What is a “homeboy” to do? (Sonnet), by Clara B. Jones

for Antwon Rose (d. 19 June 2018, 17 y.o., Allegheny County, PA)

  1. You can buy a house in Collegeville and paint it Federal Blue.
  2. You can join B.L. Matter and wear designer clothes.
  3. You can move to France and make Pinot Noir.
  4. You can pair caviar and collards.
  5. You can shave truffles on your mac’ & cheese.
  6. You can trade your I-Phone® for a bag of chips.
  7. Poetry disrupts the way we see the world, but you can vote Republican and save negroes.
  8. Pittsburgh is a modern ecosystem where you can buy Abstract Art.
  9. More people with depression are living full lives so you can weigh the benefits of therapy.
  10. The barrel is either half empty or half full (rat-a-tat-tat), but look on the bright side, cigarettes could cost more.
  11. Surrounded by violence, you can go anywhere.
  12. They may want to hurt you, but they don’t mean to kill you.
    ..
  13. Henredon® built teak vitrines for Kanye.
  14. Afrobots love the U.S.A.
    ..
    ..
    ..Clara B. Jones practices poetry in Silver Spring, MD (USA). She, also, conducts research on experimental poetry and radical publishing. Clara is author of four chapbooks and one volume (/feminine nature/, 2017, Gauss PDF), and her poetry, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various venues.
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Stolen, by Mohamed Sahafi

They had stolen
All
Your
Fundamental rights
And
They want you
To give them
Flowers.

..

Traducción Mohamed Khattabi:

Han robado
Todos tus
Derechos básicos
y quieren
que les regales
Flores

..

ترجمة : عبدالإله صحافي

سرقوا
كل
حقوقك الأساسية
و
يريدونك
أن تُقَدَّم لهم
الأزهار.

Fighting Times, by Dave Rendle

People in society currently pecked into pieces

Politicians creating wastelands for generations,

Taking from the poor and giving it all to the rich

Division not progress their ultimate pitch,

Poisoning minds, creating wars of attrition

Continuing to blind us with fear and confusion,

With twisted morality, sullied emotion

Forces of capitalism, driving us in one direction,

Planned poverty,leaving victims in its wake

Homelessness growing that the government make,

Food banks growing in this age of austerity

People daily waking up to distorted reality,

In Grenfell tower people died, government indignation negligible

No deaths in a Salisbury cafe, government reaction incredible,

Their systematically treating us with derision

With conscious games that simply imprison,

Daily now the balancing acts of life hard to handle

People broken, beaten, continue to be strangled,

Held captive by forces of misery and mockery

Time, to take a stand, make demands that set us free;

Break the bonds that bind us, the walls that hide us

Plant seeds of rebellion, rise back in disgust,

Growing stronger lifting, voices high

So loud they will be unable to drown our cry.

Together we are capable of inducing chain reactions

Generating effects that take away maddening distractions,

Leaving the present behind, that is ever so profound

Keep fighting for our lives, until the next round.

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
but
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
wondering
bout
tomorrow
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.

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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

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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.

donald-trump

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,

unease.

 

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.

stop

 

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.
Nowadays

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

muddy

damp

sludgy

slippy

fleshy

warm

I watch away time ticking by

Dreams

nightmares

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

empty

cold

silent

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

insane

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.