Kushal Poddar – LTNC Series

African Myths And Lore

I mislay my book of African Myths & Lore,

vaguely recall one most burrowing that makes me sore –

about a civilian Government and nakedness,

albeit I may make a mistake; this recalling process

is like the body of a refugee swept ashore.

In the milieu drums the sea.

Our eyes smile in white.

Gulls’ aerobics loop a muss.

Where else can I misplace a book but on the shelf of conscience? 

Artist Bio:

Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost AnimalsUnderstanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and now ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’ (Alien Buddha Press)

To Follow This Artist:

Author Page – amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet

Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe

Love Thy Neighboring Country (LTNC) – Continuing Series

In September I had started a series, Love Thy Neighboring Country.

I am so excited that this month I am able to continue that series and share it with you all for the month of November!
Wonderful artists have put together heartfelt work to shine their light into darkness.

Their pieces are in efforts to promote the celebration of all countries, to humanize cultures who have been dehumanized, and to show support of those suffering due to racism. It is also a peaceful protest against the inhumane treatment of immigrants and refugees happening in the U.S.

This is not about politics, but about making humanity the priority.

Join us in spreading these arts of love by liking, commenting, and sharing these upcoming beautiful pieces.

Existential Ponders – The End

A huge thank you to all the artists who shared their Existential Ponders for this series!

Sometimes to feel alive we have to take a look at the darker sides of our existence. And boy we had some inspiring artists to help us do just that!

If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and give the artists some love by liking, commenting, and checking out more of their work!

I hope you all enjoyed the series as much as I did and it enhanced your Halloween experience this year.

Existential Ponders – Mia Savant

Questions for Death

Drawn from the movie Meet Joe Black that is not usually classified as a Halloween movie, but really, what evokes more existential thought than death embodying life?

What were you searching for, oh death

That you did not already know?

We seek for our meaning beyond the grave

While all this time you’ve been seeking yours in life?

You searched for the excitement

The whisper of a thrill

Things we often miss in our own time

We are told to be serious

To not turn to frivolous materials

That what matters is not this world

We stress for we cannot be spiritual enough to get out of our bodies before our appointed time of taking our last breath

To inhabit

What we believe to be

The true essence of being

And yet

Our material body

Has purpose

To you?

You hold the power to delay inevitable

Or end a being before their time

Yet a simple spoon of peanut butter

Feeds a part of your soul

(Or whatever your being possesses)

When you found love

You knew

The same way we do

That for some unknown reason

It means everything

And just like us you wanted to keep it forever

The thought of being without

Hurts your core so deeply that you would be willing to give up everything you have

Go back on every word you’ve ever given

And put to the test anyone who would try and take it from you

But you are just as confined as we are

Shackled by the conundrum

Of wanting true love to hold forever

But true love isn’t about holding

It isn’t about forever

To love

Is to live fiercely

Then release

Whether they stay in our hands or not

Belongs to something else

All this time

We thought it belonged to you

You were Death longing to experience life

And a life about to die

Had sympathy for you

So maybe

We are all lost together

And every moment in life and death

Means nothing and everything

Rolled together as one

What did you find, oh death?

You have now seen both sides

Is there truly

Nothing to fear?

Or is your calm an acceptance

Of eternal unknown?

Mia Savant

Existential Ponders – Anne Claros

An Elegy

The page bled as I scratched and punctured its surface.

My pen clearly marked its wake

as it slowly marched from left to right—a nauseating routine.

Dark stains mimicked the silhouettes of
the Earth’s soaring peaks and deepest valleys,

and filled the once virgin plain.
Each stroke, a glacial movement, destined to leave a scar.

As its wounds clotted and dried,

bound within them were thoughts made immortal

in the hopes that one day, they too will be great.

How foolish,

for these thoughts turned to words

were not my thoughts nor my words,

but traces of a poison

(the ignorance of others) forced down my throat.

They have infested my mind with lies

and anchored my voice with judgement.

They have killed my tongue.

They have killed my tongue.

My soul lay among the ashes—

remnants of the fire over which my heart hung.

An angry fire in the epicentre of a crowd

hungry to feast. And feast they did.

So turn the page,

for herein lies no unthinkable secret,

no unworldly knowledge,

but a procession of words

that solemnly skirt a silken black hearse

in which a poet rests—a silenced poet

whose voice the world chooses to ignore.


I sinned and was punished.
Bound. Tortured. Banished.
I trusted and was lied to.
Accused of things I’d never do.
I was blinded and tossed.
My tongue clipped—speech paused.
Imprisoned by muted cries and screams.
Wounded by shattered dreams.
My breath ceased—body still.
Death shall stay to have its fill.

But wait,

What have I done? Tell me at least.
I’m no monster—no life sucking beast.
I’ve not killed nor lied,
nor hid in the shadows of my pride.
Punish me if you must,
but not for Envy—not for Lust.
Ridicule me. Shun me.
But first, stay to hear my plea.

Yes—I am a Criminal,
a serial wrong-doer,
but only here, in your world,
where Love is no different from Murder.


I think I am broken.
A shattered beer bottle

after one too many. A mistake
swept up, dumped and forgotten.
     I am beautiful.

I catch the light
and make fragmented rainbows.
touch me.
I will cut you.
I will leave a scar.
Go and tell your friends
about it years later,
over beers. I will

never be again.
I try to tell my best friend
     she is beautiful

but I see my lips crumble away.
I see myself—scattered pieces—

    recognizable and

Can you be two things at once?
I am

a sand castle reclaimed by the sea
before your mom could see
and before your dad could

give you a pat on the back.

I am a wave diminished by the shore.
Pieces of me burst—
bubbles into oblivion.

Are you okay?

                       I lie.

I sweat alcohol.  I reek.

I am ugly.

I spill. I am spilling.
I keep together like water.
Mop me up.

Clean me up. Clean

me. I feel dirty.

I have bumpy lines on my skin:
dried up glue that leaked from my cracks.

They tried to fix me.

Now, I am uglier.

     Don’t you get it?

Broken means free
like your unfinished beer
that splashed all over

when the bottle slipped,

kissed the ground and smashed.

Kisses smash you up.

Kiss me and make a mess.
Let me pool on the floor.
I will evaporate by morning.


Anne Claros

Existential Ponders – David Estringel “The Booky Man”

“And the Beat Goes On” (originally published at littledeathlit)

Dropping from the air

upon ears like paper blotters on willing tongues,

raging at the bloodlessness of cardboard cutouts against a shrinking sky,

through psychedelic lenses

let me seeeee, let me beeeee the pulse of silent rage

that rails against the vulgar machine

with words

that organize, legitimize, minimize, super-size, tranquilize, proselytize, tantalize, infantilize,

sexualize, stigmatize the suckled teats of long-conditioned truths.

Poking the bear, disturbing the seas of featureless beige,

stirring the comatose anima with battle-cries of sight and sound

that pierce dusty eardrums like sterling icepicks,

repressed wants teeeeem, solemn faces beeeeeam,

liberated in the warmth of a sun that breaks just beyond the horizon on coffee-house stages,

rousing thoughts

to gestate, ruminate, conjugate, propriate, sublimate, fornicate, obliterate, determinate,

propagate, exfoliate dangerous visions, birthed from the unfetteredness of a purple haze.  

Fueling the scribblings of furious hands upon white sheets with whisky and cigarettes,

Making, naked, ugly underbellies of the angst-ridden and inflamed

with the glorious promises of their ecstatic treasure-trails,

let’s revel in the coolness of poetry’s heeeeeat, indulged in pollen-dusted skin so sweeeeet

within the honeyed tangles of poets’ asymmetries

to detoxify, dulcify, intensify, demystify, purify, glorify, magnify, beautify, electrify, sanctify

our bodily streams of light that sugar lips and candy the fingertips.

Tearing away at the fabric, unraveling, woven from Gloopstick youth and plasticine smiles,

repulsing at the hoards in their mindless quests for extra-flavor and double-coupon days,

looking for a steeeeeal, wanting to feeeeel,

as hollow dollars crumble to coins when plopped upon unsated palms and countertops.

Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think! Think!

We are on the brink

of the Fall of the American Empire.


“Damn, God’s Got a Fucked-Up Sense of Humor” (originally published at Headline Poetry)

I was born a criminal

and mentally ill

on a sunny April morning in 1969.

The sky was blue,

God was in his Heaven,

and I was fashionably late.

My parents were hopeful—

father swollen with pride,

mother already counting grandchildren.

Damn, God’s got a fucked-up sense of humor.

Who else could make a sexual predator

look cute in purple Garanimals?

An abomination rock a school Christmas play

in a pair of make-shift, white feather wings

and glittery Converse high-tops?

Good ol’ St. Mary’s,

where brown (OK, sorta brown) boys like me

go to learn the three Rs,

fade away

into a sea of beige, and

find shame in their bodies

in the process.

Where fear is the heart of love

and there’s a special place in Hell for me

‘cause God hates sissies—

So sayeth Sister Clair Veronica!

Damn, God’s got a fucked-up sense of humor.

Interesting how the tides have changed.

Popstars and Hollywood

with their puppy dog eyes and bleached teeth

telling us how “It gets better”,

promising unicorns

and pots of gold

at the end of colorless rainbows.

Too bad Matthew Shepherd

couldn’t stick around

just a couple of more years

to hear those sweet words–

no leprechaun’s treasure

at the end of a pistol grip

or the bottom of fence posts

on cold October nights.

Damn, God’s got a fucked-up sense of humor.

Turn on the radio.

Turn on the TV.

We are everywhere

for all to see

and have a chuckle.

Walking, talking stereotypes of

who The Unbroken still think we should be.

Am I “Just Jack”

or the Stanford Blatch—

the quippy, queeny best friend,

a comic relief.

Stand back and clap!

Watch the pink monkey dance!

(Are they expecting me to pull a string of banana-colored

anal beads out of my ass?)

So nice to be finally wrapped up

in America’s embrace.

Too bad all I want to do

is tear at the fabric of all that is good and holy

like some twisted moth

with an appetite for family values

and holy sacraments

that straight folks don’t seem to have a problem

shitting all over–

So sayeth GW Jr!

Feeling a little like my birth day today.

Damn, God has a fucked-up sense of humor.

“Nothing Lasts” (originally published at Terror House Magazine)

Stars fall

against the murk 

of the night sky,

a rain of fireflies, 

dying in mid-flight, 



upon gentle heads blow,

cruel truths.

Nothing lasts. Nothing lasts.

Listen to the harmony,

that inaudible peal


that sets heavenly bodies to spin, 

amidst everchanging kaleidoscopes

of the Void’s sacred geometries,


tugging at Fate,

with the waxing

and waning 

of single points of light.

Nothing lasts.  Nothing lasts.


the kings and queens 

of planets and moons,

tread upon paths

of celestial dust

wishing, searching

to join hands in communion

with the witnesses 

to our ignorant freefall into The Bottomless.

Nothing lasts.  Nothing lasts.

Existential Ponders – Johann Van Der Walt

the covenant

salem 1692

the children cried out:

witches witches

witches are among us!

soon the curse spread throughout town

infecting grown men and women

wraiths and specters took control of innocent townsfolk

their minds and bodies captive to dark arts

superstition and hysteria brought them down to their knees

that is what a witch does right?

magic and madness was the so-called method

reverend parris condemned the attacks on salem

blasphemy, he thundered from the pulpit

knuckles white with fear

this is a direct attack from the devil himself, he warned

his mouth fuming with deceit

there was something else scratching at his soul

in his thoughts still sealed from the outside world

one singular word flashed like a runaway fire

– a catalyst for the evil to come-

the crimson word carved into white skin:




lord, he gasped, have mercy on us

 for a legion besieged us

bidding us to sign the black book

the craft has stolen our souls


Johann Van Der Walt