POETRY Reading: Crann Bethadh Song Messengers, by R.L. Stephenson-Read

Crann Bethadh Song Messengers, by R.L. Stephenson-Read

We embrace our Celtic ancestry
For that same time runs nigh
And seek the mystery from the Lake of Small Stones
Of a lost, ancient tribe’s practice.
Those magical Druid Holies droned, “Beannachtaí Dé”
In their sacred, Oaken Groves
And planted low-frequency seeds in spring
That one day gloriously sprang-forth, Heaven-ward.

Then you, yourselves sang glad, summer tidings
And on Samhain, lifted grateful shouts in harvest celebration
Finally, settling into hibernation with winter’s lullaby,
While Fortkind from the mouths of poet-bards
Whispered healing words of restoration
An effort of preservation to
Slow-down aging
And retain energy and life force
In unison with dolmen, stone circles;
Linked a perfectly-honed craft
Of fractal geometry,
Dependent on the majestic spruce to harness
Compressed charge.

Even now, your sacred altar of boughs and leaves
“Raises a Sham unto the Lord”
That naturally emanates joyful reverence
And encourages grace among a fellowship of fir, evergreen and nut.

Oh, Tree of Life, ever-present around the world
Primordial life, you are the most natural form of medicine
Available to us to journey toward Creator.
Please invite us into your inner body,
To transport us higher with purest intentions and awareness
And allow us to sit beneath your canopy of protection
To enjoy the splendour of your animated foliage
Or soft, sweet needles of pine
And voice a melodic cant
Praising the beauty of yew.

You encourage the wounded with loving airs
As rings outward gather to steadfast the cedar
And dream-scape a new world; of tribesmen awakened
To the fulfillment of One-ness with all who dwell in the Garden
We stewards are called together
To encircle you with thanks; our murmured hymns
Summon the wisdom of the ancients; the purpose
To build a sanctity of inner fortitude,
Which when united, we share in melodious harmony…
Slainte Mhath go Deo!

Written by RL Read, Bandruí on a mission from God
© Aye Lighthouse Productions, April 25, 2021.

POETRY Reading: DEAR GAELENE, by Mercedes Webb-Pullman

DEAR GAELENE, by Mercedes Webb-Pullman

I’m pitching a script about a journey
discovering new lands. A clever captain
but he’s shipwrecked. A remarkable
love-and-murder story illustrated
by the captain and his new navigator;
he is English, and she Polynesian.

(Quick back-story about a Polynesian
woman who sets out on a journey
inspired by dreamed maps, a navigator
who steers to a fame-hungry captain.)
Same old love story, easily illustrated.
His insanity makes this one remarkable.

Native canoes are truly remarkable;
trees thanked before use, Polynesian
design, local rangatira illustrated –
leaf, tree, thicket. This new journey
worries the shipwrecked captain.
Can he really trust his navigator?

He’s lost his heart to his navigator.
She steers by stars through remarkably
open seas, subverting his role of captain.
In his mind history shifts, Polynesian
society beams him visions; a journey
through death, through fire, to life, illustrated.

His designs hatch into life, illustrated
dreams lie, show him his navigator
on a dangerous, double-crossing journey.
In a cataclysmic shift of passion, remarkable,
the once-beloved, once-worshipped Polynesian
is seized and tortured by her captain.

He’s no longer sane, her captain.
He kills her. And he eats her. Illustrated,
shocking. A woman, native Polynesian
in an alien world, brave navigator
of life, her way of death remarkable.
Imagine a movie of the whole troubled journey;

a lovely Polynesian navigator, wooed
by the shipwrecked captain; their remarkable,
sad, and morally illustrated journey.

POETRY READING: Four Days, by Les Bill Gates

Four Days, by Les Bill Gates

Remember me?
You betrayed me today.
With a kiss, you showed them the way
And collected thirty silver coins.
You whipped me and mocked me.
You crowned me with thorns.
So grovel in the dirt, pick up your pay.
You betrayed me today.

Remember me?
You killed me today.
You sent me to the cross, then washed your hands
And set the murderer free.
You cursed and mocked me and made me a joke,
You threw dice for my cloak.
As the curtain was rent, night replaced day.
You killed me today.

Remember me?
You mourned for me today.
You pronounced me dead, laid me in the tomb,
And sealed it with a stone.
Though you denied you knew me, you still had hope
That death would have no hold on the Son of God;
To the Father there could be no other way.
You mourned for me today.

Remember me?
I rose for you today.
The stone rolled back, the tomb was bare,
There was no one there.
I died in your place, so your sins could be forgiven.
I defeated death, so you could go on living.
With my blood, your sins were washed away.
I rose for you today

POETRY Reading: Impact, by Dennis Stefanov

POETRY Reading:

fan the flame
let it die out
or set fire to the kitchen trying to make breakfast
with you at four in the morning

take a walk instead

paint the winter canvas of town
like a boot on the moon

trip on the ice and knock your head into mine
watch our breath intersect in the space between

run back to the apartment and strip
as if it wasn’t below freezing

our bodies slipping against themselves
sliding backwards through time
crash into each other

the craters will tell a story

when the match we keep close flickers
the world becomes as small as our hands

vodka soaked words spill from our mouths
stray
thoughts are doused in gasoline

step outside
but don’t wait on me to light a cigarette

burn yourself like incense
fill the space around you

underneath the kitchen sink
a fire extinguisher lies empty
the sound of water dripping reverberates

wear your intimacy like a scarf
loosely draped around your neck

I can hear the snow as it falls

POETRY Reading: VIOLENCE, by Fella Cederbaum

VIOLENCE
February 27, 2021

Violence starts at home
Violence starts
When you are willing
To burn cherished friendships
On the altar of precious opinions

Violence starts
When you shut out and silence those
Who happen not to inhabit
The machinations
Of your mind
Of your convictions
Of your articles of faith

Violence starts
When you prefer to look
For the grand oppressor
Out there
While the petty tyrant
Inhabiting your heart
Whispers in your ear
Whispers and whispers
Incessantly
Until you believe
His utterings
Believe them to be
The voice of reason
Or
The voice of love
Or even the voice
Of your very own heart

And that is
The point of no return
When justifications rise
Rise to still
The remaining stirrings
Of your conscience
While offering up
Your true north
To the self-righteously
Indignant
To the self-righteously
Outraged
To the self-righteously
Wronged
The self-righteously
Deeply wronged
Utterly offended
By those
Who would dare follow
The dictates of their own heart

Their own heart
Open
Open by its very nature
Open to listen
Open
To give the previously unthinkable
The benefit of consideration
The benefit of the doubt
The benefit of validity
When offered
By those dear to them
Or when offered by wise men
Even
If not of their own conviction

And thus those voices
Those voices other than your own
Are stilled
Are cancelled
With Machiavellian fervour
Those other voices, ideas and experiences
Are silenced
Burned on the altar
Of expedient censorship
Burned like the ideas
The art and the music
Of The Other
Burned like the undesirable books
Of last century
Burned as a prelude
To the burning of Jews

A prelude
To the burning of Gypsies
A prelude
To the burning of Gays
A mere prelude
To the burning
Of the Deplorables

Yet in allowing the vilification
And the glorified burning
Of the inconvenient
You too are removed
Removed
From the wonders
Hidden in the caverns of your mind
The true wonders
Only revealed when you allow
The unfamiliar
The unknown
That which has not been
Incessantly regurgitated
And that which is other than
Tepidly digested news
Proffered up as Truth

In allowing this vilification
Of The Other
You are removed
From the doorways
To mysteries

Mysteries
Hidden underneath
Every single storyline
Of Truth
Hidden underneath
The place-keeper
Of all that is waiting
To be discovered

©2021 Fella Cederbaum

Read Poem: A Pit, by Pola Popovich

Once we were in heaven
And could dream for ever
But weather started a heat
And spat it’s pestilent receipt
Oh, it takes a whole lotta grit
To get out of that pit

Like a Blue Moon rises Desire
Over a dark Pit set on Fire
Where wood flickers way up high
Like illusions in the children’s eye
And days burn and time goes by
And I wonder whether to breath out
Or whether to die

Fool always believes to be pardon from want
Knight always asserts to be first to anoint
They say there is no right and there is no wrong
Whether the winds blows just a little or very strong
Whoever is lost in that dark valley of greed
You shall never be acquitted of your need

Created June 11,2020
Philosophical/ Dark
Author Pola Popovich

Read Poem: Translation of the Soul, by Raven Starr

A soul is given to each one of us. It is a gift from young and lasts until we’re old.

Our pathways can become dark. Depression creates a force that tries to push and lull us into pseudo madness. We are treated like criminals within our heads. Forced hatred doesn’t make us strong. Hatred blurs the lines and forces pieces of our soul to die. Hate causes our souls to cry. And sometimes it causes us to live a lie. Reach inside yourself and take a step forward to realize you are strong. You are beautiful and most of all you my sweet thing, you are loved.

Do not allow fear to dampen your shine. You are all that you need. Believe in the strength of your translation to hear your soul speak.

Words will fill your head and even stain your soul. But you must know there is bright light that comes from your own power.

Your soul is and your journey are ahead of you. Allow your soul to dance, allow your soul to grow. Times may change and the positive words may begin to fade.

Kick over the stones of depression that may block your way. Embrace the sonic waves filling your body with a knowledge of life because the secret of joy is written on the pages of your soul.

Read Poem: POETRY IS MURDER, by Doug Shear

I will use you in my magic potions,
Dunk you in my cast iron cauldron
Add your long, scarlet fingernails,
Your colored curls,
Your embarrassed blood
And the slick black feathers
Of the crows I killed
And your freshly slapped cheeks
And the strap welts across your legs
Which I gave out of duty and love.
I did not kill you, of course.
But I did warn you about your pillow.
I told you it would grow addicted to your head, your thighs, your sighs,
Your begging legs, your restless breasts.
It is not my fault I fell asleep
So soundly I did not hear it creep
Over your precious face.

Read Poem: ODE TO MY SHORN SACK, by Ken Hewski

‘Ode To My Shorn Sack’

Times had changed
A new era, begun
No longer my ball fro,
was an object of women’s fun.
A razor I was told, would restore my appeal.
A few quick strokes, should be no big deal.
With a steady hand, I looked down below.
I measured every inch, that razor would scroll.
The shiny silver blade, grazed along my sack.
Alas, my sex appeal, would soon find it’s way back.
For one brief moment, my attention was taken.
That moment in time, had left me aching.
As I stroked away, from north to south,
A sharp pain I felt, then foamed at the mouth.
I screamed and hollered and squealed like a piggy.
So much of my skin was no longer with me.
I fell to the floor.
The blood spewed like a fountain.
I no longer stood, like a man that once stood like a mountain.
I reached for the phone.
Three digits my fingers dialed.
In came the medic.
Marching about in singular file.
A miscalculation, would cause a major set back.
Not all of the King’s men could fix my poor nut sack.
Soon thereafter the doctor strolled in.
Extreme anguish, I knew he knew I was in.
A numbing agent, he quickly applied.
My balls shriveled up.
Felt, as if they had died.
I took a deep breath.
In misery I wallowed.
The sutures I so feared soon had followed.
I gasped for air and threw my head back.
Quickly finding religion, I prayed for my sack.
A lesson I learned.
A straight razor was not the answer.
Such a thing only ends in great disaster.
For many seasons, women have come and gone.
But, this ode to my shorn sack, will forever live on.

by,
Ken Hewski

Read Poem: On a train from Reading station, by Art Johnstone

I could not contain the smile, it grew.
No affectation.
One of those spontaneous smiles, quiet humour, or irony,
that sometimes steals its way across my face.
Like an ambush.

Will he notice?

This cool, young black man sitting opposite,
on the train from Reading station.
18 (I think) with his girl.

From top to bottom,
immaculate.
My father would be impressed
if he were alive,
if he would see.
But I knew he wouldn’t,
couldn’t.
No speck of dust, no dirt.
Coordinated.
Primed.
And his shoes!
Trainers,
gleaming white.
No doubt expensive
with a vibrant Nike tick.
Tall, slim, fluid shape, casual,
seemingly unconcerned, confident.
Skateboard tucked,
accidentally,
under arm.

A trophy?
He wants us to look,
but not really.

And then there’s me!
Sitting opposite.
On the train from Reading station.
57 (I know) alone.
Will he notice?
In my new Chinos (stretch)
fitting nicely, I think.
From top to bottom, immaculate.

My father would be impressed,
if he were alive,
if he would see.
But I know he wouldn’t,
couldn’t.
No speck of dust or dirt.
Coordinated.
Primed.
And my shoes!
Brown brogues, leather sole.
No question. Expensive!
With a vibrant shine.
Tall, slim, not-so-fluid shape these days, casual,
seemingly unconcerned, confident.
Wrinkles etched,
accidentally, across a face.

Trophies?
I want them to look,
but not really.

From the platform,
through the carriage window,
people see

us.

Different.

Yet here we are!
Opposite.
Sharing.

A love of shoes,
silent dreams,
a single, brief-lived moment,
together in this life:
as we rode the train,

from Reading Station.

https://www.artjohnstone.com/