Poetry Reading: Live Again, by Anika Anderson

Live Again, Anika Anderson

Alive but not living
Surviving but not thriving
Wearing masks, hiding identities
Controlled but not in control
Conforming to roles, titles and positions
Giving all but feeling empty
The meaning of me lost
A life summed
On that precipice of life, I awakened to a revelation
That the the key to me was found in my Creator
The Creator and His creation a relationship never fully explored
So I began seeking to know and understand
About my purpose and design in His master plan
What I discovered was peace, love , joy, trust and intimacy with Him
Most of all I discovered how to live again


Read Poem: What is life?, by Vrinda Nair

An illusion
or an introspection of our deeds
We are puppets in someone’s hands
Starting with aught and
ending with griefs
Restless souls, brooding over past
Lost in the mayhem of snippets of life
To be believed in nurturing
but become wayfarers of thoughts
Crossing many paths, handed aid to several
That was the mission
but juncture fiddled in like an alibi
Approaching the end-
What do we do?

Read Poem: Rattles and the Rust, by Kartik Prajapat

I endlessly search my flesh and bone
what undernourishment has it gone?

How come they speak of me being shy?
when my days actually passes high and dry.

Some ask me to hope while some to have desire,
struggling is my heart, it is set on fire.

The hands that nurtured me promptly degrades
and her blessings are left as the only trace.

Might be the rust she was bestowed
here I corrode against all her hopes.

This goes till then I was five
Alike the present full of strife.

She kept screaming ‘Help O’ help!’
I was alerted & going to yelp.

He throttled me in a fit of rage
”Damn it you bastard! You shall also die in a cage”

I moved forth and tried to stop,
but my hands were barred by him, from the top.

“Stop here for my pity sake”
he added – Let her char O’ bloody snake!

You are vigilant and letting her die
Applauds to you, bidding her goodbyes.

You went up in the flames, burning so high
O’ count me the reasons, Mumma! what & why?

“Keep blazing O’, dear son
You are my residue, the charcoal unburned.”

Arid feels my heart, the dry leaves crinkle
blow me up with you, I’m ready to mingle.

I switch off the lights, what is sleep?
where’s gone that lap, I used to weep?

Nights are drearier than ever before
I often search for me in my core.

Your wailing reverberates up to now
I turned 23, I still wonder when and how?

Every time I breathe in my soggy lungs
a rattle of your presence fills me with the spunk.

Here I stand as your only fraction,
inbuilt into dynamite give me some friction.

You made me invincible, the heat is on
If only you were here, what wasn’t that I own?

―Kartik Prajapat

DOLL, by Kirsten Warner

I forage for her, the doll of my disappointment

a spray of brittle twigs
a faggot of fallen fronds
crusty sticks with lesions of lichen

crouched over, calling up my ancient sister.

Then it is only a matter of seeing and she takes shape.

A forked branch and spindly legs start running,
over-wide arm-span
shock of invisible fingers
guts hanging out
circulation unspooled
half a skirt of flax flowers,
all bundled together
leaving a strong stick where her head will go.

Overnight she stands sentinel,
my doll of disappointment,
through my sleepless 4 AM and discarded novels.
My insides agitate like giant kelp in a blowhole.
Somewhere a strange crying
but each time I get up the whimpering stops.

In the morning the pillow is wet.
I’m flimsy yet my ache weighs heavy on the bathroom scales.
I count my losses in the vanity’s distorting mirror.
It feels like something died. Like I never had a chance.

I craft her head from crumpled cellophane
and glinting, spooky transparency,
attach a savage halo
consider lengths of yarn the violent red of secobarbital
but she’s done. I nurse the day

while she fossicks in the underneaths
grubbing out contagion,
cursing humbug and sideshow
drowning out the comfort of friends
muttering spells to turn my gaze away
daubing herself with horse manure
full of grass seed that will eventually sprout green.

POETRY Reading: ABANDON LOVE, by Joanne Rowe

Performed by Allison Kampf


So rich man you think you’re gonna survive?
Leaving the rest of us to die.
Buy your ticket to outer space,
watch the rest of us spinning in space.
You measure time by your own insignificant place

Mother Earth is starting to wake
We can feel her moving – Under our feet
Dancing but nobody is watching

She is screaming in the whirlpools of abandon love,
Drowning in the pools of blood,
Crying in the dirty rain,
In the clamour of the wind and rain,
how many lives have fallen?

We have rend her garments –
Emptying out her oceans
leaving her in disgrace,
and just plain destroyed this place.

With our lust for power and greed to have ever more,
Lies and deceit riding on the backs of the poor,
leaving them to eat dirt while
using our abandoned pets as live bait.

Oh all for the good life,
for we are gonna have a good time.
No one’s manning spaceship earth
to busy fighting and dying
while we are spinning out of control.

Oh sweet love divine
where do we go from here
oh sweet love divine
where do we go from here.
You seem to have abandon this place

For why complain –
we are riding on the crest of sensation,
oh for we all have a good life,
oh sweet love divine

Gaia is opening up the book of change
bringing forth massive amounts of
anger, sadness and despair
For we have abandoned her
Now chaos sets the order of the day.

And when the morning sun has risen –
I will walk outside this world of dust
Mother Earth shed
her garment of expression,
awakening the deep strata of my soul
and sets it dancing with my shadow wondering,
where we will go from here?

After the tears – a gentle rain falls
One can sense a presence
to a life’s sustaining ocean
of a love that is freely given,
not bound to any one person or thing

Asking mankind to wear a coat of compassion
To hold on to what is good, —- All you need is love
For All Life!

Through The Screen Door, by Dominique Doutre

My favorite color only happens once a day.

It’s that moment right at sunset as the sky changes from blue to grey.

The light that kissed the treetops has faded from the leaves, pulling away his warm fingertips.

The color can’t decide if it’s blue or grey or simply light, tiptoeing the edge of night and day.

The color feels like solemn emptiness and acceptance that the day is over. Do we rejoice? Or am I full of dread? Of emptiness? Can one feel full on emptiness?

I sit watching the day wind down and listen to the birds through the screen door, all while my favorite color sits in the sky.

While the sunset oranges and blushy pinks cling to the clouds for brief moments and then vanish, my favorite color watches quietly.

And for one moment, once a day, right at sunset as the sky changes from blue to grey, I feel a little less alone.


Endoscopy opens to a hush, closes to applause
Dramatis personÕ stride and snivel in between
While the playwright owns up as simply the you
In disguise and of course vice versa – All change!
Newton, Einstein, Erwin and his imaginary cat
A different sounding at each fresh embouchure

Bringing light, demolishing the old – All change!
Revolution on revolution yet nothing changes
Ancient foolishnesses replayed ad nauseam
Minotaurs and dinosaurs strut the halls of power
External, internal weapons of mass distraction

Eternal, essential the pulse the pulse the pulse
Distorted persists, breathes through every pore
Where would we be without our surroundings?
In a flash flood, a roar and a blaze of lightning
The walls of the citadel quiver and fall – All change!
As Alice tiptoes lightly through her looking glass

Boundless waters surround us as above so below
Rivers linger not and carry our bread away
A true love that will neither fade nor wither
Memories drift like leaves torn from a book
Even as the moving hand writes on – All change!

Evenings herald nights overburdened with
Dark eldritch dreams peopled by eery voices
“Wake up at the back there! Pay attention!”
I look around and find myself looking around
“Ninety-eight, ninety-nine …” – “All change!”
“At the third stroke …” “At the third stroke …”

Buy new improved, ditch the old – All change!
Rapine of the earth is not a spectator sport
Advertisements invade us twenty-five-seven
More and more of less is what and all we need
Emergency! Emergency! All hands on deck!

Ben Naga. (https://bennaga.wordpress.com)

Genres: Life, Philosophy, Politics, Social Commentary, Crisis.

QUESTION, by Bliz Mordiop


Whose voice do I hear?
Say which way to follow for a better tomorrow when
Tunnels are very dark, nightmares coming back, and…
I hear voices, different languages but…
I can’t pick my mother tongue.
What language do you speak?
And why my nation did you pick?
Enslave my people and turned my brothers against me.
Just like yesterday, I am still living for
Hope of a better tomorrow
Just like yesterday, the day before today it was sorrow
I am still confused with the idea of unity when only one race is involved. And my life feels like was borrowed I mean
Yesterday still alive today and tomorrow is just a dream.
A dream that will never come…

Now tell I where we going when priests owns jewellery stores,
You still treat sisters like whores
And politicians own mines.
The six has turned into nine.
If in church we meet gangsters…
There we meet all sinners.
But who is protecting us?
Tell me what you doing?
When you sit and watch children abuse alcohol and drugs
I dare you don’t care or…
Scared to make a step when streets asking for help…
And sisters are getting raped.
Who is leading here? Whose voice do I hear?
Tell me which way to follow for
A better tomorrow,
The storm is coming back.
What was once blue is now yellow.
Every hope is now gone.
Is my mission done? Why do I still feel alone?
Let your life be an inspiration and make that be ye mission.

Now pay attention in all you do,
We are all looking at you,
Children wants to be like you,
Sisters look at you as a hero,
Brothers be looking at you as an example.
But I be looking at you the same way,
My fathers did yesterday
Unchanged man,
Unchained man from the past,
Slavery, non-patriotic, still living sovereign,
Listening to the voice of minority,
A stranger we gave home and
Now wants to control my humility
Forcing me to enrol choicelessly, and concuss me
Taking my power and confuse me,
Obscure us all so they can rule over our soil,
Stealing our oil, killing our souls,
Use us as tools. And calls us fools.
But you and I, share the same roots
We not fools, or anyone’s tools,
Bad or good, red is the colour of my blood
Now pay attention in what they telling you,
If it’s to hate me, tell them the truth.
We share blood, a cut on you will cause me pain.
And then you limits my speech, no freedom.

But who’s leading our people?
Who’s talking for us? Or…
Who’s taking us to freedom?
I am still forced to speak thy language,
Beaten with a wooden stick,
Forced to do hard labour even when I am sick.
But ask me whose voice I heard
I heard you,
You selling us out,
You afraid to spend life in prison.
I heard you saying okay,
You don’t care about our generation
Including the one’s coming, including my son Hakim.
A leader being led. So you follow, you don’t lead,
And tomorrow, you can’t reach to the nation, because
The people who stood by you till that position,
Be sitting at home looking at you and see a contagion.
Can you handle the situation? Do you care about the religion?
Do you have any notion to lead the nation?

Tell me what you doing?
Because no one is protecting us,
No one is fighting for our rights,
No one is taking care of our sisters or our streets.
No one is turning boys into men
And then no one talks for our children.
So pay attention in what they telling you,
If it’s to hate me, tell them the truth.
We share blood, a cut on your heart will make me bleed.
But now let this to you be a caution
Let your life be an inspiration and make that be ye mission.
Now pay attention in all the wrong you doing,
It must come back to you.

By Bliz Mordiop.

Aren’t you tired of NYC?, by Marcela B

Many of us arrived in NYC with one luggage and a heart full of dreams.
When you are in New York city, you get psyched with its energy and immediately you start to ask why?

At the beginning you don’t know if it is because the astonishing architecture that intertwine the ” old” and the ” new”.
You don’t know if it is because the modern skyscrapers or because all the last century buildings with their emergency exit facades showing off.
You just feel it.

You don’t know if it is because the Broadway lights that makes you feel you’re in a non-stop, never ending party.
Or if it’s because the beauty of the Central Park that makes you feel you’re somewhere else for a moment.
You just feel it.

You don’t know if it is because this idea that you can be anywhere in less than 30 min by subway. Ah….the subway, this old, dirty, democratic and now first time disinfected system that carries the entire city from the homeless to the rich, from ordinaries to the celebrities.
You just feel it.

You don’t know if it’s because the bike lanes and citi bikes that makes you feel the wind in your face, the sun on your skin.
You just feel it.

You don’t know if it is because it feels you’re inside a movie set… is it fantasy? is it reality? Maybe both.

After sometime in New York, sooner or later you may realize the magic of this city actually does not rely on the outside.
The magic, the true magic, rely on the inside.

NY is tough, not everyone can make it here. It can be overwhelming.
You don’t know if it’s because the high rental fees and limited space.
Or if its because this city requires too much from you – NY always raises the bar.
From work, to restaurants, entertainment, to the possibilities… a wealth of possibilities.
You just feel it.

This constant and exhausting idea of #empirestateofmind that moves everything and everyone above and beyond.
You just feel it.

Now in middle of a pandemic anyone could think why stay in New York, why just not fly somewhere else, escape far away from this madness?

Well, New York never adapts to your desires, never adjust to your dreams, nor compromise. This city will punch you in your face more than you can possibly sustain, over and over again.

In the end, we are NY tough.
We know that we will fall not just once but many times, but we will rise stronger again.
We know that if we can make it here we can make it anywhere. We take this statement by heart.
We know this city has our back, for the best and the worst.

Today I can tell I am and always will be in love with this city, even tough every winter I may think otherwise, even tough I am living in the eye of the hurricane right now. The resilience found here cannot be found anywhere else.
You just feel it

It’s a privilege to call NYC home.
It’s a blessing to be surrounded for all the inspiring and spectacular minds that feed NYC’s veins and make us all addicted to be here, thus we persist.
We just feel it.