The Playing Field by Evie Groch, Ed.D.

Carpe Diem Series

It amazes me how much we can learn from the simple observation of animals. Dogs truly embody the idea of being present and seizing the day in the most healthy of senses. Evie Groch, Ed.D. has brought us a poem that delights in this topic and leaves us with all smiles and happy thoughts!

My Favorite Line: “their hanging tongues express
their panting joy. “


The Playing Field

Grover, yellow-white lab
sits at sidewalk’s edge
beside his four canine peers,
all awaiting signal to cross
the street, enter the year-long
vacant Little League field.

Once on its turf, they romp, dash,
roll in the grass;
their hanging tongues express
their panting joy.

The ball is lobbed,
they all take off with the confidence
they’ll be the one to catch and retrieve.

Soon they are joined by others – Shepherds,
Goldens, Spaniels, mixed breeds like apple
varietals on display.
Some horse-sized, others pony-like,
they sniff their greetings, accept with tail wags.
Thrice a day I’m witness to this
from my window on the hill.

It dawns on me that for these creatures
wherever they meet
the playing field is always level.


Artist:

Evie Groch, Ed.D. is a Field Supervisor/Mentor for new administrators in Graduate Schools of Education.  Her opinion pieces, humor, poems, short stories, recipes, word challenges, and other articles have been widely published in the New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Contra Costa Times, The Journal, Games Magazine, and many online venues. Many of her poems are in published anthologies. Her short stories, poems, and memoir pieces have won her recognition and awards. Her travelogues have been published online with Grand Circle Travel. The themes of travel, language, and immigration are special for her.

Return to the Yellow Phase & More Poetry by Adrian Slonaker

Carpe Diem Series

What joy and excitement Adrian Slonaker gifts us today with his poetry! He helps us focus on the continued healing of the world as well as cherishing relationships with loved ones.

My Favorite Line: “a heart healed by
a hand that understood every callus of my fingers.”


“Return to the Yellow Phase”

At the Witching Hour, all of New Brunswick crackled and flickered as it tore out of its
two-month red and orange dungeon and dived into yellow,
so we yelled a bilingual roar of relief like
children chasing freedom from fussy schoolhouse rules in June.
Fourteen hours later, the temperature fidgeted below the freezing point, yet
the frostiness fizzled against the sizzling satisfaction of
naked smiles and a hearty hello swapped with
the strangers sidestepping ice on the sidewalk – the marvellously maskless
couple clutching each other’s fingers while
a flirty sun stripped his own facial covering,
slinking out with his come-hither stare from behind clouds
as I relished a minty-fresh French kiss on
International Women’s Day
from his windy consort,
la plus grande dame du monde:
Mother Nature.


“The Feast”

Connie Francis fretted about “Blue Winter” on a turquoise transistor radio,
an overzealous blizzard blew blasts of snow,
and sneezes sneaked out of
nostrils stricken by nasmork (a funny Russian runny nose);
but coziness flooded a discreet dinner
in the vesper shadows past the vestibule
as the sepia tone Sunday dreariness disappeared in
a limaçon-shaped pesto pizza and
a heart healed by
a hand that understood every callus of my fingers.


Artist Statement:

“Return to the Yellow Phase” was inspired by the return of our province to the ‘yellow phase’ of COVID recovery (8th March), which meant we were finally, after a couple months, allowed to go outside in public without COVID face masks. It was liberating and wonderful to take a spontaneous walk and feel the breezy cold air against my face and see human faces outdoors again! 


“The Feast” is about how a dinner with someone special (seizing the day and taking a chance on friendship, love, romance, etc.) can brighten up one’s outlook on a dreary, chilly Sunday.     


Artist:

Fond of seasonal chocolate treats eaten way out of season, catchy rock ‘n roll records, springtime rain and cobblestone streets, language professional Adrian Slonaker lives in 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, Cajun Mutt Press, The Pangolin Review and others. 

Carpe Diem & Other Poetry by Januário Esteves

Carpe Diem Series

Let the compelling work of Januário Esteves bring you that carpe diem mood! Sway to the rhythm of his appreciation of life and all that it holds.

My Favorite Line: ” Between hectic hours of scandal
Walk the voice that strikes noisy
At the heart cries for contentment
Of the life that runs uneasily”


Carpe diem

The day passes like a cloud in the sky
Now bright now, cloudy rain
Between hectic hours of scandal
Walk the voice that strikes noisy
At the heart cries for contentment
Of the life that runs uneasily
And go to the matrix of enchantment
To know if it is a happy light of love
Amidst scarce pities
Measure the minutes by patience
From those who already see the deities in the distance
Fleshy and milky give in thrill.


Deilirium

So that life is not just heartbreak
And don’t give in to capricious arbitrariness
It is vital to raise the spirit to the limit of the symbol
Bringing from this strength the hidden deities
And the cruel stupor that brings the disease
Advance without fear the song of praise
For the charm of the dream of modesty
Settle doubts that clamor with clamor
Everywhere share the experience
That translates the transfigured life dream
In the most intimate and painful experience
In chaos do not fall or be vilified
Bringing customs and signs very close
Disguises of others not wanting
Sweet and warm memories of my parents
Juxtaposing correctly in crescendo.


Pavane

Like a swollen peacock
I made the court around you
And quickly dazzled
For the sweet scream I felt

My head was spinning
My feet flowed in the air
And I didn’t know where I was anymore
Not solid ground to tread

So I support my steps
You struck me
On the verge of kisses and hugs
The two snatched up

We proposed to light life
For the future to generate
The happy seed no doubt
Pray to the splendor of heaven.


Artist:

Januário Esteves was born in Coruche and was raised near Costa da Caparica,Portugal. He graduated in electromechanical installations, uses the pseudonym Januantoand writes poetry since the age of 16.
Attachments area

Inappropriately Dressed & Other Poetry by Lynn White

Carpe Diem Series

Lynn White’s elegant poetry today reminds us to boldly be ourselves! Her work inspires that while the world challenges us, we can challenge the world right back.

My Favorite Line: ” Sometimes
you just
have to don
your dark glasses
and stride out to the sun,
regardless of snow, or clouds, or clothes. “


Inappropriately Dressed

I wasn’t dressed for snow,
or clouds,
or wind,
or for walking at all,
if I were honest.
But sometimes
you just have to give it a go
and trudge through the clouds,
kick up the snow in passing,
challenge the wind
with the size
of your hat.
It wouldn’t dare to blow
it away, would it?
Sometimes
you just
have to don
your dark glasses
and stride out to the sun,
regardless of snow, or clouds, or clothes.
Sometimes
you just have to go.

First published in Visual Verse, February 2018


Leaving Home

The van departed
fully loaded,
I stood there
empty handed
and took a last look round
the house
where I’d once been happy.
I felt empty now,
like the house,
empty rooms
and faded dreams.
I was on my own now,
going solo.
I walked briskly away.
I didn’t look back.


I Was Not Like Her

I was not like her,
the girl in the picture
looking out
scowling
defiant
rebellious.
No I was not like her
not me
not then.

I wore the gloves in summer
that my mother bought me
the classic cut clothes
that she had always
wanted to wear
even allowed my hair to curl
as it wanted to
as she wanted it to.
No I was not like her,
the one in the picture
not then.

But when I broke free
made myself up
wore minis
or long skirts
controlled my curls
with an iron in hand
yes
I think
I became her
then.

First published in Visual Verse, January 2020


Artist:

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Light Journal and So It Goes.

Follow:

Find Lynn at: 

https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com 

and 

https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/

Carpe Diem: Days are Flowers by Amrita Valan

Carpe Diem Series

Enjoy the sweet and soothing sensation of reading the work of Amrita Valan! Her poetry sinks in to fill the heart with absolute loveliness.

My Favorite Line:

“A day is a sweet flower on the tree of life
‘Live like a flower’ the day replies.”


Carpe Diem:

Days are Flowers

My heart beats are numbered
And so is, each day of my life
Flow of progress ordained,
In the act of living the moment,
Promises of fruition, speculations rife.

Actionable thoughts, questionable intentions
Prophetic wishes, visionary dreams
But the ends determined only through action.

Each bud births one single day,
Aglow at sunrise, clouds sail away.

A day waves like sweet rose in sunny caress
Revel soft petals! In youth’s redolence.
A day won’t last a week, a month, or year
It fades at sunset, a shredded petal,
A forgotten tear.

A day is lifetime of a single flower.

‘Carpe diem’ whispered the flower
‘Live for this day, this moment, this hour.’
A day is a sweet flower on the tree of life
‘Live like a flower’ the day replies.

Bless this day, this sacred day
It is all we can have and hold
In its loving folds, we grow to know
Vineyards of verdant green and gold.

A day unsheathes, a prayer to find our way
The holiest prayer is to Seize the Day.

©Amrita Valan 2021


Artist:

Amrita Valan is a mother of two boys and a writer based in Bangalore India. She has a
master’s degree in English literature. She has worked in the hospitality industry, BPOs and as
content creator for deductive logic and reasoning in English. Her poems and stories have
been published in several anthologies, online journals and zines such as Café Dissensus, Café
Lit, Spillwords, ImpSpired, Potato Soup Journal, Portland Metro zine, Poetry and Places and Glomag.

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.


Artists:

  • 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.

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

hypothermia.

Natural computer calculations.

Signs of severe body heat loss are

slurred speech and no shivering.

Slowly re-warm your body.



Footle

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).


Artist:

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. 

Follow:

lbsedlacek@charter.net

lbsedlacek@gmail.com http://www.lbsedlacek.com https://www.amazon.com/author/lbsedlacek

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.

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
yes
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


Roof

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


Artist:

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 (www.PoetryXHunger.com)

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.


Artist:

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. 

Follow:

 https://bylindaferguson.blogspot.com/  

/https://www.instagram.com/ljd.ferguson.1

Butches Can’t Wear Skirts by Carson Wolfe

Online Open Mic -2021

I am excited to share with you today a powerful piece of slam poetry! Watch and listen as Carson Wolfe boldly breaks down societal labels with their beautifully poignant style.



Artist:

Carson Wolfe

My creative practice seeks to disrupt the page by inviting the unseen to play. I believe that representation is crucial to self-actualisation and I want to carve space for the power of visibility in my work. Therefore, I orbit marginalised narratives like the moon, and always advocate for the gender menaces of the world. I recently graduated with a distinction in English, Writing and Media and was awarded Student of the Year at The Manchester College. I am currently studying Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I am refining my skills as a novelist and poet.  

Follow:

www.carsonwolfe.com

@vincentvanbutch