Poem of the day:
"B" by Sarah Kay

If I should have a daughter, instead of “Mom,” she’s gonna call me “Point B,” 
because that way she knows that no matter what happens, 
at least she can always find her way to me.

And I’m going to paint solar systems on the backs of her hands 
so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say, 
“Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”

And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you hard in the face, 
wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. 
But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs 
how much they like the taste of air. 

There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by Band-Aids or poetry. 
So the first time she realizes that Wonder Woman isn’t coming, 
I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself 
because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, 
your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal.
Believe me, I’ve tried.

And, “baby,” I’ll tell her, “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that. 
I know that trick; I’ve done it a million times. 
You’re just smelling for smoke 
so you can follow the trail back to a burning house, 
so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire 
to see if you can save him.
Or else find the boy who lit the fire in the first place, 
to see if you can change him.” 

But I know she will anyway, 
so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boots nearby,
because there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. 
Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks that chocolate can’t fix. 
But that’s what the rain boots are for, 
because rain will wash away everything, if you let it.

I want her to look at the world through the underside of a glass-bottom boat, 
to look through a microscope at the galaxies that exist on the pinpoint of a human mind, 
because that’s the way my mom taught me.

That there’ll be days like this. 
♫ There’ll be days like this, my momma said. ♫ 
When you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises;
when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly 
and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape; 
when your boots will fill with rain, 
and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment. 
And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you. 
Because there’s nothing more beautiful 
than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, 
no matter how many times it’s sent away.

You will put the wind in winsome, lose some. 
You will put the star in starting over, and over. 
And no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute, 
be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting, I am pretty damn naive. 
But I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. 
It can crumble so easily, 
but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. 
“Baby,” I’ll tell her, 
“remember, your momma is a worrier, and your poppa is a warrior, 
and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”

Remember that good things come in threes; and so do bad things. 
And always apologize when you’ve done something wrong, 
but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.
Your voice is small, but don’t ever stop singing. 

And when they finally hand you heartache, 
when they slip war and hatred under your door a
nd offer you handouts on street-corners of cynicism and defeat, 
you tell them that they really ought
to meet your mother

How books shaped my perception of the world

Growing up,

I was convinced,

That the famous five would turn up and take me on an adventure,

Or that I’d find fairies in the garden-

A secret garden- a secret garden possessed by magic;

And I’d explore and meet a ghost, or a wizard,

Or a talking lion and maybe I’d discover a whole new world

And battle my fears and pirates and growing up

I somehow knew

That life would be exciting,

Because I’d find buried treasure and be famous

Or I’d foil a dastardly plot against the Queen-

Either way, I’d be a hero back in my small home town,

And my neighbours would actually know my name,

And I’d have a dog. My partner in crime.

Growing up,

I realised that it did not matter if I was tall, or awkward,

Because handsome princes have to marry the heroine,

That’s just the way it’s written,

So I was sure to have a happy ending in the end.

And I’d live in a castle, with a library,

With enough books to fill my head with nonsense.

Submitted by fullstops

towering above our heads
beams and glass

stretch     m i l e s   u p    to the firmament
sheafs of metal and stone
a proud monument to the humanity
obidiently moulded in the

d

e

p

t

h

of ignescent jaws of a foundry.

Submitted by ink-phantoms

On Memory

An original composition. 

Let it all out. Enter the sweet, never-quite-true world of memory, where everything runs through the filters of music and color and nostalgia, passes through the Gateless Gate beyond which even the most ignoble sufferings seem to have the same magic of the past. The present slips through you and becomes film photographs, remembered melodies, great friendships and beaming smiles, and before you know it your whole life is behind you. Take in the mysticism of bravery, of sex and dreams and demeanor, of French girls in photographs and of sweet love made for the first time, of the simple ineffability of every single experience, which only seem comprehensible and meaningful when you revisit them by wandering through the black attics of memory, where they pulse like luminescent butterflies, alive with the glories of play and the wistful teardrops of all that we have done, because all we have done has brought us to what we are doing right now. Who could or would be free from the magic of a bike ride down a long trail, of a walk taken with a stoned friend, of all the enchantments and disenchantments of high school, which bind and release as often as the sun rises and sets? My remembered life is not a progression of moments but a pastiche and a panoply, a Picasso mural full of all the things I succeeded in and all the things I didn’t, full of snapshots and snatches of conversation and the spiderweb of moments that influenced and tugged on each other across the shuffled card deck of time, all of it bringing about the sad smile which only ever comes from reflection. Our brains and our souls do this, send us spiraling into the past, revealing the pattern that emerges when the waves of time have eroded the moments in between defining flashes of light that seize what was temporal and turn it, like the transduction of energy brings the world into ourselves, into the eternal humility of a snapshot. Tenderness saturates your being like a conciliatory quicksand around the legs, and looking back on the scatter of what I’ve managed to snag from the river of time and store with me in little albums and mobiles and dreamcatchers, I embrace even my enemies, wish somehow I could move beyond the faded stillness of what is after all a memory, a symbol of something which during its own time bloomed with incredible flowering motion. The mind is like an aviary full of yellow canaries and sailors that spend all night playing patience whittling and drinking from old green bottles, and by the time we realize this the canaries are already fleeing or else holing up for the night, done with their singing, so seize it all now before it fades, regardless of how many ancient globes spin in your memory and entrance you with hypnotic numerologies that you could not see when they spun before you the first time; once it has passed it is subject to the many predators of the unconscious, who bend and twist and sprinkle fairy dust on what happened before, and the jungles of memory become a place to see that each of your friends was a steeple before which to kneel and pray, a bundle of sizzling nerve fibers more precious than a bowl of diamonds, that every love no matter how impure was still an intimation of the great Maternal Soul who presides over all such matters, that each tragedy was a lesson imparting volumes and volumes of wisdom through the simply stark meaningless fact of its happening, that each leaf and piece of mulch and ignorant comment is integral to life, that it all happens because … so use this knowledge, this late-night grasping for the lost & hinted worlds of your memory, where dreamtigers stalk, footprints leaving Arabic sentences in the mud, and where ghosts dance with living folk in the ballrooms of Regret and Remembrance, use this knowledge to throw yourself forward, into the immense shining value of everything and anything that will ever grace your being with its simplicity or complexity: doing this, become the river. 

Submitted by vast-flowing-vigor
Poetry Month!!

Who are your favorite poets?

Some of mine are..

Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath, Maya Angelou, Anne Sexton, Andrea Gibson, Allen Ginsberg, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Rita Dove, Ron Rash… I could go on forever!!

Share below!!

she had skinny wrists
and a broken heart
and a necklace she wouldn’t take off—
you could watch her hesitate doing
the tiniest thing.
she wanted to learn to run headfirst,
keep her eyelids closed
and swim while trusting the water
to keep her afloat.
she had a rusty pair of scissors
gripped in her white knuckles
and wished she could be brave enough
to shear off her
lustrous black hair
and the pretty,
delicate image of her
you have in your mind.

Submitted by thegreatbigquestionmark

blue

take the time to blink twice
and let the music of the sky
sink into your eyes

breathe



Submitted by thegreatbigquestionmark



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your lips taste of the 
peanut m&m’s straight from the jar
and of drunken promises
in the dead of night.
our eyelids are shut
and our eyelashes tangle
from the closeness of us. 
your warmth is everywhere
and i can hear every word
you murmur against my skin:
“you’re lovely, beautiful,
i wish you were mine,”
and i tell you to stop talking,
because it makes no sense
to wish for something
you already have

Submitted by thegreatbigquestionmark

We Real Cool
We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.
Gwendolyn Brooks
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For Eli

Eli came back from Iraq
and tattooed a teddy bear onto the inside of his wrist
above that a medic with an IV bag
above that an angel
but Eli says the teddy bear won’t live

and I know I don’t know but I say, “I know”
cause Eli’s only twenty-four and I’ve never seen eyes
further away from childhood than his
eyes old with a wisdom
he knows I’d rather not have

Eli’s mother traces a teddy bear onto the inside of my arm
and says, “not all casualties come home in body bags”
and I swear
I’d spend the rest of my life writing nothing
but the word light at the end of this tunnel
if I could find the fucking tunnel
I’d write nothing but white flags
somebody pray for the soldiers
somebody pray for what’s lost
somebody pray for the mailbox
that holds the official letters
to the mothers,
———————fathers,
——————————sisters,


and little brothers
of Micheal 19… Steven 21… John 33
how ironic that their deaths sound like bible verses

the hearse is parked in the halls of the high school
recruiting black, brown and poor
while anti-war activists
outside walter reed army hospital scream

100, 000 slain

as an amputee on the third floor
breathes forget-me-nots onto the window pain

but how can we forget what we never knew

our sky is so perfectly blue it’s repulsive
somebody tell me where god lives
cause if god is truth god doesn’t live here
our lies have seared the sun too hot to live by
there are ghosts of kids who are still alive
touting M16s with trembling hands
while we dream ourselves stars on Survivor
another missile sets fire to the face in the locket
of a mother who’s son needed money for college
and she swears she can feel his photograph burn

how many wars will it take us to learn
that only the dead return
the rest remain forever caught between worlds of

shrapnel shatters body of three year old girl
to
welcome to McDonalds can I take your order?

the mortar of sanity crumbling
stumbling back home to a home that will never be home again
Eli doesn’t know if he can ever write a poem again
one third of the homeless men in this country are veterans
and we have the nerve to Support Our Troops
with pretty yellow ribbons
while giving nothing but dirty looks to their outstretched hands

tell me what land of the free
sets free its eighteen-year-old kids into greedy war zones
hones them like missiles
then returns their bones in the middle of the night
so no one can see
each death swept beneath the carpet and hidden like dirt
each life a promise we never kept

Jeff Lucey came back from Iraq
and hung himself in his parents basement with a garden hose
the night before he died he spent forty five minutes on his fathers lap
rocking like a baby
rocking like daddy, save me
and don’t think for a minute he too isn’t collateral damage
in the mansions of washington they are watching them burn
and hoarding the water
no senators’ sons are being sent out to slaughter
no presidents’ daughters are licking ashes from their lips
or dreaming up ropes to wrap around their necks
in case they ever make it home alive

our eyes are closed
america
there are souls in
the boots of the soldiers
america
fuck your yellow ribbon
you wanna support our troops
bring them home
and hold them tight when they get here

By Andrea Gibson

Mirror

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful-
The eye of the little god, four cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall. 
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

By Sylvia Plath

Words

Words are

practical tools

for assessing a relationship

or a discerning device in which you

can articulate properly the mishmash

of raging, disorganised thoughts

that you otherwise could not share

or a sensible mechanism for laying bare

your almost broken heart

without showing me the pieces

or a means to communicate just how

displeased you are with me

or a way of conveying just how

much I care.

Submitted by fullstops