Poet of the Month: Noelle Kukenas
Still I Believe
The door slams shut
No (fill in the blank) Allowed
Still I Believe.
The money has run out
No way to provide
The cupboards are bare
Still I Believe.
The pain is too great
My strength is diminished
Memories are blurred
Still I Believe.
There’s nothing left
Even the ashes drift away
Leaving only scarred earth
Still I Believe.
The final call sounds
I’m taken away
Never to return
But – Still I Believe.
This makes no sense
trapped inside an unexpected and unexplained mess
created from what madness?
or sheer indifference?
The Caustic Queen
perched upon a throne
grins like a Cheshire Cat
watching the struggle with evil glee
greedily consuming the entire kingdom.
Once an admirable work of financial art, prudence, and discipline
shining in splendid glory
an example to emulate
carefully crafted and created with intention to care for others.
Now a burned-out shell of its former self
an unrecognizable wasteland
littered with broken promises
sucking the life out of the remnants of prior greatness.
Starving children dig through the ruins
searching for any scraps or crumbs
of the future once promised them.
While the One who-should-have-gone-first
feasts upon the riches of others
tossing aside the bones
to be scattered
among the chaos.
Noelle Kukenas began writing around the age of nine and continues to this day. She enjoyed working in several career fields, many which allowed her to contribute as a technical writer in some capacity. Her published works include a short story in Scraps To Scribes and poetry in Sisterhood 4: We Are Women. Recently retired from the nonprofit sector, Noelle enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband, creating havoc with her grandchildren, and enjoying the California sunshine!
The Unrealized Dreams of the Night by Edward Lee
In the centre of the night
there was a crescent of light
which was not the moon
nor some distant and dying star;
something was about to begin,
something previously unknown,
with no one
in these hours when time
exists outside of existence,
only lazily destined to hear, after,
its echo as it faded from sound
into a crescent of light,
the remains of possibilities
and wishes unmade.
Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll. His debut poetry collection “Playing PoohsticksOnHa’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.
He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com.
Wine for your thoughts.
Raft of corn seeds,
Whispers in the attic,
The locked eyes in the helve,
The treading of the sole of the foot
In the winepress. You heard tell
That trampling tongues
Birth Belial roots
In the dark pool of rushes?
Child, meddle not with the shadows.
Stones tasted wine in time past.
Shola Balogun, poet,playwright and filmmaker has been featured as a guest writer and contributor,especially in the areas of poetry, post colonial studies and dramatic criticism to various magazines,anthologies and journals. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Balogun lives in Lagos,Nigeria.
I knew a woman
who lived in an old
Once when we stopped
at her place after partying
the light on and it was
as if we’d interrupted a
cockroach Mardi Gras
and I didn’t pick that
event out of the blue—
it was precisely that
time of the year.
My friend didn’t panic,
said those insects
were preferable to mice.
The bugs quickly scattered
and I wished they’d remained
a minute or so longer
to deep freeze in my mind:
a paper was soon due
on Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
I planned to argue
metaphor vs. reality.
after the monthly
I picked up five victims
expired in a kitchen corner
closed a fist around them
as if administering some sort
of wicked resuscitation.
Closing my eyes, I imagined
Kafka high on something
better than pesticide doing the same
telling his partying friends
just watch my burdens
someday turn me into one.
Thomas M. McDade is a 73 year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran.
Someone loved me once by David Estringel
Buoyant hustle emerging from smokey fields,
It is his voice that sings me to peace.
Capacious affection breathing down my neck
Like sun rays warming my skin.
I have been the metaphor of destruction
And he, the metaphor of revival.
Feral detest bubbling within the cauldron of my chest
But overridden by his sweet summer scent.
Someone loved me once;
He loved me enough to make me love myself.
David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine,Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7 Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains Literary Journal, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel,Harbinger Asylum, Briars Lit, Open Arts Forum, Cajun Mutt Press, Former People Journal, The Ugly Writers, Writ in Dust, Cephalopress, Twist in Time, Merak Magazine, Salt Water Soul, Cherry House Press, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Printed Words, Sunflower Sutras, Tulip Tree Publishing, Salt, PPP Ezine, Digging through the Fat, Haiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.
I need a quiet place to think,
A shaded spot beneath the pomegranate tree,
Isolated from man and beast,
A platonic spring from which to drink,
Stillwaters for reflection
On all of life’s imperfections
In an ugly and chaotic world
Full of beautiful contradictions.
I need a quiet place to think,
A safe harbor to hear my inner voice
Whispering its truths to me
In all the colors of the rainbow.
A spot in the shade to meditate,
For ideas to gestate. A place
For the butterfly to nourish itself,
Before taking winged flight.
Mark Kodama is a trial attorney and former newspaper reporter who lives in Washington, D.C. His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies, newspapers, journals, magazines and on-line blogs.
From Beginnibg to End Liao by Daniel de Culla
From beginning to end
is explained absolutely everything worth knowing
about absolutely nothing.
We felt that the Beginning is a true leaf
of the inmortal literature
as a side of bacon changing the pig
discovering the best way to keep its legend alive
and the controversy about it:
Sun wil have its tide spreading over our maps
Moon remembering us we were gone
and we still sing everything waiting
for birth, death
inside this den of us.
Spring, Summer, Autum, Winter
coming with feelings of love, radiance
quiet and delight
Daniel de Culla is a writer, poet, and photographer. He’s member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, (IA) International Authors, Surrealism Art, Friends of The Blake Society, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He participated in many Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève .He has exposed in many galleries from Madrid, Burgos, London, and Amsterdam. He is moving between North Hollywood, Madrid and Burgos; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was a teenager
I donated to a little orphan
since then I made a vow that
I would adopt her, and marry her
Days go by and nights come
I learned how to hurt myself
by doing bad habits that will
guide me to die below the bridge
I lost count of my harmful cuts
I lost all the joyful memories and
moments from weeping beneath
the lights of the miserable bar
My mother thought that I was well,
As my smile hid the tears that
damaged my physical therapist
within minutes after hearing me
I lost many chances and luck
until I met a broken heart,
she cried when she knew that I
found what was missing of me
I found her
between all of my poetry
between all of my cigarette smoke
I tried to lose her
as I saw my shadow following her
Ann you didn’t adopted a regular girl
you have definitely raised one angel
that showed me life with colours
From your love and care for my princess
the grief inside of me has smiled when
your daughter kissed my salty lips and
wiped my tears, hopefully she will
close my eyes after my smiling face rests
Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His work has appeared in print and online journals globally and has poems translated into several languages. He has been nominated for Best of the Net 2018. He is the author of The Bleeding Heart Poet, Love On The War’s Frontline, Gas Chamber, Wounds from Iraq, and Roofs of Dreams all of which are available from Amazon. He lives in Montreal, Canada.
Waiting in the dark, we dream of light;
deep, underground, we hear detonations,
vibrations of bombing causing fright,
impact of loads dropped on a town.
What awaits us outside is unknown,
when we inch to daylight with we desire:
a day darkened by smoke
or a night glowing with fire?
Grasped by fear and helplessness,
by air raids and trembling walls,
recognising nightmare’s relentlessness
in the horror of today’s sundown
when night falls like a gown
and sirens sound the all-clear,
in these days of war and fear,
in shelters with neighbours and strangers.
Wherever we look into dark future’s night,
far from the here and now, flickering light,
far from home, hoping, and hearing
the word without knowing its meaning.
Did we see warnings looming up?
Signs on the wall, in Belshazzar’s hall?
Did we anticipate tyrants, invasion, depravity?
Victims, the dead, the bombs on Coventry?
Sons of the land clothe themselves with death,
arm themselves to kill their own kind
in the places of horror, up and down the land.
Dream weavers weave a wreath,
money counters count and pay in kind;
armourers forge, steel unsheathed;
soldiers kill; leave thousands bereaved:
we are all led like puppets on a string.
In the city of lost angels,
a masked man sharpens his black scythe,
saddles his mighty horse
for the very last fight.
Burn, Phoenix, that your ashes bear fruit,
keep your heart’s blood, Pelican, to feed us.
Grim Reaper has his harvest time.
We hear graveyard bells chime.
Almost filled is the hour-counting shadow glass;
nearly faded, are pottery shards with your name,
the Tree of Life, standing pale in the rain;
wilted, the rosebush that lived your love,
windblown breath that carries your words,
naked, featherless- lonely peace dove.
Go where you have never been before,
where yet so many wait.
Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry, crime novels and short stories. He writes haibun, tanka, haiku and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose. Member of four writer groups in Ireland and lives in County Kerry, Ireland, for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. Published in 60 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland, Canada and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan.
My Heart Beats For You…. by Eric Golden
Let me touch your beautiful soul
Don’t you know I need someone to hold
To fill me up until I overflow
Brimming with happiness & never wanna let it go
You walk thru my door bringing in rays of sunshine behind you
Your presence is soothing & relaxing & yes this is true
You have handfuls of peacefulness & you come over with a heart full of content
The moment you walk thru the door I’m hoping the opposite way you will have never ever went
A smile full of beauty, a soft gentle touch to warm the heart
It wasn’t supposed to be like this, this wasn’t how it was supposed to start
But now it is & were trapped in each others ideas of what could be
We want to take it to the next level, to see what it is it should be
So what feels like years, has only been days
I can’t help myself cuz u got me feelin like I’m in a daze
& what feels like days feels like years
I’m ready to let you in, so please help me walk thru these fears
I told you that you’re at the top of my list, so there’s no one else above you
& it’s getting to the point where I want to tell you _ ____ ___
& our souls braid together in order to become one
& when we make love it’s like the rising of the sun
I gotta make sure the timing is correct
Don’t want to let you down, truly out of respect
But I’m willing to take a chance & risk it all for the thought of us
It’s going to take a lot of respect, honesty, love, & trust
Soft touches that make us blush
Take your time so we don’t have to rush
But now it’s time for you to go & I’m not sure when I will see you again,
But the more were together the more I like you for more than just a friend
If I get the chance I’m gonna keep you all to myself
I’m willing to let my guard down but please be careful nursing my heart back to health
I need you to support me in my goals & dreams
I need you to never leave
I need your nurturing touch
You see, I need you so much
Our hearts best in tandem
We both breathe in unison
I’m hoping that when my phone goes off that it will be you again
So never despair My love because I will be your hero
Even when we’re apart I promise I’m still here though
Your voice sounds so at ease
Like on a bright sunny day w the wind blowing thru the trees
It soothes me, comforts me, & heals me
I want to love the real you & you to love the real me
So let us not get lost or caught up in doing the wrong thing
Because if we allow love to flow, then happiness it will bring
______, my heart beats for you…..
Eric was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Boys Town high school and went on to get a degree in Social Work. He married at 19 but later got divorced and has raised two children alone. His love for music and arts has led him to his writing. Much of his poetry and writings come from experiences and love of life. He often adds humor to enlighten and has been writing for over 20 years.