Pisces by Nitiksha Dawar

Online Open Mic – 2021

With water based serigraphy as her medium, Nitiksha Dawar brings us a gorgeous aura of mystique. Take a look at the remarkable details of color and design!


Nitiksha Dawar (°1988, Delhi, India) is an artist who mainly works with Printmaking. Her prints demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves.

Her works are based on formal associations which open a unique poetic vein. Multi-layered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned. NitikshaDawar currently lives and works in Greater Noida, India.

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


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. 


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

Covid Anxiety by Lois Perch Villemaire

Online Open Mic- 2021

Lois Perch Villemaire captures the collective feeling we have in the world right now as we struggle through this pandemic. It is so important to express these things, keep ourselves sane through the insanity. Through these expressions we remind each other that we are all going through this together, and together is how we will come out the other side.

Covid Anxiety
By Lois Perch Villemaire

Feeling anxious,
something is crawling beneath your skin,
Not knowing what to expect
as today ends and tomorrow begins.

Confusion and uncertainty
are unwelcome companions,
Stretching, growing, filling
spaces, wide and deep as canyons.

Sensations of falling through time,
Nothing holds fast,
Life passages are celebrated on Zoom,
craving freedoms of the past.

Trying not to be hypnotized
by the monotony of each passing day,
Becoming sadly undone,
Shadows lurking, to your dismay.

You recognize it,
the weakness in your shoulders,
the fluttering in your chest,
the dryness in your mouth.

Closing your eyes and taking a deep breath,
Trying to quell sensations.
Digging fingers into your forehead,
The pressure feels good.

Vaccines begin to emerge,
hopefully the beginning of the end
Of this time of required isolation,
Setting you free, changing you forever.

Lois Perch Villemaire lives in Annapolis, MD. Her poetry, flash fiction, and memoir pieces have appeared in Potato Soup Journal, Ponder Savant, FewerThan500, The Drabble, Pen-in-Hand, Flora Fiction, North of Oxford, and Flash Frontier. Her work has been published in several anthologies published by Truth Serum Press.

Follow: She blogs for annapolisdiscovered.com and annapoliswellnesshouse.org.

Online Open Mic – 2021!

Online Open Mic is Back!

I am so excited to dive in with you as we take a look at the incredible efforts of artists from all over the world! Each one a reminder that we are here and our very existence is continuous creativity.

I love how art teaches us new perspectives. For a split second we get to see the world through other people’s eyes and step into their shoes. We can find that we are not alone in our feelings. In turn we can hold the artists thoughts with them to help carry their burdens. It’s an ebb and flow of giving and receiving even if we never meet the other person directly. A cycle of celebrating our humanity even in our isolated state that we have been in this past year.

Join me in celebrating these artists and the intricacies of their inspired work this year.

Let’s get pondering!

⁃ Mia Savant

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.

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 megsmithwriter.com, and

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/megsmithwriter/

Twitter — https://twitter.com/MegSmith_Writer

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.

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).

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…”


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.


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

Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era