Carl Scharwath & Shanti Harjani Williams – Online Open Mic

The Girl With The Brick Heart

The bee buzzing of
A well-lit life
A flagrant smile
Harnesses the light
The fluorescent hanging lamp obviates the need
To see
As it glowers back at me
The hallucinogenic halogen bulb wires my mind
To feel
A fake incandescent soul
Made of bricks and hard lumps
Walking the surface easily
Giddy
A hand stretch leads the way to the inside
The soul is damp to the touch
But brick by brick
The heart was built.


Artists:

Photography by: Carl Scharwath

Carl Scharwath, has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography (His photography was featured on the cover of 6 literary journals.) Two poetry books ‘Journey To Become Forgotten’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and ‘Abandoned’ (ScarsTv) have been published. His first photography book was recently published by Praxis. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, a competitive runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo. 

Poetry by: Shanti Harjani Williams

A lawyer by training, my full time job is being Mummy to my three amazing kids Ryan 17, Abby 14 and Shane 9. While home alone in the days, I would find the urge to write and began posting faith testimonies on Facebook on my personal page. This led to my prose writing also surrounding my Christian faith. Now I write in prose and poetry daily on my page as well as on other poetry sites. The areas I write on are faith, self awareness and growth, romance and world issues. I live and breathe my poetry and most of my work reflects my own daily experiences and life generally. I have been posting my poetry on my Facebook page for about 4 years.

Linda M. Crate – Online Open Mic

your black magic


you get crowned a good man
again and again by people i love,
but they don’t know you
like i do;
how you refused to take no
for an answer and tried to force
yourself upon me—
how when you broke up with
me i felt joy not pain,
as the tears fell from my cheeks;
they don’t know how you found me
years later at college
and smirked at me with an evil grin,
“i bet you don’t remember me”
knowing full well i would—
they don’t know the trauma you put
me through or all the things i had to work through
simply so i could function as a human being,
yet somehow i’m the villain when i scoff
that you’re a good man;
somehow i’m the witch that they must burn—
i guess your black magic is a good disguise
because they believe you’re a miracle
not a curse.
-linda m. crate


predators will be predators


i haven’t seen you in years,
and i hope i never
have to;

i don’t know what i’d do if i were
forced to stand in the same room
as you—

but any time someone tells me
i have a pretty smile it falls off my face
because i think of how you said it

just before you tried to force me to
“do it” with you,
and i know there are some that would

insist that kids would be kids;
but what about that rainy night at college
when you taunted me—

it’s not kids will be kids,
but predators will be predators;
sometimes they take the shape of children

just a hair older than you—
but i was afraid no one would believe me
if i told, and judging by the reactions

that i receive when i say you’re not a good man
i was right to believe that no one would
believe you were anything less than innocent.
-linda m. crate


i do remember you


i remember
what i was wearing that night,
and the rain lashing the window;
the evil look in your dark eyes—

i remember how i said no,
but it didn’t matter
you weren’t listening to what
i had to say;
as if i were speaking another language
entirely but i kept pleading

only for you to insist
that we were
going to “do it”—

i remember that adrenaline rush
wish saved me from your will,

and tumbling down the stairs to escape you;
your sister thought i heard my mother’s car
but quite honestly i was just running from you
regardless of whether my mother was there or not—

i remember when i got into my mother’s car
that i just wanted her to mash the gas
like a get-away vehicle;

so, unfortunately, yes, i do remember you.
-linda m. crate


people betray me


told my
childhood best friend
what you did,

and years later she still
friended you on facebook;

people always tell me
that you’re a good man and i hate
hearing that when i know
the truth—

i never am brave enough to speak up,
but the one time i made a derisive snort
i was scolded for it;

guess you have the whole world fooled
but not me—

i recognize you for the monster you are,
but people betray me when they insist you’re
a different person than what i know and remember
from all the scenes that still play in my head
all these years later.
-linda m. crate


i won’t decay for you


you are the damned spot
i cannot wash
from my skin,
but i won’t be your victim;
i will have
victory—
my life is my own,
and i refuse to live my life in fear
because of you;
i’m taking my journey back—
the trauma sometimes still makes me
stammer
like the little girl i once was,
but i refuse to let it destroy me;
i am the phoenix
whose immortal flame will always rise
from the ashes
to defeat the nightmares like you—
i refuse to be a haunted house brought down
by inner decay,
i am going to be the wreckage cleared out
by divers;
i am going to reconstruct myself from the
bruises and you will recognize me for my light
when she puts your nightmares to rest.
-linda m. crate


Artist:

Linda M. Crate

Follow This Artist:

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Kelsey Bryan-Zwick-Poetry – Online Open Mic

For the Love of What is Holy

For some it will be an insect
A rare butterfly or moth
The way beetles burrow or have strong wings

For others a snail, a mollusk
An octopus, or squid
The mammoth, the whale
The extinction of the rhino

For some it will be the smile
On a particular child’s face
Or the way a love brushes hair back
From off your brow
The smell of grandmother’s cookies

For others it will be the first hand ever
Held open to them with no kickbacks
Expected, or their hard-working moms
Or a favorite pair of shoes ready to take them
Anywhere

For some it may be themselves
Their own breathing
The miracle of having a body
In which to experience life, this planet
Pleasures

For others it will be comic books
And french fries, and greasy stained thighs
Sharing a soda with two straws
Holding hands at the movies
Learning how to drive
Moving their tassels from one side
Of their graduation cap to the other

And still for some it will be respite
A break from all the dishes and mess
And endless to do lists, a good place to sit
And read a new book, or nap, or watch
Sparrows gather outside spring’s
Window

For yet for others it will be nature itself
The tallness of trees, the rush of wind
Being caught in a wave, a swirl of salt water
Cloudy and forever mysterious
Sand between toes
Grass stains and sweat
From a long hike

For me it is you
And for the love of what is holy
All that is holy, I give thanks


Just this—

Cold nights where we nestle closer to one another
your kind being, breathing softly against my skin

And the way our kittens bird watch at the backdoor
their twin bodies, their heads atilt at a jaunty angle—


Music

Playing every note at once
isn’t music

And is the same with cooking
all the ingredients at
your disposal
at once

As with love
and all the blood
in your heart

Remember, whenever you can
that it is your time
on this planet that every generation
must reuse

A hand-me-down
a gift
we are all belong to.


A Lullaby for my Love

Goodnight, goodnight
goodnight darling
goodnight

Goodnight my sweet
I wish you the best
as your head
onto pillow rests
go forward
into your world of dreams

Hush now my darling
lay down your sorrows
pick up all your wishes for
your tomorrows

I want the best for you
top billing and
first page news

I want the poems you want
and room for a puppy
even if we still don’t get a puppy
I want you
to have what you need
I want you
to not have to work so hard
I want you
to have time for the cats
yeah and also to play with me

Basically, these days
I’d like us to win the lottery
and for everyone else to win it too
because as a proletariat
I know that what’s you’d want

We try so hard
and all we wanna do is give
you’ve got that artists spirit
and that’s what I fell in love with
if you were a song, I’d play these notes forever
but I’m glad you’re a person
cause I married you
cause I’m a smartass woman
and know who I like to share books with
and walk to the park and beach
and lay my little head next to
on an orthopedic pillow
and intertwin my dreams with
or worry into the night
if I’m being honest
for the sake of our artistic integrity
however avant-garde the day
I’m glad I’m sharing it with you


Round Things Make a Circle

An enso goes
around and around
so does an ouroboros
and a hurricane cloud
the earth and moon

It all comes back one day
it’s all both the smile
and the frown
both the egg before
it was broken
and the perfect yolk
after

A shell a stone, almost
and the center of a flower
both the smile
and the frown
the moon, the polka dot
on the suited clown

I wouldn’t say her butt
was round, but big bottomed
girls make the world go
make the world and the moon
and the sun, a sand dollar
some stones and a shell
the center of a flower

your bellybutton
the iris in your eye
the center of a flower


Artist:

A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, Kelsey Bryan-Zwick is a Spanish/English speaking poet from Long Beach, California.  Disabled with scoliosis from a young age, her poems often focus on trauma, giving heart to the antiseptic language of hospital intake forms.  Author of Watermarked (Sadie Girl Press) and founder of the micro-press BindYourOwnBooks, Kelsey’s poems appear in petrichor, Cholla Needles, Rise Up Review, Right Hand Pointing, Redshift, and Making Up, a Picture Show Press anthology.  Writing towards her new title, Here Go the Knives,

Follow This Artist:

 www.kelseybryanzwick.wixsite.com/poetry 

Instagram @theexquisitepoet

Kelsey Bryan-Zwick-Artwork – Online Open Mic

Long Beach & Whale
Mother & Daughter
Self Portrait with Wings

Artist:

A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, Kelsey Bryan-Zwick is a Spanish/English speaking poet from Long Beach, California.  Disabled with scoliosis from a young age, her poems often focus on trauma, giving heart to the antiseptic language of hospital intake forms.  Author of Watermarked (Sadie Girl Press) and founder of the micro-press BindYourOwnBooks, Kelsey’s poems appear in petrichor, Cholla Needles, Rise Up Review, Right Hand Pointing, Redshift, and Making Up, a Picture Show Press anthology.  Writing towards her new title, Here Go the Knives,

Follow This Artist: 

www.kelseybryanzwick.wixsite.com/poetry 

Instagram @theexquisitepoet

Diego Marquina – Online Open Mic


Artist:

Diego Marquina: To me drawing, painting, taking pictures  and writing is the perfect scape to a calm place in my mind were I can take distance and have some fun. I started drawing as a therapy, working on my mental health is primal to me, and should be for everybody. One day I published one of my drawings, and I started to get feedback that surprised me.

Follow This Artist:

www.instagram.com/diegomarquina

www.facebook.com/diegomarquinaart

www.satchiart.com/diegomarquina

www.behance.net/diegomarquina