Christie-Luke Jones is a poet, fiction writer and actor from Oxfordshire, England. Christie-Luke’s writing is strongly influenced by the Gallic blood that courses through his veins, as well as his interest in the more macabre aspects of the human condition. To see more of his work, visit www.christielukejones.com.
Through gritty, parched eyes I squint,
As hazy boulevards wind ceaselessly ahead.
The soupy June air weighs heavy on my shoulders,
A cruel curse befitting of a cruel hour.
I snarl and thrash and seethe.
I pray for a swift end.
Highgate lovers, swathed in crumpled bed sheets,
Gaze down from windows in dreamy post-coital bliss.
The soft light emanating from their cigarettes reminds me where I should be,
Where I should have stayed.
Her cascading onyx locks and melting stare, so far from here.
Snatched away in a frenetic dusk.
In the murky, nocturnal depths of this Hadean Borough,
The thought of fusing my weary torso to the elegant curve in her back is my only escape.
To sweetly kiss the nape of her neck,
And watch that sensual smile paint joyously across her sculpturesque face.
For a brief, heavenly moment, I’m there.
But mine is the oppressive still of a North London night,
Where bountiful summer trees loom black and menacing over deserted pavements.
Lo, wrapped in my internal struggle I have omitted another.
One who neither pines, nor laments, nor regrets.
A weightless astronaut, he skulks through the night air with a humble grace.
His sinewy frame. That restless, twitching muzzle,
An opportunist cat burglar, thriving in his concrete woodland.
He slows as I approach. A cautious arc. His marble eyes reflecting the street lights above.
What does he see?
We halt in unison, we share the stillness.
His keen nose analyses my scent, his pointed ears flinch at my slightest movement.
Such devotion to the senses is something I’ve long forgotten.
Suddenly I feel my heavy feet beneath me, notice my short, agitated breaths.
This wild animal has coaxed me out of my own head, made me living again.
He watches intently as I find the strength to move forward. Down this path I myself chose.
And as I glance back, I ponder his sentience. Did he share in my epiphany?
Succumbing to sleep I envy the fox. Long to dream his savage, unquestioning existence.
Glassy almonds of many colours strewn about,
Massaged by frothy hands.
The ghosts of conflicts past scuttle giddily on abundant limbs.
Armed and ready, should opportunity knock a second time.
A grey-green genetic soup swells and heaves under Palaeolithic gates.
To the South lies the North,
Its ashen hills and sleepy cimtières a proud hinterland.
The painful thrill of the icy current. The jagged rocks. The slimy, choking weeds.
Elemental forces unburdened by the lethal follies of man.
Blood is spilled under Blanc Nez, as it was decades ago.
But there is no razor wire now, no rusty barbs waiting to eviscerate lumbering lions.
A baraque à frites sat stoically atop a wind-scorched ascent hails the wounded,
Their cuts and scrapes glistening as they congeal under a lemon yellow sun.
Feel your limbs, light, almost emancipated from your body,
Your face tautened by the healing saline breeze.
Blood courses flamingo pink through your youthful veins,
Breathing life into those crumbling Republican pillars.
You sense that this is it, that this is where you need to be.
So aux armes! Defend this blissful feeling lest it die here,
Anchor your spirit to the restless dunes and demand your droit du sol.
A solitary orange for breakfast; she delivers it with her unmistakably virginal smile, kneels by my bed in thanks.
My body fizzes with polarising urges strong enough to kill us both.
Her apartment is beyond all comprehension; I feel undeserving of its pine-scented
air, the only discordant note in an otherwise harmonious melody.
She dresses in furs and heavy knits. Her glowing skin and lithe body are untouched by the sweating guilt of midnight trysts.
A nervous laugh rocks the vast drifts as our paths tentatively entwine across the
blank expanse of canvas.
Our eyes devour in absence of trembling lips. The inevitability is palpable.
A joyful expression of unspoken lust; her hands scream to be touched.
I debate the drop, survey the cliff edge with a melting restraint.
Hurtling forth; I find myself discussing pickled herring in her father's slippers.
God-fearing Christians, no doubt afraid of this wolf in sheep's clothing.
Such a charming sheep, though. I bleat and graze with impeccable timing, convince
Neither of us find sleep that night. Impatience drives me to my annex room, whilst her mind is a dance of plush hearts and handwritten love letters.
Another 12 hours to keep my mask from slipping.
Joseph K. Wells is a businessman, doctor of occupational therapy, part-time professor and few wannabes from time to time. With his poetry forgotten over two decades, he rekindled the old flame a few months ago. He blames this on his midlife. Since the beginning of this year, his poems have found a home in the Red Fez, Napalm & Novocain, Dead Snakes, Every Day Poems and Section 8 Magazine, and are forthcoming in several more.
behind my tail
fast and furious,
round and round;
Succeed, I did.
tail in my hands,
and lips shining,
my face lifted
and then dropped
as I fell
One summer afternoon,
comfort filled the room.
I completed my
“net worth” form and
through the open window
let out a warm smile.
Suddenly a hissing
gust forced in,
of an open book,
shook hung wall
slurped up my
net worth form
off my desk
and rushed out,
my sight leaped
out the window
behind the sheet,
clinging to its tail,
as I stood
bit in awe,
a lot teased,
back at me.
But soon it
began to descend
flight it had
I walked down
to where it now laid
in a small puddle.
Wet, tattered, soiled.
ink all over
its soggy body.
And, then it dawned.
My net worth on
a helpless sheet
And, a warm smile
entered me again…
I Always Was
I was never
I was taken for,
I was made to look,
but beaten repeatedly,
to live life,
to not live.
by the destiny
of gods and stars.
I always was.
Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland, and was educated in University College Cork, graduating with an MA in Archaeology in 2000. Previously she has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications n 2010, and has since been published in a variety of print and online journals across Ireland, the UK and the US. In addition, she has also published a novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014.
More Than An Apology
Connecting with excess, drink and a sorry existence
Biting heels for a scrap from the table
Form following function in an escape plan
Touching cufflinks forbidden in time.
No one wants to see me unhappy
No schadenfreude washes over my tears
A rabble of protection still guards me
From the poison of my words falling flat.
Measuring attention, keeping time
On what now means the world to me.
Some shallow soul jaundices association
Enough for you to slap me to the floor.
Still warm, enough for you to cut my losses
Relaying information in front of your aides
Sunk from view, fleeting familiarity
From all that is mine, resigned to the moon.
You got what you wanted. Lessons learned
Forbid me from doing the same mistakes
Spitting poison to share my heart
A tirade suitable expressed by speakers.
Half-nakes through sunlight, via the curtains
Another day rears its brightened head
Enough to reassure my incarceration is gone
Enough to kiss the last standing enemy.
The Woman Who Sold The World
Illuminated pictures blight the wall
Flowers at every turn, scent depleted
Pledge to do at least one constructive action
A week, to sate an ego long overdue.
Covering your face, as though committing a crime
The clock name-checks your boring canonisation
Still watching the fairy lights flicker
Long after Christmas breathes its last.
Shuttering the window to ill effect
Not advertising custon as you would like
Cigarette burns turn to a blinding eye
Viewing darkly a habit of the dead.
Candles in bottles, creating an effect
Lost on customers, slipping between cup and lip
While i write on petty events like these
The world jolts inexplicable, a wake-up siren.
Have what is yours. Money is no problem
Being big on hugs is another question entirely
Time is seeping through cracks of satiety
Calling home before it’s too late to stagger.
Advertisements come and go. What happens
When you wanted so much, but couldn’t buy?
The world is your crustacean, eroded away
From your happy-slapping soirées a fait accompli
Rain Stopped Play
I could walk for miles and miles
Across the perimeter of a slow holocaust
The earth betraying a wronged culure
Keeping secrets from the unwary.
The minute raindrops danced on our cheeks
Signalling abandonment, forever welcome
A chance to play cards and shoot the breeze
Monitoring destruction to a tee.
Kneeling in dirt, debunking ditch forms
Massacring anomalies where intended
Modern features go recognised slowly
Games of chance with soil ring true.
Assauted teacups lined for action
Not large enough for an extended lunch
The rain immunising agains a rock-hard sun
Washing down a work in progress.
The council drops by. Flurried to attention
The unwilling comrades desert the cabin
Hacking at history’s betrayal of one event
Swept aside for posterity, resurrected, now.
Destroyed by measure by gods of progress
By-passes and motorways come dropping slow
Enough to smoke a cigarette in light of leisure
On the perimiter of a story realised.
(for Niall Julian)
A bird is known to fly on one wing
Catches flies as it passes a throng
Full of sanctity, a virtue worth reposessing
A weekend full of chaste desire.
Football discussions lie under skin
Of perfunctory emails, lying in wait
For a maching communication, phone cell dying
A special place in the heart of cards.
Interest where now intended. A surreptitious arm
In the cinema sparks a prophecy
I cannot get away from posh sorrows
Inflicting themsleves on circumstance.
We are so clever, role-modelling to pieces
The path once travelled of mutual friends
Pledging faithfullness, in light of temptation
Not thinkin about distance, teetotalling journeys.
Some queries beset themselves in light of reality
Blue-eyed inquisitions ligh path of prophecy
An accessory covering over a multitude of sins
Desperation assuaged, heartstoppingly exciting.
Cheap missions of mercy, resting my case
Graphic designing curing all of my ills
First love going to the back of a bus
Deservedly alone, unlike most others I see.
James, a retired professor and octogenarian, is the author of 3 poetry collections, "The Silent Pond” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms” (2014), and “LIGHT” (2016), and over 880 poems. His poems have been nominated for pushcart and best of web awards, and were published in The 100 Best Poems of 2015 & 2014 Anthologies. He earned his BS and MA from California Polytechnic University and his doctorate from BYU. His books are available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
Alone, But Never Lonely
I sit near the edge of a
Tranquil pond where moisture’s
Mist coils around my mind,
And, the soft balmy breeze
Like a new born baby’s breath
Wipes away my lonely tears.
In the Wee Hours
In the wee hours of the pomegranate
When colorful birds commence their
I rise sleepily from my warm comfortable
As the sun’s rays shine down surrounding
The mountains tinted with the morning’s
Reflect the calm beginning, of another
The seashore heaves a cheerful sigh as the
Hurls its white haired waves, upon warm
Sand so wide:
And, I in my half roused state slowly stir
To greet the new day,
To form all those new memories which will
Sooth my aging way.
The Meadow At Dusk
The slow moving brook sings a rippling
tune to me as it meanders around
curves in the side of the hill under shale
outcroppings, bouncing over boulders
searching for sky. I listen to nature’s
sounds, and become aware of an Indian
flute playing in the far distance. The
stream’s song and the flute’s song
mingle in my mind until I am not sure if
they are real or just a long lost
melodious memory echoing in my fading
The sun is starting to fade into the
horizon, and in time, dusk will set in for
another day. I watch hawks in the sky
lazily floating like brown leaves in the
breeze and wonder what they are
thinking. The wild Irises under the
Sycamore tree are folding up for the
night and waft their last bit of scent;
even the stream seems to be settling
down to a slower speed. Frogs sitting on
the edge of the stream are beginning to
stretch their voices to sing their croaking
melodies for the night creatures.
Suddenly the noises cease, and I drift
into the silence that has befallen the
meadow and wonder if it too is ready for
sleep, as am I.
The languid sun crawls gradually over the mountains to the east painting the verdant valley below with a soft orange hue, a new day rouses from the night. The mountain brook lazily flowing down its rocky bed reflects sun-beams off leaves of orange and yellow fallen from tall Sycamore trees. Downy birds begin to sing their warbled songs as they fly to and fro from tree to tree searching for bugs for breakfast. A doe and her fawn nibble gently at green grass in the meadow watching with ears fluttering for intruders. The old man pauses to take in the peaceful scene and sighs. His wooden cane by his side trembles slightly as he leans on it for support. So many years, so many years… and the beautiful landscape of nature never varies, it continues on season after season, year after year, always offering visions of pleasure. So much turmoil in the battered world, so many troubles, so many hurting, yet in nature’s world, beauty and tranquility reign.
Reach into the gray mist; and recognize the essence of sound;
listen to the night sounds, the lonely wailing of a lone coyote with hunched shoulders, and wary eyes crossing a meadow in the far distance, the guttural croaking of black and green frogs in a placid pond, the strident trilling of crickets’ violins humming in a pile of old branches, the creaking of rusting bones in a cemetery atop a knoll.
When the soul wishes to speak it has no sound except silence, yet we can reach into its memories and hear sounds of the past. The sounds walk upon ghost paths strewn with ancient stones, and echo into our dreaming somnambulant minds, reminding us of our mortality, and a muted echo filled with soundless time.
Time fades into nothingness as sounds diminish into the darkness of night where only an eerie hush can be heard. The mist rises and feeds the threads of wind, weaves the stones into beds where water flows with a sound of rushing laughter.
The energy of sound pulses into creation, and meadows fill with the aroma of soundless flowers. The old house at the top of the hill creaks and murmurs with sounds of that which is gone. The nearby trees are inundated with the sounds of downy birds, tuning up for their morning aria, after their morning journey into the bright melodious sky.
Then there is the euphonious sound of tiny lazy rill creeping beside an old barn into a garden, and then far, far away into a stream that flows into the mouth of the sea where the ocean’s raucous sound is protected by watery memories painted on jagged rocks projecting into the water.
Reach into the gray mist; and recognize the essence of sound.
Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with the society. He's a twenty- three-year-old microbiology graduate from Tansian University. He lovea books and Anime in that order. Taiye, has some of his muddled thoughts published and forthcoming in a few e-magazine such as Kalahari Review, Tuck magazine, Lunaris Review, Elsewhere, whispersinthewind33 and so on.
Motif of Pain
the scramble letters of
life, converse in diglossia
that its dead weight
mutters two syllable:
salty puddles, or
Memory and grief
Some things mama left undone:
a suckling who needs an urgent un pair
a galley attendant
a cotton ball to
Some things papa left behind:
a red bank note
a tattered monument
all the things they both left behind:
in a bowl of grief
the silk threads of agony
that ties throbbing wombs
to flaccid phallus
eyes that have lamb
in drooling dreams
eyes that spliffs
to drown boredom
after many visit to craggy mountains
to offer incense
to unpacified spades
that roams the orb of your dwelling place
to allow your udders swell
and wipe the shadows underneath your eaves
ANTHEMS FOR THE SUN
Countless days and night
Need you not?
For the dead weight of breathing
Makes the vault a scary nightmare
From the cradle,
We constantly navigate the maps
Of the public square
In the streams of creative insomnia
Thirsty for the purpose
Of dance and wine
Thirsty for the purpose
Of love and grief
Thirsty for the purpose
Of dreams and becoming
Old love song
Love is a wicked girl
Love is a furious storm
Love is a passing wind:
It smothers, swaddles and track trails of grief
Love is the mirror wand that resurrect dead movies
Love is the shadow of your dead lover’s soul
Love is the interstitial space in your skin
The choking breath that refuses
To be putrid stench
Love is the old songs that makes you night walk
Into rusted galleries lying gnawed
In the dust of history
Love is the muffled voice in your forest
Reciting the mutations of your habits
Love is religion:
The pelting knees at the cross of passion
Ogunniyi Abayomi was born July 11, 1991 in the city of Lagos, where he reside. My love for poetry is very strong whereby i consider it a page of my life. I am aspiring to create positive values as a poet to my world.
LOVE IN THE ART OF DESIRE
Eyes paint nothing to the
art of her skin.
Craft of the creator,
to behold complexity in
winds of the mind alone to
The steaming imagination of
delight of all eyes across
sphere to taste and bite.
I forsake your character to be
To aim the desire beneath your
Cloak drowning under your ocean
to send my thirst to its exile of
Thy golden glory i found in the
dirt of lust,
The scrambled desire to send my
soul to its cave.
the intimidation of your skin
in the mirror of my mind
Burning the sac of my heart,
fire beneath the silk of skin.
The cold tongue of thy lips,
icy tongue that melt the air
to the sea of imagination.
Under this ocean never
To scream and smile,
the comfort and satisfaction
of your romance.
To be free from your fiery
drama of lust,
Ripped to the gentle fire
beneath her feet.
Sean Lynch is a poet who lives along the Delaware River in Camden, NJ. He is the editor of Whirlwind Magazine. You can find more of his work on www.swlynch.com
Along the reluctant blue
of Camden’s Cooper River
there is a hospital,
an unassuming monolith
adorned with a stone statue
once cracked by an earthquake
now sealed and standing stoic
where a spotted hawk nests
amidst the halo of the virgin mother
beyond the 6th floor window
where my own mother fights
the fire spreading through
her stomach - though she sits
unphased by the word cancer;
she sits as still as the gray tomb
of Whitman below us in the hillside,
and still in stillness she’s never been
so full of life.
Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl. Red Dashboard released her first collection, Directions of Folding.
Follow her: www.thehealedheart.net
Dragging My Insides in Churn
There's a rusted rake pulling my belly
Dragging my insides in churn
That greasy cream of butter
Maybe too much wine yesterday
Never enough sleep
Needing salt to soak up that greasy
The ocean perfected its drunken fest
Waves that crash, tides that sway or roll
And salt, salt to preserve and
Everything needs to be carried
Somewhere far from here
Messages in bottles, hope corked and
I wish someone knew my name
Remembered I'd teetered across these rocks
Looking for a castle on which to dream
Darker Than the Sky
I bought her a cactus the day after her Daddy died
in a little dark blue pot, darker than the sky.
It looked like a brain or a teeny tiny coral world covered precisely, perfectly
with needles fatally sharp, reminding me of fairy tales her Daddy had just read two
pricks ago. At least it was protected.
It made her laugh, that neon orangey ball, the color of a cartoon heart
scribbled rapidly, carelessly outside the lines, missing its beat.
She left it alone to fend for itself as other things, others tales and pokes
took precedence, forgetting all about his voice decomposing within
its bulbous shape, its bright, little pricks prepared to protect.
She watered it yesterday, she, a swimmer and a splasher drowned her cactus dead
and now it merely hangs lifelessly, listlessly
with its waterlogged head like it’s just been dragged
over the edge futilely of some kiddie pool. Drooped and sleepily dead,
its tips now darker than the night time sky.
With its papery thin stalk, wet and soft, its beach ball head, so transparent
you can see every vein, every single poke now only tender hairs,
hairs you could brush with child like fingers patting her Daddy’s head, her prince,
no longer needing protection, never missing a beat.
To sleep like stone
settled, in grounded weight
nestling under earth’s dusty sheet
humming ancient Indian chant and song
the rhythmic tap of geodes
the beat of drums
To sleep like sea
sliding softly into slip
sun’s strong warming blanket cooled
the sigh and snore in ocean wave
lullaby of rise and fall
the tinkling of shells
To sleep like glass
sheer and transparent
allowing light to travel through
entering, shining and stirring gentle rattlings
lucid dreams and clearing visions
But oh, to sleep like stone
I Wanna Get Laid
It’s been six months now. The longest I’ve gone in 21 years. I think about it a lot, probably too much, remember how it feels. That hollow hunger within pleading to devour and be fulfilled.
I am so empty.
I could grab someone off the street, meet someone on-line, but the only one I know is gone, and with it all my security. He knew how I moved, understood my eyes and my eager mouth, knew just where and when.
I wanna get laid but without the fear of sin, or pregnancy, disease, will he call, how fat are my thighs, am I even any good? I wanna know how to please, but I’ve lost all I know and
I’m not ready for questions. What’s your favorite color? How’d you get that scar?
He knew every single scab, all my vulnerabilities. He gave me band-aids and
my last name.
Oh by the way, my favorite color,
She's lost within the mountain
uncertain of whether to switch or back,
lays her head upon earth's
There is no comfort.
She listens to the groan within
the cracking that comes
the avalanche and fall.
She forgot the chosen path,
misled herself along the river
stepping into today's current
and slipping half way between
and just below the surface
right on top of everything
everything falling next.
Adam Levon Brown is a poet, student, and activist residing in Eugene, Oregon. He enjoys the outdoors, playing with cats,and meeting new people. He has been published in a few dozen places including Burningword Literary Journal and Yellow Chair Review.
He can be contacted via his website at www.AdamLevonBrown.org, where he offers free resources for poets.
The Kale Chip Woman
I liked the way
of your small
to hold your
fulfill the needs
of the populace.
I guess that
it’s too late
But your non
of half eaten
on my mind.
Polling for Student President
I asked you
if you wanted to
chat about the politics
of Lane Community College
on a humid spring day
You said that we
could take a ride in
the first building’s
I knew by
that you didn’t
want to talk long,
since the elevator
only served one
I asked if you
wanted to vote
for me for Student
President and you said
I felt the anger
wash over me
as you exited
I took a deep breath
and headed to my next
I sat in the
attempting to focus
on my copy of Bukowski’s
You passed by with
a small frown on your young,
My olfactory sense
picked up the scent of lilies
emanating from you.
I battled back and forth
in my mind whether to
I took a deep sigh, readjusted
my focus, and found my place.
in Bukowski’s work.
Daniel Ross was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and currently lives on Vancouver Island. He posts on Instagram as @dcsross and his website is www.dcsross.com.
Parc and Sherbrooke
The deadened go
up the hill, and
through the snow
so they can know
where the tombs are.
White hills and sweaty hands,
leather gloves and wedding bands,
well met with steady toes
the deadened go.
Black jackets with fur hoods
scream loud a steady "no"
in the direction
where the tombs are.
Sit on heels
The rancid hearts of all
where the tombs are.
we were doomed, gone,
in awe, trembling
like the trees that drooped
above the pavement.
Faded charcoal snow
dripping from the gutters.
like an old mistrust,
and the road
Your perfume smelled
Is her picture of vanity
a pound of flesh.
The stream to look in.
hypnotized by the flow.
loving the reflection,
or imagining drowning?
is deep enough
to end it.
She was the type of girl
who would rather
gouge out her eyes
than break a miror
Blindness can be overcome,
Bad luck is bad luck.