The hills that grow with years – by Okpeta, Gideon Iching & Hassan Usman

Carpe Diem Series

Read today the riveting poem by Okpeta, Gideon Iching & Hassan Usman! They weave a tapestry of time, addressing the sorrows and hopes with the days we have and days to come.

My Favorite Line: “But how often do you say to yourself
‘I’m a failure’;how long do you chase
tomorrow’s dreams?― “

The hills that grow with years.

Hills stand tall before your very eyes,
some hills
stare marvelously at your weakness:
They console you with this sympathy;
‘’life isn’t a bed of roses, neither a daffodil‘’,
take heed lest you work like an elephant
but live on like an ant.

Trees whisper to your very ears,
Some trees are
Mute to your weariness:
They silently engulf you with hopes;
“Life is full of ups, and also downs”,
Never leave war for home
When the enemies still breathe on the battlefield.

Miracle hardly happens in Warri,
Life is like this city when hope is drawn
and labor refuses to bear riped fruits for consumption.

Chaos devours the towns in maidugiri:
Life seizes breaths, heaven deafens to the ululations
And fatherland won’t even mother but rather murders.

Though hardship plays a vital role in lives:
You grow strong, strong enough to fight back
Your ordeals;
not with strength but bravery.

Though pangs hit a part of aging:
That you’re roughened, you get tough,
That you’re bruised; you brace up,
That you’re torn; you stitch up to a new dawn.

If you’re born with a silver spoon,
keep it safe; guide it jealously
Lest you lose it to beautiful shadows―
the wind you chase.

And a tale did tell of wind chasers
Encaged in the luxury of time,
Unmindful of a deadly tomorrow that came uninvited;
So if you’ve today, live it worthily.

But how often do you say to yourself
‘I’m a failure’;how long do you chase
tomorrow’s dreams?―
Yesterday has tricked you to believing she’s
blissful from nascence.

A new dawn falls on you as adults:
myriad of responsibilities beset with thorns,
beckon scornfully at your failures;
disgracefull, they demand your commitment.

Let yesterday’s glees alone
lest posterity finds you guilty;
have a taste of today’s bitterness,
‘the hills we climb’ today determine
how undulating tomorrow’s shall become.


  • Okpeta, Gideon Iching is a poet, and Essayist.He is a contributing writer for Joshuastruth magazine(JT MAG), and crispng.comHis work has appeared at The lastleavesmagazine, Literary yard journal,Words  and Whispers, Academic of the Heartsand Minds, and else where.At his spare time, he  writes and plays the keyboard.

  • Hassan Usman is a poet, content creator, debater, psychologist and a student of the university of Ilorin, Kwara. He is based in Lagos. When he isn’t writing, he prefers debating and listening to music. He has participated in online poetry contests and has been awarded both local and international certificates.

Serenity – Artwork by Ci Barros

Carpe Diem Series

Starting us out on our Carpe Diem journey, we have Ci Barros! Her unique craft combines illustration, light, water and photography. This piece in particular holds a peaceful elegance. It is gorgeous to look at, and at the same time helps the viewer to focus on the beauty and grace from within.

This work belongs to the “Elements” Collection (Atelier D’Arte Ci Barros)

Artist Statement:

This Artistic Creation expresses the conscious choice of the “now”, as an expression that contemplates the portion of life itself at a given moment. Contemplates the rational awareness that we have the “now”, as an absolute certainty, with the serenity of that same awareness in that very moment of fullness.


Ci Barros 

My artistic journey includes Exhibitions in physical and virtual spaces, national and international participations, two Poetic and Illustrative Books (in my own name), as well as my participation in several Anthologies of poetry at national level, in addition to my participation, equally poetic and illustrative, in the local newspaper. My Artistic Context is based on Social Reflection and on topics connected to the notion of Sustainability, on the Protection of the Rights of Women and the Protection of Children. Likewise, my “Social Project – Ci Barros”, through art and culture, promotes mental health (individual and collective). 


Carpe Diem Series

Welcome, Ponderbots, to a new season and a new series!

I’ve been feeling lots of hopeful energy and vibrancy from the world recently. This itching to claim life and see the magic it holds for us. We are here. We are alive. There is a time to fight for survival, and then there is a time to fight for wonderment. Today feels like a good day to let the act of feeling emotion, any emotion, remind us of the beauty of our existence.

What better way to do this than to dig into some art! This series will be here throughout the next couple months to inspire life into your world and to honor some incredible artists who embrace the days with creativity.

Carpe Diem, Ponderbots!

-Mia Savant

Frigid Water & Other Poetry by L.B. Sedlacek

Online Open Mic -2021

We have come to the end of the month and the end of our series. To close out the end of this year’s first Online Open Mic, we have the enjoyable poetry of L.B. Sedlacek! Her work is full of engaging and thoughtful weaving of words.

My Favorite Line: “Imagine that lobster enjoying a three course dinner on the ocean floor (or maybe a last meal)”

Frigid Water

(1)  Don’t attempt to swim.

Holed up in a basement with physics

students transmitting data using

a telegraph’s electronic circuits.

(2)  If you have a life vest, put it on.

December 15, 1955 – some say it

was the first time a computer

remotely transmitted data.

(3)  Pull yourself tight into a ball to

retain body heat.

A 33 year old telegrapher for the

Canadian National Railway took a leap

into modern day computer networking.

(4)  If you don’t have a life vest, grab

anything that floats.

This data exchange saved months

of calculations all with the push of 

a button.

(5)  If someone else is with you,

huddle together for warmth.

A small first step to get computers 

to operate together.

(6) If you don’t have a floatation device,

float on your back or tread water

very slowly.

With only a half megabyte of memory

it solved engineering problems.

(7) When rescued, check for signs of


Natural computer calculations.

Signs of severe body heat loss are

slurred speech and no shivering.

Slowly re-warm your body.


We talk

act foolishly

as if

nothing’s wrong

as if

wires, plugs

are normal

connected to

the body

to keep

it breathing

lissome, fair

even as

the organs

shut down.

Gastrine Mill

Lobsters have teeth in their stomachs

for chewing their food

(even at their last meal)

a fact about as strange

as coffee on ceiling tiles

or houses sitting on triangle lots

or detached mothers watching their

kids play at the park.

Imagine that lobster enjoying a

three course dinner

on the ocean floor

(or maybe a last meal)

swimming around in a giant fish tank

without a way to escape

a fact about as real

as the sandwich generation

a fatal diagnosis

a missing person found alive.

It’s always better to chew food

thoroughly ‘cause you don’t know

when you will eat again,

(the last meal).


L.B. Sedlacek has had poetry and fiction appear in different journals and zines.  Her first short story collection came out on Leap Day 2020 entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar” published by Alien Buddha Press.  Her latest poetry books are “The Poet Next Door” (Cyberwit), “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars” (Alien Buddha Press), “The Architect of French Fries” (Presa Press) and “Words and Bones” (Finishing Line Press.)  She is a former Poetry Editor for “ESC! Magazine” and co-hosted the podcast “Coffee House to Go.” LB also enjoys swimming, reading, and playing ukulele. 


Twitter: @lbsedlacek

Instagram: @poetryinla

Facebook: @lbsedlacekpoet

LB’s latest poetry books are: “Happy Little Clouds” (Guerrilla Genesis Press), “The Poet Next Door” (Cyberwit), “The Architect of French Fries” (Presa Press), and “Words and Bones” (Finishing Line Press). Her first short story collection, “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories” came out on Leap Day 2020 from Alien Buddha Press.

Southern California Poetry Scene – Drawings by Danielle Mitchell

Online Open Mic – 2021

Artists inspired by artists! I am in love with these electronic drawings by Danielle Mitchell! She celebrates the work of poets in Southern California by using her artistic skills to capture the beauty of the poets themselves. You can feel the love jumping off the page in each and every piece and capturing the essence of these wonderful people.

Bridgette Bianca
Erin Elizabeth Smith
Joy Harjo
Mahsa Hasseini

Marcus Omari

Micah Bournes
Philosophy and Fly but Shyy
Sara Borjas
Sharon Olds
Sheila J Shadr
Shira Erlichman
Terrance Hayes


Danielle Mitchell is a feminist, writer, and cake enthusiast. Her first chapbook, Makes the Daughter-in-Law Cry won the Clockwise Chapbook Prize (Tebot Bach, 2017). Danielle has also been awarded the Editor’s Prize from Mary and the Editor’s Choice Award from The Mas Tequila Review. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Vinyl, Hayden’s Ferry Review, apt, Eleven Eleven, Animal, and Nailed Magazine. Her essays, including writings on craft have appeared in the Malahat Review, DIY MFA, and with Women Who Submit. Danielle is an alumni of the Community of Writers and director of The Poetry Lab in Southern California.



Instagram: @imaginarydani

Flown Shine & Other Poetry by Hiram Larew

Online Open Mic – 2021

Skip into this week with some delectable poetry by Hiram Larew! His soothing style will surely be a refreshing treat for your spirit.

My Favorite Line: “Angels at once glow inside this as harked and before or around what silence sings of all here gone
on shoulders that bring of ever will be”

Flown Shine

Angels be gown of these trumpets
Sliver of wings such hush hover
and backlit surrounding
or flown shine
Angels at once glow inside this
as harked and before or around
What silence sings of all here gone
on shoulders that bring of ever will be
Their sighs or divine
Their notes feather the lifting

Quiets Come

(This poem first appeared in Fine Lines.)

All is up
all is sky
All is wings and tops and rise
All is up those branches hum
and whistles high
how quiets come

Or beams of clouds this world of still
that flies towards yes
and shall —
above what will and all
Where most of more
calls glowing


Who crowed me
Who put this rain shower on
and ran my gutters
Who did the sun go back and forth
and move me clouds
Who slanted me up here off down top
And who oh who climbed the reach
rose blooms to vine me

Gift of Guess

How fog comes towards
a newness in our older days
a blue inside of gray
or spidered doors
And leaves
leave such sounds as true
as browns beneath
or stones their damp
or lamps switched on

Then what dusk does as well
Its onion skins
or tree-root steam
or crinkled light
that makes all crows
their evenings

Or how musty years
in grapes that hang
or wasps or carried pails
And fielded ways
come in between —
This gift of guess
on shelves of webs
in jars of nails


Hiram Larew

Larew’s poems have appeared recently in Poetry South, Honest Ulsterman, Contemporary American Voices and Best Poetry Online.  His Poetry X Hunger initiative is bringing poets from around the world to the anti-hunger cause (

Butterfly- a beautiful transformation – Artwork by Shreyasee Konar

Online Open Mic – 2021

This piece of art by Shreyasee Konar holds the weight of so many emotions. The concept of taking pain and transforming it into something beautiful is one of my personal favorites. Her use of colors and the side by side view truly captures this concept in a deep and meaningful way.

Artist Statement:

Butterfly- a beautiful transformation Pain transforms us, gives us a new perspective, and if channelised correctly makes us more beautiful


Shreyasee Konar



Masks by Leonardo Ibáñez

Online Open Mic – 2021

Come check out these exceptional pieces of art by Leonardo Ibáñez! He eloquently writes about the pandemic and where to put our focus as artists through it all. Let his work inspire you in your own craft.

Artist Statement:

Where does my art come from?

My intentions when working on the magical thinking of forms in art are those immersed forms that, when worked in the universe of concepts emanating from the different cultures that we find around the world, give us the essence of the heritage and identity of our own to be. Well, I believe that our ancestors encountered the same dilemmas related to existence, where we come from and where we are going and what is our role in the relationship of our contact with nature from inside and outside of it, now from the perspective of creation as a plausible fact in our modern world full of algorithms, which crosses at times full of uncertainties, where nothing has meaning and significance, where despair takes over our horizons.

We have entered a very fragile threshold of the existence of the human being, and therefore we are facing a pandemic that is an invisible and terribly lethal enemy, we as artists must play an important role and face this new reality, transforming it into messages that we will process in our magical relationship between our inner worlds, our collective consciousness and the environment of this pandemic that forces us to transform this terrible reality into something different.

Therefore we must create or recreate the universal language of each of the manifestations of art, with revitalizing images to fill the spirit and thus be able to concatenate the different emotional states that this pandemic has brought us.

We must redouble the fight for a reunion with humanity and the soul of the inhabitants of the planet; we must focus at all times thinking how weak life is. The main objective of art is to find the answer to this scourge that apparently is not willing to leave us alone, so I urge my fellow artists not to fall to their knees.


Leonardo Ibáñez


Cittá dei Sogni(City of Dreams) by Analia Adorni

Online Open Mic – 2021

This sensational painting by Analia Adorni springs hope in a tired and troubled world. This piece fills me with a sense of unknown wonderment that clings to the idea that life is still full of many good things to come.

Cittá dei Sogni(City of Dreams)
oil on canvas.

Artist Statement:

My artwork attend to reflect about the relationships in times of COVID19
In these days I am seeing a control in the diary life of citizens and the necessity of vigilance.
MI intention is to reflect about the strong control in the movements, life and relationships of
people, penalizations for the citizens in case of no action according the rules.
National States use words like war, victory, friends and unfriends: in consequence appear the
phenomenon of social distancing and isolation.
This situation transforms the life of population and contribute to create paranoiac ; but, at the
same time is a positive change, because this time is an opportunity for to increase the solidarity
and the relationships.
In this period I will work with the impressions of Social Distancing and Isolation, for see the
changes in the thinking and relationship in the style life of the persons in the town (Volterra, a
town of 10.000 citizens in Central Italy, Tuscany) and the experience of my self life in
I think that after this adversity the world will be more solidary and more creative. The idea is that
the emergency is already a step for a better world. The relationships will change and the society
we will enjoy of simply things.
After this adversity the people will take more carefully with the nature. The nature will be
reconsidered and Global warming will be accepted; people will enjoy of landscapes and natural


I was born in Argentina and studied at the National University of Arts of Buenos Aires. I winced the fellowship for artisans of Tuscany Region and moved to Italy and I continue my studies at Visual Center of Pietrasanta (Tuscany)and Il Bisonte (Center for Printmaking in Florence). I participate in many collective exhibitions in Argentina, Italy and others countries of Europe and America and made solo exhibitions in Island (Lhistus Art Gallery), Italy (Casa di Dante,
Florence) Spain(Cal Gras Residency of Arts) and Argentina (University of Social Sciences) . I made residencies of arts in France and my artworks are in Museums in Italy, Argentina and

Song for Some Women by Linda Ferguson

Online Open Mic – 2021

What tremendous strength is created when women build up women! Join Linda Ferguson as she writes of the sweet love for the women in her life.

Song for Some Women

I love my heart,
that fluttering thing,
woven and battened
with the threads
of myriad names:

Fiona, Barbara, Pam and Lila,
Judith, Kerry, Ione, Aimee,
Carole, Bessie, Annamarie—
a thousand Lindas, a single Myrtle
a Zan, a Nora, Mariko, Molly—

all my mothers, friends and fires,
grandmothers and newborn daughters,

a web of flowers, stars, crescents, comets—
up and around and through we go
with stitches of feather satin, thorn and coral,
a shimmering tapestry of ruby blue
and golden green.


Linda Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated, award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and lyrical nonfiction. Her poetry chapbook, Baila Conmigo, was published by Dancing Girl Press. As a writing teacher, she has a passion for helping students find their voice and explore new territory.