Spice Rack, Sisters & Festive Messaging Pivot, Poems by Anna Eusthacia Donovan

 
(i.)
Spice Rack
 
Late nights a festival vendor
dictates his gospel
at my spice rack,
tent preacher pacing
in perfect pitch.
 
He makes a list,
recites it under his breath:
whorled Sage branch tiered
in tulle fluffy skirts,
balmy light cloudy vanilla,
cinammon the color
of summer’s skin,
smoky paprika curves
in roof tiles in tropical sun,
rough and tumble red pepper flakes
heat and rumble of fast cars
and slow hands,
the rough cumin sash on ranch hands
over campfires.
 
He pauses and pulls a snake
barely wiggling
from a badger skin bag,
a petroglyph stick at the top,
throws it in boiling water
and we watch the unraveling,
the releasing of substance,
then skims the surface
and mixes the miracle.
 
The snake gives up her secrets
and he bottles them
with my crushed spices,
labels it in beard bone font:
“For the cure of all pain.”
 
(ii.)
 
Sisters
 
In a minimal city
well versed in matters
of rumors and gossip
sisters carry fruit baskets
on their heads,
light on their feet,
limber on their hips.
 
Prairie wildflowers
lean on the slant
to the rise and fall
of blue mountain ridges
capped with the earth’s birth caul.
 
Uneasy roosting
on the rituals
of the holy,
the innermost hidden
behind half closed
almond shaped eyes.
 
In unison they read the signs
in a persimmon’s innards,
reveal the heart
of winter,
harsh or mild,
sisters know.
 
A sister whispers,
“Gather persimmons at dawn
when the tree lets go
of its first ripened fruits
to the awaiting ground.”
 
“Saigon cinammon,
sweet depth of nutmeg,”
mumble the sisters.
 
The sacred hidden
in the crumbling language
of ancient recipes
tied with honeyed strings
and mourning doves
heavy with sadness,
touched by a neatly sliced
sort of love
tender persimmon pudding
to devour as the gods.
 
(iii.)
 
Festive Messaging Pivot
 
I am the bright setting sun
and a thousand wings to fly.
 
Stars dip by me in quick salute,
march in flares and glow around the world.
 
My spirit quickens in a child’s hand,
I am flight, speed, and strawberry hearts.
 
I am love, a Valentine, a rose,
skipping with high knees
in vast fields outside the lines.
 
I am red, a melted planet
forgotten on the dashboard
in summer’s technicolor,
a festive messaging pivot,
apples on the paradise tree,
early Christmas morning
Kool Aid pitcher cherry smile.
 
I am Red, Red Crayon.
 

 
Anna Eusthacia Donovan is originally from Nicaragua, Central America. She is a psychologist and educator dedicated to university students’ success in visual arts and design. She has published in Ponder Savant, The Quiver Review, Melbourne Culture Corner, The Dillydoun Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Litterateur Rw, The Raven Review, Impspired, Global Poetry, Spillwords, Mad Swirl, and Open Skies Quarterly volume 3. She wants to “start where language ends.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Velut Luna Poems by Jessica Skyfield

(i.)
 
Starseed
 
Particles accelerate

Never losing mass.

Never losing energy.

Cold fusion brilliance,

created in a fog of clarity.

Energy illuminated.

Magic?

Pounds of stardust

traded for an ounce of perspective.

We all love amusement parks.

Dizzy and delirious,

parked permanently on the ride.
 
(ii.)
 
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.
 
(iii.)
 
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.
 
(iv.)
 
Open
 
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.

Where?
 
(v.)
 
Relativistic Infinity
 
Effusive energy

Silent fusion

Dominos without end

A self-made loop

A louped glance,

askance.

Golly gee. Great.

Gutted by greed,

Gouge our evil eyes,

And hollow hearts.

Our irrational ears.

As we fester in finite fallacy.
 
(vi.)
 
Outline
 
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.
 
 
 
 

 
 
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 huge impact of each of our actions, as well as the infinitely compounding fact that our individual perception is (our, only known) reality.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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.
 

 
Amazon.com/Flytraps/Poems by Sterling Warner
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

MOURNING DAD & Poems by Strider Marcus Jones

(i.)
 
MOURNING DAD
 
he is decomposed
from a bramble rose
now-
his thorns
of storms
drow,
foetal curled
in the underworld
faerie peat without plough.
 
is it fun
with all those comical
musical
jacketed jesters-
or primplum
suitedrun
by posh ancestors-
doing the same this and that
to keep your spirit level flat
with docile protestors
wired to silicon investors.
 
i bought this new fedora hat
in whitewashed Mijas
to be my own brown
Romany
see as-
let them face their ignominy
when i wear it here in town-
like an un-shoed horse
from the roadgorse
prancing right
through their moral less light
brim slanted defiantly down
eyes outsider brown.
 
is it no Left or Right there.
do you have your chair
to sit in.
can you smoke your pipe
gathering stars in its clouds at night
thinking thoughts in nothing.
do you still use words
to help wingless birds
or is it silent
to the violent
fermenting fear
when the truth comes near
just like here.
 
 
(ii.)
 
FEW TRUE NOTES ARE SPOKEN
 
we unravel
on the road
we travel
secret vaults
revealing faults-
into
red and blue,
or other shade
in sink and wade
of don’t know what to do.
 
the woods won’t take us back
to bark and root black
worm holes of beginning-
natures time is slow
with our time thinning
and spinning-
the instrumental bow
is broken
few
true
notes are spoken.
 
we come, do, then die
in Sauron’s eye,
even Wagner’s Ring
is the same old thing-
strutting
elite Barbarians
hunting
rebel Yossarian’s-
for mocking the Valkyrie
with Kant’s crooked timber of humanity
proving poverty and power
stalk the halls of Valhalla.
 
 
(iii.)
 
THROUGH TALL WINDOWS
 
in late afternoon meadows
low light sketched your shadows
in Mucha pose
while I watched
through tall windows.
 
opening doors
footsteps on floors
all the clocks
in the house stopped
in the sundial
of your smile-
 
then prying phones
became postponed
and dissolved the blocks
of being drones
in dosed
apartments
opening closed
compartments.
 
more Bogart and Bacall
in Key Largo,
or The Poet by Vettriano-
in the hall,
we took Hopper’s painting off the wall
with its stark stress
heart of darkness.
 
 
(iv.)
 
Us
 
we are composed
out of the fate of stars
a light dark light so old
and tuned that regards
most of Us as Other
peasants
who are clothed
without privileged presents
to burn wood in cracked stoves
under crumbling cover.
stitched to Their time
we entwine
in our own interpretation
of this spinning station.
only burlesque bright skies
and the iris flowers of abandoned eyes
can change the fixed views
of a selfish landscape
into united hues
of equal state.
our reality is broken-
we are the hosts
and ghosts
who have been stolen
the violated tokens
of corporatist totems
screen greed being traded
and invaded
then beaten for protesting by police
working for the Thief.
 
 
 

 
 
 
Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. He is the editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal
https://lothlorienpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms.
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Poets Out of Service (V6) By Michael Lee Johnson. Audio Text Poem

 

 

Like a full-service gas station

or postal service workers

displaced, racing to Staples retail

for employment against the rules of labor,

poets are out of business nowadays, you know.

Who carries a loose change in their pockets?

Who tosses loose coins in their car ashtray anymore?

iPhones, smartphones, life is a video camera

ready to shoot, destroy, and expose.

No one reads poets anymore.

No one thumbs through the yellow pages anymore.

Who has sex in the back seat of their car anymore,

just naked shots passed around online?

Streetwalkers, bleach blonde whores,

cosmetic plastic altered faces in the neon night;

they don’t bother to pick pennies

or quarters off the streets anymore.

The days of surprise candy bags for a nickel

pennies lying on the countertop for

Tar Babies, Strawberry Licorice Laces

(2 for a penny), Wax Lips, Pixie Sticks,

Good & Plenty are no more.

Everyone is a dead-end player; he dies with time.

Monster technology destroys crump fragments of culture.

Old age is a passive slut; engaging old age

conversations idle to a whisper and sleep alone.

Matchbox, hand-rolled cigarettes,

serrated, slimmed down, and gone.

Time is a broken stopwatch gone by.

Life is a defunct full-service gas station.

Poets are out of business nowadays.
 
 

 
 
Michael Lee Johnson
lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 244 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet 43 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 3 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 536 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society: http://www.illinoispoets.org/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Ode to Olivia. By Jack D. Harvey

 

Oh, Olivia, during
what disingenuous dialogue,
getting closer and closer,
you told me
in that bar by the seashore
“pretty good-time girl
comes once, comes often,”
eyelashes shyly lowered,
thick and lustrous,
lowered time and again
to hide the hard eyes
I knew were there.
 
I was surprised by
your interest;
vital with intent,
your lithe body
tilted towards me,
white teeth showing
in a smile, breasts
firm and unfettered
in your summer blouse.
 
Delirious with your fancy magic
I nearly fell off the bar stool,
fell like a fairy-tale frog
clear down to the bottom
of the mossy well, my member
swelling in your favor,
transported to
to your body’s joyful openings,
anticipating
hot and wet,
those ports of entry,
those sweet breasts,
that sweet tongue
flicking between your lips;
promises of things to come.
 
O ye spermy nights of the gods!
 
The rune on our canoe’s tail
says “enter here, ye of little haste”
and willows brush our arms
as we paddle down the river
of ardor and fulfillment
and coming together and
whatever else
we can muster up
from a time of dreams,
from the manna
of this earthly paradise.
 
Olivia, you were brown as a nut
from a summer of sun;
a glamorous summer goddess
there for the taking and still
it came to nothing.
A change of heart,
a parting glance,
and off you went.
 
Your naked this I never saw,
your curly that I never pawed;
alone in the majestic garden
of self I sit stiff and cold
as a block of ice;
a lonesome soldier in a sentry box
waiting for the gate to open;
it never does.
 
Olivia, you left me
as you found me
and just as well
for the both of us.
There we were
in that bar,
and there we are forever,
enshrined, inscribed
like Keats’ Grecian urn,
graceful outlines,
a frieze of some long past event,
at rest in that luminous
wasted moment forever;
no future, no past,
no time at all and
what never happened,
what is not there
just as real
as what is there.

 
 

 
 
Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.
 
The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.
 
His book, Mark the Dwarf is available on Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Dwarf-Jack-D-Harvey-ebook
 
Ode to Olivia first appeared in Ramingo’s Porch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

My Voice. A Poem & Artwork by Kelly Sargent.

I am Deaf.

My fingers speak.
 

A coiffed paintbrush in my grasp,

my voice streaks turquoise and magenta

across a parched canvas.

Vowels coo through thirsty linen.
 

Click-clacking keys with my mother tongue,

I chew hard consonants

and spit them out.

Sour, a scathing sonnet can be at dusk.
 

Fingertips pave slick exclamations,

punctuated by nails sinking low into clamminess.

I sculpt hyperboles.
 
 

 
 
Bio:
 
Kelly Sargent is an author and artist whose works, including a Best of the Net nominee, have appeared in more than forty literary publications. A poetry chapbook entitled Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion is forthcoming (Kelsay Books, 2022). A book of modern haiku entitled Lilacs & Teacups is also forthcoming, and a haiku recently recognized in the international Golden Haiku contest is on display in Washington, D.C. She serves as the creative nonfiction and an assistant nonfiction editor for two literary journals. She also reviews for an organization whose mission is to make visible the artistic expression of sexual violence survivors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

LIFE. A Poem by Amita Sanghavi

 
 
The tear,

The sigh,

The twinkle in the eye.

The whisper,

The wrinkle,

The silent, true story

You and I survive.
 
 
 

 
Amita Sanghavi teaches English in Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat Oman. She is MA from Lancaster University, UK. She is pronounced Ambassador of Poetry to Oman by World Poetry, Canada and Representative of Images & Poetry Art Movement, Italy and Affiliate Researcher at CELCE University of Leeds, UK.
Her poetry book “Lavender Memories” and two edited poetry anthologies were published in 2018, 2020 and 2021 respectively. Her latest book s ‘Astad Deboo: Poetry in Dance’
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)