I see her in the grocery store
swollen with child and glowing
just like they say, and it’s true
I can't help smiling but it quickly fades
under a slow avalanche of dread
so I say this useless prayer--
may you grow straight as a green sapling
tall enough to look your peers in the eyes
may you be without a limp or stutter
or deformity to draw the pack’s attention
may your soul have elephant skin
may you fight your battles against the living
and not wage futile ones against ghosts
may you live more in the tangible world
than roam monstrous dreams or nightmares
and become forever entangled there
and may you never feel the urge to write
a better life than the one you live
LOSE THE ‘TUDE!
is often talked about
like dirty underwear
I’ve heard this
since I was a kid
but mine seems
more like a leopard’s spots
or an Ethiopian’s skin
like the good book saith
you don’t ask the potter
about your shape
or about that thumbprint
maybe a near death experience
or a visit from a ghost
my third eye opens
I wipe away a lifetime
of encrusted gunk
(an acid trip? shrooms?)
I lie in the river
flows over me
and I say farewell
a grain at a time
more are hemophiliac
than is usually realized
and it’s not
a recent phenomenon either
despite all the shouting...
even God himself
or the current tough guy
in the mansion
after the first few--
or 10 or 20...
we learn to avoid
the sharp edges
I’ve heard it said
to lean in
to become inured
but I’m a big coward
and there’s already
so much blood
you can’t go anywhere
without slipping in pools
“Oh! I’m sorry!”
“Is that yours?”
“No...I think it’s mine...”
people stalk and creep
with eyes askance
faces war painted
a crimson fog appears
if you squint
you can see it
as it dampens
and unites us
(Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey and currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse poetry, and has been published in The Blue Nib, The American Journal of Poetry, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, and others. His first poetry collection, “Ordinary Trauma,” (2019) was published by Alien Buddha Press.)
Life was a Phoenix
The fallen souls,
have risen again,
And the frozen have melted,
The rain that pounded the ground like drums ,
had evaporated to the sky,
The mountains crumbled over the centuries,
then the new ones took place roaring and rumbling,
Life was a phoenix.
A broken tree branch,
grew a young stem,
A little girl with a broken leg,
took off running across the fields,
A baby bird with broken wings,
soared to the skies screeching,
Life was a phoenix.
A broken heart,
had shattered my entire world to fragments,
Traumatized my entire essence,
as red hot knives slashed at me,
I wailed and screamed,
like an abandoned little boy,
so scared in this unloving world,
Life was phoenix.
With my bitter tears,
I glued back my shattered heart,
I tended to my scarred soul,
I tamed my raging emotions,
Outside sunlight had washed my face with warmth,
My lips formed a weak smile,
Life was a phoenix.
With cautious baby steps,
I carried on with my tormented life,
I picked up where I left off,
when warmth replaced the torture in my heart,
I was ready to love again,
I steered this life ahead,
With renewed strength and determination,
I was a phoenix.
(David Grigorian was born deaf in Armenia and got his first hearing aids at the age of eleven. David has been to a lot of places such as Ukraine, Black sea, Japan, and settled in USA, Colorado. He began to experiment with poetry in his teenage years as he experienced first love, first best friend, and first heart break. With poetry David explored and tried to understand life. He had attended and graduated Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. His writings have been published in local newsletters and a magazine. David's life dream was to be a published author and a poet.)
The Wild Blueberries
Happiness and sadness were two sides of the same coin they said
But he always knew that flipping coins was not his thing.
Dragging himself out of bed
With jammies that looked unchanged since forever
He made his way into the kitchen
Past soiled clothes and mirrors that didn't serve his interest any more
The kitchen sink was full
But the stomach - empty.
Luckily the fridge had an unexpired gallon of milk.
Oatmeal, wild blueberries and milk he thought
Slowly slurping his oatmeal, he pondered
Whether blueberries brought any blues
And why breakfast tasted better with unbrushed teeth.
The body seemed to have gained some energy
But the mind still lurked in some corner.
Some corner of those thoughts
Which had made a close bond with two imposters in the by lanes of yesterday,
Negativity and Melancholy.
Like uncalled visitors,
They frequently visited
With no rhyme or reason
Pretending to give him company.
Instead they left him with residues
Of a gnawing pain
That was hard to explain
To someone or anyone
Well, explain if they called
But phones didn't ring anymore
People didn't call or listen anymore
He was anyway used to
Cold bathroom floors and
Night had set in
The stars still seemed to shine on him
Tucked away in bed
He lay staring at the ceiling
Counting sheep and
Pondering over random thoughts about
Stardust’s in his body
Lyrics to Everybody hurts
And the wild blueberries!
(Caroline James is a information technology professional but she strongly believes that in this age of digital, it is always the human connections that matter more.
She likes to spin magic with words and hopes to change the world one word at a time.)
The Forgotten Life of Velma Evans
From room to room,
she wanders and examines,
each room set with half drawn shades.
So many things leave no impression,
but there are pictures here and there,
that briefly incite a quicker heartbeat
and some pattering of the tiny feet of remembrances.
A vague memory,
almost a seed taking root,
If she could have recalled:
He was always a plane taking off
against the wind,
the smell of Aqua Velva in his cheek.
But, these, only mere images,
fleet and fading.
And if it hurts to remember
once being happy,
then she feels no pain.
(Linda Imbler has five published poetry collections and one hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry. She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. More information can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com)
The Beautiful Space-