Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

Here’s a quick behind the scenes of the April PAD Challenge: I always get the prompts set in stone before the month begins. There are a couple reasons for this, though the most important reason is that I don’t want to get “prompt block” and slow everyone else up during the month. However, the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez–one of my favorite writers–forced my hand, and I changed today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt mid-month. Enjoy!

The final Two-for-Tuesday prompt for this month is:

  • Write a realism poem. A poem that is rooted in the real world. Or…
  • Write a magical poem. A poem that incorporates magical or fantastical elements.

Or write like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and do both!

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national_poetry_monthGet the National Poetry Month Kit!

Yes, this has been another great National Poetry Month, and here’s a great kit to celebrate: The Writer’s Digest National Poetry Month Kit, which includes a digital version of The Poetry Dictionary, a couple paperbacks (Creating Poetry and Writing the Life Poetic), a tutorial on building an audience for your poetry, the 2014 Poet’s Market, and more!

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Realism and/or Magical Poem:

“young men with enormous wings”

listen the ocean has fish
for every mood & the sun
can only travel so deep

beneath the surface we hide
our intentions mako sharks
swim figure 8s & approach

with open mouths before they
attack we ran along docks
watching fish scatter as we

dove into the azure sky
spreading our wings & flying
to the vermillion sunset

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Today’s guest judge is…

Adam Fitzgerald

Adam Fitzgerald

Adam Fitzgerald

Adam is the author of The Late Parade, his debut collection of poetry from W. W. Norton’s historic Liveright imprint. A 2005 graduate of Boston College, in 2008 he received his Masters in Editorial Studies from Boston University’s Editorial Institute. In 2010, he received his MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Adam’s poems, essays and interviews have appeared in A Public Space, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Poetry, and elsewhere. He is the founding editor of the poetry journal Maggy and contributing editor for The American Reader. In September 2013, he co-curated the immersive-environment exhibit “John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things” for Loretta Howard Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Next summer, he will direct The Ashbery Home School in Hudson, New York with Timothy Donnelly and Dorothea Lasky.

He teaches at The New School and Rutgers University, and lives in a pea-sized studio in NYC.

Learn more here: http://www.thelateparade.com/.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

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

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

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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. His favorite Marquez story is “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” though he also loves the short novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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672 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

  1. Alaska Christina

    Night

    When the night falls
    And the shadows dance
    And the stars come out to play
    I am transformed
    No longer insecure
    Worried about my thighs
    Or my bank balance
    If that guy really likes me
    Or how I should work harder to impress others
    Instead
    I emerge on my knees from the dark corner
    Stretching taught, bronzed arms to the heavens
    Long, flowing silken locks that fall to my knees
    And I slip into my superhero cape and tights
    And I fly through the air with the greatest of ease
    Swinging through the jungle from branch to branch
    Where I talk with the lions and the tigers, the bears and the monkeys
    My entire world is a stage
    Where I sing and I act and I dance
    And I don a feathered hat and boa
    My lips an endless stream of pouting, crimson red, all frosting and filling
    And the people that come to see me clap endlessly
    Until there hands are chaffed and worn and blistered
    And still they cannot stop
    And the reviews quote “we’ve never seen the likes of a wonder such as she”.
    I am strong
    And brave
    And beautiful
    A colorful bohemian in finest form.
    And I need no words to comfort the unrest in my soul
    For unrest has no place and cannot play
    In the gaiety of the eve –
    Of sweet powerful night
    That offers such freedom
    Why do you flee so quickly in the dawn of morn
    Chased away too soon
    Stay with me a little longer
    Just a little longer
    And just a little while longer still
    My cage in that musty corner beckons me
    And I don’t want to go back in
    Into that place where the light blinds me through the pinholes
    Of all the masks I wear.

  2. JayGee2711

    A Sale of Dragons

    Dramatic barter occurs
    with abbreviation
    in the marketplaces of
    parking lots and
    atomic bombs.
    A blend of barmaids
    and attraction,
    pay envelopes tainted
    with flattery,
    ramshackle abodes
    watching harshly over
    water lilies,
    tadpole coins and
    chameleon yarn unspooling
    from a bottle of
    flatfooted champagne.

    Julie Germain

  3. Angie5804

    Not Quite Magical

    The closest to magical I’ve ever been
    Is a bit mysterious
    Or a tad delightful
    Oh to be a little less down-to-earth
    And a little more thrilling
    A little less sensible
    And a wee bit breathtaking
    A little less prudent
    And just a speck exhilarating

    Angie Bell

  4. Heidi

    THE STONE GATE

    Dozens of blackbirds stop trilling.
    Stop trilling their ballads under the noon sun.
    In silence the blackbirds listen with human eyes
    Watching. They listen and watch as I enter the wood.

    One lone bird sings songs of sorrow,
    A song he sings a song of haunted mourning.
    Like an oboe in the canebrake rustling with reeds
    Humming beneath sunlit canopy, one bird laments.

    The moss is soft beneath my feet,
    my feet follow the path to the old gnarled tree.
    The stone chair glows as in writings of ancient lore.
    The lone bird bobs its black gilt head, beckoning me forth.

    The golden spray of leaf and bough
    shivers as I reach to touch the rousing chair
    Lodged with fossils, beryl, and ruby. The portal
    hums songs of sorrow, a tug to serve its ancient spell

    “Here Lies the Gate Beyond All Time”
    warn the glowing runes, no chance to turn and run
    gold bursts spark, and whirring black wings usher me far
    I know not what I know as I catapult past all time.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  5. Heidi

    JEZEBEL

    Have you seen her? I saw her once.
    Eyes like salt mines, deep caverns,
    dark and hollow.

    She hovers as a fly on raw meat,
    over the wounded. When the light is
    dim, she’s a moth

    fluttering from woman to man to woman
    to child. Cloaked in green velvet, hidden
    under a mask

    of stolen wings and stolen light
    one of the fallen watchers, they say, the
    grand pretender.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  6. stepstep

    special moment

    skin so soft, but voice real deep
    made my heart race, made the heartbeats leap;
    is it so I can put all my trust in you
    follow you blindly, no matter what you do.

    I long for a sweet gentle breeze
    accompanied by a drizzling rain as a tease;
    the message comes clearly through your eyes
    then suddenly I do realize

    that you and I in tune do click
    a moment so magic, when eyelids flutter and flick.

    LaSteph

  7. eileenDmoeller

    Nuthatch

    Foolish woman
    closed into the bathroom
    with a frightened bird
    trying to coax him
    down, as if he could
    understand her words.

    Silly woman left
    the screen less window
    open just enough
    for bird body to squeeze
    through, sleeping cat
    on the bed never stirred.

    Bird up high, woman
    down below in a dance
    of swoops and risings.
    Crazy woman, towel
    in hand, waiting for
    bird to land on the floor,
    though bird never lights
    for more than a second.

    Slow woman, watching
    bird hit the window, finally
    wakes up to screen removal,
    lifts window wide, sits and
    prattles on hoping the bird
    will glide right out, but bird,
    unable to tell glass and air
    apart, flits too high up, at
    first, to escape, then finally
    drops to the sill and quick
    as a sigh, is through the
    window and gone.

    Kind woman, gentle
    heart, big with love,
    despite all of the above

  8. seingraham

    REALISM IS MY MAGIC

    If only I knew what it was that tweaked
    my reality
    Made me a little more aware, a little more me
    Perhaps I wouldn’t retreat so often to that
    place within
    That’s neither here nor there but somewhere
    in between
    A sort of limbo that’s very safe but there’s
    nothing happening
    And I know there’s nothing about to happen
    Do you know what I’m talking about?

  9. gibbslissy

    Summer Magic
    ———————–
    You were born day after Valentine’s
    And made my Day pretty and long
    I wanted you to have your own way
    And become a part of my May

    A las it was not to be
    You wanted into the world
    I wanted out, of pregnancy
    A long you came day after love

    Love you are and shall always be
    Held forever,
    Tenderly
    Lest you fall and hurt your head
    Then you better not wind up dead.

    I love you Summer and hope you become
    Everything you could be and then some
    I wish you love and sweat and tears
    Some of these without too many beers

    Along you’ll go learning and growing
    Me happily watching and hoping &
    Learning.

    I love you Summer my Valentine’s
    b*tch and hope you are neither and not a witch
    Twenty two hours you finally arrived
    & become our little baby
    Alive
    Now we are just watching and loving seeing you thrive.

    by Elissa Gibbons

  10. LeighSpencer

    Waking with Dragons

    My eyes are not open
    yet I feel their presence

    Stalking

    Curious and tentative
    at first
    becoming more aggressive

    Insistent

    There are at least two
    maybe three

    I feel a claw on bare skin
    leg poking out from the blanket
    as the smallest begins its ascent

    Do they sense that I am waking?
    That the time of offering is near?

    Flanked at one side, the largest
    weight on my chest now

    Hot breath
    panting anticipation

    I open a tentative eye
    inviting no fire

    But a wash of kisses
    and happy yelps

    My dog dragons
    of 9, 12, and 40 pounds
    delight at my waking

    Their primeval stealth rewarded
    with offerings of head pats
    belly scratches
    and breakfast

  11. horselovernat

    Daydreams by Natalie Gasper

    Wishing for a break from the
    mundane tasks at work,
    I let my focus slip
    as my thoughts being to wander.

    Over hills of luscious greens
    and past rivers that run blue,
    I come to a familiar place,
    to my stronghold in the mountains.

    Moving gracefully, I peer out
    from my cave, awed by the sight
    of a large dragon herd
    taking refuge from the skies.

    As if by magic, an unseen force
    draws my eyes to a loner
    resting just outside of the others,
    basking in the radiant sun.

    Immense in size, his head’s as big as me
    with a wing span that dwarfs an airplane.
    His coloring is solid black
    but is by no means bland.

    To watch him as he adjusts his tail,
    black scales gleaming in the light
    while he lets loose a yawn,
    revealing razor sharp teeth, is stunning.

    Most beautiful of all are his eyes,
    such a rich gold speckled atop
    the electric blue in his irises,
    with eye ridges that arch for miles.

    Slowly I make my way over to him,
    to this mighty dragon king,
    in hopes that I might feel his
    leathery wings and rough shoulders.

    Catching my scent upon the wind
    he turns to greet my child-like gaze,
    so full of wonder and fear
    as his eyes pour into my very soul.

    Whether compelled by fear or by faith
    I reach out my hand and rest it
    on his nose, carefully stroking his
    thick and roughed scales.

    Then a whispered voice in my heart
    becomes louder, urging me on,
    promising this king will do me no harm
    and to go one step further than ever before.

    Excitement and anticipation flood my veins
    while I began to climb his front leg
    and come to a stop just in front of his wings,
    feeling his strong muscles beneath my legs.

    I hear a voice, rich, deep, and full of ancient power
    asking me if I am ready at last.
    My fear is now gone, and answer
    with a resounding yes! Let us fly!

    He unfurls his massive wings and forces
    them towards the ground with all his might,
    demanding the wind lift him up, up,
    up into the skies.

    This feeling is like no other
    for I am both safe and in danger,
    confident and uncertain.
    Trusting my dragon with all that I am.

    The sun begins to set, throwing
    pinks and oranges across the land,
    making it harder to believe that this
    moment, this place, this world, is real.

    Sure enough, I find myself back
    behind a desk, phones ringing,
    employees bustling,
    and customers mingling.

    A smile gently crosses my face,
    reminding me that there is more
    in the world than this endless cycle,
    than this dull monotony.

    I know in my heart that those daydreams
    come from something genuine. That one day,
    I shall ride my dragon for real, and that
    there is still magic alive in the world.

  12. Linda.H

    because the harsh reality is that not all friendships are forever

    Tough Break

    Salt water taffy? No. That salty-sweetness
    that gradually thins as you pull its ends
    until it gently rips apart is not us. We split
    in two with a snap, like sticks of spaghetti

    being halved by clenched hands then thrown
    into hot water, neither of us able to take the heat.
    This afternnon, like many days since, the world
    confronted me with memories of you when that

    Sound of Sunshine song you loved played
    on the radio as I drove to the grocery store.
    I wondered where you were at the moment,
    what you were doing, if you ever thought

    about me. I contemplated how I felt about you
    now that time has passed, wondered if
    you’d ever change your mind and soften like
    noodles do when they’ve cooked long enough.

  13. grcran

    Quite Magically

    All of these myriad things
    Falling into place
    No one ever quite meaning them to
    All of these numbers
    Amounting to the sum
    Of a dna molecule
    All of these stars
    Swirling billions of them
    Cozying one Earth

    All of this water
    Coursing through the veins and valleys
    Thirst is not required
    All of this sunlight
    Delivering food to living things
    Packages of energy
    All of this fresh air
    Blowing over landscapes and into lungs
    Fires won’t burn without it

    All of these colours
    Blending in unbelievable variation
    Perception goes beyond the spectrum
    All of these shapes
    Shifting the status quo
    Perfection at every given moment
    All of these teary-eyed beings
    Mourning myriad things
    Magic happens too

    by gpr crane

  14. j.wessier101

    Three Quarter Time

    I went to sleep in your shirt
    so I could meet you in the space
    between one dream and the next.
    Tonight the moon is only a sliver of hope, but
    still we dance on the glass lake
    edged with pines; conical spires
    against a shimm’ring scrim.
    Still we dance,
    the cicadas marking time,
    my slippers wearing thin.
    Still we dance,
    mindless of the weight of certainty,
    the burden of infringing morn.
    There’s a loon in the orchestra,
    her doleful tune
    punctuates the falling away of night,
    the passing away of our collected moments –
    moments I had gathered all day,
    trusting they would be enough.
    Now, spent like the candle in my sill,
    there is only the fragile
    silver thread fastening us
    to guide you home.

  15. IndiFox

    My Universe

    She’s magical
    A celestial being
    Her face is the sun
    Her eyes are the stars
    With hair like the Milky Way
    And a heart bigger than Mars
    My world is her
    Through eclipses
    And meteor showers
    She’s everything to me
    She’s magical

  16. Margie Fuston

    Skin Magic

    Twigs claw at us like witches
    fingers in the moonlight,
    but you’re the one casting
    spells as you push me
    against a stolen blanket and
    pour potion from your lips
    to mine. I drink. I wonder
    what you stole from me
    to make your magic. A lock
    of hair? A fallen eyelash?
    A sliver of skin? A thimble
    of blood? Or have I lost
    something else?

  17. shethra77

    Consequences

    Red lights blink
    on vehicles
    lined up on both sides
    of the street in the complex.
    Two are ambulances. At the
    far end is yellow tape surrounding
    something.
    We don’t have to wait for the evening news—
    we know it’s murder. What we don’t know
    is that five children are now parentless
    since their father stabbed their mother
    this morning.

    Ride

    The unicorn
    (impossibly white, like blowing sheets on the
    washline when the sun shines through)
    shook his head so his pearlescent horn
    winked in the dappled light of the grove, and
    pranced on velvet green moss, one silver hoof
    scraping at turf.

    I approached, and he allowed
    the touch of my hand, my whispers in his ears.
    He quivered, yet permitted me to climb
    onto his muscular back. He galloped,
    racing against the queen of fairies, and
    carried me to her throne. Forevermore
    we live here in spring.

  18. Shennon

    The father cussed under his breath again
    His boy was never going to catch that ball
    They’d practiced day and night since he was ten
    Another toss, another trip and fall.

    The father feared the time had come to quit
    The time had come to hang up those old cleats
    Dad’s dreams faded with ev’ry empty mitt
    No more impromptu baseball in the streets.

    But then the boy ran backward in a rush
    A pop fly landed right inside his glove
    A smile lit up his face, he even blushed
    When dad’s eyes met his own with pride and love.

    Just twelve years later his confidence rocks
    He’s signed up with the Chicago White Sox.

    –ShennonDoah

  19. Shennon

    One more armload of wood –
    That should satisfy the immense
    appetite of our fireplace. If only
    Jimmy would eat that well.
    The doctor said there were small
    signs of improvement
    on his last visit.

    That was two months ago.
    With misty eyes I gaze out
    the window, cursing the bitter
    storm, whose icy hands shut
    the door to our mountain pass.

    A hoarse cough turns my attention back
    to the room, where my first-born child
    lays, anticipating spring, but knowing
    he won’t live to see it. Taking all
    the courage I can draw from his
    brave young face I reassure him that
    morning will come soon. I daylight I can
    cope with any situation, but once again,
    before going to bed, I make good use
    of the ever decreasing supply of
    tranquilizers. Morning will find us both
    in a serene state of mind.

    –ShennonDoah

  20. beale.alexis

    “She’s a Goddess”

    She kisses fire
    And burns your insides pink.
    A reminder that you’re alive.

    She crushes rocks
    When she walks
    And uproots the flowers by their stems.

    She throws them to the sky
    And forces them to abandon
    Their sense of security.

    Her name is ice
    To your skin
    And rain to your eyes.

  21. mshall

    Reality is the alarm
    Too early on a Monday
    The coffee pot grins at me
    Surrounded by grains
    I spilled in my sleepiness
    My daughter pads softly down the stairs
    Reaching out for a hug
    I have no time

    The bits of cereal bobble in the milk
    Like living insects laughing
    At their inside joke
    Daddy sloshed the milk
    When he poured it in my bowl
    He said a bad word
    I laughed, he cursed again
    Magic is cheerios in milke

    Reality is we are ten minutes late
    Five because she could not chose
    Between the pink shirt or the green
    Lets go, I said.
    You have a stain on your collar, she said.
    Five more to search for a somewhat pressed shirt

    The coat material slips through my fingers
    Like sunlight through a cloud
    Like melty butter on hot toast
    The cold metal zipper is monster teeth
    The slippery snaps are jumping beans
    Daddy finally button up my coat
    Magic is daddy’s strong fingers

    Reality is I have to shovel the car
    The roads are icy
    And we were late twice already last week
    My daughter’s teacher is sure to phone
    To tell me that the first ten minutes of class are
    Important
    For that is when they read
    Fantasy books

    A castle of snow surrounds our house
    I sit in the car like an ice princess
    Snow flakes dance around us
    Like a ballet
    The car is warm when Daddy climbs in
    To drive me away in our stately chariot
    Magic is mornings with Daddy

  22. mzanemcclellan

    Fantastic Visit To Fairy

    ~
    I never believed fairy tales
    yet I think I must make an exception,
    since there is no other explanation,
    magic mushrooms nor viral infection.
    ~
    There I lay at the foot of a daïs,
    Monarchs no taller than an inch or three,
    sitting on thrones at the end of my nose
    imperiously glowering at me.
    ~
    I was definitely not in a dream state,
    but I may have been spelled with a glamour.
    I slowly rolled up to sit comfortably
    the Fairy Court erupted in clamor.
    ~
    Ethereal lighted dust trailed pixies
    in aerial dance to the satyrs’ fifes,
    who capered on cloven hooves below them,
    entertaining the Fae King and his wife.
    ~
    The cacophony was overwhelming
    my every sense was under assail.
    I squeezed my eyes shut and then I whimpered
    not doubting my move beyond the pale.
    ~
    “What is your need of me?”, I enquired.
    “I am simply an amateur poet.”
    The Queen smiled now with haughty conviction.
    “You’re just what is needed and you know it.
    ~
    The Great Bard was once lived in obscurity
    penning his plays by light of a candle.
    After a visit to this Fairy court,
    he enjoyed more fame than he could handle.”
    ~
    With a sniff and turn of her neck she said,
    “just write down whatever comes to your mind,
    take note of everything that you may sense
    find a way to put it into a rhyme.
    ~
    We tire of this cryptic poetry.
    We want beautiful words in simple verse.
    Back with you, write poems incessantly
    you will find it our blessing, not a curse.”
    ~
    I gathered myself up from off the floor,
    proceeded to my desk with calm aplomb.
    I no longer question the why or how,
    just write down words in my head as they come.

    ***
    ~ M. Zane McClellan
    ***

  23. PSC in CT

    Real Magic

    There’s magic in math, in science, in nature.
    Khayyam and Da Vinci knew it, wrote it, drew it;
    Galileo and Newton sought it in the stars,
    Fibonacci found it in numerical sequences – patterns
    repeating in nature: mysteries unfolding in a fern,
    the florets of a flower, chambers of a nautilus.

    Empiricists can catalog details,
    focus on the bits and bytes,
    but they see
    only a small piece
    of a much bigger picture.

    There are facts & figures one can gather, yes:
    you may weigh and measure all you like.
    Calculate and extrapolate, if you must,
    hypothesize and postulate, if you insist.
    But, numbers, figures, data,
    reasons & rationale
    will only get you
    so far.

    Sooner or later,
    you must put aside
    the slide rule,
    the telescope,
    binoculars & microscope
    and Open Your Self Up.

    The rest – the magic & mystery,
    must be perceived by another means.
    Sometimes, it’s simply
    a matter of employing
    the proper lens.

    PSC/2014

  24. TuLife

    “We Made Love”
    By: Tuere Aisha

    We anticipated the amalgamation with patient unease,
    predicted its perfection omitting fraud and regret.
    You craved for access to my mystery keys,
    so sought to conquer by toil and sweat.

    It was untold glory with the brush of your lips;
    the stroke of your hand filled my womb with gold.
    Your hunger growl furnished wings to my hips.
    Such fantastical marvels could not be foretold.

    No more well-contained fire I have held in my life
    than the fervor laid bare once you made me your wife.

  25. carolemt87

    Imagine

    If you woke up one morning
    and the floor fell away.

    If the world spun backwards,
    gold changed to black, orange to
    blue; a finger tapped your shoulder
    and a bright light pierced
    the dark space beside your head.

    If you fell slowly, spinning a web
    of silver spindles from your hair
    and your fingertips drew red spirals
    along the sides of a brown tunnel.

    If, at the end, after drifting down
    days into the nothingness, you
    landed on a white linen pillow
    in a sunlit garden, ablaze with
    jasmine and juniper, where a purple fairy

    who spoke only French asked you
    to dance between the wild plums and
    red willows, while green and yellow finches
    flittered through freckled ferns
    and tall sedge at the edge
    of a frog clotted marsh.

    Carol J Carpenter

  26. spinzo

    In the Morning

    A crow in a drooping hemlock bough scolds me for the trespass
    At an hour he expected to have for himself

    It is still
    Not yet light
    As I crease the hovering mist
    Pushing my prow quietly forward
    Toward a place where there is hope

    Confident in my direction
    I drift and stow my paddle with a clunk
    Amplified by the need for silence
    And raising my rod overhead
    I thrust back and forward
    Casting out upon the water

    My offering is a deceit
    Floating in the place where
    Air meets water
    And I wait
    For faith’s reward

    The apostles were fishermen who wrote that
    Christ Himself sought the face of God
    In the morning

  27. Nanamaxtwo

    “We need more mystery in our lives, Hem”
    A Moveable Feast

    Staring at this blank page I think,
    God created the world in six days and sat
    out the seventh when he wasn’t finished,
    galactic plates needing to lift unborn
    mountains, volcanic core spewing
    writhing rivers into every sea. Why say
    writing one true sentence unquestionably
    leads to volumes, while truth defies experience
    beyond the realism of milk left on the table
    turning sour, or a man’s heart lifting a fallen friend.
    These and more do nothing to clarify
    the enigma of creation, bewildering
    as dawn rising in steam over a frozen lake,
    broken as a man who takes vengeance
    with his pen.

  28. BezBawni

    Couldn’t Sleep

    look, the sun is rising
    darkness turning to light
    morning in all its might

    birds have started singing
    first just the modest few
    then as if on a cue

    flower are waking
    to wash their honey eyes
    waving at butterflies

    look, all of this is real
    though I can’t but think
    there has to be magic
    __________
    by Lucretia Amstell

  29. C.

    Melted snow still hovered over grass, hanging
    words slipped, like thick humid dew, and split
    dripping rain into a splash of grey cemented glass.

    Quiet was left by the tumultuous storm, fearing
    where cold air was adjourned, opened and broken
    window brushed aside Winter’s comb once more

    through summer’s old tangled up regrets. Remembering
    spring lightning sounds of unspoken tones, leaves still
    through thick branched trees yet no efflorescence shown.

    Venus must have missed this trap of hers, so deceiving
    Cupid was led astray by Eris and her discord- growing old
    a helpless daughter, whose only harmony was in her name,

    asked, Why would anyone commit this ungodly game? Unanswered
    questions were left forgotten by the past lovers, so enslaved
    narcisstic needs then swallowed, or kept forever in an unburied grave.

    But still the wheel-less chariot will fly again, awake
    the sun will rise again when dark night endured finally will fade
    exhaustion from our feet looking once more for other feet to meet

    since, after all, stars crossing, recall, merged into this, here, our eternity in time.

  30. Snow Write

    We’ll build a ladder to the stars
    To dance with radiant beams of light
    We’ll flip and turn and bounce and run
    Our wildest dreams will soar in flight

    Surpassing planes and rockets too
    We’ll build a ladder to the stars
    Explore the universal space
    And make a loop or two ’round mars

    We’ll gather wood and nails and tools
    Create the master plan you dream
    We’ll build a ladder to the stars
    So you can touch those dots that gleam

    Before you find a different path
    Before the world leaves mental scars
    Before you stop imagining
    We’ll build a ladder to the stars

  31. KiManou

    black rose

    the sky cracked and she fell from it
    a rose garden of black, cushioned her fall
    but the thorns…pricked on every side
    broken limbs became stems
    and her palms sepals
    capable
    a delicate rare flower
    life sowed survival in her
    her broken earth produced a malleable heart
    washed down with torrents of love and sheer exquisiteness
    she is a beauty to be reckoned with
    mesmerizing to the eye but oh so painful to the touch
    she will not be plucked
    when she decides
    she scatters seeds and sheds petals
    her stigmata a desire for collectors
    brave in her garden
    she discovered her style
    she blooms on her own
    a perennial splendor
    watch her grow

    eMinor

  32. PenConnor

    Wings in Ink (a rondel)

    The ink in my skin is bewitched;
    These feathers are thrumming like strings,
    and life, it is flooding these wings.
    It started this morning. It itched.

    My shoulders have through the day twitched,
    You’re stretching, and my pale flesh stings.
    The ink in my skin is bewitched.
    Your call echoes loudly, it rings.

    You leap to the air without hitch,
    while I’m tethered by earthly things.
    Your first flight is fire, as it sings.
    I’d give anything to have switched!
    The ink in my skin is bewitched.

  33. grcran

    Unreal

    Something happened in the world
    One of those years
    when I wasn’t looking
    and the world went all loveyoutoo
    and the only place I went was
    left out

    Left out, my self leapt out
    Out of facebook friendship
    Out of fastfood frenzy
    Out of tweeted toodle-oo
    Out of conservative conversionism

    Now, increasingly, I’m unreal
    In too many ways
    Left to my own devices
    I didn’t devise anything

    My problem with loveyoutoo
    Is not that I don’t, I do

    My problem with loveyoutoo is that
    For most, it seems,
    It doesn’t go anywhere from there
    It doesn’t connect to anything else

    Might just as well be left out
    With me
    Without.

    by gpr crane

  34. Liliuokalani

    The Reality Is I Miss My Mother

    At unexpected moments
    my mother used to throw the line
    “we are all made of stardust”.
    When my belly billows bulbous over my belt,
    I hang my head –
    then tilt to just the right angle
    so I can gaze eye to eye
    back at the depression
    my mother stamped.
    I stare there and dream
    myself into the light
    she reconstructed –
    an inert
    but twinkling mass.

  35. d dyson

    Sleep Amidst the Fireflies

    for Andy

    Fear not, for what of worry will save you?

    Contain the brash thought
    generated from the fire in your soul
    and come sleep with me
    amidst the fireflies in the grove.

    There we are with their wings
    touching our lips
    And their words whispering of kindness
    into our lists

    of dreams once dreamt
    and now shattered, whilst awake.
    They breathe colour into our hearts
    whilst in our slumbering state.

    Contain the heart ache
    generated from the life you have never seen
    and come sleep with me
    amidst the fireflies in our most salient dreams.

  36. sbpoet

    [for formatting see at http://www.sbpoet.com/2014/05/poem-a-day-29-30.html

    today is a day of sharp edges
    red roof against bright sky
    a fence’s iron arrows
    pointing to infinity

    nestled between
    the flamingo’s pink wings
    we flew

    moon still pale
    in the west
    lending its color
    to snow on blue mountains

    we were children then
    blond and rosey
    with sun and dream

    the sun’s arc
    yellowing
    the greening
    of maple and birch

    we are tumbling now
    curled into our bodies
    falling still falling

    ~ sharon brogan
    http://www.sbpoet.com

  37. drwasy

    Magical Thinking

    There’s a magical kind
    of thinking I indulge in
    today, the cusp
    of my birth

    of choices made,
    paths taken—or not—
    and wonderment at what
    might have been

    if I knew at those forks
    what I now know.
    But time travel
    and doppelgangers

    are only found
    in movies and dreams,
    and future-telling
    falls beyond my ken.

  38. poet42

    Lord, help me
    to stop believing
    in magic.
    I’m stuck in thinking
    thta if I do a specific
    this and that
    and say a few magic words
    while waving my wishing
    and wanting wand
    that suddenly my
    life will be as I desire–
    a smooth path
    with clear signs
    and release from
    these struggles and sorrows.
    Instead of believing in magic,
    let me believe in
    Your mercy and grace.

  39. Linda.H

    One more pleiade. This one goes out to all the insomniacs.

    Sleepless

    Sleep seems to have sailed off
    somewhere beyond the sea,
    slipped beneath the blazing
    sunset, harboring the
    snores I’ll not breathe tonight.
    Snug under covers, I
    stare at shadows, silent.

  40. FaerieTalePoet

    Wheel of the Year

    Eight times a year
    the circle is cast,
    and we shall call the quarters
    as we invoke the Gods.

    Participants are called upon
    to enter in perfect love and perfect trust,
    to keep the circle unbroken,
    to ever mind the rule of three.

    Samhain serves as our new year
    the veil is thinnest at this time
    and so those passed we shall honor
    as they journey to the other side.

    Yule is the darkest night
    the sun shall be reborn
    with the dawn’s light
    the log we burn shall keep us warm.

    Imbolc brings us inspiration
    to Brighid we light our candles
    our priestesses seek visions
    as they peer into sacred wells.

    Ostara is about fertility
    with eggs and bunnies
    and chocolate treats
    we invoke the spring.

    Beltane fires our passions light
    we dance round the Maypole
    this day is about the great rite
    for the May Queen and her consort

    Litha the summer’s light brings
    the longest day shall soon give way
    a fruitful harvest to this we sing
    as too soon the days grow shorter.

    Lughnassadh or Lammas
    brings in the second harvest
    we build a man of bread
    and give his phallus to the land.

    Mabon is equal armed
    the last harvest of the year
    apples are gathered from farms
    and we give thanks for our bounty.

    The wheel of the year does turn
    we shall make holy all these days
    round and round our fires burn
    and merry we meet once again.

    Dana A. Campbell

  41. Linda.H

    I am combining todays two for Tuesday prompt with the form poetry prompt at Creative Bloomings (to write a pleiade poem). So here are two poems–one based on reality and the other exploring fantasy–in the pleiades form.

    First, a wish for when people utter hurtful words.

    Bubbles

    Bathe my breath in bubbles,
    brilliant rainbow-colored
    balls that tumble from the
    back of my tongue, holding
    bitter words that fly far
    beyond all beings, to
    burst, inflicting no pain.

    And my reality poem comes from the video that has been circulating on Facebook. Paula had it posted on her page and it was the perfect inspiration for a pleiade.

    Wondrous

    Wings unfurl unleashing
    wide-spread white feathers. We
    witness peacock plumage
    wave and wiggle, watch in
    wonder as he struts his
    wild dance before us.

  42. gmagrady

    THE RELIC ROOM

    The Father
    The Son
    The Holy Spirit…

    No greater mystery have I
    known
    pondered
    doubted
    yet
    believed

    and no more powerful
    have I experienced prayer
    as when in a relic room,
    on padded kneeler,
    surrounded by the humanness
    of the spirits of saints,
    their magical miracles
    no longer the cornerstone of my faith,
    but their flesh and blood bring voices—
    whispering
    chanting
    a mumbled hum—
    as if joined in congregation
    of hymns,
    or in a conference hall before the
    meeting begins,
    their bodies, bone and skin
    standing

    before me
    beside me
    pushed up
    against me
    like in a crowded bar
    or rush hour train car—
    whispering
    chanting
    a mumbled hum—

    until I close my ears and open my eyes,
    sweat dripping on the tip of a lash,
    burning when it settles inside my lid.
    A blur,
    but I think I see them,
    these saints,
    in all their humanness
    praying with me
    praying for me
    in the relic room.

  43. julie e.

    THE FAIRY DOOR.

    The small door
    hidden in the bushes
    I knew must be the entrance
    to a fairy’s lair, decorated in
    Morning Glories, for Mother said
    they were not welcome in the garden.
    And I could see our chipped teacup
    with the wreathe of lavender flowers stood
    upside-down with its saucer for a table top.
    (I did so love that teacup till I dropped it!) Daisy
    chains made a garland bright while spools
    of thread made lovely colorful chairs (I had told
    Mother I’d not taken them to play with and lost
    them!) That’s what I could see when I squeezed my
    eyes closed and looked through the keyhole of the
    small door hidden in the bushes…for when I
    opened my eyes it was only a basement
    dreary and grey with laundry on a line
    and not so magical
    at all.

  44. msmacs3m

    PAD Day 28
    Realism/Magical
    by Sandy McCulloch

    Dragon needs a tale-
    Across a far away land
    He breathed his last fire.

    Once proud green dragon
    Sits sadly on his treasure
    No one comes these days
    .
    Oh how he longs for
    A brave but foolish young knight
    To hear and seek him.

    Then in sad darkness
    Dragon no longer confined
    But breathes fire once more.

  45. Pengame30

    “Real Magic”

    A man proposes and she says yes.
    All diseases are iradicated.
    A baby is born.
    America minds its business for once.
    He acquires his dream job.
    There are no more backstabbers.
    He gets his first apartment and doesn’t return.
    Weapons are no longer needed.
    Jesus walks the earth.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  46. Kit Cooley

    Language Art

    I run a finger lightly
    across each spine
    searching for a new view,
    an escape, or something
    completely different.

    Forget the dust on the shelf,
    let the dishes pile up,
    there is a book to read.

    ~ Kit Cooley

  47. Delaina Miller

    Launching Magic

    Do you remember that old washing machine?
    We would climb on top and pretend it was our rocket ship.
    Counting down our voices getting louder with each number
    10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Blastoff!
    In frenzy we began twisting the dials
    that would send us to Armstrong’s moon.
    I never saw the stars with you.
    But I remember the day the motor
    sparked to life and we both jumped off
    neither of us ready to take that flight.

  48. smdnyc

    Cinderella

    It is hard to know which is
    more exotic: the young lady
    in a ball gown or the maid
    scrubbing the floors.

    She is both the same woman,
    which is the part no one can
    get their heads around: how
    the maid could be the young
    lady; how the young lady could
    be the maid. (As if the two were
    mutually exclusive.)

    We pity the maid. We exalt the
    young lady. And we look for
    the key to her transformation —

    a glass slipper that’s
    impossible to walk in,
    let alone run.

  49. Lori DeSanti

    Pixie Bugs

    When I was young, I watched fireflies from my
    window, my head propped on the white sill as
    they lit the yard like miniature lanterns. They

    moved like a storm, a deaf symphony, a blinding
    light-show moving through stalks of jubata grass;
    crickets sang to their spark, and I was overcome

    by the display, couldn’t help but drown every sense
    in it. I tried to catch them in my hand once, not a jar,
    no, never a jar. We weren’t meant to contain something

    that beautiful. Would you ever try to touch the reaching
    hand of a lightning bolt? Lightning— I waited for the bugs
    to torch the dry grass into wildfire. But all night, they burned

    and faded, waning light in the grass, a string of ornaments
    suspended like little, yellow lemon drops sweetly making
    sunshine in the darkness, quickly disappearing in the rain.

  50. Julieann

    In the Realm of Reality

    The daily ebb and flow
    Creates a false sense of
    Security carving out a safe
    Haven for everyday longings
    Desires and necessities
    Until the unexpected explodes
    Jarring and jangling that calm
    Arousing a time of speculation
    A time of opportunity
    A magical time to move forward
    To create another rhythm
    Another type of ebb and flow
    Once again lulling one into a
    Sense of fulfillment, a dreamy
    Comfortable place where
    Pain or hope, love or hate,
    Bravado or cowardice cannot appear
    And then it happens – again
    The unexpected
    Causing the cycle to spring forward,
    Spin its wheels, then settle back into
    A steady, evenly breathed
    Ebb and flow

    This is dedicated to a dear friend who has had her reality shaken to its core.

  51. Amirae Garcia

    For My Magician – Amirae Garcia

    “And for my next trick,” you steal my heart as you call attention to the crowd, except
    in this case I am the only one left in your audience. I am the only one still so enamored with you while everyone else has gone home to their lover, because in this room, you are my only lover. In every room, you are my only lover.

    “And for my next trick,” you pick apart my flesh to release the riot of butterflies abiding inside my stomach. I am shaken by the miracle of their flight around the room. I think this might be magic. No one else could have ever conjured the beauty within the midst of me. I think this must be magic.

    “And for my next trick,” you saw me in half. My insides splatter onto the floor like an offering for you. You scoop me up and put me back together; and I swear this is magic. The very essence of you is magic. When we are together, circus elephants dance around the room.

    “And for my next trick,” you give me wings. “And for my next trick,” you pull my soul out of a hat. You bring me back to life. It doesn’t matter that I am the only one who believes. This is real. You are real and everything you do comes alive.

    “And for my next trick,” you capture me completely. “And for my next trick,” it stops being tricks. “And for my next trick,” I am still here. “And for my next trick,” you still have me.

  52. lionmother

    Magic Universe

    I would weave you
    a cloak of golden
    threads to cover
    your shoulders
    and heal your
    wounds and you
    would walk with
    your old strength
    beyond the hospital
    doors and into a
    world where we
    were floating in
    an azure sky
    flying and flitting
    never setting down

    And that golden cloak
    woven with the threads
    of healing blossoms
    colored with the whims
    of all dreams
    would repel all sickness
    and you would be whole
    again

    Cold Reality
    The news is harsh
    Doctors deliver it in
    measured tones as
    if they knew more
    than they are saying
    but they hold onto
    some truths

    Nurses are the
    buffers who slip
    in and out ministering
    to the patient without
    judgement
    They keep me whole
    for somehow I feel
    like an undone jigsaw
    with pieces going
    every which way
    Not even able to find
    the corners so I
    can begin to put
    them back together

  53. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Aberration implants”

    Yesterday I did not know
    when I wrote about sitting in a hospital
    chair that today I would be sitting
    in a hospital chair sharing the reality
    of the magically demented world
    created by the holes in your brain.

    I wear your genes
    inside my skull. Maybe that is why
    when you tell me that Oscar is the name
    of the twelve year-old girl who came to your room
    and folded towels with you in the middle
    of the night, I believe that my name
    is Oscar and you are sitting on
    my towel. So, I tell you but
    you say Oscar went home
    with her mother.

    I don’t believe you so at
    midnight we start all over with another
    faux truth.

    Lord, how I hate this disease.

  54. Brian Slusher

    NOT AN EXIT

    There’s a door I store in my pocket
    It’s neither sinister nor ornate
    And it waits, a patient portal
    As I enter and exit my days

    It’s there as I shuffle the papers
    Quietly closed as an eye
    It’s there as I balance the figures
    Tireless as a penitent’s prayer

    And even as a woman speaks
    Her lips so ripe and rouged
    All I see are the double doors
    I’ll someday slip mutely through

    And what pauses beyond them
    In that rumored corridor?
    I pat my pocket gently
    And shuffle my papers some more

  55. Zart_is

    Drop by Drop
    I am a water being.
    There are many reasons why, but mostly I like the floating part.
    In water, I can never fall.
    I can be rocked, splashed, worn away,
    no matter if my footing is lost I float or I swim
    or just tread like a ballerina all grace and poise
    even dunked I am all wet and shiny.
    Beauty is how the sun and moon reflect on lakes
    scattering diamonds on the waves and dissolving in oceans.
    How my skin absorbs to saturation more moisture than I will ever need.
    How lakes smell of fish and oceans of salt and rivers of rocks and pools of tangy chlorine.
    My skin, like a scent chameleon takes each on until I bathe in water hot from my shower.
    Then it rains from soft mist to stinging sprinkle, to drenching torrents,
    to sleet and hail and ice and glorious snow.
    I get all steamy just thinking about it.
    The chill I feel as ice water dribbles down my throat with every swallow.
    The consuming warmth of my tea sipped as it spreads heat to fingers and eventually toes.
    I love to fill tea cups and clear blue glasses.
    I love your hands dipped in water
    and your fingers as they drip drops like a clear cooling unguent on my skin.
    I am a water rich and spoiled being.
    I mourn the places where water is only brown and tainted.
    Where children may never have dreamed of crystal clear water
    gushing from faucets because they can’t imagine it.
    Where each drop of rain hisses as it touches earth.
    Where parched lips and dehydrated bodies are as normal as death.
    As tears hang on the edge of eyelids crusted with salt too precious to fall wasted.
    Yet here I am listening as water runs drop by drop unused, drop by drop down a long drain,
    drop by drop to a river, drop by drop in a lake, drop by drop to an ocean, drop by drop into rain.
    To my disgrace and dismay, I am an extravagant water being.
    Dripping with remorse.

  56. pmwanken

    SPELLING

    He
    used
    words to
    cast his spells
    through poetic verse,
    capturing my heart—it’s no curse
    to be loved so well.
    I’m under
    his spell
    in
    love.

    2014-04-30
    P. Wanken

    I thought a Fibonacci would be fitting for a “real or fantasy (fib?)” poem.

  57. Yolee

    For Real

    The church my siblings and I attended in the late 70s was in Humboldt Park
    where cultural pride, peaceable people and gang violence cross-stitched
    Chicago’s west side. After service one August evening, a few kids
    and I chatted under the glimmer of stain glass windows when in
    the distance a distressed voice cried Help! Help! I turned toward
    Artesian Avenue. It was marbled with rainwater; the streetlight’s
    neck swung back and forth. About 5 or 6 guys were giving their god
    of violence an offering. Was that my brother?! Judgment scattered
    like ashes. I began to walk. He was in a fetal position near an abandoned
    food cart. Like roaches, the cowards fled in different directions.
    It wasn’t my brother! Breathe. I mistook the voice. Later it struck
    me that the call for help has no surname.

    ““““““““““““`
    Guardian

    In my dream I saw feathers wedged in the screen
    of a sliding door. Somehow I knew the feathers
    belonged to angels. I plucked one out, showed
    it to my husband and marveled at the pure white
    silky threads. The intricate design reminded me
    of a snowflake. I woke up feeling the dream
    around me like a soft blanket when I noticed
    two feathers on the nightstand.

  58. Mustang Sal

    For My Brother Billy

    It was years ago –
    Sneaky Pete’s Magic Show.
    A Christmas gift –
    tricks in a box.
    We took turns holding the wand,
    hiding the pea,
    turning the yellow hankie red
    and the red, yellow.
    You sawed me in half,
    then I, you.
    We laughed ourselves
    together again.
    Remember how we pulled
    the frog out of the hat?
    We never could catch a rabbit.
    Hocus pocus, I’m losing focus.
    Must have been a magic time,
    ‘cause now it’s disappeared.

  59. Funkomatic

    Bats and doctors use echolocation
    Making maps of flowing bodies

    Meteorologists with wrinkled brows
    Fearing a storm in the pericardium

    Rolled dice keep their secrets well
    Realization of the ax only as it chops

    “Your father, his father, his father, you”
    I hear the blood chant in rushes

  60. ToniBee3

    “capes in the chifforobe”

    red, black, or green? i’m black, you’re green!
    throw it on and fly to the planet of gogard
    to steal the mind reading glow scepter but
    first we must kick gogardian butts with
    plastic baby shovels and “kapow!” them and
    “bonk!” them and arrest them and tie them up
    bring them back to earth and stuff them in
    the chifforobe where the pirate hat is…
    i’m a mean pirate and you are my prisoner
    locked under the dining table and you can’t
    get out until you count to one hundred
    and give me your chocolate chip cookies;
    after naptime when we can play again,
    we’ll get those gogardians out the chifforobe

  61. Gabrielle Freeman

    This is another combo of Brewer’s magical realism prompt and NaPoWriMo’s. Hope you like it!

    Listening to Hendrix on Vinyl
    by Gabrielle Freeman

    Life is an LP record, a vinyl disk pressed in a continuous spiral, moving inward from a vast expanse to a tight circle of bright black where the music ends.
    If you start at my left big toe, you can unpeel my skin in one, long, curvy strip like the devil peels a hard-boiled egg.
    Skin cracked like thick paint on wood siding.
    Skin browned like a cage free hen’s egg.
    Skin like salt on the soft white dome, like teeth through thick yolk.
    Skin like crepe myrtle blooms in humid air, the scent of steam.
    Skin brushed by thin fabric, feathers preened by a beak, sound like sliding the sheet over a browned hip in the night.
    Thin skin just a cover, a network of cells. When pressed, it sounds like a diamond tipped needle in a v-shaped groove. Gently drop the arm.
    Jimi Hendrix live at Otto’s Grotto grinds the span of my hips, slides around my ribs.
    My skin can no more be removed than the devil from your hand.
    I don’t believe in the devil.
    At the coffee shop, I bite into an omelette replete with feta, tomato, and consider a picture of Hendrix standing hip to hip with Leonard Nimoy.
    Because the picture is in black & white, the cream is old and clumps up in my cup.
    I don’t really like coffee. I just keep drinking it hoping I’ll start to like it, like beer.
    The thin skin of hue is a cold blue when held to the light.
    Membrane less like a shroud and more like a sliding glass door.
    Pull it aside. Step through.
    Gabby’s record is played out. The needle skips. Skips.
    It will slide all the way to the center. Rise.
    Pressed egg like a record, like grooved black vinyl.
    The needle settles into my skin.
    Pa’lante, pa’lante, pa’tras ni pa’ coger impulso.
    I follow the groove to its inevitable end where I rise, return, rest.
    Run your devil fingers in a spiral on my thin skin, press this surrendered silk shell.

  62. madeline40

    Magical Thinking

    For a long time after he died, I waited for that familiar sound of his Volvo coming into the garage
    For a long time I waited for the sound of the door from the garage slamming as he entered the house and went down the hall to his room
    For a long time I waited for the deep sound of his voice saying hello
    For a long time I waited for the sound of him walking around the house at night
    For a long time I waited for the sound of the door opening and closing as he went in and out of the house
    For a long time I heard those sounds
    For a long time I kept his clothes in heaps on his chair exactly as he left them
    For a long time I didn’t touch his shoes left in a straight row on the floor in his closet
    For a long time his books and records and musical instruments remained in his room and closet
    In case he would need them when he came home.

  63. SuziBwritin

    PAD 2014 #29 TWO FOR TUESDAY
    MAGICAL AND REALISM POEMS

    Magical Words

    Sometimes what I consider magical
    others decide is just coincidence
    It behooves them not to believe in miracles
    perhaps for fear of being disappointed

    Magic happens in writing three pages a day
    Poems show themselves, ideas, even
    how to handle difficult relatives
    Magic happened when I first started this
    and wrote “Dear God” at the top
    Then I didn’t need to,
    because I knew He knew to Whom I was writing

    Writing is often a 3-D printer from my head
    I conceived the notion that I should play music
    even though I was ‘too old’
    used my credit card to buy a violin at 30
    a sax at 50
    and a full-sized harp at 59
    in spite of arthritis and lack of education
    and never once regretted those purchases

    I complain about the weather, about my figure
    about being pissed off at anybody and everybody
    without the risk of having to defend it and
    magically the rancor often disappears!

    I write psalms about gratitude
    unexpected prosperity, hopes, dreams
    disappointments, failures, poor health
    and depression
    The magic is not in making them disappear
    but in seeing it outside myself
    and realizing each new challenge on my page
    is merely the universe’s way of
    giving me an opportunity for growth

    REALISM POEM

    WHAT’S REAL?

    When I was a kid with a burst appendix
    They gave me ether to remove it
    The operation was a success
    but the flashbacks from the drug lingered
    and sometimes for no apparent reason
    I would have spells where things didn’t feel
    REAL
    I would be conscious
    I would feel pain
    But I would be so distant from things
    that they didn’t feel REAL

    Thanks to Madeleine L’Engle
    I can imagine a fourth dimension
    without too much academic clutter-talk
    matter vibrating at different speeds
    and the idea that life as we know it
    might just be an illusion

    This sweet illusion gives us experience
    and distance from the experience
    gives us objectivity and choices
    But
    reality is that
    falling down a flight of stairs still hurts
    hunger pangs are not fun
    and you can get an ice-cream headache
    if you eat it too fast

    Still, escape from reality even if
    only in our head
    is sometimes better than what
    IS

  64. Linda Hatton

    Windstorm Illusions

    Cardboard soars on lilting gusts
    of dust made from departed friends,
           flapping
        wings     carrying
    un-feathered      short-billed
        crow across gasoline stream,
       landing
    across the way where two paper bags
    perform contact improvisation, butting edges
    and then rolling along where stony-faced drivers
    drop offspring off for a day of inclement weather,
         multi-colored
       grasses    dance
        on hillside,
    creating mirage of ocean waves, making life
    in the desert an ever-moving symphony of sight

    -Linda G Hatton
    (I am also posting on my blog where the formatting will be exactly as I want it.) :-)

  65. jsmadge

    Huletts

    Rust chases real into magic
    As the practical rests so long,
    Original intent wears away.

    Serviceable becomes sculpture
    Then scrap. And then disappears,
    To remain in name and myth.

    Jo Steigerwald

  66. Domino

    Neverland

    Peter Pan was undoubtedly dreamed up
    by adults. Who else could feel nostalgia
    about childhood? Children don’t ponder
    such things; they are too busy having fun.
    They never wish to stay young; childhood is
    boring. They long to be adults, with the
    privileges they fancy adults have.
    They long to stay up past their bedtimes, and
    eat cake for dinner, and do whatever
    they please all the time. Little do they know
    growing up means mundane daily toil,
    providing for ones family, having
    responsibilities. So remaining
    a child with no bedtime, endless play,
    eating what one wants, and never aging
    may sound perfect, but only to adults.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  67. gloryia

    GROWING OLD . . .

    Growing old, what to do
    maybe I should challenge you,
    dance and sing throughout the day,
    find a lover, yes I may, why not
    while there’s life in me
    should I sit and idle be
    when outside my door life goes on
    and I could be one of the happy throng,
    enjoying all I haven’t had, before
    he comes knocking at my door
    the jolly reaper out to get me.
    So fun and games, throughout the day
    before I eventually – fade away.

  68. gloryia

    WILL THEY …

    She lies eyes fixed, fingers
    spread wide against the wooden
    floor. Afraid, fear lurking, yet
    she cannot cry. No sound flies loose
    from mouth shut tight.
    All night, cold, frozen
    like ice she waits. Dawn, coloured
    pink creeps across the horizon
    bringing another day. With hope she waits.
    Will they come?

  69. bookworm0341

    “Realistic”

    This is me-
    no make-up,
    no acting,
    no reserve,
    this is who I really am,
    Take me or leave me.

    Let’s just be real with each other.
    We are born into this world,
    all the same,
    all from ashes,
    all into a fallen world,
    let’s just be realistic.

    By Jennifer M. Terry
    April 29, 2014

  70. Erynn

    Waking up at 6 a.m.
    Getting ready for work
    Another boring day
    Lunchtime comes
    You sit in the car
    Eating frozen food
    When did your life
    Become so dull
    You used to dream
    Of adventures
    But now the only
    Adventure you have
    Is getting gas
    For a few dollars less
    Getting home late
    You fall into bed
    Ready to take on
    Another boring day
    What happened to
    The magic of life
    The excitement of
    A brand new day
    How do you relive
    The love you used to have
    When you were a child
    You envy them
    For they are unspoiled
    But you cannot go back
    Reality has you

  71. miaokuancha

    April 29, 2014

    Prompt: Reality / Magic

    Ba zi tai qing le
    The fortune teller said
    Your numbers are too light
    You will see ghosts.
    Sarah Bernhardt
    Her parents said
    When the placid child
    Went into hysterics over
    The suffering of others.
    She’s anemic
    The doctors said
    Her numbers are too low
    Hematocrit
    Blood pressure
    When she fainted
    On the back of a horse
    On a chair
    In a doorway.
    In the gate
    Where senses dissolve
    Where birds come to light
    The cat shares consciousness with her
    Hawks disrobe and become doves
    Dragonfly sits on her drumstick
    To sing with her
    As she walks
    The dying stop by in her dreams
    Windowpanes fragment
    Into nameless shapes
    The ringing of pots in the kitchen
    Is an all encompassing noise
    As she sheds all self
    Becomes the untutored infant
    She gave birth to.

    ~ miaokuancha

  72. Alfonso Kuchinski

    Abundance

    Ample vessels, polychromatic overflowing
    time gone missing
    proportional forms
    and shades fading
    under relentless luminosity
    seared into uneven furrowed rows

    Struggles in the search for
    ripened fruits to pluck
    from this basket,
    to discriminate
    good fortune
    wringing out sweet juices remaining
    from this afternoon

    Unanimous advice of experts
    terrestrial abundance swarms,
    still in more minor alliances
    anxious inclinations seek nourishment

  73. lethejerome

    “After. Before.”

    Our voices our caring you attach to your waves.
    You leave out the sunlight the evidence saves.
    You sculpt, you mold, imprint tapestries of our flesh,
    Pull us into your mesh of birds, machines, and fish;
    Make frescoes of what you know not to be belly,
    Show our colours and eyes lapsing eternally,
    Create us in our folds, prepare us for your skin.
    You make yourself movement, ask us to fill it in,

    Jérôme Melançon
    @lethejerome

  74. elishevasmom

    Living the Dream

    It’s all
    about location
    last night
    I saw a
    comedian
    who lives
    just
    five minutes
    from the
    Walk of Fame
    was on a
    rant about coyotes
    in his back
    yard he
    erected a
    ten-foot
    fence
    topped with razor
    wire to keep
    them out “oh yeah
    and the homeless”
    (general laughter from the audience)

    In my city all
    bus routes
    converge at the
    Central Plaza
    downtown
    our homeless
    carry their
    threadbare
    lives in
    ragged backpacks
    uncertain
    worlds tied
    up in plastic

    maybe
    we should send
    them to Hollywood
    the worst things
    they must face
    there are
    coyotes and
    ten-foot
    razor wire.

    (c) Copyright – 2014 – Ellen Evans
    [4.29.14 a realism &/or fantasy poem, PAD 4.14]Living the Dream

    It’s all
    about location
    last night
    I saw a
    comedian
    who lives
    just
    five minutes
    from the
    Walk of Fame
    was on a
    rant about coyotes
    in his back
    yard he
    erected a
    ten-foot
    fence
    topped with razor
    wire to keep
    them out “oh yeah
    and the homeless”
    (general laughter from the audience)

    In my city all
    bus routes
    converge at the
    Central Plaza
    downtown
    our homeless
    carry their
    threadbare
    lives in
    ragged backpacks
    uncertain
    worlds tied
    up in plastic

    maybe
    we should send
    them to Hollywood
    the worst things
    they must face
    there are
    coyotes and
    ten-foot
    razor wire.

    (c) Copyright – 2014 – Ellen Evans
    [4.29.14 a realism &/or fantasy poem, PAD 4.14]Living the Dream

    It’s all
    about location
    last night
    I saw a
    comedian
    who lives
    just
    five minutes
    from the
    Walk of Fame
    was on a
    rant about coyotes
    in his back
    yard he
    erected a
    ten-foot
    fence
    topped with razor
    wire to keep
    them out “oh yeah
    and the homeless”
    (general laughter from the audience)

    In my city all
    bus routes
    converge at the
    Central Plaza
    downtown
    our homeless
    carry their
    threadbare
    lives in
    ragged backpacks
    uncertain
    worlds tied
    up in plastic

    maybe
    we should send
    them to Hollywood
    the worst things
    they must face
    there are
    coyotes and
    ten-foot
    razor wire.

    (c) Copyright – 2014 – Ellen Evans
    [4.29.14 a realism &/or fantasy poem, PAD 4.14]Living the Dream

    It’s all
    about location
    last night
    I saw a
    comedian
    who lives
    just
    five minutes
    from the
    Walk of Fame
    was on a
    rant about coyotes
    in his back
    yard he
    erected a
    ten-foot
    fence
    topped with razor
    wire to keep
    them out “oh yeah
    and the homeless”
    (general laughter from the audience)

    In my city all
    bus routes
    converge at the
    Central Plaza
    downtown
    our homeless
    carry their
    threadbare
    lives in
    ragged backpacks
    uncertain
    worlds tied
    up in plastic

    maybe
    we should send
    them to Hollywood
    the worst things
    they must face
    there are
    coyotes and
    ten-foot
    razor wire.

    (c) Copyright – 2014 – Ellen Evans
    [4.29.14 a realism &/or fantasy poem, PAD 4.14]Living the Dream

    It’s all
    about location
    last night
    I saw a
    comedian
    who lives
    just
    five minutes
    from the
    Walk of Fame
    was on a
    rant about coyotes
    in his back
    yard he
    erected a
    ten-foot
    fence
    topped with razor
    wire to keep
    them out “oh yeah
    and the homeless”
    (general laughter from the audience)

    In my city all
    bus routes
    converge at the
    Central Plaza
    downtown
    our homeless
    carry their
    threadbare
    lives in
    ragged backpacks
    uncertain
    worlds tied
    up in plastic

    maybe
    we should send
    them to Hollywood
    the worst things
    they must face
    there are
    coyotes and
    ten-foot
    razor wire.

    Ellen Evans

  75. Mokosh28

    Keeping in Touch

    In these hectic, automated days, it is the old
    fashioned telephone that reminds me
    how to pray. Not my cell. No, a phone with an ear
    piece and a mouth piece connected by the space
    to place your hand. And a circular dial you drag,
    not poke. It makes a continuous sound,
    no beeping, giving me time for pleading
    with a little whine. Each number a distance
    traveled. And in the beginning telephone numbers
    weren’t all numerical, but started with a famous
    person or pleasantness. Ours was
    ‘Emerson.’ My grandparents boasting
    ‘Sunset.’ These days when I feel the need
    to contact goddesses or divine intelligence
    or just a sympathetic soul to listen to
    my problems, I lift the heavy imaginary
    receiver and put my right index finger
    in the magical dial. I hear ringing on my end
    down a long hall. Can conjure the
    summoning ring in a brighter room, glad
    to hear from me, surrounded by the comforting
    scent of freshly baked chocolate cake, icing
    still clinging to the beaters.

    Joanne M. Clarkson

  76. Laurie G

    Done

    Drop the kitchen shade on the day.

    Be done, be undone, finally.
    Remove the watch, the rings that imprint your flesh,
    the pressing bra that does the same across the small continent of your back,
    and seek refuge here in the Mother of Your House, with its sweet white noises–
    the buzz of the fridge, the huffing breath of traffic passing in the rain.

    We are tame.
    Light the stove, warm the oil.
    The voices inside this kitchen,
    as you watch the fennel and the cumin seeds pop in the agitated oil,
    the voices inside this house never lament, rarely groan.
    The voices of reproach are not needed here, and what I mean is,
    what I want you to understand,
    as you prepare this meal
    and turn down your bed later, with the spices scenting your fingertips,
    is that the voices are not open mouths, hungry, spewing advice,
    bromides, epithets and epigrams.

    Honey, the voices are mother arms,
    this house is thick, capable flesh,
    but still soft, yielding.

    Your thoughts can rest here all night.

  77. Anders Bylund

    Nicholas’ Necklace
    ==============
    Nicholas wants a necklace for his birthday
    So I asked the generous generals
    But I was hounded by the basest bassist
    And I couldn’t stand his bare bear
    So I tossed a balm bomb
    With which the witch escaped
    The doctor asked his patients to have patience
    While he read the revue’s reviews

    …and Nicholas never got his necklace.

  78. Jaywig

    Challenge

    The stars turned over
    poured stardust into
    our dreams. We slept on,

    transported from beds –
    sheet changes overdue –
    to sleek silver mattresses

    that sailed above surf waves
    explored underwater caves
    threw us up cliffs

    ensuring we had less path
    to make a good-looking
    effort on, breathing normally.

  79. Michelle Hed

    Finding Feathers and Things Askew

    I thought I’d lay down
    and take a nap
    but the couch
    I swear, it began to tap.

    I hopped up
    but everything was still;
    Did I fall asleep so quick?
    Hmm, kind of gave me a chill.

    I laid back down
    and began to dream
    I just opened my wings
    when I heard a scream.

    I woke up
    to the furniture askew
    and my sister trembling,
    she screamed again like a shrew.

    I went to give
    my sister a hug
    but knocked over a lamp
    with my wings like a thug.

    I gave a little test flap
    my sister was mute,
    until the coat rack
    walked in playing a lute.

    I think she was about to scream
    when suddenly she wiggled,
    out popped two wings
    and then she giggled.

    The couch started tapping,
    the lamp got up
    and started plucking the chair cane
    while the spoon struck a cup.

    We danced with the furniture
    and zoomed out the door,
    testing our wings –
    I think we’ll be sore.

    When finally I woke up
    I thought just a dream,
    except I stepped on a spoon,
    I swore it gave a scream.

  80. robinamelia

    I wore a hat

    My greatest moment came at five years old
    star of the magic show
    chosen because I wore a hat.

    The clown poured and poured
    endless streams of water into the hat
    as I giggled and squirmed on stage

    sure that fluid would pour over my pixie hair
    drenching me and my clothes:
    I tingled with anticipation that summer day.

    Expecting liquid, I was shocked
    by what spilled over me—a dry and tickly caress:
    Confetti! Gold dust! Fairy dust to make me fly!

    I danced for joy in front of the laughing,
    applauding crowd. Dear city of Flushing:
    Please let the Unisphere stand.

    That rusting wreck of the ’63 Fair,
    ruins of a lost civilization,
    reminds us of forgotten futures,

    lets us keep dreaming them.

    Robin Amelia Morris

  81. shellcook

    Prompt #29
    Real or Memorex

    The truth is you have broken my heart so often,
    I am wary of your love, in the most unfortunate of times.

    The truth is i want to put that behind me,
    So i can pretend we are normal again.

    The truth is i cant give up,
    I wont let go.

    Because my rule of magic,
    My magic eye,

    Tells me what i see,
    whatever it might be,

    is only a reflection
    of who you are to me.

  82. dsborden

    Vanishing Act
    by D. S. Borden

    I vanished
    into your hat
    without a puff of smoke
    without a mirror

    I left
    the awestruck audience gasping
    at my shadow on the wall

    Best trick ever,
    I said to the rabbit
    with a satisfied snicker

    Really? Best trick ever?
    the rabbit asked,
    So, what’ll you do next?

    I have no idea

  83. viv

    Marscegenation

    I wrote a sci-fi story –
    not at all my genre –
    about a colony of green snails
    living life on Mars.
    If you can take the lisping,
    bad puns and the like,
    I’ll let you read my story –
    don’t say you haven’t been warned.

    ‘Do you think there’s intelligent life out there anywhere?’ The three diminutive creatures were chatting during the appointed social interaction period before sleep.

    ‘Well, if there is, I hope it doethn’t look like uth,’ responded the green fellow with the lisp.

    ‘Why ever not?’ asked Swarc.

    ‘I thuppothe they might do,’ replied Cecil. ‘But it’th highly unlikely. ‘Anyway, there must be something out there,’ broke in Oga. ‘Have you heard the latest? The Watchers have reported peculiar things circling us day and night. I hope they don’t crash into us.’

    ‘Don’t thay that Oga. I shan’t thleep at all if I’m worrying about uth getting annihilated.”

    ‘Oh, I don’t think it will be that bad. if they are intelligent beings, they will be as interested in us as we are in them. I dare say they will land softly on the low clouds and climb down to see what we’re about.’

    And so it turned out. After weeks of speculation the Martians woke one morning to see three silver creatures coming towards the sleeping pod.

    ‘I don’t know about you Swarc and Cecil, but I’m going to have a closer look.’

    ‘Gosh you are brave, Oga. They might want to eat you.’

    ‘Would you fanthy uth? Hard outthide and thquishy inthide.’

    So the three friends crept out of the pod and inched towards the rock barrier which surrounded the commune.

    *
    The three space-suited humans wondered whether to go any further.

    ‘I don’t like the look of that thing over there. I saw something moving away from it. What d’you think?’

    ‘Well, whatever it ith, it’th awfully thmall’ lisped Elspeth, the first woman astronaut to land on another planet. The companions clumped across the dusty terrain towards the creatures. Gradually the green beings became clearer.

    ‘Look, there’s nothing to be frightened of, Elspeth. They’re only snails. They can’t do us much harm, can they?’ The leader, Justin, reassured his colleagues.

    ‘Yes, I think we can safely approach for a closer look,’ agreed Bruce.

    Soon the vast difference in size became evident.

    Oga spoke up. ‘What are you doing here? What do you want?’

    ‘My God, they speak Earthian,’ thundered Justin. ‘What on Earth are you? Sorry, I’ll rephrase that. What on Mars are you? You look just like our snails, only you’re green.’

    ‘Oh Juthtin,’ piped up Elspeth. ‘Aren’t they thweet? ‘

    ‘Sweet? That’s not the adjective I would have chosen,’ laughed Bruce.

    At the sound of Elspeth’s murdered sibilants, Cecil slithered towards her. ‘You talk jutht like me. My name’th Thethil, what’th yourth

    ‘Hello, Thethil. My name’th Elthpeth ‘Oh Elthpeth. It’th wonderful to hear you. Do you think we were made for each other?’

    ‘I think tho, Thethil.’

    ‘Oh, Elthpeth, I do like your thilver thkin.’

  84. jean

    The Reality of Your Fantasy
    Chorus: You do not scold a rosebush because it cannot sing.
    You do not blame the Winter because it isn’t Spring.
    It is quite impossible for him to buy the ring.
    You do not scold a rosebush because it cannot sing.

    Verse 1: I been watchin’ y’all a while now, how y’all interact.
    You both seem like real nice folk. I’m just stating a fact.
    But you, my friend, are making plans that will not stay on track.
    He ain’t thinkin’ like you’re thinkin’, and he won’t be comin’ back. (CHORUS)

    Verse 2: Please, don’t get your hopes up. Sure, he’s nice to you and all.
    Good-lookin’, yes, to be sure — strong and lean and tall.
    I’m sure you’d make great babies, but that ain’t just your call.
    He’s settin’ up for movin’ on. You’re gonna take the fall.

    Bridge: I’ve seen it before. Heck, been there twice. To this you can hold me.
    I recognize the whole darn mess. It’s just like my grandma told me: (CHORUS)

    Verse 3: You have got a great big heart. That is clear to me.
    This little break will mend in time and be stronger, see?
    Try not to pine too long for him. Twasn’t meant to be.
    Something’s out there. It’ll come. I mean, eventually. (CHORUS)

  85. P.A. Beyer

    I would dream of fireflies, if I weren’t a grave digger’s child

    Poppa’s screams frighten me.
    I hide under my covers for protection.
    I see the shadow standing in the hallway.

    I ask Poppa why he screams and he tells me
    Sometimes, he thinks about the death men
    He sees every day.

    On Sunday, after church, I fell down and
    Poppa picked me up. His hands felt like the ol’ snake
    I found down by Johnson’s creek.

    Some nights, I see the shadows, too, and I scream.
    Momma’s usually the one that hears me.
    I tell her I see the death men in the hallway.

    They follow Poppa home. And if he sleeps,
    They come for me. My blanket is my only
    Protection from the death men.

    Momma brings me sleepy time tea
    And tells me there’s no such thing as death men and
    Besides, we’re not special enough to have any visitors.

    But I know she’s only trying to protect me
    From the truth. The death men move amongst
    Us. They see behind and beyond what we see.

    The death men don’t want no dinner.
    The death men don’t want no drink but
    I think I know what they want. That’s why

    I’m frightened for Poppa and
    The death men that haunt him.
    And the crow that follows him home.

  86. Scott Jacobson

    LEARNING MAGIC

    The succubi taught him how to get STD’s,
    the fairies taught him the cure.
    The banshee’s scream taught him to appreciate silence,
    the wizards to appreciate words.
    The zombies taught him a love for brains,
    the elves a love for knowledge.
    The dwarves taught him how to grow a hipster beard,
    the troll the art of making snarky internet comments.
    The dragons taught him to hoard his treasures,
    the gnomes when to give it all away.
    The orcs taught him how to be good for nothing
    and that is what he decided he could do.

  87. Snowqueen

    It is what it is

    Snow flies
    Wind blows
    People grumble
    They complain
    They want spring
    No more ice
    Warmer temps

    Spring comes
    Rain falls
    Things grow
    They complain
    They want summer
    No more rain
    No more mud

    Summer comes
    The sun shines
    Longer days
    They complain
    They want fall
    It’s too hot
    To go outside

    Fall comes
    Leaves change colors
    Cooler temps
    They complain
    Days are shorter
    Things look dead

    Winter is cold
    Spring brings rain
    Summer brings heat
    Fall brings darker days
    It is what it is
    Make your own sunshine
    Be happy in every season

    Karen D.

  88. Susan Budig

    An unusual take on what fantastical means. My two-fer was combined into a one-fer.

    Mao Zedong 1893 – 1976

    Western world believes he committed acts of genocide
    People’s Republic of China revere him as a shining knight
    Forty million people starved, no one could have testified

    “He led us in accomplishments,” the newly modern Chinese cried
    His deeds are doubtless striking, but not in the best light
    Western world believes he committed acts of genocide

    “He improved our education, our health care nationwide!”
    No one mentions the forced labor, an allegiance to recite
    Forty million people starved, no one could have testified

    He and Nixon in Beijing, standing side-by-side
    While behind them a class struggle waged, a violent fatal fight
    Western world believes he committed acts of genocide

    “He was a Statesman, poet, visionary bona fide.”
    He was a murderous despot, let history not rewrite
    Forty million people starved, no one could have testified

    The Red Emperor, so misaligned, his glory by others denied
    Not so, his wild fantasies led to millions dead of blight
    Western world believes he committed acts of genocide
    Forty million people starved, no one could have testified

  89. lionetravail

    “The Gateway Drug”
    by David M. Hoenig

    It’s hard to remember any fairy tale
    in which a character does find magic
    and does not, either: go beyond the pale,
    or else seek ever more to point of tragic
    denouement. Jack had beans with which to sail
    to clouds, but then grabbed Giant’s apparatchik
    of golden ovulatory skill-set,
    prompting scary Brobdingnagian roulette.

    If I could manage even one, tiny spell,
    think of how wondrous and happy I’d be!
    Never think that Harry wouldn’t chase pell-mell
    after one more wand, or that Hermione
    wouldn’t “Accio” some materiel
    that she needed to pursue her wizardry.
    It makes me sick to think that magic breeds
    yet more paranormal spell-seeking needs!

    The truth is that we want it to be true,
    because we all need more special in our lives.
    But the luckiest folk are those special few
    who recognize the magic when it arrives!
    Who can see what a child’s wonder can imbue,
    or the quiet heroism which survives
    danger, pain, and death, or the love which bonds
    us to each other. (And, not just hokey wands!)

  90. Deri

    Specter

    When I was small
    I saw a woman in white
    outside my bedroom window
    late into the night
    and I didn’t find it strange
    considering that we lived
    on one of the top floors
    of a New York apartment building.
    I watched her float, beckoning,
    and I wanted to go with her.
    I should have felt fear,
    I should have questioned
    her flimsy existence,
    but all I saw was beauty,
    unfettered freedom,
    escape.

    I never saw her again
    and I’ve never decided
    if she was real
    or an aching fantasy,
    the telltale wisp of my desire
    to rise up, beautiful,
    the kind of woman
    that makes someone
    stare out of windows
    hoping I’m not a dream.

  91. aphotic soul

    A poem of realism, fantasy, and death.

    Leaky Facet
    by Paul Andrew Ryan

    Drip drop… drip drop…
    We’ve all heard it before,
    A time when the world will stop,
    The sound we cannot ignore,
    When humanity gets poured down the drain,
    While running short of empathy,
    Leaving a black mark and a stain,
    Until this life we run on ticks empty,
    So we are left with nothing but the rain,
    A symbol for our past and pain,
    The struggles of our stress and strain,
    Until we snap and go insane,
    Yet still it seems we try to care,
    Even while there’s no one there,
    Not a drop of sympathy left to spare,
    No love for those to which we’d like to share,
    For the sun and moon are an opposing pair,
    A couple so contrastingly rare,
    Too bright for eyes to even stare,
    Yet so distanced it’s unbearable bare,
    We dance in a drearily shaded dream,
    In a world where the sprinklers have run dry,
    Where there is no grass left with an ounce of green,
    Where there’s no one left not waiting to die,
    All we have are dried up streams,
    All poured down these dead end drains,
    Nothing left but strangled screams,
    Pumping poison through these venomous veins,
    And in this twisted fucked up game,
    What is there to really gain?
    Every day exactly the same,
    Every day so bare and plain,
    It repeats and repeats with no spark nor flame,
    A voided life with a voided name,
    With no hope of happiness to reclaim,
    With no one but ourselves to blame,
    Just matte black ink on a paper stained,
    And of our souls we are so deftly drained.

  92. MyPoeticHeart

    Real

    I have written of him before
    The one whom I love with all my heart
    There will be no other for I have no room
    He is the very breath I breathe
    First one I think of when I wake
    He is in my heart soul and spirit
    I live better because he is so wonderful

    Magical

    We met through a special place
    For writers to write
    And as a new writer
    I made some mistakes
    He taught me well
    And he gave me pointers to help
    First we let our imaginations wander
    Wrote a love story together
    It was magnificent first then magical thereafter

    Then I met this one who became ‘The One”
    Much more experienced in writing than I was
    Taking time to become true friends
    A spark of feeling and excitement
    Stepped in
    Something Magical happened
    One night long ago
    It was then he told me that he loved me so

  93. Jane Shlensky

    Strange Rain

    The cloudless day when frogs fell down
    like summer rainstorms, brief downpours,
    defied all logic, emptied stores
    of explanations, theories

    of scientific reasoning.
    Some people blamed it on the spring—
    a cloud mass scooping froggies up
    and dropping them vast miles away.

    Dooms-dayers claimed the end of days,
    time for mankind to mend its ways.
    Cajun chefs looked on and saw
    a feast of frog legs to prepare.

    And those (for whom amphibians
    are icky) shrieked and stayed indoors.
    Musicians composed snappy tunes
    for leaping dancers; voices popped;

    comedians jumped on board with jokes;
    pop culture redefined hip-hop.
    For every frog, a leap of faith
    was proffered by the populace.

    Reality is what we find
    believable for heart of mind.
    But one thing every witness knew:
    frogs should not fall from out the blue.

    1. PressOn

      Nor cars bend around trees. Despite the underlying theme of destruction, this made me laugh, especially the line, “For every frog, a leap of faith / was proffered by the populace.”

  94. SestinaNia

    Magic

    In yesteryear I had
    no doubts
    that fairies danced in circles
    deep in the woods,
    beneath braches bending heavy
    with sleep—
    and the glistening waves
    of every blue-green ocean hid
    scores of mermaids
    who sang lullabies
    to the sighing moon.
    The mountains shook
    at giant’s footfalls,
    and pixies played hopscotch
    in the clover fields.

    Nowadays, the magic I seek
    is more difficult to find—
    all green lights on the way
    home from work, an empty parking
    space when I’m running late,
    extra money left at the end of the month,
    and a “10 Items or Less” lane
    where no one has more than ten items.

    Every once in a while,
    when the sun winks at me
    on lazy afternoons,
    I remember the easier magic,
    and I wonder
    if, just maybe, it still
    remembers me.

    –Sara Doyle

  95. BDP

    “A Man Once Said”

    I.
    My mother’s grave—my father’s ashes lost—
    behind in Buda near the Danube where
    I swam from bullets, heard the future, crossed
    for Old Vienna and a squatters’ lair
    beneath the quarters of a priest, who kept
    us safe without report, a dissident
    and teenage fugitive who’d nothing left
    but tea and biscuits on his stoop, few cents
    found dropped, plus laundered socks, scarves folded, fresh—
    good brother gave such things for warmth. We found
    his church door always open, we found rest.
    I knew bad wolves back then, he knew a hound.
    We weren’t the first they came for. Nor the last.
    He turned my sights to Lake Superior’s coast.

    II.
    And there a phantom herd—the wind let blow—
    ripped turf, came closer in my mind. I stood,
    listening, then sprinted toward the woods,
    an old gray Lobo chief, a white-tailed doe
    behind me. Fleet of foot and tranquil, though
    reliant on my nemesis the wolf—
    escaped and soon about to be one-half
    a meal (the deer the entree)? In a row
    past birch and oak into another scene:
    a white pine matron skirted by a lace
    of berries always ripe to stave off hunger.
    One branch per tread I climbed into this grace,
    this peace. All else had fled, or so it seemed,
    and Canis lupis sniffed toward fading thunder.

    III.
    I leaned against the trunk: we’d come from noon,
    the north, I stepped from bough to bough toward six,
    due south, and felt pulled home as clockwise-ticks
    of sun swept ten p.m. at solstice June.
    This hopeful reverie urged sleep. The moon
    popped out a quarter-past at eastward three.
    Misshapen limbs, a woman hips, knob knees,
    the wolf at feet, I centered near the womb.
    The phrase that frightened most: no place to be.
    An unimportant speck along the line,
    I found worth, Lobo was reminder what
    was written, yet to write, no longer fiend,
    soft tree my future taking form. And that’s
    the start, young one, of your own history.

    –Barb Peters

  96. Rolf Erickson

    We Walked

    We walked the unforgotten shores
    of an aluminum lake in the dark
    where crinkles on the surface
    cast stars upon the sky.

    I sensed that you had been there
    before there were even words
    to describe the metallic sound
    of frozen waves at night.

    And even now after so many years
    this one memory preserves the feeling
    of that rugged glow glimmering beneath
    those stars in the silver moonlight.

  97. GirlGriot

    Today’s prompt made me think of the first times I taught Marquez’s short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” forever ago when I was teaching high school English.

    Marquez

    When
    they read
    him, students
    took his stories,
    shook them hard, rattling
    lines
    seeking
    the real, known.
    Not everyone
    reached the far side. Some
    fought,
    wrestled,
    stayed angry.
    Those who came through
    flung wide all their doors.

  98. Jane Shlensky

    Sky Gifts

    We talk of weather, little else,
    eschewing dates for oddities
    flung down to earth; unstrung
    from reason, we become frail
    witnesses as dusk comes on,
    soft darkness on summer’s porch,
    watching fireflies flash signals,
    letting mosquitoes feed on us,
    our whining sisters bound by blood,
    where we sit reinventing histories
    newly adorned with weather patterns.

    We blame tornadoes, water spouts,
    hurricane winds and warming trends.
    We graft science with magic,
    wondering if we’re blessed or plagued.
    We need not give details these days,
    remembering how each story goes:
    the year the frogs dropped from the sky
    with not a cloud in sight;
    the year the locusts fell like sleet;
    the blackbird year made worldwide news–
    what causes only these to die?–
    the year the flower blossoms fell.
    Both death and life dropped from the sky
    depending on our points of view.

    Aunt George and Ferrell always smile
    when we remember flower showers
    and though the two resemble frogs,
    they side with flowers as the sign
    that they were meant to fall in love.
    “Up until then, I’d never guess
    that ugly women have a god,”
    Aunt George says each time
    just to hear Ferrell protest.
    Reality says he is struck blind
    by flower power. “In raining petals
    dropped a perfect lily in my arms,”
    he says into her sagging face
    and while we do not share his vision,
    we believe in what he sees,
    weak with hope that love falls
    from the skies, blinding rains
    to dazzle us with wonders that
    we can’t explain, but take as grace.

  99. Ravyne

    The Hiking Trip

    We made blankets out of moon beams
    and cradled our heads among the stars
    As the last embers of fire flickered and died
    we slept upon the mountain’s back

    When morning came, we pulled on sun rays
    and trekked down the mountain
    As we moved in a dance with the river
    we gently caressed it in the palms of our hands

    At Midday, we rolled patches of wildflowers
    into pillows and curled into the mountain’s belly
    We watched clouds smile for us
    and nature lulled us into an afternoon nap

    Evening came and so did our trip
    we packed our gear into the truck
    and tossed nature back to the mountain
    back like a painting for someone else to enjoy

    Copyright 2014
    Lori Carlson

  100. Shell

    Dearest
    By Shell Ochsner

    Kindness is nothing but a word.

    Too few are kind,

    let alone show it to others.

    Every so often,

    the world’s graced with the extraordinary.

    Someone who’s defined by kindness,

    forever giving never taking.

    Immeasurable sadness,

    veils the world at the loss of such a person.

    Passing through this life,

    which is much too short for anyone.

    Goodbye my dearest,

    may soul’s with Angel wings take you to heaven.

  101. Janet Rice Carnahan

    THE CONVERSATION

    Reality, Magic and Idealism
    Were interviewed to quiz them
    To shed a light that was quite dim

    How do we determine what is real?
    Is it a thought or a feel?
    How do bridge it and finally heal

    Is life just something to briefly contemplate?
    Will magic always make you late?
    Does reality ever stop and wait?

    Is reality the better option?
    Too boring, best to shun?
    Instead turn to magic, have some fun

    Idealism just fills us with hope
    Does it ever work, nope?
    Disappointing, like slippery soap

    Isn’t it reality that makes us fuss?
    And magic brings out the best in us
    Anything less than ideal and we cuss

    There is clearly no one right way
    Each has its own time, stand and say
    Life wouldn’t work if any went away

    Does it work to have them blend?
    A little of this and that until the end
    Good balance for all, quality time to spend

    Speaking up as not to confuse
    Or create havoc that someone must diffuse
    All three said their piece, just to amuse

    “I know exactly who I am”, offered Reality
    “I am as magic as Magic can be”
    “I know what the very best outcome should be,” stated most Ideally

    This finally, completely stirred up the interviewer
    Who needed a fresh job, something newer!
    At least she tried, so no one can sue her!

    Reality said, “I just insist on and prefer to conform”
    Magic added, “I will always go beyond the norm”
    Idealism included, “Nothing like an ideal form”

    Conclusion . . . it takes all three for the perfect storm!

  102. candy

    A Lonely Life

    She lived alone at the end
    of an alley in an old house
    held up by stacks of newspapers
    with only narrow passages going
    from room to room
    Grass was unmown and
    poison ivy vines spiraled
    over sagging fences like
    tentacles of a sea serpent
    A rusty abandoned black car
    was the only lawn ornament
    Children ran when they
    passed by and called her witch

  103. cobanionsmith

    My Son’s Farewell to Garcia Marquez

    He digs in the sand,
    a 2’ by 4’ box about 8” deep
    filled with treasure:
    yesterday, a few odd-shaped rocks
    resembling his thumbs, the exoskeleton
    of the season’s first Junebug, some twisted twigs,
    a small red metal car he buried a week ago,
    sometimes, just the pleasure of shoveling
    sand over his feet, feeling it trickle through his sandals,
    between his toes or through his fingers.
    But today, his small lime green plastic beach shovel
    hits something hard. So he switches
    to his mother’s gardening trowel to dig it out,
    brushes sand from the lid as he adjusts
    his eye patch to better see a wooden chest as large as his
    two-year old torso. A miniature backyard marauder,
    he picks the lock with ease, pries the lid open to discover
    a few odd-shaped rocks precious as diamonds,
    a ruby red Junebug’s exoskeleton, twigs of an ancient tree,
    a shiny red metal car, and, best of all, the feeling of sand
    running through his chubby fingers
    as the wind and sun play with his blond hair and ruffle
    the feathers of his folded wings. Gently, he closes the lid,
    snaps the lock to, brushes the yellow butterflies
    from his shoulders before burying the chest
    so he can dig it all up again tomorrow.

    (c) Courtney O’Banion Smith

  104. Linda Voit

    My Daughter’s Magical Powers

    How easy she makes it
    to believe in fairies and sprites
    when she calls to tell me
    about a particular tree or the way
    puddles in the parking lot
    reflected the sky or why
    I need to run outside
    and look at the moon.

    Linda Voit

  105. Nancy Posey

    Still Waiting for the Magic

    She saw them without trying,
    four leaf clovers growing wild
    in the yard, on the roadside,
    across campus, that break
    in the pattern, the only form
    of math that drew her.
    She knew if she found one,
    there would be two or three,
    and stooping to pick them
    she felt almost apologetic
    to those who said, in passing,
    they’d never found a four-leaf
    clover. It was a gift, useless
    as far as she could tell, not
    a matter of persistence
    or even of attention. Pressed
    between pages of her books,
    they lay waiting to be found
    again, their magical good luck
    preserved until that someday
    when she might need it more.

  106. DanielAri

    “Specifics”

    Count the trees on the ridge.
    Count the number of times
    I kiss you on the bridge
    on your nose or the Thames.
    Kisses by the smidgen,

    the tongue and the stomach.
    Pickled jalapeños
    let their bites grow timid.
    We pick our piccolos.
    Our pigeons speak pidgin.

    Our flames burn coolio.
    Map the minutes ‘til dark.
    Map the SpaghettiOs,
    the sauce of the charm quarks.
    From waking to tumble,

    from aerie to dog park,
    map, count and kiss the sparks.

    DA

  107. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 29
    4-29-2014

    Two for Tuesday:
    Write a realism poem.
    Write a magical poem.

    Real

    Like the beloved bunny,
    Rubbed and frayed,
    wrinkled and sagging,
    I feel more real, more velveteen than
    when I was new and dewy-skinned.
    Being myself, loving, and being
    loved, belonging to God, belonging
    to others, have made me more real than
    I’d ever thought I’d be.

    Magical

    Pastels and brights, blurred and blotted,
    colors of sky, stream, blossoms, spring,
    mottled, dreamy, beckoning me into
    the scene. “Come, walk through the garden,
    into the fields,
    across the bridge, beside the sea,”
    murmur Pisarro, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh,
    and friends, as I lose myself in the galleries–
    no, in the worlds they created with canvas, paint,
    and light.

  108. pcm

    Magic and Mayhem Avoided

    Before burrowing under the covers at night,
    I whisper my good-nights to the world, to those
    who yet tread upon the earth and those
    already one with the Great Spirit. A candle
    flame connects me with some primal
    alchemy of the here and gone, substance and smoke,
    solid and fluid.

    It was our anniversary, mine and his; he who is no longer
    upon this earth. Before folding my knees around a small pillow on
    my prayer rug, the one with a red Moghul design, as I have done for
    over two decades, I struck a match. It poofed into flame, then sailed
    out of my hand down onto the rug. At once, a cloud of unknowing
    descended upon me, like a dream, like following the narrator’s camera
    through the Winter Palace in Russian Ark. For a moment, I didn’t
    understand what was happening. The room took on
    an eighteenth-century patina from the flame
    on the floor and a small bedside table lamp behind me.

    I half expected people to emerge from behind doors and begin
    to waltz, chatter, duel or chide me to hurry up and light the candle,
    ignoring the firebrand aglow on the floor. After some while,
    I at last looked down where the match was blazing
    on the sacred carpet. Everything registered
    in slow motion. My thoughts
    and reactions
    slowed
    almost
    to freeze frame pacing.

    This thing is going to go up in flames and I’ll be trapped, I thought,
    with the delay of a forty-five record being played at thirty-three and a third.
    The flame was between me and the only exit from the bedroom.
    Slowly, it dawned upon me to take action—usually I’m right quick in an emergency—
    catching the toddler’s cup before it tips,
    the dog before it races out in front of a car,
    my dying husband before he leaning tower of Pisa’d out of a chair onto the floor.

    The fire blazes. How to pick it up without burning myself?
    Discerning the stick end of the match not altogether hidden
    by the sputtering petite bonfire, I pulled the blaze up toward my lips
    like a fire swallower and blew it cold.

    This carpet, I thought, the carpet lovingly trundled through 14 moves by me alone, this carpet my husband retrieved from some flea market in India in the 1970s, will be ruined.
    Peering down where the blaze had spit and sputtered,
    I found no trace of ash or smolder,
    no comeuppance for my reaction Larghissimo.

    I doused the smoldering matchstick with water,
    turned on every lamp and overhead light to dispel
    the dream and examined the woolen red weave for damage.
    It returned my gaze, placid and unscathed.
    Pristine as a prayer. No trace of destruction.
    I lit another match, touched it to the candle wick and
    folded my knees around my pillow on the carpet.

  109. susanjer

    Under Magritte’s Umbrella

    Magritte, I knew, would spend the morning
    dribbling designs with cream
    on the French roast canvas of his coffee
    then sipping down those images
    from his oeuvre: artful swirls of clouds,
    a pipe that is not a pipe (but looks like one),
    oversize eyeballs, a shoe that might,
    for all I knew, be a moon.

    His umbrella was black, the kind
    an undertaker carries to shield mourners
    climbing into a black sedan that will follow
    the black hearse to a gravesite where
    there is a black coffin. I stole Magritte’s umbrella
    because it was raining rats and gods,
    cheese and cherries, mackerel and roses,
    men with black boxers.

    Outside the café I unfurled the umbrella
    and rose like a plume of smoke announcing
    a new pope. Well, not exactly because
    soon I was beyond divine intervention.
    I was just another man among many
    trench-coated men in bowler hats
    suspended for time immemorial.

  110. randinha

    Hopefully the indentation appears. If not, then….sigh.

    SCALES

    Long lizard woman rubs dry,
    never pats.
    Towels the scales from her arms,
    her midriff,
    her thighs and knees.
    She always forgets her elbows
    and the webbing of her toes.
    The lizard-flesh slimes
    before it withers
    and slithers along the insides
    of her clothes.

    Long lizard woman
    rubs dry.
    Should she chip a scale
    she crunches it under
    the webbing of her toes,
    and washes it down the drain.
    Her roommate is always complaining
    of scales in the drain.
    She slithers into her clothes
    and hums beneath the rain.

    Low lizard woman
    with her scales lost down the tub
    rubs dry.
    Sometimes she pats.
    On the night of nowhere-to-go,
    when she’s let fall all her clothes
    and the shining scaly midriff
    catches the bathroom light,
    she blinks
    and sinks,
    with her ear down on the drain.

    Low lizard woman
    listening. They hum like dunes.
    Slow lizard woman
    reaching.
    Down, down.
    To there.
    Shimmies down
    to her dunes.
    Lost lizard woman
    pats dry,
    and her scales,
    they shimmer.
    They hum like dunes
    on desert flesh.

  111. Sara McNulty

    Pink Lady

    They say she was charmed,
    not in a grandiose style,
    no exhibitions of power,
    but in soft, subtle ways.
    Townsfolk greeted her
    on the street grumbling
    about weather, and she would
    give them a secretive smile,
    assuring a lovely day would evolve.
    Do you know that within one hour,
    sun would shine down?

    Children flocked to her like birds
    to a feeder. You could see her there
    teaching them games, and strange
    songs no one had ever heard.
    Word was she had a sixth sense.
    See that purple streak on the old
    oak? Well, it is said by folks,
    that one day, a song soared
    into the air, then there she was, floating
    like a pink cloud. She brushed
    against the oak tree, right where
    that mark is, and vanished.

    You go climb that tree when you grow
    some, and tell me if that purple streak
    does’t feel warmer than the bark
    on the rest of the tree. Yup,
    they say she was charmed.

      1. acele

        Thanks! I meant it to read “strikes” not “strike” but the reality is I penned this while very tired after a long day! This morning this poem feels all too real! sigh

  112. Alpha1

    THE STUFF OF MIND

    hovering between worlds
    dreaming
    not sleep
    not quite woke
    putting the car in gear
    starting out slowly
    down the yellow brick
    interstate speeding on
    the curves
    pumping the brakes
    vehicle careening wildly
    narrowly missing a tree
    middle of the highway
    doors fly open
    body falling
    slipping into the
    darkness of my room
    screaming out loud
    tangled in a blanket
    on the floor
    honey you okay

  113. Cameron Steele

    third write thru

    Window Seat for Free

    Womanhood is no window seat for free.
    You pay for it even when you can’t see the view,
    even when it smells like a car ride to Florida
    in August, in a Suburu with soft seats and
    a broken AC, especially when it feels
    like what they tell you it should be:
    an oriental rug in Nana’s formal living room
    or the blinking magic of make-up. (Bugaboo,
    she’ll tell you, never spend too much on that stuff.
    People will notice.) There’s no such thing
    as a chair to slip into
    when no one’s looking.
    But sometimes you can find a window
    to freedom if you stick out
    your tongue, wag it like cellulite,
    taste the hot, wintery je-ne-sais-quoi,
    and spit it back out at the world.
    I couldn’t care less about learning French,
    about fixing a broken-down sedan
    or loving a broken-down man
    or that you once were a girl
    with glass in her hands – I found a view
    thanks to these wobbly hips,
    a long drive down the coast,
    a couple half tanks of unleaded gas,
    a big toe dancing on the rusty pedal
    just like it were a rug.

  114. EbenAt

    Waking Dreams

    Awoken at 3 am,
    by a southbound freighter.
    Dosing, I think,
    I’ve lived near trains
    my whole life…

    In my dream
    the train takes flight.
    Passengers are nervous as
    the angle of attack increases
    but we go with the flow,
    grinning at one another.

    At four am,
    it’s my alarm.
    My mind drifts to
    twenty nine pages of inventory
    I must count.

    I open the freezer door and see
    our backyard in Concord;
    It’s snowing heavily,
    Winter of ’68.
    Borman, Lovell and Anders are
    riding Apollo Seven,
    the first humans
    to orbit the moon.

    I stare up at the leaden sky and realize
    that’s not frozen water;
    it’s alien snow,
    drifting silently down upon
    this far off, unknown planet
    and I
    am the first
    human explorer.

  115. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    Creation

    He woke up one day.
    He was bored and lonely.
    He started talking
    and saw it was good.
    His words were poetry,
    so he wrote them down.
    He added a melody to his poem
    and sang himself to sleep.
    Later, he took a blank canvas
    and drew a line.
    He saw it was good,
    so he drew another one.
    He added some colour
    and saw that was
    even better.
    Then he mashed everything
    into a movie.
    He thought it was a good idea
    to add some people,
    just to get things
    going faster.
    He released
    perfumes into the air,
    the dance of winds and rains,
    shadow and light,
    fire and ice,
    then he added more colours
    and more action.
    He mashed it all together.
    He saw it was good
    and decided
    that was
    what he wanted to keep doing
    until the end of time.

  116. flood

    With Leaves Like Missals

    At the same time
    Thomas laid his finger
    upon the wound,
    a stand of sugar maples
    shimmered along
    the jagged banks
    of the Great Lakes.
    Their trunks were
    sap-swollen and they
    were thick with
    ignorance to what
    Pilate had wrought.

  117. Christi

    “Even the seasons have seasons,”
    said the conductor,
    “so why complain about the rain?

    Summer does wonders: vultures
    swoon soldiers, till June frosts
    strand swimmers: stagnant,
    shocked clean, lost.”

    I swear under the yellow
    flickering lights of the train,
    I recognized the screen illuminate
    your valleys and peaks, eyebrows,
    and cheeks, the pools of your eyes serene.
    What did it all mean?

    This show’s called ignorance: the older
    we get, the more everyone else looks
    the same.
    And the better we get at mapping
    dirt on our knees and the trains
    That can take us to spring.

  118. inkysolace

    “Knight”

    hands wrapped around hilts
    ornamental gold crumbling between fingers
    an edge birthed between whetstones and grease

    it captures eyes, pieces of faces engraved onto reflection
    ambition has severed itself
    and desire makes the blade gleam
    “find yourself in the things you have wanted
    since you have learned how to want”

    I see him in fragments and he spits me into scraps

    dirty hair, brown eyes, legs wracked with fidgets
    small hands tied behind the protection
    of a wooden circle dented with cross-stitches
    of practice swipes
    these are my hands,
    trembling with soft naivety

    he has scribbled my armor with words I read as apologies
    I have only seen them in the echo of his sword
    mirrored back into his eyes; he has always
    seen me in avoidance when I meant
    to give him sanction, pale fingers,
    uncut skin, he could’ve taken me
    and never see a fight again

  119. Anvanya

    chanson realiste

    I could sit or stand for hours in the Huntington
    amazed at the details of a Sargeant or a Cassat,
    Homer or Sover, contemplating the scenes, the
    facial expressions that highlight clothing and
    settings.

    With diligent practice, I shift my countenance
    to mimic that on the canvas – thereby gaining insight
    about the sitter’s inmost thoughts.

    un poème sur la magie

    Medearis’ Winter Fields are real, Cynthia exclaimed.
    I can feel them drawing me in, enticing my
    thoughts and desires across the vista.

    Reminds me of great-grandma’s patchwork,
    the quilt in her guest room. All browns and streaky
    oranges, and those dead trees are like her blanket stitches.

    Hester, she derides me, we’ve been city folks
    for ten generations. Grandma never so much
    as saw a field in any season of the year.

    Well, how’d she know what colors and patterns to
    piece into her design? I insisted on knowing.
    Who sat at her quilting bees? Wait …

    Cynthia scrambled for the cedar chest in the attic.
    Here – here’s Grammy’s signature embroidered
    on this square: Elizabetta Raines Templeton…

    Uh, Cynthie? Turn it over; there’s another name on the back:
    Can you make it out? S..c..ofield. Never! She was making
    quilts in the 1850s. And Gramma knew her?

    Momma! When was Grandma born?
    1940, you know that. Just before the war.
    She learned to quilt from her mom.

  120. barton smock

    -ends-

    who knows how these things start. some animalistic girl with the air of donation sits beneath the kind of playground slide could convince nowhere of a middle while two boys with cardboard swords keep each of us from the ladder unless we allow her to bite us on the arm. pretty soon we’re in math class showing each other how many times we went down and pretty soon our younger siblings are smacked or hungry or puckered from being bathed. some of us run out of room while some of us have two good legs. some of us pull at our mothers as if all prayed out of playmates. the girl goes weeks without god before giving in. her swordsmen move on to pocket knives and loitering. you see her in the food court of the mall sitting with her wheelchair bound father and brother and tell us there’s no magic that pushes them both.

  121. DanielR

    PILLARS OF TRUTH
    Pillars of truth are immovable
    so we cover them in graffiti
    to serve our own twisted purposes
    disguising them in fluorescent paint
    with sweeping labels imposed on others
    hypocrites who justify our own actions
    while condemning others when they don’t agree
    but our artwork doesn’t alter reality
    because pillars of truth are immovable.

    Daniel Roessler

  122. CStern

    Safari
    * * *

    Modest town dominated by a struggling

    textile factory

    the owner’s family rooted in the founders

    so he knows that if the factory closes

    the town will slowly strangle

    unless it grows a second heart

    to pump commerce through the streets

    Every year, new closure signs bloom

    a bright desperate rot

    eating away at the town’s remains

    Still it is safe to walk the night dark streets

    (mostly)

    though the edges

    where the town

    dwindles

    to sparse empty-eyed buildings and a lone

    straight stretch of highway

    and nothing but woods until the outer sprawl

    of the big city fifty miles away

    lack street lights to drive back the dark

    Out of those shadows

    one warm summer night came a ringing

    echoing trumpeting

    and a crashing stomping thunder

    as a herd of elephants

    somehow on the wrong continent

    flattened trees and bushes

    and then unlucky cars and fences and walls

    Stunned, people lifted cell phones

    recorded the stampede

    the herd passed through town and was gone

    footprints vanished a mile outside the limits

    no evidence of the animals

    that biologists and reporters could find

    though some searched for days

    The town council made posters and post cards

    gave interviews

    put up placards

    welcomed tourists with open hands
    * * *
    http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/national-poetry-month-29/

  123. Cameron Steele

    Second write through

    Window Seat for Free

    Womanhood is no window seat for free.
    You pay for it even when you can’t see the view,
    even when it smells like a car ride to Florida
    in August, in a Suburu with soft seats and
    a broken AC, especially when it feels
    like what they tell you it should be:
    an oriental rug in Nana’s formal living room
    or the blinking magic of beauty. ( Bugaboo,
    she’ll tell you, never spend too much on make-up.
    People will notice.) If you waggle your arms
    on the beach, dance in spite of the jiggly skin,
    maybe someone will choose to kiss you back.
    Maybe you’ll choose not to let them.
    There’s no such thing as a chair to slip into
    when no one’s looking but sometimes
    you can find a window to freedom if
    you’re willing to stick out your tongue,
    wag it like cellulite, taste the hot,
    wintery je-ne-sais-quoi,
    and spit it back out at the world.
    I couldn’t care less about learning French,
    about fixing a broken down sedan
    or loving a broken down man
    or that you once were a 26-year-old girl
    with glass in her hands – I’ve got a view
    and I paid for it with my hips and
    a couple tanks of unleaded gas.

  124. RebekahJ

    Making All Things New

    One spring day
    Beneath a maple
    A kitten
    Raised indoors
    Flinched at first fur-touch of breeze
    Then stretched toward great sky

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  125. PKpoet

    Thanks for [ ] fine ass poem[ ]little boxed in no point in putting a single piece of my own writing [ ] a pen in one hand and your penis in the other [ ] you veil as an academic pursuit [
    ] what it really said to everyone in the workshop was that you are really only interested in the writing from women that you want [
    ] slick [ ] horse rescue that I need, princess [

    ] I can’t wait [ ] another [

    ] minute [ ] to satisfy [

    ] this itch.

  126. Cameron Steele

    Window Seat for Free

    Womanhood is no window seat for free.
    You pay for it even when you can’t see the view,
    even when it smells like a car ride to Florida
    in August, in a Suburu with soft seats and
    a broken AC, especially when it feels
    like what they tell you it should be:
    an oriental rug in Nana’s formal living room
    or the blinking magic of beauty. ( Bugaboo,
    she’ll tell you, never spend too much on make-up).
    Womanhood is like that. Womanhood is
    throwing your arms up to embrace the summer,
    wincing a little at the jiggly skin, ignoring the clouds that
    scoff at your dimples, because maybe someone
    will choose to kiss you back. Womanhood will never be
    a chair to slip into when no one’s looking.
    It will be a window to freedom if
    you’re willing to stick out your tongue,
    wag it like a radio-wave or one at a beach
    in Fort Lauderdale, taste the hot,
    wintery je-ne-sais-quoi,
    and spit it back out at the world.
    I couldn’t care less about learning French,
    about fixing a broken down sedan
    or loving a broken down man
    or that you once were a 26-year-old girl
    with glass in her hands —
    because you’ve got a view,
    a lifetime of views, that no one,
    not anyone, can pay for except you.

  127. LuvingLife

    The Fuse

    Fantasy, you are
    an untouched love that I fear
    may never know the
    truth. I am boundless when you
    kiss the space where we divide.

    Reality, I
    have always known your heart’s way.
    And every night, when
    we are the closes, is when
    I feel you transcend to me.

    Taisha C.

  128. Kendall A. Bell

    A secret muse

    The bed’s clothes will keep me an
    extra twenty minutes within their
    grasp. I will get lost in ritual
    and not have time to eat at home.
    I will miss the chance to take
    pictures on the overpass that
    overlooks the creek, driving fast
    while eating a bagel and peering
    into police car hiding spots on the
    highway. I will come home exhausted
    and collapse into a deluge of email,
    release the dog from her seven hour
    stay in solitary. I will try to write
    a poem, but it will almost always end
    up being about you.

  129. LCaramanna

    In a Popsicle World

    In a popsicle world
    every day begins
    with an ice lolly,
    cherry red, tangerine orange,
    pineapple yellow, or lime green,
    freeze pops on a breakfast buffet.
    In a popsicle world
    every day’s chilly beginning
    freezes lips into a smile,
    colors a tongue silly,
    and flavors words sweet
    for the remainder of the day.

  130. tunesmiff

    THE STONE LION
    G. Smith
    ———————————–
    In the gray rain the stone lion sighs.
    As the pale sun rises over the mill
    The angel on the headstone cries.
    In the gray rain the stone lion sighs,
    And casts his eyes at the leaden skies.
    The unknown sleep around him still.
    In the gray rain the stone lion sighs
    As the pale sun rises over the mill.

  131. Hannah

    True Story

    Reality is sliced apples cooked into banana bread,
    it’s two young boys totally absorbed in homemade goodness.
    It’s the first telling freckles arriving on my sweet niece’s nose,
    sun’s constellations have come and are here to stay a while.
    Truth is space for a swing set and time for a tickle fight
    it’s the comforting memory of the sound of my parent’s laughter,
    fragmented and echoing up the stairs while I drifted off to sleep.
    Authenticity is engrained in the foundation of roots
    those twisting through the woods of my childhood place of play;
    the forest that grew me up and hedged me in,
    the woods that beckoned me bayside to sing to periwinkles.
    Genuine is the sap that was distilled from my grandmother’s maple tree,
    our wondering awe-filled eyes as we watched her hang the jug –
    a plastic milk bottle cut just so to carry the spill of syrup’s trickle.
    Real was our breath made visible by the cold as we watched her,
    tangible was the meat of the tree as she coerced the metal spigot into place.
    Each day when we’d walk by we’d check to see how much she’d bled for us…
    real was the anticipation for the morning of boiling – creating sugary magic.
    Certainty’s in winter’s end…those spring furled buds, pulsing and persistent,
    they push forth with surety, with a confidence to be emulated
    and the reality is that the earth will only unveil in layers
    for if she burst forth all at once we wouldn’t be able to appreciate her,
    each detail would be lost in the explosion of green
    but the fact is I’m totally fine with that;
    I can be patient for Mother Nature.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  132. Sharon Ann

    My fantasy painting…

    It’s just after the sun sets,
    the moonrise in view,
    above the green water,
    the sky deepening in hue.
    The fabric blows gently,
    the butterflies float by.
    There is a faint smell of lilacs,
    a bowl of oranges nearby.
    The colors are vivid.
    They brighten the room.
    The reality I paint here
    is always in bloom.

  133. MichaelMcMonigle

    Music Past

    Bells sound in the distant hills
    Ringing out a melody
    With brake tight stops
    Leaving the echo
    Only in your ear
    And the memory of days
    When music mattered

    The phone starts you awake
    With a buzz infernal
    And one you refuse to answer
    But that will be replaced
    Soon by alarms
    Or alerts at a desk
    And the ever-present hum
    Of the lighting
    So you can see what you’ve become

    A world no longer recognized
    By sight by touch
    But by sound, sound
    Which pushes you forward
    Without voluntary stop
    Sounds, voices
    Grinding down
    Don’t allow loft
    Sounds, persistent drones
    Never permitting peace

    Did you lose your song
    Or was it overwhelmed
    Did you hear your invitation
    Or did you trust deafly
    Hoping more would come

    Night offers nothing
    But different sound
    Staccato creaks
    Shadow groans
    Pindrop of every restless
    Mind within miles

    When exhaustion takes hold
    Of your worn-wearied world
    You sigh, that sound
    That long drawn breath
    Which beckons
    Back to dreams
    Where distant hills
    Play beautifully
    Until morning

  134. Kevin D Young

    PANDORA’S SLAVE

    I am Elpis, Pandora’s slave.
    She visits me infrequently,
    lidded in this jar, which, now free
    of everything depraved is such

    a much more pleasant place to lie.
    But I do not lie. I chafe.
    When Pandora opened up this age,
    all who lusted, craved the light flew

    first on its appearing, one ray
    enough to roil their wings and fling
    them from this bowl, these boiling
    banes so long removed from any day

    unchained. But I, I who had inside
    a tarn of light and so was less
    inflamed by need, uncoiled with such rank
    slackness that, unprepared to fly,

    my chance was forfeit. So now, though she
    may listen at the lip, no longer
    does she raise the bar, the dangers
    once released so great she grieves, not

    knowing, her second fault, I am
    the antidote. We are a pair –
    however much Pandora bears
    my sin is double: I lie within,

    she lives without, and all men know
    she was too fast, I was too slow.

  135. Gwyvian

    The covenant

    My lover was a king of the wilds who wore shadows
    like a second skin – yet for all his prowess, a simple beast
    took him from my arms on an eve when the moon wore
    a red ring of death: the eye of the underworld preparing to
    snatch mortal flesh to consume, and for all his otherworldly
    charms, he was mortal – and I but an apprentice, helpless.

    In my anguish I haunted hallways of knowledge, searching,
    spurning friend as foe, and my foes I brought madness: I put
    tears of joy into their eyes to be away from my clutches, yet—
    none of that changed what had happened; I turned my attention
    to the arcane lore of old, scriptures forbidden and scented
    with promise: so under a new moon, I summoned death itself.

    Death came to me and insinuated power and punishment alike,
    both gifts from his realm beyond ordinary magic – and he fed on
    the depth of my pain, that intoxicating addiction and my constant
    affliction – I promised everything but my soul: and, perhaps, in
    the end I promised even that – only if he would return to me my
    king of the wilds to reign beside me, and the ability to keep him.

    He promised me power if I released him from my binding circle,
    and showed me visions of decay should I keep him from his grim
    task: I asked what he meant, but was sure he played me for a fool,
    and yet, I began to wonder at the cracks surrounding me…
    so I struck a bargain with the swashbuckling lord of the grave,
    I gave him his freedom – and a chain to connect us anyway.

    Death promised resurrection, the only web that cannot be
    unraveled by a mortal’s touch – so, he said he would grant me
    immortality, to weave the magic myself; and so he did, and I…
    began passing from age to age, never quite understanding
    what had passed – only that a shadow followed me now, and
    while my king of the wild came, many others slipped away…

    He whispered to me in my dreams, and even lurking behind
    the eyes of my lover, I found him haunting – he promised a battle
    soon to come, and reminded me that to him I am beholden,
    the only one who can take as easily as he gave – and it would not
    be my immortality he took away; I stayed his hand hastily,
    and promised my bitter allegiance.

    Time passed, yet no battles came, only insignificant skirmishes,
    wars whose meanings passed me by, and kings and queens
    asking my council – yet, whoever stepped over my threshold
    gained a strange mark on them: I was very much afraid I knew
    exactly the price that would be exacted of them, and I
    on a quest unknown, but beholden to the enemy of them all…

    So it came that I stood on the battlements beside death manifested
    in my shadow without a summoning, staring down on the field
    where blood would soon quench the thirst of the parched soil;
    I heard the scheme from those cold lips, but did not believe it—
    for he said that what I want is just in reach, all I need do is obey;
    I did not believe his predictions, yet… I remained.

    Time looped over and over, and I wondered where innocence fled—
    I knew, when my lover lay cool in my arms, not dead, yet sapped of
    something profound – and death made his demand of the heart in my
    chest that never gave off the same warmth, and I knew, my soul now
    was wed to that shadow: so I began the slaughter as asked… and with
    my own price paid, immortality bled till the chain finally snapped.

    A fragment remained of the poison in my veins, yet I was
    startled not to come face to face with the lover that forced himself
    into my king’s place: death did not come for me, and astonishingly
    I was back at the beginning, ‘neath a moon ringed red, beasts howling,
    and I knew by the magic bursting, my chance had truly come,
    death’s parting gift an end to torment for which I had longed:

    Ages to study dark lore, death for a lover
    to know the value of life given—
    I turn the nether’s gaze from the forest that eve
    where the king of the wild reigns:
    and after so long, after I defied all reason,
    memories collapsed… and I went to join him.

    April 29, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  136. utsabfly

    Dream Creations

    Rising to greet
    The dreams in his mind
    Awakening him from slumber

    Asleep or awake
    Tantamount realities
    Draped in fantasy’s luster

    Mysteries unfolding slowly
    Eyes half opened and
    Peering into enchantment

    Novel surroundings
    Created in his mind
    Appear in connecting fragments

    Weaving yesterday’s remembrances
    With futuristic anticipations
    He’s lifted to woven plains

    Where blank pages lie
    To offer up spaces
    For forethoughts and remains

    ©E.D. Allee
    April, 2014

  137. dandelionwine

    Magic
    “The people that made the shoes must have watched a lot of winds blow the trees and a lot of rivers going down to the lakes.” – Ray Bradbury

    I underpronated my way out
    of the old, dusty trail runners,
    left the slowed soles’ outer edges
    behind on countless back roads,
    let them go for this brand-new
    duo lining me up to speed away
    into the green grass distance
    alongside antelopes, gazelles,
    magic as any shop window shoes
    Douglas Spaulding could imagine.

    Sara Ramsdell

  138. DamonZ

    “High Spirits”

    I bounce from cloud to cloud.
    So squeaky under feet.
    Wet shoes on a gym floor loud.
    Redolent whiff of just washed sheets.

    I don’t know how I got here.
    I don’t really care to know.
    White puffy buccaneers.
    Plundering moisture from a gulf coast low.

    Colder now as higher I ascend.
    More stridulous each footfall.
    The ice crystal kaleidoscopes bend.
    And I feel infinitesimally small.

    From the highest cloud I see the black of space above.
    Below, fluffy blankets of white endlessly sprawl.
    Feeling happy, feeling love.
    An equal wave of emotion I cannot recall.

    No grey clouds, grief, nor needed silver lining.
    First time my world is black and white.
    No need for clarifying.
    I am content, I am light, I am blithe.
    The world has never looked so right.

    By: Damon Zallar

  139. Bruce Niedt

    I guess there are some magical elements in this one. NaPoWriMo’s prompt is a doozy which I won’t copy here, but it’s a 20-part exercise that I’ve done once before – you might even call a “poetic obstacle course” with very specific elements to include in your poem, more or less in order, like “Use an example of false cause-effect logic”, “Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective”, “Say something specific but utterly preposterous”, etc. This exercise can also be found in The Practice of Poetry by Robin Behn and Chase Twitchell, or just check out NaPoWRiMo’s blog for today. Here’s my result:

    Señor Morning

    Age is a noisy leaf-blower at 7 a.m.
    It’s shiny red, gas-powered, and speaks in Russian.
    When horizontal sun slices through my window
    and coffee fumes climb the stairs,
    I bury my face in a soft comforter
    before I rise and plod to the bathroom.
    Headache – I can hear the toothbrush and toothpaste
    between my ears. My mouth is a car wreck of mint.
    Like Hannibal in the Alps, my elephant-feet
    clomp down the slope of the steps.
    Really, I like the morning – it validates the fact
    that I’m still alive. Who’s making coffee, anyway?
    I don’t even like the stuff. Last night I dreamt that
    everyone was saying “Twenty-three skidoo”.
    I think Roaring 20’s slang gave me this headache.
    Each day begins like a can of corn,
    and I have to deal with the grumpy pit bull of aging.
    Pop-pop can break-dance and do the limbo.
    Tomorrow he will free-climb El Capitan.
    Is this possible? It won’t matter someday soon,
    when we will all clone ourselves at twenty-nine.
    We will banish ugly beauty and progressive lenses.
    Today, I wrestle with that monster Weltschmerz
    while the mirror sticks out its tongue and razzes me.
    But I’ll get the last laugh as I blow away
    like a leaf in the Russian wind.

  140. Emily Cooper

    Silent Star

    We still call natural disasters
    acts of God

    and tornadoes come
    out of nowhere
    and leave with everything

    so it is an apparently
    vengeful God

    one that won’t show
    Him- or Herself

    one that

    outside of the destruction
    left behind

    won’t be talked about
    on the news for weeks

    and put on trial
    for crimes against humanity.

    God isn’t vengeful

    though He feels relieved

    off the hook
    in a sense
    but not really.

    Tornado country
    is not well-off

    but there’s no one
    around to blame

    just a moment to give thanks
    for what and whom
    He left on Earth

    and nothing to do
    but rebuild.

  141. Emma

    Urban Ocean
    Sometimes I try to drown myself in the city.
    (It is easy to destroy yourself when no one is watching)
    It’s not the place I grew up:
    The shire without hobbits,
    Castles without princesses,
    Forests without magic.
    Here the vultures do not circle,
    I do not have to wear a mask
    To avoid them picking my secrets
    Like flesh from a carcass
    (one that still breathes and bleeds).
    It is hard to explain the ways that
    Apathy, satisfication and sadness
    Alternate inside me.
    I notice more now I’m alone in the
    Sea of strangers and friends who
    Cannot see the inside of my mind.
    It’s a great adventure.
    So I explore.
    I go out, I dance, I drink.
    Sometimes it is a poison, sometimes it’s the cure.
    Sometimes I try to drown myself in the city.
    Sometimes I dive in, swim in it instead.

  142. jacq

    Women Suffrage…Is It Over? by Jacqualine A Hart

    idealistic democracy you say
    Yet
    revolutionary aspirations dwindled
    here we stand without rights
    abiding by rules and laws
    unequally written
    belittled by the male species
    Yet
    our voice goes unheard
    generations silenced
    for what
    –do we not labor
    –do we not endure
    Yet
    we have no rights
    that would enable our humanity

    idealistic democracy you say
    still
    war of liberty and equality
    suffrage remains
    what jest is this
    slight of hand in your favor
    have we not held positions of prominence
    still
    glass ceilings that won’t break
    lest male ego be tamed
    we persevere
    –our voice is strong
    –Elizabeth Cady Stanton is still rallying
    still
    we hold these truths to be self-evident
    that all men and women are created equal

  143. Roderick Bates

    Magical / Realism

    by Roderick Bates

    On the Vegas stage, in trademark black shirt and suit,
    he holds the spoon out before him, slowly rubs it,
    glares out into the crowd with piercing eyes.
    And then the spoon gently bends downward.
    The audience erupts with cheers, applause.

    But if this man can in fact move metal by thought alone,
    and soldiers remain paralyzed with inoperable shards
    of bomb casing pressed against their spines
    while he screws around with silverware, then isn’t he
    much worse than the fraud that some call him?

  144. Taylor Emily Copeland

    When you think of goodbye
    (for KMM)

    The sky will always look incredible
    early in the morning, when the sun’s
    radiance bursts orange and pink over
    the tops of trees. New jobs and miles
    of highway will always lead to nights
    in melancholy with nothing but a tv
    for a companion. We all want the rewind
    button, the hard hug in the parking lot
    of the bar, the whole box of tissues
    when we cry. The quick and easy ending
    will always be bookmarked in your head,
    and I will be ten numbers away to keep
    your head above the hurt.

  145. carolecole66

    Running Through the Wind

    I have bought running shoes and an iPhone app
    that tells me when to walk and run, when to breathe
    woven around the music that I plug into my ears.
    This is surreal. I am too old to run.

    I’m told when to walk and run, when to breathe
    like a hovering mother who can’t let her child go.
    The world is surreal. I am too old to run.
    But the pavement beckons. I want to drink air.

    Like a hovering mother who can’t let her child go,
    I go out in the dark; I go into the black shadows of trees.
    The pavement beckons. I want to swim in air.
    My feet like two neon tetras glow green and blue.

    I run out in the dark; I run in the black shadows of trees
    that bark at me, that stand like sentries and block my path.
    My feet like two neon tetras shimmer green and blue;
    the wind chimes seduction, dark corners are star lit.

    Trees bark as I pass. They line the street like sentries.
    I am passing them pretending not to see the threat
    nor the wind’s seduction, nor the weak light of stars.
    This is the night I dissolve, become like a water spout

    storming past the trees, pretending not to see the threat,
    the creatures that could devour me hidden in their boughs.
    This is the night I dissolve, become like a water spout
    that shatters when it hits land, falls in drops on the pavement.

    Silent creatures in the tree boughs could devour me
    slipping through the music I’ve plugged into my ears.
    They won’t shatter when they hit, fall in drops to the pavement;
    my running shoes and IPhone app propel me through the night.

    Carole

  146. break_of_day

    it is simple
    sleight of hand
    distract your mark
    and leave her breathless
    as you walk away
    with her heart
    and her dignity
    and she doesn’t even know it
    yet

  147. Blaise

    3:00 AM Café du Monde

    Hot beignet drops from shaking hand,
    phosphorescent meteor of confectioners sugar
    scattering sweetness to a silent Jackson Square.
    The lovingly fried pastry sparks to life
    upon splashdown in a Mississippi colored puddle,
    succulent ripples breach the curb,
    strut down the sidewalk, lap on doors,
    then spread to the humid air,
    to penetrate every lacy wrought iron balcony,
    to enter the tall windows, the squat ones,
    and even the closed ones, to infiltrate air conditioner coils,
    rustle sheer faded curtains into a swinging rhythm.
    Riverboat horns toot a bass line
    walking that New Orleans funk into every parlor,
    ceiling fans spin their syncopation,
    flying sugar dust finds every snare,
    tom-tom, bass drum, djembe, and conga,
    and bends streetlights to the groove.
    Trumpets fill themselves with urgent breath,
    pistons squeeze out the melody,
    trombones slide underneath for some tailgate action,
    clarinet keys snick awake to filigree atop this confection,
    while saxophones growl themselves into the batter,
    guitar strings swirl against frets, banjo heads blend with the drums,
    metal reeds bend deep within harmonica honeycombs.
    From Canal Street to Frenchmen,
    the entire Quarter is rocking this night song,
    and only the deepest sleepers get a waft of this delight,
    seasoned just to their taste –
    sweet, hot, spicy, cool, swinging hard,
    until the street cleaners suck it all back to silence,
    punched into the flour of the city,
    foretelling a later rise towards powdered stardust.

  148. matthew

    By Chance Many Spirits Were With Us
    If there are spirits caught in the cut stone steps of castles
    If cobblestone streets in back of wrap around blocks
    of Old Towns where clock towers tolled before Columbus
    crossed his ocean of blue are haunted
    If Old Prague was saved from the Nazi’s saved from flood
    after flood
    If 66,000 Jewish souls cross the King Charles Bridge
    night after night in a vain attempt to get back home
    If the Knight from days of old continue to clink and clack
    as often as the brass fittings of the common down spouts
    found throughout the city
    They were on our side as we visited the grand old capital
    those spirits of Old Prague were for us not against us

  149. Michele Brenton

    At Home with the Furniture.

    I woke up one night
    ‘cos I heard a sound
    sort of low and rumbling,
    guess what I found?

    My sofa dancing in the
    moonlight’s gaze
    books singing acapella
    as I looked on amazed
    and the rumbling was
    of cushions playing
    bass and low
    my mind was so blown
    it had no place to go.

    So I hitched up my nightdress
    and joined in the dance
    when stuff like that happens
    you have to take a chance
    and if the furniture is waltzing
    to a novel tune
    how can you not give in
    to the music of the moon?

    I’d sing it to you now
    but although I heard
    the books loud and clear
    right now I lost the words.

    I can tell you it was sweet
    like the best orange juice
    it set my feet to tapping
    and I let my hair loose.

    Just imagine all the energy
    you had when you were young
    distilled into a melody
    and accurately sung
    directly to your heart
    and from there into your knees
    until nothing you can do
    to prevent a sort of sneeze
    forcing you to stand
    and your body into sway.

    Well that’s how I spent that night
    dancing through it to the day.
    It was strange,
    wonderful
    joyful,
    tragic,
    never-before
    never-again
    it
    was
    quite
    simply
    magic.

    Michele Brenton 29th April 2014

  150. Grey_Ay

    Tarot Reader

    A Celtic Cross upon the table
    a card for every grace
    Her hands turn them, one by one
    Answers I am to face

    The fool begins, a youthful card
    a sharp look in her eye towards me
    A boat with swords and a riverman
    I wonder what she sees

    Her wheezing breath brushes my face
    Not foul, but sage and thyme
    As the Queen of Cups faces me
    I wonder if she hears my mind

    At long last, the final card
    The Lovers, and Do I see?
    she asks, voiceless, but I can hear
    Blue eyes, and then I leave.

    -A. Ault-

  151. Amaria

    Last night I had a bizarre dream
    I had black wings
    flying so high
    in the night sky

    I saw an incubus lurking
    fiercely working
    on a closed door
    hoping to score

    Just then an owl loudly hooted
    the creature scooted
    fast as a breeze
    into the trees.

  152. pamelaraw

    How The Flowers Spend Their Day

    Caladenia, the spider orchid, crawls
    down the stalk, bit by bit, lands on the soft
    moss of her clay pot. On nimble leaves,
    she crosses the kitchen floor and climbs
    atop the dinner table to call the other flowers
    to life. Lily’s eyes have been open for hours
    waiting for the signal, but Iris’ droop
    with sleepiness. Lily and Iris leap from the glass
    vase, wave and dance to the window
    where Little Rose sits stuck in her yellow
    metal bucket. Around two, they all have tea,
    cry sugary tears into the pot of the old cactus plant
    who recalls dry stories from times before
    she came to this desert. Later, Iris and Lily circle
    and tease Little Rose—her boring pink smile,
    her life potted in place. Old Cactus hangs
    her head, murmurs about the dying
    that has already begun, and lumbers
    back to her dark spot by the kitchen sink.
    Caladenia follows on tip toes. As the clock strikes five,
    Lily and Iris bend their bye-byes to poor Little Rose,
    slip their cut stalks into their clear crypt.
    I come home to find what’s left in their wake—
    a petal, a pistil, a sprinkle of pollen on the ground.

  153. Pat Walsh

    Momentarily Lost in the Woods / The Doe’s Way Home
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    In the twilight of trees gray
    and brown grass grown old
    through the damp tensile resistance
    of withered tired leaves
    I walk the path quiet
    listening for some sign of life

    She appears suddenly
    a small deer resplendent
    in delicate shades of white and tan
    the thin quiver of her breath
    making my sudden snort
    sound as coarse as gravel

    Slowly withdrawing its warmth
    the sun retreats across the water
    as shadows gather frightful things
    to scatter fearsome
    along the path of my progress
    and worry my way forward

    Breaking the scent of doubt
    she speaks
    soft monosyllabic strings
    of unknown language felt
    I see the path sudden clear
    and journey on found and blessed

  154. elledoubleyoo

    This Wednesday Dead Body

    Reflected in the black mirror of your eyes
    i do not recognize this white flesh blued
    like some freshwater fish. A thousand hands

    tumble me like the ocean’s waves, and mouths
    move in constant motion soundless to these ears,
    but rounded into forlorn o’s, a melancholy moue.

    Flowers cannot mask the scent of death
    and black-clad mourners cluster, a murder
    of martyr crows feeding off carrion.

    1. elledoubleyoo

      capital I, I have a sticky shift key. Or maybe Esteban doesn’t feel like a capital letter person ;)

      This Wednesday Dead Body

      Reflected in the black mirror of your eyes
      I do not recognize this white flesh blued
      like some freshwater fish. A thousand hands

      tumble me like the ocean’s waves, and mouths
      move in constant motion soundless to these ears,
      but rounded into forlorn o’s, a melancholy moue.

      Flowers cannot mask the scent of death
      and black-clad mourners cluster, a murder
      of martyr crows feeding off carrion.

  155. Bartholomew Barker

    My Lady Hawk

    I keep binoculars near my window
    To observe the neighborhood birds

    A red tailed hawk alit
    In the pine just outside
    The branch her throne

    I took a closer look with my optics
    She wore magnificent speckles
    A terrible intelligence in her eyes
    Which looked directly into mine
    My mouth fell open dumbfounded
    As her beak relaxed

    I wondered what it must be like
    With slow clumsy limbs
    Bulky soft body topped
    With a lump of a head
    Fleshy nose on a flat face
    Foggy eyes muddled mind

    Poor creatures
    Forever trapped on the ground
    As I dance with the wind

  156. cbwentworth

    Pearl gravel,
    lava flow
    Icebergs melt,
    as flames grow

    Matchstick trees,
    withered leaves
    Salted shores,
    crystal dust

    Sweetened air,
    sugared breath
    Sunset sparks,
    bitter taste

    – – –

    C.B. Wentworth

  157. bethwk

    Sometimes it Works
    by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider
    (farmpoem.wordpress.com)

    “The doctor,” she told me,
    “said it’s simply the effects
    of anxiety upon my body.”

    Half a dozen tiny blue birds
    dripped from her lips
    as she spoke.

    “It’s a physiological response.
    It’s all in my head,
    but not in my head.”

    She heaved a heavy sigh
    and a small blue cloud of birds
    issued forth and settled,
    wings rustling, on her shoulders.

    “The doctor recommended
    relaxation exercises.
    Grounding. Yoga. Breathing.”

    She closed her eyes
    and inhaled deeply.
    As she let out her breath,
    a fat blue flamingo
    bounced onto the rug.

    She shrugged.
    “Sometimes it works.”

  158. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Last Night in Cusco

    We waited for Wendy in her hotel foyer. It was an old hotel, just off the city centre —cool stone walls; plants on balconies; polished tables; graceful stairs. I tried on the cone-shaped black felt hat I bought at the market — not the tourist market; the people’s market where Wendy took us, down near the station. As soon as I put the hat on, I saw pulsing flashes of light all around the walls and the high ceiling. I took it off. The lights vanished.

    a slender woman
    walks up a slender staircase
    tall green plants in tubs

    Wendy arrived, all in black as always, with her own hat of high white straw, wide-brimmed, and her big smile. We were to meet three of her Peruvian friends. Just as they arrived, she received a message. The President’s daughter was ready to take her to meet the President. Wendy’s mission in Peru was to set up shelters and trade schools for homeless kids. She couldn’t miss this opportunity. A brief apology, and she left us with her friends. She introduced them by name, but always spoke of them collectively as the Angels. They were a thin young man and two women: one young, shy, quietly pretty; the other older, full-figured, dignified.

    she dresses in black
    with intent: the uniform
    of the grandmothers

    The Angels wanted to meet us because we were Reiki Masters. A man had come to Cusco only a few weeks before, and taught them hands-on healing. They were still thrilled, and wanted to compare. After a quick discussion with each other in Spanish, they took us to the man’s home, in a tiny old car that chugged alarmingly up the steep streets. We piled out at a high, blank wall. He opened a small door in the bottom right corner. We bent our heads to go through to a courtyard. Doors around all the inner walls. One was his; he let us into two dark rooms with weak overhead lamps.

    rooms without windows
    the blue of the Cusco sky
    is legendary

    They told us about their way of healing. “We pray,” they said, “And light comes into our hands. May we show you?”

    We stood in a circle. The older woman prayed in Spanish. I don’t know what she said. We had no Spanish much, beyond “Hola!” When she finished, she Invited us to look at their hands, at little sparks of light dancing all over the palms. Then we all noticed Andrew’s and my hands sparkling too. Everyone got very excited, pointing and gabbling.

    she stands in prayer
    her speaking voice is music
    on our last night here

    They told us the light was a gift from the angels. I asked if the angels could explain what happened when I put on the black felt hat. She took the hat in her hands and closed her eyes. At length she told me it had belonged to a humble shepherd who prayed a lot to Jesus. She said I could summon Jesus whenever I put on the hat; it was full of blessings because of the goodness of that humble man. I supposed that the light-giving angels told her this, into her mind, while she stood with her eyes closed.

    We felt nothing, no sensation; but the sparks of light continued for hours until gradually slowing, fading. We left Cusco next day. We never found out what words were used in the prayer.

    in a small dark room
    we meet with angels of light
    farewell to Peru

    A true story, offered as an example of magical realism.
    I hope a haibun counts! I might try something all in verse later, if I get time.

    1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

      And, the inevitable correction:

      I realise that in 3rd prose par I should say, “they took us to the young man’s home”, not just “the man’s home” — so as to avoid confusion with the man who came to Cusco and taught them.

  159. Daniel Paicopulos

    Fantasia

    My mother died when I was quite young,
    not totally unexpectedly, but suddenly,
    and my childhood came to an abrupt end,
    the rest of my days filled with righteous anger,
    always just below the surface, uncontrollable at times.
    I saw her once more, nine years later,
    the two of us together,
    floating between this world and the next,
    watching from above as young men
    rushed to save me.
    I trust that memory,
    but I lose a micro-amount of it
    each time I speak of it,
    each time I write of it.
    If she had lived, she’d be in her 90’s now,
    my idealized notions of how it could have been
    long tainted by reality.
    Not big on living with regrets, I do miss some things,
    the biggest being how happy she would have been
    with the quality of my life, the beauty of my wife.
    Oh, she would have been crushed by
    that Viet Nam thing,
    but what is a life with no bruises, no bad decisions.
    She would scold me, I am sure,
    for being a man of plenty who has always felt poor,
    but she would applaud the way I have always
    found a way to eventually give birth to happiness.
    I would not have wanted to see her
    grow old and infirm, arthritis-riddled, bed-bound,
    but if I could see her for just one more day,
    it would be to hold her and squeeze her
    and give her the decades of I love you’s she missed.
    And that I missed as well.

  160. laurie kolp

    Flattened

    Flat Stanley parked next to me
    last night. He left a foot between
    our cars, but left no mars. I tried
    to squeeze my tummy real tight
    and slip in, but my skin got stuck
    right away. My friend yanked me
    out in no time flat, then smiled
    because I looked like Stan. I
    drew clothes on the paper doll
    and went on my merry way.

  161. adjoyce

    Near to dawn

    I dreamt that I woke up
    with you sleeping beside me.
    When I woke you up,
    you told me I was dreaming.
    I cried myself to sleep
    and when I woke up, you were still there.
    You had been watching me sleep
    and you said you would not leave.
    Then the alarm clock went off.
    I hit the button and just lay there,
    the sound gone
    but the buzz still coursing through me.

    1. adjoyce

      (Edited)

      Near to dawn

      I dreamt that I woke up
      with you sleeping beside me.
      You told me I was dreaming.
      I cried myself to sleep
      and when I woke up, you were still there.
      You had been watching me sleep
      and you said you would not leave.
      Then the alarm clock went off.
      I hit the button and just lay there,
      the sound gone
      but the buzz still coursing through me.

  162. tatewentz

    Please tell me how I must see it.
    How must I see all things,
    For creativity must be stifled.
    And expression destroyed.

    Please tell me what’s right.
    The way act and what to say,
    For if it’s not like them,
    Then it is wrong.

    Please tell me how to feel.
    Which emotions should be kept,
    And which suppressed.
    For I can’t think for myself.

    Please tell me why we are all the same.
    So alike that we blur into one.
    Where does one stop and the other begin,
    For we have become clones.

    Please tell me why we must blend.
    All the colors always make black,
    But where is diversity,
    For I cannot tell myself from you.

    Please tell me why I look to you for answers.
    I’ve been taught different is wrong,
    But why must that be reality.
    What if reality is wrong?

    Please tell me,
    What then?

  163. Emma Hine

    Dreamland

    At twelve o’clock the world stand still.
    No more the toil of day’s treadmill.
    And dreamers with each soft exhale
    begin to translucently pale
    into a deepest darkest sleep
    to which fantasies begin to seep.

    As adults loose their conscious senses
    they see with child-tinted lenses
    and children who’re already there
    join hands and lead without a care,
    their mothers, fathers, teachers too
    towards a world of visions new.

    On tiptoes, down the stairs they creep,
    slide doors ajar and take a peep.
    Outside a moonlit fire-glow
    rainbow guides the way to go.
    The garden, bathed in pale light,
    invites those dreamers to the night.

    With baited breath and hearts aflutter,
    listening to the fairies mutter,
    young and old traverse the arc
    of colours breaking up the dark.
    Beyond the rainbow’s end, no gold
    but pages of storybooks unfold.

    At half past twelve, the world slips by.
    The bright full moon emits a sigh.
    To dreamland, bid a fond goodbye.
    By winged unicorn, home they fly.
    No tear is shed, though, not a cry
    for all will return there by and by.

    1. Emma Hine

      Edited…

      DREAMLAND

      At twelve o’clock the world stands still.
      No more the toil of day’s treadmill.
      And dreamers with each soft exhale
      begin to translucently pale
      into a deepest darkest sleep
      to which fantasies begin to seep.

      As adults loose their conscious senses
      they see with child-tinted lenses
      and children who’re already there
      join hands and lead without a care,
      their mothers, fathers, teachers too
      towards a world of visions new.

      On tiptoes, down the stairs they creep,
      slide doors ajar and take a peep.
      Outside a moonlit fire-glow
      rainbow guides the way to go.
      The garden, bathed in pale light,
      invites those dreamers to the night.

      With baited breath and hearts a flutter,
      listening to the fairies mutter,
      young and old traverse the arc
      of colours breaking up the dark.
      Beyond the rainbow’s end, no gold
      but pages of storybooks unfold.

      At half past twelve, the world slips by.
      The bright full moon emits a sigh.
      To dreamland, bid a fond goodbye.
      By winged unicorn, home they fly.
      No tear is shed, though, not a cry
      for all will return there by and by.

      1. Emma Hine

        Final edit (sorry, it’s late here!) :/

        DREAMLAND

        At twelve o’clock the world stands still.
        No more the toil of day’s treadmill.
        And dreamers with each soft exhale
        begin to translucently pale
        into a deepest darkest sleep
        to which fantasies begin to seep.

        As adults lose their conscious senses
        they see with child-tinted lenses
        and children who’re already there
        join hands and lead without a care,
        their mothers, fathers, teachers too
        towards a world of visions new.

        On tiptoes, down the stairs they creep,
        slide doors ajar and take a peep.
        Outside a moonlit fire-glow
        rainbow guides the way to go.
        The garden, bathed in pale light,
        invites those dreamers to the night.

        With baited breath and hearts a flutter,
        listening to the fairies mutter,
        young and old traverse the arc
        of colours breaking up the dark.
        Beyond the rainbow’s end, no gold
        but pages of storybooks unfold.

        At half past twelve, the world slips by.
        The bright full moon emits a sigh.
        To dreamland, bid a fond goodbye.
        By winged unicorn, home they fly.
        No tear is shed, though, not a cry
        for all will return there by and by.

  164. James Brush

    TRIGGER

    Today is a battered guitar crafted
    from the light of a new wolf moon
    and renewable Canadian cedar.
    The strings are made of the glow
    of city lights, the rumble of thunder,
    the bitterness of coffee, the itch
    of poison ivy, the smell of gasoline,
    and, well, the sixth string is broken
    but it sounded like the dirt under
    your porch, Billy, at your house on
    birdless Audubon. But with only five
    strings, it’s more a banjo, jangling
    too fast to understand, summoning
    cold front clouds and grokking rain
    with some minor diminished seventh
    chord of gloom, that J-sharp-flat note
    JB spent too many late night hours
    trying to discover between the notes
    of the western scale and the pages of
    his misprinted Bible. And so we will walk
    all through the night, a thousand miles
    and never leave this town, the barbed
    hours picking and strumming that old
    acoustic guitar in the neon pawn shop
    window, the one you swear maybe
    once belonged to some old testament
    angel or maybe even Willie Nelson.

  165. James Von Hendy

    Breakfasts with Marquez

    The last, not many years ago, was like
    The first, a puff of air before the rain

    And wind. Outside the corner window, branches,
    Red with berried pomes, tossed like a girl’s hair.
    A book lay open on my lap, forgotten
    For coffee and the first fat drops of rain.

    What? You though he strode pass the blowsy plum,
    A stocky man in a white shirt that billowed
    In the wind, his curly, close-cropped hair dewed
    With droplets? That was before he sat across
    From me. He leaned forward, his right hand raised
    To his face, one finger resting on his cheek,

    Another curled over his trim mustache, thin
    Lips parted in a smile, eyes dancing with mirth.
    “You don’t believe in family ghosts? Then you
    Don’t believe in history.” Rain drummed down.

    Waxwings dropped to the berries even so
    And ate their fill. Where was I? I drank alone

    On a veranda by a shallow river
    Running over stones in a country of mud,
    The calls of toucans creaking in the trees.
    He came strolling through the gardens, a man

    In white, his crisp shirt snapping in the breeze.
    He sat and pushed up his glasses. Macaws
    Screamed in the distance. I offered him plantains
    And sour cream, but he smiled sadly and held
    Out a palm. “Remember the year of my birth?
    The banana wars?” He made a circle

    With his fingers and thumbs. I might have asked
    What it meant, but there was no time. Already
    It was beginning to rain, and I was
    Alone again save for the hummingbirds

    Sipping nectar from the feeders above
    My head, and flitting through the air like ghosts.

  166. James Rodgers

    It Happened One Night

    According to grandfather,
    it wasn’t evolution,
    a change occurring
    over time.
    One Spring morning,
    when he was eight,
    the entire planet awoke
    to find they now had gills.
    They still could breathe
    through their nose and mouth,
    but they were now
    much better equipped
    to be in water.
    Leaders debated
    whether this was
    an act of God,
    an act of terrorism,
    an act of alien beings,
    or some strange transformation
    caused by what
    we were doing to the planet.
    Nobody could agree
    on a cause,
    still nobody knows,
    but it really doesn’t matter.
    The tides
    have not risen,
    the oceans only up
    by an inch or two,
    no grand plan
    preparing us to swim.
    We just now have gills,
    The only major difference
    being a change in fashion,
    as nobody now
    wants to wear a turtleneck.

  167. intheshadowofthesoul

    Fairy Tale Girls The Real World
    Lydia Flores

    Rapunzel, You will let down your hair
    but they will take their fine tooth combs
    and expose all of your tangles to the sun.
    Your past will keep you in it’s tower but only
    the present will flame it’s fire from the time of
    it’s dragon belly. You will have to save yourself.

    Alice. you will fall into the rabbit hole
    but you have to wake up to tomorrow’s
    falling cards upon your eyelids.
    the shuffled deck holding wild deuces
    and jokers but you know are queen.

    She, with the skin
    white as snow,
    lips red as blood and
    hair as dark as ebony
    other girls will snarl in jealousy
    but you give them the same mirror
    you look upon and tell them there
    is no magic in the glass.
    the truth lies in their own eyes.

    Cinderella, you will have an easy heart
    and they will toss it to their advantage
    There will be no magic pumpkin to carry
    you out into riches and glory but if you
    remain in waiting and do not lose your
    precious glass slipper, love will be yours
    for ever and you shall live happily ever after
    so wait the storm and your prince shall come.

    Ariel, you will not find love in becoming one of them
    stay in your sea and love will become a wave for you.
    You will give up your mermaid fin and they will not teach
    you how to walk with your head held high. You will have
    to learn to run way walk even on hot desert sand while
    the world will send heat straight up through your bones.
    Flinch not and command your own sea.

    You will have to carry your own mirror, sail your own sea
    and weather the storm. The rabbit holes you fall into will
    show you who you really are. You will play the Queen card
    and refuse to eat the forbidden apple for time will give you
    glass slippers if you let down your hair and stand your ground.
    You never have to go looking for it, in the deep forest, for love
    it will find you wherever you are. in your tower, in your sea,
    in your sleep and your dreams. Hold on to your heart.
    They will try to turn love into a maleficent queen
    but you will shove your sword of love into her heart.

    1. intheshadowofthesoul

      Fairy Tale Girls in The Real World
      Lydia Flores

      Rapunzel, You will let down your hair
      but they will take their fine tooth combs
      and expose all of your tangles to the sun.
      Your past will keep you in it’s tower but only
      the present will flame it’s fire from the time of
      it’s dragon belly. You will have to save yourself.

      Alice. you will fall into the rabbit hole
      but you have to wake up to tomorrow’s
      falling cards upon your eyelids.
      the shuffled deck holding wild deuces
      and jokers but you know are queen.

      She, with the skin
      white as snow,
      lips red as blood and
      hair as dark as ebony
      other girls will snarl in jealousy
      but you give them the same mirror
      you look upon and tell them there
      is no magic in the glass.
      the truth lies in their own eyes.

      Cinderella, you will have an easy heart
      and they will toss it to their advantage
      There will be no magic pumpkin to carry
      you out into riches and glory but if you
      remain in waiting and do not lose your
      precious glass slipper, love will be yours
      for ever and you shall live happily ever after
      so wait the storm and your prince shall come.

      Ariel, you will not find love in becoming one of them
      stay in your sea and love will become a wave for you.
      You will give up your mermaid fin and they will not teach
      you how to walk with your head held high. You will have
      to learn to run way walk even on hot desert sand while
      the world will send heat straight up through your bones.
      Flinch not and command your own sea.

      You will have to carry your own mirror, sail your own sea
      and weather the storm. The rabbit holes you fall into will
      show you who you really are. You will play the Queen card
      and refuse to eat the forbidden apple for time will give you
      glass slippers if you let down your hair and stand your ground.
      You never have to go looking for it, in the deep forest, for love
      it will find you wherever you are. in your tower, in your sea,
      in your sleep and your dreams. Hold on to your heart.
      They will try to turn love into a maleficent queen
      but you will shove your sword of love into her heart.

  168. donaldillich

    Fruit

    It was always shared
    between you. Split
    from the tree, given
    with the sweetest motives,
    to reveal flesh to the world.
    To invent clothes, pornography,
    dating sites, diamond rings.
    To create out of whole cloth
    the industry of love. This
    is only the superstructure.
    Always beneath is longing,
    under the picture of lovers
    in a garden. Painted serenity,
    each brush stroke confident
    of its objects. This is what
    true partners see, the ability
    to enter and exit the world,
    an art known only to them.

  169. geetakshi

    A Brutal Weave

    Hallowed halls echo
    with white-cloaked ghosts of ether,
    soundless, they walk in palpable
    grumbling steps,
    their ever-hungry thoughts turning to
    the unfinished business of half-cooked food,
    floating above the pebbles skipped
    on the surface of
    brightly-lit water,
    by children fighting over
    oven-fresh chocolate cookies;
    A pair of tired women stand guard,
    trying to protect their creation from
    unseen, unfelt harm,
    knitting back ceaselessly
    some lost dreams with rough wool:
    a pair of glasses,
    a half-filled
    piece of paper,
    a tiny flower pressed
    in an almost-finished book,
    untitled for ever.

    It is time to leave,
    the children,
    bored of their god-like sport
    turn to find ink-splattered
    figures of wool and smoke
    floting around in the tired hall,
    As the women leave to create some more.

    ©Geetakshi Arora
    April 29, 2014

  170. Mark Danowsky

    The Rental Ark

    Our rented space agreed
    to act as Ark
    while together we would choose
    wiser than Noah alone
    what would remain ours

    Like Noah, some treasures
    would not have to plead
    their case for staying
    while others would require
    well-wrought rationale

    The Game of Life must reverse
    our boredom with it, as the forgotten
    panini maker must conjure
    new recipes, and weights
    learn to lift themselves

  171. creilley

    OF THE MAGICAL AND MUNDANE

    She is not only the pragmatist,
    she is the enchantress.

    From the organizing of paperwork,
    taxes, forms and receipts,
    to reminding me when a birthday is due,
    grounding flights of fancy
    that have no hope of touching sky,
    or reminding me what really matters to me
    with half a glance
    and that chuckle that only she can do,
    her good sense is a benefit
    worth my own weight in gold.

    Yet even as she props me up,
    making certain I am buckled in,
    and poking the flashlight of her curiosity
    into every corner before letting me ride,
    she manages to fire off in my core a set of fireworks,
    strobes, shotflingers, cascades and star-bursts,
    which I feel as bursts of heat,
    warm rockets arcing through me.

    How she can make a conversation
    about mundane drivel
    into a captivating dazzle
    that leaves me trying to memorize her?

    How is it possible
    that her interest in me
    is the most interesting thing I’ve ever seen?

    What liquid magic exists
    in those soft brown eyes
    that grasps my throat and squeezes?

    And please, for the love of my sanity,
    how can this one soul’s approval
    hold my entire being
    in a thousand clutching grips?

  172. mzanemcclellan

    Whippoorwill’s Whistle

    ~
    Awakened from my deep slumber
    by tapping on the window sill,
    wiping sleep from my bleary eyes
    to find a resting whippoorwill.
    ~
    It didn’t ruffle its feathers
    as I came near, looking nonplussed.
    I wrestled the creaking casing
    it just watched at me as I fussed.
    ~
    At last it leapt and took to wing
    camouflaged in the dark night.
    Beckoned by its trilling whistle,
    I watched it vanish from my sight.
    ~
    About to pull the casement closed,
    my heart stilled near to its arrest.
    I saw below on my lush green lawn,
    three garden gnomes dancing abreast.
    ~
    My mouth hung open so widely
    a moth took the invitation.
    By the time I had sputtered out
    I had a gnome infestation.
    ~
    They all laughed uproariously,
    knowing with Fae I’d have no truck.
    I came to the yard, they scattered.
    In pursuit I had little luck.
    ~
    Exhausted I dropped to the ground
    just inside the nearby tree line,
    to find I was ringed by mushrooms
    on a mound beyond space and time.
    ~
    Precisely why I so loathe them,
    I brushed off and rose to my feet.
    Looking for the magic exit
    through which I could make my retreat
    ~
    I turned round twice, spit in my palm
    murmured the old incantation
    then found myself back in my room.
    I am so through with libations.

    ***
    ~ M. Zane McClellan
    ***

    1. mzanemcclellan

      ***CORRECTION***
      It’s just one little word, but you know, “For want of a nail, as shoe was lost …”

      ~
      Awakened from my deep slumber
      by tapping on the window sill,
      wiping sleep from my bleary eyes
      to find a resting whippoorwill.
      ~
      It didn’t ruffle its feathers
      as I came near, looking nonplussed.
      I wrestled the creaking casing
      it just blinked at me as I fussed.
      ~
      At last it leapt and took to wing
      camouflaged in the dark night.
      Beckoned by its trilling whistle,
      I watched it vanish from my sight.
      ~
      About to pull the casement closed,
      my heart stilled near to its arrest.
      I saw below on my lush green lawn,
      three garden gnomes dancing abreast.
      ~
      My mouth hung open so widely
      a moth took the invitation.
      By the time I had sputtered out
      I had a gnome infestation.
      ~
      They all laughed uproariously,
      knowing with Fae I’d have no truck.
      I came to the yard, they scattered.
      In pursuit I had little luck.
      ~
      Exhausted I dropped to the ground
      just inside the nearby tree line,
      to find I was ringed by mushrooms
      on a mound beyond space and time.
      ~
      Precisely why I so loathe them,
      I brushed off and rose to my feet.
      Looking for the magic exit
      through which I could make my retreat
      ~
      I turned round twice, spit in my palm
      murmured the old incantation
      then found myself back in my room.
      I am so through with libations.

      ***
      ~ M. Zane McClellan
      ***

  173. MaryAnn1067

    Grown to Metal

    standing on the threshold the
    bricks dissolve back to redthick mud
    around her ears, those ears
    a hum of frogs from the
    forest, her limbs grown
    to metal, the eyes of
    sapphire plucked out, the
    ruby from the circlet
    on her head prised away,
    faulted, faulty form
    melted down, to make the
    wires used for animal-
    cages, trapping first, her
    voice, trapping second,
    her spirit, trapping
    third, her heart, all
    put on display for the
    ticket-purchasing-public, words parsed
    and strained while they
    search for offence and
    strike at the cages with
    pale, ineffectual hands

  174. Monique

    Closure

    Sometimes it happens like a wall exploded by dynamite
    With ashes and rubble and debris left behind

    Sometimes it happens it ends in tears
    With so much pain being carried along

    Sometimes it ends in the loudest silence
    With words fighting to be said

    Sometimes it arrives incompletely
    With emptiness and ambiguity

    Sometimes it has to be created
    With rituals and healing

    Ideally, we would all have closure
    But realistically, it’s a matter of chance

    Eventually, we all get it somehow
    Because we’re all just stories in the end

  175. lshannon

    Imagined and Remembered

    My youngest years shaped by pixies,
    flying to the lost boys,
    wandering through wardrobes
    in a wondrous, dangerous, compelling
    landscape so different from my own.
    No limitations to the adventures
    of the red headed girl- writer and poet,
    wandering the world of Prince Edward Island.
    Forlorn velvet rabbits made real.
    Fables and Fairy tales-
    That magical warp and weft
    patterned the fabric of my mind.

    Only child living inside the covers,
    leaves and decorated end pages.
    Thick tomes propped it small hands
    Falling asleep while tumbling down
    dark endless adventure holes.
    Eat this, drink that- and grow
    to amazing heights, as the balloon
    blew me over kansas to the kill the witch.
    There is no place like home,
    mothers’ reading voice.
    Library journeys, and book shelves
    high as rapunzels’ tower, before tangled.
    Because the book is always
    better than the movie.

    Now decades later when life is too much,
    relive, reread and revel in a world
    gifted by wordsmiths more magical
    than the most skilled elves. The path
    illuminated on painted maps,
    behind my closet and under
    the baseboards etched by childhood hand,
    By my adult mind never forgotten.

  176. priyajane

    Magical Night
    Its a night when the full moon
    is close to heaven
    and leaves its pearly glow on leaves
    that are half awake, now confused
    reflecting thirsty sun
    Its a night when empty promises feel real
    and unexpected shadows
    show their troll faces
    in the sonnets of the wind
    adding scents of Arabian nights
    that sparkle with faraway tales
    and shimmering veils
    Its a night when anything is possible
    and you just breathe in its fantasy
    for real

  177. Walt Wojtanik

    NARCOLEPSY

    Narcolepsy,you’re my poison
    you bring sleep to my eyes,
    anywhere, anytime
    it’s really no surprise.
    An unexpected catnap
    is all you’ll let me steal.
    I do not mind the quick respite,
    but really, not behind the wheel.

    Where’s insomnia when I need it?

  178. Ashley Marie Egan

    Without Magic
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    Dear Friend,
    what has become of humanity?
    Life is cold and bitter in taste;
    with a cruel unrelenting touch.
    Nothing is easy and
    everything has a cost.
    How did we lose the magic;
    that little light in our eyes?
    When did we decide to fall in line?
    To stop dreaming?
    And why?
    Please tell me why?
    Is that what adulthood does?
    If I know the answer,
    maybe I can start again.
    Dream a new dream,
    find a new step,
    and discover away to return the light.
    That little glow that proves we’re alive,
    because real life needs magic too.
    Without it,
    we are lost
    wondering
    souls.

    Broken Men
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    They are broken men:
    with burning wings
    wet cheeks
    and bloody jeans.
    They are full of grace,
    but they have fallen,
    in love.
    No magic they possess,
    could put their love to rest,
    but they are not alone.
    For they are loved.
    They are one.

  179. lshannon

    Rethinking the Red Umbrella

    There is nothing romantic about the rain.
    It is wet, and my feet get soaked.
    Glasses fog over and the traffic stalls,
    but we wax poetic about soft sounds
    and we imagine lovers
    under a shared, red umbrella.

    No mud marrs these idyllic scenes,
    the splatter of a car passing by too close.
    In fantasy imagined, the rain is soft and soothing.
    Where is the uncomfortable cold drizzle?
    The soaking, soul-chilling downpour?
    Really, you poets need to work a little harder
    to honor the real nature and influence.
    Rain the giver of life and prosperity,
    The bringer of blossoms and reliever.
    Scorching heat vanquisher.
    Banks overflowing and towns ruined.
    Spring harbinger, Winter precursor.

    The poets in the flood plain.
    More realistic in the fantasy.
    The rising rivers and streams making
    Rainy nights a warning not a tryst.

    The Poet in the desert,
    More realistic in the wanting.
    The dream of rain less a sweeping romance,
    more a tale of unrequited love.

  180. hojawile

    A Pot of Groan

    I need a new pot.
    and I really can’t stand
    to have it mismatched with that old pan.
    To buy a new set costs not such a lot.
    I’m sure that I can
    fit it all somewhere.
    I just need a plan.
    Oh, please don’t stare
    at me like I’m mad.
    Leaving the store
    I surely am glad
    I had money to spare
    for a new umbrella,
    as I noted it’s started to rain.
    You really ought not to complain
    that I have five umbrellas at home.
    Home rhymes with gnome,
    which reminds me that I ought to buy
    more gardening tools, just in case.
    Exactly what do you mean by that face?
    Now come along, Dear.
    While we’re out we should steer
    over there to buy
    one more packs of those pens.
    I do like to share with my friends.
    Do not tell me that I will forget.
    I surely will not, you can bet.
    Now what was I saying?
    What’s that? You’re praying?
    that the attic wont’ fall through to the cellar?
    What a horrible feller!
    To say such a thing.
    I treat you like a king!
    In fact, you need another coffee mug
    in case that shelf comes down with a thud
    ‘neath the weight of those cups.
    Why aren’t you going in?
    What do you mean you can’t fit?
    Oh, oh, oh!
    Where did all this come from?
    It must have been that impish garden gnome!

  181. Shaindel Beers

    First Flight

    For my son, who confused “airplanes” and “babies”

    When the baby learned to fly, he flew
    over wind-tree and grass-green. Neigh-
    horse and moo-cow. He stopped
    over the river like an osprey
    looking for swish-fish. The wind
    through the canyon tickled his tree-
    toes. He learned to nap
    in the willow’s branches like
    a sleepy snake. At night, he would
    feel the pull of the sinking sun
    and fly for his mother-nest. Home.

  182. Louise Findlay

    Title: Magical Realms

    The many worlds,
    Mystical, magical,
    Unique as the rest.

    The different rules,
    Gravity, optional,
    Life, a necessity.

    Spell work, bound,
    In the blood.

    Elementals, rest,
    At the heart.

    Runes, cast,
    At the sky.

    Magic used,
    For better or worse.
    Is a tool,
    For better or worse.

    Realms corrupted,
    By Magic.
    Realms blossomed,
    By Magic.

    Elementals keep the order,
    The realms survive once more.

  183. azkbc

    Help! I can’t find the day that listed the link to the quick way to see one’s poems that have been posted. And I didn’t save the link. Could someone share it with me, please? Thanks in advance.

    1. grcran

      here ya go: to thank Anders Bylund for continuing to make his poetry challenge search tool available to everyone. Go to http://gowrite.me/pad.pl?writer=&day=year_2014, find the name you want in the dropdown list (contains all the usernames) and click the “Search!” button. There’s even an option to get the results in pure text–in case you haven’t been saving your poems on your computer. Thanks, Anders!

  184. MMC

    When He Was Seven,

    your son imitated the moon’s
    pickpocket ways. Stolen candy,
    stolen love, what’s the difference?
    Hold it up to the light, free it
    from judgments of right
    and wrong, that’s the real theft.
    Carve something into something else
    with diamond facets of belief
    and dreams, so much more fun
    to explore than perfection. Your son/
    your sun expects no less than for you
    to eliminate the dark.

  185. Sally Jadlow

    A Poem Rooted in the Real World

    Though many don’t see reality,
    time is coming to a close
    when we will measure time no more
    in eternity.

    Every eye will see Him
    coming in the clouds
    with a mighty shout
    of the archangel
    and a deafening trumpet blast.

    Those who have trusted Jesus
    will arise from their graves
    and His living sheep
    will join Him in the sky.

    I await with eagerness.
    Perhaps today will be the day.

  186. lionetravail

    “The Faerie Queene’s Daughter”
    by David M. Hoenig

    I know she’s clearly royalty-
    her crown and scepter prove it so.
    Ethereal in pink chiffon,
    she moves like the wind to and fro.

    She’s there, one moment, then she’s not,
    I know she’s clearly royalty!
    She charms, she laughs, enchanting me
    to swear eternal loyalty.

    I see her sometimes, now and then,
    when timing’s good and lighting’s right.
    I know she’s clearly royalty,
    she’s Princess and sweet pea, alright!

    I’ve known her since her birth, years since;
    my niece is magical to me.
    I’d give her Kingdom’s key because
    I know she’s clearly royalty!

    1. PressOn

      This is a perfect use of the form, though I admit to forgetting its name. The sliding refrain, as I like to think on it, has the effect of an ongoing tease: magical, if you will.

  187. candy

    Gram

    Death sat softly at
    the foot of her bed
    waiting for her soul
    to surrender
    We’re 95 years too
    long to keep vigil
    He slid closer to her side
    she closed her eyes took
    his hand and was gone

  188. ASperryConnors

    (Had fun today, learning the names used for ‘animal groups’-somehow they appeal to real.)

    Creatures are birthed in a dark, dark den. They whinny up the night
    As a storm whips the air, a tumultuous swirl, a frenzy of Ferrets and Mites

    From where I sit, window views are Galapagos and thriving on the page
    My pen is drunk as a vineyard Snail, my cowardice, over-spinning Turtled rage

    A nervous flutter of Fledglings on a puddle of Ducks in a desert full of Lapwing-ing
    A globule of Minnows, a Polliwog knot, a bundle of Bullfrogs-a-singing

    A sledge of Heron wing, pound with a sound, a thundering call of the Bay
    There is a cackle of Jackal on a prowl-party with Puma, scolding a flock of Jay

    A bloom of Jellyfish along the beach; a needled array of pink hedgehogs
    Barefoot and beaming the man child unfolds a littering whimper of cat-dogs

    The implausible Gnu, and a tribe of Goats, cavort with a horde of Gnats
    Over barren Mules named Molly and John is a leafing of Doves and Bats

    In the court of Kangaroo, a bank of Dragons draw, a kettle of black Hawks dying
    A nye pleasant Pheasant, a bouquet of Chicks, a red gulp of Turkey flying

    Piglets they travel in drifts and droves and some are parcels of bacon
    The Porcupine joins The Prickle for lunch as the Prairie Dog Coterie’s forsaken

    Jack and Jill Rabbit unleash domestic herds, Raccoon’s nursery factors masks,
    Ravens, they feather unkindness, as Rats horde in mischief plagued packs

    Salmon flesh in a group of scale runners, Sea Lion teams beat the sand
    Sharks swarm in shivers, Stingray’s of fever, as Sea Urchins develop the land

    There is a wealth of Walrus in a pod, a Whale gam is just south of the border
    Sandpipers have a fling, a Snail IS the hood, and Stork mustered is something you order

    Sheep fold sweaters in flocks as Spiders cluster their Fly Candy
    A Grey Squirrel is a scurry dray, and Penguin tuxedos are dandy

    The clouds, now a charm of Yellow Warblers fly over Conshohocken
    As a tide of magpies and tittering chicks arrest the travels of my pen

    Yaks and Yetis eat spaghetti on rafts
    Zebras zip with zeal on savannas

    Can’t resist the TAIL end,
    A pellagrous snail
    Who eats nothing
    But green bananas

  189. grcran

    The Magic of Plants
    a paean to the plant kingdom

    The xylem the phloem
    A plant is a poem

    Stomata underside the leaf
    Like little smart mouths
    Opening closing knowing
    Oxygen, carbon dioxide

    Rooted yet moving
    Leaning to the light

    Floral splendors
    Sporal spreaders

    Leaf colours change
    As chlorophyll bouquet uncovers

    Trapping the energy of life
    Sent from the sun
    Transforming it into food
    No animal can do this feat…

    except through a plant.
    Sow… Yes, you too, can
    plant magic.
    Grow your garden.

    by gpr crane

  190. Linda Goin

    Casting for Hope, Catching Despair

    My nets accidentally caught natures
    I tried not to take. I set my longlines
    for lightheartedness and I snagged dismay.
    Traps set for sanctity yielded sorrow.

    A team of ancestors spent several years
    huddled together to hash out issues.
    Their outcome points to several ways I harmed
    my objectives with inadequate wish.

    It seems the plans aren’t about one person
    with a single push in a single place.
    The problem is how our now affects next.
    Do not go alone. Do not go without,

    do not use tricks with weights and hooks attached
    in hot spots where conflicts arise, they said.
    When you try to swim and breathe, keep your head.
    When you sound out, pull in peace and stay fed.

    They published their findings in plain language.
    New maps highlight places where we might meet
    incidental brushes with repugnance.
    Fishing has improved incrementally.

    My casting now holds opulence, oozing
    unwanted essences into ether.
    Every fishing nation works as one now,
    catching more hope and releasing despair.

    1. TomNeal

      A team of ancestors spent several years
      huddled together to hash out issues.

      This text seems to be a masterpiece of understatement (as above).

      “A team of ancestors” In my world that would mean parents, aunts, uncles- offering unsolicited advice. The understated tone ramps up the tension.

      The problem is how our now affects next.
      Do not go alone. Do not go without,

      This seems a polite threat, or at least pressure.

      The controlled tone is perfect.

    2. PressOn

      “The problem is how our now affects next.” This poem is not for cursory reading; it invites thought, and has me thinking. Wonderfully penned.

        1. Linda Goin

          Unity! ha! Tom and William, you flatter me. Thank you. I was reading Joy Harjo’s autobiography last night, and I was entranced with the way she wrote of speaking with her ancestors (or having them speak through her). I would like to think the ancestors were wise and loving, but hey — one never knows. I use control to reign them in. =) You two are wonderful. Thank you!

    3. k_weber

      you really reeled me in and i am grateful.

      “Do not go alone. Do not go without, // do not use tricks with weights and hooks attached / in hot spots where conflicts arise, they said. / When you try to swim and breathe, keep your head.”

      i feel like these are words need to be cross-stitched on something. not “home sweet home” or “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” but this. i wish someone had advised me in these words long ago. so well-stated as a warning and a warmth.

      the whole poem flows with the fishing analogy weaving in a stream with your choice scenery, people and history.

      it was so nice. oh honey, it was paradise – lou reed

    4. Anvanya

      Oh, dear – how many times have my husband and I spoken about who won the gene-pool in our two families. What a great way to express how we are so very affected by what and who have gone before us. Thank you.

  191. break_of_day

    we are,
    at heart,
    a tragedy.
    we are
    the prince who
    abandons the maiden,
    the mad daughter
    who leaps to
    her death.
    we are
    death itself,
    condemnation
    personified.
    we are the
    monster
    behind the door
    who we try
    to push out,
    to keep on
    the other side.
    we try to
    protect
    ourselves,
    to proclaim our glory,
    to renew our minds
    with our own
    corrupt
    understanding.
    we are
    doomed
    if we look only
    to ourselves
    for salvation,
    and only to our
    fellow
    fallen
    creatures for
    absolution.
    we are
    sanctified
    only by one
    perfect and
    incorruptible
    whose reality
    is ours for the
    taking
    by his
    outstretched
    hand.

  192. taylor graham

    REALITIES OF GARDEN

    Look what’s growing in this pot –
    where the red geranium lived a double
    life-span, two summers of glorious
    scarlet blooms before it died last winter.
    Then the dead pot sat out in sun
    and rain untended, and look
    what sprouted. You say a weed? Look
    closer. If this isn’t a tomato,
    I’ve never had a garden. Do you think
    a bird dropped its seed in passing?
    Such tiny seeds, such a small pot so far
    from where tomatoes grow.
    The odds are infinitesimal. Maybe
    an angel came in the night and left us
    a tomato-child. No? Or else,
    maybe a fairy waved its wand and –
    OK, you won’t believe in magic,
    much less miracles. Might we agree
    on mystery?

    1. grcran

      not the post-modern-poet thing-to-say, but I think of the tomato occurrence in your poem as evidence of God… very nice poem btw… reminds me of the rose bush I planted for my wife, which bloomed for the very first time on the morning she died…

  193. shellaysm

    “Intricacies”

    (Inspired by words from Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

    There’s no magic in realism. . . .or is there?
    Guess it depends.
    If you believe not,
    allow me to introduce my imaginary friend.

    Now, make no mistake. . . .
    if possible such a grand feat,
    this chap was more than real;
    We just never got to officially meet.

    In fairness to him, I never existed either,
    (Translation: I admired him far afar)
    Yet, to my clearest perception,
    he was larger than life, by far.

    Clothed always in a dark suit,
    his feet in freshly shined wing tips.
    Nested upon leathered face, a perpetual smile
    and the moist sheen of waxed lips.

    When he’d share a tale or random wisdom,
    his callused hands rubbed together, a tic.
    He reminded me of a wild magician,
    about to pull off his final trick.

    In respect of the ladies, he’d remove his felt feathered hat,
    dust off its brim and give the peak a primp.
    A cane seamlessly taking its burden,
    he walked with a proud sort of limp.

    He simply brought joy to many–strangers and
    friends alike–giving his time freely to their care.
    If presence were measurable by weight,
    you’d say, for others, he was fully there.

    To hear him talk was such a treat.
    He told folks he was getting a place in the high rise,
    waving to signal either across town or some far off land
    (like one he’d surely visited) this man, worldly wise.

    And so, you’d imagine
    (as he probably intended)
    if only hearing his talk
    this home a lofty apartment quite splendid.

    I saw in him a faith-filled optimist
    who needed to tell no lies;
    You wouldn’t either
    if seeing the world through his eyes.

    I suppose–if truth be told–
    he may have shed false (or near) lies,
    a time or two,
    just skimming over the why’s.

    You see, what most of us
    daily take for granted,
    he clearly lacked
    yet never recanted.

    Until their metal would jingle
    coins in his pocket he’d tickle.
    Reality, I later learned was
    they were his last dime and nickel.

    In the end, his life’s story
    (aside those he told during)
    was laced with hidden intricacies.
    Neither was nothing near boring.

    It wasn’t until two days passed
    his unexpected leaving
    that I learned the truth (depending
    on which you value) about him, disbelieving.

    Turns out, there was no house,
    car or money. No family to now fret.
    Yet in my memory, he’ll always be
    the richest man I ever not-met.

    He had nothing,
    if taking the outside tour;
    but if spirits equalled wealth,
    he had (as deserved) so much, much more.

    To be rich without money or poor with money;
    Given the choice, now, which would you choose?
    Live your life motivated for more. We are the experiences
    which we allow ourselves, so don’t let yourself lose.

    Michele K. Smith

  194. Walt Wojtanik

    NO ONE TRICK POET

    Wouldn’t you know it?
    You spend too much time in one place
    and your face becomes so familiar
    that you become a pillar; stone faced
    and holding up the rest of the platform.
    Your intent was to coddle and nurture
    giving future laureates the drive
    to arrive at the podium.

    But, you changed views
    choosing to branch from the poet tree
    and see a slightly bigger picture.
    You had been a fixture in your small pond,
    but this move goes way beyond
    diving in with both feet. Seated at your
    keyboard, you can afford to flash
    some fiction putting your diction to rest

    penning your best shorts of a sort,
    finding their root where the footlights
    beckoned. You would have reckoned
    you’d find your old seat in the theater
    of broken dreams. It seems you haven’t
    lost it, but the cost of straying is playing
    on your sordid soul. The “play’s the thing”
    and you sing with the words you bring.

    Here’s where it veers from your reality!
    The banality of life lies in the shortness
    thereof, and above the horizon, other
    dreams fester, pestering you to a new
    position where your compositions began.
    You ran the gamut of worded wizardry,
    and long to just go home, no more to roam.
    but you know you will venture long after
    your dentures fall out. Wave your wand.
    Swing your clout and perform your one trick… for now.

  195. break_of_day

    you take the known,
    the mundane and the tragic,
    and you add it to the page,
    swirl with your magic pen
    and retell our story
    with dragons and heroes

  196. jakkels

     Magic Reality

    The crystal sea flashed it’s white moustache 

    At the girls playing ball on the beach 

    The golden sand like a magic playground 

    Reflected sun like concealed stage lighting 

    But then a discordant note crept in 

    Two gangster types swaggered up 

    They stood eyeing the babes on the beach

    And their ugly thoughts showed plain. 

    Then with a start they looked at the bench 

    Where the Sargent and Constable sat 

    With guilt on their faces they slunk away 

    And all was peaceful again.   

    Purrath stretched out on the cool wall 

    Flashed it’s gaze at the scene below 

     On the made ledge below two Humain sat

    With their aura of certainty 

    And further below near the water that growls 

    Females were fishing for energy 

    Tossing an orb lightly into the air  

    for others to toss back again 

    Hiss came along with their parastic clouds 

    And saw the female prey 

    At once they pooled their clouds into a mouth 

    And launched it like a funnel at the energy feeders 

    Dancing around on the beach 

    Quick as a flash Purrath fashioned a bolt 

    Threw it past the Humain below 

    The Hiss recoiled as it shattered their spell 

    And slunk away as befitted their kind 

    Satisfied, Purrath settled down again 

    Satisfied all was well on his beat

    1. hojawile

      Loved how the “sea flashed its white moustache!” Intriguing poem. Looked up “Purrath and “humain.” I’m still bewildered about Purrath, as I found it only to be a location in Austria, which made sense with your first use of the word. Definitely sensed a combining of realism and magic.
      Thanks for the inspiration, though I have no poem forming in my own mind as yet.

      One little tip from one who is a better speller than a poet…”its” needs no apostrophe unless you are contracting the words “it is.”

  197. Walt Wojtanik

    UNDER HIS SPELL

    In the land of sleight of hand
    the wizard works his magic.
    You’d swear you’ve seen this trick before,
    since his wondrous skills are in demand.
    His prestidigitation has you hooked
    as he waves his magic wand,
    and as close as you follow, you can not see
    where this sleight of hand will land.
    The man defies all logic,
    you’d swear you’ve seen this trick before.
    But still, you’ll confirm his illusions are grand.

    ***Developing a new “form” to celebrate the magical aspect of the prompt. We’ll call it Swengali. It hinges solely on the rhyme scheme of the “magic word”: A-B-R-A-C-A-D-A-B-R-A. There is no set meter although I’m working on it. There is a repeating refrain – “R”. I should have a mystical/magical theme.

      1. grcran

        oh Walt, wow, I like your new form, and your poem! plus, I enjoyed your witty self-response to your own typo… wait, I’m gonna invent a new term, just for that… let’s see: self-degradation typo 1… plus, I’m writing a Swengali, too (Could we call it a Houdini instead? Svengali’s kinda evil… Houdini was just… well… probably egomaniacal and insane, a true American)

        1. grcran

          Disappeared Magician

          A The rabbit came out of the hat.
          b He’s looking the worse for the wear.
          r Magician was banished somewhere.
          a The non-vanished rabbit fell flat.
          c We worry the crowd will thin out.
          a Magician wears a cowboy hat,
          d some rabbit fur glued on his boots.
          a The new trick began rat-a-tat.
          b A warlock did lurk. Unaware,
          r Magician was banished somewhere.
          A He never returned. That was that.

  198. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 29 Realism/Magical poem

    Transformation

    So sweet
    on my tongue,
    his kisses
    stained me,
    so when it was over
    I left on his porch
    a pint of blueberries,
    and perhaps he wondered
    why I left them
    or him,
    but we had to consume them
    before their season
    was done,
    or they’d wither
    and harden,
    too bitter
    to love.

  199. Karintha Valentine

    RIVER

    River ties down the tarp and won’t let me look under.
    You really don’t want to, she teases.
    I don’t, but I hate how the knots hold me.

    River sweeps everything down home.
    River lies down in my hand and sleeps.
    River lies.

    River says Nigger Hole signifies
    sandbars where black people once spread their towels
    and watched children play in her currents.

    River says Nigger Hole signifies where
    the oss-man shoved blacks down her banks:
    Crack of a pistol. A boot to the backbone.

    No dry bones down here, River sings.
    Nothing down here but a long time ago
    where the knots hold me.

    Knotted in River’s rushes am I,
    folded into her stealth, her refusal to loosen
    the bones I know eddy

    as deep as my fear,
    my forgetfulness. Ghosts
    fingering my bare toes,

    their eyes
    staring up from the bottomless
    story, the silt where

    I feel minnows nibble
    my toes. How I hated to stand still
    and let them, the bottom

    unsettled as flesh when
    the moment becomes my mother’s
    hand pulling me back,

    though I know
    she sits filing her nails
    on the riverbank.

  200. Eibhlin

    Inspired by a mosaic at Monti Tiburtini Metro station, Rome, of which you can see a little glimpse here (not my photo or website!): http://www.initialdescent.com/iditaly/idroma-characters/

    Going down to the Underground
    I must pass those hunchbacked thieves
    in black peaked caps,
    that headless priest and that tail-less horse,
    that staring owl and that nail-marked hand,
    and on and on –
    I can’t, I can’t!

    If it gets too black
    there’s a shiny blade –
    to slit my wrists?
    But wait – there’s a mushroom there
    with its head in the sky.
    The magic mushroom
    will take me away
    from all this underground black.

  201. Elizabeth Koch

    Mother

    adrenaline, fear
    mask reality
    of time and pain

    joy swaddled
    in flannel
    ten fingers, ten toes
    the prayer come to life

    the adrenaline recedes
    pain returns
    and the fear remains
    gripping a mother’s heart
    to her last breath

  202. LizMac

    Magic

    Magic is simply the search for deeper meaning,
    The hope of seeing farther.

    As we move through our lives
    In the sub-regions of the soul,
    Through brutal, grinding reality
    That erodes truth, beauty, and hope,
    We strive to prime our senses
    To reach out and grasp at something other
    – Something to carry us beyond the visible,
    Ineluctable arrangement of atoms and molecules
    – Some suggestion of
    Impossible purpose deeply hidden.

    Poets, ancient masters of alchemic arts,
    Have seen this always,
    Searching sand grains and wild flowers,
    And deep interfusions that link
    The sordid to the sublime
    Across planes paralleled,
    Discovering gentleness quivering
    Inside suffering things.*
    They capture magic that
    Moves through moments
    With such infinite speed,
    We rarely notice.
    And their words drop down to us
    Like heaven’s petals,
    Feeding our souls,
    Keeping possibility alive.

    [*Nod of thanks to: William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence", William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey", and T.S. Eliot's "Preludes"]

  203. PressOn

    NOCTILUCENT MAGIC

    High and white in sable blues,
    a cloud is bright and laced with hues:

    oranges blaze and purples fade;
    pinks amaze and greens parade.

    It throbs till grey obscures its spasm
    and colors throb one last orgasm

    before the blackness reigns on high,
    save for tears as stars creep by.

    William Preston

    1. TomNeal

      This is wonderful. I’d never hear of noctilucent clouds- not much of a meteorologist. Now having looked at some photographs, I’d say you have perfectly described these clouds. Thank you.

    2. Linda Goin

      AH-hA! I have your name! All this time I’ve been calling you “PressOn,” because I didn’t know you were “William.” Thank you. As for the poem, I’ve never seen the word “noctilucent.” Wonderful. And, I love how you equate the sunset with an orgasm’s spasm. Succulent. All of it.

  204. DanielAri

    “Catch of the day”

    Two twenties and a ten swam
    into my wallet to spawn
    a clutch of ones. Hamilton
    hatched coffee, a scone and twin
    tip tickets. A shoeshine jam

    gypsy spun quips and questions,
    caught three singles on his lines.
    My old sneakers looked quite fine
    darting in nutrient streams,
    quick and shiny in the scrum.

    Species of trade lay eggs fast
    and unfastened. The current
    that feeds is the one that kills,
    so leather octopi rent
    rather than buy the sunken

    towers on Montgomery,
    plying deep as a penthouse.

    DA

  205. RuthNott

    A Friend with a Gun

    You don’t need the movies anymore
    To be frightened by evil and rage.
    You need only to watch the TV news
    Or read the newspaper’s front page.
    Our children are the demons and monsters
    Without need of a writer or script.
    They are plotting and planning their moves
    As their bullets and knives are ripped
    Through the bodies of fellow students…
    Victims of mad, twisted minds
    And no one knows why they do it.
    They can’t see the clues or the signs.
    How can we be raising such monsters?
    Are we blind to their needs and their pain,
    Unable to see how they suffer
    And just cannot deal with the strain?
    We need to pay more attention.
    We need to listen to what they won’t say.
    I know parenting is no easy task
    So ask for help if there’s no other way!
    Our schools should be places of safety,
    Places to learn and have fun,
    Not tremble in fear for your life
    As you stare down a friend with a gun!
    Dear Lord, I pray for your mercy
    For your healing of their spirits and minds.
    Without you there is no hope for our children
    And their demons will win every time.

    ©2014 by Ruth Nott

  206. feywriter

    A Child’s Truth

    Mama,
    can you smell?
    my teddy bathed in wildflowers

    Mama,
    can you feel?
    this rock has a heartbeat

    Mama,
    can you hear?
    the flap of dragonwings

    Mama,
    can you see?
    the fairy sitting in the tree

    Mama,
    can you taste?
    there’s magic in my lemonade

    Mama,
    did you know?
    an angel watches over me

    by Mary W. Jensen

  207. beachanny

    This is the second installment in a series of magical poems I am writing. The first installment is here:
    http://beachanny.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-first-adventure-of-annabelle-jean.html

    THE SECOND ADVENTURE OF ANNABELLE JEAN

    When we left Annabelle Jean, she was wearing the juggler’s pointed hat.
    She and her cat named James had jumped into that small yellow plane

    (although, of course,  she didn’t need one to fly).  She was eager to meet the
    dashing young pilot who was scraping the sky.  She strapped herself in before

    he took her into a spin which she and James found exhilarating.  Turns out the plane 
    was magical explained the pilot who told her his name was Stanley Marsipal.

    Stan was full of grins; he made her giggle when he’d begin to tell her the tricks
    the plane could do. It seems it was built to race in space and flew as fast as the

    stars could shine their lights through the Milky Way. The galaxy was filled with clouds 
    which were very proud as the stacked themselves up around the nebulas

    that shone within. Annabelle Jean was very keen to see all the sights with pilot
    Stan and after a while he held her hand. She smiled to herself as they outraced

    the lights that glowed like candles in the night. She asked if his home was Earth.
    He shook his head no and said he’d come far, his home was in the caves of Mars.

    Then out of a cumulus, a flame appeared which soon became a ring of fire.
    It seemed to be ominous and full of ire. As they sought to escape the flying circle,

    a dragon’s head took shape. The circle became a trail of burning ether.
    She looked at Stan and at James but neither knew what in the wide universe

    they could do to avoid or hinder the beast that had set its sight on them and
    their plane. Could it be that he was planning to have them all for his feast?

    Just at that moment the plane began to choke, slowing down because of the
    dragon’s smoke. What would become of the trio now, high in spatial clouds?

    © Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.29.14

  208. JRSimmang

    TRACTOR SEATS

    Some time before the sun came up, we sacrificed our first chicken, Dolly, because the night before she made so much racket we had no other choice. Come to find out, she dropped several eggs, all of which were red-shelled and should have been brown or white or blue or something other than blood-red. So dad grabbed her by the neck and twisted it, gruesome and quick, and the chick dropped dead. My sister screamed at me, then at dad, and finally at mom, who was letting our little brother sleep on her tit, before she finally went inside and cried herself back to sleep.

    Well I’ll be damned if the chicken didn’t just roll over and die. That sonofabitch continued to kick around so violently that it cut dad’s hand up, the crimson oozing over each of his knuckles, and the words pouring out of his mouth so fast that all I could do was stand there frozen, recalling all those things he told me never to repeat, while he tried to chase down that stupid chicken. My little brother still feeding from mom’s breast.

    Soon, that chicken’s head was rolling over and over in my hands, the glassy eyes perched like little moons staring off into some foreign galaxy, pondering where it was that the stars fucked up, and all I could think about was how that tonight, we were going to pepper her body and serve her with potatoes au gratin.

    -JR Simmang

  209. Janet Rice Carnahan

    PULSE SENSATION

    Love took her by the hand
    Guiding her to trust
    The quickening pulse
    The inherent yes
    The other match lit
    In heaven
    For her to experience
    Because it was an
    Opportunity to know
    Love exits in other dimensions
    Without hindrances
    Found in this heavy world
    Of non- stop density
    Intensity of sameness
    Boredom
    Repetition
    Reality
    That simply cannot
    Will not open
    Explore
    Imagine
    Anything other
    Than itself
    As if too afraid
    It will realize is isn’t
    As real as it thinks it is
    And what recourse would it have
    But to change
    Change into what
    If not it’s same sense of reality
    It has always known
    So love ushered in
    A new, higher vibration
    An instant joy
    Of recognition
    Of cognition
    Illumination
    Imagination
    New creation
    A magical touch
    Such
    That she had never known
    Outside of any given definition
    Rendition
    Inhibition
    Until she opened
    Her heart
    Finding that spark
    The inner flame
    Never the same
    The true soul fire
    Meant to inspire
    Aspire all to find it
    Kindle it
    Have it start
    In the heart
    Of another
    Who could feel it, too,
    And from there it grew . . .

    To you!

  210. Geoffrey

    Listen:
    there is another universe,
    a world next door,
    where gravity pulls upward
    and people walk on the ceilings of their houses.
    And you and I,
    we’re in that universe, too,
    and we think it’s nothing unusual,
    just the way things are,
    the way things always were.

    Nothing is different, really.
    Of course when you’re outside
    you always have to hang on.
    How could you imagine otherwise?

    And sometimes
    people just let go,
    and fall upward
    into the sky.

  211. Janet Rice Carnahan

    THE REAL FEEL – HAIKUS TO REALITY

    Tree shadows create
    A true and welcoming shade
    Grounding us to earth

    Dreams can wake us up
    Fearful, scary fantasy
    Time then for a bath

    Seeing a crown there
    We are now the queen of life
    No thrill, pay the bill

    Watch the surfers ride
    The highest wave you can see
    With your toes feel sand

    Pay attention now
    Are you aware of yourself?
    Say yes and repeat

  212. Janet Rice Carnahan

    CAN YOU IMAGINE – HAIKUS TO THE IMAGINATION

    Leaves calling your name
    “Come ride with me on a breeze
    There are heights to see”

    Starlight shines to us
    When it is time to fly up
    Our spirit soars high

    Ocean waves beat time
    To our own heart beat inside
    You’re the ebb and flow

    Feel light all around
    Trust you do not stand alone
    Surrender to joy

    Imagine heaven
    Wants your heart to open up
    To sing a love song

  213. AleathiaD

    Quiet Deaths

    There are times when truth
    makes the heart crumble,
    cells of the pump die
    and disintegrate silently
    until one day it shows its face
    and the destruction of its creation.

    If you are lucky
    this epiphany happens in sleep,
    the seizing vessels, the errant electrical
    malfunction, then the slacking of limbs;
    the eternal sleep, the forever nap,
    the end of personal suffering.

    These quiet deaths leave doubt
    and anger in their wake. The injustice
    of being robbed a last chance for reconciliation,
    a last goodbye, a last I love you.
    It leaves a bitterness you think will always
    live on the tongue and somehow finds its way
    to live in your heart until your time has come.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 29 Realism

    I’ve Lost Everything

    for Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Only you can make the ghosts
    come to my bedside, drenched
    in memories of gold over six
    generations contained in a single life.

    Only you can weave the beauty
    of the sun’s color into the meaning
    of death and suffering itself, butterflies
    lighting the bushes wherever I go.

    Only you can make cholera
    the meaning of heartbreaking love,
    you make every weak moment
    a symbol of the amazing powers in us.

    Only you can grow copper hair
    deep in the walls of a tomb;
    only you make death after death
    something tangible and wanted.

    Only you can write the words
    involved and sewn into the fiber
    of every being, the venous structure
    that carries life to us all, and hold me
    sobbing out loud as if I’ve lost everything.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 29 Magic

  214. Janet Rice Carnahan

    NIGHT FLIGHT

    There is a silent tune
    Coming from the moon
    Listen, you’ll hear it soon

    No need to fear it
    It calls to the spirit
    All who can hear it

    Freedom, the song it sings
    A joyful flight it brings
    Taking us beyond any things

    Promises that lift
    Traveling to the cosmos, a gift
    Encouraging our perceptions to shift

    Weightless, we go fast
    Up to the stars and past
    A dream trip to heaven, at last

    Nothing around except light
    Just release any fright
    Plan to go often, you might

    Dance with other beings there
    They, too, float up high in the air
    Everyone is in joy, not a care

    Yes, you will come back to reality
    See again your family
    Be back in your body happily

    Pick up your life and career
    Be in your house, hugging those dear
    Feel like yourself, becoming clear

    Yet when you again hear that call
    You will choose to drop it all
    No reason left to stop or stall

    Letting go to the whisper, “Fly with me”
    Looking forward to the next journey
    Because in the night flight . . .

    You’re truly free!

  215. phocus

    One Winter

    The winter after your wonderful mother died,
    I had flown in from afar to spend time with you,
    to cheer you up
    and to introduce you to your newest granddaughter.

    But you dreaded our company,
    at first in silence and then quite verbally.
    You made up excuses to not spend time with us.
    I had no car. I didn’t think it was necessary to rent one.
    So I walked with the kids every day for many hours in the snow of a freezing winter
    in a place where I did not belong.

    Our presence in your house aggravated you so
    that you fainted in the kitchen and your head smashed
    on the hard stone floor one silent winter morning.
    I was in the middle of telling the girls a story about a horse
    when I heard the loud crack of a skull.
    I didn’t dare to move and look what happened at first.
    I was scared, so I called: “Mom? Are you okay?”
    No answer.

    What a sight:
    A lifeless, very pale, old women in a fashionable short blue night gown
    lying not-breathing on the kitchen floor,
    in a pool of fresh blood running steadily from her head.
    It is over, I thought, the endless fight is finally over, I thought with a fright.

    But Mother is tough.
    I dragged her to bed and called for help
    with a baby on the hip and another clung to my leg.
    All of us wailing without end.

    She opened her eyes.
    There was lots of red blood on the white sheets of the bed,
    on the tiles in the kitchen, and the light bedroom carpet.
    Mom’s white face
    that had been without life just a few minutes before
    now screamed for the make-up kit,
    to give it to her quickly before the rescuers arrived.
    “I am a respectable person in this town,” she said.
    “They should not see me like this.”

    In the hospital she recovered in peace
    without the crying of my baby
    without my older daughter making a mess
    and without my annoying presence, most of the time.

    The stitches healed fine,
    but she preferred to stay in the hospital as long as possible
    and asked us to leave before she got home.

    © Uta Raina

  216. Gwyvian

    Promise of the fae

    The torment of your smile is a mockery of
    mortal affections that fill me not: a bittersweet
    elixir, addictive and scalding in my veins never rid
    of the sensation once tasted – and my heart seems
    wasted on your leisure, an idle pastime for a fae,
    a lord with only a strand of thought in my world, yet
    who rent a mystical door in the mist to snatch me away—
    I sought a quiet moment, and instead was crowned a queen
    of the netherworld, with frivolous powers bestowed
    upon my fingers that now uselessly clutch my dress; you
    gravely search my eyes and speak sweet words in jest,
    and yet – my heart believes, corrupted in that moment
    to never be satisfied by my mortal kin ever again, and
    worse: I cannot summon enough ire to care, as your
    smile promises the silken night itself as our sheets—
    and where else would we share lush delights? but though
    your voice is sincere, your gaze filling with a shine that
    charms and terrifies me at once in thrilling sequence,
    your heart is one of spite, I think, as I stare sorrowfully
    at the canopy of mocking starlight that knows truth I
    can no longer accept; I am a queen with my hair still
    woven with gently wilting flowers, now that your touch
    can no longer sustain their vigor: and that is my fate as well,
    I believe, a single whisper lost in the gale of your pleasures—
    a creature to be enchanted, but never one to enrapture…
    …yet, however you have forced a taint unto me,
    your silken hair is perfection spun, your deep eyes
    thick with dreams that leave me spellbound, and
    your cool touch so cruelly inviting—
    thus, I accept my title given in contempt, and return as
    bidden once the rent opens yet again… but before
    I could step through, your eyes held me still, bleeding me
    of my anguish and promising two worlds to me—
    and though my mind knows it is not a promise
    you ever intended to keep, my heart swoons to know
    that one day, I may once more sip
    of the noxious elixir of your existence… my lord fae
    of the nether, my heart forever tethered to your whims.

    Time passed in a slow agony, melancholy my lover for what
    seemed an age; yet, something happened that I never expected:
    I found myself one day in your arms once more – you
    murmured that a fae’s promise is absolute – my blood belongs
    to you, and yet, I am still the reigning queen of the nether:
    and I began to believe…

    April 29, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  217. HoskingPoet

    Dog Has Rule

    Sick as I am
    Sick as a dog
    Dog off its leash
    Dog eat dog world
    World in turmoil
    World wide web
    Web does entangle
    Web of lies
    Lies star-crossed lovers
    Lies of omission
    Omission of forethought
    Omission leaves out
    Out of time
    Out in the cold
    Cold shoulder
    Cold as Hell
    Hell freezes over
    Hell on Earth
    Earth turns to dust
    Earth is our home
    Home away from home
    Home is where the heart is
    Is it time to weep
    Is this working out
    Out damn spot out
    Out of my mind
    Mind thinks logically
    Mind over body
    Body is grotesque
    Body of evidence
    Evidence must compel
    Evidence yields proof
    Proof of betrayal
    Proof of life
    Life is complicated
    Life worth living
    Living in my own little world
    Living in a glass house
    House built on a cliff
    House of cards
    Cards stacked in a deck
    Cards playing solitaire
    Solitaire is a lonely affair
    Solitaire turns into a crowd
    Crowd packed in like sardines
    Crowd follows mob rule
    Rule with an iron fist
    Rule of thumb
    Thumb…
    Fist…

  218. Tracy Davidson

    The Witch

    Her hat lies crooked on her head,
    A hairy wart protruding from her chin.
    Long black hair flows far below her waist,
    Like an evil version of Rapunzel.
    Out of ebony coloured lips she cackles,
    Wand held high and waved about.
    Eyes gleam in the darkness as she creeps
    Ever closer, muttering curses at people’s doors.
    Neighbours, pretending to be scared, hand out candy.

  219. azkbc

    The Night-Time Train

    Every night the choo-choo train chugs
    around the track in your bedroom.
    The whistle goes toot-toot
    as the train stops at the toy shelf
    and trucks and cars and fire engines
    get on and then at the bookshelf
    where Green Eggs and Ham, Good Night Moon,
    Good Night Good Night, Construction Site
    and The Little Train that Saved the Day
    hop on, too. It stops beside your bed and the engine stretches up
    to see that you are asleep
    before it slips out the door
    on its journey down the stairs
    to the living room and the kitchen
    and all around the house
    where the books and toys hop off
    and wander around the rooms
    before they fall fast asleep
    on the floor behind the couch
    and chairs and in front
    of the refrigerator. The train
    makes its way around
    the house then goes back
    to your room and falls asleep
    on its track. In the morning
    Mommy and Daddy look at you
    and wonder how the toys
    and books got downstairs
    even though you shake your
    head and whisper, “I didn’t do it
    Mommy and Daddy.”

  220. lidywilks

    Path of a Gremlin: An Autobiography

    The tarmac blustered with heat
    of their engines, that sent
    orgasmic shivers throughout
    my body. My beauteous tools,
    doused with rust, were at the ready
    and with a devilish grin, I spotted
    my target making its descent
    and rolling into its gate. I hurriedly
    ran and jumped onto its ailerons,
    patiently waiting for the exchange
    of passengers. And when it went
    back up to the air again, I came alive
    tackling the wing of my first plane.

    by Lidy Wilks

  221. Azma

    SHELLING OUT

    I have been swallowed
    into realms of practicality and monotony
    Everything had to be ordered
    Everything had to follow rules
    Miracles were surreal to me
    But just then,
    I received a hug
    which cracked my robotic shell
    and melted me
    into a joyous and magical place

    -Azma Sheikh

  222. dixonlm2

    Being for Real!

    Hey! Let’s be for real.
    Come on. Close this deal.

    You and I both know,
    We reap what we sow.

    You need that work done,
    I can do it before the sun,

    Sets. And you will laugh
    You’re on the right path!

    4-29-14
    Lynn

  223. nmbell

    Reality

    If you remove the magic from the world
    Reality becomes a muddy horrific world
    Full of violence and hate
    Rage and pain

    Reality is women are raped
    Each and every day
    Reality is children are abused
    Each and every day

    Reality is animals in research labs
    Scream in pain each and every day
    Factory farmed animals live in despair
    Each and every day

    Reality tears at my heart and my soul
    Reality can eat you alive if you let it
    The sun is too hot
    It rains too much
    The wind too cold
    The snow too deep

    Without magic the world is a desolate place

    Nancy Bell 2014

    And here is my magic poem

    Magic

    In a world filled with magic
    Anything is possible
    People can rise up and speak
    For what is right and just

    Money does not rule the mind
    And sully the heart
    If I look out of the corner of my eye
    I see flower fairies over the garden

    The honey bees sing in the bee buzz hums
    The rising of the sun each day is not taken for granted
    The benediction of moon light is welcomed
    The wind gives the poplars a voice
    They gossip with the sibilant grasses

    Pressing seed into moist soil
    And seeing the tiny tendrils of green
    Is truly a miracle and magic
    The quickening of a child in the womb
    Is the magic of creation in motion

    Magic isn’t stage tricks and mirrors
    Illusion and deception
    Magic is beautiful and exists
    Alongside us in our everyday reality

    Take that tiny step sideways
    That’s all is required
    To welcome the magic into your life
    Magic is a simple thing
    Don’t make it complicated

    Nancy Bell 2014

  224. k_weber

    What Comes After

    The reality of neurosurgery
    is my ass hanging
    from a gurney and a scar
    the doctor keeps
    reopening so he can climb inside

    I try to tell my psychiatrist
    how I am falling through her couch
    and my desk chair at work
    with lumbar support
    and she hands me medication #12

    In the mirror my face is swollen
    with youth and my grey hair
    intends to strangle my neck, silvery
    and I can’t move my body out of spasm
    but I can think and think again

    I am losing my understanding
    of what I am looking at beyond
    periphery: trees have thick, disgusting
    arms and streets invite the knife
    and my legs burn running from these nerves

    Sometimes I know my head
    will roll off and they will laugh
    at the teeth I didn’t replace
    and when the bones lock in a painful place
    I feel stranded with no one to tow me home in heels

    In the middle of anything
    I stop because I forget where I am
    and have to sit still and hum to myself
    a fake hymn until the blank space fades
    and I remember that I just wanted tomato soup

    You look at me as if eyes could taste
    the space from my throat to my belly button
    and I want to let your mouth research me
    then we exist as friends who watch films
    and have Thai food and eat music

    There is a world where I sink my muscles
    and press my whole self against you
    while you kiss me and let me use my hand
    and there are entire stories like this
    and we wrote them all from the memory of lips and fingers

    — k weber

    1. TomNeal

      but I can think and think again
      Excellent line.

      I will miss having a chance to read your poetry on a daily basis.

      In the mirror my face is swollen
      with youth and my grey hair
      intends to strangle my neck, silvery
      and I can’t move my body out of spasm
      but I can think and think again

      Brilliant.

      1. TomNeal

        The absence of punctuation marks compliments the mixing up of phenomena/outside and noumena/inside. (This is the second time today I have noticed this.)

        the doctor keeps
        reopening so he can climb inside

        1. k_weber

          your comments really made my day. and i wish that the PAD Challenge could go on forever. i used to post my poems on a blog/wordpress page i had but disabled them because so many places that accept poetry submissions want fresh poems that haven’t seen the light of the internet. so i stopped posting poems there just in case i wanted to try and submit and there are numerous guidelines of submission.

          i like that you read this from so many angles. i think in situations like this many writers gravitate toward one another. not just because of similar style of writing but just the way the reader is able to find all the facets and nuances built into a piece of writing. it’s really damn cool.

          i enjoy the mixing; am the mixer of mixes. or something. thanks for the helpful feedback!

          1. TomNeal

            I like poetry that is multivalent, and poets that aren’t afraid to take a risk. I like lines that have the ring of truth, but that also offer truth from a new perspective. Poetry that Shelly describes as making, ‘familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.’ Your work does all of that.

          2. k_weber

            i can’t reply to your reply but i so very much appreciate your insight, your writing and the way you sometimes synthesize something you’ve read or experienced to relate to other writers here. i will be back this evening to read poems and add comments. the work monster is gnashing at me again!

    2. Linda Goin

      I’m so in love with your poetry. “There is a world where I sink my muscles/and press my whole self against you/while you kiss me and let me use my hand/and there are entire stories…” And I love that you use the word, “just,” as in “just wanted tomato soup. Just is such a strong word, multifaceted and leveling. You have opened yourself up in so many ways in this poem. Thank you!

      1. k_weber

        I am so fond of your words as well. It’s been a kick to be surrounded by so many poets whose words are in bloom or blooming. It has also been a kick to bring my writing back to life. Very inspiring crowd here and the motivation to stick with 30 interesting prompts is really what I needed right now! Will post some contact info with my 30th poem tomorrow if anyone wants to stay I touch or point me to any fun workshop forums, etc. I’m hooked. Can’t stay away from my corny fishing jokes after Linda’s magnificent poem :] I can’t resist wordplay!

        1. Linda Goin

          Your writing never died, obviously. But, I’m so happy you’re resuming the dance. Glad you’re hooked! Just don’t fall in line with the sinker. It’s brutal.

  225. cmjones

    The Flowering

    This year there was music blooming out of the buds
    of the dogwood trees – the year you were a hologram –

    calypso folk underlined by minimalistic banjo,
    interwoven with a traceable unfurling of:

    A contemporary piano sonata from an out of tune
    organ, the laughter from an obscure Kung-Fu movie,

    and the same note played over and over again by
    a French horn. We might understand this to be:

    a kind of musical ekphrasis of the painting above
    your fireplace, whose creator is unknown,

    the painting having been purchased hastily one warm
    morning at a Paris flea market under the influence of

    alcohol and fear.

    Chad Jones

  226. Joseph Harker

    Egypt

    She falls in love with the man stacking
    produce at Whole Foods. In the books of spells,
    no mention is made of how the humble cabbage
    carefully placed can win a woman’s heart.
    This man is like an ancient Egyptian architect,
    she thinks, bearded with black-rimmed glasses
    and making pyramids of cabbage under which
    who-knows-what-kind of pharaoh is buried.
    Fifteen minutes she watches, as he moves on
    to build radish mastabas and altars devoted to
    the god of oranges. Nile River and Sahara Desert
    sweep through her. On her way home, figuring
    she knows next to nothing about it, she stops by
    the library and checks out a book of hieroglyphics,
    a history of the Mamelukes, a Cairo travel guide.
    At night she dreams underworlds. A while later,
    the opportunity arises for her to go there, visit
    Giza and Alexandria; she circles calendar dates,
    buys tickets online, blogs about preparations.
    Secretly she imagines that she’ll find herself
    deep in some oasis where white cabbage planets
    open frail wings, where radishes and oranges
    blush beneath the hand stacking them.
    Upon arrival, she wraps her hair, mounts a camel,
    goes searching for this dream-place as if
    heat-struck, chasing the mirage. Bedouin guides
    remind her water, water, like they would a child.
    They trudge through hours of empty sand dunes.
    No bearded sphinxes or green things are found;
    soon enough she is sweating, and only longs for
    iced tea or an electric fan. When the tour bus
    returns to the city, everyone ambles to a cafe.
    Hawkers circle them. One offers a burnished mirror
    originally taken, he claims in broken phrases,
    from a raided tomb. Overcome with something
    she cannot name, she buys it with wet dollars,
    goes to the post office to wrap it and send it home.
    She stands in line and looks down into the glass.
    The woman who sent her here is not visible.
    Instead there is a wilted person. She’s missing
    certain pieces that were dug out and embalmed,
    roughened like bricks baked solid in the sun.

  227. Evelyn Philipp

    Little Girl

    Blue sky
    Green trees
    Red Clay
    Dirt dobbers buzz

    Cut an elephant ear
    From the woods by the barn
    And make a parasol.
    We were
    Ladies in the sun.

    Granny serving
    Fried chicken
    It tastes real good, but then
    You can’t eat it
    When she calls it by name

    Oh, lordy.

    Lying on the kitchen floor, reading
    Tuscaloosa News, pages
    That block the cracks
    In the plank floor

    And taste iced tea, poured
    From a gallon pickle jar
    Warm and cold mingle
    In the glass

    Driving the back roads
    To get to the store
    Jesus Saves, on a tin barn roof

    Grandpa’s skinny knee
    Bounce, bounce
    ride a horsey
    Watch Ed Sullivan and
    Lawrence Welk.

    Cornbread in buttermilk
    A bedtime snack
    Or maybe dinner

    Simple and perhaps
    Backward
    They call you.
    They don’t
    Know
    Anything
    About you.

    Or

    about

    What is real.
    What matters.
    Who you are.

  228. Joseph Harker

    Manual Labor

    One summer I had a job at the evening yards
    just outside Camden. I was one of the piercers:
    filling my lap with bolts of dark, soft material,
    I took up my awl and stuck holes through it,
    or sometimes a tool like a spiked pinwheel
    when the boss wanted a dense constellation.
    The holes had to be small, but not too small.
    We’d hold up our work to the sun to check,
    watching the sky turn to Braille in our hands.

    At lunch, I always sat with Jay and Karina:
    Jay was a year older than me, a senior,
    and Karina had kids in day care. We traded
    stories about the city, weekend barbecues,
    failed relationships. Karina was twice-divorced,
    which is why she was a designer: she knew
    where to put the unlucky patterns. Jay sat
    next to me on the line, needling evening,
    and more than once I felt his knee touch mine.

    We finished around eight, or whenever the call
    came through. The boss would come around
    hooking poles to the seams hidden in the folds,
    and we’d all move into our places. Then we’d
    pitch the evening over Jersey like a tent,
    and Karina would pushbroom the leftover reds
    and golds and oranges over to Pennsylvania.
    Another evening yard would take care of them.
    Our work stippled and billowed and was done.

    Once, near the end of summer, Jay drove me
    to Knight Park after clock-out. We sat under
    a hundred-year sycamore, and laughed to see
    part of the evening caught on its branches.
    We climbed up to loosen it. Then Jay pointed
    and said, look, I made something for you.
    Our initials gleamed where he’d punctured them.
    And I felt his arms encircle me, as we gazed on
    what we’d made, flickering its way toward dawn.

  229. Walt Wojtanik

    SINATRA SINGS

    In a melancholy mood, Sinatra soothes.
    His dulcet tones come smooth and hypnotic.
    One of life’s salient truths,
    In a melancholy mood, Sinatra soothes.
    Sitting in my listening booth,
    Frank’s “magic” is quixotic.
    In a melancholy mood, Sinatra soothes.
    His dulcet tones come smooth and hypnotic.

    1. PressOn

      Wow. You did this triolet proud. The rhyming is a bit quixotic, yet suitable,and the internal sounds fit Sinatra’s own ways with a song.. Wonderful.

  230. Kathy

    acrostic -REALITY

    Reel is what we believe,
    Envy and Preconceptions cloud our vision.
    Alone for us is being lonely,
    Life is to wake, survive and work,
    Imagination is bound to the shackles of conditions,
    Truth is what truth never was,
    You are a prisoner of this reality.

    —————

  231. De Jackson

    Sleighted

    I swear, he
    pulled things out of hats:
    fluffy rab
    -bits, tricks, and
    an abracadabra smile.
    I hung my heart there

    for awhile,
    until he sawed me
    clean in half.
    You laugh, but
    up his spellbinding sleeve, just
    so many bright scarves.

    .

      1. De Jackson

        That’s kind of what I was going for…that moment of disillusionment when you see the strings, and realize the magician’s not all he’s cracked up to be, and feel cheated (slighted, if you will). I wanted this narrator to have a layer of that, along with her obvious pain.

  232. Walt Wojtanik

    SAY THE MAGIC WORDS

    A poetic word magician
    performing feats of fiction.
    amazing fits of poetry,
    prose prestidigitation,
    pulling rare bits from a hat,
    trick and gags, and all of that.
    Alliterative illusions here,
    making limericks disappear.
    Literary magic, that’s my deal,
    I’ll be here all week, try the veal.

  233. Walt Wojtanik

    HEADSIDE MANNER

    The “doctor” is in.
    Caring words for a troubled heart
    in a dosage that will impart a remedy
    for any ailment or malady. Encouraging
    healing in the hearing of his verse,
    no nurse can massage and soothe
    what this Doctor of Poetics can touch
    with gentle compassion, a fashion
    which has not been taken to heart
    since the aching had started.
    Injecting humor to induce laughter’s medicine,
    and after that, prescribing in rhyme
    for the times when his words aren’t so apparent.
    It is inherent to his purpose, to do no harm
    with the words that warm and placate.
    Giving a clean slate to a heart so caressed
    by the worded wonder of a true poetic healer.
    A great deal, just be sure to follow the warning:
    read two poems and call me in the morning.

    The “doctor” is always in.

    1. PressOn

      I enjoyed this so much, and it reminded of the old vaudeville joke about the doctor whose sink was stopped up: the plumber told his to throw two aspirin in and call him in the morning.

  234. Kathy

    Doodling

    Lecture after lecture
    in the same monotonous tone,
    the page fills each minute
    with my little doodles.
    Magnificent dragons
    and the brave dragon-slayer,
    Jinxes, Spells and fooling
    around with them,
    a villain and a hero
    with their own courageous
    stories,
    Quests of treacherous
    paths and delusions,
    Mountains that flew,
    Skies that drew,
    Colours faded and then
    brought back
    Endless waves of imagination
    fill my little age of procrastination.
    ——-

  235. De Jackson

    Sir: Realism

                                Yes, Sir, reality’s a real twister
                                – minds and guts, and houses
                               reduced to rubble, cars wrapped
                              right ’round trees like so much tin.
                              If you’re not careful you can watch
                            hope crash right down, too, grounded
                            by lightning and thunder and a heavy,
                          heavy heart. Just as we begin to rebuild,
                       whomp, there goes something or other
                               again, crushing and splintering our
                               cheap lumbered breath. We’re tum
                                  -bled here in all this spin, stung
                                    and stunned by pain we can
                                   -not see. We plea for mercy,
                                     madness, some mild rem
                                       -edy that might allow
                                        us to click our ruby
                                            shoes, and find
                                                ourselves
                                                  awake,
                                                   home
                                                    safe.
                                                       

    .

    1. PressOn

      This poem makes me think of a tornado as a dangerous top. The allusion to Dorothy and her shoes heightens it. Your imagination is a marvelous thing.

  236. Debbie

    DREAMS

    Dreams…
    So few renew
    Yet conquer through
    The brazen past.
    The wish of want
    That tauts the hope
    In asking for
    The dawn to cast.
    A wish, a hope,
    A want, a dream
    Can never hide
    The moral greed
    In leaning toward
    The earthly side
    of what depicts a
    Dream…a need.

  237. candy

    Fly Away

    I planted weeds to nourish
    the young princes
    They arrived with the
    morning light wearing striped
    uniforms of yellow, black, and white
    They ate voraciously then disappeared
    to be wrapped in gold studded cloaks

    I planted seeds and dusted them with
    a rich black potion and they became a
    banquet table spread with a coat of
    many colors
    No heralds trumpeted the arrival
    of the kingly monarchs
    robed in silken black and orange
    studded with shining spots
    like diamonds
    They feasted on my offerings
    and when sated took flight for
    distant worlds across unmarked borders

    And I, unbidden, donned my cape and followed

  238. foodpoet

    The magic of words

    Open a book
    Another page
    Before the words fade
    As another artist steps off the stage

    Another page
    Is left unwritten
    As another artist steps off the stage
    To write only in memories

    Left unwritten
    Our minds fill in blanks
    Writing only in memories
    With nothing more to read

    Our minds fill in the blanks
    Before the words fade
    With nothing more to read
    Open a book

    Megan McDonald

  239. Lindy™

    Relative Realities

    A single snowflake,
    two days before May,
    whisked through the air
    and dissapeared.
    On a quantum level, I thought,
    It must be snowing elsewhere
    in the multiverse.
    This solitary frozen blink
    slipped through
    a split-second portal,
    interdimensionally transported
    to float itself undone.
    As such,
    The how’s and why’s
    don’t matter much.
    Its life and death
    were witnessed here.
    Magically surreal,
    yet it made me feel
    graciously alive
    and wistfully…
    real?

  240. Mr. Take The Lead

    Words-A world of magic
    Daniel R. Simmons
    Many fail to realize the power that written words have.
    They fail to see the magic that they possess and the majestic ride they can take you on.
    You see words can journey you through the darkest hours of your life.
    Words can feed you the meat of optimism and determination that you need to preserve when there is no food in the refrigerator.
    The words of a letter from the one you once loved, can build you higher than any tower in the world.
    And yet after the break-up, the remembrance of those very same words can tear your heart down. Words can build an ultimate defense against the attack of your naysayers and against those who try to kill your dream.
    Words, feel you up with the drive and determination to prove your doubters wrong.
    The art and magic of words is so unimaginably beautiful that when written on paper and placed just right, they shine and touch your heart and soul.
    You see it is the rhythm of words that your mind dances to and the only thing that keeps you sane during hard times.
    God himself created the entire universe just by speaking things into existence.
    Words, hold the key to our inner most passions and desires.
    One’s inspiration of writing allows our total senses and imagination to reach levels of ecstasy. Because the writing of others can take us to a world filled with wonderful dragons or glorious castles.
    While the inspirational writing of others opens up our minds and thoughts to see what its author sees and feel what they feel.
    Yes words are the magic
    They are the fairy dust sprinkled unto the paper
    With the wand of a pen
    they can make all your wishes come true
    Sending you worlds away

  241. theDolphin

    Tornado Weather

    Ours was a collision of dreams
    Me and my roundabout boy.
    I used to ask him,
    Is your universe beneath the water
    Or above the clouds or
    Only in your mind?
    Who cared anyway?
    He was my rainbow man.
    His smell rubbed into my blood.

    He was walking backwards when we met
    And I asked him,
    Who’s baby are you? and
    Won’t you be mine?
    He said, I have to stay here on this cloud
    And wait for Tomorrow. Yesterday.
    And for the Golden Girl to come.
    I wrapped myself in tissue paper
    And gave myself to him
    but he put me in a pocket with a hole
    And kept on waiting.

    Roundabout boy
    I insisted that you love me
    And your caress, warm feather of a hand—

    There are snakes down here.
    The future looms in the low and heavy clouds
    Stirring up the dirt,
    Waiting. Waiting to bleed.
    When the rain comes
    I’ll finally let you disappear into the clouds.
    Tornado Weather is taking you with it.

  242. RuthieShev

    I put my realistic/magical poem above already by I would like to repost yesterday’s poem since only half of it posted yesterday. I write my poems on a word document and then copy and paste here. Somehow I only got half of the “settle” poem yesterday but since it kind of works for todays prompt I am going to post the full poem today.

    Just Call Me Cinderella

    After I swept and mopped the kitchen floor,
    Did the laundry and made our queen size bed
    Grocery shopped at the local store
    Mended clothes with needle and thread
    Cooked the meals and washed the dishes
    Ironed the clothes and put them away
    Fed the dog and also the fishes
    Got on the computer, I still had bills to pay
    I weeded the flowers
    And cleaned out the shed
    Before I got my own shower
    While baking the bread
    Feeling a bit like the new Cinderella
    I sat down with a good cup of tea
    When in came my own prince charming fella
    Looking with love straight at me
    There was no ball with elegant dancing
    No one was fancily dressed
    But there was plenty of love and romancing
    This princess knows she is blessed.

  243. RuthieShev

    I am really going to miss this PAD after tomorrow.

    A World of Amazing Color

    Where am I in this place of colors so bright
    Fantasy, dreamland, another planet I have no clue
    With sparkling vibrant sprinkles of light
    And multicolored grass of every hue
    I see purple birds with hot pink wings
    Resting on Indigo and scarlet red flowers
    Opening up as fairies delightfully sing
    Dancing around with their magical powers
    Champagne weeping willow trees dripping with dew
    Transform into millions of tiny multi colored stones
    Flowing like a river before they grew
    Into a checkered lake of many unbelievable tones
    I opened my eyes seeing past the windowsill
    A scarlet red cardinal playing in a tree
    Next to which stood a bright yellow daffodil
    Where a child danced around the yard so free
    The grass was a mixture of blue and green
    The rocks russet tones for me to see
    That God’s realistic world can be
    As magical and beautiful as my fantasy.

  244. diedre Knight

    Realism – Opinions not allowed

    In quaking boots, I stand dismayed
    I spoke my mind out loud
    Instead of choosing Coke today
    I joined the Pepsi crowd
    My lips are dry, my palms are wet,
    my forehead now is creased
    for trouble, soon, I know I’ll get
    from PC Police.

    Magic – All Around

    A tiny fist emerges from the rubble
    of an old demolished building
    where no one lived anymore.
    Lightning strikes a fatal blow and
    from high above, the lineman falls
    to the ground with a sickening thud
    that restarts his heart.
    A young man readies for the end
    from a bridge over water deep,
    where a small child gasps for every breath
    and two lives are saved that day.

    diedre Knight

  245. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 29 Fantasy / Realism poem

    White Knuckled Momma

    There was a day
    when I could no longer
    make everything alright,
    and forehead kisses didn’t
    erase anything,
    but if I had known
    it was sneaking by,
    I would have grabbed it
    tighter
    and tighter
    and squeezed every drop
    of possibility
    out of it
    until night would pry
    my fingers open
    and the gasping red
    end of day
    had to give me
    everything
    you needed.

  246. Mark Conroy

    “Here and Now”

    Her warmth against by back is all that’s left here
    My life has been running out of me
    Not the strength of my body
    But the will of my soul.

    My living soul has had enough of down here.
    It’s all I have that’s been left alive.
    Her breath that keeps me going
    Has slowed to a weary sigh.

    It’s both a burden and a blessing to believe and be alive.
    There is good and evil. It’s our will to choose.
    Good is measured by what we give.
    Evil gathers everything around if you ask it to.

    One way you die to live; the other you live only to survive.
    The body and flesh melt away
    The mind of your soul is not left on this side.
    It’s your will to believe, or survive to die tomorrow.

    Mark Conroy

  247. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Magical Beauty

    She’s mysteriously enchanting,
    a sorceress,
    her supernatural powers,
    mesmerizing,
    her illusionary tricks,
    a treat,
    her magic wand,
    conjures,
    her magic spell,
    Magical Beauty,

    She’s seriously planting,
    gorgeous,
    her phantom flowers,
    spellbinding,
    her exclusionary clique,
    greet,
    her incantations,
    implores,
    her inner shell,
    Loveliness.

  248. derrdevil

    The Knight Of Anhedonia
    By Derryn Warwick Raymond

    Once upon a time
    In a land not far away
    There was a kind of fairytale
    That got twisted the wrong way

    Where princes act like paupers
    And beggars rather choose
    This set the sombre theme
    That feasted on abuse

    The story had the raw ingredients:
    From the knight in shining armour,
    To the charming prince, and his trophy princess
    Whom neither would let any harm her

    On the most perilous of quests
    That she had set the naïve knight upon
    He cracked the skull of an ogre
    Yet was deceived by wicked scorn

    Yes, locked she was in the castle tower
    As she played the damsel in dismay
    She had asked the knight to slay her dragons
    But in the prince’s chamber did she lay

    On that dismal day behind his back he felt
    The chilled wind blow so true
    An epiphany! The fair maiden was no princess
    But the Ice Queen herself in cool blue

    And when the damsel unveiled her cold heart
    The knight’s integrity showed no honour
    Since his villain was her hero
    In this twisted tale of fabled horror

    Let me, however, remind you
    Of that you may have forgot
    The knight may be second to the thrown
    But the heart of a King lies in Prince Charming not

    Alas, still, the Ice Queen and her terrene prince
    Closed this gloomy tale in disaster
    They doomed the knight in the dungeon of Anhedonia
    But lived unhappily ever after

  249. Connie Peters

    Fantasies

    I used to dream of being thin
    and beautiful, extremely intelligent,
    funny, interesting and popular.

    I used to dream of a handsome lover,
    richer than a king, loving
    all the things I love, loving me.

    I used to dream of world travel
    in a luxury jet, a peaceful world,
    and freedom to explore and enjoy.

    I used to dream of living a long
    and healthy life. Able to perform
    unbelievable gymnastics and dance.

    But while I’m dreaming I may as well
    dream of being young again in a perfect,
    eternal world, no sickness or death.

    A place where everyone is smart,
    beautiful, intelligent, popular, creative
    and capable of doing anything they wish.

    And a handsome lover for every day of the year.
    No need to be rich when everything’s free.
    No need for a plane when you can fly.

    And I may as well dream
    there’s plenty to go around and
    there’s nothing to fight about.

    Living forever in a place of joy and peace.
    Beauty and creativity. Laughter and love.
    Dancing and singing. Art and music.

    Maybe heaven’s like that.

  250. laurora

    Knowing reality makes me hibernate in magic

    I used to act as if I was living
    in my own imaginary world
    where everything was magical
    and quite unlike reality

    I did so before I’d had experience,
    before I knew what it was I was hiding from
    I thought I had to live in the real world,
    had to like it but now I know better

    Now I wish I hadn’t fought dragons
    to not even succeed in building my castle
    Instead I wish I had floated with fairies
    and built nests in the leaves with the beetles

    I wish I had known I was allowed to be magic
    I’d have lived fairytales more fantastic than fantasy
    Instead I pretended to know the reality
    Hiding it pretending to hide from it

    So now I do what I can to mix worlds
    Like a bear I hibernate though in magic,
    taking revenge on suppressed imagining,
    preferring it to discovered reality

    Maybe living in no world at all
    was better than knowing what real life is like
    But nothing quite beats the magic
    so that’s where I go, I imagine

  251. Connie Inglis

    Breakthrough (A Tanka Poem)

    Quotidian world
    of waking, working, sleeping.
    Boredom unto death.
    Enter the tardis. Change. Life.
    Magical realism.

  252. writinglife16

    Magic meets reality

    I wave my hand.
    The house is clean.
    The laundry done
    Dinner cooked.
    Then I wake up.

    It is magic

    She goes to the hospital.
    They hook her up.
    She sits and reads while
    the cancer cells die.
    It is her reality.
    She doesn’t mind.
    Her mother didn’t get
    this chance.
    She would’ve considered
    Killing cancer magic.

      1. Walt Wojtanik

        And what better for today’s prompt than “Trick Candles”. Do you have the wind for it? If you need help, I know a windbag on the western part of the state that can send some wind. And you’re welcome, Pearl!

        1. PKP

          You Sir – are no “windbag” often a breath of fresh air – sometimes a tornado of righteous outrage but a ‘windbag?” that could not be ye to which you refer … Thanks for the bday wishes :)

  253. lily black

    Two for Tuesday

    Abra Cadabra!
    She disappeared
    Just like that
    Poof
    Up in smoke
    Gone forever
    No hat for me
    To pull her out of
    No sesame to open
    Just the empty chair
    Where she read her books
    And took notes. . .
    Is there a spell for us
    The ones she left
    Here on Earth?
    Is there a chant to moan
    An incantation to wail
    Or sage to burn?
    What is the trick
    To move on
    To not feel
    To not chop down
    Every blooming rose
    Waving in my face?

    Texas Gardening

    Hot summer skies in April
    Wilt the green leaves
    Off the basil
    The peppers
    The oregano
    Lavender and tomatoes
    The lantana is sweltering
    Under August April clouds
    That float by to dump
    Torrents on people
    Far far away
    Hoping for energy every afternoon
    Just ten minutes of gardening
    Will help root those sweltering
    Bushes to be

  254. Connie Peters

    Let’s Get Real, Not Racist

    In art class, my mom’s friend,
    of African ancestry, requested Mom,
    of Scotch/English descent, to draw her portrait.

    Mom did, complete with realistic shading.
    Mom’s friend got mad at her,
    which confused Mom till the day she died.

    A writing teacher told my friend not to describe
    her biracial character as having light black skin
    and kinky black hair because it was racist.

    If a character has light black complexion
    and kinky black hair, why couldn’t she say so?
    Observation differs from judgment.

  255. PKP

    Inseparable

    From the tips of mountain peaks
    vanishing in clouds of mist
    that disappear when one stands
    within – to aquarmarine waters
    that shimmer with sunshine
    crystal color completely clear
    flowers that blossom from
    winters frigid harsh grave
    an infants outraged scream
    pulled from an unknown
    existence to waiting arms
    all creatures living, grasped
    in passionate embrace
    holding fast with clutched
    toes as the marble spins
    holding and letting go
    singing a bright song
    or a song of surrender
    of song of solitude
    singing, holding, letting
    go, as the marble spins
    so small and undefined
    from above, so vast and
    unknowable – all the
    thrumming of life and
    the stillness of its end
    the mystic rising and
    falling of breath itself
    realism and magic
    inseparable

  256. Amy

    Am I Dreaming?

    I climbed the roof last night in my dream
    and pulled down the blanket dusk
    wrapped pinprick stars around my shoulders
    and they melted into freckles

    I climbed the roof last night
    and found you already there
    devastation on your tongue, in your wings
    your grace stung my eyes

    I climbed the roof this morning in my dream
    to be the first to touch the wind-silk sky
    and drink the painted sunrise in
    before the caffeine catalyst

    I climbed the roof this morning
    couldn’t bear the icy sheets, empty dawn
    I could have sworn I dreamt you up
    from nowhere, I am nowhere

  257. PKP

    Magical Mystical Realism Ride

    The line on which chubby toes
    stand between that which is and
    that which whirls is misty,
    all is magic, all is real in this
    spinning blue marble that we
    all share where fathers reach
    with strong arms and raven
    hair to snatch us to safety
    from moving carousels
    hold us against strong
    beating hearts and music
    crescendos and we
    curl into forever love
    that remains as a whisper
    in the wind
    as a woman’s toes
    stand poised
    on the line
    still blurry
    still magical, mystical
    still real

  258. Reynard

    fantasy
    always floating
    in a world
    I do not want to be
    grounded
    surrounded by things that are
    pure imagination
    working against
    the known
    bringing comfort in
    the unknown
    moving away from
    reality

    ** then read from the bottom up

  259. lina

    23 Efroniu

    The room is a dream of
    what it was
    when you were there,
    sitting on the blue couch,
    shuffling cards,
    eyeing the visitor
    chattering from her chair.
    Now the television is dark
    and the worry beads are
    in the drawer.
    Your newspaper is
    folded; white shirts gone.
    In the purple night
    the lights from the Parthenon
    shine on the veranda.
    I hear you chuckle
    as you find our every weakness,
    leaning to pick
    a white blossom for me.

  260. PatsC

    Abracadabra

    The play of children,
    Is a world of make-believe,
    The playhouse of magical beings,
    Fairies and ogres,
    Giants and brownies.

    The runes laid out,
    Foretell the creation of imaginary friends,
    Seen and loved only by one,
    Appearing at the dinner table,
    Hungry only for dessert.

    The disappearing act of childhood,
    Begins with schools and endless testing,
    Labeling each child’s worth,
    By the rote memorization of tedious facts,
    The telling prophecy of adulthood.

    Do not loose the essence of youthful play,
    Hold fast to an ember of innocence,
    Let some atom of fantasy remain bright,
    For maturity can be more frightening,
    Then sawing a woman in half.

  261. DCR1986

    As Real as It Gets (Realism)

    Unstoppable genes.
    Abnormal in one in eight.
    Screen and change habits.

    Abracadabra (Magical)

    No cause. No effect.
    All pink ribbon surviors.
    Cancer extinction.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  262. CristinaMRNorcross

    A Wink and a Blink

    Walking over the bridge from solid ground
    to hallowed earth –
    the stream speaks of stories.
    The hidden cave at Rydal Water
    welcomes our mortal feet.

    With each step
    an ageless time unfolds.
    Colors seem brighter –
    more defined.
    Each branch becomes
    an ink stain across parchment.
    An artist with the most delicate brush
    makes these lines jump into my vision.

    Eyes squinting at all of this brightness,
    I can only catch but a glimpse
    of the worlds beneath my footing –
    mushrooms blooming
    with fairies sunning themselves,
    and water sprites diving like dolphins –
    waving their small hands in the wind.

    I hesitate before unlatching the gate
    that leads back to the gravel road –
    look behind me –
    taking a snapshot
    with a single blink.

    Cristina M. R. Norcross
    Copyright 2014

  263. vjohnso1

    Sinking, thinking without a single thought in sight Wondering how darkness suddenly overcomes light……..Flying through the air lifting my outer fears, realizing the world and what is to come in the near………..Testing the waters swimming in hope Landing on my insecurities just trying to cope My body is a prison detaining my soul My soul is a barrier and I’m taking toll My life is the winter and I’m so cold my realities are heavy I‘m carrying a load…….a human hourglass waiting out my time Clouds in the air skipping a fine line……Storms in my way hopping through rust I used to be polished now I breathe dust…………..Feelings come and feelings go life has hurt me more times than you know……….swallowed whole in the midst of the night I lost this one but I put up a fight…….shadowed over in my own little mind, searching for symbols, clues and signs………hidden deep inside my doubts, the secret lies, time to come out……….confused with anger confused with pain anguished within it’s all the same……..crying hard you hardly notice how do I get your attention I’m losing focus………..Looking at the glass half empty, when it’s really half full life has no boundaries that’s the golden rule………………Life brings you surprises isn’t that the truth, time to fix mine do you have the tool

    Vashitta SL Johnson

  264. Walt Wojtanik

    SAILING TO SEAS IN SHOES AS BIG AS BOATS

    Ed Bloom always knew there was room enough
    in his big shoes to save a small family
    from flood water or other such disasters.
    Deluge and storm paid Edward never mind
    because he would find that by pulling his pockets
    inside-out they would act as sails and carry
    his big boat shoes and him and his charge
    safely to shore. But what was more astonishing,
    was how Bloom’s big fish tail acted as a rudder,
    (you would think this utter nonsense, but it’s true).
    Aligning the shore were more of Edward’s friends;
    a giant, a dwarf, glandular anomalies both,
    his Siamese honey’s, a funny looking
    witch and his bride, Sandra. But to a man, they took
    Edward Bloom all in stride. For no tall tale
    would fail to amuse and enrapture the lot,
    even when he had gotten old and on a whim
    asked to take a swim. No one said a word;
    nor would they harp on the fact that the amazing
    Bloom turned into a Ginormous Carp, the biggest
    fish in the sea. And sailing in Ed Bloom’s former
    shoes, all his tales appeared to have come true.
    We would set to the seas to talk to Edward about life.
    Luckily, we learned to speak his language!
    And Bloom was happy. That’s all we can ask from life,
    to be able to make a big splash in the world!

  265. dhaivid3

    (Realism) Poem Title: When A Happy Man Falls

    A happy man skipped on along the road side,
    In the rain soaked mud he did slip, he did slide.
    He cried out “I’m falling!” and he soon hit the kerb.
    The bystanders watched as in horror he fell!

    This happy man stood up, dusted off his coat.
    A little boy ran up and said “Sir, here’s your goat!”
    His smile only widened as the people laughed.
    He jut out his chin and he straightened his back.

    “I’ll tell you a secret” he says to them all.
    “One that has something to do with that fall.
    I fell there and you’ll never forget my shame
    But for that I seem to have made me a name!

    So now I will go on my own merry way.
    Just passing through. Would I stay on? Oh, nay!
    I’m glad that I’ve given you laughter and joy
    My ship’s setting sail now, so goodbye, ahoy!”

  266. Elizabeth Koch

    Blurred Vision

    I know it is magic
    that they’ve been given to me,
    but there are days when
    the realities of parenting
    make the magic
    hard
    to
    see

  267. Laurie G

    The Disappearing Girl

    I.

    I have nothing for you—not much money, and the jewelry is costume,
    a little glinting silver, stone beads that might as well roll on the floor
    beneath your sneakers—nothing to speak of.

    But I have The Disappearing Girl Beneath the Table Trick—the family magic trick.

    My mom says my dad had an unlucky heart. So did my brother.
    But they both gave me this magic trick, and now I want to pass it on to you.
    You will need a card table, a generous tablecloth and two chairs.

    Start with the girl seated cross-legged beneath the table, on the floor.
    Lift the draping cloth and encourage her to wave to the audience.
    The girl should be small, about 6 or 7, your age.

    II

    Drop the cloth. Do so with a flourish. I have every confidence in your flourishes.

    The girl will scramble to lie prone across the two seats, and voila!
    You will lift the cloth, and the girl will have disappeared from sight.

    At this point, if all goes well, the audience will gasp.
    You may hear a smattering of applause. This is all good.

    Be judicious. Do not lift the cloth too high, or the magic will be revealed,
    which is to say there will be no magic at all, for anyone.

    III

    A long time ago, my brother and I performed this trick in the living room,
    again and again, until we mastered it and heard something more
    than polite applause.

    He’s the one with the unlucky heart.
    But back then I was The Disappearing Girl.
    He had the magic.

  268. dhaivid3

    (Fantasy) Poem title: A little girl’s prayer from a care home
    I pray for Daddy and Mummy
    That maybe one they they’ll see
    That I am here, me “poor Sandie”
    With no one to care for me.

    I pray that they’ll understand this
    I never asked to be born,
    And when they both said “I love you”
    I was not in on the fun.

    I pray for Mummy and Daddy
    I pray they’ll open their eyes
    And see that in all of their fighting
    I am being treated as dice;

    I’m rolled and tossed this way and that
    I’m hurt with every wrist flick
    I love them both but their anger
    Always made me feel very sick.

    I pray for Mummy and Daddy
    I pray that one day they’ll see
    That though they both feel quite cheated
    The one who’s been cheated is me.

  269. Walt Wojtanik

    I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE

    A new development,
    this medium quite unseen,
    it’s called photography
    and yes, Pablo Picasso, you’re my very first
    subject. To capture your likeness on film
    will be a coup for me and my art form.
    Sit right there and I’ll get some
    light readings in. Ha ha, no Pablo,
    I’m not doing a little light reading,
    I have to see what exposure I need to use.
    There, now hold that pose and smile.
    No? OK say cheese. It will appear
    that you are smiling. Pablo, it doesn’t
    matter what kind of chee…Gouda? Yes,
    Gouda is gooda, eh… good. Yes,
    Camembert is nice too. Look, just turn your
    lips up on the ends and… There, that’s it.
    *FLASH* You blinked and it’s blurry.
    I’ll take another, just sit still.
    *FLASH* You moved again. One more.
    *FLASH* Well, there’s a face there…
    sort of. There’s an eye. Over here,
    part of your smile. Next to that, there’s
    an ear. And there’s an ear. And an ear over there?
    Wait a minute! VINCENT! Can you please
    sit down and wait your turn?
    And take your ear with you!

  270. pomodoro

    History of Love ( with a nod to GGM)

    In Tinnis on the banks of the Nile
    carved on walls of ancient temples,
    we are at play.
    I admire the orderly progression of your stroke,
    the rhythm of your swing,
    the unpredictable flight of the bounce
    and soft drop at my feet.
    Face closed over the ball,
    wrist and forearm one with the racket,
    I tempt the ball with sheep’s gut
    to a sweet spot the size of my palm.
    Like Henry VIII and his courtesan,
    we are addicted to the subtle dance of forehand and backhand.
    Knees bent and bodies coiled,
    in defiance of the Pope and Parisian priests,
    what is forbidden becomes possible.
    Old ornaments of cheeks and chins wrapped in string,
    vulcanized by Goodyear,
    limn a path aloft.
    I hit the optic yellow sun on the rise
    and watch it skip,
    leapfrog through the air and
    return like the answer to a question.
    You hit to my feet
    and storm the net while
    I retreat to the baseline.
    I toss, serve, fault; toss, serve, double fault.
    I wonder what it must be like to
    smash, lob, and be in control.
    in this game where love means nothing.
    Tenez!

  271. Quaker

    It was the summer without words.
    No one wanted this to happen
    but it did. A great silence grew
    like a crowd ready to riot.

    I could not believe it was happening,
    especially here of all places.
    I thought we knew better than this.
    After this long, torturous summer
    I have to wonder how much evil
    lies beneath the surface of pent-up
    anger and fear, and how the two
    are connected like cousins
    we hardly ever know.

    The world had a rotten core;
    some message we understood
    and rarely omitted. Now it had surfaced,
    this whale of anger from hell,
    and it had been exposed for what it was.

    No amount of church services
    claiming love thy brother could change this.
    It was clear we did not practice
    what was preached
    when a little black girl
    entered our school for the first time
    and I saw the mob
    and in the mist was our minister
    holding a brick
    he wanted to toss.

  272. mbramucci

    Linear Independence
    By: Michelle Bramucci

    Why don’t my lines look like yours?
    You have thigh gap, and I can’t see your pores
    Your tummy has curves where mine has sags
    Your emerald eyes sparkle
    Mine are tucked inside bags
    Your skin is so tight and tan and smooth
    My skin’s kind of tan but with wrinkles and grooves
    And when I’m on the beach
    I can’t wear high heel shoes

    Why don’t my lines look like yours?
    Is it not enough water?
    Or too many chores?
    Or from not wearing gloves when it’s cold outside?
    Or from using a box when my hair gets dyed?
    Or from not the right vitamins?
    Or just the wrong jeans?
    Or just the wrong genes?
    I can’t fit in my jeans.

    Why don’t my lines look like yours?
    You are seven feet tall.
    I’m way down by the floor.
    My butt likes to jiggle
    Your butt likes to bounce
    I’m weighed by the ton
    And you’re weighed by the ounce
    I’ve tried all the cleansers, the straighteners, the creams,
    Detoxers, bars, and diet schemes.
    But I only see a size 2 in my dreams.

    Why don’t my lines look like yours?
    Your arms are like noodles
    Your legs are like oars
    Your breasts are way up there
    And what, double D?
    I have not filled a C cup since child number 3
    But with bras made in China, who cares anyway?
    You’re strutting your stuff in French lingerie
    And if I can’t stop ogling I can’t blame my hubby
    Not his fault my straps make my back fat look chubby.

    Why don’t my lines look like yours?
    From the clothes that I buy in the big box stores?
    And you’re only shopping designer boutiques
    With customized shape wear tucked in nice in neat
    I don’t think it’s about the size of our hips
    The length of your femur
    Your silk, Gucci slips
    I think it’s because of your Pantone lips
    And maybe I just prefer Chapstick.

    Here’s why I think my lines don’t look like yours.
    You’re a product of mirrors, and smokescreens, and lore
    There’s a real person out there somewhere that is you
    What I see on the page is all concept and glue
    It’s a graphic design that takes work to compose
    So I’ll think I look bad if I don’t buy those clothes
    And think there’s a problem with underarm wings
    So I’ll buy pills, and shakes, and new fitness things
    Our lines are different-and-I think it’s because
    It’s a big money-maker
    A big business buzz
    A big glossy print by a marketing team
    A photo-shopped shadow added via touchscreen

    You sell me these problems
    Then I pay to fix’em
    A sick downward spiral
    Esteem cataclysm
    A gilded façade of what beauty should be
    But I’m vain if I think that I’m worth a look see
    There’s no ugly duckling
    There’s no modest mouse
    There’s a fierce, glowing, beauty hidden inside this house

    Okay, keep your high techno looks for a while
    I’m fine with my jiggle
    My jeans fit my style
    And I guess that I’m not really weighed by the ton
    I guess I don’t need that new fat-blaster gun
    My breasts don’t need lifts
    And my butt doesn’t sag
    Don’t need my brains bent so I think I’m a hag
    From now on, I’ll see me just a little bit clearer
    Even in my bathroom fun house mirror
    ‘Cause my lines are just right
    Just the way that they are
    All the curves, and the freckles, the dimples, and scars
    You’re not gonna sell me new lines from the store
    My lines are my lines and they’re mine to the core.

  273. Walt Wojtanik

    STICKING YOUR NECK OUT

    O       O
              h,       h,
             you’ve got to
            take a chance
          from time-to-time.
        I’m of a mind that says
       nothing comes easily
      without putting in the effort.
    For no matter    how you think
       you are            entitled to a
                                free ride, you
                                  can’t hide the
                                    fact that riding
                                      on the backs
                                       of others bothers
                                         the  balance  of
                                          nature. Your stature
                                           puts you heads above
                                             the  rest. You’d  have
                                             guessed  that  with  your
                                            perspective,  the   objective
                                       would be easy to spot. You’ve got to feel
                                      free to reach as high as you can. Demand to
                                    stand tall, and above all else remember, it’s always been a jungle out
                                  there so beware. Your survival hinges on you taking the high road. Show you
                               have what it takes to make a difference. Every chance you take makes you stand
                               out in a crowd. While others become lemmings following the pack into the sea, be the
                                  giraffe; be all that you can be. And although every gaffe you make will be taken    to
                                     heart, that’s cool. You don’t see any other fool sticking his neck out like you do.
                                      It’s a good bet     that while the fruit           on the lower     branches has been
                                          depleted,            the sweetest                tidbits are            a bit higher
                                           and you               can munch                  to your                  heart’s
                                             desire.                 You can                     see the                forest
                                           ABOVE                 the trees,                 your knees           tower over
                                          the chim-                 panzees                   and you                get to
                                              see                         the                          sun-                   set
                                              lon-                         ger                          than                   the
                                              rest                         of                           your                  frie-
                                              nds.                       The                        perks                never
                                         do end                       when                       you’re              the big
                                                                      man on                                           the block!

    1. TomNeal

      I’m of a mind that says
      nothing comes easily
      without putting in the effort.
      For no matter how you think

      Typically, I skip over concrete poetry, but I read and enjoyed this. I like the way you have kept the references to “mind” and “think” in the head– how you have integrated words and form.

  274. ambermarie

    Black Widow Ring

    The darkness stopped the bloodflow
    I felt my finger begin to die
    Suffocated by its own commitments
    To danger and drama
    One by one, the little legs encased me
    Depriving me of the free will I once had
    To choose something new
    She urges me to begin again and again in the same place
    With a familiar poison to intoxicate me
    So that I am so drunk on the illusion of separation
    That I don’t feel the broken promises or heavy regrets
    And always return to the past where she thinks I belong
    Forever facing phantoms that ceased to haunt me ages ago
    Rather than meet the challenges of today –
    To leave behind my fear of becoming the red hourglass,
    Surviving her bite as I awaken to grace
    To live apart from the wrath of time
    Embracing the profound sense of freedom
    That only structures founded upon rules and honest promises will allow
    A feeling of real creative power
    Driven by discipline and the will to control a destiny
    Makes a marriage to success

    1. TomNeal

      That only structures founded upon rules and honest promises will allow
      A feeling of real creative power
      Driven by discipline and the will to control a destiny
      Makes a marriage to success

      You have captured the paradox of freedom.

  275. Phil Boiarski

    The Comforter

    The white dragon of winter
    snow on its scales and ice
    in its breath, froze the windows
    and rattled the glass, while deep
    in the enormous feathered bag,
    the boy watched his breath
    gather like a cloud above
    his head. The down surrounded
    him, the white geese that died
    to fill his bed with their flight,
    the drifting lift of lightness itself,
    wrapped him in the grace of
    dreams. Dragons die in time.
    He melted in the spring woods
    and the little boy dismounted
    among new leaves and
    grew into a man.

    The Giant at the Door

    Shhh, the brothers whispered
    in the black room, after the door
    slammed. Stillness held them
    even as their breaths stilled,
    eyes shut against the room.
    His footsteps creaked the floor,
    his heavy feet up the steps
    like a stone rolling uphill
    to their door, listening
    for the slightest excuse,
    then moving on.

  276. uneven steven

    at work at a job for an hourly wage
    whose only benefit of working harder or better
    is to keep from being fired
    I am known by all of my coworkers
    as the bodiless grin from down the hall
    magically popping in for monthly meetings
    popping out at the first sign of break room dramas
    and completely disappearing just as soon
    as the clock gets punched-
    concerned by this condition they sent me to the doctor
    who despite endless tests can find no evidence
    of any kind of grin – bodiless or otherwise
    and has decided to find out what’s there
    that shouldn’t be
    by slowly slicing my body into thin layers
    in an MRI machine
    less a torpedo tube
    than a crematorium
    where I am told to relax but don’t move
    the green laser cross on my forehead confirming
    what I have always known
    I am neither grin nor body
    though I find it suddenly impossible
    to disappear or let go
    despite their grim diagnosis
    that I am now completely
    and utterly gone

    1. TomNeal

      what I have always known
      I am neither grin nor body
      though I find it suddenly impossible
      to disappear or let go
      despite their grim diagnosis
      that I am now completely
      and utterly gone

      It is a day for cats!

  277. Clark Buffington

    The Magical Written Word

    My escape from reality I find in you
    when I need peace and quiet
    The reading of you can take me from this world
    and into realms of fantasy or history
    Writing you lets me create beauty and places
    of my own making and design
    You have the power to build entire universes
    out of nothing more than imagination
    In a poem you are a vehicle of transport
    into emotions unfelt but for you
    A novel is so full of you that it takes pages
    that you then disappear into as I do
    Thank you for your gift to those of us in need
    of escape and magic in our lives

    1. dhaivid3

      Wonderful! I like it.

      ‘If “books are the windows to the world” as they say, then their pages are the magic carpets that lead us there.’ – EDEWEDE ORIWOH

  278. DanielR

    WATERCOLOR WORLD
    Empty white canvases fill with pastels
    soft hues bleeding into one another
    smooth edges blend and blur, losing themselves
    until there is no shape, nothing definite
    converting what was once distinct and clear
    into shapeless figures and changing points of view
    open to diverse interpretations
    it becomes all about perceptions
    and your insightful eyes see what I cannot

    Daniel Roessler

  279. novacatmando

    729 Painted Hands

    Come,
    place your palm here,
    on stone, cold like the hands
    laid there ten thousand years ago.

    See 729 of them—
    small hands, hands
    of launderers, cooks, nurses
    who in that moment stopped 
    the work and the village play
    climbed into silent mountains
    to stain humanity on a wall.

    Come trace this arc,
    outline of an expectant mother.
    Rub the aboriginal belly
    carrying sons and daughters.

    Gaze at the corresponding
    circle in painted white, full,
    hanging above her. In prayer?
    Or a drawn connection between
    phases of the celestial and season.

    Watch the story unfold
    in volcanic sand strokes,
    with prints of choiques and guanacos—
    the drive, the crossing, animals
    among hands outstretched.

    Come,
    near the river Pinturas,
    reach out to our ancient selves,
    touch their testimony on the rock.

  280. break_of_day

    It is here that I feel the call of the
    most deeply embedded reality,
    the Truth that does not dissolve
    in the waters of cultural change
    or politics or the whims of emotion.

    It is here, in the roar of a golden lion
    who breathes life into a land of other reality
    and who protects a boy from unseen death.
    It is in the completeness of a hobbit’s loyalty
    and in the sacrifice of the one who carried the ring.
    It is in the stranger who reveals himself
    to be not a foe, but an ally and, one day, a king.

    It is in their stories that I hear it whisper —
    the call of the Something More to which I belong,
    the Something which speaks to the spirit, to the soul,
    to the part of me that longs for what lies beyond these mountains,
    the part of me that longs for home.

  281. Margot Suydam

    If I Believed in the Cross

    Between what’s real and what’s magical
    I could wrangle my senses to capture
    those missing under the spiral staircase.

    The creak of an unoiled cabinet hinge
    the rustle of tall black screen curtains
    all caress my bare scapula like ice

    I cannot taste due to the rusty smell
    of wind, the fire that’s made me deaf.
    All I see remains to me unthinkable.

    The clouds will descend and sweep me
    up like a gentler tornado still weeping
    for those who cannot fly, those stuck

    in the rubble of their shaken up lives.
    A single photograph holds all memory
    what’s left to share with the truck driver

    who traveled to the all-night emergency
    room too many times, but still not enough
    to forget the vacant eyes, a rescued child.

  282. Clark Buffington

    Realism of the Written Word

    Nothing in this world is a real as the written word
    With the power to destroy or uplift

    When pen is put to paper or fingers to keys
    words become real and concrete

    If given to someone else these words then
    are turned into fact of opinion

    Time can fade the spoken word with distance
    but the written word is refreshed each time

    A new load of emotion is bestowed upon the reader
    with every perusal or studied moment

    Anger is fueled and loaded with each review
    or joy is multiplied with every look

    The love note can feed a heart forever with its message
    and a nasty note can feed hate into eternity

  283. Jezzie

    UNDER THE WILLOW TREE

    It was a magical day,
    a day to be out at play.
    He was bathing in the pool,
    splashing about in the cool.
    water, without a care in the world.
    He hadn’t noticed her curled
    up beneath the willow tree.
    He was just happy to be free,
    and his happiness announcing
    he started joyfully singing.

    It was a magical day,
    a day that was going her way.
    She seemed peacefully sleeping,
    but with one eye ever peeping,
    watching the birds come and
    go, waiting for them to stand
    at the water’s edge as they shook
    waterlogged wings, Then she took
    her chance for pouncing,
    and started carefully springing.

    It was a magical day
    and I am glad to say
    that the bird flew away
    and the cat went off flouncing
    with her tail crossly swinging.

  284. DanielR

    DIAMOND SKIES
    If spinning rainbow wheels of fortune
    were square in shape instead of round
    they would fling multi-color diamonds
    across the brilliant sapphire sky
    before tumbling to the emerald ground
    everyone would rush to take a turn
    billions of priceless gems would fly
    until they were no longer precious
    chaos would ensue over what was found
    and people would become jaded once again

    Daniel Roessler

  285. annell

    Get Real
    To get real is to get small
    Up close personal
    Find the difference
    This cannot be done
    From a distance

    Perhaps that is why we think
    Of old people as being very real
    Their lives become small
    Perhaps they are more in the present
    Not so much future left
    And way too much past

    How I like my oatmeal
    Becomes the most important
    Consideration of the day
    Getting from one moment
    To the next
    Seeing things as they really are
    Drop the pretenses
    Being who I really am

    Hard to know what is really real
    What happens before or behind
    The stage or on it
    In the dream or
    In the waking hours
    Perhaps it is all real
    Rolled up in a magic ball

    Note: Thanks for the month of prompts! It’s been fun!

  286. CLShaffer

    Hang Time by C. Lynn Shaffer

    Word was
    in the town they came from
    they’d tried to hang the grandfather
    of the only black boy in our school
    but when they pushed him off the bridge
    he’d risen up and floated above them
    sending the crowd running
    like wild animals from a fire.
    When folks returned
    he was gone, his family vanished.
    Johnny who had no arch in his feet,
    who packed a ghost on his back between classes,
    who wanted to grow his crew-cut into locks,
    who read the books I’d lend him
    with a flashlight until dawn
    of course played in a basketball town,
    his sweat just as good as anybody’s.
    He dreaded the ball in his hands,
    Chuck Ts flat to the floor.

  287. Sasha A. Palmer

    Happy Tuesday. 29 prompts – 29 haiku.

    beyond the welkin
    a sleepy angel awakes
    off to work wings brushed

    the commute is quick
    one giant leap for mankind
    for angel one step

    the task is simple
    persuade men to be happy
    that’s what angels do

    since the creation
    happiness has been men’s foe
    men prefer ruin

    men long for passion
    harmony unsettles them
    men would rather burn

    men inhale cities
    drink beneath the rural moon
    on the airplane wings

    ever amateur
    created in God’s image
    hopelessly human

    torment their lovers
    dance themselves to destruction
    ever lonely men

    finding no refuge
    men cry when they see the Pope
    vagabond pilgrims

    empires rise and fall
    look back foresee the future
    humans do not change

    men bend their beliefs
    divide sex and sentiment
    still believe in love

    strolls through central park
    wild quarrels starting over
    beautiful and damned

    men battle their beasts
    walk along the precipice
    all the sad young men

    if i were God i
    dancers and storytellers
    always reasoning

    love is all there is
    still men crave bitter in sweet
    never satisfied

    men beat on borne back
    ceaselessly into the past
    silent tombstones speak

    lost generation
    paradigmatic writings
    jazz age any age

    winter dreams wear off
    the prickly dust of late spring
    freshness of lilacs

    pink floating dresses
    pink babies in pink bonnets
    it all starts anew

    a tight fellowship
    flappers and philosophers
    a curious case

    men tamper with faith
    yet at the end of the day
    all want to come home

    men want to repent
    quit the Godless dirty games
    men want to be loved

    life crackles like ice
    on this side of paradise
    faith is difficult

    tell it to the One
    He advocates for all men
    He knows about faith

    when everything fails
    when Babylon walls crumple
    He will raise you up

    when your soul is dry
    when you walk in wilderness
    He will quench your thirst

    when the evil strikes
    amidst your Armageddon
    He will stand by you

    put your trust in Him
    you have found peace search no more
    He will not fail you

    still men dance alone
    spin words till the story’s end
    tread on the stardust

  288. PowerUnit

    The writer dances with words
    Describes, directs, and denoues
    Conflict, character, and a sense of place
    Of the human condition trying to survive and thrive
    Yet he cannot elucidate that mystery place
    He writes from, lives in, thrives in
    That in-between world dividing concrete and abstract
    That land where magical vision and real-life experience merge
    And become something new

  289. anneemcwilliams

    garage mahal

    she paints abstract murals on cars in a junkyard. everybody likes a sunday drive.
    i love how the ground shakes at drag races. he hears eternity in empty beer cans.
    what the heck Jimmy. but it all kicks off. we carry plenty of pocket change. we’ll
    make it clean up to easy street.

    they started out breaking the law. good enough won’t cut it here. they’ve come
    to the place where nothing shines, doors open and shut. interiors, and then.
    everything dark is self-forgetting. pedal down.

    a constellation of feral cats. dreams line up. a slow hand clap. three passes.
    someone got a red light. the total track record, a final round race. circling
    the moon, it’s about filling grandstands. what’s behind you doesn’t matter.

    sidestepping bullets. “woodsmoke” said the stars. “hold on tight” said the
    funny car racer. a man zips across lanes. an inner voice says when. don’t stop.
    the conditions are challenging. if you’re in control, you’re not fast enough.

    i’ll tell you about foul shots. a cylinder’s o