Poem submission by Shaun Shane
Poem submission by Kerrie O’ Brien
It was years ago
a bad time of things
and you led us to Glencree.
people had left messages
all over the statues;
prayers, begging prayers
an inhaler, some pills.
you insisted we light candles
but I couldn’t bear the thought of it
even kneeling proved too much
so you coaxed me, carried me over.
we lit them from the same wick
perfect little blank sticks
the size of my fingers
we pushed them down,
and I went to walk away
it was too cold now
but you said
‘look, please, just look’
so we huddled there
in the flickering warmth
and watched them all weep
down to whispers and smoke.
we wept with them
in the hush and glow.
you held me up
as I had held you that night
and walked you round
that dark room
trying to rouse you,
not knowing you
were dead in my arms
“Life in the Big City as seen through the eyes of a Homeless Person”
The sun is so hot today.
I can feel the beads of sweat form upon my face,
As I try to make my way out of this rat race.
There is no finish line; I am not out to win.
I’m just trying to get back on my feet again.
But people are so unkind.
They don’t think I can do anything, even as I talk to them.
I’ve been walking all day; I am so tired.
I could end this charade if only I heard two words: “You’re hired.”
The air is so cold tonight.
As the wind whips across my face,
I try to think of a way out of this place.
I wish I had some money, some food, some clothes.
I wish I had some place to go.
But I am chased from everywhere I try to hide,
By those who tell me sanctuary is not mine to keep.
If only they could see the human soul in me,
I would have a place warm and dry—to sleep.
Poem submission by planetanarchy
Poem submission by randompoeticthoughts
i would do better
alone in this world
with no one to speak to me,
just leave me alone!
i just want some peace
can’t you see in my eyes?
i despise human speech,
it just takes too much time.
i don’t care if you sit there
and just shut your mouth,
you can be in my presence
but you need to learn how!
it shouldn’t be hard
to be silent for hours
but from my experience,
no one else has this power.
i just want to go
no voice but my own,
and a peace never ruined.
Poem submission by Bryan Edwin
When I was young, my father told me tales of indignation
like suffering was the best way to feel alive.
Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that it was all a lie.
As righteous as the promised land was told to be,
I knew it wasn’t for me.
And he put on that white collar, one abandoned dream at a time
saying to my mother, “Honey, it’ll all be fine.”
So tell me why you spend your nights drowning your lungs with wine.
The way we pray is the way we die.
When I wasn’t quite old enough to understand,
My father took my hand
and said, “Soon you’ll be a man
and I hope you know where you stand
because I’d like to see you again in the promised land.”
And illusions fell where my soul forgot to sell,
praying that he wouldn’t send me to hell.
But if he saw everything I’ve done,
I know I wouldn’t be the only one
to die a Prodigal Son.
When I was young my father suffered and sold
every dream he could ever hold,
not because he was getting old,
but because he believed the lies they told.
They never called him a broken man,
but I found shattered pieces in his hands.
Poem submission by Dougie M.K.
This is the poem that writes itself
In the lives of the unfortunate.
That records the lives of the rich
Because they understand not the truth
Nor the life that they lead.
And when the poem is complete,
It binds itself in the sadness of its accomplishment.
This is the poem that tells the story of the truly accomplished
Because, in the end, the unfortunate pull ahead of the wealthy.
For the unfortunate know the world and its workings,
While the wealthy know only their wealth.
Poem submission by Amanda Hueli
they will never touch
a spinning moon
against a breaking ocean.
like two parallel lines
yearning to meet
in super-market aisles
amongst the vegetables,
or in the open park
on the frozen bench
glazing over the sun.
an infinite hole
is lodged between them.
they want to push out
the dulling light
cup it, pure
around their fingertips
give it to the other
like something borrowed
on lazy days
they have forgotten
just like if the moon
ran his fingers through
the ringlet ocean,
a whole world
would die away.
so like the moon
they need to run
from the other,
to save them
Poem submission by artificialcensus
Worn by millennia of neglect
As decrepit and grey as he were,
Tired bones rattled up the steepest hill in town.
Umbrella’s felt – faded
Submissive to Wind’s brute strength
Served little to the sheltering of the fatiguing blind man.
As if the oceans had inverted,
The road beared resemblance to waterfalls
Carrying schools of debris – and nearly, the umbrella porter.
Reaching the summit
Digits found the doorbell
To which the sound alerted the occupants within.
Answered by the deaf man
And greeted by the mute friend
The threesome sat down to poker and rum.
As rain battled earth and wind ravaged window panes -
Each man took great joy in the miscommunication.
Poem submission by Amanda Jo
A cracking noise and the moon fell from its place between the stars
The weathered orb shattered on the dirt
And through the dust you saw a stormy-eyed woman, with braided hair and a gypsy soul,
Weaving a golden sunrise morning
She searches through the debris and drags away a smooth crescent piece
She walks tilted,
Like her left arm is heavy
Her hips jut forward,
As if she were being pulled by a string around her waist
In her wake she leaves a sweet-scented honeysuckle path and a fluttering trail of butterflies
She left you spellbound; a kind of understated magnetism
You recognize her as the mystic; a woman bearing a round, owl-like face, intended for smiling
She has bent you into an emotional being;
Wearing suction-cup eyes and following feet
As the sun’s warmth dulled behind the mountains, she tied a cord around the ancient, crescent chunk, and hoisted it into the sky
She filled your empty hand with hers and whispered,
“Leave behind anything you cannot carry and follow me”
She guided the way by the light of a moonbeam she trapped in a tin can years before she learned of catching fireflies
She taught you how to ask the sunflower heads to follow the suns path across the sky
And how to curl seahorse tails and butterfly tongues
She explained how to smell the earthy undertones of rain on warm dirt
And showed you how to open the moon flowers petals to bathe in the moonlight,
Grateful for every moment for she knows the bloom will wither in the morning sun
And at the end of the lunar cycle, as you walk hand in hand, she quietly says,
“I’ve given you a reason,”
Her eyes held tears when she twisted around,
“Remember that connection; the pure rain from the sky only comes from pure water on the ground”
Poem submission by kelwomack
Deep in desert sands they reached
High into space where rivers meet.
Twisting slithering through red giants
Standing shoulder to shoulder in grand alliance.
Spires of stone in mushroom form
Pillars where earth exploded and tore
Gorges who split the earth left scars
and monuments like golden Mason jars.
Swaths of crimson paint splatter and dry
Against coppery cliffs in morning light.
Bridges and arches plume from the earth
In hardened explosion gave their birth.
The land stretches, wrinkles, far and wide;
Surveyed by eagles in denim sky.
In the land of needles reaching for clouds,
Monstrous stones take a closing bow.
Poem submission by Nichole Knabe
ocean skies that widen
in a big way
like the earth splitting
at its seams
like girls with
breaking at the joints
and the sensitive
and at her hips
the wide world ends
and sends him packing
there are components she
so she’ll have to recover
sometime in the morning
from learning that
most truths come
Poem submission by r0und-here
I sit straight in my chair, taking the red-eye out west.
Above me, my life is packed away in the overheard compartment.
I can’t help but be thankful the rest of my row is asleep.
My insomnia prevents rest,
but the idea of human interaction
sparks a wave of depression.
“Any trash, sir?”
The stewardess stands above me,
equipped with an open plastic bag.
I cringe at her false smile.
and see myself in her eyes,
filled with exhaustion and self-pity.
She privately resents each passenger:
The headsets with housewives attached,
The screeching children who are too young to understand,
The wanderlust teenagers looking to belong.
The sight of adolescence hit her hard,
She too once had dreams to catch.
Dreams that were abandoned
in a distant city long ago.
Now she longs to escape,
to forget her broken desires,
But each sight she sees
brings a painful memory.
I look up at her.
“Why, yes, I do”, I answer, but did not move.
Her eyes flash confusion, but she walks on,
repeating her question to the next passenger.
She is a robot, programmed to assist.
She doesn’t have time for pathetic old men,
who look for meaning in their five dollar wine.
But that pretty little lady,
one day she will be me.
For I was once her.
And now I’m taking the red-eye out west,
to catch my dreams
as bright as the rising sun.
Poem submission by joancarr
Hamako lies in a watery grave, sad eyes watching as her life floats by.
There goes the roof of her house - her mother’s wedding kimono - her favourite doll.
There goes her grandfather’s pen. He writes such beautiful characters.
He was teaching Hamako but no the pen is gone she will never learn.
There goes the fan that her mother saved from the earthquake when all else was gone.
It was silk. It belonged to her great grandmother.
A year goes by and on a distant shore, where children of a different race play on the beach, the doll, eyeless, dismembered, sprawls unnoticed
Why are the fish dead, the children ask as they dip theri nets into the rock pools.
Why are the fish dead the fishermen ask as they pull their meagre harvest from the sea.
The world turns and the tides run and the huge wave that took Hamako from her family has spread itself wide across the ocean and brought sadness to another country where another people, smug in their western affluence, thought themselves safe from such disasters!
Poem submission by Shaun Shane
we would be
Poem submission by another-kind-of-blue
I came today to where I was
Which seems so long ago.
For days must pass
And wheels must turn
To lead us down our road.
I met a man who I once knew
Beneath the hollow oak.
From rolling stone to stepping stone,
I told him where I’ve been;
He stopped and smiled and spoke:
“Anywhere is everywhere
And here I am today.
What makes a man
Is how he walks
Not where he makes his way.”