My Mother & Death is Not a Woe – Painting and Poetry by O.Yemi Tubi

July Online Open Mic

How peaceful and soothing the embrace of a mother! O.Yemi Tubi uniquely captures this motherly bond with his vibrant painting and poetry. Also, don’t miss his other poem on not fearing death.


My Mother the colourful Rose
In our household
Emitting the aroma
of love and care.
The sweat of her brow,
the nutrient of our youth.
Her nectar nourished
and nurtured our growth.

My Mother the busy Bee
Of our household.
Travelled far and near
Collecting nectar
for the care of the family
Proverbs 31 woman
She surpassed

My Mother the aged Rose
Of the family
Baby now she became
In need of love and care.
We her petals, may we be
her garments of warm and care
In this her sunset years

My Mother the aging Rose
Looking homewards bound.
Awaiting the call to glory.
When her sun finally sets
the call to glory she capitulated
We her petals, Almighty God I plead
Us enabled to bid her adieu
With pomp and pageantry
A befitting honour that due for her.

Death is not a Woe 

Death is not woe, For those in

Christ they trust Beautiful

butterfly, From dead caterpillar

emerge, Heaven’s glory, no

one can see. If in the body of

clay remain. 

When this body of clay is shed, The glory

of heaven revealed To those washed in

the blood of the lamb. 

Death is an exit From the world of

aches and pains. An entrance to the

glory we long to see. 

Do not wail, do not fret. Your

loved one on Christ’s bosom Laid



O.Yemi Tubi


Review of Immortal Poems of the English Language by Shola Balogun

July Online Open Mic

I love seeing artists supporting artists, and today we have Shola Balogun’s review of the book Immortal Poems of the English Language edited by Oscar Williams! Read his take on the book and then go check out the book as well!

This is a review of Oscar Williams’ anthology, Immortal Poems of the English Language -by Shola Balogun

Immortal Poems of the English Language Edited by Oscar Williams

Immortal Poems of the English Language, the anthology edited by Oscar Williams, provides a highly wide-ranging flavour of poetic souls from Geoffrey Chaucer to Dylan Thomas. It crisply re-presents and depicts an ideal blending of the British and American celebrated poets and poetry, taking the reader into the classical culture with its songs and ballads, to the mighty lines of Christopher Marlowe, to the mystical poems of William Blake, to Edward FitzGerald’ s admirable translation of the Persian Omar Khayyám’ s the Rubáiyát.

In the introduction to the anthology, the editor Oscar Williams, the American poet and admittedly a distinguished anthologist, having quoted Robert Frost that, “It is absurd to think that the only way to tell if a poem is lasting is to wait and see if it lasts. The right reader of a good poem can tell the moment it strikes him that he has taken an immortal wound- that he will never get over it. That is to say, permanence in poetry, as in love, is perceived instantly. It hasn’t to await the test of time. The proof of a poem is not that we have never forgotten it, but we knew at sight we never could forget it”, states,

“A poem is immortal not only because it continues to be read by generation after generation of readers but also because each sensitive reader, having once experienced the poem, absorbs the experience and continues to feel it always, and further, because a true poem expresses an immortal human truth. Anyone who knows how to love, or to suffer, or to think, anyone who wishes to live fully, needs and seeks poetry” (“Introduction” p. 9).

The expression of poetry is not limited or restricted to any single language. It is factually visible in traditional societies whose indigenes, though are not ‘readers’ of poems, can still tell when what is essentially collective is poorly personified or modified. A poem can be the work of a single creator but the expanded experience must be collective. And that is where the permanence in poetry lies. That is the proof that a poem can never be forgotten. In poetry, for the agonizing experience of love or suffering to be impressed on the minds of others, it has to be remarkably recalled, decidedly intense and creatively emotional.

Interestingly, the anthology with its 637 pages absorbs every piece of what constitutes living arts from the best of poets. The timelessness of poetry gives me the impression that this anthology, though published in 1952, is still much relevant today. The purpose of this review is to celebrate the 68 years of the Pocket Books printing of this anthology in memory of Oscar Williams (1900-1964), poet and editor of this anthology.

Williams, Oscar, ed. Immortal Poems of the English Language. Pocket ed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952. 637 pages

ISBN: 0- 671- 49610-7

Author of Review:

Shola Balogun is a Nigerian poet, playwright, filmmaker, and literary critic. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Balogun is the author of Praying Dangerously: The Cry of Blind Bartimaeus and The Wrestling of Jacob. He also screenplayed The gods Are Liars, Wrestling with Shadows and Deliverance from The Rod of the Wicked, based on the messages of Dr. D.K.Olukoya, which have been made into short films. His work has appeared in journals and anthologies, most recently in Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City and The Tau: The Literary and Visual Art Journal of Lourdes University. Balogun lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Flight – Original Song by Acoustic Librarian

July Online Open Mic

Art inspires art! Come listen to Acoustic Librarian’s sweet love song inspired by a poem by Anne McCaffrey!



Two of us standing, alone by the sea,
You like a seabird, beautiful, free.
Suddenly darkness as I draw near your side.
How can I know you; oh what do you hide?

A whisper in shadows, a cry in the night,
Your soul tries to reach out, lost in its fright,
Cries, “Love me forever!” Hope tries to take flight.
Plunges to earth in morning’s light.

Together in darkness, is it love that we share?
Your silence unbroken grows harder to bear.
Passion transformed to anger unplanned;
The hurt in your heart I can’t understand.

A whisper in shadows, a cry in the night,
Your soul tries to reach out, lost in its fright,
Cries, “Love me forever or else I must die!”
Hope turns to mourning as flames fill the sky.

You came back to see me, revealing at last
Your reasons for silence, the pain in your past.
Finally I tell you feelings in me;
Can our words light the darkness and set both of us free?

A whisper in shadows, a cry in the night,
Your soul tries to reach out, overcomes fright.
I told you I love you; how bright were your eyes!
Hope amid longing as dawn fills the sky.

Lyrics and music by Acoustic Librarian
Inspired by a poem by Anne McCaffrey


Acoustic Librarian is a songwriter, open mic performer and technology librarian.  He lives in Southern California with his wife and their two cats.

Instagram: @AcousticLibrarian
Twitter: @AcousticLBR

Artwork by Tali Cohen Shabtai

July Online Open Mic

Tali Cohen Shabtai brings a striking blend of photography and poetry! Take a look at her beautiful work!


Tali Cohen Shabtai, is a poet, she was born in Jerusalem, Israel. She began writing poetry at the age of six, she had been an excellent student of literature. She began her writings by publishing her impressions in the school’s newspaper. First of all she published her poetry in a prestigious literary magazine of Israel ‘Moznayim’ when she was fifteen years old.

Tali has written three poetry books: Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick, (bilingual 2007), Protest (bilingual 2012) and Nine Years Away From You (2018).

Tali’s poems expresses spiritual and physical exile. She is studying her exile and freedom paradox, her cosmopolitan vision is very obvious in her writings. She lived some years in Oslo Norway and in the U.S.A. She is very prominent as a poet with a special lyric, “she doesn’t give herself easily, but subject to her own rules”.

Tali studied at the “David Yellin College of Education” for a bachelor’s degree. She is a member of the Hebrew Writers Association and the Israeli Writers Association in the state of Israel.

In 2014, Cohen Shabtai also participated in a Norwegian documentary about poets’ lives called “The Last Bohemian”- “Den Siste Bohemien”,and screened in the cinema in Scandinavia. By 2020, her fourth book of poetry will be published which will also be published in Norway. Her literary works have been translated into many languages as well.

Waxing Crescent & Other Poetry by Meg Smith

July Online Open Mic

Take a load off this golden Sunday afternoon with the silky words of Meg Smith! Take a look at her poetry below!

Waxing Crescent

the light calls us,
drawing us out
from embers of sleep.
Always the light
builds, wave upon wave,
and we dance,
its mirror of darkness.
We are waking,
trembling in its orbit.
In its gray world,
we shine.

The Coptic Cross

Philae, Upper Egypt, March 2006

I’m not brooding or praying
or singing.
The sand rises, funnels,
splits into clouds.
I don’t deserve this blue sky
or columns of letters —
a language, which keeps
a prayer within.
All I have given
to Mary, Isis and Sekhmet,
I keep within
my sphere of hope.
Someone is coming apart
from me.
Someone is losing his silence.
I pray for him
to speed the boat.
I pray for him
to mark the cross
of his good hands.

Falling Dragon

I draw my fire
from within,
my heart,
my womb unopened.
I draw my fire
from the sky;
black clouds part,
and nothing begins,
all in the shadow
of beating wings,
all in the shadow
of waking green,
and whole.


Meg Smith is a writer, journalist, Oriental dancer, and events producer, living in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A. Her publication credits include The Cafe Review, The Horror Zine, The Starlite Virtual Poetorium, and Atlantic Currents: Connecting Cork and Lowell.

Her most recent poetry books, Pretty Green Thorns, Night’s Island, This Scarlet Dancing and Dear Deepest Ghost are available on Amazon.


She welcomes visits to, and

Facebook —

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Paintings by Līga Kalniņa

July Online Open Mic

Līga Kalniņa is a painter from Latvia! Each piece brings emotion while her style also has a soft and inviting space.

Artist statement

My name is Līga Kalniņa(born 03.01.1990. Riga, Latvia).Now I’m living in small city Ķemeri and capitalcity Riga. My artist interests is mainly realistically based. My works of landscapes, architecture, portraits, still lifes, collage, assemblage have quite wide style and expression. I use gold, silver, metal leaves for my artworks, mix media, acrylic, watercolour, oil paint, varnish. I like different formats for my work – from small postcard type papers to 2×4 m canvases. I’m working on artworks of my hometown Ķemeri architecture and history, which could be my all life project. My artistic ideas interact with my experience and time. I am interested in depth and clarity of expression. I like to explore monumental shape, space, scale and speed. My goal in art is to create my own story of this time, capturing timeless emotions and passions. 


Artist Līga Kalniņa(1990) is born in Riga, Latvia. Her painter career begin with early childhood watercolor exercise with mother. Now living in small city Ķemeri and capitalcity Riga. Professional education was gained  graduating Art school of Jūrmala(2009), Art teachers bachelor(2013) and Pedagogy magister(2015) in University of Latvia, and Art science magister in Art Academy of Latvia(2017). Exhibition experiance since 2005, personal show in 2009, more than 30 group exhibitions participant till now. Have written scientific article in early children artistic education (2016). Member of Artist Union of Latvia since 2018. Winner of Art competitions and  exhibition wiever prices (Art Day’s 2018, Marina Biennale 2019). Had art residency in Zvārtava castle 2019. Her artist interests is mainly realistically based, (landscapes, architecture, portraits, still lifes, collage, assemblage)with some decorative features like gold or silver leaves. Working on long time project capturing her hometown Ķemeri.

A Window View to Who We Are – Poem by Bob McNeil

July Online Open Mic

Today, Bob McNeil brings us the art of love poetry! Come watch him read his touching words.


Bob McNeil, writer, editor, and spoken word artist, is the author of Verses of Realness. Hal Sirowitz, a Queens Poet Laureate, called the book “A fantastic trip through the mind of a poet who doesn’t flinch at the truth.” Among Bob’s recent accomplishments, he found working on Lyrics of Mature Hearts to be a humbling experience because of the anthology’s talented contributors. Copies of that collection are available here:

Monsoon – Poetry by Muzzafar Ahmad Magray

July Online Open Mic

Soak in the luscious imagery of Muzzafar Ahmad Magray! Take in the encouragement he gives to appreciate our surroundings with love.


I like the monsoon,
When it is rain and rain.
Earth gets drenched,everything looks fresh as it can.
After scorching heat it is blessing in disguise.
Children are leaving homes,soaking in rain with cheerful noise.
O love you were flashing in my inward eye, as rain was falling with might.
I was in your lap and you were holding me tight.
O love I rested my head on thy arm.
Slowly I began to feel better and warm.
My love for you is like the tidy sea.
So powerful and deep it will be.
It was raining and our love was about to bloom.
Everything was rejuvenating, vanishing was gloom.
Our time was glorious and love was sweet.
We were love making with every heart beat.
I remember we dance and played in the rain.
Such was our love, forget we worldly pain.
When I wake,it was drizzling.
I was gaily and then i wanna sing.
O love, o love ,o love,o love.
I cherish you forever, today I vow.

© Muzzafar Magray


Muzzafar Ahmad Magray  hailing from the small hamlet, khundoora in District Anantnag  jammu and Kashmir (INDIA)POET,WRITER AND VORACIOUS  READER

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.


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. 

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

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


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).