Poetry Drawer: Peaceful Dreams by Janine Crawford

Dreams of white sand,
And golden stars,
And silver bells,
Wrapped round the moon…
The moon whispered across the lands,
Peaceful dreams,
Sleep soundly,
For I will protect you throughout the night.

The Moon beams,
Down lights of silver rays,
As the silver dust sprinkles on the land,
And spreads throughout the night,
Giving sleepers of slumber,
Their peaceful dreams.

Poetry Drawer: Storeys: Dad Says: Shards by Sam Rose

Storeys

I wish for brother to be not
such an unfamiliar word to me
lighting candles and minds with
stories, climbing mountains made
out of the storeys of the house
we almost grew up in together –
backpacks on, climbing shoes, ropes
made out of bedsheets, tiny
mountaineers opining on everything,
opening gifts at Christmas, now pining
for rewinding – if we could, I wish
we could do it together

Dad Says

Dad says “Fluids!”, when we complain we are hot.
“You’re dehydrated,” he says, even if we think we’re not.

“You need fluids!” Dad says, when we’re playing in the garden.
“Fluids!” he says, when we pound the streets of London.

“Fluids!” he says in Paris as we watch Mickey’s parade.
“Fluids!” he says, as we retreat into the shade.

“Fluids!” Dad says, in Portsmouth and in Yarmouth.
“Fluids!” Dad says, and every time we laugh.

“Fluids!” Dad says, as we walk on Jersey’s shores
“Fluids!” he says, in every place that we explore.

“Fluids!” he says, putting a drink in front of us.
“Looking forward to some fluids”, as we ride the airport bus.

“Fluids! Get it down yer”, when we’re in town, shopping.
“Fluids!” in Orlando, when we’re Disney park-hopping.

“Fluids!” is his mantra up in the Scottish Highlands.
“Fluids!” as we float towards Gothenburg’s islands.

“Fluids!” he says in Miami, Wales and Spain
And on the beach in the Bahamas he repeats himself again.

“Fluids!” Dad says, in Nottingham and Birmingham.
“Fluids!” Dad says, by the canals of Amsterdam.

“Fluids!” Dad says, as we push through Times Square.
“Fluids!” he barks and wags his finger in the air.

“Fluids!” he will say when we hunt for the Northern Lights,
“Fluids!” he will say when we sample Stockholm’s delights.

“Fluids!” He grins and stretches out the word.
“Fluids!” we all chant, as we explore the world.

Shards

I have been sheltering people subconsciously and still
when I send them the miniscule
the threads
the summary
the dregs
they do not respond
why do they not respond?
it has been too hard to give them anything so far
and now I have given something they do not take it
take it
take my ovaries
take my diseased womb
take everything that has to come with it
take my tears
take my worst fears
my operations
take everything I am showing you because it is nothing
compared to the rest of the things I have
I have so much stock in the back room
take this
and then if you run out I will give you some more
see how you get on with this first I say
and they don’t take it
I can’t say anything more to convince them because
my voice box is shattered and speaking is too hard
it is shattered as in tired
shattered as in destroyed
shattered as in shards sticking in my throat
and what am I supposed to do with this?
what am I supposed to do with these fragments
of words they won’t take?
I cannot pull them out of my own throat
and put them inside someone else’s
there are other people who would happily take these shards
and eat them like sword swallowers
like fire eaters if it would spare me
there are people who would do anything to spare me
and other people who will not take my spare words
who will not spare me their words
any words would do
just to say message received
a delivery report
a read receipt signed in their handwriting
fucking anything
what am I supposed to do with this silence?
I can’t replace the shards in my throat with silence
I could soothe them with something soft
I could soothe myself with something soft
I can’t reach out
I can’t reach out
there is no future I can see
I am too afraid to look
cover my eyes
this isn’t me
I have shelved myself temporarily
maybe forever
and I need people to tell me that they still see me
to tell me I exist
to remove these shards
to tell me shards are not the only thing left in my world
replace the shards with real words
walk to me
reach out to me
touch me without expecting me to reach back
sometimes I can’t reach back so quickly
it’s the shards you see
those damn shards
every time I move
every time I try to speak they stick
I need everyone else to stick
softly
take a shard and sand it down
sand me down
make me see me
make me see them and in seeing them see me
make me see them and in seeing they will see me
make me see them and in seeing them I will see me
remove the future from my sight where it can’t hurt me
remove the shards from my throat where they can’t bite me
fight for my sanity
make me
make me see only the soft
make me see softly
speak to me softly
say anything softly
fucking anything softly

Sam Rose is a writer from England and the editor of Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. Her work has appeared in Scarlet Leaf Review, Rat’s Ass Review, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Haiku Journal, and others. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to rock music and eating too much chocolate. Find her at her website and on Twitter.

Poetry Drawer: Leafy Acrobats: Tracker: Winter Chill: Party Pooper: Moss Covered Shoes by Mary Bone

Leafy Acrobats

My thoughts came together
While strolling in the fall,
As the leaves were tumbling.
Acrobats soared through
The sky with
A coloured silhouette.
Glorious colours were scattered
At my feet.

Tracker

I saw footprints
In the snow today.
I could be part Indian.
The tracks were on a road
To another woman’s house.
I should have seen it a long time ago.
All the signs were there.

Winter Chill

The soup told us winter was coming.
The beef bones had stewed all morning
Until the vegetables and spices were added.
I dipped my cornbread
Into the stew,
Getting ready for the upcoming chill.

Party Pooper

Here comes my regular customer.
I’m getting the peanuts out.
She’s not a good tipper
And she is so messy.
We won’t make a profit today.
She’s such a party pooper.

Moss Covered Shoes

Moss covered shoes were found
In the forest.
Had someone walked a mile in them?
There is probably a story here.
Perhaps the moss felt like carpet beneath someone’s toes,
And they left the shoes there to collect dust.

Mary Bone has been published at Literary Librarian, Spillwords, Vita Brevis Literature, Halcyon Days, Best Poetry Website, and Family Friend Poems

Poetry Drawer: Pearls-Dreams by Paweł Markiewicz

the morning red sky
the pearl diver on board ship
ferrymen’s ayres
seaweed under sea
with the most propitious pearls
hidden by seaman
matutinal sun
keel swimming to new island
laden with the pearls
when the tide is out
pearl diver is fetching pearls
from sunken vessel
weird of afterglow
pearler singing song of moon
breaks sea-solitude
under summer moon
a pearl in dreamy gull’s beak
marine wizardry

Pawel Markiewicz was born 1983 in Poland (Siemiatycze). His English haikus and short poems are published by Ginyu (Tokyo), Atlas Poetica (USA), The Cherita (UK), Tajmahal Review (India) and Better Than Starbucks (USA). More of Pawel’s work can be found on Blog Nostics.

Poetry Drawer: Coma of Dreams by Janine Crawford

Before I sleep and slip,
Into a deep coma of dreams,
I place my feelings into a bottle,
And throw that bottle in the ocean blue,
To cast out negativity,
And to reach some form of life,
In my dreams.

I send out thousands of words,
But no words are strong enough,
To express how I really feel.

There are some stunning humans,
On this planet,
Yet when I look in the mirror,
I see a dark creature,
Not worthy to walk this land.
When the night comes,
It covers my imperfections,
When the sun rises,
I slither back,
Into the shadows.

I don’t feel like a human being,
Maybe because,
Deep down,
I don’t speak human.

Poetry Drawer: Love Bird by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

In mercado cages
dull peach-faced love birds
lack the sunshine they need
The carcasses of dead animals
are more vibrant than the live ones

A poster shows
two female boxers
One is Elena Menendez
They are both heavily muscled
and know that they will be hit as hard as they hit
and that it will hurt them in the day
and damage them in the night
and in the weeks and months to come
until the next fight
which will be worse
and the next
worse yet
until they can no longer raise
their fists to defend themselves

I look in Elena’s eyes
and see her thoughts:
Why did I have to be a fighter?
I love the sweet sounds
of the violin
Why couldn’t I have been a violinist?

A peach-faced love bird
escapes its cage
flies up and perches
on a dead electric wire
next to Elena’s photo
posed with her fists up
dangerous despite her fear

My wife is having a manic episode
and has convinced herself that she is invulnerable
that it is safe for her
to drink the local water
I leave the bathroom
give the attendant ten pesos
return to my wife
standing under Elena’s poster
just as she is finishing
a big dirty glass full

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. His new poetry collection was published by Pski’s Porch Publications in 2019, The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face, He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Trick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Coal by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Poetry Slam by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: lost a battle with suicide: for the rest of our lives: an old lover whistling in a graveyard: my therapist: pressing my lips by J.J. Campbell

lost a battle with suicide

the firestarter
lost a battle
to suicide

i still remember
the look in her
eyes the first
time i heard
that song
blasting
between
the neon
at the club

i had dreams
of forever

and she just
needed another
free drink

neither of us
left satisfied
that night

for the rest of our lives

i stopped believing
in love when the
woman of my
dreams decided
she’d rather have
a life without
my dick in it

of course, we
were going to
remain friends
for the rest of
our lives

until three
weeks later

she called with
the news of a
new boyfriend

i was out two
thousand dollars
and had a broken
heart that never
would be repaired

that was twenty
years ago

time doesn’t
heal shit

an old lover whistling in a graveyard

embrace
the pain

an old lover
whistling in
a graveyard

that haunting
laughter in the
distance is god

she doesn’t
necessarily
expect and
wish for your
failure

but success is
as likely as the
souls in this
graveyard ever
seeing the sun

again

my therapist

the
empty page
eventually
becomes
my therapist

i only wish
it would ask
better questions

pressing my lips

the rain touches
her lips like
tears from a
god we all
stopped
believing
in years ago

i remember
unbuttoning
her shirt and
pressing my
lips to a nipple

she started to
pull down my
jeans and i was
thankful i lived
a quarter mile
off of the road

and none of
my neighbours
could see this
part of the
property

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is currently trapped in suburbia, plotting his revenge. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Record Magazine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Horror Sleaze Trash, Synchronized Chaos, and Chiron Review. His most recent chapbook, the taste of blood on christmas morning, was published by Analog Submission Press. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights & Goodreads

Poetry Drawer: Five Hundred SCUBA Divers by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Octopuses hand them tools
as they work to right the Costa Concordia
laying ruined on its starboard side

After work
the divers drink in bars
and recount their undersea exploits
to avid women

while the octopuses
slither back into their holes
where some of them fondle large wrenches
or pieces of steel cable

There is something so strangely tactile about these objects
The octopuses embrace them with their entire bodies
and have multiple orgasms
far more orgasms than the divers
who have gone to bed early
to be ready for another day
at work under the surface

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. His new poetry collection was published in 2019, The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face, He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Trick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Coal by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Poetry Slam by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: An evening, after 3 months sobriety by DS Maolalai

you have to wonder
at the flavour,
and savour the smell,
accept taste the bitterness of it;
gooseberries and fresh appleflesh.
you have to get sunlight
pouring over windowsills
and spilling into ditches
onto drunks
going home. that’s
wine, see?
this: going home.
a skip in the road
and light
which shines in a bottle.
a kiss from your friend
returned again
after too long
gone off
at sea.

D.S. Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and has been nominated for Best of the Web, and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).

Poetry Drawer: New Organ by Robert Demaree

In our chapel at Golden Pines,
Amber light through stained glass,
Across the burgundy cushions,
Greying heads, hip and knee replacements,
A new organ fills the room:
Bach, Widor’s toccata,
Three manuals, hundreds of stops.
Digital, no pipes, which means to some
It is not real. Oh, but is it—
The swells, crescendos,
The noble trumpet of the Prince of Denmark’s March.
It replaces the kind of organ
You used to hear in cafeterias,
Playing for the Civitans.
Our friend explains, improvises for us;
Keys change.
How many would be so bold
As to put on display the skills
Of a life’s work, now
Compromised by time.
It is marvellous, we think, in every way.
At last we have at Golden Pines
An instrument fit for a sanctuary,
For a service of last rites.

Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladderspublished in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.