Lag & Other Poetry by A. Whittenberg

Online Open Mic – 2021

A. Whittenberg’s style of writing immediately pulls you in. Each poem invokes the type contemplation that by the time you reach the end, you are excited to see what is in the next one.

My Favorite Line: “The balance of enlightenment is more enlightenment, The balance of more enlightenment is transcendence”


Lag

When you realize,
‘Please return the library books
They’re on the table’
As her last words
Balances every ”I love you” she’d given

Instead of goodbye
The incessant, familiarity of instruction
the sum
of my mother


Watching Jordan’s Fall

… God, I hate November.
All the hope I had hoped
against hope for Jordan.

Dad beat Jordan, to
straighten him out, to show
Jordan, to silence him.

My brother lived until the next
season, onto the next winter,
very quiet like a fallen leaf.


Water’s Wine

The balance of bliss is pain
The balance of pain is enlightenment
The balance of enlightenment is more enlightenment
The balance of more enlightenment is transcendence
The balance of transcendence is alienation
The balance of alienation is bliss


In it

We’re all in this together
since
we’re all in this together
until
we’re all not in this together
because after
we’re not in this together…
we will surely
fall
Apart.


Extant

shame on you
for eating flesh
the protein of your friends
(at least, you didn’t eat your sister)
but come on — what were you thinking?
to maintain
survival excuses everything except when it doesn’t
shame
after your plane crashed into the Andes Mountains
after the impact, the crush of metal, the raging fire drowned by the snow
more bad luck
the avalanche, the avalanches
being lost, being broken
and you can’t eat the rugby balls and the plane food is gone
the hunger, the relentless cold, the hunger, the screams,
where was the utility?
civilization sent search parties that couldn’t find you
shame
nourishment was only a 60 mile walk away or at least the goat herders
you had to find your own cure
you saved yourself
shame


Artist:

A Whittenberg is a Philadelphia native who has a global perspective. If she wasn’t an author she’d be a private detective or a jazz singer. She loves reading about history and true crime. Her other novels include Sweet ThangHollywood and MaineLife is FineTutored and The Sane Asylum.

Royalty & Other Poetry by Dee Allen

Onlin Open Mic – 2021

Come read the great work of Dee Allen! His poetry stands strong with its deep imagery and important topics.

My Favorite Line: “We’re made for Freedom like our tribal royal forebears were.”


                      ROYALTY

                                                   There are no more

                                              kingdoms or dynasties

                                              displayed on any map.

                                                        Mass Media

                                                       has them all.

                                             Fiefdoms in abundance.

                                                 Cults of personality

                                                  in high-definition

                                                          ultra 4K.

                                          The beautiful people seen

                                        on the flat television screen

                                                      the ordinary

                                            less glamourous would

                                         follow follow follow follow

                                                        anywhere.

                                                     For as long as

                                                    cameras flash,

                                                              roll

                                                  & the paparazzi

                                                   have the tacky

                                                 red carpet ready,

                                                  actors & models

                                            will be kings & queens

                                                      uncrowned,

                                                    their children

                                             princes & princesses

                                                          & their

                                        multitudes of fans, willing

                                               subjects to royalty.

                                                   W: 4.19. 2020

                          REV: Martin Luther King Birthday 2021


                                          CONFESSIONAL

Today,

I’m feeling confessional.

So I should 

Break down and confess:

I was an abused child.

As a child, I was constantly abused

By other people’s children.

W: 9.29.11


                                  EVERY TWENTY YEARS

                                          in America, it seems,

                                                                 Pride

in ourselves

     as African people

          w/ African culture

                 escapes from

                           the steel cage

                                         Oppression forged for it

                                                   & flees

                                                         @ large

                                                                from state

                                                                          to state

And it should. We’re made for Freedom

like our tribal

                        royal 

                                forebears were.

After all, 

we carry

             traces of

                   the Motherland

                         in our blood

                                   & decolonised minds—

W: 11.22.17


                                                          Dee Allen.

African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California U.S.A.

Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s. Author of 5 books [ Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press, and from Conviction 2 Change Publishing, Elohi Unitsi ] and 34 anthology appearances [ including Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Rise, Extreme, The Land Lives Forever, Civil Liberties United, Trees In A Garden Of Ashes, Colossus: Home, Impact and the newest from York, England’s own Stairwell Books, Geography Is Irrelevant ] under his figurative belt so far.

Typing Lesson by Carl “Papa” Palmer

Online Open Mic – 2021

Carl “Papa” Palmer shares with us today a fun and informative writing on typing! Take a look and enjoy this tidbit of knowledge!



Artist Statement:

During stay-at-home lockdown my neighbor found her Mom’s typewriter in a basement box.
She posted her discovery on social media, amazed at so many comments askingwhat it was.
I shared my attached broadsheet with her, thought you’d enjoy it, too.


Artist:

Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington.

He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoying life as “Papa”

to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer. 

PAPA’s MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever!

Forever Edging Closer to You – Original Music by Coleman Row

Online Open Mic -2021

Pandemics can’t stop the creative inspiration of Coleman Row! Recorded by sending clips back and forth to each other, these musicians have created an amazing new song and I know you will all enjoy it just as much as I do. Check out their new song below:



Artist:

Informed in equal parts by heartfelt folk ballads and anthemic hard rock, Scottish folk duo Coleman Row merge trad fiddle, rocky guitar riffs and soaring vocals. The result is an entrancing sound made intimate as it is all performed by just two musicians.
Since their official formation in September of 2019, Coleman Row have been regularly appearing at Open Mics and busking across Glasgow. Most recently, the duo have been writing and releasing new music recorded during lockdown.

Follow:

Facebook – @colemanrowband 

Instagram – @colemanrowband

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClLLgRt9Q6pcJjvzNhtNrAg

Pineapple Crush & Other Poetry by Adrian Slonaker

Online Open Mic -2021

Come ponder with me the fantastic poetry of Adrian Slonaker! He told me of how the first and third poems were created specifically of this time in winter and around the pre-Lenten Carnival season, making it the perfect time to read his great work.

My Favorite Line: “I test my winter-worn eyes in
the brightness of Carnaval-stained daylight,
my direction-impaired feet in a frazzle of plazas and calles,
my Anglo ears in a labyrinth of Rioplatense voseo,
my demoralized morale on a continent not blackened by
blemishes in devotion or family humiliations.”


“Pineapple Crush”

As a city shivers within stabbing distance of that dastardly Neptune’s trident,
Nor’easters savage the Atlantic lands laden with lobsters and fiddlehead ferns
that lure tourists in the mild months of non-pandemic years,
sending residents puffy in parkas and anoraks
scurrying up ice-licked streets and stairs to stores and kitchens
prepped with pineapple pop because bubbly sugar highs and
fake flavours artfully suggesting sunshine and sultry hues
and heat not expelled by a power-gulping appliance
deliver vitality in Voltaire’s “few acres of snow.”


“The Lord Exists on Tinder”

A swarm of photos whooshed past
at warp speed while a
spindly finger swiped through
one hundred sixty-one kilometres’
worth of
prickly pickup lines and
fish and antlers and
telltale scammers
and less conspicuous
transaction seekers
as the teal stars and rose dots of
superlikes and matches morphed into
motley messages,
one from a musclebound millennial
called Andrew
delving into
a discussion of God
and His unfazed indifference to
the facial hair preferences prescribed by
preachers of fanaticism
plus a plea
for theological live-and-let-livism
voiced among the emoticons and
GIFs.


“When Vanishing Acts Were Possible”

Across the world’s waistband,
beyond the Tropics of Cancer and
Capricorn that I crossed on an overnight
flight with gnarled nerves and a wheeled valise,
I test my winter-worn eyes in
the brightness of Carnaval-stained daylight,
my direction-impaired feet in a frazzle of plazas and calles,
my Anglo ears in a labyrinth of Rioplatense voseo,
my demoralized morale on a continent not blackened by
blemishes in devotion or family humiliations.
In the era before email and Facebook,
when an enervated soul could sink into a curtain of cigarette smoke
at dusk and become lost to follow-up without
the tendrils of friend requests
or the sneaky snares of search engines,
I could trek off the craggy cliff of a crisis
and escape to a new lifescape beckoning me
with confidence and oblivion.


Artist:

Dreaming about palm trees, rose quartz and life’s quirky mysteries, language professional Adrian Slonaker lives in snowy Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, has appeared in WINK: Writers in the Know, Gnashing Teeth, The Pangolin Review and others. 

Please Address My Speeding Tickets to Jon Bon Jovi – by Melissa St. Pierre

Online Open Mic – 2021

You don’t want to miss this epic poem by Melissa St. Pierre! Full of nostalgic contemplations, her poem rocks on with the music.

My favorite line: “The driving makes me remember and imagine. There’s a flip flop between reality and imagination and add in a dose of guilt, and I could cry. I could cry- drive and I don’t know where I’m going.” 


Please Address My Speeding Tickets to Jon Bon Jovi

Melissa St. Pierre

If I ever say the words “pixie cut” ever again, I need to be desperately smacked.

I let my hair grow out and it touches my shoulders for the first time in years. So I put it in a loose braid today.

I drove.

It’s 78 degrees in Michigan in November. And I drove with the windows down and the music up a little too loud. My hair flew out of the braid, all burgundy whipping. But it was all okay, because it was summer. In November. In Michigan. Period.

When I listened to Gavin Rossdale tell me love remains the same, it pushed me, and it made me want to close my eyes. But I couldn’t because: I was driving. And when I opened my metaphorical eyes, I saw your face. But it wasn’t the face I know, it was the face I remember. 

I couldn’t listen to the book I’m devouring because the chapter on marriage was a little too introspective and self reflective for now. For this current time. 

Leave it to a wildfire pandemic to make me think about kissing. When physical distance is not only “suggested” but required. I can self preservation today and reflection on another day. 

I continue to listen and Gavin fades into Amy Winehouse, The Allman Brothers Band, Michelle Branch, Gaga, and Lizzo. My taste in music ranges far and wide and the classics are admittedly a favorite. Bruce Springsteen is on and I am singing “baby, we were born to run!!!!” Am I? Who are we, “baby”?  

But what I’d like to know: where am I running Bruce? Where? 

My husband told me I was stuck in his web. Like an insect. 

Like. A. Fly.

I married him anyway.

Before him there was the older man.

He died in May. I sat at my dining room table and thought, there’s no way that’s him. He’s too young. 

No one told me because we do not have mutual friends anymore. I found out the usual way: social media.

I cried because he died and I still thought of the word “asshole” whenever his name was spoken or I happened to think of him.

“Why men great, til they gotta be great?”

I don’t know Lizzo, I really don’t. 

I skip the song halfway through because although I’m sure she didn’t mean for it to happen, it connects too greatly to the book I can’t listen to right now. It is summer after all. In November. In Michigan.

Instead, leave it to me to imagine kissing in a wildfire pandemic.

I kind of chuckle because I don’t know if I remember how.

The driving makes me remember and imagine. There’s a flip flop between reality and imagination and add in a dose of guilt, and I could cry. I could cry- drive and I don’t know where I’m going. 

My car fills with warmth that I don’t generate but in my mind I tilt my face up to the sky. 

I can still see the road and hear “Let It Be” and I begin to think that maybe I can. 

“And as for me, I wish that I was anywhere with anyone

Making out.”

If kissing is my religion, I’m a lost parishioner.

Take me to church. 

The last time I touched you was on the side of a hill. Our friends were all there, and you kept my silly ass from rolling down to a service drive. My skinny jeans and pencil heels were years ahead of the times. I was damn cute. And when my heel got stuck in the early May ground, you reached for me. We held hands and talked while my boyfriend looked on from the ground. I would never care what he thought about that moment, and I’ve never shared it. It was all mine.

Tonight, I’m standing in my kitchen, waiting for my hot glue gun to warm. Ed Sheeran is on by some cruel algorithm. I love him, but I don’t love the way “Thinking Out Loud” makes me feel right now. 

“Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars.”

Jesus, Ed. 

My November summer ended and it has snowed since then. 

Twice.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.

It didn’t snow, thank God. 

Thank You. 

I’ve returned to my book and turned the music down to a socially acceptable volume.

I have my hair up as well.

Summer isn’t far off after all.

Soon.

In the meantime, please address my speeding tickets to Jon Bon Jovi.


Artist:

Melissa St. Pierre teaches writing and rhetoric at Oakland University in Michigan. Her work has appeared in The Blue Nib, Ponder Savant, Panoply, 45 Women’s Literary Journal, Valiant Scribe, and Elizabeth River Press Literary Anthology. St.Pierre has also performed her work in Listen to Your Mother, a literary nonfiction storytelling showcase.

Universal Discretion & Other Poetry by Scott Thomas Outlar

Online Open Mic -2021

Scott Thomas Outlar takes a look in the direction of the existential with his enjoyable word play. Check out his work below!

My favorite line, “Love is a blank check/an IOU theory, centered in zeroes, bundled in pairs, soon cashed, when cards, start crumbling.”


Universal Discretion

grappling with ghosts

      elusive shadows

                 phosphorescent fingers

           grasp at halos

                         rings of smoke

                   and sacrifice

         keep signaling back

                  to the starting gun

                      began with a bang

                             now begging for whispers

               whimper into the void

           and sigh

groveling with gusto

         ecstatic eyes

                    holy at the center

              caramel and crimson

                           feast of queens

                       and folly

               fools over time

                      become wise or winos

                             end with a flourish

                                     bone dry and thirsty


Scattered Ages

Snapshots of mood & emotion

The mouth of death
and its inevitable yawn

Plagues throughout time
our emergent rise from the muck & mud

My ancestors didn’t starve in the cold
before passing on their swagger

and neither should I
succumb to a sin not my own

nor suffer the karma
that’s been cleansed from my soul

I caught 18 falling leaves this autumn
each one blessed with a wish still to make

Every yesterday failed to dig my grave
tomorrow remains a promise of the wind


Of Crystal Castles and Crashing Waves

Into the breach!
(even if an abyss)
march, hut, two
x 4 x 6 [+] 64

God is an equation/a flux in the field
scattered about
slung throughout
yet unified
somewhere safe
behind the scenes

Whether your answers
arrive
or not

Whether your prayers
find promise
or go up in smoke
as signals dispersed
by the sands of…

Time out!
(space shift)
calm, breathe, sigh
x siren x stargaze [-] confusion

Love is a blank check/an IOU theory
centered in zeroes
bundled in pairs
soon cashed
when cards
start crumbling


Artist:

Scott Thomas Outlar lives and writes in the suburbs outside of Atlanta, Georgia. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the 2019 and 2020 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. Selections of his poetry have been translated into Afrikaans, Albanian, Bengali, Dutch, French, Italian, Kurdish, Malayalam, Persian, Serbian, and Spanish. His sixth book, Of Sand and Sugar, was released in 2019. His podcast, Songs of Selah, airs weekly on 17Numa Radio and features interviews with contemporary poets, artists, musicians, and health advocates.

Follow: More about Outlar’s work can be found at 17Numa.com.   

The Friend & Other Poetry by Kapardeli Eftichia

Online Open Mic – 2021

Welcome to a new week! I encourage you to take some time today to reflect on the serene poetry of Kapardeli Eftichia. Provided in both a Greek and English translation, her poems swell with the romanticism of life. My favorite line in these poems,”Hidden storms were born in their breasts and sowed holy generations carved into the stones with their breaths…. peaceful souls.”


Ο ΦΙΛΟΣ

Όλες οι αισθήσεις ,σε τροχιές αρμονίας
το εικονοστάσι της μικρής εκκλησίας
στων αγγέλων την ουράνια μελωδία
με ευλάβεια προσκυνώ

Δάκρυα κυλούν για τον φίλο που
μοιραίος καιρός τον απογυμνώνει
σε ένα βαρύ χειμώνα
κορμί τρυφερό ,μίσχος δίχως ανθό
Αχ! τα φθαρμένα όμορφα μάτια του συμπονώ

Αναστενάζω για όσα χάθηκαν για αυτόν
θανάσιμες οδύνες και άπειρες συμφορές
στον πόνο και την θλίψη του
δίχως φως και ελπίδα
τον Θεό παρακαλώ

THE FRIEND

All the senses, in orbits of harmony
the iconostasis of the small church
to the heavenly melody of the angels
with reverence, I bow

Tears flow for the friend who
fatal weather strips him
in a heavy winter
body tender, stem without flower
Ah! his worn beautiful eyes I sympathize

I sigh for what was lost for him
deadly pains and infinite calamities
in his pain and sorrow
without light and hope
God please


ΓΑΛΗΝΙΕΣ ΨΥΧΕΣ
Θεός, φως
«μοίρα αθώων» βοηθός
στην μοιρασιά , ο κλήρος
έγινε χρησμός

Θύελλες κρυφές γεννήθηκαν
στα στήθη τους
και έσπειραν ιερές γενιές
που στις πέτρες χάραξαν
με τις πνοές τους…. γαλήνιες ψυχές

Γλυκά αποκοιμήθηκαν
στην ηχώ της αγάπης
Στην βασιλεία των ψυχών
έλαβαν από τον ουρανό
την σπορά των αιώνιων ρόδων

Peaceful souls
God, light
“Fate of the innocent” assistant
in the division, the lot
an amulet was made

Hidden storms were born
in their breasts
and sowed holy generations
carved into the stones
with their breaths…. peaceful souls

Sweets fell asleep
in the echo of love
In the realm of souls
they received from heaven
the sowing of eternal roses


“Καθάριες ψυχές “

Κάποιοι χρησιμοποιούν για χρώμα για να ζωγραφίσουν πίνακες, τοπία της δικής τους ζωής ακόμα και το λιγοστό αίμα από τις φλέβες τους όταν τα όνειρα τους μοιάζουν χαμένα
Στους πίνακες κάποιων άλλων ,το Ασπρόμαυρο κυριαρχεί και χάνεται από τα μάτια, όταν ξεθωριάσουν οι ώρες και οι στιγμές των χρόνων τους στα βαθιά γεράματα
Και για κάποιους τούτοι οι πίνακες μοιάζουν να φαίνονται Μοναδικά τοπία ,με τέλειες αναλογίες ,βαμμένοι με όλα τα γιορτινά χρώματα της ίριδας με τα χρώματα της δικής τους γιορτινής αιώνιας ζωής

Η δική μου ζωή βαμμένη με νερό και αίμα σχεδιασμένη με τα ίδια πινέλα και τις ίδιες πινελιές της συμπόνιας και της αγάπης που έφτιαξε ο Πλάστης για όλες τις καρδιές του κόσμου, σχεδιασμένη πάνω σε χαμένες ανθρώπινες διαδρομές με χιλιάδες Αθώες ψυχές που σε έναν πίνακα δεν χωρούν σαν ζωγραφιές , ψυχές ‘Αχρονες που μετουσιώθηκαν σε πολύχρωμες πεταλούδες και γυρνούν πρόθυμες στην ομορφιά των λουλουδιών “καθάριες ψυχές “

“Pure souls”


Some people use paint to paint paintings, landscapes of their own lives and even the little blood from their veins when their dreams seem lost.
In the paintings of others, Black and white dominates and disappears from sight, when the hours and moments of their time in old age fade
And for some these paintings seem to look Unique landscapes, in perfect proportions, painted with all the festive colors of the iris with the colors of their own festive eternal life
My own life painted with water and blood designed with the same brushes and the same touches of compassion and love that the Maker made for all the hearts of the world, designed on lost human paths with thousands of Innocent souls that do not fit in a painting like paintings, souls’ Timeless transformed into colorful butterflies and eager to return to the beauty of flowers “pure souls”


ΗΡΩΕΣ 

Ασάλευτος ο χρόνος σωπαίνει και λησμονεί

τα αταίριαστα χρώματα.

Παλιοί σύντροφοι στον μακρύ δρόμο

το ένδυμα από ζεστό κόκκινο αίμα φορούν

Στα παλιά ξύλινα παράθυρα των σπιτιών μας

οι φωνές των νέων ταξιδεύουν

 και αθόρυβα ανοίγουν  με τον καινούργιο αέρα

HEROES

Time is useless

he is silent and forgets

the mismatched colors

Old mates on the long road

the garment of warm red blood they wear

In the old wooden windows of our houses

the voices of young people travel

and quietly open with fresh air


ΕΡΩΤΙΚΟ
Ημερώνω στα δικά σου μάτια
και όταν το όνειρο ψηλώνει
τα αγιασμένα φυλακισμένα σου δάκρυα με λευτερώνουν
Ψηλαφίζω και σμιλεύω τα μισάνοιχτα χείλη
Η αγάπη με τρέφει με το δικό σου φιλί και το χάδι
Σπονδές μύρων
στην ηδονή του πνεύματος και της ψυχής
σπέρνουν λέξεις θυσίας ελπίδας και αγάπης

EROTIC
Become serene to your own eyes
and when the dream grows taller
your sanctified prisoned tears they release me
I grope and sculpt the half-open lips
Love it nourishes me with your own caress and kiss
Libations of myrrh
in the pleasure of spirit and soul
they sow words of hope ,love and sacrifice

कामुक

तुम्हारी आँखों में तारीख और सपने लम्बे हो जाते है

आपके पवित्र कैदियों के आँसू मुझे आज़ाद करते हैं

मैं महसूस करता हूं और आधे खुले होंठों को

तुम मुझे अपने चुंबन और दुलार से खुशी दो

By Ashok kumar 


Artist:

Kapardeli Eftichia has a Doctorate from ARTS AND CULTURE WORLD ACADEMY live in Patras She writes poetry, stories, short stories, hai-ku , essays  She studied journalism AKEM  Ηas many awards in national competitions Her work there is to many national and international anthologies  Has a section at the University of Cyprus in Greek culture is a member of the world poets society. website is http://world-poets.blogspot. com / is a member of the IWA (international writers and artists Association) chaired by Teresinka Pereira, had from IWA Certify 2017 as the best translation and  member of the POETAS DEL MUNDO .

Follow:

https://www.facebook.com/PPdM.Mundial –https://twitter.com/Poetedumondehttp://eftichiakapa.blogspot.gr/2013_10_01_archive.htmlhttp://isbn.nlg.gr/index.php?lvl=author_see&id=30410

https://www.facebook.com/kapardeli.eftichia

http://eftichiakapa.blogspot.gr/2013/08/blog-post_4143.html

http://worldpeaceacademy.blogspot.gr/2010/10/poets-for-world-peace.html

Missing You Alone by Shiela Denise Scott

Online Open Mic – 2021

This poem by Shiela Denise Scott is from her book Emotionally Broken. Take a look at the book review for this as well: Pages to Ponder: Emotionally Broken


Missing You Alone

Couple of old memories,
Remain in my mind,
Reminiscent feeling,
Lost forever in time

Some broken hearts bleed out teardrops,
That eyes refuse to cry,
Love dangling its aftermath,
Blurred by tomorrow sighs

Enlighten the past with presence,
Futures must journey home,
Death of photos, ashes to burn,
While missing you alone


Artist:

Shiela Denise Scott, poet published in multiple anthologies, journals, and magazines has published her first book, “Emotionally Broken.” Poems like missing you alone, and unite forever delves into the heart of the lonely. She searching for a genre, found a passion that described and defined her. 

Follow:

Connect with her on social media: https://www.facebook.com/PoetShielaDeniseScott

Girl with Clenched Hands – Oil Painting by Katarzyna Pitek

Online Open Mic – 2021

Feast your eyes on the excellent artwork by Katarzyna Pitek! You can see a story is unfolding in front of you with the flow of her brush strokes along with the deep coloring. It reminds me of passing by a stranger, not being able to know the full scope of their lives yet you know there is a beauty in the simple act of observing them. It is a a gift of a moment you get to share with them, feel connected and present minute before it quickly slips away.


Girl with clenched hands – (145×110) oil on canvas

Artist:

Katarzyna Pitek

Follow:

https://katpitek.wixsite.com/artist

https://www.instagram.com/katarzyna.pitek/