Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Trafficking — Diane Palka

I heard there were one hundred

ten who didn’t survive,

no one cares

in the nightmare.

They sucked air through a tube

took turns breathing, staying alive,

shades of brown twisting on a burning Rubik’s cube

in the nightmare.

Nothing gets done about the ten, ninety,

or thousands more in cargo bins, rolling ovens,

truth ignored along with those

in the nightmare.

Politicians – cobras all – spit venom,

blind each other with hate, the real villains

slithering through politics, lining their own pockets

in the nightmare.

Bald Eagle soars – looks down

showers tears upon innocents abandoned,

tortured, left to die, rot in hell or in a living hell

in the nightmare.

Will we ever say, “Life trumps senseless death

compassion trumps cash, truth trumps lies

love trumps hate, goodness trumps evil,”

in the nightmare?

~ Diane Palka

Diane Palka resides in rural Overbrook, KS. She has four series of haiku published in Tall Grass Voices (Hill Song Press) and “Sunflower Turtle,” in Kansas Time + Place, 150 Kansas Poems (WordPress.com). She writes prose, free verse and Japanese forms of poetry. She has been a long-time member of Kansas Authors Club and is the treasurer for District Two.

November editor, Ronda Miller, is State President of the Kansas Authors Club (2018 – 2019). Her three books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain (Meadowlark-Books, 2015) and WaterSigns (Meadowlark-Books, 2017). Miller lives in Lawrence but returns to wander The Arikaree Breaks of Cheyenne county every chance she gets. Kansas Authors Club.

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Yellow Music — Diane Wahto

“When the communists took over my country, they labeled the music different colors—yellow for soft, relaxing music, green for music to work by, red for music of war.”

 

An Le, Vietnamese refugee.

Those in positions of power buy pianos,

know that people are ruled through

their stomachs. Keep citizens a little

hungry, and they will work from Monday

to Sunday without complaint. It’s the well-fed,

the fat, who want weekends for themselves,

want to play yellow music on their grand

pianos, plot the next move to keep victory

in their iron-clad, red-music grasp.

~ Diane Wahto

Diane Wahto’s book of poetry, The Sad Joy of Leaving, is available at Blue Cedar Press.com. Her most recent publications are “Persistence,” at Ekphrastic Review, and “Empty Corners”, in Same. She and her husband, Patrick Roche, live in Wichita, Kansas, with their dog Annie, the Kansas Turnpike dog.

November editor, Ronda Miller, is State President of the Kansas Authors Club (2018 – 2019). Her three books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain (Meadowlark-Books, 2015) and WaterSigns (Meadowlark-Books, 2017). Miller lives in Lawrence but returns to wander The Arikaree Breaks of Cheyenne county every chance she gets. Kansas Authors Club.

Aging Daily … Hourly…Damn – Valerie Bennington Widmar

a poem about adult ADHD

 

Anger destroys her day.

It makes her agitated and frustrated.

Anxiety doesn’t have deadlines…

It comes and goes. It can stay for days.

Absolutely deny having difficulties!

They will look at you differently.

All days have darkness…

-Life is hard, just deal!

Always dealing…hours, days!

Temper flares, tears roll.

Acquire meds, Hide meds.

Because they will think you are faking.

–It’s not real.

–You didn’t have it as a kid.

–It’s over diagnosed.

–Too much t.v., huh?

Anxiety, dear…HURRY DEPART!

–It will go away, just meditate.

Anger, darling, happy dance.

It’s not working.

Absolute despair happens daily.

–Oh, come on, really? It can’t be that bad.

Argue, Defend. Help debunk…

But I am tired of keeping it a secret…

and taking meds in secret, so no one can see me.

–Why do you need so many?

–How can you have anxiety ALL day?

–Why can’t you remember your coffee?

–Why are you taking things so personally?

–Too much T.V. as a kid, huh?

–Isn’t that the soccer mom drug?

Act. Deceive. Heartbroken. Defeated.

Actively detaching…hourly, daily.

Aimless, directionless, helpless, delirious.

Thoughts darting here and there.

The mind multi-tasking without pause.

We can doubt and over-share.

Feeling anxious without cause.

Attention. Deficit. Hyper-activity. Disorder.

Educate yourself. Give us a safe place to land.

The only things we make up…

are excuses as to why you don’t understand.

~ Valerie Bennington Widmar

Valerie Bennington Widmar lives in Rochester, New York with her husband and two young daughters. She has B.A.s in Creative Writing and Film Theory from The University of Kansas. She writes observations of human relationships and personal challenges. She loves talking about movies as a co-host on podcast Cultural Stew (culturalstew.net). She believes discovering a sentence that resonates helps us feel seen and reminds us that we are not alone. Vidmar struggles with ADHD and, like numerous others, was initially misdiagnosed with manic depression. She highly recommends second opinions.

November editor, Ronda Miller, is State President of the Kansas Authors Club (2018 – 2019). Her three books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain (Meadowlark-Books, 2015) and WaterSigns (Meadowlark-Books, 2017). Miller lives in Lawrence but returns to wander The Arikaree Breaks of Cheyenne county every chance she gets. Kansas Authors Club.

The Death of Chang Eng – Jeff Worley

“Eng . . . continued to lie

there in a stupor

for an hour more. And then

he died.”

The Two: The Story of the Original Siamese Twins by Irving and Amy Wallace

When I ask William, How is your

Uncle Chang? he looks at the floor

and speaks through the mounting heat:

Uncle Chang is cold . . . Our eyes meet,

and he runs to find Adelaine, who let herself

be courted into this strange life,

took me and turned taboo to love.

I won’t look at Chang and won’t forgive

his rotgut whisky, squealing women

he took from behind, yang and yin

locked in lust, while I gazed at the dim

ceiling bulb, distracting myself, the women

again disappointed by my pocketed hands, my steelclad

resolution to stay limp. I ate

from the green garden, meat

never bled from my plate.

But I couldn’t stop him –profligate

of opium and spices—from drenching flank-steak

with fu-yung, chaing yu. Bones broke

under the knife his left hand wielded.

I’d have signed my name twenty times in blood

to end this coupling, the appendix

that connects us like a sword. Mix

of flesh and shadow, ego and other.

… Uncle Chang is dead. My brother,

what could I have said when William

told me this, my heart slowing? That I’m

forgiving you for all of it? I hated you

is the truth. Amazing: You never knew.

~ Jeff Worley

Previously published in Tampa Review

Jeff Worley, born and raised in Wichita, was the second graduate of the Wichita State MFA program (1975). He is extremely grateful to Bruce Cutler, founder of the program, for his invaluable help with early fledgling poems. Jeff has published numerous collections of poetry including, A Little Luck, winner of the 2012 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize from Texas Review Press. Now retired from the University of Kentucky, he and his wife, Linda, split their time between Lexington and their Cave Run Lake cabin.

November editor, Ronda Miller, is State President of the Kansas Authors Club (2018 – 2019). Her three books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain (Meadowlark-Books, 2015) and WaterSigns (Meadowlark-Books, 2017). Miller lives in Lawrence but returns to wander The Arikaree Breaks of Cheyenne county every chance she gets. Kansas Authors Club.

I Have Been Alone — Antonio Sanchez-Day

Looking through the windows of my eyes into my soul

one views an abyss that is dark and cold

motivated by money, in the pursuit of material things

plus, my carnal cravings make me a pitiful human being

afflicted by addiction, infected with rage

plagued by innocence stolen at an early age

misled by false friends, betrayed by their lies

in this life of shit, I’m Lord of the Flies

I’m not playing victim for I know where blame dwells

it sits with me in this concrete cell

seated at the right hand of my throne

because misery loves company

and I hate to be alone

~ Antonio Sanchez-Day

Antonio Sanchez-Day is a 44-year-old Lawrence, Ks. native. At an early age he became involved in the cycle of addictions, gangs and criminal behavior. After 13 years of incarceration, he now uses his passion for poetry and writing as a means of personal therapy. He volunteers at The Douglas County Jail with his friend, and mentor, Professor Brian Daldorph. He is currently working on a book of poetry.

November editor, Ronda Miller, is State President of the Kansas Authors Club (2018 – 2019). Her three books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain (Meadowlark-Books, 2015) and WaterSigns (Meadowlark-Books, 2017). Miller lives in Lawrence but returns to wander The Arikaree Breaks of Cheyenne county every chance she gets. Kansas Authors Club.

November Poems: Photoists Walk Autumn — Dan Pohl

Time for bugs to find a way inside

Opens the door of cool November

Grass in repose decides to sleep

Low suns cannot help warm

Leaves of Maple, Birch, and Elm

Turn golden, strawberry, orange

Photographers snap the passion

Compositions of earth’s season

Its change through tempered lens

Cautious as DiVinci painted lips

His knowing lips onto Mona Lisa

Setting tender do-si-do shutters

Prospecting deep into prairies

Exploring quiet neighborhoods

People unaware behind windows

As clicks capture a slow silence

And the beauty that surrounds

~ Dan Pohl

Dan Pohl instructs English composition at Hutchinson Community College and lives in Moundridge, Kansas. He has two poetry books in print: Autochthonous: Found in Place by Woodley Memorial Press, 2014 and Anarchy and Pancakes by Spartan Press, 2018. He contributed to, and co-edited, anthologies: 365 Days (2016) and 365 Days Volume 2 (2018) anthologies from the 365 Poems in 365 Days Facebook poets’ page.

November editor, Ronda Miller, is State President of the Kansas Authors Club (2018 – 2019). Her three books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain (Meadowlark-Books, 2015) and WaterSigns (Meadowlark-Books, 2017). Miller lives in Lawrence but returns to wander The Arikaree Breaks of Cheyenne county every chance she gets. Kansas Authors Club.

To My 5-Year-Old Self at the Sweetwater Sea — By Diane Silver

The hot sand will sting the bottoms of both bare feet.

Ignore it.

 

Your mother will shout it’s time to go.

Ignore it.

 

Your brother will laugh.

Ignore it.

 

Your skin will open.

(pay attention)

like the sides of a box banging down.

Sun will heat the inside, the walls will melt.

Incredibly bright. Surprisingly cool.

Your eyes will adjust.

 

You will see the line of water meeting sky,

swelling, subsiding, huffing up again.

You will smell it.

(How could you have missed it before?)

The metallic bit of pure water.

 

You have become porous.

You are no longer of this earth.

You could become sun.

You could revel in light replacing fingers, toes, face, stomach.

it would be easy. You know this for a fact, but choose to stay.

(Curiosity perhaps.)

 

Remember this

when your mother grabs your upper arm and drags you to the car.

 

Remember this

when the only escape from middle school is a cramped square window.

 

Remember this

when you’re alone in your house, wondering if you should make a plan to die.

 

Remember this

when you open your door today, and the mob is screaming.

~ Diane Silver

Diane Silver is an activist and journalist who grew up in Michigan, surrounded by sweetwater seas, otherwise known as The Great Lakes. Her work has appeared in Ms and other venues. Her latest books are Your Daily Shot of Hope vol. 1 (Meditations for an Age of Despair) and vol. 2 (Meditations on Awakening).

 

James Benger is a father, husband and writer. His work has been featured in several publications. He is the author of two fiction ebooks: Flight 776 (2012) and Jack of Diamonds (2013), and two chapbooks of poetry: As I Watch You Fade (EMP 2016) and You’ve Heard It All Before (GigaPoem 2017). He is a member of the Riverfront Readings Committee in Kansas City, and is the founder of the 365 Poems In 365 Days online poetry workshop and is Editor In Chief of the subsequent anthology series. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.

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