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 873° 
Sylus Fox

There is a boy who claimed to love me,
His hands would grab at my waist
Like his lust was cured with the touch,
But they roamed over every body
Within their grasp like explorers
Too afraid to settle down
Afraid they'd get bored with just
The landscape of my body
Just the mountains of my hips
The rivers of my hair
They'd tire of the hill of breasts
Of the lake between my legs
And so he never stayed for long.

I realize now he never intended to,
Always his plan was to leave
After he knew every inch of me
And I was stupid enough to
Hand him a map and mark my heart
Right in the middle just incase.
But I am worth more than my body
I am worth staying,
He is not worth baring all explorers
He is not the example for how
Every hand that touches me will end,
He will not be the last
And he most definitely cannot stay,
Not anymore.

~Sylus
 398° 
Peter Balkus

Oh, unfair world we're living in,
poor people die for rich men's sins.
But don't despair, love always wins,
with love you'll never lose a thing.

When loved ones, called out, have to leave,
they'll still live in your memory,
they are still with you, every day,
and one day you'll see them again.

One day, one day Justice will come
and wash away the dreadful pain.
The sun will shine again one day
above the poor and innocent.

And rich men's gold will turn to dust,
no longer their joy will last.
One day, one day Justice will come,
and bring a smile and take you - home.

 307° 
Roisin

it wasn’t love
rather lust
a gentle hand
a breach of trust
a quickened breath
an easy lie
a dance with death
a hard goodbye.

 298° 
Rupsa Chakraborty

Tring tring tring...
Hello, is it you?
Can you hear me?
Say something...
The silence is killing me.
Let me relive the lost memory.
I still have your number saved,
Your photograph in my pocket.

Tring tring tring...
Hello, is it you?
I waited beside the phone for days,
To hear you voice one last time,
To tell you how much it pains,
Do you still miss me?
How is she? 
Does she love you more than I did?

Now, I am unknown number,
That was once on your speed dial.

 226° 
David Hewitt

His head lay in the crook of my arm
My newborn son...
And I was new too
For he was mine
and I his
Father and Son

So fragile was his first gaze,
delicate blonde hairs rose silently
charged by a static of newness.
And my eyes were wide too
in frightened excitement
and nervous naivety.

He was mine,
a creation of love,
a life holding life
in the crook of my arm
And,
I couldn't see the world at the moment
I couldn't hear the noisy planet of tongues
I
just couldn't look beyond
the crook of my arm
at the pink pout of his mouth
and the searching wriggle for life

My newborn son

I have two sons, now adults, but holding your first is one of those unrehearsed moments in life
 204° 
Iwannabelovely

I hear my mother
Yelling all the time
People wonder
Why I try to hide

I need a
Sanctuary
From all the judging eyes
Perhaps the
Cemetery
Will comfort me tonight

People ignore me
So I fade away
A shadow I'll be
But shadows can't stay

I'm only
Momentary
Soon I won't be alive
Hide in
The library
So no one sees me cry

I sit on the roof
Clutching my guitar
I'm not bulletproof
Words leave heavy scars

My friends are
Imaginary
But at least they care
My thoughts are
Fragmentary
I talk because I'm scared

Soon I'll disappear
Will you wonder why
Did you even hear
That I once was alive

(This is a song I wrote)
 154° 
Janae

I can only imagine
what it would feel like
to have your lips
touch mine.

Would there be a spark?
A powerful force of the unimaginable
by this interaction,
unfathomable.

Would there be fireworks?
Going off in the background that
some how managed to
start at the right time

Would it make time stop?
Where it's just you and I,
would we notice if we even started to fly?

I don't know what it would be like
but i know there will be no flying
no fireworks at the right time
and definitely your lips would never touch mine

I can only imagine.

 144° 
Sun Smriti

Take me there          
where my breathing
can be mingled
with your dreams
Is it too far
Where you sigh
          &
   I turn Blue ?

 131° 
Tyler Matthew

All this must disappear -
crosswise minor roadways and
State Road with its bleating traffic,
plazas where pennies melt into
palms of Middle Eastern merchants,
Chinese, Nepalese, Indian or
what have you,
road signs for New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Columbus, Sandusky or
what have you.
All this must disappear -
the heroin gardens
on Ohio River banks, railways rusted retired and ready to
sink silently into the soil and stone,
back yard above-ground swimming pool algae beds and front porch
family-festival fetanyl parades,
All this must disappear -
gas station dollar altars and
decaying or decayed Irondale tennant building windows, dirty,
community college self-defined
street scientists gathered in old
high school parking lots discussing
politics and the Pleiades and the fastest way out of the galaxy or the
slowest way into an easy death.
All this must disappear,
from Walnut Beach to Wheeling,
and the rust lift and assemble
into something lovely tomorrow's youth can work with, can love and
can sit atop the hills and smile and
be content in knowing while I
sit on the sidewalk and be
glad the future finally showed up.

 127° 
Shang

you kept me strung up
like the memory
of the death of someone
you used to love
you used me up
you gave me just
barely enough
to keep me there
as a ghost melting
into the memory of
someone I used to know

(c) Shang
 106° 
Kerra Simmons

in the darkest corner
of the darkest room
i sat in stillness
blending thoughts
of an aching memory
of your fine hair
and jasmine flowers
curled into your cupid's bow.
highlighting the small lip
and overpowering
and overshadowing
everyone with your glorious
light.
but now, you've become a faint mark
like watercolor, which has truly
begun to run.
the stark lines of your jawline
have become softer, and easier
to mold and meld into something new.
the sharp coldness of your blue gaze
has become more subdued
because you are so far from me
in body and in mind.
your happiness is something i desire
and yet, something i cannot bare to see.
for even in my stillness
your image moves me and pushes me
towards the edge of my capability.
but i love you so.
and i do believe i always will.
to the end of my time on this earth
that golden band,
which i wished and still wish to bestow
will never fade like those running colors
of our glorious and torturous memories.

 104° 
Lemon-Keeper

Blind sided

Literally
In the blink of an eye
In the whisper of one word

You can lose everything
Without seeing it coming

With or without a warning sign
Somebody can leave you  behind

But thats the risk we take

Is it worth the break?

#love
 80° 
Madhu Jakkula

As I map the curves of your body with my lips, I listen to your moan slowly.
I hunger to taste every inch of your skin from toes to between your thighs to your soft cleavage till your lips.
Your cries with pleasure is my new addiction, vaporising my lust.

 74° 
Vicki

her body
buried with the goods
for a grave, mummified
found five layers down,
a 4,000-year-old
human being

in the desert
harsh climate with family.
her beauty and theirs too,
i'm easily imagining. on
her long, silky black
hair a cap

of white fur,
the same lines the shoes
on her feet, and there was
an intricately carved wood
phallus on her chest, on
her fallen breasts

over her heart,
a hint of her lust for life,
her bid for eternal fertility
in her dreams, how much
she  loved  and  wanted
to bring us into being.

taklamakan desert

(bury me
with a cock
on my chest
i dare
the rest
of the world
to judge.)

One day God He called me,
He said, “Hey let’s drive away, to this place called Life”
I said, “Sure, why not?” So, I grabbed my things and agreed to the drive
When He was outside my door, He told me “buckle up, and stay beside me.”

And so I sat on the passenger’s seat, while He drove smoothly,
Past the up and down roads of Life, moving past the avenues of memories.
God smiled brightly at me while I watched my childhood went by,
And so He told me:  

“There are no brakes to hit on this drive
And there are no breaks when it comes to life,
You’ll either take this road or that
Make sure there’s nothing missing with what you’ve packed.

See all these road bumps that you have to drive across?
I’ll help you through them, as you drive to your destination.
I will guide you all the way, with me you’ll never get lost,
I’ll be with you all the way through life; I will be your direction.”

C'est la vie
 65° 
Ginny Webb

“The eagles should have been far seeing”
Was the last apocalyptic note she wrote
In her broken and trembling hand
Words that I tried so hard to understand.

What eagles? What sight could they have beheld
That might have brought back to her
A reasoned light to illustrate
Something other than her tortured mind
Worn fragile and thin by monsters,
Who starved, and beat, and raped,
A child.

Or would these brave and noble birds
Have donned armor in her defense
Flocking in hordes to peck out the eyes
Of those so vile that they would welcome,
Just to destroy,
The spirit of a foster child.  

Or did these eagles nest inside her womb,
As like a sweet salvation,
My spirit bloomed
For them to lift on soaring, golden wings,
And place gently in her arms,
A child more precious than the moon,
And all its diamond light,
Since in my tiny form she found the strength
To chase away the memories;
To hold back a schizophrenic night.

So, it was these birds who were short of sight,
Who gave a gift and flew away.
Abandoned in her time of need,
Her mind crumbling from the weight
Of something from which she was never, truly free,
And though we tried so hard to save her,
No one was strong enough;
Not even me.

Eight years ago, I lost my mom to suicide. After a long battle with a form of late-onset schizophrenia, and also, the effects of a terrible childhood, I feel like she just couldn't fight anymore. The last note she wrote to me didn't make much sense on the surface, but I find deeper meaning in it. She loved me more than all the stars in the sky and I miss her just as much.
 61° 
Manonsi

It was doomed from the start.
Deadlines don't make for happy endings
or happy beginnings, but we made do,
the trickling sands tickling sans cesse
and the seasons passing by and waving
(good practice for tonight, I guess).
You'll be gone tomorrow.

What season would you be, then?
Midwinter spring, as Eliot said
or a Fall chill fighting summer?
One that makes us stay in bed
with the rain at our doorstep.
But seasons come back-
You'll be gone tomorrow.

I'll pray to the god of small moments
for the silences and your hands
for the absentminded kisses
-like that time we floated in a pool
under a cave, surrounded by oranges
and i thought: this is it-
You'll be gone tomorrow.

I did know what was coming
and I've tried to prepare
even though I'd have to stifle tears
when I made my way back home
skirting glances from strangers,
I did try. Will it be enough, I wonder.
You'll be gone tomorrow,

and yet.

Everytime I push my pen
I am moving mountains
Everytime I touch the keys
I will part the seas
Everytime you do the same
then we are creating
the liberal Science
of poetry

LOOK

I am SORRY that I am the way I am

I'm sorry that I start to panic when someone touches me
especially a guy
even though if its in a friendly way
I just can't help to flinch
I always think about the people that hurt me in the past

I am sorry that I constantly break down
I cant control my mind for consuming my emotions
my mind is always at war with my heart
I cant help to get flash backs of the past of what they did to me

Im sorry for hiding my feelings
I get nervous to tell you because Im scared of upsetting you
I had people that I upset when I always told them how I felt
I'm also not an open book
I even feel vulnerable just someone looking at the content of the book

I am sorry that I always ask for reassurance
Im just trying to get it memorized in my head so I can believe you
I want to make sure your being honest
your answers dont change
and you mean it
People drilled bad things into my head so I cant help it

I am sorry for constantly apologizing
I always think its my fault
I grew up people putting the blame on me
sometimes I can't tell if its my fault or not

LOOk
I
I ..am
sorry that I am me

 50° 
A Thomas Hawkins

Never fall in love with a poet
for their words are sometimes lies
on occasions they're a shield
on occasions a disguise

They will take you on a journey
upon which they bare their soul
in a bid to ease your burdens
in a bid to make you whole

But in every word they choose
for the stories that they tell
lies a little piece of heaven
and a little piece of hell

Tormented souls we poets are
sometimes quite broken and despaired
in search of lost expressions
missed by others who once cared

Never fall in love with a poet
unless you're prepared to share their pain
to hold them close on the darkest nights
over and again

Follow me on Twitter @athomashawkins
http://twitter.com/athomashawkins

Sailing through the
midnight sky,
Sailing through the
midnight sea,
in a boat of moon.


Fishing for my dream,
so far
Fishing for my dream,
so near
My rope - a single moonbeam
and my bait- one silver star

 49° 
Palmer

The white wine was as warm as the day hot
From the ice bucket I dropped in cubes
That melted as fast as they were placed
Strong was the sun today
So fierce it was putting highlights into your Latin locks
Last nights mane of black hair was loosely tied at your neck to keep you cool
How beautiful you looked as you placed lavender out  to dry
Golden brown eyes focused on your twine
Lips still full from our second nap
Curls fighting to be contained by ribbon
Your figure shrouded barely by the thin white summer dress
In my bad french I told you how amazing you looked
Touching a butterfly that was printed on your summer gown
You smiled inwardly at first till your mouth parted
Bouquet de Provence filled my nose as I kissed your warm lips
You laid a finger on my cheek while you continued by
Returning to your flowers as I melted my ice

 44° 
Nat Lipstadt

transitional times

midst the ordinaries, not paying close attention,
the yet to be baked batter of chatter while driving past the familiar,
a plain pasta with butter conversation,
the human carbohydrates of our racing consuming energy,
she slips me up, by slipping in two words,
her icing on the cake phrasing

"transitional times"

pull over to the side of Menantic Road
in the early of the late afternoon, Saturday's reclining sunlight,
question her closely, CIA taping her words to my brain:

did she mean the late afternoon hours of our lives when
reflection of sun sprinkles on our bay voyages us as voyeurs
past the old longings and into the future recalling?

perhaps, the au contraire, the steady stepping,
sneaking away of the sheltering night so that the earth's
inhabitants and organs may be revived in yellow golden greens of damp grasses and the whiteness of a Sunday's fresh milk?

of course, of course, the times when the horizon calls,
saying come to me, cross the transition to the newness
of everything, in the ages and days of celebration of
unfamiliar entrances?


No, no, she answers, bemusedly grinning,
not everything is a poem,
you thieving wordsmith, simply did I observe
that having an extra pair of sunglasses in the car for
transitional times
was a good idea!

pulling back on the road that goes past the
Tuck Ice Cream Shoppe, the island treasure hunt Dump, the ordinary homes on the range, all  along the way to the boatyard where are kept and stored and stockpiled each summer colored sunset evening along with the drinkable French pink Rose wines and gleaming yellow Sancerre and golden ales of Nantucket,
I think to myself,

nuh uh,
every transition,
every glorious mindless conversation,
even in the town dump,
treasures in each word, in everything, especially the
extra extra-ordinaries,
is a poem


June 25. 2017
5:20am

 44° 
Mache

A sense of yearning moves her...
It was deep...excruciating.
That even flowers weep,
as she calls to him.
Still, unheard...unanswered.

 43° 
Blu3moth

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"
"Hopefully done with college"
"Married with a couple of kids"
"Buying my own house and starting a business"
"No debt. Everything, student loans and car payments gone"
The typical answers to that question
Want to know mine?
I never saw my future as bright
Hell never thought I'll get this far
I can see the end of my path
Where do I see myself in five years?
Depressed if I'm not already
Homeless because of my pride
Jobless because my stupidity
No one to turn to because of my negativity
Love is no where near me
That's the last thing on my mind
After food
After drink
After a roof over my brainless head
There's too much going on
No one will help me
Why would they?
It's all my own fault
So the answer to your question
In a different world
Hopefully a better one
After this one is behind me

 38° 
Aditi

Don't tell a rose how to grow
And The birds how to chirp,
Don't tell your daughter to be soft
Don't tell your son how to hurt.

Don't tell the sky what color to bleed
And a person, the right way to grieve,
Don't try to tame your daughter's tongue
Don't tell your son the manly ways to love.

Don't tell the wind which way to blow
Or the clouds how hard to rain,
Don't teach your daughter how to soak
Don't show your son how to easily reject.

Don't tell the sun to adjust its light
Or the truth how to show itself,
Don't tell your daughter it's feminine to shy
Don't teach your son how to reign with fists held high


Don't tell a heart how to beat,
Or the mind how not to soar
Don't clip off your daughter's  wings,
To make them a foundation for your son to grow

Don't tell a rose how to grow,
Lest it decides to turn its petal into thorns
Don't tell the birds how to chirp
And have their voices turn into rebellious growls.

 38° 
Crystal

If you have ever said money cannot buy happiness
You have not watched your father scream at God at 7 in the morning
Questioning his existence
As we get kicked out of
The second house that year
You've never waited for the first of the month
Every month
In order to eat something other than spaghetti
And dollar store hot dogs
You've never had your power shut off for an entire month
And watch as your family rips apart
Because your parents owe everyone money
You've never worked in order to buy the things that you need in school
Only to have your parents take that money, too
Do not tell me that I do not need money in order to be happy
When things only got better
After we finally had it

 36° 
NB

He carved a ship to find the land of fallen kings
The garden of quiet, a place forever far away
From a distant impression - a dream,
He caught the glimpse
Of eternity, in a moment, Genesis on replay

He awoke, to hear the silence as it sings
& somewhere, on the other side
Someone heard the carpenter's voice
Taking us back to the place where it all begins
To the falseness of misery & the illusion of choice

'cause our stories are written in the language of time
In a shaky handwriting of just one - who creates
We're born, & we die
In a designed chaos paradigm
Awakened on one side - blind on both sides of the gates

We are the only mystery to haunt the halls of space
Footsteps following the one who bears the light
With the mark of beast, & god
In every trace
We drift between the waking dawn & eternal night

He carved a ship on which only soldiers sailed
To find the lands where water holds the sun
They looked for the place
Where giants over men prevailed
Before the great conquest had begun

Then, the map of our world turned into a stain
We dug within & looked outside
But all in vain
Staring at the sky, we forgot he was all around
Between the pages of books & every single sound

& when in silver rains only words he gave
As even ghosts themselves cried
From beyond the grave
A different world had been left in his gaze
Singing ''Adora vivos'', to echo throughout our days

But then what...?
Have we taken the poison
Or the wine;
Are we to baptize Others in the blaze?
When they speak of chaos
As the prime force of design
Which side of it now should we praise...?


N.B.

 34° 
Renee Casey

I feel a pull in my chest;
an ache and a flutter
behind my sternum as if
the bird of my heart is straining
against the prison of my ribs
to be near you.
I don't blame it.
I crave you, too.

 33° 
Nancy Starry

I am feeling like being chased
My numbers are growing
More and more
Like a sinking ship
It is leaving less and less space for the air for me to breathe

They consuming my space

But it should not be a problem
If only I found the 7th home
Living there whether it is hell or paradise

They say I'm running out of time

But my life is abstract
I am an abstract
A tangled threads

Maybe I'm lost
And I found the different home
A cozy one
Feeling safe
Waiting for the 7th home to find me

 32° 
ashley

at 4:14 am
im still wide awake
imagining your body on top of mine
captivating me,
your large hands running down my fragile, tiny body,
claiming everything you brush as "yours".
at 4:20 am im still awake,
imagining myself on all fours,
your hand grasping my hair,
pulling it into that tight ponytail i wear during the day,
while you're telling me about how you could never resist me,baby. your words alone leaving me drenched and ready for you.
it's 4:30 am, and texting you:
"are you awake?"

 31° 
Cynthia Henon

Quick! Call the poetic constabulary
I'm mincing words about my vocabulary
Help! I'm drowning in my thesaurus
evidence that i'm merely a brontosaurus

Listen up to my Greek chorus:
"Such silly word play should place her in poem prison
a ponderous place from which few have risen
Locked in the cell, losing her sense
consequence of writing with no poetic license"

Writing on with no reason or rhyme
just doing my poetic time
iambic meters bite me in the butt
trying to force me out of my sonnetic rut

stumbling on ideas most trite
all the pitfalls of making the choice to write

just having some fun

Amidst the chaos
and confusion thrives magic
and dark illusions

i am sick of writing poems
about skin color

but

please

bring back the child, his hair like cashmere. bring him back and we will mourn

ordinary dead things, dead like american pride for anyone who doesn't fly a confederate flag.

black things, things that are purer and more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

mourn the feeling his mother must of known. child. poof. gone.
he is no more.

just a shell on the floor, and the officer is given paid leave, hailed as a hero to the right wing, gun slinging, bible clinging majority that 

elected our president, and now will tear us apart
through protests, twenty two dead in manchester, stabbings on 

trains
bombs, steering planes into the world trade

forty nine dead in orlando, four dead in ohio
and it just goes on and on

we come out, with signs and voices
someone shoots us down

i want war, not to defend honor
but to bring back the boy

bring back the boy who once stole
just to pass the time

and take away the officer who thought
petty crime

was worth a life
or two

bring back the boy, the boy who is all of us
bring him back for all the others

the others who saw the black tongue of the bullet
in their final moments

and cried
for we are too worthy for a city of ash.

A repost.
 27° 
Tyler Matthew

to love a poet
is to admit the world
is tragic

the management
at Hello Poetry
need to be mindful
of grand larceny
those who involve themselves
with this impropriety
would be scooted off
other writing sites
very promptly

theft is theft
and stealing
is a federal crime
they the perpetrators
bear a shingle
of low down slime
taking other's
copyrighted pieces
always their appalling
paradigm

yet these persons
aren't bought to book
they have a free rein
in employing the purloining hook

plagiarists so bereft
of a writing capacity
nicking your works and mine
with reprehensible audacity

I see you there
suspended for a time
between the shadow
and the light.

You look pale
but peaceful,
in a dream state.

I rest awhile,
a shallow sleep,

then I awake

knowing…

without words
my mind whispers

it’s time

I gently wipe your lips,
brush a stray hair
from your forehead.
It’s all I know to do.

Then I sing
a cherished lullaby
hoping you hear me
hoping it wraps you in love
as my arms wrapped
around you
as a child.

I hold your hand,
kiss your forehead.
In that instant I see
and feel all you’ve been
all that is you

tiny wrinkled infant
delightful, smiling six-month old
curious toddler
proud school age
struggling teen
loving adult

realizing
we're losing all of these,
all that you've been
all that is you

then

I feel your spirit leave…

for that brief moment
I’m overcome with a calm
I can’t describe.

A gift rare and precious –

as I was there
when you entered the world
I was with you
when you left.
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~        

"The butterfly counts not months but moments and has time enough."  
Rabinadrath Tagore

We lost our son to a brain tumor. He fought bravely and determinedly for seven years, enduring two surgeries, radiation, Gamma knife "surgery", chemotherapy and clinical trials. He never lost his sunny smile or determination. He only let go when he knew it was time, slipping into unconsciousness shortly after his two brothers (his best friends) arrived to say goodbye. He remained in that suspended state for two days. On the third day the four of us gathered for dinner and shared thoughts about him and our life with him. We cried, we laughed, we shared memories. Later that night he let go. I will always believe, being the caring and generous person he was, that he heard us talking and knew that, as hard as it would be, we would be okay.
 26° 
CinnamonCyanide

The sky of your skin
is a pearl...
a whisper
that leaves
me lush oasis,
fertile with sunrise and rain.

I love you
in the dark
where comfort
blossoms,
seeing you as a seed
from a star...

And no matter
how broken
your spirit is,
light always gives birth
to fire.

 25° 
luna

the rain is comfortable for hiding
it’s the loudest noise in the house
so they can’t hear my crying
thank you for being a shield

 25° 
A

"I love you,"

I said.

He replied,

"Good night."

That night

I knew

what love was for me

was a dream to him

sad

Hatred poisons the soul
Jealousy
Poisons the mind
Judgment
Is not yours
To make

Stop
That thinking error

You were made
To care
To love
To cherish

Give up
Your
Attitude

Be humble

 24° 
Love

I am wild but I am strong.
I am the mother tiger hiding in the brush.
Her stripes shown bright but her young no where to be seen.
Yet when I look in the mirror, I see no tiger.
I see a wild haired girl with strong eyes.
I see stripes down my stomach,
But no young in sight.

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