Words on Fire V2E4.2

Words On Fire
…Imagineers of Pyrotechnic Poetics
Volume 2 Edition 4.2
( for May 24 – June 20, 2015)

We Didn't Start the Fire


  • Kiku Koibito
  • Simon Lenthen
  • Michael Veloff
  • Priya Patel
  • K. Leigh Thoma
  • David Kernohan
  • Mark Read
  • Kristy Rulebreaker
  • Mickey Draca
  • Tim Clayton
  • Michael French
  • Michele Johnsen
  • Laurie Corzett
  • José Coelho
  • KellyAnne Seastrand
  • Frank Ramon
  • Allene Angelica
  • and featured moderator, Michael David Saunders Hall

15 - 14

Scales by David Kernohan

I had a skin
If truth be told
It was more scales
Than skin

Scales sewn together
From shame
To hide myself
But from myself
I could not hide

Snakes can
Shed their scales
But mine?
They stuck and
Nearly strangled me

We met
We hugged
You said
I looked
So happy

I’d lost
My scales
Perhaps, I’d grown
Into my skin

I was east
Or was it west
Of Eden
In the land
Of no salvation

Yet, there still
Was grace
I’d lost my scales
And learnt to live
As myself

15 - 15

Flaring by Kiku Koibito

The unquiet star
snakes ropes of fire
wildly about the
dark cold space
in rage of silence
and void
Flare the nothingness
Heat absolute zero
In the face of
Thou art spark
Brighter yet
for all the vile dark

2015 - 1

For an Aesthetics of Forgetfulness by José Coelho

He came in. Without
blinking, he sat down and looked me in the eye.
Said he wanted to talk to me about one aesthetic, a new one,
but the shadow or reflection
of something on the table, glistening, fidgeting, even appearing a shoal
of ideas which
fattened and lost weight in wind
rings, distracted him. Then fell silent
and we became a presence, discreet
numb in the middle of nowhere
until the door opened
and we were invited to a group
Today, it got read. And I, still shaken, tried
to master all my will and concentration.
Drinking water helped. I drank and
so much I thought about the title, I forgot the content.
And of him, not another drop
was left.

untitled by Mickey Draca
I am a palm print
At the bottom of wind swirls
Dusted wit rays of life
Towards me only death hurlsI am a single breath
Of a sparrow’s flight
Falling into sad
Where only love is a sightI am a needle
In sorrow’s arm
Awing and crying
Like a child’s fiddleI am movement
Of eel deep in the earth
Twig falling down
Into frosted dirt

I am naught
Yet I am alive
I am a flight
In a well of life hive


Oh Mother Earth by Simon Lenthen

Oh Mother Earth,
we have been reading too many magazines
and have tried to shape you into
our image of the perfect woman.
An image that man created
so that all women would know
what was expected of them.
We expected no less of you.

We have cut down the abundant rainforests
that were like leeches
and created plains for cattle to breed.
We built hard-edged cities on soft-rambling fields –
sprawling suburb sub-cultures over mottled hills.
We dressed you in bitumen lace to speed only ourselves.
We dug into your skin and removed minerals and oils
that could’ve lead to a bad case of acne.
We shaped you into a tough woman,
a man’s woman,
trim and lean and built – not created.
Not life-giving and round as you once were.

But we failed!
You are no woman, Mother Earth,
you are a wheezing old man,
choking on the fumes of our vehicles
your waters are stagnant and yellow,
you lose breath with every year.
You have open sores –
Mexico City, New York, Sydney
and more.
And you cannot resist our changes,
giving in to the life-robbing changes,
and not trying to change us.

Oh Mother Earth,
we have been reading too many magazines
on our own perception of beauty,
and not enough books on gardening
or home maintenance.

Read Between The Powdered Lines by Michael Veloff

 In The End, It Snows by Priya Patel

It’s whispering time
when backs are turned and words flow
Each smile is a show

I wonder with birds,
do they chirp incessantly
we smile foolishly

We think it’s their song
Love notes in the midnight air
laughing unaware

We become their toy
A mocking ground for love birds
we hang on their words

This is how we are
Spring to summer smiles for show
In the end, it snows


Strings by K. Leigh Thoma

I built the strings
That allowed me to
Twiddle my fingers
With a questioning pose

I studied the strings
Crossed my knees justly
Pointing my eyes
To all these and those

A man who had strings
Came up beside me
Turning his head
With that jittery tic

He pulled his arm up
And wrapped it around
Smiling with eyes
Rolling marbles that click

His strings mimed voices
And carried a smile
Like a silent picture that moves
All stuccoed heart and fair

He jawed out his promises
Of love and of truth
Like no scissor no knife
Would cut his strings bare

His strings weren’t made of
Truth and trust
Weren’t comprised of
Fearlessness and care

He was a man who used
His strings as a trap
Not a beautiful orchestra
But a jolting snare


Working Title 44 by Mark read

Was tall
So tall that his trousers were always at half-mast

Recently he had taken to wearing exquisitely-tooled boots
Which meant that trouser length was no longer a real concern

Was not short
However not so tall
So his trouser cuffs were always bunched around his ankles

Were perfectly bilingual

Cursed him in fluent Italian
Between occasional phrases loosely connected with work

Swore continuously
Merchant marine strength
Mostly in the general direction of the tall Italian
“Yes” and “No” were reserved for work

Were good friends


The Sweet Grape by Kristy Rulebreaker

Some people meditate
They preach love
but their hearts
are empty barrels
that will never know
the taste of wine

Some people never
talk about love
but they will give
all they have
and you will feel
the fresh taste
of the sweet grape

untitled by Mickey Draca
Stay close to me
On a dot at midnight
Because I am entering dream fields at that timeStay close to me in a fortress of pain
Because I am about to wear a crown
In that place

Stay close to me when my toes shiver from walking for too long in frost
Because I greet pain in this occasion

Stay close to me when my shadow is red
Because coloured shadow is an entrance to bliss

Stay close to me when death is grabbing my heart because I am ready to give in
And get born again

Stay close to me…


HOOK by Tim Clayton

A hook for a hand and a patch for an eye,
He set sail on the ocean, the sun blazed on high,
His cutlass flashed silver, a tooth flashed bright gold
Seven prisoners on deck, seven more in the hold.

His crew worked around him, with curses most foul,
Jimmy, the mate, wore a scar and a scowl,
The cook and the cat took a walk round the deck,
looking for mice or the sight of a wreck.

We’ll take no more prisoners,
we’ll keel haul the swine,
after taking their diamonds,
and drinking their wine.

He’s striding around!
he’s giving us looks,
come inside, time for dinner
said his mother, to Hook.


The Waves by Kristy Rulebreaker

The rays of sun on the back
The rays of sun on the chest
The rays of sun in love
with the waves

The legs in the waves
The arms in the waves
The eyes in love
with the waves

I Like You by Michael French
+++++++In solid colors
Reds and black
I don’t have much use for designs
or patterns

A lot of jewelry or make-up
are also quite unnecessary
Not that you can’t wear them
and effectively
I do notice
But I end up
(as I always have)
Looking by them at you

A little candle light is nice
A glass of wine can be a pleasant touch
We have found we have similar tastes
In a number of ways

Times like this we don’t waste
Things have their importance
However, I find we have learned
to put them aside

Even if just for a while

“Growing up doesn’t mean that you are older than someone,
it means that you are no longer an amateur.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson


The Abyss by Michele Johnsen

No hand caressed his face
No lips tasted his
The closer she came, the further he fell.
A lonely spirit concludes from its origination
That the only love that saves is a love that destroys.
So he lied
And he fell
Endlessly into the cavernous void.
And as she sat weeping
Helplessly at the edge of his abyss
He mistook her tears for unseasonable rain.



It’s morning in America
The morning of June 11, 2001
A warm and beautiful Spring day
And in Terre Haute, Indiana — a little after 7:00 am
–Timothy McVeigh is dead.
What more is there to say?
We all know the score:
Murder: 169, Mercy: 0
Antihero “bloody, but unbowed”
Silenced, but ever proud.
Ashes to scattered ashes.
Nihilist descant.

On the Aesthetics of Forgetfulness
(or how it sums up after a 3rd Margarita) by José CoelhoThe wall stood
proud and silent as a stone
in time

As far as I know it was there
layer with layer, holding the strength
of history and morphology – trees
and earth bathing each other
moving slowly as
lovers –
since the beginning

and we drank
their geometry, a wise structure performing

Then, one day, a part of the wall
came down

As I lick the junction between
the nail of my
ring finger
the tiny fleshless band
at its base
waiting for skin
to grow

rebuilding memory patterns

I realize the gap
has been replaced with
cement blocks


Night by K. Leigh Thoma

Devils leaning on windowpanes
Just eyes
And teeth
And tails

Fangs and scratches
Death and dread
Deepest fears unveiled

Crouching tigers, hidden dragons
Behind rocks
And roots
Of coils

Paws and fire
Strength and myth
Neither faith or hope is loyal

Circles spiral before your eyes
Nine levels
Of hell
And fear

Screams and grasping
Hands and nails
Your guide will not appear

Shadows dancing in the dark
They wait
They whisper
They hide

Gray and darkness
Cold and chill
Their clutches deep inside


“Lash” by KellyAnne Seastrand

Runs to your door, turns and leaves, what for

Runs through the streets that endlessly meet
And keeps running until she finds her defeat
Buries her face, in her hands, in her shame
Calls his name, in vain
Beats the walls of the world, beats that poor girl
where wickedly he whispers
Run and it will follow you, sleep and you shall dream it
Evade it all til down you fall
It will grow and twist and haunt, devour each hour
Leaves her kneeling
Leaves her self and senses reeling
Body broken, void of feeling, leaves her
Only in the frame of mind
To indirectly find the line
Where ragged separation ceased
In strength of walls from falls increased
And feet in fear did flea at least
Though lashing back again begins
The nature of that beast.
She cries out
Calls his name, in vain
Thinking that its over now
Yet its never gone somehow.

Runs to your door, turns and leaves, what for

Save It by Michael French

Spare me the deep thoughts
I really don’t require a life lesson

There are all kinds of ways to make connections
some of them are even what you might call

Looking back has its moments

There are hours that I set aside to
find a way to make it appear
I have some idea of what I am doing

I know better

The future has a way
of charting its own course
pointedly ignoring my plans


Life and Death have been on my mind
One is a look back
The other has its own agenda

So I take a moment early on a morning
Fog is hiding where the river flows
A stillness you can feel in your bones

And I try
I really do
To just be here

So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.
–T. S. Eliot


Your Chimes by Allene Angelica

You rounded the corner
Behind some coconut trees
Walking away from me

Looking for your chimes

I waited on the wall
Watching the
Bubbling surf

While you
Looked for your chimes

The minutes ticked by
Under that golden sun
The breeze teased
And whispered
Naughty anecdotes
I giggled

While you
Looked for your chimes

The sea pixies
Danced in that
Shimmering glow
Tiny crabs
In their mobile homes
Scurried hurriedly
Headed out
For their morning run

While you
Looked for your chimes

As I patiently sat
You rounded the corner
By those coconut trees
In that sure footed way
You have

Smiling that grin
Walking back to me

Your hands holding
The pieces
Of your chimes


Her Love by Frank Ramon

A lady comes
to substitute teach
you remember there was
something about her
that you will remember
all of your days
and that was love
pure motherly love
love in a touch
love in a hushed whisper
in your ear
love in a simple reassurance

and now you are
a grown women
and you give
that love to your children
as i have for mine
you knew that lady
she was my mother
and i will put that love
in song and flaming poetry
and i will fling it
around all of the corners
of my mother’s earth
for the love of Bereniece has
expressed me
i will miss her
all of my days
and i will not forget
Her Love.


It’s Lonely by Kristy Rulebreaker

It smells nice
but it’s lonely
It’s nice to touch
its smooth surface
but it’s lonely
Its sounds are lovely
but it’s lonely
I had other
things on my mind
I forgot it
but I was blind
Without it
I am not satisfied
It’s time again
to visit my guitar



untitled by Michael Veloff

feeling, long gone
ruddy, white haze
soul-numbing fog
numberless daze
3 Poems by featured moderator Michael David Saunders Hall

Twilight Garden [The 2nd Take of Morning Glory]

the marquee moon
wades in the umbra
of her own twilight
garden, in the crepuscule
of prying star eyes
dancing in the moonlight, assuaging
my allure for her ebony azure
as if she were a harlem nocturne
boogalooing beneath the bright
rain of my mind, with eyes
big as the world that sparkle
like mother of pearl, wearing
nothing but polka dots
& moonbeams, driving me
to dream of her
morning glory
shining right

Litany of Love (or: the music in your eyes, as inspired by Anita Baker & Stevie Wonder)

“We may never understand
If love just happens or it’s planned…”
–excerpt from Anita Baker’s “Lead Me Into Love”

The day, when
I first heard music
In your eyes, in February —

The vision resonates in the chorus
God Is Love & all things possible; so

Man (or
Woman) put
Asunder what

In store
For you &
I, together, conquering the world.

& our meeting’s no fluke, with not
A reason to rebuke what’s felt
Natural since that day in February


Your name
Though spelled the wrong way…
& know that I have found the one).

[Partwo] of 2nd Nature
“History is a people’s memory.”
-Malcolm X

i have peered into
the past & seen the future
rising like the sun.

time. is rhythm. is
the shuffle of happy feet,
moving to the beat.

mother earth with her
motherlode of wealth, old as
yesterday’s wonder,
views tomorrow thru lightning
eyes listening for thunder.

noon moon never frets
the midnight sun never sets
time never forget

…musing a ballad
under a handful of stars
& the midnight sun
i wear my soul as a badge
on which to rise, a blue note

in a minor key, like
my life were a suite bittersweet
2B read when i’m dead…

time: the first & last,
future & past, day’s last chance
fore judgment is cast.

“Tomorrow was born yesterday.”
–Gil Scott-Heron

the text i tailor
with thoughts as transcendental
excursions to no-

where yet every-
where in search of that next step
is my soul’s collaged

canvas, connected
from alpha to omega
by biorhythms

speaking the language
of the drum inside of me
sounding almost like

that of a trap dance
a la The Jazz Messenger
doing his Ritual…

& trips back to when
daddy would heed to Jimmy
Smith’s “Sermon,” with his

eyes closed, just patting
his knee, whistling with utmost

mama, listening
to Bill Cosby imitate
Noah at the Ark,

would laugh as i had
never seen her laugh before;
& i’d memorize

“That Nigger’s Crazy”
by Pryor,  with Phil (my best friend),
as though we were

there amongst the crowd
just directing traffic like
willie the wino,

who lived up the street
& everyday would drink
until he passed out,

waking up only
to empty his bladder
& maybe chatter

something surpassing
vulgar & (more than likely)
profanely insane…

& remembrances
of playing football for hours
on our old red brick street

as cottonwood fell
like snow in the summertime
covering the ground

but never melting,
or going to the park for
no reason at all

except to see
who might be running full court
& who got next…

& beautyful dreams
stored away for rainy days
when i’m old & gray

as tomorrow finds me
still digging up common ground
in the lost & found

discovering dormant
strength to be a truthsayer
who slays ignorance.

The Magnificent Seven [Moderators/Co-Owners/Co-Editors]:
RC deWinter
Chris Flegel
Uma Venkatraman
Mary Macharia
Arthur Turfa
Frederick Andrew
Michael David Saunders Hall (aka the 21st Century Griot)
BigUps & Much To All Contributors. Remember: the poet tree will be streamed…so, let’s forever indulge in the balance of delicious agony and suite ecstasy of our everlasting leaves, always writing what the moment recommends to infinity and beyond. Till next time, Write On/;-)
The JokerTHE END©2015 Words on Fire.

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