Graphic Poems by San Lin Tun

July Online Open Mic

Don’t miss these charming and uplifting graphic poems! They are beautifully illustrated and written by San Lin Tun.


Artist Statement 

An illustration is needed to go with a poem to enhance its poetic sense. I wonder what if I illustrate my own poems. This idea came to me when I composed a couplet based on humorous, inspirational and motivational themes. I have seen a comeback of culture in which people send postcards to their endearing friends or families although e-postcards are available online. I think that I can use these images in the front face of postcards and so, I have published the first collection of graphic poems as postcards last year. The following are new ones except the poems ‘‘The Beautiful World’’ and ‘‘The Peace Door’’ which have already appeared in postcards.


Artist:

San Lin Tun is a freelance writer of essays, poetry, short story and novel in Myanmar and English. He authored more than ten English books. His writings appeared in several local and international publications including Asia Literary Review, Kitaab, NAW, Mekong Review, Mad in Asia Pacific, Myanmar Times, Myanmmore, My Yangon Magazine, Ponder Savant, South East of Now and several others. He lives in Yangon. 

One-Liners Abound! – Irina Moga


Author:

Irina Moga is a Romanian-born Canadian writer and the author of four poetry books.

Her latest poetry collection, “Sea Glass Circe”, was selected for an official book launch through Toronto LitUp! and Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) in February 2020.

Irina’s poems, reviews and short fiction have appeared in literary magazines in Canada and the US such as Canadian Literature, carte blanche, PRISM International online, The Chaffin Journal and The Rockhurst Review.

Follow:

Web: http://www.irinamoga.com

Little White Butterfly & Other Poetry by Linda M. Crate

July Online Open Mic

Linda M. Crate is here to set us up our day to focus on the simple magic of butterflies! Come read through each one to make your day a bit brighter.


little white butterfly
you always find me
when peace seems so
far away,
i think to remind me
that sometimes we must make our own
fairy tales;
life can be heavy as an anchor
dragging across the ocean floor
sometimes we need to break free of the
water in our lungs—
because water can free and heal
yet it can also hold, destroy, and wound;
i have never feared the depths
only the shallows
perhaps this is why everything
is always heavier than it needs to be in
my wonderland—
haven’t seen the mad hatter or march hare
for a while,
i am goth alice painted blue
a gravity of things that pulls me down
i could not escape
until you set me free.
-linda m. crate


even mermaids drown
sometimes the world is heavy,
but butterflies remind me
there are still beautiful things in this world;

songs of flowers
perfume me in their fragrant lyric—

flit and flutter
let the weight of the world pass you by
as white clouds and blue skies are
sculpted into art by the frame of your wings,

you remind me not to spend all
my time in the depths;

but to come back to the surface
to get air
because even mermaids
drown—

you remind me to take time to dance
with the trees and the flowers,
and watch the honey making bees as they
hum and sing and buzz
the weight of the world never dragging down
upon their wings.
-linda m. crate


because butterflies
sometimes i feel uneasy
in my bones

have spent my life in translation

few understand my language
or the mythology of my bones,
i have screamed at the top of my lungs
until they were raw and burning
like the angriest suns;

but butterflies come and drag me out of
my dark reveries and ask me to play—

how can i refuse these sweet souls?

so i dance in the rain,
laugh with the flowers,
and fall in love with rainbows;

when the world becomes too difficult
i remember the sun will shine again

because butterflies.
-linda m. crate


i come undone
once a butterfly
insisted on joining me
on my journey
as i took a walk on a
lonely country road,
and so i let the tiger swallowtail
come along with me;
such a friendly guy or gal
allowing me to take photos and dancing around
my ankles as if to remind me of my magic
because the day was dragging me down—
as if the universe knows
when i need angels
i always see butterflies when the world is
heaviest on my shoulders,
and i remember
that i am not atlas;
i can put down the mountains and the valleys—
because it is not the weight that kills you
just the way you carry it,
and sometimes i don’t even realize i am carrying
things that are not mine;
but the butterflies come and remind me the world
is full of beauty and magic and softness and i come undone
like a flower in bloom.
-linda m. crate


brave little butterflies
little white butterflies
dancing in the flowers

i see them
every summer

even when the other butterflies
cannot come,
they are always there

offering me solace on heavy days;

as they pass the clovers
flying through trees and grass and rain
i am reminded despite my pain

that i have the strength to continue on—

& so i go and go
like these brave little butterflies
existing in a world where so many things
could kill them

they refuse to hide, they know they are delicate.
-linda m. crate


Author:

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018). Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020).

Manuela the Tortoise – Poetry by Cheryl Caesar

July Online Open Mic

Journey with Cheryl Caesar in the story of a tortoise! Look below to view a video of her reading!


Manuela the tortoise

What does a tortoise think? What does she feel?
She lives long and moves slow, heavy and protected.
Thirty years may pass like a sluggish dream.

We may rail against her long incarceration,
like Ricky Jackson’s, deserving of reparations —
but wonder: as a pet, was she not always captive?

Or we may cheer her escape, like Billy Hayes
fleeing on the midnight express from his thirty-year sentence —
although it seems she never scratched the door.

Or pity her stolen life, like Jaycee Dugard’s.
But, as Dugard found out, little by little,
the life you live becomes the real one.

Around her termites flashed, emissaries of light.
They live only a year or two. They feed on the trees
whose prana we block and hide in darkened rooms.
But nature always finds her way in.

In thirty years of encephalitic lethargy, Miss R,
a patient of Oliver Sacks, thought of nothing.
“It’s dead easy, once you know how.”

Turning the corners of a cerebral quadrangle.
Silently repeating seven notes of a Verdi aria.
Drawing mental maps of maps of maps.

“My posture leads to itself,” she said. Perhaps Manuela too
curled endlessly inward, a shell in a shell. Perhaps
she too repeated for thirty years (in Tortoise):
“I am what I am what I am what I am…”


Author:

Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She gives poetry readings locally and serves on the board of the Lansing Poetry Club. Last year she published over a hundred poems in the U.S., Germany, India, Bangladesh, Yemen and Zimbabwe, and won third prize in the Singapore Poetry Contest for her poem on global warming.  Her chapbook Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era is now available from Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow:

Facebook page: Cheryl Caesar Author
Website: http://caesarc.msu.domains/

Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era

One-Liners Abound! – Alan Bern


Author:

Retired children’s librarian Alan Bern’s poetry books: No no the saddest and Waterwalking in Berkeley, Fithian Press; greater distance, Lines & Faces, his broadside press with artist Robert Woods, linesandfaces.com. Alan has had poems, stories, and photos published in a wide variety of online and print publications, from which his work has won awards and been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Alan performs with dancer/choreographer Lucinda Weaver as PACES: dance & poetry fit to the space and with musicians from Composing Together, composingtogether.org.

Rinsed With Morning’s Gold & Other Poems by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

July Online Open Mic

Bobbi Sinha-Morey’s refreshing poetry is here to uplift your day! Come take some time to relax and get lost in her calm words.


Rinsed With Morning’s Gold

From the ridge plums are
dangling from the vine like
ripe prayers, my cares waning
like a glacier’s melting thumb
looking to the sky where God
owns the heavens — a bird
changing its course in the wind,
the sun a streak of preach over
the lake, memories of the past
so far away from me having
bought my ticket with my tears
just to be here and that’s all
I’m going to spend, an idyllic
home by the water, my bedroom
window rinsed with morning’s
gold every day I waken.


Tulips

Morning just at their door,
breathing in the light wind
after they’d slept tulips shyly,
modestly pose as the dawning
blue shadows begin to grow,
tulips bending on their willowy
stems, petals so prettily parting
at the throat, their knots uncurling,
tying their lives together; tulips
each one of them budding girls
or old divas lit by the heavens,
their love outlasting the sun.


Knots

On my bed I feel like
a jeweller, gold chains and
diamond necklaces before
me, and it’s my mission to
examine each one that, like
fine threads, have either been
coiled together or tangled into
a series of hard knots. With
a tiny needle from my sewing
basket and a magnifying glass
I study one knot at a time
under the lamplight, picking
apart every intricate strand
that fingers alone could never
undo. With a fine eye for detail
one sleek golden lace was set
free in ten minutes; a silver
one with an amethyst having
the fine workings of a Rolex
watch I hold closely to
extricate each knotted inch
til it was clean as a river.
I could never do it under
the mad insistence of an egg
timer or stopwatch. I could
do this for wages, be paid
a tidy sum for ladies and girls
in their teens who had clumsy
hands on rainy days or days
before a special occasion,
the bonus seeing the curving
lip and glowing cheek of
the wearer dressed to the nines
for a formal affair.


Author:

Bobbi Sinha-Morey’s poetry has appeared in a widevariety of places such as Plainsongs, Pirene’s Fountain, The Wayfarer, Helix Magazine,Miller’s Pond, The Tau, Vita Brevis, Cascadia Rising Review, Old Red KImono, andWoods Reader. Her books of poetry are available at Amazon.com and her work hasbeen nominated for Best of the Net in 2015 and the Best of the Net 2018 AnthologyAwards hosted by Sundress Publications.

Follow:

Her website is located at http://bobbisinhamorey.wordpress.com.

Paintings by Anindya Roy

July Online Open Mic

Come see the beautiful paintings of Anindya Roy! Each one painted with incredible thought behind it. As you absorb each piece, be sure to also take the time to be inspired by reading about the concepts behind them.


Environment of Corona Effect
Speed in Front of Monument

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO MY RECENT PAINTINGS 

During the period of training my works were mostly the reflectionof the city life, the aspiration and dreams of the urban middle class living in a molt-cultural and multi-lingual society.  Those days I crated the works like ‘back to the city’, ‘nagorik’ etc., by mixed media.  

To develop the concept I have been traveling historical, and culturally significant places and try to conceptualize the togetherness of living and non-living objects and a sense of mystery.  Things and particular colour encompassed me, thus my creative mind and feelings is blend.  Through I have social, ritual relation with my surroundings, I would like to search there hidden relations of mine in my works.  It is known there a relation among the living and non- living beings in nature. I saw a rhythm with the costume, ornaments, happiness, sorrow and habits of the rural people, I is wonderful to me when I inhale those things then, I express my feelings of love through my visual art work.  Some times ‘ composition ‘ starts from my dream, which leads to reality by using any conventional and non- conventional skills. Here art evokes with emotion, braveness of mind and necessary experience.  A mysterious spiritual height appears in my recent works to illuminate the images.  Thus a series of paintings came out which were titled as  ‘ conceptual –scape’.  It happened in my sub conscious and not on any stereotype conventional norms, they are unique on there own right as my feelings are.

We know the nature has a universal approach that I would like to share.  I visited Ajanta and Ellora and surrounding caves where I saw yellowish stone in roof and ceiling and walls in cave perhaps that was a meditation room and yellow colour also represents knowledge and intelligibility.  Where the ancient highly skilled sculptor did purposely or not is not a vital matter to me at that moment, but I was intoxicated by the environment of Ellora.  So I expressed my feelings through there ‘ mind scapes” for that purpose I have to travel more. 

In my works human figure and other objects some times signify a character sometimes not, simultaneously they are used to balance the paintings.  The motives are also used to decorate the painted surfaces.  Colour used in big space come balance, blue for communication and knowledge or red for empowerment.  I forgot my which at action yet the final eventuality of unconscious effort does bare conspicuously my nature and attitude. 

My pleasure gets multiplied if my art soothes the sole of the viewers and comfort their mind and eye.  Somewhere my works have got flavors of spirituality and miniature of ancient Indian art.


Artist:

Anindya Roy