Free Verse Poetry Page  with Suzanne Robinson 

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Water

 

When your water ceases to circuit

When your ocean recedes

Your wonder will be all filled up

Why I fell.

 

My body invisible amongst the corpses.

Litter.

 

We fill up the bottomless gullies,

Absented undertows.  Litter.

 

And the stones.

The stones you so easily kick aside.

 

 

Francis Golm likes to play with words. Tweet him @SideBurnedPoet. Find his award-winning filmpoems here: www.youtube.com/zorki28.

The Fires Inside

 

I dragged

this log,

dark and thick

as a bear cub,

to the firepit

last night

dreamed

at the capering fire

till sleep called.

Tucking

smoking embers

inside, the log

darkened,

seemed to

sleep itself.

 

Today I slip

dry leaves beneath

charred and smoky

wood, coax out

small flickers

to nurse at its

barky breast.

 

Phlogiston—

combustible element

in everything

that flames—

 

dabs of light in

birch leaf coins

carpeting a Klimptian

forest floor,

 

specks hidden

in flint and jasper

conjured

by shaved steel

and friction,

 

fire in silk

that beckons

as the sari’d woman

sways in

pollen-sprinkled

lily beds.

 

Phlogiston—

essence of all that

sparks and blazes.

 

Don’t we all

have embers

tucked inside

waiting for the tinder

of a blond man

tipping his hat

or children holding

orange crossing flags

to guide the smalls

to school?

 

It is then

the phlogiston

In our hearts

bursts forth,

ignites dreams

with fire feather wings

to carry light

to other stars.

 

 

Sandra Kacher is a Minnesota poet trying to turn seclusion into a writing retreat. She has had work published in magazines including Dime Show Review, Avalon Literary Review, Adanna, and Better Than Starbucks. She is enlivened by reading and writing poems.

I Married a Politician

          “Goodbye Jennifer, be a bad girl” — I Married a Witch (1942)

 

I hate when I’m burnt at the stake

and my spirit’s trapped

in a tree for three centuries.

When I finally get out

I try to ruin

my persecutor’s

great-great-grandson;

consequentially he’s

a governor-to-be.

 

His hair was okay,

shorter than his

17th century predecessor’s but

he was still swimming in his clothes,

floating in his suits

like a witch in water.

 

I put a love spell on him

but in usual masculine fashion

he coughed it up

all over me,

and before I could even wash it off

I’m locked in on his polyester smile.

Now it’s all Hyannis and

coffeepot.

 

I know I should

despise our marriage

but at least we vacation at

Veronica Lake every May

and I may just may be getting

a vacuum for Christmas.

He says I look god awful

holding a broom.

 

 

Angelica Allain was the Poetry Editor of Soundings East and a Salem Poetry Seminar Fellow in 2019. She has upcoming publications in Weber – The Contemporary West and LEVEE. She is an avid traveler.

my friend, the captain

 

when he drinks

he always says

“every second you go through

shortchanges you of life”

and

 

sometimes

when he’s really drunk

he’ll show me his arms,

the needle tracks

long faded,

almost disappeared,

and proclaim

“even vice has abandoned me.”

 

they say that

after his honorable discharge

from the navy

He became a pimp

for some years

Somewhere in Southeast Asia.

 

it’s never come up in conversation

and I’ve never

asked him about that.

 

usually shirtless because of the heat

the ancient tattoos make his torso

look like it’s covered

by blots of wrinkled ink.

 

i brought over a bottle

of J&B and

after the third scotch

he starts to reminisce

for the 2nd time today

about a “tight-lipped

Chinese girl”

he met when he was young.

 

he says

her body was

like “Real slow

saxophone

music in the dark.”

 

lately he

talks more and more

about her when he drinks,

tells me that it’s because of senility,

that he can see a time

in the near future when

he’ll become a

senseless, babbling fool,

assures me

 

very matter of fact

that before that time comes

he’ll fix

himself “for good”

with his 38 special.

 

his daughter Carmen

comes out of her room,

suffused in cheap perfume

and dressed for work:

 

after kissing her pops goodbye

she takes a

shot of J&B

and whispers in my ear

giving me a bit of tongue

“don’t let him get too drunk

and if he does

move him over to the recliner

so he won’t choke

on his own vomit if he pukes.”

 

it’s just after dusk

when i leave

and Carmen’s on the bus bench

showing off her legs

and trying to hide

her beer gut with the blouse.

 

it’s close to end of the month

and she’s trying to come up

with her part of the rent.

 

she smiles at me

as she waves hello:

 

i envision her 3 gold teeth

and wave back,

shout across the traffic

“i fixed him soup

and left him on the recliner!”

 

“God bless you baby!”

she shouts back

and then

turns her attention to the passing cars.

 

 

J. C. Mari resides in Florida. His first poetry collection is the sun sets like faces fade rise before you pass out published by Lost Alphabet Books.

One-ways

 

The ones from the window of a

ghost plane

are the saddest

views

when you feel the

return ticket

jealously plaited

in your gyrose

heart

but keep reminding

yourself you won’t find it in your

pocket

 

 

Elisabetta Fato is an amateur writer and photographer. Her major sources of inspiration are found in Naples, Italy, where she was born and spent her childhood, and in London, where she is currently studying Biomedical Sciences at Queen Mary University.

Night Poems

 

It’s late as I twist fragments and

cut-ups into streams of forgotten consciousness

laid out in blank verse

of staggered lines and prose.

A fountain of remorse excavated into

ashes of the dead.

A pause during insomnia

when the ebony sky is oblivious to a last train

shaking creosote ties and bashful steel into the wee hours.

 

In the morning as sunlight reflects on amber walls

despair vanishes into stuttering words

abandoned for now in daylight.

 

 

John Raffetto is a lifelong resident of Chicago. His poetry has been published in print and various online magazines such as Gloom Cupboard, Wilderness House Literary Review, BlazeVox, Literary Orphans, Ariel Chart, and Olentangy Review. His book Human Botany was released in 2020.

*

birds

late autumn

lined in form

borne by gentle winds

following the graceful curtsy

of tree tops

pointing south

 

*

the brown and orange leaves

scattered about the grass

surround the rusted rake

leaning against a tree

 

*

wind, blowing leaves

up

down

in circles

not quite knowing

where

to land

 

*

she left at night

dented fender

one headlight

New York plates

headed west

 

 

Nicholas Gentile was born and raised in New York then lived in Miami where he owned a Hallmark card and gift shop. He is now retired in York, South Carolina. He is married and has three children and eight grandchildren.

On Wine and Poetry

 

Please drink a poem

as you would a glass of wine.

 

Hold it up to the Light

and inspect it for clarity.

 

Is it fizzy and bright, sparkling

like a chilled Vinho Verde  

 

or more complex

like a white Burgundy?

 

Perhaps its essence is darker

like grapes grown in lush loam

 

or more subtle like a Dickinson

poem that tells truth slant.

 

Feel the verse on your tongue

and swish it around for sound.

 

Sip it syllable by syllable

and taste its tannin come around.

 

If its nose is foul smelling

like wine that’s been corked

 

cast it aside as you would

a chapbook of doggerel.

 

If it suits your taste

then drink it again

 

with a meal and a friend.

 

 

John Sweeder lives in Ocean City, New Jersey. His poetry has appeared in Burningword Literary Journal, Shantih, and Haiku Journal, among other venues. His first book of poetry, Untethered Balloons, will be published in March of 2021 by Adelaide Books.

Systemic

 

We are built from the rotten ruins of insurmountable violence.

We are a malignant tumor that feeds on tears and blood.

Our foundation is the skeletons of the oppressed, and we dance

     on their graves.

Shattered lives and displaced people.

We give you destitution and brutality and we call it a gift.

We hold heads underwater and wonder why they’re drowning.

As if we don’t know.

We are shameful, but we never act ashamed.

We cannot be reformed, only rebuilt.

 

 

Kara Crawford is a third-year student at George Mason University. Kara’s work was first published in Volition, GMU’s literary and arts journal. In addition to writing, Kara enjoys reading, conducting research, and spending time with her numerous cats.

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