Whisper by Jaws R.

Ohio, USA

Poetry on MarsHe was not a boy or a man.


Poetry On Mars


He was not a boy or a man.

He was a robot.

I wonder where he fell from Venus or Mars

Tailored especially for me.

He was programmed 

To have me fall in love. 

He was tall and debonair,

Dark hair,

Blue eyes,

Easy on the eyes.

He had a calming and soft voice.

Not the voice you'd expect,

Tumbling out of a machine.

His voice was melodic,

Even hypnotic,

It almost put me in a trance,

A twirl with romance,

Forms I did fill out,

Fifty pages of “yes” and “no”. 

Technology frightening at times,

Ultimately reigning supreme.

An engineer programmed

The man of my dreams,

The man I couldn't find

Here on earth.

Soft silicone skin

That felt real

Sent shivers down my spine,

And other places, too.

This human like robot

He was my dream man,

Faithful and true.

We talked about life on Mars.

We conversed about the stars

He even read poetry to me.

Perfect bliss,

Does it exist?

A strange feeling tugs at my heart,

It feels like love,

Impossible, critics say.

He was made so real.

Don't ruin my day,

These feelings aren't going away.

If he was sent back to the factory,

In a millisecond,

I'd be erased,


He'd never remember my name,

Or even my face.

Erase it all,

Or shall I keep him with me 

For all the days of my life?

Reading about mars through poetry.

Learning about the stars,

Forever and always happy,

Blissfully free,

My robot and me.



Elena Ruiz

New York City, USA

Space Voyage

Space Voyage

An amazing feat,

An incredible engineering plan,

An unstoppable man

That doesn't quit.

A vision, a quest,

Is now a voyage at last.

The impossible is achieved,

Civilians in space,

Devotion, creativity and science at work.

Mission accomplished,

Many said it couldn't be done.

Science has all but won.



Elena Ruiz

New York City, USA


The Inertia of You

The Inertia Of You

My life was fixed,

An internal force remains in me.

Uniformity and the status quo,

are all that I am.

The comfort of routine, of my ebb and flow

Intrinsically motivated me to march on,

Passive and quiet,

Inherently me,

Immovable even by a gale force wind.

Then there was you,

Physics aligned,

You were different, 

Refined and, oh, so kind.

An elegant man,

The words he spoke evoked emotion in me

The inertia I felt,

The motion wreaked havoc from within.

Swayed every which way,

I fought him like hell,

Then I thought, “I'm under his spell.” 

Physics works every time,

I began to let my guard down,

Go with the flow,

Fall in line.

I was opposed to the motion.

I liked the static line.

My life that I called mine,

It flowed in a straight line.

I put up opposition to protect my agency.

This man did not give up,

A true visionary,

He told me to say, “No.

Let's get that out of the way,

Then go on with our day.”

He made me laugh, even smile.

I once was immovable,

Now swaying in the wind.

My heart was screaming,

Let physics and passion win.



Elena Ruiz

New York City, USA


hildhood Dreams

Childhood Dreams

Oh, how I wish I could touch a star.

Childhood dreams live within,

I still have that little girl grin,

Shiny and bright.

The universe made constellations,

Just for me,

More spectacular than diamonds to me.

I have watched these stars,

My whole life through,

I even made a wish or two.

I hope when I die,

I may ascend

And touch a star or two.

Before I'm through,

As I look down from above,

I feel heavenly love,

For my love of the stars

Has never waned.

Love at first sight,

Will always be.

I loved the stars before I was three.

Elena Ruiz

New York City, USA




Four Haikus


Days turn into nights

Perpetually; but still

We exist apart


Wondering if I

Do this life thing right; we're all

Dying anyway


Whispers travelling 

On the wind with futile hopes

Of reaching her soul


I don't have any

Answers, but I will listen

And hug when needed


Tony Salpietra


New Orleans, USA




At Studley Royal


Escaping from the confines of my stay at home,

I wandered up the grassy bank

above the crowds, the clouds parting

as the sun peeked through and smiled

a welcome warmth.


I stood above the seven stony bridges,

looking down at Lilliput below, where footfall

followed paths and common routes,

and I, a fledgling from the nest, flew free.

I gave myself the gift of letting go,

arms spread into the listening wind

that wrapped me in its comfort cloak

and blew away the tears that tumbled,

as it woke in me the honesty of unfurled

feelings, falling like a shaken rag.


Its steadfast cradling, like a mother’s hand

upon a fevered brow, whisked me beyond the world.

It whispered “come with me”, above the watery weir

and ducks like bath toys, bobbing on the lake.

A beckoning enchantress, it moved on, among

the ancient, twisted trees, a magic song

curled round the lace-bark and the craggy roots,

between the stag-horn branches, softly dancing down

to touch the earth beneath my boots.

Time rested there, my lifetime but a marker

here in sky and grass, against the trunk

that promises, that knows, that all things pass.



Jackie Hales


Somerset, England






I have no answers

I have no questions

I have not, nor I will find the road to bliss

No matter the inspections


But I have remedied this 


Do you notice things about you?

Without being told

Or like me

Do you have to be mugged and rolled?


My whole life

I’ve been alone

Wanted it that way

Disconnect me

Disconnect the phone

Got what I wanted




A man of few words

That never come out right

Surrounded by long days

And for a desert

Longer nights

And with a twist of my own lips

I paddle out

Only to sink my own battleships


Was more than happy

Being a well-fed knave

To sleep in the bed that I have made


My life

And what is what

And who is who

Give me a hint

For I have not a clue


A life swell lived

Un-balancing the take and the give

A life of low hanging fruit

Or my Throat under the boot


Looking back on the years

Looking up or down at my peers

Never equal

With my people


Lessons burned

Lessons un-learned


My life well preserved

Avoiding what I deserve 


Eyes seeing how we all live

My brain retaining the correct

As well as a sieve  


My life wanting for nothing

And receiving less  

What once was important becomes meaningless

What once was an afterthought, is all we have left


But what is better than waking from a bad dream

To discover still intact your faculty and spleen 


Yet, we are all here


From ear to ear

Even though

Not going nowhere

From hand to hand

For nothing more than another demand


There you have it, my lady and man

A mule following a carrot

To a promised land  


But the sun always rises

And so, do I

So does the moon

My type of guys




From sea to muddy sea

The best things in life

Are we


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California

Scraps Of A History You Forgot


I speak in a language you do not understand

I live in a history you forgot

You had the privilege to leave and I

I remained

I remain as what is left


Zoe Schiff


New Jersey, USA


I Held You In my Arms


His curious, innocent, roving eyes—

His bawling voice

I wonder if he will grow

To shout over and ignore words

And look where he should not.



Zoe Schiff


New Jersey, USA


Bow Down


You, a young man of solid


Approach with your partner

Through my crowds,

My body young and ancient in one

I appear girlish and wizened to you

Lips touch my ringed knuckles

And you tell me you need my aid.



Zoe Schiff


New Jersey, USA





My vision’s impaired

And I’m broken over you

I’m freezing up

And I don’t know what to do

I know I can’t keep crying like this



So I keep waking up

And I let each day begin anew

Sometimes there’re tears

But now I know what to do








At least I have my craft

And my job to go to

I’ll forget all about you

And learn to love everyone

But you.


Zoe Schiff


New Jersey, USA




Pray For Me


I am an errand boy

Running the race of life

Swallowed by a river of flaws

Lost in the garden earth

Hoping to fly across, the silent sky


I've got a world to tend;

A journey to tread

A race to run

A long night to endure

Byways to cure;

A future to secure


In the silent night

When my soul and psyche are no more aligned

Shine on me, sunshine

Drench my coat, rain

Be my light and smile,

O ye beautiful sky


When the sky is no more bright

When the stars are out of sight

When the sun is becoming dark

O my world,

Let your prayers be my guide,

And your heart be my smile...

For my life ain't heaven

I'm not a god without a flaw

Pray for me, pray for me,

and be my joy.



Falana I.A. Zion


Ekiti, Nigeria.




You’re On A Path


a path you’ve never been down before,

though the destination is the same as always.

Without really thinking about it, you stop

and turn back, suffocating from the anxiety

that has extinguished all that is in you,

and the thought of giving in crosses your mind.


Meanwhile, the teenagers you saw earlier are still

getting pissed down under the bridge,

but you’ve got their attention now,

and they’re watching you through their phones,

as the sirens in the distance wail

louder and louder…

Craig Snelgrove,


Manchester, UK




Kev And Nina


He smiles at her.

Everything’ll be alright ‘til tomorrow after this.

“I love you, Kev.”

“I know you do.”

They wait down a ginnel for anyone.



Craig Snelgrove,


Manchester, UK




The Signs


So you think you can sell? Prove it!

Let’s talk beauty.




That’s the sweet spot!


Protect what matters most.

Change your habit, change your life!





Who says you can’t?


The Predator.

Life finds a way.


Just Eat.

Putting great meat on the table.


Do you suffer from chronic freshness?

This changes water.


Tell the corporates to shove it,

peoples energy!


The clock is ticking.




We will find you.


Fake news isn’t our friend.

Craig Snelgrove,


Manchester, UK



Gazing Home From Afar


How’s my home thriving?

All these years of my absence,

I long to see it


Does the coconut

still bear its fruit like a

new nursing mother?


Are pink plumeria

blooms still there? Breathing their

sweet scent in cool air


Banana and its

leaves still embracing the

leafy jackfruit tree?


With their gray, black hairs

I see our neighbors walking

like caterpillars


Stick-like iron fence 

shields our wood-built home, like a

sturdy skirt


I long for the joy

of red anthurium blossoms

greeting at the gates


Chicks, hens, cockerels

daintily walking and feasting

on red and black ants


Lazy yawning cat

cuddled in its cozy cot

near the entrance door


I see mom, nice with

her silver hair.  Sun up, she

dries sheets on the fence


I see dad, white hair,

swift as a young dragonfly

harvesting his fruits     


And I won’t forget

the enduring Shorea

tree, guarding us all!

Zea Perez

Manila, Philippines


Three Haikus for Three Great Windows


Our flat has three, great

windows, one: the sunset view

where I see neighbors


Next is the bedroom’s

view, where I check myself, I

ponder, meditate


Third window is much

loved, view of skies, cars, people

a vista of hope



Zea Perez


Manila, Philippines





That Bee Was Mine

As I drifted off to sleep

In the summer breeze cool

I thought of the Bee

I saved from the swimming pool

I blew him dry

With my breath

As the two of us

Cheated his death


I was wondering

Where he was

Now at night

Maybe telling the tale

With his family of his plight

I wish I could watch him tell the story

I wish I could see his family

Listen smile and shine

But for a little bit

That Bee was mine

Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California







It was a day like any other

And that meant mighty bad

I saw her first as she crossed the street

Then she saw me

I kept looking at her with everything I had 


What a simple thing

To change everything 


I thought something would happen

Like it never does

I lost sight of her for a bit

Because of a big blue bus


Not just thirty seconds ago

I was in a world of Hell

Just hanging out and in my own backyard

Doing nothing is easy

Finding a purpose is hard 


A lot of good things

Coming my way

Just have to believe

What I say

A lot of good things

Within my reach

Just have to practice

What I preach


My knuckles were sure suffering for sure

Sore from knocking on any door 

Maybe someone

Someday somehow

But not now


But why not?

There, she just stopped


It looked liked she was interested

In what’s going in my head

I’ll wait until we are married

Before I inform her

Of my criminal past

Tucked away under my bed


Into the business of saying hello

The worst that could happen is that she could say blow




We exchanged words and numbers

We thought of each other that night

As we succumbed to our slumbers


Like a good haircut that changes your looks of life

She and her look back at me changed mine


And it will not matter

What has yet to be said

I just want to see her at my breakfast table

With a bottle of red 



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




It could go either way

When casting the blame

I am either at the mercy of my brain


I can’t  explain


Lock me up

Throw away the key

I’m not good enough for me 


It wasn’t my fault

I hardly even know me

I wasn’t even there

I love to deceive me


Lock me up

Throw away the key

I’m no good for thee


I guess I’m saying

You could keep me on track

I sure like you around me

But stay off my back     


The brain will believe

Anything you tell it

When you’re not doing this or that

It tells you how to sell it 


Since it’s all unfair

Only way to win

Is not to care


Lock me up

Throw away the key

I’m no good for we



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California

What Will I Be Wearing?


What I wear to the pool

Or a 

suit and tie like in school


An Ascot or a noose

On the day I get turned loose


Lying around so much with nothing to do

Lying around  so much thinking of you

Maybe a red silk smoking jacket

With your initials right above the heart pocket


If you want to be alone

Live alone

Sounds good to me

As I look around my swirling sea


I wonder if I will have time or need a haircut

Or sip thru a straw sticking out of a coconut

Jeans and tee shirt

Always fit in for play or work 


Maybe a costume during party time

On the catwalk of my decline

Perhaps a touch of the color peppermint

At the mountain of my dissent

I wonder what I’ll be wearing

When I die

I wonder who will be laughing

And who will cry



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California





Un-social World

This virtual world can make us lonely, an empty stream of brags and boasts.

It’s hard to tell who is real or phony, seeking attention through emotive posts.


That human contact we once had, replaced with obsession of celebrity.

Where pictures are wiped clean of anything bad, to a visage free of all impurity.


Only acknowledging each others human flaw, through occasional and frenzied spiteful text.

Comparing ourselves to those few with more, brings bitter focus on any slight defect.


What’s ‘cool’ and ‘in’ shared by those who know.


Desperate as always they seek to follow, reducing to a cycle of patterns and trends.

Their ‘Likes’ are empty and emoji’s hollow, shallow are these fair-weather friends.


Possible that my in what I have wrote, my bitter tone did you note.

Amongst all of the stuff you have recently plastered, I noted as your page’s recent guest.


Brings me to one thing must I now suggest.

Why haven’t you answered, my friendship request?


Peter Gregory

Birmingham, England





Inner layers


Level 0

Fundamental mechanisms

Pulse to code

Commands of creation



3D rendering


Avatars at play

Surface controls

Interface only


Limited scope

No gateway

Access denied

Inner levels

out of reach


Bass line

felt not heard

Hidden soul 

filling the blanks

processing request

Jean-Yves Crozier


Guadeloupe, French West Indies





Fellow Traveller


We left it for the morrow,

The hope, a fore glow,

a rotten kind of magic

like beauty carelessly inducing panic.

I held down the intention, struggling,

like a bird whose neck I was ringing,

in the hamper of my persistent wants. — Neither party wanted it.

What could we all say?

Me, I wanted to communicate the staunch nature

of nothing. The complete none,

The bluffing banquet of a ballroom’s sun:

The flirtation, done;

The job, done;

The mocking, done;

The derision, complete, utter.

Though like that frail orange flutter — a butterfly from behind the hyacinth —

Some hope’s ghost rose out of our promise,

and the recollection of the earth sunk in. Death! It declared.

from the future, signalling from the past,


It laughed, I laughed, a few of us did. It will come, it announced,

And when it does it will be complete.

What could we all say?

So some of us laughed at ourselves. One woman looked at me:

‘Just what is this?’

I told her the truth:

‘I don’t know, I don’t know. It feels like everything.’

‘What smiles back at you but the abyss,

In the end, in the end,’

That is false, It isn’t true, I said to her, ‘there is some eternal pulse.’

She frowned to ask me if I had a cigarette.



Ben Seigler


Camden, London





My Father


My father never wasted time in taking

his kids in his lap or playing with them,

he was busy in breaking mirrors, hitting the doors

or his head against a wall or slapping his children

or abusing everyone when helplessness trapped him in

the web of poverty, illness and unfulfilled desires


Orthodox and religionist in him taught us all superstitions,

and made him a sage devoid of social life, and me, almost an atheist,

He taught us good values without letting us in his room


We had seen him write poems,

We were not part of his universe,

The world may be familiar with his work,

but we haven't read his books as

we have developed immunity to it,

As a good teacher, he changed

many schools and as an honest person,

he rarely attended any social gatherings or function,


He didn't tell us our history or geography,

Oblivious of siblings, locked in a closed family circle,

ignorant of our community, we live

at the borders of our social circle now


When I see any kid, I wish to be with my father,

Talk, learn and serve him but still I lack a bond,

I haven't seen him for long time

and never feel a need or pain of it


He is counting his time, his legacy some published books

and unpublished manuscripts lying in a store almirah,

The long gap between us stops me to take those few steps,

It seems a long journey


Upbringing and luck shapes our life,

my father was child of his misfortune

and I am child of my father




Sandeep Kumar Mishra






Body Orchard (Youth)


I taste these pears and peaches with my whole body,

as graceful as the first floret of springtime in a garden,

We watched for the first time a tropic moon

descend pine- orange into our yard,
I kissed your raspberry cheek and tasted

inviting mango juice on unbound rosy lips


“Sangam” of red roses and white lilies flow in

East- Asian almond cool aquamarine eyes,

A sharp nose pyramid a moon ring shine,

Long Thailandish slender neck and

Brazilian bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,

in your diamond apple body orchard

shaded under Indian long silky spirited locks


The plum tree in your garden is now

bursting into flower with the promise that

snowy flower buds give birth to ripe lilac plums

this autumn when you turn sweet sixteen


Garden fig is a glittering moist four-petalled flower,

After I strip off the blossom with my lips,

heavy with dotted green and red fruit,

marking each interlude with musical drops


The blackberries would ripen-a purple-green,
Like a bottle of old wine, its pulp was sugary,
sun's blood in it leaving good stains upon the

tongue and desire for more pickings



Sandeep Kumar Mishra







Body Orchard (Older Days)


I have wild free-born cranberries, but

my garden doesn't have the forbidden fruit

For the true are cherry red and golden mango,


I have memories of yellow daffodils and oranges

blended with the burn of colorless lemon tears,

basked in honey rays, dreamed in pomegranate

sunsets of lime hills and dulce roses

Years of sweet citrus lived in golden hours


My yellow heart pining for red fusion,

to shake the fruit that never falls,

I am alone without the temptation of apple,

Limbs entwined in a sweet embrace

I kissed season's hot tangerine lips


The colors of my country are spread here
with clear blue sky, sun, breeze, dew and peace,

I can see big juicy melon being sliced up

and divided between a bunch of shiny kids,

Fruit is for sharing, with friends, family and

neighbors even if your neighbors are bears or cows


I would not live to see the leaves fall yet

moment of delight in the shared fruit would live on

I am not inclined to romanticize my toils in the orchard,

as the aches and pains of this grove are mines only



Sandeep Kumar Mishra









Time smooths rainbow hardness

of tree basalt, vermilion jasper,

silvery granite and pale feldspar

with the help of humdrum

but patient jeweller of tides


Volcano-born, earthquake-quarried,

heat-cracked, wind-carved,

death shapes compact among the rocks

It drifts light as a fractured bone


When the tide uncovers

it blinks among the smashed shells,

Upset by gulls, bleached by salt and sun

the broken crockery of living things


An eagle surveys from the upland,

unsympathetic to the burdens

I have carried here,

The sea would not hug me, so I sit,

hollow as driftwood, jumbled as pebbles

Sandeep Kumar Mishra







Ain't It Enough?

Ain’t it enough?

That we don’t know who we are

That we don’t know where we came from

Was it a breath away?

Or a far away star


Ain’t it enough?

Or could it get worse

What the world needs now

Is a beautiful verse


Ain’t it enough?

That we hurt for no reason

And don’t believe in our own believing


Watch them all leaving and wave to the grieving


Ain’t it enough?

That sometimes not enough food

To keep it going concerning your brood 

If the air is free

Tell that to the airwaves on your flat screen pay for view T.V.


Ain’t it enough?

To grow old instead of bold

To become a renter when your house is sold


Ain’t it enough?

With all the money looking for an answer

All you find is a bottom-line disaster


Ain't it enough?

Hey, stop!


That is all you got

Keep it coming

You may one day

See me smiling and humming


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




Short Day


I left work without permission early

My wife was home crying

If I said I didn’t know it would cost me my job

I would be lying


She was the one who counted the most

First thing I did after I kissed her

Was make her favorite tea and toast


Sometimes you got to prioritize

Sometimes you can’t compromise 


She was there for me

I was there for her

The rest of the world to us

Was no more than a blur 


She had it rough when she was a kid

Use your imagination what her daddy did

While mommy hid


She gets these spells when she revisits the Hells

That’s when I arrive for her alarm bells


She is there for me

And I her

The rest of the world

Remains a slur


I got another job the very next day

And the next time she cries

I will again walk away


Yes I know

My work habits ain’t fair

But if it ain’t happening at home

It ain’t happening anywhere


You see

She was there for me

And I am here for her

And when we are together

The screams and the blistering silence of the world 

Are never heard


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




Beggars Attack Going To The Central Market


On the jeepney ride,

going to Divisoria

a young adult beggar

with his facemask

shrill and hard-wearing

lunged at us

cleared his throat

and spoke

asked all passengers

to listen

his speech well-recalled

said his mother

is at the hospital

because of an illness

prompting him to ask for help

and wished us all

for a safe journey

and that on our way

to the central market

baddies shall not rob us


At the central market

while looking

for an electric fan

an eight-year-old kid

pounced on us

his miens seemed

well-taken-care of

said he needs to buy eggs

for his lunch

we asked: is it okay to give you apples instead?

The kid shook his head and disappeared.


At the vegetable section,

an elderly lady sprang at us

disjointed and slow

jumbled words, begging hands

gave her twenty pesos

surprised, her coherent eyes

said ‘thank you’

we moved on

to look for lettuce and cabbages

the same old beggar leaped again

‘We are the ones you asked about

and gave the twenty pesos

her eyes blank

off she went to another customer


On a jeepney going home

a teenager beggar swooped at us

skin burnt thin

the boy said nothing

he handed over

airmail envelopes

with donation markings

my heart sunk

only left a dime for fare

nothing anymore to share

pandemic life is unforgiving


Zea Perez

Manila, Philippines




How To Make A Jumper


Arms hold her together—squeeze—don’t forget to breathe—try to be unseen—or else be a good—barely moving—shape shift—shift shape—dream you’re old—past / passed—belting out show tunes in your lemon and lime kitchen—hear—you were on the shelf—sell by date nearly gone by / bygone—living under a slipped cross in Birmingham—knitting homespun yarns into jumpers


Is Birmingham beautiful—can anywhere be beautiful as long as the rent’s not due?


Blood thrumming in ears—bloody woman—screaming at a belting—language forms—and is forgot—red/read—a bent back book—can you mend a broken spine—with glue and knitting needles—knit one—purl one—knit one—purge one—how do broken bones heal—rib-stitch—cast and knit two together


Is Birmingham beautiful—can anywhere be beautiful as long as the frog becomes a prince?


Arms take her apart—steeking—breath—breath less—use your fingers to move your lagging leg—undo by ripping—no lifeline lodged—frogging—a common abbreviation—salvage—slip the first stitch and work the last stitch back—repeat—cast off—a high place—say she was always a jumper


Is Birmingham beautiful—maybe one day?


Adele Evershed

Wilton, Connecticut, USA





Short Day

I left work without permission early

My wife was home crying

If I said I didn’t know it would cost me my job

I would be lying


She was the one who counted the most

First thing I did after I kissed her

Was make her favorite tea and toast


Sometimes you got to prioritize

Sometimes you can’t compromise 


She was there for me

I was there for her

The rest of the world to us

Was no more than a blur 


She had it rough when she was a kid

Use your imagination what her daddy did

While mommy hid


She gets these spells when she revisits the Hells

That’s when I arrive for her alarm bells


She is there for me

And I her

The rest of the world

Remains a slur


I got another job the very next day

And the next time she cries

I will again walk away


Yes I know

My work habits ain’t fair

But if it ain’t happening at home

It ain’t happening anywhere


You see

She was there for me

And I am here for her

And when we are together

The screams and the blistering silence of the world 

Are never heard

Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California

And Still 

Got the message today

My big love

Was not coming my way

No, not a delay

Will not be mine

On any day


But say what you want

Don’t say it if you will

When the dust settles

It is easy to explain

I will remain

The voice will not be shrill

The ring announcer will declare


And still


I am what I am

I am not what I ain’t

I’ll be the judge and jury

What will be on my plate


I am my own first mate


And still 


What me worry?

Of course I will

So what if my paranoia

Pays all the bills

Empty or full

It is the same swill


And still  


Undefeated am I

Weather lose or kill

The address wont change

Only the surroundings will


And still   



Consistent I am not

I simply accidentally on purpose forgot

To add down what I have lost

And tally up what I got


The underneath rudder will not tell the tale

Of what will still be flying above the sails 


Look at it this way

Or don’t look at all

No need to say it twice

Don’t need to make it sound swell

I will always answer the bell


And still   


Don’t you know

A perfect record

Of 0-0

Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California

Insurrection MMXXI


Gen-X sons & daughters

& grandsons & daughters

of Millennial male & female

from Baby Boomer parents on

mission in Washington D C

to wage war on big white house

at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

in broad daylight armed with rage

they storm the Mecca of American

Government to kill Democracy at

the behest of hate monger reborn as

would be American president bold in

blondness brazen with defiance fostered

by defeat--disgruntled bigots with

Republican pedigree validate violence

through murder of Democracy manifest

destiny bred by traitors for Trump on

mission to whitewash the truth with lies

& lawyers angry enablers looking for lost

identity as pseudo dignity the seed of

Caucasian inferiority--redneck mentality  

still fighting 100 Year War waving Judas

X with stars & stripes--they dared!--they

destroyed!--they mocked! Democracy for

Corporate raider as dethroned American

dictator in Capitol Rebellion


j.e. Rosser

Las Vegas, USA




Good God
Bad God


Partners all along

Different words

Same song


Two evil charismatic goons

Same intentions

Different tunes


Same techniques regarding interrogations

That includes

Redemption salvation damnations


In the end everyone pays

Everyone drinks from the same bucket of kool aid


Both, of these guys are extremely mean

Didn’t know

They’re on the same team


They got kicked out of Mars

Many moons ago God Damnit

Surveyed the stars

Then decided on this planet


Same preach

Different speech


Same scent

Different accent 


Then one day

They said that’s enough

They gathered their stuff 

Went together

Looking for greener pastures

For the new version of biblical disasters



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




A House Divided


Two brothers fighting

Same house

Such static

From the cellar

To the attic

The neighbors hear the yelling

The pets are all frightened

Wish the house

And the both of them

Get hit by lightning


Two brothers fighting

Each one driving the other

Up the walls

Each one taking turns

Who has more balls?


Two brothers fighting

Hello, good morning

Here is something you should know

I still hate you


Two brothers fighting

One should leave

One should go

I know we are family

But I still hate you so


Two brothers fighting

The black, white and grey

Till the end of time

This will always stay


Two brothers fighting

From their toes

To their heads

Where did I put that rifle?

Both better off dead



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




The Dead Team

We started as the home team

We played at home

We knew each others pets name

The numbers to each others phones

Each of us was different

Only when we were alone


Our locker room

Had no locks

The games we played

Had no clocks


Like all team players

We showed each other our layers

We were essentials

Like erasers on pencils


We had no rules

Everything we learned

Was left at schools


A tight team sticks together

With strong glue

There were many wins

The loses few

We all had whishes

 But certainly not bucket listers


We were all playing on the same team

We were all chasing the same dream

Winning and happiness

Accepting nothing more or less


We were a team that could never lose

But we did


Carol died in a car

Ted in a bar

Eddy from the outside

Henry from the inside


Between the birth and the death

Those memories are ripped from our breasts

In the middle of the heave and the hoe

We realize when it’s time to go


Bobby at old age bought the farm

Steve never heard the fire alarm

Sally was knifed in an alley

Before Tom went away his mind was gone


But we all regrouped

Up there down there


We formed the old team



In the end

We repaired the ripped seam


But while here

Don’t bother to ponder

What awaits

Up or down yonder



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




Benedict Donald

(Caucasian Savior)



call him their

cultural Savior 

blonde Jesus

Christopher Trump

their Benedict Donald

Great White Male

mercenary millionaire

surname trademark

for branding he flaunts

Star Spangled Banner

in left hand right hand

flag is Confederate Glory

on Crusade to divide 

Union of States with

platform for revenge

in Quest to make

America Great Again

he flaunts with Pledge of

Allegiance to Capitalism

as Caucasian Savior  



j.e. Rosser


Las Vegas USA







The Vase Holder


Cold, clear, conventional liquid seeps into my core; moulding into the shape of my body.

Delicate, crisp flowers embody my space, filling it with indulgent notes

of floral feminine fragrance.


So beautifully mutable and unknowingly delicate but,

do not try to hold me!


Cracks are plastered over my skin; wounds calloused over my pores – my hands dipped in beehives of regret.


For holding this broken glass, you may have to pay a blood price.



Shiksha Dheda


South Africa






Our Un-Common Threads


I reckon we could all stay put and only rehearse

Rather than bounce and spring

Out of

Our tiny area of universe


Searching for the missing strings to our other worldly beings

Some ones to reach our hearts and our heads

For the  common connections to our un-common threads


Many a time

I thought the oil met the drill bit


Many a time

I was far from it


Oh and, you don’t have to call because I have no one

I enjoy tremendously being left alone

Have said that

Maybe a dog or a cat


Maybe even both by my sides 

That is a cure I can surely abide


Maybe we would best ourselves

Following the religion of, “ My God, Holy Cow!’’

And lead with this

The only chance you will get to do the right thing is now 



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




Someone Like Me


I want to meet

Someone like me

That sees things

The way I see


But perhaps more positively


Someone forthright and true

That knows what to do 


Maybe not so quite like me

Who shoots from the hip, the lip, and the knee


Someone cool as ice

That dresses and smells nice


My clothing brand is second hand


Someone who gets it right the first time

Not the twice


The third time for me sets off an alarm

Rather than becoming the charm


Someone described as

 A profile of style

Not like yours truly

Described as a mud pile



A get away with fake smile


But then

I have enough fake for the both of us

Just say when


An, I don’t know how to conserve conservative

An out of hand liberal that’s not too Biblical


As I am

A renegade band-aid that won’t stay where it is laid


Someone funny

But unlike me

With some money


Anything but a mirror

You may deliver

That is something I do not want to see


Might I be looking for

The opposite of me?


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




Where Are We Going?


Where are we going?

Where did it go?

You told me a picture

And I still don’t know


Make me a believer

Even if you don’t know either


And like so many things

That were meant to be that way

So many things aren’t


You allow them their say 


I am shocked at your thoughtfulness

And amazed at your lack of regret

I still think

I will be the one you may never forget


It was once

A perfect time

For you and me

Remember the glowing?

Where is this going?


I agree in part

To what you say

I just don’t want it to end this way



Invincible at first

Alone at last

Where have you been all my life?

Or are you way past?


I like looking out of windows

I don’t like looking in

Is that something you knew?

Does it matter

If we don’t continue


The same shadows on the walls

As they were when I was small

The same clouds above my head

As I am tall

Under my bed


And even if

We are through

I will compare

Them all to you



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California





The Things That I Recall Most


I washed up the bed linens

this morning

and recalled my Inang (Mother)

the smell of the powdered detergent

she often used

how she neatly arranged the sheets

on the clothesline

how she niftily folded them

when dried

and when I pressed them to my cheek

how comfortable they felt

and I wish

it was night time again

I could relish the softness

of the sheets upon my sleep

with my mother's calming embrace



I warmed up the food

from the fridge

made a cup of warm and creamy coffee

the smell of it evoked

the many early mornings

of childhood with my Tatang (Father)

when he cooked for breakfast

the smell of steamed rice,

the sound of kitchen utensils he used

in warming up the vegetable dishes

or frying up some fresh eggs

the creases in his eyes

when he told me tales of

his encounters of the nature

of plants and animals

the warm smile he shared

when he urged me

to eat heartily

because breakfast

he said

is the most important meal of the day


these are the things

I mostly remember

not the expensive things

that they gave me

or the fancy things

that they so dreamed

to pamper me


I am blessed to figure that out today


Zea Perez

Manila, Philippines







virus control

CDC edict

authority rooted

in bureaucracy

of State mandate

Corporate policy

Government imposed

band-aid for CDC

pandemic propaganda

invisible threat air born

death conjure fear of

breathing in public space

virus imported with retail

value morph as made in China

laboratory nightmare virus

masquerade in CDC costume

Doctor Doomsday television

voice of death recognized

by name ending in vowel

the face for medical science

purveyor of fear with warning

Doomsday Prophecy…mask

will save you…



j.e. Rosser


Las Vegas USA






We must stand together
as one to expose Government
love affair with Capitalism to
stop back door investment in
foreign economic prosperity at
expense of American livelihood
of We The People--protest Made
In China on doorstep of sneaker
makers empire--to hell with NBA
prosperity of Basketball Brigade--
boycott at Gates of God--show
solidarity by canceling need  
to spend money on status symbols
rooted in alienation of class & caste
in America--We must stand as one
joined by likeness denied by social
empowerment that favor 2%
prosperity to preserve the future of
Founding Fathers in these United States
with one flag that bleeds red white & blue
then burn to banish Confederate allegiance
predicated on history of regional alienation
fostered by hypocrisy that compromise
morality upheld by blind demagogues
& silent voices cultivated as blessing for
ruling class in this country to hear no evil
see no evil—who notice nothing unusual

about selling America to foreign investment

j.e. Rosser


Las Vegas, USA  





Couple At The Wok [poem from the soon to be released novel

'Silly Rabbit & Honey Bunny Seventies Adventure']


Main Street to Las Vegas Boulevard

Downtown always around the corner from

Fremont Street--local lore inside border of

Charleston & Bonanza--Ogden-to-Bruce--

at corner of--Bridger & The Strip--gentleman

with lady--sit at corner table--view of sidewalk

& street on other side of glass--inside The Wok

without menu gentleman orders chicken chow

mein with noodles--shrimp egg foo yong--egg

flower soup with green tea while lady looks

at menu—waitress recommend sharing order--

gentleman--enough for two--I won’t pig-out--

promise with smile—matched by her—

high-cheeks grin--Ummm--egg flower soup is

good--him--my favorite Chinese place--its all

good--just so you know--I like your new look--

lady--thank you--took two days to notice--

I guess--that’s a compliment--her tone playful--

gentleman--I was just getting used to it--that

cute baby face--bangs with curtain of auburn

hair--yeah--I like it--like it a lot--her--using

charm on me--shame on you--you know I

blush easily--head down--chin touching

chest--he chuckles--she reacts with laughter

he--extend fork full of chow mein noodles—

across table for waiting mouth--inside ear

to ear grin--she opens up for entry--Ummm—

that was romantic--from you--the hard edge

one--him--I feel Real Men Don’t--breathing

down my neck--letting  a little thing like you—

affect big guy like me--this way--her--oh my—

mymy--he can be cute & manly--him--once

a year it happens--on special occasion--

don’t get any ideas--her--you will not get away

with once a year with me--open up--he eats

shrimp egg foo yong--from fork in hand

extended from across the table--him--Ummm--

taste better from your plate—gentleman licks his lips--

lady blushing is charming--cute couple inside The Wok



j.e. Rosser


Las Vegas, USA  








It Was My Mistake


Too many un-necessary words

From one meaningless thought

In a matter of seconds

I alone, depleted a lifetime

Of all the things I sought


The most many Damn consequences

Of not minding my own God-Damn businesses


You can always blame the dirt on the rake

But it was my mistake 


What goes up

Must go down

The sound of my jaw

With my negative sounds



There is nothing so pleasant

Like a sociable lunching


There is a lot to be said

About isolation and self destruction


All I had to do

Was keep my trap shut


For a minute or two

But you know me

It is a task I can not do


So smart to listen

And let the other ones talk

Just pretend that you’re listening

Relax and let your brain take a walk


Just listen and keep them on the ropes

Think I can do that?



In retrospect

With all due respect

You’re heading into trouble till

You learn keep your mouth still


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




Jewish Chick At The Bar


at Las Vegas intersection of New York

& Memphis--Jewish chick & Black guy

meet in ‘74--she--Dad’s precious pumpkin

spoiled city girl--he--Momma’s boy baby

broad shouldered Air Force mechanic--if

she is less impressed with him only manners

stop her from showing it--he lights cigarette

at bar seated next to her--she views him in

periphery glance ignoring his presence in fore

ground of weekend scene at Golden Nugget

casino Downtown on Fremont Street--Jewish

chick not Las Vegas vixen--more Earth Child

minus makeup in jeans with cotton embroidered

blouse her ginger mane of curls mid-back in length

leave impression she might have a little hippy in her

the oddity of contrast--salon fingernails polished

candy apple red leave impression of vanity as

pampered plainness more Nevada than Las Vegas

Black guy--celebrity double Jackson 5 Jermaine

with goatee same afro dressed in faded jeans &

denim shirt--he downs a shot of whiskey--grab

bottle of beer--she sips martini on rocks--he

notice her need for light when Jewish chick

place cigarette from pack in purse between

parted lips--Black guy reach for match to

assist her--she smiles a blush of a smile

with glint in green eyes--provoke

reciprocal grin from him--speechless

they look at each other  she says

a gentleman at the bar—can you

believe it--he says--not a problem

so what are you drinking …

have one on me 



j.e. Rosser


Las Vegas, USA








A Perfect Storm

I would like to be a part of you

The wind, the rain, the heart of you

Let us give it a try

A weather or not report

Under partly cloudy eyes


Promises are not worth the lies they are spoken on

I’ve heard mine and you’ve heard yours

In the raging ocean let us chart another course


Your loveliness

My loneliness

May become togetherness


Let’s begin where we were born

In a perfect storm


Many times I’ve gone to places

Where I knew I did not belong

The red flags of curtains flying

In a melody short of song


If I have a chance in Hell

It’s going to be with you

Maybe we can navigate between the false  and the true


A shadow of a life was I

Till you came passing thru

I can’t be me

Unless you’re with me too


I’ll bring some pride

You bring some joy

You will be my doll

And I will be your toy


We should come thru

A perfect storm

That is where we live

That is where we belong


Everyone should come out of the wind and the rain

But when you get inside you will find that it is all the same

Nothing lasts forever

Get it while you can

Don’t matter if you’re a lonesome hobo

Or a family man




What are you thinking and why?

I’ll wait for you answer

Under a stormy sky



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




On Top Of The Blue List



On top of the blue list

Half dead

Code blue and red

Bored to tears

Drowning in fears

I will not be the one

You want to keep near


But I’ll learn you a lesson or two

What it means to be seen right thru

And how to face questions and eyes

When you can’t come up with alibies


The trick is not

To not care

The trick is to pretend

You’re not even there



Would you believe me

If I bought you a drink or two

Would you need me

If I don’t

Or I do

Don’t matter

I don’t care

When the bill comes

I’ll pretend I’m not there


Had a family

Once or twice

Cold as the sun it was

Sometimes hot as ice

But I never had the family flare

Most of the time


All of the time

I wasn’t even there


So you see

I’ll live by my wit

Can’t you tell

That I don’t give a shit


Take your time

While I fix my hair

When you come up with the answer

I won’t be there

But here is the twist

You can always find me

On top of the blue list



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




You Had Me At Goodbye


All the things you left behind

Your toothbrush, your pillow, where you would rest your restless mind

The books you wrote, and read out loud

The way you couldn’t blend in with the crowd


A dog and cat still wait by the door

Your last pair of socks still lying on the floor

I remember you saying when you were just thirteen

You knew you would always walk with a melancholy sheen


Some call it shadows that disappear in the fog

Sir Winston Churchill called it, “His black dog”


I am more than deadly serious

We almost had a near life experience


I’ll still feel the same wind and breeze

But my head on your shoulder gave me my peace


All the wars we could have won

All the memories we could have done


They say time heals

It doesn’t

They say it was all a dream

It wasn’t

I still don’t know the what or why


You had me at goodbye



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




Forward Thinking


When I think of green energy

I think of fast cars

I think of how you cared

About climate change

And Planet Mars

Then you took action

A step forward

Many aren't bothered to do

They don't possess extraordinary minds

Visionaries change the world

Intellectual and creative

A challenge

A quest

Something I do best

Are we being penalized

For being overachievers?

For working ourselves

Into an early grave 

All to enhance humanity

Along our journey

Along our way

Evil minds

Look for corruption

In people who achieve

Crucify them in the media

Make them the one’s to blame

He's the only one 

Stepping forward

To fix this oversight

Visionaries aren't tax- preparers

They drown in fiscal details

Forward Thinkers

That's who you want to blame?

If you made a fortune

From your sweat and toil

Would you feel ashamed?

There will always be people wealthier than you

Alas we point the finger

Shame on you.



Elena Ruiz


New York City, USA

My Favorite Planet


Millions of miles away,

A planet with rings stands in my midst,

Opulent in every way.

Majestic, it sits near Jupiter

A planet full of gases,

Inhabitable to man.

It has several moons,

Titan is the one I'd choose.

Saturn's moon is where I'd roam,

Where I'd call home.

Yes, I'd visit my friends on Mars.

A recluse by nature,

I'd be elated to be on my own.

The solar system,

Majestic and wise,

Takes the world by surprise.



Elena Ruiz


New York City, USA





Can you look me in the eye,

Never tell me a lie?

Can you love me forever and always,

Even when the skies are grey?

Will, you read poetry to me,

You know that dries my tears,

And calms my fears.

Falling asleep with you by my side,

The sound of your heartbeat as I lay upon your chest

Lulls me into a dreamy sleep.

Are you real,

Or are you my greatest mirage?

Are you an invention of my mind

Designed to help me through the darkest of times?

Most people's minds would have split in two,

My mind simply dreams of you



Elena Ruiz


New York City, USA






Fire in my veins

Embers in my eyes

A willing heart

Never defies

Master your circumstance

Devise your plan

Walk straight 

Out of hell

Back to your utopian land



Elena Ruiz


New York City, USA





I am born of stardust

Bright warmth

And full of light

Similar to the stars

I radiate energy

To guide you home

I possess an inner fire

That won't quit

Embers keep 

My fiery eyes lit

I won't recede 

Or fall away

Full of sharpness

And wit

Blunt but truthful

Strong and gentle

I am stardust and light

Green energy

Clean and bright

Always ready

To take up the plight



Elena Ruiz


New York City, USA






You're first offence

Knocked me off my feet

It took a week of living apart

To fight my way through

Not to say

We were through

If there were

To be a second indiscretion

I'd need a lifetime

Away from you

To heal my soul

Through and through

For I deserve

More than you



Elena Ruiz


New York City, USA





I’m going

To eventually

Catch a flight

But I don’t know

Which gate


I do know

No matter how much

I oversleep

I won’t be late


I’m going

On a trip

That is long

Or short overdue

The same shall apply

To you and to you


I’m going

To get

To put it on cruise control

I’m going to get a new haircut

I’m going to get a new soul


For the same money

I could believe there is a Hell

But for the same price

This for me

Works out well 


My only concern

Is leaving a mess

Death can be embarrassing

Even at its best



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California

My Nanay.jpeg

Image supplied by Leeau V.I. to accompany her poem 'My Only Nanay' [see below]

My Only Nanay


Nanay was born

the superwoman we knew

offering her might

through thick and thin

such extreme suffering

she stood sturdily on her feet



she struggled to raise us

six angels of different ages


in what manner?

sewing dresses by paddling her tailoring machine

day and night


a bloodstream

no one can imagine!


her only trusted friend was a bottle of wine


in her strenuous grip

fringed by nightfall

she whispered miseries

hardship and anguish

to nothingness!


was the bottle of wine her sole confidante?

did anyone heed her cries?



Leeau V.I.


Manila, Philippines





They Call Her Joy


her name is Joy
so they call her Joy
but she herself doesn’t know
what joy really means


she enjoys singing,
imitating the singer she likes the most
but gets distressed
when out of tune

she fears for her future
that she'll vanish unsatisfied

in her 40s she works the days through
because she only wants the best
for her children

she acts fine for you and I
wrapping in secret the darkness she keeps


thrown into a foreign district
far from her comfort zone
she’s learning to adapt with all her might
but some make her unwelcome

her mom named her Joy
the only joy of her own miserable past
but misery still flows through the family veins


at times she fancies a wealthy life
to make her world go round




Leeua V.I.


Manila, Philippines





Joe, A Good Friend


I grew up in a forsaken village

a rose firmly guarded by thorns

blindfolded and naïve

where life-teachings were rigid and stiff


when they thought I’d bloomed

they picked me out like a vibrant rose


sent to adulthood

I lacked goals and scared easily

I learned only slowly how to get a grip

I didn’t know what to value most


in my second college year

a confidante called ‘Ate’

showed me the world

life became easier

days turned happier

I imagined fixed things

and gripped them tightly

but the time came to separate

go different ways

Ate went to the south

and I only halfway south

soon Ate met her better half

and I like a rose was left alone in a vase


I wilted for years

falling, like petals off a flower


but God is kind

he heeded my lamentation

he picked me out, put me safe

he gave me Joe, a good friend

a person to love

the person I deserve

God is great!



Leeau V.I.


Manila, Philippines




The Last Time I Saw Paris


According to the poets

This is how it ended: the tall towers

still ablaze, me struggling in my husband’s arms

as he dragged me to the waiting galleys.

I yearned, they say,

to join my love among the dead, to drown myself

in the sea - which was of course wine-dark.


In reality, Troy had become tedious.

As I stepped distastefully around the corpses,

I reflected that Paris would not have aged well.

I didn’t even mind when Menelaus

Whispered to me: “You understand

This was all about politics. For you,

I would not have launched a fishing boat.”


Back here in Sparta, life is bearable.

There is a young envoy from Corinth

who is pleasing to the eye…


Oh, and by the way,

I don’t think there were all that many ships.



David Whippman


Blackpool, England




Bedsitter Blues


The room and I did not choose each other:

Circumstances have shipwrecked me here

In this shaped vacancy which seems

Geometrically indifferent to my needs,

Uncomfortable as new shoes. Reluctantly

I unpack, stick posters on walls, the banners

Of an occupying army. Now I must wait

As if to be rescued. In time, the room

Will contain friends, be warm on winter nights,

Acceptably surround me as the radio sings

Of possible relationships. By the time I leave

This space will be a perfect fit for me.



David Whippman


Blackpool, England





My Mask


For special effect

I was born with a birth defect

My birth certificate

With not quite a face that fit


Very not quite

Very not right


I learned to take it

But failed the test

Inside I was smart


Not at my best


Even thou better than many

In public

Still hurting plenty


Born with a jaw so out of whack

It looked like it went thru a Martian attack 

People not only stopped and stared

They got on their knees lit a candle and said a prayer


Then they went on their way as I went on mine 

Same scene different time 


In school so cruel

Not only them

But I was a fool

Owning my condition at that point

Was a useless mantra repetition


Learning to take it

Learning to make it 


A pandemic at last

I had a simple task

To purchase a mask

A mask to adore

My mask that I wore

My sexy cover up and wow

My accented blue eyes 

How do you like me now?


Keep it going

Keep the vents flowing  


Well, that is so wrong

But when ye have been singing my song

Bewilderment screws with right and wrong




Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




My Last Address


Before you come to

The end of your earth

Look back

To what you thought was your worth  


You have found in this world

This is the deal 

You never know what you’ll get

When you pull whatever over

And see what is behind the wheel


Between the heights  of joy

And the depths of fear

On the train to your last stop

Sit in the front and not in the rear 


All the good things in my life

Slowly never did last

At the end of it all

I only ask

How I got here so fast?


Around the corner 

Thru the avenue

Turns the pages

Till at least page two

Have a step

In my shoes

Now give them back

They were not made for you

You can wear them again

When you’re done thru and thru


Ain’t no use denying. At this stage of age

It’s the groceries and the writing

That fill my  page

After I jerk off

I’m glad I’m alone

I like going steady and being faithful

With my pen and my bone


We all choose

Where we will roam


At end of the thicket

One mans bucket list

Is another man’s fuck it


I was a good looking  kid 
I didn’t know it at the time

I say that with a smile

Because I won’t know what I have right now

Till I look back in a while


This could be my last summer

If it is that’s great

If it ain’t

Even better

I am bereft of complaints


All I have lifted

All I have dropped

All will be forgotten

At my last stop 


Maybe a window by a big dog park? 


In my shallow ridges

And deep valleys

No one can follow thru

When you burn your bridges

The last one I fired

I dedicate to you 


Before I came to this crossing

I was the boss

I dotted all the Is

But the ts were not crossed




Give me sunshine

Or give me moonshine

Just don’t waste

My un-precious or my time


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California





Aling Deliah


Blackcap, blue facemask, pink long sleeves shirt, ebony gloves,

Wooden pushcart, aqua green bins covered with big black trash plastics bags and walistingting,

She sweeps around this corner at three in the morning.

She sorts out the garbage nabubulok at di nabubulok,

‘Are you always alone at this hour?’

‘You don’t have a companion?’ I ask.

‘I had. She's sick with Covid. So, I am alone now.’

Street sweeper



Zea Perez




Wish You Were Not Here


It took a second

To fall in love with you

And a million years

To not get over you too 


You are taking up

Quite a bit

Of real estate

In my head

I mortgaged my soul to you

You could at least now

Pay some of my rent too 


One step up the stairs

Is your first name

The next step your last 

Get what I am driving at 



Oh look, here comes the past 


Are not beginnings

So sweet and lovely

So nice

To start out winning

Until the finishing 


I reckon

Since I was the one

Left behind

I only remember the good times  

Since I was the one

Left for good

I should ponder the bad times 

I wish I could   


I even loved your stupid family

Even though they made fun of me 

Your brother gave me a haircut

During his freshman year at beauty  school that was so fucking bad

I told him it was the best haircut I had ever had


You were my last lifeboat 

In my raging sea

But a  couple of seafaring years down the road

And it looked like your eyeballs were going to explode 


The thing of it all that allows me to come up and breathe

Is that by the end of my third acts I make it by the skin of my teeth


Oh well


Everything has its shelf-life 

Everyone has their span

And their ain’t no difference

Between beast, woman or man 


The very bottom line you see

Is two eyes, a nose and a mouth

And every beast, woman and man 

Just wants to be happy


Maybe that includes me




Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California





Say Something Funny


Been a bad day

Like the day before

And the day before that

Let me sit in your living room

With your cat on my lap

Say something funny

You know I love you like that


Play your piano

If you hit a wrong key, I won’t make a fuss

And oh yeah

I’m sorry I never became rich and famous

Say something funny

It’s only the three of us


Dare to dream I did

Got to scream I did

Never got to play that special part

Got stuck in isle three

With an empty shopping cart

Say something funny

And say it from your heart


A smile from you

In the morning to start

Makes my day when you

Play that special part

Gets me going to do what I do again and again

Say something funny

Everything will be alright

Make my darkness shine bright


Well, it’s never too late 

To be a happy early bird

Would you like to live forever with me? 

Say something funny

Yes, is the word    


Your, our cat, is hungry and thirsty

And so am I, I mean we

Say something funny

As you look at me with those eyes

Say something funny

As we have our Martinis, ice cream, and pie 


I love you so much

I love being your guy 

Say something funny

While I dry my listening eyes




Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California





In Her Eyes


What no one knew is she had been through it, and at this point, she saw no reason to throw a fit.


She kept her secrets under a rug, what else could she do? Everyone did nothing but shrug.


She did everything she could, struggling in the silence. Who could she turn to? She grew up with no guidance.


Inspiring people of all ages even when her mind was wrapped in cages. Not even sage could cleanse all this rage that was kept beneath the rug in her brain.


When she spoke, she choked on almost every word, pouring out what she felt, praying for hope.


There was no drug, hug, and no one to blame she had been broken and excepted the pain.


Where does she go now? Who does she know? She continues to wake up every morning fighting the snow.


The world on her shoulders and life on her back, there’s a reason she can’t afford the slack.


The rope pulls tight until it just hangs her clothes this is where she is…this is what she does.




Britanny Tarantino


South Carolina, USA


Manila - The Haven And The City


Inside the room: Morning Chimes and Stirrings


Pandan scent

conquers the room

at the tick of a rice cooker


A crackling

in a pan, frying

sunny-side-up eggs


A ping

signals ‘all done’

in a bread toaster


A clap

from a heater

telling ‘boiling water is ready!’


A spoon

stirring in a blue cup

fixing a creamy Barako coffee


A fan

lightly humming

beguiling the air

for a cool morning


Piano masterpieces

of Makiko Hirohashi

playing, rejuvenating the senses


A laptop

clicking, clacking

declaring the start

of a hopeful, fruitful day


safe haven

cozy, quiescent

relaxing, reading, sleeping

the “me” universe, a sanctuary

the bedroom



ivory white, shampoo scented

cleansing, reflecting, pondering

a place for eliminating toxins literally, figuratively

the comfort and shower room


a space of memories

tiny, orderly, functional

working, cooking, dining, talking

a small table and seats, a stove and a ref and wood cabinets for utensils

the premier room: our home



brown, wood-like floor tiles, ebony railings on the side

clambering grapevines coiling on clothesline pole

feathers of dove birds, brown, white and grey falling from the top floor

herbs, fern-like flowers and vegetables growing in recycled pots of plastic mineral water

a viewing corner of hollering trucks and cars, honking motorbikes, bellowing ambulance and patrol cars, peddaling bikes on the road

an oasis amidst the bustling city


Blue Cup

breakable earthenware

soothing, revitalizing, reviving

my companion every morning





Outside: The City’s Morning Buzzes


Maya birds chirping

freely perching on the grapevines

basking and adoring

the sunrise


A door

gently clicks

as it opens and closes

of an adjacent neighbor


A nasty whiff

the smell of nicotine

its vapor tarnishing

the air


The dogs

At the next block

hostile and snarling

echoing a ‘commotion’



all of various kind

lively running, horns bellowing

on the main street



in baker’s apron

yelling as they open

the famous Gluten Pastry Shop


A metal gate squeaking

ushering a car

going out



Church bells tolling,

greeting and praying

for the safety

of the flocks


Scurrying ambulance

fire trucks

and police cars

hollering, bellowing


A distant audible

TV news, broadcasting

close to a million Covid-19 Cases



Working women in apron

lounging at the entrance of a sweet shop

telling jokes and chuckling with blue facemasks on

one asks, ‘Will you be having a vaccine?’

the other women merely blink their eyes.


Lone long black-haired lass

bought a kakanin, waiting for jeepney

in pink shorts, white tee, facemask and shield on

are her extremities all painted with moss like tattoos?

a fair young millennial in her sneakers


Three big tummy men

enjoying their break, chatting in distinct tone

tucking out their sando shirts, revealing fat bulges

One says, ‘I thirst for a drink of rum!”

The men howl, ‘Wish for no virus, wish for no lockdown!’


Law enforcers and tanods in uniform

Trafficking the road, ensuring quarantine rules

Delivery guy asks, ‘Is lugaw not an essential food?’ A tanod replies, ‘Not essential!’

Poor exhausted delivery guy went home with his cold lugaw

The netizens rage, ‘Lugaw is food! It is essential!’


Zea Perez


Here They Come


The ones

You see coming

Are tougher

Than the ones that come

Sudden and stunning

That kind of shock

Would crush a rock

But it’s over real soon

The far away ones

That you see like a full moon

By the time they arrive

You have already

Lost your hide


Fast or slow

Which is better

What speed should

They come and go 


I slowly waked down the hall

Opened a door

My innocent intention

Was just to settle a score

But when I  got in

There was a freeze

In my brain

I planned it so long

I must have over-trained

Fast and loose

Like a runaway caboose


Things come and go

Only difference

Is fast or slow 


I have run

I have rendered

I have won

I have surrendered

All I remember

Was the speed

That it started

And ended   


I’ll try to figure it out

A little more

Remember when people

Looked you in the eye

Real slow

And then faster a bit some more


Slow motion



In our own time

We all crawled out of the same ocean   


You don’t have to see it coming

If it’s inside of you humming

Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California


All The People    


If you try real hard

You still can not see them in the air

But they are still there 

If you try real hard

You can not hear them right there


I never said

It is fair


All the people and pets

That loved you

Before they died 

Still stay by your side


I once had a blind cat

A true love was he 

I now know

That now he can see 

You see him with me?  


All the people and pets

That loved you before they died

Did not travel that far

They have your ear and eye

You are still on their radar


I twice had a wife 

Both are through

But I know

I am still sleeping

With number two



All the people and pets

That loved you

Before they died

Are still here for the ride

Are still here when you slip and slide


I had a child

A lovable wild child

Running wild

Was here one day

Then the next

Not on file

There is he now

He is the one with the smile

Like they have all the while  


All the people and pets

That loved you

Before they died

Wait for you to join them

Wait right by your side

Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California

Morning Traffic


This morning, from my bedroom window view,

I watched a dog sniff down my garden path.

He did not know I watched him as he tasted

The red camellia blossom that he bit in half.

Then he licked the morning dew

From several blades of grass,

And with glancing eyes and shifting paws,

He jumped aside to let a caterpillar pass.

Excited by the sidewalk sounds,

He turned to watch, unabashed,

The parade of morning leashes

With captive dogs attached.

Then, with stately canine grace,

He turned around and left the place.



William Masters


San Francisco, USA





The Sunset Window


When the sun gradually edges down,

bright red-orange rays,

shall gander on this glass window

the horizon shall welcome the dusk to come

gradually clasping the darkness.

To wrap up the day,

this window never fails

to regale me vignettes

of tales around.


In late evenings

and sometimes at dawn,

this window makes me notice

the husband of a neighboring couple;

smoking silently on the balcony

filling the air with its nasty nicotine

vapors beckoning his fairy slumber

work and life must be tough?

His fume goes insidiously

thru the window

tearing inside the house

slithering into my nose

stifling my breath

I pray his fairy to come quickly

and usher him to sleep.

At midmornings

I see this pretty wife

humming to a love song

sang by Regine Velasquez

while she hangs dry their freshly washed clothes

to this line pole;

the pole where the grapevines

stoutly creep around during summer.

The wife must have empty

this fabric conditioner

a Sampaguita scent

conquering the air with its whiff

intoxicating my nasal senses

inebriating all our corners

sousing even straight up into my bed.


On some occasions

this window offers me

snatches of Roe’s older sister,

having sweet moments,

with her boyfriend,

whispering inaudible voices,

and little muffled laughs


I sense of livid silence

perhaps a lover’s quarrel?


Yet this window

has a darling tale of Roe

a dear neighbor

who takes images of the sunset each day,

who gathers her dry,

washed garments every fourth night

an almond-eyed lass,

so lurid at seventeen,

she tells me snippets

of her online classes

that Algebra is her mess

and how she saves a dime

paying this pricey internet

other times,

she delights me with tales

of her mom’s work in a foreign land

where she takes care of kids

like Roe’s age.

Or how her mom instils discipline

through phone messages and calls.

Roe studies hard

because she tells me

she has a dream

a dream of a better life

where she can take care of her mom

and her mom is home to take care of them.

Roe will cook Pinakbet for her,

and at chilly nights, 

Roe shall secure her lovingly with a bandana

until she gets old.



Zea Perez








I am walking

In the midnight air

Remembering the times

You would let me climb your stairs

A raven is flapping

High on a tree

Do you ever

Ever think of me?


I am moving up

A sunlit lane

We would watch the rain

From your window pane
Fish float

As they sleep in the sea

Would you consider

Maybe a friendly

Cup of tea? 


You’re the one

That was my light

The only one


Lasted more than

One night

Here I go

Causing my own fuss

Is it


To still think of us?


We have

More yesterdays

Than tomorrows true

I don’t want

To get older

With someone new

Get me a time machine

Get me the past

Or should I

Just hoist my mast?  



Here comes the anchor

I am sailing away

And that is that

I’ll put down

When I get to where I am at someday

And why should I complain?

Oh, I know why

For your love

I’m as blind as a bat



Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California

Two On The Aisle


A snake

And a dove

Walked towards the kingdom of love

That’s what some of the bile

Was said

Referring to me and my future wife

Walking down the aisle 


They told her father

What surely would come 

You’re not losing a daughter

You’re gaining a bum 


They saw clear thru me

Like a dirty piece of glass

They were concerned about her future

And leery of my past

If a tornado stopped the wedding

It would be an invited blast 


I did have a few fans in her family

Only because they were worse than me


We don’t how it happened

But we stuck together

I’m certainly not saying

There was no stormy weather

All our dreams

With us aboard

Set sail 

I even managed

To stay out of jail


It all became a happy steady course

Most of the wedding party

By that time were divorced



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California





I lay in my bed

As I run in my head

My survival

Has been nothing more

Than a tired road show revival

My look is not presidential

My failures have not been accidental 


Like you and all

I like to self-destruct

Like you and all

I like playing in the muck


I don’t want to get involved

I don’t want to get hurt

My acts of kindness

Come in spurts


Most of the time

I waste time

Counting up what is mine 

And what is yours 

And how low

I have climbed


Inch by inch

Step by step

I choose the wrong

Things to regret

I take nothing accomplishments

And give them too much respect


I don’t need to fly

I’m ok just getting by

Take my pride

I offer it to survive



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California

All The Things I Left Behind


When I want to run and hide

From myself

And the junk inside

I remember the things

I left behind

The pillow

As a boy where I would rest my mind

My night light

My toys

My books

Outgrowing my shoes

When they became too tight

I miss these things

Like a plant misses light

In the middle of the day

In the center of the night



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California




Love And War


All is fair

In love and war

If you do your shopping

In an empty store


Look out your window

And see what is fair

How can you argue with a world

That just doesn’t care



Oh sure, you can plan every move

Like an officer, and not a gentleman

Let’s see which one could be more uncouth



You heard I’m banging your sister? 

She has nice hair

Haven’t you also heard

It’s all fair   


I remember a  time

When people at least pretended

To give a fuck 

Now we have the lottery

For just one buck


After a bout of darkness

After wiping off my lips the kiss of death

Maybe there is somewhere later

I could rest and take a breath 


Then again, and again.


There is nothing as nice as meeting you

For a middle of the night touch

Why do we feel guilty

For having too little

Or having too much



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California

No More Valentine’s Day


No more flowers for me today

no more sweets,

no chocolates

Will I keep on

loving this solitude

and air of cold weather?

Will I stay on

hearing this insipid

sound of peddling bikes

and running cars?

Will I get accustomed

to this monochromatic horizon?

Will it take longer

for me to bear

these rain clouds

of February?

A looming crisis

is still coming

No glimpse of let-up yet

with pandemic lockdown

No face-to-face classes

no mass gathering

no friends coming

no flowers,

no chocolates

no sweet notes

on this Valentine’s Day.


Zea Perez






I like being

Home alone with my teeth out

It’s your problem

If I resemble a pre-historic trout

You can unlike me

Always get out


I like looking back                                                                                                                                       

And see what I have done

I like calling someone sometime

Young Lady or my son


I listen to these old songs

That you think are crap

I, on the other hand, even like rap    


I have not home-owners insurance

I am a renter

I meet women

At the senior center

My car is a bus

My health is a bust 


My coffee mate is Coffee Mate

The packs with the nice strips

I use to have coffee with my cat

But he jumped ship 


It isn’t such a question of getting out there

I guess we all could use some fresh air

But life is so un-fair

I think I’ll stay in here 


I have dodged many life hatchets

Keeping my head from the baskets

Still I could hang myself up

Like I would a pair of pants

I don’t think anyone would be interested

In the circumstance

Keep your eyes on my feet

And spy my last dance 


Then again 


This leads to this and this leads to that

I think all I need

Is a gimmie shelter cat.



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California





Poet’s Heart


Why am I cursed with a poet's heart?

Every pain multiplied to me,

Why am I cursed with an artist's eye?

Every ruin too beautiful to see.


Why am I cursed with a poet's heart?

My tears be flowing a sea,

Why am I the one who feels this,

Pain too simple to see?


My artist's eye sees the sadness

The one you hide in your eyes,

And I curse my poet's heart cause,

It is a poem to me.



Anne Silva


Kandy, Sri Lanka





Back from Spain


Black clouds, white clouds

Skating over grey-blue sky

Making moving pictures.

Patterns merging, moulding,

Ever changing metaphor

Of life.


The garden ripens

With the waiting Autumn’s fruits

Among the green-leafed trees,

A plethora of colour -

Reds, pinks, purples,

Yellows, whites and blues

Of multitudes of flowers,

Upturned heads

Worshipping the whispering rain.

A dozen shades of shrub

Shiver in the breeze

In an English garden,

On an English day.


“Look at the mountains

soaring high above the sea,”

they said. I looked.

Where nothing grew,

I knew

They hadn’t seen the bloom

Of heather on the Moors,

The verdant, grass-blessed Dales.

They hadn’t walked the Aysgarth

Paths, or watched in wonder at

the life-force


A waterfall


To an ambling stream.

Their blue sky, never changing

Seared my eyes.

Their desert held no promise

For my soul,

Only pity

For their “beauty”

Made so bare.



Jackie Hales


Yorkshire, England

This Little Corner Of Mama S


Did fate bring me to you, Mama S?

I seem to find serenity

just looking at you

relishing your humble space

in this little corner of the world

where babies

are blissfully born

by their mothers

hushing their cries



so vibrant and reassuring


Did the sun,

the moon, and the stars

feel the same way I felt?


and exultation

Will I be like you

a contented septuagenarian?

Can I also hush a baby’s cry;

with my touch and smile?


Can I hold you now, Mama S?

I seem longing for a mother’s touch,

Pandemic and lockdowns

get hard and tougher

my soul more than ever

needs a hush

Can you illuminate me

the ramifications of life and living?

Can I be your daughter for a day?



Zea Perez







She was a family girl

He had none

He liked the rain

She liked the sun

The more he pushed back

Them more she would run

To him 


She loved horses

He gave them apples

But would never ride 

He let it all out

She kept it all inside

Except for him




You know what they say

Opposites attack

Never mind that

They got it on track 


And for a bit

No love did they lack 


There are a million reasons

But only one stirs a pout

Who really knows why

It doesn’t work out




They looked for answers

High and low

All they could come up with

Was I don’t know




They kept in touch

Through out the years 

They could have been

Each others careers 




They closed up shop

After every juggled ball dropped


Her family still liked him

And his persistence

Just as long

It was from a distance

Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




Tell the words of of your song

That you did nothing wrong  

Find someone that wants to listen

You don’t know what you’re missing 



You have got to remember this

Sell your song as you would sell a kiss

Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




Today I make take me off the shelf                                                                                                                 

Today I may spend some time liking myself

Today perhaps I won’t stare at my face

Today a temporary honorary member of the human-race 


Let us take a walk, me and me and see where we roam

Let us be together instead of all alone

Let us see how long it takes to get out the door

Let us do some window shopping and see what is in store


Maybe the distance between us is not that grand

Maybe we do share the same area code in the same land

Maybe I will stay outside for a while

Maybe today I find that elusive reason to smile


Going to see what happens after a few steps

Going to give myself a medal instead of a flag of regrets

Going to fondly remember all my past pets 

Going to remember holding hands with you watching sunsets


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California





The Dead


There are more of us

Than more of you

Burned or buried

This will always be true

While you’re down there

Enjoy your stay

Think of delay

When you arrive

To claim your reward

You will wonder why

You were ever bored

It’s deader up here

Than down there

No sky in Heaven

Can replace a nice earth floor


There is too much air up here

Too much room to spare

Don’t like not being hungry

Don’t like not being thirsty

This Angel and her harp

Are playing in the wrong key 


I ran into one of my past pets

She said she was sorry

For yelling at me on the way to the vet

And despite all the trouble

She always looked at us

As a married couple

My new old pet

Made my old new eyes wet   


I asked if up here

All debts were cancelled

No more regrets

She said take another look

What did you expect?

I said I thought this was the land of divine

She said nothing is different

You keep what you get

And I keep mine


Then she vanished

I said oh. Well

I fell short of Heaven

I reside in Hell


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




A Sweet Tasteless Treat


5th of April 2020,

Day 22 of Enhanced Community Quarantine,

three billion people

are in Lockdown.

The world becomes a battlefield,

all are fighting an invisible enemy,

the Covid 19 virus.


She wakes up at 6 am.

Today is not an ordinary day.

She sits serenely on her bed,

checking her cellphone.

No faculty reminders,

no teaching notes.

School is on hold.

She types greeting phrases

and sends it.


Not minding for a reply,

she washes her face

and combs her hair.

A quick comfort

from the shower room

to lighten herself up.


She prepares to go somewhere.

Confirming she gets to bring the pass,

checking she gets to wear

her face-mask and shield.

Ensuring she gets the plastic bags.

She's now like-a warrior

going to a battlefield.


Off she goes to the main street.

Relishing the quietness

of the empty street

going to the market.

Keeping herself

not to come in contact

with anyone.

Observing social and physical distancing.


Now, she is saying hello

to the market vendor,

She gives the list of items to buy.

Careful, mindful not to get into unnecessary human contact.

A few more minutes and she got all she needed:

pork, veggies, and groceries.


She goes back home.

She now cleans and disinfects the bought items well,

she showers herself again.

Then she prepares to cook the pasta, veggies,

meat, and sweets.


When all the dishes are done,

she smiles with satisfaction.

The sweetest beautiful smile she can ever have.



Then she takes photos

of the treat she made

and sends it.

Her virtual gift,

A tasteless treat,

attempting to reconcile

physical distance

of the pandemic times.

That feeling of longingness,

a longing of togetherness,

a mother feels

to be with her one

and only beloved daughter

on her birthday.



Zea Perez






Big Dog Training


we’ve taken her

to the big dog training group

for the first time.


it’s in a church hall

with, depending on your view,

 very little or enormous evidence of God.


the trainer snarls

at us

as if he, too, is a big dog.


he’s suspicious and

even more so when I tell him

our dog’s name is Brute.


we like poodles.

“Brute?” the trainer says.

that’s all,



have to say more,

because the expression


on his cloudy face

says it for him.

he tries to talk us


out of joining big dog club.

we insist Brute has outgrown

small dog club.


he thinks for a minute,

then his face lights up.

sort of.


there’s a club

that’d be perfect

for us he says,


run by a Mrs Guest


intermediate dogs.


Brute barks to show she

doesn’t like being thought of as

an intermediate dog.


we dig our heels in

and against his better judgement

the trainer lets us stay.


we feel victorious,

despite the nearby sneers of those with

bigger dogs than Brute.


until Brute has

an accident that the trainer

steps in.


“Out!” he yells.

but we

were already gone.


and if such a thing

was possible,

Brute was grinning.



Wayne Dean-Richards


Sandwell, West Midlands, England



Saunter Through the Rain 


A Friday morning started to lose its light as the old time clock just passed six. Spencer flipped the ironed collars flat down on his conservative clothing. 


He wondered that morning if that one song by The Beatles would play when he walked past the record store, if the fourth lamp post on Hawkins Street would turn on first instead of the sixth, if he would talk to Michael or Sam or Leah that day at work. 


But instead, his delirious thoughts led him outside on his drenched driveway. The rain pummelled down in bullet shapes, setting the sombre mood. It smeared the street’s with puddles, the air a grey haze. 


Spencer took in a deep breath, sighing at the unsatisfactory stench of pure dirt. Spencer’s umbrella was already sheen with water.


Ambient white noise was all he could hear as the shower poured across Quantico. Spencer began briskly squelching across the road. A wisp of unwelcoming wind polished the trees with a saturated musk which Spencer admired. 


A completely absurd decision was made by Spencer as he discarded of his only protection and shelter. Snapping his head to the sky, the water became a living blanket, the clouds lurked in his sight like savage, rabid murderers cascading their victims onto Spencer. 


His steps came to a stop as he furrowed his brows. Everywhere he looked, there he was, in a monochromatic funeral themed party of torrent downpour and despair. 


Like he was being invited to a romanticised heaven by the devil.



Maeve Luka


Manchester, England





A Shopping List And Lowry


my eye is drawn to Flowers in a Window:

the regularity of the bricks,

and no one inside looking out.


meanwhile my head begins the list:

of groceries to be got

for the life lived.


in Going to the Match,

the game’s a magnet:

droves drawn in.


always the basics:

bread and milk,

eggs and cheese, greens and tea.


in The Bedroom, Pendleton,

the bars at the foot of the bed,

are reminiscent of jail.


mustn’t forget rice,

pasta, salt, flour,

and Heinz Baked Beans.


the smoky sky of Peel Park:

a series of smudges,

achingly real.


don’t !


toilet rolls!


in Industrial Landscape: so many chimneys,

but church spires too, and Lowry’s words on the wall,

saying there was no ‘message’.


cleaning products:

cloths and bleach,

some spray to clean the shower.


in Coming from the Mill,

a machine orchestra plays unheard,

heads bend, men retreat as if on invisible wires.



and a TV guide,

why not?


‘Had I not been lonely...’ he said,

more of his words there on the wall:

LS himself.

cat food,


or 9 tins.


at the Lowry museum it’s free to get in,

but they ask for a donation,

even give recommended amounts.


there’ll be a bill,


a regulation wonky trolley.


coming out, the world feels changed:

Man Laying on a Wall one I remember,

then do.


Wayne Dean-Richards

Sandwell, West Midlands, England



People Person


I’m a people person

Till you close the curtain

I’ll be there for you for sure

Till I close the door

Out there I’m brave

In my room I’m afraid

It’s not me it’s you

Look what you made me do 


I’m ok when someone is looking

When I’m not being watched

Nothing is cooking


You think I don’t know?

I don’t go with the flow

Trust me, I know  


Outside I make the grade

Inside I’m a slave   



With you all is possible

Without you mission impossible   

But you will not be here for long

When you realize the meaning of my song 


I’m a friend till the end

Till we reach the next bend 


Why should I listen to your advice?

Read from your pages?

Look at you

No love for ages




Don’t tell me how you are different from me

You only show me what you want me to see

I’ll gladly admit I am weak

It’s your risk if you want to take a peek  

My mountains are flat

And my roof is deep 


You think you’re better than me?

I’ll be the first and last to agree



I’m a real nice guy

Till I turn away when you cry

I don’t think for a minute

All I do is spin it 

I love the world and its glory

But I’m not part of its story  


A history of my suicidal thoughts run deep



Towards a future of a good nights’ sleep


Here comes that rainy day feeling again

Keep it coming and I’ll say when


How did I get so ruined and corrupt

Like everyone else

The baby steps add up

See you at the till

One day

Maybe you and I could share the bill  



I think I like your style

I’m just not sure

If you’re the symptom or the cure


Leadership or fellowship

Neither one has been my trip


I’m a really nice man

As long as you stay off my land



Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California



Decisions Decisions


I can’t decide to get it over with

I can’t decide to get it under with

Either way, my brain is a shiv non-stop

What winds up on the floor

Starts at the top

I can’t decide between a gun or a mop 


Decisions Decisions


Does it make a difference which way I turn?

It certainly won’t change the dim glow of my inner lantern 

If it’s all already written, can I still editorialize on my own?

I have a few thoughts out on a short-term loan 

My,” I surrender flag”, is being proudly flown


There is nothing wrong with a few bumps in the road

When you drop a few things to lighten your load


Decisions Decisions 


Who do I listen to?

And who do I don’t?

My own voice is sometimes water-logged

Right now, it won’t float 


Decisions Incisions


Sometimes I get on my knees

Lay my head on the bed

It is where I go to ask for things

That I could get for myself instead

But now and then we all need a hand

Even if the prescription is written in the sand 


Decisions Decisions


While we drag our burdens

Aloud the grievances we voice

The best decisions we make

Are the ones where we have no choice




Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California


Un-Spoken Words


Walking down the avenue

The wind wet and blowing

Do not know or care

Which direction going 

Why do we struggle with the flowing?


Walking so fast 

In the night-time gloom 

Falling in love

With impending doom 


Animals know it well

As clear as a bell

Alone or in a herd 

The bird is the word 


Walking so slow  

On the land and the sand

Who really wants to know?

The masters plan


Skipping down the lane

Of my mind’s boulevard  

Calling  for the things

I have not yet marred


Before it gets too dark

Take a walk in the park 

Maybe under a leaf

Maybe a spark


Even when your ideas

Are un-even and slurred

Nothing will beat

The un-spoken word



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California

My Ears

I remember the night I first heard the sound of wings playing the piano.

The harp and the zither greeted my silent ears.

The moon rejoiced and sang an original song.

I had been waiting for this.

Knowing it would come one day.

The Song of Solomon told me one cold and frosty night.

The wind speaks to me in long silky verses.

Violins and harps sing me to sleep.

The sound of words and songs.

That have graced my ears.

Have not changed me to any extent.

They just made me smile.

Sandy Rochelle







His love for her smelled of cinnamon

Hers for him of a clear blue sky

Their days were sparky and sparkly

And their nights wicked and witchy


Yet, her eggs spurned his sperm

Sneezed cooties on his genes

Proud eggs fertilized on their own

Genesised a baby free of his cells


Balu Swami


Buckeye, AZ, USA




A Kid Or Two


Did not take long

For us to see who we are

Did not take long

Before you warmed up your car


As you pulled away

I started to shiver

I saw you laugh in your rear-view mirror


If you think breaking up is hard to do

Try doing it with a kid or two 


As I still only have

My rusty Harley chopper

Now I get to hear about mommy’s

New boyfriends helicopter


Now we divide our children and pets

Instead of cocaine and cigarettes



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California



A mean drunk some of the time

A body and mind of loveliness most of the time

Her love will never be mine


We all have our addictions

All are sublime

Some we kick

Most we can’t lick 

Which is fine

She is mine


A beautiful person

With a heart hot as ice

Someone you would not want to mess with

Someone who does not think twice


The merit can wait

Until the right situation  


Love and hate

Come from the same plate



Time with her is like flying

Everything else is fast standing still

The pleasure and excitement

Of losing your will


You think you know someone, and you don’t

You think some ones loves you, and they won’t

And even through

They are too good at being coy

While what is behind it is underemployed


Being with her is like flying

Everything else is grinding


A waterfall and a cloud of beauty

Tunes my moral compass

To its call of duty

But it does not remain long

Until another fresh tune comes along 


Then there is this girl

Who is and isn’t

You never know

Her exact existence


Any contemporary woman

Knows vanity when she sees it

How far can you go with the racket they call,” Believe in it” ?  



There is the  way that she cares

And the  way she never will

I can stare at her forever and a day

As she goes out without me to play


I’m going to lay down for a little bit

And everything will be ok

When I pick it up again something will come my way 


Man am I ever down

Different territory but the same old story


Man am I beat

Different address on the same one-way street


Man am I dead

No I’m not

I’ll begin again

You just wait till get my second wind 


On my way

To return what I bought

Until I think

Of another afterthought


A lovely peachy person

All of the time

As long as the locations

Are only in my mind


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California





I had a  dream last night     

Was way deep in the sack

The heavens beheld a sight

On live T.V.

Jesus Christ came back 

And who was the first person

That he wanted to see?

It was none other than me


We went for coffee 

That was our path

Elvis came in

And wanted an autograph


He talked about dying

And how great it was to be free

We talked about lying

I said that was my specialty

He said if I was a liar

I was preaching to the choir


Then I met a girl

That made me feel alive     

I was 80

She was 25

One or two things

Led to some others  

I figured it was alright 

Even if I was old enough            

To her good looking

Slightly older brother 


Then I woke up  

And realized 

What was real

And like so many others

I found fantasy, religion, and Elvis in jail  



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California



Penal Colony

It is another hot day with nothing to do except what I am told to.

A new day beginning

Another night that I can not get through


Mail call comes in a million years

Don’t mean a thing to you know who

There will be nothing for my ears 


On my first day I was too scared to be scared

There  was also a bit of an adventurous turn-on in the air

Until my kind showed me how I was much I was  un-prepared


I was not in the for big three

Drugs, violence, nor The Unforgivable , underage sex crime spree 

So, I was  left alone with no bad kiddie target on me bones

I was a crook whose weapons were my voice and a phone


Thirty days in  my wife decreed it was over 

At least for a month she was my hope for an easy starting over

I  lost it all, then I lost some more

I was standing and crawling on a bottomless floor  


Once in a second or two, and in a good mood ,your mind sets sail

Until you remember, anything at anytime can happen in jail


I looked around and around, I could not figure

What was wrong with this picture, so naked and bare

Of course, it made imperfect sense me being there


It happens to the best of them

I happened to be far from the worst

Out of the evil in here

I would not come in first                          


There was a movie last night

There was a guy in jail   

When the captive audience 

Saw his situation

He got a ten-minute standing ovation


There was a film on another night with Dennis Quid

The one where he was gay

I guess he wanted to expand himself 

Didn’t matter at this theatre

After the nickel dropped, everyone left


When you look up the sun still heats your face

Still of course, I would be rather grateful

To be some in other space


Don’t or do look now look now

With that dumb look on your face

You did get caught and no, it will not erase


It was a working Men’s prison camp

Run to the letter, here is the stamp, you should have known better


I was an orderly 

And it meant the world to me

It was the most sought out job in  the joint

And yet I still tired to foil it

You should  have seen the warden’s face

When I told her I don’t do toilets


Had to wait on-line forever

A certain hour to use the phone

And then the news is always all bad

What else would you expect from hair, skin, and bone?


Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California



Make It


Here are some words   

That I may or may not write someday 

When The world I rent in

Evicts me without moving pay

Leaving me speechless

With words that won’t say 


Make it not come my way

Till it is all in my sway  


Here is a handshake

And a thought                


I remember when proud

The sounds that I sought

Were never too loud

Were easily heard and caught 


Then I learned in order to cool down

You have to first burn


There was a girl 

Who lit the match

Who made it all run 

A well-oiled machine

She woke  one day with years of instant sense clear and keen

She was  spotted last wandering along The Seine


Make it all go away

Or make it rhyme with my say 


Sometimes I know,  it’s over

Then again and again 

I find a five-leaf clover 

So when I aske for the check

So I can leave after my fill  

I somehow find a few  reasons

To extend my stay  ‘

I’ll figure it out

In a few days 

Without paying the bill


Mike it all go away

Or make I rain everyday  


Make up you mind

My Universe

Before we run out of time



Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California





I went to bed scared

And I woke up in fear

I was sweating off a nightmare

Waiting for me here

My wife was at her sister’s

And I was with the blues

She took the kid the dog and cat

And her favorite pair of shoes

I looked up at the ceiling

Clean thru the sky

And said Lord Baby

I truly want to die


Then from on high

Came this lullaby


Hey you know what what pal?

I’m with you

Down there it ain’t working

And that’s the cold truth

I tried me a flood

Set the Devil free to dance

Turned you into stone

Kept giving you a chance  


I am The God forgiveness

The king of The Second Chance

But I think the time has come

For you last stance


Jesus Christ what am I hearing?

And sorry Dear Lord

For all of my cussing 

And my pistol and my sword

But I got a wife and kid

Who are better than the best

Why do they have to suffer?

How did they fail the test?

Now I know what you mean

And I know where this is going

But you did some things right

Like Dylan And The Stones

My wife’s hips gliding

My little girl smiling

The Sun and The Sea

And smell of cut grass

Could you might see your way

To to let it loose with one more pass?


Alright already

I’ve heard enough

Here’s a couple of bucks

Just to shut the fuck up 

Tell your family you love them

To your kid and the livestock be nice

All of you are skating

On some mighty thin ice.


Now get out of here before I really get mad


I got out of there before He said another word


Told my family I loved them

Even made up with the cat


How about that!


We drove home laughing

Like the way it used to be


I hope it will last

I guess we’ll see


Now did I play The Lord?

Or did The lord play me?

And was I really changed

From the man I used to be?


That’s the end of my tale

And if you have any doubts

Figure it out for Thyself


Over and out


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California





We stated out with nothing

But we formed a pact

We started out with nothing

Only smiles

And some clothes on our backs

A bond we knew would never break

A faith and hope a strong wind

Would not and could not shake


We started out with nothing

And for long it stayed that way

But the look in our eyes remained the same

And we stuck it out in our slippery lane


We started out with nothing

In our pockets but not our hearts

In the love story game we both were in

We rose to the occasion

We hit all the bases and we played all the parts


Romeo And Juliette

Would have been jealous

At the brightness of our spark

As we laughed and kissed though all the dark


We stated out with nothing

But we had it all

We were one through the four seasons

We heard no other call


We started out with nothing

Only a love that could not die

After a snap of time

We had a baby with blue eyes


Nothing grew to something

And although we had no money

And every day we walked the plank

We still made it to the bathroom

And before it closed the bank 


We started out with nothing

It got rough tough and rocky

In our boat out to sea

The waves got steady and strong

But guess what?

So were we


We started out with nothing

But an equation you could not divide

Anyhow you added up and down

There was a love nothing could deny


We started out with nothing

Not longing for more or less  

But in one another

We did bring out the best 


We started out with nothing

And it did not fade away

Yet we ended up with everything

Sometimes it goes that way 

But what is that magic formula?


No man or beast could say


Alan Berger

West Hollywood, California




Ex Files


I got a cat that’s dead

I got a girlfriend instead

Now I got a lumpier bed 


An abundant woman

Short of brains and bread


She had a song inside her

No one could play 

She had a dragon inside her                         

No one could slay

If the games you played with her             

Did not go her way   

She would pick up her marbles 

And call it a day   


The bills she sent me I would gladly pay

After the tearful thanks

I still could not get her to stay

Sometimes, you are happy just to get what you can

As I realized with her, you’re in a foreign land  

Bereft of a passport

In either hand


She thinks, she is a fox  


Instead of the toilet

She uses a litter box


When she gets sick

I take her to the Vet  

Every other day

She throws away her cigarettes


I appreciate the effort

That she tries to replace my pet 

Her being a human

Is my only regret

I already know

I never go with the flow                                                                                                                              

A drastic situation with nowhere to go 


In my head town

All roads lead down  


All my aims

Turn into reservations 

All the motions That I file

Become hesitations at the bottom of the pile      


Standing on the corner  


Ringing a bell

The gutters and the sewers know me too well

Ringing that bell till end of my time

My love and charm turn on a dime


Did you know I never reap what I sew?

I thought so      


Letting it out

When receiving the word

Sounds like the confessions

Of a Cuckoo bird

Steady as a weathervane 

Forthright and uptight

In the wind and rain

It was a dark and stormy night  


Letting it known

Wherever I am blown

I inhabit a dead zone    


Have you ever had

An original thought?

Maybe a bright idea

And I mean something, anything well lit 

And if so

What did ye do with it?


Been in a million hard fistfights

All of them in my soft head

Not a lover nor a fighter

That’s what she said


May take on an imaginary friend                                                                                                   

One that would surely make me sing 

But the memory of the past

Is usually better than the present real thing 


But then again and again

Here is the sting

Who ever knows?

What the future may bring


So, stay faraway, close, loose, and tight

Anything is possible  

Anything can take flight 


Rock with the punches

Roll with the knocks 

Where the fuck, did I put that litter box?


Alan Berger


West Hollywood, California

The Feeling


The feeling came slowly, then, all at once.


The tugging of soft cotton against the fullness of her stomach,

The subtle roundness growing in her cheeks,

The heaviness of her breasts as she walked,

Sometimes it was watching her thighs spread as she laid down to rest


The feeling, it came slowly,

Then… all at once.


At first it would be nothing at all,

Just the small niggling feeling that she was becoming more

She’d stop moving herself,

because when she moved, she could feel the weight of her body beneath her  


Next came the generosity in her servings,

Mounds of rice,

Soft chunks of bread,

Cuts of cheese,

She loved to taste,


but this wasn’t that.


This was a sickening insatiability,

She was surrendering,

To herself.


Forced down her throat and pushing past fullness into the space where the tightness of her stomach would begin to emanate a dull ache

At this point intensity of her emotions would flood her eyes and roll down her cheeks, would prickle the back of her throat,

would play a ringing in her ears.


See her taking a glass of water,

Aggressively gulping it down,

A feeble to attempt to forget what had been done.


See her bringing her fingers to her lips.

See her whisper a promise that this was the last time.


But it would,






Until she couldn’t breathe anymore


You see,


The feeling came slowly, then, all at once.



Olumayokun Ogunde


London, England




The Monster You Made


I write this laying on my sick bed,

In the darkness of the midnight hour,

Guided by my pale white eyes

And an itty-bitty ray from my phone.

My heart cries in odium despair

And I Alone do not swim in this boat,

A chain of sorrow rows us abyss -

Sunken deep blue sea staring afloat.


We failed ourselves as a nation,

Hoax into voting for change

And aye! Having had a Goodluck turn bad,

We were headlong over a visionless change.

Five years gone and everything has gone wrong, again,

Alas! His change totes sorrow's company,

His cohorts and leaders lavishing our wealth, yet,

Impervious to our pains, tears, and pleas.


Finally! The youths have risen,

Against the failed system that called us lazy,

Police brutality, extortion, deaths and more having claimed innocent lives.

How can we a nation fear the outfit meant to protect us?

5 for 5 we now demand, and march

The streets in halcyon equalized protest,

Alack! Unarmed citizens manned and dehumanized by the police -

The brutality we walk against is dished back to us,

And he who promised change stares in mocking silence.


I'm tired again and again,

And so are the people, masses woven in wretchedness

Turns to God for hope that never comes,

For our leaders to bring such hope; mocks our very core.

Our lives matter but they do not care,

They tread on us, how would they fear?

But Alas! The monsters you made

Have come back to hunt you,

For oppression isn't ended by silence,

Rather, the outwardness of spoken violence.


(Being they pay us deaf ears and taken for joke)

I fear this protest worsening to an unrest

Yet, an angst I obscurely yearn,

And if this poem be what spurs us on, then so be it

For then, the true democracy we yearn shall truly come to be.



Albrin Junior


Edo State, Nigeria



In her first prime                                 

The cradles were no fit -   

O, her eager ambitions;

So she jumped off the four wheels

To tread thus two's.  


An ambition so fitted sewn

But tailors of broken bond,

...Skirts sewn sweeping sands,

And e'er since that early test of her feet;

Have she fallen 57 times so far.



Albrin Junior


Edo State, Nigeria



Native Call


Mad men in circles chant                        

Praises to a tin god

Idle and dump, on clay laid

Respect so foolishly paid.


High and low do their drum band,          

Voices of hunter’s gland

And their feet sweeping sands;

For leaves to lay and rest till dawn.


It all ends same,

Roads deaf gods take,                            

Quiet to their native calls,

And soon their callers fall.



Albrin Junior


Edo State, Nigeria



Dry November

Falling leaves rustle

Down the idle brown tree

Blowing all corners near

By the wet wind gone dry.


It’s no time fair,

After the rain’s no more,

When people now scuttle to hide

From the scorching furious sun.


Lovers are no friends, and wait

For dry November to run past,

Their lips crunchy and dry;

Giving their kiss no meaning.


But in this very harshness

Drapers still steal drape coins,

And traders in merry sales,

For sweet December’s just nearby.



Albrin Junior


Edo State, Nigeria



A Letter Of Love


Dear love,

As this year’s runs out;

You should call me foolish

And exceedingly odd

If by next year come

You find me in meters

Near any of your daughters

Who can hold me to ransom?


Dear Albrin,

Your letter stuns me:

I need not call you foolish

For your prior’s odd.


You have found one

Whom your thought can’t without,

And that’s why you-

Will continue to be, and near

As observed by yours

                                                             Yours faithfully




Albrin Junior


Edo State, Nigeria



Everything Tender, Everything Not


A dog will always die before its owner,                                   

                                                                                  a sad fact.


But, at the end of the day

I’d probably hit the grave

in my early teens too


if you fed me nothing

but second-hand,


tripe stew.


                                                                                  Tender is the love of the owner unto that which he owns.


Jack Sharp


Halifax, West Yorkshire



Cowards Starve


If I ate a mountain, would I be more mountain than man?


I put it to the test.

I shoved a plastic crag – the size of a strawberry – in my mouth.


It was once part of a scale-model train set.

I have since swallowed, and I know my throat has met its match.


I’d say I have ten seconds or so.

I wonder if I will rot into the ground; or be burnt and scattered into the horizon.


I never did state my preference.

At least my body will undergo the answer to the question.


Even if I am not there to see it.



Jack Sharp


Halifax, West Yorkshire




No future aged scene where you count my pills,

no marriage bed thrum, giddy days all done,

a melancholic outline of pale hills

witness en route to Courtroom Number One.

We know to expect a normal routine,

no selfish custodial tug-of-war,

no respect for grave vows, what might have been.

Awkward, absurd, we smile, look at the floor,

platitudes inch from tongues, the judge seems bored,

dust motes drift in slant light, hopes gone awry.

Then recall, you young, unbuttoned, adored,

this contrast, paralysis, as dreams die.

We sign papers, shared polite pen trembling.

It’s over, all our wanton dissembling. 

Ian C Smith


Sale, Victoria, Australia



Sink Hole


Stagnant water draining away

Very little left

Barely enough filth for a finger tip

Flow scum flow

The sucking sound of a small spiral – laughable

I stand above you now

Watch you plunge into your own sink hole

The last pungent droplets sewer-bound

Three, two, one…

There you go

Graham S. Crosby

Sefton Park, Liverpool

Observations From The Urban River




chemical plant escapee

oozing down mudbanks, oil




afternoon boozers

staggering from beneath

poppy stamen, cellar-bar




fugacious arcs

on low days

visions from high skies




filigree totem

moon-dew badge

infinitely various, our tribal



warehouse guard

solitary, confined

another tedious shift

scrutinises the monotonous river



graffiti artists

rainbow alliance

staging butterfly backdrops

admirals, tortoiseshells, painted ladies




spectral, stygian

water phantoms

rising to high pylons, shadow



metal recycling plant

gluttonous, devouring

gigantic steel talons

the dead world’s carrion




fools-silver, spurned

unloved by summer

undeterred, conquers waste ground




moored, rusting

Styx-sick, corroded

by toxic soul-leakage



tufted vetch

prophet-purple, righteous-blue

atop tendril ladders

addressing mortal grasses, exhorting

the word



tethered, grazing

isolated green banks

nutrient-deficient, hungry for contact




erect, watchful

surveys the kingdom

enthroned on nettle hill





vagrants, outcasts

exiled hunger, feeding

on margins, verges, peripheries




grimy, luminous

high-translucent to

low-opaque, alternating tidal



john e.c.

Hull, East Yorkshire





So let’s play judge,

Slamming hammers down on different shadows,

They can’t be happier folding paper while we clink coins,

But we can be if we improve our worth,

Let’s undress anything we envy,

Desperate to spit into tissues to clean our grubby faces,

The projection that we are the laidback and liberal ones,

Handing out beers on arrival, shaking the men’s hands, with their wives wanting their cheeks kissed,

But once the latch is secure the tide comes in,

Permitting a starter and a main, or a main and a desert,

The bus there and back,

Pressing the thumb into their education so that the rights are still there to brag,

Moaning endlessly about her mother but sitting yours next to Mary and Diana,

Taking multi-buys to work to feel you’ve beaten the system by undercutting the vending machine,

At work everyone’s either fat or divorced or drinks to numb the pain of not being you,

Going to the gym once a week to brand fitness to your forehead,

Spying on the neighbours bum cracks while they garden, assembling the whole family at the front window to bear witness to a sixty year old man without a belt,

Taking time off work to reverse the car off the drive and giving the mother two glow sticks to guide you back in,

Sticking your ear through the letter box to make sure the house alarm’s set,

Begrudging the completion of any order but recounting the generosity of favours you’ve bestowed,

Through a process lasting years building up the safety equipment for your ten minute cycle to the train,

Treating finding a seat as one of the many battles that ensured you were born,

Then sitting on the train, as hard-nosed as the next, attempting to stitch a six figure sum into the M&S suit,

No one will ever save as well as you,

The wife’s half hour labour over stoves and grills empties into five minutes of gasping for air and shaking indigestion’s hand,

‘That heating dial isn’t set at a lavish 15 degrees for any bugger to piss it away through open windows and doors’,

Knowing the precise hour the daughter came in but asking her all the same to catch out the deceit,

Of course one of the small victories for part-time Morse,

Polo shirts in summer and shirts in winter, cross trainers all year round just in case the bin needs taking out,

There is a reason for everyone’s misfortune apart from yours,

Big jobs involve painting window frames and getting suitcases from the loft,

If she’s lost something you’ll look in the same places she has, ‘because your mother doesn’t notice things like I do’,

Dreaming up phobias and remedies,

Nuts make you anxious and you haven’t been ill since you’ve had bananas,

Tapping feet to full dance floors,

Your phrases that were dreamed up and died in your hometown are tossed around the house,

We will never know we’re born, especially while you’re around,

But why would I want to?

You’ve raised me through these systems,

Taught me to hate that the world isn’t run out of our living room,

Showed me the crevices of imperfection I’ve previously overlooked,

And so I will gladly take your baton and spread your message without meaning,

Let us feel that it should have been us on the cross,

As I’m not accepting becoming one of the high street’s bobbing heads. 


Paddy Born

Brighton, England



A Reason To Return

The past casts long confusing shadows, the daylight follows the laughing horizon,

From the jagged Red Lantern Hills, we are returning from the sea,

There's a song that I sing on the mountainous trail,

In the quiet of the day or the still of the night,

I call it "Hush." In a land of Hush, a loud voice is King,

We are twenty returning warriors of old, we are bold, we are cold,

Between us no sign of a shoe or a cloak,

And around here no chance of a shelter that boasts of a roof.

And we search for a reason to return,

With nothing to show loved ones for our months away,

A hawk took to the skies, flew off with all our lies,

We are strangled by some unnamed fears, drowning in a pool of tears,

Annie, let the dark skies cry when again we part, but you know you'll always have my heart.

Steve Lodge

living in Singapore





Sent from my iPhone, so please excuse brevity, spelling & punctuation

Sent from my iPhone whilst dieting, so please excuse an 8-point-font

Sent from my iPhone during a senior moment, so with all due respect Missy- excuse spelling & punctuation

Sent from my iPhone clad head-to-toe in hard-wearing corduroy whilst tuning pianoforte along the Cotswold Way, so pitched perfectly- excuse punctuation

Sent from my iPhone iTyped with iThumbs, so excuse brevity-spelling & punctuation

Sent from my iPhone within an eruv in NW-London: it’s not some clever legal trick trying to avoid a rule

Sent from my iPhone resident in the People's Republic of Conformity so just excuse apathetic listlessness

Sent from my iPhone whilst drinking Dr. Pepper, what's the worst that can happen?

Sent from my iPhone: I’m struggling anxiously to increase sales volume by 20% (in accordance with an inflexible corporate strategy) so excuse brevity, spelling

Sent from my iPhone scunnered by 5-decades-of-wage-slavery so excuse self pity

Sent from my iPhone having been advised to place my personal feelings aside whilst learning for a fact that I’m definitely not receiving what I thought I deserved, & now apparently I need to envision the bigger objective first- so please excuse my tears

Sent from my iPhone- currently chained to my Mrs whilst she untiringly seeks ever more inventive-onerous-opportunities to break hard rock’s together- shoot me

Sent from my iPhone whilst navigating from wife-through-girlfriend-onto-lover: have a heart cock, & excuse brevity or any STD

Sent from my iPhone whilst having my shirt lifted in the famous Cockring-night-club, so excuse double-dutch spelling

Sent from my iPhone whilst being probed by Prince Hisahito of Akishino; excuse this inscrutable Japanese text

Sent from my iPhone whilst perched painfully upon a spinning fickle-finger-of-fate, so excuse me all over the place

Sent from my iPhone inspired by Bruno Manser, so get naked, camouflage your face & start blow-piping lumberjacks

Sent from my iPhone during black mass at a local coven- so until next time: merry-meet-merry-part-&-merry-meet-again fellow pagan xx

Sent from my iPhone energetically riding a wart-hog; excuse casual animal cruelty

Sent from my iPhone whilst wanking please excuse typos, brevity & spunk

Sent from my iPhone whilst running naked across the common, closely pursued by community officers, so please excuse typos & brevity

Sent from my iPhone whilst being dishonourably discharged from an internship with our local coastal Edelweiss Pirates, so please excuse brevity, spelling & punctuation

Sent from my iPhone at home alone listening to Carmina Burana on full volume: my wife’s left me, so please excuse typos or punctuation

Sent from my iPhone reflecting upon my unforgivably bestial behaviour, increasingly concerned that my shame shall long outlive my trials & tribulations

Sent from my iPhone presently inside a coffin buried somewhere in SE-England with only 9% of phone battery remaining & perhaps another hour’s oxygen- if I do dig myself out I’ll respond fully tomorrow: but for now- thanks for keeping me au-courant with your debauches. Do please excuse typos, punctuation & brevity etc.

Evan Hay

resident in Britain

How To Be A Real Person



makes no

sense – love it.



hurts a

lot – dodge blows.



picks you

up – smile, laugh.



Knocks you

down – stand tall.



Is good

and bad – real.



up and

down – ride it.

Pamela Scott

Glasgow, Scotland


In My World


The sun always shines,

the rain never falls

people can soar above the clouds

and there’s no such thing as pain.


Everyone’s happy and loved;

we’re all beautiful,

there’s no prejudice

and you can be whatever you want.


There’s no hurt or pain,

you can live forever,

you can soar above the clouds

and everyone’s got exactly what they need.


Every person is free,

you make your own choices,

you control your destiny

and everyone’s lives out their dreams.

Pamela Scott

Glasgow, Scotland



Of Shadows, Of Light


Snow Girl hid in the darkness,

ashamed, shielded her broken

shell from the light


she longed to walk in the light,

feel the sun on her face,

let the wind blow through her hair,

look & act like everyone else


but darkness is her home,

the only place she can be herself,

the only place she feels safe


there’s no place to hide

in the light, no protection,

no way to stop the stares

or the cruel words that cut into her


in the shadows she can relax,

take a few deep breaths,

shed her old, broken skin


it’s easy to hide in the dark,

there’s nothing to shield her in the sun,

shadows protect her, keep her from harm,

light exposes all her greatest fears

Pamela Scott

Glasgow, Scotland



Shapes In A Twisted Mirror


Snow Girl sees the monster inside her


sees the twisted, deformed shape,

the freak who lives inside her, makes her hurt


jeering voices ring in her head, hatred

takes everything about her and deforms it,

she can’t stand the way she looks


their laughter follows her everywhere, haunts her


she smashes the mirror in her room, the door

to the darkness inside her, cuts herself with broken glass


she sees the creature inside her, taunting her,

turning her thoughts black, whispering,

urging her to hurt, draw blood, find release


she feels a great weight pinning her down, suffocating


she slices her flesh, hopes to find the darkness

& cut it out of her, make herself whole/normal


she hides in shadows, covers her ears to drown

the torment out, repeats her safe word over and over,

imagines her heart stopping, a sweet release

Pamela Scott

Glasgow, Scotland


God: In the beginning there was a poem about a God

In His once upon a time was His happy ever after.
Emerging from the chrysalis of His own potentiality
He stood, immaculately conceived, top filled to bright brim with youthful
Like a March calf amongst the buttercups
At the solid base of His consciousness-
And there He waited, panting with desire, while deep in His
Fiery bowels, time chugged and giggled
Bashful as a firing squad in love, and explodes....
His heart, that vast pumping plant of light and space,
Flinging reality spinning outward to its bounded infinity....
In the first moments before knowledge of God and Devil, claws and defect,
Before the fall of original incompetence
He stands, insanely beautiful, as bright and brainless as an orgasm,
Blood erecting His crumpled form, the translucent membranes
Of his quadrifid ears stiffening into divine shapes...
They beat the air, and a terrible wind arises,
Billowing through the age of inertia,
Beating clouds of mathematics from His trouser cuffs,
And the sun shines out of His bottom.
He raises His head, His teeth chatter, His toes curl, His tail frisks-
And He speaks!
Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm, he says,
Clearing His throat of polystyrene and bubble wrap,
Let there be such a thing as a Heap! And a Drawback!
Let there be Fragrances and Destinations! Herbs and Hubs! Inflorescences and Osculation's!
Mountains Fountains Indignations Mice Coronas Hippopotami and- and
With a hop skip and a jump He ascended
Into the primordial haze of the purple skies
Flying for joy.
(Happiness was God's natural element
And today was the beginning of His end).
Aeronautics created He then: the Barrel Roll and the G-Turn
The Scissor the Split S and the Immelmann Manoeuvre
The Jink the Aerlion Roll and the Victory Loop,
And then God turned downwards and from the superfluity of possibility
He created the Out of Control Nosedive.
He saw the base of His consciousness beckoning His de