Friday, July 15, 2016

Michael Lee Johnson - One Poem

Flight of the Eagle

From the dawn, dusty skies
comes the time when
the eagle flies-
without thought,
without aid of wind,
like a kite detached without string,
the eagle in flight leaves no traces,
no trails, no roadways-
never a feather drops
out of the sky.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  He has been published in more than 880 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites.  Author's website

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

John Grochalski - One Poem

Watching The Fat Kid Play Video Games
he hasn’t been in here for months
because the other kids were making fun of him
this afternoon, they’re leaving him alone
caught up in their own stupid boy/girl dramas
he’s as good as the mildew stain on this wall
….for now
fat kids pray for small miracles like this
moments of calm within the maelstrom
of insults and indignities
i know because i was one
obese double chinned sweatpants wearing
bad hair pimpled glasses wouldn’t fit over my face
tailored polyester pants xxl t-shirt man tits
wouldn’t go bare chested on a beach or in a pool to save my life
especially if there were girls around
until i starved myself for a small vanity at seventeen
told myself a little conformity never hurt anyone
i still carry that fat kid with me
into every relationship
you just never get too close to people
because the past has shown you  just how easily they turn
i wish more for the fat kid sitting here
playing video games on his phone
more than a life of caution and a well of distrust
small moments that evaporate
with the blink of some bastard’s eye
i hope he learns how to come through the fire
better than i ever did
hope he carves out
some simple kind of happiness
finds his niche his crowd his tribe
learns it’s okay too to make it alone
i think how a little bit of optimism
never hurt anyone either
but soon the conversation
of the other kids dies down
the taps on the shoulders and the whispers
and the giggles through cupped mouths begin
the fat kid playing video games
can tell it just as well as i can
this sixth sense we’ve been saddled with
and as he gets up to leave before the onslaught even comes
i want to tell him something
something that’ll make this all right
but i just say, take it easy, man
and he doesn’t even answer me
just breaks for the door and is gone like a phantom
before the first cackle bursts
from the cacophony
of those ignorant, well-formed
well-adjusted mouths.
John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ivan Jenson - Two Poems

Going Green

You have shared
very profound insights
into the human condition
and shown yourself
to be an intellect of
the highest order
shedding light
on important
dark issues
while alluding
to some bigger
which could
effect the well being
of generations to come
however, I confess
I have been
unable to fully
your brilliant
due to
a spinach chive
on your front

Spring Cleaning
May I give you
a deconstructive
your post-modern
past tense
which led
to your current
state of unease
and do you mind
if I point you
away from
your newfound fame
in the blame game
where your parents
are at fault
for the sink-hole
you are in
and may I
hit you
the belt
with my tough
and thereby
bring you
to your knees
so that you get down
to scrubbing
the floors of
your subconscious
until everything is
spic and span
and your attitude
changes to “Yes, I can!”

Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 500 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. Ivan Jenson's website is:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

John Mingay - One Poem


I never could
the waxing waters
of a certain
single flood
coming in

each minute
beyond being gone

I never was
strong enough
from any
to others
to have beaten
the morning cold

my breath a fog
like the smiling wind
with evil in its eyes

but you
prone to paying
for whatever is gifted
may never
have plucked
even one short word
from many
a prayer

like you
whatever I felt
was felt
as if in my blood

our blood
above ambition

the years
having passed us by

From Paisley, John spent the late 1970's working at The Citizens' Theatre and 1985-90 as Writer-in-Residence and Writer-in-the-Community in Darlington. As managing editor of Raunchland Publications from 1984 to 2009, he initiated and edited 3x4 magazine and the Lung Gom Press, and continues to be widely published in literary reviews, anthologies, collaborative projects and in over forty individual collections.