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


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The Hunter (Villanelle).Poem. Amparo Arrospide

Fear, a throbbing fear, as fiercely white
as the forest snow I roam while all sleep,
And over my tracking boots there was moonlight
Over my drunken steps, only her orbit

As white as anguished snow and the forked path
to the castle where my fate had been decreed:
“You will bring me her heart”
And looked at the moving distaff turn
–her face I couldn’t  see, perhaps abominable–
And over my tracking boots there was moonlight
Over my drunken steps, only her orbit

How pale the child was, her heart in throbbing fear
As Snow melted away for wolves and dens,
The forest snow I roam while all sleep,
And over my defeat now only moonlight
And over my drunken steps, only her orbit



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.

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A Citizen’s Descent.Poem.Gary Beck

I bought a new home,
but the mortgage was too big,
so when the economy collapsed
the bank quickly foreclosed
and I was evicted.
I moved into an apartment
but lost my job
and couldn’t  pay the rent.
I stayed with friends,
but wore out my welcome
then slept in my car,
but the  city towed it away.
Now I live on the streets,
a hand to mouth existence
and don’t know if I’ll survive
until things improve.

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Caja Del Rio.Poem. Don Mciver.



The wind picks up.   Encased in a tent, I’m attached to a kite

about to take flight,

and tonight I’m thankful for plastic.


The rain fly strains at the sown straps, tent stakes, and plastic snaps,

and I, tucked inside, watch the walls bend and  buckle,

then snap back in place.


Dry, I peek out the transparent screen knowing the low clouds

reflecting the city lights of Santa Fe,

make the plateau a dull gray as a smattering of raindrops fall.


In the morning, green grass, white cactus flower,

Indian Paintbrush, brown volcanic rock,

and two unknown peaks, bathed in morning light, frame us as we pack up.


The wind picks up.  On my bike, I’m attached to my bike pedals by shoes,

and my legs push at the pedals

and today I’m thankful for muscle.


All the guidebooks suggested I might see horses,

but we don’t and find our way back to the road

and set out towards our car.  


How much personal space must a cow need? 

Clearly timid and afraid, they run, never away or across the road and up,

but together they run in the same direction that we travel


Separated from others by a barbed wire fence,

two calves run away from us and along the fence with the others

on the other side.


They always run, and at times,

the calf has to skirt too close as the fence line and road converge

and it panics, skips ahead even faster causing the others to full on sprint as well.


Finally, they somehow squeak through the fence and find themselves with the others.

I can’t find a break in the fence

and wonder how they suddenly crossed?

What process did it go through to go through the fence?

To decide that enough was enough?

To suddenly find themselves with a fence behind instead of always in front?


Are there fences that I run along?

Are there fences that move on without a break

that I can just walk through?


For 10 years we ran along the fence

and never looked for a break

and now we see the family that may never be ours.


Science has its limits.

No more clomid,

the hysterosalpingogram was enough to say stop. 


In a room, with diagrams and machines,

all the plumbing’s in place and the data confirms what we know.

Time is a calf running out.  Life is a series of fences.


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Translated Poems by Michael R Burch. (Basho,Sappho,Shugyo.)


Epitaph for a Palestinian Child
―for the children of Gaza

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
Michael R Burch

Eros shakes my soul:
a wind on desolate mountains
leveling oaks.
Sappho, fragment 42, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


The butterfly 
perfuming its wings
fans the orchid
Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Oh, fallen camellias,
if I were you,
I’d leap into the torrent! 

― Takaha Shugyo, loose translation by Michael R. Burch
Mike Burch Face Book_n
Michael R. Burch’s poems, translations, essays, articles and letters have appeared more than 2,000 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, Writer’s Digest and hundreds of literary journals and websites. His poetry has been translated into Arabic, Czech, Farsi, Gjuha Shqipe, Italian, Macedonian, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese. He also edits

*Translator’s note: I consult a wide range of sources before I do a translation, since I’m not an expert on other languages. For instance, before doing my translations of Basho and Sappho, I studied hundreds of translations and comments about their work by various experts.

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“Shakespearean Sound” Poem. Kimmy Van Kooten

De signare
Appellare, get a sip of what’s unaware
Feel the firm in issued hands
On solid ground, weigh who that stands!
Cognomen? Who are you?
Name yourself, O’ maiden rues!
Sobriquets, doeth fade alas
An alias? Don’t be an ass!
A’point, by signuum, infer, select
Pro bare yourself a non-elect
Co-optations, brand new leaf
Show them all just what you sheaf!
Re your world
Your tick still ticks…
Climb up higher to where the echo sticks!
Bid, hold your peace and speak to it. . . .



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Eros Thimbles Under the Moon of the Evening Grosbeak. Poem. Sage Sweetwater

clouds of incense
sewn with threads of
the Silver Cord,

out of body nakedness
stitch-by-niche drifting under
the moon, luna parts the dark side
of her thighs to let in some ethereal light,

 ’tis the passerine
bird who scolds us out
of the physical body into
the astral body –

the polyphyletic
assemblage of the
songbird, the evening
grosbeak branching on
what is balanced of All-That-Is
going out on the astral limb of a
protector of love –

the eros thimble
under the moon of
the evening grosbeak
to repel the puncture of
the needle; the closer I get
to the honeycreeper’s nectar
the more I drip with sweet prophetic
wisdom stitch-by-niche.

Copyright © Ms. Sage Sweetwater, firebrand lesbian novelist

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