WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rimas Dissolutas

It’s been a while, so let’s get another WD Poetic Form Challenge going–this time for rimas dissolutas!

Find the rules for writing rimas dissolutas here. This French form rhymes, but not in the normal way most poets would expect.

So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on June 15, 2017.
  • Poets can enter as many rimas dissolutas as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write new rimas dissolutas. They’re fun to write; I promise.
  • I will only consider poems shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

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2017_poets_marketOrder the Current Poet’s Market!

The 2017 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, includes hundreds of poetry markets, including listings for poetry publications, publishers, contests, and more! With names, contact information, and submission tips, poets can find the right markets for their poetry and achieve more publication success than ever before.

In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff. He’s also the author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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74 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rimas Dissolutas

  1. hpaquette

    The Maestro

    The crowd begins to quietly hush
    as the house lights flicker and dim;
    the conductor takes the stage
    And calmly readies his baton.
    The room is at a silence already,

    in eager anticipation yet no rush
    as the maestro taps on the rim
    of the stand a quick beat, turns the page
    and begins. The crowd looks on,
    all at once breathless but ready

    for the opening sounds, the first blush
    of what’s to come. The violins skirt and skim,
    the resonant cello joins in, a wise sage,
    adding rounder sonorous tones upon
    the cacophony of sound building deep and heady,

    swelling as if breaking free from a cage,
    a resounding and richly vibrant carillon,
    and a final crescendo landing soft and steady.

    -Heather Paquette

  2. Jane Shlensky

    Lesser Endowments

    She squirms beside me; her lips purse
    as sun sinks and sunset roars—
    red, orange, peach, and wine
    swirl above a darkening sea.

    She watches how colors disperse,
    merging like muted metaphors.
    Oh, what flows through her mind,
    this child so much like me?

    Would she press time’s reverse,
    catch sunrise as it soars
    through all these tints, resign
    herself to blues far as we can see?

    Or does she write a verse
    of how the sky pours
    out its heart, a design
    to set our best thoughts free?

    Does she think suns emerse
    themselves each day, no recourse
    but to sink and rise to shine,
    each hour like golden filigree?

    “I have to go rehearse
    my song,” she says. “I’m worse
    than Missy.” Yes, she does remind
    me of the girl I used to be.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Saturday in the Park with Dog

    A pretty girl sits reading Braille beneath a tree,
    engrossed in something touch reveals to sight.
    He sees her, tossing a football with a friend,
    his dog leaping up to catch.
    His curiosity grows like an itch.

    She wears a sundress, and her hair swings free,
    a silky curtain. Her build is slight.
    As her hand moves, her lips bend
    in a smile, as if she’s found a match
    for her thoughts, a star to hitch

    her wagon to. He tries but cannot see
    how she can bear missing how bright
    the day is, warm, green, end-
    less sky, and him, longing to attach
    himself to her, somehow, pitch

    his best lines, introduce his dog. Will she agree
    to speak to him, share a picnic right
    now, tell him how her book can send
    her far away on a green patch
    beneath a tree, framed by sunlight, a niche

    so small and perfect he could cry? His grin
    is unseen, his pulse slamming. Mismatch
    or dawning love? He falters, wondering which.

  4. Jane Shlensky

    The Look

    He likes to look as if he plays
    guitar, girl magnet, strap
    shouldered, instrument slung
    to his back, a troubadour
    carrying a scar, a pick, and a song.

    Two chords into a piece says
    everything, his show and flap,
    dismissible were he not young
    and lost, still looking for
    his people, somewhere to belong.

    The old pickers show him ways
    to find a chord, capo, clap
    time, harmonize. Notes sung
    might stick, render him more
    than he is now—mostly wrong.

    But, Lord, he looks good—tone deaf but strong.
    The old guys agree to drown him out, notes flung
    from a height until he humbly learns the score.

  5. Jane Shlensky

    Penny Thoughts

    A crash of lightning veins the dark,
    the thunder rumbling about,
    rain rasping on the window panes,
    rush of wind, and gush of storm
    just passing through.

    That overpass where we would park,
    where we could hear each echoed shout—
    the Blue Ridge mountains rise in chains
    wind-muffled, blanket to keep warm.
    Just me and you.

    Who knows what moments will stand stark?
    When every truth can lead to doubt,
    what wondrous backdrops time contains?
    Even blind, we’d hear the swarm
    of memories come through.

    We’ve learned cloud forms that offer rains.
    We’ve learned at night rainbows are few.

  6. Jane Shlensky

    Serpentine

    She picks up the snake
    with bare hand,
    curious and unafraid,
    talking softly as she grips
    lightly its neck.

    “Mind the risks, don’t take
    liberties with vipers, stand
    clear of poisonous Plaid braid.
    Don’t grab its tail, its hips.”
    She laughs at each tongue fleck.

    “The things of earth make
    better decisions than man;
    learn to flee, seek shade,
    value relationships,
    show respect.”

    We learned the least of these made
    for strong companionships
    on our lives’ dusty treks.

  7. Jane Shlensky

    Beekeeping

    He wore the hat covered with net,
    the trousers and sleeves long,
    smoker huffing, lazy,
    the hives humming,
    the honey gold.

    A child, I promise I will not forget
    the buzzing rising like a song
    all bees know, hazy
    lullabies of lives becoming—
    manifold.

    When memories cause me to fret,
    I think of honey bees’ striped throng
    in love with clover and daisy,
    spinning dew, strumming
    the air, humble and bold.

    The nectar of our lives has set
    golden, sweet, strong,
    and healing of the ways we
    formed our songs, bees still summing
    what we keep, what we withhold.

  8. grcran

    Borne

    Held on by three nails,
    Hard tide ripped him loose
    Off the pier he had braced
    Years on end

    Alone, without sails
    Atop salty juice
    Baby barnacles chased
    Caught him, grinned

    And grew through travails
    Glad one-by-four cruise
    But were cast up as waste
    Low-tide blend

    There an old man assailed
    Him and put him to use
    Cleaned and cut him as stakes
    Drove them in

    Old board now braced tomatoes began new life on the strand
    And worked to see the gardens in his barnacled old friend

    gpr crane

  9. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Card for the Day

    I chose my Tarot card for the day
    from a recommended site online,
    glad to see it was the beautiful Empress.
    But the accompanying reading
    was bullshit. (Oops, my French – pardon me!)

    Why reinterpret the card that way
    when the meaning is perfectly fine
    as it is: Earth Mother / Mother Earth / Goddess.
    Maybe charlatans think they’re needing
    to be different to earn their money?

    I ignore the rot they had to say –
    rot that diminishes the Divine
    which the Empress card is designed to express.
    I know what it really says, seeding
    a way that I can be, and shall be.

    A way for me more fully, this day,
    to embody Divine Feminine:
    filled with Her unconditional Love, no less,
    Her nurture and compassion, leading
    to oneness with nature, strong and free.

    I’m glad to walk in Her grace today,
    receiving the gift as wholly mine
    by which I am blessed, and by which I can bless
    others I meet, who may be needing
    to be loved, nurtured, allowed to be.

  10. lsteadly

    After Stroke

    After so many months away
    spent lying prone in hospital
    the body weak, the mind not ready
    to leave all that it treasures

    how it must have felt that day
    to stand once again and recall
    how divine the thrill to be steady
    on one’s own feet, a wondrous pleasure

    to open the door and foray
    anew at home, forgive what may befall
    tomorrow or the next in future’s unknown eddy
    and revel in a luck that defies measure

  11. Asha1000

    ABOUT LOVE

    There are days when love is sweaty,
    when even a thin camisole
    is too much to wear and wet-clings
    to a body bothered by heat.

    On other days love is flighty,
    giddy and shimmying up poles,
    or jumping, like dolphins, through rings,
    or break-dancing to some wild beat.

    The best is when love is mighty:
    when it can weather and make holes
    in hardened isms, eroding
    veneers that cover those clayed feet.

    The poet said, “Love is blind…” Thing
    is it’s bright, red as a cut beet.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  12. A.M.Simon

    Cross-Purpose

    There’s a multitude of words that need to be said
    which are often said too late or never at all,
    while there are words which are being said far too much,
    that they are much better off not being spoken,
    read, written, or typed down, by and for, anyone.

    With every word, a lie or a thruth can be shed—
    the choice to create a bomb, a bridge, or a wall,
    is an invisible power within one’s clutch.
    It’s a tricky magic that can be forsaken
    with fierce consequences that cannot be undone.

    Remember when we learned to use words as a crutch?
    For everything we failed to give, lies were taken,
    ’til we wound up in a game where nobody won.

  13. Tracy Davidson

    Silent Tears

    My childish mind often wonders how
    a once loving heart no longer cares,
    a warm home becomes a lonely nest…
    words of love are few and far between.

    Woken by another blazing row,
    I sit in darkness, above the stairs
    and listen as all their hate’s expressed…
    angry insults, things they cannot mean.

    A teddy clutched tightly to my chest…
    still, my silent tears remain unseen.

  14. A.M.Simon

    My Farewell Tokens

    These smiles I show to you aren’t lies,
    They’re parting gifts made solely for you.
    with each one wrapped carefully in love,
    tagged with messages sweet and dapper—
    Always handed out with pure intent.

    These smiles I gift to you are goodbye’s—
    Subtle tokens that whisper, “adieu!”
    without the wave of a fancy glove,
    a curtain fall, or a fake clapper,
    no hidden tricks from a circus tent;

    but ain’t it funny how I used love
    as a delicate present-wrapper?
    —sometimes my heart gets a little bent.

  15. A.M.Simon

    Spatial Distortions

    Crystalline words hidden in scarlet stars,
    laughters shared over the crescent blue moon,
    tears showered during long, thunderous storms,
    leisurely walks in-between Time and Space—
    all done in perfect synchronicity.

    Thinking we could simply love away scars,
    we weave our own universe too soon—
    with our ignorance creeping like worms,
    eating at our bonds in tender ways,
    leading a destructive propensity.

    Testing the ingenuity of a farce,
    Fear bloats like an overstretched balloon—
    turning bonds into convoluted forms,
    while tempting us to destroy that one place
    where we have found pristine felicity.

  16. Mama Zen

    I Am Made Of

    riddles and eyes that bloom with surprise
    rebel yells in a liberal throat
    naps in the shade of a sunflower
    his scent
    tangled in my hair

    selfishness and sacrifice
    woman’s flesh on a mother’s bones
    years poured just to sip an hour
    again
    alone somewhere

    the ache that constellates my nights
    for the God I know or a God I don’t
    weak-(k)need for some higher power
    ellipses in . . .
    my prayers
    – Kelli Simpson

  17. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    An Online Tarot Reading

    I chose my Tarot card for the day
    from a recommended site online,
    glad to see it was the beautiful Empress.
    But the accompanying reading
    was bullshit. (Oops, my French – pardon me!)

    Why reinterpret the card that way
    when the meaning is perfectly fine
    as it is: Earth Mother / Mother Earth / Goddess.
    Maybe charlatans think they’re needing
    to be different to earn their money?

    I ignore the rot they had to say,
    rot that diminishes the Divine
    which the Empress card is designed to express.
    I know what it really says, seeding
    a way that I can be, and shall be.

    A way for me more fully, this day,
    to embody Divine Feminine:
    filled with Her unconditional Love, no less,
    Her nurture and compassion, leading
    to oneness with nature, strong and free.

    I’m glad to walk in Her grace today,
    receiving the gift as wholly mine
    by which I am blessed, and by which I can bless
    others I meet, who may be needing
    to be loved, nurtured, allowed to be.

    Note: I am making all my rimas dissolutas poems syllabic.

  18. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    A Photo of a Rose

    for my friend Shae

    This rose, a gift from her lover
    (in whose garden tenderly grown)
    tells her she too is exquisite –

    more treasured than any other.
    No longer need she stand alone
    to wait, yearn, anticipate, wait….

    Roses do not last forever
    but love is constantly reborn
    in the ever-renewing heart,

    not needing as a preserver
    poem, photo, or anyone
    to assure her that this is right.

    Yet for beauty’s sake, moreover
    affection, I take it upon
    myself to hereby celebrate!

    As the rose reflects the giver
    equally with the gifted one,
    I rejoice that now you are met.

  19. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Aarrgh! A mistype. Trying again:

    Living on the Rim

    How amazed I was when I read
    a description of the ocean as green –
    but that, I saw, was the Atlantic,
    which I do not live beside.

    The ocean, always, in my head
    is the bluest blue you have ever seen –
    deep blue, sparkling, sunny, romantic,
    and vast, huge, gorgeously wide.

    Never mind what others have said
    about other seas where I have not been.
    
I’m drunk with love for the Pacific
    and its thunder-crashing tide.

    When I lived close, I’d lie in bed
    paradoxically lulled in-between
    the rhythmical roars – the volcanic
    great ocean at my bedside.

    Living on the edge, I am ecstatic
    for this bluer beauty, this wilder side.

  20. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Living on the Rim

    How amazed I was when I read
    a description of the ocean as green –
    but that, I saw, was the Atlantic,
    which I do not live beside.

    The ocean, always, in my head
    is the bluest blue you have ever seen –
    deep blue, sparkling, sunny, romantic,
    and vast, huge, gorgeously wide.

    Never mind what others have said
    about other seas where I have not been.
I’m drunk with love for the Pacific
    and its thunder-crashing tide.

    When I lived close, I’d lie in bed
    paradoxically lulled in-between
    the rhythmical roars – the volcanic
    great ocean at my bedside.

    Living on the edge, I am ecstatic
    for this bluer beauty, this wilder side.

  21. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    I Have Woken Up

    I have woken up at half past three
    on a winter night, but not too cold
    with the heater on. Even the cat
    has gone back again to the warm bed
    we share, after joining me for a snack.
    Sensible creature – unlike this poet fool
    who thinks that wakefulness must mean, ‘Write!’

    Why else I’d wake is a mystery.
    We may need less sleep when growing old –
    well, they tell us so – but surely that
    doesn’t mean just three hours? My head
    is busy with thoughts, long before the crack
    of dawn, ye gods! I’m cold, and this isn’t cool.
    Not even poetry makes it right.

    1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

      Oops, sorry; some small alterations for the sake of logic:

      I Have Woken Up

      I have woken up at half past three
      on a winter night, but not too cold
      with the heater on. Even the cat
      has gone back again to the bed
      we share, after joining me for a snack.
      Sensible creature – unlike this poet fool
      who thinks that wakefulness must mean, ‘Write!’

      Why else I’d wake is a mystery.
      We may need less sleep when growing old –
      well, they tell us so – but surely that
      doesn’t mean three hours? My head
      is busy with thoughts, long before the crack
      of dawn, ye gods! Now I’m cold; this isn’t cool.
      Not even poetry makes it right.

  22. Eileen S

    Aloha, Hawaii by Eileen Sateriale

    It’s tropical delight of bucolic views
    surrounded by tranquil, turquoise seas.
    No other American state can compare.
    Tourists and pleasure seekers abound.
    Everyone comes to relax and play.

    Some visitors come to take a cruise
    They absorb Hawaii’s endless beauty.
    Yellow hibiscuses bloom everywhere.
    Diamond Head juts up, a rocky mound.
    It’s heaven on earth here every day.

    Adventurers paddle on outrigger canoes
    while marveling at the beauty of Waikiki.
    Others lie on the beach without a care,
    Bare feet scamper on the sandy ground.
    Waves splash the rocks with a gentle spray.

    Take a trip to paradise for sights so rare,
    where Liliuokalani’s palace can found
    and all sport aloha shirts and leis!

  23. DanielAri

    “Oh brother, oh sister”

    Now I’m picturing two honeysuckle flowers
    pouting side by side at the end of the same sprig.
    And I picture them arguing for some reason.

    One insists the bush should use its powers
    to grow stickier; the other, to grow bigger.
    So one darkens its amber over the season,

    and one micrometers outward with the passing hours.
    And they disparage each other in my figment
    for the changes they embrace under the bees’ din.

    They accuse each other of treason.

  24. Karen

    Grey skies are indicative
    of my mood tis bleak at best
    eat breakfast go for a walk
    endorphins aren’t kicking in
    seagulls fighting for a scrap

    somehow forget or forgive
    sit in a puddle and rest
    stupid birds squabble and squawk
    they steal from each other win
    at all cost leave us the crap

  25. Joe_Guam

    Together hands are tightly clenched.
    Oh do you see the same as I?
    Can two minds touch though spent apart…
    If both set sights upon the heights?

    A thirst for what cannot be quenched…
    When gaze upon a starry sky.
    A hunger builds… a longing heart…
    With twinkling of little lights

    How can a love go so awry?
    With rising sun, the words… ‘good-bye’.

    _Joe Quintanilla

  26. RJ Clarken

    Immorality

    “A cold in the head in June is an immoral thing.” ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

    Summer is here with her blooms and her greens.
    It’s time to catch up on each warm-weather thing
    like swimming and sailing and riding of bikes.
    But one thing one should not do just ‘cause it sucks
    is catching a head cold. So guess what I did?

    That’s right. Yep. I’m sniffling and sneezing. That means
    I’m hoarse and I squeak. And my voice? Cannot sing.
    On Facebook I might get some sympathy ‘Likes’
    and ‘Hope you feel betters,’ and even ‘Aw, shucks,’
    but all I am thinking is, ‘How can I rid

    myself of this sore throat. Where are my vaccines?
    I had better health during winter and spring.
    My nose sprung a leak like some ill-fated dikes,
    and I’m using up tissues which cost, well, some bucks.
    (I won’t even mention my goopy eyelid.)

    A June cold’s immoral. The temperature spikes
    outdoors and within me. So yucky! Oh yikes!
    …’though…July might be much worse. Cough! Heaven forbid!

    ###

  27. Arash

    Here’s a second one:

    “I Hear Frogs Croak”
    by Arash E.

    An African lion in the woods roared,
    faced me, said, One day I will devour you!
    When? Shuddering I asked the mighty king.
    The fiend bellowed: It will be a surprise,
    like a birthday bash…or a fatal stroke.

    Oh please have mercy on me, I implored,
    sobbing, Is there anything I can do?
    The big cat growled back, Not a single thing
    can save you, so get up and wipe your eyes,
    you look pathetic…man is such a joke!

    I stood up slowly though my tears still poured,
    and my bones convulsed with despair anew.
    Meanwhile a breeze, perfumed with the new spring,
    passed by, birds sang, and I saw the sun rise,
    spilling the warmth of its gold runny yolk.

    But what if I kill you, you godless lord,
    I asked, or myself, before you get to?
    I’m immortal, the beast began to sing,
    and second, as for wooing your demise,
    go on, I will even lend you my cloak!

    Then the king of the jungle left toward
    a red bush, after bidding me Adieu.
    Beside me a mamba hangs like a string
    from a dead-rat tree, a slime lily lies
    broken, its white petals…I hear frogs croak.

  28. Anthony94

    Owing the Land

    The smell of clover cloys
    in July’s rising heat
    as a garter snake crosses my path
    we greet each other, then move away
    the trug full of lettuce on my arm

    air is still, a portent full of ploys
    as I move to my own beat
    into a swirling green bath
    of antelope milkweeds I want to stay
    in the pasture, feed butterflies, charm

    bees. There is a plentitude here that buoys
    the pollination of things both green and sweet
    I move aside gray lath
    from pallets used to hold at bay
    the slug and coon that come to harm

    fresh cantaloupe, their wont to destroy
    webbed rind, succulent orange meat.
    I refuse to do the math
    for how many years we’ve yet to pay
    our debt to this land we’ve come to farm.

  29. Anthony94

    Owing the Land

    The smell of clover cloys
    in July’s rising heat
    as a garter snake crosses my path
    we greet each other, then move away
    the trug full of lettuce on my arm

    air is still, a portent full of ploys
    as I move to my own beat
    into a swirling green bath
    of antelope milkweeds I want to stay
    in the pasture, feed butterflies, charm

    bees. There is a plentitude here that buoys
    the pollination of things both green and sweet
    I move aside gray lath
    from pallets used to hold at bay
    the slug and coon that come to harm

    fresh cantaloupe, their wont to destroy
    webbed rind, succulent orange meat.
    I refuse to do the math
    for how many years we’ve yet to pay
    our debt to this land we’ve come to farm.

  30. Arash

    The Lab Results (or The Horror!)
    by Arash E.

    Two values had been out of range—
    Not just a single one but two!
    Further tests needed? It can’t be!
    He’d not purchased a coffin yet!

    A mistake, he wondered, so strange,
    I’m not old, I’ve lots left to do.
    Why God, please say something, why me?
    I’ve every sickness on the net!

    But could these values ever change?
    What’s the use denying what’s true,
    I’ve heard it and now I can see
    Death pull up in his black Corvette.

  31. iscribble

    AWAKE IN RAIN by Cate Morin

    awake in rain, appetite whet
    relieved that the burning
    was just another dream

    the full images failed to set
    too tossed in the turning
    before floated downstream

    where fishermen wait with old nets
    and children watch, learning
    why never pick a team

    is this called hunger or yearning?
    waking up is not what it seems

  32. taylor graham

    SUPERMOON

    You’ve crossed us all night, organizing field
    and woodland to the secret lives of night
    creatures; glittering brambles along creek
    and pond. You came early and you stay late

    as if you thought November sun might yield
    to your nocturnally reflected light.
    So close your orbit comes, as if you seek
    our earth, its mortal gravity and weight.

    But I don’t measure things so high and wheeled
    on astronomic axles. I delight
    in sun whose fire’s mirrored by you, weak
    as gleam on moon-rock, so much lifeless freight.

    And still, you wake me. Windows can’t be sealed
    against you trailing moon-robes glimmer-bright
    across our deck; misted thorn meant to pique
    those dreams alive that on Forever wait.

  33. taylor graham

    IF I’D ONLY WONDERED

    about Jurgens Townsite, I might have gone
    past the school and the upscale homes-with-views
    over the Valley, to the very end
    of a road dwindling off the map. And there

    I’d leave my car, start walking with the dawn
    behind me. In my face, the westwind strews
    bits and pieces of the past, trails that wend
    into underbrush and disappear. Where

    is the rutty route for a stagecoach drawn
    by four- or six-in hand bearing old news
    to this frontier? What news might I now send
    of exploration here, now. If I dare….

  34. JRSimmang

    FISHER’S ECSTASY

    The fish swim
    round ‘n’ round
    on moonlight

    silv’ry slim.
    Echoes found.
    Sailors fight.

    Their grey hymn,
    solemn sound,
    slipping right

    past the grim
    treasures bound
    for the white

    shores bedimmed.
    Holy ground.
    Fishes bite

    heart and limb
    deftly drowned
    this good night.

    -JR Simmang

  35. candy

    Storm Trooper

    sitting alone in this dark room

    i wait for the coming of a storm

    dark inky clouds spill over the sky

    thunder marches closer in heavy boots

    approaching rain wafts its muddy perfume

    and wind whipped leaves pass in a swarm

    jagged swords of light intensify

    and pierce the ground – electrocute

    bored clouds retreat, their trek resume

    sun shines clear and fresh and warm

    the battle’s over so out i fly

    to jump in puddles in my gumboots

  36. RJ Clarken

    Neural Network Color Scheme

    ‘An AI invented a bunch of new paint
    colors that are hilariously wrong.
    Let’s just say this neural network won’t make
    you fear the robot uprising.’

    And the names of the colors are not for the faint-
    hearted or those who disdain scuppernong*
    (which isn’t one of its paint hues, by the way) – so take
    heed: here’s a partial list for analyzing.

    Ronching Blue, Stummy Beige…and please let me acquaint
    you with Sindis Poop and Stanky Bean…these (and more!) belong
    to its list. Like: Bank Butt, Burble Simp and Dorkwood. Make no mistake.
    Where did it get these names? It’s not surprising,

    when one might reflect that an AI has no constraint
    for choosing, except what’s in its memory bank. So, strong
    signals for the weird names (but not merely for just weird’s sake)
    could provide colors and names that are quite…hmm?…mesmerizing?

    Therefore, here’s to the new and out with the quaint!
    Let’s get ready to rush quite headlong
    into walls covered in Snowbonk or Turdly. The uptake?
    Perhaps we should consider revising.

    ###

  37. RJ Clarken

    Amorphophallus Titanum

    Corpse Flower is once again in bloom!
    It’s ginormous. Ridiculously
    gorgeous…and the smell is just like death.
    Cadaver. Remains. Decaying stiff.
    But oh, what a glory to behold

    ‘though one must hold one’s nose in the room.
    It’s curated meticulously,
    by a gardener who holds his breath,
    gently tending with nary a sniff
    as the poisonous odors unfold.

    That beauty can be found in a tomb,
    From a bud to funiculus (tree?)
    means, to quote an ancient shibboleth,
    “A plant is a plant. What’s the diff?”
    Titan arum is not marigold.

    And like the witches cry in Macbeth,
    “Something wicked this way comes…one whiff
    and a prophesy is thus foretold.”

    ###

  38. taylor graham

    DISSOLVING

    Our whispering equanimity
    of evening eased in color of night
    too beautiful, you said, to be real –
    the moon, the stars, and a cooling breeze

    abruptly gone. Clouds of a black sea
    slashed by one tremendous flash of light,
    zigzag hieroglyphics cold as steel
    and wind’s chaotic gallop through trees.

    Rain! Now might the old dry creek run free?
    Lightning, and again – a second sight
    as if dissolution breaks the seal.
    Wind in our face, muddy to the knees –

    what a fresh new world the skies reveal
    at dawn – for hard work, a new heart’s-ease.

  39. JRSimmang

    OUT ON THE PERFORMANCE FLOOR

    “Who will mourn the death of a fool?”
    says the king on his ribboned throne.
    To his right, the roast pig steams,
    to his left, the people still dance,
    the queen’s face carved statuarietto.

    “No one,” said the fool, “he is but a tool,
    not worthy enough to nibble the bone
    in the mouth of the dog.” His eye gleams
    still, this victim of circumstance,
    clutching his chest in splendid rispetto.

    From it pours his blood, a crimson pool
    of lyrical odyssey. “He will soon be gone
    to the aged tapestry’s gilded seams
    and lost to the misty age of romance.”
    Thus, he slips into a liquid clear libretto

    while his thread unbinds from his spool.
    The king sips from his red bourgogne,
    “Time is not ours, but runs in streams,
    and we can only hope for a passing glance.
    If you play it, play it allegretto,

    and even I cannot attempt to overrule
    it’s tempo. The fool, the king, all forgone,
    and the wicked queen with wicked schemes
    stands on equal ground with equal chance.
    We are but one lost and last terzetto

    with lost and last confectioned dreams.”
    Who be the fool, the one with cross-gartered pants,
    or the one with sharpened steel stiletto?

    -JR Simmang

  40. Marie Elena

    What separates me from my God?

    Perhaps tribulation?
    Starvation? Distress?
    Depression? Resentment?
    Indulgence? Offense?

    No. I’m His creation.
    I’m His nonetheless.
    I’ve found true contentment.
    His love is immense.

    He spared not His own Son
    That I might be blessed?
    I’m led to repentance;
    Christ is my defense.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2017

  41. DanielAri

    “I want more of you”

    I’d pulled out that conversational quaffle:
    would you rather play every instrument
    or speak every language fluently?
    It went around. The people you’d guess
    would answer first did so; then you said,

    “Both.” “You can’t take both.” It sounded awful,
    but you laughed without discontent.
    “Yes I can, my friend. This is fantasy,
    and in mine, I play a letterpress
    accordion and a xylophone riverbed

    while my pedicured feet beat out a skiffle.
    I rap rhymes with the perfect accent
    in Sanskrit, Esperanto, Lingala and Farsi.
    And while we’re at it, I confess
    I can fly, turn invisible and raise the dead.

    I can’t be stopped, so don’t try to fence me.
    And don’t worry. I’m benevolent in my prowess.”
    Since then, I can’t get your eyes out of my head.

    —Daniel Ari

  42. tutika yah

    The speed of light

    It was time
    On your mark, get set, Bum*!
    As I felt it moving up and down
    I started heating up
    Like I was a wind chime
    The sound of the drum
    The cheering all over as I was catching up
    I kept on following the wheelwright
    I was the first on the set-up
    Like they call me the speed of light

  43. Horseman

    They say follow your heart.
    But if your heart is in a million pieces.
    Which one do you follow?
    What if your soul has been shredded?
    What If you’re trapped?

    Dodging traps and darts.
    Eventually life ceases.
    And you just become hollow.
    The pain has been embedded
    Then, before you know it, you’ve snapped.

  44. Amy

    Mission

    Badge clicking tell-tale,
    She walks with power
    Dark shadows sink her eyes
    Mitigating the stern mission glare
    She breathes anger and defeat

    More fatigue than fail
    It’s the years of hour after hour
    The coaxing, convincing lies
    She can no longer bear
    Even her own retreat

  45. Rand0m Bunn1c0rn

    Hopeless
    They lay on the ground
    Wishing for their hope back
    Their bloodshot eyes
    And pale skin tells
    Of their dark sad path

    The epidemic found
    Them all carrying carrying a sack
    Of disease and lies
    Never used and always sells
    Everything faces its wrath

    Angry at all even the sound
    Of those who lack
    The ability to unknot his ties
    They fell
    Because of his blood bath

  46. AsWritten

    MISSING by Ken Bentz

    They
    dissolve
    steamy, tangled
    memories,

    which sway
    and revolve.
    You molecularly wrangle
    the atoms of breeze.

    Don’t say
    you evolved.
    Your thoughts are mangled.
    Your mind – diseased.

  47. Nancy Posey

    Road Map

    My glove compartment has never held gloves.
    Instead it serves as a time machine, a repository
    for that loveliest of anachronisms, the road map.
    Most cumbersome than GPS, nonetheless,
    it showed me more than where I was going.

    My finger traced the roads than ran through coves
    and mountains, beside rivers, telling my story,
    where I had been, where I was now, and perhaps
    even showed me places I would never guess
    were there—towns with names worth knowing:

    Bell Buckle, Nowhere, Paradise. Anyone who loves
    to travel, loves to dream can sense the history
    implied between those lines. I was a snap
    at finding my way to magical places, blessed
    by discovery, however the wind was blowing.

  48. Bruce Niedt

    Revised version:

    Victims

    For weeks I watched a mother mourning dove
    and she watched me, stock still, with one black eye
    from my rhododendron where she nested.
    She kept her eggs warm, this new resident

    of my yard. It was not due to love,
    but purely instinct as the reason why
    she sat round-the-clock and was invested
    in her unhatched young. Daily as I went

    my way , I’d breeze on past with her above
    amidst the leaves and purple flowers by
    my front door, her patience daily tested.
    Her motherly resolve was evident,

    until one day brought nature’s cruel glove –
    a cat’s paw, and I fought the urge to cry
    when I found the lifeless bird, molested
    by some local pet with predator’s intent,

    the nest disheveled, three eggs broken, shoved
    to ground, three unborn chicks who’ll never fly.
    Those beautiful young lives, now arrested,
    a home not hidden well enough, now spent.

    Today I thought I saw him, in a grove
    of bushes by my house, a cat with sly
    sleek movements slipping uncontested.
    You bastard, I thought. Now are you content?

    I mourn the dove that I so briefly guested,
    but nature has no time for sentiment.

  49. Bruce Niedt

    Victims

    For weeks I watched a mother mourning dove
    and she watched me, stock still, with one black eye
    from my rhododendron where she nested.
    She kept her eggs warm, this new resident

    of my yard. It was not due to love,
    but purely instinct as the reason why
    she sat round-the-clock and was invested
    in her unhatched young. Daily as I went

    my way , I would breeze past with her above
    amidst the leaves and purple flowers, by
    my front door, her patience daily tested;
    her motherly resolve was evident.

    Then one day, down came nature’s cruel glove
    in a cat’s paw. I felt an urge to cry
    when I found her, lifeless and molested
    by some local pet with predator’s intent.

    The nest disheveled, three eggs broken, shoved
    out , unborn nestlings who will never fly.
    Those beautiful young lives, now arrested,
    the nest not hidden well enough, now spent.

    Today I thought I saw him, in a grove
    of bushes by my house, a cat with sly
    sleek movements that went uncontested.
    You bastard, I thought. Now are you content?

    I mourn the dove that I so briefly guested,
    but nature has no time for sentiment.

  50. taylor graham

    SEARCHING THE CANYON

    His dog dances. A hiker’s lost, to be found.
    The day has set its thermostat on Blaze,
    a fanatic sun whetting its brash.
    A swelter over the landscape. A shout –

    could it be Help! a raven’s call? a sound
    that echoes down the canyon’s deep-cut maze.
    Scarred land of heat-glare on talc, umber ash.
    Downslope the river. Dog’s a trusty scout.

    It’s tricky footing over ruptured ground.
    His dog stops, sniffs the air – a far-off gaze.
    Across the gorge, a signal-mirror flash?
    Dog’s belief overmasters master’s doubt.

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