Where Everyone Has A Voice


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Poets M 

Marcello - Mark (2) - Mc Shane (2) - McFall - Meadows - Meredith - Milder - Millar - Mikusinski (4) - Mishra - Morrow (3) - Moyer - MuŮoz - Murphy - Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah

Burning Leaves
by Leo Luke Marcello

in an instant
the odor of burning leaves
brings you back to me,

standing by the metal cans
where you stirred up smoke
from the cinder-hot
pecan-leaf inferno

singeing some back-hidden
pleasure center of our brains
by sending pungent arrows
of pulsing fire-clouds
up through breath

a cold winter day years ago,
when you were alive and
burning leaves out back
was legal.

From Nothing Grows in One Place Forever: Poems of a Sicilian American by Leo Luke Marcello. Copyright © 1998 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

The Old Man in the Garden
by Joseph Meredith

All of summer has turned brittle overnight:
the weightless shell of the wasp
I found this morning in a web;
the shucked husk of the mantis, riding light
as a shadow in the dry grass
that leans against the bricks, beyond hope or prayer;
and almost overnight, my fatherís fragile bones.

The yellow marigolds, robust yesterday ó
so many small suns suspended in the green ó
wilt and blacken, letting themselves down
like the heads of old men drooping off to sleep.
A hundred thousand maple wings spin
like gyros in the wind.
And the dogwood drips its scarlet berries on the ground
where light is sifted to the thinness of a scythe ó
the green gloss of its leaves
spotted purple, spotted brown,
as though a dying man, thin fingers colder than ice,
had touched them in the night,
a touch as gentle as a fatherís, saddening and chill.

Each leaf will bear the fingerprints
and bleed to crimson in a week.
The sun ticks farther south each day,
and in a month, the white.

But the dogwood anchors memory:
the earth will lean to more congenial light.
Whatís weightless will have weight again ó
a hundred thousand maples lodge beneath the snow,
and in the head of every marigold, father,
two hundred sons.

From Hunterís Moon: Poems from Boyhood to Manhood by Joseph Meredith. Copyright © 1993 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.


Medical Records
by Charles MuŮoz

One night there was a flood
in the hospital basement
where everybody's records were stowed.
Water lifted those records
off the lowest shelf, floated them upward.

Water took the folders, flopped
them open, mixed the papers.
Ink swirled in the water, diluting
names, dates, diseases and disorders,
smudging outcomes; all in darkness
in the basement of the hospital.
Water snickered back to the sewer,
and the records lay scattered
on the puddled floor.

Under the one unshaded bulb
three clerks chatted,
their shoes damp, their voices
echoing from the cinderblock walls,
judging those records, peeling
papers apart, passing wet papers back and forth:
interpreting smudged ink.

They could hear water trickling, hear scurry-foot
of rats in the passage, mumble of the generator,
and they could hear the sigh
of a patient far upstairs, a sigh brought
down to them by a channel in the dark wall.

From Fragments of a Myth: Modern Poems on Ancient Themes by Charles MuŮoz. Copyright © 2001 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

The Cynic
By Victor Morrow

I rant and rage against the
civilized garbage they package so
politically correct for me to consume.
Insulting my intellect with visions of
My primitive self, a savage
bereft of any conscious damage.

A drone of complacency in the air,
passing me a sampler of envy
at every turn to tempt me away
from the path of righteousness,
to taint me with the mark of spoils
and impart me with the ordinaire.

So pervasive and decadent that
logic canít enter, priests and
ministers so caught up in the same
that they canít see their own escape,
much less that of their followers.
For them, there is no culpable self.

Nations turn from what made them great,
to throw out the old and embrace the new,
to vegetate, to negate, to impregnate,
to compensate for the embarrassment of
obsolescence and age as if there was
some law against the tried and true.

No demand, no sales. They would have
to find another way to scare the money
out of my pockets with a new honey
selling her sexy charms to bald men
and frumpy women looking for life.
Thereís always a hook to reel us in.

Only now have I turned a corner and
no longer want to pollute the planet.
I scold myself for being vain and for
mindlessly wasting limited resources.
But the authors of destruction are still
sending me promises of immortality.

Copyright © 2008 Victor Morrow

Mahmoud Darwish: Division Without a Name
By Victor Morrow

I didnít know you had a name, if you did,
I probably wouldnít be able to pronounce it.
They say, and again, I donít know who they
are, maybe some great journalists or critics
making a name off your name---you know
how it is. They say you were a great poet for
some cause or another, and that your people
suffered greatly and you are the voice of
that suffering, and that your life will lead the
way toward peace in the middle-east. I donít
see how that can be now that you are dead.
Itís not like you scarified your life on a cross
to redeem the souls of the suffering. Hereís
the problem, when I see the middle-east, I
donít see division, I hear that it is divided,
but I donít see it with my eyes and donít
feel it with my heart. Just like I donít see the
suffering in Columbia and Ecuador, I donít
see how one country can cause another to
suffer the inhumanity of which you speak.
Itís hard to believe that you are not brothers
and share some common traits of decency
and respect for one another. The bodies
that strewn the streets of the bombers do
not convince me that you are divided. The
shock of atrocities as seen on the evening news
do not prove anything. If the Twin Towers
cannot turn me away to give up my principles
of humanity, can your embellishers and
deceivers do as much. Is their proof really
in their bloodletting shock and horror.
They say you are great---so I will look for
the forgiveness, unity, and peace.

Copyright © 2008 Victor Morrow

The Man From Kitsilano
by Victor Morrow

A Griffin for Blaser with his pure white hair
flowing from the shores of English Bay and Kits.
There, Robin of The Holy Forest conferring with
Pinocchio, there to, David to offer kindness and
love to the "hippest guy in the room."

SFU and UC Berkeley publishing his adoring life
work: The Fire, The Holy Forest. He cares not what
others think-- beyond his betrayal by the church,
critics can't kill, and he will not give up his
beliefs for anyone. His qualities long fixed in
love, openness, and a point of view tempered
by the sensual and philosophical. Always a sage
to those seeking honest and real advice.

Idaho roots in a ghost town named Blaser---
a Mormon grandfather living in railroad villages.
Not for him, he was called to chase the finer arts
in Berkeley and San Francisco, where Arendt, North,
Duncan, Spicer, and Olson taught him the meaning
of life to pass on to young hearts and minds
in ivory towers, to me, to you.

Emerald, moonstone, and silver worn as he listens
to stories told by craftsmen tinkerers for the
heavens, each there to remind him of a beauty
he is obliged to share. Stories passing in his
mind of a Roman saint from Assisi and another
named St. Augustine---they seem to be guiding
his life in ways he appreciates but does not
always understand.

Love is the center of a spiraling universe,
round and round---spinning off spirits of love.
Devine, hidden forces, so pure they reject
human description, intervention, but somehow
bless those that seek. Little bits and pieces
of his soul, your soul, my soul---his life
promised to the soil on his passing as a
peaceful memory to those he touched,
and who touched him.

Copyright © 2008 Victor Morrow

by Gardner McFall

When we turned from the cement drive
to the gravel road, I might have expected
anything from my brother, just six,
learning to ride a two-wheeler for the first time.
Older by five years, I ran beside him
like a bedrail to keep him from falling,

while Mother stood on the front stoop,
hands visor-fashion over her eyes.
She looked like a cheerleader fixed on the play.
My father appeared at the roadís end,
an imaginary finish line we wavered toward
in a shaky, ongoing S.

Time seemed endless, the moment
between knowing and not knowing whether
he would ride on straight without me,
whether he would spill to the other side
or into my arms. And how could I keep
the world from spinning as the two wheels

turned and kept turning over the stones and dust?
Whatever it was I tripped on, I went down
knee, shoulder, cheek to a quick, clean fracture
of the wrist no one could foresee or accept.
And so I went to bed in the still-light
evening, assured I would be well,

torn between assurance and the small pain
that outgrew my limbs by morning.
Now, it seems slapstick that an older sister
stumbles beside her brother,
but the ground for human error
is immense, and Iíve since learned

people will tell you
your armís not broken, not because
they donít want to drive you to the dispensary,
not even because they donít believe
the pain you feel, but, put simply,
itís not supposed to happen like that.

From The Pilotís Daughter by Gardner McFall. Copyright © 1996 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

From One Octogenarian to Another
by Ben Milder

Once more, youíre up to your old tricks,
Pretending that youíre eighty-six.
But friends of yours, from your old school,
Look at you, and, as a rule,
Silently, they foam and rage,
Because you look one-half their age.

While those friends seem to go on shrinking,
Youíre still at it, learning, thinking,
Still as busy as can be,
With your laptop on you knee
And giving older folks a lift,
With your still youthful keyboard gift.

When I look at your physique,
Primed by workouts thrice a week,
To me, it is exhilarating
To see the men folks salivating.
But you were long since spoken for,
By you know who, and what is more,

Since youíre eighty-six and donít deny it,
Those friends of yours would like to try it.
They say, ďIn a frenzy we are verginí.
Tell us your secret. Whoís your surgeon?Ē
Just say to them, ďDonít be frenetic.
Itís not denial. Itís genetic.Ē

From Whatís So Funny About the Golden Years by Ben Milder. Copyright © 2008 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

The Dumb Show
by Sabrina Orah Mark

Because the gods believe they ought, like buried corsets,
to make the best of a bad bargain, they have begun to
show their flesh a little;

their black hair expanding into heaven knows what...the
muddy scratch of stick figures in the dark, the ones who
have begun to delicately call themselves Madeleine rub
their sleepy eye from behind that blue monocle, and the
others with a futurist thirst for tim, crimson curtain
lowering on the last act, I assure you: there was no

as in: before he even made his entrance...The whole place
was in an uproar. And after? And before? I went back
behind the curtain and returned in a woman's blouse
battle-weary...The men above me were shouting. The
women above were shouting. The electric lights went
out as arranged. I felt on the ground for the black wig,
though it was not clear whose was whose. I caressed the
bone-hard surface of a stranger's chest until he pulled
me to his lap and brought my fingers to his mouth.

From The Babies by Sabrina Orah Mark. Copyright © 2004 by Sabrina Orah Mark. Reprinted courtesy of Saturnalia Books.

by Sabrina Orah Mark

Whether or not it was the trumpeter, or the brass, or
the brass against a certain naked foot. Whether or not
you are what's left to be solved of the drowned, I rented
a room beside the Butcher's Lake. Mostly sadness.
They'd come around at night and ask me questions.
From far off, we could hear bathtubs or radios or
chandeliers being thrown out of windows. "Heads or
tails," they'd ask. "As a friend, "I'd say, "I recommend the
head." They never asked me if I knew you although I
wish they had. It was a mild winter to be deserted and
the black sailboats seemed tired and a little old. I kept
sparrows loose in the kitchen, which aroused their
curiosity as they fingered my scars. One day, they
kneeled inside me and called me a Jew. At first I rejected
their offer, but they were right and promised me a lady's
hat. I did not fear them until I wanted to be afraid.
The lake was guarded and the road to town was closed.

From The Babies by Sabrina Orah Mark. Copyright © 2004 by Sabrina Orah Mark. Reprinted courtesy of Saturnalia Books.

by Joseph Millar

Parked by this dirt road with both doors open
and a stream running under the brambles and stalks
I lean against the fender, trying to explain how it is
I've given away so many pieces of this body
without meaning to, even its shadow riddled with dust
floating fitfully down in the air:
children and houses, age catching up,
unraveling this coat I keep trying to mend
with exercise and low-fat food,
remedies for a long middle age.

You look at me without speaking and away
down the valley, offering all of it, daring me
to reach from my fraying skin like the branches
of the madrone, into what's left of the daylight.
It could be the night coming down the long hills
will swallow us both, that the willows around us
are singing, having untied their gold hair,
and we can lie here under their branches
and never go back.

And it could be that some things can't
be explained, but I can't stop talking,
stammering about children and life insurance,
even when a barn owl rises from the cottonwoods
and drifts out over the roadway.
I keep looking for a path winding off
through these woods, as the stream wanders past,
invisible, and you squat to pee
into the bent grass
without holding on to anything.

From Millar's Book, Overtime, (Eastern Washington University Press). Copyright © 2001 by Joseph Millar. Reprinted courtesy of Joseph Millar.

The Nevermore Land
by Karen Meadows

Silence overwhelming, senses aware
Waiting for the darkness to settle around me
Like a cloak, enveloping me
I patiently wait
To drift into the nevermore land

Furtive glances to the outer perimeters
Are they coming, are they hiding?
Behind me, beside me
Waiting for me
To drift into the nevermore land

Grasping onto the sheltering place
Searching for the saving grace,
Hanging on by tooth and nail,
So afraid
To drift into the nevermore land

Panic engulfs me, my feet are sliding
I tighten my grip on grace
Desperation pulls at me
Trying to drag me away
To drift into the nevermore land

They come from the shadows,
Swirling around me with glee
Teeth gnashing, claws gripping
Cackling in my ears, leaving me
To drift into the nevermore land

I sink into the desperation
Violated, and abandoned
Pain overwhelming, total isolation
Torn and bleeding, left alone
To drift into the nevermore land

Far away I see the light,
Dim but steady, almost gone
I gather my strength
Onward, trying not
To drift into the nevermore land

I feel them still surrounding me
I push them aside, pushing on
I feel the shredding of my flesh
As they try to pull me back
To drift into the nevermore land

Screaming in my agony
My frustration mounting
The light grows brighter
Still small, but captivating me
Leading me from the nevermore land

The path in view, the claws get sharper
Trying to hold me in the shadows
As they pierce my skin I laugh
My excitement rising,
With hope to leave the nevermore land

Closer, closer, I am getting
Reaching outward, reaching upward
Grasping grace, with an open heart
Casting aside the demons,
To drift into the nevermore land

My wounds are cleansed
Amazement overwhelms me
I see my reflection,
Whole and new
Saved from the nevermore land

I look out into the darkness
Safe and secure, peaceful
Content in the grace
That keeps me safe and warm
Out of the nevermore land

Copyright © 2008 Karen Meadows

He Walks With Us
by Michele Lee Moyer

Walks along our side
Keeping us close
To him
Close by
When you need
Him to be
He will always
Be your friend
When You need
Just call out
To him
He will be
There because
He Walks With Us
And will always
Be there for you

Copyright © 2008 Michele Lee Moyer

Rain: Again
by Nikarika Mishra

It's ten twenty and still there is noise inside the house,
A television blaring the emphatic assertions of some megalomaniac,
The discomfort that started in the breast early morning is steadily
crawling forward like a smart caterpillar without the knowledge of where to go,
At this time the rain has come with its essential music Yet it sounds like the earth
crying in dreadful helplessness Or it is somebody inside,
broken and shattered beyond redemption squirming in pain, with no hope of relief.

Has this rain ensued a process
That will leave the soul maimed for eternity, pushing the being into deep recesses of insanity.
Or a Buddha will be born
to write a new story of salvation in a new way!

How softly the rain drops are touching the earth, the leaves and everything,
Is not there a chance of redemption really?
To go back to the love-tinged world of innocent faces, the blue sky and the grass underneath!
to hover among the bee-buzzing crowd of impatient minds which will give a sound reason to live.
Why time has stopped whereas no one had wanted it to!
The uneasiness signals of a death and a new birth may be,
A birth closer to the ancient truths of the universe,
A birth that will mark a more difficult journey ahead.

Copyright © 2008 Niharika Mishra

A Voice From The Ghetto
by Daniel Jay Mc Shane

I sneak a peek through the bullet hole in my dirty kitchen's window,
steel bars prevent escape.
I gaze down upon piles of worthless junk thoughtlessly discarded on the asphalt lot below,
where children run and play.
Momma drinks from a fingerprinted glass surrounded by the colored bottles from yesterday's celebration.
I quietly walk to the livingroom,
where a suffering Jesus weeps silently upon the silver flowered wallpapered wall,
I swear sometimes he talks to me in a whisper, telling me,
"Don't despair."
Arguing voices cursing the misfortunes of a drug deal gone bad.
Break! the silence outside my livingroom's door.
Dungeon gray....
heavy as steel....
countless locks....
A piercing scream echoes,
goes ignored,
then fades.
I sit alone upon our dusty brown couch as Momma rambles on senselessly in the other room,
an alcoholic's tune.
I stare once again to the suffering Jesus hanging hopelessly upon the wall,
as the night draws near and the light as dim as my dreams,
I whisper a tearful prayer for hope,
within this ghetto's gloom......

Copyright © 2009 Daniel Jay Mc Shane

It Happened One Night
by Daniel Jay Mc Shane

Rain poured upon my window,
the night Marie died,
but the moon shone bright upon all other windows.
As the night grew late.
I was awakened, by the heavenly sound of an angel
singing a most beautiful tune,
of Marie.
While she sang, the rain began to subside.
I knew I had to view this heavenly creature outside,
for her song and perfect playing filled my heart with so
much comforting grace.
I glanced outside as the remaining raindrops slithered
down my window like tiny snakes.
I saw the heavenly angel dressed in brilliant white,
with long golden hair illuminating the darkness of the
with a small harp of silver and blue gently cradled within
her tender hands,
and for a brief moment, I saw Marie standing there,
audience to this most perfect being.
She looked to me in a moment's light,
smiling the brightest smile,
the one I've always known her to possess.
She waved good-bye and whispered to me a sweet
as her spirit took flight like a meteor into the black night
I watched the streaking orange light disappear,
as a tear like a brilliant diamond rolling slowly down my
soft cheek
sparkled as it dropped to the dusty wood floor on which I
splashing in a sound no louder than a whisper.
I breathed an empty painful sigh,
staring into the dark eternal sky
and with the pure hope that she would hear
I spoke this sad reply.....
"Good night! My sweet Marie.....
My dear mother.....
Good night......"

Copyright © 2009 Daniel Jay Mc Shane

by Jade Murphy

One Women
One Man
One Child
One Birth
One Death,
She Only had One of Very Few Many;
One Feeling
One Touch
One Smell
One Vision
One Memory,
Only One True Source of Happiness and Joy;
I Shall Believe in One Understandable Reason to Share with our Unbelievable Shattered Hearts,
The One
The Only one,
True Life Moment,
Rayna ElAnn Experienced the One Amazing Moment that Changed our Lives.
For Eternity in Itself Shall Come,
Only One,
Only one Fateful Day on that
December Morning;
She Only had One of Very Few Many,
One Fateful day,

In Loving Memory of Our Little Girl
Rayna ElAnn Murphy
July 31ST, 2008 -- December 2ND, 2008
We Shall Never Let Go Little Girl
Love Mommy.

Copyright © 2009 Jade Murphy

The Museís Foil
by Anne Mikusinski

Sometimes I bite
Drawing blood
A not so gentle nudge
As a reminder that I
In a way that only
He can understand
Giving an acknowledgement
This undefined
And quiet
Inanimate yet amorous
A maelstrom
Of art and noise
As we move together
He pushes me away
Then raises me up
As sacrifice and tribute
An offering for the pulsing crowd
Then draws me back
To hold me close
Continuing our private conversation
Our mutual ownership
And occasional bliss.

Copyright © 2018 with permission from Anne Mikusinski

Last Summer/This Summer
by Anne Mikusinski

Some people like to hear about
What I call the
Of this thing
(Whatever it is)
But I prefer to
Think about
What it is
And what it
Could grow into
With care and time
And patience.
At the moment though
I am content
To appreciate
How it keeps me
For whatever happens

Copyright © 2018 with permission from Anne Mikusinski


Seen And Not Seen
by Anne Mikusinski

I stole this title
From an old tune
That isn't sung but spoken
It reminded me
Of how I
Watched you that night
In performance
And noticed
How what you
Were creating
Affected everything
And how I went home
And have been writing
About nothing since
How you moved
Caught up in something
Better captured in a picture
Than in thoughts.
But as words are all I have
I'll just say I still dream about
Untamed hair
Obscuring all but the motion of your
On the strings
And how my breath stopped
In that moment
And still does.

Copyright © 2018 with permission from Anne Mikusinski


Night Music
by Anne Mikusinski

Tonight's soundtrack
The soft whirring
Of rotating blades
Above my head
As they lull my thoughts to
And usher in
Tonights cast
Of worries and dead author's quotes,
And other things unspoken
Before midnight
Their presence brings an uneasy
To the room
And a longing for better
At this hour
A wish for companionship
And soft words
Before sleep.

Copyright © 2018 with permission from Anne Mikusinski

Passing through the Metal Mirror for Parmigianinoís Prime Figure, Self-Portrait
by Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah

What time it is, I do not know, except that a yacht is passing by and my long neck is animated, appearing on the sideboard before the groups in high glee, laughter and conversation for another mind of converting base metal to gold. I am obsessed with the sea. I am preoccupied with counterfeiting, I perverse your nature behind my shadow, I bury my nakedness with your cypress standing upright on the rock. I go. I find all the men in the dining room at supper, I see you see standing, threatening myself with somebodyís death. I leave my window that faces the sea alone. I sign for the gist that closes a passage between us, I return to myself in the body that divides the space, everything in the entrance remains uncertainty. I turn a paper into garbled announcement of gammon with your garlic taste, I number the bars in this window in your sleeping eyes. I name them, you are the only debonair chap with large sum of money debited from your account. Fairy people are afraid to go out night for a lovers' party in the inns. You decipher the streets with rainstorms and hold non-conformists in confinement for the growth of darkness debased by decomposition, we are conferred in the condominium during writing workshop to build concussion that has been the compunction, I wait in this night, I place my difficulties in concealment and this is my heart at the bar table, where I was arrested. Now that this electric lamp flickers and I imagine the faces at the counter waiting for their turn, I measure the time again. But when I wash a white cloth respectfully, I screw the convex lens on them. I remain silently with my head bending deeper into the dry valley in my heart. At the end of this long rope is a true silence? The fat immigrant boy has damaged his left eye at play. The grimy steel bridge over the misunderstanding of spelling his name is traffic gridlock.

   The whole house crosses it and the seeds of Uncle Tom's desire are

rather blossoming. Here some are daydreams, I think of my flight

in the green clouds, where your grandfather is still drinking his beer,

the whole room in a book is illuminated, I plough the future in the mud sky

with this poor boy's lost eye I have borrowed in this cell, still waiting to see myself.

by Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah (with permission July 2019).

Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah is the author of the new hybrid works, The Sun of a Solid Torus, Conductor 5, Genus for L Loci and Handlebody. His individual poems are widely published and recently appearing in Rigorous, Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh, The Meadow, Juked, North Dakota Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Sandy River Review, Strata Magazine, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, etc. He is algebraist and artist and lives in the southern part of Ghana, Spain, and Turtle Mountains, North Dakota.



© copyright 2008 - Last Updated: 09/19/2021