Thursday, July 12, 2018

Being Friends by Joanna M Weston

BEING FRIENDS


the words we never say
bind us like a ribbon
that stretches across miles

those words unsaid
laughter that lights our days
or brims into tears

the love unspoken
that trips us both
bumps and moves on
into discoveries
at a table and walked
into memory




JOANNA M. WESTON. Married; has one cat, multiple spiders, raccoons,
a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, ‘Frame
and The McGuire', published by Tradewind Books 2015; and poetry,
 ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications, 2016.
Other books listed at her blog:http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

Monday, July 9, 2018

DEPRESSION BEGAN THE HOUR OF OUR LEAVING by Michael H. Brownstein



DEPRESSION BEGAN THE HOUR OF OUR LEAVING

Depression began the hour of our leaving,
Hanging onto us both claw and fury, nail and mist
And still we worried each other still believing
Depression began the hour of our leaving
Holding us captive to a vast simple grieving
As if everything we held onto an empty list.
Depression began the hour of our leaving,
Hanging onto us both claw and fury, nail and mist.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

I Am by Angelica Grace Lee



Bio: 
My name is Angelica Grace Lee and I am a first-year Legal Studies major at UC Berkeley. I am a San Francisco native and have enjoyed the vibrant culture of the Bay Area my entire life. Currently, I volunteer in the Bay Area as a San Francisco Police Activities League Cadet Lieutenant and intern for SFPD's Field Operations Unit. I also run a Facebook group called "Kindness in the Darkness" where I share heartwarming acts of kindness in hopes of brightening the days of those who may be suffering from dark times. In my spare time, I like to write poetry, read dystopian fiction, thrift shop, and go to cafes to study with friends.


I Am

I am a fish in the San Francisco Bay

Swimming in and out of the door of opportunity

Moving towards a faint light in the darkness


Am I as sharp as the edge of a broken glass

Burning as bright as the yellow disc in the sky

The questions I used to ask myself?


I used to be as certain as the ending of a mystery book

Aimlessly walking through the well-known fog

Wondering if the world would ever become clear


But now I am a voice cutting through the noise

A soft blanket of hope to warm the despaired

The needle in the haystack of the misunderstood


I’m glad I am a red rose being watered with knowledge

A crystal door that opens with a friendly knock

A butterfly that flies into the hearts of the lonely


I’m glad I’m not the bull’s eye of the shadowed ones

The ones who wear cloaks sewn with the threads of fear

A target of theirs I shall be no longer


You are a dandelion where the wind whistles fiercely

The half used eraser that has been lost and replaced

A person of my past but stuck in my future


I am certain I can be the one who helps you touch the stars

The one who shows you the blue in between the clouds.

I am the one for you, for you were the one for me.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Free Speech Canto LV by Michael Ceraolo


Free Speech Canto LV

Bisbee, Arizona
June 26, 1917
About 3,000 miners go out on strike
against Phelps-Dodge mining company
The authorities will suppress such speech,
but how?

It took a little over two weeks
for that question to be answered
Near dawn on July 12, 1917,
having shut down the telegraph
and silenced all outgoing phone calls
in order to keep their doings secret
for as long as possible,
2,200 deputies
"having no authority whatever in law"
rounded up some 2,000 men
in a manner "wholly illegal"
Several hundred of those rounded up
renounced the strike at gunpoint,
but many more maintained solidarity
                                                        And so
either 1,186,
                   or 1,286,
                                 or
some other number of those
were crammed into 23 rail cars
and deported from Bisbee
to a desert camp 200 miles away
It was just dumb luc
that none of the deportees died,
                                               though
one man, striker James Brew,
did meet the ultimate suppression,
being killed by a gang of deputies
breaking into his house to take him off;
he did manage to get one of them 
in the struggle

Word of course eventually did get out,
                                                         and
the Feds indicted Sheriff Harry Wheeler
and a number of others
for violating the constitutional rights
of the strikers
The lower court threw out the case
The Feds appealed to the Supreme Court

Of the nine Supremes, eight,
including some allegedly great,
ignored the Fourteenth Amendment
(the alleged great had not yet made
the long-overdue decision that the Bill of Rights
was 'incorporated' into the Fourteenth Amendment),
                                                                            and
said it was solely the state's responsibility
to police itself even when it was the one
committing the violation of the law
                                                      And so,
back in the safety of state court,
the miscreants acquitted themselves
of all criminal charges,
                                  and only paid
a negligible amount in civil damages
to a few of those damaged by their actions
Most of those harmed never returned

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Haiku by Lynn Long


A river at heart
Everchanging, yet the same
Flowing to the sea

Morning thunder sounds
Awakening the still dawn
From a silent night

Illuminating 
Above the ebony sea
White diamonds glisten

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Free Speech Canto LIII By Michael Ceraolo

Free Speech Canto LIII

She was born Charlotte Anita Whitney
(she was always called by her middle name)
in Oakland, California in 1867,
                                             and
she could be used as a textbook example
of what was called privilege even then:
several ancestors came on the Mayflower;
others came only a few years later,
                                                    including
one who was among the founders of Harvard
There were Revolutionary War officers,
                                             inventors,
                                             public officials
(including by marriage a Supreme Court justice)
on both sides of the family during
the ensuing two-hundred-plus years

She graduated not only from high school
but also from college (Wellesley),
                                                 placing her
among the small fraction of Americans who did so
And after college she continued the traditions
of charitable and public-service work
                                                        But
she was radicalized by what she saw
and joined the Socialist Party
when she was in her mid-40s

In January 1919
California enacted a law
banning 'criminal syndicalism',
the purpose of which,
                                 according
to the law's sponsor, was to
"stop the propaganda of an organization
known as the Industrial Workers of the World"
because the organization advocated
"a change in industrial ownership or control"

Anita Whitney was not,
                                  and had never been,
a member of that proscribed organization,
                                                              but
she was one of the founding members
of the California branch
of the Communist Labor Party,
                                             which
had been created by a schism
in the Socialist Party over the
Bolshevik revolution and other issues
The state Party's founding meeting
took place on November 9, 1919,
                                                 and
received much press coverage

On November 28, 1919
she gave a lecture at the Hotel Oakland
to another organization she had helped to found,
the Oakland Center of the California Civic League
(the police chief had pressured the League
to cancel Whitney's appearance,
                                                but
the audience voted 94-48
to hear her speak),
                             and she
was arrested immediately after the speech
when she started to leave the hotel

"It is not I
but the constitutional rights of all of us
that are on trial"
                          and
those rights lost at trial
for a number of reasons:
her attorney died during the trial
and she was denied the opportunity
to replace him with counsel
she had confidence in;
much irrelevant information
was allowed to be entered as evidence;
and the jury did not want to acquit
on all charges,
                       because that
"would have been equivalent to saying
that the jury sanctioned the I.W.W.
and the Communist Labor Party
                                                 and
believed them to be lawful, worthy organizations"

As the law mandated,
Anita was sentenced to one-to-fourteen years in prison

Two years later,
the District Court of Appeal
upheld her conviction

The state Supreme Court twice refused
to hear a further appeal

A few more years later,
the U.S. Supreme Court
heard oral argument,
decided not to decide,
decided to rehear the case,
heard oral arguments a second time,
                                                      and
seven years after the end of the criminal trial,
unanimously upheld her conviction
for violating the 'criminal syndicalism' law

A month after the final outcome was decided,
the governor pardoned her,
                                        she
having served only a minimal amount of the sentence

Criminal syndicalism laws wouldn't be overturned
for more than forty years, and California would finally
get around to repealing the law in 1991

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"
                                                      yet
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,
                    though
it doesn't call itself that,
preferring obscurantism)

                                      And
she was now one of the billions so served

Friday, June 8, 2018

Poetry by Lynn Long

  Poetry
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

NIghtscape

 

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 
go

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,
                                                          and
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,
etc.

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,
                                       but
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,
promiscuously
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
free

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


Skyward

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
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



Askew

 

(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’

elliptical

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
Waiting
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