Individual Poems

Love, Devastated  

I didn’t want to syphon more youth from you than I already have,

For, sticking around with me will make you symptomatic
The prognosis: A reverse Dorian Grey-syndrome,
A gradual debilitation, a sneaky degenerative disease Affecting rationality, mobility and, worst of all, Perceptions of love and affection
for intimate closeness mutates into co-dependence, Insufferable longing  

We never got far enough for a priest to give his benediction,
Not coming together by some cosmic design, the blessing of wandering holy men
Those who spend most times locked in cleansing solitude subconscious isolation
Is now the time to pray? To have asked for a spiritual intervention, Placing gauze on freshly cauterized wounds,
Blow for blow, the bloodletting
Some might say it’s otherworldly, some might say its ritual but there is no shaman here!  

He who rallies against the blasphemy of the corrupt, Who etches and engraves tally marks for the days that pass us by, The days that used to dance whimsically like us both, Amorous lovers
finding catharsis and solace
For our origin story went from A to B, then crisscrossing to Z like freeform jazz that lost track of itself, Destination questionable

I’m in the driver’s seat of this death mobile, this rickety beater that sputters without confidence, reflexive of my state of mind
For she is my unfortunate passenger, pleading with me to take it easy on the gas, This car only
gets 7 miles to the gallon,
We reach the ascent of a snow-covered mountaintop where the air is thin, needing traction control, the parking break not engaged as we backslide, our spinal cords risking instant fatality  

Bullets of sweat do their somersault as my soul barters this disco with destiny
This is our final stanza, no more chances to say what we must say when we need
to say it, an opportunity passes as that shaman from earlier inscribes another tally mark, his penmanship now illegible
For it is on this day, where the sun and moon coalesce, bleeding into one another in the cloud-populated sky, that we part
I release you  

Douglas Cala  

Douglas G. Cala is a performance poet, film/TV/social critic, media enthusiast, content writer/editor, photographer and videographer from Staten Island. Douglas began his arts career performing at open mics as a teenager at the former Muddy Cup Coffeehouse in his native borough. He has performed at a myriad of noteworthy venues including the Bowery Poetry Club, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Cornelia Street Cafe, Purchase College, Columbia University, Busboys and Poets (Washington, DC), Raven Lounge, Cafe Vivaldi, and the IMPerfect Gallery (Philadelphia), among others mostly in the East Coast. Douglas has produced performance showcases and has featured in variety shows curated by poets who have appeared on HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry”. He continues to freelance in theater and film. By day, he is a full-time multimedia and IT specialist for the NYC Department of Education. His photography credits include pieces published in the Amsterdam News and Leviticus Tattoo: Performance Words – A Serial Monograph, a small publication affiliated with the Bowery Poetry Club. 

 Dust on the Parlor Mirror
 Boxed peanut brittle
 and candy cane smiles.
 Cherry pipe smoke rising
 like pieces of ribbon candy.
 The scent of spruce wafts
 mistletoe hangs all about
 nutcrackers guarding gifts
 ornaments hang on the tree.
 Colored lights are chasing
 in holly upon the fireplace.
 Toasts with hard eggnog
 or cups of reddish punch
 to enjoy our Christmas day.
 Family and friends arrive
 ham and turkey are served
 holiday memories still reside
 in dust on the parlor mirror.

Ken Allan Dronsfield

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a 66 year old disabled veteran and prize winning poet from New Hampshire, now residing in Oklahoma. A proud member of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, he has three poetry collections to date; ‘The Cellaring’, ‘A Taint of Pity’, and ‘Zephyr’s Whisper’. Ken does not have an MFA or Creative Writing Degree but, he once rode a dirt bike on woodland trails from southern New Hampshire into Canada. He’s been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and six times for the Best of the Net. Ken loves writing, hiking, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.

 The Suitcase
 Back then, we had a theory.
 We thought that a suitcase
 was easier to get into cars 
 than a rucksack and thus,
 drivers were more likely
 to pick up hitchhikers 
 with a small suitcase.
 It worked like a dream
 and it carried our dreams.
 I came across our old suitcase
 buried in a heap of debris in my attic.
 It was battered from it’s long journeys
 and even longer vacation.
 Its clothing was torn
 exposing its cardboard credentials.
 I haven’t opened it yet
 so it’s unclear
 if it’s still full 
 or if it’s empty.
 Once we packed it full
 of our dreams, 
 but now
 I wonder
 if any remain,
 caught in the lining perhaps, 
 or if they’ve all have been carried away
 with our lost memories
 or buried in the debris
 of the past. 

 Lynn White 

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. Find Lynn at: and

Got Wood? Get Tinder.

 I once was shown that Tinder Box; It had no scars, It had no pox.
 It lacked those fabled fangs and claws; I didn't quake, I didn't pause.
 Instead It glistened, pretty, sleek, as euphoric trembles made me weak,
 and as the music chimed and beeped, the screen went bright, I peeked and squeaked.
 "That Tinder Box" my grandpapa said "was granted us by thems thats went,
 And where thems wents twas needed not, that left or right, that not or hot."
 I stood bewildered, b'fuddled, bent, by Grandpapa's words, his wisdom spent,
 For I could see no need to flick through images that make you sick….
 With love, or "supposed so" (though pure aesthetics no way to go
 In seeketh a coupling of the heart, unless thou seeketh strumpet or tart).
 "Back in my day" he carried on, confronting me with meanings wrong
 "The right would send the venomous hag, back down to hell, my noble lad,
 While left a personal fav of mine, will offer joy, and pleasure sublime,
 but do beware of such a trick, where photos wrongly used you pick,
 the night'll begin beguiled false, to a realm of lies, or depraved assault."
 Now Grandpapa never told me why, but I saw dark anguish in his eye.
 And then a tear he shed pre-cry, of which a soft and whimpering sigh.
 The thing that striketh me as dumb, with the tinder box, why I'm so glum,
 Is why you'd want to spend your time, a 2D pic, with text that chimes
 on a common theme, of dating wants, or personal gains, or pleasures sought,
 while real love isn't black or white, but a vivid sheen so burning bright. 

 Joe Smith  

Joe Smith lives outside Lincoln in the tamed un-wilderness. He likes to dig holes and chasmicly loves words. He’s often found somewhere entertaining possibilities of otherwises. He is currently, and more often than not, unaccredited, and entirely focused on articulating himself. Other alias’ include Guissepe Stokes (but please don’t tell him that). He hopes for, and if so appreciates, any joy found amidst his scribbles.

 A soldier’s soul

 Where is my bird on the wire?
 who returns between flash and fire.
 The only normal hope it’s brings
 Is the sound the song it sings
 Often still but always alert
 It calms me and my mate Bert
 Brown in hue like the mud around
 It looked at me at my hole in the ground
 I remember the day it came no more
 Orders had come down before the furore
 I prayed for that bird but not for me
 I prayed it would fly and wouldn’t see
 And when that awful day was done
 When Bert and I had up and gone
 I was that bird on the wire
 Amongst the flashes and the fire. 

John Welsh

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