio: Christiana Sasa has been writing poetry for a little more than four years. Her work has been published in the literary magazines Poetry Life and Times, Literary Heist, Eskimo Pie, Rye Whiskey Review etc. 
Besides poetry, she is interested in painting and music. 


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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Body Artiste & Studio Vogue 1970. Poems By Sterling Warner

Body Artiste

Brandy called herself an empty easel
ready to strip down naked and take on
primary colors, a blank canvass eager
to display artistic genius & mutable
good taste as her flesh took on hues
any rainbow might envy & satisfied
a young boy’s locker room fantasy.

Daybreak till twilight, artists illustrated
Brandy’s skin; she posed for photos,
sent them into cyberspace & reveled
in notoriety that left her wanting, longing
for lustrous fulfillment as someone’s
magnum opus, satisfaction in spirit
only complete when stroked by a brush.

Studio Vogue 1970

Vinyl record albums stacked facedown

            like semi-glossy square decks of cards

feebly served as trendy apartment bookends

            supporting a motley assortment

of leather bound & paperback texts.


A discarded telephone wire spool, my

            hip coffee table, that looked like

a Brobdingnag sewing bobbin, showcased

            artbooks ranging from Frida Kahlo’s symbolism

& Michelangelo’s sculptures to Dali’s surrealism.


Lovers and I watched our youthful bodies

            roll with an undulating waterbed tide

through a full-length plastic mirror

            nailed like a crucifix above us

before we sank to the liquid mattress’s center.


Days and nights we once seemed to own

            fell victim to infrequency’s impact

on intimate moments: the paucity

            of cheap thrills, my dated studio décor, 

An award-winning author, poet, and educator, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies including Danse Macabre, Poetry Life and Times, Shot Glass Journal, Ekphrastic Review, and Sparks of Calliope. Warner’s collections of poetry include Rags and Feathers, Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Edges, Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux, Serpent’s Tooth, and Flytraps (2022)—as well as Masques: Flash Fiction & Short Stories. Currently, Warner writes, participates in “virtual” poetry readings, and enjoys retirement in Washington. Author/Sterling-Warner

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)


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Liberty in Ashes excerpt Poems from Double Envelopment Collected Poems by Gary Beck

Liberty in Ashes

So many want to be president.
So few know that it should be
the protector of the people,
guarding them from oppression.
Instead, these wannabe servants
eager for indenture
to the capitalist masters
who have established control
of the future of America
having successfully removed
the stout-hearted blue collar class,
the only group determined enough
to resist the blatant tyranny
of voracious oligarchs,
refusing to give a fair share
to the people who toil for them
while they consume the fruits of the earth.

Growth Spurt

The march of civilization
has improved life for many,
who live longer, healthier,
with luxuries unimagined
a few hundred years ago.
As we evolved
from family, to clan, to tribe,
then made the great leap
to nation states
we devoured the resources
of a bountiful earth,
until we are poised
to destroy the world
in extravagant consumption.

High Crime II

The prison industry,
the most unproductive industry
in this ailing nation
currently incarcerates
more then a million men,
a lot of women,
more than the population
of some small countries.
The system employs
guards, cooks, teachers,
psychologists, doctors,
the list goes on,
all to maintain
adjudicated criminals,
innocent or guilty,
custodians or confined
another pustulant body
in diseased America.

Similar or …

New Year’s Eve 1968,
a terrible year for Vietnamese,
while only some Americans
lost loved ones,
as the nation consumed
vast amounts of treasure
that the oligarchs believed
would be wasted on the people.
Despite growing inequality
most of us didn’t notice,
unless our sons were killed
in distant jungles.
We still didn’t realize
that the lords of profit
were abandoning our factories,
eliminating blue collar workers,
the last group to defy the bosses.
Yet I seem to remember
it was a good year for Haut Brion.

New Year’s Eve 2018,

the revelers no longer hulk
in one congested mass
jammed crammed together,
thousands drunk, stoned,
muggers, pickpockets, hoodlums
visiting their neighbors,
who still had a great time.
Now people stand
in isolated groups,
regimented in the Age of Terror.
But despite the lack of drink, drugs,
they still have a good time.


A semblance of normality
pervades the land,
even for the disadvantaged
struggling as usual
to make ends meet,
feed, shelter, clothe
their needy children,
who will never understand
why they can’t have
the same things
as everyone else. 

‘Double Envelopment’ is an unpublished poetry collection in response to harsh conditions affecting many of our people, who only want a better future for their children.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 3 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 5 books of plays. Published poetry books include: Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions, Desperate Seeker and Learning Curve (Winter Goose Publishing). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value, Fractional Disorder, Disruptions, Ignition Point, Resonance and Turbulence (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Double Envelopment). Motifs (Adelaide Books). His novels include Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). State of Rage, Wavelength, Protective Agency, Obsess, Flawed Connections and Still Obsessed (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Call to Valor). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Essays of Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Plays of Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck, Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume II and Four Plays by Moliere translated then directed by Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume III). Gary lives in New York City.

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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The would-be sculptor of muses. A Poem by Fabrice B. Poussin

The would-be sculptor of muses

Ether comes to be in the bright light
it makes auras like so many living hosts
to chase the others as if to mate.

In awe of the unknown phenomenon
the maker of miracles seeks a solution
to make a wonder from such soft chaos.

A silent symphony emerges in a waltz
particles of a curious matter embrace
swirling in a gentle cyclone.

Pondering the unexpected spectacle
magician in his dreams he is still
waiting for the only moment in time. 

Perhaps then he will be the great master
holder of the secret he has been seeking
when at last the creation becomes his muse. 


Fabrice B. Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. Most recently, his collection “In Absentia,” was published in August 2021 with Silver Bow Publishing.

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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