Poetry Waking, by David Chorlton

Its early: four o’clock. Too dark
for logic. The alphabet is scattered
across the floor
and the day’s arguments
have yet to begin, but the mind
is already sorting what matters
from what does not.
……………………………Loose ends
are connecting. A train
arrives from a long ago year;
a bird seen far from its range
becomes a portent of extinction;
Russia has returned to its iron
roots; all the teacups
in the kitchen fill
…………………………..with storms
and every toy gun
kills in dreams. Soon, the televisions
will wake up and start to shout
but this is poetry’s time
to purr in a world of lions.


David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and lived for several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. Arizona’s landscapes and wildlife have become increasingly important to him and a significant part of his poetry. Meanwhile, he retains an appetite for reading Eugenio Montale, W. S. Merwin, Tomas Tranströmer and many other, often less celebrated, poets.


Yemen Open House, by Jude Cowan Montague

Bakeel heard the rocket inside the house,
last night.

Today is the day of carnage.

Houses have been opened by bombs
A blasted tree leans on the edge of the house
sprouting branches, steel rods,
the reinforcing concrete prods the azure sky, aimless.

Poor old walls, proud of your white diamonds.
Even now they look good. For now,
everyone’s moving, carrying mattresses,
but this is only temporary.

There were no Houthis here.
Just women, just children. Bakeel will tell you.

We will be back because otherwise
others take what’s ours from under this beautiful blue,
our land, we have to return,
we will rebuild our own house right here
or they’ll make us pay.
They always make you pay.
You have to fight to keep land.
The preciousness of soil.
Even this rubble is full of our souls.
This is our home, know
the fattest bombs won’t take it.

Ha! Giving cheeky grin to the camera,
I saw a cute boy behind the spokesman

BOONDOGGLE by Dominic Albanese

caps can’t even
yell it
loud enough
darkest comedy show ever
in real life
it is not so funny
one side screams bout
greedy billionaires
other side screams bout
lazy poor people
caught some where
in between
Corruption…..incompetence….or just plain old
jelly bean bullshit
have you hugged your
portfolio today?

After the Nobel Peace Prize Announcement 2017 by Stefanie Bennett

(for all Nuclear Scientists; the killing & the telling)
Last night ‘Terror’ died.
It died, not as it had lived
In its own black death
… But with the soft glow
Of a green light about it.
I was cruel. I was kind…
I took from it the aches
And anguish of a life spent
Battling the human elements.
I spelt trust as a 4 letter word.
Last night ‘Terror’ spoke. It spoke
In syllables as wide as the sky.
When faced with its own
Ghosted-in image
The din cannot be described:
And I – perhaps with a little
Too much of the Don Quixote
In me, wielding a rusty pen
Instead of a sword
Made the decision that
We kill for all reasons.
Some bad. Some good.
And some out of pity.
I erased ‘Terror’ from the vocabulary
As if time’s compass had not ever
Met this wretched one.
I do not know if the killing
Will, in turn, inturn me. There
Was a green light
Blazing about it.
Possibly that indicated
A pardon.

National Poetry Day Freedom poems part 2: Freedom March to Liberty by Francess ( Fran Smith on Facebook)

Take one step of kindness with one step of trust
step right and left step right too
right step  halal
next left step right too;

No wrong steps
No steps of haram
No steps of betrayel;

Feel like you will step off the planet into the
void of the universe,
into a black hole of nothingness
into oblivion
step into your deepest darkest fears with
steps of trust and  faith;
Step out of the  fear behind the fists and black eyes;
the fear behind the bullets and grenades
and production of chemical weapons;
that fear beyond hunger,
behind the holes in skin and empty eye sockets
that fear behind the nuclear missiles,
behind the threatened sperm.

Take steps of trust and march for righteousness and  the parachute will come with endorphin stars  for freedom:

Freedom from fear.

It only takes one step of trust with one step of kindness, two steps of righteousness
sidestepping conflict and crossed into a kiss
(X) as a dance.

To dance is to be brave and noble
joyous, peaceful, attractive, fun and free
let us all March to dance
for liberty and freedom for all
left step right, right step right
March on.


Freedom – National Poetry Day

For National Poetry Day, Myriam San Marco and the Word Makers collective want to see as many poems on Freedom published. Reuben Woolley has graciously agreed to this crazy scheme. You can find all the poems, some as far as India, on the I am not a silent poet zine and Facebook group.

People can carry on on sending poems to myriamwordmaker@gmail.com all throughout the day


There Is No Plan B by Bill Lythgoe

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can.

Accumulate the wealth that sets you free

and help us implement the master plan.


A healthy profit’s more important than

a giant panda or a chimpanzee.

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can.


Nuke North Korea, isolate Iran,

ignore fake news, bad deals, see what I see

and help us implement the master plan.


Forget man’s inhumanity to man –

that’s how it is; how it will always be.

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can.


The shit will never really hit the fan.

We know the score, accept our guarantee

and help us implement the master plan.


There is no global warming frying pan.

No fire will burn the likes of you and me.

Exploit the world’s resources – yes you can

and help us implement the master plan.


The Emmys by Eliza Mimski

Isn’t it funny how Sean Spicer showed up at the Emmys last night? I mean,

I’m always up for a good joke and it was a big surprise. I’ll have to give it that.

Did you see Melissa McCarthy’s face? Did you see the faces of the people in the audience?

So nice that someone can make fun of themselves. I guess I’ll have to forget that

he was the mouthpiece for Donald J.Trump. That’s all in the past. Now we can feel sorry

for Sean Spicer. After all, he was discarded like so many others. And you know what?

Even George W is looking good these days. Well, maybe not really.


I think if we’re going to be fair we need to give equal time to Steve Bannon. Why wasn’t

he featured at the Emmys? Maybe because no Melissa McCarthy played him, but I still

think it was a good opportunity. It could have gotten a lot of laughs. He could have – let’s

see, what could he have done? Tap danced? Sang a song? Blackface?


What I’m getting at here is that sometimes it’s good to laugh and sometimes it’s good not to.

You have to choose when something is funny and when it isn’t. Is Sean Spicer endearing

now? Is he relatable because he’s been ousted and is now seen as a quasi-victim? Or, the

bigger question: can we forgive? Maybe we should forgive everyone who has hurt us.

Or maybe we shouldn’t. I think it’s important to remember that we have choices. We can

laugh at something for its shock and surprise. That doesn’t mean we condone that person’s

past actions. Or we can sit staunchly and not forgive. And not forget. It’s all about

where our heart is at on that particular day.

.stop sign. by Sonja Benskin Mesher

the lady with the blue umbrella

is merely a road sign, remember.


until we walk over and find there

is not one.


had difficulty sleeping, thinking.

of you all.

the hurricanes.


thinking of you all.


the genocide.

spelled carefully


you all

at war.


all who are ill,



i went on the bus, saw the mud

from the festival. talked   to you

who got lost and fed the homeless.


read some road signs elsewhere.



Broken Atoms by Howie Good

To make something that will rot is a statement. I visited places to ask their help. Several people just didn’t even want to talk. I thought, ‘Whoa. What are they doing? Why are they doing that?’ You could leave fake voice messages posing as someone’s mom. Or defame someone and post the audio samples online. I put a stick in the ground, and ugly stuff bubbled up from it. People realized that grandma’s jam wasn’t so bad after all.




A person just jumped in front of the train. He looked like what everyone thinks the typical American guy should look like, but maybe not actually is. It started as a kind of tongue-in-cheek thing. He kept saying he was going to kill someone. Yeah, well, we haven’t had a wedding or a baptism for quite some time. We mostly have funerals. No one is outside the system. Even when you ride the train, all you see is this black forest with nothing in it.




People were screaming; people were throwing up because the smoke was so thick. I guess I’m very confused about why this scene. Imagine getting fired. Or you got dumped, or you didn’t get into the college you wanted, or imagine whatever it is that makes you feel weak. It sucks. It’s defeating. The memory stayed with me and that’s what made me think about breaking things. Everyone thought that I was crazy. They weren’t wrong. I partied too much. And I was always begging the eagle to help me to get home safe. All I can say is, if the phone rings, please answer.

Why da Poi Stay Stale by Joe Balaz

Wun speaker at da rally

can give you some reasons
as to why da poi stay stale

if you just listen.


He going start wit boots on da ground


and wun warship
wit its guns aimed at Iolani Palace

Manifest destiny
works really well

wen you got da military might
to simply take wat you like.


Uncle Sammy
going crush you undah his feet

if you try resist.
Tecumseh, Crazy Horse,
and Geronimo,

can tell you all about dat.

Scars and slights forevah
is da unfortunate result.

da island natives in da streets                                                                                                            continue to protest foa dere rights.

Adah people look at dem
and tink dey all stay disillusioned.


Dats wat happens
wen da blanket of assimilation

settles in ovah time.
Da guy blowing wun couch shell
in front of wun defiant crowd

not going agree wit dat.
As long as da faithful
know dere history

you kannot kill da truth
of wat is wrong and wat is right.



Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole English) and in American-English.
He edited Ho’omanoa: An Anthology of Contemporary Hawaiian Literature.  Some of his
recent Pidgin writing has appeared in Rattle, JukedOtoliths, and Hawai’i Review, among others.
Balaz is an avid supporter of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin writing in the expanding context of
World Literature.  He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.


Supply Lines by Cath Campbell

Red skies crush rock and land,
crush this mineral rich community,
this scandale geologique,
crush this thin boy of six.
Santu’s feet slap grinding hours in early light,
hums his childing voice in western tunes.
He won’t reach nine without strong bones.
Devils drill his marrow, worm young lungs
until he cannot breathe. Cannot work
to dig the minerals from the dirt.
Can no longer carry sorrow on his back,
which hurts protesting heavy sacks.
I composed this poem on electronics
powered by ion battery boost with cobalt.
Samsung, Huayou and Microsoft.
I write about his death before its time
with the instrument of his demise.
I am sorry, Child. I am sorry …
Sorry you were born into this state.
It is not only bombs that decimate.

The Congo is the White man’s grave?
I find it not so true, after all,
for the graves here are very small.

Canal Straights by Michelle Crosbie

Bruised, battered not broken,
the hull in tact;
barge boards support my being.

A brittle bird frame being,
Yet coals are lit,
steam moves the valves of my heart.

I chug through,
choking brine tales,
into the marina of crying hearts.

Canal straights guide my rope,
traversing towpaths
new moorings.

Locks open,
sluice gates rush;
water reminds me to drink this life.

life in ashton by Tamra Smith

I sleep sometimes in a wet field of flowers

At one with the earth







I watch away time ticking by



some kind of reality that melts into itself

and fades away

like the burning embers of a firefly

Spilt salt

stings my wounds

I float upon a dead sea

I settle like dust floating in the vacuum of the universe




still as death itself

Yet the twenty four hour muscle

still beats

Like the tick tick ticking of a clock

that never stops

like angry ants marching

beyond eternal bone

Ignorance is no excuse

trapped in this small town

Mentally baked on the inside

without decisive decisions made


Rolling in a fishnet laughably feeling secure in knowledge

Not knowing when you’re gonna die

when the axe drops

when the heart stops

stopping at great speed

I stumble past the mortuary

Hail stoning

I hear the workers laughing as they

wheel round bodies

Silence fell upon them

As i peeked in

Do not feed the Trolls by Dave Rendle

( a poem written after  an encounter with an internet troll)

They simply do not give a damn
especially when on social media
where everything makes them angry
but without the gift of articulation
every time they open their mouths
release a torrent of abuse and profanity
do not try not to feed them
or massage their twisted egos
they will just carry on mocking
poking aggressively with idiocy
spreading messages of hate and prejudice
poisonous voices of this new world disorder
who will try to destroy your compassion
your sensitivity and reason 
leave them alone they have no allure
let them continue making fools of themselves
am sure one day soon they’ll get their due.

You’re no cunt, Trump by Jane Burn

It will only make you scorn us more, this use
of it as insult. I would not fit this word to you.
This power is ours to speak or not – too
easily flung, it belongs to us. Let it not be slung
around – the sound of it upon you demeans us.
………………………..Do not presume to touch us.
………………………..We shall never be under your thumb.

Let us not loose ourselves in mocking you,
for it is not the smallness of your paws
but the meanness in your heart that makes
us afraid. Let us not forget your mouth,
be it glossed, zipped, pursed as a dog’s arse
is yours to moue as you will. It’s not the shape
of it but what comes out.
………………………….Now that
……………………………………….is what concerns us.

If you wish to wear that flossed confection
upon your head that’s fine by me – it’s
your choice to look like that. But your brain and
the wit that sits beneath your much-mocked mess –
………………………………………that pit is a cesspool,
………………………………………it breeds a bigot’s storm.

Be orange – be a rainbow. Exercise
your right to wear the colour that you love.
Cheesy puffs are just a snack. To resemble one
should not make you a figure of fun.
The taste you put on our tongues
is not cheddar. Remember please,

a piss-stain tan
is of no matter to us.

But your travel ban
on the other hand

comes from a dead soul,
a worm hole

of hatred for your fellow man

The Last Tea by Terrence Sykes

Watch the door .. dear
you know it always slams
into my little room
I asked them to dress you
in your Sunday best
for our special tea today
yes we can dear.. extra sugar

I’ll make the tea dear
yes that is Tony Bennett on the record
remember when you first moved here
we cut the rug in the rec center every Saturday night
this time forgotten senior hell – I mean hall dear.. extra sugar

Time moves on doesn’t  it
Here dear.. it may be bitter
we swallowed enough bitter pills
husbands who passed scores ago
children who haven’t visited in almost a year
Oh we are not bitter are we dear.. extra sugar

My dear friend – I understand your babble
we have been friends that long
I forget too much these days
you have forgotten it all
you in your wheelchair
me with all these pains & aches that ..
oh dear … extra sugar

Are you comfy or cold dear
I’ll pull up the afghan we made together
I’ll turn over the album &play side two
why not just one more cup
more tea dear… extra sugar

Yes it is a very special type of tea
a very rare blend indeed
but it is for our very last tea
what kind of tea is it …
hemlock tea dear .. extra sugar

Kenyan Ladies’ Karate Club by Nick Cooke

So you prefer older gals?

That’s the tale we heard.

You think we’re ‘more safe’

than the fresher meat

because we won’t have

much in the way of

what’s called love life,


therefore we must be clean

and won’t kill you

after you’ve killed us.

Ingenious thinking.

You boys should be

in the cabinet

with stuff like that.


I suppose you’d turn

me round to face the wall

before lifting my blood-red skirt…

what’s that old saying

about mantelpiece and fire?

To you boys I guess

the lot of us are much the same

down where it counts,


but get this, kiddies:

we’re all in training,

spend our days like boxers

in the gym, belting

sweet hell out of leather

and now we’re ready to

kick for Kenya


and yes that includes

anyone making so bold

as to try & knock us over

like Mau Mau days,

and only fair to warn,

under the pillow

I keep my best panga.