Read Poem: SEVEN FULL STOPS, by Bethany Rivers

Some people speak with no
full stops and they build half
walled mazes with crashing paths
never finishing
a sentence or

When my father completed
his full stop I learnt
how to change it
into an ellipsis or a dash…
ignoring
the question mark,
hanging on to the comma –

Jack used full stops
but would erase
them as soon as they hit
the page
I never knew
which statements were true
at any given time

Virginia Woolf sentences seem to run as far as possible
for as long as possible with as many phrases as can
possibly be daisy-linked together before eventually
finally
arriving at that longed for
full stop

If I was a full stop I would be
pink on Mondays and blue
on Sundays
I keep trying to full stop but
the comma keeps
lending its tail

Perhaps the full stop is nothing
but a beautiful
mesmerising circle

Earth sun moon
endlessly full
never stopping

by Bethany Rivers
Published in ‘the sea refuses no river’ by Fly on the Wall Press (2019)

Read Poem: End of Frost, by Anita Estes

I’ve never waited so long for the passing of the last frost,
When seeds can be planted and new life springs forth.
I’ve never waited so eagerly for the passing of the last frost,
keeping the ground from bearing fruit.

I’ve scoured catalogs;
What should I order?
Flower or vegetable?
Beauty or food?

When will the earth give up her cold freeze?
I’ve gazed at flowers from my car window,
looking longingly at hanging baskets.

What can endure a light frost?

Some of the flowers can,
though the more delicate ones cannot.
So I put on my mask and gloves and purchase the hardy plants
They endure, as I must.

In my eagerness, I planted seeds that might just freeze.
After April, who deceivingly smiled at us
with warm sunny days and then
with the dagger of death—

She plunged her freezing cold steel into the earth.
` As the seed planted must die, so must I.

Awaiting the passing of the frost, so life can return to what it once was,
I look out my window.
Just staring at the frosted magnolia blossoms, I hold my breath.
Will they brown and die?

I’ve never waited so long for the last frost to pass.

Waiting in anticipation for planting vegetables and flowers.
Looking upwards to the heavens, no longer asking why,
with hope for the passing of this grey death.

Never to know normal again?
Still the anticipation of embracing loved ones, dangles before me,
with hope,
I await the passing of the last frost.

Read Poem: ALLETERNITY, by thb-teresahewesufabencinic

2356
steps taken so far
through this
DAY

1 prefoot in front of the postfoot equals
STEPS
moving the female body on the time
LINE

doing what?

Using the brain in the head on
TOP

of 1 skinbagbody
watching the flow of
ThInKiNg

The brain is designing and creating and producing
food for swift action and slow
RESULTS

The body feels refreshed waking up
from automatic repair and maintain work
without living awareness of the owness

What influence does the body occupant owness thb really have?

What content is sharable?

What info is worthy of being passed
ON?

What content is then picked up by foreign
EYES?

and used as info food for the foreign brain under the
BONY E SKULL

of another human being
which can be or may be maybe
MALE
FEMALE

and either will have a front and a last
NAME

This IT certainly will be overfilled by info already

What can this earthian female thb pass
ON?

CALMNESS
QUIETNESS
SILENCENESS

accentuated by
BREATHING

There will be a newly linked
DAY

Tomorrow’s plans will include moving this body
out of the shelter of the safe
HOME

leaving no footprints
along paths marked for
TRAVELLING
into the COVID19 TERRITORY

controlled by the
ÜBERVIRUS
escape-launched from
CHINA

The country so vast
The country covering the lands of so many
PERSONS

speaking the oldest language on this
LONELY
planet

LONELY
because the only travel companion is
the round vanilla
MOON
which is polluted with some footprints of 12 bouncing males
since

1969

from the planet where
THEBREATHINGHUMANS
liveANDdie

There are no traffic jams up there
ANYWHERE

The bouncing humans looked lonely
to the plains and to the craters to the mountains to the valleys

Who might still imagine what they looked
NAKED

moving around fast and agile

Was their appearance a
SHOCK?

Was their disappearance a
RELIEF?

Are these territories waiting for an encore of this loud
VISIT?

The baby son of the earthian alien female skinbag thb
was born in that what the humans call
JULY 1969

T H E momentous event on their DNA heritage flow line

quickly changed from
INVADERS
to
EXVADERS

Now the earthians look up to the
MOONIANS
and the moonians look down to the round rolling
PLA-NET

and
all is calm
and
all is silent
and
the round rolling PLA-NET
will soon be slurped UP
by the overpowering echo lust of
THECORONATHEVIRUS

The GODS of the earthians are
MIGHTY

and
their time to implode is coming
on silent
STEPS

blown away by winds of
TIME

following the imprints of
THISTHATWITHTHEOTHER

PICKTHEDAY
PICKTHENIGHT
DROPTHEDAY
DROPTHENIGHT
TIME IS DEATHING IT

A l l i n e t e r n i t y

463words…2547characterswithspaces

Read Poem: sperlonga, naple, by Rebecca Gismondi

based on the painting “Les baigneuses” by Pablo Picasso

you almost drowned that day, as we drank

in the sun by the coast. I mistook your flailing

arms for ones of praise, for the ocean smelt like safety.
I was selfishly tempting the rays to coat

me with a new skin, while she braided her salted hair and
you inhaled mouthfuls of souls lost at sea. When rescued,
all you said was:

“What a day.” And yes, the sand absorbed with ease between our toes
and the waves’ tantrum ended –
but it was the day. We became women who had to put on sunscreen

and eat three full meals and
lie in bed for a day after heartbreak.
My skin was coated with rules and reminders
and her hair was braided with questions
and your lungs inhaled fear.
We were different.

Read Poem: FAREWELL OUR SWEET PRINCESS, by Sula Miller

A modern day princess in a tragic land
A precious flower destined to be damned
A teacher, a child from a small town
With amazing grace she stepped into the crown
A beautiful vision covered with lace and pearls
A perfect bride this virginal girl
But the castle was dark and barren of love
And duty called for a more important cause
She stepped into her role with class and style
And bore her prince his first man child
She wore her heart on her sleeve
Craved for acceptance instead was treated like a disease
As suicide attempts and her bulimia grew
The court was embarrassed further away they withdrew
But the people loved her she could do no wrong
So the prince tried again another beloved son
With her children she did grow
She extended her heart and much more
When the walls around her came tumbling in
She found her strength and really began to sing
They threatened to take her children away
Divorce is not acceptable in the kingdom even today
But she stood up to armies and the press
And showed the world courage under great duress
A prayer goes out for a great woman indeed
For the paparrazi’s hounded and watched her bleed
Farewell our fair maiden you were a vision to behold
You will not be forgotten your story will forever more be told

Read Poem: BRIEF MEASURE, by Barbara Rosson Davis

What seems revolving heavens, keeps constant.
Winding life flows like water down the stream,
like wind across the desert. Don’t delay…
Seek out the facts, not the interpretations,
for there are many, like opinions.
Observe, clarify, record. Men and
women of science make good company.
Those who share wine and wisdom
discover the face of the rose. No one knows
the way through the curtain of mysteries.
Every field where the thorn-quince blooms
has been reddened by the innocents’ blood.
Sporting on the field of Causality lays bare
the fact– that sport did not exist when
the rules of life’s game were laid. Man’s
life is like the ball in the game, driven
hard, here and there, by forces of
the universe. Who knows the course?

The brief measure of our lifetime plays out
like a symphony for some, a dirge for others;
the secret score not disclosed. High notes
and low, some sing, some hum. The song
of the soul empowers the spirit. The truth–
Worldly goods come and go, so keep your head
like a cup—when it’s empty, fill it again, and
drink of knowledge. For reason seeks the way
of truth. Do not forget your heart, tongue, or taste.
Seize the moment, for it is yours. Remember –
the world is filled with rumor and disguise.
Like a fresh rose, forget hubris, mansions, jewels.
Life is rich enough with invisible things. It’s secret
glows in the home’s warmth, the joy of sharing
contented moments not purchased, nor stockin-trade, but cultivated in our awakening
of the heart. The lesson that is learned well
is— that no thing has been learned at all.

Joyfully live and let live, let the world pass–
that stream of events, lived again and again.
The continuation of matter, and what matters;
the beginning was not arranged with any one in mind.
So, drink the wine, and linger in the goodness of it all . . .
People to people, people to plants, people to animals—
‘til that moment when the wind carries us as dust
to dust, when death gathers roses, wreaths
that wither in the circle— that is life.

Read Poem: Enriched Moments, by Janice Pearson

A laugh and a smile
Heart opens wide
A giggle and touch
I love you so much
A look, a glance
Intimacy a trance
A wave, a hello
Loving moments on show
We laugh and cry
Together till we die
We debate and talk
Memories shared in a walk
Hugged and kissed
In our heart never missed
Short moments yet sublime
Looking forward to next time

Read Poem: DIVINE COMEDY, by Ron Kolm

I.

Let’s take a walk
You said.
Okay, I said.
And here we are
High above the East River
On a pedestrian walkway
On the Triboro Bridge
Hiking from Astoria
To Randall’s Island
As rush-hour traffic
Streams by.
I hate my life
You say.
And I know
You’re not joking.
I wonder if you’re
Thinking of jumping
And what I would do
If you did.
It’s a long way down
To the tug
Pushing a barge
On fiery waters
As it disappears
Beneath the bridge.
Should I grab
For your arm
And probably die too
Or simply admit
I want to live
And let you fall.
It’s late afternoon
When we finally reach
Our destination
Descending a cement
Stairway that deposits us
Onto a parking lot
Near the Manhattan
Psychiatric Center.

II.

We’re both too tired
To turn around
And walk back
Over the bridge.
The only other exit
Off this island
Is a narrow
Pedestrian overpass
That connects it
With Manhattan
But to get there
We have to cross
The grounds of the
Mental institution
And blocking our way
Is a guard in a booth.
You’re reporters!
He shouts at us,
Trying to do
Another fucking expose!
No, we protest,
We just want to get back
To the city so we can
Take a subway home.
He pats us down
And searches our bags
Then grudgingly waves us on.
It’s early evening now
And large bright lights
Come on, illuminating
Everything surreally.
We can clearly see inmates
Through plate-glass windows
In 1ow, ranch-styIe buildings
Watching TV.
If it weren’t
For the barbed-wire
You’d almost think
We were in suburbia.

III.

Beyond the last building
The underbrush thickens
And the asphalt path
Is cracked and broken.
It’s pitch black —
A hot, humid night.
Indistinct shapes
Dart into the bushes
In front of us —
I take out
My Swiss Army Knife
All two inches of it
And flick it open
Just in case.
And, like that
We come upon
The other guard booth
Burnt out
And abandoned long ago.
I’m not feeling too good
But you grab my arm
And motion
To a string of lights
Rising above the trees
And I realize
It’s the footbridge.
As we step onto it
We’re almost swept away
By a wave of humanity
Swarming from Manhattan
Onto Randall’s Island —
A never-ending procession
Of shopping bag ladies
Sneaker kids, junkies
And sodacan collectors —
And we the only two leaving
Tired and relieved
And even perhaps vaguely
In love with each other.

Read Poem: Time, by Ana Downes

Time is an evil thing

The dark and desolate hands of the clock reach out and grab you by the throat

Pulling you farther and farther away from the life you thought you had

The life you enjoyed living blissfully carefree

The life you didn’t cherish enough

Because you were too young to know what would happen

When time curled its tongue

Dripping with sorrow

And exposed its jarring teeth

To bite you

And make you abruptly realize

That it would chase you every single day of your life

Faster and faster as it waits to strike again for the final time

You find out that every moment you experience is temporary

Nothing ever lasts

And it can never last

Because of time

And just before the sand in the hourglass comes to a stop

Only then

Do you realize

How lucky you were

Before the demon found you