Saturday, October 31, 2015

Robert Lee Haycock writes

Sidewalk Altar Call

Cardboard bed
Surrounded by detritus of a too long life
Try to remember
Last knife and fork
Reaching out
I drift past the edge of the waterfall
Bend your knee
See those weeds
This dead bird
A broken stick
These stones crumbling
The place of sacrifice bleeds
From here to there and back

 ... homeless ” examines the percentage of homeless individuals with

Nana Mark shoots

Laurie Kuntz writes

The ocean view 
from the nursing home
offers little relief


Satya Pattnaik writes


In every dawn 
I rise up putting the sun
In my front pocket 
Train the mind 
Light the fresh fires to burn
Fasten the smiles of a child
Live for the day without dying
I bury down the dark memories 
Nail the half known faces of 
My mortal relations 
Outside of the courtyard 
Fresh petals of roses 
Collect my tears 
Immunize my feelings 
With aromatic compassion 
No aches no pains 
Innocently I rejoice 
The conspiring minds and garbage of thoughts 
I come across on my way 
Frightening noise and musics 
Come out to break my day
But I remain deaf to my surroundings
Walk with the sun In my pockets
Explore the streets of sunrise 
Enter into the world precious 
Silently with my feelings where 
I could address 
Without pressure and pains
All my dreams I could live
Poetry of delights I could write 
After every sunset.

Sunah Kim writes

Friday, October 30, 2015

Shambie Mpho writes

The Marikana Murders!

The super-rich are in parliament
And they killed the poor in Marikana
Who demanded a living-wage
A request dipping into the elite's purses
Bringing discomfort to the man in charge
Who saunters the land with stolen tax-payers' money
Building palaces for his flock with blood
Thereafter biting his tongue
Trying to sound compassionate and just
Simultaneously biting the hand that feeds him
Wherelse creating a gap between the rich and poor
Indulging in the open-spaces in-between the classes
Elevating himself into a semi-god
So long the gap remains unhindered...

The super-rich are in parliament
And they killed the miners in Marikana
Who demanded a loaf of bread
Not much for the men in the belly of the earth
Who toil for wealth but die like paupers
But the poor's death make the super-rich super-human
The rich don't care about the poor
Casualties count for peace in their lives
Their eyes read profits
Till election time
For now the magnate's vision is maintained
To protect the employer interests
And the instructions are clear
Shoot dead the monkeys to protect the cash-flow
Cause it is wrong for the super-man to beg at any point
But proper for the poor to wave the begger's board at the street-lights
And let peace reign on earth...

The super-rich are in parliament
Even the president owns the mines
and kills the workers with clubs and guns
And blames the violence on hoodlums not on hunger
And blames the unrests on the social set-up he inherited
Exonerating himself from lack of service delivery
But he forgot to bring change to the past
Paying company bosses millions for an hour's board meeting
Wherelse people die of cholera in Caroline
He increases the social grants instead of creating decent jobs
Creating a nation of beggars not workers
Creating a community of controllable subjects
Who would always hero-worship him for his "generosity"
for hand-outs bought by taxpayer's money...

The super-rich are in power
They killed the black miners in Marikana
To maintain the magnate's vision
After we shed blood for liberation
Now our souls are traded on the counter
We can't even trust the once revolutionary messenger
The spokesperson gyrates with the enemy
An injury to one is no more an injury to all
And lies are fed to keep the greed on course
Impotent policies dished out to control the mind
For us to forever depend on them for survival
So that the beggar remains the beggar
And constantly bows down to the man in charge
But our anger is boiling up
Our resistance is building up
Let them laugh in their kitchens
To the fun we have become
Quoting our struggle heroes
Wishing we are naive and impressed
But the dust is coming
The petrol-bomb is so close
One day it would be me
Lying dying on the Marikana hill
With a bullet clinched between my teeth
In the company of Ndau the Marikana ghost
Whispering to the cop with a gun in my head
"Finish me off to please  abelungu..."

*abelungu = the white

Robert Lee Haycock shoots

that way home

Shinoj Alex writes

To you...

my fountain of love and my mystic echo
I love you enough for making my dream true
but never look back when you leave me behind
now or then my love changes never
my heart has the scar of our shared love
a bit painful would be life without you
but whatever may come let me tread the path
to unknown with a bleeding heart……

Laurie Kuntz writes

Through the morning's
motors and chatter
I still hear the mourning dove's chirp


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Soulistic Poet writes

Bass, Alto, Treble, and Soprano

I swear I want nothing more
Than for us to harmonize
I’m desperate for you to see
The pulsating bass in my eyes
Just so you can catch the rhythm
Of the tears I cry at nights
And wipe them away
Before they make hazy
And blur love’s true sight

I dream of your alto lips
Perfect whispers, sweet and low
Giving me hopes of a tune of love
That makes my darkened heart glow
Kind of like
The story I heard as a child
When love helped the grinch’s heart grow
I believe if you sing with me
We will make music that soulfully flows

Don’t tell me you don’t feel the treble
From the butterflies in our core
I know they fly in unison
And baby I just want more
I’m convinced what we have here
Is nothing like we’ve had before
Broken hearts
And lonely souls
Seek diligently for this kind of love that cures

Baby I know you hear my truth
As it sings from the depths of my being
Follow the rivers of my soprano notes
As it releases all I’m feeling
I never thought
The day would come
I would find music I could truly believe in
So baby please lay your lyrics on my beat
And harmonize with each breath we’re breathing

Alex Krivtsov shoots

Laurie Kuntz writes

From one day
to the next
an Hibiscus bloom
Image result for hibiscus images

Stephen Okereke Micheal writes


My son,
Draw nearer and hear with your ears

As a chick, I lived in crony with an eagle
Who furnished me with faded wings to fly.
I folded my wings and schooled in the den of lions
Therein my head was fashioned with a crown of bravity
I served in the hilly temple of an ant
Where beds are laid today for tomorrow's rest
My son,
Pick a leaf from my leaves,
Walk and work with your eyes plugged on the sky
Fetch wings and fly, fly high like an eagle into the sky
Beyond the reach of the cruel hands of doubting gravity
My son, fear not, but fear fear.
Good night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Joe Haldeman says

This piece of art is valuable, and so is this orgasm, and so is this crumb of bread. The bread crumb connects to the artwork through the artist's metabolism, which connects to orgasm. Then through a fluid and automatic mixture of logic, metaphor, and rhetoric, the bread crumb links to soil, sunlight, nuclear fusion, the beginning and end of the universe.

Laurie Kuntz writes

A fallen frangipani flower
the fragrance still
Image result for frangipani images

Robert Lee Haycock shoots


Tom Sterner writes and shoots

~wind shouter~

~into her evening tides~

~younger than morning~

~delivered on dusty wings~

~arms of the wind~

~its mortal voice a howling thing~

~awful & wondrous chaos~

~exciting birds to rise~

~on sleeping wings of dawn~

~great sweeping shadows~

~joyously aroused~

~breaking stride across morning~

~writing messages in wind-speak~

~rustling trees’ shaggy heads~

~to wakefulness sifting~

~sighs of leaf children~

~sweetness in celebration~

~the mountain & its person~

~a rage of wanton whimsy~

~prelude to ever-seek~

~each later peaceful step~

~prayers on the bottoms of feet~

~speak to a wandering path~

Timothy Spearman writes

THOMAS SEYMOUR's Soliloquy before his execution

Forgetting God
To love a king
Hath been my rod
Or else nothing:
In this frail life
Being a blast
Of care and strife
Till it be past.
Yet God did call
Me in my pride
Lest I should fall
And from him slide
For whom loves he
And not correct
That they may be
Of his elect
The death haste thee
Thou shalt me gain
With him to reign
Who send the king
Like years as noye
In governing
His realm in joy.
And after this

Frail life such grace
As in his bliss
He may have place.

[detail from portrait by Nicolas Denisot]

Monday, October 26, 2015

Laurie Kuntz writes

Under a torrent of rain
flowers are never angry,
but I am.

Vernon Mooers writes

Botong Reservoir

Jin dal lai bushes burst their soft pink blossoms
Yellow gaynari golden bells laugh in the trees.
Cherry trees float their rich white petals
at dusk the carp and snakeheads break.
The sun calmly sets like a curtain
pulled across the backdrop hills.
Red-headed woodpeckers tap pines like drummers
fishermen reap their nets and lay out again.
Through the bullrushes their boat sinks slowly
herons and white-naped cranes stand sentry still.
On the mountain the La Vie D’or stares empty
dim lights in the fog from Dracula’s castle.
The ducks flap low over the surface of the lake
the humming sound of wings echoing their flight.
The horse neighs
from the shadow
of the baeksong tree.

Sherry Cummings paints

Beach Babes

William H. Drummond writes

Sing a Song of Faeries

Sing a song of faeries
Of magic that comes in a dream
Of butterfly wings
And wonderful things
That aren’t always quite as they seem 

Sing a song of faeries
Sing it long and sing it loud
Of wind and of storm
Of blankets so warm
You would think they were made out of cloud 

Sing a song of faeries
Of nymphs and gnomes and elves
Of everything bright
In the deepest dark night
That care more about you than themselves 

Sing a song of faeries
And maybe they’ll sing along
And dance round and round
Never touching the ground
Please sing me a faerie’s sweet song

Hilary D Zamora writes and paints

"My self-loathing and self-doubt strangled me like the vines that climb the walls of desolate seclusion. I could feel the inner struggle wrapping around my neck, choking me, encouraging me to tear free. I wanted to feel included with these kids. This would be the first of many nights sitting in vehicles, buses, vans, cars, or RV’s, snorting meth, dirty crank, with apathetic addicts trying to sell me five dollar lines. I was literally stepping into a ruthless realm of uncontrolled crisis and misfortune where every single day I exposed myself to substantial peril and risk. I was so stupid. I didn’t know that this one night would lead me into a journey of a million tragedies.

It was before I’d seen different cooks in different places mixing chemicals and drying batches. It was before I knew how to melt the meth in brittle, clear, glass pipes that would rot and break, like a tweeker’s teeth, bones, relationships, promises, spirits, morals, and souls. I can still hear the fiend inside me screaming; that very first night this voracious beast was activated, animated, and empowered. I stirred a creature of abhorrence and indulgence that I wasn’t aware I had inside of me. My monster was ruthless, but we were still strangers.

It was living behind my skin but had yet to be born. That night gave birth to my natural longing for excess but I had no idea what that would lead to. My mind rewinds to a different time, to a plate of lines, and a play of lies, to the story’s lifeline. And it’s as if machines have kept this thing breathing, in order to allow it to flow from my hand and mind to the present time, and to the past, to the depths of my affair with meth." ~Hilary D Zamora

Robert J. Fouser writes

Natalie Joy

Natalie Joy, little Miss Energy, ready to go, demolition crew full on. One night, the moon dropped down, gave you a kiss and took you away. That cold cruel moon, I will never forgive, but you, Natalie my Joy, I will always remember. Squeeze my nose, and I'll give you a kiss! Reach for my glasses, and I'll kiss you again! We know how to have fun, opening books, piling up blocks, playing with threads. What? Is that the cruel moon I see? No, it's the light of Natalie Joy, big brown eyes and all, smiling down on me, showing me the way and warming my heart -- tonight and forever.

[I wrote this poem in loving memory of my two-year old niece who died suddenly in her sleep in March 2007. Her name was Natalie Joy Adamo. -- RJF] 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hawked and Doves

Love is hawked from every ad,
is sent likes doves from all our arks,
is aimed at every easy mark,
is scribbled on every poet’s pad.
Through it all we keep in mind
what we, every one, know is fact:
that what we seek is really Sex
and Love’s just one means to our end.
--Duane Vorhees

Abel Iseyen Ancientman responds

Abel Iseyen Ancientman: I am an undergraduate of Business Administration in Lagos State Polytechnic. I am a native of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. I started writing poetry in 2013, influenced by Prof. Niyi Osundare, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, and Leopold Sedar Senghor. My major vision is to leave a good footprint on the sand of time.

DV: Let's start with two questions. I have featured quite a few Nigerian writers here. What do you think of the state of poetry in your country? And, along the same lines, how did you get started as a poet?

AIA: Well, poetry in Nigeria so far is growing very fast. We have many established poets leading the way while the upcoming ones obviously don't like being kept in the dark. These days we have new generational poets thrilling their readers with some well thought poetry. Reading these poems, one can see creativity in motion. You don't just wanna miss the next line while reading them. The coming of the social media like Facebook and Twitter really aids this massive growth. I must admit that I read good amount of quality poems every single day. It feels good to know that poetry has finally come to stay in Nigeria. As far as myself becoming a poet, that's a cherished memory. I grew up in a village so rich in traditions and other cultural values. Back then, we didn't joke with moonlight-play, which involved lots of story-telling. Back then I discovered my passion for  creative words. So it was fun listening to stories dripping from the lips of the sages. Telling us lots of folktales and reading traditional poetry to us. I also read poems by Prof. Wole Soyinka, Prof. Niyi Osundare, Maya Angelou, Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, etc. Their works really spurred me into writing poetry. Here is the first one I wrote, "Lost Heritage":

The advance generation, like a catfish nurtured with excessive pabulum
Seems too bright for their ancestral cultures
They seem to be keeping pace with the flying time
Oh, time has changed.
Even the air no longer smells of rich moisture
Time has grown wings!

But daughter, did you just serve me palmwine without genuflection?
This is the drink of the gods,
You should have done better than that.

This is not the same you I saw yesterday
That old you was a dark ebony,
Housed with all the attributes of Iseyen's tribe
You were the loamy soil that nourished the tribe's crops
You were the replica of Obio-aduang forest.
Friend, this can't be you.
This is a stranger -  bleached with hot palmoil
But your fierce eyes still bleed black blood.
So tell me friend, is this really you?
For lo, lions beget lions
Goats still forge ahead with their ancestral weaknesses
But the great Agbaka we know didn't travel this path.

You know I have nothing much to tell you;
The last time you visited home
Father didn't recognize you.
Even mother tip-toed to the adjacent hut -
Thinking the goddesses were after her.
But I was not too amazed because I recognized your eyeballs;
Though the staggering of your high-heels nearly put me also on my heels.
Your hair was as long as the mermaids'
Your nails were as long as the talons of a witch
Your lips were as red as a spoilt palmoil
Your face was decorated like a Calaber masquerade.
But sister, what philosophy have you read
That deprived you of your dignity and pride?

DV: I can certainly hear your cultural heritage there and traces of a Maya Angelou cadence. But if you had to pick just one constant influence on your poetry, who would it be? In what way?

AIA: That's a hard one. I have so many poets that I admire a lot. But I will pick Prof. Niyi Osundare anytime, any day. He is one of the contemporary poets that has done so much for poetry. His poetic style is so unique. So concise. So appealing. You know, while reading his poems, you're not being driven to a tight corner. No. He speaks to you like a friend. Like a teacher. Like a mentor. You listen to him speak through poetry and you get
up ready to face the world with lots of strength and optimism. I really love his work.

DV: Is there a process you go through when you write? Could you describe it, from inspiration to finished product? What's your attitude towards revision?

AIA: I get my inspirations from things happening around me. It ranges from that tranquil smile on the face of a child, the looks in lovers' eyes, the clutches of widowhood, to the benefits of determined dreams.I also gained lots of inspirations reading the works of others. On the area of revision, I spend lots of hours writing a poem. I discovered earlier that I don't possess the talent of writing ten to twenty poems a day. So all I always do is try as much as I can to invest lots of time and energy on my few outputs. One always feels better achieving something great at the end of the day.

DV: Have you ever had the painful experience of having a powerful inspiration that just will not complete itself, no matter how hard you work on it? And what do you do about writer's block?

AIA: Yeah. I currently have three poems patiently awaiting my attention. The attention is there, quite alright, but the creativity isn't sharp enough. Possibly, someday I will find the necessary depth required to complete them. Even if it takes me a journey to Athens, I won't mind. (laughing). Writer's block is an impediment to literary progress. It's a moment of blurred vision for writers. It's as bad as that. But I'm not scared of it because I have its antidote. I always undergo an intensive reading session whenever I encounter writer's block. Through these reading sessions I have been able to  regain my rhythm and creativity flair. Personally, there is no better panacea to writer's block than reading.

DV: Others suggest just forcing oneself to write -- anything, nonsense, the alphabet, anything -- until the creative juices start to flow. Still others suggest abandoning the writing project entirely for awhile and doing something else -- taking a walk or a nap, going shopping, watching TV -- and returning when the mind is fresh and new. Somehow, we have to trick our brains into working again. As to your first point, one of my friends wrote a
poem that seemed finished, but he was not satisfied with it; several years later he wrote another, and only then realized that it was the completion of the first. Before we finish this session, I have one further question: Other than the satisfaction you get as an artist, and the enjoyment you give your audience, what is the importance of poetry in today's world?

AIA: Poetry, to me is the way of life. Poetry is one of the most essential frameworks of every society. It's the pill for all emotions. Be it love, happiness, excitement, etc. Poetry just covers it all. Just imagine the strength one derives from reading the poem titled 'STILL I RISE' by the late Maya Angelou. You just feel your spirit strengthening. You feel triggered; ready to look the world in the face. That's what poetry does. You're never the same after reading a good poem. Poetry spurs. It educates. It's a tool for change. It teaches us to appreciate nature and adore our neighbours. It fills the heart with so much love. Poetry is the backbone of every society.

DV: That's a very inspiring answer. Thank you for your participation in this interview. We look forward to more of your poetry.

Abel Iseyen Ancientman

Adesola Oladoja writes

The Patient Dog
Once I came across a dog
Panting before a puddle
By our side a narrow path
The dog was not befuddled
For it stood apart
Its message was clear
Rang louder than sirens
Have your way o human
I thought at the sense
It bothers my man
I smiled and took the lane
Not until I had my way
Did it start its ply
I wish I could give it a pat
Know not what that would imply
But that act on my heart sat
For that dog has shown me
The greatest lesson
I need for a while
How to deal with persons
Even when I rile
Make my humble stand
Go along with a smile
Be  longsuffering
Let peace have its way
And do nothing but remember
The fattest bone in all seasons
Still belongs to the patient dog