“Renee By A Thread” by Tom Alexander

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Down the corridor, comes a scream
Was it physical pain
or the horror of finally learning
the way this game is turning
They took your clothes
gave you a gown
there was nothing to do but lay right down
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

Faint flashes behind tired eyelids
recalled moments from a busy life;
the night before your wedding
barefoot kisses by the Seine
The tentative first steps of Child Two
A shaking hand, a ‘thank you’ card
from the family of one you saved
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

The ache, it came and spread like water
the fever burned, the cough, it worsened
they hooked you up, you knew the drill
the butterfly, the slow sure drip
and then it seemed to ease a while
The bed you took, brought guilt at first
your hands no longer helping
Then suddenly; your quick decline
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

There’s a feeling in your chest
and that sixth-sense you sometimes get
the dawn tomorrow, you will not witness
Nurses come, their voices hushed
gloved hands hold, always too briefly
you don’t like the letting go
The room is quiet but for the wheeze
as the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

In the chair beside you, that loving face
waiting at end of every nightshift
You know that he will raise them right
Ah, but which patient was it
which desperate hand you gently held
which reassuring words you shared
with no fresh mask to wear
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

The family grieves
a nation grieves
for you
gone
needlessly soon…


To check out more of Tom’s work, go here.

Want to submit something? Just go here.


 

For mercy

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Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 10.55.03 PM

“Flower Clouds” by Odilon Redon.

An epilogue of a vista

in father’s ocean eyes;

the echo of the dream

fallen in conniption

a chrysalis of fuckery

at the mind-felt waves

in ice welts;

torturing

in a quasi-silencing of shame

as the wind blows the sail,

riffs on the skin,

witnessing the passivity of the shore

in winter carver;

something in your eyes

makes me want to forget,

in the early morning mist

concise, in late abject

flower clouds

in fragile dissensus

in the unfertilized wild,

far beyond the waiting sand

now onto dark eyeless waves

that seek the strait of death.

 

The cherry branch in requiem

in the mirror of the shore,

your mind

benumbed

in the prelude of footfall

and silence that

presses the skull of sea cliffs

forgotten

by the breast of the albatross,

leaving me the fuck alone;

and I remember the waves

depending on the atavism

rived with blood,

and robbed in shadows

of dreams; mourned,

the ocean wells

rising with white leer

through death

coming through

the womb of portend

in the blue birches

with a shell; a daughter of clam

endured the sea,

caught in loneliness

of dark, and beg

for mercy,

for mercy.

Memory

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Memory elides into the eyes there

(let it die) in the sloth of dreams, it is

a protest against the ice shadow

of what the fuck were we thinking under

 

the frail permanence of memory, this

stir dislocated into cracked lilacs red

born as species, the earth moves the rock.

 

The ocean shivers each broken bone, come

to the blood of desire where laughter opens in

 

the frightful wind in silence, a secret that is under

the haunted shores that teem with frost leaves, the

continuation through infinity, temporarily anchored in the shadow

of the tide by the surrounded white shapes of grass and ancient shelter of

black roses draped over your face, traversing the underfed yellow, this

leaf of autumn that bleeds into the deformed sky, the sun red

as we are collided into the mumbling refrain, the concentration of light upon the rock; 

 

alive, the icy wind, the mouth of nothing bare from a lover, and

growing abandoned, we can understand how it got us here; I

look around the ocean shore in a sleep with no memory, eyes never opened, will

the hollow shiver of the sea continue to morph? I dream, and it slithers—a show

in my dreams, before a silence in the flowers promises the vision of our ghosts, you

don’t speak as we live, this synchronized muteness in a morning fog, something

in your eyes that is impossible, abstract in a pool of water different

than before beneath the ribbons of bones & sinew & flesh from

our rejoined rebellion, we are prey for the dream-light either

from the sense of sun on old stones or the virgin dark that a-gapes at your

touch–ignoring the shudder into that icy wind, the memories of your mind, a shadow

 

in display to escape in the existence of silence in tattered sands covering specimens at

unmourned coasts and shorelines, where hearts bleed into the dark morning;

 

let it die, unbridled in the pale shore, and collapse into the faintest winter striding

never-ending in the fading conveyance of motion—instinct convulses behind

 

in half-sleep, a silence to keep, separating where to hide; you

don’t speak as we fail to flee from the rain—it drapes over us alone, or

the water on flesh, the water on organs cleans the poison, your

eyes of dark ice go unnoticed in the return of an autumn shadow

 

without hope, and we are to sink into the blood of our eyelids at

the grey hours like a dream slipping away, never ours; evening

comes slowly with a new absence, convinced that moments are rising 

relived, but it was never enough to satisfy; your eyes of tragedy worm to

mine shaking like a starved siege in my mind as our hands meet

I see you.


A/N: This is my attempt at the Golden Shovel poetic form where you choose a few lines from a poem, and use each word of those lines at the end. Here are the lines I used from T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland:

“There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you.”


 

“Raven” by Mark Borne

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Fly, fly, my little Raven,

Reach, reach for the sky.

See the world from the air,

My little Raven, and show it to me.

It’s a big world, little Raven,

But I promise I’ll find always find you.

 

Fly, fly, my little Raven,

Reach, reach for the stars.

Let their beauty surround you,

My little Raven, and tell it to me.

The sky has no limit, little Raven,

And I promise you’ll be free.

 

Fly, fly, my little Raven,

Come back, come back to me.

Be watching over my shoulder,

My little Raven, and please guide me.

The world is cruel, little Raven,

Yet I’ll always protect you.

 

Fly, fly, my clever Raven,

It’s time, it’s time for us to part.

Find the next little Raven,

My clever Raven, and help them grow.

I can no longer be here, clever Raven,

But you know where to find me.

Walk Alone

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Originally published here.


Blue fog, derived from the morning,
Dancing alone in an orchard with the breeze,
In a world torn with a hunt—a slow death for us all,
Then don’t let us go then.
We walk alone into the arterial landscape,
Growing colder and older,
Split into freedom, around us were roads
Hungered and torn to the shaking of whorls
Between fallen sick bones and grazed water,
Our whispers sleepy, our hands drawn
To the lonely streak of an infant mist
Like the blood world of waves,
The chisel of a shadow bygone,
You’ll never see it again.

For that is only what we seek

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The roads, the valleys, the ripened dreams in solidarity,
To a handful weaved of a ghost aubade in speech
Evoking contingent flames unmourned, and embraced
As the shaken birth from the morning, I starve the feathered dreams,
As I no longer follow through with the nightlong autumn near the glass,
I hope we don’t forget each other, and that we will remember
The wind that passes through the roots, and the river rocks that sought for better dirt,
Along with the threshold alone across the fields,
Underneath the burning sun, marring in the dark
Like a half-dead trout out of the water
In between hours of indecency and midnight
Shuddering in asymmetrical silence in a dim sneak of the unseen,
Consumed into withered plum leaves; a perspective forward,
In a linen of light sliding onto the rock’s surface,
The sunlight against the striking of a door,
And we have left by then like traces of flowers destined to exist,
Knowing that as the autumn is wounded and as it leaves,
The beginning sought for nothing but the words that break
From cold lips that illuminated the seized eternity
In this shifting sense of a dream but it is not sacred,
It is not long, and it is not tormenting, but as the roads bend
Into the beauty of the raging sea, fettered with twisting golden branches
Of the feeble willows silent in their song. We listen to the light
We listen to the walnut stems above the shuttle of greenery, forever-greenery,
Soon walking in a blaze, the wind is a wilderness hiking in our hair,
Stilling our skins with our roots into the construct of water
Water dimming away from our reflections, growing into our shadows,
Growing darker by the starlight, erupted by the fielding parallels
Of whites, purples, blues,
All into the pool of our eyes
Warped backwards into the world; we give it back,
All of it, the ghosts we are,
Greedy, slaved by the struggles of dreams drifting in repetition,
Laid against the image of the morning
That will fade into the following end, in part,
That as it only knows one name,
The words are hollow and they haunt us both.
Eyes eternally stolen into the darkness,
The glowing towered silence built by people,
For we know all too well, as the dark perched the clouds
In their dusky outlines, and without fail,
It is like we had lost sleep,
Since we still do not know any better, condemning the winds as they turned,
And condemning the spectral dreams that once danced in our hearts
Not absent, not void,
Thrived among what winter lies,
Toward the passing morning, as we only recall the naked forests
For that is what we only see, for that is only what we seek…

Look at all the eyes

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Look at all the eyes

of humanity and light

cry into blood-welling

forgotten in unbridled free verse;

around the corner that last breath

in the mirror

moves in dream and desire

nigh to each taraxcum dandelion

flowering over mother’s relics;

another death

under the stars.

Into the darkest shadows,

in murderous torpor,

times of the fish

and times of the born

a man, a woman

and a flower in the dark

kneeled into the lines

of a dream,

lines of a dream

flows like death

dream and death

in a frenzy fire, my friend,

solitary like a forsaken past

in each shade of the sea

and a temple surrounding a dark voice,

in cold hands.

I see all their eyes on me

in blue ebbs

and lonesome ferns;

I look at their eyes

earthbound,

I’d awake,

and I could not whisper

into the integrity,

in a dance of a frost dark

in poetic desire

free of mind.

Bogdan Dragos

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Horror Sleaze Trash

few posessions and no doubts

he owned one pair of shoes
four pairs of socks
one pair of pants
a tank top
two t-shirts and
a sweatshirt

he’d lost the cap
in his last dice game.

“well, hell, doesn’t matter,
broke the spell,” he chanted,
“therefore
somehow, someway
luck is gonna come my way
and why not here, now, today?”

the dreams haven’t left
the dreams were still in him,
in his soul
ready to explode

47 manuscripts:
14 novels, 7 novellas,
and 26 short stories
he carried in his pack
along with his socks
his other t-shirt
a knife
six pens he stole
from the library
where he wrote
a candy bar
and an old dull razor

he wasn’t so young anymore
the beard and gray hairs
made him look much older
surely the hunger had
affected that as well

but it didn’t matter
he was going to make it
one day, some day
soon

somehow, someway

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unresponsive

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i stay offline aeroplane mode pattering keyboard fingers dead, vibrating buzzes of messages silent the flickering light of notifications resting the battery sleeping, voice calls not going through network disconnected´ the person you are trying to call is unavailable welcome to three voicemail, one tick last seen 27/10/15 unresponsive uncaring not fearful of shoving people … Continue reading unresponsive

Haiku Series #76 (Life)

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Survival

Monday morning blast

Inundated, overwhelmed—

Is it Friday yet?

young troubled woman using laptop at home

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

 

So Rude!

Blissful morning dreams

Road closure . . . detour ahead—

Alarm clock ringing

accurate alarm alarm clock analogue

Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on Pexels.com

 

Hoping for More

Businesses open

Light traffic, just a few sales—

Most staying at home

closeup photo black door yes we are open signage

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Monday Memories: It Takes a Village

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Many of my teaching years were spent in Montana where the entire community took pride in their schools, and everyone shared responsibility in raising and educating their children.   Some of my stops included Plevna, Corvallis, and Circle.

girls on desk looking at notebook

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A child is born into a world foreign and new

Arriving today with a brighter future to view

 

Long before a child enters school year number one

Blessings come from many for a daughter or a son

 

Parents bring the beginning of learning home each day

Offering nurturing love and teaching with plenty of play

 

Others step in to provide valued assistance along the way

Teaching from grandparents and others with much to say

 

A book becomes a timely, precious, and vital gift

Learning to read will open up a life—never adrift

 

The pre-school years finally arrive and go

Seeking ways to seek, discover, and grow

 

A Sunday school teacher speaks of God’s love

Enriching a young heart with Spirit from above

 

Kindergarten and elementary school now await

Inspiring and faithful teachers remain at its gate

 

Yes, it always takes an entire village to teach a child

Educating a young mind each day, makes God smile

boy in brown hoodie carrying red backpack while walking on dirt road near tall trees

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the dark, a rose #poem #love poem #prose poem

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Scars left by the teeth of the soul.
A dove turns black.
A crow turns white.
Inversion.
A serpent coils around a tree.
No daylight left.
I say I love you and I lift my eyes toward the moon.
In the dark a rose contours the shape of my left thigh.
Oh, you are here.
I thought so.

My book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, can be ordered here.
@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela Marie Milton)

image: Soyka; Shutterstock; [link]

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Mother

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A/N: This poem is dedicated to my mother, along with this instrumental I created to go along with it.


I am adjunct to birth and death.

Undraped, I emerge from womb—a pupa

I barely cried,

it was a spring birthday when it should have been an aqueous summer dream.

Sense flees me

before the world even spins,

a dimension of then nothing to a shiver of life;

 perception as a bleeding star,

alone far in an unseen sky; bones from flesh, over on bellies to ribs.

 

Mother, you gave me life,

in each ocean, each sea

you gave me love;

Bled onto your hands

the dark ice

that booms from above

in earth or death

you brought me

from the lonely specter mourning our sands

from first breath,

down from alluvial soils

in the return of the waves

that fetter my flesh,

and yellowed fertile sands blight

the tremors of our twigs and wings, our war poppies

by each ribwort, with each a rock

by the bleeding of the sea;

 

I love you, mom, you gave me everything

when everything was never I deserved;

you never waned your love,

it never became broken

like the torment of the branches

in laden snow…

almost dreaming in a prelude,

hands in slumber upon the cold keys,

always, always an orchard in the wind that blows

with each melody I’ve played for you

to see the nature of your smile;

your freedom in the twilit dusk,

the shadows that burst

through bones,

throughout the surf of a dream,

light has gone as the lone augur

in fortitude,

in solitude.

 

Oh, mother,

you’ve cradled my head

and wiped my tears away

like the blue seeds

in the birthplace

of the dark earth

and breath,

 

torn into the phantom of this world,

silence of an isthmus

in the mist of your voice;

a conch shell

bare with bone-white blossoms,

look at me, mother,

I’d be void, a pupa or egg,

wounded in a cocoon

 

I’d be conjured by the swam blood

of each shadow

if it weren’t for you;

look at me, look at me

as I say these words

held in this dream

never with finality

to the eyes, to the surface of our mercy,

our raw bone, our piece of god in our chest,

beating like frost

cast with wave by wave

into the black fruit of the tree

where memory lives

in each shard along a path

that has seen more than we’ll ever know—

I love you, mom.

Following His Voice

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From 1 Peter 2:25:  “For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

woman standing near sheep

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Like sheep, we wander astray

Turning away from our Lord

Feeling harassed and helpless

Sheep lost, by our own accord

 

God lays a new cornerstone

Our Good Shepherd, Holy Son

Calling us, hearing His voice

His work will never be done

 

Leading us, on this right path

Following His voice, love flows

With Him, we shall never want

Restoring souls, we all grow

 

Good Shepherd, loving His sheep

Bringing comfort, rod and staff

Green pastures, nourishing us

Still waters, on our behalf

 

Jesus, loving Good Shepherd

Unblemished, Lamb of God casts

Body and blood on that Cross

Risen Savior, His hope lasts

sky sunset person silhouette

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

From Christian author, W. Phillip Keller:  “It takes some of us a lifetime to learn that Christ, our Good Shepherd, knows exactly what He is doing with us.”

 

he traded us

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he loves drinking and the drink seems to love him; no care it seems neither has for the world. he traded his wife’s love for the one of a bottle, gambled away his kids’ love to the off licence corner shops; more loyal to the alcohol than to his work schedule alas it seems no … Continue reading he traded us

In the News

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I read The Columbus Dispatch every Sunday, and I appreciate its objective reporting and coverage of local and state issues as well as national news.  Using some headlines from the past couple of weeks, this poem is crafted to give you a glimpse of life.   A similar post, New Flash, was posted about a year ago.

man sitting reading newspaper

Photo by Daria Obymaha on Pexels.com

Learning to survive, food cart vendor relocates to new place

Sights, sounds, smell–remaining the same at his new space

 

Playing accordion from his apartment’s stoop

Neighbors appreciate, spirits no longer droop

 

Growing a family’s vegetable garden this spring

Fresh air, saving money with a harvest to bring

 

Parking silent airplanes at far too many airports

Not so friendly skies viewed in shocking reports

 

Scheduling virtual medical appointments for next week

Telemedicine brings seismic shift with new techniques

 

Facing uncertain fall semester, colleges standing by

Hiring freezes and furloughs deliver agony and cries

 

Adopting distance learning challenges America’s schools

Some students missing special help and technology tools

 

Switching over to virtual college visits this summer

Zoom becomes social distancing’s new drummer

 

Appreciating entertainment from comedy superstars

Virtual comedy shows now sharing laughs from afar

 

Missing daily routines, spring sports coaches feel sidelined

Life without athletics, coaches alone and missing the grind

finance news newspaper stocks

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

 

 

The Violin of Love #poem #poetry #prose poem

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The air is still like the minutes before confession.
The cloak shrouds me.
On the second breath of the Easter of Roses I walk to the outskirts of your love.
A violin exults fires upon darkness.
In one single stoke your passion consumes and shuns me.
The chambers of my heart resound.
Reds prevent you from understanding how much I love you.
Double stop.
Movements.
My eyes are the eyes of the Sphinx 
I wait.

My book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, can be ordered here.

Thank you.
Gabriela

@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela Marie Milton)

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Bogdan Dragos

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Horror Sleaze Trash

how can you be such a monster?

he spent four weeks
away from his family
in a rented apartment
somewhere on
the outskirts
of town

he told them that
he needed this
he was a writer
needed to focus on his work
conducting his research
undistracted

his little girl would call
from time to time
asking daddy to hold his
phone against his forehead
while she made a kissing sound
on the other line

very wholesome
except he lied about
holding the phone
against his forehead

“How can you be
such a monster?”
asked the naked prostitute
sitting on the edge of his bed

“Shut up,” he said
tossed his phone on the desk
and unbuckled

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possessed

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It wasn't looking good at all
the framed picture of Jesus
had cuts all over it
On the face
In the hair
On the hands joined in prayer
And the eyes were crossed out deep
and cut out

why would he
do that?
Why would a five year old do that
to the gift he got from
grandma?
Was the child possessed? Oh, God! Was
the child possessed by the devil?

They took him to church to
find out
and the priest
asked him why did he cut the Jesus
in the framed picture and
the kid said, "I wanted a bike, not a stupid
picture!"

"He is definitely possessed," said the priest
"You'll have to bring him
to church every Thursday and Sunday. And I
will give you further instructions."

Grandma fainted
mother broke down crying

Father got him a bike actually. But mother
and grandma made sure it
won't reach him. Because father left
mother and went
away to live a life of sin with another woman.
All ties had to be cut
with that sinner.
The bike was donated to a foster home where
the nuns pasted a picture of Jesus
on the basket to protect the
rider from accidents
But the first kid who rode it fell off while
climbing a slope and
the bike slid across the asphalt
leaving deep scratches into the face of Jesus

Introducing Eric Daniel Clarke – Pre-Order Shorts Now #Guest Post

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Dear All,

I am delighted to introduce Eric Daniel Clarke – whose book, Shorts – a take on poetry’ – will be published by Potter’s Grove Press on May 12th.

I met Eric in our world of blogging two years ago. Eric is a brilliant writer. He is an English gentleman and a true friend. And … Eric has the coolest and the most endearing hat I’ve ever seen. I am in love with Eric’s writings and with his hat. Please visit Eric’s blog Believing Sight Unseen.

Eric Daniel Clarke in his own words:

‘Shorts – a take on poetry’ the first book of my transition from scientist to writer will be published on May 12th by Potter’s Grove Press. Writing poetry came as a surprise to me. I’d a novel in mind, ‘Believing Sight Unseen,’ it still is; competing hard with the immediacy of poetry.

 I started writing late, creatively, that is. Until 2012 I wrote disciplined non-fiction, lived a scientist’s life of peer review and publication. I worked at boundaries; of the physical and life sciences, of industry and academia, of research and mentoring, of observation and extrapolation. 2012 to 2017 the transition made, not easily, not smoothly, easing out of science, finding my way to write.

Turned out my approach to writing not so different to the way I did science – a little unconventional – using words in place of molecules to explore boundaries; real, imagined, of my mind and yours. In short, PowerPoint bullet points became verse – I like to keep things tight.

You can pre-order Shorts on Amazon here.

@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela Marie Milton)

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