Shards.Poem.Gillian Stokes.

Hard words like bullets hit me

searing comments tear my skin

mute me , take away my power

your anger flails me.

With one word your scorn burns me

knocks me to the ground

wounds me deeply

searing my soul

killing me



and it never heals


I am wound upon wound

scar upon scar, building up

layer upon hurting layer


somewhere  inside deep inside

in a tiny dark little corner

my soul lies curled , furled

amoeba like


you say you know me , do you know me ?


I don’t know me,  I know  a thousand me’s

I act

every day I act out a thousand personas

trying to find the one that fits the moment

trying to find the one that pleases the world,

you, myself, friends


sometimes I reflect back what is shown to me, thrown at me

good or bad

aggressive or loud

weak, soft ,emotional

maybe it works better being …

if I reflect you then

maybe you will like it better

if I am more you than me


but these people aren’t me


they are all just shards of the mirror of me

that’s fracturing with the pain of my life

my hurt , my sorrows, my tears

my wastes, my losses, my losing

my cheating myself


she’s crying out that child, that soul

that me…

she’s not gone forever


I see glimpses of her all the time

when I push aside the debris


most times though I leave her be

maybe to protect  her 

maybe because she is so long gone

such a distant memory

that I am losing the reality of her



maybe cos I still don’t know who

I want to be when I grow up


maybe cos it’s easier to blitz out,

avoid, compartmentalize, be the me

I am in the given moment, just exist

respond / react, just do what is expected

damp down the little sparks, one moment, over-react the next

anesthetize, avoid , procrastinate,

be mundane

just exist

just be an amoeba


so who is the amoeba now, her or me


but she won’t leave me alone this soul

of mine

she has a siren’s  call, this Pandora soul of


She cries to me for release


do I let her out ?

do I dare


who will  love her, hate her the most

you or me?


will we

can we


accept her

allow her?


do you care?


Copyright  © Gillian Stokes  31 May 2009


Haiku & Poetry. Poem. Joseph Randell Sherman

end of day
waves caressing shore
master artist painting sky
~ ocean sunset song

birds retire wings
fall asleep with setting sun
~ shadows disappear

child of autumn
an imaginer
contemplating vivid dreams
~turning painted leaves

until the sunset
i am but a shadow
dancing briefly
across the meadow
until the sunset
takes my hand

 Copyright Joseph Randell Sherman 2013

Griefs Home. Poem. Amparo Arrospide


Perhaps grief is a home
with a haughty ceiling and a bolted door
where you feel so comfortable, sometimes,
that you do not hear the steel s edge
slashing the tapestries,
suspended on the scented air:
it is heliotrope blended with brimstone,
seeking to settle in the corners;

only the window stands
between the limit and you.

Arduous walk, in silence you listen to the ancient voices,
firewood for this grief
always starved of you,
as demanding as a newborn child
whom you already love.

The door opens ajar and you close it:
There is nothing to be afraid of.




Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published four poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and Presencia en el Misterio as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and both national and foreign magazines. She has received numerous awards. Together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, she worked as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times, an E-zine.

Calligraphy. Poem. Martin Collins


In another life I was mute,

written words were my voice.

So I lay awake

sculpting them

into a script 

that could stain your mind.

I inked my history across my body

presenting myself as artefact

and all the stares, scorn

and petty human hatred

did not feel like trauma any more,

they felt like value.




ASHES (to my mother).Poem.Barbara Crooker


When we brought your ashes to the beach

at the end of Pilgrim Road, I poured them out

as fast as I could, standing knee-deep

in the seaweedy shallows, because it had started

to rain, and I didn’t want you to get wet.

What was I thinking? You were returning

to our first mother, the sea. But all I wanted

to do was gather up every gritty particle,

every chip of bone, then mix them with my bare

hands, using sand and mud, saliva and tears,

and bring you back, my own personal golem.

How could I have let you sift out of my fingers,

grain by grain? The heavier bits sank, mixed

with the broken shells; the lighter ones blew

in the wind, stuck to the patches of foam.

How can you be gone?


first appeared in South Carolina Review, 2011, to appear in the forthcoming book Gold. Barbara Crooker (2013 or 2014) in the Poeima Poetry Series of Cascade Books, a division of Wipf & Stock.


Who’s Really Learned from Experience on the World Stage.Poem. Jim Dunlap



Why do Americans detest the French?

The answer is patently simple and plain:

but it gives U.S. national pride a wrench.

The French find senseless warfare inane,

teach their kids to think for themselves,

to study — and never to drop out of school.

Faced with a problem, the Frenchman delves

to the bottom, isn’t shown as a fool

by taking religious inanities to heart.

The Frenchman knows there’s a world out there,

and never puts the horse before Descartes.

He’s wily, tenacious, tough and aware.

Famed as a lover, he’ll fight if he must,

but invades no one if his cause is not just.


Jim Dunlap’s poetry has been published extensively in print and online in the United States, England, France, India, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand. His work has appeared in over 90 publications, including Potpourri, Candelabrum, Mobius, Poems Niedernasse, and the Paris/Atlantic. He was the co-editor of Sonnetto Poesia and is currently a Content Admin for Poetry Life & Times. He is also the chief proofreader for the On Viewless Wings Anthologies, published out of Queensland, Australia. In the past, he was a resident poet on Poetry Life & Times and the newsletter editor for seven years with the Des Moines Area Writers’ Network.

You may find him here:












Daddy #2.Poem.Janet P. Caldwell


I Remember him

Glassy blue eyes

Fingertips brown

Black greasy hair

Forehead high

Child killer

Sick bastard


I Remember me

Scuttling like a rat

Running from a cat

Scattering across the tile

 Like a roach on fire

When the lights came on

Better scatter, Daddy’s home!


I Remember (séances)

Straddling his head

The Shoulders so high

Calling up the dead

Peering in the sky

Let the dead arise

It’ll stop Daddy’s cries

I Remember Abuse

Dancing to the belt

That beat me blue

Decorated with welts



 I Remember You


© Janet P. Caldwell 2003 -2013

janet Caldwell

Gratitudes of a Dozen Roses.Poem.Aberjhani



This rose of spiritual gratitude placed at the feet

of a Rasta Warrior Woman showers the earth

with sweetfire and hosannas and early morning glory.


Beneath an African moon shining silver poems

and a river of orchards singing purple praises a black rose

bows her head like a black swan humbled by her crown of jade.


Birdsongs weave grace in southern midnight like wine-drunk

fireflies. Inside this music of earthly spheres

a bronze rose pulses unspeakable peace.


For the sake of a mountain where heaven smiles at heaven,

for the sake of streams rushing sonatas toward the future:

a dew-covered delight shakes crystal secrets from her red velvet bosom.


Crawling sleepily out of dreams tendered

upon pink petals of quiet ecstasy everlasting and everlasting

an island-flavored perfume echoes the scent of a rose.


Roots of a new beginning spread piously forward

into vines of passion and leaves of revelation,

healing petals from the thorny joy of an angel called Jah Gabriel.


A blossom like the naked mystical eye of truth.

Leaves like hands praying down thunder and burning and rain.

Stem like the backbone of a good strong heart.


What is more powerful than the killing crucifixion

of desert heat commanded by a sun with no mercy?

The perfect shade of a flawless rose afloat above the earth.


With its leaves so rich and heavy with elation

and its crimson face made brighter with visions of divinity

the shadow of a certain rose looks just like an angel eating light.


The thorn is a bridge spanning the muddy depths

of agony and sorrow so that one may on the other side

dance to the drums of the rose of joy.


This rose of pearl-coated infinity transforms

the diseased slums of a broken heart

into a palace made of psalms and gold.


And this one is of eternity. It never stops opening.

The beauty it shines is the same as the path it travels in and out

of paradise, every second, of every hour, of every day that comes and goes.



–by Aberjhani (from Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black)


 Publishing/Editorial Consultant
author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
and The River of Winged Dreams