Interview with Poet Franco D’Alessandro (LEOPARD CLUB LOVE) — Matthew Toffolo’s Summary

1) What is the theme of your poem? That transformative power of -what the Greeks called- Storge/Philia love, especially when found in an unlikely place and between unlikely people. 2) What motivated you to write this poem? My relationship with a student who has become a son to me. A rather tricky thing as I […]

via Interview with Poet Franco D’Alessandro (LEOPARD CLUB LOVE) — Matthew Toffolo’s Summary

Read Poem: FOREST COMPOSURE, by Marck Riggins

Wing’s bright song staid forest realm
Shrill, dripped notes from soft breeze staff
Commandeered ear’s thirsting helm
Had raised my sight to branches, aft

Sweet ribbon air, thus quivered joy
To penetrate ‘ere sonnance ran
Imbibed each drop creature employed
Where sun’s shy rays dared not fan

My eyes run by beauty’s reason
For reverie, embrace this wild
Among mute trees placid season
I stand alone, an entranced child

Through glades, new dressed in morning’s sash
Invades his song to heart defiled
No more to burn the rebel ash
Such uncaged heart bowed to his, mild

Read Poem: Breathe, by JoHill

I was born into a mess and although we protest changes has not come
So I think back to where this came from and as I began to ponder my mind is left to wonder if this disease will ever be healed
We sit in a nation of riches and power,
yet hour after hour I watch as the very people that brought this to be
beg and plead for justice, change, equality
from a land that was built on their backs
full of welps, slashes, and blood filled cracks, as it poured down to fertilize the soil that is enjoyed to this day
there must be a way
to turn back the hands of time of a mentality that remains till this very day
where our family structure is broken with psychological hurts that go unspoken by lips too swollen to speak to the lies and deceit that have survived throughout the years
Silenced as my cries fall on death ears
I can’t breathe!!!!
forgive me, because sometimes I wear my feelings on my sleeves and I’m sure my actions are sometimes hard to receive
so if I act like a uncaged animal in the streets remember that is what I was trained to believe as a man thinketh and such,
Because as a people we have endured so much in hopes of change,
only to be disappointed time and time again
held down and slowly suffocated by the hand of injustice
left injured, heart broken, and disgusted at the outcome
meanwhile, my brothers and sisters are out hung to die and as hard as I try to understand why… that question remains…and evil maintains to kill, steal, and destroy another day.
So there must be a better way
To simply just love

Read Poem: Depression, by Jade Wankhruea

Depression… Is like being in a dark room that you just can’t get out of no matter how hard you try.

No lights
No windows
No doors;
There’s nothing in it but you and dark emptiness
And it’s suffocating.

So cold,
So numb,
Yet it tingles at the same time
Like an electric current running through your body
Waking up motivated one day
And empty the next.

I’d rather die than be stuck in this deep darkness,
I’d rather die than be stuck in this never ending sadness that I call hell!

But if I did that…
Then it would win.

This disease that constantly puts you down,
Tells you you’re not good enough,
And makes the simple task of waking up every morning…
One of the hardest things to accomplish.

It would win…
The never ending battle with your own mind
The constant fight to keep pushing through all the pain-
when the only thing you really want to do is let it take over
It would all be for nothing.

I am not a quitter
This spell that my brain has cast over my body…
It will not be the end of me.

Every day,
The struggle will continue
But I will know that I am a fighter
And I won’t let it win.

Read Poem: giving thanks, by Dan Brook

over the centuries
indeed the millennia
too little thanks giving
too much thanks taking

I give thanks
to those who give thanks
to those who give care and comfort
to those who give themselves
not to those who take lives and things

I give thanks
to those who make and pursue peace
to those who help and heal
to those who make whole
not to those who practice violence

I give thanks
to those who teach and learn
to those who share and smile
to those who create
not to those who degrade and destroy

I give thanks
to those who build and rebuild
to those who care and construct
to those who make homes
not to those who dispossess and evict

I give thanks
to those who pause and protect
to those who serve and save
to those who give and sustain life
not to those who take it

I give thanks
to those who set free
to those who encourage and emancipate
to those who love and liberate
not to those who oppress and imprison

I give thanks
to those who joke
to those who smile
to those who laugh
not to those who scowl and scorn

I give thanks
to those who sing
to those who dance
to those who create art
not to those who silence and censor

I give thanks
to those who inspire
to those who uplift
to those who help out
not to those who crush down and suppress

I give thanks
perhaps too little thanks
to those who give thanks
to those who give themselves
grateful for them all

Dan Brook teaches sociology at San Jose State University.

Read Poem: Naked Honesty, by Vasundhra Dahiya

To understand the unsaid, one needs to listen.
Listen to the silence.
Silence that says nothing yet explains everything.
One that induces transparency, yells peace.

Silence that shuts the door to faux world,
Taking away the pain, provides to it an escape from wordly shams.
Guides the soul into a world it truly longs for.
It screams truth, what only, an honest soul will hear.

Honesty in its purest form, that listens to nothing but the unsaid.
Honesty that lays down for you, the speech of silence,
uncovering the truth that hides in plain sight.

As an honest soul befriends silence, it estranges itself of all.
For which it longed for so long,
now lies with it, holding it for all eternity.

Read Poem: How to be open is complicated and family doesn’t help, by Sarah Bellum Mental

How can I be open without restrictions?

A door that never closes

a breeze allowed to pass by

and through your insides

like you are a ghost within this home.

Speaking words into the sky

to materialize the trials and tribulations

of what you’ve lived

and how your body

is more like diamonds

than it is permeable sheets

of paper because your body refuses

to be torn so easily by words

actions, dictating your heart

to beat like that of a rabbit

to escape your abuser’s words

their mentality to crack your skull

then resurrect you to repeat the process

before your mind can react

to the pain spreading like blooms

blossoming upon your body bruises

like the various colors of the rainbow

you have denied, and maybe that’s why

they choose to harm your body

in ways that don’t color your skin

as much as they metaphorically

twist your body into a contortionists

cartoon rendering of rubber limbs

trying to grasp at what they said

to throw the words back at them

so they can see the harm of their foul.

Open means breaking

it means binding my body

so close to their words that I have

no way of protecting myself

shedding diamond for the epidermis

that efficiently cuts and I just can’t

live that way. I was a sensitive child

it was never a compliment but always a crux.

It was a cross for me to bear

weight distributed over shoulders

too broad to be made for a woman

I don’t look weak,

then why do people hunt me

with callous words and those

I love end up hurting me the most?

My mother asks me what I’m doing,

responds that I don’t have a life

it isn’t a question but rather her answer

to a question, she keeps repeating,

answering before I can take a breath.

I would never allow anyone

to hurt me as she does,

people say she’s your mother,

giving you flesh and blood

a pulse to pump in your chest

a heart weakened by a hereditary

glitch I took from my father’s family

even that fact is an argument

she tries to win, even though

winning is still failing.

How do I become open

when anything open is broken

and the pieces I pick up

aren’t so easy to glue

or bind together like last time

did you try to break me?

I would never let a person

shatter my insides to pieces

quite like my mother does

and even though she created me

out of clay and a borrowed rib

from my father, this doesn’t mean

she lays claim to who I am,

how I live, or the love I choose

to give to those limited few

who deserve it in my lifetime.

How do I stop allowing someone

to open my door inside

when they keep vandalizing me

as if my insides don’t need

the same care as my outside skin?

I choose to hit mute

when she speaks finding that

the sensitive girl in me

is still hiding in the closet

waiting for her mother to see her

and hurt her for how little

she’s loved, her existence

a crutch that I will not

bear my weight upon it

any more and the open door

is now closed to heal

the past crimes that you

denied were real,

but dear mother,

they are as real as your anger,

your curiosity, your sentiments

and I am not the clay

you made, and that is

not such a terrible thing

to realize when

these indentions were mine

for the prevention

of another crime to my skin,

no, mother, I will not let you in.

Read Poem: Beauty of Imperfection, by Divya Parvatrao

Why do we wear the mask of perfection?
Is my only question.
Everyone is imperfect.
Then why hide those flaws and pretend being perfect

Why do we hate our flaws?
And feel cursed to have it.
We keep hiding these flaws
Only afraid because
the world won’t accept it.

But why does anyone need others acceptance.
If they love their true essence.
Why not be true to yourself.
And love the true face of yourself.

Poet- Divya Parvatrao
Blog: https://divyaparvatrao.wordpress.com/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/hidden_diary3?igshid=17si93tp4935h
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Expressionist-100113281808968/

Read Poem: Trees From Childhood, by Belinda Subraman

I hold on to innocence
the light
before the darkness
of damage lingers.

I played house with rusty tin can lids
as plates picked from garbage
dumped in the woods.
(It was more the norm than exception
in pre-Earth Day awareness.)

The “standing people” in the forest
were my friends
with arms for swings and climbing,
scent of pine needles and
sticky residue gifted from
the easiest trees to climb.
Delicate golf ball size seeds
were pretend eggs.
Acorns were pickles
or whatever the menu required that day.

I would serve imaginary people.
It was lonely but they didn’t complain.

Interview with Author Mary Barr (HOW TO BUY A HUSBAND)

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

Matthew Toffolo:. What is your novel about?

Mary Barr: In brief, my novel centres around a rich lonely woman in Texas. Lyme Carrington-Lynch and her wacky group of girlfriends. She is thirty-five years old and has a life style most of us only dream of; but with her lifestyle comes responsiblity. Her powerful controlling father has always made it known she must be married and produce a son before she turns 35. The time is now and she has failed to do so. Now her father will choose her husband for her. But from a strong wiled and stubborn father comes a daughter who knows her own mind and now the battle of the wills will commence. Lyme has never been in love, doesn’t understand it, and since the loss of her mother doesn’t want to be loved. Until, she has a chance encounter with a stranger on a plane…

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