poetrypulse poetry competitions uk

free monthly competition - October 2017 (50 entries)
Niche
Bricks cement and stones,
build me a lovely home,
A niche to be precise,
A confination in disguise.

The chaotic touch of a quivering lip,
The sinful messes on the table,
Or the simple mistakes that time makes,
Champagne, rose and betrayal.

Tender fingers graze my hair,
No longer an hour late,
Brown hair and brown eyes
Your gently riveting bait.

I have lost pennies in seconds,
Sometimes I lose dollars too,
A million pictures in one book,
But I have never lost one of you.

And those little marbles of memory,
That save me from losing mine,
They hold inside, little rays of light,
Spastic joys, and other lies.

The walls that I have built you in,
Through the spasmodic mediums of my heart,
With cast iron nails for my plight,
And the paint of pride that rends a short sight.

Remember the time I thought we could reunite?
Oh the handsome enslavement of my mind,
Last I knew, I built a palace too,
But now, the niche I enter, is you

© Niyomi Shah 2017  India

Even Sky isn't the Limit
When strange darkness do arise
The unknown ways make you wise,
Being washed away by the stranger tides
Gets you to the treasure in its hide.

Not everyone tastes the moon
It’s not a gift or a boon,
Like the waves in the full moon night
The one who rises to the greatest height
The world is his, he is the knight
Of his own dream that’s been burning so bright.

The sky is high, the dreams higher
Don’t be so cold, just be fire.
Rise above and reach the stars
Just fly high, it’s not so far.
Wandering like a lost lark
Searching for light, why fear the dark
When the rays of vision you can emit
And transcend beyond the seas, beyond the clouds
As even sky isn’t the limit!

© tanvi agrawal 2017  India

unwanted hemoglobin
n many BCs ago, in that ethereal place
where I had no form, no shape, and no warmth;
in that place where I was, I became protein and
water swimming with many others in a hurry to
inhabit the nucleus of the ovule before it dissolved
to unwanted hemoglobin, there was a war and
only me survived.

© Success Akpojotor 2017  Nigeria

A NIGHTINGALE IN AZURE TWILIGHT
A tiny angel in the sky, in sea of stars there she flies
On northern winds her gentle wings, of sailing wisdom her silence lies

Countless hours a careless night, one single reason for she flies
In melody of moon and harmony of night, to sing her last song in azure twilight

For she was pure for she was young, heavens rained when she sung
For she was pure for she was young, her value was she yet to learn

Greed was born when they heard, for beauty of her's were there no words
Less she knew the way of this world, that beauty became her own curse

In light grey mist slowly they came, deeper the silence of night became
With time as mist slowly fade, in shade of moon something remain

Hidden in darkness slowly they wait, their prey approaching the sparkling bait
Free she was never cared of fate, with a smile she entered that crystal cage

Feeling of fear gradually came, she helplessly watched those closing gates
With all her might her beautiful cries, less it mattered for it was too late

Those beautiful cries in lonely skies, were feast for those greedy eyes
Like a withering leaf in river of time,countless moons passing her by

Then finally came that fateful night, clouds of silence covered the skies
For long she suffered for long she tried, finally gone was her voice, lost was her fight

Forgotten to sing forgotten to fly, by the northern shores they left her to die
Slowly it came like an azure light, gently carrying her to the northern skies

A tiny angel in the sky, in sea of stars there she flies
On northern winds her gentle wings, of sailing wisdom her silence lies 

How long she lives? How long she lived? For what she was? For what she is?
Lost her meaning lost her will, still searching for her makers will

Countless hours a careless night, one single reason for she flies
In melody of moon and harmony of night, to sing her last song in azure twilight

Sailing on wind she landed on ice, in face of moon smiling so bright
The tiny angel fallen from sky, began to sing under northern lights

For she became the moon for clouds over sea on the wings of sky

For she became the sun that lights the moon 
For she became the moon illuminating the sky
For she became the sky embracing the clouds
For she became the cloud born from sea
For she became the sea on which her feathers feathers float
Of those fallen wings, for she became the reason for it all

For she became the moon for clouds over sea on the wings of sky

For stars remember and heavens cried
In arms of her mother she finally died

In melody of moon and harmony of night

© Sajal Dahima 2017  India

Roses Round Your Door
Roses are full in bloom and growing round your door
Everything is wonderful and even more
Nothing to complain about it's all tickery boo
What a difference there is between me and you.

You have sunshine glowing down on you and all I have is rain
You have wellness and all I feel is pain
All roses for me sadly have withered and died
Your roses are blooming my oh my.

Nice to see you smiling with a happy heart
Nothing to pull you down so you fall apart
All your Christmases have comd at once
Petals lay strewn at your feet and nof by chance
Surely the angels are by your side to lead youd way.

What a difference there is between me and you
You touch the heavens awaken it all turns to gold
I touch hell freezes over, I am left out in the cold
Sorry for the bitter sweet connotations of my words
Like to see a hint of magic but that would be obsurd.

Sprinkle a little fairy dust I am no longer poorer
A rainbow hue fit for a princess surround my aura
No sadness to wallow in, no murky waters to dip my toes
When is my ship coming in God only knows.

Yes there are roses round your door that's for sure
Luck is on your side and even more
I am the outsider looking in
Must be wonderful in you garden you always win
Sorry again I don't want to sound pessimistic
But life has given me my lot, I am just realistic
No there's certainly no roses round my door,

© Vivien Bailey 2017  England

the sweet life
the sweet life
david jacobs

…does crime pay…
take that girl over there for instance
relaxed in her world
blithely rocking back and forth
oh the sweet life…
can’t see her face but
a keen-eye tells me all is well from a sand pipers view
did she rob a bank…
blew down to the caymans’
packs a ruger lc9…oh baby
maybe she’s
looking for a companion
someone she can share her secret with
I threw a stone her way
it kicked up a little sand by her foot
she leaned backward in her hammock
looked at me upside down
didn’t mean to startle you
now do I look alarmed
no…you look beautiful
so do you
would you like some company
i would indeed
shall i come to you
let me come to you
six feet maybe blue-green eyes elbows back
I stood
she ran at me
i stepped aside
she got tripped
went sprawling into the back of my cabana
crashing into the table and chairs
she let out a moan
i watched her many scrapes/cuts begin to bleed
she struggled to get upright
the sand ground into her wounds
her ribs began to ache
her head leaked blood from the cut

the cool night breeze lifted the flap of the cabana
rushed inside and caught the heat pockets by surprise
i nursed my budweiser and watched her breathing
her beauty was only slightly marred by all the bandages
it was almost midnight when she stirred
she had been sweating
now she trembled
i covered her with a light blanket
the doctor had given her a shot of something
she rolled over into another sleep

the smell of food woke her
a note propped up by a beer can read good morning
she blinked her eyes and sat up
exploring her bandages she noticed her bathing suit was missing
the full length mirror revealed a new tank top and shorts
what the hell where am i
a cabana had turned into a thatch hut
she opened the door stepped outside
the empty white sand beach stretched for miles
the kinda beach that says paradise
he was humming and tossing food on a barbeque
hey there you… good afternoon
where am i and where did i get these clothes
i hope they fit i just guest your size
have you kidnaped me is that it
no…no…here sit and have some food you must be starved
who…how change my clothes
well…i did but i didn’t look swear-to-god
you expect me to believe that
she began to eat voraciously
it’s the best i can do for now
besides the cops came looking for you
oh shit
yeah oh shit you should be grateful
what did they say
the detectives’ said you embezzled money from a company you worked for
i didn’t it’s complicated
well did you who’s this other guy your boyfriend
what
this other guy the detectives’ mention
he was…
stop lying i’m beginning to not give a shit
back on the caymans’ i thought you were one of his friends
so why did you attack me
i’m a black belt you know
black belt huh that stunt was pure hollywood you silly twit
don’t i know it

they ate talked laughed got high of ganja
well you know where all that ended up

he packed his duffel
she sat on the edge of the bed in silence
i’m going to get lost
she put her clothes on
see that air plane moored in the bay
i see it yes
i’m flying that baby to budapest and your welcome to come along
you would leave me here
yes and will call your boyfriend and tell him where you are
god…i hate you
ok black belt i’m out of here

she watched the plane lift off
she ran peeled off her clothes and dove into the surf
he circled and made a pass over the beach
he looked down at her nude body gliding through the clear water…
la dulce vida baby…
he banked and came around
you are one lucky dog

© David Jacobs 2017  United States

Dreams of Love
Her eyes downcast betrayed her and in that moment,
He sensed an ocean there between them,
Once so sweet her smile that oft would light his world,
Now empty, cold and faithless.

Her manner though polite- all warmth dissolved,
He felt a desert lay between them,
Her empty words that once filled him which such joy,
Now she brushed away a tear to affirm it.

His heart broken and her promises lay waste,
She turned to leave and in that he could not but know,
His imagination had not set out to trick him,
Clear as day turns into night he had lost her.

His belief, his hopes of great love lay broken,
And just as a window will shatter,
His dreams, his hopes, lay like shards upon the ground.

© JULIE ACHILLES 2017  England

The Return
Grey sky looming
when I peer from the window,
wind spreading leaves
in quick succession,
caught and tossed,
abandoned on tended lawn.

Grey sky passing
when I drive to work,
wind lying low
ready to spring,
dormant, unchallenged,
until I leave my car.

Grey sky dispersed
on my walk from my parking,
sunshine sparkling
over still sea and shoreline.
A splendid beginning
to the end of my holiday.

© Susan Flook 2017  England

On the other side
Is there life on the other side doing it better?
I wondered as always, concluding it was neither.
Precious souls rest in peace
If you ever manage a land on lease;
Embittering pain then shall be released.
But life appears tempting on the other end of the league.
The rebel sometimes dreams of less struggles,
Beyond the ulterior gruff resides laughter and giggles.
Percept it with elegance,
or nonchalance.
What is shall remain the same.
It is similar on either side of the frame.

© Siddhart Bakshi 2017  India

The revisitation
haven't heard gun-shots for over a month;
raven-crows like a hundred dark-zombied butterflies
do not scatter skies looking for dead rats
in our gutters, tearing blood from little brown bodies,
friend, will you come back now?

resumed my nightly walks at the lake,
its deep-dark waters are now still; and
a moonlight-breeze ripples past unseen
among boats and masts creaking with forgotten memories,
friend, will you come back now?

garden grows flowers and green caterpillar bodies
sprout from mouldy remains of trees that were felled;
robins, bush-chats, wagtails, magpies,
peck at ants hiding in the grass that covers the unseeable,
friend, will you come back now?

arrival lounge crowds up with a hundred different
hugs, caresses and hopes, brothers, sisters, lovers, neighbours;
I stand fidgeting in the shadows, waiting, with a pocket
full of subway tickets, a local sim, and a bar of bitter chocolate
friend, will you come back now?

© Surajit Sengupta 2017  India

Nick
I tried looking up journal prompts, searching words in thesauruses and reading lovely quotes in hopes of writing you something beautiful, unfortunately I failed. I now realize I can’t show my true colors if I’m hiding behind those of another and I can’t show you my perception of you by simply writing paragraphs about it; especially when every word seems over-used and every sentence seems repetitive. This time I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

You have to stop taking me to gaze at the stars because I’m just a dark moon -

It always reminds me that you miss your old home in the galaxy.

You used to be a plain old star but now you’re the sun how you’ve come so far.

We don’t meet much but when we do I think its breathtaking how about you?

Eclipses are rare they don’t happen all the time but I love it when they do because they represent me and you.

I promise if you’ll run away with me we can go to another galaxy where the sun and the moon never leave each others side a galaxy where you don’t hide when I come into the telescope slide.

© Morgan Shantillo 2017  United States

Naked
Naked is the sky above me
Naked is the grass beneath

Naked you are, with the clothes on
Naked you were, taking your first breath

Naked is the music in air
Naked is the fragrance flowing

Naked is the sword that bleeds
Naked is the Sun glowing

Naked is the face that smiles
Naked is the heart that loves

Naked is the image that speaks
Naked I am, within these words …

© Pranav Niturkar 2017  India

Winter moon
Winter moon
On horizon
Kitties sing
Among the world of cats
Song of sorrow on
Songs of joy forever

© Mary Steffen 2017  United States

Dreams
Like the night sky,
Mystery and beauty abound it.
Above the clouds of consciousness,
Demons and fairies surround it.

The lake of delusions,
Which makes everyone's life tough.
Often causes fortunes to fall,
And rosy paths to turn rough.
This lake is nothing,
Merely a teardrop in one of the eyes.
Of this thing called dream,
And don’t ask us how many eyes !

The turquoise tinge of infinity,
Which the autumn sky bears.
Is just one of the enchanting colors,
That dream in its farm rears.
The more complex a work of art is,
Tougher it is to make a replicate.
Can barely be recalled, let alone copy,
What fire would have god used to make dreams distillate.

Drawing a sketch in life,
Demands precise co-ordination between hand and mind.
While asleep, the mind alone paints this intricate picture,
No ink, no paper, no hand; yet all reason gets left behind.

Men who consume vigor potions,
Beg pardon next morning, saying they were “under effect”.
If so, is all you do in dreams free?
Should one steal every treasure and act every defect?
I wonder what would the purist say,
If he's made to watch him be a petty thief.
And what would the pauper say,
If he watches himself be an arrogant chief.
Because everything is possible in dreams,
For me and for you.
What if the real life we live so bleakly,
Has the same possibilities too.

© Pritish Ranjan 2017  India

Letter to Tomorrow
Dear Tomorrow,
What tie have you with the bride?
Are you the awaiting hope of today?
We need to know!
At yesterday you are known as unknown
Even our hope to know you today is still a mirage
when we thought we are staring at your face!
Seek we Tomorrow, today we always have!

Dear Tomorrow!
You are like the Godot,
the visitor of yesterday who will never come today
Though we wait endlessly to spot you,
yet we are waiting and searching...

Dear Tomorrow!
Tired we were of the futile quest as we go...
We ran into anxiety because our patience died on this route
Gripped by the horror!
we seek solace in the Transcendental I.
we seek of him assurance of our security
from the hoodlums and entourage of you!
But at his response, we are turned down
he says; 'worry not about tomorrow for its mine alone... ‘
Behold! Our anxiety is heightened!

Dear Tomorrow!
As expected, we suppose to quit your search
but inside us the beings will not rest.
They want to know your colour(s)
Perhaps you are water,
they want to preserve you from contamination.
They are such an hygienic being!

Dear Tomorrow!
Please, tell us! Are you real?
Are you coming?
So we can tell Estragone and vladmirs to stop killing and dying
in their desperation to host you.
They vowed, that they can't wait again in peace,
We are afraid they will rest in peices!
We admonish them to wait, but they abhor our plea and Pledge
Claiming they are the real faithful expectant of you
because they live to love and protect you.

© Oluwafemi Atoyebi 2017  Nigeria

DRUMS OF WAR
Bia furu
I mean come and see
What my people are doing it is wonderful
This show of shame it is awful
Could this be the drums of war
Or should it be called what

Bia nu le
I mean come and see
The labours of our Heros' past being
Wasted just like the lives of Youths
Come and see the drums of war being
Beaten by Youths who does not know the Truth

The starvation of our war, the other war
The Kwashiokor of our war, the real one
The carnage, brutality and bloodbath on our street
Do we really want a repeat

Bia nuru
I say come and hear
Do we even need a seer
To foretell us our fate
If this drums we do not abate
Should we call the Rwandans
To tell us the sad end of this dance

Bia nuru
I said come and hear
The cries of Mothers displaced from their suckling Babies
The cries of Babies displaced from their suffering Mothers
Of Fathers fighting on the same front with their Sons
Of Sons dying right in front of their Father

Bia furu
I implore you come and see
Our Youths taken in their prime
Our Sisters raped while they mime
To the beat of the drums we beat
The drums of war we want to repeat

Biafra
Is this the future we want
Nigeria
Is this the future we want to flaunt
Nigeria, a land filled with hope
Destroyed by our rulers while the youths mope
Biafra, the land of the rising Sun
Please let us not have sunset at dawn
No not again

© Peter Chigbo 2017  Nigeria

My friend al.
How long have we been friends said my old friend al?, since I left school, I answered to my old pal.
Yes he replied, many years of fun?, yes and even some out in the sun?
Yes al I replied, we have done a lot, some of it scary some of it not.
Then he got silent and said a strange thing, I asked him what do you mean what did I bring?
He said look in your bag and see what's their, as an old friend I'm asking for a dare?
As I gradually looked down, I realised where I was when I saw the hospital gown.
That is when I realised I was deathly sick, and my olds friend real name, was:
Al Choholic.

© Thomas Tait 2017  England

A Date
One guy , went on a dinner date ,
Chicken came in a decorated plate .

His girlfriend was trying to talk,
Instead it was chicken, he stalk .

She asked him, did you cheat ,
When his interest was only to eat .

She stood up and was about to leave ,
He asked , one more chicken please !!

© Thooba Nihaal 2017  India

I miss you
I miss you a lot
Sometimes when I see someone like you I cry
I cry a lot.
I cry because I miss you.
I cry at night while everyone is asleep
I cry a lot.
I miss your smile
I miss your jokes
I miss them a lot.
I miss your walk
I miss your even your voice.

© Laurance Phiello Sebiloane 2017  South Africa

WE ARE YoUR NOW AND YOUR FUTURE
An Ode To my COUNTrY
Our soul is crying for thee
Our tears can no longer freely flow
Our hearts have turned away from the comfort it need
Because these whole thing is really bringing our numerical strength low.

Unfortunately undefendable as we are, we live right here in a generation where the old ones despise their youths.
A generation where the elderly ones derive joy terming their youngs sophomoric and have to their own use.

They are forgetting that these

© Ambassador Amakor 2017  Nigeria

Like Them
I used to be sane.

...before you were narrowly missed by such serendipity,
on outstretched arms like branches’ taunting leaves.

...before the red pill called to you and lost its metaphor
to hoards of men who blew all chance in advances with clinging.

...before the past was brazen and lingered thoughts longer,
as the embers of ‘ours’ waited for bitterness to make me stronger.

...before my simile akin, and the events that made it hard to like or be like them,
when all they ever did was reflect you.

After many moons’ lessons of finally here - it’s always been you who rejects you.

© Billy Blumberg 2017  United States

My Sister
Oh my sweet sister
I'd never like to miss you
even a single moment
Oh my dear sister
You'll be always with me
In my dreams,in my life
Oh my lovely sister
She cares me like a mother
She consoles me when I'm sad
And makes me laugh when i cry
Her voice is so sweet
Its sweeter than nightingale
She smiles like Virgin Mary
The symbol of peace
Oh god I'm thanking you
For giving such a lovely sister
Who motivates me to reach heights
Her presence develop confidence in me
And makes me feel I'm in heaven
When I miss her
I feel I'm in hell
Oh my sister
I'd like to be with you
Till my death

© ABHISHEK A A 2017  India

MY PAST
Hey, hope you are doing well
been busy nothing much to tell,
I miss you deeply from my heart
I wish time had never split us apart.

Bit of a stubborn bragging about your new toy
Shedding fake tears for gaining a piece of joy.
I wish I could be so naive and carefree as you are
then I would have never known what the world is really like.

At times you make me jealous you see
you have nothing to care about, you are always free.
Loved by all and you do love them all.
You have never known hatred and betrayal at all.

I wish I could board the time.
Join you there and be who I really was.
But it seems I have travelled so far,
And the door to your is never ajar.

You dream of scaling heights a lot,
you wish to grow up fast, but I would rather you not.
If it's growing up, what has made me this,
Stay where you are amidst the bliss.

© NAMITA MIYTRA 2017  India

Sad
My stomache somersaults
As I listen to you speak
I feel suicidal mum
I'm addicted to cocaine
It's ringing in my ears
It hurts,it hurts like hell
I'm trying to help
As I feel you drifting away from me
How do I get you back
Please help me out here
I whisper
To Will
Can you hear me in heaven
Don't take my son yet
He's not ready
He has a sad
Far away look in his once brightly shining eyes
He knows
It's all wrong
To want to leave us
Is he serious
Or just
Sad

© Julie Anne Eve 2017  England

Counting
This morning there were three
thousand birds in one small shrub,
and I saw one
million radiant droplets on the goose-like neck
of a sleeping digger.
Eight hundred slugs occupied one
small passata jar and seventy thousand sheets
of tracing paper obscured the view
of a cathedral spire. Frank
swept away twelve tons
of leaves last night but morning said
I'll raise you. Now the scarlet
carpet is measured in fathoms.
There are miles of yelp in just the one
dog and infinite inky pages sighing
over the one celeb-syllable.
Tiny objects and minute moments
fill a world where a single true apology
will not fit. And I see a
thousand pities.

© Matt Chamberlain 2017  England

My silent wish
The north has my cord
Its land my virgin blood
What a wrong time to be born
Custom has pulled the strings of doom
Tradition upheld ruined my life
Now I sit and stare into a dream
For even my tomorrow reeks of him

I just wanted to be little
To Grow up later after my dances in the rain
They gave me away without my consent
Sold off my innocence for a stipend
Be happy and proud mama preached
You are becoming a woman my dear
He is rich and will treat you like a Queen
Little did she know of the woes to come

Father never understood my plight
Mother knew but said only sinners get evil
Evil came to me without sin
It punctured my soul and reigned supreme
All I wanted was to be a child
To wake up without cares or worries
Now am a little woman with a leaking private
Holding in so much bitterness in my heart
May the Almighty take away my life
Or grant my wish and make me girl again

© onome iyare 2017  Nigeria

Into the deep
What I hear when you talk are just words and disorders
Waiting for my reply to be ready and flawless
Because if it isn't. More words will come and more orders
I cover my ears as you push me into  awkward corners
I know what's wrong I wrote the script
But on my way up the bank I fell back and slipped
Into a pool of mas self destruction
And I wrote this poem as an avoidance distraction
Because all the focus it blinds my correction
The bit I forgot to read in the self help section
I'm even at fault im my own faulty goods
I'm bypassing the roots and going straight in the woods
My branches are strong but my soul Is weak
It's your understanding not your words that I seek
Grab hold of the good ,bottled enrapture
And lay off the words of the self help chapter.

© Shelley Cooper 2017  England

flower picking
It was summer, I think,
and I found some flowers outside that I
thought you’d like, but I
never got them to you,
(I kept them for myself)
I’m sorry.

It was two lilies in the garden
laughing beside an iris that was
gazing right back at me
(like I wish you would)
by the orchid calmly swaying
like hands clasped loosely.

You see,
when I search for love in the right places
I find it each and every time but
when I look for it in you,
I can’t seem to find it anywhere
so I just keep it to
myself.

© Joe Love 2017  United States

Frozen Water
His word makes me fearless.
It removes the frozen feet
and makes the water freeze,
that lets me walk above an ice cold fear..
And that's what walk on water means.

You can even dance on the water if you wish to,
you know skating? I hope you do.

© Franchesca Tatel 2017  Philippines

The River Severn at Arlingham
A red kite, twitches its wings, stoops into hunched grass
unfed, the bird rises on the northerly and beats
to red cliffs under St Peters church, over cobbled mud
and rapacious water, that itself hovers, preys on the unseen below,
ripples silver feathered in April sunlight.
The river at low tide conceals its direction
there are no boats pushing against, or rolling with the tide
no leaning buoys, no linear movement of wavelets
rather a rotation, an indecision.

A marine light of emerald glass protrudes
from wooden bones and steel carcasses
a lightship beacon; its bright eye clouded over.
On the waterside shingle a necklace of yellow floats
circle a beached hull, rotting on its paint-less keel
Headstones of dried up existence
river people trawled out like fish in a net
gills opening for oxygen that wasn’t there
black eyes curdling to white

A clinker boat pulled into the ground by bracken
an insect in a Venus fly trap, digested by time
Eel fishermen worked the water in this vessel,
drifted with the current, trailed fingers in its wake.
Chrysanthemums, threaded through barbed wire
Sacrificed to the river in memory
borne to sea on the mourning ebb
but there had been only mud
Even the dead are indifferent.

© Steven John 2017  England

Thank God I didn’t choose you
Thank God I didn’t choose you
Though you tried hard to get me
But God was more powerful than you
Thank God I didn’t choose you

My dignity is my life and all
If you tried to hurt it
I won’t spare you
That’s what I want you to keep in mind

I don’t care about people
For me my family is everything
If you tried to break it
I won’t spare you

And now when all is over
You still tried to torture
That’s not a good sign, remember
I won’t spare you

I keep on asking myself
What this human actually want
Oh no, you are not a human
It will be blaming the mankind

Thank God I didn’t choose you
Though you tried your best to get me
My destiny paved the way to avoid you
Thank God I didn’t choose you

© Bijoya Khomdram 2017  India

Hello
Hello my name is regret,
I rest heavy inside your heart,
Making you second guess every decision you’ve ever made,
Constantly reminding you of every conceivable outcome you’ve poured over late at night when you can’t sleep.

Hello my name is fear,
I exist in those sweaty palms and every labored breath you take,
I am every answer you’ve ever given that sounded more like a question than a response,
Further crippling you and impairing your decision making to the point of indecisiveness.

Hello my name is rejection,
You see me in those judging eyes staring back at you as you live the life someone else picked out for you,
I thrive on dismissive denial, repudiation, and that hard pass your college crush gave you,
You will always have a shoulder to cry on with me, albeit a cold one.

Hello my name is inexperience,
I passive aggressively attach myself to every piece of knowledge you think you own,
I stalk opportunities to humiliate you publicly and further that self-doubt you feel,
I will never go away.

Hello my name is disappointment,
I watch you from afar and pounce when you are at your weakest emotionally,
I highlight your inefficiencies and deliver that final blow of discouragement,
My memories are vivid and shape who you are and who you will choose to become.

Hello my name is loneliness
I creep in as you evaluate relationships around you,
I am that empty void you can’t quite stuff enough material things into,
Just as you think you’ve cured that isolating feeling, uncertainty creeps in and the stark reality of how truly alone you are sets in.

Hello my name is never give up,
You see glimpses of me when things get tough-invite me in more often,
The blood, sweat, and tears you invest in this life shape the value you are adding to your life,
Protect me and I promise the outcome will be tenfold more than you imagined,

Hello my name is success,
All who crave me don’t achieve me but all who achieve me are earnest,
Do yourself a favor and add some purpose to your life; everyone deserves at least one grand slam,
I don’t always come in the way you expect, but I am as sweet as you’ve always dreamed.

Hello my name is friendship,
My memories outlast the physical bonds you create and keep you warm when things seem bleak,
I am the up all night laughing, ugly crying, comforting and plotting, proudest moments of my life kind of people,
I exist in the craziest places and between the most unlikely people, but I am camaraderie and worth it.

Hello my name is pride,
Do not confuse me with egotism and self-glorification,
Sing your praises in a meaningful way and have the self-worth to help those around you,
Having a balance of me will help protect your self-esteem and allow you to flourish where others may fail.

Hello my name is love,
I am a gift you give without the intention of a gift in return-give me freely and often,
Exercise me with reckless abandon every day of your life,
I fill the furthest recesses of your heart and add to the human experience; you know you want this.

Hello my name is individuality,
I am seen in those messy hair don’t care, unique, leave it all out there sort of people,
Don’t be afraid to use me and with great intensity,
Embrace me as often as possible and you will truly see what is amazing about this world and what you are capable if you allow yourself to be different.

© Sara Joerger 2017  United States

Power of my voice
Thinking high, moving aside, got a thought in my mind. Why i always think of others,why should i even do care,flying up high & shining in the sky i wanna do that why can't i? Why i ever listen to you,stop your nonsense, i don't want to listen to you. You are a boy & i m a girl, you are the flower & i m the thorn,you think your higher & i m on the low,stop that nonsense because i have my own. No need your power, i have my own,no need your rights, i have my ownno need your voice,i have my own. Now i m not let you ruin my life,i got my dream & i started to fight,i have the wings & i started to fly. Hey world,watch it now because i got my power of voice. Thousands thunders & thousands stroms,show me your powers,how much you got,i m not afraid now i run through them all. Time had gone,when i used to be silent, time had gone when i was afraid to be violent, you gave me heat & i took the fire,watch out now i got the power.

© Soni Pandey 2017  India

The Day
One day
The owner of this room will leave &
the real owners will come.
They shall sleep, dine and wine
with no iota of disturbance.

This room shall become
a fall of cobwebs
a crawling of spiders
tracks of mice
gropings and pausings of beetles.

This room will miss the broom and
the knocking sounds of the shoe.
Its books shall cry to be read
Its floor shall long for a pass &
its bed shall serve no purpose.

© ojekunle Abass 2017  Nigeria

The figure that love takes
You walked the streets alone in your splendid loneliness,
And I watched as I followed you.
I knew not wither you were going, and I cared not.
For nothing is more tempting to a romantic than rambling abandon!

I followed you in your movements, taking you in with every breath.
Your delicate body proceeded softly.
Your entire self animated serenity,
As you hummed your symphonies.
Your feet matched the rhythm of my heartbeat,
They weaved a confusion in my admiration,
As lost in the labyrinths of your soul and happily intoxicated with your fumes,
I hung myself in suspension.
I voluntarily abdicated my senses,
And the nymphs of your soul carried me
As I submitted my fancy to your's.

I saw stars abandoning their nests in heaven to shower upon you
A confetti of jingling universe.
In my indescribable animation, I saw you transform.
I saw the winged fairies of your mind
Paint the skies with Van Gogh's thousand blues!
I saw the salamander of your heart celebrate its fantastic independence in Beethoven's rage!
I saw in the swing of your arms, the grace of your smile and your hesitant eyes,
Manifested, the song of your being.
Perhaps your's was the temple that seduced Sir Galahad with its hundred hallucinogens.
Perhaps he sought the same refuge I seek in you.

In my bliss, I saw your body elevate.
I saw you in a halo, transformed into your internal glowing being.
I saw you dance with the clouds in the whirl of the wind,
And within a moment's conspiracy,

You were gone.

I sought refuge in you, and I dreamt.
For what can one do in a refuge but dream?
Dream about the incessant vicious comedy of love?

What do I do now?
Do I rationalize and analyze my pain for you?
Or do I curse and blame and torture myself?
Or do I becloud my suffering in the reverie of another lost soul?

From pain, Beauty!
What does the hunger of my heart matter when my pages are so well fed?

© Nandini Mukhopadhyay 2017  India

Falling
She sits politely,
eyes wide, lips pursed,
projecting her innocence.
A mouth that would melt steel,
a gaze that would flicker in your mind for days.

I have a weakness;
I won't deny it.

She leaves with a
slow handshake and a
swift spin of her hips.

One hour on the couch
and I am a fool (again).

I walk home,
fuzzy-brained and heavy-footed,
trying to keep hold of

her implied smile,
her dizzying conversation.
I cannot recall

ever before
being this jealous of a cigarette.

© Omar Aftab 2017  Ireland

Target
The black skin I was born in is not enough evidence for you to have
a reasonable suspicion
You put a target on my back and I never knew it was there
I should not have to live in fear that my existence goes without a second thought
in your eyes

My mind begins to fill with worry as I step outside my door
Trayvon Martin, a teen, was shot while walking from the store
Philando Castile, Emmett Till, Michael Brown, and many more
They lost their lives to soon and their families were left to mourn
I wonder if you think my feelings invalid because I am black

© Meenaa Davis 2017  United States

Today when I woke
Today when I woke
Something inside me provoked
To change myself to a better one
And to rectify for all that I had done.

Today when I woke
Something inside me told
To let go all my worries as one big joke.

Today when I woke
I told myself
while there's life,there's hope.

Today when I woke
I promised to live more.

© Ifrah Kamal 2017  India

when she sleeps her sin is ignoring sheep
ice-coloured china lay empty on the arm of her new sofa,
this dark angel thought it were her choice
to die ann grow in dirt,
funk, and the cold spots of ellipses
for the chorus' eye at the top of the pyramid.

Dripping
blood and breast beyond, her mouth opens.

In one breath she effaces herself in black sands
Even underneath
ballads suffuse her soft tongue s’in unlight.

She is our hope. the loveliest, dirtiest, earthen-dark corrupted. Ha meltin s'kin
and spirit hooks our edges into a smile.

so white and clean, these rainbow smiles of winter-spring,
that she continues to sink in honour,
not knowing we could step up to reach her.

© Yusuf Patel 2017  England

Broken Sails
Voyaged across the blue expanse
To set my eyes on a cloud
Yearning for more than a glimpse,
Into my bosom shall it never come?

Half blown in to the passing wind,
Steering my way forward,
I see a glimpse of light ahead,
But it's still beyond the horizon,
Still beyond the horizon,
Would i never hold it close enough?

I heard raindrops one night,
Pattering upon my sails,
They fell from your arms,
Kissed with warmth and grace.
I saw we dont belong together,
For you've already embraced thy rain.

© Usha Sharma 2017  Sri Lanka

Time for All Hallow´s eve
The day before the day of memories of loved ones has changed
honesty can spirits raise from their grave and seek candy
eternity is watching seeing wondering what is this memory change
Day gone by in memory of those that were passed on just for candy
Almighty holiday has changed
you should remember your loved one now or forever forgotten with change

© Clinton Siegle Siegle 2017  Bolivia

Spiced Rum and Coconut Milk don't Mix
I turned the radio to a volume that created an ambience towards my lobes
A significant wave of white noise hurried to the shore
Drowning out the horrendous screeching of your twisted demonic laughter
The voice that had haunted me for years
I filled the tub with clear boiling water to scrub the dirt you rubbed against me
I then lay frozen roses within
I watched as they floated and leaves unwind
I drizzled my hair with honey
And applied salt to my wounds
The smell was sweet but bitter
Consciously
My nose was occupied by your fragrance
A vile familiar scent that led my to hold my nose so tight that I could no longer breathe
I took a gulp from my black coffee
Scorching hot that it burnt my tastebuds
But I guess that was my intention so that I could numb the flavours of spiced rum that lingered to my lips
Cursed and chapped enough to grasp foreign scars
Phlegm glued to my hoarse throats tried to dribble into my lungs but I can not cough up the blood that is leaking from my heart
I had always been as soft as an apricot
But you
Rough as sandpaper
Cracked the coconut and scraped the inside
Leaving milk to leak
Then this is when I began to realise that I had grown up
I am no longer afraid of the monsters beneath my bed
But instead
I am terrified of the men that tore me to shreds

© Ami-Lou Williams 2017  England

Sweet Fatima
At some place dark late at night
With memories of you and your sad eyes
I look to the skies where you shine bright
I'd ask the wind to carry my voice across
Horizons and back home and be alright

At someplace dark late at night
When there wasn't a sound but all quiet
Sweet whispers and emotions heightened
Cuddled up under sheets and enlightened
Exquisite pleasures shared I remember
All through the cold nights of December
Silent squeals and moans in expression
Of true satisfaction and intense sensation

Oh I remember the late hours
Yours and mine; love was ours
Your pleading eyes soaked in tears
Seeking answers why my unfaithful ways
Wrongfully I do you with endless excuses
Never on time to please you with roses
Picking on you daily with no apologies

Come back! Oh my sweet Fatima
On a date we'll discuss us over dinner
Drained I am by loneliness, I'm thinner
For what we had I'm unable to get over
Together there's much for us to discover
Pick the pace, heal the scar and recover
With sincerity I vow never again to falter

© Essa Janko 2017  Gambia

someone's life
Anyone can become someone
Anybody can be a great man
Anything can make us successful
Never underestimate

No one has control over your life
Nobody can stop your destiny from fulfillment
Nothing can not be possible
Only if you work towards it

Everyone has a goal in life
Everybody wants to be recognized
Everything is just by time
Dedication is what it takes

Someone has become great
Somebody will still always be
Something had happen to make them great
Hardworking is what it requires

© Henry Ayodele 2017  Nigeria

My Mirror
Am I up or am I down?
Is this a smile or a frown?
My mirror tells so many lies
Now it is cracked from side to side

I looked in, what can I see?
A very cracked and broken me
Chips and splinters join the mess
A glance just adds to my distress

What can I do I'm not so clever
Should I stick it all together?
But I know the bits won't fit
I'd make a total mess of it

I could just throw it away
But I'm scared of what they say
Seven years bad luck, oh no!
Still somehow it has got to go

So I sit with head in hands
Pulling out my hair
I need a fool proof plan
Now that’s a good idea

I’ll wrap it in some birthday paper
Bows and that entire caper
Give it to my craft mad friend
Something of beauty will transcend

But someone help me with my fears?
Will luck be bad for seven years?
I hoping that it won’t be me
I gave the thing away you see.

© Marston Carole 2017  England

Proud Banners Of Death
“Proud banners of death” Langston Hughes once wrote in his “Tomorrow’s Seed”.
The red on your flag is the blood that my people bleed.
And the striped bars across its tapestry,
Are the metal bars used to imprison me.
Is the blue the color of democracy?
That included all free men but they Jim Crowed me?
Are the stars the glowing lights of lady liberty.
Who never raised her torch for me.
The needle sewn into the flag’s colors,
Stabbed the wounds of slavery.
Proud banners of death raised before a slaves shack.
Red, white, and blue but there was never the color black.
Dark bodies lay beneath the soil and sea.
So forgive me if I don’t salute Robert.e. Lee.
The white slave master who caught our John Brown.
Who died fighting for freedom but no statue of him to be found.
White terrorists have been elected to office since Columbus times,
But we think marching will make them apologize for their crimes.
We sing the same song in different eras,
To the same face,
But they will never stop oppressing us,
Because they know that we are the superior race.
For the white power structure, We will only ever be equal,
If we just stay in our place.
The American Dream,
Is a world where no black people are to be seen.
They will chant “home of the brave!”
When they wave proud banners of death above my grave.
Tomorrow’s seed,
Will begin to bleed,
The true colors of the American Flag.
And we will find the burnt remnants,
Of a bloody rag.
Home of the coward
And the unfree.
Land of the poor
And hypocrisy.
That bled it’s lies into me.
But the star spangled banner was the last thing my ancestors saw,
Before you hung her on that tree.
And when we burn your flag,
And wake up from the terrors of your American dream.
Dark bodies will rise.
And show you what the land of the Brave,
And the Free,
Actually means to me.


Antoinette Van Sluytman 8/18/2017

© Antoinette Van Sluytman 2017  United States

Joy
Street awash with festivities
Procession of tableaux, dieties adorn
Sky a canvas for colours
Bodies swirling for the beat

Sparkling women's eyes
Eager men behind
Children haggling for sweets
Procession rolls ahead

While the drunk beggar
Sleeps content, half naked
Beside the street
Smiling in his own dream

© Raviraj Nayak 2017  India

Fading Heart
Persisting couldn't solve the problem
Appealing obstructing the solutions
Pleading can't find a way into that long hot love of olden abyss
Desires of togetherness fading fast
In absolute confusion findeth thyself

Call up to the problem and get it solved
Sit with it and tell it the problem
Face the obstruction and pull it down
Feel the future pains and joys before you make a decision
Perceive what might happen next

Last hope might be an opportunity
Going on separate ways
Thinking about how to do so
Smile and save your time before running out
Rescuing that fading heart from extinction

© Hellen Dada 2017  Nigeria

The Last Man On The Planet
You open your eye,
And squint up at the greenish sun,
You hear yourself sigh,
Another endless day has just begun.

You look at your surroundings, dead vegetation
Is everywhere in place of what was once greenery,
The remnants of a bomb near a dilapidated train station,
Are constant reminders of humans' suicidal machinery.

You hear wolves howling,
Their primal wails hurting your ears,
There are a couple of them close by, snarling, growling,
But their hunt for blood is the least of your fears.

The wolves hadn't felt the incessant need,
To wipe away all beings of their own kind,
They had a sense of solidarity with their breed,
A trait in which they had left the late humans far behind.

Gas. A poisonous plume of air that targeted only the human nervous system,
That made your mouth froth, eyes pop out, that covered you in blisters,
And finally killed you by deactivating your cerebrum,
Instant death in harmless looking canisters.

Only one city they had said, but little did they know,
That it would soon envelope the earth in a toxic blanket,
That interaction with air only made its volume grow,
That it would soon cease the existence of homo sapiens on this planet.

You had warned them, yes you had.,
But they had refused to listen in their meaningless quest for domination,
Even you hadn't realized that the consequences would be this bad,
Billions dead for a government's obsession.

But it wasn't just a sudden end to mankind,
The human race had began its journey towards extinction before this,
It had resulted due to a lot of reasons combined,
Man had long been falling into a self created orifice.

Part of humanity had died with the wars that had left their mark worldwide,
Part of it died with the world ridden with terrorism, murder, theft.
The rest of it had ended with the numerous genocides,
The gas had only wiped out the inhumane monstrosity that was left.

You had searched for nine long years,
For signs of fellow survivors, clues to human existence,
But all your efforts had resulted in an effort pain and tears,
For all you could find was Death approaching in the distance.

How redundant even was your life?
With no chance to reproduce, adapt, evolve,
Was there even a meaning to all this strife?
The human race was destined to dissolve.

Your tired brain answers the questions it itself had asked,
Your resolve has to do faded but your mind has been in made,
Your skeletal hand slowly moves towards the gas mask,
That had been perched on your nose for close to a decade...

© Nandini Goel 2017  India

Volcano
Your cleavage shuts my mouth,
I will wait for you to be warm
This volcano in the middle of our thighs.
Time seems not to have past.
Yesterday, today, a never-ending merry-go-round.

I accept love,
Love, as nobody has ever loved before,
Love that runs smooth and revive me,
Love that dares my historical disposition
To destroy silent loves.

My love has wings yours has an anchor.
I make looping, you are planted in the shore.
However, we never give up: you, my fake space.
I, your unlikely port.
Because not always salt water is sea or tears.

I woke up searching for love
I stretched my arms trying to reach a warm body
I only touched the love storybooks I was reading last night.

© Cristina Bresser de Campos 2017  Brazil

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