Poem: GUILT, by Marli Merker Moreira

One day he marks me down
and walks away.
He wings out
to places, I hate to know

Next, I want him so
but he tours
on a cove, I despise.

Soon I will not care
for the filth
he has as his den.

I bury stillborn dreams.

I learn to stay
in the crisp mist
far from his residues.

Today I howl him down.
My dreams wear padlocks:
No Entrance.

Today, I regret
Taking him back to the day
He came:
Not a word of excuse
Love
Why
Wherefore.

We set off from there.
I smother
Whys and wherefores

The mind, however, does not forget
And I revisit the boneyard
Of yesterday’s dreams.

Poem: TOMORROW, by Phifer E. Howell

If I could see today a tomorrow of many years to come, would I see a world at peace where human beings care for all in times of need? Would I see a humanity that has overcome its selfish and indigent behavior? If I could see today a tomorrow of many years to come, would I see the beauty of the earth in all its grandeur? Would I breathe clean air and drink pure water? If I could see today a tomorrow of many years to come, would I see all who are different accepted and all who believe coexisting? Or, if I could see today a tomorrow of many years to come, would I see a world still entangled in hatred, bigotry, and the mistreatment of all citizens of the world?

I pray that today there are tomorrows of many years to come.

Poem: RUG RIDE, by Peter Barton

A wet Saturday night
And the girls can’t decide
To go uncool with umbrellas
Or risk their curls without
The street sways free
Looking for a fight
Late for a connection

No prowling tonight
Not for me
With you, sweet boy
I’m always where I want to be.

We are taken by the give
Of our dusky rug
The amnesty of the evening
Heals up our headlines.

I stroke your forehead
As my father stroked mine
Though never long,
Never long
enough

And I realize how much
Through all my life
I’ve expected what I gave
To come back to me.

But all I got
Was a chance at the end
To stroke my dad’s hair
As he lay dying

It took us that long
To turn all the tables.

So
I stopped waiting for boomerangs
Of such unwrinkled joy
Giving doesn’t mean
You get.
Just take a toke and pass it on
Like yesterday’s paper…

We don’t breathe as one
You are twice as fast
Muffled in my armpit
Your hair so fine
It sticks to my chin
Reminds me to shave.

I have you now
So close to my life
That it seems very near
When you’ll stroke my hair
As I stroked my father’s
On that dry rainy night
When the walls drew in…

Poem: LOVE IS, by J. Alan Hostetter

The old miser kept a stash
Of love, regrets and cash
He got wiser much too late
Death was waiting with his fate.

I guess he never heard
About the holy word
You can’t take it with you,
So know this is true:

Love is
Worthless, if you hoard it,
Priceless, if you give it
Away.

I’ll say it again.

Love is
Worthless, if you hoard it,
Priceless, if you give it
Away.

So give it away.

Don’t you dare grow old
Hoarding love like gold
It will wither and then rot
And what have you got?

If you give it all away
When you’ve lived your final day
It pays a good return
From others who learn:

Love is
Worthless, if you hoard it,
Priceless, if you give it
Away.

I’ll say it again.

Love is
Worthless, if you hoard it,
Priceless, if you give it
Away.

So give it away.

Don’t hoard love till you grow old
Love is not the same as gold
It is earned, but can’t be sold
It will warm you when you’re cold

It will share your heavy load
It will smooth your rocky road
It will pay more than you’re owed
You will reap what you sew

Love is
Worthless, if you hoard it,
Priceless, if you give it
Away.

So give it away.

J. Alan Hostetter

Poem: WISHLIST, by Alex Hai

I saw you in the mirror
Venus coming out of a cake
Alike Marilyn Monroe
I confess
I wish no less
In my handsome condo
Pushing you on foxy fur blankets
Massive steel screws holding a view
My underwear is gone
Your latex corset gets undone
Longing for your fingertips
Your reddish hair falls
on black leather
Red heels on the marble floor
I caress
and gayly undress
all of you
Music becomes a moan

Poem: IL GATTO, by Jim Hogue

Il Gatto
A cat on the Persian rug
Stretched and gave a kingly shrug
Without a word to say
And went upon his way
Creeping like fog on cats’ paws tread
Abandoning his bed
For higher feline quests
Perhaps of mouse arrests
Perhaps of strolls on Park Row
Where fancy ladies come and go
Talking of Michelangelo Il Gatto
Or Rudolph Valentino.

For tea a meeting in the park,
Twilight, a nap, then catting after dark,
Mixing with the cool cats
Singing hot scats
Jammin all night
Flying higher than a kite
Pursuing Miss Kitty
In a tomcat city
Licking her fur
To a rhythmic purr
Hiding on the wrong side of the tracks
Scratching their sleek backs

Till daybreak’s hues
Domesticate our muse
And the milkman’s yawn
Calls forth the dawn.

Poem: Elysium, by Malhaar Gupte

Where life was conceived,
Where the hungry ghost feeds,
Where even the gods bleed,
For they are not gods but
Ancient flawed mortals with
Mystical stories of humble deeds,
Where the edge of existence
Falls into darkness and the cosmos
Shines upon the horizon that we all see.

‘Tis here that when she
Drew her last breath,
The Elysium flowers blossomed and
Beget life in her once again,
Many venture on this perilous voyage,
For redemption or for solace,
Their life travels to Elysium,
Where the flowers
Compose a cosmic garden,
Overlooking the terrestrial ground.

‘Tis here where one day,
We shall all gather and meet,
‘Tis here where one day,
We find lost friends and family,
‘Tis here where one day,
We dine together over a feast,
‘Tis here where one day,
We share our mystical stories.

Poem: SATELLITES, by Ganesh Ramachandran

Some of them watch over Earth
Some of them see stars at birth
O’er sea and land, and low in power
By the sun, shine hour by hour

Deep space probe sees distant moon
Inhabitable? Then is boon
But waters, gases, rings and crust
Reminds us where we will in dust

Satellites for television
Multi channel indecision
Telephony for sleuth or spy
Giant switchboard in the sky

Humans beings in space station
Representing every nation
Peace above while war below
Partnership will maybe grow

One day maybe trek we will
To distant planets, alien hills
The future is perhaps elsewhere
New abode, to live with care

And so the satellite does look
Above, below, cranny, nook
Arthur C Clarke’s vision true
His face in stars and yonder blue

Poem: A MODERN DAY CINDERELLA, by A.L. Jobrail

A candidate must not be soiled
Virginal as the freshly fallen snow.
So that with his first thrust all will know that the issue is his, not another’s.
Her beauty shall be as the airbrushed ads
That taunts us into buying their products to achieve what is beyond our grasp.
To deny herself and her needs will bring happiness ever after.

Once upon a time
There was a prince.
Dumbo was his name
He searched for his Snow White of porcelain beauty.

Woman after woman threw herself at the prince.
He flicked them aside as a hunter does a wayward branch
Alas! He found his true Cinderella
Not sweeping cinders but nurturing young minds.

“Marry her. Marry her quickly!
She must not know.
Marry her to maintain respectability.
She is of a noble bloodline”
Said the queen grasping at straws.

“But Mother, I love another who is not free” he whined.
“Spare this kingdom the shame. Form the alliance!”
He rushed to his true love’s side presenting her with a token of his love
Then he scurried off to marry his princess-to-be.

The princess truly loved her Prince Dumbo
And despite his large ears gave him two heirs.
She lived for him and his happiness
Was not this her royal duty?
Whatever happened to happily ever after?

He never loved her and made it clear
I will hunt and keep myself busy.
Appearances are everything to mother.

“Behave yourselves,” said the queen
“I will not have a scandal.
Put on your makeup and take your places.
Your audience is waiting”

The princess ate and purged the loneliness
Let me die and leave this spotlight I cannot escape
The crowds adore me, but not my love
He has no love, no compassion.

Using her notoriety as a conduit
The princess channeled her unreturned love on charity
Follow me if you dare
Across the hidden minefields
To the orphans of the aftermath of war
To the other side of the tracks
To the children, especially the children.

“Conduct yourselves as expected of one in your standing.
Image is everything to the crown.
Deny the truth and squelch the rumors.
Remember you are a happily married couple.
And don’t forget to wear your hat!” said the queen.

Please! I beg of you
No longer can I pretend
If the show must go on
Let it go on without me and my sons.
The princess wanted to free her wings
Feel the wind as she soared on her own
To live without the spotlight.

The vultures circled
They were used to waiting
It was a way of life for them
Give us anything
A tidbit here, a tidbit there
We’ll blow it out of proportion.

Finally, the princess gave in
Her blood splashed across the headlines
Screaming the truth.
Flash! Flash!
Prince has a lover on the side
Read all about it
He loves another, not me!
I know and can do nothing.

The queen rolled up the red carpet
Tiptoeing, the press and biographers gained access through the back door
Tongues wagged incessantly as puppy dogs’ tails.

Quick to the press!
Because mine is the truth
Mine is the best
Chide the salivating vultures
The predators return to pick over the bones.

“Off with their tongues!” Shouted the queen.
They tell nothing but lies
The vultures ignored protocol
And the denouncements of the queen
.
And what of the princess?
She cleared every hurdle
And moved forward with Prince Dumbo
Temporarily forgetting the happily ever after ending
Peace of mind and a rested soul were more important
No longer did she seek relief with her finger.

Take care and beware of princely knights
Roaming and sowing their seeds
They know not what they are doing
Unless. . .
They follow the cue of the queen.