Michelangelo: Painter and Poet
with steel balls
and a wire brush
wishing he was
wearing motorcycle leathers,
going wild and crazy,
stares cross-eyed at the
Sistine Chapel ceiling-
nose touching moist paint,
body stretch out on a plank,
bones held by ropes from falling-
delirious, painting that face of Jesus
and the Prophets
with a camel hair brush;
in such a position, transition
a genie emerges as a poet-
words not paint
start writing his sonnets,
a second career is born-
nails and thorns
digging at his words,
flashing red paint:
Rose Petals in a Dark Room
I walk through this poem one step at a time.
I walk in a mastery of this night and light
my money changers walk behind me
they’re fools like clowns in a shadow of sin,
they’re busy as bees as drunken lovers,
Sodom and Gomorrah before this salt pillar falls.
In a shadow of red rose pedals
drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman
currency to Jewish money or Tyrian shekels-
they’re fools, all fools, at what they do.
Everyone’s life is a conflict.
They’re my lovers and my sinners
I can’t sleep at night without them
by my bed grass near that sea of Galilee.
Fish in my cloth nets beget my friends, my converts.
I pray in this garden alone sweat
while my disciples whitewash their dreams.
The rose has a tender thorn compared to my arrest,
and soon crucifixion.
It’s here this morning and this night come together,
where this sea and this land depart,
where these villages stone and mortar crumble.
I’m but a poet of this ministry,
rose petals in a dark room fall.
Everyone’s life is a conflict.
But mine is mastery of light and neon night
and I walk behind these footsteps of no one.
In the rain,
on his way home
He a disco dancer,
single Friday night award winner
on the floor. High school dropout.
He drove off the road edge.
He was drunk, Jack Daniel’s
was his driving instructor.
Jack Daniel bottle left at grave.
It never rains in a dry casket.
Shelter under this roof,
no worries about cops-
Waltz, Footprints in Snow
December 24th, I find footprints in this snow, yours frozen, our broken dreams.
Will your lawyer Grinch my wallet, fleece me while I pray to Jesus Christ tonight?
Even the devil stoked in flames has standards, jukebox baby.
Even Jesus suffers with the poor, feels lonely on winter moon distant planets.
Don’t torture me, let me drive you home in our old Mack dump truck.
Hear these sounds, new records on this old radio.
Care to dance a new waltz
renew, no mirages just free no chains−
or drift back to those old vintage footprints−
fog covering over old snow?
Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018. 192 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089. Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings: the Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.
In an ancient abandoned farmhouse,
A beautiful white dove was dying,
Dry shingles rotting, life
Decomposing, beauty diverted…
A furrowed road, holes filled with
Agony from rain. A man going
Nowhere in circles, church bells
Pealing a sorrowful lament, and my
Eyes filed with sorrow from salty
The old farmhouse, falling into ruin,
Ghosts of the past dancing to the
Music of despair. Life’s memories,
Which once abounded inside its
Walls, now forgotten …
Sighs of sadness rose up from a
Barren meadow, dry from the lack of
Moisture, filled with mourning,
Breeding an eerie uneasiness across
My lonely mind …
James is the author of four collections of poetry, “Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), “Light” (2016), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014),” and “The Silent Pond,” (2012). He has had over 1,400 poems, four novels, seven essays, and thirty-five short stories published in over 200 different national and international, books, anthologies, and magazines, including Penwood. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU. A review of his newest collection of poems, “Solace Between the Lines,” can be found on Cyberwit.com.
Seems the day is crumbling
before the sunrise even starts
and the motivational coffee is brewed.
Smiling perseverance to hold the glow
of believing in the kind goodness.
Walking to a destination
not sure now of arrival
due to unexpected barricades
that may end it all.
Chipper steps need to be taken
to sit comfortably
and breath in the air of delight.
Being led down a road
by other’s greedy agendas
just to make a living
where family exists
not knowing when it may
seize to being.
The worries of the home
collapsing from the hidden
lives of the unpredictable young.
Still there is love
in the hugs and kisses good night.
As we lay in bed after
and go to sleep at the
end of each peaceful night
we dream in celebration
as another day was survived.
Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as be published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path, The Storm Is Coming and Through My Eyes are available now. Searching is his fifth poetry collection..
Mlobikazi Of Mzilikazi along Vithikazi by Ndaba Sibanda
Few people knew she had lived in Soweto
Not only had she resided in that township
Of the city of Jo’burg,Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi
Had lived in the core of greatness on Vilakazi
Street, for Soweto is historic by virtue of heroic
Struggles against apartheid that ensued there
There was Mlobikazi from Bulawayo’s Mzilikazi
Suburb with a painting that told of a great story–
Titled Vilakazi, the pretty princess from Mzilikazi
Not only exhibited the literary artistry of Dr Vilakazi
It also captured how Vilakazi is the only street
In the world where two Nobel Laureates once lived
Perseverance, painting, passion, her mantra
None could see, hear ,smell, taste or touch it
A breakthrough, a beauty’s brilliance and dance
Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi lived on Vithikazi Street
Her grit galvanized admirers to nickname her
Mzilikazi’s Qhawekazi or Mzilikazi’s Heroine!
They roared Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi, Qhawekazi!
Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi had an awesome passion
Her loyalty to her profession paid off in profusion
And precision when her painting proudly propelled her
Into prominence:they crowned her a prizewinning painter
A sea of attendees ,her mates, all they could see was glee!
Ndaba Sibanda has contributed to the following anthologies: Its Time, Poems For Haiti- a South African anthology, Snippets ,Voices For Peace and Black Communion. He edited Free Fall (2017). The recipient of a Starry Night ART School scholarship in 2015, Sibanda is the author of Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing and Football of Fools. His work is featured in The New Shoots Anthology, The Van Gogh Anthology edited by Catfish McDaris and Dr. Marc Pietrzykowski, Eternal Snow, A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma scheduled for publication in Spring/Summer 2017 by Nirala Press and Seeing Beyond the Surface Volume II.
If you could
Would you become? Which?
I would as lief
I may well turn out a ‘lie’
Without f–, but possessed in this word
My spelling contains many an ‘if’
Yes, to live a life is to
Go through as many an if
As you might wish to wish
Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.
My morning awakes to a holy spur
Leaving behind the smells of petrol
As my faith rides me home
Far away from the madding crowd.
Through the pane I gaze and wonder
Cocooned in childhood nostalgia:
Vitality of the plains. Pondering on
the secrets of simple living
so much do I miss to capture.
En route my station.
Yet I come back every time
Waving past the beckoning paddy fields
And Kans grass like fairy’s wings.
To my vapmire’s lair.
To the taste of urban malls.
Could Eve and Adam settle in Eden
after tasting the forbidden fruit?
How could I?
With an M.A in English literature Anupama Bhattacharya is a teacher by profession. Her poems have found place in platforms like The Time of India, Ceasurae Literary Magazine and Ethos Literary Magazine. She calls herself an aspiring poet because she thinks there’s always so much to learn. Many other Kolkata based little magazines like The Beacon Kolkata have also published her work. With specialization in kathak and Rabindranritya she tries to find immanence in dance as well. An ardent lover of music, literature and poetry she believes in healing the world with words and rhythm. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The rhyming and the not,
as if I had forgot,
my words of many years,
embedded in my tears.
Days of youth have passed.
The die has long been cast.
Pieces of my life
still wading through pained strife.
Time has come and gone.
I waited far too long.
My words have all grown stale,
now lost beyond the pale.
A fire that once burned,
has long ago been spurned.
My passions all I gave,
lie cold beyond the grave.
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.
Twist your hand and point to the plate.
There wait waffles,
Cold. Tough . Dried.
Now pour maple syrup
from a spout,
tapped from a tree
a thousand miles away.
Fill the squares with brownness,
sugar and sap.
Add cherries from the frig.
Cold. Without the twig. Red.
Sit in the chair.
Stare at the magic,
a square of squares filled with commerce and crunch.
Brown. Brown. Red.
This sorcery will keep you alive,
and even more
will fill you with feeling,
taste, pleasure and patience.
A reason to live:
David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than two hundred. He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year. He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.
There’s a husband and a wife
and an older doctor who forgets
he was once married to a famous actress
who died of TB. With the widowed mother,
they live in a house in the country,
a gentle, simple life,
that is, until the husband’s twin brother
arrives, the handsome image of Satan himself.
Of course, we know
what’s in store: past grievances, arguments, adultery,
deceit, gun shots, secrets, the last words
out of a dying woman’s mouth.
The doctor will do his very best;
they’ll discover a problem with cash flow;
a war will be eminent with calls for enlistment
Desperate, lonely people will plod ahead.
The third act will rise up and you know the rest:
the confession and hidden truth
appearing to redeem
the doctor’s reputation, forgive the errant brother,
save both the marriage and homestead
and send the audience back to their quiet lives
with just a thin splinter
David James’ third book, MY TORN DANCE CARD, was a finalist in the 2017 Book Excellence Awards. In addition to publishing six chapbooks, he’s had over thirty one-act plays produced. James teaches at Oakland Community College in Michigan. email@example.com
A Summer affair
on foreign shores
warm days, hot air balloons rise
to the occasion
exotic nights, your alcohol breath
fuels the flames.
A tequila sunrise at last call
and crickets scatting jazz tunes
a midsummer’s dream
in high definition.
Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and online publications such as The Parnassus Literary Journal, Westward Quarterly, The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Nomads Choir, SP Quill, just to name a few. She was awarded a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine.
Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches with friends in diners, getting out in nature with her camera and making toys for and playing with her feathered companion, Sammers. You can learn all there is to know about her by visiting her website/blog at http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com