Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

Tammy and me are heading to Austin, Texas, this morning for the Austin International Poetry Festival. If you’re in the Austin area, I hope you’ll get out for some poeming fun. Speaking of poeming (and fun), here’s today’s prompt…

For today’s prompt, write a voyage poem. In my case, we’ll be driving along the Gulf of Mexico, but a voyage can happen in a variety of ways–even on foot, or psychologically. Heck, the process of writing a poem is a sort of voyage all its own. Happy poeming!

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Here’s my attempt at a voyage poem:

“settle”

i can’t escape the sound of train whistles
they hound me in apartments & hotels

discover me with my pants on the floor
kissing behind a double-bolted door

& airplanes often pass over me too
with sounds that build & fade into the blue

cars also follow wherever i’m at
criss-crossing my path like metal black cats

these machines move me even as they find
ways to unsettle my unsettled mind

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Today’s Guest Judge Is…

Neil Aitken

Neil Aitken

Neil Aitken

Neil is the author of The Lost Country of Sight, winner of 2007 Philip Levine Prize, and the editor of Boxcar Poetry Review. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and raised in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and western United States and Canada.

His poems have appeared in American Literary Review, The Collagist, Crab Orchard Review, Ninth Letter, The Normal School, and elsewhere. A former computer programmer, he is presently pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

Learn more here: www.neil-aitken.com.

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Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. Be awesome today. Learn more about him here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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984 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

  1. IndiFox

    The Last Voyage

    Much like the rain dripping on the window
    Her lonely eyes cry
    Waiting for her man
    Her soldier

    Fingers tap against the pane
    She’s restless
    Longing for any sign
    Of her soldier

    Fogs the window with her heavy breaths
    She’s been there for days
    Because there’s moving on
    From her soldier

    A knock at the door lifts her up
    But it’s two uniformed men, side by side
    And she breaks down
    Because her soldier has died

  2. Espen Stenersrod

    Day 23

    The Simple Road

    The journey goes straight
    beautiful view of a horizon filled with references
    every reference can be pinned to a life event
    never leave this road
    and safety will be by your side
    carry you high on a pedestal
    so you have perfect vision both backwards on forward

    You can play connect the dots with your future
    see how symmetrical you can get it
    as you draw a linear equation towards your past
    where you are perfectly placed in the interception
    of you own reality
    so simple
    just go straight

    Perfect view from your birth place
    to your death bed

  3. Julieann

    Voyage to Find Myself

    I embarked upon a voyage
    To find out who I am –

    I traveled to places widely known
    And those barely surviving

    I saw wonders of monstrous proportions
    And as miniscule as an atom

    I met prince and princesses, heads of state
    As well as poverty prone peasants living in the street

    My voyage took years to complete
    Around the world and back again, more than once

    Finally delivering me to my own front door
    With what I saw, with what I learned

    It would take volumes and volumes
    To record each moment, sight, and sound

    And all that I discovered about myself
    Is what Dorothy said to Auntie Em

    If I can’t find myself in my own back yard
    Then I really wasn’t lost to begin with

  4. bxpoetlover

    Voyage

    I have flown, ridden on a boat, and
    taken trains, buses, and cars.

    All I know is that I want my next
    trip to have all of the magic
    of my first ride down the hill behind my house
    on my Bigwheel.

    I had dragged it to the top
    sat down and pedaled
    as I careened to the bottom
    and jerked the handlebars
    so I would slide to the left.

    If I do the corny thing and spin my globe
    to choose my next destination
    I will go there as long as I can feel sun on my face
    wind in my hair, and have my smiles returned.

  5. ASperryConnors

    Opps! Posting late…Just returned from a journey where there was no internet!

    Cross the street
    Cruise the aisle
    Run the boardwalk
    Roam the Nile

    Jump from the nest
    Kick your own pants
    Hop aboard an Angel
    And watch the light dance

    Follow a snake’s path
    Sail the sky blue
    Expedite a letter
    To a heart so true.

    Dance a love song
    Sing of your soul
    Compose a requiem
    Of a giant black hole

    Direct a child
    To paint her fear
    Borrow a lifetime
    Of someone dear

    See with spectacles
    Not your own
    Carve out new ears
    Taste the unknown

    A destiny without a map
    A direction to explore
    Journeys begin…
    When we walk out the door.

  6. Freefredonia

    Where We Went

    was where we had been
    a nameless place
    or I had forgotten since

    where we were
    and where we had been
    are as one and the same as
    where we are
    now

    all future contained in time’s shape
    formless and floating
    a universe of possibility
    so utterly simple
    as simple to have not seen
    and all that was contained in time past

    kind of like the white lace trimming swimming in the breeze
    caught upon branches edge
    behind the stark yellow tape
    at the scene of a crime

  7. Tuere Allwood

    “The Muslim (in the aftermath of 9/11)”

    6 a.m.
    Meshack Ahmed.
    Black Egyptian.

    Driving down the freeway.
    6:07 when the siren kisses my ear,
    cerulean flares, and the horn voice,
    “Pull over to your right.”
    “License and registration,”
    the law demands.
    While he reviews it, I inquire,
    “May I ask what the problem is, sir?”
    He asks if I know how fast I was going.
    “No.”
    He doesn’t volunteer, but stares.
    Muscle eyes, grip jaw.
    I turn to smile and request my speed.
    Flame nostrils, menace sneer.
    Too fast is the curt reply.
    I sigh in my rear-view, pondering
    why Captain Commando is having such a godawful day.
    But I peep my image and it reminds me.

    The name is Meshack Ahmed.
    I’m a black Egyptian.
    It’s not his awful day; it’s mine.

  8. Snow Write

    She’s on her way
    not sure where she’s going
    knows she has to get away
    find a new place
    determined now
    to set out on the journey
    yet finding herself
    going back

  9. Anders Bylund

    Are We There Yet?
    ===============
    Fire. The wheel. The alphabet.
    Tribes. Empires. Democracies.
    Jungle drums. The telegraph. The iPhone.
    Swords. Guns. Lasers.
    Public education. Universal suffrage. Gay marriage.
    Wars. Wars. More wars.

    Are we there yet?

  10. Snowqueen

    Fourteen years of marriage and counting

    We opted for the all-inclusive voyage

    Lodging – his heart makes the perfect accommodations – soft, warm, sturdy and giving

    Drinks and meals – I pour my bottomless love to quench his thirst. I offer all-he-can-eat support and acceptance to feed his soul

    Entertainment and recreational activities – We negotiate on these; we try new things, both indoors and out. Our play time together suites our needs

    Gratuities – they are also included but we still tip…. A hidden secret note, a massage, completion of an unexpected chore, chicken soup when the other is sick

    Transportation – We drive each other crazy in good ways and bad. Our love gives us the wings we always wish we had

    That leaves us with the cost, it’s worth it but dear….we give our all, we giver our best everyday of every year

  11. bookworm0341

    “The Voyage”

    Stars so bright
    Nature calls
    Out all night
    Fireflies and tag
    Man-hunt to the extreme
    Capture the flag

    Yips and yahoos
    No, “how-do-you-dos”
    Sir and Ma’m is not spoken here
    Just made up words
    Some beyond absurd
    With shouts, laughs, and cheers

    Travel in the clear of night
    Above the crowded streets
    This voyage is the child’s delight
    Who knows whom one might meet
    A dash of pixie-dust from Tinkerbell
    Or a duel with the fierce Captain Hook

    Flying through the sky as a Lost Boy
    With the one and only Peter Pan
    Neverland is a place of sheer joy
    for those too scared to grow from a boy to a man
    Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning
    Take a voyage through the pages of a book

  12. withoutalarynx

    PERSPECTIVE

    the curious concurrence
    of distance and connection
    like the gentle throb of a
    phantom limb:

    you’re looking out
    of an aeroplane window, tracing
    rivers of light chiselled from the
    sprawling dark, and you begin
    to imagine

    the matrix below

    all those stories insulated by
    the wailing wall
    all that love
    insulated by the soul
    (which also wails)

  13. Lana Walker

    The Leaf

    Caught in a rush of wind
    it swirls and rises
    then gently spirals
    down toward the river

    Another gust nudges it
    over a rock
    then another rock
    and into the
    cool choppy water

    It swirls again
    this time with
    less grace but
    still in harmony
    with the flow

    Once more it spins
    joining with others
    just like it
    creating a colorful
    carpet rushing over
    jagged stones

    Hours later
    fifty miles farther
    it comes to rest
    torn and tattered
    but fully alive

  14. stepstep

    PreTend Land

    Let’s take a trip to PreTend Land
    Where all is fair and good,
    Smiles create the atmosphere
    And manners, as they should.

    PreTend Land can be cozy
    Some attend in rare form,
    Some even like to be nosy
    Some refrain from the norm.

    More alive one can be
    Music travels north, south, east and west,
    PreTend Land forces one to see
    What makes life the very best.

    LaSteph

  15. modscribery

    Day 2: Voyage poem

    “I Don’t Dog-ear Pages”

    I mark my place with ticket stubs.
    They peek out from between pages
    of the places I’ve been while on my way.
    The corners, all tattered and torn,
    match perfectly the ragged edges of my heart.
    We have an understanding, both torn in two –
    half staying and half going, travelling ever onward,
    trembling at once with anticipation and anguish.

    We know leaving behind means moving forward;
    and marking pages read prompts turning to the next.

  16. Pengame30

    “Come With Me”

    Look out, breathe deep, and let peace be still
    Peer through the slant of an Asian eye, as
    black belts swing back and forth on the racks in the African market
    Run hands through a dark sea of Indian hair
    An endless supply of beauty hanging in rows, assorted
    Pupils dilate as the Japanese animate, leading the artistic race
    Run along the track and feel Usain leave you panting for breath
    The crowd cheers, as the matador pierce’s the bulls eye
    Atlantic city screams with raging machines. “Jackpot,” one person screams
    as the others head home wishing they were in a dream
    Russians prep for war while college jocks wonder about the next score
    Tourists take photos of corner stores as homeless men scrape chewing gum off of pennies

    Written By: Sean Drew

  17. larrywlawrence

    TRAVEL WITH ME SON

    this summer to exotic ports of call like-
    Pittsburgh, Charlottesville, College Park.
    I’ll call Holiday Inn Express, research good
    places to eat, make it one to remember.

    Tell me where you want to go and we’ll
    make a few calls, take a bunch of tours,
    stroll across the shady green campuses,
    browse bookstores, buy a t-shirt or two.

    I want to get it right, I want you to choose
    where you will go, where you’ll begin the
    first day of the rest of your life and find a
    place for you to feel safe, strong and free.

    Make a list, I’ll fill up the tank, head out onto
    95 South, ride across 76 West, cruise down
    Highway 81, hoping you choose the place close
    to home, that school just 10 miles up the road.

  18. PenConnor

    The March wind comes
    and like white raindrops
    pear blossoms launch
    into its river, buoyed
    in the current, drifting
    into puddles at my feet.
    I harbor them in pockets
    these promissory notes
    that hint of summer
    and golden sweetness
    beneath my tongue.

  19. Mickie Lynn

    Voyage to a New Song

    The ship sails ever forward
    in the search for sacred lands.
    The waves swesh splash against the bow.
    The rhythm lulls to a lofty peace:
    swesh splash
    swesh splash
    This rhythm repeats throughout
    several cycles of the rotund moon.
    At last a lonely sight in the distance:
    sweet soil to save the stir-crazy soul.
    Steps on the shore
    tap out a rigid dun crunch of
    flinty granite against boot:
    dun crunch
    dun crunch
    which wander in weeds and willows where
    freedom wears sky and soul.
    Leave behind the life left to you
    from generations who have come before
    to carve a path that sings a new song:
    Loo low, loo low, looo…

  20. gmagrady

    In response to yesterday’s poem… BEGINNING OR ENDING?

    BEGINNING AGAIN

    “Wait up!”

    I stop
    in my tracks
    undecided, hesitant
    still
    but
    stopped.

    I hear the shadow
    a jumbled hark
    in sound
    a blurred image
    in sight
    at first

    worried about the
    walls
    fretting about the
    falls
    and yet
    compassion hears
    the calls

    “Please, wait!”

    I could walk on
    and no one would
    question my decision,

    but I don’t.
    I stop
    I wait
    I ponder

    “I’m on my way!”

    I could cover my ears
    and cover my eyes
    as if he’s not there
    down the road
    sprinting into focus,

    but I don’t
    I stop
    I turn toward him

    “I’m getting there!”

    I could put up a hand
    to tell him to halt
    to not come any closer,

    but I don’t.
    I stop.

    “Don’t leave!”

    And then
    I start moving
    slowly,
    scared—
    a bit more quickly,
    anxious—
    hurried now,
    hopeful—

    because I remember…
    I do.

    1. gmagrady

      ** Day 2’s poem continues the voyage of Day 1’s poem.

      BEGINNING OR END?

      Solo.
      Though I feel a shadow
      unaware of where I’m headed
      undecided, hesitant

      Robert taps my shoulder—
      “You’ve been standing here long enough;
      it’s time, my dear, to walk.”

      swaying like the tree limbs
      new mom at 3 a.m.
      a pendulum
      ticking,
      time ticking
      away,
      standing still
      I sway
      solo.

      Jack stumbles into me—
      “Burn, sweetheart, burn;
      you’re mad to travel, to be, to talk.”

      Silence behind
      lips quiver
      ache
      break
      branches crack
      with no words
      for numbness.

      Still mute
      Still solo
      Still.

      Bruce urges me on
      to a promised land
      if I just take his hand

      and I want to be led
      hunger to be fed
      life to rise from the dead

      “Are you coming?” I call out

      as I step out,
      not knowing the shadow’s whereabouts,
      either way,
      no longer…

  21. Cati Porter

    We Set Sail for the Margins

    And skirt around the edges, a pencil skirt
    not maxi, not A-line, hits at the knees.

    Not tweed, not a fabric at all, not that you noticed.
    I can barely walk, shoes skimming the ocean floor.

    The urchins ask what there is to eat, and I say,
    Eat what you like. For my part, I eat poetry,

    and them. There are no further questions.

  22. mbramucci

    Forecast

    Your tiny shoes tap the walk
    Bounding down the hill
    Electrify my heart, booming thunder

    Life bursts through your small body
    Casting great shadows
    Like premonitions, you will be a force

    Bouncing, shifting, shadow; you
    Own your gravity
    With every leap meeting ripe potential

    This figure casting shade
    Inky silhouette
    Proving her existence, the sun sees her

    I watch your shadow play
    She knows her master
    Giddy with excitement, she is grateful

    To watch your shadow play
    I see your beauty
    Humbled by your grace and by your promise

  23. Aberdeen Lane

    sandstone

    grains fly to the wind
    a rain of sand
    the rattlesnakes slick along
    without impingement
    diligent in their wandering

    catching on cactus spines
    hitching rides backs of roadrunners
    catching the momentum of passing tires
    hitching rides on the wings of cicadas
    then back to the sandy floor

    drifting on the tides of wind
    aimless
    until
    gently landing
    in the morning coffee of a park ranger
    in the lungs of a backseat driver
    on ocean waves
    on the deck of a cruise ship
    or mixed in excelsior

    swept up in endless adventures

  24. dextrousdigits

    Now taxes are done, I can travel to another realm

    In sleep
    I travel to lands
    created by mind-theater
    with fluid characters and scenes
    changing quickly
    for play,
    to unlock closed doors
    to arrange a problem puzzle into Monet painting.

    In books that leap from pages
    and then pull me into the story
    I come alive in someone else’s mind.

    In the redwoods
    gigantic trees hold my eyes
    earthly smells fill my nostrils
    and sounds of birds, squirrels, lizards, crunching leaves
    vibrate deep aliveness
    while encasing me in silent escape.

  25. PatsC

    Mind’s Eye

    Longing to break the chilly silence,
    Time traveling,
    Drifting,
    To boulevards of sand.

    My summer soul travels
    To memories free of snow.
    On a land that shifts,
    The creation of new shores.

    The sandpiper dances with the surf,
    The pelican plummets to the sea,
    Searching for the fullness
    Found on a summer day.

    The nativity of sand,
    The sparkle of wave,
    The gulf sings to me,
    A sirens song of pure delight.

  26. dsborden

    Voyage
    by D.S. Borden

    Click and slush
    and off we go

    these bone-draggled steps
    of tip and time

    and roundabout

    press your shoulder into mine
    your hip
    and dagger

    lip into your boots
    on the observation deck

    and there I find
    your hand in mine

  27. kimberleetm

    To Grandmother’s House

    I wind my way
    through stacks of outdated
    Walgreen’s ads, while you display
    your broken cross necklace
    and nail polish on the loveseat.
    I see my grandmother’s kitchen
    beset by boxes, bags and cans.
    The table overflows
    onto the counter onto the floor.
    Your mother would never allow
    such indulgence of weakness
    and poor form, yet you keep
    every should-be castoff
    as an altar to her once-existence.
    How can tribute ever be this ugly?
    You beam at the chain and cross
    you refuse to put back together.

  28. Penny Henderson

    Intrepid

    My ship sails on,
    I don’t know where.
    It launched at noon,
    by dusk was gone.
    I followed past
    the gurgling bend
    ‘til our small creek
    joined the river.
    Its walnut hull
    swirled the eddies,
    bounced off big rocks.
    Toothpick mast stood
    brave and upright.
    Red parchment sail
    caught bits of breeze
    propelling it
    toward the channel.
    Perhaps it found
    the boundless sea.
    I know it won’t
    come back to me.

  29. jasonlmartin

    A message on a car window

    Late winter in Owensville, Ohio is thick,
    dank, like no simile could ever fathom.

    When we were last here
    the apples had all fallen, rotted, swallowed up
    by the muddy ground under our shoes, the sound
    of rubber soles against mushy cores. We drank cider so tart
    the metaphors are too rampant to describe with a single one.

    You are 4. It’s hard to imagine
    one day I won’t toss you in the air,
    as you pretend to be Superman,
    or Luke Skywalker to my Obi-Wan
    in our starfighters out to find Vader.
    The apple cores are our ammunition,
    Tossing them up and they fall all around.

    I want to trace this memory in stone.

    Yet all I have is the car window, to trace your silhouette,
    The condensation holds in place a moment so I can see you, but then washes down
    Til you’re no longer you, my son, but the tears that I will shed when you are grown.

  30. Reynard

    Life is a journey
    Ha
    Haven’t we all heard that one
    Before
    In the beginning
    I was me
    Then I started a voyage
    To find myself
    When I look at it
    Like that
    It does seem a bit
    Ridiculous

  31. Reynard

    The distance seemed impossible
    When I started
    When I first put my head down
    Trudged forward
    Put one foot in front of the other
    Deciding to begin it
    Even if I didn’t think
    I could finish
    My eyes are cast downward
    I l listen to the beat of my heart
    Ignoring the jeers
    And the taunts
    From outside of myself
    I have been on this path
    For a while now
    I stop to check my progress
    Scared of what I will find
    I look at the steps behind
    I have come so far
    Bringing my head around to look ahead
    I see I am almost there
    What I thought I could not do
    I have almost done
    And I am nearly through

  32. Shrewd-Knavish

    The Journey

    the journey is a series of
    haircuts nail-biting chest-binding
    fainting in the backseats of cars
    and mall restrooms
    people calling you words
    that ring in your ears
    like shrill sounds languages you’ve never heard
    the sick realization that there is no place for you
    in the world you tried to live in
    hair growing hips showing softening of skin
    stretching over bones that won’t stop growing
    and people never stop fucking looking
    and you’re watching the pendulum swing
    as the seconds turn into
    minutes turn into
    days turn into
    fast forevers never slowing down
    not even trusting the name you were given
    not even knowing what to call yourself
    you don’t have the words or the means
    to describe yourself
    because it doesn’t work like that here
    memorizing every movement every angle
    so you don’t get caught
    so they don’t see you’re not one of them
    existing with the hope that the needles and the thread
    will make it better
    make it better
    making it fucking better
    maybe you shoulda been a tree, kid
    maybe your journey shoulda been the one
    of a single-celled organism
    or a clam
    maybe you shoulda been a seahorse
    carrying around a baby
    maybe you shoulda been the wind
    because nobody tells it where to go
    anything to escape your present being
    living a life where your soul
    matches your body
    maybe somebody else gets a manual
    but you sure as hell don’t
    you only get what they teach you
    you only get what they gave you
    you either hang yourself with a bowtie
    or you crush yourself with a corset
    ready set
    ready set
    ready set
    go

  33. Mark Danowsky

    In Spite of Preparation

    “I’m on a road shaped like a figure 8
    I’m going nowhere, but
    I’m guaranteed to be late.” -Modest Mouse

    A black mood turns any trial
    no matter how trivial
    tortuous
    tells you to trudge
    paths cleared long ago
    of kudzu
    even those razed
    rise from the ashes
    come under scrutiny
    as if to remind us
    our equipment is still limited
    to a dull machete
    so we will be kept up all hours
    spinning wheels
    whittling them down
    to blunt nubs

  34. Roger the Dodger

    NOTE TO MY FATHER

    If only I could forgive you,
    Failed Father,
    all those times you didn’t play with me,
    when you weren’t there to heal,
    to comfort,
    when you didn’t teach me
    how to ride a bicycle,
    or pick me up when I fell,
    O Father…

    Where are you now?
    Staggering from star to star?
    To the bars?

    If only I could forgive you,
    Failed Father.

    Where were you when I graduated?
    Why didn’t you shake my hand?
    Show me the way?
    Give advice?

    If only I could forgive you,
    Failed Father.

    But in the meantime
    I have grown,
    I have also failed,
    not as a father
    but in other ways,
    failed and tried, tried
    not to fail again.

    So maybe I can find
    A way to forgive you,
    Father,
    forgive and forget you.

    Written by Roger Bonner

  35. jean

    Roadtrip Quatern #1

    The monotony of driving
    Tries my patience with my husband
    May I please drive for a while, hon?
    Someday? Sure, I believe you, dear.

    I am just the navigator
    The monotony of driving
    Grows with the Garmon. It’s my job!
    Well, it was last century. Sigh.

    This is a second honeymoon.
    My hopes ran high at the start, but
    The monotony of driving
    Eats up the road, snacks on my soul.

    I can write poetry, crochet,
    Listen to an audio book.
    He would just sigh and bristle at
    The monotony of driving.

  36. Scott Jacobson

    THE OCEAN

    My ship of grief capsized on your reef of silence.
    A sad sea monster found me and took a bite
    out of my imagination so that he could chew
    it over and over for company. Then a merman
    tried to drown me with his sob story
    about being part of an extinct species of bachelor.
    We are all alone in this ocean of loneliness
    trying to reach love’s white sandy shores.
    Even the whales of depression beach themselves
    to feel the sun’s loving warmth on their belly
    one time before dying. And every time I feel
    like I should stop swimming I picture
    you and keep my tired legs kicking
    the waters of life as hard as I can.

    1. ASperryConnors

      I love ‘a ship of grief’ on a reef of silence
      and the image of a sea monster chewing
      on the contents of your imagination to be entertained.
      I also know the feeling of depression feeling like a whale
      wanting to beach itself for a moment of sun.
      very nice

  37. shellcook

    The voyage, long awaited, anticipated, planned, and calculated,
    The vehicle primed and ready to ride, the engine revving, the path so clear,
    With all these checks and processes filled, I dream of this journey with
    Unanticipated fear.
    My intent set, not just along for the ride, have i done this right, this one last time.
    For this journey is wild, untamed, and unknown, I pray I am ready to take this next trip.
    Time is up, time to get moving, twice great gran agreed.
    It’ll be a great ride from beginning to end.
    Scuffed up, worn out, new lessons to learn.
    I hope this works out, cause I’m all out of choices;
    Great God above what’s all that noise.
    Only a moment to decide, if I stay or I go,
    Oh, my. Hello pretty mommy.
    Let’s do this again!

  38. Pengame30

    Dear Johnny,

    You were never there,so I never even thought of you
    Mother often wondered where she would get milk to feed us
    You drank and left us with nothing.
    Appearing, disappearing, and then reappearing was unnecessary
    You could’ve stayed gone.
    It was better that way, and we developed less migraines
    Now I keep seeing you, but I don’t need you
    So I walk past in hopes that you don’t see me
    And you never do

    Written By: Sean Drew

  39. Pengame30

    Look out, breathe deep, and let peace be still
    Peer through the slant in an Asian eye as
    black belts swing back and forth on the racks in the African market
    Run hands through a dark sea of Indian hair
    An endless supply of beauty hanging in rows, assorted
    Pupils dilate as the Japanese animate, leading the artistic race
    Run along the track and feel Usain leave you panting for breath
    The crowd cheers, as the matador pierce’s the bulls eye
    Atlantic city screams with raging machines. “Jackpot,” one person screams
    as the others head home wishing they were in a dream
    Russians prep for war while college jocks wonder about the next score
    Tourists take photos of corner stores as homeless men scrape chewing gum off of pennies

    Written by: Sean Drew

  40. Holly Lynae

    “Flight”

    1 At night I stare
    with blank eyes
    limp limbs
    & dry tongue

    5 I am unaware of existence
    the earth is lifeless
    a colorless, sooty haze

    8 I am numb to touch,
    to hot irons & ice cubes
    I cannot feel the sensation
    of a truffle melting
    on my brittle tongue
    food loses savor
    initiative is lost

    15 & I live in a blend of curtained light
    sleeping without sleeping
    reaching up with curved fingers
    my face twisted & rigid with need
    desperate for flight
    craving escape

    21 The salt lick of the ocean waves
    taming every failure,
    the kisses of sunlight
    ridding imperfection,
    the rush of the wind
    and my twisting stomach
    the thrill of illusion
    while I’m dreaming of flight

    33 With open eyes
    when I come back to bed
    breath is short
    my heart is thrashing
    I feel with shaky hands

    38 I have no wings
    I have fallen into darkness
    I am lost again
    a rejected heart
    & neglected build
    weigh me down
    in hopelessness
    by effect of violence
    & artifice,
    I am helpless & confined

    48 I close my eyes to leave again
    silence my heart
    shake off the numbness
    loosen all stillness
    & take a step forward
    with heavy limbs.
    In the course of that peculiar malady,
    I found a place
    where I could not cave.

  41. ALifornia

    Trip to My Ship

    BANG !!! The race against millions has begun.
    SPLASH ! Surging forward to become the one.

    Shouldering onward or upward in perpetual motion.
    No time to think, it would be dooms implementation.

    Violent clashes pushing n pushing amongst brothers.
    Trying to feel the serenity of the touch of our mothers
    .
    Moving faster than a speeding bullet at initial launching.
    This time its for real, no helmets nor dams, no stopping.

    Surging forward perpetually with determined intensities.
    Thoughtless focus on the march of inches lasting eternities.

    Then low & behold after leaving the tunnel lies the target.
    Yes the Mothership is waiting! But only one may board it.

    I bolt faster divinely inspired by fates directed manipulation.
    Finishing & Beginning journeys upon conceived penetration.

  42. Pengame30

    Look out, breath deep, and let peace be still
    Peer through the slant in an Asian eye as
    black belts swing back and forth on the racks in the African market
    Run hands through a dark sea of Indian hair
    An endless supply of beauty hanging in rows, assorted
    Pupils dilate as the Japanese animate, leading the artistic race
    Run along the track and feel Usain leave you panting for breath
    The crowd cheers, as the matador pierce’s the bulls eye
    Atlantic city screams with raging machines. “Jackpot,” one person screams
    as the others head home wishing they were in a dream
    Russians prep for war while college jocks wonder about the next score
    Tourists take photos of corner stores as homeless men scrape chewing gum off of pennies

  43. elliewrites

    Voyage of the Mind

    When I was younger and so bold,
    It’s funny what I used to think
    About the world which seemed so cold.
    The earth cried out; my thoughts would shrink.

    It’s funny that I used to think
    I could change and mold all mankind.
    The earth cried out: my thoughts did shrink
    To minute sparks which made me blind.

    If I could change, mold all mankind,
    It wouldn’t be to my image
    Of minute sparks which make us blind.
    The world would be a kinder stage.

    It wouldn’t be to my image
    Nor the world would seem so cold.
    The world would be a kinder stage
    Now I am older and so bold.

    A Pantoum by Emme Zann
    This is my first foray into the world of Pantoum-it’s harder than it looks!

  44. Bucky Ignatius

    Progress

    From Saint Joseph,
    Missouri to Sacramento,
    California in ten days!

    Impossible, the skeptics
    said. But what the ponies
    did then was cake

    for pigeons, who flew
    a hundred miles in a day,
    over the Alps, with life-

    saving cures in nineteenth
    century Germany. Employed
    to pass word of tsunamis

    in India until 2002.
    Banned by the Taliban,
    finally retired, victim

    of the mouse that clicks
    tonight’s reminder
    of Gandhi’s message

    to the west: There’s more
    to life than simply
    increasing its speed.

    Bucky Ignatius

    this is my post for day three, I am once again locked out of being able to post my poem. I log in, but soon as I click on the PAD Day 3, I am automatically logged out again. This site is very difficult for a newbie!

  45. elliewrites

    Voyage of the Mind

    When I was younger and so bold,
    It’s funny what I used to think
    About the world which seemed so cold.
    The earth cried out; my thoughts would shrink.

    It’s funny that I used to think
    I could change and mold all mankind.
    The earth cried out: my thoughts did shrink
    To minute sparks which made me blind.

    If I could change, mold all mankind,
    It wouldn’t be to my image
    Of minute sparks which make us blind.
    The world would be a kinder stage.

    It wouldn’t be to my image
    Nor the world would seem so cold.
    The world would be a kinder stage
    Now I am old and bold.

    a Pantoum by Emme Zann
    first foray into the world of Pantoum-it’s harder than it looks!

  46. Mustang Sal

    When Taking An Inward Journey

    Don’t forget to pack storm coat and hat.
    You must pass through fluctuating
    temperatures, battering
    winds, and raging water
    before centering
    at last within
    hurricane’s
    peaceful
    eye.

  47. CJKulak

    Late post – fell asleep on the floor while I was waiting to give it one more revision and went right to bed!

    He places the map ceremoniously before me.
    I study it, realizing this is somehow tautological:
    it shows the route he used to get here,
    when the sole purpose of getting here is to give me this map.
    The entire quest was to give over the map
    that was created to document the quest.

    It’s not unlike a math test:
    Show your work,
    show me how you got to the answer.
    Assuming, arguendo that the answer is “here”

    And now it is my responsibility to question the quest,
    Why turn left there? Why cross the river instead of going through the forest?
    and flesh out the steps along the way,
    Did you encounter any orcs? What weapons did you use to fight them?
    and determine, with twenty-twenty hindsight, if your answers make you worthy
    of yet another quest.

  48. Linda Voit

    The Week Before Our First Kiss

    Probably, they were just stars,
    no more beautiful, no more full
    of hope and enormity, sending
    no stronger messages of light years
    than they ever did or ever will
    but it was that cool June night
    in your back yard when we decided
    to drink a little port wine
    and look at them together, when we lay
    on the blanket, our eyes skyward
    my right and your left arm
    close enough to feel the warmth
    of the other without touching
    without moving away,
    that I swear I heard them
    for the first time
    recognized their winks, knew
    they were shooting to say
    there really is magic –
    just believe.

    Linda Voit

  49. dianemdavis

    Bartering

    I have a dress
    pure silk, with pastel roses so real
    you can smell
    summer just looking at it.

    I used to float in that dress.
    Now it’s tucked and folded
    hidden in a hole in the floorboards
    waiting for spring.

    We’ll travel to the countryside
    to barter and beg.
    The only place left
    where a girl might still trade
    milk or tomatoes
    preserves or applesauce
    for a dream.

  50. ShannyCakes

    “COME ALONG OR STAY ALONE”

    Upside down, I lay my head,
    Daydreaming from the foot of the bed.

    Something calls me, loud and clear-
    Do you hear what I hear?

    I have an itch that I need to scratch;
    I have a virus that I hope you catch.

    One thing is certain, I have to go,
    I’ll tell you where, just as soon as I know.

    Don’t overthink it, I know you’re prone,
    Come along, or stay alone.

    -Shannon Joy Anderson

  51. Patmar

    sailors

    your lips sail this world
    discovered territories
    others yet unknown

    exploring is never easy
    they say
    [there be monsters]
    i was never afraid of storms
    already departed towards your world

    following the new path
    from the well-known north
    sailing south
    always south
    anchoring at every cove
    at every beach
    east to west
    lost off course
    follow the tide, the winds

    go with the flow
    dead calm or storm

  52. Mywordwall

    WHEN LOVE BECKONED

    Love called
    my heart said “follow”
    though I have to cross the seas
    and brave my fears
    that love is not
    what it is harped to be.
    “What if
    at voyage’s end
    only broken dreams wait”
    but
    “what if the End opens
    Happily Ever After’s gates?”
    The reward was too great
    for the call to be ignored
    broken hearts could mend
    but it would be as death
    to have questions
    unresolved.
    I uprooted my life
    sailed to the unknown
    on the wings of a prayer
    that love would make a home
    in that faraway land…

    that she now calls her own.

  53. emmaisan0wl

    I’m not scared of flying, I’m scared of arriving
    ~
    home
    was a pair of suffocating hands
    and my cold heart does not miss it.
    oh, if you love me
    let me be a nomad forever.
    let me live a libertine.
    miss me if you must,
    but please,
    do not make me
    come
    home.

  54. truckpoetry

    “Every Journey of One Thousand Miles”

    Every journey of one thousand miles
    begins with a single step
    or so they say in platitudes

    But I’d counter it’s the travel
    not the start nor end that
    matters across the latitudes

    Friendships are built
    riding along the two lanes
    passing through the land

    More so than drinking
    margaritas, feet and toes
    embedded in the sand

    http://poems.truckpoetry.net/2014/04/every-journey-of-one-thousand-miles.html

  55. dolsz35

    Farewell

    I’m leaving this place
    I know I’ve said it before
    I can’t find anyone
    To believe in my anymore

    I pack my bags
    While they’re all asleep
    I hate to leave
    But I know no one will
    Be missing me

    Thirty five thousand feet
    Above the sky
    Within the clouds
    I look down
    All my problems
    So distant now

    Goodbye friends,
    Lovers,
    And family.
    Adios oppression
    Sayonara negativity
    So long suicide

    I arrive at my destination
    No one is waiting for me
    I let go of expectation
    And promise to be happy

  56. sarahegreen

    SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS

    we made it seem like a party
    so our greyhound driver joined us for the march
    when it rained at the rally
    some of us bailed and ate nachos under a roof
    some of us went to a steakhouse and drank beer
    all of the speeches were so boring
    (we were 18)
    all of the music was so sad
    why are you here? a camera woman said
    I said, all struggles are connected
    my foot itched
    for the cause I tried to make my face
    look like a face stamped on a coin

  57. bbjzmn

    day 2
    ******

    Last night I decided to unzipped my body so I could walk around,

    but the air was so nice that once I got out there I ended up swimming instead.

    as I waded around my room, buzzing and humming, I touched every corner just to make sure they were there.

    satisfied that they were I floated from thought to thought and back through

    when my legs had gotten too tired I snuggled back into myself and fell fast asleep.

  58. theDolphin

    For some reason, the first thing that came to mind when thinking about a voyage was the ride home from church in the back seat of my parents’ car when I was a girl. This poem was the result.

    Richard drinks coffee
    after Sunday School
    even though he’s just eleven.
    I have hot chocolate
    even though I’m thirteen.
    He stands next to Daddy,
    talks to the men
    and to the ladies.
    I sit behind a pillar
    wanting to take my tights off,
    looking out window panes,
    first white, then yellow, then green.
    Sleepy April grass is showing,
    brownish-green, waking up
    now all the snow has gone,
    and if you step on it
    your foot slides
    and makes a mud
    streak.
    In the parking lot at last
    I step over cracks
    ‘cause though I’m mad at Mama
    I don’t want to break her back.
    I wonder why we always fight
    before church
    but not after.
    Maybe because it’s Spring
    And we’re pure now?
    Sun explodes off the windshields
    And the car smells like coffee
    And happiness.

  59. Ciel_

    Lost and Found

    Abandoned
    He followed the scent of his family
    for days, weeks, months
    but they were gone.

    Strangers took him and
    locked him in a cage
    that smelled of bleach
    and echoed with longing.

    Confused
    He wondered why he lost his family
    He learned to sit, stay, fetch
    He kept them safe
    from raccoons and vacuums
    He loved them
    more than bacon
    more than himself
    but they were gone.

    A little girl with pigtails
    came by and saw him
    She could see a loving friend
    in the broken dog.

    Joyful
    His new family smelled of
    grass, leather, and cotton candy
    He loved like he was never abandoned
    And he was home .

  60. Marjory MT

    NIGHT VOYAGE

    One night, with a moon day-bright,
    a moon-beam brought an invite
    to travel high above the waves
    to where a seagull’s small band plays
    the wind songs so soft and clever
    one wants to listen forever.

    C/R Marjory M Thompson

  61. anneemcwilliams

    THE DISTANCE

    You’re on one of those cheap vacations, car trip from Columbus
    to Schenectady, let’s say. You stow jugs of water, peanut butter
    and pork rinds in a backseat basket and wriggle into your seat belt.
    You have a laundry basket of clothes in the trunk. Your friend
    is driving. It is 3am when you start. You will arrive by nightfall.
    Soon traffic hums by and you begin counting the miles until
    your first coffee break. For awhile, you make small talk.
    The radio is buzzing with NPR. You’re going to visit
    your friend’s eighty-year-old uncle, who treats his guests like royalty.
    His body is crippled and his wife is healthy as a horse, mean as a snake
    and developing Alzheimer’s. Besides a change of scenery,
    the vacation is a working one. You want to Spring- ready the home and yard
    for this dear man. The wife is suspicious of your every move. She follows
    you around and fights with her husband. No one’s cleaned since your last visit.
    You work hard and set things up with adaptive devices and caring neighbors.
    The uncle is incredibly generous, taking you to musicals and museums.
    You eat food you’ve never tried. You kiss and hug when you leave.
    You have no way of knowing that the next time you see him
    he will be in a coma. In less than a month he will be dead. The wife
    will sell the house, give away its contents and move into extended care,
    all by herself. Such dazzling ambiguity takes courage; an attention to detail.
    You never hear from her again. You really don’t care.

  62. foodpoet

    in lazy swirl whirl
    dancing rays
    liquid paths
    between rock points
    a glide through water
    dreams sleep
    eyes closed to day
    we drink water
    eat fuelfood
    Breathe, but
    without dreams
    life would be saltless
    thought dieing
    existence
    body moves
    empty

    Megan McDonald

  63. Daniel Steyn

    A Winter’s Calling
    **********************

    A misery, a murmur, a notion of demise,
    in the cold cold breeze, in the grey grey skies,
    Suspended in rain clouds, a sad sad air;
    Lonely lonely rain clouds of grey grey despair.

    But I, for one, do not care,
    It’s not my fault – it’s God’s affair.
    He has spoken, done his dealings,
    Should bad weather concern my feelings?

    I am not cold, nor am I lonely,
    I find peace in these winter skies.
    I do not like people, and thus I come here,
    Where none but a hunting heron flies.

    And yet, I envy that hungry heron,
    As it roams freely, free from fear,
    Alone in a world to make it by itself,
    Alone and at peace – there is no one else here.

    You will be on your own, if you run off like that,
    There is no home for you to come back to.
    But who needs a home when you’ve got yourself,
    When you live a life with no one but you?

    Yet, I have oaths and promises to keep,
    One cannot simply run away.
    For although I do not like to say it,
    There are people I love, all the same.

    So good luck to the hungry old heron,
    I sure hope it finds its way.
    But I will not be joining it any time soon,
    I have love here to give and take, anyway.

    – Daniel Steyn

  64. lily black

    Hitching

    Packing light
    running fast
    Twenty five bucks
    deep in my pocket
    Food clothes water
    spiral The Little Prince
    and a purple pen
    Standing by the side of the rode
    Thumb’s up
    Take me Take me Take me Take me
    on down
    the road.

  65. ianchandler

    Shell

    Curls of willow smear in a place back there,
    branches reaching out to someone who will never come back.
    If the street had palms, it would extend a STOP
    to keep beauty still.
    Perhaps rain is the trees’ tears
    because they cannot stand the loss
    of a speeding shipwreck
    on the banks of a dying watch band.
    The sunset is the penultimate caper,
    drawing tourists to its eye,
    the oasis of road trips.
    The trees hate the sunset,
    but they hate the night even more,
    turning off the lights to hide the (beautifully) (shamefully) naked bodies
    like daylight would collapse at the sight of leaving
    and so it stays at arriving,
    ending the visible at a point when
    every wheel on earth
    seems to be hurrying toward the edge.

  66. Grey_Ay

    Arriving

    Clothes on top of everything
    luggage open wide
    pacing

    Wheels on glossy tiled floors
    an alphabet of signs
    waiting

    A porthole open wide enough
    sunset under sky
    flying

    Different smells of everything
    different lights shine
    arriving.

  67. CLShaffer

    Writing a Poem at 30, 000 Feet by C. Lynn Shaffer

    “. . . there have been some instances of people calling cellphones of passengers of the missing flight and hearing ring tones, sometimes days after the plane disappeared.”
    from “Questions Over Absence of Cellphone Calls From Missing Flight’s Passengers” by Keith Bradsher

    The earth has fallen away, and they are busy
    lighting up the minds of those still anchored
    to it. The grieving are unwilling poets
    forced to imagine the possibilities,
    plucking them from the infinite loop above.
    Accountants have gone partly Biblical,
    left hands now married to the guts
    of fish. Feet walk the ocean depths
    and phones glow along dead coral,
    bioluminescent rebirth already
    weakening. Let them leave their caves, return
    with It was the damndest thing stories, snapshots
    of where they’ve been. At least let voices
    rise from black boxes, unspooling rivulets
    like bodies of water below, rain beating
    a window, softly then thunderous and finally silent.

  68. Scribbling Sue

    Barrow’s Voyage

    Warm, worn slabs of the Pass Bridge,
    Bristle with ferns and fine moss;
    The brown Barrow flows below,
    Caressing stones, kissing rocks.

    Dark green weed like mermaid’s hair,
    Hide minnows from heron’s glance;
    Essex marched his men this way,
    Feather plumes on helmets danced.

    Their blood spilled and seeped away,
    On her voyage to the sea;
    Joining sisters Suir and Nore
    For silent sleep at Dunmore quay.

    Tamed at times to join canals,
    She helped bring hops to town;
    The barges, hauled by horses,
    Heaved Guinness barrels down.

    Calm in drought but fast in flood,
    Her summer smiles and winter tears
    (Mindful on her ceaseless run)
    Witness history down the years.

    ————————————————————–
    (Footnotes: The Barrow is a river in Ireland.
    The Pass Bridge is in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare.
    The Earl of Essex is said to have brought his army over the bridge on their way to battle at the ‘Pass of the Plumes’ (named because of feathers on the helmets worn by soldiers).
    The Barrow, the Suir and the Nore are known as the ‘Three Sisters’ – rivers that join and flow into the sea at Dunmore East, Co. Waterford.
    Parts of the Barrow were canalised and horse drawn barges brought goods to and from Dublin via the Grand Canal. The canals quickly lost appeal when the railroads arrived and waterways in Ireland are now used only for recreational purposes.

  69. TheFlawlessWord

    Canada Geese

    Chevron floating
    Across April sky
    Canada geese glide

    Return delayed
    By bitter blast they squawk
    Their displeasure

    Too long south
    V after V they soar
    United front

  70. stargypsy

    Life
    Life…
    We don’t sign
    onto this journey
    willingly
    Life is a
    voyage given
    us without a
    Choice

    Life…
    We make the best
    of what is given
    Chances…
    Decisions…
    Learning…
    Loving…

    Life…
    A precious gift
    that takes us
    to parts unknown…
    to adventures…
    to people…

    This voyage we
    continue
    Life…
    allows us to do
    as we will
    And…
    learn from it…
    enjoy it…
    share it…
    love it…

    Copyright © 2014 Annie – Original Poetry
    Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
    As Ever, Annie

  71. jsmadge

    Where to Now, Jackson?

    :”Voyage” persists as a trip for pirates –
    Ones wearing velvet doublets, of course –
    Salt spray, avast ye, sunset sail,
    All of that; what?
    Such a dimpled word, “voyage,” too coy –
    Grand, handsome, and dreamy –
    For car rides to find paper towels, cat litter,
    the next doctor who might tell you “no.”

    Jo Steigerwald

  72. Yolee

    Poems

    They depend as much on the writer
    as they do the reader to grant
    them latitude as they travel
    thru probable fog or clear
    perspectives. It is their hope
    to reach the library of the heart.

  73. Rosie Red

    I love the kid I just can’t love the kid
    this journey we’ve endured seems never ending
    every time the end nears it’s back to the beginning
    I’m annoyed, I’m interested, I’m impressed by the stability
    I’m hurt, I’m empowered, I adore the consistency
    from friends to something shy of lovers
    from acquaintances to something without a title or a label
    from nothing to being
    the journey seems more like a cycle
    but I don’t mind
    sometimes
    this voyage of love and respect for each other as people must always lead to understanding
    understand that I am woman and you are man
    understand that i move with mind and you move by foot and hand
    if being in love isn’t our destination let love be
    I love our friendship, you & me
    on the treasure trek of life.. we seek success
    I appreciate being able to ride the roller coaster with my best…
    friend
    I love the kid I just can’t love the kid

  74. Kit Cooley

    Riding the ATV to the Mailbox in Early Spring

    Chains on the tires clack
    and swish through ice and slush
    and sometimes patches of thick
    mud that threatens to suck us in.
    All four wheels spin, and on we go,
    past the meadow, then take the turn
    where Flume Creek churns,
    furious and full, beside and beneath
    the road, ice cold still in April.

    One mile, two, then three
    to the county road where
    we stop and turn the key
    in one door in the row
    of battered silver mailboxes.
    We carefully tuck in envelopes,
    secure packages, and stow
    advertising flotsam behind us,
    circle the wheeler and head
    home, with the wind in our faces.

    ~Kit Cooley

  75. skanet

    Where is the light at the end of the tunnel
    Where is the day at the end of the night
    Where is forest beneath the canopy of shadows and fright

    I was alone in the sinkhole
    Falling an hour a day
    Trying to keep hold of anything that could hold my weight

    There were others, but they balked
    And the voices merely talked
    A hand was never let into my care
    Through the empty vaguest days
    Where I kept myself awake
    By talking to the voices that weren’t there

    One day is like the week itself and weeks pass by like days
    When one is lost there is no help
    There is no saving grace

    And so it goes, day in, day out
    With no reprieve in sight
    If I want to scream and shout, I must first kill the light

    So I sit
    And wait
    And take the pain
    I wait and pause
    And let it rain
    And so it goes
    Day in
    Day out

  76. Jezzie

    Going to the Local Shop

    I went on a journey last week,
    down the road to the shop and back.
    It wasn’t easy, I must say,
    following my usual track.

    First I met with some traffic lights
    put there because of the road works,
    then I was diverted for miles
    from just before where the road forks.

    I just wanted a pint of milk
    and a bottle of fizzy pop.
    Three miles out of my way I went
    to get to my usual shop.

    I thought that had been bad enough
    to make me want to scream and curse.
    But what was about to happen
    on the way home was far, far worse.

    I thought that I would take a short cut
    and went home a different way
    but then when I rounded a bend
    I ran into a load of hay.

    It had fallen from a lorry
    which had taken the bend too fast.
    I just managed to avoid it
    but I knew I couldn’t get past.

    So I had to turn my car round,
    and drive back the way I had come.
    Next time I need a pint of milk
    I think I’ll borrow some from Mum!

  77. SugarMagnolia

    Voyage

    How will I get there? I wondered, wherever “there” might be…

    Hop on my bicycle and navigate the dangerous roads
    Slipping between thick traffic as the gas fumes fill my nose

    Get behind the wheel of my car and zip along happily
    The music blaring as I sing loudly and dance in my seat

    Take a ride on train listening to the steady thump…thump of the railroad tracks
    As I put my feet up and close my eyes an drift off until I arrive at my stop

    Maybe a cramped spot on the bus, that sometimes feels claustrophobic
    Watching the other passengers reading, talking, doing their crossword puzzles

    I take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other hesitantly at first
    I look up, smile and begin walking with determination and excitement

    For no matter how I get there, I know my journey will be filled with love

  78. Winter-Rose

    I imagined myself leaving the car and hovering over it, ascending upwards, crossing the clouds and looking down on the sky. Soon the whole earth stood in front of me. Then through our solar system, all the way out to Pluto where the sun no longer burned my skin. Still further away past celestial bodies and stars I do not know the name of. Our own sun long lost among other tiny dots in the darkness around me.
    Then my fathers words forced my mind back into the car. I looked around puzzled, I had only been gone for seven seconds.

  79. Roger the Dodger

    Onwards

    Incessant, seething flow,
    skimming down the stream
    like a leaf adrift,
    roilling over rocks, trunk of tree,
    houses backwards blurring,
    I hurl along
    bucking bubbles of sun,
    till the sea engulfs me
    in horizons arcing over
    ever widening worlds.

  80. JamesW

    Travailing
    A little girl follows me singing a lilting haiku
    As cherry blossoms flutter like butterflies across my face
    In the ephemeral daze of beauty and smell,
    Oh that I could wait, but I am busy!
    I must leave this picnic,
    I’m travelling!

    A thousand horns pierce the dusty cloud that hangs low
    Blown by the rhythmic hooves of the bucolic herd
    Bells tolling, calves calling, feet falling
    Lone whistles pierce the cooling evening air
    The herdsmen lower their guard and wave
    Adieu, I’m travelling!

    A man hangs on to a ring of worth all he has
    Hands a-trembling, heart a-galloping,
    Holds the rails of the bridge of good fortune,
    Taps his pocket, nervously waits
    She bursts into view, framed by the city of love
    As he goes on one knee, I must be travelling!

    My minders gently lift me from the hammock
    Lay my leaden feet on the footplate
    Strap my trembling arms on the armrest
    One runs a hand through my hair
    And they ask of the smile on my face
    I say- I’ve been travelling!

  81. ina

    Carbon – Ina Roy-Faderman

    A hole in the forest
    so black that even crows fly
    past it, as if it still burns,
    like the space you once occupied, now
    a scattering of pitch pine cones,
    needles that crumble in
    the faintest breeze, ashes to
    be scattered before the dew
    can squander them in the earth.

  82. JamesW

    Travailing

    A little girl follows me singing a lilting haiku
    As cherry blossoms flutter like butterflies across my face
    In the ephemeral daze of beauty and smell,
    Oh that I could wait, but I am busy!
    I must leave this picnic,
    I’m travelling!

    A thousand horns pierce the dusty cloud that hangs low
    Blown by the rhythmic hooves of the bucolic herd
    Bells tolling, calves calling, feet falling
    Lone whistles pierce the cooling evening air
    The herdsmen lower their guard and wave
    Adieu, I’m travelling!

    A man hangs on to a ring worth all he has
    Hands a-trembling, heart a-galloping,
    Holds the rails of the bridge of good fortune,
    Taps his pocket, nervously waits
    She bursts into view, framed by the city of love
    As he goes on one knee, I must be travelling!

    My minders gently lift me from the hammock
    Lay my leaden feet on the footplate
    Strap my trembling arms on the armrest
    One runs a hand through my hair
    And they ask of the smile on my face
    I say- I’ve been travelling!

  83. FaerieTalePoet

    What Lesbians Bring on a Second Date

    Relationship still new
    she found herself
    homeless, kicked out
    by her mother
    unenrolled from school
    due to a lack of
    her father’s signature
    on loan papers
    no dorm room to move into.

    So we found ourselves
    loading her possessions,
    left over from a previous life
    that involved a husban
    and a bank job in FL,
    into the back of a rented SUV.

    Just us and
    my ex-girlfriend’s cat,
    who yowled the entire trip,
    on our way from sunny CA
    to rainy OR, where you just
    can’t quite get warm enough
    in the wintertime, especially
    if you have arthritis
    in your hands.

    Dana A. Campbell

  84. Benjamin Thomas

    COOKING 101

    Always
    give
    time.
    For due process.

    First.
    Obtain the necessary
    ingredients
    essential for delight.
    Take time to stir the plot,
    slick with muse
    right
    within.

    Listen…
    And
    Hear
    the waters
    churning against
    the walls of your heart.
    Swirling within
    it’s inner chambers.
    Knocking
    at the brim.

    Set it on low
    heat.
    And give time,
    for due process.

    Sit and let it stew.
    Until all
    have
    unfettered access
    to what has been
    processed—
    through you.

  85. lionmother

    California Here We Come

    The Mommas and the Pappas planted
    in my snow-numbed soul the joy of
    California dreaming and I seeker of
    rainbows in my naive youth gathered
    our few things and we traveled in a
    1967 Fiat on unexplored roads
    the scent of orange blossoms in my head
    leading us onward through Arizona’s
    pine scented forests into the great desert
    whose sun soaked afternoons lulled us
    and there was the promised land
    freeways and shingled homes
    lives lived in transition
    rented furnished apartment with
    a pool shrouded in smog most of the time
    and a population changing day to day
    and realizing the dream was not the reality
    we traveled back to the snow and cold
    back to where your neighbor lasted more
    than a month and we left California to dream alone.

  86. brandonspeck

    As a splinter
    I eventually landed underneath
    New York City’s fingernails.
    The city swelled up around me
    and tried to push me out.
    all its dirty rain and bankruptcy,
    its wage slavery and boxed living
    awaited me at the end of the bridge.

    This place never sleeps
    because it’s burning anxious insomnia.
    Its foggy glimmering light prettier than
    its actual cement embrace.
    At the end of the road,
    this is the place.

  87. seingraham

    NO GETTING BACK THERE

    They say it’s the journey that’s important,
    not the destination
    And I believe it, try to remember the adage
    Live my life enjoying the trip as often
    as possible
    But of late I’ve been half-wishing I could
    travel backwards in time
    To do a few things differently

    Ferlinghetti once said, “Temper your most
    intemperate voice with compassion.”
    I remember thinking it excellent advice
    But also recalling how I’d never need take it
    Being one of the most compassionate folk
    I know; this is not an exaggeration, just fact

    When one has spent a lifetime making
    colossal mistakes,
    then being forgiven for same
    It isn’t too hard to develop
    into the kind of person
    who forgives easily, I suppose
    And that’ s me … a sinner by dint
    of circumstances
    sometimes out of my control
    I do have an inordinate amount
    of tolerance for others’ foibles,
    and am quick to forgive transgressions

    Except, it turns out, in one case…

    Ferlinghetti also said,
    “Make new wine out of the grapes of wrath.”
    And it wasn’t until I re-read this quote recently
    that I realized how angry I’ve been
    And at who, and the whys and wherefores
    I started thinking about this whole business…
    More than just thinking about it;
    it has started to consume me
    Day and night – in my dreams,
    I revisit it over and over

    Not unlike many women, I suspect,
    many daughters—
    I had issues with my mother
    As it happens, they grew bigger,
    and I grew more resentful, and angrier
    As we both grew older, however,
    as she became frailer, I felt
    there was no way to ever resolve
    our differences without doing
    irreparable harm

    I think I always had a hope,
    buried deep inside, that we might
    talk things out someday
    Naturally, someday never came,
    She died, leaving me here with all
    the issues unresolved
    And feeling angrier than ever.

    But lately, I wake in the night
    and she’s here in the room
    with me, ready to talk
    I keep my eyes closed knowing
    if I open them she’ll be gone
    And I wait for her to speak; she never does
    Just like when she was alive, she never does.

  88. LeighSpencer

    Ready to Go

    Technology
    has expanded the world
    to the point where
    no one lives and dies
    in their hometown anymore

    It’s good, I think

    Usually

    But I remember being a kid
    when Sunday dinners
    didn’t exist, except
    at my grandparent’s house

    Spring meant
    veal burgers on the grill
    and no less than five salads
    my grandmother made by hand

    Summer was pizza
    on the living room floor
    badminton and backgammon
    on blankets in the big back yard

    Winter was a bucket of ribs
    from Chicken Delight around the corner
    unspoken eating contests
    Norman and Greg would have
    leaving mammoth graveyards behind
    on greasy paper plates
    (Skinny Norman NEVER won)

    No need for hasty update phone calls
    or email yet uninvented

    We’ll just see you on Sunday!

    Until I boarded the plane
    for college
    across the country
    because people can do that now

    I was ready to go!

    And then
    I never came back

    Except to cram two years’ worth of Sunday dinners
    into 5 days at Thanksgiving

    My kids have no idea
    what every Sunday dinner feels like
    beyond us four

    When there is so much badminton
    laughter and dizziness
    you fall asleep in the grass
    counting grey puffs
    on the endlessly high pussy willow
    Wake up to mason jars of lightning bugs
    while grandpa flips the burgers

    This year
    the offer came
    for my twelve year old son

    His grandparents invited him
    to spend two whole weeks with them
    sleepaway camp equivalent
    of the magic I had every Sunday

    He’ll board the plane
    (if I let go of his hand)
    and walk himself through
    his own future nostalgias

    But he WILL come back
    at least this time

    It doesn’t matter now
    beautiful memories you leave behind
    because you can VISIT them!

    Technology
    providing my first taste
    of what’s to come
    when he’s really
    ready to go

  89. BezBawni

    POEMING

    I open
    my mind into the depth of whiteness,
    I linger
    at every point and every line,
    wary to cross.
    My fingers
    hover over the letter why,
    hope and
    imbue all the tumbled dashes with nothing
    short of luminous.

  90. briehuling

    Voyage into Spring (11:15 west coast time!)

    April 2, 2014

    pretty little mouth
    your lips
    their delicate fleshy weave, wet weapons.

    all the poems have turned erotic—
    bodies blending
    there’s no stopping it anymore because
    I have absolutely no idea where it all started.

    the audible breath
    broken stalks
    these vaulted pockets of shadow,
    where it’s become too hot to sleep,
    too hot to not sleep.

    sultry, smoky
    my petals, the corruption,
    staleness in absolutely everything
    the stamen center of it all.

    I am the dead honeycomb beside my bed
    upside down now, and plucked–
    this is where I’ll strike a contract
    with myself alas,
    amongst the endangered
    the particulars of it all spelled out
    in blood or in pollen, maybe in letters or in love.

    I am putting a dandelion to my lips as if
    it never happened,
    as if it has always been spring
    and everything was swaying, just exactly,
    exactly like this.

    by Brie Huling

  91. donnellyk

    WHERE AM I GOING AND WHY

    I did not pack a bag
    The journey was not long
    The tank was full
    I had my Ray Bans on

    The journey was not long
    I was meeting her for lunch
    I had my Ray Bans on
    I wasn’t even hungry

    I was meeting her for lunch
    I wasn’t even hungry
    It just seemed obligatory
    To keep the friendship alive

    I wasn’t even hungry
    To keep the friendship alive
    I don’t know why I bothered
    It was just something to do

    To keep the friendship alive
    It was just something to do
    I was longing for a journey
    I thought I should go somewhere

    It was just something to do
    I was longing for a journey
    I needed an adventure
    To get out of my own head

    I was longing for a journey
    To get out of my own head
    Dreamy listening to Chopin
    I turned the radio up

    To get out of my own head
    I turned the radio up
    Ignoring chained link fences
    I saw beauty everywhere

    I turned the radio up
    I saw beauty everywhere
    I forgot how music soothed me
    How I loved my own company

    I saw beauty everywhere
    How I loved my own company
    I’ll go ahead and meet for lunch
    But next time I’ll go nowhere and play music

    ~Kimberleigh Donnelly

  92. youarehome

    remember when you traveled when you were young, spent three months wondering
    how the world got so big during the time you spent
    on an airplane, did you ever think you were too small
    for this, for all of it, did you ever not know what “this” is? did you ever miss
    home? did you ever see paris at night, cobblestone streets

    like baby wrists, bathtub light pouring over them, close your eyes
    now, you’ll get soap in them. maybe this time you won’t see sidewalk cracks
    like veins. maybe this time you won’t think of how tangled
    they are, and how broken. i’m sorry your chest is not an open
    suitcase. it would have made packing a lot easier, wouldn’t it? you would have known

    that anything you forgot could be replaced, you could unzip,
    stuff in a few t-shirts, keychains, cute boys from australia, nice girls
    who look at you like they want to help, you could let them
    help. you could smile with teeth. you could smile without pockets full
    of dirty underwear and ripped out pages. then you could pick yourself up

    by the handle, board another train, choose a seat facing forward.

  93. Chris7BA

    Maiandros

    We often put down roots
    For some, it is provisional
    And for others, it is everlasting
    Some have the freedom and go
    wherever the wind casts them.
    Others must remain inexorably rooted
    But both lead journeys
    Meandering epics that conduct us to both triumphs and tragedies
    And often times take us to places we never imagined
    Most believe a journey is the space between two destinations
    But the secret is that the journey is the destination.
    Whether we like it or not
    we are guided to quest, and discover
    and journey
    Whether it is in a different neighborhood
    or a different country
    And just as we put down roots
    we also journey

  94. Sarlet72

    Going home to MS to eat crawfish with the family.
    Good or bad; crazy or sane, which none of us are
    When it comes to a crawfish boil, you put it all aside and enjoy the hell out of it

    You have your cooker, cold beer, newspaper covered tables, plastic trays, paper towels and the live crawdaddys
    Oh, let’s not forget the fixins
    Cajun spices (fire), crab boil, sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes, & onions
    And more beer, love and lots southern gossip

    You get the cooker boiling with the seasoning and all the fixins, last add those crawdaddys

    When their ready damn, you can see everybody salivating at the mouth

    So get ready cuz your about to learn how to eat crawfish and then I bet your ass will want to go MS

    You take the crawfish with both hands, tearing the head off first, then suck the juice from the head (best part).
    After sucking head, discard it, then peel one crease from the tail, pull and there’s your meat. All of that in about 20 seconds! Then off to the next…
    It’s my favorite thing to do in the spring & summer

  95. Margie Fuston

    Midnight Voyage

    When you twist over in the bed
    at 12:03 AM
    and tell me we’re done,
    I make the drive
    from your place back
    to mine, one last time.

    The edges of the headlights,
    streetlights,
    stoplights,
    all seem to leak
    into the night, trying to escape
    their source.

    I blink.
    I think I need new contacts.

  96. Khara House

    Relic round

    When my momma ran
    she ran so slow it broke
    your heart. To watch her

    body jostle so,
    beating its own cadence
    into your bones,

    the heave and crush of her
    breasts first flying
    then crashing like typhoon landfalls—

    the way she breathed
    through every hole like ether
    through the pines.

    Through the pines,
    through every hole like ether—
    the way she breathed

    then crashed like typhoon landfalls,
    breasts flying—
    the first heave and crush of her

    into your bones,
    beating her own cadence,
    body jostling so.

    To watch her broke your heart.
    She ran—so slow—
    my momma ran.

  97. beachanny

    TUBETOWN

    Stainless strips and steps in Londontown;
    where I hear those deep beat busking sounds.
    Come with oyster early, cash in hand;

    Ride the Central line beneath the Strand.
    Sliding doors I change at London Bridge
    Merging there with slackers nouveau riche.

    At Canary Wharf my friends await.
    Leaving late to lurch through Bishopsgate
    Past St. Paul’s two hops a skip away.
    ‘cross the Thames where I could stay,

    Dance entranced the new Globe’s wooden stage;
    While near Bow bells oldtime minstrels play.
    Cockney garb adorned with pearls that spell
    Bloomin’ love that’s built on Roman ruins.

    Some might long to leave for rural lands;
    But I yearn to live my life in that grand
    Old town a rumblin’ on the Underground.

    (c) Gay Cannon 2014 * All Rights Reserved

  98. Benjamin Thomas

    Journey of the Heart

    My heart is out
    on a limb dangling
    sweet as fruit
    rambling
    with fruit bearing seed

    My heart is out
    worn on the sleeve
    stitched in symbol
    styled in military grade

    My heart is out
    in limbo
    splayed on the page
    splattered through words
    and line by line arrayed

  99. LaraEckener

    He’d been reared in a nest of whispers
    so, the museum’s dark corners felt like stasis.
    Hundreds of voices drew millions of lines
    as they spun off black walls,
    cracked against gilt frames,
    vibrated through plexyglass boxes,
    and were absorbed into canvases
    still moist after seventy years.

    He was like the canvases in that way,
    had more in common with the thick color
    that clung to them than he did with
    the image of himself suspended
    in its clear pane. Cocky once, sure.
    Reckless, with bloodied knuckles,
    pummelled patience. He doesn’t remember
    being that. Doesn’t remember being art.

    They’d said a rifle could teach a man
    who he truly was. They left off how,
    when it came down to it, the value of being
    was what they’d make him into, and not
    at all about the man that had been possible
    if given a world that didn’t measure time
    by the half life of the oxidized metal
    clinging to his bones.

  100. Catherine Lee

    Leaving the Nest

    We made this cradle from
    the dirt we carried in our mouths.
    My lips still bear the mark
    of straight things made flexible
    by warm breaths and dreams
    fresh with the steam of creation.

    It is cool now.
    The bendable browns turned
    gray and shapeless like brittle bones.
    We will die unless we jump.

  101. Mariejoy

    “Views from the Bangkok Skytrain”

    Silom Road is claustrophobic now.
    Buildings loom on either side, close enough to bite.
    Their windows reflect, or curtain themselves against the sun.
    No one sees human lives beyond at computer desks and boardroom tables.
    One, perhaps, who works by that window of blue glass,
    frowns at the rumble of your passing train and pays too much rent for accessibility.
    Big signs of English-language schools and Irish pubs leer
    and you could almost reach out and knock a letter askew.
    The sky appears at last as you leave the road behind.
    You’ve forgotten how clouds absorb the colors
    of lips and flowers like a lazy painter.
    Down at Lumpini Park, trees cluster and lagoons wink.
    The lagoons, you think, tease you for seeking freedom and clarity up here.
    But Man builds ever higher.
    You remember a time when sparrows chirped and
    weighed down power lines and made tourists laugh with their droppings.
    But what can withstand felling of trees,
    erection of buildings and bridges,
    approach of a train bullying wind before it?

  102. clcediting

    LAST VOYAGE

    The time came for departure
    and one by one
    goodbyes were said.
    There were smiles and well wishes,
    but also tears.

    The sky was the kind of blue-gray
    you only ever saw in watercolor paintings.
    The streaky, uncertain color
    blended almost out of existence;
    signifying the dampness of the air
    too light to be rain
    too heavy to be mist.
    Atmosphere muddled with emotion.

    Finally the voyagers must away to their ship.
    They can tarry no longer.
    They must catch the tide, the wind,
    the sea.
    The lines are cast
    and sails unfurled.
    The waves beckon them west.
    To new places and adventures;
    to wonders unseen.
    To quiet morns and moonlit nights
    And hours of joy between.

  103. lquaid

    Final Maiden Voyage

    This is the maiden voyage,
    And yet the only one,
    So many miles traveled,
    Yet only just begun,

    Although the sea, at times, is rocky,
    Somehow I barrel through,
    And when the fog seems thickest,
    I change my point of view,

    At times it’s like a roller coaster,
    With many ups and downs,
    Other times are like a Midwest drive,
    Just cornfields and tiny towns,

    There are moments like a haunted house,
    Cast in the darkest shade of black,
    When fear grips me like a monster,
    Sending shivers up my back,

    But then there are those moments,
    Like a lovely, blooming field,
    When I feel calm, loved, peaceful,
    Those moments are my shield.

    Not one day is like the next,
    Yet moments blur to years,
    This confusing paradox,
    A dream-catcher holding fears,

    A delicate web continuously constructed,
    Binding every breath,
    Made from simple, fragile silk,
    Yet linking birth to death,

    Appreciate this maiden voyage,
    Which somehow morphs into the last,
    As the future begins with the first breath,
    But quickly turns into the past.

  104. P.A. Beyer

    Royal Caribbean

    Michael refuses to spend another minute on the cruise ship.
    He finds watching the waves neither calming nor charming.
    He’s had enough of buffet lines and disco balls and shuffleboard.
    And most of all, he can’t stand Bernice anymore.
    With her faux Texas tan and the way she says at every port “Bon Voyage, y’all.”
    No, he dreams of a chair with rollers and staple removers.
    He longs for phones with buttons and cords and can just envision, like an oasis,
    a vending machine dispensing black coffee in a Styrofoam cup.
    “I miss the good ol’days” he whispers in the salted air.

    The 12:00 on the VCR doesn’t flash anymore.

  105. Dennis W

    A Dream Portrait

    He wears no hat and never will
    and hangs none to call a place home
    where he belongs and is his own.
    He spends no time in other’s will
    he uses the wind as his hair comb.

    Years ago, he found garden still
    that was marked your “very own”
    that strangely was never home,
    a dream he had and always will
    to this day a dream still unborn.

    Dennis Wright, April 2, 2014.

  106. Shell

    Interim

    For the love of the sea says I,

    rolling waves testing time.

    Drift afar to who knows where,

    dare we not capture a stare.

    Queer we be in the land of not,

    feted to start later forgot.

    Long the voyage aged laid rest,

    treasure abets at end no less.

  107. tbell

    Ghosts at Play

    The decisive moments in life
    are not usually dramatic
    or even wholly conscious

    quiet fleeting happenstance

    a wrong turn
    chance meeting
    question slipped between lips without consent

    ghosts having their way

    standing in that place
    where before they took a certain path
    choosing on a whim

    a different direction

    than the one
    that made you
    who you are

    curiosity flipping a coin

    seeing what it might be like
    to live a part of life
    once left behind.

    Copyright © TD Bell
    All Rights Reserved

  108. azkbc

    The Maiden Voyage of the Tugboat Twiddle Dee Dee

    The ocean waves rolled on the maiden voyage
    of the Tugboat Twiddle Dee Dee
    and the captain splashed and laughed
    and shouted and called to his crew of three.
    “Here duckie, and fwroggie, and ‘raffe ‘’raffe, ‘raffe.”
    They bobbled at the side of the sea
    as the captain splashed and played
    with the soap watched over by his crew of three.

    With a mighty roar and swooping splash
    the Tugboat Twiddle Dee Dee was tossed
    and turned on the murky sea (followed by its crew of three).
    The sea water rose in a swirl and a churl
    and a twirly swell of the sea.

    With a mighty surge the captain was torn
    from the depths of the darkening sea
    leaving Tugboat Twiddle Dee Dee
    (and its crew of three).

    Soon the water calmed down and
    Tugboat Twiddle Dee Dee bobbed
    from side to side in the sea.
    The water swirled and gurgled and soon
    Tugboat Twiddle Dee Dee and its crew of three
    lay abandoned on the white ocean floor.

  109. jakkels

    I threw open the cover undecidedly;
    A platoon of poetic phrases ambushed my mind
    Even as they marched my eyes down the page
    My mind inhaled the magic and flew with images
    Through dark, slimy caverns of despair Where ravenous dogs of memory Lusted after morsals of pleasure
    Ever out of reach.
    Through graveyards of friendships
    Where tolling bells banished ghosts of hope
    To anonymous pitchfork mobs.
    Through volcanoed halls of anger
    Were molten emotions ran like words
    Along painful bleeding paths.
    Through living jungles of thoughts
    Where inky monkeys laid paths of scintilating words
    Leading to castles of technicolor air.
    Past meadows and beaches and firelit rooms
    Where beauteous maidens or handsome men
    Waited with impassioned expectancy
    Past portraits of Valor, Sacrifice, Success
    Changing like videos as the eye them beholds.
    To hazy halls of shifting scenes
    where phantoms enact life dramas
    On an unseen stage.
    then I closed the book.

  110. shethra77

    I had to do another today–suppose it is two-fer-Wednesday.

    Changing the Route

    They told him he could not sail
    in that direction. They insisted, saying,
    “Look–you see? The compass won’t
    even point there. How will you find your way?
    No one can do it.”
    And he reached in his pocket, took out
    a powerful magnet, and forced the needle
    to turn.
    The compass still points in that direction
    to this day.

  111. Deri

    The Quest

    Every journey
    does not begin
    with a single step.

    It must begin
    with desire,
    longing,
    a fire within
    to find the greater world
    beyond the barriers
    of our own skin.

    We must want
    those treasures
    which wait for us,
    sometimes
    across the world.
    Others, just across
    the thresholds
    of our own
    locked doors.

  112. mollysuttonkiefer

    Corridor

    I was three when my tongue grew fat
    as a summer strawberry, my joints knolled,
    and wet-tender. This was how my grandparents
    found me: learning to walk again, toting
    an IV, my Igor, down sun-slick hallways.
    How their breath caught, forgetting
    to cheer, to hooray me to the finishing line,
    their arms stiff, one hand clutching
    and unclutching at empty space, waiting
    for me to break into a run.

    Three decades later, and I’m learning
    to walk again, my feet like some gourds
    left too long in the garden, all sensation
    wrung like a leaf. At three, it was a disease
    like an engine—Kawasaki’s—and at thirty,
    it was the little limbs and torso, the wet body
    of my daughter, and that Frankenstein’ed slit
    in my abdomen—I have forgotten
    the nodes, the way toes can scuff, can rub,
    no longer beneath sheets but out, in this air
    that shivers, as if the only thing waiting
    was me.

  113. Erica

    THROUGHOUT

    He said,

    The men who created maps wandered lands unknown until directions made sense and the Sun always rose in the east.
    Lie perfectly still and allow me to dawn on you…

    Lost is not the word I’d use as it implies
    a feeling of helplessness. And in these pools of cinnamon brown, I never wanted to be found. Unless it was you looking for me.

    Cascading down prominent bridges atop pouty meadows lush with colors and rich in red wine.

    Following traces of my past down plunging flatlands and resting briefly within twin peaks reminiscent of God’s holy tear drops.

    At last, amidst two oak trees, firm and strong, a perfect fit, my home away from home.

  114. bonniejj

    Map

    I read the braille of your skin,
    the scars and sags, wrinkles and freckles and moles,
    to glide me across that topography
    and into the ocean
    of soul that is
    you
    plus me
    plus
    all that hums.

  115. amaranthe

    The Kelpie Whisperer

    “Down by the sea
    lived a lost pony…”
    And she was beautiful.
    Mane tinged with sea froth.
    She whispered to me.
    But first I learned how to hold my breath.
    Counted to one thousand.
    “I want to take you on a journey:
    My heart is at the bottom of the ocean.”
    She told me.
    Never could resist a sad horse.
    With my face in her mane we plunged.
    Galloped to the seabed.
    My heart became hers.

  116. carolecole66

    Departure

    “Your feet look like boats,” my mother said
    when I got my growth about age ten. I’d look
    down at them, imagine row boats (I’d never seen
    a different kind) painted bright red, laces
    jutted out like oars. I plowed through the waves
    a family makes, pulling hard through storms
    and winds, occasional peaceful days,
    all the while facing away, my back to land.
    I watched the far horizon dip and rise, and I
    kept rowing, rowing toward
    the distant beckoning shore.

    Carole

  117. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Vibration of Joy

    Once set free,
    Energy just grows,
    Through bouncing,
    Jumping, flying,
    Arcing, extending,
    Pushing, stretching,
    Expanse,
    View from on high,
    With the building sense,
    Exalted excitement,
    Racing ahead,
    Until a crash landing occurs,
    Unknown,
    Just seconds before,
    Pain now,
    Where previously,
    Unheard of,
    Unfathomable,
    Uninformed,
    Unaware it could happen,
    Because the experience
    The journey, purposeful voyage,
    Had always just been joy,
    Realizing . . .

    Itself.

  118. Alaska Christina

    Throw me a rope
    So that I might join you
    Hovering over the crevasse
    Peering down in to its great depth
    Measuring its width
    Landscape shifting
    You standing on one side resolute and firm
    And me kneeling here as the ice gives way around us.

  119. Shennon

    The gown is black
    The eyes are dry
    The steps are slow
    She waves good-bye.

    The car is black
    The ride is long
    The chords ring out
    To a well-known song.

    The screen is black
    The pictures appear
    The familiar faces
    That many hold dear.

    The mood is black
    The sadness real
    The witnesses don’t concur
    With how this makes her feel.

    The caps and tassels fill the air
    The girl feels nothing but despair
    The torturous trip across the stage
    Stands for new life – a coming of age.

  120. shethra77

    Difficult Passage

    “Here there be monsters,”
    says the map.
    But forward we sail,
    we run, we slide,
    “Safe!”
    but not safe, ever, just
    challenge confronted,
    one voyage completed,
    each prize held aloft.
    Again, again, and again,
    keep all cannons ready,
    eagle-eyes in the crow’s nest.
    Skim before the wind.

  121. Kwoody

    J. Kerr

    The memory of my sanity fades like fingerprints bruised into flesh
    As distance and time gather mass and dust.
    When that purple, blotted bruise fades into a jaundiced yellow
    Splotch I just have to dig my fingertip into to see if it still hurts
    And it doesn’t, though I try to recall that sharp pain
    But instead wallow in the comfort of gentle numbness.

    I can try and recall the time before the madness
    As a nascent pearl can remember being a grain of sand
    Stuffed into the salty viscous meat of an oyster.
    Each layer of hardened protein another step away from the beginning product,
    A dull particle like every other grain of sand but this one turned precious
    With agitation and minimal effort.

  122. christinamcphee

    Longing tears plough the ground
    Carving varicose rivers
    Claiming the new clay I cradle to myself
    Trying to reshape the form of us
    Before arid trials cracked and spilt the place we knew
    I ride the remnant trickle
    Backwards in my mind
    Chasing echoes of you
    A patchwork of frozen moments
    stained images fading out
    You are standing in a mist I caress one last time

  123. BDP

    “They used to take your horse and if they were caught they got hung for it. Now if they take your car and if they are caught it’s a miracle.”

    –Will Rogers, 1932.

    “Progress Takes Its Own Voyage” (Quatern)

    The outhouse path was one hundred long steps
    from back door. So she dug a septic tank,
    installed a toilet, faucets took the place
    of hand pump, water hot, quick liquid silk,

    all good, no downside. So why then still hike
    the outhouse path of one hundred long steps?
    She used her nighttime thunder pot, gave in
    to that one ease, stored under bed. She slapped

    mosquito bites the other times, and eyes
    stared down from trees, thick swarms of noseeums—
    the outhouse path was one hundred long steps—
    nipped ankles with her blood as sauce. I’d take

    that walk—her grandkid—all the while feared teeth
    liked me best. Nature, no faux freshener.
    Why? This was modern once. Hold daisies, stroll
    the outhouse path. Just one hundred short steps.

    Barb Peters

  124. susanjer

    Georgia O’Keeffe Hitches a Ride to Abiquiu
    After a 1944 photo by Maria Chabot

    As if I were Charles Lindbergh setting off for Paris, Maurice gives me his leather helmet. I tuck in my hair, push goggles, his too, to the top of my head and roll up my jeans. I throw one leg over the Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. Maurice says it is important to call the motorcycle by its full and correct name because a machine, this one at least, has a soul and can exact revenge if slighted. I put my hands at Maurice’s slim hips. He tromps on the start pedal. We take off.

    fast as dust devils
    against the landscape of his back
    my smile a mesa

  125. GirlGriot

    Here Alone

    Ride.
    Lean back.
    Watch the road.
    Watch the driver.
    Hold your bag. Smile. Talk.
    Safe –
    for now.
    Be ready.
    You’re here alone.
    Climate changes, shifts.
    Watch.
    Don’t blink.
    Don’t miss it.
    Stay on, ready,
    always set to jump.

    Talk.
    Listen.
    Hear silence,
    weight in non-words.
    Hold the door handle.
    Ride.
    Watch him,
    smile and nod.
    He’s a good one.
    Still: stay on, ready.
    Watch.
    Lean back.
    Hold on tight.
    Eyes on his hands.
    Keep your smile bright.

    Luck.
    I rode
    months. Alone
    with strangers, men
    I did … didn’t trust.
    Rode.
    Oceans
    from home, from
    family. Trusted
    strangers, gave myself
    whole,
    into
    unknown hands.
    Luck riding close
    down every long mile.

  126. Pamela

    Eons I have roamed the streets
    In search of my own existence
    Generations have come and gone
    Yet I rarely show up on life’s lens

    Man has searched for me high and low
    No stone left upturned in his quest
    Failure is what he usually gets
    Deaf to my heart beating in his breast

    He who finds me is indeed special
    Clean in his mind, innocent of guile
    He desires not wealth nor power
    It’s the little things that make him smile

    His heart holds no place for war and strife
    He years to accept, not discriminate
    I am Happiness and that is my home
    Not a heart that is full of hate

  127. SRK027

    Bathtub Dream Sequence

    The ship bobbed like an ice cube dropped in a full glass,
    dropped me off on the rocky shoreline.
    The trees there swayed and waved to greet me
    and I smiled until they started
    dropping their leaves recklessly.
    At least the waves soothed and sang,
    telling stories about the future and the island
    and the buffalo wading in the breakers.

    Can I find you here–
    where the grasses twitter like chipmunks and the chipmunks
    play in the sand?
    Can I find you in the heavy plunk of tossed rocks
    or the seals’ yelping cries echoing across the pier?

  128. feywriter

    Dreamer’s Voyage

    The stars tuck me in
    as I take one last drink of the Milky Way
    before the glass on my pod fogs over

    I dream of oceans
    clear and blue, full of life
    not the black dead seas we leave behind

    I sleep endless nights
    ship carries us
    through time and space

    countless years later I finally wake
    to set foot on new land
    greener than the crumbled world we left behind

    our new home

    by Mary W. Jensen

  129. MaryAnn1067

    Sailing

    pushing off from the shore
    we still saw
    copper-breasted birds wresting
    worms from the earth

    stopping her ears from the
    siren call snaking through
    grey mists edging the
    waters, a fluid fog
    wreathing the way

    unpiloted, our navigator
    gone missing at the last port,
    color-coded maps, with veins
    of red, indigo, green, mustard
    yellow, harvest
    gold, bordered by blue,
    shoved under her oxter

    the salt spray so
    refreshing while, in other rooms,
    tapestries are woven and
    unwoven, she sings stories
    of the long way home, the
    dog-eared tickets, her
    last and best hopes
    dashed upon the rocks

  130. njensen

    Aspiration

    They know where to go;
    they feel it in their breasts, in the wind’s caress,
    in the endless rhythm of those above, and beside, and below.

    The sky opens before them,
    folds around them, seeping gold,
    and together they become creases
    against the sunset moon.

    They know where to go;
    and rooted and alone I watch,
    and wish I were
    a swan.

  131. cholder

    Parallel Lines

    My mom never told the truth
    That’s why I stopped talking
    My silence a lecture
    I used to argue
    Hack myself into pieces
    that wouldn’t fit
    A conversation without a point
    continues to infinity

  132. Yerma Skyflower

    One day my feet will find the water again.

    I do not understand why seagulls exist in Arlington, Texas.
    Their presence stings like a ray and I am reminded
    That there is no beach a bus ride away—
    There aren’t even buses in this
    Place that smells like

    Flat tires with no jack and books with the last few
    Pages ripped out as a joke. Never children
    shouting over the roar of waves
    as soundtrack to end of day
    Hell. Everything is just

    A little bit off in a way that mosquitoes here
    Don’t even feel like real mosquitoes—
    They don’t come from dynasties of
    Killers of men by the thousands.
    They don’t know about fever
    In Texas.

    They don’t know the history of water.—the voyage
    That God makes as he takes form: long limbs
    Wind that bites, breath torrential rains.
    God is a hurricane anxious to remind
    His people he is real.

  133. REBECCA MARSH

    Feeling the overwhelming heat,
    I took the first step.
    It felt like a blow dryer,
    My face so warm.

    My purpose,
    So clear in my mind,
    to serve my country,
    The land of the free.

    Continuing down,
    a sense of pride came over me,
    Never more ready to embrace,
    my first deployment.

  134. flood

    A Wednesday Night

    When she said “yes” to him
    when he asked if she’d move

    to Arizona with him,
    she didn’t know that

    she was saying “yes” to him
    finding another woman there.

    She didn’t know that there
    is no lonely in the world

    like an empty refrigerator and
    the empty mouths of two sons.

    She didn’t know that there
    is no lonely in the world

    like a Wednesday night
    in an empty bed.

    She didn’t know that her
    husband’s father would fill

    their refrigerator with food
    before he bought three tickets
    back to Cleveland, Ohio.

  135. Amirae Garcia

    When I Finally Found You – Amirae Garcia

    It was London after spending an eternity in the desert.
    It was like rebirthing, it was salvation.
    My hands lifted like a prayer,
    like the only thing I could do was marvel over you,
    like I made for this moment, made to feel you.
    I sat there, letting the rain wash over me.
    I sat there, dying to drown in this feeling.

    It was the Grand Canyon for the first time.
    It was the hand of God in the flesh.
    We sucked the breaths from the people who saw us;
    and still, they had no idea how much we contained.
    The colors and the ridges were perfected images
    of the way our bodies looked when we laid together.
    We were magic, a world wonder unlike any other.

    It was around the world in mere seconds.
    It was flying when we touched – skin on skin on skin.
    You were electric and I felt you everywhere
    even as you slept beside me.
    We were a jet plane, getting lost in the clouds.
    The Bermuda Triangle tried to eat us alive,
    but spewed us back out because of the fire inside.

    It was a journey to get here, my victorious voyage.
    Every path the earth could have ever created for me
    was leading me to this exact moment.
    When it happened, I felt a shake in the ground.
    It took me infinities upon infinities to find you;
    but when I finally found you,
    I ended up finding me, too.

  136. AC Leming

    In the Beginning

    Before Earth’s faint swirl
    trembled in our galaxy’s imagining,
    before asteroids collided to form planetoids,
    before jumbles of rock inched together
    over a millennia to make Jupiter’s moons,
    what swarmed the dust which formed our home?

    What zero-gee life thrived
    on the motes in Saturn’s nascent rings?
    What swam in the methane
    which poured into Titan’s Lakes?
    What ancient specs of some other proto-man
    burned away in the conflagration
    of our solar systems’ birth?

  137. CStern

    Station

    In morning air not yet warmed

    by the sun’s slow struggle to rise

    the train hunkers on the tracks

    a segmented metal beast

    waiting noisily

    in a whirring thrumming crouch

    Passengers fed one by one into its doors

    until the hum grows

    stretching

    growling as the wheels dig in

    The beast runs free

    prowling across its territory

    past houses shading into trees

    woods disappearing in glassy stretches of water

    rocky shores giving way to grassy meadows

    climbing over bridges

    criss-crossing roads

    until reaching another station den

    and resting for another journey

  138. Zeenie

    free-falling burns

    I wake up on the side
    of a highway, stretched out
    and fully naked, wind
    like melted shadows
    in places nonexistent
    until this moment –

    the holes you’ve left
    in the sides of my cheeks
    and the crest of my back
    feel like free-falling burns.

    Cars stretch on in dusky
    traffic for miles, horns
    exploding at my “indecency”
    and “shame,” mothers driving
    by so fast I don’t see the tears
    for their sons’ lost innocence;

    at least their sons
    had the chance
    to be innocent.

  139. MichaelMcMonigle

    Tom Waits records in the back of my car
    Dirty windshield directions slow
    One headlamp crooked by age
    Destination over the shallow road

    Loaded my life in my trunk
    And found yesterday’s keys
    Closed the lights and locked the doors
    And walked into the street

    Moon reflecting off the window crack
    Blinding, hopeless, faceless light
    Engine rattle, exhaust cough
    Only echoes aping flight

    Asphalt screams, streetlight pains
    Looking for another date
    Shallow stations with sallow folk
    Serve my eggs with shade

  140. shellaysm

    Both Dreamers

    Though they’re both dreamers at heart,
    The voyager explores
    Where his inner compass leads,
    Squinting behind tinted glass,
    As he sails upon merciless waves.

    The voyeur analyzes,
    A spectator to the coveted trip,
    Watching with hazel eyes,
    Though they’re both dreamers at heart.

    As linguist and editor,
    Teacher and student,
    Actor and critic,
    One journeys; one judges.
    Only the voyager becomes the wayward breeze,
    Though they’re both dreamers at heart.

    Michele Smith

  141. Genevieve Fitzgerald

    If there was a destination
    In relation
    To being there
    We would be where

    Perhaps I want us to be just
    Like this – no fuss
    Wind-chapped dry lips
    Cursory kiss

    Outside any disappointment
    From contentment
    Stoking embers
    Each September

  142. Roderick Bates

    World With End

    “Every live thing is a survivor on a kind of extended emergency bivouac.”
    — Annie Dillard

    And so it is.

    We are all engaged in a forced march forward,
    Time hard against our backs every moment,
    the hands of its clock like gun barrels
    prodding us toward an uncertain end —
    uncertain, at least, in all the ways that matter:
    what, where, when, and most of all, why —
    though there is no uncertainty that it is end.

    Going to work and back again, we march.
    Sitting at home of an evening, we march.
    Sleeping, alone or in the arms of another,
    we march. Temporary survivors.

  143. toujourskari

    Like a Ship Upon a Wave

    Like a ship upon a wave, my hand rests
    On the swell of your bare chest
    There is no storm approaching, only calm seas ahead
    As your breath rises and falls in gentle dream-crests
    I am lulled to sleep like the Moses babe
    By the current’s steady rhythm

    Your body is an ocean that takes me far away
    To lands undiscovered, filled with exotic delights
    The voyage is not always smooth or easy
    Your tempest rages, engulfing me in salty darkness
    I’m pulled under by the violence of the tide
    inescapable and unpredictable
    The storm rages until it has reached its end

    Washed up on the shore after the hurricane
    I trace your name on the sand of your skin
    In the golden letters of morning
    A humble offering from a grateful passenger
    As I place my hand on the swell of your bare chest
    Like a ship upon a wave

  144. JoCam

    SPIRALS AND MEANDERS

    There goes my bra
    in the laundromat window
    it glints, implodes, and then billows alluringly,
    churning away among dozens of wash cloths,
    hand towels, two sheets and one pillowcase.

    Now it has disappeared,
    shoved rudely out of the way
    by his macho briefs and a few sordid skivvies.

    The bra re-emerges,
    bouncy as when I was a teen,
    next minute, as droopy
    as I don’t want to think when.

    A sock lumbers by, exhausted by circular jogging,
    it calls for its mate
    Did I drop a sock on my driveway,
    On my way to the car?

    Dazzling, the bra once more arises,
    radiant as twin moons
    in the clutch of a galaxy!

  145. aphotic soul

    Death Race
    by Paul Andrew Ryan

    There’s someone for everyone they always say,
    But they never seem to specify just in what way,
    For I dance with angels throughout the night,
    But they simply vanish during the day,
    Not a word nor sight,
    Because they are never meant to stay,
    They frolic in the the depths of my mind,
    Always so gentle, always so kind,
    But in the end they are never real,
    With no one who can compare, no one I can find,
    My dreams, the only place I can feel,
    Because in this reality I am lost and blind,
    So I awaken each morning so deeply alone,
    With the only life that I’ve ever known,
    Losing the ones I struggle to hold,
    Always banished from where I wone,
    Into where suns freeze and hearts grow cold,
    From a hapless home now to one which I disown,
    It’s almost a comfort to see those faces,
    In different times and in different places,
    But I shall always remain here,
    In my hapless oasis,
    For I must always remain near,
    In an immortal stasis,
    And when the nice guy finally finishes last,
    I’ll look back at all the people who have passed,
    For that phrase means not what people may think,
    But no one ever questions nor asks,
    It is death to which this race is linked,
    And we all finish… some slow, some fast.

  146. LCaramanna

    Bon Voyage

    She took the midnight train,
    Journey lyrics in her ears,
    Rocked by a melody
    Played out in her soul.
    Just a small town girl
    Headed for the City lights,
    One heart burned desire,
    Believing never stopped,
    Doubtless, she knew
    Anyway she wanted it
    Would be the way she needed it –
    This journey.

  147. James Brush

    MADE OR JUST HAPPENED

    They say Voyager crossed the heliopause
    last summer with thirty thousand years to go
    to clear the sun’s gravity. Our plutonium
    spark, a flicker of human warmth returning
    to the stars like that first purple martin
    returning again in the spring to the place
    where he was hatched or the salmon
    swimming up blue streams. We are called
    home to where our atoms first began,
    the water, the sky, the stars. The silent iron
    in our blood aches for the supernovae
    and so lying on our backs beneath
    the wind-swaying oak trees, we hold
    hands and watch the stars, imagining that
    long journey whose end we’ll never know.

  148. otterblossom

    Pilgrimage

    pilgrim
    seeking, searching
    twisting path leads astray
    faltering, steps through the shadows
    discovering forgotten torii
    kitsune’s laughter resounds
    Kami’s presence brings peace
    healing the weary
    pilgrim

    ~ Blossom Vydrina

  149. C.

    O’er my shoulder I look
    To see the sun set day
    Beautiful orange
    Paints the sky of gray.

    I smell the salty wind
    Brushing by me past
    O’er the ships blue end
    Sparkles everlast.

    I smile, loving light
    Watch it fade on back
    O’er here comes night
    Wrapped up all in black.

    A tingle in my throat
    Slips down like a snail
    My gut it reaches now
    A shift in white strong sails.

    I look for the rail
    Where my hands did lay
    As I watched the sun
    Streak out into rays.

    But there it was in front
    A plate, a white clean table
    Adorned a fish cooked well
    Shouts all seemed like fable.

  150. Sharon Ann

    A Traveler’s Prayer

    Take me away to a place I’ve not been
    expanding my mind and experience.
    Let my journey take me to places unknown,
    down roads not yet travelled,
    to people not yet met,
    through mountains and hillsides,
    to a place of peace.
    A place of beauty.
    A place of kindness.
    A place to be myself.

  151. Hannah

    Thank you for the inspiration…safe and fun travels Robert and Tammy!!

    Copper Sunshine

    This journey is a jar
    full of shiny pennies,
    it starts with a single plink
    and the choices begin…
    Who’s to call
    which side wins
    and who’s to decipher
    fortune from adversity?
    Just maybe
    they all gleam
    even the ones that’re green
    stained with patina…
    A lucky coin
    in each palm,
    the choosing begins-
    starting with a single plink…
    This journey is a jar brimming
    of burnished pennies.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  152. lidywilks

    Voyager

    Today I smirked at the moon above as it outshined the remaining stars in the sky, only to become slowly and steadily engulfed by the sun, with each of my footfalls. Huddling deeper into my coat, I braced against a blast of polar air and grumbled, “Is this really spring?” But the only answer i received was the monotone voice from my phone app repeating, “It is 6:40 am. Heart thudding in fear, I sprinted down the block littered with naked trees, and pass trimmed yellowed lawns. Tearing through the nipping winds, I weaved and bobbed my way to the next street, arriving at the bus stop with seconds to spare. I watched as my bus careened to a halt, its wheels still screeching while the doors wheezed open to accept me and the newly raised fare I’d have to pay hereafter. Gulping for air, I resigned myself to board the bus and sink into the cushioned seat, the only good thing to the start of the day. And when I closed my eyes, I flew free like the sparrow and headed south to gorge upon the beauty of Iguazu Falls. Once sight and heart overrunneth, I next found myself dripping in sweat racing a cheetah in northwest Africa. Of course I lost, but vowed to beat him again before spreading my wings again, this time to Seoul. And perched on a bench, I nibble on some sparrowed kimchi and dukbokki and count the colors of the rainbow illuminated under the city’s night sky. And as I pondered my next destination, I awoke with a jolt from the sound of peeling tires. Heart sinking at the familiar landscape of cold steel and glass office buildings, I grudgingly press for the next stop. And then begins the second start of my day latching onto a fleeting dream I long to make true.

  153. Joseph Harker

    Hoping the italics don’t get messed up on here…

    TWO OF WANDS
    (from a gay tarot)

    The boy with pierced ears and pink hair hesitates
    on the painted card. This is the minor arcana
    meaning courage for new journeys. He falls across
    my lap as I do readings on the northbound bus.
    Before this boy, the bouncer guards the doors,
    drawn rough and hard. His joint partnership
    smolders with an obvious lust. My Greyhound neighbor
    presses his massive knee on mine as he dozes.
    Both figures are portrayed holding wands, colored
    phosphorescent green. And the gates hold back
    the world, which belongs to us. I want my burly companion
    to wake and explain what this all might mean.
    On the card’s back are Deco silhouettes of men
    embracing. The boy with pierced ears is poised
    to nmake his move. Overhead the sun conceals itself
    and waits for we passengers to tease open a scene.
    Like the anonymous brotherhood of the highway
    I will wake him into tasting. Like life imitates art
    and I’m joyriding through my anxious youth.

  154. rachela50@yahoo.com

    GROWTH

    You once said to me
    “I learned I was a human this year”
    And I asked if I could write about it
    And I never wrote about it
    And the next year
    I fell in love with you
    And now I’m writing about it

  155. mshall

    Kilimanjaro: a hiker’s journey

    The final assent
    Sharp diamonds of excitement prickle my veins
    The rawness of four days hiking throbs in my feet
    Night curls around the tent
    Camp Barafu, camp snow
    Upepo, my vicious friend, swoops down the slopes
    Like an eagle at 4600 meters
    Screeching her mastery over the African plains below

    The darkness is inky when they shake me awake
    Siyo vizuri sana
    I am really not well
    The sharp diamonds penetrated my stomach
    Hurling out the contents of last night’s dinner
    Leaving only intense queasiness,
    An after taste of yesterday’s soaring euphoria
    Upepo laughs, as she licks the flaps of my tent

    An earthquake of shivers wracks my body
    Cold, cold, cold
    The snow is in my soul
    With glacial slowness
    A realization dawns on me.
    I am wearing no pants.
    An odd state for a shivering hiker.
    But how to put the pants on?
    One must necessarily start with left or right.
    Left or right?
    An impossible riddle.
    Left or right?
    I don’t know.
    Upepo dives gleefully left and right

    The night is a crystal
    Multi-faceted walls of coldness
    Unshatterable mercilessness
    Left foot, right foot
    Siyo vizuri sana
    Left foot, right foot
    Left foot, halt
    I huddle behind a boulder the size of my fist
    Upepo finds me, singing to me her lullaby of the ages

    You can’t sleep here
    Mbona? Why the hell not?
    Only upepo knows the answer.
    Left foot, right foot,
    Left foot, up
    Why do people climb mountains?
    Why do people go up?
    Left foot, right foot,
    Left foot, slowl.
    The pebbles become rocks become boulders
    There is no part of this I am enjoying
    Mbona.

    The guide joins me behind a boulder
    Donna. An American woman.
    He loved her. He really, really loved her.
    She was to come next December.
    They were to have lived happily ever after.
    A dream ended suddenly by a drunk driver.
    A dream gone to shit.
    Only upepo is left to wipe away his tears
    With her icy claws.
    Left foot, right foot
    Left foot, onwards.
    Upepo hear my prayer!
    The moon rises,
    A crimson disc, a sliver of an apple on the horizon
    Spreading no light, retaining her brilliance like a precious gem
    Jealous. Only for her.
    A brilliant ruby.
    Upepo hear my prayer!

    A gradual faint lightening begins
    Almost imperceptible, like the turning of the tide
    Left foot, right foot
    Left foot, lighter
    Aura draws her curtains patiently,
    The rays of light illuminate all my loved ones
    I am carrying in my heart.
    Left foot, right foot,
    Left foot, gray.
    The inkiness recedes from my heart.
    There is a part of this I am enjoying.
    Left foot, right foot,
    Left foot, dawn.
    Breaks over me with tremendous stealth.
    You will make it,
    Says the guide.
    I had not considered any other possibility.
    You will make it,
    Sings upepo.
    I laugh at her. She does not know my way.
    Left foot, right foot,
    Left foot, summit.
    Upepo blows her frigid kiss
    before dashing off
    To accompany future hikers
    Up her rocky skirts.

  156. RebekahJ

    Letter to the Prison Book Program of the Lucy Parsons Bookstore

    The books arrived—thank you and God bless
    Here inside there are only blank gray walls
    You helped me see Bulgaria Alaska Mexico
    I need my GED and poetry I want to write

    Here inside there are only blank gray walls
    Please send a dictionary with as many words as you can find
    I need my GED and poetry I want to write
    And any history would be greatly appreciated

    Please send a dictionary with as many words as you can find
    I’m trying to learn English German French
    And any history would be greatly circulated
    Anything you send, we’ll make it last

    I’m trying to learn English German French
    You helped me see Bulgaria Alaska Mexico
    Anything you send we’ll make it last
    The books arrived—thank you and God bless

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  157. jasonlmartin

    Difficult Things

    If I could go back,
    My Jim, James, Jimbo.
    I would have more carefully orchestrated
    Shift, Clutch, Gas! Shift, Clutch, Gas!
    my ears with my eyes with my hands.
    I know this is my car, and it’s not an automatic,
    but the only way to learn is in rush hour traffic.

    I let you down when I stopped the car, got out,
    slammed the door and sat on curb. You screamed.
    This is not how a real man handles difficult things.
    I got back in, started the engine, got on the road…
    and am still driving, stalling, believing, disappointing, voyaging
    to overcome what it is in myself that so easily gives in to difficult things.
    I am proud of you, Jason, now get out there do better tomorrow.

  158. dandelionwine

    In Everything That Glimmers

    With harmless mischief,
    vibrant hues of here
    and now, a hint of breeze,
    a glint of sunlight, golden
    silence tripping after
    laughter strung from
    your best yarns, you
    listened as I questioned
    your whereabouts.

    I woke with a start
    of the answer.

    Sara Ramsdell

  159. Heidi

    ON THE ROAD TO WHEATFIELD CANYON

    On the road to Wheatfield Canyon
    a beetle hesitates crossing.
    I hear the click of heels on damp stone tarnished
    yellow, and the wheat stalks a windswept field.

    Too much noise on this road
    to Wheatfield Canyon—white noise—
    static interceptions—lips
    and tongue click on damp teeth.
    A phone call to our sister,

    a public announcement on airwaves skiing.
    On the road to Wheatfield Canyon; frozen ponds
    hold mermaids with goldfish tails trapped
    beneath a thin ice crust, glazed—their pixie faces blue,
    their perky breasts veiled behind a gauzy film of seaweed.

    A memory frozen of our
    father driving on the frozen
    lake in Iowa scaring little girls,
    and the coffins where the older
    sisters played among the dead.

    The detour bleeds a thin trail through
    a cactus forest, where purple prickly
    pears nourished our split lips,
    on the road to Wheatfield Canyon.
    Splintered limestone woven into a

    bridge teetered over the Salt Pits—
    a missing rung—We asked our father, where
    is the train–will it run over us?
    The leafy willow shrouded our swings.

    White jets streaked children’s hearts
    into tomorrow, where hope waited
    on a shelf in our mother’s closet behind
    hat boxes, fox fur stoles and a water heater.

    Beetles scuttle behind water pipes wet
    with loose paint. Radiators pop and sizzle.
    Our hair is rooted in black earth, our hands
    dig bricks—adobe mud—moist in steamy sun
    on this road to Wheatfield Canyon.

    The roaches shed their skin for steel plates,
    and mosquitoes scream over the dead well
    while stars navigate zig-zags. Our necks ache.
    The train looms over the horizon as the moon shuffles then
    sinks into an inky mire of tailbones and squids while

    the mermaid with the goldfish tail erupts into a butterfly.
    Our canvas died and died again.
    No one can take our place on the cold bathroom tiles.
    In Wheatfield Canyon, fever chewed through our cheeks chilled
    on black and white hexagons—Art Deco spun, the toilet flushed.

    The teacher killed the girls one by one. Year
    by year their teeth split and vomited bile.
    The furnace belched but no door barred the
    snakes from finding us hidden in closets
    counting, we held our breath…

    on the road to Wheatfield Canyon.
    We planted our feet into black earth and
    wheat refused to stop growing.
    Hand burns, blistered, and eyes peeled in
    scaly scabs—fatal liar…cheat…thief…

    Burden bearer for her mother’s grief.
    The constant drip, drip, drip wears on our resolve.
    We have swallowed the fire, and the magician paid
    the bus fare, and peanuts cost thirty cents a bag
    of Planters salted, in Oklahoma City.

    And we swam till cream puffs failed and the
    root pussed into eruptions, our first attempt to
    flee from Wheatfield Canyon. What was
    our mother’s sacrifice? Dead bodies naked
    on basement Gurneys spewing blood

    through penises as punishment if she
    talked…if we felt…if we broke our silence?
    This is Wheatfield Canyon. Do not be mesmerized
    by the gold swaying wheat on canyon’s edge, or
    soft breezes warm, and birdsong lullabies.

    If you do venture deeper into the wheat field
    no warning awaits, but a gaping hole, black
    and hideous, littered with bleached bones of innocents.
    This is the end, of the road, to Wheatfield Canyon.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  160. Michael Wells

    First Time Abroad

    We bridged the distance
    with expectations
    that carried us
    high on the tail
    of a kite—

    Time became concave
    and we stepped quickly over—
    it became pocket change.

    We were not experienced travelers.
    Our attention ricocheted
    from one point to another
    and when we arrived
    it seemed like the blink of an eye
    and we had seen so much.

    Michael A. Wells

  161. bethwk

    The Six of Swords
    by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider
    (farmpoem.wordpress.com)

    The woman in the azure blue scarf
    and the horns of the moon on her brow
    reached out and turned another card.

    And it was the very last card you wanted to see.
    And it was the only card you wanted.

    This is for your hopes and fears, she said,
    For that which you desire may be
    also that which you most dread.

    * * * *
    You hear the voice from your dream:
    You will take a voyage by water.
    In the prow of the barge, head bowed
    by the weight of all that is passing.
    The ferryman at work in the stern.
    The promised isle before you.

    Almost you can feel the breezes
    that beckon from across the water,
    but the grey mist of the shore behind
    still wraps you like a cloak.

    Soon you will feel the child stir beside you.
    Soon you will raise your head to the sunrise.
    Soon will come the moment
    when you cross from the tale of what was
    to the story of what will be.

  162. LizaMac

    Sailing

    The sail ship glides through glass.
    Trees rise on all sides.
    Peace streams through the breeze.
    White, blue, green harmonize.
    The sun sinks and colors
    Start to disappear
    Under crimsoning light
    Until all is dark,
    And only sound remains,
    lapping at the sides of certainty.
    Movement also,
    As the boat lurches
    Up and down
    Erratically.
    Bearings or Anchors slip away.
    As perception dies
    Leaving only the question:
    How to get through the darkness?

    Where will I find myself
    When – if – the light returns.
    Being lost is now inevitable,
    I understand that now.
    Best hope is to wash up
    On some unexpected shore and
    Hope there’s a way to survive,
    Or that some help will come to rescue.
    But at least there’s the possible
    Peace of acceptance
    That all is finally
    Lost.

  163. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    THE DIZZY POEMS

    The dizzy poems are travelling in pairs.
    The dizzy poems need help going up the stairs.
    The dizzy poems stand with feet apart.
    The dizzy poems hold on to shopping carts.
    The dizzy poems use canes to your amazement.
    The dizzy poems don’t care about fashion statements.
    The dizzy poems are tired of pesky questions.
    The dizzy poems don’t want any more suggestions.
    The dizzy poems are funny little elves.
    The dizzy poems just want to write themselves.

  164. Paoos69

    Friendship is a voyage
    from Spring to Winter foliage
    sometimes green
    sometimes cut and dry and mean

    Differences and arguments
    Tiffs and quarrels
    Over opinions and issues
    of action and morals

    Through thick and thin
    holding hands
    A bond unbroken
    Through words unspoken

    Only in traveling on
    there comes a rift
    of seemingly little things
    that lie adrift

    Pregnant silences
    Unresolved conversations
    A discussion distorted
    Only adds to the convolutions

    The voyage continues unabated
    Familiar faces suddenly strange
    Yet they bring a smile
    those memories range

    Waiting for another Spring
    when once again there will be bloom
    the crocuses will flower
    and the aroma will loom.

  165. Versesversus

    boxes doors slamming
    stacks up and give up
    the key. in the ignition
    turning pulling out of the
    drive away. jostling silently
    talking but muted fuzzy
    radio on. gray road wheels
    and too large narrow lanes.
    behind us lines cars distant
    memories already wishing
    he came but traffic jam
    frustration too many
    thoughts and him and new
    red taillights flashing turn
    away from he didn’t come
    I didn’t should’ve asked
    to(o) new unloading boxes
    stacks down sinks spirits
    new key new sadness new
    no place to call home.
    -Megan Reyna-

  166. sharon4

    Toward Juneau

    No ground but the glacier calving to the shoals
    No ground but sea swells and tilted decks.
    Salt on your skin, on your tongue, the sun’s bright beaks
    in the dips of the waves. I found you on the ship’s bow
    Shivering, composing your face into a wan smile.
    Tissues crushed in your hand. Everywhere around us
    The merge of sky and sea, that dazzling mystery
    Without horizon, a blue almost white, almost ink.
    It’s wrong of me to be away. It’s wrong of me to
    experience such beauty without him.
    Your husband home, dying in increments.
    No shoreline in sight, just vertigo, sunlight,
    The cold plow and heave.

    Sharon Fagan McDermott

  167. Ashley Marie Egan

    Voyage of the Damned
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    Damned are these souls,
    That sail across dead seas,
    Seeking treasure more precious than gold,
    Pillaging the land of echoes,
    Desperate for a spark of life,
    To illuminate the hollows of their ship,
    And mask their sins before judgment,
    On their voyage of damnation.

    ____
    A little nervous. I’ve never posted any of my poems in the comments before. Good luck to everyone.

    1. PKP

      Welcome Ashley – this is the most crowded “The Street” what some of us who have been here for a while call this site) you’ve picked a courageous time to walk on in… Your poem is lush and filled with wonderful language and images :)

      1. Ashley Marie Egan

        Thank you!

        I participated last year, and entered my poems to Robert Lee Breswter for a chance to have one of them featured on the site. One of my poems was actually picked, and it gave me a little bit more courage when it comes to displaying my work to the public. So here I am. :) Thank you for the warm welcome!

  168. Astrid Egger

    At the soles of your feet

    At three weeks old
    water was seeping in
    your footed one piece

    covering your thighs
    and nudging your diaper
    not yet soaked

    your soft wailing
    pierced my thoughts
    like an obsidian tool

    the notice of closure
    for the overland trail
    dislodged in my brain

    The neighbourhood children
    were dragging their feet
    past grey green sea asparagus

    Its ashes once used
    for glassmaking; the succulent
    often inside the pickle jar

    Still bragging about who
    was first to look through
    the hole of the Pesuta

    a shooner stranded
    in 1927 at the mouth
    of the Tlell River

    No choice but to
    Carry them, one by one
    across the widening creek

    you were the last
    to ford across, hoping
    to avoid a further misstep.

    My mind pleading
    That you wouldn’t
    Catch pneumonia

    Promising to always
    Stick a tide chart
    In your diaper bag

    And I hurried
    To drive us home
    Without incident

    Some years later
    You would fear
    the Sasquatch

    and almost forget
    your city keys,
    buoyed by excitement

    to feel the tide
    tickling the soles
    of your feet.

  169. CathyBlogs

    And if Paris opens herself

    And if Paris opens herself
    to you and I
    for just one day,
    we shall dance along
    her luminous streets,
    ford the Seine over
    a bridge of locks.
    At the Louvre we shall not
    visit the victorious
    nor the enigmatic
    but linger at courtyard table,
    sipping Diet Coke and
    eating salty fries.
    We shall circumnavigate
    flying buttresses and
    riotous gardens at Notre Dame,
    peer inside at rose windows
    and apostles, forget to
    pray, then use our
    euros for cheap souvenirs
    at the cross-street shop.
    Upon the roof of a shining
    rumbly red trolley bus
    we shall be carried
    triumphantly
    down the Champs d’Elysees,
    even as the sun’s radiant spell
    casts upon us this somnolent
    afternoon, we pass by cars
    and cafes, shoppers
    and strollers, in silent suspension
    forever, or a second,
    or long as a lingering
    traffic signal —
    ah, this last lovely hour,
    my beau companion,
    let us away, we
    wing to Tour Eiffel,
    scale the lattice curves
    of Pillar Nord, finally find
    our way to the top,
    where Paris surrounds
    us at last, the city
    a cloudy dream
    from which
    we will
    never
    awake.

  170. latenightcornerstore

    Earth

    Trust has borne me up and down mountains
    so many times, I’ve got skinned knees
    from climbing.
    Maybe the worst part is how
    I still let it, even if I expect the fall.
    Because in some ways,
    I’m just looking to be proved wrong.

    I have crossed the oceans
    in my own chest,
    looking for answers to questions
    I never knew how to ask.
    I am unashamed of the crew I’ve lost at sea,
    or the way my skin tastes more like salt
    than anything.

    If life is a two-way street,
    then I’ve been looking to make a u-turn
    for the last hundred miles.
    But I’ve followed it so far,
    there’s no point in stopping.
    So here’s to chasing a sunset
    around the belly of the world
    and calling it Love,
    when it’s really just earth.

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      Love your line, “If life is a two-way street, then I’ve been looking to make a u-turn.” Great description of a real life journey!

  171. drwasy

    Transport

    You are on a different journey;
    for the first time
    you are ahead
    of me.

    Your face looks wan
    through the back window.

    At the stoplight
    you wave.
    A glimmering of you.

    Your health worker
    leans over you, laughs
    at something you say.

    Valentine is his name—
    a big man.

    The light turns green.
    The ambulance
    eases forward.
    I follow.

  172. Beverly Deirocini

    “The Longest Journey”

    I hate to take this trip,
    It happens every night.
    While fairies dance inside my head
    Or monsters give me fright.

    Sometimes I travel more than once,
    And it costs a hefty fee.
    I’d rather stay inside my bed,
    But of course, I have to pee.

    So I drag my feet across the floor
    And wipe the dribble from my chin.
    My man has left the seat quite up
    And, yes, I’ve fallen in.

    And when I’m finally done
    I make the trek back to my bed.
    My sheets welcome me with open arms
    But tomorrow, my man is dead.

  173. daydreamwriter

    Voyage

    I bleed the ink.
    My pen nibs from.
    I etch the passion.
    On this parchment.
    As if it were your skin.

    If you would see.
    The colors in my desire.
    My words would come to life.
    Flow through your veins.
    Bring warmth to your soul.

    One day you will dust off the years.
    Hold those delicate pages of mine.
    As I hold you today.
    Reflect the love that is.
    My voyage to your heart.

  174. Hayley

    “Wordfarer”

    Longer than any distance
    is the space between words–

    there must be a Wrote
    for there to be Writing,
    and writing to reach
    Have Written.

  175. India

    ~Two Leaves~

    Two leaves and a bud.
    Plucked, cooked, dried,
    and rolled. Carried from sea to shore.
    Strained here into my canary yellow teapot.

    Taste it, the colors of India,
    a swirl of smells, taste the rush,
    the hum, the spices, and chaos.
    All packed into my cup.

    The journey it has come
    makes every sip
    worthwhile.

  176. encrerouge

    the legend of the contemporary puzzle

    they are dancers in a triangle
    trying to abridge the waters,
    from this continent to the world
    the soil unites with a hum

    to the just and fearless
    let the waters touch your feet
    and as this ship rejuvenates
    follow the fall to rise

    to the loss but not forgotten
    in the ripples you will find the note
    harmonize beyond the fire
    and become the tail of light

    returning to a spiritual Pangaea
    to gather the four letter word
    among the pores and the skin
    Chile, you are not alone

  177. SestinaNia

    Got to spend some time today with Wyoming State Poet Laureate Echo Kalproth–so much fun to hear from her and then get to write and share with her!

    Here’s my poem for the day–

    Topography

    The distance between
    me and you
    is not unfathomable—
    we need no ship, sure of mast,
    to traverse aquamarine waves;
    no guide required
    to lead us along the rocky
    precipice; not even a map—
    crinkled from years of consultation,
    cities worn to oblivion
    along the folds—
    can make the path clearer.

    You are right next
    to me in the garden,
    hand extended—
    but I am
    an angel encased
    in stone,
    unable to unfurl my wings.

    –Sara Doyle

  178. LizaMac

    Morning in Helsinki

    Jet-lagged, I wake up in a land
    I’ve never seen in daylight.
    If I want to eat, I’ll need to
    Take a trip in search of food,
    Incomprehensible to a foreign tongue.

    It’s cold, but already the sun is fighting
    Its way to the top of tall buildings,
    Doing its part to relieve our frozen numbness.
    Its light gilds, makes warm, the many colors
    Glowing from unexpected architectural forms.

    Domes suddenly appear in the distance
    Snatches of sea surprise at different angles.
    I am surrounded by a new world, discovered in the old.
    Who knew a city could be this clean,
    Shining, beautiful, utterly unexpected?

    I arrive at the store and shuffle
    Down narrow aisles, annoying everyone
    As this stupid foreigner peers and
    Peers again at unfathomable labels.
    I somehow pay and hope it was food
    I bought, not rat poison or dead reindeer
    (Which is very popular, I hear).

    Finally, I step back into the streets and smile
    Almost hoping to lose my way on the journey back,
    As I slowly drink in new possibilities
    Rising from the past;
    The delectable variety of this
    New short-term future.

  179. Karen Pickell

    Why We Search

    We go looking for the bodies
    familiar, voices we understand, the arms out
    of reach, the eyes we cannot see
    in our own mirrors. We wish
    to lay down our heads
    on pillows, wrapped inside soft blankets, curled up
    as in the beginning. We need
    to discover why we breathe, why
    we need, always need, to smell
    musk like a memory that can put
    us at ease. We push, we must
    know our cells, the truth of ourselves,
    the reason all along.

  180. Other Mary

    A slightly different sort of voyage:

    This morning
    as usual
    I stumbled
    down the stairs
    for coffee
    like a heat-seeking missile
    if heat-seeking missiles
    were slow and wobbly
    so not really
    like a heat-seeking missile
    at all
    more like
    a caffeine-seeking zombie
    if zombies
    sought caffeine
    rather than brains
    not yet fully conscious
    not yet able to form
    sensible metaphors or similes
    it took until the seventh stair
    the squeaky one
    the one that should get the grease
    but no that’s wheels
    to register
    that it didn’t matter
    the squeak wouldn’t wake you
    sleeping across town
    in someone else’s bed

    http://writinginthebachs.blogspot.com/2014/04/too-tired-to-punctuate.html

  181. beale.alexis

    “The Arrival”

    I grab my iPod and run
    around my neighborhood twice.
    My feet beat the ground;
    with each step
    I’m crushing
    the darkness and frustration
    out of me.
    My lunges are hollering
    that I’ve gone too far,
    that I’ve exceeded my limit.
    Take a break. Drink
    and quench your thirst.
    That will make you feel better,
    not this. This futile attempt to
    fix
    yourself.
    But I’m almost there
    I whisper through cracked lips.
    Where is there? The voice inside
    my head mocks.

    I pause to change the song on my iPod and
    In that moment of complete silence
    I hear the birds singing and chirping.
    I hear the dog barking down the street.
    I hear the Mr. and Mrs. laughing.
    I hear cars whizzing past me
    and honking, yelling for me to get out
    of the middle of the road.
    I look up
    and see
    that I’m already here.

  182. poppyherrin

    Voyage of a Promise

    A heartless trade to deal with words
    tenderly made like feathered birds,

    to send them forth to fly alone
    through dark and fearful skies unknown.

    I fear to learn what morning brings
    should they return with broken wings.

    Poppy Herrin

  183. anloebick

    Journey

    The spine cracks,
    A satisfying moment,
    Inhale, savor
    The thick musty pages.

    The uneven edges,
    Cut by an uncaring knife.
    It has character,
    This leather-bound tome.

    Title page,
    engravings
    AH!
    Chapter one.

    Off I go!
    A hobbit’s tale
    A kingdom of long-ago
    Lost among the stars.

    Once upon a time,
    Build-up, tensions rise
    Climax! Resolution!
    The end.

    What an incredible journey!

  184. DCR1986

    A Journey through PAD

    Oh, Pen!
    Oh, Pen!
    Wake up, wake up!
    Crank up your inking soul.
    Let it spill outta here.
    We have a mission to complete
    And it’s only thirty days deep!
    And you riding shotgun,
    Guess who is accompanying us?
    Metaphor and Simile.

    Ready now?
    First, exit south after merging a title
    For what we prose and think.
    Then, yield eyes and hand from West to East,
    Exploring feelings and exchanging them for show,
    As we stanza ourselves down below.
    Dressed in jet on cruise control,
    Descending on white with blue parallel streets–
    Mapping out life’s mountains and valleys
    On countless detours sheet after sheet.

    In meters, singing-out-loud numerous of ballads and odes,
    Until rhyme and rhythm occasionally meet us—
    Parked by alliteration and onomatopoeias.
    Oh, pen!
    Oh, pen?
    Are you sleeping again?

  185. Angie5804

    For my Voyage poem I have made a Minute Poem. The Minute Poem is rhyming verse form consisting of 12 lines of 60 syllables written in strict iambic meter. The poem is formatted into 3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 syllables. The rhyme scheme is as follows:aabb, ccdd, eeff

    Don’t know which way the winds will blow
    I do not know
    Will rains be soft
    Keep love aloft?

    I can’t tell if it’s flow or ebb
    The water’s web
    It’s fingers cold
    The grasp foretold

    I can’t discern here in the mist
    Through swirls and twists
    Can’t tell which way
    To go today

  186. Cin5456

    The Journey

    I went from there to here.
    I’ll turn around and
    go from here to there.
    When I reach the start,
    I will be at the end.
    I am no longer as I was
    when I began this journey.
    One thousand days in
    one thousand places does not
    describe my journey even by half.

    On one day of this journey,
    I awoke beside a river bank
    and watched an otter play.
    When I laughed, he dove
    and swam down river.
    As I cooked my morning meal
    I watched a doe and fawn
    tiptoe to the water for a drink.
    The sound of the spoon
    touching the fry pan
    sent them scurrying, still thirsty.
    Later, on the edge of a town,
    A child played ball by himself.
    When he saw me approaching
    he abandoned his ball to run home.

    In the span of two hours, I discovered
    that my presence causes changes.
    I decided that I do not wish
    to be scary. I do not wish
    to cause harm or bring alarm.
    I am no longer who I was
    when I began that day.

    Consider the possible changes wrought
    during one thousand days
    and one thousand places.
    When you hear, ‘Getting there is
    half the journey,’ look inward
    to find the journey
    you might have missed.
    My journey has lasted a lifetime,
    and is not over yet.

  187. inkysolace

    “Oven”

    I wake on a train with cream dabbed on the corners
    of my lips. Outside is a spectacle–blurred
    trains with white chocolate taillights, plucked
    by the fingers of a patient child.

    We do not stop until the edges of our seats turn
    the crinkly brown of melted chocolate, our hair
    tied up with pink icing bows.

    The oven doors open and we tumble out like ash
    into the day’s warm spit. Candy-stained fingers
    point to half-eaten clouds suspended with wire.

    “This is your new home. An assembly line
    that has forgotten the meaning of sweetness.”

  188. Kendall A. Bell

    That band from Brooklyn is amazing

    There is always a wrong turn,
    a missed exit –
    some sort of detour from the path
    that ends up in front of my house,
    or at a show to see a band we both
    love. How many flat tires can a car
    sustain? How many highways can one
    take in the wrong direction before
    feeling slighted? Still, plans will
    be made again, online invites will
    be confirmed and best intentions
    will result in a late night drive
    to bar in Philly where I will stand
    against a cold pole in a packed room,
    close my eyes while the music engulfs,
    surrounded by strangers and your
    empty promises.

    1. veronica_gurlie

      really love this poem. what i love most is how I feel your spirit in the poem. The poem is not mechanical but breaths:0). Your beautiful pauses are also very good. Well done!

    2. veronica_gurlie

      On Our Romantic Get Away

      Let us ride the wings of our youth
      or grab it by tail, so it can drag us through our best years-
      years we are to spend, living life up, together,
      birthing and believing in new things,
      buying fine china, and books of how to make love,
      and thinking that it doesn’t get better than this-
      flying to timeless golden places,
      in which, not even in our infinite moments of self pleasure,
      could we ever say we reached.

  189. Sara McNulty

    Head Trip

    Let me take you
    on a trip through
    my brain. The little
    purple flags sticking up
    represent my creative
    curves, which, as you
    can see, drop down
    to a valley of yellow–
    a warning for me
    to pay attention,
    not my strong suit.
    Notice the small green
    hills. They are rich
    and fertile, as is my
    compassion. Step over
    that gray rock–a murky
    attempt at hand crafts–
    and you have now reached
    the end section, red ropes
    of fire from a younger age.

  190. miaokuancha

    April 2, 2014

    Prompt: Voyage

    *

    Five o’clock in the morning.
    Tai Chi on the lawn of the summer school.
    The dew is fresh.
    Watching the sunlight walk horizontal through the trees.
    Yin and yang.
    Shadow and bright.
    It walks as it rises.
    Twenty-four years old.

    Seven o’clock in the evening.
    The leaves haven’t turned yet.
    Standing on the deck looking out over the yard.
    Watching the sunlight walk horizontal through the trees.
    Yang and yin.
    Bright and shadow.
    It walks as it sets.
    Forty-four years old.

    It walks.

    “It Walks”

    ~miaokuancha

  191. Jenn Todd Lavanish

    In my self

    Frozen my mind hovers in fog
    Waiting for a flare.
    The siren’s call,
    A muse’s magic,
    Tuning fork vibrations,

    I need help,
    Small prayers,
    Sparks for my inspiration.

    Tools and tasks await my presence
    Routine seeps into my soul
    And becomes daily practice for my body.

    Haunting aches for the yet to come
    Lay dormant in hibernating creations.

    Time is my thief,
    Staccato with long pregnant pauses
    Interrupting my imagination,
    How do I spark?
    The fog is thick.

    My spirit is in quicksand
    Sinking some each day
    Self-critique weighs me down

    I force my way,
    Do something everyday

    Process takes away dismay
    The product ignites my mind
    For another day.

    The fog is never here to stay.

  192. ckays1967

    traveling without headlights
    the way home is a muscle memory
    turn left, turn right and follow the road

    home is in the cul de sac

    always

    bad news use to be an announcement
    shared from one person to another

    a ringing phone
    and a Daddy lost

    a morning bathroom break
    and a best friend gone

    but technology shatters the soft cushioning
    of; “I’m so sorry but they are gone.”

    while your parents worried over telling you
    a social media post broke the news of
    your friend’s chosen journey to death

    and

    suddenly I was traveling without headlights
    counting on my muscle memory to carry you

      1. Angie5804

        I am so sorry. Before I read your comment I was thinking of a few years ago . A girl from the school where I taught a few years ago was murdered by two other students,; friends of hers. I remember my brother telling me about his daughter running downstairs to tel him they had found her body – she found out via text..

  193. Megaparsec

    Alaska Ho

    We set sail under a cloudless sky
    Me, my aunts, my cousins and I

    To cruise the great Alaskan expanse
    Me and my cousins, I and my aunts

    Our friends and family asked us “why?”
    My aunts and me, my cousins and I

    Our travel fun we wished to enhance
    I and my cousins, me and my aunts

    We did not know what we would see
    My cousins and I, my aunts and me

    Perhaps bears, and birds, and whales by the dozens
    Me and my aunts, I and my cousins

    We wished to “mush” and zip through the trees
    I and my cousins, my aunts and me

    I said, “How ’bout we scuba dive?”
    No aunts, no cousins, just me and I

    But that’s okay, lots of time had we
    My aunts and I, my cousins and me

    To talk of our go’ins and com’ins
    My aunts and I, me and my cousins

    In the end I was just glad to be
    I with my aunts, my cousins, and me

    For we did it all and didn’t die
    Me, my cousins, my aunts, and I

  194. MeenaRose

    Opportunity Comes Knocking
    By: Meena Rose

    Wanderlust
    Strikes randomly;
    Eager souls ensnared.

    Opportunity
    Comes knocking
    On every door.

    Travel
    To lands;
    Discovering new loves.

    Love
    Freely shared;
    New found friends.

    Souls
    Enriched gratefully;
    Humanity renews hope.

  195. iris dunkle

    Here I am Holding
    Skimming the green, velveteen hills on my drive
    to work I see a large muddy sheep own
    a low lying field. She is completely
    alone. Rain has left this place softened and pooled
    and she carries the weight of it in the folds
    of her unshorn wool. Sky spindled above.
    Split between decisions: one end darkened
    as the wet earth, the other lit behind
    in syrupy golden light. No one knows
    what lies ahead. The sharp bend in the road
    seems dangerous and small in the dim light.
    Tomorrow, the same road under a different sky.
    The sheep shorn. The field dried. A universe
    lost and found in a single morning.

  196. verniedee

    It was at the airport
    When I realized
    I was finally leaving
    With a one-way ticket on my left,
    And a macchiato on my right.
    I finally sighed and said,
    “This is it.”

    As I took a step closer,
    I also took one farther

    Closer to life,
    Closer to a brave new world
    But not like Aldous Huxley’s
    Closer to dreams
    Closer to hopes

    Further from a cage
    I had to call home
    Further from love
    Further from forever
    Further from you.

    As I stepped into the airplane,
    This humungous,
    Pressurized vehicle
    I’ll be calling home for 18 hours,
    You were the first image
    That came to mind
    Our last hug,
    The last look
    The last kiss.

    I closed my eyes,
    And waited
    18 hours
    2 meals
    5 trips to the lavatory
    3 in-flight movies

    And as we landed,
    I said to myself,
    “Well.. I guess
    This is home.”

    -V. Del Mundo

  197. 5555

    The voyage began in Kuala Lampur.
    It took a wrong turn and was heard from no more.
    “Alright, Good night” were the words someone said,
    And before very long all were missing, feared dead.
    The search lingers on for bones, metal or trash.
    Reporters and others report and rehash.
    The whole world wonders and worries and screams,
    while the writing of documents fills paper by reams.
    There may never be closure to the sad tale of woe
    Of Malaysian Airlines flight 370.

  198. PSC in CT

    Pilgrimage

    Let me travel
    like the trees –
    delighting in the trip.
    Not seedlings newly sown,
    but those Ancient Ones —
    seeded, rooted eons ago —
    with feet firmly planted,
    yet, still reaching for the sky;
    accompanied by old friends,
    savoring the journey.
    Providing sustenance, sanctuary,
    even entertainment for fellow travelers;
    slumbering under the stars,
    bestirring at the blush of dawn,
    singing with the wind, dancing in the rain,
    greeting each evening
    with fingers full of moonlight.

    PSC/2014

  199. Jay Sizemore

    The process of whaling with a fishing net

    Have you seen the watery part of the world?
    That salty air has bleached and sandblasted
    the color from my beard, turned the lips
    of my grim-set mouth into those of
    a weather-worn statue, with a face so cracked
    the slightest of smiles could cause an avalanche.

    That scent is despondency, a shared disillusionment
    secreted like sweat from all men into this sea of words,
    where the wind only exists to knock your hat off
    and make you feel as hopeless as an untethered rope
    slapped repeatedly against the mast.

    Here, you turn yourself into a fishing net,
    a tool ill-fitted for the task at hand,
    most of us laves or throw nets,
    cast repeatedly into the chilly waters
    and hauled back with scant quarries
    of over-used cliches and unused suicide notes.

    The repetition wears on the knots,
    lets loose weighted stone after weighted stone
    until some are lost in the currents,
    a ghost of monofilament thread
    carried out into godlessness
    where the only salvation
    could be a shark’s stomach.

    It’s an illusion, the whale that calls us,
    like the way something cold can feel wet,
    yet some hone their longing, their faded eyes
    always searching that shadowed horizon
    for sign of that great idea cresting a wave
    with a spout of mist, their arthritic fingers
    already whittled down, sharp as harpoons.

  200. Margot Suydam

    Silent Thought

    All the years earthy Sif watched
    candles burn down to the wick

    before retiring to bed alone
    maybe she couldn’t care less

    that her husband was forever
    sailing on some crashing wave

    of tragic adventure or critical
    confrontation. Maybe sighing

    was a form of release, a relief
    hidden in the sweaty blankets

    of an already-cooling marriage.
    Missing her Thor was draining

    her reserves, her hand-maidens
    thought as they replaced the wax

    everyday, listening for his roar
    as if it could be cherished forever.

    Yet we forget, that quiet darkness
    is where willing wives often wait.

  201. spacerust

    “Journey43″ by Karl Avila

    Troubled seamen
    Fighting the inevitable
    Desperate to survive
    Battering waves
    Slamming into them
    One after another
    Ceasing to never end
    All the hope in the world
    Prayers to God for a chance to live
    One by one
    Swept overboard
    ‘Till no one left on deck
    Once living, now lost to see
    One by one
    They faded
    Sinking slowly
    Into the depths of the dark sea
    Never remembered
    Never forgotten
    Ship drifting onward
    Without a destination
    Wood creaking
    No one could hear
    Swallowed forever
    Memories of here

  202. Angie K

    Call it what you wish

    You call it a voyage,
    I say it’s a trip.
    While you see a freighter,
    I just see a ship.
    You say it’s gigantic,
    I agree it’s rather large,
    But it’s not the Titanic –
    We’re just riding on a barge.

  203. spacerust

    “Journey 43″ by Karl Avila

    Troubled seamen
    Fighting the inevitable
    Desperate to survive
    Battering waves
    Slamming into them
    One after another
    Ceasing to never end
    All the hope in the world
    Prayers to God for a chance to live
    One by one
    Swept overboard
    ‘Till no one left on deck
    Once living, now lost to see
    One by one
    They faded
    Sinking slowly
    Into the depths of the dark sea
    Never remembered
    Never forgotten
    Ship drifting onward
    Without a destination
    Wood creaking
    No one could hear
    Swallowed forever
    Memories of here

  204. danieletu

    Voyage Poem

    One step
    In any direction
    Begins an odyssey.

    Step forward
    Part the veils of destiny
    To reach enlightenment

    Step backward
    Lift the mists of the past
    To cleanse the soul

    Left – Right
    Skim the edge of the vortex
    To obtain inner peace

  205. Richard Fenwick

    From Manchester to Merrimack

    The cars move in a single file,
    the procession, like a snake
    winding behind the hearse,
    immersed as we are in the ritual.
    At the tail, I watch it slither,
    the lead car in a wide right turn
    while I make a hairpin left,
    the sum of us in our quiet dirge
    under a layer of gray that tosses
    handfuls of rain. Last night,
    a niece called for sun, high
    enough to warm our faces, yet
    I am glad for the gray, glad
    to be at the tail of this thing,
    somber enough to see it slink
    across the wet wheat fields.
    This deliberate task must move
    like the reptile, it demands
    the gray and a couple of drops
    of rain. It must be slow.
    Arrived, I close the door
    and feel a drop pit upon me.
    There is nothing more lonely,
    I think as I enter the field,
    than a blue and cloudless sky.

    1. miaokuancha

      Serious wordsmithing here.

      “like the reptile it demands”

      I know you have a comma in there, to make a different sense. But putting these words together on one line makes such an evocative combination.

      “feel a drop pit upon me”

      First the impact, as if drops could leave pits on the face.
      Then the pun with viper …

      Nice.

  206. Bucky Ignatius

    Phoenix to Eternity

    Across the Colorado,
    north of Yuma, through
    the passes where mountains
    of the great Mojave
    clump in small ranges
    like neighborhoods,
    named for their part
    in the namer’s dream:

    Castle Dome, Dome Rock,
    Eagletail and Trigo.
    Old Woman,
    Big Maria,
    Orocopia.
    Palomas, Plomosa
    Chuckwalla and Chocolate.

    The old trail traces
    the wide Coachella Valley,
    Salton Sea to the south,
    then skirts the ‘Little’
    San Brenardinos curling
    north up into high desert
    magic where Joshua
    trees dance in the slowest
    motion, mammoth granite
    boulders stacked to the stars.

    Bucky Ignatius

  207. julie e.

    ROBERT–I am deeply shamed by what you can put out in what did you say, fifteen to twenty minutes? That’s crazy talk! Lol!

    FOSTERING: DIAMOND GIRL

    And when she was born
    with her mama in jail
    she was given into other hands–
    mine
    And i held her like a mama would
    and i loved her like a mama would
    carefully squeezing a piece of
    my heart into hers
    like a mama would
    till the time came when i
    gave her back into mama’s hands
    my
    piece of a mama’s heart
    still beating in her out there,
    traveling her life’s journey
    But some days when i
    think of her most,
    my heart beams a signal like
    a mothership
    to that missing piece.
    i wonder if she can feel it?

    1. De Jackson

      Oh, Julie. MY heart. This is wonderful.
      I have a friend who is currently fostering the sweetest little one named Lyric. I can only imagine how hard this would/will be. Your words spill the love in your heart so well. What a gift.

    2. julie e.

      Thank you De–“Lyric.” What a special name like our Diamond! I appreciate your kind words so much!
      I really had to beat off The Rhymies yesterday but it was worth it. :-)

      Angie–thank you! It was such a unique experiment in motherhood. I definitely learned I could love another woman’s child like my own. :-)

  208. seingraham

    ESCAPING THE NIGHT

    In the pitch that is night, I hear you
    A nightmare inexplicable has you
    terrified, and me quickly there;
    I hold your sweet sweaty self
    Feel your heartbeat drum
    panicky fast against my chest
    I rock you gently, murmur nothings,
    hum snatches of sounds I hope
    are soothing, as I try to lull you
    back to sleep.

    You beg me to take you on a trip,
    to help you escape
    It’s not the first time…
    Mixed with the scent of No More
    Tears shampoo, there’s something
    else…the aroma of childhood
    departing?
    We settle back into the bed, get
    ready to ride the dragon
    There is nothing quite like climbing
    upon a purple-winged dragon
    and flying off to a perfect place
    And so we do…

  209. Mr. Walker

    She takes a road trip
    with her best friend.
    Seventeen years friends.

    I watch their progress
    on Facebook.
    Admire their photos.
    Press the like buttons.

    Wishful thinking?
    Perhaps a bit.
    Envy?
    Briefly, then gone.

    These passages,
    they are stops
    on my road trip.

  210. Benjamin Thomas

    Journey of no roots

    The journey began,
    when time made room,
    for the birth of Adam.
    Showcasing his smooth
    red clay birthday suit.
    Although like Abraham,
    He would not take root,
    in the earth.
    But boasted in a life
    of the altar and the tent,
    As he walked and spent
    his time with God.

  211. Alpha1

    THE PATH BACK

    While traveling
    Life’s rugged road
    You fell from heaven
    Into my path
    Leading this heart on a
    Journey
    Soaring on the delicate
    Wings of love
    Upwards we traveled
    Higher and closer we came
    To the clouds when
    Without warning
    Without provocation
    It seemed
    We spiraled downward where
    You released me
    And dropped this heart
    Back down to earth
    Back down to life’s
    Rugged road looking
    For the way home

  212. jenreyneri

    -Waiting for Asheville

    I
    am
    two
    days
    aside
    then dreams and miles
    lift me from rhythms of
    the daily grind and encourage
    (un) wine-ing-
    coffee grinding
    town of charm, art
    heart
    lifting
    drifting
    romancing
    I
    am
    ready
    to
    fly

  213. Bucky Ignatius

    Phoenix to Eternity

    Across the Colorado,
    north of Yuma, through
    the passes where mountains
    of the great Mojave
    clump in small ranges
    like neighborhoods,
    named for their part
    in the namer’s dream:

    Castle Dome, Dome Rock,
    Eagletail and Trigo.
    Old Woman,
    Big Maria,
    Orocopia.
    Palomas, Plomosa
    Chuckwalla and Chocolate.

    The old trail traces
    the wide Coachella Valley,
    Salton Sea to the south,
    then skirts the ‘Little’
    San Brenardino’s curling
    north up into high desert
    magic where Joshua
    trees dance in the slowest
    motion, mammoth granite
    boulders stacked to the stars.

    Bucky Ignatius

  214. jakkels

    I threw open the cover undecidedly; A platoon of poetic phrases ambushed my mind Even as they marched my eyes down the page My mind inhaled the magic and flew with images Through dark, slimy caverns of despair Were ravenous dogs of memory Lusted after morsals of pleasure Ever out of reach. Through graveyards of friendships Were tolling bells banished ghosts of hope To anonymous pitchfork mobs. Through volcanoed halls of anger Were molten emotions ran like words Along painful bleeding paths. Through living jungles of thoughts Where inky monkeys laid paths of scintilating words Leading to castles of technicolor air. Past meadows and beaches and firelit rooms Were beauteous maidens or handsome men Waited with impassioned expectancy Past portraits of Valor, Sacrifice, Success Changing like videos as the eye them beholds. To hazy halls of shifting scenes where phantoms enact life dramas On an unseen stage. then I closed the book.

  215. kimdorfman

    Voyage

    It’s been a long journey, the one from daughter to orphan,
    21 years now, and four parents gone.

    The fathers, bookends on that trip—each grew sicker still, and died, both on my watch, under my care.

    ‘92 snuffed the first, in early May, such new grief ruining forever the first real week of spring every year, the one when trees burst tight buds, litter sidewalks white with waves of castoff petals, and the air sweet, lilac, redolent.

    Even now, those glorious details leap out from winter’s pall to summon…an unfathomably dull sadness, until I remember.

    Early this raw winter, the second dad ambled, then rushed away, in a season so rife with everything. Everything needing attention—every deadline competing— all at once– for me.

    That month of his dying marked the final time my role as daughter would ever compete with that of mother. Every day brought fresh obligation. Whose needs should come first, the kids’ or my sick dad’s?

    All I knew was mine came last, though I couldn’t feel a thing, simply stalked the line as it curved, one foot ahead of the other, blind.

    From beginning to end, that trip spanned twenty-one years of children born, jobs exchanged, relationships woven in, out and under like colorful Maypole streamers.

    I was young, too young, to properly care for my first dying father. But, now, now…perhaps it is apt there lives no insulation between my generation and death.

  216. Shaindel Beers

    I write running poems where the title is my distance, time, and the date.

    3.16 Miles, 32 Minutes 4/2/14

    Salmon and lavender
    underblush
    of cloud.

    Geese horn their way
    through the wakening sky,

    their signal to each other that they
    are together in flight.

    So opposite
    from our honks, warning when
    we get too near one another.

    The heron sits frozen above
    the river. Still as a meditation.

    When the sun crests the hill,
    he spreads his wings, warming
    from statue to life.

  217. destinywilliams

    Forward and Back Again

    Breathe In
    Breathe Out
    Shake All
    about. You’ve
    got to get
    that monster
    out.

    Up to the
    mountain
    to slay
    The dragon
    too late it’s
    changed it’s
    shape.

    Down to the
    river. To wash
    away your sins.
    Why did you
    let them in?
    Purify yourself
    from within.

    Back to the start.
    You think this
    is the end. But
    sugar be careful
    because it always
    starts again.

  218. Shaindel Beers

    I write running poems where the title is my distance, time, and the date.

    3.16 Miles, 32 Minutes 4/2/14

    Salmon and lavender
    underblush
    of cloud.

    Geese horn their way
    through the wakening sky,

    their signal to each other that they
    are together in flight.

    So opposite
    from our honks, warning when
    we get too near one another.

    The heron sits frozen above
    the river. Still as a meditation.

    When the sun crests the hill,
    he spreads his wings, warming
    from statue to life.

  219. DanielAri

    GETTING OVER THE BOUNDING MAIN

    and when we shipped for Saigon the contrasts
    were so pronounced, I didn’t start to notice
    until years later, when I was out of the Navy—
    how, for starters, it was night, not day, and
    how no women stood on tiptoe on the docks
    waving hankies and crying teardrops like lost
    diamonds from heaven, how no fanfare fanned
    at all as we plunged in to carry out the orders
    already ejected from the perpetual grimace
    of the PO. It was late when I went, and timing
    was the bullet I dodged. We made it there and
    headed for home within the same calendar
    month. To think I was disappointed then at
    the trip made for nothing and not the absence
    of women waving on the docks, coming or going.
    They should have been there when I came back
    to the states, calling “Bon Voyage, Eugene!
    Look us up when you get back home!” Which
    that guy, of course, never could have done.

    —FangO (by the good graces of DA)

  220. lshannon

    A trip not yet taken
    vast stretches of empty route ways
    cut off and preserved.

    Alone-time with her
    dust and faded neon
    roadside attractions
    distract and humor
    and still amaze

    Time honored meals and
    diner destinations
    retro in the preserved present
    the curled edges of postcards
    patches and souvenir spoons
    dust settled and resettled

    A caravan of
    comfortable convenience
    with nothing but time
    and the next stop
    to bring us together
    catching up on years apart
    singing forgotten songs
    on a real radio
    tuner dials and static
    and sorting through snapshots
    her past is my past

    Her laughter and
    tear filled eyes
    childlike delight and
    fussy discoveries

    What can and cannot be consumed
    a part of each meal plan

    Wisdom and warmth
    constant in my life of inconsistencies
    this precious time
    as yet unclaimed
    a possible regret

    To claim this path
    thoughts beyond self
    and schedules
    trading hours of
    precious priorities
    open the door and go

    Settle behind the wheel
    of expanding roads
    let the journey take us.
    before both the path
    and the companion
    become memory

    -Lauren Shannon

  221. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    I combined the PAD voyage prompt with the NaPoWriMo mythology prompt. This is an old Slavic myth of Morana and Jarilo:

    Morana

    I am the cold.
    People say I am evil
    because my breath turns everything
    into ice.
    They fear my beauty
    and the wolf that sleeps inside me.
    I am Perun’s daughter,
    my mother is the Sun.
    I am born every winter
    As the clock strikes midnight
    And the New Year begins.
    With me, my brother,
    My husband, my only one.
    Stolen from his cradle, he wonders
    the underworld.
    Forgetting who he is,
    He seeks the warmth of the fire.
    I wait.
    He comes to me
    in summer.
    He never stays long.
    The winter makes him restless
    and he slithers underground
    where it’s always hot.

  222. starrynight3

    Hobo

    Railroad trestle bridge high
    Over the great lake
    Where a town precariously
    Teeters on the cliff’s edge.
    The town floods every year:
    Clockwork, like the train comes
    Twice a day, elevated track
    Someone knew to build that way,
    Chugging past the rowboats
    Floating by the attic windows.
    Not many female indigents those
    Days, she came with the five o’clock
    Jumped from the rusted boxcar
    Someone’s daughter, or mother
    Clutching a faded tapestry knapsack
    She knew how to fade out of view
    Into the line of trees, step into an alley
    A town, perched on a lake like that
    The way it might perish with the next hard rain
    She could inhabit a place like that.

  223. starrynight3

    Hobo

    Railroad trestle bridge high
    Over the great lake
    Where a town precariously
    Teeters on the cliff’s edge.
    The town floods every year:
    Clockwork, like the train comes
    Twice a day, elevated track
    Someone knew to build that way,
    Chugging past the rowboats
    Floating by the attic windows.
    Not many female indigents those
    Days, she came with the five o’clock
    Jumped from the rusted boxcar
    Someone’s daughter, or mother
    Clutching a faded tapestry knapsack
    She knew how to fade out of view
    Into the line of trees, step into an alley.
    A town, perched on a lake like that
    The way it might perish with the next hard rain
    She could inhabit a place like that.

  224. rebrog

    Voyage

    If I reach across
    the aisle of the train
    and touch your arm
    or say your name
    and if it’s you
    all these years passed
    knocking back the contents
    of that glass, with a hand
    that mapped such intimate cartography
    it felt like an extension of my body
    if I reach out
    and if it’s you
    will you be ready
    yet
    to forgive me.

  225. barbara_y

    The Voyages of Hedgehogs

    We are round and gray.
    Pink and spiky. We’re strange
    common. Ordinary-dull,
    uninteresting, fascinating, wild,
    made of odds and pieces, ripe,
    programable. We fish for bream
    with crickets and worms and big brass hooks.
    We travel with bottles of pills.

    Young, I was vegetable.
    My husk was green, unblighted
    chestnut. A squirrel removed my jacket.
    Silly things float down the gutter.
    Bolero jackets off chestnut hedgehogs,
    neon tennis balls, ruby rings
    dropped by careless snatch-and-grabmen.

    I imagine relatives who are urchins.
    Sea lanes above are bowled by pirates,
    and every mate, strange
    as a hedgehog.

  226. Donna_KM

    I don’t know if missionary work is counts toward the “voyage” theme, but a friend in Africa inspired me, so here we go:

    The Missionary’s Wife

    In the searing streets of Senegal,
    By her God’s hand,
    his assailant’s slipped.

    A machete,
    Broad-side-front.
    A body bruised,
    not bloodied, between
    shoulder blades.

    His servant’s heart begged mercy, grace
    for the Machete Man who fled in a haze
    of Dakar dust that settled into her mouth agape.

    Silent lips tasting of grit
    paid service to her husband’s prayer.

  227. Emma

    The Bridge

    It’s probably my seventh crossing
    in as many months.
    I’m homeward bound.
    The Severn sparkles beneath,
    fading out into the distance,
    stretching out to the ocean.
    For a little while, i am
    leaving Cambria and it’s
    great red dragon behind,
    returning to the other side
    of Offa’s Dyke, the place
    where I understand all the
    annoying adverts on the radio.
    My carriage is a big blue bus,
    creaking and groaning
    as traffic rushes by.
    The setting sun glints off the water.
    My eyelids fall, I drift off
    (or maybe ‘sail’?)
    to the rhythm of the tired wheels turning.

  228. Elizabeth Koch

    I Am Her Poem

    She used to hide me
    keep me to herself

    scribbles of emotions
    making sense of life

    tucked between pages
    stuffed in the drawer

    But now here I am
    on public display

    for the world to see
    her life on the page

    she’s no longer scared
    to let you view me

    through me, she is scared
    of nothing

  229. Rolf Erickson

    A Walk In the Park

    It looked like a walk in the park
    to the unobservant eye
    or the bowed head and
    facile thumbs tweeting
    their way through
    the trees.

    But that was just the
    form of the journey,
    not its essence.

    The feet knew their
    way through the woods
    to the wide surreal
    grassy meadows
    where steeple-like
    trees lift their eyes
    toward the sky.

    The trees that pray
    for someone for
    anyone who may
    be able to see them
    as they really are.

    Not just their form
    not just the outside
    but inside where
    long bare branches
    reach outward and
    up in supplication
    to the sky.

    I was that anyone
    entering into the tree
    reaching my arms
    as far around the
    massive soft wispy
    bark as arms
    could stretch.

    I was that someone
    who saw and held
    and whispered:

    “I know you.”
    “I see you.”
    “We are.”

  230. James Von Hendy

    Shortcuts

    It took me years to realize it was journeys
    With destinations that he abhorred,

    Arrivals anywhere but at his own front door.
    Those summer trips where a rest stop for the boys

    Was a backseat peanut butter jar? All
    About getting to the grandparents and back

    Again with as little time away from
    Home, the yellow glow of lamplight burning far

    Into the night, the comfort of his books
    A journey that need not end. It took me

    Years to realize separation and divorce
    Were journeys with destinations he endured

    To be with us. He’d pick us up and drop us off,
    And in between lay mapless roads of heaven.

    Always when the day grew long with shadow
    And it was time to take us back, the way

    Straight and clear, we’d see that sidelong glance.
    “I know a shortcut,” he’d say, and we’d laugh

    When he meandered down every byway
    And looping lane, each turn taking us still

    Farther from destination into journey,
    The yellow glow of headlights a signal joy.

  231. MELenns

    From Here to There and Back to Here

    I exist in my soul
    In my mind
    In my brain
    In my head
    On a pillow
    In my bed
    I thrive in an upper room
    In my home
    On a lot on Long Drive
    In the Onalaska Woods
    In Onalaska
    Polk County
    Deep East Texas
    In the United States of America
    On the North American Continent
    In the Western half of the Northern Hemisphere
    Of the planet Earth
    In orbit around the Sun
    At the center of a solar system
    In the Orion Arm
    Orbiting the black hole
    At the center of the Milky Way Galaxie
    In the local galactic cluster
    In the Virgo super cluster
    In a universe that is ever expanding
    Into the eternal infinite void
    Which contains the ostent
    Evanescent eidolon of
    Circumstantially Evident
    Solipsistic Reality
    Perceived as the energy/matter
    Space/time, life/mind paradigm
    Where I am, know I am
    And know that I know.

    MEL

  232. Bartholomew Barker

    Packing for a month long trip to Brazil

    Passport: check.

    Laptop: check.

    Voltage converter: check.

    Tickets: no, the airlines don’t issue card stock tickets with cryptic writing anymore.

    Clothes: I don’t think I own a month’s worth that fit so I’ll pack what I have and trust a laundry can be found.

    Companion: I don’t have one of these yet. I enjoy the freedom of eating when hungry, sleeping when tired and leaving when bored. Alone I can take unreasonable risks in the name of experience or do nothing in my hotel room and feel no guilt. Of course I miss the poetry of exploring foreign cities with a lady on my arm, puzzling over Portuguese menus and delighting in strange flavors together but my past high maintenance choices have left a preference for solitude. Wouldn’t it be nice to pack a companion and take her out when lonely?

    Alas, the vuvuzela doesn’t fit in the suitcase either.

  233. James Rodgers

    At Night, I Fly

    When at night I go to bed
    I slip into my dreams
    I can fly and soar about
    because my arms are wings

    Aquamarine and three feet long
    my wingspan’s extra wide
    with my legs forward and back
    through the air I glide

    Because who wants to walk around?
    It’s more fun to fly instead
    And I ride the air ’til morning
    and then wake up in my bed

    No longer high up in the sky
    I’m back here on the ground
    until I go to sleep again
    where nothing can keep me down

  234. taylor graham

    MONET’S ANGELS

    Here, I’m holding the door for you.
    You used to open doors for me –
    canoeing a stormy Kenai lake,

    following scent trails in the dark,
    calling a stranger’s lost name.
    All those adventures.

    Now the nurse calls your name.
    You gave up driving a year ago.
    Blindness opens the other senses,

    a journey we never wanted to make.
    I’ll lead you out into natural daylight.
    What does green smell like?

    Do you hear the heartbeat
    of that blackbird on the sidewalk?
    Tell me the texture of morning

    after rain has sharpened edges,
    washed them soft as watercolor
    halos against your cheek.

  235. madeline40

    Africa Last Summer

    Our Kenyan and Tanzanian safari
    last summer satisfied
    all past and future yearnings
    to visit Africa.
    I saw more animals and birds
    than I ever dreamed of – many more
    than Noah could ever board
    in his ark.
    The geography varied
    at each place we visited
    from bumpy hills
    with bare trees in Samburu,
    a vast plain and little vegetation
    called the Savannah in the Masai Mara,
    rolling greens covered with dense rocks
    and thunderstorms every evening
    on the Serengeti,
    dust and hot dry air in Lake Manyara,
    and at our last place Ngorongoro,
    wind-blown red soil covered
    all of me inside and out.

  236. nmbell

    Voyage Poem

    Wheels are turning under me
    The truck’s nose is pointed east
    Across the vast prairie I’m headed
    Snow and ice still holds the wheat fields in their grasp

    The sun wakes diamonds in the frosty trees
    Can you imagine making this journey years ago?
    Horse and wagon doing maybe twenty miles a day
    Slogging through the last snows of spring

    Hoping the next water hole won’t be dry
    As spring turns to summer and heat shimmers
    Over the short grass prairie where gophers whistle
    And hawks soar in an impossible blue sky

    A dry wind sucks the moisture out of your skin
    Just as it sucks any moisture from the earth
    Acrid scent of manure mingles with the dust
    And the fragrance of crushed grasses

    I can’t even imagine breaking down out here
    Prairie towns are still few and far between
    Even in the 21st century.
    It makes it easy to understand why settlements
    Sprang up wherever there was water and trees

    A woman looking ahead and seeing only more prairie
    Holding a baby to her breast and clutching a toddler’s hand
    Telling her husband this is as far as she’s going
    Come hell or high water

    You have to give credit to the pioneers who carried on
    Who saw the mountains rise out of the haze in the distance
    The ones who rode the sea of prairie grasses to the foothills
    Ending the voyage in the arms of the Rockies as the poplars turn gold.

  237. Tara

    Forty

    It’s a long trip to forty
    four decades, no less
    and yet it goes by
    in the blink of an eye
    and I’m sitting here feeling a mess

    I dreamed a different journey
    in a dorm room long ago
    but I took a wrong turn
    different lessons to learn
    found a side of me I didn’t know

    Now I sit here at forty
    no escaping that fact
    but I’m trying to be
    that old version of me
    and starting out a new act

  238. Michele Brenton

    A Poem for Russell Brand
    or This is the way to fight for Yashika.

    A young girl weeps,
    we do not hear her screams
    we do not see her cry.
    Justice wears a bandage
    and will not rest until we
    share its blindness.

    Her mother has sobbed
    on national tv,
    her teachers ROAR at the pain
    of losing this diamond clear
    intellect, this hope, this future,
    we have tried,
    we have tried.

    She travels in a van with
    heavy guards.
    Count them,
    One,
    Two,
    Three,
    Four.
    Onto the plane with one either side.

    Eight rows of empty seats
    between her and any help.
    Count them,
    One,
    Two,
    Three,
    Four,
    Five,
    Six,
    Seven,
    Eight.

    Eight hours to fly from here to there.
    From where she is safe to
    a place no one cares.
    The government bared its
    teeth today,
    and we must vote its
    seats away.
    Count them,
    One,
    Two,
    Three,
    Four,

    You wondered what the point of voting was for?
    Think of Yashika and wonder no more.

    Some background information on this poem: 2nd April 2014 – Yashika Bageerathi was deported from the UK at 9pm while Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage debated about Europe on television which was a good time to bury cruel activities.
    She had avoided deportation twice. Once when British Airways refused to participate in the deportation and once on this Sunday when the level of protest embarrassed the government. Today while her supporters were celebrating Sunday’s achievement she was whisked away to Heathrow at short notice. She is a model student who came to the UK as a child with her family to avoid violence as a refugee. She reached the age of 18 and despite being due to take A’levels and having a scholarship to university was picked to be deported alone and incarcerated in a detention centre.

    Russell Brand is a UK actor/comedian who famously pronounced during an interview on British tv with political interviewer Jeremy Paxman that voting was a pointless activity.

  239. kmb3

    Day 2: Reflections of the Journey

    i look back
    through the perspective of years
    at those who sat and judged
    who deemed me
    impetuous
    temptress
    nightmare
    at those who were right

    i look back
    through the twists and turns
    at those who journeyed
    past me
    through me
    behind me
    at those who stayed beside me

    i look back
    through the landscapes
    at those mountains
    and the cliffs
    and the gentle meadows
    and the boulders
    at the muddled landscape that has become me

    And i see
    a milllion
    twists and turns
    that have brought me to this place
    this moment
    this person and i know
    that if i could go back
    to any intersection
    to make the journey less painful
    with fewer mountains
    and without meandering
    it could be a different voyage
    but i would never change a thing
    i’d endure it all again
    if it changed the destination

  240. Kevin D Young

    CAVALCADE

    Iced in in Abilene, one last trip frozen
    in place, farther from too far by slim
    roads under glass and a penchant
    for frugality and timing. The economics
    of death are not as crisp as new Lincolns.

    One day earlier we’d have heard her inhale
    her last two liters of (mostly) nitrogen, contaminated
    with, so the math impresses, at least one molecule
    breathed at the end by every person breathing
    anywhere, at any time. Now with Caesar

    and with Brutus and the ash-faced children
    of Pompeii she rehearses in the brown
    Brownian whorls of a West Texas wind
    the storms she carried before they shucked
    themselves from her Alzheimerian cob.

    Tomorrow, or one day, we will drive
    into the vortex, suck her through our teeth
    and re-speak this blunt, bland cavalcade
    to others who will not know
    when they come or go or care.

    1. msmacs3m

      What a powerful image. There is a whole history, mystery and story in one sentence. Makes me think of things from the Japanese tsunami arriving on our beaches.

  241. Brian Slusher

    THE NOTYSSEY

    Each day, she watches him embark
    On a voyage of delay. He navigates
    From room to room in a panicky
    odyssey, hoping to discover a set
    of keys, a pair of shoes, maybe
    a printout or a precious device,
    yet she’s wise to his wanderings:
    he’s really looking for time, ransacking
    drawers for extra minutes, turning
    out pockets for the stubs of seconds
    because he hates to leave, despises
    the verge of the insistent world
    and while some might crave to range
    from Junin to Lianyungang, she sees
    this house contains his Antipodes,
    as he stretches his arm beneath
    the bed, longing to reach a stay.

    1. Linda Voit

      Brilliant! And I love a poem that sends me searching for new knowledge (for me) like what an antipode is and the fact that Junin in Argentina and Lianyungang in China are antipodes. Thank you!

  242. saracosty

    The Problem

    Here’s the problem with me:
    I believe in another plane.
    I believe every day
    I walk into someone else’s story.
    I trudge to class through a reality that exists
    in a another world, another time.
    The reverberations of lives past
    are constantly bouncing off me.

    They’re less than shadows but more than air.
    My senses tell me what my eyes can’t see;
    something’s there.

    I think I believe in what most people
    are afraid to understand,
    afraid to accept,
    because it’s scary.
    To think we stay here.
    It’s scary
    that our souls could wander helplessly forever.
    IT’S SCARY.

    There’s a morbid comfort, I would guess,
    in thinking all that’s waiting
    is blackness.
    That after it’s over, it’s over,
    and we spend eternity
    in a cold, damp darkness.

    Here’s the problem, I don’t buy it.
    7 billion people on the Earth with
    passions and angers and loves.
    I don’t buy it
    that your soul gives up weakly
    after your last breath leaves you.
    I DON’T BUY IT.

    I think souls recycle like the rain,
    healing in the ground,
    rising to the Universe,
    and entering our ranks again.
    I think we are more
    than the life we live now.
    And our soul shows our past
    like rings in the innards of a tree.
    And to me,
    someone refusing to believe
    in a plane we intersect with
    every day
    is just another politician
    who denies global warming.

    Here’s the problem, death is scary.
    We don’t know what happens,
    and no one’s lining up
    to find out.
    But if we just considered
    all the history around us,
    all the stories never told,
    or told too often,
    all the words so important
    that they’re still being whispered,
    and all the cries trying still to be heard….

    When it rains,
    there is water that doesn’t sink into the ground,
    that gets stuck on rocks,
    or in garbage cans,
    or gutters,
    or tree houses.
    So too, are there souls,
    and we cross paths every day
    as mindlessly as we step
    in a puddle filled
    with three-day-old
    rain.

    Here’s the problem: no one is sure enough
    to believe what they can’t see.
    We’re just as afraid of death
    as we are of being wrong.
    Only children believe in Santa Claus,
    but he can be real in our hearts!
    ……….
    Yes, I suppose.
    I suppose that’s true.
    But ghosts aren’t in your hearts.
    They’re all around you.

    Here’s the problem when you say that:
    no one believes you.

  243. Delaina Miller

    Passage

    Oh what a ride. A full whirlwind!
    Our journey together.
    Compass in hand we traverse
    prairie fields, desert hills,
    even gardens of the world.
    Side by side we wiggle through
    retaining walls to define our married life.
    One decade becoming two
    our knot finally recognized.

    From the airplane window we watch
    the earth move and we feel change.
    A virgin voyage some might say
    though we return each year
    feels different. Open eyes and arms wait
    to pull us in, pull us close
    to avow our love
    to celebrate
    the completion of us.

  244. Funkomatic

    Contact, as in to press against
    As the ball point indents the paper
    Leaving a trail behind it that can be
    Over-written but not erased

    A trail for past lovers to get lost on
    Each bump and switchback in a signature
    Shakes another loose, makes another
    Dress like a ghost, or go hungry at night.

    A trail from one hand to another
    That counts the final step on the line
    A change position but not place
    The city clerk a silent witness.

  245. jacquemlane

    On the Road
    by Jacqueline Cardenas

    Sooner or later
    she’s got to realize,
    1969 at two and a half,
    blonde pig tales, and
    embroidered bell bottoms
    was a banner year.
    The best of ‘em.

    When she said,
    “I a hippie.”
    She really had a good idea
    of self–
    back then.

    These days, it’s just a run
    for the money.
    Watch your words, your back, and your
    bank account. Forget those new
    running shoes, I’ve decided. No shoes
    will do just fine for this next part of the road.

    What I want to be when I grow up
    is everything I ever knew in the
    sparkle of dandelions growing in
    my backyard. I a hippie.
    Not workin’ for the man or
    the woman in his suit.

    No, this jungle animal is breaking
    free of this food chain. Dean and
    Marylou would dig it. Time
    for me to hit that high note too.

  246. tunesmiff

    I AM A PILGRIM
    G. Smith
    —————————-
    I am a pilgrim,
    Long on my way;
    Step by step,
    And day by day.
    With joyful song,
    Mile by mile,
    I’ll reach my destination in a little while;
    I’ll reach my destination in a little while.

    I am a pilgrim
    Long on the road,
    Helping my brother
    Carry his load.
    Taking my sister
    By her hand;
    Together we’ll journey to the Promised Land;
    Together we’ll journey to the Promised Land.

    I am a pilgrim,
    At the edge of the sea,
    Charting a course,
    To what’s to be.
    Study the tides;
    The moon, and North Star,
    Follow the sunset, no matter how far;
    Follow the sunset, no matter how far.

    I am a pilgrim,
    Long on my way,
    Step by step,
    And day by day;
    With a joyful song,
    Mile by mile,
    I’ll reach my destination in a little while,
    I’ll reach my destination in a little while.

    I’ll reach my destination…

      1. tunesmiff

        Thank you for your kind words…

        I had that feeling in mind… a folk song, or an old-style mountain gospel song…

        And who knows, it may yet be…

        : )

        Thanks again;

        g

  247. saracosty

    Foreign Eggs

    My foreign-looking omelette
    looks up at my from its foreign pan
    on its foreign stove
    in its foreign kitchen
    in its foreign country.

    You couldn’t call it an omelette.
    More so a cheesy, oozing, tomato-y blob.
    I couldn’t make myself an omelette in France.

    I came by myself,
    thousands of miles on my own
    for the first time.
    Two days a week, I fended for myself
    in the cobblestone arena
    that is Arles.
    I was finding independence.
    I was finding confidence.
    I was finding power
    in the steely face I bore as I walked
    the wandering streets.

    Language mishaps didn’t bother me,
    I was fine with getting lost.
    But this omelette.
    This eggy, cheesy blob…..

    Every failure in the last year
    manifested as I desperately flipped my blob.
    The cheese that escaped reminded me
    of everything I’ve been denying,
    trying to hide in the recesses of ma tête.
    There was egg that was cooked,
    and secure
    and strong
    but the blob still oozed in a panic,
    not sure what to do or where to go,
    and no matter how I tried,
    I couldn’t guide this blob to its proper form.
    I screeched to myself,
    my voice shrill and echoing in my head,
    “How can you be anything at all
    when you can’t even make
    a god damned omelette?”

    I almost cried over an egg blob.

    But I shook the blob out of its foreign pan
    onto a foreign plate
    sat at a foreign table
    and squirted some not-so-foreign ketchup.

    I still could eat my mess of a blob,
    even though it wasn’t what it was
    supposed to be.
    And it was still good, even as
    messy and misshapen as it was.
    It may have not been perfect,
    but it was my egg blob
    that I created for myself
    after fighting to survive in a cobblestone arena
    in a foreign town
    on a foreign continent
    across a foreign ocean.

    If I was really nothing,
    if I could never really be anything,
    I would have never cracked
    that foreign egg.

  248. DamonZ

    “Redemption”

    Up the leafy, feathered, trail.
    I roust and rove in splendid regale.

    Blissfully sweeping along in time.
    Eating up distance as I climb.

    I attain the summit and join the crags,
    The wind blown tangles and twisted snags.

    My senses acute and spirits high.
    Across the hinterlands I descry.

    A wondrous world of nature’s own.
    Peacefully I ponder all alone.

    Across the coulee an eagle sails.
    In the valley coyotes wail.

    Down from low I have risen.
    New beginnings I’ve been given.

    Nothing convalesces a sorted soul.
    Like reaching and achieving a personal goal.
    That warm feeling of peace on the whole.

    By: Damon Zallar

  249. matthew

    Journey
    I seldom use the word journey
    Because that band sucks
    And they have ruined
    The word journey for me
    Forever

    I have voyaged to distant
    Family
    To Huauchinango Mexico
    To the Emerald mountains
    Into hugs
    Where it is always green

    I have tasted the feast
    That was prepare for me
    Walked the streets at night
    Stopped to listen to a
    Mariachi band and applauded
    Hysterically

    Not once thanking my wife
    For overseeing this journey
    Just smiled at her and
    Mention how great it was
    To visit family

  250. keepkeepingmesane

    “Operator”
    By Jeremy Johnson

    It’s a slow spiral.
    Not like riding a
    one-winged dragonfly
    through an 80-bladed ceiling fan.

    More like riding aback an ant.
    Traversing the twirls of
    a telephone cord to discover
    just where the hell that voice is coming from.

  251. GarrinJost

    As I Cross This Day:

    Be with me as I
    eat and drink
    speak and think
    love and move
    grow and shrink
    pass and stay
    kneel and pray
    live and die
    breathe and blink

  252. saracosty

    Daily Affirmation

    I don’t like staying in one place.
    I itch to be somewhere else
    as someone else
    doing something else.
    But I’m lucky. I can leave if I want.

    I have been a constellation.
    I have saved a boy from Hell.
    I have been abused and the abuser.
    I’ve already been old and decrepit at 21 years old.
    I’ve suffered heavily from alcoholism.
    I’ve rallied thousands against injustices,
    and I’ve waited in your bedroom at night.
    I even smoked a cigarette while I watched you kill your husband.
    He had it coming.

    I swear to you, I close my eyes and I’m gone.
    I walk into the light and my body stays,
    breathless,
    in the dark stairwell behind me
    as I take on someone else.
    I explore every facet of our beings,
    and sight see every dark memory,
    and excavate the tears I’ve buried, lest they come at the wrong time.

    As someone else I ask myself questions
    I never would before.
    The obviously politically incorrect questions
    one asks when in a foreign place.
    The ones the natives never ask.
    How much did that really hurt?
    How broken are you?
    Do you know what it’s like to be afraid?
    Sometimes it takes traveling to someone else
    to learn we’re not that different.

    And I eventually return to my
    pulseless body
    with all the energy of my soul’s voyage
    in another person’s shoes and smile and eyes.
    Sometimes it’s devastating.
    Sometimes it eats at me day after day,
    wearing me down with bags too heavy for me to carry.
    But sometimes it’s beautiful,
    and always
    it’s worth it.

    I walk into an audition like an airport;
    my resume is my passport.
    A record of the people I’ve traveled.
    Who will I go next?

  253. Taylor Emily Copeland

    Husk

    Oh traveler,
    you have conquered my inches
    and staked claim of each breath
    from my gaping mouth. You have
    moved the pale earth, a slight
    tremor to a landslide, watered
    the ground and calmed the natives.
    You can leave your shoes in
    the dim hallway, take my extra key,
    raise the sun in the morning,
    shade me with the husk of you.
    Baby, you are home.

  254. jacquemlane

    Time Lost Forever in Tucson
    by Jacqueline Cardenas

    On the way to Tucson
    my father is there dying
    what has not been said is
    everything that a little girl
    ever wanted to say to her daddy

    you are the king of my world
    you have saved me from the greenest scaliest dragons
    you are the reason that all men should have the strength
    of Stetsons, the scent of English Leather, the softness of
    tears for his children

    you are how I know how to fight
    and how I know how to fail
    like all the others in your family before you
    we have run out of time
    stopped far short of the finish line
    we gave up. On each other.

    Somehow I don’t think that’s what you meant
    for us when I was small, or even when I last sat across from you
    silently. Maybe you want the chance just to say
    before you go on,

    “I love you my girl, and
    I would slay a thousand dragons,
    just to tell you that
    you are the princess of my world.”

  255. JanetRuth

    For the Heaven of it…

    Maybe to you my voyage seems to be a bit like housewife hell
    My dear, someday I hope your dreams will find the heaven in its swell
    And if it were but laundry-mop-and-dishes metronome
    Perhaps it would be drudgery but oh, it is for Home

    Maybe my voyage seems unglamorous, dust-cloths and brooms
    Are not so very amorous, tis true; but in these rooms
    I touch the Place of happiness for this is where we come
    Away from gawking greediness to this; our home sweet home

    …and I suppose there is no title for the pro of scrubbing pots
    Or wiping up of cookie crumbs; picking forget-me-nots
    And maybe all these miles I’ve vacuumed seem an aimless tome
    But I have yet to find a kinder destiny than Home

  256. Blaise

    SIREN CHORD

    I finally hear it
    through the still morning air
    the extravagant horn of the train.
    As this rich chord gets closer,
    louder, it beckons me
    like an iron bell to a churchgoer.
    Ears pass the call inside,
    where my stomach rumbles for new roads
    and nose hungers for acrid steel.

    Bag on my shoulder,
    my feet’s rhythm on the sidewalk quickens,
    tones of the approaching whistle now clear,
    five notes stacked up in penetrating harmony,
    complete yet open,
    pleasing yet dissonant,
    to throw the question
    through flesh to my bones,
    “Where to?”

    Gulping the last of this town’s air,
    I reach the platform
    just before she pulls in,
    this gleaming silver phallus
    always female to me,
    screeching steel wheels and
    clouds of steam
    delicious music to my soul,
    luring me to come away with her.

    Dusty boot hits foot-polished steps
    and the conductor gives form
    to the now-silent whistle, “Where to?”
    “How far West does she go?”

  257. Pat Walsh

    Safe journey, Robert! Here’s my “Voyage” poem — with a nod toward Tristan Jones:

    Stone’s Throw
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    Let me show you this
    little stone I found this morning
    when I pulled in my net full
    of fish

    See the way it shines
    in the light of the sun
    as though it were a founding stone
    of Elysium

    Can you believe that this
    little stone fished from the sea
    traveled to this moment from the dark
    of space

    I will toss this stone
    as if sounding a final breath
    and its echo will plot our course
    of voyage

  258. KS20x1

    Its how you rotate

    and inhale

    the way your mouth

    moves around the exhale

    the flicker of eyelashes to the question

    ‘what are you thinking’

    slowly revolving hips

    circular motion

    towards the

    others

    chest falls to chest

    bluest eyes roll back to beats

    and the cadence of hearts

    dancing

    while passing the intoxication

    back down

    clouds accumulate behind

    walls of teeth

    addiction

    sucked through or poured

    out

    into a waiting

    vessel for the second

    trip
    d
    o
    w
    n
    A to B to

    ‘I love you’
    was so simple

    “Coming Home”
    by Kelley Stephens
    http://www.kelleystephens20.wordpress.com
    Day 2 PAD Challenge (Voyage)

    1. KS20x1

      Its how you rotate

      and inhale

      the way your mouth

      moves around the exhale

      the flicker of eyelashes to the question

      ‘what are you thinking’

      slowly revolving hips

      circular motion

      towards the

      others

      chest falls to chest

      bluest eyes roll back to beats

      and the cadence of hearts

      dancing

      while passing the intoxication

      back down

      clouds accumulate behind

      walls of teeth

      addiction

      sucked through or poured

      out

      into a waiting

      vessel for the second

      trip
      d
      o
      w
      n
      A to B to

      ‘I love you’
      was so simple

      “Coming Home”
      by Kelley Stephens Day 2 PAD Challenge (Voyage)

  259. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Your Voyage, My Journey,

    My Great-Grandfather,
    a man I never knew,
    yet so many others do,

    For his life was a voyage, on land and sea,
    a rather famous tale, to tell,

    It begins as a wee lad, over the seas from Ireland,
    to another land, to grow as a man,
    here he studied and learned to master his craft,

    Shipbuilder’s, brother Lockhart, James and he,
    Modest at first, a Brigatine, a total of seven, from 1852 to ’57,

    When, as a Member of Parliament, he had an argument,
    A man against Confederation, fought with determination,
    To keep his land from amalgamation,

    But to no avail, for he failed,
    it’s time to sail,

    He began to build and build they did,
    the largest sailing ship, Canada would ever see,
    Exclamations were made – “Ambitious Rig” ” To Big”,.

    Launched in 1874, watching from his front door,
    The W.D. Lawrence slipped off the bore,

    She floated at ease, weathered the storms,
    carrying her precious cargo, to foreign places,
    the Captain exploring magical places,

    A-hundred and a forty years later,
    my Great-Grandfather, I now know,

    Nova Scotia Master Shipbuilder,
    The Museum, his home,
    This is a tribute to your voyage into my life.

    William Dawson Lawrence. 1817-1886

    1. LeeAnne Ellyett

      Sorry the line should read from “1852 to ’67″‘ Confederation year,
      BTW, as a newbie, I’m so excited to be part of this,
      You, all are so gifted and talented, I’m humbled.
      Wonderful, beautiful poems.

  260. Stephanie Geckle

    TALES FROM THE AMAZON

    It used to be necessary
    to journey from the cave.    
    To hunt and gather
    that of which we crave               
    and lug it back                  
    bound in glorious tale.               
    Now we sit as kings and queens
    and fail with nothing lack                 
    while creatures from the Amazon 
    bring forth our load            
    wrapped in cardboard.   
    I do not miss that perilous road.     
    Except for the stories. 
    But those aren’t for sale.

  261. Geoffrey

    You ask me to go

    You ask me to go
    I can’t say no
    wherever the winds blow
    we go, we go.

    You bid me to fly,
    I’ll not ask why
    we’ll take to the sky
    we’ll fly, we’ll fly.

    You tell me to trust,
    it’s not discussed:
    I will, I must
    I trust, I trust.

    Into the unknown,
    wherever we’re blown,
    by whatever cyclone,
    unknown, unknown

    Together we go,
    where to, we don’t know
    but yet even so,
    we go, we go.

  262. Mark Conroy

    “Anywhere”
    Get out of the way
    There’s only so much space
    You can’t stay right here forever
    Looking at me and waiting
    I want to help you
    You’ve got to pick your own self up
    Don’t look back
    It won’t change
    That time’s lost
    Gone forever
    If you stand still
    You’ll run yourself over
    Find a new way
    Turn in a circle
    Scan the horizon
    Don’t look down
    There’s no one there
    But me waiting
    For you
    Mark Conroy

  263. De Jackson

    Bon

    Voy
            -eur, she stares
         and stirs, as words
       wander down the pathways
                of the page.

    Vy
             -ing for time,
          she sings these things,
        a rambler refusing to act her
                          -age.

    .

  264. Daniel Paicopulos

    Voyage

    I had hopes my Cancer Tour was over,
    meandering from a friend’s prostate to another’s brain,
    followed by one’s lungs and the other’s pancreas,
    finally one with no name, no organ to blame.
    Mostly friends of many years, spanning decades,
    my age and younger, all gone now, as memory fades.
    I always knew that one of us would die first,
    but, pushing on, thought it would be me.
    I always knew the journey would end,
    for one of us, but not two and three,
    not four, then five,
    me the last one alive.
    I had hopes my Cancer Tour was over,
    but I was wrong.
    It simply went international.

  265. Andrea

    Voyaged

    If Juan Ponce de Leon was a lonely man,
    would he have sought the Fountain of Youth?

    What man could
    keep the Galapagos’ secrets
    or find no reason to return?

    Not souls set forth on the earth running;
    not souls cross the river Styx alone

    Worth in life is a caravan of lovers and sideshows;
    a single shared sun that becomes a passed torch

    Worth in life is fingers-touching love,
    taking one’s place – or saving it

    Lifetime is a world
    that is never
    voyaged
    alone

  266. RuthNott

    Voyager

    Adrift on a sea of memories
    Alone with the wind and the waves
    The painful take flight on the wings of gulls;
    Wrapped in sunlight, the best are saved.
    Rocked like a babe in the womb
    I succumb to the sway of the sea,
    Asleep in visions of yesterday
    As each wave brings you back to me.

    Adrift on a sea of memories
    Awaiting the coming storm
    When the gulls will take refuge beside me
    And the pain that they carry transform
    My sunlight to darkness and turmoil
    As lightning streaks turbulent skies
    Illuminating my guilt and my shame
    And the fear lurking deep in my eyes.

    Adrift on a sea of memories,
    Alone as the storm subsides,
    Hearing their cries as the gulls depart,
    I awake drifting home on the tide
    Reality shakes the awakening
    As dream ships and waves disappear.
    Today takes shape in the morning mist,
    A new voyage surprisingly near.

  267. ehorowitz

    The Journey

    Goodbye hill, goodbye sill
    Overlooking valley
    Goodbye highway rumbling below
    Covering lilies near the woodpile.
    Close down. Close off. Disconnect the heat.
    Give the key to strangers.
    Unravel our center
    mud season fecund, wet tracks
    thin lipped water, chestnut grass.
    We can thatch back a semblance
    construct walls, insulate ourselves
    from what will be will be.
    But we will always live where we are not
    half awake to the calls on the open marsh.

  268. Susan Schoeffield

    NO SAFE HAVEN

    The ocean roughly kissed
    her lips and in the mist she felt
    tiny grains of sand pelt
    hard against the old welt, a scar
    from days she thought were far
    away but still could mar her days.
    Enveloped in a haze,
    she ran in varied ways to slip
    from pains which held their grip
    but on this pointless trip persist.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  269. Michelle Hed

    Colored Smoke

    Taking a trip
    on a psychedelic wave
    where an unknowing skip
    removes realities cave

    launching yourself
    ever so gently
    from within oneself
    incidentally

    seeing hues
    with rainbow infused glasses
    while chatting with two Scooby Doos
    feeling the grasses

    inside and out
    relaxing and mellow
    no need to shout
    just sit with this fellow

    take a trip
    take a ride
    on life’s ship
    here’s your tie-dyed guide.

  270. Clae

    Traveler

    I journey over stars
    The winds of suns propel me
    as I tour ageless
    on a constellation ship
    I cannot steer
    and never wonder where
    I might end up
    The voyage is what matters

    T.S. Gray

  271. priyajane

    Holding Hands

    He holds his phone
    she holds hers
    space and time disappear
    He is quiet, breathing
    she is speaking,leaning
    with nothing in between
    Some stolen moments
    of wandering in galaxies
    of a pointless world
    potent and fragrant
    dance in a beat
    And life goes on–

  272. Linda Hatton

    Flight of the Short Beaked One

    She ascended clawed fingers
    into his footless shoes, cracked
    at the edges, a square of white
    tape he hadn’t noticed stuck
    on one side, she flew them
    over to his side, hovering like murders
    of Corvus brachyrhynchos calling out,
    interrupting his slumber, taunting her
    that it was simply his time to flutter
    the flightless voyage, for how can clipped
    wings take to the whispering sky, how can
    she, still just a young crow, leave his side.
    Landing beloved wing-tips next to him,
    she pecked his forehead, squawked
    goodbye, his last sleep, from which
    he can never die.

    -Linda G Hatton

    1. Pat Walsh

      Hi Linda — so glad to ‘see’ you here… and I love the imagery and attention to detail. Amazes me how you can adapt the poetics to a narrative with such clarity. Bravo!

  273. Srividya K

    To the House of Souls
    – Srividya Karthik

    What is a soul
    It’s like the sole
    Carries our weight
    And never complains

    Softens the blows
    Of life’s terrible lows
    When it leaves
    It doesn’t grieve

    A transparent body shape
    Up it flies
    Sheds a layer
    Plane by plane

    Numerous cloaks of emerald green
    Drawn together in the raven black
    They grow so tall
    A beacon so bright

    While they wait
    They connect to the console
    For the Consul sets all the rules
    In the shiny House of Souls

  274. gl86

    Inspired by Keats

    The Final Voyage to Rome

    When I’ve received the final augur,
    I’ll make my pilgrimage to Rome
    and before my name is writ in water,
    through this Eternity I’ll roam.

    To see heaven through earth’s eye once more
    and dance with Immortality
    above the Christian dead of yore
    in sprawling gardens of nobility

    From whence we come, we go,
    so take me to the Tevere
    where I might join this ancient flow
    and let the city absorb me.

  275. lionetravail

    “Beyond Termination Shock”
    by David M. Hoenig

    Farther than known, into enigmatic dark,
    O traveling child- gone from all you knew!
    From your creation, future painted stark:
    you stood, you posed, your reached: you flew!

    You came into the world to join four billion,
    and left the year Seatle Slew made history.
    You went before us, dopplered in vermilion,
    to explore what remains yet a mystery.

    O traveling child- passing sights and sounds
    which no one living has witnessed!
    Beyond the terminus, and heliosphere’s surrounds,
    Man’s first Voyager to the stars: be blessed!

  276. DanielAri

    “A story”

    Once, I quested to have an audience with The King.
    His castles are so megalithic, their amethyst
    buttresses and diamond towers stunned me to kneeling
    in the Royal Forest, ten-thousand furlongs distant.
    I crawled closer to His gates. Keeping to the footpath,

    I found myself among many other supplicants,
    all of us in our progress surfacing a byway,
    a multitudinous queue—encampments, then markets—
    decorating our slow forward motion. Years from days,
    brick houses from canvas tents, birthing wails and keening,

    the complex eddies of businesses and laws, ballet,
    lottery tickets, parenting tips, keypads, aglet
    to Zamboni, astrophysics, zymurgy and ways
    that we forget that we forget…something we forget…
    like the feeling of liking our smile as we smile it,

    or how time collapses in the mind when a loved pet,
    for example, licks our skin and what’s unsettled sets.

      1. DanielAri

        Thank you, Rosemary. It’s sweet to be back here with you. Something so familiar and also novel and exciting about this event. Best to you!

  277. georgiana

    Hatching from an Empty Nest

    I bought my ticket with sleepless nights
    Endless diapers and pureed squash
    Skinned knees, broken hearts, lessons
    For dance and art and baseball and science
    and lessons in
    Being kind
    Telling the truth
    Respecting others.

    They gave me the receipt by growing up
    Educated, good, contributing people
    With jobs and houses and —lives.
    “What will you do now?” They ask.
    “Now you are free!” They say.
    “Enjoy the world!” They tell me.
    They think I don’t know how.
    But I listened. I will be kind
    And respect their wishes, and tell the truth.
    I’m off. Farewell!

  278. veronica_gurlie

    When We Go Riding

    I won’t get on it– I won’t,
    I won’t ride that crazy black horse through them deep wild woods,
    not even to convince myself, that I’m just as brave as man,
    or to let my fears go, and just feel free again–
    when all I go to do, is strap my heart to yours
    and love you up into me.

    1. veronica_gurlie

      EDITED VERSION. Please use this one:0). thanks.

      When We Go Riding

      I won’t get on it– I won’t,
      I won’t ride that crazy black horse through them deep wild woods,
      not even to convince myself, that I’m just as brave as man,
      or to let my fears go, and just feel free again–
      when all I go to do, is climb on top of your heart
      and love you up into me.

  279. Angel Villagomez

    MINIMUM DAY

    Home lay over the overpass,
    but a yellow sign forbid two ten-year-olds from crossing.
    I thought the trek around would be as straight,
    but streets branched into industries
    we never saw on drives back home.
    The paths I hoped would lead us back
    ended in walls we wouldn’t scale.
    I understood street names as little
    as graffiti on the sides of empty buildings
    and company logos unseen at Toys’R’Us.
    The few passersby that drove these streets
    would neither stop nor slow for us—
    we knew not to talk to strangers anyway.
    A nudge and a prayer guided my way.

    We crawled through the labyrinth
    hungry for food and home and Sega games;
    I wished I could reset now that we were stuck.
    I would’ve listened to my brother when
    he said we should walk to grandma’s two blocks from school
    or even wait for mom to pick us up,
    but I knew the way home, just not below
    the overpass we had driven across before.
    Halfway through, we couldn’t turn back.
    Tall blocks of buildings hid east from west—
    as if I could read a compass anyway—
    but a hunch encouraged me forward.
    I just had to find the right direction.
    Home lay only a few blocks away.

  280. mrnor10

    I was doing genealogical research in Chicago about people who lived in the 1700s in Virginia. Thus, my voyage poem:

    My travels are not always on pavements
    Treading miles upon miles of asphalt;
    Quite often I must travel by paper
    Reading words upon words about places.

    One day I shall stand on the ground
    Of the places I read and I research;
    Today’s travels are written on papers
    I’ll read again and again ’til I get there.

  281. EbenAt

    One corpulent heart surgeon
    One dentist with heart,
    a forty two foot ketch
    full of high schoolers.

    Violating Rule One
    at South Pender
    rips shaft and prop
    clean out.

    Good fortune leads
    to Galliano
    rather than sinking.

    Imitation Skippers replaced
    by a Son of Gloucester whalers,
    she rockets down the
    Juan de Fuca straight,
    chasing hull speed
    in a gale warning.

    Thus recalled is
    the age old adage,
    avoid a large breakfast
    before you fly.

  282. Janet Rice Carnahan

    INTO INDIA

    Carried by courage,
    Driven by the need to know,
    To become a new understanding,
    Felt somewhere deeper within,
    The voyage to India,
    Became a necessity!
    Yes, a different culture,
    To explore,
    Find something new,
    Fascinating,
    Share stories once home,
    Be surrounded by a fresh community,
    In an old country,
    Learn a new way to relate,
    To communicate,
    A great search for peace,
    The voyage to India,
    Was the necessity!
    Early morning chanting,
    Strolls through temples,
    Sunset meditation,
    Dancing on the roof,
    Under the bright, clear moon,
    Walking around the mountain,
    As a sacred journey,
    All its own!
    Listening with an eager heart,
    The ways of the gurus,
    Spirituality at the beginning of time,
    It was necessary to take the voyage,
    To India!
    Once the journey ended,
    Plane landed,
    Life returned to normal patterns,
    Whispered wisdom came forward,
    A renewed sense of purpose took hold,
    A fresh depth had been reached,
    Revealing why it had been so necessary . . .

    Voyaging into India!

  283. hohlwein

    Perch

    One needs to be in a different space
    And move through it.
    That is a voyage.

    In my case, there will be ropes and luffing sails
    And, seen through the luffing sails, great walls of
    electric blue ice.

    I try to prepare myself now for this
    by noticing,
    as I aways do,

    great shears of my life falling away
    sometimes, as I pass from room to room.

    and icy waves that rise and reach
    towards me, for me.

    They don’t get to me – perhaps –
    so much anymore
    though the same walls fall
    and the same waves reach.

    I perch on a mast above my life.
    And, safe enough there,
    watch the days slip by below
    as if they were landscape.

  284. sbpoet

    Well, this is a bit of a surprise to me. It’s quite long, and I’m not in edit mode just now, so posting as-is and will come back to it later. Also, the formatting did not carry over & it looks quite different on my blog: http://www.sbpoet.com/2014/04/poem-a-day-2.html

    the sea carries you

    in its heaviness

    its thick grey-green

    all the creatures’ lives

    beneath, swimming

    hold you up in the

    salt air

    walk the deck

    watch the movement

    of water & sky

    the sea washes you in rain

    island mountains

    rise ahead & fall

    behind

    there is water, earth & sky

    there is sharp cold air

    it all holds you

    carries you

    home

    dolphins come to play

    in the ship’s wake

    they watch you

    with their small

    sharp eyes

    they are laughing at you

    why are you on this

    object of wood & metal

    when the sea itself would be

    so happy to carry you alone?

    gulls circle the mast

    at noon

    at dawn the sea is gold

    the rain, the rain

    comes later

    the sea swallows it all

    releases green light

    back into the day

    at night, a bevy of stars

    the hum of the engine

    black water that moves

    waves of pale light

    you walk in circles

    yet the boat, the sea, the earth

    carry you a far distance

    sometimes you consider

    stepping off

    into the deep water

    perhaps you would sink

    straight down

    through schools of fish

    falling, falling

    or perhaps the sea

    would hold you up

    in its arms of waves

    carry you to some

    far, longed-for place

    an imagined Atlantis

    of mer-people and porpoises

    giant gentle sea-horses

    an octopus embrace

    or perhaps a whale

    will swallow you

    whole and carry you

    to god, give you

    wings

    you will hear the singing

    of the whales

    the call of dolphins

    the ocean speaking

    to itself

    & above, the dance

    of sea-birds

    their sharp

    brittle music slapping

    the surface of the sea

    all its colors you have never seen

    melting

    one into another

    melding

    into something new

    something unseen

    unimagined

    and you will never come up

    for air

    this is what you

    are made of

    this salt water

    this fishiness

    this longing

  285. Debbie

    Rails
    Long long long
    Endless beams of steel
    Reach reach reach
    The unreachable is so real.

    Rails
    Quiet quiet quiet
    A solitary trail
    Clatter clatter clatter
    Metal against nail.

    Rails
    Planks planks planks
    Wooden steps to guide
    Cars cars cars
    Asleep, travel, hide.

    Rails
    Power power power
    Taking us to anywhere
    Dreams dreams dreams
    Maybe we’re already there?

  286. k_weber

    You Can Go Almost Anywhere

    The ceiling drips a Hawaiian waterfall
    as I sail this well-worn sofa and drift
    another orange day lit by TV glare or actual sun.

    My windows are open and breathing in the sound
    of two dogs fighting for just as many hours; this happens
    as a train floats by then grinds the rail.

    I saw a boy on a skateboard Tuesday afternoon
    and I am convinced he was leaving for a town
    where people still ride skateboards in the middle of a day.

    I reset my pedometer before I go to sleep
    in case I have adventures in my dreams
    or I walk through my own blackout in pajamas.

    How much mileage will I get from these words?

    – k weber

      1. Janet Rice Carnahan

        In particular, love your line,”I reset my pedometer before I go to sleep in case I have adventures in my dreams”. . . fabulous!

  287. Zart_is

    Watching the Western Sky

    We escape all that transpires behind us.
    Focused on horizons where
    a lazy cloud-wrapped sun slips into the ocean.
    We are freed from concern from care.
    Real life, jam packed in our suitcases,
    can’t wind us up again
    while embracing a languid life
    we dance with gulls on sand
    as the sun paints our skin bronze.
    Heading home (yes we must)
    removes us from this tranquil sun and sea and sand.
    Day to day might be broken,
    memories putting on the clothes we bought there,
    vacation purchases and sandy books,
    a few shells, some coral
    and a hand full of sea glass.
    I vow never to forget where
    we found each treasure.
    Yet, I scatter them at random
    across the years
    between being there
    and wishing here was there.
    Where the sun goes west
    falling into its sea bed
    as we watched its slow descent into night.
    While the sand was still warm,
    everything was still
    we saw so many more stars – there.
    Felt so many more bright moments
    filling the dark.
    Not so much here,
    where the sun glares – tumbling
    across the street getting lost
    between trees and buildings.
    We become busily bound up at home
    where the day is just the day
    the nearly starless dark is just the dark.
    When I’m with you we savor
    the part of there that brought us together
    promising to return soon
    to pursue the real sun,
    the one that goes blazing across beaches
    and swims in the western sea.

  288. diedre Knight

    Ride the Wind

    March winds chasing leaves around
    Swirling change and sameness
    An era ends – a new one found
    Uncertainty is nameless

    Release oppressive frosty chills
    They don’t hold you now
    Embrace the breeze of hope you feel
    And give yourself a bow

    For having braved the darkest clouds
    Seen rainbows in their wake,
    Ride the wind, release the shroud
    The chance is yours to take

    Summer’s onset brings relief
    Winter’s darkness gone
    Blue sky days beyond belief
    hearten moving on

    diedre Knight

  289. SSteele1

    A man, a friend and an adventure unknown.
    A ship, a sail and a direction.
    A compass, a sextant and a star to steer by
    An eye, a spyglass and the horizon.
    A desire, a question and an answer unseen.

  290. geetakshi

    This is mine, for Day 2 :)

    Tapestry

    A well-woven life
    is much desired,
    where threads criss-cross
    in select patterns of neatness:
    Blue and green make sweet love
    on the brown ground of comforting warmth;
    clouds are a resplendent white,
    Or a fertile grey at worst;
    Such dreams are also the food of reality:
    The burnt orange of fiery sunsets,
    that blend well with fires that consume and destroy;
    The horizons that travellers mourn,
    also blur the homes that were left behind
    in moments of envy;
    Is anger black like a dark sky?
    Or perhaps red like an imagined force of life?
    When blues and greens become
    maps to be traced
    on smooth, soft skins,
    can the tapestry be unwoven
    to reveal something?
    Such nightmares that were not dreamt of:
    Perhaps to say a word can exorcise
    from the mind and soul,
    the pain of seeing a loved one leave
    in a passion to escape
    the tangled skeins of
    different-hued skins

    ©Geetakshi Arora
    April 2, 2014

  291. Anvanya

    Just You and Me, Kid

    Burbank/Bob Hope has the coolest way to board a plane:
    You walk out onto the tarmac and climb the stairs
    Which are metal, for God’s sake!
    And when you return, it’s down that same staircase as you deplane.
    Your feet make noise on every step,
    And your carry-on clunks behind you.

    That’s missing in the big airports –
    It’s not all cushiony carpet Jetway enhancing the fiction:
    You are about to be thrown into the heavens –
    But it’s all safe tech and no bumpy rides.
    Those steps at BUR tell you you’re actually going some place
    Or you’ve returned from some place.

    Alaska Airlines provided me with a flying carpet in ’06
    When I slipped through the skies to Emerald City Airport.
    I upgraded for free at PDX and trembled
    Through my first hour in First Class, including
    Coffee which I managed to tip into my lap.
    Nervous? About seeing you after forty years?

    A week later I knew where I had been
    And I knew that one day we would be stepping,
    Hand in hand, and laughing as we clunked up
    And down that staircase – our way of traveling.

  292. msmacs3m

    Where the Dreams Are
    By Sandra A. McCulloch

    Where Dreams Begin –

    Brown brick & flowers
    Coastal Bellingham
    Glass-modern Ferry Terminal

    Greets the dreamers.

    Blue
    and
    White
    M/V Columbia
    Waits colorful tents dot
    her white rising decks
    pointed North
    along the Whale Road

    Where the dreams are –

    Eagles soaring

    Icy capped sea born mountains
    calving thunderous glaciers
    Haunting Ravens eye
    Whales breeching
    Sea otters bobbing
    Bears Snatching Silver
    Salmon Spawning

    Where the dreams are

    The North Star hides
    till fall Northern Lights dance
    silent cobalt skies
    answering Wolves’ ancient call

    Here’s where the dreams are

    Come!

  293. bartonsmock

    (a second poem. variant. commonly, to erase the first.)
    ***

    -outside the body it is always procession-

    I may have lied about being pregnant but I know my fucking kid.

    her father quells cocaine.

    ants are quiet.

    his teeth make sense.

    our yell is I’m gonna shoot you in the blood.

    downfall, a light dusting, the sleepy

    legal
    sunbathed
    sad

    1. barton smock

      it can’t matter. but, no matter. edit. should’ve said:

      -outside the body it is always procession-

      I may have lied about being pregnant but I know my fucking kid.

      her father quells cocaine.

      ants are quiet.

      his teeth make sense.

      our yell is I’m gonna shoot you in the blood.

      elsewhere
      is a light dusting
      of downfall. sleepily

      legal

      are the sunbathing sad.

  294. acele

    Dmv (details of motherly voyages)

    Setting out at 7:25
    Amidst dry, brown fields
    Past warehouses and big bellied birds parked in a row

    Realizing not far into our journey that
    I forgot the small piece of plastic that says
    I am me.

    Turning around to retrieve it we ponder
    The quickest route and lament
    That we will not pull the first ticket.

    Passing by morning joggers and under lines of geese
    With their group membership in the flying club,we jettison
    Around curves, along side countless other drivers, wheeling towards their daily destiny.

    Arriving at 8:04, we take our ticket and sit
    Sleepily in rows of black chairs, anchored in a blue and grey sea,
    Listening to the sound of clicking computer mice and whirring printers.

    “Now serving D618 at window 9,” the dry voice beckons
    At 8:35 and
    We scurry to the counter.

    Verifying documents as carefully as a ship steward, the attendant behind the counter
    Approves,
    Accepts our fare with a smile, and hands me the registration.

    Though the sail bears my name, it is our firstborn,
    No longer teenage son
    Who will man the vessel.

    Feeling as though my long journey has brought me to some
    Strange new harbor,
    I wave him off from the driveway.

  295. JohnLY

    The Healing Voyage
    By John Yeo
    ~~~~~~~~
    A very sad loss,
    With a thick mist over my consciousness,
    I had suffered a traumatic life event,
    Shattering a union of many years
    A loss that was to my detriment
    Lingering.

    A loss that would not go away
    A black cloud covered the firmament
    Clarity with understanding, missing.
    The familiar surroundings added sadness.
    Some good advice like a ray of light
    Illuminating.

    Get away from here to lift the fog
    Take a trip to anywhere, pastures new,
    See the world, whatever you do,
    Switch off your moping and try.
    Somewhere there is a wide clear sky,
    Ruminating.

    People will help you to understand
    Many are in the same boat.
    Travelling rough seas alone.
    I boarded a ship with little expectation
    Of any solution to my sad situation.
    Meditating.

    The voyage began over calm seas
    With friendly faces and comfort.
    Waves billowing a calm sea breeze,
    A friendship forged at cards,
    I began to feel at ease,
    Communicating.

    At the voyage end
    I had made a very firm friend,
    Who is still by my side, comforting.
    I have lost the fog, cleared the mist,
    My life is now completely,
    Exhilarating.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo~All rights reserved

  296. Girlfromsandwich

    Fishing Trip

    I’ve had this thought before.
    This could be the last time that I traverse this shore.
    I face the bow.
    I close my eyes.
    I feel the sun.
    I hear the loons,
    and whirring of the rod and plunk and splash of sinkers, lures and floats, the gentle tune
    of father showing sons just how to watch that float turn upside down.
    That’s just a nibble. Wait… wait… Now!
    Tug that cane pole firm and hook that sunny!
    I face the bow and cast my line.
    There was a time I would have been chagrined to feel the tremor, sense the lack of power in the cast.
    Today I smile and take it in.
    Scents of sunscreen on those tender arms behind me mingle with the fishy lake.
    Croaking, splashing, buzzing, laughing.
    Gleefully, one boy pulls his catch on board.
    This could be the last time that I traverse this shore.

  297. CristinaMRNorcross

    Saba Island Soul
    (for Cora)

    I journey to the center of you –
    an island queen with nimble fingers
    creating Saban Lace.
    I seek the hidden mysteries
    of your smile –
    your blue-black hair
    coiffed just so –
    the way you read
    Our Daily Bread
    in your speckled, red wool chair.

    I travel to the source of ancestors –
    this island home
    you left at 18.
    Not knowing how to swim,
    you left by boat –
    forging ahead
    with only seamstress skills
    and strength of intent.

    One-by-one, you brought them –
    brothers and sisters
    carried across the vast sea.
    Your hands –
    instruments of freedom.

    I journey back to the day
    you left all that was known –
    Saba spice,
    sweet Malta,
    the top of the volcano,
    and the village at The Bottom.

    It is at this crossroad
    of leavings and beginnings,
    that I find my source.
    I would like to think
    it is
    you.

    You are my black stone courage –
    my onyx strength –
    my Saba rose pride.

    Cristina M. R. Norcross
    Copyright 2014

    1. CristinaMRNorcross

      Still learning to write, edit and post all in one day. Usually I take days to smooth out the rough edges. I am posting an edited version of this poem as a comment, only because there were 2 factual errors, and this is about a real person.

      Saba Island Soul
      (for Cora)

      I journey to the center of you –
      an island queen with nimble fingers
      creating Saban Lace.
      I seek the hidden mysteries
      of your smile –
      your blue-black hair
      coiffed just so –
      the way you read
      Our Daily Bread
      in your speckled, red wool chair.

      I travel to the source of ancestors –
      this island home
      you left at age 11
      for a bigger island.
      Not knowing how to swim,
      you left by boat –
      forging ahead
      with only embroidery skills
      and strength of intent.

      You left the Caribbean
      for a new land at 18.
      One-by-one, you brought them –
      brothers and sisters
      carried across the vast sea.
      Your hands –
      instruments of freedom.

      I journey back to the day
      you left all that was known –
      Saba spice,
      sweet Malta,
      the top of the volcano,
      and the village at The Bottom.

      It is at this crossroad
      of leavings and beginnings,
      that I find my source.
      I would like to think
      it is
      you.

      You are my black stone courage –
      my onyx strength –
      my Saba rose pride.

      Cristina M. R. Norcross
      Copyright 2014

  298. cobanionsmith

    Transportation Conversations

    Each day’s voyage begins with the same one word
    question over the monitor: Trains?
    As I enter your room, you ask again
    and add whoo whoo! pumping a fist
    in the air. On the walls, blue planes buzz
    purple motorcycles, yellow cabs and red busses rumble
    past green tractors and trains. No surprise

    your first word was go. Magellan of mischief,
    you sail seas of sand, dig for treasure
    with the plastic excavator, bury the rubber boat and its car
    cargo with the metal dump truck. Grab my hand.

    Your turn?
    My turn?
    K.
    as if being co-pilot was my idea all along.

    Chugga chugga chugga chugga whoo whoo!
    we say as we build your boyhood
    one train track at a time.

    (c) Courtney O’Banion Smith

  299. intheshadowofthesoul

    Upon God’s Waters
    Lydia Flores

    I am but a mustard seed, a grain
    at the vast expanse of his arms
    Yet he opens them before me at shore.
    The sea kisses my feet, cool and soft.
    My knees tremble at the roaring call
    but they come for me and I surrender.

    I do not know where waters will take me
    but I fold my heart into a little boat
    I pulsate in anxiety but the wind be my sail
    and I fade into quiet rhythm, the waters sing
    to my hope, swooshing and sloshing…
    The waves crescendo and decrescendo.

    I keep my eyes upon the horizon
    though in the deepest well of blue,
    tranquil yet a disarray of hollow wails,
    I am without borders and the seas hold my trust.
    But if my feet fail I will let myself sink
    be it so sinking is surrendering.
    Your grace abounds
    even in shipwreck.
    I wash back on shore
    reborn from your living waters.

  300. AleathiaD

    Reverberation

    Every day I leave this world
    with heavy syncopated foot falls.

    The air crisp and forgiving
    for the things I’ve not done yet.

    Each step, each breath
    begs for absolution
    from all living things.

    I leave because reality
    is far more painful and sobering
    than I can take all at once.

    I am selfish in this way
    escaping for unmitigated blocks
    of time, the essence of body
    released, though always anchored,
    by truth and responsibility.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 2 Voyage

  301. veronica_gurlie

    I was inspired by this challenge for this poem. I been playing around with the grammar for this poem so my meter comes across right.

    When On Fire

    I’ve done something, I’m not proud of,
    on a cold and misty rainy day,
    in the dark,
    and in a place, I’ve never been– and with someone I hope I never see again–
    and do I consider me to be brave? No I don’t.
    But like you,
    I’m looking for some change,
    and something obviously different,
    a moment to live, to not die alone,
    to not always be good,
    not always.

  302. Azma

    LIFE

    A voyage that gives
    Only if you choose to take,
    packages,
    that weigh you down
    or lighten you up,
    to be delivered to
    the destination.

    -Azma Sheikh

  303. Jane Shlensky

    Arm Chair Traveling On

    “…those faraway places I’ve been reading about from a book that I took from the shelf…”

    Arm chair travelers ride trains of thought
    hang duffels on a phrase read in a book
    prepare to be amazed by well-placed words.

    They journey sundry worlds like watching ferns
    unfurl from bud to frond, leaves drifting streams.
    They take it slow.

    They suck syllable straws like summer grass
    and savor nuance tangy on their tongues—
    their senses grow.

    Once they are on the road, they read aloud
    sometimes, to hear from inside out
    how words can move.

    “Azure” can take to sea or wing the air
    an eye so blue a lake, they swim into
    a brief romance.

    “Malinger” makes them ache that wrongs echo
    like songs they used to sing
    ghost melodies.

    They turn a page and words carry them on
    to places that sometimes they do not know
    so far away.

    They rent a mental room to characters
    befriended, let them stay long as they like
    but get along.

    Imagination packs a mental bag
    or travels light its vision to renew
    from words.

    A cruise, nothing to lose to voyage so
    and arm chair travelers can always choose
    to go.

  304. Domino

    Stars in our Eyes

    Lying in the grass in a field on a
    late summer night, we hold hands under the
    deepest of blue-starry-skies. Luckily,
    gravity’s grip keeps us firmly pinned to the
    earth, though in our minds we float away and
    plunge into the vast, star-studded sea so
    near. We try to navigate Orion’s
    belt, and end up in Cassiopeia’s
    hair. Draco takes a swipe at us as we
    pass, seeking Ursa Major. We take her
    cub, Ursa Minor, as a peace offering.
    Her dipper pours us from the sky; we wake
    to drops of rain, and laughing, run for home.

    Diana Terrill Clark

    1. Laura Romero

      I used to do a lot of theater and the way you have your poem laid out reminds me of Shakespeare’s plays. I like this style because it makes you think more about what you are saying and how you are saying it when you read something like this aloud. It is very pretty :)

  305. Tracy Davidson

    The Night of Lost Fathers

    I had never felt so cold, so frightened.
    From a safe distance it didn’t seem real –
    it must be a dream, a wretched nightmare

    that I’d wake from in a minute or two
    and find myself in bed, in Robert’s arms,
    and he’d comfort me, soothe away my fears.

    I closed my eyes and prayed it would be so.
    But it was not a dream, my dear Robert
    was not beside me, my fears went unsoothed.

    In the lifeboat we huddled together,
    mostly women and children, a few men.
    The screams of those left behind, they echoed

    across the cold unforgiving water.
    The children cleaved to me, their poor faces
    red raw from crying, their bodies frozen.

    Jack called for his father as Sarah sobbed.
    We watched the ship sink beneath the surface
    and we simply held on to each other.

      1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

        That comment was meant for a different poem and somehow ended up here. No a word I’d have used for this one, but I DID want to comment that this is very moving and evocative. The title presents a new perspective on that old disaster.

  306. Tracy Davidson

    A Voyage Through Her Window

    Confined to bed she can only dream
    of the wonderful places beyond her window.
    Her body is failing but her mind, still sharp,
    refuses to be boxed in by four grey walls.

    She retreats into her imagination, stares
    through the window and sees, not the actual view
    of other grey and featureless buildings,
    but Technicolor landscapes, people, cities.

    Some days she sees herself, her younger
    able-bodied self, wandering through foreign lands,
    haggling in bazaars, sampling local delicacies,
    camping in Bedouin tents in the desert.

    Other days she sees herself on the ocean,
    sometimes on a yacht in a round-the-world race,
    sometimes on a cruise dancing the tango
    with a dashing officer or two.

    She explores cities on foot, all the world’s great capitals,
    able in her mind to move between them instantly –
    a morning in London, afternoon in Rome,
    perhaps a Peking duck banquet in Beijing.

    Freedom is hers and her dream self revels in it.
    Her real self no longer responds to visitors or doctors.
    Machines may keep her body working
    but daydreaming keeps her soul alive.

  307. Beewrite

    Wanderlust
    By Michelle Starks Murrish

    Each morning my feet hit the ground
    Free and unbound
    Wanting to follow the wind
    To feel the earth
    And pursue her many paths
    They long to hike the mountains
    To trace across the sand
    To leave their prints in as many places
    As one can go in a lifetime
    But today the only mark they’ll make
    Is another hole in my sock
    Yet I pray these feet of mine
    Never lose their wanderlust

  308. Mr. Take The Lead

    Drive On
    Daniel R. Simmons
    It’s time to get in the car and drive towards your dreams at full speed.
    Though your vision may blurred as the tears hit the windshield against all effort to wipe them away-drive on. Or maybe all the windows of your heart are broken and the cold wind pierces your soul- but still drive on. Take a quick glance upward to the double sided mirror, one half reminding you of what you are leaving behind, the other, half strengthening you in the beauty of what lies ahead. Reflect on who you used to be, but rejoice in what you have become and are becoming.
    Yes the roads will get bumpy, as you drive around mountains, over hills, through crazy the curves of emotions and circumstances, the snow, the rain, the hail, the heat of the sun and the cold of your life’s winter.
    You turn off the radio because all that’s playing is the songs of your past and the broadcast of naysayers telling you what you can’t do, so you ride in silence. Burning the fuel of your gained knowledge, determination and motivation as your frustration, negativity, fear and pain escapes through your exhaust system and fill the air- you drive.
    You drive and drive and drive stopping from repairs from time to time as life begins to pick dents in your progress trying to slow you down.
    You pass signs that tell you wrong way, and of discouragement.
    But with eyes straight ahead, focused on the road the lead to the fulfillment of your dream, you drive until your engine gives out and your wheels fall off, as you scream I’ve given it all I’ve got! I have nothing else to give, I’ve push as hard as I could!
    Then you come to a violent stop as your broken down car fails to the ground- you look around as yourself planted in the place where you always wanted to be.
    Ultimately you have arrived to the town of your success. With a shout of joy, a huge smile of relief, fighting back the tears you kneel down and send up a pray of thanks to God.
    You throw a fist pump in the air and prepare for the next journey determined to accomplish even more

  309. TomNeal

    The Thames
    It starts here,
    The water still and Kemble clear,
    No silt, no mud, just water by a church,
    Moving water made sacred by English
    Earth and words and bones and pubs,
    Made strong by the waters of Ock,
    Cherwell, Windrush, Pang, Kennet, Colne, and Wey
    Heading up to London via Oxford,
    Abingdon, Streatly, Reading and Windsor.

    There are fellow travellers here, Oxford eights
    Escaping Oxford greats, and nearly great,
    On bitterly cold Hilary mornings
    Training for short sharp trips to Folly Bridge,
    And cyclists on the congested towpath
    Upon which Dr Johnson walked
    To Iffley Village and its lock.

    Other friends litter London’s banks,
    Where the water tanned from travel mixes
    With City bankers and Russian billionaires
    And politicians in one grand accord
    On boats moored at Chelsea Harbour,
    Some distance from the corrupt Isle of Dogs,
    And the journey’s end near Canvey Island,
    From whence the innocent water
    Departs gentle England forevermore.

  310. rachelgrace

    a heartfelt journey

    Fields of green flashed before his eyes as he fell
    The damp moss cushioned him as he wandered into a distant mood
    It beckoned him as it never had before.
    The temperature grasped at his limbs as he rolled to face the sky
    The moon laid its arms around him
    Surrounding him in solitude and warmth
    Familiar scents whirled through the air
    Bonding each, distance was seen in the stars above
    Memories flowed forth
    Love, finally, love.
    Never again will he find it in such kind.
    Reflection of the past hurting and the want of forgiveness
    Never again will he find it in such kind.

  311. Christopher

    Stuck on this voyage of time
    With the entire world
    And my erratic mind
    A voyage testing endurance
    Measured by the end of lives
    The sirens call out
    And in blissful ignorance
    Another accepts their fate
    And joins the ranks of yesterdays
    The others left to carry memories
    In hopes to hold off misery

  312. Nancy LaPonzina

    ALONG LOCUST AVENUE

    It was the way
    for me … my
    daily walk to insulated settings
    of school,
    church,
    village …
    even then my own company more interesting than those destinations.

    The Tao gray sidewalk
    became the way
    of seasons … paralleling the
    brook with
    chartreuse skunk cabbage
    its thick mire busy
    with circling gnats,
    summer’s heat,
    then later, frothed with thick fall
    steam over still warm
    waters where it
    joined the creek by the
    Baptist church that amazed me
    one day by unexpectedly
    becoming the Church of
    Later Day Saints.

    There was the thick curb
    where Cadman Street intersected with
    the bike tire-width
    path worn by
    navigating around it. If you
    rode, the
    handlebars had to
    be jumped up to get it
    right to avoid
    losing speed and
    falling over.

    Were there locusts along
    my avenue?
    Can’t reckon
    for sure … but
    a child’s walk from the
    inner quiet to the boisterous outer
    world developed
    serenity, contemplation …
    an inner standard
    of peace.

  313. SuziBwritin

    JOURNEY OF THE LEGS

    Learning to walk taught me not
    to fall
    Learning ballet taught me
    To be Graceful
    Learning yoga taught me
    To Breathe
    Learning tai chi taught me
    Balance
    Learning belly dancing taught me
    To be Sexy
    Learning tap taught me
    to be Joyous
    Learning karate taught me
    To Defend myself
    Learning ballroom dancing taught me
    To be Romantic
    Learning to walk with arthritic knees
    Taught me to be
    CAREFUL!

  314. Misky

    Me and Ben



    I once went on a journey
    with a chicken. Not a normal
    sort of thing to do, but normal’s
    not something I’m known
    for doing, nor would I
    dream of speaking on behalf
    of a chook. Now this chicken
    was a hen, and she demanded

    to be called Ben, and so you
    know why I’d never dream
    of speaking for this hen;
    Ben could speak for herself!
    Now our journey was not
    very long; from this end to
    that there end of the barn,
    but every day we’d converse
    
like old pals, clucking ‘bout

    where we might stay, assumin’
    that a chicken would roost
    in a fancy Five-Star hotel.
    Ben, you see, was a rarity,
    and of exceedingly very
    good taste. But that’s a tale
    for another day, as to eat
    her would have been
    such a horrible waste.

    (c) Misky April 2014
    to see photo that accompanies this piece please pop over to http://miskmask.wordpress.com

  315. Jane Shlensky

    Out and In

    he knows her body like he knows
    his hands
    he’s traveled her blue highways
    her white strands
    of beach and by-ways, avenues
    and lanes
    sometimes he saunters other times
    he planes
    he’d know their favored harbors, vistas
    blind
    he knows her body, frightened of
    her mind

    her eyes get deeper every time
    he looks
    such oceans fed by rains and
    swollen brooks
    he cannot fathom, even though
    he tries
    the depths that he must travel in
    her eyes

    through deepest jungles, over rough
    terrain
    he treks, gets lost, and finds his path
    again
    the more he learns, the more she
    terrifies
    he sees that on herself she most
    relies

    1. PressOn

      The descriptions here are strong, settling into the mind’s eye. For me, your use of rhymes, setting them off like that, lends a thump to the story that makes the ending seem almost inevitable, ot so it seemed to me. Superb.

  316. Phil Boiarski

    To the Doctor

    It requires planning,
    walker, cane,
    a plastic babushka
    to keep the rain from
    ruining her hair,
    papers, cards
    with numbers and
    co-pays and charges.

    The trip is mostly
    pleasant, the hills
    just beginning to
    show signs of spring,
    an emerald mist
    floating among
    the twigtips.

    On the way home,
    the mood is somber,
    timelines and
    test results
    in the back seat
    like a passenger.

  317. dizzy_diaries

    One Day
    -Laura Romero

    You meet one day
    Maybe shyly, Maybe through friends
    And decide this is it,
    This is where the search ends.

    You meet one day
    Feelings stir somewhere down deep.
    Call it lust, Call it love
    Call it something obscene.

    You meet one day
    Everyone says, “Go!”
    This is it.
    Time for the show.

    You meet one day
    At the altar, All in white
    He in his tux
    And everything is right.

    You meet one day
    With a babe in your arms,
    Yet you’re perpetually swayed
    By all his goofy charms.

    You meet one day
    On your porch with a glass of ice,
    The chairs are there rocking
    And everything is quiet and nice.

    You met one day
    It feels like ages have gone by.
    But now you’re all alone
    And you sit and you sigh.

    Until

    You meet one day

  318. priyajane

    Choo Choo
    Time, suspended in motion
    Wheels, rolling the imagination
    Gentle sways along the way
    Adding humor to our day

    Glistening tracks go on and on
    Connecting lines of ladders long
    Different feathers flock and mix
    Boarding here and leaving quick

    Messages from underground
    Rhythmic attitude of sounds
    While my thoughts choo choo along
    Backwards, to some future song

    The window world keeps changing sight
    Moving further, gaining height
    So much there we do not see
    Swirling with the dusty breeze

    Childlike play of engine giggles
    Chug at sidetracked memory squiggles
    A handshake from some speeding treats
    Takes me places from my seat

    Vendors that can sing in riddles
    Weave in and out like running stitches
    I ponder on the life they lead,
    Of what they do and how they deal

    With every muscle it pulls along
    Just following the tracks, ding dong
    Chiming lulls thro starry nights
    Chasing all our dreams that ride

    I know not what awaits out there
    For now, I’m safe inside this care

  319. Jane Shlensky

    Round Trips

    “Sometimes a person has to go a very long way out of his way in order to come back a short distance correctly.” Edward Albee

    He drives long-distance semis, days alone,
    picking up hitchers like me on the road.
    He seems to live on coffee, mints, and cake
    he buys at truck stops where he laughs and flirts
    with waitresses and hollers at the cooks.

    He’s thin as a tire iron but somehow looks
    so tough and wary, who would ever guess
    he has advice to give, amends to make.
    He promises a ride to Abilene
    so I have hours to nap or hear him talk.

    He takes to me as if I am a wheel
    he feels obliged to steer along the road.
    A job like this must make him lonely, wild
    for company of any scroungy kind.
    He knows me at a glance, it seems, his eyes

    scan me like radar looking for my fault,
    what could have put me traveling on my thumb.
    His gravelly voice is kind. He needs an ear,
    small thanks for me to pay him for the ride.
    He drives and thinks aloud, an easy pace.

    “You make enough mistakes, you learn some tricks
    to traveling light or learning to forgive.
    Although some folks with feelings hard as stone
    like to snap whips, see blood, pile error on.
    Punishing minds can stay too close to home.

    Regret and shame get heavy, backs can’t lift
    so hard a load; you have to set it down.
    You shed your sins like snakes slough summer skins.
    You laugh at insults, mostly ‘cause they’re true,
    control your temper. What else can you do?”

    I see he’s busy knocking memory’s doors
    half hoping they’re unlocked by one inside
    his thoughts, but half afraid of curtains closed
    on faces that he knew once but no more.
    He drives and waits at doors, his hat in hand.

    “You eat some crow, some humble pie, some shit,
    and try to put down roots. You try to please,
    but highways sing like sirens in that poem
    and soon you have to go no matter what.
    The ones you leave don’t see Odysseus

    when you come back, I tell you that for sure,”
    He laughs and I do too a bit surprised
    That he knows Homer. There my judgment shows.
    I wonder just what other things he knows,
    Bhagavad-Gita stuffed beside his maps.

    Do you have folks, a wife and kids? I ask.
    He smiles with sad acceptance, “Used to have.
    I couldn’t live a sedentary way.
    My stories always some, for them, far place
    I’d traveled with a pack or on the job.

    But there are other walkers on this road,” he says,
    suggesting me, “good company who know
    this lay of land and travel light as rain.
    Their stories keep me up many a night
    as mine do them, unless my guess is wrong.”

    I sit in silence watching road subside,
    imagining the door that I’m to face,
    hoping with all I am I have the grace
    to take all blame and get life right this time.
    I dream their eyes are open and they smile.

  320. LGordon

    There Is a Linear Destination

    The body is designed to heal itself
    if you opened the skin on your palm
    it would scab, make new skin
    if you took a hammer to your toes
    they’d heal, eventually

    My heel is healing, growing new bone
    to reach an Achilles tendon hell bent
    on separation and the spurs are spurned
    lovers in an unrequited chase. In the chair
    the doctor cups the balls of my feet

    her pink gloved hands hold me by the ankles
    as if she is testing the heft of my thighs
    push your hips back, she says, and I do
    like I have done before when asked
    You’re uneven, she says, as if I didn’t know

    I’m wondering about Achilles now
    how his mother bathed him nightly in ambrosia
    before holding him over fire, how this ritual
    scared his father who walked in on this scene
    after a long day at the office

    How he would not have been vulnerable
    if his mother had been allowed to protect him
    as she intended. All babes are left
    to their mortal fate. Any child can break
    a bone in her back from doing the splits

    that sets off a Rube Goldberg of bones
    adjusting and compensating in one small life
    If I am to recover, the doctor says, it will take stretching
    against the wall, holding myself straighter,
    walking more consciously.

  321. acctgdr

    The walk

    Out the door, Down the walk,
    What awaits in the little box?

    The wind hits my face, blows my hair,
    The smell of honeysuckle wafts in the air.
    Breathing deeply, I walk on.

    Faithful vessel, unmoved by storm or wind
    My willing and able friend,
    Accepting all adventures that are placed within.

    I approach, step by step, all the way,
    What distant voices will reach me today?
    Anticipation is the height of the adventure.

    Arriving. Journey’s end, or just a beginning?
    All depending,
    On what I find awaiting in the little box at the end of the walk.

  322. pomodoro

    If Only

    Let’s return to Monterosso
    where we can meander
    through terraced vineyards,
    then sip wine at the cafe
    on Via Verdi.

    Let’s return to Vernazza
    to climb the steep slopes,
    ramble among olive trees,
    and descend
    on paths peppered with cactus.

    Let’s return to Camoglia
    to eavesdrop and let
    the words of others
    fill the silence
    of the Benedictine abbey.

    Let’s return to Riomaggiore,
    stroll the Via dell’Amore
    above the rocky sea wall
    in the company of kestrels
    and drink in the scent of rosemary.

    Let’s return to Manarolo,
    laze on the pier
    like nets drying in the sun
    and toss our passports into the sea.

  323. lethejerome

    “Return from Zhongshan”

    Sun neither in the trees nor in the sky-bound clouds.
    The dirt
    filters through
    in direct
    rays, openings
    in time in lives unknown
    glanced in motion – to me,
    solidity – escape and breath
    catching, silent,
    The release from language yet to be acquired.

    Jérôme Melançon

    @lethejerome
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/J%C3%A9r%C3%B4me-Melan%C3%A7on/187153471341597

    (I hope this poem shows up correctly: it’s meant to look like a frame, with the words on the right, right justified.)

    1. lethejerome

      It is meant to work either way:

      “Return from Zhongshan”

      Sun neither in the trees nor in the sky-bound clouds.

      The dirt filters through in direct rays, openings
      in time in lives unknown glanced in motion – to me,
      solidity – escape and breath catching, silent,

      The release from language yet to be acquired.

      …but when it’s a frame you get bonus verses.

      JM

  324. kab

    Here is what I know:
    The Ancient Egyptians believed that the human heart was the source of all emotion.
    When we loved, you planted an earth. When you left, I caved from the root.
    God is many things. He is a cloud and a tree and a falcon and a flower. He is a poem
    written from an airplane flying over Georgia.
    This heart is a greedy thing. It is a stubborn four-year old throwing a tantrum. It is a hungry
    house. It is a christian-less church. It is a break-less car driving 200 mph.
    When you fall in love for the first time, it feels like coming home.
    But love isn’t a house. It is faith. It is a natural thing. It can get lost. It can spoil.
    Writing a poem like this is never pretty. But then again, neither is heart break.
    Moving on is a voyage. Moving on is a train ride that never ends. It is an elevator
    that doesn’t cannot tell which way is up. The only way to make it is to press
    all the buttons, and pray you get off on the right floor.”
    —Karese Burrows “Facts Over Georgia”

  325. Emily Cooper

    YOLO’ing on the River

    Duke Energy says to the judge
    keep citizen groups away

    from our three dozen
    coal ash pits strewn
    across North Carolina.

    The Department of Environment
    and Natural Resources says

    keep away the pollution
    from the drinking water.

    Duke’s CEO says
    to the public
    that they won’t keep away
    from responsibility.

    Federal prosecutors
    have said 23 times
    the corporation can’t keep away
    from the law

    more specifically
    the U.S. Clean Water Act.

    Hey Duke honey
    sweet darling

    dude you’re 114 years old
    and even your great-grandkids

    think this game
    of “keep away” is lame

    (and the coal ash
    says he’d now rather
    pal around with the nerds).

  326. mindiaust

    The Good, The Bad, and The Ocean

    I remember Wild Wood, New Jersey,
    early 80’s, the sea-urchin spines
    of hypodermics needling my toes.

    I remember my prankster sister
    stuffing a huge conch shell
    with dog crap, so when I held it to my ear
    to hear the ocean’s lull and sweet mermaid song,
    I got shit for brains.

    Then there was the yellow starburst sun
    making over-here-baby eyes at me,
    but I knew I’d just be another notch
    on his melanoma belt,
    another burn victim inches from water.

    I remember wanting to pummel those days,
    those waves throwing temper tantrums at God,
    back into the sand from which they came,

    from which came my career of taking
    the good with the bad, so said my cliché-making grandmother,
    got to take the shit-filled shell
    with the super-swirled design,
    got to know my masterpiece castle
    will eventually be swallowed by sea.

    Or so says my self-help, beach-book,
    all life’s tragedies and triumphs
    line up back to back like kids comparing heights,
    and that everything’s a gridlock of opposites,
    life and death,

    like a woman I know who met Mr. Fantastic
    at a funeral, thus proving conversations
    over cadavers as effective as conversations
    over cabernet.

    All these sad circumstances
    knotting us together in a traffic jam
    of boats shackled to dock indefinitely.

    Even now, on this beach, barren,
    winter sunset, where we’ve gathered
    to spread your son’s ashes,
    we tilt our heads to hear the water
    directly, as if to say, there is no medium
    for this listening, these feelings,
    no shell, no needle, no bottle,
    no way to navigate these riptide currents
    of smiles and sorrow,

    until all the forces that used to strike us down,
    will finally find their rightful places,
    not pushing,
    but lapping against us,
    like those tamed and tiny tides
    when the silver-sliver of moon,
    and the golden sun agree
    to balance on some final scale
    of peace.

  327. elledoubleyoo

    Driving Up the 5

    We drove in a two-car caravan
    in case Mom wanted to stay an extra night.
    These days, the only time we drive this stretch
    through the grapes and almonds and bees that smash
    into our windshields is when someone dies.
    Grandpa, Uncle Leonard, now Aunt Sandy — who’s
    next? The question no one asks. Halfway there,
    a hatchback with a coffin strapped on top
    shocks us, but we point and take a photo.
    “Don’t do that to me when I go,” Mom says,
    and we laugh so hard we cry. It’s only
    later I know these tears were born from fear;
    one day, not so far away, our cousins
    will drive this same stretch, but in reverse.

      1. elledoubleyoo

        Thank you! the car did have a phone number for airbrushing, so we think they were going to paint the coffin maybe. It was a bit surreal, though!

  328. Lady S Poetic Thickness

    Her Journey

    She woke to the sun beaming upon her face
    Her surroundings were the same, yet she was different
    There were no tears or sadness anymore

    She slid out of her bed; looking outside
    The scenery was so inviting
    Filling her with great joy

    As she savored the moment
    Scenes began to play in her mind
    Each displaying a portion of her life

    Her childhood
    Riddled with abuse
    Love was a thing she only heard about

    Seeing others play and laugh
    While she cried
    Asking what she had done wrong

    Somehow she knew once she was an adult; it would all be better
    However, being an adult only meant answering to someone else
    In her case, it was her new husband and his dominating ways

    Scenes danced through her head
    Watching as she progressed through her life
    Noting she never gave up…the fight continued throughout
    She stands presently
    Stronger than she ever has been
    Basking in the rays of the sun

    Her journey has not been an easy one
    Climbing mountains, battling adversaries
    Searching for answers; only to find more questions

    Today, she feels empowered
    Realizing she is not a victim
    She is a survivor

    ©Sheila Moseley
    Lady S Poetic Thickness