Why do poets die;
linger in youth
addicted to death.
They create culture
but so crippled.
They seldom harm
why not let them live?
Their only crime is words
they shout them out in anger
cry out loud, vulgar in private
places like Indiana cornfields.
In fall, poets stretch arms out
their spines the centerpiece
on crosses on scarecrows,
they only frighten themselves.
They travel in their minds,
or watch from condo windows,
the mirage, these changing colors,
those leaves; they harm no one.
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 244 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet 43 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 3 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 536 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society: http://www.illinoispoets.org/.
The sand’s as gray
as the low sky.
It’s not smooth
but a series of gutters
in which tiny creatures
grapple for what they can live with.
Exposed rocks seem proud
of their slimy skin.
Abandoned sea-weed stinks
like a brothel
at the end of the midnight shift.
Some mottled shells.
Bubbles of sour foam.
Once, this was where life began.
It remains, to this day,
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.
in the silence
of uncertainty of tomorrow,
I am glad,
that today the sky is
I tell a tale from the clouds,
although I do not know
how it ends.
The wind gives an ending,
until the sky does not open
– I look,
because I see shapes in the sky from down below.
Beautiful are cloudy travels
and cloudiness of the sky
[Translated by Artur Komoter]
że dzisiaj nade mną jest
Opowiadam bajkę z chmur,
choć nie wiem
jak się skończy.
Wiatr daje zakończenie,
póki niebo się nie otworzy
bo w niebie widzę kształty z ziemi.
Piękne są chmurne podróże
i chmurność nieba
Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.
A sparrow whistled a song into my ear last night.
Death is always a heartbeat away, life is an echo,
snuffed out all too soon.
The grass sings a serenade, soothing natures fleeting
While an ancient lullaby reaches its crescendo, she
dances upon this midnight dream cadence.
Peering through tear stained windows, outside where
innuendos swirl in vacant breeze.
We were here, do you remember?
Yes, it was we, when we were one and not two,
cascading and thus sealed over, simplified by
the finality, reaching its terminus point.
Life plays the sad song so out of tune, death stares
us down like a red-tailed hawk in the midday heat.
Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his 49 years on this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In late 2018, the kind editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” was his debut e-book, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it was pulled from the publishers’ list of titles recently. .
She bakes them on a tray
in the oven
gets antsy when they are not ready
when she thinks they should
It is her grandmother’s recipe.
Handwritten on a single yellow old cue card
passed down through the family.
And I try one while they are still hot,
this woman who loves to bake.
Her grandmother returned to dust.
We eat an entire tray in one sitting.
Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, PPP Ezine, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.