Free Verse Poetry Page  with Suzanne Robinson 

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things only mania can do

 

chilly in my brain I

haven’t

 

had anything cold to eat

my hair is pushing

 

back from the front

unnaturally a woman

 

standing in the library

reminds an old

 

roommate I

wish I’d made amends

 

but here it has

pink sputtering

 

our bedroom walls

I want nontoxic

 

love a snowy house a

real skeleton peeking

 

pelvic cups something

wriggles beneath

 

my skin I feel sick, but

still haven’t eaten anything toes

 

are skipping a beat

this new song bottom

 

half of my face sticks

out from the want

 

 

Natasha Sharma’s poems represent growing up in the American Midwest as a second generation Indian, and touch on mental health issues, trauma, and ecstasies of the everyday. She holds a Masters in English and is working on her first chapbook.

Coefficient

 

Per usual what’s vilified is very vilified,

with all the plumbing and electrical behind

this temporary door and when all angles

are subtended bring the atom up,

and solar system down,

to scale. I’ll step them off and snap them up

and I’ll be equal to my thoughts,

occasionally in alignment,

thereby I may be contingent.

To what do I owe this honor?

To what honor do I owe? What do I owe?

A shiny object of contention or affection

won’t change state until it’s acted

on by some external force.

It’s too good to be true or false,

impossible or necessary,

until fossil footprints settle.

It’s T-minus thirty-seven, minus twenty-seven,

minus seventeen then minus seven,

but who’s counting down.

I’m crying to the bank, i.e., not crying —

this remiss is just my size.

This coefficient is for now a coefficient

not of friction but of bliss.

 

 

In a past century, Heikki Huotari attended a one-room school and spent summers on a forest-fire lookout tower. A retired math professor, he has won two poetry chapbook prizes and published three collections, the most recent being The Dog’s Meow, Uncollected Press, 2019.

London, Gatwick

 

Little red suitcase, four wheels,

Mouse-point: feet scurrying,

Whipping hard floor heels and mud-stained trainers . . .

Transatlantic flights are so . . .

The rhythm of the dance,

So many soles passing over, passing through,

 

Your boarding pass please.

 

Conveyor belts for bags and people,

People and bags,

Bags and people,

Bags in clothes of film,

 

Seal your suitcase;

Contactless preferred.

 

People in coats of deception,

Paint and make-up,

 

Every airport has Boots,

And ’Smiths.

 

Transported everywhere,

Limitless destinations,

Find your dream holiday,

A world at your doorstep.

 

Feet in line at immigration,

The straight lips, an inch above uniform,

Drawn on with a ruler,

Children’s art,

Politician’s games,

Culture in the hands of infant ministers,

All artists are amateurs once,

Beginners, novices,

First-time flyers,

Butterflies in the stomach,

Briefcase in hand,

 

Economy class sir?

 

Departure lounge of diversity,

At the end of a long and winding corridor,

 

It all looked the same,

Different coloured passports,

With different stamps,

Different ways of labelling,

Documenting,

Authorizing,

Controlling,

Dominating,

The same:

Tied to a little red flag,

Football hooligans

Are bringing it home,

To the same,

Again and again and again.

The little book of identity:

The triumphant compass,

For a globe distorted,

Or perhaps too flat,

Colours dance across it,

Aurora Borealis,

It’s art,

It’s real.

 

Gate closing.

 

Cartographers believed in its beauty,

But pencils believed in borders

And shades,

And weapons,

Never blame the artist,

It’s a faulty design

On the runway

With its broken stripes,

The plane in taxi,

You know you’re late,

But the time zone will amend it all,

The division will suffice,

A temporary solution,

How long is temporary?

 

The seatbelt sign is now on.

 

The lights lock low,

Window blinds are up:

You can’t see anything but clouds,

You can’t touch water,

Besides, the vacuum would kill you,

This is a deadly business,

 

Do not inflate the life jacket inside the cabin,

 

Meticulously tested,

 

You are perfectly safe,

 

but we’re avoiding THAT airspace;

there’s turbulence below.

 

Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

 

Okay, I will.

 

In 2012, you had a bunker;

I had a faded photo of the sixties,

And before that . . .

As you watched the burning fires of the millennium

Sparking in the sky,

I had a camera,

But it couldn’t capture it:

The transient beauty of explosion,

Eruption,

Pompei,

Hiroshima,

Hiroshima,

Pompei,

Explosion,

Eruption,

Please peruse our in-flight magazine.

 

The lights dim;

The cabin crew crawl behind curtains,

Comatose.

The sky outside is navy velvet,

And it looks like the stars are down below,

Merely scraping the sky,

Those urban silhouettes,

With many windows looking out at many more,

Everyone is asleep now,

Even the pilot,

An automated message:

 

Prepare for landing.

 

Amber Natalie Kennedy lives in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. She is a student of English Literature and has been a member and leader of a number of Creative Writing Groups.

Talking to My Sister On A Cool Afternoon

 

Look now here in this photograph

we are all posing in the streetlight and moonlight

on our old street in Oakland

 

and look how me and you are wearing

the same kind of hat

except yours is the color of fresh

mahogany wood

and you’re holding the front edge of it

with your fingertips

 

and look how then

we didn’t take pictures

with arms around each other

 

I remember then you kept your hair

with the tone of a sun-kissed penny

 

Sister remember

how boys wouldn’t stop calling you

and the right boy

that I really wanted never wanted me

he kept glancing at you

and remember before we left the house

we relied on mirrors

to tell us how we look

and shortly before the photo was taken

we bounced down the street

singing a part of Destiny’s Child lyrics

 

I remember you were the one

that started it off

with the sexiest verse in the song

 

but oh wow look how in this photo

our bodies are facing more

toward the camera

none of us is showing any body skin

and our friends

are much bigger than us

haha isn’t that funny

 

First published in Conceit Magazine.

 

 

Victoria Hunter is from Pennsylvania. In October 2019, she appeared on the cover of Conceit Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Writer, Sparks of Calliope, WordFest Anthology, and other publications. She manages a YouTube channel dedicated to the craft of poetry.

Back To Herself

 

I see my daughter there as I walk by that room.

It was her bedroom years ago

but now is her studio.

 

She is painting Eden.

She needs a ladder to reach

the grandiose heights of the canvas.

The bright colors of a lost garden.

 

“Ayeka?”

G-d said to Adam.

“Where are you? Where do you stand?”

 

Where did she go after the birth?

What was so hard? I ask.

Just a baby, non-stop crying, full

breasts, spit-up, endless

dirty diapers, sleepless days, sleepless nights.

 

Was that why she dissolved

into a heap on the couch, seeping

into the cushions?

 

Is that why she left that room,

that studio, those babies,

me?

 

To become transparent,

diaphanous, floating through

some reality of her own making

 

and though I, her mother, tried to hold her,

she pulled back and

remained secreted,

buried in her own breath.

Where she went I cannot know.

 

The brown cushions hold her secrets,

like the canvas holds the paint,

like the colors hold the shading

like the sky holds the mystery of Eden

in its shimmering, cloudless blue

like the bed holds the dream

like the shell holds the promise of life

like the garden holds the buds

 

but now she is once again

painting

now in that room.

Now, she is back.

 

 

Tova Hinda Siegel’s work has appeared in Salon.com, I’ll Have Wednesdays, On The Bus, and several anthologies. A midwife, cellist, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Tova lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

White Lies

 

They say children learn by example,

So we tell them, “Do as I say, not as I do!”

But we know that is not enough,

Because enough is never enough,

And we are old and wise, and the

World never slipped through our

Fingers, so we lie those sweet little lies,

And tell them grownups never do:

Fairies barter in teeth and elves in toys;

Babies are born on the wings of a stork,

And a fat man can pierce that narrow divide

Between Heaven and Earth as long as he

Has a sleigh and a bright red coat,

But these are not the stories we want them

To believe, innocent as they are.

Oh the secrets we keep as they are nestled

In their beds, too tired for such tales we

Could spin, but one day they will listen

So very, very well, and then such secrets

They will have to tell.

 

 

Sean Ferrier-Watson is a professor of English at Collin College in Frisco, Texas. He has published poetry in Forces and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and he has published scholarly articles in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts and others.

Dec. 1st, 2019

 

write to me,

like you remember me

from a past life,

like you’re still here,

like i’ll walk into the kitchen

just to breathe in your neck,

to have you fold in my arms,

to leave my hands imprinted

on the small of your back

 

tonight i’ll write to you,

like i’ll remember where

your lips begin,

like you never left,

like you’ll be in my bed later,

kissing me in places

you somehow knew,

laughing in a way i never have,

with my hand on your neck

with no way to tell

who we are.

 

 

Kyle Walsh is 26 years old and lives in St. Louis. He never knows how to communicate who he is, only the romanticized version of the best parts of him that he puts into his work.

Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Suzanne Robinson by issue:

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  December 2016     November 2016     October 2016     September 2016     August 2016     June 2016     May 2016

Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Vera Ignatowitsch by issue:

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