Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Little Blue Devil by Neil Ellman

Little Blue Devil


(after the painting by Paul Klee)



Born a devil

to confound the world

with irony

turn sins to virtues

and innocence to crimes

none can dissemble 

my methods or my words.


I could lie as well

as a flame deceives a moth

play my hand without a tell     

and like a mimic octopus

change colors in a shake

I came as the Messiah

but stayed the Antichrist.


If you wish to know me

or my name

and recognize my face     

among the milling crowd

never look me in the eye.

Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published numerous poems, more than 1,000 of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Free Speech Canto LII by Michael Ceraolo

Free Speech Canto LII

The people of the Book
(no, not THAT Book,
                                the Book
that is the McDonald's of media
in the early twenty-first century;
Billions Served)
                         claim to
"Empower you to express yourself"
and also claim to
"err on the side of allowing content"
only a couple paragraphs later they state
"We make it easy for people to report
potentially violating content"

And so a poet
(here identified only as J)
who had posted a poem on her page
that was erotic though not remotely explicit
had her account temporarily suspended
because some of the professionally offended
(alleged friends no less)
complained the poem violated the Book's
Community Standards
She was found guilty and put in the Book's jail
until she removed the poem

(definition of Community Standards

- Censorship,
it doesn't call itself that,
preferring obscurantism)

she was now one of the billions so served

Friday, June 8, 2018

Poetry by Lynn Long

Upon a pedestal 
I placed your love
Higher than the 
moon above
Believing the light
that shone within
Ever bright, could 
never dim
Basking in its
shimmering glow
I gave you my
heart, you took 
my soul
For, alas, I see, 
as the light 
slowly fades
You now look down 
Onto the love 
I gave

Upon a pedestal
I placed your love
Forgetting my own
whilst looking above

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

In Harmony by Joanne Olivieri

In Harmony

poem by Joanne Olivieri

artwork by my friend K.C.Chow at the Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong.

Our bodies are fined tuned instruments

pulsating in rhythmic accord

to a beat of frenzied fusion

through erotic syncopation

and instrumental friction

our bodies harmonize.

Nightscape by Joan McNerney



Fog horns sound though

air soaked in blackness.

All evening long listening

to hiss of trucks, cars.


Shadows brush across walls

as trees trace their branches.

Gathering and waving

together then swaying apart.


While I sleep, stars glide

through heaven making

their appointed rounds in

ancient sacred procession.


Dreams as smooth as rose

petals spill into my mind

growing wild patches in

this dark garden of night.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Time to let go by Lynn Long

Time to let go

A melancholy
moment with the
rising of dawn
A sense of clarity
come and gone
For I've said
goodbye again
and again
In tears that won't
flow, for you,
my friend
Yet, the soul cries
liar, I cannot deny, 
the feelings of 
longing deep inside
But, my heart,
my heart, 
speaks a truth
The soul does
not know
It is time the 
heart whispers, 
to just let 

The Notorious V-I-C by Michael Ceraolo

The Notorious V-I-C

That's short for Victoria,
and I was and am notorious
because I dared to speak of sex
("Let women issue
a declaration of independence sexually,
absolutely refuse to cohabit with men
until they are acknowledged as equals in everything,
and the victory would be won in a single week")

I was also notorious because
I was the embodiment of Whitman's words
('Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself
I am large, I contain multitudes'):
practicing Christian principles although
I was opposed to organized religion,
the first to publish in America
The Communist Manifesto in English
at the same time Tennie and I
were working as the first female stockbrokers,

I gave a speech in Washington, D.C.'s
Lincoln Hall on February 16, 1871
Here is part of that speech:

"I come before you to declare that my sex
are entitled to the inalienable right
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
The first two I cannot be deprived of
except for cause and by due process of law;
but upon the last, a right is usurped
to place restrictions so general
as to include the whole of my sex,
                                                   and for which
no reasons of public good can be assigned
I ask the right to pursue happiness
by having a voice in that government
to which I am accountable
I have not forfeited that right,
still I am denied
Was assumed arbitrary authority
ever more arbitrarily exercised?"

This speech led to my being nominated
for President by the Equal Rights Party the next year,
an honor which I happily accepted
(they also nominated Frederick Douglass
for Vice-President;
                            they should have
checked with him about it at some point:
he gave speeches for Grant)

On Election Day 1872
I received an unknown number of votes,
unknown because they were uncounted
by the powers that be
                                  But I had
other matters to worry about that day:
I was in jail

I had written of what I knew
about the great Henry Ward Beecher,
and Tennie had written about
a stockbroker named Luther Challis,
using the word virginity in her piece
"The public is in no danger from me"
"The great public danger . . .is not
in my exposure of the immoralities
that are constantly being committed,
but in the fear that their enactors
will be shown up to the public
they have so long deceived"

Because our paper had been sent through the mail,
we spent a month in jail,
victims of the mockery of Comstockery
We were never convicted,
we spent our fortunes and then some
defending ourselves

"So after all
I am a very promiscuous free lover
I want the love of you all,
It makes no difference who or what you are,
old or young, black or white, pagan, Jew, Christian
I want to love you all and be loved by you all,
and I mean to have your love
If you will not give it to me now,
these young, for whom I plead,
will in after years bless Victoria Woodhull
for daring to speak for their salvation"
And now that I have heard
there may be a movie made about me
ninety years after my death,
that may finally happen

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sentence of the Scabbed By Adam Levon Brown

Sentence of the Scabbed

Torn from the pages

Of life by the sweeping

Changing of the seasons

Dismal articulation

Comes in waves

Which can only

Be described

As pain

The soliloquy sun

Saunters splendidly

In the afternoon

While I pick

At the wounds

Which my mind creates

BIO: Adam Levon Brown is an internationally published author, poet, amateur photographer. He is Founder, Owner, and editor in chief of Madness Muse Press. He has had poetry published hundreds of times in several languages, along with 2 full collections and 3 chapbooks. He also participates as an assistant editor at Caravel

Literary Arts Journal

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

His Stillness by Michael Gonzalez

  He was amazing to behold 

in his stillness!


Original photography and quote by:Michael Gonzalez copyright 2018

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Glimpse Of Your Soul by Lynn Long

I thought I saw your soul
gazing into mine
And, for just the 
briefest moment
I was somewhere
else in time
A place I'd forgotten
where memories 
still remain
A place of long ago
where once,
I spoke your name
Soaring high,
above the sky
My heart skips a beat
In the feelings
I so denied, now
suddenly, let

I thought I saw your soul
gazing into mine
It was just a glimpse,
a memory lost in time

Lynn Long is an aspiring writer/novelist.

Skyward by Joan McNerney


Another hot day at

the playground filled

with shrieks from kids

tumbling down slides.


Shouting boys hop on and

off the whirling carousel

as girls sing songs to

double dutch jump rope.


Waiting for my chance

on the swing.  Finally

one is free as I clutch

the metallic link chains.


I pump myself up

pushing pass trees,

feeling cool breezes

brush over me.


All the noise is far below

as I rush towards

blue skies.  My feet are

walking on clouds now.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Moon Over Sad Cuba by Grant Guy

Moon over sad Cuba
What have your blue moon eyes seen
Upon this land of revolution 
Where nothing has changed for over fifty years


What have your blue moon eyes seem
Over hot Cuba
Hot sex along the Malecon 
The mist off the Strait of Florida
Tasting the kisses of love


What have your blue moon eyes seen
Over sultry Cuba
Where dancing leads to love leads to sex
Leads to life
Where soft breezes touch the soft breasts of love


What have your blue moon eyes seen
Over sunny Cuba
Yes hot love hot sex
And cold- blooded murder
Arm and arm in the sweaty breath of death 
And the living love


What have your blue moon eyes seen

Grant Guy is a Canadian poet, writer and playwright. He has over one hundred poems and short stories published in internationally. He has Five books published: Open Fragments, On the Bright Side of Down, Blues For a Mustang, The Life and Lies of Calamity Jane and Bus Stop Bus Stop His plays include an adaptation of Paradise Lost and the Grand Inquisitor. He was the 2004 recipient of the MAC’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the WAC Making A Difference Award.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Askew by Neil Ellman



(after the painting by Kenneth Noland)



In the perfect

roundness of our space

degree by degree

in equal measure

inequities abound     

imperfections so slight

no device can  

calculate and rectify.  


The earth’s orbit

almost circular

the planets’


and in life

no reincarnation

from birth to death

and birth again

no karmic echoes

of our sins.

Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published numerous poems, more than 1,000 of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

Editors Note: This is an ekphrastic poem and based on a work of modern art. The title of this poem is that of the original image 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What use is poetry by Gauri Dixit

What use is poetry?

Last few dusks
Have stolen the beauty
On this stale evening
The colors are a pale shadow of themselves
The music
Has forgotten its own voice
The instruments whimper
Melancholy clouds hope
The air is heavy
Sitting on my chest
Breathing is an effort
The oxygen is making me work
With it
And without it
They have all given up
Finding a sanctuary within their various addictions
Abusing everyone and everything including their souls
The onlookers only call a foul
I am still here
Sitting on my rocking chair
Reading aloud poems
For the new dusk to bring back the colours

©. Gauri Dixit

A software professional from Pune (India), Gauri started writing poems couple of years ago. She writes in number f Facebook poetry groups. Her poems have been featured in multiple Indian and international anthologies. She has also contributed to a number of e-zines including Learning & Creativity, Glomag and Mind Creative (published from Sydney, Australia). She loves to read, write and travel

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A MAP, A HISTORIOGRAPHY By Michael H. Brownstein


The map of who we might be 
binds itself to the paradox of the dead
duck and lamb decompressed near the back fence.
How did they come to be this way?
A swamp of flesh,
a tide pool of artery and heartbeat,
rind of cacti, rind of lemon,
rind of orange
the green taste of river gourd
thick with mucus and algae
inner workings of bile 
the meat of the core
all of the wisdom
from the merchant of the moon
This is the map of foreplay
the cartography of what comes after.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

spring breeze by Theresa A. Cancro

spring breeze...
walking the curve
of the labyrinth

Bio: Theresa A. Cancro writes poetry, short fiction and nonfiction. Dozens of her poems and short fiction pieces have been published online and in print internationally. She strives to find sparks of wonder in the ordinary.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Michael Ceraolo 500 Cleveland Haiku Book Review

For details and ordering instructions


It is such a pleasure to read work by a writer who understands and has a firm grasp on traditional poetic styles.  Basho, Bison and Kyoshi would be proud.

This book delves into the everyday and ordinary life on the streets and suburban areas of Cleveland written with a classic yet modern view of the sights and sounds within the city. It is a testament to the poetic artistry Michael Ceraolo is able to express within this particular genre.

A few examples:

Winter scene ---

my exhaled breath

freezes on my eyelashes

April ---

bird shopping for food

on my lawn

Signs proclaiming 

that land is available---

they'll kill the trees for you

Economics depression ---

even the dollar store

goes out of business

An uptempo tune ---

the trees dance erratically

to the storm"s music

The haiku in this book tell stories with insight into city life and reflect wit, inspiration and compassion.  Each haiku delivering a message and/or statement.

Reading 500 Cleveland Haiku takes you on a journey through city life as seen through the eyes of the writer.

Reading this book was refreshing and a lesson into the intricasies of writing haiku.  Haiku is a style that only a few have mastered well and Michael Ceraolo proves through this anthology he is the master.

By: Joanne Oivieri

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Night Ninja by Mary Bone

Night Ninja

I was a night time ninja

In my dreams.

I woke up in a sweat,

With nightmarish screams.

Ninja warriors came at me

From every direction-

Punching and kicking

My midsection.

I hit the ninjas with

A karate chop.

Now all they do

Is flip and flop.

My poems have appeared in Oklahoma Today Magazine, Literary Yard, Poetry Pacific, Whispers in the Wind Blogspot,  Spillwords, Duane’s Poetree Blogspot and numerous other journals and newspapers. Mary has been wring since the age of twelve and has had two books of poetry published.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

On Dying In A Mass Shooting  by Joanne Olivieri

On Dying In A Mass Shooting 

Bloody Chaos

The door swings open

rapid fire storm ensues

my body hurls to the ground

chaotic screams

deadly thunder pops

permeate bitter air pockets

and I lie still.

My friends, classmates

scattered around me

breathing dust, residue

a warm sea of blood

mingles with others

saturating wooden floors

and I lie still.

I am slipping away

soaked in death

blood tears escape my eyes

and I cannot see

fear embodies my being

I cannot move

and I lie still.

Mom and Dad, I love you

my friends by my side, I love you

don't let me die in vain

resist the hate, the fear

do it for me, do it for us

the chaos stops

and I lie still.

All I ask is why, 

please tell me why

why, why?

And I lie still


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hearts That Die Young by Stefanie Bennett

Stefanie Bennett, ex-blues singer and musician has published several books of
poetry, a novel and a libretto and worked with Arts Action For Peace. Poems
have appeared in Shot Glass Journal, Poetry Pacific, Poetic Diversity, The Fib
Review and others. Stefanie’s most recent titles – ‘Black Spring’ – Ginninderra
Press; ‘The Vanishing’ – Walleah Press and ‘Blanks From The Other World’
[due May-June] are available from Amazon. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/
Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia.
 HEARTS THAT DIE YOUNG for Vittoria Anna-Maria    [Stefanie Bennett]
I clutched the vision
Of the magnolia,
Fine as pollen...
The coloured halo
Of your hair.
Some hearts die young
Without wilt or piety.
These are the ones
Mater dulcissima
I offer you now.
And this you’d known all along.
You took me walking
As a child, and through
Child eyes you pointed
To the Imera’s silken flowing...
Ever young – “forever there”
You said – and as I fingered
Blood oranges
By the seller’s cart
And asked the whereabouts
Of day-stars and hermetic charts
Your smile fell upon
The Madonie peaks. There was
No failed mystery in your language.
And now I clutch at visions; I’ve work
To do. Sometimes with
Arrows that pierce
Heart and paper. Sometimes with
Rivers seeping, changing course.
But memory, you remind me,
Is landscape enough.
Scars – mended lines of living.
I raise mid-aged eyes
And the street of clouds
Rest on a field of white magnolias
“Ever there.” Your final
Word – Mater dulcissima.
It must be so!
Fine as pollen, as haloed hair.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Vibrant Newness by Daginne Aignend and Jack Waller

A Vibrant Newness


The last vestige of winter lingers,

as we await impatiently

for spring to break forth

Releasing in its majesty new life,

as we recall from the deep recesses

Memories of a vibrant newness

brought in the rolling back of a stone.


Still ice crystals on my window

when Aurora shows her smiling face

The pale sun gingerly reveals herself,

shy little beams of her precious light

Inhaling the subtle fragrance of early

confident red and yellow tulips.

bravely defying Winter's last breath


The moon reflects in subtle hues,
a blanket of calm,
where turbulence is stilled.
An undeserved gift-
Respite from the maelstrom

of daily life, which we will

not allow being extinguished.


Warming my hands on my cup

of hot tea, I wonder how

the tulips sleep, set at rest

by the shimmering moonlight

Dreaming about another day

where they can spread their petals

flirting with the blushing Spring sun

Jack Waller is a 79 years old resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a Diploma in Theology from The Atlantic School of Theology. He's a widower with 5 children and 5 grandchildren, he remarried to a husband. Jack has a deep faith and spirituality.
Daginne Aignend is a pseudonym for the Dutch writer, poetess, photographic artist Inge Wesdijk. She likes hard rock music, fantasy books, is a vegetarian who loves her animals.

She's the Poetry Editor ofWhispers and has been published in many poetry journals, magazines and anthologies. She has a fun project website

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Moon and the Star by Lynn Long

The Moon and the Star

He sleeps with the moon
Exists in another world
He is but a dream
She is the starlight
Shining bright
All he ever needs

Sunday, March 25, 2018

new moon by Theresa A. Cancro

Wilbur the barn owl photo by Joanne Olivieri

new moon

new moon –
the silent swoop
of a barn owl

Bio: Theresa A. Cancro writes poetry, short fiction and nonfiction. Dozens of her poems and short fiction pieces have been published internationally online and in print. She strives to find sparks of wonder in the ordinary

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Haiku by Lynn Long


Against the moonlight

She flutters her wings breathless

Kissing the night air

Monday, March 19, 2018

Shakespearean Baseball Sonnet #7 by Michael Ceraolo

Shakespearean Baseball Sonnet #7

Lo, in the Orient was the graceful light:
No words left for him to conquer at home,
He would become an Occidental sight.
Playing the game with sacred majesty,
He would scale the top of the outfield wall
And sit there to take a homer away.
And he would dare the baserunners to run
On the arm from the Land of the Midnight Sun.
And facing the fastest pitches with care
He could deftly place the ball anywhere.
On base he'd disrupt a pitcher's rhythm
And then steal bases any time on him.
And though late through the American portal,
The beauty of his game is immortal.

Bio:  "Michael Ceraolo is a retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had one full-length book (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press) and a few chapbooks published (among the chapbooks is Cleveland Haiku, from Green Panda Press). He has a second full-length book, Euclid Creek Book Two, forthcoming from unbound content press, and is continually working on new and existing poetry projects

Friday, March 16, 2018

Home Grown by Stefanie Bennett


The Dust Devil family

Like a top,
Like a mule,
And won’t
Ever forsake
The past
For last...

BiO: Stefanie Bennett, ex-blues singer and musician has published several books of poetry,a novel and a libretto, and works with Arts Action For Peace. Poems have appeared inShot Glass Journal, Poetry Pacific, The Fib Review, Poetic Diversity and others.Stefanie’s most recent titles ‘Black Spring’ – Ginninderra Press; ‘The Vanishing’ WalleahPress and ‘Blanks From The Other World’ [due May – June] are available from Amazon.Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] Stefanie was born in Queensland.Australia.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

December Morn by John Grey

Ice halos every bare bedraggled tree.
Garden withers out of sight.
The box-hedge browns but holds its shape.
Along the fence sprout tiny pines,
all ghosts of Christmas past,
green candles flamed by sun.
Morning rays glisten off snow mounds,
melt the flakes on bedroom windows.
Out of warm flannel sheets,
a family emerges,
a yawning but instructive lesson
in how bodies come to be.
The father wobbles and looms
above all others like a bewhiskered moose.
The mother follows in his shadow,
a trail of trembling bones, chilly breath,
on course for the thermostat.
Children trampoline bounce
to cold, unfriendly floor,
dare the weather to slow their progress.
The life in fields, in woods, is sporadic,
maybe a hare, its coat winter white,
or a squirrel burrowing aimlessly
for its forgotten cache.
But the people lead,
fill the spaces of the house
with cheery voices, clattering kitchen sounds,
the hiss of water boiling,
the rattle and reward of cranked-up radiators.
The scramble for survival is on outside.
Inside, the comfort can barely contain itself.
A woman kisses, a child hugs...
I have this moment on good authority